Posts filed under Salon Life

One Winner!

Although you are all winners in my opinion, I drew one name out of three that "Liked" us on Facebook last month. Jill Lesperance won a gift certificate to Homestead Restaurant on Piedmont Ave. Enjoy Jill, and thank you for the "Like". 47E77904CBI will be choosing a winner every month to enjoy local restaraunts, so if you are a Facebook user, please "like" or "share" today and maybe you will be our next winner!  another benefit to our social media friends, you will receive specials that are ONLY for our Facebook and Instagram users.

ShineForth Salon just celebrated it's 1st Anniversary!  We celebrated with Prosecco, Macaroons by Batch Pastries and Giveaways!  My husband and I, Greg, set up a table out front near the street, with our neighbors Reflexology Wellness.  I met Johanna Thaxter, a certified Reflexologist, and owner, she was offering free half hour sessions!  She is a lovely person and I can't wait to enjoy my session.D737F106EDWe said hello to people as they were heading back from hearing music, having dinner, and or walking with ice cream cones in hand.

It was a beautiful night and great to meet more of our community. Third Thursday every month, Piedmont Avenue has an event called the Piedmont Stroll. They hold it only during the summer months, I plan to participate in August as well.  Maybe we will see you there.

Currently, I am having 30% sale on selected items in the salon.  They are on the counter for you to select from.  These are discontinued items, as I am making room for new products. There are also Dry Hair, Color Treated Hair, and Damaged Hair Sets available now.

May you all enjoy this beautiful summer.



ShineForth Salon Helps to Raise Money for Corey Reich

ShineForth will be participating in a Cut-a-Thon to help raise money for Corey Reich at Calm Salon on Piedmont Avenue, November 16, 2014, 10 am to 3pm.   For those of you wanting to see us for the first time, this is a great way to get discounted haircuts, blowouts, or treatment and blowout, and donate your money to Corey. Go to this link to book your appointment.

Posted on October 15, 2014 and filed under beauty industry, Good Causes, hair salon, Hairstyling, inspiration, Salon Life.

ShineForth Salon is now OPEN!

image001-3 The idea for a new home brewed in my heart for about a year, as I struggled with the joy, and gratitude for being busy, and yet feeling I was unable to deliver my full attention to my clients.  I felt distracted by the "salon" environment, which has become norm out in the world.  I wanted to create beauty, in a place of beauty, without the usual hub bub of a salon.  The idea of moving had to happen, my soul needed it.

A colleague showed me pictures of his new, beautiful, studio in Southern California, and said he never looked back going out on his own, and working by himself.  And that meeting is what cinched it for me.

I knew enough that it would have to be a case of right place, right timing, and then leaping!  So I kept my eyes open, and then I saw it.

Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, CA is where I worked 15 years ago.  The street has changed in a good way, more going on, more youth, and yet classic restaurants like Bay Wolfe still thrive on the street.

I am happy to be in my new home, as we continue working on the last details.  Thank you to all my clients who have made this move with me, who continue to support my dreams, who give so much!  I want to give to you even more than what you expect, because I can.  And a special thanks to the clients who purchased services ahead of time to make the move possible.  Thank you to one of my best friends, Mary Anne McKearnie of MA Designs, who designed the space, and gave her time as a gift!  I love my new home.

We will have a Grand Opening in the Fall, so stay tuned.

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under Beauty, beauty industry, Dreams, hair salon, inspiration, Loyalty, Salon Life.

Salon Update

I realize I've been so busy with beauty shoots, that I haven't given a salon update in awhile.  I got away from writing about specific clients on my blog if you haven't noticed, I am afraid to quite honestly.  It took one client recognizing herself in one of my posts, walking into the salon and confronting me about it.  Thing is, I didn't say anything negative, just personality quirks(like we all have)!  Maybe I should talk more about my own quirks instead. What do you think?  There are plenty of blogs about how to's for hair, and not enough about the psychological side of hairdressing. However, I am finding the psychological side less interesting, and the creating of beauty more compelling!  Maybe I should change the name of the blog.

Posted on April 27, 2012 and filed under beauty industry, Salon Life, writing.

Chop Wood, Carry Water

I’ve been under a bit of unusual stress the last three weeks, I would have been better off taking time to assimilate life’s latest serving of chewy bits.  But life goes on, and as a Buddhists have said, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”  Cutting hair, even though a family member may have been on her death bed, seemed odd.

