Hair Color Trends We’re Loving Right Now

If you’ve been contemplating to change your color this year, now’s the time to be bold and do it. With spring just around the corner, it’s time for a gorgeous renewal. To help you get started, we asked celebrity colorists to share the big color trends 2014. We love what they said!

1. It’s the year of the platinum blonde.

“I have dark brunette editors at Vogue and Marie Claire asking for platinum,” says colorist David Todd of the David Frank Salon in Scottsdale, Ariz. The runways were also packed with former dark-haired beauties now showing off that lightest of all blonde shades. Celebrities like Elle Fanning, Miley Cyrus and even Kim Kardashian are all going light blonde, and “it’s happening in every hair salon across America,” says Todd.

2. Monochromatic color is the new power shade.

Todd calls this “power color”: It's hair color like you mean it -- no in-between shades or wishy-washy tones, he says. Whether the color is red, blonde or brunette, it's solid and strong with no obvious highlights. Blondes are bright and light, brunettes are deep and rich, and reds are vibrant.

3. Pastels are passé.

“The color trend I'm seeing less and less of and I predict will be out in 2014 is pink, blue and other rainbow colors on adult women,” says Todd. “These hair dyes have very large color molecules which wash out very quickly and look like a faded mess after just a couple of shampoos.” Which is OK for 13-year-olds, but at our age? Not so much.

4. Ombré gets an update.

“Modern ombré is about having depth at the roots that fade into lighter tips,” says Todd, “with subtle gradations and a soft haze between shades.” Frank Galasso, a Hollywood colorist who tends to the tresses of Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Wilde, Vanessa Williams and Sharon Stone, adds that ombré is a great, low-maintenance way to go lighter.

“Your natural color will still frame your face so you can experience a lighter look without it being too drastic,” says Galasso. “I always recommend highlights about three shades lighter than natural. It gives the hair a shiny glow.”

SEE ALSO: A Beauty Editor’s Hair Resolutions for 2014

Hair Color Makeover: DIY or See a Pro?

If you’re going just a shade or two lighter or darker than your natural color, you can achieve great results with today’s nearly foolproof at-home color products. (For more dramatic makeovers, see a pro -- you’ll want to leave the complicated process of going from, say, brunette to platinum to the experts.) Plus, many color lines have websites that are loaded with advice and can also connect you to pros through on-line chats to give you tips on application and choosing the color that’s right for you.

Go into a color tweak with an open mind, Todd suggests. “Start with some feedback about what’s working and what’s not,” he says. “Often we don’t see ourselves objectively and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. For a minute, forget about your ideas about what color is best for you and get some professional suggestions.” And scrape the notion that you need to keep your hair on the dark side during the winter. “Contrary to popular belief,” says Todd, “winter is a great time to go slightly lighter. The skin gets lighter so a bit less color in the hair works well. Save the low lights for summer when you’ve had a bit of sun.”

SEE ALSO: How to Talk to Your Hairdresser

Maintain Your Hair Color and Shine

Once you’ve achieved your gorgeous hue, you can maintain it with a little bit of TLC. “The foundation for any hair care routine is a good shampoo and conditioner especially formulated for color-treated hair,” says New York celebrity colorist Kyle White, whose roster includes A-listers like Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron, Jessica Alba and Naomi Watts. Products like a color preserve shampoo give your hair a protective outer layer that helps keep the color from fading and also adds moisture and shine.

You’ll also want to be sure to use a product like a heat protection and shine spray whenever you use a hot styling tool. “The same way colored clothing tends to fade when placed in a dryer,” White says, “flat irons and other high-heat styling tools can fade color and dull shine.”

SEE ALSO: Simple Steps for Healthy Skin and Hair

6 Solutions for Stress-free Hair

When it comes to our hair, we’d all like to be efficiency experts, banishing bad hair days in a flash. Now you can: The best way to keep your hair looking its best in any situation is to think like a pro and prepare. With a few simple styling techniques and some helpful tools and accessories, you’ll be able to solve the most hair-raising dilemmas almost instantly. Here’s how:

1. Need a polished look fast? Build up your accessories wardrobe. With just a small selection of headbands, decorative hairpins and combs, you can add polish to pixie cuts; bobs; long, loose waves; ponytails; and buns. Try this season’s new looks in headbands: narrow and sparkly thin bands, or stretchy head wraps in festive colors. Find them at specialty stores, at drugstores or on accessory counters at J.Crew, Barneys New York and Banana Republic.

