From Behind The Chair
Every season we talk about the trends that we see grace the stages of international fashion weeks and the inspiration behind the looks. It’s almost as though one single person has plucked the idea out of the air, drawn the garments on paper, sent them to production and slapped them on a mannequin. Who would actually consider that sociological inspiration of fashion?
I recently returned from experiencing a once in a lifetime view of the inner workings of the luxury fashion world in no place other than Paris, France. With the help of L’Oreal Professionnel, myself along with 25 colleagues, were taken on a journey of understanding where our seasonal looks come from, how they are interpreted and why we are psychologically drawn to them.
Before the Internet we saw changes in fashion everysix months during seasonal changes. Today we get inspiration constantly with the enormous fascination of celebrity, so much so that we can’t even focus on celebrity looks too much since they change so often. People like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Demi Lavato and Beyonce seem to change styles daily. It’s created an explosion of micro-trends making it difficult to plan your next look.
One thing is very clear though, the connection between hair, fashion and the stock exchange remains forever present. That’s right, I said stock exchange. If we look back over history we can see evidently where recessions have taken place (for example, the 30’s, 80’s and most recently in 2008). As markets dropped so did the hemlines and hairlines. During times of a depressed economy people become more reserved. Clothing becomes more conservative with longer length skirts and dresses and also longer hair.
During the economic upswings however, hemlines get shorter and so does the hair. People are more willing to flaunt what they have and become more frivolous. During the 90’s the most popular cut was the sassy ‘Rachel’ played by Jennifer Anniston from ‘Friends’.
Where does that leave us today? Five years after portfolios plummeted in 2008 we are on the upswing. How can we tell? Beyonce cut off her hair. Have we ever seen Beyonce with a shorter style? Nope! Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha also opted for a shorter crop recently and let's not forget about Miley. Okay, we won’t go there.
Fall/Winter 2013 'It Looks' are inspired by runways, celebrity and street style. Women take inspiration from everywhere! The hottest tones in colour vary from icy cold blondes, rose-gold-strawberry blondes and cool icy browns.
In terms of cuts we see the return of the bob (Beyonce’s latest), retro waves (smooth roots, wavy ends) and the modern chignon, a slight undone updo.
People may think fashion is superficial and frivolous. However it’s really sociological. That’s rarely something you consider when you walk into a store to buy your season’s hottest looks. I’ve learned that we don’t need a crystal ball to predict stocks, just watch the hemlines on the skirts of your favourite celebs!
Every summer we are reminded why we have fallen in love with the Okanagan Valley. With the gorgeous sunrises and sets, tropic like weather and stunning lake it is no wonder why so many love birds choose the Okanagan as a setting to tie the knot.
Weddings have become a large part of business during the summer months in Kelowna and surrounding areas, attracting brides and grooms from all over the world. I never considered the Valley to be a place for ‘Destination Weddings’ until I began to recognize how many salon guests who travelled far lengths to create the day of their dreams.
That being said, there are some important details to consider when planning your perfect look for your perfect day. Whether you are visiting from another city or call Kelowna home, there are specific needs that are required in order to achieve and maintain your stellar style - all day.
The Dress: This is the single most important detail you need to have nailed down before you even think about hair or makeup. Fashion Designers most commonly always dictate how the hair accents the look, because your hairstyle should be considered another accessory. Perhaps your dress is vintage? Or smooth and sleek? The best bet, is to bring a photo to your Stylist on your consultation day.
Up or Down?: Loosely pinned hair for weddings is always a popular choice. My advice is to choose your hairstyle based on your hair texture. If your hair is fine and doesn’t hold curl well, avoid leaving excess hair down. The heat of the sun, possible precipitation and perspiration will make curl fall. Remember, your hair has to last from mid-morning until the end of the wedding.
The Partner in Crime: Sometimes forgotten during a beauty consultation is the spouse-to-be. You need to take into account where your fiancée will be standing (on the left or right) and also their height. Often hair detail will appear different on various sides so ask your Officiant where your partner will be standing during the ceremony. This will dictate the preferred side and height of your finished look.
Flowers or Veil: If you are choosing to accent your look with anything, make sure you bring the items along to your consultation. If your veil is not available, bring a photo of the veil itself as well as the attachment device (often a comb). Fresh flowers are an amazing organic accent, and can be brought the day of the service.
Inspiration: Along with the plethora of photos you will bring of your ensemble also bring some inspiration pics that show texture, shape and general look you want to achieve. From there leave it up to your Stylist to channel creativity and polish your look.
Nothing beats the morning of a wedding in a salon, getting ready with some of your favourite people. With proper planning and excellent communication prior to your special day you will be certain to sit back, relax and create your dream wedding hair experience.
Just remember to fall in love with the gorgeous energy that envelops every moment of a summer day in the Okanagan. For this is the perfect setting to have live in the hearts of many forever.
Inspired in the natural changes by Mother Nature, fashion evolves to create new looks that accent our personal style and enhance who we are as individuals. Hair trends are influenced by seasonal runway collections of fashion designers from Milan to Paris and New York. Session Stylists are asked to create looks that work in synergy with clothing and mirror certain aspects of texture, colour and structure.
