Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have more love in their lives than they manage? Even more amazing, they are not particularly good looking, have great figures, fame or fortune? Yet they seem to have secret love magnets that send out an invisible beam and prospective lovers come flocking?
When it comes to the human brain, it is much like a computer that is hard wired with thoughts. In essence the human brain receives a series of thoughts which are like electrochemical charges. The thoughts are stored and then triggers our actions.
The Bajan (pronounced BAY-jan) Beauty had been pigeon-holed by her record label as the cute beach girl with long caramel waves posing on the cover of her first CD, Music of the Sun.
At the 2006 Billboard Awards Rihanna honored the pretty, but sexy, beach girl image by sparkling in a little white Zac Posen dress framed by long shiny tresses cascading down to her tush.
While she loved her long hair, Rihanna didn't want to be just another pretty girl with gorgeous hair with a one name handle. She wanted to be much more.
Without her label's prior knowledge or approval, a rebellious Rihanna enlisted the help of Ursula to chop off her long locks and dye them raven black. The radical hair transformation took place in Rihanna's LA hotel room.
In an act of true celebrity hairdresser/client collaboration, Rihanna expressed her desire to adopt an edgy version of Charlize Theron in the film, Aeon Flux.
Ursula, noted in her circle as a talented visionary image maker, took Rihanna's idea and made it a reality.
The Billboard Music Award winner was transformed in whiplash speed from the good little girl from Bahama to an International singing phenomena with an edgy "bad girl" look. Courtesy of Ursula's scissors and hair color application.
The hair make-over made Rihanna stand out as an artist, while it helped to seal Ursula's reputation as a world class celebrity stylist.
After her drastic haircut she went on to shoot the cover for Good Girl Gone Bad and the Rihanna Bob, cut and colored by Ursula, because a major new hair craze.
Ursula and Rihanna met when Ursula was asked at the last minute to fill in doing the Beautiful Barbadian's hair on a short performance tour.
The celebrity hairdresser was thrilled by the stroke of luck opportunity and jumped at the chance. Their meeting "was love at first site" and the duo was immediately comfortable collaborating on all of Rihanna's wide range of spectacular hairstyles.
Ursula, who had fifteen years of hairdressing expertise under her belt, was a great match for Rihanna. As Ursula explained "Rihanna had lots of great ideas about how to transform her image through her hair.
The pair shares a mutual love of fashion. Rihanna adores wearing an array of stunning new fashions while Ursula "receives her hairstyling inspiration from different textures, cuts and shapes, which blow open her creative juices."
While Rihanna was busy fulfilling her dreams as a world renowned singing superstar, Ursula was realizing the fruits of so many years working behind the chair as a hairdresser.
Ursula's hairdresser career stemmed from advice provided to her mother from her mother's long term hairstylist back in Brooklyn, New York, where she was born. Her mom requested help in finding Ursula a high school with an in-house cosmetology program.
Once a list of schools were located, Ursula and her mom set to work picking a school for the budding young hairdresser to attend.
Ursula loved attending Cosmo school at the same time she attended high school. Laughing she admitted "she hated math" all through" Junior High School and knew that studying hair would be much more to her liking."
By the time she graduated from high school Ursula "was ready to start her hairdresser career". She confessed "she felt very blessed" by all the events that transpired making it possible for her to find a great school.
She felt so lucky to be ale to get her hairdresser training during high school and not have to go to beauty school afterwards.
Looking back, many hairdressers over the years have told Ursula how envious they were they she was able to go to Cosmo school during her high school.
Another blessing came to Ursula in the form of her cosmetology teacher who "became a trusted friend" and gave her lots of great advice and guidance.
In particular, Ursula's Cosmo teacher encouraged her and the other students to attend hair shows.
At those shows Ursula got a glimpse of all the possibilities the hair world could offer. She was fascinated by the platform artists and their amazing skills.
Starting Her Hairdressing Career
As soon as she finished high school Ursula was ready to go to work as a full time hairdresser. She got a job at a neighborhood salon in Brooklyn and went about the business of building a solid hair cliente.
A very hard worker who is dedicated to giving her clients her very best, she soon built a very large book of business. As her hair business grew she eventually found herself doing as many as twenty heads in an average day.
That is an astounding number of hair clients. Laughing, Ursula agreed.
She also commented how much she loved all of her clients and doing hair.
Ursula pushed herself to constantly improve her trade and did everything from cuts, color and styling to weaves, extensions and wigs. Every new hair challenge helped to make her an even better hairdresser.
Chasing Her Dream Of Being A Celebrity Hairdresser
Although there was an element of luck for Ursula in connecting with Rihanna, she knew for years she wanted to break into the celebrity hair trade.
After working hard for close to ten years in a salon setting, she decided to spread her wings and start trying to get jobs doing print and related jobs. Although she continued to work with as many of her original hair clients as possible, she became a free lancer and put the work out that she was available for work in the entertainment business.
