Hair Color: makeovers are so much fun

Hair Color: makeovers are so much fun.


Soul Train Music Awards: who had the hottest hair

The 2012 Soul Train Music Awards was the much-anticipated award show hosted by BET of 2012.  The show brought some of the most talented black stars to the red carpet in Vegas. This year was not only an award show but also a celebration of the African-American music

Soul Train

Soul Train (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

in the history of Soul Train, and a tribute to the man we will all miss, Don Cornelius.

I did not get to watch the show until after it aired via BET’s website, as I usually do for all award shows. This show touched the lives of so many people and became the center of African-American Performance Practices in a time where few were seen or heard in television.  It was a celebration of life, and allowed African-Americans to just BE and express themselves.

So when I viewed the red carpet looks, I kinda kept in mind what this show was about and who brought an all encompassed  look reflective of  Soul Train style.

My 1st look of course goes to chairman Debra L. Lee, Esq, for kicking it off with a short curly coiffed natural look in black jacket and pants.

Reminiscent of the celebration of Soul Train where the Afro was synonymous with disco pants, and girls came ready to dance.

Whether this was planned or not it definitely was red carpet ready for the 2012 Soul Train Awards.

2nd Rapper Lil Mama gave it the red carpet the respect it deserves with a stunning up do and black gown that made her stand tall in presence as she strutted her stuff for the show.

3rd look for all-encompassing hair was artist Miguel.  His look captures the essence of the history African-American male artist, like Nat King Cole, fats Wallace and so many others.  It was strong in light of an era where masculinity in a look for African-American men is baggy pants or just a suit.  This look brought style and pizzazz (is that still a word). Applaud!

While the carpet was filled with runway divas, these are my favorite hair looks that encompassed history, the history of African Americans in music.  Refreshing, daring, and defying stereo-types.

My only wish was that more of the celebs would have shed their weaves for an Afro, or at least an Afro wig for the carpet.  After all the Soul Train music awards was about celebrating a heritage.

AMA’s: hottest celeb hair


156482967KI00048_The_40th_A (Photo credit: ChristinaAguileraChina)


The 2012 American Music Awards was a stellar event of music, fashion and hair of course.


For me, watching the stars strut their stuff on the red carpet is always a moment of excitement, and hair anticipation.


Personally I look for hair that synonymously ties  a look to a designer gown. All coming together, hair, makeup and garments, to marry the personality of our star power.


My favorite hair looks for the 2012  AMA’s were:


1. Mrs. Christina Aguilar.  What a Lotus, a brand, and a iconic image of hair beauty.  Trading in her lioness mane of curls for a moment on the runway with a sleek, perfectly toned blonde bob.  Wig or not this look was stellar! I must replicate.


Ginnifer Goodwin steals the show as usual in a sea of donned blonde Celebs.  I don’t know about you, but this girl has my vote for originality and individuality of style  when it comes to hair.


It’s liberating when you see a women opt out the norm,  for a classic ultra cheek short cut.  Her defining short hair reminds me of the moment  Twiggy touched our hearts with her iconic short hair.  It just works,  and like Twiggy I am sure Ginnifer Goodwin’s look will be timeless.


3rd. on my list is singer, Brandy, what a magnificent way to bring it to the runway for the AMA’s. There are not too many bronze goddess that have strolled the carpet and held their own in the hair department since Halle Berry.


I love this look, it gives me chills as it lives up to the old Hollywood Glam our.   Simple, yet seamless hair beauty!


Last but not least for my favorite hair looks was Legend Cyndi Lauper.


Cyndi always proves “time after time” that hair is a statement of individuality.


And when you think of Cyndi Lauper there is  fun, fem, soft, subtle and evolving, and her hair has always reflected her presonality without being dated.  For the 2012 American Music Awards Cyndi sported  a heavy textured blonde bob with  asymmetrical fringes, and a  hint of pastel berry that gave her blonde hair a new look.


