I have always worked very hard. At some points in my life even 3 jobs at a time. I have worked in the hair industry for 17 years. I also bartended on the side many of those years and did other various odd jobs. Unfortunately, that is no longer an option for me. I was born with severe bilateral cl…
Wedding Bookings.. A How to (From a hair stylists perspective)
With wedding season upon us I thought it was long overdue for me to write this blog. Over the years, I have learned a lot about how to make the big day run as stress free as possible. The devil is in the details they say. PLAN!
The first thing after finding your stylist is absolutely book a trial. It is likely you are going to wear your hair different than you normally do. You should get used to seeing it on you. Also you may not like how that side bun or princess hair looks on you. Take pictures of examples of different thing you like. This way if something isn’t how you expected it to look on you you’d have options.
Reasonable expectations are also important. If you have frizzy curly hair a style that is slick and shiny may not be possible unless you get a keratin treatment or other straightening smoothing treatments. We can only work with what we have and can’t create a miracle. Also if you have very fine hair and choose a style that is giant hair pieces or other foundation accessories may be required. These may require small additions to your cost.
Now that you have your stylist and are ready to book your day lets get to scheduling. Timing is very important to remember so things run smoothly. As far as the stylist is concerned time is money. And if we have to wait around for a hung over brides maid or if someone shows up for an updo with wet or hair too dirty it can be stressful as far a timing. I know some stylist prefer dirty hair, I personally don’t. Make sure you know your stylists preferences. Since I do a lot of vintage styling, I find that dirty hair does not lend itself to those styles.
Make sure you have an itinerary and try to stick to it. Endless things can go wrong on your wedding day. That is completely understandable. But for the bride to be running around and delegating and putting out fires is unfortunate. Delegate a helper. You shouldn’t have to stop in the middle of your hair or make-up because you need to grab the bridesmaids jewelry from a grooms men’s bag in another room down the hall. You should enjoy this day and relax. Let someone else man the details. Chances are you will be surrounded by loved ones more than willing to help.
Lastly, I unfortunately have to ad this last little tid bit. The quote. If a hair or makeup person traveled to you and may have an assistant in tow and they quoted you for 5+ people at X amount of $, then a bridesmaid opted out the last minute the quote doesn’t change. We base our quotes off the job as a whole and plan on that amount. We factored in needing an assistant or not as we have to pay them what they were promised too. Also there will be additions in the price if Auntie Sue decides she wants a blow dry. Also it is factored in per job that what we consider in our quote is the amount of people. It’s not a flat rate per person and we make adjustments for lower amounts per person for larger parties.
A final note. From a personal stand point I LOVE doing weddings! Unfortunately I don’t always get to see the final result with make-up, jewelry and dress. Send your stylists photos after! We love it! At this point we’ve chatted with you at length are are taking the journey to your wedding day with you. We really do care! We usually only get pics of you still in your sweats. And who knows, your gorgeous wedding photos may be featured on your stylist blog! ;)
Are stylists Scissor happy... or doing Damage control. How much to cut?
So you haven’t had a hair cut in a year and only want to cut 1/2 an inch? Then your hair cut is kind of pointless. Let’s face facts. Your ends are probably damaged several inches. Cutting just a tiny bit barely solves the problem.. And your hair will only feel better for a short time. You will only be getting some of the damaged ends fixed.
Also something to consider is not everyone’s hair CAN grow long. If your individual hair strand is fine or brittle or both then at a certain point that type of hair wont stand up to that long of a life. That hair has been around a long time and is too fragile to live through that wear and tear. Every hair has it’s limitations and it varies from person to person.
As stylist we really DO want to make you happy and give you what you want. It’s our job to! I often talk on this blog about reasonable expectations also. We can’t work magic unfortunately. Certain hair types just weren’t meant to be long. And I am sorry about that. But there is only so much we can do.
I am also sorry that some stylists in this industry just do what they want. That’s not honorable. If someone comes in with 3” of damage and only wants 1” cut.. I’ll do it. But I often show the client the damage line and explain hair cuts more often and you MAY get to that point again with more healthy length. But once at the point with that much damage the split and broken ends keep splitting and creeping up the hair strand. Eventually, much of the hair strand may be ruined. This could cause much more of the length being split thinned or just breaking off.
Once again, this doesn’t go for everyone. Some people are blessed with super tough hair that can withstand a lot. But more often then not.. regular haircuts are best for maintaining the health of your hair. It’s really not a marketing ploy. I don’t even know you reader! ;) Having a license in hair in cosmetology, we are essentially hair doctors. At least that is how I consider it. We aren’t just crazy people that have a mad fetish for cutting peoples hair off. (Disclaimer: I can’t speak for all hair stylists. Just maybe the ones I have met.)
To bring pictures to the salon or not to bring pictures to the salon... that is the question!
I know I have mentioned this in other postings. But wanted to take it another step further about bringing your hair stylist pictures for reference. We LOVE it!!!
We all go out into this world and view things differently. We all see things we like but can’t all describe in the correct terminology how to create it or necessarily what it looked like. Picture of variations of things are even better. This is especially true when going to a stylist for the first time or completely changing your look. They are jumping off points. A good stylist can look a these and gauge.. Okay this person really likes this or that…
My advice is to really think about what it is about those photos that really stand out for you. Also consider keeping expectations reasonable. Everyone loves to pick out parts of the hair in photos that are inevitably camera flash or lighting. We can’t make that. I’ve worked on many shoots.. Lighting does amazingly fascinating things to how hair looks.
Photos are especially important for consulting for updo’s. Styling is so vast and there are ton’s of possibilities. Last year I had about a dozen brides bring me that Kim Kardashian side bun picture for their weddings. In the end no two turned out the same. After seeing variations of that in other photos they had we could create something slightly different here and there and make it perfect for each of them. Hair texture and face shape are all factors. So remember we can give you Kim Kardashian like hair, but we can’t MAKE you Kim Kardashian.
Lastly, If you do go into a salon and take pictures out and your stylist seems annoyed by you…. run. Get up. And walk out. They aren’t going to tackle you and tie you down. You are not belted to the chair. They are egomaniacs and think they are gods gift to hairstyling and know what’s best for you. I can’t stand stylists like that. In the end, most of us care about your opinion. We want you to be happy. That is our job. To in the end give you what you want. And we can’t know what that is without a reference.
Commission vs. minimum wage: what is our time worth?
Recently, at my place of employ this issue was brought up. Since our schedule is implied and my pay is strictly commission I have found it’s not in my best interest to sit waiting for possible business. In the past, I have worked for many salons that state we are independent contractors yet require the staff to be there a certain number of hours and treat them like employees. Since the issue was brought up the owner of the salon and other staff members have researched the problem. Wherein the employer got all this documentation and articles written by other salon owners, the other staff got documentation from The Department of Labor Wage and Hour division. Here’s the summary of what it says.
If you are required to be in a business certain hours and perform tasks that you are not compensated for then you are an employee and are required BY LAW to make minimum wage. So if you are required to sit in a salon, answer phones, take coats, clean, do dishes ect and it’s not for your personal clients then you are required legally to be compensated for your time. I know this isn’t how any salon I have ever worked in has been regulated. Now if your commission is more then what your hours work vs. minimum wage would be then that’s justifiable. But with salons requiring most employees to do discounts and deals it’s just not balancing out.
I’ve spoken with many hairstylist in the past few months that agree things are getting out of hand. And if we are treated like employees and are time isn’t being compensated as well as our commission being cut more than half to do discounts than that is clearly not only unlawful but discouraging. This means that for every salon you have ever worked at, if they required you to be there certain hours, if your commission did not exceed what you would have been paid for minimum wage then you can sue them for lost wages. This could mean most all salons across the US having to pay Thousands and Thousands of dollars.
The problem with the industry is that we all stand alone. There is no regulations being enforced and it’s a free for all. Employers just look around and say “Well, that’s how everyone else is doing it!” Never mind the legality of it.
I’m bringing up this point to get some feedback. Is it worth it to give away our time this way with the economy the way it is. Or is it time to stop taking discounts and lessen our pay to make under minimum wage just because “that’s the way it’s always been done?”
Exciting new things to come! Classes and photoshoots!
Thank you everyone that participated in my photo shoot night! We all had a really great time and I got a lot of fantastic shots.
I am no longer taking models but thank you all for your continued interest. Because of all the inquiries about the model call I am in the process of developing a photo shoot night for anyone interested in getting hair, make-up and a professional head shot. This will all be at a very reasonable rate! I’ll keep you informed as this develops more. Feel free to email me if interested and I’ll personally get back to you with details!
In other fun news, I’m planning a few different events in the form of classes. I’ll be teaching blow dry classes and a basics in updo class. These will be a hands on classes where I put the tools in your hands and give you the knowledge to give yourself salon perfect hair everyday! So stop watching teenagers burn their hair off on the internet and come take a class from a professional! ;)
Here’s a few samples of what we did at the photo shoot. And you can see the entire series on my web site here
Dear Fellow Hairstylists, (something for clients to consider)
Over the last few years the downturn of the economy has gotten many of you desperate for business. Because of our desperation to attract business many of you have turned to giving huge discounts. I understand just wanting butts in our chairs but it has turned to sheer madness out there. So many of these greedy discount agencies have popped up at this point it is ruining our abilities to make a decent living. The salon I currently work at gets several of these sales calls daily. When performing for these agencies you are working for faceless corporations that are just using you and your talent. They know nothing about you or your talent. They know nothing about what it takes to become good in this business. They care not for our ability to maintain the clientele necessary for us to care for ourselves. They do not consider the fact that we are independent contractors that live on commission and do not get benefits, insurance or a retirement plan. Yet they ask us to pad their pockets all the while we stand behind a chair on our feet all day breaking our bodies for a profession we love. They expect us to say thank you for stealing what we’ve earned in exchange for belittling our professions into below minimum wage careers. This has to STOP!
I have always advocated for my clienteles best interest as well. I understand the need to save a buck but another problem has resulted as a symptom of the discount chasing. Each salon, each stylist is different. Because all of our skill set differs and because each color line differs the quality of this clients hair is then compromised. The clients hair is being ruined. Not everyone has the same level of pride and professionalism when it comes to the discount chasers. I know I have had to fix some disasters as a result. Bouncing around from stylist to stylist, even if the stylists are all talented, can have some adverse effects especially instance of color. Color lines are vastly different from one another!
