High hopes of hippie hair

STYLE FILE

February 28, 1999|By A. M. Chaplin | A. M. Chaplin,Sun Staff

Hippie styles were a big thing on the spring runways -- and so was long, straight, parted-in-the-middle hippie hair. Style setters like Gwyneth Paltrow have picked up on the look, Christina Applegate wore it to the Golden Globes and Cher -- who pioneered the look a zillion years ago -- took it to the Super Bowl.

If you like the look but your hair is too short for it, fasten-on hair extensions are popular. Extensions that are woven onto your own hair, though, can present a problem. Salons that regularly do this procedure on Caucasian hair are rare in this area, and stylists warn that it can stress the roots of the hair you already have.

If your hair is long enough and not too layered for this style, but it's very curly, today's chemical straighteners are said to be less harsh than those of the past. But stylists talk more enthusiastically about styling products, the stuff you put on before and/or after blow-drying.

Forget gel; the big word now is pomade, say Susan Ebert, a stylist at Studio 1612, and Kenny Saenz, creative director at DK Salon & Co. Pomades are waxy, explains Saenz, and give hair the weight and smoothness necessary for the straight look. After blow-drying with a pomade, you might add another product to seal the cuticle of the hair for extra shine.

Vanessa West, senior stylist at Lola Jones Inc., puts Rusk's Str8 onto curly hair when it's wet, and then blow-dries it straight. She finishes off with a Sebastian Laminates spray. Cindy Imperatore, hair designer at Corbin at the Colonnade, uses La Biosthetique's Baum Capillaire and for extra shine Pilviform, a "dry oil" that you spray into your hand and smooth onto hair.

As for the blow-drying itself, West suggests dividing hair and drying it in sections of about 1 inch in width. Do the roots first and move to the ends. Big round brushes at least 3 inches in diameter are the most frequently recommended. Don't skimp on your brush; expect to spend $20-$30 for this crucial tool, says Saenz.

And, says Studio 1612's Ebert, don't get upset if this look just won't work for you: She sees curls coming on strong for next fall.

Rising in style

There used to be a theory that hemlines fluctuate in relationship to Wall Street's ups and downs. Does that theory apply to pants? And do I need to call my broker?

Pant hemlines, you see, have been on the rise. Capris were a surprise hit last year and look even stronger for this spring, in looser cuts than last year's.

But capris aren't the only pants rising to the occasion. J. Crew has come out with a style that has an inseam of 29 inches instead of Crew's usual 31 1/2 inches. It is intended to hit just above the ankle, and fits loosely in the leg.

It comes in stone or black, costs $58 and is available through the catalog (800-562-0258) or the Internet (jcrew.com). --A.M.C.

Slowing the march of time

Time wounds all heels, somebody has said, as their wrinkles grow, and their ability to attract the opposite sex wanes. But now heels, and even nice guys, can turn to skin treatments to keep their sex appeal up to snuff. Cellex-C Men's Kit, for example, which debuted recently, contains vitamin C, and is supposed to make skin look firmer and smoother.

I asked my dermatologist about this product, and he said it won't hurt you, and if you can afford it and like it, why not use it. That "afford it" part is crucial, since the Cellex-C Men's Kit has a suggested retail price of $130. If that's no deterrent, the direct order line is 800-235-5392. -- A.M.C.

Pub Date: 02/28/99

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