A soft layered haircut, growing in gray - une femme d'un certain âge

Thursday miscellany: new ‘do & big news

Susan B. with a short shag soft layered haircut.

OK, so it’s not radically different but I did get a haircut earlier this week and am quite pleased with it! My hair is very fine, and once it gets past a certain length, tends to look lank and flat without product intervention. I’d describe this soft layered haircut as a “short shag” and it’s quite easy to deal with. The layers are short enough to give it some lift but without looking severe.

I’ve decided to keep it about this length for the next few months while I grow out my gray hair. The image above doesn’t tell the full story though…

From the other side and the back you can really see the gray coming in. Brian and I have decided not to make any adjustments to the color for now, so I’m going to be a “Grombre” Gal for a while. 😜

Susan B. wears a Madewell knit chore jacket, Kule striped tee, boyfriend jeans and Vince slip-on sneakers.

earrings | jacket | tee | bracelets | jeans | shoes

I’m wearing an XS in the jacket, and Small in the tee. Jeans also worn HERE. Bracelets previously shown HERE. Sneakers previously worn HERE.

The big news I’m so excited to share…

I’ve waited until the last minute to share this, as there have been SO many variables at play, but tomorrow I leave for London to be trained in color and style analysis by Red Leopard!!

Manina Weldon of Red Leopard drapes Susan B. for a color analysis. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Above: from my session with Red Leopard in 2019.

Why I’m getting formal training now

My color and style analysis was such an eye-opening experience, and afterward it felt as though so many of the pieces just clicked into place. While it’s taken some tweaking and honing to get my style where it feels Just Right, I have a much better understanding of why things work or don’t. This has saved me a lot of time and money!

So many of you have asked questions about your own coloring and style. I’ve wanted to be able to address those questions from a solid base of knowledge. And I’m hoping to launch some personal styling services later this year. (More to come…)

My training was originally scheduled for spring of 2020, and well, you can probably guess why that didn’t happen. We kept pushing, re-scheduling, and then pushing again, based on everyone’s availability, and the ups and downs of the pandemic. This time the schedule finally “stuck.”

As with our trip to Italy last fall, nothing is risk-free at this point, but cases are declining and I’ll be taking every precaution. I’m vaxxed and boosted (as are the other participants), and I have plenty of high-quality masks which I’ll use as needed, as I’ve been doing here in L.A. I’ll be testing regularly as well.

I’ve been advised that the training schedule will be intensive for the two weeks starting Monday. You may see a mix of new posts and “encores” of some of your favorites during this time.

Stay in touch.

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  1. Susan
    February 10, 2022 / 2:54 am

    Congratulations on your Red Leopard adventure. You are heading off to London at a good time since BoJo is scrapping the Covid restrictions, no need for a pre entry Covid test even. Have a great time and I am sure you will be excited to share what you learn with your readers.

    • February 10, 2022 / 11:25 am

      I cannot wait for you to return and share your knowledge. What fun!

  2. Karen
    February 10, 2022 / 3:22 am

    Congratulations and best of luck on this new and exciting journey

  3. Barb
    February 10, 2022 / 3:23 am

    Congratulations sounds exciting!

  4. R
    February 10, 2022 / 4:10 am

    Exciting! The colors you have chosen to wear over the last few years are so flattering to your skin tone and hair. I’m excited that you will be bringing Red Leopard magic to the US.

  5. Sandi Skalicky Mcdougall
    February 10, 2022 / 4:14 am

    I am very excited for you Susan & look forward to your posts when you start your journey analyzing your clients.

  6. Rita
    February 10, 2022 / 4:15 am

    What exciting news! Will be so interesting to follow this new journey. Hope the weather cheers up here before you arrive
    I remember when you posted about having your colours done at Red Leopard and thoroughly enjoyed that post, I have never had a colour analysis done so I found it really intriguing.

  7. Kath
    February 10, 2022 / 4:19 am

    What a delightful big surprise. Didn’t see that coming. Enjoy!

  8. Teresa
    February 10, 2022 / 4:19 am

    I’m so excited for you! Have an amazing time! What a great adventure! I would love to be out on your list for having my colors done by you once you are trained. I had my colors done a year or so ago but would love to have them done again to make sure I’m on the right path. I’ve never been to San Diego and would love to take a trip out there!

  9. Barbara Satt
    February 10, 2022 / 4:40 am

    I love following you as I am a “spring “. Way back when the color book came out I got my color done. In New Orleans we used to have a shop where different rooms were designated the four colors with clothes and make up. Such fun

  10. SuD
    February 10, 2022 / 4:45 am

    Congratulations on your color training adventure!

  11. S
    February 10, 2022 / 4:45 am

    Will be looking forward to hearing all about your adventures

  12. Téa
    February 10, 2022 / 4:59 am

    Wow! Congratulations! Excited for you and your knowledge. Have an amazing trip!

  13. Diane B
    February 10, 2022 / 5:05 am

    I am so happy for you. That is exciting. I would love to do that, but in our small town, I just can’t see it working. Just think of all the information you will be processing in the next two weeks. I remember you saying how you wanted to do this after you were done, and now it is coming true. Have fun while you are there, and if you don’t have time to post, we will understand. Just fill us in when you get home. Safe travels.

  14. Karen
    February 10, 2022 / 5:07 am

    Good luck Susan! I’d love to come to SoCal and have a proper color analysis done by you.

  15. February 10, 2022 / 5:18 am

    This is so exciting! I think I’ll be needing to do a SoCal road trip….

    I love color. When I directed Little Women The Musical a few years ago, I got the idea to have the four March sisters dressed in the colors that I thought would correspond to their personalities: Jo, Winter; Amy, Summer; Beth, Fall; and Meg, Spring. With the exception of the actor playing Meg, those colors worked with their personal palettes. (My Meg was definitely a winter, so we kind of went for a clear spring with her so that she wouldn’t look washed out.) It really worked to establish who they were.

  16. Sallie Simpson
    February 10, 2022 / 5:35 am

    Congratulations, Susan! I’m excited to be following along on your journey. Safe travels!

  17. Bonnie
    February 10, 2022 / 6:02 am

    Susan, I have been wondering, do you think your colors will change when your hair is gray?

    • Susan Blakey
      February 10, 2022 / 6:13 am

      Hi Bonnie, because my color analysis was based on skin tone, I’ll still be a Spring. However some of my “best” colors within the palette may shift. We’ll see…

    • Lily
      February 10, 2022 / 9:37 am

      Bonnie, I was wondering the same thing. Hair color is noticeably light or dark, golden or ashy. Most complexions just look neutral to my eye. It will be interesting to follow Susan’s journey.

  18. Kerry
    February 10, 2022 / 6:14 am

    Susan, This is so exciting. Congratulations. I can’t wait to follow you on your journey. This has been something I’ve been considering investing in for some time now. I’d love to be one of your first clients. 🙂

  19. Carolyn Varick
    February 10, 2022 / 6:18 am

    I’m excited for this new step in your adventure with color and style. As you transition to your new natural hair color, do you anticipate needing to ‘tweak’ your color profile?

    • Susan Blakey
      February 10, 2022 / 6:21 am

      Hi Carolyn, thanks! What I’m anticipating is that I’ll still be a Spring, but some of my “best” colors within the Spring palette may shift.

  20. Barbara B.
    February 10, 2022 / 6:23 am

    I like your stylish new ‘do’. Youthful and lifting. I think it’s important to keep our haircuts current as we mature, but without having to go punky or spiky or pink to make a statement. I’m very interested to see how gray hair color will affect skin tone and what if any will changes will be made with your makeup and wardrobe color choices. I find that my friends who have switched to gray often forget to have their makeup redone. Best of luck in your class.

  21. Vicki
    February 10, 2022 / 6:39 am

    OMG, I am so excited for you and my own analysis from you once you get back!
    Sign me up. I get out to LA from time time to time, and I’ll definitely be scheduling a consult with you.
    Congratulations, such a nice second career to kick off!
    Yeah Susan!

  22. Paula
    February 10, 2022 / 6:50 am

    Susan this is good news. How exciting. I have been very interested in color analysis ever since you introduced us to Red Leopard.
    Looks nice king forward to hearing about your experience.
    Safe travels!

  23. Elizabeth
    February 10, 2022 / 7:01 am

    Congratulations on your training! Exciting news. Your new haircut looks great and the mix of blonde and gray is very pretty.

  24. Joan Sunderland
    February 10, 2022 / 7:21 am

    Yes – very exciting! The new skills will be a wonderful addition. My sister and I are scheduled for a color analysis at Red Leopard this September. Will you be ready for color consulting by or before then?

    • Susan Blakey
      February 10, 2022 / 7:31 am

      Hi Joan, I’m not sure yet, but you should definitely keep that appointment with Red Leopard…they are the best!

  25. sosusam
    February 10, 2022 / 7:28 am

    Lovely haircut. Hopefully it’ll be easy to care for while you’re immersed in your color training. Have a wonderful time! Can’t wait to read what you have to say about it–and about your new profession–when you return.

  26. Susan D.
    February 10, 2022 / 7:32 am

    This is exciting news Susan! I look forward to hearing about your training and your ongoing exploration of this field. I really do love the changes you made after your own Red Leopard analysis. You have never looked better!

  27. Kerrie
    February 10, 2022 / 7:44 am

    Wonderful news, have a great time and thank you for your time and efforts with the blog…you’ve helped me get through these last two years!!!!

