Why I’m Obsessed With Hair

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Our hair makes a first impression when we enter a room and the lasting impression when we exit. Our hair is a living, growing, dynamic accessory that accompanies us wherever we go.

I believe that a haircut is the primary beautification tool that we have to look our very best, regardless of the color, texture, or density or our hair. A great haircut will give you more confidence, enhance your best features and elevate your personal style.

When you come to see me, our time together is 100% focused on you and your hair. It’s a time for you to share with me how you see yourself and how you want to be perceived.

From the moment you walk into my space, our conversation and my observations of you and your hair help me get to know you so that I may provide you with a hair style that reflects who you truly are. When crafting your haircut I also take into consideration your lifestyle and how much time you want to spend on your hair every day.

I love giving my clients versatile and easy-to-style haircuts that work with the natural hair texture. If you are looking for an updated hairstyle that better reflects who you are today, I’d be honored to work with you.

Is there a safe alternative to Keratin Straightening?

Are you addicted to hair straightening treatments? Are the chemicals making you sick? Are you ready to try something different?

Curly and wavy hair can be fabulous! Let me show you how to rock your natural texture with a Deva Curl Haircut & Styling Session.

I promise you, the safest alternative to a straightening treatment is to learn to love your natural texture. The fastest way to do that is with a great haircut. I provide curly haircuts that work with your natural hair texture and are fun and easy to style.

Every haircut starts with a conversation about what you want your hair to do and how much effort you want to spend on it. A deva curl haircut is designed to put you at ease, as you watch your hair transformation take place. I believe that your hair should provide a beautiful frame for your face, and a balancing shape for your body. I love working with multi-textural hair because no two heads of hair are the same which means that your haircut and texture are unique to you. Bring me your curls and let me help you embrace your natural texture with a Deva Curl Haircut and natural styling lesson.

Still on the fence about straightening your hair? Please consider the following before your next straightening treatment.

  • Keratin treatments create a straight, flat iron look by using a formaldehyde-releasing solution that coats the hair and is sealed into the hair with a 450 degree flat iron. Once straightened, the hair may continue to release formaldehyde every time you heat style your hair after your treatment.

  • Formaldehyde is a sensitizer, which means that after you reach a certain level of exposure and react to it, you'll always experience an allergic reaction when you re-encounter the chemical. So the more times you chemically straighten your hair, the greater your risk of developing symptoms.

  • Clients and stylists exposed to keratin straightening chemicals complain of burning eyes, difficulty breathing, and other allergy symptoms. Other symptoms include: throat irritation, mouth ulcers, dizziness, headaches, vision impairment and fatigue. Accidental skin contact with formaldehyde may cause blisters or rash on the scalp, face, and neck.

  • Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, proven to cause cancer in humans, with higher levels of exposure.

Please also review my post from 2014

Should I Use An Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse?

Hair can become limp, dull, and heavy due to buildup of residues from shampoos, conditioners, and hair styling products. An Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Hair Rinse can help remove some of the buildup when used after shampooing. An apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse can also help detangle hair, reduce frizz, restore body and shine, stimulate and sooth the scalp, reduce hair and scalp buildup, unclog hair follicles, decrease dandruff, and reduce excess shedding. An ACV rinse is especially helpful for people who are new to using shampoo bars.

How do I know if I need to use an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse?

Whether or not you need to use an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse depends on many factors.

  • Your water: If your hair does not seem to be adjusting to the shampoo bars, it may be due to your water. Hard water makes it more difficult to rinse natural shampoo from your hair. ACV will provide some slip to the hair and make your final rinse more effective.

  • Hair length: Many men and women with short hair have found that they do not need to rinse with vinegar, simply because their hair is short and easier to rinse.

  • Tangles: ACV rinses often help with tangles.

  • Residue & Buildup: If your hair has residue buildup from product use or you regularly use conditioners and heavy styling products, a shampoo bar may not remove all the residue from your hair like a detergent shampoo. Spot cleaning your hair with baking soda during your shampoo will remove unwanted buildup. It’s important to follow this clarifying treatment with an ACV rinse to restore a slightly acidic pH to hair and scalp.

Essential Oil & ACV Concentrate Recipe

Ingredients:

Rosemary (2-3 drops)
Lavender (2-3 drops)
Grapefruit (2-3 drops)
Peppermint (2-3 drops)
Basil (2-3 drops)
Bay Laurel (2-3 drops)
Tea Tree (1-2 drops)

Directions

  1. Add essential oils of your choice to vinegar. Store mixture in a glass bottle.

  2. The mixture can be used right away or allowed to sit for a couple of days to steep.

  3. When ready to make your hair rinse: dilute 1 to 2 tablespoon of your Essential Oil & ACV Concentrate with 1 cup of water in a plastic squeeze bottle.

