Hair walks a tricky fine line between the too mundane and the over-experimental. Basic ‘pretty’ cuts are hardly impactful while jagged short lines, implemented by an amateur stylist, run the risk of being untidy. At the same time, hair is a perpetual statement-maker.
Designer Maheen Khan infamously often declares that she doesn’t usually bother with accessories since her hair is the best statement that she can make. The designer’s pixie-cut is, of course, iconic in local fashion circles; silver with tinges of purple, manoeuvred by stylist Nina Lotia.
In the quest to decipher similar trendsetting hairstyles, we talk to leading stylists on how to be hair-savvy in the long summer ahead.
1) Snip ‘em up
“Long mermaid-like waves are going to be a bit out-of-date now,” observes stylist Nabila. “Lengths are going to vary from mid-length to short pixie cuts to bangs.”
For women with an affinity for long hair, Nabila suggests the long bob or ‘lob.’ “There are also going to be plenty of hidden layers which will only be evident when the hair is wind-blown. So the hair will look solid without really looking solid.”
“Disconnected hair looks great visually,” she continues. “Also, bangs can be cut in different ways; side-swept, soft, choppy or blunt.”
Stylist Saima Rashid Bargfrede further adds, “The fringe is definitely back. The half-moon bang looks great with loose hair. An extreme side-part works very well too, especially with short hairstyles.”
2) Work with what you have
“Hair is no longer styled severely with multiple products,” says Shammal Qureshi of Toni&Guy North Pakistan. “Loose carefree waves are in vogue.
It’s going to be a long, hot summer and so the hair will be tied up quite often. The messy bun is going to be a popular option. Also, Dutch braids which are basically French braids on either side of the hair are great both formally and casually.”
Another timeless option, of course, remains the ponytail, keeping hair well out of the way when the weather begins to get sweltering.
3) Go bold!
Saeeda Mandviwalla of Toni&Guy South Pakistan proposes ‘fun hair colours’ for the summer. “‘Blorange’ hair works well for all skin tones,” she says. “Hair can be dip-dyed into orange pigments at the end for a cool ombre effect or natural-looking balayage hues. Also, peachy shades can be applied from root to tip. The hair’s natural base colour is retained, giving it a textured, rich look. Mid-hair length with lots of long layers looks stunning with blorange tones.”
Also suggested by Saeeda and Saima are ‘bronde’ hues — a mixture of brunette and blonde. “It flatters a wide range of skin tones and doesn’t require spending hours in the salon,” emphasises Saeeda. “The beachy glow of blonde highlights is combined with the mid-brunette hues and ombre effects.”
In a similar vein, Saima suggests ‘rose gold undertones’ where streaks with slight metallic flecks catch the light.
Some of the trending hair shades for the season, as foreseen by Nabila, include lilac, rose gold, teal blue, green and hints of blonde. “Slightly undetectable baby lights will be in vogue, giving off a sun-kissed effect and free hand colouring will make hair look interesting, adding texture to it. As I have always said, ‘Why live in black and white, when you can live in colour?’”
And why live with the same boring look when you can improvise with your hair and make it stand out? Running the gamut from wacky colours for the bold-hearted to mid-length angular statements for the more sedate amongst us, the options for trendsetting hair are endless. It’s going to be a groovy, hair-savvy summer.
Originally published in Dawn, EOS, April 9th, 2017