By Michelle Caceres

While taking a walk down memory lane, perusing my high school yearbooks from the 1980’s, I came to an uncomfortable conclusion. If you removed the shoulder pads and feather earrings that I so stylishly rocked in my eleventh grade photo, my look hasn’t really changed in more than 20 years.

I thought what better way to kick off the new year than with a new look, and Michele Phelps at New Identities Hair Studios was more than willing to oblige my desire for a new do.

Walking into the salon, I was immediately welcomed and offered a beverage.

Phelps, who hails from New York, and has been a stylist for more than nine years, greeted me and then we went to her chair. Surprisingly, we talked for five minutes before she even pulled out her shears, about my hair, its texture and my styling habits (or lack thereof).

She immediately got to work mixing and smearing color on my hair that she said would make me lighter and brighter on top. The studio uses Redken products that are customized for each guest’s hair type. Phelps used a special formula on me that would help fight my color-resistant greys. Lucky me.

After the color was rinsed, she cut short layers to give my thick hair more movement and to help decrease the frizz that is a constant reminder of Florida’s humid climate.

My new look was finished off with an eyebrow wax to create more eye life and makeup application using jane iredale mineral makeup.

New Identities Hair Studios CEO Marc Rockquemore says I am not alone in my quest for a new look.

“A lot of people like to start the New Year off with a change,” he said.

Looking back I am disappointed that I wasn’t as brave as I could have been. Phelps’ own hair was black and cut in a very short style. She said it goes from blonde to red to black, from long to short and then back again. Maybe next time!

For more information or to schedule an appointment call 741-1177 or visit


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MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.