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You Can Burn Your Bra - but here's an easier way to feel liberated

March 28, 2024

You Can Burn Your Bra - but here's an easier way to feel liberated

In the 1960s women were also freed from their weekly roller-sets under a hood dryer, by Sassoon’s short flat bobs. Those short bobs have now become long bobs and the hood dryer exchanged for tongs and flat irons. This too has become a burden for many women today, struggling to smooth out an excess mass of tangly hair.

Heavy one-length hair may have been the same simple blunt haircut that worked when you were 18, simple swingy and cute. But faces change and hair changes as we get a little older. That silky hair, which may now be drier from poor colouring or care, becomes more textured and swells to a heavy flat pyramid of hair. Too wide at the bottom, too flat on top.

Some new clients refer to the look as a ‘bell’ or like Hagrid from Harry Potter. You get by if you're forever smoothing or tonging the hair. But that can take ages, and frankly, life's too short to work that hard after every hair wash..

From: One length ‘Pyramid-hair’

To: Long - Layered Hair

Layers are the answer, but you may be terrified of layers because hairdressers put steps in your hair some time before and called that layering?

Layers v Steps

With new clients I feel the energetic (if not physical) recoil when I mention layers. Their fears and history are often of seriously bad layering – chunks and steps. A step is a layer gone wrong. But so prolific is this method of chunking out a step then trying to disguise it with point cutting or thinning, that clients think this is layering, it’s not.
 In my early days of seeing clients, we were also moving away from the mass popularity of the one-length 1960s Bobs into more layered and experimental looks. Coupe Savage, Farah Fawcett, later princess Diana, Meg Ryan. Moving from two-dimensional base-line haircuts to the full remit, ‘world is your oyster’ of three-dimensional layered haircuts. Every haircut bespoke and tailored to the individual client.

At that time, many new clients would strangely ask for ‘more shape’. My young literal mind found this very odd. Everything’s a shape, I’d think. You’ve got a shape now. How can you have more of a shape? It puzzled me. What I got to understand, was they were asking for more shaping to their flat hair. Essentially more layering. It’s the layers that take hair into the third dimension and bring it to life.

Of course, that’s obvious I hear you say, yet most people are sporting a two-dimensional version of hair cutting. The one length bob. Short or long. 99% of hairdressers don’t layer properly if at all anymore. Why? Takes too long to learn and too long to do. And I think it’s really sad that virtually the whole industry has dumbed itself down in this way.

From: One length ‘Pyramid-hair’

To: Long - Layered Hair

Goes for shorter hair too

Michael Van Clarke





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