Hairstyle Classics: How to Keep That Do From Looking Dated

If you’ve rocked a classic style for a while, beware that even the simplest cuts need to evolve. The dawn of a new decade is a good time to update that hairdo. Take a tip (or two) from stylists and stars who know how to keep a good thing going.   

The Pixie
This ultra-short cut not only accents great cheekbones and jawlines, but it also portrays gamine youthfulness and chic sophistication for any age.

  • Vintage Liza Minnelli has made the pixie her signature cut, which she keeps fresh by adding layers and fullness through waves and curls. In her days as Mrs. Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow made the pixie so enduring that, years later, the boyishly attractive cut helped define the waif movement of the ’90s.
  • Modern Today’s pixie vixens, such as Michelle Williams (who looks a lot like Mia Farrow) and Halle Berry, wear their short cuts with a mix of fragility and seduction.
  • Keep it fresh Hairstylist Kristen Ess, who counts Rachel McAdams and Amanda Bynes as clients, likes to add a few accessories, such as a pair of narrow headbands, to make the pixie more playful. “You think when you cut your hair off that you are limited to that specific look, but the pixie is very versatile,” says Ess. “You can also use products to give a different look or shape. Pomade can make a matte texture, sort of like a shag carpet. A light-hold gel can make it go elegant and sleek, like Sharon Stone, with a lot of control.”

Long and Sleek
Nothing says “sexy” better than a long, flowing mane of luscious, shiny and thick hair.

  • Vintage For Cher, long, shimmering hair has been as much her signature as have her wild Bob Mackie bugle beaded costumes.
  • Modern Demi Moore not only has the body of a teenager, but also the flowing, shiny hair to match. The ageless beauty often lets her hair down for big red-carpet events.
  • Keep it fresh Great hair requires dedicated upkeep, says Ess, who recommends applying a temporary gloss to hair every six weeks. “It seals down the cuticle and acts like a topcoat for your nails,” she says. Carla Gentile, owner of Steam, a hip salon near Beverly Hills, Calif., says the fast way to update long hair is to add bangs. “You can also get away with a really low side part, like Gisele,” she says.

The Shag
This layered hairstyle has become the chic rebel’s favorite look, if only because a bit of tousled imperfection makes it all the more appealing.

  • Vintage Jane Fonda’s shag in Klute made her character tough, scruffy and sexy, and it launched a look that defined the 1970s and beyond.
  • Modern Kristen Stewart and Ashlee Simpson have made a long, loose shag a sought-after look, with hair that is black, red or blond.
  • Keep it fresh
    Gentile says modern shags don’t hug the head and neck as closely as Fonda’s cut. Longer, looser layers are today’s look. Gentile also suggests experimenting with products that thicken or add texture to make the layers more distinct and chunky.

The Bob
The classic bob endures because it is an easy-care style that radiates sophistication -- or in extreme colors, delivers an ironic, punk twist.

  • Vintage The angular bob that silent-film star Louise Brooks wore in the 1920s and ’30s matched the elegant lines of art deco.
  • Modern Katie Holmes has worn a variation of the classic bob for the last two years, first with razor-sharp bangs and now with longer, sideswept ones, while Keira Knightley wears her straight and wavy.
  • Keep it fresh Wear it a bit longer to look modern, says Ess, adding, “The long bob is called the ‘lob,’ which is an awful word but a gorgeous hairstyle.” Ess also suggests giving the hair a few spiral twists around a 1-inch curling iron to add some wave. “And don’t be too uniform with how you’re curling it,” she says. “You want to break up the curl.” 

Hair Myth or Magic?

Ever wonder whether those hair tricks you’ve heard about really work or if they’re just old wives tales? We’ve separated myths from realities:

One hundred nightly strokes with a hairbrush will make your locks healthier.
Sleeping Beauty may have spent hours brushing her silky tresses, but in real life, excessive brushing causes split ends and hair breakage, says Mauricio Ribeiro, a hairstylist at B2V Salon in West Hollywood, Calif. Don’t lay off the brush altogether, though; a minute of bedtime brushing distributes natural oils from roots to ends, helping you avoid an oily scalp and dry tips. Ribeiro recommends using a paddle brush with synthetic and natural boar's hair bristles for optimal grooming. The nylon bristles grip the hair, and the natural ones impart shine.

