Planning a trip to Cuba to do a photo shoot with local models may have seemed like a pipe dream when Intercoiffure member Al Stephens came up with the idea last year, but newly elected President Frank Gambuzza was onboard from the get-go. Cultural Explorations Cuba in Delray Beach, FL, took care of everything—from managing the documentation required to allow us to enter the country to arranging a model call with a local agency and introducing us to well-known Cuban fashion designer Jose Luis Gonzalez, silversmith Rosana Vargas and Papito, arguably the most famous barber in Havana. It was an ambitious undertaking. Photographer Nicolas Troncin scouted locations in Old Havana, while 15 hairdressers prepped their models at Papito’s salon and school. Wella and L’Oréal Professionnel donated all the hair color and styling products, while Jay Beecher of Artego provided blow-dryers and irons, which were left behind for Papito’s hairdressers to use. Once we were all back in the United States and began editing the film, we realized that we had something pretty spectacular. Belinda Gambuzza, co-owner of Salon Visage in Knoxville, TN, did the color on our cover girl; her artistic director, Brent Borreson, did the haircut. As a color specialist, Gambuzza makes it a point to take lifestyle into consideration before starting any hair color service. “In this case I knew that my model would have limited access to upkeep so I didn’t want to start a long, drawn-out process,” says Gambuzza. “I liked her dark hair color, but it was drab and flat because she had been coloring it herself with box color and there was a lot of buildup.” Ultimately, Gambuzza decided to use a “nifty little trick” to lift the box color just enough to get light reflection in the hair but keep it dark. Her secret: L’Oreal Professionnel INOA Clear with 30-volume developer. “I left it on for 30 minutes, then did a moisturizing treatment. It worked out perfect.” We have to agree.