In the light of the pandemic that we are all experiencing, Shear Excellence Salon has closed temporarily until April 13th, or until the city says otherwise. We are hoping by closing the salon we are slowing down the spread of this virus. To maintain physical distancing we will not be doing house calls, please be patient and wait until the salon re-opens to get your hair services.
Here are a few things you can be doing to help get by until we reopen.
1. Please do not cut or color your hair at home. I beg! Please do not cut your hair and especially please DO NOT COLOR YOUR HAIR AT HOME! At home box color is very unpredictable, if you color your hair at home and we need to fix it a color correction can cost as much as $300.
2. Get creative in styling your hair at home. There are some really fun ways to style your hair while at home, there is a wealth of knowledge on YouTube. Explore all the information out there and try new ways to style your hair while your home. Also, don't be afraid of hair accessories. Play with using scarfs, head bands, and bandannas, these can be fun ways to pull your hair up and also hide any hair color regrowth.
3. Buy a gift card or reschedule your next hair appointment. The salon maybe closed but you can still plan our your next appointment or purchase a gift card. If you would like to purchase a gift card please message us or call 801.548.7669 and we can mail you a gift card.
4. Go vote for us for Best of SLC. Support us in this time by going to vote for Shear Excellence for Best Salon in SLC by casting your vote here. Also! You can leave Shear Excellence an host review on Yelp or Google.
Last month Shear Excellence was nominated for Best Salon in SLC! As a salon we are very grateful and excited to be nominated.
We need your help to win!
The winners are determined by votes and online reviews. If I could ask for your assistance in taking 5 minutes to vote for our salon and write a review on Yelp and/or Google we would all be very grateful! Voting begins today, you can vote by clicking here or visit bestofslc.com. Voting begins today and ends April 3rd, please share with your friends and family.
On a completely different note, I want you to know that we are taking every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.⠀Due to recent developments with the virus and in an effort to protect everyone, I want you to know that, as a salon, we are still seeing clients and taking every precaution to prevent the spread of this virus. We are following precautions recommended by the CDC, WHO (World Health Organization), and PBA (Professional Beauty Association).
We kindly ask that if you are coughing, sneezing, have a fever and/or showing any flu/cold symptoms to call us and we will happily reschedule your appointment for a later date. (If you need to cancel your appointment at the last minute please note, that all cancellation fees will be waived for the remainder of the month).⠀
I am committed to keeping everyone happy and healthy, I appreciate your support, and if there is anything I can do to make you feel more comfortable during your visit please let me know.
Back in January I went to the ISSE (International Salon & Spa Expo) in Long Beach, California. Every year I try and take at least one continued education class to keep up on trends, new products, and so on. I spent two days at the convention, taking classes around business, haircutting, and hair coloring. It was everything I needed and more for my career! It was inspiring, educational, and motivating to be surrounded by so many beautiful people in this industry.
One topic that was brought up in a few of these classes was how hairstylists are pricing their services. The traditional way of pricing is by charging by sex or gender of an individual, meaning, if you are a man you book a men’s haircut and if you are a woman you book a woman’s haircut. This is how I do my scheduling;
Men’s haircut $30 30mins
Women’s haircut $50 60mins
(both include shampoo and style).
I was introduced to an intelligent, and very attractive, educator by the name of Justin Thomas. He was talking about how he charges based off of the service and time it takes to perform the service. For example, his services would look something like this:
Barber Cut $30 30mins
Short-Mid length Haircut $50 45mins
Long Haircut $60 60mins
The idea is that the stylist is charging, not based on gender or sex, but rather on how long the service takes. Justin has women who get barber cuts and has men with long cascading hair. If a barber cut takes thirty minutes and long haircuts take an hour, why are some women being charged more for a service that takes less time and why are some men being charged less for a longer appointment?
Justin (and many others) have seen the flaw in charging a service based on someone’s sex or their gender. Many stylists are shaking up their business structure to charge based of the individual’s hair and how long it takes to perform the service. This way of scheduling and pricing seems to be more inclusive to everyone regardless of sex, gender, or simply put, how someone wants to express themselves through their hair.
