New York in Advance: Famous hairstylist visits

Published 9:57 am Friday, March 25, 2016

ADVANCE – When Carrie Brown McGuire’s hair went screaming for help recently, it was Dr. Ron to the rescue.

The staff at Gemini Hair and Nail Fashions sent a picture of McGuire’s unruly and larger-than-life hair straight to the person they knew could tame her mane, Ron Williams.

Williams is the national educator for the hair care line Phyto Specific, botanical products designed for curly and wavy hair. He is nicknamed “Dr. Ron” because he has a doctorate degree in education but has been in the hair care industry for more than 30 years.

McGuire had pretty much given up trying to do anything with her long, curly hair, and with three children, the busy mom resorted to wearing it up almost all the time. So when the staff at Gemini got the idea to send a picture of her hair to Williams, who was born and raised and works in New York City, McGuire crossed her fingers and waited.

After all, a treatment with Williams in NYC costs from $250 to $350, and he’s a busy guy.

He has worked with the hair of Blake Lively, all the Gossip Girls, models on America’s Top Model, R&B singers, socialites and others he cannot name. The Phyto brand is a favorite of Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Condoleezza Rice, Beyonce and Naomi Campbell, among others.

But Williams loves frizzy hair and he loves a challenge, and since he travels throughout the US and internationally, teaching the specifics of good hair, he hopped on a plane and ended up in Advance.

Richard Brown, the business development and territory manager account executive for Phyto, drove Williams from Charlotte to Gemini, and the two were met at the salon by lots of smiles and hugs…and McGuire’s hair, which was wound up into a bun, but which Williams freed from its elastic and spent the next three hours pampering.

He asked McGuire what products she used and how much time she had to work on her hair and wrote out a hair care plan for her that included a hydrating oil, a spray to leave in overnight and a hydrating shampoo.

Williams travels with an arsenal of hair tools, including a boar-bristle brush imported from Italy for Phyto. While he worked on McGuire’s hair, he explained that Phyto’s products contain botanicals from all over the world, as is the wish of the founder, Patrick Ales, who lives in Paris. Phyto products are highly concentrated and are free of chemicals.

“Phyto is the only prestige brand that is for curly hair. We have a relaxer that is second to none. When Oprah mentioned the products on her show, we sold out overnight,” Williams said, as he cut and styled McGuire’s hair.

According to Brown, Williams is up for the Hair Care Expert of the Year award.

“Phyto does not have average,” Brown said. “Ron is the trendsetter. Phyto has gotten the best there is in the industry, and that’s Ron.”

Williams’ work has been featured in print in Essence, People Style Watch, People, Elle, the New York Times, Juicy, Modern Salon, and Siempre Mujer, among others, and on the beauty websites Refinery 29, Shape, The Glam Case, Gloss, Curly Hair, and Real Beauty.

Credentials aside, his warm smile and infectious laugh (and sharing a bag of jelly beans he brought) put McGuire at ease, even though she said before he started that he could do whatever he wanted to her hair.

Hours later, McGuire’s frizz was gone.

A few inches shorter, her hair was glossy, smooth and shiny, and her curls were bouncy, not wild. She said she figured she would never be able to duplicate what he had done, but was happy with the finished product and said all the fuss over her head made her feel special.