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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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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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.

Just Because You Wear Weave Does Not Mean It Is A Protective Style

The term “protective style” has really been taken out of content, a term coined just a few years ago that has taken off and many are under the impression that all weave and braid styles are protective for the hair. This could not be further from the truth! For people who have had a bad weave experience, they may think this is merely hogwash and there isn’t even a such thing as a protective style and honestly can you blame them? If a weave is designed to protect the hair why would one experience the complete opposite?

Simply put, all weaves are not protective styles! In fact getting the wrong hair extension service for your hair texture and type can cause irreversible damage! Hair and scalps can become so excessively tight and pulled that the damage done can not be reversed. So many bad experiences will cause some to loose all faith in the great benefits of weaves and extensions. The truth is when hair is under extreme distress, weaves and extensions are the only options (other then wigs) to leave the hair dormant and allow it to rejuvenate its self.

The problem occurs when the technician doesn’t know the right approach or technique to accommodate each individual and specific needs of the client. Sometimes weaves and extensions are not even an option when a persons hair is just too fine and fragile. However just because someone had a not so favorable weave experience does not mean they may not be a candidate for another option. It’s all about proper consultation and assessment.

I offer several option for my clients and very rarely do I have to tell someone that extensions may not be an options at all. I also offer hair replacement for extreme hair loss. Even when offering hair replacement it is important to know the options of the client to protect what existing hair they may have left. When it comes to hair texture and type, there is no one size fits all therefore if you are in the market for a protective style, make sure the technician is versed in more than one option. It may even be a good idea to ask him or her why they even suggest the method they chose as a protective option.

There are some extension styles that simply work better on African American hair texture than they do for Caucasian hair, such as braids. You will not believe how many straight hair and softer hair textured women have come to me for a braided sewin because that is the method they were used to. Braiding this type of texture, then reinforcing it with sewing weave, the tension and weight does not yield good results. This hair is too soft and it does not hold well braided. The excessive weight and tension does not make this a protective style but does more damage.

Although this next statement may cause a little controversy, however micro beads equally don’t work well in African American hair. Micro beads are a new and trendy extension method that really allows you to have a natural seamless weave but In black hair they tend to tangle into the beads. This causes more breakage than necessary. Another downfall is that in order to prevent that from happening you would have to remove them sooner than the installment should last which then makes it not cost effective. These are just few examples of one method is not best for all.

One more misconception about protective styles, unless you are transitioning into natural, they do not work well with relaxed hair. Whenever relaxed hair is braided down for long periods of time it will break, The hair has already been stripped of its integrity, when it is braided and sewed it becomes overly stressed and the ends will break. The new hair growth is however protected. The more covered the hair is the more protected it becomes but it is important to use proper and even tension when installing any method. Improper tension and pulling is the number one reason a weave causes damage.

Another thing to be conscious of is how much hair is being applied to each individuals head. Remember no two head of hair are exactly the same therefore it is important to consider texture and density. A big mistake I see so many people make is piling too much hair onto a head of hair that can not handle all of the stress. When weaves were first worn, the standard amount was 1 1/2 packs of hair and no more than two. Nowadays young ladies are opting for two, three and Even four packs of hair sewn onto their tresses and this is just too much!

Be mindful when on the market for a protective style and finding something that is best for you. Remember a protective style should do just that, protect your hair from the daily elements and the everyday wear and tear that cause breakage and slow growth. If it requires you to do more work or daily heat styling to your own hair that is not the best option.

Reasons Why A Weave Is Not A Protective Style:

too much pulling- weave should not be tight. No matter what the method is if it pulls your edges, if it pulls your scalp and if you have to take Tylenol to sleep at night. That is not a protective style!

wrong method- all weaves are not for everybody, find a technician that pays attention to details like: hair texture, density of your hair and problem areas (if any).

glue does not protect- If you used tape in extensions, glue-ins, or adhesive, they are not protective styles. Although there are methods using a protective layer of solution and a stocking cap with the glue in weaves that allow you to protect the hair and scalp while wearing them but unless they are done with this type of method it does not protect. Even when protecting the hair and scalp with glue in, it is not the best method.

Reasons Why A Weave Is A Protective Style:

you can reach your scalp- one of the important things about protective styles is that it allows you to reach your scalp. For some that may be oiling it to lubricate scalp and allow hair to grow with ease. For some that may mean special shampoo’s and conditioners.

it covers the majority of the head- it is true the more hair you put up the better. It is ok to have a leave out, but it is even better to put everything up and leave the hair dormant underneath. I see much better hair retention and growth when hair is left alone for up to three months with the necessary hair care in between. Micro link installs can not be completely covered, but again it is still beneficial.

Don’t be afraid to explore your options when your hair needs a break or you are going through a hair transition, these protective styles offer many benefits when done by the right person.