Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women

What are you so scared of?

Today’s tale is for all the stylists out there. Not a stylist? You may continue reading, you may even end up telling your stylist about this blog. It could help her be a better stylist and help you and her other clients like their hair for more than two days after the appointment.

You see, most Salon’s do not put any energy or focus into their retail. Retail meaning selling the products that they use during their services, be it a pomade or a flat iron. Everyday, and I mean everyday I have women coming into our shop saying the exact same thing… “I just had my hair done a few days ago and it looked great but now look at it!!! I don’t know what she (meaning the stylist) used and I can’t do my hair.”. So, this is wear my rendition of 20 questions begins. “What shape was the bottle she used?”. “What color was the bottle?”. “Did it foam up or did it look creamy?”. You get the point.

Something I cannot wrap my head around is this. A stylist has no problem telling their client that their service will cost $185.00 but they cannot muster up the courage to ask the client if she would like to purchase the mousse that was just put into her hair for $10.95. Seriously?!? It’s a win win. The client will be able to achieve the look you have just given them and the time in between each visit, your client will be happy with her hair and in turn with you, her stylist.

I have compiled a little list for all you stylists out there of what a client sitting in your chair should never hear. I mean NEVER.

– when your client asks “What’s that your using?” DO NOT answer “Oh, just some free stuff from my rep.”. Tell her what it is, tell her how to use it, offer to her that she can buy some on her way out.

– after finishing your color service and your client asks “What shampoo should I use?” DO NOT say “Oh, just pick something up at the drugstore”. – Are you crazy? Anything but professional shampoo could fade her color and make her hair look dull and lifeless – and guess what? When that happens she isn’t going to blame the shampoo – she’s gonna blame you.

– when your client asks about flat irons DO NOT answer her with “Oh…these are for professionals only” – come on…it’s not brain surgery…if you can iron a shirt, you can use a flat iron. Besides, it sounds a little rude and kind of belittles your client.

– if your client is currently using a professional hair care line that you do not carry, do not tell her “Oh, that line is crap!”. Now you have not only made yourself look stupid, you have insulted your client. Instead, compliment her choice and offer something similar that you carry. If you are not familiar with the line she uses, keep your mouth shut and after she leaves hop on Google and educate yourself.

If you decide to sell retail (which you should), sell the client the proper product, not the one with the highest commission or profit margin. Greedy will get you nowhere FAST. Think about it, would you like to be sold something that isn’t what you need just so the salesman gets a spiff? (Spiffs are when product has a higher commission put on it because the product needs to be sold).

All the manufacturer’s from A-G to Sebastian offer free product knowledge training for all salon employee’s. They offer awesome promo’s for your stylists and your customers. I have had many of the companies give me free product for a gift basket that my shop either puts in a monthly draw or offers as a donation for local charities.

In recent years the shampoos, conditioners and styling products at the drug stores and department stores have increased their prices and quite honestly, when they are not on sale, they are only $1.00 – $3.00 less than professional salon products. I believe our clients and customers deserve to have a good hair day everyday.

What about you?

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

The Replacements

***Original post from September 2012 – Updated for your viewing and hair pleasure August 2016!


We have all been there. We have all been her. We have all been the consumer who waltzes into the Salon and heads over to our favorite shelf that holds our most precious product only to drop slowly to our knees while we wail “…They…discontinued…my…hairspray!!!”. For a moment, the Salon falls silent, not in shock but in respect of the loss.

Unfortunately most companies decide to revamp their lines and their products and don’t let the Salon owners, stylists or the public at large know that they are doing so and leave us all hanging, wondering “Does it still exist? Is it in a different bottle? Does it have another name?”.  KMS California is not such a company. In the last year they revamped their line and discontinued some products – put down the torches and pitchforks people, take a breath. KMS California thought of those of us who do not wear waterproof mascara and gave a detailed description of what products are no longer with us and which products would be a suitable replacement. So, since I have it, I thought you would like it too and being me, I have compiled a list for you.

