Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women


Last week I had a woman come in looking for a silicone oil for her hair. I asked her why she was looking for a silicone oil for her hair and she told me “that’s what my stylist said to use to fix my extensions, to make the frizz go away and to help get the knots out.”. I asked her how long she had her extensions in for and she told me 1 week. (I swear, I would have guessed a month.). “Oh, I see” I said. “Yeah, I know they look horrible. My stylist told me I am not taking care of them properly. I guess I am just stupid or something.”. It was then that I asked her if her stylist had told her how to take care of her extensions to which she said “Yes. She told me to go to the drugstore and make sure the shampoo was moisturizing and then she said…” it was then that I stopped her. I actually put my hand up and said “Stop right there. Hold on one minute.”. I took a breath and said “this is not your fault. I am sorry that you spent so much money ($400.00 by the way) and were given the wrong instruction.”. I let her know that she should wrap her head each night, or at least put her hair in a low ponytail/braid before bed. That only professional Salon sulfate free shampoo should be used with extensions. That a flat iron spray should be used when using a flat iron – not a silicone oil like her stylist told her. The poor girl just looked at me. Her eyes began to well up, then stopped. Her look turned from despair to anger, and rightfully so. “My stylist didn’t tell me any of that. In fact, she made me feel like I was an idiot and disrespecting her when I told her I thought there was a problem with my extensions!”. We spent the next 20 minutes talking product and after I rang her through, she thanked me for my honesty. “You are the first person who told me the truth about my extensions”.

The point of today’s tale? Clients and customers come to our Salon’s because they trust us. They trust us with their family secrets, the latest neighbourhood gossip, their fears and their self doubt. Most importantly, they trust us with their hair. It is our responsibility as stylists, Salon managers and Salon owners to guard that trust and help our clients and customers to protect their investment in themselves. It is our responsibility to explain;

  • the importance of the proper shampoo, especially for color clients. Explaining that professional Salon shampoo will protect the their color whereas drugstore shampoo will effect the vibrancy of their color = color fade.


  • how to apply shampoo – to emulsify it in your hands, then apply mid shaft and work your way up.


  • that sulfate free shampoo’s do not make lots of bubbles or suds. To make more of a lather, add more water. Adding more shampoo just wastes the shampoo and leaves the hair greasy and lifeless.


  • the difference between leave in conditioners and conditioning treatments. Yes, sadly many woman I have helped were using a conditioning treatment and leaving it in, which in turn messed up their hair, on many levels. * I ALWAYS stress the importance of rinsing out vs. leaving in. Trust me, your client may look at you like you have three heads, but they will thank you for it later.


  • all mousses and root boosts are thermal activated. No blow drying? No volume. Plain and simple.


  • the importance of thermal protection. Every client that uses a flat iron MUST have a flat iron spray at home and it MUST be used each time a flat iron is used. *the hair spray today will be cooked into the hair tomorrow without the use of a thermal spray.


  • All oils and serums should be applied to damp hair BEFORE blow drying or to dry hair AFTER using a flat iron or curling iron. * oils and serums are not thermal protectants. I want you to think of a hot pan on the stove – what happens when you add oil to a hot pan? Exactly.


  • how to take care of extensions. How to wash them. How to style them. Which products are best to use.


  • how to take care of their hair after a perm


  • how to maintain smooth tresses after a chemical straightening


  • how to wash their hair when they have had vibrant colors applied.

In my experience, almost every customer thanks me for being honest with them, for taking the time to explain things to them, the how’s and the why’s of hair product and hair care. Take a moment to speak with your clients about their hair and hair care routine, explain the importance of protecting their investment in themselves. They will thank you for it. As for me…no thanks needed.


Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, writing

Tales of Truth Part…oh I give up

Gather ’round ladies and gents, boys and girls, it’s that time once again! Time for That Girl in the Red Coat’s Tales of Truth. Now, I don’t know if the planets are misaligned, or if their is a glitch in the Matrix, lately, I have been privy to some interesting events and antics. Maybe the public at large has gotten wind of my Tales of Truth series and is hoping to be mentioned…sweet baby Jesus, I hope so.