Then there was a sea of Blonde, Blonde, Blonde, 1 or 2 more  Brunettes, and then more blonde! and that’s all folks. With everyone looking, amazing!


When choosing the latest hair trends remember “if art was a reason to convey a message, then in every hairstyle there is a message”~mario gross.


Hair is just as important as the gown. What were your favorite hair looks?


India Arie announces new album titled “Open Door”

Can’t wait for this Album


India Arie has tweeted that her next project is not a continuation of the Testimony series but a whole new concept album based on duets. Maybe that was sparked by her collaboration catalogue. New song with Santana, previous recordings with Sergio Mendes, John Mellencamp, Stevie Wonder, Anthony David, P!nk and Akon. The album is called Open Doors and is set to drop sometime in the fall/winter bracket.

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Racism: are hair salons guilty?


‘RACISM/THERE IS MORE TO LEARN’ Dominic Jacques (Photo credit: jacquesy_m)

In searching for hair salons, “hidden racism” can be as visibly lethal as the water fountains with the signs “whites only” and “coloreds only”.

Salons clearly defining what race it serves, even at times opting out of servicing clients based on race, and I say “opting out” because in every cosmetology school all hair types are covered thoroughly. In every race there exist an array of textures defined by cosmetology terms as fine, medium and course, and not ethnicity. So if it is hair styling that  salons are specializing in, then every client, despite race, should be able to walk into any hair salon across America and be serviced.

It is my goal in writing this article to shed some light on the vermin like behavior of racism in my industry. Exposing such behavior will present my colleagues with an opportunity of observation of what could be conditioned behavior if not premeditated.

I have encountered racism personally, as a hairstylist, even tho I specialize in all hair types, even tho I possess a clientele as diverse as the country we live in. No matter how skilled I am, I am often met with the surprise look from a referral, job opportunity, etc. with statement of “oh, your Mario, didn’t know you were black”.  Actually these very words were spoken to me by a salon owner in Beverly Hills.

I wanted to keep silent, but it would allow this dreadful disease to continue to lay silently in the foundation of my industry. Silence is the hindrance of change, and I was never the person who believed that in the thought process of “that’s the way things are”.

Before, During, and After this election I would succumb to racism as I watched silently as clients of coworkers would consciously make racist comments about Obama, with eyes focused on me. I would say “good morning” to clients of others and would get no reply but a glare. I would watch as clients walked into the salon and noticed me and ask if there were any other stylist and then specify “race”. I would be denied employment with underlying pigments of racism.

I would enter salons and be met with an immediate per-requisite for employment, “are you a colorist?”. This questions would imply that salons were hiring for positions or hair colorist to fill their obviously empty chairs, right! But when I would answer “yes” it would be to their dismay. Stereotypically black stylist aren’t perceived nor do hold any representational positions as hair colorist in the hair industry, so it is a silent killer for employment in affluent salons or salons not wanting to hire black hairdressers or service black clients. .

Yes, in such a diverse place as Beverly Hills or the affluent areas of LA, I would see the hidden racism come to an outright cry of ugliness.

Artistic Design Teams of major hair companies do not encompass blacks in position of lead colorist or hair cutting, not because they do not exist. There are a few blacks who have “broken down doors” where there should never have been doors. Irene Mikel, Ted Gibson are two that I can think of.

Maybe there are some being entertained now, but the lack of presence echos a mindset of what companies perceive as “beauty” in the hair industry.

Let me state adamantly, my experiences with some salons in the area does not reflect the views of all. There are several hair salons in the area where 1 or 2 black people on staff, however I refuse to believe the measure of presence is due to a lack of “black hair colorist” or skill set.

It became clear that opportunity in my industry despite skills, professionalism and ethics can be outweighed by skin color and stereotyping.

Polar opposite in the racial spectrum being all black and they created their own opportunity by establishing a haven for black hairstylist and creating opportunities for others.  Elgin Charles Salon being the anchor for opportunity for black hairstylist in Beverly Hills.

