Parlez-vous balayage?

Balayage, it means “to sweep” in French, it also describes how this technique is done- free-hand, organic, unstructured.

This is mostly true, but there’s a lot of structure that goes into how this “born with it” technique is successfully done. I started my career in the 80’s. Back then in was frosting caps and crochet hooks. (Back then I used to tell people the CIA should employ inexperienced hairdressers to interrogate their prisoners using frosting techniques. They’d fold in less than half a head of hooking!) It was in a Redken salon that I learned Balayage and I was an instant fan. In fact I didn’t learn to use foils till 1986. Sadly I stopped freehand hair painting till it made its come back in this decade. My first attempts were Okay but not my best work. Seen below, she asked for an Sombré Balayage, and while the photo on the right has more drama, I would do it all very differently now.

Here is some of my more recent Balayage, Foilayage work. I don’t get a lot of requests for this service so I don’t get to refine my technique. I do love the ease of free-hand, I also enjoy the control of foil, hence Foilayage. I call it the marriage of two techniques into one safe, predictable service. Everybody wants fast. Guest’s want what’s new, looks good, fits the budget and won’t require a lot of upkeep. The entire arena of Sombre, Balayage gives them this.

This Balayage affect will grow out seamlessly and other than reintroducing her pink, which is done with shampoo containing Direct Dyes, she can go 6 months between highlights. She can also opt to have a Mini Highlight over the top area of the head to brighten up the darker virgin hair.

Unlike traditional foil highlights that place a lot of foils close to the scalp to add texture, dimension and a color change, Balayage, Sombre, and Foilayage avoid a lot of color change on the visible root area, often even melting color into the roots to keep them soft. So while the finished look is natural, it can be a very labor intensive process to get you that “natural”. As you can see below, this guest gets an all-over color shift plus, highlights. The overall affect if natural enough, the upkeep is 8 weeks for base color and 16 weeks for base color and highlights.

Whether you Ombré, Sombre, BabyLight, Full Foil or Express Highlight, it can be done with Balayage, Foils, Papers or Cellophane. It’s ultimately down to the technique and know-how of the colorist. And, it’s not just about blond hair either. I have had the exquisite privilege of creating some glorious color affects and effects with free-hand and precision barrier placement. Here are a few. Enjoy!

Advertisements
Posted in Hair, Style, Healthy Hair Care, Healthy Hair Color, Professional Haircolorists | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Say NO.

There is this perception, pressure even, that we hairstylists can, or should, be able to do it all. In Cosmotology school we had to learn to: Cut, Color, Perm, Relax, Set and Style hair, as well as wax, do nails and skin care/make up. All aspects of grooming, but mostly it was about passing our State Board exams. Once in the big wide world of Hairdressing we learn the fine points of all of the above, or we begin to specialize. Unless you work in a salon system that requires you to chose between the disciplines of Shape/Form and Chemical work you are probably wearing many hats. 

Now a days we as hairstylists are expected to know how to color hair in multiple directions, it’s no longer just about keeping some one blond or covering grey hairs. Now we are supposed to taste the rainbow, take coal black hair to ice white, or create the illusion that you were born with these beige ribbons of color in your hair. Then there are the cuts: barber styles, bobs, lobs, long layers, pixies and more. We are also supposed to create all the shapes and sometimes colors of toddlers – teens, executive – elderly, with percisiom and mastery. Is this wise? Can we? Should we? Or are there times and circumstances when we should just say No

For me, I love the entire creative process; from creating the structure and shape to bringing that shape to life with color or texture, I enjoy being able to take some one from start to finish. I have also learned How and When to say no, or so I thought. One of my inner-mantras is “you are only as good as your last, or worst, cut/color/perm/style”., so I’m usually good about knowing my strong and weak points, turning down certain requests and weeding out potential obstacles, but every once and a while the curve ball catches you.

