Do you ever have one of those days where you just want to set all your stuff on fire and then retreat into a hole and then think about how great it is that you don't have any worries anymore because now all your stuff is set on fire? Professional advice: DON'T DO THIS.
Instead: Go to Frederic Fekkai and get a cut and color. The haircut will make everything better. I promise. It did for me.
I was all glum and funky and blue, and then I called up the salon and said (in a sad, feeling-sorry-for-myself voice), "Hello, I need a haircut to change my life. Can you please help me with that?"
They were all over it.
"Can you give me a look so that I'm not so needy?" I said to my expert team of stylist Lisa Epperson and colorist Chloe Lauren. "Can you give me layers so that I no longer need validation from anyone ever again? Can you give me highlights so that I love myself more?"
They nodded uncomfortably, and Lisa and Chloe, who are both smoking hot and smoking nice, indulged my crazy.
"Sure," Chloe said, "I think we can get your hair to do that."
"GREAT!" I said, and then proceeded to spill everything from my life, which I can't spill here because you know that would be unseemly and besides now I have everything totally together and I don't do unseemly things like whine about stuff anymore. Now I just ask myself: Would a person who had my Perfect Totally Has-Her-Life-So-Clearly-Together Hair do that?
No. I don't think so. A person who has these highlights with these kind of razor-edged layers would DEFINITELY not need to unload about stupid personal drama that is pretty boring and I am quite frankly bored of. Nope. She would look in the mirror, stroke her shiny glossy blonde streaks and think about how The New Me has it all together. That's right.
"So how exactly do you give someone a haircut that changes their life?" I asked, explaining that it was very important that with this haircut they would fix everything that is wrong with me, and they said, absolutely. No probs. It's pretty easy, actually. As long as you put all of your hopes and dreams in a single haircut and color, you're pretty much golden and incredibly realistic. Here was our process:
1. Don't do anything drastic.
As much as part of me might want to chop off all my hair and dye it red and get a big neck tattoo, it was better to like, cut a few inches and get some highlights. You know?
2. Think about what makes you feel sexy and confident!
I always feel best when my skin is at its popping glowiest. Like, part of me just wanted to get a facial, but, as Chloe said, oftentimes hair highlights can make your face even more dewy than the most expensive skin procedure. So TALK to your stylists. Tell them when you feel prettiest (who knows maybe it's when you're all goth and dark and Kristen Stewart-y), and they can help you achieve exactly that look.
I also said that I love it when my hair kind of "oops" accidentally falls into my eyes and, "Oh sorry about that, I didn't meant to be so SEXY, it just kind of happened," and then I kind of brush it away. They got it. They made it happen. The layers were strategized to compliment my eyes and my every inner thought. Dunzo!
3. Get your hair to suit your inner child.
Like, seriously. So you know how when you were 10 or 11 years old, and you were all sun-kissed and carefree and running around just chasing rainbows, and your hair also looked completely fantastic? Well, there's a reason for that! That's when your natural hair color and highlights actually best combined with your natural face color. So sometimes the best thing you can do is to actually bring in a picture of you when you were but a wee child. Chloe said that she even has some clients who bring in actual locks of hair from their own kids to match that. Genius!
4. Don't be afraid to ask to look like celebrities.
I said that I wanted to look like a combination of every pretty celebrity who has ever had great hair ever, and Chloe and Lisa understood exactly what I meant. Also, maybe a little Kate Hudson. Because I watched that movie where she had the wedding wars, and I didn't care much for the movie, but she did have terrific hair. Also, why couldn't they just have scheduled the Plaza on two different weekends. You know?
5. Be super annoying.
Ask dumb questions, like, "How often should I wash my hair? Do you think anyone will ever love me?" They will be kind, and tell you that in fact, dry shampoo is the saving grace of every modern woman nowadays, and it's only necessary to wash hair every three days and that yes, everything is going to work out just fine. Why do people even go to therapists? Hairdressers for the win, people!
6. Cut it off!
Even though I wanted to be snippy-dramatic at first, honestly, I did get pretty nervous when we were talking about how much hair to cut off. Lisa worked with me, like a guy on a date, "Is this OK? What about this?" And we went six inches. It was great. All of my problems fell to the ground, and then were swept up by a man who -- swoosh -- took my problems away! Be gone bad hair energy, be gone! Then I drank a lemon water.
7. Make them tell you why it's important to maintain your Haircut That Changes Your Life.
I kept bugging Lisa and Chloe and asked them, "Do I need to style it every day? Do I need to use the spritzer? Is it important to scrunch the hairspray to give it that carefree tousled look?" Lisa said that your hair communicates how you feel about your life. If you take care of your hair, then that is shorthand for you taking care of business in your personal life. That's me! See!
8. Don't settle for just any highlights.
Unlike other salons, Frederic Fekkai doesn't use foils, but instead a technique called "balayage," a French technique of hair painting to create depth and dimension and leave a sun-kissed finish. The highlights are done to blend in and make you look rilllly natural and like, "Oh, my God, I can't help but be this glowing and radiant, sorry, did I distract you?" Because that's what you want. Not the bottled trying-too-hard fakery fakerton-ness.
9. Invest in good products.
I actually had embarrassing waxy build up in my hair from using crap conditioner and shampoo. There's a reason why my hair now feels so weightless. Now that I invested in some good products, I'm not using chemicals that are leaving waxy grime, and can maintain that fresh-from-the-salon look anytime. Nice.
10. Love your hair, love yourself.
OK. I made this one up. But whatever, it sounds good. Honestly, I think taking the right action of doing something kind and loving for yourself even if it's as seemingly superficial as a haircut and color can honestly be the best thing that you can do when you're down in the dumps. What does a person do who is frustrated by seemingly everything? Something positive. That's what I did. I changed my hair. I changed my life. Look for the Lifetime movie coming soon!
Do you think I'm being superficial? Do you ever feel this way after a good haircut and color? What is your worst haircut that ruined your life? I once shaved my head. So. Yeah. That was a look.
Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.