Breaking Hair Trend: Androgynous Beauty And The Politics Of Art

We tend to categorize hair trends by three categories- cut, color and style. And it’s easy to see why: approaching the latest hair trends through these parameters makes it easy to understand, codify, learn and create these looks for ourselves. But often, hair trends are about more than these structural markers: they are entire moods and movements in themselves. And like all the best art forms, hair trends can be heartbreakingly beautiful and shockingly political.

Those who criticize fashion for being frivolous fail to see that it is about more than just what you see in the mirror: in fact, it’s usually about holding up a mirror to society, inviting deeper reflection and inspiring change. Fashion has always been about challenging the status quo, and if you can have a little fun along the way, why not?

One of the biggest breakout hair trends of 2016 has been the rise of androgynous hair trends at a global level. 2016 has been the year of breaking down gendered barriers and social constructs and building a new society and reality marked by love, self-acceptance and non-binary discourse. And for once, the question of whether art reflects life or inspires it doesn’t matter, because when you’ve got a shot at changing the world just by changing your hair, why won’t you take it?

Androgynous hair is all about breaking traditional notions about beauty and forcing us to reimagine ‘normal’. Whoever said girls can’t rock buzz cuts? Or that platinum blonde hair is too fey for a man? It’s important to recognize that the quietest forms of expression sometimes carry the loudest messages. And the beautiful thing about the androgynous beauty movement is that it’s been around the block for a while. There was a time when the idea of women wearing anything but dresses or men wearing floral prints and ‘feminine’ colors was enough to give anyone pause. And yet, today, these choices seem completely regular. Back when Coco Chanel pushed for trousers for women and David Bowie proudly slashed on some electric eye shadow, society at-large was stunned. And yet, after surprise gave way to shock, and shock to acceptance, we learned that ‘different’ doesn't equate to ‘dangerous’. And in 2016, we’re still learning that lesson and it’s heartening to see how every generation has its own way of expressing beauty, empathy, self-confidence and love.

Androgynous hairstyles have steadily been gaining popularity over the last couple of months, but you know a hair trend has hit the big time when it’s all over the Fashion Week runways. And Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 turned out one gender-fluid look after the other! I think we’re only just getting started with the androgynous look, so if you’d like to get your pick in early for next season, stay tuned.

If the words ‘androgynous hair’ immediately bring up a picture of pixie haircuts to your mind, you’re in for a treat. While the gamine pixie is the face of the androgynous movement, Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 showed us that there is more than one way to express yourself- and isn’t that just what this trend is about? We saw braided crowns, messy shags, bowl cuts, choppy layers, cropped curls, buzzed sides and slick textures. We saw a world of cuts, colors, lengths, dimensions and finishes- all working to remind us that there’s no single route to beauty.

If you’re in the mood for some striking for the winter or you’re looking to reinvent/ rediscover yourself in the new year, here are some greats ways in which you can try the androgynous hair trend:

·      Ask your stylist for bangs. A full, blunt fringe is hard to maintain but it does have a certain sensual quality to it. If you’re new to bangs, opt for a wispier fringe and use a hairstyling product to mold it into soft, messy spikes over the forehead.

·      Experiment with hair color. There are two ways to play with the androgynous look through hair dyes: either by picking a gender-neutral hair color like silvery grey/ charcoal/ forest green or by opting for one that is traditionally not associated with your gender. Pastel hair colors and rainbow hair are also a great way to play with androgynous beauty.

·      Slick finishes are a key element of androgynous style. Use wet-look hairstyling products to get the right texture. You can either wear your locks in slicked down hairstyles or combine a slick, glassy finish with messier, roughed-up arrangements.

·      Pompadours work beautifully with all lengths, face shapes and personalities. Pompadours in short hair can be held in place with stronghold styling products and hairspray. Pompadours in long hair just need to be pinned into place and make the perfect accent to loose hair, ponytails, buns and updos!

·      Remember Audrey Hepburn’s barely-there fringe from Breakfast At Tiffany’s? It’s one of 2016’s biggest hair trends. And it’s got the same charm as the Twiggy pixie.

·      If you’re not ready for an all-new hairstyle just yet, give your current look a mini-makeover by buzzing down the sides. Buzzed sides work well with most haircuts as long as you’ve got the confidence to carry them off. If you’re keeping the rest of your look as-is, they also add a touch of dichotomy to the look, which is always great.

At the heart of it, androgynous hair is about freedom: the freedom to be, to change, to express yourself and to offer no explanations. Don’t overthink it, don’t over-style it. Just be.

New Trend Alert: Orange Hair Color!

This just in: there’s a new hair color trend in town and it’s taking the world by storm. Hot off the runways of the Spring Summer 2017 Fashion Week I give you: the orange hair color trend!

It’s bold, it’s sexy and it’s startling. Everything you need in a new hair trend. And it’s checking two super-essential boxes:

·      The orange hair color trend is in keeping with all the crazy, rule-breaking hair color trends we’ve seen and loved over the last few seasons.

·      It’s a universally flattering shade and you’re sure to be able to find the perfect orange hair color for just about every skin tone.

And the timing really could not be more perfect: what’s more Fall-appropriate than the color of fire, pumpkins and autumn leaves? And what’s more is, orange hair color has all the makings of a perfect transition color: the perfect balance of light and dark, vibrant and moody, playful yet impactful and so on. If you’re ready to leave summer behind but don’t want to go down the brunette route and are also tired of red hair being everyone’s go-to color for the season, this trend could not come at a better time.

Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 turned up some fabulous hair trends and while you might have enough on your Pinterest board to keep you busy for months, we simply can’t ignore the fact that orange hair is happening now. We saw flame-colored tresses at several different shows, from the Ashley Williams and the PPQ Spring Summer 2017 showcases in London to the Max Mara runway in Milan. If the imagery of glowing embers, burning stars and sunsets isn’t enough to convince you, just take a look at the photos from the most prestigious of global fashion events and let your heart do the decision-making.

Now, as is the case with all hair color trends, there are different variants to pick and choose from. You can play around with light, pigment and layering to arrive at an orange that’s just right for you. But just in case you’re having a hard time picking one version, here are my favorites:

·      An unapologetic, fiery wash of pure, true orange. If you’re looking to make a major statement, wear it shot with streaks of a darker burnt-orange/ crimson hue and deeper brunette roots.

·      A softer, more pastel orange with blonde undertones. Think the color of pale carrots cast over a buttery blonde base. This might seem like the easier of the two shades at first sight but truth be told, it’s as much of a look as its louder cousin: it is ORANGE, after all!

When I first saw the darker orange hair in the first few days of Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017, I figured we’d found ourselves the perfect fall-to-winter 2016 shade. But, with the sheerer, pastel version we’ve also got the perfect bright hair color for spring-to-summer 2017.

Write to me and let me know what you think of this latest hair color trend? Is it too outré for you? Or are you sold- and ready to orange a visit with your colorist right away?


Top Hair Trends From Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017

And we’re finally done with the Spring Summer 2017 Fashion Weeks.  What an exhilarating experience it has been!  We’ve seen some great twists on classic hairstyles, some fresh new hairdos for the coming seasons and the genesis of some really solid hair trends that are bound to define the period for years to come. Wrapping up all this excitement is today’s post on the best hairstyles from Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017.

My list of the best hairstyles from the Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 is all about strong, statement style choices. If you’re looking for your edgy hairstyles fix, you’ve come to the right place. Paris proved to be an interesting experience in terms of just how many gritty, bold hair trends we witnessed on the runways. There’s a time and mood for classic hairstyles and then there’s this.

Acne Studios

We’re leading today’s pack with another blunt bob. Now, you might wonder, just how many bobs can a person lust after? The answer is thus: all of them! Curly, straight, angular, blunt, tipped with blunt bangs or side fringes- it’s all welcome here! Blunt bobs are the short haircut for winter 2016-spring 2017. They’re sassy, sexy and so easy to maintain.

Whenever I’m discussed short hairstyles in general and bobs in particular, I like to point out just how easy it is play with textures with this length. And it’s true: you can wear bobs straight, slick, wavy, curly, gritty- you name it. It’s honestly like waking up and choosing to be a new person every day. While experimenting with textures in long hair can be just as rewarding, let’s be honest: it’s quite tiring and time-consuming. But a blunt bob can go from a poker-straight power hairdo to a flirty, tousled look in no time at all.

I’m particularly fond of this particular blunt bob because it’s the perfect marriage of strong lines to seductive curves. The ends and bangs look like you could cut yourself running your hand through the hair, while the soft crown lends a subtle femininity to the wearer. And that burnished copper color? What’s not to love!

Andrew Gn

Braided accents are a genius way to make any hairstyle pop. Placing cornrows at the side, above the ears, is a neat way to embellish everyday hairstyles like ponytails and buns. Of course, the swooping pompadour at the front adds a whole lot of oomph to the look as well.

If you don’t know how to braid cornrows, you can create ‘faux rows’ by:

·      Making tiny Dutch braids.

·      Taking teeny tiny sections of hair and twisting them in on themselves, thus making coiled rows that look like braids.

There are two things you must do to make these braided accents look good:

·      Make sure the braids lay flush with each other. Symmetry helps make more of an impact in this look.

·      Make sure the braids are equidistant. Be sure to put a little gap between each row because that really throws the style in relief and makes it pop.

To create the swooping pompadour, use your bangs or hair from the front. Add styling mousse and lift and position the pompadour by hand. Shape the pouf according to your face and you can keep it smooth or pinch sections together or make it piece-y. Wear with a low, loose ponytail or a chignon.

Christian Dior

More braids! I really love this look from the Christian Dior Spring Summer 2017 show at Paris. It’s such a refreshing take on the high bun. First, there’s the bun itself: at first glance, it looks like a polished variant of your everyday topknot, but at closer inspection you see it’s actually a looped bun.

The braided rows down the back are such a stroke of genius because they add so much pizzazz to a hairstyle we see all the time. You want to create the Dutch braids from the bottom-up and blend the ends (and hair ties) into the topknot.

Issey Miyake

There’s so much to love about this unique hairdo from the Issey Miyake show, from the looped ponytails to the mix of textures. Crimped hair is coming back in a big way with 90s revivalism but if you’re not ready to go all-out just yet, working it into small sections in a sleek base is a great way to experiment.

As for the hairdo itself, begin by creating three ponytails at the back of your head: two at the same level on the sides and the third higher up and to the center. Fold the upper ponytail and pin it onto your head, close to the neck, to create a loop. Then draw each of the lower ponytails through the loop carefully. They will fall at different heights, since one will lie atop the other. Push pins into the base of each section and wherever they meet the head for extra support. Unless you have long, thick hair, you’ll probably need some hair extensions for this look.

Manish Arora

Very few designers do ‘wacky wonderful’ quite as effectively as Manish Arora does. The Indian designer’s shows are always an explosion of color, texture and shapes and this year was no different. I saw a ton of pink hair and blue hair on the runway but this particular hairstyle really caught my eye because it’s wearable and striking at the same time. Mix cropped hair with long bangs and more length up top lets you create all sorts of interesting shapes and structures. The voluminous, side-swept quiff is sexy, strong and graceful and I’d love to see more of it on women everywhere. 

Paco Rabanne

Rose gold hair has been one of the biggest hair trends of 2016 and it shows no signs of slowing down yet. If you’re hesitant about an overall wash of pink hair, here’s an interesting take on the look: a small section of unusual hair color placed between more natural roots and ends. Pink sits most organically in blonde hair tones because it blends in better with lighter colors but you could always choose an accent color that suits your base and work with that. By keeping the roots and front natural as well as the mid-lengths and ends, you leave yourself room to play up or dial down the pastel tones as you wish. It looks absolutely delicious when worn loose and you can soften the impact by pulling your hair up into a voluminous topknot and bringing the ‘normal’ hair color front and center.

Yohji Yamamoto

Something about the placement of the white pigment in black hair really caught my eye at the Yohji Yamamoto Spring Summer 2017 show in Paris. The ebony and ivory hair color trend isn’t entirely unheard of, but it’s the first we've seen it in a long while. If you like playing with contrasts and the idea of duality in fashion appeals to you, you could experiment with a little hair color chalk before booking an appointment with your colorist. From a small patch to a full streak, here’s your chance to pay homage to the terrifying-but-glam Cruella de Vil.    

It’s hard to believe that Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 is already over, but I can’t wait to see how these looks translate into street style trends.


Top Hair Trends From Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017

Milan Spring Summer 2017 may have just earned its spot as my favorite Fashion Week so far! The styling was absolutely phenomenal. There was just so much beauty to take in and it’s evident that a lot of thought went into picking every aspect of each look: the hair, the makeup, the clothes, the accessories; truly, the entire experience was beyond inspirational. Which is why you’ll see that my list of the best hair trends from Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 is longer than all the others so far!

Bottega Veneta

The Bottega Veneta Spring Summer 2017 show in Milan was possibly the most talked-about event in the series. For starters, Lauren Hutton walking the ramp with her iconic purse from the film American Gigolo brought up all sorts of film and fashion nostalgia.

