Archive | June, 2011

It’s summertime, and the living is easy…

30 Jun

The long weekend is here. And chances are, you’re spending time in the (hopefully) beautiful, sunny weather… preferably on a beach in Muskoka.

It’s no chance that this summer’s top hair trends like braids and messy top knots are perfect for a laid back cottage weekend. Here are some tips for cute, low maintenance hair styles, whether you’re enjoying a beer on the dock or having fun in the water.

Tie it up

Forget the boring ponytail this weekend and go for something a bit more fun – the top knot! Extremely low maintenance, the top knot only takes seconds and ensures your hair is out of your face while you’re having fun in the sun… plus, it’s perfect for the-day-after-washing hair! And with helpers like Goody Spin Pins, all it takes is for you to twist your hair into a bun, insert the pins, and you’re ready for the beach!

Braids

Braids have been hyped enough in past posts that you get the hint why we love them. Because it’s “the messier, the better”, they’re perfect for the beach, the boat or the campfire. Plus, you can wear a cute hat to protect your colour from fading and your face from getting sunburned! Our fav? The messy, side fishtail braid.

Beachy Waves

What could be more low maintenance than embracing your natural texture and letting your hair down? Textured, beachy waves are super sexy, trendy and perfect for lounging around the cottage. The key to success if you aren’t lucky enough to be frolicking in an ocean? A texture spray like Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray or KMS Sea Salt Spray. Psssssst… Wanna know a secret? These products are also perfect to add texture to your top knot or braid.

So now you know our favourite styles for the cottage. But even though your hair should be low-maintenance over the weekend, don’t forget you still need to take care of it! Bring a leave-in conditioner with UV protection to prevent your colour from fading and your hair from drying out in the sun. And if you don’t have a shower? Bring some dry shampoo to add oomph and texture to your summer style. No matter what your plans are for the long weekend, show your hair some love!

To wash or not to wash? That is the question…

24 Jun

The question, “Should you wash your hair everyday?” will be debated until the end of time. Or until the human race evolves into a bunch of baldies. Either way.

The thing is, there is no definitive answer to the question, no matter how many people emphasize either “yes” or “no”. Just like there are different body types, there are different hair types. Some people are blessed with thick hair that just doesn’t seem to look oily, even after a week – an obscene amount of time to those of us with baby fine manes who cringe in the mirror the day after washing, looking at flat, listless hair.

I'll bet Giselle doesn't have to wash her hair everyday. Curses!

“There’s no rule,” says Tasso, a Director at Haartek. “It depends on the person’s hair and scalp. Some hair you have to wash everyday. It’s whatever your hair needs.”

And these days, if you’re being good to your hair and using salon products that have no sulphates and leave little residue, washing often is not going to damage or strip the hair.

However, if you’re on the fence about whether you can go a few days without washing or if you need a quick way to freshen up your hair, dry shampoo just might be an option for you!

Most of the ladies working at Haartek think dry shampoo is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Originally invented for hospital patients who couldn’t wash their hair, dry shampoos are usually matte sprays that soak up excess oil, add texture and bulk, add volume at the roots and leave the hair smelling and looking refreshed. How could anyone be against that?

So for those lucky ones that don’t need to wash their hair everyday, dry shampoo is a quick way to give their hair that extra oomph in the morning. And for the unlucky everyday washers like me, the good thing is there is a way to refresh our hair quickly right before a night on the town or after working out. “It’s really great for a girl on the run,” Tonya, a receptionist at Haartek, says. “Just spray it on your roots and shake it up and you’re good to go!”

Our favourite dry shampoos at Haartek? KMS Makeoever Spray and Kevin Murphy Fresh Hair really do the trick! And they both smell great.

KMS Makeover Spray

Kevin Murphy Fresh Hair

I was once an unbeliever when it comes to dry shampoo. I thought all of them were gross and powdery that left a residue that looked anything but fresh. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and have changed my tune. It really does the trick when it comes to adding body and texture after the gym or a long day at work. While it will never replace washing my hair daily normally, I will sure bring a can to my cottage on the long weekend. Maybe I’ll even share it. Maybe.

