Monday, May 19, 2014

Going Lighter

When you want your hair to be a lighter color than it is there are only two options.

1- High Lift Color
High Lift Color is a professional line that will lift natural pigments from the hair while depositing new pigment. Did you catch how I bolded the word natural? That is because if you dyed your hair a dark color and now you want it to be lighter a high lift color will not work for you. You have to have 100% natural hair with no dye and no perms or chemical relaxers and no Brazilian blow outs done on it. 

2- Lightener
Yes, I know bleach has a bad rep. It is super damaging to your hair, causes breakage and damage galore! But if you go to a salon you have a %99 chance of having healthy hair after your service. Obviously this depends on your hair's history, but the bleach used in salons is a lot more gentle than what you find at a general beauty supply store. Professionals also have amazing products designed to hydrate and revitalize your hair after being lightened. 

I know that people hate to hear that they need to go to the salon, but I will reiterate do not try this at home. There is a reason that you have to get licensed to do hair. If you can not afford it go to a beauty school. Read more about why box color is bad for your hair, beauty schools vs salons, color oops and more below.

Related Articles:

***Thanks to Kelly for inspiring this response***

Is it okay to go to a Beauty School instead of a Salon?

In a word, yes. Going to a beauty school will ensure that you are having high quality and good products used on your hair. Especially when it comes to hair color, beauty schools are much better than anything you can pick up at a drug store. Another major pro to going to a beauty school over a salon in price! Everything there is much less expensive!

There are a few negatives to beauty schools. Everything takes longer there. The students have to talk to their instructors at least 3-4 times before you can leave, and they often have to wait to communicate with them. You are also working with people who are less experienced. They might take you to short, or mess up your hair cut and while this is possible in a salon as well, it is more likely at a school.

Overall I think salons are the way to go, but if you can not afford to get your hair colored at a salon then going to a hair school is a much better option than using box color.

Why is Box Color So Bad For Your Hair
Color Oops and Color Removers
Why Does it Cost So Much to go to a Salon? 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Color Camo

I recently announced that I am now doing a color camo service! I have had A LOT of questions since then, asking what it is and how it is different than normal  hair color services. Here is that answer!

Redken's Color Camo line was designed to appeal to men. It is specifically used for covering gray hair and only comes in neutral colors (no reds or golden browns). Redken did a study that showed that most men are embarrassed to get their hair colored, but they want to cover their gray.  Color Camo is less expensive than a normal hair color application ($35 or $25 when added on to another service), and it's fast! As a stylist, the way I use the color camo is by leading my client to the shampooing bowl. There I put the Color Camo on my clients hair and I emulsify it (it does bubble up like shampoo). I let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then I wash it out just like I would shampoo. I really could essentially dye your hair without anyone else in the salon knowing.

Some other great benefits to Redken's Color Camo include:

  • Cost Effective
  • Fast
  • Blends Away Gray
  • Fades Out in 2-4 months so there is No Harsh Line when your roots grow out
  • All Natural Colors
  • Deposit Only - so it doesn't damage your hair as much
This really is the perfect choice for anyone wanting to blend away grays fast without destroying their hair or committing to a color. 

Why does it cost so much to go to a salon?

I had someone message me and ask what she should do about a hair mishap and I told her to go to a salon and have a professional fix the mistake she made when she chose to use box color. She then responded by saying that salons cost to much money, and she said "I don't understand why they charge so much just to put hair dye on your hair. It's a total ripoff." I am going to start by saying I am not offended. Obviously I work in a salon and charge those prices, but I literally chalk this up to a lack of understanding. So here it is! I am going to let you all know why we charge what we do in a salon.

First I am going to tell you what we do o become cosmetologists, and what those expenses are. I went to a very average priced school, and I am a very average hair dresser so I will be using me as an example. 

