Fashion Whip is a political style column in The Huffington Post by Lauren A. Rothman, inspired by Lauren's experience as the founder of Styleauteur, a style and fashion consulting firm.
While women are busy shopping for fall, one critical topic keeps coming up in the fitting room this season: "How can hair highlight or hide my features?"
I hear talk of hair happening even in Washington D.C., where I work as a stylist to politicos and public figures in the Beltway scene. A lobbyist on Capitol Hill recently asked me, "Now that Hillary has bangs and Beyoncￃﾩ cut off all of her hair, is hair a 'thing'?" First Lady Michelle Obama's new 'do evolved from a blunt fringe in January to highlights and sophisticated side swept bangs. Kim Kardashian has gone blonde post-baby and, according to a recent interview, Jane Seymour wears her bangs as a badge of honor instead of going under the knife. My D.C.-based clients, many in the limelight, are wondering whose hairstyle will become the next "Rachel."
From blow dry bars to dry shampoo, hair care is officially a cultural trend. I sit in on hair consultations and have stylists on speed dial to squeeze in last minute VIPs before an important appearance. My clients' weekly beauty routine has evolved from manis at the corner shop to regularly scheduled blowouts at Senate Hair Care Services. When facing the American public, fly-aways and frizz just won't do!
Clients constantly inquire about guidelines to steer clear of hairstyles that appear too sexy, too young, too old, and too fake. The more conservative set wonders if Beyoncￃﾩ's pixie cute is a result of her long hair getting caught in a fan or because it's an easier style to manage as a mom. While the answer is none of the above, the increasing fascination with hair is certainly interesting.
Bangs on women in the political arena are not new. They shield wrinkles and eye makeup from prying eyes and overblown image analysis. Hair, like clothing, can increase or decrease the appearance of age with equal alacrity. While those individuals who gird themselves each day with a uniform, courtly robes or a formal business suit may not entirely approve of hair extensions in the workplace, I regularly run out of hair "mascara" (touch-up dye applied via mascara wand) during election and the holiday social seasons -- both men and women on Capitol Hill cover up grays!
Your hair speaks volume, whether you're in the political spotlight or not. What's your go-to style this season?
The hair inspiring the women of Washington D.C.:
To learn more about Lauren's tips on staying chic at the office, pre-order a copy of her new book Style Bible: What to Wear to Work!