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(Photo: Giphy)

With all the cut and color trends jumping off the pages of magazines and the internet right about now (we couldn’t be more excited about the warmer weather’s arrival).

With all of us anxiously waiting to ditch our winter coats and freshen up our cut and color for spring, I sat down with talented stylist Mary Shipanik of Tranquility Salon Co., to get her expert tips for fabulous, game-changing hair in the warmer months ahead. Her confidence and technique in cut and color breathes new life into the lives of her clients, and her advice below will make you excited about the must-have trends ahead.

Read on for inspiration that will have you booking your next hair appointment before the weeks end.

(Related: Getting Over my Fear of Haircuts, One Snip At a Time

Q: What are the hot color trends for spring 2016? 

Warmer weather leads to clients wanting lighter and brighter hair! Blondes will never stop wanting to be blonder and everyone who went darker for fall and winter will be coming in to lighten up their look. I’m loving the “rooty blonde” and “baby lights” trend that a lot of people are starting to ask for. It allows clients to have a softer outgrowth at their root and not such thick bands of blonde, so they won’t feel they have to come back every 4-6 weeks for a highlight touch up. Without that harsh line where the highlights begin, it makes it seem a little more natural and helps clients feel more confident that they won’t have to be paying a lot to keep up with the look they want.

Untitled1This guest wanted the rooty blonde look and referenced a picture of Julianne Hough. Redken color/ R+Co Styling Products

“Bronde” is also extremely trendy. It gives brunettes a gorgeous sun kissed look without having to bring them to a super high level of blonde. The subtle dimension is perfect for anyone who wants change but nothing that requires a lot of maintenance! You get the best of both worlds: natural brunette base + a touch of blonde = BRONDE!  I absolutely love it!


Q: What are the latest must-have cuts for this coming spring?

Textured, lived in hair is a definite must! This can be accomplished through color, cut, or styling (or all three together). Not everyone gets their color done though, so it’s really important that the cut works for the clients.

Mary’s Advice to a client: Don’t ever leave with wet hair after a cut, especially if it’s not just a little snip on the split ends. Your hair isn’t wet all day long, it’s dry. So don’t you want to see how it looks in the form you have it 99.9% of your day to make sure it’s exactly what you are looking for?

I once took a class with an Aveda artist named Jon Reyman. He is an expert at cutting and has changed my perspective on how to service a client and make sure they get the same great results at home. He always does dry haircuts. He said to never hide behind a bad haircut by curling or styling it to mask how the cut looks after you blow dry. If a client doesn’t wear their hair curly every day, then it needs to look good straight as well.


Cut while dried and straight to make sure the unwanted bulk was removed and the texture didn’t lie uneven or sloppy. Then curled to show the client how the texture can be just as useful in “messy” beach waved hair.

Q: Any styles you’re most excited to see and do on clients this spring? 

I LOVE doing fun vivid colors. I just added some blue and turquoise into a new clients hair a couple weeks ago and it turned out amazing! The best part was taking her outside in the natural light and having the sun expose every bit of dimension and shine. So with spring around the corner a lot of pastel and bright colors will be requested by clients and I can’t wait!

Spring also kicks off my favorite time ever: wedding and prom season! I’m a sucker for love and romance and what’s better than combining those two things with the best job ever?! I’ll tell you girls out there one thing. When you have some sort of color dimension in your hair and you ask for anything with curls or braids, your results will be THE BOMB!

Some of Mary’s favorite wedding hairstyles:



Some of Mary’s favorite vivid/brighter colors:

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Q: What should clients specifically ask for when requesting these new cut and color techniques?

I think it’s important for a client to do their own research before they sit in anyone’s chair. The word “ombre” gets thrown around a lot and a stylist’s interpretation of the technique is usually different than that of a clients. Balayaged highlights are usually what they are looking for when they reference an “ombre.” It’s 2016 and we have Pinterest, Instagram, Google, different beauty blogs and SO many more research outlets at our disposal. So if you want Julianne Hough‘s cut, Jennifer Lawrence‘s color or a red carpet style that Blake Lively rocked—then show a picture! The great thing about this business is that trends are constantly changing and both new and old styles are rotating in and out! Some celebrities change their hair multiple times in a month. I mean look at how quick Kim K. went from dark to blonde and then to dark again. So make sure your stylist is working off the right cut, color or style you are referencing!

Q: Can you reference celebs or Insta photos featuring these cuts and color trends?

Instagram is my favorite source for hair trends and different styling ideas! I love following @RiawnaCapri whose clients include Julianne Hough, Hilary Duff, and Emma Roberts. One of my very talented co-workers, Lauren, has attended two classes with her and Nikki Lee from Nine Zero One Salon and has brought back some of the best tips and tricks for cut and color!

Another favorite page to follow for anyone looking to keep up with current trends is @BehindTheChair. The girls and I at Tranquility Salon Co. in Chicago are attending their “BTC On Tour” which is one day filled with 6 classes and 10 artists who will be teaching all the trends that are making their way into salons across the country! Continued education in this industry is so important. We want to keep your look up to date and selfie worthy.

Q: Any other beauty insight you’d like to share?

For those of you who want to go lighter for spring and you are naturally a dark brown, please appreciate and respect a stylist that won’t attempt getting you to a pale blonde in one visit. Big changes take time when maintaining healthy hair! And PLEASE kick the box to the rocks! Box color is never the answer when wanting a change with your hair! You’ll end up putting more time and money into your hair when you aren’t satisfied with those results. If you’re going to spend the money on getting your hair done, then don’t leave with out the product that is going to keep it looking and feeling like it does at that moment. The second you plop some of that dollar store brand shampoo on your freshly colored hair your pretty much just washing away the money you spent to get it. Invest in your hair… you wear it every day!

Find Mary Shipanik on Instagram @hairbymaryship and at Tranquility Hair Co. 9908 S. Walden Parkway, Chicago

All images and styling by Mary Shipanik.