How To Have Healthy Hair+

Have you ever been to the point where you’re in total distress because your hair is damaged, and you’re just ready to chop it off entirely? I have and I feel your pain. Trust me. Sometimes a good cut is absolutely necessary (and when I say ‘cut’, I mean more than one measly little inch), but I know how painful it is to go in for a major chop when your length is your security blanket. As a stylist, hair health is my biggest priority. I burnt my hair to a crisp in junior high (literally, it just sizzled off onto the floor from my flat iron) and from that moment I learned that there are some boundaries to coloring and heat usage.

On the bright side though, there are many things you can do to start growing a healthy luscious mane. First and foremost:

Use a PROFESSIONAL shampoo and conditioner.

Tresseme is not professional….anything that can be purchased at a drugstore, Walmart, Target, etc. is not professional, and essentially it will strip the color from your hair fast as hell. On top of that, so many of them are packed with silicones and waxes- I’ve watched stylists actually scrape it off the surface of the hair. Salon retail products are specifically formulated to be more gentle and are tailored to individual hair types/needs. But really, the question you should ask yourself is, “Why spend so much money on great quality when I get my hair professionally colored, if I’m going to go home and not use products that will maintain that same quality?” Spend a few extra dollars on better products that you are using in your hair on a day to day basis. It will pay off in the long run.

Get a leave-in conditioner.

Once you’ve washed your hair with your great shampoo and conditioner, spray in some leave-in conditioner before you style it (or don’t style it). A leave-in conditioner is going to truly protect your hair from most things that are damaging (sun damage, heat damage, breakage), plus it doubles as a fabulous detangler. My favorite is It’s a 10 plus Keratin. It’s a heavier formula which is good for thick, curly, or even just dry hair. They have a light version you can opt for if you have finer locks, to prevent any type of oiliness or keep from weighing your hair down. A good trick is to spray a few pumps in your hand and run through your mids to ends, to keep off your scalp and ensure you get every hair covered.

One word: OLAPLEX.

Olaplex has blown the industry off of it’s feet in the last few years. It’s a salon exclusive product, but you have a couple options on how to utilize it. First, and most common- getting the Olaplex ingredient added into your lightener or color at the salon. It works while your hair processes (when the cuticle is open). It gets in there and binds the broken bonds in your hair back together. When you have destroyed disulfide bonds, your hair is weak, dry, and brittle. Olaplex is permanent- it doesn’t sit on top of the hair, or coat it. It works within the hair strand. Your second option (if you prefer not to highlight or color you hair) is to get an Olaplex repair treatment. It’s a clear glaze + Olaplex, and will help repair your hair and give you a ton of shine. If you are still curious, you can read more about it here.

Buy a deep conditioning hair mask.

Occasionally, you should use a heavier conditioner that penetrates deeper into your hair. This is important, especially if you have very dry hair.  My recommendation is once a week- slather a deep conditioner alllll over, put your hair in a shower cap, (or if you’re feeling resourceful, use a plastic bag) and sleep in it. Wake up and rinse it out. I promise, your heart will melt when you run your fingers through it and style it afterward! My favorite is the Moroccan Oil Restorative Hair Mask. It’s also infused with protein and argan oil, and will encourage hair elasticity. Curly hair girls, you will LOVE this!

These are the best steps you can take to maximize healthy hair growth. Also, minimize heat usage; turn the heat setting down if you must use a hot tool. It really doesn’t need to be as hot as you think it does, you’re just creating excess damage. And most importantly, cut your damn hair. Avoiding hair cuts and trims will increase split ends and breakage. When your ends are bad, the damage travels up the hair strand, essentially getting shorter and shorter. Your hair may be growing from your scalp, but it’s breaking off at your ends, thus seeming to never grow. So trim your hair and just nip the issue in the bud.

If you have any questions about what products are right for you specifically, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!

6 Things Your Hairstylist Wants You to Know+

First off, I am soooo fortunate to have clients that I love. I get to work with so many different customers from every walk of life, with all kinds of personalities, that basically just don’t make me hate going into work every day. Dreading waking up every morning, hating my job, and getting burnt out is like one of my biggest fears. Luckily, I almost never experience clients who make me feel that way.

That being said, I do wish for anyone who goes into a salon to be as informed as possible about what they’re getting into. I’ve had a lot of first-time, virgin hair clients, as well as clients who get their hair done every 4-6 weeks for maintenance, but I find myself explaining the same things again and again, or even cringing over things that I want people to know better.

