This past week I had some very fun, interesting, and frustrating experiences at the salon, which inspired me to write about my hidden secrets in the salon. As a client, if you understand a hairdresser’s secrets or needs of you, you will leave the salon happier and with the results you wanted, also your hairdresser will forever love you and you will easily become their favorite client.
These are my simple secrets that help me tremendously in the salon. As a client what are your secrets? What secrets do you have that would make a salon experience more enjoyable? Leave your secrets in the comments below.
Until next week, stay sexy.
There is an old saying, “there are many ways to skin a cat’. This is also accurate with cutting hair. There are many techniques and a variety of tools to use when cutting somebody’s hair. This week I explore some of the more bizarre tools and techniques seen around the world to cut hair.
Let me start by exploring the common practices in Northern America. Obviously the most common tool used to cut hair is a classic pair of scissors. Some hairstylists prefer to use the word shear, it various from hairstylists, shears are a larger pair of scissors. When I hear the word shear I think of sheep shears, or shears used for gardening and trimming hedges, that’s why I use the word scissors. I’m not here to argue with words and rhetoric though. Scissors are one of the oldest tools for cutting hair, dating back to Egypt around 1500 BC. Other tools used to cut hair in America would be a razor and electric clippers. Clippers have been around for some time, before we had electricity; hand held manual clippers were used. You would squeeze the handle of the clippers to open and close them. These clippers would cut close to the scalp and remove the hair but would take some time to cut the entire head of hair.
As we move around the world you can see some more interesting ways to cut hair.
In Madrid there is a hairstylist by the name of Alberto Olmedo who has some unique practices. He is mostly known for using medieval tools. Not only will he burn your hair with fire, but he may also use claws, katanas (samurai swords), and two to six scissors at a time! He claims that using fire will help your hair grow longer and that some of the oldest techniques are still the best to use for hairstyling. Alberto feels that this is what art is and we art, with tattoos, body modification, and our hairstyles our body is a walking piece of art.
There is a Russian hairdresser from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, Daniil Istomin, that chops his clients’ hair with an axe. The hairdresser claims that it is easier to cut hair with an axe instead of scissors. If this is the tool that helps him achieve the looks the client desires that is great, however it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘you’ve been axed’.
I spoke in an earlier blog post about some salons in Japan using robotic machines to wash people’s hair. You may think that is strange, but what! What about a cat styling your hair? Now it’s not how it sounds, it not like a giant cat is cutting your hair, even though that sounds amazing to me! Think of it. A human sized cat using their claws to cut your hair. I’m getting side tracked. What this technique involves is using the cat to fluff your hair. Once the hair is styled you take a cat and rub its belly on your hair and uses the pads of the cats’ paws to finish the style. I’m still confused on how this help style hair but it’s cute as hell!
I have some reservations on burning someone’s hair and perplexed by the lack of structure and precision in cutting someone’s hair an axe, but I do not judge it. All these hairstylists seem to have a clientele that are willing to receive these services and have this experience, for that I can respect what hairstylists around the world are doing. I may not understand all of it but that’s the beauty in art, not everyone needs to get it. As Alberto says, “The results are what’s most important.” If the clients are happy and enjoy the experience they are paying for that is all that matters.
Below I have added videos to show these strange techniques and tools, if you’ve seen some strange ways to cut hair I would love to see it, add your stories and videos below.
Now, If you’ll excuse me, I must have my cat, Kiki, finish styling my hair.
When you think of dreadlocks or ‘dreads’ you may think of Bob Marley or as a symbol of the Rastafarian and reggae culture. Which makes sense, Bob Marley was a huge influence in our American culture in the 1960’s to late 1970’s and is still a huge influence today. In the Rastafarian culture dreadlocks are a religious status symbol, however dreadlocks do not exclusively belong to these cultures. Dreads have a rich history throughout our world dating back to 2,500 BCE. This week I wanted to explore the history of dreadlocks, what they represent to different cultures, and why they are seen as being culturally appropriated.
