Fashion And Beauty For The Hardcore | The Best Hair Styles & Trends In America 2011
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The Best Hair Styles & Trends In America 2011

The Bob

When Jennifer Aniston axed her signature layers into a chic bob, America swooned (again). Her hair can do no wrong, securing the most requested style of 2011 (hitmaker Rihanna has the country’s second favorite bob).

Aniston’s stylist, Chris McMillan, created the slightly angled look by trimming at the nape of the neck and following the jawline. The secret to Rihanna’s blazing crop? A dry haircut. “I anticipate the way she’ll actually wear it,” says RiRi’s stylist, Ursula Stephen. The look hit especially high notes in our live music capital.

“It’s the ultimate Austin cut,” explains Michael Portman, co-owner of Birds Barbershop. “The city is laid-back—people don’t want a fussy style.”

Pro Picks #1

A FHI one-inch flatiron “really brings out the lines of the cut,” says Stephen, a Motions celebrity stylist, who also uses Motions Light Hold Working Spritz on damp hair to add control and protect from heat damage. McMillan uses a root lifter for “height at the crown.” Try Fekkai Full Blown Volume Styling Whip.

Pro Picks #2

Opt for a Mason Pearson paddle brush when blow-drying “to avoid ’80s round bangs,” suggests Townsend, a Dove Hair celebrity stylist. Applied at the root, Sally Hershberger Plump Up Thickening Mist “prevents the look from going flat.” Townsend rubs Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-in Smoothing Cream on his fingers and rakes them through dry bangs to add shine.

Pro Picks #3

To “polish” strands, give them a finishing mist of Cutler Specialist Shine Tattoo, a vitamin-packed spray. For a sleek look, “comb Redken Glass 01 through small sections of hair,” Cutler says. To encourage hair to lie flat by blow-drying with a fine-tooth comb instead of a brush, try the Goody Fine-Tooth Tail Feather Comb.

Pro Picks #4

Redken Color Extend Conditioner deposits UV filters to prevent sun-induced brassiness. Instead of daily sudsing, “try Klorane dry shampoo to lessen the fading that naturally occurs from washing,” says Witherspoon’s colorist, Lorri Goddard-Clark. Swap shampoo for Kérastase Chroma Sensitive cleansing balm post–dye job to “boost color radiance,” Canalé says.

Want to know where to get America’s best hair? Click here for ELLE’s top 100 salons!

Try on a new color or cut—before you go to the salon—with our virtual makeover tool.

The Long Bang

The sweet, sideswept bangs of newlywed Reese Witherspoon secured our silver medal, following Aniston’s bob as the second most-requested style overall (with J.Lo’s wispier fringe coming in as a close runner-up). To keep “choppy” fringe in top form, stylist Mark Townsend, who first trimmed Witherspoon’s bangs in 2007, removes weight using thinning shears on the bottom half-inch of the bangs. To duplicate the style, start the shortest pieces near the eyebrow, with gradual layers extending to the ear. In Portland, Oregon, where long hair leads the city’s style, side bangs are “on-trend and easy to wear,” says Magnum Opus Salon general manager Jill Hunter. “They’re flattering and feminine and complement longer cuts.”

The Pixie

For the second year in a row, the pixie landed third on the most-wanted list, with Emma Watson’s retro-adorable makeover and Halle Berry’s sophisticated coif taking first and second place, respectively. Rodney Cutler, who transformed Watson post–Harry Potter, paid extra attention to shaping “precise, rounded layers” that “conform to the head shape.” Wary of short? Have no fear: The style “suits all hair types,” Cutler says. “Curly hair like Halle’s will have more texture; fine hair like Emma’s will lie smooth.” In Georgia, where women battle heat and humidity year-round, the cut’s low-maintenance ease is ideal. “It’s feminine, sharp, and fresh,” says Soren Loffler, owner of Atlanta’s Soren Salon.

The Wave

It’s no secret that everyone tries to keep up with Kim Kardashian—her glamorous waves won fourth place, inching out Blake Lively’s Lagerfeld-approved curls. To create Kardashian’s signature strands, her stylist, Frankie Payne, applies a thickening spray, then blow-dries hair. Using a large-barrel curling iron, he grabs “small sections, starting around the face and curling outward.” After teasing the roots for extra lift, Payne “loosely” brushes the waves to look “natural and effortless.” The versatility of Kardashian’s style makes it coveted in South Beach. “Long, layered waves are easy to tie back but quickly transform into a sexy evening look,” says Riley McLachlan, creative director of Miami Beach’s Snip Salon.

The Top Shade

What is it about Jennifer Aniston? Not only did her new bob rank as most wanted, but for the second year in a row, her golden tone is the most sought-after shade. Her trick? “Paper-thin highlights blended into her natural base,” says Aniston’s colorist, Michael Canalé, who artfully “melds” highlights and lowlights to “enhance her skin and eyes” (don’t go more than one level lighter than your base for the most natural results). Aniston’s shade dominates requests at Philadelphia’s Giovanni & Pileggi salon. “My clients are busy professionals,” owner Giovanni Mele says. “They love to copy her color because it’s natural-looking and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, so we can stretch the time between touch-ups.”

Best In Hue

Champagne: Reese Witherspoon

Best In Hue

Ombré: Drew Barrymore

Best In Hue

Caramel: Beyoncé Knowles

Best In Hue

Chestnut: Kim Kardashian

Best In Hue

Copper: Christina Hendricks

Best In Hue

Ginger: Amy Adams


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