I know in parts of the country outside of New York City this may not be a problem yet but here in New York, it is driving very talented and hard working stylists out of the business. For the time being, I’m not going anywhere. But I BEG of you, PLEASE put a stop to this. I charge even my friends but give them 20% discount MAX. Good friends will understand that this is how we make a living. So giving a complete stranger 40-60% off is sheer lunacy. Stick up for yourselves. Stop letting these agencies get rich by ruining a skill that so many of us have studied for years. I love my profession. I have a passion for what I do. Please join me in preserving it. Stop servicing YELP, Bloomspot, lifebooker, scout mob, groupon, living social and any other type of faceless company that is using us. Take a stand for the clients as well. In the long run this is hurting all of us.
Please repost this! Lets join together and make a stand. The more people that put their foot down against them the more likely these companies will fall.
I’m really trying to amp up my portfolio. I don’t have a date set but would like some updo models. If you are in New York city and interested in getting a free updo and some nice picture please let me know. I’ll set the dates for this project once I get enough responses.
I’m often asked what kind of styling tools i use so in lew of us taking more time to let our hair down here are some of my favs!
Elchim - Although the price tags for these suckers can be a little steep, this blowdryer will last you YEARS. It’s a little heavier than the cheapo dryers but once you get used to it you won’t even notice. The stronger the dryer the faster the speed of drying. It also gets pretty hot which makes it easier to create shape and movement with your style.
The round brush:
I’m a big fan of natural bristle brushes. I try to stay away from round brushes with the more wire like bristles and metal bases. I know some stylists that love them but I think they just get WAY to hot. They also tend to snag the hair a bit. The kind I have right now are Marilyn brand but if they look similar I’m sure other brands are just fine.
Amika. Okay maybe I’m a little bias because I do freelance work for this company but I just LOVE these irons! Up to 410 degrees with a dial. 100% ceramic plates for better heat then metal irons. Beveled plates that swivel for more optimal styling and no crease lines from hard corners. AND they come in super cute colors and designs.
I love love love hot rollers! And whereas usually I go for professional brand styling products I am thrilled with my Conair hot rollers! The reason is in the clips. The clips have a compartment where you clip them and they are heated as well. This way the section of your hair will be heated from the inside and out! This means longer lasting curl! And if you don’t have enough of the size you want you can send away for more for just a few bucks!
Conair Xtreme Instant Heat Ion Shine Ceramic Technology Hot Rollers
Hot tools. You can never go wrong with hot tools! They are pretty reasonably priced. They last forever! I’ve had mine over 10 years. They come in any shape and size you could possible want. And they have a dial to control the temperature.
Jumping right in here. Section in thin section of hair. Clip the flat iron at the root of the section.
Slide the iron down the section slightly and start to rotate the iron. Make sure you hold the ends to feed them into the iron.
Once you make one full rotation the hair should be feeding in through the bottom again. Now slide the iron down the section while holding the ends and feeding them into the iron. If it’s to tight to slide open and close the iron while moving down the section.
There you have it! You magically made a curl from a flat surface!
I know you are. I know you ALL are. It’s okay I’m here to help. You take that scorching hot iron and slide it to the crispy ends of your hair and roll it up. Then you take the iron out and let that curl fly. Soon enough your roots are straight and the curl is just a wave in the ends.
So here’s the deal. When you roll from your ends not the entire hair strand gets the right amount of heat. Then your ends get too much. By the time you roll up to the root the hair has to penetrate through the ends and the mid shaft to heat up the root. Then when you release the hot hair you let it hang and the curl starts to fall out because the curl wasn’t allowed to cool in the right shape.
Be forwarded. This may be tricky to get the hang of. Once you do though you’ll be impressed by how bouncy and full your curls will be.
First start with a section slightly smaller in thickness than the barrel of the iron you choose.
Clip the iron on the section by the root while holding onto the ends.
Slide the iron down slightly and begin to turn the iron. Keep a hold on the ends and follow them around while feeding them into the iron.
Continue leading the ends into the iron by opening and closing the iron while turning continuing the curl.
Once the ends are completely fed into the iron let it set for a few seconds. Open the iron and slide it out while keeping the curl in tact.
Clip the curl in place to cool.
Repeat this all over your whole head then mist with hairspray. Allow the pinned up curls to stay in until the entire head has cooled. The result will be a more bouncy and long lasting curl from root to ends.
Remember the barrel size will make a bigger or smaller curl.
A bigger barrel will leave more of a body wave.
And a smaller barrel will make a tight curl.
Once again these are tricky but you’ll get a much better result with a bit of practice.
The same basic rules apply to all types of rollers. You want to take a section of hair slightly smaller in length and width than the size of the roller you choose. This is probably the most common error in setting rollers. If your sections are too big you won’t get a consistent curl. Also depending on the method the hair might not get enough heat or won’t dry well. Also if you remove the rollers too soon and the curl is not completely dry or not completely cool. The set will then fall out. Another thing to be very aware of is the ends of the hair. If the ends aren’t wrapped around the roller they won’t curl and will look sloppy and bent. I recommend using a setting lotion when setting your hair wet. It adds a slight tackiness to the hair that helps setting easier. Don’t worry. It will still dry soft.
Since they are my favorite let’s start with sponge rollers. Start with significantly wet hair. Apply your setting lotion and comb through. Start at the top take a section slightly smaller in width and length that the roller size you choose.
Make sure the hair is combed and elevated the section. Smooth the ends of the hair over the rollers.
The ends are very important. Make sure the are tucked in. Start rolling the roller down with enough tension to keep the hair wrapping smoothly over the roller.
When you get to the base turn the clip so you can swing the arm over the top of the roller and snap shut.
Remember with sponge rollers to control your tension. If the tension is too tight it will squeeze the roller and your curl will be smaller than you want.
The method with vented rollers is pretty much the same. The section should be smaller in width and length than the roller.
Elevate the section and smooth ends over the roller.
Make sure the ends stay on the roller and keep tension and you roll the roller down to the root.
Secure the roller with a roller clip.
Now onto hot rollers. The hair must be completely dry for hot rollers to work. Same as before the section need to be slightly smaller than the roller.
Elevate section and smooth ends over roller.
Make sure ends stay tucked and roll the roller down to the base while keeping tension on the section.
Clip section secure at the root.
I recommend misting the whole head with a light hair spray and letting the hot rollers cool completely (10-15 minutes at least) before removing.
Remember that these techniques are not the easiest thing to master so be patient and practice. The more to do it the better you will get. Mind the ends and keep the tension and you’ll have beautiful and bouncy curls.
I’m going to preface this by saying that although wet setting can be time consuming and kind of annoying to get the hang of, I believe it makes for the most beautiful and shiny result. It also it the least damaging and the most long lasting way to create curls.
There are several types of rollers available for Wet setting. Sponge and soft rollers or hard and vented rollers are typically used in wet setting. Deciding which is best for you is determined by the tools you have available to you and the amount of time you have to wait for drying. Since hard rollers are impossible to sleep on soft and sponge rollers tend to be more popular these days. If rollers are taken out before the hair is completely dry the curl with completely fall out.
Since the complete dryness of this method is necessary lets first take a look at available tools for wet setting at home. Although sponge rollers can be slept in you can also use these dryers to speed up the process.
Hair dryer with Diffuser:
A diffuser fits on the end of your blow dryer and will keep the air flow from your dryer from becoming too strong and breaking up the curl. Although these are the most readily available tools, because you can only concentrate on one section at a time it will take quite a bit of time and you may loose interest and give up. Even drying with the faster methods can take up to an hour or more.
You remember those photos of old ladies in the salon sitting under dryer with their roller set? Well, now they have desktop versions of those dryers for home use. Whereas they are extremely effective at speeding up the drying process, unless you are planning on roller setting often this is kind of a bulky accessory to have laying around your house.
Okay, these look absolutely ridiculous, I know. They were more commonly used in the 60’s for home use. But for home use, I find, they are the most convienient and compact. They are large bonnets that look like a very large shower cap. They fit over even the largest rollers and when turned on fill up to look like a large bubble on your head. As silly as you will feel wearing it you can’t deny the result.
Look for the how to in the next blog on how to roll and place various types of rollers.
Over the next few blogs I will be focusing on the correct way to curl your hair and the various methods. A very common problem I hear from clients is not know how to curl their hair or that the curl falls out. The reason for this is technique or just not using the correct methods.
There’s a lot to cover in methods of curling so let’s jump right in with the basics. There are several ways to approach curling. There is a wet set and dry set. Wet setting takes more time since you have to wait for it to dry. Drying can be assisted by a hooded dryer or just air drying. Air drying can take an very long time especially if your hair is long and/ or thick. Dry setting is a done with tools that create a high amount of heat such as in curling irons and hot rollers. Dry setting doesn’t usually last as long but there are tricks I will be covering to assist lengthening the freshness of the curl.
Something else to consider when purchasing your curling tools is the desired tightness of your curl. Since curl likes to relax a bit you may want to select a tool a slightly smaller than your desired outcome. A larger roller will create less of a curl and more of a wave. And very large rollers will create volume and hardly any curl at all. The standard size of barrel for most irons and rollers are about 1”.
Being lazy and trying to take short cuts when styling will create messy results or no result at all. It’s important to take the appropriate sized sections. This depends on the size of barrel you decide to use.
Most importantly, practice and be patient. It takes time to perfect good styling techniques. Try to have fun and experiment with what works best for you!
No matter what your political beliefs, the treatment of demonstrators at the OccupyWallstreet protest is deplorable. I have decided to post a description of what our constitutional rights say. The NYPD should be healed accountable for violating those rights and the public media should be put under scrutiny for not reporting on it. We need to collectively stand up and question our governments actions and demand change and equality.
The freedom of Assembly
"Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political freedom and a civil liberty.
Freedom of assembly and freedom of association may be used to distinguish between the freedom to assemble in public places and the freedom of joining an association. Freedom of assembly is often used in the context of the right to protest, while freedom of association is used in the context of labor rights and the Constitution of the United States, is interpreted to mean both the freedom to assemble and the freedom to join an association.[not in citation given]
In the United States constitution, it states ‘the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’”
To create a ton of volume use 2 round brushes while blowing your hair out. Heat up one section and roll the section all the way to the root with the brush and leave it in. Then use the other brush in another section and alternate! This gives each section time to cool!