I am curious to hear what you all have to say about this. What are your thoughts? Do you feel like the cosmetology industry needs to shift salon services and pricing in a way that gender and sex is not relevant? Or do you feel it is easier to understand the current system of booking a salon appointment by choosing men’s/women’s haircut?
I would love to hear your thoughts, please take a second and cast your opinion on this poll.
Did you know every day the Northern American salon industry creates 421,206 pounds of waste?! That is over 150 million pounds of trash each year!!! All of this waste is ending up in landfills and oceans.
Over the past few years I have been exploring ways to reduce the amount of waste I produce in the salon. I feel like I have finally got to a fully sustainable place and I wanted to share that with you today!
The biggest area hairdressers produce waste is in hair color, that is why I use Davines Hair Color. Davines is a sustainable company, using natural based ingredients and raw materials without depleting them, while minimizing waste and impact. All of their packaging is 100% recyclable and made out of recycled material. They are becoming a leader in hair-color and styling products.
As some of you may know I no longer us foil for highlighting hair, I now use Eco-Wraps. Eco-Wraps are a sustainable highlighting strip made from a renewable tapioca base that is non-toxic and degradable.
I also do not use disposable gloves, I only use reusable gloves and capes.
Over a year ago I introduced you to my new favorite product line ELEVEN Australia. ELEVEN is an Australian based company all about sustainability. All products are 100% recyclable, PETA approved, and they partner with suppliers who reduce plastic use, utilize recycled packaging, use solar energy, and reduce water consumption.
There are a lot of ways for you at home to reduce your carbon footprint in your hair care. Here is a simple list of practices you can begin to hold:
1) Don't wash your hair everyday, reduce your water usage by reducing how much you wash your hair.
2) Recycle unused products. Do you have products hibernating in your cupboard? Go donate them to a women's shelter, homeless shelter, or your family members.
3) Empty bottles, recycle them, or ask your salon to refill them. I offer refills on all empty shampoo/conditioner bottles.
4) On your days off let your hair air dry, save energy by not blow drying your hair.
5) Eliminate plastics by using a shampoo bar.
It's only takes a few small steps to become more conscious around our waste production.
If you have any tips or tricks you practice to reduce waste in your beauty routine, let me know, I would love to share that with others.
Until next time,
With a decade coming to a close and the holidays upon us I am reminded of all the love and craziness in the world. We could think about war, we could think about disease, and of course let’s not forget about the disasters that happen all day and every day to one person or another. There’s an awful lot of awful things we could be thinking of, but for today let’s only think about love!
I am reminded on a daily basis of how much love I have in my life, not only from my family and friends but also from all of the amazing, beautiful, stunning, and fabulous clients I serve! I feel the love every time a client comes into the salon, the love and trust you put in me with your hair is not taken for granted. It is a privilege and honor to work with so many different people with different beliefs, backgrounds, views, and experiences. The clients I serve have shifted me and changed my life for the better, stretching my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs; it is because of all of my daily interactions that made me into the person I am so proud to be today.
The people I see in the salon inspire and give me so much hope for this world. Hearing stories of the volunteer work being done, the donations being made to non-profits, the assistance they give to local community centers, and people in need. I am reminded of the kindness of strangers seeing how so many will rally around to help those who ask for it.
Recently my friend was in a tragic accident that left most of the bones in her face broken and caused severe nerve damage. She had multiple surgeries and shock treatments to stimulate the nerve damage, with no health insurance to help pay for it. She was out of work for weeks (and is currently still out of work). The community went above and beyond to raise funds to pay for her hospitals bills and other bills like rent and groceries. The Salt Lake community raised over $26,000 to assist in her medical and living expenses.
To see the amount of help and support she received was beautiful.
Everyday I not only get the pleasure to practice my passion of cosmetology, but I also get reminded about the beauty and strength of people. Hearing the stories of the work people are doing to help out their community and to assist those in need. This time of year, people go out of their comfort zone to volunteer and assist, I see so many people who go out of their way year-round to make the world a better place.
So, I say to the client who assists alcoholics in their recovery, thank you for your service to our community.
To the client helping people around the world getting the cataract surgery they need, thank you to extending you hand across the world.
To the wealthy entrepreneur opening free medical clinics to provide health care to those who can not afford it, thank you for breaking the model and no longer making medical care a luxury service.
