Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Celebrity Hairstyles: Vanessa Marcil


Image of Vanessa Marcil as Samantha "Sam" Jane on NBC Las Vegas 7-10-03

Vanessa Marcil (Sally Vanessa Ortiz) sizzles on NBC's Las Vegas in the role of sassy Samantha "Sam" Jane, the hard working casino hostess who focuses her attention on the high rollers. Sam Jane has had a hard life and as a result the character is extremely driven to succeed.

In a case of life imitating fiction, Vanessa Marcil has also had a hard life but has risen above life on the mean streets of Indio, California. Vanessa's early life included exposure to drugs, drinking and a stint in juvenile hall. In spite of her life on the mean streets she managed to achieve great success as an actress.

Image of Vanessa Marcil at the NBC All-Star Casion Night & Part of the 2003 TCA Summer Press Tour on NBC Las Vegas 7-25-03

The gorgeous Libran (October 15, 1969) actress with the thick dark locks first became a huge fan favorite back in 1992 when she originated the role of black sheep, Brenda Barrett, on General Hospital.

During her reign as the lovely Brenda, Vanessa helped to create one of the hottest love triangles of the 90s in the world of daytime soaps.

Vanessa left the soap in September of 1998 and Brenda was "presumed dead". This gave Vanessa a way to leave the show but left her character open if she ever wished to return or the soap decided to recast the role. A fairly common move in the world of soap operas.

From General Hospital Vanessa ventured into primetime appearing on Beverly Hills 90210 as the scheming Gina Kincaid. On the big screen she played the role of Nicolas Cage's girlfriend in The Rock, which included some steamy love scenes.

The actress also appeared in guest-starring roles on "NYPD Blue", "High Incident" and "Spin City" as well as starring in TV movie "To Love, Honor and Deceive".

Dark Beauty

Image of Vanessa Marcil as Samantha "Sam" Jane on NBC Las Vegas 7-10-03

Vanessa's luscious thick dark hair, beautiful skin and eyes originate from her mixed heritage that includes a father who is Mexican and a mom who is French, Italian and Portuguese.

Vanessa is proud of her heritage and has been known to refer to herself as "half Mexican, half white".

Vanessa told Maxim Magazine in June of 2005 that she was "the geeky girl with braces and frizzy hair".

She also claimed that even through she has played the sex pots in many of her roles in real life "she has never been overtly sexy". Indeed, Vanessa has expressed no desire to ever pose nude and claims to be shy about such things.

Marcil’s work extends beyond her performances on screen. She works closely with Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children, as well as with programs assisting those who have been affected by drug and alcohol abuse.

She also has designed a line of children’s clothing called Kass (named in honor of her son, Kassius) for Africa. A portion of the proceeds will go to help build schools and open centers to support and empower mothers and their children in Africa.

Head & Shoulder Shampoo Model

Image of Vanessa Marcil at the Kill Bill Vol 1 Video Release Party April 12, 2004

Vanessa's natural beauty helped her to snag spots as a spokes model for Head & Shoulders shampoo.

In the early '90s, Vanessa dated hairdresser Jonathan Antin for four years. Jonathan is a well-known Los Angeles salon owner with a reality show about a hair salon. The two remain close. Jonathan has said about Vanessa "my exes are all my best friends - I love them all."

Celebrity hairdresser, Nanci Cascio, has worked on the Las Vegas set in the past although not specifically with Vanessa. Nancy knows Vanessa and told me in a phone chat that "Vanessa has really great hair. It is thick and healthy with a lot of movement and natural bend". Nanci noted "Vanessa's hair tends to have natural waves".

In keeping with her sultry man-eating character for Las Vegas, Vanessa's hairstyles are constantly changing from long, layered wavy locks that "pop" with heavily applied multi-dimensional highlighted hues in soft shades of caramel and rich blonde to dark chocolate with minimal highlights.

She mixes up a variety of textures appearing with silky straight strands, softly curled cascades and flirty ponytails.

Image of Vanessa Marcil at the 2004 NBC All-Star Party Universal Studios Universal City, CA July 11, 2004

Steal Vanessa's Wavy Hair Style

To style your tresses with lots of volume with long waves and curls like Vanessa's, complete the following steps listed below:

Step 1: Shampoo and condition your hair with your normal products designed for your current hair type, texture and condition.

If your hair is highlighted like Vanessa's use either a moisture enhanced or color enriched formula. If your hair is dry from chemical processing, consider diluting the shampoo formula to protect your strands.

(Shampoo products to try: Phyto - Phytojoba Hydrating Shampoo, PHYTO - Dry Hair System, Phyto - PhytoBrush Shampoo, Paves Professional - FLAWless No Sulfates Allowed Repairing Shine Shampoo For Dry Damaged Hair).

