Facts and Myths: Children’s Hair

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I get SO many questions regarding children’s hair.  It perplexes parents, because there seems to be the understanding that children’s hair is different than adult hair.  In some ways it is.  The fact that it is still changing being number one.  Let me go through some common misconceptions and some tips and tricks.

#1  Shaving my kid’s hair off will make it grow in thicker.

FALSE.

SO SO FALSE.

I get this question more than any other.  How much validity is there to this concept?  The short answer is none.  It doesn’t work.  If you did this and your child’s hair grew in “thicker”, that’s because it was going to anyway.  Children are born with a certain texture or curl speed and it can all change within months and it continues to change at puberty.  The hair we have is controlled by our hormones.  Really our genetics ultimately.  If both mom and dad have fine hair, it’s very likely that baby will also have fine hair.  If hair thinning or loss is a factor in the family, then guess what?  It’s likely your child will be dealing with that as well.  There is not a single magical hair cut that will change your genetics.  And ultimately that is what shaving the head is.  It’s just a really short hair cut.  Whether you cut it down to the skin or down to one inch long, it doesn’t matter.  It’s just a hair cut.  It doesn’t have mystical hair thickening powers.  The density of the actual hair shaft and the curl speed is all determined by the follicle and it’s shape.  Which is located inside the scalp tissue.  And if you’d like to know the origins of this tradition…a baby’s hair was shaved off because it was thought to be dirty from birth.  That’s it.  Not because it changes what a child is genetically predispositioned for.

#2  I shouldn’t use “adult” shampoo on my kid.

FALSE.

Once your child is a toddler, it is perfectly find to use professional brand products on your kids, and I highly encourage it.  Using the cheapo kids stuff from the drug store is not doing them any favors.  It’s setting them up for scalp and hair issues.  I use Livingproof on my son.  His hair is healthy and shiny and stays clean way longer.  When he was a bit younger I used Johnson and Johnson on him and found his hair to be dull, full of tangles, and very dry.    Once I made the switch his hair has been healthy and beautiful!  Children need basically what adults need.  It’s still hair no matter the age.  A great regimen and routine cuts.  If your child has unruly curls, or just cannot be tamed, I’m sorry to say, but it’s just part of the lifestyle.  You’ll have to invest a bit more to manage that hair.  No amount of coconut oil or whatever other salad dressing you put in their hair will fix the issue.  You will need to get them on some great products to have optimum hair health.

#3  I want it to GROW!  I’m never cutting it.

MYTH.

A routine haircut ensures healthy hair that will grow just the same.  The hair grows at a certain rate everyday.  This all goes for adults as well.  If you trim off less than what you grow roughly every 6-8 weeks, guess what…your hair will grow!  Consider the actual appearance of your hair.  Yes it’s long, but are you really considering those rat tail ends part of the length?  Do the fading wispy ends actually appeal to you or did you have a more thick and healthy look in your mind?  I’ve had many clients tell me that their hair is thin when really it’s just damaged ends that NEED TO GO.  I’ve also heard the very popular claim that their hair just stops growing at a certain length.  Not true.  It’s just that your hair is disintegrating as fast as it’s growing out of your head.  Break that cycle with a trim.

#4 Vitamins will help hair growth.

TRUE

That’s right!  Biotin and B vitamins are amazing for hair growth, skin health, and nail strength and growth.  I highly recommend it.  Still have prenatals left over?  Take them!  Those Hair Skin and Nails vitamins and gummies that have been flooding the market…basically biotin and b vitamins so if you don’t want to pay the crazy price tag on those or join some pyramid scheme to get a discount on them…go ahead and buy the regular supplements from the pharmacy and you’ll notice a difference in about a month.  Other things that help…a great diet, plenty of water, and a low stress life.  Big challenges, trust me, I know.  For your kiddos, ensure they are taking vitamins daily, make sure they are getting a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.  And do what you can to make sure they live stress free.  Hair loss, thinning, and stunted growth are all medical issues that a hair product or vitamin may not help with.  Some blood work may help uncover any underlying medical issues.  Prescription medications have a major influence on hair as well so consider that as you’re researching causes.

#5   What do I do if my child is a swimmer?

