Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Hair Trends: Color, Braids, Bangs, Bobs, and Bling!

Candy-Colored Hair: Dianna, Katy and Kate
As 2011 comes to a close, we take a look back at some of the most popular hair trends, and the celebrities who sported them for all the world to see. While the rest of us went quietly about our lives with the same cuts and colors, we didn’t have to dodge the paparazzi, and for that we can all be thankful!
Candy-Colored Hair: Or, if we’re honest about most of what we saw, we’ll just call it Kool Aid-colored hair instead! On the whole, it simply was NOT appealing, as proven by Dianna Agron and Kate Bosworth, who both looked as if they waited until their parents weren’t home and dip-dyed their hair in Kool Aid. It just doesn’t look appealing. If you want to do something like this, you need a professional, not a home dye job. Look at the difference between Katy Perry and the other two. She may be wearing a funky haircolor, but it looks professionally done, healthy, and well-colored. Check out our blog post from November 10, “Bobbing for Color.” THAT’S what playing around with funky colors should look like!
Temporarily Red: Blake, Drew, and Scarlett

Seeing Red: This year, we saw requests to “go red” surpass those to “become a blonde.” It’s a tough, demanding haircolor, but if you’re thinking about becoming a redhead, now is most definitely the time. But it cannot be stressed enough that a change like this really must be done professionally. There are so many shades of red -- cool reds, hot reds, warm reds, red-reds, which you can see just by looking at Blake Lively, Drew Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson – that you need an expert to choose the right shade for your skin tone. And because red haircolor is most prone to fading, a professional will do a “double dip” to make your new color last longer, as well as recommend the best products to extend the life of your new red-hot look. 
On Top: Gwen, Reese, and Jennifer

Topknots: It is refreshing to see a clean, classical look like the ballerina topknot come back into style, but with a bit of a twist on each celebrity’s version. We especially liked Gwen Stefani’s, with that edge of messiness to soften its perfection. Those strands falling around her face are sexy, just like she is, and just go to show how really casual and do-able the topknot actually is. Reese Witherspoon’s is very neat and the most formal, and Jennifer Lopez’s has just a little bit of imperfection, and they all work perfectly. 

Let's Be Blunt: Rose, Nicole, and Sandra
Blunt Bangs: Blunt bangs can be a very attractive and dramatic (think of Anjelica Huston or early Cher) signature look, but you have to really want them and prepared to live with them, for they can also be very severe. In earlier blog posts, we commented that we didn’t like them at all on Rose Byrne, whose delicate face was overpowered by such a heavy fringe. When Sandra Bullock surprised celebrity watchers by showing up with them at an awards show earlier in the year, opinions were mixed, but she has much stronger featured and a longer face to balance them out. Nicole Ritchie wears them most successfully here, because hers are not really as blunt. They’re cut at a graduated angle, have some wispiness to them, and don’t overpower her face.

Braided Ladies: Shakira, Nina, and Stacy
Braids: Braids are back in, but they’re not as neat and clean – like Nina Dobrev’s or Stacy Keibler’s – today as they were in earlier trends. Even Shakira’s is rather neat. Lately it’s fishtail braids and messy, homemade-looking braids that were all over the runways this year. The irony is that there is a method to making a good, casually controlled, slightly messy braid, and it takes a hairstylist to do it.

Ladies Who Lob: Julianne, Emily, and Brooklyn
Long Bobs: May we refer you our December 16 blog post, “Which Lob Do You Love?” Both Emily Blunt and Brooklyn Decker were featured, and Julianne Hough was cut for space, but not for her great cut.

Hair “Bling”: Hair jewelry, hair accessories, and then there’s always the fascinators! These jeweled hair accessories are a way to add glamour to a look without resorting to the usual necklace/earrings pairing. 

Hair Jewels: Kate, Jessica, and Emma
In fact, you’ll notice that Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, and Emma Stone have all foregone necklaces, and if they are wearing earrings, they are small or very delicate. In the case of Kate and Jessica, both pregnant at the time, it allowed them to spotlight a glowing décolleté in a strapless gown. In spite of the jewels involved, all of this “hair bling” has a slightly Bohemian feeling that juxtaposes beautifully with their formal gowns.

It has been a wonderful year in fashion and beauty (mostly good, and some trends we hope will expire at midnight on December 31st), and we expect nothing less for 2012! Have a safe and happy New Year, and we’ll be back next week. Until then, ciao!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Attention Getters: If You Want It, You Got it!

Jessie J.
We live in a world where anything goes, and we have the luxury of freedom of speech, freedom of art – and in this case, we may be seeing a little bit of both in these two-toned hair colors. They’re all attitude and a reflection of the personality behind the look. They say, “If you like how I look, great; if not, too bad.” These ladies are not trying to please anyone except themselves – that’s it for them. It takes a strong attitude and sometimes a thick skin to make choices that will polarize people’s opinions. These are not hair colors just anyone can wear, which is why the majority of these women are musicians. The majority of us have careers that would not allow us to show up with this hair – we’d be escorted from the building with our personal coffee mug and few family snaps in a sad cardboard box.

Porcelain Black
Here’s something to notice about such drastic contrasts. Look at the photo of Porcelain Black and notice whether her makeup works with the white AND black sides of her hair. Also, each color enhances or camouflages her features, particularly her nose -- probably not something anyone considered when processing her hair. 

Sharni Vinson
With Sharni Vinson, the red-tipped ponytail is definitely a hairpiece, and that’s a very good place to start if you’re considering a drastic color change like those in this blog post. By trying on a hairpiece for a day or two that replicates the look you are considering, you give yourself the chance to make a better informed decision. Try it at home, show it to your significant other and your friends, and get their reactions. If they’re overwhelmingly negative, have another think. 

