The last time hair made a splash was when Jennifer Aniston debuted “the Rachel,” on the hit show “Friends.” The “Rachel,” named after Aniston’s character, was the perfect hair style. Google it and you will see what I mean. It looked flattering on everyone. Cut “piecey” (as my stylist described it) and layered at the ends, rounded at the top, face-framing and relatively easy to blow dry back to its style, the “Rachel” took off across the country almost as fast at the iPhone. Not since Farrah Fawcett’s ‘do (May she rest in peace with those perfectly blown back golden wings of hair) have so many women adopted the same hairstyle all at once. For a while “Fawcetts” abounded; “Rachels” spread like the flu. And then... nothing. These styles disappeared. A “Fawcett” today looks old-fashioned and dated. A “Rachel” encourages critics (and by critics I mean my best friends), to threaten a hair intervention.
Now, Stylish Readers, we are contending with three new trends that are springing up on heads across the nation: Long hair, growing out the gray and bangs. Face it: we are on are own now with only our good taste and a trusted hair stylist to guide us in the right direction. Here are some tips to help you navigate the challenges of adopting these new trends.
Every celebrity (except maybe Anne Hathaway) showed up at this year’s award shows with various lengths of long hair. Even several of our local TV anchors (read Bertha Lynn) have grown out their bobs to shoulder length. Long hair works for some, not for others. It’s limited by age, style and upkeep. Face it, no matter how long Jane Seymour grows her hair, its still too young for her. Women of a certain age (and that varies for each one of us) might consider going to the short side. On the other hand, if you feel comfortable with hair down the middle of your back, go for it.
Pros: Long hair works great for creating ponytails, buns and updos. An updo of some kind is a very professional look and works well in an office setting. Men in general (and that includes Mr. Style Matters) love long hair.
Cons: Takes a long time to dry; can age you. Older hair tends get thinner and dryer when worn long and straight. Uses lots of product to detangle and condition.
2. Use soft bristle brushes and brush hair gently to avoid damage.
3. Wash hair as little as possible.
I’ve tried it, couldn’t stand it and there’s no going back for me. But more and more women are going gray. Not just ordinary gray, but interesting shades such as silver, pewter and pearl. So you thought your color days were over? No such thing, Stylish gray reader, you have much to choose from. (Whew! I think I got through this part without once men-tioning “Shades of Gray.”)
Pros: No more pesky color appointments to hide those gray roots. Can be a big money saver. Gain instant respect from friends who are impressed with your guts.
Cons: Creates that old hippy feeling and an urge to move to Boulder. Who are we kidding? Gray hair typically adds years to your look. That’s just a fact. Have you seen Holly Hunter on the Sundance Channel series “Top of the Lake? She looks like a grandma troll doll.
2. While growing out the gray, consider what stylists call “low lights.” Highlights are colors that are lighter than your own hair color; Lowlights are the colors that are darker than your natural color. Lowlights add depth and dimension to a hair style and disguise the gray as it grows out.
3. During the grow-out phase consider getting a shorter hair cut and applying temporary color until the gray sections are long enough.
First lady Michelle Obama wasn’t the first to sport bangs, but like the White House Black Market dress she wore on “The View” a few years ago, she primed the trend pump. Now everyone is experimenting with bangs.
Bangs can completely change a woman’s look as illustrated by our First Lady. Who doesn’t think she looks so much prettier with bangs?
Pros: Do you know the old expression: “After a woman turns 40, its bangs or Botox”? Bangs cover forehead lines and are much cheaper than Botox.
Cons: Tricky to dry so they don’t look like sausage rolls. First part of the hair to get oily and frizzy.
2. Use fingers to hold bangs in place while drying. Finish with a quick blast of a round brush.
3. Bangs are the first part of your hair to get oily. To extend the look, wash just your bangs in the shower.
Judie Schwartz, AKA Style Matters, is the co-author of two best-selling books on the best places to shop in Colorado. Called “A Fashion-Lover’s Guide to the Best Shopping in Denver and Beyond,” the books are available at stylematters.us. Schwartz presents image seminars to corporations on the importance of a business casual wardrobe and entertains conventioneers with talks on how to look great on a budget. She is also a wardrobe consultant. Schwartz has one husband, three children, no pets and small closets. She can be reached at: