Our editors highlight trends, treatments and tools to help you achieve easy-breezy, chic seasonal strands, no matter what your hair type.
If you want to play with a runway-to-real way trend
Try: The wet-hair trend
Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and a bevy of other designers all showed tousled, just-out-of-the-shower hair on their spring 2012 runways.
"As opposed to styles of the past where the hair was slicked back, we're seeing more of a wet root - with wild, natural-textured free-flowing locks down the back," said Sasha Alekseyeva, a stylist at Williamsburg's Woodley & Bunny Salon (196 N. 10th St., 718-218.6588).
To get this look, Alekseyeva says to start by shampooing and conditioning. Then, gently blot the hair with a towel without rubbing too much, since that tends to create frizz. "Don't over dry, as it has to start out pretty wet," she said.
Next, add a product like Sachajuan Straight Out Gel, right, starting at the ends and working up into the mid-length of the hair. Using a wide-tooth comb, brush the hair straight back, starting at hairline, then apply a few pumps of styling gel with your hands and slick back as far as you want, letting the back dry naturally. (Julie Gordon)
If you want safe and easy keratin treatments
Try: KeratinPerfect 30-day Brazilian smoothing system
Whether you're a serious frizzy Lizzy or just keep up with beauty trends, odds are you've heard about the hair-changing benefits found in various in-salon keratin treatments. You also might have heard about the potential health risks some may cause due to formaldehyde. It seems a win-win solution has emerged in the form of this at-home system that promises similar results to its salon counterparts sans harmful ingredients. The procedure is simple: apply a solution packed with naturally-derived keratin to your hair, section by section. From there, you don't rinse out but blow dry and finish with a precise flat-ironing session (It's key have an iron that reaches 450 degrees). The result is smoother, frizz-free locks for 30 days. While it's not quite as robust as in-salon versions, it definitely does the trick. The best part: results improve with each application. $65-$235, depending on kit; at Sephora. (Perrie Samotin)
If you want on-trend color
Try: "Soft" ombre
For the last few seasons, ombre hair was pretty much everywhere, with celebrities like Drew Barrymore and Rachel Bilson rocking distinctly two-toned locks that were dark at the roots and lighter toward the ends. But the difference this year is that ombre "no longer indicates, 'I've let my hair color grow out,'" said Steven Beeson, a colorist at Louis Licari salon (693 Fifth Ave., 212-758-2090). "Anything that looks as if you're growing out old color or shows an obvious line of color change looks dated."
This season, the blending from dark to light should look "absolutely flawless - not the extreme look of the past," said Beeson.
"Natural highlighting in addition to the ombre effect create this perfectly," Beeson said. "Shiny gold and amber-gold highlights with a natural-looking gradation to a brighter color on the ends is an eye-catching effect that lends itself to shiny, healthy-looking, beautiful hair." (Julie Gordon)
If you want loose, beachy waves
Try: Sarah Potempa Beachwaver
We have to say, this idea is pretty genius: A motorized curling iron that's designed to take the guesswork out of achieving beachy waves by allowing users to select a "left" and "right" button so the iron rotates in the proper direction. Sound confusing? It's not - once you get the hang of it, which does take a few tries. Once mastered, it's both foolproof and massively time saving. And it won't damage your hair - hairstylist Sarah Potempa designed the tool to distribute heat evenly through a controlled digital temperature clock.
One caveat: Unlike modern clamp-free waving sticks, which impart super-smooth styles, the beachwaver does have a clamp, so unless you have naturally super-silken hair, your ends easily might look a bit jagged if you don't pay close attention. Overalthough, this iron is absolutely worth a try - especially for long-haired gals who want loose, even, beach-ready waves. $189, QVC.com (Perrie Samotin)