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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 9, 2002

New '80s hairdo looks like 'perfect accident'

From left: Long hair with coral cowl neck top: Jaime Paulo wears her hair short in front and long in back, lighter on top and darker underneath.

Short blond hair with beige spaghetti-strap dress: Marcy Brundage models an asymmetrical, uneven fringed cut with pieced coloring.

Long black hair with shorter red bangs, and tie-dyed red, white and blue stripes: Yvette Acosta added red highlights to fringed bangs for an edgy look.

Malama Spa photos

By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer

In the 1980s, "grease" was the word in hair. Women used slick products to handle their big hair, gobs of hair. This summer, as fashions give a nod to the excessive '80s, hip new hairstyles are inspired by the decade. However they have a distinctly modern softness and texture. The styles are on models in fashion magazines from Vogue to GQ. It's also a look Hollywood loves.

In Honolulu, stylists are adapting the new 'do to men and women of all ages with every type of hair. Among the innovators are stylist Taryn Lee and artistic director Thi Nguyen of Malama Spa in Ala Moana Center. They recently returned from Dallas, where renowned stylists Tony & Guy taught the latest techniques.

How do they create this spikey, pieced, uneven look? It involves "slicing," taking some of the weight out of the hair.

"First we undercut," Nguyen explained. "It's layered but the shorter layer is underneath and the longer on top to give a transparent look. It allows for movement." In the most extreme case, called the "mohawk," only a strip of hair is left underneath, with the top layer offering the only coverage.

The style can work for either fine or course hair. Nguyen and Lee said it's ideally suited to Asian hair.

Those with fine hair will probably need to layer hair products to achieve the look. First a volumizer spray gel or anything that creates body and texture. This could be followed by a control paste that separates the hair to add definition.

Hair color is treated much like the cut. The bottom layer is darker, the top layer lighter. The stylists sometimes use several tones of the same color or they may weave in contrasting colors, depending how edgy and avant-garde the client chooses to be.

The look can be especially flattering if the piecey shapes are angled to point to a favorite feature: eyes, lips, cheekbones. The color can also be arranged to emphasize a chosen focal point.

For those who need a more conservative look during the day, hair can be tucked behind the ears.

"We want the hair to look like the perfect accident, with uneven, soft texture that makes hair really come alive," Nguyen said.