Industry Insiders: Rogerio Cavalcante, Hair Therapist

Hairstylists often do double time as therapists. Some stylists and their clients even become BFFs. Think Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves. Or my stylist, the in-the-know, talented Rogerio Cavalcante of Maria Bonita Salon & Spa in SoHo, who’s revealed some of his fascinating life story to me when I can stop yapping about my own latest drama.

Point of Origin I am from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I have a large family, and 12 of my relatives are hairstylists. My first job was in my uncle’s salon when I was 13. I swept the floor and washed hair. And by the way, he did not pay me well (laughs). My career began when I was 22 and I started working at my cousin’s salon with some of the best stylists in Sao Paulo. I was so eager to learn that I gave up part of my commission to be taught by the top stylist, Marcelo. He taught me to mix colors and highlight techniques. I continued working, and took classes with Vidal Sassoon, Toni & Guy, Nick Arrojo, L’Oreal, Redken, and Wella.

Why do you enjoy doing hair? I just love it—it is the best job in the world! I look forward to seeing the excitement on my client’s face when I finish their hair.

What are your favorite things to do as a stylist? I love cutting and coloring hair, but please don’t tell anyone that I have the most fun when I am cutting. And of course, like all stylists on the planet, I love big changes.

What are you known for as a stylist? I am a “precisionist.” I like to do precise and sharp hair cuts. My haircuts can take up to two hours because I want to make sure that the style works well with the client’s features and it is exactly what they want.

The ambiance in Maria Bonita is really fun and relaxed—why do you think that is? First of all, the clients make the salon very special. We love to see our clients from everywhere in the world. They come in and we help them relax while we make them beautiful with our exclusive Brazilian treatments. Also, the staff at Maria Bonita is always in a good mood— and we have fun making people look their best!

What is Maria Bonita known for? What is requested most often? Maria Bonita is known for being the only full-service Brazilian salon to offer hair, nail, and waxing services, as well as facials and massages. People request Brazilian blow-outs (straightening) and color treatments most often.

What’s the difference between how South Americans approach hairstyle and care vs. Americans? Volume! My beginning here in New York wasn’t easy. In Brazil, girls want pin-straight hair. I was used to taking the volume out of their hair. Here, I have to add it—a lot of it!

What are some hair trends you really hate? That’s hard. I think it’s better to keep my mouth shut here: No Habla Ingles!

What are some Spring hair trends you are loving? Definitely middle-length hair. I like the modern choppy bob, with the ends lighted by a technique we call ombré.

Name 5 beauty and hair products that no girl should be without. 1. Envix 20 in 1 hair mask 2. Pomade/wax for the spring/summer messy look 3. Bianco breeze dry shampoo 4. Redken shiny gloss 5. Moroccanoil light oil treatment

What are your favorite places to eat and drink in the city? The places I like for food are Cachacaria Boteco (they have feijoada and caipirinhas), Café Habana and Bread.

The places I like for fun are Goldbar, SubMercer and Bourgeois Pig.

The Things We Do For Love: New York’s Top Date Spots

To some, love is motivated by how fat one’s pocketbook is. To others, it’s based on where one is able to get a reservation at peak time on a Friday night. Excite your summer love with these unabashedly romantic restaurants — incredibly sexy date spots, dripping with intimacy, dishes that arouse the senses, good lighting, or otherwise just priced to impress. For more inspiration of the culinary sort (inspiration of the other sort may be too, uh, inspirational for this site), check out Restaurants in the guides and choose the Romantic/Date Spot vibe.

Casa la Femme (West Village) – Former downtown romantic gone uptown returns to camp out in the West Vil. The softest of soft lighting, plush seating, and intricately detailed decor set the mood; signature fig martinis and French Kiss cocktails spell romance; the hip-swiveling belly dancers spell something else, but it’s all sexy. ● The Bourgeois Pig (East Village) – A dark, red room that’s a perfect post-dinner spot when things are going well, or a date spot to pull out all the stops. The fondue makes things romantic for him and her, because let’s face it; dip-able things are sexy as hell.

August (West Village) – Raw bar for those that still hang on to those aphrodisiac superstitions; comfort food for a cozy atmosphere. Sweet nothings will have to be whispered quietly, as this place is tiny. Size in this case is just an excuse to get closer. Hold hands in the romantic garden and cherish the moment — September will be here before you know it. ● Babbo (Greenwich Village) – The only dirty talk you’ll need here is “Baby, this is Mario Batali’s place,” and “I pulled strings to get a res here on short notice.” If this isn’t enough to set the mood, then the fact that you’re sandwiched between a former mayor and Gwyneth Paltrow should do the trick. The food, of course, stands on its own as reason enough to bring your summer lover by. ● One If By Land Two If By Sea (West Village) – Whenever I poll the office on where I should take my date for a romantic evening, the unanimous cry is this place. Aaron Burr’s haunted carriage house is true romance: flowers, firelight, and a piano that plays the lilting soundtrack to your dream date. Get engaged here if you think you might need some persuasion. Fall in love here by accident. ● JoJo (Upper East Side) – For those of you buying Vineyard Vines for him, and pearls for her, here is your classic UES date spot. Slightly stuffy but enduring townhouse romancer. Love, Franco-American style. Conclude with infamous warm spicy Valrhona chocolate cake. Sex to follow. ● Capsouto Freres (Tribeca) – Long-running French romantic will get you laid. But it’s not about that, it’s about romance and the presentation — the candles, tablecloths, quiet corners, and booze make the perfect ambiance to get you feeling romantical. The French know romance, and the exceptional desserts and the extensive wine list add to the way you’re looking at your other half. ● barmarché (Nolita) – Relaxing go-to brunch spot. Because honestly, brunch done right is one of the most romantic things. Subdued, rendezvous lighting. Wear his button up belted as a dress and enjoy the Barmarche Cuban Burger. The New Old American cuisine and the sight of you with bed head makes the Saturday brunch rush worth the wait. ● Relish (Williamsburg) – Cute place for young love — perhaps you might not perceive this classic diner as a place where romance blossoms at first sight, but give the outdoor patio five minutes, and suddenly you have found “your” place. But really, nothing says romance like sangria. In pint glasses. ● Dressler (Williamsburg) – Food to die for, and just enough off the beaten path to call it your own. The mirror/light/candle combo works magic, the food is above par and quite impressive for foodies, and the dark and stormys will take care of the details.

The Rick’s Cabaret Guide to New York

Where do the dancing girls of publicly traded flesh palace Rick’s Cabaret like to hang when they aren’t putting themselves through school? Sure, you saw the stripper interviews yesterday, but wouldn’t you rather get intimate with the source material? After the jump, the Rick’s lovelies page throuh our “notes” regarding where the ladies kick it when they’re not working the pole. Can you get a Pulitzer for blue balls?

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Jennifer’s Picks:, Son Cubano, Little Branch, Bourgeois Pig, Boss Tweeds, Le Souk

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Becky’s picks: Dos Caminos, Blue Water Grill, La Zarza, Lil’ Frankie’s, Rick’s, Kum Gang San, Wildwood, Ace Bar, Mason Dixon, Boss Tweeds, Little Branch, PDT, Lucky Cheng’s

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Jazz’s picks: Cielo, Pink Elephant, Esperanto, Cafe Mogador Suzy’s Picks: 7B, Niagara, The Box, Apothéke, Big Wong King, Rick’s

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