And then there was the styling: the perfect balance of bold and romantic. As seen on Gigi Hadid here, the models’ hair was parted to a side, combed down and tucked behind the ears, the slick texture working with the high side part to create the aura of the woman of today: formidable and fashionable. But what really kicks it up are the almost-hidden bejeweled hair barrettes that were only visible from the side. The duality of the hairstyle is what makes it so amazing: from the front you see a clean, sharp style that’s got just a hint of severity to it and then suddenly, there’s a bit of beautiful bijoux peeking out at you. Placement is key here: your barrette must be positioned behind the ear and at an angle such that it compliments the lines of your jaw and cheekbone. For max impact, pick an antique, jewel-encrusted hair accessory.

Daizy Shely

I had to throw in a great everyday hairstyle that’s versatile enough for the workplace and a fun date and this wet-look, slick shoulder-length hair cut is perfect for it. Since wet-look hairstyles have an undeniably edgy vibe to them, soften the look out with wispy side-swept bangs. Flipping the ends out also adds a subtle hint of femininity, drawing attention to the curve of the neck. As for choosing a side part that compliments your face, here’s a neat trick: position the part above the highest point of your brow and you’ll never go wrong with it.

Dolce & Gabbana

Every year when the Fashion Weeks roll around, there’s a sense of anticipation and excitement about what each city and its events will bring. You know you’re going to see some great things, and some that don’t really resonate with you. There always some surprises. But if there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that the Dolce & Gabbana Fashion Week runway will always, always be fabulous.

The Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer 2017 show included a lot of really beautiful hairstyles but the winning factor were the headpieces: they’re tremendous. In fact, the brand has a history with creating stupendous headgear and using hair accessories to dazzling effect. From crowns and tiaras fit for queens at the Spring 2015 showcase to the vibrant headscarves we saw during the Spring 2016 Fashion Week, Dolce & Gabbana have the hair accessories game down to a perfect art form. And this year is no different.

Now, you might not be able to wear a super blinged-out bejeweled headband (it feels almost reductionist to even call it that) on a daily basis, but if you’re looking to serve up some royal realness at a glam event or to make a costume pop, D&G Spring 2017 is rife with inspiration.

The trick to making statement hair accessories work is in doing two things right:

·      Make sure your hair accessory fits into/on your hairstyle and doesn’t fight with it. You don’t want to fidget endlessly or have sit awkwardly.

·      Play with makeup but remember, too many statements spoil a look. The D&G models usually carry the latest makeup trends, from oxblood lips to gold-rimmed eyes, but the overall effect is always sophisticated.


Schoolgirl ponytails might not be the most radical new hairstyle on the block, but thanks to Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn they’re H-O-T. And the Fendi Spring Summer 2017 runway is all the proof you need that pigtails can be pretty badass. Hairstylist Sam McKnight shared that the inspiration for the look was based on Karl Lagerfeld’s vision: Vanellope von Schweetz from the animation film Wreck-It Ralph. But to match the hair to the line’s more mature tone, the hairstyle was upgraded to an edgier, artsier version with high side parts, bold hair color and funky hair accessories. In fact, the crown was trimmed with the same decorative studs used on the bags from the Fendi SS17 line.


Some designer houses and brands favor a minimalistic aesthetic; others believe in going all-out. No prizes for guessing which category Gucci falls under. Just when you think there’s no way for the brand to go bigger, they do. It’s no mean feat, taking the whole ‘OTT’ concept and making it look great while still staying true to the core idea. Theatrical can be sexy and fashionable guys: Gucci is proof!

Now, the hairstyles from the Gucci Spring Summer 2017 are better placed for a theme party or a vintage-inspired look than daily wear, but that’s what makes them so fabulous: they’re simply not trying to fit in or be wearable! From the 50’s-inspired victory rolls to the Victorian-esqu braided beehive buns, the hair trends from Gucci SS17 are all about freedom. Can’t pick a particular moment in time or specific mood to work with? No problem. Use ‘em all! In fact, as Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele puts it, the essence of the brand’s styling choices is in “non-linear and unpredictable connections”.


It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for braids, and they just don’t get any better than braided updos! What we’re seeing here from the Leitmotiv Spring Summer 2017 show in Milan is the classic French braid- finished off with a bun. If you know how to make a French braid, this look is going to be very easy to pull off.

Create a French braid till the nape of your neck and then stop; here’s where it gets exciting: instead of continuing into a regular three-strand braid, roll your hair into a bun and secure it into place. You can go for a classic chignon or a messy knot or even a pulled-through half-bun-half-ponytail. If you want to recreate this slightly messy, sexy vibe, braid your hair loosely and don’t worry about flyaway. Tug on the loops of the braid gently once you’re done to fluff it up a bit.

You’ll notice that some of the models’ hair showed different textures: crimped sections weaving in and out of sleek, straight strands. These little details go a long way towards making a hairstyle look runway-ready. The real focus of this look is the backside of the hairstyle, but you can style the hair anyway you want at the front and sides: brushed back, finished with some loose face-framing locks and even decorated with hair accessories. At the end of the day, you can always put your own spin on the idea and make the look your own.


Ultra-short bangs continue to be one of 2016’s biggest hair trends and are poised to run hot in 2017 as well. We saw the Audrey Hepburn-inspired hair trend feature in several shows during London Spring Summer 2017 Fashion Week and here’s another way to wear the look in current times: with a soft, romantic updo like a side bun. Choppy, uneven bangs can make the trend look more modern and have a more organic feel to them as compared to blunt, straight-cut fringes. The deconstructed hairnet makes for an interesting hair accessory, but you’re probably going to want something a little more glam for a night out!


Cropped haircuts and bubblegum hair color are two major hair trends that can also be difficult to pull off. But the No.21 Spring Summer 2017 Milan show is making ‘punk pretty’ a real thing and how. I love the color: a blend of soft blondes and rose gold tipped with a punchy pink. The thing with experimenting with hair color trends in really short hair is that it’s a major statement without being too much of a look. The impact is powerful, but contained.


Ultra-short haircuts are all the rage right now and these blunt bobs are what’s hot for 2016-2017. As I’ve said before, short haircuts really open up the face and draw attention to the features and lend an air of confidence to the wearer. If you want a no-frills hairstyle that makes a big statement, take your cues from the Prada Spring Summer 2017 fashion show. These ear-length bobs are so sleek and precise they look like they’ve been created with a laser cutter.


Bored with your bangs? Want an easy route to recreating the 40s-inspired rockabilly hairstyles? Stylist Paul Hanlon’s work for the Rochas Spring Summer 2017 runway has earned its place in your 2017 trend look-book.

Firstly, pairing a softly textured lob with faux rockabilly bangs is pure genius. Working with extremes (short vs. long, old vs. new) is a great way to experiment with strong trends without feeling overwhelmed. Secondly, Hanlon takes all the work out of rockabilly hairstyles with this neat trick; all you have to do is curl your hair in the wrong direction et voila: you’ve got faux mini victory rolls with no effort at all!

I can’t wait to recreate the hair trends from Milan Fashion Week; which ones will you be trying?

Top Hair Trends From London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017


With the London Spring Summer 2017 Fashion Week behind us, it’s time to take a look at the major hair trends to come out of the LFW SS17 shows. It’s been such a great month for hair –for styling all around, really– what with the Fashion Weeks and the Emmys and TIFF 2017. Not only have we seen the return of some old favorites, but we’ve also been witness to some very exciting new hair trends as well, which I can’t wait to share with you.

Here’s my pick of the best hairstyles from London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017.

Bora Aksu

Need some inspiration for a kickass formal updo? How about this braided updo from the Bora Aksu show at London Fashion Week SS17? Most people are usually surprised to learn that the most complicated looking updos are usually an assembly of several simpler parts. Take, for instance, this braided bun: it isn’t a singular, intricately braided piece but, in fact, several skinny braids artfully arranged and pinned to resemble a bun. There’s still a lot of work involved, but what matters is that it’s easier than you expect it to be. Dividing the crown into 3 segments (two sides and one center) as seen in the photo makes styling easier.

Emilia Wickstead

I can never resist a good braid, especially a style that’s visible from the front. Front-to-back Dutch braids are a great way to look fashionable, keep hair away from the face and glam up any number of classic hairstyles: ponytails, buns, chignons etc.

The models from the Emilia Wickstead London SS17 show, however, wore their braids in loose hair, and it makes for a pretty, elfin look. Moving the hair away from the face is a great way to make your features pop, while still keeping things interesting with braids. Leaving it loose at the back adds a touch of softness and balances out the starkness of the braids.

If you’re worried about the braids coming undone, take a clear elastic and secure the braid in place, then continue braiding below the elastic band to add a few more loops and keep up the impression of free-flowing braid. This way, even if the last few loops open up, they won’t travel up beyond the elastic bands. You can also take a small strand of hair and weave it in and out of the elastic band to cover all traces of it.

Emilio de la Morena

Short bangs are one of 2016’s biggest hair trends, and they featured prominently in the London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 shows. Clearly, short bangs are going to be a major 2017 hair trend as well. The short choppy fringe was seen on models at the Emilio de la Morena show as well as the runway for Mary Katrantzou.

Ask your stylist to pick a length and shape that flatters your face type, since there’s really no way to disguise ultra short bangs and you will have to wait for them to grow out if you don’t like the look. Ask your stylists to balance out the super short front with tapered longer sides as these can help frame the face and soften the impact.

Very short bangs work best with small, heart-shaped faces and also somewhat longer, inverted-triangle shapes. You might want to avoid the style if you’ve got a round face because the blunt edges may clash with the soft curves of your face. Short bangs aren’t easy to work, but they are incredibly modish by virtue of the fact that they’re a pretty unusual styling choice. And if you’re feeling brave, what better way to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn than to wear this flirty, feminine look.

Molly Goddard

The models from the Molly Goddard show at London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 caught my eye immediately when they walked out. The bubble braid is such a cute look for a variety of casual events, and can be dressed up for a dressier look. And they’re SO easy to create.

Bubble braids are typically worn at the back, as an alternative to the standard ponytail. The inspiration, of course, is Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. You can wear the bubble braid at the back, or at the front as seen on the runway.

Begin by creating a ponytail wherever you want your braid to start. Then add an elastic band or hair tie at a small distance from the base. Gently tug on the section ensconced between the two bands to fluff it up and create the ‘bubble’. Repeat these steps all the way down the length of the ponytail, leaving a few inches free at the bottom. You can choose the length of each section on the basis of your overall length and the number of ‘bubbles’ you want to create. Just remember to secure the elastic bands tightly so that they stay put.

The best way to play up the bubble braid is to keep texture really smooth and sleek. You want a glass-like surface so that the ‘bubbles’ look like beautiful orbs just dangling there merrily. If you do want the look to feel slightly grittier, pairing a small quiff or pompadour and a bubble braid at the back is an excellent choice. For a more formal look, weave a pretty ribbon or a string of craft crystals around the braid or use decorative hair ties.

Sharon Wauchob

Short, boyish crops are all the rage in women’s hair trends right now and I love this look we saw at the Sharon Wauchob show in London. A short crop works beautifully in light hair and a long, full fringe is a great accent to add to the feathery, airy mood of the look. Parting the hair slightly to a side mimics the feel of side-swept bangs, even when you do have a full fringe as is seen here. I love how the ends have been flipped out slightly and the little extra outward-wave close to the ear really adds to the impression of fluidity and motion. A thin round-barrel brush and a hairdryer are all you need to create these ‘flips’.

Super short crops such as this one can actually play up your femininity, contrary to what common notion dictates. In fact, a full luscious fringe and the right accessories can balance the gamine appeal of the crop with a more glamorous aesthetic.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these hair trends from the London Spring Summer 2017 Fashion Week as much as I have. For your curly hair fix from the London Fashion Week, check out the hair trends from the Ashley Williams show as well as the Topshop Unique event. We’ll be coming back for more from Milan in a few!

Best Hairstyles From The 2016 Emmy Awards

We saw so many amazing hair and beauty choices at the 2016 Emmy Awards- what a night! It’s always fun to review celebrities’ Red Carpet choices –even when you know that they’ve been put together by a team of styling professionals– but nothing is as exhilarating as an event where everyone looks phenomenal. We saw such a variety of hairstyles last night and I can’t wait to share my top picks.

Alia Shawkat


How stunning is Alia Shawkat’s cropped, curly hairdo? LOVE! It’s a look we haven’t seen anytime recently- at least not in a manner so arresting. I absolutely love how she’s combined the curly hair trend and the short hair trend to create a hairstyle that’s super refreshing, youthful and unbelievably fun. There’s something almost boyish about that riot of curls but at the same time, there’s a sense of flirtiness to it- much like Twiggy’s androgynous haircut from way back when. 10/10!

Constance Zimmer

If you want a short statement hairstyle, might I suggest the blunt bob with –you guessed it– ultra-blunt bangs? It’s a great hairstyle for drawing focus to the eyes and works well with all kinds of outfits. The haircut is pretty low maintenance, though you will have to blow-dry the bangs straight for max impact. The rest of the bob can be worn curly (for a punchy contrast) or smooth, for a more mod look.

