Posts Tagged ‘updos’

How to Create Scarlett Johansson’s Auburn Updo

by CurlStylist on Friday, June 24th, 2011

How to Create Scarlett Johansson's Auburn Updo

Scarlett Johansson

Celebrity hairstylist David Babaii has created many celebrity updos including Scarlett Johansson’s look for the 5th Annual Spike TV Guys Choice Awards. To create her beautiful auburn shade for your clients, David recommends using Couture Colour Luxeblend Creme Hair Colour with Pequi Oil.

• Hair is 200% stronger after one color application

• Deep, penetrating color without ammonia

• No-drip, multi-dimensional glossy color

To achieve the look, David started with a small amount of Pequi Oil massaged through the hair after shampooing. Next, he dried her tresses using his hands throughout to build volume and texture. When dry, he added additional Pequi Oil to his hands using his fingers to comb the hair back, allowing sections to fall into place naturally. To finish, David twisted and bobby pinned strands to create a “piecey” updo. 

Create the Celebrity Looks from the SAG Awards

by CurlStylist on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Is your client wanting to change up their texture or are they going for a celebrity-inspired hairstyle for their next event? Take a look at tips from celebrity stylists behind the scenes at the SAG awards.

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman

For Nicole Kidman:

Starting with clean hair, David Babaii applied his new favorite must have product called Couture Colour Pequi Oil Treatment to her entire head. It is rich in moisture-restoring antioxidants, Vitamin A, E, proteins and lipids. The Pequi Oil Treatment instantly absorbs and won’t weigh hair down.

Next, he blow dried Nicole’s hair with the IT&Y HAIRFASHION Ionic Dryer that supplies super-fast drying power along with a large round brush to achieve a sleek straight finish. After the hair was dried, he gently back combed the top and sides for volume and then smoothed the surface.

To begin the up-do, he swept the hair gently over creating a faux side-part and brining the rest of the hair to the center back and securing with a band just at the top of the nape. David wrapped the hair into an un-structured Chignon and securing with bobby pins. The secret was not to over comb or smooth the hair but to allow the hair to create a soft natural look. To finish, he used additional Pequi Oil to her bang area to define strands. For added glamour, David added a subtle decorative clip to the side.

IT&LY Loves Hollywood!

by CurlStylist on Thursday, September 30th, 2010

The IT&LY Hairfashion team put on quite the performance over three days in Las Vegas. The 3 days of classes started with an amazing fashion show and awards ceremony where the top celebrity stylists were awarded for their outstanding work in the industry. CurlStylist was buzzing around meeting and greeting, and here is a run-down of what we saw!

italy hairfashion

Alison Shipley and I

Started out Sunday with Alison Shipley, of Modern Salon. This girl is amazing! Not only does she travel as editor for “Modern Salon,” but is currently enrolled to become a stylist. She understands the need for the education in this industry. How she finds time to do all of this is beyond us!


Busy behind-the-scenes action!

We then went over to the Body English Nightclub where they were setting up and getting ready for the night. Janice McCafferty (PR guru for all things beauty) introduced us to all of the stylists who were running around, preparing models for the runway show portion of the evening.

Red Model

Gorgeous Curly Model!

We saw so many curls! These IT&LY educators really love their volume, and we couldn’t agree more! Our personal favorite was a natural red-head with voluptuous curls that were accompanied by branches and flowers.

We had the pleasure of meeting several stylists who have been in the industry throughout the decades and have worked with some of the most amazing people! Barbara Lorenz and Bonnie Clevering shared stories of how tricky working with curly hair can be on the set of a movie. Apparently, Jennifer Lopez’s hair needs constant attention in humid climates! We also learned that Bonnie was the stylist for Elvis, saying that the hardest part of working with him was keeping his pompadour up!

Kenneth Walker

Kenneth Walker

Kenneth Walker has worked with naturally curly hair his entire life. Some of his clientele consists of Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson, and Denzel Washington, just to name a very few. Kenneth was one of the most inspirational people to speak with, to hear his passion for hair and beauty was refreshing to say the least.

Next came the awards ceremony, where we celebrated these 14 amazing stylists and their work throughout the years. CEO Richard Zucckero showed his gratitude and appreciation to have these stylists as part of the IT&LY family. Overall, the celebration was a success and a good time was had by all!

Antonio’s View: Build a Bridal Kit

by Antonio Gonzales on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

antonio gonzales

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 N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

See Antonio’s blog here.

