Saturday, December 14, 2013

That's A Wrap! The Trends & Styles of 2013


This was the year of revival and modernization!  Time after time, we saw glammed-up versions of traditional hair styles: from blunt bangs and messy buns to the chameleon ponytail and of course the BRAID!  Color took center stage in 2013; celebrities and mainstream, alike, sported various versions of the fade out, the fade to color, and made bold color choices causing hair to make a major impact on style this year.  So join me in a retrospective of just a few trends that made up a very artful year in hair!

Modern Finger Wave
Glamorous Hair Accessories
One of my previous posts talked about about how Hollywood found themselves caught up in the old world elegance of "The Great Gatsby" at the beginning of the year.  Pin curls, shingle cuts, and finger waves cropped up on the red carpet and graced some pretty famous faces.  Messy side buns helped make a faux finger wave bob for many starlets during a fortnight of premieres. This glamorous revival also showcased often overlooked hair accessories.  This revved up, finger wave opened doors to over-the-top jeweled headbands, hair clips, and bobby pins while some opted for long silky scarves to showcase their coifs.  An overall roaring good job reinventing the 1920's!

Blunt Bangs
Other popular trends this year were blunt bangs, a softer, version of the shag, and the pixie.  These styles are not new on the scene but yet another reinvention of traditional haircuts.  Bangs have been around since Cleopatra woo'd Marc Anthony in Egypt.  This year, stylists used bangs as an exclamation mark!  Blunt, fringed bangs were a trend though the year, teasing onlookers with them brushed slightly over the eyelash.  Celebrities with the names Selena, Reece, and Taylor all sported this sexually charged simplicity.  Bangs are a personal choice but this year they were a fashion statement and I believe stylists will continue to transform bangs to fit the next fashion
Layered Bob
fad.  Another decade proven style that made a comeback this year was the shag.  The shag?  You read correctly!  Many know the style as the layered, choppy shoulder length bob made popular this year by Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, and Katy Perry.  This sexy, "just rolled out bed" hairstyle is an oldie but a goodie!  Originally fashioned by Raquel Welsh and Jane Fonda ( in "Klute" ) during the70's, the shag has transitioned from decade to decade evolving into a soft, sexy haircut which looks good on pretty much anyone.  This fall we watch break out star, Jennifer Lawrence, crop her long tresses into a an edgier version of the 60's pixie. No, JLaw wasn't the first celeb to crop her hair but she certainly received the most publicity.  Pam Anderson, Jennifer Hudson, and Kristen Chenoweth also left their long hair on salon floors and stepped out in this trendy, sexy style.  Hollywood stylists managed to re-brand a crop cut made famous by Twiggy into a fresh, modern cut that could transition like a chameleon into spikes, edgy bangs, or a simple, swept back style by just adding a little product. Where Hollywood dares to tread so, eventually, so does mainstream style. 

The Sophisticated Braid
Both the ponytail and the braid charged out of the gait and into the spotlight this year and never left. As stylists modernized the braid into sophisticated and complicated chignons it became the go-to-style for both runway and red carpet. There are so many versions of this simple hair knot, stylists have given in to naming some of the more popular braids: the reverse French, the Mermaid, the Milkmaid, and the Fishtail to name a few.  Some proponents say braiding "caught fire" at the premiere of "Hunger Games" in 2011.  Katniss Everdeen sported a simple long, angled braid though out the movie and a trend was born.  This maybe true but regardless of when the braid reemerged, it is here to stay and I anticipate many a prom date or bridal party flouncing around with braided locks for many years to come.
The Deconstructed Ponytail
While stylists worked the braid into complicated, frenzied knots, the ponytail saw what I can only describe as a deconstruction.  Gone are the sleek pulled back ponytails of year's past.  In 2012, stylists vamped things up with the ponytail by giving it some volume, curls, and a saucy, over-the-shoulder coif.  This year, stylists shook things up and offered us a low slung, sexy ponytail, using hair products in the front for that tousled, messy look. Like other runway celebs and fashionistas, Carl Lagerfeld clinched the ponytail's longevity by showcasing the hairstyle during Chanel's recent runway show in Dallas.  I anticipate we will see more of these tussled tresses pulled back at the nape with an additional feather or two for good measure; start looking out for hair clips with long Native American inspired feathers mixed with natural elements as the hot accessory to have for 2014.  

