Our hair has the power to define us. From how it makes us feel to what it says about who we are and what we like. At the root of it though, hair is a biological organ that must be understood in order for it to work its magic on your behalf. Your hairdresser knows this & so should you!
The Basics: There are a total of one million hairs on the head — with one hundred thousand follicles residing on the scalp. This is the largest number of hair follicles a human will ever have since we do not generate new hair follicles anytime during the course of our lives. You get what you were born with.
Most people will notice that the density of scalp hair is reduced as they grow from childhood to adulthood. The reason: Our scalps expand as we grow. Hair has two distinct structures – first, the follicle itself, which resides in the skin, and second, the shaft, which is what is visible above the scalp. Hair cells divide faster than any other cell in the body!
Hair Follicles: The sebaceous gland is vital because it produces sebum, which conditions the hair & skin. This is why we don’t want to wash it away everyday. These oils are important to the natural sheen & condition of the hair. Squeaky clean is a marketing scheme that actually strips away oil on both skin and hair creating an imbalance that has the potential to actually produce extra – unwanted -oil.
Hair Shafts: The hair shaft consists of a hard protein called keratin & is made in three layers. This protein, or keratin, is actually dead so the hair that you see is not living. The cortex makes up the majority of the hair shaft. The cuticle is a tightly formed structure made of shingle-like overlapping scales. It is both the cortex and the medulla that holds the hair’s pigment, giving it its color.
Hair Growth Cycle: Hair on the scalp grows about approximately ½ inch a month. Unlike other mammals, human hair growth and shedding is random and not seasonal or cyclical. At any given time, a random number of hairs will be in one of three stages of growth and shedding: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
Now that you understand how hair works, here’s what your stylist is looking at:
Quality of hair: As a stylist I look at texture (curly, frizzy, straight etc.), color (is it complementary? Is it processed?) and, of course,length. When we have our consultation, which should be every time you come for a service, we listen to your must have’s. Volume, length, fringe, layers, color and so on. While we listen we are framing options in our mind based on our trained assessment of the hair basics I mentioned above.
Now my favorite part: My recommendations. Within the framework you told me about, I get to make suggestions. Sometimes if I feel strongly, I recommend something outside your box. My recommendations will include color, a new shape, an in-salon treatment to keep your hair in top condition, and take home products. Why? Because it’s my job to help you get the most out of your hair both in the salon and at home. This is why my job is so great!
I love building a clientele who is open to change and likes experimenting with take home products. (We offer the best return policy if they don’t work.)
I love beautiful hair. I love when your hair represents you and isn’t about trend but rather is about your face shape, your texture and what makes your skin tone beautiful.
The number one reason people leave their stylist is because they feel their stylist just isn’t doing it for them anymore. It happens, I get it.
But here is how you get results: Stay open and ask questions, even if, in the end, you aren’t ready to make a big change just yet. You can start to envision something a little different that might make you happy. Try new products for your hair, skin & body because it’s fun & technology changes EVERYDAY. There is a product for you that works. And if it doesn’t, bring it back and exchange it for something else that does.
Most importantly, remember two things:
You will never be stuck with bad hair because it’s hair and it grows.Take a risk now and then!
You wear your hair everyday. Invest in it. It will reward you.
And just so you know, I follow my own advice too! I just cut off my hair because I was slipping into Long Hairdo again. I thought ‘Oh no, here I go again!’ So I had John cut it and suddenly I’m trying new lip glosses & new earrings…What happened? I inspired myself.
I’ve always been amazed why clients don’t discuss scalp issues with stylists and likewise. We color it, cut it, bend it,straighten it, so why don’t we talk about some of the important – but seemingly unmentionable – details?
Scalp issues are one of those nasty subjects that we just want to go away. Well, in order for the problem to go away we need to address it and talk about it openly.
Through a little education I hope to have more happy scalps out there. Which in turn means happier, shinier hair overall! Dandruff – There are different types of dandruff with different causes.
I’ve listed the most common below to help you identify and differentiate between them. (It’s not a sexy subject I know but a necessary one…)
• Dry skin. Simple dry skin — the kind you get in the winter when the air is cold and rooms are overheated — is the most common cause of itchy, flaking dandruff. Flakes from dry skin are generally smaller and less oily than those from other types of dandruff. If you suffer from this type of dandruff, you’ll likely have signs and symptoms of dry skin in other areas such as your legs and arms.
