Bad Hair Day? No Way!

From behind the chair we get to hear a lot of stories.  We listen to what's happening at your place of work, where you are traveling to next, and how things are in your relationships.  We are very fortunate to get tips on where to eat, shop and play.  We pass along those tips to others.  But we also take great pride in being able to give you tips to help you style your own hair.  One of the most common things we hear as hair stylists is:  "I wish my hair would look like this when I do it!".  The truth is....IT CAN!  OK, maybe not exactly, because then you wouldn't need us.  Many of my clients started out feeling overwhelmed by the task of styling their own hair every morning.  It doesn't have to feel that way!  After explaining some basic tips they go home to have new found success.  And they are so happy to report back their accomplishments at their next appointment.  I have faith that can be you too!

There are several key things to remember as you begin any hair style:

1.) ALWAYS section your hair.   In other words, use clips to hold the hair you are not working with out of your way.  It might seem like this will make the process longer, but it will actually make it less frustrating.  Personally, I like to use butterfly clips.  They are easiest to find at beauty supply stores, inexpensive and durable.  First off, take the crown as a 3" wide section.  Clip it.  Then take 1" wide horseshoe shaped partings below that, clipping them all out of the way until you reach the bottom inch, which is the section you can begin with.  Part each subsection down the middle and pull hair forward so you can see what you're doing as you curl, flat iron, or blow dry.  When you cram too much hair in a hot tool, the heat doesn't reach all the hair and you end up having to go over and over it (damaging!), and still not achieving the desired effect.  Sectioning makes a HUGE difference in the final result (and your mood) upon completion!

2.) Use the right tools, at the right heat setting.  Investing in quality tools make a difference.  Why not spend the cost of one hair appointment on a tool that will keep you hair looking healthy and great for years?  Your blow dryer should use ceramic heaters that negatively charge ions, which dry your hair the healthy way.  Flat irons and curling irons should boast ceramic or tourmaline plates, which seal the cuticle and leave hair smooth and shiny.  Inexpensive tools are often made with metals that don't heat evenly, resulting in burned hair.  Heat settings are also important.  For fine or damaged hair, it is best to stick with 360 degrees Fahrenheit.  For normal to wavy hair, 360-380 degrees and, for coarse or curly hair, 380-410 degrees is optimal.

3.) Use the right products for your hair type and desired style.  First of all, no one leaves the salon with the perfect style and zero products in their hair!  We are here to prescribe the right products, whatever your challenge may be.  Your morning would run much smoother with the help of key styling aids.  For example, several of my clients who never used their curling irons are hooked on Pureology's Illuminating Curl 24 hours Shaping Lotion.  It goes in damp hair and holds curl even in stubborn straight hair.  We have many tricks up our sleeve...but it is our job to share these fantastic secrets with you!

4.) Short on time?  That is no excuse for sporting a fuzzy ponytail!  In 5-10 minutes you can give slept on or air dried hair new life!  Make five large sections, roll the ends of each section on a round brush, blast them with the heat of of your dryer, let them sit on the brush so that they cup under.  I enjoy using the Olivia Garden NanoThermic Ceramic-Ion brush.  The metal plate on the brush works like a curling iron to give bend to the hair.  It may not be perfect, but you will look far more polished than if you do nothing at all.  Also, do not underestimate the power of a smoothing product.  When applied properly, it can make your locks look polished and tame fly aways in one quick step.  I recommend Pureology's Radiance Amplifier Anti-Frizz Shine Spray or Cuticle Polisher Shine Serum

5.) Don't give up! The last and most important step is to never give up on YOU!  Practice surely makes perfect.  Start each day fresh, with renewed confidence in your growing skills.

Mastering the styling of your own hair, in as many ways as you can, takes time and effort.  That time and effort is definitely well spent and worth investing in!  Having beautifully "just out of the salon" styled hair will give you that extra little boost of confidence each and every day.

Keep in mind though, your fabulous hair stylist is just an appointment away...!  Whether it is for the latest styling tips and pointers, or for those times when you feel that styling is just a bit "out of your reach" ... We are always here for YOU !

by christine coultas, stylist
ventura, ca