Bangs – Your New Best Accessory

Bangs. Do you want them? Do you have them? How are they working for you? Love them? Hated them? Never had the nerve to commit? Maybe someone down the road told you that you should never have bangs. Full fringe, side swept, or baby–they are all a great accessory. They can bring attention to features you love and distract from those you don’t. If you ever wanted to make a big change to your hairstyle, but didn’t want to cut it off, adding a fringe is the next best thing.

In the US most people say “bang”, everywhere else, including most of us in the hair industry, say “fringe”, like decorative fringe you would find on a lamp, but better. For this post I am going to use the word fringe. After our time together, hopefully, you will adopt the term as well. That way, there is no confusion when someone says “she’d like a bang”.

In order to talk about what type of fringe is perfect for you, it’s important to know your face shape. Guess what? I wrote and entire post about how to identify your face shape just so I could write this post about fringe. Here’s the info. If you haven’t read it yet, take a minute and do so before you move on…… Ok, up to speed? Here we go!

First, face shape as it relates to fringe. Most articles about face shape claim that oval is the perfect face shape. A big sigh for all of us who aren’t oval. Here’s my take on this. All face shapes are great, and I’m not sure that we need to be spending our waking hours trying to create the illusion of something we don’t have. Some of us are very proud of specific features of our face. Maybe you have your dad’s nose, the family chin, or amazing cheek bones. Fringe can bring more focus to these features. Rather than tell you what type of fringe gives the “illusion” of oval and what fringe doesn’t, I want to focus on how fringe can really be the key to accentuating the things you love best about your face or de-accentuating the things you’re not crazy about.

There’s also the issue of hairline. Some of us have high or maybe low hairlines, or maybe a cowlick or swirl that has made it seem like having a fringe is an unattainable goal. I’m here to tell you that those features shouldn’t discourage you from fringing away! If you follow my guide, you will be on your way and wowing your friends with your new hair style!

(Pardon the poor rendition of fringe. I wanted to show you all the options for each face shape. Here we go!)

Fringe for Oval Face Shapes

Oh Megan Fox, you’re so pretty it must suck to be you. Megan has an oval face shape which means every fringe looks great on her. Side, center or full they all add interest to her look.

Fringe for Round Face Shapes

Ginnifer Goodwin has a round face shape. This means the silhouette is shorter than oval, with soft round lines. She does a great job with her hair to work with the shape. To give the illusion of length, fringe should be side or center swept. Full fringe can accentuate the roundness. If you have a round face and want a full fringe, it should be cut so that it is slightly shorter in the middle. This will give just a enough length to make it work.

Fringe for Square Face Shapes

Here is a perfect example of a square face shape. Widest at the temples and jaw line with angular lines. To de-accentuate the hard lines, some softness is needed. Side fringe is best for this job. This is also a good opportunity to have a few face framing pieces of length to soften the jaw line. To accentuate a square face shape, a full, wide fringe is best. You can see how the lines mimic the jaw line, emphasizing the shape. Fringe with a center part adds length, but it also tends to emphasize a square jaw line.

Fringe for Triangle Face Shapes

Minni Driver has a great triangle face shape identified by the strong square jaw line and narrowing cheek bones and temples. Again, a side fringe will give added width through the top to create balance. Fringe with a center part will add length but accentuate a square jaw line. A full fringe, like square face shape, mimics the lines of the jaw accentuating the strength. If you are determined to go with a full fringe it needs to be cut extra wide and should “C” shape, being shorter in the center and longer on the sides.

Fringe for Oblong Face Shapes

SJP is one of the most famous celebrity oblong faces. Oblong means that the shape is longer than oval and narrow through the sides. The temples and cheek bones are close to the same width. To de-accentuate the length, fringe, particularly side or full fringe, is your best friend. A center fringe can accentuate the length. It’s like building vertical lines on vertical lines causing the eye to go up and down. In terms of hair style, fullness on the sides will take away from the long lines while volume on top will give added length.

Fringe for Heart Shape Faces

A heart face shape is widest through the temple area and narrows through the cheek bones and chin. To take away from the width, side or center fringe is the best choice. Full fringe is an option, but the width should not be wider than the cheek bones. A straight line in the fringe is better than a curved shape if you want to detract from the length of the chin. Reese has worn a variety of fringes but does it in a way that always makes her look fresh and pretty.

Fringe for Diamond Face Shapes

Scarlett has a diamond face shape, meaning she is narrow in the temple and chin with width through her cheek area. To accentuate this face shape, a fringe that splits in the center will exaggerate the length. To add more softness or roundness, a side swept fringe is perfect. It offsets the angles of the diamond and diagonal width to the shape. A full fringe can work, but be careful of how it balances with the cheek bones and the chin. A full fringe should be cut straight across to balance the shape.

