Hair Special: Rejoice! We can finally get our hair done

The countdown to salons opening on 12 April starts here – with ten pages of style inspiration to get you excited about slipping into that chair. You’ll never moan about an uncomfy basin again, says Suzanne Scott

The new colour code

Bored with the same shade you’ve had for years? The world’s greatest colourists have ideas

Jennifer Lopez, left, and 90s face-framing at Adam Reed London by @whatsarahdoes, right.

‘Natural’ highlights

It’s all about the ‘makeunder’ – techniques and colours that flatter the skin tone

‘Strong highlights are back,’ says celebrity colourist Rita Hazan. ‘It can be more of a colour block or blended in like Jennifer Lopez’.

Naomie Harris, left, and Chrissy Teigen, right.

Darker roots, seen here on Naomie Harris and Chrissy Teigen, have become more popular since lockdown, explains top colourist Jack Howard. ‘This balayage effect is more forgiving when you’re growing colour out’.

Red is hot again

Forget the rose-tinted hair of lockdown 1. The shade, for now, is red, red, red. And now is the time to experiment…

Isla Fisher, left, and Rihanna, right.

For full-on crimson a la Rihanna, ‘Be aware that it will take more to maintain it, so speak to your colourist first,’ says Jack.

‘If you naturally flush, choose something less vibrant, like Stacey Dooley‘s golden shade,’ says Rita.

The secret to keeping your colour vibrant like Julianne Moore’s? ‘Use a gloss at home in between salon appointments,’ says Rita.

Julianne Moore, left, and Stacey Dooley, left.

The Queen’s Gambit‘s Anya Taylor Joy’s standout orange bob lit up our screens last year. ‘For a more subtle look add hints of red with lowlights and glazes,’ says Jack.

‘Deeper reds like Isla Fisher’s look great as solid colours,’ says Rita.

To keep your red rich…

Grey matters

Ever more women are embracing their natural shade. So how can you grow into your grey and survive the transition stage while still looking pulled together?

Glen Close, left, and Sarah Harris, right.

To achieve Diane Keaton’s subtle silver, ‘I’m using reverse techniques, where I take the colour out with bleach,’ says colour expert Nicola Clarke.

For Glenn Close’s grey to white effect, ‘Try lightening the ends and blending in the colour from the roots,’ says A-list colourist Josh Wood.

Tia Taylor, left, and Diane Keaton, right.

To give a cropped cut more oomph like Emma Thompson or influencer Tia Taylor’s: ‘I use a subtle blue or violet gloss on greys to help brighten them,’ explains Josh.

To keep long grey hair looking fabulous like Vogue Magazine’s Sarah Harris, ‘Use a weekly deep conditioning treatment,’ says Josh.

To make your silver glow…

  • Josh Wood Icy Blonde Gloss (£19, joshwoodcolour.com) boosts vibrancy, strength and hydration.
  • Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray (£25, colorwowhair.com) keeps frizz at bay and adds shine.
  • Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask (£64, spacenk.com) restores strength and moisture with a keratin protein.
  • L’Oréal Paris Elvive Colour Protect More Than Shampoo (£6.99, lookfantastic.com) is like a more intense version of your regular shampoo. It will wash away any product build-up, oils and dirt that can make grey hair appear dull.

For cuts above the rest

You’ll be back in the salon’s hot seat soon, so try one of these styles to update your look

For a total shake-up, try a Miley Cyrus-style shag. Why? ‘This style doesn’t just suit all hair types – it is easy to look after and looks great,’ says award-winning stylist Adam Reed.

The Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Miley Cyrus, right.

Rock thick braids like Cara Delevigne, Mindy Kaling and Joan Smalls. ‘Not only are they quick to do but they are the perfect canvas for showing off accessories like beads and jewels,’ says stylist and texture expert Charlotte Mensah.

If months without a trim have left you wanting your long hair to be more like Kate Moss’s or the Duchess of Cambridge, top stylist Andreas Wild advises: ‘With shoulder-length hair, avoid layers as they add too much to flick. For finer hair, an outgrown fringe will create a fuller look’.

Cut it like Karlie Kloss with this grunge-inspired look. ‘A modern take on the bob, it uses the flat iron to create subtle ‘undone’ waves. It’s the hair equivalent of ‘no make-up make-up’ look’ says top stylist George Northwood.

Go for a fringe 

From long and heavy to short and statement, it’s one of the quickest ways to update a hairstyle…

Consider a statement fringe – like model Lily Cole’s. ‘I love all fringes,’ says Andreas, ‘But my favourite is super short because it creates such an extreme look’.

‘When choosing a fringe, consider the texture of your hair as it will affect how your fringe sits,’ advises Andreas. Jameela Jamil has perfected a sleek ‘centre parting’ effect.

Alexa Chung, left, and Jameela Jamil, right.

‘Yes, you can have a fringe with curly hair,’ says Andreas. ‘You just need the right products to stop it jumping around’.

