Trends in Tresses

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Expert hair designer Luis Alvarez shares his picks for 2013′s mane trends.

With America’s Beauty Show coming to Chicago March 9-11, TCW talked with Luis Alvarez, co-founder/vice president, Aquage and Biomega, about – what else? – hair.

Mr. Alvarez’s extensive knowledge and mastery of hairdressing has earned the 20-plus-year stylistnumerous awards and has created impeccable standards the rest of the industry follows. And his Aquage hair care line, which started at his kitchen table in 1998 and has grown to include the Biomega line of products, has become a staple in independent salons and spas.

The Chicago native photographed Joffrey Ballet dancers for this year’s industry trade show. “Dancers can do things with their bodies that are off the charts. There was a high difficulty of hair and posing in these shots,” comments Mr. Alvarez. “Their bodies were so moldable, could do anything. They blew me away.”

Hair designs are often works of art with Mr. Alvarez’s creations. “I’m inspired by architecture or sculpture,” he adds. “ I want to celebrate hair and the virtuosity of what you can do with it as a medium.”

A large influence in consumer hair trends is what’s being shown on the runways. But as Mr. Alvarez points out, fashion is about individuality, not a one-size-fits-all mentality. “Consumers gravitate toward haircuts that enhance their features rather than forcing a certain shape because it’s trendy,” he says.

And just as we’re all trying to simplify our lives, the current hair trend is simplicity. “I’m seeing more solid, rich, saturated, healthy-looking color,” shares Mr. Alvarez. “Styling is easy, effortless and organic.”

Those of you with long locks won’t need cutting shears anytime soon, because, with good reason, long hair isn’t fading. “Majority of women feel more sensual with longer hair that frames their face,” Mr. Alvarez adds. “My favorite is long, channeled, disconnected layers that blend fluidly without showing lines.”

From red to caramel to blonde, another trend that’s not leaving the scene is highlights. “Highlights will never go away because they’re safe and consumer-friendly,” explains Mr. Alvarez. “But I forecast a change in tonality where highlights will be in the same hue instead of contrasting highlights over color.”

Luis Alvarez Photograph

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About Rebecca Michuda

Rebecca Michuda is TCW's former associate editor. She contributed to a variety of feature articles, as well as monthly style and beauty sections, and coordinated TCW 's fashion spreads.