Fringe with a High Hairline

Let’s take a look at Christina Ricci. Notice how she has a high forehead with a heart shape face. Look at the way fringe has brought the focus back to her face instead of her forehead. The secret is that the fringe needs to be heavy enough to weigh itself into place. If it doesn’t have enough thickness, it will split in unwanted places. I also love how the fringe has been angled to bring our her cheek bones.

Fringe on a Low Hairline

Fergie has a low hairline. Many people with this feature think they can’t wear a fringe. So untrue! It’s just about where the fringe comes from that makes it work. In the second image, Fergie is wearing a false fringe, and while it is not the perfect example, it does give an exaggerated look at how this can work. First, the fringe needs to be heavy. Secondly, it needs to come from far back in the hairline. This way it disguises how low the hairline really is. If someone with a low hairline wants a light fringe, it almost accentuates the lowness of the hairline. So if you’re going to do it, you need to go full-out and really commit to it.

Final Hot Fringe Tips

Cowlicks and swirls. When I consult with a client about adding a new fringe, I always check for any cowlicks or swirls in the potential fringe area. Almost all of us have something like this around our hairline, but it doesn’t have to stop you from adding your new fringe accessory. Two tips. 1. Create a heavier fringe to add weight which can overpower the direction of the swirl. 2. Be sure you know how to redirect that swirl and gain control of your fringe. Here’s what you need to do:

To redirect the swirl affecting your fringe

1. The wetter the fringe, the easier it is to redirect the growth. Therefore, your fringe should always be dried first.

2. You need styling product. A medium hold gel, mousse or spray gel will work perfectly. Place a small amount at the base of your fringe before you dry and style it. This will help “set” it into place and give it the ability to stay throughout the day. I love Redken’s Velvet Gelatine 07 because not only does it hold, it also creates a high shine, smells great and protects hair from humidity.

3. Finish with a light weight, dry hair spray. Redken’s Forceful 23 or Control Addict 28 are great choices. This final step ensures that your fringe will stay where you put it. I recommend a dry aerosol spray because it will not “freeze” the fringe into place, but it will give it memory so when it moves it will have a tendency to go back to where it needs to be.

Keeping your fringe fresh daily. While you may not wash your hair everyday, washing your fringe is a quick and easy way to freshen your look and let your fringe recover from a night in bed. I usually pull the rest of my hair back in a ponytail and do it right in the sink. I use a pea size amount of shampoo, like Redken’s All Soft, to lather it up. To save time, I usually skip the conditioner and go straight for the styling product.

Ok! There you have it! Hopefully I have covered all the bases when it comes to fringe. It really is the easiest way to make a noticeable change to your hairstyle. The secret to looking amazing is simply knowing how to work with your face shape and hairline. The next time you are considering a new bag, necklace, or lipstick, maybe you should be considering a new fringe instead!

How to Identify Your Face Shape and Why It Matters

I really want to write a post all about bangs, or fringe, as we in the hair biz call them.  But before that conversation can happen, it’s important that everyone knows how to identify their face shape and understand how it can affect your hair style. When you Google face shapes, tons of information comes up. For the most part, it’s pretty accurate. What isn’t accurate are the images assigned to each definition. For example, Reese Witherspoon is listed as heart-shaped, inverted triangle, diamond and round. Which one is it? Depending on how a person wears her hair, she can instantly alter or enhance her face shape. That’s the cool thing about hair. It is able to enhance or define what we want to show.

Knowing how to identify your face shape can help create balance in your hair style. It can help you determine where you want to place volume, reduce volume, accentuate or de-accentuate features. It can also inform what type of fringe or face framing pieces work for you. For this post, I want to focus on how to identify face shape and the best ways to enhance it with your hair style. In next week’s post, I will take it one step further and share what type of fringe or bangs work with each type of shape.

Identifying Your Face Shape

1. Remove all of your make-up and pull all of your hair away from your face. All of it. No fly-aways and no bangs. Hair and make-up can easily distract from the true shape of your face.

2. Now, go take a look in the mirror. Notice where your face is widest. Temples, cheekbones, or jaw. Maybe it seems like they are all the same width or maybe one of the three stands out more than the others.

3. Notice if your features seem hard and angular or soft.

4. Finally, don’t smile. Smiling distorts your face shape. Jennifer Lawrence looks like she has a heart-shaped face when she smiles, but when she isn’t smiling, she has a very strong jaw line and almost fits into a triangle shape.

There are 7 defined face shapes:

  • Oval
  • Round
  • Square
  • Heart (inverted triangle)
  • Triangle
  • Diamond
  • Oblong

Here is a description of each one and images to help better understand their differences:

Oval Face Shape:

Oval is considered the most balanced of all face shapes. An oval face is widest at the cheek bones with balanced width and length. This shape allows the owner to wear just about any style they want. Lucky girl! In addition to Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, and Naomi Campbell are all oval girls.

