Choosing the right Shampoo and Conditioner

This blog is dedicated to the girl in front of me at Stop & Shop that bought a shampoo for $1.05.  I’m not going to lie, it took alot for me to not intervene and stop her. I wanted to give her a consultation right in line! Maybe it’s the Stylist in me but, what I do is my life and goes with me everywhere!  It’s like when you know your in a room with a hairdresser and you say, “OMG, your probably looking at my hair. I didn’t do it today.”  Yes, we noticed you haven’t done your roots either. lol   It’s just natural for us!

As for shampoos and conditioners I find most people have complaints about their hair that most often could be solved by what they are putting on it or in it I should say. If you color your hair you have to understand that colored hair needs to be not just maintained but, nourished. If you spend $150 on your hair but skip the $25-$30 on shampoo and conditioner  that is going to protect your investment then the least of your worries is saving a buck on what you buy to wash your hair.  Your expensive color service is slowly getting washed down the drain with the harsher products you are using.   Most professional products these days won’t cause direct damage to your hair but there are definitely ones that are better than others.  One of my favorites for color treated is KMS California’s Color Vitality. (retail shampoo $15.78, conditioner $16.78)   If you have blonde hair they have Blonde shampoo as well thats is apart of the color vitality line (retail $15.78) . I highly recommend especially in the summer. It keeps your blonde shiny and bright. The purple hue helps kick out any brass or keep it out.

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Do you have well water?  I feel for you ladies! Your hair is going to battle with what’s in the water every time and most often than any it is losing. Well water can dry out the hair and severely alter a color. Especially blondes. I would recommend a clarifying shampoo to just use once a week. A clarifying shampoo is going to help get the minerals out and clean the hair really well to prevent build up. Don’t use more than that because it will dry out your hair.  We carry Hair Stay Clarifying by KMS (retail $15.78)  Honestly, any clarifying will do, they are just not always easily found just anywhere.  I also recommend this if your hair has excessive oil. It will help prevent oil buildup as well…. Sometimes I come across ladies that have a bad habit of tying their hair up while it is still wet and leaving it like that for hours. I DO NOT RECOMMEND. Not only does this cause breakage but believe it or not you can get mildew in your hair.. It has a particular smell. I don’t know how to explain it but, I can definitely know immedietly if a client is a culprit for doing this.   Another great option is using Malibu for well water. They have a shampoo or they have packets with powder in them. The powder you use once a week and is left on for a minimum of 10 min. This helps pull the minerals and metals out specifically. We carry the shampoo (retail $13.00) or the packets ($3.00 each)   The shampoo I would say is ok for my blonde clients but if you have other colors in your hair or darker color I would use the packets.

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Do you wash daily or just have average hair you want to keep healthy?  Sebastian Professional Light is perfect.  It’s just that LIGHT on your hair. It’s great for daily use and won’t dry out the hair. If your hair is dry I would recommend Sebastian Drench or Penetrait. The Drench is more for thick and dry hair where as the penetrait is for deep repair. So breakage and over processed hair would definitely benefit even more from penetrait. It’s one of those you definitely notice over time that will mend your hair back to health.  Once you nurse it back to health switch it up.  I think that’s the biggest problem is people use the same thing for so long, their hair may just need something different over time because the climate changed or their styling needs have changed. It’s not that the product doesn’t work anymore, your needs just might be different.  Other great moisturizing shampoos and cond: Moroccon Oil (retail $22.00 for shampoo and $23.00 for cond.)  and Q10 by Scwarzkopf. Q10 was designed for women over 40 to fill the collagen in the hair and to help women with wiry gray hair. It’s great for that but what I LOVE it for is for clients with severe damage. Like broken over processed blondes. This stuff is gold. (retail $23.00 each)

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Volumizing.  I’m on the fence with volumizing shampoos and conditioners. As a colorist I don’t recommend as often because volumizing products leave the cuticle open to plump up the hair which is leaving it wide open for your color to come out.  Color lives deep in the hair but shine doesn’t and to me the color does fade and doesn’t look as good over time. For blondes I would say it would be ok but for red heads or darker shade I would say no.  If your worried about weighing your hair down then go with the Light shampoo and cond by Sebastian and then use a great volumizing styling aid like Add Volume line by KMS. Their mousse is pretty great! Add lift and thickness all over. Or if you need just a lift then the root lift would be used. (retail $15.78)

