hair stylist

Behind the Look: Ted Gibson


We're excited to introduce Ted Gibson, celebrity hairstylist, salon owner, and beauty guru! Ted is known for working with celebrities such as Jessica Chastain, Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o, and Idina Menzel (or shall we say Adele Nazeem).  Honored to have him do my hair several times, I'm excited to introduce you!  Warning: You might think twice about washing your hair after you read.

What’s your beauty philosophy?

My tagline is “Beauty Is Individual” and I always say #HairChangesEverything. I believe in both of these philosophies so much that I’ve built my business around them.

What's a must-have in your kit?

I MUST have my Mason Pearson boar bristle brush, curling irons in multiple sizes, baby powder, French hair pins and extensions in different colors and lengths for my Gibson girls.

Have you discovered any new products lately that you find impressive?

I’m loving Nutrify Skin Type 1-6 Universal Tonic. It makes my skin feel AMAZING!

Spill your best beauty advice.

Beauty is THE best pick-me-up. If you’re feeling a little down, you’ll be surprised at how much a new hairstyle and a little lip color can make you feel so much better!

What’s the one tip or trick that you think all women should know?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – do not wash your everyday! This season’s hair is all about texture – which is hard to achieve with freshly shampooed hair! Plus, over shampooing your hair can also cause your scalp to produce more oil. You should shampoo your hair no more than 3x per week.

Want more Ted? Be sure to follow him on Instagram for updates of his latest beauty adventures!

Behind the Look: Charles Baker Strahan

charles-baker-strahanBesides coifing celebs and models like Leighton Meester, Kathy Griffin,  Lauren Conrad, Lily Aldridge and Molly Sims, I've also had the privilege of having my hair done by Charles Baker Strahan, Celebrity Hairstylist for Herbal Essences.  He's one of the most genuine people in the biz and truly, I mean truly, knows his craft.  His beauty philosophy is so well thought out, it might make you think twice about your hair the next time you leave the house.

Describe the most exciting project you’ve worked on lately. There are so many varied experiences that I have had and that I am truly grateful for. From being the celebrity stylist for Herbal Essences, to being on the E! Series "Scouted" and other on-camera experiences, and even the transformational color/cutting work I get to do in the salon - it's all so exciting.

My current highlight is working with Kathy Griffin on set for the E! Fashion Police.  We have had a relationship for over four years now, which is hard to believe how fast time flies, but our relationship has evolved and she gives me a lot of freedom to change her color and cut and style her hair in so many different ways. The show gives me the license to kill and I'm determined to make her hair different every episode!

What’s your beauty philosophy? Beauty and truth are constantly evolving. The greater the relationship I have with my clients and the more that I know them and their "essence,” the easier it is for me to open up their esthetic and show them how the physical expression of beauty is the truth of the moment they are in.

I love showing people how far they can stretch themselves and how varied they can be in that expression. Beauty and your physicality are your unspoken ways of telling the world around you who you are and how you would like to be received. Be intentional in your choices but open to the possibilities of how you can change. Being fluid with your identity lends to being graceful and that is truly beautiful in any situation.

  1. What are your top five must-haves in your kit and why?  Herbal Essences Naked Volumizing Soufflé – it is an ultra-light and flexible mousse ideal as a base product to do just about anything
  2. Herbal Essences Wild Naturals Illuminating Dry Oil – helps to restore taxed and tired follicles needing shine and softness
  3. Boar bristle round brushes - they polish the cuticle and create shape that allows hair to have life and movement which is essential
  4. GHD Air Blowdryer - the tri-zone technology provides even heat that reshapes the hair but doesn't "cook" it. So, if you straighten the hair you can go back and add curl after
  5. Marcel Irons Hot Tools – you can be more dexterous with them – I can do almost anything with these


Have you discovered any new products lately that you find impressive?

The things most important to me and impressive are the ones that have been around forever. However, I do love it when they take a product and update it, like dry shampoo. Dry shampoo has changed SO many people’s “hair life” in the last few years!

Spill your best beauty advice. The thing I tell EVERYONE is not to try too hard. If you have a look that you are going for, use it as inspiration but leave room for the unexpected. Watch how your hair is responding to what you are doing without judgment and you might suddenly find that what's happening is better than what you were initially going for.

Also, my favorite aha moment is when someone was caught in the rain or they are running late and don't have time to “do” their hair so their hair has the chance to just do its thing and ends up looking great. Be easier on yourself - chances are you'll learn to embrace your uniqueness instead of lamenting why you don't look like someone else. You're always going to be you!