Tuition for School - $17,000
Cost of Additional Education (while I'm in school) - $500
Cost of Product and Tools Needed - $500 (and I am being very generous here, I honestly think I spent more like $800-$1000)
Cost of Taking Exams - $200
Cost of Getting Licensed - $100

So just for my education I spent $18,300 not including time, transportation, and other misc. costs. After school I am now working in a salon, they provide most of my back bar product, utilities, and inventory for retail. But I still have costs. I generally spend $50 a month on product for my clients that my salon does not carry. Most stylists do this. 

The way that hair dressers get paid is they are considered "Independent Contractors". There are three options when working in a salon. The first is to be paid hourly. Most of the places that pay hourly pay in between $8.50 - $10.50 an hour. I have never seen a place that pays hourly pay more than $10.50 an hour. The second option is to be a commission stylist. This is the most common, and what I do. A commission stylist gets paid %40-%60 of the services total, more often than not they get paid %50. The other option is to booth rent. Booth Renters pay a fee either per month or per day to use the salon's station and product and they keep all of the money they make. 

So what does this mean in respect to the question? Well when we charge you $20 for a hair cut, the stylist usually makes $10. A good haircut should take 45-55 minutes (including a wash, blow dry and style) So at $20 a haircut your stylist is making $10 an hour, which is okay. Booth Renting on average costs $350 for a full time position (8 hours a day 5 days a week). Which means you have to make at least $350 a month to pay for rent, but most stylists that choose this option make at least $750 a month or more, (otherwise they'd make more being a commission stylist).

If you pay your hair dresser $10 for a hair cut you are either getting a very rushed and sub-par cut so they can get it done in 30 minutes, or your poor stylist is making $5 an hour, which is ridiculous. Please think about what you would want to be paid after $18,000 and 2 years to get licensed to do something. I'd like more than minimum wage at least. 

Now we'll look at yearly income. On an average day I make $75. That is $1,500 a month. Which means I am not even making $20,000 a month. Something else that is important to remember is I do get tips! I generally make about $100 a day if you include tips. That's $2,000 a month and $24,000 a year. That's not so bad. Oh yeah! Right, but that isn't taxed, (and yes I do have to claim taxes on my tips). So roughly $3,240 of that will go to the government and I will also never get another tax return. I will be paying into the system for the rest of my career with not yearly bonus to get excited for.

I am not writing this as a "woe is me" piece but to educate people on why we charge what we do (because at $20 a haircut that is how much I make), but so that they also understand that we love out jobs. We have to. And I hope you also remember this post when tipping your stylist.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bad Haircut?

This stems from one my biggest pet peeves in the salon. What do you do if you get a bad haircut? You can get creative with the styling, you can wear it up or with a hat for the next while. There are tons of techniques for covering it up, but that is not what I am here to talk about. I am here to talk about your attitude after.

Most likely after your hair cut was over your stylist asked you if you liked it or not, or something along the lines of "how do you feel about it?" Hopefully you told her (in a kind way) that you weren't happy with the result. So often I have clients (and even friends!) that come to me and they aren't happy with their cut or color. But when I ask them how they feel they say they love it and they are super happy with the result! I then find out a week later that they are unhappy and have been saying unkind things about me and/or my work.

I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating this is! I am a professional, I can take the criticism. I now had you leave the salon and thought you were happy, instead of looking at the cut and trying to figure out what the flaw in my technique or miss-communication was and trying to dissect the situation to figure out how I can avoid this problem in the future. You know when people say it's important for you to learn from your mistakes? Well when you tell me everything is perfect and that you "love it", then I learn nothing, because I didn't know there was a mistake!

The next problem with leaving the salon without telling your stylist how you feel is that you feel more motivated to tell other people about your frustrations. So you go to your friends and neighbors and tell them all about that one girl at that one place and how terrible she did on your hair. I wish people would not do this. Not only does it hurt the stylist's business and career, but it hurts the salons.

