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Product 101 – Mousse hunting

As promised, my tales are aimed to educate and enlighten. Today’s tale is the first chapter in a new series, Product 101. Each chapter will focus on a specific product and it’s hold factor, shine factor and an explanation of how to use the product for the best styling results. Everyday I meet a customer, lady or gent, who tells me “There are so many products. I have a counter filled with products that didn’t work. How am I supposed to know what I need?”. It’s at this moment I tell them they have come to the right place…and now I am telling you the same thing.

Everyday, I mean it, everyday, I meet a woman who believes she is destined for flat lifeless cuts and styles because she has fine hair. I am told that her hair is “too fine” and that all products “weigh it down” or “make it greasy” or “the volume never lasts”. It’s usually at this moment they say “You are so lucky to have thick hair that holds your style.”. When I inform them that I have baby fine hair, just lots of it, they always say “NO WAY!”. Yes way. When they ask what I use, for some reason when I mention I begin with mousse, most women interrupt me, telling me that mousses don’t work because of the reasons mentioned above. It’s usually at this moment I ask them “when you bake a cake, if you miss one ingredient, what happens to that cake?”. They all have the same answer – the cake won’t turn out. Same goes for your hair and styling your hair.

I am a firm  believer in giving your hair style a good base and I prefer to use mousse for it gives all over hold and fullness. I have used mousse when I had a pixie cut, a perm and with my current style. There are many mousses to choose from and I know it can be overwhelming. Mousses are created for all hair types, colored, permed, thick or fine. Some offer humidity resistance, some offer shine, some help with static. There are three things to know about mousse;

1 – there are mousses that offer volume with a soft to medium hold

2 – there are mousses that offer volume with a firm hold.

3 – mousse should be applied to damp/towel dried hair

That’s really about it. It comes down to the hold factor you are looking for, price point and scent. Being me I have compiled a little list for you of some of the mousses I have used personally and are favorites of my customers and the clientele of our Salon;

20150428_123218-1  These gems will create volume with a soft to medium hold factor.

Nioxin Bodifying Foam – A lightweight mousse with a medium hold factor created to give your hair a thicker, fuller look and feel. Good for all hair types.

Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse – A medium hold mousse that creates a fuller look. Created for fine to medium hair types. I found that it gave my hair fullness, but not as much volume (height) as I like.

KMS ADD VOLUME Styling Foam – A medium hold mousse that has a medium shine factor. Formulated for fine hair – a nice mousse for all hair types.

Paul Mitchell Extra Body Sculpting Foam – A long lasting, flexible hold factor that offers brilliant shine. A lovely mousse if you have curly hair – don’t let the “extra volume” scare you off. Many of my girls with curls like the shine and the soft control this mousse offers. Good for all hair types.

Matrix Biolage Whipped Volume – A medium hold mousse that delivers natural shine and softness. Can be used on all hair types.

 

20150428_122946-1 If you desire a firm hold and mega volume and control, the following gems are right up your alley! *if your hair feels sticky – you have used too much. I recommend dispensing an amount of mousse that resembles an egg, emulsify the mousse in your hands (rub hands together), then distribute it evenly throughout your hair and blow dry.

ISO Daily Foam – Offers a firm hold, weightless volume and control . This mousse is a great tool for setting and sculpting styles from roller sets to faux hawks.

Joico JoiWhip – An alcohol free formula that offers a strong hold factor with long lasting volume and body. A lovely mousse for curly hair. *gotta admit – my favorite. I have tried all mousses and for 25 years, I always go back to Joico.

Goldwell Top Whip – An ultra strong hold factor that delivers long lasting volume with an extra boost of heat and color protection.

RUSK Mousse – A little can that offers BIG volume and maximum hold. Great for all hair types.

Schwarzkopf OSIS Grip – An extreme hold mousse that offers a lasting hold, natural shine and an anti-static effect. It also helps prevent heat damage. A great mousse for shorter styles that desire hold without the fuss.

Sebastian Mousse Forte – A strong hold factor that offers volume and heat protection. This mousse is great for defining waves and curls and offers all day frizz control.