Forget the dress! What about the hair!?

22 Jun

It’s almost the end of June and wedding season is well underway, but are you a bride-to-be that has no clue what to do with her hair on the big day? Fear not! That’s what blogs like these are for!

Whether your hair is short or long, curly or straight, the creativity and skill of your stylist will ensure that you find the perfect ‘do for your wedding! Doing your research is important too, however. Have a look at the cornucopia of wedding magazines and websites for style inspiration – this will give you an idea of the hairstyles you like… and give a reference for ones you hate.

Once you have an idea of the style you think will suit your type of wedding, the most important step is booking a consultation with your stylist.  If possible, find a quiet day at the salon where your stylist can dedicate a couple of hours to trying several different styles on you. Bring in any pictures of hair you like and accessories you may use to help the stylist create what you have envisioned. The consultation is especially important if you plan on using extensions – the stylists needs time to order the right kind and you may have to colour them to match your hair.

“It’s a big day and you want it to be perfect ,” says Stylist Olivia. “You want to eliminate any stress you can the day of, and knowing exactly what your hair will be like will do that. Especially if you are using extensions or accessories!”

Here are a few of our favourite bridal styles, from boho to princess, to help inspire you for your big day!

Need more inspiration? Check out Haartek Salon’s real life updos on our Facebook page!

Hot child in the city…

17 Jun

When summer rolls around, you notice a new bounce in people’s step, more smiles and a genuine happiness when the sun is out. Not to mention the obvious transformation in fashion. But it’s not just people shedding layers and rocking chic sandals to show of their pedicured footsies; when the hot weather comes, people dare to be different with their hair. And how we love the summer change!

Summer is a great time for a hair makeover. And the more drastic the change, the more fun! Think about it. Come springtime, you probably think about getting lighter highlights for summer, or getting a fun and easy-going cut that can work for both the office and the cottage, and that will save you from the dreaded “Thermal Hair” (think  heavy, poofy hair that makes you feel like you might as well be wearing  a snowsuit and toque when you wear it down in the heat… that’s Thermal Hair.) You want to avoid that dreaded phenomenon as much as possible, right? Cue the summer makeover!

“This Thermal Hair is killing us!”
Most good salons offer free consultations with a stylist, so if you’re considering a summery change but aren’t really sure about what you want or if you’re ready, book 15 minutes to go over your inspirations and options. Bring in pictures of anything and everything that you think you’d like to have and your stylist can advise you on what would work best with your hair type, face shape and colouring.

Are you the impulsive type? Look through some magazines to give the stylist a general idea of the look you want to go for, book an appointment and take the plunge. Hair styles are meant to change and summer is the perfect excuse!

Have you always had long, straight hair? Try adding some texture and movement with layers… maybe even go shorter! Try a texturized lob or bob. Already have one and are adventurous? Go for a pixie! Think about whether you have your hair in a ponytail or away from your face the majority of the time. If you do, you probably have confidence showing off what is likely great facial structure. The moral of the story? You won’t be self-conscious with a shorter, off-the-face ‘do! You should also ask your stylist to work with your natural texture so that your style is easy to maintain in the summer. Afterall, who wants to spend time with a blow dryer when it’s 35 degrees outside?

Summer is also a great time to play with your colour. Add in some sunkissed highlights or go for a drastic change like this season’s red trend. But if you’re adding colour, make sure you protect it from the sun with products that have built-in UV protection to make it last.

Although a lot of us take our hair very seriously and are wary of any drastic changes, taking on a whole new look can be one of the most fun and easy ways to enjoy summer. And losing some bulk by adding layers can make a big difference in the Thermal Hair situation. You know the old stylist saying, “If you wear your hair pulled back most of the time, you won’t miss it when it’s gone”? How true that can be in the hot hot summer heat.

Eat your way to healthy hair!

15 Jun

Is your diet helping or hurting your hair?

