Tuesday, December 22, 2009



I’ve never posted photographs of celebrities on my blog before. The reason being that I simply wanted to keep the focus on my clients/readers instead while addressing their needs. I did not want my message to be overly concerned with what celebrities are doing, but rather with what my readers can do and how I can help them do it.

Not that there is anything wrong with celebrities, it’s just I wanted to “keep it real”.

Well my darlings, she’s keeping it real alright! I am excited to have these first images of celebrities in my blog. Yes ladies and gentleman, I bring you Penelope Cruz,

Jennifer Garner

and Rachel McAdams.

These three beauties are on the covers of three different magazines and I am pleased to say that their hair was done by my boss, Orlando Pita. And boy did he do an amazing job!

So get ready for more images of celebrities, but only when beautified by Orlando of course:)


Antonio Gonzales


Sunday, December 20, 2009


As you may all know, I am a Trinbagonian (from Trinidad and Tobago) or as we like to say back home, “Trini to the bone”. This was where my career started; where I picked up my first pair of scissors and performed my first shampoo, if that’s what you would call drenching someone (even their unmentionables). Pressing along…

Trinidad and Tobago…where I got my break and was fortunate enough to start my training with Anthony Medina. He is still one of the best hairstylists I know with the uncanny ability to see a woman like no other; making them beautiful from head to toe. Anthony is now in his sixties, but continues to do fabulous hair.

Recently, he did hair at my long-time friend Meiling’s fashion show in Trinidad. I am elated to see that my good friend and mentor are still making others look terrific! Many thanks to Anthony and Meiling for sharing your work with us.

Anthony and Meiling in action.


Thursday, December 17, 2009


Grays, frays, trays…I know, I know…there are more important things in life than stubborn grays. But for those of us that do want to rid ourselves of those “natural highlights”, here are seven ways to get the coverage your want.

1. Ask your hairstylist to use Gray Magic in your color formula. This is a product that we used in beauty school many moons ago and it’s still on the market. It helps foster better coverage. A few drops could change everything!

Some hair color companies make a color line specifically for hard to cover grays. It’s generally the number followed by a double N (NN). The double N signifies the ability to penetrate stubborn grays. This really works!

3) Clean hair is always a good thing.
If you were going to paint a wall and wanted it to last, what is the first thing you would do? Clean the wall of any old paint and debris so that you can allow for a proper application, right? Well the same is true for hair color.

4) If your desired color is one with more Golden tones or Red tones, always be sure that half of your formula is from the N series. In order to get coverage, half of your formula being is critical. Then add any desired tones you may want. If you’re 100% gray, I tend to add a little more N than usual.

5) Leaving the color on long enough really helps. Permanent color can sit on the hair for up to 45 minutes (or even longer). If you are not getting coverage in 30 minutes, try 45.

6) Ask your hairstylist what shampoos they are using at the bowl after coloring your hair. Post Color shampoos are designed to safely remove unwanted residue from your color after it is fully processed. Many product companies use Post Color Shampoo like ALFAPARF and L’Oreal. Do not use regular color safe shampoos. The aforementioned are better used 2 days after getting your color done.

7) Mix different levels of color. If your desired color is a level 7 (medium blond) and it’s just not covering the gray hair enough, add a squirt of level 6 to the formula. Actually, you can always squirt an inch of one color level darker to all of your formulas in order to ensure better coverage.

If you have any of your own suggestions, please feel free to share.

Here’s to hoping you’re covered!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009




After many requests from readers for the color formula seen on About.com, I decided to provide some additional detail.

Seriously now, men are embracing their hair color no matter what their sexual orientation. Most men I color are heterosexual and proud of the fact that they have found a way to safely express themselves. Some do it for fashion and others do it for work. Whatever their reasoning, the male gender no longer has to explain itself.

My client, a model, loves the ladies and loves his hair. Being a professional model, changing his image to suit the job is not new to him. He insists, however, that his color be subtle yet still make a statement.


