Friday, September 23, 2011

To do or not to your 'do

The first summer I was working at the salon, I was ready to learn as much as I could about everything 'hair'.  I was fresh out of school and didn't yet have my grip on color.  (BTW, what they teach you in beauty school basically just touches the surface of what it is like in the real world of hair color!)  I was not really busy yet, but I was at work 40 hours a week.  I was eager to be available for any call-in/walk-in there could possibly be.

Lucky for me, they came.  "They" were every teenage girl, out of school for the summer, that attempted to color, highlight, darken, and essential mess up any natural color their hair had previously been.  This, my friends, is what started me to become the colorist I now am.  Color correction is a tricky business and it reinforced what I thought I knew about coloring hair and taught me so much more!!

You see, coloring hair isn't as easy as Sarah Jessica Parker makes it sound on the 'Nice and Easy' commercials.  Applying a color named 'Beautiful Blond 555' doesn't automatically mean your hair is going to come out beautiful or blond.  It might, but it certainly might not!

Don't get me wrong, I am not bagging on the home hair color industry!!  They are a multi-million dollar a year industry and they are filling a need for many women and men.  However, there are times that you should leave it to the hands of the professionals.  Here are a few guidelines as to when and when not to try it at home!

Don't color it at home if:
  • you are going for a major change.  This is a time that you want to leave it to the professionals.  Light hair going dark can easily turn really ashy (a.k.a. green) in a hurry without replacing the pigments that don't exist in light hair.  In contrast, dark hair might need the quality of professional products to lighten efficiently.  Also, the damage that may be caused by drastic changes can be remedied by your stylist/colorist right in the salon before you leave.
  • you want a new hair cut.  Your hair color should compliment your hair cut!  Precisely placed highlights or a deep rich color can turn a rather ordinary cut into an edgy style!
  • you have skin allergies or sensitivity.  Your stylist should be knowledgeable about what ingredients are in the hair color they are using and can/should perform a patch test to determine if you will have a reaction to the product.  
  • you aren't sure what you want.  This is where your stylist can be invaluable!  They can give you suggestions, tell you what may or may not work with your skin coloring and hair type, and talk you through your decision!
Give it a try at home if:
  • you need to color your hair more often than you like to go into the salon.  I have some clients that are extremely gray, but don't want to show it!  For some, visiting the salon for a retouch every 3 weeks or so just isn't in the budget.  Some clients touch up 3 weeks after their salon appointment and come to me 3 weeks after that.  (Most of my clients book every 6 weeks.)
  • you don't drastically change your color often.  This way, when you find a shade you like, there isn't a lot of guesswork.
  • you know your natural color level.  Without getting too complicated, your level is how light or dark your hair is and it is based on a 1-10 scale with 1 being the darkest and 10 being the lightest.  Knowing what level you are can help determine what a shade will look like on your hair.  Most boxes in the store will have a guide on the label to help you know what to expect with that particular shade on your own hair.  For more on levels click here.
  • your hair is healthy.  If your hair is free of damage and yucky ends, you will get more predictable color results.  Porous hair tends to grab onto color and thus create an uneven effect as well as lose the color quicker than healthy hair will.  Every artist likes to start with a clean canvas without rips or tears!
If you do decide to color at home, educate yourself on the different types of hair color and brands that are sold.  

Maybe use a semi-permanent formula for starters.  They fade over time (in theory!) and can be gentler on the hair due to a lower peroxide developer.  

Use permanent formulas for ultimate gray coverage and for the longest lasting results.

There are also temporary rinses that can be fun to play with.  They wash out with one shampoo.  They can blend gray or just tone over blond for the day.   I like to use Fanci full Temporary Color.

I would recommend keeping the label of the color that you use.  This way, if you love it, you can repurchase the same color.  Also, if you end up needing to go into the salon for a color correction, your stylist can have an idea of what you used and this can help fix or improve upon what you have.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A quick before and after

Here is one of my darling clients, B.  She has fine blond hair that tends to only grow to a certain length and not get much longer than it is here.

B likes her style of long and straight and wasn't wanting a totally different look, she just wanted to improve on what she already had! She was interested in adding some length but also was really looking for a little more thickness.  We decided on adding about 50 strands of extensions and I think they turned out great!

Extensions are a perfect solution to many hair dilemmas.  If a client has wimpy areas, like around the sides of the face, extensions are a easy fix!  If someone wants pieces of color but doesn't want the commitment of coloring their own hair, extensions are an answer!
There are many different methods of adding extensions as well as different types and quality of hair.  Ask your stylist which method they prefer and which one would be best for the result you are looking for.   I used a bead technique and 100% human hair here on B. (I will post a video soon)  Until then, if you are curious about the bead technique, click here!
For information on pricing for extensions, click here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dress to the Maxi

The biggest summer fashion trend I have seen this season is the Maxi Dress.  It is long, I am talking floor length.  It is flowing usually from the bust down and it can be really dressy or really casual.  Whichever way you want to wear it, you can be sure you will be in style this summer season!  Here are a few that I love...

 Maxi bra top dress in Ultra Teal $59

Boho print smocked maxi dress  $24.99

DKNYC Gathered neckline maxi dress  $99

Friday, July 8, 2011

A day at the beach...or just look like it!

