Watch Your Tone

by Ricky Allen

Photographs by Felipe Hernandez & Guy Bailey

Vogue Cosmetic Guide

July, 2019 Edition

Watch Your Tone


The secret to eternal youth? Shiny hair in a shade that plays up your best features. Here, the experts share their top tips.

A cut and colour is the quickest way to rejuvenate your complexion and play up your best features. But
before you think about switching shades, be sure to nourish your locks, says colour director Vincent Nobile,
co-owner of Headcase Hair in Paddington, Sydney. A thick, shiny mane will give you a healthy, youthful look, while damaged strands – often the result of broken hair shafts – make for dull, thin hair.

Finding the right colour is a science and an art. In fact, it’s the hardest skill for a hairdresser to learn. A good stylist will help you select a shade that highlights your skin’s most flattering tones and plays down unwanted ones. For instance, says Nobile, “whenever I am colouring a client who has olive skin, I accentuate the beautiful tan-brown tones and mute any yellow ones”.

Nobile often has to rebalance a first time client’s hair colour before he can progress to the final shade. He uses Goldwell dyes, which, he says, create a natural-looking tone that doesn’t damage the hair. As for upkeep, he recommends Virtue Labs products, including the brand’s Recovery Shampoo and Recovery Conditioner.

Each time a client returns to the salon, Nobile will evaluate their colour to ensure it suits the current
condition of their hair. He instantly knows when a woman is stressed, because it affects the health of her hair and how well it tolerates colour (stress makes for a more reactive scalp).

If you are struggling with dull, frizzy or unhealthy looking locks, consider an at-home or in-salon
conditioner – there are some great products around at the moment. Try Goldwell’s “scalp facial”, a salon
treatment featuring the Kerasilk Revitalize range, which includes Ectoin, a natural protectant that shields against oxidative stress, one of the main causes of scalp ageing.

Oxidative stress results from external factors, including UV rays, pollution, chemicals and extreme
temperatures. Product build-up is another cause of premature damage of the scalp, which ages six times
faster than your complexion and 12 times faster than skin elsewhere on the body. This not only affects the
way hair looks, but also how well it absorbs colour.

Stylist John Pulitano, who also co-owns Headcase Hair, has been working behind the scenes at international fashion shows for many years. He says a good stylist will consider all aspects of a person’s appearance, from height to face shape, before recommending a cut. If someone is taller, for example, they will generally carry long hair better than someone short, whose appearance may be overwhelmed by longer locks.

Of course, a hairdresser should also assess the client’s hair type, looking at whether it’s thick or thin, assessing the level of natural curl and whether that curl is frizzy or structured. It’s never a good idea to create a style that goes against the client’s hair type, says Pulitano, as at-home maintenance will be too difficult.

He believes the right hairstyle can be a woman’s most important accessory. And although the length that suits you – long or short – won’t change with the seasons, variants such as fringes and layers come and go. It’s these elements that give a style its personality.

While most women can pull off a fringe, it’s up to your hairdresser to create the right type, whether it’s
a full fringe or a half one, thick, thin, curly or very straight. When Pulitano designs a new style, he always
considers how quick and easy it will be to recreate at home – a client will not come back if their hair looked great when they left the salon but never looked that way again.

It’s a myth that older women always look better with short hair, but if you haven’t changed your style in years, it might be making you look older than you are – even if the look once suited you. A cut and colour
that is ageless – rather than ageing – starts with the right stylist and healthy, happy hair.

Bookings can be made here for Headcase Hair Paddington and Headcase Hair Potts Point.

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