Congratulations Ashlee J!

You're the winner of the Cultures Extravagant Spa Pedicure. Thanks to everyone else who entered. Keep trying! You still have time to enter some of the other giveaways this month.
December 16: Do a Smoky Eye. It gives a sultry, sexy look. And who doesn't want sexy for the holidays? Don't do it in the day, though. It will look like you're wearing waaaay too much makeup! If you don't know how, come in and we can give you a quick lesson.
December 15: Try Hair Jewelry. No, I'm not talking about barrettes. I'm talking about actual rhinestones that attach to your hair using a flat iron. Have you seen these yet? They are so festive and can add the perfect holiday finish to several hairstyles. See our Flickr photo page for examples ( They can last several days (you can even shampoo carefully and restyle with them in!) and they're really easy to use. If you don't want to put them in yourself, we can do it for you. Best of all, they're only $20 for a package of 96 stones.

Congratulations Tonya!

You're the winner of the Powerdose In-Salon Treatment & Conditioning Mask. Thanks to everyone else who entered. Keep trying! You still have time to enter some of the other giveaways this month.
December 14: Wear Your Hair Curly. Sometimes it's just fun to do something different. Plus, when you look fancy, you feel fancy. And who doesn't want to feel fancy?! ;) Use Infinium 4 to create and keep those curls in. It has a strong hold, but it also has a heat protectant to protect from damage.
December 13: Wear a Jeweled Headband. There are a ton of cute ones you can buy in the stores, but you can also make your own by fastening one of your favorite pins to a fabric headband. Instant glow factor!
December 12: Use a Dry Shampoo. We're all busy this time of year. If you don't have time and need to stretch your style another day, this is a great product to absorb excess oil and odor from your hair. Even if you washed your hair today, you can use it during the day on dry hair to add more volume. We lurve Unite 7 Seconds Dry Shampoo.
December 11: Take Vitamins. We can all use a boost of energy. Be sure to take an extra dose of Vitamin C. In addition to helping your immune system, it can combat the signs of aging. Hallelujah!
December 10: Use Shine Spray. Shine products give your hair an extra shiny glow. They can also help tame down flyaways and be a quick fix for static in your hair. We love Texture Expert Perfect Shimmer, Unite Shina Mist Spray and Shina Spray Gloss, and Moroccanoil Gold Shimmer Shine Spray.

**Need a good shine spray? Send us an email and one lucky person will win a Shine Product (We'll choose the one that works best for your hair type.). $22 value.**

{Enter by December 17th, 11:59pm MST by sending an email to: -- Put the word "Shine" in the subject line.}
December 9: Wear an Updo. Gather your hair into a low ponytail, or low side ponytail. Curl the ends, then pin sections up to create a very simple but pretty updo. Need something easier? Try pulling your ponytail through the band the first time. On the second time of wrapping the elastic around, only pull the ponytail halfway through the band and stop. Then fan the ends, smooth, and hairspray in place.
December 8: Boil Potpourri. Turn up the stove and put on some Christmas potpourri. It will add moisture to the air (which makes your skin feel better) and will give your home a delicious, old-school Christmas scent.
December 7: Pedicure. No, it's not sandal weather. But does it matter? You're still using your feet to get you through the shopping, the parties, and the snow shoveling. Even though your toes aren't showing, your feet will feel so much better if you take care of them this winter. You can even do your own mini pedi. Use your exfoliator (Dec 3rd) to give your feet a quick scrub in the shower. After you towel dry, apply lotion (Dec 2nd) to feet and rub.

**Rather come in for a pedicure? Send us an email and one lucky person will win a Cultures Extravagant Spa Pedicure (complete with warm towels and a hand massage). $55 value. Out of state winner will receive a pedi kit by mail.**

{Enter by December 14th, 11:59pm MST by sending an email to: -- Put the word "Pedicure" in the subject line.}
December 6: Paint Your Nails. You don't need nail enhancements to look great for the holidays. Short polished nails are in style. Make your natural nails more festive by adding a glitter top coat to one of your favorite polishes, or choose a sassy red to show off your festive spirit.
December 5: Take a bath. Light some candles, turn up the music, and take an hour for yourself to unwind and relax. Add some bubble bath or essential oils to your water. I love the bubbling bath confetti, but anything that smells delicious and creates bubbles will do. (This is also a great time to let that deep conditioner sit on your hair!)
December 4: Deep Condition. I'm guessing a lot of you are experiencing static in your hair, or at least looking really parched in the hair? Dang this dry weather! The only real way to fix static is to add moisture. Leave a deep penetrating conditioner on your hair for an extra 5 minutes to replenish that moisture and eliminate static. Your hair will be a lot easier to style and will look great! Good ones to try? I like Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask or Unite Softa.

