Book 1: Chapter 2

Morrocco Method Henna: Hair Color to Dye For

Since the moment of my awakening at the tender age of three, colors have fascinated me. Sitting atop my little mound, feeling like I was at the center of the universe, I saw the very life essence of color-infused blades of grass and flowers. It shimmered, vibrant and alive, kaleidoscopic and breathtaking!

 

Looking back, it makes complete sense that my passion for color would weave itself into my destiny. When I dared to proclaim I could re-grow hair that day in my brother’s barbershop, I already knew deep inside that I was born to work with hair. But the picture would have been incomplete without color. Thus I believe that I was fated to be brought to Rosemary Sorrentino.  And, by my mid-twenties, under Rosemary’s mentorship, I’d become one of the top five hair colorists in the world.

 

Rosemary was a true alchemist who could do with color what no one else even dreamed.

Taking hues and shades from the best-selling hair color companies in the world, like L’Oreal, Roux, Clairol and Revlon, she magically blended them into works of art rivaling top coloring masters of Europe. Using several different bowls, Rosemary’s technique was to apply the darkest shade at her client’s nape, then a medium one throughout the middle section of the head and finally the lightest tone at the hairline, which created a highly flattering, natural effect that never looked artificially done. Her timeless, classic masterpieces of hair coloring flattered such renowned beauties as Faye Dunaway, Nancy Sinatra, Mia Farrow, Jackie Kennedy and many more who traveled the world, modeling Rosemary’s breathtaking expertise at the most exclusive parties and red carpet events.

 

Rosemary’s genius had first become known to the world back in the 1940s, when she created her sensational “sun streaking” effect, calling it “tortoise shell streaks.” Rosemary managed to recreate authentic highlights identical to those achieved by basking in the Mediterranean sun at world-famous beaches on the Riviera—pale golden streaks that made them resemble mythical goddesses in human form.

 

Her tortoise shell streaks were copied by noted hair colorists around the world, but none ever came close to the exquisite regal beauty that Rosemary achieved, and neither do the hairdressers of today.

 

Rosemary reigned supreme as number one world hair colorist for decades, having begun a modest career in Lilly Daché’s Hat Salon of New York. Lilly created glamorous millinery for the rich and famous; Rosemary and Kenneth, both unknowns as of yet, were tasked with creating hairstyle perfection for the ladies under those hats. Eventually the “dynamic duo” rose to fame while Lilly sank to oblivion. Daché’s antagonistic behavior toward her staff and employees made things even worse. With so much harassment and tension going on in the salon, Rosemary and Kenneth decided they’d had enough and planned a grand exodus from Lilly’s house of horrors.  They set the date and informed all their coworkers. When it came, Lilly was stunned to watch  as Kenneth and Rosemary along with the entire staff packed scissors, combs, brushes and without a word paraded out.

 

Thus the band of mutineers took up new residence at Kenneth’s Salon on the posh Upper East Side of Manhattan and in rushed their clientele, who’d eagerly followed, making it easy for Kenneth to quickly establish his own hair palace.

 

The fame of Kenneth and his salon was meteoric. Because he had the V.I.P. following already, word spread throughout the ranks of the rich and famous to make Kenneth and Rosemary celebrities in their own right. I could fill volumes with Kenneth and Rosemary stories, but two vignettes especially stand out.

 

In the ’60s, Lucille Ball was queen of television and arguably America’s most famous comedienne. Few remember now that she began in burlesque as a stunning dancer, whose trademark Crowning Glory was gorgeous, flaming red hair. Envy was fueling imitation, and knowing this, the funny lady was bound and determined to keep her shade exclusive.

The I Love Lucy television show was at its height of popularity and busy Lucy needed a touch-up as well as a refreshed hair shaping. L.A. cronies all told her that Kenneth was the person to see. After hearing endlessly that she must book “the one and only Kenneth and no one else,” Lucy called for an appointment. But the one and only Kenneth did not make appearances in L.A., nor anywhere else outside New York in those days.

 

So, like all the other starlets in Hollywood’s universe, Ms. Ball hopped a plane to fly crosscountry. Storming Kenneth’s reception desk, with eyes flashing and spinning as only I Love Lucy‘s Lucy could, she bellowed out in a voice that could no doubt be heard back in Tinseltown, “WHERE IS GOD?” Needless to say, the entire salon fell down laughing.

 

I recall another mythic story told to me by Rosemary because it unleashed a major worldwide hairstyle trend that lasted for decades.

 

Rosemary was summoned to Hyannis Port to do Jackie Kennedy’s hair. JFK didn’t approve at all because the press was always lurking around and he didn’t want hairdressers, make-up artists, or fashion designers attracting publicity-hungry reporters and photographers to disrupt their lives. He also didn’t want people thinking of them as extravagant or ostentatious, so the  President scolded her when she had people in to do special work. But Jackie, always the lady of refined taste who demanded to look her best, had Rosemary visit the White House and Hyannis Port for special coloring and hairstyling.

On one particular occasion, Rosemary finished her coloring magic on Jackie with a quick set and comb out before the First Lady had to jump on a private plane. As Jackie climbed the steps to go aboard, the wind ruffled her hair, lifting and volumizing it into a full-blown bouffant style. Instantly, with her hair full and radiantly crowning her head, Jackie was captured by eager photographers snapping pictures that soon graced every front page in the U.S. Rosemary, standing nearby, was asked by one of the intrigued cameramen: “Who did her hair?”

With characteristic loyalty to her Prince of Hair, Rosemary replied, “Mr. Kenneth of

Kenneth’s Salon.”

The newspaper pictures created a worldwide bouffant rage. Soon women everywhere were begging their hairdressers for “the Look.” Thus was the famous accidental hairdo that launched a million imitations born.