Yelp… ARGH! I’ve had many issues with the whole online review system. Whereas sometimes it works really great most companies have horrid business practices. And Yelp is the WORST!
Here’s the low down. Yelp uses a filter system for it’s reviews. It’s “filter” is less of a system and more of a incentive to buy. They call buisnesses that have a lot of reviews and try to sell ad space and promotions. When you don’t, they seem to filter out MOST of the buisness’ positive reviews. They say they have a system and try to filter out false reviews or reviews from people that don’t review a lot. This is NOT the case.
I’ve worked at a salon before where I had 20 good reviews filtered out and they left the one remaining one that was 1 star that even violated their said “terms” by using personal attacks and foul language. This was the only bad review I’ve ever received. The client was horrible to me from the time she sat down. I was professional and stand by the work I did. Other clients in the salon even commented on how horrible she was. Yet since the owners of the salon ran the place from another country I was ultimately terminated because of this scathing review. (Which is a whole other story in terrible management.) This was several years ago yet that review still stands on the TOP of that buisness’ Yelp page.
I decided to write this to expose them for how horrible they are. The salon I currently work for has been in buisness for YEARS. I recently recieved a glowing review from a very satified client and again it was filtered out within 24 hours. Meanwhile on the page there are reviews from clients from years ago. The salon has a total of 139 reviews. 94 of them are filtered out. Out of the 94 filtered, 94 of them are 4 and 5 stars!!!!!!!!!!!! NONE of them are bad. Then in the non-filtered are 4 bad reviews and none of the people that the reviews are about even work there anymore!
Since the few new fantastic reviews the salon has gotten in the last few weeks that have been filtered out, Yelp has called the salon this week to ask us if we wanted to purchase as space. Everyplace gets a bad review now and then. This happens in ALL aspects of any type of service industry. But yelp highlights the flukes, hiccups and the occasional crazies for their company’s own financial gain. Every business on yelp that doesn’t give them money then suffers. This hurts small business owners that don’t have the extra income to throw at them.
In this time of economic turmoil, this practice is just deplorable. Shame on you Yelp! You are horrible people!
PLEASE RE-BLOG AND LET THE WORD GET OUT ABOUT THIS HORRIBLE COMPANY!
Shine Spray and Hairspray do pretty much the opposite thing. But used together and you can get a beautiful result. That’s getting a little ahead of ourselves. Not all hairsprays are created equal. Let’s start there.
Hairsprays come in two different varieties. They are usually labeled as working spray and finishing spray. Working spray is made to be a little more maliable. This means that you can use a working spray to give the hair a little more grit to aid in styling. Usually you can brush through them without them flaking. They don’t harden to the point of making the hair crunchy. Whereas finishing sprays are the final step. They harden and set the hair. Here’s a list of some of my favorites.
Alterna - Caviar Working Spray
Aquage - Working Spray
Osis Scwartkopt - Elastic Flexible Hold Hairspray
Big Sexy Hair -Spray and Play Harder
Kevin Murphy -Session Spray
*Tips and Tricks for hair spray*
Set Dry hair in Velcro rollers and mist with a Working spray. Heat hair with a blow dryer on low speed but high heat. Let cool for 10 minutes and remover rollers. Shake out curls at the root. For additional volume and hold do my FAVORITE hair spray trick. Lean your head back and mist a finishing spray on the underside of your hair sections by lifting and misting your ends. Also mist the sides in this position. Let dry for 20 seconds. When you lift your head you’ll have va-vavoom volume!
Now shine. Shine serums can be great for finishing but I find them a little difficult for people to control. I personally hardly use them. I’m obsessed, on the other hand, with shine sprays. I like to use them as the final step in styling. Hair sprays can sometimes dull the finish of the hair. A shine spray on misted on top of any style will make your hair look like spun silk! Because they are an oil base product though use them sparingly. Too much and is can make your hair look oily and add weight to a style making them fall. Mist it over an updo to make it look polished and bring out the detail. Here are my favorites.
Texturizing product are the MOST fun of the products! They add various degrees of separation and are the most commonly feared by the general masses. They can add that sultry beachy feel, make a cut come to life, add edge to your look or make you look more polished.
Let’s start with Pomades. There are dozens of different kinds of pomades out there! Picking which one to use really is determined by what your desired result is. Some have more hold, some more shine, some add moisture and on and on.
*Note - I’ll explain the types then application at the end of the post.
Let’s start with pomade for the shy of looking too “done”. If you generally don’t want to look like you have spend a ton of time on their hair these are for you. Hair companies have products out there that will help hair look more put together and polished without all the shine and shellac type properties. They will help tame your hair and keep it in place or rough it up and add separation while defining your cut and make you look more put together. Guys, this doesn’t mean you are a metro-sexual. It just means you care about your appearance. Try a Matte pomade. Here’s a few I’m crazy about.
American Crew - Fiber (for the men)
Bumble and Bumble - Sumotech
Paul Mitchell - Tea Tree Pomade
Textureline - Material
Next there are texture creams. Texture creams can be a bit lighter but still add separation and hold. I really love using texture creams because they allow for movement but still keep the hair polished and can add a slight about of shine while helping tame frizz.
Redkin- Rough paste (don’t worry, it’s not sticky like paste)
Rusk - Wired
Bumble and Bumble - Texture Cream or Grooming Creme
Now we come to waxes and full on pomades. These vary so much in hold but generally all do the same thing. Some are lighter and don’t provide as much hold but add texture and shine while others are thick hard waxes that shellac the hair in place. As far as the hard or stronger pomades such as Murray’s there is only one company that I know of that makes a water soluble version and I stick by that. Hard pomades are generally used for pompadours or mad men slick styles. The problem with these if you’re using them in excess is that the sun will melt them and it looks disgusting. Also they can clog pores and cause hair loss… EEK!
Now not to scare off the lighter wax users! The lighter waxes are not scary. They are water soluble.
Redkin - Water Wax
Aveda - Anti Humectant
Bumble and Bumble - Sumo wax
Texture line - Texture Shine
Hawleywood - Layrite (it comes in two strenghts and smells awesome!)
Now to get that tousled fresh from the beach texture there are several companies that have products out that give you a saltwater styled feel without the saltwater damage. They are matte and add zero shine.
Bumble and Bumble - surf spray
Kevin Murphy - Hair Resort Spray
L’Oreal Professional- Play Ball Beach Creme
Now aside from sprays, which are pretty self explanatory, here’s how you use a products. Start small until you are used to judging the amount you need. Add a little product to the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. The heat from your hand will break the product down a little. We call the emulsifying. This makes the product application easier especially if you are using a heavier product. Now application is dependent on the desired result.
If you just want a little definition in your end run your fingers through the ends or slide fingertips through them. For more definition pinch and slide through sections. If you need more product wipe your fingers in the palm of your opposite hand.
For a more sleek look use a small amount of product and apply product by sliding your palms sandwiched over sections.
For a messy texture scrunch the products in. This will give the hair a loose and more bed head feel.
Guys: Don’t forget your short sides and back. After getting the appropriate amount of product on your hand rub your hands through your hair in every direction over your whole head then comb through your hair with your finger to give your hair the desired look.
Most important: HAVE FUN! These products are great finishers and are fun to play with to create different looks.
Volumizing products are probably the most misused products out there. So often I hear “I bought X product and I didn’t like it. It didn’t do anything.” Creating volume is totally the work of your styling ability. Products just assist in hold. Although volume adding product can be used to hold a style roots to end the most important part of volume is created at the root.
Volumizing products can be mousses, sprays or creams. They are once again applied wet. After showering towel dry by squeezing and patting excess water. DO NOT RUB THE TOWEL ON YOUR HAIR! This roughens the cuticle and tangles. If you’re using a mousse or cream apply the product into your hand. Rub your hands together to distribute it evenly. Pat the product on your scalp and rub your fingers into the roots. Distribute the rest by running your hands down your hair shaft. If you’re using a spray lift your hair and spray product into the roots. Comb through.
Now again we begin to blow dry. This is the most important part. If you blow dry your hair down it’s going to lay flat. You have to create volume with how you blow dry. To do this you’ll need a round brush and a blow dryer with a nozzle. I prefer a natural bristle brush. They tend to really grab and smooth the sections best.
If you didn’t read my last blog I’ll do a quick overview here on how to blow dry. Start by quickly drying the hair without the nozzle moving the dryer back and forth over the hair and lifting hair at the root. When the hair is mostly dry/ slightly damp add the nozzle and pick up the brush. Take horizontal 1” sections starting above the ear and working to the top of the head. With your blow dryer in one hand and brush in the other pick up the section with the blow dryer hand and place the brush under the section at the root. Now this is where you create your volume. The nozzle should follow the brush pointing AWAY from the root. The more volume you want the higher toward the ceiling you lift that section. When you get to the ends grab that section and do it again until the section is dry. (This is why hairstylists use higher power blow dryers. They work faster and save your arms. It’s worth it to spend the extra money and buy a better quality dryer. I swear by Elchem. I have used nothing but them for 14 years.)
Working with the back of the head takes practice. I suggest parting the back down the middle to make those sections easier to manage.
And as always here’s my favorites in the world of Volume:
Kevin Murphy - Anti Gravity (by far my all time favorite right now)
Redkin - Root Boost
Bumble and Bumble - Thickening Cream
Practice this and in time you’ll have barbarella style volume!
We all want what we don’t have when it comes to our hair. So let’s start product week with one of the most common hair issues people have. Curly to straight.
Curly hair also tends to have a frizzy texture to it I’ll cover how to combat that as well.
Straightening products come in many forms such as gel like consistencies, creams, lotions and balms. They are most commonly put on damp hair. After showering squeeze excess water out of your hair. NEVER rub your hair vigorously with a towel! This roughs up the texture and tangles it. The length and thickness of your hair will determine the amount of product to use. It will also vary by brand as consistencies differ along with effectiveness. Apply the product by pouring the product in your hand. Then rub your hands together and pat the product onto your hair and be sure not to forget underneath. Then you can run your hands through your hair roots to end. This technique helps ensure overall coverage. Comb through your hair. Now we can start to blow dry.
