Celebrity hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai sits comfortably on the couch nestled on the second-floor balcony of his self-named West Hollywood salon. A canopy of lush, green trees just outside the building and clear sunshine sparkling throughout the space frame his tan, casually dressed physique as he talks. It is a picture-perfect moment representing California's love of indoor-outdoor living as he talks about summer hair care and style trends, such as those we saw on spring/summer 2015 fashion show runways: hair half-up/half-down, deep parts, bobs, braids, ponytails, highly textured and wavy hair, side-swept bangs and the wet look.
How have summer hair products changed in the last 10 years?
They were tackier — stickier — and so would weigh the hair down more.
Today, the technology allows us to have much lighter ingredients that help the hair and penetrate the hair much better and faster. Also, the UV protection technology is much better and less harmful to the hair.
Here in L.A., do we have more of a problem with our hair drying out?
Yes, exactly. L.A. is almost like Brazil in a way. It's very hot, very dry.
Water also has an effect on the hair. So it's so important to have the hair not only well-protected from the sun, but also from the water with a great moisturizer.
What about hair, often dyed, that turns brassy in the sun?
It's a very good point. This is why we are making products to protect the hair from being brassy or orangey. These products are fantastic friends to have against the sun.
What hair trends do you think will be big this summer in L.A.?
The wet look is really big for summer, because it works with more of the nonchalant, bohemian fashion, beachy kind of look, you know?
Even wealthy people do [this look], including people in Silicon Valley. There is this whole new shift of not working so much in the office anymore, but working more from a studio or from home or being mobile. People are wearing sneakers. They don't wear suits anymore. Like me, I used to have a much more dressy look before.
Now, we are much more relaxed with khakis and jeans and driving shoes. So the hairstyles reflect that.
What about hair color trends?
There are a lot of great new colors coming in. For some reason, there's a tendency to be red now.
Like strawberry blond, not like a deep red.
Like Jessica Chastain?
Exactly. Coppery red, strawberry blond, those colors are very big, and it can be also with the highlights, as well.... It's easier for brunets to go from brunet to red than to blond.
Are '90s-style chunky highlights coming back?
They are, but not like it used to be in the '90s.
In the '90s, [chunky highlights] were coming from the top down. Now we do it just on the ends.
Will we still see bobs?
Bobs are still strong. Bobs are always a classic, but it is a little bit different. Bobs now are a little shorter. A little bit more asymmetrical and deconstructed to look more tousled. Again, more of a casual look.
And braids and ponytails?
Braids are coming back very strongly. But now it's more playing with a single braid that goes around the head or a little braid in a ponytail....
Ponytails are fun. They're a strong, beautiful statement, and you can do so much with them … also try deconstructing them.
Frédéric Fekkai's new Soleil hair product collection is made for fun in the sun and the sultry nights that come afterward.
The collection includes:
Fekkai Pre-Soleil Hair Mist with UV protection to shield your hair from sun damage and color-fading ($20, fekkai.com). "I call this a silk scarf to protect the hair," says Fekkai. "It also takes little bit of the frizz away."
Fekkai Soleil Beach Waves Tousling Spray to add volume and texture ($20, fekkai.com). "This is more fun and sexy. It's for more of a surfing look. It looks a tiny bit wet, but not greasy or sticky, just a little bit moist to give you that luster," Fekkai says.
Fekkai Après Soleil Crème to hydrate hair and smooth texture ($20, fekkai.com). "It gives hair great shine," says Fekkai.
Fekkai L'Air de St. Barths Hair Fragrance Mist ($20, fekkai.com). "It's not just a fragrance," he says. "It also takes away frizz and gives hair a little bit more luster and shine without weighing it down."