Is fuchsia your favorite color? Or is it a smoky light blue? Did you know that you can match your hair color and favorite color? Does your son aspire to be the next Cristiano Rinaldo with fierce soccer skills and the cool haircut? The alternative hair category is booming. We see fun fashion colors and interesting clipper cuts everywhere. Sometimes separately, sometimes together. Whether it be sassy and bright, or subdued and grey. Stylists get requests for fashion colors all the time.
Stylists also get requests for clipper cuts often. Clipper cuts come in a variety of options. There are side-shaves, undercuts and patterned cuts. Some more extravagant than others, but all require multiple clipping tools, a steady hand and training.
Alternative hair is becoming more and more popular in mainstream salons. What once was left only to big city salons and Europe, can now be done in your neighborhood hair salon. Why so popular? We talk to Shaina Meck of Little Shop of Hairdos in Raleigh, NC for her take on alternative hair.
“Alternative hair gives clients the opportunity to express their unique style and show a more playful side, says Shaina.”
While alternative hair is not limited to one age group, the largest group in the Triangle requesting fashion colors are women under 25. The largest group requesting clipper cuts are men and boys. Not to be outdone, salons are also getting requests for trendy undercuts and pops of fashion colors for girls. No matter what type of alternative hair you want, it’s fun, unique and trendy.
Let’s start with fashion colors. Currently the most popular fashion colors are pinkish purples, violets, lavenders, teals, and greys. Apparently many other stylists agree that grey is one of the most requested colors. Why? There are so many different shades of grey. Blonde grey, blue grey, lavender grey – you name it, there’s a grey for it. Plus it works for young and older clients alike. What’s interesting is that many young clients, women who don’t have natural grey hair yet, are choosing this grey trend.
Shaina tells us, “Clients usually know what color they want with fashion colors. They usually have pictures to show me. I start with a consultation. Which is a very important, first step.”
The consultation is important because a stylist needs to determine hair health, starting color and how long (how many appointments) the desired color will take.
“The first thing clients usually want to know is how long it will take. I’ve had clients come into the salon and say they want lavender grey hair done today. If the client has dark hair, the transformation can’t be done in one appointment. For hair color to go from dark to a fashion color it has be lightened all the way down to the color of the inside of a banana peel,” Shaina notes.
There are many variables to determine how long the application of a fashion color will take and whether it will take one or more than one appointment. Things like hair color (dark or light), hair texture, (is it healthy?), hair length (longer hair will take longer), and what is the intended end result.
It’s fair to say that one could have a 3 hour appointment depending on where the client’s hair is starting. If the hair is already dark brown or black, then more than one appointment is needed. If the client’s hair is already light blonde, then stylists may be able to transform the hair in one appointment.
The second thing clients want to know is how much it will cost. Let’s be frank, fashion colors are more expensive than your typical color or highlight. Here’s why…They take a long time to do because of their multi-step processing. They take expertise and a knowledgeable stylist who has been trained in these processes. They take quality products, colors and serums. They take precise steps to transform the hair to the end result.
Also there is a lot of upkeep to fashion colors. Shampoos and conditioners used at home should be color safe and appropriate for your fashion colors. Remember, fashion colors fade faster than traditional colors. Touch ups and reapplications will be needed sooner than later.
Clipper cuts, undercuts and side shaves are other popular types of alternative hair. They all use a razor and or a clipper to cut the hair. There are traditional clipper cuts that men have gotten in the past. You’ve seen it – short on the sides and top, not much upkeep, quick appointment. They offer a very clean look without a lot of fuss.
The clipper cuts of today are more advanced and more styled. Many even have designs within them. A popular updated clipper cut for both boys and men is short on the sides, with a very defined part, and a long, styled top. Think soccer player hair.
Clipper cuts aren’t just for boys and men. Girls and women have their share of unique clipper options as well. Undercuts and side shaves are most popular. You’ll see shaved sides and a longer, coiffed top or one side shaved under a bob, or portion of hair that just peeks out.
Boys usually have a style in mind and will come in and show me pictures of their favorite soccer player. Girls sometimes have ideas of what they want, but let the stylist create the cut more.
The amount of upkeep with traditional or more trendy clipper cuts depend on how fast a person’s hair grows. More traditional clipper cuts may be able to go longer in between appointments, while trendier cuts will need more upkeep, especially if there is a design cut into the hair.
Alternative hair is here to stay. Regardless of whether you go with a fashion color or a trendy clipper cut, or both, they’re all a form of unique art. There are so many variations for all types of alternative hair; different colors, different cuts and styles.
“Alternative hair is fun and ever changing. They vast amount of colors and styles could keep one’s hair different every month,” says Shaina.
To help find the best alternative hair style for you, book a consultation with Shaina. She’ll help you figure out what style will make you feel your best (919) 263-0567.
Little Shop of Hairdos
7361 Six Forks Rd. Suite 132, Raleigh, NC. 27615