First you start off by doing what we call rough drying. Don’t worry about starting to use your round brush until your hair is mostly dry. You’re just creating extra work for yourself. Once your hair is mostly dry start by sectioning your hair. Section off a 1” section horizontally above the ear. If you start from the bottom of each area it’s easier to keep organized and not tangle. The most important part of effective blow drying is the nozzle. It will direct the heat and smooth the cuticle. It’s unfortunate that this is the first thing people discard when getting a new dryer.
Use your round brush and pick up the section with the hand you are holding your blow dryer with. This takes a little practice. With the other hand that your holding your round brush place the brush under the section at the root. Then blow dry the section roots sliding to ends with the nozzle parellel to your round brush. Then pick up that section and repeat until the section is dry. Take 1” sections and work to the top of the head. Correct blow drying takes a little practice but over time you’ll get good at it. Just be patient.
** Additional smoothing trick**
After the section is dry grab the section and slide your hand down from roots to ends. The heat and natural oils in your hand will help seal the cuticle.
Here are some of the straightening and smoothing products I like.
Redken - Straight
Tigi - Bed Head Control Freak
Davines - Anti-Frizz Fluid
Bumble and Bumble - Straight
Now some of the straightening product have anti frizz qualities but some people have texture that need a little more help. It’s okay to use more than one product. Anti-Frizz products are usually creams or oils. They can be applied wet or dry. The ones you can apply wet can even be mixed with the straightening product so you can put them on at the same time. When putting these on dry hair you need to use a slight bit of caution though. Too much oil will just make your hair look greasy. Put a small amount in your palm and rub your hands together to distribute the product. Your palm will act as a reservoir for the excess. Comb through your hair with your fingers starting with your ends. When you feel you need a little more product wipe your fingers on your opposite hands to pick up more. If you need more get more as you work up the hair shaft. You should need less by the time you get to your root. Gently glide your hands over roots with the remaining product. Again, start with less than you think you need or you may look like you haven’t showered in weeks.
Here are some of my favorite anti-frizz products…
Biosilk - Silk Therapy Serum (this is also amazing on your skin!!)
Kevin Murphy - Easy Rider (I prefer this on dry hair only and use it on pretty much everyone!)
There are billions of types of product options that we use on our hair. This week I’ll be breaking down types of products and what types you should be using depending on your hair type. This blog will be an overview of the week to come.
Products are not effective if not used properly. Products are applied to wet, dry or damp hair depending on the desired outcome. No products are a magic fix to make your hair curly, straight, get rid of frizz or add hold if you aren’t doing the correct styling techniques. Product are basically made in different consistencies with various degrees of hold. They can add shine or be matte in finish.They can also assist in adding and decreasing moisture.
If you use a straightening product on your damp hair, for example, and then don’t blow dry correctly the straightening product will not work. Products assist your styling techniques to make your job easier and last longer. Same with curl boosting products. They won’t magically make your hair curly.
In the next few days I’ll go through various products and give you techniques on how to use them. Products make the difference in hum drum styles and salon fresh looking hair. So stay tuned!
P.S. For all you guys out there… I’ll also be covering pomades and mens products!
Show us the money! How hair stylists get paid.. The Mystery revealed
I’ve been asked this many times through the years on how we get paid. The simple explanation is by you. We get paid by the volume of our clientele. Long since are the days of stylist being able to make a killing. Since the economic downturn in the US the average pay of a stylist dipped to around 50% less than what it was 5 years ago. The fight to get clients in the salon has come the inevitable battle of the discounts. Stylist take a major hit here because they feel it’s better to make a little money than none at all. Here’s how the pay get broken down.
There are generally two ways a stylist could get paid. Since we are considered Independent contractors the salons are not required to pay us a cent. Some salons offer a chair rental fee. While most salons do commission since it is better for the salon. There are pros and cons to both.
Salons usually prefer this method since they make more money salons will generally take anywhere from 40-70% of all services. This is supposed to pay for the salon expenses including water, electric, towel cleaning, rent, products and cleaning. Although some greedier salons will charge the stylist an additional service fee depending on the services. These fees can add up and if you have a totally unfair employer leave the stylist with little left over. Additional costs also can come to the stylist if the salon wants them to pay their own liability insurance. (which in my career I only encountered once and it was baffling since the salon itself is meant to carry this for it’s own protection) Since the salon makes more money of the stylists this way, they usually require the stylist to be there more hours. The one benefit of working this way is the salon will do what we call feeding. This means that they will give you walk in clients and you benefit from the clientele brought in by any promotions the salon is doing.
Rental is a more ideal way for the stylist to make money. The salon or space will charge the stylist a set upon fee per day and the stylist comes and goes as they please. This is great for a stylist that has a hefty client list. And although it seems like it is almost all profit there are all sorts of little thing that add up since everything aside from the space and the air in the room is an additional cost. This includes again water, product and sometimes an assistant. On top of these are the cost of special licensing you are then required to run your own business within that said space. Even with all of this, if your busy it’s worth it to rent. But if you’re not, you pay the same for the chair which puts you in danger of slow days costing you money to work. Crazy right?!
I get questioned about how to tip all the time! It’s usually awkwardly at the end of a service and it’s hard to say without feeling greedy. So here behind the protection of my computer I’ll lay it out. 20% is customary. We really do LIVE day to day off our tips. Just like in a restaurant. We are a service industry.
There is nothing better on an oppressively hot day than cannon balling into a slightly chilled pool! But now you have to pay the consequences. You have been taxed by the fun police and your hair is GREEN!
Why does this happen? We can once again blame chemicals. Those tricky bastards!
Pools are treated to not grow fuzzies. No one wants to swim in a fuzzy green pool so they add algaecides. Nope.. It’s not the chlorine!!!! We always blame the chlorine. Poor chlorine. But inside algaecides is oxidized metals. The metal that turns green…. copper. So Copper is our culprit. Just look at what happened to the Statue of Liberty! She’s Green! And now, so is your hair. That copper binds especially well to lightened hair making it a beautiful Kelly green.
But since we are no where near St. Paddy’s day anymore how can I get rid of it? And maybe if you’re reading this before your first swan dive / belly flop of the summer, how do you prevent it?
Some clarifying shampoos can take out the green. But the problem is you need something that can chelate the metal. A mixture of baking soda and water will do the trick. Pour the mixture into wet hair and let sit a few minutes. Then Shampoo and Condition as normal.
Before going into the pool you need to seal your cuticle so it won’t absorb as much. Before getting into the pool wet your hair and apply conditioner. Then swim away. As soon as you get out though you need to get those metals out so Shampoo and condition right away before laying in the sun and baking them in.
So Chlorine…. I let chlorine off on the green charges but it still is doing some damage. Chlorine is the reason your hair gets that straw feeling. It’s very drying. If you are swimming you HAVE to not only shampoo right after but find a fantastic conditioner. You’re hair will thank you. (well, maybe not, but you’ll be able to get a comb through it… which is nice, all the same)
Ammonia stinks. Literally. So why is it in our hair color? Simple. It makes it work. There are many lines out there now that are “ammonia free”. But for any color to really cover and penetrate ammonia is almost always necessary.
So how does it work? If you’ve been following my blog you remember a few posts back when I explained types of hair color. They fall in several categories. Semi-permanent, Demi-permanent, and permanent. The more permanent the color, generally, the more ammonia.
What ammonia does within the color formula is open the cuticle. Think of it as the key to door of your hair. Hair has 3 layers. The cuticle is the outside of the hair strand. The second layer is where the “stuff” is. Color molecule need to get to that stuff and the wider the door is open the more color can get in. This means longer lasting color.
What about all the ammonia free products out there? Well, few color lines have been successful coming up with a comparable alternative. Most lines I have encountered fade too quickly or just don’t effectively color grey hair well enough.
L’Oreal has recently come out with a line called INOA to rave reviews from people who have tried it. The problem I find with INOA is the line is limited as far as color choices. Also, most salons have limited space. So to carry the INOA, then a whole other permanent line to fill in the gaps AND have the space for your Demi or Semi Permanent lines can just be excessive. INOA also tends to be a little more pricey so expect to pay a little more for your ammonia free alternatives.
I guess, for the meantime, we’re stuck with ammonia.
Again and again with this crap! I feel like a parrot. Let’s get one thing out there before I even BEGIN to get into this. Hair color is CHEMISTRY! Why people feel they are qualified to determine what is “safe” without any knowledge of the chemistry is beyond nieve. I would not DARE give myself botox or minor medical procedures. There’s a reason hair stylists need a license. There’s a lot of chemistry we need to know.
*Okay, Michelle, just breath and give them the information.*
I’ve heard it time and time again. “I just use box color.” And granted, some of you get lucky. But what you don’t know can hurt you. The danger I’m talking about here is Metallic salts. Metallic salts have been used in haircolor since the 1800’s. We’ve come a long way since then but for some reason people still blindly LOVE them. Metallic Salts fall under a category of hair color called “Progressive Dyes”. This means with every application the dye adds another coating to the hair making it darker and darker. Now, if you’re going for ink black, for example, you may not think this is a problem. But hair that has been using these metals over time start to feel rough. I call it tinsel.
So what happens when you want to lighten or get rid of this color. Well, the problem with metallic salts is that it’s EXTREMELY reactive with other chemicals. If you try to use most color removal methods on Metallic salt major chemical reactions can occur in the hair shaft such as horrible burning fumes and sometimes even smoking.
"But Henna? Henna is natural! It’s organic and healthy!"
No, have I taught you nothing. Chemicals ARE organic. Chemicals are in nature. The color of pure henna is brown. Metallic Salts are added to Henna to make it warmer or cooler. And Henna may not take evenly the first few times you use it causing you to have to do it several times.
Aside from Henna here’s a list of some of the box colors that use Metallic Dyes:
Nice ‘N’ Easy
What to do if you used these? Be patient. You have gotten yourself into a special category of client called the “corrective color client”. Chances are it will take several visits and some patience to get rid of what you have. Even if you’ve only done it once. Patience and time will be rewarded with healthier better feeling hair in the long run. Quick fixes just result in quick damage. So color safely.
