7 spring hair makeovers that’ll blow your mind

Photographed by Suzanne Darcy

not your average hair changes

As we all emerge from hibernation and blink our eyes in the sunlight for what feels like the first time, it's only natural to want a hairstyle to match the newness in the air. In fact, if there's ever a time to change things up, it would be now. But since we tend to get the urge to bleach/trim/chop every year, spring hair tends to be kind of repetitive. Like, we can't just always go blonder and shorter every time it starts to get warm out (though it would be tempting). 

So this year, we decided our spring hair changes would be unlike anything we've done before. From bold purples to sharp angles, this isn't your average makeover story—because why go the expected route when you can surprise all your friends with mint green or vibrant apricot?

Click through to see the transformations.

Photo by Suzanne Darcy

Haley Stark
"I’ve had a good stint of candy-colored hair (first blue, then blue-grey, then a startlingly neon green) but I’ve been itching to do something a bit more natural. I enlisted the help of Chelsey Pickthorn, the owner of the Brooklyn-based salon Pickthorn, to give me a refreshing pink-blonde inspired by sakura blossoms and watercolor paintings. After bleaching my dark brown roots platinum, Chelsey toned my hair with Davines’ new line of Pure Colours colors to get the perfect peachy wash. We ended with a deep conditioning mask that made my hair incredibly soft (nobody could believe that it had been bleached!), and I took home some Davines Minu blue shampoo/conditioner, NaturalTech Enzyme Infusion, and Oi oil to keep my hair shinier and healthier than it’s ever been. I love my soft pink hair, and owe Chelsey for some pretty amazing compliments. As NYLON’s Senior Editor Mickey said, it’s 'a natural blonde that isn’t actually naturally possible.' Awesome!"

Photo by Suzanne Darcy

Michelle Lee, editor in chief
"I've been growing my hair for the past six months and was in desperate need of a change. I went to Clint Wilson and Mark Sweet at Salon SCK and got a good six inches chopped off, which felt so liberating! Clint cut my hair into a cool angled long bob. And since I told him that I'm constantly flipping my hair throughout the day, Mark gave me some highlights on the underside so the highlights would show whichever way I flipped it. I'm a bony, angular mofo, so I like how the sharp angle of the front pieces accentuates the angles of my face. I've been into the messy-hair-don't-care thing for a while, so my new cut is forcing me to be a bit sleeker and to actually blow it out straight, which is really cool and a totally different look for me."

Photo by Suzanne Darcy

Yasmeen Gharnit, digital editorial assistant
"For my spring hair transition, I headed over to Seagull. Known for its use of bright colors and riot grrrl background (Johanna Fateman from Le Tigre is a co-owner), it's undoubtedly one of the best New York spots to make a drastic transformation. Because my hair has been dyed and bleached so many times in the past few months (see my grey hair transformation here), they used Olaplex, a single ingredient that reconnects broken disulfate bonds in hair. The three-part treatment also conditions the hair and protects from damage. My super-bright color has faded over the past few weeks, but stylist Sarah Fenoglio recommends mixing in a tablespoon of Manic Panic in Bad Boy Blue to maintain color."

Photo by Suzanne Darcy

Liz Riccardi, digital design director
"I went to the Aveda Academy for my hair makeover. 
Ricardo Dinis, the Aveda Global Artistic Director for Hair Cutting gave me my cut, and Ian Michael Black, the Aveda Global Artistic Director for Hair Color made me blonde with the help of stylist Eva Van Anglen. They were amazing! Ricardo got rid of my long dead ends and gave me a fresh lob (although we agreed that 'lob' is the worst word ever) and Ian turned my brunette locks to a cool shade of Aveda blonde with rock and roll roots. 

