Thursday, January 27, 2011

Student that has the right attitude Hair is Hair

Friday, January 14, 2011

Why Sharing Knowledge with Clients Creates a Win/Win


Dear Nadine,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for everything during our appointment. I am 32 years old, with medium length wavy/curly hair. I have struggled my entire life searching for the right techniques and products to use on my hair. I have gone to so many hair stylists, it’s ridiculous! Every time I have gone, I have struggled with: 1) the inability to cut my hair evenly and 2) a recommendation of a product that is sold in their salon. I have spent so much money on salon products that would supposedly make my hair less frizzy, protect my hair from the heating products, and make my scalp smell good. Before coming to you, I was straightening my hair with a flat iron at the beginning of the week. After about 2 days, my scalp would stink, so I would wash my hair and then wear it up, curly, for the next week. Then I would repeat the process.

When I came in to see you, I was prepared to have a nice hair cut and relaxing day. I was not prepared for all the valuable information, as you probably saw. I was ready to read my magazine and let you do the work to make my hair look fabulous for a couple days. I have been trained to feel this way, because that’s all I have ever experienced.

You surprised me. You explained that I can learn to do what you do and keep my hair looking salon fabulous. I just needed to learn the right “techniques” for my type of hair. I learned that because I was using a cheap shampoo and washing too often, it was creating a build-up in my hair. In addition, I then bought hair “products” like anti-frizz, hair spray, mousse, and serum. All of those contributed to the build-up. You said I didn’t need all those products. I could achieve the look I wanted without all that stuff. I’ve always bought the “cheap” stuff because that is all I could afford. I’ve always wanted to buy the more expensive products, but could never afford them. Well, if I add up the cost of all the after-shampoo products along with the shampoo and conditioner, I was spending a LOT of money!

I went home and finished the products I had on hand so as not to waste and then took myself into a salon and bought a good clarifier. Now, after using the clarifier for 2 weeks, I straighten my hair once a week and my scalp doesn’t smell at all. I wash my hair after 5 days and only then, not because my hair looks, feels or smells dirty, but because I want to wear it curly.

Which brings me to your other recommendations. You stated that my hair gets frizzy because I am not drying it properly and closing the hair cuticle. You said I also needed to purchase an inexpensive hooded dryer from a beauty supply store that has negative and positive ions. When I want to wear my hair curly, I clarify it and then, straight out of the shower, I take small amounts of hair, twist the bottoms and pin them up. I then sit under the dryer for 20 minutes. I take the pins out and I have non-frizzy, curly hair! I don’t put anything in it and I am good the whole day. I went from wearing my hair up when it was curly to showing off my curls, frizz-free.

You have given me the techniques to beautify my hair and I have never been happier with my hair. I am confident (finally) about my hair and I’m spending LESS money than I was when I was purchasing all those products.

I want to give a sincere thank-you to you for teaching me what so many other stylists have failed to do the last 32 years. Keep doing what you are doing, because, believe me, there are a lot of people like me out there that need the help and feel as though they have nowhere to turn.


Time's Up: Anyone Can Have a . . .

Relaxer: If stylists REALLY knew what they were doing before they became enticed by the dollars that they could make, clients would be so much better off. Let’s face it, it’s only been about 10 years since the first so-called relaxers for non-black hair started being marketed and sold in our salons. I worded the statement like that because the makers of these relaxers didn’t truly know if these relaxers were specifically for—and would specifically benefit—black hair. And the manufacturers didn’t need that [black] consumer market for these lines of products to make some BIG money!