  28. Marian
    February 10, 2022 / 7:46 am

    Adding my congratulations! I have been fascinated by the color palettes and your information on all of this. Best wishes! PS: Love the Madewell sweater/jacket!

  29. February 10, 2022 / 7:48 am

    Love the haircut, love that jacket, and happy to hear your much-delayed Red Leopard training is finally on. (Traveling from dry, 90-degree L.A. to wet, 45-degree London will be an interesting challenge, but I’m sure your packing skills are equal to the task.) When you return and hang out your shingle, I may have a SoCal referral for you!

  30. Florida Lyn
    February 10, 2022 / 7:53 am

    Love your haircut. You have hair like mine, so I gave my hairdresser a picture of one of your earlier shaggy cuts. It meant nothing to her. I ended up with a close-cropped little cap that is still way too short after two months of growth. The good news — I won’t need another haircut for at least six more months. I hope that will be enough time for me to find someone new, I’ll be taking your latest photo with me and try again. (Can I switch to someone else in the same salon? There aren’t many choices in my little town.)

    • CD
      February 10, 2022 / 2:14 pm

      Florida Lyn, you definitely can — and probably should! — switch to someone else in the same salon. That stylist evidently doesn’t have the experience and/or understanding to do a layered cut. Are there any larger towns within a reasonable driving distance? If you’re only getting a cut or trim every three months or so, it might be worth the drive a couple times a year. Good luck!

  31. February 10, 2022 / 7:54 am

    Great haircut and that jacket seems perfect to me! Kind of a bridge between your corporate self and your Spring Gamine. Have a spectacular time in London, and in training. I look forward to seeing/hearing what you’ve learned.

  32. Ellen
    February 10, 2022 / 7:56 am

    Fun news! I love following you as I’m a Spring also (I think!) with a similar style. But though I am learning, my eye is not trained to distinguish colors very well. Look forward to sharing your new adventure!

  33. Elisabeth Mestlin
    February 10, 2022 / 8:10 am

    So exciting, have fun .

  34. Sandra
    February 10, 2022 / 8:14 am

    Best of luck to you, Sue, in your new career. I know you’ll be great at this! I had my colors done in 1987 and it was a real game changer.

  35. Stephanie Ashworth
    February 10, 2022 / 8:23 am

    Exciting news! I can’t wait to hear all about it since I am considering doing the same! Safe travels and best of luck!

  36. Glenda
    February 10, 2022 / 8:33 am

    That is big news Sue and very exciting for you! Your new “do” really suits you and will be a good foundation as you grow out your grey. There is nothing like a good stylist who knows what they’re doing. Safe travels Sue!

  37. Judy
    February 10, 2022 / 8:35 am

    Sue very excited about your trip and color training and can’t wait to hear all the details. I have had my
    colors done And also going gray. I have a bit more gray than you but still months to go. I am a winter.
    Have a wonderful time and learn a lot.

  38. Amy
    February 10, 2022 / 9:11 am

    Congratulations, Susan! I always enjoy your posts, and now I’m looking forward to hearing about your training and its effect on your style thoughts and ideas. I remember when you changed your palette completely after your personal Red Leopard consultation. It was a big, bold shift for you but it seemed to really gave you a kick-start that helped you to blossom into your own beautiful authentic style! I love your new haircut, too – very flattering. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us, and have a wonderful time in London!

  39. Diane
    February 10, 2022 / 9:17 am

    Congratulations and I am so excited for you. Safe travels and have fun!

  40. Susan Adams
    February 10, 2022 / 9:21 am

    I must say that after your color analysis, your outfits were so much more flattering! Your color choices played up the color of your hair, skin, and eyes, rather than ignoring them. I’m sure it’s been a difficult (and probably expensive!) shift, but so worth it: You look much more vibrant and alive in your appropriate color palette. Well done!

  41. Cath
    February 10, 2022 / 9:59 am

    Cool! I completely understand why you have decided to train with Red Leopard in London, Susan.
    Your style has really evolved since your previous experience. I believe I might be the same season, however now my hair is truly greyish, rather than honey blonde ( with help) so colours are looking different.
    You will be so busy, but perhaps have some time to visit some of your favourite places (shops?) while there. I’m sure you’ll be sharing as much as you are able to, considering your busy days.
    I am highly anticipating my visit to the studio in late April. Arriving up Thames on board a small cruise ship, and spending a few days in London before carrying on my holiday.
    Have a blast!

  42. OC Susan
    February 10, 2022 / 10:03 am

    Love the hair cut – it looks great on you! And have patience with the growing out period. I did it last year, although I went very short to get it over with faster. (And, I have always had short hair, so very short, which it still is, a la Jamie Curtis, wasn’t that much of a stretch for me.) And much, much luck and congratulations on the Red Leopard training. How very, very exciting for you! Can’t wait to read all about it after the two week training is over!

