Kim Vo On The Go-This month our intrepid reporter talks about creating festive holiday looks with minimum fuss.

Ahhh, the holidays: that special time of year when excitement, glad tidings, good cheer and stress permeate the salon air. With clients wanting to look their best as they make the rounds of holiday parties and entertain out-of-town guests, it's probably also the busiest time of year for you.


The good news is that hair trends for the holidays are focused on the basics, so your busier-than-usual schedule doesn't have to get bogged down with complex coloring. The noticeable highlights we've seen for so many years are being replaced by a more natural look, mimicking the subtle and varied hues of a child's hair. Colors are warming up for winter, crowning the most stylish Hollywood heads in rich reds, golds and browns. Best of all, getting your clients there is relatively easy.

Glazes—both colored and clear—are all the rage this season. If your brown-tressed customer has vivid highlights and wants to embrace the newer, softer look, you can tone down her shade in about 10 minutes with a chestnut or caramel glaze. If she's never colored her hair before and wants something special, a glaze again fits the bill. For rich, jewel-toned reds, choose either Ruby Slippers or Bordeaux from John Paul Mitchell Systems' PM Shines. To add depth and shine to brunettes, try Milk Chocolate 6/77 from Wella's Color Touch Shine Enhancing Color line. For blondes, Redken Shades EQ 08CG Golden Topaz produces a warm, coppery sheen. The result will be a bright, festive look that adds dimension and shine to any type of hair. Better yet, it washes out in four to eight weeks.


Another no-fuss technique for holiday hair is what I call "magic at the sink." As your client lies with her head back, paint highlights around the face, at the temples, on the sides and in the front, creating a halo effect that results in a refreshed look that can simply be left to grow out.

When it comes to hairstyles, the hottest dressed-up look of the season is the "down-do"—a half-up and half-down style that works well for all but the shortest cuts. To ensure that your highlighted clients don't end up with a pile of blond hair on top of their heads and a veil of darker hair beneath, lighten more of the bottom layers for balance.

Perhaps the best piece of advice I can leave you with is to take care of yourself as the holidays unfold. This may mean gearing up with an extra dose of immune-boosting vitamins or a weekly stress-busting massage—and certainly, get plenty of sleep. As long as you're prepared, the season will be a jolly one.