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. 

Color your Beard!


Today we’re going to tackle a topic that really doesn’t get as much attention as it should: bear dyeing. Yep, you read that right. Beard dyeing is a big thing, despite the fact that so little space is devoted to discussing it- and it’s catching on even more in light of all sorts of quirky beard coloring and styling trends that have popped up ever since ‘rainbow hair’ became mainstream.

Now, you don’t have to want to dye your beard a wacky color to make the most of the tips we’re going to discuss today. The idea is to understand what goes into a successful beard dyeing experience and the things you need to look for when you decide to color your beard. Whether you're ready to go pastel or you’ll wait to dye another day, here is everything you need to know about dyeing your beard.

1. Have A Vision For Your End Look

It’s imperative that you know what you’re looking for before you book an appointment or buy a beard dye.

If you’re new to beard dyeing, I’m going to venture a guess and say you’re not going to experiment too much to start off with. Most men who decide to try beard dyeing either want to change their beard color to match a new hair color, or to bring the beard and head hair ‘closer’ in terms of color or to cover up greys. In all these cases, you want to keep things as natural as possible, which is why it’s important to know that beard hair is typically a few degrees lighter than head hair. Anything too matchy-matchy can be jarring to the eye- unless of course, you intend for it to be.

If there is a particular beard dye color you have in mind, take a picture to your stylist. As far as is possible, pick an image/ inspiration that also matches your vision in terms of cut, style and length. All of these elements work together to tie in a look and it’s not as simple as picking one and hoping the others will all fall into place. They wont. This is your face: choose carefully!

If you are an old-hand at beard dyeing/ men’s styling and you’re willing to kick things up a notch with a really crazy beard color trend, it’s all the more important that you have a very precise idea of what you’re looking for. Take reference photos along to show your colorist. Celebrate imagination, but leave nothing to it in terms of your cues.

2. Beginners, Go To A Professional

Beard dyeing is a lot like other styling treatments: if you’ve never done it before, it’s best to leave it to a professional. With time it’s likely that you will feel confident in your ability to dye your beard at home properly. The market is flooded with all sorts of box colors and DIY beard dyes but if you’ve never dyed your beard before, don’t risk it. The results from the first time can make or break your views on beard dyeing and you want your face to get the best possible treatment before you start getting adventurous with it. A pro will not only guarantee great results but also talk you through the process and give bits of advice about technique, all of which can come in handy if you do decide to dye your beard yourself later.

3. Pick The Right Beard Dye Color

One of the first things you’ll have to do is pick a color for your beard dye. It’s only the most important, visible aspect of the change you’re making so don’t rush into the decision.

We’ve already talked about how beard hair is usually 2-3 shades lighter than head hair, so if you want to keep things subtle and natural, you’ll have to work within the same color family.

Now, to drive the point home, consider this: the hair on your head is considerably softer than the hair in your beard. Beard hair is typically quite coarse and wiry, which also means it receives color dyes very differently from head hair. In other words, don’t go using the same dye you use on your head hair on your beard. You’ll actually end up looking like you went to town on your face with a set of kiddie paints. Beard hair doesn’t absorb and reflect hair dye the same way as head hair, which is why an experienced colorist will always tell you to pick a color that’s softer and lighter than your head hair (or whatever you have in mind). You need to consciously choose in a way that diffuses the chemical arrangement behind-the-scenes so that you get the color you want on your face.

And to revisit an old point: do try to keep the colors within the same family. I’ve seen a lot of crazy beard color trends of late, from rainbows to pastels, and it all works. But if you’re dyeing your beard for everyday wear, don’t stray too far from ‘regular’ combinations. You’re not likely to see a ginger beard and blonde hair occurring together naturally, are you? Of course, there are no rules when it comes to styling but you need to know a) what you’re after and b) the audience you’re playing to.

If you want to change your beard/hair color while still keeping things natural, the first thing you want to take into consideration is your skin-tone. A general rule of thumb is to pick a color family that works for your head hair. If you can’t sport a shock of platinum blonde locks on your head, you shouldn’t go for a platinum blonde beard either. Ease your way into experimenting within the same color family as your natural color, just going darker or lighter (or warmer or cooler) so it’s not too much too quick.

To take the guesswork out of choosing beard dye colors, I recommend trying brown tones. Brunette beard dyes work on just about every skin tone and can look both stylish and sophisticated. If you’re used to a deeper, warmer hue shake things up with a cooler chestnut beard dye. If you want to warm things up and add some more color around the face (especially during the cold months when we’re all paler and peaky) try a rich chocolate with warm undertones.

4. Know Which Kind Of Beard Dye You Need

I recommend going to a professional colorist not only because they will have ample experience with beard dyeing techniques, but also because it will save you the hassle of trying to figure out what kind of product to use. That said, clients are a lot more aware and invested today and there is a lot to be said for the satisfaction you get from doing your own research and picking products that fit the bill for YOU.

If you can get a consultation from your stylist on the beard dye best suited for your color preference, hair type, head hair, maintenance ability and budget- nothing like it. If not, take a look around and see what’s available to get a better sense of your options.

If you’re just starting out, look for semi-permanent beard dyes in the supermarket/ salon stores. With semi-permanent beard dyes the color will fade over time with repeated washing, which means you don’t have to wait for the hair to grow out and you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with a dye job or having a new dye done over the same. Semi-permanent dyes are easily available in most color types and you can choose from a range of well-known brands and price points.

If you want your semi-permanent beard dye to last longer, apart from touching it up as and when is needed, you can also be careful about how you wash it. Rinsing with plain water is usually enough for daily cleansing and you can use a gentle shampoo (intended for use on colored hair) for a deeper clean, without stripping away the dye pigments.

For a longer-lasting color, visit the salon. Your stylist will help you choose from a range of permanent beard dyes. The upside of this option is that you get your beard professionally colored and the dyes tend to be of better quality and they last much longer. You basically have to wait for the hair to grow out. The downside is that you might have to invest in frequent touch-ups when your roots start showing, which means more time and money spent on maintaining your beard. If you want to return to your old color or try something new, it can be frustrating to have to wait out the entire period- or expensive to have a new dye job done immediately after. The different colors in the in-between period can also look odd (not too much of a problem if you’re still in your natural color family).

5. Alternatives To Chemical/ Mass-produced Beard Dyes

Branching off from what I said before, hair coloring and beard dyeing are about a lot more than the visible color. You’ve also got to take your personal preferences about styling products and your skin type and individual concerns into consideration. A lot of people are simply not comfortable with the idea of using chemical colorants- especially on their face. Yet others have tried and experienced negative reactions to the same and want to be able to dye their beards without revisiting skin concerns.

If any of these points resonate with you, don’t fret: there are other options. You do have natural/ chemical-free and herbal alternatives to chemical beard dyes. A lot of plant-based color dyes can be used in place of box colors, and henna is one of the most universally loved natural dyes used by men and women all over the world. Apart from its color-staining properties, henna also works like a conditioner and leaves hair soft and luxurious.

That said, you can’t enjoy the same range of colors that you can with the more traditional hair colors and beard dyes. If you don’t have any skin allergies or concerns holding you back, you can still ask your colorist for recommendations on a healthy, hypoallergenic hair/ beard dye that you can use without worry.

6. The Secret To Great Beards: Proper Prepping

Getting the groundwork right is the real secret to any styling project: the crux of a successful styling endeavor is preparing the hair/skin for the change and ensuring a gradual, controlled transition to the new style. You can’t simply pick a new style and slap a few things on and wait on product and pixie dust.

Before you use a beard dye (at home or in the salon) be sure to do a patch test. Even after you’ve scanned the ingredients list, a patch test is recommended because you never really know how your body is going to react to a substance until you introduce the same to it.

To get your hair ready for the beard dye, make sure you don’t use any other product on it for a full day before the dyeing process. This means no shampooing or conditioning the beard for 12-24 hours before coloring. Despite your best efforts to scrub out all the product and prevent build-up, they can still leave traces on your skin and on the hair. Product residue acts as a barrier between the hair follicle and the dye, essentially weakening the latter’s hold on the former. This will prevent your beard from receiving the true color of the dye and it will also wear for a much shorter period.

I’d also advise against using any products on the beard for at least a day (preferably two) after you dye it. Quality beard dyes will take hold well but there’s no sense in testing the limits of a product unnecessarily. Avoid excessive rinsing or time out in the sun for a day to really give the dye time to latch on and prevent fading.

7. Learn To Use Beard Dye Properly

Always follow the instructions on the box/ beard dyeing kit. Don’t experiment with dye-to-water/mix ratios and application tips and leave-on timing. At least not until you become adept at DIY beard dyeing and feel confident in your ability to play around with the process.

Most beard dyeing kits will come with the necessary equipment- this usually includes a mixing bowl, a spoon or a spatula and some kind of applicator. Even if yours doesn’t, you can pick these up for cheap from any supermarket. I do recommend using a toothbrush to apply the beard dye because this will limit your range of application, thus reducing the risk of mishaps. You can enjoy a free range of motion while still having a relatively limited tool-surface to work with, which means greater control and precision than can be expected with the wider ‘painter-style’ brushes.

If you want to check the color before removing the product, take a thick paper towel, moisten one end and very gently scrape off some of the product to reveal the hair underneath. If you’re satisfied with the color you can rinse of the dye; if not, leave it on for longer until a deeper stain shows through. If you’re dyeing your beard in multiple coats, limit it two and make sure you keep the second one on for a brief period: you don’t want to end up with a shock of flat, harsh color on your face.

