Getting Ready for Spring
by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, March 7th, 2011
I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York, I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by sheckys.com, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the Best Cuts 2009.
Organic, messy texture for spring
The change of season will soon be upon us. Having assisted super stylist Orlando Pita on several NYC spring fashion shows, I have learned a thing or two about achieving different looks this season. Keep in mind that as a loyal employee it is not my place to take merit for the beautiful work that was done. I was part of an incredible team headed by Orlando that pulled off the beautiful looks. Those memories remind me why I love springtime so much. It’s just so easy to be glamorous! So here are some ideas I’d like to share on how you can make each spring look work for your clients.
One thing prevalent for spring is the addition of texture in most hairstyles. When I say texture, I’m not talking about uniformed waves that we see on most celebrities today. I mean texture that looks like beach hair without looking like loose curls. It is hair that looks like it was styled with a crimping iron or diffuser, less the uniformity, with the desired look being messier. Here are two different hair types and how to work with them to achieve what is hot for spring.
Straight or Wavy
The idea for spring is to create a messy texture that looks more organic rather than perfectly uniform. I recommend using Surf Salt Spray by Bumble and bumble with a diffuser. I would first towel dry the hair and work with five sections, one on top and the rest divided into four. To get the best results, work section by section for both product application and drying the hair (leaving the top for last). As you know the further away you hold the diffuser the less texture you will achieve and the closer you hold the diffuser the more texture you will get. It’s up to you. It’s important to leave no hair untouched—every strand has to be styled.
Straight hair is especially challenging when it comes to holding texture. If the hair has layers it will help you achieve more movement, but keep in mind this look is not about volume. After you have finished styling and the hair appears a little matte or dry from the salt, apply some Renew Dry Conditioner by Orlando Pita to add a little shine. The Renew Dry Conditioner is the only product I can always easily recommend. It is lighter than a silicone, which is heavy and will remove the texture.
Short and Spring-y
by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, March 29th, 2010
Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’ team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records.
Spring is in the air. Thoughts of spring turn up ideas of fresh starts and new beginnings. When we speak springy, short curly hair comes to mind. It is time to shed the heavy clothes, long sleeves and some hair. It is time to start selling shorter haircuts.
Many times I have overheard a client asking to go short and a stylist working hard to talk them out of it. How often is this about the shorter cut not being the right look for the client versus how often is the stylist projecting either their preference for long hair or their fear of the big snip?
Curly clients can benefit from short hair cuts in so many ways. Here are my top five tips for why shorter looks are great options for many curly clients and why there is no better time than NOW to help them take the big snip.
Short, curly hair offers a host of unique image options. The range of style choices is wide. The ability to create shape and form with textured hair is unique. This is when hair cutting becomes fun.
Short curly hair shows more curl. When length comes away, weight and drag is reduced. Curls kick in big time. If you and your clients love curl, your will have more curl to love as the length falls to the floor.
Short curly hair enjoys better overall condition. So much of the effort to maintain beautiful curly hair is focused on hair condition. The longer hair is the longer you have had it on your head. The older it is the more it has been exposed to the deteriorating elements of daily life. Short equals healthy, shiny hair that is full of vibrancy and life.
Short curly hair is easier to work with and maintain. You will save your client hours per month on daily styling, drying and working to achieve a more maintenance intensive, longer look. This is a great way to bring value to a client’s relationship and quality to their lives.
Short hair requires the use of less cleansing, conditioning and styling products. In point 4, above, short hair was a time saver. Now it is a money saver. If your client is embracing their greener side, the use of fewer products is a planet saver as well.
We have seen how short and spring-y haircuts are great for curly clients. Next blog we will continue this discussion by examining the top five reasons why cutting curly hair short is good for you as a stylist.
An ‘80s Fling For Spring
by Victoria Wurdinger on Monday, March 1st, 2010
Tonged curls look soft and loose within a strong shape. Hair by Xena Parsons for Xena’s Beauty Company, NY, NY.
David Bowie and Madonna meet Nancy Regan and Debbie Gibson? Time traveling ‘80s style is all about wishful thinking because the street hopes things get rich again. In the original decade, punk revival and the “hair bands” were all about an in-your-face reaction to politicians, while closer-to-God hair signified hope. By the end of the era, everyone wanted to look like a millionaire. Or now, like a Gossip Girl.
This is great news for curl because this time around, the takeaway is in the texture. On the 2010 fashion runways, the Chris Benz, J Mendel and John Patrick Organic shows all showed off spirals and waves, while Carolina Herrera got Orlando Pita to mix-up natural with glam in textured and twisted chignons. The ‘80s influence was in sophistication and shine, accessories (barrettes and beads) and asymmetry. Even low-at-the-nape chignons were worn offside, a much better look than that ‘80s ponytail that sprang out the side of your head.
