This Girl Changed Her Haircolor 25 Times in 3 years. Here’s Why…

Stephanie was my salon house model from 2009 until last December. During that period she became a chameleon of styles and colors. Every salon visit was an opportunity for me to be an artist with her hair. She never flinched when I said “let’s go lavender and short today!” or “how about pink?”. This year Stephanie has left Seattle to experience change bigger than her hair. She is now traveling through Asia. I thought this would be the perfect time to reflect on her past looks.

To many of us how we look is such an ingrained part of our identity we are hesitant to go for big changes regularly. I wanted to get Stephanie’s take on her 3 year experience as a hair stylists muse. What did she love? What didn’t work, and how did each look effect how others perceived her. Read on to hear her response.

Why were you so open to change with your hair?

” I don’t think I’ve ever obsessed over my hair. Before I started working with you, I would get a haircut once or twice a year. The only two looks I ever really went with were ‘long’ or ‘short’. I also had never dyed my hair, mainly because in my family being a natural blonde was part of my familial identity – my sisters and I were the “Neapolitan” sisters, with my older sister being a natural redhead and my little sister being a natural brunette. I think I just reached a point where I was bored with my hair and ready for a drastic change, so when you asked “How would you feel about going red?” I immediately replied “Sounds good to me!”

The first color we put on you was red. How did it make you feel and effect where you were in life?

“I loved becoming a redhead! It felt like I had donned a whole new persona, as though I could be whomever I wanted to be. The timing of it was apt, too, in that I had just gotten a new job after a long period of unemployment due to the recession. I was starting a new chapter in life and putting a very difficult time behind me, and the new hair color helped give me confidence to embrace all the great opportunities I was coming across.”

How did constantly changing your cut and color affect how people viewed you?

“I think one of my favorite parts of making drastic hair changes is how people respond. When I moved here from Georgia I was a super shy wallflower who did NOT like to draw attention to myself. Changing your hair makes it an instant talking point, and made me a lot more approachable to people – it eventually became a game at work where people would try to guess what color I would go with next. The more extreme the style, the more people I had coming up to me to tell me how much they loved my hair. The only person who ever expressed dislike for my hair was my mother, who was convinced that boys would never want to talk to a girl with a mohawk. I tried to tell her I got hit on more when I had a mohawk than when I had my long blonde hair, but that didn’t change her mind. Oh well.”

Which style was your favorite?

“The mohawk!! More specifically the blush pink mohawk. I was surprised by how much I loved that hairstyle. I was so nervous to get it – I wasn’t sure I could pull it off and I also wasn’t sure how my employer would respond to it. I still can’t believe the positive feedback I received from my bosses as well as my more conservative clients.”

Which style was your least favorite?

“My current cut. I knew that for traveling I wanted to tone down my look – I wouldn’t have room for any hair products in my backpack and I wanted to blend in as much as possible. It’s exactly what I asked for and you did an awesome job, but after several years of fun colors and styles, going back to a blonde bob feels really tame and no longer representative of who I am as a person.”

As Stephanie was preparing to head off to Asia we needed to create a look that worked for travel. It needed to be easy to maintain and she is traveling alone so she needed to blend in more than stand out. While it isn’t her favorite look it will certainly fit the bill. Safe travels and best hair wishes Stephanie! Until we get you back in the salon….

Stephanie's final look as she heads off on new travels.

Stephanie’s final look as she heads off on new travels.

If you’d like to follow Stephanie as she explores Thailand and the surrounding area follow her blog: www.thewayfaringwriter.com

Why Buying Shampoo at the Salon Will Save You Money

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Where do you buy your favorite hair products? At the salon? Drug store or discount market? Many people have the impression that the professional brand your salon carries can be found for a lower price at stores like Target or Walmart. I wanted to do some comparison shopping myself so I did a little research and the results were surprising.

For this post, I am focusing on salon professional products. These are the products that are typically sold in salons by salon professionals. Redken, TIGI, Matrix, and American Crew are a few examples. Professional products typically provide better results for any hair type that is not healthy, un-colored, medium weight hair.