Knowing how to apply your beard dye properly is essential to getting the color right. If you use too much product or leave it on for too long, you could end up with an unnaturally dark and stark beard color. Not using enough product or cleaning it off too soon might leave you with a pale, weak wash of color. Everyone has their own preferred technique and you’ll develop yours as you go along. A lot of people believe in building up color; this technique involves apply a small amount of a lighter beard dye for some time, then removing it and re-applying another coat and thus intensifying the color until the desired shade is achieved. There is some wisdom to this technique but it’s a time-consuming task and a rather hit-and-miss approach, so unless you get it down to an exact science you might end up with different results each time.

Another way of making sure you don't mess up the color is to use a darker beard dye but leaving it on for a short period than suggested and limiting application to just one layer. This way you deliver a stronger punch of color to the beard but limit its intensity at the same time.

If you do end up with a stronger/ darker color than you’d like, use a clarifying shampoo and wash your beard. This should remove a thin layer of the color and lighten your beard. Stop/ repeat as is necessary.

To ensure precision in application (and prevent clown-cheeks) a great trick is to apply Vaseline right next to wherever you want to limit the dye. For some added precaution, spread the Vaseline layer about an inch wide so you have nothing to worry about even if you slip up a bit. Vaseline acts a barrier between the dye and the skin and prevents any accidental staining. Remember to put some along the neckline and onto your ears as well: basically anywhere you think you might end up inadvertently smearing some dye.

And finally, always use a pair of gloves when you’re dyeing your beard to prevent staining your hands.

8. Touch-ups And Spot Treatments

Just as is the case with hair color, beard dyeing doesn’t always have to be a full-dye job. You could want to simply do a touch-up every now and then, whether to cover up greys or to maintain your current beard color.

Instead of bringing out the box color or booking an appointment at the salon, consider using a tinted mustache wax. These are a great product to liven up color without going the whole nine yards. Mustache wax is typically used to shape and style mustaches and beards but the tinted variant is great for adding more depth/ dimension to your facial hair color. All you have to do is take a bit of the product in your hands, rub them together to warm it up and then apply it to your facial hair. Then use a comb or a beard grooming brush to style a shape you like.

That said, if you want a more permanent (or semi-permanent, if you will) solution, you will have to reach for your DIY beard dye or visit your colorist. If you dye your beard regularly, it should be easy to figure out a tentative timeline for how often you need touch-ups. In between sittings, use beard care and male grooming products that are especially formulated for use with hair colors and hair dyes.

It also goes without saying that a very big part of male grooming and beard styling is hair health: if your facial hair is unhealthy, unkempt and unruly, no amount of styling effort is going to pay off. The effect simply won’t look as good as it could and/ or it won’t last as long as it should. Take proper care of your beard and emphasize hygiene, maintenance and regular styling- and you’ll be glad you did!

The Watermelon Hair Color Trend

Ready to make a splash this summer? The latest hair color trend to hit the scene couldn’t be more season-appropriate: the watermelon hair color trend is summer 2016’s latest hair color craze! As far as summer hair color trends go, this fresh ‘n’ fruity trend is just the thing you need to serve up that perfect summer style sorbet.

As the name suggests this hair color trend has been inspired by none other than everyone’s favorite summertime snack, the watermelon. If you just can’t get enough of watermelon-inspired things on Pinterest (from margaritas to manicures) this is one trend that is sure to hit the sweet spot.

The watermelon hair color trend marries shimmering greens with punchy pinks to create one of the most delectable looks of the season. Admittedly, it’s not the most wearable or work-appropriate look but if you’re off for the summer or can afford to play with hair colors, I definitely recommend giving this one a try.

Both red and green dyes wear reasonably well in dark hair as well as light hair. Unlike the pastel hair color trends that simply don’t work in dark hair, the watermelon hair color trend can be adapted to a darker base. That said, your stylist will still have to prep your hair to receive (and retain) the colors properly and will most probably want to lighten the base a few degrees to create the right transition color for when the green fades out and gives way to the red.

As I say for every new trend- you can adapt the watermelon hair color trend to your own personal tastes as well. From paler moss greens and pink-lemonade corals to darker emerald and ruby tones, you can wear the colors as vivid or subtle as you like. You could choose to wear the colors in an ombré-esque gradient, fading from one to the other or you could ask your stylist to blend in the colors in different streaks/ sections all over the head or even do a half-and-half take for a really striking effect. And if you’re not feeling bold enough to commit to watermelon hair or you have only a few short weeks of summer vacation, consider trying the trend out with hair color chalks and spray-on dyes. And another great way to experiment with hair color without running the risk of being inappropriate (think workplace, university, etc.) is to go for ‘hidden under-lights’: this basically involves painting on a particular hair color trend onto the underside of your hair, keeping the main (read, visible) portions as they are. Doing so essentially allows you to ‘hide’ the wacky bits whenever you need to, which means you can have all sorts of fun with hair color this summer without worrying about dress codes and official rules and all that.

Be sure to check out Instagram for more inspiration on this fabulously fun hair trend. And if you do decide to give it a go, tag me and let me know how you like your new look. 

Pompadour 101: The Men’s Style For All Ages

I’m hesitant to call any single hairstyle the ‘ultimate hairstyle’ because style is so personal, evolutionary and dynamic. That said, when it comes to men’s hairstyles, if there is one trend that has only continued to grow through the decades, it is the pompadour.


What Is A Pompadour?

The pompadour is probably the first hairstyle that comes to mind when we talk about men’s hairstyles, Hollywood superstars and iconic fashions. I think it would be fair to say that the pompadour is to men’s styling what red lipstick has been to women’s styling: all-powerful, universal and timeless.

The pompadour is a popular men’s hairstyle that’s identified by 3 key features:

·      Flattened sides: these can be slicked-down, combed back, buzzed or tapered/ faded.

·      Tons of volume on top.

·      A gradual decrease in said volume as we move from the front to the back.

The pompadour is proof of the fact that fashion truly transcends boundaries: the style’s roots can be traced back to Madame de Pompadour, mistress to King Louis XV and it was actually a women’s hairstyle for the longest time. And then another King came along and changed it all; yep, we’re talking about the man who popularized the pompadour: Elvis Presley.

Types Of Pompadour

The great thing about hairstyling is that even with something as iconic and inimitable as the pompadour, there is tons of rooms to experiment and play around with the basic concept and make it your own. The three characteristics that we’ve discussed above make the pompadour, but there are several different variations for you to try.

The Classic

The pompadour in its most elegant, minimalistic form. This is for the gentleman who knows his style but doesn’t want to make an obvious statement.

The sides don't have to be buzzed too short- just enough to be noticeably different from the crown. The buzzed/-flattened sides should also not start too high on the head; trace a line from the highest points of your brows to your hairline and start at that point (go lower if you’re unconvinced). This creates a happy medium between the height of the crown and the widening effect of the sides and guarantees that there are no pronounced angles and planes at play. Keep the volume at the crown controlled as well. This variant is all about subtle sophistication.

This version of the pompadour wears beautifully with neat beards, especially those along the lines of goatees, French beards and Van Dykes.

We’ve seen the classic pompadour on celebrities like Brad Pitt and Zachary Quinto.

The Vintage

This is the pompadour in its truest, most flamboyant form, just as the King intended it. These days the vintage pompadour is usually spiced up with modern accents such as the tapered fade and undercuts and disconnected tops, so you won’t get to see a whole lot of the good old rock-and-rockabilly variants on the daily but the style remains an eternal favorite.

If you’re looking to create some Old Hollywood glamour in your life, love the classic men’s hairstyles and old-school fashions or simply want to sport a look to match a theme, it doesn’t get more iconic than the vintage pompadour.

This version of the pompadour is all about massive volume at the top, brushed up and back towards the nape of the neck. The vintage pompadour is all about movement, with the top creating a rather expressive swoop. The sides aren’t flattened out or buzzed to the scalp: rather, the distinction is created by exaggerating the volume on the top. The sides are brushed back and generally meet and blend together right at the back of the head. The front is usually characterized by a flowy, soft quiff that gradually ‘closes inwards’ as the hair takes a more defined structure as it moves backwards. Elvis wore his pompadour with his trademark sideburns, which you could try if you’re feeling bold but other than that, avoid facial hair with this iteration of the pompadour.

The Angular

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This one makes for an exaggerated take on the hairstyle, and is right up there on the list of sexy haircuts for men.

The angular pompadour is defined by a lot of volume at the crown- especially closer to the front and a dramatic decrease as we move towards the back. At the same time, the sides are cut/-slicked very close to the scalp, creating an extreme contrast with the top. The haircut is usually defined by the top voluminous part ending in an almost point-like accent at the front or set off with a few sexy razor-sharp strands falling forward. This look is all about sharp angles and dramatic differentiation.

The angular pompadour requires some confidence and style savvy to pull off, but suits most people, though it’s especially suited for men with round faces because it adds height and sharp angles to offset the width of the natural face type.

While I fully recommend the hairstyle, it does involve upkeep (you’ll have to get the sides trimmed regularly) and does need styling every time you want show off the haircut in all its glory. 

Nobody, I repeat nobody, does the angular, modern pompadour better than hair god David Beckham himself.

Styling A Pompadour

Now that I’ve got you convinced about giving the pompadour a shot, here are some styling tips to help you make the most of the men’s hairstyling trend.

1.     If you want to create the illusion of a square-shaped face, ask your stylist not to cut/trim the sides through all the way to the back, limiting them to wear the curve really starts.

2.     If you’re choosing the angular pompadour on rounder faces, ask your stylist to trim the sides high and tight as this helps emphasize facial features.