Helping in fulfilling the dreams of the bride-to-be can be so rewarding!!! Seeing her big smile as you put the veil in her hair, and watching her rushing off (with brides maids in tow) to the altar always gives me satisfaction. As I am preparing my bridal kit to leave town for a wedding I was inspired to write this article in hopes of helping you build your own bridal kit. Should we really have a bridal kit? Let me explain; I have a stocked kit especially for fashion week with every imaginable tool needed to get a super model ready. I have spent weeks with Joey Martino’s guidance (my in salon educator when Orlando is away) on the best tools and products needed to get the job done efficiently.

Well, how about a bridal hair kit? A bridal kit is basically every imaginable tool needed for the hairstylist to be salon ready, or to take his talents on the road. After years of doing brides, I have mastered a bridal kit. With this kit in hand, I am ready for an entire bridal party with every hair type imaginable. Here is everything you need for a complete bridal kit to enable you to leave a lasting impression on the bridal party during that special day.

The Bridal Kit

Use a small-enough suitcase so that it does not look like you’re carrying half the salon and a shampoo bowl. I recommend using a case the size of carry-on luggage. Make sure your case is of good quality as it may get tossed around as you dash off to your appointments, and you do not want to show up looking like you borrowed some duffel bag from a deceased relative.

The Best Styling Products

Curl Cream We can argue about what the best curl cream is till the cow jumps over the moon. All I can say is if you have curl products that you can’t live without, go right ahead and use them. I protect my favorite curl combo with my life as well.

Texture When I work on an updo (curly or straight hair) I generally ask the bride not to wash her hair the day of the event. As you may have experienced, no matter how often we tell brides not to wash their hair the day of the wedding they show up with fluffy, soft slippery hair that’s an enemy of the bobby pin. Elevate by Orlando Pita is a water-free, quick-drying spray designed to use with any heating tool to add shine, volume and texture. It has helped me immensely! I can use this on the cleanest head of hair and get a texture that is easier to work with and it does not leave a tacky feel. It’s also great for extensions that may feel too heavy and slippery.

Volume As you work with your client’s hair (whether you are setting or diffusing), volume is necessary. My all-time favorite product for this is Plump by Orlando Pita. It is hair dryer activated, thickens and expands hair and is weightless. Apart from great volume, it offers a rich revitalizing blend of keratin, Vitamin B5 and botanical like bay leaf laurel. In the past when I need a fast acting product for the brides maids quick do, the previous products were good but dried too fast making the hair hard to brush as I style. Plump is strong enough without drying too fast which gives me endless time to work. The bonus to Plump is that it is great on all hair types.

Sculpt Hamadi Shea Pomade is an easy to use soft paste that helps tame the mane ridding it of those pesky fly-away hairs. A tiny bit on your fingers can help with sculpting curly ends as you go, while hydrating and defining at the same time. The Shape Paste sculpting putty by Shu Uemura is next on my list of favorites. It’s a cross between a light paste and a putty so it’s not as dry. It’s amazing for unruly hairlines and fly-away hairs on less curly (wavy) hair.

LacquerThe Sculpting Gel by Bumble and bumble is definitely worth getting. It can be used on short wavy hair, added to your favorite curl solution for a boost. It also works well as a setting lotion on damp hair. The best part is you can brush the hair without experiencing the flakes left behind by so many other products. So go ahead and sculpt a few finger waves and put your client under some gentle heat, then voila! Beautiful hair and did I mention “no flakes”!

Workable Hair Spray Oh I’m getting excited now (smile). I have one word for you: control. No, not Janet Jackson’s control, it’s Orlando Pita’s Control Spray and the benefits are endless. It will not dry out the hair over time and delivers a workable fast drying soft spray that’s perfect for heat styling. It’s a finish to die for! It’s particularly great for curly hair leaving it feeling soft and manageable.

Shine Spray This is an important part of the finishing of your beautiful hair style. I have used some shine products that smell like moonshine and some that left the hair like an oil slick. My all-time favorite shine spray is Barex Gloss Hair Spray. It gives high shine without the toxic fumes and works well.

Hair Powder Once I had a beautiful Indian bride-to-be that wanted a very classic updo with lots of hair, the problem was her hair was very fine. After adding the extensions and styling, the front of her hair was still a little fine. Luckily I had a can of black hair powder, I lightly sprayed the base of her hair and it added just a hint more color which made the world of difference. She was so happy and felt confident as she made her way down the aisle.

Standby Hair Extensions I always recommend having extra human hair clip-in extensions in black, blond and brown in your kit. If you are working on primarily curly hair clients you can perm your extensions with pink and peach color perm rods. This way they are close to the client’s natural curl (or close enough). I do not recommend styling a head of natural curls and adding straight hair extensions that were curled by a curling iron. The last thing you want is for the natural curl to hold and the curl created with a hot iron to not hold and like a dead animal hanging on the back of the bride’s head.