To recap – there are mousses that offer volume with a soft to medium hold – perfect for a more soft, natural look, feel and hold. There are mousses that offer volume with a firm hold – perfect for the more demanding sculpted and textured styles, or for those who want all day volume and hold that we don’t have to check on throughout the day. …or if you are like yours truly, forever in love with big hair, everything eighties and vertically challenged…wait for it…there you go.

 

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Past meets Present

Today’s tale is a personal one. A glimpse into the life of That girl in the red coat. The past and present collided this weekend, and it was beautiful. Today’s tale is also for all the Mother’s out there embarking on graduation and prom season – remember to let it be about your daughter.

My beautiful girl is about to graduate high school, so this past weekend, my girl, her bestie, her beloved Amma and I all ventured out to find the perfect dress. There is a divine little shop in Waterloo Ontario that I wanted to check first. I have to admit, it is a shop that I hold dear for it was the shop that made my wedding gown and dressed my wedding party, my mother and my mother in law, or Amma as you now know. I was their first bride, 21 years ago. The shop is Kindred Spirit.

As we opened the door of the shop, memories flooded back of the first time I crossed the threshold. As we all made our way in all I heard was “Sara!”. After 21 years, they remembered me. It was like running into long lost friends and it was fabulous. I have cherished my moments at the shop for the girls made me feel like I was the only woman in their shop. I was so happy to see the same owners, Debbie and Tina, for I knew they would do the same for my daughter. I introduced my daughter and let them know we were looking for her prom dress. Their service was as impeccable as it was 21 years ago. They made sure it was all about my daughter, as it should be, for it is her prom and her dress. The ladies were kind, conscientious and present. As I watched the ladies help zip up my daughter’s dress and clasp the hooks, all of a sudden, my daughter was a woman. The little cherub who would sing a song to a dandelion had become a beautiful, poised young woman. It is prom season, so the shop was filled with Mothers and daughters, their friends and their loved ones. I could not have asked for a better day for my girl. Every time she would come out with a dress she would hear the women telling her how beautiful she looked, how fabulous her figure was, how beautiful she was. Her Amma had women complimenting her on her granddaughter’s beauty and poise – for any grandmother, especially a European grandmother -this is a big deal. My girl had her bestie there for support and honest opinions – for we all know that only the bestie’s word is true – even if it is the exact same thing the Mother says.

We found “the dress”. My girl is a true beauty and in this dress, in a word, stunning. Simply stunning. As she looked at herself in the mirror, I was watching her and was seeing her future, filled with accolades and awards. I knew that this was the first of many evening gowns she would own, and told her so. Debbie heard me say this, so I took it upon myself to have a proud Momma moment and explained my daughter’s latest achievement, that four days before her 18th. birthday, my girl became a published author. Yep! Published at 17! Her short story is one of ten short stories available for Kindle or in paperback. Being me – here is the link;

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1508859280/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1508859280&linkCode=as2&tag=onlbooclu01-20&linkId=HAVXDD5IZ5BAWNZ3

As we walked up to the counter, dress in hand, I realized how blessed I was to watch memories being made. My daughter’s eyes twinkling when we found “the dress”, my mother in law (Amma) watching strangers compliment my daughter and in turn her, my girl’s bestie being kind and courteous to my girl’s Amma, seeing the tears of pride in Amma’s eyes and the tears of happiness in my daughter’s as they hugged each other after the surprise gift that Amma would buy her dress.

As my grandmother told me, a woman I miss dearly everyday, “In this life, the days are long and the years are short.”.  In the blink of an eye I went from the bride to be to the Mother of an 18 year old graduate. I went from clasping my daughter’s onesie to clasping her evening gown. I was just watching her take her first steps and now I am watching her take her first steps towards her destiny.  Take the time to be present in every moment. Let the moments of others be about them, you will have your own moments to make about yourself, of that I am certain. Every occasion does not need to be a spectacular event – some of the best memories have been made over coffee or standing at the counter of a dress shop.

