Tales From Behind The Chair…….Confessions From A Hairstylist Chapter 2

I have to assume some of you have been clamoring for my next chapter in this series of confessions….ok, maybe clamoring is dramatic. But I hope some of you are at the least intrigued! I am going to jump right in the murky waters with this chapter. Here goes….

Chapter 2: Why am I under these god forsaken lights with foil in my head?

This is a simple answer. Your stylist is one of 2 things….

Number 1: Lazy! Your slacker of a stylist wants some time to smoke a cig, eat lunch, talk on the phone….This type of stylist likes to use a low volume peroxide with their bleach. This low volume peroxide makes it a slow go process of lightening hair. This allows the stylist to put you under heat, under the guise that your hair won’t lift in color without heat. This is partly true. The peroxide is so low, that it will literally take forever for your hair to lighten without the heat. A stylist that doesn’t need a half hour break, will use the correct level of peroxide, therefore omitting the heat lamps. (I should add here that when a stylist says LIGHTENER, they are being fancy. It is BLEACH! Now one thing we all know about bleach is that it can damage hair. Heat can also damage hair….imagine the 2 together…..hence why your hair feels like straw and why you then need to tack on a $20 conditioning treatment to your bill) (Are your wheels turning???? I bet many of you reading this have heard “You could really use a treatment, your hair feels dry”…ummm yeah it’s dry..You just fried it to shit)

This leads us to stylist Number 2: Chronically Behind Schedule! Your perpetually late stylist is running behind….again. You are in for a highlight but time is of the essence. What to do, what to do…..Lets use a really high volume peroxide with our bleach. Like 40 volume! It will work really quickly. Then, let’s go sit under heat and really let the magic unfold. Now, because this type of stylist is behind and late, she then will have the assistant take your foils out. She has no time to shampoo your hair….or anyone else. The tortured assistant comes to take you out from under those painfully hot lights and over to the sink…..she starts to take out your foils……here it comes…..Your hair is breaking…Those buttery blonde highlights you were promised are now grey..ish. Oh, and your hair is broken. We call this a chemical cut. Haircut due to a chemical accident. How many times has the assistant called over the stylist and had her “look” at your hair…..This is where the “I think we are going to do a toner” comes in. YES, YES you are going to do a toner because your hair is f*cking white. You have no idea at this point that your hair is damaged because after the toner you are whisked away to the assistants chair to be blow dried. She will put so much product in your hair that you will never know that your hair was fried to shit.

Sound horrible? It is. There is no need for those outdated heat lamps to be near your head. It reminds me of a buffet. You go to a buffet and there are heat lamps, keeping food warm….Gross. Heat lamps should not be used for food…or your head. This is 2015 for Christ’s sake. Get with the times. Some salons use a fancier version of heat lamps. They don’t look like lamps per say. They rotate around your head. They look more updated. However…it is still heat!!!!! Why??? Just why?! In one salon I worked in, the owner of the salon put some highlights in his…or her client’s hair. They then decided to leave for the day, instructing the brand new assistant to wash out the client and blow dry them. This poor assistant had never worked with heat before, and placed the heat to close to the foils. After some time, the salon started to smell like burnt hair……the foil packet came off the clients head…with the hair in it. The assistant freaked, like anyone would. But…where was her boss? Ha…GONE for the day. I had to step in and calm down the crying assistant. Now, this was not the fault of the assistant. She is there to…ASSIST not do the client’s hair in place of the stylist. That salon owner did not come back to the salon to help that client. Nor did this person come back to calm down the assistant. This stuff happens all the time. Salon owners and “senior” stylists love to rely on their assistants to cover for them and to take the fall for them. You should know…..It is not the assistants fault. Think twice about the salon owner that left you. Think twice about your stylist that is sitting around while someone else shampoos your hair.

I hope I made some of you think twice after reading this. Think about the times your stylist has stuck you under heat with bleach or color in your hair. Never be afraid to question anyone as to why they are doing what they are doing to your head. I will leave you with those thoughts as I say ta ta for now. Chapter 3 we will talk about shampoo and if you truly need to spend $50 on it. xoxo-Tarahair blog #2This is hair that was fried from over bleaching. Hair should never look like this! hair blogThis is picture says it all

Tales From Behind The Chair…..Confessions From A Hairstylist Chapter 1

For those who don’t know me personally, aside from being an amazing blogger with a kick ass personality…..I am also a hairstylist. I have had a cosmetology license since 1997 <——YIKES. When I got my state license I immediately started working in a salon and spa……Now before I go any further….I should tell you that this isn’t going to be a cute little blog post about my life as a stylist. This post is going to tell you ALL the things that salon owners and even YOUR stylist doesn’t want you to know. It is going to piss off salon owners and workers and horrify you. I will be honest. I will tell you the in’s and out’s of what really goes on when you have your head under that dryer, and I won’t even be catty about it….( I lied…I may be a tad catty. It’s about salons for Christs sake) I have so much to say about this, that this will def be a few chapter blog post.