Hair Brushes No bridal kit would be complete without the following hair brushes, a large Mason Pierson brush and a small Mason Pierson brush (for bangs), three sizes round wooden boar bristles, three sizes in round ceramic/metal brushes, a paddle brush, teasing brush, teasing comb and several large hair clips.

Irons and Stuff You need a great blow dryer of your choice along with 3 size curling irons, a flat iron, crimping iron, a diffuser and an extension cord. I will avoid hot rollers, they’re too bulky to carry and a stronger hold without the fluff (literally) can be created with the curling iron.

Important Odds and Ends A camera, a watch, hand mirror, paper towels, cloth towel (to dampen for hot irons), paper scissors (so no one asks to use your hair scissors to cut cloth), safety pins, hair glue (for wefts), hair glue remover, crazy glue (in case the hair accessory falls apart)

Pins, etc. Finally, you will need a combination of the following accessories: fine hair nets, bobby pins, hair pins, elastic bands with hooks (in black, brown and blond), elastic bands without hooks (in black, brown or blond), Velcro rollers and hair clips (used for roller sets)

With this kit you are ready for any job that may challenge you with different hair types or lengths. Being safe not sorry is my motto and has helped me book more weddings. Remember the better equipped you are, the better chance you have of increasing your income. Now all you need is your talent.

The New Updo

by The Style King/Ron King on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

With prom, wedding, and graduation season currently in full force, your clients probably have been asking for modern updos. They key to creating a contemporary hairstyle for a special occasion is to keep it on the less structural side, maybe even a bit messy. Gone are the days when romantic hair meant having long, flowing waves. The new sensual styles of 2010 have a more urban spin on feminine hairstyles, with purposely roughed up texture on traditionally soft styles.

Alexandra Wang

Beautiful updos ruled the runways and two stood out to me as being both accessible and flattering for a range of ages and hair types. Messy side braids have made a return though the look is more glam than girly. This hair trend has been spotted on the runway at both Alexander Wang and Miu Miu and is absolutely doable for a special occasion. If your client’s hair is too short, you can even easily add extensions to create the braid as length is imperative for this style. Both fishtail and french braids are in style for the season but keep the style a little tousled for the romantic effect and make sure to start the braid at the neck rather than at the head. I could definitely see this look being ideal for a casual summer wedding if done right.

Miu Miu

Another styling option, which would be great for a girl attending her prom, is the messy ballerina bun as seen at Bottega Veneta’s Spring 2010 show (headband optional). Again, the idea is to rough up a traditional and stuffy hairstyle and infuse it with a certain subtle playfulness and movement, which keeps the style from being too child-like.

An offshoot of the ballerina bun is the top knot, which has been seen on hipsters the world over for a while now. This can be a casual look but also works great for more adventurous girls with a tougher personal style for prom or other festive occasions. Again, the perfection of these styles can be found in their imperfections, so the more texture the better. Also, where you position the updo is important as well. The top knot looks very current when it is directly on the top of the head. Dressier top knots and buns placed in a similar fashion were seen at a recent Lanvin show.

Antonio Gonzales: Wedding Hairstyles — Styling Curls

by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, May 17th, 2010

antonio gonzales

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 N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

See Antonio’s blog here.

There are so many things about curly hair that I love, and styling curls is definitely one of my favorites. With this hair texture, I find it so easy to create height, shape and a romantic mood, which is the envy of every girl with straight hair. However, to some of us, curls can still be a challenge, especially when it comes to building a foundation for the style. Here are seven tips to help you prepare for your special bride-to-be.


With straight hair I generally recommend to the bride not shampooing her hair the day of. It’s easy to work off of one-day-old dry hair and create the desired look. But with curly hair it’s very different. It’s almost impossible for a head of curls to be slept in and come in to the salon ready for a style. From frizzing, fly-away hair and un-polished hairlines, these are just a few of the challenges we face (notice I say we as I have curly hair too!)) During the consultation, I tell the client to come in with damp, clean hair and maybe apply a little product at home. I then add more products if necessary.


During the consultation, listen closely to the bride. She may have a combination of products that she can’t live without and cling to like her first pair of heels. She knows the magic it can perform on her tresses, so my advice to the stylist is to go with the flow. It just may make our life a little easier. If during the discussion, you have faith that she is not misleading you, have her apply a fair amount prior to coming in. Go over tips with her in how she can apply the product better. She may have the miracle products but you have the magic wand, your knowledge. If not, and you want her to come in with towel-dried hair and you apply the products, then that’s your decision to make.