A recent post to a professional group I’m part of reminded me of all this. The post showed a transformation from a failed cut and highlights the guest received weeks before from Stylist “A” to the bullseye results of our Stylist “B”, which were dramatic, and the guest overcome with joy. Seeing the previous Stylist’s missed “target by a mile” got to thinking, did they go into the service thinking “this is going to great, she’ll love it!”? Or was it more likely they felt compelled to proceed, watched a “how-to” video in the break room when they told the guest I’m just “going to mix the color” and praying a lot? More to the point, did they really think the finished results were something to be proud of?!

We’ve all been there, no mater who you are, what you do, you’ve been up to your armpits in “I hope this works” at least once. I had one of my own not that long ago. It began with a call from a newer guest asking for an appointment for her son before his freshman year of high school.  I create a beautifully balanced bob for her and her daughter is one of my favorite young clients of all time. No surprise that she would seek me out to cut her son’s hair, but I had this sneaky feeling there could be trouble. (Note to self: Trust the Small Voice!) When you hear “no one ever cuts ____ hair right” you need to proceed with caution. “Why” has no one cut it right? “What” have you asked for in the past? AND, Have you EVER shown the doomed stylist/barber a picture of what you are asking for? In this instance a picture really would have been worth a thousand words, or at least it should have been. 

Should have, would have, could have! Communication is everything, period, you either are, or you aren’t…and I failed.

Yes, I did my usual consultation, I had even tried to cover my bases by asking mom to text me pictures of what her son wanted and what he has now….sadly the message got lost in a busy mom’s cell phone. But I should have brought that up at the cosultation. Ball dropped. The son is sweet and a bit shy, deferring to mom for the details of the consultation. Mom and I discussed the shape and style he wanted, the cow licks that can’t be avoided or ignored and I felt 100% sure I knew exactly what was expected of me. It wasn’t till I was asking the young man in my chair about styling techniques that he chimed in and I realized I got it wrong, Way Wrong! I wanted to throw up. Mom was livid, son was trying to play ambassador, “it’s not that bad, I can live with this, it will grow”, all I could do was apologize and offer a discount for the next haircut. Which I did get, and I made sure I had pictures, talked about and showed what was actually going on in their photos.(shaved sides with a very long top that was pomaded into place and covering those shaved sides…that they did not want)

Fast forward, I haven’t seen this young man, his sister or mother in about 6 months. Chances are I’ve been fired. While it’s sad, I comprehend why; that fail left a mark and my prices were going up for both children which meant mom was looking for a more affordable option. That’s the nature of this industry. We are large in number and folks have a lot of options. I’m learning to focus on what I do well. Improve the things I already do well and keep up with what’s out there even if studying it makes me just say No!

How about you? Does this remind you of a situation or circumstance that helped you change what you do or the way you do it? Share it with me. We can grow together.

Posted in Hair, Style, Healthy Hair Care, Healthy Hair Color | Leave a comment

Booking better

For the past 16 years I’ve been an independent stylist in rental salons. I’m not here to discuss the pros or cons of this situation, I’m here to share my experience with Electronic Scheduling systems, the paperless always with you way to run your seat or salon from your smartphone, net device or PC. I started down this road 4 years ago and really enjoy it’s convenience. If you already use this form of scheduling you may find it interesting to see what’s out there. If you’ve never used one this may help you find the one for you or solidify your relationship your Big Book.

This post will deal with my top 6 picks, against StyleSeat, from a total of 12 services I explored that are offered to hairdressers, barbers, massage therapists, nail techs and anyone who could benefit from an e-appointment book. Some of these offer online booking options to your guests, others do not. All the services I tested had to meet the following requirements: Ease-of-use, In-Salon Hours, Appointment Reminders, Service Menu, Booking Multiple Services, Importing Guest List, Visible Total for Services, and Scheduling Appointments of course. I also wanted: Reoccurring Appointments, Retailing, Checkout, Online Booking for guests, Marketing, Customization of booking page and Affordability.

Having worked with StyleSeat’s Free version for almost 3 years I was hooked. Last year they announced I would have 30 days to subscribe for $35 a month or leave. I went into a bit of a panic. Colleagues kept saying “paper works for me” but I had grown accustom to not having to call, text or email reminders, not forgetting to charge for that Brow Wax or Conditioner thanks to checkout totals and not forgetting to book an appointment because I got a text or phone call away from a pencil. It’s also so much easier to go to a guest’s profile to see when they last had their hair cut than flipping through a book or searching for their formula card (And oh yeah, you can keep all that with their electronic profile too*). Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Read on.

