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

Why Steak Won’t Repair Your Hair – Healthy Hair: Do you have it?

Healthy hair, do you have it? Want it? Not sure how to get it?  For those on the quest of nurturing your tresses, it’s important to understand what healthy hair has that damaged hair doesn’t. I certainly can’t repair my car engine if I’m not even sure what’s supposed to be under the hood to begin with.

Healthy hair is made up of a few simple components in the following ratios:

  • Protein 80%
  • Moisture 10-15%
  • Lipids 6% (Lipids are fatty oils on the surface of hair)
  • Pigment 1%

When hair is damaged, it is missing one or more of these components in some manner. Protein is the number one key to healthy hair. This is what bonds together to form hair fiber. Damaged hair has broken protein bonds causing your hair to be fragile, lack shine and cause color fadage. Protein comes in many forms and some are more effective than others to repair hair. I mean, in theory steak is a protein, but I’m certainly not going to expect that to sit on my hair and repair it.  Just like cell phones, science has been able to make proteins smaller and smaller over the years. The smaller the protein the more effectively it can be delivered to the cortex, or center, of the hair strand giving it strength. Have you ever sat under a salon dryer with a treatment on your hair? That is the equivalent of a brick shaped cell phone–old school. Now protein can be delivered at the shampoo bowl in about five minutes and last much longer than a heated mask treatment.
Obviously hair needs moisture. Lipids coat and protect the hair from outside aggressors. They are also what give the hair reflect. When hair is lacking or needing these components, it becomes fragile and dull.

When repairing hair it is important to know when to add these components, particularly if repair is needed during a color service. Protein should always be added before color. Remember, it’s proteins that reinforce the hair fiber and give the color molecules something in which to embed. On the other hand,  moisture and lipids should be applied after a color service. If applied before, they will make it hard for the color molecules to embed themselves in the hair strand. Applied after a service they will encourage color longevity by sealing the color in and giving the hair a reflective finish.

Damaged hair comes from two sources: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical damage comes from everyday styling, brushing, flat ironing, and curling. Chemical damage comes from, well, chemicals. Treatments such as color, highlighting, perms, and straightening all create chemical damage. Mechanical damage can cause the cuticle to be raised or melted, dry and weakened. Hair that is chemically damaged includes the effects of mechanical damage on a deeper level including excessively weakened protein bonds.
Want to test your hair to see if it’s damaged. It’s easy! Gently pull a strand of hair from your head and place it in a glass of water. If it floats, congratulations! You have healthy hair! If it sinks it means your hair is weakened and damaged. Time to see your stylist for a treatment.

Protein and moisture, in many forms, are options available for repair. At Fix Salon we depend on Redken’s Chemistry System to repair our clients’ hair. This is a professional salon treatment system that works in under 10 minutes. A stylist can create a personalized mix based on your needs. The results of the treatment last longer and are more effective than home treatments because it has the ability to penetrate deep into the cortex of the hair strand rather than simply coating the surface. If your hair could use a healthy boost, we’ve got the fix for you.

Choosing the Hair Color That Is Right for You

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Hair color. You know you want it. Now you’re in the salon chair and your stylist is asking you the BIG QUESTION…..What type of color do you want today? Permanent, Demi-Permanent, Semi-Permantent, Gloss, Glaze, Tone. The choices can be overwhelming to say the least. Never fear, this post is going clearly define the types of color available and lay out the pros and cons based on your hair type, maintenance, investment, and lifestyle.

Every hair color available can be placed in one of four categories; permanent, demi-permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary. Each one provides different longevity and specific end results. In addition to understanding the differences, it’s also important to consider what you want to get from your color.