Okay, I’m a science nerd. I get that. I try to be understanding. But the nerd in me can’t help but get a chill up my spine when someone asks if the organic hair color I’m about to use has chemicals in it. You can ask yourself that question about anything around you right now, including your own body and the answer would be the same. Yes. There are chemicals in EVERYTHING. No, really. Everything.
I’m not really sure when we became so afraid of the world around us. But let me try to put this fear of chemicals into a little perspective. Let’s go back to high school chemistry for a second. And if you’re still in high school lets open your books. I promise to make this more interesting that Professor Fuddy Duddy.
Ladies and Gentleman…. I present… THE PERIODIC TABLE OF ELEMENTS!!!!
These, my dear friends, are chemicals. Some of them volatile and some you can snuggle right up to. But are you ready for me to blow your mind. They’re organic. They occur in the world. Now let’s say you take water and heat it in a 5 gallon bucket. Water is what? H20.. That’s 2 hydrogen molecules (#1 on the elements) and 1 Oxygen molecule (#8)… Then you take a container of nitrogen and throw it at the water in the bucket… This happens….
Why did that happen? Simple.. Nitrogen is extremely cold! aaaaaaaand the water was hot.. Tadaa! Explosion!
(the soap is just added to make bubbles.) (The girl with the nitrogen is my friend and a professional chemist.)
Moving on… Did you know Oxygen is flammable? Or that 1/3 of your bones are purely mineral? Did you know that cats pee ammonia? And if you mix cleaning products together that have ammonia and chlorine bleach that you make chlorine gas?
So on one hand chemicals, when used wrong, can be horrible and dangerous. But without them well… We wouldn’t even be.
So if organic hair color has chemicals in it how is it organic you ask? The chemicals are naturally derived and not manufactured. Meaning… there’s less crap in it.
I just think that fear is such a great motivator that instead of jumping on the this is bad because everyone says blah, blah, blah bandwagon. It’s better to do the research. Keep your mind open and learn from the world around you because chemicals can be pretty fricken sweet!
I’m sure you’ve all heard the new big claims in hair care “Sulfate and Paraben Free!” and you think well that sounds good because those are scary words! But what are they? And if they are so terrible why have we been using them?
The word sulfate is a general term for a family of ingredients. They are used in cleansers across the entire beauty market. The reason they are used is because they richly lather which makes you feel like you’re getting squeaky clean. You can feel those oils just being sucked away from your scalp… the problem is… it is. Sulfates are so effective at cleansing that they can dry out your sebaceous glands. Where as, on one hand you may be thinking, ‘great, my hair gets too oily”, those natural oils are imperative for a healthy scalp and hair. No oils = no moisture = dry scalp and hair. ick! Prolonged use of sulfates can also damage your folicles itself causing hair loss. AND if that’s not enough they are such supercharged beasts at cleansing that they fade color.
So why are companies using them? Because they ARE so very effective at cleansing. But that’s not as scary as Parabens.
Plainly put, Parabens are a preservative. They are put in beauty products to prevent bacteria. Which seems fine, right? WELL,…… sigh. Parabens can be tricky because they can also be found in plants. So you’re “Organic” stuff may still contain them. Parabens can absorb and build up in the body acting like estrogen. When absorbed in large amounts your body will store it in fat and tissues and has been found in breast cancer tumors. The scary thing is that companies they are using ingredients that are paraben preserved don’t have to list it in their ingredients. It’s considered and “incidental ingredient”
So now that I’ve sufficiently terrified you what can you do? Well, I always say to my clients “I don’t care what you use, as long as it’s a professional brand.” This doesn’t include products you get at the Drug stores that just say “Professional” on it. I don’t know a hair stylist in their right mind that would use those. Most professional lines are hearing the cries either already have or are in the process of coming out with sulfate and paraben Free products.
Some companies that have always been free of these are also holding hands down the “No animal testing” road as well. (My favorites are Kevin Murphy, ABBA, Arbonne, and Alterna)
Keep in mind these chemicals are not only in hair care. Check your soaps, body wash, skin care, deodorant and toothpaste.
Do you think the Brazilian Blowout (or other keratin treatments) is a "fad" or something that is going to evolve and stick around for a while?
I don’t necessarily think it’s a “fad” but more of the current incarnation. Before keratin and brazillian there was Japanese straightening. Before the that there were a bevy of relaxing products all the way back through time when we used flesh scorching lye. I think with every new technique there are new concerns and issues our chemists and stylists try to improve on. We keep getting better and smarter at formulating safer and more effective products. I think that’s across the board as far as most techniques and chemicals we use in the industry. Who knows how long Brizillain treatments will be around. I know with the increased concern about the formeldyhyde that some law makers have been fighting to outlaw brazillians. In lew of that I’m sure people are currently scrambling to find something better. I guess we have to wait and see! :)
extensions, extensions. extensions.. Feathers and the like
Okay, I totally get it. These are the fun new whimsical thing in hair. But there are many things about them that just rub me the wrong way.
First of all is the large number of stylists doing them. After all, they are a type of extension. I’m sure you’ve heard people say time and time again how “Extensions Ruined my hair!” There are many ways extensions can do this and most of them boil down to lack of experience and expertise in the area of extensions. Even some of the most sought after hair techniques in extensions, in my opinion, are just horrible. the extensions can be attached too close or too far away from the scalp. This causes various degrees of pull and tension that can break hair and literally rip it from your scalp. Also the amount of hair the extension is attached to is a concern. Too much hair can pull hair away from it’s point of origin causing breakage on the outside of the section. Whereas, too little hair per section can’t support the weight of the extension. I’ve seen way more horrible extension jobs in my day than good ones. Also the amount of time stylists are telling their clients they can leave them in is a huge debate. Extensions ideally should be attached just close enough to the scalp and with just the right amount of sectioning that can support the weight of the piece. As your hair grows the piece grows with it and also may slide down the hair shaft. After 5-6 weeks most of these extensions are now putting too much tension on the hair. This occurs mostly in areas of the head where you pull and brush hair more and hair grows finer like in the nape and hairline. At that point extensions need to be tightened. Most basic stylists don’t have the training and experience with extensions to find the delicate balance. One class or a video is not enough to master this difficult craft.
With all that being said, extensions are a luxury service and your hair really needs to be tended to in concern of extensions. They can knot together and also knot above where the extension is attached. You can’t just get extensions thrown in and expect them just to stay perfect. They need to be separated. You have to dry your root and area attached right after showering. Never rub your scalp with a towel! all of these thing if not done right will put your own hair at risk from damage.
Now let’s get to the moral delema of these Feather bobbles. First of all some salons are legitimately buying their feathers from feather hair manufacturers. Yet many are really charging you the insane beauty mark-up of fly fishing lure. Yup, that’s right. Stylists are marching into Bait and Tackle shops and buying up all they’re lure and tying it into your hair. But that’s not the worst of it…..
The most upsetting part about the feathers is how they are obtained. The striped feathers come from a rare type of Rooster that is bred specifically for it’s feathers. The plucking of these feathers is so violent and traumatic that these creatures are literally being plucked to death. Imagine someone literally ripping all the hair off your body in handfuls. Just horrible.
I do admit when I first started seeing the feather extension I was interested in learning more. But the more I learn about them the more I want to stand up against their use. Luckily, I know they’re a fad that will soon burn out.
Hair loss affects a large portion of the population. But Why is it happening? What can I do about it?
There are several factors that contribute to hair loss. Products, stress, styling, chemicals, medication and heredity are all contributing factors.
Product: If you are using heavy products, such as heavy waxes and pomades these can clog your follicles making then dormant and eventually kill them. You shed hair daily right from the follicle. It leaves that follicle open before the new hairs grow in. Heavy product will pack itself in there and stop new growth.
What to do: Try using a product that has less heavy or water soluble ingredients. If you like Murrays try Layrite. If you simply love your heavy product try using a more exfoliating shampoo like a clarifying shampoo. Also every week you can do a lemon treatment. After shampooing squeeze a lemon into you hair and “lather” the juice into your scalp. The citric acid will help disolve the product.
Stress: I’ve seen clients go through difficult personal situations and loose a LARGE portion of their hair. When you go through times of extreme stress your body can attack itself in interesting ways causing various problems to your health.
What to do: Patience. Your hair WILL grow back in these circumstances. Take vitamins. Eat healthy. Drink water. Meditate. Exercise. Your body will right itself when you are taking the proper steps.
Styling: If you wear your hair in a tight bun everyday you are going to get breakage and put tension on your scalp pulling your hair out. Every way you pull your hair back creates tension. Also, excessively wearing a hat can rub the hair right off of your head.
What to do: Change your habits. Letting your hair down is the best way to let it do it’s thing. If you pull your hair back more often than you wear it down consider a short haircut. It’ll be just as easy to style and you’ll probably look more polished anyway than straggly long hair. Also, limit wearing tight hats.
Chemicals: If you are changing your color often or just have an extreme color from your natural then you are getting what hairstylists call a “chemical haircut”. Your hair will feel dry, frizzy and thinner that normal.
What to do: Make informed decisions about what color you choose. If you are going from one extreme to another do it gradually. Have some patience. Your hair can only handle so much. Don’t change your color too often. Consult a professional. Color can be very tricky and damaging. Fixing a mistake you did yourself could cost a lot of money and hair to fix.
Medication: Medication can mess with your body in crazy ways. I can’t even begin to go into the reasons since it really depends on your medication.
What to do: Once again patience. If it’s a temporary medication then your hair will grow back.
Heredity: It’s just in your genes. Male, Female pattern baldness can just be in your family. Thank your parents.
What to do: There are several solutions out there but they all seem to come with issues. If the follicles are dormant then I will address that in a moment. Follicles that are dead can sometimes be restored with products like Rogaine. The problem is that you have to continue to use them. Transplants can leave your hair looking very fake and leave a GIANT scar on the back of your head.
Treatment: If you have dormant hair you can stimulate it with certain hair treatments. Nioxin is one of my all time favorites. Although you have to continue to use it. There are fibrous powders that look pretty good but can run and bleed in heat.
Acceptance and how to deal: If you absolutely are loosing it cut it short. Nothing looks worse than long stringy hair. Cutting it short will actually make it look healthier.
