Meet Shan Mullis and Nicholas Modlin (by Fern Flamberg)
Shan, a precision cutter and seasoned stylist, hails from North Carolina. He was trained by Suga, the Japanese master, and did runway shows with Oribe for Valentino and Versace. Shan brings a warm, Southern disposition and an Asian sense of discipline to his work.
“I always aim to make a woman look like a woman,” he says. “I don’t believe in following trends, unless they flatter a client’s features, hair type and lifestyle. Today, anything goes – long or short, straight or curly -- there’s no set look. Style is an individual thing. I like to give my clients options, but ultimately, the style we arrive at depends on what looks good on them and what they can handle in terms of maintenance.”
Shan doesn’t subscribe to the thinking that women over 40 should shy away from long hair. “That’s a myth,” he says. “I like longer hair and layers that soften the jaw or camouflage a sagging neckline. Most women look better with height at the crown, which I like to add by backcombing. I don’t like severe looks or hair that is stiff in any way.” Movement is key to all Shan’s looks and hair that swings is his stock in trade
With a practiced eye for selecting the right tint, tone or shade, Nicholas has been the genie behind many of New York’s most head-turning blondes, brunettes and redheads. A professional colorist, who earned his stripes (or should we say streaks), as a consultant to Clairol and Wella, Nicholas is known for his signature blondes in a range of shades from champagne to honey.
One of his favorite techniques right now is using ombre colors, multiple shades that “are friendly to one another and mimic the way a child’s hair looks when it’s kissed by the sun.” He likes to apply lighter hues around the face to brighten the eyes and add warmth to the skin. “Lighter shades lift the spirits. They make everyone look better and feel better.”
Nicholas uses his ombre color technique on brunettes and redheads (natural or not), to add dimension and warmth. “I interweave complementary shades to create a nuanced, natural effect that helps blend in gray, grows out gracefully and cuts down on the number of touch-ups that are required to maintain the look.
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