What’s the one tip or trick that you think all women should know? If you just took a hot shower and turned your bathroom into a tropical rain forest, don’t try and style your hair in that environment!

Put your product in your hair while it's still wet. Use the water in the hair to give you an even distribution and wring out the excess moisture before letting it dry. If you are spending most of your effort blow drying really wet hair with a round brush, you are mostly just wearing yourself out. Let the product do its thing and this will likely cut your styling time in half.

It’s also important to remember heat changes the shape of hair and coolness sets it in. So when heat styling, let your hair cool in order to lock in your style.

Keep up with Charles Baker Strahan on Twitter and Instagram.

Behind the Look: Ken Paves

ken-pavesMeet Victoria and David Beckham's hairstylist, Ken Paves.  Yes, he works with the sexiest people in the world.  I love his philosophy on beauty and his hot tool recommendations may make you think about replacing yours.

Describe the most exciting project you’ve worked on lately. My new hair care range, Ken Paves You Are beautiful available at Walmart.

What’s your beauty philosophy? The most beautiful a woman can be is confident. She must embrace and celebrate her individual and unique beauty and be her own definition of beautiful.

ken-pavesWhat are the top five must-haves in your kit and why?

  1. Sulfate free, paraben free, dye free, and synthetic fragrance free shampoo and conditioner regime like my Ken Paves You Are Beautiful Range
  2. Mason Pearson mixed bristle brush
  3. Super Solano Blow Dryer
  4. A hooked elastic band for ponytails
  5. Flexible hold hair spray. I can create any look on any hair type with these five tools.

Ken-PavesHave you discovered any new products lately that you find impressive?

Mine of course. I also love the new Unite flat iron, it is great for creating a variety of texture from straight to wavy!

Spill your best beauty advice. Break all the rules!

What’s the one tip or trick that you think all women should know? How to work with their own natural texture and love it!!! For every day hair, I love a cut that works with your natural texture that you can air dry and it looks great!

Look for Ken Paves on the sixth season of Biggest Loser makeovers soon!  You can also follow him on Twitter here.

Behind the Look: Jenny Cho

jenny-choWelcome to “Behind the Look” – a new feature that showcases the talent behind the looks we love – the real celebrities in my eyes.  

Stylist Jenny Cho works regularly with leading ladies including Jennifer Lawrence, Amanda Seyfried and Jennifer Garner.  Not only should you read this interview to get to know her, but also because her best piece of advice is to, "Keep it dirty."  My kind of girl!  Enjoy!

Describe the most exciting project you’ve worked on lately.

It seems like every project is as exciting as the last one so it's hard for me pick just one!

What’s your beauty philosophy?

Be your own kind of beautiful.

What are the top five must-haves in your kit and why? 

jenny-choSuave Professionals Touchable Finish Lightweight Hold Hairspray – I love this hairspray because it locks in style without leaving hair stiff or crunchy.

Suave Professionals Natural Infusion All Day Body Leave -In Foam with Seaweed – Effortless waves is one of my favorite styles and this leave-in foam helps you get it. I’ll usually apply this foam to towel-dried hair before blowing it dry for added volume and movement.

harry-josh-flat-ironHarry Josh Pro Tools Flat Iron – It’s important to invest in a good hair dryer and straightener, and Harry Josh makes excellent ones.

Hot Tools 2-inch Curling Iron – I can do almost anything with this iron, whether it’s beachy or wavy hair, adding body, or giving a slight bend.

Ibiza CX1 Brush – I'm really loving this brush right now. It's amazing for detailing hair.

Have you discovered any new products lately that you find impressive? I'm seriously so impressed and in love with the new Suave Professionals products for 2015, but you’ll have to wait till January! Lots of exciting innovations to come!

Spill your best beauty advice. Keep it dirty. Don't wash your hair every day; second-day hair is always better for styling. Second-day hair doesn’t have to mean greasy though!

What’s the one tip or trick that you think all women should know?

One tip that every woman should know is having gorgeous hair is healthy hair. Keep your hair in good condition by using weekly deep conditioning treatments and follow up with regular trims. It doesn't have to be every 6-8 weeks, but you can tell when your hair doesn't behave and move the right way. That's when you know you need to put a little life back into that hair of yours, and get to the salon!

You can follow Jenny Cho on Instagram and Twitter to see all of her work.