I'd had the same hair for about two years and was ready to let some of it go. I was originally skeptical about chopping SO much of my hair, but I love the cut Ricardo gave me!  It's blunt with wide straight bangs, yet still versatile! I can straighten it for a sleek look or mess it up and it's still long enough to pull back. My hair feels so much lighter and believe it or not, bleach and all, healthier. I really didn't have a specific vision in mind and when Gabrielle [creator of this story] asked if I would go blonde, I just thought, why not? I've always secretly wanted to try it, but as someone with fair, sensitive (aka red) skin, I was nervous about how it would work with my complexion.  Because I wasn't quite ready to go full Kim K —Ian wisely advised that I leave some roots and dark underneath—which in my opinion looks way cooler and means I'll have less upkeep. Score! First they bleached my hair, (which literally took forever. I worked on meditating.) then applied toner and a conditioning mask. They finished me off with a blow dry and flat iron. I couldn't believe how smooth my hair felt! Ian supplied me with products from the Damage Remedy line: restructuring shampoo, conditioner, a daily leave-in treatment, and two mask, which I alternate weekly.

It took me a minute to get used to but I love the change. I think the cut actually changed my face shape and the color feels super cool and fresh. A few people have even told me I look younger! I'm also super excited to see how it looks as it grows out with the roots. I think it's the perfect new look for spring!"

Photo by Suzanne Darcy

Shruti Ganguly, VP, TV & video
"I went to Seagull Salon and Luke Kalat did my color. I went from jet black to magenta and dark purple. I was challenged to do something different color-wise to my hair, and at first I thought of going blonde, but then Kim K. did just that… I considered going silver, but the henna in my hair reacted to the bleach and we weren’t certain we could get a silver fox look and definitely didn’t want it to go wrong. Strangely, the safer, but seemingly more bold solution was this range of purple. I’ve never done anything quite like this to my hair before and I was definitely nervous about how it would look and if I could actually get used to it. What I had hoped for was to try something new, and have an enjoyable experience, and I felt like I was in such great hands, that it was definitely achieved. My hair was bleached a few times. First with a stronger bleach and then washed off, and then Luke put a milder bleach. Then he colored my hair and we let it sit for a while. I got a great shampoo and then the owner of Seagull, Shaun, blow-dried my hair, and I saw the damp strands come to life, in color, in a range of magenta and purple.  It took me a moment as first to get comfortable with it as it was a drastic change but I think I’m going to keep it, at least for a while!"

Gabrielle Korn, senior digital editor
My winter hair color had been really warm—rich golden tones that got lighter in the front. When Celebrity Stylist and Pravana Guest Artist Daniel Moon of the Andy LeCompte Salon in West Hollywood suggested I switch from warm blonde to cool, it really spoke to me. 'It seems counterintuitive, you go warmer for the warmer season, right!? Not always the case,' he explained, noting that my skin tone (he described it as alabaster, which is a generous word for pasty) would work really well with a super-cool pink/blonde tone. He created that hue using Pravana's Chromasilk hair color. We named it 'Porcelain Blush.'  He ended up leaving the gold in the back, so there's this really unique mixed metals effect—platinum/rose gold in front and true gold everywhere else. I feel like it brightens up my whole face!" 

Leila Brillson, digital director

"When we were coming up with this story, I joked that I wanted something bright, perhaps cotton candy pink. However, any New Yorker knows, if you want color, you are going to want Aura Friedman, whose prowess with all things super-hued is so respected that she helped Gaga go pastel. Aura is a mad scientist when it comes to concocting the right tone, adding bits of this and that, almost like a painter who is excited by a canvas. She took my ideas, ("Um, bright? I don't know...different?") and worked with my hair type, the density and porosity (real words), and previous color to create one of the richest hair experiences I have ever had. I dug my color before this, but I wanted to try something I have never done before—hey, it is spring, why not?

"Aura used Olaplex to lighten my hair, which she likes because it doesn't break down hair in the same way that dyes do. She darkened my crown and then lifted my roots, in kind of a new twist on the ombre. To get the cool color on top, she used a lightener that also had color in it. (Aura prefers Pravana, a color system that allows her to get the pastels for which she is so well known.) The top part didn't take as long as the bottom, but the bottom has a rich, golden tone to it that I have never been able to achieve before."