What you eat affects your physical state in every sense, and your hair is no exception. According to Ladies’ Home Journal, you need a mixture of protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to promote good scalp and hair health.

Here are six foods to help you get shiny, healthy hair:

Poultry & Beef

Since proteins are the building blocks of your hair, getting enough high-quality protein is essential to avoid weak, brittle hair. Chicken and turkey are excellent healthy options and if you don’t have high cholesterol, eating red meat twice a week can promote optimal hair health with B vitamins, iron and zinc.

Whole Grains

Another great source of zinc, iron and B vitamins are complex carbohydrates that feed you energy over a longer period of time… and your scalp does need energy! Whole wheat bread, fortified whole grain cereals and brown, short grain rice are great options.

Salmon

Fatty fish like salmon are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12 and iron, making it one of the best foods for beauty benefits! According to the American Dietetic Association, these vitamins and minerals are essential to support scalp health. Not a fan of fish? You could try one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed!

Dark Green Vegetables

We all know that vegetables are good for us. And they’re good for our hair too! Greens like broccoli, spinach and Swiss chard not only provide you with vitamins A and C, iron and calcium, but they produce sebum, an oily substance secreted by your hair follicles – basically, the body’s natural hair conditioner! Adventurous? Try seaweed  or a kelp supplement for your dose of iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium, niacin, zinc, sodium and potassium.

Beans

Forget that old rhyme about beans and focus on the health benefits! Legumes like kidney beans and lentils provide protein, iron, zinc and biotin to promote hair growth.

Nuts

For a great source of zinc (a deficiency of which can lead to shedding) try cashews, pecans, almonds and walnuts. The latter also includes alpha-linolenic, an omega-3 fatty acid, that can help to condition your hair! And did you know that brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp? Include some of these in yoghurt or cottage cheese at breakfast or lunch!

The key to good hair health is the same as overall body health – balance. If you consume too much of a vitamin or mineral, you may create problems with hair growth, so make sure you have a balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, omega-3 fatty acids and low-fat dairy to keep your hair looking its best.

And beware of crash diets with super low-calorie counts and a stressful lifestyle. If you lose a lot of weight quickly or have continued high stress, you may affect the hair cycle and increase shedding. Diets and stress are bad enough without hair loss!

Many salon brands are also aware of the benefits of these foods and include natural ingredients to heal hair from the outside in. Ask your stylists which products include the right natural ingredients for your type of hair in addition to a balanced diet to give it that extra boost.

So now you know what it takes to keep your hair naturally gorgeous. Now only if we didn’t continuously blow dry, curl and flat iron it. Hmm… I guess that’s what treatments are for!  

Men, step away from the barber.

10 Jun

This post is for all the men out there that still go to barbers. And the girlfriends, wives, partners and caring friends of those that do. We know that you’ve been seeing “Joe” the barber on the corner since you were a kid, but why are you hanging on? Why do you pretend like the same cut you’ve been getting for 20 plus years is okay? Don’t you want your hair to live up to its potential? We do!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why should you pay extra money to come to a salon for a simple men’s cut? Aren’t salons only for women? Will my friends make fun of me? Let me explain.

First of all, although “Joe” may give you a $10 hair cut, are you really happy with it? Or, let me rephrase that: Is your significant other happy with it? I know some guys just don’t care what their hair looks like as long as it’s not in their way. But let me assure you that your wife, girlfriend, etc. cares. Stylists in a salon know how to deal with all kinds of hair, whether it’s easy to deal with or difficult and they can recommend products that will help you deal with it yourself… even if you’re low maintenance. And there’s this huge misconception that a men’s cut is outrageously expensive at a salon. While it’s still more expensive than a barber, depending on the stylist you see, it’s possible to get a men’s cut for $30. That’s not outrageous. You don’t even want to know what some women pay for their hair!