– I heard a bang on the front window of the shop. As I looked over to see what it was, I saw a Mother applying hand sanitizer after touching the trash can lid outside the neighboring shop, all the while her toddler was banging her fists on the window as she was licking it. ….wait for it…there you go.

– A woman came in for some hairspray. As I was ringing through her purchase, she farted. Then farted again. Then again. She just stared at me, didn’t even blink. No “excuse me”. No “too much Sushi I guess”. Nothing, Just stared at me.

– I had a woman ask me if I sold a “less toxic” hairspray. So I asked her if she meant a more environmentally friendly or vegan hairspray. She answered “I just need a hairspray that will stop my son from growing breasts.”. Before I spoke, I silently told myself “don’t show it on your face” and said “Pardon me?” to which she said, “Yes, he is a teen boy getting breasts.”. I asked her if she had seen his doctor and she told me she had taken him and the doctor thought her son should become more active and cut out the junk food, but she wanted to be on the safe side and make sure his hair product wasn’t adding to the problem. …sigh

– at our shop we focus our retail on hair products and nail products. We do not carry cosmetics. I had a woman come in looking for lipstick, I let her know I do not sell lipstick or any cosmetics and gave her the name of a few shops where she could find what she was looking for. She asked me if she gave me a list, could I call around to those shops for her and find out if they had what she wanted. I politely told her I could not, but offered to find the phone numbers for her and she could call. I was told I offered poor customer service and she left.

– We sell human hair extensions. The brand we sell has pictures of women on the package that are of mixed descent – Asian, African, Indian, you name it. I had a woman ask me why I didn’t sell hair for white people. I shit you not – it’s 2014 and people like this still exist. After I checked for the hooded white sheet (yeah, I said it), I let her know that the hair I sell is for every woman, of every color and creed.

– A woman asked if she could put her toddler on the back counter as she shopped. I told her no, and that it wasn’t store policy. She tried to assure me he would sit still if I was worried he’d fall off the counter. ….double sigh.

That’s it Beauties…that’s all I got for today…makes me tired 😉


Dad's laugh


Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Great Expectations

Spring is upon us. Yes, I know Mother Nature is taking her sweet time welcoming Spring across the threshold, I assure you, Spring is in the air. Every year, around this time is when it begins. Ladies and Gents are looking to brighten up their lives and change it up a bit after their Winter hibernation, and usually the change begins with their hair, usually with the holy trinity of hair – a new cut, a new style and a new color. Today’s tale is to help you and your stylist make the transition to the new and improved you a positive experience, where the only tears shed are tears of joy.

We’ve all been there. Flipping through our favorite fashion magazine or surfing the beauty pins on Pinterest and at long last, our lifetime search for the perfect hairstyle appears in front of our eyes. The clouds part, the sun’s rays illuminate the image before us and in the distance we hear the faint echo of the angel’s singing. We run to the nearest Salon, the picture that the heaven’s bestowed on us in hand and burst through the door exclaiming “I want my hair to look like this!”. First things first…unless you are Jennifer Lopez, you will not look like Jennifer Lopez. We can help you have hair that looks like her hair (with an investment of some hair extensions), we cannot make you an exact replica. For those familiar with my Salon Tales, you know I have told you that when you want to change your hair it is always best to bring a picture (a color picture) with you to your appointment. This being said, you have to remember that the picture is a guide line for the stylist, they may not be able to achieve the exact color or cut you desire – hence why honesty on your part and a proper consultation by your stylist is key. Being me, I have compiled a little  list for you all, a guide line of sorts;

– when looking to change your hair color, be prepared that the color you desire may not be able to be achieved in one appointment – if you have been using box dye to achieve your raven black locks and have now decided you can rock the golden tresses of Khaleesi, no amount of dragon fire will make that achievable in one appointment.

– many …not all, but many of the women you see on the pages of your favorite fashion magazine are wearing extensions, either for length or volume or both.

– ALL the hair styles you see have one thing in common – PRODUCT. To achieve volume, hold or texture, you must use styling products and styling tools. *Many styling products that are created to help you achieve volume are thermally activated – you need to use a hair dryer for the best results.

