Are You Killing Your Hair This Summer? Stylist Tips To Save Your Hair

They say holding a seashell to your ear will give you the sound of ocean waves. Sometimes, though, if you get a few hair strands caught between, you will hear your hair screaming.

Or playing Lauren Hill’s “Killing me Softly.”

Because you’re killing your hair all summer.

Hair murders are convicted summer after summer. I’ve been a hair murderer, as have half of my clients. Often, stylists can tell the difference between broken hair caused by chemical damage, and broken hair caused by…TBD. Sometimes, it is self-inflicted. While many of my clients worry their dryness is caused by going lighter from the spring, a peek at their hair leads me to believe otherwise.

Most hair needs a trim by the end of the season, but let me share with you easy ways to keep your hair as intact as possible.

Ponytails can cause breakage. I know. How can you not have a ponytail in the pool? If you’re a consistent ponytail kind of girl, try mixing up the location on your head so the stress points on your hair varies. If you wear your wet hair up, it’s extra prone to breakage. Think about all that extra tension the weight of wet hair causes. Makes sense, right? Using metal-free ponytail holders can help, and consider a braid every once and a while. (Or, consider forgoing hair ties altogether and just flip your hair around like Ariel. She always had her hair down and flowing in all those oceanic currents, and she was fine, so IDK, maybe we’re all just high maintenance.)

Hats. They cover your hair. Need I say more?

Use leave in ANYTHING. THIS. IS. IMPORTANT. What would your skin be like if you used NOTHING to protect or hydrate it all summer? Chapped, in pain, maybe bleeding? Dry at best? Your hair is no exception! Protect it from the elements using even just ONE professional product. It can be a leave in conditioner, a serum, an aerosol shine spray, whatever! Having ANY barrier from heat/salt water/chlorine is better than none at all. Even if you don’t use a professional shampoo and conditioner, you absolutely need a leave-in product of choice…or don’t complain about your hair snapping off.

‘Cause it will.

Use a serum/leave in before brushing. Pool and beach hair can leave your hair more tangled than usual. Take your tiiiiiime to brush though your hair softly. Do you ever just rip through it really quickly? Stop doing that. Use a serum or leave in conditioner to add a little slip and make combing wet hair easier. Consider keeping a little travel size serum in your beach bag with a wide tooth comb.

Air dry your hair dry. Wait, should I have made this post a poem? I guess it’s too late for a hair haiku. Anyway, increased pool/beach activities and sweating generally leads to more frequent hair washing. Prevent further damage from styling by letting your hair air dry if possible. Or, just use a dry shampoo and don’t let your significant other tell you NOTHIN about personal hygiene.

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Things Every Hairstylist Wants You To Know

As a hairstylist, there are several things I wish my clients knew about the behind the scenes of my job.

For instance, the most tiring part isn’t standing; it’s having a constant jazz-hands attitude for twelve hours straight.

I go through a lot of erasers with scheduling.

Most of my clients become like a second family.

Pictures are extremely helpful. Entire Pinterest boards are not.

Most photos are filtered.

I don’t care much about my own hair anymore. It’s maybe clean, and that’s about it!

Even though I’m only in the salon part time, texting, calling, and social media DMs makes me feel like I’m never off the clock. Annnnd sometimes a little chased.

My clients inspire me and are my soundboards. They help me in so many aspects of my life. (My life is a group effort.)

It’s just hair.

All stylists have a phrase they repeat when they aren’t listening. Mine is, “That’s so funny.” Perfectly vague, perfect variety of implications.

What I REALLY wish all my clients knew at this very moment? The one thing I’ve been asked more than ANY other time in my seven year hair career:

HOW TO ACHIEVE SHINY HAIR, specifically as blondes.

Contrary to the beliefs of the professional Pinterest aficionado, no crazy homemade recipe will remedy dull hair like these three things will:

Blow dry straight down. Do you look like a chia pet after you blow dry your hair? If so, it could have to do less with your hair texture and more with your blow dryer. Check which direction your blow dryer’s nozzle is aimed. It should be going WITH the direction of your hair…away from the scalp. You may get some volume, but you’re also shattering your hair’s cuticle. Keeping the cuticle intact helps retain color, moisture, and strength, and keeps each individual hair strand from fraying. Ideally, you need a blow dryer with a nozzle attachment to direct air in the correct direction.

Use a gloss. Calm down with over conditioning. While you DO need a good conditioner, you don’t want something so heavy that it leaves you crazy greasy. Think of it as clear cellophane over your hair. It’s temporary and lasts about four weeks, but it’s more of a sealant than conditioner. This is especially effective after color services.

TRIM YO HAIRRRR. Even if it’s just 1/4”, you need your hair trimmed. You know when your nail gets a little crack in it, and if you don’t cut it, it just snags on things and goes deeper? That’s like your hair. Getting those little dead ends off makes SUCH a difference to the overall appearance. YOU CANNOT repair split ends without cutting them. As far as I’m concerned, we celebrate Easter because there has only been ONE resurrection, and it’s not your ends. You get me? If anyone develops a way to mend split ends without cutting them, we can celebrate some kind of second Easter…which I’m all for.

I love Cadbury Eggs so much.

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Habit Class + Working with Assistants Ages Me

I took the hair color class of my dreams over the weekend, and I am still nerding out about it.

Habit Salon in Arizona has been pumping out my most requested Pinterest photos from clients, and I have been dying to know their secrets for years. By some kind of magical luck, they came to Las Vegas, and my salon hosted their class.

If this means nothing to you, just know that any woman that can pull over $30 grand by teaching one class should be on your radar. After a whole night of debating waist hug/shoulder hug/lean-in hug for my photo op, I side hugged that woman! It was like touching a unicorn.

The legitimacy of this class was seconded by the purses of the attendees. When you see a Louis Vuitton bag WITHOUT logos all over, you know you’re in the right place. I stand in awe of a woman who will drop a crazy amount of money for an unpretentious looking bag. It seems more flippant than arrogant, and for some reason I really smile at that kind of ‘tude.

Tory, Louis, Gucci, Chanel. Gang’s all here!

There is one more thing besides color education that stuck with me after the class.

I am not twenty.

The backbone of the hair industry is predominately young-ish girls, and I’m realizing that I’m definitely progressing to the older side of that. Most of the girls at the class had flown in town, but were disappointed to not fully appreciate their Las Vegas trip due to their underage status.

This makes me at LEAST ten years their senior, and so relieved my Botox appointment was last week.

When people ask me my age (which, by the way, is weird at an approaching point, right?), my knee jerk reaction is twenty four. Forever in my head, I’m about twenty four.

But, I’m thirty. Missed a couple years somewhere.

Thirties are an interesting in-betweener place to be. I’m loving the thirties, and feel much wiser and less inhibited than I did in my twenties, but I still feel like I’m straddling the line of “adult.” It’s like I’m just pretending, and no one has caught on. Since I’m married with a mortgage and kids, everyone is cool with me trying to do real life?

And there are so many “stills” in thirty.

Even though I’m a married mom, I still have dreams. I still get REALLY excited. I still look forward to holidays, maybe even more than now than I did when I was little. I still like glitter nail polish. I still call my mom when I have questions. There is still a group of “the older girls” that I deeply admire and am happy to tag along with. I still have “when I grow up” hopes…but have I already grown up? Or when does that happen?

And yet, I bonded with an acquaintance during a riveting conversation about grout.


Ah ha! There is the boring adult conversation I had anticipated.

So, maybe I have arrived.

All I know is that I better stay on my A-game with hair education so my job isn’t soon replaced by a girl who doesn’t understand the significance of September 11.

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