Philadelphia’s top beauty minds discuss the trends to turn heads this season.
Stylists at West Chester’s Calista Grand salon note long hair is back in vogue.
The season of carefree hair is here. Fresh, natural beauty may be a match for the arrival of tulips and crocuses, but spring 2015 comes on especially strong with “I woke up like this” looks, whether it’s slicked-back strands that you style straight out of the shower or air-dried waves that are one part bombshell, one part bedhead. Even color takes a natural turn, driving demand for hand-painted hues that leave your friends wondering if you’ve spent extra time in the sun. Whatever trends you choose to follow, this is the season to eschew polish, let your hair down, and embrace au naturel as you say good-bye to winter.
A Cut Above
A new season demands a fresh cut. Only, this spring, it’s just a few snips, for maintenance purposes. After pixies, crops, and lobs had their moment, long hair is back in full force. “2014 was all about cutting your hair off, and in 2015, everyone is enjoying midlength to long hair,” says Alicia McLaughlin, stylist and assistant educator at Calista Grand (1211 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, 610-399-6677). According to Beth Forte, a stylist at AME Salon and Spa (111 Waynewood Ave., Wayne, 610-995-2631), angles and layers are also getting longer. Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence, and Emma Watson offer red carpet inspiration, transitioning their trend setting pixies back to flowing lengths, says Forte. For anyone planning to go long: Trim often. “A trim every six to eight weeks keeps your ends fresh,” says Gina Lees, stylist at Adolf Biecker Spa/Salon (1605 Sansom St., 215-735-6404).
If short cuts suit you best, try back cutting and surface cutting, techniques that create the kind of edgy styles worn by Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, and Rihanna. Expect your stylist to thin out front or side pieces, leaving them slightly longer, while underneath hair may be shorter or even shaved, says Joe Gaglioti, co-owner of Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa and Salon (243 W. Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, 610-459-4663). The effect is “very deconstructed, organic, raw layering. You can’t really tell where it begins and ends,” says Will Bostock, owner of Blue Hair Studio (2550 Huntingdon Pike, Huntingdon Valley, 215-947-2963). “These are bolder, statement haircuts, almost like tattoos.” Perfect for bucking the long-hair movement.
Gina Lees, of Center City’s Adolf Biecker Spa/Salon, says frequent trims allow you to maintain your hair’s style as you grow it out.
Good news if you’re among the Rapunzel-haired masses: This season, there’s ample inspiration for styling cascading locks, as well as a strong “undone” hair trend that’s an excuse to simply wash and wear. Spring’s Joni Mitchell-meets-Courtney Love hair moment is “somewhere between boho and ’90s grunge,” says Allison Mondragon, stylist at Adolf Biecker, adding that the look is youthful, playful, and perfect for the time-strapped. “We’re over spending all that time—and heat—on our hair.” But undone shouldn’t mean effortless. “We call this look high-low maintenance,” says Forte. “You put time and effort into it to look like you haven’t done anything.” To instantly mimic the undone mode, switch your part to the center, a ubiquitous look on spring runways.
No matter what length you’re sporting, play around with texture by braiding or even crimping your hair in small portions. Snaps from Stella McCartney’s Spring 2015 runway show reveal thin sections of micro-crimped hair adding cool, textural accents—not finger-in-an-electric-socket frizz—to otherwise bland ponytails. With this trend, less is more.
Spring’s other massive styling movement is a gift to those who prefer not to blow-dry before leaving the gym: slicked-back hair. “We’re seeing a subtle version of the wet, gel-heavy styles we saw on the runways,” says Forte, who adds that a number of her clients now request wet braids rather than blowouts after a cut or color. “We’ll do a side braid on their wet hair before they leave the salon. The next day, they’ll take out the braid and wear their hair loose and wavy.” Call it the smartest way to wear trends back to back. For a sleek take on the wet look, Thomas Vesci, a salon industry consultant working with Salon Ziza (6 Greenfield Ave., Ardmore, 610-642-5200), recommends mixing a soft gel and mousse, applying lightly to roots around your hairline, and sweeping your hair away from your face for a breeze-blown effect. The look is fresh and easy. Just keep the rest of your hair soft to avoid a helmet effect.
Spring’s coveted color trends are subtle, often hand-painted, to achieve natural, born-with-it hair color. Locally, balayage, a painted-on color technique, is in high demand. Its hottest incarnation? Babylights: bright, wispy highlights that mirror the natural highlights of youth. “It’s a very soft, sun-kissed effect achieved by weaving fine highlights around the hairline, crown, and ends, to look as though you’ve spent a little extra time in the sun,” says Mondragon. Another painted-on technique, chunking, borrows from a ’90s highlighting trend of “bold, strong color ribbons running through the hair,” says Vesci. This time around, the look is far subtler, as colorists opt for hues complementary to natural hair color rather than mixing high-contrast blondes and browns. The result is overlapping chunks of color that add natural-looking dimension to hair.