Change it uP: Bangs. Nature’s Botox.

25 09 2011

Two very major things happened to me this year: I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in April and I turned 35 in September. A sane person might realize that that’s change enough for one gal in a single calendar year but oh no, not me. I decided that I needed to get my hair involved in the party too. And so, on one of he rainiest days of the year, I had one of my best friends, Mary Curran, cut me some bangs.  Humidity be damned, it was one of the smartest beauty decisions I’ve made all year.

Minutes after my new haircut

After giving birth to my daughter I had a long, lush head of shiny hair to rival Pocahontas. The prenatal vitamins had given me the hair of my dreams, even though I knew it was short lived. And right around the time when evil Mother Nature decided to take back my awesome locks, I started to see ads everywhere for the new Zooey Deschanel show. It didn’t take long to realize that I was going to take her adorable full banged haircut and make it mine.

Three days post-haircut, I’m marveling at how my new bangs have changed my whole tired, “just had a kid” appearance. They have given a whole new look to my necessary ponytail and have made me want to change up my same-old makeup routine. Best of all, I shaved a few years off my age without pumping hazardous chemicals into my face and gave the term “mom cut” a positive spin.

Since my mini makeover, I’ve noticed a barrage of fringe-faced celebrities from Michele Monaghan to Zooey D to Heidi Klum. Bangs are the perfect way to rock a major change without cutting your hair short or dying it platinum. Here are a few things to discuss with your stylist before taking the plunge:

  • Don’t cut bangs too far past the eyebrows or back on the head or you might wind up looking like Karen O from the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. If that’s the look you’re going for, cool, but very few can pull that off.

    Karen O

  • Have your stylist texturize the bangs a bit so they don’t look too thick. I like the ends slightly jagged as well.
  • If you have major cowlicks, bangs may not be for you unless you’re willing to really force them into submission. Your stylist can help you assess your cowlick situation.
  • Have your bangs “connect” with the rest of your hair or you may risk looking like a 4th grader.
  • Play around with different lengths and partings.

Here are some of my favorite looks lately:

Zooey Deschanel

 

Michelle Monaghan

 

Heidi Klum

 

Diane Birch

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Change it uP: Little Sis Gets Big Girl Hair

2 03 2011

Ever since she was a tot, my sister Christine has let me do whatever I want to her hair. When she was in elementary school and I was a budding beautician, she’d show up to second grade with elaborate twists and braids, hair bands and clips and ribbons. I’d go on to supply her with graduation hair, bridesmaid’s hair and any other sort of formal occasion hair she needed and she would always sit patiently while I’d comb, braid and pull her hair in 20 different directions. When I started coloring heads, my sister was one of the first “clients” in my chair and continues to let me do whatever I want. Talk about unlimited options as an artist!

Christine now lives in Hawaii but every time she comes home to visit she makes an appointment to get her hair done. For a while we had been doing a North Shore inspired beachy blonde and she pulled it off beautifully…until it was time to get her hair touched up on Oahu. After one or two questionable salon experiences on the island which turned into not getting her hair done at all, she started rethinking the whole one-length, super long blonde thing and told me that it might be time for “big girl hair.”

Christine Before: 6 months after we had last highlighted her hair

Since Christine was blonde for so long and is often in the sun, I needed to fill in her bleached out ends so the color would last longer than 4 shampoos. We then applied a rich chocolate brown demi-permanent color by Wella Color Touch. My fabulous style partner, Scott Pere, took one look at Christine’s length and decided that 4-5” off the ends and some gorgeous long layers were the way to go with the cut. He blew her hair out with a medium sized round brush and some White Tea Polishing Milk by Shu Uemura.

The end result speaks for itself. Christine got a more sophisticated look that, more importantly, would be easy for her to maintain in Hawaii. I’ve included a picture that she took herself the next morning. To me, that picture says volumes about what a good cut, color and blow out can do. Thanks, as always, to Scott for making my entire family look the best they ever have and to my sister for constantly changing it up.

Before:

Side View before cut and color

 

6 months without a haircut

After:

 

Beautiful, bouncy locks!

Face framing layers that still fit into a ponytail

Look at that swing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Next Day…

 

How many people roll out of bed looking like this?





Change it uP: Low Maintenance Ombre Highlights

26 01 2011

The first question I’m asked when I recommend highlights to a client who has never done it before is “What will the maintenance be?” An understandable question since many women simply don’t have the time to sit in my chair for two hours every few weeks with 100 foils on their head. With natural looking Ombre highlights, the latest trend in hair color, every few weeks turns into 2-3 times a year (quite manageable for even the busiest woman).