Says Fabian Bordelon, owner of Fabian’s in Baton Rouge, LA, “Redoing the ‘80s will be fun. Eighties curl was frizz; now, frizz is intentionally avant garde. The new mainstream looks are lots softer than the older influences, but they still have a strong perimeter. The square bob is a perfect example. Texture is more controlled, and as part of the trend, every manufacturer has a perm that can be used on curl to make it bigger or more refined. If you don’t have great home-styling skills, cuts are stronger; if you’ve been home-schooled in styling by a salon, disconnected cuts are right.”
An ‘80s redo requires volume and glam styling. Styling by Darlene Martinez for Xena’s Beauty Company, NY, NY.
Glam rock hair had its ‘80s chemical romance, and it’s no different today, as the flat iron gives way to curl softeners and smoothers, presented as “cold” versions of Japanese Thermal Straightening. (Basically, they’re thio-based products.) Going out on a limb, we can bet you’ll never see Jheri curls again; styling products meld right into the hair to moisturize and give shape without grease, as evidenced by the slew of dry oils on the market.
You can’t talk ‘80s influence without mentioning big hair and bold color. These, too, favor curl, which expands with ease and embraces panels and color blocks, as opposed to micro-lights. Explains Dennis Bartolomei, who owns a namesake Chicago-based salon, “Hair is more expanded today, like the early ‘80s Sauvage cut and the curly wedge. The shapes are wider with narrow napes and heavy bangs—the cut controls the curl. For color, blocking shows-off shades much better. Color is always multi-dimensional: like nature, with extra punch.”
What else can you expect from hair that’s a little more haute than hip? Here’s what hairdressers say is Too Hot:
She’s Like the Wind
For volume and movement, braid, heat and release. Styling by Darlene Martinez for Xena’s Beauty Company, NY, NY.
Eighties hair was heavily rock-influenced, and 2010 trends were first showcased at the Grammy Awards. Talk about a difference! Volume was big but it went sideways, not up. Says Xena Parsons, owner of Xena’s Beauty Company in NYC and a Framesi educator, “Everyone at the Grammys had bend and wave. There’s no flat ironing now; curl can be crimped or braided and then let out. We like to use the tongs, which are U-shaped, as opposed to circular. Hair is styled with creamy pastes that disappear into the hair; they aren’t hard or sticky.”
For tight Afro curl, Parsons says texture is either left natural and cut geometrically or it’s softened and “redesigned” with a mild straightening product, like Framesi’s SILIS, which uses thio in a coconut-crème base. Longer hair is windswept or beachy. Says British-born educator Don Francis, who cuts at Marie Bove in NYC, “For the most part, hair is still very lose and mid-length-to-long, or quite short. The short trend will gain speed with the masses, like in the early ‘80s when the gamin crop was big. We just need another Mia Farrow to spark it off. Commercially, lengths are longer but they’re pretty shapeless and neutral, so that hair can be thrown up with accessories like hair bands and clips—not those ‘80s banana clips! Volume is definitely starting to evolve to an everyday thing.”
Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun
Within the opposing trends of strong geometric shapes ( for shorter hair, tighter curl) versus near-shapeless (for longer hair, looser curl), disconnection and asymmetry come into play for the latter. Parsons forecasts extremely strong asymmetrical styles and for longer, textured hair, various disconnected lengths with volume in strategic places. This playful approach also mixes up textures, with crimped sections being most reflective of ‘80s hair. On her recent trip from Italy, Parsons says there were no real “hair cuts,” just good shapes that flowed naturally from shoulders to the mid-back. Texture play adds the fun, with waves, crimps, braids and curls adding spicy variety to a single style. However, even textural mixes look pre-planned, with a classic twist.
Roll with it
Try an expanded finish, topped with a fat braid.
At iDaburn in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, (www.idaburn.com), stylists recognize that no two curls are the same. Explains the salon’s Floor Manager and Network Educator, Laura Garwasiuk, “This year more than ever, natural textures are in. They can range from barely there kinks to the tightest, most rebellious curls. Cuts are freehand, airy and inspired. It’s hard to put a limiting trend to what is going on in the curly world, there’s so much diversity. Our trends are in our consultations and executions. However, we especially love long waves or spirals with visual layers, cut and textured to each curl’s natural movement.”
Do That to Me One More Time
Au courant color may be more natural than Flock of Seagulls’ lightening-strike white, but it’s never a singular sensation. Here’s one thing everyone agrees on: roots are darker and ends are lighter. Bordelon adds color blocks by placing them to direct the eye, based on face shapes. Bartolomei says he lightens ends using balayage, but adds the end color to the underlayers only. It’s a big hit in Chicago, were Level 5 brunette gets feathered-on gold or pale gold end color. If you foil ends first, you almost always end up adding more balayaged pieces, he says.
Let’s Go Crazy
Also cool for curl is Parson’s Plasma technique, in which hair is placed on a Visibles see-through coloring strip before darker shades are added at the root area and lighter color is brushed-on the ends. Then, the hair is covered with another cellophane strip and the formulas are mashed together, while the colorist observes the borderline-free effect. Make it strong with whites and purple, or choose colors on the subtle side. The only requirement is that the color look opulent again…and Simply Irresistible.