Tales from the Hair Chair
Texture.. Not just for punks! Pomades ect…

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.

Lighter Waxes:

Redkin - Water Wax

Aveda - Anti Humectant

Bumble and Bumble - Sumo wax

Texture line - Texture Shine

Heavy Waxes:

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.

Va-va-voom Volume! Volumizing products

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!

Curl/Frizz ->straight and sleek!

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!)

Redken - gloss

Kerastasse - Nutritive hair serum

Happy Straightening!

Products! Why and how they’re used.

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!

Winter hair battles and what can help

Dear Winter,

My hair is a mess. The forced indoor heating and knit hats are making my hair dry! Please stop.


Your hair

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!