I don’t feel as if the amount of formaldehyde in these treatments is enough to be hazardous to the point of serious concern. My best friend, who has a masters in chemistry, told me that even though there IS a chance for danger in large doses of the chemicals that there is not enough IN the treatments to be harmful. Also to consider is how the product is applied.
The straighteners are not supposed to be applied to the scalp. This means the only thing the product is applied to (if done correctly) it the hair itself. Hair is dead. Anything put on your hair ONLY doesn’t get absorbed into your body. It’s not as if you are lighting a wick. I feel like the most dangerous part of these treatment are the fumes. And if you are in a salon that takes the correct precautions and uses them in a large space that is well ventilated than this should not be a problem.
People have been know to get something in their craw to be warned about and it’s the next big paranoia. Ladies, we’ve been painting out nails with formaldehyde for years. Relax.
If you haven’t already heard I am having fantastic spring promotions!! 20% of all services. And if you bring a friend they also get the promo and you get an additional 10%!! I know you’ve been hibernating all winter. Time to freshen up for spring!! 212-260-6990
Hello, I noticed you know a lot about hair and I was wondering if you could help me. I have long hair, and I get split ends, which I trim regularly. I was wondering if there is anything I could do to prevent them all together? my hair is naturally curly so I blow dry and straighten my have once every 2 weeks, (since I know it's bad for you). I've heard that girls with long hair need to use treatments on their hair. I've looked around every where and I simply do not know what products are good are not. I'm hoping you could help!! I guess what I'm trying to say is, what are some good products to treat the ends of my dry/frizzy hair. And how often should I use this treatment?
Treatments usually aren’t done more than once a week. If most of the damage is on your ends focus on just putting the product there. Some treatments also have a lot of protein in them so over using them can have an opposite effect and make your hair more brittle. Curly hair also has a tendency to be a little more course. Of course a good shampoo and regular conditioner can make all the difference for regular maintenance.
For treatment there are a few lines that have great ones. Kevin Murphy has the Born Again Masque. L’Oreal Serie Expertise has various masques. And Keristase has a treatment line. These are all higher end. Also a good leave-in conditioner to use in addition to your regular shampoo and conditioner will help with protecting you ends from damage and dryness on a daily basis.
Hey, I've noticed you know a lot about hair. And wanted some advice.
I had my natural brown color, with bleached to blue underneath it all. I wanted to go to a natural color so I dyed my hair brown twice. The blue is now a dark brown not matching to top of my hair and it has a green tint to it. What would be the best way to get my natural hair back without waiting for it to grow out for years?
First of what you have to understand is that your natural color in that section is gone. When you bleach your hair what happens is the bleach pulverises your natural color molecules. It breaks up the color within your hair into smaller particles so that light can then pass through it making it appear lighter. Then what happened when you tried to dye over the blue is that you probably used a warm brown. The brown probably had golden undertones. Since color is not opaque the gold and blue turned your undertone to green. It also grabbed darker than you probably expected because bleached hair is more porous. So since your hair has been bleached and then dyed twice you are getting into more dangerous territory damage wise. I always recommend going to a professional when it comes to color since it IS a science and can be very complicated but here are your options. If you don’t mind the depth of your blue section being a little darker then you can just combat the undertones. Since it’s a little on the green side you can get a gloss with a red undertone to balance that out. Glosses aren’t as harsh either. OR If it’s really bothering you then you’re getting into corrective color. Some stylists would lift the brown out with bleach. (EEK!) But there is also color remover that can remove it more gently. Once some of the depth is removed a color can be put over it to color it closer to your natural tone. But like I said these can be complicated and expensive. Good Luck!
My hair is a mess. The forced indoor heating and knit hats are making my hair dry! Please stop.
You’d think that winter wouldn’t be as harsh as the sun on us. The truth is any extreme weather causes us to treat our hair less than ideally. We are less prone to air dry. Forced indoor heating is drying causing frizz and dry scalp. Pulling those stocking caps over our heads rough up our texture. What can we do?
Well, aside from the normal conditioning treatments there are a few products out there that I am in LOVE with that can help. Let’s talk conditioning first. I am one of those stylists that think conditioning is an absolute MUST! Even for people with oily scalp. Your really don’t need conditioner right at your scalp anyway. You scalps natural oils will help take care of that naturally. Make sure those ends are getting moisture though!
I’d say once every week or so you should do a treatment. If you don’t wanna shell out the big bucks there are natural alternatives that can really help.
Lemons: I love lemons! I always keep them in my house for my skin and for my hair. Lemon squeezed fresh onto your scalp will help with that pesky dandruff. The natural citric acid will help pull out impurities, and slough off dryness and unclog pores. Also the natural vitamins will help nourish and keep your scalp healthy. Just Shampoo then rinse. Squeeze out excess water in your hair and squeeze in lemon juice on your scalp. Run your fingers through your scalp as if you were massaging it into you skin and let sit about 3 minutes. rinse and condition as normal. (before throwing that halved out lemon away rub it on those elbows to help heal dryness!!)
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil can be bought at any health food store. It usually runs anywhere from $10-15. You get this tub though that lasts forever! Just run it through your hair and leave it as long as you can. If you really want it to penetrate you can then wrap your head in celophane and the heat from your scalp will help open your cuticles so it absorbs more deeply. I also use coconut oil as a skin moisturizer, I put little spoon fulls in my cats food for healthy coats, and there are tons of recipes using it as well. You can even sleep with it in. When your done Shampoo well! You may need to shampoo twice, You’ll know if your shampoo doesn’t lather. Then condition ends as normal. (Coconut oil is great for dry feet/heels! It’s natural so it absorbs pretty quickly)
A few professional products I love!:
Biosilk Silk Therapy: I have loved this product for as long as I have been doing hair. It is just amazing. Absorbs quickly and super soft! It’s also not heavy so you can use it in fine hair. Great on your skin too! I once wore it on my skin to a black tie event where I work a strapless dress. My boyfriend kept commenting about how soft my skin was.
Kevin Murphy- Easy Rider: This stuff is butter. Literally. It’s made with green tea, tangerine oil, lavender, jasmine, and biotin. Once your hair is dry a dab of this will smooth fly aways and frizz like magic. And it smells so darn good you wanna eat it. (not advised)
I’ll add more of my favorite products in the future! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your hair!
This entry is more of a personal and less of an educational entry.This is the first time I am speaking publicly about my personal experiences at these businesses. This is all from my perspective.
Since moving to New York nearly 6 years ago I’ve had a problem finding a salon that are both friendly and professionally efficient. The last two salons I had worked at in Michigan totaled 8 years so the fact that I have now been at 6 salons in 6 years is beginning to be frustrating. The number one problem is craziness in management. It’s absurd here!
The first salon I worked at was Rare in Tribecca. I worked there for about two months before I was fired from my first job ever for “Not being a good fit for the team.” The story goes as this. They were very much a young and tight knit group when I started. They hired me to assist and train for a few months before I was told I’d get a chair. I hadn’t assisted in a long time but the opportunity to work with the owner Ruth and learn from her was too good to pass up. She was and is brilliant. I got to bring in as many models as I wanted, got to go on photo shoots and learned a fountain of new techniques and perfected my craft. That part of it was great. The problem lied in the other staff. The color specialist was 6 years younger than my and had about half the experience that I had and I felt like she found that threatening. Numerous time I tried to talk to her and be nice to her only to get back snotty comments which I just blew off. One day she was at the front desk on Myspace and I walked up and said, “oooh, I’m telling.” In a joking manner. I mean, come on! I was close to thirty. I’m long past the day of tattling and I was just making a joke. She scowled at me then looked away. About an our later she asked to speak to me outside. The conversation went something like “I’m your superior here and you need to respect me.” I was blown away. I assured her I had no disrespectful intentions and I was just joking around. I was fired two days later.
The next salon I worked at was Wayne Tomas Salon. The salon had been open for a year and was bright and shiny and empty. They had ample space for stylists yet they only had 3 employees. Upon working for this place I immediately felt under their thumb. If we didn’t have clients we were required to stand in front of the salon and pass out our business cards. If you’ve ever tried to pass anything out on the street in New York you understand how humiliating this can be. They also had an insane dress code that were listed on the document I had to sign when I started called the “Policies and Procedures”. Still new to New York I agreed to only wear white, black, grey or blue shirt and black or grey skirts or pants. They also had a very strict no socializing with the clients policy. Being a hairstylist new to the city I felt like socializing in a big part of building my clientele. Clients invite me to see their plays, shows, bands ect. One day I had a client that was in town and in a touring band from Finland. He invited not only I but the entire staff to come see the show and put us on the guest list. I did not ask him but he didn’t know anyone here and the show was for a big magazine so I thought it’d be a great way to network. The next day I received a call from the salon that they were giving me a week off to review the policies and procedures and think about what I’d done wrong. They also notified me this was also because I wore a red belt one day that week and red was not one of their official salon colors. (Yet my hair was candy apple red from the moment they hired me.) I used that week to find another job and when I showed up after that week 3 minutes late dues to construction on my train they said “You obviously need to take today off to and get it together.” To which I replied, “No, I quit.” The few months I worked there I kept hearing of all these people that used to work there and from what I gathered they had a lot of people quit after a short time. Should have been a big red flag.
The next place I worked at was Enve in the lower east side. I was at Enve for 2 years. I became friends with the owner. We worked closely together as she was only a cutter so I just did color there and all my haircuts on the side. It worked well there for a while until I started discovering some erratic behavior from her. She wouldn’t order color so I had a really hard time formulating some days for lack of product. She wouldn’t anwser the phone and clients made appointments by e-mail. Sometimes she wouldn’t return e-mails for a few days. I lost quite a few clients from that and all the while she started blaming me. The last straw for me was when I didn’t get a paycheck for 3 weeks. I called to let her know I needed to come in and get my check and of course had to leave a message. When I showed up she told me she didn’t have any money and her phone was dead. I mean, how are clients going to book an appointment if you don’t answer. When I told her I was leaving she admitted to me that she stopped caring. Although this was painfully obvious it was nice to hear her admit it. So we parted ways.
