Harajuku Hair Transformation

ZcfSq8g-Hu6kE0WMNdbpY-A5QXiKIzunHb5j7nKdfZSteodhFizW72fgCa5OEXxgW8rQZxKyS_5WUr57fzu98sM4t8C_O2wnnKIWaG7sHeqTkoYxza5L1eziHoGrluSRSpjiWgMZFRDEzjRWQHq7dsg=s0-d-e1-ftKiriko in San Francisco contacted me last year about a DIY hair consultation. We consulted, and kept in touch.

I have had the joy of watching her figure out how to love and care for and cut and color her own hair. Then, she went to beauty school. And now, she is doing what all budding young hairstylists do in school, which is to get crazy on her own hair. Which is how we learn, and also how we re-find ourselves hiding in our hair.

With the help of fellow students and instructors, Kiriko’s hair recently transformed with a huge cut and color overhaul. I watched the process on Instagram. You should follow her, BTW because she will be turning out some incredible hair here pretty soon. She is at @kirikokikuchi. Also, for more on her as a human, I interviewed her last year for HTHG’s #bethefair interviews.

U4PgwjdIvA6Roi9Do0q617iHfVhs_t3b8un9HHUMP24Ln_gaG_L1gQWEE_R5SHO-ei8KUlJtPnzZ_kwfvLkeGfVBNuDH5Ddk4pnse3uNW6ldeu31uemolsqVzbUBfypRUe3zmXQgxsnoNpUewW_mKfaWKzh94G5r8P_PLg=s0-d-e1-ft  URPCVBV8GjORknYzghbdThK3PO93qQCNaOJnP0KkfTwvAjpgeJJDUdF6fVJsNfWLplVKtj9QT95JkipHESd9MfyZDzlDTDyPgh0E4rGIBN9_BcgP0MPlWrQ73s_xDaWqTbOIo7OvTtCjzMFTfcQ=s0-d-e1-ft _DvWoUuVMtLfpB5PyHmtI2uU4qYK_GnYaBR0unGde-hZOTlWena2c9Tvw8Q8uqVBCcH9j-VIzdGbeEM8EwP6SBNNaxKyv3EUTbHUNkIHAQH8gcMRaPSU5OubKjobpFOzGTuPO_5z9jTqNRkYfPEH=s0-d-e1-ftHere is Kiriko’s Hair Transformation Story


My hair had been the laziest of California girl ‘accidental ombre’ for two years. It fell past my shoulder blades in very messy long layers, and color-wise had about four inches of my natural brown hair fading out into dirty blonde ends. And by dirty I mean dirty – they were practically green from the indigo/henna dye that I had used to color my hair black a few years ago that I could never get out.

When I started my cosmetology studies at the Paul Mitchell school in San Francisco in April, I knew I’d probably make some dramatic changes to my hair. But I certainly didn’t expect to cut half my hair off and lighten it to platinum blonde! Two of the advanced students, Jessica and Jesse, lightened my hair for me… it took 4 hours, what felt like a hundred pounds of foils, and a lot of pain. Like getting my entire scalp tattooed at once. But it was worth it. I’m obsessed with my platinum blonde now and am already getting it re-lightened and toned on Sunday.


Two days after the blonding, my cutting teacher, Macklan Clendenin, took my hair from long round layers to my current style – a very “Harajuku girl” dramatic disconnected triangular cut – short in the back and long in the front – with a blunt fringe. I love it.


I’m very creative, so while everyone else loved my long, thick, “ombre” hair, I was very bored with my hair. For YEARS before beauty school, I worked a series of jobs that encouraged conservative styles, so that dulled my blade to the point where I didn’t even know what I liked. This hair cut and color has sharpened me back up and brought out a side of myself I haven’t seen since I was a rebellious teenager. It feels great to have her back!”


Ladies, let this story inspire you not to be “stuck in hair, stuck in life”
xox, HTHG

Gutter punk to professor: A hair story.

brookThis is my sister, Brook. She is a biologist, on the front lines of cancer research ( I’m so proud of her:) She loves science. She is excited about science. She is an Artist of Science. One reason she likes the lab is that she can do whatever she wants with her hair, and listen to any kind of music in her headphones that she chooses and no one can say shit about it, as long as she is effectively dividing cells on lab-grown skin samples and making useful hypothesis.Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 1.03.05 PM She seems to enjoy being the weird one at work. I can understand that. I cut her hair into the Girl with the Dragon tattoo haircut about a year ago.

Without any trimming or maintenance, it grew out into a perfect gutter-punk flop. But in a good way! When she came to visit me last month, she was ready for something more professional to rock while she defends her dissertation. I gave her the razored pixie and it suited her perfectly.brook after

Cute and short and chic, no maintenance or styling needed. And, it will grow out well because her hair is fine and I texturized the ends. She can really pull off shaggy hair and piece-y ends. And we only see each other a couple times a year 🙁 so her hair cuts have to last.

Here is a little trade secret for you……The key to a feminine short haircut is the hair around the ears. There is a fine line between short and sharp and masculine, and perfectly choppy and soft and shattered. This is the line that divides a femme short haircut from a more butch-ified one. To each her own.b3

I love a good hair transformation success story.

5 DIY haircuts to try today!

Ever thought about cutting your own hair? Have you tried it? It is really fun and liberating but it can also be intimidating and a flat out mess. Enter, the Ponytail Cut. The beauty of the ponytail cut is that it brings all the hair to one place for you to cut, keeping it neat and straight forward. And, depending on where the ponytail is on the head, you can created many different shapes and effects with the cut.

For a beginner hair DIY-er, definitely start with a ponytail cut. For more on Ponytail Cutting and Coloring for the beginner DIY-er, check out this category.…..

