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No more excuses for terrible tresses. No more bad hair days. Innovations in hairstyling now mean that a chronic bad-hair person can wake up in the morning with flat, short, dull hair, and go out the same night with a long, thick, colored-and-curled style - without damaging a strand of her own.

Former Hollywood-only styles are now available to anyone, thanks to the increasing affordability of such services as hair extensions and the introduction of new processes such as air-neutralized perms and oval rod perms.


More and more, people are coming to salons for add-ons. Hair extensions, once a Hollywood luxury, are quickly spreading to neighborhood salons. With the development of hair extensions, women with mousey, frizzy, balding or boring heads of hair are no longer doomed. Complete change is possible in a matter of hours.

How is it done? The perfect color is chosen to match the client's hair and then synthetic fibers are woven into it. A strand of the synthetic fiber is wrapped around a tiny braid and heated to seal the process. No damage to the real hair takes place.

Synthetic hair can be pre-curled to last through washings, if desired. And the extension need only be redone every 3 to 5 months. The hair-lengthening process takes about two hours. In Salt Lake, the average cost is about $80 per hour.


Air-neutralized perms, debuted by Airwave Systems this year, offer a patented perm that withstands same-day swimming, color treatments and shampooing. Applied with an airbrush, they combine compressed air and a special low-peroxide neutralizer. The client's hair suffers none of the shock of a traditional perm. And she receives the type of curls she wants, since they need not be wound on tiny rods. For more information, call Kenra Laboratories at 1-800-428-8073.


Another surprise from the perm market: oval rod perms, which "provide the option of having color and perms in the same visit," says Dennis Lubin, senior vice president of marketing for Matrix. "They can actually leave hair shinier and healthier looking than before the treatment." The Rovaler oval perm rod creates more natural and free-formed waves with long-lasting curls that flow in defined movements.


Great hair starts with a great cut. Each of your approximately 120,000 hair strands has its own growing pace, so to keep a groomed look, hair needs a trim about once a month.

Angela Raper, hair stylist at Universal Film Studios in Florida, suggests that hair not cover the eyebrows, since they expose personality. "Your eyebrows are one of the most expressive features of your face, and most people tend to hide them with hair," she says. Here are new styles for long, medium and short hair:


- Angel braid: For this exquisite variation on a French braid, use many thin sections, individually draping each before braiding.

- Zigzag: A small section from the front of the head is twined and then zigzagged across a long, sleek ponytail. Later, for a second look, release the twined section for a waterfall.

- Plumage: Arrange hair into a crown of curls with ends free, sticking out or curled in tendrils, with the back contrastingly long, loose and sleek.


- Romantic bob: To balance the businesswoman's look, wear soft, glossy curls on a neat, blunt-cut bob.

- Chunky hugger: For "head-shaking hair" that always falls into place, this cut frames the face with thick, chunky layers of hair.

- Vertical in-chipping: Softens the angular line of a bob.

- Wee trim: Updates the look of longer hair without altering the length. It's like nose-length bangs worn in a middle part away from the face.


- Cuddle la deux: A soft bi-level reminiscent of the late '70s and early '80s. Tousled to frame the face and nape of neck.

- French kiss: Cut in notched layers, or "kisses," this cut can be modified to show different textures - from softly teased to sculptured high-tech.

- The flirt: Cut with a razor and shears, diffused interior layering creates a breezy style with "sideburns" and a feathered nape.

The '90s are the decade of happy hair - simple, untormented, angelic hair. Gone are the alcohol-lacquered bouffed beehives of the '50s; gone are the iron-your-hair days of the '60s; gone are the overworking and ratting of the '70s; and gone are the peroxide punk styles and the out-to-there hair of the '80s. Never before has the hair fashion industry been so merciful.