Upcoming Hair Trends Take Center Stage at Wella Event

Several prominent hair trends for 2008 emerged at Wella's fifth International Trend Vision, held Oct. 28 at the Catalan capital's Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona.

BARCELONA — Several prominent hair trends for 2008 emerged at Wella’s fifth International Trend Vision, held Oct. 28 at the Catalan capital’s Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona.

Carlin Int., Wella’s Paris-based research and trend forecasting agency, pinpointed four of the most likely trends. One called for the continuation of loose, deconstructed shapes via see-through curl variations, à la supermodel Gisele. Another followed modernity with one-length, head-hugging cocoon styles — as opposed to layers — with elaborate color techniques and lots of shine and smooth texture. Asymmetrical shapes are expected to become more prevalent in 2008, according to Carlin, and styles that mirror Victoria Beckham’s bob are also planned.

“Next year will be about circles, curvatures and rounded shapes,” said Teri Dougherty, creative director of Wella’s Colors of the World educational initiative. Wella’s Germany-based color expert, Klaus Nolte, summed up the basics of next year’s hair color story to “ubershine and blends of high- and lowlights.”

The evening’s award ceremony featured runway presentations, multicultural dances and a rousing “Parade of Nations” with patriotic, Olympic-style flag waving. A lively competition for the most creative interpretation of the German hair care company’s 2007 trends included entries from stylists hailing from 53 countries. Ultimately, South Korea won first place for an edgy design based on slight asymmetrical movement and panels of color including butterscotch and soft, rusty red.

Dougherty, who was one of the competition’s five jurors, praised the style’s construction, as well as hair color, which she said “sings.”

Ukraine took second place for a decadent, theatrical cut and coordinated makeup.

Thailand’s simple lines and subtle colorations took third place.

“What’s so good about this design is the execution and harmony of color. It’s quite an interpretation — and such beautiful shine,” Dougherty commented.

Wella, the second leading hair care brand in Europe after L’Oréal, was acquired by Procter & Gamble in the spring of 2003 for $7 billion. Currently, the brand operates 100 studios and training centers worldwide reaching 1.6 million hairdressers, said P&G’s Kevin Otero, manager, North America, P&G Professional Care. He reported a 2 to 5 percent growth rate in the color category over the last five years in the North American market, citing in particular this year’s third quarter, which saw an increase of 27 percent over the same period in 2006. “We think there is an opportunity for much more growth to be driven by product innovation,” Otero said. “Asian countries will be the most important markets down the road, especially China and India. They represent tremendous growth areas.”

This story first appeared in the December 28, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Otero declined to reveal projections for next year “but I will say we’re off to a strong start.”

Speakers and Wella executives said the one-day event brought innovative executions and new technical skills and ideas to the hairstyling community, which was represented by 2,500 salon-industry professionals and 80 foreign journalists.

“This competition is the only international event where upcoming trends and new talent take center stage,” said Robert Jongstra, president of Procter & Gamble Global Professional Care.

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