Owner, Stylist, #Hairgoals
Hair Extensions by Christopher Devin/
Dupont Circle, Washington DC
The Look: This greatly depends on
where you live and your current position in life. DC is conservative and
when I first arrived here from Toronto,
I think I cut newscaster bobs for the first year. The acceptance of
fashion here is now much better, thanks to the millennials, who
believe that their appearance does not affect performance and
forced employers to start bending the rules to accommodate this
group. California and New York are this country’s early adopters.
That means in DC we watch them and see what sticks. After a
year or so, we start to dip our toes in that pond, usually with a
swipe of a conservative paint brush first. We might do a sombré
rather than do a full on ombré, for example.
Clients whose lifestyles allow are taking advantage of the fantasy color and granny chic or silver trend. Those wanting highlights
are opting for the natural, low-maintenance, sun-kissed feeling of
balayage with an ombré progression.
Women have embraced length again falling from the jawline
to the lower back with a soft bottom edge, usually razor cut and
styled with a wand to create a soft, beachy look. Clients have become very aware of what is trending and how to achieve it through
social media and sometimes as a stylist, you are learning about
new techniques and trends through them. They also have access to
incredible tutorials and have really become proficient in recreating
their salon looks at home.
Color techniques and cutting/styling techniques and talent
have skyrocketed in the past eight years due to social media. We
can easily track trends around the world instantly and we now
have to hold our abilities to the best people and talent we find on
I only learned about balayage because of Instagram and that
flipped my coloring world upside down when I realized I wasn’t
offering it. Why do stylists put all their hard work and techniques
on Youtube for free? You Tube pays you, sometimes incredible money, if you fulfill three main components which are, length of time
viewed of your videos, amount of views and number of subscribers,
so it is a win for everyone.
Braiding has also skyrocketed and this old technique which as
basically reserved for girls 10 and younger has been reborn because
of the technique of pancaking, which is pulling the braid apart and
fattening it up. Stylists love this modern twist and started getting
really creative, creating art pieces that will confuse the eye like a
Celtic knot and will also really show off all the current coloring
techniques making a stylist’s work look like it should be featured
in the Smithsonian.
Get It: I have seen hundreds of techniques in Balayage, coloring,
shear and razor cutting and styling. As a stylist, you can create your
own individual or signature way of doing things. That is the best
part of creativity and experimentation. We have learned to adopt
every technique and tool we can find and use them all to create
whatever we can dream up.
Must-Have: My favorite all-time styling product is Texture Twist by
Pureology, which was discontinued after the L’Oréal buyout. I have
never found anything exactly like Texture Twist, everything else is
too thick, not enough hold, too much hold, too sticky, too hard
to distribute etc. and I have heard this from so many stylists and
clients. It needs to come back.
My favorite product to use are toners. Shades by Redken is amazing because of its ability to tone without lifting the hairs you want
left undisturbed. This really has had the biggest impact on modern
color because everyone uses bleach to lift now and you then need
a product to give you the tone you want, without lifting the dark
hair that needs to stay dark and without making those hairs brassy.
Ironically, this also is one of the oldest products around that is enjoying a rebirth as everyone realizes its amazing virtues.
What’s Next: Usually trends that seem to explode out of nowhere like the current fantasy colors die just as fast a death. I expect that to start to diminish. Balayage will continue to be strong
because hand painting gives the colorist full freedom to explore.
We are seeing an alarming rise of hair loss in women. I think
it is caused by a combination of things which all culminate in
higher toxicity in the body, less nutrition and higher stress and
anxiety levels. Solutions include hair extensions, which I specialize in, as well as hair additions and wigs for both medical
reasons and fashion. I believe adoption of fashion wigs will be
back for two reasons. One, to address the hair loss issues and
two, to save time getting ready, as well as to be more playful
with different looks. One day, women will have just as many
wigs in their closets as shoes and they will save time getting
ready while being playful and fashionable and be able to have
any look they want.
Help Wanted: What we need from manufacturers to make our
job easier is to do great research, put out great products that actually work and do what they say and truly stand by the salon.
Diversion and online sales are combining to move retailing
in the salon toward extinction. I have clients who ask me for my
product recommendations and then check their phones for the
best pricing while I am still doing their hair. I can’t blame them
either. If I can buy the same thing cheaper from someone else, why
would I not do that?
Manufacturers have to realize that we no longer need them for
education. We can find the best people to learn from on social media,
where peer education has exploded. So we need companies that will
offer really great quality lines that absolutely will not divert. As salons get fed up with the products they carry being found everywhere,
they are going to look for a true solution. There is a goldmine waiting
to be had by the manufacturers that figure this out.