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Smack Me Down: the Epilogue

By Amalah

Mah goodness, do you people ever have strong opinions about Other People’s Hair. Your passion is inspiring, and have you ever thought about starting an advice column of some kind? You totally should. All the advice columns out there suck anyway.
In the end, I sort of pussed out. After getting EXTREMELY JAZZED about the idea of going strawberry blond, I knew those of you who cautioned against it were right. Blond-to-red is a really tough, high-maintenance process, and did you SEE what my hair looked like? You know how it got to that blah, flat, limp, dishwater point? Seven months without a haircut. 12 months (at least) without touching up my highlights.
Clearly, I need to stick with SUBTLE color that won’t announce just how long it has been since I’ve gone to the salon, like those rings on tree trunks, or whatever.
So I went with my usual two-shades-of-blond highlights. I briefly floated the red idea to my stylist, and he pretended not to hear me.
“Please, girl.” he said. “Don’t go there.”
(By the way, I actually told my stylist about this column on Saturday, which I’ve never done before. I’m usually too embarrassed, because saying “I give people advice about hair and makeup and shoes and stuff” means people look you up and down, expecting you to like, look halfway decent. Just because I KNOW stuff doesn’t mean I actually DO the stuff I should. [Exhibit A: my melty, smeary eyeliner.])
(I also told him how many suggestions I got for Victoria Beckham’s haircut. And he also kind of pretended not to hear that. He did want me to tell y’all to moisturize every day though.)
Several people mentioned Nicole Richie’s long-ish bob and side-swept bangs, and Nic actually emailed me this really great picture. Yes. Yes! I showed this to my stylist (oh, his name is Phillip already, I feel weird typing “my stylist” over and over, like I keep him on staff or something, along with my maid and my manny) and he agreed it was Good. I didn’t want to go that short (ponytails are a necessary fact of life), and he wanted to make it a little choppier to work with my fine hair.
(Another aside! While my color was setting he brought me a slew of gossip rags to find additional pictures of Nicole, all of which I’d already gone through at home that morning and already knew that they only had photos taken after she’d added extensions.)
Anyway. This is me, taken the day of my appointment, with the same cameraphone and hideously crappy lighting (I swear I am not really this orange) as the photos I posted on Friday.
(Uh. I wore the same shirt so I could be…objective. Yes. Totally not because I get dressed based on what’s currently on top of the laundry pile or anything.)
And this is me on Sunday, the first day of styling it myself, which we all know can be a fairly frustrating experience.
(Jason was totally making fun of me from outside the bathroom door, by the way.)
I used Pureology’s root lift and Bumble & Bumble’s Surf Spray before blow-drying with a round brush. (I can’t believe how thick the B&B spray makes my hair when I use it before drying. I can’t believe I never thought to use it as anything other than a finishing product all these years.) I really only dried the top layers and my bangs, then scrunched the lower layers and let them air-dry. It’s a little shaggier and flatter than it ought to be, but it only took me about 15 minutes to style, start to finish.
The best part is that Phillip cut the bangs with ponytails in mind.
Anyway. That’s mah new hairdo. I kind of (okay, totally and completely) love it, and wish I’d hacked those extra inches off ages ago. The end, and thanks for playing. We shall return to our regularly scheduled bossing around on Wednesday.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Is niiice.

  • I had been anxiously awaiting the results and am pleased to declare you fabulous as ever with your cute new style. Je l’adore!

  • You look very Audrey Hepburn-esque in that last picture! Love the long sweeping bangs 🙂

  • BaltimoreGal

    Very nice. And the side-swept bangs? EXCELLENT!
    I enjoy mine as well.
    Those stylists, many really know what they’re doing.
    SOOO glad you didn’t go with the Beckham look, or red. NOT good for most people, especially real blondes (though we may be dish-watery with age).
    Don’t you feel free without all that hair?

  • jen

    you look fanTAStic! I love it! especially the last pic where, as Katie D said, you look very Audrey Hepburn-esque – classic, stylish, feminine. 🙂
    well done, you.
    erm. now can you tell me what to do with mine???

