BBJ Interviews Orlando Pita

To use font terminology, in a world of Times New Roman hair, Orlando Pita brings the Lucida Bright. I recently had the opportunity to interview him about all things follicular while he tended to the fabled mane of Lori Goldstein. Read on to learn about Orlando’s first hair-related memory and what heat tool for which he recommends you scour eBay.

Beauty Blogging Junkie: What’s your first hair-related memory?
Orlando Pita: My first hair product related memory was with Vidal Sassoon products when I was 7 or 8 in the ’70s. I told my mom she had to buy it for me. Also, every time I got a haircut I hated it. That’s why I became a hairdresser. At 14, my brother and I decided I’d cut his hair and vice versa. He never even got to cut mine: My haircut for him was such a disaster that… he still owes me a haircut. My mom had to take him to the hairdresser to have it fixed. But I wanted another chance. I kept telling my mother, I think I know what I did wrong. I was holding the hair horizontally and if it’s held vertically it won’t create steps in the hair. I cut my mom’s hair and hers came out a little better. That lead to my cutting the hair of my  teacher at school, my neighbor. I’d cut anyone’s hair who’d let me.

BBJ: What’s your best tip for achieving volume?
OP: Volume is what you hear about the most. The biggest tip is to blow-dry hair opposite from the way it grows. Not a fan of head upside down. Don’t just passively blow-dry. Always use a brush as it gives hair beautiful shiny texture. It worked fine in the 80s–but not now. Make sure the root is being pulled in the opposite direction. Also: Buy a crimper on eBay. Hot Tools made a great mini-crimper. It was a tiny little thing. Just go at the root underneath for volume. 

BBJ: What is your favorite brush?
OP: A round brush works best. For thinner hair, a ceramic brush is better for smoothing cuticle. A round bristle brush works great for simple blow-dry.

BBJ: What trends did you see at the Spring 2010 shows?
OP: For spring, we’re still in long hair mode. It’s still what most women want. What’s good is that we live in an era where not just one trend dominates. There are a bunch of cute mid-length lobs and short cuts, too. You still see a lot of long, but it’s not just all about that. Regarding short trends, it’s all about longer in the front, shorter in the back. Like a reverse mullet, but a better take on that.

BBJ: What trends did expect to see dominate this fall?

OP: Textured hair, dryer texture. I don’t like matte hair. I don’t think it’s great for real life, though it can be beautiful on the runway. On the runway, you have huge wattage of lights following you so it imparts a totally unrealistic shine. We don’t walk around with that in real life. To create a dryer texture without going matte, dry shampoos are great. T3 Refresh, which I created with T3 comes in colors so it’s a bit less dusty-looking. That’s really catching on. It helps extend a blowout and imparts volume and texture.

BBJ: What are your thoughts on the keratin treatment fad?
OP: I really like them. It’s a product made for Caucasian hair. There was a huge craze with the Japanese iteration, but I don’t love that method. Roots grow in and look markedly different from the rest of the length of hair. It was made for coarse straight Asian hair. But the keratin treatments are great. A blow-dry takes just 20 minutes instead of 40. 

BBJ: What’s your favorite hair product of all time?
OP: T3 Boost! It’s another product I created with T3, so it’s about heat and working with heat tools. But it’s actually based on an anti aging product I used to use on my skin from Dr. Patricia Wexler that I started to use on my hair. It goes well underneath styling products.

BBJ: What are the best heat tools worth the investment?
OP: The T3 blow-dryer. It’s best for women who style their hair every day and I see the difference when I use something else. There are others that boast tourmalines, but T3 has a patent on it. Competitors claim that there are tourmalines on a few of the parts of the tool and people say it’s tourmaline infused. T3’s version has it all throughout the product.

BBJ: What is your best 5-minute hairstyling tip to revive second-day hair?
OP: My best tip is to get yourself a great accessory and separate your hair so that part of your hair is down and part is up. It dresses your hair up and goes easily from day to night.

BBJ: What’s most challenging about your job?

OP: Most challenging is travel. The hardest part to arrive somewhere and be on. I can’t even say that I deal with jetlag. I’m just working all the time. When you’re at work, even if you yawn, you’re still working.

BBJ: What’s most rewarding?  
OP: I’m obsessed with hair. I think about it all the time. But really, I love making someone beautiful and feel good about themselves. When you feel good about the way you look, it’s really important. With a bad haircut, You’ll have a bad 3-4 weeks. It changes your whole mood. I truly enjoy bringing beauty to the people.

BBJ: Your skin is killing me softly with its SONG. What’s your skin care routine? 
OP: I have to really limit my products as I’m always traveling with five  big suitcases for shows. Extensions in every color, products, heat tools. Sometimes you’re working with this girl and you didn’t know but she dyed her hair blonde yesterday. You don’t know. So skincare-wise, I stick with a loofah face puff from the health food store, which puffs up in water. I also love a rosewater toner and then follow up with Dr Hauschka’s Rose Cream. That’s been my regime for YEARS. I’m allergic to soaps and I get redness. The rose helps with that a lot.

Thanks to Orlando for allowing me to crash Lori’s haircut and ask him my burning Qs (of which, you can imagine I had tons of my veritable hair God).

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