A city’s streetscape has long since offered a reservoir of trends that trickle into the salon. Here’s how street styles have infiltrated hairstyling’s biggest moments and continue to set the pace for the hottest looks of the season.
London calling: Hairstyling in ’70s and ’80s London, England
At the end of the ‘70s and early ‘80s, London is yet again at the vanguard where a reactionary subculture is taking root. The mood is leftist, anarchic and counter-culture. Anti-fashion becomes the norm in clubs nestled in dilapidated factories: torn T-shirts and tattered, plaid stovepipe pants held together with safety pins. Hair is spiked perilously high with glue, egg whites and other concoctions, shaved into a Mohawk, dyed blue-black, recklessly lightened white hot or peppered with striking neon shades of blue, green or hot pink—hello, food colouring!
According to Anthony Mascolo, TIGI‘s international creative director and founder of the brand’s creative team, “Lots of major cities have amazing and inspirational street style, but of course I’m from London and it never stops inspiring me. Londoners have a real confidence in their fashion and style. It’s a great place to see trends but also for more radical individuals.” An internationally award-winning hairstylist, Mascolo is an industry icon who has been at the forefront of hairstying for more than 30 years.
Since the majority of the products that can achieve these looks didn’t exist yet on the market, necessity is the mother of invention, which in turn fuels these street kids‘ creativity. “Over the years though, product innovation has helped influence the street style, along with fashion. From messy looks to sleek finishes, it all comes down to the product,” says Mascolo.
Collective inspiration: How street trends influence collections
For Michael Polsinelli and Shay Dempsey, Sebastian Professional’s global artistic directors, creative inspiration for thier collections, including their most recent, Eclectic, have often begun by observing the looks on the streets. “There has been a revolution, definitely in the past few years,” says Dempsey, “Millenials are their own muses and we take a huge influence from what they are doing.” Noting the repurposing of different materials on the streets of different cities, Polsinelli and Dempsey incorporated the use of hair accessories such as strips of leather, into each of the hairstyles for the collection. In addition Polsinelli says that travelling to new locations and people keeps them on the lookout for emerging trends, because “life has changed so much since the ‘90s and it continues to change rapidly.”
The street conquers: Hair and street trends
After the explosion of punk, plenty of other youth quakes send aftershocks over the world with their unique mix of fashion codes, colours and defining hairstyles: rasta and hip hop (locks, dreadlocks, braids and mini ‘fros) gothic (violet-black, dramatic), Kawaii (which means “cute” in Japanese and mainly focuses on doll-like beauty) and now, more than ever, cosplay (dressing-up as superheroes and game characters, in which wigs play, obviously, a major role).
June Croken, a hairstylist and owner of Hairdresser on Fire inToronto, has always been inspired by the street “as it represents a borrow from the past and a contrasting element to create a fresh new breath of air.” For her, current hairstyling trends more than ever incorporate elements taken from the street: “Today’s special is as inclusive as it gets. One may dress up or dress down the tresses without a second guess. No longer are trends absolute. You can be natural and organic or slick and severe.” says Croken. Sign of the times: Kylie Jenner is killing it on Instagram with fresh new locks every day via ombré, rainbow tresses and wigs galore.
For Mascolo, the goal in modern hairdressing is to create a savvy blend of styles. “Street style is for the public and avant-garde is more for the hairdresser, so I really try to keep a balance between both.”
Fall preview: Athleisure, texture, fringe and hair colour trends
With the huge prevalence of athletic wear, often dubbed “athleisure,” everywhere, more women (and, yes, men too) want hair that encapsulates the fitness lifestyle by being more natural and undone.
“Absolutely!” echoes Joey Marchese, Essential Looks Artist for Schwarzkopf Professional and senior stylist at bob + paige salon inToronto. “The idea is that you’re coming back from the gym or your yoga class, so your hair is not too perfect or too shiny. For fall 2016, it’s all about matte and gritty-looking textures.”
According to Marchese, more aggressive, longer pieces of hair and a contrast between long and short will be components of these street-style looks. “There’s a little bit of the mullet coming back.”The idea here is that hair is super-easy and super-fast to style, and that clients are willing to play more with their natural texture.
According to Marchese, “Brightly coloured fringes are also going to be huge this fall, particularly with green and yellow tones for some brightness that contrasts with darker hair.The goal of this fringe is to have a section of your hair that is more “done,” blow-dried and very well cut, while the rest of the hair stays more natural.”
And in terms of anti-establishment colour trends, we’re moving away from greyish pastels towards greenish tones. “I’m seeing a lot more of these browns infused with greens on the street where our salon is located,” says Marchese.
Ready? Now it’s your turn to play the street angle!
Get the look: Hair products for street style hairstyles
Here are the latest styling products that will help you and your clients achieve that lived-in appeal.