Friday, May 22, 2009


I am lucky to be living in NYC the Mecca of trends for both hair and fashion. Needless to say, my eyes and ears are always open to new twists and flavors that can influence the way I look at hair. I am also lucky to have a great relationship with clients in every industry; as we serve as an inspiration to one another. One of my on-going sources for men's hair inspiration is Chris Carrabba of the Dashboard Confessionals. Every time he sits in my chair it's a great collaboration of ideas for cuts. As he tours the world, he brings to my chair fresh ideas. We play with them; adding the final personal touch to make it his own style. A couple years ago I worked with Chris on his Madison Square Garden concert which was amazing. I look forward to bringing you more images soon from our work together.



Sunday, May 17, 2009


Well we have all met some one who has had a bad experience with a razor cut. Why is that? Is it because the razor is really that bad for the hair? Or is it because the person behind the tool needs proper training? I guess anyone can do damage even with a butter knife if they use it incorrectly.

From my personal experience, I went from being afraid of the razor to using a feather razor with a guard to a razor without a safety guard. And the journey has been quiet a learning experience especially after being told that it damages the hair. Over the years, I've been taught and mastered the art of razor cutting and want to share with you a few words and images of why and how I razor a client's hair.

My model has curly, color treated hair. Because she prefers to be a brunette with subtle high lights, I decided to place some images with an article to give my readers the full experience of a simple brunette color formula and a razor cut on thick hair with a medium curl.

My model has been a friend as well as a client for seven years from when I first moved to NYC. She has witnessed my growth first hand and we have so much fun when we get together. Our desired look is long layers with removing bulk in the hair. It must be easy to manage especially since the hot summer months are ahead. We also want her to be able to wear her hair curly or straight.


My model is a natural level 4 (dark brown). I decided to place a few foils at the front of her hair and color everything else at the same time, allowing the highlights and the base color to process at the same time. I choose to use color wear by Alfaparf. It's an amazing product with great shine leaving the hair always feeling and looking so healthy. I first placed Alfaparf bleach in about 5 foils weaving a little thicker than normal. I mixed 1/2 7/3, 1/4 7/0 and 1/4 7/32 with double the amount of peroxide and applied it to the rest of the hair leaving it all on for 25 minutes. At the end of the processing time I applied heat for 5 minutes. After processing I rinsed and did a 7 minute glaze with 1/4 of 7/32 and 3/4 of 10/32 to add an even tone to the highlight.

I followed with a clear Color Wear for an amazing shine.

We decided to save the length on her hair cut and focus on layering and removing unwanted thickness. Starting at the back of the head I gently razored the bulk in the one area where she would miss it the least. This is important because when we look at a woman from the profile sometimes the silhouette is never following the shape of the head, which when done correctly is very feminine.

When using the razor there maybe a part of the section of the hair that I'm holding that may appear to be thinner, so I avoid cutting it. I only thin what needs thinning

As I cut the fringe I pay particular attention to creating softness without over layering the hair line. This area can be finer in texture so my focus is cutting length. Then I will carefully remove bulk where needed. Sometimes I will do the entire hair cut by scissors and do the hair line by razor.

As I go towards layering her hair I keep in mind that I want to stay away from a shape that's triangular which is normally what happens to thick hair just past the shoulder length. Using the razor at this angle allows me to focus on the heavy corners without removing length and without cutting layers at the top too short. Remember; to create height the answer is not to create super short layers on top, it's about giving a well balanced hair cut.

Because I used the razor, I decided not to dry cut her hair after. Sometimes I feel you can over cut the hair so I try to refrain from taking too muck bulk from the hair. Less is more in this case. For styling product, I decided to keep it affordable. I used Kiss My Face Hair Gel and Liquid Mousse. They work well with out being too heavy and smell great. The shine is good and did I mention affordable?
Kiss My Face Kmf Upper Managemt Styling Gel 8 oz

Kiss My Face Kmf Hold Up Styling Mousse 8.5 oz

Now here is our finished look. A very simple cut and color that will grow well.



Thursday, May 14, 2009



Copyright © 2009 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved


Sunday, May 10, 2009


1) A consultation before your service - This an important time to connect with your stylist and discuss what changes can be made to your existing style or problems you may have had with the previous cut or color. When your hair is wet it’s a little too late.

