This fall, updated hair cuts and colors send frugal fashionistas to the head of the class -- for a lot less than the price of a new wardrobe. Whether it's back to school, work or queuing up for the carpool, WalletPop asked celebrity hair stylists from New York to L.A. which looks earn the highest marks.
Aubrey Loots, owner and creative director of Studio DNA in Los Angeles said, "This year, we are seeing a lot of soft, textured hair with wavy or loose curls. Think: a very light beachy wave," said Loots. "The best way to get the wavy trend is to cut lengths anywhere from medium to long ... the length keeps the hair just heavy enough to hold the wavy [look] and also perfectly shows off the style."
Billy Lowe, Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist and beauty expert describes the trend as "carefree."
"The best hair right now is a more unstructured look, even with male clients," said the celeb stylist who pointed to Sandra Bullocks' locks in recent photos as a perfect example. "For women, look for continued soft, tousled curl around the neck and shoulders ... more attention to "careless" hair dominates the market right now."
Lowe said this can be achieved with texture spray. "Simply mist dry hair with texture spray, scrunch through, and blow-dry in a scrunching fashion for that sexy, beachy, come-touch-me look." He adds, "Volume, volume, volume will rock the locks this season."
Although Loots predicts tousled tresses will remain hot for the remainder of the year he adds, "Fall always brings a special kind of chic and elegant look -- gentle up-do's, loose braids or sleek ponytails like the ones we did in Paris a few weeks ago during Fashion Week ... Elegant, long, loose braids also made a big statement." He cautions, however, "remember, DIY is key! All of these styles should look like something you did on your own -- nothing too overly done."
"Ponytails are the craze right now," agrees Lowe, "Everyone's wearing them and we'll be seeing a lot more for Fall and Holiday." In fact, Lowe believes the classic, tied-back style will only get hotter once Tease, the new burlesque show starring Paris Hilton, opens in theaters at Thanksgiving providing further inspiration.
Self-described, Iconic hairstylist, Oribe says, however, that the way to stand head and shoulders above the rest this season may be to stick your neck out -- literally. "I think we'll see hair that is a little shorter this season," he predicts, "long hair is so common, so shorter cuts will really stand out." The celebrity stylist adds, "If you want to update your look but you don't want a drastic change, such as cutting off many inches [you might want to try] to change the shape of your hair for fall." As an example, Oribe suggests, "If your cut is wispy or layered, try a blunt cut which will add more volume."
Whatever the length, Oribe is on board with the tousled trend. "I think we'll take a break from the flat ironing and style extensions this fall and will embrace natural hair texture. Brushed out curls are great for fall. I love natural texture and lots of volume."
Oribe adds, "Women tend to straighten their hair too much and force it into an unnatural style. I recommend leaning toward styles that are kinder to your hair and embrace your hair's natural texture." Cancel that blow out.
As for color, DNA's Loots told WalletPop, this season it is "color technique" more than any one color making news. He said, "who would have thought roots would ever be a statement you wanted to make? Ombre hair, a technique which purposefully gives you a "grown out" look, is the look to crave." The best part, according to Loots, is that this style will work on "anyone from platinum blondes to brunettes to red heads."
"Brunettes are definitely turning heads," said Lowe. "Darker colors reflect more shine and give the illusion of healthier, shinier looking hair." The stylist who has worked with celebs such as Ellen Degeneres, Catherine McPhee and Debra Messing, says, "We're seeing rich color everywhere." Lowe reports even blondes are requesting what he likes to call "Lowe-lights."
New York celebrity stylist and bi-coastal salon owner, Ted Gibson, says now is also the time to go bold. "Like pink, green, or blue." Gibson points to the looks he did for Vena Cava's fashion show, "you have to see the color in the hair."
So, who's got the look we should all be copying? Oribe said he could never choose only one look but admits to being inspired by his clients."I recently gave Scarlett Johansson a great new style. We decided on a medium bob, cut slightly longer in the front but not in a drastic, over-angled way," says Oribe. "This look works for Scarlett because it is not precious. Especially the way she dries it. It's cool and young, its strong but it's soft.This style is great because it can look good on everybody. A medium-length bob like this can be styled so many different ways, so it doesn't take a certain type of face shape to pull it off."
"I also recently styled Halle Berry for the September cover of Vogue," he continued. "Halle had never worn her hair in this type of style, and I was very interested in doing something different." The stylist said the cover look was inspired by the art-deco era clothes Berry was modeling and the Natalie Portman character in the film, The Professional. "I wanted Halle's hair to be very sharp and direct in that same way and not at all bulky," said Oribe.
In Loot's opinion, "Rhianna shows over and over again that short hair can be super sexy and still very feminine. She really knows how to rock it right. Sandra Bullock is another favorite," notes Loots, "because longer or shorter, lighter or darker, straight or curly, she always looks glowing and fabulous because her hair always looks healthy and shiny."
Famous or not, Lowe says it's consistency in cut and color that result in the the best, healthy-looking hair. In addition to stylist favorite, Sandra Bullock, Lowe gives props to songstress Carrie Underwood for for her, "gorgeous looking color" and Eva Longoria for her success making, "soft changes here and there."
He also praises actress Glen Close. "I do love the color of [her] hair and the soft, strapping dimension," says Lowe, referring to the bands of color that give Close's hair more than a "single process" appearance. "It doesn't look chunky."
Gibson points to the clientele he playfully calls his, "Gibson Girls" (Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Gabrielle Union, Ashley Greene and Emma Watson) as celebs who set the trends. "They are sexy, strong, beautiful women," says Gibson. "The trend is beautiful, chic and about an individual beauty."
Perhaps the best news this season is that fashion's hottest trends are accessible to mere mortals, and by that I mean those of us who don't have a celeb stylist on speed dial. Tousled, carefree hair? A ponytail or loose braid? I think we can make that happen.
Celebrity hair stylists talk Fall trends you can do yourself