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

Man in the Mirror

In the age of equality, I feel I must write about this today. Today’s tale is for those who want to like their reflection. For those who want to turn heads. For those who want a compliment on their appearance. For those who feel insecure about the changes in their skin, their hair and their bodies. For those who are trying to find the person they once knew, who don’t recognize that person looking back at them in the mirror. Today’s tale is for all the Gents. Yes, for the Gents.

As of late I have realized two things. First, all gents want to look good. Second, when a gent wants to look good, more often than not, he is teased or cursed for it. …and this needs to stop.

I met a man last week that was concerned about his hairline. He was so embarrassed by it, he wouldn’t remove his hat. I let him know that no one else was in the shop, that he didn’t have to take off his hat, he just had to lift the front a little so I could see his hairline, then I would know what products would be best for him. As he raised his cap, his eyes went directly to the floor. I thanked him, I looked at his hairline and told him to remove his hat, since there was nothing to be worried about. He looked at me and said “…but my wife told me last night that my hairline was receding and I should just shave my head.”. It was then that I got out my Nioxin manual and showed him pictures of receding hair lines and hair loss and asked him “Do you look like that?”. He smirked and said “No.”. I explained that yes, maybe his hair line was finer than it used to be, then I told him so was mine and lifted up my bangs to show him. Finally, consistent eye contact! After a few minutes, we decided an updated cut may be the answer and applying some product in his hair to keep it in place. I told him my secret “Getting my hair to look like this…it’s all smoke and mirrors my friend. Smoke and mirrors!” to which he laughed, then thanked me for my time and my courtesy and for not making him feel silly or vain.

I am about to tell you something so that you will know, and someday your children will know…men want to like their reflection, for themselves. Men feel just as insecure as women about aging. Men want their spouses/partners to find them sexy and attractive and worry that they don’t measure up – no pun intended – get your mind out of the gutter. Men know that their hair line is changing, they do not need it pointed out. Think about it ladies…what would happen if a man pointed out your ever so slightly saggy neck. If you are going to tell a man to “just shave your head” because he is beginning to thin a tad, you better be ready for him to say “just get botox” when a line is spotted.  Those familiar with my blog know I have written of this before, see link below;

…and from time to time, I will continue to write about this for making fun of anyone or belittling anyone who is trying to improve themselves is unkind and ugly. Plain and simple. If you want to be treated as an equal, be careful how you treat others, for you get what you give.




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

Balancing Shampoo can only do so much

At least once a week I seem to have the same conversation, with a new customer or with one of my regular customers or a client from the Salon. It usually goes something like this… “since I have had my baby, my hair just isn’t the same”, or “ever since I started this new medication, my hair isn’t the same”, or “how is it that my Mother is sick, but my hair is the hair that is falling out?”. Hormones, medications and stress can and will affect your hair growth cycle, unfortunate but true. It’s okay. It will be alright. Step away from the kitchen scissors and your hand held mirror, step away from the phone to make an appointment to chop off all your hair since all hope is lost, for all hope is not lost. A little knowledge goes a long way, and being me, I always want to educate and enlighten.

For my new moms out there – first and foremost – you rock! You do. Being a mother is the toughest job in the world, the most rewarding, still the toughest. I am here to tell you that it is okay to be upset that your pregnancy changed your figure and your body. I am here to tell you that every new mother, I mean EVERY new mother has had that moment when we look in the mirror at our once shiny tresses that are now matted and tangled and feel like “What’s the use. My hair will never be the same”. I am here to tell you that yes, your hair may never be the same, but it can be just as great, or better. First of all, be patient. Your hormones are all over the place as is your diet because you are a little busy with your new bundle of joy. Usually after 6 months your hair will start to behave itself again. If not, ask your stylist for an appointment for a consultation, to go over the issues you are having with styling and managing your hair. You may just need a trim, or your color freshened up. Sometimes a conditioning treatment does the trick…Joico’s Kpak Revitaluxe…you’ll hear angels. Also, have a chat with your M.D.. You may be low in certain vitamins and a vitamin supplement is all you need.

As for medications, many can affect our hair and the growth cycle of our hair. Yours truly is on thyroid medication and when my levels are off, so is my ‘do. The texture of my hair changed, my hair took color in a totally different way and a little thinning happened for a while.(always the hair, never the hips.). Once my M.D. & I figured out what dosage was best for me, my lovely locks returned. I also, much to my chagrin, changed the way I was eating. Lowering my caffeine…yes lowered…lets not get silly, cutting out the junk, like pop and chips and eating well has helped my hair, my skin (and my ass). When starting any new medication, ask your M.D., nurse practitioner or pharmacist about possible side effects, about changes in hair or skin. Many medications are going to affect our hair, but if you know that your medication will affect your hair, you can start preventive maintenance on your lovely locks. * Always let your stylist know of any changes in existing medications or if you are on a new medication – it could alter your color/chemical process.

