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

Monday Motivator

It’s Monday. The sun is shining on my part of the globe. The birds are chirping, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee is in the air and my bed head game is stronger than ever this morning. Some mornings I don’t need coffee, just catching my reflection and seeing the state of my hair jolts me awake.

As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and checking on my notifications, one commonality I found was no one was happy that Monday had arrived. I may not be able to write you a doctor’s note to excuse you from school, nor am I able to mimic your child’s voice calling you at work telling you I am sick and you need to come home. What I can do is offer you a solution to make your Monday a little more enjoyable. Yours truly has decided to bring back the “Monday Motivator” segments. Every Monday I will give you tips and tricks of FAB! products to make every Monday a little less melancholy. As we all know, a good hair day equals a good day, plain and simple. …you know it, I know it.

This Monday Motivator is brought to you by yours truly and Joico! Meet one of my all time FAB! favorites….Joico JoiWhip!

You may remember this gem as IceWhip. …back in the day, before the name change….oh the 80’s early 90’s. This has been a go to of mine for over 20 years, whether I had a perm or a pixie, blonde or brunette. JoiWhip is a lightweight yet potent mousse. A little goes a long way Beauties. Joiwhip is a firm hold mousse (level 7 out of 10 on hold factor scale) but don’t let the “firm hold” scare you. It is not sticky, it will not flake or leave that residue feeling on your hair. Thanks to Kukui Nut and Evening Primrose Oil, essential fatty acids that provide moisture and protection, JoiWhip will not leave your hair looking or feeling dry. Created for all hair types, it truly is fine, limp hair’s bff.

Always give the can a good shake, upside down as you do with whipping cream. Keep the can upside down as you dispense the desired amount *TIP! a little goes a long way!. Apply to damp hair, then blow dry & style. *TIP! for my girls with curls – air dry or use a diffuser depending on desired curl effect and style.

My Monday wish for you…. May your coffee be strong, your Monday be short and your hair be FABULOUS!

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

The Key to Damage Repair

At one time or another, we have been there. Standing in the bathroom, looking down at our hairbrush, then slowly moving forward to face our reflection in the mirror as we wince at the state of our hair. We see little hairs popping out of our head, our ends are starting to resemble the shag bathmat that we stand upon. In our minds eye we start to wonder if we could pull off a pixie cut.

At some point or another, we have all damaged our hair. Too many late night flat ironing sessions. One too many back to back color processes. Thinking an at home perm was a great idea. Whichever the culprit, there is a remedy for what ails your beloved tresses. Let me introduce you to Saryna Key’s Damage Repair Pure African Shea Oil.

SarynaKey Damage Repair Oil Just one of the wonders from the Damage Repair line.

Saryna Key’s Damage Repair oil contains the largest concentration of Shea Butter – a natural source of keratin, that works to bring damaged hair back to life. Any type of damaged hair, chemically damaged (over processed) and damage caused by thermal styling tools will begin to look and feel healthier and softer after the first application. This gem also contains vitamins and amino acids that penetrate into the hair’s cuticle, from root to end, restoring and nourishing the hair.

It’s fast absorbing, lightweight formula means that it can be applied to the finest of strands to the thickest of tresses;

  • Can be applied to clean, damp hair before styling products and blowdrying. *Usually 1-3 pumps will suffice.
  • Can be applied to dry hair, after styling to eliminate the look of split ends and/or flyaways. *I suggest 1 pump, emulsify in your hands, light spread at the root to eliminate pesky flyaways, then work your way down your hair to the ends for a smooth, soft and shiny finished look.

Saryna Key offers a complete Damage Repair line, from Shampoo to weekly treatment. I have personally used this line and let me tell you, coming from a not so natural blonde, it is a life saver, or hair saver for that matter. Saryna Key’s products are paraben free, phosphate free and sulfate free. It is a cruelty free line = they do not hurt little bunnies and their bottles are 100% recyclable.

Damaged hair repaired. No animal testing. Saving the planet. Smiling and flipping your hair at every mirror you come across…what more could a girl ask for?


