Friday, October 24, 2014

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Ella's first real "do" -- two tiny pigtails -- as well as her first experience on a slide. As you can see, she likes slides.
          Even I'm embarrassed by my "clever" headline. Please don't stop following me. . .

          What I mean by that is, I shall wrap up our hair conversation today. I forgot a couple other cuts and styles I like and think flatter the women who have chosen them.  These are totally random, no theme except for the most important detail, each woman has found her look (or at least one of them).

         Yes, I know some of the pictures have had a lot of "work" but I hate to choose photos that do not flatter women. I like to think part of our mission in life is to be kind to one another.

Julie Christie

Sigourney Weaver

Candice Bergen
Oprah Winfrey
Tilda Swinton
Unfortunately I do not know this woman, but I think she is absolutely gorgeous. Every detail of her stylish look is perfection.
          Also, I've always found the face shape concept interesting.  Apparently it's important if we want the ultimate benefit from our haircuts.

          I understand face shapes when I see them illustrated or in photographs, but I'm not sure I can detect them in real life. What do you think?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Les Coiffures que Parlent

Gorgeous Fanny Ardant with her masses of chestnut curls.
        Hairstyles are an extension of our personalities.  Our coiffures are so important that when a celebrity or a woman in politics changes her "do" the press thinks it's important enough to write articles about her new look.

         It's strange in a way, but like our clothes and to some extent our makeup our hair speaks for us. It may say: "I spend a great deal of time and money keeping this up;" or "I've decided to go grey;" or "This cut and color is pretty much 'wash and go' and I love it;"  or "I've had this cut forever and it is absolutely me (!)."

         A woman's hair may also say: "I don't really care," a sentiment which tends to be part of her complete, yet silent, presentation to others.  You know what I'm saying, but before you start telling me that it doesn't matter how we present ourselves to others (or to our own mirrors), that I'm being superficial and judgemental please remember I'm not commenting on the kindness, intelligence or character of another woman. I'm simply stating the obvious: we are judged -- fairly or not -- by the way we present ourselves to the world. Think potential employer, future promotion, first meeting. . .

Diane Sawyer.

Halle Berry. I did read that she has let her hair grow. You see what I mean? Women get press coverage when they change hairstyles.
Dame Judi Dench.

Ellen Degeneres.

Diane Keaton.
         Most of my life my hair has been flirting with my shoulders -- slightly above, longer, and just touching. I prefer slightly above which also gives me ponytail and chignon options. Unfortunately, my base color is something blah, no real white or anything interesting. Some blondes are lucky and have that gorgeous mix of white and blonde. I do not. Michelle, my colourist, told me to forget working with my dirty sand sort of color and just use it as a base for lots of  balayage. That's what we do.
Diane von Furstenberg.
Martha Stewart.  Heaven knows that after watching her in action while I was working on a project in which she was involved, I hate to include her here, but she has had this haircut and color for a very long time and it definitely suits her.
Marisa Berenson.
        I thought it would be fun today to look at women whose hairstyles are so much a part of them that we wouldn't understand if they did something radical. Some have tweaked the length and color ever so slightly, but the basics haven't changed.    

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bouncy, Bright, Beautiful

A deep moisturising masque twice-a-month will change your life -- you know, relatively speaking. .  .
          Instead of a melange of my favorite hairstyles and products, I decided to go with just the products today.

          Tomorrow I'll show you why and how I like mid-lengths and at the same time a few pictures of women who break all the rules and it works for them. Their hair underscores their personality and many never changed their cuts and color.

The shampoos really do come out of the tube or bottle in this gorgeous, yet startling color. Do not fear.
         Let's talk violet shampoos. Their mission is to erase brassy tones whether in natural or coloured hair.  I use the one from L'Oreal at the recommendation of Michelle, my colourist, but I have used others. Mine, although it says blonde on the bottle, works equally well for grey and white hair. I'm told it also gives depth to dark hair.

Both are great. I'm currently using the L'Oreal.

        balayage Michelle tells me to wait three weeks before using a violet shampoo and she recommends it as the second shampoo after a neutral product.

A few choices for masques that will, I promise, make a difference.  
Specifically for grey and white hair. Michelle tells me it works wonders.
          Many years of experience have taught me that deep masques are essential to have shiny -- and yes "bouncy" -- hair. Now, one can apply the masque as directed on the product, but all the experts tell me if we're looking for spectacular results (slight exaggeration), leave the masque on for at least a half-hour and cover the hair with a wet towel, wrung out, placed in a pyrex baking dish for example and nuked in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds.

        If you're up for it, sleeping in the masque produces even better results. Cover gooped-up hair with a shower cap, cover your pillowcase with a clean towel and try to sleep.          

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Decision, Decisions, Decisions. . .

Gorgeous. Just messy, nonchalant, dare one say "young" enough to make a woman reconsider the grey question.
         We've discussed the subject several times, but I don't know about you, I think it can always be revisited to see if we've evolved, radically changed or decided we've been right all along. When it comes to a woman's hair, we know instinctively that if we don't get it right, we don't feel quite right.