1. You’re not going from black hair to blonde hair without damage.

I’ll start with this because I know people struggle wrapping their mind around this one. The way us hairstylists determine your hair color is by using two systems. The first being on a scale of 1-10. Darkest blue-black hair is a level 1. Lightest white blonde hair is a level 10. Most people are not usually a natural level 1 or 10. The second is determining what hue your hair is. (ash, gold, warm, neutral, beige, etc). Going lighter takes DEDICATION and PATIENCE. Multiple sessions of lightening (that you will pay for individually) will most likely be necessary. I personally will never risk the integrity of your hair because you insist on being platinum blonde immediately when you’re naturally a level 3, or have box black color on your hair. It’s not happening. I truly cringe every time I explain this.

2. Stop moving in my damn chair when I’m cutting your hair.

Biggest pet peeve ever! I want your hair to be perfect. If you’re moving a ton because you’re an excited talker, your haircut is not going to be even. Especially when it comes to precision cuts, it’s soooo important to remain still. If this means not talking for 10 minutes, then don’t talk. Tough love, but it’s just because we care about you and your hair.

3. Don’t try haggling with your stylist.

Honestly, this is more offensive than people realize, and I am speaking on behalf of every stylist out there. This is my life. My career. I wake up and get out of bed to serve YOU. I have to make money to survive just like you and this is how I chose to do so. When you have LONG, THICK hair, it’s extremely time-consuming and it takes a lot more product. Aside from the obvious, though, we go to school specifically for this and truly dedicate ourselves to constantly improving our craft. I can’t begin to tell you the hundreds, to probably thousands of dollars I’ve spent on high-end products and tools because I want the best experience and results for my clients. If you don’t want to drop that kind of cash on a stylist who prioritizes the health of your hair, then go somewhere else. Don’t try bargaining. It’s just frustrating. More often than not, the salon’s control the prices anyways.

4. Communication is essential to any good relationship.

If you book a salon appointment, and for any reason need to cancel or reschedule, it is normal human decency to contact your stylist in advance. Friends or first-time clients. Many hairdressers won’t even think of rebooking a no-show client. I’ve even been to salons who won’t rebook you until you pay for the services you didn’t show up for, in addition to your next appointment. Time is money. Someone else could have been scheduled to get their hair done had you given advance notice. Emergencies are understandable, but blatantly not showing up is disrespectful. Good communication is also 100% essential during a consultation. Make it clear what you want and don’t want. If you’re indecisive, but trust your stylist to do what they think is best, tell them that. But say what you mean. The outcome of your hair totally depends on it.

5. It’s probably Photoshop.

More often than not and usually when it comes to fun unnatural colors, people show me pictures of the hair color they want, and it’s photoshopped. It’s 2016. There are millions of images that have been altered circulating the web. With today’s options for hair color products, it’s probably possible to achieve the color you want anyways, but still having realistic expectations for you hair is important. Another thing to note is that many fashion colors require very light blonde hair to show their true pigment. That requires a lot of going blonde. In which case, refer to #1.

6. Leave box dye on the shelf where it belongs.

I could give you a million reasons to advise you against box coloring your hair at home, but number 1 is it’s not healthy for your hair. “Why?” may you ask. The ultimate difference between having a pro color your hair vs doing it yourself is that box dye is not specially formulated for your individual hair type. It’s meant to drive full force into your hair cuticle, with no regard for the condition your hair is in. It’s formulated at its maximum. If you have fine hair, this could mean serious breakage because of the harshness of the product. If you’ve colored and highlighted your hair numerous times, it’s also at the risk of breaking and becoming extremely dry and brittle. When you go to a salon, we tailor our formulations to be 1. exact color to get where you want to be 2. gentle or strong depending on what’s needed and what we believe you hair can handle and 3. with better quality ingredients in our professional color. If that’s not enough to deter you from “the box”, you should know that it probably won’t come out the color you’re expecting anyways. If you’ve previously colored your hair, every strand now contains artificial pigment. Coloring on top of that (adding pigment to pigment) only creates darker pigment. Not the true color. That’s why your hair went black when you tried to do a light brown. Before you try to do anything wild and end up hating it afterward, my advice is to see a professional to begin with. “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” AKA a color correction is time consuming and expensive. Trust me, I’ve been there and I have done them many times on my clients.

These are just a few things I wanted everyone to be aware of, from my perspective as a hair artist. Also, everyone’s hair is different and reacts differently. Hair can be unpredictable. Please remember this when you set your hair goals and see your stylist!