Month: April 2016

Understanding Awapuhi and How it Helps Nurture Healthy Hair

Understanding Awapuhi and How it Helps Nurture Healthy Hair

By Kristle Jones

Native Hawaiians have known the secret to soft, beautiful hair for ages, and it comes straight from the ground. While this type of plant has existed in other tropical locations around the world, its Hawaiian nickname is what most people know it as—awapuhi. There are many varieties of this local ginger plant, some of which are best for cooking and others that will help smooth your strands and keep them looking healthy. The type of awapuhi that is a hair staple is specifically called awapuhi kuahiwi, and goes by the scientific name Zingiber zerumbet. It is also known as shampoo ginger or pinecone ginger, but this bright bud is not a one trick pony.

What Is Awapuhi?
Awapuhi is a perennial plant that begins growing underground as a rhizome— meaning it grows horizontally then the stems and leaves sprout vertically—and it begins blooming during the spring. These plants are ready to work their healing magic on your tresses when the mature pinecone-like flower fills with liquid and becomes a vivid red hue. Conveniently, this is around the time of year when warm weather and lots of sun can start to take a toll on the moisture levels in your hair.

What Are The Benefits?
The main benefit of using awapuhi or awapuhi-based hair care products is that this liquid makes your hair soft and supple. You can harness the power of awapuhi using the raw liquid from the plant or ensure that it’s an ingredient in your hair care products to get softer, smoother, healthier hair. Since you’re using a natural ingredient, it’s also better for both you and the environment.

Use this plant like the pros and take a page from Hawaiian women who simply squeeze the nectar straight from the flower onto their hair for a simple moisturizing treatment, though there is a technique to getting the most benefits out of this plant.

How to Use Awapuhi
To make hair care products from the awapuhi plant, the pros extract a clear, sudsy juice from the pinecone-shaped flowers. According to Steph De La Garza, a travel writer and author, the flower has many little cup-like petals that contain liquid. If you’re using your own awapuhi plant, she recommends that you cut the flower, then to maintain the moisture in the petals, simply keep it upright until you’re ready to use it.

You can use the fragrant awapuhi directly on your hair and even on your body as a moisturizing wash. “Turn the flower upside down into a bowl and squeeze the liquid or nectar out,” she instructs, adding, “The liquid is somewhat slimy with a smell reminiscent of ginger and goes onto the skin and hair nicely without any stickiness.”

If you’re lucky enough to live in a tropical region, you can use the liquid straight from the plant in all its organic glory. If not, many leading hair care brands have products containing awapuhi. A good option is One ‘n Only Island Essentials, a complete hair care line that is formulated with awapuhi extract and is silicone-free. Keep an eye out for it the next time you’re browsing the aisles. Your hair will thank you.

The Effects of Sulfates and Silicones on Hair

The Effects of Sulfates and Silicones on Hair

By Natalie Baker

There’s been non-stop buzz in the beauty industry about sulfates and silicones in recent years—mainly, that they’re ingredients we ought to be side-stepping. While they may serve a purpose in some instances, overuse can cause trouble for your tresses. Those with curly, colored, or chemically-treated hair, may be in the habit of scanning beauty store shelves for sulfate- and silicone-free products, but more of us are making the move towards ditching the harsh ingredients in our hair care routines. Wondering if your hair needs to go on a chemical detox? Let’s take a closer look at these ingredients.

Sulfates are responsible for creating the lather in your shampoo. And while foamy suds are effective cleansers for cutting through oil, dirt and styling product residue— they can also be incredibly drying to both your hair and scalp. That’s because sulfates strip the hair’s natural oil to obtain a squeaky clean feeling.

If your hair is dry, damaged or curly, opt for a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to avoid depleting your hair of moisture. The same rule applies if you have a chemical treatment such as color, keratin or a Brazilian blowout.