Depending on the desired curl, you should think of the heating tool you will be using. This, of course, will be decided on in advance. If it’s a Climazone, diffuser or hooded dryer, use the same machine on the day of the appointment. For the natural curly look, I sometimes start drying the hair with the Climazone to dry the top and combat that halo of frizz (depending on the texture) then I use to the diffuser for height and softness. After its fully dried I then use two different-size curling irons and select curls to enhance the shape and shine. The heat also seals the cuticle, allowing the style to last longer.


For very frizzy hair and depending on how thick the hair is, it maybe helpful to work off of freshly shampooed and towel dried hair, then follow with adding your products. Working with small sections, create barrel curls (as if setting the hair) and pin in place. Then place the client under a hooded dryer and allow the hair to fully dry. While setting the hair, a great tip is having your hands coated with a light amount of product so as you twist the hair there is always product on your hands to help mold the hair in place (reapply if needed). Remove the bread from the oven, oops I mean the client from the dryer. Before the hair cools start removing the pins and carefully stretch the curls loosening them from being too tight at the root. At this point, if needed, you can go in with a curling iron to help enhance the curl.


Be sure to work toward a desired shape of curl. You may work with two to three differently sized curls. Yes, yes I know our creator did not decide on a certain amount and size of curl per person, but this is different. Uniformity will help the shape and not have the hair look like too many textures (unless of course that’s the look you want). It also helps with the overall creation to look balanced. Also keep in mind that the photographs will actually capture anything that’s not polished and that’s a no-no.


Once I was styling a curly hair bride and was trying to remove bulk while building height. All of a sudden she whipped out a banana clip. Yes, you heard me right! For those of you that may be too young to know, a banana clip was a girl’s best friend in the eighties. I first separated her hair in the back in three vertical sections making the center section the largest. I then took the clip and clipped the middle section. This clip was strong enough to hold the base in place and free me of so much unnecessary hair. I then took the two outer sections and blended it into the middle with bobby pins to complete the look. Of course, I’m not asking for the banana clip to make a comeback. All I’m showing is that we have tools galore at our disposal, so get creative while being efficient.


When standing behind the client, it may look great to you but from a distance it may look like, well, a basket of grapes! The best advice I can give you is throughout your career, always use the mirror. It will always guide you in the right direction. Remember you can change the shape of the hair, not the shape of the face. Be sure you are working with a hair shape that is flattering to the profile as well as the front. Being symmetrical is very important. No bride wants to look like the leaning tower of Pisa. Stand back and look at your sculpture from all angles, working towards the perfect shape.

With these seven steps you are on the right track to creating a strong base for a romantic hairstyle that will last. My next article will complete my bridal tips and tricks of the trade to hopefully help my comrades to understand the CURL a bit more.

Make your Curly Clients Happy to Build your Bridal Business

by Karen Mcintosh on Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Photo courtesy of Khamit Kinks

When it comes to curly brides, curl-knowledgeable stylists have the business and styling edge. Today’s stylists with special training in globally recognized curl-specific and natural styling techniques can give a curly or naturally textured bride a lot more options. Ultimately a curly bride should be able to walk down the aisle on her wedding day feeling truly confident about how her hair will look.

Katheryn Sirico and September Sirico, owners of Greg and Tony, a Ouidad-certified salon in Westport, Conn., agree. “So many people come in with straight hair for special occasion styling, and what do they want? They want you to curl it for them, right?” Curly girls “actually have more of the advantage than somebody who has straight, slippery, finer hair,” says Katheryn. Using Ouidad’s technique of the Rake and Shake and the Ouidad products, clients “have perfectly designed curls that lay like puzzle pieces, and are shiny, healthy, bouncy and defined.”

“Fewer and fewer brides come in wanting to alter their natural hair texture,” says Anu Prestonia, owner of Khamit Kinks in Brooklyn, New York, and stylist and innovator of styles for twists, locs, natural weaves and more.

So what strategies can you, curly stylist, take to enhance, sustain and increase your wedding business?

Be Inspired

For more bridal tips, check out NaturallyCurly’s article on the Wedding Dress and the ‘Do

“We specialize in making our clients happy,” says Prestonia. “This is the princess day . . . the day every woman starts planning for from age five. People are usually in a great mood. Our inspiration comes from wanting to really follow through with the energy, beauty and happiness.”

“You have to really know what you‘re doing and be passionate about it,” says Sirico, “or . . . it won’t come out right. Not only that it’s a whole attitude, it’s a passion.”