Electricity Gone Wrong In Paris
I asked Ursula if she had encountered any crazy hair experiences during her travels with her celebrities. She laughed and told me she had a strange experience in Paris.
The first time she traveled to Paris to do hair she didn't realize the electricity was so much different and was not prepared with the right type of adapters for her blow dryers or other hot tools.
She was doing Rihanna's hair in her hotel room but none of the hot hair tools would work. In a moment of pure genius Ursula looked over at the roaring fireplace and decided to use the little hooks hanging around the fire as her own personal version of an old fashioned hair tool oven.
She heated all her various irons up, literally at the fireplace, and went on her merry way creating some incredibly hairstyles.
I asked Ursula if she had encountered any crazy hair experiences during her travels with her celebrities. She laughed and told me she had a strange experience in Paris.
Before she applies a relaxer to Rihanna's hair she always pre-treats it with a good conditioner to keep it soft and damage free. The superstar's hair "relaxes beautifully".
She also "colors Rihanna's hair" with "semi-permanent color" to protect against damage. She is currently using two gorgeous shades of color from Sebastian that she mixed together.
The current colors are Beautiful Brown and Black Orchid. The end result is a gorgeous Blue Black shade which makes Rihanna's eyes pop.
The downside to using semi-perm color is that is starts to come out after just 3-4 weeks and she needs to redo it to keep it rich and glossy looking.
Since Rihannas and Ursula started working together, Ursula has done the majority of Rihanna's hair styling duties.
Because Rihanna's hair is chemically relaxed and colored, Ursula takes special precautions to protect it from any heat styling she might do. She uses a variety of products on the star's hair. Specifically she uses a really good leave-in conditioner to prevent frizz of any kind.
Over the past five years Jessica has created a wide range of hair designs for Paula which includes cuts, colors, hairstyles, extensions and even wigs.
Jessica reported that Paula has gorgeous chocolate brown hair that is very healthy and super shiny. She adores working with Paula and had the opportunity to work with her on American Idol for Seasons 3 through 6.
In the process of working with Paula she traveled to several of the Idol cities including New York.
In the earliest days of working with Paula, Jessica expressed she had a lot more time to devote to traveling with Paula and trying lots of new hair techniques.
Now she has less time to devote to just one client because she is so busy with other clients.
As a result Jessica no longer travels with Paula. When Paula needs on-the-road hair assistance, she sends her Jessica Galván hair ambassadors to work with Paula. Jessica also works with Paula when she is in LA and does her hair for celebrity Red Carpet events.
The Importance Of The Total Image
Jessica admitted she is "a bit of a control freak when it comes to hair clients, but in a very good way".
She confessed she wants "to control the entire image process for her clients".
For her it is "very very important to create the total image". Although she is not a make-up artist, she will co-ordinate her hair work with someone she "trusts to do great make-up".
When she works with a hair client, she begins by "visualizing the big picture". She looks at the "final result she wants to achieve" and then works back from there. Jessica is always getting ideas of ways to make her clients looks fabulous and wants to make sure they get her very best.
She pointed out, "unlike a lot of big name celebrity hairdressers who only specialize in either cut, color or other parts of the hair biz, she is an expert in all those areas. She can do cut, color, styling and is a master at hair extensions.
When celebrity clients work with Jessica they "have the advantage of having a complete hair look" which is "custom designed for them" and "incorporates the perfect cut, hairstyle and color".
Hair Extension Expertise
Extensions are extremely common in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Southern California, although maybe not as much throughout the rest of the country.
Jessica is a huge fan of hair extensions and wants to educate people about the many benefits which they can provide.
She is thrilled with the high quality of human hair extensions because when applied correctly, there are so many options you can offer.
Jessica pointed out that hair extensions can be use to add length, volume and fullness and color, either a little bit or a lot.
Hair extensions can be utilized an a great way to achieve highlights and lowlights without the chemical damage and risks that color bring.
While Paula Abdul was Jessica's first celebrity client, one of her most high profile celebrity clients is Victoria Beckham.
Jessica first started working with Victoria in early 2007 even before the famous Beckhams (David and Victoria) had moved to the United States from England. She was referred to Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) by the make-up artists who she worked with on American Idol.
The celebrity hairdresser received a call asking if she could work with Victoria for her reality TV show and for an episode that involved Marc Jacobs. Jessica "really wanted to meet Marc Jacobs" so she agreed to "do Victoria's hair".
Victoria got along famously with Jessica and from "that point on, every time Victoria came to town," she would ask Jessica "to do her hair".
Jessica also did Victoria's hair during her reality TV show but unfortunately she "never got any camera time" due to "the presence of Victoria's former hairdresser", which "sort of sucked" for Jessica, but she understood.
In the end, it all worked out since the major media eventually figured out Jessica was the master celebrity hairdresser behind all of Victoria's most recent hair transformations. Even Perez Hilton mentioned Jessica in a reference to Victoria's hair color change.
