Posts Tagged ‘aquage’

Hot New Products from ABS

by ABS '11 on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Chicago, IL - In addition to wild new hairstyles and dramatic shows, a number of brands debuted hot new products at this year’s America’s Beauty Show. Here are some of the ones that caught our attention.

Tigi’s Session Series. From Tigi’s Catwalk collection comes the new Session Series, seven new styling products designed to help stylists get high-fashion looks. Some of the standouts inclue Styling Cream, Salt Spray and Work It Hairspray.

Original Moxie. I approached a girl with gorgeous curls on the show floor, and it turned out she recently launched Original Moxie, a line of botanically-enriched, natural products tailored to fit the needs of diverse hair types. Curlies will love Mane Tame, Everyday Leave-in, Shape Shifter, Twist Mist, Hair Blong and Oasis Moisture Gel.

Brazilian Blowout’s Zero. From Brazilian Blowout comes Zero, a new smoothing solution with 0% formaldehyde released before, during or after treatment. It uses a proprietary plant-derived KeraSafe Bonding System to deposit and seal essential amino acids into the hair, lasting up to 12 weeks.


Original Moxie

Brazilian Blowout

Other noteworthy products:

Aquage’s Biomega. Aquage launched its new Biomega line, a collection of new styling and texturizing products. Some of the noteworthy products include Behave Smoothing Elixer, Text Me Flexible Taffy and Shake It! Volumie Boosting Activator. Shake It! contains powdered polymers enhanced with omega-rich spirulina that can be combined with other products to increase the hold. The more you shake in, the stronger the hold and volume.

Pravana’s Perfection SmoothOut. Pravana Naturceuticals unveiled new Perfection SmoothOut, a patent-pending formula that smooths frizzy, coarse or curly hair. Perfection’s low pH formula contains no harsh chemicals. The gentle formula allows for cleansing and color services immediately after the SmoothOut. The service lasts eight to 10 weeks when used with Perfection Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner.

Kenra’s Platinum Recovery Polish. Kenra introduced new Platinum Recovery Polish, an ultra-lightweight restorative leave-in treatment that combats dehydration and smoothes the damaged cuticle of the hair for incredible softness and definition with natural movement. It resists humidity for up to 20 hours, so it’s perfect for blowouts and naturally curly styles.

Biolage Limited Edition Shampoo and Conditioner

Biolage. As part of its Spring Renewal Launch, Biolage introduced a co-branded Limited Edition Shampoo and Conditioner. Products from participating salons will benefit the Conservation Fund’s Go Zero program. In return, Biolage will donate up to $100,000 to the fund to restore America’s forests and offset harmful carbon dioxide emissions. Customers buying the shampoo and conditioner will also receive a free Spring Renewal travel body kit.

Texture: The Season of Texture!

by Modern Salon on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010


Learn more about Texture!, a collaboration between CurlStylist, NaturallyCurly and Modern Salon

By all appearances, fall 2010 will go down in fashion history as “the season of texture.” Dozens of notable fashion designers have eschewed straight strands, embracing instead all manner of curls, coils, crimps, waves and teased clouds of hair on their catwalks.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

On the West Coast, style setters are also advancing the texture trend. Nearly every red carpet is adorned with sexy, romantic textures, made popular by stars like Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron and Beyonce.

“Clients today are requesting anything but flat hair,” says Lina Shamoun, a 2010 North American Hairstyling Awards Texture Finalist from Kitchener, Ontario.

And regardless of whether clients are starting out with natural curl, wave or pin-straight strands, everyone has texture options this season!

Natural Curl: Embrace and Refine

“Curly hair is coming into its own,” says Titi Branch, co-owner of Miss Jessie’s Products and Salon in New York. “Twenty years ago, we wouldn’t even be talking about curly hair because people straightened their curls.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

“Now, women want to embrace their natural, healthy curl. Michelle Obama even wore curls to a state dinner recently— for her to do so really validates the beauty of the look.”

But curly can also be high maintenance, admits Branch, which is why the current trend is a smoother, looser curl pattern.

“This allows a woman to keep her curl,” she explains, “but refine it.” At Miss Jessie’s, this elongated curl is achieved with the salon’s proprietary “Silkener” service. The technique involves a sodium hydroxide relaxer and a method of manipulation that stretches, yet doesn’t straighten, the hair.

“The result,” says Branch, “is hair that behaves like natural hair when it’s wet—before it dries and shrinks. It’s wash and go—it cuts styling time in half.” To support natural curls, Branch recommends Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding treatment—a perennial favorite that combines macadamia and almond oil, aloe and shea butter for shine, plumping and moisture.