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

Hiding out

We’ve all been that person. You know the one. The one who has the answer in Math class but won’t raise their hand in the off chance the answer is incorrect. The one who knows what needs to be said but is afraid of the possible judgement that may follow. The one who knows they could rock a pixie cut but are worried their husband will find them unattractive. The one who knows who they are but stays tucked in the closet because that is where they are safe from judgement. The one who has a dream but cannot begin to chase it in fear of ridicule. The one who knows where their passion lies yet will not pursue it because the financial risk is too great. The one who has one too many at the party to fit in. The one who at one time knew she was pretty but listened to the wrong people and began to believe in them instead of herself. The one who was hiding out.

In a few days, I will be 42 and as you know, 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything (Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)…I am quite excited! Those familiar with my Salon Tales, it is no secret that yours truly has had issues with self esteem and my reflection. In the past, if you were lucky enough to have me stand still for a picture, I never wanted to look at it. I was also the woman who blamed everything but herself for her weight gain…yes, my daughter was 10 and I still said I was trying to lose my “baby weight” and yes, I was the woman who couldn’t workout because I didn’t own the “right” cross trainers. I was also the woman who kept her hair short for over 12 years because everyone told me how good it looked on me and it “slimmed down my face”. Fast forward to present day. Thanks to getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy), learning to embrace patience – that was a toughie, entering my forties, my hubby’s health issues that made me take a hard look at my diet and how I was feeding my family and, quite honestly, removing my head from my ass and finally allowing myself to be the person I always knew I was. Everything began to fall into place, from my career to my family to my weight and self image issues. Don’t get me wrong, there has been many a tear shed out of fear and frustration. There have been bumps in the road and hurdles to leap over…they just aren’t as ominous.

Proof that patience, believing in yourself, believing that you are worth it, speaking your truth and healthy eating and exercise pays off – posting some pictures because I gotta practice what I preach.

SSPX0691-2  2010 (38)  20131207_125202   2013 (41)


With my birthday approaching I wanted to bestow a gift unto you. The gift of permission to be whatever and whomever you want to be. Permission to get your hair colored & styled how you want it styled. To be the person you always knew you were but were too afraid to be. Over the past 4 years I have learned that when you dare to dream and follow that dream, when you allow yourself to follow your passion and are willing to work your ass off, life begins to get pretty good. Another lesson I had to learn, it is not all about you – another toughie for yours truly. Everyone is on their own journey and they have their own road map to follow. Their paths may not be the same as yours. Maybe your paths will cross, maybe they won’t. Their journey is just as important as yours and their hopes and fears should not be belittled. I know I put my foot in it a few times and have since apologized. Last but never least, you must be kind, not only to others, but to yourself.

Be kind. Be patient. Love yourself and know your worth. Love others and show them their worth. …it’s time to stop hiding out.


*UPDATE! Proof that when you are true to yourself, it keeps on getting better and better. Yours Truly at the Contessa’s November 2014, courtesy of the Beauties at Piidea & Joico. Dress courtesy of Netty Vintage.

Contessa 2014 8



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

Picasso and the Art of the Consultation

Over the past weeks, many women have come into the shop in despair. Sure some of them were fretting over getting the exact shade of red polish that would go perfectly with their holiday attire. The women I am speaking of were the women that had hair styles they couldn’t style on their own or a new cut they couldn’t manage. When I asked them why they chose the style/cut, they all had the same answer, “the stylist told me it would be what was best for me.”. …alright now stylists, before you get all worked up, I know, trust me, that people can tend to over exaggerate  and that wires can be crossed during a conversation. This being said, when a proper consultation has been given, your client will walk out with an agreed upon style/cut and should have the tools and products with them as they leave the Salon, so that they can achieve the same look in between salon visits. Unfortunately, from the looks on the faces of the women I spoke to and by their hair resembling a Picasso, a proper consultation had not happened and the maintenance of their new look had not been explained.

This is a point I cannot stress enough to all educator’s, stylists, Salon managers and Salon owners – the client consultation is a VITAL part of the appointment/Salon visit. I have seen and heard the stylist’s at our Salon spend up to 30 minutes discussing their client’s hair and the look they are hoping to achieve. It’s amazing what you can find out with a simple consultation.

