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

Not your usual Top Ten list

Everywhere you look, on facebook, on twitter, on Pinterest, even on the cover of the magazine’s at the express check out, everyone seems to have the newest idea or the newest “how to” for your “best hair day EVER!”. Granted, some of these idea’s are quite useful and helpful. Many, sadly are not. There are no miracle cures for split ends, there isn’t a 10 minute technique to make a brunette a platinum blonde, and sorry to burst your bubble – your hair will not grow 2 inches in 2 weeks – no matter what product you put on your scalp. Over the past weeks many customers have wandered into the shop with the same question “Do you have something that will fix this?”, as they point to their head…or hat depending on the damage done. I have seen women with hair that looked and felt like straw. I have seen women who’s hair felt like wet cotton – although their hair was dry. I have seen women with patches of singed hair. I have seen women, that their hair had so many shades of gold and orange their head looked like a paint swatch. As always, my aim is to educate and enlighten, so, being me, I have compiled a list. A “Top Ten of what not to do” list. You’re welcome.

1 – If you want to be the blonde bombshell that you have always known was inside you, do not attempt this at home. I know the box shows you that a brunette became a platinum blonde – trust me, it’s not gonna happen. Save yourself an evening locked in the bathroom and go to the Salon.

2 – Coconut oil smells terrific and has many health benefits. One thing it is not is a thermal protectant. *Unless the package states it is a thermal protectant and meant to be used with a flat iron, DO NOT use any oil on dry hair and then proceed to use your flat iron. I want you to picture a hot frying pan…what happens when you add oil to it? Exactly. See my previous post –

3 – Split ends are a result of damage – from being too aggressive with the brush while trying to rid yourself of tangles to over processing your lovely locks. The best way to keep those pesky splits at bay? Go for a trim every few weeks. Before you faint – get out your smelling salts – I am not saying get inches chopped off. Ask for a baby trim – literally millimeters trimmed off…or 1/8″ for my non metric beauties.

4 – There isn’t any product on the market that will make your hair grow inches in weeks. There are some products out there that state you will notice 1 – 2 inches of growth in 6 weeks…that is the usual amount of growth for anyone in good health.

5 – Toner is not a magic potion found in a magic bottle.

6 – Purple Shampoo/ Blue Shampoo will rid your lovely blonde or silver locks of the yellow/brassy tones that blondes/silvers pick up due to product build up, pollution and nicotine. Purple/Blue Shampoo will not make you more blonde. If you have colored your hair and you now look like the great pumpkin, no amount of shampoo will make you blonde. Time to call the Salon.

7 – Plastering your teen daughter’s head with hairspray will not stop her oily scalp. I don’t know who thought this one up. Oily scalp is common for teens, boys and girls alike. It is hormonal. Senscience Specialty Shampoo, Joico’s Daily Care Treatment Shampoo, RUSK Sensories Purify Shampoo and AG Peppermint Wash are terrific shampoo’s to help oily scalp conditions.

8 – A professional stylist would never tell you how to color your hair. Until the color is applied, there is no way of knowing how that color is going to process on your hair – something to remember the next time you are told “oh yeah…just use this and that and you’ll be fine”. …I know it happens, the stylists in my Salon are booking color corrections because of so called “professional” advice.

9 – Unless you have natural wave or curl in your hair, you need to use a curling iron or get a perm to achieve tight, bouncy curls. No amount of curl activating cream will make your poker straight hair curly. You may achieve a slight kinky wave from the product build up, but if ringlets are what you desire, you will need some mechanical (curling iron/wand) or chemical help (perm).

10 – Most conditioning treatments have done all they can do in 20 minutes. Leaving them on overnight has no added benefits.

I know I said this was a Top Ten list, I do have one more very important addition…throwing the flat iron is never a solution.

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

You don’t want ’em? I’ll take ’em.

