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What is looking for you?

As per usual, I sat down to to tell you all a tale of the newest addition to the Joico family of products, alas, it will have to be a tale for another time. It is Sunday morning in my corner of the world, the sun is shining, tulips from my garden are blooming on my kitchen table, a cool morning breeze is making the steam from my coffee glisten in the morning light and I am happy. I am…two words that I had, in all honesty, never appreciated their importance, until about a month ago.

I was surfing You Tube, after watching all the episodes (for the tenth time) of Comedians in cars getting coffee with Jerry Seinfeld, I started searching all the Oprah’s Master Class episodes and came across her Life Class with Joel Osteen. (Yes, I know it is Sunday, and no I am not gonna ask you if you have found Jesus…first – that is none of my business, and second…I didn’t know he was lost.). Back to the tale at hand. “Whatever follows “I am” will come looking for you”. Can you say “LIGHT BULB!”. (I would say AHA! …but Oprah kinda owns that one.). Something else Joel said was “If you want to know what your life will look like in 5 years…listen to how you are speaking today.”. Yikes…in a good way. In my minds eye I flashed back to 2008, to myself, sitting on my bathroom floor, giving over to whatever forces may be…god, the universe, the smurfs…to help me let go of my fears and my insecurities and get me back to me. Back to present day, I am back in the business I love, I actually believe I am pretty, I no longer feel fat nor base my identity on my looks, I am stronger in all senses of the word, I am a writer, I took the leap and started my blog, I met Tabatha Coffey. I am pretty awesome, if I do say so myself…and I often do.

At the shop and in the Salon, I hear so many women, and men say “I am old”, “I am ugly”, “I am useless” and many other sad, lonely phrases. I never quite paid attention until I heard Joel’s take on the matter. As you know, my tales are about educating and enlightening us all about the world of beauty. My tales may not always be about how to apply Root Boost (before blow drying, separate your hair at the roots, spray the root boost directly at scalp, rub into roots, then blow dry…couldn’t help myself). Some of my tales will be to help you find the beauty within yourself, your family, the world. Beauty is out there, it is right beside you, it is in you, if you choose to see it, hear it, speak it.

Remember …whatever follows “I am” is gonna come looking for you…so the question is this…what is looking for you?

0

How do you look?

So it has been over a week since my last tale. I could come up with every excuse in the book, the truth is I didn’t make myself a priority. As you know, I am a wife to a wonderful man and a mother to a glorious 16 year old young woman. Calm down ladies…I know I am not the only “career” mother out there…this is not a competition nor an episode of “The real housewives”…it is just a tale for today. Now, back to the tale at hand. As you also know I am the manager of a salon/retail shop. Everyday I make sure my hair is coiffed just so and my makeup applied and my pants pressed, and I look good. Yeah, I said it. What I came to realize this past week is I may have looked good on the outside…but my inside left a little to be desired.Not to sound all “Oprah”, I had given away my power. As last week progressed I could see that I wasn’t the only one.

I had a few customers that were, let say, interesting. One woman was being quite abrupt with her answers to my questions about what kind of hold she wanted from her hairspray. So, being me, I asked her if there was something I had done to upset her. She stared in silence. After about 10 seconds she said “I am sorry, I just got this new cut that I didn’t want. My stylist said I was to old for a bob and that I needed a short style.”. (I get severely pissed when I hear this, and I hear this often. Yo Stylists! Who are you to tell people that they are too old for a cut? Seriously…get a grip and become a professional). So, I assured her the cut was cute (which it was) and sold her some KMS Hair Play Molding Paste for some funky styling and she likes her hair to look shiny so we added some SOMA Prism shine spray to the mix…and I also gave her our Salon price list.

I had a customer this week that introduced herself as “stupid and useless”. I shit you not, that is what she answered when I asked “How ya doin’ today”. You see, she was trying to grow out her hair for her daughter’s wedding in the fall and gave up because she listened to the wrong people – the people who told her that a flat iron was “too complicated” for her. (Who the hell are these people?!?). I took her over to our flat iron demo display and told her to pick one up as I picked one up. We both were in the mirror’s reflection, so I told her to copy what I was doing. After about 30 seconds a smile crept across her face and she said “I can grow out my hair!”. I looked her straight in the eye and told her to stop listening to the “Can’t” people in her life and listen for the “Can” people…they are out there. They are a little harder to hear over the annoying antics of the “can’t” court jesters.

