Julie Rath: How to Change Your Hairstyle


Men's Personal Stylist: George Clooney Hair

Even George Clooney didn’t always get it  right.

I’m all about instant gratification. Give me the  choice between store-bought and homemade, and I will almost always go for the  quick fix. My family calls it “Rathness” to want to get things done yesterday. Unfortunately, in my line of work, there aren’t always  shortcuts. Obtaining a new wardrobe can take time, not to mention the  tailoring that’s inevitably involved. One place where I can satisfy my Rathness,  however, is with updating clients’ hairstyles. Call today for an  appointment tomorrow, and boom, you’re well on your way to a new and improved  you.

I get that the idea of changing your hairstyle can be intimidating,  especially if you’ve been rocking the same look for several decades. But it’s defeatist to assume that if you’re past a certain age it’s too late  to make a change. So what if you’re 40 years old and have been wearing  your hair the same way since you were a kid? That’s all the more reason to  consider an update, especially if you (and your spouse/partner) think it looks  stale. If you’re on this site, chances are you’re already thinking a change may  be in order, and perhaps hair is part of it. To that I say, dive in, go for  it. If you don’t like it, it will always grow back in a couple of  weeks.

That said, it’s key to go about your hairstyle upgrade thoughtfully  so that you get your desired results. Below are 8 tips  on how to do this.

1) Ask others with hair you like for the name of their hair  stylist. (A lot of people have a hard time asking questions like this,  but it’s not a big deal. Just say that your barber is retiring, and you need  someone new.)

2) Check on a user-review site like Yelp in your area for a  hairstylist who’s well-recommended for men’s scissor cuts (not clippers).

3) When you call for an appointment, see if you can go in for a  consultation first. That way you can discuss your goals in advance and  ask how s/he would go about achieving them before breaking out the scissors.

4) After you’ve found a stylist who’s the right fit, it’s imperative that you communicate clearly with him or her. Explain what your job is  (including how conservative your look needs to be and what you typically wear to  work), what image you’d like your new cut to convey, and how much maintenance  you’re OK with. If you’re a chameleon and want something hip for outside of  work, but conservative for everyday, tell the stylist. In many cases, all it  takes is a subtle difference in how you fingercomb your hair when you get out of  the shower to distinguish between looks.

5) Part of clear communication is bringing with you at least three  pictures of looks you like. Hair stylist James Hernandez of James Hernandez New York says, “Texture  and density play a big part in determining the end result. But where the visuals  help is in capturing the concept of the look you are after, both what you want  to achieve and what you don’t want. Any stylist that is opposed to you using  visuals, I would be little leery of their understanding of the craft of  haircutting.” Stylist James  Joyce agrees, “In the conversation before starting the service, the stylist  can decide what element of the pictures you bring is grabbing your eye.  Sometimes it’s the shape of the head, and sometimes it’s the texture of the  hair.  Either way it’s a big help to have a non-verbal idea. Pictures can  be printed off Google images or clipped from magazines.”

6) Your hair will look best parted on one side vs. the other. So sometimes the change may just be switching the part (or losing  it altogether). A good hair stylist will know where the best part placement will  be.

7) Facial hair correlates closely with your hairstyle. Talk  to the hair stylist about what works best for your face shape and what  suggestions, if any, he’d make to change your facial hair given your new cut.  Also ask if he needs to trim your eyebrows. This takes 30 seconds, and he can do  it with a pair of scissors (don’t let anyone near you with wax).

8) If you feel your look is dated, it may not just be your present cut, but  also the product you’re using. I worked with a new client this week who thought  that the “wet-look” gel he was using made him look more contemporary, when in  fact it was conveying a look that was out of touch. For this reason, bring any product you use and have the hairstylist evaluate it.  He may tell you to chuck it and give you a recommendation for something new.  Make sure he also shows you how to apply it. You may feel silly doing this, but  trust me the next morning when you’re trying to get out the door quickly, you’ll  be happy you know what you’re doing.


Are you thinking of making a change to your hairstyle? Leave me a note in the  comments below. I’d love to hear how it goes for you.


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