**Need a good deep conditioning? Send us an email and one lucky winner will win a Powerdose in-salon conditioning treatment, and a conditioning mask to use at home all winter long. $50 value! If out of state, we can send it by mail.**

{Enter by December 11th, 11:59pm MST by sending an email to: -- Put the word "Condition" in the subject line.}
December 3: Exfoliate. Sloughing off that dull, dry skin helps your skin glow and helps that water you've been drinking flush out the toxins in your body. Any salt or sugar scrub will do the job. Of course, I'm partial to our shea butter salt scrub (it comes in each of our seasonal flavors). We offer a new one each month. December's scrub is Eggnog scented. Mmmm!
December 2: Moisturize. Drench your body in some out-of-the-ordinary, luxurious body creams. There are so many great scents available during the holidays! This year, we're featuring Hempz Treats lotion because we love all four of their delicious flavors: Coconut Cream Frosting, Gingerbread Cookie, Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake, and Cranberry Vanilla Cake. These can go on your hips and you'll still fit in your jeans!

Get Your Glow On

I was flipping through the Oprah magazine and got inspired. They have a segment called: "Pretty Quick!" and I decided I'd like to do something similar for our salon friends. We will post a different idea each day in December, and I'm going to try to do each one myself too.

So here are some little helpful tips that will help you look your best and feel your best for the holiday season. There's nothing wrong with a little pampering to keep your sanity this season!

December 1: Drink lots of water. It will improve the look of your skin, your body will be rejuvinated, and you will have more energy. Who doesn't need that?!

Part Three: Feeling Tired. Setting A New Goal.

Wow. I can't believe it's been two months since I set my new goal to relax more.

So far, I'm kind of disappointed in myself. I haven't even done a series of anything yet. But, in the way of progress, I did find time for a couple of pedicures (which were great!). And I got my hair colored (finally!). Oh, and I took a vacation (family reunions count, right?). So I think I'm making a little progress.

Some of our blogger friends also took a little time out for themselves. Thanks for coming in and trying something new, ladies! Here's what they had to say about their relaxation time...

She was selected to try the Body Wrap but, since it's not recommended for women who are pregnant, she opted for the Spa Pedicure instead. Congratulations Stephanie!

"Thank you, thank you, thank you for my spa pedicure! It was much needed and MUCH appreciated... I was relaxed and rejuvenated to better handle my daily stress! I appreciate your suggestion to look for ways to help others out. I have been doing that as much as I can, and even though it's not as luxurious as a spa pedicure, I like to think I'm helping relieve a bit of stress from those around me. Thanks again, it was wonderful!"

She had tried massage before, but this was Jamie's first Hot Stone Massage. What a great way to relax. Thanks for giving it a try Jamie!

"I am a triathlete in training so my body is always tight from biking, running, and swimming. The hot stone massage was a great way to loosen up my muscles and make my body feel fabulous! If I could have one every week I would. Thanks so much to Cultures Salon for a fabulous 90 minutes of relaxation and pampering."

Although she wished the Temporary Texture Service would have lasted longer in her hair, Melissa had plenty of nice things to say about her visit. Thanks for coming Melissa!

Thanks so much for letting me come in and have this free service. It was nice to spend time being pampered, something that doesn't happen for me too often... Your salon is darling. The stylist who did my service was cute and personable and professional... It seems like the salon has a fun, relaxed atmosphere and offers a lot of great services at affordable prices... The thing I liked most about your salon was that it was trendy and fun without being pretentious."

More Pedi Love

Such an honor to have our Fried Ice Cream Pedi by Mail named as one of Liv's Favs.

Fun blog. Thanks for the love, Liv!

Part Two: Feeling Tired. Setting A New Goal.

Thanks for your emails! Here are a few ladies who want to relax and try something new also.

Jamie - She said, "If I had the money I would try them all... I don't think I would complain about any treatment." But the thing she's most curious to try is a hot stone massage. Now that's my kind of relaxation too!

Melissa - She told me, "I've really wanted to try one of those temporary texture treatments in my hair to see how it looks. It sounds like fun to have curly hair for awhile!" She can relax getting the treatment, and then relax every day when she doesn't have to spend so much time on her hair!

