W H A T ' S H O T I N H A I R
From braids to bobs, beach waves to beehives, hair trends are updated just as quickly as those in your wardrobe. We chat to International Hair Educator Sharon Blain to get the lowdown on what’s hot in hair.
As four-time winner of Hair Expo’s Australian Educator of the Year award, and having spent more than four decades honing her craft and perfecting her skills, Sharon Blain is one of the world’s best-known hairstylists and educators. Recently inducted into the Hair Expo Hall of Fame, we sat down with the hair guru to talk trends, techniques and all things tresses.
CUTS / messy lob
“There’s been a distinct shift away from super sleek, straight hair over the past few months,” notes Blain. “And towards more textured, dishevelled finishes, with lots of movement.” Generally, the shoulder length textured bob, or lob (long bob) is making its mark on the cutting world, as women seek out the more moveable, softer looks that have been a hit on runways and social media.
- Hair: Servilles Creative Team / Makeup: Virginia Carde / Photography: Andrew O'Toole / Stylist: Victoria Harvey
- Hair: Andre Faiva / Makeup: Penny Antuar / Photography: Glen Krohn / Stylist: Sarah Birchley
CUTS / close shave
“Another big cutting trend is the undercut with shaved patterns, with the addition of colour to help the shaved patterning pop. When it comes to super short or extra long hair, beach texture has almost completely replaced the flat iron curls we’ve seen in years past,” she explains.
CUTS / the perm
But perhaps the hottest news from the most recent international hair shows is the return of the perm. At Salon International, Sassoon presented a selection of cuts that featured textured perming, Afro curls and fluffy ringlet curls. “The perm is back!” enthuses Blain. “Sassoon’s show has the hair industry raving. Curls and perms have been quietly making a return over the past year, but this latest collection of looks have set strong new trends that will no doubt filter down into salons in the months to come.”
COLOUR / contouring
When it comes to colour, the beauty of bespoke, subtle shades simply can’t be surpassed. “Colour contouring has taken over from balayage and the extreme tonal contrasts of the previous season,” says Blain. “Think subtle melts and blends, from various shades of caramel, toffee, chocolate, coffee and mocha. Let’s talk caramel melt, for example: from the lightest right through to the deepest tones of caramel all graded into a natural blonde, stunning and on-point. This can be a very cost effective way of adding colour as it only requires a root touch-up and toner on the ends about every six to eight weeks.”
Colour contouring is all about analysing the face shape and adding colour to either narrow down or widen the facial features: bringing the focus to cheekbones, slimming down the jaw or making eyes pop. “Using colour in this manner has the ability to enhance and light up the face, giving a youthful, luminous glow.”
COLOUR / pastels
“For the brave among us, there are still a lot of pastels on the streets: soft green, baby pink and blue and pastel silver grey are the most popular.” Worth noting though, is the time and prep that’s required to achieve these shades and the maintenance needed to keep them looking great. “To get the best tone, the base colour of the hair needs to be lightened, then the chosen fashion colour placed on top. These colours are very high maintenance and not for the faint-of-heart, as a double colouring process is necessary each and every time the colour needs to be redone.”
STYLING / beach X braids
Hair styling and dressing is definitely en vogue right now, with women the world over hunting down and exploring unique braids, ponys and twists for both everyday and special occasion wear. “It’s all about the ponytail, messy curly texture, teased, twisted, looped and braided, tied and wrapped looks. The two key trends at the moment are messy beach hair and braids. Shoulder length textured bobs with plenty of movement are moving into the spotlight and braids of all kinds (French, fishtail and various scalp braids) are set to endure in the fashion stakes. These are the things I’m asked about more than anything else right now.”
STYLING / accessories
Hair accessories are impacting styling trends, as crowns, jewelled headbands and boho-chic halos take centre stage. “Textured, boho waves are an ideal style for those looking to incorporate accessories into their look,” reveals Blain. “More than anything, texture and movement is a key trend for the coming season.”
#trendwatch /// While fashion shows are a great place to seek out inspiration, Blain notes that runway hair is more about working with each designer to complement the clothing, so each and every style of hair that makes its way down the runway won’t necessarily be transferable to the everyday. “At the moment, the simple bun, ponytail, basic braids, undone down movement and soft angel textures are all gorgeous styles you could take from the runway to the street.”
See more hair & beauty inspo in Modern Hair & Beauty magazine here!