A half-inch trim makes your hair grow faster.
This is a common misconception, according to Allen Edwards, hairstylist to such celebs as Brooke Shields and Kirsten Dunst. A trim won’t boost growth; however, it will eliminate split ends. And since the average head of hair grows at a rate of about half an inch a month, it won't take long for the length to return.

Fresh lemon juice plus sun equals natural sun-streaked highlights.
While the juice of a fresh-squeezed lemon will subtly lighten your locks in the sun, the combination of the lemon’s acidity and damaging UV rays will dry out your hair and may even make it brittle enough to break, says Ribeiro. Instead, use an easy brush-in home highlighting kit or have your colorist add subtle highlights. A few streaks placed in the areas where the sun would naturally hit, like the bangs and small pieces around the crown, will create natural-looking sun-kissed tresses. 

Mayonnaise can double as a great deep-conditioning mask.
Yes, the oil, egg yolks and vinegar in mayonnaise will serve as an organic, natural conditioning treatment, says Diana Schmidtke, a Los Angeles-based hairstylist who has worked with George Clooney and Josh Duhamel. Distribute the mayo evenly through your hair with a wide-tooth comb, cover your mane with plastic wrap and leave it in for 15 minutes. To help the mayo penetrate the hair shaft, run a blow-dryer over your hair for the last couple of minutes, making sure not to overheat the plastic wrap. Shampoo immediately afterward.

Sprinkling baby powder on thin, limp locks revitalizes a flat head of hair.
"This is one of the oldest tricks in the book," says Schmidtke. The powder will absorb hair oils and return a bit of volume to your mane. To avoid looking like Marie Antoinette, be sure to use only a pinch of powder. Or check out the aisles at your local beauty supply shop for colored powders.

Pull out one gray hair, and two will grow back.
"The only thing that will make your hair more gray is worrying about the gray you already have," jokes Edwards. In fact, gray hair occurs when melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells in your hair follicles, stop producing pigment. Genetics determine when this will begin to happen. Not a fan of gray? Apply a semipermanent color that lasts for six to 12 shampoos.

A cold rinse after shampooing leaves your hair shiny.
Yes, you can shiver your way to shinier tresses, says Christopher Dove, co-owner of The Doves Studio in Santa Monica, Calif. Cold water flattens the hair cuticle, creating a smoother, more light-reflecting surface. 

Sleeping on a silk pillowcase will decrease hair frizzies and keep your blowout intact.
It can certainly help. “A silk pillowcase won't absorb your hair’s natural oils or mat your hair while you sleep,” says Schmidtke. “So your style will have more staying power.”

Weatherproof Beauty

As a meteorologist and host on The Weather Channel, Stephanie Abrams braves harsh elements during extreme weather, which suits the self-proclaimed tomboy just fine. “You can’t be a girlie girl,” she says, “especially when you’re covered head to toe in mud. There have been a couple of instances when I’ve seen myself on HDTV after working 36 hours during a hurricane and there’s not much you can do about your makeup or your hair. Basically, it’s me, a baseball cap and a microphone.” 

While Abrams admits there’s no beauty secret that’s totally hurricane-proof, she never leaves the house without applying an SPF on her face, body and lips. A well-styled ponytail can take this brunette through the day into the evening. Her best beauty advice? “If you’re confident and having fun, who cares if you hair’s a little wet?”

Still, when the weather threatens to ruin your look, try these expert, camera-ready tips.

Rain and Thunderstorms
Hair
: “If it’s raining, I don’t even bother blow-drying my hair,” says Abrams. “What’s the point if it’s just going to get wet?” West Hollywood-based hair stylist Billy Lowe suggests keeping those natural tresses in check by using anti-humectant products that resist humidity. “That’s where styling creams and pomades come in handy,” says Lowe. “They’ll tame the hair shaft and minimize the frizz.”

Skin: “While you may be tempted to reach for waterproof mascara, it’s no better than regular mascara and can be harsh on your lashes,” says makeup artist and educator Raychel Wade. “Most mascara is already water-resistant, and if you don’t rub your eyes, it will stay put.” Skip the liner and pair mascara with cream eye shadow that comes in a small pot. These shadows are water-resistant, easier to apply than liner, come in a kaleidoscope of colors and have great staying power.

Heat Wave
Hair
: When it’s hot and dry, boost the moisture content of your hair with a styling cream, says Lowe, and use a shaping wax to tame static flyaways. Hot and humid? Silicone serums can help smooth your hair and keep it looking polished. Or, opt for a simple updo to keep you cool.

