Together let us help the Homeless in New York City.

There are so many homeless people in New York that need our help. Here is one of the places that I volunteer. Its a temporary woman shelter in the Upper westside and that need your help too.

Let’s love the homeless together.

Making a Warm Blond Cool Again

In the past, my client was used to having her hair highlighted with foils. Because her natural base color is not very dark, I thought this would the perfect opportunity to balayage her highlights.  I asked what blond tones she preferred when having her hair colored. We both agreed that more cool tones would be ideal since she already had so much gold in her hair and it was not particularly complimentary to her skin tone.

As a basic rule, if a woman has a lot of red in her skin tone, we add cooler tones to her blond, and visa versa. As I painted, I kept in mind that I wanted to utilize her natural base color, rather than over-highlighting her hair, leaving her looking too blond and having to run back to the salon in 6 weeks.

Because of her texture, color and the fact that she loves to wear her straight, I decided to shampoo with the Orlando Pita Play Pearl Foaming Shampoo to help calm her hair giving it control and shine.

To condition I used the Silk Slip Smoothing Conditioner, which further hydrates and smoothes the hair. This line works incredibly well on the thickest frizzy hair so, depending on the client, use sparingly.

And to end her time at the sink, I rolled in the big guy- the Satin Pillow Overnight Hair Mask. Talk about the hair melting in my hands! By the time I leave the sink, it’s a changed head of hair.

To blow dry, all I needed was one product which is generally not the norm. But because the hair was so well treated with the previous products, my job was made a lot easier. The Well Behaved Anti-Frizz Cream Serum is like magic. It smells amazing, the hair absorbs it easily and it works well.

In the end, her hair felt great and the client was happy.

I’m accepting new clients! To book appointment please call 212-242-3266.



Warm Balayage at Orl’o Salon

My beautiful client had four requests: keep the length; keep the long layers; keep the movement; and don’t make her hair feel sparse on the ends. Because her hair is fine-medium, I decided on a technique to create longer layers while keeping thickness at the ends. For color, she requested some warmth and a little brightness, we did balayage and a color gloss to ad shine and bring the whole tone together.

Photographer- Photo By Cassie

At the sink, I started with the Orlando Pita Play Full Foam Volumizing Shampoo, which I love. It’s light weight and has proteins that the hair really needs. It also has no sulphates, which is even better for fine, color-treated hair.

Now for the conditioning treatment…

Big Revival Bodifying  Hair Mask. THISSSSS!!! Is what we call hair crack…  I literally have clients with fine hair buying this three or four jars at a time- especially women with color-treated hair.


For styling, I used Orlando Pita Play Body Breakthrough. It’s ideal for her very long, fine hair. This product can be used on wet or dry hair and provides body that lasts.

I really believe a woman’s strongest asset is her individuality, so I always pay attention to the client’s natural beauty and try to compliment it.

Any questions, please feel free to ask! For an appointment please call Orl’o salon : 212-242-3266.

Have a great hair day!

Antonio Francisco Gonzales

My Client Salon Makeover

My client requests subtle highlights and longer layers. Her hair is dark and curly with lighter ends from a previous color, so we decided on balayage that was natural yet had a obvious pop of color. As for the haircut, she generally wears her hair straight so I decided on layers that were not too long.


Photographer- Photo By Cassie

At the sink I used Orlando Pita Play, Pearl Foam Smoothing Shampoo. With this product, a little goes a long way. As you pump the product into your hands, the smell alone gets to you. When you start shampooing you can feel the product almost caressing the hair. It’s lovely!!!

The Silk Slip Smoothing Conditioner is everything! It tames the most difficult head of hair. You can literally feel the coarseness melt away.

And the Satin Pillow Over Night Hair Mask is a luxurious product and the hair loves it. The smell. The way the hair is so easy to comb and the shine. This line is a must have for curly hair.

For styling I used Orlando’s Anti-Frizz Well Behaved Serum. This makes the most unruly hair with frizzy attitude, and makes her behave like a the good girl she was meant to be 🙂

At the root I used the Body Breakthrough Volume Boosting Spray. Honey, this will add life and lift to any hair type. It supports the root like the earth supports a tree (I know, I’m dramatic)…

I love coloring brunettes. There are so many ways to enhance darker hair and so many tones can be used. I hope you like this and feel free to ask any questions and make an appointment at Orlo Salon: 212-242-3266.


