Good Hair Days

By Vicky Katz Whitaker

March 6, 2009 5 min read

NOTE TO EDITORS: IN THE SECOND SENTENCE OF THE NINTH PARAGRAPH, THERE SHOULD BE AN ACCENT MARK OVER THE "E" IN "BEYONCE." THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION. -- CREATORS SYNDICATE

GOOD HAIR DAYS

Find the perfect cut and style to complete your look

Vicky Katz Whitaker

Creators News Service

You need more than a pretty dress, stylish shoes and glittery accessories to make a fashion statement this spring and summer -- particularly if you're headed to a prom, beach outing or other social event.

Without a good haircut and styling to go with it, a breezy day, heat or humidity can undo your new look in a matter of minutes.

"Temperamental weather, from tropical thunderstorms to wind, can cause your hair to look frightful," said Jet Rhys, an award-winning stylist and colorist who is a 20-year veteran of the beauty and fashion business.

To Rhys, co-founder of the San Diego salon that bears her name, the key is "keeping your beauty routine simple," with techniques such as switching to a styling cream rather than waxes and gels that make your strands turn sticky and flat when it's humid.

"If your battle is against windy, dry air, avoid over-shampooing," she added. It can strip natural oils from your locks, causing it to look flat and limp. A deep conditioning mask applied once a week can restore the moisture.

As for the trendy cuts, "shapes are strong and bold on the perimeter/outline. Interiors are completely texturized by forms of weave cutting --taking sections of hair and cutting pieces from the section, leaving some longer pieces out," Rhys said, explaining that it's similar to highlighting, but done with scissors. You'll also see squarer and deeper fringes and bangs.

Stylist Philip Pelusi, owner of Tela Design Studio in New York City who has different product lines as well as a chain of salons in Pittsburg, expects spring and summer's most fashionable looks to be full of loose, luscious curls, whether pinned up or down. He said the look may be messy, but if you use the right products, you can look appropriate and not over-the-top.

Pelusi added the spring and summer styles are "very flattering for women of any age," provided the cut is appropriate to your texture and condition. "The better the quality of the hair fabric, the longer and fuller the hair can be worn," he said. "If someone has a weaker and thinner hair fabric, they should stick to slightly shorter styles that can be enhanced with the right products."

It doesn't matter how old you are, either. "Trends have really changed when it comes to more mature women," he said. "Slightly longer and more imperfect styles actually make women look younger."

On teens and young women, look for big waves, bigger curls, and lots of volume -- even if your style is short, said Yesenia Almonte, Seventeen magazine's beauty director. In one new trend, "the bump," the hair is teased in front in the style of singer-songwriter Beyonce.

The beachy style featured by Lauren Conrad in the hit MTV show "The Hills" is "something girls love," she said. Meanwhile, best-selling country music star Taylor Swift "is making a lot of curly-haired girls really proud. She sports them so well, really defined and so shiny."

Celebrities also influence male high school and college students. The hot look this spring and summer is the "pop-mop" favored by "High School Musical" star Zac Efron, said Angus Mitchell, co-owner of John Paul Mitchell Systems and son of the famed designer who has followed in his father's footsteps. "The other trend is a shorter, spiky look," he added.

The best way to change your hairstyle, especially if a special event is approaching, is to spend time researching the look you like and discussing it with your stylist well in advance of that prom or party.

"Work with different styles at least a week to two weeks before the big event," said celebrity hairstylist David Babaii, who works with some of Hollywood's top stars and has even developed a product line with Kate Hudson. "That way you can try various looks -- plus it will help you understand just how long it takes you to achieve your desired result. You may find an additional bobby pin, hair accessory, or a different strength hairspray really does make a big difference."

And, he added, it never hurts to bring your dress, jewelry and accessories to the salon to help the stylist "create a look that will compliment you and your dress."

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