Tuesday, December 30, 2008

FOR THE MAN

IS YOUR EXISTING STYLIST THE ONE TO GIVE YOU THE CHANGE YOU NEED

Men in their 40s and 50s tend to hold onto some hair trends of the past...most of which are not worth mentioning. Have you recently heard a loved one say, "Honey, I love your hair, but maybe you can try my stylist for a change?" This translates to,"Child, please!! I can't take anymore of this Grace Jones meets Chuck Norris gone wrong!" 

As we know men's hair cuts can range from $8 to $400. It's up to you to find a stylist that is talented enough to deliver a quality cut that grows well and is versatile; be it conservative by day and a bit more relaxed at night.

 Their are ways to rid yourself of the hair cut that you have held onto for too long.
Photo albums are a great way to track your hairstyles. If you find that your current "do" is almost a freeze frame of your high school graduation picture, it might just be time to let it go (or in some cases... let it grow). 

You finally are ready to get away from the hairstyle that you have been sporting for the past 15 years! During a conversation with your stylist, you express the desire to wear your hair in a longer style. Despite your hair texture, your stylist smiles and simply confirms that this is a good idea. At the end of it you realize that something is wrong, but are embarassed to say something because your stylist has been cutting your hair for the past decade or more, and you've always been pleased. Leaving the salon you feel even more unsure about your hair. As you arrive home to your loved one validates your insecurity by pointing out every hole, lump and valley in your new...what's the word, let's call it a HAIR MISHAP!!! Suddenly 1993 really didn't look so bad after all... 

It's difficult to know if your stylist can transform your short structured cut into a longer masculine, modern cut. So, before making the big change, consult with you stylist. More importantly, look around at their other male clients (if you only see crew cuts.. run for the hills!). Seriously, this may be a sign to look elsewhere for someone that can work with the change you need.

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THE RIGHT CUT TO GET THE JOB DONE


CAN YOUR HAIR GIVE YOU A BETTER SHOT AT THE JOB YOU WANT?

How many times have you heard, "No not that guy, the other one, oh you mean the one with the Mullet haircut! Yeah that one." DO YOU KNOW that some one can have a full judgment of you without you even speaking but by just looking at your head? As you already know there are so many aspects to getting ready for the "dream job interview" and one of the first things we should get is a hair cut. Well lets talk about this for a minute, what does your hair cut look like? Is it reminiscent of today's man (no back to front mullets please). Does the person who is interviewing you say, “Nice guy, good resume, he spoke well BUT his image was not quite what we were looking for.”

This happens daily in the work place and the next victim could be you!! No matter what your job is, looking good important (and the ladies dig it too). The big difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is that a good cut should work for your face shape and your hair texture. And men know better than anyone that product also plays a big part in any great cut (especially the bad cuts).


I have a huge male clientele that range from young actors, musicians, bartenders and executives, you name it. Guys no matter what you do for a living, you got to give some TLC to your hair.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON WHATS HAIR-APPROPRIATE FOR THE JOB

THE DO'S

1) Ask yourself, how long have I had this cut? Honestly? If it’s more than 5 years then you are long over due for a change.

2) If you feel your stylist maybe a bit old fashioned or you feel it’s time for a change then you may want to consider a new hair stylist.

3) Look around and when you see a hair cut you like ask where thy had it done, you may have found the answer!

4) Talk to your stylist about the image you would like to give and how you would like your hair to represent you. Also talk about hair hygiene and what is the right shampoos, conditioners and styling products.

5) Start pre-booking your appointments. We all have some type of digital calendar in our pockets. Put it to good use.

6) Embrace hair loss and start wearing your hair shorter.

THE DON TS

1) If you get a 15 minute hair cut chances are you look it, its take more time than that to produce a cut that would last and look like some TLC went into it.

2) Don't be ashamed to say good bye to your stylist. It’s OK. He or she will get over it.

3) Please do not take your nose trimmers and try to fix your sideburns, leave it to the professionals.

4) Stay away from terms like feathered, Mullet, frosted and fades. Leave the Marine cuts for the Marines.

The key thing is to really understand the importance of having great hair cut is knowing that it suits your face shape, its versatile and most importantly YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF!!

Copyright © 2008 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

THE HISTORY OF THE COMB-OVER




THE HISTORY OF THE COMB-OVER


Most of you may not know the real history of the comb-over -- yes, there is such a thing. We spend so much time avoiding the comb-over lovers that we neglect the fact that all styles (even bad ones) were born and. After much research, I am here to educate you:


The word comb-over comes from the French word cuovere, meaning to cover with a veil. This hair style can actually be traced back to 1774 and Alexander XVI of France, who was known for his keen sense of style, which brought him oodles of attention from all (even French poodles) and he was known for his creative ways with a wig. My research also revealed that he was most of all a trend-setter -- you better believe it, honey, Madonna was not the first to set a trend.

