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

Product 101 – Mousse hunting

As promised, my tales are aimed to educate and enlighten. Today’s tale is the first chapter in a new series, Product 101. Each chapter will focus on a specific product and it’s hold factor, shine factor and an explanation of how to use the product for the best styling results. Everyday I meet a customer, lady or gent, who tells me “There are so many products. I have a counter filled with products that didn’t work. How am I supposed to know what I need?”. It’s at this moment I tell them they have come to the right place…and now I am telling you the same thing.

Everyday, I mean it, everyday, I meet a woman who believes she is destined for flat lifeless cuts and styles because she has fine hair. I am told that her hair is “too fine” and that all products “weigh it down” or “make it greasy” or “the volume never lasts”. It’s usually at this moment they say “You are so lucky to have thick hair that holds your style.”. When I inform them that I have baby fine hair, just lots of it, they always say “NO WAY!”. Yes way. When they ask what I use, for some reason when I mention I begin with mousse, most women interrupt me, telling me that mousses don’t work because of the reasons mentioned above. It’s usually at this moment I ask them “when you bake a cake, if you miss one ingredient, what happens to that cake?”. They all have the same answer – the cake won’t turn out. Same goes for your hair and styling your hair.

I am a firm  believer in giving your hair style a good base and I prefer to use mousse for it gives all over hold and fullness. I have used mousse when I had a pixie cut, a perm and with my current style. There are many mousses to choose from and I know it can be overwhelming. Mousses are created for all hair types, colored, permed, thick or fine. Some offer humidity resistance, some offer shine, some help with static. There are three things to know about mousse;

1 – there are mousses that offer volume with a soft to medium hold

2 – there are mousses that offer volume with a firm hold.

3 – mousse should be applied to damp/towel dried hair

That’s really about it. It comes down to the hold factor you are looking for, price point and scent. Being me I have compiled a little list for you of some of the mousses I have used personally and are favorites of my customers and the clientele of our Salon;

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These gems will create volume with a soft to medium hold factor.

Nioxin Bodifying Foam – A lightweight mousse with a medium hold factor created to give your hair a thicker, fuller look and feel. Good for all hair types.

Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse – A medium hold mousse that creates a fuller look. Created for fine to medium hair types. I found that it gave my hair fullness, but not as much volume (height) as I like.

KMS ADD VOLUME Styling Foam – A medium hold mousse that has a medium shine factor. Formulated for fine hair – a nice mousse for all hair types.

Paul Mitchell Extra Body Sculpting Foam – A long lasting, flexible hold factor that offers brilliant shine. A lovely mousse if you have curly hair – don’t let the “extra volume” scare you off. Many of my girls with curls like the shine and the soft control this mousse offers. Good for all hair types.

Matrix Biolage Whipped Volume – A medium hold mousse that delivers natural shine and softness. Can be used on all hair types.

 

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If you desire a firm hold and mega volume and control, the following gems are right up your alley! *if your hair feels sticky – you have used too much. I recommend dispensing an amount of mousse that resembles an egg, emulsify the mousse in your hands (rub hands together), then distribute it evenly throughout your hair and blow dry.

ISO Daily Foam – Offers a firm hold, weightless volume and control . This mousse is a great tool for setting and sculpting styles from roller sets to faux hawks.

Joico JoiWhip – An alcohol free formula that offers a strong hold factor with long lasting volume and body. A lovely mousse for curly hair. *gotta admit – my favorite. I have tried all mousses and for 25 years, I always go back to Joico.

Goldwell Top Whip – An ultra strong hold factor that delivers long lasting volume with an extra boost of heat and color protection.

RUSK Mousse – A little can that offers BIG volume and maximum hold. Great for all hair types.

Schwarzkopf OSIS Grip – An extreme hold mousse that offers a lasting hold, natural shine and an anti-static effect. It also helps prevent heat damage. A great mousse for shorter styles that desire hold without the fuss.

Sebastian Mousse Forte – A strong hold factor that offers volume and heat protection. This mousse is great for defining waves and curls and offers all day frizz control.

To recap – there are mousses that offer volume with a soft to medium hold – perfect for a more soft, natural look, feel and hold. There are mousses that offer volume with a firm hold – perfect for the more demanding sculpted and textured styles, or for those who want all day volume and hold that we don’t have to check on throughout the day. …or if you are like yours truly, forever in love with big hair, everything eighties and vertically challenged…wait for it…there you go.