You are probably thinking I switched rather than pay the $35 a month, but I didn’t. At the time I decided StyleSeat offered me enough to stay…..for a while. In the end, the “improvements” they kept making weren’t helpful to me at all. If you have never used an online booking service which ever one you choose will fit your needs. IF, however, you have been using a system/service and you want to change; maybe you are using switch to Smartphone platforms, or you don’t want to afford the subscription, or the developers make changes you don’t find helpful, whatever the reason I hope you find this helpful. And, if you decide to embark on your own search learn from my mistakes and successes. Test them one at a time. I tried to test several at a time, especially when under a time crunch, it was overwhelming. Every one of these services offers a free trial, take it and wear it out and test it in real time! Get at least 3 guests to help you beta test. (If you are using one that offers online booking for guests have them make appointments, cancel, reschedule and report on their experience.) This was invaluable! Often the developers make the customer end easier than our end, or visa versa. Take notes, lots of notes, because testing several services can turn into one big blur. And finally, take your time. The poet Alexander Pope said it best “fools rush in where angles fear to tread.”

My top 7 picks, here’s the breakdown:

My top picks

Appointfix

This Uber simple and easy to use app is Android and Apple device friendly. It’s a plug-in for Google Calendar, you can even sync it with your personal calendar. Create your work schedule, book in or outside those hours, you are the boss. (Some systems didn’t allow you any overtime) Color Code your Service list. Add guest’s from your device Contacts when booking an appointment. Decide how to contact each guest: text, email or both. Customize the reminder sent, and you can send more than one- good for those busy guests who need that reminder an hour before you see them. What it doesn’t do is allow online booking- it’s your book in cyber space. No checkout, but you can view the service total and add retail to the notes…along with formulas and anything you want to remember. I love this one! It is sooo easy; once in the App just Tap the time/day the guest requests, add their name from contacts, add manually, choose the services- unless they booked previously then those services are already listed(Sweet!), choose reminders, reoccurring (if you have that service) tap Done and that’s it. Services are color coded according to My preference and I can see all those colorful blocks filling up my day. The only two reasons this isn’t my booking system: I wanted to use it on iPad and Android =$24 a month, some of my guests wanted the option to book, reschedule or cancel appts on their own.

Vagaro

This one gets top marks, it better I’ve been using it for the past 3 months! Vagaro has so many features, too many for most users who just want to schedule appointments, remind their clients to show up and checkout the service once the appointment is done. You can do all of that plus: market as Daily Deals or emails to your guests, Retail- as long as you scan the barcode of each and every product you sell, Reports- these are very helpful for knowing how you’re doing and where your business is coming from, mini website, Facebook booking button, color code your services, Payroll, etc., etc.

It’s overwhelming and can be laborious to set up everything they offer. I chose Vagaro to accommodate the guests who wanted online booking, something Appointfix and MyCuts don’t offer, and because they offer so much bang for your buck. Something I like about Vagaro and Timely, if I need to change an appointment in the same week/day, I can click and drag it to the new time, very convenient and you can decide whether to notify guest of change or not.

What I can’t get used to is also going into the “I don’t prefer it” folder like in Customer Profile, Appointments the appointments are shown in Ascending vs Descending order. Not very convenient if the guest wants to know when they will see you next and they have Reoccurring appointments for the next 2 years. I don’t like the “scavenger hunt” I have to go on to find out how much a guest’s appointment will cost next week, Or when changing an appointment you can’t easily access all the services they book IF you didn’t create appointments as Multiple Services appointment from the beginning. It’s a lot of little thing, but this system is very subjective- you must do it their way or you keep hitting “speed bumps”. The salon is a busy place, make things fast and friendly, please!

Most of my peers use, enjoy and recommend it. I’m just not sure I enjoy it enough to want to afford the subscription. Jury is still out.