  4. Apply dilution to wet hair after shampooing. Manipulate scalp and hair for 1-2 minutes with ACV rinse.

  5. Rinse hair with fresh, cool water.

  6. At this point, you may choose whether or not to use a conditioner based on how your hair feels.

What is the best way to apply my ACV rinse?

While you can use any container to mix up your ACV dilution, I prefer to use a plastic squirt top bottle. Pouring a cold rinse on your hair is invigorating, but if you prefer a warmer rinse, make it right before you step in the shower using warm tap water.

How Often Can I Use The Vinegar Hair Rinse?

Since everyone's hair is unique you should use your own judgment as you experiment with ACV rinses. You will need to find a dilution and a frequency that works best for your hair type. Remember: dry hair likes less vinegar and oily hair likes more. Start with 1 or 2 rinses per week and adjust from there.

*A Note About Essential Oils

There are many wonderful essential oils for hair, but please proceed with caution when using them. Essential oils are strong concentrates and may cause skin irritation if not used correctly. Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be used directly on the skin. Since some essential oils are stronger than others, it’s important to be be knowledgeable about the amount of essential oils that you add to your ACV concentrate. High quality essential oils are expensive, so start with 3-5 that feel right for you. My favorite source for medicinal grade essential oils comes from Wisdom Of The Earth and Shining Sun Aromatherapy.

Shampoo Bars Are Here!

Every person has unique skin and hair, so finding an organic shampoo that works for your specific hair and scalp can be difficult. When looking for an organic shampoo, many things come into play: How does it feel? How does it smell? What are the ingredients? Where’s it made? Do you trust the manufacturer? What’s the environmental impact? Etc, etc.

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As your go-to organic hair care expert, I am proud to provide you with gentle and organic hair care options. I’m excited to share my signature Organic Hair Detox & Treatment with you this month. It includes a hair and scalp detox, followed by a nourishing organic hair treatment and blowdry or natural style.

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Co. has a variety of nourishing organic shampoo bars for all hair types. These bars feel and smell amazing. They are 100% organic without emulsifiers, synthetics, or plastic packaging; so they are healthy for the whole family and gentle on the environment. What makes Chagrin Valley’s Shampoo Bars even more amazing is how great they are at removing buildup from the hair while simultaneously nourishing the scalp.

Book your Organic Hair Detox & Treatment today and learn a valuable and economical way to take care of your hair at home.

Want to learn more? Let’s chat about the chemistry of hair care at your next appointment.

Hairprint Is Here!

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The wait is over! I have been accepted as a Hairprint™ Professional and am now able to offer you this completely non-toxic hair color restoration treatment. Hairprint™ is a 100% non-toxic hair color treatment that restores dark pigments to gray hair. Hairprint™ works best on dark hair that is less than 30% gray. All Hairprint™ services require a consultation and 1-week detox prior to service. Please book a hairprint consultation to see if you are a good candidate for this revolutionary, completely non-toxic hair color treatment.

After you have been accepted as a Hairprint™ client, please carefully review these preparation guidelines.

Going Natural With A Big Chop Haircut

“Short natural hair styles” is one of the most common google searches for women who are ready to embrace their natural hair texture. 

A natural hair journey often begins with a big chop followed by a series of short hair styles. This can be a fun and playful time for women who are embracing their natural hair texture. Short hairstyles are beautiful, flattering and sexy. They are easy to maintain, fun to wear, versatile and professional. Schedule a complementary consultation to discuss what short hair style is right for you.

One of many short hair options is the beloved TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro), this style is a staple for women wearing their hair natural. The TWA is a short hairstyle that it fun and versatile. Check out the video below to see some fun TWA styling options.

DIY Salt Spay Recipe For Beachy Waves & Texture

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As a professional hair stylist, I’m often one of the first to learn about a new beauty product launch. Today I received an announcement about the launch of an organic salt spray - wait, haven’t we seen this before? Salt spray is one hair product that I’ve been loathe to buy or stock because it’s basically salt water in a bottle with a little moisture and perfume. Now when a company that I love and trust tells me they are launching a salt spray for $26 a bottle I have to wonder to myself “what am I missing?”

After reviewing this new product, I thought “how hard could it possibly be to make my own salt spray?” I compared a few DIY recipes with my favorite organic salt sprays and realized very quickly that there isn’t much to it. So, using my professional knowledge and common sense, I came up with a perfectly serviceable DIY Salt Spray.

Step 1: Find yourself an 8oz spray bottle. You may reuse a bottle you already have or buy a reusable plastic or glass bottle. I recommend this 4oz two pack (affiliate link) on Amazon so you can have one salt spray at home and one on the go.

