Archive for the ‘Hair Design’ Category

The Foundation of Doing a Perfect Updo

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Erika Brown - Certified Hair ColoristErika Brown is worked hard and overcame all obstacles to become a proud graduate of Paul Mitchell School, an American Board Certified Haircolorist, and a Makeup Specialist. She works at a salon she loves and specializes in hair coloring and the art of special occasion styles. She runs her own cosmetology blog, Confessions of a Cosmetologist, and enjoys inspiring others in the cosmetology field. You can also keep up with Erika on Facebook.

Do you ever get that sunken feeling when you get an updo client but have no idea what you’re doing?  Or maybe you’re the type that jumps for joy and can’t wait for the challenge.  I want everyone to get that excited feeling when an updo is booked, and the most important reason is this:  Anyone coming to a salon for an updo is more than likely preparing for a special day or event.  Would you want to see a stylist that isn’t confident  about styling and struggles through it with an attitude?  Heck no!  You might be the kindest and most talented girl in the salon…but it won’t matter.  Clients can see that look on our face….when they know you’re clueless….and you both know it!

In my opinion the key to any happy client is a thorough consultation, whether it is an updo or a cut.  You may be confident as a stylist but if you don’t get a clear vision of what the client wants…you will not succeed.  Most people are unhappy because it was not what they asked for….don’t stop asking questions until you feel like you’re on the same page.

The Perfect Consultation = The Perfect Updo

The following is a list of questions that I always ask during an updo consultation.  It’s important because that bride-to-be probably chose a style months ago and you don’t want to be the one to give her the opposite….don’t rain on her wedding day!

1. What are you looking to get done today?

This seems too broad but it’s important because it tells you how much the client has thought about what she wants.  If she is unsure…you know you’ve got lots of questions to ask.  If she’s gung-ho on a particular style but says, “I do want this, and maybe I don’t like that, etc.”, then you’ve got to dig deeper.  Ask her what she does or doesn’t like about every point that she touched on.

What they say after the first question is so important.  Those are the things that concern her the most….if you get those points right you will have a happy client.

Did you bring any pictures or would you like for me to make a few suggestions?

Pictures have earned a horrible reputation when it comes to clients whipping them out at a consultation.  I have heard several stylists say, “Oh no, she brought pictures… I hate that!”  They are forgetting that without them you are left to rely on your conversation and their ability to explain what they want alone to come up with the updo hairstyle on the spot.

Prom Up-Do Hair

If a client brings more than one photo you should compare them, narrow down the options.  Tell your client, for example, “Two of the styles you’re showing me are half-up and the other two are completely up.  Which one do you prefer?”   This gives you a chance to let them know that they are sending mixed signals and makes them pick specific details out.  A brief conversation or just glancing at a photo without asking any questions is asking for trouble.

Always cover your back, if you ask and perform you will find a new spurt of confidence!  How much can a girl complain after you went out of your way to be so thorough?

3) What style is the neckline of your dress and are you wearing any accessories?

This gets their mind off the worries of the style and gets them talking.  It’s so hard to get direct details at times and anyone will chit chat about what they will be wearing!  It also helps to break the ice if you have a shy client or get them feeling more comfortable with you.

You can also determine if the style they want will look good with what they plan to wear.  You don’t want to cover up a beautiful neckline by leaving some of the hair down or leaving them too bare around the neck if they aren’t wearing any accessories.

4) How would you like the front to look?

Most people will show you a photo of the back of an updo…but not the front.  Don’t corner yourself…I always start in the back but I’m sure to leave what I need to create the desired look in the front.  Surprisingly, it matters just as much as what they requested in the back.

I like to ask if they want to keep their usual part or do something straight back.  This is HUGE because it greatly alters their look…and what’s in all the pictures?  The front…not the back…both should look great but for different reasons.

5) Would you like the back to be centered or to the side?  Low, middle, or high on the head?

Prom Up-Do by Erika BrownIf someone doesn’t bring you a photo this is a great tidbit to check on.  It also goes hand-in-hand with the accessories that they want to wear.  If someone is wearing stunning earrings, a middle updo is great because there is no hair behind them.  When wearing stud-like earrings or none at all I like to suggest a side style because it adds something around the neck.

Surprisingly, not everyone asks this question and it can change the whole look.  In my experiences I get more requests for mid to low updos.  High updos are rare these days unless it’s a ballerina or someone performing.  Obviously, if they want a high updo it will probably not be on the side!

6)  How much volume do you want?  Would you like it at low, mid, or high crown?