And yet, my clients were there for me. At first, I did not think I could work.  The salon environment, albeit quieter than usual that day felt too overwhelming.  I had no intention of laying it out for everybody, nor did I need to become maudlin, or ignore my reality.  At times, I felt as though I walked a tight rope.  On one side was my life, on the other, my profession, and when I engaged in conversation about myself, I began to falter, and the net below swung in all directions.

At home I placed a platic bag on a hot burner, walked in three directions at once, not remembering what I was doing. At work, during a weave, I turned my clients hair a pale violet in a few packets.  The flashing light inside strobed, sending a warning to refocus, and bring the conversation back to the client.

My family member felt better today, we all could sigh with relief. The road to healing is still long, and perhaps even questionable.  Meanwhile, I am grateful for my life, and for my clients who continue to awe me in their respect, concern, and kind words.

Posted on July 29, 2008 and filed under hairstylist, inspiration, Life, Salon Life, writing.

The $30,000 Pyramid

"So, what do you love about your hair?  What don't you like about it?  And when did you last get your haircut?"  I asked to begin the consultation with Leslie, a new client. Through Squaw Valley Writer's Conference in "07, I met a group of women writer's from the Bay Area.  Some of us have remained in contact, some have read at the readings I've held at the salon, and a few have even become clients.  One of the writer's that I had become a client, referred her friend Leslie.  Her curly hair was lovely, and way over due for a cut.  The longest layer on top reached to about her chin, sagging her beautiful face down "I'm one of those annoying clients, who wants to keep some length, but feel it's too heavy up here,"  she replied, pulling at her hair on top.  "I just got it cut six weeks ago.  That isn't very long is it?"

"No, it isn't, not for curly hair." 

"I feel like always leave with the same haircut."

"What attitude do you want your hair to have?"

"Ooh, that is a good question.  I've never been asked that.  Hmm.  Well, what do you think I have?"

"Long hair."

"Yeah, I feel like I look like a hippie, but without the hippie."

"Do you want to move into something a little more edgy?"

"What does that mean?"

"Edgy means to me a stronger shape."

"What does that look like?"

"Okay well, let me get my hands in here.  I think if you brought the length up to shoulder length, then took this hair away from your face a bit, slightly off center, then layered out this top, we'd be getting somewhere. I want to round out it out, so that you don't have a pyramid shape, and I'll do some dry cutting."

"Sounds, good.  Yeah, I've had the $30,000 pyramid quite often."

"You are funny." 

"Well, you come up with all kinds of names when you've had this kind of hair for a long time."

She removed her glasses, which was as slight discomfort, because she could not say anything. And so we cut, and cut and cut.  I asked at one point I asked if she would like to put the glasses back on.  No, she said, she was enjoying not seeing.  Then product instruction, then I twisted the hair and diffused.  Her hair looked fabulous.  Bouncy, full, sassy.   

I unwrapped her, she reached for her glasses, and as we spun the chair around, she exclaimed, "Oh wow.  I love it." She remained in the chair a bit, wanting to take in her image a bit.  We laughed about her looking for reflective surfaces to gaze in, on her way home.  We agreed it was a transformation. Carey's photostream

Posted on July 13, 2008 and filed under Beauty, Creativity, Curly Hair, friends, inspiration, new clients, Salon Life.

Intuition or Practice

What part of colouring hair is intuitive, and what is years of practice?  As I worked with a new assistant yesterday, she said she used to work with Logics haircolor, and where she worked before, they couldn't look at a color chart.  They learned by knowing the boxes of color, the color level and tone.  As we talked, I realized I trained myself in haircolor, and that has it's pluses and minuses, right? Knowing levels and tones of haircolor without a chart is a definite must, because it is about training the eye to see color.  Some stylists have this gift, this natural ability.  Since I did train myself, and with practice, it is intuitive, and knowing what level and tone is second nature.  And, I still refer to a chart to get a visual strongly placed in my head, and it happens within minutes.

