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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quick ways to update your hair

If you’ve had the same hairstyle for over two years, it may be time for a make over.

Here are some simple suggestions to consider.

Sex up your hair with curls
If you’ve had pokerstraight hair for the past few years, you may want to consider giving your hair a perm. It is a great way to add body, curls and bounce to your hair, particularly if yours is fine or limp. Before you dismiss perming as a granny move, consider the fact that there is now a dizzying array of perms and curls from which to pick.

Quick ways to update your hair
Taylor Swift

Perming 101
The type of curl that is produced from a perm depends on a number of factors.

“The size of the curler is perhaps the most important as this determines the size of the curl,” explains Keith Chin, senior hairstylist at Grace Salon. “Generally, the smaller the curler, the smaller and therefore tighter the curl, whereas medium to large curlers tend to result in a much looser and natural effect.” The strength of the perming lotion used can also make a difference, as can the texture and type of hair on which it is being applied. If you’re worried that you’ll end up with curls that are too small, ask your stylist to show you the type of rod she plans to use. Keep in mind that the tightness of the curls can vary, depending on the size of the rod and length of time the solution stays on your hair. Hair that is in great condition can “take” a perm much better than hair that’s unhealthy (such as dry, brittle, over-processed locks). Also, remember that fine hair curls more easily than coarse hair. Still not convinced? Why not show your stylist a photo of what you have in mind?

Digital vs normal perm
The biggest difference between regular and digital perm is the shape and the texture of the waves produced. “A digital perm utilises rods with a temperature regulator, resulting in curls that are softer and more manageable, said Chin. A normal or a ‘cold’ perm, on the other hand, makes waves prominent when the hair is wet and loose when dry. The downside: Cold perms tend to make hair look stiff. In contrast, a digital perm makes waves look prominent when dry and loose when wet, making it easier to style while your hair is damp. To amp up your curls, try working in a styling product of your choice and leaving it to dry.

If volume is what you’re after and prefer a perm that’s closer to your roots, a digital perm may not be for you as it involves the application of heat, which can burn your scalp. To give fine or limp hair a boost, Chin suggests a root perm at the crown to create a subtle “lift”.

With or without bangs?
“Although bangs can instantly add life to a boring haircut, it is always best to discuss it with your hairdresser before taking the plunge. Bangs can be challenging to deal with during their medium-to-long phases,” said hair stylist and trainer at Eco Hair and Beauty Academy, Samantha Lim. “Your hairdresser should have the expertise to advise you on whether the style you want will work well for you.” Consider the following before cutting:

Your hair texture
While perfect for naturally straight hair, or hair with light waves, bangs can be a nightmare for naturally curly or super wavy locks. If your hair is curly and unruly, remember that your bangs must be cut long enough to allow for curl and wave shrinkage. “If you have slightly wavy hair, try asking for thick, softly layered bangs and wear them to the side,” said Lim. “You may want to consider giving your bangs a perm if nothing else works.”

The condition of your hair
Bangs may not work well for hair that is prone to breakage or has been damaged by chemicals. Likewise, hair that is prone to oiliness may prove to be a problem when worn with bangs. The reason: Hair that is quick to grease up can look dirty and unkempt, and the first places likely to show this will be the roots and bangs.

The shape of your face
Oval Oval faces can take most styles and cuts well, including bangs.
Round Long, softly layered bangs that gently hug the cheeks to minimize the “roundness” are best for this face shape.
Long Blunt, browskimming bangs will help give the impression of a more oval-shaped face.
Square Side-swept bangs that gently curve or taper to the side will help balance out the sharp lines of this face.
Heart-shaped Bangs can help minimize a top-heavy heart shaped face or balance out a prominent chin.

The perfect cut
The first step to getting a great hair cut is to track down the right stylist. Once you find someone you are comfortable with, have a chat about what you want out of your hair cut. Browse through books and magazines to identify the types of cuts and styles you like, and discuss their suitability with your stylist. Below are some of the most coveted and frequently requested haircuts:

The gamine cut
The cut is invariably short (above the ears), and is similar to the “pixie” cut. Gamine haircuts are best suited to slim, lean women, with softer facial features. Although low-maintenance, this cut should be considered carefully as it requires the right features and atl Taken from this month’s Shape magazine titude to be carried off successfully.

To style this type of cut, Chin recommends using a hair dryer to blast dry the hair without using a brush. For a natural, tousled look, work in a wax, clay or mud to style. Stay away from gel and hair sprays as these tend to lend a stiff, unnatural finish to short hair.

The bob
More and more women are opting for short bobs, and for more than a handful of great reasons. Not only are they versatile and chic, but these type of cuts require little in the way of styling and maintenance (save for a regular trim). There are many different types of bobs to choose from, but generally, a bob’s length should be determined based on the shape of your face. To make things even more interesting, bobs can be evenly cut or cut at an angle, and given more edge with bangs. To create a versatile bob that’s fussfree at work but funky in the evening, Chin suggests a textured bob with side parting and a “messier” layered style at the back.

Long and layered
This is a great hairstyle for most face shapes because it offers plenty of movement and body. To avoid leaving your hair looking flat and lifeless, try opting for a cut with layers all around your head, suggests Chin. “A long and layered style will create more lift at the roots.” Adding layers offers other bonuses: Subtle curling of different layers for special occasions can create an elegant finish. Layers also provide a great platform for highlighting. This cut is fun to highlight.


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