Although she is known to her adoring fans as "Bai Ling", in reality Bai is her family name and she is known to some of her close friends as Ling which means "white spirit".
When Bai (pronounced "bi") called me on the phone to chat about her latest hair cut - a fabulous edgy, hip, chic chop - she asked me to "call her Bai instead of Ling". The bubbly star laughed and told me "her friends would tease her about being "bi" as in bi-sexual" but she took it all in good fun loves to play along".
Bai was calling me to give me the inside scoop on her sizzling new hairstyle which she explained came about as a result of "a little voice" inside telling her that she needed "a new edgier look" for a new film she is shooting in China starting next week.
Bai confessed "the director on the film based on an excellent best selling book" didn't want her to "do anything at all to her" and certainly he did not want her to "cut it".
One thing I discovered almost from the instant Bai came on the line is her fierce willingness to take risks and "go for it". She may look gorgeous, sexy, vibrant and fabulous on the Red Carpets that she has graced around the world but Bai is a very complex and highly spiritual personality. Not only does she "honor her inner voices" she follows the longings of her soul which results in her ability to be a fantastic actress and life her life with integrity, insight and ageless wisdom.
Which is why Bai not only cut her hair for her new movie role but pushed the envelope to the very edges. Respecting her belief that "this role needed to be represented by a young, modern, edgy and uber hip girl", Bai visited the "Frederic Fekkai Salon in Beverly Hills to create a new look".
The only way that her new haircut could be explained is as a "creative collaboration" between Bai and her stylist Lisa. Picking up scissors to cut Bai's hair "longer near the chin and shorter in back". Bai noted "at first Lisa was reticent to take risks" but Bai urged her to "go for it". With Bai's enthusiastic encouragement Lisa cut more and more until, as Bai explained, she was "chop, chop, chopping" away and hair was flying. An excellent storyteller, I could almost visualize the scene of the empowered stylist being urged on by Bai to take it to the limits.
Rather than being filled with fear, Bai was thrilled that Lisa unleashed her inner artist to "go crazy, have fun and co-create Bai's super choppy hair masterpiece which fulfilled her ultimate vision" which Bai "absolutely loves". She feels "free and hip" and is so pleased "Lisa was willing to work with Bai to create a brand new look". Her friends "have been very complimentary of Bai's sizzling haircut which they is very "60s Mod with flashes of Twiggy".
Yes, Bai is definitely a self proclaimed "risk taker in every aspect of her life", whether the risks "involve her hair or the roles she takes". Moving past her charming rendition of her new chop, Bai reminisced about her various hair journeys throughout her acting career starting with her much documented hair cut to appear with Jodie Foster in Anna And The King.
The gorgeous performer (Chinese movie star, actress & model) made International headlines in 1998 when she cut her spectacular long shiny black tresses in order to win the part of Tuptim in 1999's critically acclaimed Anna And The King. The star told the media at the time "it was worth losing her waist length luscious locks in order to win the part in such a prestigious film".
While she admitted to me "her initial reticence" to have her head shaved for Anna, the experience "changed her total perspective on a number of levels". I had not been aware that her hair had been completely shaved and expressed my surprise at the lengths she went to completely honor the role.
"Yes, completely shaved" she explained. In fact, because her head to appear the same throughout the extended shooting "a styling on the set of Anna shaved her head" which was "challenging, difficult and completely against all of her Chinese traditions" that spells out head shaving as "something occurring to prisoners" or other society outcasts.
That feeling of "being in prison" and violating Chinese customs" definitely played head games with the gorgeous movie star who noted she had moments of "wanting to buy a ticket to escape before they cut off her waist-length" tresses that had taken her "so very long to grow". Yet this woman is a true warrior. Her three years serving in the Chinese Army when she was still in her teens taught her personal discipline and a fearless nature. As she pointed out "if she was not an actress she would have refused to have her head shaved" but in order to achieve her acting dreams she was willing to do whatever it took.
When one door closes another opens and this was the case for Bai who explained that "having her head shaved regularly on the Anna set also pushed the limits of her privacy" and thrust her into a new feeling of being totally vulnerable". She laughed as she told me after her head shaving she would "look up into the sky and wonder what would happen if a bird flew over or it rained and how her head would be protected". Afterall, before the cut "she had her hair to protect and cover her" but with her shaved head "she was completely exposed to all the elements of nature".
Using her head shaving experience as a springboard for in-depth self examination she stepped back and observed the flowers and butterflies around her. She observed the freedom and beauty in nature and embraced those feelings. Her transformation resulted in a freedom of spirit and unconditional self acceptance of who she was. The result? She felt more trusting and willing to be brave and take more risks in life.
Her newfound feelings of self love and acceptance triggered new experiences that were very freeing. Bai began to completely embrace her shaved head and felt "sexy, free, open and completely confident". In fact, she believes now that "every woman should shave her head at some point in her life" because the experience forces you to deal with feelings of being naked and stripped of external symbols like hair provides.
The experience of having her luscious long locks shaved resulted in a life changing transformation and what initially appeared as a scary event became the opportunity to appreciate herself in new ways. Which is why to this day she encourages everyone to cherish and appreciate everything in their lives."
The liberation of her spirit as the result of the loss of all her hair empowered Bai to freely follow her heart and to embrace constant experimentation in every aspect of her life.
Which explains why she can be shy at one point but dancing crazy and having lots of fun the next. It also
When I complimented on her acting in her various roles she told me "I am not really acting but reaching deep inside to pull out a series of different personalities" that inhabit her psyche. She said for every one of her roles she is just portraying "the truth of who she is at that moment". Whether she is "dancing crazy" posing as a fashion trend setter or enjoying very quiet and private times with her guy Bai is just expressing the many and complex facets of who she is.
