Friday, April 27, 2012


I am very happy to share with my readers that I will soon be returning to New York City! On the first of June, I will be resuming my position at the wonderful Orlo salon,

owned by our favorite hairstylist Orlando Pita.
As usual, I will keep you up to date with all the latest from our industry with articles, images, and soon videos.

Working at Orlo not only gives me the opportunity to learn firsthand what happens in the beauty industry (Orlando's work).
It also allows me to keep my focus on honesty and quality first. After being away from NYC for over a year and living in Miami, I have had the opportunity to fall in love with New York like never before. I have also had the chance to find my new love in volunteering.

In the past year, I was privileged to work with a wonderful group of young ladies at Casa Valentina and to share my views on the importance of individuality and how beauty is still just “skin deep.”
I also had the opportunity to meet the wonderful nurses at Oceanside Extended Care in South Beach, where I gave free haircuts to the very sick patients.
I can't begin to describe how it felt to see someone who can't walk or speak stare at themselves in the mirror as I cut their hair. Their resulting smiles left me feeling a huge sense of gratitude.

Together with my new friend in Miami,
I was also able to collect donations and make sandwiches for sometimes more than 200 homeless people in downtown Miami every six weeks or so. I'm looking forward to recruiting friends in NYC to do the same for the homeless there.

I share this because the gift of giving came to me at a very difficult time in my life. As they say, the only way to true happiness is gratitude and learning to appreciate how fortunate we are.

So thanks again to my readers and I'll see you in the Big Apple! ;)




Thursday, April 26, 2012


Hairstylists and clients, this is what happens when we all collaborate and share valuable information on new hair products that do not live up to expectations. I'm talking about Loreál Inoa hair color, and to think I only just mentioned this product in My last article.

As we all know, they launched a few years ago with "celebrity hairstylists," making claims that it was the best thing since stilettos!! Sadly, we the consumers felt differently.

Now I'm excited to say that they have taken Inoa back to the drawing board. She's been revamped and the re-launch is around the corner.

So what's new about new Inoa?

Children, as you know, I'm not about the scientific details; I'm about the delivery, the outcome and the va-voom! But what I do know is that the redesigned Inoa system is simpler for me and my comrades to use. The colors are better and the fading has been reduced. All in all, we can deliver to our clients a product that's safer on the scalp, hair, and nose, and that works better than the previous version.

So if you're inclined to try a color that’s better for your hair, come see us and try this new “Inoa-vation” for yourself!

So what does this mean for the other colors that we use?

Well, to change your hair color brand is always a decision between you and your hairstylist. We will first determine if your hair needs can be met with Inoa. There’s no need to get rid of all the other hair colors. Variety is the spice of life baby!

Yours truly,

Antonio Gonzales

The editing of this blog was done by Camile Lamb of the Perfect Words,Ink.


Saturday, April 21, 2012


In the past, we have seen product companies go to any length to attract consumers by using enticing words or ingredients to help generate new interest in their hair products. I always enjoy the creative ways they use packaging and the media to help promote their new and exciting offerings.

We have seen many examples of this in the past. Knowing that our culture has become more age-conscious, they started using words like “age recharge,” “age defying,” and “time reset,” just to name a few. Then, with all the media on celebrities losing weight, products bombarded the market with promises to make even your hair slimmer, skinnier, or leaner. And it does not end there. If there is a vegetable or fruit that's thought of as healthy to eat, it’s quickly added to shampoos, conditioners and hair colors. Before you know it, all the other companies join in and we have hair products with acai, fruit acids, avocado, and whatever nut or oil is all the rage at the time. I'm surprised we don't have a kale or cilantro shampoo on the market already. :)

Well, apparently it's time to take it one step further. Companies are now using plastic surgery culture as a way to promote hair products. Are you ready for this? Here it is:


You heard me right, children! After hearing about this and doing some basic research here's what I know. Loreál first launched it as an in-salon treatment designed to save your hair and scalp. Terms like "feed your hair" "scalp TLC" and "scale back the stress" are being used describe the product. Companies would have you believe that it's been used for some time now on celebrities, and that they love it. I don't know for sure because I have not seen it endorsed by any actual celebrity.

