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Summer is the time for change! Are you tired of those drab locks? The right hair color can be invigorating as well as a way to glam up your overall appearance. Whether you want a natural look or a dramatically haute change, there is no better way to turn up your appeal than hair color.

There are a few things you should do if you’re considering coloring your hair. A vital aspect of hair color is hair health. Make sure your hair is in great condition by shampooing and conditioning your hair with moisturizing products. Get rid of spit ends by having a light trim every six to eight weeks. Avoid lightening your hair if it is chemically treated (relaxed or permed). Though it is a myth that hair color automatically causes hair breakage, the condition of your hair will not improve past the state it began once the hair is colored. So make sure your tresses are in the best condition possible before you begin hair color treatments. Now that you have your hair in the proper condition it’s time for the fun part; choosing the right shade(s) for you.

Though the world of hair color can be fabulous, it can also be confusing. Here are a few ways to help you find the best hair color for you. Most people fall into one of the two hair color families. They either fit in to the “cool tones” or the “warm tones” categories. Though it sounds slightly complicated there are a few indicators to help you learn which tonal family best suites you.

People who fall into the “cool tone” family generally have grey, blue, or green-blue eyes. Their skin is normally pale, rosy, or has pink undertones. It you are not sure if your complexion fits this description another characterization of cool toned people is; their skin burns rather than tans when in the sun. Those who fit this category generally look better wearing silver. To visualize sexy, sultry cool toned women think Gwen Stefanie, Kim Kardashion, Keri Hilson, or Lily Allen.  The singer, Pink, is a great example of ever changing hair color within “cool tones” color family. “Cool” toned hair colors include pearl blondes, ash blondes, brown-violet, and blue-black.

Those that fall into the “warm tones” family have orange, yellow, peach, and golden brown skin tones. They tan easily when exposed to the sun and usually look better in gold. Another way to determine if you fit into the “warm” tonal family is your eye color. If you have hazel, brown, amber, or green eyes “warm” tones usually work best for you. Aubrey O’day, Eve, Jessica Simpson, or La La Vazquez are all gorgeous bronzed examples of woman who fit into the“warm” tonal family. Jennifer Lopez is great at changing from blonde to brunette and back while staying within the “warm” tonal family. “Warm” toned hair colors include gold blondes, champagne blondes, chocolate browns, and caramel.

These same tonal families apply for red heads. Those who want natural looking red hair prefer “warm” or orange based reds. These tones include copper, red-gold, and strawberry blonde. Sexy “warm” red heads are Reba McEntire and Debra Messing.  Mahogany, red-violet, and pink are examples of “cool” toned or blue based reds. “Cool” reds are considered fashionable reds. The chic Kate Walsh and Scarlett Johansson are ideal examples of “cool” toned red heads. Keep in mind that red is the hardest color to get in the hair, as well as the hardest color to take out of the hair.

To make your hair color one of a kind, I recommend highlights. Highlights are a perfect way to make your hair color pop. Subtle highlight, just one or two shades lighter than your all over color, can make hair color appear more natural. Subtle highlights, placed on the crown of the head, make your locks appear sun kissed.

For a bolder look have fun by breaking the rules. If your hair color is in the “warm” color family, add “cool” toned highlights. For example, add pearl blonde highlights to golden tresses. Or add strawberry blonde highlights to mahogany strands.

Once you have explained your hair color preferences to your hair color professional, and are please with your new look, it’s time to maintenance your freshly colored tresses. You want to keep your hair as moisturized as possible. Use a professional brand moisturizing shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair. This will help your hair color to appear as fresh as possible. An inexpensive way of maximizing your hair’s moisture and health is to add extra virgin olive oil to your conditioner. Apply the EVOO and conditioner and wrap your hair with a hot towel. Rinse after ten minutes, once your hair is dried and styled you will notice ravenous shine and moisture. This will help your hair to maintain a brilliant shine and color.