– you may find out that your client is taking medication, which can affect the outcome of the color process.

– you may find out that your client hates how dry her hair is because of all the perms she has had because someone told her that was the only way to get volume at the roots. While offering to add a conditioning treatment to her service this would be a great time to introduce her to a root lift like Big Sexy Root Pump Plus

-you may find out that your client has arthritis, so maybe that straight edge bob that requires a flat iron  everyday may not be the best cut for her.

– you may find out that your client is in the midst of a chemo regime and her hair is more fragile, so maybe a perm isn’t the best option, today.

– you may find out that your client is the caregiver to a loved one who is ill, so she doesn’t have much time to fuss with her hair. Introduce her to a Dry Shampoo, like Quantum’s Refresher Spray. A powder free spray that makes the hair look freshly washed for those days that become too much.

– you may find out that your client has skin sensitivities or allergies, which in turn can help you make sure to use a gentler shampoo and a styling product that has less fragrance. * A great option is KMS Head Remedy Sensitive Shampoo.

– you may find out that your client is recently separated and unsure of herself and her looks, so maybe chopping off her shoulder length hair into a pixie cut may not be her best option, today.

– you may find out that your client has a severe gluten sensitivity, so you need to be careful which products you use. *Alterna Bamboo is a gluten free line

– you may find out that your client’s kids have just gotten over a lice outbreak, a perfect time to teach her about preventive measures, for herself and the kids. * Tea Tree is a natural lice repellent – Paul Mitchell has a lovely Tea Tree line including styling products.

– you may find out that your client has been losing her hair because of illness or stress, and feels that cutting it off is her only option. What a great opportunity to educate her on hair loss and to give her hope and a style that makes her feels beautiful. * NIOXIN – a great product line to stop hair loss in it’s tracks – in my opinion, a must have product for any Salon

A consultation is a great way to find out what styling tools your client already owns, what products they currently use, if your client is capable of achieving the same look at home and the consultation is a great way to add retail to the service. With a proper consultation, you know what your client wants, your client will know what they are getting and how much effort or how little effort will need to be applied to their new style, and you, the stylist, get to feel like Picasso…you have just made someone’s world a little more beautiful.

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

Be the star you wish upon

Over the past weeks I have met many women who have all said the same thing “Oh, I could never do that!” – from leaving their resented career to follow their dream to coloring their hair red, like they always dreamed. One woman stands out the most. She came in the shop looking at the demo display of flat irons. I went over to her and asked if she wanted to try one, to which she answered “Oh no! I am just looking. I am too stupid to work one of these things. I am looking for my daughter. I’m too old to care about such things.”. I just stood there for a moment, feeling so sad for her. I think I actually frowned. Being me, I had to say something. So I took a breath (said a silent prayer to the powers that be the flat iron would stay on the table) and asked her why she thought she was too old to care about her hair. I told her I thought she had lovely hair and if she straightened it, it would look even better. She just stared at me. I asked her if she ironed shirts at home. She did. So I told her “Honey, if you can iron a shirt, you can flat iron your hair”, to which she laughed. I asked her if I could show her how, she nodded and smiled. After I finished one side of her head, I gave her the iron to do the other side. When she was done, she stared at her reflection and said “I haven’t looked like this in a long time.”. We got to chatting and I came to find out she left University to get married and have a family. She had always wanted to have a shop of her own, but thought she had missed her time, that all she knew was how to be a mom, that it was too late.