That Girl in the Red Coat KMS


– If you were using Hairstay Sculpting lotion – try Curl Up perfecting lotion

– If you were using Hairstay Quick finishspray – try Hair Stay medium hold or Hair Stay maximum hold spray

– If you were using Hairplay Soft wax or Hairplay Hard wax – try Hair Play Design wax

– If you were using Hairplay Texture blast – try Add Volume Root and body lift

– If you were using Silksheen Shaping creme – try Tame Frizz smoothing lotion or taming creme

– If you were using SilkSheen Silk treatment – try Moist Repair Therapy treatment

– If you were using Silksheen Therapy plus – try Tame Frizz de-frizz oil

– If you were using Silksheen Gloss Spray – try Hairstay Anti-Humidity seal **AWESOME

– If you were using AddVolume Gel conditioner – try Add Volume Body build detangler

– If you were using AddVolume Blow dry lotion – try Add Volume volumizing spray or Hair Play messing creme

The complete FlatOut line was discontinued and replaced with the FreeShape line – it does everything the FlatOut line did and more! Here are the big movers from FreeShape at our shop.

FlatOutHot pressed spray – now FreeShape Hot flex spray

FlatOut Anti-Humidity seal – now FreeShape Anti-Humidity seal

FlatOut Straightening creme – now FreeShape Hot flex creme

Some products have not changed….the bottle is just another color and their name has changed…

So there you are. You can wipe away the tears. You can calm down. KMS California has thought of you, the Salon owner, the stylist, the consumer.


Beauty, communication, Fashion, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Purge the Vanity

So, there I was, going through my closet seeing what still fits, what I still like and what I am ready to part with. Fall is upon us and as with any season change I find myself scouring the bible for fashion ideas…the bible being the September issue of Vogue. I don’t know if turning forty has anything to do with this but I have no need to hold onto anything that does not bring me happiness. Maybe it was my husband and my father having a heart attack 8 days apart last October. Maybe it’s both. Anyways, I found myself looking at sweaters that I have had for over 4 years and wondering “what the hell was I thinking?” and then realizing it wasn’t me thinking, it was whomever I was shopping with that particular day and listening to what they thought was right for me instead of what I thought was right for me. Which got me to thinking about my vanity and all the products that I bought because of the same reason I own a sweater that makes by breasts look so big that Dolly Parton would blush. (trust me…it’s not pretty…even my husband looked on in horror and my daughter ran out of the room screaming).

I know you have all read about or heard of cleaning out your closet. I think it is time for a new tradition…clean out your vanity and rid yourself of any product that doesn’t bring you happiness. You know the products I am talking about…

– that facial cream that your mother gave you – the one that every time you unscrew the lid you hear your mother saying “hopefully this will make you look less tired.”

– that organic deodorant that promised all day odorless freshness and you ended up smelling like the onion ring guy at the county fair.

– that eye cream that promised to eliminate the dark circles under your eyes and it did…and it also puffed them up so much you looked like you went a few rounds with Apollo Creed.

– that waterproof mascara that took 20 make up remover wipes, 30 baby wipes, baby oil, soap and 25 minutes each eye to remove.

– those “all day freshness” panty liners  – the only thing they kept fresh was your anger each time they stuck to your pants or your butt…yeah, I said it. We all know it happens.

– the lipstick that your best friend told you to buy so you would look “hot” for the guy you wanted to impress at the party…the same guy she took home.

– the mousse that your so called “friend” told you would be good to use so your hair would be so big that no one would notice your butt. (personal experience with that one…I heard she now lives in a trailer with 10 kids…that’s what I heard).

– the baby blue eye shadow. Enough said.

– the banana clip from 9th. grade. I know it’s painful…it is time to let it go.

What I am getting at is this…be happy. Set up your life so you can smile, not wince. When putting on face cream you should hear nothing but your own inner voice saying how beautiful you are. When putting on lipstick the only thought going through your head is “I like this color”. Take a look at what is residing in your vanity cupboards and drawers. When you hold the product in your hand – if it makes you anything but happy – throw it away, or give it to a friend who may want it.

Make it a point of your bedtime ritual to put the negative to rest as well.

Beauty, Business, communication, entertainment, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Tales of Truth…Part 6

Ladies and gents, it’s that time again…tales of truth. To be clear, yes all the following events have happened to me personally, and no I don’t make these things up…sometimes, more than you know, I wish I did. I checked the calender and the full moon will not be upon us until the 29th. this month so I can only imagine what may be in store in the coming weeks. (By the way…most of the following events happened in one day. Yep. One day…yesterday. It was raining all day so if this is what rainy day people are like guess who will never live in Seattle.)