Please protect their hair!!!  Chlorine is really damaging and will lead to dry and unruly hair.  Livingproof makes a great spray called Restore Instant Protect.  It repels chlorine and has a UV protectant.  A little goes a long way but boy does it help!!  Make sure you are shampooing and conditioning your little one’s hair every time.

#6 I don’t need to condition my child’s hair.

FALSE!!

Please shampoo and condition every time.  Really curly hair needs a different regimen, but most hair types absolutely benefit from conditioning.  Don’t you put lotion on your child after a bath?  Why?  Because the soap dries out their skin and they need that moisture added back, right?  The same thing happens to hair.  I love the Livingproof Perfect Hair Day shampoo and conditioner or the Full Shampoo and Conditioner for kiddos.  That’s what I use on them when they come to the studio for a trim.  It leaves hair healthy and shiny, nourished, and really helps with tangles.

#7  My kid doesn’t need a heat protectant.

FALSE.

They sure do.  Every time you blow dry their hair you are cooking those strands.  A little blow dry lotion or a leave in conditioner of some kind that has a heat protectant is a HUGE benefit and will prevent damage and tangles.  For my kiddo I use Livingproof Perfect Hair day 5 in 1 treatment.

The number one hurdle I hear from parents is that salon professional product is too expensive.  I understand.  However, consider that salon professional products are highly effective and more concentrated.  You use way less each time.  If you’re using Livingproof the added benefit is their Healthy Hair Molecule which keeps hair cleaner longer, meaning you won’t be washing their hair as often.  Drugstore product creates a vicious cycle.  You end up using more because it’s mostly water and very little effective product.  There are a lot of cheap waxy fillers, resins, and silicones so hair ends up with buildup.  This buildup makes hair feel dirty so there you are again washing hair more frequently.  So you’re either replenishing product more frequently at $7-$15 a bottle or replenishing perhaps once or twice a year at $26-$30 a bottle.  I’ve found it works out about the same when all is said and done.  I challenge you to try a professional product for a few months and then use your drug store product.  Can you feel the difference?  As a professional I can SEE AND SMELL the difference.  My clients could probably all tell you that I know the minute they have started using something different.  I have a clever little test to show them the build up on their hair too.  With products like Livingproof that are scientifically created to solve the root issue of hair problems there is absolutely no reason that you or your children should have to deal with your hair.  It truly makes styling and maintenance very easy.

I’d love to hear feedback on this topic.  Are there any other questions you have that I haven’t addressed?  Anything you don’t agree with?  Are you willing to take the Salon product challenge?

P.S. ONLY PURCHASE FROM AUTHORIZED RETAILERS!!!

 

xoxo

Shreeda

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How often should I be seeing my stylist?

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With so many services available at the salon, how can we keep track of when we’re supposed to be doing what?!  Here is a handy guide and some general rules that will help you schedule out your pampering services.

 

If your stylist is anything like me, she’ll want you to space out your appointments, but that’s just my personal preference.  Of course some of my clients don’t have several days in their schedule so we do the works when they come in.

 

Haircuts

Depending on your growth and style, you’ll want to come in every 3-8 weeks for a cut to keep it healthy.  I could go on and on about why it is so important to stay on a regimen with this.  People think I’m making things up when I tell them they need to see me every month or two for a trim.  The longer you wait the more out of shape your style will be.  Hair grows at different rates all around the head so after a month when your hair just looks weird or won’t style the same this is usually the reason, don’t blame your stylist.  Another reason, hair begins to split at the ends especially if you heat style.  The hair on the ends is farthest away from nourishment (your scalp) so it dries out a lot faster.  Periodically trimming the ends mean the splits won’t get all the way up creating flyaways and frizz.

Color

This also comes down to your growth rate, but generally 4-6 weeks for a retouch.  Really it’s when the regrowth is about 1/2″.  Any more than that and you may end up with an uneven color.  When the regrowth gets beyond that you run the risk of an uneven color, or a more involved color process.  The stylist may end up needing two formulas to get an even result.  This is because as hair grows away from the scalp it hardens and reacts to color differently.  Another reason is that the temperature varies, so closer to the scalp it is warmer and therefore processes color differently.  You can end up with banding or blotchy color which is pretty expensive to fix.

