Splashlights – The Haircolor Trend You Should Be Wearing

Done with balayage? Over ombré? You might be ready for the next color trend. Splashlights are going to be big this summer and fall. What are Splashlights? Well, imagine you are standing in a room and light is shining through a window onto your hair. This technique replicates the effect of natural light. The look can be bold or subtle, bright colors or soft washes of color. Whatever the expression of this trend, you can bet you will see more and more of it.

This technique first started to emerged last year. One of the early commercial images was this one posted in Allure magazine. When I first saw it, my immediate reaction was, “What in the world did that girl do to her hair?!” But as I continued to look at it, I thought it was amazing, creative and artistic. This is not a row of soldier foil lines across the head. This is placement that is as unique as the stylist performing it.

Redken has launched a Splashlights collection. They have identified four versions of this trend: crown lights, bold lights, fringe lights and spotlights. Here are the images that visually match their description.

As I work with this technique in the salon and travel across the country teaching, I share these images to stylists and salon guests and people’s initial reaction is similar to my own. From a hair professional’s perspective, it challenges our belief of how we place color in the hair. When I show a client an image of, let’s say, bold lights, it’s a little overwhelming for them. Keep in mind my client base is primarily 30-55 years of age–they are moms and professionals. For many, it’s hard to picture yourself on the sideline of your kid’s soccer game with bold lights in your hair. Therefore my job as a stylist is to translate this trend in a way that my salon guests of any age and lifestyle can wear a version of this trend. 

Ready to give it a try? Below are some tips that can help make it the perfect fit for you:

  1. Look at a lot of images to adjust your eye to the trend. The more you see it in all its versions, the easier it is to understand it. Google #splashlights you will get hundreds, if not thousands, of images.
  2. High Contrast. Want to go bold? If you want to walk in a room and have everyone’s attention immediately directed to your hair, choose a Splashlights technique that is high contrast. Dark base and blonde light focus, brown base with bright copper light focus. The higher the contrast, the more it will stand out.
  3. Low Contrast. Want to be subtle? Low contrast. Light brown on dark brown. Golden blonde on medium blonde, light red on dark red. With less contrast people will see you first and your color second, or they may just think that light is softly hitting it from across the room.
  4. Work with a stylist who is comfortable with the technique. In the same way that you are taking the time to look at images and let your eye adjust to the look, your stylist should do the same. Ask them if they have done it before and if they have pictures of their work. This technique is more creative and artistic than traditional foils. Be sure that your stylist’s vision is a fit for your hair.

Here are a few of my salon guests that are now fans of Splashlights. You can see how we personalized it to each of them based on their lifestyle and personality.

Let me know if you have any questions. If not? Go for it! We are early in this trend so lead the pack! I promise by next year, if you don’t have it, someone else will.

Hair Brush 101 – What You Need to Know

Hairbrush 101It’s amazing how much easier it can be to style your hair when you have the right tools. For most of us, the most widely used tool when it comes to our hair is the brush. Because all brushes are not created equal, I want to break down the basics and brush up your styling tool expertise. I’ll cover the different types, what they’re designed to do best, and where to get them.

Flat or Round – Columbus learned the hard way, but you don’t have to.

From a general stand point, there are 2 types of brushes: flat or round. Flat brushes are designed to smooth the hair with minimal volume or fullness. Round brushes do just the opposite; they can be used to make hair bigger and add fullness and movement. First, let’s break down flat brushes.

Types of Flat Brushes

Vent Brush

  • Vent Brush–Vent brushes are literally vented, or have spaces between the bristles for air to flow. The bristles/teeth are usually a thick stiff nylon or plastic. This brush is designed to allow hair to dry quickly when partnered with a blow dryer. The teeth of the brush are spaced pretty far apart.  But because of its design, the user has very little control over a polished finish and the end result may be fuzzy. In order to refine the finish of your hair, the next step would be to use a curling/flat iron or a round brush.

Best Use: A vent brush is the perfect choice for anyone with short to shoulder length hair who needs a quick rough blow-dry.

Denman 9 Row Brush

  • Denman Brush–Denman is actually a brand name, like Kleenex is to tissue. The Denman brand, a London-based company, actually produces many different types of brushes. From a professional standpoint, if a stylist refers to a “denman” we are referencing a flat brush, without air vents. The nylon teeth are close together and secured in a rubber mat base. Note, there are many companies that produce this Denman style of brushes. In the salon it is one of my favorite brushes. Because the teeth are close together it creates more tension than a vent brush, and the rubber mat helps to eliminate static and frizz. I can get much more control and a more polished finish with this brush.

Best Use: This brush is perfect for anyone with short to shoulder length hair wanting a smooth straight end result with little volume.

Paddle Brush

  • Paddle Brush–A paddle brush is somewhat similar to a denman in that it has many teeth close together to provide tension for drying and smoothing the hair. The difference is that the base is much wider than a denman and the teeth are more flexible. The wide base gives more exposure to the dryer for longer lengths and the flexible teeth help gently work through the hair reducing breakage.

Best Use: The paddle brush is a great choice for anyone with long hair. The paddle brush can give a head start on pulling out wave and curl to then be followed up with a round brush or iron. I love it for smoothing out my own hair. To see it how it’s used, check out the video “Quick DIY Blow Out”.

Oval Cushion Brush

  • Oval Cushion Brush–This is another brush that is a classic and used by professional hairstylists regularly. A rubber cushioned base with nylon or boar bristle or the best is a blend of both. It is typically used on dry hair for perfect smoothing. Great for getting every last hair in place for your ponytail or special occasion hair. The cushion brush can also be used as a detangler on dry hair.

