Hey loyal readers, a couple of friends helped me recover my old blog files! So my first blogs (to keep them in chronological order) are going to be a bunch of reprints. Hopefully still of interest to somebody other than me…



I do, I do, I do, I do, I do… (think ABBA) (originally posted on 11/30/2008)

I love styling at weddings.  People are often surprised by that.  All the shows we see on TV are about Bridezillas, we always hear the worst stories, etc.  But honestly I haven’t had that experience at all.  I assume it must be a little like being pregnant (wait for it, it’ll make sense).

If you’ve ever been pregnant, or married to someone who has been, you know the drill.  You always hear the worst stories.  90 hours of labor, too late for an epidural, tearing (eeeew), back labor, nasty child (sorry, that comes later), only the bad.  But that’s just because everyone assumes you don’t want to know the good stories.  They’re boring.

Well I’ve been very lucky when it comes to weddings.  I have never had a moody bride (Don’t get me started on bridesmaids.  Why do they assume we care if it’s about them or not?)  I have had some of the best times at weddings.

I’ve done weddings in San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Capay Valley, Auburn, I could go on for quite a bit, and all of them have been worth the early morning wake up call or drive.  The brides I’ve known have been cheerful and excited for the most part.  And when else would I get to make someone feel like a princess?  I think one of the reasons I like weddings is because I get to help relax the bride; I think that’s over half of my job.

One of my very favorite weddings was Shauna. 

She, her mother, sister, bridesmaids, were all the sweetest people I could hope for on a wedding day.  They were all worried that I hadn’t eaten (I don’t usually before 11), if I needed a break, was I attending the wedding-I almost never do, but I did in this case.  The funny part is it’s their day, not mine!  I drove 5 hours to get to San Luis Obispo, and in the end it was worth it to witness the joy of their day.







Cara was another bride I loved working with, she wanted to feel like a princess.  She deserved it.  She is without a doubt one of the most upbeat people I’ve worked with.  At one point I was concerned by a somewhat unrealistic schedule she sent me.  But though I worried of offending her (you never know!) she was totally sweet about revisions.  Cara had shoulder length hair, she was trying to grow it as long as possible.  To make the day even more special we decided to add temporary extensions.  I think we achieved what she wanted.  And reports tell of a joyous occasion!








Of course, the funnest (I know it’s not a word, an inside joke), wedding I’ve done was my ex-wife Laurie, and her new Husband, Bill.  It was a family event for both of us, our son was the only attendant (well except for Buddha), and the day was like a family reunion.  It was a great honor to have my ex-wife ask me to do her hair for the wedding.  You can’t top that!










Part of the secret to a happy occasion is the run-through.  Though I never try to achieve the actual “do” ahead of time, it’s crucial to be on the same page.  I like to make sure we are both realistic about what the bride wants, and what the brides hair can manage.  I set aside at least an hour to try out different hairstyles, and then I practice a few times on one of my doll heads to be sure I won’t make the bride nervous the day of.  Having a clear idea for both of us allows me to focus on helping the bride relax.  The hair time is a time when the bride can simply let go and de-stress if she is comfortable with my skills.

I’ve done enough weddings through the years that I can honestly say that the bridezillas must be pretty rare.  I’ve never met one (and hope I never do!).










Talk, Talk, Talk (originally posted on 11/24/2008)

So I was at the hospital today with my father and step-mother.  My father has heart problems, and is dealing with some blood-clot issues.  It turned out to be a wait and see sort of thing, and it looks like everything will be fine.  But something I observed troubled me.  It was the consultation with the physician.  She was bad at it.  If it hadn’t been for the nurse (who gave us basically the same info, but in a way that made sense), we wouldn’t have known what was happening at all!