There are so many variables when it comes to cutting or coloring someone's hair. Often clients bring in pictures and in their minds they think that this cut/color will give them a leaner or longer looking face, or high cheek bones. Often the color looks so different on the person in the picture than it will on you as well. The other thing we need to remember is what that picture is usually of.

Take for example this picture of Emma Stone. You might think she has a gorgeous auburn/copper all over hair color right? Wrong. Her hair has been dyed with 3 different shades of red with different tones and levels. This gives her a lot more dimension and makes the color look more natural. The placement of the different colors also add length and are placed in a way that makes her cheek bones look higher. It takes an extensive amount more time, and money to do something like this. It is something you can get at a salon, but it is a timely and costly process. Her makeup and the lighting of this photo also speaks volumes to the overall look.

My point in saying this is that if your stylist doesn't make you look like Emma Stone it is not her fault, or yours. But try and be realistic about what your results will be like.

Not every stylist is for every client and vice-versa. If you go to a salon and they stylist doesn't do your hair "right" or you don't think it looks good, then most likely the stylist isn't a bad stylist. She is probably very talented and has a faithful clientele, but she obviously isn't the stylist for you. Whether the miss-communication happened on your part or hers (most likely both) trashing her to your friends and family is not only unkind but it's really wrong. It can also have legal ramifications. Slander charges can be pressed if they can prove that your bad-mouthing or Facebook posts hurt their business or reached clientele.

If you get a bad haircut you really have two options, go somewhere else next time or go back next time. If you go back to the same stylist you can remind them what they did last time and tell them what didn't work for you. That way they already know what you don't want and can "fix" it. If you go somewhere else hopefully you and the new stylist will communicate the same way.

But what I really wanted to hit on in this section is going back to the same place, but not the same stylist. It is okay to request not to have a specific stylist. I know for a fact that there is a few people who don't care who at my salon cuts their hair as long as it's not me! I am okay with that. If i cut your hair and two months later I see you in someone else's chair my feeling aren't hurt in the slightest. If you find a salon that you like their atmosphere, prices, and location, but you have a bad stylist experience don't take it out on the salon. Go back to someone different, it's okay!

In the end I am trying to say that if you get a bad haircut you should tell your stylist! Then you should not go around bashing that stylist. Then you need to know that if you'd like to you can return to that salon without fear! You wont hurt anyone's feelings.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How do I get my hair to look like it does after going to the salon?

This is a SUPER common question, and I always have the same answer: Product and Practice.

My pet peeve is when my clients say "I went home and tried that technique you showed me, but it didn't work!" when I know you are not using the right products. I am not a magician, and granted I am knowledgeable in this industry, but I don't have super powers. I went to school for 2000 hours (2 years) and spent a lot of time learning about the structure of hair and the chemical reactions and processes that hair goes through. I also study ingredients. I study what ingredients do what, and what fillers and things you should look for and (watch out for) in your skin and hair products. It makes a difference. I use high end products myself, and that is because I understand, know and trust them. My point is, don't be surprised that your hair doesn't look as good when I am using a $25 heat protecting lotion and a $19 mousse, while we both know you are using Garnier Fructis and Suave at home.

Practice makes perfect! I did not start school knowing how to do a great round-brush blow dry. I had to work really hard and practice A LOT (for two years!) to get it right. So get onto youtube and look up "How to Round Brush your own Hair". You can find tutorials for all different textures and lengths. Then practice, fail, practice, give up (temporarily), check facebook and practice some more. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is the ability to do a killer beach wave!

Does Trimming Your Hair Help It Grow Faster?

This question is an old myth and a question that I get asked a lot, including in the salon today! Does trimming your hair help it grow faster? In a word, no. But does getting a trim help your hair grow longer? Absolutely!

When you get split ends, those "splits" begin at the ends of the strand and will work their way up the stand until they break off or that strand falls out. If you get a true trim, dusting, or micro trim (this is when the trim only takes off .25 - .5 inches of the hair) then your hair will be able to stay healthy and full at the bottom! If you wait every 6 months to get a trim though, then all of those split ends have gone up the hair shaft, and more will have to be removed to get rid of the dead ends.

