5 Ways To Find A Stylist That Fits

The beauty industry has no shortage of talent, and it is saturated with creativity. There must be hundreds of thousands of self-proclaimed experts who can, in five minutes or less teach you everything you need to know about weaving, extensions and anything else about hair.

There are even more videos that will have you ditching your regular stylist and DIY at home!

There are always the few that will never try to DIY at home because they would instead seek the help of a salon professional. But with so much talent and creativity, how do you find the needle in the haystack?

With hundreds of thousands of YouTube experts and even more salons, weaving specialist and at home stylist, how do you find the right one for you? It can be an intimidating experience, to say the least.

Then there is that ultimate dreaded experience, you seek, you find, and you try your new stylist out. But to no avail, it is everything you hoped it wouldn’t be! Your ten o’clock appointment turns into an eleven o’clock. Your stylist vaguely talks to you about your service, so you are not sure that you will get what you want. And the one that hits the hardest is, the cleanliness in which the environment is kept is way below standard.

Another one for the books!

And the journey begins again… Your looking for a stylist that can accommodate your needs and create your vision, someone who asks the right questions and listens — someone who takes pride in their workspace as well as the work that they do. You already know this won’t be easy!

I often speak to the stylists in my blogs, but today, this message is for the clients.

5 WAYS TO FIND A STYLIST THAT IS A GOOD FIT FOR YOU:

1) FOLLOW THE REVIEWS- Although reviews can get tricky, in this time of technology, it is accessible to finagle the reviews and make them more favorable. However, even if the review is not complimentary, you may generally find a commonality like; the stylist is timely, or they arrived on time, or they are reliable. Don’t always look for the 5-star review; look for the overall analysis. What is continuously being emphasized throughout most of the reviews, even if it isn’t a headlining review. Reviews aren’t fool-proof, but they are a great start.

2) CONSULTATION- Don’t be shy, talk to your could be stylist to see if you guys are on the same accord. If your stylist doesn’t have time to talk to you then perhaps they are too busy for you, and that’s not a good sign. We get used to that instant gratification, click a button, fill out a form or book online. Unfortunately, that’s not always reality when it comes to hair, especially weaves and extensions. Request to designate time out of your busy schedule and the stylist to make sure you connect via phone or in-person if this is what it will take to build a level of confidence in that stylist.

3) DON’T LOOK FOR GLAM- This is a time when it is easy to critique a stylist based on how glamorous they appear. Again, media sensations would have you believe that a good stylist should be dolled up and dressed to the nine’s. This notion can be deceiving. Sometimes a stylist can be so consumed with their personal glamour that they neglect yours. In other words, “sometimes,” a great stylist doesn’t have to be a diva to do excellent work but, long nails, high heels, and glam can also be a distraction and intimidating to a client. Don’t judge your stylist by how flawless her appearance is. Some stylists, like myself, would prefer to shine the light on their clients and not themselves.

4) BE POLITE- Sometimes, clients develop anxiety after being on the disappointment end of things over and over again. It is still important to let your guard down when seeking a new stylist. Just like relationships that thrive, you must leave the old baggage behind. It is ok to talk about past experiences; it is not ok to use them as leverage. All parties involved should be open to the new experience as though it was the first.

5) BE ON TIME- Stylists are notorious for running late or in some cases not showing up at all! But you should not let that be you if you want to start on a positive note with your new stylist. Good vibes can be broken on both ends when this happens. We can’t always predict a traffic jam or an emergency but try to be on time, especially if it is your first time.

I hope I have been able to drop a few jewels for you guys on finding your next great Weavologist or Stylist!

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Happy Searching.

WEAVES, WEAVES, AND MORE WEAVES!

