As temperatures cool down and the seasons change, it’s very likely you’ll find yourself craving a shift in your life. Whether that means swapping out the biker jacket in your closet for something warmer or just taking the time to cook a homemade, seasonal meal, we’re big fans of allowing a new season to stir things up.
Seasons have a way of inspiring new hairstyles, too. If you’ve been pulling your hair back in a ponytail for months, it might be time to consider a new ’do. Walking out of the salon with a fresh cut does wonders for the soul—at least, that’s what we always say.
We tapped Carly Quist, New York City salon owner and senior artist for Kérastase, to help us break down the latest looks in hairstyling. She’s like a walking, talking trend forecast, speaking to dozens of clients on the daily about the cuts that inspire them.
In fact, there’s one very big trend she’s noticed: The cropped look is back in, baby.
If you’re itching for a change, let Quist and her trusty scissors guide you. In just a matter of minutes, you’ll feel like a whole new woman. New haircuts are magical like that.
Find Your Inspiration for a New Hairstyle
While the average woman might wait until she’s arrived at the hair salon to start plotting the perfect cut, it’s Quist’s responsibility to stay three steps ahead. By the time her clients even arrive for consultations, she has half a dozen ideas about looks that might appeal to them.
To keep her inspired, Quist relies heavily on visual social media accounts. There, she can keep track of everything from celebrity red carpet styles to the work her fellow hair professionals are doing.
“One picture still speaks a thousand words,” Quist says, citing social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. “I encourage my clients to use these tools, share them with me and become part of my own social network portfolio to maximize our communication and consultation.”
Connection is the name of the game when it comes to getting a haircut that suits your face, texture, and lifestyle. If you take the time to establish a relationship with one hair stylist, he or she will have a better shot at suggesting cuts you can’t resist trying.
Consider Before You Cut
Trends have this nerve-wracking way of completely taking over the hair world before fading out in a span of months. Unfortunately for the women that have invested time and energy in their cuts, hair just doesn’t grow as fast as the fads change.
According to Quist, deciding on a trendy haircut means thinking about the full spectrum of hair care. From the first snip of the scissors to the way your hair will look after a night of deep sleep, the smallest factors are the ones that will determine how well the style meshes with your life.
Still, a really good hair stylist should take the time to walk you through every aspect of the look you’re considering.
“I sit down with [my clients] first and have a really thorough consultation about everything to expect from their new haircut and how to style and maintain it once they leave my chair,” Quist says.
Aside from sitting down with your stylist, keep in mind that no cut just drops off the face of the planet. Usually, they evolve into something just slightly different.
“What I love about this industry is every style is always changing and modernizing,” Quist says.
If you’re not loving your look after several weeks, a skilled stylist should be able to update it. Just ask!
Although you may not have recovered from your middle school bangs just yet, Quist is seeing a lot of clients who can’t wait to volunteer for long fringe. It’s an excellent way to hold onto your length while still experimenting with a playful new style.
For an updated take on the look, Quist endorses the “grown out fringe.” The long pieces of hair fall to the bottom third of your face, creating bangs that are long enough to tuck behind your ears.
“[The style] is very flattering as it opens up the face and accentuates the cheekbones or jawline,” she says. “I like to think of it as creating contouring for the face through a haircut.”
Contouring that doesn’t involve any makeup? We’re sold.
Without a doubt, the lob isn’t going anywhere. Quist says the collarbone-length chop, beloved by both grown women and their stylish mothers, is the “number one” cut her clients request.
Although the length may stay the same, this year’s lob gets styled a little differently.
“When [the lob] first came out it was styled straight followed by a lived-in wave, and now we are seeing celebrities...wearing it straight and sleek,” Quist explains.
Not sure how to make the shiny, cropped look your own? Ask your stylist for a flatiron tutorial before leaving the salon chair.
Like the proverbial old dog learning new tricks, the bob can still surprise us after all these years. The secret, according to Quist, lies in the universality of the blunt, one-length cut.
“Although [the bob] is a timeless, classic style, it makes a fresh and bold statement as if it were new every time,” Quist adds.
If you’re not feeling the simplicity of one length all over, just ask your stylist for a custom cut that uses layers or angles to achieve your desired look.
For many otherwise-daring women, the pixie cut is hair kryptonite. What if you take the plunge and discover you’re not bony enough, beautiful enough, or stylish enough to pull off the cut? What then?
According to Quist, there’s no reason to fear. In fact, she’s even seen a distinct uptick in requests for pixies, particularly those that experiment with extra short or long length.
“The pixie is one of my personal favorites right now,” Quist adds. “I think it is very beautiful and versatile.”
Who says you can’t teach an old style new tricks?
Last (but certainly not least) comes a cut that’s recently made a return to style, particularly for women: the buzz cut. With celebrities right and left chopping off their expensive manes in favor of the buzz, it’s hard not to wonder if you’re missing out on a life of ease—not to mention feeling the summer wind on your scalp.
“I love how versatile [the pixie] can be,” Quist says. “[Clients] can wear it classic and professional or can also let it loose and wear it shaggier, off to one side and have fun with it.”
According to Quist, she’s also seen plenty of requests for hidden undercuts. Wear your hair down during the day, meet corporate dress code standards, then tie it up for a punk rock look.
If you’re ready for a change, don’t hesitate. You’ll be glad you took a chance.