EVEN IN A CHALLENGED ECONOMY that has hit Los
Angeles hard, a good haircut is still a sound investment. Just ask
Raphael Cohen, who hosted the grand opening of Raphael
Haute Coiffure in a neighbourhood and a street (Robertson Boulevard)
that has gradually surpassed Rodeo Drive as the destination for
the latest fashion innovation from Dior, Chanel et al.
Though long, straight one-length hair with highlights has been
regarded as a signature LA style,
Cohen is determined to change that, bringing his European sensibility
to the mix while concentrating on his clients’ ego instead of his.
Though he is noted as a celebrity stylist, he does not engage in
the practice of name-dropping, not only in deference to celebrity
privacy, but also because he wants all of his clients to have an
individual sense of what looks good on them. He wants to be judged
by his own abilities translating to an individual client rather
than whose hair he cuts.
‘I love doing hair because I want to create something that is both
sexy and natural on a woman,’ he says. ‘The LA
look is one that is not cut often and flat-ironed a lot, with no
movement. However, I think individualized looks that
include curly and wavy hair are back to stay because volume and
hair health are more important. Also, if a woman wants to be in
style, the best way to do it is to get a haircut that is easily
style-able but works with her natural texture and the shape of her
Indeed, the models present at his opening reflected an attitude
that is a 180-degree shift from the Malibu Barbie look embraced
in the last decade and more towards looks that were elegant, yet
more natural and less forced. Cohen’s look at this year’s hair ‘tendencies’
reflects that sentiment.
Though it is harder to cut curly and wavy hair, a woman
should invest the time and money with cutters who are more interested
in what looks best rather than the look of the moment.
As your hair completes your style and outfit, a good cut
and colour you can manage at home will trump trends every time.
The big length in right now is just above
the shoulder. Short enough to suggest sophistication but long enough
to put into a ponytail for up-dos.
Cuts give a nod to Hollywood hair of the 30s and 40s, but with a modern twist that can be worn and styled at home in a variety of different ways.
If you’re a brunette, opt for chocolate browns that do
not go too dark; blondes should shift into neutral with shades that
are warm, natural and not bleached excessively. White blonde is
out. Stripey highlights are history.
Layering, when done right, not only creates volume and
movement, but makes highlighting less necessary because the natural
variances of one’s hair colour will come through. The effect should
be shiny and transparent rather than opaque.
Putting clients under a drier when getting a colour applied
may dry out your hair and damage it. Just let the colour set naturally.
Get a cut that reflects your own personality, no matter
what other fashion pundits tell you (i.e. curly hair is less sexy
and professional than straight hair).
If you use shine serums for straightening, use silicon
instead of acrylic based serums. Use sparingly.
Gel mousse styling products are a good bet for curly hair.
Elyse Glickman is US west coast editor of Lucire.