So the stress of the holidays have officially subsided and I’ve had all the time in the world to reflect upon my experiences over the past year. All in all I feel like I have really elevated myself to new heights both personally and professionally.
The Spread the Love experience panned out about exactly as I expected. Being 1 of 20 finalists selected to go to NYC, I approached the opportunity with optimism and excitement, and I felt as though I truly gave it my all. From cocktail mixers, to hands on education from some of the nation’s top hairdressers, to my interview in front of a panel of 15 of some very important people on the 34th floor of Matrix/L’Oreal just blocks from Times Square. It was a whirlwind!
Ultimately I wasn’t chosen as a winner to travel the country and “Spread the Love” so to speak. Although I’m sad things didn’t work out (sorta felt like I got dumped there for a minute), I’m beyond happy to have had that experience. I shook a lot of hands, networked a bit, and I’m pretty certain this is not the last Matrix will hear of me :)
In other news since all the Spread the Love stuff has blown over, I’ve gotten a position as an apprentice at a fantastic salon! It was the salon I had selected for one of my semi finalists videos. Here’s a link in case you missed it. I’m having a weird hair day but it shows off the space beautifully.
Being an apprentice is exactly what I was interested in doing after beauty school. It will allow me to get my foot in the door at a high end, established salon, meanwhile building my clientele and continuing my education in all things hair. I’ll be dabbling in reception and nails while I’m there. Best part is, NO DRESS CODE!! I’ve been working at a haircut mill which shall remain nameless, where I’ve had to wear sneakers, yoga pants and a terribly synthetic polo type shirt. The clientele is primarily men, which isn’t really an issue for me except for all the things I love about hairdressing mostly apply to women’s hair. I’m so excited for a new start in a fun environment, surrounded by passionate hairdressers!
Here’s to a new, bad ass year!
Sooo I just submitted my video as part of the application for Matrix’s Spread the Love program. If given the chance, I could be one of six applicants selected to travel the country to share my newly found passion for hairdressing with budding cosmetologists. Give it a look see and “Like” it if you like what i’ve got to say :)
Over the past two days I changed my hair from red to platinum. Who doesn’t love a good makeover?
You might be wondering, "How the heck did you get that red out of your hair?!"
There are a few different ways to go about removing unwanted color. I’ve found the most effective is using a color corrector. While some like to use bleach, I prefer a color corrector because it doesn’t compromise the integrity of your hair like bleach can. I’m not knocking on bleach, without it my current hair color would not even be possible. But using a color corrector is much more gentle, and equally effective. My personal favorite, which I have used many times on myself and others is Elimin8 by Rusk. It looks a little something like this…
It’s a very simple 3 step system you can use up to three times in one day to reach your desired result. I will say that it smells a little funky, but hey, that’s hair chemicals for you. I used it twice and I went from that deep red in the far left, to the sandy blonde you see in the image beside it. Your results will vary depending on your hair’s color history. But I was able to remove a several months of red applications using this product alone.
Now, about that blonde! The second step in this process was to lift my hair to the level I wanted.
In an effort to preserve my hair’s strength, I mixed some bleach with a 20 volume developer and applied it in a series of four applications. It might have lightened faster and in fewer applications with a 40 volume, but bleach really does a number on your scalp and the quality of your hair so even though it took more time using a weaker strength of developer, I feel as though it really payed off. Plus, when using a stronger developer it’s best to work quickly, and since I was coloring my own hair I knew it would take me a little bit longer.
After lifting my hair to a level 10, it was time to tone! Toner allows you to remove unwanted tones of color in the hair. Bleach reveals the underlying pigment of the hair, which is almost always some sort of orange or yellow. Yellow is great, and some people like a more golden color in their hair, but I was going for white! Using a blue or violet based toner will help to eliminate the orange or yellow tones. There are many, MANY brands of toner, but I used the one which I have familiarized myself with the most and that is Colorsync by Matrix.
It is demi-permanent and ammonia-free, which sticks with my theme of using a more gentle approach. I used 10V on my roots, and a mix of 10A and 10V on my ends. The 10V has a violet base to neutralize the yellow. I found my ends to be a bit on the orange side so adding a 10A, which has a blue base, helped to subdue those tones.