It’s the most significant phenomenon and still growing. It has become more common to see women wearing weaves and extensions than it is to see someone in their natural tresses. There was a time when weaves and extensions were the best-kept secrets, and now we live in a time that it is table talk amongst men and women.
I opened my first three beauty salons inside of beauty stores. The beauty supply store sold lots of wigs, and I’d watch ladies flock to the back of the store where they would try on the wigs in privacy as they put on their new hair. It wasn’t said, but it would be understood, without saying that this was a private lady’s business. It was about twenty years ago.
After the movie, “Good Hair” was released, I saw a shift in how women became more open about wigs, weaves, and extensions.
I even saw a shift in how men inquired about these services for themselves. It is privacy involved in the comfort that men feel about getting man weaves. But women young and older are on board and ready to discuss hair weave and extension options openly.
Women are no longer going to the back of a beauty supply store embarrassed to try on a wig. Nor are they privately pulling me to the side to ask about weaves hoping that no one will see them.
I have even witnessed a shift while working in the beauty supply/salon where men have become invited to help pick the new wig units. I must admit listening to men tell their ladies about color matching and which units blend better than others took some time getting used to!
However, with the shift, I now watch stylists who have never done braids, who said they wouldn’t transition from traditional hairstyling services to do weaves and extensions are now jumping on board to offer these services. They understand that this is the future of hair and it is big business!
Like anything that becomes big and on-demand, there is also lots of fraudulent activity, people doing it solely for the money, trendsetters, and lack of skillset. And when you sift through enough crap, you stumble into the real deal — the ones who don’t do it for the fad but who do it for the people.
Who are the people? The people are individuals that have specific needs and requirements, not for the trend. The trend is what you see when you go to YouTube or social networks. “The people” are who you don’t see. These everyday people are are mothers, athletes, doctors, and my largest clientele base, the ones that have real hair issues like thining and hair loss.
The tricky part about finding the right technician or stylist is that weaving has become a trend. Trends bring in fast money, and there is a dilemma in finding someone who caters to the needs of the client.
Right now the trend is flawless lace application, which I will admit I have seen some pretty amazing applications! However, unless working with hair loss, a lot of lace attachments are temporary, and it doesn’t work for clients seeking longterm methods.
Another example is temporary lace attachments don’t work for ladies going through menopause, workout vigorously or sweat a lot. They need other options.
In short, to all stylists, don’t be so consumed by trends that you don’t cater to the growing needs of “everyday people.” Many don’t do it for the glam. And to all clients, ask questions about the functionality of your extension service not just about the look. Seek to understand how your hair will function from day to day and if it works with your lifestyle needs.

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TURN WEAVE TALK INTO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

“Everybody” is doing weaves nowadays, and really can you blame them? This industry generates billions of dollars, and those statistics don’t include the many who do out of there home with no formal training. With an opportunity to make lots of money in a single service, there has been a massive spike in stylists and aspiring stylists who claim to be “weave experts.” What does it take to be a great weave technician? Some argue that anybody can sew hair, and this is true. If you know how to thread a needle, you are more than halfway there. If you can stitch a weft of hair, your mission is complete; you can undoubtedly do a weave! Unfortunately, in the grand scheme of things, this is not enough, you must learn effective communication to keep up with a growing industry that is never going away! What do you bring to the table other than a needle, nylon thread and a weft of hair? As with any industry, there is a knowledge base that must be learned. All professions require technical and practical skills. You can not thrive without both working together. Effective communication is how you drive it home, bringing skillset and knowledge base together. Anything less than that creates trends that don’t stick. If you want to be great, good, or just above average, you must learn effective communication. As a professional, I would even say communication is an essential part of a skillset. Think about it. Our clients are getting their information from youtube videos and media outlets, and it is up to us as professionals to educate and inform. Proper terminology and weave extension jargon are what every professional should use to be effective. If you don’t, you are doing your clients a huge disservice. Don’t just sew hair for money, aspire to make a difference in the industry by learning, educating, and informing your clients. Trends come and go, but professionals will be around through every phase. Commit to not just doing the service but learning how to service every client’s needs. Only through proper consultation can this be done. To learn more about the importance of effective consultation and proper verbiage visit verbiage for professionals and start taking your weave clientele to another level of professionalism.