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Curly Girls.  Do you wear your hair curly all the time or most of the time? Well I have the best recommendation for you!! I recently got more in depth with this line to know the ins and outs of it. Curly hair needs moisture and most over the counter grocery store brands are so bad with chemicals and detergents in their shampoos that it severely deprives  curly hair the moisture it needs causing frizz and dry hair.  Deva products are specifically designed with the curly girl in mind. It’s a vegan line with no sulfates or parabans.  I also recommend this product for ethnic hair. Because the hair tends to be coarser and dry it helps maintain your own natural oils instead of stripping it while also putting other goodness in there.  Their gel is amazing and doesn’t leave behind hard crunchy curls either.  One note with this product, when you shampoo there is not any lather. So it may feel like you are not doing it right or something is wrong with the product. It’s OK!  Friction from your fingertips will cleanse the scalp with this product. Pair this with a Deva cut by one of our specialists and you will be a believer and will never go back!  In 12 years of my salon experience curly hair was the most challenging for me and was so complex. After discovering Deva I’m instead empowered to educate my curly clients and confident I found what they have been looking for!!  (All products retail $18-$19 a piece)

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Hopefully,  these tips helped give you some insight or make you think more about what you use the next time you step in the shower.   Shampoos and conditioners are the foundation to your style and to the health of your hair.  I have seen first hand the damage or the repair the right one can do and I am a BIG believer in making the right investment for your hair when it comes to choosing your shampoo and conditioner.  These aren’t the only products you can use these are just a few recommendations.  Our salon offers a few ways you can save. We offer monthly specials that usually reflect in some of the lines we carry, we have a loyalty program that you can save on your service and maybe splurge on some products, or buy liters! If there’s something you don’t see in stock we special order any of our products in bigger sizes if needed. Just let us know before you come for your appt. If you have to, skip the styling product but never skip the right shampoo and conditioner.

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Stay Tuned for even more we have added for our clients. We are excited to bring in a new line BLOW Pro.  We will be announcing Blow out events coming soon!!

Also, Add us on Facebook. The next event is for Curly Girls!! Free demos of the Deva line and how to style your curls and kick the frizz… Date announced on Facebook soon!

Lash Extensions

Clients are always asking about Lash Extensions and are enamored by the look of them with no mascara!  That’s right, no mascara needed when you have lash extensions. You get the look every day without needing anything in addition.  We offer Lash extensions at our Salon, Salon Alexander. Lash extensions are a more permanent option that lasts up to 4 weeks. If you would like to maintain the extensions then you would fill every 2-4 weeks depending on how glamorous of a lash you have. The thicker fuller lashes require more touch up to maintain. The lash is attached to your natural lash with platinum bond glue and shed when your lashes shed! The life of each lash are always in different stages so lashes will shed at various times. Lashes are synthetic fiber and are hypoallergenic. We do offer two types of glues so if you do have very sensitive eyes or prone to allergies then we do still have an option for you!  For the month of March we have a special for a full set at $125. A $50 savings.   Otherwise a full set is $175 and fills range from $55-$75 based on a 2,3,or 4 week fill appt.  Fall in love with the latest salon addiction! Amazing option in the summer time to ditch the mascara but always have the look that your wearing it!

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To Book your Lash Appt you can call 860-667-7722  or online!  BOOK NOW

Photographer Recommendations

Over the years of doing so many weddings we get to meet many photographers and see their work of our clients. Some we even gain relationships and collaborate off season!  I have such a respect for photographers and finding the right one that suits your vision is so important. I am not one to ever think anyone with a camera can take a good picture. There’s definitely more to it than that. Some have their own niches just like we do in the beauty industry.  Like any artist, a passion in a specific category with what they are shooting will show in the end results. We get to have a different view of the process of a photographer but still be an outsider to their world.  We are all creative artists to what we do so the respect level for me is high when I find a photographer that produces great work, is easy to work with, and is reasonable to their approach with business and how they handle clients. With that being said, I wanted to give some recommendations based just from my own experiences paired with clients feedback.   I make these recommendations not as a benefit to my business in any way for exchange for promotion but, an honest opinion from one artist to another.  If your not on my list, I don’t mean it as an insult whatsoever.

Starting the list… Catherine Fiehn   http://www.catherinefiehnphotography.com/

She is my go to photographer when I need an artistic approach to a photo. What she does with editing amazes me every time. To me with clients she has a journalistic approach paired  with something editorial. That’s the best way I can describe it! lol  We have crossed paths many times on locations with weddings and every year she collaborates with me for the promo of our Wigs for KIds charity event. Her stunning daughter has graced many of our charity promotions. She also documents the Wigs for Kids events for us every year. Not only does she shoot a wedding pretty fantastic but she also is known for her work that she does with pageants.  Traveling throughout the U.S. You can check out more of her photos here as well for pageants and child modeling photography. http://www.catherinefiehnphotogenics.com/

Example of a project we worked on…

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Next up, Marisa Balletti-Lavoie of Sassy Mouth Photo  http://sassymouth.net/

