It’s Back to School Time!

In the salon, we have been slammed with children needing their ‘ears lowered’ on account of this minor phenomena called school.  GASP!  It is that time already!!  Where on earth did summer disappear to?!

Today’s post is devoted to the ‘Back-to-School hair’ and how you can start your new school year off fresh and feeling great about your appearance.  Everything seems to be last minute and you might feel unsure if you want to make a major change or a slight trim.  It is a big deal!  And most of the time, school pictures shortly follow the beginning of the year so everything hinges upon your appearance in that regard.  No one wants to have a picture where they regret the style or the haircut your mom just made you have.  For me, it was the big bangs.  I don’t care how fashionable those bangs were; I am pretty sure that they just were a fab thank goodness.  I have graduated in creating height in a more socially acceptable fashion over the years.  That was an easy fix.

For the Ladies:
A new cut can make a huge impact.

A color can be a subtle way to enhance.

Accessories are awesome!

And for the Gentlemen:
The simple cut and comb over is still in fashion.

A fade with a little length on-top is very complimentary for those who want to use a little product and go.  Looks carefree and is very low maintenance.

As pinned by on Pinterest

Texturizing is always a great option for those with a lot of hair.

A little spike never hurts!

Back-to-school hair can be a fun endeavor.  You are relying on the cooperation of your child or teen, but nothing is wrong with starting the year on a positive note!  As a stylist, we make the experience fun for them…or at least we should!  The more they see it as a fun enjoyable experience the less likely they are going to oppose the annual hair cut.  Take everything in stride and have a great new school year!!

Catie Manning

The Updo: I don’t know what I want!

Wedding season upon us and there may be a need to style our hair that is a little more than our everyday fashion.  It is not out of the question to add some curls and frills for something important like a banquet, wedding, or another important life event.

At your scheduled hair appointment, it helps if you bring in pictures of what you are thinking to at least give your hair stylist a starting point.  Even if the whole style is not what you are looking for, you can tell us what you like and don’t like.  I always seem to be inspired if my client has a picture of the outfit they are wearing to the event.  It is much easier having more information than not.  If you just have no idea what you want, this post is for you!

Here are some questions/items to consider:
1.  Schedule a little extra time around your appointment as a buffer.  Before any service, your hair stylist will conduct a consultation.  If you don’t know what you want, it may take a little longer until you are able to decide on a direction to which you want to go.  This is just something to be aware of so you do not get in a pinch for time.

2.  What event are you going to?  A casual wedding verse a very traditional wedding will make a difference for your updo.  A graduation is different than a conference where you are winning a highly noted award.  Are you going to be outside or inside for this event?  This will be the perfect starting point.

3.  Simple is always best.  Keep your thoughts basic.  Do you like curls?  Do you like straight and sleek?  Do you want something a little bit trendy?  Do you want bangs or hair around your face left down or will that drive you nuts?  Do you like volume or would you rather a slightly sleeker design?

4. A basic style can be enhanced by curls, braids, twists or other designs.  These are the perfect accent to any style.  A simple rope braid or twisty can add a elegance and flair to any simple updo.  Do you have any hair pieces like clips or headbands that you want us to incorporate?

5. Never be afraid to ask your hair stylist to tweak a section if you aren’t feeling it.  I have had clients that call themselves picky.  And they are, but in the end it is about making YOU happy.  I will do my best to cater and work hard in creating a beautiful look that suits you and the occasion.

Coming in a day early for her client consultation made a huge difference in how I approached this hairstyle.    My client has naturally curly hair.  Since we highlighted her hair prior to the updo–we washed and blew her hair straight.  Her mom had an idea in her head of how she wanted her daughter’s hair to look for her graduation.  She explained it to me and then I was able to translate that just as she wanted.  I did add my own flair in the back section in the movement of curls and how I pinned them. 
My dear friend Jessica had a wedding to attend this past Saturday.  Prior to me doing a consultation, she sent me a picture of a style she wanted to do.  I had a good idea before seeing her hair of what style she was wanting to achieve.  In the picture, the front was parted and left some hair down framing the face.  After seeing her dress, I asked if she would be willing to try something different.  She was open to it bringing the front of her hair out back instead of parting it.  Her dress was very classic style and by eliminating the part and moving it off to the side, we were able to keep consistent with the theme of her outfit and soften the updo’s design.  

Coming to get your hair done should be a fun and exciting trip to the salon.  I hope this helps give you some direction when you are uncertain of the look you are needing/going for in your style.  There is nothing I love more than a client who participates actively in the consultation, is open to me suggesting and creating some variation, and in the end seeing a big smile on their face.  It is rewarding as a client and as a hair stylist.

