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Hair stylist is a cut above the rest

True confessions: Salon Capri hairstylist Katie Marshman is a bottle blonde who prefers crazy, short shaggy cuts but lately has decided to temper her look because she’s eight months pregnant.

“I’ve become my own worst enemy,” said Marshman, a natural brunette. “Now I have a boring, medium-length haircut, whereas I used to have any haircut that came out.”

Marshman, 25, was recently named one of the nation’s “Up and Comers” by Allure magazine and is known for her blow-dries as well as her cuts and colors at the Newton Highlands salon. She’s a color specialist and director of education, using a “Color Bar” – a color consultation center that allows clients to experiment with portable color swatch pens and long strands of colored hair while selecting the right shade. A recent client, for example, wanted to be blonde but without an orange or brassy look.

“Anyone with naturally dark hair who wants to be blonde is a challenge,” said Marshman. “It’s a tough color to nail down.”

In these tough economic times, Marshman has seen the “Lipstick Effect” – women may not be able to afford the deluxe $200 balayage highlighting process but still are willing to pay the price to make sure their roots are touched up.

“People are stretching out the time now between a color or cut but they don’t want to let themselves go completely,” said Marshman. “Looking good makes you feel better when everything else around you is in decline.”

Q: How did you get into the hairdressing?
A:
I realized quickly that college wasn’t for me. I was into doing my own creative thing, and when I started going to beauty school and it all clicked for me. I’m more into the social atmosphere and I like having a different face in my chair every day. My dad said it was the perfect job for me: getting paid to talk.

Q: What’s the most hair you’ve cut at one whack?
A:
10 inches at one time. It was for a 9-year-old girl who was donating hair to Locks of Love, which makes hairpieces for disadvantaged children with medical needs. Her hair was down to the middle of her back and it ended up way above her shoulders. We measured the hair with a ruler, put it in a ponytail and made one big cut. It’s a big “wow” factor. I don’t think I could do it – I think I’d freak out, but she loved it.

Q: What hairstyle is popular now?
A:
Clients bring in pictures of celebs like Jennifer Aniston or Reese Witherspoon. They want a punch of highlight to brighten their looks.

Q: How much can a hair stylist earn?
A:
Anywhere from $70,000 on. People think of it as a gum chewing job but it can be fun, busy and lucrative.

Q: Is it true that blondes have more fun?
A:
I don’t know. As a blonde now, I’m trying to figure that out myself.

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