Hot Hair: Tress Makeovers

The Transformers

Our celebrity dream team—hairstylists Ursula Stephen and Keith Campbell, makeup artist Lucky Smyler and stylist Wouri Vice gave three everyday women real-life, head-to-toe makeovers. Check out our story to see how good change can be…

Amanda Fermin, 26, entrepreneur, Boston

The former hip-hop dance instructor and mother of three was always so busy juggling family and school, and felt her look suffered.

Losing the Length

First, Stephen cut Fermin’s hair several inches to create a versatile bob that will be easily manageable with her extremely busy schedule, but still be fun and funky.

Brighten Up

After applying a semi-permanent hair color to neutralize Fermin’s previously brassy tone, Stephen added several bright orange hair extensions for dimension.

Star Treatment

Smyler and Stephen work in tandem to put the finishing touches on Fermin, who was the first makeover candidate to be transformed and photographed.

Warm Tones

“She just glows!” gushes Smyler. He emphasized her skin tone by using golden peach and bronze colors to create a sexy, Beyonce-like look.

Stepping Ahead in Style

My hair was long for too long!” she says. “Ursula has made women everywhere desire and appreciate short hair.

Kim Howard, 35, Actor & Educator, Brooklyn

After 10 years, she was brave enough to cut her locs. But relaxing her coif only made it more difficult to maintain. “I really needed help,” she says. “My only options were to wear straight or curly wigs.” So she challenged us with the question: How do you make this straight stuff cute?

Wrap It Up

To begin, Stephen wrapped Howard’s hair while wet and placed her under a hooded dryer to minimize the heat and potential damage to her hair.

Cut Close

Howard’s hair was updated from a conservative bob to a sexy, short pixie style with a dash of semi-permanent color for extra shine.

Real Simple

Smyler decided to keep Howard’s makeup minimal to match the youthful, fun and carefree appeal created by Stephen’s cut.

High Brow

Smyler piled on faux lashes to offset bold eyebrows. “It’s all about the detail and aesthetics,” he says, “it’s not about the color.”

The Bold One

The best part about this hairstyle is that I now know what to do with my hair on my non-hairpiece days,” she says laughing. “Now I feel like a whole new sassy thing!

Eva McKend, 21, student at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA

McKend often felt bombarded by what she cites as America’s “24/7 image-obsessed culture” and found herself doing the bare minimum in terms of beauty. She nominated herself for a makeover because she wanted a bolder look.

Get Lifted

“Lightening the brow softens the eyes and gives them a lift,” says Smyler. Campbell also brightened her hair color with an intense red for an eye-popping effect.

A Shorter Story

Campbell gave McKend a short cut she can play with that emphasized the volume on top. The addition of hairpieces added shape to her funky new style.

Straighten Up

McKend has worn her hair natural for two years. With this cut, Campbell has given her more versatility. She can keep it natural or flat-iron it straight.

Code Blue

Smyler had fun using a bright blue shadow on McKend’s eyelids to make them stand out. He kept the rest of her face natural and flawless for added impact.

Blossoming Beauty

The college senior started off with a wash-and-go natural that she often adorned with various headbands. “It made her look a lot older,” says Campbell who has worked with Nia Long and Chrisette Michele. “She’s conservative but really she’s not because she has yet to tap into her fun, chic side.” Campbell added a rich red hue and hairpieces to her faux hawk for added length and personality. Post-makeover McKend says that while her “personality pieces” had been removed, it has not diminished her newfound confidence. “As Black women, we deserve to get the star treatment.”