A half-dozen of the best new beauty products on the market this month




Essie's Winter 2007 nail polish collection of six gleaming metallic shades pairs beautifully with the holiday season's velvet dresses, silk tunics, and glittering jewelry and accessories. Shown here: Showstopper, a shimmery, deep berry, Who's She Red, a four-alarm creamy crimson; and Wrapped in Rubies, a rich, gold-dusted burgundy.





Designed to eliminate the harsh effects of shampoo, Wen Lavender Cleansing Conditioner cleanses and moisturizes hair in one step. Lavender is highly effective on dry, dehydrated hair, while the added cucumber extract, organic aloe vera leaf juice and other botanical ingredients heal and soothe the hair and scalp.





On-the-go styling is easy with Empower's Play Hard Wax Texturizer, a concentrated crème wax containing free-radical scavenging vitamin E, reconstructing hydrolyzed vegetable protein and beeswax. The product provides natural, flexible hold and definition, while conditioning strands and protecting haircolor.





A spritz of Big Sexy Hair So Pumped Volumizing Mist instantly creates abundant, natural-looking volume, without weighing hair down. The spray, the newest product in the Big Sexy Hair line, contains grapefruit, lychee and moisturizing panthenol, and the pleasant white tea scent is sure to please clients.





With native, natural ingredients of almond and basil, KMS California's new SilkSheen Silk Treatment pampers hair from the inside out, revealing silky softness and sparkling shine. The product contains KMS' IOPS technology, which offers superior detangling capability, and naturally derived hydrolyzed silk and silicones to add shine.





Utilizing the power of astaxanthin, Hawaiian red algae that grows in hot lava fields on the Big Island, H. Maloha's new paraben-free Bionutrient Face Serum nourishes and firms skin while protecting it from the visible signs of aging. Astaxanthin is clinically proven to be more effective than vitamin C and vitamin E in free-radical elimination.





Studies show that 63 percent of men prefer to use male-specific products. Fortunately, there are many on the market for them to choose from.

Men's products have been proliferating at warp speed, and it looks as if there's no end in sight. So how do you choose the line that's best for your clients? We rounded up some of the best products on the market right now to help make the decision less difficult.

 Steve Elias, who did our cover shoot this month, says he's getting more requests for men's styles that look well-groomed.
Steve Elias, who did our cover shoot this month, says he's getting more requests for men's styles that look well-groomed.

Redken for Men was a home run right from the get-go, but that didn't stop the company from tinkering with the formula. "It's no surprise that men have become a new sector of beauty enthusiasts," says Lauren Consiglio, director of marketing, Redken for Men. "However, they're looking for regimens that don't require much thought yet provide great results." To that end, the new and improved line offers products with customized hair and scalp benefits that provide a specific response to men's key needs, such as dandruff control. In addition, new color-coded packaging is designed to help stylists and consumers easily select the right products that address those needs. The moisturize regimen (green) is for normal to dry hair and brings a daily dose of strength and moisture to the hair and scalp. Thicken (orange) targets fine and thinning hair. Purify (white) is specifically for the dandruff-prone. Retaliate shampoo, for example, contains pyrithione zinc to fight symptoms of dandruff, while bisabol soothes a sensitized scalp. "As always, we encourage men to work with their stylist to determine which regimen is best for their specific needs," Consiglio says.


The Matrix Men Style Control System is an easy-to-use collection of five haircare and four styling products, including the new Energel Firm Fix Gel, that appeals to the casual style of the Matrix man. Featuring innovative new technology, Style Power Shampoo combines a shampoo, conditioner and light styler in one bottle to save time and help men groom their hair fast. An exclusive style control agent provides light hold with separation to deliver instant style for the man on the move. Meanwhile, for the 61 percent of men who use at least one styling product in their hair every day, and the 53 percent that look for styling products that provide manageability and control, Matrix provides a full line of premium stylers.


Woody's Quality Grooming introduces old school men's products with a modern twist. Subscribing to the "less is more" philosophy, the company targets consumers who see no substitute for quality products. The line of 13 hair, shave and body products includes Headwax Classic, an old-school pomade with hemp seed oil and beeswax that offers medium hold, while providing natural shine. Oh, and it's paraben-free. And for the no-nonsense man, there's the Meat and Potatoes Bar, a natural, vegetable-based bar with hemp seed oil, tea tree and shea butter that provides a simple solution to hair and body maintenance. (Hint: You can use it to wash your hair and your body.)


The Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Body Collection includes Lemon Sage Body Wash, Tea Tree Body Bar, Tea Tree Liquid Hand Soap, Tea Tree Oil and Tea Tree Shave Gel. The line of healing and energizing products perks up the senses, while leaving skin soft and smooth.


