Sassoon Salon recently promoted Lisa Rowell to Creative Director for the Chicago and Northbrook locations. Along with fellow Creative Director, Marilyn Harmon she leads the Chicago Creative Team by teaching and motivating all of the Stylists in both of the salons. She will also be responsible for running in-salon workshops that introduce the latest Sassoon seasonal collections and cutting techniques.
I had the opportunity to get a much needed haircut from Lisa and ask her some questions on Summer hair care. Lisa is very calm, easy going and listened to what I requested. She asked questions about how I like my hair and gave her own suggestions. One thing that she sort of read my mind on – was to make my hair "swingy". My hair is color treated, I am in my 40s, so I the last thing I want is a helmet-like, dry, and "coiffed" look to my hair! I want it swingy!
Sassoon Chicago Color Director Nicole Tabloff has been my go-to girl for several years. She works very creatively with color, yet makes it look very natural, and my "root grow-out" is almost indistinguishable! She gave me highlights (and low-lights to cover gray) several weeks ago, and I love the color, but I was wasting the color on scraggly hair!
Before and After: From scraggly to what I call "Sassoon smooth" Whoosh!
Smooth and "swingy" – Just what I wanted!
SCS: Women always want to know “What’s new” in hairstyling?
Lisa: There are always trends and popular styles, like Posh Spice, but does that work for them? The best style is what works for their hair type and features.
SCS: Do you see any trends that are new or different for summer?
Lisa: Some women want to try shorter cuts, bobs are popular in the summer, or they just ask for something new because it is new season.
SCS: Bangs seem to be popular, but how does that work for women in the summer?
Lisa: Women who wear a heavy bang may sweep them to the side in the summer and keep them off of their face a bit more, just to be comfortable. Women who have curly hair may need a shorter fringe bang. There is no one rule, it all depends on the person’s hair texture.
SCS: You are almost like an artist, sculpting people’s hair.
Lisa: Yes, I do think of hairstyling as an art form. And I like the added reward of making someone look good and feel good about themself.
SCS: Do you have any recommendations on tying hair back, or putting it up in a way to avoid damage?
Lisa: First I would advise to never tied your hair back when it is wet, because this can damage the hair. I’m not that into up-do’s, but a simple sleek pony tail is certainly a fresh and practical look for summer.
SCS: Do you recommend products to keep wild hair smooth in humidity?
Lisa: Curly or coarse hair needs moisture. A leave in conditioner or spray can keep if from getting dry and unruly.
SCS: Are there products/cuts to help limp hair get more body?
Lisa: You would do the same thing in any season. Like a moose or putty to add volume.
SCS: What is the best advise that anyone ever gave you?
Lisa: Well this isn’t directly related to the business, but I think it would be "Live in the Moment". We get so caught up in schedules and never take time to see what’s going on around us.
SCS: Now that’s great advice …that I can use!
Suddenly I am telling Lisa everything about myself, another trait that so many hair stylists seem to acquire – becoming a psychiatrist – while letting people relax in the cutting chair. She told me what she was doing as she is styling with a flat brush. I love this about Sasoon, they want to help you so that you can achieve the same look at home. Christy, a favorite stylist that I would also recommend, once showed me a little trick: you spray hairspray into your hand, and then apply the spray with your fingertips. They have wonderful hair products, for example the Wella shampoo they use smells great, but I never feel pushed to buy products. There is no pressure at Sassoon.
TIPS FROM SASOON COLOR DIRECTOR NICOLE TABLOFF:
SCS: What can we do for color treated hair in the sun, swim, and with extra washings in the summer?
Nicole: To prevent discoloration and dryness from both sun and pool water, it’s crucial to adjust your hair care regimen by using sun specific products with a UV protectant. I recommend the Kerastase Soleil line since it offers a range of terrific products that were specifically created to protect the hair from sun and chlorine exposure.
In particular, Kerastase Soleil Crème UV Defense Active is great for coating the hair prior to being in the sun, which helps to protect from lightening and loss of moisture. And when swimming, I recommend wetting the hair before getting into the pool, applying Kerastase Soleil Gelee Aqua Proof and combing through evenly. Both of these products should be re-applied throughout the day and will definitely help prolong the color.
Another strategy for maintaining color’s radiance is to remove chlorine and buildup on the hair before the actual coloring process. I recommend the Malibu Clarifying Treatment, an in-salon treatment that is applied prior to the color service and removes impurities from the hair.
As for extra washings, try not to overdo it since your natural oils act as a moisturizer. However, with summer activities usually requiring more washings, I’d work a deep conditioner into your hair care routine, such as Kerastase Soleil Masque Creme UV Defense Active.
SCS: Do you adjust color on clients during the summer months?
Nicole: For the warmer months, many of my clients prefer to go brighter and lighter, though it depends on what best suits their complexion, lifestyle and overall look.
Hair will also become lighter naturally when exposed to sun and chlorine. As a result, it’s important to work with the change, to maximize the overall look.
SCS: Is it better to have highlights than single process in the summer?
Nicole: I don’t think one is better than the other — I’d recommend maintaining the color placement that you have prior to summer, since it’s more damaging to drastically change it up. If anything, your hair care regimen should be updated for the hot weather. Think of it as insurance for your hair color.
— Carol Calacci
Photos: SecondCityStyle and Special to Lisa Rowell for before and after shots