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French Class

In this American Salon exclusive, hair designer Michelle Rooney dresses hair to perfection.

Photography by Jack Eames

As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion passes; style remains.” Michelle Rooney’s Stripped collection, which mirrors the bold, understated elegance prevalent in Mademoiselle Chanel’s design aesthetic, is a testament to the grand dame’s eloquent words. Inspired by a Chanel beauty campaign, Rooney called on precision cutting, inventive color with multitone color blocks, contemporary dressing techniques and Matrix products to create looks that underscore timeless modernity with an edge. “I wanted the focus to be beautiful hair, its texture and gorgeous color,” says Rooney, a stylist at Hooker & Young, a luxurious group of salons in Northeastern England. “Less was definitely more.”

Makeup: Megumi; Fashion Styling: Thea Lewis

IMAGE ABOVE: After imbuing the hair with a high-lift blonde hue, Rooney barrel-curled it with large tongs. She then brushed strands to achieve volume before dressing the hair into a strong shape that seductively falls over one eye.

IMAGE ABOVE: Michelle Rooney texturized this short crop by cutting the ends and removing the bulk and weight. Next, she enhanced the design with a high-lift blonde hue to define its shape and tactility.

IMAGE ABOVE: Rooney created this dramatic, ultrashiny bowl shape by coloring the strands underneath a deep brown hue and enhancing the top sections with a rich copper shade.

IMAGE ABOVE: This high-lift blonde with small regrowth was blow-dried for volume, backcombed and dressed into a strong shape. “I gave the style a softer look to keep the shape fluid and not too structured,” Rooney says.

IMAGE ABOVE: To create this strong shape with bold color, Rooney cut the hair underneath at the sides, then used the dark roots to create a strong and defined shape.

IMAGE ABOVE: After enhancing the hair with a rich brunette shade and a few subtle golden highlights, Rooney blow-dried locks with a large round brush for volume. To finish the look, she loosely plaited the front section from ear to ear.

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About the Author

Kelley Donahue

As Editor in Chief of American Salon, Kelley Donahue reports on all aspects of the professional beauty industry, including salon business-building strategies, seasonal hair and fashion trends, salon services and techniques, and timely issues impacting manufacturers, schools, salons and distributor principals. In addition to conducting photo shoots--one of which was the recipient of an ABBIES Award for Best Magazine Cover--Donahue also travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, sourcing out new trends and representing American Salon at major industry functions and educational events.