This week marked the official start of summer, and if you happen to live in L.A., you're
all too aware of it. Translation: We're in the middle of an intense heat wave. However, even if you're somewhere cooler [Ed. note: I'm jealous], you're likely itching for a new warm-weather 'do all the same. Not to worry, because we got you. L.A.'s top hairstylists have been churning out summery chops in anticipation of the season — and they're ideal for any zip code. In the slides ahead, you'll find curly shags, choppy bangs, short crops, on-trend undercuts, and more, all cleverly designed to be easily air-dried and take minimal styling. After all, it's summer and you have better things to do. In fact, all you have to do is click through for the coolest looks coming out of L.A. now. Then, simply hit up your own stylist with the picture and key takeaways, all straight from the pros who created the 'dos. And styling advice? That's ahead, too. A/C is, unfortunately, not included.
Stylist: Stacy Ho Salon: Mèche Salon A collarbone-length lob with lots of internal layers and slightly choppy bangs What To Ask For: Ho gave everyone's favorite L.A. girl boss — i.e. Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoruso — this enviable chop. "This cut is low-maintenance, airy, and deconstructed, but still chic," Ho says. She notes it's best suited for those with straight hair, no matter the density — or you'll end up being beholden to your blowdryer all summer, trying to get this same result. (Not ideal, to say the least.) Instead, embrace your straight texture and messy second-day bedhead, Ho says. The trick to getting this look right? "Make sure to specify that you want the ends deconstructed or point-cut to get that airy feel," Ho explains. "There are no visible layers in this cut." She notes that too many layers could make the chop go from sexy and edgy to too polished.
Photo: Courtesy of Kristin Ess.
Stylist: Kristin Ess A soft, razored lob What To Ask For: Celeb stylist Kristin Ess only takes private clients right now — blast! — but, happily, she's not tight-lipped on how to get the rad styles she creates. She notes that this versatile cut works for any hair type or texture, but is especially great for anyone who craves blunt ends for thickness, but still wants a softer look. "Ask for a blunt cut that is slightly longer than your desired length, and then ask for the hair to be finished with a razor to soften it up, or thinning shears if your hairdresser doesn't think that your hair [type] will do well with the razor," she says. Then, air-dry using a bit of thickening spray instead of blowdrying (she prefers Oribe's Maximista). "It gives a totally different texture than if you blowdry first and then style," she notes. To add movement, use a wand to define your natural curls or waves — or create bends on straight hair.
Photo: Courtesy of Kristin Ess.
What To Ask For: A designed undercut Ess calls this trendy style "the hair tattoo" — a way to add interest to your 'do when the heat is forcing you into a perma-pony or bun. "This is good for anyone wanting to remove excess weight or have a little more edge," she says. "It's also just good for anyone with super-thick hair [that] overheats during the summer months." Here's how it goes down: "Ask your hairstylist to do a short undercut with clippers from the occipital bone down to the bottom hairline at the nape," Ess explains. "Then, ask for a design to be etched in with edgers." Suffice it to say, this is best done by someone who's a design pro — so you may need to expand past your usual stylist. "The best part about the undercut is that you can go to work and wear your hair down and look a certain way — let's say you need to be a little more conservative on the job," Ess says. "When you leave, you can throw your hair up in a high bun and show the design."
Photo: Courtesy of Kristin Ess.
What To Ask For: A soft shag Consider this chop the anti-blunt cut: a shag with no harsh lines and no defining layer. "If you feel secure enough with your hairstylist, ask them to do almost the whole cut with thinning shears," Ess says. "It's good for anyone who wants lots of layers and tons of movement." To achieve this choppy — yet incredibly cool and polished — cut, have your stylist heed Ess' strategy. "I cut the initial length using regular scissors, then do the rest with thinning shears and a razor," she explains. And styling? "I would drive this one the same as the soft-razor lob," she says about the cut on slide 2. That is: Mist with thickening spray, air-dry, then define your natural texture with a wand or iron.
Photo: Courtesy of Shai Amiel.
Stylist: Shai Amiel Salon: Capella Salon What To Ask For: A curly shag with bangs and tons of volume on the crown Amiel describes actress Tamera Mowry's cut as your classic curly shag, but instead of shorter front sections, he left hers long. "She wanted it long, big, and bouncy, so I removed a lot of bulk at her crown, creating movement all over," Amiel says. "Ask your stylist to keep it one length, but add shattered layers [throughout] for movement." When it comes to styling, Amiel tells all of his clients the same thing: air-dry! Gently blot — don't rub! — wet hair to remove excess water, then allow locks to dry on their own for the best finish.
Photo: Courtesy of Shai Amiel.
What To Ask For: A neckline-length cut with rounded layers Amiel describes this cut as "a modern 'fro with defined curls" and notes that it's the rounded layers that help to give the look its shape. "Amandla [Stenberg] was invited to the Met Gala and asked me to give her a dramatically different look," he says. "She asked for whatever I could do to create lots of volume." That meant a cut to the neckline and lots of layers for a rounded shape. The secret? "I cut curly hair one curl at a time for dimension," he explains. To style, Amiel suggests air-drying, then using a hair pick for volume. "Wear it defined, or pick it out for that modern 'fro everyone is loving these days," he says.