We are playing with Dia haircolor now.  I like it.  The range of tones, flexibility, and shine is wonderful.  The other day, I saw a new client for a weave and haircut.  I liked her, she seemed to respond to my ideas, and our communication felt on track and we articulated a plan.  She had a natural level 5, and she was heavily highlighted.  We decided to not go that light. So I highlighted her hair with slices of Blondor and 9%.   Then I went back through with a thin slice of light brown, with a bit of copper, and a bit of gold.  I like that you can add a squirt of this and a squirt of that.  I thought, after I shook the formula in the jar that maybe I needed to add more gold or natural to the formula, but I didn't.  but I did at a toner for the blonde of Richesse 9.3, which undid the shine, I am sure.  Next time, I would see what the Dia equivalent would be. 

The color was beautiful, definite coppery lowlights, but not brassy.  The overall look had a zing to it.  I loved it, and she was happy.  The finesse of color formulating is to see what the gut says, and listen, or to follow through with what you worked up, and take a risk.  To me being a great colorist is not perfect formulation, but knowing how to get back when you've gone too far.  Some of it is intuition and some of it is practice.

Posted on July 10, 2008 and filed under Creativity, haircolor, hairstylist, inspiration, Salon Life.

Hot Topics in the Chair

Topics were all over the board yesterday, all the while, awesome hair color of magenta and Special Effects yellow on Anne, level 3 and Special Effects yellow on Frankie, and cutting a client's hair, then needing to be in dialogue about, her still wanting it shorter.  And yet, I thought we were growing it out.  One needs to be flexible.  And in the end, the client needs to be happy, and sometimes this translates to me letting go of my vision. Suicide of a 24 year old on one side, people thrilled about Obama and the possibilities he represents on the other.  How is it our youth want to take thier lives?   Overworked, overwhelmed, over achieving women, women shaming men, pathos in full living color in the chair, and promotion of small business owners...also how women are afraid of calling attention to themselves, so they dress frumpy.  Why does anyone want to put out that kind of energy into the world?  It's for us that we dress.

The owner and I went to a book reading of another client, but we had the day wrong.  So, we walked to a restaraunt a client recommended.  This fabulous Cajun restaurant, Angenline's in Berkeley, has created an authentic, fabulous, inviting ambiance.  The restaurateur, Robert is friendly, and loves talking about the menu.  The food was delicious, and the music added the finishing touch!  We talked about business and possibilities for the salon.

Listen up for one of the interviews on Obama vs Clinton, by J. Rosenthal. Click here to download…


Posted on June 7, 2008 and filed under Death, Dreams, haircolor, Politics, Salon Life.

Hair and Politics

Everybody I saw today had lots of hair.  They all had hair that needed more attention than most, or didn't have much hair, but decided today was the day thier hair did need attention.  Lots of color, lots of focus, lots of foils. And only one client and I talked of politics.  How can that be?  The rest of the world is waiting.  How will the American people vote?  We are making history now, no matter how the election turns out.  Hilary Clinton, and Barack Obama have people talking.  Will they decide to work together for the better of the Democratic Party, and the country.  Will they decide to work together for the better of the Democratic Party, and the country.  Will the Clinton constituents realign with Obama? Writing, moves, changes, good stories, music, suicide, friendships, Squaw Valley Writing Converence, the economy, and loyalty were topics discussed in the chair today.  I felt fatigued at the end, and yet I couldn't stop.  I had to race to pick up my daughter.   She reminded me she was almost the last one to be picked up.(Thankfully, it had been a long time since that has happened.)  I needed to leave my last client with my assistant to finish the blowdry.  Unfortunate situation, even though I trust my assistant to treat my client well.

When I walked past the news stand to get a cup of coffee this morning, I read the headlines as I always do.  Today was the first day in at least a year that I bought a newspaper.  The front page of the San Francisco Chronicle caught my eye.  I wanted to read the paper, this was highly unusual behavior.  I don't know if you call it real news, but it was the first I'd read beyond the online news through, or  It provoked conversation.  Clients seem to be excited, or completely in fear and still anxious.  The campaign is not over until it is over.  Will the American people be willing to move beyond their fear and small minds, and allow the white patriarchal to rest.  Whoops!  What does this have to do with hair?  It's somebody who sits in my chair regularly, and is bright, and was willing to talk about what is real.

Click here to download… 

Posted on June 4, 2008 and filed under Death, haircolor, hairstylist, Loyalty, Politics, Salon Life.