My time with Rosemary was transformational. Her intensity and artistry mesmerized me, and I just tried to soak up all the knowledge she was offering. I watched as Rosemary again and again transformed ugly ducklings into swans, always awed by her skill. She was the grand mistress of color, and I shall remember and honor her genius, devotion and humility forever.

But despite Rosemary’s loyalty and devotion to Kenneth, the two geniuses sometimes clashed, and their relationship was not without drama. I’m not sure what led to that unfortunate day, when Rosemary and Kenneth had their final falling out and she left the salon, never to return. But for me it was a flashpoint and presented another life-altering decision to make. With Rosemary gone, Kenneth turned to me and offered the prize opportunity to run his coloring department—the number one coloring position in the world! And he was offering it to me more or less on a velvet cushion.

 

But you know the story. I said, “No thanks.” A mistake? Not at all. Regrets? None.

 

Working at Kenneth’s had provided connection with a number of remarkable people who reunited me with my childhood visions and experiences of the natural world. I am honored to call Dr. Cecilia Lu, Dr. Fung and of course my Brazilian lady friend esteemed teachers of mine.  They provided me with the first detailed insights that made my visions and experiences come to life. They expanded my personal horizons by revealing the methods and logic of healers and shamans over centuries. It was for me to take their knowledge and put it to use in my chosen profession. The seeds of Awaken Your Roots and the Morrocco Method were planted, deeply and well.

 

Kenneth’s was the pinnacle of the hair world, at a time when technology, science and going modern were fashionable. By contrast, going natural and organic with hair and skin care wasn’t even on the radar. Botanicals were to be synthesized and “perfected” in labs. That was thought to be the way of the future. Cosmetics, unlike food, were and still are very poorly regulated in terms of chemical content and possible toxic effects. Cosmetic companies were causing unintentional harm by not researching their chemicals carefully enough to discover the dangers of specific components.

 

Today, toxic effects of certain cosmetics, colors and dyes are more widely known. But, years before, I’d been made aware of this in a rather dramatic and personal if tragic way. After leaving Kenneth’s, I’d stayed in touch with Jackie Kennedy Onassis. When she died, her son, John Jr., told me that doctors had determined her brain tumor was caused by coal tar in her hair dye. This revelation was shocking to me at the time. Now, however, the knowledge of poisonous effects of such dyes is commonplace in the hair business. So it’s an outrage that this industry, fueled by vanity and greed, still continues to market products containing lethal chemicals and poisons that are toxic both in the short and long term. Some of the very worst are embedded in hair dyes. None of Morrocco Method International’s products contain any of these poisons and I will not here name the exhaustive list. But you can discover them yourself if you just read the ingredients of virtually any commercial hair product on store shelves.

 

In the strange and magical twists and turns of my life, my experience at Kenneth’s showed me two possible futures: one was the so called modern, progressive way, the synthetic way— and great prosperity would be mine as master colorist in that world. The other was a truer, more honest and nature-based world I was beckoned back to by remarkable people in and around the mandala of Kenneth’s. It was a world of shamanic wisdom and gentle magic whispering to me the power and potential of each person’s Crowning Glory: a natural, organic, vibrant world of bountiful health and luxurious hair.

 

All it took was Kenneth’s single question: “Will you take over my hair coloring department?” to send me into the most powerful out-of-body experience I have ever had. And in that radiant state, I had the epiphany that I would leave salons behind forever, go natural and NEVER revert back to chemicals.

 

But my love for color has always remained. And that’s why Morrocco Method International is the foremost producer of natural, raw, vegan, wild-crafted henna hair coloring products in the world.

 

Morrocco Method International henna products are in fact the purest, most natural hair coloring products available. But before any discussion of how they enhance the color and vitality of your Crowning Glory, I want to speak in praise of those who bear a Crowning Glory of silver, gray or white.

 

A lifetime of experience grants one the privilege of becoming an Elder. Gray, silver or white hair signifies a life spent learning, acquiring wisdom and achieving a noble, respected position in the “tribe” of society. On many people, it is uniquely and strikingly beautiful.

This said, if you wish to go back to a more youthful or high-fashion color, please do it with 100% plant-based products. This simple act could actually save your life!

 

Testimonials: 

“When I first looked to the Morrocco Method for help, my hair was so fried from being continuously permed for so many years that it was very dry and brittle and, of course, thinning. I thought it wasn’t possible for me to have healthy, beautiful hair, but the Morrocco Method really does contain special secrets. The herbal hair and scalp formulas with simple, natural instructions have brought my hair back to life. Now my hair is truly beautiful and I am constantly getting wonderful compliments.” – Joan Hillerts of Los Angeles, California

 

“After bleaching my hair for years, and then letting it go natural, all I get are compliments and everyone wants to know what I’m doing to make my hair look so good. This is the best my hair has ever looked—natural—great condition—silky—healthy—with a lot of body. I am so amazed. It’s taken awhile to get to get to this stage of beauty and compliments—worth every day of hair care. Through the daily use of Morrocco Method, simply using 100% natural shampoos and conditioners, I now look and feel great. And I am so proud of what it’s done for my hair.” – JoAnn Brockman of Shreveport, Louisiana

 

“I recently saw a long time friend who I hadn’t seen … since I began with [Anthony Morrocco’s] natural hair care. He was amazed at the vitality, shine and style—it had taken years off my looks [and he said] ‘I can’t believe how much younger you look. You look vital, youthful, much younger, ten years younger. It’s remarkable how your hair makes you look more radiant,

totally different … I can’t believe it.'” – Sharon Norton of Laguna, California

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