There are many ways to blowdry the hair, and there is a wide variety of brushes you can use when drying the hair. Most people use a vent brush, which is a brush with vents between the rows of bristles. The vents allow the air to flow through the brush itself. I sometimes use vent brushes, but one of my secrets to drying hair is to replace the vent brush with a paddle brush. Paddle brushes have solid backs to them. This keeps the heat directly on the hair, drying it faster than a conventional vent brush. The biggest change I’ve made in my drying technique has been switching to a paddle brush when blowing the hair dry. This works especially well with short hair. You’ll find paddle brushes add more volume than vent brushes. I’ve even gone farther by finding a paddle brush with a very short handle…the kind they sell in accessory shops in the mall for women to throw in their purse. They only cost about $2.00 and are just wonderful. I call it my secret weapon, and once you become proficient with using one, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
I like when women blowdry their hair straight. However, most women have some breakage, usually caused by pulling the hair up in a ponytail. this breakage ofter occurs around the hairline. To remedy this, I use Aveda’s Self-Control hairstyling stick. It looks like a bar of deodorant. Use it to make flyaways or breakage lay down, and use it on cowlicks or unruly hair. I suppose you can use it under your arms too, if your underarm hair gets unruly…..
I just wrapped up a little experiment I conducted, testing over a dozen professional products used to add shine to the hair. Some products looked a little greasy, some smelled funky. Others were really terrific. So here are the results of my little survey…
Best Shine Product: Shinesque by Nexxus. This product comes in a small aerosol spray can. Most other shine products are either spritzes or thick liquid drops. The small can can be taken anywhere, and the results are very impressive. It’s easy to use and doesnt make it look as if you just combed your hair with a pork chop.
Honorable Mentions: Rusk Shining. This comes in a pump spray, is virtually odorless and looks very natural on the hair. One pump is all you need for even long hair. I currently use this one on my clients. Rusk also makes Sheer Brilliance polisher, which comes in a lotion form. Also a very nice product. Matrix Biolage Shine Renewal is a very fine product, it is a pump spray and comes in a small easy to carry bottle. This has been a great seller in the salon, it practically flies off the shelf. Artec PureHair Neroli Reflecting SprayShine is a high quality product, made with plant extracts, and has a wonderful smell to it. It is one of my favorites out of all that I tested.
Dear readers, I’m afraid the time has finally come to bring this column to a close. Writing has always been, and forever will be, a passion of mine. Unfortunately, there is only so much one can write about when it comes to hairstyling. I’ve covered all there is to cover, and hopefully I’ve imparted some knowledge along the way. I am not saying by any means that I’ve learned all there is to learn within my profession; only that the well has run dry when it comes to ideas.
Hopefully, someone will be able to pick up where I left off and breathe some fresh air into a topic that has become stale. I appreciate all the positive comments I have received along the way, and am grateful that I had the chance to share my columns with you.
There are some final words of advice that I’d like to share; I guess you can say it’s a summary of everything I have learned in the hairstyling profession.
I’ve learned that beauty does not exist. It is only something that lives in our minds, and our idea of beauty will change as time goes by. One day, years from now, you will go through a photo album and see a picture of yourself and wonder, “What was I thinking when I had that hairstyle?”. Everyone’s ideal of beauty is different, and no matter how hard you try, no matter how much money you invest, you cannot live up to everyone’s expectations. There are some people who will look at a famous supermodel and not find them attractive. There are people who will look at an “ugly” person and think they are the most perfect person God has ever created.
Since there is no point wasting time trying to live up to an ideal of beauty that may or may not exist, you must learn to look in the mirror and see the beauty that exists within yourself. Never color your hair because your husband likes redheads. Never cut your hair because your wife prefers short hair. Don’t try to live up to someone else’s idea of beautiful; instead, be yourself. You are already beautiful.
Alot of people spend an obscene amount of time and money chasing after the elusive dream of perfection. I’ve seen women cry over bad haircuts. In some people’s minds, being beautiful is all that matters. That is a shame. There are so many more important things in life besides hair. Family. Friendships. Happiness. You cannot be happy if you look in the mirror all day judging yourself. It doesn’t matter. A hundred years from now, you will look no better than any of your contemporaries. Even if you spend a million dollars on improving your image, you will still find something about your appearance you’d like to change.
One of the most fascinating facets of the beauty industry is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is mysterious, an age-old remedy for everything from headaches to arthritis. It utilizes a diverse array of tools from candles, oils, lotions, to incense. Aromatherapy is steeped in an air of mystery, which may account for its allure. People are captivated by things that seem foreign and exotic.
Whether you realize it or not, you probably have used aromatherapy in your everyday life without even realizing it. Scents are everywhere, and each particular aroma has a certain physical or psychological effect on the person who is smelling it. If a certain fragrance has ever made you feel a certain way, then you have essentially utilized aromatherapy. Some scents remind you of forgotten places or long-lost loves. Some fill you with energy, while other sooth an relax you. Identifying the fragrances that have an effect on you can help you lead a healthier and less-stressful life.
