Beauty, Hair Care

Monday Motivator WOW factor

…and here it is, once again. Monday. The snow is falling, the winds are blowing, Mother Nature has once again shown she is in charge. Facebook feeds are filled with school closures, road closures and delays. Parents are texting everyone they know, scrambling to find day care for their kids. When your week begins in chaos, you are left feeling out of control. There is one thing you can control…your hair. It may not seem like much, but you and I both know, when you are having a good hair day, it does make everything else seem a little more bearable. I may not be able to stop the snow from falling, or find you a babysitter on a moment’s notice but I can help you have a good hair day. Let me introduce you to some of my new found favorites from the Beauties at Color Wow. Meet Bionic Tonic Coconut Cocktail and Style on Steroids!

 

Color Wow Bionic Tonic Coconut Cocktail & Style on Steroids

 

I was first introduced to Color Wow 3 years ago when my rep brought in a root cover powder. In a word – AMAZING! Over the years, Color Wow has expanded their line to include shampoos, conditioners, treatments, styling products and tools among others. As you are well aware, yours truly is a bottled blonde, born a natural blonde – I have pictures to prove it, but a bottled blonde none the less. I have been coloring my hair for over 20 years, using a flat iron every day, so it’s safe to say, my tresses need all the help they can get. Let me tell you, I have tried more products than I can count and I have to say I am impressed. Here’s a break down of why I think you should give Color Wow Bionic Tonic Coconut Cocktail and Style on Steroids a go.

COLOR WOW Bionic Tonic Coconut Cocktail – this is a leave in supplement, not a leave in conditioner formulated for dehydrated, straw like hair. It mimics the natural lipid layer of your hair that is lost when chemicals, like color are applied to your hair. Apply a coin size amount to clean, damp hair before blow drying. Your hair will instantly feel smoother, have more shine, look more glossy and be frizz free thanks to this gem being humidity resistant. *this is a heat activated product – best results are when heat is applied.

* Color Wow offers two other cocktails –

  • Kale Cocktail – created for those of us dealing with breakage. It fortifies the bonds within the hair. With your first application your hair will be 50% stronger
  • Carb Cocktail – created for fine, limp hair. It bonds a high carb complex to the hairs surface to instantly produce mass and volume

COLOR WOW Style on Steroids – a texturizing spray created for color treated hair. This gem keeps your color vibrant and fresh. You may have found as I have that some styling sprays leave a cloudy film on your hair that dulls your color – Color Wow Style on Steroids does not! It contains moisturizing elastomers that give spring to your strands. Apply to dry hair before using a thermal styling tool like a flat iron or wand. Style on Steroids;

  • keeps your color vibrant
  • is never stiff or sticky – never a worry of strands sticking together
  • offers thermal protection
  • can be used as a refresher – apply in the morning to refresh yesterday’s style

* to add more volume to your ‘do – flip your head upside down, spray under layers and style as desired

* for a sexy, undone ‘do – spray throughout mid section and spread the product throughout your hair with your fingers. *great for separating curls

Check out their website – http://www.colorwowhair.com for more tips and tricks and to check out their complete line. Trust me Beauties, after using these products, the first words out of your mouth will be “WOW!”.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Monday Motivator – Joico Humidity Blocker

Well, here we are again. It’s Monday. Mother Nature is having an identity crisis. In my neck of the woods we have seen snow, rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow and rain once again in the last 12 hours…and just to add a little kick to her ever present weather humour, Mother Nature has decided to keep humidity in the air and in turn, in our hair. Rain and humidity are in the forecast for the next few days, so for all of you who are trying to figure out how to tell the boss you will be late for work because you cannot get out of your car for fear of frizz and for all the Mom’s fretting over why you chose this week of all weeks to volunteer to chaperone a school field trip, fear and fret nor more! Let me introduce you to Joico Humidity Blocker.

Joico Humidity Blocker

A hidden gem in the Joico styling line. Joico Humidity Blocker literally creates a humidity block around each strand of hair, creating an invisible shield over your beloved tresses. It locks out the humidity and moisture in the air which means no frizz. At all. Created for all hair types, from our girls with curls to our ladies who are a fan of the flat iron, this gem is a perfect addition to your daily hair care routine. Joico Humidity Blocker offers a long lasting light hold, so it can also be used as a hairspray, for those who prefer a lighter hold to their hairspray.

