Chicago Magazine September 2011

Maxine Salon's Jasen James and Becca Panos featured in Chicago Magazine December 2011Chicago

Thursday August 18th, 2011

Reader Makeovers



We showed salons “before” pictures of our candidates and asked for makeover proposals. We then narrowed down the options to the two best for each individual. Editors chose the final look based on trend research and consultations with the candidates.

Team 5: Stylist Becca Panos and a colorist from Maxine in River North

MAKEOVER 1: Judy Larkin

59 / teacher’s aide / dislikes her hair texture and style
A lifelong North Shore resident, this high-energy grandmother of four puts her enthusiasm to good use, working as a teacher’s aide at Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka and golfing, playing tennis, and gardening in her spare time. She doesn’t want a commitment-laden hairstyle, but she admits she could take her cut and color up a notch. “My hair is kind of pathetic,” says Larkin, who began dyeing her hair at age 16 and hasn’t seen her true color in years.


1. The George team suggests a strawberry blond hue that has a copper base and a shorter haircut with bangs for a “fresh, youthful” look.

2. The Maxine team first thinks that Larkin should go red—but reverses course after hearing about her busy lifestyle. “Red requires more upkeep,” he says. “We don’t want to do anything that’s a huge commitment.”


Larkin’s mix of blond and gray equals a color challenge. So editors choose the team from Maxine, where colorists use an elaborate “color bar” to consult with clients and mix precision shades. He decides to mask her gray with a single-process blond from Inoa, L’Oréal’s ammonia-free line, as well as full highlights and golden midtones. “Her cool blond color ages her,” he says. “Warmer tones reflect light and look more youthful.”

Reluctant to take off too much length all over, Panos gives Larkin a healthy set of bangs and reduces the weight from the back of her hair using point cutting and layering. The resulting play of the long sides and short back has a slimming effect on the face. He touches up the new bangs using balayage—a more freeform method of highlighting.


To properly dry her hair, Larkin should start wet, apply Kérastase Volumactive Mousse, and “flat-wrap” various sections (translation: brush the hair in the opposite direction and apply heat to calm funky growth patterns). When her hair is dry, she can work in Shu Uemura Sculpting Putty for texture and finish with a light spray.