Spring/Summer 2013 is a year boasting pop-inspired floral prints. Unlike the recent past seasons of large floral prints, this year we are seeing small intense floral patterns. Texture also returns to be a popular choice as seen with the ever-flowing maxi dress. This can be interpreted in hair with the continuation of natural texture and movement. Again, were are seeing a shift away from perfect ‘hairdresser hair,’ and more towards simple waves that appear ‘lived in’ over a couple days.
As professional stylists in our seasonal update training, our mentors debuted looks that teach us how to create texture without it looking perfect. Guests are shying away from perfect curls or sleek flat ironing, and opting for new looks frequently posted by Pinterest followers. This rising influence of social media in pop culture has us looking increasingly to Pinterest and Instagram to discover the latest trends in fashion and hair that our guests desire.
Recently I heard a Stylist in a training seminar sigh under her breath ‘Ombré….again?!’ as an educator was revealing the latest collection from L’Oréal Professionnel: Ombré Nature. Ombré is a specialized technique that fades a deeper base into lighter ends, which has been a staple in highlighting technique for the past three years. Simply stated, Ombré is a technique that isn’t going away. It will continue to evolve and take on new appearances due to its natural finish rather than classic blonde foils.
Ombré is achieved by visually placing highlights throughout the hair either by open air (called Balayage: the French word meaning ‘to sweep over’), or by separation with cotton or highlighting material. The artistry is created by the blend between the base colour at the roots and lightness on the ends using a premium lightening product. Almost all magazine covers you see today showcase some form of Ombré and less of blonde foiling.
Spring/Summer 2013’s colour trend is slightly more natural then previous years. Base colours are softened slightly, boasting tones of neutral mocha and varying natural blonde tones. This technique is excellent for maintenance since the blonde does not reach the root entirely, and you will not notice your roots as quickly as you do with conventional foils.
Have some fun during the warmest and most glorious days of the year and lighten up! Have some fun experimenting with the latest in colour and texture and push your Stylist’s creative limits. Nothing is more fun then accenting your look with the evolution of well rounded fashion.
Nothing is more attractive on a woman than soft, shiny and well-conditioned hair. Aside from beautiful colour and the perfect cut, it is the condition that speaks volumes of how well your locks are maintained.
In the salon, stylists need to have heart to heart conversations with our guests all the time. What it really boils down to is creating realistic plans for your hair that will enable you to get to your desired look. In our instant digital society we have become accustomed to achieving results right away, however we have yet to see a patent on digital hair that can change at the click of a button.
I know how important long hair is to a woman (and a lot of men that they hang around with) so here are some important tips to maintaining your long hair—and growing it longer if you so choose:
Date your Hairdresser - Well not literally, but you should schedule a regular hair date with him/her every 6 weeks (if you hair is above your shoulders) or every 8 weeks (if you have long hair) to have your ends neatly cut. Sensitized ends create splits that work up the strand of the hair creating dreaded split ends that you hate. The more often you visit, the less we have to remove - which is a lot less stress on you.
Invest in the Best - Just like your wardrobe, start with staple beauty products to maintain your hair. I’m talking about shampoo and conditioner. Before we even talk styling aides, you must use a premium shampoo, conditioner and if I get my way, a once a week masque to cleanse and moisturize your ends. Check out Kerastase Bain Age Recharge and Kerastase Age Recharge Masque—miracle long hair revival weapons that use lipids (or fats) to replenish lack luster ends! I always say: would you wash your cashmere sweater in Sunlight dish soap?
Wear Protection - Styling is the biggest aggressor on your hair. To maintain the strength, shine and overall health of your hair use a conditioning blow dry cream like Kerastase Nectar Thermique before your blow dry. These magic potions envelop the hair fiber, seal the cuticle and protect against thermal styling.
Blunt is your friend - If you are trying to grow your hair longer, consider keeping your perimeter or ends blunt and start to grow your layers longer. Layers always reduce the weight of a haircut, by growing them longer it will give you a fuller effect. Blunt lines generally grow out more evenly and trend not to give you ‘wispy’ ends like the use of over texturizing.
Live Optimally - There is no magic pill or product that will do more than your body. Our hair, skin and overall health are direct reflections of how we value our bodies. Ensure you are eating lots of fresh foods with a balanced diet with plenty of healthy fats (hair loves omega from wild salmon). I’m a big fan of whole food vitamins and supplements since our food just doesn’t have the same nutrients it used to.
Growing your hair is a journey that needs to be done over time. Aside from hair pieces and extensions, the only magic ingredient is one that you cannot buy. It is an ingredient that you must produce on your own but guess what, it’s free! Growing your hair only requires: patience.
More From Behind The Chair articles
- 2013: Passionate change Jan 9
- Inspiration, thought & action Nov 25
- Take a deep breath! Oct 3
- Economy and our style Sep 2
- Texture monster Jun 13
- The art of barbering Apr 11
- Spring 2012 hair fashion Mar 14
- Cause and effect in the chair Feb 9
- Sunshine vacations Jan 6
- Holiday hair on budget Dec 9
- Being real Oct 27
- The price of beauty Sep 30