3.     When wearing the angular pompadour on a narrower face, allow the voluminous part to wear slightly lower and start the ‘sides’ only 1-2 inches above the ears.

4.     If you want to play up your beard, ask your stylist to make sure that the pompadour’s edges are tapered really tightly. Know that tapering doesn't have to affect length and you can actually keep some length on the edges while still sporting a really close taper. Tight tapering emphasizes facial hair and makes it look more pronounced, which makes it a total hit with beard-lovers.

5.     For a very modern, daring take on the pompadour ask your stylist to finish it off with accents like the side-fade or a disconnected top. These style elements instantly add a serious edge to the classic haircut but they’re not for the fainthearted.

6.     For the style-conscious professional, the classic pompadour with a side part works best. If you’re blessed with hair that complies with your styling vision, regular brushing and parting should do the trick. If not, just add a touch of hair pomade and use it to craft the swoop to one side.

Give the pompadour a try and see how you get on. I’m willing to bet that you’ll love the look- it’s been a universal favorite through the decades for good reason.

Kristen Stewart: How To Style The Platinum Bob

It’s official: 2016’s biggest hair trend is the platinum blonde bob. And we have one woman to thank for that: actress and fashion icon Kristen Stewart. Kristen has come a long way since her debut, both in terms of the kind of work cinematic work she’s doing and how fully, beautifully she’s accepted her own personal brand of style and expression.

It’s really freeing to see such creativity in someone so young and what’s even more heartening about her transition is the number of people she is inspiring: there’s been such an upsurge in people of all ages wanting to experiment with daring fashions and dark, moody trends in the wake of Kristen’s appearances at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

For what Kristen has done is nothing short of a styling miracle: she’s made the paragon of all hairstyles seem fun, casual, sexy and most importantly, easy. By combining two of the biggest, baddest hair trends in recent times–the platinum blonde hair color trend and the craze for short bobs– Kristen’s soared through the proverbial glass ceiling and shown women everywhere that high fashion can be accessible and enjoyable.

Before we deconstruct Kristen Stewart’s platinum blonde bob and all the styling options you can try out, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the man behind all the Red Carpet magic we’re celebrating today: noted mane maverick and my dear friend, Adir Abergel. Adir’s work with Kristen has been truly spectacular because he manages to capture her essence flawlessly time-after-time, marrying her gritty exterior to the underlying playfulness that catches people by surprise every time. As hairstylists we have to walk a tricky line between celebrating the client’s tastes, drawing out their inner essence, encouraging them to try something new and keeping in mind the fact that we’re playing to a much larger, literally universal audience. Adir does all of this and more with such ease and grace and I’m so proud to be able to discuss his work here today.

It’s scary enough for most women to consider coloring their hair a new shade, let alone lightening it to platinum blonde. Try suggesting a bob on top of that and most will hastily cancel their appointment. So, when Kristen Stewart not only wore the platinum blonde bob with ease but also went on to sport a whole new look with every appearance, women everywhere began to sit up and take notice. Kristen and Adir have burst the Myth of the Platinum Bob by proving that it’s not an elusive, limiting look at all.

Today we’re going to take a look at all the different Kristen Stewart Cannes 2016 hairstyles and see what we can learn from the same.

#1 Edgy Elegance


A lot of female celebrities will go the old-school route for evening events and major appearances and if the occasion demands it, why not? However, for someone like Kristen, who’s just a little bit edgier and more experimental than many of her colleagues, even glam takes on a whole new meaning.

For the Café Society premiere and the Opening Night Gala Kristen wore her platinum bob swept up and away from the face. The bob was styled with a soft side part and a subtle wave at the hairline. The mid lengths were styled behind the ears, keeping the look sophisticated and letting her makeup draw focus. The soft smoky eye and red lip made for the perfect foil to the natural hair texture, creating a style statement that was both occasion-appropriate yet quirky.

#2 Carefree Casual

For the Café Society photo call, Kristen’s platinum blonde bob was style loose and natural, with a middle part defining the look. This version of the bob served to highlight the darkened roots along the part, while softening their effect at the hairline. Parting a bob down the middle tends to blunt the overall effect, making the ends appear an even length, unless you are sporting a markedly asymmetrical haircut, of course.

Kristen wore her hair tucked behind one ear for the most part, which tends to create the illusion of sharper angles and more movement in a bob. The texture was kept natural, with the merest suggestion of waves from the midlengths. Flipping out the ends mixes things up, especially if you opt for a longer bob that hers and want some more drama.

This particular variant of the platinum blonde bob hairstyle may not be everyone’s cuppa, given that it plays up a starker, more severe aesthetic. That said, I do think it’s especially suited to young women, and it’s the easiest, most low-maintenance style on this list.

#3 Relaxed Glam

This is possibly my favorite of all the different ways in which Kristen wore her platinum bob at Cannes 2016. The hairstyle is low-key and relaxed, lending the wearer a happy, breezy vibe. And yet, at the same time, the texture is visibly so soft and smooth and the bob has been obviously styled, making the overall effect sophisticated enough to qualify as a formal hairstyle.

What sets this particular version of the platinum blonde bob apart from all the others on this list is the texture. While Kristen’s stylist has played up the natural graininess of her hair texture for the other bob hairstyles, this one goes the other way and boasts of a buttery touch.

Blow-dry your hair straight while using a heat protectant. Carefully add some texturizing product and comb it through from the roots to the tips.

Create big, flowing waves in your hair with old-school hot rollers; roll the curlers up only till your ears as we want to keep the crown smooth. Once the waves are in place, let the rollers out and use a hairbrush and comb the ends out, leaving the waves in only at the mid-lengths.  

Carve out a high side part and tuck the hair under the part behind the ear. Move to the other side, brushing the hair forward over your forehead and letting most of it fall naturally. You want some to swoop down over one eye and skim the jawline. If you can’t get your hair to naturally fall in a swoop, just use your fingers to place it as you want and then add some hairspray for hold. This look is definitely more polished in terms of texture as compared to the others, but we’re still playing up a sense of fluidity and careless grace.

If you decide to sport darker roots with the platinum blonde hair like Kristen here, you’ll see that they really come through in this particular version of the bob: the gradient from the deep roots to the lighter lengths is really noticeable along the part and is exaggerated by the ‘downward slope’ created by this hairstyle.

#4 Structured Texture

This particular hairstyle was marked by a lot of strong elements, which by common logic had no business working individually, let alone together. It was a whole lot of look and yet Kristen set the blogosphere ablaze with her daring choices. Everything about this look –from the contrasting textures and lines of her outfit to the red eye shadow and the piece-y hair– is so bold and yet, against all odds, or perhaps because of them, it all ties together.

Recreating this hairstyle at home will involve working on freshly washed hair; you’ll need to spread a dollop of styling mousse through damp hair to make it more malleable. You can also use a hair crème (with holding properties) to shape and place each of the wavy, structured pieces around the crown. You’ll notice that the look is defined by a lot of height, body and movement at the crown, especially right at the hairline. It almost looks like the entire hairdo is constantly in motion and the result is mesmerizing- and works spectacularly against the serene tones of her outfit. Arrange pieces of hair at the crown artfully, twisting and positioning them as you go along. You can let the rest of your bob fall naturally, or brush it back behind the ears if you so like. Just don’t be too neat with it. Once you’re done, be sure to spritz on a strong-hold hairspray, preferably one with a high-shine finish to mimic the wet-look sheen seen on Kristen.

#5 Punk Chic

And here we see glimpses of Kristen Stewart’s known fondness for rock-chic and punk-inspired hairdos. Those of you who enjoy adventurous hairstyles will love this look: it’s wavy and asymmetrical with lots of volume, grittiness and enviable body.

To style this look, begin on freshly washed hair and spread a texturizing product of your choice through the strands. Using the diffuser attachment on your hairdryer, begin blow-drying. For some extra oomph, return to the traditional dryer nozzle and dry your hair in sections, holding each in the palm of your hand and scrunching it upwards as you direct the air stream. This will create tons of natural volume and waviness. If your hair is naturally very straight, you might want to curl it after it is washed.

Now, there are two ways you can wear the platinum bob here. You can either use the front accent as seen here on Kristen to spice up the look, while brushing (and fixing) the rest of the hair behind the head or into a small bun or ponytail. If you’ve got bangs, this technique can be used to style them while keeping the rest of your hair pinned back. Just adapt the following step to the front portion and simply comb the rest to the back and slick/ secure it into place, as you like.

Create a high side part and brush the bulk of your hair up and over to the other side, letting it fall over the brow and to the front. You can even tease the roots in inch-high sections to create some height near the hairline. Carefully arrange the front section and if you have a side-swept/ angled fringe, position the shorter pieces in small half-curls at the highest point of the swoop (ideally at the center of your hairline). Allow the rest of this side (the one favored by the part) to fall as it may, maintaining the bulk of the volume to one side.

Now, if you’re using this step to simply arrange the front accent, stop here and brush back and secure the rest of your hair and then add some hairspray. If you want to create a complete asymmetrical bob out of the general idea, continue on.

Now, use a comb to brush back the hair on the other side, under the part. You won’t have a ton of hair left on this side to work with so you should be able to push it back with ease. Add a hairpin or two at the back if needed, though some hairspray should also be enough to keep it in place. Flattening down one side will play up the contrast with all the volume and movement on the other side. If you want to kick things up a notch you could always use a hair gel to slick the offside down for a really flat, shiny counterpart to the grainy, wavy front.

