There’s always a First – Danielle DeGraaf’s Competition Photoshoot Journey

There’s always a first; first impression, first job, first car, first house.  We use these ‘firsts’ to mark time, to look back on, laugh about and grow from.  They are also something that no one can experience quite like you did that very first time.

In order to let everyone who has been so supportive of Danielle in this first experience know how the day unfolded I planned to wrap up this blog series with some final questions for Danielle.  Little did I know this really wasn’t the end of the series….

 

Q. ‘Were you nervous the morning of the shoot? Did that last through the day?’

Danielle: ‘Nervous and excited.  I think having sat in on a shoot the year before helped since I knew what to expect.  I didn’t feel nervous through the rest of the day but definitely stressed!’

Q. ‘With a lot of prep work the day before, how long did the shoot end up taking in total?’

Danielle: ‘There was still a fair bit of styling to do the day of the shoot since a couple of the models had more than one look to be photographed.  We arrived at the photographer’s Studio at 8:30am and wrapped up around 3pm.’

Q. ‘What things were you very grateful you did this year for your first photo shoot and what things do you know you’ll do differently next year?’

Danielle: ‘I’m grateful I did so much work with testing my colours and textures beforehand. Having prepped the model’s hair over a period of months instead of entirely on prep day made the colouring process run very smooth.’

Q. ‘You had hired a Makeup Artist for the shoot.  Knowing you have experience with makeup yourself, how did you feel about the makeup looks?’

Danielle: ‘The makeup looks were unreal!  It was definitely the aspect I was most impressed and surprised with.  Florencia (Taylor) made what I had envisioned come to life with ease.’

Q. ‘What was it like working with a professional Photographer who had experience shooting competition hair?’

Danielle: ‘Working with Paula (Tizzard) was amazing.  I think it was a huge benefit for me to have a photographer that has shot competition hair before.  I told her from the beginning to let me know what she was thinking during the shoot and she did just that.   I was very grateful to have her eye that day!

Q. ‘Were there looks that turned out differently than what you had originally envisioned?’

Danielle:’ Yes! My third look did not portray the way I imagined it was going to, which is OK.  This year was all about learning!’

Q. ‘So what happens next? Are you planning for next year?’

Danielle: ‘I will definitely be doing another shoot next year but I’m actually working on an additional look for this years collection.  After seeing all the images together I felt two of the model’s looks flowed great, and the third did not.  After talking with Paula we both decided shooting another look this year would be worth it.  I’m also going to test out hiring a professional model for this additional shoot to see how that goes!  The third look will be finished up mid June.’

Q. ‘I’m sure you are so excited to share your pictures! Why do they have to be kept under wraps and what happens with them after submission?’

Danielle: ‘I can’t share the photos until I hear whether I placed in the competition or not.  If you release any photos before hand you are disqualified under the Contessa rules.  Submissions are due in August and it will be at least mid September before I hear anything definite.  I will have my photos to keep as all the submissions are done online.  Once submitted, the Contessas, along with certain magazines have the right to reproduce the images.  I will also be using the images to enter other competitions!

Q. ‘Since this is a Canada wide competition there must be a lot of photos entered.  How do they break them down and how are they judged?’

Danielle: ‘Submissions are broken down into categories, one for example being by Province and others by the style of the looks. So yes, there a lot of submissions but each contestant may only enter 1 or 2 categories.  Each category is judged on a specific set of guidelines, a great example being the Texture category. Sometimes entires for this category are even done in black and white as it is only the texture that is taken into consideration during judging.  Others, like the Ontario category, is judged on overall look of colour, cut and style.

 

So what’s next for Danielle? Even though the photo shoot itself is over the work is far from done.  Making sure every form, rule and requirement to enter is fulfilled and submitted properly is a time intensive task.  The excitement of the experience though is worth taking care of every last detail.

Regardless of whether Danielle is chosen as a finalist, this was all about a ‘first’.  Dipping a toe into the world of competition hair and choosing whether she prefers dry land or to cannon ball straight in without a backwards glance.

I think it’s safe to say this is a cannon ball moment!