Okay, let's get down to business here. I have never used it and will wait some time before I touch it. Personally, as a hairstylist I can't keep up with all the new hair products that promises to make everyone look and feel younger. I mean, really – are we
that desperate!? Lol!

Here's what I do know.

1) I have heard these promises before by other product companies.

2) Having seen other products hit the market with enormous press and branding and then disappear shortly thereafter, I have to be a bit skeptical. Look at "Inoa” hair color, for example. There was all sorts of buzz about this “amazing” ammonia free hair color when it was launched, but where is it now? Where will hair botox be in a few years? And where will your hair be?

3) Once you say a celebrity uses a product, everyone wants it. I wouldn’t act on such rumored endorsements until I had a personal conversation with that celebrity,

if I were you.

4) As we’ve seen with many other big brand name “hair care miracles,” smaller companies are already flooding the market with their versions. We know for a fact that once this swarm of knock-offs hit the market, the quality of a product is never the same.

5) Now that everyone is doing it and it's so easily accessible, some stylists start to stray from the manufacturer’s directions, leaving the client at risk.

6) In a culture consumed by quick results, it will probably now take the place of Keratin (for some salons), and will run its course before the next craze takes over. So let's wait for the reviews.

I recently had the opportunity to see models who had had their hair "botoxed," and the results varied. Please keep in mind that it was NOT LOREÁL BOTOX. One had frizzy, curly, damaged hair, and she liked the results but will stick to Keratin in the future. Keratin allows her to achieve straighter results, which she prefers.

The other also had damaged hair, and was not happy with the end result. Her hair was in worse condition afterward. As a hairstylist, I know many things can affect the results of a product, so until I have it in my own hands, it's hard to say whether I like it or not.

Women with healthy hair (and you do exist!), keep up the good work. We all know there’s only one way for you to end up with unhealthy hair, and that's mistreating it by blow drying too much and tacking on too many chemical services.

Well my lovelies, how's that for honesty?

Let me know your thoughts.


The editing of this blog was done by Camile Lamb of the Perfect Words,Ink.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ombre Or not to Ombre?

My friends, I come to you today to discuss an exciting hair color technique that took the country by storm. For some, the storm hit four years ago and ran its course. Others got swept away by the storm just over a year ago. And for the rest of the population, well, they are just now realizing that there was a storm (and they want their share!).

I am talking about the Ombré hair color technique. For those of you who don't know, “Ombré” is a French word that describes hair color that transitions from light to dark or from one color to another. It has long been used to describe fabric colors, but has recently been applied to describe hair color as well.

Many celebrities embraced the Ombré with the help of their hair masters, creating dynamic personalized hair colors suited to their hair texture, skin tone and lifestyle.

I am sure you have seen it, women with dark roots and ends that gradually get lighter. Even women with very dark hair are enjoying this fad, complimenting their tresses with a lighter tone on the ends of their hair. Now, this doesn’t just apply to dark haired lovelies; the Ombré technique can work for light brown ladies as well, and you can even change your root color for more color effect. Ombré gives a fresh, sun-kissed appearance with a little more punch! Many women embraced this color technique with open arms, pushing aside the foiled highlights or the baliage (French hair painting technique).

As I researched the topic online, I saw that some are swearing that it’s over, saying it’s time to move on. I am all about individuality and personalized self-expression, and I still do ombré if I feel the client’s hair, together with my talent, can bring something special to the table.

Many of my very talented friends in Manhattan who are great colorists are giving their clients beautiful, personalized Ombré. So ladies what it comes down to is this:

1) No one can tell you how you should wear your hair.

2) This hair color technique may not be the most current anymore, but that doesn’t mean it’s off-limits.

3) If hairstylists think it’s becoming overdone, will we be willing to refuse clients the ombré? Hardly likely.