Now that price is out-of-the-way, let’s throw away this misconception that salons are just for women. That’s crazy talk. Tons of men go to salons. And the majority of them are just your regular type of guy having nothing to do with the fashion or beauty industry. As for your friends making fun of you? Let them. But ask their girlfriends whose hair they think looks better. That might shut them up.

And here’s the icing on the cake, boys. You get taken care of at a salon. You get a nice wash, a scalp massage, coffee/lattes/cappuccino/espresso etc., plus a generally nice atmosphere. And don’t worry that a stylist won’t get to know you like “Joe” does. Salons can feel like a little community and stylists listen really well. And they won’t force you to do anything fancy!

So really, there are no excuses. I dare you to just try a salon. I bet you’ll like it. And even if you don’t really care about the extras, I’ll bet you’ll get the best hair cut you’ve ever had. And I’ll bet someone you want to impress will notice.

*A special note to those of you trying to convince a guy to try a salon, here are some guys with style… and ladies love them. And you know they don’t go to a barber. No, I will not post a picture of The Biebs.*

 

And the last word: The Donald does his own hair.

Redheads to the right of me, redheads to the left..

9 Jun

We all know that red is the “it” colour this summer. From celebrities like Blake Lively, Drew Barrymore, Emma Stone and Malin Akerman changing from their signature blonde, to perennial redheads like Christina Hendricks and Florence Welch, fiery red hair is everywhere!

Whether you choose to embrace the lighter side of the red spectrum like Lively’s strawberry blonde, the auburn shade of Akerman or a bright red like Hendricks, going red is a big hair commitment… and you need to take care of your colour!

 Usually, reds brown out and fade faster than other colours, so the products you use are important. If you want your colour to last and stay vibrant, colour saving shampoos and conditioners are a must, and a leave-in conditioner or spray with UV protection is recommended.

The type of dye you use also makes a difference. Goldwell Elumen will give you illuminating colour with extra-long durability. It uses breakthrough patented technology to be the first oxidant-, peroxide- and ammonia-free hair colour so it won’t cause damage and it delivers outstanding vibrancy, shine and durability. Using pure, direct dyes, it penetrates deep into the hair and is anchored by magnetic attraction as the positively charged hair draws in the negative charge of the Elumen dyes. (Science? In a hair blog? Who knew!)

This translates to extra-long durability with incredible shine and intense colours, and is why stylists feel Elumen gives the best red results – as long as you want to stay red. Because it’s so durable, Elumen is harder to get rid of than normal hair colour, so it isn’t recommended for those that only want to be a redhead for a couple of months.

The benefits of Elumen are great, however. Besides the longevity, vibrance and shine of the colour, it’s hypoallergenic and eases frizz to make hair silkier. And unlike other dyes, mixing Elumen is akin to mixing paints, so there are endless possibilities when it comes to customizing your colour. Not only will you have great results, but you can have a lot of fun with your colour technician creating a look that is unique to you.  

Okay. You are now convinced that you were meant to be a redhead, but you’re not sure what shade is best for you. Carla, an Associate at Haartek, suggests that women with green or hazel eyes can pull off the true, deep red the best and those with paler complexions look great with a coppery red or strawberry blonde (think Lively). “And if you have a dark skin tone, you can really play around with violet reds… it looks stunning,” she says.

The consensus is in! Red is a really fun trend this summer… and we hope it lasts! But one last word from Carla, “Certain stars really don’t need to go as red as they have.” (We’re looking at you, Rihanna.)

Love that cymotrichous hair!

3 Jun

There’s just something special about beautiful, wavy hair – almost something better about it.

It’s not straight… it’s not curly… it offers the best of both worlds: extra fullness and bounce, but a polished look as well. You can dress waves up, or go beachy casual for weekends or day-to-day.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. With naturally wavy hair comes frizz. And if you have straight hair, it’s too much effort. So how can you get effortless, envy-worthy, shiny waves?

If you already have naturally wavy hair and just want to enhance it all you need are a few great hair products, a blow dryer and a diffuser. Techniques for the perfect wave vary slightly from person to person, but here are a few tips from our stylists!

