From fishtails to beach waves, 6 spring-ready hair styles tested by our Beauty Panel

spring hair beauty panel
spring hair beauty panel

While warmer weather is almost always associated with changing up how you do your makeup, our hair works the same way. With the temperature finally starting to feel like we can finally kiss winter good-bye, spring makes for the ideal season to try a new hairstyle—who wants to wear a top knot in the freezing cold! Whether you’re inspired by the Spring 2014 runways or your fave A-list star, keeping the hair off the back of our necks is one thing we’re most certainly doing this season. But since we don’t have hairstylists on hand, we asked our Beauty Panel members to show us their favourite (and easy to do) spring hairstyles and how to achieve them. Those who think they aren’t talented when it comes to hair can definitely perfect these looks in a heartbeat with these tips.

Challenge 64: How are you styling your hair this season? See the answers now! »

Searching for something more than just your trusty old messy bun? Maggie Ng of Beauty PhD shares her go-to spring hairstyle: The Gibson Tuck. A cross between a bun and French twist, this updo isn’t as hard as it looks, especially with Ng’s step-by-step hair tutorial. Or why not try a versatile hairstyle à la The Bunnie Hole’s Gerry Xun. This look can surely take you from a weekend brunch with friends to a romantic evening with a date effortlessly. And for those who recently got a drastic cut from the hair salon, Emily Chan of ThisWasForever has a style for you. With beach waves being the synonymous hairstyle of the spring/summer, Chan proves that this fun, textured look isn’t just for the long-haired gals.

Have a beauty question you want to see the panel answer? Send it our way at beautypanel@fashionmagazine.com. Read on for the answers to this week’s challenge and for more goodness, get to know all contributors on our Beauty Panel hub page.

Jump to: ALEXA LOWE | ELLIE SOMFELEAN | EMILY CHAN | GERRY XUN | MAGGIE NG | MARILOU MOLES | TESS LOPEZ

Alexa Lowe
Montreal | Stealing Beauty

For this week’s challenge, I decided to show how to do a fishtail braid. A messy fishtail braid is a great casual and easy alternative to the classic braid or French braid. It’s quicker to create and requires less precision. Here’s a tip: a fish tail braid will help create the illusion of more volume and texture on second day hair.

Products used: Fekkai Full Blown Volume Lightweight Foam Conditioner, Wide Tooth Comb, Hair Elastic, Two Bobby Pins.


spring hair gerry

Gerry Xun
Vancouver | The Bunnie Hole

Springtime hair means soft, touchable and romantic. The type that conjures daydreams of cherry petals swirling in the wind on a sunny Parisian afternoon. While a plane ticket to the city of love might be a bit out of reach, this tousled hairstyle is easy to achieve and you can take it from day to night.

Daytime | Morning Prep
To bring out the natural texture in my hair, I let it air dry or finger dry slightly with a hairdryer while lifting the roots to give maximum volume. If you have fine hair, consider using a mousse for added help. Once dried, part hair roughly down the center and with a large barrel (1″ – 1.5″) curling iron, curl small sections of hair in alternating directions. The key is to concentrate on the ends of the hair to create a soft tousled texture rather than a clear curl pattern. If you have longer bangs, be sure to curl them away from the face. To fluff up the hair without using a teasing comb, take a small section of hair by the end and with your other hand, rake upwards with your fingers like a comb. A light misting of hairspray sets the look.

Afternoon & Night time | Half up – Half down
Another variation on this look is to simply take the top section of hair from eyebrow to eyebrow and clip it back with a large barrette. I love this look for the afternoon when I need to get my hair off my face or I need to change up my look for nighttime activities. The key is to either tease the crown slightly or pull and adjust the hair slightly for a minor lift. Let a few pieces fall naturally to frame the face and this look is equally romantic.