It got me thinking about something I take for granted, but my clients tell me they don’t.  The stylist/client consultation.  The consultation is the most important part of the whole visit.  Make no mistake, I mean it.  It can make the difference between an OK/bad style, and a truly wonderful style!  And don’t think it’s all the responsibility of the stylist.  A stylist should be able to explain what, why, and how.  What your going to do, why you will be doing it, and exactly how they will go about it.  But the client has just as much input into the process.  If you don’t understand, or aren’t sure the stylist does, for goodness sake speak up!  It’s your hair.  If you don’t know what’s happening, how will you know what needs to be fixed -you do allow your stylist to fix their mistakes, right?  But I digress.

A stylist should be willing to consult for a minimum of 5 minutes (I book 15 min. for new clients), and I mean that for all appointments.  I try and have enough time in my schedule to talk to every single client I see in any given day.  I never know when they may want a change, or have a problem with something we’ve done.  You, as a client should be able to talk about your hair even if you are there for “the usual”.  A stylist should also be able to explain in laymen’s terms exactly what they will be doing, what you should expect during the process, and what the long term consequences will be.

As a client, you should feel comfortable with any question regarding your hair.  There are absolutely NO stupid questions.  You should not be expected to know what any terms mean, and you should expect to have anything explained so you can learn.

But in return, you have to try to be as clear as possible with your wishes.  I recently acquired a new client.  She has beautiful hair, and I really liked her.  However, the first time I met with her she showed me several styles, and gave me very conflicting ideas of what she wanted.  Guess what?  I could see immediately that she was not happy.  I think it all turned out fine in the end.  A few days later she came back for a “tune-up”, and I think she was pleased.  I hope to have gained a new client (I liked her quite a bit, and I think she could be a potential model for the future).  But it could have turned very ugly, if you’ll pardon the pun.

When you go to your stylist, take pictures with you.  Take pictures of what you like (it doesn’t matter if you think your hair will do it, it’s what you like), and take pictures of what you don’t like!  It’s very helpful to know what not to do to someone’s hair.  If you say layered, what does that mean.  Well, to some it might mean soft long layers.  But to someone else it could mean a shag!  A picture of a shag with you saying, “absolutely not”, would be very helpful about now, don’t you think?  Curl to one person is wave to another, wish you had that picture with you?  You see where I’m going?  A picture speaks volumes; don’t feel bad about visuals.

Talk, talk, talk.  Don’t be shy, and don’t feel like your wasting time.  I would rather talk with someone for a few minutes than spend an extra half hour fixing something!


Unbearably Cute Stuff (originally posted on 11/20/2008) 

*I’ll have to recreate this one so I can insert the photos properly*

Product Knowledge (originally posted on 11/20/2008)

As I’ve said before, I’ve worked in Davis for over 20 years now. That means a certain aversion to styling products has been ingrained in my psyche.  I’m working very hard to overcome that mentality now.  For me and my clientele!

Seriously people, products are your friends.  You don’t have to worry about the eco-consequences any longer, almost all of the products created today are vastly superior to the old hairspray and mousse.  We’re no longer destroying the ozone layer. I promise. Most of the products I use (possibly all) are tested in salons (not on animals!!).

Some of my favorite recipes are pretty simple, but the application is just as important.  If you tend toward frizz, but like your natural curl (bless you!) start with a smoothing lotion.  Something the texture of hand lotion is what you’re looking for.  Look for anti-frizz formulas.  I like Kenras Straightening Serum (yes for curly hair, it won’t automatically straighten your hair!). Be sure to distribute evenly.  If it’s not scalp to ends it will only help the half of your hair it’s on.  Follow with a curl creme, I like creams for curly hair because they have a “flexible” hold.  That means they don’t get crunchy or hard.  Kenra Curl Defining Creme, or Aquage Curl Defining Creme are two of my favorites.  Again, comb it through.  Scalp to ends is the only way it will work properly!  For you lucky women (and men) with naturally curly locks, bravo!  That’s all there is to it.  If you want to go all out, by all means use a diffuser. Scrunching will work just fine if your lazy.