Debra and Lan, Associates at Haartek, share their secrets for  full waves:

1) Shampoo and condition with Kevin Murphy’s Hydrate Me Wash & Rinse – but make sure you rinse your hair very well.

2) Towel dry your hair, but blot and scrunch only – don’t rub.

3) Apply mousse to wet hair – make sure you use enough product or you won’t have the desired effect – and comb through evenly. Kevin Murphy’s Body Builder is a great mousse. Debra prefers a curl enhancing product like KMS Curl Up Creme.

4) Lean forward and blot with a towel again.

5) Dry with a diffuser, going section by section, spending 30 seconds on each, then repeating until you get the wave you want.

Both Debra and Lan agree that in order to get great waves, the less you touch and disturb your hair, the better!

And to keep your waves going throughout the day, it’s important to refresh your hair with a revitalizing product or even with just water, according to Susan, a Director at Haartek. She is a big believer in wetting your hands with water and running your fingers through the waves to keep down the frizz. “It also helps to reactivate the existing product that’s in there. Schwarzkopf’s Moisture Kick Conditioning Spray and Eufora’s Curl ‘N Spray Revitalizer are great as well,” she says.

If you want that beachy texture, products like Kevin Murphy’s Hair Resort and KMS Sea Salt Spray are great to use before diffusing in addition to a mousse for a messier look.

This is all well and good if you have a natural wave to enhance, but what if you want volume and wave  for the day after washing or if you have straight hair? Associate Carla demonstrates on how to get the look with a flat iron.

 

So don’t be a slave to flat, straight hair. Embrace any wave you have and enhance it for the summer. If you can’t actually be sitting at the beach with a soft breeze blowing through your ocean tousled hair, at least you can look like it!

Um.. We need to talk.

1 Jun

Sometimes it’s a little daunting walking into a new salon for the first time. You’re taking a risk, and trusting a new stylist with your hair, hoping that your personalities and visions will mesh. Hopefully, it turns out amazingly and you know after just one visit that you’ll be seeing that stylist for the next 20 years.

But sometimes you leave feeling underwhelmed. What do you do in that situation?

Obviously, if you and the stylist don’t click on a personal level, he or she may not be for you. But what if you liked the stylist, or the salon in general, and  just didn’t get what you wanted?

Fear not dear friends – this is when a salon should show you what they’re made of. This is when they show you that they really do care and genuinely want to know what you think… And they want to make you happy!

Before I started working in the salon, I was too shy to tell a stylist if I was unhappy with any aspect of my cut. I thought, “Oh, I don’t want her to think I’m a b****.” 

Let me tell you. I was dead wrong.

A salon is like a mini community. Everyone who goes to the salon is part of it. Although first impressions can’t be undone, salons want to give you the best experience possible. And if you’re not happy with the outcome, they want to fix it.

There is no stylist on Earth that doesn’t want to know how you honestly feel about your hair. And there is no stylist that would hold it against you if you didn’t like what they’ve done. Most importantly, there’s no stylist that wouldn’t want to fix it for you.

Making people happy is a salon’s livelihood. And a large part of making someone happy is through communication. If you don’t have open communication about your experience with the salon or stylist, chances are you won’t be happy most of the time. Think about it this way: If a stylist doesn’t know that there is anything wrong, how can they fix it? As much as we want our stylists to be mind readers, sometimes there’s a misinterpretation of what we want. But let me assure you – the more you communicate with the stylist about your hair, the better the outcome. And if you’re not happy, tell them. Because I guarantee they will fix it for you. And I guarantee they will be happy you told them rather than silently hating it or just never coming back.

“Be open with your stylist. Ask them for ways they can change your hairstyle, even if it’s just minimally,” says co-owner Remo.

The moral of the story? You won’t hurt your stylist’s feelings if you want them to make an adjustment, be it with the colour or cut. And if you want to try a different stylist in the salon, they won’t be offended. It’s a community.

A stylist is you hair’s significant other. You wouldn’t dump your boyfriend without telling him why, would you?

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