Beauty & Anti-Aging
Transform Your Tresses

Transform Your Tresses

Atlanta hair stylists share the latest trends and tips
By Amy Meadows

There is nothing like having a good hair day.  When your locks look lovely, it can change your whole demeanor.  You might smile a little more, walk a little taller and exude an air of self-confidence that only shows up on days when your mane is truly manageable.  That’s because your hair is the ultimate accessory.

You wear it every day, and how it looks can have a major effect on how you feel. Of course, your ratio of good hair days to bad hair days often depends on the style you’re sporting. And if you’ve had a few too many bad hair days lately, it might be time for a makeover. Here, metro Atlanta’s top stylists share their take on 2010’s hottest hair trends—one of which could be just what you need to up the number of good hair days you get to enjoy.

From classic cuts with a twist to new coloring techniques, the menu of hairstyle options available to you is quite extensive. Yet, regarding the many choices that are out there, there is actually a general movement that’s currently influencing the hair-styling industry. According to Bill Murphy, owner of William David Salon in Alpharetta, “Today, women are looking for styles that offer versatility and ease of use. They are extremely busy, and their lives are more demanding than ever before. And they typically want a look that’s going to offer some longevity.”

If this describes you, then you’re in luck. The following trends might not only give you the look you want, but also fit your unique lifestyle and needs.

Winsome waves

“Women are really embracing the organic movement—not just in terms of products, but also in the way they live,” says Daniel Jones, co-owner of Muse Salon & Spa in Alpharetta. “Just look at today’s clothing styles. There are a lot of florals, and the styles are not as straight and tailored as we’ve seen in past years. That kind of change always translates to hair.” And that’s why you see so many styles today that feature soft, natural waves.

Perfect for long hair, tousled waves are at once feminine and elegant. They also work beautifully for medium-length hair, notes Cathy Sakal, a stylist with Elite Hair Designs in Cumming. The key is to start with the right cut to make the waves possible and then use the proper products and tools to get the effect you want. “Waves are about movement, and most hair needs some layering to get that movement,” Sakal says. Jones agrees, adding, “You have to have some layering to lighten up the bulk of the hair. With layers, you have more movement and freedom.”

Miami Beach waves

Under the direction of Candy Shaw Codner, the design team at Jamison Shaw Hairdressers in Atlanta gave this model soft waves using a 1-inch curling iron on large sections of the hair, pinning the sections up as they were completed. After spraying with Jamison Shaw Hairdressers Day Spray for a light hold and set, they removed the pins and fluffed with their fingers to create a natural look. Lightly spraying the hair again 6 inches away from the head refined the finished result.

Old Hollywood glamour

While soft waves are often viewed as romantic and delicate, they can also help bring on the razzle-dazzle. Here, stylist Lisa Winn of Carter Barnes Hair Artisans in Atlanta created a style that captures a bit of Old Hollywood glamour, complete with luscious, wavy locks and strategically placed wheat-blond highlights. The coif conjures up images of Veronica Lake’s “peek-a-boo” hairstyle that was popular in the 1940s. This particular version was fashioned from a simple, straight haircut with angled fringe around the face; Winn used a large curling iron to create sections of sultry waves.  

Styling tip: To get this look, Winn recommends using the curling iron differently than you might be used to. Instead of clamping the hair at the bottom and rolling it up, start at the scalp, keeping the barrel slightly open and winding the hair up around it. This will give you an even wave throughout the hair shaft.

Finally frizz-free

With the emergence of today’s popular wavy styles, gone are the stick-straight locks that were being worn by women of all ages. But while the flat irons have been put away for now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who want to wear a straight hairstyle. These days, though, the trend is more about reducing the frizz to make way for a smoother, straighter mane.