Best Use: This brush is the best choice for smoothing and detangling any length of hair.

Wet Brush

  • Wet Brush – While not considered a classic style of brush, I am seeing more and more of this style on the market and it is quickly becoming a must have in my brush collection. Wet Brush is a brand that makes an oval flat brush with very flexible nylon teeth. It is the ultimate detangling brush on wet hair. The flexible teeth causes it to go through the hair and gently work through knots without damaging or breaking the hair. Other manufacturers  are producing their own version of this style, so keep an eye out for it.

Best Use: A Wet Brush is ideal for any hair length, but it’s particularly effective for longer lengths. It is best used on wet hair for detangling, but can also be used on dry hair. This is my number one recommendation for any parent who has a child with a sensitive head. It will save many tears and make your morning routine that much easier.

Types of Round Brushes

Round Brushes come in various dimensions and materials depending on their use. Compared to a flat brush they are able to create more volume at the base or scalp and deliver soft rounded shape and movement.

Metal/Ceramic Round Brush

  • Metal/Ceramic Round Brushes–Because heat causes a more effective change to the hair, the base of these brushes are designed to heat up. The bristles are usually nylon and distributed further apart than a boar bristle round brush. When used correctly, they can mimic the effect of a curling iron to a certain extent.

Best Use: Perfect for creating a smooth rounded finish on almost any length of hair. Your length of hair will determine the diameter of round brush you use. The shorter the hair, the smaller the diameter. The smaller the diameter, the more curl or bend you will get in the hair. The larger the diameter, the more fullness and “c” shaping.

Boar Bristle Brush

  • Boar Bristle Round Brush–As you can probably guess, a boar bristle brush uses actual boar hair for the bristles. The bristles are packed tight to create tons of tension and to coax every cuticle to lay down for the ultimate smooth and shiny finish. Boar bristle brushes get better over time. After continued use and exposure to heat, the ends of the bristles start to pop open a bit, much like split ends. The effect gives even more polish to the hair. This brush can be difficult for a hair novice. Because the bristles create so much tension, it can be difficult to work through your hair. It takes some practice to use this type of brush, but the results can be amazingly rewarding.

Best Use: Boar Bristle Round Brushes are perfect for almost any length of hair. Choose the diameter based on your length and desired end result. You will also find boar bristle brushes with a blend of nylon bristles mixed in. This version will be a little easier to use on yourself.

Final note about the difference between boar bristle and ceramic/metal round brushes. Boar will give you ultimate shine and polish with a looser curl or wave. A metal/ceramic brush will give strong shaping and volume and a little less shine.

Resources

All of the brushes mentioned are available at Fix Salon through special order. If you are not in Seattle, I always recommend that you support your local salon and stylist for all of your professional tools. If you live in the Alaska tundra and have limited options, all of these brushes can easily be purchased online at amazon.com or ulta.com then delivered to you via dog sled. (Just seeing if you were paying attention; )

There are many choices out there, but these are my sources for brushes:

  • SamVilla.com – I work with Sam and use his professional tools daily. Some of my favorite brushes! Great paddle, denman style, and boar bristle brushes. Amazing quality and I love the heart of this company. See website for your nearest retailer.
  • Denmanbrushus.com – U.S. website for all Denman brand brushes. If it’s mentioned above, you will find it on this site.
  • thewetbrush.com – Home for the up and coming Wet Brush. The tender heads in your home will thank you.
  • Cricket – My preferred ceramic/metal round brush brand. This link will take you to Amazon, the easiest way to shop for this family of brushes.
  • yourtearsheets.com – Another company owned by fellow Redken Artist and Editorial Stylist, Giovanni Guintoli. Beautiful professional quality brushes.

Give me your feedback! Questions about brushes or shopping for them? I’m happy to help. Questions about buying other hair tools? Check out Hair Dryers 101 for the inside scoop!

Now go brush your hair.

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!

Quick DIY Blow Out

It’s our first vlog! My clients are always asking, how can I get my hair to look like it does when I walk out of your salon? To answer that, I’ve created this step-by-step video. Watch as I coach Fix Salon model Stephanie through a do-it-yourself quick blow out at home.

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Video: Quick DIY Blow Out


Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind.

1. When you think your hair is dry, keep drying.

Have you ever taken the time to blow out your hair only to have it frizz out a few hours later? Chances are it wasn’t completely dry. When you think your hair is dry, continue to dry it for another 5 minutes or so. Lots of times there is still moisture in the interior of the hair. Unless all the moisture in your hair is completely dried out, your hair will revert to its natural texture.

2. Practice makes perfect.

For the first couple of blow outs, find a time where you are not in a rush and make sure you have all the right tools and products in front of you. You might assume that as a hairstylist, drying my own hair is easy. Believe me, it isn’t. It used to take me 45 minutes to get a perfect finish. Now, because of practice, I can do it in about 20 – 25 minutes.

3. Pick your tools and products wisely.

The difference between so-so hair and show stopping hair is highly dependent on the right products and tools. You just can’t get a salon-looking blow out at home without using the same tools used by the pros. For a quick reference of everything we used in the video, see below. All products are available at Fix, either in stock or by special order. If Fix Salon is far from you, you can find these items online.

Tools and Product Resources:

My favorite tools for a DIY Blow Out

You now have everything you need to know to get a fantastic looking blow out at home. Want a one-on-one blow dry class like Stephanie had? Give us a call. We do that!

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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.

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