So, this is something I have been aware of for a long time. Unfortunately, it’s just part of who I am and as much as I take heat when boundaries are crossed, it will not change who I am. I have learned throughout the years when to remain silent, and I am very respectful of others.
Just like someone who feels as though they are too quiet, this is my personality defect.
In defense of those who tend to talk instead of remain silent I want to clear up a few misconceptions.
- I am paying very close attention.
- I listen. In fact, I listen very well.
- I think out loud.
- It isn’t that I like to hear myself talk.
- I feel compelled to share thoughts, experiences, and laughter with others.
- This conflicts with people who need or prefer silence.
- I am not self-obsessed. Just open.
- It is just one form of open communication, which I require to do my job well.
- I can relate to most people this way, and connect on a personal level.
- I am nervous, just like you. If we can laugh together, things are better for all of us.
- I know when to shut-up. Ok, most of the time…
When you work in a profession that requires you to break the ice with a stranger, daily and on a regular basis, you learn what works best for you. My way of navigating this otherwise, very uncomfortable environment, is to talk. When I open up, others will understand that this process is intended to engage them, so I can find out what their needs are. When I know a little about who you are, and what you like, then I can make you happy with your hair. I will continually put myself out there, on the front line, so you know I am not judging you. I am open to whoever you are, whatever you like, and can most likely help you meet your goals through connecting.
It’s all about connecting.
If you are one of those people who hates their hair on their neck, have you ever tried cutting your hair short?
As a female there is some crazy stigma that you must fit a particular profile to have short hair, don’t pay attention to that crap, it is really just judgments placed by others who aren’t brave enough to try it themselves.
I used to notice how women with shorter hair had a different sort of confidence. They don’t grasp on to things the same, there is a unique liberty available to them.
With the summer months approaching, and warmer weather well on it’s way, I would encourage you to consider cutting it short.
Depending on your texture there is one warning to heed, though. If you are used to just pulling it back or up, you won’t have that freedom. There is some level of styling necessary to make it look like you want.
This is the trade-off. You have long hair that takes about 30 minutes to style “pretty”, or 5 minutes if you just pull it out of your way. You cut it short and now it takes 10-15 minutes everyday. Not longer than that, but you can’t get away with doing much less.
So, if time is the issue, completely understandable.
There is also the grow-out. If you just simply hate your hair short, can’t find any style that agrees with you, and you must grow it out… well the road is long. At least a year if not more before your hair meets your shoulders and is luscious again. Be prepared for this.
If you have never cut your hair short, and it is on your mind… I would consider it. You only live once, and it’s just hair right? What a fun way to re-invent yourself!
Simply put this technique is superior because it cuts the hair evenly at the exterior rather than to the uneven scalp. The scalp has bumps and ridges. If you slap on a blade or guard the hair is cut like a lawnmower, just grazing over the surface and showing all the bumps in the road. When you want a haircut that grows out nicely, you cut the exterior evenly despite what is going on at the scalp. It will last longer, I promise.
Granted this only works for cuts at a “#2”, 6.3mm, 2/8 inch, or longer. Anything shorter and you must use your blades directly.
I have tried every clipper out there, even the American Crew approved version of Oster clippers- pretty much the highest quality available in U.S.. My preference is the Oster Fast Feed, simply because the blades and motor are high quality and there is a trigger on the side. I still have the same clipper from 2000, at a whopping $90 and I have worked in barbershops as well as salons where we did a lot of clipper cutting. They work well on damp or dry hair, even function better than those with a fan on the motor because the dry hair clippings don’t blow in your face. You can purchase new blades for somewhere around $18 and they last a decent couple of years before dulling.
The trigger is key for these clippers because you can do fades. You can graduate any lengths to the scalp by “feathering” or flicking your wrist gently and angling the clipper perpendicular to the scalp with the trigger manipulated at different levels to blend those weird bumps, dents, and ridges in the scalp for a smooth fade.
You got it, I’m a white girl that can do a fade. Not one of those chop shop clipper guard fades either, mine actually look faded, like from dark (hair) to light (scalp) with a soft shadow graduating between the two.
I have always loved MOP- or Modern Organic Products.
The products just work well and make the hair feel like hair is supposed to feel. They work on every hair type and because they are concentrated, you don’t need much and a little bit will last a very long time. Recently on the hunt, I came to the conclusion that MOP is no longer readily available. I think the price point was a challenge for hairdressers, a hard sell in today’s lower budget economy. Also, the education provided to salons by the company was less enthusiastic than it could have been. Perhaps it was a little intellectually advanced for many of todays hairdressers who really didn’t take the time to convey enough information to their clients about WHY MOP is a wonderful product line.
I highly recommend almost all of their products, but there aren’t many to be found anymore.
The best of the best is MOP Mixed Greens Shampoo and Conditioner. It works well in CO arid, dry climate because it cleanses the hair without stripping the natural oils that serve as a great barrier from the elements and nutrition for the scalp to stay healthy. They also have (had) Lemongrass Shampoo, serving the fine hair client. No weight added, no drying effect that is common in other combinations marketed for finer hair. The idea behind the competitors product is if you reduce the oils weighing the hair down, you will be left with volume. In other words, dry out the hair and it will fly away. This doesn’t work because it causes the hair to feel drab and unhealthy. Not a desirable effect on someone who doesn’t have much hair to begin with.
I am sad to see MOP dissipate into the ether, it is truly one of the best product lines out there. In the mean time, I will be scooping it up at every opportunity to make sure it is still available for my clients as long as possible. Oh, not to mention, it’s what I prefer to use!
As a client it is very helpful to your stylist if you have at least a vague idea of what you want, and what you don’t want. Make sure that your hair will actually do what you are asking as well. When you go into the salon, and you say, “Do whatever you want”, you and I both know that isn’t what you really want. My (maybe even rude) joke is- ok, lets do a blue mohawk. The point is, you don’t want just whatever, you want something specific, even if you aren’t sure what that is.
It is our job, behind the chair, to notice certain things about you in order to ask the right questions and suggest options you might be interested in. What kind of clothes you are wearing gives us an idea of the comfort level you select in your every day activities. Are you wearing a scent? Makeup? Which car in the parking lot is likely yours? – I wouldn’t ask this but I would try to guess. Which magazine did you select? Did you sit down and start looking at your hair or are you looking at me instead, trying to figure out if you trust me…
Then the conversation- keep in mind this is haircut specific:
1st question- How long do you want to spend on your hair every day?
2nd question- Do you wear product? Do you want to wear product?
3rd question- How do you feel about the texture of your hair?
4th question- How much length do you want to lose?
5th question- Do you pull it back/up often? Do you want to?
6th question- Ad nauseum until we get to an understanding of what you do/don’t want, and whether or not we can get there given any limitations.
Clients beware! Sometimes you can’t have what you want the first go-around. It takes a little bit of growing into the shape and lengths you desire, but each cut will get you closer to what you want.
I have said this before, and I will say it again- Always quote the work before you begin. Let the client know, I charge $x amount for this service and this is what it includes. This cures the uneasiness the client may feel while you are doing their hair, and they can always choose not to have the service if they don’t have enough money with them.
Next up… Color consultation information.