Avoiding Makeover Remorse.

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Jerry: I can’t [wear this fake mustache] anymore, we should have taken some kind of vacation!!!

George: Well, why didn’t we?

Jerry: Because you said this would be better! Remember? A vacation from ourselves?!

——

A vacation from ourselves. Hmmmmmm.

You know, maybe it’s this summer heat.

Or maybe it’s because Mercury seems to be retrograding even more than usual.

But I- and many others around me- have been craving some dramatic changes lately-NO NOT THE MUSTACHE KIND- but the hair chopping kind.

Yes, after over a year of growing my locks nearly to my waist, all I can daydream about is having a swinging bob blowing in the wind beneath my ears. Comme sa:

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I recognize that it’s completely normal for us all to feel wild and want vacations from ourselves- vacations from the status quo- (SHOULDN’T I FINALLY GO FOR PINK?!?!). But how can we know, how can we really KNOW with confidence that we ARE ready for a major change, and are not just in need of an actual vacation or adventure. Maybe swimming in the sea for a day will help alleviate the complicated process of actually coloring your hair blue. And maybe a faux bob is all you need to get you through the summer heat (and freak out your friends a bit.)

Before you consider doing something that’s a bit more permanent than slapping on a fake ‘stache; take a moment to ask yourself a few questions and get to the bottom of what’s really motivating your impulses.

GIVE IT A SECOND

Don’t dream up a new idea AND execute it on the SAME DAY! I have been there ya’ll- and there are a lot of short fringes I regretted just because I couldn’t make it through my awkward grow out stage.

I think that 2 weeks is always a good time frame to aim for. It’s long enough for your lady-luck to pass (if you know what I mean) and for any personal circumstance that might be motivating the change emotionally, to shift and give you perspective.

CONSIDER YOUR TRACK RECORD

Have you had this style before? What did you love about it then, what did you hate about it?

Do you typically regret or feel energized by impulsive hair decisions?

How long has your hair been the same? -If it’s been over a year- it is definitely time for some kind of a change.

IS EVERYTHING ELSE IN YOUR LIFE STABLE?

Your answer to this can go either way- but it is something to keep in mind.

When things in life are unstable, sometimes it does feel good to have control over ONE THING FOR GOODNESS SAKE. But sometimes it can also be a signal that you are acting irrationally. Emotional hair changes are not always the one’s that you love long term.

NEW UPKEEP

Consider the lilies. No, wait. That’s not right.

Consider the maintenance. New hair means new challenges. Longer hair is more low maintenance when it comes to styling and haircut appointments- where short hair takes some mastering and a trim every 4-6 weeks.

Once you’ve made it through these questions you might realize that you really are ready for a dramatic change! My last bit of advice for you would be to GO FOR IT. A lot of hair stylists will recommend baby-stepping your way to that short bob, but you really just need to make the leap so you have the full effect and full satisfaction of the change! Remember to bring lots of photos to be sure you and your stylist are on the same page, and post lots and lots of pics. After all, as Coco Chanel said:

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Happy cutting.

Xoxo

Salon Budget Survival Guide

money

In the modern and ever evolving 21st century, value is everything to us. Whether we are in our 20’s and working hard building a strong financial foundation for our future endeavors, or are into retirement and enjoying the finer things in life, our money matters to us. Not because we are hoarders, or cheap or greedy, but because making good decisions is really important to us. Knowing we are making smart investments makes us feel happy and like we are on the right track.

The Professional Beauty Industry is one that can really freak out our budget. We know that feeling confident makes us perform better at work and have more fun in our personal lives, but we also know that there has to be a balance somewhere.

Behind the chair, it is not unusual to have that one client who is always remarking on the price of everything. “Well why do I have to pay for a blowdry, shouldn’t that just be included?” or “My friend Sally gets the exact same things I do and only pays half of the cost.” And I’m sure that even though I only have one client who is voicing these concerns, that it is on the mind of many others.

So what are you really paying for?

+ Access to a wide variety of product choices.

Every head of hair is unique and everyone’s style is special. The only way to keep up with the great value of providing customized haircolor and styling is to keep in stock a wide range of products on backbar that can handle any look that you’re craving. Plus, you get immediate access to brand new products- I know how much you love being the first to try the latest thing.

+ Education.