Stephanie - Her email said, "I would do the body wrap. Totally. I've never had one before." Two great minds think alike!

Kimberly Anne - She said, "I would love to try a facial! I hear they are wonderful!" She's right. They are wonderful!

We are going to treat them to their dream services. Can't wait to hear what they think. Off to accomplish my goal too! See you soon ladies.

Feeling Tired. Setting A New Goal.

I don’t know about you all, but I’m tired lately.

Tired of hearing about the economy. Tired of doing laundry. Tired of the summer always going too fast.

I need a pick me up… and fast!

I considered increasing my daily doses of caffeine but, since I'm not even sure that's possible, I thought maybe I would make a little more effort to exercise each day instead. And to get more sleep at night. Maybe that will perk me up a little?

I also decided to take advantage of some rejuvenation options here at work. I mean, what better way to rest than to get pampered? My own 'pampering' usually ends up being 20 minutes crammed in here-and-there when an appointment finishes early, or when I have a last minute reschedule. Not that I'm complaining about being busy, mind you. It's just, I think I need to make more of an effort to relax. Now that's my kind of goal! Relax more.

So, I am going to put myself on a program. Maybe I'll do a series of chemical peels. Or massages. Or maybe a series of the bodywraps. We just recently had another training on them and I am even more intrigued. The wraps we do here are for detoxification, smoothing out cellulite, and inch loss. Now that is perking me up already! I have to admit, even though we do quite a few of them, I have only ever had one wrap myself. I did experience some nice firming in my upper arm, so it would be nice to see what a series of them will do...

Hmm. Wish me luck. I think I'm ready to work on my new goal now.

As for you... Is there something you're curious about trying, but haven't dared yet? Which series of treatments would you do if you could do anything? Write me an email and tell me what service(s) you would try. Are you willing to do some laundry to trade for said treatments? {You think I'm kidding, but I'm not!}

Pedi Love

We love hearing from other bloggers who've tried our products. Here's a darling blog from mom-to-be Kris who wrote about winning one of our pedicure kits. Thanks for the love Kris, and keep up the great blog!

Burn. Ouch!

Okay people, we still have another whole month of summer left and I’m already seeing hair in pretty sad condition.

So let's talk about sunburns, shall we?

The sun burns. If you don't use good protection... It burns your skin. It burns your eyes. And, in case you didn't know, it can burn your hair. Crazy, but it's true.

Some things that can affect the amount of sun damage that you get are:

The time of day. You are more likely to get a sunburn between 10am and 4pm, when the sun's rays are the strongest. You might think you have less chance of getting a sunburn on cloudy days, but that isn't true.

Reflective surfaces, such as water, light colored sand, concrete, ice, and snow can all increase your chances of getting burned. All of these reflect the sun's rays and cause sunburns.

Altitude. It is easy to get sunburned at higher altitudes, because there is less of the earth's atmosphere to block the sunlight. UV exposure increases about 4% for every 1000 ft gain in elevation.

The bad thing is, the hair doesn't have natural self-healing properties like the skin, so damage done to the hair can be even harder to remedy.

So, what can you do if your hair is feeling like straw?

First, we recommend getting a good, professional deep conditioning treatment. Unlike a hot oil treatment which just coats the surface of the hair to make it feel better, professional treatments are made to actually repair the damage and return moisture to the hair.

Next, get regular haircuts. Some damage cannot be repaired and may have to be cut off, but the most important thing is to make sure you are having the ends trimmed regularly.

Finally, use products that are specifically made to protect the hair from sun damage.

We carry the Serie Expert Solar Sublime products. Not only do these products protect the hair from the uv rays, they also protect from chlorine buildup.

Chlorine is another problem we see a lot during this time of year. Chlorine buildup not only affects the color of your hair (ie: blondes get a green hue), but it also leaves a yucky coating and unnatural sheen on the surface.

The best thing you can do to remove chlorine buildup is to get a professional clarifying treatment. It also helps to get a good clarifying shampoo and use it immediately after swimming. Another trick is to buy a cheap, waxy conditioner and apply it to your hair before you swim. This will create a barrier and protect the chlorine from getting into your hair. And, again, use hair products that are made to protect the hair from chlorine and other chemicals.

If you have any questions about sun damage to the hair, leave us a comment here, or just email us at: and we will respond to you directly. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Loss of a Hair Icon

Actress, beauty and hair icon Farrah Fawcett died [June 25] at the age of 62. Hairstylists and beauty addicts won’t easily forget Fawcett, from the poster that made her famous to the hairstyle that launched thousands of imitators. Her mark on the beauty industry has made her an influence and inspiration for the last 30 years.

