Guiding you to your next big makeover, we checked in with Richmond-area hairstylists to get
the skinny on how their spas handle everything from coloring your hair to taming your curly locks.
"Hair color is just as important as the cut because it adds depth and fullness to the shape. The two play off of each other," says Mary Jo Myers-Battiston of Imago (355-1040 or imagohair.com ), noting that 70 percent of women color their hair. "It's remarkable what a makeover tool color can be." Your complexion looks better, and your eyes look brighter when you have the right color. "A bad haircut and color can make you look tired or pale," Myers-Battiston says. A good colorist can customize your color to your hair texture, lifestyle and personality. "There is so much complexity and subtlety to color. You can create shading and dimension with highlights and lowlights. You also can adjust the tone with a glaze."
Women and men differ when it comes to hair preferences. "Women look for volume, for example," says master elite stylist and educator Cathy Zecca of Mango (285-2800 or mangosalon.com ). "Men don't want volume." Men with curly or thick hair prefer a short style. "As a stylist you can show them how to grow their hair out and how to style it," Zecca says, adding that men need a strong cut that is easy to maintain. "The style depends on hair texture and also if they want to style their hair." As for trends, Zecca is seeing textured shorter styles with an asymmetrical look – longer on top and shorter underneath. "You can take extreme looks and bring it into a more conservative look," she says.
Stephanie Valentino, master stylist at Nesbit Salon & Spa (355-8775 or nesbitsalon.com ), notes that long hair requires more maintenance than short hair. "You have to trim it every 8 to 10 weeks or so, and try to use the right products." The key is to maintain a perfect balance of protein and moisture, she says.But don't overdo it. "You don't really need to shampoo your long hair every day; every other day is fine." Years of blow drying, heating elements and combing can take their toll on long hair, but Valentino has a tip for ladies with finer follicles: "Sleep on a silk pillow," she says. "It will help to avoid splitting."
For an easy-to-style look, you can't beat short hair, says Kelly Athey of 606 Salon (559-1606). "It's more stylish. The only disadvantage is that you have to fix it every day." Short hair can be textured more than long hair, she adds. "You can create more styles with shorter hair. You have more of a palette."Some of Athey's clients like an edgy cut that is also trendy. "Your eye is automatically drawn to that," she says, adding that not everyone looks good in short hair. "Typically if you have an oval face, you can have shorter hair." If you have thinner hair, a short style will make it feel fuller. "Just remember you have to maintain your cut every four to six weeks," Athey says.
Earnest Andrews of Mr. Andrews Hair Company (355-3764 or mrandrewshaircompany.com ) treats ethnic hair the same as any other head of hair in his multicultural salon. "There are only three types of hair — straight, wavy and curly — and you can find two or three textures of hair on any head," he says. "Some hair is curlier than others, which makes it wiry." A shampoo, blow and go is the perfect trio for any woman's hair, according to Andrews, who doesn't suggest relaxers of any kind. "They are hard on hair," he says. "A lot of those manufacturers that made ethnic products are no longer in existence." He does endorse Keratin, a product that is good for all textures of hair. "It's the best thing that has hit the market," he says. "It restores hair and smooths it out. It puts protein back into the sub-layer of the hair cuticle."
The biggest challenge in working with curly hair is "getting my clients to embrace their naturally curly texture," says Daviece Clement, hairstylist at Nirvana Hair Salon (359-2020 or
nirvanava.com )."For so long, straight hair was everything." Women with curly hair need to have layers, she adds. "Layering the hair breaks it up so that it doesn't get too heavy on the bottom, [a] triangular, mushroom look. Plus, without the layering, curly hair begins to lack definition. Your curl pattern will determine how much layering is needed." Curly hair must stay hydrated, she adds. "Because it is porous, you must make sure to constantly condition the hair to fill those holes. Refrain from over shampooing, and be sure to use sulfate-free shampoos, as they leave the hair clean but with more moisture.