Redken Elite salons are held to very high standards when it comes to education. And while the term “education” is used very loosely these days with access to unlimited youtube tutorials, a lot of salons pay for the top educators in the world to do in-salon training days. These artists can cost anywhere from $800-$2,000 for one day, and Redken Elite salons typically have artists come at least 5 times a year. This means that your stylist is getting up close and personal information on the latest industry trends and techniques. So a haircut is not just a haircut, color not just color, and a style not just a style- but an up to date- ultra customized look for YOU. Talk about value.

+ Time is money.

Hair stylists earning potential depends completely on demand of time and charging accurately for their time. A blow-dry, for example, is a service which is the most physically demanding and time consuming service of a stylists day which is why there is a charge for it. I can guarantee you that if a salon says that they aren’t charging for it- then they have broken it down and included it in the cost of other services you are getting.

+ You get what you pay for.

Reputation is earned. If you want to go to the best salon in town and the stylist that everyone can’t stop talking about- keep your expectations realistic. Would you walk into a Michelin Star restaurant and ask for a discount?

Here are my tips for surviving the salon and getting the greatest value out of your experience.

Budget Survival Guide

Embrace gift card promotions.

Most salons offer gift card promotions at least once a year where you can purchase a specified amount, and receive a complimentary gift card on the side. At my salon, when the client purchases the highest dollar amount they receive up to $150 for free. Taking advantage of this opportunity and planning out your salon budget through this can save you a lot of money in the long term. Yes, it’s an up front investment but then you can rest at ease knowing it’s taken care of.

Split up your services.

Suffering from sticker shock? Consider splitting up your color and haircut appointments. Yes, you will be at the salon more frequently, but by splitting up the cost it can work out better in your budget. This works especially well for those of us who have hard time devoting multiple hours to sitting at the salon. Freedom and budget flexibility.

Weekly style referral.

If you’re a client who loves having your hair styled once a week, consider asking your normal stylist to refer you to someone that they trust who is a lower level (and therefore a lower price point) for those services. Your stylist can coach the lower level stylist on your particular preferences and you may end up saving at least $10 a week. For busy stylists, this typically works well because they will have a little more room to work in their color and haircut clients.

At home care.

Have you ever caught yourself wondering, “With as much hard earned money as I invest in my radiant color- it should come with some kind of an insurance policy.” Well, it can. Typically, one of the first places people will cut costs, is with professional shampoo’s conditioners and styling products. This could actually be causing additional fading or split ends and costing you even more at the salon. Most salons offer at least 2 different product price points. Can’t afford Pureology? Try the Redken Shampoo instead. And start small. You don’t have to buy every single thing at one time. Split up your purchases to prevent sticker shock. AND take advantage of every retail promotion- especially the box sets- you will save in the long term.

Go one more week.

My fellow stylists may kill me on this one, but the truth is if you can go one more week- 5 weeks instead of 4- you can have big savings over the course of a year. Use mini color wands to cover your grays (they go on just like mascara) for the last week and wear your hair in some pretty updo’s- braids, classy ponytails and big buns will get you through the awkward stage.

What not to do.

Skip the blowdry.

Especially when it comes to getting your haircut.

What some people don’t realize is that the true customization part of your haircut comes when your hair is dry. This means removing “bulk” and “weight” and double checking that everything is falling evenly. Cowlicks and uneven wave patterns are only evident when dry- and can play a role in the overall look of your haircut, if the stylist is not able to see these things- it is hard to guarantee that it is just what you want. The added cost is typically only $8-$13 for knowing that your haircut is going to be perfect- PLUS you look and feel like a million bucks when you leave. Priceless.

Skip the conditioning treatment.

For $15 (in most areas) you are getting deeply penetrated moisture, UVA and UVB sun protection and shine sweet shine. This is definitely vital when coloring hair or when trying to grow your hair out. It seals split ends and locks in color by balancing PH levels. Plus, who doesn’t want that extra long scalp massage?


Have your own way of making the most of your salon budget? I’d love to hear it!


The truth is, you CAN have it all. You can have the services you want in a way that you can afford.

At the end of the day, how you feel is the most important part and that’s why I’m here to help you find the value in the everyday affordable luxuries of life.

Cheers my lovelies.

xoxo.

Buzzwords of 2015: Explained

Trends evolve and language is constantly adapting to newer generations. Here’s a quick guide to the buzzwords of 2015 in the professional beauty industry, Some of these you’ll be familiar with, and some you may have never seen before. What’s your favorite?!