Thanks for listening,

Carrie

www.cihairstudio.ca

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A Styling Step-Up for Master Stylist Danielle DeGraaf

Like any artist, there comes a time when even the most experienced and successful Stylists have to step up and break their current limits.  Challenging ourselves is the only way to grow and this is exactly what Danielle is doing as she prepares to enter the renowned hairstyling competition, the Contessas.

I sat down with Danielle to find out a little more about her motivation for entering the Contessas at this point in her career. She began by explaining, “I have admired work from the contestants for years, but always felt it to be beyond my capabilities.” Now after accomplishing more and more goals behind the chair, she decided she was ready for the challenge.

In discussion with how styling for competitions differs from her day to day work with clients she notes that the two are very different.  “Competition hair is wild and fantasy like.  Everything from cut, colour, style, makeup, etc comes solely from my own imagination. There really are no limits.”  In comparison she explains that for her everyday clients her goal is to do her best to give them what they want, what suits them and what works for their lifestyle.  Although this still requires a lot of customization and imagination for each client, the range of styles are limited to what is suitable for every day wear.

 

Although the preparation for the Contessas has added a lot of work for her, she shows no sign of slowing down. I asked her how she took her first steps with the process and what she’s working on now in preparation.  “My first step was to get some education on the competition world.” she began. “Once I knew what I was in for I just began looking at past contestant’s work, artists I admired on social media and so on.  After putting together my theme and creating my storyboards to depict the look of each individual model, I started making some colour swatches to test the goal colours.”

In between now and the shoot, Danielle plans to work on the styling necessary to create each models look.  “There is lots to do here as its styling I have never done before,” she told me.  In amongst that practice work she will be spending more time perfecting colours, organizing wardrobe and accessories and prepping models.

When asked what she hopes to achieve in competing she explained, “I hope to grow as a Stylist, to have more confidence and also to be an inspiration to fellow Stylists.”  Contessa entries are due early summer with the awards ceremony in the fall.

Its clear that Danielle has already gained so much judging by how she sees the competition experience as a whole. “Entering competitions requires you to always be at the forefront of what’s new and hot in the industry. Challenging myself in this way forces me to learn new techniques in colour, cut and styling.”

No matter the style, its what you learn through achieving it that makes it beneficial for every client you work with behind the chair. In speaking with Danielle it was clear that it’s not just the pride of the prize but the passion in acquiring the experience that is truly inspiring to her.  In turn, she’s inspiring all of us at the Studio even more.

There will be more on Danielle’s journey towards the photoshoot here on the blog when I catch up with her next time so stay tuned!

 

Thanks for listening,

Carrie

www.cihairstudio.ca

 

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Your Hairstylist is entering a Competition – What does that mean for you?

As a client you depend on your hairstylist being there with great ideas the minute you sit down in the chair at your appointment.  You trust that they know what will look good, how they can change-up your look that little bit to keep your style fresh and your hair looking fantastic.  So what does it mean when in chatting with your Hairstylist at your last appointment she mentioned she’s entering a hair competition? Is it like the Styling Olympics? Fastest haircut? Highest performing colour formulation? If you’ve been left wondering you aren’t alone.  Many clients aren’t aware of the many opportunities for Hairstylists to challenge themselves in their craft, but as with any skill there is always a way to take your work to the next level.  Since we’ve got some pretty amazing competitive work on the horizon I wanted to take a minute to briefly explain what you will very soon be hearing lots more about!

Hair Competition

Ok – the basics!

Even though there are other ways for Hairstylists to compete what I’m referring to in this blog is a photo-based competition. Happening annually in Canada there are 2 large photo-based competitions, the Contessas (Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards) by Salon Magazine, and the Mirror Awards by Canadian Hairdresser Magazine.  These competitions bring the best of Canada’s talent together and measure their creativity through the photo-shoot collection(s) submitted by the entrants.  Collections are judged by a panel and finalists are then notified and invited to attend the Awards Night where the winners are announced!

What exactly is a collection?

For photo-based competitions like the ones mentioned above, a collection is a group of images based on a ‘look’ or theme the creating Hairstylist has envisioned.  Generally the looks are fashion forward, sometimes a little avant-garde and differ from the everyday work a Hairstylist regularly does with clients.  It requires a Hairstylist to push themselves creatively on a different level to bring not only the hair, but the models, makeup, nails, wardrobe and poses together to create a feeling to the collection of images that is strong enough to jump out at the judges and grab their attention.  With entries coming from all over the country, getting a collection to stand out is no small task.  Creation of a collection requires exceptional vision, patience, passion and of course practise.

