Beauty, communication, health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat, Women

Bringing light to the dark

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

 

Lately, during conversations with friends and loved ones alike, I have found myself thinking, some times even stating out loud, “if more people spoke of the ugly, the world would be a beautiful place.”. What’s the “ugly” you ask? Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Anger. Panic. Addiction. …to name a few. The “beautiful place” being we would all realize that we have more in common then we do not. I cannot count how many times in the last few months I have heard someone say “Really? You went through this too?”, “You mean my kid isn’t the only one?”, “You mean you have had money troubles too?”, “You’ve felt like you were failing as a parent? I thought it was just me!”.

It’s time to start to bring some light to the darkness of our lives. It’s time to start talking about those things you don’t talk about at party’s. It’s time to stop being ashamed and start being empowered. I can tell you, right now, a friend is looking at your Instagram or Facebook wishing their life was as full as yours and their family as happy as yours – all the while, you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay your mortgage this month, or hoping that your child finds the right therapist to help them, and no one is the wiser. After years of trying to keep up with the Joneses, the Kardashians, you name it, I was tired, mentally, emotionally and physically. So, as scary as it was, I stopped trying to be perfect, stopped acting like everything was coming up roses and just let my life be what is was. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it was sad. Many days had their hiccups and many were smooth sailing. One thing was certain, I sure as hell wasn’t as tired. Life, parenting, marriage, work can be tiring enough, why add more to get less? For all of you out there;

  • it’s okay not to like your kids. You love them, you don’t always have to like how they are behaving
  • it’s okay to understand why animals sometimes eat their young
  • it’s okay if you don’t see your parents every weekend. They had kids and a life before you – they get it. Deep down, they get it
  • you are not the only parent worried about their child
  • at least two people you know have children that are struggling as yours is – be it with their studies, their friends or their mental health
  • just because your friends are world travelers does not mean they can afford it
  • more people have financial strain than don’t.
  • we have all felt like getting in our cars, changing our names and living the vida loca

 

It’s time for uncomfortable conversations – especially for those of us who chose marriage. More often than not, in my own marriage, the problems I thought we had and the problems my hubby thought we had weren’t even in the same realm.

  • your spouse is not your psychic friend. You need to tell them what you need and what you want
  • before thinking for your husband, ask him what he is thinking. Trust me, it’s never what you think it is and usually has to do with food.
  • Gents – if you think your wife is mad at you, ask her if she is. I know. I know. It’s like I am asking you to go into the snake pit. Most of the time, if your wife seems ticked – it’s not about you. Hell, he could be sitting there thinking you are sighing so much because you are mad at him all the while you are mad at windows 10 and their damn automated updates.
  • after hearing of others marriage/relationship woes, remember those are their problems, not yours. Try not to make their problems your own. …just because your bff’s hubby hides that he surf’s porn doesn’t mean yours does.
  • if you truly are not happy, you need to talk about that. Maybe you will stay together, maybe you won’t. If love, respect and honesty are there, it will always work out.
  • remember that your 10% may be their 100% and vice versa.

 

What you may see as a short coming, others may see as an achievement. Admitting your fears may help another face their own. Being true to yourself may allow another to do the same. We give children a night light so the darkness doesn’t seem as scary, so why not give ourselves a night light of our own?

 

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

Yes…there is time for that.

Yesterday I was part of a focus group. My first one ever. Joico invited me to be a part of the discussion that was closed to licensed stylists, so being invited was quite a big deal, if I do say so myself. It was quite an honor for yours truly. …and yes, I will tell my tale of my adventures in Toronto, another time. Today’s tale is for all my fellow Beauty Biz beauties, stylists, managers, receptionists and owners.

Being a focus group, everyone was giving their opinions and thoughts about the products being discussed. What I found interesting was when we were asked about the client/customer perspective, many of those around the table couldn’t answer, or added their own personal opinion of the products. All the products were seen as a tool for a stylist to use and apply or a back bar product, not a potential retail product and in turn, profit for the Salon. The major complaint was that there were too many products and that no one has time for that, so why suggest it to the clients. …umm…have you met a woman? Trust me, if it means her hair will look as great as it does at the Salon, a woman will set her alarm 2 hours earlier and will make the time. Everyday. Think about it…how many steps is the average woman’s daily facial care regime? At least 3. Time will be made and saved for that matter when the explanations are made and the proper products are in place.

