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Here are some friendly tips that I want to pass along that can help when finding and booking your next appointment at a salon.

Two Types of Salons

There are two types of salons and lots of folks don’t realize this when they go looking for a new stylist.

First there is a commission salon, where the stylist works on a commission basis. In a nutshell, the stylist makes a commission for the butt in the chair and the service the stylist is performing. (And for all the fabulous advice she/he gives you on your love life.)

Then there is chair rental. This is where the stylist is in business for herself and pays a monthly payment of rent to the salon owner.

I am a chair rental stylist. Which means I work when I have clients on scheduled days and if I don’t have clients I don’t go to work. Pretty sweet deal, huh! I am my own boss. I buy my own product and use what ever product I love best. I am responsible for my further education, promoting my bidnez, etc. If I want a day off I get to take it and come to work when I have clients.

The reason I’m writing this is to inform y’all and help you understand how to get yer fabulous butt in my fabulous chair. I get calls often from clients wanting to make same day appointments and I feel bad trying to explain that I’m not in the salon and I’m self employed and unfortunately can’t help them right at that minute.

So when looking for a salon the first thing is to try and figure out is if you are calling a commission salon or a chair rental salon if you need to get in that day. If you don’t need to get in that day, I would really love to hear from you. If you need work done that day, I will commiserate with you and seriously feel really bad about not being available. And then I’ll drink my latte.

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This is sweet little Mel, a friend and co-worker. Yesterday she let me take over her hair and we did this awesome Ombre. Here are the before and after photos and I’m so super pleased at how it came out.

Mel Ombre
cute hair
Mel Ombre

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Have you noticed this new tend walking the streets? Dark roots and lightened ends? It’s called a balayage or an ombre.

Balayage Hair

Sarah is sporting a bayalage above. Every person’s bayalage is going to look different, since it’s a type of painting on the hair that your stylist creates. Balayage is a French word meaning scanning or sweeping, and it refers to the motion we use with the applicator when we put the bleach on.

You can use any color you like. One of my favorites is brown to blonde, maybe a bit sun kissed, like the picture of Sarah.

Bayalage with blonde tips

I also really love the brown with just the tips blonde like the second picture. There is a lot of control over how the application is done. I can carefully take just pieces of hair, a few strands or a clump, and apply lightener from roots to ends.

Ombre brown to red

And if you want a bold statement take a look at the dark hair with the red ombre at the bottom. All of these looks are way less up keep then the failure foil we are used to.

Hair color is clearly not what it used to be—a conservative all-over look. If you want to stand out from the crowd, consider seeing me for a bayalage or ombre and let’s paint you a picture of hairstyle success!

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I sometimes get the question about whether any particular hairstyle or haircut or coloring makes me nervous to do. After the years I’ve been in the biz, not really. But recently I had a haircut that scared the bejeesuz out of me.

This is my darling girlfriend. We just celebrated our third anniversary and this was my FIRST TIME CUTTING OFF HER HAIR! I never get scared to chop-chop-chop on clients’ hair but I have to live with this one.

Tessa Before her Haircut

Tessa Before

This was a HUGE change for her and Tessa hates change. I was so very proud of her that she just took a big gulp and did it. She looks amazing, don’t you think? She said she was ready for a new beginning, damn, here it is.

Tessa After Haircut

Tessa After

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Y’all know that I love cutting and styling curls. Lots of stylists find them a pain but I think they’re beautiful. Curly hairstyles are not difficult and they’re really fun. Or maybe I don’t find them difficult BECAUSE I find them fun.

I know I wrote a curly hair blog before and it was such a success for getting you curly headed clients into my chair that I thought I would try this again. Because I love to cut curly hair so much I wanted to share this client of mine with you.

curly hairstyles are fun

This client came to me the first time very nervous, as most of you are with curls. She had long, almost all-one-length hair and needed a little update. She’s a Mary Kay lady, a business woman, and may I add, very fashionable. So we needed to make her hair match her personality.

She brought me a photo she found online that simulated this hair cut but in the photo the hair was pinned up. After much discussion and letting the nerves settle we began.

I duplicated the simulated style in to a real hair cut and this cut was so much fun, she was just beaming when I was finished.