Collections are entered for judging in one or more unique categories, each of which requires different elements to be included in the collection for it to be considered.  Some examples of categories include Canadian Colourist, Provincial Hairstylist, Hairextension Artist, Avant Garde Hairstylist, Newcomer of the Year, Editorial Hairstylist of the Year and many more.

The Bottom Line

So what does all this mean for you as a client? Will your appointments be any different if your Hairstylist is doing these competitions? It really depends on how you look at things.  The short answer; doing competitions demands a different level of creativity and that could very well transfer into new, more creative suggestions for your hair.  The long answer is that any Hairstylist willing to open themselves up to the process of being judged by their peers, on a country-wide scale, spending hours and hours on end creating, practising, testing and measuring their ideas simply for the love of hair, is someone extremely serious about their career.  Someone willing to go that extra mile, try new things and always be pushing themselves towards something bigger than what they are creating right now. Whether you see benefits to that for yourself is up to you but I think it warrants some consideration.

Hopefully this has shed some light on a different part of the Hair Industry for you and helps to make photo-based hair competitions a little more understandable.  I don’t think I even need to remind you to stayed tuned for some pretty exciting updates from the Studio on this subject, but seriously – stay tuned!!

Thanks for listening,

Carrie

www.cihairstudio.ca

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What is Toner and why would you need one for the hair colour you want?

We get a lot of questions from clients about what toners are.  As Hair Stylists we use the term so often that sometimes we take for granted our knowledge.  We just head off to mix up your custom formula and breeze back to apply it without taking a pause each time to explain.  I thought I would take that pause here so hopefully next time while you wait ever so patiently, laid back in the sink with that extra towel under your neck for comfort, you’ll remember exactly what a toner is and when you need one! Don’t worry though…..we’ll be there to happily explain it all again!

When are toners used?

Toners are used after lightening the hair.  After you’ve had your foils or your balayage processed, shampooed out and your hair towel dried, you will often hear us say ‘I’m just going to go and mix the toner’.  When hair is lightened it goes through a series of stages, each with their own underlying tone.  These stages take time to move through (hence our favourite ’10 more minutes’ speech) and always result in warm tones of red, orange, gold and yellow before getting to the king daddy, of underlying tones which we refer to as the ‘clean slate’ (a bit more on that later).

What does a toner do?

TonerToners are used to change the ‘tone’ of your hair colour. See why we take explaining them for granted? A correctly formulated toner takes the naturally warm tones of red, orange, gold and yellow and either enhances or neutralizes them.  That’s it.  In the example to the left you can see that toner has neutralized the yellow tones and created a beautiful, cool silver effect.  Since our goal at the Studio is to make your experience with us as transparent as possible we want you to understand we reach for and use a toner only when necessary.

Why would you need a toner?

If after towel drying your hair your desired colour differs from the canvas your hair has presented with after lightening, that is when we reach for a toner.

I’m going to keep this as straight forward as possible and simply say that lightening the hair from point A to point B while keeping it healthy is not easy.  The reasons why your hair might not have been lightened to your target colour in one session will be addressed in an entirely different blog post about colour correction.  This is why trusting your Stylist to have your best interest at heart to tell you when your target colour isn’t achievable today is very important, so we’ll just leave it at that.  That’s another day……with another 1000 words…..

What is the ‘clean slate’?

TonerAs I mentioned before the king daddy of underlying tones to apply a toner to is the ‘clean slate’.  The reason for this is simple – whatever tone you apply to that clean slate will be the tone you get.  There is no pigment left in the hair that will interrupt the colour you are adding to it.  The clean slate is a very, very pale blonde which is about the colour of the inside of a banana.  Once the hair is lightened to that point (and no further to prevent damage!!) the sky’s the limit for what tone you can create.  Silver, pastels pinks and blues, lilac or even more natural tones like vanilla, honey, hazelnut, butterscotch and pearl are all achievable with a clean slate. In the example to the right, the hair was pre lightened further to a clean slate and then toned to this soft, iridescent pink.