When Jessica met Victoria for the very first time, the star's tresses were a soft brown. Since that auspicious beginning, Victoria has opted to change her hair color from brown to platinum blonde and then back to brown for her Spice Girls tour in late 2007.
Jessica explained "Victoria is very adventurous when it comes to her hair". She likes to "change up her hairstyles from the length and cut to the color". She loves "to go brighter".
Between Victoria's love of new hair adventures and Jessica's ability to develop a hair vision for her clients, the platinum Pob was conceived and ultimately created.
Jessica was the color maestro behind Victoria's much heralded transformation in February of 2007 from light brown tresses to stunning platinum blonde.
Jessica also created Victoria's inverted edgy bob which instantly became known in the media as "The Pob", christened as such by taking Victoria's nickname - Posh - and mixing it with Bob to create Pob.
Victoria's edgy short Bob set off a wave of hair envy not seen since Jennifer Aniston's "Rachel". Women everywhere rushed to the salons and requested the newly named Pob. Which will live on in the hair history books forever with Jessica as the official hair master behind the latest hair phenomenon.
Rihanna's Hair Secrets
Victoria loves when her hair is sleek and shiny. She also likes to have a lot of volume and lift at the roots.
Victoria has a little bit of natural wave in her hair. but it is very easy to manage. Jessica explained "you can blow her hair dry with a round brush and immediately get it sleek and straight".
To make sure her tresses are really straight, Jessica goes over Victoria's tresses with an Ionic flat iron.
When she is finished flat ironing Victoria's hair, she sprays a bit of hairspray on her fingertips and then swipes them down through the strands to give them hold without stickiness.
Jessica never uses pomades but prefers to use hairspray because it provides great shine and helps to manage any fly-a-ways that might pop up. She works hard to make sure there are no flyaway strands sticking out because that can instantly ruin any great hairstyle.
Although she grew up in the Toni & Guy family, she no longer uses their products and prefers Redken because it gives the hair so much shine. Jessica tends to use Redken products on her clients like Victoria.
Transitioning From Platinum Back To Brunette
So after creating such a spectacular hair splash with the platinum Pob, why did Victoria go back to a longer brunette hairstyle?
Jessica explained "Victoria gets bored with her hairstyles and color after awhile." After having the beautiful platinum blonde for awhile, she decided in October of 2007 she wanted to go back to brown for one of her son's birthdays and in preparation for the Spice Girls Tour.
Victoria was looking for "something different" but not any old shade of brunette would do. It had to be special and it had to work completely with Victoria's face shape and skin tones. The celebrated master hair colorist took the famous Spice Girl back to brunette in a complicated color reversal that took approximately eight hours.
To make sure that Victoria had a natural brunette shade that had dimension, shimmer and shine, Jessica painstakingly wove in three different shades of brown to give the beautiful Victoria a stunning multi-dimensional finish.
The media was on hand to document Victoria's latest color transformation as she left Jessica's salon. Even though Victoria tried to hide the new color with a hat, her new color was captured and became a major news event. Even her husband, David Beckham got into the act when he was asked if he liked Victoria's new brunette do. Yes, he did, of course.
Latest Victoria Beckham Hair News
After Victoria returned from the Spice Girls Tour, she had Jessica do her hair for the 2008 Golden Globe Awards, which was abbreviated due to the then-writers strike. Victoria also had Jessica add a few subtle honey highlights to add additional dimension and movement to her brunette strands.
For Spring of 2008 Jessica took Victoria slightly lighter while mostly maintaining the brunette shades.
Although Victoria told Jessica "she never wants long hair again" Jessica laughed and said "we'll just have to wait and see". I got the sense that Jessica really didn't believe her.
Healthy Hair Is So Important
Jessica always tries to accommodate the needs of her hair clients - celebrity or not - but she believes that hair needs to be first and foremost, healthy.
When a client goes with a drastic new hair color, such as light blonde, from brunette, she encourages them to keep the new color for "at least one year".
Regardless of her expert advice and opinion, some of her clients change their hair color all the time and go from red to blonde to brown and then back to red. She understands their desire to constantly change their hair color and style, but she tries to encourage them to go as slow as possible so their hair has time to adjust.
When her clients want to change their hair color too often, she laughed and said she "wants to put a wig on them so that their natural hair can rest and get healthy".
She wants all of her clients to have hair that is soft, shiny, healthy, rich and full of shimmer and shine.
When it comes to weaves…..stylist to the stars Ursula Stephen (Rihanna, Keisha Cole) has a different point of view. "It really depends on what look you're going after. Sometimes synthetic hair can work, if you know how to flip it," she says. "I have some synthetic Afro-kinky hair that I put in often. I get tons of compliments when I wear it."What you do with your weave after it's in is just as crucial as choosing the right hair texture. Too much hair will look like a wig. "Every weave needs to be shaped according to head size and face shape," says Stephen.
The haircut was a defining moment for both superstars.
Michelle Williams (of Destiny’s Child), also in Heart & Soul Magazine and Essence Magazine (May 2008 Issue).
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