I arrived at the hair salon with a stack of Pinterest printouts, and a lingering case of PTSD from an unfortunate 2007 session with a stylist at another place, whose name I’m withholding to protect the guilty.
Is there anything better than finally finding a hair stylist you really, really like? One who actually listens to you, and really “gets” what it is you’re wanting to do? For me, it’s the same relief at finding the perfect doctor, or car mechanic. We rely on skilled professionals, and when we find an especially talented one, the feeling is nothing short of relief.
And I’m making no apologies for taking this hair thing seriously. Hair takes months, if not years, to grow. It’s the first thing people notice about a woman. You wear it every single day, 24/7. If you think about it, your hair is your most important, and certainly most visible, accessory. If you get a bad cut, there’s no escaping it until it grows out.
Finding the right stylist, especially if you’re new to an area, can be a challenge. If you just pick one out of the book, you’re taking a huge chance and essentially using a trial-end-error method. No thanks.
So, I’ve found one of the best ways to find a good stylist is to find someone whose hair you really like, and ask who they go to. And that’s how I found Stephanie, at Bella Trio Day Spa in Durham, N.C.
I was in great hands with Stephanie — no extra oxygen needed; I could feel the PTSD evaporating away. We looked at the pictures I brought in, and I was specific about what I liked or didn’t like about those styles and my current hair, and what I was looking to do.
I’d let my hair grow out to mostly one length. It was too long, too heavy, and getting difficult to manage. I have thick, coarse, color-treated, naturally wavy hair that is prone to frizz. But I just don’t look good in short hair, and I love having long hair and wanted to keep it. What I needed was for it to be less heavy, and more manageable. The solution was long layers.
Long layers are a great style for me, but having had this type of cut before I know that it takes more attention on a daily basis to style than wearing all one length. I’m going to have to plan for that in the mornings; an extra 15 minutes at least, for curling or flat ironing. I’m still going to do shampooing and blow-drying during evenings and weekends, as I just don’t have that much time in the mornings before work.
To create the curls shown, Stephanie used a narrow (1″) flat iron (yes, a flat iron!) in a technique I’d heard about but hadn’t seen or tried before. I’m going to do my best to replicate what she did, and practice, then I might just create a tutorial on how to do it. Stay tuned!