Antonio Francisco Gonzales


My Free NYC Makeover

On my daily commute to work, I’m always observing people’s hair on the train. I love some of it and sometimes I think: “I wish I could do their hair!” As a result, I decided to start my own project called The NYC Makeover. The idea is to offer a makeover to strangers in the street whose current look does not highlight their assets. We then do a consultation on the street and I give them my card to follow up with a makeover.

Here is my first makeover of a lovely young lady I met in my neighborhood in Washington Heights. I thought she was so beautiful but her hair was not!



Her existing color consisted of layers and layers of black and red "box color"


The beginning of her balayage

1) First, thank you for saying yes to my makeover offer. Were you surprised when I asked?
– Yes. It was totally unexpected! I thought “who was this crazy person.”

2) What is the biggest challenge you’ve had with your hair over the years?
– Apart from never getting the right color, calming my frizz and curls have been a huge problem. I love my hair straight so that makes it even more difficult. I never know which products I should get so I just use the same thing I’ve always used.

3) What is your worst hair experience?
– It was when I tried to go from black to red. My hair ended up being 4 different colors, I was so mad, LOL!

4) How did you feel when you saw your finished hair in the mirror?
– I felt like a whole new woman. It really brought my confidence back, I’m so happy.

5) What is the most important thing you learned about your hair during our makeover experience?
– That I have to treat my hair with love and care, if I don’t I will never have the long gorgeous hair I want.

6) Did you think lightening your hair would work so well?
– I didn’t think that lightening my hair would take that much time, even though I had 4 different colors on my hair. But every single time Antonio did my hair, I would always come out looking better. The result are flawless.

7) Will you listen to my advice and use good shampoos and conditioners no matter the cost?
– Of course. It’s really important to look after your hair if you color and blow-dry often. Thanks to your advice my hair is still stable and hasn’t been falling out.

8) What do your friends say about your hair?
– Everyone love’s it. I look like a brand new person. Every time I walk down the street, I get compliments on my hair. An acquaintance recently asked how much the wig cost me because my hair looked so good!


This was a lot of fun for me. This transformation was not an easy one, but it was a fun challenge.

Readers I hope you enjoyed this and stay tuned for my next NYC Makeover, who knows it may be you!

Is All-Natural Haircare for you?

It’s proven that a green diet promotes a healthy body and mind. Knowing this, the beauty industry has flooded the market with products containing every mineral, vegetable, and fruit and boasting of their amazing effects on hair.


The question is, do all-natural ingredients have the same positive effect on the hair as on the body?

Yes and no: There are certainly advantages, but there are some disadvantages, too, which may surprise you.

The common shampoo ingredient Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is the number one reason most people make the switch to natural products. SLS is in so many shampoos, trying out a shampoo like seven purple shampoo which has none in it, can be beneficial to the blondes out there without the nasties! A very common reaction is scalp irritations from SLS. SLS has also been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, and endocrine disruption. Most people I know go SLS-free for these reasons. Even with the scientific results, however, we don’t all make the switch. If you personally have any concerns, it’s totally up to you to switch.

Recently I had a new client in my chair for a blow-dry. After styling her hair I noticed it was very limp and oily. I thought the assistant at our salon might have used too much conditioner and didn’t rinse well enough afterwards.

A few weeks later the client returned for a haircut and I personally shampooed her hair and used only a tiny bit of conditioner. When I started cutting her hair, I observed a strange residue layering it. As we talked, it turned out the client was only using all-natural shampoos and conditioners. Her products were so intense that they left her hair feeling almost gummy and lifeless.

We returned to the sink and I shampooed her hair twice with a clarifying shampoo. It stripped her hair of the product buildup and transformed it, giving it movement and shine again.

The basic problem here was her shampoo wasn’t cleansing enough, so it kept depositing oils. Her conditioner did, too.


My concern here was the possibility of hair loss: If the hair is coated that much with oil, can you imagine the scalp? And where does the hair come from? The scalp, of course, so it’s vital to keep it unclogged.