Born under the sign of Venusian Libra (October 10, 1970 )in Chengdu in the Szechwan province of China, Ling began her performance career in grade school when she joined her school choir. At the tender age of 14 she enlisted in the famous Chinese People's Liberation Army where she dedicated three years as a performer entertaining Chinese solders stationed in Tibet.
From her work in the army she joined a local theater in Beijing. During that period of time Ling joined the now famous pro-Democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Her involvement in the Revolution resulted in her emigration to Hollywood in 1991. Shortly after her arrival in the United States she won her first English language role in 1994's cult classic - The Crow - with Brandon Lee.
Her success in The Crow solidified her acting and performing career (she took acting classes at New York University and the famous Lee Strasberg Institute in 1991). Ling advanced to playing the evil Miss East in Wild, Wild West in 1999, a controversial lawyer in 1997's Red Corner and Tuptim in Anna and the King in 1999.
People Magazine named Ling to their list of the 50 Most Beautiful In the World in 1998. She posed for the June 2005 issue of Playboy Magazine which made her the first women from The People's Republic of China on its cover.
Ling also had an appearance in Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) which got left on the cutting room floor.
The German tabloids have nickname the tiny beauty "die Berlinacte" or the "Berlinaked" because of her revealing attire.
Bai Ling's Hairstyles
The stunning beauty is famous for her many diverse hairstyles over the years. The shy star is a fan favorite both in the United States and Internationally. In July sharp photographers cause the star in NAA -- Tokyo's International Airport between flights. The Chinese beauty graciously posed for the cameras delighting the photogs and her many fans with her warmth and friendship.
Steal Ling's Latest Hair Style
Helen's Emmy bob is a 2006 version of a twenties-style bob that she glams up with a slightly ruffled perimeter. The key to Helen's cut is an abbreviated length with the longest strands just graze Helen's jawline.
It is important to remember that white, platinum or similarly colored hair tends to be more coarse, brittle and definitely dry. It is important to religiously follow a ongoing deep conditioning regiment to keep hair soft, silky and shiny.
Consider adopting a formal hair care regime that addresses the special challenges of dry, chemically treated hair or a complete program for the treatment of colored hair:
1. Shampoo hair in lukewarm water with Phytojoba Gentle Regulating Milk Shampoo for Dry Hair. This gentle formula will soothe, protect and detangle dry strands with rich jojoba and coconut oils.
2. Pump up shine and overall hair strength with Phytosesame Conditioner applied as a rinse-out conditioner. This yummy treatment is enriched with a blend of sesame, cocoa butter, shea butter and castor plant oils. Apply to hair after shampoo has been completely rinsed out and then gently squeeze excess water out of your strands with your fingers. Apply the Phytosesame to the ends and middle concentrating this fabulous treatment on the dry areas of your hair. Leave on for 5 minutes or more in the shower.
3. Towel blot hair to remove excess moisture and detangle from the ends to the roots. Apply Phyto 7 to hair as a leave-in treatment. Phyto 7 is a 100 percent natural plant-based, leave-in treatment that softens, hydrates, revitalizes and helps to mend split ends with seven special plant extracts.
Note: In between shampoo treatments utilize Phyto's Huile d'Ales Revitalizing Botanical Oil deep conditioning treatment. Huile d'Ales will treat your dry, chemically treated tresses to a revitalizing botanical oil that smoothes and hydrates brittle hair and helps to ment split ends with a 100 percent natural blend of essential oils of sage, rosemary and juniper.
4. Apply a volumizing treatment like PhytoVolume Actif (with volumizing blend of keratin amino acids) to the roots to achieve lots of fullness and movement.
5. Use a round boar's bristle brush or Mason Pearson brush of mixed boar and nylon along with a blow dryer equipped with an air concentrator. Direct the air flow from the roots down the hair shaft to the ends for a super shiny look.
6. Touch up the style either with a flat iron to make hair super straight or use a small barrel curling iron to add a touch of movement or flicks to the very ends.
7. Add optional shine by applying a drop of shine serum to the palms of your hands and then swipe over the top of your finished strands.
8. Dress the look up with a thin headband in a constrasting shade or attach a diamond style hairclip, hair pin or barrette to one side near the ear.
Hair That Is White, Silver Or Gray
White hair, whether bleached platinum or hair that has been allowed to naturally turn white, silver or gray has a tendency to not only to be brittle and dry, it can also take on subtle yellow or even slight green tints.
Besides utilizing an at-home hair care program designed to moisture and neutralize dryness, consider alternating your moisturizing shampoo with one designed to brighten your strands.
Phytargent Shampoo is a whitening shampoo for grey, white or highlighted hair. Chamomile azulene restores silver highlights, lanoline softens and hydrates to eliminate coarseness.
Other tips for having fabulous white, silver or gray strands includes:
1. Schedule regular salon deep conditioning treatments.
2. Minimize use of hot styling tools and blow dryers which may accelerate the development of yellow and green tints, especially on gray or white strands.
3. Have ends regularly trimmed to prevent the development of split ends and frizz.
Matt has dreamt of being an actor since he was twelve years old. He aggressively pursued his goals by moving to LA right after high school. If you would like to catch Matt in action, check out the KYLE XY series which follows a mysterious boy who looks like a teenager, but otherwise appears to be a newborn. The series is produced by Touchstone and executive producers J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress, and David Himelfarb.
Going Gray, Looking Great: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Unfading Glory by Diana Lewis Jewell (Fireside, 2004). This comprehensive guide to styling and caring for gray hair is recommended by stylists and hair care Web sites.
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