Introduced in 2002, Joe Grooming products were designed for guys with style who want to look cool and get noticed. More importantly, the company is committed to the careful selection of natural and organic ingredients and to the salon stylist. Because no two men are exactly alike, the styling line is relatively simple. Curly or straight, long or short, thick or thin—they've got something for everyone. What's more, they've lowered surfactant levels in their shampoos, added moisturizing extracts to both cleansing and styling products and chosen essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances. Try the Grooming Compound when you want a water-based, pliable styling paste to provide control, support and texture. Unlike similar fibrous products, Grooming Compound is a blend of natural and organic ingredients that condition and protect hair and scalp without product buildup.


American Crew is the company that started it all, and over the years, founder David Raccuglia has remained passionately committed to men's grooming. The company's moisturizing shave products are formulated with natural extracts and botanicals for the ultimate skincare regimen.


Aveda has recently introduced Aveda Men, its first comprehensive haircare line created exclusively for men. A collection of innovative, exciting new products, Aveda Men draws upon revolutionary botanical science to meet men's essential needs for high-performance scalp and hair management. "The aroma, feel and breakthrough performance of Aveda Men are outstanding," says Dominique Conseil, president of Aveda. "This initiative is much bigger than a product launch; it's about building the male clientele from Aveda's network of salons and spas. We know environmentally responsible men represent a significant segment of the market." The Liquid Pomade, Shampoo and Conditioner debuted in 95-percent post-consumer recycled packaging, a landmark in environmental package design.


J Men from Jalyd is imported from Italy and distributed exclusively in the United States by John Amico (800/676-5264). J Men Hair Wax is great for adding elasticity to dry hair—it's actually liquid jojoba wax.


DandriClean Rinse with aloe from King Research is great for clients with dandruff because it conditions hair while it clears away flakes. It's also recommended as a pre-rinse before haircoloring because it enables the hair to take color evenly.


Goldwell for Men delivers high-quality products that are practical and easy to use. The line is enriched with provitamin B5, a natural complex of glucose for shine and refreshing mint extracts to invigorate the scalp and senses. Freestyler, which lets you create unlimited special effects, comes in a unique stick dispenser that makes it easy to focus application where it's needed.


With its barbershop roots, Johnny B. gels have always been a staple in this line of men's products. Now owner Al Anorga has combined two of his best-selling gels—Thick Styling Glue and Mode Styling Gel—to create Fuddy, a thick matte gel that takes control of the most stubborn hair without giving the appearance of product.


Finally, stylists and consumers alike swear by Tend Skin. The product works wonders on unsightly razor bumps (African-American men are particularly susceptible, though between 15 to 20 percent of Caucasian men also have them), ingrown hairs and razor burn. For the record, women love it just as much as men do. Kind of reminds you of those old Irish Spring commercials: "Made for a man, but I like it, too." —MARIANNE DOUGHERTY





Neglect your clients' scalps, and you may pay a price in unhappy clients and lost business.

Clients who complain of dry, brittle and thinning hair are often unaware that their hair's poor health is the result of a damaged, neglected scalp. "Healthy hair begins at the scalp, specifically at the follicle," says Belinda Knisley, director of education, training and development at Nioxin. "When the follicle is damaged, it interrupts the hair's growth cycle, leading to fragile, thinning hair and loss of pigmentation." Knisley says it's important for the hair to stay in its growth stage for as long as possible so that it's deeply rooted, stronger and better quality. "If you take good care of the scalp, it will take color easier and respond better to chemical services," she adds.

Clip Joint
Clip Joint

The follicle is extremely sensitive to internal and external changes. "Hormonal issues or fluctuations, fever, medications and diet are all internal factors that can affect the health of the follicle," Knisley says. "External factors include exposure to sunlight and to residues from haircolor, bleach, permanent waves and chemical relaxers, which can result in burning on the scalp and cause it to become itchy and dry. Also, minerals and metals that are left on the scalp after water evaporates can build up on the follicle and stifle it."


Even the styling products that we choose can affect the health of the scalp. "Research has shown that styling products with drying alcohol, sticky animal proteins or PVP film formers can build up on the follicle, weigh down the hair and make it dry and brittle," says Knisley.

Research has shown that more than 50 percent of the population experiences a scalp condition at some point that, if left unattended, can lead to scalp stress—a scalp that is dry, tight and itchy or excessively oily. And Knisley warns that masking scalp issues instead of treating them can eventually hurt your business. "If hairstylists don't focus on the scalp, the client will end up going somewhere else when their hair becomes thinner and more fragile."