When a loved one is ill, it is more stressful than when we are the ailing patient. As for stress, I wish I had a better answer for you. Stress is a bitch. Yeah, I said it. It is one of those things in life that likes to pop up at the most inconvenient times. Not only can stress make you yell at your purse when you drop it in the driveway or have a argument with your hubby over the difference between “beige” and “natural beige” sheet sets,  stress can also interfere with the growth cycle of your hair. When we are stressed, one of the things our bodies will do is produce more testosterone which in turn the body turns into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which is a major component in hair loss/ thinning. I am not going to tell you “so, don’t stress so much”, because, well, that makes me sound stupid. What I will tell you to do is to try not to stress as often. Take a look at your day and choose your battles accordingly. Your mother is ill – you can’t fix that. Give her your love and support and a few giggles. Your hair is starting to fall out – this can be fixed. Got one word for you – Nioxin. Check out their awesome website . Psstt… Mario Lopez is their new spokesperson…he is nice to look at…actually… after looking at Mario I bet your stress level drops.

I have been a new mom, I have gone through the hair woes of medication interactions and have had the stress of ill loved ones. One thing I know for sure is once you begin using the correct professional salon hair care products, although your hair may be different, you will once again love your hair.

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

True Colors

As it seems to happen, the tale I was going to tell you has changed. I was going to share a tale of product knowledge today but it seems that tale will have to wait for another day. As I was eating my Honey Nut Cheerio’s and warming up the ol’ laptop I turned on the T.V. and heard a familiar tune from my youth. The tune was “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper but it was not my beloved Ms. Lauper singing. It was Artists Against Bullying – A beautifully selected group of Canadian artists singing an anthem from my youth. While watching the video as they displayed lyrics, thoughts and truths on white sheets of paper ( an homage to Bob Dylan) I found myself catapulted back to 1986 for the briefest of moments and remembering how I would play and rewind that song on my cassette player over and over. No matter what the year, decade or century…we all have either been bullied or felt like we would never fit in.

I know, I can hear you all now, “What does this have to do with beauty?”. The answer is EVERYTHING. When I was 14 I cut off all my hair. I loved it. It was funky. It was fun and it showed off my collection of earrings – from gold hoops to huge plastic numbers…hey, it was the 80’s. The first day I showed up at school with my new do I was welcomed with “wow…you look like a boy!”, “Why did you do that? Guys like long hair.” and my all time favorite “oh…So you are into chicks.”…and no one did anything. No one said anything to defend me. I couldn’t eat my lunch that day because I was using every ounce of my energy to keep my chin up and the tears in. (It was a good lunch, my mom had given me a chocolate bar.).  I didn’t take the bus home that day. I was terrified of what I would hear. I walked home by myself, feeling stupid, ugly and fat – because for some unknown reason all 14 year old girls add “fat” to there list of woes on a bad day. When I reached home I went to my room and sat on the floor wondering how much wigs cost and where to buy one. I started going through my tapes and records (to this day music is what eases my mind and my soul) and came across Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors. I didn’t listen to it right away. I just sat there staring at her. Her hair, her make up, her clothes. Then I grabbed her “She’s so unusual” album and stared at her some more. I sat there listening to her songs and staring at her hair and slowly felt a wee bit better. If she was okay being unusual, then I could be okay being unusual too.

The point to today’s tale is this. You can be yourself. People may not like it – let that be their problem. I have found that those who don’t support me are those who wish they could do their own thing but are too scared to even fathom the idea. For the parents out there – be kind to your children. Let them try new things with their hair and if they are made fun of because of their new mohawk, do not say “I told you so”. Tell them they look great and hug them. Ladies – when your gent is losing his hair…stop reminding him. Gents – when your lady tries a new cut and color…tell her she is beautiful. Everyone – when you see someone being mistreated, stand up for them.