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Product placement

Every day I meet a woman who hates her hair. Everyday. The feel of it, the look of it, the texture of it, the length of it, you name it, there is something about their hair they just do not like. The commonality all these women have – they loved their hair when they were in their stylist’s chair. As every woman knows and few will admit – when you are having a good hair day, you love  your reflection and you feel like anything is possible. These women loved their hair the rest of the day. They received compliments in the express check out at the grocery store and from the clerk at the drive thru window. They received compliments from their loved ones at the dinner table and couldn’t help but to try to catch their reflection where ever possible. They woke up the next day, excited to do their hair and take on the day…and that is when it all fell apart. The compliments from the previous day became a distant memory and their belief that anything was possible all but vanished because after 30 minutes, they couldn’t style their new ‘do and they began to feel like a failure, they began to feel stupid that they couldn’t even accomplish the most simple of tasks, like styling their hair. All because they never received a proper product consultation from their stylist. That’s right, I said it. As a stylist, when you teach your client about what products to use and how to use them, 90% of your clients will be able to achieve the same style at home and will continue to have the same confidence in themselves that they had in your chair.

Everyday, and I mean everyday, you will find me teaching a woman how to use the product she already has. As you know, I manage a retail shop/Salon. I carry over 25 professional hair care lines and I love to sell. That being said, when a customer, lady or gent, comes into the shop with a concern over their hair, I always ask what they are using and how they are using it. Many times they are using the proper product, just using too much or too little of it. Sometimes the product they are using is not the proper product for the style they are trying to achieve. When I explain this to them, the first thing they always say is “why didn’t my stylist tell me?” – a question I often ask myself.

For all the stylists, Salon managers and Salon owners, our beloved industry is based on service, customer and client service. Educating our customers and clientele about their hair – not only cutting, coloring and styling. A key component to the consultation is being overlooked, the product and styling consultation and the retail sale. For those familiar with my Salon tales, you know I am a firm believer that retailing in the Salon is a must. It adds to the Salon revenue, it adds to the credibility of your stylists and it helps your clientele keep the look, feel and style of their hair after they leave the Salon. When they love their hair, they love you. When they hate their hair, well…you may be off their Christmas card list.

I have heard from many stylists that they don’t have time to retail products. I am here to tell you that you do. You have your client in your chair for a minimum of 45 minutes. You are chatting with them the whole time they are in your chair. You are reaching in front of them or around them for the products you are using in their hair. Many times they actually say “Wow! That smells great! What is that?” – if that isn’t an introduction to sell them the product they need for their new style, I don’t know what is. If you can talk about the Real Housewives and their escapades, you can take a moment to chat about their hair and how to take care of it. Being me, here is a little list to follow;

– while their color is processing, explain to them why using your Salon professional shampoo and conditioner are vital to keeping their color vibrant and their hair manageable.

– when your client is going for a fun and funky look with vibrant colors like red or blue, explain the importance of using the proper products to keep the colors vibrant for as long as possible. Explain to them how to wash their hair so the colors will not bleed together.

– while you flat iron their hair, use a flat iron spray and explain that it helps to protect their hair from the contact heat of the flat iron. Explain why you are using it and how much use.

– when curling your client’s hair, explain to them the difference between your Salon professional curling iron and the curling iron’s you can find at the department stores. Let your client know that the heat and quality of your Salon professional curling iron is the reason why their curl lasts.

– explain what the product is that you are using and how to use it. For example, if you are using a root boost, explain to your client it is to be applied at the root on damp hair before you blow dry.

– be sure to let your clients know that all your products are unisex – that anyone, man, woman or child can use them. I have met many men who loved a certain product but thought they couldn’t use it because their wife used it, and vice versa.

– when applying a conditioning treatment, explain the importance of it and the importance of using one at home on a weekly basis – especially for your high lift blondes.

– for your girls with curls – explain how they can embrace their curls with the proper products – that humidity resistant products will combat their frizz, there are gels and creams for curl definition and retention. That there are lines out there specifically designed for curly hair.

Take the time that you already have to educate your clients about their hair, plain and simple.

