9 Annoying Things Your Beautician Does

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If I were to ask your beautician about all the annoying things she has to deal with on a daily basis, I’m sure the list would scroll on and on. That being said, however, our wonderfully loveable stylists can certainly drive us crazy, too. Let us count the ways…

1. Cuts too short

I have a theory that the word “trim” means something different to hair stylists than it does to their clients. If a “trim” means “just a little bit,” why does it seem like so many stylists take the appointment as an opportunity to put our hair on the chopping block? I know we need to cut enough to get rid of split ends and everything, but I still think something’s getting lost in translation.

2. Doesn’t cut short enough


With frequent trips to the barber, a man’s complaint is often the exact opposite: “I couldn’t get him to cut it short enough!” When using clippers, many barbers I’ve encountered seem scared to give someone a “number one” or, even riskier, to shave to the skin. What’s the deal? Do they just want to get us back in the chair every time we get a paycheck?

3. Breaks out the buzzer

When I lopped my hair off a few years ago, I was going for the Gwyneth Paltrow in “Sliding Doors” look: short, but not “boy” short. So I felt just fine when the strands started falling. I was not pleased, however, when the buzzer came out. Please, please do not buzz cut a woman’s hair unless you’re sure it’s the look she’s dying for. I may have a decently shaped head, but I’m no Sinead.

4. Asks if you want highlights every time you’re there


After a childhood as a dirty blonde, I emerged into adulthood with no goldilocks to speak of. A friend recently told me that my hair is, in fact, “monotone.” She meant it as a compliment, but I don’t think the rest of the world sees it that way. If brown isn’t boring (we’re not talking deep chestnut here), then why does my beautician ask me if I want highlights every time I go in for a trim?

5. Overbooks


When you find yourself waiting longer for your hair stylist than you do for your GYN, something is amiss. Whether it’s the fault of the salon’s or the stylist’s, overbooking is a common problem, but it can leave you with too much time on your hands to spend poring over those old hair magazines. One of these days, you might get so fed up you decide to try a walk-in salon…

6. Adds product to your hair without asking


It has taken years for my hairdresser to learn that I don’t like hairspray. This fascinates me. How difficult is it to ask someone if they want product in their hair? Maybe I’m alone here, and everyone else loves the stiff stuff. But I always feel silly leaving the salon with touch-me-not tresses when all I’m doing is running to the supermarket in my jeans and sneakers. There’s something to be said for knowing your clients.

7. Overshares and oversteps

Some of us are lucky enough to have found true confidantes in our stylist. We dish, they dish… it’s comfy cozy girl-talk time. Other times, though, it’s just not a good fit. Whether you’ve got the stylist who spills her guts or one who persists in probing into your personal life, you’re just not feeling the love. But how do you communicate your need for some peace and quiet without fear of your haircut turning into a hack job?

8. Ignores you

Then there are the stylists who do not wish to invade your personal space but still feel the need to attend to their own social needs while cutting your hair. From talking on the phone to chatting with the stylists or even the clients around you (sometimes in another language, which adds to the fun), you feel like the invisible fool. And you wonder, “Am I supposed to act like I’m part of the conversation, or should I look away? But where am I supposed to look?!”

9. Gives you the look she wants instead of the look you want

After going to beauty school and studying the trends, hopefully our stylists know their stuff. Maybe they even know what our hair will do better than we do. Still, don’t ask me what I want if you’re going to do whatever you want, anyway. If my idea really stinks, tell me why (politely, of course). And if you have no intention of doing what I want, or you have misgivings, please do me the courtesy of letting me know. It’s Communication 101, peeps.

Comment away: What’s the most annoying thing your beautician does?

–Robyn Tellefsen

Trend Alert: The Blow-Dry Bar Addiction

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What do you call a professional hairstylist who doesn’t cut or color hair? You might just call her cutting edge… if she’s part of one of the hottest hair salon trends to date: the blow-dry bar. These no-cut, no-color hair salons are all about wash, dry, style, and go. Period.