I have spoken to many stylists and Salon owners and I hear the following phrases far too often;

  • our client’s can’t afford it – first of all, how can you know this? Unless you are privy to their finances, this is one of the worst assumptions to be made, and quite honestly, it’s insulting. Plain and simple.
  • our client’s won’t pay that – in my experience, clients and customers will pay for a product once it’s value is explained to them. Take a moment or two to explain the value of using professional Salon products. Explain the differences between Salon professional products and what can be found at the local drug store. Explain that they have just invested in themselves, and using the proper products will protect that investment, and in turn, they can achieve their new found style at home, everyday. …and before you tell me it sounds like I am feeding you a line, I am not. You & I both know that to keep the vibrancy of hair color, the proper products MUST be used.
  • our client’s don’t have the time to learn about products and how to use them – Yes they do. Your client has just given you at least one hour of his/her time, they are sitting in your chair. Your client wants to look good and wants to like their hair everyday. Your client wants you to teach them. Your client wants you to explain what products to use and how to use them. How do I know? Your client tells me when they have come to see me, asking me what products they should be buying, after leaving your Salon. Let’s be honest here…I fear stylist’s say their client’s don’t have the time because the stylist doesn’t want to take the time.
  • our client’s don’t care what they use on their hair – There are no words to explain the utter idiocy of this statement. Yeah, I said it. First of all, yes they do care. Second of all, if you think they do not care what they use on their hair, as their stylist, you should be explaining to them why it matters what products they use on their hair. Your clients are your advertising. To paraphrase the great Vidal…if they don’t look good, you don’t look good.
Explain what products you are using and how to use them, make this a part of EVERY consultation and/or discussion when your client is in your chair. You must STOP thinking for your clients. Stop assuming anything about them, be it their at home hair care routine or their finances. Making assumptions not only affects your bottom line, it is also a tad insulting to your client. If you have time to keep up with the Kardashian’s, you’ve got time for this. …and so do your clients.

That Girl in the Red Coat

 

 

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

15 minutes is all it takes

Today’s tale is for the victims of dry, damaged and/or over processed tresses. In the age of flat irons, highlighting, ombres, sombres, smoothing systems and the ever popular at home it worked for the girl on You Tube blunders, we have all at one time or another been the victim of dry, damaged hair. Many of the women that I speak to at the shop all have the same concern – time. They want their hair to look and feel good. They all know that their hair is in dire need of moisture and nourishment. They all think they do not have the time to fix their hair. Well Ladies and Gents, I am here to tell you that if you have 15 minutes, once a week, you can and will repair your hair. Yep. 15 minutes is all it takes. How do I know? I timed it.

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Joico Kpak. A lovely line created for dry and damaged hair. Those of you familiar with my blog have heard me sing the praises of Joico’s Kpak Color Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner and Kpak Revitaluxe – my favorite trio from Joico. Thanks to blogger perks…thank you http://www.justpencilmein.ca , I was given some FAB! products from the Joico Kpak collection that, although I had sold to our customers and clients, I had not used. Until now. Let me say this. I have been a high lift bottled blonde for 5 years. I use a flat iron everyday. I am a mother and a wife and a manager so I know the struggle of having enough time and  keeping the “fuzzy head” at bay. These gems from Joico, to put it simply…meet your new best friends. * a little tidbit of info. for you…Joico Kpak’s technology is one of the most powerful, most targeted hair repair technologies ever created.

Joico Kpak Shampoo – restores your hair to it’s original condition, increases it’s strength and gives a cloak of protection to fend of further damage, finds the damaged area of the hair cuticle, instantly filling the lost amino acids and restores elasticity, strength and shine. It’s a lovely shampoo for all hair types for it offers a low molecular weight for those with finer strands and it’s rich cream based formula is lovely for thicker, more coarse strands.

Joico Kpak Conditioner – much like Kpak Shampoo, the amino acids in this conditioner specifically target the damaged area’s of the hair and the hair cuticle. The weightless keratin silicone complex locks in moisture, seals the now repaired cuticle and delivers shine and smoothness.

Joico Deep Penetrating Reconstructor – a conditioning treatment to be used once a week. In 5 minutes this gem will rebuild and refortify stressed strands. This award winning treatment is created for all hair types, length and thickness. After you shampoo and condition your hair, squeeze out the excess water in your hair, work the Deep Penetrating Reconstructor through out your hair, leave in for 3 – 5 minutes, rinse with cool water.