On that note, Lovely people, I present to you 5 DIY haircuts to try today.

A practical yet creative hair solution for the brave and bold. 5 strategically placed ponytails cut off to create 5 different awesome haircuts.

I started with my fantastically brave and excited model, Meleah. Her hair was unbelievably long, and she had been cutting it herself using HTHG’s perfect layers DIY haircut. Her hair is thick and straight, but these haircuts can be used on any hair type.

*The amount of hair cut off the ends of the ponytail determines the length that the cut will be. We removed about 3 inches with each ponytail cut. If you want the same effect but with shorter length, remove more from the ponytail.

Cutting off a ponytail is not as easy as just a snip! you will need a sharp pair of shears like these affordable, quality ones.If you plan on becoming the full time master of your own

cut and color, it is also worth having a CreaClip, which is the genius tool  kit for perfect DIY bangs and layers for the whole family.

You will want to familiarize yourself with the point cutting technique to remove the hair a little bit at a time to soften and blend the ends of the hair.

Here is a map of the head to refer to, before you get started.

Are you ready? Let’s break it down!

DIY haircut #1. Long Layers!


For this one, you will put the hair in a  ponytail, centered at the middle of the top  of the head. Make sure it is smooth and tight.

Looking in a mirror, hold the ponytail straight up! Cut across the ends. Let hair down and check out your blended, even, pretty long layers.

  DIY haircut #2. Long layers with a little boost in the back.


Perfect for those who have a flat back of the head and want a little boost. This haircut is great for adding a little extra shape and body to long hair.

Put the hair in a ponytail in the middle of the crown of the head, and cut across the ends to whatever length you want. Let the hair down and shake it out!

DIY haircut #3. Long layers with pretty face framing.


This one is great for girls who like having a little something around the face. It creates perfectly uniform layers throughout the hair, but softens the face with shorter blended face framing layers.

Brush the hair straight forwards and put it in a ponytail right at the front of the top of the head, almost at the hairline.

Cut the ends off the ponytail. Let it down and marvel at your swinging layered haircut that accentuates your best features!

DIY haircut #4. Perfectly impractical asymmetrical layers.


This is the haircut for the hipster fashionista who wants to keep her length but still make a bold statement. May I suggest this haircut with some color faded dip dye and a deep side part?

Make a ponytail at the front of the top of the head, off center. Like 3 inches above the ear (Parietal ridge) on the side that you part on. Cut the ends off. Let your hair down and check out your awesome layer-y asymmetrical part, with heavy face framing, and a shy side. It almost looks undercut but it’s not.

Killer hair cut. My personal favorite from this series.

DIY haircut #5. Mid-length layered bob.


The Shlob, if you will. But a longer version of it. This haircut involves 2 ponytail cuts.

Make a ponytail right at the nape.

Cut it off to the length that the ends will barely rest on your neck.

Let it down, and cut the dropout off the bottom to straignten up the line.

Now put all the hair in a ponytail at the center of the crown. Cut the ends off. This will add layers and tons of texture an movement to the bob.

This haircut happens to look amazing with bangs too. If you are feeling inspired, try Zooey bangs or asymmetrical choppys.

I double doggy dare you to try one of these. You really can’t mess em up if you follow the directions, and they look totally salon-quality.

While we are on the subject of DIY hair…..

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 7.36.33 PMI use DIY haircut #3 regularly. I also use this DIY color technique to ombre my ends and this one to highlight around my face.

For more DIY hair cutting techniques and coloring techniques, check out the HTHG video shop.



For your everything guide to DIY hair coloring, check this post!

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 12.14.38 PMIf you are in the market for a genius new system of haircare designed by hairstylists with a less-is-more vibe, check out the Hairstory Studio Haircare line, starring New-Wash magic cleansing cream. My hair has literally never looked of felt better. I use it once a week and my hair is never greasy, and always healthy! They have a line of 4 simple products for all hair types to help you master happy healthy hair without a fight. Check their shop out here, and make sure you mention that How-to Hair Girl referred you when you go to make your purchase.

If you are a DIY hair-cutter who is  curious about DIY home-hair coloring, I highly recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which Resorcinol-Free.

If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer! And if you need to tone in between coloring, be sure to check out their Color Reviving Gloss to refresh and revive your hair.

Also, I recommend a shopping stop at Beauty Store Depot for all your DIY hair cutting and coloring tools to fill your toolkit!

Have fun with your hair!

xo, HTHG

Swimming in hair.

IMG_0724If you are tiny like Dawn and you possess a lions mane, cutting off 5 inches of hair ( and taking out 5 pounds of bulk) can really free you up. Dawn is a dear friend of mine and I adore her. Cutting her hair made me feel better about life in general, because it was such a shedding of deadness. Take life by the balls, little mugs. Stuck in hair, stuck in life.


HTHG DIY haircuts are happening

HTHG had a really fun couple of hours today with Meleah, AKA Scarlett Knuckles. I needed a long haired model to let me demonstrate 6 simple yet super sassy DIY ponytail haircuts on. She just happened to be waiting for an excuse to cut her long gorgeous hair off.

This is her before and after. In between these two haircuts, there were 6 unique DIY haircuts. As in, we put her hair in a perfectly strategically placed ponytail and had her cut off the ends of the ponytail, 6 times, for 6 different super style-y hairstyles.

Great DIY haircuts for HTHG readers are happening!! Keep your eyes out in early January for this killer fun hair post that will inspire you to get all your friends together, grab your shears, and have some fabulous DIY haircutting fun. Because I love you and I can’t possibly not share with you this awesomeness.


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