One day, Alexander (I feel as if he is a personal friend) decided to create a new trend, and for this he will be remembered forever. Picture this: FRANCE, Versailles, 1773. It was a warm, sweaty summer morning, and after doing his usual morning chores, which included fluffing his favorite wigs, Alexander had a vision. He saw a world free of those heavy, suffocating wigs, which most of the time had the smell of old, wet unmentionables. Knowing that it would be the most difficult of his trends to start, he brought the idea first to his closest friend, Aspirer Chapeau, who created and maintained all of his wigs. Aspirer at first was taken back by the absurd request of the king, because not only was it an embarrassment to be seen without one’s great hair, but it was a mark of the upper crust to have tresses from – and as big as -- the heavens. A.C. ( feel as if I know him so well) listened to his king rant about how freeing it would be to have one’s own hair liberated. There was only one problem. The king was badly balding and also refused to have a single hair cut. But A.C. had a plan. He confided in his friend, the famous architect Etienne-Louis Boullee, who constructed some of the masterpieces of Paris. After endless drawings and live models, the two conspirators came up with a design, and – pouf -- the COMB-OVER was born.

A.C. started flipping and fluffing Alexander’s few strands of hair with such speed and talent (limp wrists come in handy) and presented a masterpiece of Le Cuovere. Alexander was thrilled to bits and decided to wear his new do to the grand ball that evening. Well, as the story goes,as soon as he stepped in to the club, he was quickly stoned to death and that was that.

So the next time you see a comb-over, just appreciate the history and limp wrists that went in to creating a trend that has and will survive the test of time.

This is clearly all made up just for fun, what the heck!

some of my favorite comb-over sites

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHm_1116f_Q

http://www.slickville.com/sections/combover/jim/jim_menu.html

http://isitnormal.com/story/663/

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

WITH MEN IN MIND: BY GUEST WRITER SLK

Since I started guest writing for Antonio’s Blog, I have avoided topics about hair care products as this is Antonio’s area of expertise. At one of our recent gal pal lunches, he asked me to write an article about some of my favorite products so I thought I would speak about a few which have helped renew and reinvigorate my hair as it faces middle age. This task was easy for me as I have become a huge fan of Kerastase products, especially the Resistance line. Their Bain Age Recharge shampoo has actually recharged my hair. Prior to my switching to this shampoo, I had noticed increased hair loss at night while I slept. After switching to this shampoo, I have noticed there are very rarely hairs on the pillow in the morning and my hair is fuller and much richer looking.

Several years ago, Antonio gave me a Kerastase Age Recharge Hair Mask at the salon. You place this product on your hair and let it sit for ten to twenty minutes and then rinse out. I am almost positive Antonio had over booked himself and needed time to work on another client but whatever the reason I did not care. The way it left my hair softer and shinier, I immediately purchased this product and have used it twice a week at home since. For maximum results, place a warm damp towel on your head to assist the product in penetrating the hair shaft. Given how heat helps this product work magic, I have used the product on my hair in the steam room at the gym for great results.

While this hair mask is for individuals with more mature hair, I used it once on my 16 year old niece. She came to visit me and too many bad color jobs, over use of a flat iron and poor diet had left her once vibrant chocolate brown hair looking dull, damaged and lifeless. With one application and a few days of decent food, she was looking like a teenager again with radiant hair.





Recently, I have been using Kerastase Substance Constructive. This treatment not only helps fortify damaged hair, it also helps with styling. I place a few drops in my hand and apply to wet hair. I then style my hair and the product holds my hair in place until I touch it. The best part about using this product as a styling tool is at the end of the night, I run my hands through my hair and the product disappears with no heavy residue left on my hair. Also, if someone else runs their hands through my hair, they are not threatened with stiff razor blades slicing their hand.





Antonio also recommended that I try Kerastase Noctogenist Voile Nuit. This revitalizing treatment is used overnight to renew dull, tired-looking hair. I simply spray a few drops on my towel-dried hair before going to bed and the enriched formula nourishes and protects my hair from damage. In the morning my hair is refreshed and radiant with more vibrant color and shine.




Use of these products has helped me in my efforts to embrace my natural highlights. While they do not cover the gray hairs, they enhance the original dark brown color of my hair and increase the shine making my hair seem more vibrant. Try it for yourself and let me know if you agree.