So why are you just hearing about toners now? Maybe as long time client you are wondering why are we introducing this process and are using it frequently?  Toners have come a long way in the last few years.  With the very popular technique of balayage in the forefront of our industry, 99% of the time toners are an absolute must after this method of lightening. Colour manufacturers have also dedicated entire new product lines to toners, improving their performance, making them gentler on the hair than in years past and providing entire tonal ranges that make colours options endless.  This has left the door wide open for us as Stylists to carefully test and measure their performance and in turn provide these high performing products to you as the client.

I hope this has answered any questions you may have and if not please pop a comment below and I’d be happy to follow-up!

Thanks for listening,

Carrie

www.cihairstudio.ca

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Photoshop Hair Colour – it really happens!

The new era of online living provides limitless hair colour pictures at our fingertips.  Any hair salon or hairstylist will likely have a portfolio of their work on either their website, Facebook or Instagram. Sometimes even all three, showing different types of images on each platform. In our Industry having an online portfolio has become a necessity in representing yourself as a hairstylist.  Unfortunately, the easy and endless options for photo manipulation has created a huge problem, what I call…..photoshop hair colour.  For the purpose of this post I’ll refer to altering images, regardless of what app or program is used, as photoshop.

I’m sure most of you are very familiar with photoshop and basic photo editing.  If you use Instagram (which I’m sure you do) there are countless options when posting your pictures to brighten, sharpen, alter the temperature and lots of filters to make them look really unique. It’s creative, artistic and super fun to do for your personal photos! For professional photos and photos used for advertising, photoshop editing can be necessary to create beautiful, eye-catching images.  Touch ups such as removing a shadow from the face, smoothing the skin, removing that one strand of hair sitting annoyingly on the models forehead – these are all normal edits.  Even after a family photo session there is editing work to be done!

As a hairstylist though, what really makes my crazy (or more so than usual!) is full photoshop hair colour manipulation.  What I mean is professional hairstylists using photoshop (or the like) for full-scale manipulation of hair colour.  Taking an original photo, changing the actual hair colour itself, posting it on social media and taking credit for the work *cringe*. Many hairstylists are 100% against this practise but unfortunately there are some who don’t see it as a problem.  To each their own.  Let me show you an example of what I mean.

Here is a beautiful, unedited colour and cut done by the talented Jen on our Studio staff:

photoshop hair colour

Original, unedited photo

 

And here are some ‘photoshop hair colour’ versions of the same image:

 

photoshop hair colour

Edited to add Minty Green colour

photoshop hair colour

Edited to add Copper Highlights

photoshop haircolour

Added Red tones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These pictures took me no time at all to manipulate and although I’m very aware that they aren’t perfect, I’m sure without the original photo for comparison you wouldn’t give a second thought to them not being the original picture.

Think of scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feed and seeing one of these photoshop hair colour pictures.  Would you even consider the credited hairstylist didn’t give the client this exact hair colour? Of course not!

Be cautious.  Do your research. Unfortunately, things aren’t always as they appear.  If you see a picture online that you love bring it to a hairstylist you trust.

I honestly don’t have a lot of skill for editing and I believe it is something best left to professionals who know how to handle a photoshop program.  All our photoshoot images have professional edits (skin smoothing, stray hairs as mentioned above) where our daily posts on Facebook and Instagram (unless we are reposting one of the above mentioned photoshoot images) are merely cropped and watermarked with the Studio name.  What you see is exactly what the client walked out the door with.

Does having the information about our editing process (or lack there of) make you look at photos a little differently? Would you be more inclined to ask questions? If so, I’m glad!  My purpose is to offer you a little honesty into what in my opinion may sometimes not be an honest practise.

Bottom line?  Find a hairstylist you trust.  You won’t need to worry about a thing!

 

Thanks for listening,

Carrie

www.cihairstudio.ca

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Hairstylist Life…..Hair Contact before Eye Contact

 

hairstylistA quick trip to the grocery store.  A night out meeting a few new people.  A binge session on Netflix.  Do these things have anything in common for you? Before this gets too weird let me explain a phenomenon of the Hairstylist Life: Hair Contact before Eye Contact.  Yep – that’s right – those of us who live, eat, breathe and sleep our careers as hairstylists know this debilitating problem all too well. Basically it boils down to Hair Contact before…well….anything!

