Big, Beautiful Hair

There are so many questions I plan to ask hairdressers leading up to an appointment. I go over them again and again in my head on the way to the salon. I am a very curious person, always searching to learn more about everything I can. Once there, however, everything always moves so quickly, with hair dryers blowing loudly, people talking and constantly coming and going, music playing, etc. etc. etc.! My plans for a calm, informative question-and-answer session with my stylist are always thwarted....in other words, IT NEVER HAPPENS!!! I decided before my last appointment with my hairdresser, Ryan Taylor, that I was going to get some answers once and for all to my recurring questions on the subject of HAIR. What follows is my conversation with Ryan. I think you may find it interesting, and some things might be slightly shocking (throw away your hair straightener?) Read on!

FIRST, LET'S TALK TRENDS; WHAT IS "IN" CURRENTLY AND FOR SPRING '17?

Everything is about healthy, natural hair. Don't fight your hair, learn to make the most of what you have. The center part with long, straight hair will still be a "thing" on the runway, but for the rest of us, curls and soft waves are the goal. Don't force a deep side part, find your natural part even if it's just off-center. "Flat hair is "out", loose, big hair is "in".

I HEARD PERMS ARE MAKING A RESURGENCE, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE DIGITAL PERM?

No, I don't know about the digital perm. The goal is always to have healthy hair. Permed hair is never healthy hair! 

IS THERE A PRODUCT THAT CAN HELP STRAIGHT HAIR LIKE MINE HOLD CURL?

Not really. Curly hair is more coarse and can hold curl better. Don't waste your money looking for a product that fights your natural texture.

SPEAKING OF PRODUCTS, THERE ARE TOO MANY PRODUCTS TO CHOOSE FROM. CAN YOU SHED ANY LIGHT ON WHO SHOULD USE WHAT?

Some of those products are just to make money. Keep it simple. Curly hair needs to be moisturized or it can be dry; it needs full hydration to stay healthy. Otherwise, it will be dull and frizzy. Look for products that say "moisturizing" or "smoothing" to combat dryness and frizz. "Volumizing" shampoos are good for flat, thin hair to add body and bounce. A conditioner is important to maintain health and moisture that shampoo can take away. Products that have thermal protection are vital to protecting hair from the damaging effects of blow dryers, curling and straightening irons, etc. Then you can use a styling gel or mousse before styling. 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE WASH OUR HAIR?

You should try not to wash your hair every single day. If your hair seems oily at the scalp, you can use a Mason Pearson brush to move the oils down to the ends, which will probably be dry from so much shampooing. Dry shampoo is a great product! If you wash your hair too frequently, the oil kicks into overdrive, as it does with your skin. The body produces more oil to compensate for the depletion of the natural oils lost.

SOMEONE EXPLAINED THIS TO ME BY ASKING ME THE QUESTION, "WHAT WOULD YOUR FAVORITE BLUE JEANS LOOK LIKE IF YOU WASHED AND DRIED THEM EVERY SINGLE DAY?"

Yes, exactly.

IS HAIR DYE BAD FOR YOUR HAIR? I SEE WOMEN DOING THE OMBRE LOOK OR GOING LIGHTER OR DARKER, CHANGING THE COLOR OF THEIR HAIR SIGNIFICANTLY AND FREQUENTLY.

The key is to always start with healthy hair in excellent condition. At Salon U, we use Aveda color, which is organic and more gentle on hair. It lasts longer because the ingredients are not as damaging to hair strands. Also, if you are going from one end of the color spectrum to the other, light to dark or dark to light, be committed. It is damaging to hair to make drastic changes frequently. If you go from brunette to blonde and get home and someone tells you they don't like it, don't come back to me the next day asking to go back to the old color. We would have to do that gradually, so as to avoid damaging the strands. Using color protective shampoos and conditioners can help maintain the health of hair, and can help the color last longer.

IS IT NECESSARY TO USE A HAIR MASK?

No one has perfect hair. We put a lot of stress on our hair, with blow drying, curling, straightening, not to mention the pollutants in the air, damage from sun and wind, etc. A hair mask once a week helps keep hair shiny, healthy and protected. 

DOES HAIR GROWTH SLOW DRAMATICALLY WITH AGE.

No.

ANY OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU WANT TO SHARE?

Don't cut your own hair, no matter how frustrated you get! With bangs, for example, most stylists will be happy to give them a quick trim between haircuts. Don't try to style your hair (with a round brush, for example) until is it 95% dry. It doesn't do any good and can be damaging to hair.

IS IT A GOOD IDEA FOR A WOMAN TO BRING A PHOTO OF A HAIRSTYLE SHE LIKES TO SHOW HER STYLIST?

You can definitely do that, but be prepared to take the advice of your hairdresser. Just because it is a great hairstyle, doesn't mean it will work for you with your particular face shape, neck length, and hair texture. Some people have a hard time putting into words what they want, so a picture can really help.

THIS REALLY RESONATES WITH ME, BECAUSE MANY TIMES I HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO CLIENTS THAT ALTHOUGH THEY LIKE A SPECIFIC LOOK, IT ISN'T THE BEST FOR THEM, BASED ON THEIR BODY TYPE AND PERSONAL STYLE AESTHETIC. CHANEL-STYLE JACKETS ARE A GOOD EXAMPLE. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE LOOK, BUT IT DOES NOT WORK FOR ME WITH MY BODY TYPE.  LONG, STRAIGHT HAIR IS SO BEAUTIFUL PARTED DOWN THE MIDDLE, BUT WOULD NEVER WORK ON ME WITH MY HAIR TEXTURE, HEIGHT AND FACE SHAPE.

Exactly.

*MANY THANKS TO RYAN TAYLOR FOR TAKING THE TIME TO TALK WITH ME. RYAN IS A VERY TALENTED HAIR STYLIST, WHO IS ALSO KIND AND PATIENT. HE LISTENS TO THE CONCERNS OF HIS CLIENTS AND DOES HIS BEST TO CREATE THE PERFECT LOOK FOR EACH CUSTOMER'S LIFESTYLE AND PERSONALITY. YOU CAN FIND HIM AT SALON U, WHICH HAS BEEN LISTED IN ELLE MAGAZINE'S TOP 100 SALONS.

Here are some amazing products for gorgeous hair!

Alison Bruhn