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Talking Weaves And Extensions; On A Professional Level

Do you have what it takes to do hair on a professional level? Many would be quick to affirm that they do and few would think twice. In all honesty, this broad question registers different individually. While we could certainly debate what a professional level is, some things should be standard in what a professional does.

Professionalism is across the board in any career, but I’m talking weaves. And the industry is slacking, big time! Some would argue that they earn well, and that’s all that matters. Some would go on to say that they do weaves and extensions so fabulously that they will always be in demand.

There is the stylist who literally carries on as though them doing your hair is a privilege and not a service owed for pay. Some stylist honestly doesn’t understand professionalism or etiquette. They simply don’t because they have never been exposed and yes you can make lots of money and have the worst professional protocol ever!

How do you know? After all who sit around thinking about if they have what it takes? Not what it takes to make money, but what it takes to be respected, considered, and appreciated as a professional. Now you see where I’m going with this.

Weave and extensions require a different level of focus and understanding than doing traditional styling and salon services require. Weaving requires you to have basic knowledge of the service your client needs, and you often have to customize extension services for your clients. If you only offer a great weave or even a great hairstyle, but you fail to provide your clients with proper consultation, you are not on the level of professionalism. If you have not managed to balance your time or be on time for scheduled appointments, you do not operate on a standard of professionalism. If you only concern yourself with the money you make, you fail to cater on a professional level.

Professionals Act Like Professional:
10 Professional practices

1) We speak with proper verbiage to effectively communicate.
2) We consider the time of others, we understand that time is money ( for client and stylist)
3) We practice good hygiene, not just on your person but with your tools.
4) We ask all the details before the service is rendered to be prepared for scheduled appointments.
5) We work by appointment ( if you work by these listed habits you will be on demand)
6) We work on that weave or extension service exclusively for that reserved client.
7) We require a deposit ( professionals understand the necessity of this requirement)
8) We don’t talk on our phones chatting away when someone is paying for our time and service.
9) We understand the code of work ethics and respect, so we give a level of service that we would want ourselves.
10) We know that we have room for improvement and knowledge; therefore, we look for ways to improves our business by improving ourselves.

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HOW DO YOU FIND BALANCE IN AN UN-BALANCED SOCIETY?

My last blog was about finding peace in the midst of all the noise and distractions among us. I wrote about the need that most of us have to be entertained rather than being still and in the moment, because that blog seemed to get more engagement then some of the previous blogs. I decided to piggyback off of it to include tips on how to find balance in a less then balanced society, with so many of us needing entertainment and things, in order to be in a place of inner peace. It is important to restore ones balance and find joy in the simple things again.

Not only are we affected by the energy that we all share, we also have a need for “things” to fill any missing void in our lives. Naturally we gravitate to things that “make us happy” so to speak. But the reality is according to books and studies all that we need to cope with life’s ups and downs is right inside of our selves. We don’t need people to control our moods, we don’t need things to bring us fulfillment, according to the great guru’s and coaches everywhere, all that we need to live a happy, peaceful, sustained life is within us. Imagine that!

This is actually a subject that I can relate to all too well especially with a profession that requires me to give and absorb so much energy to and from others. Not only do we spend our day to day taking all of these things in we are also being affected by all the things that we see, hear and as a result feel. Other people affect our happiness, as well as other feelings we have even people we don’t know can put us in a sour mood if we don’t understand how to find that inner peace and balance.

Working in the beauty profession can be beautiful and exciting being around all the creative energy and having the opportunity to make people feel amazing. You get to engage with so many different personalities and even experience other people cultural differences. Working in the salon invites people from all walks of life to come together for a common purpose and that is get, “beauty-fied”!

The salon is the perfect setting for all things beauty and enhancement so it would be only natural that anything connected to beauty entertainment and attraction will filter its way into the salon. Often the salon is used as an outlet to sell items that enhances how one feels like purses, shoes, even tickets to up and coming concerts and show. We have even had people coming to sell jewelry. Occasionally people will come on Fridays to sell the best “feel good” comfort foods and desserts.

