Star lights

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Before the Dancing with the Stars: The Tour performance at Nationwide Arena in January, Karina Smirnoff popped into Downtown's Jacob Neal Salon for a color makeover and trim.

"I want something that will look a little healthier and will be easier to take care of, but will keep some of the highlights," the DWTS professional dancer said.

Smirnoff, a natural light brunette, went blond about a year and a half ago. The bleaching process and her grueling styling and coloring schedule while on tour left her locks stressed and over-processed.

"We're going to be conditioning," said salon owner Jacob Neal. "We're going to take it a couple of levels darker, but maintain lots of dimension so that it really sparkles under the light."

The technique Neal's team used on Smirnoff is designed to weave layers of color together so they blend with her natural color. That will lengthen the amount of time before the 30-year-old dancer needs to get her next color.

"It should be [every] four to six weeks," Neal said.

The most important aspect of retaining beautiful, multifaceted color is maintaining the integrity of the hair, he added. "That will help it hold color longer."

In order to get Smirnoff's dry locks back to their healthiest, Neal applied conditioning treatments throughout the coloring and trimming process.

Smirnoff chatted with Dancing with the Stars fans and talked shop with Neal at his salon in the Hartman Building. After coloring, Neal trimmed Smirnoff's long tresses to shape her layers and keep the ends healthy.

The result-- healthy, lush color with lots of depth-- combines highlights and lowlights to reflect Smirnoff's natural color, and to play up her warm skin tone and luminous brown eyes.