To the client assisting in creating new scholarships to assist people of color in lower economic status get the college education they desire, thank you for making education an option for those who never thought it was.
To the client volunteering at the Road Home and Project Homeless Connect to assist people in housing transition or helping those who have no place to call home, thank you for seeing the humanity in every single person.
And to all the clients and people who are out there doing community work, volunteer work, or donating money and have not shared your experience with me, thank you for helping out the world.
Yes, there are an awful lot of awful things we could be thinking of, but today and every day I see love. I see how people are not becoming victim to the circumstances of the world and are being the hero for their self and others. I see so many standing up and helping one another, extending a hand, a heart, and saying, “I am here, how can I help?”.
As we approach 2020, I ask you to dive deep into yourself and ask yourself this question, “What can I do to create a world with more love?”. Of course, I see the terrible things in the world, but I see so many people who are trying to reverse that. It is no secret that I volunteer once a week at a medical clinic in assisting patients create healthier patterns. My sense is if every single person donated one hour a week to assist someone or volunteer somewhere, this world would seem a lot brighter and we would see more love and less of these terrible things we hear about. It’s interesting, for every gloomy, disastrous story we hear or read about, we may only read one story in regards to the growth, change, and the progress humanity is making.
As I send you off into the New Year, I want to say it’s not all bad, and to thank you all for reading my posts, for sharing your stories, and for being a part of my life. I find so much inspiration, passion, and love from my readers, my clients, my students, and I am so grateful to be a part of your life.
Until next year and with much love,
Daniel Jacob Hill
Within the past two years this blog has explored hair history, sociological issues, trends, hacks on combating seasonal affects on hair, and so much more. The one area I have somehow neglected to discuss is how to grow out your hair.
Recently I have had a lot of clients tell me they want to grow out their hair, myself included, between you and me I am striving for Daniel Palmer’s hair. Before I dive into the tips and tricks on how to promote hair growth and strengthen your hair, I would like share some science behind the mane on your head.
Human hair goes through different cycles of growth, the first being anagen, this is the stage where a new hair shaft forms in the follicle. The next phase is catagen, this is where the shaft moves outward and the follicle shortens because the cells making up the lower half shrink and disappear, this phase lasts only a few days. Next phase is telogen, this is the resting phase, there is no cell division, no shaft growth, the follicle is the shortest and the shaft is the longest. This stage can last weeks or months. The final phase is exogen, where the shaft loosens and falls out. On average a human loses 50-100 scalp hairs every day. This entire cycle can take two to six years. This can explain why we may feel our hair grows faster at times and seems to not grow at all at other times. Even though we may be doing everything in our power to keep our hair healthy and growing there is nothing we can do to stop the natural cycle of hair growth.
There are certain medical factors that may disrupt this process. For example, hormones or a weekend immune system may shorten or lengthen this process. Hormones are a huge contributor to our hair, when a woman is pregnant, they are producing higher levels of hormones, like estrogen, and this will stunt the shedding process, but once they give birth and hormones begin to rebalance the shedding process will begin again in full force. I have read articles where men who have lower levels of a testosterone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) have created male pattern baldness.
This explains why younger people, age 5-17, have different hair compared to when they reach teenage years, twenties, or even thirties their hair changes. The density may change, the structure, the texture, or even color. The changes in hormone levels dramatically shift their hair.
Now this may sound bleak, we can’t be shifting our hormones and genetics to change our hair, so what can we do?
Like I stated earlier a strong immune system will create strong healthy hair. Our hair comes out of the follicle which is being fed by our blood. Healthy blood, creates a healthy follicle, a healthy scalp, and healthy hair. This is why the first few tips come from how we treat our internal body.
Tip 1- Create a healthy diet: What we consume reflects on the outside. If you are eating greasy hamburgers and fries your skin and hair will become oily because of the excess fats and grease. If you are consuming healthy foods in a variety of colors, textures, and options you will be getting all the nutrients, proteins, vitamins, and minerals your body and hair needs. I say colors and textures because we should be eating the rainbow on a daily basis, consuming green vegetables, red, orange, and blue fruits, tan and brown nuts and grains, and if you are a meat eater consuming pink fish like salmon, or properly cooked chicken.