Round Face Shape:

Round faces are widest at the cheek bones, but shorter in length with a soft jaw line. Gennifer Goodwin and Kirsten Dunst both have round face shapes. If you Google images of Kirsten, it’s deceiving because she does all the right things with her hair to lengthen her face. This includes a side part and or sweeping side part bangs.

To accentuate this face shape, build volume at the sides and low volume on top.

To lengthen this shape, build volume on top and less volume on the sides.

Square Face Shape:

The biggest difference between round and square face shapes are hard and soft lines in the jaw and near the temples. In a square face shape, these two features are almost equal at the widest part of the face and are more angular and exaggerated. Like round, square face shapes are usually shorter than oval.

To accentuate this shape, build volume on the sides and top corners.

To soften this shape, build volume on top, add soft face framing pieces and a side part to offset corners.

Heart Shape Face:

Girls with this face shape are widest at the temples and narrow through the cheek bones and chin. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Love Hewitt both fit into this category.

To accentuate this shape, build volume through the top and sides

To soften this shape, use a side or center part to offset the width through the temples. Low volume in the top and sides, with more volume or length around the chin and neck area.

Triangle Face Shape:

It was hard to find a celebrity image that demonstrates a triangle face shape. This is mostly because it’s pretty easy to offset with hair. I chose this picture of Minnie Driver because her hair is pulled back which allows you to really see the silhouette. Triangle faces are widest at the jaw, which is usually very strong, and narrows as it moves up to the temple.

To accentuate this shape, low volume on top and add volume through sides and jaw line area.

To soften this shape, add volume through top. A side or center part will give the illusion of more width through the temple area.

Diamond Face Shape:

Diamond Face shape is more angular than oval. Narrow at the top, wide at the cheekbones and narrow at the chin.

To accentuate this shape, deep side part, volume on the sides and top.

To soften this shape, center or side part right at the corner of the head. Build volume through the top corners.

Oblong Face Shape:

Oblong face shapes are longer and more narrow than oval. The width between the temples, cheeks, and jaw line are almost even.

To accentuate this shape, build volume through the top and reduce volume on the sides. A center part will exaggerate the vertical lines of the shape.

To soften this shape, side part or a fringe will detract from the length. Reducing volume in the top and increasing it through the side will give the illusion of width.

Now that you know your face shape and have some direction on how to balance it with your hair style, you’re empowered with what you do with your hair at home or in your consultation with your stylist. Once you find some celebrities with your similar face shape, keep an eye on what they do with their style. It can be a great resource when you’re ready for a change. Next week we will take this one step further and go over what type of fringe works best with each shape. Even if you thought your weren’t a candidate for fringe, it will help you understand what type goes best with your face shape and hair line.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to My Hair Fix to receive all posts immediately in your inbox. Don’t miss out on all the best information about your hair.

Healthy Hair During Your Workouts

Keep your hair in shape
Over the last couple of years, I have slowly become addicted to my workouts. I’m fortunate to live across the street from Community Fitness, the best group exercise facility in Seattle. As the list of classes I take grows, I find that I am in an endless cycle of ponytails, sweaty hair, shampooing hair, blowing hair out and back to ponytails. In essence, my hair is getting a workout just as much as I am. So for all of us girls trying to stay in shape and keep our hair looking good, here are a few pointers.

Best Hairstyles for Breaking a Sweat

Braids–The best way to get your hair out of the way and reduce pulling and breakage is to braid it. Nice for us, braids have come back! If you don’t know how to french braid your own hair, check out this YouTube video from makupwearables. It’s a great tutorial and she has tons of other braid styles. While your are perfecting your skill, you can always ask a friend to braid for you.

Ponytails–Personally, I am a pony tail girl. I want it back, I want it tight, and I don’t want to have to fuss with it throughout my workout. The downside to a ponytail is potential breakage. Your hair type will determine how much breakage you may or may not get in this style. If you have fine, fragile, or heavily chemically altered (highlighted blondes listen up), ponytails can definitely do some damage. When you have your hair down take a look at it from the back. Many times there is a fine line of breakage that runs horizontally through the hair. If you see that line you will notice that it is probably exactly where you put the elastic band in your hair. Sometime the breakage is so extreme that it almost adds an interior “layer” to the hair. Eek! For those of us with medium to thick, course hair our hair can stand up to a little pressure, but it is still important to be thoughtful of your pony process.

1. When choosing a hair band for your pony, be sure that it is either covered in fabric/threading or is an “ouch less” plastic that easily slides out of your hair.

2. Vary the location of the pony tail. If it’s high one day, make it low the next.

3. Instead of creating an actual pony tail consider making it a hair puff. Meaning, as you are putting your hair through the hair band on the last round only pull through the middle of the length. This redistributes the tension placed on the hair which helps reduce breakage.

