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Tales of truth….part 2

The sun was shining, a cool breeze was in the air, I was enjoying a moment of my life with my flavored coffee when I heard the chirp of the door chime. The customer makes a b – line to the front counter, I smile, greet her “good morning!” to which she replies “uh huh – sure it is.”  I bid adieu to my french vanilla daydream and focus on the moment at hand. “What can I help you with?” I ask (still smiling). “This P.O.S. flat iron stopped working! It’s not heating up! I couldn’t leave my house because of my hair!”. I look at the receipt, the date is under the year expiry of in store exchange, so I look up at her, smiling and tell her “no worries, the flat iron is still under warranty, please go choose a new one.”. This is where it gets good. You would think that service with a smile and getting a new product would be a good thing. Guess not. She was looking for a fight, and she was mad she wasn’t getting one. She proceeded to pout, tug at her hair, all the while exclaiming “Look at it! Look at my hair! What am I gonna do?”. Which I responded, smiling of course (that really drives ’em crazy) “You can choose a new one, a different model if you like, if there is a price difference you just pay the difference owing.”. Then the staring contest began. Ladies and gents – tell your friends…staring contests are meant for the schoolyard, they will not get you a better deal or a free product. Anyways, it is rude to stare. In the end, she stomped over to the shelf, chose her flat iron and refused to speak to me from there on out. Funny thing was – she thought she had one over on me – I was happy it was quiet.

From time to time, you may come into a store and the product you are looking for is out of stock. I know how irritating that is, I am a consumer too. A word of advice – unless you are under the age of five, you should not start to cry because the product is not there. Nor should you yell or stomp or pout. Ladies, please, I know how important hair spray is and I know how much we love our products and we all have our favorites – keep it together ok? At least once a week I have a women over the age of thirty pitching a fit over missing product. Even when I reassure her it is coming the next day and show them the order to prove it – tearfest 2012 ensues.

In my years in this biz, I have come to realize and am in total agreement with Tabatha Coffey – It’s not really about the hair. The anger, the pouts, the tears….always something else going on and the only power the client feels they have that day is being able to pick a fight with a salesperson. So for all you out there in customer service – try not to take it personally. For those of you that are the consumer – try be polite and mind your manners…and quit staring.

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You can’t handle the truth

Everyday, I am asked questions. Everyday, I try to answer them as honestly as I know how. I may be a manager but I am also a consumer. As a consumer, I want to know as much as I can about a purchase and I want the truth when I ask about my purchase. So, I assumed everyone would want all the information, the truth, an honest answer. My father always told me I hold my expectations of the average person too high…it took me 39 years to realize he is right. This past week has had many examples of people who, as Colonel Jessop stated, can’t handle the truth.

– A client had jet black hair and wanted to be blonde, that day. Not possible. We explained to keep her hair from breaking off or turning to wet sludge it would take a few processes,that because of the box dye she had used there was some color build up. We told her what products to use to repair the damage she had and to get her hair in better condition to begin the lightening process – even gave her some samples. After the pouting stopped, the angry tirade began….I was accused of not knowing what I was talking about and that I was somehow holding out information so that she couldn’t get what she wanted. (I really gotta get some business cards from a local shrink – cross promote our services).

– A client looking for toner. Again, I cannot stress enough, toner is not a magic liquid that comes in a magic bottle. It can be any color. It can process within seconds of being on your hair. If you are not careful it can make a blonde go orange, gold, purple or silver. Please, share this tidbit with all of your friends….toner is not a magic potion. If you are looking for toner in a container labelled “toner” – go to Staples. Otherwise – see your stylist.

– Our hair grows. Everyday. Some people’s faster than others. That is why you will get a different color of hair at your roots and hair line. It is called regrowth. No, hair color does not go into the scalp so your hair grows out that color. No, there is not a product that stops that. Even in death your hair grows.(yeah…I said it). If you don’t like the signs of regrowth, try high and low lights – that way your roots aren’t as noticeable.

– A client wanted volume in her hair but didn’t want to use product. I told her that to achieve the volume and the look she wanted, she would need a little bit of product and if she used a blow dryer it would help too. I was told that if I cared about the environment I wouldn’t use a hair dryer. She stormed out and got into her Hummer. (I kid you not).

– A mother came in with her daughter looking for hot pink hair dye. I explained that we don’t sell it, because the vibrant hair color dye is not allowed to be sold to the public. We don’t carry it because we are a retailer, not a wholesaler. Again, big surprise, I was yelled at…told I was unfair and that I made no sense and should not discriminate against the public. I gave her the toll free number of the company that supplies color to LICENSED stylists and told her she should call them. As she stormed out calling me stupid I thought about what a wonderful example she was setting for her daughter….and I swear I heard a banjo playing.

This week will be a fun filled week for my readers. I was told all my life to be honest and tell the truth, so this week that is exactly what you will get, the truth. So hold on my friends. Hold on.