As women, we’ve all been there. So have the Gents. We have all had the moment when we realize that 15 years have passed and not much has changed and for some reason, at that exact same moment, we think that  it is too late to do what we always wanted to do. We have been going through the motions, changing diapers, balancing cheque books, cleaning the gutters, keeping our son’s out of jail and our daughter’s off the pole (yeah, I said it) and forgotten about ourselves, from our dreams to our roots. – back to the tale at hand. I smiled at my customer and told her it was never too late to which she responded “easy for you to say, you are young”. I told her I was 41 to which she responded “So am I.”. I smiled again and handed her my card. (it’s a lovely card…my That girl in the Red Coat card. Check out my Facebook page to see it). I let her know That girl in the red coat is my blog. I let her know that I had wanted to write a blog for years but was too afraid of what people would think, too afraid it was too late. I let her know that once I let go of the fear and allowed myself to focus on myself that a whole new world opened up to me. (….now you have the  Aladdin theme in your head…sorry).  I let her know that all those slogans plastered all over Facebook and Pinterest are true – follow your passion, thoughts become things, that good things happen when you work your ass off and never give up. I let her know that I may be a girl standing in a shop, but I am also a woman who has been published on (A HUGE deal for yours truly), that I am a woman who is a contributing author to and and that it all happened within 18 months of deciding I was worth the risk.  I told her that she was worth the risk too.

Here’s the deal. Life is short. It is never too late. Those who say it is…well it is too late, for them. Do what you want. If you want to be a blonde, go for it! (SOMA Blonde/Silver Shampoo…’nuf said).  Always wanted that cute pixie cut? Go for it! (…KMS Molding Paste will be your new best friend). Always loved hair and wanted to be a stylist? Go back to school – there are awesome programs that accommodate all schedules and lifestyles. Wishes do come true…with hard work, they do come true. When you are wishing upon a star, make sure that star is you.

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

Sunday Confession

Today’s tale is for the young ladies and the mother’s out there. Today’s tale is also a personal one. It is a confession of sorts. I am not in a church, I am not catholic, not a priest’s profile through a screen to be seen (I think it’s a screen, like I said, I am not catholic.).

As you know, I am  a manager of a Salon/Retail shop. Want to know something funny about that? For most of my life I thought I was ugly. Yep, my career and passion is in the beauty biz and I used to be the girl who thought I was too ugly to get my picture taken, thought I was too ugly to go to my neighborhood’s block party when I was 14, I thought I was too fat to go to the clubs with my girlfriends – something only I knew. I did everything in my power to hide this fact from everyone. I look back at the pictures I allowed myself to be in and I want to give myself a shake. I was pretty. I was not fat. I actually had a nice ass, not a fat ass like a lovely girl pointed out in grade 10.

Everyday, yes, I am sad to say, I hear young girls say the most horrible things about themselves, or worse, I hear the mother of the young girl say horrible things about her daughter, in front of her daughter.  I am not an expert by any means, I am a woman who wasted many years and missed out on many things all over my lack of self esteem and because I listened to the wrong people and didn’t listen to myself. I wanted to share this tale in hope that a  young girl will read it and realize how awesome she really is. I am a mother of a 16 year old daughter and I hear and see what she goes through, and what her lovely friends go through, so, being me I have compiled a list, a go to list if you will, for those days that are just too much.

– when you get a pixie cut, some people are going to tell you that you look like a boy. You don’t. You look awesome, they just don’t have the guts to be themselves and try something new.

– your oily scalp will go away. It’s hormonal. To help get through this unfortunate phase, a dry shampoo like Joico’s Instant Refresh, Quantum’s Refresher or KMS HAIR PLAY Make Over Spray is an awesome tool to have on hand. Just spray it on your scalp, rub it in and VOILA! Not a oily strand to be seen.

– people who tell you that you are fat are just being assholes. Plain and simple.

– if you are 15 or 40, I am sorry to say, there will always be someone out there that will say something nasty, especially when you are happy. It’s not personal, you just happened to be the nearest target for them to spew their venom at. Trust me, they would yell at Jesus Christ  himself that he wasn’t making the water into wine fast enough.

– if you want to try being a blonde for a while, go for it – AT THE SALON. Do not attempt to do this on your own – it is not nice and easy. It’s not.

– before you judge your mother too harshly, take a look at her relationship with her mother. Sometimes mother’s just don’t know any better. You can’t change it, you can only change how you decide to let it affect you.

– your mom was just as insecure as you are right now. She may still be as insecure as you. To all the mother’s out there, the jig is up. We can’t guide our daughter’s if we are lost ourselves.