4. Never put in a tight pony when your hair is wet. Wet hair stretches almost 50% more than dry hair. When you put it in a tight tension pony the tendency is that the hair is stretched to its breaking point, a quick way to create unwanted “layers” in your hair.

5. When your workout is over, take out that pony–especially if your hair is sweaty. It goes back to number four. Wet hair = more stretching = potential breakage. Or alternately, loosen the tension so it’s not pulling as much.

6. If you wear your hair up at night go old school with a scrunchy. No, it’s not pretty, but if your hair is up in a hair band at night and your tossing and turning imagine how that hair is being stretched. A scrunchy will get it out of the way but have much more give in the tension.

Products That Will Protect Your Hair While You Perfect Your Form

Depending on how much you workout, you may want to consider using specialty products to revitalize and protect your hair. Here is a list of my favorites:

  • Redken Hair Cleansing Cream–This is a deep cleaning shampoo that should be used alternately with your daily shampoo. If you shampoo every day your would use the Hair Cleansing Cream once a week. If you shampoo every other day, then once every other week. It’s perfect to remove any build up created by your hard work. It brings the sparkle back and gives the opportunity for your other styling products to perform effectively on a clean surface.
  • Redken Anti-Snap–Anti-Snap is pretty self explanatory. It is a leave-in treatment conditioner that helps to strengthen your hair and reduce split ends. It also works as a heat protectant which is great when you are frequently blow drying your hair. It’s light enough to work for all hair types and can be layered with your other daily styling products.
  • Redken Diamond Oil–The name alone makes this product sound amazing. The newest product in the Redken Haircare family, Diamond Oil is a silicone free combination of coriander, camellia, and apricot oils that penetrate deep into the hair strand. The effects of this product create hair that is 2x less likely to break and 3x shinier than when it is not used. Because it is silicone free, it also works as a skin moisturizer making it the perfect double duty workout partner.

You don’t have to sacrifice beautiful hair in pursuit of your fitness goals. By using the right tools and products, you can ensure that outside the gym your hair looks as good as your body.

Avocado and Mayonnaise Are Not Hair Treatments

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I’ve been doing some homework and looking into some online hair advice that is misleading. There are a endless amount of home hair treatments using things that are better on a salad than your head. I wanted to take a moment to touch on what makes an effective hair treatment and how dedicated hair treatments work differently than groceries.

Bananas, avocado, eggs, vinegar, mayonnaise, and coffee. These are just a few of the ingredients I have found for home hair treatments. Users swear to their effectiveness and seem to love the “organic” nature of the ingredients. The truth is what ever effect these ingredients have on the hair is cosmetic, or surface with a short longevity. Yes, eggs are a protein and we know we need protein for healthy hair, but these proteins are not designed to penetrate the hair strand in a way that will strengthen it. Penecillian is a drug derived from mold, but in order for it to be effective there is a chemical process that makes it compatible with our bodies and effectively do it’s job.

Every hair care manufacture developes treatments to repair the hair. The technology allows these products to derive the best of specific ingredients and partner them with science to give them effectiveness and longevity. As technology advances the effectiveness increases surpassing what a home treatment can provide.

Additionally, from a market perspective, there are over the counter salon treatments and in-salon treatments. In-Salon treatments typically have the ability to penetrate deeper into the hair strand and last much longer than an over the counter treatment product and in half the time.

At Fix we love our Redken Chemistry System. This unique in-salon treatment allows us to custom mix benefits specific to your hair needs. They can help reduce color fadaged, reduce frizz, add softness and/or strength. This treatment locks in its benefits by balancing the pH levels in the hair. The treatments take 7 minutes to apply. Because the technology drives the beneficial ingredients in to the center of the hair strand the effects are seen much longer than a home hair treatment or a over the counter salon treatment.

Our best selling over the counter treatment is Redken’s Strength Builder Plus. This cream mask is used in replacement of conditioner and when it is used 3 times consecutively it can increase the strength of the hair by 96%. Just think about that for a minute. 96%. Because Redken prides its self on science and technology every claim must by proven in a laboratory before it can be attached to a product. I have yet to read about a home hair treatment that can make a similar claim with scientifically proven results.

So, the next time you feel like your hair could use a little extra conditioning, strengthening, or shine visit your hair stylist instead of the produce aisle. Salon treatments are more effective and last longer than anything that was stored in your fridge.

The Ultimate Salon Blowout – Beat Your Frizz This Summer

Fix Salon Client Stephanie before and after her Ultimate Salon Blowout service.