Happy Holidays

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

HIPSTER HAIR: BY ANTONIO



From my experience living in New York and my association with many people who possess a strong sense of fashion, I've learned that it's important not to ignore the fashion influence of hipsters. It's obvious that there are many interpretations of hipster style in New York City, but what about hipster hair (HH)?  Williamsburg hipsters in particular make an impression of originality when it comes to hair.  Most times they'll sit in my chair and the beginning of the cut has already been started in their bathroom the night before .  So together with my professional skill and their personal style and vision, a look is born.   Sometimes their creative juices may be flowing too fast for the hipster (nice way to say " bad idea") and it's my job to channel the flow of the juices to get the right look.   When we're in synch we can create hair styles that are hard to imitate. The idea is for the hairstylist to help direct the emergence of the look that wants to be achieved -- all without begging for attention.


LONG HAIR

What sets long hipster hair apart  are sharp angels and creative, non-traditional shapes that control the exposure of the face. Instead of a long swooping bang, the bang may be cut very short and on an angle exposing the cheek bones.  It can also be longer without  being too blended and having a bit of a dis-connection from the layers around the face..  The paranoia around wanting to hide behind hair is not part of this style -- it's about having hair that is still sexy without being a carbon copy of the most popular runway look.

TIP:  I recommend avoiding popular celebrity cuts; they can be a little safe.  You're better off looking on line at blogs, and images of some recent pics from stylists and hairdressers of there own creations.

SHORT HAIR

This is a popular  length for the Williamsburg hipster, especially since he or she lives in a mainstream culture that loves long hair.  With short hair the look can consist of many versions of the shag, super-short feminine cuts with exaggerated long bangs or just a short cut that exposes the face in a way thats not usual, particularly for women.  I love cutting the hair of these trendsetters because is a joint effort where rules are broken and something fresh is always waiting to be discovered.  

TIP:  Short choppy hair for men and women is not hipster hair; short hair can have some classic elements like Beetles hair with an original twist like a spiky top etc.

COLOR

This one is huge!  What I've noticed is a demand for natural hair color to be enhanced with darker shades to add depth or lighter sections of color.  Its very different from punk hair, so don't think that you have to have a great level of contrast between light and dark chunks.  When I speak to other hairstylists in New York we agree that it's about cutting first then coloring after so you know the shape you're working with which helps in deciding on the contrast you wish to create.

TIP: Work together with your hairstylist on a color that can be created for you, its very easy to customize your own color.  You may also have color in your fashion that you prefer. Think about this when you decide on your color.


Makeup by Frank Kammerer - getfrank@verizon.net
Photography- www.rileyandrileyphoto.com

Copyright © 2008 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved

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Monday, December 22, 2008

HOW TO DIVORCE YOUR HAIR STYLIST

I know you are probably thinking, " Is he afraid to have this conversation ? " Honey, this is what HAIR BY ANTONIO is all about, having conversations with you, for you, to help you...

No one in any job has ever maintained every client they have ever touched, it's just not realistic.

THE STYLIST

We as the provider do have the power to deliver our best, which is all we can do. It is also important to try our best and read the client. If a client is unhappy there is always a little something in their facial expression to tell you " I am not feeling it."
What is very important to me is to keep a mental note at the time of doing the client. I ask myself, "Am I doing the best I can do? Does his or her facial expression really show complete satisfaction? Are we on the same page? How can I take my ego out of this and be open to how the client sees his or herself?


THE CLIENT

You have a relationship with your stylist, but at the end of the day "It's about knowing what's right for you. " By the time it gets to this point, something must be bothering you. It might have been a 1 year relationship or a 15 year relationship, the more time the harder it is. Give your stylist another chance. At this appointment, be honest and vent your frustrations. This conversation will be your deciding factor on your next move. Let's face it, a great hairstylist is hard to come by, but at the same time, so is a dedicated client.

If you feel that the relationship with your stylist is hopeless, don't be afraid to flee the sinking ship and step onto someone else's yacht! It is entirely up to you if you decided to inform your stylist of your decision. Some clients are comfortable being completely honest and upfront with their stylist. Although, it is a difficult conversation to have, you might just be the client to pull the blinders from in front of your stylists eyes; ultimately helping to make he/she a better stylist. Others may opt to pull a Houdini disappearing act; never to be seen or heard from again...

These are a few reasons that some of my new clients have DIVORCED their previous stylist.

-Wanting change
-Miscommunication
-Stylist moving
-Being too familiar
-Feeling neglected

These are all valid reasons, but they could be worked out. What is the key to any relationship COMMUNICATION

Have I been DIVORCED ? Child, I am still paying alimony :)

Next topic : How to make up....

Copyright © 2008 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

THREE EASY STEPS TO HEALTHY HAIR

So you wake up one morning and you are scared to death by the frizzy creature on your head. Then you realize to your horror, it's your hair. You have fallen victim to your holiday up do gone wrong and dry winter hair!!! The first thing you need to do my friend is check yourself into HAIR HELP GROUP!!! I have great news for you! Not only is there an easy way to get help without checking your self in to a hair group in the Catskills with no lights and running water , there is also a way to recover without scaring your loved ones with hair that is too frightening to mention.