Then there was Pimps and Pinups. *sigh* Where to begin. I was so excited to start working there being as they were a vintage inspired salon. I started there in October a few years ago. The salon had 8 chairs and opened with a staff of 4 stylists. We were all very excited and started off doing press for the New York Post. We all did a before and after model and there was a spread done. A few weeks into being open they notified us of all these additional fees they were going to charge us. The first stylist then left. By December the recession hit and the doom set in. It was terrible. 3 stylists, the manager, and a receptionist working 6 days a week 10 hours a day in an empty salon. We would all sit around the entire day and only 1 client would come in. We were all extremely depressed. I wondered if I’d have to move back to Michigan because it didn’t seem to be better anywhere else either. By the spring the owners in London were concerned and one of them came over to foresee what the problem was immediately blaming the staff. As the snow melted we got a little busy. By this point I was the go-to person for press and we were doing tons of it. I was getting interviewed and doing models from different blogs and web sites. I was doing the managers and staff of local hotels. The send out press releases promoting me as their vintage hair expert. I was finally at a place I though believed in me. They were cutting corners as much as they could though and ever expense was gone through with a fine tooth comb. This was about the time they sent their “spy” from London who would be the first link in my downfall. The receptionist they sent over was going to take over the color ordering duties which was something I did just to help out the manager since he didn’t know color. I made a very easy to follow chart based on what we had used. They agreed to let me use a few colors from different lines since my red-heads were picky and the colors were brighter and better. One day a very good client of mine had shown up and we didn’t have her color. You can’t make red. She had ordered a babysitter and had come from uptown. When I said to the receptionist we needed to send someone out she snapped back at me, “Well, how much color do you need?” “Two tubes” I replied. (The client have very thick curly hair and I needed to pull the color all the way through her ends) “Two tubes! That’s absurd! Do they know you use that much color!?! I’m going to tell London! They’re going to be so upset you use that much!” All the while my client is sitting upstairs. I was advocating for my client and said we can discuss that later but the receptionist pressed on until I finally snapped. “This is how I was trained. I’ve been doing hair for over 10 years. Are you, as a receptionist, going to sit there and tell me I don’t know how to do my job? I have a client up there waiting. Go get the color!” Now, in hindsight I may have handled that different. But I got really sick of hearing, “In London they do this… or that…” The brilliant woman I trained under once said something very profound to me. “There are many roads that lead to Rome”. After a few more months they hired a cocky 26 year old. Immediately this girl was a snotty know it all. She never said hello in the morning and was generally just cold. During this whole time they went through stylist after stylist. Hiring and firing, hiring and firing. I was the only remaining original employee. Since the color incident I started to feel a coldness. There began to have secretive meetings behind closed door. My clients would be in other peoples chairs. Then the other owner came for his first real visit since the salon had been open. By the time he left the 26 year old stylist was made creative director and my career sabotaged. She would bark power hungry orders at the entire staff. Everyone hated being there. There was a general awful feeling in the salon when she was there. Then I fell down the stairs. I was carrying a handful of towels and slipped and cracked my head on the drop ceiling. I sat in the break room until my hands started to shake and my eye turned purple. Around the time I almost threw up I got scared and grabbed my stuff announcing that I was going to the hospital. After sitting in the emergency room for several hours and them determining I had a concussion they sent me on my way with a note for several days off. My depth perception was off for a good week. (something I realized several days later when I tried to twirl baton for a show at the slipper room and kept dropping it). When I returned to work the creative director and I had a blow out because she was mad she had to come in and do my clients and one of them was unhappy. Not my fault. A few weeks later I was notified I was going to be fired so I just quit. Up until the week I was going to be let go I remained doing all of their high priority clients. It still baffles me as to how much that place used me.
After the Pimps and Pinups devastation I decided I was too traumatized to work for another salon so I went freelance. The haunting of Pimps and Pinups continued as several of my clients were confirmed at Pimps and when they showed they’d say “Michelle’s not here anymore, but we have someone better.” Or they would just tell them I wasn’t there and hang up. I lost a lot of people around this time too because of another set of lay-offs in what seemed like every industry. I got by this taking care of the clients that remained and working as a trainer for a company that makes hair styling tools.
By the beginning of December I realized I needed to get back into a salon and get serious about writing my book. I picked up 3 days a week at Shampoo Avenue B. It was fine at first but was cramped. Every day I would come in I’d have to search the salon for who had used my clippers, brushes, diffuser, blow dryer… My stuff would be scattered. One day I woke up with a fever of 102 and the assured me no one could do my clients and they couldn’t be rescheduled. I went in and worked an 8 hour day with a fever. (something I hate doing since I feel I can’t give 100%). There was one other incident that I’m not proud of but completely out of my control. I got new upstairs neighbors and their partying had become a problem. Finally at 6:30 am the quieted down and I was able to doze off until my cat, Fred, decided he wanted attention. Every Time I’d fall back asleep Fred would be there pawing at my face and meowing. And I slept completely through my alarm. When I woke up 20 minutes after I had to be to work I called immediately. I jumped up and got to work in 30 minutes. Record time. I assured the owner this was out of my character and thought we smoothed it over until the rumors started. Another stylist informed me that he was telling the other stylists I was a “pathological liar”. This was something that hurt me to the very core of who I am. I pride myself on being honorable. Almost to a fault and have often been described as blunt or harsh by my peers. I just don’t have the energy to mince words. Nor do I feel it’s necessary. I sat with the owner and discussed this with him stating, “I you feel that way about me then you have no respect for me. If you have no respect for me and still want me to work here then you are using me and I can’t work for another salon where I feel I am just used as a tool to make you money.” He agreed to wipe the slate clean and start over. My next day of work there was snow everywhere. Traffic on the bridge was at a stand still and I sat on the Brooklyn side of the bridge in a car for 35 minutes. At 34 years old I am never purposefully late. New York is an unpredictable place. So alas, I was 15 minutes late and subsequently fired the end of the day.
So this brings me to now. Trying to find a salon not owned by the complacent, lazy, petty, drama filled or egotistical. I feel as though my efforts to find such a place can be compared to the search for a yeti, or Nessie. Or this journey could be comparable to finding other intelligent life in the universe. Please let there be other intelligent life out there in the salon-iverse!
Undertones and Toners.. (introduction to the color wheel)
You remember art class in school right? That fun little color wheel which you forgot because you thought wasn’t important. Well, it’s time to revisit it my friend. I know you’ve all gone and browsed through the hair color at your local drug store. You see colors call warm brown and ash blond. What does all this warm and cool buisness mean? Hello, color wheel….
Color is classified at warm and cool colors. The red, orange and yellows are warm colors. The green, blue and violets are cool colors. When you see someone with really beautiful rich golden brown hair it’s because there are some warm undertones in that brown. And blondes that seem to not have any warmth in their hair… that’s probably due to some cool toner.
How it works is this. All haircolor has undertones to it. Naturally people tend to have undertones that swing one way or another. Warm or Cool. This is dependent a lot of the time by what color your skin is since your hair color is just melanin from your skin. That’s right! Did I totally just blow your mind or what. Your hair color is the same stuff that makes you tan! Or in my case not tan. :D To combat these sometimes unwanted tones we have to look back at our color wheel. Whatever is across from the color you have neutralizes it. So say your hair is a really red brown and you want it less red. We’d put in a bit of green. Yellow is canceled by violet. And Blue cancels Orange. Color theory in a nutshell.
So what about toners. I briefly mentioned the toners in my last blog about lightening. As you may recall hair lightens all the same! It always goes to those warm tones. We combat this by using toners. Toners are a more pastel version of this warm and cool colors. But here’s a example of what they can do.
It’s our jobs a stylists to be able to recognize and control these tones in hair. Generally our color lines come in more detail then your box brand generalizations of ash or warm. Ours come in number and letter combinations that help us determine how much cool or warm and what type of coolness or warmth we need to personalize your color.
Good Shampoo and Conditioner & The haunting of Pantene
I have a personal problem with Pantene. Pantene has been messing with me since my very first salon job as an assistant in a middle class suburb of Detroit. People there thought they were treating themselves by purchasing the most expensive drug store brand they could find. Client after client showed up with their fried out waxy pantene coated hair. I had to clarify every single one of them.
I’ve felt like a parrot with this speech in the salon. I HATE store bought products. Here’s my speech:
Store bought shampoos and conditioners are made by companies that make things such as floor wax and toilet bowl cleaner. Even the herbal, ‘healthy’, and organic ones are not made by people that study hair. Sure they may make your hair feel clean and not tangley. So why not just save your money and use them? Most of what I see in clients that aren’t using a professional salon brand is that they are dry dry dry! And just because your shampoo says professional on it doesn’t mean it is. Store bought shampoos are like detergents. They can be very abrasive and drying.
The major problem with being cheap about your products lays in conditioners. Aside from just plain not being moisturizing enough they use waxes and oils that just coat your hair. That may seem all fine and good when you rinse your hair and it feels slick and easy to comb through. But that doesn’t mean it’s conditioned. What’s happening is you are sealing your hair off from any nutrients and moisture. Over time using these products your hair becomes more dry and brittle. Ever notice when you get in the shower and it takes a few minutes of the water running on it before it really feels wet. Yeah, coated!
So what should you get that won’t break your budget?
Well first of all since you are used to using crappy product you’ve probably been using too much. Professional brands tend to have a thicker richer lather and go a bit further. Be smart about choosing your shampoo. Buy stuff that is for your hair type. (thick, coarse, dry, fine, colored ect) Most brands have something that will fit into any of those combinations. If you are someone that wants organic there are a ton of brands out there that are now that are fantastic. (Kevin Murphy and ABBA are my two favorites right now) If organic doesn’t matter but price does there are some brands that are on the more cost sensitive side. They are not as cheap as store bought but they also won’t leave your hair feeling like tinsel. (Try Redken, Bed Head, or MOP) If money is no object and you want to be completely spoiled try Kerastase, l’oreal serie, Rene Furterer, or Phytologie.
Remember that advertisements are designed to get you to buy things. I’ve worked on photo shoots and lighting and photo retouching gives hair completely unrealistic expectations. Those people have fantastic advertising teams.
