As seen in American Salon: The Art & Science of Trendspotting - Sam Villa

As seen in American Salon: The Art & Science of Trendspotting

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Clients are always on the lookout for fresh looks, and as stylists it’s our job to deliver.

There’s a constant ebb and flow to hair trends, so staying current isn't just important; it's essential for any top performing stylist.

But why are trends so crucial, and how can you ensure you're always in the know?

 Let's explore …

Why Hair Trends Matter

Layered cuts by Teresa Romero
(Teresa Romero)

Trends are a reflection of society, culture, individual expression, a means of self-identification … and a way to connect to multiple generations. 

As hairstylists, we sometimes forget that what might seem old to us could be new for a client.

Remember the term “wing layers”?  A decade later it was known as “feather layers” and now a butterfly cut. All three looks are similar, but updated to look fresh from its predecessor so it’s relevant today.

Newer stylists especially benefit from knowing the origins of today's trends, as it makes consultations easier and gives them a principle-based technique to refer to.

And, staying on top of trends shows your clients you're in sync with fashion, style, and their needs and desires, which positions you as knowledgeable and relevant.

Learn the History Behind Top Trends

Shag cuts by Teresa Romero
(Teresa Romero)

Every trend has a story to tell. Whether it's a reflection of retro glamor or a contemporary geometric design, understanding the inspirations behind a trend allows you to interpret it in a way that resonates with clients' individual tastes and personalities.

Take time and investigate where inspirations come from, explore the narrative, add your own insights, and then mix everything together to make it your own. That is what will set you apart and allow you to offer something unique to your guests.

And let’s not forget that advancements in hair-care technology and products play a role in elevating a trend.

From styling tools that create sleek polished looks, to new products that add major volume — cutting-edge innovations empower hairstylists to push the boundaries of creativity, and come up with new shapes and textures that evolve into trends.

Achieve Trending Styles Through Practice, Practice, Practice

Pixie cuts by Teresa Romero
(Teresa Romero)

Trends are all around! Look to runways, red carpets, popular movies and shows, industry publications, beauty blogs, and posts on Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram. Being aware of trends introduces us to new inspiration and insightful language we can share with clients.

Seasoned hairdressers gain the respect of younger generations when they’re in the know, and younger stylists gain knowledge and credibility.

Actively engage weekly by following industry media outlets, attending hands-on workshops and hair shows, and engaging with fellow stylists in person and on social media.

Then, practice in a safe zone by keeping a few good mannequins around to experiment with. Make it a habit to push yourself out of your comfort zone as often as possible — practice, practice, practice!

Know When To Embrace Trends (And When Not To)

Textured hair by Teresa Romero
(Teresa Romero)

Timing is important when it comes to adopting a new trend. While some styles may be fleeting, others have lasting power or may require a bigger commitment. For instance, a bob is always in style, yet undercuts come and go. 

During the consultation, discuss timing with your guest. They might be excited about a new micro bob, yet they’re getting married in a few months and want to wear a traditional French twist … obviously, this is not the right time to embrace that look.

It’s our responsibility to offer options, as well as make sure to cover all the bases as it relates to the cut, color, and styling maintenance. 

Let Your Client Be Your Guide 

We experience hair all day, but clients only get a short time in the chair. Keep the excitement going by showing them how to style their new look at home, and offer product recommendations and easy-to-follow tutorials. They will love you for it!

Ultimately, your clients are your best inspiration for trend recommendations. Listen to their wants and needs and understand their lifestyle, personality, and preferences.

By forging a collaborative relationship, you can create bespoke looks that make them feel hip and confident. 

Keeping up with trends isn't just a professional obligation. It's a creative journey that allows you to connect on a deeper level with your artistry, peers, society — and, most importantly, your guests.


Teresa Romero is the Creative Director for Sam Villa and Artistic/Education Director for Jose Luis Salon. Find out where she will be teaching and book an in-salon class here.