Real Girl Makeover: “I’m Bored with My Straight Hair”

Wendy Rodewald
Real girl makeover: before and after

Photos: Ally Lindsay

It’s pretty much a fact of life that we’re never happy with the hair we’re born with. Curly girls wish they could just roll out of bed frizz-free; straight-haired ladies crave more body and volume. So when our latest Real Girl Makeover subject, Kelly, explained she wanted to hit the refresh button on her shoulder-length locks, we could totally relate.

We whisked Kelly off to O&M. nyc, a new salon in New York’s Meatpacking District, for her big transformation courtesy of O&M Creative Director Janelle Chaplin. Kelly wanted to pump up her hair’s volume, but since she had been in the process of growing out a shorter cut, she didn’t want to lose too much length. Chaplin knew just what to do: “With the haircut, we did a very heavy front layer, a very ‘70s feeling. This created the illusion of more length and more volume,” she explained. A cut like this is “a great choice for blending in a growing out fringe, which can be a job in itself.”

To add life to Kelly’s color, “we illustrated some sun-kissed pieces through the ends,” Chaplin said. Once the cut and color were finished, Chaplin and her team styled the the hair to emphasize fullness, prepping with O&M Atonic Thickening Spritz ($25.95, before blowing out the hair and curling with a large barrel iron. A few spritzes of Surf Bomb Sea Salt Texture Spray ($23.95) gave Kelly’s hair added texture.

Kelly's makeover in progress

Photos: Ally Lindsay

Next, it was time for makeup. Since Kelly wasn’t used to wearing a full face (and doesn’t need to!), Make Up For Ever Managing Educator Jessie Powers opted to play up her eyes with neutral tones. “On somebody who’s not comfortable wearing a lot of makeup, you can give them the most impact by creating definition that frames the lash line,” Powers explained. To do this, she defined Kelly’s eyes with Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow pencils in 2E (matte brown) and 4E (matte gray) ($20 each,, along with the brand’s new Smoky Extravagant Mascara ($24) on her lashes. In contrast to this past summer’s warm shades, “This fall is more about cool neutrals,” Powers said. Finally, she added color to Kelly’s face with a matte bronzer. “Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to stop wearing bronzer; it’s just maybe more muted than it would be in summer.”

A few weeks later, Kelly is still in love with her new look. “I was so sick of my one-dimensional, dark, straight hair,” she said. Now, “The color is fantastic and much more flattering than the very dark brown hair I started with. I couldn’t have asked for a better change!”

Kelly's final look

Photo: Ally Lindsay

Photographer: Ally Lindsay
Hair: Janelle Chaplin for O&M
Makeup: Jessie Powers for Make Up For Ever
Salon: O&M. nyc, 55 Little West 12th Street, New York, NY, 212-255-2445

Read more: Real Girl Makeover: “I Went Blonde!”

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