For best results, use on dry hair. Once you have created the style you want for the day, and after all styling products have been applied, spray Joico Humidity Blocker all over your hair to lock out humidity and lock in your FAB! style.

From this day forward every time you hear “April showers bring May flowers”, you can rest assured that all the showers will bring are flowers, not frizz.

 

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.

Image

 

– 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, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Tales of Truth – Part 10

Wow! Part 10. When I began my Tales of Truth series I thought I would run out of material. I thought I would write four, maybe five installments. I am beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that the public at large has heard of my Tales of Truth and are trying to see if I will write about them…at least, that is what I am hoping.

One evening, after my shift had ended, the phone rang and my ptg (part time girl) answered. She asked the customer to “please hold”, put the call on hold and turned to our owner/head stylist with a look of fear on her face. The call was about a brow wax, the customer on the phone wanted to book an appointment for her daughter, her daughter was a toddler. Yes, a toddler. – enough said.

Anyone who lives in North America know that this winter, Mother Nature has showed us what she is made of. We have been under the thumb of the Polar Vortex. Safe to say, we have had a lot of snow. I had a woman get mad at me about all the snow in the parking lot and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t doing anything about clearing it away. I let her know we had been shoveling a walk way to and from the door and clearing the sidewalk in front of the shop. She still had an issue with my lack of parking lot snow removal. FYI…our shop is in a strip mall that has over 250 parking spaces.

The phone rings and I answer with my standard greeting. “Are you open?” to which I answer “Yes, we are here until 6 p.m. today”. “Are you sure you are open?”. Again, I let the customer know we are open. “Okay, just checking. I will be in tomorrow”. – people, I shit you not. This actually happens.

From time to time, there are price increases on product. A fact that no one really enjoys. A customer came up to the counter and said “This used to cost $17.95. Now it is $19.95.”, to which I agreed “Yes, there has been a cost increase and a price increase on this product line.”. She scowled at me and said “I know! The price is higher!”, to which I answered “Yes it is higher. You are correct”. Then she looked at me and said “I know I’m right! I wanted to be sure you knew there was a price increase.”. ….sigh.

A woman told me I had poor customer service skills and was too abrupt. LONG story short – Poor customer service skills = I wouldn’t tell her how to color her own hair. (she had 3 colors in her hair and had used box dye in the past year). Abrupt = I explained that no matter what salon she went to or what color line she used, in 2-4 weeks she would still have regrowth and that the gray roots would return.

We offer complimentary coffee at our Salon and it smells wonderful. We have been using flavored creamers lately that make the Salon smell heavenly. (…a perk to the new flavors – yours truly gets to taste test them). I was at the front desk updating our Facebook page when I hear the familiar chirp of the shop’s door. Before I can get out my “Good Morning!”, all I hear is “What is that smell? …cough. ..cough…It smells so good! Do you sell those candles?”. To which I smile, hold up my mug and let the customer know that it is the flavored creamer in my coffee that she smells. “No it isn’t! cough…sniff…cough..You must have a candle burning in here!”. I reassure her that it really is my coffee. “No way! I don’t believe it! Give me your cup and let me smell it!”….needless to say, I didn’t finish my coffee that day.

A woman came in looking for KMS Molding Paste. I let her know that the packaging had changed but the product was the same. “How do you know?” she asked. I let her know that the line had been revamped over a  year ago and that I had the spec. sheet from KMS California on what products were discontinued and what products had been replaced and what products stayed the same. She looked at me and said “Yes, but how do you really know?”     …see link below

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/09/28/the-replacements/

In Ontario, in February, we have a provincial holiday – Family Day. A holiday the provincial government created for a little break in the dull days of winter, and to offer an extra holiday in between New Years and Easter. Retailers and most businesses close for the day. I had posted a sign in our window letting our customers/clients know that we too would be closed for Family Day. A woman came in the shop and as she was paying for her products looked at me and said “Must be nice to make up something like “Family Day” just so you can close the store”. …thank goodness she wasn’t a mind reader.

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

Wishes for a Happy New Year…and for years to come

So here it is, New Years Eve 2013 and I am calm. I am hopeful. I am…content.

