• Scissor Happy!

    “From first haircuts on toddlers to last haircuts before chemo, being a part of incredibly intimate moments in your clients’ lives is such an honor.”

    Growing up, one of my closest friends enlisted in the Air Force right after 9/11. He was a musician and was known for his long, blonde hair. Before he shipped off to boot camp, as sort of a bon voyage, he invited his closest friends and family to the salon with him to cut off his ponytail. It was supposed to be fun, a light-hearted event.

    But I’ll never forget how real it became that he was leaving, going off to fight for our freedom, once he cut off his hair. I cried, his mother cried, even the hairdresser cried because she felt it too—she was just as much a part of the experience as we were.

    This was one of many times that made me think about all the shining moments and opportunities hairdressers have to connect with people.

    One of my very first haircuts, while I was in cosmetology school at Pivot Point International, was on a 9-year-old girl named Logan. She was scared when she had seen a girl in a salon getting her head shaved, crying, surrounded by family. Logan didn’t understand why this girl had no hair or eyebrows and had asked her mom shy she looked like that. When her mom told her it was because she had cancer and was losing her hair, Logan decided to grow out her hair so she could donate it. I was given the honor of cutting off Logan’s hair for donation.

    When I was done, I spun around the chair so Logan could see her new haircut, and she started to cry. But she assured me she wasn’t upset. “I’m so happy that I’ll be able to give my hair to another little girl who needs it more than I do,” she told me.

    It’s an incredible privilege to be a hairdresser. From first haircuts on toddlers to last haircuts before chemo, to wedding days, military buzz-cuts and transformational post-break-up makeovers—being a part of incredibly intimate moments in your clients’ lives is such an honor.


    Alison Alhamed, Editor in Chief

    Source: Modern Salon

  • Wash Your Hands: 5 Common Mistakes

    From time to time, it helps to remind ourselves to focus on the task at hand—and when you’re washing that hand, it’s extra important! Hand-washing is among the top suggestions for making sure you don’t catch what your clients and team members bring into the salon—or what those people sneezing on the bus or in the grocery store are spreading.

    Dr. James Malow, an infectious disease specialist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, lists five common slip-ups you may be making during your hand-washing routine:

    1. < > Too quick. Thorough hand-washing takes 15 to 20 seconds. The traditional advice to sing two rounds of “Happy Birthday” still applies. < > Not frequently enough. Wash your hands after every time you visit the restroom, handle garbage or touch surfaces in a public place. No matter how often you’ve washed that day, repeat the washing before you eat. < > Touching bathroom surfaces. This is tricky! Bathroom surfaces are hot spots for germs, so after washing your hands in a public restroom, use a clean towel to turn off the tap and open the door when you leave. At home, you can do the same if a family member is sick. < > Insufficient drying. Germs thrive in moisture, so even if you’ve washed with soap you’re not home free until you’ve thoroughly dried your hands. < > Bothering with antibacterial soap. When used properly, any soap is effective at killing germs. Since there are some concerns that antibacterial soaps may contribute to a rise in drug-resistant bacteria and the growth of liver tumors, you’re better off avoiding these soaps.

      “Clean hands save lives,” Dr. Malow says. “Hand-washing is simple, effective and proven to help avoid the spread of illness like the flu. Pay attention to how you’re washing, and you’ll effectively protect yourself and those around you.”

    Source: ModernSalon

  • 10 Ways to Help Ease the Pain for Your Waxing Clients

    Reach for your flip flops, swimsuits and tank tops; spring has sprung and warm weather is here (at least for some of us). To ready your salon/spa for the influx of hair removal customers who are about to come out of their winter hibernation, help market your services by being known as the establishment that offers basically pain-free hair removal.

    We asked Anna Bralley , Senior Manager, Product Development, Universal Companies , and licensed esthetician and nail technician how estheticians can eliminate pain for their clients before, during and after a hair-removal service.

    Here, she offers us 10 tips:

    1. Stick to the basics. (For example, don’t try to wax hair in shapes.)

    2. Have your client take ibuprofen one hour prior to waxing.

    3. Don’t wax when the client is menstruating or suffering with PMS.

    4. Make sure the client’s hair is at least a 1/4 of an inch long.

    5. Have the client stop shaving three to four weeks before the waxing appointment.

    6. Have client exfoliate three weeks prior to the appointment.

    7. Schedule appointments every three to four weeks. Each time the pain will get less severe.

    8. Use lidocaine or other pre-wax products.

    9. Create a relaxing, spa-like environment with soothing music, etc.

    10. Be professional and courteous. Uptight customers will experience more pain.

    Source: Modern Salon

  • Texture Techniques

    The industry is fully embracing curly girls rather than resigning them to a flatiron or blowout. Don’t shy away from curly cuts and styles.

    Tips for curly cutting

    Before reaching for shears, the most important part of cutting curls is a consultation. Assess a client’s texture in its dry, natural state first.

    “Look at the shape and texture, and identify the curl type and pattern,” says Melanie Fahey, Ouidad VP of education. “Ask your client what their curl goals are. Always ask your client to show you exactly where they wish for their length to sit after it has been cut.”

    No two curls are identical. Both Fahey and Cal Ellis, the DevaCurl technical training manager, stress the importance of cutting curls individually rather than in a uniform manner. Also, remember that varying texture types-loose curl, spiral, coil, etc.-behave differently.

    “The tighter the curl, the tighter the spring factor-how much the curl springs up,” Ellis says. “Cutting the hair dry, in its natural form, allows the true curl pattern to be seen and helps the stylist and client see the shape transform during the cutting process. Also, the length of some curls appears longer when wet.

    Ellis also considers existing hydration levels before a chop. Cutting curls dry with loose to minimal tension using sharp shears ensures you’ll glide through the hair, not shred it.

    Styling curls

    Once the cut is complete, the right styling products are essential for a flawless finish. The key is to achieve moisture, definition and hold with soft, touchable results.

    “Choosing the best cleansers and stylers depends on the curl type, level of hydration, aspirations, and lifestyle,” Ellis says.

    Fahey focuses on products that will complement the curl she’s working on; Ouidad identifies curl types as loose, classic, tight or kinky.

    “We have a portfolio of products that work prescriptively for each curl type,” Fahey says. “When used on the targeted type, breathable and layer-able products in each line create ultra-hydrated, shiny curls with the style memory that lasts for days.”

    Texture tamer

    Once you master curly cutting and styling, you can impact your clients’ lives for the better.

    “Curly girls can finally have the shape they’ve always dreamed about,” Ellis says. “Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing their hair inches shorter than what they asked for, our clients burst into tears of joy.”

    Source: first chair