THE RECOVERY

Start by using your Mason Pearson hair brush (which is the Rolls Royce of hair brushes) and brush your hair. Start from the ends and work your way to the roots section by section. For any one area that maybe tangled, use the tip of your brush and you will have great results. After, and only after, your hair is properly brushed out may you add water. Here are three easy steps and product recommendations that will complete your evening leaving you with soft,manageable,shiny hair that smells amazing.

STEP 1

Shampoo your hair using Redken's All Soft shampoo which is an incredibly moisturizing shampoo and can be found everywhere. Remember even when shampooing be gentle, your hair may still be venerable to tangles.





STEP 2

Rinse well and condition your hair with the Age Recharge hair mask by Kerastase which, in my book, is the best product of it's kind on the market. Follow the directions on the box.




STEP 3

Now for your final step to full recovery. Apply Voile Nuit by Kerastase to your hair and go to sleep. This product was recently launched by Kerastase and we can't keep it on the shelves. The leave-in overnight treatment is going to forever change your life form dull to fierce! Kerastase has designed one for fine hair and one for thick hair so no need to stress about limp hair. Now isn't life fair?




So now your co-workers, loved one and pets (if any) won't have to deal with your tresses in a shamble because of neglect.

I WISH YOU GREAT HAIR!

Copyright © 2008 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved

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Friday, December 19, 2008

TODAYS HAIR HELP

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW TO GET THE BEST BLOW DRY BEFORE EVEN TOUCHING THE BLOW DRYER.

So often we spend a precious part of our day trying to achive a great blowout; to have it not hold up to the weather or an evening on the town can be frustrating. Is the blowout the problem or what you are not doing before the blowout? The idea is to have a style that can withstand humidity, wind, salsa dancing and the super- attentive boyfriend.

Things you need to know and have:

1) Do not blow dry your hair in the shower after showering. Avoid humidity. Find a seperate area where you can comfortably do your hair without the steam.

2) Try sitting instead of standing when blow drying, sometimes you get weak in the knees and it becomes a bother.

3) When applying products, you often need more than one. Depending on your hair type, you can use a volummizing product at the top in the root area and a smoothing product through the rest of the hair. The air from the dryer is very hot so it is recommended to have at least three products in your hair before blow drying. Remember if you do not use products you will always get the same results; hair with a mind of its own. I do this everyday in the salon and it works.

4) Hair clips are extremely important, they will help you achive clean sections and not feeling overwhelmed by huge sections of hair.

5) Having a nozzle on the dryer is highly recommended to properly guide airflow to create more smoothness and shine on the hair. If you don't have a nozzle, take your dryer to the nearest beauty supply - they can get you one that fits.

6) Be sure to apply products evenly especially on the hairline, this is where some of us start frizzing shortly after blowdrying. When blowdrying you may want to also start at the hair line, especially for us curly-hair folks.

7) Always use products; it will make blow drying easy and give optimum protection.

8) The right shampoo and conditioners can make a big difference in your blow dry, for example; if you have curly hair use a shampoo to assist in fighting the frizz. Or for fine hair a volummizing shampoo is needed. Bonus tip- always rinse conditioners really well. It is important to know that only leave in conditioners are made to be left in the hair, it has scalp respect. Everything else should be rinsed off well.

Now lets talk about the dryer. The one thing about a professional dryer is that when it finally burns out ( after 2 years or so) they can be repaired. Compare that to a cheap dryer -- honey when it's done it's done! There are so many choices on the market, so here are a few of my favorites that work well and are long lasting. Solano, Elchim and Bio Ionic are just some of my faves. If you need help choosing a dryer, click on "Resources" and under tips, you'll find everything you need to know about the dryer that's right for you, and I mean everything.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

THE BEST OF 2008



photo credits: Riley and Riley
http://rileyandrileyphoto.com

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

DESTINATION WEDDINGS



How lucky are we to have the ability to splurge and actually travel to celebrate our special day? Although I have not had the opportunity to celebrate mine, I have been lucky to have been asked to do the hair and join in on the fun. From spectacular St. Johns to breathtaking Telluride and even in our own backyard Florida (no shoes and all). They were all so enjoyable and well planned. Speaking of well planned see, James Abel Events for a detailed, tasteful wedding planner and for flowers to die for.

back to hair baby! The idea of finding a hair stylist to do you hair for your wedding is hard enough much less in a strange City or a strange Country like Timbuktu. Yes there are great hair dressers all over the world.

If your wedding is in a major U.S. city, chances are you can find someone that can do a great job. Smaller cities are a challenge. Some "cultures" have different tastes. So, depending on where your wedding is in the U.S., you can end up with, well how can I say it, a hair style influenced by that city's flavor. Have you ever heard, "The bigger the hair, the closer to God?" You catch my drift.