In past years, this day was either filled with anxiety over not having plans or having too many plans, freaking out that my dress was too tight, hating my hair or my mind was filled with shoulda’s, coulda’s and woulda’s. This year…not so much. For the first time in I don’t know how long, a New Year approaching doesn’t seem as daunting. You see, I finally got it. I finally became accountable for myself and my actions. I finally admitted my shortcomings and moments of malcontent were down to me. Yep. Me. …trust me, ask my hubby or anyone who knows me for that matter…this was not an easy thing for me to admit. I had been known in the past to blame retailers and  Mother Nature herself for my ass not fitting into my jeans…between the store not having the exact shade of grey yoga pants I so desired that would match the treadmill and well… with the cold winds and rain I couldn’t go outside for a walk. …oh come on, like you haven’t blamed the Keebler Elves for your pant size. Back to the tale at hand.

I have a glorious truth to share…once you stop blaming others for your unhappiness and malcontent, let go of your fear and take your emotions, decisions and dreams into your own hands, great things begin to happen. They do. Take a look at yours truly.(well, it is my blog, so yeah, I’m gonna talk about me once and a while.). I took a leap of faith and let go of my fears and put that energy into believing in myself and within 18 months I have the blog I dreamed of doing, a twitter following filled with people who inspire me on a daily basis (and are pretty cool), I was invited to attend the Contessa’s.  I am a contributor to http://www.salonmagazine.ca. I am a contributing author to http://www.hairstyle-blog.com and http://www.visual-makeover.com. I am a contributor to http://www.girlbodypride.com. On a daily basis at my shop, I am helping women and men to love their hair, to find the beauty that they thought they lost, or never had. I am helping Salon owners and stylists improve their customer service skills and helping them to realize that retail is a vital part of their Salon’s experience. I no longer hold back my confidence in myself, or hold back my knowledge of product or service. *the biggest perk…since I am happier, so are my loved ones.

Hence today’s New Year’s wish for you. May the coming days and the coming years bring you peace. May serenity find its way to your door and into your hearts. May you find the courage to attempt what ever it is you want to do – from opening up your own Salon to finally being able to quit smoking. May you find the confidence to ask for that raise or to tell that special someone that you love them, or to be able to let your loved one know that they need help and that you will have their back. May you begin to find the beauty that is in your life, right now.

Wishing you a Happy New Year

With Love and Gratitude,

That girl in the red coat

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

It was a quiet day at the shop today. It’s January and mother nature couldn’t make up her mind  which outfit to wear…Parka? Winter boots? Rubber boots? Trench coat?…so she went with all four.Today went from snow to freezing rain to rain to imminent thunderstorms. It seems that mother nature wasn’t the only one today who couldn’t make up her mind or the only one in a mood for that matter. I was going to make today’s tale another installment of the ever popular “tales of truth” series as my first few customers were so generous as to give me some awesome material, but it was the last customer I served that changed my mind. She belittled her husband. She made fun of him. She went on and on about his feet and their cracks and calluses and ended her monologue with “Hhmmppt. Men. No personal hygiene…what do you expect.”.

I am always hearing women complain about men and their lack of personal hygiene. First things first ladies, lets get one thing straight.There is a difference between personal hygiene and personal maintenance, so maybe, just maybe you need to ease up a little. Here is a little list to help clarify;

Brushing teeth = Personal hygiene. Manscaping = Personal maintenance.

Washing hair & all 2000 parts = Personal hygiene. Keeping side burns the exact shape = Personal maintenance.

Washing hands = Personal hygiene. Getting a manicure  = Personal maintenance.

The reason for today’s tale is to help out our gents. Too many of you are out right mean to the men in your lives. Yeah…I said it. I know, I know, I can hear some of you now, “She’s always sticking up for the men!”. Correction. Not to sound all “Norma  Rae”, I am standing up for beauty, in all forms , for all people. My tales may from time to time reflect the issues of our gents because in the business of beauty, they are either being neglected or ridiculed. It’s true. Think about it. How many times have you heard or said “Isn’t that cute?!?” when you hear a man has gotten a pedicure….and women wonder why men don’t keep up with their personal maintenance. If that is how you treat him, you are lucky it is only his feet he has let go.

After my customer had finished what she thought was a witty and well thought sentence, I let her know that many men come into my shop for help. I told her “They come into my shop because we make them feel comfortable. We understand that they have faced ridicule and that is not what we are about. We also know that, for the most part, men don’t know about personal maintenance because no one ever taught them.”. Then we had a staring contest, her and I. After about 10 seconds, she said “Never thought about that.”. I gave her a few samples and wrote down the instructions on how to use the products she purchased. (by the way…a foot paddle to exfoliate the callus and Gehwol Lipidro cream are an  AWESOME combination….OH! and for cracked heels the Gehwol Salve for Cracked Skin is terrific!).

