If you knew you were going to die tomorrow (think The Last Holiday but expedited) and had the opportunity to sit in the chair of one of the industry's best hairstylists, what instruction would you give them? Given just 24 more hours, would you get bangs? Shave your head? Pile on 10 pounds of extensions and ask said stylist to shape away layer after layer to their heart's content? Not to be morbid and not to shock you with such an upfront and briskly unappealing predicament, but to be honest, we've been curious. After all—and correct us if we're wrong—doesn't most of the trauma and intimidation associated with a potentially major haircut stem from the fear we'll instantly regret (and maybe hate) our decision mere moments afterward? And then, gasp, be forced to live with it until the haircut grows out?
So what if we took that murky afterward out of the equation altogether? If you didn't have to worry about maintenance, distaste, or regret in the days, weeks, months, even years post-haircut, would you opt for something completely outside of your comfort zone? Or a haircut you've always said you'll try but have never gotten around to trying or pinpointed the right stylist to execute?
Here at Byrdie, we have the goal of always challenging you to think beyond the parameters of "defined" beauty and instead focus on the products, people, and feelings that make you feel emboldened to be the ultimate version of you. And get this—we want that for you now and not in the morbid hypothetical scenario in which you only have one day to live. So what's on your radar? To get the juices flowing, we opened up the floor to some of the most talented celebrity hairstylists in the business. Our question: Which haircuts should everyone try before they die? And not surprisingly, they had some iconic, leap-of-faith ideas up their sleeves. Ahead, 11 haircuts celebrity hairstylists think you should try in your lifetime.
"To me, this was the true, original lob look: blunt, blonde, and laser-straight. The blunt ends have the ability to thicken fine, chemically processed hair for a chic, collarbone-grazing haircut that's a total head-turner." — Brianna Colette, senior stylist at 901 Salon
"Seriously, fringe. Like retro awesomeness, classic '70s rock and roll–inspired fringe. Plus, the versatility of a good fringe haircut makes a dirty hair day so much better. The trick is to not over-layer the hair around the face, which keeps the fringe as the main focal point. It's a great cut for enhancing the eyes and cheekbones and is reminiscent of iconic stars like Jane Birkin, Kate Moss, and Brigitte Bardot." — Tim Dueñas, master stylist at 901 Salon
"A quintessential, classically short style. This haircut is cropped in the back with a heavier, sweeping fringe in the front. Although it was made infamous by Twiggy, we've seen it re-created on Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, P!nk, and Rihanna. It's so daring and liberating to chop it all off, but keeping it longer in the front makes for an effortless grow-out period." — Brianna
"To be honest, this haircut is probably one of the most sought-after looks, and I think all women should have glamorous length at some point in their lifetime—a long, layered haircut with body and style. This look is the iconic vision of luscious. If you don't have all the hair needed to pull this off, don't fret. There are a lot of options—from clip-ins to halo extensions—which are amazing alternatives for lending an extra dose of volume to limper strands." — Tim
"I like to call this The Rosie. It's a medium-length haircut that's great for thick, textured, and/or wavy hair. The addition of lots of layers helps encourage movement and will simultaneously lighten up heavy hair which might be easily weighed down otherwise. Then, barely there, long and sweeping fringe keeps it interesting." — Brianna
"Every woman should experience a crop. The liberation that comes with having a short, fun haircut is amazing. I think it is one of the sexiest moves and shows a lot of confidence. Think Mia Farrow, Scarlett Johansson, Ruby Rose, and, more recently, Kate Hudson." — Tim
"This iconic haircut is so liberating for women who may have been attached to their long strands! A cut that is above the shoulders is chic, modern, timeless, and exudes confidence! Ask for minimal layers to avoid looking helmet-y or mushroom-like, and have your stylist cut with shears as opposed to a razor for a super-clean finish.
"If you've been curious but are too afraid to get rid of your current length, try a faux bob with extensions! When I want shorter length on a shoot or for a celeb, I braid up most of their hair, leave out the top layer, then add extensions—either headband-style or clip-ins that I can cut to whatever length and style I want. This is what I did for Khloé Kardashian so she could try out the shorter length before she decided to cut it short!" — Justine Marjan, celebrity hairstylist
"This look is so versatile and perfect for any occasion. Shoulder-length hair is so chic and classic, and it's easy to wear either up or down. To show off the angle, it's especially great worn straight, like Vanessa Hudgens. To achieve this look, you'll blow-dry first (I love my T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer, $230, for optimal, quick results), and then I use the brand's SinglePass Luxe Straightening and Styling Iron ($180), applying it from roots to ends to smooth out the hair leaving it polished and mod!" — Chad Wood, celebrity hairstylist
"Making a statement with a shaved haircut is the ultimate rebellion against the 'feminine' stereotype that women need to have long, flowing locks. However, this cut isn't for the faint of heart, as it pretty much lays you bare to the world, and there is nothing to hide behind once the clippers have stopped. Wearing a shaved cut with confidence is ultimate empowerment, and with that comes an otherworldly beauty." — Eloise Cheung, celebrity hairstylist
"The freedom to embrace our natural texture has been extremely liberating as of late. No longer are we fighting the frizz to attain and maintain the 'utopian' smooth hair. This face-framing, voluminous, and graduated lob haircut is super flattering for any face shape and requires little to no styling so you can go about your day." — Eloise
"Long hair—not so much a cut as a not-cut. Something about ultra-long hair is just really intriguing. It's visually stunning and the stuff of fantasy and fairytales as we've seen in Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. Historically speaking, I think of Cher." — Eloise