– when a friend is being nasty, take a breath and think, will this person be in my life 6 months from now? If the answer is yes, be patient and try to find out what the problem is. If the answer is no, Adios amigo.

– if you are dating a boy who says nasty things to you – DUMP HIM! You can’t fix him.

– your BFF is wonderful, she is also the same age as you, so she can’t help you as much as a counselor or a doctor if you are dealing with an abusive situation at home or have questions about sex. *by the way – jumping up and down after sex will not keep you from getting pregnant. – Yep…2013 and people are still saying that.

– everyone feels the same way you do. EVERYONE. From the head cheerleader to the tuba player in the school band. Some of them just hide it better.

– although it may feel like it, not everyone is looking at you. Sorry to break the news to you, sometimes it isn’t all about you. I know right?! This revelation was a shocker for me too.

– when someone has hurt your feelings, try not to let it control your life. More times than not, they don’t even realize nor care that your feelings are hurt. They are going on with their day without giving you or their words a second thought. Don’t let them live rent free in your head.

It is okay to be yourself. It may get a little scary. You may find certain people distancing themselves from you, and that is okay. They are making room for all the awesome people trying to get into your life, to raise you up, help you see your beauty, to help you be yourself, to help you be happy.

health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

Kindness 101 Section 2

You may be familiar with my previous blog, Kindness 101. No? Well, feel free to read it, you will find it in the July archives. In the past weeks many great things have been happening to myself and to others that I hold dear. The great events aren’t the only things we all  have had in common  – we all have been the brunt of a sarcastic or unkind word.

Ladies and gents, seriously, do I have to say this again? I know I am a mother but I HATE when I am forced to sound like one. BE NICE. BE KIND. Not sure what that means or how to do it? I have compiled a little list for you all. Feel free to add it to your favorites, share it on Facebook or print it off and keep it in your wallet for future reference.

– When someone is excited about their news, be excited with them = Kind. Respond with “hmpt…whatever…” = Not kind.

– When someone gets a Pixie cut tell them they look great =Kind. Telling them they look more like Peter Pan than a pixie =Not Kind

– A friend has lost 20 pounds and has 10 to go, hug them, tell them they can do it = Kind. Telling them “Are you sure it’s only 10” = Not kind.

– When someone is speaking to you, look them in the eye = Kind. You keep looking at your phone as they speak to you = Not kind.

– When someone is following their dream, even if it is to be the best damn basket weaver on the planet, tell them you have their back and want the first basket they weave = Kind. Asking them if they have joined a commune = Not kind.

– When someone is recovering from addiction and is having a trying day and wants a drink, offer to listen and tell them to call their sponsor =Kind. Telling them to “get over it” = Not kind (actually = Idiotic).

– When someone has colored their hair purple and red and they love it, love it with them =Kind. Telling them Sesame Street is looking for them =Not kind.

– Your friend gets a perm and it was over processed and she can’t fix it for a few days, help her try to style it = Kind. Telling her she needs a hat =Not kind.

– When someone has just lost a loved one, be it a parent or pet, take their hand and ask if they need anything, then shut up = Kind. Asking for every detail from time of death to burial while you Google embalming  = Not kind

– When someone’s dream is beginning to unfold for them, congratulate them, celebrate it = Kind. Telling them “Great, now you will forget all about me.” = Not Kind

– When someone’s parent is in the hospital and needs child care for their children, offer to take their children, free of charge = Kind. Calling and asking for an hourly rate = Not kind.

Trust me, I am the first to admit life is tough. I know how frustrating it is when things don’t go your way or work out as planned. One thing I do know is this – The more you belittle someone else, the smaller your life becomes. If you think your life is crap, your family vehicle will become the manure truck. Yeah, I know, taking the high road is exhausting. Trust me – I am thinking of investing in a portable oxygen mask. (wait for it…high road…lack of oxygen…there you go.).

Celebrate each other victories, big or small. Laugh with each other, not at each other. Be kind. It is really that simple. Treat people as you want to be treated…and don’t throw the flat iron.