We stacked it up in the back and put a pretty steep angle to it. While styling, I used a curl cream product, defused with a blow dryer, then for her bangs and front facial framing, we flat-ironed those pieces straight for style. Finished up with a little teasing for fullness and hairspray. I think she looks fabulous.

Putting a little bounce in your hair can put more bounce in your step. Just look at this gorgeous smiling face. See how I get to end my days at the salon?

Long curly hairstyles are elegant

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Are you so sick of your hair and in need of a change but not willing to loose your length. BANGS are the littlest big change you can make. Here is my dear client and friend, Sarah who was really scared to make the change but had the ovaries to give it a try.

Sarah's hair before bangs and ombre

“They’ll grow back or I can push them to the side, right?” she asked as she sat on the toilet in her bathroom, holding her breath. Sarah is a beautiful girl and could shave her head and still be gorgeous.

Sarah after bangs and ombre

You can see that we didn’t shave her head cuz that would have just been cruel. But I really love the bangs on her. In the second photo with her new bangs, you’ll note that I have also given her an Ombre, which is a super easy, low-maintenance hair color for those who are on a budget or just hate getting there hair done every four to six weeks.

So next time you want to make a change but are feeling a little timid, you only have to work up half the courage to come in and let me play with your bangs.

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I went to school and worked on Capitol Hill in Seattle for about five years. I didn’t actually go to school for five years, but you know what I mean. I’ve put in my time in the LGBT hood.

If you have visited the area you will see pretty much every hairstyle but the three in this post are particularly popular styles seen on heads walking the street and in the clubs. I LOVE to cut this way and I’m oh-so-confident in my ability with the Asymmetrical cut, the FauxHawk, and the Fashion Mullet.

Asymmetrical Hairstyle

Asymmetrical

I now live in Tacoma and don’t see as much of these styles, but when I do, all eyes on them. They’re apparently not Tacoma-chic and are vaguely threatening in the sleepy hoods of the South Sound.

I used to have the fohawk and the fashion mullet myself but have since grown my hair out.

But while posting this I am very temped to go back to my former freaky self. These cuts are fun, edgy, and different from just your normal, long layered haircuts or your typical male, straight edge, clean cuts. That’s why you see so many of them up on the Hill in Seattle.

Fashion Mullet

Fashion Mullet

I suppose there’s something to be said for the fact that when you’re surrounded by edgy hairstyles, inked skin, and wild clothing that you’re not really being edgy at all.

It’s kind of like the very conforming non-conformism of adolescence. No one really wants to be different than their peers; they just want to be different from the people they already feel different from (parents, teachers, cops).

That’s just natural. We are, after all, social beings who conform to feel part of a group. We’re wired that way by evolution.

But on the other hand, we all look for that touch of individualism in our natural conformity. We want that something in our hair, on our skin, or in our clothing that is just enough to make a statement that says, “Yes, I’m part of the clan. But aren’t I cute?”

FauxHawk or Fohawk

FauxHawk or Fohawk

I understand it’s not for everyone to stick out like a trash-queen at a performance of Aida. But I can help you find that little statement of individuality. Maybe you’ll be the only one to notice and that’s OK too. If it makes you feel good during that passing glace at your reflection in the salon window, my job is done.

Depending on your job or who you are, you may want all the attention, a little of it, or none at all. But if you love these cuts as much as I do I’m ready to give it to ya. Gimme a call.

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Don't Like My Hair? You know the scenario. Or maybe you don’t. I do.

About a year ago I left home one morning with black hair and returned that evening with crayon-red-colored hair. I walked in the back door and there was my darling partner doing the dishes in the kitchen. I stood there with a silly grin and expectant look on my face.

She just looked right at me for a minute and turned to finish the dishes. This is one of those moments in a relationship when you want your partner to SAY SOMETHING!

“Well?,” I asked. No pressure on her at all of course.

“I don’t like it.” OUCH.

Cue panic mode. Your partner is someone who has to look at you everyday and you want to look good for them. I like it. Why doesn’t she?

The next bit of fun feedback came from my 8-year-old son when I went to pick him up from school. He climbs into the car and blurts out, “Mom! You look like a freak!”

Gosh. Ok. Well, whatever. Back to black.