The exact date and group of people that first started wearing dreadlocks is hard to pinpoint, however from my research it seems that the first notable date would be 2,500 BCE. The first written evidence seems to derive from India’s Vedic scriptures which show the deity Shiva wearing the style. There are four Vedas, these are the primary texts to Hinduism. They also have had an influence on Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The Vedic word ja Taa means ‘twisted locks of hair.’ The Sadhus, the holy men of Hinduism are known for wearing dreadlocks.
In ancient Egypt pharaohs also wore dreads. You can see the style shown in cravings, drawings, and artifacts in Egypt. Thousands of years later, mummified bodies have been recovered with the dreadlocks intact. One of the oldest documented dreadlocks come from the Pharaoh Tutankhamun who wore dreads. Illustrations show how the dreadlocks of this Pharaoh were prepared for his death at the age of 18.
Moving to the Old Testament, some interpretations say that Samson is mentioned to having dreadlocks, when Delilah cuts them he loses his unsurpassed strength. John the Baptist is also associated with dreadlocks (Judges, 16:13). I have never read the Bible, this is based on some opinions I have found on the internet.
Jamaican political leader, Marcus Garvey is often credited as the founder for the Rastafari movement, an Africa-centered religion and lifestyle that started in the 1930’s. Garvey promoted black empowerment and advocated for the return to Africa. The movement is based on Garvey’s teachings and philosophies, as well as the Abrahamic covenant in the Bible. Stephanie Freeman, professor and director of the Arts and Humanities program at North Carolina Central University says, “Garvey said, ‘Look to Africa where a Black king shall be crowned, he shall be the Redeemer.’”
“Although Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I did not seem to consider himself a God, many Rastafarians believed he was a biblically sanctioned God and was even the second coming of Jesus Christ,” Freeman continues. “In the Bible, Jesus will return as the Lion of Judah, so Rastafarians wore dreadlocks to symbolize a lion’s mane and the return of a powerful leader.”
Dreadlocks have also been documented in Mau Mau tribe where the locs (dreadlocks) intimidated the colonizers of Kenya in east Africa. Julius Ceaser claimed that the Celts had dreadlocks and described them as “hair like snakes.” Germanic and Greek tribes have also been documented to have worn dreadlocks, however I could not find any concrete evidence on these claims nor specific time periods.
“Dreadlocks can be traced to just about every civilization in history,” says Chimere Faulk, an Atlanta-based natural hair stylist and owner of Dr. Locs. “No matter the race, you will find a connection to having dreadlocks for spiritual reasons.”
Princess Gabbara wrote in Ebony Magazine, “Every person with dreads is not a smoker who listens to Reggae music, contrary to popular (and foolish) belief. Similarly, you don’t have to be Rasta to wear locs and not wearing locs certainly doesn’t make someone less Rasta. Locs are not dirty, and they’re not something that should be feared. They’re beautiful, bold and regal. The epitome of freedom. Locs are divine.”
Dreadlocks have been seen throughout the world in various times in history. Dreadlocks are not going anywhere, you can see celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg, Brandy, and Ciara who still wear long locs. What makes dreadlocks so beautiful to me is that they represent a spiritual identity or a political statement. I feel if a person decides to wear dreadlocks they need to do some research to understand what this hairstyle represents to different cultures. We need to erase the stigmas behind dreadlocks by understanding the vast history behind this hairstyle and what it represents to diverse cultures throughout the world.
With all this said, dreadlocks can belong to anyone and everyone. I feel that they may have been related to as being culturally appropriated because of the lack of understanding and knowledge on both sides of the cultural appropriation argument. Dreadlocks do not belong to one group of people, they are seen everywhere throughout the world. Like everything in life, do your research on what you are interested before making any commitments.
Until next week.
Gabbara, P. (2016, October 18). The History of Dreadlocks. Retrieved April 14, 2018, from http://www.ebony.com/style/history-dreadlocks
Bryant, T., & History Of Dreadlocks Black Hair Culture. (December 20, 2017.). A Look At The History Of Locs. Retrieved April 14, 2018, from https://www.refinery29.com/2015/04/86174/history-of-dreadlocks#slide-1
The History of Dreadlocks. (2014). Retrieved April 14, 2018, from http://dreadfactory.de/en/tips-infos/the-history-of-dreadlocks/
Hinduism. (2010). Retrieved April 14, 2018, from http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/
Roughly a year ago I remember seeing a video where a woman by the name of Kristina Kuzmic shared her thoughts on being a mom. She is known as the truth bomb mom, she posts videos that are blunt and honest with her experiences as a mother. She shares what it’s like to always be needed by her children, dating after her divorce, and the struggles of being a single mother. I was really inspired by her vulnerability and her blunt honesty.