Hair Salon Personnel Change

Savanna, my anchor and colleague, is leaving the salon.  Her last day will be June 17, and it will be a sad day for me, although I am terribly excited for her.  Her, and her husband Jeff, are heading to the UK, where he is from, and where she has spent time. Her father is English as well.  Savanna is a talented hairdresser, who is down to earth, unpretentious, and somebody you want to know forever.  Her hair designs are creative, detailed, and daring.  Her bobs are perfect, her one lengths impeccable, and her short haircuts are original and well suited for the hair texture and the facial features of her clients.  And, she is a beautiful, genuine, gentle, and funny, and kind soul.

Then there is the way she dresses.  Vintage most of the time with a Savanna twist.  She will not wear makeup, if she doesn't feel like it.  She is regal, yet funky.  She is grounded and steady.  She changes her hair more than any hairdresser I've known.

Her presence in the salon will be missed by a lot of people.  Her level of care for her clients from the moment they show up, until the time they walk out of the salon, is superior.  She takes care of their hair, describing it to them at length to them, informing them of things they have never known.  I have never heard the cuticle of the hair be so interesting before.

Savanna's future will be fascinating.  She plans to go to design school, with an industrial focus.  She was already a painter before she studied hairdressing at the Paul Mitchell school in San Francisco.  Savanna and Jeff dined at our place the other nite, and as usual, there was lots of laughter, good food, and stories.  In true Savanna style, she walked in with a wet painting to which she had just applied the finishing touches.  It was an oil portrait of me, with my latest haircut and color.  I think she captured a lightness of being, that I will treasure for all time.

Thank you Savanna for your artistry, professionalism, care for people, your beauty-inside and out, and your dear friendship.  You are an inspiration to me, and words cannot define the deep level of respect I have for you.  And even though I shall miss you, I am proud of you for taking this leap.  I will see you in the UK.

Posted on June 2, 2008 and filed under Beauty, Creativity, Friendship, hairstylist, Inner Beauty, inspiration, Life, Love, Salon Life.

Baby Green Steps

Okay, so I'm taking a moment out of the presidential campaign flurry of interviews, and updating you on what changes are occurring in the salon. It's amazing, hairdressers can actually change their ways. I voiced the opinion that there ought to be three plastic, same size bins for the break room. One for trash, one for plastic/bottles, and one for paper.  One day they showed up, and, they are actually being used, not only that, but filled up. The color boxes are being recycled, instead of ending up in the trash. I've encouraged the use of bringing your own cup to get coffee. I overheard Wayne, say today, "You may as well have asked me to walk with books on my head." Milky white, hot liquid spilling over his chapped hands. It was filled to the brim, I might add. Savanna has acutally instigated a trend of bringing a bowl to get her lunch in. I just love it! Nick has asked Kerastase to please stop their waste of shipping product with a huge amount of paper, and boxes.  Stay tuned for their response.

There are still issues to work out, like light bulbs(I'm not even sure of why we haven't changed over). We still use toxic cleaning sprays. And I have to say, as I hilite clients hair, I am more sensitive to the waste produced by all the foils. My adding to the problem is becoming more difficult to ignore. Could I offer less toxic means of coloring the hair? Could I give up an enormous part of my business income because of this sensitivity? Can one person's actions change all that much? Probably not, but what else do we have, but living our own truth. I 've got to be able to live with myself and my choices.

As I ponder nontoxic thoughts, I ponder the idea of cutting my hair off, and exposing my grey hair. Radical thought in radical times. There something about just letting it be that sounds attractive, knowing full and well it doens't mean that I'm interested in being frumpy, or not feminine. But this idea counters the general philosophy of the beauty industry.

Back to the green conversation, though.  We are taking baby steps in the direction of being concious, but we have still, a long way to go.  I acnowledge the great job my colleagues have done arriving to this point.

Spark a Smile

A new client came in the other day.  Another contact from Jennifer Butler.  Nancy Procurier is her name, and talk about sprite!  More like vivacious, fun, good hearted, attractive, a great smile and laugh.  Spending time with Nancy was like dancing the cha cha cha, we laughed, we shared business ideas, stories from our past, back and forth, step, step, step. She came in with long, heavy mid blonde hair, with highlights, pinned up.  She wore high heels and shorts, and large sunglasses.  Hip, with a desire for change, for more femininity.  This woman is busting out of her comfort zone, and what better set up could a hairdresser ask for.  She was respectful of my ideas, and we were able to build rapport with a snap of a finger.  I suggested she bring up the length to at least mid back, shape it around the front, and release the crown.  I wanted to see more movement to match her energy, and size of her facial features.