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Tales of Truth – 17th edition

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, gather ’round for the 17th edition of That Girl in the Red Coat’s tales of truth. I know that these tales are quite popular and are a fan favorite. I am beginning to wonder if you, my followers are sending people into my shop to see if their escapades and demands will make their way into my latest edition…sweet baby Jesus, I hope so.

A woman came into the shop asking if I sold hair clippers. I walked her over to our selection of clippers, explained their differences and their prices. Once I was finished she asked me “What kind of hair can I trim with these?”. I took a deep breath and asked “What hair do you want to trim?” as I silently told myself not to show it on my face as I wondered where I put the hand sanitizer. “Oh, the usual hair. My boyfriend’s hair, my hair, my pussycat’s hair. I like to give him a new spring hairdo every year.”. …thank god, she added cat to that sentence.

The phone rings and I answer with my standard greeting. “Yeah, Hi. Do you sell eyelashes?”. I let her know that we do retail false eyelashes and that the price ranges depending on if she wants acrylic or human hair eyelashes. “Oh my god! How do you get human eyelashes?!? Are they pulled out of people’s eyes and sold to the public?”. – I actually stood there, at the counter, took the phone away from my ear and stared at it.

We offer a great selection of flatirons. A woman came in because she needed to replace her flatiron. I showed her our selection and explained the differences in plate widths, which models had universal voltage and which were ceramic or titanium plates. She asked me “Why are there different widths to the plates?”. I let her know that it usually comes down to personal preference and that the 1 inch plate is the most popular because you can achieve a curl with it. “Why call it a flat iron if you can curl with it? It should be called a curling iron if you ask me!”.

A woman came in wanting to return her hairspray, slamming the bottle onto the counter, complaining that her hairspray wasn’t holding her style at all and that we had sold her crap. “Look at how wet and flat my hair is!”. Before I could look at the bottle she complained that her “leave in conditioner was a disappointment too!”. I took the bottle off the counter, turned it around to look at the label, gave it back to her and let her know that the bottle she wanted to return was her leave in conditioner and that she may have gotten the products mixed up. “Hmmpt….maybe that’s why my hair felt sticky when I was blowdrying.”.

A woman asked me what nail polish color was a good color. I let her know that the Spring collections were offering pastels and brights this year. So then she says “What color will I like?” I ask her “What is your favorite color?”. I guess that was the wrong question. “Look, I asked you what color would I like! Why won’t you tell me what color I would like?!?!”. I picked up the most popular pink shade and showed it to her, to which she told me “I don’t like pink.”.

The phone rings and before I can finish my greeting I hear “Yeah, I like colored my hair and it is kind of like red and gold, but more orange and kind of like yellow. Do you sell toner to fix it?”. I let her know that it would be best to go to a Salon and have them fix it for her, especially because I can’t see her hair to which she replied “I just told you the color it was.”.

With the temperatures rising and the days getting longer, those who have not ventured out in many months have decided to come out of their winter’s slumber and come into the shop with certain inquiries and questions. Once again, I cannot stress this enough…these are based on real events. I couldn’t make this shit up.

– Can nail polish remover be used on finger nails and toe nails?

– I used my foot cream on my hands. Do I need to see my doctor?

– Do I need to comb my husband’s back hair before I trim it?

– Can I use the glue from the dollar store on my false eyelashes?

– If my son uses my color shampoo will it color his hair?

– Will the scent of this hairspray bother my husband’s allergies?

– My car is in direct sunlight. Will my hairspray blow up while I am driving home?

– Do you color your hair so people won’t look at the scar on your neck? – this gem happened today

Last but never least, the piece de resistance…. A gentleman came into the shop inquiring about our hair removal products. He told me he had been going to someone for his “removal needs” but thought he could save some time and money having his own supplies at home. I showed him our selection of waxes and explained the difference between hard wax and cream waxes, which needed strips and which ones didn’t. “I have my girlfriend to help me with my back. I do have a question for you though. Is it possible for me to wax my own balls?”. Yep. His exact words. I looked him straight in the eye and told him that I wouldn’t suggest it, that it was possible and that there will be blood. “Maybe my girlfriend would do it for me” he said with  a wink and a smile and a nudge. I shit you not, a nudge. I just walked back  to the counter, rang through his purchase and wished him luck. …..a week later he came back to pick up a product his girlfriend had on hold. I knew who he was and what he had done. I rang through his purchase, wished him  a pleasant evening and that is when he quite proudly shared that “It worked and hardly any blood!”.

