Tag Archives: colour

Take a walk on the wild side…

28 Sep

Have you ever wanted to colour your hair bright pink or purple but just never built up the nerve? Maybe your profession won’t allow crazy colours in the office or you wish it could be for just a weekend. Well, your wish has been granted.

This September, our dear friends at Kevin Murphy came out with a new hair colour that will excite tweens and grown-ups alike: Colour.Bug! It’s a temporary hair colour in powder form – think eye shadow for your hair. It’s easy as pie to apply and washes out with your next shampoo. How perfect is that?

I can imagine you shaking your head in disbelief. Surely this can’t look as cool as it sounds… or can it? And if so, it must only show up on light hair. Well, my lovelies, how wrong you are! To show you just how awesome Colour.Bug is, our very own Carla demonstrated on yours truly (a blonde) and one of our dear receptionists (with black hair) who dared to go pink.

What you need: a smoothing and shine serum like Kevin Murphy’s Young.Again; one or more Colour.Bug colours (we chose pink and purple… there is also orange available); and hairspray (we used Kevin Murphy’s Session.Spray).

Before you apply Colour.Bug, it’s recommended that you have product in your hair in order for the powder to stick easily. We suggest using a smoothing and shining serum – why not beautify the condition of your hair while you’re at it? As you can see, Tanya has a lot of hair, but only one or two pumps of Young.Again is suffice.

To apply the Colour.Bug, simply glide the applicator over hair using some pressure. Because the colour is in powder form, use your fingers to rub the product in, spreading it over the desired area and giving it the trendy ombre look. Make sure you drape a towel over your shoulders to catch the loose powder. Some may rub off on your clothes, but it does not stain.

See, I told you it would show up in dark hair! When you’ve finished applying the colour to your satisfaction (we chose to do all of Tanya’s ends) seal the deal with a dose of hairspray. Again, because Colour.Bug is a powder it is important to use a finishing product like spray to make sure the colour stays put.

And voila! Tanya has pastel pink ends without having to bleach her hair – no commitment!

So now that you know that yes, Colour.Bug is an option for even the darkest of hair. But how does it look on the blondies? Well, you’re in for a treat. Here is my hair after applying the Young.Again serum.

On my hair, Carla decided to do alternating layers of pink and purple colour to give it a rainbow effect.

Because my hair is so light, much less Colour.Bug needs to be used. Layer the colour to play with the vibrancy.

After Carla finished layering the pink and purple, she played with my waves and used the Session.Spray to hold the colour in place.

When all was said and done, I had gorgeous, rainbow tips! Lauren Conrad, eat your heart out!

Colour.Bug truly does do what it claims: it provides amazing, temporary colour, no matter what type of hair you have. However, before using it, there are things you need to consider. Remember, it is a powder which means that no matter how much hair spray you use, if it gets wet it will come out… so you don’t want to get caught in the rain. And for the blondes out there wanting a splash of colour for a day, here’s a warning: it may be visible for a few days. The packaging does say that very light or over-processed and porous hair may be stained by Colour.Bug. In my case, the vibrancy of the colour washed out after using a cleansing shampoo; however, a pastel tint was still very visible after two more washes. Four washes later, there is barely a trace except for a slight purple tint when you look very closely at a few strands. But my hair is naturally blonde and not over-processed, so the staining might be more severe with bleached hair.

Regardless of its drawbacks, Colour.Bug is a fun way to brighten up your look without the commitment of a normal hair colour. For all you nine to fivers, this may be your chance to take a walk on the wild side… for a weekend.

Once you go black, you never go back!

31 Aug

We touched on this last week, but fall is just around the corner. I know.. I’m sorry to keep rubbing it in, but it just can’t be ignored. However, as we also mentioned last post, fall is a great excuse to try a fresh look and get rid of tired looking summer hair. It’s time to consider going darker!

As a blonde myself, I sometimes feel like I don’t give enough love to gorgeous, dark tresses. But with fall’s fashion trends including a throwback to the ’70s, with rich colours and textures like fur, darker hair couldn’t match more perfectly!

If you’ve decided to go darker, you need to figure out which dark shade suits your skin tone best. Just like there are endless shades of blonde, choosing a dark colour isn’t as simple as just black or brown. You also have to consider your make-up routine – the same make-up looks different on blondes than on brunettes and depending on your colouring, you might need to wear more to prevent looking washed out. And don’t forget your eyebrows!

