HUEman Behavior

HUEman Behavior

by DailyMakeover

What’s Your Trick?

The other day I was standing at the front desk with my guest as she was getting ready to pay the bill. I am usually with my next guest when the previous is paying so normally I am not around for this part of the salon visit. She asked for the total and it was around $800. She took out her credit card and said to Karl (one of our client coordinators) “Put $250 on the card and I will pay the rest in cash.” She must have seen the curious look on my face because she explained that her husband never questions her salon visits if they are under $300 so for as many years as she can remember she has always only paid for the portion her husband sees (the credit card statement) with her card and the rest cash! This scenario had me wondering; what are the tricks women do to have the salon experience they want without getting into an argument about it at home or work.

Of course I got many responses to the question. There was a lot of answers like they were going to a doctor’s appointment or there was a daycare emergency or that a repair man was coming to the apartment and they needed to be home for it. I was glad to know that not only do I color hair, I am also known as Dr. Backe!

The award for most creative has to go to “Jane”. Jane works at a very popular magazine. She found it very difficult to find the time for her color and haircut with Ted and me. On the day of her appointment she would bring an extra sweater and an extra handbag to work. When it was time to leave for her salon appointment she would change the settings on her screensaver, leave the lights on in her office and strategically place her extra sweater and handbag in a conspicuous place – then sneak out of the office. Anytime people would ask “Where is Jane” the response was “She must be around, all of her stuff is still here”! Genius!! As long as she always had her blackberry she was golden!!!

What tricks have you done to make it to your color appointment? LMK.

Vena Cava Backstage!

If you saw my last post, you know I got the opportunity to color some hair for the Vena Cava show for New York Fashion Week. It’s always fun and exciting to be able to be a part of Fashion Week – especially when I get to see some of my own work on every single girl coming down the catwalk! MAJOR!!!

Well yesterday morning I went with Ted Gibson bright and early to Milk Studios in the Meat Packing District to prep the girls for the show. We had to be there about an hour earlier than originally planned because Ms. Anna Wintour herself requested an early viewing!!! We had to get four girls ready–AND FAST!!!

I got a little bit of the backstage action with Ted as well as his inspiration for the looks captured on my Flip video camera. The girls looked HOT!!! Ms. Wintour thought so too and she specifically commented on how she loved the color in the hair–be still my heart

Anyway I loved the look – hope you do too. Check out the video and LMK.

Vena Cava Prep

When Ted Gibson came home from the Vena Cava test (that’s what they call it when the hair and makeup artists figure out the looks for the show) he said the designers wanted to see a pop of color running through the hair. I, of course, immediately thought about how I could make that magic happen!

I used my Flip camera to show you how I took blond wefts of hair and changed them into vibrant shades of purple, pink and green for Ted to use on the models. I used my new fav consumer product–Streekers–to create the looks AND I have to say I love the results.

Remember–it is right on the money for trend right now to see a little sparkle of color. I loved it and I was told that when Ms. Anna Wintour saw the ribbons of color in the hair, she loved it too!!! Don’t be afraid! Give it a try and LMK.

My Latest Obsession: Platinum Seamless Hair Extensions

About a year ago, I met a woman who was talking about a new product she had created called Platinum Seamless hair extensions. I thought they sounded interesting and by the looks of them in her hair, I thought they looked great. We sent Nancy Jaminion (the extensions goddess at Ted Gibson Salon–she has given extensions to everyone from Gabrielle Union and Anne Hathaway to the recent Kate Gosselin makeover for the cover of People) to the class. She came back feeling like they were a cool product but honestly, I didn’t think about them much after that.

My friend Ron King (who, BTW, owns an amazing salon in Austin, Texas and is opening a second location soon) came to NYC to do some work for Platinum Seamless and offered to come by the salon to do a class. He is so into the product and I thought, what the heck!

Let me tell you something! I AM OBSESSED!!! You know how I am–once I find something that is innovative and unique, I get so inspired I can barely contain myself!!! I made a Flip video during our class. The results are fantastic and a full head takes about an hour (compared to six hours with Great Lengths).

I love them and we have been doing the service like crazy here in the salon (oh and Ted did “breakovers” for The Wendy Williams Show using Platinum Seamless and his very own clip-in extensions).

Check out the video and LMK.

Any product I mention in HUEman Behavior is one that I’ve tested out myself and is in accordance with Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge.

From Valentino to Gaga!


When I saw Tricia Ismail’s post on, I was immediately inspired!!! I have been noticing on runways like the Zak Posen’s and Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2010 Collections and of course on my fave Gaga but it was so great to see that Tricia compiled them all into one place. Check out the link if you are interested.

People come into the salon all the time asking for similar variations of these looks. There are a few different ways you could achieve these pastel to vibrant shades yourself if you are so inclined.

The first is with Streekers. Streekers are temporary hair colors that come in pink, ultraviolet, red, green, yellow, orange, purple and blue. They are super easy to use because they come in a lip gloss like applicator. You can easily add ribbons of any shade into your natural hair color. Because the color is temporary you can change your look as frequently as you like and it will shampoo out after one wash.