Kristen and Adir’s real triumph at Cannes 2016 is not only in making the platinum blonde bob look wearable, but also in making it so versatile. Most people think it’s easier to try new looks and hairstyles with long hair because there’s so much more raw material to work with- as a result, many people are scared of getting stuck in an inescapable rut with short hair. However, as this post shows, there is no end to the ways in which you can style the platinum blonde bob. Let me know your own ideas on how you want to style 2016’s hottest haircut.

Hair Trends From Cannes 2016

Now that the 2016 Cannes Film Festival is over, it’s time to review the major hair moments from all the Red Carpet appearances, photocalls, premiers and other events. There was a little bit of everything and we’re now going to take a look at the biggest hair trends to come out of Cannes 2016.

We’re going to be seeing a lot of these looks in the coming months, and here’s where you get the scoop on what you should be planning for. When you’re into trend-mapping like I am, it’s exciting to see a hair trend go from fledgling to superstar, and there really is no bigger confirmation that a trend is here to stay than when it makes its way to a platform like Cannes.

Old Hollywood Waves

Now, vintage-inspired hairstyles in general, and Old Hollywood waves in particular, have been around for a long time. So it might not be a new trend so much so as the revival of an old favorite. That said, side-swept waves are now coming back in a big way and are going to be one of the hottest formal hairstyles for the rest of the year. Amal Clooney, Anna Kendrick and Marion Cotillard showed off the power of retro glam hairstyles to great effect. I especially loved Marion’s version because it proves you don’t have to have super long hair to rock Old Hollywood waves: the essence of the look is in the styling.

Structured Crowns

If you enjoy subtle sophistication in the form of ponytails, chignons and sleek buns then this is a hair trend you’re going to enjoy: structural detailing at the crown. While Catriona Balfe’s crown was divided into three almost-uniform segments creating a balance between the horizontal and vertical planes, Araya A. Hargate’s hair was drawn up much higher at the crown, lending a more pronounced angular height to the look that beautifully offsets the updo at the back. If you want to add an interesting element to your look without experimenting with braids or texture etc., these architectural lines make for great crown accents.

Tonal Chestnut

If you’re looking for Autumn Winter 2016 hair color trends, look no further. This tonal, dimensional chestnut hair color is just the thing you need for next season. It’s dark enough for the colder months but also lively and spirited so you don't have to worry about ending up with a flat wash of color. While Catriona’s chestnut is slightly lighter with auburn undertones, Aishwarya’s is deeper with a more mahogany glint. On the whole, the tonal chestnut hair color is moody and sexy but not in a way that’s overpowering. It works beautifully with all skin tones and is the perfect marriage between playful and classic hair colors.

Minimalistic Formal

With each passing day at Cannes 2016 we’d see a new trend that would take the blogosphere by storm, but now that the festival is all wrapped up and the votes are in there is one clear winner: Charlize Theron. While everyone is going gaga over Charlize’s impeccably tailored suit and her trademark dangerously sexy vibe, I’d like to draw attention to her hairstyle hair. Charlize’s hair was styled into a sleek, low bun at the back. The middle part and slicked-down crown add a touch of sharp sophistication to the hairdo, making an otherwise simple hairstyle look glamorous. The tiny bun is a great way to style short hair away from the face when you want other aspects of your look to be the focus.

Anyone wanting to rock a spectacular outfit should take a leaf out of Charlize’s book. The hairstyle is different enough to be noticeable yet minimalistic enough to not steal the show. It’s sexy but work-appropriate and immediately lends an aura of confidence, mystery and elegance to the wearer. 

Textured Lobs

While lobs are a fairly recent phenomenon, adding a slightly retro edge to a new favorite is a great way to spice it up. Lobs have been around for a few seasons now and just when we thought they’re veering into overdoneville, out pops the textured asymmetrical lobs. It’s the grown-up version of the angular bob: longer, wavier and comfy in its own skin. The textured lob has a relaxed feel to it but fits right in with formal hairstyles, as evidenced by both Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain.

If you’re not keen on getting an asymmetrical haircut, there is a way to fake the angled lob: simply part your hair high on one side and comb over generously to the other. Tease an inch of the hair at the roots along the part to add some lift at the base. The additional hair on one side as well as the volume at the roots will drop more hair on the side favored by the part, creating the illusion of an asymmetrical length. You can also make like Naomi and tuck hair in at the back on the other side, for a sharper contrast.

Voluminous Top Knots

And here’s the return of another old favorite: voluminous high buns. We’re combining ballerina buns, topknots and bun donuts to create a new bun that’s the best of all worlds. For an ultra polished hairstyle, go with a sleek texture and carefully crafted structure like Li Bingbing. For a more laidback, sexy-yet-formal updo, opt for a tousled, slightly messy high bun like supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio. The key is to work in tons of volume and height.

Twisted Side Bun

One of my favorite Cannes 2016 hair trends comes from Uma Thurman’s look for the amfAR Gala. The low-hanging, twisted and coiled side bun is a breath of fresh air. If you like chignons and low-placed updos, this is a hairstyle you have got to try. The coiled knot is set off with tons of volume at the crown and serious height at the hairline creating an almost quiff-like accent. The look is classy and funky, and stands out in a sea of really great hairstyles, which is how you know it’s a winner. It’s also worth noting that the bun has been styled on the side opposite to the shoulder detail of her shocking pink Schiaparelli gown. It’s a great way to let a striking gown and accessory have their moment while also keeping the hairdo front and center.

Other Cannes 2016 hair trends worth checking out are Kirsten Dunst’s 50s-style lob with the flipped-out ends, Kat Graham’s take on the dual tone hair color trend and Riley Keough’s pancaked braid. 

Best Hairstyles From The Cannes 2016 Opening Gala

The 69th annual Cannes Film Festival is well and truly under way and we’ve already seen some excellent styling on and off the Red Carpet. The Cannes Film Festival always makes for the most dramatic, most extravagant Red Carpet styling choices, bar the Met Gala, of course. Everything about Cannes is big, brilliant and bold. Cannes is where people come out to play and there’s just such a fun, cheerful mood all around.

The Cannes Opening Ceremony is always the most-awaited day of the festival because it just sets the tone for the entire event. Here’s my pick of the best-loved hairstyles from the 2016 Cannes Opening Gala. Enjoy! 

Anna Kendrick

I’ll admit, I had a hard time choosing between Anna Kendrick’s Old Hollywood waves and Amal Clooney’s more voluminous take on the beloved hairstyle. In the end, Anna’s version wins the spot because it’s sleeker, more wearable across a variety of occasions and slightly younger-looking. The auburn hair’s also a great summer-to-fall color, bright enough for the beach yet sophisticated enough for the colder months. These Veronica Lake-esque side-swept waves will always be a Red Carpet favorite and if you’re ever in doubt about hairstyles for weddings, galas etc. just know that you can’t go wrong with this retro glam look.

Araya A. Hargate

Thai superstar Araya Hargate’s structural updo made for one of the best formal hairstyles at Cannes. The differentiated planes at the crown, the sharp contrast between lines and curves and the low looped bun are the makings of a formal hairstyle that’s elegant without being predictable. There’s enough going on there to catch your eye while still keeping the overall effect graceful.

The front segment involves styling up and back, pulling focus to the crown- it’s a look that will work easier with oval and heart-shaped faces as compared to square-shaped faces and more angular jawlines. This is a hairstyle that serves to elongate the face, so you might want to give this one a miss if you’re looking for hairstyles with a softening effect. My advice would be to opt for updos with less structural, more messy and fluffed-up crowns.

Gaia Weiss

Lobs and asymmetrical cuts continue to dominate the Red Carpet scene at Cannes 2016, which is why Gaia Weiss’ braided updo instantly made its way to my list here. The Vikings actress is bringing some of her on-screen style to the Red Carpet with this super spunky, ultra glam braid.

There are a couple of ways to recreate the look. The easiest way to do so is to make a French braid and then take the regular plait section (below the neck) and fold it back upwards and pin it into place over the braided-in section. You’ll have to tuck all ends and loose bits in to create the ‘braided spine,’ but it’s a fairly easy trick to master. You can also try your hand with the dragon braid (you need to know how to make a Dutch lace braid for this one) or the faux hawk, though you’ll definitely need skill, patience and serious arm muscles for those!

Jessica Chastain

If we’re electing an official color for Cannes 2016, it’s going to be yellow. If we’re electing an official hairstyle for Cannes 2016, it’s going to be the asymmetrical bob. Jessica Chastain’s tousled, textured lob beat out all others to make it to the list for a number of reasons.

For starters, the messy wavy texture adds a relaxed, lived-in contrast to the uber-glam jewelry and formal gown. It’s a nice touch, because she looks like she’s having fun and isn’t too worried about her look, while still looking like a million bucks. Secondly, Jessica’s lob is the perfect length. Kristen Stewart’s (she’s on this list too, btw!) bob might be tough for some to carry while Naomi Watts’ longer lob (a close contender) requires more styling. This is the ideal length for someone who wants a fuss-free but fab haircut for all times. Third, the cuivre red hair color is going to be one of the biggest Autumn Winter 2016 hair color trends and the burnished copper on Jessica is absolute perfection. Take notes.

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart’s bleached blonde hair is the talk of the town right now. It’s really interesting to map how Kristen’s personal style has evolved over the last few years. And it’s all the more satisfying because you can see she’s sporting trends that actually resonate with her. So often you’ll see a celebrity wearing an outfit or a hairstyle that somehow seems to sit on them and doesn’t feel like it fits; with Kristen you get the sense that what you see on the Red Carpet is exactly what she’s going to be wearing on her own time.

