Thursday, February 2, 2012

Change for Change’s Sake, Changes for the Better, and Cautionary Tales…

Last week, we posted before-and-after photographs of nine high-profile celebrities who made major hairstyle changes in the first 31 days of 2012, either cutting, coloring, or doing both! Celebrities have truly become the barometers of beauty and fashion for the masses, and they have the financial power to indulge their whims and change their hair as often as their clothes. It’s wonderful to have so much inspiration to make changes to your own style, but as we give you our opinions – as promised – we’ll also impart some advice about what is involved in being a color-and-cut chameleon.  
Cameron Diaz, old before her time

Cameron Diaz: Your opinions were unanimous, and agreed with ours – Cameron’s new color and cut age her tremendously. In fact, we think she looks downright matronly, and her hair looks fried. Her former warm tones were much more flattering to her skin, and even though she changed her makeup colors to complement the new platinum shade, the overall effect turned a quirky, exotic comedienne into a middle-aged “Housewife of Beverly Hills.” She’s a cautionary tale for trying on wigs before making a change so drastic. And more than one person commented that her new color and style make her look like Ellen Barkin, who is 18 years her senior

Miley Cyrus, au natural
Miley Cyrus: From extensions to natural! What a relief it must be to have them removed. Although her “before” picture shows her hair at flattering and natural-looking mid-back length, she’d kept adding more and longer lengths with multi-toned and textured extensions that had no resemblance to real hair. Ms. Cyrus commented that after six years of wearing extensions, she felt enough was enough. Her new cut is flattering and will allow her hair to replenish while still maintaining some length. The sunglasses, however, are totally unflattering for her facial shape.

It’s difficult for women who are accustomed to the extra length and thickness to get used to how their own hair feels again, because it’s going to have some damage and need time to recover and re-grow. The most important thing to know about extensions is that they are very high-maintenance, and if you cannot afford to take care of them, don’t do it because you can severely damage your hair. They add extra weight to the hair, and as the hair grows, the extensions are further from the scalp. You can’t comb or brush the hair between the scalp and the extension, and it tangles, so you pull to try and smooth it, and you have breakage.  Extensions are an investment, never take the cheap route, and if you can’t afford the maintenance, you’re going to end up with broken and severely damaged hair. Use clip-in extensions instead and save yourself the trauma.

Selena Gomez, acting her age
Selena Gomez: The “before” photo of Ms. Gomez looking so elegant at an award show, contrasted with the new neon extensions, reminds us of how young she really is. It’s a look for the young rebel at heart, and you can pull it off with the right amount of attitude, and with the right clothes and makeup – but be classy and selective. Placement of these bright extensions needs to accent the shape of your face. And, of course, you can put them in and take them out like you change outfits. It truly is fashion freedom for the hair.

Dakota Fanning's Dip Dye Disaster
Dakota Fanning: Dip dye gone horribly wrong! It looks as if she fell asleep in her Kool-Aid. In our opinion, Dakota probably did this at home. It’s an interesting trend executed poorly; if you want to try the dip dye look, there’s a proper way to have it done professionally so there is no line of demarcation. We understand even her mother has said in the press that it looks awful, but she has to let Dakota be herself. Let’s hope she discovers that her “self” looked absolutely lovely before.

The Katy Perry Blues
Katy Perry:  We were not surprised that very few of you thought you’d try out Katy Perry’s new haircolor; many of you thought her “before” blonde-with-a hint-of-pink was one of her best looks. But an integral part of Katy Perry’s persona is a tendency to drastic transformations. Dying your hair blue is for people who want to make a statement, who don’t care what other people think, who are confident in their choices and change what they want, when they want. If you’re that kind of person, go blue! Or hot pink, or lavender. Just remember the key words: maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. It’s a look for someone where cost is no object, and who has no one to answer to about their appearance. For many people, turning up at work with blue hair could cost them their job. If you’re even considering a color change of this nature, make sure you have the freedom to do so.

Wild for Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde: First, she cut the bangs last year and her eyes became the focal point, and she went from another pretty actress to really sexy. Now, Ms. Wilde has cut her long, flat-ironed and very layered hair to just graze her shoulders, darkened her base color, and changed her highlights to gold and caramel. It’s amazing how adjusting the tones and highlights can enrich your look and blend so beautifully with your skin. Her eyes stand out even more, yet the color changes are subtle and not overdone. We definitely like her new look.

Michelle Williams: Just Perfect!
Michelle Williams: Here’s the perfect example of how simply changing the color can make a drastic difference. She hasn’t modified her now-trademark pixie cut at all, but she’s been everything from the palest platinum to baby blonde, and always had to compensate for the fact that those light shades blended into her skin by using makeup to create some contrast and bring in color. Her new pale strawberry blonde warms her up beautifully, giving her a glow better than any makeup could. It’s like trying on the same dress in different colors and not being very impressed, then suddenly you put on the one that is the perfect shade for you, and you look amazing.  We love this “after.”

Kim Kardashian: Can Do No Wrong?
Kim Kardashian: “Before” is long, soft, and wavy; “After” is dramatic Cleopatra bangs and straight, shiny layers. It’s a matter of preference here – Kim Kardashian is beautiful, and she has an absolutely gorgeous head of hair. She has the right facial shape and proportions to carry off either look. We were evenly divided in the salon on which look we preferred, and the comments we got from you were as well.

Jessica Biel: Change for change's sake?
Jessica Biel: This is an example of hair color being treated much like clothing fashions. Today, with the incredible range of hair services and colors available, it’s become as changeable as heel heights or hem lengths, flares or skinny jeans. And with celebrities as our icons, we watch as they constantly morph their look, from boho to sophisticate, from avante garde to sporty. They change from one hair cut and hair color to another, they want longer hair and get extensions, they change the color again at a whim. If you’re going to change your haircolor as frequently as a celebrity, do it professionally and properly because it puts stress on the hair, and you can’t see the damage underneath when you do it yourself. You don’t throw a pair of pants in the dryer that need to be dry cleaned; your hair is the same. Put it in the hands of professionals and remember than when you see pictures like these, you’re seeing Ms. Biel at her best, and someone’s spent a few hours on her hair, washing and conditioning, using the right products, blowing it out, using other heat tools and making it look perfect. Is one color better on her than the other? We really couldn’t say – they’re both flattering, shiny, healthy-looking, she’s made slight adjustments in her makeup to compensate, so the whole package works either way. This was likely just change for change’s sake, like switching from faded denim to dark indigo jeans.
So, until next week, ciao… 

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