The beauty of blow-dry bars is in their simplicity – they do one thing, and they do it well. But a blow-dry bar is about more than hairstyling; it’s about the experience. For about 30 minutes and $35, blow-dry experts pamper their clients in a chic, lounge environment.

Many blow-dry bars are known for kitschy or themed menu options, like those offered at the Brentwood, CA-based Drybar franchise: “Straight Up,” “Mai Tai,” “Southern Comfort,” “Cosmopolitan,” and “Manhattan.” Clients can choose an updo or down-do, wedding hair or prom hair, or even a Brazilian blowout. Some blow-dry bars offer à la carte options like hair jewelry and extensions, and many sell specialty hair care products. In addition, blow-dry bars may offer services in your home, or styling on the set of film or photo shoots.

In my mind, a blow-dry bar is like an express beauty shop – perfect when you’ve got a big event or you just want to look your best without spending hours in front of the mirror. Plus, you won’t have to wait in line behind the lady getting a gazillion highlights or a smelly perm.

(Actually, the blow-dry bar concept reminds me of the older women I know who have a standing weekly appointment to get their hair coiffed at the salon. Maybe today’s trend is just hearkening back to the good ole days…)

Getting in the Blow Business
In any event, the blow-dry bar is a simple concept, and it’s catching on quick. Blow, the first blow-dry bar in the U.S., opened its flagship location in February 2005 in downtown Manhattan. Fast-forward to 2011, and blow-dry bars are extending beyond NYC and L.A., all the way to Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

With new blow-dry bars popping up all over the country, now is an excellent time to score a sweet gig at one of these trendy salons. You’ll need a hairstylist or cosmetologist license in the state where you plan to work, and a few years of hairstyling experience can give you the stellar references you’ll need to get in on the ground floor of the bar.

Hairstylists who aren’t planning to work in a blow-dry bar can still benefit from becoming blow-dry experts. Blow in NYC is now offering the Blow Dry Bar Academy, a unique class that helps stylists master the art of the perfect blowout by combining Blow’s professional hair care products with expert techniques and tools. No matter where you work, you can use this kind of specialized training to broaden your client base and increase your hairstylist earnings.

Increasingly accessible and highly addictive, blow-dry bars might just be your ticket to the top.

–Robyn Tellefsen

Hair Stylists Have a Heart

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For many stylists, it’s Valentine’s Day every day! Their job is about lots more than creating sexy updos. Check out these heart-warming stories about hair stylists who had a heart this past V-Day by helping those in need.

Cut it for a Cause
If you’ve got at least 10 inches of hair you’re ready to part with, the fourth annual “Cut it for a Cause” campaign at Maryland’s Bella Bethesda salon invited you to do just that. Participants felt good knowing their hair was going to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 in the U.S. and Canada with medical hair loss. In return, they got  a free shampoo, cut, blow dry, and makeover – just in time for Valentine’s Day. The salon donated 10 percent of retail sales brought in during the campaign week to Locks of Love. Hair stylists donated their tips, too.

Ponytails for Love
Of course, Maryland isn’t the only place to donate hair to children to need. This Valentine’s Day marked the eighth annual Locks of Love event at Artistry in Hair in Ramona, CA. During the five-hour event, clients received a free haircut when they donated their hair to Locks of Love. And at this salon, each ponytail comes with a story. This year, one woman donated her 30-year-old braided ponytail, along with her two sisters’ 30-year-old ponytails to the cause. Another woman decided to donate her grandmother’s hair that she had been keeping in an old cedar chest. The 27-inch-long braid is about 114 years old!

Warm a Heart
When Valentine’s Day rolled around four years ago, Terri Polson saw an opportunity to help children in need in her community. The hair stylist at Sophisticuts Hair & Nails Salon in Lubbock, TX, was already collecting shoes and socks to donate to Lubbock’s HOPE Community of Shalom. For V-Day that year, Polson started an annual “Warm a Heart” blanket and soup drive to show love to the youngest members of her community. We think St. Valentine would be honored by the giving spirit of this stylist.