For this process, I visited a variety of stores. These include Bartell’s (drug store), Walgreen’s (drug store), Target, Walmart, Safeway (grocery) and Ulta (a mega beauty supply). At Fix Salon, we use Redken products exclusively, therefore, this was the brand I looked for, checking both availability and price.

What did I find? Ulta was the only location that carried the entire Redken line. All other locations carried bits and pieces of the line. Legally, salon professional products can only be sold by licensed professionals in salons. This means that the location has to have a salon in order for them to carry the professional lines. Ulta does have a salon, so it makes sense that they carry Redken as well as many other brands. If a store does not have a salon, yet you see professional products on their shelves, it means it was diverted to them. Diversion is a hot topic in the salon world. When I visited Walmart, the only Redken product on their shelf was All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner. When a store sells diverted product, they do not necessarily have access to the entire line and there is never any consistency to which items they carry. They are simply picking up what “fell off the truck” from their diversion retailer.

In addition to low options and inconsistent inventory, I also found that almost all products carried were discontinued Redken packaging. Sometimes the products  were outdated by as much as 8 years! While it’s hard to pinpoint an expiration date on hair products, most manufacturers will guarantee the effectiveness for 2 years. When I see hair gel that is 8 years old on a shelf, I have to wonder where has it been? Was it stored in a temperature controlled warehouse or has it been collecting dust in a warm storage facility somewhere.

In addition to incomplete and outdated product lines, the most impactful discovery of my comparison shopping was the price of the products. I consistently found the prices to be more than the manufactures suggested retail. Always. The range was anywhere from $1 to $5 more, and typically $3-$5 dollars more. When you shop for your hair products outside of the salon, you are spending more money for a potentially inferior quality product.

In addition to higher prices and expired products, you also add the guesswork of trying to figure out what your hair really needs. Why not let your stylist guide you to the product that will give your the best performance for your hair? Otherwise, you end up wasting money on buying the wrong products that eventually end up collecting dust in your bathroom.

As an added bonus when you purchase your hair products from your salon you are supporting that business and stylists. Many times the revenue generated from retail sales go to improvements to the salon, which make your visit more pleasant, or to continuing education for your stylist, which makes your hair look better. Your stylist will guarantee your purchase and you will have more success in getting the end result you desire!

These Should Be Your 2014 Hair Resolutions

As we head into 2014, it’s the perfect time to set new goals. How about giving your hair a little extra love? Here are a few ideas to make sure your hair is healthy and beautiful the whole year through.

Commit to getting your hair cut more frequently.

Short hair (above the shoulders) should be cut every 5 weeks. Medium lengths (around the shoulders) require every 6 weeks. Long hair should visit the salon every 8 weeks. If you want to maintain your length, trim 3/4″ to 1/2″ off. If you are in the process of growing your hair longer, cut about a 1/4″ off. Getting your hair cut more frequently keeps your hair looking healthy and reduces the risk of split ends. Set yourself up for success in the new year by pre-booking your appointments with your hairstylist. Typically your stylist will give you a reminder notice prior to your visit, making it easy to keep track of your appointments.

Do a hair product overhaul.

Many times it may seem like hair products are breeding in our bathrooms. That hair gel you’ve had since 2005? Time to let it go. Ask your stylist to add 15-20 minutes onto your next appointment and bring in any and all hair products from home. Your stylist can consult with you, narrowing down what are the best choices for your hair and what products you may be missing to help create your dream style. Everything that is not relevant to your current style should be recycled or donated to a local women’s shelter. This way you have only what you need for your hair and you don’t have to worry about it being too old or expired.

Treat yourself to a color glaze.

Kick off the new year with incredible shine. Treatments designed to rejuvenate the health of your hair are important, but to really turn up the shine, treat yourself to a color glaze. A color glaze is a demi permanent color with a life span of about 6-8 weeks. If you love the color you have, a clear formulation can be used to enhance it with amazing reflect. Want to give a little more tone to your hair? Your colorist can add a bit of copper to spice it up, gold to give a warm glow, or a deep rich brown to cool it down. Whether you have previously colored hair or no color at all, this is a service with highly visible effects that everyone can benefit from.