Curl definition is also imperative for Shawna Parvin’s curly clients, and the most modern approach, says the Aquage educator, NAHA 2009 Texture Winner and 2010 Hairstylist of the Year nominee, is to mix it up—random curl sizes, directions and even amounts of definition. “I’m telling my clients to start with a gel on damp hair,” she says, and comb it through scalp to ends. “Then wind sections of varying sizes, in every direction, so they look like little snakes. Don’t touch the hair until it’s completely dry, then move it around and even pull a few random pieces apart so there’s some fuzz mixed in with the curl. That’s what keeps curl from looking like the ’80s.”

Options are important for women with any texture, and naturally curly clients will always want blowouts for occasions when their hair must look polished, says Dickey, owner of New York’s Hair Rules Salon and hair products company. What makes blowouts look fresh this season, he says, is a voluminous, soft, Mad Men-inspired look, with lots of flattering movement around the face.

“Bone straight doesn’t work for most women,” he comments. “Waves and curls look softer on anyone—it’s ‘instant youth.’”

Making Waves—Keep it Raw

When it comes to creating curls and waves, the perfectly formed curls are evolving into a rougher, more raw-edged texture, says Chad Seale of Salt Lake City, another 2010 NAHA Texture finalist.

“Waves will be more vertical, looser, less constructed than we’ve seen in past seasons,” agrees Darby Shields, Associate Artistic Director of ISO International.

Wavy Hair

When it comes to these vertical waves, there’s also a new silhouette worth noting, adds Seale, namely, a flatter crown with more volume through the midlengths and ends. Seale loves this texture and shape on shorter-length bobs—actress Charlize Theron has been seen sporting the look. To permanently create this casual texture on tightly curly hair, Shields steers clients to the ISO Maintamer.

“This formula gives stylists plenty of control,” she explains. “Leave it on for five minutes, and it eliminates frizz but maintains the curl pattern. Leave it on for 30 minutes and it straightens more completely.”

To produce loose, ropey, “Gisele” texture with a thermal iron, Shields first mists strands with a combination of ISO Color Preserve Thermal Shield Spray and Daily Shape Working Spray, then wraps sections of hair vertically around the outside of a curling iron, simultaneously twisting each section onto itself like a rope. Once the hair cools completely, she gently releases the twists, revealing “a spiral, vertical wave with lots of internal torque.”

The flat iron is another excellent tool for creating this type of natural-looking body and texture. Many of today’s irons feature beveled plates, which give them the versatility to straighten and shape hair. One of Lina Shamoun’s favorite strategies is to divide hair into thin, one-inch sections, place the flatiron at the root, wind the section once around the iron and draw the tool through to the ends.

“When you release it, the hair will fall into a soft, flowing wave,” she explains.

The beach trend—textured, separated, sea-tossed strands—has generated a number of beach spray products that are great for supporting these looks or for use as stand-alone body boosters.

Color for Curl

With celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston leading the way, the hottest hair color trend of the moment is the graduated “I spent last month on the beach and now it’s growing out” effect. Characterized by deeper roots and lighter midshafts and ends, it’s a deliberate technique to approximate “vacation regrowth.” The look is perfect for the twists and turns of textured hair, as long as the technique is done correctly.

Seale believes baliage is the best strategy—this freehand hair-painting method allows the colorist to place the tint exactly where the sun would kiss each strand, namely, on the rounds and fullest parts of each curl and in an unstructured fashion.

“So if your client wears her hair curly,” Seale advises, “don’t blow her hair straight and do a color weave. You’ll get six different colors on one curl and that doesn’t work.”

Additionally, says Seale, opt for high-lift permanent colors when baliaging curls, rather than bleach. “Bleach tends to swell the hair and cause it to become dryer,” he believes.

This hair type is already susceptible to dryness, he adds, so it’s better to use hair color that tends to impart less damage. Shields agrees that baliage is the best way to achieve the dark-to-light look, and advises stylists to work with fairly large sections. “Apply your color to each section randomly,” she suggests. “And for your application pattern, let the trajectory of the waves guide you—dropping off of the crown. Try some ‘peek-a-boo’ foils under the surface, too.

“All of this will create a purposeful, grown-out look, which clients today love since it’s chic and it allows them to stretch their retouching dollars!”

The Road to NAHA: From Vision to Collection

by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Shawna parvin

Shawna Parvin

When the North American Hairstyling Awards announced their winners in July in Las Vegas in July, it was an exciting celebration after months of hard work for these creative stylists. Like making an Oscar-award winning movie or producing an Emmy-award winning television show, the road to the NAHAs — considered the industry’s most prestigious awards — requires creativity and a lot of hard work.

