Confessions of a Former Redken Model

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Gina’s Hair among the cherry blossoms at Potomac Park, Washington DC. Photo by Karen S. Nutini. Edit by Gina Genis

“I can’t go out to dinner tonight. I have to wash my hair”. This sounds like a flimsy excuse a woman uses to get out of a date. In my case, it’s no excuse.

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Gina’s Hair along the Riverwalk, SW DC. Photo by Karen S. Nutini. Edit by Gina Genis

My hair controls me. Sometimes I feel like nothing more than a host body my hair can survive on. It is a long unruly mess that I expect birds to nest in someday. In fact, birds are drawn to it. I cannot count how many times they have plopped a poop on my hair. True story: I was once driving 50 mph down Venice Blvd in Culver City, CA with my sun roof open. A seagull flying high above decided to take a poop, and believe it or not, it came through the sunroof and splatted all over my hair, hand and gear shift stick.

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Seagulls looking for their target. Photo by Karen S. Nutini. Edit by Gina Genis

Gina Photographing at Potomac Park along the Washington Channel

Gina’s Hair in the wind making it difficult to photograph the Washington Channel. Photo by Karen S. Nutini. Edit by Gina Genis

My hair takes a good portion of the evening to wash and dry. From shampoo to blow dry, its an easy 2-3 hours depending on how much conditioning¬† and blow drying is necessary on that particular night. More is needed in wet and humid conditions, less when the air is dry. Humidity turns my head into a massive, frizzy Lion King mane that is not my best look. Someday I will figure out how many hours of my life have been spent caring for my hair. I’ll bet it’s more than the time I spend eating.

Gina's Hair, Gina Genis

Gina’s Hair during a photo shoot

My hair is like wearing a blanket. Nice in winter, but I overheat in summer. It is braided 50% of the time due to high humidity or the need to keep it off my neck, which seems to be the temperature gauge for my whole body. I have been asked “why don’t you cut it off?” I tried that once. It was a disaster. There is not a product out there that prevents my hair from frizzing out in to a scene out of a horror film. When it is long I can put it in an elegant braid and I’m good to go.

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Starting a long, loose braid

I know it’s time to cut my hair when I’m walking down a city street on a windy day and my hair pulls me back by catching on a newspaper rack. I recently chopped off 10″.

Gina's Hair - All Tied Up

All tangled up

Here’s a secret. I use to be a Redken model. The hair product company loved my hair because they found it was indestructible. In fact, they would do 5 different colors and 5 different styles all in one day. We would start with my hair at waist length, cut, color and style, and repeat this 4 more times. When we finished, my hair would be shoulder length and medium brown or red. It is so strong, there was no damage at all. The only problem was my head felt like it had been to they gym after not exercising for two years. So sore I couldn’t brush or even touch it for at least a week.

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The Flip Off

Redken use to fly a stylist named Jeffrey all the way from Canada to Los Angeles to work on my hair because he understood it so well. On one occasion, at a runway show at the Bonaventure Hotel in LA, Jeffrey finished cutting my hair and wanted a “big hair” look. He turned me over to an assistant saying “don’t do a thing to her hair. It will explode on it’s own”. Needless to say I don’t need shampoos with volume enhancers.

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Contemplation. Or – thinking about which evening to give up to wash and dry

Next time you wish you had long, thick hair, remind yourself how envious I am of you being able to step in and out of a shower and have your hair completely dry in 15 minutes.

 

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