Friday, April 27, 2012

Ten Things You Need to Know About Your Hair…

Even celebrities like Nicole Kidman have fast-growing gray roots.

1. A lot of people wonder why they start seeing roots around their hairline, especially those who are covering their gray, the week after they get their hair colored. It isn’t that the color didn’t “take.” It’s that the hairline grows faster that the rest of the hair on the head, because it is really facial hair. If you think about a man’s beard, and how he only has to stop shaving for a day and you can see growth, then you begin to realize why your roots show so quickly around your hairline. Also, remember that your hair grows at least ½ inch a month, sometimes faster during the summertime!  

2. A question I am asked about constantly is hair falling out, when my clients are “seeing a lot of hair on the floor.” 

Stress, medications, and even pregnancy can add to hair loss.
The truth is that your hair is always falling out at a rate of about 50 to 100 strands per day. And if you have long or curly hair, it will seem like even more because of the volume of the individual hairs.  So, just accept the facts that those 50 to 100 strands every day is perfectly normal, and remember that they’re being replaced and growing back. On another note, stress, medical problems, going through difficult emotional times like a divorce, certain medications, and even pregnancy can add to hair loss – but with the right treatments, that abnormal hair loss can be stopped and it will grow back.

Lather, rinse...and stop
3. You should know that the directions to suds up twice when you shampoo were written back in the days when women only washed their hair once a week and sprayed their hair heavily every day. Under those circumstances, you really did need to shampoo hair twice to get it clean. But today, most people wash their hair daily or every other day, and in that case, lathering up once is enough. Remember that hair is a fabric, and the more you wash it, the more it wears out. So, if you wash your hair every day you only need to lather once, but always remember to condition.

4. Another question about shampooing I get is whether people need to switch shampoos occasionally because hair gets used to it. As a professional colorist, my recommendation is that you make sure that whatever colorist does your hair recommends the right shampoo and that you use it. If you experience product build-up, which is not uncommon, you should use a clarifying shampoo once in a while – no more than every 4th or 5th time your shampoo, and then you should condition well, and go back to your regular shampoo. The most important thing today, since most people shampoo so often, is to use a shampoo that is sulfate-free with UVA/UVB sunscreen protection, and Thermal V-Complex that seals in your color and prevents thermal styling damage. One of the companies that makes a superior line of products that meet these requirements is Aquage and its SeaExtend line.   

Brrr....but it works
5. Clients often ask for a cold-water rinse to make their hair shiny. Just like heat opens the pores of the skin and cold water will tighten them, so will hot water open the hair’s cuticle and cold water close the cuticle. Rinsing with cold water will cause that closed cuticle to reflect more light and make the hair look better.

Haircolor done right doesn't damage
6. I am often asked, as a Master Colorist, whether coloring the hair damages it. Like everything else, you can get damage if it is done the wrong way; in the hands of a professional with training and knowledge you can get beautiful and healthy results. And part of those healthy results is what you do after you leave the salon. If you like to shampoo every day, your color will fade more quickly, and you’ll need protective shampoo and conditioner, and special products for home maintenance to keep your hair healthy and your color vibrant and true.

The only sure cure for split ends
7. Here’s one that’s coming up a lot lately due to advertising for new drugstore products that focus on split ends – can you actually repair split ends? I always tell people that hair, as it grows longer, is like a rope and once it starts unwinding, the best thing to do is cut it off. There is no conditioner or product that is going to stop it or repair it. But proper trimming will help you get ahead of split ends, and healthier, stronger hair will be able to grow longer over time.

Hot rollers work wonders on fine hair
8. There are a lot of “fine” women who come into my salon – and by that, I mean women with finely textured hair. Their chief complaint is always that their hair is flat and they cannot get any body into their hair. There is an art to cutting fine hair in order to achieve the proper texture that will support its length. If it’s too long, it collapses the texture and makes fine hair look even thinner and flatter. I also find that coloring and highlighting fine hair will add texture and body. Using the proper products like volumizing shampoo and conditioner, and amplifying and body-boosting styling products like light whips, uplifting foams and thermal sprays help. To give more volume and bounce to fine hair, set it for five minutes in hot rollers, then hit it with a light finishing spray, and voila! Big, bouncing volume.

