From the return of ombré to pastels, modern plaits and a new twist on the classic knot, summer is the perfect time to play with your style.
We’ve asked those in the know for their tricks on creating styles that will stand the test of the hottest months in the Middle East. It’s not as impossible as you might think.
“Waves are great for that easy summer look,” says Maria Dowling of the eponymous Satwa-based salon.
“There are two easy ways to achieve this look: on damp hair, put two buns on the top of your head. Then let it dry. Next, take them out and with a small amount of serum rubbed into your hands run your fingers through your hair.
“The second way is to use a styling wand on dry hair. First, wrap a section of hair around the heated wand and count to ten. Next, gently release the curl. For a more sophisticated curl, gently unravel with your whole hand and pull the curl downwards. But don’t rake your hands through the hair or shake it,” she says.
“When you take the curl away from the wand, don’t touch it. Just allow it to cool down and set for a long-lasting effect.”
Braids or plaits are big news this summer, which is great for when the humidity hits. But we’re not talking painfully tight French plaits.
Keep your braid loose and singular if you want to look stylish rather than ready for school.
If you can’t manage the perfect plait yourself, let the pros get involved. Dowling says, “A good tip is go to the hairdressers with your hair washed and dried and in 20 minutes you can walk out with your perfect braid.”
The side braid
Nicole Kidman unveiled a romantic, braided hairstyle at last month’s Cannes Film Festival. Celebrity hair stylist Asgar Saboo, who has worked his magic on icons such as Cindy Crawford and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan besides working behind the scenes on X Factor and Britain’s Next Top Model, explains how you can perfect a side fish tail braid.
Begin by parting your hair into two even sections and start the braid from the top of the ear of the desired side of your head. Take approximately one centimetre strand of hair (from underneath so that it wraps around the entire section) from one section and bring it over to the other side.
Complete this action with the other section and repeat until the braid is finished. Lightly tug the edges of the braid to widen it.
Loosen hair where need be for a more casual look and then secure with a neutral hair band.
50 shades of style
“Pastel colours are in,” says Dowling. “And this isn’t just for the adventurous. It can be as bold or mild as you like.
Award-winning UK-based Ken Picton, whose salon handles the cast of TV shows Doctor Who and Gavin & Stacey, agrees: “On the extreme end of the spectrum I think that strong, bold colour blocking will be huge; think super bright and punchy colours that really grab your attention.”
Dowling suggests experimenting with the Kevin Murphy colour range, which can be applied at home and washes out the next time you shampoo. The range has shades such as baby pink, purple, green and blue. These hues look especially good on blonde hair but book a personalised consultation at your salon for more advice on the right shade for you, or go online and check out a few of your favourite celebrities for inspiration. Gwen Stefani’s been rocking pastels for years and Katy Perry provides inspiration for brunettes looking to get involved.
If you want to be bang on trend this summer, don’t get yourself knotted up trying to think of a new look.
Oh, actually, do. The Ralph Lauren runway was full of models wearing buns that were actually just ponytails tied in knots, courtesy uber-stylist Guido.
More alluringly described by the man himself as low chignons, you can create your knot by blow-drying your hair straight, parting it and then securing it into a low ponytail. Next, tie it in a knot, or two if you have enough hair, then secure it with some grips and spray with shine spray for a chic Laurenesque style for summer.
No, you’re not seeing things, two-toned hair is big for summer 2013, despite those nasty rumours that the style that sparked a celebrity epidemic was laid to rest last season. Not only perfect if you can’t afford to get your roots done or are already the owner of an intentional ombré, but also spot on for style hunters looking for change.
“Even though it’s been out for a while, more and more people are becoming adventurous with the grown-out colour look,” says Dowling. “You can be as bold or as subtle as you like, which is why ombré is so popular, especially in this region. “This is the first European technique that’s also popular with Arab women, as the dark colour stays close to their face while the lighter is on the mid-lengths to ends and can easily be hidden,” she says.
Crazy colour flip reversed
But some stylists insist there’s more to life than ombré. Jessica Speechly, Head of Colour at the UK’s Errol Douglas Salon, says for something really different, it’s time to turn the trend for dipped ends and splashes of crazy colour on its head. “Crazy colour at the crown and roots, natural through the ends. This means blondes can play around with dusky rose tones on the roots, brunettes with denim blues — both rocking a very distinct line of colour.
“Denim blue, I predict, will be the most popular interpretation of this, particularly playing with fluorescent undertones similar to the Jean Paul Gaultier runway at Paris Fashion Week,” she says.