Highlights

This is where it gets tricky.  Highlights can be done in a variety of ways now that don’t require as much maintenance as it used to.  Once upon a time you would have a harsh line and about every month you’d be in getting your highlights retouched.  Now with balayage and hair painting it isn’t necessary.  Sometimes it just looks better and better as it grows.  So in the case of highlights I would say refer to your stylist.  They will know best.  I tell my clients to come in when they can’t stand their hair anymore.  If they get traditional foil highlights, I try to soften the regrowth line so it isn’t as obvious.

Keratin and smoothing treatments

I highly recommend pre-booking this service for the exact time it would be due.  I am a certified Brazilian Blowout Stylist and the life on that is about 12 weeks.  It’s best to do the next treatment before the previous one has completely faded out of the hair.  This is so you’ll have stronger healthier hair each time.  Every subsequent treatment builds on the last one.  So when you get your treatment done, go ahead and book 12 weeks out for your next one.  Another reason to do this is that the service is lengthy so you will have a harder time getting in on the schedule if you wait until the last minute.  Your stylist will be compelled to squeeze you in because they love you, but don’t you want an unrushed service?

Perms/Relaxers

This is along the lines of the Smoothing treatments or relaxers.  Refer to your stylist about when they need you back for a retouch and pre-book the service.  This is a lengthy service so you want to make sure your stylist has enough time on their books to complete you.

Staggering appointments

Your stylist will thank you for staggering your appointments.  This allows them to keep everyone on track for their appointments and opens up availability for others.  I have several clients with a TON of hair and usually have to reserve several hours.  In this case, if every one of my clients was getting highlights, a cut, and threading done, I would never have time for everyone to look fabulous all the time.  Someone would be roughing it for a week or so.  I recommend getting hair cut first.  This way color/highlights can be placed according to your style.  If your hair is really short, it may help to do the color first because it’ll be easier on your stylist to work with your hair.  Not all stylists are the same so make sure you ask your stylist what they prefer.  Some like to do an entire look in one day and some salons split up the task so it doesn’t really matter.

 

What is Balayage?

Balayage

I can’t believe I haven’t written this post sooner.  I get asked this constantly.  And I’ve heard a hundred different ways to pronounce it!

Balayage is a french word meaning to sweep or to paint. Simply put, it is a technique not an effect.  The resulting effect from this technique is dramatically different than traditional foil highlights. Balayage creates a sun-kissed natural looking hair color with softer, less noticeable regrowth lines. The main idea being less is more.

Balayage is great for someone looking to update their look without committing to increased maintenance.  Foil highlights can tend to have more separation in pieces and usually create a growth line.  Now keep in mind foil is a tool and can be used during a balayage service to keep highlighted pieces from mashing together.  So when I say traditional foil highlights I mean the particular method where hair is weaved into a foil and painted with lightener. (Please don’t call it bleach!)

Balayage

This picture shows the technique and the effect.  Notice how the highlight has a soft line so as it grows it will look better and better.  The before picture…looks like a DIY ombre!

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Here is a beautiful example of Balayage technique used to achieve an ombre.

Now let me show you the difference between ombre, sombre, color melt.  Each style has a different effect but all are done with balayage technique.

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The ombre transitions from dark to light and is pretty dramatic.  The sombre of “soft ombre” has a dark to light gradient but much more subtle.  Color melting melts together two colors using balayage technique.

Balayage is an advanced skill, so make sure if you choose to go this route that your stylist knows what they’re doing.  This can go horribly wrong if the stylist isn’t familiar with creating a soft transition or if they aren’t educated on sectioning techniques.  Most importantly they need to understand toning.  What’s toning you say?!  Well that’s a topic for a whole new blog post.  Stay tuned for the answer to that.  Post your questions in the comments below.  What’s your favorite look?

xoxo,

Shreeda

The truth about trims

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So you told your stylist you want to grow your hair out.  And they told you to get a trim every 6-8 weeks?!  Are they bonkers?

The short answer…no!

Trims keep the ends of your hair healthy.  Once the ends start to split and fray it’s dunzo.  Nothing will permanently fix split ends.  There are short term remedies like Brazilian Blowout Split End Remedy or products from Pureology and Redken that help treat splits.  However to truly “fix” split ends you need to cut those bad boys off.