The hair color you have chosen determines how often you need to have it retouched. Hair color that is slightly lighter or darker than you natural hair color should be retouched every six to eight weeks. This also holds true for subtle highlights. Hair color that is dramatically lighter than your natural hair color should be retouched every four to six weeks.

Now that you know which hair color family fits you best, it’s time to turn up the fun and choose the best new shade for you. Whether you are “cool” or “warm” based, you can bring out your inner diva.


Sophisticates Black Hair inside cover

We all shudder at the thought of this changing our beloved hair stylist, but the only thing certain in life is, change. Stylists, like everyone else, move to other cities, go on maternity leave, and change career paths. Sometimes the change is voluntary and comes from your feeling that your current stylist doesn’t listen to your needs, or stay abreast of the hottest new trends. After you’ve discussed the issue and the problem continues, it may be time for a new hair connoisseur.

Although this can appear to be a daunting task, following these few suggestions should lead to the best hair on “Mane” street. Look forward to a great hair style and a more informed relationship with your stylist. Here are a few tips for choosing a stylist.

While out and about, look for women with healthy tresses and hair styles you like. Ask this styling diva what salon she frequents, what stylist she sees, and the price range of her services. In today’s world of cyber awareness, you can always type the salon or stylist into a search engine. Their are many helpful websites that rate salons and individual stylists. Avoid following your first thought to ask a friend or relative. Many times they don’t want you to go to the person in which they share their intimate details… and gossip. They don’t want to the stylist letting any of their conversation “slip”. Plus, no one wants to be involved any “mane” misunderstandings between yourself and the stylist.

Here are some things you want to keep in mind when narrowing down your stylist options. Every stylist doesn’t specialize in every hair style. Whether you wear a short crop, long flowing locks, a relaxer, or colored tresses, make sure that you find a stylist who specializes in that look. Ask them if they have taken any recent classes. If the stylist says that she “doesn’t need them”, run for the hills… or at least another stylist.

Once you go in for your first appointment or your free consultation, their are a few questions the auditioning stylist should ask you. All stylists need to learn what you like and don’t like about your current look. They should ask about all chemical services you receive in the salon (chemical services are not recommended for at home use). They also want to learn how much time and money you are willing invest in your hair services. This way you won’ t end up with a cut and color you can’t afford to maintain.

I usually recommend giving the stylist a few visits to decide if this is a good match. Sometimes you may have to work at achieving the perfect hair color tone or the perfect amount of curl in your hair. All new relationships take cultivation and communication, and this one is no different. Following these few tips will allow you to feel empowered enough to choose the right stylist for you.

This has been a long eventful week. I have been blessed to be booked every day. This past Tuesday, I styled hair for the Jodi Arnold for The Limited show. Ms. Arnold has designed looks to accentuate every woman. Her looks, exclusively for The Limited, takes women from boardroom to happy hour. To launch the line The Limited invited many customers to view the exclusive in store runway show. Guests were served wine and given other exclusive treats.
My role in the show as key hairstylist, was to give each of the “real women” models a look to accentuate their individual beauty and hair that softly bounced down the runway.

Beatiful Full Hair

Unwinding at the end of a long day, you pick up your favorite magazine and notice that the model on the cover has a thick gorgeous head of hair that seems suspended in mid air. You happen to turn on the TV and an awards show is on. Actress after actress grace the stage perfectly manicured and when the TV zooms in for its close up, one can’t help but notice the beautiful locks that frame their faces. After watching for awhile, you decide to turn in for the evening. You walk into the bathroom and that’s when it happens….you see your own hair in the mirror. *Sigh*

Can I share something with you? 80% of the population has normal to fine hair. Only about 20% are blessed with naturally thick hair that is full of body. So what can the other 80% do to “pump up the volume”? Three words…color, product and extensions.

This week I interviewed Monae Everett to get her expert advice on hair. Monae is a licensed Cosmetologist with nine years of experience. She owns Monae Artistry, LLC where she is an editorial and commercial hair and makeup artist specializing in photo shoots, videos, and movies. Ms. Everett has contributed to hair care and makeup articles in Upscale and Omo Naija magazines. Her work has been published in magazines including Celebrity Short Cuts, Sophisticates Black Hair, Sports and Entertainment Today, Today’s Black Woman, etc. She now writes for Hair’s How magazine. Having competed in the Miss Teen Virginia USA pageant herself, she knows firsthand the expectations and demands put on hair.