The number one requested specialty service this time of year is our Ultimate Blowout. This is a salon treatment that reduces frizz, gives added control, and lasts for up to 13 shampoos. That’s right, thirteen shampoos. How much time did you spend smoothing your hair out this week? If you had to stop and count then this is the service for you.This treatments shouldn’t be confused with Japanese straightening, which is permanent, or Keratin treatments which have questionable health effects. The Ultimate Blowout treatment is an entirely unique service that is simply a brilliant way to give more life to your favorite salon blowout.

So how does it work? For typical salon guests, we book one and a half hours of service time. First your hair is shampooed with a cleansing wash, then the smoothing activator is applied throughout your hair. The activator is left on for 15 – 30 minutes, depending on the amount of smoothing desired. At the end of the processing time, your hair is thoroughly rinsed and then the sealer is applied. Finally, your hair is dried in your preferred style: smooth, round brushed or ironed curled. This final step seals the shape with heat activation from the blow dryer and heat tools. The end result will not eliminate your natural texture, but will make blowing out easier than ever before.

The texture of hair fibers (straight, curly, or wavy) is determined by the shape of the protein bonds that create it. In permanent texture services, like perms and Japanese straighteners, these bonds are broken down and restructured in a new shape to give the desired end result. This process is pretty aggressive and potentially damaging. Our Ultimate Blow out service is temporary. It gently relaxes the bonds, elongating them, and encouraging a smoother form. Over time, the bonds relax and revert back to their original shape.

Our curly client Stephanie took the Ultimate Blowout challenge. She received the service and let us check in with her via video testimony to track her progress. Visit the Fix Salon Facebook page to check it out. Stephanie has naturally wavy and ringlet curl. She prefers her hair to have a smooth blown out look. Stephanie loves getting her hair blown out in the salon, but has a hard time recreating the look at home. Sound familiar? During Stephanie’s Ultimate Blowout Challenge she realized that she was able to blowout her own hair more easily getting the same salon results. The treatment was such a success that Stephanie shampooed every third day causing the effects to last for over a month!

The Fix Salon Ultimate Blowout starts at $150. Book the the service anytime in the month of May and you’ll receive a complimentary home care kit including Shampoo, Conditioner, and Stay Sleek styler.

Color Correction – Christin’s Path to Peach

Pastel hair color–it’s everywhere right now! We’ve seen pictures of celebrities or images online of pinks, lavenders, baby blues. At Fix, it is a common request from our clients of all ages. To do it successfully, the process aligns itself with a classic color correction process. It can be time-consuming and expensive, but it certainly makes you stand out in a crowd. Today I want to share Christin’s story to peach. It’s a perfect example of what steps it takes to go from a dark hair color to a light hair color, whether it is pastel, blonde, or even light brown.

Here’s what Christin looked like before we began:

In order to get a perfect pastel, the hair needs to be lightened as much as possible. Christin had been coloring her hair at home, so our first step was to lighten her existing color to pale blonde. It can be a delicate process to make this happen. You can never be sure if the color is going to lighten easily or with bands of color. That’s why I am a huge believer of test strands. This is where I take a small section of the hair and treat it with lightener to read how it will perform overall. It took a few applications, but it lifted pretty evenly giving me the result pictured below. You can see the lightened hair in contrast to her original color.

I then repeated the process on the rest of Christin’s hair. Again it took 3 separate applications of lightener to get to blonde. After each process I applied a protein based strengthening treatment to help maintain the hair’s health. Here is Christin at the end of the lightening process.

Next up, choosing a peach formula. This, too, can be a tricky process. I have two goals when I create this type of formula. First, it needs to be the peach my client has in mind. Color shades can vary drastically, so I want to ensure the results match the client’s expectations. Second, I want it to be set in the hair to give it the best longevity of color. Again, here is where I depend on test strands to see what my final formula will be.

Before applying the pastel formula on Christin’s hair, I applied another strengthening treatment. This infuses protein into the hair, in turn giving color molecules a place to embed and creating a longer lasting color. It’s a non-negotiable step that creates healthy, beautiful end results.

After the first color application, the pastel peach was pretty, but too light. This happens sometimes when laying color back into the hair. Sometimes color has to be laid in a couple of times to get a real, pure tone. Here is Christin after her first peach application.

We then went on to add a second layer of color. This application did the trick. We achieved an amazing color, but a little strong in intensity. Christin loved it and wore it for the next 6 weeks. Here’s how it looked.

When Christin came back to the salon 6 weeks later the color had lightened up. She decided this time she wanted to go for a softer peach. After tweaking her formula a bit, I loved the final color.

This color was beautiful. And because of the series of salon treatments performed on her hair, we were able to achieve the look while also ensuring her hair was in great condition. Christin has been peach for about 10 months now and gets tons of compliments on her look.

As you can see, this type of service is time-consuming. From beginning to end, our Intense Peach look took three appointments lasting 4 hours each time. I charge $100 per hour for this service, so if you do the math you quickly realize this is a big investment. Choosing to do this in a salon with an experienced stylist ensures that you will get the precise color you want and keep your hair shiny and healthy. I’ve seen many hair lightening “home jobs” and it’s not pretty. People who try the “do-it-yourself” route usually end up in the salon to get it fixed, so why not just do it the right way from the start?

