Sometimes, it's what you don't see on the red carpets that's important.
Notably absent (or nearly absent) from both was the ombre. This dramatic, multi-tone style had a long, strong run and, of course, it will never disappear and it will eventually trend strong again. Virtually all hairstyles do.
Having said that, Fifth Harmony at the MTV Video Music Awards had some ombres in the group and that was about all we saw of this long-running favorite on the red carpets there. Even Beyonce's beautiful wavy tresses were fairly uniform and natural in color, a rich light brown with creamy highlights. She became the highlight of the night when Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy Carter presented her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The hair was there, stunningly beautiful, but soft and subtle in the bigger picture.
Was that an ombre that Kerry Washington of "Scandal" wore at the Emmys? Those color transitions were so soft and subtle, which followed the overall trend toward less dramatic looks. Other majors were wearing timeless bobs and pixies, others took cues from vintage looks, the 60s and 70s, in particular.
We saw the same trend toward more soft, subtle and understated hair at the MTV Music Video Awards. The effect was that we saw their eyes and smiles. We saw the faces of the presenters and honorees, beautifully framed and accented but not overwhelmed.
Fifth Harmony took the Moonman for Artist to Watch at the VMAs, a tremendous honor with lots of exposure. Three members of the hit group wore ombres for the event, two of them following the trend toward much softer, less dramatic color transitions (barely an ombre). The third was high-contrast, nearly black on top, quickly transitioning to blonde on the ends.
Big at the VMAs, but not so much at the Emmys, was the ponytail. Ariana Grande had a beautiful, high ponytail in creamy mocha, reminiscent of the late 60s and 70s, for her appearance on the red carpet and performance at the VMAs. She stepped onto the red carpet in a black leather mini and matching thigh-high go-go style boots, also an echo from the 60s with all kinds of contemporary updates. Others doing the high ponytail (think "I Dream of Jeannie"), were actresses Arden Cho and Victoria Justice.
Making a strong appearance at the Emmys and less so at the MVAs were braids. Big at both were bobs and pixies, the latter clearly trending strong. Among those at the Emmys with soft pixies were Halle Berry, Lena Headey from "Game of Thrones" and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting of "The Big Bang Theory." Mega star wearing a pixie at the VMAs was Miley Cyrus. Meanwhile, Sarah Hyland of "Modern Family" had hers in an elegant bun with soft light brown tones and caramel highlights. Hayden Panettiere of "Nashville" gathered hers in a soft, romantic chignon.