Look around any lecture hall, and you’ll see a preponderance of ponytails, the busy girl’s best friend. Luckily, out of this season’s four big hair trends, three are entirely doable for the time-pressed college girl. And one is only for Jessica Simpson. See if you can guess which is which.

Messy Chic

Big hair is back, and with a vengeance. If there were one trend all over the runways this season, it was messy chic. Pick the adjective of your choice — curly, kinky, frizzy, wavy — and you could see it on the models for designers from DKNY to Anna Sui.

British hairstylist Charles Worthington, who styled the unkempt looks at Peter Som, said disheveled hair was a good look.

“This season’s hair is definitely less controlled and contrived, more beachy and messy,” Worthington said in a Vogue online trend report. “It’s not-trying-too-hard hair. I call it friendly hair.”

This messy look came across in two distinct forms at the fashion shows: the loose ponytail and the beach goddess.

At Caroline Herrera, messy ponytails ruled, with layers falling out the front onto the models’ faces. To pull the look together, take a little piece of hair from the underside of the ponytail and wrap it around the hair elastic, covering up the elastic.

Beachy hair is, of course, always in, but especially so this season. At Versace, models strutted down the catwalk with teased hair, great tans, mondo sunglasses and tons of lip gloss. To get beach hair here in New Haven, simply braid hair in big braids while it’s wet, let dry, undo the braids and absolutely do not brush. To really achieve the “beach look” a brush should go nowhere near your hair. Product, however, can help texturize. A favorite product of mine is Bumble & Bumble “Surf Spray,” which adds loads of volume and texture to flat, dull hair. But if you are hesitant to spend $16 on a bottle of glorified sea water, you can just throw two teaspoons of salt into a spray bottle full of water.

Long Bangs

Years after setting one of the biggest hair trends in history with “the Rachel,” Jennifer Aniston has debuted a new look: blunt, brow-skimming bangs. And a host of celebrities, including J.Lo, Katie Couric and Mischa Barton have followed suit.

It’s no wonder the trend has become so popular — the chunky bangs freshen your style without cutting a lot of hair. And they can be brushed to the side or pulled back, making it an extremely adaptable hairstyle.

You can even test-drive the look before committing. In this month’s Cosmopolitan magazine, Worthington gives readers a tip for trying bangs out before committing: take a section of hair from the crown of your head, hold it straight up and twist, and then let the ends flop over your forehead, creating the illusion of bangs.


While the majority of the Yale campus seems to favor long layers, some more daring individuals might be tempted by the short bobs that have been cropping up this season.

Natalie Portman, who recently graduated from Harvard, just cut her hair into a short bob. She frequently styles it in ’40s style pincurls — another big trend this season — appearing on countless red carpets and the cover of March’s Vogue wearing this style. Julia Stiles also recently cut her trademark long hair into a chin-length bob.

Super Blond

After all these realistic, doable hairstyles, there has to be one trend only the upper reaches of celebrity can aspire to. This season, it’s the Super Blond (without the “e”). Witness Scarlett Johansson at the Oscars. Her uber-platinum hair was at the point of almost being white. And it looked good.

But a warning: this advice is only intended for natural blondes — natural blondes with the time and money to invest in the constant touch-ups this look requires. Unfortunately, those stipulations exclude 99.99 percent of Yale students.

While some of these trends are recurring (beach hair) and some are timeless (bobs), they are ultimately just photos in magazines. Nino Ribeiro, a hairstylist at Galaxy Spa and Hair Salon, said his clients — primarily Yalies — usually know what they want, and it’s not any specific trend.

“We don’t have this one particular style,” Ribeiro said. “Everyone gets what they really like; everyone gets their own individual style. We create a different thing for each individual person.”