My Dad is Smart, But He's Not Hair Smart

My dad is a pretty cool guy. He has a mind to be able to figure out how things work. He worked his way into a high profile job at the nuclear power plant in Idaho. And he happens to be a bit of a celebrity at the EBR1 museum. He can also make complicated things sound super easy. You actually feel like you’re understanding, until you try to explain it to others and realize that is a true talent right there.

He has always been able to fix up cars and still does it, just for fun, in his home shop. He can make or fix just about anything, actually. He earned his pilot’s license when he was sixteen years old. He was a bit of a band geek, playing saxophone and clarinet, but played in a dance band, so kind of a cool geek. He has always been there when I needed him and always happens to have extremely sound advice, but won’t ever tell me what to do. (Except when it comes to waking up. When I was a teenager, 7:00 am was considered "sleeping in" on the weekends. Sometimes 7:30, if we were lucky.)

When I was in 5th grade, my mom had a heart attack. Actually, she had two, but who’s counting? Being as young as I was, it didn’t really compute in my little brain. I didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation. So, as you can imagine, it was business as usual for me.

What was my business? I NEEDED a haircut!

My dad said he could tackle that project because, after all, how hard can it be when you have a brain like he does, right?

Well…this is the result.

I am the youngest one in the photo. The one with the bang situation.
What’s awesome is that this incident is forever set in stone by our family pictures. Turns out my dad can’t do everything. I should have known when he kept cutting in the same spot over and over and over and over. I guess no one is perfect.


Maybe that’s why I do what I do. I found something that I am good at and now I can help other people with their hair, including my parents. Hair is not their forte, obviously.

Get Your Feet and Legs Sandal Ready



It’s time to break out the cute sandals and show off those feet. Does the mere thought of doing that make you panic? 😱 Don’t worry, we got you! Just do these 4 things and you’ll be ready.

1. Go Get a Pedicure
For reals. Just do it. It seems obvious, but so many people don’t. A lot of first-timers say they haven’t tried a pedicure before because they’re self-conscious about their feet, or because they feel bad making someone touch their feet. Some people are nervous because they’re ticklish. The truth is, professional pedicurists have seen feet just like yours, and feet in worse condition than yours. It doesn’t matter. Touching feet is what they do. If you’re ticklish, just mention that as you start. They can adjust the pressure or the position of their fingers to minimize the sensation wherever you’re most sensitive. But your feet need it! A good pedicure will increase blood flow to the feet and legs, sluff off the dead, dry skin from winter, and get rid of the calluses built up from those heavy winter boots. (Caution: Don’t let your pedicurist use a blade on those calluses. It’s safer for your feet and your health if they use an acid and a buffer or pumice stone to remove them.) A professional pedicurist will also cut and file those toenails to the appropriate pretty shape.

2. Moisturize
Once your feet have been prepped by a pedicure, it’s important that you keep the moisture going, especially on those heels. Use a good body cream to replenish the moisture in your feet and legs. Look for one that is healing. (The whipped body cream that we make and sell at our salon has aloe, vitamin e, shea butter, and mango butter, so it’s good for healing, moisturizing, reducing inflammation, and eliminating dry, itchy skin. I could go on for hours about this body cream and why you should try it, but I won’t. 😉)

3. Try a New Color
Pick a different polish color for your toes. If you tend to put the same color on those toes month after month, branch out this time. Go for something out of the norm. Right now, I’m loving so many of the polishes in OPI’s new “Fiji” and “California Dreaming” collections. They make you feel like you’re in a hammock, reading a book, on that first warm, sunshiny day. (Or in my case, taking a nap. Which is my ultimate refresher.) You will be surprised at how energized you feel when you look down at those cute toes. You'll be dying to show them off! All that from a toenail polish? You bet your sweet tootsies.

4. Get Some “Sun”
Use a little self-tanning moisturizing lotion on those legs. My favorite is “Touch of Summer” from Hempz. (Not sponsored, I just love it! We sell it at my salon because we all love it, and so do our clients.)  I am naturally very fair (more like pasty white), but I use the medium shade. It gradually adds a little color to my legs and takes the edge off the glare. I've tried many different self-tanners and my favorite thing about this one is that I NEVER have to worry about getting streaky or orange, because it doesn't.

