Making Waves


When it comes to hair this season, locals are returning to their laid-back, West Coast roots, trading in polished, sleek hairstyles and bold color treatments for more natural, undone looks. Relaxed beachy waves, soft layers and loose curls are the styles to show off. Here, eight local hairstylists reveal how to wear summer’s hottest hair trends.

Perms—popular in the 1980s for producing small, crimped curls—are back in a big way. For a modern look, stick with a looser curl to get bigger and fuller waves. “It’s that Victoria’s Secret-looking hair,” says stylist Janette Carrera of Strands Salon and Spa in Davis. “It’s about creating sexy, bouncy curls.” Although the perming process hasn’t changed much in 20 years—chemicals break down the structure in each strand, which helps the hair reform around rods and allows the curl to stay until the hair starts to grow out—stylists are using larger curling rods and customizing chemical combinations for various hair types. Carrera says perms are ideal for women with thin or straight hair who want to get a permanent hold but also can work to control natural curls.

Forget reserving them for formal occasions—this season, up-dos are for everyday. But trendy bohemian chic up-dos throw this traditionally sleek and conservative look out the door, embracing a more tousled and textured mixture of French braids, miniature knots and looped strands. “Don’t worry if a hair is out of place—that’s kind of the look,” says Kim White, stylist at Salon San Severo in midtown. Flip your hair and spray it with a light-hold hairspray. Tease it to get a more textured look, which also keeps bobby pins in place, says White. “If you know how to braid, you can just play with it,” she says. “Anything goes; the messy look is in.” Another plus: You don’t have to worry about this ’do getting a bit undone when wearing it to a day-to-night affair.

The term featherhead has taken on a whole new meaning. Feathers from pheasants, roosters, ducks, peacocks and even emus are this season’s hottest hair accessories—even Steven Tyler sports them on “American Idol.” Just like a regular hair extension, each feather clips onto a couple of strands of hair or can be glued in to last up to three months. Keep it limited to one or two feathers, usually attached at the neckline on one side of the head, says Amber Kloss, Elk Grove stylist and color specialist at Taglio Salon & Spa. Colors range from neutral browns and champagne to bolder shades of blue, green, pink or red. “It can blend in with your highlights, with dark or light hair, or it really can pop,” enthuses Kloss. “It’s a fun way to show style.” Feathers cost anywhere from $15 to $50 each, depending on the feather type and the salon.

When it comes to hair color, locals have one thing on their minds: low maintenance. In this economy, people don’t have the time or the cash to retouch their color every four weeks, says Rafael Zamarripa, owner and stylist at ZaMa in East Sacramento. Play with the colors you already have by adding subtle enhancements with a matte finish. This helps the colors blend and look more natural, says Zamarripa. This summer, blondes and redheads are going a couple of shades darker with lowlights, and brunettes are adding warmer tones like copper and chestnut brown. “It’s really about customers keeping it natural . . . and salons keeping it real,” says Zamarripa. Steer clear of bleach blond or shiny colors that give off a synthetic look. At-home touch ups are a good temporary solution, Zamarripa adds, but he recommends letting a salon do the legwork in order to keep your tresses looking natural.

Believe it or not, the mullet—that early ’80s “business in the front, party in the back” fad—is back, but with a modern twist. “It’s almost a messy fohawk,” says Crystal Lopez, artistic director at Hoshall’s Salon & Spa in Carmichael. “Keep it short around the ears,” she advises, and messy on the top. “Let it grow out in the back and don’t do too much to it.” For more conservative types who might get pink slipped for showing up to work with this untamed mane, don’t revert to a buzz cut, Lopez says. Keep some length on top and in front and add texture with a medium-hold gel.


Jennifer Lopez’s hairstyle may add to her superstar looks, but in reality, it’s a simple cut that’s flattering on anyone, says Maye Ly, senior stylist at Salon Etcetera in El Dorado Hills. Short layers starting at the cheekbone are cut to have a naturally rounded shape that flows away from the face at the ends. “The layers are light and soft around the face,” Ly says, and that look becomes emphasized when the layers are curled. “It’s a soft, loose, sexy look you can wear straight or curly. It’s very easy to maintain.” Emily Maynard also sported this look as winner of this season’s “The Bachelor.” Maynard’s long, sweeping side bangs cut to the cheek complement the round layers well.