Again, my intention for today’s tale was to tell you all about the awesome mousses out there, alas, I am in need of telling another tale. On twitter (yeah, I’m on twitter too….I am everywhere), I saw that Tabatha Coffey had tweeted whatever happened to professionalism and integrity, which is what I found myself thinking yesterday. You see, I am working this weekend, Saturday and Sunday – not my usual schedule. Yeah, working the weekend  at 40 is a bummer but my PTG (part time girl) is awesome and deserved a weekend away. (oh, to be 21. ).

Anywho, I am finding myself quite thankful for working this weekend. Yes, it helps that it is raining, I will admit. The reason for my gratitude is not just because of Mother Nature but that I have been present to help women in desperate need of help and advice, be it with beauty advice or just having someone listen to them for one minute.

One woman is in the midst of chemo for the second time and is afraid of losing the hair she has left and her stylist told her to get a wig. So I introduced her to the Nioxin hair care line. Once her chemo is completed it may be the answer for her. Nioxin is formulated to help stop hair loss in its tracks and in many circumstances the hair that has been lost grows back. I have seen it with my own eyes on many occasions – no worries my lovelies, I will tell the tale of Nioxin soon.

I have seen 3 women in two days that have had improper removal of their gel/shellac/acrylic nails and they have come into the shop with their heads hanging low and hardly able to open the door because their fingers are so red and their nails are as white as fresh fallen snow. The culprits? Soaking in a bowl of acetone and the ever evil dremel tool. (Dremel tools are great…for DIY’s and crafts ladies…not your fingernails.). The one woman was on anti-fungal medication because the tools at the nail place she went to were not cleaned and disinfected properly – so not only does she have sore hands and fingers, she has to get her liver function checked every two weeks. ( The oral medication you must take for fungal infections can damage your liver). Please…read my tale “put my hand where?”. Tell your friends. Thank you…and NEVER be ashamed! It was not your fault. Keep your chin up…if only to reduce the look of a double chin in pictures.

I met a woman who’s hair was meant to be blonde, but that was not her outcome. A stylist told her to buy a purple shampoo to get rid of the brassy tone left on her hair. Ladies and Gents – to be clear – purple/blue shampoo’s will remove brassy tones on blondes and people with grey/silver hair – the brassy tones caused by product/pollution/nicotine build up. If you color turns out brassy – no amount of purple/blue shampoo is going to diminish that brass. You need to go back to the stylist and you need a toner. * DO NOT try to do this yourself.

A woman came in to buy a flat iron and had been told by her stylist that if the cost isn’t over $200.00 (like at her Salon I was to find out) that the flat iron was “crap” , classy move, I know. So I explained the differences between all the flat irons and their features. I asked her if she travels alot, and low and behold she travels to Europe. So I explained Universal Voltage and why she needed her flat iron to have it (short explanation – so it won’t set on fire or short out). I let her know I was familiar with the flat iron her stylist had told her about and that it was not universal voltage. She ended up informed, happy and with the right product- universal voltage, auto shut off, up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and spent under $100.00.

As promised on my first entry, these tales will sometimes be product knowledge, tales from the customer’s perspective, tales from the stylist’s perspective and from my perspective…well… a lot from my perspective it seems. Today’s tale is to help wake up the stylists, nail techs, and Salon owners to educate yourselves, use the proper techniques and procedures, pay attention to your clients, listen to them. Also, inform yourselves about other products out there that you may not sell so that you can tell your clients about something comparable that you sell. Don’t get me wrong, I love selling products to your clients, I don’t understand why you don’t and your clients wonder the same thing, trust me, I hear it everyday.



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

Proceed with caution…

It was a quiet morning in the shop. The sun was shining, you could hear the hum of the hair dryers in the Salon and the lively chit chat of our stylist and her client, the air conditioning was keeping me cool and I was catching up on the payroll and inventory. I hear the familiar chirp of the Salon door and before I have a chance to stand up and say hello, the customer is at the front desk “I need you to get me color, toner and the applicator.”. (here we go…). Before I venture further into this tale, let me explain something for those who have not been in my shop. We do sell color. Wella ColorCharm. It is the only professional color line that is allowed to be retailed to the public. We carry it because our competitor’s carry it, and also in case stylist’s need color and either the wholesaler is closed or their license has expired and still do hair from home. In my shop we do not teach people how to do their own color, we do not even advise how to begin. Now, back to today’s tale.

