The impact of hairstyles these days is strangely seismic. Take Kate Gosselin's recent metamorphosis - from her famously backward mullet (a popular Halloween wig) to Lohan-esque hair extensions, which landed her on the cover of People.
She's not the only one whose mop is making headlines. There's Rihanna's partially shaved head with its long blond overlay. And speaking of color, there's loads of contrast: natural on TLC's "What Not To Wear" Stacey London (one thick gray strand amid the deep black), not so (black-over-platinum) on the likes of Franklin Square's own Jenni "J-WOWW" Farley, who stars in MTV's enormously popular series "Jersey Shore." (She recently changed it, admitting to one source that it was a big mistake.)
Though the dark-light thing can get a little freaky (a la Cruella DeVille), the new contrast can be quite sophisticated with dark roots melting into blond hair - Cameron Diaz does it well. Also fresh, the pixie revival - gamine and sweet as worn by beauties such as Ginnifer Goodwin, Halle Berry and Michelle Williams.
Are Long Islanders following the trends? Yes and no, and when the answer is yes, we tend to be more conservative. Have a look.
THE LOOK Short and sweet. Not as basic as in the past, but wispy, textured and airy.
HAIRDRESSERS' TAKE "I like it and think it's cute," says Veronica Brayman of Essa Salon & Spa, East Norwich."It's been reinvented many times over, and it's not as short in the back and has a lot of texture. Not everybody can wear it, it's not for heavier people, and Long Island women tend to stay on the longer side." Says Anthony De Franco of De Franco Spagnolo Salon/Day Spa (Great Neck and Roslyn): "It's not the old pixie, where everything is going forward, it's younger, spiky with pieces of fringe." Adds Richard Calcasola of Maximus (Merrick and Westbury): "It's more of a 'poor boy' haircut with a do-it-yourself edge. It's beautiful, cool, not military, longer than the classic pixie."
THE LOOK Graphic. Contrasting hair color that can be subtle or riotous. Sometimes it's about the roots.
WHO'S WEARING IT Along with J-WOWW, rockers (Lady Gaga recently took it to the extreme with a platinum wig edged in purple), celebrities, models, not to mention cabinet secretaries (we're talking Janet Napolitano's gray streak).
HAIRDRESSERS' TAKE "We wouldn't do blond and black," says Maximus' Calcasola, but he's all for some colorful shock value and recently tucked a peek-a-boo blue strand beneath a model's hair. "Two-toned has a little mystery, but when it's too obvious it doesn't look good," says celebrity stylist Rodney Cutler, who collaborates with Essa. He likes the dark root-blonde look, calling it "recession hair. People don't want to be a slave to color." Lisa Dimitriou, of the new Salon Rock in Roslyn, says people are requesting the Cameron Diaz "root-y" look. She also thinks a "random, bright, peek-a-boo stripe adds character, but it has to fit your lifestyle."
THE LOOK Tough. Undershaved on one side with the length left through the top. Rihanna amps up her 'do a bit further (does it need it?) by dying top pieces blond.
WHO'S WEARING IT Recently adopted by Willow Smith, 9-year-old daughter of Jada Pinkett and Will Smith.
HAIRDRESSERS' TAKE Celebrity stylist Cutler calls it "glam punk," noting that Rhianna is currently "setting the tone on what's next."
"It's great on her," says De Franco, "but it's not happening a lot in Great Neck." Yet, they have at least one customer for the look - Erica Morin, 23, who works there and wears it well.
Calcasola says it's forward-thinking and "works wonders for some face shapes." Still, most of his customers get a less-severe version of the style.