 

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

Tales of Truth – The Christmas Chronicles

When my daughter was younger…(I say when she was younger – not little – little makes her sound like she was a Polly Pocket. Also, my family is vertically challenged so “little” has a wee bit of a sting), one of the Christmas songs she would sing (a lot) was “Santa Claus is Comin’ to town”. As you know, I manage a retail shop/Salon and it is the Christmas season. It seems many people have forgotten that “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.”.

– The phone rings. “Good After…” is all I got out. “Yeah Hi, where the hell is your store?” is what I hear. I give the shops location and am blessed with the response “Why couldn’t I find it in the phone book?!” and then they hung up….fa la la la la, la, la, la, la.

– We have a Christmas tree up in our Salon. It is a nice tree. At least once a day I am asked “Why do you have a tree up in the Salon” as Christmas music is playing in the background.

– A woman came in with jet black hair that she had colored at home with a box dye from the drug store. She had decided she wanted to go blonde, by herself, at home. I told her that wasn’t the best of ideas and told her the complications that may and will arise. She stared at me, flipped what was left of her hair, smacked her gum and said “It’s Christmas and this is what I want. I want to be blonde so let me buy my stuff and keep your opinions to yourself…ok?!?!”. …if she makes it to blonde it truly is a Christmas miracle.

– “You are a liar!” – what is said to me when I tell someone an item is on back order and I don’t know when it is arriving. – People, please, for the last time, I don’t work in the warehouse and am not in charge of  shipping and receiving…and seriously…I am not going to lie about a product being on back order…about your choice of hair color…maybe.

– “Can you give me the model numbers of all the flat irons you sell so I can look up their reviews on line?” – a call I get at least once a week. I sell 15 different models.

– “Will my husband like the smell of Joico shampoo more than Sebastian shampoo?”. When I answer that I don’t know I am always asked “why?”…this is why my jaw line is so firm…forcing back laughter all day keeps the jaw line nice and firm.

– A grown woman pouted and exclaimed “Come on!!! Life is so unfair! Nothing is going my way!”. Her cries of desperation were not because of a job loss or a sick loved one…her hairspray wasn’t available in a travel size and she was leaving for Europe for 3 weeks…the horror.

– “I bought this foot file and I don’t like the way it felt on my feet, I want to return it.”. The answer is no…and eewww.

– At our shop we always hold a monthly draw for a gift of free product. This month we are offering weekly draws along with our monthly draw. I am asked at least 10 times a day “What is the difference between the monthly draw and the weekly draw?”…Santa and the Baby Jesus have their work cut out for them this year.

– “Why do all the holiday packs have pictures of decorations on them?”…I really wish I was makin’ this up…I really do.

– “What does the Peppermint hand lotion smell like?”…oh how I wish I could say “Lemons”.

– “What do you mean I can’t return this comb? I only used it twice?!? I think you and your policy are stupid!!!” – after I explained I cannot re sell a USED comb

Today is Saturday on my side of the world. Saturdays and Christmas shoppers aren’t always the best of blends. Be kind out there. Be patient. I would tell you to think before you speak but I have to admit…some of the stuff we hear helps us make it through the day. Oh yes…although my first “flat iron being thrown at my head” incident was at Christmas time many years ago, it isn’t festive nor is it a tradition I wish to carry forth. So please, do not throw the flat iron.

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

Tales of Truth – Part 6

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather round. Yes, it is that time again, tales of truth. The past week has been an unusual one, more so than normal. Maybe it’s the weather…a tad milder than normal, maybe it’s the holiday season approaching, maybe it is the pressure to have the turkey basted to perfection. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I was looking at my calender counting the days until the next available hour I would have to myself (December 3rd.) that I realized there is a full moon approaching. That explains everything.

Here is a glimpse into the daily life of that girl in the red coat, what I hear and what I see and sometimes wish I could un-see.

– “Your hair looks so nice, like fur, like….my cat. Oh, your hair reminds me of my cat.” – Thank god she said cat. (wait for it…there you go)

– “I want to get a Brazilian done. I heard it was easy enough. Do you think if I do the splits standing up and use the wall to hold my balance I could do it?”. I didn’t know what to say so I told her to You Tube the how to video on Brazilian Waxing. (You are gonna look it up now aren’t you? You know you are. You aren’t fooling anyone.).

– “If you can curl your hair with it, why do you call it a flat iron?” – how is it that these people make more money than I do?