Skin: There’s nothing like perspiration to ruin carefully applied foundation. Wade suggests mattifying foundation to diminish shine and control oil on your T-zone, and a waterproof concealer to keep eye makeup from running. If you still find your skin looking greasy, skip the powder -- adding more makeup will eventually look cakey. Absorb extra moisture by simply pressing a sheet of blotting paper against your skin.

To beat the heat and keep her skin protected, Abrams opts to wear long sleeves and even covers her neck when the temperature hovers in the triple digits. “When I’m in the desert or high heat, it’s unbelievable how much cooler I stay with loose-fitting clothing,” she says. “That way the sun doesn’t directly heat up my skin, because the fabric absorbs the heat first.”

Freezing Temps with Snow Flurries
Hair
: Flyaways, a common winter problem, can be tamed with a spritz of hairspray. If you get flathead, pump up the volume with a volumizing mousse. The best defenses against winter’s drying weather, says Lowe, are the right fundamentals: a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. 

Skin: Abrams, who grew up in warm, sunny Florida, still hasn’t gotten used to cold weather. “There have been times when I’m covering a snow storm and my knuckles will split from dryness,” says Abrams. “Recently, in Alaska, my ear lobes began to peel.” Abrams religiously applies a good sensitive-skin moisturizer with SPF all over -- paying special attention to her hands and lobes.

To keep lips from cracking, Wade recommends applying lip balm under your lipstick. It creates a moisture base that will keep the color on longer. When the forecast is sub-freezing temps, swap your powder foundation and blush for a moisturizing base and blush in a stick or cream formula.

High Winds
Hair
: When you want something a little more fashionable than Abrams’ baseball hat solution, “Hair waxes can give you a spiky look or give your curls and waves more definition that can hold up to wind,” says Lowe. The thicker the wax, the more control it provides.

Skin: For a rosy-cheek look that complements a windy day, use a tint or stain blush -- powders will likely wear off. These products can be tricky to apply, so try this tip from Wade: Take a pea-size amount of primer or moisturizer, add a couple of drops of tint, mix together and then apply it to the apples of your cheeks. This will give you wearability and durability.

Shampoo Secrets

Take a stroll down the hair care aisle at your local drugstore and you'll find dozens of shampoos for every type of hair. “Not all shampoos are alike -- there really is a big difference between products designed for different hair types, or to achieve different looks," explains leading hair care research scientist Steve Shiel, a Pantene hair care expert who holds a doctorate in organometallic chemistry."Shampoos contain different types and levels of active ingredients, designed to provide conditioning, detangling, volume and many other benefits to get healthy hair."

Don’t simply reach for the prettiest bottle. Instead, think about both what type of hair you have -- fine, coarse, curly, color treated -- and what you are trying to achieve with your overall style.          

Thin, Fine Hair
Styling product residue, dirt from the environment and excess hair oils can easily weigh down thin, fine hair, causing your locks to appear limp and lifeless. A daily volumizing shampoo can do wonders, leaving hair clean while providing a thicker, fuller appearance. The weekly use of a clarifying shampoo will help you avoid excessive product buildup.

Thick Tresses
Thick hair can easily become dry and dull, so a moisturizing shampoo is essential for maintaining beautiful tresses. Go easy on the amount of shampoo you use; the size of a quarter is a good guideline since thick hair is very porous and easily absorbs products. To eliminate the buildup that often accompanies this absorbent hair type, use a clarifying shampoo once a week that is designed to remove residue.          

Curly Hair
Managing curly hair can be a challenge, especially since it has a tendency to look dry and dull. The first step to taming your curls is a gentle hydrating shampoo specially formulated for curly hair.

Make sure you also use the right shampooing technique. Squeeze about a quarter-size dollop of shampoo into your palms, and gently massage your scalp, never using your fingernails. Then, work the shampoo to the ends and rinse with cold water.

Colored or Highlighted Hair
Shampoos specifically designed for color-treated hair work to replenish the protective lipid layer on the hair shaft that is weakened by hair dye. Dr. D'Anne Kleinsmith, a dermatologist in West Bloomfield, Mich., suggests staying away from shampoos containing sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is used to create lather. “These sulfates can remove color more quickly than a sulfate-free shampoo,” she says.

Instead, opt for a color-enhancing shampoo, which can impart a little color between treatments. Be cautious when selecting the shade of your color shampoo, warns Claudio Lazo, owner of C the Salon in Studio City, Calif. A red stain on blond hair can turn your hair pink, and blond pigments on brown locks may yield lackluster results.