Daring Color

Fade To Color
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, hair color took center stage during 2013.  Terms such as the fade out or the fade to color were used by bloggers around the globe when describing this stylish sensation.  A fade out or fade to color is a muli-step process where the hair goes from dark at the root to mid-scalp then picking up lighter highlights as it progresses down the hair shaft.  An entire head of hair can be colored with a fade out or just around the face or even fanned out through out.  The fade out gives dimension to long hair, curls, and flatters jawlines.  Those wanting to push the boundaries added a rainbow of hues and sported a fade to color.  But if that wasn't enough edge .. pink, lavender, electric blue and crayon red were part of the color wheel when it came to tinting hair.  Temporary or permanent, streaks or full on VahVahVoom, color ruled the roost from runway models to music industry royalty and red carpet strutters.  Another trend in 2013 albeit a more subtle trend was the blonde bombshell.  
Warm Blond Braid
Warm Blonde Layered Bob
The old saying goes, "blondes have more fun." Blondes still have fun but they did it coiffed in warmer, buttery colors. This year, blondes made the transition from ice princess with light, platinum streaking to softer sunny shades of golden. This year we said,"adios" to the bleached out, solid colored palate and welcomed a color blending making blonds less frosty and colorless.  Stylists warmed up the blonde by using shades of honey blonde hues and soft carmel colors in combination to warm up blonde shades for winter.  Who knows what will show up on the red carpet or between the cover of Vogue in 2014 but what I do know is that this was the year hair ran the gamut of edgy reinvention and rode the bullet train to color town!  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Emu Oil: Fact, Fiction, & Buyer Beware!

There are few things that strike fear into our self-confidence more than hair loss.  Hair follicles go through three separate phases.  The first stage, hair begins to grow from the root and works its way to the end of the follicle. This is actually the only time that hair is considered "alive".  During the next phase, the hair has fully grown.  The hair follicle is coming closer to the surface of the skin and the hair is getting ready to be shed; hair color doesn't change, the length remains the same, and preparing for new hair growth.  During the last phase of hair growth is when the existing hair falls out, a new hair follicle grows, and the process starts all over again.  These continuous phases are the reason why you see hair left behind in the sink, on your brush or comb, or as you notice your hair growing long again. Shedding is a natural phase in the hair growth cycle, but what happens when you start losing more than the  average 50-100 hairs per day?  There are many causes for increased hair loss: child birth, stress, diseases, and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, can exaggerate normal hair loss. So what can we do to help create a healthy "canvas" to promote hair growth?  

One proven, natural, proponent for hair growth is Emu oil.  Emu oil isn't a magical snake oil concocted by the Great and Powerful Oz, but actually a carefully calculated refinement of fatty acids from the Emu bird.  Emu oil is an all natural tissue nutrient. When applied to hair follicles it invigorates regrowth. When correctly processed, this oil is almost 100% triglyceride in nature which makes it an almost completely neutral lipid and the property that gives Emu Oil it's ability to penetrate the barrier of the skin and "awaken" hair follicles.  The pure, natural form of Emu oil is recommended because it has the ability to reduce the inflammation of hair follicles. Inflamed hair follicles do not allow for the development of new hair growth. Inflamed hair follicles are usually responsible for hair loss, commonly referred to as baldness.  As the components of the Emu oil penetrate your skin, they reduce inflammation, allowing the hair follicles to grow new hair.  Emu oil enhances blood circulation, improving the growth conditions for new hair.  Emu oil softens the scalp, making it easier for new hair to emerge.  The new hair will be softer, and less prone to breaking.   Because it's a natural enhancer, Emu oil doesn't irritate the scalp like some laboratory synthesized products such as Minoxidil.

Due to the increasing popularity of Emu oil for hair loss, buyer's need to beware of “rendered,” unrefined emu oil which is finding it way into the market; this oil has only been filtered, and may still contain contaminants.  Additionally, there are different means by which emu oil can be refined. One method, for instance, uses caustic chemicals such as lye.  The best suppliers will use an all-natural means of refining that relies on clays to filter the oil. Check the label before purchasing to make sure your brand of Emu oil has been properly refined and purified.  Good quality 100% pure emu oil has proven effective for so many applications that again, It was only a matter of time before this would happen. Before you purchase Emu oil, always verify where they get it and if its mixed with other chemicals.  

So stop fretting over a few extra hairs in the sink! You have a natural, successful option to restore your hair.  Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamin E, omega-3, and biotin plus buy products which have pure emu oil as a major ingredient .. before you know it, your hair will return strong and healthy!