Product, product, product
9. Everyone wants to know, “Why doesn’t my hair look the same when I do it at home than when my stylist does it? What am I doing wrong?” The answer is “Product, product, product.” Stylists use products according to your style and you hair type, and then utilizes the right professional tools, the best brush, the hottest dryers, curling irons and flat irons; but unfortunately may stylists are lousy at prescribing the right products for their clients to take home. So, they go off to the drugstore or the supermarket and buy the wrong thing for their hair – it’s too heavy or too strong or not strong enough for their hair – and it doesn’t work. I strongly suggest that before you leave the salon, you ask your stylist what was used to wash and condition your hair, what was used to style and finish your hair, and take home whatever you can afford so you can come as close as you can to the same results.

The consultation is priority #1
10. This last thing you should know should be the first thing that you do – the consultation. Make it the #1 priority when you book an appointment. At D Laudati Salon, the consultation is our most important meeting. It’s just like taking a trip – you want to start at the beginning, know where it is you want to go, find out how you are going to get there, and how much it is going to cost not just to get there, but to stay there. You stylist should tell you about payment, and about how much it will cost you to maintain the look you want, how long it will last, and how often you’ll need to come in. At D Laudati, we always offer a complimentary consultation so we understand what you like and what you don’t, we look at pictures, we visualize the target and goal and color, and then I give my point of view on what color I believe will look good with your skin tones, what cut will work with your hair’s texture. I take into consideration things like whether you’re a working professional who does not have a lot of time to fuss with your hair in the mornings nor the time for lengthy and frequent visits to the salon. I want to know all of this before the scissors ever touch the hair. We must get to know each other before we start this very personal relationship!

Until next week, ciao…  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This Spring and Summer, There’s Something for Everyone!

Rihanna goes back to black...

If you’re feeling bored with your cut or color, now is the time to consider a change. Spring is always a time of renewal, when we think about spring cleaning, changing up rich fall and winter colors for lighter, brighter spring and summer colors, going shorter, going lighter, adding highlights, cutting bangs. It’s a transformative time of year, and there is no one trend that dominates. For every Emma Stone who decides to go blonde again, there’s Rihanna who decides to go back to black.

But with that said, here are some of the looks we’re seeing repeated over and over in the magazines, on the style blogs, and on celebrities…

Krysten Ritter's baby bangs
BANGS: Baby bangs, blunt bangs, soft and wispy bangs. Whatever your bang, it’s one of the easiest ways to make a major style change yet still maintain the length of your hair, which so many women are loathe to let go of completely.

Actress Krysten Ritter has some of the most flattering baby bangs we’ve seen – they’re edgy, a little rock-and-roll, very urban, and a bit retro, too, especially paired with her black hair. 

Baby bangs at Versace
The trick with very short bangs is to be sure they don’t look as if you cut them yourself – or worse, that a three-year-old cut them while you napped, like the model from the Versace Fall 2012 runway.  This is when you want to consult your stylist and get a professional opinion about whether they’re the most flattering bang for your face, and then have them cut professionally to be sure they avoid the dreaded “kindergarten” look.

Blunt bangs at Marni
Blunt bangs are another style that isn’t the easiest to pull off – the heavy geometric quality isn’t flattering to every face shape, and they can be severe. They also tend to grow out very quickly, and are not easy to maintain yourself, necessitating frequent trips to the salon. 

Blunt bangs at Elie Saab
You’ll notice that both examples of this look are from the Fall 2012 runways (Marni and Elie Saab) and not real life; they flatter a model’s more exaggerated bone structure. Again, this is where a stylist’s expertise comes in; if they’ll look fabulous on you, your stylist will tell you truthfully.

Nicole Richie's wispy bangs
By far the most flattering bangs are soft fringes, or wisps. Seen here on cuts, colors, and face shapes as diverse as Nicole Richie’s softly layered golden shag, Alexa Chung’s ombréd brunette bob, and Florence Welch’s flame-colored waves, they’re versatile and can be worn piece-y, pushed to the side, or down. 

Alexa Chung's piece-y fringe
Florence Welch's soft fringes
It’s hard to go wrong with this style of bang, and they accentuate the eyes and well-shaped brows, hide a high forehead, bring balance to a disproportionate face, and are a great way to cover an aging forehead.     

January Jones' graduated bob
Emily Blunt's graduated bob
BOBS: The bob is one way to still feel like you have length while losing a lot of the weight from your hair, often freeing up more texture, trimming away damaged ends, and depending on whether it’s a “lob”, a graduated bob like those of January Jones and Emily Blunt, an asymmetrical bob like Ali Larter’s, or a cropped and sideswept bob like Cameron Diaz’s, it’s a cut with a lot of vitality and movement that offers plenty of styling options.

