The good news is that it’s going to be hat weather for the next couple of months, so no matter how bad you think your hair looks, you can hide it for a while longer.

The even better news is that Spa Stylist Erica Engstrom of the Paul Labrecque Salon in New York, has some advice on what’s new for hair in 2016, how to achieve the new looks at-home and on a budget and tips on when it’s time to break up with your stylist.


Engstrom says “lived-in color” is the newest spawn of ombre and balayage.
But what does that mean?

“It is soft and there is no defined root. It doesn’t look different from day one to Day 60, and the only difference you will notice is less lift and more oil at the scalp when your highlights have grown out.”

Perfect for anyone not willing to make a serious commitment to color.

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If you’re tired of constantly touching up, you’ll be glad to know that hidden panels aka “underlights” are very on-trend too.

“They’re still very low maintenance, but can be as jazzy or soft as you’d like,” says  Engstrom, and “using a contrasting tone from your base creates an added pop, even when keeping the color on the more subtle side.”

This is a great idea for anyone who isn’t sure if they want a full head of highlights or just a few.

It’s also a nice way of building your color until you get the exact shades you like.

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By now we all know that there are 50 shades of gray, but it also seems as though there are a million shades of blonde. So what’s the blonde of the moment?

Engstrom says, “rose gold seems to be trending very hard right now, but it can be a difficult tone for some complexions. Remember it is more important to compliment your skin tone than to follow a color trend. When this happens, you’ll wear less makeup and feel a lot better.”

Hmm. So what if you’re not a good match for the of the moment color?








“The greatest way to amp up boring color is to add some tone on tone highlights or to get a gloss with more tone,” Engstrom said. “For example, if you are a red that is looking a little flat add some gold or copper; you will have a lot more shine.”


And finally, how do you politely ‘break up’ with your stylist if you’re not happy with them any longer?

“A stylist does not want someone who isn’t happy in their chair,” Engstrom said. “They will go above and beyond to make you happy, and if they aren’t … it might be time to move on.”

“Before you make the jump, consider booking a consultation appointment on a different day than your maintenance appointment. Bring pictures and ideas and let them know exactly what you want.”

“Sometimes depending on their day and how they are booked, stylists forget to ask their regulars questions about their hair and may then forget to offer new ideas,” he said.

Good to know. But what if they’ve botched your hair in the past?

Believe it or not, One incident of a messed up ‘do doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to break up. Engstrom advises returning to the salon and asking your stylist to “fix” it, which should be complementary within two weeks of the original appointment.

That said, “If they really messed up and your hair has been severely compromised — I would run,” Engstrom said. “Damaged hair can take years to get back into fighting shape and if they have mistreated it, they will most likely do it again.”

What about if you’re madly in love with the salon but not the stylist? “If you love the salon, but haven’t been happy with your actual stylist, consider doing consultations with other stylists in the salon as in interview and see if you get a better vibe. Sometimes people just grow apart.”

Some other signs it might be time to move on from your salon according to Engstrom:

1. The good vibe is gone: When you aren’t having fun or feeling relaxed, you might not be in the right place. You should be looking forward to going to the salon, not dreading it.

2. Sloppy salon: Neatness is a huge thing, and if you notice it slipping, mention it to the manager. If it continues to slip, it might be time to head out.  Taking pride in one’s workspace is important in ANY field, and you would never eat at a restaurant with a dirty kitchen.

3. Too much drama: An unhappy staff can suck the fun out of your appointment, as can hostility or chaos.  A well-run salon should not expose you to any of the drama that may be happening behind the scenes. A great stylist should be able to show up, give you great hair and a lovely experience, your appointment should never be tainted by the stuff that is going on in their heads/lives (family death, break up, debt…). So if you feel that there’s too much drama at the salon, it’s probably a good time to find a new one.

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Rachel C. Weingarten is a former celebrity makeup artist and noted style and trends expert. She’s also the author of 3 nonfiction books. The trade version of “Ancient Prayer: Channeling Your Faith 365 Days of the Year” was recently released.

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