Don’t Try This At Home

mulan cuts hairI see it all the time: clients who “trim” their own hair between salon appointments.

It seems like it wouldn’t be a big deal, it’s just one piece out of place. Did that one piece really grow faster though? No. It’s likely to be just parted differently, or curled more/less than usual. Cutting that one piece can cause gap spots in your layers.

“My bangs just grow so fast.” Yes, I know. I offer complimentary bang trims for my clients because of this. It’s right in front of your face so you see it grow more noticeably. The issue with trimming bangs yourself is that quite often you move your forehead to look up while you cut, this changes where they lay and results in bangs being shorter or more uneven than anticipated.

The beautiful bob Mulan gets from swording her hair off is an unrealistic expectation, yet clients frequently value their own skills over those of a licensed Cosmetologist. Please, for the love of hair, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!

Talking Points With Your Stylist: Fusion Hair Extensions

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 12.02.48 PMAre fusion hair extensions the right choice for you?

Fusion hair extensions use heat-bonded protein to fuse small sections of hair extensions to your existing hair. The result is seamless blending of extensions into your current hair.

Fusion extensions are great for both thick and fine hair, adding just color, thickening, lengthening, and chemical-free highlights.

Fusions extensions aren’t encouraged for heavily processed hair, very short hair, or un-relaxed ethnic hair.

There are a lot of different companies out there, so stylists have a lot to choose from to ensure a good texture match.

Taking Care of Your Hair Extensions

Screen Shot 2013-02-10 at 9.39.17 PMCleansing/Conditioning

            Brush your hair with a detangling brush. Use the shampoo recommended by your stylist. Gently, from the scalp to the ends, massage the shampoo in a downward motion and repeat if necessary. Only use sulfate free conditioner and apply from mid length to ends.

Styling/Drying

Always dry your hair using a low to moderate heat setting on your hair dryer. Style as desired using the recommended hair products from your stylist. Remember to keep all heated styling tools away from the bonds. When using blow dryers, flat irons or curling irons, use the appropriate protective serum to protect against thermal damage and add control and shine.

Sleeping

Never sleep when your hair is still wet. Gently gather your hair on top of your head with a scrunchie. A loose braid will also help prevent tangling and matting at night.

Swimming

Before swimming, mist hair with a leave in conditioner or apply a shine serum from the ends of your hair to mid-length. Do not apply directly to the scalp. Loosely braid your hair since chemicals and salt water may compromise the integrity of the bonds. Follow the advise of your stylist for post-swimming hair care.

Removal

Do not remove your hair extensions by yourself! You might damage your real hair. Your extensions stylist is trained in the steps to properly remove your hair as to best preserve the best condition of your natural hair, and not impede the next extension process.

Seasonal Style Rules

Often as seasons change, my clients ask me what’s trending in with the new weather pattern. While there’s always a fair amount of unexpected fashion, there are also a lot of style rules that don’t really change. Hope these help you stay on point.

 

springSpring.

-Makeup returns to peach tones and colorful pastels, think “playful” and “innocent.”

-Clothing is shorter, of course, as few items as possible, kind of the anti-layering, usually lace or other “open” fabrics.

-Hair gets lighter though don’t go too light too quickly, but more natural sun-kissed, typically on the ash/beige end of the color spectrum.

 

 

 

summerSummer.

-Makeup is typically dewy with soft, brown-rimmed eyes, not black, and nothing too deep for lip colors. Sometimes bright eyeshadows for extreme color trend, but that can be hit or miss.

-Let’s address the clothing trends: Denim! It’s always denim. I don’t know why, it’s a terrible fabric, but summer brings is denim skirts, shorts, vests, oh gosh, everything!

-Hair this season views lots of blondes, golds, caramels for darker hair with beachy, worn-in scrunchy wavy softness.

 

 

AutumnAutumn.

-Lots of natural soft looks with makeup, sometimes just a bit of color to keep it interesting. Since it’s just starting to get cooler people seem to start cutting down their beauty routine. Possibly to spend a few extra minutes in a warm bed each morning?

-Autumnal clothing is pretty well understood by most already. Unlike spring, despite similar temperature ranges, there is almost an obsession with layering as though you aren’t dressed without three outfits at the same time. Also wear lots of brown, since Autumn is the season to celebrate brown everything.

-Personally it’s my favorite hair season because I love all the gold, red and copper. Emulate the local foliage as much as you reasonably can.

 

 

winterWinter.

