Good Hair Could Be In Your Future

by admin on July 24th, 2014

ghcbyfWant help with your hair problems? Nicky Clarke, the stylist behind Fergie’s crowning glory, shares his tips and tricks for perfect looks.

The complaints sound familiar: “I can’t get my hair to look good. Some days it’s too flat. Some days it’s too wild.” Or “I’m lucky if there’s time to brush my hair in the morning–it takes too long to make it look the way my hairstylist does it.”

The gripes ring true to British hairdresser Nicky Clarke, who hears them from even his famous clients, who include the Duchess of York, Brooke Shields, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

“Most people are unhappy with their hair and end tip doing too much or not enough to it,” he observes. “The solution is somewhere in between.” The three most common mistakes he sees:

TOO MUCH GOO

Don’t use a styling product all over, says Clarke. Work it into the areas that need it; for example, volumizing sprays should be applied to the roots, not the ends, for maximum lift.

TRENDY CUTS

Don’t pick a style just because it’s popular. “What’s important is a cut that suits the shape of your face,” says Clarke. “Today, a lot of people cut their hair very short at the nape to copy Winona Ryder. But unless you’ve got a small, heart-shaped face with fine features, there’s nothing to soften that extreme look.” Discuss your options with your stylist, and ask how the suggested haircut will look in profile mo.

OVERPROCESSING

People go for bright highlights when coloring their hair, says Clarke, because they think it will make them look younger. But often the results are brassy. Opt for warm tones–chocolate, auburn, or strawberry blond–rather than ash brown, magenta, or platinum blond.

Clarke, who has his own drugstore haircare line, shared these and other practical tips at a recent makeover session for four GH readers.

Fixing Brassiness

PROFILE

Cynthia Lima, 40, securities salesperson from Columbus, OH; married with a 2-year-old son and three stepsons, ages 10, 14, and 15.

PREDICAMENT

“I’ve had the same cut for ten years and have highlighted my brown hair blond for fifteen.”

ANALYSIS

“First of all, we need to improve the texture of Her bleached hair,” Clarke says. “Also, the long, one-length cut overpowers her small face.”

ACTION

Clarke eliminated dry, split ends, cutting off about four inches and graduating the sides. Colorist Diane Gerardi from the Avanti salon in Staten Island, NY, softened the brassiness with dark-blond highlights.

For dressy occasions Clarke suggests spritzing still-damp locks with styling spray to control curls but maintain body. Next, twist strands into pin curls and let them air-dry for soft, gorgeous ringlets.

Repairing Dry Hair

PROFILE

Mindy Pennybacker, 46, editor of an environmental newsletter published by Mothers & Others in New York City; married with a 12-year-old son.

PREDICAMENT

“I swim and surf a lot, so my hair is exposed to chlorine and saltwater all the time. To make matters worse, it’s really thick. I need a hairstyle that won’t fall in my face, but I’m afraid of anything coiffed.”

ANALYSIS

“Her blunt cut makes her look much too wide around the jawline,” Clarke says. “Her hair is also dull and coarse from being in the sun.”

ACTION

He layered the underside of her hair to give it movement. Then, he blow-dried it using a silicone-based gel to protect ends. A small, round boar-bristle brash helped to grip and smooth down hair cuticles for a natural-looking flip. Gerardi applied a coppery gloss to add shine.

Updating a Cut

PROFILE

Robbie Harris, 39, news director at WBEZ, a National Public Radio station in Chicago; divorced.

PREDICAMENT

“I finally gave up on salons because hairdressers never listen. Now, I just get my hair cut by a barber who doesn’t even speak English.”

ANALYSIS

It shows. “Her hairstyle is old-fashioned,” “Clarke notes. “She still has feathered `wings.’ But the biggest problem is a middle part that elongates her oval face.” Gerardi adds, “She’s been using henna for years, too, and it has made her hair very dry.”

ACTION

“I parted her hair on the side and added layers halfway down her head for volume,” Clarke says. “I used a round brush to blow-dry her hair straight, then worked some texturizing wax into the ends to separate some strands and give the cut some movement.”

Taming the Frizz

PROFILE

Monica Bruno, 39, special-education counselor from Dover, NJ; divorced with two sons, ages 16 and 19.

PREDICAMENT

“I like having my hair long–it keeps me looking young. But I end up just pulling it back because my job is very active.”

ANALYSIS

“The one-length cut is too severe, unless you’re eighteen,” Clarke concludes.

ACTION

He cut long layers, blending Bruno’s short bangs with her ends to make the style more fluid. For volume, he lightly blow-dried her hair using a heat-activated styling spray. Then, to give face-framing hair extra lift, he wrapped still-damp front sections around large Velcro rollers and let them dry naturally.

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