Hair hype: Adapting to the trends

Jan 28, 2008 at 2:18 p.m. ET

Philadelphia, PA area stylist Tracey Waters of ME Salon & Spa, says that free-flowing styles are making an appearance this year, as compared to last year's stick-straight, ‘70's styles.

Turn up the volume

Wave and volume are important, so there's no need for you curly-haired gals to be slaves to your flat-irons.

One way to add volume to fine, straight hair is to use large rollers around your face and tousle from the chin down, using a curling iron. Actress Kyra Sedgwick currently has this look.

Above all else, though, says Waters, book a consultation with your stylist or prospective stylist before deciding on a change in hairstyle. While we all want to keep up with today's trends, each of us needs to opt for styles that work for us. 

Hot or not?

There are several criteria which should always be considered when it comes to finding a look that's right.

Of utmost importance is to consider your lifestyle. Is every morning a mad rush to get your kids to school, throw yourself together and race to work with one hand on your coffee and the other on the steering wheel? Or are you kid-free, with a busy work and social life but a little more time to prep yourself each day? Let your stylist know just how much time you can devote to drying and styling your hair on a daily basis. This will likely play a big role in determining if that new 'do you've been thinking about is right for you.

The other things to consider when style-shopping relate to your physical appearance. First, it's important to consider your hair's texture and thickness, as this will determine whether or not your hair is suited to a given cut or style. Take the classic bob, many versions of which are stylish right now. If your hair is thick and curly, you'll have to go for a longer version, but not too long. Thick, curly hair tends to grow out, rather than down, so a short cut will not flatter and frame your face. Your stylist will certainly know to taper the ends of a curly, above-the shoulder bob, to keep it from looking too "poofy".

Baby-fine hair, on the other hand is best kept shorter. A chin-length bob with textured layers works with this type of hair and gives it needed volume. Thick, straight hair will work in a bob with fewer layers.

Fit your shape

Face shape is another determinant in picking the right style. An oval face is the ideal, most versatile shape, usually suited to just about any style. You'll want to go for a cut that's not too short if you have a square face with a prominent jaw line; a face-framing bob, for instance will accentuate your angular features rather than soften them. If your face is long and narrow, a style with volume, added through layers, will give it the illusion of being broader. A heart-shaped face looks great fringed with bangs, as they will deemphasize-emphasize the broad forehead and narrow, pointy chin which characterize this shape.

You also need to consider your features, specifically, which you'd like to accent and which you'd rather downplay. If you want to make your eyes "pop", add some bangs. A broad or high forehead will benefit from bangs, as well. Longer, side-swept bangs (vs. short and blunt) are what's hot right now.  If you want to draw attention away from a weak jaw-line, a cut which falls well below your chin and has plenty of volume will work wonders. 

Finally, if you're considering a color-change, skin-tone is an important factor. Your stylist can help you determine whether a shade will brighten and compliment your natural coloring or make you look washed-out. Eye-color can be important, too. In many cases, blue eyes will stand out if you choose to go with a darker or bolder hair color. When choosing a color, the lifestyle factor can play a role. For example, a dark shade paired with fair skin will be more time-consuming, requiring frequent root touch-ups (about every four weeks).

Together, you and your stylist can weigh in on the criteria listed above, while considering your own personal preferences as well as what's in style, and come up with the right formula for the new "you".

Visit to view yourself in over 100 different hairstyles and colors.