Great Hair Makeovers

The quickest route to image reinvention is a new hairstyle. But then comes that tired old dilemma: Beyond a trim, what can I really do? We found six Chicagoans eager for a makeover and put their fate in the hands of six salons with reputations for courageous coifs.

RELATED: BEST HAIR SALONS AND STYLISTS | PHOTOS: CHICAGOANS WITH GREAT HAIR | A GUIDE TO GREAT FACIAL HAIR | PERSONAL HAIR STORIES | INSIDER TIPS

THE PANEL

We showed salons “before” pictures of our candidates and asked for makeover proposals. We then narrowed down the options to the two best for each individual. Editors chose the final look based on trend research and consultations with the candidates.

Team 1: Master stylist Heather Rae Cheszek and senior colorist Marilyn Spachman from Art + Science in Lincoln Park
Team 2: Owner/stylist George Gonzalez and colorist Will Harries from George The Salon in River North
Team 3: Stylist Venita Hobson and colorist Danielle Robinson from Van Cleef Hair Studio in River North
Team 4: Stylist/colorist Jay Jay Arguellas from Milios Hair Studio in Lake View
Team 5: Stylist Becca Panos and colorist Jasen James from Maxine in River North
Team 6: Co-owner/stylist/ colorist Lisa Jindu from Streets of London Salon in Lake View

MAKEOVER 1: Judy Larkin

Judy Larkin, before
Before
59 / teacher’s aide / dislikes her hair texture and style
A lifelong North Shore resident, this high-energy grandmother of four puts her enthusiasm to good use, working as a teacher’s aide at Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka and golfing, playing tennis, and gardening in her spare time. She doesn’t want a commitment-laden hairstyle, but she admits she could take her cut and color up a notch. “My hair is kind of pathetic,” says Larkin, who began dyeing her hair at age 16 and hasn’t seen her true color in years.

PROPOSALS

1. The George team suggests a strawberry blond hue that has a copper base and a shorter haircut with bangs for a “fresh, youthful” look.

2. The Maxine team first thinks that Larkin should go red—but reverses course after hearing about her busy lifestyle. “Red requires more upkeep,” says James. “We don’t want to do anything that’s a huge commitment.”

Judy Larkin, after
After
THE VERDICT

Larkin’s mix of blond and gray equals a color challenge. So editors choose the team from Maxine, where colorists use an elaborate “color bar” to consult with clients and mix precision shades. James decides to mask her gray with a single-process blond from Inoa, L’Oréal’s ammonia-free line, as well as full highlights and golden midtones. “Her cool blond color ages her,” James says. “Warmer tones reflect light and look more youthful.”

Reluctant to take off too much length all over, Panos gives Larkin a healthy set of bangs and reduces the weight from the back of her hair using point cutting and layering. The resulting play of the long sides and short back has a slimming effect on the face. James touches up the new bangs using balayage—a more freeform method of highlighting.

MAINTENANCE

To properly dry her hair, Larkin should start wet, apply Kérastase Volumactive Mousse, and “flat-wrap” various sections (translation: brush the hair in the opposite direction and apply heat to calm funky growth patterns). When her hair is dry, she can work in Shu Uemura Sculpting Putty for texture and finish with a light spray.

« Previous Makeover Next Makeover »

 

Photography: Taylor Castle; Hair and Make-up by Anthony Baltazar for Salon Salome

 

 

 

RELATED: BEST HAIR SALONS AND STYLISTS | PHOTOS: CHICAGOANS WITH GREAT HAIR | A GUIDE TO GREAT FACIAL HAIR | PERSONAL HAIR STORIES | INSIDER TIPS

MAKEOVER 2: Nikki Evans

Nikki Evans, before
Before

28 / student / wants healthier hair
When she’s not studying or in class, this DePaul student juggles jobs hostessing at Osteria Via Stato and serving at Kuma’s Corner. “I get out of the shower, put a scarf over my hair, and put it up for the day,” she says. To control her curls, Evans first used a chemical relaxer at age seven; as an adult, she grew out the relaxer—but didn’t know where to go from there. “I had my hair in braids for three years,” she says. “It’s hard to find a salon that can handle my hair.”

PROPOSALS

1. The Van Cleef team believes that Evans’s bohemian style could use a sleek upgrade. Hobson loves the idea of giving Evans a cute Taraji P. Henson bob, and Robinson thinks honey highlights would liven up her flat color.

2. Streets of London would give Evans a more geometric shape and carefully place accent highlights in neutral tones on the interior of her cut.

Nikki Evans, after
After

THE VERDICT

Since Evans has had a hard time finding a stylist who can control her curls, editors take her to Van Cleef, a salon that’s experienced with both natural and chemically treated hair. Robinson uses a sliced effect to frame Evans’s face in warm honey-hued highlights. Hobson, who does mostly blunt cuts, gives Evans a chic bob and blows her hair out straight to show off the precision cut and graduated angles. “With African American hair texture, it’s not a good idea to use a razor,” she explains.