I shampooed and towel dried his hair. Then I mixed one ounce of L’Oreal Professional Diacolor ICE MILKSHAKE with two parts developer. I applied from roots to ends for seven minutes.

Afterward, I shampooed his hair with post color and towel dried again. I then applied ¾ Clear and ¼ Golden Blond from roots to ends, covered it with a plastic cap and placed him under the dryer for 20 minutes. I allowed it to cool for five minutes, then rinsed well and conditioned.

COLORSHINES by Sebastian has been a favorite of mine for many years and I recommend it to everyone. I was a student of Sebastian’s for color, cutting and makeup and I simply love their products.

Thanks guys!



Sunday, December 13, 2009



First, I must thank all of the beauty school students who have written me e-mails asking questions and requesting career advice. I too was once a beauty school student with concerns regarding my future upon graduation. Inspired by the e-mails I’ve received, I decided to share a couple key things with you in this article. I hope that my words encourage you to always be yourself. On being an individual as you move forward.

There are two things I would recommend to anyone who is thinking of joining this amazing industry.


As with most salons, when someone new starts there is always the “settling in” period. There are new personalities, new surroundings and new techniques. I have been blessed to work with some fine stylists in the past and now with the Orlo Team trained by Orlando Pita. It has been a real learning experience.

My clients keep saying, “you know so much, do you still need to learn?” I smile at them and answer by saying “hell yes! In a city like NYC with such amazing talent there is a world of knowledge waiting to be discovered.”

As I advance in my career with smooth transitions, I liken myself to a sponge – absorbing all of the new techniques that I’m taught. If I had to say what it is that makes me excel in my field, it would be the ability to recognize what I don’t know and that which I need to be better at.

This ability has never failed to put me in a position of open-mindedness whereby I embrace new techniques that will inevitably change the direction of my career. No matter how much you think you know, there is always room to learn.


I have spent thousands of dollars on education al over the world and it is my duty to pass this knowledge on to those who want it. Now that I find myself in this wonderful position to learn from my new surroundings, it is also exciting to share what I have learned from masters like Anthony Medina, Sebastian, Vidal Sassoon, Mahogany, Bumble & Bumble and previous salons.
After all of this education, I now know that as a hairstylist it is extremely important to keep sharing what we know. This is what keeps our industry alive and I should give freely what was and continues to be given to me. The day I stop sharing is the day I leave this planet.

I wish you the best of luck. Keep those letters coming.


Thursday, December 3, 2009



I recall my early days in the business while on the sweet Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. I was an apprentice at Repeat Performance Hair Salon; an innocent child eager to get my hands wet, literally. My first mentor in the industry, Anthony Medina, would teach me how to hold a comb without looking like I had two left hands.

Our clients consisted of all ethnicities – including a mixture of Chinese and black, Syrian and black or even Indian and black, which always resulted in a healthy, thick head of hair. I learned how to shampoo those domes and set them babies right. There was so much to learn and so many products to choose from.

I distinctly remember one product that we used on different hair types (especially ethnic hair) to create amazing sets. Back in the day, we would reach for Lottabody. This product is genius! Honey, if you have thick hair and want a great set, then this is the product for you.

Years later, I came across this product and it brought back so many memories.

Child, I would comb that hair, then wrap it with huge magnetic rollers and tuck those ladies safely under the dryer. They would sizzle (according to the late M. J.) and I would remove them. After letting them cool for 10 minutes, I would brush to my heart’s delight. And there you had it – SHAZAMM! Shine and volume.

This product may be old school, but a little old school never hurt anyone. You can set it, flip it, blow it, whip it (you get my drift!)Believe me when I say that this was and remains one of my favorite products. I actually look forward to playing with it again. Yet another unsung hero from the early days that’s still around and going strong.

I wish you big hair baby!