We crossed paths also on weddings.  Her name came up initially highly recommended by one of our clients and I had never heard of her work.  Not long after she became a name that was quite frequently mentioned via clients so we had to check her out. She is definitely Sassy! lol  Very fun to work with and easy going. Her photos  have the same kind of fun spirit and always reminds me of something I would see on Pinterest! Even her studio is like you walked into Pinterest in real life! She is very creative and can bring out the best in you in a photo. She too has volunteered her time on a few charity projects we put together as well as done our staff photos on our website and most recently my maternity shoot!  As a person self conscience in front of a camera she produced amazing photos that you would not be able to tell how much I hated to smile lol.  She does alot of weddings and also has GLAM by Sassy which I also highly recommend for some hot photos of yourself. Everyone should feel comfortable and at ease and she has a knack for dragging it out of you easily with a laugh. Check out GLAM by Sassy too! http://sassymouth.net/GLAM.html

example from my Maternity GLAM shoot..

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David Apuzzo, http://davidapuzzo.com/

I initially met David on a wedding that was the first of it’s kind I had come across. It was my bride’s second wedding with the same man. They had married prior to in another country where her husband was from and then in the states. David came to the salon when she was getting ready and documented the whole thing. It was the first time I saw someone not only capture so much detail with the bride but even for me! He took photos of the salon and things he saw throughout the salon. Details that I thought were so nice to have and never thought of to have either.  That made him stand out to me from the beginning. We have since worked on more weddings together and collaborated outside on other artistic projects with myself personally or my staff.  His work always impresses me without need for edits outside of what he already knows what to do.  Again, his attention to detail and knowledge of what he does is impressive and very respected.  As creative beings we have had our differences on a project but we can agree to disagree and work together very well. I find that really important. So that is another aspect to him I appreciate and why also I mention as a great recommendation.  His work is versatile and very artistic.

Example from a recent project my staff did with him…

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Joe Crawford, http://josephscrawford.com

Foto Joe! Always a pleasure to work with. Although we haven’t worked on too many of the same clients I have worked many times on personal projects with Joe and he delivers every time. He brings out another side of the art of what I do and makes me think in his terms… Lighting and not much editing. From my point of view he likes to bring out the rawness of what he sees. He uses lighting in a way I have never seen a photographer do. But when I see the results of what he produces I totally get it. His raw images are fascinating to me as they sit with no edits.  I always look forward to when we can work on a project together and lose ourselves in the art of what we both do. He’s so easy to work with and an all around nice guy.

example of a project we collaborated on…one of many! Image

Kevin Stiles… on Facebook.. https://www.facebook.com/kevin.stiles.5?fref=ts

Kevin is not a wedding photographer but I had to have him on my list because of the high respect I have for his work as an artist in general. He is a tattoo artist and does photography more on the side or as a hobby. I’m not sure. But, in a tattoo session with him I was surrounded by is unbelievable art and it was apparent his talent in other realms outside of tattooing  He has a niche in photographing nudes. I had zero experience in this category and quite frankly never had interest. He asked to collaborate and I am so happy I did. His photos are always breathtaking and his ability to work with natural light is stunning. I am a huge fan of his work and always love any photo we create together. He can take a woman that is nude and make the photo literally a piece of art. He is a little quirky in his ways and I NEVER know what he is thinking. Because of the overwhelming art he exudes I feel sometimes intimidated and up for the challenge when I work with him.  His approach is always tasteful and his eye for what he see is inspiring.

example of a past project:

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Rounding out the list… Jerome Braga  http://www.studio1923.com/

I have yet to collaborate or work on any projects with Jerome but from an admirer of photography aspect and feedback from clients, he is with out a doubt a person I mention when talking to people. We have often had the same clients and also follow on facebook and instagram. I would say I am definitely a fan. When inquiring on something for myself they were quick to respond and always professional. Unfortunately I was not able to book him at the time because his schedule does fill up and between the both of our schedules being chaotic it just didn’t work out. I would say based on what I see with what he captures he is also fantastic with editing and pulling creativity out of a photo. He is always professional when I see him on location and have yet to hear a negative comment from any client I know that has worked with his company.

Example of Jerome’s work can be seen on his FB page as well… unfortunately I have no personal photos I have the rights to share.  https://www.facebook.com/studio1923

I hope my recommendations were helpful on your search to finding the right fit for your needs. In no way would I want to discredit any other photographers work because I have also seen some others that have done amazing jobs for clients of ours. I was just hoping to share the few that I have had the pleasure of working with more consistently to give an honest opinion.  I am back on my hunt to find a newborn photographer for my daughter. any recommendations for me feel free to comment on this blog!   Thanks for reading! 🙂