Photo: Greg Kessler
There are hairstylists...and there are hairstylists. And then there's Ken Paves. Part shaman, part therapist, he works a unique kind of magic on his subjects, spending an uncommon amount of time talking with them before he even touches their hair. "I really want to help people accept and celebrate their natural assets," says Ken, who owns salons in Beverly Hills and his hometown of Detroit and styles celebrities like Eva Longoria and Victoria Beckham. "My mission is to show them how they can have fun with the hair they were born with, rather than fight it." The 11 O staffers who were made over for O’s September issue—all deliriously happy with their new look—are living proof that Ken's magic works. Their transformations also gave us the opportunity to watch Ken at work—for two full days. Here are five brilliant, and completely practical, things we learned from the master.
Bangs Are a Game Changer
If you want a more polished or structured hairstyle but aren't prepared for a dramatic chop, get long, side-swept bangs. They create a flattering frame for your face and make your style look sophisticated—even when you're only wearing a ponytail.
Wild Curls Can Be Wildly Gorgeous
Three of our subjects have gloriously curly hair—and usually focus their styling energy on controlling it. Ken showed all three how to play up their curls instead: first, with highlights (which add dimension to a solid mass of ringlets), then with a diffuser (which, on a medium setting, enhances curls without creating frizz) and, finally, by pulling curls away from the head at the root with his fingers, to add volume without disrupting the shape of the spirals.
Two Styling Products Are Better than One
For the most effective hair-smoothing, mix a silicone serum with a moisturizing cream in the palm of your hand and rake the cocktail through damp hair. If your hair is fine, a dime-size dollop of each will do; the coarser your hair, the more product it can handle.
Velcro Rollers Create Instant Volume
After you blow-dry, when your hair is still warm, wrap two-inch sections of hair in three-inch Velcro rollers. Wait 10 minutes while your hair cools, take out the rollers and then marvel at the bounce in your hair.
Don't Be Afraid to Fake It a Little
If clip-in extensions sound scary (and we realize they might), look how stunning—and natural—they look on Maureen. They add a little bit of extra length, but mostly they give more body to the hair. And they're much easier to put in than you think. Let Ken walk you through the process, step by step.
More on How to Transform Your Hair
From the September 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!