Monday, November 23, 2009


I want to share an amazing shoot that a group of very talented individuals put together. I am very impressed with the Hairstylist and the makeup artist.

Great job guys!



Monday, November 16, 2009



Girls, as you already know, living in a large metropolis can be very stressful. Your days are spent doing all the things that need to be done to preserve one’s sanity. On top of that, you try to squeeze in a trip to the gym to maintain your health and promote your well-being. And then there is the hair issue. Could life get any harder?

Here are some tips that will allow you to make wise use of your time while protecting your hair at the gym.

1. Invest in some plastic, travel size containers from your local Beauty Supply. Use these containers to store all of your professional hair products – shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. Shampoos at the gym can be harsh, especially for my color treated ladies.

2. If you workout every day and have to wash and blow-dry your hair every day, try rinsing instead of shampooing each time. If your hair is color treated, this is frankly too much shampooing for you. You can condition after rinsing being sure to avoid the roots and applying to the ends only.

3. Try not to be aggressive with your hair when quickly twisting it into a ponytail. Use gentle fabrics or hair bands to help keep your hair under control. American Apparel has a variety of hair bands and they are all made in America!

4. If you have long hair with bangs and the hair in your eyes is driving you crazy, there’s a solution. Simply braid your hair and tuck it away safely, then wet your bangs combing them back and use a bobby pin

or a headband to keep those babies down.

5. If you know beforehand that you’re going to workout, why not shampoo your hair at home, towel dry and then apply a hair mask? Braid or put your hair in a bun and head to the gym. After working out, you can sit in the steam room while giving your hair a deep treatment.

The steam will help the mask work better than just doing it for two minutes in the shower. If you are going to do some serious cardio, I would suggest applying the mask after your workout. Otherwise, you may end up looking like someone slapped you across the face with a tamale.

6. DO NOT go into the steam room for three days after getting your hair colored.

7. DO NOT leave hair masks in your hair after the gym under the false assumption that the longer you leave it in, the better. If it does not say “LEAVE IN”, do not do so for too long. This can cause build up on the scalp. And where does hair grow from? I rest my case.

8. DO NOT gossip at the gym (just kidding).

9. DO NOT use cheap plastic brushes as your “gym brush”. They will ruin your hair!

I hope these bits of advice are helpful. If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to share them.

I wish you a great workout and healthy hair!



Friday, November 13, 2009



Copyright © 2009 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Over the years I’ve used many volumizing products and have written about them all. As my career evolves, so does my knowledge of hair care products in general. Consequently, I’ve become less patient with products that promise the world, but fail to deliver.

Recently, I’ve been exposed to several products. Today, I would like to focus on one of these created by Orlando Pita in the T3-line. I’m excited to share with you a product that I simply cannot get enough of – PLUMP.

My first day working with Orlando’s team at Orlo, I turned to Joe (an extremely talented stylist) for a product recommendation. Without thinking twice he said, use PLUMP. The entire staff chimed in and quickly supported his opinion. It was represented to me as the “go to” product for blow drying most hair types.

The first client I had at my new salon is a close friend of mine and big supporter (actually, that’s how I describe all of my clients). Her hair was thick and 100% gray. With a wave of my magic wand, she was transformed into having a light brown base with golden highlights and well blended, rich lowlights.

Keep in mind that this was my first day at Orlo and I was nervous, especially since only one product was recommended for me to use. Needless to say child, I was sweating. So I sprayed through her hair and started working it. All I can say is that her hair began reacting as though I’d used the usual three products.

I was finally done – hugs and kisses were exchanged. What I liked most about it was the finish, the hold and the shine. It’s a practical spray, meaning that it does not dry quickly like a volumizing mousse would. It gives you enough time to get through an entire head of hair without panicking. It also….


It can be used on all hair types. On thick, coarse hair it’s amazing and for extra support add a little of the Boost styling set (another miracle creation by Orlando Pita).

On fine hair is when it’s at its best and it does not leave fine, highlighted hair feeling coarse.