Jordin Sparks
Oh Land
These accent dyes, like Jessie J’s vivid purple, Jordin Sparks bright lavender, Oh Land’s strawberry pink, and Katy Perry’s former hot pink are very hard to remove (as you can see from the remains still left in Katy’s hair). 

Katy Perry
By using clip-in hairpieces or colored extensions, you can live with it and decide if it’s something you really want to commit to, and if so, then you can have it done. 

But know that the maintenance is tremendous, and the colors fade fairly quickly, so you’ll be in the salon often, and you’ll also have to invest in the right shampoos and conditioners to maintain the color as best you can. Another consideration is that these colors will bleed the same as any haircolor will. Expect to see that pink or purple on your towels and pillowcases after every washing, and if you get caught in the rain in a white shirt, your hair will bleed onto it as well.

Peaches Geldof
Demetria McKinney
Some of these ladies, like Peaches Geldof, Demetria McKinney, and Daphne Guinness haven’t the same concern, as their second color was created by lightening or heavily bleaching their base color. 

Daphne Guinness
They’ll have an easier time making the switch back should they change their minds, since no color removal is involved, but their upkeep is still going to be a major investment. And Porcelain Black, whose original color was probably neither platinum blonde nor coal black, will spend many hours in her colorist’s chair removing the black without damage while protecting her already fragile bleached hair from further stress.

Either way, drastic two-toned hair color is a way to make a statement and get attention. Just be ready for the stares!

Have a wonderful holiday, and ciao until next week…   

Friday, December 16, 2011

Which ‘Lob’ Do You Love?

Olivia Palermo
Somewhere along the line, the long version of the bob haircut became one of those words like “brunch” (breakfast + lunch) or “Brangelina” (Brad + Angelina), morphing into the “Lob.” Want to sound really intellectual? These are known as “portmanteau words.” Be sure to use that one over brunch with Brangelina the next time you’re abroad.

Jennifer Anniston
In the meantime, here we have a series of lobs on a variety of lovely celebs, and we want to know – which lob is your favorite? 

Jennifer Hudson
And which lob do you feel would look best on you? Now, those might not be the same two lobs, depending on your hair’s texture, length, and how much time you’re willing to commit to styling.

Emily Blunt
The beauty of the lob is that while it is stunning when styled to play up its angles and shine through blowouts and flat-ironing, it is also versatile enough to wear au natural, since it is long enough to feel sexy yet short enough to free up your natural texture.

Brooklyn Decker
Naomi Campbell
When you look at these lobs, notice each one is a complete package: styling, multi-dimensional haircolor, and full makeup. 

Yvonne Strahovski
And notice the versatility of the basic cut: Center parts, deep side parts, side-swept bangs, blunt bangs, piece-y bits, height at the crown, forward angles with the back a bit shorter than the front, ends curled under, ends flipped up.

No matter the lob, it’s a style that doesn’t just hang there. All of them have nice movement, whether it’s a bit tousled and lived-in, or sliding like silk. So let us know which Lob you love.

Until next week, ciao!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Art of Facial ‘Manscaping’

George Clooney, who can do no "manscaping" wrong
The young ladies who come into my salon taught me a new term for their men’s constant changes in facial hair: Manscaping. I thought it perfectly embodies what we men do with our ability to grow, sculpt,  shave off, and then re-grow our facial hair, and just like “landscaping” it can be used to accentuate or disguise natural features and contours.

George Lucas
Sam Elliot
Facial hair can disguise a weak chin or otherwise undistinguished face (George Lucas), a too-long upper lip area (Sam Elliot), or a thin upper lip (Tom Selleck). 
Tom Selleck

Christian Bale
Zach Galafiniakis
It can change the proportions of the face, balance out a too-prominent nose (Christian Bale), sculpt contours that create the illusion of prominent cheekbones, camouflage the beginnings of a double chin (Zach Galafiniakis), and even bring back a youthful look by the careful and professional application of darkening agents to facial hair, which often begins to grey long before the hair on a man’s head. 

Jake Gyllenhal
Here we present to you a series of side-by-side images of men, with and without their trademark facial hair, and ask you to tell us which look you prefer, and what you would change if he were YOUR man (for the ladies), or if it was YOUR face (for the gents). 

Adrien Grenier
Full beard, just a moustache, or clean shaven? A little bit of scruff, or not? Goatee, chinstrap, or sculpted and groomed full beard? No facial hair at all? 

Steve Carell
For some of these celebrities, facial hair is grown for a role (Jake Gyllenhaal), or grown in between roles when they don’t have to attend to their grooming (Adrien Grenier, Steve Carell). 

Josh Hartnett
John Mayer
Some of them are so attractive that anything they do is going to look good (George Clooney), and some of them choose to look deliberately scruffy to downplay their looks (Josh Harnett, John Mayer, and most famously, Brad Pitt) or to make themselves look older or "manlier" (Burt Reynolds in his early career, when he was thought "too pretty," and androgyny was NOT a ticket seller).
Burt Reynolds

Now, gentlemen, look in the mirror, and ask yourself, “Could any of these facial hair ideas work for me?” Then, the next time you visit your stylist, ask him or her if it is something you should consider.

Unlike when a woman invests hundreds of dollars in a new cut or haircolor and has to consider that she’s likely to incur another round of spending if she changes her mind, you, my friend, can always shave it off… 

Until next week, ciao!