Eating at a consistent time everyday is also important. Our bodies are beautiful pieces of machinery, think of your body as a car, if you are not regular about changing the oil or getting gas it will run improperly or even break down. If you are eating consistently and healthy your beautiful body will become a well-functioning machine and create more consistency in healthy hair and hair growth.
Tip 2- Take a daily multivitamin: This ties into the last tip. Taking a one a day multivitamin constantly will provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals for your hair to keep it strong and healthy. The key is being consistent, you won’t see any benefits if you take a pill daily for two weeks and stop. Take it regularly for the rest of your life (with guidance from your medical physician). Side not, chewable or gummies are the best, they breakdown the minute you eat them. If you take a hard capsule they will not fully digest and you may pass them partially digested.
Tip 3- Drink water: Drinking a healthy amount of water is going to keep your skin, scalp, and hair hydrated. Being dehydrated on a regular basis will create dry and brittle hair over time. If you have a hard time drinking water carry around a water bottle. It will be your constant reminder to stay hydrated.
Tip 4- Brush your hair: Brush your hair daily! Brushing your hair will distribute the natural oils from scalp to ends keeping your hair shinny and moisturized. Brushing your scalp will remove impurities, product build up, and stimulate the scalp. Stimulating the scalp will promote blood circulation to the scalp and follicle and keep the hair healthy. This is also why massaging your scalp is great for hair growth. Whether its massaging as your shampoo or scheduling a scalp massage.
Tip 5- Don’t wash your hair daily: Your hair and scalp need the oils your scalp is producing, if you wash your hair daily you are removing your oils and your body goes into over drive producing more oils than you need. If you are a daily washer try going ever other day, if you feel your hair gets too oily try brushing the oils throughout your hair distributing it from roots to ends. If this does not work get a dry shampoo to absorb excess oil. Trust me, your scalp will stop producing so much oil once you start training it. I have some clients who wash their hair once, maybe twice a week with no problems.
Tip 6- Stop using hot tools and being harsh on your hair! I wish I could come and take all your flat irons and curling irons away from you and put you on hair probation if you are growing out your hair! I have a client who has been trying to grow her hair out for a year, in that year it’s grown (maybe) an inch. After having a deep truthful conversation, I discovered she was flat ironing her hair daily, back combing it, and using a lot of hairspray. Think of your hair as a fabric, if you use a lot of heat and pull on it everyday the fibers will break down and the fabric will be damaged. Same concept with hair! If you use hot tools on it daily it will damage the hair and it will break. If you are back combing it daily it adds stress to the hair and will create damage and breakage. Treat your hair like the finest silk in the land, care for it with respect…. And stop using the hot tools!
Tip 6- Be mindful of over coloring and cutting your hair: Let’s start with hair color. All hair color will damage the hair, if the hair color calls for a peroxide it will add some damage. There are safer options like demi-color that calls for very little peroxide levels. If you are trying to go a lighter color or blonding your hair that will be the harshest and can cause damage and breakage. Limit your hair color or don’t color at all while trying to grow out your hair.
Let’s talk about hair cutting. It’s great to get regular haircuts, cutting the split ends off will prevent breakage and assist in hair growth. If you are being gentle on your hair and not using color or hot tools, I suggest getting a trim 8-12 weeks. Now if you are using hot tools and color you may need to get on a more regular basis like 6-8 weeks. Keep in mind, the more damage you cause the more haircuts you’ll need and the slower your hair will grow. But coming in every 4 weeks for a trim is excessive and also unnecessary.
Tip 7- Use the right hair products: Check your hair products, does your shampoo and conditioner have moisturizing properties and proteins? Or are they supermarket products that have sodium chloride and sulfates that will dry out your hair? Are you using a weekly deep conditioner or mask to help protect and hydrate your hair from the environmental conditions? Be sure to be using salon quality products to protect and heal the hair. A great shampoo, conditioner, and weekly treatment will be more than enough if you are low maintenance with your hair. If you are blow-drying your hair be sure to get a leave-in conditioner to protect your hair from the heat of the blow dryer.
