A little over five years ago I had the great fortune to sign on as consumer hair editor and regular contributing writer for MultiMedia (MMI) Magazines.
MMI produces and publishes several notable news stand "titles" (Short Cuts, 101 Celebrity Hairstyles, Hair Gallery, Special Seasonal Hair Titles) that deal with hair. More specifically they produce a magazine every month that is devoted completely to short hair issues.
In the past I have also worked as a writer and contributing editor on African American focused hair magazines, contributed to contemporary hair topics for Life & Style Magazine and helped write a special Meredith hair publication as well as writing an ongoing column for Total Beauty Image Magazine which is a professional focused hair and beauty magazine.
I have learned so much about what goes on under the covers of hair, beauty and fashion magazines that I want to share some of the secrets that I have learned.
Hair Magazines Come In Two Flavors
Basically hair magazines are organized around:
1. Professional hair issues 2. Consumer hair issues Professional hair magazines discuss issues that are of primary importance to professional hairdressers and would hold minimal information that would be of interest to hair consumers.
Consumer hair focused magazines have a mission to provide the latest information on a specific consumer hair topic area.
Whereas a professional magazine would discuss the latest blow drying technologies and advances a consumer magazine would provide consumer focused at-home blow drying tips.
Consumer hair magazine topic areas might include:
1. Hair color 2. Special event hair topics - proms, weddings 3. Hairstyles only which would be published in a gallery format with minimal content or articles. 4. Celebrity hairstyle focus 5. Soap opera focus 6. Race focus 7. Hair lengths & styles - short hair, long hair, updos 8. General consumer hair issues with photos and lots of great content.
Over the past five years I have literally spent a tremendous amount of time reading all of the hair magazines that I could get my hands on. This includes Professional and Consumer titles. I have also subscribed to European magazines since they often have a completely different focus.
In fact, I subscribe to just about every hair, beauty and fashion related magazine that I can get my hands on. The joke at the HairBoutique.com office is figuring out how to get past the ever present multiple stacks of magazines around my office door into my office.
Why Hair Magazines Play An Important Role
Both professional and consumer hair magazines play very important roles for hairdressers and their customers.
Hair magazines, whether professionally focused or consumer focused:
1. Offer the latest hair care, treatment and styling information. 2. Provide the latest hair trends and how they relate to the current fashions. 3. Outline the latest hair care products offerings and innovations. 4. Debunk false information. 5. Offer new insights into the hair industry on both fronts. 6. Helps bring professionals and consumers together by addressing common hair related concerns & issues. 7. Promotes the ongoing growth and success of the hair care trade. 8. Helps advertise the services of hairdressers that offer unique services or specialties.
How To Best Utilize Hair Magazines
There is no better place in the world to find the latest hairstyles images than hair magazines. Although some Internet sites like Hairboutique.com have the latest celebrity hairstyles, for "real people" styles, the consumer hair magazines are a great resource.
If you have never purchased a consumer hair magazine before, go to the nearest Barnes & Noble or similar store and just look at the various options. There is usually a large section in a major bookstore dedicated to magazines. I find that Barnes & Nobles carries all the major consumer hair titles.
Select a few of the available magazines and quickly page through them to get a feel for what types of styles that the magazine features. Short hair magazines will have only short hairstyles. Celebrity hair magazines will feature the hottest celebs.
Once you find a few titles that have the type of styles that you are interested in, buy them and take them home and study them. Use them as your ongoing "hair bible" and as a great way to select a new hair cut or style.
Supplement the information you glean from the hair magazines with information you find on the Web at sites like Hairboutique.com. I still have Harris Publication magazines from ten years ago because I found styles that I wanted to keep.
Some Of My Favorite Hair Magazines
Consumer focused hair magazines offer fabulous resources and guides for consumers to utilize and from which to make very informed hair cut, style and product selections.
While of course I am prejudiced to Multi Media and think that my editor, Cheryl Crosby is the very best, I know all the other major hair magazine editors and have tremendous respect for all of them. Yes, every one of them works very hard and does a great job for their titles.
I have witnessed first hand what it takes to put together a good hair magazine - either professional or consumer - and it involves tremendous work, commitment, love and many hours burning the midnight oil.
What are my favorite hair magazines? I personally read all of the MMI magazines - Short Cuts, 101 Celebrity Hairstyles, Hair Gallery and the various Seasonal Specials every single month. MMI's Cheryl Crosby is an incredible editor (and writer) and works very hard to always have the latest hairstyle images, fashions, news, celebrity styles and timely consumer hair articles.
Cheryl works around the clock and every issue is her "baby" that she worries about, nurtures and gives 1000% of her energy to creating. I have watched her non-stop for the past five years give her all to making her magazines "the best that they can be for her readers".
I also love many of the Harris magazines but really enjoy their special Bridal edition that they do every year. Victoria Wurdinger's Short Hair issues are fantastic. Not only is Victoria is an amazingly talented writer and editor she is a phenomenal consumer hair expert. I also feel that Harris Publications Editor-In-Chief Mary Greenburg does an amazing job with all the Harris books and I especially enjoy her Soap Opera issues.
On the professional side of the house I am addicted to Modern Salon Magazine which Mary Atherton fine tunes to perfection. Victoria Wurdinger is a regular contributor and her Modern articles, especially her annual State Of The Industry offers an amazing wealth of information.
Besides the US hair magazine titles I have mentioned there are many excellent European, Australian, Russian and International Hair magazines. I also admire the work of Bonnie at Sophisticates and give kudos to Tom Carson for his work with Total Beauty Image Magazine which has a professional focus.
Hair magazines, whether professionally focused or consumer focused offer timely information on the current hair industry.
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