ken paves

Photo: Brian To/Getty Images

We believe a style metamorphosis starts—literally—at the top. In other words, if you fulfill your hair fantasy, the rest of your look clicks easily into place. That's exactly what happened for four women after hairstylist Ken Paves reinvented their cuts and color to match their long-held dreams. Behold their heady transformations.
abby amanuel before and after

Photo: Lorenzo Agius

The Fantasy: Urban Sophisticate
Abby Amanuel, 36

Abby, a freelance writer, sees style in black-and-white. And sometimes gray. "I never wear color," she admits. "Neutrals are safe." So is a cropped haircut. Abby has never had hair that falls below her chin, and has always wondered how it would feel to have soft waves swinging around her shoulders.

"These colors brought me to life!"

The Hair Makeover
Ken uses two rows of clip-in extensions to add more than a foot of luscious length to Abby's hair. He creates a few big curls with a large-barrel curling iron, combing them out with his fingers for a tousled effect. Ken also gives Abby brow-grazing bangs (100 percent hers). "Even without extensions, they'll add sophistication and softness to her look," he says.

The Fashion Follow-Through
With long, silky curls as an accessory, Abby is ready for vibrant clothes. Her color infusion begins with a fit-and-flare cobalt dress with black insets—the darker shade and flattering shape make it less intimidating for her to wear. "I'm so inspired to try more color now," she says. And if she misses her minimalist safety net? "I'll do colorful shoes instead of a full outfit."

The Makeup Update
Colorful clothing doesn't preclude colorful makeup—just keep the shades on your face sheer. Two great examples: the light, glossy, orangey red on Abby's lips and the transparent rosy tint on her cheeks.

Dress, Diane von Furstenberg, $398; Earrings, Kelly Wearstler, $295; Horn bangle, $295; Asha by Adam. Green and blue bangle, $20, and blue and black bangle, $30; Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, $795, Barneys New York; 212-826-8900.
eleanna anagnos

Photo: Lorenzo Agius

The Fantasy: Femme Fatale
Eleanna Anagnos, 33

Eleanna rarely gets out of uniform: jeans, clogs, green army jacket, mousy brown hair pulled into a ponytail. An artist who spends most days in her Brooklyn studio slinging paint and plaster (you can find her work at, she is soft-spoken and introspective when she tells us she's dreamed of having rich red hair since she was a teen. Two hours of haircoloring and one pencil skirt later, Eleanna is practically purring in front of the camera, vamping for the photographer.

Dress, $1,495; Necklace with lips charm, Kismet, $670; Strand necklace, $280; Ring, $2,890; Kismet. Chain cuff, $375; Bracelet with green stones, $378;
femme fatale

Photo: Lorenzo Agius

"I've never done anything this drastic to my looks. I feel like doing cartwheels!" — Eleanna Anagnos

The Hair Makeover
Eleanna's past attempts to go red left her with scarlet highlights and, recently, a decidedly pink tint. By keeping to the same shade range as her natural brown, Ken is able to create a completely natural-looking (and undeniably stunning) deep red for her. With the color change, her blue eyes instantly go from pale to piercing and her energy from cautious to captivating.

The Fashion Follow-Through
Eleanna doesn't normally play up her hourglass figure and confesses to hiding behind loose, shapeless clothing. But once her siren waves are in place and she realizes "skintight" is different from "formfitting"—as seen in the slim skirt, lace top and softly draped dress here—she feels comfortable enough to release her inner bombshell. "I want to buy a pencil skirt immediately—it just makes me feel like a woman," she says. "And while I would typically shy away from a nude dress because I thought the color would wash me out, I can see that it really works with my new hair."

The Makeup Update
Contrary to popular wisdom, redheads can wear red lips. But the color needs to be a few shades darker than their hair, with blue (not orange) undertones. This powerful red is a perfect complement to Eleanna's deep auburn.

White blouse, Diane von Furstenberg, $325; Camisole, Josie Natori, $160; Skirt, L'Wren Scott, $1,050; Necklace, Wendy Brigode, $1,425; Bracelet, $560;

Photo: Lorenzo Agius

The Fantasy: '60s Mod
Megan Babineau, 23

Megan describes her look as "edgy" and then pauses; "...meets suburban," chimes in Ken. "Your hair is definitely conservative." Though Megan peppers her wardrobe with leather jackets and motorcycle boots, her highlighted shoulder-length hair is very conventional. "I have a gutsy personality, but my appearance is pretty generic," says Megan. "I'm curious whether short hair will make me look more like myself."