The packaging of this product is sleek and clean. The information on the bottle is easy to read and boasts heat protection. I give this product my stamp of approval and so do my clients that have been using it.

I wish you beautiful, bouncy hair! When in doubt, PLUMP it.


Copyright © 2009 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved


Monday, November 9, 2009



After moving to New York well over seven years ago, I now find myself relying on a little shopping to ease my stress. Afterall, what harm could a minor purchase or two cause, right? For that you’ll have to speak to my Financial Planner. [smile]

Because I live and work amongst some amazing stores, I decided to give my readers – whether living or visiting the Big Apple – a sampling of my taste in fashion, spa services and anything else my humble heart desires.

Today’s Purchases

Have you heard of RAFFAELE e PAOLA? Darlings, it’s been a secret of mine for quite some time now (at least I like to think so). I wandered in and engaged in my usual session with Abigail (the owner and daughter of Raffaele and Paola, for whom the store is named).

Immediately, in the corner of my eye I saw some gloves that I just had to have. Now, gloves have always been a difficult thing for me to purchase as they’re generally too masculine and, I must insist, give me gloves with flair.

Meanwhile, as I was “ooh-ing and ahh-ing” about, I saw my dream umbrella. Yes, I do splurge on accessories! It was fit for a man, yet sleek and well designed. Makes you almost hope for a rainy forecast.

Here’s what Abigail had to say:

RAFFAELE e PAOLA was founded in 2006 with the idea in mind to bring beauty from Europe. To be surrounded by sensuality, imagination, rock ‘n’ roll, elegance and flights of fancy. To bring history and respect for craftsmanship passed down through generations.

For you to find something that may bring out the lady/gentleman in you, or the animal.

Form and function are indeed, always criteria. But maybe when it is not raining, you hang the umbrella on the wall, just because it is that amazing. “I’m always asked who Raffaele e Paola are. They are my parents.”

I do her mom’s hair and she’s a darling!



Thursday, November 5, 2009



Alter The Ending
Dashboard Confessional
Release Date:11/10/2009


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The “It” Factor

On Sunday evening, I treated a girlfriend and her children to see Michael Jackson’s “This Is It”. My expectations consisted of experiencing a journey through his career from boyhood through adulthood. You may be asking yourself “didn’t Antonio read the reviews or watch the news to know that this was about Michael’s last performance?”

Well, for the record, I don’t read reviews.

I’ve always been of the opinion that when it comes to art, other’s opinions are to be respected, but mine is the only one that matters…to me. I will be the judge of what I consider being good or bad art. I guess this view is a product of my environment – having been raised on a small island bustling with talent without access to the right costumes, stage setting, lighting, etc.

As a result, I developed the ability to identify raw talent without all the fluff while being protective of my own opinion. Anywho, we arrived at the theater on 42nd Street and got comfortable with all the fat free goodies AMC had to offer. [burp] What seemed like a never-ending barrage of advertisements and movie previews gave us time to catch up and share in our excitement to see “This Is It”.

All of a sudden, there he was. It was as if nothing had changed and he was still with us. His voice was as strong as ever, triggering emotions of great joy and inspiration. He performed and performed – his musicians and dancers all uniting to hopefully produce an event that would once again change the way we experienced music and dance through the eyes of the King of Pop.

If I were to use two words to describe seeing MJ perform, they would have to be the “ultimate escapism”.

As a child growing up in Trinidad, I was surrounded by African and Indian dance and music. So escaping in Michael’s performance was not difficult. What I considered most enjoyable was the audience participation as if we were watching a live performance. We clapped, we cheered, we oohd and ahhd ; there were even moments when you’d hear “you go Michael”.

I must confess, at one point I screamed “hells to the no”. It was just so damn good…all of it!

