Hair-Raising Predictions of the Future

Frank and Laural Chirico have flipped their wigs.

The Chiricos, co-owners of the Allen Edwards Salon in Newport Beach, were among several county stylists asked to predict trends for hair in the 1990s. They focused on the public's growing interest in wigs and went a cut above: The buzzword, they said, will be "reversible."

"Put it on one way," explained Frank Chirico, "and it's a graduated bob--wear it to the office. Going out for happy hour? Turn it around and be wild."

With reversible wigs that the Chiricos have created, changes in model Robin Pohlman's image went from that of the innocents in "The Time Machine" to beyond "Beyond Thunderdome" in a matter of moments. Chirico also suggested wearing two reversible wigs at once, in which case as many as 12 different combinations become possible.

"The idea is versatility," he explained. "They're synthetic. You want different colors, fantasy colors--they're supposed to look like wigs. They're meant to be coordinated, not blended or matched with your own hair--though you could, of course, leave your blond ponytail hanging down from behind a black wig.

"Everything today is accessories, everything is scarfs and belts. We've taken that idea and applied it to hair."

According to Laural Chirico, styles for these wigs--and she believes that they represent a trend that will "definitely be with us until the end" of the century--will find their inspiration in current trends toward flatter crowns and angular outlines.

"Before, the big thing was to tease up the tops," she explained, "lots of length and volume, wild like Tina Turner. Now, it's a matter of texture within the silhouette of a geometric form, neo-classic, greatly influenced by Japanese design."

Stylist Steve Mendelson of Carlton Hair International in Santa Ana agreed.

For day, Mendelson predicted "wash-and-wear hair . . . geometric, simple and clean." But hair for evening will be a very different story, he said, one in which color will play a very important role.

"We'll be looking at a three-dimensional type of look," Mendelson said. "The bangs might be black, the top might be gold, underneath might be red. I think the clean lines will be with us for a long time, but subtly graduated colors will keep things from feeling too solid, too one-dimensional.

"I think bangs, which have been so long, and around for so long, will be extremely short. We're going to show off more eyes. Eyebrows might also be exaggerated, and blackened for emphasis. Black lipstick might provide a contrast for white face powder. Nothing will be soft. Everything will be more definite, more dramatic."

The forecast from Annette de Frank of Moongate in Fashion Island touched on the fantastic.

"We are going to see the use of metal constructs made of aluminum, brass and copper," de Frank said. "We'll wind the hair into it, wrap hair around it as an extension. What color metal you use will depend on the season. But the emphasis will be on shape, and the shape will depend on the clothes.

"Right now, you see, we're in a renaissance. Fingerwaves and bobs, these make us think of earlier times. But everything goes in cycles. In the 1990s, everything will jet back up to the absolutely futuristic."

Philippe Thebaudeau, a men's hair stylist at the Richard Ouellette Salon in Newport Beach, also sees hair styles as cyclic.

"It's obvious that men are going back to long hair," he said, "and I think we can safely expect that to continue on into the next decade. I just came back from Paris, where the back is already very long; the next step is the top and side. In Southern California, of course, they'll be a couple of years behind.

"It won't be like the hippies--men have become very much more fashion conscious since then. Men's hair will be long, but with style and with shape. Then, because every 10 years we go to the extremes--short to long, long to short--by the year 2000, we'll be back to short."

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