A woman has lost some weight. She has lost 22 pounds over the course of 8 months. She began to exercise. She began to eat a healthy diet in support of her husband’s health issues. She didn’t lose the weight to “show off” or “rekindle her twenties” or “to keep her marriage alive” or because she was having a “cougar crisis”. The weight loss was a positive perk of embracing a healthier lifestyle, for her family and herself. That woman is me, and yes, the above comments have been directed at me. 10 years ago, I would have listened to the nasty comments and gone and ate a cake…or two. Guess what buttercup…not anymore. I have come to realize that those who are negative, nasty or assholes – take your pick, are empty inside…plain and simple. They are so miserable that they have to pull you down to their level so no one will see how crappy their lives are. Funny thing is, they cannot even fathom the idea that no one really gives a shit, except them and others like them.

I know I say it all the time, but I was raised on Little House on the Prairie and Happy Days so get used to it. BE KIND. Raise others up, do not push them down. Your BFF gets a new cut and loves it? Love it with her. A friend is struggling with her hatred of her thighs? Go to the gym with her – don’t agree and tell her she “really needs to work on that”. A friend loses weight? Applaud her efforts and ask her how she did it. Do not  mock her and ask her “cutting out the calories trying to be a cougar?”.

“If you don’t look good, we don’t look good”. – Mr. Vidal Sassoon

2

Tip(s) ‘O the day

I manage a Salon/Retail shop. I have had over 20 years of experience working with the public. Everyday, I mean EVERYDAY I see things that either make me do a double take or make me look for the nearest needle so I can stick it in my eyes. Don’t even get me started on what I smell …yeah I said smell. Or what I hear for that matter…those of you familiar with my Tales of Truth series know what I am talking about.

From time to time on Twitter I will give a “tip ‘o the day”. Well, me being me, I have decided to make you all a little list. A “Tip ‘o the day” list. Think of it as a how to/ self help visual aid. Feel free to print it off and give it to your friends, coworkers, family members…the mailman.

– When coming for an appointment at the Salon and you only want a spray cut, it is polite to have showered in the last 24 hours. *The same goes for your Brazilian wax appointment…wait for it…there you go.

– When you have ingrown hairs along your bikini line, you can just say so. Please refrain from unzipping your 501’s at the front desk.

– If you need to blow your nose, put the tissue in your pocket or your purse. Do not throw it on the front counter as you ask if I can “throw that out”.

– Do not clean out your wallet/purse of old receipts as you wait for the debit machine to process and tell me to “make myself useful and throw these out for me”.

– For the gents – when we can tell what religion you are – your pants are too tight.

– Pajama pants are for slumber parties and college co-eds and the occasional trip to Walmart. Going out for a night on the town? Leave the fleece ensemble at home.

– Do not open every shade of polish and try it on your nails to see if you like it. There are swatches for a reason.

– Unless you see the word “TESTER” on the package, it is not a tester. Do not open every pomade container and swoosh your finger around in it.

– When shopping with a small child, I know it can be trying. I am a mother. That being said…if Junior has been “freaking out in every store all day” take it as a sign to go home and try again another day. For the love of God…take the child home.

– Sales people are not babysitters, nor are hairdressers.

– The Dollar store sells deodorant, bars of soap and wash clothes and towels, toothpaste and toothbrushes…enough said.

– If you think you have a fungal infection on your feet, do not come in the shop and sit on the floor taking off your shoe. Give your M.D. a call or go to the Walk In down the street. Seriously, I can’t help you and honestly…it is icky.

– When you see a dish of complimentary candies, please help yourself to one or two. Digging through the dish to take 8 of your favorites is a little rude.

– If you are going to throw a fit and swear at the salesperson/cashier, could you at least try to be grammatically correct.

– Never, I mean never belittle your child in front of the stylist. “Can you fix this? Isn’t it disgusting?!” is a horrible description of your child who happens to have an oily scalp, and quite honestly, it makes you look like an asshole.

– Don’t lie about using a box dye. We know you did. Hell, the guys on the space station can tell.

– Louis Vuitton purses and Crocs are a no no.

– Last but certainly not least…Do not throw the flat iron.

