Guess what? That beautiful mane on the head of Miss Universe, Natalie Glebova – it is a weave.

Christos Cox and his team at Urban Textures Salons created the winning look for Miss Universe like any artist creates their canvas.

“I didn’t even know at that time sitting in the salon that she had won Miss Canada,” says Cox.

He got an emergency call from the President of Miss Canada. “He came by that day to let me see her hair. We recommended darker, longer hair,” says Cox. “She wanted a Chinese perm. The type of straightening that she wanted would have been very detrimental to her hair. They insisted on having her hair retexturized. We did it. We were thinking about the fact she would be in Thailand and dealing with intense humidity. We chose to use a relaxer system that is used for super curly hair textures, but the mildest form of that. It’s somewhat exclusive to us in Canada.”

Cox wouldn’t mention what the product is – a trade secret.

“We retexurized her canvas,” Cox said. He sees hair the way artists see canvas – it’s a foundation from which to create something beautiful. “We extended her hair 10 inches. We try to come up with the concept and design first. That’s where Rose comes in, to put structure where there was no structure.”

Rose Hibbert, the weave specialist who did the work on Miss Universe, used 150 per cent real human cuticle hair.

Hibbert says in the packaged hair, there’s only 10 per cent human hair, even though it says it’s 100 per cent human hair, it’s not. She got the hair from Hair & Wigs on Yonge Street.

“A lot of the product [used in weaves and extensions] us as black salon owners are using, coming from Thailand and Japan and different parts of India are toxic, cancer causing,” said Cox. “They’re working with different types of chemicals that they use masks in the factories. We need to be really careful of what we’re putting in their heads.”

Both Cox and Hibbert emphasized that the synthetic hair is material and not good or healthy to use.

“Cuticle hair is used by people like Beyoncé and Janet, people like that use the hair for six or seven years,” said Hibbert. “A lot of people tend not to make the braids neat enough, like French braids.”

Hibbert advises that if you would like your hair weaved, you should come prepared – don’t make any plans.
“The trick to maintaining the hair is to get good quality. Always get quality things, that saying you get what you pay for is so true.”

“We’re not the cheapest game in town, but not [really] expensive,” says Christos Cox.

Hibbert says the term tangle-free does not exist unless it’s cuticle hair.

“Urban Textures is the only place that has this quality in Canada. “We do weaves that are naturally yours. It’s a natural extension to your hair.”

Other tips Hibbert has for maintaining the weave: “Vive Serum from L’Oréal is a genious product. And Spray Stopper along the edges of the weave keep it from fraying.”

“Weave will never be out of style. Take care of it. The days of it looking tangled in the back should be over. You’ll love it once you start. Weave is addictive.” Hibbert lives by it.

Christos Cox mentioned Oprah has been staying away from weave for years because every weave she saw was a ghetto weave that looked like weave. Then when she found out that you can spend $500 on a weave to get someone else’s real human hair – she did it.

“We don’t do the dancehall weaves here,” said Cox.

“We usually tell people during a consultation, bring a picture from a style you like and that’s what we’ll do,” Hibbert says.

Hibbert advises not to leave a weave in longer than three months on super curly hair because the hair will tend to tangle underneath.

Christos Cox met Natalie Glebova at his long-time mentor Robin Barker’s salon on Yonge Street.

“I did Natalie’s hair during the Miss Canada’s pageant of 2003. Frizz was her issue that year. I put in some really long weave and blended it into her hair and flat-ironed it. She came in 2nd place. I did her hair again for another show that they did. She won Miss Canada last year.”

“The runner-up [of Miss Universe] had frizzy hair on her pony-tail and whatever Christos told her [Miss Universe] to do worked well,” said Rose Hibbert.

Also, Thao Nguyen did the colour for Miss Universe. The colour chosen was chocolate.

“We pulled a team together to deliver all the different services we required,” said Cox.

Some tips on colouring hair include if you have highlights, get them done every 6-8 weeks. If you have full colour – go every 4-6 weeks to get the grey out.

“It’s not easy to cut a weave and blend it in to look natural.”

It’s something Urban Textures does. You have to go to them to get it done. Urban Textures Salons has two locations – one downtown at 44 Gerrard St. W. (at Bay St.) and the other in Scarborough at 45 Milner Ave. (at McCowan Rd.).