The basis of aromatherapy is essential oils. Essential oils are what gives a particular plant its characteristic odor and flavor. Each plant, tree, or flower has one essential oil that is unique to that particular plant, tree, or flower. It’s what makes mint smell like mint, and what makes basil smell like basil. Each essential oil has a specific effect on a person’s body or mind. Some effects are physical; for instance, tea tree oil increases circulation when applied topically to the skin. Other effects are mental. Bergamot can be used to alleviate depression, while other aromas can decrease appetite and calm jittery nerves. Aromas are highly individualized. What may relieve nausea for some people may cause nausea for other people. Aromatherapy should be used to enhance a person’s health, and it should never take the place of emergency medical treatment. There are those who claim aromatherapy can cure everything from colds to cancer, but these are the type of people you should avoid. Aromatherapy is an aid that can enhance medical treatment, but it should never take the place of medical treatment.
The methods essential oils are diffused vary greatly. Incense is a popular method, but the smoke generated may irritate people who are sensitive to smoke. Oils and lotions are very popular as well, but they might cause irritation to people with sensitive skin. The key is to use the method that best suits the client. I prefer to use diffusers, which are electrical appliances that dispense the oil’s molecules through the air. Diffusers are also easier to clean up after than oils, creams, candles, or incense.
I’d like to think that I’ve seen everything one could see in the world of hairstyling, but just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes something that totally blows your mind. When people get into serious hair trouble, I’m the one they come to. And I mean that quite literally…it seems there are days when my co-workers get all the easy and low-maintainence clients, and I’m inundated with people who’ve attempted to cut, color, or perm their own hair and in the process have turned it funky colors or have made it fall out, break off, or turn to mush. And yes, I have seen hair turn to mush. This month, I dedicate this column to all you daring and courageous do-it-yourself hairstylists who keep me in business and make my day interesting. This is your survival guide for overcoming hair disasters of Hindenburg proportions.
PROBLEM: Bubblegum stuck in hair
CAUSE: Most likely happens to people who fall asleep with gum in their mouths, or the gum gets stuck in the hair when attempting to spit the gum out. Most victims are children, although I have witnessed this happening to adults.
SOLUTION: Solidify the gum by gently rubbing an ice cube over it. Then, using small household scissors, cut away as much of the gum as possible without cutting off any hair. Use an oil (mineral oil seems to work best) to loosen the remaining gum and slide the loosened chunks down the hairshaft to the ends. Do not shampoo until all the gum is out, otherwise hair will knot. Apply a leave-in conditioner or detangler and gently comb out remaining tangles with a wide-tooth comb. Peanut butter, mayonnaise, and bacon grease have all been used in the removal of gum, due to their high oil content, but they are not recommended because food products may attract insects.
PROBLEM: Child takes chunk out of hair with scissors.
CAUSE: Your child finds the scissors and attempts to play hairstylist; usually the day before school pictures.
SOLUTION: If the chunk missing is in the back or near the ends of the hair, a hairstylist can easily fix the situation with minimal loss of hair. But more likey, your child took out a big chunk in the front hairline close to the scalp. The stylist may have to fix this by giving him/her a style with bangs, in order to cover the missing chunk. For boys, I would suggest a cut in which the hair is worn forward, such as a Caesar cut, which consists of closely cropped or faded sides blending up to a scissor-cut top which is left longer in the front.
Every now and then, a person should toot his own horn, it’s good for the ego. I spend alot of time analyzing and forecasting trends, and its quite a thrill to see your forecast come true. I wonder if weather forecasters get the same satisfaction….In 2015, I had written in one of my columns that choppy, wispy, and uneven bangs were on the way out. I even went so far as to prophetize that by this year, the trend would lean towards a long solid bang. Many readers wrote back scoffing the heavy-bang prediction, saying that it would never come true. I was happy to see the return of the blunt bang on the cover of the American Salon magazine. Several articles in other May issues of fashion magazines raved about the appearance of the blunt bangs that had graced the Spring runway shows. While other stylists are satisfied following trends, I find my satisfaction in creating them.
This installment of Hairdressing Diary focuses on a photoshoot I conducted in 2015. I was preparing for that year’s NAHA (North American hairstyling Awards), and I had a few ideas I had been throwing around in my head that I wanted to try out. I decided to enter the Avant-Garde category, which consists of hairstyles that border on the eccentric and sometimes bizarre.
I had worked out my ideas on paper a few months prior to the shoot. I made a list of the supplies I would need, and then tried to construct a budget. My original idea involved elaborate underwater lighting and costumes that revolved around a mermaid theme. It soon became clear that there would be no way to finance such an undertaking. I was a “starving artist”, so to speak, so I had to come up with a new idea that would not put me in a financial mudhole. I found my inspiration in an old cemetery, of all places, in the form of a large statue of an angel. I knew I had to recreate that sculpture, but at the time I had no clue as to how I would go about it. Later that evening, I began constructing the wings that would later be used in the shoot. They had to look like stone, but at the same time be light enough for the model to wear for several hours of shooting. I stayed up the entire night making the wings out of papier-mache, which I painted gray using acrylic paint. I found that the paint looked authentic on the wings, so I tested it on my skin, and it looked very convincing. The only question was, could I use this paint to cover an entire body? I dismissed the idea of using theatrical make-up, because it always appeared moist on the skin. I needed something that looked like a statue, and acrylic paint was just what I was looking for. I bought six tubes of paint, estimating that it would take at least that much to cover a person.