Relax—it’s chemical-free

According to Charlotte Brown, a stylist with Carter Barnes Hair Artisans, a Keratin-protein treatment is the way to go when trying to achieve smooth, healthy tresses. “Unlike other straighteners, which typically involve a chemical process that can be somewhat damaging, using a Keratin-protein treatment relaxes the hair and tames frizz and flyaways by giving the hair what’s supposed to be in there anyway,” she says. When one of her clients, who has naturally curly locks, wanted to revive her hair and have the option to wear it straight, Brown used the treatment, which takes about 3 hours to complete and lasts up to 4 months. “It took the curls down by 50 percent and the frizz down by 90 percent, giving the hair a truly healthy look,” she observes. “Plus, she can wash and go, styling with some waves, or spend 15 minutes in the morning blow drying it out smooth.”

Relax—the volume’s still there

One of the bonuses of using the Kertain-protein treatment is that, while the hair is smoothed, the volume remains intact. When Cathy Sakal of Elite Hair Designs in Cumming approached this hair makeover, she knew that the treatment would have a dramatic effect on her client’s tresses. The hair is not only sleek, but also full of body and movement.

Style observation: According to Sarah Parish, a stylist with Relish Salon in Atlanta, bangs are back. But not just any style of bangs—the heavy, blunt bang is what women are looking for. This style typically works well when paired with straight hair. So, if you’ve decided to embrace your smoother side, you might want to consider adding bangs to your new look.

Work with what you have

Jones reveals that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to force a look that your hair simply can’t handle, oftentimes because of its texture. The best way to approach the process of choosing a new hairstyle is to work with what you have and find ways to take advantage of the best characteristics of your hair. When you do, the result will be a look that accentuates your natural beauty and makes you truly stand out.

Style observation—Bob:There’s a reason the classic bob has remained popular decade after decade: it is a style that works with nearly every hair length and type. Bill Murphy, owner of William David Salon, explains that this year’s trend is a shoulder-length bob that’s cut to have a lot of movement and offer a great deal of versatility. In fact, one of his signature cuts is a criss-cross bob that frames the face and incorporates zig-zag highlights into the style.

Style observation—Ethnic hair: The trend of taking advantage of your hair’s natural texture also applies to ethnic hair, Jones observes. “Women of color are starting to pull away from using relaxers and are wearing their hair more natural,” he says. “Not only is it a great time saver, but it also gives them many more options. In the past, women had to choose between using a relaxer and adding color to their hair. Now they can be creative and use color as they choose because they don’t have to worry about the chemicals in the relaxers.” What’s more, wearing naturally curly hair is always a great idea when it comes to Atlanta’s intense summer humidity.

The long and short of it

While women are more prone to work with what they have today in terms of their hair, you can still have the hairstyle of your dreams—whether or not your hair texture allows for it. For instance, if you have short hair and have always envisioned yourself with long, flowing locks, your vision is just a salon visit away. For you, it’s all about extensions.

Longing for length

SODA Salon owner Erik Pearson chose to give this client a full head of extensions to fulfill her request for more length and density. But what really give this hair makeover its wow factor is the extensions were custom colored and cut to seamlessly match her natural hair. Not only is the end result beautiful, but it also will last 4-6 months with only minimal maintenance.

Style tips: According to Cathy Sakal of Elite Hair Designs:

  • You don’t have to have extensions added to your entire head. Strategically placed extensions can give the illusion of a full head of hair—when done right.
  • Be sure to request—and get—human-hair extensions. Manufactured or synthetic extensions will not give you the luscious locks you've been picturing.

Style tip: If you decide that you want long hair but would rather grow your hair out naturally instead of using extensions, don’t convince yourself that all you have to do is wait for your ravishing tresses to appear. Sarah Parish with Relish Salon recommends talking to your stylist and creating a strategy for the growing-out process. Whether it involves getting a trim every 5-6 weeks or scheduling other maintenance services regularly, you need to have a plan of action in place to keep your hair healthy and looking good until you’ve reached your desired length. And in the end, she says, “You need to have an idea of what you want your hair to look like. That will help you figure out the best way to approach the process.”

