Lather Hair Salon, Cohen Studios Collaborate for Fashion Portfolios

Hair by Jessica Williams, Lather Hair Salon. Photos by Max Cohen, Cohen Studios

February 10, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) – Raleigh hair stylist Jessica Williams of Lather Hair Salon and photographer Max Cohen of Cohen Studios decided to pool their creative resources recently to build both of their portfolios.

Williams needed to create and document a few color and styling techniques that she doesn’t often get to do in the day-to-day work of a hair salon.

“As much as I love treating, cutting, coloring and styling hair for everyday wear, sometimes it’s fun — and challenging — to stretch the envelope, so to speak, and show the edgier side of my artistry,” said Williams, whose salon was recently named one of Raleigh’s trendiest hair salons by American Salon magazine. Her work is also featured in this month’s Rouge magazine. “Bold color and dramatic cuts are seldom requested by our ‘regular’ clients!”

Williams is also applying to become a training specialist for Wella hair care products and needed photos of her work to accompany the application.

Enter Max Cohen of Cohen Studios in downtown Raleigh.

For several months, Williams has displayed examples of Cohen’s work on a wall in the salon. They’d met during a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser for which they’d both volunteered. It seemed natural to ask him to collaborate.

“And I was more than happy to do it,” said Cohen, who specializes in portraiture and wedding photography. “I was already interested in expanding the fashion portion of my portfolio, so when Jessica approached me about shooting some examples of her edgier work, I immediately saw how it would benefit both of us.”

Williams found three clients who were willing to let her go a bit extreme with their hair. For one model, she added bold reds to her long brown hair then shortened the cut with multiple layering to create a sweeping silhouette around her head. “Very rock-n-roll,” Williams quipped.

For another model, Williams created deep, heavy bangs, or “fringe,” then added warm browns to the model’s original color as well as bold blond chunks to dramatically lighten the top. A hint of curl around the model’s face completes the look.

For the only guy in the group, Williams opened up the facial area and turned a previously shaggy style into a striking geometric look.

The photo sessions took place in the salon, in Cohen’s studio, and near a train track that slices through downtown Raleigh where for natural lighting.

“I wanted to do some studio shots because that would allow me to emphasize the hair without environmental distractions,” Cohen said.

Williams and Cohen intend to continue collaborating as both professionals build their portfolios.

“It was a lot of fun,” Cohen said.

Williams agreed. “Max is really easy to work with, and seeing my work through his gorgeous images is exciting.”

For more information on Lather Hair Salon, visit

For more information on Cohen Studios, visit

About Lather Hair Salon:

Lather Hair Salon is a full-service, upscale salon specializing in color, cuts, waxing, deep conditioning treatments, shine glossing, perms, anti-curl treatments, and both trendy and classic styling. The salon was recently named one of the best salons in Raleigh by American Salon magazine. Lather also offers special wedding party services both in-salon or on location, and the stylists maintain “Hair Academy 101,” an on-going blog on hair care, styling, products, and DIY techniques. Lather Hair Salon is also available on Facebook and through Citysearch. For more information, visit or call 919-792-0715.

About Cohen Studios:

A graduate of the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, Max Cohen of Cohen Studios has been a professional photographer for five years, working in both digital photography and film. At H.I.P., he was exposed to a wide range of technical skills and studied under world-renown photographers as instructors and guest speakers. Describing himself as a “generalist,” he enjoys all types of subjects, from children and high school senior portraits to commercial and editorial assignments. For more information, visit Cohen Studios is also available on Facebook and Citysearch.

How To Choose The Correct Brush For YOUR Hair

May 28, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Hairbrushes come in a vast array of sizes and shapes these days, with almost as many bristle choices. Confused?

“The fact is, most people don’t have the slightest clue about the correct tools for their hair style or texture,” said Jessica Williams, owner and senior stylist at Lather Hair Salon in Raleigh, “so they end up using the same brush — with five years of buildup — then wonder why we can’t recreate the salon look.”

Williams offered information to help cut through the confusion so that  we can make our next hair tool purchase with confidence. She starts with facts and tips on bristles:

Fact: Boar bristles tend to be softer then synthetic or plastic bristles. That doesn’t mean plastic bristles are bad. There is a time and place for each. The purpose of a boar bristle brush is not to detangle hair. In fact, these brushes should never be used on knotty hair. Because of the density of the bristles, tangles will get caught in the brush and cause unnecessary breakage. (This is the perfect territory for plastic or nylon bristles.)  Boar bristle brushes are designed to clean, polish and condition hair. Plastic or nylon bristles are great for detangling or working with layers since they don’t add volume.

av_A09A_162Fact: Paddle brushes are generally large, wide and adaptable to wide variety of hair styles and textures. They’re great for smoothing naturally straight hair or finishing off a style after you’ve used a round brush to straighten frizzy, wavy, or curly hair. Ionic bristles are a nice “extra” since they reduce static and help close the hair cuticle. And using this brush is easy: Simply sweep the brush down the length of your hair in a paddle motion.

Tip: If time is your primary concern, a thermal brush may be just the ticket. They have a metal or heat-conductive material at the center that gets hot from the heat of your hair dryer. As you increase the heat, the brush will be working not only on the surface of the hair, but from the inside-out as well. These brushes can get really hot, so you have to be careful.

If that sounds ominous, ceramic brushes offer all the benefits of thermal brushes without the pesky danger of burns.

Fact: A radial hairbrush features bristles around the entire head of the brush. Think porcupine meets roller brush. Radial brushes come in many different shapes and sizes.  Vent holes in the barrel allow heat to circulate from the roots throughout the hair while simultaneously drying the hair quickly and creating added volume. Tip: The correct blow-drying technique for these brushes is almost as essential as the benefits of the brush itself.  Wrap your damp hair around the brush and roll towards the base, keeping the blow dryer directly on the hair.  Extra hint: Give your hair a blast of cool air at the end to help set the style. These brushes are perfect for creating curls and volume quickly.