When deciding to grow out your hair it calls for a lot of discipline and surrendering. Discipline on creating a routine of nurturing your hair and a surrender to the unavoidable circumstances of the grow out process. The unavoidable circumstances being the ‘awkward stage’. There will be a phase (or many phases) in which you will reach a point in the grow out where you just have to accept an unflattering hair style. This usually happens when the hair reaches the neck or shoulders and will wing outwards, or perhaps your hair has lost its volume because the layers have grown too long, or maybe you have thick hair and will have to stop removing bulk and let it become full so it will grow long. Hairdressers can only do so much in helping in the awkward stage but you will just have to accept and surrender into a hairstyle you may not want. Goodness knows that’s where my hair is currently at, I get it, it sucks, but just remember it’s a temporary stage for your long-term hair goal.
In conclusion, be patient, treat your hair with love and care, and don’t give up. Our hair only grows ¼ to ½ inch a month so don’t give up on your mermaid hair dreams.
This blog is my review of single blade safety razors, men and women please read this! There is a pleasant surprise for the ladies towards to end of this article. Thank you and hope you enjoy.
This past summer I had a very strange skin infection on my neck, it looked like I had acne and no matter how much I cleansed it or no matter what anti-bacterial products I used it would not go away. After having it for longer than I care to admit I went to the dermatologist. He prescribed me a medication, doxycycline, to take daily. Doxycycline is an antibiotic that helps treat skin infections and surprisingly it is also a preventative to malaria, which was great because I started taking this two-month treatment right before I went to India.
After I finished my prescription my infection was gone, but this last week I shaved with my normal Gillette 5 blade razor, almost instantly I had razor burn (which was normal for me) but I also saw those red, acne like bumps return. I was mortified! I had finally cleaned up my infection and in a single swipe of a razor it was back. In that moment I realized the infection came from, my razor. I threw it away instantly and began to research other shaving methods.
When I was in India, I had a straight razor shave and had zero problems with my skin, no razor burn, no irritation, no infection. I began to see what options there were for single blade safety razors.
Over the years I have heard the many benefits of using single blade safety razors. To start they are gentler on the skin because they don’t cut as deep as a three or five blade razor. A multiple blade razor cuts deep into the top layers of the skin, it may produce a cleaner shave, but it is exfoliating your skin too much, causing irritation, deep cuts, razor burn, and perhaps skin infections.
Single blade razors are also more environmentally friendly. A Bic or Gillette razor use so much plastic, not just in the packaging but the razor handle is made of a hard-dense plastic that takes years to break down, some disposable razors maybe recyclable but most are made of a combination of different plastics and can not breakdown easily. Single blade safety razors are made of dense metals and steel, which will last a lifetime!
When I began the search for a new safety razor, I was overwhelmed by the amount of options out there. The men’s grooming industry has exploded in the last decade, it only makes sense that companies are opening up to meet the high demands of the market. With a single Google search, I found over 15 companies selling only single blade safety razors and accessories.
The question is which one do I pick?
I continued my research and read reviews and articles, everyone had their opinion and it’s also difficult to know who was paid to write a review about their products. Men’s Health had their opinion which was fascinating to read but I looked at what the The Guy’s Shaving Club had to say. I liked what The Guy’s Shaving Club had because they offered a comparison chart of the top companies with reviews and where to purchase.
I decided to purchase the VIKINGS BLADE: The Chieftain Double Edge Safety Razor. It was only $28.97, it comes in a nice storage box and included 5 platinum blades in it. I was very excited to try it out, from all the positive reviews it seems like a great razor regardless of experience.
When I opened the box, it had a small card in it that went over how to replace the blade and how to shave with it. I put in the blade, washed my face, lathered up with shaving cream and began. It cut like butter! The blade smoothly grazed my face removing all the hair, leaving my skin intact. I thought I should have made this switch years ago! It took about 5 minutes to shave my face. After rinsing and applying aftershave I felt my smooth skin, noticing how hydrated it felt and noticing the porcelain feeling and even toned color. No redness, no cuts, not bumps, just smooth pale skin.
Throughout the day I kept watching my skin to see if I would have any flare ups, there were no problems, my skin stayed calm and clear the remainder of the day. The icing on the cake is those red ache like bumps created by my last razor were slowly receding away.
