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Photos: (top row), (middle row), (bottom row)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of signature style (you can read my musing on celebrities with a signature look here  Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but my salon appointments aren’t as dramatic as they used to be. In my twenties every visit to the salon yielded a major change—inches chopped or dramatic new color—but now that I’m in my thirties I’m more likely to opt for a subtle shift in formula, or a slight tweak in the shape of my bangs. I’m hesitant to make big changes, in part because I want to be easily recognizable. I want someone who sees my picture online to recognize me at a conference or trade show. There’s a lot of talk these days about branding, and I think many of us want to be seen as a self-sufficient package, autonomous and valuable. Beauty bloggers are a great example; they need to walk the line between having a clear, consistent aesthetic and offering inspiration that is surprising enough to maintain interest. Click the notes to learn how three of my favorites—Lua P, Nadia Esra, and Ebba Zingmark—get it just right. –– Laura Martin

Lua P: Although her look is pretty edgy, Lua keeps her hair very consistent: red, long, ombre ends. Shifts in contrasts (from dip dye to soft melt) and tone (from copper to brick to magenta) provide just enough variation to keep her look fresh.

Nadia Esra: Shaggy layers, warm red tones and asymmetric bangs are the hallmarks of Nadia’s signature look, but she experiments a lot, darkening and lightening her color, wearing her bangs long and short, changing the texture from long and lean to wild and bushy. Her quirky attitude and playful style are perfectly suited to her funky red mop.

Ebba Zingmark: Not many people can pull off every hair color from dark copper to icy silver, but Ebba can. Her soft waves, simple cut and off-center part keep her chameleon mane from feeling too crazy. Her hair proves that even if you like to experiment you can still have a signature look.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter @LarMarStyle

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