I do know that there was a lot of editing and I probably saw the best footage captured. Regardless, what I experienced was the same thrill I experienced 12 years ago when I saw him perform in Munich. The man is easily one of my biggest sources of inspiration. His music and moves actually make me want to do my best with L-O-V-E.

At one point he turned to his dancers and said “give the audience what they want; they want to escape. It’s about escapism.” I can relate to that on a very deep level. Who does not want to escape sometimes? After trying many different ways to escape, MJ’s music is still the easiest. And now back to my biggest L-O-V-E – doing hair.

I wish you all a safe way to escape!



Sunday, November 1, 2009




Friday, October 30, 2009


Fashion Faux Pas

I recently posted some men’s fashion tips on my Facebook page. To my surprise, the response I received from the ladies was overwhelming so I thought I’d share these with everyone. Even in New York City, the fashion capital of the world, there are men (not only straight) that need to lay some fashion ideas to rest.

And by “rest” I mean to sleep. Stop, please!

It’s important to know that we are all guilty to some degree of putting together an ensemble that was supposed to make us feel better, but instead upset our loved ones. So without further adieu…

1. Boot Cut Jeans

About seven years ago, every queen in Chelsea was sporting these jeans in all colors and sizes. Some were even adventurous enough to add a little sparkle to them. Nowadays, years later, I’ll see some fine ladies strut their stuff along the avenue with their men next to them in a long-sleeved shirt with a pattern of some sort and…Boot Cut Jeans!

Guys, my advice to you – put them to rest. Not only are they dated, but even when worn appropriately (which should be not at all) are not flattering to most men. Although there is a time and place to wear them, it seems that there are few men who know how to pull this off without looking like J. R. Ewing (from the television show Dallas) on crack.

2. Dorothy Hamill Haircut

I know, I know…some men still think they can carry this look. And in their defense, they can…only if they’re about to do a double axel and a triple lutz on ice!

3. Cell phones on your waist

Convenience is one thing, but this is pushing it. Who are these men waiting to hear from? God?

4. Hawaiian Shirts at the Office in Winter

I’ve seen them…lurking on our streets…trying to spread their hibiscus pollen and take over the world. Beware!

5. Men’s HOT Pants

Better known as “batty riders” in Trinidad and Tobago. No camel’s feet, please!

6. Marine Flat Tops

Boys, hear me out for a minute. Not only are you not a Marine, but you likely work in a Flower Shop as an orchid specialist. You are not kidding anyone by impersonating Jean-Claude Van Damme. Come to think of it, who is he kidding?

7. Bad Gym Attire

Balloon pants, T-back tank tops and high top sneakers…all at the same time! Not cute at any age.

I wish you a day without someone’s fashion mishap(s). J


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This models hair was fine but boy did he have tons of it. Since he doesn’t frequently condition his hair I went back to my long time friend Cellophane's by Sebastian. I used the clear
glaze to just add shine.

He wanted the ability to look well groomed but with a little punk edge. Because of the amount of hair he had I started cutting dry, doing a lot of point cutting to
work towards the shape we wanted. I kept his sides very strong using the scissors over comb technique. I then cut the top of his hair with scissors creating softness without it collapsing. We then shampooed his hair and cut with a razor. You may ask if this is too much texturizing for fine hair? Not with this dude, the more the merrier!

I used a light leave in conditioner by Paul Mitchell

then I applied the Gellac by Bumble and bumble
The Gellac allowed his hair to last for the entire shoot and added even more shine.

When working with the Gellac you need to apply and
style fast. This product dries very quickly!



Monday, October 26, 2009


As we already know, there are many different types of blonds. We can look in any magazine and find photographs of every shade and the best person to achieve them. You can also find verbiage on techniques to best describe how thick or thin you want the application of your highlights to be (i.e. spaghetti, fettuccine). This is very helpful because it equips you with more accurate language when requesting a different size of highlights during foiling or Baliaging (hair painting).

When women are deciding on hair color, they generally have three concerns. I call these the basic 1-2-3.

