Tag Archives: tips

Your hair will thank you..

11 Aug

Sometimes when you’re looking for hair products, the selection can be overwhelming. There are so many brands and products to choose from, not to mention that you may not know what’s best for your hair. That’s where salons come to the rescue.

Although salon-exclusive products are more pricy, they also come with so many advantages. Did you know that salon products are more concentrated (they contain less water) so you use less when styling… and they last longer! And most salon products are also sulfate-free, which means that they won’t strip your colour (saving you money in the long run!)

The most important thing about buying your products from a salon is the expert advice you get. Good salons will happily help you choose the right products for your specific hair type without selling you stuff you don’t need. Stylists also explain why the product is right for you and how to use it, so you don’t feel clueless. And most salons offer you a product guarantee – if you find that you hate what you’ve bought or that it just doesn’t work for you, you can exchange it. That’s a pretty sweet deal!

So, here is Haartek Salon’s pick of the week:

SCHWARZKOPF  REPAIR RESCUE SEALED ENDS

As featured in September’s issue of Lou Lou magazine, Schwarzkopf’s Sealed Ends is one of Haartek’s all-time favourite products… and is used religiously by many of our stylists.

The BC Repair Rescue line that Sealed Ends is part of is specially formulated for dry, damaged hair. It not only repairs the cells within the hair, but it also recreates the hair surface, returning it to its optimal level of health. Sealed Ends helps to soften the hair, controls frizz and fly-aways, and gives you the easy comb-out that everyone wants. Its Amino Cell Rebuild technology recovers the hair’s natural elasticity by strengthening the structure of the hair cell.

How to use: Work sparingly into the ends of your hair and do not rinse. It can also be applied to dry hair for general smoothing and sealing.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, throw down your hair…

14 Jul

Do you drool over Kim Kardashian’s luscious locks? Envy Gisele, not for her model bod, but because her hair is heavenly? Do you suffer from feelings of inadequacy because you were born with fine hair and wonder how celebrities and models were blessed with hair that just doesn’t quit?

Pssst… I have a secret to tell you. Most of the time, it’s not all theirs.

A lot of celebrities opt for hair extensions to amp up their look. Self-proclaimed to be the “Rolls Royce” of hair extensions, Great Lengths boasts not only the most advanced and gentle method of application, but the best quality hair available. Although more expensive, Great Lengths uses Indian Temple Remi hair, which is in virgin condition and donated to the temple. The difference between the temple hair and cheaper extensions is that the hair is cut and gathered in a braid, ensuring all hair cuticles are facing the same direction which prevents tangling with your own hair.

Great Lengths are available in three strand sizes (standard, fine and extra-fine), five lengths (20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 cm.) and 35 hand-blended shades and 14 “fashion” shades. And unlike other brands, they don’t bleach the hair in the de-pigmentation process which damages the hair structure, and adds pigmentation in a way that ensures colour won’t fade out. Learn more here

But using high-quality extensions doesn’t matter unless the method of application is reliable and natural looking. Great Lengths uses a patented procedure that bonds the extensions to your own hair using a polymer compound with a molecular structure similar to that of human hair. It moves and behaves like your own hair, ensuring a strong hold without damaging it. Unlike cheaper alternatives, these polymer chains are more resistant to heat and water – though our stylists do warn that if you expose the bonds to chemicals like chlorine while swimming or go to tanning beds frequently, wear does occur and non-reusable extensions aren’t for you. However, over the course of five years trying out different, more affordable brands, they found Great Lengths has the best application method, the best quality hair and stays in the longest. “There’s a reason they’re number one,” said Sandra, one of two stylists at Haartek certified with Great Lengths.

Because Great Lengths has this patented technology, their extensions are only available through Great Lengths Certified Extension Artists. So you don’t have to worry about inferior or incorrect application. Learn more here “We  learned the different variations of extensions, how to blend them and also how to use them for thickening as well as length,” said Sandra. “It really shows you if you have what it takes to do extensions,” added Patrizia, our other certified stylist. “You have to have a lot of patience, focus… and flair!”

Taking care of them is the key to making them last. It’s vital that you use the special loop brush included with the extensions: “If you do not brush properly, you will get dreadlocks,” said Patrizia. “And you need to brush from the scalp down to avoid knotting.” You also have to remember that even though extensions are made from real hair, they are still an attachment, so be gentle with them. “They’ll last for three to four months if you care for them properly,” said Sandra.

If you’re interested in getting extensions, book a consultation and discuss potential length, colour, upkeep and price. If you’re just interested in thickening, it can be from $400 to $600 and if you’re after thickening and length it’s $900 and up. “They’re definitely an investment,” said Patrizia. Keep in mind, though, they aren’t reusable.

Though it’s no secret that high quality extensions aren’t cheap, the benefits of spending the extra cash are definitely worth it if you truly want long, natural looking, shiny hair that lasts and is easy to maintain. Afterall, so few of us have full-time stylists at our beck-and-call for day-to-day gorgeousness… *sigh*

Sometimes going green is not a good thing.

6 Jul

Brace yourself, kiddos. It’s about to get all sciency up in here again.

We’re about to do our very own Mythbusters-esque venture in this post: Does chlorine really turn blonde hair green?

*cue exciting adventure/detective music*

While our budget is not high enough to rent a blonde to sit in several pools and hot tubs with hair immersed (nor are we that cruel to risk her colour), I have gotten to the bottom of this myth without empirical research (yes, I am that good).

Contrary to popular belief, it is not the chlorine in pools or hot tubs that turns natural or highlighted blonde hair green. What happens is that copper, either found in the water supply, metal pool fittings or plumbing, oxidizes and binds to the protein in the hair shaft, depositing its green colour. This also happens when pool water is corrosive because of low pH (acidic) or because the water is soft (low mineral content).

So, the sanitizer (chlorine) doesn’t directly turn hair green, but if the water is already corrosive, having a high level of sanitizer will increase the green effect. To combat this, the pool water balance level (not sanitizer level) should be adjusted. But fear not, you don’t have to be a scientist to maintain your pool – there is a scale called the Langlier index used to calculate how corrosive or scaling the water is, determining the proper levels of minerals needed in the water.

Confusing? Don’t worry. Here are some tips for preventing green hair from Patrizia, an Advanced Stylist at Haartek.

1. Wet your hair with fresh, clean water before swimming or hot tubbing. If the hair is already wet, it will help keep it from soaking up too much chlorinated water.

2. Apply a conditioner beforehand. This will seal the hair cuticle and prevent copper from binding to the hair.

3. Rinse your hair immediately after being in the pool or hot tub.

4. If you are regularly in the pool or hot tub, use a clarifying shampoo once a week.

5. And those of you who are daring to be retro, nothing beats an old-fashioned swimming cap to protect those golden locks. That, or not dunking your hair. Either way. Though, if you are a routine swimmer, Patrizia seriously recommends wearing a cap.

But what if you’re not careful and you come out of the pool looking like a Muppet? “Removing the green successfully depends on how porous your hair is,” says Haartek owner, Cosimo. “A clarifying shampoo can work, but sometimes your only option is to bleach it, go darker or cut it off, unfortunately.”

The moral of the story? “Take preventative measures to protect your colour,” says Patrizia. “And always check the balance level of the water.” Going green may be trendy… just not for the colour of your hair.

 

 

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!

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!  

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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