Put down the curling tongs and the hairspray. This season is all about embracing your uniqueness when it comes to your lovely locks, says Rodney Wayne creative director Richard Kavanagh. He shares his top tips to keep your hair healthy so you always feel your beautiful best.
Bespoke beauty has been the trend du jour for a couple of seasons now, and the hair world is taking notice now too. “We’re really moving away from this idea that hair should look like it’s been styled or set,” says Richard Kavanagh, creative director of Rodney Wayne. “It’s about you and your hairstylist understanding your own uniqueness and embracing this idea of being free to be yourself.”
Kavanagh puts the shift down to a subtle ’90s revival that we’re seeing not only in fashion but in hair too. “What happens is trends start to emerge on a global fashion scale and they translate in mood and energy into hair trends.” Kavanagh is quick to assure us that The Rachel, which dominated the decade thanks to Friends, won’t be making a comeback. It’s about the spirit of the time – hair that is very real and organic – rather than a throwback trend.
“Hair is very fresh, healthy, alive and quite youthful. There’s definitely a cut and colour, but hair feels slightly relaxed, it doesn’t feel over styled,” he explains. “It’s ‘I just woke up like this’; it’s effortless hair.” But anyone who has attempted to master the ‘no make-up make-up’ look will be well aware that there’s more involved with the trend than one might initially think. Kavanagh says the same goes for the season’s effortless hair trend. “But with the right cut and techniques, anyone can do it.”
YOUR DREAM HAIR
The real secret to mastering the ‘I woke up like this’ look all comes down to a cut that suits your lifestyle, your hair and, most importantly, you. “Why try and have a haircut that looks like everyone else’s haircut? Get a haircut that suits your face, that suits your lifestyle, suits your texture and that enhances your natural beauty,” Kavanagh says.
Relaying your vision for your dream hairstyle back to your hairdresser doesn’t have to be tricky either. However, Kavanagh advises against telling your hairdresser they can do as they please where cut and colour is concerned. “You certainly wouldn’t go to your house painter and say, ‘do whatever you want’, would you?” he jests. “Unless you know each other really well, and they’ve already got parameters to work within, then it’s not the best thing you can tell your stylist.”
Instead, Kavanagh recommends going to the salon armed with a small bullet point list. “Hair is such an important component of portraying your character. When you’re going for a change, you need to think, how do you want to project yourself into the world? What part of you do you want to be showcased the most?” Thinking about what your job entails, who you socialise with and what you do outside of work can be a good starting point. “Do you work outside? Do you work with the public? Do you need to tie your hair up for work?” These are important lifestyle considerations that can help you get the most out of your time in the salon. Opting for a super-slick new look that’s going to take at least an hour to style each morning might seem like the best idea in the world at the time, but once you’re out of the salon and remember that you towel-dry your hair after the gym each day, you might be left with a cut that’s too high maintenance.
“You need to think about what your hair does for you to help you have the easiest lifestyle,” says Kavanagh. “What’s your styling routine? Do you blow-dry your hair every day? Do you let it dry naturally? You need to think about these things and discuss them with your hairdresser.”
Face shape, bone structure, skin tone and hair type are just as important when it comes to a new cut or colour. And while individuality is the theme of the season, Kavanagh says it can be helpful to bring examples of hair you love to start a conversation with your hairdresser. “Pull references of hair you hate too. It’s good to have both ends of the spectrum.” If you’ve ever been told you look like a celebrity, Kavanagh says it can be a good starting point for finding styles and colours that might suit you.
PLAYING THE LONG GAME
Once you’ve stepped out of the salon with your dream hair, maintaining that shine and body is key to having a good hair day every day. “We’ve gone through a phase in the past where people have just brashly gone in and changed their hair colour back and forth, and have ended up with really frizzy and dry hair with no elasticity and shine,” says Kavanagh. Now, it’s all about the quest for healthy hair, and there’s no better way to find out how to maintain hair health than chatting with your hairdresser, explains Kavanagh. He says that because of the personal relationships we tend to forge with our hairdressers, we often forget to have important conversations about our hair and scalp health. “People tend to think about their hair and scalp separately, but when you choose a shampoo you should choose it first and foremost for your scalp, especially if you have scalp conditions,” Kavanagh explains. But despite the importance of our scalp when it comes to healthy hair, scalp problems continue to be a bit of a taboo subject. “People get self-conscious. It’s a bit like if you have oily skin or pimples, you don’t want to talk about it,” he says. But if you’re going to talk to anyone about it, your hairdresser is the best person for it. “They’re working intimately with your scalp and hair. They’re parting your hair into tiny partings, they’re going to see what’s going on down there.”
Even if you’ve got a perfectly healthy scalp, we all know that picking the right hair care can be confusing. “It’s about having an excellent conversation with your hair stylist and talking about your lifestyle day-to-day, how you work-out, but also how often you style your shampoo, what heat tools you use, what products you use, how often you’re washing your hair,” Kavanagh advises. Remember that just like our skin, our hair changes from time to time too: your needs might change from season to season, your hair changes with your hormones and as you get older. “So it’s a conversation to have constantly. Not necessarily every visit, but at least a couple of times a year ask, ‘Am I using the right products?’”
Having regular haircuts and having a haircut that suits you is also crucial for maintaining healthy hair. “If you’ve got fine hair, having the ends cut blunt and having the layers cut blunt will make your hair appear thicker and healthier,” Kavanagh suggests. He also recommends rebooking when you’re at the salon so you can stay on top of your cut and colour. “People forget and it gets out of shape. If you visit regularly then you just have a little bit of a trim and a reshape and you feel really good again,” he says. But no matter how you decide to embrace your individuality through your hair, Kavanagh says you’ll always get the best results when you utilise the expert that’s standing behind you in the salon. “There’s an opportunity when you’re in the hair salon with the hairdresser to get a huge amount of education from someone who wants to share their knowledge with you.”