Excerpt and photo from the Modern Salon blog. To read the entire post about Fawcett's influence on hair styles, click here:

Facebook Winners

Check out our Facebook Discussion Board to see who won our Free Spa Pedicures!

Blog and Twitter winners from April/May to be announced soon...

Hair Show, Trends, Other Fun Stuff

As many of you already know, we look forward to May every year because that's when we attend one of our favorite Hair Shows in Salt Lake City. It was great. As always.

There were lots of new products to check out, new tools with the latest technology, and new ideas for achieving the latest and greatest styles. Also, there were tons of classes -- our favorite part. (Sounds crazy to spend your time off at classes, but we love it!) I thought you might like to hear about some of the things that were buzzing at the show this year...

Chunky stripey highlights are out. Still. (I told you.) Panel color is in. (Panel color means big blocks of color that shines through, but you can't tell exactly where it's coming from.) Also, very natural haircolor; subtle highlights.

If your style is a little edgy, we saw some great styles for you too. Some serious edgy haircuts and funky colors. All very geometrical.

For the rest of you, hair has lots of movement. Lots of texture. Bangs and fringe are still in -- in a big way. Those vary, depending on your personal style. Side swept bobs with lots of layers are super fresh. We are getting away from the stacked A-Line bob.

Long hair? Layers! If you're afraid of layers, there is a technique called invisible layers. This gives long hair the movement it needs to look updated without you being able to see where that movement is coming from. Invisible layers. Clever. And it looks amazing.

The show wasn't all about hair either. We brought in some new OPI Soak Off Gel Polish. It goes on smooth like regular polish, cures under the lamp and lasts like gels, and stays super glossy like gels. But it's much easier to take off than traditional gel nails. You can remove and change only the color, without removing all of the gel base. It lasts up to 2 weeks on natural nails and 4 weeks on toes. And, the best part, it's available in all of OPI's best selling polish colors! So you can now get your longer-lasting gel toes in many of your favorite OPI polish colors.

If you don't want to be tied down to gel toes, we also have the brand new Summer Collection of nail polishes by OPI. Get your toes done, and buy a bottle for touch ups at home. The colors are fun and bright. Perfect for summer.

Curious about what you just read, or anything else we saw at the hair show? Write us an email at and we will answer your questions.

Fried Ice Cream Pedi Love

We got a little love from the hillarious & talented blogger Motherboard. This is from a post about our pedicure products on her blog "Crazyland: {tales} from the Motherboard."

. . . I was sent the most incredible pedicure package from to try and review. Can I just say HOLY COW, people?! Divine heaven, if I say so myself! Without a shadow of a doubt, and with every fiber of my being I can say that Cultures Salon flavor of the month is true! It has rocked my world, and forever changed my feet! If you have read me for any period of time, you know that my last home pedicure was disastrous. But, Cultures Salon was not. Oh my, No siree! It was sheer bliss!...

Thank you!

To read more of her crazyland antics, reviews, opinions, playlists, and other important and funny information, check out her blog:
We loved her review so much, we decided to advertise on one of her blogs!

Don't Shampoo Every Day? This Post Is For You.

I am definitely a "wash-my-hair-every-single-day" kind of gal. Don't like the grease. Can't stand the smell of day old scalp. But, this weekend, I willingly sacrificed for your sake. Generous, I know. As promised to those of you who follow us on Twitter, here are the results of my personal test of the new 7Seconds Dry Shampoo by Unite...

I tried it. And I was really IMPRESSED. It's a good product. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not going to change my habits, mind you. But, if I were in a bind, I would definitely want this product on my side.

For those of you that are confused by the words 'dry' and 'shampoo': This is a dry aerosol that helps mop up oil and take away the smells in your hair so that you don't have to wash it. (Think truck drivers, campers, sick people, people who go clubbin' in smoke-filled joints all night then have to get up and go to work in the morning and don't have time to shower, and any others who just don't want to wash their hair, for whatever reason.)

My hair gets super oily on Day 2. I can't stand not washing (& conditioning) my hair every day. So I figured I would be a good test case for this product.

I sprayed in the 7Seconds Dry Shampoo and, as the instructions said, did a 'light dusting motion' with my other hand. It actually worked well enough that my hair didn't look wet any more. (Sick, I know.) I probably wouldn't wear my hair down, but I could wear a decent ponytail and my bangs looked fairly normal. Also my head didn't itch and, personally, I didn't "feel" like I hadn't washed it.