MAINTENANCE

All Evans needs to do is use her normal curling cream to define her curls, and the cut will do the rest. “Her bob is a really cute shape to wear straight or curly,” Hobson says. “Since she has an oval-shaped face, she could rock any style.”

« Previous Makeover Next Makeover »

 

Photography: Taylor Castle; Hair and Make-up by Anthony Baltazar for Salon Salome

 

 

 

RELATED: BEST HAIR SALONS AND STYLISTS | PHOTOS: CHICAGOANS WITH GREAT HAIR | A GUIDE TO GREAT FACIAL HAIR | PERSONAL HAIR STORIES | INSIDER TIPS

MAKEOVER 3: Aaron Freshour

Aaron Freshour, before
Before

28 / production manager / needs a professional look
When he was working as an artist by day and a bartender at night, Freshour wore an urban bed-head look. But recently, he took a job as a production manager for the local fashion designers Creatures of the Wind. When it comes to his style, Freshour cites Martin Margiela, Comme des Garçons, and Henrik Vibskov as favorites. His daily hair care routine, on the other hand, elicits a shrug. “I put oil in it, run my hands through it, and go,” he says.

PROPOSALS

1. The George team says Freshour has a great head of hair—cutting off his natural waves would be a crime. Cleaning up the sides will give him a more professional daytime look, and subtle highlights and lowlights will play up his creative side.

2. Art + Science wants to bring balance to Freshour’s cut by shortening the sides and giving him an antigravity shape with more height on top. To emphasize his cut, Spachman would paint a slightly lighter shade throughout the longer ends of his hair. “Sort of a funkier Rob Pattinson,” she says.

Aaron Freshour, after
After

THE VERDICT

Editors believe the George team’s vision best captures Freshour’s artistic spirit. To take the hipster out of the hair, Gonzalez starts with the long and unruly back. Tapering the hair with a razor, he focuses on shaping the cut with deep texture to show off Freshour’s natural waves. “He’s a little more clean-cut now, but he still feels like himself,” Gonzalez says. For a warmer look that complements Freshour’s skin tone, Harries uses all-over color to bring Freshour’s hair to its natural level and adds subtle highlights for just a touch of dimension. “Guys should embrace color,” Harries says.

MAINTENANCE

Freshour can massage Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream through wet hair and let his do dry naturally. He should protect his new shade with a color-safe shampoo and conditioner by Pureology or Sebastian.

« Previous Makeover Next Makeover »

 

Photography: Taylor Castle; Hair and Make-up by Anthony Baltazar for Salon Salome

 

 

 

RELATED: BEST HAIR SALONS AND STYLISTS | PHOTOS: CHICAGOANS WITH GREAT HAIR | A GUIDE TO GREAT FACIAL HAIR | PERSONAL HAIR STORIES | INSIDER TIPS

MAKEOVER 4: Mark Moleski

Mark Moleski, before
Before

47 / artist / feels like he’s stuck in the 1990s
When this easygoing triathlete turned 40, he did what most dreamers don’t have the guts to do—he ditched his job in information technology and went back to school to study art. Today, he shares a studio in the Merchandise Mart, where his mixed-media silhouettes on paper will be exhibited in September.

PROPOSALS

1. The Milios stylist says Moleski’s current cut is a little too heavy on the sides, giving it a mushroom effect. He suggests that adding texture and lowlights will subtly jazz up this artist’s look without being too shocking.

2. The Maxine team proposes shortening Moleski’s top layers with a square technique that will narrow the appearance of his forehead. James advocates darkening Moleski’s color with an all-over stain to cool off his look.

Mark Moleski, after
After

THE VERDICT

Editors like the Milios plan for a more versatile style. Arguellas starts by adding depth to Moleski’s hair with two subtle tones of neutral and golden-brown lowlights before sealing in the color with an all-over glaze. “To keep it natural, I left a little gray in the sideburns,” Arguellas says. Using point cutting and razoring in the back, he softens Moleski’s hairline with more texture. The final result can easily convert to a pompadour, a rumpled beach look, or a classic GQ style. “It will do whatever you want,” Arguellas says.

MAINTENANCE

For a roughed-up finish, Moleski can work in a light pomade, like Redken Matte Sponge Rugged Texturizer. For a touch of shine, he can add Redken Outshine Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk.