If you are considering any type of color correction service, going from light to dark or dark to light, a consultation is imperative. If any stylist tells you he/she can perform this type of service in one day, I would go somewhere else. Remember when you are lightening hair from brown to blonde we are working with a fiber. There is only so much you can ask of that fiber in a short period of time. Slow, control lifting is the best way to get where you want to go and still have hair to show at the end of it. Ask your stylist if they have any pictures of clients who have received similar treatments so you can see the end results.

It’s also worth mentioning the value of salon treatments through any color process. Every time a chemical color service is performed on a hair strand, that fiber is weakened. Without protein based treatments, your hair will not survive the correction course and the color will fall out much more quickly.

Drastically changing your color can be a rewarding “feel good” event. Take the time to find a colorist who is experience in color correction. To help with the process, read my post How to Find Your Perfect Stylist. Then go for it! Changing your hair color can give you a new outlook on life and your identity. Embrace it!

How to Find Your Perfect Hairstylist

is2009083100470A great hairstylist is a girl’s best weapon–if you have the right one. If you don’t, they can be your worst nightmare. We all want to have one of those amazing experiences where our hairstylist gets us, the salon is cool, and our hair turns our fabulous. So how do you make that a reality?

I want to share a few tips to get you closer to the perfect salon experience. From finding the right hair stylist to learning how to communicate what you want without feeling like you need a translator, here is what you need to know. So get out your notepad and pencil, we’re going to school…

Understanding Salon Types

There are basically two types of salons in the world: commission salons and lease salons (also known as booth rental salons). Commission salons are generally big salons that attract clients to a consistent brand they have created. In Seattle we have Gene Juarez as an example. The benefit of this type of salon is the consistency in their message and culture. Typically the salon staff is trained consistently so they are all competent in the same techniques. Continuing education is a big part of this type of salon, meaning everyone stays current on trends, products and skills.

In a lease salon the draw is usually the stylist over the brand of the establishment. Each stylist is renting their station from the salon owner and running their own business. The salon owner can set the aesthetic of the salon, but aside from that he/she has very little say over how each stylist runs things day-to-day. Skill set and techniques can vary throughout a lease salon because there is not as much emphasis on team education. Continuing education is at the discretion of the individual stylist. In this type of salon a stylist’s unique creativity can shine as they are not bound by performing set techniques that represent the “look” of a large branded commission salon.

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Finding the Perfect Stylist

A great way to discover a talented stylist is to find hair you like and ask who did it. Every head of hair is a walking billboard for a hair stylist. Keep your eye out for hair that stands out to you and then ask “Who does your hair?” Everyone loves a good complement and will be happy to give credit where credit is due. Ask enough people and eventually you will hear the same name or salon mentioned. Additionally, many salons and stylists offer referral discounts. When you call to book your appointment mention the name of the person who referred you and see what happens!

Go Online. Websites like Yelp and CitySearch can be effective resources for finding your hair stylist. You can start a search with a specific neighborhood and then start reading reviews. Each salon or stylist’s Yelp page will also tell you details like hours, payment options and possibly images of their work.

Look at Hair Brand websites. Do you have a favorite haircare line or color line? Go the manufacturer’s website. Many of them list salons or hair stylists who use their products. At Redken.com there is a “Salon Finder.” By typing in your zip code you will generate a list of salons and stylists using Redken products. You can also find Redken Certified Colorists and Designers who have taken the time to get tested and certified in their understanding of all facets of the brand.

Ask the receptionist. If you have narrowed down your search to a specific salon, but not to a stylist, ask for the receptionists advice. Their job is to help direct you to a well matched hair guru. Let them know a little about what type of style you’re going for and they will point you in the right direction.

Making the Most of the Initial Appointment

For your first appointment with a new stylist I always say less is more. Book a 15 – 20 minute consultation before committing your locks to a service. It’s like a coffee date before diving into a full-blown dinner date. You will have the opportunity to get the vibe of the salon and the stylist making sure they are a fit for you.

For this first appointment, do a little homework to ensure you come prepared. Bring pictures of hair you like as well as pictures you don’t like. Whether they are pictures of you or images from magazines or online, it’s a great way to help communicate what you are looking for. Words alone are open to wide interpretation. If you say you want to be red, there is a wide range of reds to choose from. But when you bring in a picture of the color you are after, you can effectively show exactly what you want. Keep in mind, from a hair stylist’s perspective, we can’t make you look like Jennifer Aniston. We can use her look as our inspiration for you and personalize it to your hair type and lifestyle.