But it’s not all a hassle! Colouring your hair dark requires a lot less maintenance than light hair, especially since beach season is over and you don’t have to worry about the sun fading your colour. It’s also less damaging, so say hello to amazing shine!  The favourite thing about dark hair according to the Haartek ladies, though,  is that it’s more exotic and mysterious than lighter hair. And nothing makes your eyes pop quite like a rich, dark hair colour.

The most important thing to consider before you go dark, however, is how dedicated you will be to the new style. You need to remember that it’s much harder to switch to a lighter shade from a dark colour, so transitioning back might take a longer time. But that’s if you want to go back. Because as Carla, an Associate Stylist and lover of dark hair, says, “Once you go black, you never go back.”

Here are some of our favourite raven-haired ladies that make blondes drool with envy at their shiny, exotic manes:

Is life better blonde?

5 Aug

While the great debate over whether blondes or brunettes are hotter, more “in”, or just better in general will always flip-flop, depending on the season or year, there is no question about it: there are women who will always go blonde.

There will always be that wonder for some – will I have more fun as a blonde? Whether you want to look ethereal, northern european, barbie-esque or sun-kissed, there are a lot of factors to consider before going golden.

Here are Haartek’s top 10 “things to know” for aspiring blondes:

1. Maintenance – If you go blonde, be prepared to maintain the look. Your roots will be more noticable the lighter you go.

2. Damage – Bleaching takes a toll on hair, there’s no avoiding that. The lighter you go, the drier and more fragile your hair may get, so its important to condition your hair well and get regular treatments to keep it soft and shiny… not to mention to prevent breakage!

3. TonerIt’s no secret that blonde hair can easily go brassy if you don’t take care of it. It’s recommended that you use a special blonde shampoo at home and visit the salon for a toner to keep your blonde its ideal shade.

4. How light should you go? When deciding what shade of blonde you’d like, it’s important to take into consideration not only your skin tone, but also what colour hair you already have. Hair that has been coloured dark will have a harder time than virgin hair.

5. Lifestyle – Do you swim or go into a hot tub regularly? Exposing blonde hair to chemicals and chlorine in the water will cause damage. And there’s always that chance of your hair turning green (see one of our previous posts)

6. You miss being darkNo sweat! The great thing about going blonde is that you can always go back to your darker tresses. It’s much easier to switch back to dark when you have light hair, and it’s far less damaging.

7. Resist DIY temptation – While getting your hair professionally coloured or highlighted at the salon is more expensive than doing it yourself with a box colour, the results are worth it. Your stylist will know exactly how to transform your colour and protect you from frying your hair. There’s always a risk of ending up orange with box dye. The icing on the cake? If you aren’t happy with what they’ve done, good salons will fix your colour at no charge.

8. Highlights – If you’re scared of going full-on blonde right away or would like a more naturally sun-kissed look, consider getting highlights instead of a full colour. It’s an easier way to maintain a blonde look that might not be so drastic.

9. Eyebrows – Girls with naturally very dark eyebrows might be scared of going lighter and looking mismatched. Fear not! Depending on the season, it can be trendy to have your eyebrows a bit darker than your hair. But if that’s not a look for you, don’t worry! Your stylist can lighten your brows as well.

10. Consultations – It’s always advisable to book a consultation with your stylist if you’re considering a big change in colour. It’s free of charge, and you can discuss your ideas with your stylist and get advice from an expert before taking the plunge.

Although there are many things to consider before going blonde, a big change of style is always fun. And if that old adage is correct, it’s especially so if you go blonde!

Birds of a feather, flock together…

28 Jul

One of the best things about hair is that styling options are abundant. You can colour, highlight, straighten, curl, cut, braid, extend and pin-up your hair if you so please, and changing the style every once in a while is a really fun and easy way to update your look and express yourself.

Hair accessories add another dimension to playing with your hair. Cheaper and more temporary than many salon services, accessories are more popular than ever and there have been several big trends this summer. One of our favourites, however, is an easy way to add colour, fun and a bit of edge to your hair.

