Articles By Antonio Gonzales

Antonio Gonzales

Stylist Antonio Gonzales

Moving to Miami, I was certain about two things: the ocean was awaiting my arrival and I was going to make a difference in Miami through beauty—one head at a time. When I say make a difference, I'm not talking about the usual cut and color for the usual clients. I mean giving freely of myself and helping women understand their inner beauty is their individual beauty. I believe, once women discover this truth, appearance and beauty come into alignment and their individuality shines.

Through a fabulous new Miami friend, I heard about Casa Valentina; a non-profit that helps young women who have been in foster care. When these women turn 18, they are cast out of the foster care system to fend for themselves, and Casa Valentina helps these young women transition to a lifestyle of independent living.

After doing some research, I discovered just how painfully difficult life can be for these girls. I knew I had found a group of kindred spirits who could benefit from learning that beauty equals "individuality" and what makes someone unique should be celebrated.

In a world where the focus is on our outer appearance, I feel it’s my duty as a beauty professional to let these young ladies know that there is more to self-love than the outside.

I spent a blessed evening with them all crowded around. As I shared with these lovely ladies, I reiterated my personal belief and experience that true beauty is more than skin deep. Needless to say, the girls and I had a blast!! We shared all. We laughed, we related and we listened to one another’s struggles with appearance. I left that evening filled with positive energy, hope, a renewed commitment and a date to return for another lovely night with my new friends.

I am so grateful for this experience. Readers, please take this small example of how we can all make a difference. I hope you challenge yourself to go out into the world and help a fellow man or woman, no matter what your occupation.

As Gandhi once said, be the change you wish to see in the world.

Editors' note: Antonio Gonzales is a regular blogger for CurlStylist. He recently moved to Miami and discovered Casa Valentina, an organization he is passionately committed to. He wanted to share his discovery with the readers of NaturallyCurly.

summer hair

Help your color-treated hair out with UV protection

Whether blonde, redhead or brunette, color fading and breakage are what’s in store for you in the months to come as you enjoy the hot summer sun.

Here are some valuable tips for you to help prevent problems and address these challenges.

Color Fading

From this day forward, protect your investment (hair color)! You will need different products as the seasons change. For the summer, I recommend shampoos, conditioners and treatments that contain UV protection from the ocean, pool and sun.

Before you enter the pool or ocean, apply a thick layer of conditioner to prevent over-saturation of salt and chlorine. When you exit the water, have a spray bottle of water at hand to help dilute the salt or chlorine. Follow up by adding a light misting of a leave-in conditioner.

Tanning booths are big culprits in hair color fading. Cover your hair if visiting tanning salons to protect it from damage.


Consider asking your stylist for a cellophane glaze that contains no ammonia or peroxide. If you are a blonde who can't live without the effects of glosses, then follow your gloss with a glaze. In any case, a glaze will create a temporary barrier on the hair to prevent fading. Because cellophanes come in clear, as well as different colors, you have the ability to not drift away from your desired color.


If you are a brunette with virgin hair, I recommend cellophanes and I guarantee you will love it! Ask your stylist for Clear with a squirt of Red Brunette or Clear with a squirt of Honey Golden Blonde. The best part? It fades after 10 to 12 shampoos, which means you can enjoy a beach vacation with a peace of mind. If you have kids, the Clear will keep their beautiful curls intact and shiny.

summer hair

Salt water sexy? No!

Dryness and Breakage

If you have challenged hair, I have to ask—what brushes and combs are you using? Ask your stylist for a recommendation based on your hair type. I have seen many a plastic brush (full of curls) whipped out from a client's purse. Make sure you have the proper tools you need for a successful hair summer!

Fighting frizz is no easy task, so never shy away from adding an extra product or two to your hair care routine. Winter hair products simply do not work the same in the summer.

Summer is the perfect opportunity to learn easy ways to style your hair. Layering the right products and avoiding the blow dryer and curling irons further prevents damage during the summer. Embrace your naturally beautiful curls by twisting your hair to create curl definition. And here's another opportunity to learn a new trick— air drying your hair can be great for your curls, so if you haven't tried it, now's the time!

Dastardly Culprits!

Ponytail holders—violators all! These culprits only damage your poor unsuspecting hair.

Pools with salt water are additional culprits that cause hair breakage. I remember a client, who for health reasons, changed her pool from chlorine to salt water. She would swim every day, leaving the salt in her hair for that “added lift and textured sex appeal.” She had demi-permanent color (demi-permanent color is considered gentle and ammonia-free), so she was not too worried about the damaging effects. Well, as certain as night follows day, three months later we had to cut seven inches off her hair! The texture salt water creates might be sexy, but like a good-looking bad date, could end up being your biggest nightmare.

So here’s to success this summer! KISS it by Keeping It Simple & Stylish!

Read Antonio's blog!

Antonio Gonzales is a stylist at Orlo Salon in New York City. Vogue magazine recently named him as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York. He has been named a Shear Genius by Gotham Magazine and was featured in Allure Magazine as one of the Best Cuts 2009.

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