Ready? Now go show off those cute sandals and enjoy some sunshine!

A Hair-Related Tribute to My Mom

My mom, showing off one of her quilts for the local newspaper. As I post this, I realize I didn't even
mention her hand quilting skills, and quilt judging skills, for which she is very well known.
That is one talent that did not get passed on to me.

I am grateful for my mom. Not only is she a good mom, but she is talented at many things. She even passed some of her talents on to me. Namely, her baking skills (or at least her love of baking). My mom makes some rolls that are like little pillows of heaven. And she makes delicious pies. Oooh, and cinnamon rolls! She even passed on an unusual love for tuna on toast, which I actually requested as a kid for my special birthday dinners. (I mean, how much more lucky can you get on that as a parent?!)

Mom’s got some serious dancing skills too. After all, her husband played in the dance bands, so what else are you going to do while he plays? (You dance, apparently.) My mom was Cheer Queen in college so, I guess you could say she also passed on her love of sports to me. I cheer for my teams. (Usually from my couch.) You’d think I would have gotten the love of sports from my dad, but sadly, he was just a band geek ;)  My mom is also a great teacher. I listened to her teaching piano lessons EVERY DAY after school. And that’s just the beginning of her music skills. She’s very talented in violin and singing as well.

With all of her many talents, there is something that I definitely did NOT get from her.
And that, bless her heart, is my sweet hair skills. (Sorry, mom.)

My mom has super curly hair and I have never seen her go with her natural texture, except when she’s in Hawaii. And that’s only because it’s a lost cause trying to do anything else with it there. Normally, she blow dries it out, but she really struggles to make it SMOOTH. Like, really struggles. Maybe this was my motivation to become a hairstylist...

Let’s just say that hair, in general, was not really her field of expertise. I think I have one picture of me when I was a kid when my hair was “really fancy.” It was in pigtails, that were curled. Okay, so my mom isn’t talented at doing hair. What’s my point? It turns out that because of her lack of skill in the hair department, I learned how to help others look their best, even when it doesn’t come so easily to them.

Want to know a secret? The truth is, when it comes to styling, almost anyone could do their hair as well as their stylist does it. Most people just don’t have enough patience and don’t stick it out long enough to get a good result. When my mom dries her hair, she just quickly dries it. If she would keep that dryer going just a wee bit longer, the dryer would start to smooth the hair. This leaves less styling time after the fact. (And a much smoother result.) It also ensures that the hair is fully dry, so the dampness doesn’t creep back into the hair and ruin all of her styling work later. But she doesn’t take those extra few minutes when she’s drying. (I mean, can you blame her? She never had extra minutes to spend on her hair. She was busy mom-ing and stuff.)

The other thing that really smooths her hair is products. Good styling products make a difference. My mom wasn’t really convinced that there was a difference until just a few years ago. She was at a hotel and realized that she forgot her good hair products. (I had been hooking her up for years since attending cosmetology school, but she didn’t really understand the difference.) So, in a bind, she used the stuff that was at the hotel. Once she started drying, she figured out that was a bad idea. She then went to the grocery store and bought a few things hoping that it would be a little better. Nope. Disaster. I think the contrast really proved the point for her. She only likes the good stuff now. The thing is, products are continually updated with new technology that works better and better for whatever issue you might be having. In her case, frizz. Even in just the past 3 years I have seen huge developments in products that tame the frizz. It’s a whole different ball game than it was years ago when it comes to styling. At least my mom has good products on her side, and a solid testimony of those good products.

Finally, one thing my mom does right when it comes to her hair… She trusts her stylist with the color. And that stylist has never steered her wrong. (I know, because I am that stylist.) When you have a stylist that you trust, let them steer the ship (with your input) on your haircolor. A good stylist knows what color looks good on you, what cut and style fits your face shape, and what kind of hair, in general, fits your lifestyle.

Over the years, as my mom has aged, we have gradually lightened her hair to match her skin tone. We have kept her color low maintenance (she drives to another state to have her haircolor done, so low maintenance is key). Even her own sister wondered why she isn’t greying like the rest of them, and my mom said, “I am, I just color it.” Her sister replied, “But it looks so natural!” My mom was a brunette growing up and now, as she’s gotten older, she is a blonde. As you can imagine, I take that as the ultimate compliment when her own sister doesn’t notice the major shift in her color over the years but just thinks she isn’t greying. (If I had a mic, I would have dropped it here.)