Let it grow like model Caroline De Maigret, Alexa Chung and Daisy Edgar-Jones. ‘The grown out fringe isn’t just low maintenance, it highlights your bone structure and flatters all face shapes’, says George.

Find the fringe for you:

  • Longer faces suit heavier fringes.
  • Open fringes work best with rounder faces.
  • If you have a square face, try a ‘grown-out’ fringe or anything that softens the chin line.
  • Oval faces usually suit everything. It’s all about confidence.

Short cuts

While some may have come to love their long lockdown hair, there will be others who are more than ready to chop it all off. If you’re tempted, now is the time to give it a go. A-list stylists Adam Reed and George Northwood have the lowdown on shorter cuts…

Make it chop-chop! ‘As long as your hair is in great condition and the cut suits your face, short hair is for all,’ says Adam.

‘There are so many incredible mature, short-haired icons, in particular, Helen Mirren and Judi Dench. If you do decide to go for a shorter style, you need to maintain it regularly so it always looks sharp and sophisticated,’ says George.

Letitia Wright, left, and Helen Mirren, right.

How to make less hair home

‘Texturising spray, such as my Undone by George Northwood Wave Holding Spray (£15, georgenorthwood.com) or Sam McKnight Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist (£25, net-a-porter.com), is a must. Plus a good finishing cream to remove any frizz or flyaways and to give a super sleek finish,’ says George.

‘I love Larry King’s range,’ says Adam, ‘and use L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil (£19.70, lookfantastic.com) on every single one of my clients. A good hairdryer is essential for styling short hair; the GHD Helios (£159, ghdhair.com) is my go-to.’

Bow down to the bob

It’s been tipped as the big thing for 2021, and a bob is a surefire way to switch up your look. Luke Hersheson, CEO of Hershesons salons, tells us about his signature textured bob which, he says, ‘is the most universal, adaptable haircut ever’

Play it soft and loose like actresses Sarah Paulson and Natalie Portman. The key to a textured bob is that it looks lived-in. To create it we use a mix of scissors and razors. It’s not a classic precision technique – it’s more freehand painter.

Gillian Anderson, left, and Jourdan Dunn, right.

Pictures are an excellent way of showing your stylist the kind of look you want.

A textured bob suits all. It’s timeless, works on all face shapes and hair types. The key is to embrace your natural texture then put your spin on it.

Unfurl your curls

Many of us have learned to love our natural waves over the past year. Texture expert Charlotte Mensah shows how to make the most of them

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, left, and Jesy Nelson, right

For 3C-style corkscrew curls like Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s the key is condition. Curly hair needs more moisture because it’s harder for the natural oils from the scalp to travel its length so apply a moisture treatment at least every two weeks.

To enhance loose curls, you can air-dry or blowdry with a diffuser.

The right cut is crucial. Kerry Washington has styles that emphasise their natural texture and are easy to manage between appointments.

Shakira, left, and Kerry Washington, right

The secret to super-conditioned curls is to wash your hair less, massage your scalp with hair oil and always detangle from bottom to top.

Your essential curl kit:

  • Living Proof Curl Shampoo and Conditioner (£31 each, livingproof.co.uk) deliver a hit of moisture and help to prevent curl damage.
  • Color Wow One-Minute Transformation Styling Cream (£19, colorwowhair.com) tidies up ends and neatens flyaways, as well as smoothing and taming unmanageable areas without weighing hair down.
  • Dizziak Deep Conditioner (£22, libertylondon.com) is unbelievably hydrating.
  • Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil (from £15, charlottemensah.com) adds moisture and shine, tames frizz and smells incredible; you can even massage it into your scalp as a hydrating treatment.
  • Slip Pure Silk Turban (£70, net-a-porter.com) is great for tucking your hair into at night to prevent friction breakage and frizz, and to help your curls hang on to their moisture.

If your hair needs a treat…

These three salon favourites will help to keep it strong, soft and shiny

Redken Acidic Concentrate System, available from Redken salons nationwide This treatment, designed for coloured and bleached hair, adds moisture, strength and restores pH. Amino acids boost hair’s resilience, while glycerin delivers nourishment and moisture. If you’re bleaching, tinting, perming or enhancing your greys, you need this.

John Frieda Hair Health MOT, John Frieda Salon, Aldford Street, London W1, 020 7491 0840 Devised by John Frieda Salons’ creative director Zoë Irwin, this uses a three-step process of detoxifying, strengthening and repairing, to restore hair to its best. ‘This is like a facial, but for your hair and scalp,’ she explains. ‘We work in layers; the scalp is exfoliated, an Indian head massage helps to relieve stored tension in the scalp and stimulate, then we nourish with masks.’

Matrix High Amplify Root Upwash, available from Matrix salons nationwide This intensive cleansing treatment has an acidic pH, meaning it effectively cleans build-up from oils and dirt so fine hair can feel more voluminous.