2) Clean brushes and combs – Yes, it is possible to get this from your stylist. I do it! The worst thing is to see a hair stylist pick up a brush with hair from 17 other people and their dog. I think this is worst than using someone else's tooth brush :)

3) Clean environment - Hell yes!! Stylists get your act together. Get to work early and make sure your salon is to your liking. No one wants to sit in a chair that is covered in hair clippings from previous clients.

4) Great magazines - Buy proper magazines that can inspire and motivate. We can read about which celebrity was found with a crack pipe another time.

5) The latest techniques - There is a world of knowledge out there that can make the biggest difference in your hair. So ladies if you see your hairstylist constantly picking up the thinning shears you know there is a problem.

6) Options for change with every visit - This keeps it fresh and separate the stylists that are bored with their jobs from those who really care about you image


1) Bad breath - Like hello can someone say Altoids!! (smokers beware)

2) Dirty tools - This is enough for you to get up and leave the salon. I would!

3) Hot pants - Child, I’ve seen them in the salon and it is not cute!!

4) Blowing on your neck - Men if you see a hairstylist blowing your neck to remove bits of hair, bitch slap them.

5) Trying to sell products you don't need - I always say to my clients "this is what I use or recommend for your hair type but ultimately it’s up to you to decide."

Copyright © 2009 Antonio Gonzales, All Rights Reserved


Friday, May 8, 2009



Hi Antonio,
I love all of your blogs. When planning my next trip to NY, I would love an appointment. For now, my hair is dark brown and the gray is coming in fast. I am having to touch up every 3 to 4 weeks. My natural color is between a 4 and 5. Recently for lack of trying I have been covering gray with 4NN. For summer, I would love a beautiful chocolate formula that has depth to it. I recognize without seeing my natural color, this is not the perfect situation, but imagine 4NN all over and you've got it. Again, thank you. I know you are terribly busy so any help is SOOOOO appreciated!!!


Thank you for visiting the blog and for your compliments! It’s my pleasure :) I too think that you should be a Chocolate brown for the summer and here's are three ways to get you there.


4NN is dark child!!

So let’s move you gradually to a lighter color like 5NN and 20 volume peroxide.

You will still get the gray coverage because of the NN (more pigment) and you will be one shade lighter. I know this does not sound like a lot lighter but this is a subtle approach.

Their are several ways to approach this situation. The first is allowing the hair to fade and continue having root touch ups and no color on the ends, this will allow you to have the lighter color you are dreaming of in the healthiest way. It may take a little longer though.

The next time you have your color done, have them apply the color on the roots and always leave the hairline for last. The color that is mixed for the hairline will be a little lighter than the color of the rest of the root area. The hair on the hairline is fine and grabs color faster than the rest of the hair, that's why we see some brunettes with a beautiful hair color but the hair line is sometimes super dark. So make the request, you would be so happy with the change.


Now listen carefully! When we say the root I mean the new growth and nothing else. The slightest over lapping of the color on the previously colored hair is a recipe for a disaster. You will be surprised how much of a difference it makes to have your color applied properly. So if you're using 5NN for the root area apply then mix 1/2 5NN and a 1/2 6NN for the hairline with 20 volume. Allow to process for the full time.


Just before washing the color off have the stylist apply handfuls of conditioner to the dry ends of your hair. This will protect the ends of your hair when rinsing by not making it too dark from the root color. No matter how fast they think they can rinse the color it is never fast enough to avoid the ends getting too dark. Then continue the same process till you can see the ends fading enough.


Have the root color done with the same formula as above. While this is processing paint highlights thought your hair to help counteract the darkness on the ends with lightener and 20 volume. We don't want it too light just about 2 shades lighter. Again put conditioner on the ends even over the highlights , wash and towel dry well. To glaze the ends I would use a level 6.0 or 6N demi-permanent color to bring it all together. Most demi-permanent color always grab a little richer (darker) so the level
is safe.


I would color the roots with 5NN then apply conditioner on the ends before rinsing. Follow by a clear demi;permanent color. There are many demi-permanent color lines. Depending on what demi-permanent color line they use, I would use a clear with 20 volume under heat for 15 minutes. This will allow the dark ends to release some of the color. Some of my clear demi-permanent favorites are Clear by Dia Color Loreal,

0 by color wear

and 0,00 by Color Touch.

