Fashion. It conjures thoughts about shoes, bags, belts, shirts, dresses, trousers and a myriad of other accessories and clothing options (coats come to mind).
Rarely, though, does one think about the ability of a hair style to reflect and alter the fashion image of a person. There may be brief reflections on styles or obsessions (The Farah or The Rachel), but rarely is hair considered an intrinsic part of the whole fashion equation.
As fashion consciousness is changing, so is that concept. And now, striking hair trends are coming and going as fast as clothing trends.
Last year, ombre hair was a huge trend with hair that transitioned from dark roots to light tips or vice versa. This year, however, different trends are gaining strength.
The full bang
It's cropped up on celebrities such as Anne Hathaway and Katie Holmes, but look for full bangs everywhere this fall.
Full bangs are cut blunt across the bottom and should hang at least to the eyebrow or all the way to the eyelash for a more dramatic look.
“Girls with long hair always come in wanting something new and different but are rarely willing to give up any length. This is where bangs come in,” says James Quinton, owner and stylist at Salon Couture on King Street. “It's a great way to make a big change fast.”
Quinton says that by the time you grow tired of bangs, they are probably quite long. This is a great style to accentuate the eyes.
The short hairstyle for women wavers back and forth between being a trend and being old fashioned. Right now, it is having a bit of a renaissance as a trendy 'do.
“This is for a braver girl because now it's quite short and showing a lot of face,” Quinton says. This style leaves you nothing to hide behind so it's a look for a girl who is confident with her features.
Quinton also mentioned Halle Berry, who has been rocking this hairstyle for many years and never looks dated doing so. Perhaps this style is leaving the ranks of the trendy haircuts to become a classic.
This is really about the men. After shows such as “Mad Men” came on the air, there was a resurgence in that retro look, not only in clothing but in hairstyles.
David Beckham, always at the zeitgeist of fashion, was sporting a retro look at the Olympics Opening Ceremony in London.
Ricky Martin traded funkier looks for a retro vibe for not only his role in “Evita” on Broadway but also in daily life.
Ombre hair definitely had its time in the light, but its popularity is starting to fade.
Quinton says that it was created to mimic a child's summer highlights.
“It was good because it was something anyone could do that was a little edgy but not too crazy they couldn't wear it to work,” says Quinton.
The look is definitely on its way out. And now it's more about the uber temporary, including the fun colors you can change on a daily basis using Murphy's Color Bug and other similar products. It's a kind of evolution of the ombre trend but with a little more edge and a lot less permanence.
Quinton says that trends are ever changing. You can find the latest styles in the streets. Although the newest will come from street shots in big cities, you can find edgier new hairstyles in Charleston as well.
One could postulate on which styles to stay away from, but eventually they may come back in vogue.
It's not so much about which hairstyle you choose, but choosing the one that's right for your face structure.
It's also smart to consider that your hair has to go with every outfit in your wardrobe.
That blue mohawk might not be as versatile as originally thought.
Seth McCormick Cooke is a stylist and freelance writer based in Charleston. Reach him at SethMcCormick@me.com.