The Chignon Hits Fashion Week

I spent much of February preparing for or at Fashion Week, and let me tell you – it’s exciting, sure, but a lot more exhausting than it looks!

However, it’s an exciting way to observe as trends are born. It’s also a way to revisit the classics!

Look at shows like the Venexiana and Woman’s Mafia Fall shows at NYFW, and celebrities such as Victoria Beckham: The top knot or chignon is becoming one of the fastest growing hair trends for 2010, and we saw it here first.

Want to be able to do it yourself at home? One of my favorite stylists, Philip Pelusi, along with creative director Jeffrey Reitz, created a variety of topknot looks seen during Fall/Winter 2010 Fashion Week.

For Venexiana’s show, the Philip Pelusi design team utilized a knot he called “Empire Chignon”. A twist on the classic chignon, the hair created for Venexiana was architectural and took on new height – literally. Like Kati Stern’s design esthetic, the hair was couture, high fashion.

Here are tips from the Philip Pelusi team for recreating the look from Woman’s Mafia (the Venexiana look is much more intricate):

1. Spray hair with P2 Refresh Hair to give hair texture
2. Divide hair into two ponytails: perimeter and crown
3. Pull the perimeter ponytail into a high nape
4. Spray again with P2 Refresh Hair
5. Pull a hair net over the ponytail and fashion it into “petals”

The chignon may not be for everyone, but it’s absolutely worth giving a try at your next formal affair!

By Aly Walansky

What’s Your Party Hair Personality?

In New York, Fashion Week has started, and that means going to endless events that require primping. For those of you who aren’t taking part in that, you are not off the hook either. Christmas and New Years may be over, but Valentines Day is coming up, and before we know it, all sorts of spring celebrations!

So, when you go out to a party – what sort of look are you looking for? And how does your hair reflect that? I conferred with Marcos Diaz, session stylist at ION Studio (www.ionstudionyc.com), and got a bit of a rundown.

The Romantic
Using your hands only, pull hair back in to a ponytail. With the ponytail, mold it into a loose chignon and put bobbi pins in to hold it in place. Using only your hands to smooth the look rather than a brush, keeps it modern rather than manufactured looking.

The Flirt
For a smart, playful look, use a brush to put your hair into a high ponytail. Curl the ponytail around a 1inch curling iron. Add hairspray when done styling to tame fly-aways and add shine.

The Vixen
A great way to wear your hair down is to curl your hair with a 1inch curling iron, making sure to curl hair AWAY from your face. Once you’re done curling your hairbrush out all the curls, don’t worry about the curls falling out; brushing hair enhances the curling iron set. Make a deep side part and add some hairspray to seal the look. The deep side part is what’s key in making it an expensive and special look.

Are you ready? Try one of these looks, and tell us how it goes!

By. Aly Walansky

Valentine’s Day: Romance Begins With Your Hair

Do you have someone special to celebrate next week with?

Well, whether you do or do not, this is a great excuse to celebrate yourself and up the “wow” factor. We consulted celebrity hairstylist, Paul Labrecque, who shared his secrets for achieving muse-like curls, seductive waves, lovely chignons and a few additional flirty looks that are perfect for the holiday.

Sexy, Soft & Touchable Curls
If you have naturally curly hair, this type of curl is so easy to achieve—you just have to choose the right product!

An anti-frizz curl activator (such as Paul Labrecque Curly Style) is the perfect item to begin with (Curly Style has been recognized by Allure magazine as a Best of Beauty 2009 winner). It forms curls without making them crisp, fragile or frizzy. Put a dollop on damp hair, then twist sections of hair around one of your fingers. Let hair dry naturally or use a diffuser for added volume.

Don’t despair those with straighter hair, this look can still be yours!

Spray damp hair with a volumizer (like Paul Labrecque Volume Style) and then rough dry it with your hands. Once hair is dry, use two different sized barrel curling irons—one smaller and one larger, to achieve a beautiful textured look that’s random and uneven. When the ironing is done, use an alcohol-free silicone product to work through hair with your hands to separate and free hair to make the style complete.

For another stunning curly look that’s one of Paul’s favorite easy to achieve romantic looks…it only appears quite complicated!

Gather curly strands into a loose pony and make sure not all of your ears are exposed. Fold the ponytail under and secure the ponytail band to the hair at the nape of your neck with two crisscrossing pins. Finish by spraying a light shield of glitter on your hair—the sparkling whimsy is both playful and put-together

Seductive & Loose Waves

Make sure hair is very wet before you begin styling…

Apply a curl activating gel and a leave-in conditioner (Paul Labrecque’s Curly Style and Repair Style are excellent choices— the products were created specifically for hydration and curl separation). After product is applied, twist wet hair into ringlets. Slowly dry hair with a diffuser and make sure you don’t break the curl. It’s very important you don’t move your hair while drying since too much touching during this phase could cause frizz. Once hair is dry add a shine serum for extra gloss (such as Paul Labrecque’s Curly Finish– this lightweight Camelia Oil spray won’t weigh hair down, and its glossy finish makes waves look radiant and very seductive.)

