Arrojo Underground 2013

This weekend was a whirlwind of birthday, holiday and hair madness, ending with a 24 hour trip to the city to attend the annual Underground event at Arrojo. And maaaaaayyyyyybbeeeee just a wee bit of shopping (BIRTHDAYSWAG!!). Underground is a yearly event to showcase the work of the stylists at Arrojo Studio in SoHo. The staff at Nick's salon are encouraged to create a collections which embody what they see trending for the upcoming year in hair fashion. Stylists work, often in teams (Arrojo's salon is departmentalized), drawing inspiration from nature, the city, and themselves (loved that!) to create their looks and present them to an audience of super pumped hairstylists from all around the country. So what is the team at Arrojo lovin' on right now? We saw a lot of muted colors, think taking the pastel trend, and adding a touch of gray to dull them a bit. Lavender, lilac, and ice blue tones are definitely here to stay (lucky you, Kelly Osbourne, and lucky me, cuz' I love your locks). Cuts had stronger outer shapes to them (90's chic, here with clothes,here with hair), with a textured interior to add lightness and keep styles looking modern. And, of course, texture texture texture. Keep those American Waves coming, because lived in, easy to style textures are in and fabulous!





American Wave

Oh man, am I excited about this. Back in February when I attended a razor cutting class at Arrojo Studio in NYC, I had a chance to speak with Nick Arrojo and Gerard Scarpaci about the upcoming launch of the American Wave system. With what little information I was able to gather then, I came home so excited to become certified in this service that Jenn set up a class at our salon, and today O2 Salon became the first salon outside of Arrojo to learn this technique! Whhhaaaaaaaattttt?!?! I'm sure I've peaked your interest with all this name dropping and jargon, and you must just be DYING to know, what is the American Wave? In short, it's a new texture service that embodies the style of the moment and is going to revolutionize the beauty industry. And yeah, we at O2 are right on the fore front of it all. But what do I mean by a texture service? The American Wave is enabling us as hair stylists to create lived in textures, with a raw and natural feel. Beachy waves? All over it. Bigger blowouts that last longer? Totally. Best of all? BIG GLORIOUS HAIR. You can have it all, and I'm dying to give it to you.

So what makes the American Wave superior (far superior) to a classic perm? Most importantly, the condition it leaves your hair in. From start to finish, the American Wave is less aggressive to your hair. Perms of the past used chemicals that blew open the cuticle of the hair, forcing their way into the hair strand and breaking the hair down to 50% of it's normal strength before hardening the hair into it's new shape. The American Wave uses the magnetic attraction of positive ions to negative to pull itself into the hair, and breaks the hair down less than half what a perm does. Plus, it has barely any odor! Where perms used to linger in the air of the salon, and your hair, for hours *cough* days *cough* weeks, you would never even guess that your salon neighbor was getting a chemical service with the American Wave.

sarah_classicwrapNow the fun part- the results! Today in class, we had 3 models that received new waves! To the left is Sarah, whose wave will offer her much more support to her hair when she styles it. Sarah's hair is naturally straight and very fine, and she is always fighting to keep the body in a blow out or roller set.With this wave, her styles will stay put, and she will have some tousled textured on days that she wants to let it air dry. In the photos here, her hair is diffused for maximum volume and curl, and will be a bit softer when she lets it go au natural! Below are the before and afters of  Jenny and Mandy. Both of these ladies got the beachy wave, with movement that starts dropped down a few inches from the crown, and has a really soft, romantic finish. Jenny's wave looks so natural, and Mandy's red lion's mane is to die for (am I right, or am I right?). The one bummer with today's class is that we didn't get a model who dared to get the expansion wrap, a set that gives maximum volume and really expands (get it?!) into space, with a gorgeous rounded out shape. Our instructor, Abbey, rocks the expansion wrap, and it is most fabulous. Speaking of Abbey, once again I have to give props to the team of Arrojo Studios for their commitment to their craft. Abbey did an amazing job teaching us about the what's and why's of the service from start to finish, and Nick himself has been in touch with Jenn to make sure that we feel like we have the support that we need, and that we love the experience. And trust me, we LOVED the class today and are super pumped to be performing this service!













Arrojo Razor Fundamentals

Day One: Arrojo RazorHeavy sigh, thunk.

That's the sound of me hitting the bed at the end of day one of a two day razor fundamentals cutting class held at Arrojo Studio in SoHo. Today was both mentally and physically taxing, definitely in good ways. I arrived at Arrojo Studio, met by a warm welcome and the realization that I would be lucky enough to have Nick Arrojo actually be one of my educators over the next two days (score!). Today began with basic razor theory and dexterity work. Holy flashback to day of beauty school Batman! The Arrojo razoring techniques are different than anything I have worked with in the past, so it took a lot of concentration and focus to work on retraining my muscles to work with the razor.

Once we began working on actually executing cuts,  today with graduation (think the stacked bob recreated),  we were able to see the how a razored shape can differ from a scissor cut shape. In the case of the bob, the graduation or "stacking" is almost an illusion, which creates a slimmer shape that still has the ability to expand. My mind has been racing about which clients could have, scratch that, need to have a banging razor cut. In the past, I thought of razors as a tool to create very textured looks, with soft edges, and an almost grown out look. While that is still true, today taught me that using a razor to create graduation can actually "collapse" the shape, removing weight, while graduation created with scissors builds up weight. I can picture this technique opening up a whole new world of styles for those clients with mountains of hair that want to reduce their volume as much as possible.

That being said, this is definitely a technique that is going to require a ton of practice to feel 100 percent confident in, especially because it's getting used to an entirely new motion with the tool. Tomorrow we work on layering, and I can't wait to get my hands back into some hair.


Day 2:

Phew! My mind has the capacity to remember how to use my new razor! Thank goodness! We start the day by jumping right into a layered cut, and today, my friends, razoring feels great. I finished my cut feeling confident in the techniques, and understanding the concepts behind razor cutting. It is so different from training I've had in the past, because razoring is entirely about the feel of the cut; the actual feel of the razor moving through each section as well as the feel of the finished shape. It's organic, and slightly imperfect, which is so beautiful.

Razored Halo

The second half of our day was demonstrations by Nick Arrojo and Gerard (stylist and head of education). The cuts were gorgeous, and I always love to watch an amazing stylist at work!

At the end of our two day course, I felt great about the education I had received. Arrojo Academy sets up the class so that in addition to the two educators, there were two assistants working with us. In a class of 13 stylists, having four instructors to give us pointers meant that everyone attending the class got tons of hands on assistance. It was also really great to see how solid of an education the assistants were receiving from the studio, and awesome to talk to them about their journey to becoming an Arrojo stylist.