Three top stylists reveal their to-go haircuts and colours for the summer
Trends in fashion change so rapidly that the global industry has aptly titled it ‘fast fashion’. These quarterly trend changes aren’t just applicable to apparel but also beauty and accessories. Within the last two years we’ve seen ombre bleed into balayage, ecaille and even baby lights, all colouring techniques that require heavy duty upkeep. However, 2015 has noticed a shift from high to low maintenance with a focus on looking "effortlessly chic." While this effortlessness requires more work than it likes to let on, stylists are pushing for a more lived-in look, particularly with hair.
Gone are the days of tight, cord-like curls and voluminous waves. Air dried, beach-y, texturized tresses are the norm and stylists are focused on enhancing the hair’s natural colour and texture rather than changing it. The latest in hair colour abroad is a lived-in style that spaces out your visit to the salon six months apart. Brainchild of L.A. colourist Johnny Ramirez, the technique requires highlighting and blending colour in a manner that allows it grow out naturally, giving you half a year’s break from touch-ups.
Lived-in colour might be all the rage internationally but our rigours and requirements for low maintenance cut and colour are different from our Caucasian counterparts so we turned to three of the best stylist in the city and asked them to share their go-to cut and colour for the summer.
Saagar, stylist to celebs like Saba Qamar, Nadia Ali and fashionistas like Khadija Shah prefers giving his clients a soft, blurred cut that has no severe edges. "The more texturised your cut is, the higher maintenance it will require. Cuts with lots of jagged edges or those that rely on thinning the hair tend to go out shape quickly when the hair is growing out," he explains. As far as colour goes Saagar recommends lowlights instead of highlights since they tend to be low-maintenance, requiring minimal touch-ups and are also more convenient for clients who have greys. "It makes touching up the roots incredibly easy since they retain their natural colour and even when your hair is growing out, low-lights look healthier and can get a fresh lease with just a trim."
Speaking to Toni and Guy North’s creative director Shammal Qureshi, the man behind Meesha Shafi’s hair transformations and more recently Humaima Mallick’s long, chocolate coloured mane, reveals that women in Pakistan prefer keeping longer lengths during the summer so his focus is on narrow shapes for cut, with a move away from shaping along the width. "There’s a lot of 1990s influence coming back so excessive volume is definitely out. We’re heading towards grunge but with a more glamorous take on it." Qureshi is also shifting his focus to warmer, lighter shades for the summer. "We’re doing a cross between balayage and highlights so that the colour is still face-framing and sun-kissed but a lot more fluid with fewer visible demarcations," he states.
Stylist Natasha Saigol who recently coloured model Rabia Butt’s hair for Elan’s 2015 lawn campaign and is makeup artist Leena Ghani’s go-to girl, concurs with Qureshi that women in the sub-continent prefer opting for longer cuts in the summer because it allows them to tie their hair up. "The heat and humidity in our country dictate how we treat our hair. Internationally summer sees a shift towards shorter hairstyles but in Pakistan, women like keeping their length because it has to be tied up. I’m giving a lot of shoulder length cuts these days and I recommend using a mousse or curling jam in damp hair and twisting it into a bun for naturally texturised, relaxed waves," says Saigol. Like Qureshi, she too is taking her clients lighter and warmer, often mixing three different shades of the same colour to create depth and highlights. "I like taking my clients lighter because I’ve noticed it suits our wardrobe. Summer sees us in bright, printed lawn and a soft, shimmery colour tends to go well with our wardrobe and give the coveted summer glow."