Women and Their Milestone Hairstyles

Tresses in Training

When Minsun Park was in Tae Kwon Do training for a black belt, she went from having almost mid-back-length hair to a chopped bob like Rihanna. "The training was intense. I was working out every day, so I couldn't deal with the heavy ponytail smacking me in the face every time I did a spinning or jumping kick."

Though she was motivated by practicality at first, she ended up loving the short hair. "I felt stripped down and lean and mean on the big day. I shed fears, self-doubt, and preconceived notions about what I was capable of. Shedding my old hair was synonymous with shedding my old self."

Whether it's an emotional change or a physical one, says Carmine Minardi, co-owner with Beth Minardi of Minardi Salon in New York City, it's important to find a cut that will have balance with your body and that suits your frame as well as your lifestyle and body in general. "Your attitude and the attitude of the cut also have to work together and complement one another."


'Til Death Do Us "Part"

Years ago, when Carol Stillman opted to go wavy after a divorce, she got more than she bargained for—more curl, that is. "I walked out looking like Little Orphan Annie," she recalls. "I totally wanted to run in front of a bus." Though Carol had desired a new look to signify her new life, her impulsive decision about choosing a style was a definite no-no.

"Make sure your change is not based on revenge or zealous emotion," says Gregory B of Gregory Berry Hair Studio in West Hollywood, CA. Heidi agrees. "Milestone hairstyle changes should rarely, if ever, be impromptu." You should want this change for yourself and not to "spite" your ex." When you make a move resulting from lack of control or lack of focus, the milestone change is usually regretted.

"A lot of women don't realize that an impulsive decision with their hair most of the time is irreversible the next day or week," explains Bruce Conroy, owner of Senses New York. It took almost two months for Carol's curls to relax. "Never, never again," she laments.

Save yourself the drama of making a never-again mistake, urges Natasha Sunshine, founder and lead stylist of Byu-ti Salon in Santa Monica, CA: "Call and reserve an appointment for a few days later. That way, the impulse can pass and you'll know you want a look for real." 


Birthday Beauty

A milestone birthday tress transformation is just as popular as break-up and weight loss haircuts, agree many stylists. It's also the most fun.

"I just did a makeover for a 40th birthday and my client hadn't had a 'good' haircut in several months. She had resorted to just pulling her hair back in a ponytail," recalls Heidi. "I cut several inches to just below her shoulders, lightened up her base color to help cover some grey, and added some stunning highlights around her face to brighten her up. What a difference! She later told me that she had a surprise party that evening and that everyone loved her new look."

What Carmine sees most in his salon are birthday wishes that come true thanks to a brush, a pair of scissors, and a set of skilled hands. "The 30-year-old doesn't want to give up her 20s and is looking for that hot haircut she didn't get in her 20s. The 40-year-old wants the cut and color that show she's successful and arrived. The 50-year-old wants to defy age and wants to look the best for her age—not unrealistic, but very well put together and well groomed."

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