Toned-Down Trends Showcase Simplicity Melded with Sophistication. But in the Ultimate Trend Bend, it’s all About What’s Right for You.
Skirts are going longer while hair is shortening up. That’s about balance. But in a season when the ‘60s are the prime influence, every trend is counterbalanced with six degrees of separation.
Maybe that’s why crops and bobs are the biggest looks in the mane-stream.
Short is coming on strong, and subtly undone is fast replacing last year’s shaggy chic, which was in itself lots more controlled than those original bed-head ‘dos of the ‘60s hippie.
Today’s hippies are hipsters, which calls for outstanding cuts in all lengths and a easy care approach that still accounts for looking like you’ve got your own sense of style.
Hair that’s less contrived and fussy springs from the fact that the fashion world is simpler, darker and more somber in general, reflecting the national politick. Bling is not the thing for times like these. That said, you don’t have to resort to sackcloth—there are still plenty of sassy styles around, and sometimes, simplicity is a beautiful thing in its own right.
Enter, the bob, a cut that’s simplicity personified. It’s easy to style and because it most often comes with bangs, it can be molded to suit any facial shape. Textured bobs, boxy bobs, French-cut bobs and razored-up styles are just the opening act in the movement toward shorter hair.
The early ‘60s saw controlled bobs and crops with geometric flair; later years ushered-in the mussed freestyle. Today, the ‘60s influence combines the best of both worlds with crops that are subtly textured, razored or layered for a fresh new feeling. Choppy snips, pieced-out pixies and great gamine looks are all right for the woman who wants a style that’s anything from short to nearly mid-length.
Again, edge, attitude or polish is added with products like texturizers, molding muds, spray waxes and pomades—helpers that never existed in the original era. Just make certain you go easy with the application
Clean, well-cut, healthy looking hair is the real harbinger of modern hairstyles, which are always tweaked so they’re age-appropriate. In other words, even ‘60s styles and mussed looks fall on the side of reasonably well-groomed.
In an antithesis trend, there’s a geek chorus proclaiming that nerd looks, from films like Freaks and Geeks to Napoleon Dynamite, are uber-cool.
The ultimate in mainstream geek chic showed up at ABC, where Ugly Betty, has the protagonist working—where else—in the fashion world. The geek-cool style isn’t that different than what’s mainstream: clean and simple hair, full fringes, “intellectual nerd” glasses and a wardrobe all your own.
Going Long on Style
Longer hair will always be part of the fashion mode and today’s longer, more feminine looks are not super-long and ultra-straight—most feature layers that allow hair to fall perfectly in place.
Edges get soft and shapes sleeken-up or plump-up with the right products. In general, celebrating natural texture is the easiest way to make an individual statement. When it’s time for a weekend change, hot tools and texture-specific stylants let you style-shift to something more playful.
Healthy looking hair is now an annual “mane-stay,” which is another reason wearing natural texture is in the forefront—no perming, relaxing, or frying when drying. If you have natural curl, celebrate it and do something to enhance its shine, be it conditioning, adding brighter highlights or blowing out a smooth style.
One great thing about longer hair is that it lends itself to easy updos. When hair is up-styled, it‘s twisted and braided with most the action at the sides, which are directed back.
Viewed from the front, the top is flat because super-height at the crown is just too dated. The back-swept styles are mostly crafted by hand braiding, which creates less heat damage and allows for healthy, shiny, romantic looks that shift day-to-night with ease.
Making a Color Splash
In fashion, less splashy clothes allow for hair to be used more as an accessory—the single thing that stands out. Because cuts, too, are on the simpler side, this means color is your main way to make a statement. Striking blonde, rich red or a deep, caramelized brunette is a great place to start.
While less mashed up than before, color is still dimensional and it’s always customized. Ash blondes are right for those who can wear them, and they’re always paired with lowlights. Tone-on-tone coloring (red-on-red, blonde-on-blonde) add smart sophistication to any shading. In a shift from simplicity, brunettes get highlights via different tones, as opposed to bleach.
Harsh black, purple and stripy colors are gone from the scene—today’s shades are all beautiful and true-to-life only better. Additionally, there are very few, full-head highlights—those are simply too time-consuming to get and costly to keep. Instead, highlights are placed to accent a cut, a facial shape or a fringe. Or, color is added in sheer panels that veil one another from top to bottom.
For those who get color at home, there’s a slew of new products that let you have it natural, like L’Oreal’s Natural Match. Interestingly, the brand is aligned in the sophisticated professional haircolor manner, with choices among levels (10 is blonde, 1 is black) and tones that go warm or cool to work with skin tones. Again, it’s the combination of simplicity and sophistication—a pairing that’s reiterated everywhere.
U 2 Can B Individual
Can it be any accident that when the main style influence is the ‘60s, that old “Me generation” is being translated into the ramped-up “You generation?” From YouTube online to U-decide comics, everything today is U-based.
Consumers are active participants with brands, beauty and trends—never bystanders: MySpace, iVillage and MyNetworkTV are all reflections of this thinking.
Which means, you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to setting the trends, making the style statements and interpreting what’s right for you.
In times like these, the only fashion crime may be going cookie-cutter, and failing to get a customized cut and color that’s right for you and U-alone.
The ultimate cool is to be yourself, which is an idea has its origin in the non-conformist ’60, when amusingly, everyone really looked alike. Whether history will repeat itself is up to you.
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- Revised Publication Date: 10/19/10 Written by Victoria Wurdinger