Do away with damage

One of the most common problems when it comes to hair color is damage from misuse of products and over-processing—a dilemma that is illustrated in this makeover from Melayne Brooks of Vibrance: A Hair Studio. “This is a prime example of color damage on fine hair,” she explains. “Our client was doing color at home and getting haircuts whenever the mood struck. The result is bleached out ends that were split beyond repair.” Brooks and her team administered a “shock treatment” by BAREX, which repairs and fills in the damaged areas to allow for smooth, even coverage of color over the hair. They then applied Phyto Color because of its gentle nature and highlighted with two different blondes in natural and golden tones. No lightener was needed because of Phylo’s innovative formula. The final effect is rich, natural color on a head of hair that looks healthy and vibrant.

Makeovers from local Hair Salons

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Jamison Shaw Hairdressers

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Vibrance: A Hair Studio

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Elite Hair Designs

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Carter Barnes

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Jamison Shaw Hairdressers

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Vibrance: A Hair Studio

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SODA Salon

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Elite Hair Designs

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Carter Barnes






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I Love The ‘80s—Hair Trends

Yes, it’s true that styles are cyclical and do come around again. And while it may seem unfortunate to you that it’s time for the 1980s to make their comeback, you should not fear the return of the ‘80s coif. Although some of the basic styles are returning, trends today are variations on those fashions—so you get the good, solid style with a modern twist. Two styles in particular are finding their way back into our good graces:

  • The asymmetrical bob. According to Daniel Jones, co-owner of Muse Salon & Spa in Alpharetta, this is not the long on one side, shaved on the other style that became so popular when Cyndi Lauper did it in the early ‘80s. In fact, today’s version is quite sleek with just a subtle difference in length between one side and the other. It’s a fun and adventurous look that’s very modern and sophisticated.
  • The side ponytail. No, it shouldn’t sit on the side of your head like it did in 1985 and be positioned by a pom-pom ponytail holder. Today’s side ponytail is chic, sitting low at the nape of the neck and featuring soft, loose curls, Lisa Winn of Carter Barnes Hair Artisans notes. It’s a great everyday look, or even appropriate for special occasions, such as weddings.

The Modern Men’s Movement

Daniel Jones, co-owner of Muse Salon & Spa in Alpharetta, reveals that a major movement is taking place in terms of men’s hair. “Men have left the barber shop and are going to the salon,” Jones says. “They’re choosing more updated and trendy cuts, and they’re starting to experiment with color.”
According to Cathy Leskie, owner of Jonpaul’s in Duluth, there are several trends that stand out for men in 2010. She explains:

  • Hair trends for 2010 are all about fringe. It can be long in the front and worn over the forehead with a side direction, or it can be worn as shorter, very textured fringe, also over the forehead. With this fringe, the sides and back of the hair are shorter with clean lines.
  • This year is about using the natural texture of the hair and not trying to fight it with product overload. Put down the flat iron and rub a dab of product through the hair to eliminate frizz and highlight your natural wave.
  • Men are starting to dabble in hair coloring. Typically, they want a natural gray-camouflaging color or a few blonde highlights in the summer. There will be huge growth in this area as men want to keep their edge in the working world longer or appear more youthful.

Summer Maintenance Tips

Without a doubt, your hair will be exposed to the elements this summer. To keep your tresses in tip-top shape, Cathy Sakal of Elite Hair Designs in Cumming offers these tips:

  • Wear a hat when you’re in the sun.
  • Use styling products that have sunscreen in them.
  • Wet your hair before you go into the pool to reduce the amount of chlorine it absorbs.
  • Put conditioner in your wet hair before entering the pool to further protect it.

Style Tips

If you decide to go funky with your hair, just remember that you have to make a choice. Having both a funky cut and a funky color is a “big no” according to Daniel Jones of Muse Salon & Spa. If you want to go adventurous with your cut, choose a basic color—and vice versa.

Jones also warns men to stay away from sharp lines when it comes to their hair. “You have to have a cut that works with your natural hairlines,” he says. “Don’t have your hair cut straight and square in the back. You need to keep the lines softer. There’s nothing square on your head—your hair shouldn’t be either. A square cut in the back will just make your neck look fat.”