Try something new.

How long has it been since you changed your hair style? This is a great time to add bangs, go a little shorter, add layers, go darker, go lighter, turn up the red, add highlights. Shake it up by doing something different from what you have now. In need of some inspiration? Every time you see an image of a style or color that you like, save it in a file. Before long, you’ll have a photo album of hair you like. Don’t worry if the styles are right for you. Go through the album with your stylist at your next salon visit. Talk to her about what attracted you to the pictures. She can consult with you to help figure out what will work best with your hair type, facial shape, and personal style.

Happy 2014! Enjoy all that is to come and be sure to kick it off with beautiful, healthy hair.

Ready for Change? The Perks to Going Pixie

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Short hair is having a moment. This week, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth and Pamela Anderson all dared to do what we sometimes only threaten: they cut their hair into stylish short pixie cuts. They have joined the likes of Halle Berry, Michelle Williams, Gennifer Goodwin, Robin Wright and Emma Watson, making Team Short Hair that much more alluring. Thinking about making the snip? Tempted to go to your stylist and give them permission to change your identity? I want to give you three reasons why you might want to consider it.

1. It Exudes Confidence

Robin Wright cut her hair in preparation for her role as Claire Underwood in House of Cards. Her character is not your usual politician’s sidekick. She is determined, strong and confident. She walks in step with her husband’s drive and ambitions, as well as having ambitions of her own. Her short hair is the perfect look for this character. It’s a “power” look that makes you take notice.

Pamela Anderson has been pigeon holed into voluptuous California girl her entire career. By cutting her hair short, it gives her an air of maturity. She looks stronger, defined more by who she is as a person as opposed to  her over-sexed persona. Her new look is a remarkable change and an amazing statement about the next chapter of her life.

2. It’s Easier

Maybe it’s a no-brainer, but short hair is easier. Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson are women who juggle career and new babies. Their new short looks can simplify their personal prep, giving more time to the valuable things in their lives.

Have you ever felt like all you do is throw your hair back in a pony tail every morning? What if in the same time you could create a fashionable statement with your hair? Sometimes I feel like short hair acts like an accessory in that it’s easier to style it to our mood and day. Even when you’re in sweats shuffling kids around, picking up groceries and running errands, you can feel like you have a little umph to your look.

3. It Changes People’s Perception

This can be scary or empowering. Be fearless with your identity! Let people see you are more than the hair style you’ve worn since high school or college. Switch it up. If you’re hesitant to let it all go, go shoulder length at your next hair appointment. Keep people guessing. Who you are as a person is what stays consistent. Your outward persona can change with the chapters of your life. Many times people put us in a box, trying to stereotype who we are. Changing your hair can bring new opportunities in your life that you never imagined.

In conclusion, I’m super excited to see these women fearlessly change their hair styles. These celebrities are setting a trend, so we can bet we will see more of it in the next couple of years. Will you join the club? If going pixie seems too much like the bad dream of forgetting to get dressed, go to a bob. But have the courage to do something daring! Hair grows. I promise. Find some images of women with styles that empower you and take the inspiration to your stylist. They will help you create a new defining moment!

UPDATE!

Add Jennifer Lawrence to the list!

 

Adding Big Volume to Your Blowout – Video Tutorial

Here is the second My Hair Fix video tutorial! I would post them more often, but I am realizing I am a much better hairstylist than video editor. Our last tutorial was recreating a salon blowout at home, so for this video I wanted to take it one step further by showing you how to add dramatic volume that will last all night.

I mention it in the video, but it’s worth saying again: using the right styling product is the key to creating a long lasting look. When you purchase product from your stylist, be sure to have her take the time to educate you on how to use it to get the result you want.

Some of you have left comments about the video topics you want to see next. Thanks! It’s been noted and we are working on it. Hopefully this process will get more streamlined so you can have a entire video library at your fingertips!

