Subtle hair makes a bold statement this fall—Laurent Saint-Cricq explains why
If you were a lifestyle or fashion journalist in LA twenty years ago and remember it, you weren’t “really there” as everything was a whirlwind of activity. Celebrity hairstylist Laurent Saint-Cricq, who had a presence in that scene from 1997 forward, remembers it as a ‘go-go-go culture’ of parties, openings, champagne and glamour. While everybody was out making a statement with Y2K style (the low-cut jeans, sequinned Ts, velvet and silk burnout tank tops, tattoo-inspired prints, dresses over jeans), hair colour and cuts had to follow along with everything happening below the neck.
In many regards, Laurent had a rock star vibe with his flowing curls and attire—an amalgam of Parisian street style and California casual—and approachable personality. This carried him to salons and loyal clientèle on Rodeo Drive (1997), to La Cienega (2007) and Robertson Boulevard (2017), and back to Beverly Hills on Camden Drive just before the pandemic shut everything down. However, like all successful rock stars, he’s mellowed and adapted, and learned a lot from seeing pop culture take shape before his eyes over two decades.
‘Even [my clients] who work in creative fields or have pixie cuts aren’t as experimental with their hair as they once were,’ says Laurent. ‘Everybody looks more normal now. Cuts and silhouettes are less extreme. Hard bangs are out while softer bangs (such as the flowy, ’70s-inspired bottleneck bangs) that flatter the face are coming back. My cuts are all about soft layers that flatter the individual client’s face. I also see balayage going bye-bye in favour of colour that’s richer and darker across the board—even with blondes—and more natural. People are not fighting their curls the way they used to, and realize it’s all about using the right products rather than going too radical.’
While optimism, experimentation and excitement dominated Y2K sensibilities, Laurent observes that people over 30 in general are more thoughtful about how they present themselves to be themselves rather than fit whatever ideal spoke to them 20 years ago. He does admit teens are a little bolder and more experimental in their choices and embrace of the earlier era on TikTok, but most of his clients are looking within to define their personal style. He also likes the fact that it is continuing to become more acceptable for more mature women to keep their hair longer.
‘Twenty years ago, we saw a lot of clients during the day whereas now, it’s more intimate because of COVID,’ Laurent continues. ‘This means we have better connections with the clients. Out in the world, especially after the pandemic, it’s more about smaller gatherings and making more meaningful connections with others. Quality over quantity. Plus, with inflation affecting everything, clients treat everything like an investment, whether it’s restaurants or salon visits. They’ll spend more on something that truly speaks to them rather than do things on a whim.’
According to Laurent, one major trend that has come as a result of the pandemic among his clients is the use of well matched hairpieces and wigs to shore up thinner hair. He says that unlike earlier decades, wigs are less about big glamour and more about putting one’s best everyday face forward. As far as hair accessories go, sparkly barrettes making a comeback is a few years off. This fall and winter, ponytails and the use of scarves are in tune with simpler, more naturalistic styles.
“While wigs are great, I encourage my clients to really focus on eating better, especially with getting more proteins through lean meats like chicken and fish,” he advises. “If you’re vegan, be on the lookout for healthy plant-based sources of proteins.”
To see examples of Laurent Saint-Cricq’s interpretation of everyday hair at its best, visit the Camden 414 Salon website.