The Long and Short of It

A makeover might start with a shocking shift—but continue on as a subtle evolution

I’m a blonde, long-haired person. That’s what I’ve been telling myself since, oh, forever. My early goal in life was to grow my hair to the floor. And it’s always been blonde-ish.

But all that bleach was taking a toll. Lately, I wondered if I should change up my look. My ambivalence was revealed when I brought photos of a strawberry blonde to Mark DeBolt at Haus Salon a few months ago. “That’s pretty,” he said, diplomatically (subtext: BO-RING!). And then—whoosh!—as he distracted me with his velvet radio voice, he covered my hair in vibrant whorls.

The result was dramatic. I walked out of the salon totally in L-O-V-E. I’ve been eagerly awaiting my follow-up appointments. Now I was feeling gutsy. Was it time to cut?

I consulted Haus owner and scissor wielder, Charlie Brackney. He and Mark agreed to meet me for a makeover. A makeover. Gulp.

When I got there, Mark told me we’re in an evolution stage with color. “It is so chic to subtly evolve the color throughout the year, influenced by changes in your skin tone, seasonal changes in makeup, fashion, and trends, making it something better for that moment,” he said. With that in mind, he refreshed the light auburn, handpainted darker pieces by my ears and neck, and added rose-gold highlights near my face.

Then it was time for the Truth According to Charlie. He dropped the bomb: You’re a long-hair person. “I’d probably never cut it shorter than your collarbone,” he said. As for my boredom? Well, long hair is the most versatile!

“I really like to have a conversation with clients about their identity. Are they good there, or are they ready to be somewhere else? Your hair cut and color will express on the outside how you feel on the inside,” he said. Smart, I thought, because we are so emotionally attached to our hair. A few expert snips, a blow-dry,  and curling-iron primer, et voila: a Bardot-inspired mane.

It was an empowering  makeover, but it didn’t re-make me. The trick is to find visionaries who anticipate your style needs and look at you objectively. Charlie noted, “I love when people put a spotlight on eccentricities, like [model] Lara Stone and the gap between her teeth. It’s a mega-powerful signature. When people say, ‘This is me,’ that’s when things get really interesting.” Well, darlings, this is me.