Kerry Washington

It’s not everyday that a hairstyle can go toe-to-toe with a baby bump and still make it to the conversation in the same sentence. And yet, just about every report on Kerry’s appearance at the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards talked about her beautiful bump and went onto gush about her stupendous hairdo. If you’ve got naturally curly hair, step away from that straightening iron this minute: curly texture is major right now. Being stylish has never been easier: simply wash and wear! Just remember to use conditioning masks to boost moisture and prevent frizziness. And if you need to use a blow dryer, remember to keep it at a medium setting so that you don’t accidentally end up smothering out the curls.

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra’s side-parted wrapped ponytail makes a solid case for simple, elegant formal hairstyles. Every now and then, less really is more. The trick to making a simple ponytail look glam is to make an effort with the texture: the ultra-sleek, glossy finish and poker-straight texture allow the minimalistic styling to look polished. The wrapped base and merest suggestion of volume at the crown keep it from getting drab. This is an excellent hairstyle for when your outfit has an unusual neckline, or you’re wearing a statement necklace.

Sarah Paulson

This list would be incomplete without Sarah’s beautiful pixie haircut. The side-swept bangs and soft volume at the hairline make a great foil to an otherwise edgy haircut. Interspersing darker strands with pale blonde tones in such short hair adds to the dark drama of the look, but you can soften it up every now and then by changing how you style the look. And as you can clearly see here, the pixie haircut works fabulously with accessories, whether they’re statement earrings or a golden statuette. 

Sophie Turner

The stupendous talent behind the newly-minted-badass-Sansa-Stark, Sophie Turner is always a delight. If you missed her appearance at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, the blonde locks might come as a surprise. Most people recognize Sophie’s flame-colored mane from GoT, but did you know she’s a natural blonde? Either way, she’s gorgeous and this loose braid in relaxed, wavy hair makes for a great addition to your back-to-school hairstyles list.

Taraji P. Henson

I read somewhere that Taraji’s Emmys hairstyle makes curls “Taraji P. Henson-level fierce” and I’ve got to agree: she’s doing wonders for a hair texture/ hairstyle that’s anyway a hot favorite. The wet-look finish, high side parting and laidback texture make bedhead look Red Carpet-ready. And when the wearer’s bringing their best Cookie Lyon-game, you can expect some serious oomph.

What were your favorite hairstyles from the 2016 Emmy Awards?


Best Hairstyles From The Toronto International Film Festival 2016

September sure makes for a fashion-packed month, doesn’t it? What with the Spring Summer 2017 Fashion Weeks, the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and the Emmys on Sunday, we’ve got our hands –and our Pinterest boards- full with styling inspiration.

I love the Toronto International Film Festival because the celebs turn out looks that are Red Carpet-appropriate, but also a lot more fun as compared to what we see at the more formal events such as the Oscars. I like to think of it as the ‘business casual of the film world’.

Lots of great ideas for formal events, dates and even dressy looks for the workplace. Let’s get to it! 

Emma Stone

Headbands can make for tricky hair accessories because they do tend to run a bit twee, but take a cue out of Emma Stone’s look from the premiere for La La Land and wear them right and you just might have a Red Carpet-worthy look on your hands. The trick to making headbands work for adult women is:

·      Either to work with an overall theme, like Emma here does with a vintage-style dress and a modern cat eye.

·      Or to really play down the rest of the look, which makes more sense for ‘regular’ style off the Red Carpet.

If you do go with the first option, don’t put very strong, statement-y pieces together. You don’t want to look like you’re in costume, even if you are playing to a theme.

Haley Bennett

If you want to go all-out, nothing like a braided updo. Haley Bennett’s braids are one of the most talked-about hairstyles from TIFF 2016 and it’s easy to see why. Here are the basics of recreating the look at home:

·      Draw your bangs out to the front and secure out of the way. If you don’t have bangs, you can keep a few strands loose to frame the face or just work without them.

·      Create a middle parting.

·      Starting high on one side, create a French braid at the hairline, moving from the part down the side of your head, to the nape of the neck.  When you reach the neck, continue onto a regular three-strand braid and secure with an elastic band.

·      Repeat this step on the other side.

·      Now, pick one of the braids, curve upwards and start arranging it onto your head, pinning as you go along.

·      Do the same with the other braid as well and create a large halo of braids on your head.

·      This technique works best on medium-long hair.

If you have VERY long hair or want a super dramatic updo like Haley here and are using extensions, do the first two steps and then:

·      Separate 2-3 inches of hair at the front on either side and pin the rest back.

·      Style the front sections into French braids. Continue into regular 3-strand braids once you reach the ears/ neck and secure with elastic bands. Keep them out of the way for now.

·      Undo the pinned-away hair and divide into 2 horizontal layers. Divide each layer into sections. If you want thick, chunky braids, divide this hair into 2 sections. If you want thinner, more intricate braids, go for 3-4 sections.

·      Braid each of these sections. You’ll end up with 2-4 braids ‘sprouting’ out of your crown!

·      Start laying them flat on the head, arranging into a desired shape and pinning as you go along.

·      Take the two French braids from the front and use them to ‘border’ the braided center. Pin in place.

·      Add extra bobby pins for good measure.

Finish the look by loosening and arranging the bangs.

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts attended the TIFF events in support of Live Schreiber’s The Bleeder. As always, when Naomi hits the Red Carpet, you can be assured of some fantastic styling. If you’ve shied away from bobs and lobs till now because they seem intimidating, take heart in Naomi’s curly, messy cut. If the ultra-polished, asymmetrical, angular bobs seem like a lot of work, why not opt for the relaxed, boho bob instead?

Parker Posey

In town for the Mascots premiere, Parker Posey’s layered long-pixie is sheer perfection. Brow-skimming, side-swept bangs are a great way to rock this particular haircut if you’ve got a long face and tend to shy away from short hairstyles. Create a soft side part and brush hair over to the other side to add volume and height at the crown. The haircut can work beautifully with business suits and double up for a 70s hippie vibe with the right accessories!

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji attended a photo call for the film Hidden Figures at Toronto and these new lightened locks have got everyone talking. The angular lob continues to make for a powerful style statement and works beautifully in straightened as well as curly hair. The buttery-platinum tones are a great example of how light colors can work for women with deeper skin tones; use dark roots to transition to the paler colors for a more balanced impact. Also, ask your stylist to work with several shades to create a tonal, multi-dimensional effect that doesn’t fall flat.

Watch this space for my favorite hairstyles from the 2016 Emmy Awards.


Top Hair Trends From New York Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017

It’s that time of the year again: Fashion Week’s here folks! We’re wrapping up the New York segment today with a look at the best hairstyles from the New York Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 runways.

NYFW turned up a lot of really wearable, pretty hairstyles, which is always a neat development. The artistic/ editorial styles are great for advanced stylists and niche tastes but if you’re looking for inspiration on how to take your everyday hairstyles to the next level, the New York Fashion Week shows had a ton of great hairstyles to pick from.

Marissa Webb

First up, we have a great back-to-school hairstyle that’s perfect for fall: a dressy ponytail. It’s the perfect hairstyle for college, lunches and dates and you can throw it together in a few minutes.

Brush your hair out to get rid of any tangles and comb the crown back. If you’re new to styling, begin with a middle parting, as two distinct sections will make styling easier.

Start at the top of one ear: take the hair at the hairline and just start twisting it in on itself. Keep twisting and working your way down to the nape of your neck. To get a thick coil, you’ll have to keep gathering the hair on the ‘outside’ (the hairline) and rolling it inwards: it’s actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. When you reach the neck, just secure the roll in place with an elastic band.

Repeat the same technique on the other side as well.  

Now, you can remove the two bands and blend the loose hair into a single ponytail. Wear as is, or add some curls for extra flair. You can also go a step further and make a half-ponytail or looped bun with the loose hair. Just gather it up, fold in half and secure with an elastic band, leaving the ends poking out. For a more intricate style, fold the hair up, create loops and draw the hair through: you can do this several times if you have long hair. Going from a daytime ponytail to a formal updo has never been easier!

Michael Costello

The mood is very Victorian Goth, but you can tone it down with different makeup. There’s something about the combination of dark, berry-infused makeup and retro-esque hair that instantly evokes this whole ‘underbelly of Old Hollywood’ mood. The models were outfitted with some magnificent floral headpieces for the ramp, but out here we care about the details-under-the-drama.

I’m loving the glam waves and soft, wispy texture. It’s a great case for how vintage hairstyles can be paired up with avant-garde makeup to unexpected results. The red/ berry eye makeup trend has been picking up steam post Kristen Stewart’s Cannes’ appearances and the entire combination is just great for fall.

Style your hair into loose waves using a large barreled curling wand or foam rollers; brush the hair out to break the waves up a bit. The style can be worn loose, with a side parting for a Veronica Lake-vibe or piled up and pinned carefully onto the crown into a romantic updo.

Nicholas K

I’m calling this one Sk8r Barbie. It’s just such a cheeky take on an otherwise basic hairstyle that you can’t help but give it a second look.

The key elements of this hairstyle are:

·      A really smooth, flawlessly smoothened-down crown.

·      Poker-straight hair to emphasize all the details.

·      A really high high-ponytail. Start where you’d normally arrange a top knot and push a couple of bobby pins into the base to secure it into place and prevent slipping through the day.

·      The wrapped base that creates a sort of fountain-effect that the main ponytail emerges out of. Just take a section of hair once your ponytail is ready and wind it around the base. Tuck the ends under and in, adding some more pins to hold everything together.


Serving up some 90s fabulousness at the R13 show at NYFW SS17 with some serious grunge hair. The grunge hair trend popped up on the radar earlier this year and the Fashion Week SS17 sighting is all the confirmation we need.

The trick to making the grunge hair trend look high fashion is in getting the texture right. You want to recreate the trademark 90s piece-y, stringy texture without veering into iffy-scruffy territory. Instead of wearing the look in unclean hair, use styling products to mimic the texture. Work in clean, preferably blow-dried hair so that the base is polished. Use styling paste or mouse and work with your fingers to scrunch up the hair and separate it into the ‘piece-y’ sections you can see. The dichotomy between the obvious grunginess and the styled base is how we’re doing the 90s this time around.

Rachel Comey

If the chokers, grunge hair and the earth-tone makeup trends haven’t been proof enough, here’s some irrefutable evidence that the Nineties really are coming back: permed hair is back! If you’ve got naturally curly hair, now’s the time to flaunt it. Tight coils and spirals are in- and how! If you’ve got straight or wavy hair, you will want to style it into more defined ringlets to rock this look.

If getting a perm is too extreme (early days yet!) you can have your stylist set your hair such for a couple of days. If DIY styling is your thing, invest in any of the following:

·      Small barreled curling iron

·      Perm rods (easily available at all major pharmacies and beauty stores).

·      Foam rollers (the longer your hair is, the more rollers you’ll need, but bear in mind that you’ll get big curls and not tight ringlets with these).

Using a range of curl-enhancing styling and hair care products will help create and maintain a more defined style. There’s no doubt that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of the perm hair trend in the coming weeks; apart from the Rachel Comey show, I also spotted the trend at the Michael Costello catwalk.

It’s easy to see how all of these looks –and so many others from the NYFW SS17 shows– can be adapted to regular wear. If the intricate braids and updos are intimidating, start small and work your way up with these hairstyles. 

Women’s Hair Trends Through The Ages

With the Spring Summer 2017 Fashion Weeks taking off, we’re looking at weeks of spotting, analyzing and confirming the major hair trends for 2016-2017. Trend mapping is one of my favorite things to do, both professionally and personally, and I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the major women’s hair trends of the past.

It’s so interesting to see how each era was defined by some signature hairstyles and haircuts which went on to not only define the style de jour of the period, but also became major symbols by which those decades were later recognized, and even understood. If you think fashion is ever ‘just’ about fashion, you’re mistaken: fashion draws from and feeds back into the art, social commentary, political developments and economic atmosphere of the time.

When you take a look back at hair trends through the decades, you see that they were indisputably linked to the zeitgeist of the time and were, as such, a powerful tool for expression and representation. For instance, during the World War years when morale was low, times tough and luxuries unthinkable, women took to using pipe cleaners to style their hair and found inspiration in the Victory Roll maneuver performed by American aircrafts, thus giving birth to a hairstyle that continues to be a hot favorite for themed-based hairstyles even today.

Here’s a look back at how hair trends have evolved through the years. 

The 1910s

The Look: The Gibson Girl

Carefully arranged volume at the crown, waterfall curls and deliberately loose strands on one side.

The Icon

Evelyn Nesbit- an American model, actress and chorus girl of the era.

The Mood

The trend is credited to the ink drawings of American artist Charles Gibson and his vision of the American woman at the start of the 20th century. The look was feminine, traditional and delicate. There’s something almost matronly about the look by today’s standards and yet, it was seen most often on young women. The look was defined by a ton of hair piled up at the crown in an almost pagoda-like shape. The bouffant-adjacent top would sometimes be accented with a bit of hair left loose on one side, which was typically styled into curled coils and arranged over a shoulder. It is said that the hairstyle defined the ‘ideal woman’ of the era: one who was a respectable lady, with the merest hints of subtle sensuality. 