Joico Kpak Intense Hydrator – it’s name says it all. With it’s gentle ph of 3.5, this gem of a treatment offers immediate hydration. It is a treatment that is meant to be used once a week. It can be used more than once a week for frizzy, erratic hair that has been over processed by bleach, damaged by thermal styling – flat irons etc., damaged by chemical smoothing systems, even for those of us who unwittingly inherited crazy Aunt Ethel’s hair. Within minutes Joico’s BioAdvanced Peptide Complex replaces lost lipids, locks in moisture and seals your cuticle shut and delivers intense shine. Intense Hydrator can be used after you shampoo and condition. Squeeze the excess water out of your hair, work Intense Hydrator through your hair, leave in for 3 – 5 minutes, then rinse with cool water. *For very dry hair – leave in for 5 minutes. ** For optimum results and silky, smooth hair, use Intense Hydrator immediately after you rinse out the Deep Penetrating Reconstructor. Your hair will look and feel fabulous – you will feel and see the difference the moment you begin to blow dry.

Once a week, give yourself 15 minutes. We all have 15 minutes, once a week. If you have time to keep up with the Kardashian’s, you have time for you and your hair. I am sure that at least once a week you are in the shower. Instead  of running through the list of what everyone else needs, take those minutes to sing your favorite tune and apply a conditioning treatment. Once your song is over, it’s time to rinse. Admit it, when you are having a good hair day, it’s a good way to start your day. It’s time to start every day as a good day. These gems from Joico are a great start.

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

Sisterhood

As I sit here in my 42nd. year in this earthly realm, I am still astonished at the treatment of women, by other women. In the past weeks I have seen women roll their eyes behind another woman’s back after telling her they “loved her new cut!” – in front of their daughter. I have heard women snicker about a woman following her dream of opening a business for herself – in front of their daughter. I have heard a woman call another woman a “ho!” because of her personal choice to leave her marriage – in front of her daughter. I have heard women bashing their teenage daughter’s choice of hair color – in front of their daughter. Ladies – just what do you think you are teaching your daughter about how to treat other women?

I have a daughter on the cusp of turning 17. I remember how difficult that age was…too old for some things, too young for others, feeling like no one “gets you”, wanting to be an individual yet still blend in enough not to be centered out, figuring out who you are and who your friends are, all the while trying to keep your hair perfect and your mascara from flaking in case “that boy” walks by and happens to say “Hey” to you for the first time. As mothers, we need to remember these things. Today, there are pressures our daughters are having to face much earlier than we did. Case and point – when I was 10 I liked the way Barbie looked –  today at age 10 girls are feeling like they are supposed to look like Barbie. What our daughter’s need is a soft place to fall at the end of the day. Our daughter’s need an example that there is good in the world and that there are people out there that won’t stab them in the back, that will actually have their back. What our daughter’s do not need is another example of gossip, or snickering or put downs  – they deal with that everyday at school and with their friends and classmates.  Being me, I have compiled a little list, a reminder of sorts.

– Do not belittle the dreams of others, if you aren’t careful you could in turn belittle your daughter’s dream.

– Gossiping in front of your daughter will teach her to gossip and teach her not to trust you. Think about it – if she hears you telling everyone’s secrets, she will think you will tell hers too.

– When your daughter wants a pixie cut – be kind. She is trying to figure out who she is…and introduce her to a good stylist and some great product, like KMS Hair Play Molding Paste – great for texture and separation.

– If your daughter has an issue with an oily scalp, do not point it out to everyone you run into. The only person who you should be talking to (with your daughter’s permission) is your stylist. * If your daughter doesn’t want to talk about it, Senscience Specialty Shampoo is a great shampoo to help control an oily scalp.

– Putting down other women in front of your daughter will teach her do to the same – sometimes just out of pure survival – so your venom doesn’t ever spew in her direction.

– When shopping with your daughter, help her to find herself and her style – not the person and the style you want, or wish you had when you were her age.

– NEVER, I mean EVER, point out your daughter’s insecurities in front of anyone. How would you like her to point out your muffin top to the PTA?

– Remind your daughter…and yourself, that this is reality…not reality T.V.. – the Kardashian’s are already keeping up with themselves.

Before you go and nominate me for Mother of the Year, let me be the first to admit that I can really put my foot in it and say the wrong thing. I am strong willed and have a hard time admitting a wrong. That being said, I have to remind myself that I am the parent. I am the adult. I know better and must do better. I admit to my daughter when I have over stepped my bounds. I do apologize for my words if they felt unkind. I explain my intentions and hope that she believes me. As parents we have no control over what our children do once they leave the house, we can only hope that we have taught them well and that they carry on those lessons once they have crossed the threshold. …oh, and throwing a flat iron is never the solution.