Local salons need to know what's in to keep on top

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Chunky streaks are in, as is the natural-blonde all-over glow. But before you can say "highlight me," that can change.

Many Carson City stylists and cosmetologists make it a business practice to keep up on what's in. Nicole Ferguson tries to know what women want, for their hair, that is. She said now that autumn is approaching, women will be reaching for bottles of darker hair color.

Ferguson's platinum blond hair is slightly disheveled. Soon she'll transition into warm gold low lights, instead of the more striking blonde.

She admits that a lot of her style information comes from her students. Ferguson is a stylist and the general manager of the Carson City Beauty Academy. A lot of the students are young and eager to try new things on each other.

Instructors give students the basic knowledge here. Then the new cosmetologists will then go out and learn the minutiae from the salons that hire them, or from attending specialty shows.

"We're so detached being in Carson City," Ferguson said. "Even though San Francisco is near, they are more cutting edge than we are."

She explained that in big cities like San Francisco you'll find that the blunt hair cuts are popular. Styles are choppy and hard, rather than feathered and soft. Here in Carson City, women and men are sticking to the classics, and throwing in some new things.

The trends

Bed head

This style is about not having a style. All it can take is some gel and 30 seconds of fluffing with your fingers or a brush. Ferguson said it's about looking a little messy, but still being beautiful.

"It's the messy, I-didn't-try-to-be-this-beautiful look," Ferguson said. "It's just like you got out of bed and nothing was set."

The up-do

Do you have about 10 Bobbie pins? Then you too can have an up-do. Teenagers and twenty-somethings can often be seen with multiple twists in their hair. The twists can be lopsided or a little messy, but no braids. Ferguson said people want to look like they didn't spend a lot of time on their hair. They want a natural, beautiful look.

Multiple color or two-tone

Larry Walthers, owner of Platinum Plus Salon and Day Spa in Carson City, said many of his customers want three to nine colors in their hair. The colors are streaked, striped, or weaved into the hair.

"We're doing chunky, streaky looks," he said. "A lot of younger people want the dark under tones underneath the hair and stripes on top."

Ferguson said many women will have their hair died a dark color from of the nape of the neck down and then a light color on top.

Multiple color highlighting, or weaving, is done every day at Downtown One Eleven Salon, owner Cathy Marie Austin said. The customer she worked on that day was getting her hair sliced, which means a color placement by slicing through the hair. The lock of hair is coated with decolorizer and then folded into a double foil.

Ripped and torn

This cutting style can be short and around the ears, or down to the middle of the back. The ends are slightly uneven and often hair is pressed straight, which is in right now.

How they learn it

Each salon has a different technique, or product they use, Ferguson said. When a new stylist is hired, he or she will be taught that specific technique. Some local salons are known for giving wonderful head massages, others are known for using a particular beauty product.

At Platinum Plus, Walthers said they bring in Redken educators from New York City to teach their stylists the latest trends.

"We're fortunate enough that we're the largest retailer of Redken in the area," he said. "So we're able to bring in their top people. Redken also holds a salon symposium once a year in Las Vegas. We can't send the whole shop, but we try and send 10 to 12 people there."

Walthers also travels around the country testing out styles and products, so if it's hot, he'll see it first.

"I get to see all the new trends, the new people out there, the new skin care lines," he said. "I can then bring ideas back here."

Another place where stylists come into the know about all the up-and-coming cuts is at hair shows. In late September there will be one in Tahoe that many local stylists will attend. Ferguson said if stylists and students want to advance their techniques they'll go to big-name shows. Hair shows in San Jose, Long Beach and L.A. draw stylists from all over the country. The one in Tahoe is small and not as significant, she said.

"That's where you'll see next year's styles," Ferguson said. "Looks for the next season will be there. New products will be there, and new techniques. They have those (shows) all over the country all the time."

Downtown One Eleven Salon stylist Patty Fonda said she often attends classes to improve her technique.

"I'm getting ready to leave for three days to San Diego to go to coloring classes," she said.

Her client, Terrie Bergantz, has a head full of foils. She is getting a coloring job and blond highlights. Fonda directed her client toward the dryer.

"She's going to have sporadic highlights to lighten the top of her hair," Fonda said with a smile.

It seems like style education will never end, just like the line of clients who want to follow the latest trend.

Need a new 'do?

Platinum Plus Salon

and Day Spa

716 N. Carson St., Suite 110


Carson City Beauty

Academy, Inc.

2531 N. Carson St.


Downtown One Eleven Salon

111 E. 6th St.


Contact Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.


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