– Arrived at work by 8:45 a.m.. First phone call of the morning – A customer had shopped at the pet store next to our shop on the weekend  and bought a light bulb there. Then she came into our shop  and my ptg (part time girl) offered to put the light bulb in her bag. I guess once she get home the light bulb was missing. She called to ask if we had it. I told her we did not. I checked our lost and found and it was not there. She proceeded to tell me “well, it’s not in my car. It’s not in my bag. It’s not anywhere to be found.”. I told her that I didn’t have it either. She had a hard time accepting this…again with the Dr. Suess rendition of where is my light bulb. To be clear…we offer many services at our shop/salon…holding light bulbs hostage is not one of them.

– I live in Canada and the Ontario government makes me charge HST on products. I had a customer yell at me about the HST. Not about the government making me charge the tax, that I personally charge the tax and that I am not being fair to the consumer. Did I mention that is now only 9:45 a.m.?

– A woman got quite angry with me, her hands were shaking like she had just found her savior, because Goldwell had changed their packaging and reformulated the mousse she liked. It is now 10:15 a.m..

– At my shop, some of my distributor’s are kind enough to offer us a discount, and we like to pass the savings along to our clients/customers, so our prices tend to be about 10 -15 % lower than at other Salons. I had a woman get mad at me because our prices were lower than at her Salon and I couldn’t tell her why they don’t offer a discount. Time – 11:30 a.m..

– A woman wanted a new hairspray and I asked her what kind of hold does she like, to which she responded “What does that have to do with anything? I am looking for hairspray!”. Give it a minute….there you go. (She was thinking I meant another kind of holding I guess…that stuff is sold across the street).

So, to be clear…I will not hold a light bulb hostage, I did not make the decision to charge HST tax, I didn’t tell Goldwell to change their products or packaging, I do not know why other Salons do not help their clients/customers save money and  the only hold I am interested in is the hold of hairspray.

Beauty, Business, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Bringing Joico to the masses

Joico. A name I am sure you have heard before. If you are a child of the 80’s you definitely know Joico’s product  Ice Mist…the reason for all the mile high bangs in every school year book from ’85 – ’89. Fast forward twenty years and Joico is still going strong and JoiFix Firm (Ice Mist’s new name for the new century) is still holding up hair everywhere.

Joico is an awesome product line, plain and simple. It offers something for everyone and for every hair type. You have thick/coarse hair? Joico Silk Result for thick hair is your answer. Is your hair limp and lifeless? Joico BodyLuxe is your new best friend. Dry/damaged hair? Meet Joico KPAK. You are a vegan and only use vegan products? Joico Structure is right up your alley. Joico color codes their lines so it is easy to find your favorite…great for those who tend to be a tad OCD.

I could go on and on raving about Joico and all it’s products. Instead, I have compiled a list of the Joico favorites that fly off my shelves. I must admit, some of them are my favorites as well. What can I say? I was a child of the 80’s.

Joico JoiWhip mousse – an alcohol free mousse that offers awesome volume and great hold. A little goes a long way. Dispense an amount about the size of a small kitchen egg – seriously that’s all you need…a personal favorite of mine for over twenty years. Yes, I said twenty.

Joico KPAK – the entire KPAK collection is terrific and is formulated to strengthen the weakest of strands. Imagine your hair as a puzzle with pieces missing. The KPAK products are those missing pieces. It actually helps to rebuild your hair…and it smells terrific. (gold bottles)

Joico KPAK Revitaluxe – I cannot stress this enough…MIRACULOUS!!!! The newest addition to the KPAK family. This conditioning treatment restores the hair’s porosity, adds moisture, strengthens in between each use and makes your hair feel like it did in your youth. Every customer/client I have given a sample to comes back to buy it. It is that good.

Joico BodyLuxe – a line for fine hair to add volume. I have had women come back and hug me after buying this shampoo. Enough said. (green bottles)

Joico Moisture Recovery – a line for dry hair and is light enough for fine hair and strong enough for thicker hair. (blue bottles)

Joico Daily Care Treatment Shampoo – this baby helps maintain a healthy scalp. Quite nice if you tend to be oily and some clients have found it helped with dandruff. (grey bottles)

Joico Silk Result Iron Smoother – Joico’s answer to a flat iron spray. Lightweight and not at all sticky. Adds shine and protects your hair from the heat of the flat iron. (copper bottles)

Joico Joimist Medium Hairspray – a workable hairspray that doesn’t get sticky and won’t weigh down your hair and is Humidity Resistant!