After all was said and done, my scalp was pretty angry with me. I will be honest with you, bleach will cause a burning sensation on your scalp and it will strip it of it’s natural oils. I felt like my scalp was two sizes too small for my head after all that bleach, and I’m sure yours will too if you try and make your hair this light. In the end I used a deep conditioning treatment to help restore the moisture the skin on my head had lost, and to nurture my now porous ends.
Many of my friends were skeptical at first. I’d had that crimson hair for about a year, and having never been blonde (except for as a child), and nobody could really picture how it would look. I wouldn’t consider myself a risk taker by any stretch of the imagination, and I don’t often get presented with the opportunity to take risks. However I have found that when it comes to hair, I’m never afraid to experiment. I loved my hair red, but I really wanted to try something different and extreme. I could have colored it black, and that would have required far less effort than trying to go platinum, but it is much more difficult to change your hair color once you go black. Besides, going the easy route doesn’t really interest me. I like a good challenge! I feel lucky to be integrating into a profession that gives me the chance to push me outside of my comfort zone and try new things. :)
I’ve got about a month of school left and it’s crunch time! I’m taking my final practical exams next week, and after that it’s just a matter of collecting hours :)
That’s me and some ladies from school at Rock the Runways 7.
It was definitely a learning experience, and a great opportunity to network, but at the end of the day I think I might be better suited in the salon. There’s just something so magical about being able to change someones self image, and really boost their confidence that is very redeeming. I feel fortunate to have been chosen to give it a go, however I don’t know if that line of work is for me. It was a fantastic learning experience, and I’m eager to add it to my resume :)
Last week I decided to cut off most of my hair. Before I did it, I asked my boyfriend his thoughts on the matter. In so many words, he told me that short hair isn’t attractive to men.
What he said got me thinking of a lot of things, like femininity and masculinity and how blurred the line that separates the two is becoming. I simply told him that I’m not trying to attract just men or women, I want my hair style to be visually appealing to everyone. I could rant for a while about the gender roles in our society and expectations placed on said genders to look a certain way, or the ties that have formed between physical appearance and sexual preference. But I decided when I made this blog that it’s really only going to be about hair, so on that note…
I think a factor of hairstyling that is less commonly discussed is the way that it can be a form of self expression. I have found that over the past couple years of experimenting with different cuts and colors, I have never felt more myself than with bright red hair. And as far as shape and cut goes, as long as the balance, texture, and proportion are working together in harmony any length works. I’m a fan of asymmetry in hair design, particularly from the front. Anyways the point is the element of design involved in hairstyling is not something I take for granted, and just as people style their clothes or adorn their bodies with piercings and tattoos as a way to express themselves, hair can act as a way for the world to perceive you.
Let’s face it, 9 times out of 10 you will be judged solely on your appearance when you step into the world. Whether you’re at work or school, the mall or a family bbq, every new set of eyes that passes through your periphery will scan you head to toe, looking for cues and clues into who exactly you are. I think a great hair style can be, for lack of a better term, the icing on your personal style cake. I’ve decided that one of my missions as a hairdresser is to give people styles that really work with their personality, lifestyle and personal sense of style. The bottom line is I want my clients to feel good about themselves when they leave my chair.
At the end of the day, I shaved the most of my head for many reasons. First and foremost, the temperature in the school salon during the day time is unbearable. Between about 20 sets of hot tools being used at once, and 40 something bodies running around, I was sweating buckets in there. Secondly, I’m a woman who values her sleep time. Having less hair to style in the morning means I will have more time to sleep. And thirdly, I wanted to try something new and edgy that would push the boundaries of my style, of course I also wanted to try and freak out my mom.
Anyways, just for kicks I decided to compile all my hairstyles in the past couple years for your viewing pleasure. First is a picture of me, today, as I write this post. Following are other cuts/colors in no particular order.
^ raspberry rockstar hair
^ experimenting with color
^ a bit darker than my natural shade, plus extensions.
^ first time going all red
^ violet. great color, horrible upkeep.
^ au natural, pre beauty school days.
^ if i were a hero in a comic book, this would be my hair
^ another fun color but the upkeep was a pain.
^ what’s asymmetric and red all over?
How fortuitous to be able to touch the human frame. To be exhilarated by a craft that constantly changes; to hold that substance growing from the human form that molds, creates spontaneous fashion. To be involved in the poetry of change.”
— Vidal Sassoon