“Never, never be afraid to do what is right, especially if the well-being of a person or an animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

Receding hairlines and muffin tops

I hear the familiar chirp of the shop’s door chime. I look up to see a couple. I can tell from the look on the woman’s face she is on a mission, the gentleman looks like a little boy who just received the scolding of his life. Before I have a chance to say hello, the lovely lady sighs and says as she points at his head “Can you help this?!”. In all honesty, the first thought that sprang into my head was “No, but they will perform an exorcism to remove the demon that resides in you at the church down the street”. What I did say was “Help with what exactly? I think his hair cut looks great.”. He smiled. She scowled. “I was talking about his hair line! Look at it!”. I didn’t look at his hair line. I looked at him, right in the eye and asked him “Do you like your hairstyle? Is there a product that you are looking for?”. Again, he smiled, she scowled. I swear she added a “hhmmpptt” with the scowl. I found out he was looking for something that gave hold without a lot of shine and didn’t want anything too sticky. He liked to brush his hair forward a little to cover up his receding hair line. So I showed him the American Crew Fibre – a medium hold cream that adds texture and hold with minimal shine. I also showed him the KMS Molding Paste – great texture and hold with low shine.

Ladies, I have said it before and will say it again…if you want equality, it goes both ways. If your gent pointed at your ass and said “you gotta do something about that!” you know that he would be pushing up daisies. If your gent took you into a store and pointed at your muffin top stating “Can you do anything about this?!?” he would be walking home to nothing waiting for him on the dinner table. So why do women think it is okay to do this to men? I think it is cruel. In all honesty, it is kind of disgusting actually. It takes a lot, I mean A LOT for a man to open up about his insecurities. Throwing them in his face, especially in public is, quite frankly, being a bully.

NEWS FLASH! Men want to look good for themselves. Sure, they want to look good so people will notice them. We all want that. Yeah – I mean you too – you aren’t wearing red 6 inch heels just so you reach the soup can on the top shelf for the little old lady at the grocery store – the jig is up. Men want to have good hair days too. Men hate when their hair is frizzy. Men give up on their new style and just chop it off – just like women have. If you ask  me, it takes guts for a man to walk into a Salon and ask for help. He is risking all kinds of ridicule, be it from coworkers, friends, or unfortunately in some circumstances, the Salon employees. Oh, and a heads up to Salon owners and managers out there – There is a HUGE market that wants  to spend their money that you are neglecting – MEN.

Grow up a little, stop giggling at a man when he asks what the difference is between hairspray and setting spray, or gel and pomade.Yeah, I said it. Ladies – come on – you know how insulting it is, the way we are talked to when we go to get our car repaired. If you giggle at a man when he asks about hair product or you point out his receding hair line, you are doing the same thing that you hate being done to you.

Everyone deserves to like what they see in the mirror, men, women, gay or straight. No one deserves to have their insecurities belted out in a Salon. My goal is to make every customer and client feel beautiful and leave with a spring in their step. At our shop/salon we aim to bring out the beauty that is already there. As for the ugly remarks and attitudes…you can leave those at the door.


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

Did you hear?

A dear friend of mine was the truest definition of kindness, beauty and being a woman today. I watched her reach out to another with kindness and sympathy. She shared another’s tears and helped them laugh through their tears. As Dolly Parton as Miss Truvy in Steel Magnolias said “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”. It was beautiful. It was not a planned visit, nor a planned conversation. Just one woman seeing another woman’s pain and helping her. She shared her story, she “spoke her truth”.

This is something that is so simple to do, but few do it. To be honest and open with another person – it is so simple. We all have secrets and mistakes that we aren’t the most proud of. We all have stories that “you don’t talk about at parties.”. At some point or another in our lives, we have felt like the odd man out or a little crazy.  I have said it before and will continue to say it – we all want to be seen and heard, everyone’s time is as important as everyone else’s. Everyday, at least once a day I have a customer that looks distraught or lost or both. Sometimes it is because they don’t know which hairspray to choose, sometimes it is because they just found out their husband is having an affair (yep…it happened), sometimes it is because they are losing a loved one to cancer. I always ask them the same question, “Are you alright honey?”. I ask because I know that we all want to be seen. I ask because I know how much it meant to me when a stranger took a moment to offer me a kind word when I was feeling pretty low.

It’s time to be nice again. It’s time to be kind. If your friend is excited to dye her hair fire engine red – be happy for her. If your son wants blonde highlights- tell him that would look great – do not tell him he is gay (yep…parents still say that crap). If your husband is insecure about his receding hair line, buy him some Nioxin – do not laugh and tell him to buy more hats. When you ask someone “How are you?” mean it. Take a moment and listen to them. If you take the time to listen, you never know what you may hear.