Color – When adding both highlights and lowlights to your hair, you create dimension and movement. Your hair will instantly look thicker and fuller.

Product- Next to a great haircut, the quality of the styling products you use is critical for creating hair that will look great for hours on and off stage. Healthy hair has body, shine and MOVES! The goal is to create the stiff lift at the roots and have the ends moving as you walk on stage. Monae made this suggestion to get the most body from your hair:

When hair is wet, apply a golf ball size amount of root thickening product to your roots.

Using a round natural bristled brush, blow dry your hair lifting up at the roots. Lightly spray with a reshaping spray.

Next, set hair on hot rollers and allow the rollers to completely cool before removing them.

Style hair into the desired shape and spray with hairspray.

Two of Monae’s favorite products are Professional Sebastian Thickefy Foam and Sebastian Reshaper.

Monae also said not to be afraid to wear the super sleek look if you can pull off. Your hair should beg people to reach out and touch it.

Extensions- If there’s a Hollywood secret to fabulous hair; here it is ladies—Extensions. Sometimes product isn’t enough to get the full bodied effect people want from their hair so they turn to extensions.

However, not all extensions are created equally. Lower quality extensions (ranging in price from $30-$60) can’t be reused and are made synthetically, which means they cannot be styled with heat. Higher end extensions are made of real human hair are reusable. They can cost up to $150 per ounce and you’ll need between 4-8 ounces of hair.

There are many factors to determine whether you’re a good candidate for hair extensions starting with your natural hair texture, the bonding method you choose, and how long you want them to stay in your hair. Here are a few of your choices:

A few hours – taped in extensions.
A day – clip in extensions but don’t sleep in them.
A week – glued in extensions.
1-3 months – sewn in extensions.
3-4 months – strand by strand Microfusion
When done by a highly skilled professional, hair extensions won’t hurt your natural hair, will look natural and can be easily maintained. If you’re considering extensions, consult with an experienced stylist so you can get the product and end results you’re dreaming of. One size does not fit all and you’ll need professional help to evaluate and select the right extensions for you.

To see Monae’s new video on how to get Big Sexy Voluminous Hair, click on this link to see step by step instructions.

Written By Rhonda Shappert
The Pageant Expert &
Personal Development Coach

LadyBrille Magazine

Their are quite a few parts of my career that I love. My favorite part has to be working on photoshoots. I love it when professional get together to reach one common goal… a great editorial. This editorial, Full Bloom, is featured in Ladybrille Magazine (April 2010).

As a hair and makeup artist, most of my work features my artistry in both fields. But from time to time I contribute only hair or makeup. In this shoot I contributed hair styling.

Hair by Monae

In order to make the hair flow with the Full Bloom designs of Prajje Couture, I needed to add three things; fullness, tone, and texture.   To achieve this fullness and volume,  I added hair extensions. I decided to make the extensions medium brown to add a natural look to the model’s hair. Hair, just like the designs in the Full Bloom collection, needs a slight variation in tone to appear as natural as possible. The hair styling consisted of spiral curls made with a small curling iron. Not only did the curls produced with the small curling iron make the hair appear thicker it also added texture. Texture is is one of the small miracles of nature… and necessities of hair styling.

Hair: Monae Everett  Makeup: Bethany Townes Designer: Prajje Couture Photography: Stephanie Matthews Stylist: Faith Chou Model: Zaya K.

Natural Look Makeup

The barely there makeup look

To keep your skin beautiful and radiant, follow these few simple rules. Use a daily face cleanser with probiotics. Probotics help to balance and protect the skin. Follow with a daily moisturizing cream w/ SPF to protect your skin. A natural look is about flawless skin so it is important that you take care of your skin to keep it looking it’s best!

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