New year, new ’tude

Written by Brian Toohey.

It was a Saturday morning and the Warren Tricomi Salon was just getting started. I noticed a new client on my column, Jennifer Kean, coming up from Manhattan. I wondered how she found her way to me.  Her appointment was for mid-afternoon so I would know soon enough.  

I wondered if she would feel overwhelmed as she walked through the large glass doors and suddenly found herself in this other world with a steady beat of music, the hum of blow dryers, all wafting up to the high ceilings, and all the current fashion on full display.  I know it can be intimidating when someone new arrives at the salon.  As they usually are, the front desk was welcoming towards Jennifer and the manager, Dana Duff, took the time to introduce us. At first glance, I sensed that Jennifer was someone I could work with.  

As an assistant escorted her to the changing room, I thought about my approach to working with her. I had an idea I wanted to draw on, one that would be most natural for her.  Just then she appeared and, as she walked towards me, I noticed she was a lovely young woman with natural grace and poise. We smiled as I invited her to be seated in my chair.  Before the consultation began, I let her know that I understood the environment can be overwhelming on the first visit and assured her she was going to receive the best possible care and that my attention would be toward her and making her comfortable.  She agreed it was like walking into another world as we both laughed. As the consultation began, there was a recognition we were in this other world together. I asked Jennifer how she came to me and she explained that her mother had read about me and suggested she schedule an appointment with me during her next visit up from the city.

I am sharing this experience with you now so you might see how a new style can happen for you as well. My approach is to pay attention to the details. Jennifer’s hair was too long to have any movement and did not allow for the light to reflect her soft, golden highlights. A shorter cut was appropriate.

Jennifer agreed as I started cutting her hair first a bit longer and continued gradually to shorten the length until it would release a natural light and movement, gaining body and swing. We were both surprised to see how much body her hair had. What we were creating was a soft, mid-length bob with a lift in the back.

The perfect style for Jennifer was there right before our eyes. It was a beautiful style created simply by paying attention to all the details and accessing the hidden beauty that was always there.

I get great satisfaction seeing this unfold. I observe the process as if I am watching someone else do the work. I am confident that Jennifer’s new haircut will grow in beautifully. I think of it as growing in rather than growing out, because I believe that when shaped with the proper care, the cut continues to grow and evolve through every stage.

Coincidently, that evening I went to see the movie “Allied,” starring Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt. When Marion’s character appeared on screen, I was struck by how much her hair resembled the style I just created for Jennifer. Jennifer’s style was more current, as “Allied” is a period piece, but the same simple elegance and flair were there, uncontrived and beautifully shaped. A great haircut is always timeless.

I saw a similar look on Jennifer Lawrence on the cover of Vanity Fair. This new bob with a soft, natural elegance has a free-and-easy feeling that lets the hair move in an unconstructed way.

We will see many new looks in 2017 as the wheels of fashion keep turning.  For hair, it is obvious that a freer spirit is on the horizon — less contrived and fun to wear.

After an intense 2016, the desire to let go and express your vision of change is more important than ever. I know from experience that these moments often generate more creativity.

I expect fashion to move along as it always does, full of wonderful surprises. It can prove to be the best time to think of a fresh new look. In 2017, why not express yourself as you feel free and let the creative forces that are in all of us come through?  As for me, I want to keep paying attention to details and let the big things take care of themselves.  

Happy New Year and, as I like to say, treat your hair with love and it will never leave you.

Visit Brian at Warren Tricomi Salon, 1 E. Putnam Ave., Greenwich. To book an appointment with him, call 212-262-8899.

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