Don't you wish you were here?  I do!  That looks a lot better than being stuck inside with two sick kiddos:(

If you are in a place like that, lucky you!
For the rest of us, some days we just want our hair to look like we have spent the day there!
Well, my friends, you can actually get the look without stepping foot in the sand!
Check out these super beachy products!

Meet Beach Hair from Kusco Murphy

This is a pasty pomade that you scrunch in while your hair is damp.  It creates soft waves and separates hair to give it a messy, breezy look.  The scent is a beachy coconut.  It retails for around $30 and can be found here.

Try Beach Beauty Sea Salt Spray

This is a spray that you can apply damp or dry and it creates volume and texture to give an 'undone' finish.  It sells for around $10 and can be found here.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

This spray adds texture to fine hair and can also be used on damp or dry hair.  After applying, either diffuse hair or let it dry naturally for enhanced curls and waves.  It retails for $23 and can be purchased here.

Finally, Aveda Be Curly

This is a prep product that is applied to damp hair.  It enhances curl, protects from heat damage, and controls frizz.  Be curly has a citrus aroma and is naturally derived.  It retails for $24 and can be found here and here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fringe benefits

I sort of have a thing for great bangs...however I also think that bangs are a client's personal preference.  As long as you stay within some parameters according to your face shape, feel free to wear them if you like them!

 Some things to consider when cutting bangs are...  

  • The shape of your face
  • The strongest features of your face
  • Balance of your face
  • Your general hairstyle
Okay, let's go through these points.

The shape of your face
Round:  This shape of face usually has softer features and is as wide as it is long.  Since this shape is balanced, round faces can usually wear most any bang.  I prefer a bang that is right in between a blunt and a side swept bang.  One with soft textured edges that you can wear full or to the side.

Square/rectangle:  Square faces are characterized as being as wide as they are long, but with stronger more angular features and jawlines.  This shape does NOT do well with a blunt, straight bang.  That makes square faces look more boxy.  Instead, try a long bang that is very textured and skims the brows while sweeping to the side.   This softens strong angles and creates a more balanced look.
Photo courtesy of
Heart/diamond:  These faces are typically wider at the cheekbone and have a more angular chin.  The difference between a heart shape and a diamond shape face is the heart shape usually has a widow's peak at the hairline.  This shape needs to have a long, angular bang as well.  The shortest piece should start around the arch of the eyebrow heading longer toward the outside of the eye.  This draws attention downward toward the eyes and balances out the width of the cheekbone.

photo courtesy of
Oval/oblong:  This shape is one that is longer than it is wide.  Luckily, oval faces can wear almost any bang.  A blunt, straight heavy bang can look great because it adds some width, and a side swept short or long bang can look nice as well.  The sky is the limit often with oval faces because they can usually look good with most hairstyles!  

Click here for a guide to determine your face shape!

 Strongest Facial Features

Take into account your features when choosing the right bang for you.  A straight full bang can draw attention to a strong nose, however they can really highlight striking eyes!  

Notice how the full bang really makes her nose stand out but the softer long bang doesn't!

Maybe you have small features and a bang or too much hair around your face may drown them out.  

Balance of your face

Faces are divided into three horizontal zones:
  •  The hairline to the bridge of the nose
  • The bridge of the nose to below the nostrils
  • Below the nostrils to the bottom of the chin
Typically a face has one zone that is larger than the other two.  If this larger zone happens to be the first zone (forehead), bangs are probably a great option for camouflaging and balancing this area.  Depending on your face shape, you can choose the bang that is right for you.  However, you probably don't want to have them too short.  

Small foreheads can also be balanced with bangs but be careful again to not cut them too short.  This can cause the forehead to look even smaller!

Your general hairstyle
Bangs are a fabulous way to personalize your look.  Nearly every hairstyle can incorporate bangs to give  it an edge or change it up for something different.  
I have many long haired clients that often want something different but don't want to cut any length off.  Bangs are a great option for them and it makes them feel fresh and updated while still having the length they love!  Bangs create a point of interest around the face for clients who often have to wear their hair in a ponytail or an up-style.  

Here are some bangs that I love!!!

Don't be afraid to try bangs, just know what bang is going to be right for you!!  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Winner, Winner!!!

The winner of the giveaway for the

  Aveda Hair Potion is.......

Simply Sara said...

My Fav hair product right now is called Aquage, and it's a silkening hair treatment. It works wonders. I could have a new Fav though, hehe....

Maybe you will have a new fave product now!!!

and I will get you your fabulous prize!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Put the pencil down

Are you a person that is a slave to the eyebrow pencil?  Do you apply it everyday in order for your face to have an outline?  If only your eyebrows were a color that showed even when you don't have any makeup on!  Well my friends, that can be a reality!

I now offer eyebrow and eyelash tinting!  Using a specially formulated color for the eye area, you can have beautifully colored brows and lashes in less than 20 minutes!  While your hair color is processing, why not use that time to perfectly match your brow color to your hair color?  This service really gives you a polished, finished look.

Check out my 'discounts' page for a special I am running for brow tinting this week!