After this experience I am on the single safety razor wagon! I want everyone to make the switch! Not only will your skin thank you, but your wallet will as well, all you will need to purchase is new single blades which is a fraction of the cost of the store brand razor cartridges. The cherry on top is that you will be helping out our beautiful planet! Using less plastic and waste by ditching the plastic razors and making the switch.
Men, make the switch today! Ladies these are not just for men, I have talked to women who purchased single blade razors and use them on their arms, legs, and so on. I have not used them on my body parts but check out this video review which is by a woman for women.
Join the revolution! Get a safety razor for yourself, friends, and family!
In October I spent three weeks in the southwestern region of India, I visited the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. I went to India for a multitude of reasons, which will become apparent in this blog. I signed up for a five day yoga synthesis followed by a ten day yatra, I arrived a day before the trip and stayed an extra day. There was thirty of us on this adventure from all around the world, China, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, and of course the United States. Although, I did not know anyone on this trip and traveled to India alone.
I went with the expectation to gain more knowledge on yoga, Ayurveda, and to experience the beautiful temples for the Hindu deities. I wanted to go with as little expectations as possible. I didn’t want to build up my expectations to high and be disappointed, I did my research on customs, culture, but did not research the places I was going because I wanted to be surprised and take in the full experience as organically as possible. Some may say this was foolish of me; but no matter how much or how little a person prepares for such a journey there is no saying how one is going to react to the culture shock.
For the first six days of my trip I stayed in an Ashram in Kasaragod. The first night I thought, “What the hell did I sign up for?” I was already overwhelmed by the smells, sights, and jet lag. For the first few days I felt as if I was swaying or floating, as if in a dream. It is that feeling you get once you spend time on a ship and then come back to land, the ground was moving and swaying.
Besides the waves in my motion I was overwhelmed by how people drive in India, there is no words to describe the craziness and organized chaos of the traffic. People driving down the middle of the road ignoring the lanes, communicating with other drives by the honking of their horn and flashing of the lights. After a week I got used to it and began to understand the communication system, but after a 42-hour flight, I was to exhausted and drained to deal with such bizarre driving.
As each day passed, I became more comfortable, my body was slowing adapting after the jet lag, my stomach was adjusting to the delicious food, and I was quickly making new friends. Life in the ashram was pure bliss, I was diving deep into my studies on yoga, Ayurveda, meditation, and chanting. Each day was an adventure that started at 5:40am and ended about 9:30pm. During our stay we did have a few hours of free time each day to do what we wanted. Luckily there was some interesting attractions near us, there was a temple about 30 minutes away (by walking) and a town about 20 minutes (by driving) near the ashram.
The most exciting place was the Ayurvedic Center next door to the ashram. At the treatment center they offer all sorts of services for the body; from Abhyanga (full body oil massage), steam baths, and Sirodhara (oil drip on the head). They also sold skin and hair tonics, oils, and treatments that help with all sorts of conditions. I purchased some hair products to help with hair growth called Neelibhrungadi Kera Thailam, unfortunately when flying back to the States it got damaged and is unusable now (no product reviews for this gem). I did take advantage of the center by getting an Abhyanga treatment which was heavenly! It’s a full body massage where you lay naked on a wooden bed, the service provider drenches and I mean drenches! your body in medicated oil and rubs down your entire body for an hour. After the massage they take you to a steam room where you sit for 15 minutes letting the steam and oil seep into the body and all that medication goes deep into the body. After the steam they take you to a shower and assist in bathing you and get all the oils off your body. Which having someone bath me was as wonderful as the massage!
The benefits of Abhyanga are fruitful, it’s great for relaxation and rejuvenation, helps promote healthy skin, eliminates body aches and pains, assists in healthy hair and hair growth (they use an oil that is medicated for the scalp and they massage your head for a fair amount if time). A great service I would recommend if you can find it in the States.
After our time in the ashram with amazing food, lots of education, hours of yoga practice, meditation, pujas, kirtan, and great Ayurvedic services we began our yatra.
A Yatra is a pilgrimage, this pilgrimage consisted of going to different Hindu temples to see and be seen by the Deva's and Devi’s (God’s and Goddess’s). We traveled up and down the western coast of India to visit these temples. Traditionally a yatra is done by foot, now since we only had ten days to complete this trip and had three states to visit, we traveled by train and bus.
