Short Haircut

Photo: Ruven Afanador

Fresh Crop
The best way to avoid looking matronly with a short cut? "Keep it from being overly done," says Serge Normant, who styled the hair for this story. In other words, retire your brush and blow-dryer and reach instead for the right styling products.

Get the Look: Dry shampoo isn't just handy when you want to absorb a little grease. It's also a great way to add texture to short, medium-fine hair—even when it's freshly washed. Spray it on the roots (once hair has air-dried) and tousle all over. For final polish, warm a bit of pomade on your fingertips and smooth it over the ends.

Your Go-To Products: John Frieda Luxurious Volume Anytime Volume Refresher, $6.50; Garnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Finishing Paste, $8.50

Swimsuit, Marysia Swim. Shirt, Jenni Kayne.
Long Messy Hair

Photo: Ruven Afanador

Rough And Tumble
Tousled hair can look deliciously sultry—or as if you lost your hairbrush. It takes only a couple of minutes to coax straight hair into the relaxed, free-and-easy style you see here.

Get the Look: Create a middle part about three inches long (don't worry about a straight line), then spray dry shampoo on the roots all over the crown of your head. After that, use your fingers to lift the hair on top. Creating extra height gives a sophisticated silhouette to a mussed-up texture. A little hairspray smooths flyaways without the greasiness of a silicone serum.

Your Go-To Products: Suave Dry Shampoo Spray, $3.50; Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hair Spray, $25

The Color Connection
If you decide to make this the summer of wash-and-wear hair, here's one more suggestion: Think about updating your color. Strategically placed highlights (warm gold tones are flattering on most complexions) will help enhance your texture. On Fanny (above), Steven Amendola, senior haircolorist at the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon, used a process called balayage, painting bleach on large sections of hair (rather than using foil to create many small streaks of color). Amendola recommends going to the salon with air-dried hair so the colorist can work with its natural bends and waves. The highlights should be concentrated around the face and at the crown of the head (where the sun would naturally hit), starting an inch or two from the roots. A major bonus to this free-form technique: "You'll be able to go until September without a touch-up."

Dress, Sara Roka.

Photo: Ruven Afanador

An Interesting Twist
If you think a braid is hippie-ish or old-fashioned, think again. Long, messy waves lend themselves beautifully to a loose, side-swept, very modern version.

Get the Look: Working a mousse through damp hair will give you hold and a little extra volume. When hair is almost dry, just gather it at the nape of your neck, drape it over one shoulder, separate it into three sections, and weave into a braid. Let the shorter layers around your face hang loose. If your hair is coarse enough, you can leave the braid open at the ends (like our model's); otherwise, secure it with a clear elastic band.

Your Go-To Products: Nexxus Mousse Plus, $3; Goody Mary Elastics, $3

Dress, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti.