Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine

top hair lessons

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As any fan of New Zealand’s Next Top Model will know, the ‘makeover’ episode is a doozy. In the past, contestant­s have cried so hard you would have thought the scissors were cutting into their very souls. On Friday night we saw the makeover episode of cycle two of Top Model, where 12 young girls were given what was, for most, the first proper haircut they’ve had in their lives.

And while the contestant­s have the clear advantage of being young and gorgeous, there was plenty for the rest of us to learn from watching the work of Paul Serville and his crack team of stylists. During the three hours I spent observing behind the scenes, dodging piles of hair and ducking telly cameras, I picked up five important hair lessons: 1. If you’re a brunette, you should seriously consider balayage Balayage has been one of the biggest trends in hair for the past couple of years, loved for its casual, beachy look that flatters pretty much everyone. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically where your colourist paints a lighter colour through the middle and ends of your hair in a free-form way, leaving the roots dark. It’s best on brunettes or dark blondes, and only really works when there’s texture – dead straight hair just looks like it desperatel­y needs the roots done. On Aafreen, it was used to great effect to lighten, freshen and give an edge to her overall look. 2. Often, you just can’t improve on nature A number of contestant­s had ‘virgin’ or un-dyed hair, to the great delight of the stylists, who considered it a huge novelty. On virgin hair the cuticle still lies completely flat, making the hair softer and smoother and less prone to breakage. Holly was one lucky enough to be a naturally gleaming blonde, and her hairstylis­t remarked: “I spend most of my life trying to get people this colour.”

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