Sunday, April 17, 2011


My work.

In a world gone Keratin craaaaaaazy, I admit I was very skeptical before I actually used it. There have been so many fads that were first loved then hated, I was determined to approach Keratin with caution and avoid the damage hair suffers when chemical hair treatments are done incorrectly.

This, by no means, is a scientific article. I simply wish to share my knowledge and experience after having now done too many Keratin treatments to count.

There are two Keratin treatments that prove most popular; the first is the Brazilian blowout and the second is Coppola. Both brands promise to remove frizz while making hair more manageable with a gentler approach. But before I get into the results of these two brands of Keratin treatments, lets go over the facts about them.

The Facts

  1. It is a chemical treatment; anything powerful enough to change the hair structure contains chemical. Please keep in mind that Keratin, however, is not as strong as a chemical relaxer which breaks down the bonds of the hair from the inside out. Keratin affects only (well, almost only) the exterior of the hair, making the heat from a blow dryer and a straightening iron still vital to achieve "smoothing" results.

  1. There is no question this treatment produces great results on virgin hair. It can be used on color treated hair, however, if hair is over processed, weak or damaged from color, I wouldn’t recommend doing it.

  1. For fine, frizzy hair, Keratin makes life so much easier relieving the need to blow dry constantly. Worried about fine hair being too flat? Then don’t iron the hair as much or turn down the temperature on the iron to weaken the effects. Washing hair after two days rather than three days to lessen the full effect of the treatment is another way to keep body in the hair.

  1. Never use Keratin on chemically relaxed hair. What results is dehydration with ends that are way too straight, leaving the ends looking like a broom.

My Experience

I prefer the Coppola Keratin treatment. I have never had an issue of it damaging hair. Once this product is applied properly, and caution is taken when working on the clients’ hair, the results are great!!

Before the Keratin is applied, the hair must be freshly shampooed and blow-dried. The blow-dry must be properly done, that means getting the roots and ends smooth; the Keratin is then applied to thin sections of the hair from the roots through to the ends on every strand, evenly.

The treatment should sit on the hair for approximately 30 minutes before blow-drying it into the hair. Again, the drying should be done using thin sections, getting the roots and ends smooth. The hair is then ironed in very thin sections with even heat from roots to ends. This is not something to rush through. When I give a client the treatment, I take all the time I need to ensure it’s done right. This process cannot be rushed through. The better the job, the longer it lasts.

Other popular treatments promise the same results, but I haven’t found any that compare to the results I get from Coppola. Coppola consistently delivers maximum results with minimal damage to the hair. As important as it is to find the right product, it is equally as important to find someone who cares for each strand and uses effective techniques.

I have come to the conclusion that all are not created equal. Other Keratin brands that were extremely popular have gotten some very bad press and Just know, the bad press tends to follow an actual treatment so make sure you know which one is being used. Also you must trust your stylist before letting them loose on your Keratin free hair. Remember it can have a positive effect but in the wrong hands the results can be negative.

Here’s to healthy, happy hair…


Monday, April 11, 2011



Thursday, April 7, 2011


I remember as a kid that natural hair oils were a big part of our culture when moisturizing the hair and fighting frizz. The local African, Indian and mixed races (like me) believed in their conditioning benefits and did not leave home without them. As I approached my cosmetology career, products started becoming more refined and companies started using more water-based conditioners saying that water was more moisturizing than oils. They claimed that oils were a bit harsh clogging the scalp with over absorption making ethnic hair too limp and hard to style. We as hairstylists, all welcomed the new approach to getting healthier hair with the water-based conditioning hair treatments for fighting frizz.

Then hair masks were the latest discovery, it was all about water based treatments. Product companies world wide were stressing that moisture for dehydrated hair should come from water, and hair masks were being made of water based thick creams. These creams were easily absorbed and easily rinsed, leaving your hair soft with out the oily feeling.

Then silicone-based products took the market by storm and we hairstylists were educated on the use and benefits of high-grade silicone. High-grade silicone products were easier on the hair and were removed easier compared to low-grade silicone. We are now back to hair oils which are making a huge comeback. These oils are not the old-school raw coconut oils or even professional oils (like Pink oil) that stopped working after some time. Oh no, we now have oils that has been researched, perfected for the professional and taking over the market from the U.S. to Timbuktu.

From treatments to styling products, I am bringing to you 15 years of the best hair oils, silicone's and water-based products to help fight frizz.


HAIR OILS; these should always be used sparingly.


Trust me when I say that this product is a healing experience for over processed hair. When I first used this product I honestly did not know what to expect. So many companies make claims to have the best product. One day I had a client for color only, she was leaving for the gym and wanted to do a rough blow dry on herself. I did not realize that she grabbed the Healing Serum by Hamadi, and she came running over to me saying; Feel my hair, feel my hair!! What is this!! Her hair felt amazing!! With an amazing blend of Organic oils such as Ylang Ylang, Palmarosa, olive and avocado just to name a few.