What happens if you don’t get that regular trim?  Basically your ends will be disintegrating at the same rate that your hair is growing and it will seem like your hair stops growing at a certain length.  Or your hair ends up really wispy on the ends.  Reminiscent of rat tails.

I tell my clients to trim hair every 6-8 weeks if they want to grow or if they have long hair.  Short hair clients I ask to come back 3-6 weeks.  This is about the time it takes for a short haircut to lose it’s shape.  Hair grows at different rates so a haircut will eventually lose it’s shape.  On average, hair grows about 1/2 inch per month, give or take some depending on health.

So if you’re wanting to grow your hair, get regular trims and use good products to promote scalp and hair health.

xoxo
Shreeda

How a brush will fix your clogged drain

I fell of the face of my blog.  I apologize.  So many of you have written to encourage me to write more.  I truly appreciate it.  So here I am.  I’ve had a crazy 2014 and I will write about it when I’m ready.  For now I want to shower you with hair tips.  I am going to try to post one each day.  But forgive me if I don’t.  I have plenty of things that distract me from what I should be doing!  Here we go with my first hair tip….

Prevent clogging up your drain by brushing your hair before you get in the shower.

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My husband says it makes his teeth itch when he sees the baby Sasquatch that is left behind after I shampoo my hair.  He has a HUGE problem with hair that is not attached to a head.  Ironic since I’m a hairstylist and have random people’s hair collecting in my bra and shoes.  I also get hair splinters!

You’ll lose about a 100 strands a day, normally.  Maybe more if you tie your hair up constantly.  Not only from breakage, but it accumulates in there especially if you aren’t thoroughly brushing your hair each day or letting your hair down from time to time.  A great brush to use is a boar bristle brush.  It smooths down the hair cuticle and leaves hair shiny and healthy.  Don’t go nuts though, too much brushing isn’t good either.

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And make sure you clean your brush.  Don’t be nasty.  Dirty brush = dirty hair

I typically always use a boar bristle brush for my blow outs.  These type of brushes also feel amazing on the scalp and stimulate blood flow which helps with growth.  It makes a huge difference in the appearance of the hair.

I also need to mention…don’t brush your hair when it’s wet.  Detangle with a wide tooth comb, but don’t attack it with a paddle brush.

Give this tip a try and let me know how it goes for you!

Have a beautiful day!

xoxo

Shreeda

A Different Option for Fall Hair Color.

It’s fall and everything is pumpkin spiced. Given. Another given in the fashion world? It’s time to change the flavor of your hair too! But just because we associate fall with one flavor doesn’t mean your hair has to be. Here are some options depending on your skin tone and pre existing hair color to keep you trendy for the season without looking like a boring old pumpkin. Each look can be customized and therein lies the brilliance. No one else will have it. And because we’re not going for a specific color, but more a technique, you can make it work for you and pull it off with grace.  The typical reaction is to lighten for summer and darken for fall.  As a stylist, I can tell you that nothing terrifies me more than the client who comes in wanting to be blonde for summer and brunette for fall. It’s doable, but somewhere during the winter, it’s possible the clock is going to strike midnight on your hair and even a miracle won’t save it. Don’t over-process, color responsibly.

 

 

Flaxen Blonde

As fall settles in, the platinum and cool blonde A-listers we saw this spring/summer are going just a tad darker. These beauties have transitioned to a wheat blonde that still has a springy lightness, but is updated with deeper roots and gold tones spread throughout. Think warm and honey. I recommend this look for ladies and men with fair complexions or overall light coloring.

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Bronde

Summer is over, yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be sun-kissed. At least your hair can reflect the effects of a vacation while your skin slowly reminds you there’s no bikinis in sight. Bronde is a different take on the natural highlighted look and a perfect way to add a bit of drama to your tried and true brown this fall. I suggest keeping the highlights off the very top of the head, scatter some slices of gold or beige around the face, eyes, cheekbones, and neckline. This technique brightens up the frame around the face creating the illusion of bronze skin. So go bronde, and keep those summer months alive! This is a great option for medium to olive skinned people.

 

 

 

 

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Copper

How can you think of fall and not think of copper? A beautiful natural version of orange, it’s the color of fall. It’s bolder than strawberry blonde and more subtle than red. It’s vibrant and still understated. A cozy glow from the fireplace. A deep copper is the poster child of fall. If you have blue or green eyes, this is the shade for you. Quite simple to do if you’re already a blonde.