1. The size of the pieces of hair that will be colored when foiling or painting highlights,

2. The overall tone – Beige, Light Golden, Wheat, etc.,

3. How light or dark a blond they want to be.

Now that we have those questions out of the way, what next?

I feel that there is one important factor missing from this list – the mood of the blond. This is actually the most important thing I can think of when creating the perfect blond. When I say “mood” what I mean is how does your blond hair correspond to your personality, career, vibe, etc.? Are you a powerful businesswoman in your late 30's who wants their hair to be serious, yet modern? Or are you that same woman in your 50's who wants to be a very sophisticated blond? Do you get my drift? Of course the cut makes a big difference too, but let’s focus darlings – this is all about color!

So now to move forward we really need to take a look at ourselves and decide which one of the following best describes us.

1. The Sophisticated Blond

Think Uptown blond. She loves the idea of very little root line no matter how dark her natural color is. This blond is not the noticeably bright California Blond – although she’s still a full blond, there are some subtle low lights to blend her tones. Glosses are a big part of this dames hair color. The Sophisticated Blond may also sport a more classic haircut to pull her mood together. This is not for the NY club-goer.

2. The Flawless California Blond

Darrrrrrling! You see her when she walks in the room and she wears that color like she was born with it. The root line does not exist because she was patient and sat there while she was foiled to thy kingdom come! This blond loves the golden tones (most of the time) and long hair. You won’t notice many low lights on this doll and a beautiful, light golden blond gloss is a must.

3. The Organic Blond

She is so not the first two blonds. This lady wants to see depth in the root and wants to see contrast in a very natural way. Even though she may be a candidate for Baliage, the application must not be chunky or too fine. We need to be very careful not to glaze the roots too much because the root line is part of the appeal. This is not your Grandmother’s blond!

4. The "damn, who colored your hair" Blond

This girl does not care if you know it’s not her natural color. What’s more important to her is that the color and the cut make a statement and command heads to turn (in a good way). This is your creative blond who may have pale blond pieces in front with intense depth for contrast. She is happy to experiment with what’s on the runways without fear of judgment from friends.

Please don't confuse this with the Beauty School Blond. That's a whole other story.

So the next time you get your hair colored, talk a bit about the mood you want to create that compliments you rather than the basic 1-2-3. I guarantee you will notice a big difference in your hair color and the way you relate to it.

I wish you beautiful blond baby!!!

Copyright © 2009 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved


Thursday, October 22, 2009


Relax, Men.

When we think of hair relaxers, we usually think of a process for the entire head. But, guys, relaxers could be your strategic weapon in those smaller battles, too, like the stubborn side burn, the misbehaving cowlick or coarse necklines. This is a process I do with so many of my male clients to perfect a hair cut that's being disturbed by areas that are unruly. For example, my hair is overall wavy, with a tighter curl on the sides. To have the texture even throughout my hair, I have a gentle relaxer applied to the sides for a few minutes. It really works!! Even men with strong cowlicks in the front hairline can use relaxers to soften that spot, so they don't have to be constantly fighting to get the hair to sit right. And for men with coarse hair at the neck line, relaxers are also a blessing. Remember, there are different strengths of hair relaxers and the way they are applied and how long they are left on will depend on how straight you want your hair. It does not matter what ethnicity you are. If you have an unruly curl, you are a perfect candidate.

One of my favorite relaxers is Affirm and its a relaxer we love to use at Orlo salon.

It's gentle and easy to work with. What's also great is the relaxing process takes four steps, and each step helps to leave the hair in good condition, feeling like your natural hair only better.

And guys, life is like normal after your relaxer; you don't have to make any major changes in your hair routines. And this process can be subtle. In other words, no one will know you had your hair relaxed. So relax; just because you use a relaxer doesn't mean your hair has to be pin straight.

I wish you good looking hair with an added bonus.

Copyright © 2009 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Great music Sarah!!


newer older