CJ Cassaday, Celebrity Hairstylist and Colorist at Hair Studio 49 in Beverly Hills, says it’s important to do your research when switching up your hair care products, so read the ingredients on the back of the bottle. “Don’t only rely on the label on the front of the product. An educated consumer is the best consumer,” says Cassaday.

Sulfates are usually pretty high up on the ingredient list, but you may also spot them listed as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ASL).

If you make the switch to sulfate-free shampoo, you’ll notice the absence of foamy suds. Unlike traditional shampoos, sulfate-free formulas don’t froth. As milder cleansers, they remove dirt and grime without compromising your hair’s natural moisture levels. According to Cassaday, “Going green can not only save you money, but your hair will thank you in the long run.”

Silicone-based serums that you apply after blow-drying may create brilliant shine and increase hair’s smoothness, making it easier to comb, but they create an impenetrable barrier around hair strands, preventing essential nutrients from entering the cuticle. While silicone-based serums offer a quick fix to glossier-looking hair, they can do more harm than good, advises Cassaday.

“Silicones are processed with chemicals that are purely cosmetic and have no actual benefits to the integrity of your hair. I recommend clients use more natural products  with Argan oil, coconut oil or hemp oil. These products offer healing benefits to the hair, while leaving it feeling healthy and shiny. “ A good example of this is One ‘n Only™ Argan Oil Spray Treatment, which is lightweight and will help protect hair as well as repair it.

Keep in mind that silicones aren’t always labeled as such. Ingredients that end with the suffix -cone or -xane are all variants of the chemical. Silicone-infused hairsprays, serums, sprays and waxes can all build up and leave a residue over time, leaving your hair dull, dry and lackluster. Remedy the problem and use a specially formulated clarifying shampoo every couple of weeks in place of your sulfate-free formula to break through the build-up.

While your hair may take time to get used to different products, you’ll be left with softer, shinier and more nourished hair. In the end, it’s worth the effort to transition to gentler, more natural products.


Matching Hair Color Trends to Your Outfit

Matching Hair Color Trends to Your Outfit

By Nicole Hering

Every now and then, people get bored with their hairstyles, but it’s not always the cut that needs changing. Sometimes a little color swap will do just the trick. With lots of trends out there, it can be tough to choose the right one for your personal style. Luckily many of the current hair color trends—denim blue, gray, rainbow hues, bronde, black, and platinum blonde—match up with a variety of outfits that are probably already in your closet.

Blue Denim for Hair… and Clothes
Denim for your hair is catching on as a trendy hair color option for people who want a change. This look is achieved by dyeing hair a faded deep blue through mixing shades of dark blue, lighter blue, and gray. The exact shades of blue used depend on if you want a dark wash, medium wash, or faded blue jeans color. Considering many people wear outfits that include denim pants, jackets, and skirts, the blue denim hair trend is one of the simplest ways to match hair color to outfits.

Gray Hair, Easy Wear
If you have naturally gray hair or want to color your hair gray like Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall, rest assured that matching your silvery locks to outfits is uncomplicated. Gray is a cooler-toned color, so pair it with clothing in warmer hues. Outfits with a pop of grass green, sapphire blue, violet, navy, warm brown, red, and gold will go best with gray hair. Black and white will look good with your gray locks as well, but always incorporate a bright pop of color into your ensemble. Otherwise, whether you’re embracing your natural gray or just trying out the gray color trend, these neutral hues can pale your complexion.

The Color Wheel
Remember the color wheel from art class? It’s a basic tool you can use to match clothes to your hair color. The color wheel shows complementary colors using both primary (red, blue, and yellow) and secondary colors (a combination of primary colors). Complementary colors lie directly beside and across from each other on the color wheel. Because hues of the rainbow have become so popular for hair, using a color wheel can help you find the right clothing colors to go with your kaleidoscopic hair color. Both primary and secondary colors within the wheel will work well with whichever bright hair color you choose.