Kristina is my inspiration for this weeks post, I call it, The truth bombs of a hairdresser. My intent behind this week’s post is to educate, I do not intend to be rude, mean, or condescending but to simply share some hair realities that hairdressers deal with on a regular basis; and to educate, so as a client you are educated on the physiology of hair.
Let me start with hair lightener or bleach.
If you have preexisting hair color on your hair and you intend to go lighter, then a hairdresser needs to use bleach. Period. Yes, there are color extractors on the market, but they can only do so much. If you are a brunette and want to be blonde, then a hairdresser needs to use bleach. Also bleach and lightener are the same thing! Different word, exact same product. If you have grocery store box color on your hair and you tell your hairdresser that you want to have lighter hair but not bleach it, I’m sorry honey but that is not going to happen. You may be thinking, “But bleach is damaging.” Yes, it is. And so are curling irons, blow-dryers, hair color, perms, UV rays, pollution. However, if used properly the integrity of your hair can be maintained. Trust your stylist, if they are a trained professional they know what they are doing. There are ways to lighten hair and protect the integrity of it.
If your hair color is black and you want to have white/platinum blonde hair, it takes time. It will not happen it two hours, it’s a day long process or may even take multiple salon visits over multiple months, this also means it’s not cheap, it may cost you $100 or a few hundred colors. You maybe thinking, “But Kylie Jenner went from black to blonde in a day, I saw it on her Instagram.” Girl, I hate to break it to you, but it was probably a wig.
To go from black to blonde you need to us bleach in order to get through the underlining pigments. Underlining pigments are colors that live in the hair, in black color hair the underlining pigments are blue, red, orange, and yellow. As you lighten your hair, these pigments will begin to be expose and the hair will lighten, that means you may need to be a red head for a while before you get to be a blonde. That’s what bleach does, it opens the hair shaft, exposes the underlining pigments, and lightens the hair. If want to a blonde you will need to expose those pigments, it’s not the hairdressers fault it’s the physiology and science of hair, there is nothing we can do about it. Also, it varies from person to person how long it will take to get from a darker color to blonde. Variables would consist of the integrity of the hair, hair texture, if the hair has been professionally colored or colored with store bought hair color.
Now let me discuss the latest trend. Fashion colors!
If you want pastel colored hair or silver hair you need to bleach your hair first. Sorry, no way around it. Fashion colors like purple, pink, green, blue, orange, pastels, silvers, etcetera fade out. The reason why is because they are not natural to the hair, they can’t live in the hair, they don’t exist in human hair, so they will fade. The molecules are different, they sit on top of the hair not in the hair shaft, they can’t get into the hair shaft because they are too big.
This also means if you want it to look good all the time expect to get it touched up on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. Over a long period of time that will add up and be expensive to keep maintain, don’t expect to pay $100 and have it last for three months. If you are thinking about getting a fashion color google the color your want with the phrase, hair faded out. You’ll see some interesting things, and you’ll know if you can live with that faded out hair color.
My personal favorite, “I don’t need a haircut, can I just get a trim?”
This is my biggest pet peeve and let me explain why. First off, a trim and a haircut are the exact same thing! It does not matter if I’m cutting 1/8 of an inch off or 5 inches, it takes the same amount of time! Also, a trim is not cheaper than a haircut, can you guess why? Because they are the same thing. Yet again, different words, same thing.
