NEW YORK -- Forget skirt lengths. Hairdos, not hemlines, are getting longer. Hair stylists agree that it's time to grow out those boyish bobs that have been fashionable for the last two years.
That doesn't mean hair has to hang below the shoulders. It can still be on the short side, but it should be softer and fuller, with no hard edges. The watchword is feminine.
"No more geometric cuts," said Frederic Fekkai, whose eponymous beauty salon is ensconced at Bergdorf Goodman. "We're going into an era of softness. Hair should be very soft, with a lot of volume and movement." He achieves this by layering the hair, setting it on large rollers and then fluffing it up with the fingers. No teasing. No stiff sprays. And no combs.
Hair that brushes the shoulders can be given 1940s movie-star glamour with a side part and soft waves that dip over one eye.
La Coupe's stylized waves suggest the 1920s and '30s, with hair cut to earlobe or chin length. "Styled is the word," said Kim Lepine, design director of the salons on Madison Avenue and in Montreal. "Hair is neater but not hard and stiff."
A smoother interpretation with soft waves and turned-under ends a la Lauren Bacall was achieved by Joelle Dunrovich of the Bruno Pittini salon on Madison Avenue. "It's not a messy look," Pittini said. "Clothes are more classical, and hair is more classical. It's not a question of a new haircut but the way a woman wears the haircut. It's more smooth with a definite form."
To prove that one haircut can be worn in different ways, Joelle (who uses her first name professionally) transformed the Bacall style into a modified flip by brushing out the waves and turning up the ends slightly. Then she pulled the hair back into a sleek French knot.
Vidal Sassoon, the world's foremost proponent of geometric haircuts, also has a shaggy cut for fall. "It's the total opposite of the sleek geometric cut," said Joe Randazzo, artistic director of the new Sassoon shop on Fifth Avenue.
"It's a change in silhouette, with emphasis on the crown and short fringes around the face for softer outlines. It can be done with straight hair, with naturally curly hair or with a perm done loosely. The hair can be short or long, but it should be loose, soft and movable."
And that pretty much sums up the direction for hair.