MyCuts

Android based, Apple has similar version, MyChair($4.99) that a colleague uses and enjoys. I wanted to like it, its FREE! I just can’t get there. What I liked- price. Very easy to add guests from contacts, create services- even during booking process, reoccurring appointments, power booking, inventory and guest reminders. View schedule in Month, Day or List.

What I don’t like: I can’t set a schedule, good if you don’t want limitations on appointments, bad if you don’t want to accidentally book a 2am appointment! Default is whatever time/date it is Now- I can’t get used to that. Dispite the developers telling me I can tap a time and book an appointment in DAY view, I couldn’t make this work for me ever. Need to change or cancel an appointment? You better get used to LIST view and sliding the guest’s name left…like smartphone emails. I can enter and track Retail inventory but I can’t create a point of sale, i.e. No checkout, I think this is weird. I’m convinced that what I didn’t like about this App was based on what I was accustomed to. Remember I said if it’s your first system/service it won’t matter, this is what I meant. I don’t prefer this one and I don’t want to get used to it.

Timely

This Apple based online booking system hails from down under. Thanks to a robust American dollar to Aussie dollar it’s reasonably priced. I so wanted to make this one work since it had the features I enjoy, felt very intuitive and was easy to set up, except Guest Import. (Never could get the CSV file thing right) The trouble lay in the Apple orientation. No problem if I had room for a laptop in the salon space I use but I need Android friendliness. They do try to deliver but in the end it was just too hard. For PC and iPhone/iPad users this is a very sweet system. It is email based so email reminders are included, SMS you buy n blocks and they do rollover so as long as you don’t text your guest via any links within Timely it’s not a big deal.

Conclusion

I’m making the most of Vagaro but my eye is on Appointfix. I feel I can adapt my guest’s to asking me to book for them and I can adapt to no checkout and add retail sales separately. Tech is a wonderful tool, use it wisely and know that we must always stay in touch and on top of what we do.

I’d love to hear from you. Have you had experiences you can share that would add to what I offer? Have you found a system/service you think I’ve overlooked. Please share.

*Always, always, ALWAYS keep your own hard copy of everything you do to and for your guests! This is a lesson I learned the hard way with booking keeping in the 90’s (one computer virus and it was all gone). I learned it twice with StyleSeat, first time it was technical issues on their end. Second time it was after I switched I lost all their guest history. I did have their chemical history but I don’t track every cut, bang trim or retail sale. StyleSeat allowed me to add retail totals without any product info. Vagaro forces me to inventory so I know who bought what, when and how much is left.

Posted in Hair, Style, Healthy Hair Care, Healthy Hair Color | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Energizing Summit

The contents of the Energizing Summit’s participant packet.

For the past three years I’ve been attending an unbranded color conference called The Energizing Summit. This annual event held in Los Angeles, California is put on by American Board of Certified Haircolorists, ABCH, has been going on for over a decade and boasts some of the best color education you will find anywhere. What I enjoy most about this conference is its dedication to pure color theory, techniques and unadulterated education. Just when I think I’ve peeled away all the layers of manufacturer bias and propaganda I discover something new. Offering both lecture and hands-on classes over two days you can saturate yourself in a lifetimes worth of information. My first year I packed in as many classes as possible. By the end of the first day I felt overwhelmed. Second time around I dialed it back, or so I thought, it was still overload. This year I chose 4, 3 hours classes- 3 were hands-on, 1 was lecture….perfect! The classes aren’t the only learning experience going on either, there are optional Lunch Lectures each day, an Expo area where you can check out (and buy) select manufactures wears, a whole corridor area of ABCH Performance Test Samples to examine and a Forum Panel where relevant issues are discussed and Summit goers can ask questions of the Hair Industries greatest minds.

ABCH Tested shampoo for its ability to “protect and preserve color”

 

This ABCH  Color Shampoo Test was quite damming to most of the products in the experiment. Thankfully Dish Soap did not out perform shampoo, but only 2 professional Salon products did well. Can’t argue with the facts!