I am sure when I post this it will start a mass inclusion of blacks in these companies to reflect a more diverse team for public observation, and if so then I would have done my part in the fight for equality.

Why are there salons that are “coincidentally” all “black” or all “white” or all “?” ?

The silent signs of “white only” and “black only” etc. are all but coincidental. Social injustice, Segregation, Discrimination, community conditioning are just some of “weeds” that grow in peoples mind that may justify their behavior. But like so many I am still baffled, although I understand it, it stills alarms me.

I would love to believe like every other American who voted for equality, we are moving in the right direction as a country to eradicate any discrimination. “Equality for all” was echoed ever so clear in the re-election of President Obama, a black president that the majority of Americans no longer want to continue in this path of exclusion as most of America will become the minority.

Wherever I am in life, personal, professional or recreational, the thought never crosses my mind that “I am Black” until someone holding a position of “unfair advantage” makes it very clear. I am okay with being black, poor, not the norm, gay, or whatever other label society might use to label me. What I am not okay with is not doing my part to create awareness, thought, and helping to end the segregation, in hair salons.  That is why I personal choose to never work for a company that does not embrace diversity in staff or clientele.  I presently work in a hair salon that is small but huge in diversity. Russian, Black, Asian etc. and amazing hair artist, gratefully.

We are all beautiful, and I will continue to diversify my chair and join with any company that reflects this journey.


Blonde hair: what is the right shade for me?

Girl with blonde hair

Girl with blonde hair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Head to the state of California and along with it’s sunny weather will be a flux of blonde’s heads in every array. All seeking to mimic the reflective rays of sun with bleached blonde hair color.

Tragically tho you will also spot many blondes gone awry. I see it all the time and I know you do, the mortuary pale, crayola yellow blondes and bleached fried hair in the mall, grocery store or local coffee shops.

The choice of blonde hair color is a decision that every person can make, but choosing the correct tone of blonde hair color can be very tricky even for most colorist.

Surprisingly there are limitless amounts of blonde shades that can be worn on every skin type!

So how does one choose the correct blonde shade?

1st things 1st, if the the hair is not healthy don’t even consider it, no matter what the shade of hair! Overly processed, distressed or weak hair has never been sexy in any shade of hair color., sexy is shiny healthy hair! (and I love exclamation marks when it comes to this)

2nd thing, when choosing stripes of blondes hair color remember to ensure the direction and color of the stripes are accentuating your hair cut. Stripes have their function in the fashion world, usually in clothing trends horizontal stripes accentuates boyish figures as they ad curves and thickness, and vertical stripes tend to make you look thinner as they make the shape look longer. Apply the same thought process when choosing stripes.

Try to keep stripes off the hairline as the new growth will be noticeable after a week or so. There are a wide range of highlighting techniques and hair coloring methods on the market where you can achieve dimensional blonde hair color seamlessly.

Blondes today should look as if they were just born that way.

3rd and finally, choose the correct tone for your skin. Cool to Warm, Pale to Gold, blonde hair color shades come in an array of tones. . How do you choose the correct tone? It can be as simple as looking at your eye color and skin tone to decide what tone of blond might be flattering.

Use a similar concept as in choosing your makeup. When choosing makeup you want to slightly contrast the color of your eyes, so as to make your eyes and face the focal point, do the same with your blonde hair color.

Brown and black eyes should should look for more natural shades of blonde with a range of light brown to caramel low lights to lay close against the skin. Blue eyes can definitely look to a range of sandy blondes to strawberry blondes to accentuate the coolness. Green eyes, try some buttery blonde shades to compliment your look.

There are limitless palette to blonde hair color, so break out the box and explore. If you are already blonde and want to really make a statement that is fashion forward, don’t always look to do it with brown, explore some of the cool shades of pastel blondes and steel blondes that are hot in fashion today.

So when trying to mimic that California sun with the brightness of blonde hair color, remember no 2 blondes should ever look alike, its a personal thing, so leave it to the experts to give you that beautiful, healthy, and natural blonde hair color you deserve!