Image of Vanessa Marcil Las Vegas NBC 12/01/06

If you have baby fine or thin hair and wish to build in the same lush volume that Vanessa has, use a volume enhancing shampoo.

Skip any rinse-out conditioning products that might make hair too soft and flat. If you must use a rinse-out conditioner, make sure that you limit how much you use and that you concentrate on the middle to the ends.

Rinse well with a cool water spray which helps build natural volume and increases shine.

Step 2: Towel blot strands. Detangle strands from the ends to the roots.

Step 3: Apply your favorite styling mousse, gel, glaze or spray to protect against heat and add body, distribute fro the top of the ears to the ends. Distribute well. If you prefer, mix with a good leave-in conditioner for super shine and softness.

Image of Vanessa Marcil as Samantha "Sam" Jane with Josh Duhamel on NBC Las Vegas

Note: If your hair is fine or thin, apply a volumizing gel or similar products to the roots to get lots of body and movement. To protect against heat and add body, distribute a leave-in conditioner, mousse or gel from the top of the ears to the ends. Distribute well.

If your hair tends to frizz or is naturally wavy or curly, you may wish to combine a volume product for the roots with a smoothing serum for the rest of the hair.

(Anti-Frizz Product to try: Rene Furterer - Control Emulsion Anti-Frizz) (Root volume products to try: Phyto - Phytovolume Actif, PHYTO - Volume System, Phyto - Phytovolume Shampoo).

Step 4: Working from side to side use a boar's head or natural round brush combined with your blow dryer to straighten and build in body.

Image of Vanessa Marcil Las Vegas NBC 08/30/07

Step 5: To build in volume at the roots, use the round brush to lift your tresses up and direct the air flow from the dryer up the hair shaft to the root. This "ruffles the cuticle" helping to add natural fullness.

If you prefer, bend over at the waist and direct the air flow of the dryer up the hair shaft towards the roots. When hair is 90% dry, bend right side up and work on the hair from the ears down to the ends.

Note: Hairdressers differ on their

opinion whether it is beneficial to blow hair "upside down" or not. Use your own judgment on which technique works best for you.

Step 6: Use the round brush to straighten the remainder of the hair by rolling individual sections carefully around the brush and directing the air flow down the hair shaft towards the ends. This helps to straighten, close the cuticle and adds shine.

Image of Vanessa Marcil NBC Cocktail Party 07-25-05

Step 7: While drying the ends, use the round brush to turn the ends under slightly while finishing.

Step 8: Seal the style by finishing up with a blast of cool air, if possible, from your blow dryer.

Step 9: Carefully comb in your desired part.

Step 10: To add soft curls and waves, separate hair into 2-3 inch sections. Working from side to side near the roots, use a 1 1/2" curling iron and create big curls with the iron.

Release each curl and then carefully pin into place with a bobby pin. Continue to curl and pin until the entire hair has been finished. Let the curls air dry until 100% cool

Step 11: Spray the pinned curls with a strong hold hairspray or volume spray. Carefully unpin the curls.

(Hairsprays to try: PhytoPro - Instant Hold Spray #15, Paves Professional - FLAWless Convertible-Proof Firm Hold Repairing Hair Spray for Dry Damaged Hair).

Image of Vanessa Marcil Las Vegas NBC 12/19/07

Step 12: Apply a tiny drop of shine serum, drops or spray into the palms of your hands. Lightly brush the palms over the top of your style and you are ready to rock.

(Shine products to try: Phyto - PhytoLisse (Formerly Phytodefrisant RelaxSerum, Paves Professional - FLAWless In The Spotlight Greaseless Essential Oil Shine Serum For Dry Damaged Hair)

If you prefer, you can use a curling iron to turn under the ends a little bit or use a straight iron on selected pieces around the face to give a contrasting texture to the bobbed look.


Although Vanessa Marcil was sizzling hot on Las Vegas the 2007-2008 Writer's Strike has been bad news for Vanessa and the rest of the Las Vegas cast.

Critics believe that the replacement of James Caan by Tom Selleck was not given enough time for viewers to embrace. Tom Selleck was exciting, handsome and a great actor.

Fans are distraught because Vanessa Marcil is considered to be one of the most beautiful young stars in Television today.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

Social Media Network Information

Please follow us on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.

New On
Active HairTalk Threads
Wanna talk?
HairTalk® is the place for you!
Recent Topics:
Quick Poll
Is hair texture (straight, curly, wavy) important to sexual attraction?
Very important - it makes all the difference
Somewhat important - it makes some difference
Never important - it never makes a difference
It depends on a case by case basis
View Results
Daily Hair Tip
Hair at the nape of the neck often misbehaves because it is where finer baby hair grows. Harness baby locks w/ faux-jeweled claw clips or smooth on your favorite hair paste or wax to hold fragile strands in place.
Top Gallery Images