You pretty much know my feelings on the last 8 girls as I’ve given them throughout these last 6 weeks. However, I got an email at the end of last week that I figured I’d share. Someone took the time to rank these final 8 based on their hair style, something I know absolutely nothing about. Well, I take that back. Even I could tell you what horrible roots Nikki has. But I figured since most of my readers are women, they’d appreciate this breakdown on the final 8’s hairstyles by someone who styles hair for a living. I never thought someone could dissect women’s hair as thoroughly as this person could, but dammit if they didn’t write a novel. Holy crap. Enjoy.
As a hairstylist myself, I can’t help but critique the contestants’ or lead’s hair each season. This one was no different, so I thought I’d share some brief thoughts about hair with you regarding the final 8 women because, you know, I’m sure you care. Anyway, I’m breaking them down from worst to best, and remember, this is based solely on their hair and nothing else.. So here it goes:
8. Renee: I would love to do a make-over on Ben’s mom. She’s stuck in a rut and clearly has no time to keep up with the maintenance of her hair. However, I have many single moms as clients, and most are looking for something cute/sexy, yet low maintenance because they’re always on the go. The greatest part of my job is reminding women to take time out of their busy lives to pamper themselves. It’s so incredibly important- it keeps them feeling sexy, attracts a potential love interest (or keeps a current one happy), and it makes you feel beautiful. And when you feel beautiful, you are beautiful. Renee looks like she has practically given up. She looks tired and, understandably, worn down. And she looks like she hasn’t been to a hair salon in years.
She has thin, fine hair. That’s ok, a lot of women do, but there are styles and color choices that can trick your eyes into seeing healthy, full, shiny, beautiful hair, i.e. Kat, but we’ll get to her later.
We’ll start with the “hard” middle part, as I refer to it. Softer parts fluctuate- you can wear your part on either side, in the middle, or have no part. No parts add a more airy, whimsical, flirty look. She already has some layers, I’d add more, but just adding some volumizing product at the crown of her hair, and drying it upside down and then back with a round bristle brush, can easily achieve that look, especially for women with fine hair and lots of well placed layers because there’s no weight pulling the hair down, and she likely doesn’t have to worry too much about frizz. I think Renee would look gorgeous with just a few finely weaved highlights to bring some color to her face, instead of that mousy brown color she sports now. It would really bring out her eyes, and it’s easy, quick, and requires little maintenance.
She’s 32, and when I saw her getting ready for her one-on-one date with JP last week, I cringed at the way she was curling her hair. It looked as if she had never seen one, let alone used one. Rule of thumb, always curl away from the face on either side, and always add product so you don’t get that “dented” look Renee had. Her entire hairstyle looked like half of a wave.
7. Chelsie: She’s stuck in the “cute” category, as opposed to sexy. She has beautiful, long hair, but it needs some length taken off, and she desperately needs some layering. Her hair needs movement. Sure, her hair is long, but it just falls too heavy and dull on a girl who looks so young, and contrary to popular belief, her long hair makes her look even younger. It needs movement, volume, bounce, but a style that, when straightened, gives her some sharp edges. Sharp, hard lines are sophisticated, sleek, and sexy.
And then there’s her color. Her color appears so bland to me, that there are only a few reasonable explanations. It’s either her real color, she colors it herself, or someone is using way too much of a “golden” flat high lift color, rather than some cooler pieces which would make for a gorgeous contrast from her golden skin tone and neutralize her all over appearance so she isn’t leaning on one tone too heavily. Her hair and skin tone are too close to the same color, and she just appears washed out to me.
6. Nikki: By no fault of her own she has impossible hair. It’s thick, corse, and frizzy. She needs product. A lot of product. A frizz serum would do her wonders, along with a conditioning mask that has 2 key ingredients that everyone’s hair needs- carbohydrates, and protein. She needs a deep condition that will open up her cuticles, and allow for moisture to penetrate the cuticle and keep it locked in… And she’s blond, which doesn’t help. Corse hair that already has a tendency to frizz, doesn’t like bleach. Basically by bleaching her hair, she is essentially stripping already damaged hair of all nutrients and color. That leaves her hair looking like a puff ball, and leaves her cuticles completely blown out, giving the appearance of dry, brittle, split ends.
