For the most part, the hair coming down the runways at the spring shows came as little surprise to John Sahag, whose client list is crammed with Hollywood A-listers from Gwyneth Paltrow to Jennifer Aniston. Sahag himself created the outrageous tubular and twisted coifs at Issey Miyake in Paris, and readily admits that what looks good on the runway isn’t always realistic for every day. “The shows are like Carnival in Rio for designers,” he says. “Work with your stylist to find a shape that fits your hair texture and lifestyle. A unique shape is always in style.”
“I started doing this very deconstructed look about six months ago,” says Sahag, a tall, rangy, Mick Jagger-ish type. “It was everywhere at the shows. Blunt, uneven ends. Lots of detail around the face-almost a grown-out haircut.”
Indeed, variations of the Sahag-like style dominated the catwalks. The hair was absolutely shaggy with starched, straight ends at Gucci (“very severe”) and Versus. A softer, more natural version was seen at Daryl K, Marc Jacobs (“nice, not-too-done”), and Alessandro dell-Acqua. Ralph Lauren, Jill Stuart, Susan Lazar, Victor Alfaro, and Anna Molinari (“finger-combed, pretty”) added loose, rumpled curls for a very sexy, just-woke-up look. BCBG Max Azria took bed head to the extreme. “It was like foamy frizz-so old fashioned,” says Sahag.
What he did like best: the new, tousled, carefree, slightly rumpled hair, like at Ralph Lauren.“It’s all about texture,” says Sahag. “This look definitely works best on hair with a slight, natural bend that can be enhanced by scrunching hair with the fingers while blow-drying.” But a less-than-ideal texture can be improved with the right styling products-or perhaps a few extensions.
- To recreate this look on ultra-straight hair, wet hair and wrap sections around large rollers. Air dry, but spray hair with a lightweight hairspray, like Pantene Flexible Hold Hairspray with Elastesse, while it is still damp to hold the curl. Another option is to braid hair all over or wrap small sections around pipe cleaners. A mousse or gel will help to hold the hair together. Laurent D Salon Foamateur is great-it doubles as a mousse and a finishing pomade for lasting hold and shine. John Paul Mitchell Modern Elixirs Styling Serum smells really clean and holds hair without stickiness for a natural look. Leave the hair bound until it is almost dry and finish off with a blow dryer for a naturally wavy, towel-dried look.
- Curly hair should be blown dry in sections, using a diffuser and your fingers to comb and loosen curls. A straightening balm will help relax hair while drying. Charles Booth Passion Fruit Extra Strong Straightening smells deliciously of coconuts, bananas, and almond oil. Phytologie Phytodefrisant uses plant extracts to make hair more manageable and has a cumulative effect-it actually works better the more you use it. Afterwards, Sahag Transforming Dry Oil will keep curls separated and defined, without looking greasy.
- A flat iron and Sahag Max-Level Finish Hair Spray (it really holds) will create the spiky, rock star hair seen at Gucci and Versus. Iron small sections of the hair-the more sections you do, the chunkier it will look-and spray each with hairspray to create stiffness. Extensions are not necessary, but can be added for more volume or length if you have them.
For shine, bounce, and just generally fantastic hair, it’s all about conditioner for John Sahag.
“Conditioner was the first product in my line-it’s definitely the most important,” says Sahag. “It’s a complete must, no matter what your hair texture or length.”
Proper conditioning not only protects hair from environmental elements (like sun, cold or dry air) but it keeps hair strong and elastic, which helps prevent split ends and breakage.
“Most people don’t know how to use conditioner,” he says. “Well-conditioned hair should have normal volume. It shouldn’t be limp.”
- Never pour conditioner directly on to your hair. Pour into your hand first to get just the right amount.
- The more hair you have, the more conditioner you need.
- If your hair is normal to fine, never apply conditioner on your scalp. Avoid the roots altogether, and work the conditioner only through the bottom half of your hair with your fingers. Conditioning too close to the scalp will weigh down normal to fine hair.
- If your hair is thick and coarse, or chemically treated, apply conditioner throughout your hair.
- Really rinse thoroughly. Any residue will cause flatness.