Book Excerpt: 'Cool Hair'

If you try on the hottest outfit in the world and your hair hangs limp, the effect is also limp, uninteresting. If your hair looks great, so do you even in your rattiest jeans and T shirt.

Look at the before and after photos on pages 4 7. Since everyone always talks about bad hair days, we thought we'd see if there is such a thing. We asked some girls who were not particularly happy with the way their hair looked to be photographed. Result? Kind of blah. Then, after a simple makeover, they were photographed again. The results are dynamite as you can plainly see.

You try it. One day, when your hair is not its best, put on your favorite outfit and look in the mirror. You won't be happy. Then, wash, blow dry, and style your hair, and put on the same outfit. The difference is amazing right?

Wonderful clothes are a good start to your day, but it takes some attention to hair and also to skin and makeup to make you look sensational.

I believe that you never need to have another bad hair day, even if you're not crazy about the texture, color, or style of your hair.

What Do You Hate About Yourself?

Does your nose seem too big? Do you have too many freckles? Do you think your lips are too thick? You are what you are. What makes you unique and terrific is exactly the shape of your nose and your lips, the individual jut of your chin all your characteristics that may not fit the bland beauty norm. Cookie cutter noses are for plastic dolls, not real, young women. The most fabulous young women I know have learned to love and express their differentness by accentuating what makes them stand out from the crowd. Julia Roberts's wide mouth, Reese Witherspoon's sharp chin, and Renee Zellweger's squinty eyes now set the beauty standards, but I bet when they were teenagers, these stars despaired about looking different from everyone else.

"The thing you hate about yourself tends to be the thing that everyone likes about you," said Nicole Kidman to People magazine. You can't easily change some things like height or coloring; your nose, eyes, or ears; the freckles that drive you nuts; and often, your body shape so it's smart to make the most of those parts and accept them, even if you can't exactly love them.

Even if you can't change anything else, with the tiniest effort you can change the most important part of your look your hair. Hair is the key to everything. Hair softens a square face, reduces a large nose, balances eyes that are too close together or too wide apart. Great hair helps you value even those features you wouldn't have chosen if you were in charge of designing you.

Hair is also a very safe place to experiment. You don't have to diet to extremes or have plastic surgery. Experimenting with hair is as harmless as it is fun. Hate the curl? Straighten it. Hate the straightness? Curl it. Hate the color? Make it blue. Hate the style? Change it. Whatever mistakes you make are not permanent. Nothing is irreversible because that trusty hair will grow back.

Pretty Appeal

If you let me guide you through the pages of this book, I promise you the hair you deserve no matter what kind of hair you were born with. I promise to teach you the tools, tricks, and skills for your hair so that you can notch up your personal style. I will show you how to have hair appeal and you will choose the kind of appeal you desire. Excerpted from Cool Hair by Vincent Roppatte and Sherry Suib Cohen Copyright December 2003, St. Martin's Press.

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