Now that you know how to pick the shampoo that’s right for you, here’s advice on how to use it.

Shampooing Tips
If you start your day with a grueling spinning class, you may want to shampoo daily. If, however, extending the life of a labor-intensive blowout is your goal, you’ll want to opt for a less-frequent shampoo schedule. Just be sure to wash your hair before it gets too dirty, as particles of grime can damage your hair during combing.

You don’t need to worry about harming your hair with daily washing. "Shampooing will not in itself damage the hair, since modern shampoos do not lift the cuticle," explains John Gray, author of The World of Hair Colour. "Harsh shampoos were used in the past, and acute and irreversible tangling or matting sometimes followed shampooing. This kind of matting is seldom seen nowadays, since most modern shampoos contain conditioning agents that protect hair."

When you are ready to lather up, focus first on the scalp, hairline, behind the ears and around the temple, because that's where the concentration of your hair's sebum -- or oils -- can be found. Then continue shampooing downward to prevent the hair cuticles from opening, which can cause split ends. Kleinsmith recommends shampooing with warm water, as hot water can be drying. And never pull, tug or scrub wet hair. Instead, use your fingertips to distribute the shampoo.

One application of shampoo is generally enough to remove oil, dirt and residue from the hair fiber. However, Shiel suggests that those who use a lot of styling products -- particularly waxes and pomades -- may want to rinse and repeat to reduce buildup.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/LeggNet

5 Habits of Women With Gorgeous Shiny Hair

Have you ever turned green with envy when you spotted a woman with gorgeous gleaming hair? Most of us have. But rather than wishing those shiny tresses were yours, here’s a better idea. Learn the secrets of women with high-gloss hair, and you can amp up the luster of your own locks.

1. Women with shiny hair don’t play rough. To create silky shine, treat your hair like fine silk. Use only a wide-tooth comb to detangle wet hair. When you step out of the shower, blot -- don’t rub -- your hair with a towel. Cut down on brushing to avoid fraying strands. “Use the minimum number of brush strokes it takes to achieve or refresh your style,” says Jeni Thomas, a Pantene research scientist on hair and scalp health. Look for a brush that has seamless bristles. “These bristles won’t inflict damage the way bristles with rough surfaces can,” says Thomas.

2. Women with shiny hair use heat tools with care. Protect your hair from being damaged by the high heat of blow-dryers, curling irons and flat irons by coating towel-dried strands with a thermal-protectant product. Always use the nozzle attachment on your dryer. “The coils on dryers are so hot you can literally fry your hair if you place the dryer right against your hair,” says Giovanni Mele, artistic director and owner of Philadelphia’s Giovanni & Pileggi salon. “Without a nozzle, you’re delivering heat and air in all directions, and that can leave your hair frizzy rather than smooth and shiny.” If you’ve been using the same hot tools for the last decade, consider an upgrade. New technology, such as ceramic flat irons and ionic dryers, speeds styling time and reduces the static electricity that causes flyaways and dullness.

3. Women with shiny hair keep their tresses well-hydrated. Shine happens when light bounces off hair’s smooth reflective surface, which means you want your hair to be less like straw and more like ice. Moisturizing shampoos gently remove dirt and product buildup -- which can lead to dull, brittle hair -- and deposit feather-light oils and protein to boost luster. Look for ingredients like dimethicone and aloe vera; they smooth the cuticle and seal water inside the shaft.

4. Women with shiny hair are consistent about conditioning. You don’t need to shampoo your hair daily, but every time you wet it in the shower, applying a conditioner to the ends is essential to keep strands soft and smooth. Once or twice a week, apply a moisturizing mask, then don a shower cap and run a blower over your head for two or three minutes. “That heat helps the treatment ingredients penetrate the hair shaft,” says stylist Steve Lococo, co-owner of B2V Salon in West Hollywood. “That’s why salon treatments always include a few minutes under the dryer.”

5. Women with shiny hair choose styling products that add extra sparkle. Whether you like glossing drops, anti-frizz cream, hair spray, nourishing oil or volumizing mousse, you can find a shine-enhancing version of your favorite styling product. Just avoid your roots and be sure to use a very small amount of product. Instead of applying the styling product directly to your hair, try spraying or spreading a bit on your palms instead and then run them lightly over your hair, section by section.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/alenkasm