My Hair Fix – Volume Blowout Video

PS – I also want to give a big shout out to Inti St Clair, the photographer who took some great photos, giving me the new clean, pretty picture for the blog! She does amazing work! Check her out!

Hair Gone Wrong. How to recover from a bad salon appointment.

screen-shot-2013-06-18-at-9.59.13-amWhen I was about 10 (1983) my mom took my sister and I to the salon and told us we could have any style we wanted. After carefully going through magazines I found a picture of a women who was a vision of the 80’s. Bi-level haircut with a perm. I imagined how great I would look and was sure my friends would think I’d gone high fashion with my new hair. Fast forward to leaving the salon. One haircut and perm later my sister and I were both crying as we walked out with Q-Tip fuzz hair that looked nothing like the picture and took a year to get back to it’s former self.

Most of us have a salon horror story from some time in our life. Bad haircut, horrible color, or missed expectations that left us disappointed or devastated about the outcome. As a salon owner and hairstylist I have been on all ends of this process. I have had the bad hair, I have fixed the bad hair, and yes, I will admit I may have created the bad hair at some point. In this post I want to share how to handle this experience from talking to the stylist who performed the service, knowing when it is time to give another stylist the opportunity to repair your hair and when to ask to be reimbursed for your bad hair service.

Hair Gone Wrong. What to do next:

1. At a commission salon…

If your salon service took place at a commission salon the stylists are employees of the business. This means the owner or a manager is ultimately responsible for offering a course of action.

Call the salon, ask for the owner or manager and explain what happened. Share your experience, what your desired outcome was and what was your actual end result. Typically they will ask that you come back in so there is an opportunity to resolve the situation. They should give you the option of seeing the same stylist or meeting a new stylist for this appointment. You can decide who you would like to see based on your comfort level.

2. At a lease salon.

At a lease salon stylists rent and run their own business from the salon owner. The owner typically wants to maintain a respected reputation for the salon, but ultimately is not responsible for the services provided by the stylists.

First contact the stylist who performed the service. Explain what went wrong. The stylist should give you an opportunity to return for them to correct the color or haircut. If you aren’t satisfied with their response reach out to the salon owner by phone or email. While they aren’t responsible for the services performed by the leasing stylists, many times they want to maintain a positive reputation for the salon. The salon owner may offer other options for you.

3. When to ask for your money back

Was your hair damaged to the point that you had to visit another salon or stylist to have it repaired? You can ask the original salon or stylist for your money back for the service. As a stylist I consider how successful the consultation was at the original appointment. If I felt confident that I understood my clients requests and gave accurate feedback on how short the hair would be or what colors I would be using and fulfilled that by the end of the appointment I am less likely to return money to a client. If I was unable to fulfill the expectations I promised at the beginning of the appointment I will ask that they return for an opportunity to better meet their desired end result. After that appointment if I still have not achieved the promised goal I will then consider returning the cost of the service. For example; if a client came in with a desire to cover their gray and have no sign of red in their hair and I promised it would happen then at the end of their service the grey was not fully covered and the hair had some red tones I did not fulfill my promise. Alternatively, if a client came in with the same expectations and I felt I could not cover their gray to their specifications and shared that in the initial consultation I am less likely to return funds after the service if a client is disappointed.

A few tips to save you from a bad salon service.

Your consultation is kind of a big deal. Make sure your are prepared with pictures to share your vision. If you want to learn more about how to find the perfect hairstylist and get the hair you want go back to this post. Every stylist should take the time for an in depth conversation with you. If you don’t feel that they share your vision do not continue your appointment. There are thousands of amazing stylists out there so it’s worth it to take the time to find the one that “gets” you. It can make the difference between hair your love and hair that’s not so great.

