I’m having so much fun with my new (and absolutely fantastic) position as the Los Angeles (and Hollywood) correspondent for a big group of magazines which includes (among others) a high end fashion magazine (Gloria Glam), a gourmet magazine (Delicije), a celebrity magazine (Gloria) and another fashion magazine (Gloria In). A story I wrote for the December issue of Gloria Glam took me inside of the world I would have otherwise never entered: the world of Hollywood’s celebrity hair colorists. When I started researching, I was stunned with the fact that there are people in this city who pay $400 for hair color. But what I learned is that the star colorists won’t even start work for that amount. Largely depending on the services, their work goes for around $800 or more. Some of those colorists are such big stars that I had to go through their agents and PR people if to get an interview.
I learned that their mastery lies in making you look younger, with hair that looks healthy, naturally gorgeous and not colored. Which is, as it turns out, not that easy. Totally clueless about hair color, I learned a fascinating fact that there are special techniques to achieve a natural, sun kissed look, such as balayage (an old French hand painted technique), ombre (lighter ends), sombre (more subtile sombre), regular highlights (using a tinfoil), the list goes on. Never noticing much about hair color before, I am now able to recognize the work of a master. And I hate admitting it but it does make a difference.
It was fun speaking to those famous colorists in their beautiful salons, and learning about their art and their passion. That’s what really struck me – they are all genuinely passionate about their work, and it’s that passion, combined with their creativity, that makes them into real artists. This is why the list of their clients includes starts like Cameron Diaz, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie.
What was also very interesting is how different their approaches are: Negin Zand, who is a partner at “Benjamin with Negin Zand” (in WEHO), is famed for speed – her famous balayage will take only 15 minutes. Her recognition that “people generally don’t like sitting at the hairdressers,” surely won her loyalty of many customers. Johnny Ramirez, who opened his salon in Beverly Hills, has the opposite approach – when booking the first appointment you have to fill out a long questionnaire which will ask you for a few of your current pictures and some of your wish color. His website will inform you about how much time you’ll need: “Typically, first time appointments will last 5 hours or more. We would like to remind you that in one day Johnny will be able to achieve your goal color, a process which usually takes months. This is a time consuming process, and we strive for nothing less than perfection. Johnny highly recommends booking your appointment on a day you have no timing restrictions to avoid stress for you or our team.” (Your team, ladies!) I also spoke to Dawn Tracey at “Meche” (Beverly Hills). I asked her a daring question: what will happen with all of them when highlights come out of fashion and people start asking for single (and simple) color. She explained that this would never happen because highlights make you look younger and that’s ultimately what everyone wants.
Oh yes, we do. Especially if we live in Los Angeles.
Welcome to my crazy new world.