Encourage the Hair’s Natural Curl Personality

That’s part of Greg and Tony Salon’s culture and philosophy, according to the Siricos. “We encourage the bride to look like themselves. You wear your hair curly all the time and it’s part of your personality and how people know you. Then if for your wedding day you go straight, it doesn’t look like you. So looking like you and being yourself on your wedding day, even in the bridal party, is very important because the confidence is what falls behind this.”

“I am so happy that we are now in a day and time where [fewer] clients come in complaining that the bride . . . is requesting that they alter their hair texture to be in their wedding party,” says Prestonia. I‘ve known people to cut off their locs to be in a bridal party. Is it that serious for you to be in this bridal party?”

“Brides approach us that have curly hair….[they] don’t want regular stylists doing their hair for that day because they want to leave it as natural as possible,” says Cala Renee, stylist and owner of Cala Renee Salon, a DevaConcepts salon in Beverly, Mass. “And most salons tend to want to blow out and re-curl and they don’t tend to work with people’s natural curl like we do.”

Get the Bride to Think Ahead

September Sirico says, “You should go at least 3 months before to speak or think about your hair. The process is first you get your gown and then you start calling your salon to start doing trials or discussing how you would like to wear your hair—and then coming in for a trial.”

Be sure the bride-to-be brings her headpiece to the trial appointment and, if possible, a photo of her gown. “Bring me a picture of your gown; bring me your headpiece the day of the trial” says Cala Renee. “I want to see everything because if you don’t see it all together or if we design something and then the day of the wedding you put your dress on and realize . . . then I’m in trouble. So I say to them, “please go home and try your dress on now that your hair is done the way you think you like it. Make sure you like it all put together.”

Trial, and Trial Again

Photo courtesy of Greg and Tony

Trials can mean the difference between a stressful wedding day and a stress-free one because for better or worse, curls can have a mind of their own. Most brides who come in for a trial are willing to let the stylist do different designs on the hair, and that is why the trials are so important. It also allows the stylist time to better understand the bride’s hair and play with it.

For the Siricos, trials are also important for pricing and planning further services. “The trial determines not just what the hair is going to look like—timing, cost, etc., but also what you need to do down the road—if you need to do any highlights, if you need color or if you need to do another a haircut. And it can determine what the timing should be for those things leading up to the big day.”

Cala Renee cautions “Make sure you understand the curls you are working with prior to the day of the wedding. Because if they want to be a little bit frizzy, you’re going to have to know how to calm them down and not just jump to the curling iron. People want their natural look in today’s day and age.”

Trials are different. Because they are a work in progress and the client may be working with a new bridal stylist, trying different styles, getting to know one another can take time. “Someone may not be from this area and they’re coming in cold,” says Katheryn Sirico. “It takes a little more time.

“We never combine the trials with the actual day, never,” says Katheryn Sirico. “Those are two separate days entirely and separate services.

“Our styles [natural weaves, braids, twists, locs and updos] are usually done ahead of time,” Prestonia says, “sometimes as far as 3 days beforehand.”

How many trials is the right number? It depends on the bride. “Normally I would say one,” say the Siricos. “We have done two and for some people we have done several. But I would say the norm is one.”

And since trials are not free “people sometimes try to limit them to one, sometimes two,“ September Sirico says. “ But I have had brides come in over the years, they come and they’ll do a couple of things. They want to actually go and live with this for the night. And then they come in a few weeks later and want something entirely different.”

Whether it’s one or more than one, the right number of trials allows the bride to see various styles and be confident that the final one she chooses is the best one for her.

Staff Accordingly

To have a good bridal business you have to have good bridal stylists.

“We are very fortunate; we have four people here who are fabulous bridal stylists and their work is great,” says Katheryn Sirico. “They have a very good reputation. The people who don’t do it don’t touch it—they can’t.”

Make sure that you have the staff to back the business up: stylists who are creative, patient and caring for brides and who know how to do bridal design. Other salons may not want to turn away the business, but if the stylist is not a bridal expert, customer satisfaction problems can pop up.

Be prompt, professional and flexible

As a wedding client, Prestonia learned first-hand how it felt to be disappointed—on her wedding day. “I had someone arranged to do my hair for my wedding and she didn’t show up. And that was the most horrific thing I’ve ever experienced,” she said. “I had looked for her to do my hair the day before my wedding. She assured me that she would come into town from Philadelphia to do my hair and I waited all day for her. The day of my wedding I had to call somebody who wasn’t even a hair stylist to do something quick for me.“

With an experience like that, Prestonia is meticulous about providing a high quality of service and enhancing the beauty of her bridal clients. “I’ve never seen an ugly bride. Every bride is beautiful and it flows from the inside out. She’s aglow, she is happy, she has her support with her, her friends and her family and you just want to follow through with that in the best way you can.”