You all know I am an advocate of individuality and self expression, but here's the challenge: hairstylists and clients alike are saying “It’s too much already!” Is it? Of course it’s for you to decide for yourself, but keep in mind a few things:

1) Although it’s a beautiful effect, are you going to end up looking just like the girl next to you?

2) Maybe it has run its course and it’s time for variety to return, moving away from the Ombré helmet.

3) As a hairstylist, I can't tell you how many women are coming into the salon asking for this hair color technique. Soon everyone and their Poodle will be wearing it!

4) There are so many versions of ombre I'm seeing walking down the street – some of it’s not even proper Ombré! Its like if Ombre slept with a single process and some chunky highlights and they gave birth to a hot mess!!

Do you, the client, still want to have it done after all you now know?

So ladies, here we have it. I promise we will be touching on this topic again, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Here are some common hair salon myths I’m thrilled to bust before your beauty-loving eyes:

1) The fancier the salon, the better it is.

Have you heard of the term “smoke and mirrors?” Well in this case, it’s more like “chandeliers and mirrors.”

There have always been beautiful salons across the world since the early 1900s. What's different today is that fancier salons are considered "better." This is not necessarily true. It is important to remember that the purpose of a hair salon is to provide you with a clean, professional environment and the best hair service possible. When you leave the salon, you should feel inspired and happy with your hair.

A talented hairstylist is just that. A great hair salon should be able to sell itself without the experience of a boutique hotel. Do you want to pay for a quality haircut and also pay for the champagne, tea and crumpets? If that's what you're looking for, then please enjoy. But don’t let those little perks distract you from getting what you truly want from your salon – great hair!!!

2) You should go to a salon because someone who works there is advertised as a celebrity hairstylist.

Please keep in mind that the one sure way for us hairstylists to get more attention is to say we have touched a celebrity. When this happens, we are instantly pushed into another dimension. This puts us in the public eye and allows us to charge more.

Having had the opportunity to work on the occasional celebrity has been a wonderful experience, and yes, it has helped my career. However, I'm not a “celebrity hairstylist,” and yes, that is a disclaimer! LOL! (I do work for one though.)

If you are looking for a celebrity hairstylist experience that will knock your shoes off, then I encourage you to pursue that. There are many to choose from, but do your research. People may advertise themselves as such, but many may not have touched a celebrity for many years. While living in Miami for the last year, I met so many “celebrity hairstylists” that I had never heard of, I couldn’t even keep count! Remember, celebrity stylists aren’t supposed to award themselves that status; if they have earned it, the public will give them the title.

3) You should seek a "celebrity experience" (or to be treated like a celebrity) when you get your hair services.

To be honest, if you are not a celebrity, then your haircut can’t be a "celebrity experience." (I crack myself up.) And what does that mean anyway? Ladies, you deserve the best because you are fabulous individuals, each with assets that only you possess. The experience you deserve entails getting great hair, respect, your money’s worth, and a hairstylist that will tell you the truth, rather than someone who will think of your wallet first.

4) A referral from a friend is a guarantee that you’ll love the salon too.

I will say that I love my dentist, my doctor, and my personal trainer, but that does not mean any one of them is right for you. My clients love me, but that does not mean I'm right for all of their friends either. I recommend taking a referral from someone who has similar hair, especially if your hair is curly, fine, or short. And even then, remember that a referral is no guarantee you’ll love the place or the stylist, though it is a step in the right direction.

Another important aspect of your salon experience, apart from your being happy with your hair, is the connection between you and the hairstylist. Let's face it: it's a relationship in the making, so the vibe between you and your potential stylist is important.

You may also find a hairstylist that you can hardly bear to be around, but who gives you kick-ass results. In case that case, it's for you to decide whether or not your hair is worth the headache.

Before seeing the recommended hairstylist, go in for a consultation. Your first impression will probably tell you what you need to know before you decide whether or not to proceed with that particular pro.

5) You found a salon had great reviews on an online search engine, so they’ll obviously give you great hair.

