Spring may be just now showing its face, but the brightness and freshness of the season has certainly been rearing its head in area hair salons.
Three local hair stylists opined on the hair trends of spring 2014, as well as those from last year that the fashion world has not yet relinquished.
According to local hair stylists, customers are choosing lighter hues and more natural, low-maintenance cuts in order to update their looks for spring and summer.
According to Jenni Hagerman, owner of Cheveux Salon & Spa, "... Everyone is ready to go lighter and brighten things up. People are sick of winter," she said.
Though the springtime popularity of highlights usually transcends short-lived fashion season, new trends in highlights emerge from year to year. Evolved from the more drastic ombre look of last year, the sombre or soft ombre look will likely dominate the hair fashion scene of 2014, Hagerman said. The term ombre encompasses a look in which hair progresses to a lighter shade at the tips from a darker one at the roots.
"The ombre look from last year is not completely gone. The soft ombre is a softer transition," she said.
Though the sombre trend may not appeal to every client, many clients lighten their hair in some way, Hagerman said.
"Everyone has a version of a lighter color that would look great on them," she said.
In addition to the sombre look, hair that is completely lightened, as opposed to only lightened in some sections epitomizes the more natural look that is fashionable this year, Hagerman said.
"It's the more natural look or looks that are all one color. You may have highlights but not chunks of different color," she said.
Alyssa Boss, a stylist and esthetician at Marshall and Company Salon, has also observed the trend of uninterrupted lighter color for this spring, as opposed to more obvious sections of light and dark hair, she said.
"Everyone has this idea of going lighter. The trend in color is more seamless so it's not as striping," she said.
Boss also described the sombre look as "softer than the original ombre."
"The original was more black and white. It (the sombre) looks like the sun kissed it," she said.
Along with the sombre look, balayage highlights also represent the latest trend in hair color, she said.
With balayage highlights, "We treat the hair as a canvas ... just hand-picking pieces and painting them," she said.
In reference to the more blended, natural look of balayage highlights, Boss compared varying hues within one hair color to the different tints in an aged building facade.
"I see color everywhere. If you use the Capitol, and look at the side of it, it's made out of rock. Some of the patchwork has aged differently. It's the same color just a slightly different tone," she said.
Some popular hair styles of this year model the varying shades of a facade color by progressing from one tint to another subtly and casually.
The trend toward more natural looks may even cause Boss or others to mistake fading hair color for an intentional style, she said.
Boss attributes the trend toward the natural look as one facet of the desire of women to live simpler lives, she said.
"Seldom does anyone say that they have an hour to dedicate to their hair in the morning. People want something fast and to make it simple," she said.
Kim Toebben, owner of Reflections Hair Salon, has noticed an even more radical trend in hair color: pastels.
"You don't see it as much in Jefferson City, but more outside. It's a new thing coming out this time of year. I wish Jefferson City would be more open to some of these trends," she said.
Most often, women with light blonde hair will dye it with a light violet, blue or pink pastel color. The pastel color can also be dyed more noticeably in the tips for an ombre effect, she said.
"It's more springtime softness. It resembles cotton candy," she said.
Toebben attributes the trend to Kelly Osbourne's purple hued hair, which she believes has piqued the fashion world's interest in pastel hair dyes, she said.
"People look to stars ... and think it would look good in their hair. You never know with fashion and hair color. Some (trends) will hang on, and others will fade out just like hair color," Toebben said.
The haircuts and styles appear to follow the same trend toward a more natural look, according to local stylists.
According to Hagerman, both long and short low-maintenance styles are popular among women of all ages.
"In the younger crowd, long is still very in. You can do a lot of different things with it," she said.
Among the various styles possible with long hair, mermaid waves - a tousled wavy look - will be popular this spring, Hagerman said.
"I'm all about the messy look. I like that the tousled beachy look is going to be in because I like the not-so-perfect look. I like to see texture and movement in the hair because it gives it something different," she said.
Though mermaid waves are most common in longer hairstyles, the tousled look can also be expressed in a bob length cut, she said.
While natural waves can provide the texture of the beachy look, one can also use a curling or flat iron to add texture, especially around the face, she said.
Boss has also noted a demand for shorter haircuts, one of which she refers to as the "lob,' or long bob, she said.
"I've been seeing a lot of that lately. It's a way of cutting off hair without exposing the ears," she said.
Boss acknowledged that the short hairstyles of celebrities likely influence demand for similar styles.
"Short haircuts are in right now. I think we can thank Jennifer Lawrence for that," she said.
Though some may be wary of trimming hair to a shorter length, Boss encouraged those contemplating the cut to do so.
"If you're thinking about it, it's the time of year to do that stuff. It's fresh and different and really worth trying. Life is too short not to take a chance and do something different this time of year," she said.
Because a specific trend may not suit everyone's individual style, Hagerman emphasized the ability of stylists to individualize a widespread vogue style for each person, she said.
"We want to find something that's most flattering on that person. We can adjust the trend to what they prefer, what looks the best on them," she said.
Hagerman said she enjoys the drastic style modifications of spring.
"Change is always fun. Clients get excited, but hairdressers get excited, too," she said.