Stylists often suggest we bring in a pic of the ‘do that we’re after. Here are the Top 10 most requested celeb hairstyles – but more importantly, how to ask for each look.
Nicole Richie’s Wispy Bob
New York prides itself on being stylish—and this look fits right into that vibe without being (horrors!) fashion victim-y. ‘Clients tend to bring in pictures of Nicole Richie when they want to go short and chic, but not overly trendy,’ says New York City hairstylist Oscar Blandi, who first gave Richie the cut back in 2006.
What to ask for: Eye-grazing short layers with longer ones just below the jaw line. ‘Emphasise that you want an angular bob, but with soft lines that will not elongate your face,’ Blandi suggests.
Rihanna’s Cropped Do
When it comes to asymmetrical, androgynous styles like Rihanna’s from 2008, says Kelly Gorsuch, hairstylist at Immortal Beloved in Washington, D.C., ‘It’s more about the overall vibe rather than a specific shape or technique,’ he says. ‘The only thing you need to pull it off is a healthy dose of confidence.’
What to ask for: The key feature here is the juxtaposition of pieces that are short underneath with ones that are longer on top. Ask your stylist to section off the longer pieces at the top, then cut the opposite side very short, all the way to the deep side part, ‘until there’s a strong disconnection between the two sections,’ says Gorsuch. ‘The hair can be swept to the side or worn up and back, which lends itself to a little more drama.’
Zooey Deschanel’s Wide, Blunt Bangs
Says Jenny Slay, senior hairstylist at Vain Salon. ‘Aside from being so cute, this style looks finished whether you let it air-dry or you blow it out.’
What to ask for: Tailor it to your face shape. ‘I’d narrow the width of the bangs if you’re worried about your face looking too round or too wide,’ adds Slay.
Michelle Williams’s Pixie
Girls are going gamine, according to celebrity stylist Chris McMillan, who says the style is popular because Williams, his long-time client, makes it looks so effortless. ‘She’s fashion-forward and has no problem going for it – people find that inspiring,’ says McMillan.
What to ask for: Show your stylist photos of the style from different angles so he can see the details of the sideburns, neck, and perimeter of the bangs. ‘The sideburns and edges should be softened, and the hair at the neckline should be short – it will elongate your neck,’ McMillan adds. Ask your stylist to keep the top layers in the front four or five inches long so you can muss up the hair for a more punk-rock look.
Drew Barrymore’s Textured Layers
Barrymore’s medium-long style ‘screams youth and versatility,’ says salon owner Joseph Cozza. It’s ideal for those with oval and heart-shaped faces and medium-fine hair with a little wave to it.
What to ask for: ‘The key feature is blended layers at the collarbone, with the shortest layers falling between the mouth and the cheekbones, so you can tuck it behind your ear,’ says Cozza.
Jennifer Aniston’s Shoulder-Grazing Shag
Laurentius Purnama of the Laurentius Salon in Philadelphia says Aniston’s all-American style is a big hit in his town – especially this shoulder-grazing shag. ‘My clients love that it’s relaxed but sophisticated at the same time,’ he says. It’s ideal for straight hair, but those with an especially fine texture should be wary of this style, as too many layers can thin out their hair.
What to ask for: The key to this look, says Purnama, is the ‘textured, contoured effect of the face-framing layers.’ He suggests avoiding razor cutting, which would make it too angular. Those pining for Aniston’s locks should also keep this in mind that ‘the length of this cut is very specific and requires a once-a-month trim to keep the ends fresh. On the other hand, it’s easy to grow out and has no awkward transition stages. Another reason to love it!’
Reese Witherspoon’s Fringe
‘We get a lot of requests for blondes,’ says Marisa Marino, hairstylist at Stilisti of Boston. ‘And Reese’s cut and colour complement each other, so she always pops up no matter what. Her bangs are the perfect length for her face shape, and they’re weighty without looking heavy.’ Those with corkscrew curls should avoid this, adds Marino, because the bangs would be nearly impossible to maintain.
What to ask for: ‘Make sure your stylist knows that you’re committed to the result, so he’s not gun-shy about cutting thicker bangs,’ says Marino. ‘I’ve seen stylists be too conservative and make the bangs too wispy and veil-like. Let them know they should go for it.’ Also ask your stylist how far back he plans to take the bangs section—if he goes too far back, you risk having pieces fall to the side rather than on your forehead.
Heidi Klum’s Soft Waves
Spencer Malay, hairstylist and owner of Spencer Malay Hair & Med Spa in Atlanta says that his clients are obsessed with Klum’s tousled waves. ‘It’s easy to maintain and always looks sexy. To style, all you have to do is take five or six thick sections of hair and wrap them around a curling iron or hot rollers, and finish with a light hair spray,’ he says.
What to ask for: ‘Mention that you want soft layers with a beachy texture and face-framing pieces,’ suggests Malay. Definitely avoid short layers – aim for the shortest piece to align with your chin.
Kim Kardashian’s Shiny Waves
Kourtney and Khloé took Miami, but Kim’s hair made the biggest impression. ‘My clients love her long, healthy waves and rich colour,’ says Pascal Bodin, hairstylist at Vidal Sasson in Miami. ‘They also want her hair’s shine, softness, and lack of frizz, which is definitely appealing to anyone dealing with Miami’s humidity!’
What to ask for: ‘It’s rare to find a natural texture that mimics Kim’s exactly, but you should ask your stylist to keep your hair long and slightly angled at the front. A slight graduation at the front is enough to accomplish this desired look since you want to keep the heaviness on the outside line, as well as in the layers to keep the lustre.’
Jennifer Lopez’s Long Layers
American Idol fans can attest to the fact that J.Lo is adventurous when it comes to her hair – she’s constantly morphing from ponytails to chignons, and from wavy to stick-straight looks. ‘People are drawn to her hair because it’s not overly layered and it’s long enough that you can wear it so many different ways,’ says Katrina Malota, hairstylist at Luigi Bruni Salon in Detroit.
What to ask for: ‘The bangs situation is the most crucial thing about this cut – it’s where the layers start,’ says Malota. ‘As a rule of thumb, women with curly hair should start below the nose and down, depending on the length of the hair.’ Women with straight hair can start above the nose to add a little volume. Stagger the layers so they’re not so connected and not evenly matched—the back crown area needs to stay long, or you’ll risk a mushroom effect.
It’s a good idea to take several pics of the look you’re inspired by, preferably from different angles so your stylist can get a good look. And remember that your hair is your hair and might not do exactly what you want, so know your hair and what it’s capable of doing – or not doing!
Written by Julie Giusti, this article originally appeared in Allure
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