About a month after quiting the pantene infested salon I was at an outdoor festival. Some lovely people were handing out sample bags of Pantene shampoos and conditioner. I politely declined. Later in that day I had run into the best friend of an x-boyfriend. We were having a lovely conversation when just then some stranger thought it would be funny to throw one of those little satin pouched Pantene bombs into the crowd of people and directly into my face. I blinked for a second not knowing what had just happened and glanced at the ground to find…. clenching my fist and shaking them at the heavens I screamed “CURSE YOU PANTENE!” The old acquaintance stepped slowly away from me. I’m sure in fear about my mental stability. To this day every time a client says they “just use pantene” it feels like to me that they just hit me in the face.
If you cut your hair it grows faster and other stupid things people say.
I’m sure you’ve heard someone at some point in your life tell you that if you cut your hair it grows faster. Now lets think about that logically just for a second. Does that make any sense to you? It’s just ridiculous!!!
The saying should be “if you cut your hair it grows healthier”. Now that I can get behind. If you are growing your hair out you should absolutely be getting trims every 6-8 weeks. The reason: those pesky split ends! You have to remember that the ends of your hair have been there the longest. More wear and tear. They tend to be dry, frizzy, brittle and broken. The longer you let those split ends hang around the higher up your hair shaft it creeps. So even though you haven’t gotten your hair cut in 6 months and you feel like it’s getting long chances are you have a couple extra inches of damage that you wouldn’t have had otherwise if you would have gotten trims.
Let’s do the math….
The average persons hair grows about 1/2 and inch a month. So at 8 weeks your hair is about an inch longer. A trim should be about 1/4 of an inch giving you 3/4 of an inch of healthy lenght. So after 6 month you’d have about 2 1/4 inches of healthy longer hair. Now if you don’t get trims your hair would have grown 3 inches but you’d probably have to get about 2 inches cut off because it felt like tinsel. Giving you one measly inch. I made pictures:
I hate when people come in and say they haven’t gotten a hair cut in a year and they only want and inch off. Their hair feels absolutely terrible. And when you blow it dry it looks terrible too. I’m not a magician.
Another aspect of this stupid myth.. Yes, if you have short hair you will have to get it cut more. Not because it’s growing faster. It just tends to loose shape after a month. 1/4 of an inch can make a neat cut turn into a sloppy one real fast.
It’s true. Black is permanent. Period. Even semi-permanent… nonsense! I have a feeling I will be referring back to this blog many times in the future.
I’ve said it over and over and over… They should NOT be selling hair color over the counter. Hair stylists are trained in how to use these chemicals. YES PEOPLE! CHEMICALS! People coming in with black dyed hair wanting to be blond had better be prepared spend a lot of money doing so.
Let’s just get into it. All hair color goes through the same stages of lightening. But not always at the same speed depending on the density of the hair and the amount of melanin (color molecules) in the hair. Artificial dye molecules are even harder to break. Here is how it breaks down..(for my hairstylist friends.. yes, I know there are more the 10 here… I wanted to demonstrate how gradual the transitions can be)
Let’s get this straight right here… COLOR IS NOT OPAQUE!!! What is actually happening in your hair shaft when you color your hair is that the color molecules are being fiddled with. So once you color your hair… your natural color is GONE! Other molecules and chemicals have gone in there and beat your molecules up. Pulverized them! And replaced them with stronger angrier and tougher molecules. Now let’s get back to the lightening issue…
Developer… aka. Peroxide. It comes in 5 volume, 10 volume, 20 volume, 30 volume, 40 volume, and I’ve seen it in flesh searing 50 volume for people with the skin toughness of a rhino. I’m going to try to dumb this down as much as possible. No offense. The volume or strength of each is related to how much lift, as we call it, that developer provides. So where a 5 and 10 volume are for semi-permanent and deposit only color a 20, 30, and 40 will create more lightening. 20 volume - one level of lightening. 30 = 2 levels and 40 - 3 levels. (you can achieve more levels of lift depending on what you are mixing with) That’s the nutshell explanation.
Generally when you buy box color it comes with 20 volume. AND color won’t lift color. So lets say you dyed your hair black a few months ago and you want to go blond. Your natural color is medium brown. So you go to your pharmacy and buy a box with a beautiful blond model on it and go home.. You squirt the crap on and wait. When you wash your hair your ends are still black or maybe slightly lighter but your roots where your natural was is what now? Orange! yup. 20 volume. You see why over the counter color is bad!!! This is much more complicated then you can possibly imagine. I didn’t even touch on what undertones are or how porosity can affect results.
So what is actually happening in there then? The color molecules don’t actually wash away when your hair is bleached. They are being dissolved. They break down smaller and smaller and smaller until more and more light passes through them and as a result we see blond. Darker pigment reflects light. There will normally be a slight to moderate yellowish tinge to hair because of this. This is combated with toners which are WHOLE other story but basically put another pastel color over the hair to neutralize that color a bit. But that, my friends, is for a future post…
Wanna break your hair off? Do you want a line across your hair where it just snaps right off? Do you want your hair to be more frizzy? Well here’s how to achieve such a look!
TIE YOUR HAIR BACK WHILE IT’S WET!
Everyone is doing it! For all you lazy people that wanna straighten some curl. Or maybe it’s just to hot or annoying to blow dry! Let’s get to some serious hair breakage! Comb that dripping wet hair back into the tightest pony tail holder you can find and wrap that puppy around so tight that your eyebrow touch your ears!
Seriously though.. Here’s why this is BAD! Your hair had a hydrogen bond in it that is broken when your hair is wet. This is why when your hair is wet it seems longer. Wet hair is also in a more fragile state. It’s stretchy. Next time your hair is wet and you are coming through it.. take one of those hairs that you shed and stretch it! eventually you can stretch it to the point that is will snap. The amount of stretch that your hair can handle is determined by your texture and damage. This is called your elasticity. When your hair dries that bond hardens and your hair “shrinks”.
So what happens when you tie it back wet is this… Your hair is trying to shrink but the pony holder is holding it in that unnatural position. Science does it’s job shrinking the hair back up causing your hair to break because the tension is too great. You get hundreds of broken hairs. Some by the root causing frizz and some by where the holder was. This is true for barrettes and clips as well.
I have pretty strong opinions about razor cutting. I can’t say it’s a rule but, in my opinion, they are horrible, and lazy. There was the day once when I used one and swore by it and loved my razor. Those days completely vanished for me about 6 years ago. And if you know me, you know I have scientific theories why! (hairstylists, please don’t hate me if you love your razor…)
It’s all in how the razor cuts the hair. One blade from one side cuts the hair on a tapered angle. Now the problem with that is the tapered angle. On a very small scale the ends of your hair are coming to a thin point. That thin point then has more of a tendency to split and dry out making your ends feel brittle and look frizzy faster. Plus you know your hair making that ripping sound as stylists just attack your hair with a razor sounds and feels terrible!
There are so many techniques out there of ways to achieve the same look with scissors. Scissors and thinning/texturizing sheers cut each hair straight across from both sides. eliminating a tapered end. It may take a little longer. But in my experience, with a little finesse, these cuts grow out better and last longer.
I’m not the kind of stylist that is going to tell someone they should cut off their hair or grow it long. Sure we all have opinions, but I’m from the school of thought that our job as stylist is to try to make the clients happy first and foremost and not try to force opinions on them. Of course if someone comes in and wants something I think is totally wrong for them or that is just plain awful I will definitely tell them the reasons it won’t work.
My biggest pet peeve is when someone I’ve never met sits down in my chair and says something like “What do you think I should do to my hair?” It’s the equivalent of going into a restaurant and asking a waiter just to bring you whatever he thinks you’d like. I know he’d bring me fish. And fish I just think is nasty. Or maybe I have allergies. This guy has no idea what my palette is like. Get my point? I have no idea what your lifestyle is, what your interest are, or anything about you at this point. Of course I can always ask a million questions and get some direction, and usually these people end up being happy because they had no expectations or just plain didn’t care going in. But hair is like a suit you have to wear everyday. It’s part of your personal style. I hate seeing people walk down the street in beautiful clothes and hum-drum hair. It negates the little effort you put into yourself. So let’s give it some thought….
Naturally we all DO care what we look like. We see other people and advertisements. We compare ourselves to each other. We look at others and are influenced by the things we see. So let’s put all the input to good use.
PICTURES!!!! Almost everyone has a camera or camera phone. If you see something you like take pictures. Look in magazines. Anything you can find for resource material. Don’t think you can walk into a salon and say choppy and expect a stylist to jump into your brain and know what you’re definition of choppy is. Don’t try to get into the terminology of hair cutting. Visuals are the best references. Even if you don’t like the overall look of a cut but like some parts of it. You can bring in 3 totally different haircuts. A good stylist will sit and talk with you about what you like about each one. Discuss lenght that you are comfortable and the amount of styling you are willing to do. We can work together on what will work for you. I tell every client that brings me pictures how great it is. So don’t be apologetic about bringing pictures.
Find a good stylist. Generally a $20 haircut will look like a cheap haircut. When stylists are more expensive it’s usually because they’ve had additional training. I’m not saying this as a rule. If you have a stylists that charges $20 for a kick-butt hair cut then by all means stay with them! But chances are, if they are that good, their prices will inflate. But trust me, from life experience, you do get what you pay for in most cases. If you are having trouble finding someone you like, ask someone. Ask friends. Ask people on the street.
Lastly, is the issue about product and styling. Ask your stylist to give you tips about styling. Watch how they style your hair. Ask what products they’re using and why. We really do want you to look good and be happy with your hair. What kind of people would we be if we didn’t. We want you to be able to style it for yourselves. You are our best advertisement!
I decided to start this blog as a way to inform and maybe sometimes vent. I spend so much time telling so many people the same things about what they are doing wrong to their hair that I sometimes feel like a parrot. So there will be tips and education galore here!!
A few years ago I started answering questions on Yahoo Answers and I was appalled by some of the responses. I pride myself on knowing as much about the science of my profession as possible. I also find sometimes clients have a hard time expressing what they want to their stylists and their vision gets lost in terminology. I hope to address in this blog some of these issues. I will also give stories of accounts, good and bad, and why things worked and didn’t work.
I will probably throw in some personal adventures that are happening in my life such as performance stories, my costume making woes, and drool worthy web sites I frequent and fantasy shop on. (filling a shopping cart like money was no option and dreaming what it would be like to be able to press that checkout button)