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To go where no flat iron has gone before

So, you are looking for a new flat iron. You see all these big words like Negative Ions,Tourmaline, Nano- Titanium. I know, you are thinking “What do I do?”, “What do I choose?”, “Where are Data and Jean Luc to help me decipher this language?”. Read on my friends, this should help you with your decision. To be honest, for home use, as long as the Flat Iron is a professional grade, it comes down to the price you want to pay. Heat is what you want. Most professional Flat Irons will achieve at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit at optimum heat. If you travel – look for “Universal Voltage”  – this means you can use that Flat Iron anywhere in the world and it won’t short out.(you will still need an adapter for the plug).

Look for these name brands and you know it is a Professional Salon quality flat iron;

AVANTI, BABYLISS, ZAZEN, CHI, GHD, FHI – Beware if you see these at a department store – they may not be the real deal – and when purchased any where other than a Salon – your warranty may be void with the manufacturer.

Negative Ions – Atoms that can stop the growth of bacteria & fungi which can result in healthier hair and scalp.

Advanced Ceramic Heater (MCH) – Refers to the heating element used to heat the plates in flat irons. Originally developed in Korea – now synonymous with top of the line quality.

Sol Gel Technology – A process that transforms nano particles of a material from liquid to solid, creating an ultra-high concentration, making styling tool plates stronger to resist chips and chemical corrosion and smoother for superior gliding through the hair.

Ceramic/Nano-Ceramic – A non metallic material that is durable, smooth and retains and distributes heat efficiently. A natural source of negative ions and radiates far infrared heat.

Tourmaline – A mineral and natural source of far infrared heat and negative ions – similar benefits as ceramic.

Titanium/Nano-Titanium – The highest electrical and thermal conductivity of a metal. The most useful properties of titanium are corrosion resistance and strength to weight ratio of any metal and is stable at ultra high temperatures. * AWESOME for thick/coarse hair

Far Infrared Heat (FIR) – To put it simply -helps to retain moisture deep in the hair shaft which results in less damage to the hair.

Once you find the Flat Iron you want, no matter what happens, please don’t throw it at anyone – you will just look like a fool – trust me.

 

 

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Some things you can’t “un-see”…

I am an inquisitive person. There isn’t much I don’t want to learn about or see. That being said, lets begin today’s tale, shall we?

In my years in the beauty biz I have had many questions posed to me… “What is the difference between Root Boost and Mousse?”, “What is a good conditioning treatment?”, “How do I get the brassy tones out of my blonde?”. Many times I have had women (and men) show me their receding hair line, or their hang nail and ask what to do about it. There are a few things I nor any other person except your physician should see. “Excuse me…can you help me” is what I hear. As I look up, I see something I will never un-see. I kid you not, there was a woman standing by the counter, showing me the red bumps on her bikini line (and she did not look like Christie Brinkley nor have the body of Jillian Michaels – yeah – I said it). “Do you have anything that would help with this?!” As I looked over my shoulder, praying to see a camera, I answered “uh…yes, I do. You can cover that up now.”. I kindly let her know that next time all she has to do is tell us she has red bumps from waxing, we know what she is talking about, we know what it looks like.

Another thing for the physician – if your scalp has bleeding, oozing scabs on it, please don’t show me. If you must tell me..alright ….but don’t show me…I am sure I can picture it in my head. I know I am in a Salon, I know I have masses of product to sell you – what you need in this situation is a physician, pharmacist, exorcist…take your pick.

Last but not least….Hands. I know we have nail biters (I was when I was a child – no judgments), I know some of you pick at your cuticles…don’t recommend it but hey…whatever floats your boat. Just so you know (feel free to share this tidbit of info. with the masses), when your nails or cuticles are bleeding – not a good idea to be touching all the product on the shelves or opening up said products.

I wonder what I will see today….

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Do you know where that has been?

So there I was, restocking the shelves when out of the corner of my eye, I saw her. Standing in front of the 8 x 10 sign which read “please do not try on the polishes – we have color swatches to show their true color” she was opening up the bottle of China Glaze Kiwi-Colada and just before the brush hit her nail I stopped her. “Please do not try on the polish unless you are planning on buying it” (service with a smile as usual). Then another favorite of mine “Well….how am I gonna know what the color’s gonna look like?”. (Did I mention said customer is in her 40’s?). So, I showed the sign, and the array of color swatches in front of the China Glaze collection and assured her that is the color after two coats had been applied which she responded “How do you know?”. Really? Do people hear themselves? So I let her know that I was the one who had made the swatches, had applied the colors, and labeled them to make her choice that much easier. (What I really wanted to say was “you aren’t Cinderella and this isn’t a fairytale”, alas….I kept my decorum. ).