The 1920s

The Look: The A-line Bob

Ultra-short, slightly tapered bob with a thick, blunt fringe.

The Icon

Louise Brooks

The Mood

The Roaring Twenties were the source of so many developments that would shape the world for decades to come, not least of which was the re-imagining of gender norms and female identity. By cutting their hair short, women began to defy age-old societal rules and the graphic bob of the Flapper era was born. A full, flat fringe topped off the ear-skimming short haircut and sparked off a new era in women’s fashion, politics and identity discourse.

The 1930s

The Look: Feminine Waves

Pin Curls, Finger Waves and Medium Lengths

The Icon

Vivienne Leigh

The Mood

Women begin to grow out their hair and move away from the stark bobs of the Twenties and towards a more conventionally feminine mood in the Thirties. Medium-length haircuts became the norm, and with curls being the standard for styled hair, finger waves and pin curls took off in a big way. Style in the 1930s was all about emphasis and exaggeration softened with a hint of old-world elegance.  Vivienne Leigh’s pinned-back, half-up-half-down hairstyles became all the rage and her meteoric rise to international stardom with Gone With The Wind made her a fashion icon with women the world over.

The 1940s

The Look: Old Hollywood Waves

Well-defined curls and waves in smooth hair, usually worn with a side part.

The Icon

Veronica Lake

The Mood

The look is all about timeless elegance, undeniable glamour and traditional femininity. Voluminous curls and waves continue to be a Red Carpet favorite even today, and are the go-to look for all Hollywood A-listers and beauty enthusiasts. You simply can’t go wrong with the hairstyle that defined Hollywood’s Golden Years.

The 1950s

The Look: The Flirty Fringe

Peek-a-boo bangs barely falling over the hairline.

The Icon

Audrey Hepburn

The Mood

The Fifties saw a number of iconic trends such as Marilyn Monroe’s curly ‘do, but none stand out quite like Audrey Hepburn’s barely-there bangs. Today, style sensibilities would dictate that such bangs would prove difficult to carry off but as Ms. Hepburn taught us, all you need is charm and a happy personality. The bangs proved effective in drawing attention to the eyes and imparting a childish innocence to the wearer and could be paired with a variety of haircuts and styles, ranging from cropped pixies and French twists to ponytails and the bouffant.

The 1960s

The Look: The Twiggy Pixie

A super-short, boyish pixie crop.

The Icon


The Mood

The Twiggy pixie was all about using the hair as a compliment to one’s features, and not as a focal point in itself. Ultra-short hair really opened up the face and worked well with the heavy eye makeup that was so popular at the time. Keeping in tune with the mod and androgynous movements of the time, the Twiggy pixie crop was all about gamine sensuality, playful fashion and fluid identities.

The 1970s

The Look: The Feathered Flip

A multi-layered, bouncy, shoulder-length cut with the ends flipped out.

The Icon

Farrah Fawcett

The Mood

The origins of the tousled, bed-head look can be traced all the way back to the Seventies. Did you know that prior to The Rachel, Farrah Fawcett’s flipped-out, super-voluminous layered-do was the most popular hairstyle of all time? The hairstyle took all the best style elements of the years to create a trend that was beachy, sexy, laidback and yet sophisticated- beauty ideals that ring true even today! Farrah Fawcett’s position as the ultimate It Girl of the era ensured that the feathery flip became synonymous with sex appeal all over the globe.

The 1980s

The Look: The Punk Fashionista

Teased hair accessorized with a head-wrap and long, chunky bangs to a side.

The Icon


The Mood

The Material Girl cemented her place in international fashion by blending punk-rock grittiness with girly glam in iconoclastic trends that were entire lifestyles and cultural subsets as of themselves.

In a decade when hair was all about texture and the perm ruled the roost, Madonna embodied the gritty, piece-y finish that would later inspire grunge hair trends for years to come. Combining the messy matte finish with tons of hair accessories, angled bangs and serious teasing, Madonna practically invented the club-scene hair trend. The little-girl bows in particular added that trademark Madonna cheekiness to a look that was otherwise edgy. This one was for the 80s kid who loved to dance, flitted between color and confusion and had too much personality to stick to a single look.

The 1990s

The Look: The Rachel

A layered, voluminous haircut that frames the face and is defined by lots of body and movement.

The Icon

Rachel Green, portrayed by actress Jennifer Anniston on the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

The Mood

When a particular entry leaps out at you in a conversation about iconic, unforgettable, generation-defining trends, you know you’re witness to something legendary. Never before in the history of pop culture and international fashion has a single trend made such an impact. From the streets of New York to the by-lanes of New Delhi, the 90s saw girls and women of all ages sport the Rachel.  

Named after the sassy, fashion-loving, super-relatable character on the hit TV show, the Rachel is still going strong twenty years later. Chris McMillan, the genius behind the trend, changed the way the world identified with young women with very real struggles and very real dreams by creating a hairstyle that is universally flattering on all face types, features and personalities.  

The 2000s

The Look: The Beckham Bob

Short, angular, asymmetrical bob.

The Icon

Victoria Beckham

The Mood

Garçonne-chic made its way back in a big way during the 2000s, but edgier and more deliberately styled than the 1970s version. Where Twiggy’s look was all about innocent, accidental sexiness, the 2000s version more deliberate and overtly sexy. This look is all about powerful women taking control of their narratives; taking short hair away from the men and making it feminine, sensual and unapologetic. The minute you think of Victoria Beckham, you think of a woman who is strong, successful, stylish and always graceful. The angular bob is for the woman who’s not afraid to make a statement.

The 2010s

The Look: Classic Cuts, Crazy Colors

Natural texture/ Rainbow colors

The Icon

Katy Perry

The Mood

This past decade has seen a return to very classic styles in terms of haircuts: people are embracing natural lengths, shapes and textures and we’ve seen a lot of long, straight hair and messy curls. On the flipside, people have experimented with hair color like never before. Rainbow hair color, pastel hair color, bubblegum hair, opal hair color, teal hair, the oil slick hair trend, the mermaid hair trend, the granny hair trend: you name it, and we’ve seen it. We’ve seen these ‘non-natural’ hair colors on everyone from Katy Perry to Dame Helen Mirren- and loved every minute of it!

It’s rather telling to see that so many of the biggest hair trends from the last few years –the retro, Great Gatsby hairstyles or the vintage Old Hollywood waves– actually originated decades back. Style is cyclical and evolutionary:  revivalism is a big part of the fashion industry, but so is adaptation and modernization.


Want To Be A Hairstylist?

Starting today, we’re going to be running a series aimed specifically at aspiring hairstylists and pro groomers. Whether you’re in training, considering a career in the craft or a super-enthusiastic consumer who wants to take their passion to the next level, you’re sure to find something useful in this column. We’ll be diving into all sorts of stuff, from essential principles of styling and professional training versus self-taught learning to carving out a successful career as a stylist and building your own brand.

If I were to deconstruct everything we’ll be discussing in the coming posts and break it down to one non-negotiable rule, it is this: you need to really want to be a hairstylist. Everything else can be learned, adapted and worked around. But if you’re not passionate about the craft, you’re not going to get far. The same can be said for many other industries, but it bears mentioning here. When you’re going to be on your feet for hours on an end and making it big as a pro hairstylist involves making friends with constant jet lag, you need to know that you really really want this.

If you’re ready to commit, hairstyling can be the most exciting, rewarding and satisfying work ever. First, there’s the work itself: if you’re a creative person, nothing is as fulfilling as working with your hands and imagination to build something beautiful. Secondly, it’s a career that brings you a lot more than just the work itself: you meet people from all over the world, you travel, there’s no end to the kinds of projects you can work on and you’re exposed to so many different kinds of opportunities and experiences that at the end of the day, hairstyling isn’t just about working with hair but about living life to the fullest. 

Since we’re only just starting out here today, we’ll be talking about some of the essentials of hairstyling. Here are some fantastic tips to help you get started with a career in hairstyling.

1. Know Your Reasons

Figure out what it is that draws you to hairstyling. Is it creating art? Is it an interest in the beauty industry? Do you like working with people? Do you enjoy making people feel great about themselves? Is there a particular niche that fascinates you for some reason; say, for instance, bridal hairstyling? Did someone inspire you greatly? Do you hope to contribute something to the craft and beyond? Knowing why you want to become a hairstylist will give you direction and motivation. It’ll help you get through the hard days- and trust me, there will be many.

2. Toughen Up

The beauty industry is unbelievably competitive. If you’re going to allow every harsh word or weird look get to you, you’re not going to last long. Appreciate constructive criticism, seek professional advice and lose the rest. Don’t let emotions get in the way of work- yours or others’. Nip insecurities in the bud.

3. Tune The Negativity Out

There are going to be a lot of people who’ll end up discouraging you- intentionally and otherwise. Some will not take the industry seriously and others won’t take you seriously. The notion might seem harmless typed up on a blog, but such feedback can destroy careers before they begin. Learn to shut all the negative voices out. You want to do this? Do it. Remember, every single celebrity hairstylist and hair guru started out as just another enthusiast.

4. Respect Money

Be straightforward about money. Respect its value in your life. You might be an artist but artists have to eat and live too. And if you’re good at what you do, you work hard and you deliver, you deserve to live well. Don’t be awkward about money, do undervalue your service and don’t allow anyone else to dictate terms. A lot of people are going to tell you things along the lines of, “But it’s just hair”. It’s not. It’s a mood, an identity, a lifestyle and an art. If art in frames can go for millions, art on people deserves its due as well.

Be fair in your pricing; it will increase as you build your brand and clientele, but keeping it honest always pans out better in the long run. There’s nothing shameful about wanting to be successful. If you want it, earn it. Be proud of it.

5. Prioritize Training.

I’ll be blogging in detail on various aspects of professional hairstylist training later, but regardless of the kind of training you choose, one thing’s for sure: you need to train to be a good hairstylist. Whether you go to hairstyling school, do cosmetology and hair courses, apprentice under a professional hairstylist, intern at salons or practice long hours in front of the mirror, at the end of the day you’ve got to put a whole lot of study and work into it. Like everything else, hairstyling gets easier and better with repeated effort and you’ll soon develop your own signature styles. If you want to become a successful hairstylist, you need to learn and keep on learning. There’s simply no shortcut to style city.

6. Build What You Know

It can be tempting to try your hand at a bunch of associated projects and niches in the beauty industry, given how attractive and inspiring everything is. But remember that bit about being the jack of all trades and master of none? Figure out what you know and love and are good at, and then stick to it. Don’t get stagnant and complacent- you must still keep learning, growing and improving within your niche. But do pick a niche and work hard at it. If hair’s your thing, prioritize it. Don’t get sucked into makeup or clothing or accessories. Or at least not yet. Master one trade at a time, if you must diversify.

As your hairstyling career expands, figure out your own unique brand of styling. Maybe you’d like to concentrate on women’s hairstyling or men’s grooming specifically? Perhaps retro-inspired hair is your thing? Do you feel drawn to celebrity hairstyling or runway hairstyling particularly? Or do you want to focus on the bridal hairstyling industry?

Carve out a specific place for yourself in the industry and give it your all. In this market, people pay for specialists.

I hope these tips prove useful. In the coming posts on the theme we’ll take an exhaustive look at all the most popular concerns of aspiring hairstylists and everything you need to know about making it big in the industry. Write to me with your questions and keep learning!

Butterscotch Hair Color For Fall 2016

Are you ready for Autumn Winter 2016’s newest hair color trend? It’s every bit as yummy as the title suggests: butterscotch hair color is all set to be the season’s breakthrough trend.

One of the most telling fashion developments this year has been the return to natural color palettes; even as rainbow hues and outrageous colors continue to come and go, 2016 has seen a marked interest in sophisticated, subtle hair color trends and more ‘normal-friendly’ styles. If you enjoy experimenting with fashion but don’t really want to go overboard, now is your time.

In a nutshell, the butterscotch hair trend is the perfect marriage between blonde and brunette hair colors, which makes it the ultimate transition shade for the coming weeks. If brunette tones tend to be ‘too brown’ for you and blonde tones don’t quite seem to work in the colder months, or run too pale for you, the butterscotch hair color trend is as close to a true balance as you can get. Butterscotch hair color incorporates soft brown bases with blonde aspects and works especially well with warm and medium complexions but is, on the whole, a very wearable and universal trend so you’ll have no trouble finding a variant that compliments you.

Butterscotch hair color essentially uses brown bases streaked with ribbons of blonde tones, so the entire effect is very dimensional, very warm and so lively. Now, what makes the butterscotch hair color trend so versatile is that you can basically choose between an endless array of brunette and blonde tones to work with. From cool chestnuts peppered with warm caramel babylights to toffee bases tipped with creamy peanut ends, there’s a world of possibilities between these two classic ends of the spectrum.