I advised her to find a new all-natural product with less oil and to invest in an all-natural clarifying shampoo and use it every two weeks. Here are my recommendations of clarifying shampoos for the “health conscious” person.

The first is the Clarifying Cream Shampoo by Ouidad. It contains no Parabens, sulphates and phthalates.


The second Lisas Hair Elixir ‘s by Carol’s daughter. It contains no parabens, sulphates, petroleum, mineral oils or artificial colors.


Another factor when choosing a shampoo is whether or not you color your hair. If you do color, remember that color-treated hair is very different from virgin hair, and you’ll want to be careful that the shampoo is not too aggressive for your hair type and color. When I worked in a salon in L.A., there was an essential oil counter where they would mix all these lovely varieties into body oils, creams, and perfumes. Believe it or not, we also used the same oils to remove hair color. Even the smallest amounts of some oils can release color molecules, which will cause fading. This is especially true for blonds. Hairstylists spend time perfecting blond tones with glosses to give you the coolest blond or warm tones, and you don’t ruin want to ruin that!

Chemical-infused shampoos do have negative affects on hair color too. Depending on your hair type, SLS may fade hair color. In my experience this mainly happens with very fine, brittle hair. In this case, it’s fine to use a shampoo that is low in SLS or has no SLS.

Here is my my recommendation for shampoo that is not as “natural” as those above, but close and great for fine hair. Full Foam Volumizing Shampoo by Orlando Pita. I use this every day in the salon on my clients with fine hair. It’s paraben free, sulphate free and not tested on animals.

a338871-001Conditioners can also be an issue. People tend to stay away from conditioners and hair masks that contain parabens and silicones—and rightfully so. In this day and age, who needs unnecessary chemicals? For the plant lovers I recommend the Phytoelixir Intense Nutrition Masque. It contains no Paragons or Phthalatesphytoelixir-mask-intense-nourishing-mask-ultra-dry-hair-reflexionHowever, when I have a very dry, breaking, damaged, or frizzy head of hair in my sink, I tend to pull out the big boy. Sometimes I need a little technology in my mask to fulfill the task. (Oh yes, some freestyle rhyming!) The combination of high-grade silicones, moisture, oil, extracts, and proteins can really bring life back to the most neglected or overtreated head of hair.

For my clients with fine, mature hair, I swear by the Big Revival Bodifying Hair Mask by Orlando Pita. This product is winning the hearts of my clients and beauty editor’s worldwide! It’s paraben free and not tested on animals.


If you are in major trouble and have thick dry hair then I have the hair mask for you! The Orlando Pita Play Satin Pillow Overnight Hair Mask is everything! With ingredients like Amla Oil, Avocado Oil, wheat protein blend, shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil, this hair mask can be left in over-night or rinsed at the sink. It also contains hydrolyzed keratin, A natural protective agent that adds visual shine and improved feel to hair. And Neoessence Hemisqualane – 100% Brazilian sugarcane derived emollient that harnesses the power of fermentation to reduce frizz, protect color, seal cuticle, protect from heat, and improve comb ability ( I told you I bring out the big boys).

2309735Realistically, there is something for everyone in the world of all-natural products.

If you decide you’d like to use all-natural hair products, consult with your hairstylist for recommendations, and if your hairstylist can’t offer advice, find another stylist who can.

Do not take hair product advice from the salespeople at the health food store, they are not stylists, so they do not understand hair like we do. When we hairstylists recommend products to you, we make suggestions based on your hair type, your hairstyle, and your lifestyle. In my personal experience, some chemical and/or alcohol is needed to get the most out of a blow-dry or hairstyle. But if a client brings in his or her own chemical-free products, by all means, I will use them.

The decision is a personal one, of course. My job is to share my professional experience and my hope is that you will do some experimenting of your own. This may mean getting rid of every hair product you own and starting over if you’re not happy with the results you’re getting right now. If any of you readers have a product to recommend, or find a new one when you’re experimenting, I’d love to hear about it.

My closing thought—something I tell my clients frequently—is:

“Don’t allow the products you don’t need to prevent you from buying the products you do need.”