You can also buy clip in extensions or have your hairdresser apply a more permanent extension like Great Lengths (the brand we used for Kate Gosselin’s makeover). Extensions, like Streekers, come in so many different colors and will give you the Gaga look you may be gagging for.

There are many hair color brands you can try as well. L’Oreal has an at home color line called Colour Rays that will give you vibrant color results that will stay put. Manic Panic, a semi-permanent hair color, has been a favorite of punk rockers, club kids and teens for years and has a huge selection on colors to kick you up a notch. I was also searching around and found a million how to videos using Kool-Aid for a great pastel tint for hair.

Whatever your desire for fab faux or permanent, colorful, sparkle there are so many options!!! Maybe next week I will post a video trying some out….

What do you think? LMK.

Any product I mention in HUEman Behavior is one that I’ve tested out myself and is in accordance with Daily Makeover’s Editorial Ethics Pledge.

Rihanna Channeling Dionne Warwick?


Dionne Warwick

Photo: © Arnold Turner/WireImage

I only had dinner with Rihanna once. O.K., well maybe we didn’t exactly have dinner together but we were in the same restaurant AND she was only four tables away from me AND we had a moment–she looked right at me and gave me a huge smile–so yes, it counts. After all, I have been at a few lame dinner parties with people and had less interaction…

Anyway, when I had dinner with Rihanna, I couldn’t help but check out her hair and more specifically her hair color. She had just started wearing the blonde on the top–in the moment all I could think about was that bird the guy on the late 70′s TV show had on his shoulder… Baretta, I think. Anyway, she’s a pop star–she can pull off the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo look in a way that is quite chic. I liked it.

Recently, instead of the spiky Cockatoo version she has been wearing it down and curly. Immediately I thought of old school Dionne Warwick!!! Compare the pics… Am I wrong?I think Dionne would be into the imitation as it’s the sincerest form of flattery. After all, That’s What Friends Are For. Right?

I love inspiration –the way I feel when I’m inspired, the different sources–birds on a shoulder or song birds–and I love any modern twist on a retro or classic.

What do you think? LMK.

Kate Gosselin’s New ‘Do!


Just before Christmas Ted came up to me and said “You will never guess who I am doing a makeover on for the cover of People Magazine!!! Kate Gosselin!!!” I naturally said “Don’t you mean the makeover WE are doing???” Hahaha – actually I was blown away by what a great (and super fun) opportunity this was.

I have to admit every time I saw a picture of Kate in a magazine I always thought, what is she thinking with that hair?!?! Since I never saw an episode of the show John and Kate Plus Eight, I really didn’t know anything about her except what I had read on the covers of the weekly magazines.

Kate’s color was, in my opinion, too stripey, the variation had too much contrast and it looked really dated. When we did the consultation for her new color I was completely surprised by the fact that SHE REALLY LIKED HER HAIR!!! During our initial chat she expressed that she wanted to keep the bold variation and that she really loves to see some contrast in her hair. It was my job to A. Make it look different enough that it would have some impact on the cover of a magazine and B. Make it look pretty!

Kate had never had a single process (one color all over everything) before and that is what I decided to do to the base. I wanted to lighten it from the natural medium brown to a medium sandy blonde. After that, I did a gloss to take all of the previous highlights down to a softer, darker blonde. Then I put in a half head of highlights and lowlights to break up the stripes that were there before and make everything a lot softer and more modern looking.

I was thrilled with the color – and so was she! I listened to what she said and kept the bold variation she loved but did it in a way that looked expensive (she laughed when I told her that!) and super sexy. In the end, Kate was so happy with the way I kept the parts of her color she felt identified her and at the same time, gave it a whole new twist.

If you are curious about the whole day – nearly 20 hours? It was a blast. I love Kate, she is charming and funny, she can tell a good story, she is patient and lovely. People like Kate and these kinds of work days take my job from fun to super fun!!!

I love Kate’s new look – What do you think? LMK.

The Hair You Always Wanted

I have a guest at the salon who has been coming to me for about five years to have her hair colored. She has also been seeing various people at the salon to have her hair cut. She is a very well put together woman–great fashion sensibility, pretty skin, nice makeup, good manicure–you know the type. Although she always loved her cut and color, for her entire life she has never LOVED her HAIR.

She is of Northern European decent and has that kind of hair that is fine and limp. On top of that it is also frizzy and would never grow beyond her shoulders. For her, her hair was a combination of frustrations that always made her feel like she had to start the day with a fight!

I guess I was in that fatal rut with her that so many hair dressers and colorists fall into with long time clients. I knew her. I knew what she likes, what she doesn’t like and how far I could push the envelope when she wanted to make a change in her color without seeing her in for an adjustment two days later! Because of that relationship of, I don’t know what to call it–respected boundaries I guess, we were doing variations of a theme for years. Well, the last time she was in it was like I was struck by lightning. We had a serious conversation about her hair and how we could take if from something she had to fight with to her crowning glory.

We recently started doing the La Braziliana Hair Keratin treatment at our salons in NYC and DC. It is an amazing treatment that removes frizz and cuts your blow dry time down by up to 90%, (check out some of my favorite blogs for reviews on treatments in DC, The Make Up Girl and NYC, Beauty Blogging Junkie) so first we did that. No more frizz.

