conley6.gif (2529 bytes)


Medium movement
The 'Lob' hairstyle is in, along with softer more elegant colors


May 2015

Hair and makeup by Salon Visage Artistic Team
Photography by Jamie Carroll


If it seems like women’s hairstyles have become a bit tired over the past couple of years (think ombre coloring and those ubiquitous Kardashian curls), you’re in luck — hair is about to get a lot more interesting this spring season.

Whether it’s shedding long locks in favor of an edgy boy cut or opting for a happy medium with an asymmetrical "lob," it seems women are prepping for a hair revolution, says Frank Gambuzza, president of international hair dressing organization Intercoiffure and owner of the Salon Visage group in Knoxville, Tenn.

"People have had long hair for a long time now," Gambuzza says. "The shift was long and straight. Then it went into waves. And now it’s the magical word — ‘lob.’"

The long bob, or lob, as it’s been coined, has already taken Hollywood by storm and is now trickling into the mainstream. While it may seem the design is just another hairstyle rising above the trend horizon, Gambuzza says it’s an indication that women are becoming more assured in their look and style.

"This is the first time in 40 years I’ve seen medium lengths," he says. "Before, ‘medium’ was always the hairstyle you got when you didn’t know what you wanted to be. Now it’s the cut everybody wants," he says. "There’s a little bit of a movement going on right now."

Gambuzza points to the growing economy as the primary reason for why women are saying sayonara to their long tresses. People are getting more comfortable with change, he says.

"In 2008 and 2009, people tended to stay the course (with their current hairstyle) — and change was getting put to the side," Gambuzza explains. "You have bigger fish to fry when you’re trying to pay your mortgage. Now, we’re seeing clients more often. They’re getting more loose and casual."

That doesn’t mean long hairstyles are out, Gambuzza says. In fact, this season women can still expect to see long hair — but this time around, so-called "non-styles" are taking precedent. Soft, framing bangs, beach waves and other subtly textured, slightly messy styles are all the rage.

It’s another sign the economy is improving as clients invest in more products and tools to achieve high style.

Even with crop-tops and pixies, there’s a semblance of nonconformity in the air. Perhaps, that’s why the styles tend to be less structured or even nontraditional, such as shaved sides, slicked pageboys or simply au naturel.

When it comes to color, there is quite a range. While younger women have been trying out all the colors of the rainbow — from teals to pinks to lavenders — this spring, colors are taking on a softer, more elegant twist, says Belinda Gambuzza, co-owner and master colorist at Salon Visage and educational director color council at Intercoiffure.

"We’re seeing a lot of nude blondes, velvety blacks and apple-cider vinegar reds," Belinda says. "There’s been a lot of color, but I think people are still getting the courage to do it. These are less aggressive — they’re elegant colors in slow motion."

Unlike ombre’s stark contrast, Belinda says the trend verges on blended, "pure tones," a look that’s often achieved through balayage, a French coloring technique that "paints" the hair rather than puts it in place with foiling. "You achieve color without definition," she explains.

The look complements the natural craze taking place on runways and on the red carpet. Along with dewy, healthy skin tones, pure tones coincide with the Insta-glam, #IWokeUpLikeThis, look. Blame it on Beyoncé.

One of the biggest hair trends to take hold this season hasn’t to do with the hair atop one’s head at all. While eyelash extensions and false lashes will continue to bring boudoir looks into the boardroom, this spring is all about the eyebrow.

We can blame that one on 22-year-old English supermodel and bona fide eyebrow sensation Cara Delevingne.

People are sporting thicker, fuller and straighter brows like Delevingne. It’s a huge difference from the pencil-thin arches women sought 15 years ago.

"People have over-plucked for so long," Belinda says. "It’s something you don’t really think about, but (outdated brows) is like writing on your forehead. It ages you, so people really want to get away from that stamp."

To combat years of over-plucking, people are seeking services that include brow coloring and maintenance, growth treatments, and — in more extreme cases — lace brow wig applications and hair transplants.

"People are so afraid to make adjustments, but eyebrows make such a huge difference, and it’s a really inexpensive service to get done," says Belinda. "Fuller brows not only crown the eyes, but they also complement healthy skin tones to get a more youthful look."

The focus on eyes — lashes and brows included — is all part of the natural, iridescent trend, adds Belinda. Of course, it takes just as much effort to look "effortless."

Still, the new trends aren’t keeping people from switching up their look, the Gambuzzas say. "I think when the weather breaks you will see more people taking the plunge," Frank says. "People are going to say ‘I want to be unique.’"



This story ran in the May 2015 issue of: