Gorgeous Body But An Ugly Face To Protect It

Fashion seems to work from the head down

By Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: October 10, 2011

Gorgeous Body But An Ugly Face To Protect It

We recently had an opportunity to attend a national hair designer show and I have come to realize that contemporary hair care, traditionally for women and now for men, is becoming more and more of a science while remaining a multibillion-dollar-a-year-industry. Experts say that the industry is almost recession proof and is one of the most expanding professions of the future. It seems that America and other industrialized nations have no shortage of ugly people who needs to be gussied up in order to find a mate, or whatever.

I was reluctant to attend the conference with my wife, a San Francisco salon owner, because I feared the confab would be a trans-gender fun fest and I would be considered eye candy. Nothing could be further from the truth for a lot of reasons . . . most notably my looks. And the sharks were out in full force. I overheard one stylist saying about another as she walked by, "She has a gorgeous body. Too bad she has an ugly face to protect it." I was also informed that: "Shoes cannot be considered cute if they don't hurt your feet."

The conference consisted of a series of workshops and booths selling the latest in high tech products for hair and skin care: shampoos, conditioners, gels, mud, spritz, and creams from around the world. I am now acutely aware that these products are our front line defense against age and public not-so-cuteness. This call to arms reminded me that politics is actually "show business" for ugly people.

The convention center was filled with hundreds of very attractive women of all ages and nationalities. There were very few men. The ratio of women to men seemed to be 100 to 1. I suddenly realized that a straight male stylist is close to being a genius. The women took tremendous pride in looking hip and well-coiffured. It seemed to me that they were dressed up to impress each other while some of the younger ones were, and I quote, "Simply chewing it. Toe rings, streaked hair, navel rings . . . you already know honey."

The show featured platform artists sponsored by various hair companies who, like Vegas lounge acts, demonstrated various hair-cutting techniques on stage - much like a performing artist with a purpose and a real job. They would cut long hair, straighten curly hair, curl straight hair, and razor-layer-cut stunned skinny models every which way but loose.

Hair stylists have an important place in this society. Their influence is underrated. They, in many cases, act as hair therapists. A good hair designer can assess your skin tone, facial structure and eye color. That stylist can then give you a look that will bring out your best attributes, even if you don't have any.

The trend in hair-art these days is "highlights" for lowlife men and normal women: streaks of different colors that accentuate, lift and/or soften your look. Cuts are now done in such a way as to create movement by looking disheveled while maintaining a precision cut line at the base. I also learned that the overall objective of the "messy look" is to give the appearance that you empirically happen to wake up gorgeous for no apparent reason.

Here are some things you need to know:

In order to do a perm, the hair needs to be wound around the curler more than once to curl.

Perms are back for men in order to give hair lift - and, thankfully, no one is trying to bring back the Monte Rock afro.

And always get one of the free gift bags and fill it up with as much free stuff as possible.

What am I now, a Pachuco Paul Mitchell?

There seems to be a regional hierarchy when it comes to hair designers. And there are designer divas whose names are like royalty: Beth Manardi, Nick Chavez (whom I have interviewed) and many others that have literally invented new types of cuts and products that are copied around the world. Good hair does not happen by accident and a new look can actually make you feel better about yourself. These artists study geometry, physics, and color theory just so someone will dance with your plain-Jane-looking self at the club.

There are different levels of hair artistry: beautician, hair cutter, hair stylist, hair designer, and platform artist. That being said, a haircut can run from $8 to $500 based on this formula. Needless to say, you get what you pay for.

"Fashionably late? Look again, honey"

If and since ones hair defines ones look, then clothes become secondary. In other words, fashion seems to work from the head down. The hair people seemed to be able to match their outfits to compliment hair and eye color. A good-looking, hip stylist who models his/her work is the best form of advertisement.

So, if your barber looks like Anthony Weiner or your beautician like Jan Brewer, please don't hate. Spend a few bucks and go to someone cute. It's well worth the investment.

About Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez, Contributing Editor:
Edited by Susan Aceves
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