There are many reasons a woman may want to change her look: a new job, a cross-country move, or even a bad break up. We have the ability to transform our exterior to either match our interior, or be the reflection of the person we’re hoping to become. It can be energizing, healing, and even life changing. We talked with two top hairstylists in San Antonio to find out what they recommend before taking the plunge.

Maria Antonietta Joeris of Salon Visage said a big haircut depends on what the hairstylist is starting with. “We always want to find out our client’s personality first,” she said. “Are they daring or conservative? But always remember hair will grow back – don’t be so attached to it!”

Cynthia Garza of Alta Moda Salon at the Rim said the most common reasons woman want a change are weight loss, relationship changes, maternity, or a significant milestone in age. “Speak to your stylist about the tools and products necessary to achieve your end result,” she said. “It’s all about finding the right haircut that not only works well with your face shape and texture, but what also works best with your lifestyle.”

1. Pixie Cut
Perhaps the top haircut women ask for when they want to make a change is a chop. Garza recommends a long side swept bang with a long, tousled pixie to accentuate your facial structure. “Being honest with our guests is key though,” she said, “because sometimes ‘no’ is necessary if we know a cut won’t suit your face shape or hair texture.”

2. Inverted or Stacked Bob
Joeris says the only time she recommends not making a major change is before a wedding. “If you’re getting married, the last thing you want to do is change up your look and hate it,” she said. “An inverted or stacked bob looks good on almost everyone, so it’s a risk worth taking.”

3. Blunt Shag
Loose, tousled waves hitting just at the shoulders is the most common cut Garza sees these days. “We love when clients bring in photos of what they want so we can select the best fit for their individual needs,” she said. “Ask your stylist to move in stages so you don’t silently freak out while in your stylist’s chair.”

4. Change Your Part
Perhaps a subtler shift, but even switching up where you part your hair can drastically change the look and feel of your haircut. “Take your hair’s texture and density into consideration before making a major change,” said Joeris. “Remember not every haircut looks good on everyone. It’s ok to know your limitations.”

5. Bangs
Finally, going for bangs is a decision many women agonize over, but Garza said it can be done if you’re ready. “I always use a small amount of product on bangs, then blow dry from the sides to achieve a straight, blunt end,” she said. “Brush out with a fine tooth comb to break up the pieces for a textured look.”

Whether you’re cutting off one inch or twelve, a major haircut can feel like a leap into the unknown. However, being open to change with your appearance can be a metaphor that spreads to the rest of your life. As much as it scares you, it can be an opportunity for growth if you let it.

By Aquila Mendez-Valdez