  • Permanent Color–Permanent color is the super hero of hair color. It can lift and deposit natural hair color and cover grey hair as if it never existed. This type of color starts with two components: color and a developer. The color can come in a tube or a bottle and is activated by the developer. Developer is basically super oxygenated water combined with conditioners and chemical components to effectively create the consistency needed for the color mix. When the two are combined, a chemical reaction takes place, swelling the cuticle, altering natural pigment molecules and depositing new color molecules. The good news is that the effects of this type of color are permanent. The bad news is the effects of this type of color are permanent. This means that as your hair grows, there will be an obvious demarcation between your natural and treated hair. Once you apply permanent color to your hair, you cannot color it back to your natural color. Unfortunately color manufacturers have yet to recreate natural hair color. Permanent color is always slightly warmer in tone. The only way to go back to your natural color is to just grow it back out. Trust me on this. You can color it close to your natural color, but never close enough that you won’t see regrowth over time.
  • Demi-permanent Color–There are many varying terms for demi-permanent color. Some may call it semi-permanent, maybe a toner, or a glaze. Whatever it is called, here’s why it’s so great. Demi-permanent color is deposit only. This means it cannot lighten your hair. It’s considered deposit only because it has no alkali source, therefore making it acid balanced on the pH scale. Demi-permanent color can contract the cuticle giving it incredible shine and making it feel super healthy. Like permanent color there are two components that combine to activate the color process: the color and the developer. The developer is much more gentle than developers used in permanent color. Once combined, these dye molecules penetrate the hair cuticle but do not develop deeper in the center of the hair fiber. Rarely, can grey hair be covered with this type of color, but it can be blended. This means it can take on a cast of the tone of the applied color giving it the appearance of highlights or dimension in the hair. If you don’t want the commitment of frequent salon visits, this is a great color choice. Demi-permanent color lasts approximately 6-8 weeks and fades gradually overtime. A shorter longevity means little to no regrowth line. Keep in mind that at the end of the 6-8 weeks the color is never gone, just faded. In the salon, as long as the affected hair is still present, we consider it “color treated”.
  • Semi-Permanent Color–Semi-permanent color, like demi-permanent color, has a short life span. This dye molecule is larger than a permanent or demi-permanent molecule, therefore it cannot penetrate deeper than the surface of the cuticle. Semi-permanent colors are generally bright, fun, pop color. It is only one component and when you open the container what you see is what you get. Manic Panic and Fudge are two brands of semi-permanent color. If you are looking to make a bright, bold statement this is the best color choice for you. With that said, know that in order to get the most impact of the color, your hair typically needs to be pre-lightened to a pale blonde to get the effect. Because this is a larger dye molecule and is truly just staining the cuticle, the life of the color is short. You may have bright hot pink on day one, faded pink by day two and baby pink by week three. Removal of this color can be a challenge. Lightener or bleach, which is used to remove most colors, in this situation can sometimes drive the color deeper in the hair. It takes the knowledge of an experienced salon professional to accurately remove semi-permanent color.
  • Temporary Color–Temporary color is any hair color product that lasts until you shampoo your hair. Tinted shampoos and conditioners are a couple of examples. If you remember your mom or grandma putting a “rinse” on her hair? That is also a temporary color. These are pretty forgiving products and are generally used to enhance the tone of hair or neutralize brassiness in blondes as their color oxidizes. Like anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad. If you overuse a temporary color product you can get an excessive deposit of the tone. If someone with blonde hair is using a tone correcting purple conditioner to eliminate yellow, when they use too much they may end up with lavender hair.
  • Lighteners–Last but not least, I want to touch on lighteners, otherwise known as bleach. Lighteners have come a long way over the years. Science has added conditioning elements to these products so that many times the hair can become healthier after a lightening process than before. Lighteners are the only product that can accurately remove artificial pigment. In the salon world we live be the rule “color can’t lift color”. That’s why when you decided to dye your hair black for that guy in the band and then decided it was a huge mistake (the guy and the hair color) you can’t just put brown hair color on top of it and expect to make it better. In many color situations, lighteners are the best and only choice to achieve your desired end result. Even permanent hair color has its limitations. If you are medium brown or darker and dream of being a hollywood blonde, color will never get you there. You need to use lightener. If you don’t believe me, call me when you used “pale ash blonde” on your hair and it became a lovely carrot orange. I will then suggest you come in to the salon so we can lighten it further with lightener (assuming it’s still in good condition).

Box color vs. salon color
Now that I’ve shared all of this information about color with you, please be thoughtful of how you use it. As a salon professional and colorist with 15 years in the business, I have around 30,000 hours of experience. I know not only how to choose the appropriate type of color for your hair and how to formulate it to react with your natural hair color, but I also know how to apply it in a manner that leaves your hair healthy and beautiful. Box color can save you money initially, if it goes well, and at first it might be great! But over time, there is the tendency for build up of color on the midshaft and ends, resulting in root color looking lighter than the rest of your hair. Or in the case of going lighter, the midshaft and ends become lighter than the base, causing porous and damaged hair. Eventually you will need to visit a salon to correct it. My color correction services start at $100 per hour and it usually takes more than one appointment to get color to an ideal place. So before you buy that box color at the grocery store, make a consultation appointment with an experienced colorist. Talk to them about what you would like your color to be, what type of investment is in your beauty budget and what type of maintenance schedule fits with your lifestyle. Trust their judgment. As you can see there are many types of color to choose from and one of them is perfect for you.

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Hair Dryers 101

Sam Villa E-T.C. LightHair tools are regularly a hot topic in the salon. My salon guest’s are always looking for advice on how to find the best hair dryer, flat iron, or curling iron. Today I want to focus on hair dryers, keeping in mind that much of this information will be relevant to all hair tools in general. Is there a difference between dryers? What’s the best place to buy a dryer? Does a more expensive dryer work better than inexpensive one? What should come with a dryer? I will touch on all of these and by the end of this post you with be empowered with a MBD (masters in blow dryers), making you an expert in beauty blowout.

