It’s the biggest change in hairstyles for quite a while, but say goodbye to all those sophisticated up-dos, says Janet Impey. This is the season to loosen up and let your hair down
EVER SINCE the world fell in love with Kate Middleton, it was inevitable that her long glossy locks would set a trend. The New York catwalk shows were full of models with Hollywood-style long loose waves with a groomed and glossy finish.
There were grungy “undone” textures as well, notably at Helmut Lang, plus hair caught back in the inevitable shiny pony tail at Alexander Wang and Rodarte.
Ponies, braids and city slickers were also favourite styles in London and Paris, where an edgy 1960s vibe made sleek, straight hair very cool.
If Jean Shrimpton was the inspiration for long hair, that other 1960s icon Mary Quant influenced the shorter cuts, where texture, matte and shine, added a modern spin. In Milan, both Prada and Louis Vuitton championed the ’60s, with long
Kate Middleton’s long and glossy locks have inevitably set a trend
hair pulled into low ponies and the crown teased into bouffants, with added headbands and ribbon hair accessories.
On the catwalks, high-shine heads often came with centre or low side partings and a ton of gel — sometimes used in panels across the hair or used just at the top of the head while the rest of the hair was left soft and loose — Missoni being the stand-out example.
“This textured look is really important this spring,” says top hairdresser Darren Bain, part of the creative team at HOB salons. “It borrows some grunge ideas from the 1990s, not just the shine and matte contrast, one against the other, but incorporating textured layers to give a more undone look.
“A simple ponytail can have loose strands pulled out randomly, while heavy fringes can be broken up or swept to the side as if growing out a long fringe. It’s all about dishevelled definition, which means you have to get a good cut, then style and polish the hair before finally messing it up so that it’s not too perfect.”
As with barely-there makeup whichtakeshourstoachieve, understated hair can be just
as hard to accomplish. The secret is to style hair first, before slicking down the roots or the front section of the hair. Prevent flyaway hairs by using a gel like L’Oréal’s Studio Line Mineral Control (£3.56) for full-on shine, or use Elnett So Sleek Hairspray (£3.79) for a smooth finish.
Pony tails were also given the high-gloss treatment. At the Acne show, backstage maestro Eugene Souliman used Wella Professionals Shimmer Delight Shine Spray on top of a slick of gel at the front of the hair. “I sprayed this just before the models hit the catwalk, so the shine under the lights was maximised like a ray of light,” he says.
“This glossy ’ 90s minimalism needs straightening irons to achieve super-sleek hair, followed up with a good blow-dry,” says talented hairdresser Sam McKnight. “Backstage we always use Pantène Pro V Heat Defense Gloss Spray (£4.49) to protect hair from heat damage — it will be a key product this season.”
At Tr e v o r Sorbie, Adam Szabo, creative stylist at the Covent Garden salon, suggests using the straighteners backwards along the hair shaft towards the root. This will create volume at the root while retaining a sleek finish,” he says. To achieve a good smooth blow-
Barely-there makeup may take hours. Understated hair is just as hard
dry at home, apply Trevor Sorbie Beautifully Straightened Smoothing Balm (£5.10) to damp hair. Use a Trevor Sorbie paddle brush to hold hair taut and position the hairdryer towards the brush, guiding it almost to the ends. The better the blow-dry, the less need you will have for hair straighteners.
At the Headmasters salons, the spring blow-dry collection has reached a new art form, using L’Oréal Professionnel products like the Mythic Oil for a grunge finish, or creating polished waves full of volume and curl, or try the super straight finish using a gleaming Techni Art Crystal Gloss. From just £27 for a professional blow-dry, it’s worth it to watch the professionals at work and to learn their tricks.
One thing that all stylists love to use when creating volume is a good mousse product. The latest are soft and pliable and should be used sparingly. Try L’Oréal Studio Line Silk & Gloss Mousse (£3.69) when you blow-dry at home, as it will give hair the added guts to help it stay put. Apply a little to your palm, then comb it into damp, towel-dried hair. To ensure even distribution, section your hair from behind the ears and comb the mousse through the underneath first and then through the top sections of hair.
For extra volume, Lee Stafford’s Big Fat Root Boost Mousse Spray (£6.99) can be sprayed directly on to hair roots before using your hair dryer to blast the hair, brushing from the root to the tip for a smooth finish. “Leave long and loose, or if you want volume with
a modern messed-up look like the textured waves seen at the Roberto Cavalli show, this is easily achieved by twisting hair around a wand and adding a spritz of my Big Fat Texturised Hair Super Spray,” says Lee.
The most popular catwalk show textured looks were either backcombed to add height to the crown, or had contrasting panels of matte and glossy hair.
Create less-extreme looks with Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger Texturising Sea Spray (£18.95), perfect for a sexy, dishevelled look.
Add contrast with Toni&Guy’s Hair Meet Wardrobe Classic Smoothing Lotion (£7.19), which adds great definition and shine.
It’s all about trying new ways with hair texture, regardless of whether you have a long or short cut. Changing your look is important if you don’t want to end up in a rut and it’s the reason why so many celebs never really get bored with their style, says top hairdresser Mark Hill.
“Although the looks seen on the catwalk play a big part in shaping hair trends, they always need a little tweaking to make them wearable at home. If you have long hair, try framing your face with loose waves — use my Bad Girl Glam Wicked Waver — and leave the back sections straighter.
“Electrical appliances are constantly being updated, so there is nothing to stop you going from straight one day to wavy the next.
“For an instant change, I recommend my Rock Rollers — these jumbo-sized heated Velcros give your hair maximum volume with minimal effort.
“Strong partings were also seen everywhere on the catwalk, but can look rather severe. Try simply swapping the side your hair is parted on to get more volume, or experiment with a new hair accessory to change the ordinary into something extraordinary.”
Another quick fix is to plait in some braids. Seen at Balmain, Holly Fulton, Mulberry and Matthew Williamson, this was a key look for long hair.
“It’s important to look at catwalk ideas and work with shapes and styles that will suit your own personal image,” says Nick Irwin for Tiggi hair.
If you have naturally wavy hair, the glamorous hippy look is made for you. If you are lucky enough to have naturally long straight hair, either wrap it around large-barreled curling tongs before unravelling slowly to reveal loose flowing waves.
Straight hair also looks good in a simple ponytail, left smooth or textured up, but it will depend on your face shape as to where to put the parting or whether to have a fringe.
Not everyone will suit a centre parting or a neat bob and if you have shorter hair, it is much more reliant on styling products to keep it tousled or smooth, and of course the key to everything — the cut. Take advice from your hairdresser before making any sweeping changes. This is definitely the season for straight talking.
Akin Konizi’s 1960s look for HoB salons
Sleek pony by Tigi creative team for Gianfranco Ferre
Headmasters’ “Manhattan Kick”: ideal for Kate Middleton’s admirers
Textured waves by Lee Stafford