Who Cut Your Hair, Ese?

A barber, a beautician, a hair stylist, your Mama on the front lawn...

By Al Carlos Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: June 1, 2002

Who Cut Your Hair, Ese?

I recently had an opportunity to attend a national hair show, and I have come to realize that modern hair care, especially for women, is becoming more and more of a science. I was reluctant to attend the conference with my wife, a well-known San Franciscan salon owner, because I feared the confab would be a Gay Fest and I would be considered eye candy.

Nothing could be further from the truth for a lot of reasons, most notably my looks.

?She has a gorgeous body, too bad she has an ugly face to protect it.?

The conference consisted of a series of workshops and booths selling the latest in high tech products for hair and skin care. Shampoos, conditioners, gels, mud, spritz, and creams from around the world. These products are our front line defense against age and public ugliness.

Hair stylists have an important place in this society, their influence underrated. They, in many cases, act as hair therapists. A good hair designer can assess you and give you a look that will bring out your best attributes, even if you do not have any. They do this by cross-referencing eye and skin color with the shape of your face and, unfortunately for some of us, the shape of our bodies.

?Shoes cannot be considered cute if they don?t hurt your feet.?

The trend in hair-art these days is highlights for men and women. Streaks of different colors that accentuate, lift and/or soften your look. Cuts are now done in such a way as to create movement, by looking disheveled while maintaining a precision cut line at the base. The overall objective of the messy look is to give the appearance that you empirically happened to wake up cute.

?If only the straight guys knew about all this, they?d be here with credit cards.?

The place was filled with hundreds of very attractive women of all ages and nationalities. There were very few men. The ratio seemed 100 to 1. I never realized that a straight male stylist is close to being a genius.

The women took tremendous pride in looking hip and well coiffured. It seemed to me that they were dressed up to impress each other, while some of the younger ones were simply ?chewing it?, toe rings, streaked hair, navel rings, et al.

The show featured platform artists sponsored by various hair companies that, like Vegas lounge acts, demonstrated various hair-cutting techniques on stage much like performing artist with a purpose and a real job. They would cut long hair, straighten curly hair, curl straight hair, and razor cut fools every way but loose.

Here are some things you need to know: In order to do a perm, the hair needs to be wound around the curler more than once to curl. Perms are back for men, to give hair lift (no one is trying to bring back the Monte Rock afro). Always get one of the free gift bag and fill it up with as much free stuff as possible.

Who am I now, a Pachuco Paul Mitchell?

There seems to be a regional hierarchy when it comes to hair designers and there are designer divas, whose names are like royalty. many of whom have literally invented new types of cuts that are copied around the world.

Good hair does not happen by accident and a new look can actually make you feel better about yourself. These artists study geometry, physics, and color theory, just so someone will dance with your plain Jane-looking self at the club.

There are different levels of hair artistry, Beautician, Hair Cutter, Hair Stylist, Hair Designer, Platform Artist. That being said, a haircut can run from 8 bucks to 200 bucks based on this formula. Needless to say, you get what you pay for.

?Fashionably late?? ?Look again, honey.?

If and since one's hair defines one?s look, the clothes then become secondary. In other words, fashion seems to work from the head down. The hair people seemed to be able to match their outfits to compliment hair and eye color. A good-looking stylist is one of the best forms of advertisements.

If your barber looks like a frog, or your beautician like Janet Reno, don?t hate. Spend a few bucks and go to someone cute.

It's well worth the investment.

About Al Carlos Hernandez:
Al Carlos Hernandez is a contributing columnist with good hair.

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