Despite the fact that they’re often made at the very last minute, there’s no denying the importance of hair styling decisions when it comes to translating a designer's vision for the season. Spring 2012 saw a mix of classic styles like chignons (see Stella McCartney, Yves Saint Laurent) and bouncy natural waves (see Versace, D&G), along with out-of-the-box styles like gel-heavy wet looks (see Giambattista Valli, Victoria Beckham). As for hair color, the rise of pink-haired model Charlotte Free meant punchy colors often hit the runway.
But do these looks translate to the street? To find out, we turned to Frederic Fekkai, a salon responsible for countless runway hair looks including those at Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung, and Rachel Zoe. Here's a look at what top Fekkai colorist Jaclyn Discala and stylist Stefanie Henriquez, who worked on the Spring 2012 hair looks at Marchesa and Altuzarra, had to say.
Altuzarra; Prabal Gurung
The Fashion Spot: What celebrity hair color do most women come in asking for?
Jaclyn Discala: Jennifer Aniston is still very popular and so are Gisele's highlights. For darker colors women often ask for Kim Kardashian or Angelina Jolie. Mila Kunis is another celebrity who has become popular.
tFS: Have you been finding that people have been asking for more wild colors over the past year?
JD: Yes! Especially younger women. I'm seeing a lot more pink requests because it's in all the magazines and I'm finding that older women are embracing their grays more.
tFS: Is there a danger of going for an 'extreme' color like bright pink?
JD: If someone with your hair, for example, were going to go pink (note I have dirty blonde hair), we'd have to first strip it to almost a white blonde, which takes out a lot of moisture. We'd then add the pink on top, so the danger is that your hair could end up very dry.
tFS: What are some must-dos when you have color treated hair?
JD: Make sure to keep up with the color at home so the color lasts as long as possible. Shampoo and condition with products for color treated hair and, once a week, use a hair mask. Even if you have oily or dry hair stick with color treated specific products. You can always look for ones that target specific hair types while being color treated hair-specific. Fekkai makes color products for both fine (tends to be oily), and thick (tends to be dry), hair.
Proenza Schouler; Marchesa
tFS: Should you wash hair before getting a color treatment?
JD: When you wash your it opens the pores so if you're doing a single process treatment it's best to not wash your hair two to three days before to avoid sensitivity. Since the color is applied all over the scalp if you've washed your hair the night before you might have a burning sensation. With highlights it doesn't make a difference.
tFS: How often should you wash your hair and does hair type make a difference?
JD: If you have thick and dry hair it's better to go two or three days without washing. If your hair is color treated it will most likely be dry. Try not to wash it too often in this case because you want to preserve your hair's natural oils. If, however, your hair is on the thin and oily side it's OK to wash it more often.
tFS: Is there any truth to those UV-protecting products that claim to prevent color damage?
JD: There is truth to them, but the sun is strong so it will still affect your hair, but less so.
tFS: Fekkai is involved in creating a number of the most notable runway hair looks every season, what are some of the key products that were used for Spring 2012?
Stefanie Henriquez: Fekkai COIFF Strong Hold Volume Mousse, Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine Mist, Fekkai COIFF Sheer Hold Hairspray, Fekkai Coiff Magnifique Ultra-Light Finishing Crème, Fekkai COIFF Nonchalant Piecing and Forming Wax, and a personal favorite – Fekkai COIFF Océanique Tousled Wave Spray – were all among the key products used for the shows the Fekkai team worked on this season. (*Note all products available at Frederic Fekkai).
tFS: Do women often ask you to recreate looks they see on the runway?
SH: You know, I really wish they would, especially this season because there were so many beautiful, clean, natural looks, but they really don't! A big part of why they don’t, I think, is that for a long time people didn't have access to videos and images so quickly after the shows, so I anticipate that now that they do, it will change in the coming seasons.
tFS: So would you say that celebrities are more influential right now?
SH: Yes definitely. I’m getting a lot of both extremes at the moment. On one hand people want the sleek, clean cuts of stars like Jennifer Aniston and on the other people are asking for soft tousled curls like Sarah Jessica Parker or Naomi Watts. Women will often bring in magazine covers and ask for that specific look to be recreated. No matter what the case is, however, I always do my best to make sure the look that the client is asking for matches their face shape and lifestyle so it’s an optimal fit.
tFS: Overall, how were the Spring 2012 looks different from the ones we saw during the Fall 2011 season?
SH: Spring 2012 was more about a natural look, whether it was bouncy waves or straight. Last season it was all about the texture – lots of big frizz!
tFS: For women looking to recreate the natural look you just mentioned, any tips?
SH: Start with a good haircut! Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and use an anti frizz product before rough drying your hair. It’s important to rough dry the hair so you don't remove body. If you’re looking to get the natural wave, use a one-inch curling iron and finish off the look with Fekkai COIFF Océanique Tousled Wave Spray. For straight hair, straighten with a ceramic flat-iron and finish the look with Fekkai COIFF Sheer Hold Hairspray. Both of the aforementioned sprays will give hold and tame frizz without giving your hair a sticky feel or crunchy look.
tFS: We also saw a number of classic chignons and tightly pulled back ponytails. Do women often come in asking for pulled tight looks?
SH: Not as much. It’s more and more about soft looks and not appearing to be untouchable.
tFS: The wet hair look was popular this season for both men and women. Is that a look that can transition from the runway to real life?
SH: In general women don’t want a greasy hair look so that’s one style that, for the most part, I would say works better on the runway than in everyday life!
tFS: What hair products, trends aside, are important to stock for the Fall/Winter seasons? For the Spring/Summer seasons?
SH: Summer months you want to moisturize hair and enhance its shine because of sun and water damage. I often tell my clients to add a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar to their shampoo to remove build-up; it’s effective and doesn’t smell too harsh. Humidity often causes frizz in the summer so you’ll also want a moisturizing anti-frizz cream. I always recommend a cream over an oil when dealing with lots of frizz because you need to weigh hair down; oils will coat and add shine, but they won’t work as effectively as a cream. Hair tends to be drier in colder months so opt for lighter hair products and remember not to apply anti-frizz on your roots unless you have incredibly frizzy and curly hair.
No matter the season, however, it’s imperative to get a trim every six to eight weeks to prevent split and dry ends. Also, always give your hair a cool rinse after washing to seal the cuticle and hold in moisture.
Images: IMAXtree, The Mark Hotel, Frederic Fekkai