Think of a plank of wood. When it is freshly cut it takes a lot for it to get split at the end right? But once it has been split on the end it is relatively easy to make that split go the entire length of the wooden plank. So if you get true trims every 2 months, then your hair will only have been cut .75 inches in 6 months, but if you wait 6 months, your hair could need around 3 inches off to get rid of all of the damage.

So no getting a trim does nothing to make your hair grow faster persay, but it does maintain healthy hair, which allows you to grow your hair longer and keep it strong!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Unwanted Facial Hair

We all have it, unwanted facial hair. While men can just shave off their scruff, we women have to do little more to get rid of our 'stache. Here is a list of facial hair removal methods, and their upsides as well as their down sides.

1- Shaving
Women should not shave their facial hair with a traditional razor. There is however special razors made just for this purpose! The Finishing Touch Facial Razor for women can be bough at Walgreen, Walmart, online and more. It is pretty common. Pros: It is easy, fast, pain free, inexpensive ($20), and it lasts a long time, I have had mine for 2+ years and it's battery just barely died. I put a new one it, and it's as good as new! It's also great for trimming the hair on your arms because it comes with guards allowing you to trim the hair without shaving it all off. Cons: The results just don't last that long. If I used this exclusively I would have to use it every 3 days minimum! Yikes! Plus it does tend to make the hair a little more coarse in the future. And it's harder to sculpt eye brows with.

2- Tweezing
This where you use small metal tweezers to pluck out each individual hair. Pros: It's very inexpensive. You only have to buy the tweezers (pictures on the right) and those cost $1-$4. You can do it home. It usually lasts a medium amount of time (around 3 weeks). Cons: It is time consuming! To pluck eyebrows alone can take up to 30 minutes, and that is not including any facial hair at all! Plus it does hurt just as much as waxing.

3- Waxing
A preferred method beloved by women everywhere. This method requires that you go to a salon and pay someone to use warm wax to shape and remove facial hair from eye brow to chin. Pros: It is fast (20 minutes max) and the results last up to 3 weeks! If you exclusively wax your eyebrows (and other facial hair) you will only have to get it waxed every single month eventually, which is nice. Cons: You have to pay for it every time. One time a month at $10 each time is $120 a year! Plus it does hurt, not for very long, and the more often you go it hurts less, but it does hurt. The only other downside is that if you do not wash the area that has been waxed really well after you will most likely break out.

4- Threading
Threading is basically tweezing with string. Two long pieces of cotton tread are rolled over your skin and then wrapped around a single hair and pulled out. The big difference is that you can tweeze your own eyebrows at home, but you have to have someone else thread your eyebrows. Pros: It lasts about 3 weeks. You have to have someone else do it, and if you go to a professional then you are probably going to get some gorgeous eyebrows! Cons: You generally have to pay about $10 for it. So that would put you at $160 a year (if you had it done every 3 weeks). It can take a while (around a half an hour each time). It is just as painful as tweezing.

5- Laser Hair Removal 
This method uses a special laser to kill the hair growth follicles in the skin, so that you become hair free! Well, hair almost-free. Most people report that 98% of their hair is gone, but there are a few hairs that still poke up at times. Pro: The effects are permanent. Cons: It's expensive! It costs on average $1,716 - $2,574! It is a little time consuming, you have to go in for several 1-2 hour sessions of laser hair removal before it is completely gone. Although that does mean that you no longer have to spend time tweezing, waxing or anything else!

***Thanks to Shania for asking this question***

Hair Color 101

Everything that you could ever need to know about coloring you hair in one post! That's right folks! Learn everything from professional jargon and chemical processes, to ways to prepare for and care for your new color.

