Monday, February 23, 2009

Consultations and a Hint of Spring

My first unhappy client:
For the next two months every Monday night I bring two models into the salon and perform two womens haircuts to be graded on. There are 8 haircuts total and I have to do each one twice. The first time I do the cut I've got to get an 85% or higher. After I accomplish that one I have to do it a second time and get a 100%. This is part of the intensive training my salon requires and I think it's great. Since I am new to the area, I have been using craigslist as a recruiting tool. All in all it's worked out great. Last Monday however, I had my first unhappy client. In the end it all worked out. After a few days of messing with it the woman ended up liking her cut. I was very upset at first, and a little embarrassed. After talking it over with some more experienced stylists I learned some important things.
*The consultation may be the most important part of the entire service
*There are many ways a consultation can go wrong
*The customer always has an opinion, even if they say they don't
-If the client says they have no opinion on their hair and you can do whatever you want, you are probably not asking the right questions.

I am hoping tonight goes better!

The most depressing tax return ever:
I finished my tax return. The refund was not as much as I expected. But at least it will be just as much as I have gotten back in past years. The depressing part was my total income for 2008. When I saw the number I was floored. Let me just say that it is well below the poverty level. I know I am chasing dreams, and there are consequences in doing so. But I really cannot believe I have been able to live on an income so low. I slipped into an afternoon depression after that. I couldn't even look in the mirror. I have a very strong work ethic. And despite the fact that I have pretty much been working full time over the past year, the number did not reflect it.

The Weather:
Denver has a 60 degree week ahead and let me just say this might just get me through it! Living in the midwest, this is the time of winter that gets brutal. February can be the hardest month to get through with all the 30 degree overcast days. I can't say enough about the mild weather and sunshine at the foot of the Rockies and how much it can effect a person's emotional state. Yes, I am still smitten with this city!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chemical Texture & Style Statements

Yes indeedy!! I have been seriously lacking here. I would start inundating you with heartfelt apologies except for I do not feel the need to apologize.

Why? Not because I am rude, or insensitive. I also know that it's not a lack of dedication to this blog that has kept me.

Because I have been working!!! And not at a desk in front of a computer, in the salon. Behind the chair. Behind a mannequin head! Behind live models!! Part of my assistant ship at this salon is intense education. This is one of the major reasons I feel so privileged to work there. But the education takes place on the only two days of the week that I don't work so I have been working and learning through 80 hour weeks at a time with few days off. So there. No hard feelings right?

Having recently scored a 93% (please hold applause until the end of the piece) in the "chemical texturizing" phase, I will address the way I would like to offer this service once I start seeing clients.When I say the word "perm" I know we all get the same image in our head:

For Some, it is your own face you picture radiating from behind this out-of-control poof. For others it is a friend or family member. One way or another we all have a negative connotation in mind of a perm. What I am asking you to do now is throw out those stereotypes. Leave the 80's perm in the 80s. In 2009 there are new, and better perms.

Is your hair fine and limp? Does it refuse to do much aside from lie there? Is your hair thining as you age? Do you crave more body in your hair? A perm can be the answer for you! New and improved perms are much gentler on the hair, leaving less damage. There are many different techniques we can use to give a softer curl, and more natural curl pattern. Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed, after a decade of bone straight hair, curl and wave are back in a big way. Just look at all the photos from the 2009 grammys. Hardly a head without a curl or wave!

Below are some very recent photos from the net. (I strongly apologize for not giving the proper credit. I found these photos on and

I am almost sure that most of these styles are not curls from perms. These waves and curls probably took a lot of time and energy to create. Lots of time and skill that most of us don't have on a daily basis. But if someone with straight hair got the right perm, these styles would take very little time and effort to create for the average person. Once your straight hair is infused with the body of a perm it is much easier to get the curl and body that these women are sporting. So c'mon ladies, out with the old! Start pumping more body into those locks!

Because I believe personal growth, and self exploration are so important to everyone,I would like to share a recent personal favorite that has brought some nice surprises. I recently saw a book suggestion from Apricot Tea.(one of my favs!) Style Statement is a tool that can help to live your life in a way that's true to you. (so the inside cover says) I am an optimist. I like to give everything a fair shot. I am not sure yet if this book will change the way I live, but I will keep you posted. What I can say for this book is I have discovered some things out about myself that are new to me. Being at the end of my 20s I started to think I had myself mostly figured out. How nice of a surprise it has been to still make new finds.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Please don't shampoo your hair!

How many times per week do you wash your hair? This is a very important question for a stylist to ask her client. Once this question is answered we can gather answers to many other questions like how many products you use, how long you spend each day styling your hair, etc. I was once a wash-my-hair-everyday girl myself. And for those of you that still are- I am guessing you do not realize the damage potential in doing so. Depending on your hair texture and any chemical damage you may have, coupled with what type of product you are using, shampooing frequently can be the culprit to a lot of damage to your hair. This is especially important for those who are living in a dryer climate. Every time you shampoo, you are drying out the hair even more. Especially if you are not using a professional product. Anything you get off of a shelf in a drugstore or Wal-Mart is going to be more drying to your hair.

