As far as we know, there’s almost no such thing as effortless beauty. From facial treatments that leave your complexion dewy and luminous to the perfect winged eyeliner, experts reveal their most-trusted, insider hacks for CR‘s series, Beauty Secrets.
Cervando Maldonado was in beauty school by the time he was in 10th grade. With the opportunity to learn a trade in exchange for a diploma rather than attend traditional high school, he chose to pursue hairdressing. Back then, he didn’t think he’d make a career of it (although he was working in a salon by 18), but while he was in college studying fashion design, he found himself picking up the shears again to make some money. He soon became an apprentice to industry mainstay Sally Hershberger and also worked under hair stylist to the stars Danilo. Gaining experience on photoshoots with renowned photographers such as Peter Lindbergh and Herb Ritts, Maldonado also continued building his own celebrity clientele, which now includes Sofia Coppola, Reese Witherspoon, Kirsten Dunst, and Rosie Huntington Whiteley. Loved for the relaxed, perfectly tousled locks he delivers, the hairstylist infuses much of his work with the quintessential California cool look. When he’s not on set, he now works out of his West Hollywood hair studio, 454 North, which he cofounded with fellow hair aficionado Chris Bragg and has become a favorite among a number of A-listers.
While currently at home in Palm Springs, the celebrity stylist speaks to CR about what he learned from his two major mentors, his love for late-’70s hair, and what people can be doing at home to maintain healthy hair.
What did working under Sally and Danilo teach you?
“With Danilo and his training, he taught me how to be real free flowing and open with my approach. His style was a lot less technical, which it actually isn’t but it looks it. With Sally, she taught me how to really cut hair, be very structured and serious. I remember one time I asked Sally, ‘Do you ever not get nervous?’ and she was like, ‘No, I always get a little nervous.’ Little things like that can drive people crazy, because you’re a perfectionist or someone who puts a lot of pride into your work. You’re always going to want to be better. So what I got from them was learning to be proud of what you do, accepting yourself, and giving your best. Oh, and mannerisms–how to handle yourself around people, how to be in tough situations and keep your cool, how to be focused and get the job delivered and not let any drama around you get in the way of your art.”
A lot of your work is about relaxed, retro hair. What draws you to that style?
“I was born in ’68 and I’m so influenced by the times when I was 12 or 13 and it was the late ’70s. Like the disco era going into the early ’80s. I’ve always loved it since I was a kid and have always incorporated it into everything that I do whether its the collar-length bob or the feathery bangs. There are things that translate into modern times and I find that a lot of the styles from back then were so beautiful and sexy so they flow over into this current era, except now its a little looser and more relaxed.”
How do you think people are handling their hair while in quarantine?
“People are going coo coo with their hair right now. I would really like to see people not freakout and just let their hair go. Don’t worry about cutting it. The color I understand, but I think if you’re having a problem or your roots are coming in, you can always call up your hair stylist or colorist and ask them for the formula or ask them to send it to you.”
Are there any at-home treatments you recommend?
“People can take good care of your hair at home. Do a coconut oil mask. Take some coconut oil, or avocado oil if you don’t like the texture or smell of the coconut oil, put it on your hair, leave it in for half and hour, an hour, or all day, and then shampoo it out. Another thing that’s really nice to do is an apple cider vinegar rinse to cleanse the scalp. A lot of people have not been washing their hair a lot and it’s not good. Don’t forget about your routine too much. Get that stuff off the scalp and off the ends, then do a nice oil mask afterwards to make it shiny and supple.”
Do you have any favorite looks you’ve done ?
“I did a shoot with Rosie Huntington Whiteley and we went for more of a tough yet stripped down version of her. In the sexiest kind of way, of course. She usually doesn’t go as rough with the styling, so I really liked that on her. But the most recent I did a week before we went on lockdown was this gorgeous promotional shoot for Amy Adams. For years and years, I’ve been really into undone, messy hair and lately I’ve been moving into more polished, brushed out late ’70s style hair. We did a beautiful set on her and brushed it all out with the Mason Pearson. She has all that long, gorgeous red hair, so it was like beautiful, beautiful waves rolled under.”
What are some of your favorite haircare products?
“At the salon, we’ve tried a lot of different things to see what people like and there’s a great shampoo and conditioner called Milbon that makes dull, dry hair moisturized and makes the color more vibrant. They also have a Restorative Blowout Primer that’s really good. I’m also a big fan of the Davines Naturaltech line. It’s all-natural and they have a shampoo for dandruff. It’s like the best thing I’ve used, and I’ve been to all these fancy doctors in Beverly Hills that sell you stuff that strips your color out, strips your Brazilians out. But this stuff is so good. It tingles a bit, but I can’t recommend it enough.”
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createdAt:Thu, 07 May 2020 22:04:26 +0000