This one''s for you Lisa. xo
          But then comes the inevitable question: What's right for me?

          Professionals can help and I think it behooves us to consult the best ones we can find and afford, but still. . . it's ultimately how we feel when we look in the mirror and see that frame around our faces, in the first moments of the morning and again after we've applied our makeup.

These styles could change anyone's opinion about how long is too long.
          I have always been "against" (where do I get the right?) long, long hair on women of a certain age. Then, I see women of a certain age with ultra long hair and I think: "You look gorgeous!"

          In the interviews for my book stylists told me that somewhere around 45 to 50, about 80 percent of their clients ask for shorter hair. That does not mean short, they are asking that it not break at the shoulders. That's basically my request -- still long enough for a pony tail while I work or a chignon if I feel so inclined and of course down and swingy.

More and more possibilities.
          Now the grey conundrum, after interviewing the rock stars of colorists in Paris who actually count actresses and rock stars among their clients, I came away with a couple of important opinions:

  1.  "It takes guts (actually he said "balls" but I umm translated it to "guts" for propriety) to go grey," Christophe Robin said.
  2. "I think grey hair is beautiful and I love taking women completely grey and then helping them keep it healthy," Rodolphe said.
A "before" and "after" that I'm assuming addresses the "modern" edict.
          On one point they both agree: The style should be "modern."

Emmylou Harris
Ali MacGraw -- her hair is in either a chignon or a French twist.

Daphne Guinness.
Glenn Close.
Dame Helen Mirren.
          Tomorrow I'll show you some of my favorite cuts irrespective of color and a few outstanding products to make hair shine and, one hopes, behave.  Until then, do go here for an interesting makeover story on fresh ways to style grey locks.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Investment Hairstyles

Isn't her hair sublime?
          What a great idea you have given me: Investment hairstyles. I'm sort of operating on "I know them when I see them," but I'll try to explain. . .

          The Requirements:

Françoise Hardy.
Jamie Lee Curtis.

  • Nothing fussy which equals time and energy every morning. Boring and not at all chic.
  • Hair moves naturally, falls into place.
  • It shines with good health. This is easily accomplished with the right products including a deep moisturising mask twice a month.
  • You do not have to wash it every day (ask any Frenchwoman, she doesn't).
  • It's essential to find the cut that is you. The one that flatters your face, makes you feel beautiful and makes your life easier.
  • As for color, there is probably nothing more personal than that decision. I can't weigh-in on that one. Only you can determine the time, budget and upkeep frequency you're willing to devote to that detail. Or, maybe you've decided to go au natural, even grey or white. Good for you.
Charlotte Rampling though it doesn't look like her.
          All the above being said, the trick is to find the hairstylist who will listen to you. I've actually walked up to women on the street -- in Paris, which takes nerve -- and asked women where they got their color or cut. After years of being moderately happy with my ballayage, I finally found a woman near us who listens to me and gives me the light colors I love. (I was told by one of France's most famous colourists when I interviewed him for my book that my hair was too light.  I don't care.)

         I have my hair cut in Paris. 

Lauren Hutton.
Isabella Rossellin

Judi Dench
Juliette Binoche.

Ines de la Fressange.
          What do you think?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back In Business. . .

Happy Un-Birthday to me.
          We live in the country outside Paris. This you know. Consequently -- apparently -- it's "normal" (explain me that as My-Reason-For-Living-In-France would say) that there are occasional problems with Internet service.

         That's what happened to me for two days and then on-and-off until yesterday. It appears all is well now. There is no explanation that can be attributed to the weather. It is absolutely glorious. Outdoor cafes are overflowing. Everyone is smiling. Some people are even swimming in the Atlantic.

         As promised, I want to tell you about last Wednesday, slide on down to the post below please.  You cannot believe how lucky I am. I met two absolutely gorgeous, chic women. One was wearing head-to-toe navy blue -- three-quarter redingote jacket and leggings with an elegant scarf of many colors; the other in burgundy: blouse and cardigan teamed with understated tweedy slim pants and leopard ballerinas. Both had "investment" haircuts which I define as not only absolutely stunning specifically for them, but also simple, ageless, sleek. 

         But, enough about facades. They were sparkling with intelligence, enthusiasm, wit and generosity. I'm hoping this is the beginning of a long friendship. 

Note extraordinarily comfortable seating.
         We had lunch in the Primo Piano restaurant in the Bon Marché department store where the view is charming and thankfully the seats are extremely comfortable. I mention the seating because we were at table for more than five hours. Cliche or not, time does fly when you're having fun.

         As it turned out we did no shopping together, but I had prepared my mission. I presented them with a list of some of my favorite places in Paris and then explained why. I included everything from the world's greatest pharmacy to antique and estate jewelry to special accessories and "must haves" for the home. Oh, yes there were also my special leather goods places, perfume, vintage, buttons and bows . . .plus a list of my can't-live-without products. So much fun.

A toast to the wonders of serendipity.
        If this is what it's like to be a cadeau d'anniversaire for someone, I'm the one who got the best gift.

        So, I thank you both, A. & J., and here's to the magic of new friends.
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