High spec hair: The new-gen styles for 2019

From Glossy Afro Curls to the latest 'glass' hair trend, here's our pick of the best hair ideas and innovations .

Cutting edge

‘Glass hair’, like K-beauty’s glass skin, is a term coined to describe a razor sharp cut – usually a bob – coupled with a mega-watt, reflective gleam. A clarifying wash is key to remove grease, dirt and any last remnants of product residue that can create a dull veil over strands. Then ramp up hydration with OGX Hydrate + Marula Oil Conditioner, £6.99. You can only really achieve a look like this with heat, so mist on SHOW Beauty’s Sheer Thermal Protect spray, £35, before blasting straight with the Babyliss Rose Blush 2200 hairdryer, £45.

Take your shine to the next level by smoothing down cuticles with the cool air setting- simultaneously, pull hair from the roots if pouffy ends are a problem. Then, smooth flyaways with the new ghd Platinum+ Styler, £175, sweeping it through your locks twice. Finish with a light-weight lotion like Colour Wow Dream Coat, £24, to keep your ‘do’ slick for the duration.

Photography by Jason Hetherington

Big bounce

It’s hard enough for any of us to achieve the hair we really want, but battling straggly strands and naturally limp roots too? It can feel like an impossible task. That is, until this year’s raft of styling products promising sky-high volume and one much-hyped power tool came along. Green People Clarifying Vitamin Shampoo, £13, nixes oily roots and build-up that weighs skinny strands down – but by using gentle botanicals, not harsh foaming agents. Then, apply L’Oreal Professional Source Essentielle Nourishing Cleansing Infusion Nourishing Balm, £22, through the ends.

Sprayed on to wet strands, Bumble and Bumble Full Potential Booster Spray, £40, reboots hair that is not as abundant as it used to be with protective ingredients that make it feel fuller. For limp roots, try Living Proof’s Full Dry Volume Blast, £25, to hoik everything up. Cost aside, Dyson’s Airwrap Styler, £399.99, attracts and wraps hair around the barrel, curling it for you and adding body. Seriously: tool of the year.

Photography by Jason Hetherington

The new blow dry

Full-bodied, swishy hair (NOT an 80s ‘power’ blowdry) is considered de rigueur these days. Better still, you can master it at home. Thickening sprays and mousses give the illusion of bulk. Both contain polymers that coat the hair and make it seem bigger, but also protect it and ensure the style lasts. For straight hair, go for a spray formula- distribute the Aveda Thickening Tonic, £22, evenly through damp hair from roots to ends. Or, rake an egg-sized dollop of mousse through it if you’re adding waves or curls – we rate Evo’s Macgyver Multi-Use Mousse, £17.50.

Need height? Wrap each section around a large round brush and aim your hairdryer at the roots. Finally, apply a light mist of hairspray. Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray, £38, does more than simply lock your style in place; it contains panthenol to swell the hair shaft. Plus, you can brush it out as you go so you’ll get lift but without any stickiness.

Photography by Jason Hetherington

Skincare for hair

More often than not when we talk about shiny hair, we’re really talking about straight hair – light-reflecting strands that hang in sleek curtains around the face. So it follows that the same moisturising steps we take to make our skin look dewy can also ramp up the sheen on poker-straight locks. Start with a hair serum. In the same way that a face serum targets specific concerns and absorbs beyond just the top layer, Pureology Style + Protect Shine Bright Taming Serum, £23.50, locks in frizz-fighting coriander seed oil while Virtue’s Perfect Ending Split End Serum, £19, seals down frayed cuticles.

Then layer hair oil on top, as it’s powered by some of the same nourishing ingredients normally found in face oils. New natural Japanese import Uka Hair Oil Windy Lady, £29.50, is non-greasy so ideal for fine hair while Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Rose, £41.40, contains a hydrating trio of marula, camellia and argan oils.

Photography by Jason Hetherington

Get kinky

Afro hair is making waves in fashion and beauty spaces – and frankly it’s about time. But more importantly, this once-marginalised hair type is set to become one of the most influential – so much so that the US market for black hair is estimated to reach approximately $2.5 billion (around £1.9 billion) in 2019. Cue haircare that specifically targets the needs of tight coils, which are the most porous and more damage-prone.

Knowing that Afro hair is more likely to drink up potentially drying chemicals, Boucleme only uses plant derived ingredients. The Curl Conditioner, £17, for example, is packed with omegas 3, 6 and 9 plus virgin coconut and argan oils to prevent breakage. Additionally, haircare founder Vernon Francois, whose clients include actress Lupita Nyong’o, has this tip for using his Pure-Fro Shampoo, £19.50: ‘Part hair into four sections and apply the shampoo on to dry hair as this ensures your scalp is cleansed but not dehydrated.’

Photography by Jason Hetherington

Blonde ambition

It’s official: Brits prefer blonde. Last year 42% of women who coloured their hair transformed their tresses to blonde, with 18% opting to go platinum. But as anyone who has gone to the light side will tell you, the biggest bugbear is unwanted brassy and yellow streaks.

The minerals and metals in hard water are the main culprits. Dyed blonde hair is more porous so high levels of copper, in particular, can kill your shade – one reason Clairol has included technology in its hair colours that encapsulates copper and prevents it from reacting with water and other free radicals. Think long-lasting colour and mirrorball shiny highlights.

Photography by Jason Hetherington

Play it safe

Sometimes you want to switch things up by changing your colour. Unless, of course, you fall into the rare one per cent of the world’s population who suffers from an allergy called paraphenylenediamine, or PPD, a chemical used in most commercial hair dyes. Clairol have come to the rescue with an innovative molecule called ME+ that reduces the risk of a reaction for those without an existing allergy.

Photography by Jason Hetherington

How? The ME+ molecule in the Clairol Nice’N Easy Permanent Colour range, £6.49, has a new shape that is harder for your immune system to recognise. ‘This molecule doesn’t fit so easily into the protective cells that can trigger an immune response,’ explains Dr. Casten Goebel, COTY’s toxicology expert. Expect the same glossy finish as your regular dye – minus the risk.

Pick up a copy of the January issue of Marie Claire on newstands now.

Reading now

Popular beauty stories