Thursday 23rd June, 2005


Hairstyle for your lifestyle

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Jamar Waldron and Dwight Gonsalves at the front of Gonsalves’ hair salon in Woodbrook.

Photos: Karla Ramoo

By Essiba Small

For years women have looked to the celebrities and models featured in the pages of magazines for inspiration on the next new look in hairstyles.

Now they only have to look above—at their own heads.

“Hairstyles these days are no longer determined by who is wearing what,” hair designer Jamar Waldron said.

“It’s an individual choice based on a person’s lifestyle.”

An American hair designer born of Trinidadian parentage, Waldron came to T&T a month ago.

He now works out of Dwight Gonsalves’ hair salon in Woodbrook where he and salon owner Gonsalves endorse lifestyle hair.

“Not every woman can wear her hair blown straight all the time. Not every woman can put product in her hair all the time.

“But almost always the default hairstyle is a ponytail,” Waldron said.

When it comes to selecting a hairstyle, Waldron, said a woman should be realistic.

“It matters what type of hair she has—whether it is curly, natural or straight—if she has time to spend on her hair and how much money she has to spend on maintaining it.”

For Tricia Burnett, a working mother of two, her daily hairstyles range from a ponytail to a head of curls.

“It depends on what kind of evening I have when I go home from work.

“If I get all my chores done and still have energy, I roller-set it. If I’m not up to that I just pull it in one and go to bed.” Burnett admits that although people like the look of her roller-curled hair at the office achieving the look can be uncomfortable.

“Sleeping with curlers not easy. You just can’t do that every night.”

For Marlene Phillip, also a mother, the gym is taking a toll on her relaxed hairstyle.

“I come to the gym with my hair curled and by the time I hit the shower after a workout it all falls.” Phillip started wearing her hair in a ponytail everyday, but her hair line started to disappear.

“My hairdresser had to cut it so that I’d stop putting in it one.”

Phillip now wears her hair in a bob cut and takes her curling iron to work to revamp her style.

To Burnett and Phillip, Waldron had this to say: “Give the ponytails a rest!

“Since I’ve been here that’s all the women seem to be wearing,” he said with a laugh.

“And it’s stressing the hairline.”

He recommends that women like Burnett and Phillip, who lead a full life that includes work, children and the gym, chose a hairstyle that would be easier to maintain.

If her hair is curly, Waldron recommends the use of product on a daily basis to maintain curls.

For relaxed hair he recommends nightly wrapping.

Wrapping involves brushing the hair in the same direction, starting at the front closest to the forehead and ending at the crown (the top of your head).

Wrapping hair maintains the straight look of relaxed hair whether the hair is long or short.

“And it is always good to brush your hair, it promotes growth. Mothers have always told their daughters to brush their hair 100 times.”

For women whose lifestyle includes the gym, Waldron’s advice was to increase the use of conditioner.

“Add loads of it. Even if you have to wet your hair after a workout and put it in.”

He was careful to add that he wasn’t talking about a leave-in conditioner but a regular one.

“Shampooing the hair can wash out all the oils but it’s okay to condition every day.”

Hair can be washed every week, Waldron said.

It would work well in getting out all the impurities.

Women should not be afraid of cutting their hair, Waldron said.

He admits though that maintaining short hair can get tricky sometimes.

“Tapered hair takes a lot more work because it can get unruly easily, depending on how you sleep on it at night.

“In the end it all comes down to the wearer. If you have a style that makes you feel comfortable then wear it proud—I don’t care if its locks, short ’fro, curly or wavy hair.

“You can pull any look off if you do it confidently. “If you’re not sure talk to your hairstylist on making your hair fun.”

Hair designer

Jamar Waldron

About Jamar Waldron

He’s a fresh face in the local beauty business, but Jamar Waldron is no newcomer.

Waldron worked out of salons like Black Roots, Peter Coppola and John Frieda in New York before migrating to T&T a month ago.

The move here was for family reasons, Waldron said, but he didn’t elaborate.

He now works out of Dwight Gonsalves’ hair salon in Woodbrook. Waldron met Gonsalves through a mutual friend.

“I used to work as a manager of a salon in Brooklyn and then the business appealed to me,” he said about his entry into the profession.

His parents, naturally, felt differently about his career choice.

“They wanted me to be the usual things parents want their children to be—a doctor or lawyer.”

Waldron remained serious about pursuing hair design and spent eight months at the Learning Institute for Beauty Sciences perfecting his art before heading to Europe to work at salons in Paris and London.

Manuel Hair on Abbey Road of London was the only salon he cared to mention.

Waldron called the European experience a fruitful one.

“I learned to cut over there.”

The 33-year-old hair designer has now been in the business for a total of ten years and has no regret about the career he has chosen.

“This is a fruitful career. I like the stability of it and to have a satisfied clientele.”

Being male in female-dominated territory, Waldron knows his sexuality would be questioned.

“But I know who I am and I know I am not that way (gay).” Salon owner Dwight Gonsalves chimed in.

“I deal with that, too,” he said.

“It takes a confident man to be in a profession such as ours.” But Gonsalves and Waldron swear that they are the lucky ones.

“We get to spend time with the ladies all the time. The men are the ones who should be jealous. They are the ones who are missing out.”

When it comes to styling hair, Waldron believes that men do it better.

“A man knows what he wants a woman to look like, so we have that advantage.”

Asked to define his trademark, Waldron said it was his cut.

“I like the layered look,” he said.

Although he specialises in all hairstyles, Waldron admits that he is really impressed by the finish of blow-dried hair.

About his new employee, Gonsalves said he is pleased with Waldron’s approach to the job.

“He makes everyone feel important.”


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