The flaxen-colored bob is undoubtedly one of the boldest hairstyles we’re seeing right now: the color is difficult to pull off but glorious, the dark roots add a serious edge and that messy, punk vibe is really working for her. Asymmetrical bobs make for some of the most versatile haircuts because there’s no end to the ways in which you can style them. Earlier at a photocall Kristen wore her platinum bob parted down the middle, but for the Opening Gala she wore it parted on a side and brushed over with a lot of volume and softly wavy texture.

Here’s the secret to making platinum blonde hair work: always fill-in your brows to soften the effect and add a slightly more neutral, natural palette to the face. It works especially well if you’re keeping darker roots.

Li Bingbing

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Even with a retinue of stylists and experts on call it’s difficult to always get it right. All celebrities slip up sometime or the other, and it’s a reminder of how just personal and subjective style sensibilities are and how celebs are just regular folks too. Except Li Bingbing, that is.

Li Bingbing is always so perfectly turned out that it’s hard to imagine her in anything but the most stunning gowns, flawless makeup and impeccable hairstyles. Take her look from the Cannes 2016 Opening Ceremony for instance: it’s not a hairdo we’ve never seen before but something about it still takes your breath away. The excellence is in its execution and in doing justice to a formal hairdo by making sure there isn’t a hair out of place. It’s perfect example of a look that’s sewn together so seamlessly that you can’t imagine a single aspect differently. It’s a great example of how to match a formal hairstyle to the occasion, your outfit, your jewelry, your makeup and your personality in a manner that lifts up the whole and celebrates the individual aspects.

The super large, super glam high bun is a hairstyle that will work everywhere. Can’t you just see it at weddings and at the workplace? Other photos from the event reveal how carefully the ends have been coiled and placed to finish the bun and that’s the sort of detailing that might take some time to master.

Nevertheless, this is a hairstyle you should be able to pull off at home. You’ll need hair mousse, your regular brush, an extra-large hair donut, a pintail comb to tuck in ends, a dressing comb to smooth down surfaces, tons of bobby pins and a great hairspray.

Lily Donaldson

It’s not often that you see a low-slung, regular three-strand plait on the Red Carpet, which is probably why this look caught my eye. I enjoy the architectural, gravity-defying looks just as much as everyone else (the Fashion Weeks are always a great source to mine for such hairstyles) but it really is refreshing to see your everyday hairstyle work so beautifully on the Red Carpet. In a way, it’s the sort of hairstyle that inspires you to return to the roots and look at classics with a fresh eye.

There are two things that make a good old-fashioned plait Red Carpet gold. Firstly, there’s just a hint of volume at the crown. That tiny detail separates your ‘I’m-late-for-class’ plait from the ‘I’m-Red-Carpet-ready’ plait. Secondly, the loose curves and relaxed lines of the hairstyle work really well with Lily’s choker and the strappy dress, creating all sorts of planes and curves and angles that compliment each other beautifully. At first look, it’s an everyday hairdo, but once you start deconstructing the look you see that there’s a lot of thought that has gone into these choices.

Stay tuned for more hairstyles and trends from Cannes 2016. We’re already seeing some exciting new hairstyles follow these looks and I am going to be covering them all, mapping trends and discussing styling tips in the days to follow.

Match Your Beard To Your Hairstyle

As a man, your head of hair and your beard can be two of the most powerful tools at your disposal. While a lot of men simply ‘develop’ a beard organically and tend to let it grow as it may, effective grooming can completely transform your personality and the impression you make on people.

Think about it: your hair and your beard are the first things people see –and really take in– when they’re looking at you. These two things make for the most dominant visible features; so, let’s not wait for a happy accident, shall we? The well-matched hair and beard combo will keep you looking perfectly turned-out at all times.

Here are some great tips on how to match your beard to your hairstyle.

Tip 1: It All Starts With Your Face Shape

The first step to styling and grooming, for both men and women, is figuring out what works with your facial structure. You need to begin by identifying your face shape and then doing a spot of research (read my previous article on choosing beards for 2016) on what particular styles work well with your facial structure. Let your natural features be your starting point because despite what trend reports might say or your favorite celebrity might look like, at the end of the day, you’ve to work with what you got- and play up your best features. Look for hairstyles and beards according to your face shape and you’ll find that most individual choices will work well together as a unit too.

Tip 2: Choose The Primary Focus

While there are tons of hair and beard combos that walk the middle path in terms of length, bushiness and wow factor, most experts will agree that you’ve got to let either the hairstyle or the beard be the dominant feature, while the other is a complimentary accent. If you have two extremely bold styles competing in a small space (hey, it’s your face, not a warzone) they’re both going to end up pulling focus and nothing will work.

As a general rule, I recommend working around your hairstyle. Haircuts/ hairstyles are faster to put together, are usually worn for longer and will generally be ‘in place’ while your growing out a beard- and so, it makes more sense to start with the hairstyle and work from there.

Even if you’re going for a look that combines two strong elements, don’t go overboard with both; for example, an extremely shaggy, long hairstyle and a huge Bandholz beard will never work. You need to choose what your pièce de résistance is going to be.

Tip 3: Keep Coloring Natural

If you dye your hair and/or beard, you want to keep the two in the same color family. Imagine sporting a black beard with a head full of light brown hair! The best, and easiest, thing to do is to keep your natural color- your hair will sport its own tonalities and dimensions without needing particular attention on your part. But if you do want to experiment with color, ask your stylist to keep your head hair and your beard within 3 shades of each other. And if you’re having a hard time choosing which should be which, I recommend keeping your head hair darker and the beard somewhat lighter.

Tip 4: Thick Beards Must Connect

While soul patches, French beards, Van Dykes, goatees and their ilk have their place in modern male grooming, the emphasis is currently on thick, bushy beards. And for a major beard to look good, it simply must connect with your head hair. Whether you run up customary sideburns or go totally Wolverine is totally up to you.

Tip 5: Don’t Forget The Brows

A really good way to tie in a beard with your head hair is to see if it works with your brows. Think of your eyebrows as the halfway stop between your beard and your head hair. If you’ve got particularly angular brows or very fine brows, you’ll want to find a beard that works with the shapes as well as with your hair. The smallest details make the look, so nothing is too inconsequential to take into consideration. Start by gauging the thickness of your brows: bushy, thick brows generally work well with all hairstyles and beard types, so you don't have to put too much thought into it. The thinner and more angular your brows are, the greater care you’re going to have take when choosing haircuts and beards.

Tip 6: Judge By Your Head Hair

If you’re in the early stages of growing a beard, or thinking about doing so, the first thing you need to do is decide if it’s a good idea. The kind of beard you sport, the length, the thickness etc. will all have to be matched to your haircut/ hairstyle. And the only way you can tell if a particular look is even possible for you is by taking a look at your head hair. If you’ve got a thinning crown or a receding hairline, you might want to look into genetic and other hair issues. A head full of thick hair means you’ll probably have no trouble growing any kind of beard. Beard hair is typically wiry and coarser than head hair but even so, you should be able to get a sense of the kind of growth you can expect. And this will give you tons of insight into what to expect in terms of styling, grooming and maintenance. 

Tip 7: Play Up The Salt-And-Pepper

If you’ve got salt-and-pepper hair, consider yourself blessed. Mixed beards can look super distinguished and we all know the silver fox thing works like a charm. What’s more is, white hair in beards tends to diffuse the harshness that can sometimes come with facial hair, which means you can sport a stubble as well as a full, lush beard with equal ease. The overall effect is gentler on the eye, and equal parts sexy and sophisticated. Don’t rush to cover up the grey: embrace it! Beard goals: Clooney.

I hope that these tips prove useful to you. Remember, growing the right beard is a labor of love and you might have a few hits-and-misses before you zero in on a style that really defines your individual sensibilities. I’m also going to be doing a more detailed piece on beard styles and hairstyles that work well together, so you can pick, choose and match different elements together to create a winning hairstyle and beard combination.

Best Hairstyles From The Met Gala 2016

If you’ve been waiting for this year’s Met Gala –arguably fashion’s biggest, craziest night– this post is going to have you reaching for your hairstyling tools and opening up a new ‘wacky and wonderful hairstyles’ board on Pinterest. Like just about everyone else enthusiastic about fashion, I measure the year by two events– the Oscars for elegant styling inspiration and the Met Gala forwhen you’re craving something a little unusual.

I’ve compiled a list of the best hairstyles from the 2016 Met Gala: we’re talking about bold statements, fascinating choices and unusual pairings of people and fashions. It’s always interesting to see how celebs will tread the line between costume and couture. The minute we learned this year’s theme –Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology– I knew we were in for some seriously cool, futuristic looks and I wasn't disappointed. Take a look.


From the moment the theme was publicized, it was pretty clear we’d be seeing a lot of metallic at the 2016 Met Gala. However, just because something is predictable doesn’t mean it’s impact value has been compromised. Take, for example, Ciara.

The songstress wore her hair in a chrome-plated retro-inspired hairdo. I’m going to go with the assumption that the color/ finish are temporary and were styled only for the Met Gala theme, because it’s a hard look to maintain in the long run, even with a army of stylists to help you out. That said, as far as themes go it was quite on the nose but endearingly so. Not too many people would have thought of combining a metallic color and texture with a 1920s-esque hairdo, so the end result is rather arresting. It’s not everyday you think of silver-plated finger waves and a metallic Flapper but when it works, it works.

It took me a minute to choose between Ciara’s metallic do and Rita Ora’s silvery foil hair tattoos, but in the end I decided to go with Ciara’s look simply because it’s so much more dramatic. The Met Gala is the one night of the year where it’s all but mandated to go big or go home, and whether or not you like Ciara’s take on the theme, you cannot deny the look sure packs a punch.

