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Considering a dramatic hair change? Here’s everything you need to know.

by Carmen Hamilton / Thursday, 08 June 2017
PHOTO: Carmen Hamilton

PHOTO: Carmen Hamilton

New ‘do = new you.

Carmen Hamilton of The Chronicles of Her takes us through her recent and fairly dramatic hair change. Here, Hamilton reveals what she wished she new before going back to her roots and what you should keep in mind before taking the plunge.

After almost five years being #legallyblonde, I decided to return to my ‘natural’ shade of dark brunette.

I’ve been thinking about it for a few months now (I’m blaming it on the sudden Italiano influence in fashion) and with the cooler months ahead, I finally decided to take the plunge.

I’m an all or nothing kind of girl, so I knew that if I was going to do it, I wanted a completely new cut as well.

‘French bob with bangs’ was the brief, and I set to work to find my new hair muses.

Side note: if you hadn’t seen me before, let’s just say the change is so drastic that my own sister didn’t even recognise me when I walked past her on the street, and the girl at my local cafe (where I’ve gone every morning for years) asked for ‘a name for the order’.

Initially I felt uneasy, but I’m loving it more and more each day. I’ll admit, the sudden (and very drastic) change from blonde to brunette has had more of an impact on my life than I’d expected, so I thought I’d share my experiences incase you too are in the mood for a new ‘do.

You need references – Lots of them

If you’re going for a completely different look, make sure you have lots of image references at the ready when you head to the salon. Some people’s hair looks different in every photo – so it’s important to have many from different angles (and in different light) to study.

Extra tip: when looking for references, cover the subjects face with your finger and then see whether you still really love the hair – a lot of the time it’s the overall look (their face, outfit etc) that you really like.

Only put your hair in the hands of someone you trust

If you’re going to experiment with a new look, I wouldn’t recommend experimenting with a new hairdresser at the same time (unless you know they’re really good through word of mouth). It’s super important that you feel comfortable talking to whoever is helping you achieve your new #hairgoals.

I’ve been seeing the my colourist for years (FYI, it’s Siobhan Fryer at Salon X in Sydney) and I felt 100% confident that she would create the ideal rich brunette shade colouring (skin, brows, eyes etc). Nick (who cuts my hair at Salon X) and I spent a lot of time going through all of the reference images I’d saved (zooming in on all the finer details, discussing different face shapes etc) before he went to work with the scissors.

Let it rest for a few days

Don’t freak out immediately (like I did!). A big change (like a fringe or going from blonde to brunette) will always take a bit of getting used to.

Prepare for a few style tweaks

All of a sudden I feel like black looks too severe on me, so I’m reaching for the lighter neutral tones in my wardrobe.

With every big hair change comes an opportunity to experiment with your overall look, so try a few different things to see what compliments your new hair. If you don’t know where to start, look for people on Instagram with a similar vibe for inspiration.

Wash it and re-style it yourself

If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t feel 100% yourself with a fresh blowout. I need to see exactly how my hair will sit if I do it myself before I make up my mind about it, so I usually wash it and sleep on it.

Consider a new make-up look

I’ve found I can wear more make-up now without it looking heavy. I’ve started wearing a bit of liquid eyeliner because I feel like my eyes need more definition to balance-out my dark hair, whereas I always went for the ‘barely there’ look as a blonde.