by Krista Bennett DeMaio
It’s that time of year again. We’re finally shaking off the winter blahs and ready to hit the refresh button—and hair is the easiest place to start. There’s no quicker, faster way to get a spring pick-me-up than a trip to the salon. Whether you’re looking for a whole new ‘do, or just a subtle tweak, we’ve rounded up 12 super-flattering, skin-brightening ways to spring forward this season.
Also known as peek-a-boo highlights, hidden highlights are on the under-layer of hair, so when you move you get these beautiful flashes of color, says Rhys. They’re lower maintenance, too. Because they’re placed underneath the top layer of hair, you don’t see an obvious line of demarcation as they grow out.
Get it: Ask your colorist to place the highlights underneath your part. Rhys says the highlight trend tends to be more visible on hair with longer layers, which makes for more movement. Your colorist can adjust the shade and amount of highlights based on whether you want the effect to be natural or bold.
The choppy lob
The lob—that is, the long bob—has been a staple for a few seasons now, and it’s still going strong. The latest take on the versatile collar-bone-length cut adds choppy layers throughout like Rose Byrne’s playful style. “The flicks and curves give this cut a modern twist,” says Jet Rhys, founder of the Jet Rhys Salon in San Diego. The not-too-short cropped cut works on most face shapes, and it’s especially flattering on your neckline, because it elongates the neck, says Rhys.
Get it: Ask your stylist for a lob with movement and swing, says Rhys. A razor cut is the best way to create it, she adds. Make sure to get a lesson on how to style your new cut. The layers lend themselves to a more tousled look, which you can get with a curling iron if you don’t have naturally wavy hair.
The shoulder-hugging long, layered cut
Jennifer Aniston proves long-ish hair is a good look for women over the age of 40. Her signature style—a mid-length cut with long layers—is a big trend this season. It’s not short, but not too long either, says Rhys. The layers (the shortest ones should hit below the jawline) ensure this length has movement and doesn’t just hang lifeless.
Get it: Request a length that sits on or just below the shoulder. Ask your stylist to point-cut the outer edge, a technique that involves snipping into the ends with scissors held vertically to create texture, softness, and swing, Rhys says.
When you’re just not sure if you want to go light or dark, meet in the middle with bronde hair like Jennifer Lopez. Like the name suggests, this color is a perfect marriage between brunette and blonde tones. Besides getting the best of both worlds, the high contrast hair looks shinier and tends to fade less quickly than other hair hues, says Rhys.
Get it: Your stylist can tweak your bronde based on your skin tone. Warm skin tones can pull off amber or honey brondes, while cool complexions can try an ashier version.
Soft, light reds (like Jessica Chastain’s strawberry blonde) are coming on strong this season, says Rhys. The golden red shades help warm up a pale complexion and boost light reflection.
Get it: Strawberry, rose gold, or ginger—have your colorist tweak the tone of your red to work with your complexion, says Rhys.
This blonde hue gets its name from the perfection that is a fair-haired child’s color: multi-tonal, usually a combination of dark blonde and light tones. It’s neither super light nor brassy—the color is buttery and honey-toned like Reese Witherspoon’s light locks.
Get it: Start with a medium-to-dark blonde base and ask your colorist to add fine, light highlights throughout with foils or balayage, a technique that involves hand-painting highlights throughout. Bonus: The grow out looks natural, so there’s less maintenance involved.
The blunt lob
The one-length long bob with blunt cut ends is stunning whether styled pin-straight or with brushed waves (like Kelly Ripa wears it here), says Devin Toth, a stylist at SCK Salon in New York City. It’s especially good for someone who can handle a center part—the of-the-moment way to wear it. “You can always tuck one side behind your ear,” he says.
Get it: Ask for a one-length cut that hits between jaw and collarbone length without layers, graduation, or bangs, says Toth. The cut should be slightly shorter in the back. Style it straight and sleek or, ask your stylist to show you how to use a curling wand for a slight curve at the front hairline as in Ripa’s hair here.
The soft shag
The 70s-inspired shag is back with a few modern updates—this version is softer and more wearable than the edgy, choppy versions of the past. It works for all hair types and gives even straight strands instant texture. Bonus: “It completely opens up your face and draws attention to the jawline,” says Toth.
Get it: Tell your stylist that you want a collarbone-length shag with soft, blended layers throughout, paired with the very on-trend curtain bang—a middle-parted fringe like Mandy Moore wears here.
The pixie cut
If you’re ready for a major chop, consider Michelle William’s sleek short cut. The deep side part makes this daring ‘do a bit more flattering, accentuating eyes and cheekbones.
Get it: Ask your stylist to keep the hair on top long, so you can swoop it over to one side. On the sides, hair should be short enough that you can’t tuck it behind your ear, but not as short as a men’s fade, which shows some skin, says Toth.
Bright blonde is also having a moment this season, says Corinne Adams, senior colorist at Serge Normant Salon in New York City. Cate Blanchett’s super-blonde strands are a prime example of this color trend. The shade tends to work best on those with fair skin and pink undertones.
Get it: Ask your colorist for a solid, flaxen blonde with little to no contrast, says Adams.
On the other end of the red spectrum is a rich, coppery red like Julianne Moore’s signature hue—a shade that makes fair skin glow, says Adams.
Get it: This red is ideal for natural redheads who want to go richer or light brunettes seeking to add warmth to their natural shade, says Adams.
The bowl cut
Perhaps the edgiest of the bunch, the 90s-inspired geometric cut is for those wanting to make a bold statement—and for someone who can handle a heavy, blunt bang, like Mary J. Blige. The style is ideal on someone with a heart or oval face shape.
Get it: Ask your stylist for a bowl cut that is precise and clean. You can also request that the ends be cut a little rough and choppy, which gives the shape a softer, shaggier look.