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

Takin’ a stroll down Fifth Avenue

Did you hear that? The word on the street as of late is Redken. (or Redken 5th. Avenue NYC if you prefer). Redken is one of the lines I carry in my shop, and it is a hidden gem, it truly is. I am here to tell you that this is not your mother’s or even your grandmother’s Redken. The name may be the same but the product is better than ever. Just as your mother and grandmother have improved with age, so has our beloved Redken.

As per my usual, I have compiled a list of the favorite’s of our clients/customers. When these products are on order and the shelf is empty, I have seen a quivering lip and a tear shed, really, I have.

Redken All Soft – a line for dry/brittle hair. In a word…lovely. The treatment – Heavy Cream helps to strengthen and condition the hair while adding silky softness and shine.

Redken Body Full – a line specifically formulated for fine,limp flat hair. The conditioner detangles without being heavy and does not weigh down the hair. The mousse – Instant Bodifier is just that – instant body and volume and static free shine.

Redken Extreme – if you have been told your hair is damaged beyond repair…this baby is for you. The Redken Extreme line is  formulated for hair that is damaged, be it from chemical or mechanical damage. (Color and/or flat iron). ANTI SNAP is a favorite of my customers. ANTI SNAP is just that – it is a leave in treatment that gently smoothes the hair cuticle, reduces the friction caused by brushing and helps to fortify hair that is prone to breaking or snapping off.

Redken IntraForce – Redken’s answer to the fight against hair loss. A trio of shampoo, conditioner and leave on treatment that helps stop hair loss in it’s tracks and in some circumstances helps the hair grow back. Redken offers a 30 day money back guarantee, that is how much they stand behind their product and the technology behind IntraForce.

Redken Outshine 1 – An anti frizz polishing cream. Lightweight and offers great shine.

Redken Iron Silk 07 – a flat iron spray. Lightweight and smells great while offering thermal protection. * if you liked MATRIX Sleeklook Iron Smoother – You will LOVE this!

Redken Hot Sets 22 – offers thermal protection while providing all day hold for your curls.

Redken offers a fabulous array of products, hairsprays that are humidity resistant, shampoos/conditioners/treatments for all hair types from curly to straight, healthy to damaged.

Thanks to Redken, wherever you may live, you can feel like you are walking down 5th Avenue, NYC.

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

The jig is up

I’m going to let you in on a little secret and I hope I am forgiven. Men have hair issues too. I’m not talking about back hair or south of the border over growth – that is another tale for another day. I am talking about their lovely locks or lack there of on top of their heads.

I have found there are two types of men looking for hair products or answers to their personal hair dilemma. Type 1 – struts into the store, sunglasses on, shirt open, always using the same opening line “Got anything to make me more beautiful?” as they rub some part of their body. (do they get a handbook in the high school locker room?). Type 2 – won’t make eye contact, doesn’t want help, wanders around the store until he wanders up to the counter, leans on his elbow and asks out of the corner of his mouth “what do you have for men in here?” (like we are in a high tense spy movie and he’s about to drop the secret briefcase).

Now, something to remember, men are as sensitive if not more than women when it comes to their hair – only one other asset has greater importance. Yeah, I said it. An unfortunate fact is most men will suffer from hair loss or a receding hair line. Think about it for a minute – when women are little girls – they look at their mother and get to see the killer heels they will one day wear and the great accessories and they will get to have great hair and highlites. When men are little boys – they look at their father and get to see a receding hair line or Mr. Clean. Sure they also see the strength and the great car their Dad drives – but the hair loss is always in the picture and always in the back of their minds. It is a genuine fear for most men that they will lose their hair, and rightfully so – come on ladies – you know you freak out if you see more than one strand of hair in your brush.

Another tidbit of info. – ladies – you know when we look at magazines or actresses up on the silver screen and judge our figures accordingly? Guess what – when men are looking at magazines or the actor up on the silver screen – they do it too – they just don’t show it. We as women are fortunate as we are allowed to voice these fears and insecurities – men are not – at least not in public.

A little list of professional hair care lines for our gents –

MITCH – Paul Mitchell – a little line – Shampoo, Conditioner, body wash, pomades and gels – the newest addition to the Paul Mitchell family

American Crew – Shampoo’s & Conditioners for all hair types – thick, grey, dry, oily. An array of styling products and a beautiful Shave line and Classic fragrance. – the smell makes a woman think of Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, take your pick.

Quantum – The Fix Gel in this line is awesome.

FixMen – another little line that is not well known but terrific. Has an array of styling products with a matte finish (* most guys don’t want the shine).