My mom is 78 years old and still gets lots of compliments on how good she looks. I can’t take all of the credit for that. I mean, she does keep herself looking good. But I will take credit for her hair. Well, I will take full credit on days that I do her hair. I’ll let her have credit on the days SHE styles it. ;)

Spring Haircolor — Lightening Up Your Hair for Spring



Lightening your hair up for spring? Read these tips before your trip to the salon.
There is something about when the weather is starting to warm up, and the blooms are…well, blooming, that gives people a hankering for a change. What’s the easiest way to coax that sunshiny, warm feeling along? Go lighter! Before you go crazy and drastic, read these few tips to ground you, and then head to the salon.

1. Go gradual. Ease into that new spring color. Just like fashion and makeup, spring hair should be subtle, and soft. Be more bold and intense in the summer when the sun and your music is on full blast. It will match your sassy summer attitude.

2. Don’t go more than two shades lighter than your natural color. If you do, just know that you will have to switch up your makeup and possibly wardrobe to make it look good. But being subtle in the spring means you can lighten up a little more for summer. Going even lighter in the summer works for most people because they start to get some color in their face. (Picture surfers.)

3. Babylights or Balayage are a good fit to bring some of that sunshiny goodness into your soul. They are both methods of highlighting that will create a soft and subtle glow to your existing hair color.

4. Make sure your stylist adds a bond protector in that lightener or color (such as Olaplex or SmartBond). This way, you can make a change without causing damage, so your locks can stay healthy and shiny. If your hair isn’t healthy and shiny, this can get your hair on the right track and repair the damage previously done.

5. Brighten up with a glaze or gloss. If you’re kind of noncommittal, this is the way to go. Glazes can add a subtle tone shift, meaning they can make your natural color a little more golden, or more red, or even cool it off a smidge. If you don’t want to play around with any of that, just get a clear gloss to give your natural color lots and lots of shine.

6. Protect your investment. You just spent all that money on your hair, why would you just let that go down the drain after a few washes? Protect your investment by purchasing some professional color protecting haircare. Follow the recommendation of your stylist on how to keep your fresh spring self budding, not fading, away.

5 Steps to Spring Clean Your Hair



You have probably put your hair and scalp through the ringer this past winter with all the dry air piping into your home and the friction caused by the plethora of hats worn to keep yourself from freezing to death. Plus, with the winter doldrums, sometimes you find yourself pulling up that hair a little too frequently. Time to start anew and let yourself shine like the daffodil outside my window, indicating good things are ahead.

1. Cleanse & Clarify
Ask your stylist to do a scalp treatment and a clarifying treatment on the hair. This will remove any buildup…like that buildup caused by possibly going a few too many days without shampooing during the colder months. It will also help regulate/neutralize/normalize your scalp if it has been too dry or oily through the winter.

2. Treat Yourself
Get a Pro Fiber treatment. There are many good treatments out there, but I have never seen anything that can repair, strengthen, and change the texture of the hair as well as this one. (Believe me, I have tried a ton. A TON.) This treatment is instant, and lasts 6 weeks. If your hair has really gone through the ringer and is severely damaged, I would suggest an Olaplex or SmartBond treatment, along with the Pro Fiber treatment. (Pro Fiber is made by L’Oreal Professionnel and you can find it at participating salons in your area by using the salon locator on their website.)

3. Get Some Sun
Spring is a great time for Balayage. Balayage is a method of highlighting that is hand painted onto the hair. The end result is very soft and natural and sun-kissed. It feels kind of like when you have your first drink of icy Diet Coke in the morning. Ahhhhhhh! If you don’t want to fully commit, get some face-framing balayage as a “try me.” Then you will see what I mean. ;)

4. Know Your Needs
Evaluate your styling products. Do they still fit your hair needs? Are you using more heat than you previously were? Has your texture changed? Do you have old products that don’t suit needs now? Throw away or donate these products (we suggest a women’s shelter) so someone else can get some good use out of them. Then have a consultation with your stylist and ask what products will work best with your current needs.