7 Different Ways To Wear The Butterscotch Hair Color Trend

When you’ve got a mixing palette of beautiful browns and blondes and absolutely no limits on what you can do, you know you’ve locked onto one of the hottest hair color trends of the season- heck, maybe even one of the hottest hair color trends of the next couple of seasons!

Mix and match tones, play with depths and intensities and make the most of 2016’s biggest hair offering: personalization. This year has been all about taking revolutionary hair color trends and old classics and adapting and adjusting them to create a color that’s really you. But just in case you’re having a hard time conceptualizing a look –or narrowing it down to just one– here are 7 of the prettiest ways in which to wear the butterscotch trend, as seen on several celebrities.

#1 Butterscotch Baby Lights – Gigi Hadid

Want a pale, spun-gold crown with a little more punch than usual? Try the butterscotch baby lights trend: add buttery blonde babylights to a cooler brown base, something along soft chestnut tones. Now you too can sport that certain je ne sais quoi thing that makes Gigi one of this generation’s It girls.

Keep the roots dark and use creamy blonde babylights to add brightness around the face and through the midlengths and ends. If you’ve groused as to why being sun kissed is reserved only for the summer, this here trend is the perfect antidote to your cold weather woes. The word you’re looking for is ‘angelic’. You’re welcome.

#2 Butterscotch Brown – Doutzen Kroes

Fancy something a little darker than Gigi’s golden tresses? But don’t want to go the typical teak route either? Try a nice, neutral butterscotch brown. It’s one of the ‘original’ variants of the butterscotch hair color trend, where either of the two ‘base’ tones is played up; in this case, the focus is on the brown tones.

Butterscotch brown is a great natural brunette hair color that’s been glossed and glistened to perfection. It’s not as pronounced as a ombré but you’ll never mistake it for a mousy brown either. We saw something of its ilk at the Jason Wu Pre-Fall 2016 show, and now you too can make like a supermodel and get Doutzen Kroes’ hair color in no time.

#3 Butterscotch Brûlée – Blake Lively

The butterscotch brûlée color trend is chunkier and more pronounced than what we’ve seen so far, but it’s undeniably sophisticated. The trick to making strong contrasts work in hair color is in seamless blending.

Blake’s hair optimizes both the balayage and ombré hair color techniques, creating a shimmering masterpiece of honeyed golds and toasty brunettes. This is a particularly good take on the trend for those of you with medium skin tones who struggle with light/ blonde hair colors: this is a great way to make blonde tones look totally organic on you.

#4 Butterscotch Highlights – Sienna Miller

Sienna Miller’s always had this inimitable pixie princess vibe going and here’s your in to it. Keep the base more blonde than brown, and add tons of shine and sparkle to your look with sandy gold and butterscotch highlights. Keep the roots dark, concentrating a soft chestnut or deep praline color for about 1.5-2 inches in at the base. It’s a super bright, warmed up take on the butterscotch/ bronde hair color trends and is just the thing to get you through dreary winter. Think lots of tonal honey, buttery and amber tones with soft milk chocolate strands weaving in and out. This is a great look for neutral and warm skin tones.

#5 Butterscotch Maple – Kate Moss

If you can’t decide whether to emphasize the blonde tones or the brunette hues and love them all, here’s an option: wear them all! Cook up a delicious butterscotch-flavored infusion with lashings of maple thrown in. Roots the color of mulled wine compliment tresses made of equal parts light and dark.

This is a hair color that works best on fair skin, though you can rock it with a tan as well. It’s ideally suited for those with neutral undertones to their skin. If you’re looking to make an easy transition to this look, it works best with a base/starting color that’s at most two shades darker or lighter than the target. Supermodels Kate Moss and Chrissy Tiegen are both proof of just how stunning this particular iteration of the butterscotch hair color trend is.   

#6 Butterscotch Ombré – Riley Keough

Not ready to give up on the ombré just yet? No worries. You can combine this season’s hottest hair color trend with the old favorite. In fact, the butterscotch ombré –as seen on Riley Keough here– has been called this season’s hottest trend already, and it’s only getting hotter!

Start with a chocolate brown base with neutral undertones, and keep the color going till brow-height. You could start with a darker root, but the key to making the butterscotch ombré work is to work with decidedly brown and blonde tones. Aim for a burnished bronze/ maple hue at the mid-lengths and finally end the ombré with a soft golden butterscotch at the bottom. This particular variant of the butterscotch ombré will work well with most skin tones, especially those that fall within the light and medium marks and have a warm undertone to them. You can opt for even lighter tips if you like, creating a gradient from brown to platinum; I do recommend working with your own natural base or sticking within a two-shade shift at most for easy maintenance and natural-looking results.

#7 Butterscotch Praline – Sarah Jessica Parker

If there’s one thing that comes to mind when you hear of Sarah Jessica Parker, it’s her hair. She’s got some of the most recognizable tresses in the world and what we all wouldn’t give to be blessed the same way? Well, strap in, because this latest hair color trend comes with a Carrie stamp of approval.

Working with blonde hair dyes can prove tricky for warm skin tones, so let’s make things easy for once, shall we? Those of you with medium to dark skin tones that have a warm undertone should definitely try the butterscotch praline hair color. The base is a soft light brown and tons of gold-hued highlights are introduced to it to create unbelievable tonality and dynamism. For light-medium skin tones, you can opt for paler shades of the same colors- consulting with a pro colorist is recommended because you want your butterscotch praline mix to be tailor-made to your specifications.

Ask your stylist to use at least three different brunette tones and as many blonde shades, if not more, to create tons of body and movement. Keep the tips lighter and definitely ask for highlights to be placed around the face to really lend that movie star radiance to your look. 


Get The Perfect Beard Neckline, Every Time

Ever known a clean-shaven guy who loves to experiment with fashion and just when you think there’s no look he can’t pull off, he goes and grows a beard and boy does it look terrible? Ever been that guy? I know I have. You’d think a beard would make you look suave and distinguished and you’d be right, except for one tiny detail: the beard neckline. Almost all men get it wrong at some point and I know so many pro stylists and men’s barbers who overlook its importance as well.

When styling a beard, most guys tend to fixate on the type and the focus is usually on choosing between the latest beard trends and finding one that works for the individual’s features. Don’t get me wrong, as a stylist it’s heartening to see men take more of an interest in grooming and in experimenting with different looks. While getting the beard type right is certainly paramount, there’s a lot more that goes into making a look work and that’s where the difference between an amateur and a real pro comes into play.

Finishing your beard off correctly and meticulously is essential if you want to look good. Also, did you know that you could be working out hours daily but being sloppy with your beard neckline will make it look like you’ve got the wobbliest double chin on the planet? Yep, that is how much the neckline can affect your look. Scared? Here’s how you can avoid that particular faux pas, and others associated with the beard neckline.

#1 The Two-Finger Rule

Want a foolproof way of figuring out where your neckline should be? Position two fingers above your Adam’s apple (using your index and middle fingers) and see where the top of your index finger is at: this is where your beard neckline should fall at, ideally. This is the most universally applicable trick of deciding neckline height, as it helps locate the ideal point as per the individual’s facial features and cranial structure. If, however, you don’t like the look of the results achieved thus, consider raising or lowering your beard neckline a few centimeters until you feel more comfortable.

#2 Stay On The Neck

On the nose, but, it’s called a NECKline for a reason: it’s supposed to end at and run on the neck. All too often I see men walking around with their beard necklines ending at the jaw or above it; you know when you can clearly see a defined finishing line over the jaw and some clean-shaven skin totally visible under it? This makes it look like your face fattened up overnight or your beard’s a size too small and the results are not pretty. Whenever you’re finishing off your beard, make sure you’re well into the neck region and nowhere close to the jawline or the face. It’s an easy enough mistake to make, especially if you’re just starting out with grooming, and you might be tempted to cut it fine and create a really precise shape that follows the natural contours of the jaw but trust my word on this: it’s going to look terrible.

#3 Natural Necklines

As tempting as it is to prove to the world that you’re capable of creating a tight, razor-sharp neckline, I must insist you resist the urge. The best beard necklines are the ones that are the most natural and organic-looking. You don’t want the neckline to jump up in relief compared to the clean, non-bearded or untouched skin under it. If you are sporting a stubble, let it fade out as softly as possible, allowing some growth around the Adam’s apple while still trimming the total and keeping it neat.

#4 Shaping The Neckline

Pay attention to the specific contours of your head, but follow this rule by-and-large: you want the neckline to trace a U-shape from ear to ear, running down in a straight line from one ear to the neck, looping under in a top-open arc and then running back up the face on the other side, connecting at the other ear. Another easy way to picture this is to start at the base mark derived from Step 1 and the two finger technique: imagine a small, inch-long straight line at this point and then trace a curve back up to each ear.

#5 Cleaning The Neck

Once you’ve got your neckline figured out, it’s time to get shaping. We’re working with the assumption here that you know how to style your beard, so we’re going to focus only on the neckline today. Once you’ve got your beard neckline set, it’s time to trim away the excess. You can choose to keep a beard neckline fade and gently ease your way to clean skin underneath or opt for a hard stop neckline. Either way, all the hair beneath your chosen neckline must be shaved. If you’re growing a major beard, like the Bandholz, the rules of the game change, obviously. But in most cases, grooming pundits agree on the no-hair-below-the-neckline mantra. On the flipside, you absolutely do not want to touch any of the hair above the neckline. A natural-looking neckline is only possible if you allow small hairs to grow under the jaw and around the chin, which is why we use the two-finger technique.

#6 Focus On The Fade

And finally, we come to the bit that leaves most beard-lovers stumped: the neckline fade. The fade is basically a gradual change in hair length from the neckline to the main beard and vice-versa. If you’re looking at it from the neckline to the face, you’ll see that the hair slowly increases in length, until it is its fullest on the cheeks. If you’re taking a top-down view of things, you’ll move from maximum length in the beard itself to a gradually decreasing length till the neckline and finally, clean skin. Either way, getting the fade right is key to a naturally flowing beard as it prevents any abrupt changes, discordant lengths and sharp contrasts.

To get the fade right, switch your clippers to one or two settings lower (shorter) than you use for the main beard and then work on the hair right above the Adam’s apple. Let the hair fade out in 3 layers: the main beard, a small section right underneath it and then the third section, just above the Adam’s apple. You might want to leave the middle section untouched for a really subtle fade. This is the safest way to go, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in the department. For a sharper fade, you can go down one setting on the clippers when you move from the face to right under the chin and then go down another setting when moving to the third layer, aka the area above the Adam’s apple. To finish off the fade, get rid of any hair under the neckline and keep the rest of your neck and throat region completely clean.  

#7 Prep And Prime Right

All grooming, styling and beauty processes are a labor of love, and there are usually a bunch of pre and post-process steps involved that are instrumental to getting the most out of the experience. Here are my top tips on amping up your next beard grooming experience:

·      Get the right tools in place. You will need a set of quality clippers for your beard, so invest wisely. I advocate picking a machine with multiple settings so you can experiment between different looks and lengths. Look for clipper head attachments as well if you want a wider range of sculpting options. This also comes in handy while creating a natural, soft beard neckline fade. If you want a pronounced, dramatic beard fade, nothing compared to a good old-fashioned razor.

·      Prep your face for the shaving experience. A little TLC never hurt and you’d be surprised by how much these tricks help. Soak a clean towel in hot water and place it on your face for a few minutes to open the pores up. Make sure the water’s not scalding. Repeat this step a few times if need be. Continue with the shaving/ styling process as discussed. When you’re done, pat some cold water onto your face or use a new towel soaked in cold water to dampen your skin and close pores down. These two simple steps can prevent ingrown hairs, razor bumps and all sorts of itchy skin- basically saving you from a world of discomfort.

I hope these tips prove handy. Remember, the devil is in the details. You could rush through the shaving and beard grooming process and end up regretting your look for days to come or you could spend a few extra minutes today and look fantastic the entire week. Have fun with it and check back next week for more tips and pro advice on beard grooming. 

Topcoats: Light And Color Redefined

We talk a lot about hair color around here and it got me thinking: while dyeing is undoubtedly the most popular technique, there are other ways to experiment with hair colors, finishes and effects without picking up permanent pigments. Have you heard of topcoats yet? They’re ideal for playing with hair texture and finish (and flirting with some peekaboo color) and are a really neat way of adding dimension and tonality to your hair without making a drastic change.

A great way to understand how topcoats work is to think of them as filters for your hair: the base remains the same and peeks through beautifully, but there’s just a little extra magic going on to warrant a second look. There are two dimensions to using hair topcoats: texture and tint. You can use a hair topcoat to affect the texture and finish of your locks or you can use it to introduce a sheer wash of color, or, of course, you can go in for both. Hair topcoats entered mainstream styling last summer and have been picking up steam since; Wella offers a range of in-salon services termed Color Touch Instamatic that’s just the thing if you’re after a diffused, glowing-from-within smoky pastel finish and there are tons of other variants to choose from as well.