The yatra itself was very powerful and very personal, so for the sake of respect for my pilgrimage and beliefs I will not be going into full detail of this portion of my trip. Also, this is a blog about the geography of hair, so I will keep it to that.
Day two out of the ashram we stayed in a town called Udupi, here I received a straight razor shave from New Diana Hair Dressers. I heard so much about how they shave in India and give a face massage and scalp massage, now because of time (and language barrier) I only received a shave. The shave took about 15 minutes and was what you would expect. They cleaned my face, lathered it with cream, shaved away, and put on an after shave. It was a quick service, but this was the best shave I have ever had! The barber was incredibly meticulous and gave me the closest shave that lasted days, the best part was it cost me 70 rupees, tip included, which is about $1.00.
Salons and barber shops are similar to what you would see in America, the main difference is that they specify on their doors or hang signs stating if they service men, women, or both. Which would make sense because they have a Muslim population in India. Muslim women are not allowed to show their hair to men (expect for their husband and children), so they need a salon where no men are allowed in. Other than that, I saw professional brands you’d find in America like L’Oreal and Matrix and store brands like Head & Shoulders and Pantene.
In India you don’t see a lot of blonde hair, yet again makes sense. Indian men and women have such dark hair it would destroy their hair if they tried to bleach it out. If there was blonde hair it looked orange and I mean orange! or yellow. In our group there was a couple of blonde women and they brought on attention by this. Women and children wanted photos with these blonde, white women because it is exotic and so foreign to the locals. Of course, the women in my group were happy to get their photos taken, it was part of the traveler’s experience. I was asked a bit to have my photo taken, it seems they were also wanting my photo because I am white with unique tattoos, although I was not as popular as the women.
There was so much to explore in India in regards to hair and skin-care, unfortunately I was unable to explore it all in the three weeks I was there. I am grateful to have had the chance to explore and experience as much as I did. I will definitely be returning to India again to explore more of this beautiful land full of experiences, adventures, and knowledge.
To sum it all up, I recommend anyone with a slight interest in India to go! It will not disappoint. If you ever come across an Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner I highly recommend getting some services done, whether its for the body, scalp, hair, or skin. Even though I perform the Champissage (Indian head massage) I do not have access to all the medicated oils they use. Treat yourself and heal your body through Ayurveda services.
On a final note, don’t let fear ever stop you from exploring your passions. I was terrified to go to India alone, I almost backed out of the trip multiple time because of that nagging voice of fear in my head. I’m so glad that voice lost it’s argument. Don’t let fear stop you from exploring your interests, life, and your dreams.
Follow your heart, explore the journey of life like it’s a river and let it take you to the depths of the ocean.
Since the beginning of this blog I have discussed interesting facts about hair around the world. From robotic shampooing machines in Japan to the “I’m lovin’ it” haircut seen in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, I have only been able to research this information via the internet, personal stories and interviews. That is all about to change in a few days!
In less than I week I will be in India exploring the beautiful scenery, experiencing a sensory overload of colors, flavors, and smells; immersing myself in the cultural traditions of Hinduism, Ayurveda, and Yogic Philosophy.
I decided to go to India earlier this year and my reasons are simple but also complex, but to keep it short, I am going to experience a different culture and lifestyle; to educate myself on different ways of life in the world. I am also going to expand my knowledge on Ayurveda and Yoga. As a student of yoga I hope to gain more knowledge and to experience a journey into yoga from the place where it all began.
While I am there, I anticipate to gain more understanding and knowledge on how hair and skin is cared for in the beautiful country of India. In this blog I have explored some aspects of cosmetology in India; from the art of Indian head massages and one of the first accounts of dreadlocks worn by Lord Shiva himself (see photo above). It is interesting that over the years I have touched the surface of some Indian practices to hair and skin in this blog but now I will be able to experience these daily hair and skin rituals.
During this journey I hope to learn about the Ayurvedic oils and how they affect hair growth. I have heard about some oils found in India that are a blend of natural oils and plants that help prevent hair loss and can also reverse the loss of hair. These oils are also known to slow down the rate of gray hair.