 

Emma-Stone

 

 

Sombré

Nothing pleases me more than different versions of ombre. It is a beautiful trend when done properly. I’m not talking about the DIY brassy ombres I’ve been seeing. I’m talking about a true blended masterpiece. The dramatic ombré has been replaced with something more subtle. Sombré, get it? Ombre, Sombre, Bombre..whatever you want to call it, subtle is the name of the game here. No high contrast, high maintenance roots. This is all about lowlights rolling through the middle layers and working into the roots to break up regrowth lines. Out of all of these, I predict this to be the biggest trend this season. This is versatile, suitable for any coloring.

 

Kerry Washington

Tine Fey

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Rich Chocolate

Getting the perfect deep, rich brown for fall is all about finding the right mix. I always love to add a bit of red and copper to my browns to make them dimensional and luscious. It’s like hot cocoa and chestnuts roasting over an open fire. Dark hues work on all complexions, just tweak the undertone or vary the level a bit to avoid looking like a member of the Adams Family. Blue and Brown eyed babes, get ready for your eyes to POP! Whatever shade you choose, make sure you lock in shine, it will be what sets your hair apart from the other brunettes.   A good blowout with Ahnesti Utiliti Styling Gel will give you luster and hold.

 

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Where ever you fall on the spectrum, you have plenty of options.  I hope this was helpful!  Happy Fall!

 

xoxo

Tips for a great Hair and Makeup Trial

Have a great trial!

I’ve been doing bridal styling for a while, and one of the things I often encounter is brides that don’t take full advantage of their time with the stylist.  I also come across brides who completely waste their trial time and end up frustrated and confused.  I wanted to share some things that I think might help utilize that time better for both the bride and the stylist.  This is from a stylists perspective, feel free to comment below if you have any additional pointers.

Weddings are emotionally charged, and huge important events.  I can tell you, I never want to be the one to make it harder on the bride.  I do my best to get the look she wants and help her find her vision, but there’s some things I wish every bride would know.  I compiled a list that I thought would be helpful.  With so many details to focus on during wedding planning, the last thing you want is to have a stressful time dealing with hair and makeup.

A trial is not a consultation. – To get the most out of your trial, get your ducks in a row.  Usually trials are scheduled for a couple of hours at most.  My trials have a two hour max.  In that time I want to talk about details of the wedding, hear what the bride’s vision is, and then make it happen.  If the bride isn’t really sure of what she wants and spends 3o minutes of that time just trying to decide what eye-shadow colors she might want or whether or not to have her hair up, she has just wasted valuable time.  Now I’m rushing and can’t really promise it’ll be perfect.  It’s best to nail down a few details before you come in.  The style of your wedding and dress, the colors of the wedding, what the party members will be wearing, dramatic or no, up or down or half up..  If you’re at the point where you’re not sure and need guidance, schedule a consultation with your stylist.  I’m always happy to give my input and offer advice based on my experience.  I hope I’m being clear about this one.  It’s not that the stylist doesn’t care or doesn’t want to spend that time helping you decide, it’s just best to break it up into a couple of visits.

Bring pictures. – Pictures are a language we all speak.  Artists are usually pretty good at mimicking pictures.  Recently I had a client come in asking for a red.  I showed her a picture of ‘true red’.  She said it was orange.  I showed her a picture of ‘red-violet’ and she said it was brown.  My point is, words cannot be trusted.  If we both look at the same picture, I might call it blue and you might call it yellow, but whatever we call it doesn’t matter.  I know that at the end of the service I want to give my client what’s in the picture.  So if you can find something that shows the colors you want, the type of curl, how dramatic of a look you want, etc.  And if it’s in 10 different pictures, bring them all and describe the parts of the picture you like.  Now that we have Pinterest and Facebook it’s much easier to share and show ideas.

Let the artist work. – Imagine going to an artists’s studio and stopping the artist to tell them how to paint a painting.  More often then not I’ll have a client come in and ask for a mirror and watch my every move.  What ends up happening is they stop me every so often to direct me.  ‘Are you going to blend this?’ ‘It doesn’t really look like the picture.’ ‘That’s too much teasing.’  Here’s the thing.  Every stylist has their own technique.  But you have to let them get through their work uninterrupted.  The times that I’ve followed direction like this, it’s been a total disaster, because I have my own rhythm and method and the interference really throws me off.  The stylist should know what you want because you’ve shown them pictures and told them what you want or don’t want.  Don’t worry about how the stylist is getting you there, relax, let them work, and judge the end result.