– always let your stylist know if you have been using a box dye at home. There is no judgement – the stylist needs to know that there is a possibility of the color going a little funky. When the stylist is aware of what they may have to deal with, they can mix the color accordingly to achieve the desired result, or as close to it as possible.

– when looking to change your hair style, ALWAYS ask the stylist how much daily effort it takes on your part to keep up the style. Find out if you need to have a flat iron to achieve the desired look, or if you need a pomade and a hairspray. * In my decade of experience in Salon Retail many times the cut and color given were spot on, at the Salon. Unfortunately the stylist at the Salon the customer went to never explained how to style the new ‘do, nor was any direction given on what tools, styling or otherwise were needed.

– REDS. One thing you must know if you are going to color your hair red. It will fade. No matter what you do, it will fade. The red molecule is too big to properly penetrate the hair, so it will fade the quickest. Reds have the most upkeep, so if you like to go to the Salon every 8 – 10 weeks, red may not be the color for you. * Sulfate free shampoo’s can help retain the vibrancy of your reds a little longer – Joico Color Endure is now sulfate free.

20150514_134714  *** NEW ADDITION to the Joico Family – Color Infuse Red – a color depositing Shampoo and Conditioner to bring the life back to your fabulous red tresses!

– many of the vibrant colors tend to fade quicker than the other shades. Healthy Sexy Hair has an awesome product to help keep your vibrant  locks bright – Reinvent Color Care Top Coat. This gem is suitable for all hair types. It is a clear coat for your hair – think of a top coat for your nails – this product is a top coat for your hair color. It also gives a boost to the color in between services by adding more gloss and sheen.

– you will have regrowth. The hair color penetrates the hair, not the scalp. Once your hair begins to grow, you will have a line of regrowth. If regrowth bugs you, or you don’t have the time for root touch ups every 3 weeks, there are many options open to you. One of the most popular is the Ombre or Reverse Ombre….or, like yours truly, have blonde on top and dark underneath so when my roots come in it looks like it’s on purpose….smoke & mirrors baby….smoke and mirrors.



– pixie cuts are great, I have had every imaginable pixie cut known to man. A pixie cut, although short requires maintenance and product, something to think about if you are just a wash & go kind of girl.

– for my Gents – there are great hairstyle options for you today. Most require a little time and effort on your part, so if you are like your female counter parts and do not want to fuss with your hair, the New Side Part may not be for you.

– another for my lovely Gents – your beard and your moustache require a little attention and product as well. American Crew has a great product line for shaving and facial hair maintenance – American Crew Shave.

One last little bit of advice. If you are feeling the need to change your hair, or your hair color, be sure it is your need. Changing your hair or yourself for that matter, for any one other than yourself, will always end in tears and frustration. You will never be happy with your reflection because it is not the reflection you want. Hair color mishaps can be corrected, hair will grow, clothes can be returned or given to charities. A broken spirit or lack of love of your reflection is not as easily repaired.

Everyone has their own definition of beauty. Be your own kind of beautiful.


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

Age appropriate?

I am a manager of a retail shop/salon. I am a wife. I am a mother. I, like you, are busy and from time to time may miss a news headline or two. Being in the beauty biz I try to keep up with all the latest trends. There is one trend that has baffled me since the first time my eyes gazed upon it and I am in search of it’s conception. I saw it again this morning as I was displaying the Joico Ltr. duo’s…Louis Vuitton bag, Dior sunglasses and ….pajama pants. Seriously?! When and where did this begin? Who thought this was a good idea? Sure, if you are 20 and living on campus and need mommy to do your laundry on your next trip home I guess I can understand, but when you are 40 and running your daily errands?!?! Come on…take a minute and put on some pants. I know you have a minute because you took the time to put on your false eyelashes and Lip Venom to pout up your lips.

As my eyesight struggled to return to normal, I found myself thinking of all the other trends that are not multi-generational. (I don’t know if that is a word…I like it…it fits). The following are trends that women over a certain age should ponder for a minute or two.