Emma Stone

Emma Stone is one of two women who debuted a new hair color on the Met Gala Red Carpet after actually having made the change a while back (Taylor Swift’s the second). We’re used to Emma’s auburn mane, so the chestnut locks are really striking, but also successful.

Emma went brunette earlier this year in February, but very few photographs of the hair have made it to the public realm, and they've been grainy at best. If you’re keeping a new hairdo under wraps to unveil at a big moment, it really doesn’t get bigger than the Met Gala.

The dark rich brown works wonderfully with her tan and plays up the stormy tones of her eyes. The asymmetrical lob and side part keep things futuristic while the swooping hairline and soft waves make the look more wearable.

Kate Bosworth

Given the world of potential that comes with a theme like Manus x Machina, I’m surprised we didn’t see many more headdresses and hair accessories at the 2016 Met Gala. I mean, just think of all the bejeweled, metallic, lattice-worked, gem-laden hairpieces that could have added to an already spectacular style showcase!

And that’s why I’m doubly impressed with Kate Bosworth’s hairdo from the Met Gala. The beautifully encrusted headpieces are all the things breathtaking, and she looks like an Elven princess who wandered through the backstage of a Dolce & Gabbana Fashion Week show. The styling is on-point, both in terms of the night’s theme as well as how the hair itself has been styled to let the accessories do the talking. 

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o has never, ever phoned it in. From clothes and accessories to hair and makeup, the 33-year old stunner always brings her A-game to the Red Carpet and tops it off with one of the sunniest personalities ever seen.

When you’re working with a theme like the one from last night, it’s easy to fall into a predictable rut (silver, metallic, sparkly, deconstructed). Lupita’s look was none of those things and yet it did the theme justice and how.

From a sheer-and-sequins silvery green Calvin Klein Collection dress to hair that defied every known law of physics and gravity, Lupita’s look was crazy, beautiful and electrifying. Admittedly, it’s a whole lot of look and it’s surprising that both the gown and the hairstyle not only work well together but also individually.

People can’t stop talking about the Lupita Nyong’o’s Met Gala hairstyle and while the stacked bun tower might not be something you can rock to your next formal event, it deserves full marks for effort. This isn’t a look you can pull off at home –think endless teasing, pro supplies, hair extensions and tons of hairspray– but it’s one that deserves all the love it’s getting and more!

Taylor Swift

As co-chair of this year’s Met Gala, I knew Taylor Swift would be pulling a look that would do justice to her title. Known for her trademark retro glam style, Taylor’s choices for the night were nothing short of remarkable- and stupendous. With hair so light and a lip so dark, she struck just the right balance between fantastic and familiar.

We’ve already seen the platinum blonde hair on a recent Vogue cover, but it did make a greater impact at the Met Gala, playing to the audience perfectly. I’m sure we’ll see t Taylor’s honeyed locks resurface soon enough, but as far as theme-appropriate styling goes, the messy platinum bob was total perfection.

One of the things that makes Taylor’s entire look for the 2016 Met Gala so successful is that it clearly adheres to the theme and is such a departure from tradition for her, but it doesn’t overpower her own unique brand. The platinum bob and the vampy lip are so different from Taylor’s usual hair and makeup choices, but they still let her shine through. And rocking a completely unpredictable look while also maintaining your identity is what true style is all about.


Zendaya’s experiments with hairstyling have made for some of the most memorable looks of recent times (such as the mullet in tribute to David Bowie) and she’s one of those celebrities who not only manage occasion-appropriate style statements without fail but also look interesting and attractive in getups most folks would shy away from.

If you do manage to draw your eyes away from the bowl blunt wig, you’ll notice she has on a stellar gold Michael Kors gown: the metallic color as well as the highly tactile, studded texture of the gown are the exact foil you need to the blunt, smooth bowl hairstyle. I love how the hairdo seems to lovingly caress Zendaya’s fabulous face and trace its contours. Let’s also take a moment to appreciate how edgy the style is, while also throwing off a bit of a retro flair.

These looks have made my cut for the best 2016 Met Gala hairstyles; which ones made it to your list? 

The Top Beard Trends for 2016

I’m back with another post on men’s styling and this week we are going to take a look at 2016’s hottest beard trends. A beard can be a formidable accessory, and is traditionally to men what makeup is to women. The slightest changes in facial hair can completely transform your look, so if you’re interested in spicing things up a bit, take a look at the biggest beard trends for 2016.

#1 The Balbo

#beardtrend #beard #styling

The Balbo is a major hit amongst beard-loving men, undoubtedly made more so by Hollywood superstar Robert Downey, Jr. When you’ve got an undeniably stylish man sporting a suave look such as this one, it’s only a matter of time before it really catches on.

This particular style is similar to a goatee, except that there’s a sliver of clean-shaven skin between the moustache and the beard on either end at the corners of the mouth. The chin is also sculpted to leave a small inch-long section clean on either side under the bottom lip, while letting a median patch run down the chin and up on either side. 

The Balbo is great if your personal style lands between casual chic and comfortable formals. It’s a look that wears well at any given point, from the beach to the boardroom, so you don’t really have to worry about going overboard with it. This style of beard is best suited for men with a narrow chin, since it adds more width to the area and celebrates the triangular shape without actually emphasizing it.

Achieving the Balbo requires first letting your beard grow out so that you have enough facial hair to be able to shape the look properly. Wait at least a month before you decide to shape the beard, or more, depending on how long it takes for you to achieve a full beard. The Balbo also involves growing a moustache. Trimming the beard/ moustache and shaving the required areas requires a fair bit of precision, but it’s a fairly easy look to achieve and wear on the whole. you can also sport a second-day stubble up the jawline/ cheeks for a more rugged take on the look if you like. 

#2 The Bandholz

#beardtrend #beard #styling

If you’re the sort who lives by the maxim ‘go big or go home,’ the Bandholz is your kind of beard. Credited to Eric Bandholz, the founding father of Beardbrand, this is a beard that is, in a word, major. It’s not an easy look to achieve or pull off but if you get there, it’s one that will keep you hooked for a long, long time. This particular beard style is for serious beard lovers and grooming enthusiasts only, which is a community that has been growing rapidly over the last few seasons.

The beard is thick, bushy and long. Growing the beard out will usually take between 6 and 8 months, and it can be a trying time because you will need to let it all grow out before you can start trimming the hair to give it shape. This means you have to be prepared to look a little unkempt and all over the place for the first couple of months. It is worth noting that even though this is a massive beard, it’s not necessarily a messy one. Sure, you can keep it au natural if you like, but a little bit of shaping and styling can mean the difference between Captain Haddock and Captain Crazy.

The Bandholz beard is best suited for oval, diamond, oblong, triangle and inverted triangle shaped faces. Apart from matching the beard to your facial structure, you must also match it to your lifestyle. This isn’t a beard that you can just forget about: it requires care, patience, maintenance and constant effort. We’re not only looking at months of waiting for it to grow but also daily grooming, finding and using the right products and sculpting tools and staying on top of your beard care regimen. Now, none of that is intended to scare you: it’s a great look and you should do it justice if you decide to sport it.

#3 The Classic

#beardtrend #beard #styling

We’re talking about the full beard here- a universal favorite through the ages. Shorter and more restrained than the Bandholz, but no less striking. This is the good old no-frills, no-fuss beard for men who like a thick, full beard but don’t want to go all out with it either.

If you enjoy a bushy beard but just cannot maintain the hipster beard that became an international craze following Movember or are sick of the look and don’t want to be confused for a god-man, the classic short-long beard is just what you need. It’s sexy and it’s a strong style statement but it is also relatively more muted.

The essence of this look is in following the natural contours of the face/ jaw. You want to let the beard grow out fully and take shape naturally, which can take a couple of months. To finish off the look, make sure that the beard lines on the cheek are sharp and meticulously carved out: this creates a strong contrast to the growth underneath. The longest part of the beard, under the chin, should ideally not exceed 2 inches. The entire look is about celebrating natural looks, but with a spot of grooming.

This kind of beard works well on most face shapes, but is especially good with diamond, triangle and inverted triangle shapes. You will want to tread carefully with markedly longer faces. If you want to add length to your face or emphasize angles and planes, keep the length concentrated under the chin. This can also help conceal a pointed chin or double chins. But if you have a very angular face or an extremely long one and you want to round things off but still enjoy a thick bear, keep a more uniform length/ thickness throughout.

The full beard is all about the body and this is made up of the hair at the chin/ under the chin and around the neck. That’s what adds to the bushiness of the look, which is why you must allow it all to grow out properly before you start trimming.

#4 The Stubble

The Stubble.jpg  #beardtrend #beard #styling

For those of you who enjoy sporting some facial hair but don’t want to put a whole lot of thought and effort into it, there’s nothing quite as effective or as easy as the stubble. The shortest of beard styles, it’s super simple to achieve and really all you have to do is let it grow on its own and trim it down every now and then to keep it from transforming into a full beard style. There’s really nothing else that you have to do and you can sport a sexy look at all times without looking untidy or overly styled. 2016 is going to be the year of fashion that’s all about individualism and effortless styling, and the stubble checks both those boxes perfectly.

Now, the stubble is probably the most versatile beard we’ve got on this list purely because there are a number of different iterations of the look- based on the length you’re most comfortable with. We’re talking short stubbles for that barely-there scruffy sexiness (no shaving for a day or two), the medium stubble (between 3 and 5mm) for a somewhat more pronounced bad boy appeal and then the long stubble (6mm) for striking just the right balance between lovable rake and super-groomed sea pirate.