Use off-hours to boost income

Many salons step up their service for an existing client or a bridal party. “If it’s a client of our own, we will come in on a Sunday and put the time aside for them. It really depends on what day the wedding is,” says Renee.

Book a trial at the end of the day so if you run over, you don’t have to worry about the next client.

Have a Digital Camera on Hand

Photo courtesy of Cala Renee

“And encourage your clients to take their own photos as well. We actually encourage them to bring cameras, take pictures from all sides, take it home and think about it, and if they need any changes give us a call,” advises Cala Renee. “We can either have you come back again or we can just make changes the day of the wedding—if they’re not major.”

Use the Atmosphere of your Salon to Pamper and Relax the Bridal Party

When the bride comes in with a wedding party, that should be the salon’s priority for the entire time booked that day. “My favorites are the ones where the bridal party comes and it’s a really upbeat, festive occasion, says September Sirico. “Sometimes we set up a table with things for them to nibble on and mimosas. Sometimes a photographer follows them because they want it recorded right from leaving the house to coming here.”

At Cala Renee Salon, “if you have a full wedding party come in, we have everybody just dedicated to them,” says Renee. Sometimes if it’s just morning, we’ll pick up some munchies and try to make it a really relaxed atmosphere for them. We have coffee and tea made… And we try to make sure that the wedding party is the only client here so you’re not having pieces of hair flying around. The whole atmosphere is a little bit different. Tthey come in and they’re ready to relax and let you do your thing. They’re trying to zone out, actually. Most brides are.”

Whether at the salon or at the wedding location, the best bridal bookings are when the bride and her party are calm and relaxed. One of Prestonia’s favorite bookings was on location at a hotel in Brooklyn. “Everybody was just so friendly and calm and respectful. That was the day of [the wedding]. We did her hair before but we were onsite to style and do touchups and help with the placing of the headpiece.” She has also provided sparkling wine and chocolates for bridal parties at Khamit Kinks.

Take Advantage of Continuing Education

Stay abreast of opportunities to enhance your knowledge. Hair products manufacturers and top hair salons often offer hands on work classes and showcase the latest techniques during certain times of the year or at hair shows like IBS. Khamit Kinks Salon, for example, offers Monday seminars and classes in hairstyling techniques like textured weaves, locs and two-strand twists. And throughout the year, Greg and Tony Salon offers Ouidad workshops.

Bridezilla – A Myth?

There are surprisingly few, the stylists interviewed for this article agreed. “If anything, I would say from my experience we’ve never had a Bridezilla,” Katheryn Sirico says. “All of our brides have been really great, whether they have been our regular clients or someone who has just come to us for the day.”

On the flip side, bridal stylists should be prepared to diffuse tension and occasionally be a diplomat and peacemaker. Difficulties may not come from the bride. But sometimes they come from members of the bridal party, a mother or mother-in-law who forgets that is not her day, it’s her daughter’s or daughter-in-law’s.

Prestonia advises, “Be open and flexible because brides can be fickle or bridal parties and the people connected to the wedding can switch up on you.” Her challenging situation was when the bride (a regular client) brought her sister in after several trials. “And her sister just changed up the whole vibe of the relationship that we had been having with her. She was very demanding and . . . that was a bit stressful. Well, we just decided—you know when it’s a wedding and it’s a bride, the last thing we want to do is add stress. So we just dealt with it. But it changed the molecules in the room.”

Renee hasn’t had a Bridezilla either. However, a long-time client and bridal client was once a Promzilla. “I actually started doing her hair when she was 8 years old,” Cala Renee said. “And the day she got married she had her whole bridal party here [at the salon], and I knew her mom. And it just made everything just very, very special. I actually was invited to the wedding.

“But, the day of her senior prom, the newspapers came and everybody was here, they were writing, and she broke down in tears. She was so upset about it; her hair didn’t come out exactly how she envisioned it. So I was mortified. Right before her wedding I said ‘you are coming in multiple times because we are not having another episode like we did for your prom.’ So I made her come in 3 different times and we took pictures. And thank God, because she did change her mind after the first trial visit.”

More Great Tips from the Bridal Experts:

Katheryn Sirico and September Sirico of Greg And Tony Salon:

1. Have just one person handle/organize the client; that way you know exactly what’s going on. “The bride shouldn’t call the front desk and talk to 8 different people to make the appointments or change the appointment or ask questions,” September Sirico says. In our salon they’re directed to Katheryn. If for some reason she’s not here then they’re directed to me. And no one else handles them at all.”