Be completely honest. – If you don’t like something, say it.  Not every artist is that objective, but they should be.  I usually tell my clients ‘you won’t hurt my feelings, please be honest with me.  If you don’t like something it will hurt me that you just sat with it.  I want to make you happy.’  I mean every word of it.  It’s not something to take personal.  When I’m hired as a stylist, it is my priority to give my client what they had dreamed about.  That requires honesty.  We’re a team.  We have to work together to reach our goal.

Have a great trial!

Bring your makeup bag. – This is so helpful!  A makeup bag speaks volumes about a person’s style.  I can tell by the shades in there, the types of makeup, etc what kind of style this client is used to.  It’s also nice to have lipstick colors to compare.  Most of the time I have a client pick out a color from MAC and if I don’t already have it, I go pick it up.  I’d say the most requested look is ‘I want to look like me, but better.’  Seeing what’s in that makeup bag sometimes gives me an idea of what that means to you.

Trust the stylist. – Give the artist your vision and let them run with it.  Some might go off the deep end and have you looking way crazy, but most will give you pretty close to what you imagined if you just let them.  If at the trial you can’t trust this artist, walk away.  This is the foundation of the relationship you guys are building.  That sounds dramatic but it’s true.  During a trial, I’m tuning into my client and feeling how we vibe together.  There are times when I just feel completely off and I let my client know that something is off..  Pay attention to those feelings.  This is the last person that puts your look together before you walk down the aisle.  That’s a huge responsibility.  I don’t take that lightly, neither should you.

Be realistic. – This is a big one.  Know your hair and skin and what they can do.  If you have four hairs on your head, I’ll be sure to make those four hairs look stunning.  But if you bring me a picture of Kim Kardashian and ask me to do that, that’s magic, and I’m not a magician!  So it doesn’t make these things impossible, but if your artist suggests treatments, highlights, extensions, or some other enhancement, give it some serious consideration.  Some dimension in the hair, extra volume from extensions, or some deep conditioning can make your hair look amazing.  Of course these things cost money, so really think about how important it is to you to get the look you wanted.  If you’re willing to change your mind, let your stylist know and they will give you options that are suited for your skin, hair type, face shape.

Dress appropriately. – If you have your dress picked out, wear a top in the same color.  If not, dress up.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a bride come to me in sweats or yoga pants and then tell me constantly that the look is just too much.  Of course it will look like too much if you’re dressed like you’re going to the gym.  The dress and jewelry really pull things together.  It will all look great together, but it’s hard to imagine when you’re ready for savasana.  So dress like you’re going somewhere, or try to schedule your trial on the day of your bridal shower/bachelorette party.

NEVER skip a trial. – A trial is important for both parties.  It will put you at ease about your stylist.  You can have confidence you’ll look just the way you dreamed.  It’s also great for the stylist, because they’ll have a chance to touch and experience your hair.  One time I had a bridal client that wanted a particular look, and after many attempts during her trial, I couldn’t  make her hair do what she wanted.  No amount of product was making it happen.  It was down to her butt with no layers, hair that heavy sometimes just won’t hold a curl.  She didn’t want to cut her hair.  Luckily she was understanding because she’s not been able to curl her hair her whole life.  We opted for a more sleek look and she was happy!  Had we not done that trial and went through that together, I would have been fussing with her hair the day of her wedding and she would have been completely stressed out.

Questions to ask your stylist.
There’s so many details, that a lot of the smaller details are sometimes forgotten.  Here’s some questions and what they might reveal to you.

1.  How long have you been doing this?  This question is a common one I get, but I think most of the time it’s asked from the wrong perspective.  Most brides want to know how long I’ve been doing this to see if I will be any good.  I have seen crap work from artists that have been doing this for 20 years and I’ve seen phenomenal work from artists who are still in school.  Of course artistic skill is honed over time, but time in the industry certainly doesn’t determine how great the work will be.  The answer to this question should tell you about their experience.  I’ve been doing this over a decade, and in that time I’ve learned about common mishaps, things that tie up time, how to set up and break down, etc.  Those pesky details that can make or break the service.  So when you ask this question, what you should be searching for is how much experience they have and gauge for yourself if the artist will be adept at trouble shooting if the seating or arrangement is bad or if the lighting is terrible.  You could lightly ask if they’ve ever had a crazy bride or what’s the most extreme circumstance they’ve had.  The way they answer should tell you a lot about them and how much experience they truly have.