Stylst: Benjamin Nelson Salon: Hairroin Salon What To Ask For: A shaggy cut with short, tapered sides "This cut is great for anyone who wants a bolder style, but still wants the option to pull it up and beat the heat of summer," Nelson says. Warning: Your stylist needs barbershop chops to get this style right. To score the cut, ask for short, tapered sides — but don't let anyone buzz you or it could come off overly harsh. "I used scissors instead of clippers to incorporate softness and an easier grow-out," Nelson explains. "The top section should go back to the occipital [bone], and not end at the back of the crown like many cuts do. The top is disconnected and shaggy, with plenty of texture to allow for multiple styling options and the ability to still see the sides underneath." When it comes to styling, Nelson says less is more. Pick your two favorite products: one for smoothing (he prefers Davines Oi Serum or Milk) and another for texture and volume (he likes Oribe's Dry Texture). "Allow your hair to air-dry, or if you need a little volume you can rough-blowdry 80% of the moisture out," he says. "100% can make the hair too frizzy."
Stylist: Sal Salcedo Salon: Salon Benjamin Arts District What To Ask For: A collarbone cut with light layering and short, face-framing pieces Looking to grow out or ease into a lob? This is the perfect cut for you, no matter your hair type or texture. "This is a transition haircut," Salcedo says. "People often find themselves wanting to go shorter but are not ready for it, or vice versa — in this case, we are growing out her lob." The hallmark is shorter pieces around the face and soft layering throughout, which "allows the hair to have movement and definition as it grows." "If someone wants this cut, they should ask for a length that is longer than the collarbone," Salcedo says. "The 'in-between' length is cool." And styling? Mist damp hair with beach spray or oil (depending on your texture), twist your ends to add separation, then let it air-dry.
Photo: Courtesy of Hannah Burdy.
Stylist: Hannah Burdy Salon: Mèche Salon A pixie undercut What To Ask For: Burdy describes this chop as a pixie undercut, but suggests giving a more detailed description to your stylist. "The more technical definition is a short graduation underneath and soft, round layering on top," she explains. She notes it has a '60s-meets-'90s vibe and is "great for anyone willing and wanting a change, but you have to be confident to cut almost all your hair off!" For styling inspiration, she suggests looking to Michelle Williams, Sienna Miller, Agyness Deyn, and Edie Sedgwick, and suggests picking up a texturizing product like Evo Crop Strutters Wax Putty or a sea-salt spray. To score the styling here, layer product into wet hair, add a touch of oil to ends, blowdry smooth with a boar-bristle brush, and then add a little more oil when hair is dry.
Photo: Courtesy of Taj Alwan.
Stylist: Liz Sustaita Salon: Ramirez|Tran What To Ask For: A classic bob with face-framing layers "This cut is for a woman who doesn't take her hair too seriously and likes to look a little wild," Sustaita says about the chopped-into bob she gave Taj Alwan. "Ask for a classic, straight bob with textured, long layers." The cut works for any hair type or texture, but Sustaita notes that it should be tailored to the thickness of your 'do, which will allow you to air-dry easily. "Depending on how much weight you have in your hair, ask to have the ends de-bulked with thinning shears," she explains. To style, she suggests applying serum, oil, or styling cream (depending on your texture) through the ends, allowing hair to air-dry, then adding or defining curls, waves, or bends.
Photo: Courtesy of Kristen Shaw.
Stylist: Kristen Shaw Salon: Cabin West What To Ask For: A classic bob with soft lines and tapered fringe "This cut is my short version of a French bob — very structured in its shape, yet all soft, sexy lines," Shaw says. The most important thing to consider? "Ask for a length that will flatter your jawline," she says. "The biggest mistake is making it too much like a reference photo and not designing the cut to your features specifically." The secret to the look? Shaw recommends keeping the fringe longer around the temples and a touch shorter in the middle to ensure it "softly blends with the length of the bob."
Stylist: Anh Co Tran Salon: Ramirez|Tran An asymmetrical, soft, undercut bob What To Ask For: Want to score Tran's ever-popular lob...with a twist? "This cut is good for anyone who wants to shake it up!" he says, noting that the asymmetrical length adds interest. Ask for a bob that tapers from one side to the other by an inch or two, then add invisible "undercut" layers. That is, layers that are hidden underneath the length. To style, simply air-dry or blow-dry and create waves using a 1.25-inch iron. "Alternate the curls going towards and away from the face," Tran says.
PhotoL Courtesy of Colleen Duffy.
Stylist: Colleen Duffy Salon: Stay tuned, you'll soon find Duffy at a new salon in the Arts District... What To Ask For: A pixie with soft edges Duffy was inspired by Mia Farrow when she created this summer chop (this client had a bob before), and notes that the trick to getting it right lies in the softness of the edges. "It's not overwhelming like long hair can be, but is still very feminine and delicate," she notes. To score a similar look, make sure your stylist softens the edges of the cut in a way conducive to your texture. To style this cut, warm a dime-size amount of pomade in your hands and pull through the hair, focusing on defining the ends for texture, then piece the look into place before it sets, she says.
Photo: Courtesy of Lindsay Victoria.
Stylist: Lindsay Victoria Salon: Spoke & Weal What To Ask For: A short crop with no harsh edges Victoria describes the cut as "a soft, feminine cut for a woman on the go" and notes that it will easily work with any hair type or texture, but is particularly good for those with fine hair. To get the version perfect for you, be sure your stylist works with your natural growth patterns and hairline so you're not fighting with your hair every day. As for the length, bring in a picture, she says. To style it, Victoria lends this advice: "Go natural!" That means a routine of product, twist, and go: Apply a texturizing product you like (salt spray, thickening spray, or a light-hold styling cream), twist, define waves or curls with your fingers (if you have them), and then air-dry.
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