Have you ever made the mistake of assuming someone wants volume just because so many people ask?  I certainly have….and clients look like they saw a ghost when you go overboard and they weren’t expecting any extra volume!  Or maybe you leave that part out completely and they look flat on top.  Again, if there’s no photo you’ve got to ask….how much volume would you like?

There are many ways to create volume but knowing where to start is the key.  Some styles require volume at the high-crown area and some look best at the low-crown.  It all depends on what type of look you are trying to create!

The consultation is important for two key reasons:

1) To assure that you are doing the best you can to understand and perform what the client is asking. 

If you are not clear about the desired look and the client is unhappy then how will you know what you forgot to ask?  It’s also a great time to be honest and say, “I’m not great at incorporating braids into updos…do you mind if a fellow stylists steps in to help?”  Then you don’t have to sweat and the client will feel even more pleased because you admitted that they are asking for a skill that you don’t feel comfortable with.  It’s a special day….anyone would rather you let go of the ego and work together for their sake!

2)    To help yourself better understand where you went wrong and how to fix it. 

When the client says, “It’s just not what I wanted and I really don’t like how high it is on my head,” what next?  It’s not like you can undo it or fix it really quick!  Usually we don’t have time and besides, what a mess that would be. Knowing where you messed up when you know you did your best is the surest way to build your skills and have clients leaving happier every time!

Keep in mind that you don’t always need to ask everyone each question and sometimes you’ll need to ask some of your own.  It’s impossible to tell you everything you should touch on….the more you practice this method the better you will get.  Don’t cut corners on the updo consultation. Knowing all of the details is the first and most important step!

How to Get a License for Hair Braiding

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

ts-82153391By obtaining a hair braiding license, you can increase your earning power every year. Even women and men with full-time jobs are pursuing a license for hair braiding because of the extra opportunities it provides for earning a side income. Hair braiding is an easy way to supplement an income in a difficult economy.

The typical cost of a hair braiding license is about $300 in states. You may pursue online coursework or traditional classes in fulfilling the credit hour requirement for obtaining a hair braiding license. If you decide to take an online class to obtain your hair braiding license, you may want to see whether study materials are provided for the examination. You may be able to obtain study materials that will help you pass the examination.

If you are just beginning to learn how to braid try the basic fishtail braid. Not only is it the most common style of hair braiding, it is also the easiest to learn.

If you take an online class, you will then be able to take the online quiz in order to receive your certificate. If you are able to pass the quiz with a score of higher than 75 percent, then you will be awarded your certificate. Your hair braiding license will be sent to you within two to four weeks after you take and pass the quiz.

By taking a hair braiding course, you will learn about the sanitation process that is required for braiding hair. You will also learn about the ways in which you should handle clients who have HIV or AIDS. When you are working with a client who has a communicable disease, you may need to pay special attention to the sanitation of the equipment that you use.

Another required part of the coursework that you will pursue for obtaining a hair braiding license is the study of disorders and diseases of the scalp. You will learn how to recognize diseases such as lice within the scalp. This will help protect you from obtaining the disease from your own client. Studying this aspect of hair braiding will also help you protect the other clients in your business.

It is essential to have a hair braiding license whenever you do hair braiding for other people and receive compensation in return. Under state laws, you may not practice the art of hair braiding without a license. You can actually receive expensive fines if you are caught hair braiding without a license in a salon. If you do fusions, semi-weaves or relaxers, you will also need to have a hair braiding license.

3 Tips to Follow When Coloring Hair

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

As a hair stylist, one of the most common requests from clients will be that you color their hair. Clients need help when it comes to color hair, and you can come to the rescue as their stylist. When you give a client the perfect color, you will know because he or she will feel confident and sexy. You can have an active role in helping your client feel beautiful by giving him or her a great hair color. When you are first starting out in coloring the hair of clientele, here are three tips that you can follow.

1. Give Clients Instructions

Before clients leave your salon, you should always instruct them about the ways that they can take care of their newly colored hair. You may even want to give clients a small piece of paper with care instructions. Clients should try to stay out of the sun with newly dyed hair because the sun can cause hair to lighten. Also, exposing hair to the chemicals in pool water can cause hair to turn green or become faded.

2. Follow the Directions

Before your client’s appointment, you should try to read the directions on the bottle of color. It is important for you to read the directions because manufacturers may have different ways that you should apply color. You should also read the directions carefully to understand how much concentration of chemicals you should use. This will ensure that you mix the color in the right way for your client.