Ali Larter's asymmetrical bob
Cameron Diaz's cropped bob
Exposing the neck is a very elegant look, it creates height, and it is also cooler as the weather gets warmer and more humid. 

PIXIES: Actresses Michelle Williams and Ginnifer Goodwin have single-handedly made the pixie a go-to haircut again. 

Michelle Williams
Ginnifer Goodwin
More and more women are coming into my salon requesting truly short hair, and even more surprising is that they are maintaining it, not trying the style out and starting to grow it in immediately. 

Ruby Rose
Here’s Ruby Rose with another variation on the pixie, a bit more edgy than either Michelle or Ginnifer. The other advantage to these pixie cuts is that you can experiment with color and risk minimal damage since the hair is so short and grows out quickly.

Ashlee Simpson
RAZORED CROPS: Razor cutting is back in vogue, and it is being applied to cropped styles as varied as those shown here on Ashlee Simpson, Morena Baccarin, and Jennie Garth

Morena Bacccarin
It creates tremendous texture and allows the hair to literally be pushed into a variety of styles, with minimal product. 

Jennie Garth
It’s another styling option for the hot months, yet it looks sophisticated and fashion forward, and never too innocent.

Allison Williams 
Christina Aguilera
LONG LAYERS: No matter the season, long hair never goes out of style. Women will brave heat and humidity without ever considering a shorter cut. 

But layered looks are definitely trending, which remove weight around the perimeter and often through the interior, creating texture and movement, and adding interest when the hair is styled into a casual or formal up-do. 

Lily Aldridge, layered ombre
Jessica Biel, darker and layered
The variety can be seen by looking at the pictures of NBC news anchor Brian William’s actress daughter Allison, Christina Aguilera, Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge, and Jessica Biel. It all depends on you hair’s natural texture, density, and level of damage.

COLOR, COLOR EVERYWHERE: Color is a temping way to freshen and brighten up your look for the coming months, but it also means a commitment to taking extra care of your hair. 

Emma Stone, back to blonde
Jessica Chastain, a richer red
Whether you go blonde (Emma Stone – sorry to see her lose the red!), blonder (Cameron Diaz), redder (Jessica Chastain), darker (Jessica Biel), back to black (Rihanna – much improved!), or try color blocking (Miranda Lambert) or ombré (Lily Aldridge and Alexa Chung), you need to conserve the vitality and condition of your hair.

Miranda Lambert's ultra-flattering
color blocked blondes
The more you color, the more you condition. The more your hair is exposed to the summer heat and the elements, the more you condition. The more your hair is exposed to the chemical in the pool or the salt water at the beach, the more you need to condition. You’ll wash your hair more during the summer, and if you color your hair, it will fade faster. Glazes will help protect your color and keep your hair brighter and shinier for longer.

Even if your hair isn’t color-treated, switch over to a pH-balanced, sulfate-free shampoo, and ask your stylist for a recommendation on the right conditioner for your hair. And leave-in conditioners are wonderful for everyone to help protect your hair when you are outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather. Treat your hair well, keep it hydrated, rinse out the salt-and pool-water, deep condition it as often as your stylist recommends, and it will look healthy and beautiful all through the spring and summer.
Until next week, ciao…

Thursday, April 5, 2012

When Country Went to Vegas: The Academy of Country Music Awards

Host Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, 
country music's hottest married couple
Recently, Marianne downloaded an app for her phone that allows us to listen to radio stations in my native Italy, and would you like to know what the most popular music is in my “home” country? Country!

That’s right. Country music is the most popular genre of music in Italy – in much of Europe as well, and of course here in my adopted homeland. There’s been an evolution/revolution in country music, which can now boast as many variations and interpretations as the category of “pop music.” Anyone who thinks country music is women in huge teased hair, too much makeup, and tacky clothes, or men in 10-gallon hats or baseball caps, pointy boots, and big belt buckles hasn’t been paying attention.

Hannah Blaylock of Eden's Edge
Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards was a perfect example of just how much country music has changed in a generation. Yes, it does revere its icons – I think music has always been much better at this than some of the other performing arts – yet take a look at some of these absolutely lovely ladies, who may as well have been attending the Academy Awards with their understanding of fashion, hair, and makeup, and how to put all three together to create a total look.