As we layered, and lengths flew to the floor, we went for getting in as much as we could.  Her business is brilliant!  It's based on fostering contact between aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc, and the kids in their life.  She sends them mail for you.  That's right a bright envelope, with big letters!  The envelope contains different fun things based on themes she creates through the year.  I love it! Not only is her service fostering contact and connection with those little loved ones, who may live miles away, but it's fostering letter writing, a lost art.

Check it out!

It takes a lot of courage and inner strength to make change.  Beautiful job Nancy.  Thank you.  Stayed tune for make up and hair photo.

Romance Helper

Sierra Faith is a new acquaintance.  We met at Jennifer Butler's follow up event.  She came to me with long, lackluster hair, all one length.  She said she was ready to shed some of it.  I suggested bringing up the length, and layering.  At the last minute, I asked if she would mind if we cut and styled her hair, then applied makeup, and then took a before and after picture.  She said please do.  See what you think.

As we started talking during this, what I think she would call a transformative afternoon, she revealed that she was an online dating coach, hence her url of  She loves this work she is doing with men and women, about dealing with what is in the way of them not only meeting people, but walking the dating course with them.  They look at, and talk about what worked and what didn't.  She said, "Women don't know how to recieve from men."  I've been pondering that statement ever since.  This woman knows what she is talking about.

As I put the finishing touches to her hair, I could see tears trickling down her cheeks.   "This is who I knew myself to be."  This kind of transformation takes being ready inside. to let go of who we thought oiurselves to be.

Thank you Sierra.

Posted on May 2, 2008 and filed under Beauty, Hairstyling, Inner Beauty, Inner Strength, inspiration, Salon Life.

Generosity Abounds

Beth has been a client since 1986.  Her loyalty to me as a person, a friend, a hairstylist, is unbelievable.  Twenty two years of unwavering support in all that I do.  Her heart is generous, always thinking about what I would like, not to mention she allows me to play with her hair.  I saw her the other day, and we discussed everything, while we applied a level 4, Majorel, on a zigzag section, from below temple, all the way around her head.  Then with many slices we alternated 6.01 20 volume, with the level 4, all on a level 5, with 90% grey.

Beth is a wonderful jewelry designer, artist, and has an interest in the world around her.  Listen to her talk about her ideas on creativity. 

Here is her bio:  Through my 30+ years working in the fields of Adoption, and other areas of Child Welfare including Foster Care with Refugee Youth,  I have found continual inspiration in the incredible struggles of people with broken connections and the magic of their healing.

Bellemirth Creations grew out of my interest in the mysteries of the creative forces within.  It has become my source of healing and revitalization of spirit and soul.

She uses Precious Metal Clay, which is a product comprised of silver particles mixed with an organic binder that is in a clay form. It is fired in a kiln, resulting in a piece that is actually .999% pure fine silver.  At high temperatures, the binder burns away and the metal particles fuse to form solid silver that can be sanded, soldered, and polished.

Thank you Beth.  It is my pleasure to know you, and an honor to be with you, always.




Posted on April 30, 2008 and filed under Beauty, Creativity, Friendship, Hairstyling, inspiration, Loyalty, Salon Life, self-expression.

The Tree of Life

Anne use to live in a live-work unit in the same building I did years ago.  I moved out, she moved out, and we hadn't seen each other until she popped intot he salon seven, or so, years later in a stylist's chair.  That stylist went out on maternity leave, and so Anne ended in up in my chair.  Then three years later, same thing.  Another pregnancy leave, and Anne was back in my chair. We had a great time.  Anne is smart, talented, and computer savvy, which I am not.  I shared my interest in interviewing clients, and she agreed in it's appeal.   I didn't know the extent of her creative genius, until we interviewed her, while she sat with color in foils all over her head.  Wow!  Check it out., and listen to her talk about this meditation.

Beautiful Anne, I've got to get sound up and running so that we can hear you talking about this Tree of Life project.  Thanks for sharing with me.

Posted on April 28, 2008 and filed under Beauty, Creativity, Hairstyling, inspiration, Salon Life.