Nikki is naturally dark. Hairstylists use a numbering system when determining a client’s natural level of hair color- 1-10, with 1 being the darkest (black) and 10 being the lightest (light blond). I’d say Nikki easily falls into a 5, which is dark. Cassandra, for example, is probably a 3, and while their shade of color doesn’t seem like a huge stretch, it’s the tonality of the root color that makes all the difference. Cassandra is cool.. Cool colors have undertones of blues, greens, grey, while golden tones have a yellow, red, warm base. So that is why one can look at a level 3 and a level 5 and see a more noticeable difference in color; it’s the tonality that is typically prominent, as opposed to the actual color itself.
With that being said, Nikki’s roots need some help. I’d expect her hairstylist back home to have suggested adding some very natural, fine lowlights (a color closest to her natural color) because of the potential expanded period of time she’d be away. With lowlights, it is less noticeable when the roots begin to grow out, and with Nikki’s hair being so naturally dark, this should have been done. Now we will be seeing her dark roots in contrast to her bleach blond hair, and that’s never a good thing. Adding lowlights would have made her regrowth much less noticeable because it would blend in better with the darker pieces throughout.
One thing I have to give Nikki credit for, however, is that she does an amazing job with the difficult hair she has to work with. She blows it out with a round brush, minimizing the frizz, and changes up her style with braids and a variety of different up-dos, which is hard to do on your own.. So, props to her for that.
5. Clare: This one confuses me because she’s also a hairstylist. I have nothing bad to say about her color, it’s gorgeous. She adds the high and lowlights that I’ve suggested for Chelsie and Nikki, and it looks great. Her cut looks great, but then there are those dreadful bangs. I don’t mind bangs, I think they look really good on certain people, and I think they could have worked on Clare. What bothers me is the side bangs.. No, not side swept, because that actually means your bangs go from one corner and softly sweep completely over to the opposite side. Clare’s bangs are more like blunt bangs that are literally only on one side of her forehead. I realize that Clare has an elongated forehead, so she had the right idea, but the cut was executed poorly. The most plausible explanation is that she has a crazy cowlick that won’t allow her hair to sweep at any other angle- most people have cowlicks. But as a hairstylist, I don’t understand why she would then choose to wear such blunt, thick bangs that won’t fall in any other direction other than the right side of her forehead. Her bangs are too thick, too heavy, too bulky, and I just want to pin them back. She should have gone with full wispy bangs, or none at all. She knows her hair, and she knows about her cowlicks, we all do, so accentuating what most people try to cover up seems odd to me, especially because she is a hairstylist. Hopefully at the ATFR, her bangs will be gone, and they won’t drive me nuts. It’s very asymmetrical, which can work with hair cuts, but never, ever with bangs alone.
4. Andi: Beautiful hair, no doubt about it. She’s rockin’ the ombré look, and while it goes against everything I was trained to do (intentionally make your client’s hair look like the roots have grown out and the sun has kissed the ends), I think it looks great on her. Catherine also pulls off the ombré well. I’m surprised at how long this trend has lasted. It’s a pain for us to do on our clients, but it doesn’t look like it’s going out of style anytime soon. Some women can pull it off, some can’t. Andi can. It’s a little on the brassy side, but that can easily be fixed with a cool toner (cool cancels out the warm and vice versa), which looks like it has been washed out since filming began. At any rate, it looks like I’ll be doing ombrés for many more years. Thanks, Drew Berrymore.
3. Kat: Gorgeous color, perfect layering to add movement, obvious hair extensions to me, probably not to most of the viewers. Hair extensions on someone like Kat is essential. Her stylist did an amazing job adding just the right amount, not only for length, but for thickness. It looks natural, and her cut blends in perfectly with the extensions. Cheap extensions tend to look choppy because they aren’t made of 100% real hair. They aren’t the clip-ins either, they’re high quality, and it shows. A high price to pay (close to $1k, depending on how many bundles are bonded in), but well worth it, especially because she is or was a dancer.