Cherrill Green of Eden's Edge
Hannah Blaylock and Cherrill Green of the band Eden’s Edge are a beautiful study in contrasts, which no doubt works quite well onstage. Hannah’s glossy dark up-do and classic Old Hollywood Grecian-draped white silk gown are complemented by expertly applied makeup that further enhance “classic glamour” vibe. She looks like a cross between a young Elizabeth Taylor and Megan Fox. Her blonde bandmate, Cherrill Green, chose a very contemporary look with her ombre purple halter gown, loose beachy ringlets with multi-tonal highlights, and double-winged eyeliner – all very on-trend.

Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town
Another pair of bandmates played off their contrasting coloring was well: Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Rhodes Schlapman of Little Big Town. Karen’s look is very Sixties-inspired, with her dark Bardot-esque hairstyle, smoky eye makeup, and long plunging halter dress. 

Kimberly Rhodes Schlapman of Little Big Town
Kimberly’s naturally curly blonde mane is styled into a free-form modern shag, and her pretty pastel makeup is right off the Spring 2012 runways, as is her short white-on-white sequined mini with its tailored details
Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum
Next, we have a bevy of sexy brunettes. Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum enhances her striking green eyes with cool brown tones in her long, layered hair. No flat irons here – just tons of body and shine, beautifully applied makeup, and an understated black gown that makes the most of her generous figure.

Rachel Reinert of Gloriana
At the warm end of the brunette spectrum is Rachel Reinert of Gloriana, whose long disconnected layers and warm cinnamon highlights bring out the green in her hazel eyes.  

Katie Armiger
In the same color family is Katie Armiger, with her glossy all-over dark auburn color bringing out her bright green eyes. This is definitely a group of women who understand the power of long, luscious locks rather than too “done” up-do.

Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square
Thompson Square’s Shawna Thompson wore her long raven locks swept over one shoulder in a mass of loose, shining waves. Again, very Old Hollywood when paired with her dusty purple micro-pleated gown and vintage-inspired jewelry. 
Sara Evans' red carpet "don't"
Performer Sara Evans’ red carpet look was our least favorite of the night (an ill-fitting, Pepto-pink satin one-sleeved gown that would not have flattered ANYONE). 

Sara Evan's on-stage "do" --
what a difference!
But she completely redeemed it with her change into this sheer chiffon top and leather pants (WOW!), which brought out the warm highlights in her long center-parted hair. It really goes to show how the wrong color – even with the right makeup and hair – can throw a look off.

Taylor Swift
And then there were the beautiful blondes. America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift, wore an haute couture J. Mendel white gown that was by voted by every fashion blog as the hand-down winner of the night.  Taylor wore one of her two signature looks: smoky eyes and nude lips, and paired it with a smooth blow-out of her trademark ringlets. She could have walked any red carpet from Cannes to Beverly Hills!

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland
Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland wore a neon pink gown with a bright yellow beaded belt that showed how pink should be worn. She also wore one of the night’s only ponytails, clasped low at the nape, but it was nicely undone and well-suited to her style. 

LeAnn Rimes
LeAnn Rimes and Laura Bell Bundy wore the few up-dos of the evening. LeAnn’s was gathered high with tousled ends, a smooth crown, and a side part with a few wispy pieces framing her face above a very short Stella McCartney dress. It suited the casual look she was cultivating nicely. 

Laura Bell Bundy
Laura’s low side-chignon was obviously meant to balance out her one-sleeved silver gown, but it was all a bit of a misfire. The chignon was a too messy in contrast to the rest of her hair, and the dress was perhaps too much of a good thing. Had both elements been taken down a notch, this one would have been a winner. Her makeup was gorgeous, though.

Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry
Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry wore her long layers in twisty mermaid waves that were much more rock-and-roll than country. 

Carrie Underwood
It certainly was quite a refreshing contrast to Carrie Underwood’s long blonde ‘do, which has remained essentially the same since her American Idol win. She’s a talented and beautiful girl, but she has a look and she sticks with it. 

Beth Behrs
One of the most attractive looks of the night was actress Beth Behrs of Two Broke Girls with her blush-colored Empire gown and matching makeup, and her artfully tousled waves and soft bangs. She was both angelic and sexy at once.

The night's "golden girl," Miranda Lambert
Finally, host Blake Shelton’s wife, the take-no-prisoners powerhouse Miranda Lambert, won not only ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’ and ‘Album of the Year,’ but was a vision in gold from the top of her head to the tip of her toes in a liquid gold sequined gown and cascading golden curls. Hollywood has absolutely nothing on these “Country Girls.”