Heather Rae Cheszek, Art +Science
How long have you been a hairstylist?
"I have been a stylist for over eight years."
What made you want to pursue your profession?
"After graduating from DePaul University in 2000, I pursued a career in software development. After working in the ﬁeld for four years I was laid off. I suddenly had a come-to-Odin moment where I realized all the years I had spent cutting my friendsʼ, roommatesʼ, familyʼs, and co-workersʼ hair on the side was my calling."
What hairstyle are you dying to try on someone?
"Iʼve started asking some clients who have great natural hair texture to put their ﬂat irons to rest this summer. I love cutting longer layers on clients and showing them hand-drying techniques. Iʼll gently twist large sections of the hair, spray hair with a thickening product and beach texture spray and blow-dry the hair. As I point the blowdryerʼs air ﬂow from above on medium speed, I grab the twists in my hand and squeeze, working from top to bottom. I will ﬁnish using the blowdryer when the hair is about 90% dry. I spray a tiny bit more beach texture spray into the hair and recommend air drying the rest of the way."
What hairstyle do you never want to do again?
"If you wanna really know what haircut Iʼd like to never cut again, itʼd be the shaved sides with lines cut into it. I think that style was dead five years ago. Letʼs just let it rest in peace."
What is one product every Chicago girl needs in her arsenal?
"Every girl in Chicago needs Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine. Itʼs an oil-based product thatʼs friendly on every hair type — from those with baby ﬁne hair to those with thick strands. Put a chickpea-size amount in your hands and emulsify it before applying it into damp hair. Flip your head upside-down and squish into your hair starting in the middle and working towards the tips. Do a dramatic James Bond babe hair ﬂip back to standing. Use your blowdryer as usual or air dry for a ﬁnished sultry look. Another way you can use Brilliantine is by rubbing a pea-size amount into your hands and ﬁngers and claw into already dried hair. This will provide shine, deﬁnition, and help to smooth down ﬂyaways."
What hair trend is next, in your opinion?
"I foresee hot rollers as the next big trend. Hot rollers are amazing because in about 10 minutes, they give you movement, volume and bounce that lasts all day. Check out some videos to get inspiration and practice until you get it right."
What should be everyone's go-to hairstyle for summer weather?
"The best summer hairstyle is a sock bun or a ﬁshtail braid bun. If you have longer hair, this will be your lifesaver. It will keep you cool, and you will look cool. For those of you with shorter hair, if you can at least pull a little bit back into a ponytail, add a few clip-in extensions that match the color of your hair to have the length you need to spin your hair into a bun. A ﬁshtail braid is a two-strand braid that has amazing texture. Take the ponytail and separate it into 2 sections. Take a small piece from the outside of the ﬁrst section and cross it over to the inside of the second section. Then, take a small piece from the outside of the second section and cross it over to the inside of the ﬁrst section. Repeat until you run out of hair. Use a clear elastic to secure and then form the braid into a bun. Place a few bobby pins into the braid to secure it to your head. Voila! Guaranteed compliments and a very cute summer look."
Photographed by Heather Talbert