How to Get a Major Haircut

Danielle Pergament, Allure magazine

An Interview With Mark Townsend

A stylist, Townsend has worked with Penélope Cruz, Reese Witherspoon, and Minka Kelly.


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I once cut an actress's hair before she went on a talk show, and she wanted bangs. I tried to talk her out of them, but she was incredibly pregnant and incredibly adamant-so I cut bangs. She hated them and screamed that I made her look like a boy. The moral is never get a serious haircut when you're facing a big life change or before a major public appearance.

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Try it on.
Visit a wig shop before you commit to a drastic new cut. It's the only way to really see what you'll look like with supershort hair or without bangs to cover your face. Or wear your hair pinned up for a week. If you like it, then you're ready.

Bring a picture.
There should be no confusion over the length. Use an image as inspiration, but don't forget what your own hair texture, color, and styling abilities are.

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Talk about yourself.
Your stylist should know how often you work out and how much time you have in the morning. If your new layers are going to wind up in a ponytail every day, they're not right for you.

Take a lesson.
You may love it at first, but it's how you feel about a cut after a few days that will tell you if it's really right for you. Be sure to ask your stylist what products you need and how you should style it so you're not at a loss as soon as you leave.

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