1- Talk like a Pro
Most professional hair color uses a numbers and letters system. The numbers (1-9) represent the level (or lightness/darkness) of the hair. Those numbers represent everything from black to lightest blonde where 1 is the darkest and 9 is the lightest. The chart on the right has the levels listed with pictures of their respective color in a neutral tone! 

The second part of the color formula that professionals use is one or two letters. All of these letter stand for something. Typically they are simple to understand. R is Red, G is Gold, B is Brown, N is Neutral, A is Ash (or gray), T is Titanium, V is Violet, and C is Copper (a mixture of red and brown that is a little more on the orange side). While these are the basic letters, there are several others, and many brands and lines use different terms altogether.

So if your stylist is using a 4RB on your hair it is a level 4 (medium brown) Red Brown. 

2- Toning Out Unwanted Colors
Have you ever lightened your hair and it looks yellow or orange? There is a way to get rid of that unwanted tone! If you have to much yellow, add purple into the mix! Combat orange tones with blue. If your hair is feeling a little red use green! Overall purple shampoos will tone out warmth, but using the proper color will speed up and enhance the process.

3- How Does it Work?
When you color your hair, your hair dresser uses a combination of hair color and processing solution. The processing solution lifts the cuticle layer of the hair and allows product to penetrate the hair shaft. It also softens the color pigments in your hair. The hair color eats away a portion of the pigment in your hair and then replaces or covers the pigment with a new color molecule.

When Lightening (or bleaching) your hair the processing solution works the same way. The lightener (or bleach) eats away the whole color molecule that lived inside your hair strand and needs extra lift from the processing solution to do so. This is why it is more damaging to your hair than coloring it.

4- Preparing for a Color

  • Do not wash your hair right before going into get it colored. 
  • Give yourself 36-12 hours after a wash before coloring your hair
  • Do not use box color! Go to a school if you are trying to save money. 
  • Do not use color strippers
  • Do not lie to your hair dresser, if you use suave shampoo or have used box color we need to know! 
5- After Care

Redken has (in my opinion) the best post color hair care! There gentle sulfate free and low sulfate formulas are great! Talk to your hair dresser about what she recommends, but please stay away from drugstore brands like Garnier Fructis! And as much as I hate to say this I super don't recommend TIGI's color care line (Color Goddess). It is heavy and waxy, and I personally don't like anything about it except the smell. 

Other Hair Color Articles:
Colored Hair After Care  (this article is more in depth) 

What Color should I Dye my Hair to Bring Out my Eyes?

This all comes down to the color wheel. There are 6 colors on a basic color wheel. The colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel are known as complimentary colors. They bring out the other one and are pleasing to the eye when paired together. These combinations are often seen in holidays (Christmas is Red and Green), sports teams (The LA Lakers are Violet and Yellow) and company logos (FedEx is Blue and Orange). Use this color wheel as a guide and all of your problems will be solved when it comes to matching outfits, accessories and hair color.

If you have Green Eyes - While any color will really bring out your gorgeous green eyes reds and auburn will look best. Remember auburn means a red-brown, so do not go for orange (or copper) toned reds in your hair. I am sure the copper will bring out the blue somewhat, bu it will not be as bright as a red or auburn shade.
If you have Blue Eyes - Again one of the easier colors to bring out, but these eyes could really use some orange tones, which are best found in copper toned shades. Ask your stylist for a copper toned all over look.

If you have Brown Eyes - Brown is the trickiest shade to deal with because all brown eyes are different. However I have found that the safest route to go with brown is blonde! Most brown eyed babes have cooler undertones that stylists identify with violet (or purple). Because
of this a blonde (yellow) or super warm and light brown look will bring out the brown in your eyes and give your look a little more warmth.

If you have Hazel Eyes - You are a lucky duck! You have a combination of either brown and blue eyes or green and blue eyes. Because of this, you can make those eyes pop with any color on the wheel, and any of the looks mentioned above!

***Thanks to Anna Wright for asking this question***