I bumped into the celebrity stylist Gary Evans at Game 6 of the World Series in the Bronx recently. Gary was attending the decisive game of the Yankee’s 27th World Series Championship, and late night after-party, as a guest of the Steinbrenner family because he styles the hair of Jennifer Swindal Steinbrenner, the baseball and horse savvy daughter of “The Boss.” At that juncture of the season my hair was rather unruly because I’d been unwilling to cut it due to superstition. Baseball, you know, is a quirky game riddled with all manner of superstitions. Gary invited me to visit him at the Anthony Leonard Salon on 54th and Madison Avenue, a full-service and elegant salon where partners Anthony Palermo and Leonard Zagami are the featured colorist and style director. Gary Evans, who has been in the styling game for over 30 years, has been with Anthony Leonard since the salon opened about a year ago. I arrived with wild-looking hair and the idea of taking before and after pictures for kicks. Gary played along and then asked what I had in mind to salvage my rebellious head of hair.
Gary had agreed to squeeze me in before hopping a train to Philadelphia to attend to the locks of the federal judge and current First Lady of Pennsylvania, Marjorie “Midge” Rendell. I told him simply that I wanted to keep my hair a little long in the back and he put me completely at ease and went to work. Haircuts for me have always been partly a frustration in communication but Gary got my drift right away. He effortlessly cut and thinned out the wings that seem to twitter on the side of my head and trimmed the problematic lightly populated area at the top of my forehead telling me that me that trimming it more regularly would help the area become a little more robust. And Gary nailed the length and style on the back of my head perfectly giving it a natural look with some shape, taking into account my preference for low maintenance hair that does not require the daily use of gels. He managed to trim my eyebrows on one stop as he made his way around my head, flicking strands of hair. Gary snipped away and restored some order to my noggin while engaging me with tales of his hoops game and anecdotes about his storied clients including Mary Wilson of The Supremes, the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton when she was First Lady, and many others. I have to admit that there’s a bizarre sort of vicarious pleasure to be had in getting a haircut from a celebrity stylist as voluble and talented as Gary Evans.
In his walk of life as a stylist Gary Evans is always meeting new people and sometimes connecting them with one another. He also takes pleasure in proudly showcasing successful clients such as the upcoming actress and model, Kirsten Lechner, and the celebrity trainer, Seven Boggs. In any event, Gary treats every day like an adventure and is always on the move cutting hair for his high-powered friends and making people smile along the way. I’m lucky to have crossed Gary’s path on the baseball diamond and can honestly say that I finally got a haircut that I love. Now, a day after, I am amazed at the transformation that Gary was able to pull off with a pair of scissors and his lifetime of experience. Check Gary Evans out sometime at the Anthony Leonard Salon where he will treat you like a rock star with the grace of a politician in his authentic down-to-earth style, and make the hair on your head flash with its natural vigor and flair.
Anthony Leonard Salon
532 Madison Avenue at 54th Street
What Is Neem To You?
I am, of course, far more ignorant than I’d like to admit. A striking case in point concerns my complete clueless-ness regarding the remarkable therapeutic and healing powers of the Neem tree. For nearly 5,000 years Neem has been used by humankind as a medicinal herb: a cornerstone of the ancient Ayurveda medical system. The compelling history and well-documented health and healing benefits of Neem herb extracts and seed oil is a topic more suitable for a best-selling tome on cultural traditions in maintaining health and treating disease than this modest post. Nonetheless, I will give it a go and also tell about the progressive company Organix-South that has put Neem and other naturally powerful herbs behind its products.
The tropical Neem tree grows in hot and dry climates like the rural areas of India where Ayurveda medicinal herbs were first discovered. Today millions of Neem trees are being planted in India, Africa and China through government initiatives that recognize the health and environmental benefits of the Neem tree. You see, not only is Neem considered to be the Village Pharmacy in much of the world but it also works against global warming by consuming relatively high levels of greenhouse gases compared to other plants. Ayurvedic treatments using Neem oils have been validated in more than 100 studies and over 1,000 reports from around the world. Neem seeds, bark, and leaves contain compounds with proven antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and anti-fungal uses. As such, Neem has been credited with treating and curing disorders ranging from Psoriasis, Diabetes, AIDS (patents awarded for AIDS treatment), Cancer, Heart disease and Periodontal disease. I know it is hard to believe but Organix-South has documented the research findings behind such claims on its website, such as this BBC report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4916044.stm, and authoritative Neem research: http://www.organixsouth.com/resources/showthread.php?tid=72. There is an almost endless list of benefits attributed to Neem that have been discovered and validated by ancient herbalists, their contemporary successors and modern scientists.
