beauty / Hair

The Hair Guide

Iris Apfel is quoted as saying, “If your hair is done properly and you have on good shoes, you can get away with anything”. While I have always agreed on the latter, I was more of a late-in-life convert to the good hair club.

As I do with most things, I blame my mother (I joke, but she nods). Growing up, my mother always looked gorgeous. I never saw her spend more than 10 minutes on herself, but with just a few minutes at a blow-dryer and minimal make-up she looked effortlessly polished. Of course, I assumed it was that easy for everyone and spent many years walking around with a halo of frizz practicing the same minimalist regimen. Good hair was an aberration. That’s not to say that I never felt beautiful, but let’s just say I didn’t get away with much…

It wasn’t until I stumbled, like Goldilocks, into the chairs of my venerable hair whisperers that I learned that my hair was not “unruly” or “difficult”, but I just wasn’t using the right tools or products. Since making a few recommended changes to my hair routine, I have seen immense improvement in the appearance and texture of my hair. And, believe me, when your hair looks good, the old t-shirt doesn’t look nearly as bad.

“The Hair Guide”, as I imagine it, will be a multi-part series on the people, products, and tools that can make good hair great. While I am by no means an expert, these tips turned a hair novice around. Perhaps you will find something that works for you as well?

But, first things first. Once you find a stylist you like, the rest is easy. The problem is that finding a good stylist is just as hard as finding a good doctor; it’s a matter of trial and error. More than likely, you’ll end up with a few bad cuts or a few botched dye jobs before you find a stylist that can make you look the way you’d like. At least, I did. Worst of all, I liked every one of those stylists and breaking up is hard to do.

If you live in the DC Metro area, I’m going to save you the time and hassle of stylist shopping and all of those bad break-ups: go to Ian McCabe Studio*. Here are two reasons why:

Meet my hair whisperers, Ian McCabe and Neven Radovic. Hi Ian. Hi Neven. (Hi Claire!)

(images courtesy of @nivalsalonspa)

Ian is the most talented colorist I’ve ever met, age notwithstanding. He specializes in “balayage”, a French hair coloring technique in which color is painted on the hair with a brush. As a freehand technique, it’s incredibly low-maintenance, since there’s no line of demarcation like you see with foils. Instead, you have soft, natural highlights that grow out as they would if you’d just spent a summer in the sun. And Ian is the master of beachy blondes, a la Elle Macpherson.

Neven is similarly talented; his cuts are really unparalleled. He’s a sucker for big, sexy, feminine hair and his cuts give natural volume and shape. Even if I don’t have the time or energy to do a full blow-out at home, my air dried hair still falls better with a Neven cut.

Both of these uber-talented men have impressive client lists, and are often whisked away to far off places for touch-ups and trims on the road. Lucky for us, their home base is right here in the Nation’s capitol. So give them a visit… and tell them Mrs. G says hi!

*Update: Ian and Neven have relocated to the gorgeous new Ian McCabe Studio. Find them at 1101 23rd Steet, NW, Washington, DC, 20037. Call them to book an appointment at 202.888.6700. 
xx, mg


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