2. Locks gone limp? If you find that your fine hair goes flat fast, tweak your products and styling habits. Pantene scientists discovered that fine hair has up to 50 percent less internal protein than thick hair. As a result, fine hair resists holding many styles. To keep your fine tresses healthy and full, select products that are formulated to support your hair’s delicate texture. Don’t skip conditioner, but avoid the crown of your head when you apply. Add volume and lift by blow-drying roots with a medium or large round brush.

3. Want unfussy curls? You can set soft waves while you sleep, says veteran hairstylist Allen Edwards of Woodland Hills, Calif. He suggests pinning not-quite-dry hair into small buns or coils. Using 3- to 4-inch bobby pins, secure half a dozen sections of twisted hair into coils high on your head. For a firmer hold, pretreat strands with a thickening spray, styling cream, mousse or gel.

4. So your favorite look isn’t working anymore? It may be time for a hair care audit, says Kristoff Ball, a Beverly Hills stylist who works with Gwen Stefani and Paris Hilton. Hair care products and tools are constantly evolving. Year after year, your hair also goes through subtle but steady changes in texture, curl and strength. The combination can mean your usual routines and products lose effectiveness. Have a detailed discussion with your stylist about whether it’s time for a new look, a product switch or an update in your heat-styling tools.

5. Want to go from workout to work? Keeping your scalp and hair free of oils and perspiration is the key to reviving your ’do. That’s why Ball keeps aerosol dry shampoo in his mobile kit. His technique: Turn your head upside down, spritz your roots from arm’s length, and shake your head to toss out any excess powder. Then, use a vented brush to redirect hair where you want it. The same method also helps extend a blowout.

6. Need a fast, fun style? Do a topknot, says Tony Chavez, a Beverly Hills stylist. “Topknots are flattering to nearly everyone because they show off your face and make you look taller,” he says. Here’s the easiest way to get the look. Bend your head over, brush and gather up your hair into a ponytail at your crown and twist a large elastic band around the pony once. As you twist the band a second time, pull the ponytail halfway through so the ends are secured in the elastic band, forming a loop. For a looser topknot, just pull a few strands out of the elastic.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/Yunaco

Simple Steps to Beautiful Holiday Hair

Next to the LBD (little black dress), a glamorous hairdo is the most essential element of your holiday look. Don’t fret: mastering a polished party ’do doesn’t require a trip to the salon or a lot of practice.

Here are simple steps to three gorgeous holiday hairstyles from Janine Jarman, a onetime competitor on the reality show “Shear Genius” and owner of the Hairroin Salon in Hollywood. Trust Jarman to infuse your party look with sexy polish: She’s styled the hair of The Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears, Christina Applegate and Carmen Electra.

Easy as these looks are to achieve, they do involve lots of teasing and hot tools, so you’ll want to make sure you treat your hair to a deep-conditioning treatment once a week, as well as a rinse-out conditioner each time you shampoo. And be sure to apply a heat-protection spray whenever you use a blow-dryer, flat iron or curling iron.

Look No. 1: Messy Bun
1. Starting with clean -- or better yet, day-old -- hair, section your tresses with alligator clips. Using a three-barrel waver, take 1-inch sections of your hair and -- beginning at the roots -- press the hair into the waver. Hold for three full seconds. Overlapping slightly so you don’t leave gaps, work your way down to your ends.


If you don’t have a waver, wash your hair the night before. Towel-dry, apply a texturizing styling product, twist into a loose braid and sleep on the braid overnight. When you undo your hair the next day, rake your fingers gently through the curls.

2. Apply a workable hair spray to your hair, running your fingers through the waves to reach the layers underneath.

3. Pull your hair softly to the nape of your neck. Secure with a ponytail hook or a Bobby Band (a combination of a bobby pin and an elastic).

4. Twist the low ponytail to the right, coiling it softy around the Bobby Band or hook. Secure with hairpins.

5. Go through the bun and pull it slightly apart with your fingers. “Some hairs will come loose, and that’s fine,” says Jarman. “You don’t want the look to be tight and contrived.”