The night before I tried it out, I did some serious cooking and had all sorts of smoke/meat/onion smells stuck in my hair. After using the dry shampoo, it had a nice fresh baby powder scent. I was extremely impressed with this. I'm guessing it would be a great item for campers. Get out that smoke smell. And I guess all of you clubbers out there too.

Anyway, would I recommend this product? Absolutely!

Interested in getting some? We sell it here.
(Don't live close? Email us at

Win Free Stuff!

Here are a few promotions we have going on. Enter to win them all!

Facebook: Become a fan of Cultures on Facebook and receive a $10 Gift Card!

Facebook: Visit our Facebook Discussion Board and see how you can enter to win a FREE Spa Pedicure ($40 value). Don't live close? If you win, we will ship you a pedi kit by mail.

Twitter: Comment on any (or each!) tweet in April and May and be entered to win a FREE Haircut ($25 value). One entry per comment per tweet. Don't live close? If you win, you can choose $25 in products from our e-store. Go to:

Blog: Post a comment on one (or all!) of our April and May blog posts for a chance to win a FREE One Hour Massage ($45 value). One entry per comment per post. Don't live close? If you win, you can choose $25 in products from our e-store. Go to: You're already here!

Luxurious Lashes

So, long luxurious lashes are all the rage. We see them EVERYWHERE. I loooove the look, but I have a little problem. I'm lazy. I could use false eyelashes, but to get those on perfectly (for me) takes hours. I would try lash extensions, but seriously, they take about 2 hours to apply, and you have to get them refitted about every 2 to 3 weeks. I don't have that much extra time nor do I want to shell out the extra cash for that. (The good ones can cost close to $200 each visit.)

Well, Mirabella came to my rescue and I am tickled pink! They just came out with the Fringe Benefits Eyelash Kit. Now, that's something I figured I could do. It doesn't seem like I would have to exert too much effort. I mean, I already put on mascara, so how hard could it be?

Funny thing is, I've always been fairly satisfied with my left side lashes when they have mascara. But my right ones have always been sparse and stubby.

The kit comes with a product called Lash Therapy, which is a conditioner you put on at night to condition, lengthen, and strengthen. I've been using the kit for over a month now and my lashes are DEFINITELY longer. My right side isn't so stubby anymore. YAY! And the best part? The kit costs less than $60. (Lash Therapy is less than $20 when purchased separately.)

The second step in the kit is the Lash Definition Primer. This is a product you put on before your mascara. It has little fibers in it to help lengthen and thicken your lashes as you are waiting for them to grow. So, in the meantime, you can fake it!

Finally, the third step is the mascara, called Lash Essential Mascara. It is applied over the top of the primer. This mascara is great. It doesn't flake or run off - unless maybe you take a 3 hour nap on your face. But, really, who has time for that? Also, it doesn't make my lashes crispy and I'm not allergic to it. (I am to several others.) Holler!

So, if you catch me batting my long, natural eyelashes at you, don't be flattered. It's just because I want to SHOW THEM OFF!

ps: Interested in buying the kit? Visit our online store. Go to (In the "For Your Face" section.)

Beauty Week on "Light Refreshments Served"

If you haven't visited the "Light Refreshments Served" blog before... why not?! But this week there's even more reason to check it out.

My fabulous and talented friend Lisa is one of their writers, and this week she's writing about beauty -- and letting me help her. Not only will there be great beauty tips all week long, but we'll be giving away some big prizes. A prize each day for six days!

So, what are you still doing on my blog? Get outta here! Go win some stuff! Click this link...

{4/19/09: Although the Beauty Week giveaways have ended, you can still see all of the beauty tips by visiting the link.}

Spring Trend Watch

Well, I guess we can TALK about spring, even though it doesn't FEEL at all like spring yet.
(Did that sound bitter?)

Let's look (longingly) ahead to the spring weather and go over a few of the styling trends that you will see this season...

If you're loving your long hair but need a few ideas to update, BRAIDS are a good way to go. Not a Marsha Brady French braid. Not Bo Derek braids. Think Jennifer Aniston at the Oscars braids. Now THAT is the spring braid we are talking about. One or two braids (or three) that are nice, small, and clean - very chic.

If you want to pull off a more sexy look (who doesn't, really?), keep the braid loose. See Kate Hudson for the always sexy look.

