I just returned from one of the largest hair shows for the beauty industry, held in Orlando, Fla.
The biggest "wow" factor was the outlandish multicolored hair that a lot of people of all ages are rocking in bigger cities. We definitely don't see this so much in the Lowcountry.
Other than that, three of the most popular trends for hair are hair extensions, all versions of the bob haircut, and perms.
Yes, the '80s perms are back! They are a lot more versatile today and, truthfully, they are great for our sticky climate. Instead of fighting the wave, embrace it.
A perm is so easy to maintain. There are a multitude of air dry creams and curl creams available so you can apply, comb through and go! Whether beach, pool, gym, golf and work - really anywhere you go - you can be there without effort and look updated and stylish.
I know many of you have unpleasant memories of that nightmare perm you had when you were younger. So do I. Perms still require the same process and still smell like rotten eggs because of the sulfur bonds in the hair.
That won't change. However, the proper consultation, stylist and techniques can change your life.
Perms can be done on color-treated hair. Perms have been chemically improvised and improved to prevent damage They can add body to fine, limp hair that tends to get flatter in our damp climate.
Perms can make hair uniform and easy to wear even when it is wavy in spots and not so wavy in others. And perms can still be blown out and smoothed for a change in your look.
Most importantly, perms can take time and frustration out of your daily routine. No blowing out after gym or beach. Beach waves can be easy and embraced.
The popular cuts at the show were primarily versions of the bob. Again, permed, sleek, layered and everywhere in between. It all depends, of course, on the shape of the cut (upside-down triangle) and shape of the face.
It goes without saying that the stylist and client must be on the same page and the stylist must be skilled in giving the proper perm and cut. He or she must also give you instructions on care for both to make you happiest.
Hair extensions are the final option. However, I don't agree with the least expensive ways to add them - like taping. That can damage limp, fine hair. Unfortunately, the client that has limp, fine and sparse hair is the client most interested in extensions.
If you are that person, make the investment in extensions that make hair appear thicker or longer without damage. They are more labor-intensive and more natural looking with proper blending.
Or use the clip-in extensions or the hair halo, both of which are removed daily. You and your hair will be much happier in the long run.
If you're interested in any of these new trends, contact your favorite stylist.
Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton. www.styleitsalon.com