Natural Hair Texture: where the curls are.

It’s my personal mission to get everyone to embrace their natural hair texture.  I love to work with curly hair, but straight, wavy, or curly I want all my clients to enjoy their hair as much as I do! 

Curl Type

There are a couple of systems out there to help define what “type” of curl you have.  There is the 1, 2, 3, a, b, and c system credited to Andre Walker (Oprah’s hair guru).  Naturally Curly has some great photos of each curl type.  This is the most used method.  There is also the Mizani system which is a simple I, II, II, IV.  I tend to gravitate to just two groups, tight curls or loose curls (I will also accept wavy, but in my mind, it’s really loose curls).

Curl enhancing products

Most naturally curly hair tends to lean toward the dry side.  If you think about it, curlies have more of their hair exposed to the environment.  Straight hair has a veil of hair that protects the hair underneath, only one side of that veil is hit by the sun.  It’s important to support your curls with moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.  There are a lot of styling products out there that can protect your hair form the elements.  Most contain sunscreen these days.  Also, curly hair doesn’t reflect the light like straight hair does, so I like to finish with a shine spray so it sparkles.

moisture for curly hair

Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

The Enemy

Heat styling is the enemy.  When I style your hair in the salon, I’ll use a diffuser attachment to my blow dryer.  I do that to expedite the drying process so you can see the finished cut or color.  However, on a daily basis I would prefer you air dry our hair.  If you use a micro fiber towel and a curl cream or styling lotion you should be able to get a great curl formation without the frizz.  I’m not against enhancing some wavier areas with a curling iron, please use a heat protectant product beforehand and absolutely do not try to curl wet hair.  Make sure it’s 100% dry before you heat style.

curly hair protections

Protection from the elements.

Coloring curly hair

Our natural hair texture tends to be more porous (like a sponge).  If you want to make your color last longer, make sure to use a color preserving shampoo and conditioner.  There are also color enhancing shampoos to reinvigorate your color between services.  That said, I’m a big fan of shampoo for your secondary issue and condition for your primary issue.  So if your color treated hair is dry, go with the color preserving shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner.

protecting products

Color Hold Shampoo and Conditioner

Perms and Relaxers

Philosophically I’m not a fan.  Remember my mission is to help everyone to embrace their natural hair texture?  I sure appreciate the struggle, I know the grass is always greener on the other side.  If you have straight hair, you long for body and curl.  If you have really curly hair, you lament the lack of control and frizz.  Perms can give anyone curl, but they can also reform curls into a tighter or looser pattern.  It can get all those curls going in the same direction or create natural variations in size and flow.  Relaxing hair is also reforming the curls into a looser to almost straight pattern.  Both of these processes use chemicals to break down the protein bonds in your hair and reformat them into either the shape of a perm rod or a flat iron.  Frankly I prefer to minimize my exposure to these chemicals and I hope you do too.

Embrace your Texture

I encourage all my clients to enjoy the hair that they have.  I’m happy to recommend products to help each and every one of you manage your curly hair and rock those coils!  Let’s discuss the struggles you’ve had with your hair and I’ll tailor a cocktail especially for your hair type and styling preferences.  Would I prefer that you use Alterna products?  Yep, but there are plenty of other options.  I can help.

Sarah Kelly

805.324.7950

Hair Inspiration. Some people who inspire me to be a better hairstylist.

Hair inspiration is all around me. I’m inspired by everything from Architecture to Organic Design.  I won’t go into detail here about my love of all things Frank Lloyd Wright,  but I thought I should talk a little bit about some people in the hair business who inspire me on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, eternal basis.

 

My first hair inspiration, Horst and the Aveda Institute:

I attended the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis because the first hair stylist that inspired me was Horst Rechelbacher. Horst was and will always be a huge influence on the way I go about cutting hair.

I met Horst once at his salon Horst and Friends in Deep Haven.  Maybe I was 16 or 17 and my hair was not as curly as it is now.  I wanted a curly perm so I wouldn’t have to style my hair every morning.  I’ve long forgotten the young lady’s name who diligently rolled my curls, but when she rinsed my hair, Horst checked it and declared in ‘good’ and I was smitten.