Okay, this one is the best of all! Rumor has it that some hairstylists ask their friends to write reviews for them online. It's hilarious! Once upon a time, strong online reviews were a great thing. Then it started working against hairstylists – particularly the ones with overblown online reviews – because clients’ equally inflated expectations were not being met.

I always say, the proof is in the pudding. You need to see it and taste it for yourself to know how good it is.

The editing of this blog was done by Camile Lamb of the Perfect Words,Ink.


Friday, April 6, 2012


How many times have you left a hair salon with a bag of hair products and regretted it? How many times have you had the embarrassing feeling that comes with having to say no to products at the reception desk when they’ve already charged you for them? Or even worse, how many times have you just bought the products because of the pressure, even though you really can't afford them?

You may be asking yourself, how could he, a stylist, write about this? Well, why not? It is important that our clients get the products that will truly help their hair look great and stay healthy. It’s crucial that we stylists recommend what we know truly works best – not what works best for our bottom lines. Whether it’s purchased from the salon or online, what’s important is that clients get what they really need, as recommended by professionals.

Sadly not all hairstylists think this way. Here's a must-have survival guide, just for you, on how to make it through the product ambush alive!

1) First let me say that your hairstylist is the one who should be recommending products to you. Not the man at the health food store or the lady at your local pharmacy.

2) Before going in for your next salon visit, I highly recommend making a list of the products you have at home. When your hairstylist recommends a new product to you, show them the list and ask if these products can do the job. Your hairstylist may like the products you already have as much as the ones he or she is now recommending.

3) Ladies, keep in mind that product companies know that hairstylists sometimes get bored of the same old products. They are human and can easily be taken in by new packaging and smells. So the product companies keep making new products to excite the hairstylist, even though they may not be significantly different or better than the old ones. And where do you think those new products will end up? On your vanity (or sink top), if many stylists have their ways! My lovely ladies, chances are the product you already have can do the job.

Your hair is not going to combust if you don't change your products every month.

4) Keep in mind that it is a norm in our industry that hairstylists get a commission on product sales. “Oh no he did not just go there!” “Oh yes he did!” I know this because I once had HPPS (Hair product pimp syndrome) myself.

5) Shampoos and conditioners: Every woman should have one shampoo and one daily conditioner to suit her hair type. Sometimes it is recommended to get a second shampoo and alternate, especially if you use a lot of styling products and need to deep clean the hair once a week to remove buildup. If you have color treated hair then a hair mask is recommended.

6) Every lady should also have two or three styling products to maintain her hair type and style. Here are the products you should focus on for your hair type. (This will depend on whether you blow dry hair or not.) Keep in mind that my line up of products may not be for you. This is where your trusted hairstylist comes in.

Fine virgin hair: A product for volume and a hairspray.

Fine, dry, color-treated hair: Very light leave-in conditioner, a product for volume and a hairspray. Depending on how dry the hair is, a mask may be needed.

Medium hair texture, virgin: Mousse or liquid spray for hold, high-grade silicone for the ends, and hairspray.

Medium hair texture that is color-treated: Same as above, plus a light leave-in conditioner.

Medium hair texture, curly/frizzy: Curl cream and high-grade silicone for frizz. If you blow dry straight then you need a smoothing cream or smoothing polish, high grade silicone, and a finishing spray.

Thick coarse straight hair, virgin: Styling product for blow drying and a finishing cream or silicone.

Thick coarse hair, curly/frizzy: Curl cream and high-grade silicone for frizz. If you blow dry straight, you need a smoothing cream or smoothing polish, high-grade silicone and a finishing spray. A hair mask is also highly recommended!

The focus should be on the client’s hair care needs first, rather than what's in their pockets. As a hairstylist, it is my job to help your hair look great and teach you how to maintain the cut/style. It is also my job to suggest products that you need to support your hair type and your hair cut or color.

Ladies, I hope this was helpful! I wish you the absolute best for your pursuit of the most fabulous hair products, without breaking the bank!

The editing of this blog was done by Camile Lamb of the Perfect Words,Ink.


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