 

Dad's laugh

 

 

 

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Unplugged

Today’s tale is for all who feel overwhelmed, myself included. I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and of course, here. I realized a few months ago, when I heard myself starting each conversation with “Did you see that picture on Pinterest?”, “I saw the funniest thing on Facebook!” or checking my stats on my twitter followers and blog views that I was spending a little too much time on my social media sites….that and the kink in my neck from looking down at screens.

As you all know, my Salon tales have taken me on many an adventure. I am the first to admit that when building a brand and a name for yourself – social media is key, it is a must. It is because of social media that I am where I am today and that many opportunities are ahead of me on my path. Sharing my tales via twitter and Facebook has connected me professionally to many companies and writing opportunities and in turn employment. Sharing my photo’s via Instagram has connected me to many of the companies I use, sell and blog about and they are now following me …on my sites…not down the streets. My professional Facebook page – That girl in the red coat has allowed my blog to reach a new audience. It also allows me to keep my professional and personal life separate, as separate as social media allows that is. I have the administrative rights to the shop’s Facebook page and it has increased our customer base and introduced clientele to our Salon. Social media can be an awesome tool for business, for keeping up with the latest and greatest and for connecting with friends and loved ones. What I came to realize is that too many of us are letting social media control us, instead of us controlling it. Myself included.

Signs you may need to unplug;

– while paying for your hairspray, you shriek “SHIT! Some girl on Facebook says I should be using something else!” – true story, actual words said to yours truly 2 weeks ago.

– you decide the latest “pin” on hair & beauty is a better choice for your new ‘do, as the last foil is placed by your stylist.

– the latest party you attended was via Facebook or twitter.

– you find yourself comparing your hair style to the hairstyles on Pinterest and feeling like you are a failure. – yes, another true story. I have a customer who said she feels stupid because she couldn’t do a “top knot” like the picture on Pinterest. Once I let her know I get round brushes stuck in my hair, she felt better.

– you find yourself wondering why you lost a random follower on twitter…enough said.

– your child’s first sentence is “where did I put my phone?”

 

My solution? Unplug. Turn them off. All your notifications will be there when you plug back in. All your “likes” will still be liked. All your tweets will once again chirp. Photos will be stored and will reappear. Messages will be put on hold awaiting your arrival. The earth will not split open and swallow you whole, I promise. Now, before you run for the Xanax, take a breath. Now another. I know that the thought of unplugging is scary, and for many of us, not as easy as it sounds during the work week. I have my phone and my laptop by my side during my work day, to check our shop’s Facebook page, answering emails, checking facts and product pages for myself and my customers and clients, online banking, etc… . What I have begun to do is turn them off at least an hour before my workday and at the end of  my work day, depending on the day I have my phone off by 8 p.m.. – if there is an emergency, those important to me have my number. Lets be serious here…most of our notifications and messages are not life altering or emergencies. Watching the kitten chasing the string and Kim Kardashian becoming a blonde can wait.

Once a week, usually on a weekend, I unplug. I turn off my wifi, my data, my phone and my laptop. At first it was a little strange. I found myself feeling like I forgot something. I found myself reaching for my phone beside me. Kind of like when you cut your hair. You reach up to put it back in a ponytail but it isn’t there. Now I find it liberating. My time is once again my own and my life once again my own. It is about me and my family and who I choose to spend my time with. It isn’t about who liked what, or who favorited or retweeted who, or who pinned what. I can catch up on shows with my daughter, or take her out to lunch. I have coffee with dear friends and have actual face time with them – no screens or Skype needed. I make the dishes from the recipes on Pinterest instead of just pinning them. I try out the latest hair products instead of reading about how to use them. I take photo’s of my own instead of just liking someone else’s. I take a walk. I take a nap.

Sometimes unplugging is the only way to recharge.