The "It" Haircut: A Fashion Forward Bob

Known for being the stylist to the Kardashian sisters (Khloe's completely obsessed with her), I recently sat in Jen Atkin's chair at a Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy event at the Royalton Hotel in NYC.  As she texturized my pin straight hair in a way only she could, we chatted about the "it" cut, the one she just gave to Jessica Alba the week before.

"It's all about having hair at a bob length anywhere between the chin and the shoulders right now," Atkin explained.  What was so special about Alba's is that it was slightly, just slightly longer in the front and styled with texturized ends to give it an edge.  "It's a fashion forward bob," she claimed.

BYOB to Prevent Your Hair Color from Fading

Last week I sat in the chair of Kyle White at Oscar Blandi, a celebrity colorist who I recently worked with for New York Live.  As he was going through his tips for making hair color last longer (don't shampoo daily, use a thermal protector, etc), one really stood out – BYOB. No, not booze, brush.  Bring your own brush!   Allow me to explain. The number one problem people who color their hair face is fading.  As a brunette, I can tell you that the orangish shade my hair color turns is not flattering.  Orange isn't even a hair color!  Blondes fade to whitish, which is OK, because platinum blonde is still at least considered a hair color and red heads fade out to a coppery shade, which again, isn't ideal, but at least its in the same color family.  Therefore, if you're a brunette like me, sorry, we have it the worst.

Whenever you dry your hair at home make sure you're using a natural bristle brush.  Metal brushes are our hair's worst enemy.  It comes as no surprise that metal conducts heat, which is why when we use them, our blow outs come out so smooth and are done so quickly.  However, the heat also fades our hair color at a rapid pace while causing damage to our strands.

I visit blow out bars regularly and you know what?  They're all trained to use metal brushes, because they allow the stylist to get the quickest results and turn their chairs over. Whenever you go get your hair done or if you frequent a dry bar type of place like me, BYOB – bring your own brush. Yes, it will take the stylist twice as long to do your hair, but you they won't be frying it or sacrificing your color.  As Kyle said, "Think about that black shirt that fades each time you throw it into the dryer."


National Donate Your Hair Day, Get Involved with Pantene for A Cause

I'm so excited to announce that I'm partnering with Pantene to help spread the word about National Donate Your Hair Day on September 7th.  Now, this isn't just another reason for the beauty industry to celebrate.  I'm sure you've heard of Pantene Beautiful Lengths, but what you may not have known is that they have a partnership with the American Cancer Society.  We're asking you to "Pony Up" and donate your ponytail to make real-hair wigs available at no-cost to women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.  Read on to learn how you can donate and help spread the word. Plus, there's a special opportunity in here for a BeautySweetSpot reader!

While there are many different ways you can donate your hair to create wigs, I've always been a supporter of Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program, because you know exactly where your hair goes. In 2010, best friend Melanie wanted to donate her hair.  I recommended this program and covered it on BeautySweetSpot (see her experience here) to encourage others to do the same.  After all, since 2006, Pantene has donated more than 28,000 free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks, which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country.

Looking to donate your hair?  Here are the qualifications.  When I cut 10" off of my hair in February I, unfortunately, wasn't able to donate it, because it was dyed so frequently.  If you are interested in donating and qualify, I'm looking for a BeautySweetSpot reader to join me in NYC on Saturday, September 7th at Pantene's NDYHD event!  You'll receive a fresh new cut by a Pantene celebrity stylist (just in time for fall) and be featured in Pantene's video documentary that'll capture your journey. (Note: reader must live in the tristate area).

Comment below and let me know if you'd like to join me on Sept. 7th and donate your hair!  Unable to donate?  No worries, you can still get involved by pledging to donate next year or by Tweeting their support for the program @Pantene using #BeautifulLengths.

Oribe Talks Working with Kate Upton for Italian Vogue & Dishes How to Get Those Waves

As soon as I laid eyes on Kate Upton's Vogue cover I had to know how to achieve the seductive, yet sophisticated look of old hollywood glamour.  It's captivating.  Of course, it's also Kate Upton, but I needed to get the dirt.  Hairstylist to the stars, Oribe was on set at the Marilyn Monroe suite at the Waldorf-Astoria for the shoot with makeup artist, Pat McGrath. The glamorous tone was set and the two worked their talents.  I spoke with Oribe to find out more about working with this new Vogue cover girl and exactly how to achieve those sexy waves. What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think Vogue cover girl?