7

Great hair isn’t only for carnivores

Lately, I have come to realize that the public at large has been misinformed and me being me, I feel I must correct the situation. As of late I have been hearing phrases along the lines of “Hair products are toxic to the environment.”, “All cosmetic companies test on animals”, “There are no real vegan hair care products.”. All the above phrases are not true. No offense to your bff but she doesn’t know what she is talking about, and unless you see a salon within 10 feet of where you are purchasing your product, the sales person who is selling you the product and answering your questions most probably doesn’t know what they are talking about either. Plain and simple.

I can only speak for the Professional Salon products because, they are what I sell and they are what I have had extensive product knowledge training on. (…see, more to me that a pretty face and a sassy sense of humor). Being me, and not to let any of you down, I have compiled a list of some awesome environmentally friendly/vegan/cruelty free Professional hair care alternatives. (* Cruelty free = no testing on bunnies, playboy and mammal.).

JOICO Structure – The newest collection from Joico. It is a cruelty free line and 3 of their products are certified Vegan – Cleanse (the shampoo), Condition (the conditioner) and Renovate (the conditioning treatment).

Bain de Terre Purite – the newest addition to the Bain de Terre family. It is a cruelty free line that is sulfate free, paraben free, free of colorants and formaldehyde and is Gluten free. The line offers a beautiful shampoo, conditioner and leave in spray.

SOMA – One of my favorites that I have blogged about on many occasions – check out Sulfates, Alcohols and Parabens…Oh my!  in the April 2012 archives. It does hold a soft spot in my heart for it was one of the first lines to be vegan and alcohol free and I was fortunate enough to be trained by the original chemists of the line. SOMA is organic, 100% vegan, 100% biodegradable, paraben and formaldehyde free, cruelty free and most of the line is alcohol free. The packaging is also 100% recyclable. The SOMA line has a product for any hair type or hair styling woe, from limp lifeless hair to unruly curls.

ALTERNA BAMBOO – A beautiful line brought to us by Alterna Hair Care. This line has everything from shampoo to shine spray, mousse to conditioning treatments for all hair types from frizzy to fine. It is Paraben free, Gluten free, contains no sodium chloride, phthalates or synthetic colors. It is a cruelty free line. By the way…their Kendi Oil can give Moroccanoil a run for their money…just sayin’. Oh yes, and Katie Holmes has now partnered with them, again…just sayin’.

So there you have it, a little more information than you had a few moments ago. You now know that is it possible to have great hair and love our Mother Earth. No longer will you have to hug a tree to prove you care for the environment…of course if you feel the need at least you will have great hair for your photo op.

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Leave the bunnies alone

Today’s tale is a tale I feel I must tell. I work in a Salon, I deal with more women than men on a daily basis and believe me, I hear and see it all. The saddest and most disheartening thing I get to witness is how women will bash other women, or worse, their own daughters. I hear women call other women “sluts” based on their hairstyle, or choice of wardrobe. 

I have confession to make. When I was young girl of the 1970’s I wanted to be a Playboy Bunny. Yes. It’s true. Whenever my parents weren’t looking I would sneak into my Dad’s closet and look at his stash of Playboy’s. …sorry Dad…the jig is up. I thought the women were so beautiful and I couldn’t wait until I looked like them….or if I was really lucky I would have a body like Marilyn Monroe (who as we all know was in Playboy.). I remember when I got my first full slip (I was 8 years old) and I stood in front of my bedroom mirror, brush in hand and sang “Happy Birthday Mr. President”. I couldn’t wait to have curves. I couldn’t wait to be a woman. 

Flash forward to 1987. I was now 15 years old and was getting the curves I so desired. I remember exclaiming in a 15 year old excited shrill to a friend “Look at my hips!”. My celebration was short lived. I was told they made me look fat and I also learned that girls that liked their curves and showed them off were “sluts like the girls in Playboy”. I remember this as clear as day because up until that moment it never occurred to me that the women I thought were so beautiful were anything other than that, beautiful. So, being 15, I traded in my tight jeans for loose cotton pants and regrettably jumped on the bunny banning band wagon.

