I Let My Hairstylist "Surprise Me" — and Ended Up With the Haircut of My Dreams
I've always been somewhat of a gambler. In fairness, this is not entirely my fault: I was born in Las Vegas, and thereby entered into this world with an inherent propensity for all things high stakes. In that sense, it doesn't feel too off base that I left my latest haircut up to chance. Let me explain.
After doing absolutely nothing with my hair but allowing it to live, unperturbed, atop my head for nine-plus (!) months, my ends were starting to look long, dry, and drab. Meanwhile, I was reporting on the most-requested hairstyles following salon reopenings amid the coronavirus pandemic — all of which were striking and chic (and the polar opposite of my own look). Itching for change but not a clue what I wanted, I booked an appointment with Robert Sherman, the lead stylist at the Frederic Fekkai Salon in NYC, with an idea: what if I let him, based on his expertise and the season's biggest trends, determine the fate of my next haircut? It would be like letting your partner decide which restaurant to take you to for your birthday. "I don't know, surprise me!"
When I walked into the salon, I laid out all my cards on the table. In an attempt to alleviate any pressure to run through the exhaustive list of haircuts out there, I had narrowed it down to three of the coolest styles I've seen of late for him to choose from: the modern shag, the A-line bob, and the textured clavicut. Each one would require I chop off at least five inches of hair, if not more, but would be easy enough to style according to my low-maintenance lifestyle. Then, it was time to roll the dice.
The cut he would ultimately decide on was merely the luck of the draw.
Before My Shaggy Bob Haircut
It's hard to tell without Enola Holmes's magnifying glass just how frayed my ends are here, but I'll put it this way: my split ends had split ends. I needed to cut off a lot of length . . . and STAT.
Luckily, Sherman knew exactly what to do. Without taking a beat, and after hearing my three choices, he was ready to go all in on the shaggy lob haircut, but with a few modern twists on the throwback style.
"With your face shape, you want a cut that takes the focus from the cheekbones up," he told me, adding that shaggy, face-framing pieces can help achieve that effect. This, he explained, is different from doing so with all-over layers: "Your hair has built-in texture, so we don't want to do too many layers. We'll just keep it one length at your clavicle."
After My Shaggy Bob Haircut
Now, when Sherman picked the shag haircut for me, at that point I was fully committed to getting traditional bangs that tend to come with the look. But he assured me we needn't take such drastic measures. In fact, he said you can still cut layers around the face like you normally would (only there versus all over) while keeping the rest relatively simple.
As you can see, instead of straight-across bangs, Sherman opted for "swoop" bangs at a steep angle across my eye area to "help draw attention upward," he said. It's a small tweak to the shag that makes it feel a little more modern, but it wasn't until I styled my new cut for myself a few days later (as demonstrated here) that I fully appreciated him going easy on this one detail.
Before/After Shaggy Bob Haircut
Is the swept-aside vibe what you think of when you hear the word "shag"? Probably not, but this is the shaggy, low-key version of the style that is much easier to work with. And that, dear reader, is what you call hitting the jackpot.