Thursday, July 3, 2014

Orlando Pita Hair Mask

I have tried and tested many hair masks over the past 15 years. Some I loved and some were, well, good enough. Today I share with you the Orlando Pita Hair Mask, a hair mask that works! 

Do you have dry, frizzy hair that's color treated? How about thick hair? By that I mean hair so thick, it takes a few minutes before water hits your scalp. And let's not forget double processed hair. If you fit any of these descriptions, then I have a hair mask that will work wonders.
This hair mask delivers fast nourishment, tames frizzing and makes it easier to blow dry hair. What else do we need in life? ;)

Hair tip #1
If you use a lot of silicones, Moroccan oils or any other oils in your hair, I recommend getting a clarifying shampoo. Why?

Most women who use oils and silicones have buildup on their hair and scalp. It can be caused by excessive product use, a shampoo that's too moisturizing (not enough cleaning action), or not rinsing out shampoos and conditioners enough.
In other words everyone should have two shampoos, one recommended by your stylist and a clarifying one. I recommend the Phyto Phytoneutre Clarifying Shampoo. It's not over-priced and yet contains loads of natural ingredients. If you want your new hair mask to work, then give it a chance by starting with a clean head of hair.

Hair tip #2
For thick hair, use a clarifying shampoo every 3 – 4 days. For color-treated hair, mix with a little bit of regular shampoo to dilute. This is to avoid color fading.
If you have hair that's dry, fine and brittle, only use a clarifying shampoo every 6-8 weeks. Mix your clarifying shampoo with your regular shampoo to weaken the clarifying shampoo a bit. This little tip will make all the difference before applying a great hair mask.

Shampoo and rinse your hair, squeezing out as much water as possible. For thick hair apply generously throughout. It's a big jar and a little goes a long way so lather that hair baby! (The thickness of the hair will determine how much product you should use.
With a super wide-tooth comb, start combing from the ends, to the scalp. Rinse very well, by well I mean don't leave any residue in your hair thinking it will help. Your hair will have already absorbed all the nutrients it needs.
FYI - I don’t have any advertising on my blog, so their are no kick backs…just my honest opinions on products that I tried over time and that actually work!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Difference Between Giving-back And Giving

A friend recently asked a question about a quote I said. "Remember it's about giving not giving-back."

I thought it deserved an answer.
After researching the definitions of both words, I found that there was not much difference. However the literal meaning of words, can sometimes have a very different meaning when expressed verbally.

To me the words "giving back" in a sentence goes like this: "I really should do volunteer work and give back for what I have received in life."

Personally I feel this means "Since I've received something, I should take the action to return it." I'm not sure when the term "giving back" originated, but it's not very helpful. Saying it can sound like an action, when the action really is the word giving. Don't get me wrong, overall it's a noble gesture, but maybe a different approach can be taken? For example..

"I really should GIVE to my fellow man in need of help," or "Although I have a roof over my head and my life is miserable, maybe I really should focus less on my troubles and GIVE to those who have less."

What's the "back" part about? And when we say it do we actually do it?  Or do we wait to receive something else to remind us once more that we should be "giving back?"
I believe if we start saying, I want to GIVE, we will be faced with a huge question. The first is, do I honestly want to give? The second, do I fully understand the meaning of giving? I know I don't...

And what it is that stops us from giving? From my own experience the biggest problem was myself.

In my heart I wanted to do what was best but I was afraid of where to begin. Which charity should I donate to? Who should I help? I pondered that question for years without actually lifting a finger.

 And if I started and couldn't handle it emotionally, I will feel like a failure!

Another favorite was, "I actually have nothing to give."

Eventually the pattern was obvious. Fear was standing in my way (and some judgement).

So how did get over my fears? Desperation is the answer.

Have you ever felt like your life has no meaning no matter how much so-call fun you have or no matter how much stuff you accumulate?

Have you ever felt suicidal, tired of being depressed and wanting a way out, not even strong or brave enough to do it? (Whatever "it" is...)

I definitely have! For most of my life I was crippled with depression, often thinking "I can't take this anymore." No one really knew but the few people I shared my secret with.

After being desperate enough, I walked into a hospice to volunteer, a recommendation by my late friend Dale from Miami. His words actually were, "Dude, even in the midst of your depression all you can do is think about yourself. Try thinking about someone else!"

I was pissed. How the hell could he be so insensitive??

He was right.