Flash forward to 2012. On a quiet Saturday morning I am flipping through the movie channels and stumble upon a documentary. “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel”. I highly recommend that every woman watch this. It will shed an entire new light on the man behind Playboy. Sure, Hugh likes the ladies. He likes them so much that he supports women’s rights and a woman’s right to choose. He is a firm supporter of the first amendment – which any feminist out there should be thankful for…yeah, I said it. At the end of the documentary, I sat there for a minute, remembering my 8 year old self in her slip singing into the mirror. I remembered my 15 year old self loving her hips until someone told me not to. I thought of the wasted years (almost 20), listening to other’s opinions and going along with them out of fear of being ridiculed, judging myself because of someone else’s opinion of curves and sexuality. I had been blaming Playboy, the bunnies and Mr. Hefner for my insecurities about my curves and my sexuality and all the while they were the ones celebrating it.

Ladies, we are beautiful. We come in all shapes and sizes. We should celebrate each other, not bash each other. If you think a certain hairstyle is too provocative, then don’t get your hair styled that way – and do not bash the woman who does. Do not assume the woman who is rockin’ the skinny jeans and stiletto’s has had “work done and is showing off.”…deep down, we all know there is a tad of jealousy there. Yeah, I said it. Instead of bashing her and her great ass, get on over to the gym and create your own great ass. Oh, and ladies, say what you want about the bunnies…you know that if you looked like them you would wear that costume to the grocery store…I know I would.

 

 

 

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Tales of Truth – Part 8

Gather ’round ladies and gents, girls and boys, it is time for that girl in the red coat’s Tales of Truth. Just when I think I have seen and heard it all, I hear the chirp of the shop’s door chime and VOILA!, more tales to be told. As I have stated before, all these tales are true, they are based on actual events. The tales are not those of fiction, unfortunate, yet true.

(before I begin our first tale – let me give you a little background tale) In Canada, we are slowly getting rid of our beloved penny…not the Penny from The Big Bang Theory…the currency. We can still accept pennies as payment, we are no longer giving them back with change. Now on with the tale. As I was finishing ringing through a customer’s purchase of RUSK Wless hairspray, I told her the total was $19.85. She looked into her wallet then looked up at me with the most terrified look in her eyes. I asked her “Is everything alright?”, to which she responded with “No!”. I asked her what was the matter to which she responded “I don’t have a nickel. I only have 5 pennies!”. So, I said “Okay, that is fine.” to which she said “Are you sure you won’t get in trouble for taking pennies now that they are abolished?”. I took a breath, told myself not to show it on my face, and explained to her the new “rules” about pennies to which she sighed “thank you for telling me, I was so scared every time I opened my wallet!”. …thank god she never worked the underground railroad.

 

I hear the familiar chirp of the door chime and look up to see a woman, staring at me. “Hello! Do you need my help with something today?” I ask. “I have a question for you about hairspray.” she says, then stares at me again. Dear lord…here we go. “What is your question?” I ask. She shuffles closer to me, bows her head and in a whisper asks “Is it safe to use hairspray?”. So, I did what anyone would do in this scene, I whispered back “why wouldn’t it be safe?”. (during all of this, all I could picture was the Eiffel tower in the background, a couple of cigarettes and a black briefcase containing “zee meecrofilm”.). It seems her sister in law told her that all hairsprays will change your hair color and that is why her hair was looking “brassy”. I told her that it was safe to use hairspray, that it will not change her hair color and that her sister in law needs a new hobby other than surfing the net. She bought two cans of Sebastian Shaper Plus.

 

It was about 10 minutes to closing. It seems the most interesting events happen to me within the first 20 minutes of my day or the last 10 minutes of my day at the shop, and most of the time without a witness. (I really gotta get a camera). Back to the tale at hand. A woman comes up to the counter asking for an appointment for a hair cut. I explain the Salon was closed but would be open again the next day and there was an opening for a cut if she wanted to take that appointment and come back the next day. She said she had to think about it and left. Within seconds she was back, I assumed to take the appointment. NOPE! “Have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart?” is what she came back for. Before I could say a thing… “If you haven’t…do you want to be saved?!?….Oh, I wanted to be saved alright.

“Is this hair color temporary?” (there is a lime green sign that says “temporary color”). “Yes, it is. It will wash out within two washes, with shampoo”, I answer, with a smile, to which she answered “Pfft…two washes…that ain’t temporary. I know temporary and that ain’t it.”. …yep…this is my life.