updated 27 May 2012, 21:46
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Fri, May 25, 2012
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She’s styled Longoria’s locks
by Tong Jia Han

A good haircut requires more than just a creative mind and an artistic eye - geometry comes into play too.

"Hair is all about angles and symmetry - it's maths," said celebrity hairstylist Marilisa Sears during a one-hour interview with my paper earlier this month.

Ms Sears was in town for the launch of the Marc Anthony True Professional Hair Care line in Singapore.

The hairstylist, better known as just Marilisa in the industry, is artistic director of the Marc Anthony Salon in Toronto, set up by the celebrity hairstylist himself.

With 25 years of experience under her belt, Ms Sears, who is in her 40s, has weaved her magic into the tresses of celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Keanu Reeves, Justin Bieber and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas.

Lest you think that her job is all about air kisses and chi-chi events, the Toronto-based hairstylist would have you know that her work can be highly stressful, too.

Recalling one occasion when she was hired to style teenage pop sensation Bieber's hair, Ms Sears said she was "terrified". In the end, she "just gave him a trim".

"You don't want to be messing with his hair... He has a billion fans and you don't want to be getting in trouble with them," she said, chuckling.

Despite her illustrious resume, there is an air of affability about Ms Sears, who readily reveals facets of her personal life and career.

The hairstylist, who is of French-Italian parentage, told my paper that she "grew up in a creative household", and became even closer to her mother after her husband died.

She still contacts her mother and sister frequently, even when she is overseas.

Aside from her obvious flair for hair, it is perhaps her warmth and humility that make Ms Sears a top choice among celebrities.

And what's her secret to success? Being clear when communicating with a client, she said, adding that it does not matter whether the client is a star.

"Hair is a reflection of your personality, and hairdressers must respect that," she said.

On which celebrity hairstyle her clients ask for the most, Ms Sears revealed that many of them want to have Longoria's luscious locks, which accentuate the Desperate Housewives star's "sophisticated yet flirty" style - sexy, but not overtly so.

She affectionately described Longoria as "adorable and silly" in person, and added that celebrities and non-celebrities have more in common than the latter may think.

"Everyone just wants to look good when they step out of the salon," she said.

What advice does the hairstylist have for executives who want to look good with minimal fuss?

"Find a style that suits your natural hair texture. Come to terms with what you have, don't fight it," she offered.

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