For most of you this may not seem like such a big deal.  ‘So what? You notice the hair?’ Just for interests sake let’s have a look at the definition of ‘notice’:

Notice [noh-tis] verb: To pay attention to or take notice of

Believe me when I tell you – we don’t ‘notice’ the hair.  We painstakingly, obsessively, analyze, overanalyze, formulate, recolour, recut and restyle the hair all within the first 30 seconds of setting eyes on it all while appearing in the throes of a catatonic state.  Seriously.  This is the Hairstylist Life.

Let’s take the example of a quick trip to the grocery store. True story.  I was running in quickly to grab some bananas and as I’m approaching the produce section a beautiful haircut catches my eye.  I don’t know whether I’m still walking or have now stopped dead in my tracks in danger of being cart rear-ended but I don’t even care.  I am transfixed by this haircut.  I’ve already broken down the first 3 steps of how I would replicate it, thought of two different clients with the right hair type that I could give it to and rolled over the possibilities of who the stylist was that created this beautiful piece of art.  I have taken memory still shots, calculated my cut angles and I’m only coming up on 25 seconds.  The haircut turns to the left, I reach the 30 second mark and I am quickly transported back to the real world where I will now make eye contact (or simply notice that there is a head and body attached to the haircut).  Huh.  That’s when it hits me that it’s a client. I just made hair contact before eye contact with a client whose hair I have been cutting for the last 4 years.  I was to my car before I even realized I forgot the bananas.

One of my favourite things to do is binge watch on Netflix.  Whether at 2am when sleep won’t come or on a rainy Sunday afternoon, the dangerous autoplay keeps me tuned in far longer that I should be.  While I’m sure lots of you love a good Netflix marathon, I doubt your partner, in the throes of desperation, screams ‘can you STOP talking about the hair!!’ while trying to coexist in your viewing space.  For instance – did you wonder how long Gemma’s hair could stand up to those highlights during the first few seasons of Sons of Anarchy and notice the exact episode when she had to start using extensions for those blonde pieces? Your hairstylist did.  When Joey and Dawson had their emotional breakup while standing on the dock of the Creek were you thinking about how much James Van Der Beek needed a haircut and that he was dancing precariously close to the edge of mulletville? Your hairstylist was.  Or lets see…..while the entire school was chanting ‘Donna Martin Graduates!’ were you obsessively fantasizing about flat ironing Donna’s frizzed out, desperately in need of a trim hair? My guess is no – you probably weren’t but your hairstylist definitely was!  Just a side effect of the Hairstylist Life!

We won’t even get into the embarrassment of being introduced to someone for the first time and spending the first 30 seconds of hair contact time mute, left eye twitching, right hand reaching out to touch said strangers hair and suddenly snapping out of it to realize you violated their personal space before even saying hello.

Hair Contact before Eye Contact is simply part of the Hairstylist Life.

Being a hairstylist isn’t something we can shut off when we leave the salon – it follows us, invades our minds and inevitably makes us better artists because of it.  Inspiration can and does strike anywhere.

So be kind – we realize we are a special breed and that those who love us have a special appreciation (or tolerance) of our constant obsession.  And really – even with the embarrassing experiences – I would change a thing. It’s the Hairstylist Life.

 

Thanks for listening,

Carrie

www.cihairstudio.ca

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Consultation Confessional – Never ‘lie’ to your Hair Stylist!

Does this sound like a consultation you’ve had with your hair stylist?

‘Remember that perm you had two years ago? Or what about those highlights from about 18 months ago? You threw a box colour over those a month later because you changed your mind and couldn’t get an appointment with me right away, remember?  Oh and how can we forget the trouble we went through stripping that colour off! Once we got close to your natural colour you decided to leave it alone for awhile and let it grow. All so long ago! Your consultation is just full of memories  – we’ve been through a lot of hair colour together!’

consultation

As hairstylists we call a conversation like this ‘hair history’.  It’s the story of whats happened in the lifetime of your hair and what we use to formulate your colour before we begin your service.  For clients who have been with a Hair stylist for a number of years this consultation is far less complicated.  We know your history, the services and colours that your hair has endured.  Great stylists even have notes from the consultation and formulas on hand for reference! But what if your a first time client going for a consultation?  OR what if you are a regular client that had a little ‘mishap’ since your last service? What happens then?