Horst, mentor, p3 hair, sarah kelly, santa barbara hair, sbhair

The teacher of all my Teachers

Horst founded Aveda with the idea that great hair was derived from great products and great products came from plants not from petrochemicals.  Horst was on the bleeding edge of organic, chemical free beauty products.  I clearly drank the Aveda koolaid and I’m not sorry.

My teachers at Aveda worked with and were taught by Horst and his legacy lives on.  I felt his work and compassion and drive through my educators.  They were pretty strict.

Matt Beck is in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

When I say that I’m inspired weekly of course I’m talking about YouTube.  There are a couple of guys putting out videos of their process almost every week.  There is a ton of education out there.  When I need some technical inspiration I go to Free Salon Education.  Matt Beck takes some pretty technical concepts and breaks them down to a step by step – how to video.  I also like him a lot because he’s primarily a cutter, and uses color to enhance his haircuts.

Matt is an incredibly humble and gracious guy to share what he knows with hairdressers and do it for free.  I’m really grateful.  Matt is in Pennsylvania and he just built an amazing (professional) studio to create his content.  I’m going to his monthly tutorials group.

Maksim Nikitochkin is in Odessa, Ukraine.

I will probably never have a chance to meet him but he is the most precise cutter I’ve ever seen.  His sectioning is out of this world.  He divides the head shape up with such amazing visualizations of what he wants the hair to do.  Maksim cuts and folds and pushes hair to create shapes that push the boundaries of how hair would naturally fall, but it does!

I also love the depiction of the layers and the angles of the cut, so that you can see how to really construct the haircut.  And can we talk about the sound track!  He really puts the whole thing together in a dynamic and interesting way, no?

There’s another YouTuber who cuts like a machine.  Marina Lantos cuts with such clean, precise sections I’m pretty sure she would put those Japanese robots to shame.

Theo Knoop is from Nijmegen, Netherlands.

I cannot get enough of Theo Knoop.  He cracks me up everytime he says he always uses protection (what he’s referring to is protecting his skin and the skin of his guest, but ya know).  This guy is all about the flow.  He uses specific facial features to inform his cutting.  Generally focusing on the brow  and chin bones to accentuate the features of each client.  I love that he chats with his clients in Dutch and then tells us in English what his doing with the hair.  I also love that he too is a L’anza Stylist.  He really inspires me to use more of their products.  Theo’s style is organic in nature, but his results are usually quite trendy.  I can see most of his guests rocking his styles at the clubs in Amsterdam.

Tony Caito is in Modesto.

Tony Caito is the most generous hairstylist i know.  I first ran into Tony at the Santa Cruz hair show.  He was working with the League of Extraordinary Stylists at the time and had great stage presence.

Tony Caito, Sarah kelly, p3 hair, hair inspiration, sb hair

I’m in the second row, first seat on the left…

Tony is so generous.  He takes time almost daily and often late in the evening to make me a  better men’s hairstylist.  My fades are getting good thanks to this guy.  He runs an appointment only shop in Modesto.  There are no signs on Tony’s shop, only his silhouette on the outside window #businessgoals.  I follow Tony on Facebook and his partner @stylez.santana on Instagram.  I was watching one of Facebook Live sessions and I chimed in on the feed, Tony waved and said “Hi Sarah” I waved back at my iPad……technology.

Those are some of the people who inspire me.  Who inspires you?

Thanks for reading. If you would like to book an appointment with me to see how all these pieces fit together on you, call 805.324.7950 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or leave a message on my voicemail Friday through Monday

Carpe Diem

Sarah Kelly

Added Services Available from P3 Hair Design

I’ve had some really interesting questions come up in the last couple of weeks.  Clients who are visiting with me for the first time aren’t familiar with the way I work and are skeptical of the value added services I offer each and every person who sits in my chair.

Haircut, p3hair, sarah kelly, curated curls, santa barbara hair, added services

Complimentary scalp and shoulder massage with every haircut.

