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Lucire: Beauty

Raphael Haute Coiffure Left Models parade as Raphael Haute Coiffure opens on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles.

The post-Raphaelite look

According to A-list stylist Raphael Cohen, the secret to effectively updating your look is being true to yourself by Elyse Glickman
photographed by the author


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 face.’

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.


‘“Individualized” looks that include curly and wavy hair are back to stay because volume and hair health are more important’

—Raphael Cohen

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