Dress, Catherine Malandrino, $790; 212-929-8710. Earrings, Wouters & Hendrix, $215; Shoes, Nicholas Kirkwood, $695; 646-559-5239.

Photo: Lorenzo Agius

"I looked like everyone else before. Now I look as strong and individual as I feel." — Megan Babineau

The Hair Makeover
There is no hesitation when Megan sits down for Ken's pixie cut. "I've been counting down the hours," she says. "Let's do this!" After the first big chop, Ken moves in with a razor, thinning out the sides for a slimmer silhouette that flatters Megan's round face. A soft fringe falls across her forehead and adds a little height on top. To make the effect even more striking—and edgy—Ken lightens Megan's hair into a bright, icy platinum.

The Fashion Follow-Through
Though Megan loves to experiment with pieces that express her "quirky, goofy" style—patterned tops, funky shoes—she wants to step up her fashion to match her statement hair. "Ultimately, I'd like to present myself more maturely and have an actual look," says Megan. So while this striped crop top and checked pants are a nod to her eclectic style, the simple black-and-white palette keeps the look sophisticated.

The Makeup Update
A short haircut puts all your features in high relief, so keep makeup minimal. A light brown eyeshadow and two coats of volumizing mascara are all it takes to highlight Megan's eyes; a matte beige lipstick defines her lips without looking overdone.

Top, Marc Jacobs, $925; 212-343-1490. Pants, $310; Earrings, $155, and ring, $175, Anton Heunis,

Photo: Lorenzo Agius

The Fantasy: Timeless Elegance
Hillevi Loven, 42

Hillevi's work as a filmmaker and photographer has always dictated her style—mostly loose-fitting tops and comfortable shoes that she characterizes as "rough and ready." But now that her first feature documentary, Radical Love, is being released later this year, she's eager for a more sophisticated look. "Long, unstyled blonde hair worked well in the backwoods of North Carolina, where I've been filming for the past several years, but I've always wanted to look more feminine and put-together," she says.

Top, $960, and skirt, $10,500, Dior; 800-929-3467. Necklace, Anton Heunis, $750; Shoes, Roger Vivier, $725; 212-861-5371.
hillevi loren

Photo: Lorenzo Agius

"I didn't realize how much I'd missed playing up my feminine side." — Hillevi Loven

The Hair Makeover
When we first see Hillevi after Ken deepened her ashy blonde into a caramel shade flecked with warm, golden highlights, we think she has applied a full face of foundation. She hasn't; but in a testament to the power of haircolor, the ruddiness in her cheeks is gone and her complexion positively glows. To reinvigorate Hillevi's cut, Ken takes off about eight inches and adds long layers to give her hair swing. "This length is so much more stylish," he says. A side part and soft curls create a chic, retro silhouette—but when Hillevi wants to wash and go, her layers will air-dry into glossy waves.

The Fashion Follow-Through
Hillevi's typical leggings-based outfit ("perfect for a film shoot—or yoga") doesn't suit her glamorous cut, and certainly won't fly on the film festival circuit. The solution? Dramatic full skirts paired with fitted tops in luxurious fabrics. "I've always loved this '50s-inspired profile: It's so polished and classic," Hillevi says. "It's what my superstylish grandmother wore."

The Makeup Update
Refined style calls for refined makeup, with glowing skin as the main attraction. Use a creamy concealer to neutralize any red areas before blending a tinted moisturizer all over. A tawny peach blush creates a subtle flush that completes the understated look.

Sweater, $750, and skirt, $1,995; Earrings, Gerard Yosca, $173; Diamond bracelet, $14,500; Watch, Dior, $4,250; 866-675-2078.

The Hair Sage
Many stylists can transform a woman's hair. Ken Paves can transform a woman's life. He gets to know each woman who sits in his chair and creates a style that suits not just her face but her personality, her career, her schedule. The results inspire confidence, charisma, power—and, of course, a lot of compliments. "Your most flattering hairstyle is the one that recognizes and celebrates who you really are," Ken told us as he worked with the women in this story. "It should make you feel strong and totally comfortable." Ken's first book, You Are Beautiful: A Beauty Guide for Real Women, comes out this month—and it's full of the inspiring, practical advice we love him for. From June 18 to July 15, 2013, go to to learn how you can enter to win a signed copy.

Next: 7 gorgeous gray hair makeovers