Nicole Kidman for Jim Choo: Every Woman should reinvent themselves

ImageI have waited for this moment, the moment when a woman in her 40’s redefines sexy and has every girl literally dying to become a woman. Nicole Kidman became the new lead lady for Jimmy Choo shoes. In their Autumn campaign she left us speechless with her new look.

The hair was an amazing, modern adaptation of the bob, with very vibrant copper shades that looked utterly amazing against her porcelain skin and piercing blue eyes.

This is what every woman should aspire to be or at least look like, soft, sexy, and mysterious, from the top of her head to the bottom of her shoe.Image Flawless!

Blond hair: a hellish experience in my chair

Beauty blonde girl.

Beauty blonde girl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

_ Today I would learn humility in hair coloring as well as allowing a newly acquired customer to be blond as she sees fit, and that was an ethical struggle for me. Let me paint the picture, in walks this women with very dark new growth (level 4 for hairdressers) and about 1 inch of copper orange hair extending from that and the rest of length down to her shoulders was very light blond.  The hair didn’t scare me as much as what came next.

The beautiful woman began to explain to me how she wanted me to color her hair, “I want you to touch up my roots but keep the yellow-orange ban and I want you to use bleach and add a bit of color to the bleach because that’s what they usually use on my hair and it works”, me mouth open because she was so specific and I knew she was not making this up.

Now for anyone that knows me from experience, I cannot hide my facial expressions from and they tend to be reflective of what I am feeling, but I was in total shock and had to pause in the moment. After about a good 5 minutes of sharing her color formula and dropping some serious industry names of which I will not mention because I know that somewhere down the line in her encounters the color gods message was lost in translation.

How was I going to explain what I know for what I believe for what the customer wants and what the customer has previously experienced in hair color servicing? In my mind I was thinking this had to be some sort of moment when someone jumps out and says “surprise”!

So I told her just what my face was feeling, “I cannot do that”.  I can touch up your hair but I cannot add color to lightener”.  At this point I had to explain why, because she clearly was baffled as to why I couldn’t do it “the same” way as her previous colorist. Of course I used the speech “we are all artist and we paint pictures as hairdressers in different ways”, when I really wanted to say “what the hell”…lol. So then I began to give her a scenario to further explain why I couldn’t add “a little color to the bleach”.  I told her “if you have a piece of fabric that was dark and you wanted to lighten it up you would try  a decolorizer or bleach, something that was going to extract color, right?” then I proceeded to say “would you then add dye to the bleach that you were using to extract the color from the fabric?”.

Well I don’t know if this was the straw that broke the camel’s back but she then walked out of the salon to horn blowing in the parking lot and I literally thought she had left and I was okay with that because I wanted no parts in interrupting the earlier haircolorist scientific theory on color. Maybe it was something new I hadn’t heard of but I couldn’t wrap my hands around it. A few minute goes by and in she walks with computer and phone and ready to try my way, but she adamantly expressed her wish to keep the yellow-orange band and only bring the new-growth up to that level of lightness….lol.  I love this women already, she was keeping me on my toes and grounded in #dharma. I had to compromise because I knew she compromised her training in hair color and her experiences for my humble color experience, but she then requested that I touch up her roots on one condition “keep the yellow-orange ban” from the previous touch up, she didn’t want it to look too perfect.

I smiled and compromised, and as much as I wanted correct, enhance, equalize or do it my way she gave me the biggest lesson in compromise. But I had to share this from my chair because this is as real as it gets. I would never down any hairdresser or colorist but I do think that we all speak the same language when it comes to the laws of color. If there is a method to the adding color to the lightener please share with me because I really want to know. Anyway she allowed me to color her hair the only way I knew how and she was happy and so was I!  She taught me the greatest lesson of compromise and in allowing things to just BE!

Hair Did: Ziion Alexander of Blu Noise

Ziion Alexander in preparation for one of his many debut performances at the Key Club in Los Angeles, gets his hair did.

Ziion is sooo much fun, and we had a great time as I Brazilian smooth treated his hair and flat ironed him straight.  You guys have to check out his performance this weekend and if you can’t get to the concert check out his pageImage for more music to come.

Racism: are hair salons guilty?

'RACISM/THERE IS MORE TO LEARN' Dominic Jacques

‘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.

 

Clothes or Hair: which is more important

Long been debated by every girl is whether to buy that new outfit or get your hair done. Clothes or hair, can’t decide?

Sometimes you may even try to short change your hair stylist to get both. Sad thing is some hair stylist may even let you get away with it!

Here is a thought process you might wanna change because it’s about value. What do you value 1st, clothes or hair? Truth is, no out fit is gonna make you look your best if your hair is a mess!

I was recently sipping on some coffee at Starbucks and people watching as usual, because West Hollywood is so fabulous, and I couldn’t help but notice this girl who was fab’ed out in garments but her hair was destroyed. I knew this was a ‘home hair do’. How?, well because it was fried blonde (barely hanging on for dear life), and the cut had no harmony, rhyme or reason.

The bad thing was, she was making a statement, as every girl does, whether they will admit it or not. She clearly put an exclamation mark on her head, and despite her outfit, her overall statement clearly said “Not all there”.

I know, you’re thinking I noticed because I am a hair stylist, far from the truth. At this stage of hair game I wanna close my eyes while walking!

Girls, I am a guy, and like most guys we notice everything about you! So Honestly hair makes a big statement to guys, gals, and the world.

Don’t leave the house without ensuring your hair is on point, or your going to draw the messy response from people you come in contact with, and all because you neglected your hair.

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Hit or Miss: celeb new hair

Miiley Cyrus, Rihanna, and Katy Perry are some of the celebs who made a big hair change this fall, for the better or the worst?

Gotta love Katy Perry’s hair on the cover of September’s issue of Elle. If purple and violet are synonmous with magic and mystery then it’s a hit with Katy new look. Stunning shape to her hair and the color brings out her skin while the bangs definately attract you to her gorgeous eyes. We love this look, but Katy always keeps it hairtabulous in the hair color department. The amazing thing is she pulls off these awesomely vibrant colors with class and never tacky.

How did I miss Harper’s Bazaar in August with Rihanna gracing the cover. Rihanna looks stunning in Navy Blue mid-length hair. If these colors are a sign of spiritual journey, this is definately the color for her. They say you can tell alot about a girls look and this definately says ‘a change is ah comin’. She still keeps her hair fresh with one side being simply shaved. This color is definately more complimenting than the red, the red just didn’t look healthy at times. Hair color without maximum shine and optimal health is never a good look for anyone!

and last but not least, by far, Miley Cyrus chopped off all her hair for and took on a new look with blonde short hair. Definately refreshing and new as she evolves into a new chapter in life. The blonde hair color is ok, but it definately merges into her skin, which may require a lit more product to make it stand out. Although the cut is hott to def I opt for a different shade of color to compliment her skin, maybe pink or plum in pastel would be awesome. Gotta love her for giving us the short but fierce hair persona.

Love, love, love these girls for inspiring us with their hair and showing us how to take hair-color and shape to a whole new level this Fall. Fashion starts with great hair and if your hair, besides it’s the only outfit you can’t take off.

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