The blog in which I insult your style. It’s not meant for everyone! (repost)

This is a repost from a few years back. I think it’s still relevant.

OK, I don’t get it.  Do we not understand the term “Dress for Success” any longer?  I read the best quote online doing research.  “You are your own billboard”.  What a concept.  It says it so well I think.  The way you present yourself, is what people see.  It tells them what you want them to know about you in your first, and most important, impression. Humans are visual beings. We not only use our eyesight, but practically worship people who can offer us beautiful or exciting visuals. Movies, Television, Engineering, Disneyland for goodness sake, it’s all about the visuals. But we don’t see that in ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re entitled to dress any way your boss allows at work.  And we all dress down occasionally.  But really, don’t we understand what professional dress is any longer?

Now, I will confess that I was the kind of fashion nerd that wanted to get voted “Best Dressed” for the school yearbook. Sadly, I couldn’t compete with the money in the school I went to.  But even the most fashion challenged office worker should realize that the clothes make the (wo)man!

Oh, I’ve heard all the excuses. (I work in Davis, remember?  Have you ever been to Davis, CA?  It defines worker casual.)  “It’s too hectic in the morning”, “I can’t afford nice clothes”, even (and you know who you are) “if I dress too nicely people think I’m going on a job interview”.  Yes, I know, If you dress nicely your office mates think you’re a brown-noser, or going on a job interview. That’s the point. You keep them on their toes, and they think you’re worth more than the otherwise would. Since when does it matter what our co-workers think, anyway.  If you are a professional, dress like it!

Think for a minute.  What do the people who your boss reports to wear?  Do they dress the way you do?  I’d bet not.  If you want their job you better dress like it.  Yah, yah, you should be able to dress any way you want and still get that promotion.  Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in.  As a matter of fact, with the new economic-and employment-reality, you might want to re-examine your image.  Just how secure is anyones job these days?  Wouldn’t we all like a little more security?  A little more money?

If you dress your best, you feel your best.  And if you feel your best, everyone around you will be blown away with how amazing you (and by extension your work) are.  Try a little test.  For one week dress in your best clothes, don’t go overboard, your dressing for work, not a wedding.  But really step it up a notch.  Spend a few minutes longer on your hair.  I am willing to bet that not only will you feel better heading to work, but your co-workers will comment.  In a good way!

And gosh darn it, why  not look good?  Don’t you want people to think your hot?

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A Day In The Life, 2 (repost)

Originally posted 1-17-11

Well, today started nicely enough, with a good sleep in.  My first appointment was a little later than usual, so I got to be a slacker for a bit.  That was deserved.  I spent four hours at the salon on sunday adding shelving and generally upgrading my salon!  It actually gave me something to look forward to this morning. But no, today wasn’t going to be all sunshine and puppy dogs. I mean honestly, who expects a Kaiser to be closed, even on a holiday?  They told me my prescription would be ready, but they lied. It’s not cool to hold my antidepressants hostage on a Monday.

Luckily the work schedule was great.  I had gotten a client on my cancelations list in, so I knew I had gratitude going for me; however, a client being ten minutes late tends to bring my mood down.  It may not seem like much, but if my client is ten minutes late, I will normally be ten minutes late for a good portion of the day.  Really, I’m a great scheduler.  Her hair ended up fabulous, I’m good.

My next client was a very nice gentleman, with nice curly hair, easy to cut.

I had scheduled in a break today (very rare for me), so I had a chance to catch up.  Then, on to my next client, a new college student…veery cute.  Easy to do a nice cut for him.  Fine straight hair that fell perfectly.  Sigh, was I ever that cute?  Really feeling old today I think…

Next up was BD, old Jewish lady, whiny and often funny, likes her hair very short, but Judy Dench she is not, lol!

I’ve known my next to the last client for over 10 years, she’s a sweetie.  Used to have a pug, so she can do no wrong.  However, she’s got crappy hair.  Fine, very straight, pokey, and a strange hairline.  We give her ash blonde hair a fine application of foils with lightener, and use a dark copper blonde demi between the foils.  Perfect.

My last client, who also has fine straight hair, but hers like cotton candy, has been a wonderful friend of the family for many years, so I am always happy to wash away her grey, trim, and style.  That means I’m finished for the day!