2.  What products do you use?  This again is an iffy question.  Some of the more professional brands that are really good, the general public has never heard of.  If you’re going to ask this, and you hear some brand you don’t know, follow up with: How does it compare to xyz brand?  I use a lot of well known brands in my kit, so I never really run into this issue, but every now and then I get someone who is a die-hard fan of MAC makeup.  Although, I use a lot of MAC products, I don’t think it’s the best in every aspect.  The eyeshadows aren’t consistent in texture, the foundations are different consistencies depending on the shade, etc.  So when I’m asked what products I use, I always explain what I love about what I use.  Another great follow up would be ‘Oh I’ve never heard of that one, what do you love about it?’

3.  Do you offer a touch up kit?  For a price, your artist should be able to provide you with a touch up kit or at least lip gloss for the event.  I extend my discount to my brides and offer to put together a kit so that they can touch up their look.  No matter how hard we all try, lipstick just won’t last through eating, drinking, etc.  Depending on the airbrush makeup, it can’t be touched up with regular powder.  So some blotting sheets, lipgloss, or some setting powder would be good to ask for.

4.  Do you have a portfolio?  It’s great to check out the stylists previous work.  It will give you an idea of their style.  Be logical about it though.  Not too long ago, I did an updo on a bride and posted the picture on my website.  Every single bride after that asked me to do the exact same updo on them.  I did, but now it seems like that’s the only updo I know how to do.  So feel out on your own if they seem creative, and look at the pictures to see if they’ve paid attention to detail, if the styling is smooth, seamless, flawless, etc.  Keep in mind, many brides opt out of sharing pictures with the artist.  It may seem like they haven’t done a ton of work, but that might not be the truth.  Just ask them about it.  For every one bride that shares pictures with me, I’ve got about three that don’t.

On that note, share pictures with your artist and leave them a review!  That’s how they drive their business.  Reviews from former brides are trusted by current brides.  I have about 15 brides so far that haven’t left me reviews, and I think about it all the time.  I can’t lie.  It would really help my business if they would just leave the review!  It only takes a few minutes, and you’d really be helping them out, so if you’re happy with the work, leave them a stellar review, and if you aren’t happy, contact them first to see if they will do something about it, if not or they don’t care, leave the bad review.

Former brides of mine, if you’re reading this and you haven’t left your review yet, please go leave that amazing review on The Knot!  I could really use the stars!!

Pricing

Something else a lot of people wonder about is the pricing.  What’s normal?  What’s too much?  Honestly, there’s no right or wrong price.  Everyone has their value.  For me personally, I take into account my product, gas/mileage, paying out my assistants, my experience, and anything extra that I bring to the table.  Many people don’t account for the cost of a hair and makeup person.  Generally, I’d say a normal range for hair and makeup is anywhere from $250-$350 for the bride.  That should include a trial and lashes.  There might be an upcharge for airbrush, or it might be included.  For bridal party members, you can expect to pay around $120-150 for hair and makeup.  Anything more than that and you’ll want to see if they are high end, have a celebrity artist, have a stellar reputation, or if they include extras.  Anything less than that, and you’ll want to wonder why they’re able to charge so little.  I can’t say in all cases, but generally speaking you’ll get your money’s worth.  If you do not, and you’ve had a bad experience, contact the artist and let them know you are unhappy.  If they have any integrity they should offer to correct the wrong.  Whether it be offering you a free service or your money back.  Reputation is everything in this industry, so if the artist knows what’s good for everyone, they will do their best to make you happy.  Avoid bullying the artist or issuing threats, they probably won’t respond well to it, and you’ll just end up more frustrated and still with no closure.  Calmly explain to them your issue and what you would like done about it.

I’d love to hear about your trial experiences.  What was good, what was bad?  What do you wish stylists would offer or do?

xoxo,

Shreeda