Beauty knows no limits…..
Catie Manning, Hair Stylist

A Salon and Stylist: The Right Fit

Living in a country where there is a salon/barber shop on every corner, it can become intimidating when it comes to hair needs.  Each person is different in expectation and desired results when it comes down to it.  Whether you are someone who is looking for a color artist, someone that knows how to cut and style short haircuts, or just someone to trim your flowing locks, it is most important for you to find someone who you are comfortable with when receiving a service.

As a stylist, I know each person or potential client varies in their needs when it comes to their hair.  Some look based off price, others off of building a personal bond with their stylist and some based off the quality of the service itself.  It is most important no matter what your needs are to find a stylist that is able to listen and support your needs all a while exceeding your expectations for your service.  Picking a salon that you feel comfortable in is just as important as finding the right stylist to fulfill your needs.  Each time you may try some place new where you go to a new stylist.  Every time you try a new stylist, you place your trust into someone that you may or may not get the result you desire, and a feeling of disappointment may arise.  To eliminate this disappointment, here are a few helpful tips to help you decide which is the proper salon setting for you and finding the right stylist.

Do your research.
If you need a plummer and you need someone to fix your broken pipe, what do you do?  My first go-to is to ask someone or look on the internet.  Facebook too can be a helpful and quick way to get an answer from friends.  If you are looking into finding a new salon in your area or a new stylist, ask around!  I have found this is the best way to get the most candid and honest responses.  Don’t just take people’s word for it, but it is a great place to start.  You can look at salon reviews almost anywhere online.  If you are on the fence about one, step in and take a look.  You will know from the first impression whether that is a salon you can see yourself patronizing.

“I like the salon feel, but not so sure about the stylists….”
Sometimes when exploring the salon scene, you might really like the feel of the salon, then you look at the stylists and it totally blows your impression.  The feel is fresh and clean.  It’s a little edgy, but you can deal with it.  Then, a stylist walks up to you that is tatted up, piercings up and down their ears and mid-drift showing.  You might be saying, ‘this is totally not me’.  If that is the case and you don’t feel comfortable then that salon is probably not for you.  Odds are the salon culture to which I described above are targeting trendy hipster type Millennial generations to which desire to be on the edge of cultural hair trends.  Not every salon is like this but that is why it is so important to walk-in and check-it out for yourself as you are the only one who will know if the salon is right or wrong for you.

Quick Cut Shop, Salon, or Day Spa?  Where do I start?
First, define your needs.  If you want someone who can cut your hair quickly, a ‘quick cut shop’–like Great Clips might be a great place for you to start.  Their stylists are efficient and have had training the way their company teaches them.  They are quick, efficient, in and out sort of service.  You won’t have the perks of getting your hair washed, but you will be guaranteed a quick service.

If you want a little more than the just the quick cut, maybe try a place like a Famous Hair, SmartStyle (Walmart), or a Fantastic Sam’s type salon.  These type of salons perform basic services like shampoo, cut, color and other chemical services to which you will not see at the quick cut shops.  They have a little more value added services.  These are corporate type salons to which price and services might have limitations.  This would be something to look into if you are interested in something a little more than just a cut.

Another salon you might consider is the independent salon, if you are someone who wants a little more individualize attention.  This salon is one with usually a single owner and local to the area you are living.  These are where you are going to see a little more variety in pricing and demographics.  Since they all vary, I would say you might search a little bit about each salon and check if price and services are what you are desiring.  They are more individualized.  These salons might be a little bit pricier than your basic salons, but they offer a lot more and will be more specialized if you are looking for something specific–for example a specific trendy cut or achieving a color that is unique.  Maybe you like a specific brand such as Redken or Paul Mitchell products, so you want to find a salon that is devoted to the brand.  Finding a salon in the independent realm might be your best bet, if that is important to you.

Maybe you are looking at going to one place for all your needs: facial, massage, hair and style.  The Day Spa setting is definitely the place to start.  These type of salons offer everything.  They usually have a wide variety of products and services ranging from hair, nails, and complete body wellness.  This all being said, they are usually higher end and attract higher end clientele.  Their prices will be higher going into it, but the service being rendered should go above and beyond your expectations.  Read the reviews before spending the money.