Dinner with husband Pete, and William!  Can’t go wrong at El Centro.  Margarita Monday, woo hoo!!

P.S. $300.00 worth of clothes from English Laundry arrived today!!  All being sent back because it’s cut to fit a skinny 17 year old.  I am so old…

A Day In The Life (repost)

Originally posted in January of 2011

I’m not a morning person.  I’m barely civil until around 10 or 10:30.  I have a strange ritual to get going in the morning.  Most days I start with an iced tea, a scone, and the newspaper, safely alone in my car.  Nobody bugs me there, and I can’t offend anybody.  It’s the ritual that gets me out of bed in the morning, so, whatever. The rest of my day, however, is never the same, ever.

Today I had an awesome day.  I started with a man’s haircut; I’ve been cutting his hair for nearly 23 years, so I consider this an easy start to the day.  Simple cut, rather curly hair, likes it on the longer side.

Next was a cute newlywed who’s (I don’t believe) ever had anybody else cut her hair.  I taught her how to deal with her naturally curly hair when she was in high school, and at this point her hair is almost to her waste, or it was.  We cut it to her shoulders today, and her naturally curly hair was bouncy and fabulous!

Then came a fairly new client of a little over a year.  We color and cut his hair every 4 weeks, and boy did he need it!  We’d gone a little over on the schedule due to the holidays, and he needed a cut way bad.  It was moving toward “jewfro”.  Which, though cute on a high school kid, is not very professional.  Grey gone, not much hair left either!

Around noon I had another long term client who has her 100 percent grey hair “blended” to a beautiful golden blonde, a nice cut and a bit of blow-dry magic to convert her rather frizzy hair to a smooth mid-length layered cut.

This is when the challenge of the day started.  Two clients I love.  A local merchant I’ve known for over 25 years, and a wonderful young teacher who’s family I’ve known almost as long.  Booked “back to back”.  A little more challenging since my assistant Cece took a leave of absence.

Client one, with very thick frizzy/curly hair I glazed a rich auburn red.  I then gave her a nice, healthy trim, and styled her using a diffuser to bring out the shiny, healthy curls she was blessed with.

Client two was a color, foil placement, trim, and style.  Both hair treatments came off without a hitch.

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t forget the lunch break; if I ever take one (which I almost never do), I’ll let you know what I get. I decompress on the drive home.  Most of my job is extremely social, and decompression is mandatory for me.  Today I was looking forward to dinner with hubby Pete, my near college graduate son William (yay!), and his mother Laurie.  We decided on a fairly new place.  Good Eats.  We’re still trying to decide if we like it or not.  Needless to say it hasn’t wowed us, but it’s close, and seems to be improving rapidly.  It is almost to the level I’ll recommend it, but not yet.  They do however have a bar, so there you go.  When Star Ginger opens next door (by the creator of Lemon Grass and La Bou), they may not be able to compete.  I’ll keep you posted.

*Update: Good Eats is gone, sad but not surprised, and the new Star Ginger is good, but no bar.   😦

Men In Skirts

Another repost from the archives…

Yes, I wear a skirt. Whew! That’s a weight off. Wait a minute, just to be clear, I don’t wear a girl’s skirt, I wear a guy’s skirt. Oh yah, you may call it a kilt, but it’s still a skirt, right? Okay, it’s actually called a Utilikilt; I’m not scottish.

The reason I wear a kilt? I’ve always loved kilts, I’ve always wanted to wear a kilt. And, I’m a grown man that can do whatever he wants. I also have a Mohawk.

The point is, as a hairstylist, I’m petty free to do as I please, it’s actually expected. The more I push the boundaries, the more success I find. However, the truth holds for you as well, YOU can do whatever you want. Just so you know, I am talking about hair, but it pretty much goes for anything in your life. In this day and age there are products, there are techniques, there are tools, to make your hair do almost anything. And in that same vein, there are tools, advisors, the internet, whatever you need, to help you do whatever you want with your life. It’s true! Go to school and get a degree in whatever you love. Get a makeover and wear the clothes that the people you look up to wear, or better yet, the people they look up to. Don’t lose weight, be healthy, love you and the way nature made you, but revel in it. Buy clothes that fit and show you off to your best advantage. Or join a gym and have at it. Go skydiving, or better yet kiteboarding in Hawaii. Get a way cool movie star hair do.