Guess what?! Men, just like us, want to look good, and feel good. Just like us, they want to look desirable to their better half, be it a man or a woman. Just like us, getting a second glance from a stranger puts a spring in their step. Did you ever stop to think that maybe your gent wants to get his back waxed so he can feel comfortable walking with you hand in hand on the beach – not because he has a mistress. Sure, there are some real asses out there, it doesn’t mean that when your gent starts taking pride in his appearance he has a bit on the side – would you want him to think that of you every time you applied lipstick?

Seriously ladies. Be nice. It is really that simple. Treat your gents as you want to be treated.  As women, we are always preaching about equality. Well ladies, careful what you wish for, because if you are one of those women who mock and ridicule the men in your lives, guess what is coming your way.

Gentlemen and…ladies?

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

It’s time to paint your own picture

So the Christmas season is upon us. I think Mother Nature has been hitting the holiday cheer a little early this year because we are not experiencing the typical December weather we are used to in my neck of the woods. School mornings aren’t filled with “Put on your toque!” ( hat for the non-Canadians) followed with the all too familiar “BUT MOM!!! It’s gonna ruin my hair!”. Not an “appropriate” footwear argument to be heard or a pout or tantrum over ugly winter boots to be had. There may be peace and happiness in the  morning at households of school aged children everywhere, but it doesn’t seem to last. “It doesn’t feel like Christmas” is what I hear all day at the shop. After hearing it for the tenth time before 10 a.m. (we open at 9:30 a.m.), I found myself thinking about what I think Christmas is, and what I used to think Christmas was and how hard we as women are on ourselves and our image. (Hey, it’s Monday and I had 4 cups of coffee and have a teenage daughter – enough said).

When I was a child I firmly believed in Santa and the Baby Jesus. I thought they were related. I couldn’t wait to see Santa, that was until I got within 5 feet of the man and thought I was going to pee my pants because I swore he could read my mind and knew it was me who had cut my sister’s Barbie’s hair and had kicked many boys “where it counts” when they made fun of me…and he would tell the Baby Jesus. Fast forward to my twenties/early thirties. I was married when I was 22 and yes we are still together and we still love and like each other. I, as many women went through the “Norman Rockwell painting” phase. Oh come on…you know you did, hell, you may still be going through it – my condolences. The “Norman Rockwell painting” phase or NRP as I like to call it is when one puts so much pressure on one’s self to look perfect and act perfect that one does not enjoy anything and finds no beauty…anywhere. Not in their decorations, baking, family or their own reflection. I thankfully snapped out of that.  As I type, I have a tree up in my living room with lights on it and that’s about it. Why? My daughter wants to help decorate it but she has too much homework so we will do it later some time this week…and guess what?!? The moon didn’t turn black and the earth didn’t open up and swallow us whole.  Take that NRP. Now Christmas is whatever it may be. Last year it was beer and quesadillas. This year, I have no idea yet and it is glorious.

In the last week I have seen women fret and panic because the red polish they needed for an exact match to their holiday sweater set was on back order. I  heard a woman call herself an idiot because she forgot her list. I have heard women say they were too old for a new cut. I have seen a woman’s lip quiver over deciding which flat iron to get. All of them had themselves on such a tight schedule, everything had to be perfectly timed – a timer should be used for baking cookies – not for your daily life. They were all trying to make it perfect. Ladies, it is time to ease up on ourselves, it’s never gonna be perfect. Souffles will fall, cookies will burn, nail polish will chip (if you use OPI ChipSkip it won’t but that is another tale for another time).

There may not be snow, there may be stress in your life, the nail polish may be on back order but it can still feel like Christmas. Play a game with your child, laugh at their jokes even if it is the 100th time you have heard it. Hold your husband’s hand and when you ask how his day was, mean it. Smile as you pass people on the street. Give to a local charity. Donate to a toy drive. Sing a carol in your car. Text a friend to tell them they are wonderful. Talk to your parents – in their living room or at their grave – they will listen to you either way. Next thing you know…it may begin to feel like Christmas.