We talked to the winner and a finalist for the “Texture category” to get a taste of what their process was like. Hearing their stories may also serve as inspiration to other stylists who want to showcase their work.

Stylist Shawna Parvin of Vain Salon in Austin, an Aquage educator, got the inspiration for her entry while on a vacation in Cambodia.

“The Banyan trees were growing all over the temple Angkor Wat with a loopy, organic feel, ” Parvin says. “I wondered whether I could translate that to hair. When I first tried it, I couldn’t get it quite right.”

Last year, she entered it in the Avant Garde category. This year, she decided to recreate that original idea, making it simpler.

“I had an idea of how I wanted the images to look,” Parvin says. “If you look at the images, you’ll see a story. You’ll see a tree, a bird and a nest. The pieces are all so powerful that in order to work I needed to have simpler ideas.”

Parvin, who has been doing hair for close to 17 years, also understood the importance of her collection fitting within a category. She had gained insight into how to create a winning entry by attending an Aquage Masterclass Academy. At the academy, Aquage co-founder and stylist Louis Alvarez teaches the importance of learning to create a hairstyle collection and how to create photos that show the stylist’s own unique perspective while showcasing beautiful hair.

Because Parvin didn’t have a lot of money to invest in the project, Parvin contacted a great photographer who had some model friends.

“I knew the face was going to be the most important thing, so I found girls with beautiful features,” Parvin says. “Then I made the hair work with them.”

To create her exotic look, she used hair pieces and Aquage products. To create the tree, for example, she used Defining Gel. The bird design was created using Aquage Working Spray and wire. Parvin and Austin photographer, Holly Bronko, shot the hairstyles in January.

“Using (hair) pieces was an advantage I had because the hair was already done,” Parvin says.

The results were dramatic - and the judges agreed. While on vacation in China in April, Parvin found out she was a finalist.

A select panel of more than 60 judges, including editors from Nylon, Glamour, OK! Magazine, Teen Vogue, Life & Style and Zink, judged more than 600 entries through an online judging process. Entries were cut down to five finalists per 12 categories, and a winner in each category was selected.

Dimitrios Tsioumas, a KMS educator with New York’s MIzu Salon, entered NAHA last year for the first time and was a finalist for NAHA Stylist of the Year. This year, he was a finalist for the Classic and Texture categories.

Dimitrios Tsioumas

Dimitrios Tsioumas

Tsioumas attributes his success to finding the right inspiration, and taking the time to make that vision a reality. He says he spent six months working on his entries for the 2009 NAHA wards.

He was inspired by composite materials for his Texture collection. Within each look, he says he created a variety of textures, experimenting on actual hair to create his looks.

With one look, he wanted it to look like a cloud, so he had a combination of defined, frizzy and agitated curls all in one look. He did a lot of bobby pin sets, wire-tail comb sets and flat ironing as well as extensions. He might run his fingers through a defined curl to create frizz. He says he spent a lot of time practicing on his models before the actual photo shoot to achieve the looks he wanted.

“With naturally curly hair, not every curl is perfect and that’s what makes it beautiful,” Tsioumas says. “You may have a lot of definition, and right next to it you may have a frizzier curl or a looser curl. That really makes the defined curl pop because you’re giving it contrast.”

While the models had natural wave, he didn’t use their natural texture to create the look but created his own look to celebrate texture. He used Goldwell from the Curl and Wild segment for the project.

The initial looks were done on mannequins, and from there he created a color palette that would best represent the look. After that, he selected models who could wear the colors.

“The colors informed which models I chose,” he says. “For the cloud look, I needed a model that would look good as a platinum blond.”

Tsioumas treats his NAHA entries as a hobby — an extensive hobby, he says. It can run in the tens of thousands of dollars if you hire a top-notch photographer, professional models, a makeup artist and a fashion stylist, he says.

But he stresses that stylists need not start big. Stylists need not hire an expensive photographer when they’re getting started. And while it is helpful to align yourself with a haircare manufacturer because of the support they provide, it is not necessary.

Both Parvin and Tsioumas encourage stylists to enter contests such as NAHA. They can push you as an artist, and being a finalist can give a stylist a lot of recognition within the industry.

“It’s a great way to record your work,” Tsioumas says. “It’s exciting to see your work among the country’s most talented hairdressers. It’s a great inspirational and motivational tool for me. It’s definitely a great way to stand out, and validation that you’ve made it.”

And don’t be discouraged if you don’t go to the podium on your first try. Parvin says this year was her third year to enter, and her first to be a finalist. “If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice,” she says.