If you like the sound of hair topcoats, here are a couple of things you can do with them and great pointers to get the most out of your next salon visit!

#1 Try A New Texture

Since hair dyes are pretty much the go-to for anyone wanting to experiment with hair color, topcoats are primarily used to play around with texture. If you’re craving a new finish, topcoats are just the thing. Go sophisticated with a powerful matte to compliment the coming cold months; the vibe is bold and the mood is dark. If you want something livelier, with perhaps just a little friskiness to it, I recommend the pearlescent finishes; think rippling water, light bouncing off dusty windowpanes and shimmering sands: this effect is all about movement, dynamism and tonality. There has been talk of metallic topcoats making their way into the mainstream as well, and I for one cannot wait to see stronger finishes with reflective properties burst out onto the scene. Wouldn’t chrome-plated locks be totally rad?

#2 Soft, Sheer Color

If you’ve been eyeing all the gorgeous hair color trends we’ve seen over the last couple of seasons but they seem a bit much (and let’s be honest: going to work with rainbow hair or mermaid hair is not easy) use topcoats to add just a hint of color to your tresses. Think of it as looking at your hair through tinted glasses: it’s just a translucent wash of your chosen color, which lets your base show through but also amps it up considerably. Now you can rock rose-tinted locks or shimmery opal strands without carrying heavy color.

#3 Tweak Trends

Now, what can you do with topcoats? The short answer? Anything! Pick any hair color trend that’s caught your eye and know that it can be adapted with a topcoat. You can use a topcoat to add just a subtle pop to your current base or you can get your base dyed and then layered with your topcoat for an extra punch. Really, it’s about having a vision and slowly building towards it.

There are no rules to what you can and can’t do with topcoats. If you’re sporting a fairly conventional base color (or are sticking to your natural color) a topcoat can be a great way to mattify or gloss up your look, or to introduce a barely-there rinse of color, like we’ve discussed. If you want to combine topcoats with more interesting bases or hot color trends, meet your colorist to discuss some ideas. A topcoat can be a great way to diffuse an outrageous base: for instance, if you’re loving those pastel shades but bubblegum pink hair just doesn’t cut it at the workplace, you can flaunt a more sophisticated blush-colored tint thanks to this coloring process. For the winter months, consider warming up your look with richer topcoats: think toasty chestnuts, spun golds and rum on a fire.

#4 Work Backwards From The End

As is the case with most hair trends and hairstyles, when you decide to go in for a topcoat, you have to work backwards from the final look that you’re after. While creating a particular hairstyle is all about the meticulous journey from inspiration to inception, you need to have a very clear idea of where you’re going. Because hair topcoats, glazes and glosses are an almost alchemic process of mixing, laying and layering, your colorist needs to have an accurate impression of your expectations. You might want that ‘mermaid-like finish’ or ‘pastel pop sheen’ but there are no one-stop box formulas here. Pick your colors, tones, effects and the overall mood and explain the same to your colorist in no uncertain terms.

#5 Don’t Overlook The Base-ics

Be prepared to switch up your base color if you’re aiming for a very specific result if your current dye or natural color doesn’t work for the look. Think of it as a chemical equation: you’ve got some variables that all add up together and combine to create a very specific reaction and if a particular ingredient doesn’t work, the entire experiment is going to fall apart. Your colorist might advise you to lighten, darken or completely change your base and there’s a good reason for the same: the topcoat is, after all, a final touch added to an existing base. It’s the last layer but before you get to it, everything else needs to be in place. And the final result depends heavily on how the topcoat works with the existing base: the same topcoat can look completely new when moved from light to dark hair.

Topcoat application tends to follow a pretty standard procedure: the base is readied first, and this can involve only prepping your hair if you’re not changing colors and if you are, it involves first dyeing the base; then the topcoat is layered on; and finally the hair is set into a style. You will want to tell your stylist just how you want your hair to look at the end because that will help them figure out how the base needs to be prepped. For instance, if you’ve got dark hair right now and you want a tonal, opalescent topcoat added, your base might need to be lightened for the topcoat to even show through. In the same vein, pastel topcoats and pearl-like finishes might not work in black/dark brunette hair. Or, for that matter, if you want to wear your hair pale and light but with a matte finish, your stylist might warn you against flatly applying an ashy topcoat because doing o will affect the shine but will also reflect less light, thereby leaving your hair looking much, much darker than you envisioned.

I recommend having fun with topcoats, but the most important tip I can give you here –and any stylist worth their name will agree– is to go to a pro and set aside that DIY instinct just this once. Given that topcoats make for softer results than regular dyes and the actual application itself only takes a couple of minutes, most people believe that topcoats are a lesser version of hair dyes, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Getting a topcoat right involves several steps and much technical expertise, from knowing how to mix colors and glazes to layering them with exacting precision. Expert knowledge of how light and colors work and mix together is also integral to the process: a pro colorist will know the sort of colors that are needed to mattify or boost shine and how the chosen substances will react with certain bases and what’s needed to neutralize some tones while emphasizing others and you really can’t replicate the effects at home without the right knowledge.

Book an appointment today and remember to bring photos of your desired style and fashion inspirations along; experimenting with wild hair color just got a whole lot easier.


Is The Ombré Coming Back?


Is the ombré really, truly coming back? I know what you’re thinking: haven’t we seen enough and more of this hair trend already? But when something is that good, why let it go? And the verdict is in: the ombré really is that good.

There was a brief lull in the ombré craze in early 2016, until Kim Kardashian briefly returned to the look in March to debut a fresh take on the trend in a Snapchat reveal. That got style pundits thinking: is the ombré more than just a 2-season wonder? Could it be possible the trend has all the makings of a classic: timeless, and adaptable? Sure looks like it, because every time you think we’ve seen the last of the ombré hair color trend, a celeb will pop out with a whole new version and send the cycle spinning once again.

There’s a lot to be said for the ombré trend: it’s fun and flirty, it allows you to experiment with multiple hair colors at a go, it can be worn as subtle or as dramatic as you like, it can look both sexy and sophisticated and it’s undeniably striking. If you want a failsafe route to statement hair, it doesn't get any surer than the ombré. And done right, it suits all skin tones and personality types, making it a universally relevant hair trend. So, it really is no surprise that style icons the world over keep coming back for more.

If you, too, are an admirer of all things ombré and are looking for an excuse to revisit your colorist, here are some great ideas for the Fall Winter 2016 ombré trend.

#1 Subtle Shifts Of Color

The ombré trend, at least in its original form, is marked by a dramatic shift in color, moving from the very dark roots to the very light tips. Subsequent takes on the trend saw more gradual gradients and spin-off trends like the sombré become popular, but the essence was maintained. For Fall 2016, sport a more sophisticated ombré by keeping the two extremes… not so extreme. Move between dark and medium-dark or medium-dark and medium-light. If your base color or original hair color is on the lighter end of the spectrum, move from a warmer, richer light color to a paler shade. Think chocolate brown to walnut and deep warm mocha to a cooler coffee. For the blonde tones, consider moving from a warm honey hue to sandier blondes or from pale buttery blondes to platinum. The point is to keep the ombré so subtle it almost looks like a trick of the light. This particular ombré variant works especially well in short hairstyles because the effect pops vividly, so it’s a sweet little surprise at the very end.

#2 Tone-in-tone Ombré

The original ombré was defined not only by pronounced shifts in color, but also movement between two (or more) different color families. The brunette-to-blonde combination is the most popular one we’ve seen, giving wearers a chance to make the best of both worlds at one go. For people who don’t naturally wear blonde well, transitioning from darker shades to softer blondes was a great way to go light in a more organic way. However, the new ombré is breaking all the rules and a great way to keep the concept (a gradual lightening of color) alive while still reimagining it is to work within a single color family. Instead of working with two or more different colors blended together, stick to a single palette and go for changes in tone and intensity instead of pigment. Whether you’re working with the classics like brunette shades or blondes or getting more adventurous with greys, purples and reds, create tonality with changes in depth and light, instead of type.

#3 Reverse Ombré

For Autumn Winter 2016, turn the ombré on its head with hair color dyes that move from light to dark. We’ve already seen the reverse ombré a couple of times before but it hasn’t taken on quite as spectacularly as its more famous cousin- up until now, that is. Since old styling wisdom dictates going light for the summer, most people choose the traditional ombré for the warmer months. By that logic, it makes sense to opt for deeper, darker ombrés come fall. Start with softer roots and move towards richer mid-lengths and bolder ends for a more glamorous effect.

Get ready to revisit an old favorite while keeping it fresh with the Fall Winter 2016 ombré hair color trend.


Fringe Benefits For Summer 2016

Did you know that one of the hottest hair trends for summer 2016 is bangs? I know, sounds crazy right? Your first instinct is to push all that hair up and away from your face so you’d hardly think bangs would be summer 2016’s breakout hair trend but they are! There are tons of ways to style and wear them and also hide them away every now and then.

Most people believe that bangs take a lot of work if you want them to look good. If you’re forever struggling with the straightener or freaking out about parting your hair to one side and sending your bangs off-kilter or wondering how the elements are going to work their magic on your forehead today, you’re not alone. But what makes bangs really hot this summer is your ability to take all of the aforementioned concerns and toss them to a side- because at the very heart of it, style is about being happy and to quote Audrey Hepburn, “Happy girls are the prettiest.”

So, here’s some great advice on how to wear bangs for summer 2016 from your friendly neighborhood stylist.

1. It Needs To Be Good, Not Perfect

There’ll be days when your fringe is flat-out fabulous, and days when it’s frightful. Don’t beat yourself up trying to make it look just right. There’s no such thing as a perfect fringe- only what looks good on you. If you go about trying to get your hair to look like a celebrity or a friend or something you saw on Pinterest, you’re setting a very unrealistic standard. And there’s no guarantee that something that looks good on someone else is going to turn out the same way on you. When it comes to bangs, it’s always safer to go with something that works for your face type, structure, features and lifestyle because bangs are such a visible style element that you really don’t want to have to struggle with them or hate them on a daily basis.

2. Make Shampoos Last Longer

It can be tempting to wash your hair daily, especially when the weather’s muggy, but styling everyday is never a good idea. Instead of rushing through your shower and using whatever products you've got stocked up, make an effort to use the right products for you and really cleanse your hair. This way you can go a day or two (maybe more depending on where you live and your scalp type) between shampoos and you can style your bangs to last longer between washes. You don’t have to wash and blow-dry your bangs daily for them to look good- you just have to clean properly and style right.

3. Dry Shampoo To The Rescue

You don’t always have to jump into the shower the second your bangs start looking limp: a little sprinkling of dry shampoo can perk your bangs up instantly, freshening up the hair and breathing renewed life into the efforts you’ve made to style your fringe. This way, your efforts and styling products can last longer and you can feel better about putting your hair through minimal styling this summer, while still looking polished. Because bangs need regular attention, only work some dry shampoo into the roots with your fingers instead of spraying it all over, as most of us are prone to do. This will help prevent product build-up, while letting the dry shampoo act like a barrier between your forehead skin and the hair to prevent oiliness and weighing down.

4. Choose Bangs That Compliment Your Natural Hair Texture

Don’t start with a look in mind when you’re choosing bangs: use your own hair as an entry point into a new look. If you ask your stylist for a cut that needs daily styling to work with your natural hair type, you’re going to find yourself very frustrated or giving up real quick. It can be tiring to have to blow-dry or straighten or otherwise style your hair daily and there will be times when you just aren’t able to. Instead of subjecting yourself to weird forehead days, ask your stylist for bangs that work well for you. If you’ve got fine hair, wispy bangs will fall beautifully without any effort on your part. If you’ve got thick, straight hair you’re one of the enviable few who can opt for a full, blunt short fringe across the forehead and if you have curly hair you can opt for a shaggy, layered do with bangs that are shaped like a horseshoe.

5. The Secret Speedy Blow-dry

If you do want to boost your blow-dry but don’t have the time or energy to style, here’s a quick trick: dampen your bangs with some water on your finger tips and quickly direct a hairdryer at them. It’s a mini blow-dry in moments.

6. Invest In The Right Tools

Some of you always keep bangs, or tend to return to them every few seasons and for such people it makes sense to buy styling tools that do an exceptional job with bangs.

Using a flat iron on your bangs day-in and day-out is a really bad idea and pretty soon you’ll notice the stark difference in quality between your bangs and the rest of your hair. Pro stylists will always tell you to use a blow dryer to style your bangs instead. And if you find yourself returning to bangs often, I recommend buying a rotating hairbrush. These take all the effort and guesswork out of styling and are absolutely genius for bangs and for short/ medium hairstyles. You can get a salon-esque blow-dry in minutes at home and save tons of money and time in the long run.

It also helps to use brushes according to your hair type: if your hair is curly/ wavy, use a round brush to work out the texture and frizz; if your hair is naturally straight, a boar bristle paddle brush is a better idea.

7. Ditch The Conditioner

While it’s important to condition your hair frequently, avoid using it on your bangs. Conditioner tends to weigh hair down and make it slick, which is the last thing you want for your bangs. Skipping conditioner will keep hair around the forehead lighter, bouncier and less oily for longer. You can condition sometimes, but be sure to rinse really, really well.

