Child's Play

What's the biggest mistake you can make in styling?

It's hard to tell what the biggest challenge is with children's hair -- finding an appropriate style or just understanding how to work with kids. One goes with the other though. If you can manage a good rapport, it's hard to not please younger clients. Unless, of course, you put a bowl on their head and cut them like Prince Valiant. Fortunately, none of our stylists did that. Everyone actually did a good job of bringing their signature work to the younger clientele. You could see that Charlie is someone who likes to keep hair neat and tidy and out of the way (that was one sturdy ponytail, but good luck to the mother who tries to duplicate it). Dee's issue with the bangs was an unfortunate misstep. Precision cutting is something that is essential for any cut like hers. Maintaining structure is key, regardless of how old or young the client is. In the end, the stylists really couldn't go wrong.

The girls were having so much fun in the salon, they would have liked about anything. Everyone loves the chance to be pampered, though I'm not sure how early you want to get them used to that .... Charlie's winning look during the elimination challenge this week was great, but it did present a problem. Thinking too much about making hair distract from an exaggerated feature like a nose or ears can cause you to do the opposite and end up actually drawing more attention to it. It's like for men going bald. A comb-over is the absolute worst thing you can do. It's the same with ears. If they stand out, you probably don't want a short haircut, especially one that puffs the hair around the ears. I think Kim said they looked like earmuffs. He wasn't that far off.

What Charlie gave her wasn't really wash and wear -- and that's what most women want. But for a client like Daniel's mom, if she's anything like her hairspray-loving son, all of that spraying and upkeep won't bother her so much. I'd just caution her to use a salon-quality hairspray. Some inexpensive brands will flake and look stiff.I love Nexxus 360 Volume, as it creates body and hold, but it is weightless and allows for natural movement and shine.

As we near the end of the show, it is obvious that the contestants who remain are really the top talent and deserve to still be there. It was especially fun to see the stylists perform their own runway show dressed as their former competitors who didn't make the cut. But as Jaclyn cautioned, they'll have to produce genius work to take home the $100,000 prize from Nexxus. The final four will have to get serious if they want to win.