Balayage:

Balayage in previous years was meant to describe a color application technique which is that of hand painting onto the hair. In the salon, when I have clients asking for balayage, it is now more in reference to the overall end result of the highlight. Meaning: they want the highlight not all the way to the root, with lower contrast and overall brighter ends.

Why you want it? Low maintenance and makes a statement.

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Babylights:

When I originally started hearing this term from the Redken Artist in my salon my initial thought was… who’s baby!? I quickly discovered that the baby in this scenario is… well… you. It’s a nod to the lighter sun-kissed hair from your youth. For some of you it’s really really light blonde from summers spent on the beach, and for others it’s those light brunette pieces that would frame your face after days full of swing-sets and ice cream. What makes this different than balayage? Balayage is more an overall “placement” of highlight and babylights describes more the subtle tone difference in the color you have.

Why you want it? Solid color lacks movement and can look harsh and unnatural. Adding slight tonal variety around your face will really soften your look, create movement and add a natural glow.

 

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Ecaille:

Also called the tortoiseshell technique, the Ecaille is all in the tonality. Think of tortoiseshell sunglasses and the mix of colors that are spackled through- there is a caramel, honey and deeper shadow. This is all about how the colors interact and move throughout the hair.

Why you want it? If warmer tones compliment your skin tone, then this is perfect for you. Also, if you are naturally dark but have always wanted to be blonde- this is the perfect color pallete to give you a balanced and beautiful look that is on trend.

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Pixelated:

This color effect looks straight out of a science fiction film. It is small blocks of different colors grouped together. For now, this trend has not adapted to the ready to wear market but is staying behind the editorial fashion lens.

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Sombre:

Remember Ombre when it first entered the market? It was very high contrast and included every single hair. Sombre takes this down a notch and adds a softer element to it. It is lower contrast and doesn’t have to be every single strand. This is one of the most popular red carpet looks.

Why you want it? It is soft and flattering and the maintenance is low.

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Swag:

The Swag is all about movement and swing.It is a modern day Joan Jett haircut that combines undercutting techniques with shorter layers giving an hourglass silhouette to your hair.

Why you want it? Low blowdry time, maximum volume and effortless edginess.

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Wob:

Defined as a “wavy bob”. This term is describing the waves and curls that are adding movement to the classic bob shape. This is one of the biggest current trends, made popular by Taylor Swift and Julianne Hough.

Why you want it? It’s the best of both worlds. You can have a very structured shape and haircut (which is great for fine hair textures) and still get to embrace the more relaxed “bohemian chic” trend.

wob wob2

 

Client Feature: Balayage and Ecaille in February

This gorgeous egyptian client is one of my most loyal and dedicated. When we met she had been taking care of her imposing grays by coloring her own hair at home a color which would match her natural level 2 (which equals layers and layers of color). After deciding she wanted to be lighter- without looking unnatural, we began the journey and after 4 appointments- Olaplex, treatments, and many hours of investment. We are thrilled with her result. Natural, dimensional, balanced and show stopping. So in love with the play of tones in her hair. Everyone can be blonde- it’s just about finding the right blonde that suites you. So thankful for getting to be a part of her hair journey.
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:How to: Say what you see.

Mmmmm, that gorgeous board on your Pinterest where you house all of your hair dreams. It’s full of ideas for days and days of dreaming of this version of you that is you… only… better.

But bridging the gap between our dreams and the real world- particularly in the salon and with our hair- can seem like a daunting task.

You’ve read the other articles that claim clarity in this situation- you HAVE realistic expectations, you ARE trusting the process, you HAVE asked for professional recommendations that suite you, you ARE bringing in photos of what you like and don’t like. So, what gives?

Have you ever heard of the Rorschach test in psychology? The one where some certified professional shows you ink blots of abstract images and you describe what you see? Kinda like this:

rorschach-test

What do you see? I see two horse heads emerging from the center, both with black noses and wild gazes. And something kind of like an xbox controller in the bottom. Did you see something different?

In this age of Pinterest, we are a visually minded generation and we can mistakingly think that a picture is the clearest way to communicate our ideas. Unfortunately, a lot of times it is really only a starting place for more misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

BUT I HAVE A SOLUTION.

In a desperate attempt to bridge this gap, I have compiled a few questions that should be answered/communicated to your stylist about the photo you are looking at. One is for color, and one is for a haircut. The thing is, there is no “right or wrong” answer, just like there is no “but clearly IT LOOKS LIKE IT HAS NO RED” because our eyes and our minds are vastly different and vastly creative.