The comforting thing about this tip is that since bangs typically don’t have a whole lot of length to them and hair close to the roots is usually baby hair, it’s naturally soft and healthy and doesn't need conditioning like the mid and long lengths. So you’re not really doing any damage or stripping your hair of TLC by avoiding conditioner along the hairline.

Use these tips to keep your hair sexy and summer-friendly this season. If you find that sporting bangs tends to get a little difficult while you’re out and about during the day, keep a pack of oil-blotting sheets in your bag along with a tiny container of dry shampoo for quick, on-the-go touch-ups.


Men’s Spring Summer 2017 Hair Trends

In my last post I mentioned we would soon be doing a spot of trend forecasting for men’s hairstyles for Spring Summer 2017. Well, here it is. Hot off the runways and freshly picked for you. If you fancy a change, here is some inspiration for Spring Summer 2017 men’s hair trends that are going to be major. As I’ve said before, it’s never too soon to start planning.

Calvin Klein

Long established as the brand in luxury menswear for those who prefer minimalistic styling and understated elegance, Calvin Klein’s domination over men’s fashion is going to continue well into 2017. And a short look at the Calvin Klein Men’s Spring Summer 2017 collection is enough to confirm that the no-fuss no-muss look is going to continue to wear well into much of next year.

Short, classic cuts with forehead-skimming fringes are on offer from Calvin Klein, effortlessly blending preppy couture with boardroom chic. Ask your stylist to define the fringes with a razor, to create the iconic ‘peaks’ and add some drama to the look. Bonus points for hairstyles that play up the jawline!

If you want a Spring Summer 2017 men’s hairstyle that’s timeless and always looks proper and put-together, this is it. No going wrong with this one.

Dolce & Gabbana

The tricky thing with men’s fashion (and all fashion, really) is that styles can sometimes fit so squarely into certain categories that it can be really tough to make them work across the board. Spikes can’t work in business meetings, comb-overs may not fly at the beach, cropped cuts can be too severe and so on. And yet, the reason why the major names in fashion exist is because they show us how to challenge these notions, how to work with them and discard them and adapt them.

And that’s exactly what the Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer 2017 showcase does. It proves that you can look good, feel great and be occasion appropriate ALL the time, with a bit of styling smarts. In fact, the men’s hair trend I’ve picked today incorporates all the ‘rules’ I touched upon above and proves them wrong in one swift, sexy style.

Here we have some enviable height at the front, with hair that’s spiked up and also slightly swept back, offset with short sides. The look is clearly working with a suit (even if it’s jazzier than your typical workplace fare) and you can also imagine the haircut fitting in perfectly at the seaside or a club. The trick is in incorporating some of 2016’s hottest men’s hair trends and creating a look that is going to be a major Spring Summer 2017 men’s trend. To keep spiky hair from veering into frat-boy territory, avoid conical spikes and instead simply ‘raise’ the hair up with a strong-hold hairstyling cream and soft the top a bit by flattening it out with your palm and shaping it into a sweeping style, thus bringing in the grown-up vibe that makes comb-over men’s hairstyles such a hot favorite.

Dolce & Gabbana as a brand is known for some seriously dramatic style sensibilities that somehow manage to walk the line between classic and crazy and I’m so happy to see they’re continuing to serve up great inspiration with men’s hairstyles as well.


It was fascinating to see how quickly the hairstyles from the Gucci Spring Summer 2017 showcase made their way to the streets. Mapping the transition of any hair trend from runway to roadside is always interesting, and it can be a painstaking task because it can take weeks for trends to really translate and manifest. And yet, in this case, it was almost instantaneous, which is why I’ve picked photos taken off-runway.

The hair on the runway was a tad bit more theatrical, more structured while the real-life iteration is a little more relaxed, more guy-next-door-with-looks-to-kill. Same flair, albeit with a softer vibe.

Gucci continues to push the envelope on androgynous fashion, with the Spring Summer 2017 show featuring both male and female models. And the essence is reflected in the hairstyles, which are the sort of shaggy, short-medium layered cuts that have a distinctive unisex appeal to them. We’re talking hair that has a sweeping, wave-like quality to it and looks like it’s always in motion, even in moments of complete stillness. If you prefer men’s hairstyles that have a boyish charm, a little bit of moody angst mixed in with a beachy spirit, your pick for men’s spring-summer 2017 hairstyles is right here.

Work with your stylist to choose a length that works for your face and is also one you can manage comfortably on a day-to-day basis. Remember to keep more length and volume up top, regardless, so you can rock the side-parted, swooping crown that makes this hot men’s hair trend all that it is.

Pal Zileri

Craving something a little edgier, a little tougher? These slicked-back men’s hairstyles from the Pal Zileri Spring Summer 2017 showcase are just what the stylist ordered. It’s a strong look, it’s severe and if you’re detecting a slight Godafather-esque vibe there, you’re not alone. Let’s credit making the scene seem so darned stylish to good old Hollywood and get ourselves a bit of the Sicilian style next spring, shall we? You can stay on the right side of the law and look a million bucks, thanks to the very latest in men’s hair trends.

So there you have it: four of next season’s hottest men’s style trends. Spring Summer 2017 trends are already shaping up to be a major topic and we’ll continue deconstructing the latest scoops right here in the weeks to come. Watch this space for more!

Top Men’s Styling Trends For Summer 2016

Want to know what the very latest in men’s styling is? Right now, red-hot? Grab a paper and a pen and get ready to take notes. This is your scoop on men’s hair trends that are blowing up right now- don't miss out!

The DiCaprio

2. Long, Textured Fringes.jpg

Yep, that’s what we’re calling it. 2016 is going down as the year that brought men’s fringes back into fashion and who better to take inspiration from than Leonardo DiCaprio circa the late Nineties? Nobody’s done the forehead kissing, angst-but-adorable messy hair quite like the Titanic star himself. To adapt his iconic 90s look to 2016, lose the peek-a-boo middle part and really amp up the tousled texture. Leo’s hair varied between a scruffy, grungy finish and softer locks but for 2016 we want hair that looks like glass sharp enough to cut on.

If you don’t like haircuts that involve serious maintenance and dedicated styling, give this one a miss. There’s a lot of work that goes into looking like you #wokeuplikethis. But if you’re willing to make the effort, this is the hottest men’s hair trend right now. Lots of messy texture, piece-y definition and smoldering sexiness right here. No better way to draw some attention to those peepers, without compromising on the beloved bad boy vibe that never goes out of style.

The Matte Combover

Vintage-inspired men’s hairstyles have been really big this year, and along with the pompadour, the comb-over is 2016’s biggest breakout men’s hairstyle. It’s distinctly retro, which definitely makes it a classic, but with the right amount of flair and styling, the combover has an undeniable modern appeal too.

To rock the comb-over in 2016 the secret is to play with texture. We want it to be matte and natural. No slick finishes and shine to the 2016 men’s comb-over trend. The matte finish lends an air of gritty sophistication to this old favorite, giving it a more modern touch. Hair is softer and falls more organically than the original slicked back style.

You can use matte hairstyling products like matte-look hair mousse or styling cream. An added benefit is the extra hold you’ll get as a result, thus allowing you a chance to keep the volume and wave (so integral to the comb-over) going for hours and hours.

To play up the drama, boost volume and height along the part and really emphasize where the combover starts. If you’re using hairspray to hold the look in place, read labels to make sure you don't pick up anything with shine boosting properties.

To The Side, Shorty

We’re drawing inspiration here from Calvin Klein’s Spring 2016 collection for men. Italo Zucchelli has long been known for his minimalistic sense of style and design- a quality that ensures that the brand stays on-point with regards to its cool, classic aesthetic sense. If you’re looking for hair that compliments the vibe, this short, side-parted do is just the thing.

If you’ve got a shorter layer, or your hair naturally falls in layers as most people’s is wont to do, you can artfully arrange the same into a small spiky accent while brushing the rest to the side. The look is very understated, very elegant and will work well with everything, from preppy polo T-shirts to power suits.

This is a haircut that works beautifully in all textures, but especially so with thick hair. Aim for a natural healthy shine because the finish helps add to an otherwise subtle look. Shorter cuts like these are great for emphasizing the jawline and adding strong, masculine angles to your face.

Let me know which one of these men’s hair trends you decide to try. Keep your eyes on this space: we’re going to be covering some of the hottest Spring Summer 2017 men’s hair trends soon; it’s never too early to start prepping!

Bleach Boys: Platinum Blonde Hair For Men

Who’s the first person that comes to mind when you hear the words platinum blonde? Gwen Stefani? Kim Kardashian? More recently- Kristen Stewart?

What if I told you Brad Pitt was once a platinum blonde. Yep. Adam Levine had his moment. Pete Wentz too. As did Justin Bieber. And let’s not forget, Jared Leto. Heck, it almost seems like platinum blonde hair for men just might be the bigger trend here!

We usually tend to think immediately of women’s hair trends when we hear the words ‘platinum blonde,’ but the color trend does have its place in men’s styling too. Yes, it’s very niche. Yes, it’s rather tricky. Yes, it does require some serious commitment. But if you get it right, the look can make for a major milestone in your style journey.

Before we spark off an Insta-worthy movement right here, let’s discuss some important pointers regarding the men’s platinum blonde hair trend.

1. Conceptualize Your Entire Look

This involves thinking through your look before you visit the salon. It also involves thinking about a lot more than just the color itself. You’ve clearly already settled on that bit if you’re here. Now it’s time to consider other things. What kind of haircut do you want? Do you want to keep your current haircut? Will it work well with platinum blonde hair? If not, what length will you opt for now? Will your colorist also cut your hair or do you need a separate stylist for that? Once you have a hairstyle/ men’s haircut in mind you’ll need to check whether it requires a specific texture and regular styling or you can wear it in your own natural hair texture.

All these details matter at any given point but when you’ve got a color like platinum blonde that draws a ton of attention, everything is thrown into stark relief.

You need to be very, very clear about the entire look that you’re going for.

2. Get A Second Opinion. And A Third.

Also, a fourth.

Style is personal, and at the end of the day all that matters is that you’re happy with your look. But let’s be honest: a lot of how happy we are with our look depends on how others react to it.

If you’re confident that you won’t be affected by less-than-complimentary comments, that’s awesome. But it still doesn’t hurt to suss out how most people are likely to respond to your bold new look.

It’s also interesting to note that the way we see ourselves usually has nothing in common with how others view us- and you’d be surprised to learn that you’re usually your own worst critic and people generally have a more flattering impression of you. They can also give you a new insight into your own style, the way you carry it and some great feedback on what needs work.

Ask a couple of friends and family what they think about you going platinum blonde. If there’s someone whose personal style you greatly admire, get their opinion too. Never hurts to learn.

3. Can You Handle The Commitment?

Coloring your hair always brings with it a certain level of commitment- in terms of the money spent on the process as well as the time, effort and money spent on maintaining the look.

Platinum hair takes all that to a whole other level. Take everything you know about coloring your hair and looking after it and multiply it by ten.

If the prospects scare you, turn away from that salon seat.

I definitely recommend platinum blonde hair for men and am all for trying new men’s hair color trends but you really need to commit to a look to be able to enjoy it. If you get your hair colored blonde at a substandard salon or you use the wrong hair care products and end up ruining the dye, it’s you who is going to feel unhappy at the end of it all- even if you essentially cheated yourself out of the experience.

4. It’s Light. But Dark.

Platinum blonde is as edgy as it gets. We tend to think of dark hair colors as moodier and light hair colors as softer –especially out here in the West– but none of the usual rules apply to platinum blonde hair. It’s as daring, moody and bold as it gets.

If the trend has piqued your interest but you like your look to be more along the ‘normal’ end of the scale, this one’s not for you. People are going to stare. They’re going to stop you and ask questions. Like if you’re in a punk band. Or an off-Broadway production. The platinum blonde trend finds the edges of mainstream hair trends and then promptly takes a running leap over them. It’s weird, it’s got a strange sexiness about it and it challenges the very idea of normal.

If any of this sounds like something you’d be unhappy with, you should rethink the idea.

5. Don't Forget To Experiment

If you do go in for the men’s platinum blonde hair trend, make sure you have fun with it. Now, you’re probably thinking ‘how much more can I experiment- I’ve already signed up for platinum blonde hair!’

But that’s just the thing. It doesn’t stop here. It’s true that platinum hair is a statement in itself, but there is more you can do with it. For instance, now is the time to test out those pastel hair trends and hair color chalks you’ve been secretly eyeing. It’s usually the women who get to enjoy rainbow hair colors but as Christ Brown taught us, when you’ve got platinum hair you’ve got power.

6. Matching Your Beard To Platinum Hair

Unless you’re gunning for an ultra pale, almost whitewashed end result, I would advocate steering clear of matching your beard exactly to your head hair. Firstly, you should never get too matchy-matchy with your head and facial hair. As I’ve explained in a previous post, beard hair is always a few shades lighter than head hair, which is something you should keep in mind when your dyeing either/both.