  43. Deanna
    February 10, 2022 / 11:05 am

    Exciting news! Safe travels and enjoy the training! Can’t wait to see what direction your new knowledge will take you!

    • Deanna
      February 10, 2022 / 11:06 am

      Also, can’t wait to see your travel capsule for this trip, even if we have to wait until you’re safely back in the states.

  44. Eve
    February 10, 2022 / 12:06 pm

    It seems like the logical next step. How exciting for you. Can’t wait to see how you transform people with color.

  45. Joyce
    February 10, 2022 / 12:18 pm

    I cannot wait for you to return and start sharing your new knowledge. Would love to com to SoCal for color analysis. Enjoy.

  46. Elizabeth
    February 10, 2022 / 12:38 pm

    What a marvelous- and logical- extension of the work you’ve been doing with your blog! Can’t wait to see and learn more from you in the weeks ahead. Have a fabulous time in London, where hopefully your training won’t take ALL of your time!

  47. MicMacinMN
    February 10, 2022 / 12:49 pm

    Congratulations! It has been tremendous fun to see the change in your approach to better compliment your style and color palette over the past few years. It has inspired me and changed how I choose clothing and colors.

  48. Pat
    February 10, 2022 / 1:12 pm

    This is exciting news especially with your change of hair color. Since Covid I have grown out my hair. I am only partly gray I am a a former blond now a mousy light brown with gray. My base used to be a warmer somewhat golden and now I am ashy and colors do seem to be different on me so I am interested to see how this works out for you,

  49. Dree
    February 10, 2022 / 1:34 pm

    Love the haircut, I also have fine hair and this is a great solution. Can you just air dry, or do you have to style with a blower?

  50. February 10, 2022 / 3:24 pm

    Congratulations on this new adventure and off to London you go!
    I love your style !

  51. Alexandra Martella
    February 10, 2022 / 4:02 pm

    How exciting!!! Congratulations!! Have a wonderful trip and can’t wait to hear all about it. Safe travels!

  52. Cheryl
    February 10, 2022 / 4:15 pm

    Please, what products do you use to keep your hair looking so lovely?

  53. February 10, 2022 / 6:10 pm

    How exciting! I look forward to hearing about your experience with Red Leopard.

    I’m going for a haircut tomorrow. I’m planning on a fairly drastic change, so I’m both excited and a bit apprehensive!

  54. Eileen
    February 10, 2022 / 6:10 pm

    How exciting! Great news! I look forward to hearing all about your experience.

  55. Jacqueline
    February 10, 2022 / 7:10 pm

    Wow! This is a wonderful opportunity for you as well as your followers! So excited for you!

  56. Hildred
    February 10, 2022 / 7:51 pm

    What a fantastic experience you will have! Jealous of the chance to go to London – feels like I’ve been stuck here in NJ forever. So looking forward to all the new knowledge you’ll be bringing back to share with us.

  57. Helen
    February 10, 2022 / 8:40 pm

    Fab news Susan! Enjoy the course.

    All the very best,


  58. Janet
    February 11, 2022 / 7:39 am

    Excited for you with this new adventure. Can’t wait to hear what you learn. Also looking forward to possibly engaging your services as there is no one in my area providing this service. Safe travels.

  59. February 11, 2022 / 10:34 am

    Wow!!! Your hair is fantastic!! The bang length sweep it super cute, flattering, fun and stylish!! I saved the first pic for my personal reference. Me as an artist need that.
    Very excited for your London trip. I want to go with you!!! LOLOLOL Have a great time. I look forward to watching you IG and Blog posts.
    I want to meet all the color experts in person.
    Happy travels my dear friend an lovely client.

  60. Lee Rosenthall
    February 13, 2022 / 1:42 pm

    This is SO EXCITING and (to my mind anyway) is just the logical next step in your amazing color transformation. I’m sure you’ll be a wonderful addition to the Red Leopard team. And it’s wonderful that we’ll have someone from Red Leopard on this side of the pond, even if you’re over on the “left” coast. FWIW, I’m always telling friends about your trip to London and Red Leopard and what an amazing difference it’s made. You’re truly an inspiration!

    • Susan Blakey
      February 14, 2022 / 1:08 am

      Hi Lee, thanks! I’m not actually going to be a part of the Red Leopard “team” but am grateful to have the opportunity to train with them.

  61. Maggie Vita
    March 19, 2022 / 9:16 pm

    I cannot wait for you to launch your own personal styling service, and hope to be one of your first clients. Try as I might, I simply cannot figure out if I’m warm, cool, neutral, summer, spring, fall…I need help! I tend to go with neutrals and add a little pop of color here and there as an accent. I would LOVE to be able to select the most flattering makeup and clothing colors for me. Sign me up!

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