Celebrity stylist and major fixture at NY Fashion Week, Allen Ruiz just took home the prestigious title of 2013 North
American Hair Stylist of The Year. Latina Magazine deemed Ruiz one of the Top 10 Latino
Hairdressers in America.
Celebrities Ruiz has worked with include: Leighton Meester, Bonnie Raitt, Sean Colvin, Martie Maguire (Court Yard Hounds, former Dixie Chicks), Emily Robison (Court Yard Hounds, former Dixie Chicks), Dennis Quaid, Lily Cole, Minnie Driver, Jamie King, Olivia Chantecaille.
Cliché: What are your core hair care and/or styling tips for men and women?
Allen Ruiz: Don’t wash your hair every single day. The natural oils that the scalp produces actually contribute to hair and scalp health. Washing your hair daily can leave the hair dry and also contribute to dry scalp. Men think if they have dandruff they should wash their hair more often, yet that along with washing in water that is too hot could actually be making their dandruff problem worse.
Product application is key. So many men and women over-use their product and/or apply it directly onto the head rather than first emulsifying it in their hands and applying it evenly (through roots to ends). Incorrect application of product leaves many with hair that looks greasy, flat, and weighed down.
A big part of maintaining hair health is using the right products. I also think it’s good to give hair some days off. Don’t blow-dry, and/or flat- iron/curl your hair every day. When you are going to use heat styling tools, make sure to apply a pre-styling product with heat protection in your hair beforehand to minimize damage and breakage.
What are the best must-haves at home regarding hair styling products or equipment?
A quality blow dryer with a nozzle attachment like a Twin Turbo, a flat bristle brush like a Mason Pearson, and Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion (which is a very versatile product you can use to “set” hair and create instant texture, volume, and a matte finish). Also dry shampoo, a lightweight and absorbent smoothing serum or crème, and a dry-delivery aerosol hair spray that you can layer to build hold.
What about fun “glitz” to use in the hair for party-time?
Holiday hair is all about the bling. Accessories like thin headbands, barrettes, etc. can also vamp up your everyday style.
Is there such a thing as color trend for hair?
There are definitely color trends. A lot of celebs that previously embraced the whole dramatic ombre trend have now opted for the more subtle Escaille look, which, unless you know what to look for, you might even miss because it is very indistinct and subdued if done correctly. Also known as the “tortoiseshell technique,” the Ecaille features golden highlights that leave hair shiny and sun-kissed, paired with darker, rich caramel tones. Think Jessica Alba, Bar Refaeli, Behati Prinsloo, and Miranda Kerr.
Extensions… men and women… who wears them?
Some celebrities that frequently wear extensions and weaves include: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Jessica Simpson, Bethenny Frankel, and more. They can definitely be used on men and often are for shoots to transform one’s appearance.
What key factors come into play when planning to change the image of a celebrity/hair style?
Key factors include the current integrity of their hair. How damaged and/or how many chemical processes they’ve already done definitely influence what we will or will not try to do.
Give an example of a celebrity with a particular hair “problem” and what you do to achieve the end result.
Cameron Diaz is known for having a thinner/finer hair texture that can fall flat and/or appear stringy. By wearing her hair shorter as she has many times a la a pixie or bob and blowing it out with a medium-sized round brush and a light-weight volumizing tonic, it gives Cameron’s hair the appearance of being a lot fuller.
Is men’s hair actually more difficult to work with regarding style and coming up with new looks?
A male’s hair can definitely be more limiting as far as transformation, say if, for example, Wentworth Miller from Prison Break wanted to take his buzzed style in a different direction, but thanks to wigs, hair pieces, and extensions, as an artist we have many options and can transform anyone from pretty much any starting point.
If you could, what new hairstyle would you give these celebs to create a fresh new image?
For Kristin Stewart, I’d take her shorter, razor cutting her hair with texture and fringe for some much-needed edge and movement. Amanda Seyfriend has the features to pull pretty much any look off and would look great with a chin length bob and super short fringe. Blake Lively: super short a la the pixie style that Charlize Theron wears so well to really play up her gorgeous face. Blake’s skin tone would also work really well with a red or copper-toned hair color.
Dry cutting or wet cutting?
Wet cutting is about creating a foundation in the hair that gives a cut its shape. When I start dry cutting, I start carving in the details and fine-tuning the cut. I don’t think one is better than the other. Quite often I use them both.
For more info about Ruiz and his salon, visit www.RuizSalon.com.