After months of no hair appointments it might be tempting to go for a complete style overhaul when you finally sit down in the salon chair, after all, we’re all bored of looking at the same old hair day in day out (blame that for us cutting in our own fringes and going pink during lockdown ), but as much as you might want to lop off all your locks or embrace a new hue, stylists are advising otherwise.
“This is not the time to make a drastic change with your hair,” warns T3 ambassador Laura Polka who has worked with they-of fabulous manes Gigi Hadid and Rosie Huntington Whitely. “Avoid cuts such as fringes or blunt cuts as these require a lot of upkeep and an increase in salon visits.” While salons are opening their doors, if the waitlists for appointments are anything to go by, a follow-up appointment in six weeks times might be as hard to come by as that first one.
During lockdown Kate Middleton was lauded for always looking polished and put together, even though she didn’t have a royal stylist on hand. Granted, she doesn't have the most exciting hair in all the land, but she worked with the cut she has to reinvent her shoulder-length hair for every televised video call and appointment she had, switching from half up half down, a side-swept sweep and a good old versatile pony.
With this in mind, we’ll be asking for a low-maintenance style like Kate’s when we settle down for our first cut in three months. That’s not to say you have to settle with a style you’re not happy with just because it means less styling appointments.
“I believe people should still have a haircut they like which is most manageable for their hair type and best suits them and their lifestyle,” says London salon group Hari’s creative director Craig Taylor. “While hairdressers have been unavailable and salons fully booked my overriding view is that a haircut should not be a compromise. It should still suit you, why have one that doesn’t work for you or your hair types just for the sake of it lasting?”
“Specific haircuts would not be my approach for someone requiring low maintenance hair,” Craig continues. Instead Craig recommends getting well acquainted with your hair type in order to deem a haircut low maintenance or not. For example, a style that might be very low maintenance on one hair type could actually be nothing but trouble on a different hair type.
“Whether a haircut is deemed low maintenance is determined by what works for that hair type, what problems that hair type has and how the cut can best manage to control the hair,” Craig explains. For example, while you might love a feathered cut, if you have fine hair this will quickly lose the outline of the cut and not hold the style for long, growing out to be non-descript, while a feathered cut could have plenty of longevity for someone with thicker hair.
While Craig disputes the notion of low maintenance cuts, there are certainly high maintenance cuts to avoid if you can’t get a regular appointment secured in your diary.
Go for layers
Google has reported a 400 per cent rise in searches for long hairstyles suggesting everyone wants to work with the extra length they've achieved in lockdown, but long hair can be jazzed up with the addition of a few layers.
“Try to avoid strong cuts with sharp edges such as blunt bobs,” advises Sophie Springett, international artistic director for Toni and Guy. “Styles with lots of layers built in to suit you will be an easier look to maintain as it grows out.”
“If you have straight hair and a one-length haircut I’d have this softened with an invisible bottom layer which will get rid of the appearance of a blocked, dated cut,” says stylist Dom Seeley. “Loosening the harsh blunt line will make your haircut last longer and help keep its shape if you have a longer wait between appointments.”
Choose haircuts that work with your natural texture
To cut down on heat damage (because regular trims are harder to come by), opt for styles that make it easier for you to wear your hair in its natural texture or something that will reduce your styling time with heated tools.
If you have curls that sit between type 3A and 4C curl type Dom advises working with your curls to ensure longevity for your style. Curly hair types can become flat and triangular in shape so you should opt for more rounded shapes with added layering so that you get a fuller more voluminous shape.
“If you have thick straight hair it’s all about de-bulk and management,” Dom adds. “Don’t go too blunt or weighty. You want to reduce weight as this will help reduce density but also help you style and blowout your hair so it’s easier to maintain as you’re not working against all the hair. Using this method will ensure that your hair will remain easy between appointments and styling your hair won’t be a chore.”
Have a bob cut in
Not a razor-sharp bob like Victoria Beckham had back in the day, but a tousled boho take on the look. “With so many variations of the bob it can be cut at different lengths; as it grows out you can enjoy it at each stage,” says Jonathon Eagland. “When a formerly short bob reaches collar bone you have something entirely different that what you had cut in, but in a good way. Layering and adding texture to the shape will also help to reduce any weight which will help with longevity too.”
Use treatments and masks
As well as having a cut that offers longevity, indulging in treatments can extend the time between appointments. Masks and oils will feed and moisturise the hair, while the ends can be treated with split end treatments throughout the day if they’re getting dry and dehydrated. Check out our edit of the best hair masks and the hair oils we recommend for a starting point.
"Throughout lockdown clients have had a lot of time to look at themselves in the mirror and maybe they're ready to go for a style they've always dreamed of," says Jonathon. "There will be doubt be some huge changes and corrections from a hair perspective and I'm excited to talk them through their decisions."
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