Friday, January 7, 2011


Have you or someone you know ever had this  experience in the salon? 

The stylist has just finished cutting your hair, and while finishing her thought about penguins and world peace, she quickly dispenses liquids and foams from two or three different bottles into her hands and massages the mysterious great-smelling cocktail into your roots and ends. Intrigued by this action, you ask something like,

"Hey, what was that stuff you just put in my hair?"

Your stylist gives you an answer, whether vague or elaborate, and you say, "Huh." ..and pick up the penguin thread again. 

After your blowdry and pleasant goodbyes, you are feeling stellar! What a great idea to get that haircut! ..Only your spirit sinks when the next day rolls around and you find that you can't seem to even vaguely replicate the shiny, crisp and clean finished style created by that mysterious miracle worker at the salon.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this sad, sad story.
We may be highly skilled, trained, and well-practiced professional hairstylists, but I assure you that not everything that we do can be classified as a miracle. You remembered to walk out with your hat and coat, and hopefully your credit card and the rest of your coffee, but you forgot the key ingredient(s) for personal hairstyling success that will continue until your next haircut--- those products!

 For many, this is a nightmare.

At least 50% of my first-time clients have not ever used hair products on a daily basis, and don't understand why they should. 
I consult with every client who graces my chair about their "product history." Some people have one product that they have been using every day for years that they swear by. Another percentage has purchased different products in salons and drugstores over the years, but still don't know what any of them do and only use one when someone gets married or dies. Many who don't currently use or own any hair products at all don't yet know what kind of an impact the right one(s) can have on their day-to-day looks. 

I have terrible hair.

My hair is thin and fine. It has a wavy-curly texture that is also straight in some places... I have three cowlicks in my front hairline, and a big one right in the back at the crown of my head which, un-styled, creates that unsightly "yamaka" effect that is a woman's bane of existence and looks like I am preparing for a tiny model helicopter to land. ..I think I just figured out the inspiration for the hat with the propeller. 

You can see where I'm going with this, I'm sure. I can't go walking around looking like some sad model aircraft-building Jewish librarian with lots of cats... I'm only half Jewish and have only one cat. Let's project that instead:

My daily styling process:

After shampooing/conditioning and towel-drying* my hair (*Towel-drying: People seem to get a little hung up on what this means.. as though it must be something more than what it is. Towel drying is drying your hair with a towel until damp. Try to be gentle, we're not looking to pull any clumps out or create dred-locks, but that's all it is. Removing the excess moisture from hair with a towel.) 

I add a nickel-size amount of heat-protecting oil [To protect my fine hair from heat damage and add shine], and an egg-size amount of foaming mousse [To help control and direct my hair and add volume]. After combing it through for evenness, I flip my head upside down and blow dry my hair with my hand instead of a brush.. running my fingers through it to separate and direct and get most of the moisture out.

Once I can feel that it's almost dry, I flip my head back upright and grab a small paddle brush [For my short hair] to smooth and direct those problem areas.. the yamaka in the back, the triple cowlick bangs, and anywhere else that looks like it might need a little extra attention... and then I'm done! A little hairspray, and voila!   The whole process takes me about 7 minutes. 

Without those two simple products [And quick hairspray], I would've exerted myself three times as much for twice as long, likely producing a bad case of ABA (also known as Achy Blowdryer Arms) to achieve a result that looks about 15% as nice. ..And that would just be silly.

So what's today's lesson? Go get yourself those few items that will gift you better mornings forever...But don't just go grab any old thing! Don't buy the products that I use, or that your friends or god forbid your mother uses. Ask your hairstylist which ones are right for YOUR hair. Or, just ask me!

Love always,
Your Hairoine


  1. In experiencing all the wonders and magic of pregnancy- one in particular that has left me disappointed and aching for change is the effects on my hair. Overnight, my hair seems to have been swapped with that of a perfect stranger! It's limp, dry, brittle, dull.. All things negative!
    Being one of those aforementioned product virgins (an a firmly standing one, at that), I now have no ammo or knowledge of how to remedy my sad display..
    I cannot wait to have a sit down with you, Hairoine- so I can finally learn about these products you've been so gently encouraging all these years :)

    Prego in Hairidise

  2. Dear Prego,

    I can't feel your pain, but I understand it from experience with other clients. I always ask, and pretty much every client who goes through pregnancy experiences changes in the texture and moisture content of their hair during the pregnancy and then again after they give birth. Take comfort in the fact that hormonal changes are responsible for this seemingly drastic difference.
    Try using a leave-in conditioner to restore your lost moisture and a light gel or volumizing mousse to give you some volume and a little extra control while styling. Love your blowdryer. Your blowdryer is your friend.

    Your Hair Heroine Loves you.