– Feathers. Yes they are a cool hair accessory. One strategically placed to add a bit of flare to your ‘do is great. Channeling Steven Tyler is a whole other ball game…unless you are a rockin’ mom, you won’t be able to pull it off. You won’t. You won’t. (by the way…just because you know who Steven Tyler is doesn’t mean you are a “rockin'” mom.).

– When you see a new hair trend on a child under the age of 14 and think it is neat, stop and think about that…you think what a 14 year old is doing is neat, a 14 year old. Wait for it…there you go.

– Hair extensions. An awesome invention…until it falls into the wrong hands. They are an investment, not just of money but of your time. You must maintain them. Nothing sadder than a woman in a designer outfit and a rats nest on her head. Thinking of extensions? Invest in the clip-in extensions. If you know how to use a bobby pin, you can use a clip-in extension. Put ’em in at the beginning of the day, take ’em out at the end. Make sure they are Human Hair or when you go to apply your flat iron or curling iron you could have a melting mess. Come to think of it, go rent “Good Hair” Chris Rock’s documentary.

– False eyelashes. Another terrific accessory when used properly. Take a minute and place them properly. Nothing more scary to the child behind you in the check out line than when you wave at him saying “Hi honey” and it looks like your eye is falling out of your head. Also, unless you are Cher, try leaving the rainbow lashes for a special occasion.

– Hello Kitty.Enough said.

– Tights and belly shirts. Ladies, unless you are a fitness instructor who is at this moment teaching a class…leave ’em in the locker room. There is a reason why she said “oops, I did it again”.

As women we all look back on our youth and feel we missed out on something because parents wouldn’t let us try the newest trend in body piercing or we thought we were too fat or too ugly. That was when we were children. We are now women and know how awesome we are.

What I am getting at is this. If you want to follow the latest trends because it makes you happy and feel beautiful…knock yourself out. If your doing it to be hip, or so your kids will think your cool or to get back at your mother for not letting you get a tattoo when you were 16, take a breath and take a moment to ponder…and please, when you leave the house…put on some pants.

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

Tales of Truth – Part 5

Yes boys and girls, it is that time again…tales of truth from the salon. A full moon is upon us in a few days and it seems it’s affect has taken hold on the general public earlier than usual. **Names have been changed to protect well…me. Hmmm, lets see, where to begin….


A nice looking woman came into the shop in need of hair extensions. I walked her over to our selection of Human Hair extensions and let her know that they were a 7 piece set and that the clips were already attached. I am used to getting a few questions about how to put them in, if one package of hair is enough for a whole head, how to take care of them. I have to admit I am never prepared for the following question – “How durable are the clips and how well do they stay in?” – you see, she has “clients” that sometimes like to pull her hair and she needed to know if the clips would snap open. (a visual I did not need before 10:00 a.m.)

A woman came up to the counter telling me she was there to pick up her product. I asked her which product in particular. She proceeded to rant at me “I called and spoke to someone named Betty and she said she would put the product aside!”. I let her know that I didn’t have a Betty working for me and maybe she called another store. Her lip began to twitch, her face became red, her eyes began to well with tears “she said she would hold it for me and now you don’t have it?!?!?”. Again, I told her maybe she called another store to which she began to recite a phone number that was not the phone number of my shop. I kindly told her that was not the shop’s number to which she stumbled out an apology before hurrying out the door.

I hear the chirp of the door chime, I look up and say “Hi there! How are you today” to which I get my all time favorite response “Just looking.”. I let the customer know I am there if they need anything and go back to my inventory. I see her walk over to the nail polish display, take off her sandal and put her foot on the shelf. I stop her just as she is about to open up a bottle and paint her toes and let her know that we have color swatches so she can see what the color looks like, to which she responds “They are in the shape of finger nails, I need to see what the color looks like on toenails.”. Yes, it is true, people like this do exist.

I was yelled at because the Hairspray I suggested to a client was wonderful for her hair. “Why didn’t you tell me about this hairspray 6 months ago?!” is what she yelled. Between you and I, 6 months ago I thought her name was “just looking”.