2. Keep a binder and never throw away your notes. Whether you keep a manual binder or on computer, a binder helps keep everything straight and organized, and lets you have everything at hand. Says Katheryn, “We have a section for each bride or bridal party. That way we can refer to everything we discussed right there. And never throw your notes away from the first time you talk with them. You think you’re going to remember, but you don’t.”

3. If possible, work with another local business in town for referrals. An event planner, florist or photographer can refer the brides to you and in return you can refer clients to them.

4. Follow up a couple of weeks after the wedding. Don’t do it the day of the wedding. Wait until the bride has calmed down and returned from her honeymoon. Following up lets you see any photos. And it lets you know if you have any weak points and what the highlights were.

Anu Prestonia of Khamit Kinks:

1. Collaborate on a photo shoot with other consultants. ”We’re doing a bridal photo shoot next month. It’s for the artists who are involved. I will be managing the selection of the hair styles and my stylists to do the hair. There is a person who is the headpiece designer. There is a gown designer, makeup artists and photographer. So we’re all working together to make this happen.”

2. Make sure to the final style will work on location without the stylist, and fits the bride’s comfort zone. “A bride I once worked with just wanted her hair in a really loose, natural ‘fro for her wedding that was going to be on a beach. But her mother insisted that she had to get something done. So we just did a two-strand twist with her hair wet and told her that she could either wear it that way or she could untwist the strands and have it more like a loose curl or a twistout.” The bride was happy because she had not even considered her hair. Yet she didn’t have to go far out of her comfort zone, and her mother was happy.

Cala Renee of Cala Rene Salon

1. Make the most of referrals, both from your existing client base and from websites and showcase your work on your own website. “Most of our referrals come from From there they tend to Google me and look at my web site. And once they look at the web site they definitely realize that okay, she specializes in curly hair. We have a few bridal parties that are up on the web site as well that have had their hair done.

2. Be open minded and listen to the bride. Make sure those brides are coming in more than once and really understanding what they are looking for, advises Cala Renee. “Because if you don’t spend the time with them during trials, then unfortunately the day of [the wedding] could be a disaster.”

Enjoy this video showcasing some looks from Khamit Kinks.

Fun & Festive Updos

by Rachel Peters on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

We offer you ideas for three glamorous looks to share with your clients this holiday season!

party updo

Simply Sophisticated

Lindsay Kaplan Intern

Stylist: Rachel Peters
Lovely Day Hair & Makeup
party updo

party updo

To create this look, begin by gathering the hair into a low, side ponytail at the base of the hairline.

party updo

Next, twist about half of the ponytail on itself. Begin to wrap the twisted pony onto its base, forming a chignon.

party updo

Begin to secure the chignon with bobby pins, inserting one leg of the pin into the bun and one leg into the rest of the hair along the head.

party updo

Continue to secure the chignon by inserting bobby pins in the same manner around the shape of the bun, anchoring it to the head. Add as many as necessary to completely secure it. Leave the ends out for a less formal, messy look.

party updo

Retro Ringlets

Model: Maricela Mayo
Stylist: Michi Lafary

Create this retro-inspired ‘do in a few easy steps using some handy tools.

Insert 1.2.jpg

Begin by creating a high pile of curls on the head. Comb hair up and off the back of the neck. Secure with bobby pins parallel with the neckline.


Next, secure a mesh chignon to the crown by wrapping a strand of hair around one end and pinning to the base along the head.

Insert 2.3.jpg

Cover the mesh chignon with surrounding hair in sections. Pin each section inside the “doughnut hole.”


Continue to pin all the hair into the mesh chignon, leaving the curly ends out.

party updo

Murphy Magnificence

Model: Molly Randall
Stylist: Natalie Morgan, Orbit Salon


To create this Kevin Murphy-inspired look, begin by bundling all the hair behind the ears into a nest.


Secure the nest with a threaded plastic needle. Insert the needle into the heart of the hair and pull out the other end. Continue this “sewing” process while holding the nest of hair until it begins to stay on its own.

Insert step1.jpg

After the nest of hair is secure, snip the excess string. Use hair pins to balance the style and manage any left over curls. Remember, this process creates a disheveled, modern updo.


Gently backcomb the hair in front of the ears. Sweep back the hair in front of the ears with bobby and hairpins, leaving out a few tendrils as they fall.

All photos:
Wicked Hailey Photography
Thanks to Orbit Salon for hosting our shoot.