What’s great about Italian Vogue is that they use models instead of the same celebrities over and over. It’s very special for a young model like Kate to be chosen, and it’s also really special for the hairdresser working on the shoot.

Have you ever worked with Kate Upton before?  What was she like to work with?

I’ve worked with her several times and love her.  She’s great on set – a lot of fun and a little quirky.  She reminds me of the Jayne Mansfield of this era.

What was your inspiration?  

The shoot was very Helmut Newton-inspired.

What's your secret to getting her hair so full and wavy?

I used a 1-inch curling iron and my Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray for the curls.  The spray is an amazing styling product that helped me to create a curl that had hold, even when brushed out.  Steven Meisel, the photographer, wanted her hair to look very full, I used my Dry Texturizing Spray to create the necessary volume.

Who did you collaborate with to come up with her glamorous, old Hollywood look?

Steven Meisel had the concept in mind – it was very Helmut Newton inspired. I worked closely with him, Pat McGrath, the makeup artist, and Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, the fashion stylist, on the finished look.




How to Style Your Hair According to Fall's Hottest Fashion Trends

While I focus on beauty, like any girl, I'm obsessed with fashion and love flirting with trends! This seasons black and white prints, leather whether faux or real, baroque black and gold embellishment and of course oxblood are right up my alley.  I love how oxblood is new simply because of the name... let's face it, we've all been wearing maroon for quite some time, oxblood is sexy maroon.  I spoke with Sebastian Stylist, Anthony Cole, who worked backstage the Alice + Olivia fall fashion show amongst others to get the scoop on how to style your hair to compliment fall fashion trends.

Touches of Leather

Leather is a subtle yet exciting addition to any outfit. Whether it’s gloves, pants, a skirt or the sleeves on your top - it will be everywhere this fall.  According to Cole, “When you’re wearing leather it gives you an excuse to sex up the hair.  Go for messy waves.”

Bold, Colorful Statements

This fall, don't shy away from color.  Mix and match your brights for the perfect bold statement. One way to stand out from the crowd is with a colorful coat. “When transitioning from summer to fall, coats are constantly coming on and off. I recommend putting hair up to avoid any tugging, says Cole.  Try a high chic bun.

Military Tactics

Camo jackets and cargo pants made their way down the runway once again. Cole has the breakdown on how to wear a classic hair style to offset this tough look.  "I always like a look that's clean and sleek," he says.  Here's the how to:

1.      Blow dry the hair using a round brush for added volume.

2.       Then, separate into two horizontal sections, one from the top of the head to the recession and one from under the crown and take the hair from under the crown and slick the sides back into a tight ponytail using Sebastian Professional Shine Crafter Wax.

3.       Take the remainder of the hair on top and spritz Sebastian Professional Shaper Zero Gravity to the roots, backcombing  to create a low pompadour.

4.       While backcombing the top portion of the hair, take one of the longer pieces from the top and wrap it around the low ponytail and secure with a pin for a chic updo.




Celebrity Stylists Jen Atkin Dishes the Secret to Beautiful Hair

Celebrity Stylist, Jen Atkin has her hands in everyone's hair in Hollywood working with  leading ladies and men including George ClooneyPenelope Cruz, Emma Stone, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba and Nicole Richie to name a few.  Atkin dishes about working with Sofia Vergara for the Met Gala and her number one tip for strong, beautiful hair, which is why she's now the spokesperson for Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy.

What do you like better, working with the women or the men?

The one thing I've noticed is all of my clients, regardless of who they are, want to feel confident and beautiful. I feel really lucky being able to do what I do and collaborate with them, try different looks, and recommend the right products, to help bring out their own style.

Do you like that being a stylist has given you the opportunity to work with both women and men?

Whether a man or a woman, my clients get all of my attention.  It's a lot of fun working with both men and women.  The whole process of getting to know people, listening to them, and finding a mutual vision for what they want their hair style to be is always exciting and rewarding.

Who have you worked with lately and what did you do?

I had the opportunity of working with Sofia Vergara for the 2012 MET Ball. She is a great client and friend of mine, so we always have a fun time working together. I thought she looked stunning in her Marchesa dress.

What's the number one request you receive from your female clients?  How do you achieve it? 

Women want to look and feel confident, and hair is a big part of that. Whatever look they’re going for, my clients all want strong, beautiful hair.  And to get them there, I tell my clients start at the source: the roots. I love the Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy line of shampoos and conditioners because it gently cleanses & nourishes the scalp and hair, creating the right foundation for strong, beautiful hair. This makes styling a lot easier!