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Choppy Hairstyles

Q: Why does my hair always look so "choppy" after I get it layered? I tell my stylist I don't like it this way, but it seems that it turns out this way every time and then I have to try to blend them myself at home (which NEVER works out right because I can't cut the back!) I'm done with this stylist and looking for a new one, but I want to make sure I get my point across with the next stylist and she understands exactly what I want. I would like my layers to blend in and not be so obvious. Should a razor be used on the ends, or a different cutting technique? My hair is fairly thick and cut just above the shoulders in a shag style (with the ends flipping up). I also would like my body and fullness in my crown. What can I tell the next stylist?
 
choppy short haircut A: It sounds like you may be experiencing the “modern styling” syndrome. When styling and cutting techniques become popular, many stylists adopt them without thinking thoroughly about what the client is looking for in the finished style.
 
      Today’s most popular styles are “choppy” layered styles that are heavily textured, and generally finished to create a “shaken” or “bed-head” look. The solution to this is to explain to your stylist that you would like “smoother”, more-even layering in your hair cut. You might ask the new stylist to go very light on the texturing of the hair to avoid continuing the “choppy” effect in the hair.
 
      Be sure to tell your new stylist everything you want your hair cut to be. Use specific descriptors. Avoid vague terms. Instead of saying “I want a layered shag cut with some texturing and fullness”, instead be specific and say “I want a shoulder-length shag hair cut styled with flipped out ends, and styled to have volume and be full in the crown area. Be sure to avoid over texturing the hair since I don’t care for the ‘choppy’ look.”
 
      The key is communication. Before you go to the new stylist, sit down and write out a list of things you like and don’t like about your hair and a listing of the things you want in your hairstyle. Be specific. And don’t let the stylist pick up scissors until you’ve had the chance to share your list with him/her. If you can find photos of hairstyles that have elements you like in magazines or online take them with you and show the looks to your stylist. In communicating your wishes, a picture really can be worth 1,000 words.
 
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