I stand up from the desk and ask her exactly what does she mean and proceed to tell her that toner isn’t just one bottle and I also let her know that the applicator depends on if she wants to use cream or liquid. You see ladies and gents, by asking a few questions, I can tell if she knows what she is doing and if I need to proceed with caution. Guess what? HUGE yellow light. From the look on her face I know 1- she doesn’t understand what I am talking about and 2 – she is getting mad. “My friend said you would tell me what to do and give me what I need!”. (for a minute it felt like I was in a bad after school special). I explained that in the past the previous owner and employees may have given the how to’s for coloring at home, but we do not. I showed her the color swatch book, showed her where the product was and explained “We cannot guarantee the results because we are not applying the color, there are many factors that have to be taken into account when coloring hair, like the hair’s porosity, if you are on any medication it will affect your hair, how resistant is your gray, have you used box dye from the department store in the last year, and many other factors.”. I even offered to introduce her to one of our stylists to make an appointment. (which in turn made her more upset because the next available appointment was for the next week). As I was explaining that I didn’t want something to go wrong with her color and then she would be facing the cost of a color correction, she turned on her heel and stormed out. I understood her frustration.

Later that afternoon the telephone rings. I answer with my usual friendly afternoon greeting to which I hear “Is this the Salon in the Tim Horton’s plaza?!?!”. “Yes it is, how can I help you?”. “Is there a manager around there?!?”. “Yes! That’s me, how can I help you?”. “HHMMPT…were you working this morning?!?!”. “Yes, I was. I was the only one in the store. What can I do for you?”(smiling all the while…*a tip…always smile when you are on the phone…less chance of sounding rude). “…oh…you’re the…man…never mind.”. Before she could hang up, “Are you calling because your friend came in for color this morning?” I ask. “uh, yes, I am.”. So I thanked her for calling and apologized if I had offended her friend in anyway for that was not my intention. I explained the new ownership and the new rules. I explained that these are chemicals and yes, sometimes things go well but there is the chance it will not and I didn’t want her friend’s hair to turn into a nightmare for her. I told her I knew that our competition was giving the how to’s for at home color and I also told her how my stylist now has 10 new color clients because she had to correct their how to’s. By the end of the call, it seemed all was smoothed over. I am hoping so.

The reason for today’s tale is to let you know that there are salespeople who care about the customer, not just the sale. I would rather have a customer leave without a purchase and be informed than buy a product that is not meant for what they want and have their hair look horrible – and not for why you think. Yes, I care what people think and say about our store, anyone in retail does. I don’t want their hair to look horrible because I know what it feels like to be given the wrong information about your hair and then being afraid the mirror will crack every time you look into it, and I do not want to be the reason for that misery. I am sure when the customer stormed out that day she was putting a hex on me, and that’s okay. I would rather her be mad at me for a few minutes(or hours/days…take your pick), then to go home and have her hair turn green or orange. I know neons are in right now, but come on.

Stylists spend 18 months on color theory. Depending on what color you are trying to achieve it can be a delicate process. Remember, no matter how you slice it or glam it up with a hot new name, color is a chemical and when using chemicals you must know what you are doing. If you want to attempt your own color, the only advice I can give you is to proceed with caution.

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, Uncategorized

You can’t handle the truth

Everyday, I am asked questions. Everyday, I try to answer them as honestly as I know how. I may be a manager but I am also a consumer. As a consumer, I want to know as much as I can about a purchase and I want the truth when I ask about my purchase. So, I assumed everyone would want all the information, the truth, an honest answer. My father always told me I hold my expectations of the average person too high…it took me 39 years to realize he is right. This past week has had many examples of people who, as Colonel Jessop stated, can’t handle the truth.