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

Beware of yoga pants & ponytails

The school year has begun and with it the drama has begun as well. “Why are you wearing that?”. “What did you do to your hair?”. “So…you didn’t go anywhere this summer?!?!”. By the way…these lovely phrases are not coming from the tots on the playground…they are coming from the mothers.

My daughter is now in high school, thankfully, so I am spared from the treachery of the playground. I am spared the monologues from women about how much they love their child and how their child is the center of their universe, all the while I am watching said king/queen playing chicken with the approaching school bus but she is too busy to notice because she must talk about her new yoga pants while she swings her ponytail and point out how horrible so and so’s dye job is.

You see, since the school year began, I am having the moms coming into the shop, either for an appointment in the salon or just to shop for a new hairspray without a child or ten clinging to her leg. Many of them have been coming in feeling horrible about themselves. Why you ask? Well, I asked them the same question and their answers were all the same…some “mom” on the playground said something to them about their hair…and it wasn’t complimentary. One woman was told her pixie cut made her look like a man…I told her she looked cute because she did. One woman was asked “why did you color your hair? Now you look awful!”. I told her she looked great because she did, a beautiful rich caramel blonde. Then I asked her how big the other woman’s ass was, to which she smirked and I said “there you go…you have a smaller ass than her so she had to pick on something” and then we laughed. Yeah, I said it…sure I always say to be nice…but come on…that was funny.

I have had a few women get a little mad at me because I asked them questions.I apologized if my questions bothered them and explained I was asking the questions so I could pin point exactly what they would need and what product they may like. After a while they warmed up to me and I found out the reason for their initial cold shoulder and shortness with me. Moms in the school yard. Enough said. I can’t stress this enough…ladies…be nice to each other. Just because you are in a school yard doesn’t mean you have to act like a child. Behave yourself, not just because it is the right thing to do, because there are lots of little ears listening to you and little eyes watching your every movement.

Oh…and while we are on the subject…if a woman has one child or twenty, she is a mother and has the same struggles that all mothers have and the same worries and concerns…BE NICE. If you are mad because your ass doesn’t look as nice in your yoga pants as Johnny’s mom’s looks in hers, get off her back and back on the treadmill. Envious of someone’s hair color? Ask what Salon she goes to and tell her how great she looks…maybe her husband didn’t notice and your compliment may save her a day held up in the bathroom with a box of tissue.

Seriously, life puts up enough road blocks…why add to the congestion?



Beauty, Fashion, Hair Care, Uncategorized

Thank you, Mr. Vidal Sassoon

The beauty industry lost one of it’s beloved yesterday, Mr. Vidal Sassoon. The beauty industry is what it is today because of this gentleman. The hair style you have today is probably based on one of his cutting techniques. Mr. Sassoon opened up a whole new world for women in the 1960’s – freeing them from the beehive and allowing their hair to fall free and perfectly into place. He removed the shackles of the hood dryer and curlers and helped women realize the how the right cut can bring out the beauty that was lingering underneath. The ever so prominent pixie cut of today would not have happened if not for this man – “Actually short hair is a state of mind … not a state of age.” (Los Angeles Times 1967).

When I was 14, and my double crown and cowlick were not my friends, Vidal saved me. I was at the “Hair Gallery” in Winnipeg ( my local Salon) feeling like the ugly duckling. I was flipping through a hair magazine and saw it….the pixie cut, 80’s style. I looked up at my hairstylist and asked him “Could I have that?”. I will always remember him in his white parachute pants and tank top saying “your face was born for that cut…Vidal Sassoon created that look you know”. At that point of my life all I knew about Vidal Sassoon was his name was on the mousse can my mother had in her bathroom. By the end of my appointment, I had cheekbones, my eyes looked bigger, my hair wasn’t sticking up in the back or in the front for that matter (unless I wanted it too.). I left the salon that day feeling pretty, women were actually stopping me, asking me who did my hair. If not for Vidal Sassoon and his ground breaking techniques I do believe something about me would be different today, for the day I cut my hair short was the first time I can remember a stranger paying me a compliment. Vidal Sassoon coined the phrase “If you don’t look good – we don’t look good” .

Thank you Mr. Sassoon