« Previous Makeover Next Makeover »

 

Photography: Taylor Castle; Hair and Make-up by Anthony Baltazar for Salon Salome

 

 

 

RELATED: BEST HAIR SALONS AND STYLISTS | PHOTOS: CHICAGOANS WITH GREAT HAIR | A GUIDE TO GREAT FACIAL HAIR | PERSONAL HAIR STORIES | INSIDER TIPS

MAKEOVER 5: Bonnie Wizer-Mata

Bonnie Wizer-Mata, before
Before

28 / customer service rep / tired of brassy “box” color
This Hillside mom works full-time in customer service and has two-and-a-half-year-old triplets—all boys. Naturally, a low-maintenance routine is a necessity. “I get up, wash, blow-dry, and tease my hair, and throw it in a ponytail,” says Wizer-Mata. Every few months, she pulls out a box of at-home hair color to keep the grays away and sees a stylist for trims. Not the most exciting routine, especially given Wizer-Mata’s past. As a teen, she would start the week with shoulder-length blond locks and end it with a cropped auburn bob. “I’ve been all different lengths, every color you can think of,” she says. “I just don’t know what to do anymore.”

PROPOSALS

1. The George team would give Wizer-Mata a shoulder-length cut with face-framing layers that add volume and interior shape. They propose highlights to brighten the look.

2. Art + Science envisions a cropped shape with sweeping length in the front and a brilliant shade of golden strawberry blond.

Bonnie Wizer-Mata, after
After

THE VERDICT

Editors choose the dramatic crop suggested by Art + Science. Cheszek describes the style as “Sienna Miller’s cropped cut in the back, Emma Watson’s new look in the front.” She uses a straight razor to keep the texture soft and layers the sides to gradually slope forward. Short, choppy layers create volume, and long side-sweeping bangs are fun and feminine. Spachman replaces Wizer-Mata’s one-dimensional color with a dark blond, wheat-toned base and heavy pale blond highlights. “I’ll never come down on someone for their box color, but you can’t customize color from a box like a professional can—it’s like a one-size-fits-all T-shirt,” Spachman says.

MAINTENANCE

All Wizer-Mata needs to do after washing is a quick blow-dry on her bangs with a flat brush, first sweeping the bangs in one direction, then the opposite. A dab of Bumble and Bumble’s Grooming Creme will give her subtle hold and texture. She can maintain her color with basic root touchups and highlights every other appointment.

« Previous Makeover Next Makeover »

 

Photography: Taylor Castle; Hair and Make-up by Anthony Baltazar for Salon Salome

 

 

 

RELATED: BEST HAIR SALONS AND STYLISTS | PHOTOS: CHICAGOANS WITH GREAT HAIR | A GUIDE TO GREAT FACIAL HAIR | PERSONAL HAIR STORIES | INSIDER TIPS

MAKEOVER 6: Tarah Kadzielawski

Tarah Kadzielawski, before
Before

34 / training specialist / craves an edgier look
This newlywed visits classrooms across Illinois as an education training specialist at National Louis University. Her travels also take her beyond state lines—in just one year, she honeymooned in Italy and vacationed in Mexico. Her adventures carry over from her trips to her tresses: She has experimented with lots of cuts and colors, including a memorable pixie. Now she feels her hair is overgrown and ho-hum. “It’s getting to the point where I can donate it,” she says, noting that this will be her third or fourth donation to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a program that makes wigs for women with cancer.

PROPOSALS

1. Art + Science conceptualizes a compact chin-length bob with a possible pop of color—red?—at the ends.

2. Streets of London envisions a very contemporary A-line bob, plus vibrant purple accents to enhance Kadzielawski’s skin tone.

Tarah Kadzielawski, after
After

THE VERDICT

Kadzielawski is enthusiastic about both the bold cut and the purple highlights proposed by Streets of London. So Jindu cuts forward diagonal sections to create layers at an extreme angle and squares off the crown to balance out the weight in the front. The rest is textured with channel cutting—literally tunneling through the hair to achieve more openness near her face, her cheekbones further accentuated with heavy, straight bangs. Then the stylist applies a dark brown base color, prelightening some strands medium-orange so the purple shows up. “Even though it’s totally funky and edgy, it’s still sophisticated—the purple against her complexion actually looks quite subtle,” says Jindu. “She’s so striking now, so powerful-looking. She stands out.”

MAINTENANCE

“I did all the work so she doesn’t have to,” says Jindu, instructing Kadzielawski to simply comb her wet hair into place. To help hold it, she can use L’Oréal Liss Ardent Thermal Reconstructing Crème and Fudge Medium Hold Hair Putty.

« Previous Makeover Next Makeover »

 

Photography: Taylor Castle; Hair and Make-up by Anthony Baltazar for Salon Salome

Share

Advertisement

Submit your comment

Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, abuse, and irrelevancies.

Note: To serve its readers better, Chicago has migrated its comments to Disqus, a popular commenting platform. Please feel free to contact us with any feedback.