Be sure to discuss cost and time investment. How much time do you want to spend in the salon? What is comfortable for your beauty budget? Your hair stylist should be able to give you an accurate price for service for your first appointment and future appointments. If your dream look is starting to sound too time consuming and pricey, don’t be afraid to ask for some other options that fit your budget.

Also, ask how often your potential stylist attends continuing education. Believe it or not, I know many hair stylists who haven’t taken one class since they stepped out of cosmetology school. The science of hair continues to advance, product options improve, and techniques evolve. If a stylist isn’t offering you the most current options, you could be cheating your hair of beautiful, healthy end results. Some states require continuing education for stylists and others, like Washington state, do not. I feel that every good hair stylist should attend at least one class a year. Hands-on classes where attendees actually perform new skills and product knowledge classes are the most valuable.

Lastly, inquire about the stylists’ availability. What days is the stylist in the salon? How far out do they normally book? These factors can greatly influence your ability to sit in their chair. Can you get in on short notice or will you need to schedule weeks out for your appointment? Are they in the salon on days and hours that fit your availability? It’s great if you feel like you connect during the consultation, but if your stylist isn’t available when you are it can create an ongoing challenge.

By covering all of these bases, at the end of your consultation you will have a good idea if this is the hair stylist for you. If it’s right, book your appointment and put your trust in their suggestions and creative approach. Someone recently asked me what my favorite type of cut is. My response is, I love a variety of cuts when my salon guest trusts my vision and professional opinion to give them what they are asking for. My most difficult cuts are those where a guest is second guessing my approach and changing their initial expectations midway through the process. By doing a little work up front, you are going to have an amazing experience that will lead to a lifelong relationship.

Hair Trend Report Spring/Summer

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I am on my way home from New York where I just spent the last week doing two of my favorite things. The first was spending time with my very best girlfriends who came from across the country to take on the city and the second was stalking some good hair.

There are a thousand reasons I can list why I love stalking hair in New York; you can probably guess most of them. For me this city inspires me in so many ways and influences how I think about hair, and additionally the fashion is always cutting edge. In addition to looking for trends on the streets, I also took a four-day workshop on styling hair for photo shoots from editorial stylist Noah Hatton and Redken New York Artist Hugo Urias. (Side note: if you have a minute check out Noah Hatton’s personal blog. He’s done just about every female celebrity’s hair and has had work published in the top global fashion magazines. The best part is that he’s really down to earth about his experiences while being a killer hair stylist.)

Anyways, back to trends. Let me tell you what we will be seeing a lot of this spring and summer for hair styles….

If I had to choose three words to describe the look of hair it would be: texture, organic and unstructured. In general, hair is looking very natural and unpolished, soft and effortless. If you have natural curl or wave in your hair you’re a lucky girl. Let it go. Put down the flat iron and get
out your diffuser or find the right hair products to enhance that texture. Here are some great examples of textured, organic, and unstructured hair.

The right product is the secret to getting many of these fresh looks. At Fix we love the Curvaceous Line from Redken. This line utilizes Moringa oil to restore moisture, sugar crystals to reactivate curl shape, and UV filters to protect from UV damage and color fading. There is a little something for everyone to create this look for spring and summer. For fine to medium density hair with little to no wave, a texturizing spray like Wind Up or Ringlet is the perfect product. Place either in damp hair then diffuse or scrunch as it air dries.

Medium density hair with wave needs Wave Ahead mousse. Unlike a traditional mousse, Wave Ahead incorporates small wax fibers in it to give strength and flexibility to curl throughout the day. Diffused into wet or damp hair then layered with a dry finishing spray like Forceful23 will give hair tons of volume and a tousled curl that will take you back to your Flashdance days.

I always recommend Full Swirl cream/gel to my clients that have courser hair with curl. A cream/gel combo gives you the best of both worlds. The gel stabilizes the curl and holds it in shape while the cream gives weight and control. When you have a lot of curl you don’t want to manipulate the hair too much or it will expand too much. Full Swirl can be placed in wet hair and air dried or diffuse it half way and let it air dry to finish.

Here are some additional tips for this attaining the hottest spring/summer looks:

  • Embrace imperfection– This is especially true if you are typically a flat iron girl. Fuzz is good, unbalanced curl is good. Give your eye some time to adjust to a more tousled finish
  • Put the shampoo down– I can’t say it enough. This look gets better on day 2-3-even 4. Maybe dampen it a bit and re-hit it with the diffuser or keep adding your dry shampoo. You want it to look lived in.
  • Rethink your hairspray – By this I mean try using a low water content hairspray. We can’t get enough of Redken’s Forceful23 and new Control Addict28. Both of these sprays have low water content meaning they keep the airiness to your texture and won’t weigh it down. Additionally, they have 24 hour humidity control so your curl doesn’t get out of control throughout the day.