You may ask, how do I even begin the process of choosing a hairdresser when
I'm planning a destination wedding? Here are some helpful tips on getting you going in the right direction. More and more, couples will visit several vacation spots before their big day looking for the right space that can accommodate their wedding. If the venue is chosen from a recommendation made by a friend or family member, it may be that most of the work is done. But if it's not, your first option will be to research a hairstylist in the chosen location.

So how do I do that?

Start by getting recommendations from your wedding planner. Then have your hair blow dried by he or she. This may sound extreme for just a blow dry but it will be the best test as to how much talent you are dealing with and if they can handle your hair texture. Take my advice: honey, desperate times calls for desperate measures.

If you end up looking like a "cockatoo on crack" well you know to grab your fanny pack and run!! If you like it, well you are one step closer to your "desired do" for the big day. The next step is to have the stylist do an actual trial of the hairstyle you want. Tthen take a picture of a style that you like to the consultation. If you are not too pleased with the outcome but can see a resemblance of what you wanted, don't stress. There is hope. We have a plan.

When you return home have your existing stylist do a trial of the style you want. Take photographs of it and get some helpful tips from your stylist to take back to your "destination hairdresser" to try and duplicate. This actually works!! I always do step-by-step photos as I style the hair so the other stylist has a guideline to follow. My tips will include products, tools and techniques with notes and recommendations. Trust me on this one, it happens all the time.






How lucky are we to have the ability to splurge and actually travel to celebrate our special day? Although I have not had the opportunity to celebrate mine, I have been lucky to have been asked to do the hair and join in on the fun. From spectacular St. Johns to breathtaking Telluride and even in our own backyard Florida (no shoes and all). They were all so enjoyable and well planned. Speaking of well planned see, James Abel Events for a detailed, tasteful wedding planner and for flowers to die for.

back to hair baby! The idea of finding a hair stylist to do you hair for your wedding is hard enough much less in a strange City or a strange Country like Timbuktu. Yes there are great hair dressers all over the world.

If your wedding is in a major U.S. city, chances are you can find someone that can do a great job. Smaller cities are a challenge. Some "cultures" have different tastes. So, depending on where your wedding is in the U.S., you can end up with, well how can I say it, a hair style influenced by that city's flavor. Have you ever heard, "The bigger the hair, the closer to God?" You catch my drift.

You may ask, how do I even begin the process of choosing a hairdresser when
I'm planning a destination wedding? Here are some helpful tips on getting you going in the right direction. More and more, couples will visit several vacation spots before their big day looking for the right space that can accommodate their wedding. If the venue is chosen from a recommendation made by a friend or family member, it may be that most of the work is done. But if it's not, your first option will be to research a hairstylist in the chosen location.

So how do I do that?

Start by getting recommendations from your wedding planner. Then have your hair blow dried by he or she. This may sound extreme for just a blow dry but it will be the best test as to how much talent you are dealing with and if they can handle your hair texture. Take my advice: honey, desperate times calls for desperate measures.

If you end up looking like a "cockatoo on crack" well you know to grab your fanny pack and run!! If you like it, well you are one step closer to your "desired do" for the big day. The next step is to have the stylist do an actual trial of the hairstyle you want. Tthen take a picture of a style that you like to the consultation. If you are not too pleased with the outcome but can see a resemblance of what you wanted, don't stress. There is hope. We have a plan.

When you return home have your existing stylist do a trial of the style you want. Take photographs of it and get some helpful tips from your stylist to take back to your "destination hairdresser" to try and duplicate. This actually works!! I always do step-by-step photos as I style the hair so the other stylist has a guideline to follow. My tips will include products, tools and techniques with notes and recommendations. Trust me on this one, it happens all the time.






Together with your hairstylist, you have created the style you like. You have photos, styling tips, and suggestions on the products and tools used. All of this information will be a huge help for the stylist in "destination land,” because they will have valuable guidelines to follow. So, it's time to hand over the information and recreate that look. As the new stylist creates your ‘do, don't be afraid to jump in and put in your two (or three) cents. Remember: it’s your hair on your day, so, “you run tings" (as we say in Tobago)!”

The other option to getting the right look for your destination wedding is to hire your existing hairstylist to go with you and do your hair. It will be wonderful if your stylist does makeup as well, so you can kill 2 birds with one stone. You may think that it’s too expensive, but there is no price tag on the comfort in knowing that you and your bridesmaids will look flawless. Think about it: you are offering a hairstylist the opportunity to go to a fabulous location, have a free hotel room, attend a wedding, and get paid too! Honey, if it was my wedding, I would chain that sucker to the bed post and have him do hair everyday!

