Tales from the Hair Chair
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

Let your hair down!

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!

The Blowdryer:

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.

Flat iron:

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.

Hot Rollers:

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!

Actual name:

Conair Xtreme Instant Heat Ion Shine Ceramic Technology Hot Rollers

Curling irons:

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.

Happy Styling!

Flat out curl. Curling with a flat iron.

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!

You’re doing it wrong. The curling iron article.

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.

rollin, rollin, rollers!

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.

curly curly curly!

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!

Hold it! Hairspray and Shine

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.

Working Sprays:

Alterna - Caviar Working Spray

Aquage - Working Spray

Osis Scwartkopt - Elastic Flexible Hold Hairspray

Finishing Spray:

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.

Textureline - Texture Shine

Amika Obliphica - Oil Shine Spray

Aquage - Beyond Shine Spray

Eufora - Illuminate Shine Spray

Abba - Pure Shine Spray

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!

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!