• Irritated, oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis). This condition, one of the most frequent causes of dandruff, is marked by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. Seborrheic dermatitis may affect not only your scalp, but other areas on your body.
• Not shampooing often enough. We are all for less-frequent shampooing at Festoon but if you don’t wash your hair regularly, oils and skin cells from your scalp can build up and flake off, causing dandruff.
• Psoriasis. This skin disorder causes an accumulation of dead skin cells that form thick, silvery scales. Psoriasis commonly occurs on your knees, elbows and trunk, but it can also affect your scalp. It may be difficult to differentiate from seborrheic dermatitis if only the scalp is involved. It’s worth seeing a doctor if you are uncertain since treatment of Psoriasis is an entirely different medical issue.
• Eczema. If you have eczema anywhere on your body, it could also be on your scalp, possibly leading to the development of dandruff.
• Sensitivity to hair care products (contact dermatitis). Sometimes sensitivities to certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes – especially paraphenylene diamine (PPD) – can cause a red, itchy, scaling scalp. Shampooing too often or using too many styling products may also irritate your scalp, causing dandruff.
• A yeast-like fungus (malassezia). Malassezia lives on the scalps of most healthy adults without causing problems. Sometimes it grows out of control, feeding on the oils secreted by your hair follicles. This can irritate the skin on your scalp and cause more skin cells to grow.
Exactly what causes an overgrowth of malassezia isn’t known, although having too much oil on your scalp; changes in your hormones; stress; illness; neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease; a suppressed immune system; not shampooing often enough; and extra sensitivity to the malassezia fungus may contribute to the development of dandruff.
A large percentage of the population has scalp issues and most are easily treatable.
Here are my recommendations:
* Your stylist is your ally. Don’t be afraid to speak up. They might be able to help!
* If you have oily skin and scalp, try Davines Rebalancing Shampoo. It normalizes oil production using Burnet, Cinnamon and Lemon extracts. When conditioning, make sure you keep your conditioner two inches away from scalp – only condition the ends.
* If you have dry or oily dandruff, try Purifying Shampoo and Purifying Gel. It cleanses and purifies the scalp. This product really works! It also doesn’t ruin the hair or smell like tar.
Both Davines treatment products have specific regimens and are plant based. Davines has used the latest technology and offers a vast improvement on existing dandruff shampoos. I love being able to offer an alternative to something that people think they have had to live with! Davines is that alternative and I think you will be very pleased with the results.
I’ve been doing hair as long as I’ve been driving. Which believe me….is a long, long time. Being in the industry as long as I have, I’ve seen many trends come and go – highlighting methods included.
I’ve seen people try to create natural (and not so natural) highlights with caps & crochet hooks, different color foils, paint brushes, cotton, even saran wrap.
One of the latest trends - the French balayage technique – has made its way to the states and can be a great way to create natural looking highlights. It can also be cumbersome and done poorly. I know – I’ve tried it and I did it poorly.
Now we have Flamboyage. Flamboyage, like balayage, creates a natural look of depth and dimension butFlamboyage uses a unique application method created by the Italian haircare line Davines. Diffused highlights are created by using special ‘meches’ that gives the technician complete control as to where the ‘light’ goes.
The Flamboyage look is inspired by the “ombre” trendwhich can create beautiful results when done right. (When it isn’t done right, it can make you look like you haven’t seen the inside of a salon for a year so, be careful.) This technique is gorgeous on very fine hair, which normally you see lines when you go a traditional foil route. It looks much more natural.
What makes this ombre look so appealing is that we keep a lot more of your natural color and highlights exactly where you need them – right where the light should hit and only enough to create dimension.
I’ve created a video of Flamboyage being done on a Festoon client. Hopefully this inspires you to try something new next time you are in the salon and wanting updated highlights. The look is fresh, low maintenance and elegant.
February is about all kinds of love. Love your family, friends, dogs, reptiles, cats – you get the picture. But as a stylist what I see is this: The majority of women I know don’t love thy self enough. This can come in many forms and it’s easier than you think. Enjoy a cup of tea on your porch, spend some time with a girlfriend, or maybe get a manicure. For some reason we always put ourselves at the bottom of the list.