Now, when your head hair is platinum blonde and you’re growing facial hair, the previously stated rule doesn’t have to apply. You can go darker with your beard, because let’s face it: what’s lighter than platinum blonde?

You can choose to keep your natural beard color or you could take things further and have your beard dyed as well (be sure to read my last post on beard dyeing for great advice). If you’re opting for the latter, pick a beard dye based on your skin tone and your colorist’s advice on what is likely to work with your complexion and the platinum blonde dye. Anything from a darker blonde to a black can be tried, though admittedly, it’s a whole lot of look and you might find it easier to stay clean-shaven and just let your flaxen locks do the show-stopping.

If you do decide to embrace the men’s platinum blonde hair trend this season, remember to invest in hair care products suited for colored hair, with an emphasis on platinum blonde dyes.  

Male Celebrity Hair Inspiration: Brad Pitt

Starting today, we’ll be taking a look at one male celebrity every month in a column that celebrates male hair trends and beard grooming, amongst other things. We’re all aware that style involves celebrating the individual self and using external elements as expressions of one’s personality, tastes and ideas. But, there’s nothing wrong with finding inspiration in what other people do and how they do it. There’s a lot to be said for originality but when it comes to style trends, nothing is more original than really loving a look and making it your own. Some people create, others emulate.

We’re kicking off this series with Hollywood royalty and massive style icon Brad Pitt. Recognized the world over as one of the most good-looking men to have ever graced the planet, Brad Pitt’s charisma is what makes him a style icon. From shoulder-skimming locks to buzz cuts, Brad brings a sense of laidback confidence to every look and that is what I hope to inspire with this series.

Let’s take a look at some of his greatest styling moments and what we can learn from them.

1. Short ‘n’ Spiky

First rule of Hair Club: we talk about this style always.

The movie that cemented Brad Pitt as Hollywood A-lister and proved he was more than just a pretty face was also the movie that went on to prove just how fantastic that face was.

And we have that spiky, crazy hair to thank for driving the point home.

Most men have, at some point in their lives, tried their hand at spiky hair. It was cool in the Nineties and it’s cool today- you just need to know how to style it right. Using the correct texturizing and styling products makes all the difference. You can read all about it on my posts in the texturizing series and get ready to channel your inner Durden.

2. Swept Away

If you want a hairstyle with volume and height, nothing like the swept back look that Brad Pitt has down pat. You will have to grow out the hair at the crown to achieve a length that’s adequate and learn how to use texturizing mousse and hairspray correctly. But it’s totally worth the effort because the look is equal parts suave and silver fox.

3. Burn Baby Burn

Let’s face it: rocking sideburns is not for the fainthearted. Side burns can look a little OTT because of their in-your-face (or on your face, as the case may be) vibe and so most stylists agree that they’re little more than a relic from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The modern male grooming rules favor a more toned down look, unless you’ve got some serious moxie à la Hugh Jackman or Brad Pitt.

But, if you do have the face and the personality for it, take a cue from Brad here and go right ahead. Sideburns make for a very powerful statement. Regular trimming is necessary to maintain the right length and width (not to mention thickness). Full sideburns should be prominent but not bushy and are usually paired with a beard for a very dapper, old school look.

4. The Buzz About Brad

Definitely one of my favorite Brad Pitt haircuts of all time. Of course, when you’re going that short it does help to have a face that is basically Hollywood gold.

The buzz cut is one that’s favored by millions the world over because of its laidback, zero maintenance appeal. This one is totally no muss no fuss. There’s not a whole lot of thought and expertise needed to achieve the look, as long as you use quality hair clippers.

And once the haircut is in place, you’ve to do nothing to make it look good. Just be. Go forth and conquer.

5. Part Man, Part Mane

Despite having played around with some of the wackiest men’s haircuts of all time, there’s one thing Brad knows for sure: when it comes to classic men’s hairstyles, there’s nothing like the side part.

The one I’ve spotlighted here dates back to 2007, and it continues to be a universally popular men’s hair trend even today.

Side parts work in most haircuts and lengths and are basically the one-stop secret to making any hairstyle look formal yet relaxed. A side part works on men of all ages and facial structures and in all settings. It’s elegant and minimalistic and you can keep things subtle or use it to play up other strong elements of your look (like a great suit or a fabulous tie). We can’t all have that Ken doll thing that Brad has going in this photo but there’s no reason not to try!

6. Hot Shoulder

Shoulder-length hair is, by no means, an easy look to pull off- especially if you have workplace considerations and formal occasions to keep in mind. That said, both Brad Pitt and Christian Bale have worked this one (accompanied by varying degrees of facial hair) on and off the Red Carpet to great effect (may we all look so good in a tux), so it really is all about the way in which you wear it.

Know that your hair is going to go through that weird in-between stage when it’s growing out and you might find yourself wondering why you ever thought this was a good idea. Just pull a beanie on or part it to a side and slick or sweep it back and keep your head down. Until your Pitt transformation is complete.

7. Surfer Dude

If you thought the shoulder-length hair would be tricky to pull off, this one is definitely going to give you pause.

It’s hard to imagine a time that Brad Pitt looked like this, but to be fair, he’s looked like everything over the years and come out on top. From his Interview With A Vampire locks to this particular photo from the Legends of the Fall premier way back in 1994, Brad Pitt’s been setting ridiculously high standards for men for decades now.

The long locks won’t work for everyone, but they count amongst Brad’s most memorable looks and have earned their place on this list. It’s worth noting that the Nineties were when grunge-themed-everything was cool. Don’t forget that long hair takes a fair bit of maintenance, and men who’ve mostly worn their hair short will suddenly find themselves wondering about things like split-ends and hair conditioner.

If you’ve got the guts to go super long, may glory be yours. Try with the shoulder-length look first and if you like the effect (and make it till there) you might find it easier to continue on to greater heights (lengths?). Baby steps.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Write to me and let me know who you’d like to see featured in the next column!

Tortoiseshell Hair: Making The Ecaille Trend Work For You

When the ecaille hair color trend hit the style scene last year, colorists and fashionistas alike breathed a sigh of relief: here was another take on the ombré, but softer and more sophisticated than ever before. Fans of the now-iconic color-shifting gradient welcomed this more refined version of the ombré and tortoiseshell hair became the hair trend of choice for women who wanted to experiment with color without pushing the envelope too far.

Almost a year later and the ecaille/ tortoiseshell hair trend continues to run strong. I think the crux of the trend’s allure is rooted in the fact that it’s incredibly universal and timeless. The look works on everyone and is modern, but in a way that is appropriate for every occasion, place and mood. If you want a hair color that definitely gets you noticed but you want to play it safe at the same time, tortoiseshell hair is just the thing: it's classy, it’s sexy and it shows that you’ve put thought and effort into styling your hair without going OTT with it.

My favorite thing about tortoiseshell hair is that it works beautifully all year round. Want something peppy for the summer? Tortoiseshell hair has enough light and life to be right at home at the beach. Need something a little moodier for the winter? The ecaille trend blends gold with chestnuts and chocolate to create the warmest, richest vibes possible.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to try the ecaille trend by now- if you haven’t already given it a shot. It’s the perfect hair color for this time of year, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot on having to change to a more autumn-appropriate color in a few short weeks. If you’re ready, I’ve got a couple of tips and some advice on how to make the ecaille trend work for you.

1. Ask Your Stylist For The How Aspect

The ecaille hair trend uses the Balayage technique to create effortlessly blended hair color. You’d think that adding caramel and chestnut onto the same head at the same time could never look natural, but it is possible with this technique. It’s very important that any stylist you work with is aware of the significance of free-hand painting to create the more organic hair colors. If a prospective colorist prefers using traditional foils and caps or doesn’t have experience with the ‘sweeping’ hair coloring technique you can’t expect the characteristic fluidity and seamlessness that define tortoiseshell hair.

2. Use The Ombré As Your Starting Point, But Aim Higher

The first few weeks determine the potential viability of a hair trend and I think one of the main reasons why ecaille hair swept through international markets so quickly was because nobody was ready to let go of the ombré and yet the need for a change, for something new, had been realized.

So, if the ecaille trend is a way for you to revisit the ombré without feeling jaded, you’re not alone. The ombré can most definitely be your entry point to a new look; just remember to go beyond so that it is indeed new. Look for photos of ombré hair to get a sense of the colors, gradients, moods and cuts you like. Use these to work your way up to a more polished hair color. I’ve heard people say that the ombré can look ‘colorblocked’ and when you compare it to tortoiseshell hair, it does in fact seem blunt and almost flat. The good news is that you can take your favorite ombré hair and force it to grow up just a little this season.

The secret to tortoiseshell hair is that it uses colors that are close to the wearer’s original/ natural hair color. So even though there are various blonde and brunette shades involved, unlike an ombré where your options limited by your natural color and skin tone, the ecaille trend is actually all about using you as the starting point and then picking the colors. You can favor darker or lighter tones or keep an even balance and basically create a really rich color that’s completely your own.

Ask your stylist for advice on what shades will work best for you; we want to get in a lot of complimentary blonde and brunette tones (and maybe even marry some warm and cool undertones) but the end result has to be a whole lot more organic, elegant and dynamic than the ombré.

3. Prioritize Correct Color Placement

You’ll probably hear a lot of people say that tortoiseshell hair isn’t so much so a trend as it is a technique: after all, the ecaille trend is based off of so many other color trends and its newness is in perfecting those to a new standard by adapting techniques. And a big part of the hair coloring technique is color placement. We’ve already covered the importance of the ‘how’ aspect of the technique: it’s time to take a look at the ‘where’ bit now.

There are no hard and fast rules here but I do prefer placing the lighter tones close to the front. This helps to brighten and liven up the face and adds warmth and light, bringing a sense of joy and wakefulness to your features. Sounds like a heavy task for good old hair color? You’d be surprised by just how much it can do! Depending on your skin tone, you’ll want the softer colors like a buttery blonde or a warm honey at the front.

As for the rest, ask your stylist to add the colors in alternating segments between light and dark. The secret to mixing contrasting tones and yet keeping the overall effect super natural is in perfect blending. The correct color placement will create a super tonal color that looks naturally dimensional. The blondes and brunettes should seep through each other without any harsh lines or obvious fade, such that the color changes and shifts with every new angle and light.

4. Go For A Mood, Not A Look

We’re splitting hairs here (ha!) but what really sets the ecaille trend apart from the rest is that it’s not a look or a technique or even a trend as much as it is mood. Whenever you hear someone talk of tortoiseshell hair, they’ll reference celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and use words like ‘expensive’ and ‘luxurious’. Tortoiseshell hair is an expression of a lifestyle, of fine things and subtle elegance.

So, before you pick the specific shades and decide on their placement, think of the mood you’re trying to create. Envision the vibe based on your personality, the kind of message you want to send out and how you want people to view you. While the essence of the ecaille hair trend is in blending all kinds of blondes and brunettes together, you can adapt the trend to yourself and make it all about you. Don’t stop at using an inspiration photograph or copying the exact look a celebrity has; close your eyes and picture yourself with tortoiseshell hair: what do you see? Convey your vision to your stylist and ask for their inputs.

This hair color is more about understated, powerful glam than a ‘cut-paste’ trend and you need to really feel your way into it.

5. Keep Roots Dark

Perfect tortoiseshell hair is achieved when you combine the sassiness of the ombré with the subtlety of the sombré. Ask your colorist to keep the roots dark to keep the look sophisticated while also playing up the drama quotient.

Darker roots tend to work better with all skin tones as compared to paler roots, and are usually more ‘natural feeling’ as well. If your natural hair color is dark, the deeper roots will help create a smoother transition into the lighter tones that make up the ecaille trend- a trick that is especially handy if working with blonde tones is challenging for your skin tone. The darker roots also help tie the look together, acting as a base with the brunette segments such that the lighter fragments appear to be almost sun-bleached and naturally lightened instead of being dyed.

6. Don’t Skimp On The Stylist

When the end results of a particular hair trend are sophisticated, it goes without saying that the technique that goes into creating the same is equally nuanced. To really enjoy the tortoiseshell hair trend in its truest form, it has to be created by someone with a trained eye, an unwavering hand and an expert understanding of human hair and color.

We’ve talked about how the ecaille trend takes so much from so many of the past seasons’ greatest hair trends and improves on them and to be able to do justice to all that layering, building and blending you need someone with formidable skill and talent. You need your colorist to know (and have experience with) each of the trends that go into creating tortoiseshell hair as well as the technique involved in using them without letting one overpower the other so that the final result is actually a whole new look and not a sloppy assembly of several different looks.

Speak to a couple of colorists, look for a salon in your city that is known to be at the cutting edge of hair coloring and styling and be sure to work with someone who has previous experience in creating tortoiseshell hair.

At the end of the day, the ecaille hair trend is the perfect option for when you’re itching to try something new but you’ve got factors like workplace sensibilities to take into consideration. Tortoiseshell hair is definitely one of my favorite hair trends and will continue to be major for the coming season.