The basic gist of Ombre (French for shaded) highlights is that it mimics the way a child’s hair gets lightened over summer vacation. I choose to hand paint individual stands of hair, fading gradually into the root or even stopping a few inches from the root so there’s no harsh line when the hair grows out. If you ever look at a child’s hair, their organic, sun kissed color rarely, if ever, goes all the way up to the scalp. It’s a gradual progression from dark to light, making the color appear seamless.

Perhaps the best thing about the Ombre trend is that it works for all hair colors from the darkest black to the lightest blonde. You can make the contrast as natural or extreme as you’d like and even experiment with different colors on the ends. For a truly “believable color” I’d suggest going no more than 2-3 shades lighter than your roots. For something a little more punk, experiment with different jewel toned shades on the pre-lightened ends. The possibilities are endless.

Here are a few celebrities sporting the Ombre look right now:

Brunettes

Perfectly placed Ombre highlights on dark brown hair

Gorgeous golden tips add sparkle to light or medium brown hair

 

Blondes

Sienna Miller is an effortless blonde. Love the bright tips and muted root.

Drew is the Queen of Ombre

 

 

Red/Auburn

I always like Julia best in the Auburn shades

One of my favorite redheads, Isla Fisher

 

Exreme Ombre

 

A dramatic Ombre look





Change it uP: Meredith’s Fabulous Friday

12 08 2010

My friend Meredith is absolutely fearless when it comes to changing her look. In the ten years we’ve been friends I’ve had her honey, chocolate, copper, golden and back again in the blink of an eye.  When she recently cut her mid-back length hair into a Mia Farrow-inspired Pixie cut, we decided that her color needed to change as well. With the help of the talented makeup artist, Michael Gwaltney, who designed her 60’s Edie Sedgwick “Mod” look for an art opening, I present the new Meredith!

Meredith Before:

From Long Hair to Pixie

I love the short hair, but I’m not loving this color…

And the lovely and courageous Meredith after spending the afternoon at Edris Salon…

White Lady

Meredith with the brilliant Michael Gwaltney

Andy and Edie

Many thanks to Meredith for her bravery and the folks at Edris Salon for encouraging constant growth and creativity.





Change it uP: Glazes Aren’t Just For Ham

9 02 2010

I was recently asked to contribute to the Edris Salon blog with a piece on color glazes.  Here’s a link to that article:

http://www.edrissalon.com/blog/index.php?/archives/46-Introduction-to-Glazes.html





Change it uP: I am Moving!

2 10 2009

As we’ve all learned this year: Change is GOOD!

I’m thrilled to announce that as of Tuesday, October 6th, I’ll have a new home at Edris Salon. I started my career on the west side and can’t wait to return to the Meatpacking District full time with this incredibly talented group of stylists.

Edris Salon is conveniently located at 430 West 14th Street, 3rd Floor (between 9th and Washington) and is one block from the A-C-E-L trains at 14th Street. For more information on the salon please visit http://www.edrissalon.com.  To make an appointment, please call (212) 989-6800.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Edris SalonEdris_Salon.0.0.0x0.400x300

430 W 14th St, 3rd floor

New York, NY 10014

(212) 989-6800

http://www.edrissalon.com





Change it uP: I Love Extreme Makeovers

15 08 2009

There are two things a client can say that will make me absolutely swoon as a colorist: 1.) “Do whatever you want” and 2.) “I want to make a drastic change.”

I was born with dark brown hair and I’ve accepted the fact that unless I wear a wig, I will probably never change beyond the dark brown-black-aubergine family. I’m boring, but I know what does and does not work for me. And while I love doing beautiful, organic color and subtle highlights on others, it’s the color that turns a person into someone else that truly keeps me on my toes. Drastic changes, although thrilling, can be a little intimidating for a colorist, but when they work, they really work. I did both the before and after color on Sophy. 

Sophy: Highlighted Blonde to Firey Red

Sophy is an awesome girl: a tall, blonde dancer who is fully tattooed and completely fearless. One afternoon she sent me an email asking what I thought about her going red. At first I thought maybe a strawberry blonde or a light copper, but no, she wanted to go balls to the wall, cherry bomb red. Sophy booked an appointment for the next day and a few hours later, she walked out the door as a drop dead gorgeous redhead.

Sophy Version 1.0:

Blonde and Straight

Sexy and Straight

Sweet and Curly

Sweet and Curly

Sophy Version 2.0:

Sasstastic!

Sasstastic!

 For those out there who are considering a major change, I beg you: Do not attempt to do it at home! Please seek the assistance of a professional. Trust me, I’ve seen enough green hair, hot pink roots and chemical haircuts to KNOW that at home makeovers are not the way to go. A consultation costs nothing and can save a lot of heartache later.

And for anyone who would be willing to completely change it up for this blog, email me at: alysonph@gmail.com