The first chemical relaxer or relaxer treatment (whichever word works for you) that I ever used was Sodium; the second was Calcium; then Thiol; then Keratin; and then came Formaldehyde. I said to myself (and my brain said to me, too), “Not a chance. Now why would, with all the other straighteners or relaxer treatments out there, a licensed stylist choose Formaldehyde to expose to the non-black market of consumers and say, ‘This is the best for you, the others are damaging to the hair.’” Why? To this day, after 30 years of my specializing in straighteners and relaxer treatments, the only reasons I could come up with are:

1. MARKETING: Using the stylists (who have direct contact with clients/consumers and the clients’ trust) is a blessing for the businessman. Most of these product marketers think that we (stylists/hair care specialists) are only technically skilled workers in our industry who can be easily influenced (duped!) to sell their products to our clients. Are they right to assume that we won’t investigate or research, on behalf of our clients, the products before providing access to our consumers?
2. GREEN: The mighty dollar will make us do whatever it takes to put money in our pockets and just tell our clients what they want to hear.
What can we do to protect the consumer in the industry that we work in? I think it’s time to raise the bar and do what’s right for the customer, in the best interest of the customer, not for our pockets only and not because of the color of the customer’s skin--REALLY. The hair is what we should be educated on and there are so many non-black consumers who need and would benefit from other relaxer treatments. We as stylists in our industry have a real problem to solve.

“HAIR IS HAIR” and if you are going to be a winner in today’s highly competitive marketplace, re-create your mindset and be ahead of your peers. Get EDUCATED PLEASE!!
Meaning: When it comes to chemical straighteners, stylists, “get your READ on and become KNOWLEDGEABLE about all the products that can change/enhance/improve the texture of ALL HAIR TYPES.

After all, Hair is Hair! And we stylists need to get over this mindset that it isn’t. Educate yourselves before you recommend and/or apply the ONLY RELAXER TREATMENT you know. Since we are in the beauty industry, think like this: We would ask all around for the best BOOB TREATMENT that would be right for us and we would still get the same desired effect when seen, right? I’m not being funny here, just keeping it REAL. So, having your clients paying more and getting less for their money because of...oops, go back to the top and READ. Your clients will love you even more. -“Hair Doc”

Sunday, January 9, 2011


From the "Hair Doc": Braiding your daughters' or family members' hair vs. having a licensed professional braid their hair?

Braiding your daughters' and family members' hair for no fee is fine. Braiding a consumer's hair for a price is called fee for service. If the braider wants to trade her service for another service (as opposed to for a fee), this is called bartering, which is fine also. Braiders who sell their services to consumers must pay taxes; when fee-for-service braiders neglect to pay taxes, not only are they violating the law but they are also doing a great disservice to the image and integrity of the beauty/hair care industry. I would like to see all braiders be subject to a written test on hair growth and follicles and trained under the apprenticeship of a licensed professional hairstylist.
If you're a braider, you'd greatly help yourself and our industry by wanting to take and pass a test on hair growth and follicles and train under the apprenticeship program with a licensed professional. And if you're a consumer, I advise you to seek the service of a licensed hair care professional about your hair follicles for best results. -"Hair Doc"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Not a Black Thing, It's a Hair Thing

To professonal hair stylists and students: Have you consciously chosen to work ( currently working) in an all-white, all-black, all-asian etc. salon, or a salon whose environment reflects solely your particular ethnicity, race and/or culture? Are all your clients a reflection of your own ethnicity/race? Are you afraid to engage and cultivate a multicultural clientele? I'd love to hear your story and your reasoning if you're willing to share. Being a product of our environment or upbringing does not have to pigeon-hole and limit our capacity to broaden our perspectives. People truly are people, just as "hair is hair," no matter whose head it rests on. What you've experienced can be a timely and valuable lesson for someone else. -"Hair Doc"

Beauty Industry Regulations: The Inspectors are Coming

Let's have a talk about our industry. Where do you see it heading? Beyond the styling and beautifying aspect of what we do for our clients as professionals, we want to produce steady revenue that enables us to reinvest in our businesses (technology, equipment, marketing, etc.). Our ability to do this successfully depends on complying with the industry regulations and standards the ensure the safety, health and satisfaction of the people we serve. The beauty industry has been relatively free from regulations since about the middle of the 1990s. But I've noticed more recently inspectors have been coming around. This is a good thing, in my opinion.

Inspections are in the best interest of consumer protection and are important to raising the bar on service provided by salon owners and stylists. If you're a salon owner or a stylist or client, I'd love to know your thoughts and experiences with regulatory changes over the last 10 to 15 years. Have you noticed improvements in your business as a result or have things gotten worse over time? Where do you see our industry heading into the future? -"Hair Doc"