– “Do you sell toe nail polish?” – had to explain that nail polish can be used on both finger nails and toe nails – I swear I did a shoulder check looking for a camera crew and Ashton Kutcher

– A customer asked the difference between root boost and mousse. I explained that “root boost is sprayed directly at the root, rub it in and then blow dry. A mousse is a foam that you disburse into your hand, emulsify it in both hands and rub it through out the hair, then blow dry.”. She stared at me and responded with “so..what’s the difference?” – Where is the principal’s office when you need it?

– A woman  called the shop asking me if I thought her hair color was too brassy. I told her it would be easier for me to tell if she was at the shop. She asked me why.

– I had a customer ask for a product line I did not carry. “I bought it here before! You don’t know what you are talking about.”. I apologized and explained that our shop has never carried that line. “Well , I know I bought it here! I shop here all the time! Give me your head office’s phone number!”. I told her we were locally owned and operated and not part of a chain. That’s when the light bulb switched on and she realized not only was she in the wrong store, she was on the wrong city. I offered her a complimentary mint.

– “My son loves computers. Can he come behind the counter while I shop?” – didn’t realize I had such a resemblance to Nanny McPhee

– A customer asked me if we sold Sebastian Shaper Plus. I said yes and took her over to the shelf. She just stood there saying “Really. You sell Sebastian Shaper Plus.”. She said it three times, then stared at me. I asked if she wanted me to get it down for her. She nodded as she stared and smiled and then walked up to the counter. I stood back for a minute- in case an alien sprang out of her chest or her head began to spin around.

There are five more days until the full moon. Although the thought of what may be said or seen does frighten me a little, it will make for some great tales to tell and maybe even bring a bit of laughter to an otherwise dull day.

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

What are you so scared of?

Today’s tale is for all the stylists out there. Not a stylist? You may continue reading, you may even end up telling your stylist about this blog. It could help her be a better stylist and help you and her other clients like their hair for more than two days after the appointment.

You see, most Salon’s do not put any energy or focus into their retail. Retail meaning selling the products that they use during their services, be it a pomade or a flat iron. Everyday, and I mean everyday I have women coming into our shop saying the exact same thing… “I just had my hair done a few days ago and it looked great but now look at it!!! I don’t know what she (meaning the stylist) used and I can’t do my hair.”. So, this is wear my rendition of 20 questions begins. “What shape was the bottle she used?”. “What color was the bottle?”. “Did it foam up or did it look creamy?”. You get the point.

Something I cannot wrap my head around is this. A stylist has no problem telling their client that their service will cost $185.00 but they cannot muster up the courage to ask the client if she would like to purchase the mousse that was just put into her hair for $10.95. Seriously?!? It’s a win win. The client will be able to achieve the look you have just given them and the time in between each visit, your client will be happy with her hair and in turn with you, her stylist.

I have compiled a little list for all you stylists out there of what a client sitting in your chair should never hear. I mean NEVER.

– when your client asks “What’s that your using?” DO NOT answer “Oh, just some free stuff from my rep.”. Tell her what it is, tell her how to use it, offer to her that she can buy some on her way out.

– after finishing your color service and your client asks “What shampoo should I use?” DO NOT say “Oh, just pick something up at the drugstore”. – Are you crazy? Anything but professional shampoo could fade her color and make her hair look dull and lifeless – and guess what? When that happens she isn’t going to blame the shampoo – she’s gonna blame you.

– when your client asks about flat irons DO NOT answer her with “Oh…these are for professionals only” – come on…it’s not brain surgery…if you can iron a shirt, you can use a flat iron. Besides, it sounds a little rude and kind of belittles your client.

– if your client is currently using a professional hair care line that you do not carry, do not tell her “Oh, that line is crap!”. Now you have not only made yourself look stupid, you have insulted your client. Instead, compliment her choice and offer something similar that you carry. If you are not familiar with the line she uses, keep your mouth shut and after she leaves hop on Google and educate yourself.

If you decide to sell retail (which you should), sell the client the proper product, not the one with the highest commission or profit margin. Greedy will get you nowhere FAST. Think about it, would you like to be sold something that isn’t what you need just so the salesman gets a spiff? (Spiffs are when product has a higher commission put on it because the product needs to be sold).

All the manufacturer’s from A-G to Sebastian offer free product knowledge training for all salon employee’s. They offer awesome promo’s for your stylists and your customers. I have had many of the companies give me free product for a gift basket that my shop either puts in a monthly draw or offers as a donation for local charities.

In recent years the shampoos, conditioners and styling products at the drug stores and department stores have increased their prices and quite honestly, when they are not on sale, they are only $1.00 – $3.00 less than professional salon products. I believe our clients and customers deserve to have a good hair day everyday.

What about you?