The advantages of taking your own stylist:

A) He or she will know you and your hair like no one else

B) The trial would have been done at home so there will be no stressing whether it will be perfect or not… and no surprises.

C) You will have all the tools and products you are used to. Especially in very humid locations, you want to have the best.
Products to keep those frizzes at bay:

I remember doing a wedding in St Johns and the bridesmaids were looking for blond hair pins, and there were none to be found anywhere on the island. Antonio to the rescue!

I wish you great wedding hair!

Copyright © 2008 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MY ARTICLE ON HAIR CUTS FOR PLUS-SIZE WOMEN


I am very proud of this article. Ladies, I hope to inspire you to get the style that you have always wanted without limitations. And if your stylist can't give it to you find another one.


http://beauty.about.com/od/hairstylingtipstricks/a/plussizedhair.htm


I wish you great hair!

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GUEST WRITER ON FITNESS




When do I know it's time to hire a Personal Trainer & How do I find the right one for me?

In my job as a personal trainer, I have found a common theme, many people start looking for a trainer after they have lost all motivation to workout on their own. However, this new burst of motivation to get back in-shape usually arrives when they have some event approaching where they need to look their best: reunion, wedding, summer vacation where they will be sporting a bikini or back in the dating arena.

They are now ready for change. They want to be leaner, lighter, healthier, stronger, fitter, more energized or even sexier.

If your goal is to shape up, then you have a multitude of choices and options as to how you might approach the getting in-shape process. However, everyone knows starting an exercise program isn't always easy and sticking to one is even more difficult.

That is why in the city that never sleeps, everyone from new moms to busy executives are relying on personal trainers to help get them in tip top shape. A trainer can provide education, motivation, structure and accountability. But how do you find the right trainer for you?

The best way to find a quality trainer is by referral. If you have a friend who is getting great results with their trainer, then start by asking who their trainer is. Another way to find a trainer is through your gym. In fact, most gyms offer you one free personal training session when you sign up for a membership. Take advantage of this opportunity and you might find that you like the trainer you have been assigned.

Don't be shy to try multiple personal trainers at the beginning to ensure you find the best fit. Since training is a one-on-one relationship, make sure you find a trainer who you are comfortable with in terms of style of working together and level of effort with which they are going to push you. When you are at the gym, observe the behavior of the personal trainers who are working with other clients. Are they on their cell phone, looking around or constantly chatting with their client or other members. Obviously this is not the personal trainer who is going to provide you with the level of service to get you the results you want. Try and find a trainer who is completely devoted to their client by constantly watching their client’s form and providing the right amount of encouragement. You can also ask other members at your gym who you see working with a personal trainer if they like their personal trainer and about their trainer’s style.

Once you have found a trainer who will motivate and encourage you, make sure they are appropriately certified, experienced, insured, competent, professional and that they have good teaching and communication skills.

Good trainers come in all shapes and sizes. A male trainer who has huge muscles or a female trainer who is a size zero does not necessarily indicate they are better trainers. Sport's Medicine expert, Nicholas DiNubile, from the University of Pennsylvania warns some personal trainer's appearance can be deceiving. "If you look good, people assume you know what you are doing. And that's not necessarily true, you could be gifted genetically…". Just make sure you find a trainer that practices what they preach.

Now don't wait for the motivation to kick in. When you lack motivation (and you will because you are human), take yourself to the gym anyway or start your search to find a personal trainer that's right for you.

Laura Foss

laura@fitforalloccasions.com

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

FASHION ADVICE FROM ELAINE ARMSTRONG

When Should I Hire A Visual Strategist?

One of the questions I get asked most often is how does someone know when they need help from a professional Visual Strategist or image consultant/personal stylist?
Every client’s reasons are different, but generally they fall somewhere within the reasons listed below. Perhaps some of these reasons apply to you!
New Job:
This may seem like an obvious reason, but you’d be surprised how many people think that once they have secured the new job, they no longer need to think about their visual “presentation.” Your appearance at the office is the key to your authority and advancement. If you are in the market for a new career, looking your best during the interview process is vital. A Visual Strategist can assist you achieve the perfect professional look to secure the much sought-after jobs.

Moving up in the professional ranks:
As your career advances, it is a good idea to periodically assess your visual “presentation.” A professional with 10 years experience should not be dressing in the same manner as one with 5. Just as you would schedule a regular check up with your dentist, a check up with a visual strategist can ensure that you are current with your wardrobe, accessories, hair and make up.

Changing Geography:
Whether you are moving from a small town to a major metropolitan city; from West coast to East coast or from Europe to the US, it is important to make sure your appearance is in concert with the look of your new home. Each of these geographical areas and their major cities connotes a specific and distinct level of style and polish. You want to be sure that wherever you land, you have a clear sense of expectations of style for that city.