Hair Massacure
Pink hair is not an uncommon sight this time of year in Alberta, Canada. But it’s not the latest beauty craze – throughout the province, people of all ages dye their hair pink before they shave their heads during the St. Valentine’s Day Hair Massacure, an event that raises funds and awareness for cancer patients. Now in its ninth season, the family-run event was inspired by Kali MacDonald, a girl who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 2. Hair stylists help members of the community kick off the trademark pinking in mid-January and are on hand to shave heads the day of the Massacure.

Attention, beauty mavens: It looks like it really was all about love this Valentine’s Day.

–Robyn Tellefsen

Beauty News You Can Use

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There’s always something to report in beauty news. Here are a few beauty school stories that piqued my interest within the past week.

From Hair Stylist to Actor
I bet you didn’t know that Danny DeVito was at one time a hairdresser! And he wasn’t just any ordinary hair stylist that you or I could go to randomly any day of the week. No, he was actually a hair stylist for female corpses. DeVito recently appeared on Lopez Tonight with George Lopez and said that he began work at his sister’s salon and even took classes at the Wilfred Academy in New Jersey. He joked that these clients could never tell him they didn’t like his work. Of course, DeVito went on to have a wildly successful acting career and currently stars in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Beauty Schools Losing Financial Aid
Since the economy has taken a downturn, many people have looked to beauty school as a way to get their feet in the door of a new career — especially those who lost their jobs as a result of the poor economy. However, the economy has not only created a surge in beauty school enrollments. It has also had an effect on the ability to pay back loans. As a result, some schools are losing their federal loan endorsements, according to The State Journal. Two of these schools include The Charleston School of Beauty Culture and Stanley Technical Institute. If a school has a 25 percent default rate for three consecutive years, the federal government will take away the school’s financial aid privileges. And it’s understandable — it’s great to follow your dreams and go back to school, but tuition and financial aid are certainly important factors to consider before enrolling.

Losing Beauty
A Paul Mitchell School in Spokane Valley, Washington, recently fell victim to a crime. And Kayla Baker was the victim. According to KHQ News, Baker lost $2,000 worth of beauty supplies she uses daily in her beauty school routine as an aspiring hair stylist. Without her toolbox of combs, scissors, brushes, and more, it’s pretty tough for Baker to actually do her job, which entails a student salon filled with customers, nightly. It is a beauty school student’s worst nightmare.

Have you been thinking of going back to school or pursuing your dreams? Research a beauty school or spa school program today to get started on your beauty career.

-Amanda Fornecker

Back to Beauty School

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“Back to school, back to school, to prove to Dad that I am not a fool!” So said Adam Sandler in Billy Madison. It’s the attitude around this time every year – the summer is winding down and the anxiety of an impending year is beginning to hit some. And to think that you could actually be in this situation as well is even more exciting.

It’s still early enough that you can begin your quest for knowledge at beauty school or spa school and get started right away. Most beauty school programs have classes that begin every few weeks – all you need is an interest and passion in the material. And, nowadays, it’s even easier to enroll when the very possibility of enrollment is right at your fingertips.

A recent article on KansasCity.com highlighted a local hair salon that has been in operation for 47 years – ever since owner Judy Gaume began her hair styling career. A weekly patron, Patricia Gaunce, put the very essence of a hair stylist perfectly in the article: “It’s like finding a doctor you can trust,” she says. “Once you find a hairdresser you like, you stay with her. Before I met Judy, I had never really gone to the salon. But that changed. I’m not a smoker. I’ve never been a drinker. But I go to the beauty shop.”

I, personally, am always so nervous to find a new hair stylist. And I know I’m not the only nervous nelly. In fact, most of my experiences with hair stylists have come via recommendations of people I trust. It’s a scary thought to imagine that anyone can mess up your daily appearance. And sure, hair grows back, but we want to look our best all the time.

An interest in styling hair would certainly be a must to begin a beauty school program. But, as I mentioned, this is the time to really follow your desires (no matter what your age) and form relationships just as Judy has.

Do your research and apply to beauty school today!

-Amanda Fornecker