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amber alster

Roman K Salon | New York, NY

Shu Uemura Hairdressers Instagram@amberalster

Amber's love for hair started when she was a little girl. Now having over 14 years of experience in the industry, her passion has grown with time. Originally from Houston, TX, Amber moved to New York City to step out of her comfort zone and to broaden her experience and skill. For the last 8 years, her home base has been at the reputable SoHo salon, Dop Dop, where she specializes in cut, color, styling, and bridal. Outside of the salon, Amber has engaged in New York Fashion week and Bridal Fashion Week, styling hair for Bradley Mischka, Ines Di Santo, Galia Lahav, Bibhu, and Victor De Souza, to name a few. She has also made it twice in the Top 6 of Shu Uemura's street style hair competition and in the Top 5 of Loreal's Color/Style trophy awards. As an artist for Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Amber is able to bring together her years of diverse experience to educate others, and creatively express her art form.


How do you determine which prep product to begin with?

First, I examine the hair to see what it is lacking and then I think about what I want my end result to be. Using a primer first can ensure the products that follow apply more evenly and last longer. Shiki Worker Blow Dry Primer is a great primer to use if you want to add moisture and detangle, making the hair easier to comb through and/or blow dry using a brush. Tsuyu Sleek Blow Dry Oil is my favorite primer when I want a flat iron effect without having to use a hot tool. It really leaves the hair sleek, smooth and silky.

Shu Uemura Tsuyu Sleek Blow Dry Oil

Do you have a favorite go-to?

My favorite go-to finishing product that I use on almost every client is Moya Hold Hair Spray. I love the flexible and buildable hold that it gives, allowing clients to easily restyle the next day.

How do you think the precious ingredient story plays into speaking to products with clients?

The precious natural ingredient in each product really shows you the passion, science, and knowledge behind the Shu Uemura brand and the products’ ability to create beautiful hair.

What makes Shu so appealing to clients and stylists?

I think people first get drawn in by the sleek and lavish look of the products. Then when they use Shu Uemura, they notice how the quality of the products perform, transforming hair behind the chair and at home.

Which two products can you not live without? And why?

I love Awa Volume Volumizing Hair Mousse for long lasting up-dos or styles. I apply a generous amount of Awa Volume on dry hair and blow dry it in. It has a medium hold which makes it easy to work with on wet or dry hair, and gives me just enough control to manipulate the hair into the style I want while leaving the hair with a silky finish. This foam is also a great product to use when you need to refresh your fringe. Apply a small amount to dry hair, blow dry from side to side and you have full, fresh fringe without having to shampoo or re-wet the hair. The second product that I could not live without is Ishi Sculpt Sculpting Hair Paste because it is easy to work with and doesn't get sticky or stiff. It is a great product to sculpt short hair into any style or add texture to long hair. I suggest applying a dime size amount to your hands and rub together. The heat from your hands will warm up the paste to help evenly distribute the product onto your hair. Use a comb to create a sleek style or your fingertips to create texture.

Shu Uemura Ishi Sculpt Sculpting Hair Paste

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