#5 The Van Dyke

#beardtrend #beard #styling

If you want to rock a flamboyant beard, albeit with less hair and care than the Bandholz, the Van Dyke is just the thing you need. This is a beard that’s all about turning heads and making statements, so don't be surprised if you get more than a few looks and questions. This style has been immortalized on and off the screen by Johnny Depp, but has also been adapted by other actors such as Brad Pitt and even Pierce Brosnan. Named after 17th century Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke, the beard combines trademark elements of the goatee with a mustache and has a distinctive shape.

Prep work for this particular beard style involves growing a long stubble and then trimming and shaving the beard to achieve the unique pattern that makes the Van Dyke. The look also involves growing a moustache. Once you have a long stubble going, start shaving the chin region to create the trademark inverted T: an inverted soul patch slowly graduating into a bearded chin. You don’t have to do anything to the moustache, though ideally we do want it to turn downwards at the mouth, much like it would in a French beard. After you’ve got the basic shape styled, allow the beard at the chin to grow out a bit (around 2 inches) and then trim it into the V shape that completes the look.

There are tons of great beard styles to pick from, and at the end of the day all that matters is what you’re comfortable with. Beard grooming is becoming a major industry unto itself and there are so many great styling and care products available now in the market- if you’ve always wanted to grow a formidable beard, now’s the time to do so!

Hair Color Trends For Autumn Winter 2016-2017


One of my absolute favorite things to do is trend forecasting: analyzing patterns, predicting the next wave of fashion and then piecing it all together with some classic styling wisdom. And it really doesn’t get more fun (and I like to think useful) than putting together a look book or trends list for prospective trends for the coming season.

So, while we’re only just warming up to summer 2016, I’m already excited about what fall 2016/ winter 2017 is going to bring us in terms of hair color trends. If you like to plan ahead and can’t wait to get a head start on autumn winter 2016-2017 hair color trends, you’re in the right place. My money is on the following five hair color trends making it really big this winter.

Cuivre Red


Some variant of the red hair color trend or the other is always featured on my autumn/ winter color trends list (and on most others) and I must admit, like so many people, I love a striking red. We’ve seen a lot of interesting takes on the red hair color trend over the past few seasons, ranging from spicy cinnamon to magnificent mahogany- and they’re all stunning. For autumn/ winter 2016-2017, the ‘cuivre’ red hair color is all set to become the major red of the year.

Derived from the French word for ‘copper,’ this is a red that’s an intoxicating blend of red, bronze, gold- there’s an interplay of orange and brown with an amped up sheen that’s instantly noticeable. It’s a sharp, strong and shiny take on as true a red as you can get within the ‘natural hair colors’ spectrum. 

Dimensional Platinum

The platinum trend is another one that makes its way onto just about every ‘winter hair color trends’ list that there is and it’s easy to see why. As a hair color, platinum is bold, sexy and makes for a strong statement. And since it’s almost customary to go deeper and darker for the winter months, platinum is always a hit with those who enjoy trends but also want to stand apart from the crowd.

Now that we’ve seen the platinum trend top the charts almost every year come fall, it was time for a change- and with the dimensional platinum hair color trend we get just that. What’s dimensional platinum, you ask? Think platinum blonde hair, but with more tonality and layers. We’re adding more life and movement to the traditional platinum blonde by introducing differentiated (think warmer) layers to a color that’s traditionally a flat wash.

What makes the dimensional platinum trend such a great look is that it’s more forgiving and softer than traditional platinum blonde, which makes it a more universal trend. It’s a subtler take on a very strong trend and it’s so pretty: the hair radiates a completely different shade of gold as you your angle or the light changes- like white gold on fire.

Ecaille/ Tortoiseshell Blends

If you secretly still love the ombré trend but know it’s not old enough to be new again, the ecaille blend/ tortoiseshell hair color trend is going to make you happy. It’s basically a much softer, more toned down version of the ombré concept. We work with a lot of different shades in the golden/ brown families and layer them together naturally in a way that the end result is totally organic. Your stylist will use a minimum of three related hues and blend them together such that they flow seamlessly; that’s what sets the tortoiseshell/ ecaille blend apart from your traditional ombré: the transition is so subtle you can’t see where the color shifts but the overall effect is one of fluidity and gradient. Where the ombré goes from pointedly dark roots to obviously light ends, the ecaille is a smooth fade-out. And if that description isn’t enough, consider this: the coloring technique adds body and movement to the hair, making it look more voluminous- so if you’ve got thin hair and want it to look fuller, the ecaille coloring technique can be your one-stop solution for thicker, trendier hair.

Smoky Blonde

When we’re talking about hair color trends for fall/ winter, we don’t normally think of blonde tones and other lighter hues. In fact, platinum blonde is usually the only ‘light’ shade that’s deemed acceptable for the winter months. However, for those of you who enjoy wearing your hair light, there’s some good news for autumn/ winter 2016 blonde hair color trends: the smoky blonde is here!

The smoky blonde is a blonde hair color that’s a little bit more muted, slightly deeper in mood but not in hue, which makes it the perfect light hair color for winter. We’re talking blonde tones that fall between sandy gold and caramel creams- the base is clearly a buttery blonde but with an ever-so-subtle greige cast that darkens the mood up a bit.

Woodsy Brunette

If you’re looking for a wintery hair color that’s season-appropriate but also a classic (and just a little bit more ‘regular’ than the others in this list) I do recommend looking into deep, woodsy browns. Think chestnut undertones washed over with deeper ebony hues.

Woodsy brown hair colors can be tweaked to play well to your skin tone –and undertones– and that’s what makes them a great choice. Even the more conventional variants are universally flattering and are especially wonderful on olive skin tones. Brunette shades are usually easier to manage in terms of maintenance and touch-ups, but like all other hues, look best when they’re well cared for. Browns are a more traditional choice when it comes to hair colors for winter, but that’s no reason to give them a miss: it is an oldie but a goodie!

Let me know which hair color(s) you’ll be sporting come winter. Remember, with the right hair care routine and a great stylist, you can keep your hair looking red carpet-ready all year round. 

2016 Hair Trends Inspired By Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2016

I’ve often discussed that one of the best aspects of the Fashion Weeks is predicting what style/ look is going to become the next big fashion trend. Some styles serve as great inspiration to the individual while others catch on like a house on fire and are soon seen everywhere, from the catwalk to the sidewalk. Trend spotting and trend mapping go hand-in-hand, which is why today we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular hairstyles from Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2016 and see which ones have earned their stripes as 2016’s biggest hair trends.2016 Hair Trends Inspired By Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2016

#1 80s Revivalism


Every couple of years we see the fashion industry hark back to a previous era and pay homage to its trademark styles. Under the broader ambit of retro/ vintage-inspired fashions are decade-by-decade trends that are each getting their moment under the sun. We saw a lot of Flapper-esque trends inspired by the Roaring Twenties in the immediate aftermath of The Great Gatsby and Mad Men did its bit for the Swinging Sixties. This year, we’re taking it back to the Eighties.

While big hair and va-va-volume are some of the trademarks of the era, it’s the fluidity of hair that I enjoy the most when it comes to 80s-inspired hairstyles. I love the effect of ‘hair on the move,’ looking like it’s got a life, personality and plan all of its own. We saw hair trends in this vein at both the Giorgio Armani and Isabel Marant shows at Fashion Week A/W 16 as well as tons of other 80s-inspired hairdos at other shows such as Jeremy Scott and Topshop.

Spotted: Nathalie Emmanuel typically wears her hair in a riot of kinky curls and has texture to die for. However, it’s the manner in which she recently arranged it at a premiere spotlighting the upcoming season of Game of Thrones that really caught my eye. If you’ve got curly/ kinky hair (naturally or otherwise) do consider these quasi-asymmetrical hairstyles. The arrangement makes hair look like its constantly in motion and the end results are fabulous. 

#2 Bombshell Waves

Wavy hair never goes out of style, and there’s a very good reason for that: it’s a texture that is universally flattering across barriers of age, face type, features, personality and more. Waves work in all kinds of lengths, thicknesses and densities, adding volume and fullness (and a healthy dose of sex appeal. The great thing about bombshell waves is that the trend can be adapted to the wearer: not only are there endless variants to the trend (from beachy boho waves to the classic Victoria’s Secret hairstyles) but that there are also so many different ways of adding waves to your hair, from curling tongs to foam rollers. Go ahead and make the style your own today!

Spotted:  Michelle Obama’s hair at the state dinner for Canada’s new Prime Minister last month is the stuff styling legends are made of. While Karlie Kloss’ waves from the Diane von Furstenberg Paris A/W 16 show are tighter and more defined, the First Lady shows us just how glorious loose waves can be. The flipped out ends add tons of body and movement to the hairstyle, making for an energetic, powerful look that perfectly captures her personality. 

#3 Natural Texture

One of the biggest trends to come out of Autumn Winter 2016 Fashion Week was the focus on natural hair texture. This is a trend that celebrates the true spirit of style in that it recognizes that just as no two people are the same, no two hair textures are the same and so, the concept of a singular standard of beauty is inherently flawed. In the last few years we’ve moved towards style sensibilities that appreciate the beauty of diversity and diversity in beauty. Hair trends at Fashion Week 2016 were all about amped up texture, natural graininess, unabashed volume and spotlighting the girl next door.

