scent of singed hair and the buzz of blow-dryers
were conspicuously absent backstage at fall
shows. The pros agree the hair of the moment
is anything but high-maintenance.
we torture and twist our hair to try to achieve
the latest runway looks, in the end, what we all
want is shine, movement, volume... basically,
perfection. But few of us have attained this
nirvana, says international hair stylist Ouidad
who has been dubbed the Queen of Curl by the
beauty world. "Once we get past the age of ten,
most of us embark on this endless cycle
of heat-styling, coloring, and so forth," she
says. "It robs the hair of its natural beauty."
Fortunately, the style to have this season is
actually good for our hair: "The trend has moved
away from aggressively straightened and tousled
hair to more feminine and wearable styles that
put a greater emphasis on hair health and natural
beauty," says Manhattan-based stylist Antonio
Prieto. But, as always, the "natural look" does
require some work. Here, the care and feeding
of beautiful hair.
When it comes to which hairstyles suit whom,
the sweeping generalities abound: Long hair
is best on taller women, pixie cuts complement
those with delicate features, shorter women
need shorter hair. But stylists from the modern
school say that achieving fabulous hair is actually
more about playing up your hair’s natural texture
than following a set of arbitrary rules. "The
idea is to emphasize the real state of your
hair,’’ says celebrity hair guru John Sahag.
"Don’t try to force it to be something that
it’s not." And, of course, as frizz fighter
and salon owner, John Frieda notes, "beautiful
hair does not exist on its own. It suits a woman’s
personality, style of dress, bone structure,
and the occasion."
TO THE SCISSORS
According to Ouidad, "a good cut requires minimal
product and styling, and is as becoming to you
as it is practical." To that end, stylists can’t
say enough about layers, which provide volume
and emphasize texture. Long, piecey layers,
like the ones that John Sahag created on Spanish
beauty Eugenia Silva (left) for medium to long
hair, and graduated ones for shorter styles.
Another way to fake healthy hair is to forgo
hard edges and straight lines, and go for razored
ends and a subtle unevenness. The effect, according
to John Frieda’s international creative director,
Rick Haylor, is "like you’ve had a beautiful
cut that’s been growing out for a few weeks.
Think of it as no-makeup makeup for hair."
average model might have a fat bank account,
but if she’s juice-fasting for her next Sports
Illustrated cover, she also might also have
thinning hair. "I see so many women who have
hair problems because they are always dieting,"
says Manhattan nutritionist Heather Greenbaum.
"You can tell what someone eats by the state
of her hair." Greenbaum recommends building
volume from the inside out with a diet high
in protein, essential for new hair growth, and
omega-3 fatty acids, which work as internal
deep-conditioners for dry, brittle hair. Cold-water
fish like tuna and salmon, high in both protein
and omega-3, is the ultimate food for fuller
In terms of shampooing, every pro has his own
opinion about how frequently you should do it.
All would agree, however, that over-washing
is a cardinal sin. But new mild formulations
allow clean freaks to get their daily fix without
stripping. "Shampoos that don't lather up a
lot contain fewer surfactants, which can be
harsh on hair," Ouidad says. "You have to put
moisture back into the hair," notes bicoastal
stylist Philip B. "Most hair problems, such
as fly-away and split ends, are caused by dryness."
Conditioning after every shampoo has become
second nature to most of us, but to get even
more out of the ritual, Ouidad recommends leaving
about 25 percent of the product in your hair
after you're done rinsing. Most stylists also
suggest deep-conditioning treatments at least