Organix-South, the world’s leading manufacturer of certified-organic Neem products, has developed an impressive array of completely natural products for oral care, body care, supercritical herbal extract supplements as well as pet care. Through the development of an innovative patent-pending technology, Organix-South combines supercritical carbon dioxide (fat soluble) extracts with hydrophilic (water soluble) extracts and then binds them back to the whole herb. This process is key to producing powerful herbal remedy formulas that target a host of condition-specific health and wellness issues.
Naturally, Organix-South markets a line of Neem products for oral care since Neem is known as the “toothbrush tree” in rural areas where there is very low incidence of gum disease despite the scarcity of modern dental care. TheraNeem Toothpaste, Mouthwash and Supercritical CO2 extract form just one of many health specific product lines developed by the company that is based in rural central Florida. Supplements include Joint, Respiratory, Menopause, Headache, Heart & Cholesterol, Liver, and Anti-Oxidant Support formulations among others. Organix-South recently released two additions to the Theraveda supplement line, Sleep Ease and Stress Ease, which feature Eco-Cert organic herbs in highly effective formulas.
I particularly took to the Hair Therape’ Shampoo and Conditioner that I’ve been using every two or three days with great pleasure . Neem has long been regarded as an effective treatment for hair and scalp problems and is also credited with protecting against hair loss. The products are Paraben and Sulfate-free and contain no chemicals or synthetic thickeners. I was even more impressed with Organix-South’s deep line of botanical cleansing bars. Yes, I’m talking about soap but this is the most remarkable and healthy soap imaginable. Not only is it formulated with a minimum of 90% organic oils including Neem in combination with olive, coconut, palm and jojoba oils with wild-African shea butter thrown in but the entire line is cured in a NASA-designed solar-powered curing facility. TheraNeem cleansing bars come in a number of varieties including Men’s Shaving and Complexion, Lemongrass and Patchouli and Maximum Strength Sweet Orange & Ylang Ylang bars.
Finally, it is remarkable to me that Organix-South not only has its hands firmly on the pulse of an incredibly effective and time-honored herbal health resource in Neem, but also is committed to organic whole herbs, fair trade, sustainable farming and cruelty-free testing. Organix-South is a terrific company that is profiting by making an important contribution to healthy living in an increasingly toxic and corrupted global marketplace. I can’t believe that I’d never heard of Neem or Organix-South prior to writing this review. Talk about being asleep at the wheel! Check out the resources, webcasts, videos and products on their website and see if you aren’t impressed too.
Of all the multitude of skincare products for men on the market these days only one line is entirely based on professional ingredients recommended by dermatologists and free of any added fragrances, dyes or irritants. The company is called MenScience and they have developed products covering the full range of skincare needs: shaving, grooming, anti-aging and problematic skin. The company recently released, among others, an Omega 3 Supplement Formula ($29) that protects cardiovascular health and also supports joint and muscle mobility by concentrating over 1,500 mgs of pharmaceutical grade Omega 3 fatty acids distilled from fish oil and marine lipids into each liquid capsule.
MenScience’s Advanced Deodorant ($17) targets odor-causing bacteria with microzeolites, tea tree extract and witch hazel rather than masking odors with fragrances, alcohol or aluminum. It has been successfully tested on athletes and is unscented, going on dry without leaving stains or residue. Pigmentation Repair ($49) features professional-grade ingredients such as retinol, kojic acid, glycolic acid and vitamin C in a soft white cream that works to diminish age spots, discolorations and blemishes on your skin. Eye Rescue Formula ($37) is great for reducing puffiness and dark circles from around your eyes when you are a little short of sleep, with the help of coenzyme Q10, kojic acid, green tea and vitamin E.
Mencience also offers a comprehensive trio of acne fighting products: Acne Spot Repair ($21), Advanced Acne Pads ($22) and Acne Therapy Lotion ($28). These products combine to eliminate breakouts within 24 hours by treating acne blemishes and blackheads directly with pharmaceutical and prescription-grade formulations including hard-hitting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, maximum strength salicylic acid in combination with glycolic acid, tea tree extract, witch hazel, urea and vitamins A, C and E. The products can be used independently or as a coordinated three-pronged solution for maintaining a fresh complexion by repairing acne spots, removing oily residues and buildup, cleaning deep pores and improving troublesome skin appearance. You can review the full line of MenScience skincare and health products at specialty high-end retailers and spas, or go to the company website to order directly.