The Power of a Haircut

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Imogen Lamport
Imogen at age 6

When was the last time you got yourself a new hair style?  Have you had the same haircut for the past 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?  Not only does a modern, current hairstyle make you look up-to-date, it also gives others the impression that you are more youthful and have the ability to learn new skills and keep up with new technology and change, which in our increasingly youth-focused job market makes a big difference.

According to Christopher Hopkins, author of Staging Your Comeback as we get older it’s important for our hair to have upwards movement (rather than downwards) as it raises the eye up which is more youthful.

When you look at his makeover shots you can see what an enormous difference a great new hairstyle can make to your look.  Go on, go look at the photos on his website, then come back OK!

See how different a modern haircut can make you look?

Do you still feel your long hair is your crowning glory?  If it goes past your bust peak it’s will be dragging the eye downwards and aging you.  There is no need to have short hair as we get older, as long as we keep it well cut and styled.

Many women who stick with the same hairstyle with no tweaks year in year out don’t realise that their hair is dating them, it’s like a snap-shot of when they felt their most attractive, frozen in time.  All we have to do then is remember when that hairstyle was all the rage (The Rachel, The Pob, The Farrah Fawcett) and we can figure out their age quite easily!

Imogen hairstylesI found a pic from one Christmas when I was a child, around 6 years old, with a bob, I’ve had bob hairstyles in varying descriptions for much of my life, they’re easy for me to manage and suit me.  During my late 20s my nickname was “sensible bob” but each time I get my hair cut, there will be a little difference, so you can see in this collage of my hairstyles through the past 7 years, how it’s not the same, sometimes the fringe is longer or shorter (or non-existent), the length gets longer and shorter, sometimes it’s more choppy, other times more blunt.  My hairstyle evolves as I do.  Every now and again I’ll do something different, grow my hair, chop it off completely, but I keep coming back to the bob in some form.

If you’ve had exactly the same haircut for 2 years, it’s time for a change, maybe a radical one, maybe something more moderate, but a change none-the-less.

Also, if you’re planning on going shopping, make sure your hair and makeup are done before you go, you’re going to be spending a whole lot of time looking in the mirror!  Where possible I think it’s great for my clients to get a new hairstyle before shopping, particularly is we’re modernizing their wardrobe, so the new clothes fit the new total image.

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18 Comments

  • Amen,Imogen! Fantastic post and I couldn't agree more. I love all your bobs actually. You wear them very well 🙂

    I've had a very short blonde pixie cut for about 3 years but the cut changes and so does the colour. I've had everything through out my life though – long golden locks to bobs and everything inbetween.

    With my clients, I address hair BEFORE the clothes. I've found it very effective. A different do kick starts a new personal style.

  • So true, and wow, what a difference the makeover made! I'm always mystified by people who stick to the same hairstyle year after year; I would get so bored.

  • I'm always a little iffy about these before and after things, because it's almost as if they ASKED these women to dress frumpy and not wear makeup in the before photo. Even so, their new looks really are great, same for the woman in the video (THAT was what really convinced me). I just got a cheap deal for a hair consultation and cut, and your post got me really excited for it!

  • Angie – it's great to get a new do, like you're a new woman! I get really sick of women with long hair, for the sake of long hair, that's really completely styleless!

    Marie – excellent – so much easier and such a versatile cut

    Audi – I'm guessing your boredom threshold is a lot lower than many!

    Annie – they do like to play up how bad they are before – makes the after shot look way more exciting, but even just the new hairstyles alone make a huge difference! Good luck with your new hair – whatever you choose.

  • Many ladies look lovely with short hair! I do not think you need to lop off long hair just for a change though. Long hair is much faster in the morning for me than messing with styling short hair ever was (Hi cowlicks!) and I have so much fun with trying different clips and sticks and new buns.

    What could be more professional than a bun or a nice French twist? I'll admit, I get a bit annoyed that it seems *every* make over includes chopping off hair and dyeing it. Why not simply trim any unhealthy ends and learn some new updos?

    For those who want short hair, great! Not all of us do though and I think we can be just as stylish either way.

  • Wow, love those makeover pics.

    I wish I could wear something other than very short hair. I'm so bored of it. It's blonde at the moment but I'm thinking of going red – what do you think?

  • It's so true- I've seen it work for a lot of friends and coworkers.

    I am unfortunately am "blessed" with a crazy mop of curly hair that no hair dresser has ever been able to tame or change the way it looks. It's far too wild when it's left down so I just default to a bun to attempt to look more professional and less scruffy!