Her hair is flirty and fun, and she knows how to wear it. She has a choppy look. Her layers are more shelved than blended, but it’s perfect for her because her hair is so fine and thin, blended layers would give it a stringy, flat, dull look. Shelved layers are a great compromise for fine hair because it gives the appearance of thickness.
2. Sharleen: Gorgeous long, thick hair. What I really love about Sharleen is how versatile she is with her look. She pulls it back, pins it half up, wears it down, but no matter the style, it always looks like she spent hours perfecting it. She has a beautiful face, and she tends to wear her hair in styles that enhance her facial features instead of hiding them. Her color is gorgeous, and I believe that could be her natural color. Lucky girl!
1. Cassandra: Cassandra pulls off barrel curls like no one else. She should show Renee a thing or two about using a curling iron. Or not haha. She has long, rich hair, but the color looks soft and subtle. The tone is cool, and with a warm skin complexion, it’s the perfect balance. Now, she’s also the youngest, and as we age, our hair changes due to hormones and other factors, but for now at least, I hope she enjoys the heck out of it because she’s been blessed. The texture, natural volume, color, cut, and style is one of the best overall sets of hair I’ve seen in a while.
So that’s how I rank the final 8, from a hairstylist’s point of view. My top pick for best hair would be a toss up between Alexis and Cassandra, but since I’ve already addressed Cassandra, let’s talk about Alexis.
Alexis has beautiful color. She is a brunette, but she has added some lighter pieces throughout to give the color dimension, contrast and vibrance. The tonality of her highlights is perfect. She went with a warmer caramel brown, so while it’s noticeable, it isn’t too light.
Her cut is also one of my absolute favorites. Her stylist went for choppy layers throughout, starting at the crown, which gives her hair a lot of movement on top and all the way through. This layered look looks great straight, and even better with some curl.
Have you ever noticed long, curled hair that seems a little “off”?
It’s probably in need of some layering. Without layers, the weight of the hair makes it nearly impossible for those who have long hair to keep a pretty curl from root to end, especially for women with thick hair like Alexis. Typically, it ends up looking straight with just a few curls at the bottom. Thanks, gravity. Layering eliminates that issue on its own. The shorter pieces throughout take out some of the heaviness and bulk in the hair and allows for the curls to look voluminous, rather than weighed down.
And now for the worst hair. My 3 “Worst Hair” awards go to…Amy J., Lucy, and Danielle.
Let’s start with Amy. We only had the chance to see her in one episode, but boy did she make an impression. Her cut and color says, “I’m shy, conservative, quiet, self conscious.” Her mouth said, “I’m overtly outgoing, quirky, free-spirited, and confident.”
Nothing about her hair embodies her personality. The flat brown color, bob cut, topped with blunt, straight across bangs just don’t work for her. Or anyone, but especially her.
She needs to switch colors with Kylie, and trade her cut and style with…. No one.
No one should have that cut, but she needs to do something. It’s moments like this, I remember the saying, “We’re beauticians, not magicians.”
Then there’s Lucy. Where do I start, and how do I end? There’s just too much wrong. Long, stringy, bland hair that hasn’t seen a brush in years. Did she say she doesn’t believe in washing her hair? I thought she did, and I’m sure her scalp and those around her strongly disagree. Your scalp is just as important as any other part of your body. It’s like saying she doesn’t believe in washing her feet, or brushing her teeth (and she might not do either of those things either), but not taking care of your scalp leads to not-so-healthy hair. A healthy scalp is the foundation to good hair. Just like you can’t build a house on a broken foundation, you can’t grow a healthy set of hair on a scalp that’s damaged.
Washing and brushing your hair not only keeps your hair clean and tangle free, it stimulates blood flow to your scalp, and produces healthy hair follicles to grow. And just like every other part of your body, your scalp needs moisture, too.. and not the kind of moisture you get from sitting next to sprinklers or hosing yourself off in lieu of a shower. It needs to be conditioned and treated. It needs respect! Haha. Ok, enough about Lucy.
