9 new ways to style your hair

Here are nine new ways to care for and style your hair. 

CARE

1 Start thinking about hair loss from your mid-20s

Genes, pregnancy and menopause are some of the more common reasons for hair loss in women.

However, women aged between 20 and 40 may also face hair loss problems due to smoking, excessive dieting and a poor diet that results in nutritional deficiencies, says Dr Eileen Tan, a dermatologist at Skin, Laser and Hair Transplant Clinic at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.

Occasionally, excessive intake of vitamin A and drugs such as isotretinoin, which is commonly used to treat acne, may also cause hair fall, she says.

Dr Alvin Wong of SKN MediAesthetics at Centrepoint, who has a graduate diploma in dermatology, adds that hair loss problems can also be attributed to stress and excessive exercise.

Hair loss could also be a warning sign of other health issues.

So pay attention to the amount of hair that you are losing. If you notice that you are suddenly losing more than a hundred strands a day or observe a consistent increase in hair loss over two or three months, consult a doctor, says Dr Tan.

Dr Wong adds that excessive hair left on the hair brush, the bathroom floor after a shampoo, or a widening hair parting are all warning signs of health problems.

CUT

2 Soften those bangs

This season's bangs are textured and soft, with jagged edges, says Mr Ken Hong, the salon director of Evolve Salon at Liang Court. They are not as blunt, hard and flat as before.

The creative director of Kim Robinson at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Mr Daniel Ng, adds that the blunt bangs of past seasons that ended at the temples made the face look wider.

The most flattering way to wear your bangs is to have the short section only in the centre, while the sides touch the top of the cheekbones and frame the face.

3 Go long and full, not flat and heavy

If you want to keep your hair long, the new way to wear it is to keep it textured but not thinned out, says Mr Hong of Evolve Salon. The weight gives the hair movement.

For Mr Ng of Kim Robinson, the current ideal of the shoulder-length style looks like it is full and of one length, but when the hair swings, the layers are revealed.

Over at Urbanhair at Seviin at Tangs, salon director Eugene Ong only lightens the areas of the hair that are too thick, such as the top or the middle, while keeping the ends full.

He trims the sections in a V-shape; so while the shorter strands add volume, the longer ones retain the weight so the hair does not fluff up.

4 Short but feminine

This season's shorter cuts are not as severe and masculine as before. They are longer around the edges, and frame the face for a feminine touch, says Mr Hong of Evolve.

The length also keeps the hairstyle versatile; you can sleek it up for a more daring and bold look, or sweep it down and add a bejewelled headband to look more sophisticated.

Mr Don Goh, salon director of Atelier at Shaw Centre, finds a longer pixie-cut flattering on most women. It is softer, textured and a little wispy on the edges. Hair can be tucked behind the ears or styled to highlight one's cheekbones.

If you are up for a bolder cut, Mr Ng of Kim Robinson suggests a strong undercut, where the top of the hair and the fringe are long, while everything else is cropped close to the scalp.

The undercut should always stop short of the temples; if it goes any higher, the cut becomes unflattering.

COLOUR

5 The hottest shades are rich and cool

At Aveda, the latest colours are made to flatter Asian skin tones. There is "cinnamon orange", a bright chestnut with hints of deep magenta; "pearl beige", a cool, matte blonde; and "chocolate brown", a milky hazel.

Mr Kuah Beng-Lee, the education manager at Goldwell, suggests "reconstructed berry", a deep berry tone; "reconstructed paprika", a warm copper; "reconstructed midnight" a deep, saturated blue; and "reconstructed tobacco", a neutral warm brown tone. These shades are more pigmented and richer than the light, pastel tones of the past season.

If you want more daring colours, go for vibrant purple and pastel purple, as well as different tones of metallic and cool grey, green, blue and ash, says Ms Seraphina Foo, the creative director of JasonSally Hairdressers at Nex and winner of the Singapore leg of the Wella TrendVision 2014 competition.

These colours add dimension to the hair while giving it a shattered mirror effect, she says.

6 Bala-ombre

The latest way to highlight hair is a combination of the balayage (free-hand highlighting) and a modern ombre technique, says Ms Serene Tan, the associate hair director of Chez Vous at Takashimaya Shopping Centre.

Balayage creates dimension; when done in blonde and brown shades, hair is given a sun-kissed look.

In the past, if you ask for ombre hair, you would get the lower-half of your hair dyed in a contrasting colour. The updated ombre hair is a soft gradation of colour along the entire length of the hair, with no hard lines.

At Chez Vous, the stylists combine the "bala-ombre" with traditional highlighting techniques for a seamless look. This hairstyle is also low-maintenance; when the hair grows out, the roots are not as obvious.

There is also a way to grow your conventionally highlighted hair into a beachy, grown-out bala-ombre look.

Instead of retouching the roots of your blonde or brown highlights, just lighten the roots of your entire mop by one or two shades to make them look less stark when compared to the rest of your hair, says Mr Ong of Urbanhair. Tone down the highlights a little to complete the look.

7 The fade-out

Another way to highlight your hair without having to deal with frequent visits to the salon for touch-ups; this technique can be used for every hair colour, from a dirty blonde to a rich brown.

Ms Foo of JasonSally likes to highlight the top layer of her clients' hair about half an inch away from their roots; and the colour is gradually dyed further and further away from the roots on each subsequent layer.

So the hair at the bottom layers are pretty much dyed only at the ends. When the hair moves, the dark layers contrast with the lighter ones at the top, and add depth. Because the roots are kept dark, even if you go blonde, you will not look washed out.

8 Panel colouring

This allows you to dye your long hair in a bold colour - such as pink or blonde - even when you work in a conservative office environment, says Mr Kenn Heng, salon director at Atelier.

Just get a block of hair or balayage streaks done in bright colours on the lower layers of your hair, while keeping the upper layers in the original colour or a more conservative shade.

So when you tie your hair in a low pony tail, the bright dye remains hidden. Show off the colours after work by tying up your hair into a high pony tail or bun, or by sweeping your undone hair to the side.

9 The bandeau

As its name suggests, this method of highlighting is done mainly on the areas near the fringe. This technique showcases the texture of the haircut, even on short hair, says Mr Kuah of Goldwell.

As only a small area is highlighted, you will not have to spend too much time in a salon to get it done.

Mr Hong of Evolve adds that for those with longer hair, additional streaks can be added just on the areas that frame the face.


This article was first published on Oct 31, 2014.
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