Beauty has been trying hard to look effortless for a few years now. Unfussy hair, in the form of beach waves, undone updos and highlights that look deliberately grown-out, have dominated the runway and real world alike.
But for his spring 2017 Givenchy show, Riccardo Tisci asked the hairstylist Guido Palau for a look that was structured and sleek.
“It was sculptural,” said Mr. Palau, who used Redken Hardwear 16 Gel to lacquer the hair. “There was no part, and the way the gel broke the hair around the face, it looked like a mannequin’s head,” he said. It also called to mind one of Josephine Baker’s iconic looks: straight hair slicked down in face-framing curves.
“In fashion, there’s been a big trend of easy hair,” Mr. Palau said. “But now, and rightly so, designers are turning to more of a hairstyle. So we’re seeing girls who we saw as natural for the last couple years in a much different way, which seems exciting and new to the eye.”
The shift was particularly noticeable during Paris Fashion Week. At Dior there were topknots, but not of the “this was an afterthought” variety. There, Mr. Palau did a few braids up the back and pulled the rest of the hair elegantly to the crown of the head. “It was quite clean and severe, but had a nod to skater culture, too,” he said.
And that’s the key with the “new done” look: blending carefree with conspicuous. At the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of “Loving,” the star Ruth Negga’s short hair was finger-waved in the front with the sides left natural-looking — a modernized take on another style in the Josephine Baker range.
“Ruth has very pretty natural hair texture,” the hairstylist Charlotte Taylor said. “But to make it a little more interesting, we experimented with a deep side part, finger waves in front, and sides that were shiny and smooth.”
On the red carpet, Ms. Taylor said, trends change out of boredom. “A few years ago, it was all about Hollywood glam waves, but then that was considered cheesy,” she said. “That’s where the disheveled texture came from. People wanted that ‘model off duty’ look. Now there’s beginning to be a different idea.”
The hairstylist Nikki Nelms created very deliberate finger waves for Solange Knowles’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” video. The hair was surely an artistic choice, but with the album’s popularity, the throwback style will surely inform and influence street style.
For Janelle Monáe at the premiere of the film “Moonlight,” Ms. Nelms gave the singer and actress a deconstructed version of waves. “Janelle wanted to embrace the texture of her hair,” she said. “We created something at the intersection of natural texture and structure. But sometimes not being too neat works, too. It’s whatever you want.”
The hair color equivalent of the mussed beach wave has been ombré highlights: grown-out dark roots brightening to shades of blond on the ends. At Balenciaga, the colorist Rachel Bodt evened out the tones to simplify the models’ hair.
“Now if hair does have lightness on the ends, it shouldn’t be overly dramatic,” Ms. Bodt said. “It’s not so layered with different colors.”
The colorist Rita Hazan points to her most famous client to illustrate the aesthetic difference with a more polished look: “Beyoncé always had dark at the roots, but now she’s really blond. She’s married the roots and ends together. And if she’s doing it, what does that say?”