Show Your Stuff
in Fashion Frenzy Competition

by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Have you ever wished the world could watch as you transformed an ordinary client into someone extraordinary?

BSG CosmoProf is sponsoring the Fashion Frenzy Hair Styling Competition Aug. 30-31 in at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill. at the Fashion Focus show. Teams must make over an ordinary client into a fashion-forward professional. The winning team will receive a photo shoot with Babak centered around the winning styles, and will be featured on the cover of CosmoProf Shopping Guide.

Judging for the Stylist Competition will take place at 3 p.m. Aug. 30, and judging for the Student Competition will take place at 2 p.m. Aug. 31.

Styling makeovers can include three stylists per team, while student makeovers can have six students per team. Each team gets one model to make over, either male or female.

Judging will be based on hair, esthetics, nails and fashion. Hairpieces and/or accessories cannot cover more then one-third of the head, and a minimum of one color is required in the hair

Geno Stampora

The event will be hosted by industry legend Geno Stampora, the 2009 inductee of NAHA North American Hairstyling Awards Hall of Leaders. Stampora has been a distributor and sales consultant to salons, a major platform artist, and has shared the stage with the world’s greatest artists.

Fashion Focus 2009 in Schaumburg is an opportunity for stylists to learn from some of the biggest talents in the business. It’s an opportunity to learn about new cutting techniques, get client consultation advice, find out about marketing ideas and learn management tips.

Exhibitors include American Crew, Aquage, Joico/ISO, Goldwell/KMS, Kenra and many more.

For more information, click here or e-mail

How to Choose the Curly Hair Products that Fit Your Needs

by Lilly Rockwell on Friday, July 31st, 2009

The Styling Hutch in Plano, Texas, has made a name for itself for its expertise in cutting curly hair. So when owner Claudia Phillips was looking for a line of products to use and sell at her salon, she wanted to make sure she chose one that covered the gamut of clients who walked through her door — from wavy to super kinky.

After using products by Ouidad, a New York stylist who has been a pioneer in curly hair care, she decided to get her salon certified to use Ouidad products and cutting techniques. Phillips says she tried several lines, but across the board, nothing else compared to Ouidad.

“The fact that I can use the whole line for all of our clients was my major consideration,” Phillips says. “There was something for everyone, and it really works. Clients go out looking good, which makes us look good. People come from the other side of the Dallas Metroplex to buy more products.”

Walk into a random selection of salons, and you’ll see that the hair-care products stylists use vary dramatically. Their product choices often are influenced on such factors as the type of salon a stylist works for, the season, the clientele, environmental leanings, nearby competitors and even the economy.

For many stylists, picking which products to use can be an overwhelming task. How do you cut through the marketing hype to pick which products to offer clients and which ones to discard? Stylists say this task is made especially difficult when dealing with curly hair. A product that works well with wavy hair won’t necessarily help someone who has tight corkscrew-shaped curls. And often the choice may go beyond the product to the type of support a company offers, such as training.

aveda be curly hair products

Some salons carry one line, such as Aveda, exclusively.

In some cases, a stylists may work for a salon affiliated with a certain line of products, such as Aveda, Redken or Bumble and bumble. Others stylists may have more leeway, picking products based on the preferences of their clientele and their own personal likes and dislikes. That may mean picking and choosing products from a variety of brands to find the products that meet particular needs.

Some stylists have intricate methods they go about to select hair-care products.

Teresa Callen, who opened her Menlo Park, Calif.-based Image Arts Salon this year, said she frequently receives sample shipments of new hair-care products and sends some time through them to decide which ones to use. But this can be a chore, she says.

“When you work with a product you have to know it as intimately as the lines on the back of your hand,” explains Callen, who has worked as a hair stylist for more than 25 years and specializes in cutting curly hair. “Some of it is trial and error.”

Callen acknowledges she has made “a ton of mistakes” over the years.

“I first use them on my head, then I have my friends use them,” Callen says.

This process takes two to three weeks, and then her friends deliver what they don’t use and provide feedback. She also has a few select clients try the samples.

“Some clients are brilliant at giving feedback and they love to get new products,” she said.

jessicurl hair products

Jessicurl is among the lines Teresa Callen sells in her salon.

Callen currently offers Jessicurl and DevaCurl products, but keeps a close watch on which products sell faster than others. If sales drop “so bad I can’t move it off the shelf,” Callen’s solution is simple: she stops carrying it.

Picking the right product line can really enhance your business, Callen says, bringing in customers that are loyal to that brand. “In the long run, it can be lucrative,” to stick with a certain product line, she says.