In Trinidad this product is all sold out!! If you have not heard of this product, you need to move back to earth. This product has brought oils back to the salon with grace, delivering results that you will love. It’s an ideal product for all hair types, especially curly or frizzy hair and I love adding it to my favorite curl cream for extra support. I even add it to my hair masks for my nieces at the beach. It makes love to the hair. (smile)


I have written about this product before so for those of you who missed it, I bring to you a safe product to add to your color to prevent any scalp irritation. It’s pretty straight forward and delivers results. In the past I’ve used all types of products for this purpose, even sugar! (I'm that old) This product is a must for your color dispensary and a few drops goes a long way. Your client will love you for it.

STYLING SILICONE'S; should be able to easily be shampooed out of the hair.


Oh yeah baby, it’s old school time! Back to when man was created. (just kidding) I still love this product for fighting frizz. If I'm on a shoot and for some reason I don't have my usual kit, I can run to the pharmacy and this product will deliver like it always has. It can be used on wet or dry hair, and offers great protection from heat. If you are a small first time salon owner and you can't commit to the big name brands, get this and I guarantee you and your clients will be happy.


Don't let the name fool you. It’s not always about straightening hair to remove frizz. This high-grade silicone product can be added to curls to help control frizz when air drying. A tiny bit goes a long way so although it’s not cheap, your client will have it for a long time. Kerastase have also made a stronger product that's similar, but it’s a little too heavy for my liking. I do know that with this company, you have to carry a certain amount of the line, so it may be too expensive to stock hairstylist.


Let’s bring on the big boys. This product gives a boost to hair that's dry and has also been cursed with the F word (FRIZZ). When blow drying use a tiny bit of this non-greasy weightless formula that transforms tired tresses. This fast acting nourishing and hydrating formulation aids in straightening and fighting frizz. Use on wet hair for either air drying or for blow drying. Clients with frizzy hair should also use a little bit of this product on wet hair before going in to the pool or ocean. It can also be used on dry hair before flat ironing. All of that from one little tube which is why when I talk about high-grade silicone this is what I mean.

HAIR MASKS; Great conditioners should never be full of oil because we all know that water provides moisture as well.


Although it’s a pricey product, it sells itself. For me, it’s easily one of the best hair masks I have used in a very long time. On virgin or color treated hair, it will make your client’s hair feel nourished and shiny. And although it’s a cream, it will not leave your hair feeling lifeless. It really gives vitality back to stressed hair and adds shine to dull aging hair.


This luxurious hydrating mask smells so good; it makes you want to put it on your carrot cake. I love how this product feels on my own hair and I even use it as a styling product at the beach. For a deeper treatment add some of the Moroccan oil treatment to the mask and see your client’s hair come alive. Its a great way to add a service that your client really needs which is not too expensive.


I remember going to my first hair show in the mid- eighties and hearing about the man himself, Paul Mitchell. His passing was a huge loss to the industry, but he left behind a product line that will be known by future stylists to come. This hydrating treatment is worth having in your salon and will change your client’s hair. The best part is that it’s not too expensive and in these times that is music to our client’s ears.

I am happy to have worked with all of these products. As a hair stylist it is important to offer my clients the help they deserve.

Antonio Gonzales


Tuesday, April 5, 2011



Friday, April 1, 2011


Moving to Miami I was certain about two things: the ocean was awaiting my arrival and I was going to make a difference in Miami through beauty one head at a time.

When I say make a difference, I'm not talking about the usual cut and color for the usual clients. I mean giving freely of myself and helping women understand their inner beauty is their individual beauty. I believe, once women discover this truth, appearance and beauty come into alignment and their individuality shines.

Through a fabulous new Miami friend, I heard about Casa Valentina; a non-profit that helps young women when they turn 18 and are cast out of the foster care system to fend for themselves.

After doing some research, I discovered just how painfully difficult life can be for these girls. I knew I had found a group of kindred spirits who could benefit from learning that beauty equals "individuality" and what makes someone unique should be celebrated.

In a world where the focus is our outer appearance, I feel it’s my duty as a beauty professional to let these young ladies know that there is more to self-love than the outside.

And so I spent a blessed evening with them all crowded around. As I shared with these lovely ladies, I reiterated my personal belief (and personal experience) that true beauty is still skin deep! Needless to say the girls and I had a blast!! We shared all. We laughed, we related and we listened to one another’s struggles with appearance.

I left that evening filled with positive energy, hope, a renewed commitment and a date to return for another lovely night with all my new friends.

I am so grateful for this experience. So readers, please take this small example of how we can all make a difference, and I hope you challenge yourself to go out into the world and help a fellow man or woman (no matter what your occupation).

As Gandhi once said, be the change you wish to see in the world.


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