“…She just didn’t listen to me….and now my hair is all wrong…” 
I feel like we all have been there.  There are so many times where we tell a stylist one thing and they do something completely opposite.  The result can be either positive or negative.  One way to avoid this is to visit a salon and ask for a consultation with one of their stylists.  If you go to one that is reputable and has a staff member at the front desk to which is friendly and able to ask you what your needs are, they will guide you to a stylist who may be your best fit.  A consultation costs nothing but a few minutes of your time.  As a stylist, I would rather you come in and spend 15 minutes to talk to me about what your needs are before you get a service done and dislike it.  You can tell whether you have a connection with a person in the first few minutes of conversation and if you don’t click, cannot guarantee they can achieve what you are looking for or doesn’t give you the time of day–try somewhere new.

Finding the right salon and stylist for you is so important.  Don’t settle for just an OK salon experience.  You deserve a stylist that is attentive to your hair needs as much as they are at keeping you a happy customer.  You deserve to have a salon that fits your comfort level and one that will keep you wanting to come back.

If you aren’t satisfied, talk to your current stylist about your needs.  If you are not satisfied with their response, then it might be time to find a new stylist.  I would encourage you to explore what is out there.  I can guarantee if you aren’t happy with your current stylist or salon situation, there are many very qualified stylists in the salon setting you desire that would love to see a new client.  You would be surprised at how much better your salon experience is when you feel comfortable in the environment and are reassured you have a stylist that truly puts you first. The right fit makes all the difference in the world!

–Catie Manning

Simplicity: Spicing-Up Short Hair

As for many of us, summer tends to be filled with lake time, special occasion events and parties.  Last summer, I had multiple weddings and functions to attend.   I have short hair and didn’t want my hair to look the same in any of them, so therefore I had to enlist in my creative juices…what I have found?  A tube of red lipstick and finding the right products for my hair go a long way!   I needed to find the right products for the look I desired and the less effort put into the style the better.  Can you tell I am a style and go type of girl?

Over the years, I have worn my hair shorter and longer.  I tend to shake things up a bit.  My face shape is oval and I am very lucky to be able to pull off many styles with ease.  When am I feeling my best?  When my hair is short and tapered.  There is no fuss or mess to work with other than throwing a little product in it and blow drying it.

When your hair is so short, you really have to break out the creativity skills and enlist in products that are going to help you create the perfect style!  My go to product has always been Redken 12 Rough Paste.  LOVE that stuff.  The product will allow you to spike, mold, and manipulate your hair and as long as you use just a little it will not weigh your hair down.  I can sometimes go 2 days if the proper amount is used with minimal adjusting of strands on day 2 and polish it off with Kenra 25 hairspray.

Also, in having short hair, you might find yourself limited to how you can style it.  My hair is naturally wavy so I usually can tell when my hair is going to cooperate or not.  If it is curling up on me, I just go with it.  I throw my basic curly products which for me includes John Freida’s Dream Curls, TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier, and a little Rusk Wired Flexible Styling Creme….scrunch and go.  It takes me maybe 10 minutes to do and then I am running out the door.  If it is flat and lifeless, then I can throw my ‘It’s a 10’ Blonde Leave-in Spray, blow dry my hair then just briefly bump it under using my straightener to give it some volume.  Simple and painless, just the way I like it!  Finding the right products that work for your hair is a major key in keeping your hairstyle simple.  It cuts down on my time getting ready.  It is less work for me in the long run.

Another way to keep a short hair spiced up and looking different is utilizing headbands and clips. I love fascinators.  I love clips, bows, headbands…it is the easiest way to dress up a short style.  For those who get headaches, there are elastic headbands to which are loose as to not squeeze too hard.  I have found those work best for longer events like weddings, graduations verse the traditional hard horseshoe shaped ones.  There is so much varieties out there.  All headbands, fascinators, headpieces are relatively inexpensive.  I like going to Claire’s or The Icing.  (please see below)

Last way to spice up your short hair style–throw some hair color in it!  Color is ‘infinity and beyond’ as far as color selections go.  I tend to wear highlights or go red depending on what my mood is.  They are easy to maintain and is another really great way to shake up your style.  Your hairstylist will be able to assist you in what color would best suit your skin type and tone.  Hair color brightens up any look and helps compliment your skin tone and over all appeal.

Below, I wanted to share with you ways I have spiced my short hair up over the years.  You will see family, friends, and some random flair from over the years.  Please know, that I have quite the variety.  🙂  Remember, beauty knows no limits!

-Catie Manning

Short Red Hair…

Sleek and natural color…

Curly little number

Highlights, headband, and MJ’s Bachelorette Party 🙂

Family Christmas Picture

Add a little length and a Peacock feather…

Short, curly with a little sass I suppose…

Bird lady…

Chicago flair

Rock Star with a simple pony tail

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