When we fought for an equal spot in the workplace and needed wash and wear hair so that we could go, go, go, Vidal Sassoon changed the face of beauty and took us out from underneath the dryer. As someone who makes my living as a hairstylist, of course I idolize Sassoon, but in this one seemingly small change, it’s my belief we actually lost something. We lost a weekly appointment spent within our community – an opportunity to connect and a reason to look ravishing all week.
I know the most amazing women. They own businesses, they have kids and they are successful. But they are run ragged. Women are crashing their adrenals, eating junk, and don’t have time for make up or doing their hair. It’s a vicious cycle. Confidence takes a dip, and by the time we hit 40, we begin to ask, “Who is that person staring at me in the mirror?”
February is the month to take yourself back. It will be hard. You will feel guilty at first, but for all that you do…an hour or two a week is worth it. You deserve it!
Warren Buffet once asked “If you had one car your whole life, how would you treat it? You would keep it clean, give it the best gas, change the oil, take care of problems before they got too bad…” Right? Well, you do only have one car, it’s called your body. So take care of it.
Here are my go-to selfcare tips:
*Acupuncture- when my body lets me down and feel that cold coming on…I get acupuncture. When my dog passed away, I got acupuncture. Going through menopause, acupuncture saved me. (Think I love acupuncture?!) My two recommendations are: Pat Lollis in Berkeley. Or, if I don’t have time to make an appointment in advance I go to Octagon Acupuncture on Claremont, a walk-in clinic owned by one of our clients.
*Gel nail polish - they can last up to 3 weeks! I stopped getting manicures when my kids came. Now that I’ve found nail polish that lasts, I get to have manicures again. I love my new gel nails! Visit Cuticles Nail Spa anytime during the month of February and mention Festoon to receive a complimentary pedicure with a shellac manicure or acomplimentary manicure with a pedicure.
*Facials - skin slows down cellular renewal as early as 28! Facials help keep the skin youthful and vibrant. Mention Festoon when booking one at Face Magic to receive $20 off any facial.
*If my make-up is feeling uninspired, I splurge on a small treat like a new lip gloss. If you are in the mood for something new, you might want to try our new Japanese mascara, FAIRYDROPS.
Or, if your hair color is dull, get a few flamboyage highlights.
If your hair is too long and dragging you down, cut it off!
*Feeling tired? Statistics show that 20-30 min a day of moderate exercise is all we need…go for a walk 4-5 hours before you go to bed and your sleep will improve too!
Happy Valentines Day!
Hello 2013! What I love about a New Year:
The chance to say goodbye to all my dreams that didn’t come true. (And try again.)
To say goodbye to old things I once believed but no longer do.
And to say hello to new dreams, to making a difference and to loving more.
I don’t do resolutions because I prefer to have resolutions happening all the time. I also forgive myself year-round and always try, try again.
My theme for January is “What is past is past, celebrate the present and the future will hold for me whatever direction I choose to take.”
Each of us is always seeking balance – whatever that looks like for us personally. For some they like to be spontaneous, for others (like me!) we schedule every second.
These days, this is what balance looks like for me:
Me time – I go to my dance classes twice a week. I work out using weights, balance work, and cardio twice a week. I meet up with a friend for lunch or dinner at least once a week.
Family time -We help in the kids’ classrooms once a month. We spend the weekends together going to parks, soccer, library…
We split up the kids and go on special dates too so we have one-on-one time with each of the kids separately.
Couple time – We have Friday date night. Sometimes it’s just us but most of the time we use that night to stay close to friends. Group dates and double dates are fun!
Organizing it all – I like a schedule so that I can fit everything in. I also try to spread things out. I need down time and so does my family. A schedule that has open spaces allows us to be spontaneous.
Vacations – I plan them at the end of the year for the next year. This ensures us time to relax and reconnect or have an adventure. Yes, the years seem to go always faster, but if I plan, I get to live the life I want.
New Year’s Beauty Trend:
Short Hair! [Check out my board on Pinterest]
I started with a classic short haircut from the 60’s and tracked the evolution of short hairstyles. I’ve included looks for wavy, thick and fine hair so find one that suits you. A lot of the looks require a razor cut – Festoons specialty! Come in and let us give you a new look for the new year. Enjoy and look for more Pinterest boards to come!