  • Notsogirly

    That is EXACTLY the cut I got and what I recommended. So, I don’t care that 300 other people said the same thing. You clearly took my advice above all else. You are a wise woman. ‘Tis a good cut, no?
    (Your bangs a wee bit thicker than mine, probably because whenever my stylist use dthe word “bangs” I flinched. Hate bangs. Hate. Therefore mine blend a bit more into the rest of the hair. Otherwise? Same cut.)

  • I love it, and I hope you do too, because it looks lovely! I think the decreased volume of hair will really be nice in the heat, and it’s a perfect length for ponytails now. Good job, Phillip!

  • mdvelazquez

    I love it. Why was Jason making fun of you? You were working!

  • So cute! And you and I have the exact same type of hair, well, mine’s brown, and I use the exact same products.

  • the ass editor

    I LOVE it! This is pretty much exactly what I had in mind! I can’t believe what a difference the cut makes; it is 173% more flattering than your old style. I actually like how you styled it better than how the stylist did. The ponytail looks awesome too. I think I may even be inspired to try a shorter first layer when I get my super thin hair cut in the next week or two. Maybe I’ll even show my stylist a photo of you! That would make you just about at the celeb status of Nicole Richie…but way classier, of course.

  • brightphoenix

    That hair style is gorgeous! I totally works on you.

  • I love it! I even like it better the next day when you are the one who did it!

  • I love when I’m right. It looks great!

  • Erin

    Yay! I feel useful and all, having advocated for Nicole Richie.
    Anyway, I love the bangs! I have similar ones, and I think they are hawt.

  • Totally gorgeous. I so need a hair cut, but replacing my laptop’s screen was more important, for now anyway.



    Oh! That turned out so cute! Mine is about the same length but my bangs are different (I have big head and roundish/heart shaped face… yeah, I’m blessed… riiiiight). Only I think you have more hair than me, really, I’m a little jealous I tell ya’…
    BTW – I’m a natural blonde and I use John Frieda Glaze about once a week with my conditioner and it has helped keep away the brassy and dishwater.

  • Alison

    I love it!!! I think you’ve mentioned in the past that your hair is sometimes flatter than you’d like it to be, and I think you’re going to find that it’s less of an issue with this cut. I have struggled with lack of volume for years and recently got a similar cut with layers throughout and it has a pretty big difference in the amount of volume I have at the roots (presumably because the shorter layers don’t weigh it down as much). Anyway, it’s great!! Really adorable.

  • Alison

    Oh, and here is something for you to try now that you have this new cut: Consider putting just a very small bit of some sort of waxy pomade on the ends of the layers. It will separate and define the layers and give it an interesting texture. I use this one:
    …but I think there are many similar products that would work. I blow dry and apply a little to the ends and it’s fabulous.
    By the way, the back looks fantastic too!

  • Alison

    Sorry for making three separate posts. I keep thinking of more to say! This is it, I promise: If you try the pomade, apply it ONLY to the ends. Otherwise you will look like you have a head full of grease.

  • Looks awesome. I’m craving a short cut. Apparently, we are living on the surface of the sun this summer.

  • Cute!!

  • Oh. My.
    Will Philip travel? Because I just fell a little in love with him.

  • Lovely! Maybe you didn’t bend it like Beckham (I got shot down by Philip! The SHAME! LOL) but a “major” cut nonetheless! Those ponytail bangs are perfect. Thanks for the highly scientific update 🙂

  • Oh yes, it looks yummy! Thanks for letting us play along!
    (I bought the Surf Spray on your recommendation, but am not sure how much to use. So much do I use? I hate to use a ton since it cost more then my first house.)

  • Laurel McCarthy

    Looks fab! Now you can write a column about how you got that awesome side-sweep!

  • I love it! My bangs are almost exactly like yours, but I do need to cut the rest of my hair soon (it’s just getting too damn looooong), but I was worried about how it would look if I cut it to just past my shoulders. And then you went off and got it pretty much cut exactly the length I was wondering about… thanks for being my guinea pig. (Only, mine won’t do the pretty waviness yours does… grr!)

  • add

    love your bangs