The Haircut

John Hebert grew up on the gulf coast of Texas. He raised cattle for a living and served in the army before moving to Austin and becoming a stylist. He has now been a stylist for twenty years and about 30 percent of his clients have curly hair. He can be found at Vitali Salon on West 6th Street. John is down-to-earth, friendly and pays great attention to detail, especially when it comes to his clients.

My favorite thing about John is that while he is great at listening to what his clients want, he also isn’t afraid to give feedback. I knew he would be honest with me about what would or wouldn’t work for my hair.

During our consultation, it was immediately clear that John had done his research — after reading a few of my NaturallyCurly articles, he was already familiar with my basic hair care regimen. As he looked at my hair, I talked to him about the products I was using, showed him pictures of styles that I liked and talked to him about my expectations for the cut. I left the salon feeling confident that I was in good hands.

But when it came time for the cut two days later, I was a more nervous than I expected to be. I even sent John a last-minute email, telling him that I wanted my hair to be long enough for a ponytail. “You threw me off with that email,” John said when I arrived at the salon. “Just trust me — it’s going to be great. And it will be short enough that you won’t even need to put it in a ponytail!”

John started with a dry cut. He decided to experiment with a new method — to give my hair some shape and to leave my shorter, face-framing layers in tact, he held my hair back at an angle and cut off the first five or six inches.

After the initial chop, he washed and conditioned my hair using Bumble and bumble products. Then it was back to the chair, where John essentially started sculpting my hair. He gave me lots of short layers and left my hair a bit longer in the front.

I had my hair rinsed and conditioned again before John applied Bumble and bumble Styling Creme, my favorite product of the afternoon, then left me to sit under the hooded dryer. Then he finished with another dry cut, trimming a few more pieces and perfecting the look.