Innovative tools, styling techniques and texture options heat up holiday styling.
Sleek cascades, beachy waves, tumbling curls, casual side braid, updated updo—long hair is the common denominator in much of the holiday styling you’ll do this season, for clients of every age range.
“I’m seeing women in their 40s and early 50s keeping long waves and highlights,” says Luis Alvarez, co-founder and creative director at Aquage.
While the texture is loose and natural, it’s still frizz-free, notes Robb Dubre, senior director artistic and education for Kenra Professional. “The hair isn’t poker-straight, but it’s smooth and has light reflection,” he says.
“Clients want non-committal textured hair that offers versatility,” adds Melissa Peverini, master hair designer and colorist at Cosmo and Company Salon and Spa in West Palm Beach, Florida. I suggest a twisting method, as opposed to curling, to create a soft bend in the hair. Braiding is popular, but we will begin to see more methods like hair lacing to create texture.”
Rely on tools to help you design textured looks, say the experts. “A diffuser is essential,” says Peverini. “The Cricket Q-Zone Lightweight Dryer comes with a concentrator, straightening pick and diffuser. For a smooth look, try tools infused with keratin. Cricket’s Ultra Smooth Flat Iron features argan oil and keratin protein—hybridizing a treatment service with a tool.”
According to editorial stylist and Paul Mitchell educator Lucie Doughty, this season’s soft, loose looks call for curling irons and smoothing irons with large barrels and plates. “Your adventurous clients, however, will be going smaller to get a bouncy, fluffy texture,” she says. “At JPMS, we have a versatile new 3/4" iron that tapers to 1/4" and has a long barrel so you can really wrap the hair around it.”
Mandi Caputo, manager at Lisa Thomas Salon in Orland Park, Illinois, references a three-in-one ghd flatiron that can straighten the hair and create both a loose curl and a tight curl. “During the service, we explain to the client how to use the iron,” Caputo says. “So the service becomes a lesson as well.”
DO THE UPDO
“Nowadays every woman can create a little ponytail or bun to go to a club, but for a special occasion like New Year’s Eve or an office holiday party, your clients will come to you,” says Alvarez. “They want the updo to look worn in, soft and messy, but they need a designer to do it.”
At Lisa Thomas Salon, Caputo says clients candidly tell the stylist, “I want the hair to look like I did it myself, but nicer than I can do it!”
Dubre says current updos aren’t ornate. “It’s simple elegance,” he notes. “They’re not messy; they’re planned and purposeful, but they’re not extremely finished.”
"Use irons with large
A side braid perhaps with curls on the other side can be very glamorous, adds Doughty. “That gives clients the option of having their hair down but in a design,” she says.
Peverini uses the term “low-do” to refresh the concept.
“The hair is pulled back and low in chignons and ponytails with additional volume and texture,” she explains. “You can create these looks with a round brush for blow drying, a smoothing brush, teasing brush, tail comb, elastic and bobby-pins. Offer clients hair accessories and clip-in extensions for rent by the night.”
Lucie Doughty designed this look for JPMS.
1. Apply Extra-Body Sculpting Foam to damp hair and Thicken Up to the ends, and comb through the hair.
2. Using the Express Ion Dry TurboLight and the Express Ion Round L, dry the hair by taking medium-sized sections and over-directing.
3. Set the hair with hot rollers starting in the front and working back. Spray each section with JPMS Extra-Body Finishing Spray and slightly backcomb the hair at the base prior to wrapping it around the hot roller. Roll the hair on-base to achieve maximum volume. Allow the hair to cool completely.
4. Remove the rollers and gently brush through the curls, leaving the backcombing in place. In the crown, create a tiny scalp braid and secure with an elastic.
5. Allowing for face shape, pull the top section of the hair back and pin in at the braid, creating as much height in that area as desired.
6. Place the remaining hair into the final shape and apply Extra-Body Finishing Spray to lock in the style. Finish with Awapuhi Wild Ginger Shine Spray.
“Straight, smooth hair can feel modern with a dramatic parting,” says Joico International Creative Director Damien Carney. “Position the part smack dab in the center or way off to the side.” For a look like Selena Gomez’s:
1. Apply a few drops of Joico Smooth Cure Leave-In Rescue Treatment to shampooed and conditioned hair.
2. Beginning at the nape, blow-dry horizontal sections, working up to the crown, around to the sides and up to the front. Point the dryer down along the hair shaft.
3. If necessary, use a flatiron to touch up specific areas after misting with Power Spray.
4. Two styling options: sweep all hair across the head from a low side parting, and secure in a low pony at the nape. Or, isolate a horseshoe section at the crown, slick the sides with Power Gel and allow the top section to fall over the tightly gelled sides.
Tip: When blow drying, use a round brush if hair is thick or coarse and a paddle or Denman brush if hair is fine or straight.
See You After the Holidays!
Set a goal of seeing your clients more often in the new year—and getting them to promote your services for you!
* Expanded menu. “Treatments, blow-dry services and styling lessons are all reasons for guests to come in more frequently,” says JPMS Global Director Robert Cromeans. Stylists can increase their revenue by 40 percent without adding a single new guest.”
JPMS designed a special blow-dry menu for its salons to use with a blow-dry bar, according to Lucie Doughty, JPMS editorial director. The menu shows four looks, each accompanied by the products and tools needed to create it, and clients choose the look they want.
“People are liking the weekly blow-dry,” Doughty says. “It’s not a commitment like a hair cut, and they can try out different styles.”
* Market your textured hair services. “Adding an ‘iron alternative’ like Curlformers to your holiday menu can attract a new wave of clients who want a curly look with less possibility of thermal damage,” says Curlformers’ Karine Jackson. “Curlformers also can be used with perming solution for longer-lasting beach waves and texture.”
Sebastian artist Anthony Cress, who earned this year’s NAHA in the Texture category, says that textured hair clients can be extremely loyal. Gain their confidence now, and you’ll see them in the new year.
* Referral program. “If someone refers three new clients, I give the client a free hair cut,” says Cress. “A lot of clients will send in friends anyway, but there definitely are clients who are motivated by the incentive.”
* New Year’s voucher. “We designate each of three consecutive days in November as Customer Appreciation Day,” says ghd fan Mandi Caputo, manager of the Lisa Thomas Salon in Orland Park, Illinois. “Clients who purchase a gift certificate worth $125 receive a $25 voucher to use in January.” At her UK salon, Jackson gives clients a holiday card in December inviting them to come in during January for a complimentary treatment with a cut or color service.
* Updo Upsell. As you’re doing their holiday updos, remind clients that you’d love to do their wedding updos in the coming months. “The bridal market is no longer just the bridal party,” says Luis Alvarez, co-founder of Aquage. “Guests are getting their hair styled for the wedding as well.” You can open this conversation by doing a mini-updo service for free.
“It will take you five minutes to create a little braid or knot for the client’s holiday party,” Alvarez continues. “But choose the right people—clients who will appreciate it and think it’s cool.”
* The extra mile. Stand out from the competition by customizing your salon environment to today’s realities, advises Melissa Peverini, master hair designer and colorist at Cosmo and Company Salon and Spa in West Palm Beach, Florida, and a spokesperson for Cricket. “Keep an iPad handy for clients to browse during their appointment,” Peverini suggests. “Store extra phone chargers at your station for clients who are running low on battery.”