Lauren Salapatek
Lauren Salapatek

The 2015 Arrojo Expo Chicago was a marked departure from many of the brightly colored Arrojo presentations seen at last year's Expo and Arrojo presentations throughout the past year.

The event was an America's Beauty Show after-hours of sorts; it was held at the CosmoProf stage on the show floor at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.

Although the main Arrojo tenets of razor-cutting and the American Wave texture service still stood firm this year, the videos, presentations and models all seemed much more somber (though no less eye-catching). Brunettes ruled the stage, and the third presentation by Paul Merritt and company, Black Light, was made up almost entirely of smoothed, straight styles.

"We like to position ourselves in what is current and modern," Founder Nick Arrojo said of the brand and the presentations. There were three total, and they all featured an intro video, prepared models and live cutting and styling presentations. The models were colored ahead of time with Goldwell, Arrojo's color line of choice.

The first presentation and team was spearheaded by Lina Arrojo, and it was called Nocturnal. "These are a reaction to over-styled hair," Lina explained, noting the rough edges and undone textures. 

Following Nocturnal was Transmogrify, which was led by the Arrojo NYC Cosmetology School's Artistic Director, Amanda Jenkins. Jenkins has been a stylist for 19 years and has stayed with the Arrojo brand for 12 of those. Transmogrify featured almost entirely very textured styles.


A trend seen throughout the entire evening was the use of subtle, non-traditional hues in color that would catch the light. Deep, dark navy blue, violets and indigos were carefully integrated into dusty chocolates and onyx locks for a creative, less in-your-face way of utilizing cool color. Pastels and all-over brights were nowhere to be seen, and it was a refreshing change of pace.

At the close of the evening, Nick Arrojo invited stylist and salon owner Jerry Gordon onstage to present him with his Arrojo Living Legend award and announce the start of a scholarship in Gordon's name for Arrojo students.

"I've been doing this for 60 years, and I'm still a student," Gordon said. "Everybody has down days. Everybody has misery. That don't mean nothin'. Get up every day and keep doing the best you can. Make everyone look gorgeous."

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