Photo Questionnaire: Color 

1. Overall you want to look:

_ Brunette

_Blonde

_Red

_I hate Red

2. Overall you want your ends to look:  

_Brunette

_Blonde

_Red

_I mean it, I hate Red.

3. Is there a lot of contrast (light and darkness) in the photo?

_Yes

_No

4. Do you want to see contrast in your hair?

_Yes

_No

5. Are there highlights?

_Yes

_No

6. If yes, do the highlights go to the root?

_Yes

_No

7. If no to #6, where do they start? 

8. How would you describe the tone:

_Caramel

_Honey

_Ashy

_Platinum

_Golden 

9. Are the highlights everywhere?

_Yes

_No 

10. If no, where are they?

11. If you could change one thing what would it be?

12. What is your favorite part of this photo?

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Photo Questionnaire: Haircut 

1. Overall you want to:

_Go Shorter

_Grow out hair

_Maintain existing length

2. Overall you want your ends to look:

_Blunt

_Textured

3. Where is the shortest part of this photo?

4. Where is the longest part?

5. This photo has:

_Short layers

_Long layers

_No layers

6. How do you think the hair in this photo was styled?

_Blow dried

_Air dried

_Flat ironed

_Curled

7. If you could change anything about it, what would it be?

8. What is your favorite part of the photo?

To show you what I mean, I’ll show you my personal hair goals and how I would fill out the forms to show my stylist.

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Photo Questionnaire: Color 

1. Overall you want to look:

X Brunette

_Blonde

_Red

_I hate Red

2. Overall you want your ends to look:  

X Brunette

_Blonde

_Red

_I mean it, I hate Red.

3. Is there a lot of contrast (light and darkness) in the photo?

X Yes

_No

4. Do you want to see contrast in your hair?

X Yes

_No

5. Are there highlights?

X Yes

_No

6. If yes, do the highlights go to the root?

_Yes

X No 

7. If no to #6, where do the highlights start? They start maybe 2 inches away from the root.

8. How would you describe the tone:

_Caramel

_Honey

_Ashy

_Platinum

X Golden

_Buttery

9. Are the highlights everywhere?

_Yes

No

10. If no, where are they? Mostly around the face and in the front layers.

11. If you could change one thing what would it be? I see a strong shadow by her chin where her hair that is pulled over her shoulders doesn’t look highlighted. Since I mostly wear my hair in front of my shoulders I would want that to be highlighted too.

12. What is your favorite part of this photo? That it is natural looking and not too much.

Photo Questionnaire: Haircut 

1. Overall you want to:

_Go Shorter

Grow out hair

_Maintain existing length

2. Overall you want your ends to look:

_Blunt

Textured

3. Where is the shortest part of this photo? The layering right around her front hairline and face

4. Where is the longest part? The length

5. This photo has:

_Short layers

Long layers

_No layers

6. How do you think the hair in this photo was styled?

Blow dried

_Air dried

_Flat ironed

Curled

7. If you could change anything about it, what would it be? Nothing, I love itttttttt.

8. What is your favorite part of the photo? The way she has so much movement around her face. Sometimes long hair can feel boring and like it’s weighing me down- so that keeps it sexy and interesting.

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What do you think? The possibilities here are endless, you can now see what you really see and share it with the one who can give it to you! I personally am in love with the fact that we all have different perceptions of colors, shapes and ideas. It’s what makes this world so beautiful.

Cheers to having the hair of our Pinterest dreams my lovelies!

xoxo.

Your lengthening guide. How to grow your hair 6 inches in 1 year.

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It has happened to all of us at one time or another. We’ve taken the plunge into a sexy cropped cut, embraced that “lob” trend or gone edgy with an incredible pixie. And we loved it. We really did. But then… eventually… we didn’t anymore, and it was time to make that arduous journey of growing it out.

At this point, most women will start popping vitamins, like Biotin, but what may be surprising is that growing out your hair is more about your ENDS than it is about your hair coming from the scalp. It’s all about keeping the ends healthy enough to see those length results you are craving. 

The photos above are exactly 1 year apart, and I am thrilled to share how I grew my hair 7 inches in one year and how you too can give your hair the best opportunity to be healthy the whole way there. It’s my grow out survival guide! Enjoy.

