It doesn't take a genius to know that every woman wants her hair to look good on a day-to-day basis. Female
consumers alone spend billions of dollars each year on products to curl, straighten, color, highlight, add body, smooth frizz, thicken,
moisturize and otherwise perfect the look they desire for their hair. But while looking great on any given day is a common goal for today's
woman, sometimes you want something extra special.
These are the once a year (or once in a lifetime) occasions where you have the opportunity to pull out all
the stops and look as glamorous and gorgeous as any movie star (or fairy tale princess). It could be your high school prom, a holiday gala, or
simply a rare black-tie event. The definition of "special occasion" is largely the purview of the person involved, but if you feel that
attending an event calls for obtaining a new dress and spending extra time on your makeup, you can be pretty sure that it's a special occasion.
I know that some women don't feel it necessary to get a fancy hairstyle for a special occasion. They feel
that their hair looks good normally, and that a simple up-style will serve them well. Given the prices charged in many salons by many stylists
for fancy up-styles, I can't say I blame them. I do, however, ask the following question: "If you are willing to spend hundreds (or in some
cases thousands) of dollars on a dress for a special occasion, isn't it worth the added expense to make sure your hair looks as spectacular as the rest of you?"
Finding the Right Stylist:
I'm going to go risk offending many of my fellow stylists out there and say that not all hairdressers can
do up-styles. The skills that allow a stylist to give a phenomenal haircut are different from those needed to craft up-styles. As with any
artist, hairstylists have specialties. Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were renowned painters, but you don't see sculptures by these artists.
(Click for styling instructions)
A hairstylist requires skill and a practiced eye necessary to cut hair in an aesthetically pleasing
fashion, and these can be trained. Creating and perfecting elegant and beautiful up-styles requires skill and a practiced eye as well, but also
requires one thing more: Imagination. The stylist needs to have the ability to look at your current hairstyle - the length, texture, density and wave pattern -
and be able to visualize the almost endless possible arrangements for it.
To find a stylist who can give you the up-style you want, the best place to start is your current stylist.
Just because many stylist who give good haircuts and regular styles, can't do up-styles doesn't mean that all stylists fall into that category.
Ask your stylist if he or she does up-styles, and ask to see a scrapbook or portfolio with samples of his or her work. If you like the styles
that he or she has created in the past, odds are good that you'll like the style they create for you.
However, if he or she doesn't do up-styles, or you don't care for the samples they've shown you, explain
that you would like something a little different and could they recommend someone for this one-time occasion. A good stylist will have contacts
with his or her peers and be able to refer you to a colleague who is good with fancier styles. If the stylist works in a salon with other
stylists, it's likely that they will refer you to someone a few chairs over.
If this doesn't work, you'll need to approach the situation from the standpoint of finding a stylist in
general. Check your local directories and make a few phone calls to ask if the salon (or stylist) does up-styles. (You may want to specify
'special occasion up-styles' to imply that you want more than a simple French twist.) Be sure to ask if they have portfolios available so that
you can see what they have done in the past and whether it is something suiting your taste. With a little luck and perseverance, you'll find
someone who can give you what you want.