Never ceases to amaze me that the customer’s that refer to their child as “brat” have a child that acts like a brat and then the parent complains to me that she doesn’t know why their child misbehaves.

I was helping a women find a new product because her beloved product was discontinued. We have all been there. As I was helping her a customer came in and before I could excuse myself to greet the newest customer, she says “Get me my hairspray!”. I excuse myself from my first customer and ask the Queen of England which hairspray she wanted to which she says “Don’t you remember?”. I apologize and let her know that I have a customer base of over 10000 people. I ask for her phone number so I can look up her personal profile and I can see which hairspray she usually buys from me. To which she says “I never give out my number.”. Before I can speak my first customer pipes up and says “that’s too bad, if you had given her your number she could be helping you as much as she was helping me.”. The lady grabbed the first can of hairspray she saw and bought it, still no phone number.

A customer wanted to return her flat iron because of a defect. I had to let her know in the kindest most polite of ways that “being mad that you have to squeeze the flat iron shut so it will flatten your hair” is not a manufacturer’s defect.

A woman showed me her ingrown hair problem. It wasn’t on her legs. Enough said.

So there you go. A little insight of why I didn’t have a new blog up for 3 days. I was gathering material.



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

Tales of truth…part 4

So, we are havin’ a heat wave…a tropical heat wave….Seriously though, it has been a little warmer than usual and we have a full moon upon us, so I thought I was prepared for what may walk through my shop door. Guess I should have been a boy scout.

I hear the chirp of the door chime and look up to see a woman with desperation in her eyes. “I need extensions!Do you have any?” as her lip trembles. I assume she must have an occasion or special event that she is running late for. I take her back to our selection of Human Hair extensions, let her know they already have the clips attached so all she has to do is style them and clip them in…Voila! She is set. Then I am asked something I have never been asked before. “How sturdy are these extensions?” she asks. I had to take a moment because my mind took the first off ramp to the gutter, then I matured a bit and collected my thoughts and I told her that she should take them out at night so that they don’t get knotted up. To which she responded “No, I need to know if they can be pulled out…I am a “dancer”.” (So I guess she did have an occasion she was late for.). So, I told her “just tell them hands off your hair”. I bet Magic Mike never had these worries.

I was yelled at because I didn’t have “you know..that shampoo that used to be in a white bottle”.

I have a customer I see on a weekly basis. She comes in with the same complaint every week. She “hates her hair” and “it doesn’t do a thing she wants”, “it’s always all over the place” (like her thoughts I can safely assume). The problem you see is this…she will not use any styling products. She doesn’t like the way they feel in her hands. Yep…seriously, doesn’t like how they feel in her hands. I told her “trying to do your hair without product is like icing a cake before you bake it.”. She just looks at me. Good thing she married rich.

The phone rings. My part time girl (my p.t.g.) answers with our happy go to greeting. On the other end she hears a woman who has the nicest voice ask if she could get in for an appointment in the Salon. We check the book and unfortunately all my stylists are fully booked for the next week, not even time for a cut, so my p.t.g. gets back to her and apologizes that we don’t have time this week but the girls have time next week. Her name must have been Sybil because the nice lady went away and we were now listening to a woman yell “I need my F#$!in’ hair done now!!!”. Oh yeah, that’s a great way to get an appointment.

A well dressed woman walked into the shop. I asked her if she needed a hand, to which she said she was “just looking”. I turn to check the invoice of the order that just arrived and I hear “SSSTTTTT”. I turn to see her using a hairspray from the shelf, put the lid back on, and put it back on the shelf. She was about to walk out and I asked her if she was going to buy the hairspray, to which she said “What hairspray?”. Yep, I kid you not. So I say “the hairspray you just used” as I am reaching for the can in question. She looks at me and says “I didn’t use that!”. (are you kidding me?!?! Seriously lady!”). So, I had to say, “Well you did. I saw you and by the way, your hair is still wet from where you sprayed it. You will have to buy it, it was not a tester.”. She actually touched her hair, felt that I was correct, her hair was wet and bought the hairspray.

The temperature is supposed to reach 38 degrees (100.4 F), so I can’t wait to see what comes through the door today.