Where to Buy
There are many places to buy a hair dryer, so where do you start? The drug store, beauty supply, beauty warehouses like Ulta, Target, not to mention the endless options available online. My suggestion is to consider the return policy and the customer service that supports your purchase. Whether you spend $25 or $250 for your dryer, sometimes things don’t work as you expected. A good retailer will support your purchase with a fair return or exchange policy making it easier for you to feel confident about your purchase.

Online
I refer many clients to Amazon.com. They usually have an abundance of choices in all price points and their user reviews can help with your decision.The sellers typically have great return and exchange policies and your order can be quickly shipped to your front door, sometimes as fast as overnight.

Close to home
Obviously your local salon, if they sell dryers, is the number one choice for purchase. Your stylist can recommend the dryer best suited for you. While they may not have a large selection to choose from, the benefit is that they have narrowed the selection down to the very best, saving you precious time from having to research yourself. In addition, you are supporting your salon and stylist. In many salons retail sales support education for the staff or comforts for clients that lend to a superior salon experience.

If your salon doesn’t carry hair tools, my next favorite spot is Ulta. Ulta is a mega beauty supply store that carries tools, hair products, makeup and more. They have an actual hair dryer bar with every dryer they carry plugged in and ready to be tested. It’s a more hands-on experience than buying online. You can get a feel for the dryer and they have a wide range to choose from. Unlike buying online, you will not have customer reviews to consider, so do you homework before if that is important to you.

If you don’t have an Ulta in your area then Target is your next best bet. The selection is considerable, and if cost is a concern for you, most dryers will fit in a lower price point category. Their return and exchange policy is exceptional so if your new dryer isn’t a perfect fit, you can easily bring it back for something else.

What to look for in a hair dryer
When you’re looking for a dryer, first consider weight and size. There are some big dryers out there that are heavy! Over time this can cause strain on your hand, wrist and arm. Instead, I recommend dryers that are shorter and light weight. This seems to be a trend in dryer manufacturing and it’s good from an ergonomic standpoint. Also, be sure the dryer comes with a nozzle, particularly if you are straightening or smoothing your hair. Nozzles are a key component to directing the airflow and closing the cuticle to give shine and memory to your blowout. If you are diffusing your hair, be sure that your dryer has a cupped diffuser attachment like this. If you buy a secondary diffuser after your purchase, chances are it won’t fit properly or work effectively.

What to spend
Like most products, there is a range of models and prices when it comes to blow dryers. The good news is, no matter what your budget is, there is a blow dryer for you.

  • High End–My favorite dryer in the whole wide world is the Sam Villa E-T.C. Light ($179). Here’s why–It’s made in Italy. Italy corners the market when it comes to hair dryer mechanics. The engines are powerful, yet light. This dryer weighs under one pound. The size is small and the construction is sturdy. I’m hard on my dryers. They get packed in suitcases, travel through airport security, get thrown around the model rooms and on stage. This dryer can handle the abuse. It’s been dropped a number of times and still works like it did on day one. The E-T.C. has a powerful heating element using ionic technology, but the nozzle and casing do not get so hot you can’t touch it. Sam Villa, who designed the dryer, is a platform artist for Redken and has been using dryers for over 30 years. As his company has grown, I have to give a big congrats to his customer service department. They are amazing. If there are any problems with the dryer they are immediately responsive and take all measures to ensure a great customer experience. Let me tell you, this dryer is worth every penny and is available at Fix Salon. In the high end category, my second choice is Sedu Revolution 6000i ($159.95).
  • Mid Priced–If you’re looking to spend a little less, there are some noteworthy products that will give you great performance without the high price. Hot Tools Tourmaline IONIC Professional Dryer ($84.99) is my top pick. The Hot Tools brand is the “go to” for us in the salon world for dryers and irons. This lightweight dryer holds its own in the field of hair dryers. Its tourmaline technology causes hair to dry faster and closes the cuticle down for high reflection and shine. BaBliss Pro Ceramix Supreme ($54.99) is another great mid priced dryer. BaBliss is a strong contender in the professional and consumer world of hair tools. In addition to its ceramic construction, I particularly like that it has a nine foot cord. I hate it when a cord is so short I can barely move away from the bathroom sink as I am drying my hair.
  • Low Price–Believe it or not, you can still get a decent blow dryer without blowing your wallet. My favorite in the budget category is the Vidal Sasson VS505 ($19.99). What I like about this dryer is that for twenty dollars you get the dryer with a nozzle and a nice diffuser. Great price for a good value. At 1875 watts its got plenty of power for even thick hair. Another good choice is the Conair 225R Comfort Touch Tourmaline ($29.99). Conair has been around forever and I have owned a few of their dryers throughout my life. They are no thrills, but straight forward. At just under two pounds this dryer has three heat settings and attachments, all for a very reasonable price.

I hope this information helps you find the blow dryer that is right for you. And that it gives you a sense of what to consider whenever you are purchasing beauty tools. The right tools alone won’t give you beautiful hair, but they make the work a whole lot easier.