I realized I was blinded by self-pity and blaming others for my troubles.  From the minute I walked into the hospice, I forgot about myself. I had no idea what lay ahead but I knew it was better than my present state of mind.

The appreciation I received for being there, by the staff and patients, I had never felt before.
While I thought it was a one-way street, (me helping them) it actually worked both ways. They were healing my depression.

Three years later my depression has vanished! The combination of giving and thinking less of myself lead to a spiritual awakening. 

Over the years I realized it would take more than therapy to beat my depression. (10 years later I still see and love my therapist.) Anti- depressants was another help. I'm not advocating them. However I will advocate volunteer work. Being in recovery from addiction, was another key for me. It opened the door to being available to show up for volunteer work.

What can I say...if you're desperate enough you'll do what is suggested, it may change your life. It changed mine.

Today I'm a happy man. I love helping others, I love my family, I love my job and I look forward to living.

If you have any comments on this please feel free to reach out.


Monday, April 21, 2014

The Least Stressful Job In 2014, Please!

The Wall Street Journal recently published a post on the most & least stressful jobs in 2014, based on rankings from The report places hair stylist as #2 on the least stressful list.

Let me clear my throat for a second…actually give me 10 minutes.

WSJ, I generally enjoy your articles but your research team must have spoken to a hairdresser on a beach in Hawaii who had just taken a puff of "the good stuff."

Now don't get me wrong, I love my job. However, as an established stylist, it's still stressful. Allow me to provide some insight on how “easy” it was to get to where I am today.

The minute you finish beauty school and start assisting at a salon, the stress begins. No one can prepare you for this, not even the hair gods. Some hair dressers tend to be diva-ish, they think it's their birthright. (I crack myself up.)

As an assistant you are at the bottom of the food chain and have to eat mucho humble pie. You see everyone doing hair and making major money, but because you have not put in your 2 years (at least) you have to be patient. It’s common practice to assist a busy hairstylist till midnight and get a $1 as a token of appreciation.... (Tears!!!)

The training process of "actually doing hair" on humans is extremely difficult. You think you are talented only to realize you have two left hands and eight fingers. Although training on actual clients is an amazing learning experience, you can ruin a client’s hair and still have to pretend it looks fabulous. "It's hair, it grows!" Well tell that to the person who is missing a piece of hair that's now on the floor...(Constipation!!!)

After the trial period is over, you finally get on the floor to start working with clients and the next level of pressure is on. You realize you have no more tips from shampooing and/or a basic assistant salary. Now you're sitting, waiting for clients, with your mouth wide open catching flies, with no money to pay your rent. Sounds little stressful right? This can go on for a full year depending on how much walk-in traffic the salon has.

Seeing another hairstylist being super-friendly with the front desk and getting all the new clients, can be very distressing. But it happens all the time.

Now for most, building up a clientele is rewarding. At this point you realize you're not only a creative being, you're a sales person.

In many salons (not all) your creative skills are also measured by how you can convince women to get services "they don't need" and selling a certain amount of products per client (3-6 items.) Some may believe this is perfectly normal (I once did.) However it is possible to build a clientele by being honest; the problem is the salon may not think so. Major upselling as opposed to being creative can be incredibly stressful when the security of your job depends on it. 

Upselling is a term used in the industry to sell products or services to clients that they don't need. If they need one product, you have to sell them three or more. That way they will at least buy one. Years ago during a coloring class an educator said, "If you get every client to want highlights, you'll be a rich man." Translation - offer it to as many people as you can, even if their hair is at risk. (This part is so sad and stressful....)

Now here's the really hard part. Cultivating people-pleasing skills. When you're new on "the floor" it’s frustrating when you don't have the knowledge that comes with time. If you're a plastic surgeon, I'm assuming you will not operate on someone till the government, your supervisors and peers think you're ready. With hair it's not so strict, even after getting your license. 

Then there's the myth that as a hairstylist, I'm a therapist. I have a therapist, so I always recommend to clients that they find their own.

In today's world with the media, press and the beauty industry putting pressure on women to look like anyone but themselves; it all adds more stress to your chair. You have to talk clients off the cliff of "I'm not beautiful," or "I want to look like her." (Generally a celebrity)

You must possess the gift of "being honest" while being respectful and encouraging. Not as easy as it sounds, especially if you work in a salon where you need to sell, sell, sell.  Getting a client to see her own individual beauty takes time and patience.

