The weather is slowly thawing, at least for those of us in Southern California. No doubt about it, spring—which makes its official debut March 20—is on its way.
There’s something about the approach of the fair season that makes us want to clean house, literally and figuratively.
Setting aside time to scrub the house from head-to-toe is a well-known tradition. Less talked about but equally prominent is the spring-induced impulse to change up our looks.
Maybe it’s because we know the next couple seasons will be marked by warm days: Who doesn’t want to shine in the sun?
Those winter doldrums
It starts in February. With the holidays behind us and New Year’s resolutions in various stages of fulfillment or neglect, we take a long look in the mirror. For those of us who have been in hibernation as far as our beauty regime goes, it can be disheartening.
And then, because deep down most of us are optimists, we begin to get ideas. We look at our lank hair and decide it needs a good trim and a deep conditioning.
We begin to crave highlights, or a change of color altogether. (In the midst of a recent aesthetic crisis, I got some highlights myself, a smattering of gold skillfully applied by Rose Marmolejo of Manhattan Beach’s North End hair salon.)
We ponder whether a facial or a massage or a bronzer or a tan would give us a healthier glow. The more industrious of us may even be inspired to commence a kicked-up exercise regime, in anticipation of weather conducive to bathing suits and skin-flashing styles.
Lifestyles of the fashion-forward
The makeover madness is first seen among celebrities, who retain iconic status by skating along fashion's cutting edge. A daring transformation garners plenty of attention, especially when a star is known for his or her hair.
A case in point is Jennifer Aniston, who in recent years has become known for her trademark long layers.
This Tuesday (Feb. 22), Aniston turned heads on the Spanish television show “El Hormiguero” when she showed up with her hair—looking significantly blonder—trimmed into a stylish bob. News travels fast in a global village. Within minutes, the Internet was afire with word of her new look.
The ‘do, which grazes Aniston’s neck and lengthens to shoulder-length in front, is a graceful update on the infamous “Rachel,” the face-plumping layers replaced with sleek asymmetry. The look is garnering accolades from all manner of beauty experts.
"The subtleties of this cut are what really make her look great. The length, while not long or short, is a perfect in-between. The brilliance of starting at the base of her neck and finishing at her collar bone not only show off her perfect shoulders but add length to her jaw," Brescia says. "Then the soft angle starting at her cheek bone opens her face up beautifully. This haircut captures her beauty from many aspects. It takes a great stylist and trusting client to achieve this look."
Countless women trust Aniston’s fashion sense. More than a few of them will likely bring a photo of the actresses' latest coiffure to the salon, uttering those famous words: “Can you make me look like that?”
"Baby" no more
Are there any guys out there pondering some well-placed snips? A seasonal makeover is not the exclusive domain of women.
“Baby” crooner singer Justin Bieber recently shocked fans by losing his trademark forward-swept mop. The look that launched a thousand pre-pubescent crushes has been replaced with a shorter ‘do that can be. . .wait for it. . . swept forward. Or, it can be tousled in the front for a rebel-without-a-cause, ‘80s New Wave look.
An amused Jane Paulson, writing for Metrowny.com, has pronounced the look to be eerily similar to that of another celebrity. Her recent blog posting, “Justin Bieber and Robert Pattison have the same haircut. . .huh?,” hits the nail on the head.
Bieber himself is refreshingly willing to laugh at himself. At a taping of the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which will air on Wednesday, Feb. 23, the boy wonder presented DeGeneres with a box of hair from his already-famous trim. He joked that Degeneres—who will auction the clippings to benefit the Gentle Barn foundation—served as an inspiration for the style.
Dispite this double doppelganger effect, the trim is a good move for the singing sensation. The haircut makes for an older look, one befitting a young man poised to turn 17.
Internet-wide response to Justin’s lock-down has ranged from the mournful to the mocking to the admiring to the “who cares?”
I can emphathize with the latter sentiment. It’s hard to see what the fuss is about celebrity tress-formations amid serious news like the recent unrest in the Middle-East.
On the other hand, there are beauty parlors in the most volatile regions of the Middle East—even war-torn Afghanistan (I read “Kabul Beauty School.”) Sometimes when the going gets tough, it's the little things—like a good haircut—that help us keep going.
What will you do this spring to shake up the old and bring in the new? I say be a little bold. While your look may not grab headlines, it'll help you see yourself in a new light.