This season is still about hair with lots of texture. Not so smooth, sleek, and perfectly ironed. Use your natural texure, if you have it. If your hair is perfectly straight, try braiding your hair in several different braids, spray it with a thermal styling spray, flat iron over the top of each braid, let it cool down, and then undo them. Voila! Texture.

Ponytails are still great. (Yay for me!) Although, they never really go out of style. The way you do the ponytail is what determines if it is "fresh" or not. Wear a super sleek pony with a section of hair covering your rubber band, or hair with lots of texture and loosely pulled up into the ponytail.

If you have (or want) short hair, it's all about the Long Bob. Think Gwyneth Paltrow, or Heidi Klum. Very classy, and very sassy!

These are just a few of the styling trends you'll be seeing this spring. Give them a try.

On a side note, for those of you who are paying attention to all of the bright colors in fashion for spring: If you are a little leary, but still want to play... Paint a bright color on your short nails. Try OPI's "Feelin' Hot-Hot-Hot" to give you a little splash of the spring hues.

And, finally, we will be attending one of our annual hair shows in May where we will learn all sorts of new cut and color techniques. I'll keep you posted on what we find there.

A Whole New (Mini) You!

Want to see pictures of our latest mini makeover and read an inspiring journey of weightloss? Check out this blog...

A Different Kind of Place

I was a salon consultant for six years. In that time, I worked with hundreds of different types of salons, and their owners and stylists. One of the reasons I decided to open my own place is because I wanted to put something out there that I hadn't seen. A different kind of place.

My job as a consultant was to teach, train, sell. I also had plenty of time to observe. I spent time in (what seems like) millions of places where the customer service was, uhm, slightly less than atrocious. Clients coming in and stylists walking up to see if it was their customer. When it wasn't, just turning around and walking back. Saying nothing. No smile. No hang on, someone will be with you in a minute. Nada. Or stylists talking only to each other, as their clients sat listening in the chair.

The music was so loud in some places that everyone was yelling at each other in order to have a conversation. I would leave with the biggest headache after only being there minutes. I can only imagine sitting there for hours.

I saw unswept floors, or piles of hair building until the end of the day. Brushes and combs used on clients that I saw used on the previous client with no cleaning in between. Tools with hair stuck all over them not being cleaned. Animals hanging out in the salon. Not service animals. Just pet animals. Pedicure tubs, and pedi mani implements just rinsed in water. No sanitizer in sight. (If this happens to you, RUN!)

And, the quality of work sometimes made me more squeamish than the poor sanitization. I worked with many stylists who had not received education since they were licensed. People who never even so much as read a trade journal. Still used the only haircolor line and knowledge they ever learned, in school. (This may not mean much to you, but if you only knew the truth about how little stylists know about color when they graduate, you would be frightened too.)

I decided I wanted to open my own place. A place where I knew everything was clean, and safe, and sanitized. A place with superior customer service, where clients feel like they can come and really relax. Take a break from the day, and not leave with a headache. Our music is more coffee shop. (Think Starbucks, or Barnes & Noble.) And we play it in the background, not in your face. If clients feel like talking, that's great. If they don't, that's fine too. We avoid forced small talk whenever possible. And when we are talking, you can bet that we're not telling you all of our personal problems, and we're not starting up inappropriate conversations that will make your face turn red.

We have fun, but we want people to leave feeling refreshed. And we want them to leave more knowledgeable about their hair, or skin, or feet than when they came in. If they have questions, we want to take the time to answer them.

If any of those things are important to you too, you should check us out. If not, stay where you are. Oh, and by the way, if you're worried about us being current in what's happening with hair, skin, and makeup, we've got it covered there too. We attend and conduct classes in our salon at least a couple times a month. Down time at our place is either training time, or cleaning time.

Now that I think about it, I guess we are quite an anomaly.

Free $10 Gift Card & Chance to Win Unite Hair Products!

Become a fan of Cultures Salon & Day Spa on Facebook and receive a $10 gift card.

Facebook Members: sign into your account, then go to our page and join as a fan

Not a Facebook Member? Sign up for a free Facebook account.

Don't want to join? You can still see our page using the link above.

Want a chance to win a bag of Unite Hair Products? Post a "Hair Horror Story" on our Facebook Discussion Board. {This contest has ended, but if you check out the discussion board there's probably a new contest going on.}

Don't Read this Post if You're Sensitive About Your Hair

I tried to warn you. I really don't want to offend, but there is something about UTAH HAIR that is driving me crazy. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Idaho is known for it's cutting edge style or anything. It's just that, sometimes, too often, a trend catches on in Utah and it just takes over. It spreads like wildfire. And if you're into this trend right now, you are gonna get burned. By this post. So, really, please, stop reading...

