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How to Give Long, Brown Hair a Fresh Look

Keep the length, change the details.
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Welcome to our Hair Consultation column. To request an online hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Bill Angst, follow the instructions here.

Q: I want to know what to do with my hair. I've been growing it out for a while, and I love the length and colour (I've left it natural for years now). 

From The Styling Edit Archives

Ivonne wants to find her "Life Cut."

But I always seem to do the same thing over and over: I cut it short after I've left it long for a while, and then I grow it out again. I sometimes do bangs, and I've tried the angled short bob.

I liked most of my haircuts, but I really want to know what you think is my "Life Cut." I don't think I want to go short again, as I always want to grow it out, but I feel like I need a change (again!). Thanks! — Ivonne

A: Ivonne, I love the length and colour as well, and I think you have answered your own question about your Life Cut. You are wearing it… this is what happens when you go back to the same hair comfort zone over and over again.

With that said, there are all kinds of options for you because you have the natural resources for change.

Here is a cool, dramatic change I feel will suit you, with a soft, versatile bang and a darker colour.

Zooey Deschanel at the 2012 Fox Summer TCA All Star Party.

You could achieve this by having lowlights added to your natural colour with a semi-permanent product. Doing this, you can keep the integrity of your hair and the dark colour will just fade away.

Another feature I would like to point out is thicker ends—which will add more punch to the darker hair.

Long brown hair with bangs

A styling option that I love for your new bang, with a strong side part:

Elsa Pataky at a 2009 Cannes party. 

Hannah Simone at WeDay California in 2016.

On the other end of the spectrum, here we have enhanced skinny ends and a lighter colour.

Ashley Greene at Wango Tango 2010.

This is a very realistic colour for you to achieve, but will stress out your hair, which helps with the skinny ends.

Long, mid-brown hair with skinny ends.

I am a fan of both thick and skinny ends, depending on the effect required. In the summer months, with humidity and natural movement, skinny ends can create a great beach style. In the winter months, with no humidity, a thicker end would give a more lush look to your hair.

Have as much fun as you want with your hair, and play around some more because you can always go back to square one and start all over again. 


Update: Ivonne shared her "after" with us! She went with the lighter colour and skinny ends:

Ivonne's lighter brown hair colour and skinny ends.


Bill Angst is one of Canada’s top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Angst Salon at 240 Queen Street East in Toronto. Call 416-360-5942 to book an appointment.