Becker Chicaiza is an artist whose medium just happens to be hair. The native Ecuadorian has been doing hair since he was 15 years old. For the past five years in his eponymous salon, Becker , as he prefers to be called, has been empowering women through his craft.
Every woman is like a sculpture, he says, gesturing with his left hand. His right hand is in a cast, the casualty of a recent accident. Despite the injury, he continues to work five days a week. I believe in my hands. I believe in my talent. With my hands and my talent, I like to help women believe in themselves.
He shows off a new set of baylage highlights hes just completed on his client of three years, Cheryl, a young blond woman. Baylage is a highlighting technique that trained stylists use to make the highlights seem more natural, as though they were delivered by the sun rather than a stylist. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen was one of the first celebrities to make the process popular with her perpetually beachy locks. You see? Its like art. I paint it on. Its very deliberate and the result is a totally natural look. Thats the best part, laughs Cheryl. People actually do stop me and ask me who does my hair. Im always happy to tell them about Becker.
You know, you can wear Valentino, Becker says. But if your hair doesnt look good, no one will notice the Valentino dress. But, he continues, if your hair looks fantastic, you can wear just about anything designer or not, and the only thing people will notice is how beautiful you are.
Theres no denying Beckers passion for what he does. I put all my love in it, he says. Its this passion that has taken him all over the world, from Ecuador, to Paris to the United States, in pursuit of his art.
When he arrived in Greenwich ten years ago, Becker was mentored by the celebrated stylist Michael OKeefe, who told Becker he was able to blow out hair better than OKeefe himself. Becker credits OKeefe with much of his education about the art of hair color. He was a wonderful teacher.
Now, a decade and several jobs at high end salons later, Becker balances the art of what he does with the business of owning a salon, a feat that takes a lot of energy in addition to talent. Energy is what makes me successful, he says. And I will keep growing my business. Im working on a line of products now. Some hairdressers, they use too much productthe sprays, the mousse, the oils. If you take care of the hair and the scalp, you dont need all that product.
In addition to a new product line in the pipeline, Becker has a vision for a new kind of clinical hair spa. A place where you go to get really taken care of, where the stylists are professionals in hair care. Like a European style salon.
Until then, you can find Becker at his existing salon at 268 Mason St. in Greenwich.
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