Your very first consultation with a new hairstylist should be DETAILED.  Questions which may seem silly to you can in fact hold very valuable information that we need to anticipate how your hair will react during your service. For returning clients, your subsequent consultation (yes – there should be one) will contain lots of questions on your experience with your hair since your last visit. So if a hairstylist asks you ‘Is there any hair colour on your hair right now?’ or ‘Have you had hair colour since you were last here?’ and your answer is ‘NO’, here’s a few scenarios on how this will all play out:

Scenario 1:

There really is no hair colour nor has there ever been hair colour on your hair. Congratulations! You are officially a hairstylists dream client and have won the ‘We can make your hair ANY colour you want!’ Prize.  Seriously – you are a catch! A hair colour virgin!  We’ve heard of you but until now thought you were a rare mythical creature only seen in our hair colour dreams.  Yes, we are excited.

Scenario 2:

There is no hair colour left in your hair because its all faded out – and anyway that was 6 months ago. Those highlights that you covered up with said colour – you can’t see those anymore either. What difference would it make now?  So considering all that you answer ‘NO’. Visually this may be true – you aren’t ‘lying’, you honestly thought the colour was gone.  Red Flag!! Let’s say you are asking your hairstylist to put some highlights in your hair.  After sitting forever to have all the foils put in your hairstylist comes to check to see if you are ready to rinse and oddly asks you ‘Are you sure there isn’t any hair colour on your hair?’.  There staring back at us from the confines of that foil is the exact line where your new blonde goes from beautiful and light to orangey and dark.  That’s the old hair colour. Oh and look there where it goes from beautiful and light to white and shredding.  That’s those old highlights. Yep.  We could have formulated for this – had we only known.

Scenario 3:

You want to confess but are afraid to hurt our feelings.  Or your embarrassed or you just feel some things are better left unsaid.  For example, you didn’t prebook your appointment last time and couldn’t get in when you needed to and your roots were a nightmare.  You did what you had to do and threw a ‘rinse’ (aka Box Colour) on or went to another salon where they could fit you in right away but have vowed to forget the whole thing ever happened and never speak of it again.  So you answer ‘NO’.  Red Flag!! See the results from Scenario 2.  They apply here as well.

Let me fill you in on a little secret: ‘We can tell you did it’.  Seriously.  There are very, very few cases where we look at the hair during consultation and can’t tell whether it has been previously coloured or not.  But as in these scenarios above when we ask you ‘Is there any hair colour on your hair?’ and you say ‘NO’, we tend to believe you. Actually we want to believe you.  The hair history you give us at the beginning of your appointment helps us get you the hair colour you want.  If we have all the information (no matter what you really wish was better left unsaid) we can anticipate problems and account for them.  We can realistically tell you what is going to happen, considering your hair history, and exactly what your options are to get you to where you want to go.

Moral of the story?  Spill your heart out in the consultation.  We don’t judge.  Tell us every single, little tiny thing you’ve ever done to or had done to your hair.  Have long hair? Get comfy – that’s a good 3 to 4 years of story telling you have ahead of you.  Spill it sister. We’ll just be here listening and taking notes!

 

Thanks for listening,

Carrie

www.cihairstudio.ca

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Outer Beauty vs Inner Beauty

I’m sure you’ve heard the sayings: Don’t judge a book by its cover, beauty is only skin deep, real beauty comes from within, inner beauty is what matters, etc, etc. I have used many such sayings in Social Media in the hopes of encouraging anyone that sees it to feel great about themselves on the inside, even if only for the small moment it takes to read the saying.

The beauty industry can seem judgemental and shallow by promoting outer beauty and putting high importance on how you choose to present yourself. I don’t subscribe to this generalization.

I recently overheard an individual speaking of how she hoped to inspire others to understand that inner beauty is what’s most important and not to focus on appearance and outer beauty. While I agree whole heartedly that inner beauty makes us ‘who’ we are, why does this automatically give outer beauty a bad rap?? And why, oh WHY must the two be separated?