News Flash: We Don't Believe In BACKCOMBING!

I hardly dare say it because I know some of you are not gonna like it. Actually, I take that back. I DO dare say it. I say it all the time. To my customers. And anyone else who will listen.

I'm fed up with it. I just don't get it. Everyone does it WAY too much. I've seen some so bad it looks like they have a square box pinned in their hair. Honey, wake up! It's doesn't look good. It's not flattering. You're ruining your hair.

Why don't we like it? Well, since you asked...

It seems to be virtually impossible for people to backcomb their own hair and then smooth it over so it doesn't look like a fat rats' nest. I don't know if they don't own two mirrors, if they can't crane their necks, or if they just give up trying to smooth and decide to go with it.

The other reason I don't recommend it is because it is VERY BAD for your hair. Roughing up the cuticle makes hair more fragile, and causes it to break. We had a new client in this week that said she used to backcomb her hair, but now it just doesn't seem to work as well. Plus, her already fine hair was "falling out" and getting thinner. HELLO! Her hair was not "falling" out. It was completely broken off from the "volume" she was creating nearly every day. No wonder it stopped working. She has no hair left back there to volumize. It's actually not a unique case. We see it all the time. Some girls have done it so much that their hair looks like a nest, even when they haven't ratted it.

Now, does that mean we expect women to just walk around with flat, limp hair? Well, no. That's just ridiculous. What we expect is for people to GET VOLUME the CORRECT WAY. Using modern products. New technology. Common sense.

When is backcombing acceptable? Only for special occassions (read: weddings, proms) when the hair not only needs tons of volume, but it needs to last through the all-nite party. Backcombing works for updos. So, unless you're a wedding gown model...

Don't do it! If it's volume you need, there are many, many ways to achieve volume. Volume happens from the moment you shampoo, or when you blow dry, and as you begin to style your hair. It's not the last thing you do. It happens throughout your entire hair routine. For extra help, use velcro rollers, curling irons, flat irons, thermal styling products, texture sprays, root boosters, volumizing products. So many options. There are hundreds of techniques out there that will give you volume and still let you have healthy, shiny, smooth hair. Now, who wouldn't want that?

One last thing, it really helps to have a good hair cut. By someone who really knows what they're doing. When your stylist is styling your hair, ask for tips on getting a lot of volume out of your hair. If they show you how to backcomb, especially in the crown, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! It just means they don't know any more about getting volume than you do.

Valentine Makeover Winners Announced

A big THANK YOU to everyone who entered our makeover contest. We are excited to announce the following winner(s):

Diane wins a makeover package including Haircolor, Haircut & Style, Deep Conditioning Treatment, Makeup Application, and her choice of a Spa Pedicure, a European Facial, or a One Hour Massage. That's a pretty sweet package. Congratulations Diane!

Deborah C. - RUNNER UP
Deborah wins a makeover package including Haircolor, Haircut & Style, Deep Conditioning Treatment, and Makeup Application. Congratulations Deborah!

Debbie D. & Rowena W. - SEMI FINALISTS
Debbie and Rowena each win a $50 Gift Card. Congratulations Debbie & Rowena!

More Choices

I'm bugged. I read all these beauty magazines, geared to help you become a better, more beautiful you. I can't help but notice that a lot of them say there is no difference between grocery store hair products and professional hair products. Or they give suggestions on "cheaper" products which are supposed to make your hair shiny, healthy, and stronger.

To me, this is another case of Good Hair is a Choice. They're not the same. And if you suspect they are, you have probably never used professional products.

If you don't care about the explanation, just read this next sentence and then skip the next three paragraphs... Here is the difference: Hair does not shine, feel, move, last or look as good when you use cheaply made products.

(Now, I must include an explanation that what used to be fine or so-so professional brands "back in the day," may not be what I consider a professional brand in the modern age. Some brands, although considered "professional" brands, are really just not professional any more. They're old. Developed with old technologies. Obsolete. Sadly, some salons still thrive on these brands and people still buy them because they are often the most recognized names in the business. I won't list those here, but if you come in and ask me, I will tell you which ones they are.)

Professional products are acid balanced. Why does that matter? Your skin and scalp have a protective barrier on the surface which has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 on the scale. Anything else that's higher on the pH scale will dry out your scalp and hair. That includes brands that claim to be "pH Balanced." Those register around a 7 on the scale.

