So here I am in Los Angeles and Sunday night after I flew in I was on the phone with my mother, talking about Monday's planned trip to Lukaro Salon in Beverly Hills.
Suave had arranged for us to spend the morning at this famous Hollywood salon run by celebrity stylists Luke and Rona O'Connor. Yes I said celebrity, as in Debra Messing, Lucy Liu and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
"Well what are you going to do if he wants to cut your hair?" Mom asked.
"Oh he's not touching my hair," I said. I expected that the trip was to be more of a consultation and besides, you have to be in a certain mood to switch hair styles--you know, kind of a depressed, I-need-a-lift, pass-me-the-Ben-and-Jerry's kind of mood. With the prospect of four days away from a chaotic house to play in sunshine and glamor I'm about as far from depressed as you could get. Life and hair are good--and I had no intention of coming home with anything remotely new.
Our driver (yes I said driver--he's chauffeured us around anywhere we'd like to go) dropped us off about 9 am and after walking through the beautiful wrought iron gates of Lukaro and up the tiled stairs into a light, open Spanish-style courtyard complete with a fountain, cushy chairs and a table of food I kind of lost all perspective on reality. I walked around thinking "Is this heaven? Is there anything better than this? Is that freshly squeezed orange juice? "
Somehow I ended up first in line and Luke grabbed me, plopped me down in the chair, whipped his fingers through my hair several times and said "You don't mind if I trim it do you?"
"Not at all," I said with this stupid, star-struck smile. Maybe it was the orange juice talking but I was sucked in by the glamor of the moment, he could have offered me a tattoo and a bagel and I would have taken both.
He had his lovely assistant shampoo me all up then he went to work, snipping and trimming and shaping all while he chatted nonchalantly about the previous day's photo shoot or his work with Julia Louis-Dreyfus' ever-changing hair or cast members of various t.v. shows that he'd talked with recently.
The funny thing is it seemed all so natural and unpretentious and while I didn't have a lot to say I was quite content to soak it all in, listening to him talk while the Suave team sat around us in the room to record and comment on the whole procedure.
He trimmed the ends, leaving me my length, then shaped it more around my face and in my layers that had grown out a bit but the thing that made it fun was that he used all Suave products.
Now I know what you're thinking, I was slightly skeptical too--I've had friends who are stylists who say over and over that you should use professional products on your hair but honestly? Twenty-five dollars for a bottle of conditioner is crazy--and if you're like me you're looking for ways to avoid wasting money.
I quizzed the Suave reps that were there to welcome us, I asked them about whether they really thought the products they were pitching were as good as the salon brands and whether they used them on their own hair and I was surprised to hear that not only do they use them themselves but I was surprised at how much effort Suave puts into research and development to test their products against the professional brands. According to what they're telling me you really are getting a quality product for a fraction of the cost.
Anyway, I haven't looked at the data but after Luke was done with my hair I was impressed. Impressed with the cut, with the feel of my hair, with the way the products held up and with how fast it all went together. Total styling time: fifteen minutes. I can do that!
See for yourself-- here the steps he took for styling.
1. Wash with Suave Healthy Curls Shampoo, Conditioner.
2. Work Suave Healthy Curls Mousse through hair, focusing on applying the product to the roots.
3. Blow dry front of the hair first, going from the roots to the end to avoid creating a frizzy, flyaway look.
4. Blow dry as you run fingers through your hair until it's about 90% dry.
5. Finish drying with a large round brush, rolling the hair in a section that's as wide as the brush, wrapping it around the brush and blowing heat on it. Start with the front and roll upward and away from the face to create a gentle wave away from the face in an updated modern look (picture 1 and 2). Roll the rest of the hair under and up high on the crown of the head (picture 3) for volume.
6. To finish with modern waves once the hair is completely dry take a large curling iron and wrap the hair in 1 or 2-inch sections around the barrel.
7. Finish spraying with Suave Shaping and Finishing Spray, holding the can far away from the head and allowing the mist to settle on the hair gently to avoid clumping.
My bangs are a little short and need to grow into blending with the rest of the shaping on the side of my face but you get the idea. I liked how fast it went together and how easy it was to style--I'd have to try it again on my own and see if I could duplicate it.
Anyway, if you've got long hair give it a try and see what you think. If you want some other tips for other styles and lengths you might check out a couple of the other bloggers that were here with me who had completely different hair and their own wonderful looks. Liz Thompson at This Full House, Dawn Meehan at Because I Said So, Beth Feldman at Role Mommy, Amy Clark at Momadvice.com and Liane Farbes at The Makeup Girl are a couple of the other great bloggers I've been able to meet--check them out because I bet they'd have their own styling tips from the hands of Luke.
Congratulations to Tracie of Carlsbad, New Mexico, the random winner of the selection of books in last weekend's giveaway--there are enough books to keep them busy for quite some time.
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