Your Partner’s Job:
Your partner has a high visibility job and you are expected to attend corporate and social functions with him or her. There is nothing more terrifying for a partner than to have to look “the right way” at every function and occasion. Replicating the same look over and over is just as noticeable as being under dressed or over dressed. What is formal business attire in New York City may not work well in Los Angeles and vice versa. A personal stylist can take out the guess work and help you develop a wardrobe “arsenal” so that you are prepared with several outfits for specific occasions.

Age milestones:
Much as we all hate to admit it, what worked for you in your 20’s and 30’s will not work for you in your 40’s, 50’s and so on. Just because you may be able to fit into a particular garment, doesn’t mean it’s for you. As we get older attention needs to be paid to age-appropriate dressing. I am all for people working on and showing off their hard earned bodies, but there is a limit to what a mature person can pull off. A stylist can help you define and stay within your limit.

Weight loss (or gain):
When people have a significant weight loss, their vision of how they see themselves is usually skewed, meaning that they usually still see themselves as a larger size. Their idea of size and proportion has been thrown out of whack. The clothes that they have been wearing during their weight loss probably do not reflect the reality of their body size. A personal stylist can instruct on cut, fit and color to help begin building a new wardrobe and new confidence for these individuals
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the weight gain. Everyone feels bad about themselves when they gain weight. Weight gain should not stop you from maintaining your “visual presentation.” Style should not be a size.

New start:
Perhaps you are at a point in your life where there has been a significant life-changing experience such as a divorce or death. During these times, many individuals want a fresh start. Clothing, hair, make up can play a big part in that and can help you build your confidence to face life’s new challenges.

Convenience:
We are all super busy with our everyday lives. Figuring out the appropriate wardrobe for work or social functions can be a significant drain on one’s time. An image consultant/ personal stylist can shop and do the editing for you. They may be able to give you access to goods that you may not normally be exposed to. I hear time and again from my male clients, that in addition to knowing that they will always look pulled together, the convenience of someone doing their shopping for them is the primary reason for engaging a stylist.
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Whatever your reason for assessing your appearance, it is important to remember that often we are judged by how we present ourselves. Looking your best can help you get that new job, advance at work, secure more dates or feel better about yourself. For more information about me or my services, please visit my website @ www.elainearmstrongco.com. You can also contact me through email: Elaine@elainearmstrongco.com, or through this blog.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

BEST DRUG STORE FIND FOR 2008


Straightening gel by Tresemme

I cannot stress enough how much this is a great find. Its less than $6 and works well with out any offensive smell or residue. (Yes the packaging is boring but that's why its so cheap:)

I used this product and it honestly gave most expensive straightening products a run for their money!






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Saturday, December 6, 2008

WITH MEN IN MIND




A great cut for extremely thick hair is having a more textured look. The idea is to remove bulk while keeping a masculine shape. So to have visible texture I started by dry cutting his hair with scissors keeping in mind that a heavier feel is still important to the client. Now guys, beware of stylist that are thinning shears happy, that can work against your cut and remove too much hair and create an unwanted texture. When styling textured,thick hair,it's important to towel dry well before applying product. Use a paste that's soft enough to spread through the hair easily without leaving white clumps that look like bird poop. To apply spread product in your hands then apply evenly through the roots to the ends of your hair, starting at the back, then sides (even behind the ear) then moving forward to the front. This is important to give thick hair great hold. Never style with the palm of your hands, only with the finger tips. The Shape paste by Shu Uemura is an ideal product to use. As with any hair type you don't have to shampoo every day - maybe you can skip one day and just rinse and condition instead.


http://www.shuuemura-usa.com/Content/ArtOfHair.aspx

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Friday, December 5, 2008

ANTONIO IN FAMILY CIRCLE MAGAZINE


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Thursday, December 4, 2008

HAIR HELP FOR TODAY

QUESTION FROM MY FELLOW TRINIDADIAN


I write to you asking your advice on my hair. It is in a terrible state. I relaxed my hair with Mizani hair relaxer fo about two months now and use mizani products as well. I have purchased a reconstructor conditioner, a normal conditioner, shampoo and hair dressing lotion. I have also recently and bought a Dominican deep conditioner that a girlfriend of mine uses in between her relaxers. She says it helps to protect her hair while moisturizing it. So far, with all the new and different products, I am still not happy with my hair. In fact, it seems more unhealthy, my ends could use a cut but then my hair would be a lot shorter and I don't want short hair.



MY ANSWER:


MIZANNI

I have heard about their products but when I tried them I felt they were a little bit too oily. Instead of using the entire line you can mix it up a bit with other products for your hair type as well.


SHAMPOO

How often are you shampooing? You should be shampooing your hair about two to three times a week at most. If you like to shampoo more often, in between shampooing your hair, you can rinse only and use a conditioner without shampoo. The conditioner will freshen your hair without stripping its basic oils.