Hair color is going to follow suit. We will still see versions of ombré color but in soft, natural color pallets. If you’re a brunette your accent tones will be golds and caramels. Blondes will see bases of butter or rose gold tones with light beachy accent tones. If you’re a girl who is more classic in her color dimension go with traditional highlight placement but ask your colorist to hand paint the color rather than foil it. This creates that organic, effortless feel with soft grow out instead of hard “soldier” lines of color with hard grow out lines.
For your cut, ask your stylist to add softness to the ends with point cutting or texturizing techniques. Blunt cuts will make it challenging to achieve this softer trend look. Weight needs to be strategically removed to give a feel of lightness to the end result.
A diffuser can be your best friend when creating any kind of texture or curl in your hair. I love bowl diffusers with fingers in the bowl for best results. Sometimes it’s hard to find a diffuser like this that universally fits your dryer. Consider buying a dryer that comes with the diffuser for the perfect fit.
Want to know where to find the perfect dryer with a diffuser? Check out my entry Dryers 101 to find resources and more information.
PS- to see spot on images of this trend check out this story from Vogue. Cochella music festival just wrapped up their first weekend and organic, textured and unstructured hair is widely visible. Perfect examples of effortless hair!
Now go rock those curls!

Shampooing – How Long Can You Go

Shampoo less with these easy tips.First, let’s talk about why your scalp produces oil. We all have a fine layer of oil on our skin. It works as a moisturizer and protects our skin and hair from environmental aggressors that would dry it out. Every time those oils are stripped or washed off of our skin and hair can  feel dry until our body can reproduce that oil layer. The more often these oils are removed our body works twice as hard to replace it. The less these oils are removed the less our body works to replace it.

The more you shampoo, the more frequently your body is replacing the oils to your scalp, the oilier your hair becomes. On the opposite end, the less frequently you shampoo, your body slows down it’s oil production providing more days between washes.

Train your scalp. You can reduce the amount of oil your scalp produces with a little patience and the right hair product.

1. Start by shampooing your hair every other day. I know, this probably invokes anxiety in some of you, but you need to bite the bullet and go for it. Step 2 will be your secret weapon.

2. Use a dry shampoo. If you’re not familiar with dry shampoos yet, let me tell you, you are missing out on one of the best hair products on the market right now. Dry shampoos come in aerosol and shaker forms. They are basically powder that when applied to the scalp absorb all of that extra oil. Some brands come in colors to match your hair color and some become invisible upon application. In addition to absorbing oil they can add volume and texture to your hair!

3. Sleep with your hair bundled up on your head. I have found that if I bundle my hair on the top of my head in a loose rubber band at night, my hair is less oily in the morning. This keeps your hair in place with less movement avoiding the spread of oil.

3. Eventually go 3 days without shampooing. After about 30 days of your every other day washes go crazy and try for a third day. It may be a hair-up day, but remember the more you can stretch your shampoos the less oil your scalp will produce. Because you are using your dry shampoo your hair should still look great!

My favorite dry shampoo is Redken’s Powder Refresh 01. I love it because it is an aerosol delivery that distributes easily to the scalp. The powder melts in to the hair becoming invisible and it has a fresh minty scent that reminds me of tooth paste. Every time I use it I get amazing texture in my hair with a little bit of Victoria’s Secret girl volume to it!

Redken Powder Refresh 01

Now go for it! The best part of less shampoos is that you get to sleep in a little longer and still have great hair! So hit that snooze button and feel confident that you are going to have a really good hair day.

Welcome To My Hair Fix

Welcome to “My Hair Fix”, a blog I have created to help provide education about your hair, your salon experience, hot tips and techniques to make your hair beautiful. After over 15 years in this industry traveling across the country and working in my salon I hear many of the same questions from clients regularly. Haircare is one of the fastest growing businesses in the country, this means that product technology, available services and styling tools are evolving and improving at a fast rate. If you aren’t submerged in the world of hair on a regular basis it can be tough to keep up.

This blog is designed to be a resource of education from someone who is submerged in the world of hair. I love it. I am fortunate to have amazing clients that inspire me every day and trust my vision for their hair. I have also worked with Redken as a design and color educator for 10 years. This experience has aligned me with a science based industry leader that I can continually learn from, staying on top of the latest hair innovations.

There is a lot of information about hair out in the world. Sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction. There are some resources more valid than others. My intent is to empower readers with information to make educated choices about their hair needs. What are the best treatments on the market, new salon services pros and cons, quick home hair tips, how to find the right tools for your hair, and the best color options for your are just a few of the topics that will be covered. I love to answer questions and look forward to hearing what’s on your mind. Over time I hope to create a library of great hair information.

Now, read on. Let me know what you think. Stay in touch with email, Facebook or follow me on twitter. I am excited to see where we go!

Sincerely,

Mandy McCullough