You get what you pay for. This doesn’t mean you have to spend tons of money on a cut or color, but the cost usually represents the experience of the stylist. Do you have naturally curly, thick hair and want to reduce the weight and have it look great when it’s air dried? I would be hesitant to recommend a junior stylist. You would need someone who has more experience and even specializes in curly hair. It may cost more initially, but an experienced senior stylist will cut your curls to your vision in a way that causes less upkeep and extend future hair cut appointments. Now if you have long hair and want and inch taken off the length and your bangs trimmed this is a perfect job for a stylist early in their career and a time to save some money. Don’t forget to always ask how frequently a stylist attends continuing education. A stylists who charges less but attends frequent classes may have more to offer than a senior stylist who rarely takes a class to keep up on trends, techniques and technology.

Bad hair sucks. Dealing with it and getting it repaired takes time and energy from other things in your life. With that being said stylists can’t improve what they do without honest feedback from our clients. Take the time to follow up when you are disappointed with a salon service and when possible give the stylist the opportunity to correct the work. Hopefully your bad hair days are behind you and nothing but happy hair ahead!

Donating Your Hair – Resources and Tips

Donate Today!Our hair is a part of us. Many times it defines who we are. The idea of losing our hair can create feelings of anxiety and depression, especially if it is coupled with a debilitating illness. There are many amazing organizations that help women and children who have experienced hair loss as a result of illness by providing them with wigs. These wigs are produced with generous donations of people like you who have sacrificed your hair to help them through the process. Locks of Love is probably the most well-known organization for hair donation, but there are even more. Each facility has different requirements for donation. I thought it would be helpful to list these resources to make it easier to provide the gift of hair to these deserving individuals.

A few facts about hair donation:

  • It takes 20-30 donated ponytails to create one wig.
  • Hair that is shorter than the minimum length and gray hair is sold to help offset the cost of wig manufacturing.
  • Adult wigs are more plentiful, but do not fit children. Therefore, these organizations focus on providing smaller systems that fit snugly and comfortably on kids.
  • The cost of manufacturing one wig is approximately $1800. Your support helps to cover the expense so that wigs can be donated to deserving women and children.

In addition to donated hair, many of these organizations also accept monetary donations and/or you can choose to sponsor a child or their hair replacement program.

Locks of Love

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. They meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.

Requirements for Donation

  • Hair must be 10 inches in length
  • Colored and permed hair is acceptable
  • Highlighted hair is not acceptable
  • Gray hair is accepted

For all other requirements and a donation form, go here.

Wigs For Kids

Wigs for Kids is a private, non-profit organization relying solely on donations to make durable, custom Hair Replacement Systems that look just as real as a child’s natural hair. Additionally, Wigs for Kids has a link to partnering salons who help with the donation process.

Requirements for Donation

  • Hair must be a minimum of 12 inches
  • Hair that has been colored, permed, or highlighted is not eligible for donation
  • Gray hair is accepted

For all other requirements and a donation form, go here.

Children with Hair Loss

Children With Hair Loss was created as a resource for all children who have medically related hair loss. It is their mission to empower these children to become whole again by making hair replacement available to those who may be financially challenged and might otherwise not have a means of obtaining the hair they want and need.

Requirements for Donation

  • Hair must be a minimum of 8 inches
  • Non-chemically treated hair is preferred, but any hair in good condition is accepted
  • Gray hair is accepted.

For all other requirements and a donation form, go here.

Childhood Leukemia Foundation

The Childhood Leukemia Foundation is a national non-profit organization that provides multiple services to children battling cancer and their families. It’s hair Hugs You Wear program focuses on helping children experiencing hair loss from leukemia.

Requirements for Donation

  • Hair must be a minimum of 10 inches
  • Chemically processed hair is not accepted
  • Hair that was cut years ago is not accepted

For all other requirements and a donation form, go here.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, the largest non-profit health organization committed to saving lives from every cancer and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease. The role of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong, beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer.

Requirements for Donation

  • Hair must be a minimum of 8 inches
  • Chemically processed hair is not accepted
  • Hair can have a maximum of 5% gray

For all other requirements and a donation form, go here.

As you can see, there are many organizations passionate about helping women and children living with hair loss. Your charitable contribution of hair or money can greatly impact the way a child feels as they go through treatment. Thank you for taking action on this life changing cause.