Speaking of great minds thee Energizing Summit’s ‘A’ list of educators spans 5 decades of hairdressing mastership. My first year I took Roy Peters class, and got to shake his hand. He has inspired me since the early days of my career. I’m amazed at his continued energy, passion and focus. A great example of growing with the times and never letting yourself get stuck or too comfortable.

Roy Peters, one of my career-long Hair Heroes, great to have a photo op with The Man himself!


Where else would you be able to practice for the ABCH Certfication Exam, learn about the chemistry of hair color, how to make your own color, take a hand-on Class in Balayage as well as other highlight techniques all in one place with no brand domination? Seriously, this is awesome. And I’m talking Websters awesome not just pedestrian vernacular awesome. If you’ve never heard of ABCH, the Energizing Summit and never knew there was such a thing as becoming Board Certified in haircolor today is your lucky day! Check out all ABCH has to offer at http://www.haircolorist.com. The rest of this blog will be a photo tour of the past 3 Energizing Summits… Enjoy, and hope to see you there!

Hands-on class- The Marriage of Cut and Color taught by Franco Marino

The product of Franco Marinos class. I use this cut and color technique a lot! Keep in mind manniquine hair does not color well, or easily.

The Marriage of Cut and Color with the esteemed Franco Martino still stands out as one of my favorite classes from the The Energizing Summit of 2015. Mr Martino imparted techniques for designing a complete look through cutting and coloring the hair always with the finished look in mind. I have used his guidelines ever since that class.

Bumping the Base with Andi Makowski

 I took Bumping the Base as an alternative to one I had chosen but was told “Don’t sit near the front, they yell a lot”. No thank you! Turns out Andi is a Tucsonan, and this class has made a difference in the way I approach my blonds. 

Testing of a “10-Minute permanent color”

Here we are shown how a 10-Minute color delivers coverage in a mere 10 minutes. Not a bad thing if you know how and when to use it.

Level 6 Natural Dark Blond, top selling shade and tone, over the counter, or in salons. Here, various brands are tested.

It’s amazing how different a “Natural Dark Blond” can be from manufacturer to manufacturer! Pay special attention to the image jaunt above. See the center, bottom row swatch? Now imaging you want a neutral result, not to gold, not to smokey. Does that look like what you want!? Yikes!

Tests like these have inspired me to perform my own. There’s no substitute for testing, exploring and challenging your knowledge first hand. Better to experience catastrophic failure on a mannequin or swatch than a client. I’m so grateful for the existence of an organization like ABCH. Their commitment to setting and maintaining a standard for coloring hair. While I am not board certified yet, I am looking to achieve this goal. When I first discovered ABCH I felt sure I’d get Certified at the earliest opportunity. Then I reviewed the testing process, all three parts, took a deep breath and realized “This won’t be the cake walk I thought it would be”! I’m working my way toward it, just slowly.

Posted in Hair, Style, Healthy Hair Care, Healthy Hair Color, Professional Haircolorists | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncramping my Style

I’ve had an epiphany concerning the space I work in, products I use and the maximum density of them all. Strange that it has taken so long to recognize that a 5′ x 8′ room can only hold so much. But then “denial” can seem like such an exciting and far-off place. The impetus for this Epiphany came in the form of a new hair color line. Originally, the removal of a similar color line should have allowed the space I needed for the 64 tubes of new color and 4 bottles of developer. It did, sort of, but then a mental glass broke and looked at what I was stocking and thought “Why?!”. For those non-Hairstylists think of this like shoes, children’s toys or cleaning products- they looked like a good idea at the time but now there’s no room for them all and most of them serve the same purpose! In my case I was busting at the seams with: Igora- Royal, Metallics, Nudes, FashionLites, Pearlescents, Concentrates and PowerBrowns…Essensity- who’s 72 tubes were replaced, Color10, Vibrance Tone on Tone, Vibrance Gloss & Tone, BlondMe, and ColorWorx. Not to mention the 4 Bleach lines and miscellaneous colors to fill in the gap. Sigh, what was I thinking!?