Tip: Regardless of the quality of the hairbrush, you always need to use heat protection on your hair before heat styling. Lather Hair Salon prefers Sebastian’s Trilliant.

Tip: Wash your hairbrushes regularly in warm water and a little shampoo and let them dry naturally.

Big tip for big hair: Don’t brush thick, frizzy, or damaged hair. Use a comb instead.

Lather Hair Salon is located at 8521 Cantilever Way near the corner of Glenwood Ave./Highway 70 and Ebenezer Church Road. For more information, including business hours and access to the salon’s “Hair Academy 101” blog, go to (Find the blog by clicking on “specials.”) Lather is also available on Facebook and at triangle.citysearch.comLather logo

posted by blueplate pr

SOS For Summer-Stressed Hair

Summer can wreck havoc on your hair — the sun, the surf, the salt water and chlorine. Master stylist Jack Ray of Samuel Cole Salon and Salon Moxie in Raleigh offers his top tips and strategies for bringing your hair back to full health as the seasons change…

Jack Ray
Jack Ray

1-    Summer stressed hair is fragile. Don’t “comb” out your hair using a brush. Use a wide tooth comb and start from the bottom up.

2-    Again, fragile: Don’t try to start a fire rubbing your hair in a towel. Squeeze the moisture out (especially helpful if you have curly hair).

3-    Use a foundation product before your styling product: Try a super light leave-in spray that evens porosity and protects your hair from sun and heat styling.

4-    Try medium heat instead of high heat when blow-drying your hair.

5-    Concentrate the majority of your pre-dry time at the first 3 inches of your hair. Save the more fragile ends for the very end.(Do not start finishing your hair with a brush until it is at least 80% dry)

6-    Use Masques. A wide variety is available on the market today. Does your hair need protein or moisture or both? Select an appropriate masque for your specific need. A bit of caution here, though: Don’t overdo protein masques. Ask your stylist for the best selection for your hair’s needs.

7-    Now is the time for “low lights”.: With fall coming, it’s time to add dimension. Demi perm colors for low lights are actually conditioning to hair as well as add depth and shine to make your hair look healthier.

8-    Consider a Glaze, which adds depth and shine to summer stress hair for healthier looking hair.
9-    Consider an in-salon treatment to get rid of summer stressed hair once and for all.
Treatments range from 10 minutes to a one-hour lux treatment.


Official Salon Announced for High-End Fashion Show in Downtown Raleigh

February 5, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – Samuel Cole Salon, an award-winning hair salon in North Raleigh, and its sister salon, Salon Moxie, will serve together as the Official Salon for STRUT a gala fashion show to be held in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, May 3, 2008, beginning at 9 p.m.

According to producer Brian Williams of Brian Williams Television ( STRUT will spotlight new collections by top designers with Raleigh roots, including Miranda Laughlin (dresses), Amy Stephenson (jeans), Guy Marshall (boots), Elizabeth Yarborough (jewelry) and Holly Aiken (bags), plus fashions from several local designers and boutiques.

And when the models strut down the catwalk in the designers’ couture, they’ll also be wearing hair and make up created by the stylists of Samuel Cole Salon (

“The behind the scenes action of a fashion show has more electricity than any other type of live production,” said Jack Ray, senior stylist and co-owner of both North Raleigh salons with his wife, Joelle. “All the creative energy and effort coming together to create a vision that will walk down the runway – it’s quite a rush. We are excited to be chosen for this amazing opportunity.”

Besides the cameras capturing the show itself, which will be televised on CW22 (Channel 2), more cameras will capture the excitement and frenzy backstage as the stylists prepare each model for his or her turn on the catwalk.

“Our stylists from both salons are very excited,” Ray said. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our team to showcase their talents and really be involved with fashion in the full context of hair, clothing and makeup.”

STRUT will feature live musical and dance performances along with the fashion show, Williams said. The specific venue will be announced soon, along with advanced ticket information. Social The Magazine is a partner in the venture.

Samuel Cole Salon, located at 240 Newton Road, was featured this summer in both Salon Today and American Salon magazines and will be featured in an upcoming edition of Estatica, an Italian style magazine. It was named one of the Top Ten Hair Salons and It has been voted as one of the top salon’s in Citysearch’s Best of the Triangle readers’ poll for several years. In 2006, it received Metro magazine’s “Metro Bravo” award for Best Salon in the Triangle.

For more information on Samuel Cole Salon, visit For more information on Salon Moxie, go to


Raleigh Stylist Contributes Time,Talent to Charitable Fashion Show in Charlotte

January, 2007 (RALEIGH, NC) – Nichole Lu Maye, a hair stylist with Salon Moxie in North Raleigh, recently participated in “The Luxury Living Show — Mercedes, Fashion & Furniture” held at The Fountains Shopping Center in Charlotte. Proceeds from the event went to the Charlotte Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen For The Cure Foundation.

Lu Maye worked through Coco Fleur, a Parisian-style clothing boutique, to create hair and make-up for local celebrity wives, including professional wrestler Ric Flair’s wife Tiffany.

Felix Sabates’ Mercedes Benz of South Charlotte sponsored the event, which was hosted by radio personality and author Cooper Lawrence.

Nichole Lu Maye, originally from Tampa, FL, is a graduate of the former International Institute of Hair Design in Raleigh. She joined Salon Moxie in October.

Created by the owners of Samuel Cole Salon in Raleigh, Salon Moxie is Iocated in North Ridge Shopping Center, 6191 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh. For more information, visit