After rinsing, towel dry and get ready for the final step. Follow by using a level 6 demi-permanent color from roots to ends for 15 minutes. The reason you will use the level 6.0 as the final step is because when you use the clear with heat It may lift a little warm(red), using the 6.0 brings it all together nicely.

I hope this was helpful, please feel free to print it and take it to your hair dresser. He or she will understand it really well.

I wish you great hair,



Monday, May 4, 2009


I came across your blog online, and since then I've been hooked! I really like your advice and the pictures you put up, and I love the fact that you take your time and patience to explain stuff that the rest of us don't really understand (like baliage- did I spell that right?)

Anyway, here in Malaysia, I've never come across a hairstylist that knows their stuff as well as you do (the one stylist who did a decent job cutting my hair moved away and I haven't been able to find her since...) and if it's alright with you, I'd like to ask your advice. Back when I was young my school never let us have long hair- it had to be at most just touching our collars or the discipline teacher would come at us with a pair of kitchen scissors... you don't want to see what some of us went home with, trust me. So when I left the school, I started growing my hair and have had long hair for years now. I'm getting pretty sick of the romantic long-haired look so I've been thinking of going short, something edgier.

Trouble is, my face is kind of square shaped, with a wide jaw. I'd love a pixie cut but I'm afraid it'd make my face look even wider. And since my hair is a little wavy and very frizzy I'm worried it'll pouf up if I get a bob. I'm of Chinese descent, so I have naturally black hair, but I wouldn't mind dyeing it. (My hair in the second picture is dyed dark brown.) And I'm really low-maintenance so 10 minutes is the most I'd spend on my hair everyday (I oversleep most of the time and end up having to rush off to class). I'm really sorry to be so troublesome, but it'd be great if you could suggest a short style I could get... I'm so clueless at the moment. Thank you so much for your time! I would really appreciate your help, but if you don't have the time, I completely understand. I look forward to seeing more updates on your blog! =)
Lots of love,


I am honored that you would write to me for advice. I will do my best to help you find the right look for you. Child you are beautiful!! Looking at the images that you sent I was able to see your different hair styles, color and the shape of your face. You were right your face shape will be considered to be on the square side. But let’s talk about your face a bit. Most women will kill to have your jaw line, and your eyes are to die for and of course that skin!! In other words we have an amazing palette to work with and it’s a matter of finding a shape style and color to suit your needs. That's my job and I'm happy to share all. On another note, what’s also cool is we are in different parts of the world and are connected by beauty. I'm actually sitting on my roof top watching the Hudson River and writing to you, so cool!!

Enough about me.

I would recommend the approach to be not about the length but about the shape and mood your stylist creates. It’s about not looking at hair long or short but as an accessory that compliments you. I would suggest you start by searching through past eras for inspiration to put together a mood. With that in mind remember we can’t change the shape of your face but we can change the shape of your hair.

The short cut may be a challenge not because of the shape of your face but because of the texture of your hair and you did mention not wanting to spend too much time styling.


Long full bangs are also an option but it may make your jaw-line appear to be heavier than it really is, depending on how the bangs are cut.



I would first discuss the desired lengths which will be great about one and a half inches pass the collar. He or she should use scissors keeping a straight edge as opposed to a razor, leaving the ends textured. Then I would create a very shuttle A-line so that there is the option for movement because of it being shorter in the back and longer in front. Then this also gives a different shape from the profile. Also at this length it’s long enough to not look like an A-line Bob, but it is short enough to give a modern feel and will be very different from your current look in your photos.

I would then move to the face framing before I cut layers. This is where the "mood" of the cut is created. Looking at the photos you sent me, I would start cutting angles around the face with a very delicate approach. Placing them against the cheek bones. Each layer that I cut framing the cheek bones will be longer than the one before. Doing this creates shorter pieces below the longer pieces which than creates movement and softness. When working with the hair around your jaw-line it’s important to know that your jaw-line is stronger and needs softening as well.

Step 3)
The over all layers could be shorter than usual. IMPORTANT- It’s important to gently remove bulk from this area as well but I would avoid thinning shears!! Removing the right amount of bulk with a razor you can have more movement without depending on too many layers. When cutting your hair I would pay attention to the layers above the ear. These should be short but not too short to avoid it looking too round.

Take these guide lines to your stylist and he or she should be able to use them to create a look for you that is modern and sexy with movement.

I wish you great hair,



Sunday, May 3, 2009



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