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Fringe benefits

By Mariel Chua
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:51:00 02/05/2009

Filed Under: Health and Beauty Products, Lifestyle & Leisure

FOR the first time in years, I seriously don?t know what to do with my hair. Perhaps this is because I?ve tried practically every style, trick and twirl in the book. From a cool Koreanovela digital perm to a flapper-inspired crop, and, later on, a channeling-Anna-Wintour bob, my head has gone through so many changes (including a brief stint with an ?updated? mullet) that now I?m stumped as to what my next mane move should be.

(As for said mullet, my advice is to steer clear of this style by all means!)

Between avoiding pricey New York salons and deciding to grow my hair long once again, I?ve come to a crossroads: to snip or not to snip? Make like Rihanna, or copy Lindsay?s lush locks?

If you?re in a tress dilemma like this, there are some options to try without drastically cutting length (which, in my case, takes forever to achieve). The following should tide you over until you decide to take the pixie-short plunge:

Try bangs. I?ve said this time and again: Bangs are my absolute makeover move. Not only do they instantly update one?s look without disrupting the general hair equilibrium, they?re also perfect when you?re lazy to put on makeup, since a good fringe? whether blunt or side-swept?is preternaturally stylish.

To cut them yourself, make sure hair is dry (wet hair looks longer, and ?shrinks? once dry). Using the sharpest scissors you can find and holding them on the diagonal, carefully snip 1/16 of an inch from the edge.

The trick here is to do this in small sections to avoid mishaps. Continue trimming until you reach the desired length, ideally up to eyebrows or slightly below them.

Experiment with layers. Multi-tiered styles have evolved from the bouncy Jennifer Aniston bob of the ?90s to its less puffy version, as seen on the actress and many celebrities these days.

A classic layered look has shorter strands along the crown, gradually increasing in length toward the nape. This gives hair natural volume, and, surprisingly, looks great when you shampoo and condition the night before and style slept-in strands come morning. (As of press time, I?ve gone for a news-anchor/Hillary-Clinton-esque cut, which is deliciously hassle-free and wash-and-wear.)

Enjoy color. It?s amazing how a simple wash of hair dye can make skin glow, highlight facial features and, most importantly, breathe life into lackluster locks. Louis Kee?s salon at The Fort is at the top of my list to visit the minute I hit Philippine shores. I?ve seen people go from drab to fab with the right highlights, lowlights or shine-boosting color treatment.

Go for it. As former Cosmo editor and Inquirer contributor Ianne Evangelista used to say, ?You have to try everything, even if [it involves] algae treatments.?

Like lipstick?if you don?t like it, switch to another one. You can always go back to the parlor and have your cut or color retouched. Reputable salons give you the option to come in for free if you?re dissatisfied with what you got the first time around. (I love Azta Urban Salon for this.)

And if it?s really, really bad, there are a multitude of hair accessories, clips and pins you can try?like those ingenious clip-on extensions from Marcella that attach to a ponytail?while waiting for strands to grow back.

Mariel Chua is the former beauty editor of Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Ok! Magazine Philippines. Visit NyMinuteNow.com.

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