There is so much to learn about different cultures; that is what inspired me to start this blog, to look outside of my comfort zone and to see how cosmetology affects the world and how the world affects the cosmetology industry. To continue to learn and share my excitement and knowledge with you all.
I am very grateful to have this opportunity to travel to Asia and to really bring new life to The Geography of Hair.
If you would like to follow me on this journey you can do so by following my Instagram @danieljacobhill or @pattern.breakers.
Until next time,
Within the last year I have had a lot of clients ask me about shampoo bars. The first time a client asked me about it I looked at her like she was crazy! “A shampoo bar?!” I said, “What the hell is that?” I felt a moment of embarrassment and confusion. I am a hairdresser; I should know about the products on the market. So, I did some research and found out shampoo bars are (usually) organic based shampoos that are molded into a bar the size of a hand soap bar.
As time went on more people were asking me about them, the clients asking me about them knew as much as I did or perhaps less, so I decided to get hands on and see what the fuss was about.
Last month I purchased my first shampoo bar, I’ve been using the Lavender Coconut Milk Shampoo produced by a company called Meow Meow Tweet. Here is what their story pulled from their website.
“We are a small-batch skin care company that creates vegan products with pure, all natural and organic ingredients. We develop all of our goods as if they were modern culinary dishes, from the sourcing of ingredients to the beautifully scented, healthful and efficacious final products. As makers and purveyors, we hope to encourage small changes in the lives of our customers through the physical, emotional and ecological healthfulness of completely natural goods for the face and body. With MMT, we hope to make that experience accessible and our process transparent.”
Sounds like a great company! Am I right?! I went with their Lavender Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar because I’m a sucker for all things lavender, plan and simple. I’ve been using it once to twice a week for the last month and I must say…. I LOVE IT! The first time I used it was strange, I was in the shower, I got my hair dripping wet and rubbed this bar against my head for a minute, at first it didn’t lather, but the more I rubbed, the more effervescent my hair became. It smelled delicious!!! Once I rinsed the product off, I felt it left my hair slightly tangled and dry. “Damn” I thought, “I was really hoping it was going to be great.” I got out of the shower and dried my hair with no products, no leave in conditioner, no regular conditioner, nothing. I started blow drying my hair and I was amazed by how soft and shiny my hair was. There was no fly away hair or static. I was in awe by the fact that a shampoo only left my hair in such a beautiful state.
The more I used this bar the less I felt my hair was dry and tangled after rinsing it out. I believe it takes time for your hair to adapt to new products, especially when it doesn’t contain all the strange chemicals regular shampoos have.
Overall, I will say that I am hooked on shampoo bars! Of course, I would love to see what this product does on a variety of different hair types and textures, like long hair, curly hair, over processed hair, and color treated hair. From what the ingredients say it checks out to be color safe.
I would recommend shampoo bars for those who are looking for organic based products and for individuals who are trying to reduce waste and be aware of our environment (this company use little to zero plastic). I would also recommend this product for individuals who have allergies or sensitivities to salon quality products. Like I said earlier, some beauty products have unnatural or even harsh chemicals in them. Going more natural may help with those sensitivities and create healthier hair and scalp.
I purchased my bar from an adorable store in Salt Lake City called, Animalia. This store has become my new favorite obsession! This cute locally owned shop offers locally made products and they are a bulk station; which means you can refill all of your household items here like shampoos, conditioners, dish soap, body lotion, laundry detergent, and more. If you accidentally threw out your empty bottles, don’t worry! They have glass and plastic bottles you can purchase to refill with. They are all about reuse, reduce, and recycle.
Stop by Animalia and get your shampoo bar today.
I know there are a lot of other companies out their that sell shampoo bars, like Whole Foods and Sprouts. There are other local companies like Mountain Madness Soap Co. as well, however I have not tried theirs. If you want to explore, try one on yourself, and let me know what you think of the results.
I would encourage everyone to try shampoo bar at least once. Not only could it be better for your hair, but it would be better for the environment; by using less plastic and creating less waste. This could potentially create a new pattern in your life where you are not only taking care for your hair, but also taking care of the environment.
Until next time, happy hair washing!
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.