– A client had jet black hair and wanted to be blonde, that day. Not possible. We explained to keep her hair from breaking off or turning to wet sludge it would take a few processes,that because of the box dye she had used there was some color build up. We told her what products to use to repair the damage she had and to get her hair in better condition to begin the lightening process – even gave her some samples. After the pouting stopped, the angry tirade began….I was accused of not knowing what I was talking about and that I was somehow holding out information so that she couldn’t get what she wanted. (I really gotta get some business cards from a local shrink – cross promote our services).

– A client looking for toner. Again, I cannot stress enough, toner is not a magic liquid that comes in a magic bottle. It can be any color. It can process within seconds of being on your hair. If you are not careful it can make a blonde go orange, gold, purple or silver. Please, share this tidbit with all of your friends….toner is not a magic potion. If you are looking for toner in a container labelled “toner” – go to Staples. Otherwise – see your stylist.

– Our hair grows. Everyday. Some people’s faster than others. That is why you will get a different color of hair at your roots and hair line. It is called regrowth. No, hair color does not go into the scalp so your hair grows out that color. No, there is not a product that stops that. Even in death your hair grows.(yeah…I said it). If you don’t like the signs of regrowth, try high and low lights – that way your roots aren’t as noticeable.

– A client wanted volume in her hair but didn’t want to use product. I told her that to achieve the volume and the look she wanted, she would need a little bit of product and if she used a blow dryer it would help too. I was told that if I cared about the environment I wouldn’t use a hair dryer. She stormed out and got into her Hummer. (I kid you not).

– A mother came in with her daughter looking for hot pink hair dye. I explained that we don’t sell it, because the vibrant hair color dye is not allowed to be sold to the public. We don’t carry it because we are a retailer, not a wholesaler. Again, big surprise, I was yelled at…told I was unfair and that I made no sense and should not discriminate against the public. I gave her the toll free number of the company that supplies color to LICENSED stylists and told her she should call them. As she stormed out calling me stupid I thought about what a wonderful example she was setting for her daughter….and I swear I heard a banjo playing.

This week will be a fun filled week for my readers. I was told all my life to be honest and tell the truth, so this week that is exactly what you will get, the truth. So hold on my friends. Hold on.

Beauty, Hair Care

Ya got the right attitude…ya got the wrong person

At our Salon, I have printed out a calender of when the full moon will rise each month so we are prepared for what will come through the door. I can honestly say that a full moon makes people a little crazy.

Today’s tale begins. “Hi There! How are you today?” ( from yours truly) “Do you sell toner? My daughter needs it!” ( Guess she didn’t see yesterday’s blog). The first red flag pops up. Now, in her defense, she has seen all the commercials that truly are not so easy and nice so of course it seems like an easy fix. So you all know – Toner is not just one bottle, nor is it one color. Applying a toner is a science and an art form – you must know the color wheel, you must know your color line, you must know the porosity of the hair…in other words, you should be a hair stylist. Getting back to my tale.  After explaining that we needed to see the hair in question, that every color line is different and that she should really go back from whence she came and speak to the stylist in question because she knows what she used and because she would probably want to know her client wasn’t happy and would probably fix it. Then it happened. A grown woman started with the shakes, the quivering lip, the sighs, the gasps, the anger – I was waiting for “NO MORE WIRE HANGERS” to be shouted, I kid you not. “She won’t go back there! No way!!Why won’t you tell me what to do?” (kinda just did). Yes, she had a reason to be upset – WITH THE STYLIST, not with me – right attitude, WRONG person.

I understand the frustration of bad hair. I know the pain of dealing with a teenager after a bad hair experience. Be the parent. Keep your cool. Show your child the proper way to deal with life’s misfortunes. Teach them how to ask for what they want and how to tell someone that they are not happy with what they received (without pouting, shaking or swearing). Save the drama for the Oscars and be kind.

The full moon will rise in a few days, I wonder what today will bring?