Trade Secrets Of A Hair Stylist -- Beware, Some Are Hair-Raising

Although some of these trade secrets may seem shocking and unbelievable -- they have probably been practiced in your favorite salon.

I am a former hair stylist who worked in a busy, big-city salon with a reputation for upscale hair artistry and over-the-top prices. Even there, it wasn't uncommon to witness the following:

  1. Even in your most exclusive salons, hair stylists have been known to use unsanitary combs and brushes. Often the stylist will have a favorite tool and use it repeatedly from one patron to the next without soaking it in sanitary fluid.
  2. One of the best hair conditioners is liquid fabric softener, diluted to a solution of 1 part softener to 9 parts water. Simply fill a spray bottle with the liquid and lightly spray onto wet hair. Leave it in as you blow dry and style your hair. It will be soft, silky, and tangle free.
  3. If you have highly bleached hair, avoid using a hot curling iron with a steel barrel. If the curling iron gets too hot, the bleached hair will melt onto the iron and make it impossible to remove without cutting the hair
  4. I once worked with a salon owner who kept a washer and dryer in the back of the salon to launder the towels used on patrons' hair. After use, dirty towels were thrown in a hamper. Several times when we ran out of towels, the owner would throw the used wet towels in the dryer without washing them.
  5. Many of the latest styles require a stylist to thin the customer's hair in order to achieve the desired look. However, what many don't realize is that three to four weeks after the thinned hair begins to outgrow the original style it is generally unmanageable, lumpy, and frayed-looking on the ends, because thinning the hair weakens the shaft and encourages breakage and uneven growth.
  6. Many salons water down their shampoo and conditioner in order to stretch their product and increase profits.
  7. Many conditioners contain an inordinate amount of wax that can build up over time on your hair. If your hair smokes when touched by a hot iron, chances are you have waxy buildup. Waxy buildup can be removed by using a cheap shampoo that has a higher pH.
  8. Rinsing with a diluted mixture of 1 part vinegar to 9 parts cold water, after coloring your hair, will set the color and help to prevent fading
  9. Although foiled highlights seem to be the popular way to lift hair color, many stylists believe the old-fashioned caps create a more predictable result. Why? Because bleach or high-lift colors expand with heat, and the heat of one's scalp can often cause color or bleach to seep outside the edges of the foil. This in turn can create unsightly bands or stripping on the hair and even blistering on the scalp
  10. The best tip I can give you is to give the best tip you can to your stylist. Good tips can make the difference between an average and outstanding do.

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