It is best to wash your hair as few times as possible, period. I know this is a hard transition for many people. I could see this being especially difficult for someone who is very active and sweats daily. Even just wetting the hair down versus shampooing is less damaging and can help more with having a "clean" feeling after exercising. In a dry climate like the mountains where I live, the goal is to shampoo once a week-twice at most. I know those of you who find this to be a new concept think I am crazy right now. Maybe it would help to think of it in baby steps. If you wash your hair every day now, start with trying every-other day. Then work up to every-third day. See for yourself just how long you can get up to. Over time, shampooing your hair less will lead to healthier hair. I promise!

A common problem you will run into is an over-active sebaceous gland. Or you might better understand this as having an " oily scalp" or "greasy hair". A girlfriend of mine in college coined the saying "My head is so greasy I could fry french fries in my hair!".(gross I know) The sebaceous gland is the oil gland of the skin connected to the hair follicle. It is the one responsible for creating oil on your scalp which is simply meant to keep it moisturized. And those of you who do wash your hair too often will have an over active sebaceous gland because your scalp has been trying to keep itself moisturized while all along you have been drying it out shampooing every day. If you have a more coarse hair texture, even an over-active sebaceous gland may not create that greasy look to your hair. But if your hair is of a finer texture you will be asking: "How could I possibly wash my hair only once a week when I've got that greasy look on day two of a shampoo?"

There are several professional companies who make products for this exact problem. First there are Dry shampoos. These are typically marketed to those who cannot bathe as regularly. (say if you are on bed rest) More and more companies are marketing powder products not as a shampoo-but more as a volumizing or thickening agent. Check out pure abundance by Aveda. Another one to check out is Hair Powder by Bumble and Bumble.

So you are more of a practical gal and don't want to spend $34 for a 4 oz. bottle of powder? I have a solution for you too! Try corn starch or baby powder. They are both almost the same thing, except you get more fragrance with baby powder. Just sprinkle small amounts throughout your oiliest, or root area and voila! You should get anywhere from 1-3 extra days between shampoos using one of these powders.Being the honest problem solver I am I will tell you the downfalls of these more old school products. If your hair is darker in color, it is going to give you a bit of a white look to the areas you apply it to depending on how much you use. Work it through with fingers or a brush as much as you can to get it to settle in. The Hair Powder by bumble and bumble comes in blonde, brunette, and red for those of you who can't get a round using a white powder. I guess that's what their charging for-the additive color? I have not examined the ingredients in the professional powders out there. But it is my personal opinion and assumption that corn starch is the familiar ingredient in all of these things.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Extensions 101

Birthday Coat. A gift from my Mother.

The Salon holiday party went off without a hitch. I did end up getting a very affordable dress that my Mr. Man was kind enough to help pick out. The party was at an art gallery. Wine, beer, and berry-infused vodka was served. There was a photographer who was taking candids against a white wall and immediately printing the photos for us to take. There was a DJ that rocked our socks off. Plenty of dancing and even a flip-cup table was created by whom else but a bunch of male significant others.

In the hair world I recently agreed to be a model for a Stylist who is learning extensions. There are many different types of extensions. Most are made of real human hair. Some are synthetic. There are a few different ways of attaching extensions. They may be glued in with some sort of a bond, or they can come in a weft to be sewn into a braid. My Pro-Hair extensions were synthetic. After having them I would encourage anyone thinking about getting extensions to go for the real thing. The problem with synthetics is there is no straightening, and no curling iron. These tools are too hot and will melt the hair. The only options for styling this hair is to wet-set, or use hot rollers. (they must have the velvet covering around them). The other thing about synthetic extensions is that they get kinda nappy. They have to be brushed constantly. I would recommend this type of extension for someone who is looking to add body or thickness, but not to add length. Inevitably these were short-lived for me. I took them out after three short weeks. Below is the best picture I have of them. It is my sister and I over Christmas.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dear Dressmaker,

Yesterday started out great. I officially got my ticket home for Christmas! I am so very excited about this because I didn't think I was going home and it made me very sad. But now I am so excited to see friends and family that I haven't seen since May!

Then one of my new friends at the salon invited me to come see him DJ this Friday. I am really excited about getting out for some music.

And then there is the ever-looming Holiday party. One of the other assistants is planning for this as if it were the Grammies! She has had her "escada" dress fro weeks and it's as if this is THE social event of the year for her! And then there's me, the broke ass newbie who will not be getting any kind of new fabulous dress. Ahhh, and so it goes I will have to somehow convince myself between now and then that this holiday party is not this all important once-a-year event to make a style statement for myself. It is really about eating, drinking, and enjoying each other's company right? Yeah right this is the beauty industry.

I will not give up. I will not succumb to the superficial, materialistic world that can be the beauty industry. I am poor, but my will is strong. I will not be self absorbed and buy a new dress. This is the time of year of gifts for others. I have plenty of dresses in my closet. I know it must be possible to stay grounded in this business. Besides, my beautiful date will obviously make up for what my dress may lack.