In-salon scalp treatments are a great add-on service that can help balance your clients' scalps—and boost profits, especially when partnered with a take-home scalp treatment. Performed either at the backbar or chair, treatments usually incorporate a head massage to improve circulation. Hairstylist Fabian Lliguin, owner of Cocoon Hair Salon in New York City, performs a Rahua Scalp Treatment at his salon using Rahua nut oil harvested in Ecuador. The oil was traditionally used by indigenous groups for its wound-healing and antiseptic properties. During the service, a few drops are massaged into the scalp, where they penetrate the cortex to rebuild damaged hair.

The Aveda Shampoo Massage combines Aveda's signature stress-relieving massage with the new Scalp Benefits Shampoo to clean and stimulate the scalp, promote exfoliation and facilitate relaxation. Yarok Sensory Treatments, currently available at Pasha Salon in Manhattan and John Vaillancourt in Chicago, consist of seven unique serums, such as Spark Your Youth and Chill After Sun, that incorporate vitamins and minerals from organically grown plants to address specific scalp conditions. Phyto teamed up with A.K.S Salon in New York City to deliver the nine-step Anti-Aging Balancing Act treatment. It incorporates the Phytopolleine pre-shampoo treatment, which is massaged into the scalp to purify and balance, and also the Phytodensium serum, which replaces the amino acid Tyrosine to boost production of melanin and slow down the aging process. A few drops of Phytolisse provides an ultra-smooth finish. —CARRIE WATSON







Vo's suggestions for how to keep guys happy when their natural color disappears

No amount of macho will prevent those first few wisps of gray from cropping up in your male clients' hair. Unlike women, who customarily register shock and then reach for the tweezers when they spot these errant strands, men have more of a knee-jerk reaction, rushing to the drugstore and grabbing a box of haircolor off the shelf. Of course, neither of these solutions will work for the long-term. When it's clear that Mother Nature's highlights have begun to take over a male client's head, it's time to make some decisions and come up with a new plan. Should you try to mimic his natural color? Go a shade or two lighter or darker? Highlight a little or a lot? Or let the gray have its way?


The answer is strictly a personal one, since it is tied into his base haircolor and his lifestyle. The route you decide to take hinges on how much gray there is to cover and how much time he's prepared to spend on the process.

If he's a blonde, the new silver streaks will likely blend right into his light hair, so you're pretty much off the hook. If he has dark hair, the contrast is greater—and so is the angst.

Silver fox: Ted Danson
Silver fox: Ted Danson

In the early stages, you can camouflage his gray by adding warm or cool blond highlights (depending on his skin tone). Be sure to stay away from any shade that even hints at platinum, which will have the opposite effect, making him look like he has a head full of gray hair.

When there's so much gray that even highlights can't disguise it, he might opt to go au naturel, and that's certainly his prerogative. It is, after all, the perfect solution for a guy who doesn't want to spend a lot of time worrying about—and dealing with—roots. Let's face it: Men, more so than women, can often look spectacular when their hair turns silver. But, hey, we're colorists. We live to solve the problem of graying hair.

If you and your client agree that the best option is to make the gray disappear, you can decide to use semi-permanent, demi-permanent or permanent color, depending on the percentage of coverage you need. You'll also want to take his lifestyle into consideration, because if you come up with a solution that requires more time than he's prepared to spend in your chair, he won't be happy, and neither will you if he ends up going elsewhere. Working together and keeping an eye on the big picture is the key to dealing with your graying male clients. —E-mail Kim Vo at [email protected].


The Eyelights Technique


The eyes may be the window to the soul, but according to J. Antony, color director of Salon A.K.S in New York City, they're also the key to determining a client's most complementary highlights. Antony looks at the flecks of color found in the eyes and places accents around the face in those same shades. "It makes the eyes and hair really pop," he says. "For dark brown eyes, look for raisin, espresso or dark chocolate flecks; for light brown eyes, cappuccino, walnut or chili pepper; for hazel eyes, ice tea or hazelnut; and for blue, golden honey, butterscotch or sandalwood." —C.W.



Stain Fighter


Color mistakes are now easier to fix with Wipe Out, from John Paul Mitchell Systems. The product protects the hairline from haircolor stains and also removes stains from the hairline and scalp following a color treatment. Clients will appreciate its gentle, nonirritating formula. —L.A.



Creativity protected


Logics Color DNA System is expanding its styling collection with this month's debut of three new products: two smoothing Blow Design Creams, one for thick or coarse hair and another for fine or normal hair, and a Thickening Style Spray that creates texture and builds body. The products form a fade-resistant seal on the hair for continuous protection against color-depleting forces. Key ingredients of silicone, ceramides and sunscreens protect and seal the cuticle, creating a smooth, reflective surface for shine and color vibrancy. —C.W.