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How to Tell a Good Haircut

Aug 17, 2007
I believe in beautiful hair, not beautiful haircuts. To me the test of a hair style lies not in how much you do to your hair, but how little.

At the start of this article I feel I must make clear that I don't subscribe to most of the popular beliefs, superstitions, taboos and practices in relation to hairdressing. I say these things not to startle the reader or to present myself as a rebel or an eccentric, but because I sincerely believe that a statement of my basic beliefs about hair styling and hair care is necessary to a thorough understanding of the paragraphs that follow.

I am convinced that beautiful hair is within the reach of any woman once she understands that it can be achieved by working with nature, not against it. In other words, your haircut should be based on the type and texture of your hair and the amount of natural wave or curl it possesses.

The success of such a haircut will rest on the natural qualities of your hair. It will not depend on the skill of a hairdresser who twists and distorts it into patterns it was never intended to follow, and which, furthermore, it will refuse to follow within a day or two after it has left the hairdresser's hands, no matter how much time you are willing to spend in trying to make it conform to the unnatural lines that have been forced upon it.

All during my professional life I have worked to emancipate women from the need for continuous hair care. The object is to enable every woman to take advantage of the natural qualities of her hair, whatever they may be. When you do this, and select a style suited to your face and features, the upkeep should be negligible.

What I am doing is to reverse the popular view of hair styling so that women will depend more on hair cutting for their good looks rather than hairdressing.

Within the framework of this idea, I have throughout the years sought to include more types and textures of hair, and different types of faces and features, in this "charmed circle." Following one straight path in this direction, I have always rejected any kinds of haircuts that would present difficult or complicated hair problems to the wearers.

For years I have put thought, study and experimentation into trying to simplify life for my customers. I want to give each one of them a haircut that will keep her out of my salon for six or eight weeks, until she needs a new haircut.

Between visits her hair should be a source of pleasure to her not only because it looks well but because it is easy to take care of. It should not be a nuisance, a chore or a disappointment. This is what I mean by emancipation. It's not as simple as it seems.

When a woman gets her hair done, the whole procedure no doubt seems very simple to her. We have a little preliminary discussion, I wield my shears, and there is the finished product. Actually, though you may never have thought of it in this way, the process of going to a hair stylist is like buying an industrial product such as a television set.

You may choose the set because it has a handsome cabinet, but what really counts in the set is the knowledge of engineering that has produced its inner parts and assures their successful operation. To carry this analogy along, a good haircut is one that presents a beautiful exterior like the television cabinet but which also has been "engineered" by the hair stylist so that it's going to be simple to operate.

You don't want to keep sending your TV set to a shop for constant and costly repairs. In the same way, you should demand a haircut that will not entail extensive daily care or a weekly visit to the beauty parlor. The results of my years of "engineering" in hair styling I have tried to pass on.
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