New Office, New Hair: I Changed My Color and Cut to Look More "Professional"

I'm going for that corporate-chic look. Whatever that is.
Publish date:
November 23, 2015
hair color, colorists, hairstylists, bangs, hairstyles, office, makeovers, Botox, lobs, Marie Robinson Salon

Even though I thought I'd stick with green hair for a while, "Man plans and God laughs," my Grandma Ethel used to say. (I'm not a man, and I'm not spiritual, but hey—it's applicable.)

Nontraditional hair color is a really fun look and definitely something I'd been wanting to try for a few years, but upkeep—at least the kind I was doing at home—was tedious, messy, and disappointingly ineffective. I started longing for the simplicity of having my own natural color, dark brown, for what would be the first time in a couple years.

Perhaps an even bigger factor in wanting to go back to brown: moving into the TimeInc. building after our recent acquisition. Sure, it's not a regular corporate environment—it's a cool corporate environment—but I suddenly felt a mostly imagined pressure to look more like a grownup; not to mention that Amber, the only other New York-based staffer (besides Jane, of course) to make the transition, currently has purple hair and a bitchin' undercut. I felt like we were accidentally sending a "LOOK HOW ALTERNATIVE WE XO EDITORS ARE" message.

Besides, I have executive in my title now, as if I'm some kind of adult or something. And it's not that adults can't have a super-fun-times hair color; I just feel like this new title and environment calls for a more sophisticated hairstyle overall.

I got in touch with my girls Liana Le and Nikki Ferrara at Marie Robinson Salon to let them know I was ready not just to go back to my natural hair color, but cut off about half of my length into a collarbone-skimming lob. As long as it's been since my hair was dark brown, it's been at least twice as long since my hair hasn't been... well... long.

When I arrived at Marie Robinson's incredible new space, Liana was excited to help me shed what she called a "sewer witch" look (um... I prefer sewer mermaid, thankyouverymuch), and got right down to cutting off a lot of length.

At the last minute, I decided on bangs. I know, I know—usually regrettable, especially for someone as sweat-prone as myself. But last week, I got Botox for the first time—and from a new service where the doctor comes to you, which is awesome—but to my surprise, I kind of don't like how the treatment looks on me. Perhaps I'm just not used to it yet, not to mention it can take a couple weeks for the full effect to kick in, but I wanted the option to keep my forehead partially covered so as to not freak myself out whenever I caught a glimpse of its partial smoothness.

Anyway, once Liana made the initial cuts, she passed me off to Nikki, who started by trying to get some of the green out of my hair with Palmolive. Yep, dishwashing liquid. The higher detergent level helps strip out more color than any shampoo could—but not totally, so I figured Nikki would have to lift the rest of the green out with bleach.

Incorrect! Instead, Nikki mixed up an orangey-red color and coated my still-greenish hair in it, helping to create an initial brown base.

After that was rinsed out, she applied a dark brown shade and had me sit under a revolving heater for about 20 minutes, which is when I met this gal.

After rinsing, Nikki brought me back over to Liana for a blowout and some subtle layering.


Also, Liana gave me a brilliant why-didn't-I-think-of-that tip. If only your bangs are greasy or need to be restyled but you don't want to wash your whole head, pull your hair back when you wash your face in the sink and don't worry about getting your bangs wet; just use a little shampoo on them and rinse them along with your face.

I'm thrilled with my new look. The cut is going to be super-easy to style, and it'll also look great with my natural wavy texture. And the color is even better than I'd hoped: dark brown with warm variations throughout.

Apparently, my friends and fellow xoVainers love it, too, offering me unsolicited assessments.

"You're like a sexy Velma from Scooby Doo," said Sable, the first of several people to make that comparison in the last few days.

"You look like a 21-year-old budding young journalist," Rachel said.

Sable agreed, "Yes, you look like a plucky journalist who solves the case by any means necessary, but then hopefully you don't find yourself in too deep because that's how lots of horror/suspense films plot themselves, I think."


Then Alle made me slightly emotional by saying, "I love your hair, Marci, and I'm proud of you for making the cut." Always so sage, that one.

Rachel wasn't done yet, though. "You look so trustworthy. Like, I would let you watch my purse while I run to pay the meter," she said. Also, "You look like someone who definitely drinks enough water each day."

Well, it's good to know that I'm giving off intrepid young journalist/ghost-hunter vibes, even though I was going for executive-editor vibes. Maybe I'll start wearing more blazers.

  • Have you made any major hair changes lately? Considering one?
  • Have you ever changed your look based on career stuff?
  • I do totally look like Velma now, don't I...