Because most people don't want dry scalp and hair, manufacturers of the cheaper brands mask this problem by adding other ingredients to disguise the fact that the non-acid-balanced cleansers have stripped this protective coating off. These ingredients include waxes, chemicals, conditioning agents, and even medications.

So, why do manufacturers use these harsh cleansers in the first place? Because they are cheaper. So the finished product is cheaper for consumers. And because some people care about cheap more than they care about beauty.

Now, to be honest. That's okay with me. If someone chooses to invest their money somewhere besides their hair, I can live with that. I can respect that. But don't pretend you're gonna get the same result as the person who chooses to invest in their hair. And don't complain that you're not getting the same result. It's the same with electronics, or clothing, or anything else you can purchase.

Still not sure there's a difference? Well, let me tell you a little story. A true story. I ACTUALLY SAW THIS DONE at a hair show before. I saw a stylist perform a PERM without any perm solution. Instead, they used a grocery store shampoo. One of the top selling ones. That tells you a little about the chemical makeup of that shampoo. (End of story. I told you it was a little story.)

Professional products are not only made differently, they are tested by salons. Stylists who do hair all day long have to put their stamp of approval on a product before it is released for sale. Another reason to buy products from your stylists is because you want to get the same look that they get with your hair. Doesn't it make sense to do what they are are doing? Enough said.

Let me just finish by telling you about my mom. A great lady. I love her. But she is someone who DOES NOT spend frivolously, or even generously, especially on herself. She had seven children. That's how you manage. Professional hair products were not introduced into our household until I went to hair school. I started buying her professional products. She used them. And she probably didn't notice any difference at the time. But then she went on a little trip and she forgot to take them with her. So, out of convenience (but mostly out of old beliefs), she ran to the grocery store and bought herself some shampoo and conditioner. Well, I got a phone call from her the next day telling me that she "gets it" now. It was her worst hair day in years. Her hair felt dry. And yucky. She's A BELIEVER to this day. Amen to that, mom. Amen to that.

Good Hair Is A Choice

Happy New Year everyone! (Lateness not my fault. Enough said.) I hope you all set lofty goals to improve yourself. I know I have!

During the holidays, I got to spend some rare time with a few of my family members. It is always great to be around them. I get to relax and catch up with everyone, including my nieces and nephews (all 25 of them). Speaking of nieces...

A few months ago, one of my nieces won a makeover from a local cosmetology school in Idaho. They took her dark brunette hair to a sassy blonde and cut her long hair into a cute, short, piecey A-Line. I think they even did it/showed it off at the high school. And, kudos to them. I hear it was cute. And such a big change. So fun!

Well... fun for like two weeks. Then, reality set in. Her roots started to show. Dark. And then it got interesting. A few weeks later those dark roots didn't look so great next to the blonde ends. So my niece (shame on her!) agreed to let a friend "fix it" for her. They bought some brown haircolor that matches her natural hair to cover up the blonde. Seems good. Should fix it, right? In their minds, brown beats blonde. (Because color theory is really just a rock-paper-scissors game where the stronger/darker color wins?)

Long story short, she turned out purple-ish with some fuschia highlights. Really, the purple isn't as bad as what I usually see when people attempt this same feat themselves. It's usually green or grey. But still, not at all what she thought she was going to get when she put on the brown color. By the time I saw her at Christmas, it was a red/orange color. Also not attractive.
As I got after her and my sister for not going to a professional to get it fixed (I mean, I know it's a drive down here to see me. But really, not even a phone call?), something dawned on me. I realized...

Good hair is a choice.

If you choose to do something drastic, you need to be willing to keep it up. Or, if it was just for fun, then you need to spend the money to get it professionally fixed. A layperson is not going to be able to fix it as well as a professional can. And, to be completely honest, not all professionals will be able to fix it either. But, at least a professional stylist will usually be connected to a salon that will do all they can to get it right. Even if it means calling over a manager or a more experienced colorist to help out. I know it looks so simple. It seems so simple. But it really isn't.

If you choose not to spend the money, then don't make the drastic changes. Especially when it comes to color. Stick with the subtle. I would take plain old boring, healthy, natural hair ANY DAY over poorly colored hair. I can always tell if someone has done their own color. ALWAYS. You are never fooling a real colorist. And, in the end, it is sooooo much more expensive to correct bad color than it is to pay for good color in the first place.

Good hair is a choice. Choose wisely. Enough said.