I dye my hair blue, I have a mohawk, I wear a kilt. I’m not always brave and happy. I ‘m a pretty moody guy a good deal of the time. Mostly mornings, as anybody who knows me is quite aware. But I’m here to tell you, if I wanted to, I could be a superstar. I could be Tabitha Coffey, or just me, but rich and famous, but who needs to work that hard? That’s not my dream. I live my dream.

Even if it is just to wear a kilt.

Why experience counts, or, don’t try that yourself! (remember Rocky and Bullwinkle?)

Another in a series of reposts from my deleted blog.

Have you ever seen that movie star that changed from blonde to brown, and then back to blonde. Oh, it doesn’t matter which, you can think of one I’m sure.  Did you ever wonder how big of a deal that is?  I’ll give you a hint…it’s huuuge.

The blonde to brown isn’t that big a job.  For a good colorist you can do it well in around 1 1/2 hours.  I say well, because it’s easy to turn it to baby poop brown.  I’ve seen it, it ain’t pretty.  And going brown to blonde isn’t a huge challenge.  Again, about two hours.

Blonde to red can be tricky, but not usually as time-consuming.  A number of glazes can be done in as little as 2 hours, if you know what to use.  But red to blonde, totally up in the air.  Red is one of the hardest colors to remove, there always seems to be that last little bit that doesn’t want to budge.  It’s ironic considering how quickly red fades!

But blonde to brown to blonde is a whole other world.  It can easily take 2 or more visits to remove the artificial brown.  There are some simple ways to go to a subtle blonde.  In a few visits enough foils can be added to get you there painlessly.  But if it’s to be a true blonde it usually involves a color remover (1 to 2 hours), a bleach wash (15-30 minutes), a filler (45-60 min), a glaze or two (1-3 hours), and possibly foils (1-4 hours).  This is all rough time estimates, length and thickness of the hair, porosity, darkness of brown level, and many other factors can affect a color correction of this sort.  And all of these are based on the hair being healthy.  Bad “at home” color is another game altogether.

I am rarely willing to tackle a black to (literally whatever you can get), but I gave it a shot for a dark blonde client who had “accidentally” tinted her hair black for Halloween.  I say accidentally because she didn’t read the fine print on the box of semi-permanent hair color she used.  Hint: no such thing as semi-permanent black.  Once you go black, you never go back, as we say in the hair industry.  What, you thought that meant something else?  Your bad…

Anyhow, after the first day (5 hours to get her from black to dark brown, ugh!  I don’t like to fail), I went home, tinted a doll head black (using the same color product she used) and proceeded to spend the next two days getting it blonde.  It only took me 3 hours to do it on the person.  It was amazing what I learned!

On the other hand, I accidentally tinted a blonde client black myself one afternoon (it’s really not my fault.  The blonde (6•1) looked exactly like the black (1•9) when held upside down!). And it only took 5 minutes to fix that! luckily I know shortcuts.

Why you should trust your stylist, or find one you will!

One in a series of reposts from my deleted blog.

First and foremost, you absolutely MUST trust your stylist.  No excuses.  If you don’t trust him/her, then you should not be sitting in that chair.  You should always be your own hair advocate, but if you don’t trust the wo/man with the shears, you will never be happy.

If you’re the type of client who knows exactly what you want, that’s fine. You pay the bill, you get what you want. But if you’re the kind of client who tells your stylist what to do, you are short-changing yourself. You may know (or think you know) what looks best on you, but you didn’t go to cosmetology school, right?  You don’t know how to layer, you probably don’t  even know the lingo. I can’t tell you how often someone has told me “how many” layers they want. There aren’t any number of layers! Layers aren’t (generally) like rock strata.  You shouldn’t be able to count them. Layers that you can count are chunks. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have chunks! I’ve done beautiful cuts with “chunks”, but these are more accurately called “disconnected layers”. Layers are more correctly thought of as a continuum. We also use the term “graduation”.