Ladies and gents, I know you all like the newest things, the shiny packages, the pretty little bottles. I know you are itching to try that new cream or try on the new scent. If the package is labeled “tester” – go ahead, test it out….proceed with caution, but go ahead. I say proceed with caution because you don’t know who just tested the tester. At my shop we clean the lids and bottles of the testers we use. Most of the hair products our stylists use in our Salon, so our customers are invited back to the Salon to try the hair products. In the store, it’s mostly just the hand creams. Why you ask? As I just stated – you never know who just tested the tester. That being said – if there is not a “Tester” label – do not try it. Seriously, would you want to buy a used product? Didn’t think so. I may be turning 40 but I can still hear the crack of a lid opening 500 feet away. (and by the way…at my shop…you open it and try it…..you buy it sweetheart).

Back to the tale of the misguided polish painter. After she realized that I was telling her the truth, she told me she always tries on polish…everywhere she goes, that she had just tested colors at WalMart. I told her that I didn’t think that was a good idea, since she didn’t know if the woman she just saw do the same thing had a fungal infection on her nail. I swear I saw her shoulders roll forward as she looked down at her multi-colored nails. To top off the conversation and to make my day I got to hear the best question of the day… “Does this mean that I shouldn’t try the lipstick testers on my lips?”.

Common sense isn’t that common.

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Look behind you

I saw it again yesterday. It never ceases to amaze me. There she was. She had the designer bag, the cute shoes, the newest frock from the summer collection, her hair freshly highlighted and coiffed…and then I saw it. She turned around. This poor soul had forgotten about the back of her head. From the front – looking like she just walked off the pages of Vogue magazine, from behind, looked like she just rolled off the nap time mat at preschool. Ladies and gents, please try to remember the back of your head. I know you know where it is – it’s that place that your Mother used to hit you when you were rude or “too funny” at the dinner table. (See….now you remember.).

To be sure this hair blunder doesn’t happen to you, keep a hand mirror in arms reach in your bathroom or at your vanity. Make it a part of your routine. (Hey, if you can make checking your facebook status part if your morning routine, you can do this too.). When you are gazing ever so lovingly at your reflection, pick up the hand mirror, place it in front of your face, then turn around (be sure your back is to the mirror…sorry – had to clarify – you would be surprised). The reflection you see is you! The back of you. Try not to scream – it will be alright. Pick up the brush – it all can be fixed. If you can take the time to squeeze into a pair of  Spanx, you can learn to style the hair on the back of your head. ( less sweat and tears involved in the latter).

At your next Salon visit, let your stylist know that you need tips on how to style your complete hair style (the back of your head included – VERY IMPORTANT), what drying techniques would be best, or styling products to use. Then go to the nearest dollar store and buy a hand mirror. PLEASE!

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What you see is what you get

I have decided. I have another mission. I am going to use my blog not only to educate the masses about their hair and the professional products they need to use, I am going to raise up the masses as well. It is time ladies and gents, time to like what you see when you look in the mirror, or when you ponder idea’s of yourself.

If you think you are ugly, guess what? Ugly is the only thing that will come out of your mouth and ugly is all you will ever see, not only in your reflection, but in your daily life. I am not trying to get all “Law of attraction” on you, it is just a fact. There was a time when yours truly thought she was too ugly to go to a Broadway show. Yep, sounds stupid, doesn’t it? I had gotten in my own way. I had let the negative ideas about myself and my looks to take control. Long story short, I went to the show. The car ride there probably wasn’t the best memory for my boyfriend (now my hubby…gotta be true love). I truly thought that when I arrived the doorman or usher would look at me like “what is she doing here?”. I ended up loving the show and no one escorted me out of the building. I actually got a compliment on my dress and hair while powdering my nose. I confessed this to you all so you are all clear – I know of what I speak.

Yes, I admit, we were not all blessed with the beauty of Christie Brinkley (have you seen her?!?! All I can say is  WOW!).I know that we all do not have the athletic abilities of the William’s sisters (..the tennis champions…come on people, keep up with me now.). What we all do have is something unique about us. A cute dimple where no one but you and that special someone knows its location, you can recite 18th. century prose at the drop of a hat, you are a cancer survivor, you can juggle. Whatever it may be, however small and silly you may think it is, it is a part of you and it should be celebrated. I know, I can hear you all now “But people will think I am conceited”, “Oh, that would make me seem too proud”. Now, if you walk around town or post on facebook every hour that you are so awesome…yeah…a little conceit. If you think it…not conceit. That is called liking and loving yourself my friend.

Find that one thing you love about yourself. You have great feet, your hands look like a hand model’s hands, you have long eye lashes so you don’t need mascara, you know 5 languages, you can make a killer pot roast, you can run like the wind blows as Forrest Gump would say. Whatever it is, embrace it. Once you start to truly love one thing about yourself, all of a sudden you will love something else, and so on. If you decide not to see the good things about yourself and decide you are not lovable, one thing I can guarantee – you won’t be seeing many Broadway shows.