Kelly Atterton

Kelly Atterton on where Parker went wrong with his housewife.

on Jul 15, 2008

Try giving a real housewife from Orange County an age-appropriate haircut ("Darling, you don't look a day over 40!"), and you, my friend, might be the one who gets cut. Everyone knows The Real Housewives of Orange County are vehemently against aging and allergic to work, so why would Parker give his model (one of the Real Housewives), a hairstyle that's going to make her look older and a haircolor that requires so much maintenance it'll feel like a job?

The point of the competition was to create a flirty, sexy look on very short hair, and our Parker failed. His severe, angular cut and shoe-polish-black dye job looked great on the set, but let's face it: That's after hours of styling and smoothing, and right after his model's hair was freshly colored. Left to her own devices, will our housewife's cut and color look nearly as good? Unless she has a spare room for Parker in her O.C. McMansion, this look is hardly ideal.

THE ALLURE ADVANTAGE Just because the Real Housewives are drama queens doesn't mean they should have harsh hair. No matter what your age, you can easily go from cool and edgy to unflattering and over-the-top. Here's how to take care of an extreme style. To keep a dramatic, short angular cut looking its best, use a styling cream to add shine and control. A favorite of stylist Luigi Murenu's, Kerastase Nutritive Vinyle Nutri-Sculpt Shine-Definition Cream helps give short styles structure. Try pinching the cream into the ends of the hair to create more defined points. And unless you're born with black-as-night hair, don't attempt to dye it that shade. That color is notorious for making hair look dull and damaged, and it draws attention to every flaw in your complexion. "Jet black can be a very difficult color to carry off," says Laurie Edwards, a colorist at Cutler Salon. For a less witchy alternative, "try a very dark variation of brown, something that's close to black without being black." It'll be kinder to your hair, complexion, and because it requires less maintenance, even your wallet.