  • Hi Imogen, great post! Crazy coincidence that you should post this today! I had variations of the same hairstyle for about 4 years now. And yesterday, I had a radical makeover! 🙂

  • I have to echo Chroma's comments, particularly the one about makeovers that involve dyeing hair. Most of Hopkins' makeovers, though gorgeous, look like they involve highlighting and/or lowlighting, usually with a significant change from the woman's natural hair color. Where I live, those kinds of color services cost, at minimum, about $80-100US (plus tip) – that doesn't include the haircut, either. Highlights & lowlights are *not* something you want to DIY at home, either, believe me! When I consider how quickly my hair grows – I have visible roots/gray at four to five weeks – it would cost well over $1000/year to keep my hair looking "madeover." That's a lot of money (to me, anyway!).

    I really wonder how many of those women are actually able to keep up with the maintenance? I suspect that many of them end up using single-process color at home (as I did), or just revert back to their natural color.

    Just something to keep in mind when you're sitting in the salon chair contemplating a radical change.

  • Often I dislike the result of makeovers because:

    (1) The person's style is changed. Taking someone who lives in jeans and putting them in a flowy skirt – sure, they look nice as if for a special occasion, but is it really suitable for their lifestyle and personality?

    (2) The 'after' photos always have this polished magazine look that I personally dislike – I'd rather a slightly less flattering but more natural look.

    It's good to have had a chance to voice this!

    Regarding haircuts, I've had a few over the years and am considering a new one again, so good to get this encouragement.

    – tall & slim anon

  • What you say makes absolute sense. But do you have any tips on figuring out how to achive a new haircut? I'm completely uninspired by most of the "hairstyle" magazines and rarely seem to find hair styles I love in fashion magazines that seem at all do-able with my own personal hair. I think a style that is easy to maintain is key – I love the subtle changes in your bobs – but finding that style? Ugh.

  • Nonsense. I like my long hair. I take care of and it lush and beautiful. It is MY style. I see many "older" women with beautiful long hair and I don't get why stylists always insist that they need to cut it in order to look "younger" or "fashion forward" or whatever. I get sick of people telling others to change just for the sake of change.

    As far the video, it is common for me to see this type of makeover. It usually starts with the woman not wearing any makeup. The hair is unstyled and limp. When the makeover is about clothes, the person is usually wearing the frumpiest clothes in the most unflattering color they can find. Finally, we see them in bad lighting to complete the look. Then we get the after, complete with makeup, styled and colored hair, nice clothing, and in a room with good lighting. I see they put on these little tricks in magazines, books, videos, etc. It is quite a clever way to sell their goods and services. I am not falling for it anymore. I guarantee that if the model in the video had been shown in the before with makeup and with her hair styled, she would have looked just as nice! The only thing that I like about the after, is the different hair color. The haircut, YUCK! I dont' find it flattering at all. I actually think its quite ugly and old looking.

  • I think some haircuts are 'made' for certain people. Your a 'bob' person and I think some people are short hair people. The video inspired me to go back to my shorter hair..almost like the video. Thanks

  • I think that stylists are too quick to offer a shorter haircut and color as a solution to a messy unstyled head of hair on a client.

    There are just as many folks of all hair styles colors and lengths who don't care for their hair well, don't style it and don't ever update it.

    I think more important than hair cut and coloring, is teaching someone how to care for their hair simply and attractively. Long hair on a woman of any age can be styled to flatter her face. Beautiful braids. The right up to date bangs. Different bun styles and more.

    Long hair can be a woman's crowning glory, if she uses it as a crown and not a limp tattered rag. Treat you hair good, make it gleam and shine and arrange it on your head in a lovely way.

  • I'm going to throw my thoughts in with ChristineB and M. A. – there's way too much staging on both before and after shots, and no follow-up on how well the subjects did with maintenance. And WHY do they always insist on ditching the glasses? If someone needs glasses on an everyday basis, they should show them in the after shots.

    I've been considering cutting my hair again, but then, it's so much faster to put it in a bun (especially easy now that I've discovered those spin pins) or braid. In my opinion, over-worked short hair is worse than long well-conditioned hair neatly pulled back.

  • It's interesting how many commenters feel that I'm anti-long hair. I like long hair when it suits the person, but it doesn't suit everyone, just like short hair doesn't suit everyone.

    Long hair still needs to be cut and styled, and a great long hair cut can make a huge difference.

    When you look at the before and after photos, notice that most of the hair wasn't long to start with! It's not like he's hacked off everyone's hair to short.

  • If you’ve been carrying around the same hairstyle for the last 5 years, you definitely need a change. The right cut/color can take years off by making the individual look fresh and modern. Long hanging hair that does not have a shape or style is very aging, and certainly wearing it in a bun all the time like a granny doesn’t look smart or sexy. There is a huge difference between long hair for it’s own sake and long hair that flatters someone’s face, body shape and clothing choices. I also feel that women of a certain age should not be pigeon-holed into cutting their hair short either. I recently cut 5 inches off and my new collarbone length hair perfectly suits me and has taken at least a decade off by making me look fresh and modern. To each her own but if it’s been a long time since you had a hair makeover, it’s definitely time. Who doesn’t want to look a little younger?

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