Monday, October 27, 2014

Have You Heard Of The Lululemon Stepford Wife Syndrome (Of NYC)

As a hairstylist I am very fortunate to be part of an on-going, creative team backstage at NYC Fashion Week. There's nothing like watching incredible fashion and hairstyles come to life just before they hit the catwalk….and the rest of the world. It’s a crazy, yet ecstatic environment.

Once Fashion Week ends, people always ask, "So what do you see as the latest hair trends?" My response has become the same as my mentor who always says. "It really depends on how the public is inspired and how they interpret what they see."

I love that response. Because there is actually room for an individual to express themselves while being influenced by the big designers, being inspired from the street and elsewhere. And of course, in the past how could NYC not inspire so many?

However, are New Yorkers expressing themselves less and less by following so call trends, both for hair and clothing?

In my opinion, it seems that young people’s individuality is being sucked dry by society's obsession to look like a celebrity or follow so-called trends…trends which are being pimped out by the media daily.

Hmm…come to think of it, there is a Lululemon, Stepford wives syndrome happening in Manhattan. This group likes to consider themselves the privileged ones. During the day, some sport hair extensions, which have been curled with a big curling iron, a fad that died over 5 years ago, (but whose counting) and all cloaked under a baseball cap, with some Lulu Lemon tights.

Then at night, they run to the blow-dry bar and have their hair fluffed, throw on a cute, expensive dress and feel they are ready to rule the fashion world... Yawn.
continue being individuals.

My personal feeling is that following a trend is really a thing of the 80's. When a client sits in my chair, I do my best to inspire them and lead them away from the "new normal." Um hello? This is New York City girls!!

Here are two you women I saw on the corner of 9th ave and 14th street, just chilling having ice cream. I just had to capture this because they were working what they were feeling. The colors, the head wrap, the hair honey, and the attitude.

I urge you all to dare to be different like we used to be. Mess it up, mix it up or just don't give a hoot. Remember, celebrities are trying to be individuals. Don't give up your individuality trying to copy them.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Orlo Salon Celebrates 10 Years!!!!

A very happy anniversary to Orlo Salon owned by amazing Orlando Pita!! Orlo salon became my home over 5 years ago and my world of hair has changed forever. Orlo I wish you many more years of success and look forward to seeing you all soon!

Love you Orlando Pita!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thank You

Three years ago a phone call changed my life. After a painful, soul-searching year in Tobago and Miami, I promised the universe that I would commit to volunteer work. Having just moved back to NYC, a friend reached out and said she had two gallons of shampoo and conditioner from her salon that she needed to give away.

I saw this as my opportunity to fulfill my promise to the universe. I googled “homeless shelters for women.” The first one that popped up was A call was made.

When I met with the staff, which included Alyssa Montaya, I was nervous, vulnerable and emotional, but eager to listen to the voice in my head that was saying, "Ask for help…to help others!" I explained to eager ears that my hope was to share tips on beauty, self love and donate gift bags. I also explained a little bit about my own personal history and struggle with feelings of self worth and selfishness.

I explained that I would not be doing makeovers, but an inner beauty makeover. Beauty makeovers are wonderful and give people an incredible lift, but what happens next? Most of the time, our clients can't afford the products, don't have the time or the skill. How about giving them something they can build off of…a feeling of support from a stranger in the beauty industry helping them feel better as a person first.

The staff expressed similar values around how we should view our fellow brothers and sisters. It was very clear that I was in safe hands. Someone said, "First, we love the idea and are very open to seeing how it progresses. Our clients are very important to us and their well-being and safety comes first."

Those words were music to my ears and heart, but one word stood out…"clients." They did not say, people, women, or homeless. They said clients.

Since that first encounter, has been a pillar in my life. A pillar of support, respect and a prime example of how people should be treated no matter their race, class or sexual orientation.

Their commitment to protecting their clients showed itself in many ways. From their willingness to help volunteers, the availability to listen to ideas, the sensitivity to their clients needs and by just being open to me as an individual.

Over the years, together we have held a multitude of different workshops.  From yoga for teenage girls with, yoga for adults, personal fitness for women, skincare for teenage girls, fashion parties for both mothers and their teenage daughters (where we have personal shoppers helping each woman choose a beautiful outfit from clothes that were donated) and support for women in recovery from addiction.

But most of all, WIN gave me a gift that was priceless. They not only helped me grow as an individual, they helped me heal relationships that I thought I would never mend. They helped me beat my life long depression and have become my family.

As I embark on the next chapter of my life out of NYC, I will take all that you have taught me and apply it to help others around the world.


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