The Latest Version of Frankie

She's the new assistant at Keter.  We love her, and the girl's got talent.   She just graduated from the Paul Mitchell school in the San Francisco.  And now she wants to apprentice.  I think she has the combination of people skills, the eye-she can see hair, and she is an astute listener.  Now, she must make it through the program, however long it takes her.  I predict she will have no problem moving through it quicker than any assistant so far.  Talent, beauty, smarts, and funny as all get out, all she needs is to believe in herself.

She has endeared herself to me, and now is my muse.  We are trying to grow some hair out in front, if she can dodge my scissors, and her need for change.  Meanwhile, on our off hours, this is our latest color fest.

Good luck Frankie.

Posted on April 21, 2008 and filed under Creativity, hairstylist, inspiration, Salon Life.


Today I have a shoot in Marin County.  It's for a permanent makeup artist.  There will be five models, I will step in with the hair. I am going to meet the fashion pr woman in charge of the shoot, Annette Harding.  I responded to an ad looking for fashion interns to help out with a fashion show she is planning for the end of May.  The purpose is to raise money for a non-profit organization called Stop the Spray.  "They" want to spray all of California with poison to kill of the apple moth(can't imagine what it will do for every other living being).  I let her know I'd like to come up with the concepts for the hair and makeup, so today's shoot she invited me in on so we could meet.

My mind is reeling with ideas, and creating a challenge for myself by using no artificial products.  Creating netting with hair, by crimping, teasing slightly than using egg whites to harden the hair over organic shaped forms, and then attaching them to the hair.  I'll start playing this weekend.

Meanwhile, I am sending out photos to clients who have modeled for me, printing all of them, so I can see how everything is translating to camera.  I'm waiting patiently for images from the professional photographers.  I am trading with Dee Conway to choose and print images for my portfolio.

It is crazy energy in the salon. I have moved clients to accommodate the shoot today, and the fashion show the other day.  This of course takes finesse.  I must talk to others in the industry to see how they deal with this situation.  It feels delicate.  I must scramble to find time for a client I needed to move for today.  Three out of the four days I work, she is not available, so I think I must come in on a day off.  Time with my daughter is squeezed, and I leave next week for three days to the mountains.

I have to remember in times like these that it's not quantity, but quality.

Posted on April 18, 2008 and filed under Creativity, hairstylist, inspiration, Salon Life.

Relationships and Break Ups

Oooh!  Time got away from me this week.  As I reflect back on the week, it seems like the predominant theme was break ups.  People are stressed about what is going on in the economy, the war in Iraq, the housing market, and relationship.  I felt helpless to say anything that would make a difference, yet when there is only the two of you, the client and the hairstylist, there is a discomfort sometimes in sitting with what is. One client was married for years, and assumed that meant that they would be together forever.  Apparently not.  My client is the one that needs to move out, find a job, because she is the entrepreneur in the family.  Her whole life will now change, because the other sees no way, but out.   My client had stripped the beautiful peacock colors, and the deep red base from her hair, leaving a pale peach color.  She felt she needed to look more conservative to look for a job.  I couldn't help but feel, she needed to retreat from the world,  she wanted to fade into the background and not be noticed.  I felt sad.

I cut her hair, and occasionally I would ask a question, but there was nothing to say.  My client was devastated, and a bit numb, like it was hard to access feeling around it.  And then I realized, we never really did talk about her wife, except to say how wonderful, and talented she was.  But no guts.  I knew one side of my clients life, the side that she presented to me, and the rest was barracaded, no entry allowed.  And it's not my job to pry.

I said some awkward something, that sounded like keep your chin up.  Uggh!  I felt terrible. I was uncomfortable.

Then, a stylist is in the break room sobbing, because she is breaking up with her guy.  I was moved by her ability to emote, and just let the feelings be there.  And all I did, was ask what's up?  You look down. That's all it took, and the tears came flowing down.  I felt relieved, and I thought back to my client, and hoped that sometime, somewhere, she would let herself cry the tears that need to be shed.

Through the evening, when the day was done, and the unusual warm night touched my skin, the salon is a place where hair is cut and colored, beauty is tended to, and yet we all walk in with our history, our stories, and our humanity.  By interacting, interfacing, we touch each others lives, no matter how we are feeling about it.  And try as we might to have it be about the hair, sometimes the stuff underneath needs to be experienced, and dealt with in the most delicate way.


