For Vidal Sassoon, the best hair accessory is a good pair of scissors.
Well, maybe. But there are less drastic ways to beat the summer heat and the frizzies.Some of the best use accessories that pull your hair off your face, sweep it up or secure it in a ponytail.
"If you have your hair high up off of your head, it really helps you deal with the heat," says David Cohen, president and designer for David, a hair accessories and hat company in New York. "You can make a statement and have a little added allure."
Prices for hair accessories range from a couple of dollars at discount stores into the hundreds at chic boutiques. Chanel's double-C logo on a black satin barrette, for example, is $320. But most pony wraps, clips and headbands are in the $5 to $35 category.
Cohen and Ann Vuille, owner-designer of an accessories and hat company in Norwalk, Conn., advocate pony wraps. His are in linen and soft straw, hers in cotton gingham and terry cloth which she describes as "little-nothing ornaments that make a cheap and chic fashion statement, especially on the beach."
Another favorite of Vuille is jaw clips, which are far more friendly than their name implies and a lot more secure than bobby pins.
"We're using a lot of baby-sized jaw clips, teeny-weeny clamps with a metal spring and teeth on the inside that squeeze open and grip your hair," she says. "Unless you hit the big kahuna, it should stay in place."
Vuille says her best-selling jaw clips are covered with cotton daisies.
"It's the whole feeling of a perfect, petite detail - one small bit of bright color with a daisy on the end," she says.
Brights are only part of the story.
Ellin Saltzman, vice president and fashion director for the Limited in New York, says fake tortoise shell is selling.
"I think brown is important for spring and summer, and it works with bright colors and pastels just as white does," Saltzman says. "It looks great with a tan."
Lucille McLean, who heads the hair accessory division at Riviera Trading Corp. in New York, says the tortoise look "is the hottest thing in the market from the very, very high-priced to moderate." She also says suede and fake skins, from lizard to leopard, are doing well.
Status ornaments for garden parties and other important soirees come from Ferragamo and Chanel. Ferragamo grosgrain headbands and barrettes come in pastels with bows secured by a gold-tone signature clip. Chanel's gold-tone barrettes are engraved with the Chanel or Coco name.
However you secure your locks, don't forget that summer sun can damage hair as well as skin. So when you buy sunscreen lotion, pick up some leave-in conditioner for the hair.
Oscar Blandi, creative director in New York of Senscience International, a hair care division of Shiseido, suggests spraying on a conditioner and combing it through the hair before settling back in a beach chair.
While most of us are well-informed about chlorine's hazards to the hair, few consider ill effects from the ocean.
"Salt can cause big damage," he says, "especially to hair that's been colored."