Then you have the client whose happiness depends on their hair and overall appearance. They want their hair to remove all of life's insecurities, solve all of life's problems and save them from the inevitable. (Pressure!)

They may be genuinely nice people, but their dependence on their appearance makes it impossible to make them happy. I get it though. Once upon a time, I too was racked with major insecurities and a lack of self-love.

Then you have the clients that are a breeze. They are realistic, daring and confident. This generally covers a large group.

Keep in mind that you are as good as your last hair cut. So you need to always be on point, ahead of the game and anticipate your clients’ needs.

To wrap things up I want to remind everyone that there is no advertising on my blog, so I can be very honest. Also I'm here to support my co-workers and clients equally. 

I'm blessed to be in a salon where I can express myself creatively first. I'm not perfect but the support is there and that keeps me humble, honest and constantly learning.


Monday, April 7, 2014

I Am Malala- Inspiring Girls In Homeless Shelters

As some of you may know I've been asking friends to donate one book in particular for my workshops with teenage girls in the NYC shelter system. That book is I Am Malala, The Girl That Was Shot In Her Head By The Taliban

One day, while doing my standard workshop, I decided to change the flow and read a few paragraphs from this book. While reading, I noticed some of the girls were in shock, some had tears in their eyes, but I had their full attention. They were in awe that a 16 year-old girl would stand up to the Taliban because she believed in education for all.

When I was done there was a silence. The girls were inspired that someone their own age could be so brave. Words cannot describe their faces in that moment.

I then asked, “Is there anything they would like to see changed in their communities?” Before I could finish, one girl shouted "Gun violence!"  "More support for teen moms raising a child," said another. Then one tiny 12 year-old girl said, "…bullying against children who live in homeless shelters." My heart literally broke.

Next I asked them, "Do you think you have the power to change these things?” I could see the frustration in their faces as they thought about the question.

We discussed ways each girl could inspire friends and their families to help create ideas to make a change. We discussed the power of organizing within the shelter to create a stronger, unified voice.

In the end I gave each girl a copy of the book. They were ecstatic!

So far I have done two workshops using this book to inspire girls at two
different shelters. I hope to get more copies and spread her message to even more

Want to know more about Malala? Here's a video of Malala’s interview on John Stewart’s, The Daily Show. It’s pretty incredible.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

From Runway To Everyday

These two looks are inspired by the hair from Carolina Herrera Fall 2014 RTW and Elie Saab from his haute couture show in Paris 2014. Both looks were originally created by Orlando Pita.

Look 1
The first look is a high chignon. I decided to alter the shape and technique a bit for everyday.

First I made a tight, clean ponytail. Using a packet of hair, I purchased at the Wig Shop on 14thstreet, I cut it in half without unraveling all the hair

 I pinned one half above the ponytail and one half below.
I then curled the hair with the T3 Body Waver to seal the cuticle adding shine and bounce to the ponytail. You can see it on the table:)

Next I wrapped the three pieces into a bun. It's very important to use hair pins as you work, as it's the only way you’ll have control.
After pinning the bun in place, you can literally squeeze the entire chignon into a shape that flatters you.

Look 2
The second style looks simple but was a pain in the ass! Lol! I'm not perfect… :)

I removed the bun, brushed the hair out and sprayed some Revive Dry Shampoo by Orlando Pita.

I started by taking a section from ear to ear (above the top of the head).

Next I flat-ironed the back section of her hair using my new SinglePass Flatiron from T3 and back-combed the crown for volume.

I made a short, clean center part. Then I rolled the two front sections about 2 inches above the ear. To get rid of the two pieces (or tails) of hair you're left with after rolling, simply pin them underneath the back section (at the back if the head.)

Looks good…however I need to chat with Orlando Pita to perfect this.

Photographer Jiyang chen
Makeup Gina Daddona


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

No More Perfect Curls with The Curling Iron

A recent hair fad that was embraced by women of all ages and races has finally come to an end. Long "pretty hair", with perfect waves (created by a curling iron) has been replaced by a more natural, fresh modern approach (amen)...

Yes it was fun when it started…however it seemed to suck the population dry of all individuality and personal style. With that fad behind us, I welcome the much needed change!

Now we’re seeing on the runways the use of extensions to create thickness at any length instead of adding hair to create an obvious unnatural length. Another fad is wearing your hair in a fabulous updo's which were also on the runways for Spring/summer 2014.