I guess it all makes sense, after all the beauty salon is the place where you go to look good, enhance your mood and become renewed. So the notion to cater to ones “feel good” senses is ideal at the place where men and women are open to buy things and do things to make them feel happy. When you are in an environment where the energy is so high with all of this exchange; buying, selling, talking and physically engaging in this whole process it can be pretty taxing and draining.

I must admit in my earlier days of working in the beauty salon I would be one of the ones buying the feel good food, jewelry, purses, and the clothes because admittedly, they made me happy. It seemed to be the norm for me to find happiness in the things that I could hold and touch. I, like most had become consumed by what was around me and not necessarily what was inside of me. Half of the things I never used, or would get it home and realize I didn’t need it or didn’t love it as much as I did when I was caught in the moment.

The truth is when we are centered, we spend less money on frivolous things, we don’t get raveled by other peoples energy (so fast), and we realize that, everything we need to sustain happiness is literally, within us.

I have become a minimalist over the last few years, but the truth is that it was always in me, in spite of my earlier years in the salon and the need that I had to buy things that people would come by the salon and sell. However over the past few years I have begun to downsize tremendously and not keep things that I really don’t care about, want, or need.

Here is where I will tie it all end and nail the point. We don’t need an excess of things to be happy, we don’t need an excess of outside influence to feel good inside. When we find peace within, we find balance. Once we really find that place of balance (it’s a balancing act) we can make conscious choices about how we live and HOW we let others affect our energy. When you find that place of balance in a world that force “things” upon us, to speak to our own personal happiness and joy, we will see that we really don’t need much at all.

Every few months I literally go through my personal things and I do a cleaning up of my space. If I don’t need it, if it doesn’t serve a purpose or if it has no place I get rid of it. That’s just me, and how I cope because part of what keeps me centered is not feeling clutter around me. Your process may obviously be different.

HERE IS A LIST OF THINGS THAT I DO TO KEEP ME BALANCED:

WAKE UP EARLY EACH MORNING- I can remember I use to say people that get up at 4:30 a.m. are crazy! Well now I set my alarm for 4:30 every morning. I do this because it seems to be the only way I can truly stay in front of my day. Originally I just wanted to get some writing and reading done however, I did not know it would bring about a sense of peace and balance in that quiet still hour. Since I have been setting my alarm (it’s still hard to wake up) I start my morning with prayer and thankfulness, and I am able to power through my day with gratitude.

WORKOUT- Exercising in the morning is one of the most important parts of my day. I feel like it’s about me against myself. When I am pushing my body pass my own personal limitations it is as though I challenge me to be better. This gives me a fulfillment of knowing I am allowing me to be the best I can, or at least working on it. I don’t need anything else to be at peace, knowing I am working on my best self is enough.

EAT WELL- Very recently I have incorporated a better way of eating into my daily routine and I must say it has had a tremendous impact on how I feel from the inside, thus creating more sustained balance. I have decided to eliminate just about all processed foods (because sometimes you don’t know it’s processed with all the hidden ingredients in food) and really loading up on the fruits, veggies and cleaner eating. I feel great. I have been avoiding all the temptation to eat the crap that our society is pushing us to consume in order to feel good and be happy.

ACUPUNTURE- I have been a big advocate for acupuncture for the past 11 years, I get it religiously and I know that it will be a part of my life for as long as I live. That’s how strongly I feel about it. I originally started getting acupuncture to feel better with the work related pain I was dealing with. I now get it for overall wellness and, you guessed it, balance. These miracle needles help with every part of us you could possibly imagine including mood and mental health.

MINAMILST- Now this is a pretty sensitive subject. When I suggested to my relative about downsizing so much of her stuff, you would have thought I sentenced her to time in jail, she was distraught. So let me be perfectly clear what being a minimalist looks like and feels like for me. I do not like clutter at all. Therefore I go through my things regularly to clear out the old create space and keep the energy in my working and living space flowing freely. I have a personal rule for myself that if I have clothes that I have not worn for 2 season cycles then it’s probably time for me to get rid of them. Yes I am told that they may be extreme but that’s ok, your de clutter process may be different from mine. The point for me is I need clean and clear energy flowing around me and I make sure I keep it that way by doing regular de cluttering.