American Board of Certified Haircolorists gets credit for most of my “new thinking”. There annual Energizing Summit offers excellent non-branded color education. Like Dragnet it’s “the facts mam’ nothing but the facts”. This in turn shattered of the brand myths. We are all susceptible to the charms and power of branding…or do you ask for a tissue when your nose runs? Most of us ask for a Kleenex, and that’s the power of branding! Fact is our loyalty is being vied for from every corner. All the time! For me those chains have been broken by education, new influences, frustration and strong fact-finding. The world is a new oyster for me. Out with the old, in with the best of what I’ve already got! 

While you all cheer me on for taking control of all those excesses will some one hand me a box to put it all in? How about some help carrying it away? Oh, any suggestions about what to do with it all? 

Not to worry, it’s all in hand. Albeit in the already limited space at home. All those unused tubes of color, swatch books, and extras are being sold off to stylists who will cash in on my recent weight loss. Now I have the freedom to focus on less so I can do more, and ultimately provide my guests with the best looking hair to boot. I’m choosing to place my loyalty in the my skill, knowledge and the outcome.

Traveling light in life is definitely the way to go. As an independent stylist making choices, changes and maximizing your assets- all of them- is important. Never fear change, don’t jump into anything blindly and most of all trust yourself more than the opinions of the Peanut Gallery.

Posted in 90+% natural ingredients, American Board of Certified Haircolorists, Ammonia-free hair color, Energizing Summit, Hair, Style, Healthy Hair Care, Healthy Hair Color, KIN COSMETICS, Kinessences, Professional Haircolorists | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Short Story

 

It’s the Dog Days of summer in the northern hemisphere so we all are looking for ways to stay and feel cooler. While donning a summer vibe in our wardrobe should be fun and fresh, it all too often can go a little too play & poolside rather than resort & chic. It may be the trend to wear our shorts cut-off and distressed, go casual or use traditionally lingerie pieces as street clothing, but that doesn’t mean we should wear that in the work place. Or, take it too far. I decided to scour the web for guidance on the subject of Shorts in the Workplace. Can you make Denim look professional? Can you do that with denim shorts, cut offs too? What summer looks make you look professional, and which just make you look like your a professional?  Here’s what I found…

img_1647

Unless you work someplace that sells nothing but this, do not wear it to work!

Wearing this to “work” does NOT look Wall Street as much as Street Walker

Unless you are selling cut-off shorts they are never ever, ever, ever, EVER appropriate for the workplace! EVER. There is a time and a place for everything. There are ways to make most any article of clothing stylish and appropriate for the situation at hand. It’s the knowing Where to wear What and When that requires finesse! These are reasons most corporate, and many traditional, salons require a dress code and why it usually involves black and white. It looks clean, crisp and uniformly professional; all be it rather dull and monotonous. It’s no surprise that when many stylist leaves that controlled environment for a more independent situation that they become intoxicated by the freedom. That intoxication pendulum starts to swing a bit wide. While I have no desire to return to a closet full of black and white options, or argue with my boss over which style of pocket is professional, I sometimes miss a dress code and the consistency it provides. I won’t say I’ve seen it all, because that will just entice a challenge from the fashion minions and I don’t want to see what that will conjure up! But it also reminded me that as some one in the Fashion industry I, we, have a responsibility to set the standard by look the part, professionally, and without looking like we joined the carnival! I don’t care if you have tattooed every inch of your body, wear your hair rainbow colors, are thick, or thin, we can all be the “higher common denominator vs the lowest”.

Most of my colleagues present themselves professionally and are an inspiration to me and the business image I strive for. Each of us has our own style and express ourselves through that style. But every once and a while some one shows up for a day in the salon dressed to make me wonder “what were you thinking?!” Seriously, what was going through the your mind when you looked in the mirror before leaving the house? You saw what you thought you looked like. I hope you thought about what others would see when they looked at you. But now I see you and I’m confused, frightened or worried about you bending over!

img_1649

Here’s one image from the web on denim in the workplace and summer wardrobe ideas.