Next I introduced her to Nancy Jiminion–our extensions pro who has done them on everyone from Gabriel Union to Anne Hathaway. She did a half-head of Great Lengths extensions on my client that matched her color perfectly and changed her short, fine hair, to glorious cascading locks that now fall past her shoulder blades. AMAZING!!!!

My point to all this is–with all of the options we have in the salon today, there is no reason to hate your hair. Stop in for a consultation so you can unlock the secrets!!!! Don’t just wish for it, GET IT!

Do you have the hair you’ve always wanted? LMK.

Intercoiffure Inspires!


Last week, I was invited by L’Oreal to be their guest at the Intercoiffure luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. It wasn’t my first time at the event, which is always a showing of who’s who in the hairdressing industry.

This time around the crowd was great! Oribe (who is on the cover of this month’s American Salon magazine–in the pic above, I’m with Lori Morris, editor for the magazine), Vivienne Mackinder, Malcolm Edwards of L’Oreal, Nick Arrojo and John Paul Dejoria of Paul Mitchell were there along with my friend Scott Buchanan, owner of the Scott J Aveda Concept Salons. In addition to being one of the most successful people in the industry Scott has always been a huge inspiration to me as a man, a professional and an entrepreneur. The presentations done by L’Oreal, Paul Mitchell and Gina Khan, the spokesperson for Logics, were pretty incredible and I captured some of the models on my Flip camera to show you.

John Paul said something that really inspired me and I have repeated it to my staff, my clients and myself at least a thousand times. “The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is simple. Successful people are willing to do all of the things unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.” Every time I clean the toilet at the salon or get up at 5:00 am to take the train to the salon in DC, I remind myself it is all contributing to my future success–and I am so grateful for it.

When you watch the video you can see the passion, inspiration, vision and talent all of these people share. The hair is sometimes a little over the top, but it is intended to be. The hair is transformed into gigantic ribbons that look like sheets of wood or intricate ropes tied into up-dos–not so hairdressers will literally bring that to the salon, but to show us there are no limits. It was very exciting and so much fun to be invited.

What was the last quote or phrase you heard that really inspired you? I’m interested to hear–LMK.

Recessionista Tuesdays!


Bargain Hunting? Photo:
Sara Stasi

When I was in LA for Academy Awards weekend, I really wanted to make myself feel a little better with some retail therapy. Ted and I hopped in the rental car and drove down to the South Coast Plaza. We thought it would be fun to do a little shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue – it’s the only credit card we had a little room on (don’t tell Susie Orman – or my mother for that matter!). When we walked in and started strolling around, there was nothing on sale! I couldn’t believe it – NOTHING! Needless to say, highly disappointing. We got so used to sale shopping during the holidays I couldn’t even imagine paying full price – so we left Saks and went to Bloomingdales. TONS of stuff on sale – jackpot!!!! (Even better news, we don’t have a Bloomies card and paid CASH for our bargains)

That whole experience made us do some questioning. If we were willing to walk out of a store we love shopping at because there were no bargains, what are women thinking about visiting a high end salon in NYC? We know there are a million options in Manhattan for women to get amazing hair, what were we going to do to make sure the women who choose to spend their money with us feel like it’s worth it? In so many ways it is time for those of us in the service industry to step up our game.

In addition to giving great hair services (which honestly is a given – women shouldn’t be wondering if they are going to leave the salon looking gorgeous, they should know it) and fabulous customer service in a chic yet unpretentious environment we have to do more. We give a complimentary hand massage while color is processing. We do a scalp neck and shoulder massage with every hair cut. We offer complimentary beverages and have menus from all of the restaurants in our neighborhood so our guests can order anything they like for lunch – from Indian to Sushi or a grilled cheese with bacon from the diner!

Ultimately, we know during this economic crunch we are all looking for a bargain. We wanted to think of a way to give the girls more bang for their buck. We put on our thinking caps to find a way we could keep the girls that are coming happy and to bring new guests in that haven’t been to the salon before. All of a sudden it hit us like a ton of bricks! Recessionista Tuesdays! If you haven’t heard of the Recessionista, she is the Fashionista who is suddenly very aware of the economy and even more aware of where she is spending her money.

On Recessionista Tuesdays everything is $75. MAJOR. All haircuts – whether you go to the junior stylist or most senior – $75 (normally $95-$175). All single process colors and partial highlights – whether you go to the junior stylist or most senior – $75 (normally $100 – $225). And blow outs are $40 (normally $85)! We are so excited and have gotten a huge response! March 10th is our first Recessionista Tuesday and we have CNN and NYC’s ABC affiliate, Chanel 7 coming to do stories and interviews. As an extra special fun perk, anyone can stop by the salon between 10 and 12 to enter a drawing for a complimentary cut/color makeover with Ted and me (worth over $1100!!). I am so excited I can barely stand it! I am also very proud of us for thinking outside the box and figuring out a way for the girls to feel pretty during a time that a lot of people are not feeling so pretty. What are you doing to feel fabulous in a frumpy economy? LMK