I also would love to wear Betty Paige bangs, cut straight across. The girlfriend says no. They don’t look good on me. When your partner says you don’t look good in something, you kinda have to listen, no?

I get men and women in my chair all the time who tell me, “I would LOVE to do XYZ with my hair but my partner doesn’t like it.”

The way out

But there is a way out of this dilemma and I’ve taken it on more than one occasion. Do it anyway. There is always an OUT.

If you color it and they don’t like it, it can be changed. If you cut it and they don’t like it, it will grow back or you can style it differently. There is always a change that can be made and I’ve made most of them.

A couple of weeks ago I bleached and toned my uncle’s hair blonde (his is naturally dark brown and gray). Everyone who knows him says, “Oh, I’ll kind of need to get used to this.” He doesn’t care. Cuz he knows he’s got a niece with little bottles of color and she knows how to use them.

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Remember that scene in Jerry McGuire where he’s having a meltdown and he’s begging Rod, “Help me, Rod. Help me. Help me to help you. Help ME to help YOU!”

Sometimes I have people come in for a haircut but have no idea what they want. Or they think they don’t. Being the professional that I am, I know that they always have some idea, even if they can’t quite articulate it. That’s where my experience and love of what I do comes in.

But you can help ME to help YOU. Here’s how.

Pre-game preparation

There are so many different styles out there. My approach is to begin by asking elimination questions. (That makes me sound like a doctor but that’s not what I mean.)

Write these down, girls, and post them on your refrigerator so you can spend the night before coming to see me asking these of yourself.

  • Do you want to keep your hairstyle’s length?
  • Do you want to be able to still pull it back?
  • Do you want to cut it short/keep it long?
  • Do you want babydoll bangs, swoopy bangs, or other kinds of bangs?
  • Do you want it conservative or a little funky?
  • Do you blow dry your hair or air dry?
  • Do you use hair product?
  • Have you had a short hairstyle before and did you like it?
  • Have you had it long hairstyle before and did you like it?
  • Which celebrity’s hair style made you consider selling your soul to get it?
  • Do you want to be able to just run out of the house in the morning?
  • Or are you fine putting some time in doing your hair?

Then I pull out the books, we look at pics, and then we talk. About your hair, about your boyfriend/girlfriend, about your job, about that wild weekend in Vermont.

It’s always a good idea and helps me a ton if you do a little research yourself or at least think of the questions before hand. (They’re right there on the refrigerator, girlfriend.)

When it comes to color it’s more of the same.

  • Do you want low maintenance or wash and wear?
  • Do you want highlights?
  • Do you want lowlights?
  • Do you want all over color (meaning one color)?
  • Blonde, Dark, Red?
  • Have you had it light before/have you had it dark before, did you like it?
  • Which celebrity’s color made you turn green with envy?

Look online and in magazines and see what you are attracted too. Can you see yourself in that style or that color?

Even if you think you have no idea what you want or what will look good, we always have a little of what we want and don’t want in the back of our minds. I’m hear to tease it out before I tease your hair. C’mon down and let’s get to it!

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Ombre for Tacoma Hair

All the French-speaking inhabitants of Tacoma know that “ombre” as applied to hairstyles is a total ripoff of the French words “ombrage” meaning “shaded” and “ombres” meaning “shading.”

Ombre hair color is generally darker at the roots through the mid-shaft and then gradually gets lighter from the mid-shaft to the ends.

This new trend seems to be wildly popular in the world of international celebrities. I have done this technique on some of my clients and they LOVE the results.

Low maintenance

This is ideal for clients looking for a low-maintenance style. There are no harsh lines where the color ends, making the up keep less painful on your pocket book. Your initial cost willl start at $90 but for the appointments to follow, we will only have to retouch your new growth (only $65). Because of being darker at the root and lighter toward the ends means you can possibly go longer between visits as well.

Drew Barrymore ombre hair

This procedure takes about an hour and is not like a foil. This is color fading, not streaks. It’s like your hair was kissed by the sun and I do it with bleach and color. How do I know how much color to use? Cause I’ve been doing this for awhile and it takes as much as needed to cover.

Summer is the ideal time to try something new with your hair. And you should absolutely dive on this one right away before your BFF and her Aunt Suzie show up for your next French 75 bash this way. Oooh la, la.

Fun! Fun! Fun!

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