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Blogger : Brooke
By: Cailley Hammel
For your younger clients, the “back to school” frenzy means more than hitting the books again—it’s an opportunity for change. With new clothes, new shoes and a new haircut, heading back to school comes with a resolution: look better than last year! For you as a hairstylist, the back to school rush is a moneymaker waiting to happen, but you better brush up on style trends first! To help, we spoke to salons across the country to gauge what’s in and what’s out in all the big cities. Study up—you’re bound to get quizzed!
New York City, NY:
According to Rodney Cutler, Redken Brand Ambassador, students in the Big Apple are star-seekers. (Naturally.) His younger clients often bring in pictures of stars with the hair they idolize, including Emma Watson and Carey Mulligan for short crops and Emma Stone and Kristen Stewart for long, shaggy layers.“These are popular because they’re identifiable in pop culture,” Rodney says. “They want to see that it’s become mainstream and acceptable in the press first before they try it out.”
To achieve a sleek crop like Emma Watson’s, Rodney applies a mixture of Glass 01 Smoothing Serum and Sheer Straight 06 Lightweight Strengthening Gel, and finishes the look with Fashion Work 12 Versatile Working Spray. For long, textured layers, he suggests Redken Tousle Whip 04 Soft Texturizing Cream Wax and Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow Dry Lotion.
When it comes to color, Rodney says his clients are interested in bold, spot color to stand apart from their peers. “Young people are more interested in adding some expression rather than requesting just one tone,” Rodney says. “They’re more interested in highlights or emphasizing the color they already have, and more about making a statement rather than keeping it natural.” To enliven natural color, Rodney suggests Redken’s Illumination technique, which gives your clients a soft ombré that has been worn by the likes of Leighton Meester, Rachel Bilson and Drew Barrymore.
Los Angeles, CA:
Kids from the city of angels are just as star-struck as their east coast peers. According to Marylle Koken, Sebastian Professional Stylist Design Team Member, “Most of the looks chosen by our clients are fun and glamorous—the perfect description for Los Angeles.” Long hair is in, she says, especially shoulder-length cuts with side-swept bangs (think Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Alba) or voluminous waves (think Blake Lively). To achieve these looks, Marylle suggests applying Sebastian Professional Trilliant for shine and heat protection, followed by Sebastian Professional Volupt Spray to give your clients volume and body. With a mid-sized round thermal brush, blow-dry hair using a hot setting to create the style, and then blast it with a cool setting to retain the body and curl.
For color, LA kids are into highlights and ombré haircolor, as seen on Sarah Jessica Parker, Giselle Bundchen and Drew Barrymore. To achieve the look, Marylle uses Wella Professionals Blondor for the ombré highlights, and applies Sebastian Professional Shine Define while curling the hair to create a wavy, just-back-from-the-beach look. Aside from long strands, other popular looks for LA’s youth include the pixie and classic bob. “The clients who ask for these cuts,” Marylle says, are “in touch with pop culture and always looking for the newest, most on-trend look.”
It may be hot in Miami, but young clients still wear their hair long. Curly haired girls are all about Taylor Swift’s natural, bouncy look—and her color as well. To achieve locks like the country star’s, Angel Torres, stylist at Robert Allen Salon, recommends coloring hair in three tones: light and medium blonde lowlights and very light highlights. Allow the colors to blend together, and your client will have Grammy-worthy locks. However, young clients also want their hair to be versatile enough to suit their ever-changing tastes. Angel says Selena Gomez’s hair is the perfect example of that style flexibility. “With nice, long, brunette hair, she can wear it straight or curly,” Angel says. “It’s very versatile with short bangs and lots of layers at the front of the face; it can give the illusion of a slim face, or give more body in the hair.”
And then there’s Justin Bieber. He might be loved by girls around the world—but his hair is the envy of young men everywhere. “It’s short, easy to style, messy and, you can say it, sexy,” Angel says. “In this case, keeping it short and giving it lots of texture gives it the shag and surfer look, and kids don’t have to do much with it—just wake up, mess it up and go.”
In Chi-Town, long is still in. Veronica Rubio, stylist at Salon V, says Windy City girls want it all: length, volume and movement, like styles worn by Lauren Conrad and the Kardashian sisters. To give her clients the best of all three, she cuts shorter, nearly invisible layers in-between the longer layers. “We don’t necessarily take the layers too, too short, but hide the pieces…and then give them some pretty layers around their face.”
Yet Chicagoans aren’t afraid to mix up their style. Short pixies like Emma Watson’s are popular, as is a longer, low-maintenance crop like Sienna Miller’s. “Hers still sort of has that longer, tousled feel on top that’s loose and casual, so it doesn’t require as much maintenance,” Veronica says. “So if they’re afraid to go all the way into that pixie, they’re kind of easing their way into it by doing something like that.” For crops like Sienna Miller’s, Veronica recommends texturizing products like Aveda Hair Potion and Aveda Texturizing Crème. The more of each product you use, the more moldability the hair will have.
Long hair and crops are in, but the ombré is on its way out in Chicago. “Now, clients want to break it up a little bit. So we’re going in and backcombing or diffusing a few highlights closer to their roots now,” Veronica says. Celebs to look to for the “softened ombré” include Rachel Bilson and Jessica Biel.
Yet there’s another trend in the color world for Chicagoans: bold color transformations. Inspired by Rihanna, Florence Welch and Evan Rachel Wood, many young girls are deciding to plunge into the red. “We’ve had a lot of our heavily highlighted blondes just really wanting to change,” Veronica says. “They’re just having a little fun, and the other option is red, and they’ve been going for it.” If your younger clients ask for bold color changes, make sure to have “the talk” with them first—with great color comes great responsibility. “When you want to make a bold color change, you want to protect the investment that you’re making in your haircolor,” Veronica says. She advises Aveda’s Color Conserve Shampoo and Conditioner, which ranks among the most popular shampoos and conditioners Salon V has to offer. Since young clients still love the outdoors in the early fall, and may even enjoy a swim or two to beat the heat, she also recommends Aveda’s Sun Care line to protect hair from UV rays and harsh chemicals.
The bottom line? Veronica says her clients are looking for more than a cut and color; they’re looking for hair education. As a result, Veronica takes her service to the next level by teaching her clients a few styles they can do with their new hair: top knots, loose gathered buns and braids are easy and wildly popular—and, of course, they’re chic ways to rule the school.