3. Start with Clean Hair

No matter how pressed you are for time in the salon, it is essential that you start with hair that is clean on your clients. Always take the time to also get to know about the condition of your client’s scalp. If your client has had any medical issues in the past, it is important that he or she makes you aware of these medical issues. Some people can not have their scalp exposed to chemicals during treatments such as chemotherapy. Also, you should take note of the condition of your client’s hair. Pay attention to whether your client’s hair is dry or damaged. Applying color to hair that is damaged can cause hair to fall out.

These tips are essential for any hair stylist to follow when applying color for clients. Following these tips will ensure that a client has a high quality experience with a stylist and knows how to treat his or her own hair after the appointment is over.

The Gorgeous Katie Holmes and Her Incredible Bob Style

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Katie HolmesKatie Holmes has taken the fashion and beauty worlds by storm with her medium bob. This sassy and chic look can be seen in the pages of Vogue, Elle and every other high fashion magazine. It looks stunning in any setting, whether one is attending a red carpet event or grabbing an ice cream cone with the kids. Since Katie Holmes first appeared on the red carpet in 2008 with her medium bob, hair stylists remain inspired by the look and continue to alter it in different ways.

High-Class Bob Cuts

High-class bob cuts are also known as “personalized” bob cuts. These cuts are tailored by a hair stylist to frame your face in an interesting way. When a woman’s hair has a geometric shape so that one side is longer than the other, this is an example of the tailored bob look. A stylist takes your cheek bone structure into consideration in cutting hair to the exact perfect length with this bob.

Unique Colors

Lady Gaga was seen wearing a bob with her hair colored in different hues of gray at a red carpet event just months ago. Gray has come back as one of the trendy hair colors of the season. While Katie Holmes has never been seen wearing gray, she has influenced the hair style behind this gray shade. Women look sophisticated and chic in the gray bob hairstyle. If you want to be on the cutting edge of the hair world, then try out a gray bob for a few weeks. A hair stylist can always alter the color if you find that gray isn’t the look for you.

Choppy Layers

Choppy layers have never been hotter when paired with the bob look. Choppy layers are great for the woman who already has a head full of hair and wants to manage it. A hair stylist can eliminate some of the extra weight by cutting choppy layers into the bob style.

Straight Bangs

Straight bangs add a dramatic touch to any bob haircut. Katie Holmes was seen wearing straight bangs when she had the bob style. Straight bangs give a woman an air of mystery, yet they also add a sweet and innocent vibe to any look. Side-swept bangs are another rendition of this look. For the woman who wants a softer look without all the drama, side-swept bangs are the perfect option.

Short Length in the Back

Having the bob cut with a shorter length in the back is essential for this look. Look at any picture of Katie Holmes, and you will notice that her locks fall slightly longer in the front of her face.

The medium bob is a hair style that likely will stick around on the fashion scene. It has become a hair style that is adored by thousands of women.

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Four Trendy Braids Hot Off the Runway

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Braids were all over the runways this season including Fendi, Miu Miu and Isabelle Marant. This easy summer styles adds unique texture to your look. It also keeps the hair out of your face! The following lists represents the best and easiest braids that you can do yourself to keep your look fresh and trendy.

1) French Chic- The French Braid

The classic French braid is one of the easiest to do. It also looks great in every situation from the beach to an afternoon wedding. This braid is easy to start do; start at the crown of the head and work your way towards the end of the hair by adding strands in to the braid. It is that simple! You can also make this braid more interesting by doing two braids or doing a reverse french braid starting at the nape of the neck. For a super cool celebrity look, french braid from one side of your head to the other to create a super cool crown of hair! This is also known as the crown braid and it can take some practice. However, do not worry about the braid being perfect!

2) Simple and Easy- The English Braid

The standard braid is also known as the English braid. It refers to the most common type of braid: three pieces of hair woven together to create a polished look. You can begin at the base of the neck with three even sections. Then, just cross the left portion over the middle followed by the right. Repeat these steps until you get to the end of the hair. For a more modern take on the standard braid, gently tug on the braid in different sections to create a messy bohemian look.

3) Mermaid Beauty- The Fishtail Braid

The fishtail braid is very cool and one of the easier braids to do. It is done in the same method as the English braid. However, very small sections must be used as they are woven together. Many people pull their hair into a ponytail before the begin to create a solid base for the braid.