For straight hair, follow the same basic principle, but instead of a curl creme try a root boost.  Aquage Uplifting Foam is awesome, and I love Catwalk’s Root Boost.  I’ve never been able to use too much. Apply to the roots (that’s what that funny nozzle is for), and once again COMB THROUGH!  Blow dry with a round brush and your friends will be blown away (sorry, I like bad puns).

A few of my product recommendations are:

(follow directions and comb through evenly on wet hair, use hand styling for dry hair):

On almost all hair types I recommend starting with Bedhead Superstar Spray Leave-in Conditioner, it detangles without weighing hair down!

Fine, Straight Hair

For volume use one of the following: Bedhead Superstar Thickening Blow Dry Lotion (wet, can also be used with any of the next products), Aquage Uplifting Foam (wet), Catwalk Root Boost (wet), or Paul Mitchell Extra Body Mousse (wet).

To combat frizz, layer with one of the following products: Kenra Straighening Serum (wet hair), Bedhead Afterparty (wet or dry), or Kenra Style Creme (wet or dry for texture), and I love most silicon based shine enhancers, Abba, Paul Mitchell, Aquage, and TIGI all make great liquid smoothers (shine enhancer).

Course Straight Hair

To add volume or control use one of the following: Aquage Uplifting Foam, Catwalk Root Boost, or Paul Mitchell Extra Body Mousse.

To combat frizz, layer with one of the following: Kenra Straighening Serum (wet hair), Bedhead Afterparty (wet or dry),  or Kenra Style Creme (dry for texture), and again I love most silicon based shine enhancers

Curly Hair

Use one of the following: Kenra Curl Defining Creme (wet, can be scrunched in dry also for extra control, not too much!), Aquage Curl Defining Creme (wet, same as above), and/or Kenra Style Creme (wet or dry, on dry hair scrunch in to help hold curl and fight off frizz).

For Fine Curly Hair

Add Bedhead Superstar Thickening Blow Dry Lotion before any of the previous products.

All Hair Types

Bedhead Afterparty (a light smoothing creme for wet or dry hair), Paul Mitchell Freeze and Shine (great for spiking short hair or holding a style all night), Sexy Hair Soy Paste (especially good for short textured cuts), Aquage Transforming Paste (not recommended for fine hair), most Kenra Hairsprays, Paul Mitchell Freeze and Shine, and once again almost all silicon based shine enhancers

For Mohawks or other spiky styles

Aquage Freezing foam is like cement, be warned!

Shampoos and Conditioners

For dry or bleached hair I recommend Bedhead Dumb Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner.

For curly hair I like Bedhead Foxy Curls shampoo and conditioner, frizz is a result of curly hair’s natural dryness, conditioners can help keep curly hair moisturized to defeat frizz.

For fine hair Bedhead Superstar Shampoo, I don’t generally recommend conditioner for finer hair types unless damaged or dry.  Why way it down more?

For color treated hair I like Bedhead’s Self Absorbed shampoo, again, only condition if hair seems excessively dry or damaged.

Really people, good products are the foundation to a happy hair day.  A little spray can fix a shoddy blow-out.  Even a little shine enhancer can lift your mood!  Go on, give it a try.  You will like the results!

Starting Over

I managed to unpublished my website before I realized I would lose everything in my blog. It’s feels like losing several volumes of my diary. I guess it feels exactly like that come to think of it.

I decided that my website was getting to old and I risked losing all of the content since I didn’t want to buy an expensive new version of Dreamweaver, it’s the software I use to maintain the site. So I moved it to the same account I maintain Cobalt Salon & Gallery‘s website. In the process you have to unpublished your old site…and poof! I should have archived first. Must be getting old.

I managed to save one page, but the rest is gone for good unless I can find the original unedited files somewhere. I’ll be posting all I have in the next few hours, but then I start fresh.

Oh well. My mantra lately is act, don’t react. It’s a good thing I’ve been practicing…