When a client tells me they want a certain number of layers, I know it’s time to educate, delicately. That’s why they trust me.

You should, however, always be able to make your stylist understand what you’re looking for. I’ve discussed the consultation before. That’s where we build trust. If you “tell” your stylist how to cut your hair. Your wasting your time, and theirs.

If you’ve had trouble communicating with a stylist in the past, and are currently looking for a new stylist, please schedule a consultation. Any stylist worth their salt will be happy to set up a few minutes to talk with you. Believe me, I find the time is well worth it from my position as well as the clients! If the stylist has an attitude when it comes to booking a consult, they will only be worse when you’re sitting in their chair.

The consultation allows you to explain what you are looking for, or ask for ideas. The consultation is the first step in building trust. It lets you test the stylist’s knowledge, techniques, and most importantly, communication skills.

But how do you find this magical, all-knowing stylist? Well, your lucky, it’s the 21st century! Most of my new clients find me in one of two ways. The internet, or word of mouth.

The internet has loads of info. That’s what it’s for. Google hair salons, or stylists, and you’ll find so much info you won’t know what to do with it all. I’ve found some of the most general to be the best. If you get into sites that are specific, they usually have an agenda. Payed ads aren’t going to tell you much, unless they have a killer website, and even that’s paid propaganda.  Stick with google, or yahoo, maybe even LinkedIn or Facebook. Somewhere where you can get opinions.  I’m lucky to work in the city of Davis. You can’t beat the Davis Wiki. Information and opinion, if you use it right, you can trust the data. I look at it this way: if someone’s business is listed on a consumer site, someone likes them. If there aren’t many (or any) opinions, in all likelihood the patronage is older (not a bad sign if you’re not looking for trendy/artsy), no bad comments are a plus. If they have mixed reviews, they’re probably not too bad, people like to complain, you can’t please everyone, blah, blah. If they have raves, you should be impressed. Or they might be good marketers, but it’s your best bet.

Word of mouth is primo.  Stop someone whose hair you like on the street.  They’ll be flattered!  If they give you a recommendation, ask them how long they’ve been going.  At least three visits are best, but if you love their hair, go for it, even if the stylist is new to them.  A friend you’ve known more than a year is great.  If you like their hair and they’ve gone to the same stylist for at least 3 visits, jackpot!  That’s the safest bet you’ll ever get in finding a stylist.  I always say 3 visits because it goes like this: 1st visit the stylist does exactly what you ask for, 2nd visit the stylist isn’t quite sure what they did last time (we’re not computers) and they try their best to duplicate the cut, 3rd visit and they do what they think they should do.  If the 3rd cut’s good, you’re dealing with a stylist with talent.

Money means nothing.  Wait!  That means just because they’re expensive doesn’t mean they’re good, or that they’ll listen to you.  It’s hard to learn that one.  I’ve had a client for a number of years now who came to me after not having her hair cut in a few years.  She had been so traumatized by the high-end (read:expensive, very) celebrity stylist who cut all of her hair off in his Hawaii salon, that she hadn’t had a cut since.  He was very unhappy, apparently, when she started crying in front of the models that were waiting to be finished for a shoot she tells me.   I have to admit that at first I thought she might be a wack-job, but she’s turned out to be a great client!  She is always very happy, and we seem to click.  That’s what you should be looking for, someone you click with.

Don’t settle for less!

The Latest Cuteness

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. I think after I lost all my blog posts I just got kind of disengaged from it. I thought I was going to repost them, and maybe I will at some point, but it seems kind of boring actually. I have them somewhat safely archived at the moment, so that’s a job for later I suppose.

Instead I’ve decided to do something a bit more fun. I thought I would just do a fairly easy post, a bit of cheating you might say. And so, without further ado, a whole passel of cute puppy pictures chronicling our new baby Alyeska weeks 8 (the day we brought him home), through his current 18!
Here he is the day we brought him home, 8 weeks young…
and just a few days later he had his first day at the salon…
Here we are on the hunt a few weeks later…
Things seem to be progressing fairly well with the pack…
Growing, and growing…
And here we are, 18 weeks, and no end in sight! I think he’s awfully handsome…
but I fear there is a darker side, hm…