‘Braids are a very summery look,’ says Jennifer Burridge, a stylist at the Ted Morgan salon, adding, ‘they’re low maintenance, and a great way to tame frizz.’ Of course, braids can be incorporated in the hair in a non-juvenile way. Burridge points to Jennifer Aniston’s braided ’do at the Vanity Fair Oscar’s party earlier this year. ‘She wore a braid with a beautiful Venetian dress. Since, it’s become quite the look.’
‘People are going for more casual, easier-to-maintain looks at the moment,’ says Maria Dowling, owner of the eponymous salon. ‘This is partly because of the credit crunch; people are looking for low-key looks that are easier to maintain. But also because people want styles that are easy to handle during the hot summer months.’ This summer, British actress Sienna Miller has been spotted with her hair pinned up, both on and off the red carpet.
3 Asymmetrical bobs
‘The classic bob is last season,’ says Burridge. ‘Instead, the focus is more on fringes or asymmetrical bobs.’ Burridge sites Peaches Geldof as a classic example of this look, adding, ‘She really knows how to pull it off.’
‘On the catwalk, quiffs seem to be making a comeback,’ says Burridge in reference to the ’50s-style ’do popularised by Elvis. ‘Sometimes you’ll see a quiff, ponytail combo,’ she adds. ‘It’s a good look for the beach, as it keeps the hair off of your face.’
5 Long hair
‘I find at the moment that the natural look is in,’ says Dowling. ‘If you look at the magazines, you see a lot of long, soft waves. Every advert is full of flowing waves.’ Basically, Dowling says, this season, it’s about accentuating what you naturally have. ‘Don’t fight your curls, merely soften them,’ she says, adding, ‘Nicole Ritchie is a classic example of this look.’
6 Caramel locks
Fandom of the natural look extends to hair colour. Burridge confirms that ‘the bleach blonde look is out.’ Instead, she says clients are asking for a more neutral blonde. ‘These days, everyone comes in asking to look like Mary-Kate Olsen. They all want her caramel-type blonde.’
7 Thin colour strands
‘Highlights aren’t as big as colour weaves right now,’ says Dowling. ‘I’m referring to thin strands of colour throughout the hair that are two shades lighter, so that when you move your hair it hits the light and lots of colour goes through it.’ Dowling assumes this too is a by-product of the economic climate. ‘People are looking for styles that are easy to maintain, and don’t require you going back to the salon every six weeks. With these natural-style weaves, the growing out process is much more subtle than with chunky highlights.’ Anne Hathaway’s chestnut locks are one example of how a few subtle highlights, or weaves, can give hair added depth.
How to get summer’s ‘au naturel’ look
‘Skip the straightening iron,’ advises Dowling, who instead promotes the use of curlers. ‘In this humidity, you don’t want to fight your hair’s natural style, you want to work with it, otherwise your hair will just go flat and limp two minutes after you walk out your door.’ One way to maintain the curl is to pin it up after you style it, says Dowling. ‘That way, if the curls do go funny, you hair still looks OK.’
Dowling also stresses the importance of using sun shampoos during the summer months. ‘Every range has a sun protector product with a UVA filter. This will help protect your hair from the heat, and from chlorinated pools and the sea.’