We all have 3 images: 1-the way we see ourselves, 2- the way we imagine others see us, and 3- the way others really see us. Let that sink in a bit, it’s deep and it’s powerful….or it should be. What do I mean? It’s simple really, how we present ourselves in business, especially to a client based profession, sets a standard and is a nonverbal communicator. Think about what you want your clients to think about you, your skills, abilities, pay scale and even your intelligence. I am convinced that how I present myself in the work space I use tells my clients not just my fashion sense, and mood, but how I feel about them. Having spent several decades refining the skills of my chosen profession, being my own boss, and a “bread winner” my goal is to provide great cuts, colors, texture, and styling services. To be the best I can be, do the best work I’m able and make every client that sits in my chair feel beautiful, empowered and valued. Time and energy has been spent creating the space where I work, right down to the music played. Research and care was taken to decide which products will be used and sold to clients. Why would I do all that and then show up looking like I’m going to clean a toilet, or go to the gym? If you go to a professional for services and they enter the room in a muscle shirt, flip flops and cut offs do you think- a) cool, this man/woman is so up on the current trends. Or, b) I’m paying you for this and you can’t even dress yourself?! My money is on “B”.

Fun, fresh summer looks, except for one gal trying to guard her dignity.

This image was part of an article on how to wear shorts in the workplace. It all looks good till you pay attention to what the second woman on the right is doing. Whatever she decided to wear for this photo, she realized it way too short. It’s a good primer for what not to wear: if you can’t sit down, in the open, without fearing what other could see, leave it at home. Call me old, conservative, square, whatever you like but I don’t think any woman, or girl, should wear super short shorts. Most of us do not have the body/legs for it. If you do, you still end up looking naked or naughty. If you are a tween, teen, or child you are pedephile bate!! Just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s for every body. Don’t take my word for it…

Im not thinking “Ooo, professional”…are you?

Choose what makes you look your best. I love so many of the styles I see, but I know that as a thick, petite woman in her mid-fifties I need to be selective. I also choose to wear single fabrics- 100% something vs. blends. This makes finding clothing even more  challenging. I manage.

Sometimes my husband has to point out the quality of a clothing choice, but he loves me and wants me to look my best. I count on his  impeccable eye for style and balance.

Finally, some inspiration for wearing shorts in the workplace and doing it well. Summer fun is for every body; so you see, you can express your summer vibe and still retain a polished, professional appearance.

Professional, done well…

…it’s always appropriate…

No matter what your body type…

..Or personal style…

Sophisticated looked great on every body.

Posted in Hair, Style, Healthy Hair Care, Healthy Hair Color, Professional appearance | Leave a comment

Gracefully Embracing Grey

This is the journey of a woman embracing her grey, without giving up her frisky side. 

She likes to have fun with her color

  

From rich color with fun accents to grey, here we go.

 

There were two options: 1) Go for it, which involves removing artificial dye to reveal natural color underneath. No garuantee this will be a once and done procedure, in fact it rarely is. Once we expose the natural color hiding underneath we create our new canvas.

2) Baby Steps, shift the color direction from total coverage to a softer and softer blend using Demi color and play with accent colors for the Fun factor.She chose #2, slow and steady so no one, including herself, is struck by shock. Odd when you consider I have done some bold as brass colors on her but it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind and her MO. This is the nine month journey to her discovering her natural grey, and mine in discovering all the ways to make it fun and mix perfection.

 

Step 1- Go short, which made this journy quicker

  

3 months in, and she is starting to look more natural

 
The plan was simple, switch from permanent hair color to Demi permenant color and dilute the formula each time to reveal her natural color direction over time. For the fun aspect we added color splash to her fringe area. This is where I learned to perfect bold pastels and jewel tones. 

half way through her journey.

 
Seeing more grey….

 

Almost there now!

  

Destination Au Naturel, plus a whole lot of FUN!

 
This color affect marks a triumph for my guest and Me! She is so happy with her enhanced natural hair color, as well as her amethyst face framing color. I’m thrilled to have finally nailed making my own Silver and Amethyst colors from standard shades in both my Demi color line and my Permanent color line- can’t make bright color pops on unableached hair without it!  

She is loving her new look, pop and all!

Posted in Hair, Style, Healthy Hair Care, Healthy Hair Color | Leave a comment