Outer beauty tinner beautyo me is simple – it’s the gift wrap on a present. How often do you give someone an unwrapped present? How excited would YOU be to receive a present that wasn’t wrapped? We all know it’s not the wrapping or the gift itself that counts – it’s the thought or feelings behind the present, or what I think of as the ‘inner beauty’ that tugs on your heart strings. Considering all that, I’m not above saying that unwrapping a gift bit by bit, the bow, the soft ribbon then the shiny paper, just makes it that much more exciting. Doesn’t it just add a little ‘something’ to the experience to have that present so beautifully wrapped? Of course!

Now settle down – I’m not saying that we should all walk around wrapped in a bow like a gift to the world just waiting to be unwrapped. But really – if you saw someone walking down the street like that wouldn’t you admire their self-confidence?? Their ability to show on the outside how great they feel about themselves on the inside? And that begs the question – what is so wrong with investing in and promoting outer beauty??

So when should outer beauty be celebrated??? This has always been quite simple to me. There is nothing wrong with outer beauty unless it is the only thing you are putting out there. Imagine unwrapping the most beautiful present only to find an empty box?

I have learned over and over that when people love how they look it makes them feel good. Being a part of making that happen is one of the reasons I love my job. Do my clients possess inner beauty before they walk into the Studio for their services? Of course! Inner beauty is not diminished by outer beauty, only enhanced by it.

There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who FEELS good about herself. That feeling doesn’t come from inner OR outer beauty – it comes from giving yourself the gift of both!!!

Thanks for listening,

Carrie

www.cihairstudio.ca

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The Art of the Blow Dry

blow dryWomen used to flock to the hair salon for their weekly shampoo and roller set. All the ladies lined up in a row, hair wound tight on rollers, sitting under the dryer, coffee in hand waiting for their hair to dry. I’m sure there are still some faithful weekly roller setters out there but lets just say the phone is not ringing off the hook with requests.

Now some of you, I’m sure, think this happened eons ago and wouldn’t have affected any of us in our careers, but I can tell you that Friday’s meant one thing for me early in my career, and that was roller set day. I loved seeing these clients once a week, catching up with what they did on their weekend, who came over after church last Sunday and who was coming to visit this weekend, all while I shampooed and put their rollers in. All the clients knew each other too and looked forward to catching up between themselves, asking about each others children, new grand babies and of course who was in the hospital and what kind of casserole they took over to the family. They didn’t even own a blow dryer or a curling iron. Seriously.

I know it all sounds cliche. I know it sounds like 1940 but believe me it was NOT! Those women with their rollers wanted what everyone really wants – their hair exactly how they liked it. They just happened to like a hard, backcombed set that would last a week. But there were also clients who came in once a week and wanted something different…..

First it started with a curling iron set. Like the roller set only softer, yet still quite formal looking. And then it happened – my foray into ‘The Art of The Blow Dry’. Ethel* was a wonderful lady, bright, happy and beautiful. What Ethel wasn’t was a roller set client. Her chin length grey hair required more muscle then what those rollers could handle and after her shampoo she promptly told me that she would like her hair blow dryed with a round brush. Now don’t get me wrong – I’d used round brushes in hair school, punishing my classmates with a blow dry every now and then, but we spent 95% of our time rolling and backcombing. Doing a round brush blow dry was not a honed skill of mine.

But Ethel was patient, and bless her heart came back again and again, and I learned how to smooth and curl and volumize all with that one little round brush. All those roller sets that I could now do with my eyes closed had already taught me how to section, angle and roll the hair to make sure that Ethel’s blow dry was the stuff of her dreams. What I didn’t realize at the time was how much Ethel, and her blow dry, was actually teaching me.

Hairstyling is an art, and one that gets passed over far too easily at the end of a service. That blow dry lasted Ethel for a week. A week where she could feel beautiful with her hair exactly how she wanted it and I was lucky enough to be the person that could do that for her.

Now realistically I’m aware that times have changed and the thought of washing your hair only once a week is enough to get you into the fetal position. What hasn’t changed though is the feeling that each client wants, and should always have, after walking out the door after getting their hair done. Just a chance to Experience Beautiful.

Thanks for listening,

Carrie

www.cihairstudio.ca

*name has been changed out of respect for the client

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