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When the Finish is Just the Start

Q&A with hair stylist Erin Moreau.

New Orleans-born hair stylist Erin Moreau started her career in a small salon in the early 1980s and today is now one of our city’s most talented stylists. Moreau has worked with several magazines, styling campaigns for models, actors and local celebrities, and she recently opened her own studio/ salon called Finish Studio 843. I
sat down with her to discuss what inspires her and to get a few tips.

Tell me about your salon. The Finish Studio 843 was opened because I needed creative freedom, a place where my clients could relax, feel valuable and have individual personal service. I love that my studio salon is private; clients really enjoy privacy, especially my more famed clients. My clients walk out of the salon feeling great about themselves without feeling vulnerable in front of others during a service. I find, too, that clients really interact with me more about what they like and give better details about their lives that influence their hair.

What inspires you? Everything around me inspires me – I inspire me! I am really into the television series The Tudors; the period hair work
is unbelievably fascinating!
What is your favorite type of hair with which to work? Long hair is my true calling, whether it’s color texture
or bombshell blowouts. Long hair is my thing!

What treatments and products are revolutionizing the industry? Keratin Smoothing treatments. I have been using this treatment instead of typical strengtheners and relaxers on clients because it leaves hair smooth, silky, sleek and very manageable. Though a treatment only lasts three months, it’s non-damaging and really helps repair the chemical damage.

What are your favorite products and tools? Coppala Keratin Line, Tigi’s Rockaholi, my Solano blow dryer and my round brushes, and I use a flat iron only when needed.

What is the best way to tame wild curls? Rusk Smoother Leave-in Conditioner, or a silicone-based shine drop are some I like best.

Are there any types of products you would advise people to stay away from? Yes! Harsh chemical treatments and flat irons that get too hot. I think stylists everywhere are seeing severe damage in the 12- to 24-year-old crowd – they quite literally are “cooking” the ends of their hair off with hot tools and flat irons. Of course this makes it very hard to color or style because it is too dry and brittle.
What are some hair styling “dos & don’ts? The “dos” are just have fun with your hair; find a style and stylist you like, and stick with it. I don’t think of any “don’ts” anymore – fashion changes so fast!

Good Hair at any age? In your 20s you can have lots of fun with your hair; colors can be bolder and daring. Your 30s might demand more of a professional look; colors are still fun, but a little on the tame side. In your 40s and 50s hair can be somewhat daring but conservative to a point. In the 60s and 70s most of the soft bobs have layers, and quiet shades of gray or beige in the low lights. There is no beauty law that says you have to cut your hair to a short style once you reach a certain age – unless you want to look a certain age!
What are some good tips for young people trying to break into the hair styling industry? Do not fake it till you make it. Go out and apprentice, assist, intern and do not put your hands in someone’s hair if you do not know what you are doing.

Hair says a lot about a person; you can tell if a person is happy, sad or in a hurry. Hair styles tend to say if a person is bold and outgoing, laid-back or very professional. People tend to define themselves by their hair styles. It is important to find a stylist who listens, “gets you” and who has the ability and talent to work with you to create your hair signature.

Erin Moreau is passionate stylist who listens and delivers beautiful hair and stunning up-dos and as she likes to say, “It’s all about the finish.” You can find Moreau when she isn’t on a fashion set at Finish Studio 843: 843 Carondelet St., Suite 6, 523-3555.

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