6. Mist lightly with your working hair spray.

Look No. 2: The Chignon
This style, which is a knotted variation of the bun, can be worn to the side, at the nape or higher up on the back of your head. “It’s great for every face shape, whether or not you have a fringe,” says Jarman.

1. Blow-dry your hair, using a volumizing mousse to add lots of body.

2. Parting your hair in the center, on the side or sweeping it straight back, gather it into a low ponytail. Secure with an elastic.

3. Split your ponytail into two sections. Tie each section into as many chain knots (like a shoelace) as your hair permits. Pin the knots into the base of the pony with bobby pins. If your hair is too short to knot, simply twist and pin around the hub of the pony, or attach a ponytail hair extension. Don’t worry if some hair sprouts from the knots or twists; it’s part of the sexy undone look.

4. Spritz with light-hold hair spray.

Look No. 3: Loose and Adorned
1. Set your hair with hot rollers. To add extra volume, backcomb your hair before putting it into rollers.

2. Remove rollers when they’re completely cool (about 15 to 20 minutes). Brush your hair with a soft brush so the curls connect, creating one soft, voluminous look.

3. Place a decorative headband -- bejeweled, metallic or feathered -- about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch away from your hairline. If you choose very thin headbands, you can wear two or three in contrasting colors. Gently nudge the headband forward a smidgen to create a little volume in the front of the band.

4. Finish with a light mist of working hair spray.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Put an End to Split Ends

Whether you’re wearing your hair loose and tousled, sleek and smooth or in an updo, nothing ruins the look of your hairstyle like split ends. It’s the equivalent of donning a gorgeous designer dress with a hem that’s unraveling.

The Science of Split Ends
Split ends are the result of hair that’s been pushed -- literally -- to its breaking point. Hot styling tools, excessive friction, chemical processes like coloring or straightening, all weaken the protective cuticle that surrounds the delicate hair fiber. When enough stress is put on the cuticle, it loses its grip on the inner fiber and the ends fray into two or more strands.

If you have thick hair, you’re especially likely to suffer those roughed-up ends. That’s because, as researchers have discovered, the structure of thick hair is less flexible than fine hair, making it more vulnerable to breakage. What’s more, medium and thick hair fibers also rub up against each other more often than fine fibers, and this friction can cause the cuticle to chip.

Want to keep your ends intact? Just follow these five rules.  

1. Limit highlighting to only three or four times a year, says Kazumi Morton, a Beverly Hills colorist whose celebrity clients include Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. “Because highlighting is done with bleach, it weakens the hair cuticle and makes it more porous,” Morton says. (Regular color doesn’t create this type of damage.)

2. Use hot tools with care. “Your hair is technically dead and doesn’t have nerve endings,” says Morton, “so you’re not aware of how you’re burning it by overuse of curling irons and flat irons.” Don’t let the temperature of your flat iron go above 350 degrees if your hair is thick, or over 300 degrees if it’s fine. Keep your curling iron on a medium setting. When you blow-dry your hair, first rough dry it without a brush -- holding the dryer a few inches above your head -- until it’s 80 or 90 percent dry. Then, with the nozzle attached, keep the dryer moving through your hair in a downward direction, so you’re not applying direct heat to any one area for more than a second or two.

3. Handle wet hair gently. Hair swells when it’s wet, becoming fragile and vulnerable to damage. Brushes can snag your hair, shredding the ends. The best way to detangle knots after you’ve shampooed and conditioned your hair is to use a wide-tooth comb or pick, moving it slowly through your hair.

4. Strengthen your hair’s natural defenses with a fortifying leave-in conditioner.  Pantene’s Split End Repair Keratin Protection Crème helps seal ends that are already fraying, protects against heat damage and boosts hair’s keratin structure to prevent future split ends. Two other split-end smoothers: Pureology’s Essential Repair Split End Correcting Treatment and Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Pure Treatment Oil.

5. Get regular trims. Chopping off just a quarter- or half-inch every two or three months will prevent already frazzled ends from splitting up the hair shaft. Plus, it will create the smooth, sharp lines that show off your cut and color to its most dazzling advantage.