Lastly, getting a haircut once a month or once every other month is not some gimmick that the hair goddesses created. If you are trying to grow your hair out and get it cut once a year and complain it’s not growing it’s because of the split ends. When you have a split end; if it is not cut off then it will keep splitting up your hair shaft until it breaks off or the hair falls out of the scalp. You maybe thinking, “I have healthy hair, I don’t blow-dry it or use hot tools on it.” That’s great! However, do you sleep in a bed? As you sleep you toss and turn and that friction can be rough on the ends of your hair and cause split ends. Do you put your hair in a ponytail, go into the sun, twirl your hair in your fingers, swim, wear hats, head bands or bandannas? You may not think it, but all these can cause split ends. Get regular haircuts to keep your hair healthy and growing to the mermaid length you’ve always wanted.
Hopefully you now know what bleach is, why fashion colors fade, and why I hate the phrase, “just a trim”. Also, when deciding to bleach your hair or do a fashion color, PLEASE SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP! Do not do it at home, we are the professionals, that’s what we are here for. I hope you found this informative and educational. If you have any hair questions, leave them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them.
Stay sexy and stay educated.
Last week I dived into fear, not only my experiences with fear, but those around me. I also spoke about some projects I have been working on, they have have kept me up all night with fear and I would like to share those projects with you now.
In early February I wrote a post about Champissage, or Indian head massage, if you didn’t read that post I encourage you to go back and read it. After doing the research on Champissage; I thought I should offer it at the salon, it would highly benefit all of my clients. Upon doing research, I found out how and where I can get trained on Champissage. No one in Salt Lake performs this service and if they do they are not making it public. The only places that offer training in Champissage are in England and areas in Canada, at the moment I cannot afford to take the time off to train in Champissage out of the country. With the help of my therapist, she found some great online resources that helped me get the information I needed. I also purchased books that went into the philosophy of head massage and I found videos teaching the techniques and begin teaching myself how to perform Indian head massage.
As I began practicing on people I felt such a weight of fear, even though I had great feedback from those who let me practice I began to become terrified. My monkey mind began to take control, that little voice called doubt crept into my mind. What if people don’t like it? What if I hurt someone? People will think this is stupid. I didn’t get ‘formal’ training therefor I’m not good enough. These thoughts kept me up at night, but I was so passionate about this, I knew deep down I was doing something new that has not been done before in this town, I know this service has extraordinary benefits, why was I doubting myself?
It is the fear of doing something new by myself, stepping outside of the box, doing something people around me are not doing. I am vulnerable in doing something different than what my colleagues are doing and it’s scary! Also, I was fearful because I can’t control what people think of me doing this or how they will react to this service and that is scary! We cannot control what others will think or how they will act so, I must let that go.
Letting go of the need to control, letting go of the need to know, let go of the expectations. I need to accept that I am doing something I feel passionate about, I need to accept that I cannot control others, I need to accept that I am scared, and that is where the beauty in fear comes.
The acceptance of fear.
Once I accepted that I was scared and afraid I was able to navigate through the fear, embrace my fear, and get to the root of it. I was afraid because I have zero control of how others will react, I was scared because I was trying something new on my own. Once I accepted I had no control over others; I was able to get back to why I wanted to offer this service. Once I began to believe in myself, the fear began to fade. I want to make people look good and feel great!
That is what I am here to offer and that is what I will continue to strive for.
To conquer our fears, we must accept our fears. In the world we live in it’s extremely hard to be vulnerable and share our fears, because we are all conditioned at a very young age that expressing our fears and being vulnerable is a sign of weakness. I’m here to tell you, it’s not! It’s a sign of strength and courage. Those who have ever opened by with me I have thanked them for their courage to be vulnerable with me. I know how hard it is to expose my weaknesses and fears with others, but here I am doing it; being open, raw, and vulnerable, to show that it’s okay to be afraid at times, we all are, but pushing through the fear can create such beautiful experiences in life.
I have been crippled by fear at times in my life and I have witnessed others experience the same. I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. We’ve all been scared, whether it’s about the choices we make, things we cannot control, political affairs, the list goes on. Reach out to friends and family in these times of fear and anguish, be empathic towards others. Empathy can create revolutions within human relationships. Acceptance, empathy, and compassion are the greatest tools to have when battling fear.
I almost forgot to mention, I have been offering Champissage in the salon for the last week and the experience has been nothing but positive. All that fear for nothing.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF HAIR
The Geography of Hair is devoted to share experiences and stories in cosmetology and how it has affected people, myself, or us as a society.