|Revised: 12/16/08 - Original
Publication Date: 12/6/1999, 7/2/2005
Trust me, the photo of Rene Russo to the left does not begin to capture the incredibly gorgeous shades of red that Rene, as sexy Catherine Banning, donned for all to see in The Thomas Crown Affair. You have to see the movie to really appreciate her gorgeous hair.
Rene, as Catherine, is a brilliant female investigator hired to retrieve a stolen Monet painting from the charming and daring Thomas Crown.
It used to be that I received tons of email asking how to duplicate Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore or Meg Ryan's hair. Now a week does not go by that I don't get tons of email about Rene and her flaming red locks. Rene's look for the Crown movie has sent hordes of women flocking to their stylists to recreate the "Rene".
Luckily, JerkyFlea, the Hair Boutique king of celebrity hair, includes details and photos of Rene in several of his Celebrity Hairspray columns.
One of the most popular questions about Rene involves whether her look for the hot Thomas Crown movie is a wig or not.
The original plans for Rene actually called for her to wear a specially prepared red wig.
Once Rene checked out the wig she decided it just didn't do her skin coloring proper justice. She did tell the press that the wig that she was originally supposed to wear was of the highest quality.
In a desperate move to find a better way, Rene called upon world famous color master Beth Minardi from the New York Minardi salon (1-800-MINARDI).
Beth is considered to be one of the best, if not the best, color expert in the US.
Rene called Beth at the 24th hours before filming was scheduled to start. Rumor has it that Beth almost was not available to take Rene's call. Luckily for Beth, Rene and all the fans of Thomas Crowne, Beth and Rene did get together and created a hair masterpiece. (Photo: MGM)
As gossip has it, the director of the Thomas Crown movie was thrilled when Rene decided to cut and color her usual blonde locks for the Banning role.
Although there was lots of rumors about which stylist should get credit for Rene's look, it was definitely Beth Minardi who should get full credit for Rene's incredible shades of red.
Beth, who was recently interviewed in Modern Salon's October magazine, painstakingly created and then wove the multi tones and shades of red into Rene's hair.
From Brunette to Rusty Red
Although Rene has favored a variety of blonde highlights and tones in her various movies and personal roles, she is a natural brunette with no gray. She has lots of warm golden undertones in her hair which match her warm skin tones.
When creating the multi-dimensional reds and highlights Beth was careful to select shades that enhanced Rene's skin tones and played up her eyes.
Don't Try This At Home
Whether Rene's glorious red color can be easily duplicated at home is a common question that I receive in the AskKaren column.
Beth Minardi personally created the multi shades of dimensional red specifically to match Rene's skin tones and eye color.
Although Beth declines to give away her special secret for creating the deep glossy red shades, she does caution that it can not be duplicated at home from the local retail store.
Beth did tell InStyle Magazine and other consumer press "the secret to Rene's gorgeous red is dimensional. Rene's hair was red on red on red. It was also multi-toned".
Minardi formulated softer, deeper tones closer to the scalp with lighter and warmer tones for the hair shaft. Rene's look was further customized when Minardi carefully hand weaving additional demi-permanent tones and lighter shades throughout the newly established base color.
Beth will generally disclose the fact that she carefully created Rene's new signature red color with a series of custom mixed and applied formulas and applications using demi-permanent shades of red on the hair shaft and permanent hair color at the scalp.
If you wish to try out Rene's new color and cut, be prepared to pay anywhere from $150-600 depending on the hair colorist you work with. The red tones, if created correctly, require a personal creation of multi shades and tones which can only be created by a master colorist.
Note: Remember the importance of treating colored hair with tender loving care (TLC).
Because the color is customized with multiple shades, chances are that your color expert will never be able to complete duplicate the exact color combination every single time that you go in for touchups. While they can get a similar look, it will probably never be an exact match.
This Look Is Not For Everyone
Rene's Crown look is a fiery rusty type of red. It is also sophisticated, sleek and sexy. What is even more touted by the press is the fact that Rene is in her 40s and has captured the current queen of hairstyles normally captured by younger stars and celebrities.
Rene was reportedly a little stressed about making the switch from her normally longer traditional longer blonde tresses (shown to the side) to the more assertive short and sassy red which better suits her Crown character.
Although Beth Minardi was the genius behind Rene's gorgeous red locks, Rene's sexy new cut for Thomas Crowne was created by Enzo Anglieri Cloutier of Los Angeles.
Although everyone from Regis Philbin to Rene herself thinks that the Crown look is fabulous, it will not work for everyone.
The actual cut is a classic type of chin-length layered classic beveled bob that is almost as hot as the color.
If cut correctly for the right type of hair, skin and face shape, the style is very versatile. It can be either "wash and wear" with some light finger scrunching and fluffing or it can be dried with a blow dryer and set with rollers for fullness and volume.
Use a round brush to dry fullness into the style. Another option is to blow dry the style upside down aiming the blow dryer away from the roots to achieve maximum movement and volume.
Natural Hair Texture Matters
Does the Rene style fit everyone? Not really. While the majority of women can probably happily wear the new "Rene", not everyone will have good luck with the cut or the color.
Women with thin or fine hair will have a harder time achieving the full sexy look without careful layering and use of the correct styling products. Bobs can be excellent solutions for fine hair, but each individual must take in consideration how their hair may react.
Curly or wavy hair will also have a challenge creating the exact look without use of either temporary or chemical straightening solutions.
The look is best for hair that is naturally thick, straight and in good condition.
Face Shape Should Be Considered
Oval shaped faces could easily wear Rene's new look. However, the cut may not work as well for round faces that look better with longer styles that provide more slenderizing. Oblong faces also may not benefit from the chin length and may need a shorter length.
When asking for the color, make sure that you discuss how Rene's rusty red will work with your natural skin tones. Some women do not have the proper skin or eye coloring to carry off the same shades of red as Rene.
A Photo Speaks A Thousand Words
Although "The Rene" might be the latest in hairstyle revolutions, remember that not all hair colorists and hair stylists will have seen the movie.
It is always best to take a few photos of the look you desire to your local stylist so that they can duplicate the look. A photo speaks a thousand words.
To try and communicate Rene's color and cut to an uninformed stylist could be disastrous.
Photo Credits: All Photos of Rene by MGM Studios.
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