These suite renter’s top tips help you translate the trends for real-life clients.

Buzz cuts and hoards of hair extensions look cool on the runways but how can you interpret the best spring trends for the clients in your suite? Choose the ones that play to your expertise and apply them for individuality.

Customized Dimension

Marco Pelusi takes the “defined pieces” trend and uses it blend gray.

Celebrity colorist and rental studio owner Marco Pelusi, Marco Pelusi Hair Studio, West Hollywood, CA, says that for spring, highlights and lowlights are becoming more defined and ombré is evolving. However, this doesn’t mean “chunky” color because most clients like it natural, he cautions.

“Using defined dimension is a great way to blend gray,” says Pelusi. “Ombré is not good for clients who have a relatively strong percentage of gray; they need highlights at the scalp area to blend the gray. There is also way to water down the trend by combining it with ombré or balayage. Soon, there will be a middle ground between an ombré and a defined highlight.”

At Salons by JC in Columbia, MD, Lindsay Bodner and Lauren Logan, who share the Elle Beauty Hair Studio suite, say that ombré and balayage are just the dimensional trends their clients want. For spring 2017, says Logan, brighter and warmer balayage is kicking cool tones to the curb.

“Caramel tones and balayage highlights that add movement are perfect for clients who you know will go darker with their color in winter,” notes Logan, who is an American Board Certified Haircolorist. “There are no real trends in cuts right now—it’s all about brighter color and styling techniques that show off movement and texture.”

Adds Bodner, “Trend interpretations are always based on hair texture, eye color and accenting the cheekbones.”

It’s easy to “up-trend” any client’s look with face-framing balayage highlights, say the duo. Don’t add too many if the client wants lower maintenance; add more for clients with curl.

Bread-and-butter clients need color that works with their skin tones, says Jen Thomas.

Track Global, Act Local

Jen Thomas, whose Sola Salon Suite, Jen Thomas Hairfiber Artist, is in Overland Park, KS, says that taking part in local fashion shows keeps her abreast of trends, and that it’s her “beauty duty” to interpret them to suit her clients’ lifestyles, frequency of visits and willingness to adhere to home care.

“While Blorange is a hit on the fashion pages, I consider skin tones and how clients can wear a version of the color,” explains Thomas. “For brunettes, my inspiration comes from a toffee bar. Chocolate toffee is a rich brown but hidden within it are rich, tempered golds, which will catch the light and peek through without upsetting the balance of pink undertones in the skin.”

So, high-fashion trends may be exciting but translating them for real clients who pay the bills involves skin tone and hair type, lifestyle and commitment to upkeep. What are the best places to discover trends in the first place?

Soft balayage should enhance movement, says Lindsay Bodner.

Pelusi is right in the mix at every trade show, checking out the latest work and promoting his own hair care line. He also hosts education right in his rental studio—most recently for Aloxxi’s Andiamo Express Permanent Colour.

Bodner and Logan say they rely on websites like behindthechair and fashion-trend sites, as well as social media posts by celebrity stylists. While the traditional magazines like Vogue and Elle tell Thomas what’s happening with fashions, she looks for clues as to what’s upstream for hair.

“This year I am seeing details in clothing, meaning that hair will be simpler so as not to compete,” says Thomas. “The more bohemian fashions call for a looser yet controlled look.”

Thanks to Facebook, Thomas also networks with stylists worldwide, watching Australian and Turkish stylists for trends in dressing hair.

“I keep a mannequin in my room for practicing the looks,” she adds.  “I also watch European stylists, so I can see what colors are coming next season. Paying close attention to the release of the new Pantone trends helps me see where home decorating and clothing accessory trends are going—hair will be a reflection of these.” (Think bright, vivid or earthy for 2017.)

Be in Touch with the Final Touch

Whether you “do it all” or not, knowing makeup trends can help you suggest lipstick shades that work with a new hair color and more. Accomplished freelance makeup artist Shannon Nemec, who is currently considering a suite rental around her Kansas City, KS, area says that she follows professional makeup Facebook groups and attends The Makeup Show, which includes education on trends and how to incorporate them.

Shannon Nemec takes the makeup trend in metallics and makes it wearable. (Photo: Rachel Rigler Photography)

“This spring and summer, look to metallics for eye shadows, eyeliner, lip color and gloss; a neutral eye with a bold red lip or natural makeup—all with good skin,” says Nemec. “For younger clients, a wash of neutral metallic eye shadow keeps them on-trend in a wearable way. If they want something bolder, go with a graphic metallic eyeliner or lip color.”

Because metallics tend to accentuate fine lines and wrinkles, she shifts tactics for more mature clients.

“Older clients can still be trendy with a soft neutral eye shadow, a touch of eyeliner and mascara, and a bold red lip,” notes Nemec. “Regardless of age or the look you are going for, the basis for any good makeup application is a good skincare regime.”

Pair up and trend-trade with estheticians and makeup artists, and you’ll be able to talk about it all, like the savvy personal beauty advisor that today’s clients want.

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