HAIR CUT

When was the last time you had a hair cut? It's very important to have a hair cut every six to twelve weeks. This actually keeps the hair healthy by getting rid of split ends which eventually continue splitting up the shaft and breaking in the middle of the shaft. Your hair grows 1/4 to 1/2 inch a month so you should not worry about growing it longer if that is your goal. If you just remove the split ends during your cut, you hair will be healthier and growth will be faster.

OILS

Be very careful with oil based products. I remember growing up in Trinidad and we would put every imaginable oil on our scalp, olive oil, cooking oil, child even car oil! (just kidding). If you leave oily products on your face over night, it will break out. The same holds true for your scalp. It needs to breath. Take notice of older Indian women in Trinidad who have thinning hair as they age, child is de OIL!!!

MOISTURE

Be careful that the products you are using are more moisture base than oil base. As we know the idea in the Caribbean is that oils moisturize. Well that is wrong. The scalp produces enough oil without adding more to it ( for most of us). Moisture equals water, not oil so be sure your products are water based and not super oily. My favorite hair mask is Kerastase Age Recharge. It’s amazing!! I have recommended this product to clients who now swear by it.




I wish you great hair!!

AFG

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

HUMAN HAIR EXTENSIONS

I thought I would share some of my secrets on this style so you can get an inside look on what it takes to put a hairstyle like this together. My model has shoulder length hair which is pretty thick. When I twisted her hair up to get some idea for the shoot, her hair quickly disappeared. As a result, I decided to work with hair pieces to add length.





Hair pieces are typically very shiny so for both her natural hair and the hair piece to match I decided to use a clear cellophane treatment on her natural hair for intense shine. At this point, I busted in to my bag of tricks and brought out some luscious long black hair and, shazaam!! To achieve the look I put her natural hair in two low pony tails. Then I added long combed hair pieces with some already braided hair to her natural hair and with a puff of smoke there we have it. My inspiration was the strong sisters from the 70's with their black beautiful hair and fierce attitude.

I hope you like and I wish you great hair!


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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

GUEST WRITER SLK



Have you ever noticed how many men, straight men in particular, get stuck at the age when they were at their peak? I never realized this fact until my friend Greg pointed it out to me one night over a cosmopolitan (or two). I was a bit concerned that Greg’s comment was a clever way of telling me I was becoming unfashionable in my middle ages. Always one to confront my fears, I questioned Greg on the matter and he informed me that he was, in fact, referring to another friend.
I have to admit that when I got home I was still a bit troubled by this revelation and began to examine myself. Had I gotten stuck in the mid 1990’s when I was at my peak? To ensure I was maintaining some semblance of being fashionable, I searched my closet and my reflection in the mirror for any signs of becoming stagnant. I must admit that my wardrobe had some remnants of my Ralph Lauren days, however, I had mixed in a few more fashion-forward designers such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro and John Varvatos to keep my look current. I am of the posture that the key to looking good as you age is to have a diversified wardrobe that suits you in any situation. This is especially true if you live in a city like New York where you never know what event you may find yourself attending on any given night.

Also, thanks to Antonio, my hair has changed dramatically since the signature hair style I sported all through the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Over the years we have added texture, movement, color and glazing to my hair in an attempt to maintain a youthful appearance. The key is to ensure your youthful appearance does not look childish. This is a fine line to walk so it is important to work with a hair stylist who knows what they are doing. To add some variety, I also sport different looks in different seasons; shorter in the summer and longer in the winter. If you do let your hair grow a bit longer this winter, make sure you do not allow any gray hairs to get too wiry, especially in the back along your neck.

Finally, I no longer lived in a home decorated filled with antiques like an English manor house. I blame the marketing geniuses at Ralph Lauren for convincing so many of us in the late 1980’s that buying their clothes and home furnishings would automatically transform us into American aristocrats. I live in a modern New York apartment, not on a rolling country estate so now my home is decorated with contemporary furnishings that have clean lines. I have friends who live in beautiful pre war buildings who have decorated their homes with period furnishings. To not look dated, however, they have incorporated one or two modern accent pieces that add a contemporary flare to the room.
It is a clear fact that many men reach their peak years in between their early 20’s and mid 30’s. This is a time when they look their best and maintaining an attractive physique is much easier. With so much going for them, it is easy to see why someone would want to stay at this point in their life. The tragic fact is that the world does not remain stagnant, even if you want to. Fashion trends come and go, hair styles change, home d├ęcor evolves. So as to not become tired and dated it is important to consistently maintain a fresh take on how you present yourself to the world. If you are feeling a bit stagnant in your life, ask Antonio for a new look or contact me and we can go through your closet to freshen things up for you.

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THE MAKING OF MY NEW WEBSITE





COMING SOON..

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