I have always said that someday I would write a book about all the things my clients tell me while in my chair. I have heard the good, the bad and def the ugly. However, I have realized all these years later, that the juiciest gossip doesn’t come from the clients, but from the salons, nail salons, spas, owners and employees. There is a low, down dirty business behind the facade of relaxation and pampering that you see. As a stylist myself, even I am amazed at some of the things that go on. I have been asked to lie and overcharge, I have even performed services that the client didn’t need. I was told it is my job to do such. Gross I know.

Chapter 1: Color F*ck Up’s, You Pay For

Back to my first salon experience…..I would never use names so don’t ask…..ok ask….I may drop a name or to. SO here I am…..fresh outta hair school with my new, shiny CT state license. I snag a job at a pretty popular (at the time) salon and spa. I find out that this salon doesn’t let the new kids actually work on clients for about 2 years. This is a bonus for the client. I will be honest…you have no clue what the hell you are doing when you get out of hair school. You may think you do…you don’t. You have no idea about the inner workings of a salon. This salon owner was smart in that he wanted us trained the right way. I started an apprenticeship program….aka…shampoo girl, towel washer, floor sweeper….aka..cheap labor. I can’t complain much here. I got a great education. I learned a lot during those 2 years. I went to every class in every state I could. My super, incredible parents even paid for me to go to London and train at the famed Vidal Sassoon (NO…the salon did NOT pay to send me here, even though it was later said that they paid for this portion of my education) <—–insert catty bitch comment….. Now I know everyone is thinking…but you went to hair school….didn’t you learn? Here’s the thing..those schools prepare you to pass a state board not train you in the art of precision cutting. The instructors are usually the gals and guys that could not hack it in a salon, behind the chair all day. In some cases, the student that graduated the week prior, now has a job…teaching at the school.

The other side to this “education” was what I learned about the business and how it was run. Well…..let’s start with hair color f*ck up #1… More often than not you go to have your roots colored every 4 weeks or so, the same color. You may have highlights, or low lights or a toner, but the base color most of the time (when you have grey to cover, you tend to keep the same)….we know this in the salon. We try to get you to change it up but most of the time….it’s the same…NOW how often do you think that the salon runs out of that color.???? I mean they knew you were coming…they also knew they ran out of your color (2 days prior). We as stylists are taught to “make” the color. Yes, it is possible to make your light brown out of other colors. The problem with that…..it is NOT the same. It just isn’t. Yes it will look similar but is it the same…no. Ever wonder why sometimes your color doesn’t hold as well as the last time? Or why your grey didn’t cover as well this time? Most likely….your #5N tube of color was not on the shelf in the back room. I have even heard people say “Put it on and pray”…F*cking really?!

On to color f*ck up #2…Highlights. Your stylist does a full highlight on your head. Most of the time that first section that was foiled is finished cooking prior to the last section foiled. The stylist is busy with the next guest though so what do we do? We have the assistant rinse out the first section. Here is the problem…That assistant is sick to death of being ordered around by mini Hitler and could care less about rinsing foils. What happens you ask….Water stops the lighting agent from lifting color out of hair any further…hence why we rinse it….so, if those foils that were not yet done being processed get wet….they are no longer going to get any lighter. This used to happen at that first salon all the time……I will NEVER forget it, as it happened with one particular assistant especially. The client would have highlights that were one color in the back and a different color on the top. We are told….Toner. We now have what we call an up sell. Lets tack on that bill an extra service for toner. No, it was to no fault of the client, yes the client will pay for the fault of the assistant. Crazy. Just crazy.

This leads me to our color f*ck up #3…….Toner. Now yes, in SOME cases it is validated to use toner. In MOST cases…it is not. It is an easy way to make the client’s bill larger. Not by much, usually anywhere from $25 to $35….just enough for the client to not complain but the bill to be bigger. Toner for those who don’t know…change the tone of the color. So, if we highlight hair and want it say…..cinnamon colored…we tone those highlights with cinnamon toner. Works great. It wears out of the hair instead of grows out, so no pesky root line. In the salons I have worked at toner has been used for many reasons……Busy stylist over processed your highlights making them white…Toner!….stylist didn’t process hair enough and your buttery blonde highlights are harsh yellow…Toner! There is also the over processing to when your hair breaks off and feels like hay…..Toner! and my personal fav…clear toner…..to give shine…..ha. I have no words. This toner is most always followed by “You need a color safe shampoo to protect your toner”..which the salon sells. I will say, if you don’t have good shampoo it will strip out that toner the minute you scrub…..hence why I don’t like toner. (Side note..the last salon I worked in, my boss was the toner natzi. I was told every month at our “meeting” that I didn’t do any toners.) <——insert catty comment here 🙂

By this point some of you are probably shocked, some of you probably think “yeah right…this isn’t true” and some of you…in the back of your minds knew it all along. I am going to leave you all with this info to chew on and bid you adieu. I can’t wait to tell you what is really happening when your stylist sticks you under heat lamps with highlights in your hair!!!! xoxo-Tarahair blog