4) Remain Neutral- The Swiss Briad

In order to achieve this look, you will need long hair that can be piled on top of your hair. First, you will need to braid two even pigtails. Then, take the braids and cross them around the head until they reach around the towards the crown. After, secure the braids with bobby pins or pretty clips for an elegant summer look.

If you are looking to start a career in hair braiding check out our list of schools here!

Easy to Keep and Maintain: Stylish Braids and Cornrows

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Braids and cornrows are easily some of the most popular ways for African woman to wear their hair. They require little maintenance and they offer a variety of versatility to a woman’s look. Braids also allow the hair to recover from rigorous products and chemicals in order to keep in silky and manageable. Both cornrows and braids are quite simple to do. Braids feature taking three sections of the hair and laying one on top of the other until the braid reaches its end. Cornrows are more complex because they braided tightly into the crown of the head to create a variety of patterns or sections. The following list represents the most common braids and cornrows to help you decide which look will work best for you.

1) Straight Braid

This braid is also known as the Bob Marley. It works great on thick and unruly hair because of the texture. There are many ways to do this braid such as creating many thick braids starting at the crown. You can also put in micro braids that look more like locks of hair then braids themselves.

2) Ghana Weaving

These braids are also ideal for coarse hair because these are very tight braids that will not damage the hair. Synthetic hair is often used with this braid in order to add more personality to the look.

3) Pick and Drop Braids

This intricate style can take many hours to finish. However, it is one braid that lasts a much longer time compared to other styles. This is one of the most popular looks because it is comfortable and durable.

4) Unisex Braids

Kinky braids are ideal for both men and women. They are made with original kinky braids or other hair pieces. Cornrows are also a viable option for a classic look.

5) Basket Weaving

These braids have been made popular by Alicia Keys. There is no need for a hairpiece in these style, but they can be used.

In conclusion, any of these braids, weaves or cornrow styles will transform your look from boring to sassy. In order to prepare your hair, you will want to make sure that it has been washed with a deep conditioner. Also remember not to use a heavy hair cream because this will cause and itchy and flaky scalp. You should never leave a braid in for more then two months. Any longer then this will cause the hair to break. At night, you should wrap a satin scarf around your head to avoid any frizziness.

Most hair schools will give you training in hair braiding. Go here to find out how to get started in hair school.

Meryl Streep Puts Gray Hair On Center Stage At Academy Awards

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

shutterstock_96264686As recently as a few years ago, women of all ages were seeking out any cures they could find for gray hair. The belief that gray hair is a bad thing and should be eradicated at all costs is a concept that goes back many generations, perhaps to the invention of hair dye. But in the past year or so, trend-setters from all realms of celebrity have begun to not only embrace their ivory locks, but flaunt them with pride.

Perennial award winning actress Meryl Streep has been openly rocking her beautiful graying hair since 2006, when she said in an interview with Hollywood foreign press that she feels very confident and normal underneath gray locks. Just a few weeks ago she unleashed a new short-haired look at the 2012 Academy Awards, and once again all eyes in the building were glued to her.

Having the love of millions of adoring fans and the attention of the fast-moving fashion world, anything that super-celebs such as Streep do that can qualify as out of the ordinary is sure to become a trend, so salons all over the nation are stocking their shelves with products that can accentuate gray hair. Many salon owners expect women with gray hair to cease asking for it to be colored and those without it requesting it now that it is quickly becoming a national trend.

Indeed, the gray hair wave is building up to tsunami-grade, and a bevy of products have recently been released that are designed to allow you to get the most out of your lighter shade. When treated and conditioned correctly, gray hair can have a luster and a shine that is unrivaled by other hair tones, allowing it to draw a lion’s share of the attention in any social situation.

The current popularity of gray hair may sever a double purpose as it allows women that were once made to feel self-conscious and perhaps even inferior to feel comfortable in their own skin and underneath their natural hair colors.

Helga Esteb /

Women Are Lining Up To Go Short This Spring

Friday, March 30th, 2012

shutterstock_89245558Deciding to chop off locks that you have been walking around with for years can be a lot like jumping off the high dive. It seems like a very scary concept at first, but the thrill and sense of freedom that comes with it can actually become addictive.

Short hair has been showing up on celebrity runways for a handful of years now, but the trend is coming through in full force in 2012 as stylists all over the country are turning long locks into short and stunning looks. Spring has clearly sprung, and many women want to embrace its gentle touch by letting the breeze flow across their face and through short hair. A woman with a great short hairstyle will attract the attention of the masses in a crowded room, and many women that go short often have a slight boost in their overall confidence and moxie as a result.