HAIRCUTS

I am going to get real with you here. As a hairstylist, haircutting is an essential part of my livelihood; and, yes, keeping your split ends trimmed is vital, but you don’t want to keep the same haircutting schedule as you had with your cropped cut. I would recommend adding another 2 weeks to your regular routine (if you’re used to getting your pixie trimmed every 4 weeks, start doing every 6). YES this will make you a little crazy at first, your shape will be growing out and styling may be more challenging those last 2 weeks, but, adding a little more time between trims will allow your hair a chance to spread its wings. I am convinced that adding this 2 weeks into my haircutting routine really made the difference for me.

STYLING

It is not a secret that repetitive motion is unhealthy for our bodies. The Ergonomics industry has exploded in the past decade with a plethora of products to reduce Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and help us do our daily tasks more efficiently.

Your hair is no different from your hands or your elbows! Repetitive styling is going to adversely affect your hair and cause breakage and damage much more quickly. This is why adding variety into your WEEKLY styling routine is absolutely key. Blowdrying your hair every day looks great, but will cause breakage- particularly around the front hairline. Curling or straightening your hair with hot tools looks incredible, but will cause breakage- particularly through your ends. Braiding your hair or upstyling it every day is elegant and professional, but again, will cause breakage due to the tension that is being placed throughout the hair strand.

Simply switching up this routine will give your hair the best environment to grow strong and healthy.

BEAUTY SLEEP

This may surprise you, but how you wear your hair to bed may be impacting it’s health more than you think. For collarbone length and longer, you want to be sure you are brushing your hair and securing it before bed, this can be in braids, a loose bun directly on top of your head (fastened with a large claw clip, bobby pins or hair ties can cause too much tension). I personally like to add a small dab of Redken’s Argan-6 Oil through my ends- giving me moisturized and shiny ends when I wake up.

TREATMENTS

The 2 biggest influencers of your hairs ability to grow out healthy are Protein and Moisture. Here are my favorites that I use religiously to keep my hair looking and feeling it’s best.

Argan-6 Oil which is enriched with Omega-6, reduces frizz and offers deep conditioning and shine.

Pureology Colour Fanatic which has 21 essential benefits to prime, protect and perfect my color treated hair. I love that it has protein and heat protection.

Extreme Strength Builder Plus which is a fortifying hair mask which makes my hair feel like SILK.

Extreme Length Primer and Sealer which are formulated with a liquid form of biotin which seals in split ends, builds strength and is GUARANTEED to get healthy hair 6″ longer in 1 year.

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I would love to hear your personal journeys of the “Grow out”. What helped you get past those awkward stages and keep your hair as healthy as possible?

Cheers to being able to have healthy AND long hair my lovelies!

xoxo.

2015 Dirty little secrets.

Staying focused and time management are definitely my biggest challenges. With social media and our constant overload of information and social interaction this gets even harder. As a hairstylist and writer I appreciate those few things out there that inspire, motivate and direct me. Here are my current top 3 dirty little secrets for keeping me focused, on time and able to deliver unbelievable results.

Podcasts: To feed, inspire and grow my sexiest asset- my mind. 

Glambition Radio Mentor Ali Brown interviews todays top earning and most successful women. Showing that it is possible to break through glass ceilings, have business success and change the world. She ends each interview with 3 tips to have a more successful life starting now.

Listening to this keeps my headspace focused and on point. It inspires me to push myself harder and be an even better business woman.

Invisibilia is all about the invisible forces that control human behavior- ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Inspires you to recognize what forces are behind your reactions and thoughts and how to be an even better version of yourself and better for others around you. Every week I am taken to a different place and am completely blown away by the incredible information available.

Pureology Curl Complete Uplifting Curl

Embracing my natural texture is a perfect way for me to find more time in my day. For perfectly undone looking waves I apply root to end and scrunch in. I even love to use this product for blow drying, just spray root to end and watch how much body you can achieve! With coconut oil and styling polymers, it works perfectly to activate my curls and give them weightless life without drying them out. I am definitely addicted to this product and consider an absolute necessity in my busy week.

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Olaplex

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There’s an old quote that hairstylists love to use, “I’m a beautician not a magician”. But I have to say that this product makes me feel kind of like a magician. I can get blondes blonder, push the envelope, and trust that my clients hair is always going to remain in the greatest condition. It gives me the ability to deliver in 1 visit what I used to have to spread through a couple of visits and for that I am grateful!

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What are your dirty little secrets this year? I promise not to tell.

xoxo