Sogno Salon gives women a free mid-winter makeover to beat the blahs

It ain't easy being Vugly

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 12:00pm

About this time of year, you look at your wind-chapped nose in the mirror while pulling off a wool hat that leaves your hair looking like a cat that just got an enforced bath and you think, "Good God I need a change."

Sogno Salon, based in Rockland, feels your pain and this is the first year they've offered a free "Vugly"  (a hybrid of "Very Ugly") makeover to seven local women who "have worn the same style and look for way too long."  Participants had to willingly email a photo of their Vugly hair and Sogno Salon would pick the ones who most needed new haircuts and color, smoothing treatments and makeup. To top it off, they got to have a professional photo of themselves taken by photographer Amy Wilton.

Nancy Mason-Allen, owner of Sogno Salon said, "I just like to be able to make women beautiful. This is our chance for us to do it at no cost for a bunch of great women."

The salon has done Ambush Makeovers in the past, when women were nominated for a change by friends and family, but this is the first year they've allowed women to nominate themselves.

Two victims, er, willing participants, were confident to show us their before and after photos and speak to us about their experiences.

Lara Webb, 30, had almost 12 inches of hair cut off to be donated to Locks of Love.

"My hair just looked really frumpy," she said of her "Before" style. "I've had this style for maybe four years. I just really wanted a change. When I saw the Vugly contest I said to myself, 'I'm definitely going to win that!"

Jenn Baca, her stylist, explained: "We cut her hair very layered with a bob with some foil treatment to bring out highlights and dimensions. The foil allows me to place the color where I want it, to make it more chunky and pop in certain places."

Namara Hathaway, 34, another participant said, "I've had the same style my whole life from 10-years-old on, so for 24 years. I've always had long, curly hair, but it's dead. I just wanted to get rid of the dead ends and just have a style." 

She admitted she was a little apprehensive to have the makeover at first.

"It is such a big change," she said. "Hair is so important because it represents who you are and how people perceive you." 

As a new mother of an 8-month-old girl, Gwenaviere, Hathaway also works full time at Bank of America.

"My whole time is with her and I haven't really done anything for myself," she said.

Ten inches of her hair was cut off and colored with highlights.

"We're just putting in some more dimensions to her natural hair color," said Laura Gollard, her stylist.

She also got a makeup treatment. "I don't wear makeup, so I'm really excited to see what they're going to do."

Asked why having a makeover is so important to a woman, Webb said, "It's really important to be confident about how you look and that will reflect how you feel about yourself. As a mother, I want to be confident for my boys, for them to see that women can be strong."

Asked who'd be the most surprised about her makeover, Webb admitted, "Probably my mom, who is watching my sons right now. She said, 'Don't let them take off more than an inch!'"

Both women said they were thrilled about the makeover and makeup.

"I feel fabulous," said Webb.

"I'm very, very happy," said Hathaway. "I feel lighter, freer, able to move easier."

"I'm absolutely pleased with how these all turned out," said Mason-Allen. "We're having such a great time and everyone is so happy."

"Real change comes from within" goes the old saying. But that was likely from a man who'd never had a bad hair day in the middle of winter.

To see more of the makeovers, stay tuned to Sogno Salon's Facebook page.

Kay Stephens can be reached at