The Wedding Dress and the ‘Do

by Teri Evans on Saturday, May 30th, 2009

What makes a picture-perfect bride? The curly coif should match the style of the wedding gown, says curl expert Christo of New York’s Christo Fifth Avenue salon.

It’s a critical step in creating the overall look on your wedding day. In fact, Christo says he always asks to see a bride’s dress before even considering how to style her hair.

Here we provide several sensational style options to match the five most-popular dream dresses. Whether your client envisions a wedding day steeped in elegant tradition or dazzling drama, here are some ideas that should suit every bride.


STYLE: A Renaissance dress with a raised waistline placed just below the bust, while the rest of the gown flows freely to the hem.


This captivating gown is reminiscent of the Victorian era. (Think of Ang Lee’s movie “Sense & Sensibility.”)

“This is my favorite dress for naturally curly hair, because you can leave a lot of curls showing,” Christo says. “Curls can either tied back or loose, and it’s very romantic.”

If she chooses to wear her hair half-up, half-down, Christo suggests taking small sections of curls — starting from the temples and then ear to ear — and tie them into small knots (as you would a rope). To sprinkle in more romance and innocence, adorn the ‘do with baby’s breath or miniature roses.

“You can also add extensions for a more dramatic look, as long as they match your hair texture,” Christo says.

Ball gown

STYLE: A traditional, fairy-tale dress with a fitted bodice and full skirt. Think Cinderella!


This enchanting gown also offers several style options for curly brides, especially those with long, textured tresses, according to Christo.

“The ball gown is more dramatic, so you can create more drama with your curls,” Christo says. “You can go with big hair because the gown is full on the bottom. If the dress is over the shoulders and you’re showing the back a bit, leave the hair down, and you can even add extensions. If she chooses a high neckline, put some of the hair up and create big, glamorous curls.”

Or, opt for a modern French twist, allowing some curls to peek out from the back and around the face.


STYLE: A dramatic dress that hugs curves from the bust to the knee, then flares out to the hem.

BEST SUITED FOR: Wavy to Curly

This alluring gown looks best with hair in beautiful waves, letting them flow like the sea’s cascading currents.

“This dress is very romantic, allowing for a lot of movement,” says Christo, noting that brides with tighter curls may want to consider softening the spirals into waves.

His style suggestion? Create a little height at the crown, gather one side of your loose curls or waves and sweep them back with a flower, then let it be!

Consider a richly fragrant, beautiful bloom like a wild gardenia, calla lily, magnolia, or the ever-romantic rose.


STYLE: A classic dress that is fitted around the bust and flows out to the hem, resembling the shape of an uppercase A.

BEST SUITED FOR: Straight to Wavy

This dress can be worn with curly hair, but you will want to simplify the texture, Christo says.

“This dress always looks best when the hair is pulled up,” he says. “If you leave your curly hair down, you’re taking a style that’s very simple and you’re making it very busy. If you have tight curls, loosen them up a bit with a curling iron.”

Christo suggests positioning the hair off the face into a side-swept, loose ponytail or pulling it back into a bun (with a few curls peeking out) and accessorize! If you have wavy hair or loose curls, use a curling iron all around and then tuck small groupings of curls away from the face.

Another option? Create a ponytail at the crown, then loop the hair in a chignon around the ponytail. Add a simple, beautiful flower, and you’re done!


STYLE: An elegant sheath dress that hugs the body from the neckline to the hem.

BEST SUITED FOR: Straight to Wavy

If she chooses this body-contouring style, remember that less is more when it comes to creating a magnificent mane.

“This is another simple style so the hair shouldn’t be busy,” Christo says. “It should be completely off the face. If you show too many curls, it will look enormous compared to the dress!”

Instead, he suggests gently pulling back your textured tresses with a side or off-center part, then create a twist, a simple ponytail or a low bun. Add a touch of elegance with natural flowers — or a little glitter to spice it up a bit.

Planning tips for curly brides:

  • No matter what curly style you choose, make sure the hair is healthy for that all-important day. Encourage them to use a deep-conditioning treatment every week, consistently, to add moisture and prevent split ends. And, make sure they head to the salon for a great cut and touch-up color, if needed.

  • Don’t stray too far from their everyday style. This is not the time to experiment! “Don’t blow-dry their hair straight and put it into a bun, if it doesn’t represent her,” Christo warns. “Don’t do something on their wedding day that is not them, where they look like a whole different person. Remember those pictures will stay with them for the rest of their marriage!”

  • Most important, she shouldn’t put her hair last on the wedding to-do list. “Hair is one of the most important elements of your wedding day,” Christo says. “(The client) should Invest time and money to do a trial session, it’s very important to have style options to choose from.”

  • Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)