Hair is like the period at the end of a sentence, the frame holding a picture or the sprinkles on a cupcake. It tops off a look and can elevate style from so-so to sophisticated or sexy.
For a while, Brazilian blowouts and Keratin treatments have given ladies the super straight tresses they craved. Meanwhile, guys have kept it smooth by getting rid of facial hair with a close shave.
These choices are still common, but the pages of fashion magazines and the faces of Hollywood are showing signs of some other styles turning heads (and appearing on them).
Here are three of the looks people are loving these days for their locks.
Short celeb dos
The Karlie. The Anne. The Charlize. They are just three of the dozens of ladies from film and fashion who've ditched their long locks for short sassy cuts.
In Anne Hathaway and Charlize Theron's cases, the cuts were required for film roles. But many others such as model Karlie Kloss and actress Zoe Kravitz have taken shears to their strands on their own. For some, the bold choice has paid off. Pixie cuts can show off natural beauty and facial features (example: Halle Berry), or they can add an aura of refinement and femininity to one's persona (Ms. Hathaway and Michelle Williams, for instance).
Others have garnered their share of sneers for going short. Take Miley Cyrus: Her long-on-top, shaved-on-the-sides do is still the target of jabs.
Thinking of going short? Make sure your face is fit for the drama. Those with more angularity to their cheekbones and chin are better suited for a pixie. Short hair can sometimes make round-shaped faces appear even rounder, but styled just right with a little layering it can work.
Severely short hair, like any trend, can take some practice to pull off. To find the balance between edgy and girly, incorporate accessories and a bit of makeup to prevent the look from becoming too masculine.
A cut for curly
Jennifer Aniston's straight face-framing cut has held the hair world captive since her Rachel days on the NBC sitcom "Friends." It's one of the most asked for haircuts at salons, but curls are starting to bounce up higher on the request list.
"People get bored," says Ron Booth, stylist and owner of Studio Booth salon in East Liberty. "We've been doing straight hair for so many years now. ... The new trend is toward curl wave again."
Curls get a bad rap for their frizzy, tough-to-manage tendencies. But with the right products and cut, they can be kept under control. One product line devoted to nourishing and keeping curls intact is Ouidad (www.ouidad.com). Its creator, for whom the line is named, has been dubbed the "queen of curl."
It works from the inside out to improve and condition hair rather than merely coat it. The collection includes shampoos, conditioners, mists and more, many less than $20.
"It's the first product line I've ever worked with formulated specifically for curly hair," says Mr. Booth.
In addition to Studio Booth at 6343 Penn Ave., Ouidad is available locally at Posh Salon, 1725 Washington Road, Upper St. Clair.
Ouidad has developed a "carve and slice" cutting technique. Hair is divided into sections and pulled straight so the natural curl pattern of the hair can be identified. The stylist then carves or slices the hair to help remove bulk or improve its pattern. Stylists at Posh and Booth salons are certified in this method.
The beard is back (but so is shaving!)
Give us a guy with hair, lush facial hair. Men from the silver screen to the street are embodying this phrase with a full beard, with celebs such as George Clooney and Ben Affleck sporting one on the red carpet at awards shows.
A key to a good beard is maintenance. The Art of Shaving at Ross Park Mall (www.theartofshaving.com) offers a full stock of luxury creams and razors to help men achieve the four elements of the retailer's trademarked wet shaving regimen: prepare, lather up, shave and moisturize. The store also houses a barber spa where men can get an assist with grooming from a professional.
Another option for shaving supplies is e-retailer Joseph Barber & Co. (www.joe-barber.com). The local company carries fine shaving products from countries such as England and Italy. Some of its brands include Edwin Jagger, Taylor of Old Bond Street and Merkur Futur. (And it caters to women with shaving creams and fragrances for her.)
"I was sick and tired of the disposable razors and not getting a good shave so that's why I started this company," says owner Dan Kerlin.
Many products essential for a good wet shave, such as a double-edged razor, can be difficult to find in mainstream stores, he says. Merchandise at Joseph Barber starts as low as $14.
Need some bearded inspiration? Beard blogs, Facebook pages and the Society of Bearded Gentlemen website are blanketed with photos of beards of all sizes.
Sara Bauknecht: email@example.com or on Twitter @SaraB_PG. First Published April 30, 2013 4:00 AM