Step 2: Make your salt spray

  1. Warm 1 cup of distilled water in glass measuring cup

  2. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt and 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt into warm water

  3. Optional additional ingredients:

    • Add 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite leave-in conditioner for extra moisture

    • Add 1/2 teaspoon of witch hazel for scalp and hair health

    • Add 1/2 teaspoon of honey or gel (dissolved in water) for a stickier tousled look

    • Add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil(s) for a signature scent.

  4. Add solution to one 8oz spray bottle (affiliate link) or split into two 4oz bottles (affiliate link)

Step 3: If using optional ingredients, shake well before each use. Spray on damp or dry hair at crown and on ends and then scrunch to encourage waves and texture to form. This simple DIY Salt Spray is great for fine-medium hair that needs extra volume and texture.

Note: Since everyone’s hair and scalp is unique, feel free to play with and customize this basic recipe to meet your personal needs. If you want a little more texture, increase the salt content 1/2 tsp at a time. When making your own salt spray, start with a simple recipe, figure out what you want more of and then adjust. My basic recipe is clean, not too sticky, and enhances natural waves in fine to medium weight hair.

Not into making your own hair products? Book a haircut or treatment and let me introduce your hair to some of the cleanest beauty products available.

Clean Moisture For Curls

I am proud to provide a clean and healthy salon experience for my scent-sensitive and health-oriented clients. Every client has unique skin and hair, so finding products that work for a broad set of needs can be difficult. When looking for new products, I first consider how they feel and smell. I like products that don’t have oily or sticky residues and that are fee of artificial dyes and perfumes. If a product passes my sniff test, I then proceed to review the complete ingredient list to ensure that the product is naturally derived and free of harmful chemicals and synthetics.

In my search for a scent-free curly hair moisturizer that would absorb well into dry, porous hair, I discovered a trio of products from CurlyCoilyTresses. These three products - Enrich, Moisture, and Oil - when used together, do amazing things for dry, coarse hair. Enrich and Moisture are designed to penetrate deep into the hair shaft giving the hair the hydration it seeks with a natural softness for beautiful curl definition. Pure pumpkin seed oil seals in moisture, controls frizz, and adds a natural shine to hair.

One of the things that I love about CurlyCoilyTresses is that all the products are suitable for all genders and ages. All products are scent-free, minimally processed, soothing for the scalp, hydrating and strengthening for the hair, and safe for long-term use. These products are ideal for wash-and-go curly styles when you want a clean, hydrated feel - without a greasy or sticky finish. CulyCoilyTresses will soften, hydrate, and strengthen your hair while improving its overall appearance, guaranteed.

The Best Dandruff Shampoo

The most common question I receive in the salon is: “Do you have a recommendation for dandruff or dry scalp?”

Before I tell you about the best dandruff shampoo on the market, let’s take a look at some common causes of dandruff. Dandruff is caused by the over production of skin on the scalp. This can happen for a variety of reasons.

1. Dry skin may contribute to dandruff. People with dry skin are more likely to have a dry, flaky scalp. Cold winter air combined with overheated rooms is a common cause of itchy, flaking skin. Dandruff that stems from dry skin tends to have small, dry flakes.

2. Malassezia is a fungus that normally lives on the scalp and feeds on sebum. In some people, this fungus may become overactive, causing the scalp to become irritated and produce extra skin cells for protection. As the excess skin cells die and shed, they combine with sebum (scalp oil) to form dandruff.

3. Yeasts may also cause dandruff. People who are sensitive to yeasts have a slightly higher chance of dandruff. Dandruff caused by air-born yeasts is often worse during the winter months and better when the weather is warmer. This may be because ultraviolet light from the sun and dryer conditions of summer counteracts yeast growth.

4. Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that may cause white or yellow scales on the scalp that eventually flake off causing dandruff.

At first it was hard to find a natural shampoo and conditioner with the right balance of ingredients to simultaneously address scalp and hair conditions. Then I discovered LotusRX. LotusRX contains pyrithione zinc to control the over production of skin that leads to dandruff and flaky scalp. Unlike Head & Shoulders, LotusRX is free of sulfates and synthetics, has a pleasant smell, and is chalk full of scalp nourishing ingredients. The LotusRX shampoo and conditioner are gentle enough to be used daily - soothing the scalp and leaving your hair soft and shiny. In addition to using LotusRX regularly to combat dry and flaky scalp conditions, I also recommend:

  1. Brushing your hair and scalp regularly with a high quality boar bristle hair brush to aid in the distribution of natural oils and the normal shedding of skin.

  2. Not going to bed with wet hair because dampness on the scalp may contribute to dandruff.

  3. Drying your hair closest to your scalp completely before putting your hair up for the day.

Shop LotusRX for color-safe, curl-friendly, salt-free, natural and hydrating dandruff control.
Shop Mason Pearson (affiliate link) for pure boar bristle hair brush or mixed boar bristle hair brush.