Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Don’t Let Your Mirror Become a Pain in the Glass

self acceptance
Recently, Dr. Oz jumped out as a surprise guest at a small press party, pointed to himself and proclaimed that 60 is the new 40,  a friend told me.  She was even more surprised because he looked, well, 60.  But just this week, Jennifer Anniston told WWD  that she gets annoyed when people tell her she looks great for her age, pointing out that women celebrities always have an age line after their name, like Jennifer Anniston, 45.  Could you imagine if we all had to do that?  If you look 30 when you are 50, then great, but if you don’t, you shouldn’t have to apologize.  Terms like “ageless beauty” and “age defying” belong on a jar, not on a person.  There is no such thing as ageless beauty, and why should we have to defy our age?  

When we look in the mirror, we should see our strengths, not focus on what we perceive to be our flaws.  The truth is, not even twenty-year-olds on magazine covers really look like that.   I work in the beauty industry, so I understand.  People tend to use the way they look as their brand, how they define themselves to the world.  But there’s something to be said about accepting yourself at the age you are.  I mean, we don’t have an expiration date like a quart of milk.   Some people start to feel panicky when they see the first wrinkle and will try skin care or even cosmetic surgery to hold back the tsunami of aging.   But there is no magic bullet to take 20 years off your face in a cream or jar.  And I think the scissors can be better (and less costly!) than the scalpel in that a really good hair cut can take years off your looks.  Ultimately, it’s better to feel 30 than to look 30.  But as far as 50 is the new 30?  It’s just a saying, just like red is the new black and pink is the navy of India.    Cheers!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Goodbye Giving Good Head, Hello….

Gad Cohen Hair Blog
When I first decided to write a blog, I wanted its title to reflect the phenomena that was occurring in my hair studio.  When I am finished with a client, whether I have done cut, color, style, makeup, whatever, they are always in a better head space. Some have called it “The Gad Effect,” because I focus on that what is going on inside the client when they are in the chair, and how to create a better internal environment for them so they will look and feel their best.  So, when I was rummaging through different ideas for a blog name, the title Giving Good Head seemed both funny and accurate, in a beauty sense. The word head, to me, connotes both mind and hair, and the two are inextricably linked to each other.  By mindfully working on and creating beautiful hair for my clients, I was putting people in a good head space.  And, it had a sense of humor.  I knew that it was a double entendre, but I thought we all are evolved enough to see beyond that to what I truly meant.   

Well, as it ends up, the joke was on me.  Since starting the blog, I had respected friends in the media who politely mentioned that while they loved the blog, they couldn’t name it or give a link to givinggoodhead.net to their readers, for fear of offending them.  When you are talking about reaching a million young women, this is a very understandable concern.  While I knew my mind wasn’t in the gutter, there was a chance that someone else might not think that way.

So, after a lot of thought, I am saying goodbye to the name Giving Good Head, and renaming my blog Decorum Head.  To me, the word decorum says it all when it comes to my approach to beauty.  Literally, it means propriety and good taste in conduct or appearance, which, to me, is what having true style is all about.   We live in an indecorous time right now; reality shows and all-too-real news flashes remind us of some ugly truths.  We are forced to focus on things that are scandalous and provoking, but not in a mindful way.  That’s where the beauty and magic of decorum comes in.  It is the diametric opposite to scandal and provocation.  It connotes tremendous centeredness, a confidence and understanding of one’s true worth.  My intention and my mission has always been to impart this.  I believe that a good haircut can take away whatever is impeding the mind and soul from its true grace and spirit.   This in turn imparts the ability to share that good spirit with others.  It’s about creating balance within so that you are filled with enough goodness to share with others.  

I feel particularly blessed that this change is coming just as we are approaching spring.  Now, you and I can go forward here with an enlivened spirit and fresh ideas.  So, goodbye Giving Good Head, although I will always chuckle when I hear that name   I mean, my mind isn’t in the gutter.  Is yours? 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Some of my clients tell me that they know they should go to the gym, but feel so discouraged by the way they look when they first start to workout.  Yoga and Pilates studios and gyms rooms are plastered in mirrors, so the image of themselves bare faced with sweaty hair, wearing clothes that reveal every bodily defect can defeat them before they even walk out the door.  What I recommend is that they prepare themselves like an actor getting ready for a performance.  It’s like getting into a costume.  Once you see yourself looking healthy and athletic, you will be inspired enough to go to the class and it will keep you motivated to finish it.  


the "samurai" bun I styled for Vogue
Keep it simple.  Instead of just letting your ratty ponytail flop around, I recommend what I call a “samurai” bun.  Simply pull it back and fasten with an elastic, either high like Pebbles Flintstone, midway below the crown or lower if you are more comfortable that way.  When you get to that final pull of hair through the elastic, stop before you pull it all the way through so that it forms a small loop-like bun.  Then, take a wide, black elastic head band and pull back the front securely.  You can pin the head band in place with a few pins if you are going to be very active.  If you have short hair, just do the black headband.  Basta!   

What I love about this hair style is that you can use this as a set to create fullness if you are going out afterwards, as long as you haven’t gotten too sweaty!  The upwards pull creates lift at the roots, so take out the elastic and brush with fingers for sexy volume.


another Vogue shoot
Some women find it hard to go out the door bare-faced, but runny mascara or heavy lip color can make you look like the Joker during a workout.  Here’s what I recommend to create a healthy polished glow that works on the street and in the gym:  cleanse and moisturize your skin after putting your hair up.  If you have deep, dark bags or circles that make you look and feel tired, you can put on a touch of creamy concealer, both under the eyes and in the corners of the upper eye lids.  You can even dab on dark spots, but in all cases, be sure to blend really well.  Use a cosmetic sponge to taper off the edges if necessary.  Then, use one of the great new tinted lip balms or even a tinted Chapstick first on your lips and then dab lightly on your cheeks as well, just on the apples.  Blend into the skin lightly to create a healthy, moisturized glow.  Viola, great gym face. 


The last element is a great set of workout clothes.  Swap the baggy sweatpants and stretched-out tank top for the latest gear that offer support for the back, tummy and chest while creating a smoother silhouette instantly, like Spanx for the spinning class.  Target and Walmart all have full workout clothes departments, so you don’t have to spend a fortune. 

YOU CAN DO IT:   Remember that it’s more important to be healthy in body and mind than to worry about how you look while you are getting there.  Focus on that rather than the imperfections you see in the studio mirror to push through any self-defeating roadblocks you put in your own way.  Namaste!