-Makeup settles in with bold, jewel tones with a soft neutral lip, or goes the other direction with a Snow White look and red lips.

-Clothing gets puffy. As the temperature decreases, the level of mass required by clothing increases exponentially. 40=jacket. 30=puffy jacket. 20=strap on a polar bear and hide it with an even puffier jacket.

-Hair trends darker, more intense, and often straighter, my guess is that since this is the coldest season it’s the only one where the hair is chosen based on ease. If you cannot leave with wet hair, straight is usually the fastest.

Some Notes on Link Wefts and Malaysian Style Extensions

example of link weft hair extensions
example of link weft hair extensions

Link wefts and Malaysian Style Hair extensions are great for medium-length hair looking to go longer. Link wefts and Malaysian style hair extensions both use wefted track hair extensions to add length and/or thickness quickly and easily. Link weft hair extensions use only micro link beads to hold weft hair in place. Malaysian style hair extensions use a row of micro link beads to create a “track” to sew the wefted hair extensions onto.

The biggest benefits? Both methods use no heat and no glue. These extensions can also be tightened every month or so without having to be removed or replaced. This means your hair can stay looking better for a longer period of time.

Fair warning: These extensions aren’t good for people who have very short hair because it doesn’t blend as well as methods with individual attachment points.

Talking Points for You and Your Stylist: Tape Weft Hair Extensions

53Tape wefts are a relatively new format for hair extension application. Tape wefts are also referred to as sticker hair and skin wefts, depending on the salon. There are a lot of great brands out there producing them right now as well. Some of my favorites include: Di Biasi, Cinderella Hair, So.Cap USA ( SHE by So.Cap), Georgie OSY, and Babe.

Tape weft hair extensions are best suited for “short term” extension wearers, or those who change their hair frequently. Tape wefts are best when worn one to three months and then replaced.

Fine hair works well with tape wefts, since they are completely flat to the head and are easily hidden.

Unfortunately, tape wefts are not good for making short hair long because too many pieces are required, and that decreases the wear time.

As always, the best way to determine what kind of hair extensions are best for you is to visit your local extension specialist. In person consultation in advance is key for making sure you get the amazing head of hair extensions that you’re dreaming of.

And of course, if Northern Virginia is local to you I’d love for you to visit.

Why Over Washing You Hair Is A Problem

dreamstime_11243930.jpg-washing-hair           Hair is naturally dry on its own and relies on oil from the scalp to keep it supple and enhance elasticity. Over washing your hair can actually strip your hair of its essential moisture.

            How often is too often, though? It varies from person to person. Ask your stylist. Some factors include:

            -Hair thickness

-Activity level and exercise

-Products used

-Air-drying vs blowouts, curly vs straight

-Chemical processes

As a general rule, hair should be shampooed only when it’s dirty. This results in less frizz and can save you from going through conditioner at an alarming rate. There are lots of “non shampoo” cleansers out there if you simply must wash every day. My favorites: Kerastase Chroma Sensitive, WEN, and Deva Curl No-Poo. Otherwise, washing with regular shampoo about twice a week is good pretty standard for most hair types while some hair thrives being washed only bi-weekly.

Benefits of Keratin Treatments

Keratin treatments are often referred to as Brazilian Keratin Treatments or BKT for short. The term describes a fairly wide range of products that have one common theme: topical smoothing of the hair using heat bonded protein to fill gaps and reduce frizz.

Express treatments are better for fine hair as there is less reduction to volume. Full treatments work wonders at reducing bulky hair. The best option is always to have a thorough consultation with your personal stylist.

 elizabeth_before_after_zero           Some talking points for a great consultation are:

            -Pre-existing color processes

            -Current washing schedule and styling routine

            -Curl pattern and reduction that you want

            -Frizz level

            -Volume or bulk ratio

How to Know What to Ask For: Highlight Edition


foil_highlights_fec51
There are three basic ways to book for your highlights. Knowing what your reason for highlighting is helps you make the right appointment with your colorist. The three appointment types are full highlight, partial highlight, and mini highlight.

 Want to be lighter? Full highlight. A full highlight colors strands of hair all over your head lighter, which produces an all-over lighter hair color effect.

Want your hair brighter? Partial highlight. By lightening strands from the crown and front sections of your hair, a brighter effect is achieved without the effect of changing the base hair color.

Just bothered by the roots at the front? Ask about a mini! A mini typically consists of about 5-10 foils placed strategically to hide roots between full/partial appointments.