Be kind – as I have stated in blogs before – do not make fun of a man’s hair – EVER. It is cruel – plain and simple. Try to remember that the men in our lives are not just men, they are human beings with fears and insecurities. Treat them as you want to be treated. ( oh – another little secret….if they bring home a gold bikini and brown bun hair pieces for you – don’t be afraid, don’t question it…it’s a guy/star wars/ princess Leia thing).

Hair Care, health and wellness

For the boys…

Today I bring you a tale of a delicate nature. Today’s tale is about hair loss. I know I usually come at these tales from a woman’s perspective, not today. Today I represent the men. Ladies – it is time to be kinder to our men, to remember that they like to look good  for themselves too. We always talk about how women hate their hair or hate the way they look…guess what? Men feel the same way too. I have heard too often a woman teasing her boyfriend/husband about his receding hair line or beer gut. That is not nice, plain and simple. Think about it – what would happen if he teased you about your roots or your muffin top? He’d be pushin’ up daisies and you know it.

Men feel they have no where to go or no one to talk to about their hair or lack there of. Well, here I am and I am going to shed some light for y’all. I have one word for you – NIOXIN.

Nioxin is a professional hair care line created to stop hair loss in it’s tracks and in some cases help the hair grow back. (*If there has been no hair growth in a spot for over 6 years – unfortunately no hair will ever grow in that spot again.). Nioxin is a 3 step program – The Cleanser(Shampoo), Scalp Therapy(Conditioner), and the Scalp Treatment(a leave on foam treatment). The key to this system is you have to use all 3 products. The Scalp Treatment is the kicker – it cleanses the hair follicle and rids the scalp of debris such as dead skin, product build up and DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). Big word – I know – look below…

*Testosterone converts into the toxin DHT which resides in the hair follicle

* Stress can cause over production of testosterone – so chill.

There are other regimes to help with hair loss on the market. I speak of Nioxin because I have seen first hand many success stories, both for women and men. It has won awards 10 years running. Redken has a line out for hair loss – IntraForce. It has been on the market for over 1 year now. I have had some clients try it and have yet to see major results, not like what I have seen with Nioxin. Nioxin has formulations for those who don’t chemically treat their hair – #1 for early stages of thinning, #2 for noticeably thinning. For those that do chemically treat their hair – #3 for early stages of thinning, #4 for noticeably thinning. Nioxin offers an array of styling products from pomades to gels to hairspray.

There are many factors that cause hair loss. Stress, diet, genetics, illness, medications, your teenager learning to drive. Next time you see your man frowning in the mirror or refusing to leave the house without a hat – show them my blog, forward it to their phone or their email. Let them know they are not alone and there is an answer. Remember ladies – you teach people how to treat you – so if you are constantly nagging and teasing what do you think you will get in return?

Beauty, Business, communication, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Some things you can’t “un-see”…

I am an inquisitive person. There isn’t much I don’t want to learn about or see. That being said, lets begin today’s tale, shall we?

In my years in the beauty biz I have had many questions posed to me… “What is the difference between Root Boost and Mousse?”, “What is a good conditioning treatment?”, “How do I get the brassy tones out of my blonde?”. Many times I have had women (and men) show me their receding hair line, or their hang nail and ask what to do about it. There are a few things I nor any other person except your physician should see. “Excuse me…can you help me” is what I hear. As I look up, I see something I will never un-see. I kid you not, there was a woman standing by the counter, showing me the red bumps on her bikini line (and she did not look like Christie Brinkley nor have the body of Jillian Michaels – yeah – I said it). “Do you have anything that would help with this?!” As I looked over my shoulder, praying to see a camera, I answered “uh…yes, I do. You can cover that up now.”. I kindly let her know that next time all she has to do is tell us she has red bumps from waxing, we know what she is talking about, we know what it looks like.

Another thing for the physician – if your scalp has bleeding, oozing scabs on it, please don’t show me. If you must tell me..alright ….but don’t show me…I am sure I can picture it in my head. I know I am in a Salon, I know I have masses of product to sell you – what you need in this situation is a physician, pharmacist, exorcist…take your pick.

Last but not least….Hands. I know we have nail biters (I was when I was a child – no judgments), I know some of you pick at your cuticles…don’t recommend it but hey…whatever floats your boat. Just so you know (feel free to share this tidbit of info. with the masses), when your nails or cuticles are bleeding – not a good idea to be touching all the product on the shelves or opening up said products.

I wonder what I will see today….