If you do choose to go with a bright change, or you know someone who wants to, make sure a professional colorist is consulted. Hairstylist Anne Thompson advises, “I think these trends are really fun, except the problem I see happening with these trends is people doing it themselves and damaging their hair to. The grey, blue denim and rainbow hair coloring processes can be really damaging when done at home.”

Natural Color Trends That Match Your Attire
If you aren’t feeling too adventurous, but still want to change up your hair color, you have lots of options. Bronde hair is a timeless look that is essentially a blend of blonde and brunette hair. This is achieved by using balayge highlights, which create a natural, nearly painted-smooth color. These tresses look fantastic with clothing in myriad colors—gold, silver, white, taupe, pale pink, bright yellow, green, and blue.

Black hair is another option for people who want a natural-looking change, and as the Kardashian family as shown us, black tresses match a lot. Cobalt, deep purple, emerald green, red, pink, gray, navy, and cool white will pair beautifully with your inky black hair.

If you are going to try the platinum blonde trend, black and white attire with a flash of color, such as a bright scarf, are great options. This will make your hair color stand out.

Go the Extra Style Mile
For the perfect look, the right hairstyle is as indispensable as color matching. BaBylissPRO tools make your styling process smooth and effective for a long-lasting hold. For a casual look, go with loose waves or straight locks. When you’re dressed up or heading to work, go for defined curls,  or volumized straight locks. Your BaBylissPRO styling tools make styling your hair a snap, no matter the color.

Getting Your Own Chair 101

Getting Your Own Chair 101

By Kristle Jones

The time has come for you to become an independent hairstylist and work behind your very own chair. Doing so can be an incredibly freeing and rewarding position, but before you get ahead of yourself, follow these simple steps to create a successful future for your business.

Step One: Make sure you’re fully committed to becoming an independent contractor. Award-winning San Francisco Bay Area salon owner Carol Carey recommends that you look into any and every step of becoming a successful independent contractor before getting started. According to the Professional Beauty Association, stylists need to know that getting your own chair has both risks and benefits that need to be understood before stylists take the leap into being an independent contractor. Take the time to make a pros and cons list of what taking this next step will entail. It will help you build a timeline and accurately assess what it will take to launch your new endeavor.

Step Two: If you’re changing jobs, give ample notice to your current salon and address any contractual obligations you may have with them. If you originally signed a non-compete agreement, determine if you will be able to take your existing clients with you. If not, you may have to turn over their contact information—and possibly your color formulas—to your current salon.

Step Three: Contact any clients you’ll be retaining and give them your new information. You can snail mail an actual letter or postcard, send an e-mail, or make phone calls. The formality of your client notice depends on both you and your clientele. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Tip One: Keep the note short and sweet. Include pertinent info such as the new salon address, phone number, and website.
  • Tip Two: Avoid telling dramatic stories about your old salon, which is both unprofessional and unappealing. If you’re making phone calls, plan a short, positive answer to give clients who ask why you’re leaving your former position. It can be as simple as, “I’m ready to start a business of my own.”
  • Tip Three: Offer a special to entice clients to move over with you, such as a complimentary deep conditioning treatment or 10% off their next color service.

Step Four: Fill out any paperwork you’ll need as an independent contractor. According to the Professional Beauty Association, you need to follow all local, state, and federal tax obligations. You’ll also need to report your income—including tips—as well as apply for and maintain both your licenses and insurance requirements as an independent contractor.

Step Five: Set up your chair for business. Start by stocking up on your must-have styling products and tools. Next, create and print business cards and other signage needed to promote yourself. You may want to create an account with a point-of-sale credit card processing company so you can accept credit cards in addition to cash and checks. Salon owner Carey advises, “Many of my independent contractors utilize services such as Square and Salon Iris for their personal point-of-sale credit card processing.”

Being an independent contractor with your own chair in a salon can be a very lucrative and rewarding career move for a hairstylist. Follow these simple steps and you’ll set yourself up for success.