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When the fairy godmother waved her magic wand, she turned Cinderella into a beautiful princess. When Kim Thomas waved her magic styling pen, she turned me into a curly-headed prince!

But miracles like that happen all the time at Salon Dante in Sandy - thanks to the amazing New Image Salon System II.With the help of this revolutionary computer, a professional stylist will guide you through a series of hairstyling changes without even touching a hair on your head.

The computer is the brainchild of Los Angeles salon owner/hairstylist Kirk La Mar and physicist/computer-graphics expert John Halloran. In 1987 they formed New Image Industries to sell the system. During its first year, New Image exceeded all projections by placing over 500 units and establishing an international distribution network.

"Salon Dante has had the New Image Salon System II for two years now," said Kim Thomas. "And it's the only one in Utah." She is the daughter of Salon Dante owners Don and Pat Thomas and one of the five hairstylists there who are qualified to operate the computer.

Thomas pointed out that the New Image Salon System allows hairstylists to communicate their ideas to their clients in a revolutionary way. The consultation takes approximately 45-minutes and consists of the following steps:

First, the client fills out a questionnaire that asks pertinent questions concerning career, hobbies and the image she wants to project.

"For example, you don't want to put a dramatic hairstyle on a client who is conservative," Thomas observed.

Second, the client then browses through a book containing pictures of over 150 hairstyles. As she selects the four hairstyles she'd like to try, the stylist is ready to offer suggestions based on the client's hair (fine, thick, straight or naturally curly), facial shape and facial features.

Third, the stylist takes a "before" colored picture and projects it on the screen. She then superimposes the hair styles selected by the client. Using a styling pen, she artistically blends in the hairline, shape, contour and restyle.

"With this pen, we can lengthen or shorten hair, make it fuller or thinner - right on the screen," Thomas said.

Fourth, the system allows clients to choose from among thousands of hair color possibilities. It also allows the stylist to add jewelry, do a complete color analysis and cosmetic makeover and call up an appropriate wardrobe color palette.

And, finally, the computer will print an "after" photograph in color with the four hairstyles the client has selected. He or she can take it home to share with family and friends.

The New Image Salon System does much to fill in the communication gap that often exists between the stylist and their clients. It also completely eliminates any fear of change.

It also has become an excellent marketing tool for the salon by promoting such services as haircuts, permanents, hair coloring and cosmetic makeovers. "And we'll show them how to maintain their new hairstyles and what products to use," Thomas said.

Both men and women take advantage of this computer consultation, but about 80 percent of the participants are women.

While I was in the salon, I bumped into Shelly Schmidt of Sandy. She was eagerly awaiting her computer consultation. She told me that for some time now, she has been been thinking of cutting and coloring her hair, but she wanted to see what she looked like before her long hair was snipped off.

"I want a hairstyle that's versatile - one that will go with every mood I have," she explained. "I don't have a lot of time to spend on my hair, so I think I'd like a wash-and-wear style."

She looked carefully through the picture book and chose four markedly different styles. The stylist then superimposed these hair styles over Schmidt's screen image. In a few minutes, she had decided on the style that was not only flattering but would meet her other needs.

Fortuitously, computers have invaded the beauty world; and they've made it so easy for a client to select hair styles and colors with no risk. And it takes so little time - just about as long as saying "Mirror, mirror on the wall - which hairstyle is fairest of them all?"

If you're looking for a modern-day miracle with a happy, fairy-tale ending, drop by Salon Dante, Union Square, 9464 South 700 East, Sandy, or call 571-7921. The New Image Salon System could change your life. It certainly did mine!