Joico ICE Spiker – a styling glue – awesome for faux hawks and mohawks. Pair this with JoiFix Firm and your hair will withstand a hurricane.

I could go on and on, however I am a mother and a wife and Glee starts tonight. One more thing I will add is this little known fact about Joico…Joico is committed to the environment. Check out their website and you will see the Wind Project, the Carbon Offset Program and their Eco Packaging Plan. An awesome company with awesome products, plain and simple.




Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Forget me not

I hear the familiar chirp of the shop’s door chime and before I can greet my customer all I hear is “I need shampoo for gray hair and Vitae Hairspray.”. So, I take a breath and ask if there is a particular purple shampoo she prefers to which she snaps “I need a shampoo for gray hair! Didn’t you hear me?”. So I apologize and explain that purple shampoo is for gray hair to eliminate the brassy build up. That is when her lip started to quiver. I asked her if she was alright and if I could get her something to which she responded “I am sorry for snapping. I just put my mom in a rest home. She has Alzheimer’s.”. Before I knew it I was holding her hand. You see, I have personal experience with this horrible diagnosis. I have lost two grandfathers to this ailment and it is heartbreaking to watch. Heartbreaking.

She explained to me that she wanted the products her mom liked because her mom always liked having her hair just so and her makeup done everyday.  Her mother thought she was her hairdresser, she forgets she is her daughter. (this is how I know there is a higher power because I didn’t break down, I was able to keep it together for this woman.). You see, when one suffers from Alzheimer’s they regress to their youth, sometimes even a child like state, as it was with my grandfathers. This woman’s mother thought she was in her 20’s and kept wondering why someone put a wig on her.

The reason for today’s blog is this…be kind. Be kind to everyone. We never know what is happening to one another. If I had taken this woman’s attitude personally I never would have heard her story and given her a hand to hold. We never know when we may be able to offer someone comfort and shelter from what is waiting for them in their daily life.

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Forgive me Gloria…

To be clear, I am all for “girl power” and am a firm believer in equality. I am grateful to all the women who burned their bras and for their swollen feet and blisters for the marches they marched in so I can vote and have a library card without my daddy’s signature on it. (yes, up until the 1950’s in Canada a woman could not have a library card unless it had a man’s signature on it…my mother remembers my great grandmother taking her to the library the day women were allowed to have their own library card).This being said, as of late I am not seeing much equality out there. The lack of equality is not for the ladies…but for the gents. That’s right. I said it, for the gents.

Every time, I mean every time a gent comes in for product, the second he leaves some woman makes a snide remark, or pokes fun at him. “Isn’t that cute? He wants to do his hair.”. “Hmmppt…who is he trying to impress?”. “He must be gay.”. Yes, although it is 2012, people still have their head so far up their ass they cannot see daylight.

At least a couple of times a week gentlemen come into the shop for hair product. Sometimes they know exactly what they want…so many gents out there love KMS HairPlay Molding Paste and American Crew Fibre. Sometimes they come in looking for advice. Yes ladies, believe it or not, the gents like to look good too…and not just for us ladies…for themselves as well. Sometimes my male clients are feeling a little insecure because they are going through a divorce and haven’t changed their style in 10 years and just don’t know what to do. Some men come in because some jerk at the office made fun of their gray hair and now they think they have to dye it. On one occasion, a young man had just come out of closet and was celebrating his new cut and wanted the right product for his new style.

As women, we want equality. We want to be treated the same as men. So, if this is the case why is it that we as women can have anxiety but men cannot? Why is it that we as women can show fear but men cannot? Why is it as women we can take time and effort in our appearance for our own pleasure but when a man brushes his hair and teeth it is assumed he is “after something?”.

What astonishes me about this back woods mentality is this…if a man said a woman must be a slut if she does her hair and makeup…well, no one would stand for that. So why is it acceptable for a woman to call a man “vain and a womanizer” because he likes his hair to look good? Equality goes both ways ladies.

Want to be seen as an equal? Treat people as you want to be treated. You want respect? You gotta give it.