Sherry Suib Cohen

COOL HAIR: A Teenager's Guide To Hair, Makeup and Style

A Note (from COOL HAIR) To Teen Readers From My Co-Author, Vincent Roppatte, Master Stylist at Elizabeth Ardenís Saks Fifth Avenue Salon:


Each and every one of you is a wonder, unique and different inside from other girls. Although thereís a lot more going on inside the private you than anyone dreams, there are still many feelings you share with other teens.

These feelings represent the most important changes in your life, just as youíre becoming an irresistible young woman. Can you recognize yourself in the following behaviors?
You want more privacy than ever before
∑ You are easily hurt
∑ You want to experiment?
look new, try new things, think new thoughts, maybe even shock people with your daring.
∑ Sometimes, youíre mean to others?and you regret it

Even though Iím no expert in psychology, I have spent all my life studying young women and what makes them look wonderful. What Iíve learned is that itís all about self-esteem and believing in yourself. When you feel confident inside, you take on an outside glow and your best qualities show. You donít feel self-conscious about expressing your deepest thoughts. And, this I know for sure: the first step towards self-esteem and popularity is to feel comfortable and pretty in your own skin.

Peer pressure can be killing. Although you have definite ideas, itís often easier to be swept along with the crowd and say you like the same bands, clothes, hair styles and make-up that everyone else likes, instead of expressing your real opinions. You donít want to be different.

When you donít feel pretty, itís even more difficult to let your true self shine through. If you think youíre plain-looking, itís harder to relax and be yourself around guys, and even other girls. What you want to say comes out totally lame. Though your achievements, intelligence and inner qualities best define the person you are, itís easier to believe in yourself if you feel attractive.

People may tell you that thinking about your looks is shallow and unimportant; well, theyíre wrong, wrong, wrong. Knowing you have the prettiest hair in your class, knowing youíre wearing a great outfit doesnít mean youíre shallow. You feel smarter, funnier and safer if you feel cool. When we know we look good, we attract the best to ourselves and our best selves come out.

Deep inside----youíre the best. So whatís stopping you from taking control of your outside look, and making it the best, also? When you do the most with what you have youíll know the freedom to be yourself inside and outside. And, I promise you this: One of the best ways to look cool is with wonderful hair that captures the enviable energy and radiance of your youth.
Thatís why youíre holding this book in your hands. If youíre not satisfied with the way you look, if you feel out of it, today is the day you change things. Today is the day you start to allow the beauty deep inside you to be set loose.

Reality Check
If you try on the hottest outfit in the world and your hair hangs limp---the effect is also limp, uninteresting. If your hair looks great, so do you?even in your rattiest jeans and T-shirt.

One day, when your hair is not its best, put on your favorite outfit and look in the mirror. You wonít be happy. Then, wash, blow dry and style your hair and put on the same outfit. The difference is amazing?right?

I believe that you never need to have another bad hair day, even if youíre not crazy about the texture, color or style of your hair.

What Do You Hate About Yourself?
Does your nose seem too big? Do you have too many freckles? Do you think your lips are too thick?

You are what you are. What makes you unique and terrific is exactly the shape of your nose, your lips, the individual jut of your chin, all your characteristics that may not fit the bland beauty norm. Cookie-cutter noses are for plastic dolls---not real young women. The most fabulous young women I know have learned to love and express their ďdifferent-nessĒ by accentuating what made them stand out from the crowd. Julia Robertsí wide mouth, Reese Witherspoonís sharp chin, Renee Zellwegerís squinty eyes now set the beauty standards, but I bet when they were teenagers, these stars despaired about looking different from everyone else.

ďThe thing you hate about yourself tends to be the thing that everyone likes about you,Ē said Nicole Kidman to People Magazine. You canít easily change some things ---like height or coloring, your nose, eyes, or ears, the freckles that drive you nuts, and often, your body shape so itís smart to make the most of those parts and accept them (even if you canít exactly love them).

Even if you canít change anything else, with the tiniest effort you can change the most important part of your look---your hair. Hair is the key to everything. Hair softens a very square face, reduces a very large nose, balances eyes that are too close together or too wide apart. Great hair helps you value even those features you wouldnít have chosen, if you were in charge of designing you.

Hair is also a very safe place to experiment. You donít have to diet to extremes or have plastic surgery. Experimenting with hair is as harmless as it is fun. Hate the curl? Straighten it? Hate the straightness? Curl it. Hate the color? Make it blue? Hate the cut? Change it. Whatever mistakes you make are not permanent. Nothing is irreversible because that trusty hair will grow back.

Pretty Appeal
If you let me guide you through the pages of this book, I promise you the hair you deserve?no matter what kind of hair you were born with. I promise to teach you the tools, tricks and talents for your hair that you can easily develop to notch up your personal style. I will show you how to have hair appeal.

Selected Works

Non-fiction bookS
It Ain't All About The Cookin', a never-before-told, deeply confessional look at the butter-loving, finger-licking Queen of melt-in-your-mouth Southern Cuisine. Recipes too! New York Times #2 Best-Seller
A profoundly intimate look at a long marriage from a strong, witty, irreverent point of view.
Non-fiction magazine article
Inside the Amish community. Winner: American Society Journalists and Authors Best Article of the Year