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Stuck in a Hair Rut?

Top signs you’re due for a new do
Some women have bad hair days. Others have bad hair years. Read on to determine if it’s time to refresh your style, then visit the newly launched virtual hair salon at to sample the season’s hottest looks.

1. You’ve gone big time; your hair hasn’t.
This situation typically occurs after college when you’re entering the work force for the first time—or when you find yourself swapping a so-so job for a full-fledged power career. As a general rule, any lifestyle change that necessitates a new wardrobe also necessitates a new hair style. You’ve heard it before: long, Rapunzel-esque locks don’t pair with a power suit. Same goes for over-processed, over-highlighted hair. A shorter, more even-toned style will do your professional image a world of good; adding bangs or layers can also shape up your locks. Try on your favorite styles in our makeover gallery and, once you’ve decided which look is best for you, make an appointment with a top-notch stylist. Be forewarned: hair that requires more than ten minutes of styling time (minus drying time) will get tiring fast. Ask your stylist for a cut that complements your hair’s texture.

2. Your locks lack personality (translation: volume).
Flat is rarely flattering—unless we’re talking abs. Lopping off excess length is one way to banish the limp look, but if your hair is in good health and you love the length, a quick pick-me-up may be all you need. If you always wear it straight, try styling it into loose curls. If you have fine hair, invest in a lightweight volumizing mousse. Part your hair into small sections, spray a little onto the palm of your hand, and distribute evenly at the roots. After your hair has dried completely, tousle with your fingertips and apply a light hold hair spray. One more bit of advice: It never hurts to shop for a new hairdryer every five years or so. Technology is always changing and different nozzles allow you to achieve looks with varying degrees of pouf.

3. You’re not turning heads like you used to.
Turning a man’s head is easy—it’s making women sit up and notice that’s the real testament to great hair (bonus points if she’s a stranger, not a close pal). If it’s been a while since you’ve received a compliment, it could be your stylist who’s in a rut, not you. Seek out new talent if this is the case, then integrate a weekly deep conditioner into your pampering routine. Leave it on for at least thirty minutes and cover with a shower cap and heated towel for maximum absorption. A professional glossing treatment can also breathe new life into neglected locks by imparting healthy-looking sheen.

4. You haven’t made ch-ch-changes in more than a decade.
Most ruts are evidenced by dusty old yearbooks or high school reunions where peers of your past are quick to squeal, “You haven’t changed one bit!” You’ll know if it’s your look (not your sunny, cheerleader disposition) they’re talking about if you’ve been sporting the same mane since you graduated. Since you’re so resistant to change, remember that a subtle transformation can yield as much impact as a total makeover—or at least warm you up for more dramatic changes in the future. Start with baby steps, such as face-framing highlights and soft, eye-grazing bangs.

5. You’re a ponytail-loving gal for all occasions.
Yes, there are many variations of the pony—from the messy and gym-appropriate to the sleek and side-parted evening coif—however, if this is your signature look, may the hair gods have mercy on you. You’re more likely to want to show off your hair style (translation: ditch the rubber bands and scrunchies) if it exudes a carefree, sexy attitude. You know, the kind that makes a fella want to run his hand through it. Mix it up a little by wearing your hair down, even if it’s only on the weekends. Who wants to be predictable?

6. Your hair products expired in 1982.
What’s in your vanity cabinet? If you’ve been using the same dried out gel and watery mousse for years, going on decades, it’s time to assess your styling situation. Conversely, if you own so many products that you can’t possibly put them all to good use, consider reorganizing your primping space and weeding out the unsavories. Toss any formula that’s starting to smell funny, feel unusually sticky or goopy, or change colors. Use this spring cleaning exercise as an excuse to head for the nearest beauty supply store to stock up on brand-new goodies—ones that you must vow to use from this day forward.


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