Last I have Danielle. Danielle has 2 things working against her- tight curl, and frizz. Usually, they do go hand and hand, as curly hair tends to be much more dry than any other hair, which leads to frizz. I have a few suggestions for Danielle:
Find a stylist that specializes in a hair cutting technique called “Diva Curl” cutting. They are trained specifically for cutting curly hair, which can be tricky, by grouping the hair into “curl families.” They cut according to growth cycles and curl patterns. Hair grows in different cycles, and hair also grows in different patterns. With curly hair, it is essential to cut the same “family of curls” in the same direction bluntly. Point cutting (a technique used often to give hair a more texturized look), does not work on curly hair. Point cutting curly hair will leave the ends looking split, and therefore, more damaged. More damage means more frizz.
They also need to be cut in an uniuniformed fashion because in “curl families,” one section of hair grows in one direction, while another section grows in the opposite. By cutting hair with the direction of the pattern of the curl, you leave the hair with the right amount of volume, paired with the right amount of weight, keeping the hair from looking to “poofy.” I’ve seen curly haired clients leave a salon looking worse than when they came in because the stylist didn’t know what they were doing.
Next, Danielle needs some product, and she needs to use anything other than what she is using now. No man wants to run their hand through a woman’s hair only to feel hard, sticky product and crunchiness. A lot of women tend to deal with their curly hair by going with the old hairsprayed/gel look. You know, the wet, crunchy look that was popular back in the early 90’s… Or never. Taking off my stylist hat for a minute, I get it. I understand why someone with curly hair would give up and want to run in to the closest CVS or Rite Aid and load up on Aquanet and Wet’n Wild. “My curls are uncontrollable, so if I pour this product on like cement, it CAN’T frizz. Right?” Well, it can’t move or breathe either, so, technically, yes. But I’m going with wrong. Here’s why:
1. If the wind’s moving, and your hair isn’t, there’s something wrong.
2. It’s a quick fix. It seems to work in the moment, but the amount of alcohol they put in those products should be illegal. Someone should be arrested for murder because that’s what you’re doing, murdering your hair. Yes, technically it is already dead, but that’s not the point.
Alcohol is a key ingredient used in most hair products because it’s cheap, and it works great at first. It’s a quick fix. Over time, however, it dries up your hair, causing damage, breakage, split ends… And guess what that leads to? More frizz. So basically that product does the exact opposite of what you need it to do. And as I said earlier, curly hair is even more dry than other hair types, so alcohol is the last thing it wants or needs. It needs protein, humectants, essential oils that add nutrients back into the hair, not alcohol that strips the nutrients out of it.
So to Danielle I would say this, find a salon near you that specializes in Diva Curl, and for the love of God, put the Aquanet down. Try some coconut oil, Moroccan oil, a deep conditioning mask once a week. Your hair can be beautiful and curly without looking like cement, and a man will be able to run his fingers through your hair without getting them stuck on a chunk of gel. You, your hair, and the mystery man’s hand will thank me for it.
To end things, I have an “Honorable Mention” award, and it goes to…………Kelly.
I love Kelly’s hair. The color is perfect for her and fits her personality well. She’s sassy, fun, and outgoing, so her hair color should definitely reflect that. And it complements her skin tone, too.
The only thing I’d change about Kelly’s hair is the length. Her hair is long and gorgeous, but she’s so tiny that she is overpowered by her hair. It takes away from her face and her cute figure. I’d take about 6 inches off, and add a ton of layering throughout.
A woman with a round or square shaped face typically shouldn’t wear a shorter cut, as it would draw more attention to the shape. A longer cut that fringed the face would act as a type of shadowing to make the face appear slimmer. As a stylist, it’s our job to accentuate the good features and deflect from the imperfections. Oval shaped faces are considered to be the most flattering face shape, and Kelly has that- she just needs a cut that promotes it. It’s important to keep a balance between a client’s overall appearance and their hair, and her hair to body ratio is a bit off.
I hope I’ve enlightened you with some knowledge about hair and how it works- why certain styles work for some and not others, but more than that, you can use it as a topic of discussion on your next date. Your date will be thoroughly impressed, or she’ll think you’re “more pervert.”
Have a great day! You’re welcome.