Aside from being on the cutting edge of fashion and trends, getting your hair away from your cheeks and jawline will give you a clean and refreshing look while showcasing your natural beauty. The short bob and the pixie are some of the classic short cuts for adventurous and bold women, but a quality stylist will be able to do a number of variations of those two styles as well as many others while creating a look that best suits your natural tones and angles. Going choppy or layered are two options currently growing in popularity that stylist learn in hair schools. Creams and waxes can be utilized to create shine, shape and clear distinctions between layers.

The Hottest Hair Trends in Spring and Adele’s Mid-Length Do

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

ts-86496436Not only has Adele dominated the world of music, but her auburn hair is the focal point of fashion circles everywhere. This spring, style your hair like Adele, Jessica Biel, or Eva Mendes, and you’ll be the envy at any party. Take one look at hair trends on a site like Pinterest, and you will notice braids, romantic half-up do’s, and auburn locks are in order this spring season. Here are the top 5 hair trends for spring 2012.

1. Auburn/Orange Hair

Auburn hues in hair capture the feminine essence of spring. Romantic in an old world sort of way, celebs like Adele and Ashley Simpson have started a trend that young women everywhere are following. Simply ask your hair stylist to use cellophane to foil a few sections of hair. This will add some subtle hues to your hair that will instantly attract romance this spring.

2. Side Braids

Side braids add an enchanting touch to any look. Try wearing a simple floral dress, along with a side braid, to capture the essence of this spring’s hottest looks. To make a side braid, simply separate three one-inch sections of hair and create a regular braid. Pull hair back as you braid. You can then wear your hair all down, or you can put the rest into a half-up do. Either way, you’ll be an enchanting princess like Amanda Bynes with this style.

3. Sport a “Mid-Length” Do

Check out Kelly Osbourne or Adele, and you will notice that these women have hair that falls an inch above the shoulders. Mid-length hair styles are fun, free, and sassy. Simply cut a few inches off of your hair to get this look. To add texture, add some mousse to your hair.

4. Wild Ponytails

Ponytails with texture are trendy this spring season. At the most recent Michael Kors fashion show, models donned high ponytails with frizzed locks in the back. The result was that models looked chic and sophisticated. To get this look, add mousse to the pulled-back portion of the ponytail. Then, allow the rest of your hair to simply “fluff” in the back.

5. Try a Volumized Middle Part

Jessica Biel knows how to rock celebrity hair trends including the middle part. If you decide to try on this hot hairstyle, make sure you volumize hair surrounding the part. Create the middle part first. Then, rat hair on each side of the part.

These 5 tips will help you find a hairstyle that’s hot for this upcoming spring. Be bold and creative and let your cosmetology schools graduate what you are looking for when tring out one of the looks mentioned here!

Check Out Ke$ha’s Studded New Look!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Keeping up with your favorite celebs is quite difficult already. From the outrageous blue hue of hair on the head of Katy Perry to the expensive lace front wigs used by Beyonce, celebrities love to defy the current fads in hair, and they love to set new hair trends, as well. Ke$ha is just one of the stars to surprise everyone with her new look.

The “Your Love is My Drug” singer shaved off part of her at the beginning of this year. If you thought that was the most extreme hairdo Ke$ha would sport this year, then you were absolutely wrong. She might only be 24 years old, but this woman is proving she can push the limits of style with edgy looks like what she’s currently rocking. She replaced the hair she shaved off with gold studs. In fact, in place of her real hair, she glued more than 25 gold studs on to her scalp. Ke$ha is definitely one pop singer who always changes her style, and her image is always fresh and new.

Not long ago, Ke$ha was spotted with her long blonde tresses hanging down, with her studded scalp. We’re sure you knew she liked a lot of bling, but did you think this glittered diva would replace her hair with some of it?

She might have debuted a more natural look in her recent photo shoot, but she’s still the party-loving vixen that the public knows her for. After displaying her natural beauty, she’s back to the chick rock look with false eyelashes, black eyeliner and even a tad bit of white on her bottom lashes. Her stud is back in her nose, while her hair is bejeweled, too!

Don’t worry though, KeSha has plenty more stunning styles in store for you. She’s debuting her new album this spring, so she’ll find some way to top the neon body paint, the glitter from head-to-toe look and the vibrant hair colors. We know one thing, the “We R Who We R” singer loves to be daring and bold with her look and the media just can’t get enough.

If you are interested in a creative beauty career in which the possibilities for advancement are endless – a hair career may be perfect for you. Click here learn more about Hair Schools.