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Ask a Hairstylist: How to Rock a Chemical Haircut When Your Hair Has Breakage

Styles that work with your shorter pieces.
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Chemical haircut

Q: Hello, I would love some help! I had very light brown/dirty blonde hair as a child. For many years, I've been having blonde highlights added at the salon, to the point where my hair was fully blonde. 

From The Styling Edit Archives

However, my roots were coming in fairly dark, and the touch-up colour (box dye) that I used at home was definitely wearing on the health of my hair. 

So, I recently decided to dye my hair brown to improve my hair, and so I wouldn't need to go near hair dye anymore. 

Julie recently went brunette, after years of salon highlights and box dye.

When I first went to go brunette, it was patchy. I tried darker, and it was too dark. Then I tried removing colour, and I ended up with orange. Currently. I'm back to dark since it covers everything. 

Julie tried multiple rounds of colour at home to get the right shade.

Since dyeing my hair multiple times to try to get the right shade of brown, my hair is very damaged. 

After dyeing it so many times, Julie's hair became very damaged.

What style/colour (or anything else that could help!) do you recommend to hide the damaged hair and help enhance my look? My hair type has always been fine, but I have a lot of it, and it is naturally straight to wavy. I have a wider face, and it is wide when I smile. Thank you!! — Julie

Julie is looking for a style that will disguise the breakage.

A: Julie, what you currently have is a "chemical haircut." 

When you put your hair through so many processes, it is bound to break. Fortunately, yours has broken off into a cool rocker shag.

I happen to love shags… so I would rock this look, since you are already wearing it.

Here is a shape for you to try with a long fringe:

Kristen Stewart The Yellow Handkerchief Los Angeles premiere 2010

Kristen Stewart at the 2010 Los Angeles premiere of 'The Yellow Handkerchief.'

A shag with a bang would suit your face and your natural hair texture:

Lily Collins StyleMakers Awards 2016

Lily Collins at the 2016 StyleMakers Awards.

Alexa Chung Night of Stars 2013

Alexa Chung at the 2013 Night of Stars.

If you're comfortable taking off more length, try a choppy bob:

Dakota Johnson Black Mass Toronto photocall 2015

Dakota Johnson at the 2015 Toronto photocall for 'Black Mass.'

Throwing all caution to the wind… this chemically damaged look rocks as well:

Taylor Swift Met Gala 2016

Taylor Swift at the 2016 Met Gala.

I'm not one to encourage damaged hair, except when you want an edgier look. I figure the dark is very attractive on you, so keep it dark. 

This will get it healthier, and if you ever decide to take it to this extreme, stop colouring for some time to let it fade out and make it easier to bleach. At this length, you can afford some damage and texture.

I hope this serves you well.