Word that Kristin Cavallari was considering making a drastic change to her California beach babe tresses came to us a few weeks ago—and the news spread like wildfire through the Byrdie offices. The TV personality, designer, and mother of two lovable little boys (we can attest—she showed us pictures) has been sporting long locks for years. “I just wanted something new—something that was a bit edgier. It was just long and blonde, and I wanted something fresh and fun,” Cavallari told us just moments after the big reveal.
The only way to make a major change is in the hands of renowned talents like Chris McMillan (the man behind the haircut that solidified Jennifer Aniston’s stardom and countless other superstar manes) and Justin Anderson (the creative director of dpHUE and celebrity colorist who’s been painting Hollywood blondes from Kim Basinger to Miley Cyrus). With the dream team in place, we headed over to The Chris McMillan Salon to document Cavallari’s transformation from start to finish.
Click through to see how it all went down!
It all started with the chop. “It was funny because we were actually inspired by Britney Spears’ big chop! It was just so cool,” Anderson says. McMillan did the honors, and then it was onto the color.
“With the highlights, I just concentrated it all on the ends,” Anderson says. “The ends of her hair, all the way around—except right around the front, I just lightly framed her face.”
“We kept it kind of root-y because she spends a lot of her time right now in Chicago, so I wanted to give her something that was as low-maintenance as possible so she could do the upkeep,” Anderson says. He kept the highlights off the roots, about two inches from the scalp.
After the highlights, Anderson softened the roots by adding a base color. “It adds a bit of tone to it, toning out the highlights in the front so she doesn’t get the grow-out line.”
“I keep it deep and golden at the root and make the ends really blonde. So she still gets that punch of blonde, but it’s got a grow-out factor.”
“I send her home with the products I work with, like a color kit. Whenever she does get roots, she can put on that five-minute base I did and wash it off. Then, once again, it softens her dark natural color and blends the highlights back in.” Anderson also recommends dpHUE’s Cool Blonde Shampoo ($24) to all of his blondes. “I’m a firm believer in using a purple shampoo because it cuts out some of the yellow that your hair naturally picks up, and it also helps kill some of the brass.”
McMillan was inspired instantly for the cut. “When I saw her, I thought Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks,” McMillan says. “She wanted to cut it off and Justin said she wanted to bob her hair, but it can’t be preppy. It’s about really keeping it uneven textured with lots of different layers, and bringing it up to that shoulder-cut length.”
“I always like it shorter in the back and longer in the front,” McMillan says. “I like a little energy and a little angle. It keeps it younger. You get the shorter and longer feel at the same time.”
As for the style, even though those long, loose curls were gone, Cavallari still wanted to hold onto a bit of that beachy feel. So instead of going sleek and straight, McMillan added a few waves. “I took a medium round brush and I did all the underneath straight from the occipital bone down, and then random curls in the back. I created curls from the ear below—not too high and then a twist. Try to keep the ends really straight.”
To give Cavallari’s new long bob that lived-in look, McMillan sprayed Sachjuan’s Ocean Mist ($34) into his hands and worked it through the hair, starting at the base of the neck and pulling forward. The key is to push it all forward, but pull the underneath layer straight down.
Cavallari left the salon loving her new, bright blonde bob and the fact that it was still long enough to throw into a ponytail. “With kids you have to be able to throw it back.”
What do you think of Kristin Cavallari’s new look?