States has advised his clients to go with naturally organic products for their hair his entire career and in fact he uses only non-toxic plant based products on his clientele. States’ respect for natural products translates into his philosophy of a woman’s beauty. “When a client comes to me with a Pamela Anderson photo and says this is how they want me to do their hair, I talk to them about them. I show them their eye color, I show them their skin color, I put color swatches up against their skin.” States said, “I sort of talk them out of that and into what I think will be a much better result for them.”
States is known for retraining women on how they see themselves. He reconnects a client with what they really look like. Not a media driven image of phony beauty but each woman’s individually distinct and true beauty. “When women come to me wanting highlights, I always take them back to the color they were as a child. Your hair color when you were a child is the hair color your highlights should be. You always want to take yourself back to your childhood to find the right tones,” States explained.
“Often times that entails taking the yellow and white out of their hair and putting a little more pigment back into their hair. Some highlights will draw the color right out of your face. Some colors will make you look too old. You can have beautiful highlights without them being white or blonde. Sixteen year old girls can have those yellow and white highlights and get away with it. But someone older might need cooler tones. If you’re a brunette, you need to have darker tones as your highlights. Ethnic women have different needs but can still have beautiful caramel or chocolate highlights, just not white or blonde. There’s a whole color palette that you need to follow so that the color looks natural. You don’t want to take anyone out of their natural element of color.”
Although States says he learned to recreate natural beauty by trial and error, he believes he learned more by actual results. “I can look at a client’s hair and tell you exactly what they are doing to their hair. The hair is a barometer of the client’s lifestyle through its texture and feel.” States said.
However States doesn’t stop with the look of the hair, he also helps women choose products for their personal hair type.
“In choosing products for their hair, I have my clients look for specific ingredients aimed at specific results. If you use a high quality product, you’re going to get a high quality result. If you use a lower quality product, that’s also the result you will get. You need to look for water based as opposed to chemical based products,” States continued. “A company that I like a lot, Phyto has wonderful hydrating products. They make some of the best products I’ve seen so far. In fact, I use Phyto. They’re more expensive but the results are worth it. You can find them at Sephora. I also use a product by MOP, Modern Organic Products. They have fantastic products. MOP is actually a branch of Aveda. They are a medium price range, not too crazy over the top.”
“Starting with the shampoo, make sure its detergent free. Detergent strips and dries the hair. Look for a water based product with no detergent in it. The first ingredient should be water. Also, make sure it’s a hydrating product. If you can’t afford to buy a $35.00 bottle of shampoo for hydrating hair, I’d rather you shampoo your hair with baby shampoo. It has no detergent, no sodium sulfate, none of the harsh ingredients that will strip your hair color.” States continued. “If you can’t afford the high end shampoos, shampoo your hair with baby shampoo or use a product for color treated hair; generally they will be less harsh. Remember that there are only so many ways that to make shampoo. They may add a few ingredients here or there but it’s pretty basic.”
States then explained how we should shampoo for maximum hair quality. “When you shampoo your hair, you don’t need to put the shampoo on the ends of your hair. It goes on the scalp. And about your hair, you are not out rolling around in the dirt. Your hair is not dirty. Working out and sweating does not make your hair dirty. Sweat is just water.” States explained. “So avoid washing your hair everyday. Try shampooing your hair every other day or every three days. It sounds awful because we’re so trained to shampoo our hair everyday.”
How and what you condition with is equally as important as the shampoo process, according to States. “When you’re looking for a conditioning product, you want a water based product that will hydrate your hair. You want to get moisture into your hair. A conditioner that has keratin protein in it will make your hair hard and brittle. Protein conditioners are not ideal for your hair whereas plant oils are ideal for your hair. Mineral oil is not ideal for your hair because it will make your hair limp. Jojoba oil or any plant based oil will be easier on your hair.”
Again States believes that how you condition is as important as what you use to condition.
“Make sure you don’t put the oil directly on your scalp, your ends are what need the moisture so put it only where it’s needed. Make sure you put the oil at least three or four inches from your scalp. If you have hair that’s 12 inches long or longer, the hair on the ends is older. That’s the hair that needs the oil.”
States believes brushing the hair is one of the best ways to condition it. “Your hair’s natural oils are the best nutrients for it. You want to rub the brush up against your scalp and then pull it out to the hair ends. That will pull that oil through your hair. If you do this, you will notice the natural oil going over your hair shaft and actually nourishing your hair.” States said.
In addition to using organic products, States has a multitude of tips and tricks for beautiful hair starting with how you brush. States explained, “You should brush your hair at night using a natural bristle or natural fiber brush, meaning a boar bristle hair brush, not a plastic brush. The reason is because when the natural fiber rubs against your scalp it stimulates the oil glands and you want to brush it through your hair.”
There are also things States says to avoid if your goal is beautiful healthy hair. States gave the low down on sleeping on your hair and the dreaded elastic hair bands.
“You want to try to sleep on satin or silk pillowcases. Cotton and other fabrics absorb oil from your hair and essentially aid in the drying out process. Satin or silk pillow cases will not leech oil from your hair. Also avoid sleeping on your hair as much as possible. What I mean is when you sleep, just rolling around on your hair on your pillow, you are basically breaking it. So you want to tie your hair up as much as you can before you go to sleep. Don’t use elastic or hair bands with metal pieces on them. Those will break your hair.” States said.
“And this next one is a biggie, women should not wear baseball caps. The baseball cap will actually form a hair breakage line around the ring of the cap. My advice is don’t wear them but if you have to wear one, at least wrap your hair in a silk scarf first to protect it from rubbing against the cap.”
One might think States defined his success based on all the women he has shown their true beauty. However, this is not where States derives his greatest satisfaction. “My greatest success stories come from my charity work. I donate my services to women’s shelters. Two months ago, I donated my services to a woman who was homeless with children. She had been a drug addict and she was given this second chance. She was going on a job interview for the first time in her life and had never had her hair done professionally.” States said. ”I gave her a beautiful base color with highlights. She looked nice and conservative, fresh and together. She felt good about herself and she looked good. And I’d like to add she got a job two weeks after that. So she was able to pick her life back up and start again.” States added with pride.
In the quest for beauty
To set up an appointment at States’ salon: 310-399-1754. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.