These practices really work for me. They allow me to live a life of peace in a not so peaceful world. My thought process is clear therefore I don’t have to be sucked in a pulled every which way because of lack of balance. I can find quiet and enjoyment within instead of looking to be entertained outside. Don’t get me wrong if I want to play, I play. If I want to find calm I can find it in an instant, within.

What are some of the things that you do for personal happiness and balance?

    If you guys feel that this information is helpful, please let me know! If you would like for me to elaborate more, let me know that as well! I love hearing from you, so please give me more feedback on how I can serve you!

How do you find Balance?

Many Beauty Professionals Lack Professionalism

While this may sound like a cynical statement or belief for many it will be an experience easy to relate to. I am often astonished by the countless stories I hear about professional salons that have poor professional etiquette. The nerve of them, they charge top salon prices as though they do you a favor with sub par service!

Lets be honest, how many salons stories do you have or heard of where conversations, attire or cleanliness were way below industry standard? Yet they have no problem with charging industry standard (or above) prices! As a former salon owner, I always took pride in what I thought was fair pricing. Although i’m not cheap, but I am professional and that is a priceless quality.

Stylist most learn to give more in service than they receive monetarily

What Does It Mean To Be Professional?

Well, I’m glad you ask. This isn’t about professional by trade accomplishment, it is strictly about behavior and etiquette. It’s easy to put in your required hours and receive your certifications. The greatest accomplishment is setting industry standards and setting yourself apart from the ones that don’t. This is also a prerequisite for being an expert in your craft. There are just certain conversations that do not belong on the salon floor. There are certain clothing attire, no matter how free and creative we feel that do not belong in a professional work environment. And cleanliness is priority number one in any environment that serves the public, period.

Professionalism is a commitment to put the well being and comfort of your clients first. It is setting the tone of the atmosphere as a place to do business. I find that people will spend any amount of money (within their means) and they will go anywhere if they feel and believe the level of service is worth it. You will always leave a lasting impression when your service game is on another level.

When I first became a beauty professional twenty seven years ago, I did not know how to do hair. What I had was impeccable service and knowledge as a new stylist with fresh knowledge who was ready to learn and grow. I wanted to please my clients and offer them information about hair and products. This helped my clientele to grow although my practical skills were still developing. Clients would seek me out because I was reliable, trustworthy and clean.

I took special pride in putting soiled items where they belonged and keep clean fresh combs and towels for my customers. Most clients won’t come in the salon and ask do you have clean combs, towels and sanitizing solution but I promise you they observe!

4 essential tips to becoming professional

  • watch conversations about religion, politics and sexuality when servicing clients. Everyone doesn’t share the same belief system, it is important to be sensitive to clients and their personal views.
  • contrary to popular belief, all clothing attire is not for the salon. For example: clothing that has you spilling out the top or even out the the bottom can be distracting and intimidating to your clients especially when your are so up close and personal in their space. We are serving behind the chair, hair not body!
  • Keep smelly food items off the salon floor, it’s not ok to turn the work space into a cafeteria.
  • I can not stress this enough BE ON TIME, clients are sick and tired of being treated as though their time is not valued.

Taking just these few steps will surly put you on the the path to developing a reputation for being professional, it will also put you on the path to becoming an industry leader. The truth is we all want to earn top pay, have a growing clientele and become on demand but so few are willing to do the work that it takes to be the best the industry has to offer.

Don’t ask how you can get more, ask how you can give more!

To Wig Or Not To Wig, That Is The Question?

If you want to talk about a controversial question, this by far is one! Many women are looking for alternatives from the everyday wear, tear and stress that naturally happens with the hair grooming process. It is not easy to protect the hair 100% from the daily elements that we are exposed to as well as life changes that we have no control over for example; menopause, working out and cold and dry elements that affect the hair.