Sported by Steven Tyler, Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff and Jennifer Love-Hewitt, to name a few, feather extensions have caught on like wildfire. Cheaper than highlights, natural or brightly coloured feathers add dimension, interest and flare to your hair. And the best part? They’re natural and reusable – when you’re ready for a change, you can take them out and save them for next time!

The feathers come in various widths and lengths and can be brushed, blow-dried, straightened and curled like natural hair (although it is not recommended to be rough with them) and are applied using a bead and clamping method. They are made of all-natural rooster feathers and depending on how you treat them, they can stay in for up to two months.

If you want in on this trend, however, you may have to do some searching. Because the feathers are from roosters and traditionally used on fly-fishermen’s lures, the supply of these feathers cannot keep up with the demand, but fear not… stylists won’t let those fishermen hog them all. Anyway, who said fashion and fishing couldn’t mix?

Here are a few of our favourite feathered looks:

Rainbow Brite would be proud!

15 Jul

Colouring your hair a non-traditional hue has been around for decades – from psychedelic looks to punk styles, many types have experimented with bright colours. But starting in spring/fall 2010, the ombré hair trend came out full force in the fashion world using pastel dyes.

Fashion editorials and runways took to the trend like ducks to water and celebrity fashion risk-takers like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Kate Moss sported pastel rainbow ‘dos. But the trend never made it big in day-to-day living – it has been rare to see true pastel ombré  hair on the street, teenagers growing out their faded colour being the most common.

Almost a year after the trend started, a new stir was created by Lauren Conrad of The Hills fame. Not one to be adventurous with hair colour, Conrad coloured the tips of her long, sun-kissed locks in a tie-dye effect. Blurry photos of Britney Spears and Snooki with similar hair have surfaced over the past few days causing fashionistas and twitterers alike to ask, “Is this the next new thing?”

What do you think? Is tie-dyed, pastel, ombré  hair making its way into the mainstream?

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*

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!

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.

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.)

Crusaders in the life-long quest to de-frizz…

26 May

Taming frizzy, unruly, poofy hair is a life-long quest for many women, especially in damp and humid climates. Just ask female Torontonians in the middle of July.

Straighteners and relaxers are not new to the beauty industry, but in the past they have been very intense and full of chemicals. Although the results from last year’s breakthrough Keratin treatment, The Brazilian Blowout, were amazing, the product was later pulled from Canadian and European markets due to unacceptable levels of formaldehyde compromising the health of consumers and stylists applying the treatment over a long period of time.

Four months later, there is now a formaldehyde-free Keratin formula promising to grant the wishes of the frizzy haired. Dióra Professionnel has introduced their Keratherapy line of treatments and products as a safe alternative to traditional keratin treatments. Keratherapy is free of formaldehyde, urea, aldehydes and other harsh chemicals and is in compliance with The European Union, Canadian and other international health and safety regulations worldwide.

It boasts a formula that is derived from a blend of orange peel oil and Natural Certified Organic ingredients including: jojoba oil; aloe vera; green tea; and pomegranate and marigold extracts. The products also use Moroccan argan oil, pure keratin, collagen, amino acids and proteins to rebuild, and add strength and elasticity to the hair.

Although Dióra calls this “the evolution of brazilian keratin,” the Keratherapy available in Canada is not a straightening treatment like the Brazilian Blowout. Its results can’t be compared to the old Keratin treatments that contained formaldehyde, or even the Intense Renewal Keratherapy treatment that is only available in the States; it will not eliminate curls or waves in the hair. It will, however, smooth, tame and de-frizz unruly hair for up to 12 weeks and the treatment reduces drying time in half. It can be used on coloured or highlighted hair and it, in fact, helps to lock in the colour and extend the vibrancy of blonde or “high fashion” shades.

At Haartek, the whole procedure takes about two hours and you can’t wash or put any product in your hair for 48 hours. Dióra offers a Keratin Infused Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner that is free of sulfates, parabens, sodium chloride, propylene glycol, DEA and TEA, but any shampoo or conditioner that is sulfate free, like Kevin Murphy or Eufora, is safe to use after the treatment.

If you’re interested in getting any kind of straightening or de-frizzing treatment done, it’s best to consult with your stylist to see which is the right one for you.

But to all my fellow frizzy-haired friends, at least we know there are options out there that can help solve our dilemma, even just temporarily… ‘cos shaving my hair off is just not an option – my head is far too big.