5. Don't Be a Tool
Evaluate your styling tools. Are your brushes used down to the nub? Are they so full of hair that they are useless? What about your flat iron or curling iron? Are they so crusted over with product that you feel like it takes you twice as long to get ready now? Or do you have to hold the cord “just right” so that it will still work for you? Do you have a collection of tools you don’t even use? Clean, donate, discard, and replenish. You will feel so much better about life if you do.

Pantone Colors: Beauty and Fashion Trends


Until a few years ago, most people I talk to had never even heard of Pantone, let alone knew what they do. Being in the beauty & fashion industry, the name definitely gets tossed around. But to be honest, I probably only know who they are because my business partner, Annie, grew up in her family printing business and Pantone is king in the printing world.

If haircolor is my world in the salon, Pantone color is definitely her world in the back office. And every once in while (actually, quite often), our two worlds collide.

Pantone is a company best known for their Pantone Matching System, a system of organizing or standardizing colors. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another. So in printing, instead of telling someone across the country that you want your invitations printed in “blue ink,” you can use their numbered system to tell them EXACTLY which shade of blue you want. And both parties can be assured that they are picturing the exact same color.

Created out of necessity in the printing industry, it has since been largely adopted in other industries where a way to identify specific colors is needed as well, like in paints, plastics, and fabrics.

And Fabrics is where it begins to intersect with beauty.

Every fall, during Fashion Week, Pantone releases its Fashion Color Report, highlighting the “Trending Colors” for the upcoming spring season. These are the colors you’ll see on the runway, in magazine ads, and all over stores by the coming season. The colors you see each season aren’t just trending in clothing, but also in home decor, and makeup and other fashion-forward industries as well. Even our new nail polish collections will feature the trending colors for the season.
In addition to naming their top 10 trending colors, Pantone also names one color as the overall “Color of the Year.” This is a color that they believe represents what’s going on not just in fashion, but in the world and with society, at large. The color that represents our cultural climate, per se.
For 2017, the color was “Greenery” or, more specifically, Pantone #15-0343.

So, how do these colors affect you?

Let’s say you’re a fashion-aware person, or even someone who likes to be on trend, but doesn’t want to be carried away by every trend (or color) that comes your way. Well, in home décor, maybe you don’t repaint your living room wall every season, but maybe you change out your pillows, or pictures, or vases, or dishes, or whatever accent pieces you can switch more easily to give a new face to a room.

Well, the same is true in beauty. You can incorporate color trends without completely adopting them. Maybe you add a splash of color to your hair, or maybe you just paint your fingers and toes, or add a new color palette to your regular eyeshadows.

This way, the colors are easy to incorporate, and by the time you’re bored with them, a whole new collection will be starting to trend.

How to Keep Healthy Holiday Habits



Does the idea of being healthy over the holidays seem laughable? The key to juggling staying fit and having fun is strategizing before the celebrations begin. Avoid derailing your efforts with a few thoughtful additions to your routine.

Start Planning
Set yourself up for success with a little forethought. Prepare healthy, on-the-go snacks for days when you're busy. Include filling, high-protein foods like trail mix, deli meat roll-ups or nut bars. Schedule each workout as if it were a doctor's appointment you wouldn't dare miss.

Before heading to a holiday party, consider your exit strategy and stick to it. The hectic season can leave you feeling drained if you don't make self-care a priority, so don't feel guilty leaving when the time comes.

Enjoy Yourself
Does "giving in" usually involve sugary sweets or your favorite cocktail? Redefine what it means to indulge. Treat yourself to quality time with friends, a luxurious bubble bath or an exciting experience you've been wanting to try. When you do go for your favorite holiday treats, be sure to eat mindfully and slowly so you fully enjoy it.

Exercise Smarter
Movement is imperative to keep you happy and healthy over the holidays. Need motivation? Try a fitness tracker for a little personal competition. Everyday tasks like cleaning and shopping may count as workouts when you realize how many steps you're taking.

If you get overwhelmed by the holiday rush, use exercise as a healthy, convenient outlet. Studies have shown that working out reduces stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, and increases endorphins, which make you feel happier and more relaxed.