So Long, Boring Brunette! Hello, Hair Makeover!
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So Long, Boring Brunette! Hello, Hair Makeover!

Our assistant editor Lauren Piro was looking for a hair makeover but wanted to keep her long brown locks. Check out her stylish new long hairstyle!

My hair is a big thing for me (most women probably feel the same). It's never been short, never been dyed, and, I think, defines me. It's my signature and my security blanket. It makes me feel feminine and pretty, but is also my armor. I am Lauren, the long-haired brunette. Period.

But, ugh. I look at this picture of me, and I just think "blah." My hair is straight-ish, but not a cool pin-straight or a beachy wavy. It's chocolate brown, but sorta dull. And, man, is it heavy. Each day, I aim for bouncy volume by applying a volumizer and flipping my head over as I blow dry. But with so much hair, it basically just lies there flatly. Where is the bounce, the shimmer, the texture that I envy on so many other women passing me on the streets?

I lamented this to my beauty editor, Erica, and she immediately knew just where to send me for a refreshing, summer shear: to see stylist Lina Arrojo for a cut and Inva Cela for color at the salon Arrojo Studio in Manhattan.

In the stylist's chair, I felt like I was making an impossible request. Make it brighter and more fun and new! But still long! And still brown! Make me look like me, but way better! But this wasn't Lina and Inva's first rodeo -- they knew just what I meant and quickly crafted a blueprint for a smart solution.

Lina left the length I adore, but chopped out the bulk that was holding everything down. Long layers were the key to the swingy, full look I tried to make happen every day, and face framing angles and a side bang read as polished and pulled-together. I learned that the shortest layer should hit somewhere around my chin -- a move I would have feared making before, but one that totally works. Inva painted on caramel highlights to punch up the layers (bonus: she says they'll look good even as my hair grows), which add movement and dimension.

Voila! A cut that falls into place perfectly when I blow it out at home with some volumizing mousse, looks pretty with a bit of curl, and is even perfect for scrunching with a salt spray. But the best part? I still feel like me -- just an upgraded version.