Spotted: We saw some fabulous relaxed natural texture on Karlie Kloss at the Balmain show at Paris Autumn Winter 2016 Fashion Week and recently saw the same on Gwyneth Paltrow at a book signing for her book ‘It's All Easy’ earlier this month.

#4 Side Parts

One of the easiest ways to add a hint of sophisticated glamour to any hairstyle is to dress it up with a side part. Despite the fact that it’s a fairly simple hair accent, a side part continues to strike the mind’s eye as unusual. Most people typically part their hair down the middle or wear it brushed back, which is why a side part is always noticeable. It’s one of the most wearable hair trends to come out of the 2016 Fashion Weeks because it suits everyone and can be paired with just about any hairstyle: buns, ponytails, braids, updos- you name it.

Spotted: From the Christian Dior showing at Paris Fashion Week A/W 16 to Charlize Theron at a premier for The Huntsman: Winter's War, the side part is shaping up to be one of the hottest hair accents for the year. Who would have thought a tiny detail like this could be one of 2016’s biggest hair trends?

#5 Vintage Hair

#VintageHair #CharlotteOlympia #LFW16 #Zendaya.jpg

We’ve already talked about the global fascination with retro hairstyles with the 80s hair trend taking off, but the continued enthusiasm for vintage hairstyles in general deserves a mention of its own. If you’re not one to be limited to a particular decade and you love everything fashion from the years gone by, take heart in one of 2016’s hottest hair trends: vintage hairstyles. Retro-inspired dos continue to rule the roost, worn both true to tradition and with modern twists.

Spotted: Zendaya at the Kids Choice Awards rocked a quaint retro-esque do, combining two of the Autumn Winter 2016 Fashion Week’s biggest hair trends: vintage-inspired hairstyles and unusual hairlines. There’s something distinctly vintage about the way her hair is set, and it immediately evokes images of pin curls and coiffures from the Twenties, and at the same time the short length makes the style as modern as they come.

These 5 hair trends from Fashion Week have only gotten bigger in the last couple of weeks, and I believe we’re going to see them well into the season, if not more. Be sure to try them out this summer!

The Basics Of Men’s Hairstyles

I have some really exciting news that I’m thrilled to share today. Starting now, I’m going to be running a column on men’s styling on my blog as well. It’s been an idea I’ve been working on for a while and I’m so glad to finally be able to unveil it. Men make up a major segment of the styling industry –both behind the scenes and in the spotlight– and I thought it was about time we started showing a little love to our male readers and co-enthusiasts. Starting this month, we’ll be looking at all sorts of themes ranging from hairstyles and styling advice to hair care, beards, male grooming and what have you. So if you lads have been feeling left out, welcome to the fold!

Let’s kick things off with one of the basics of male grooming and styling: picking the right men’s hairstyle. So many of us go years experimenting with different cuts and colors and testing all sorts of advice without ever finding a look we can truly call our own. And with the admittedly intense focus on women’s styling, it can be difficult for male audiences to get advice that’s truly geared towards their particular concerns and aesthetics. If you’ve been struggling to find hairstyles that really suit you –physically and in terms of personality– it’s time to change all that.

Let’s begin with some great advice on how, as a man, you can choose hairstyles and haircuts that not only look great but also feel fantastic.

Tip #1 Choose Styles According To Your Face Shape


There’s a lot to be said for following hair trends, but you’ve got to be sure a particular look works for you before committing to it. Hair trends make for more permanent choices than fashion trends and you can’t just simply take a haircut off at the end of the day if you don't like it. One of the best ways to make sure a haircut/ hairstyle suits you is to pick one according to your face structure/ shape. It’s always a good idea to make a style statement that fits you, and not one you just pulled off a magazine. Here are some quick tips for choosing hairstyles according to your face shape:

·      Oval: Classic cuts work best. Keep the sides short, with a little more length towards the top. Hair should ideally be styled back or up and to a side. For an edgier take, give undercuts and quiffs a try but keep away from styles that hang low over the forehead.

·      Square: Pretty much the gold standard for men’s hairstyling. They say there’s no haircut or hairstyle that a man with a square face can’t rock. Classic, old school haircuts work beautifully on this shape, as do the more modern trends. From bangs to slicked-back ‘dos and buzz cuts to messy mops, it all works! I would recommend steering clear of the man bun- it can sit awkwardly atop a square-shaped face and makes for a difficult accent with more linear jawlines.

·      Triangle/ Diamond: Side-swept hairstyles work best, as does anything with more volume up on the crown. Classic cuts accentuated by deep side parts are great if you’re going for some old-school elegance. The classic, more formal cuts also wear well with the hint of a forehead-skimming fringe, which can otherwise be tricky to pull off.

·      Round: Can be a tricky shape to work with only because it tends to look a lot younger than the other facial structures. The trick is to balance out the roundness by creating angles: do this with haircuts that are very short on the sides but much longer on top. Style your hair up in spikes or graduated mohawks: the ‘V’ shape helps add the necessary amount of height, angles and grit to the round face.

If that’s not a look you like, pick something with a messier texture; the point is to offset the roundness and add stronger planes to your overall look.

While I’m a fan of buzz cuts, they don’t always work too well on round faces simply because they tend to exaggerate the roundness. On the other hand, if you’re opting for longer lengths, remember to part your hair on a side and not down the middle.

Tip #2 Matching Styles With Texture

Hair texture comes a close second in determining the kind of hairstyle you should opt for. Let’s take a quick look at different types of hair texture and what works best in them:

·      Curly: Whether you want to sport long locks or a graduated undercut, the trick to making curly hair look good is to pick cuts/ styles that celebrate the disheveled vibe. Curly hair, by virtue of its natural tousled texture, always has a slightly messy, impish feel to it and so you should make the most of it with hairstyles that emulate the same mood. As a general rule, keep the bulk of the volume at the crown- unless of course you’re opting for a long hair look, in which case, you’ll have to go with the flow, so as to speak. With the shorter cuts you can also go for somewhat longer lengths at the front, letting hair fall over the forehead.

·      Straight: There are so many different styles and cuts you can sport in straight hair: for funkier looks opt for spiked up hair or mohawks or undercuts. Classic cuts with deep side parts are always a safe bet in straight hair. Shorter, closer cuts like crew/ buzz cuts also look good in straight hair- especially when you let it grow out a bit. Pompadours also work best in straight hair. Thick straight hair can be a little difficult to work with, which is why it’s important to use a conditioner regularly.

·      Wavy: Make the most of wavy texture with hairstyles that celebrate the hair’s natural body and movement. Man buns work great in wavy hair, albeit being a somewhat tricky look to pull off on the whole. Side-swept hairstyles are also recommended: the wavy texture will play up the windblown effect and add that rakish touch. Slicked-back styles can work beautifully, so long as you use the right styling products and arrange the style carefully.

Remember, choosing a style according to your natural texture will make the entire experience rather easy for you. You might want to take on a particular look you really like, promising yourself (and the stylist) you’ll find time to style and texturize your hair for it regularly, but let’s be real: are you really going to texturize your hair when you’re running late for something? The first day you’re short on time, you’ll find yourself falling back on your natural texture and your new haircut may not look all that good in the same.

Tip #3 Show, Don’t Tell Your Stylist

Now, this is a universal, unisex tip but I can’t stress it enough: always take a photograph along to show your stylist the sort of look you have in mind. Even if they can’t/ don't want to recreate the exact style on you, they will understand the kind of vibe and style you’re going for. While great communication is the key to a satisfying client-stylist relationship, you never know what might get lost in translation.

The reason I bring this up here is because I’ve noticed that while several of my female clients will bring pictures along, the male clients rarely ever do. It’s simply not a practice that’s caught on yet with the male audience but it is one that can make all the difference to your experience. Don’t leave your vision to the stylist’s imagination: show it to them straight and then ask for their feedback and opinions so you can recreate the vibe while also taking your unique features and the stylist’s expertise into consideration.

Tip #4 Don’t Forget The Neck And Ears

Most people understand hairstyling in terms of what’s most visible: the hair at the top/ front and how it balances out with one’s face. And in doing so, they forget that there are a lot of other little details that go into making the whole style. One of the most overlooked aspects of a haircut is the neckline and the sideburns. In other words, how the hair around the ears and the neck is cut and styled is instrumental to finishing the look off, and the slightest discrepancy between the ‘main’ style and these touches can throw your entire look off-kilter. With respect to the sideburns, tell your stylist exactly how long and thick you want them to be; also discuss how you want the hair behind/ around the ears to be styled. The neckline should always be gradually tapered off from the rest of the hair and there should be no abrupt shifts in shape, thickness or length while transitioning from the main body to the neckline.

Tip #5 Bald Can Be Beautiful

Balding and receding hairlines can be a source of great stress for many, but they don’t have to be. Thinning hair and a receding hairline don’t mean your days as a suave gentlemen are over: the trick is in finding a look that makes you comfortable and confident so those traits translate into your personality.

If you’re not one to shy away from strong style statements, opt for a buzz cut like Jason Statham’s. It’s a powerful, masculine look with tons of raw sex appeal. It’s a style suited for men who mean business, and it does imbue the wearer with a lot of confidence- it’s a well known fact that the shorter you go, the less you have to hide behind, which means your real self gets a chance to shine through.

If the buzz cut isn’t your thing, opt for a hairstyle that’s closely cropped on the sides but much longer up top. Tons of volume at the crown will create the illusion of more hair. The top is best arranged into a messy style.

I hope you enjoyed these tips- and found them useful. They’re essential to getting a haircut/ hairstyle right. We’re going to dive into more detailed discussions from hereon forth. Be sure to check back for the latest on men’s style and grooming.