Products used: Instyler (1.25″), Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo, L’Oréal Elnette Satin Hairspray.


spring hair emily

Emily Chan
Toronto | THISWASFOREVER

I recently chopped off more than six inches of my locks to prepare for the hot weather. With a new hairstyle, it has been a lot of fun exploring different ways to style it. One of my favorite looks, for long or short hair, during the spring/summer season is the classic beach waves. Since I have really fine hair, I need both texture and volume to create the waves. Here are the steps to recreate my surf hair:

1) Start with second day hair, and spritz your favorite texturizing surf spray towards the ends of your hair. Afterwards, I like to use my hands to scrunch my hair.
2) I recently discovered this amazing Volumizing Powder by Got2b. This is the latest cool find to instantly volumize your hair. I shake a small amount into my palm and rub my hands together. Once the powder disappears, you’ll still be able to feel the product on your hair. Then I rub my hairs at the root of my hair in an upward motion towards my crown. It gives the root boost and volume.
3) For the final step, I set everything with a pomade. Work a dab or two into the hair and rub your fingers together at the ends of your hair. It can lift and loosen the layers.

Products used: Mark Avon That’s Beachy Texturizing Surf Spray, Got2b Volumizing Styling Powder, Got2b Playful Texture Crème Pomade.

Maggie Ng
Toronto | Beauty PhD

Finally, the spring season has warmed up a bit. With the warm weather, I like to keep my hair up and off the back of my neck. With that being said, there’s a simple style I like to do called “The Gibson Tuck”. Depending how much hair you have or how tight or loose you do this hairdo, it either looks like a simple bun or like a horizontal French Twist. Best thing of all, it only takes a couple of minutes to do and doesn’t require a whole lot of equipment! To follow step by step, please enjoy my hair tutorial on YouTube!

Products used: Agadir Argan Oil Volumizing Styling Mousse, Cricket Carbon Comb, Forever 21 Hair Elastic, Salon Care Professional Extreme Bobby Pins.


spring hair tess

Tess Lopez
Toronto | Makeup By Tess

Is it safe to say, “Winter is officially over?!?” Now that we are into June, I think it is! I celebrated the other day by getting my hair coloured by my talented sister. Now that the warm weather is finally here, I wanted to go a bit lighter and add a bit of natural highlights to my winter-dull hair. What’s great about going lighter is that my go-to hairstyle for spring/summer is more visible: the braid. It’s usually a bit more difficult to see braids and other hair-textured styles with black/dark brown hair, but once highlights are put it … BAM! It’s there!

Braids have been my go-to style for years and to me, it never gets old. You can do so many hairstyles with braids and it always looks good. With my thick, coarse hair, I usually wear my hair in a ponytail or in a bun to get it out of the way. With this updo, I usually add a braid going down the one side of my head. However, today, I opted to straighten my hair to show-off my fresh new colour and added a dutch braid on both sides of my head and just pinned it at the back … simple & easy hairstyle! I like to loosen the braids as well to make them look bigger and a little “unkept.” This look offers a romantic, effortless look, which I absolutely love!


spring hair marilou

Marilou Moles
Ottawa | Twenty York Street

This time of the year calls for easy, carefree hair and that’s why I’m a big fan of the half-up, half-down ‘do! This hairstyle relies more on practical techniques than products. The half-up, half-down is my go-to hairstyle especially when I want to preserve a blow-out from the day before. I divide my hair into four sections, do four mini buns and tie them tightly before I go to bed. In the morning, I spritz a generous amount of hair spray to hold the curls, put on a shower cap to “protect” the curls while I shower and when I’m done, I unfasten the buns to reveal soft waves of hair. I gather several strands of hair, pull them towards the back and secure them with bobby pins! Voila, simple, but chic and romantic!


spring hair ellie

Ellie Somfelean
Montreal | My Beauty Box

Summer in Montreal means too things: heat and humidity. Given the fact that I workout everyday, it’s very tempting to wash it everyday and turn to heat tools to get it looking great. Unfortunately, that leaves me with dry tresses and split ends that turn into a big frizzy mess as soon as I step outside.

Enter the new Matrix Biolage Hydrasource. This system has been a godsent for my severely dry and damaged hair. Not only does it infuse hair with hydration but also gives me amazing texture and volume. I particularly love the leave in tonic. I spray it on wet or second day dry hair to get some life back into my hair. My other secret weapon is dry shampoo. I use it after workouts, on humid days, before biking around town etc. It helps me keep oil production at bay and gives me instant volume.
As for hairstyles… braids, braid, braids. Side braids, French braids, loose, messy braids, twists, fishtails, you name it. They’re easy to do, great for camouflaging messy hair and goes with everything. Best part of it all? Undo the braid and you’ll be left the most amazing beachy waves. Heat free!

Products used: Biolage Hydrasource System, Pantene Dry Shampoo.