Wigs have truly evolved since back in the day when the idea of a wig automatically made you think about your grandmother, or maybe that’s just me. In all honesty I have never personally worn a wig but I have come across enough women who do to know that some love them and some absolutely despise them. But, the question still remains, where do they stand in regards to protective styles? Before I go into the answer, let me say that wigs are so fancy now you literally can not always tell that a person is wearing a one. That’s pretty amazing that craftsmanship has come around so much! I know you are wondering, if I think they are so amazing, why haven’t I tried one yet? Well let’s just say I’m a creature of habit and I haven’t evolved as quick as time.

Ok, back to the question at hand. To wig or not to wig? Unfortunately, it’s just not that cut and dry! It should come as no surprise that since wigs have changed so much from the old grandma wig that sits on your head like a hat, to laying so flat and seamless that you can’t even tell it didn’t grow out of the scalp. However; the base in which they are constructed on play a big part in how they protect the hair or contribute to damage. You probably knew that already, but for those that do not here is some more insight on wig bases and if they are beneficial to protecting your tresses. Naturally, the softer lighter the base cap is the more gentle it will be to your hair. However; that does not mean it has to be full lace or very expensive in order to be soft and gentle.

Here is a little more insight on cap bases and how they are constructed. Nowadays, caps are made with a combination of materials to give natural looks along with durability. There use to be a time when synthetic hair just looked synthetic and was constructed on hard, rough mesh material. Now you can buy synthetic wigs made on higher quality bases giving you a more natural look and better protection for the hair. The synthetic fibers are lighter as well which are contributing factors for what will aid in protecting the hair (better).

Don’t be fooled by categorizing wig bases as just lace or non-lace, there are other factors involved as well such as; the type of lace play’s a big part in how protective is will be. Swiss lace is softer than french lace but because of the softness it doesn’t hold up as well.

Ideally a full lace wig may be one the best wigs you can protect the hair with, it is airy, soft and has no mesh or netting to rub on the natural hair, but it is also expensive, and may not be practical for someone who wants to have a protective style but can not afford it. Therefore the next best thing is to purchase a wig that is constructed allowing you to have the best of all foundations where it is most important.

another option to consider with so many options in wigs, is using a cap that is soft and light such as this cap made of nylon material reinforced with a mesh lace cap that allows you durability and breath-ability.

This is a wig that I made for my daughter, when it was completed I removed the combs so that it could be more protecting against here hair without the pulling that the comb attachments sometimes create.

don’t forget you can alter your wigs by taking out the attachments such as combs, clips and clamps. If you need extra reinforcements you can simply use the elastic bands or have a stylist or extension specialist create a wig that works best for you and protecting your hair. Sometimes you may just need a customized fit to make it more protecting. If you have wig that has a good protective base but it is not fitting therefore you reinforce it with combs, clips and elastic that may create unnecessary tension on the hair making
it less beneficial.

no clips or combs were added to this base. it is sewn down.

Here is another look at a very soft breathable cap material that is not the finest of lace, but is still give you the flexibility and softness. hair is sewn onto the cap creating a custom unit that is cost effective and made just for the wearer!

wig base before hair is added
bodywave with 4′ clousure for scalp like part
straight hair with 4′ closure for scalp like part

In a great big nut shell, wigs can be protective in fact that can be very protective. when on the right base style. It can be lace, full lace, mesh or nylon but it must be light and breathable with minimal rubbing on the edges and top. A custom fit would be ideal because your technician should have access to some of the better cap foundations and it can be fitted allowing less reinforcement with elastic,clips, clamps and combs that often rub too much on the hairline.

other tips:

In addition to protecting your hair with wigs, keep in mind that too much of anything can eventually bring about wear and tear. You should not wear a wig everyday forever. Give the hair time to breath. Never wear your wig with out restricting your natural hair to move underneath. The way to do this is by plating or braiding it down if it is not long enough a stocking cap will suffice. Oil your scalp and maintain good scalp care underneath. Shampoo when necessary.

Thank you for reading and sharing my blog! I hope you have found this information helpful.