Posted on April 12, 2008 and filed under hairstylist, Life, Salon Life.

Flat Iron Allure

I've been at war with what I do for a long time.  The beauty industry can seem so shallow, and full of itself, everybody taking themselves much to seriously.  At times, it can feel as though I am participating in the this large web of nonsense, which can make most women feel like they are on the outside.  And yet, for 27 years I've been standing behind the chair, helping women feel good about the way they look, is a very powerful act.  Because some of these women don't get approval, or made to feel beautiful at home, or at their work, it's vital to their self-esteem that they get it somewhere.  And if I haven't achieved this one thing for my client, than I have failed at my job. I had a client come in the other day, who I've seen for a couple of years.  She's made a couple of changes with her style, usually encouraged by her.  And when she does, she is firm about it.  The last style change, she brought in a picture of herself, long ago.  Her hair just sat in a long, bowl shaped, heavy look, almost looking like a wig.  "Outdated."  I thought to myself.  But I went with it, knowing I'd be able to update the look by letting her know it would look that much better if we made some adjustments. The idea of growing her hair frizzy, curly, hair out was unappealing.  But we began a six month process of growing it out.  We have achieved what she was going for, a feeling of more femininity.  We continue to talk about cutting off the medium brown, colored hair and letting her white hair show.  The color is pretty, I just wonder about the texture and being white.  I would like to see it.

The other day, I decided to flat iron her hair.  She has so wanted straight hair, and yet, she has only chemically straightened her hair once.  I'm relieved, perfectly smooth hair has always been difficult for me to accept.  Well, you would have thought I had made her world perfect.  She loved it!  Ohhing and ahhing out the door.

Then the calls started.  One the next morning, one that afternoon. She could only speak to me.  I called her back and got her machine, after a couple of rounds of calls, we spoke.  "Rebecca, I love my hair."  I laughed, and said, 'Great!'  "No, you have to understand.  I feel pretty.  I have never felt this way about the way I look."  Her husband dropped his jaw.  Men are looking at her.  The calls continued about setting up appointments to flat iron her hair, and then having to change them.

She feels conflicted about this, and I do to.  Her hair needs to be cut, if she is going to be wearing it straight.  Will she do it?  And, she feels at some level, she is fighting her hair. And, now with all the phone calls, it's a lot to manage if I have to be the one to make and move her appointments.  Regardless, the fact that she feels pretty, makes it all worth it. 

Posted on March 21, 2008 and filed under Beauty, Curly Hair, Hairstyling, inspiration, Salon Life.

Diva of All Time

Cordelia BeforeCordelia AfterCordelia is an artist, and she is a client.  She lives and breathes creativity, i.e., garden stones with "Garden Diva" spelled out with pieces of colored glass.  Not the commercial stuff you see in garden stones, but the real deal--artful and unique.  Gizzey dolls made of stamped, stuffed cotton, modern clothes, and lace-up fabric shoes, pearls for breasts, different size buttons for eyes, and best of all, fabric remnants from our friend Giselle Shepatin shredded to create long locks of hair.  Wooden treasure boxes, painted, studded and stamped, pieces of glass in-layed on the top to create mosaic, "tell your truth" scrolled inside on the lid, little pieces of wood, line the inside of the lid, the bottom lined with mink.  Cut off finger gloves, then sewn around the fingers with a contrasting color, Turkish buttons sewn around the cuff.  These were all gifts to me.

She is feeling it right now, the creative juices are running wild.  Her six year business of staging houses is New Moon Designs.  Staged houses to Gizzy Dolls.  She doesn't think about being creative, she just has to create.  She wants us to save the Gloria Heads she saw piled up in the break-room at the salon the other day, she sees an art project waiting to happen.

I used her for a model the other day.  She brought in tortas de papas, guacamole and chips, and agua de frescas, and we applied makeup (I'm practicing what I learned in the class the other day).  Then I crimped her hair, I seem to be in a crimping mode these days.  While I smoothed plum eyeshadow over her lids, we talked about travels, our parents, experiences, friends, she told me she was a musician as well.

She is a marvel for sure.  Generous, gorgeous, and talented beyond words.  Loyal as all get out.  And a friend I will have for all time.

Posted on March 20, 2008 and filed under Creativity, Friendship, inspiration, Salon Life.