Last year, when claims surfaced that the popular Brazilian Blowout straightening treatment contained dangerous levels of formaldehyde that were making stylists sick (no official laws ban the treatment, although the state of California sued the company), Aveda salons began developing their own natural treatment. The Smooth Infusion Retexturizing System, which will be available this summer, uses 74 percent naturally derived ingredients and organic botanicals to permanently straighten the hair. “It’s being compared to the Japanese straightening system, but with three different levels—permanent straight, permanent relaxed or permanent calmed curl,” says Angela Yanez, master stylist at Mane Attraction in Rocklin. “It’s going to be natural and healthy for the hair.” The two-hour customizable thermal treatment involves mild thio-based cream products with no harsh odors. Prices start at $250.

Messy, flowing waves are all the rage this summer. “It’s done, but it’s undone,” says Jason Frizzell, stylist at Article Salon in Roseville. Getting this beachy look is almost as simple as relaxing all day on the sand—well, almost. Frizzell recommends running a tad of gritty-textured product through wet hair and finger combing it into a ponytail. “Sleep on it wet, and in the morning you wake up with waves,” he says. The product helps to hold the style, but leaves the waves looking natural and relaxed and adds an interesting layer of texture. If you’re ready to make a more permanent commitment to this look, ask your stylist for a freehanded cut, which gives your ends an uneven finish.          

WHO DOES YOUR HAIR? Curious about who local notables trust with their tresses? Here’s the skinny.

Ama Daetz, anchor, “FOX40 Live”
Stylist: Brett Davison, Face & Body Emporium, Sacramento
“Brett is a fantastic stylist! He knows exactly what my unruly hair needs, and he always has the scoop on the latest products.”

Pallas Hupé, main anchor, CBS 13

Stylist: Mark Mason, Michael Mason Salon, Sacramento
“My stylist is so personally invested in getting my hair ‘just right,’ he’ll even text me after shows to let me know what he likes. Believe me, my hair is a challenge. After many years of working with different stylists, who’ve tried all kinds of different looks and colors, I finally feel like Mark found a style that feels and looks natural. I no longer spend an hour with a flat iron to tame my curls!”

Lara Downes, concert pianist and artist in residence, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
Stylist: Sherry Ngai, Shapes for Hair, Sacramento; Pomegranate Salon, Davis
“When I’m on the road, I have to get hair done for performances anywhere that’s close to my hotel. But here at home, I see Sherry Ngai at Shapes for Hair in Sacramento for cuts, and Pomegranate Salon in Davis for styles when I have special performances at the Mondavi Center.”

Keba Arnold, morning anchor, News10
Stylist: Shawn Raiford, Profilez Salon, Sacramento
“Whether it’s a cut, color, relaxer—you name it, Shawn certainly knows his way around a salon. He knows how to book clients. No double booking. No overbooking. When it’s your turn, it’s truly your turn! Also, Shawn knows how to listen. He understands that you know your hair better than anyone else.”

Paulette Trainor, owner, Trainor & Associates Design, Sacramento
Stylist: Josey Hayes, Studio 28, Sacramento
“She does great hair color. She’s actually an expert in hair color and has trained other stylists. She really knows colors and style and can assess the style that would look great on you, and she has a great style of her own. And she’s fun to be around.”    

Tipping a hairstylist is just like tipping any other service provider: If you feel well taken care of, it’s a nice way to say thank you. “It’s 100 percent a bonus for us and it’s greatly appreciated,” says Kim White of midtown’s Salon San Severo. Anywhere from 10 to 20 percent is standard, but “it’s really about what you can afford,” says Rafael Zamarripa, owner and stylist at ZaMa in East Sac. If you feel like you’ve received extra pampering, lean toward the higher end of that range. Factors to consider: What services did you have done? How much time did your stylist spend with you? Was it an enjoyable experience?  If you do decide to tip, consider sticking to cash; often, a salon will subtract processing fees it incurs from running your card.