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Jill Leitz: Styling Rebecca Folsom

by Jill Leitz on Monday, July 26, 2010

Jill Leitz

As one of the most sought-after stylists in the beauty industry, Jill Leitz possesses an endless passion for creating innovative and conceptual styles that display the perfect balance between texture and movement. After almost four decades in the business, Jill stays on the cutting-edge of the hair industry with her unquenchable thirst for knowledge and training on the latest styles, techniques and theory. From design and color to client building and salon management, Jill has been gifted with overflowing creative talent combined with a strong commitment to educating, empowering, and inspiring fellow salon professionals. As a three-time NAHA award-winner, Jill’s reputation as a innovative and creative force has been recognized in spades by the beauty industry.

The day had finally come! A photo shoot with Rebecca Folsom, a talented musician, set in a local music studio that made Rebecca feel right at home and provided the perfect backdrop for setting the scene and nurturing our creative energy. And, believe me, the energy was buzzing that day! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning—what more could a passionate hair designer ask for? A talented musician (who happens to have a gorgeous head of reddish-auburn curls), a crew of open-minded people (a budding photographer with a bright future ahead of her, an experienced make-up artist, and an uber-creative artistic director), along with the freedom to shape and transform Rebecca’s hair any amazing way that I wanted.

I had a vision, but things kept unfolding in my mind as I began prepping Rebecca’s hair for the transformation. After shampooing and conditioning, I applied Redken Extreme Anti-Snap leave-in treatment to gently smooth the cuticle, fortify the hair, and act as a foundation for the day. Then, I applied a combo of Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotion and Blown Away 09 Blow-Dry Gel (both from Redken) for hold and protection, and then blew her dry with a medium-sized round Denman brush to create a full-bodied base.

Rebecca and I had discussed creating three entirely different looks for the shoot that she would choose from for the cover of her next CD. It was so much fun to see her enthusiasm and open-mindedness about both the shoot and her hair—she exemplified everything that a stylist could hope for in a model, and then some. I was inspired, and began the day with a beautiful romantic look to set the mood and get the creative juices rolling. I set a basic pattern for a Hollywood-glam wave, using a one-inch barrel Marcel curling iron.

With her first look done, Rebecca slipped into a hot little red dress and the camera began snapping away. That’s when the magic began … she picked up her guitar and began to sing—it was all so beautiful … Rebecca’s romantic hair, her sultry voice, and the soft riffs coming from her guitar. Everyone in the room could feel it, and that magical energy stayed with us the entire day. Even though we shot for the next five hours, it seemed like it flashed by in five minutes.

Folsom Red Dress

In line with the day’s building energy, I built the texture of Rebecca’s hair out for the next two looks with hairpieces that I had colored with the Shades EQ color line to match her hair. I prepped both the hairpieces and Rebecca’s hair with the tiniest Marcel curling iron (1/16”), combining the set with spiral tonging along with a rick-rack pin set. I used really small sections to get the maximum amount of texture, taking each individual curl, separating it with my fingers, and then brushing it out.

Folsom Blue Dress

With Rebecca in a slinky, galatic blue dress, we experimented with reproducing the soft, billowing texture of a cloud. She leaned against a black grand piano as the camera captured the whole atmosphere of magic for us. Throughout the day, I was thrilled that Rebecca didn’t say ‘no’ to anything I proposed. I had a vision of a harder, rocker style for the final look. I added more hairpieces and piled the texture in an up-do, which happened to perfectly match Rebecca’s black tank top, jeans, and cowboy boots. I heard her say “WOW” every time she looked in the mirror, which brought a big smile to my face.

Folsom Black Tank Top

It was truly a magical day. Rebecca had a great idea about how we could share the energy, the excitement, and the adventure of that day with you. We recorded a track during the photo shoot called ‘Mama’s House’—which we’ve made available here as a free download for all the readers of CurlStylist.com. You can hear Rebecca laughing at the end and saying something about her ‘big hair’ being stuck to the microphone. This is a special track that really captures the magic of that day—we hope you enjoy it! And, we’d love to hear your thoughts about Rebecca’s transformation, your tips and tricks for creating texture, and which of Rebecca’s looks gets your vote for her CD cover?

Have a listen!

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Begin having frequent staff meetings and collaborate on business building techniques used by others that you work with. Every salon has success right inside. Get the top booker to explain how they do it. Pair the weakest with the strongest and let them work next to each other. They can learn from what they hear and see. Do the same with retail sales. Share the ways that the top stay on top.

With cross marketing other services, know who the salon leaders are and copy them. Your staff becomes a resource to each other and by sharing dialouge that works, we all win.

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