My model who beautiful as she is sweet was new to the industry, she had very long but fine hair, but the last 5 inches were fine. For her first look I purchased hair from Helena's in NYC and Glued in tracks to add thickness and density at the ends.

Look 1
The first look I kept very natural. I curled her hair using the T3 BodyWaver Iron and then brushed it out. Notice softer without all the tight waves and tendrils. For the women that can't wear their hair messy, this is a good option.

Look 2
For the second look I used a tiny bit of Phyto Texturizing Cream and ran it through her hair with my fingers. It helped her hair regain some of it's texture and added a messier look. Then I lightly sprayed it with Elevate by Orlando Pita and T3. I’m sorry to say, it's been discontinued so you won’t find it anywhere online. :(

Look 3
The final look is an updo that was inspired by the hair from Carolina Herrera’s spring/summer 2014 show.

This is a great look for women of all ages and all hair textures. Even with extensions in the model’s hair, I still was able to put it up.

Below are some quick tips on how to achieve this look:

1) If you have fine, straight hair I recommend adding volumizing spray to the roots & ends. Dry your hair with your fingers and make a center part to complete the look.

2) For curly hair that's fine, blow dry the middle part and the nape (the hair just above your neck line.) This will allows the areas that show to look clean, but then the natural texture will give you some fullness when the look is done.

3) For women with thick, coarse hair, first blow dry your hair and then apply a flat iron to achieve the final look.

These are great instructions to give to your hairstylist as well.

Stay tuned for more runway styles that you can transform into an everyday look!

Makeup By Gina Daddona


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Working At Michael Kors Fall 2014

"California girl moved to NYC for the winter and she's been urbanized"  that's how Orlando described the hair for today's show.

The hair was messy. textured and chunky, (not frizzy, wispy or flat). Then a loose braid was done at the back and tucked at the nape. What I loved about this style and technique is it can be used on all hair types.
Now remember, it's a "hairstyle" so it will take some "hairstyling" to achieve this look. In other words don't think because it's messy you can just tool out of bed and do a braid and voila! No honey boo boo child, if your hairs curly blow-dry it and flatiron if necessary. If your hair is clean and silky, dirty it-up a bit.

Click Here to see the Products used to achieve this look!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Working At Oscar De La Renta Fall 2014

As I mentioned in my last article, when you assist Orlando Pita at Fashion Week, be prepared for a few surprises. Yesterday at Oscar De La Renta's Fall fashion show, we were all shocked to see 41 beautiful human hair wigs that needed to be cut short! As my friend would say, "Girl we gagged!!!"

Orlando started his demo and in no time the model was transformed.

 It was no easy task getting 41 girls to hair and makeup and on the runway in a few hours, but as usual we pulled it off.
 The girls were stunning! See if you can recognize your favorite super model?


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Working At Carolina Herrera NYFW14

Today we faced a huge challenge at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. At the Carolina Herrera show Orlando Pita had us create an elegant bun that was absolutely jaw-dropping.

When Orlando Pita showed us the demo, he made it seem effortless.
 But having worked with him for several seasons now and seen the level of skill involved in each hair style, we all knew the more simple the do, the harder it is to create.

The way it works is that every models' finished hair style must get Orlando's stamp of approval before they are sent off to get dressed. So off we went, working each bun til it was perfectly symmetrical and clean.
This look has the fashion world talking and Carolina Herrera designs were flawless!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Working At DVF NYFW2014

As we arrived for the second show of the day, we were all excited to see what DVF and Orlando Pita had instore for us. As Orlando started the demo, he explained that this look was inspired by a ballerina rehearsing in a dance studio with a messy bun that was obviously done in a hurry, but with the power to stay in place. The bun was placed in line with the ear and cheek bones, directly at back of the head (not on top).

First, we started off by not brushing the hair, only raking through it with our fingers. Using only fingers allows for the hair to still look a bit messy and textured. 
Then we took an elastic and made a ponytail. We started twisting the tail of the hair into a bun.

However as the bun started taking shape, we intentionally pinned the hair along the way, distorting the shape from a perfect bun to a messier slept-in bun.


Several of the models had vastly different textures of hair and some were coming from previous shows with loads of product still in their hair. This made our job even more time consuming, as there are no sinks backstage to wash hair!
To complete the look, we used Biosilk Strong Hold Finishing Spray to take care of any fly-aways and voila!

 Don't forget to follow Orlando Pita on FB, Twitter and Instagram @Orlandopitahair