By Stef Schwalb
Tippi Shorter knows texture. Since 1994, when the Pantene celeb stylist moved to New York City, she has been working on Hollywood actresses, supermodels, and musical artists, styling for MTV, VH1, numerous national commercials and music videos and maintaining the manes of Lauryn Hill, Fantasia, Michelle Williams and Kimora Lee Simmons, among others. Editorially, Tippi’s creations have been featured in InStyle and Essence and on television staples such as “The View” and “Live! With Regis and Kelly.” She takes pride in educating other stylists and even opened her own salon called Luxe. Throughout this process, Tippi has made a name for herself as an industry expert in textured and multi-ethnic hair care and styling. Luckily for us, she has agreed to give us some tips on how to winterize all types of tresses and she’s provided a little insight into the secrets of her strand success.
Beauty News: The change of seasons is always tough on the tresses. Can you give us some tips on how to best “winterize” and successfully care for our strands?
Tippi Shorter: There are a couple of things I love to share with my clients during the winter months. The first thing is herbal steam treatments. The steam helps to open cuticles and allows conditioner to really penetrate the hair shaft. Another is a gloss. Using this provides a barrier for the hair against heat and wind. And last but not least are my special conditioning scalp massages. We forget that our scalp is just like our skin and gets dry too. I use products with essential oils like the Pantene Pro-V Daily Oil Cream Moisturizer. You massage the scalp while conditioner is in hair then rinse thoroughly. Trimming your ends is most important during this season because split ends snag on coats and scarves and rip the hair out. Also, putting a satin scarf around the collar of your wool coat helps to keep hair from rubbing and breaking.
BN: What’s your preference for hair wear in the winter?
TS: My favorite style for this weather is bountiful curls. They last long and allow you to give your hair a break by not combing too often.
BN: Any product suggestions for us for smooth ‘dos and/or bouncing body?
TS: First of all, you should always partner with your product. For example, here are two suggestions that will make your styling life a little simpler:
1. The Pantene Pro-V Texture and Shine Defining Pomade. It helps smooth hair into a sleek ponytail that is sophisticated, polished and quick.
2. The Pantene Pro-V Extra Fullness Hairspray. If you section hair into three parts (front, middle, back), backcomb the hair, spray each section and shake head upside down, you’ll have full, glamorous, and sexy strands.
Another tip? Use extension hair clips for added length. They are always great to keep in the medicine cabinet.
BN: You are known as an expert in textured and ethnic hair, can you tell us how you got so familiar with this hair type and have come to style it so well?
TS: I am an African-American woman with fairly wavy hair. Most of my friends have textures that vary from stick straight to extra curly, and they would all ask me to help them understand their hair. So, after tons of practice and education I decided to start my career working with ethnic hair.
BN: What’s your favorite part of your job?
TS: The best part about being a hair stylist is helping people feel good about themselves.
BN: What’s the most demanding part of your job?
TS: The most challenging aspect is meeting new clients and hoping that I meet up to their expectations.
BN: You owned a salon here in New York called Luxe, which is a major accomplishment. Can you tell us a little bit about the experience of opening it?
TS: Opening Luxe was the biggest step I have taken since moving to New York, and it was the most incredible experience one could ask for. It was like having a child. Luxe required more time than I was aware I would need to give, and it grew beyond my belief. I have since sold the salon this past spring to work freelance full time, but I still take appointments. It was a great experience, and I would do it all over again (in a couple of years).