Other hair stylists prefer to switch it up, bringing in new lines to attract clients.

That was the case for American Mortals Salon, a 9-year-old salon in Philadelphia. Co-owner Kimberly Bond says she tried a wide variety of product lines before pursuing Bumble and bumble, after watching one of the company’s “Hair Stories” videos, which documented the company’s history.

“We were riveted,” says Bond. “It was the first time my husband (co-owner of the salon) ever related to something like this. It was amazing to witness a company that had a culture so similar to our own culture. They created a product line based of need from their stylists’ experiences.”

American Mortals made the switch three years ago, and retail sales have responded dramatically, tripling from what it was before they became affliated with Bumble.

“We’re selling more retail than we ever sold before, and we have better access to training,” said Bond, who is a big fan of the company’s Curl Conscious line for curly hair.

Hair stylist Cristin Armstrong, who works at New York City-based Takamichi Salon, loves to try new products.

“I try to keep current and ask my clients what they are using,” she says. “I’m always curious what people are using and what is new.” Armstrong spends time researching new products as well, pouring over reviews online and flipping through style magazines to learn about new products.

Hair stylists said they learn a lot about new products by asking their clients what they use. If they hear a certain name pop up frequently, stylists say they will try it out on their own hair and look into carrying it at their salon.

Some stylists prefer to develop and sell their own products, a trend that has been particularly apparent in the curly niche. Curly hair guru Jonathan Torch, who opened the Toronto-based Curly Hair Institute in 2005, has designed his own product line Curly Hair Solutions.

Torch said developing the product line was key to improving his business. If somebody has curly hair, it needs cutting very seldom, while straight-haired customers may need their hair cut more frequently. Curly-haired customers are more apt to buy styling products and targeted shampoos and conditioners more often, he said.

Salons and stylists that cater to both curly and straight hair say they must offer a wide range of products for their clientele because their needs vary.

Tiffany Anderson-Taylor is in charge of retail sales for Essentials, the St. Petersburg, Fla. salon where she works.

“The lines we carry we felt were more appropriate to handle everybody’s needs,” she said.

Her salon carries DevaCurl, Aquage and Brocato product lines.

“Deva was one of the first to stand up and say ‘look, curly hair is different and you need to respect it for being different,’ ” she said.

In some cases, the decision is based on more than just the product in the bottles. It may be the brand recognition, the business support or the training that help a stylist or salon make the decision to choose one brand over another.

Bond was attracted to the business support Bumble provided as well as the continuing education. “You could see they really supported their salons,” she says.

Being a Ouidad-certified salon has helped The Styling Hutch attract clientele from around the country, says Phillips.

“That affiliation gives us credibility among our curly clients that we know what we’re doing with curly hair,” Phillips says.

Sometimes a salon has to take competitive factors into consideration, such as diversion. This refers to the controversial practice of professional hair-care products finding their way into grocery stores and pharmacies because of lax distribution processes. Walk into any supermarket, and there will be an aisle full of brands that used to be found exclusively at salons — a trend that angers stylists and cuts into their bottom line.

Essentials will only offer products that can’t be bought at your local supermarket, which enhances the allure of the salon, Anderson-Taylor said.

Now that many consumers are paying attention to how “green” their purchasing habits are, many stylists prefer to offer products made organically. Stylists say it’s important to read the product labels to figure out which products truly adhere to organic principles and which don’t.

Cala Renee, who runs her own salon in Beverly, Mass., says she carries the DevaCurl line in to cater to her curly-haired clientele, but also liked the product line’s emphasis on natural plant-based ingredients.

“I searched for a line that is all organic,” said Renee, whose salon specializes in curly hair.


Cala Renee carries Sukesha products in her salon.

She also carries Sukesha, which contains no sulfates and focuses on plant-based natural ingredients. And she offers the Aquage line, which uses organic ingredients from seaweed and algae extract. “I’m trying to go as green as possible.”

Representatives visit her salon every two weeks, she says, pushing new products. Like many stylists, she uses the products on herself first before she’ll consider using them on her clients.

Still, no matter how great a product is, if it’s too pricey, she doesn’t offer it, adding that a salon’s price ceiling can change depending on its location. She also monitors what her competitors are carrying and at what prices.

With all the attention Renee pays to the products she carries, she said she still isn’t sure that they ultimately drive clients to choose her salon over others.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s the product line that gets the people into the salon,” Renee said. “I think it’s the reputation of the hair-cutting and curly hair specialists.”

She hesitates a moment and adds, “And then, they love the Deva.”

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