Quick & Chic Chignons

Start with hair in a tight ponytail…

Make sure the ponytail is smooth and set with a firm hold spray (like Paul Labrecque’s Volume Finish). It’s also important to spray the underside of the ponytail. You can do this while back combing the hair at the bottom of the tail into a fan. Quickly smooth the top section of hair over this fan and twist it under, leaving one piece of hair free to wrap around the ponytail. You can pin this hair in place with bobby pins and spray the style one more time for extra hold so it will last all day or night.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tying the Knot ala Giovanni Giuntoli

Bridal season is nearing and our newly engaged soon-to-be brides are on the hunt for the perfect hairstyle.  Since Brides today demand perfection in all aspects of the day, why not ‘relax’ a bit when it comes to their hair?   Whether it was loosely-opened chignons, playful accessories, or imperfectly textured French Twists, Giovanni Giuntoli, who instructs stylists through on-set styling classes in New York City, created these fabulous bridal looks to reflect a no-fuss style that allowed each bride to glide down the aisle with angelic perfection. The best news? Each of the three looks can be easily re-created, of course, with some help from a friend:

Swirled-Open Chignon – seen at Christos
“At Christos, we wanted to accentuate the young, modern, clean looks with a twist on the classic bun, creating a looser folded donut. We took inspiration from the typical ballerina bun, but softened it by adding texture and a bit of lift to the crown and sides. Like she did it herself, with a little help from a friend” explains Giuntoli.

To create, first apply Redken spray starch 15 versatile ironing spray (SRP $13.00) throughout hair to allow for extra texture and support of the shape. Make a horizontal part at the crown 4 inches from forehead and section off. Use spritzes of workforce 09 flexible volumizing spray ($15.00) to reduce flyaways as you pull back and secure with an elastic just above the occipital bone. Next, take front section and spray fabricate 03 heat active texturizer (SRP $13.00) through and backcomb lightly in sections to create the height that will show at the top of the finished style. Lightly brush back to meet with the ponytail making sure to keep the textured height, and secure all together with an elastic. Grab the ponytail and swirl it loosely into an open chignon around itself and pin as you create a ‘donut-like’ shape. Hide ends into bun and pin with hair pins to secure. Loosely pull out a few pieces on the sides and top for added texture to the silhouette. Lastyly, finish total look with workforce 09 flexible volumizing spray (SRP $15.00) for a flexible hold.

Accessorized Updo – seen at Kenneth Poole
“We had a quick turnaround time between Christos and Kenneth Pool, so to easily create a more elaborate look to reflect the added glamour in the line, we tightened the bun and added a large flower orrnation, which instantly gave the look added sophistication to make a bigger, more flirty statement” said Giuntoli.

Try it yourself! Create as you would with the swirled open chignon, just tighten the chignon just a bit more to create a strong base for the ornation. Take a large flower ornation and pin on side of the chignon with bobby pins so you can see the detailing of the headpiece from the front to add ultimate attention to the hairstyle. Finish total look with forceful 23 super strength finishing spray (SRP $15.00) to hold the headpiece and the style in place.

Textured French Pleat with Height – seen at Amsale
“For the timeless Amsale collection, we returned to the classic French pleat, but put a modern spin on it; think Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but a little deconstructed and some extra attitude.” says Giuntoli.

To create, mist spray starch 15 versatile ironing spray (SRP $13.00) through the top of head and using a 1 1/2 inch curling iron, curl front section of hair back from hairline in the direction of the back of the head – this gets get the hair to move in the direction you will be pulling it back into. Spray fabricate 03 heat-active texturizer (SRP $13.00) throughout entire head and back comb section by section to creating a voluminous, airy texture. Using a bristle brush, loosely comb hair back into a ponytail, keeping the soft airy height at the crown but still tight at the sides. Create the pleat by loosely twisting ponytail in upon itself up towards the top of the head, pinning as you move up until you get to the top of the twist, tucking ends in and securing with pins. Pull out a just a few airy pieces from the twist to create texture, and finish with workforce 09 flexible volumizing spray (SRP $15.00) for extra hold that will keep the pleat in place, lasting all night.

Guido’s Fall Hair Trends Portfolio

So who is Guido you all ask?  He is the hair guru at Redken.  What he says we listen.  He has released his fall/winter 2008 hair trend report and it is beautiful.  Guido designed and executed the hair at more than 30 shows including Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Versace and Louis Vuitton and has put together his top trends for the coming season inspired by the shows.

Guido takes us to the back of the head, where we will be seeing knots, twists, ponytails with a spice of 1960s glam, 1920s sophistication and a touch of the future. This in addition to glam finishes and streamlined silhouettes creates Guido’s top four trends for the Fall/Winter season: Intense Shine, Chic Twists, Modern Knots and Ponytail Perfection.

Intense Shine
Shine returns to the runway in full force the Fall/Winter.  In these glamorous styles the hair stays close to the scalp, in a sedate slicked-back style.  What happened to the big hair of the summer?  Get those flat irons out.

Chic Twists
Want to make a French twist look modern?  Check out Guido’s ultra glamorous Chic Twist for the Fall/Winter.  The more disheveled the better.  Guido’s tip:  When doing a French twist, bobby pin the back of the head and leave the ends sticking out- definitely edgier.


Modern Knots
It’s not often that glam and practical come together, but the new chignons do just that.  Wear the knots low or high it will definitely exude sophistication.  Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect to pull off a fab look.

Ponytail Perfection
The ponytail is ageless.  This season’s ponytail is sleek and full of shine.  The ponytail can land anywhere from the middle of the head to lower.  Keep it simple.  I love this style!