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Jeannine Stein / FASHION POLICE

Heads Up: The Right Way to Highlight

November 20, 1998|JEANNINE STEIN

Dear Fashion Police: Is it true that highlighted hair is out of fashion? I have done it to my hair and have always liked the softer look it adds, but now I think it might have a dated look to it.

--HAIR APPARENT

Dear Apparent: Your hair will have a dated look to it if you have it highlighted the wrong way. Lucky you asked us, because we'll tell you how to do it the right way.

First, out are those chunks--wide, obvious bands of color. Also out is any kind of "frosted" look, with ashy streaks throughout the hair.

In are highlights that look natural, as if the sun had added some delicate strands of color. So say two major hair dudes, Allen Edwards of Allen Edwards Salons and Salon & Serenity Spas, and Louis Licari of the Louis Licari Color Group in Beverly Hills and New York.

Says Licari: "What we're seeing are tiny little strokes of color, usually in warmer tones--nothing too ashy."

Blonds should add golden tones, light browns should go with amber, and brunets should think about something between amber and auburn. Highlights should be done on top of the hair, with a little emphasis right around the face.

"You shouldn't have to be in the brightest light to see them," Licari adds, "but it shouldn't look like an obvious streaking. It should brighten your look."

Licari says to keep in mind that "hair color is most flattering when it's in contrast to your own skin tone." If you start to lose that contrast, your skin can look drained of color.

Also on the out list is going blond via highlights, according to Edwards. He particularly hates that "Beverly Hills--blond look, where you have at least 4,000 foils in your hair. What you want to do is develop a beautiful base color like a dark or golden blond, then add a few subtle highlights to it. You want to have a more blond-on-gold or blond-on-caramel look, more of a romantic color. The highlights should last about four to six months, and you shouldn't see any roots at all."

It seems that it pays to keep up with trends, even in hair. Licari sees hair color continuing to be a major part of fashion, changing "as frequently as skirt lengths."

*

Dear Fashion Police: I live in Escondido, in dry, warm inland San Diego County. There are millions of fashion-conscious, money-spending women here and in Arizona, Texas and Florida who really aren't able to use tweed, cashmere, leather, Merino wool, etc. When will clothing manufacturers get it, and offer us clothing that looks like fall but doesn't feel like August?

--HOT AND BOTHERED

Dear Hot: The good news is, manufacturers are getting it; the bad news is, maybe not fast enough.

Although many people who live in warm climates still like to wear wool and other warm fibers, it's true, we just don't need to bundle up during those nasty winters like they do back East.

Stores and manufacturers are beginning to understand that and are carrying more cotton, silk and blended natural fiber sweaters all year long--even in colder months--along with the wools. Catalogs are, too. You can also find cotton T-shirts, silk and cotton blouses and rayon pants and skirts, even in January.

But there still may not be enough for you. If you do find the pickings slim during the colder months, shop during the rest of the year, and look for neutrals, or darker, richer colors that will blend in with the fall-winter palette. Red, navy, oatmeal, black and white are good shades to look for.

Not being big fans of wool ourselves (it's the itch factor), we've learned to stock up on cotton and silk sweaters and wear them in winter, layering them with T-shirts or jackets when the thermometer dips below . . . oh, 60 or so. Now that's cold.

*

From the Fashion Police Blotter: We heard from a couple of long-waisted readers who share the dilemma of "A Dearth of Denim," who could not find jeans to fit. Several suggested the Lands' End catalog, which carries jeans for tall figures that should fit from crotch to waist. They'll also hem them to length, so they won't drag on the floor. Call (800) 356-4444.

Another reader suggested DKNY jeans (stretch and regular) and Victoria's Secret jeans (since they carry various styles through their catalog only, we suggest asking them for help). Call (800) 888-8200.

When reporting or preventing a fashion crime, write to Fashion Police, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or fax to (213) 237-0732. Submissions cannot be returned. No telephone inquiries, please.

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