On-Trend Hairstyles for Guys and Gals Fall/Winter 2011-12

Feeling 'meh' about your drab hairdo? Transform your look with one of these trendy hairstyles.

Credit: Erynn Lavallee

What hairstyles are in now and why this writer (who’s had the same hair for five years) went for an ombré

My hair has been the same for years. I found a classic look that consists of dark, strategically trimmed, long, flowing tresses. I’ve stuck with this classic, single-tone ‘do through thick, thin (not literally) and well into boring.

Yes, my hair bored me. I looked at the changing leaves on the fall trees and I knew I was missing out. Everyone else was switching things up; I was stagnant. So I visited senior stylist Erynn Lavallee at Bangtown and said, “Help.”


How to pick a salon and stylist

Hairstyles 2011

From left: The writer with her boring hair, pre-ombré. Bangtown senior stylist Erynn Lavallee. (Image: Erynn Lavallee, Taraneh Ghajar Jerven)

The first rule of picking a salon is to find a place where you feel comfortable—you could be there for a while. Bangtown, situated on the border between downtown and Gastown, is like the cozy living room you wish you had, where they serve cream ale or coffee. You make the call.

When selecting a stylist, it’s important to make sure s/he is much cooler than you are so that when you say, “Hey Erynn, what’s new and rad?,” she can wow you with a range of on-trend options.

You should also make sure s/he is a good listener, so that when you hear what’s trendy and say, “I can only handle so much trendiness,” he/she can temper the look to your needs. Erynn Lavallee, who’s been a pro hair artisan for 13 years, is both.


Hairstyles for men

Hairstyles 2011

From left: The female pompadour in full swing and a mens’ fade by Erynn Lavallee, Bangtown. (Image: Erynn Lavallee)
According to Lavallee, who has an equal following of male and female clients, think about what’s in vogue for hair the same way you ponder what’s in vogue for clothing. “Fashion right now is really open-ended,” she says, “you constantly see a lot of range in the seasonal trends.”

For the fellows, Lavallee’s been flooded with requests for classic looks. “What’s really on point for men is this incredibly dapper look, close to barbering. There are many types of fades, but generally that look means short, clean sides with the ability to tousle it on top,” she says. Lavallee also notes that the mega-hip kids are going for the voluminous pompadour, which is a very Brandon Walsh a la Beverly Hills, 90210.

Hairstyles for women

Hairstyles 2011

Steppy, punk ombré, long-hair ombré. (Image: Erynn Lavallee)

Lavallee highlighted a few key looks for women this fall. The female pompadour is an in-demand look that you can wear with androgynous clothing for a strong statement, or pair with ultra-femme clothing for contrast appeal.

Lavallee, who’s also a colour expert, is helping many women, from 20-somethings to 40-somethings, achieve cool, silvery-blonde tones. Salon owner Joanna Skabar walks by with an enviable blonde Edie Sedgwick cut. And last but certainly not least, Lavallee says the ombré is the pick of the moment.


Why I got an ombré

Hairstyles 2011

The writer with a melted, natural ombré. (Image: Erynn Lavallee)

At first, I was cautious; fearful even. But an ombré, done properly (don’t try this at home, kids), is a thing of beauty. Ombré means “having colors or tones that shade into each other in which the color is graduated from light to dark.” With an ombré, your hair is one big root, with dark colour at your scalp that gets lighter as you move to the tips.

The trend began in 2009, with starlets like Drew Barrymore, Rachel Bilson, Alexa Chung and Erin Wasson embracing the look. The early iterations of the ombré had a harsh, punky contrast between brown roots and blonde tips. But the latest ombré in 2011 (ombré 2.0), is a gorgeous, gradual transition from dark to light. This is what I went for.

“We won’t give you a steppy ombré,” Lavallee promises when I explain my total fear of change. “The melty, natural ombré is good for women who are into fashion and have waves in their hair.”

She knows me well, I think, leaning back in the retro chair and submitting to my fate.

Lavallee painted on the lightener, promising my monochrome dark brown mane would transform into, “A sexy beach look” with inky roots mellowing into “Melty auburn and copper.”

Erdem for The Room

The author is a phoenix reveling in her new ombré. (Image: Erynn Lavallee)

Two cream ales and a few anticipation-filled hours later and I was not disappointed. True to her word my monochrome hair had transformed like a phoenix into a subtle, living mass of espresso-brown gliding into brilliant copper tones.

I’d write more descriptive praise but I’m too busy looking in the mirror. The best thing about an ombré? It’s already is one big root, so I won’t have to go in for touch ups.

Which current fashionable hairstyles (for men and women) fit your look?