I offer a scalp and shoulder massage with every hair cut.  That includes the delicious essential oil I rub into my hands before I touch your head.  My massage is a multi sensory experience that I think a lot of folks like it almost as much as my haircuts.  My scalp and shoulder massage is complementary to your hair service, and I mean this in both contexts of the word “complementary”.  I believe that a little massage before I wash your hair is relaxing and gives us a few minutes to get to know each other better after we’ve had our consultation.  It’s also free!  I’m happy to do it.  I also appreciate people who aren’t comfortable with that kind of touch or if we’re visiting during your lunch hour and really can’t spare the 5 minutes – I get that.  But to be clear, the massage is FREE.

I find it sad that I should have to make this clear.  There is a trend in my business to up sell everything.  Salons have made big business of adding services to the service you actually came in to get.  I’ve fallen victim to it myself as customer elsewhere, “Would you like the deep conditioning treatment today?” and all of a sudden your bill is $200 (my reconditioning treatments, by the way, are valued at $15).  And what can you say at that point?  You’ve already had all these add on services done and you can’t give them back!  I apologize on behalf of my industry. 

I make in MY BUSINESS to be as transparent as possible.  Please ask me upfront what your service will cost (here is my services menu).  I have an app that will itemize everything for you and send you a receipt.  Easy peasy.  That said, my one exception to the rule is color correction.  If you’re asking me to fix someone else’s work, I’m going to charge by the hour, because, honestly, I don’t know how long it’ll take me and how many products I will need to adjust the tone or remove the hair color.  But again, I’m going to be upfront with you in our consultation that we will be spending approximately X hours together and here is my rate and that adds up to approximately $X.

professional hair color, p3hair, sarah kelly, santa barbara hair, added services

Complimentary hand and arm massage with every color service!

Back to massage.  I give an arm and hand massage while you’re color is processing too.  I also give my hand massages at the hood dryers while you’re receiving a Healing Treatment for your hair.  This is a value added service.  It’s completely complimentary and if you prefer to read People or answer emails that’s okay too.

I’m sorry to get on my soap box about added services, but it seemed like the perfect opportunity to set the record straight on how I like to do business and let you know that I’m not going to charge you for the massage.  It’s just a little thing I like to do for you to welcome you into my chair and hopefully make your day.

Carpe Diem

Sarah Kelly

805.324.7950 – TWTh 11-7 or leave me a message

Color your curly hair

Do you struggle with how to color your curly hair? 

Do use box color, only to be disappointed with the flat mat lifeless reflection in the mirror when you’re done?  I did too until I became a Colorist.  They say the mirror doesn’t lie, but it doesn’t exactly tell the truth either.  I want my next job to be the box color namer.  Tahitian Sunset sounds great until you see mauve roots and the same brown ends, with a weird purple tinge. The lady in the picture has shiny straight hair that is a beautiful burgundy. What happened?

sarah kelly, p3hair, lanza, mira bella salon and spa, color your curly hair

Curly hair takes color differently.

Curly hair and gray hair are not smooth and straight.  Textured hair is often coarser and more porous (sort of like ‘spongy’) than straight hair.  Mature hair doesn’t reflect the light like everyone else’s.  Coarse hair isn’t necessarily shiny. Curly hair is usually dryer than average hair so it will absorb light and color differently.

can you relate?

I have curly hair with some gray to cover.  I understand texture and curl formation and I also understand how to use color to enhance a haircut and lifestyle.  Your curly or gray hair will absorb the color quickly and may initially appear darker than the targeted shade because of the porosity.  It will suck up that color because your hair is thirsty for hydration any hydration.  That same open, thirsty cuticle will potentially also release that color equally as fast.  Which is why you may feel your color fades fast.  It’s not necessarily the colorist’s application that is sabotaging your results.  What we, as colorists, may be afraid to tell you is that you aren’t taking care of your color at home.  I’m going to recommend good quality products to you that will quench your thirsty strands and help you maintain your color until our next visit (6-8 weeks, sooner if your hair grows fast or you have a lot of gray to cover). 

Gray Hair accepts color differently

Some gray hair has trouble absorbing color.  The cuticle is super tight and requires extra Oomph to open it up to accept the color.  As a professional I’m going to assess your hair and make the right call on how to best feature you and your hair.  I’m going to be introducing L’anza Color in the next several weeks.  L’anza is a local company in Santa Monica and uses their patented Color Attachment Technology and Keratin Healing System replenishes protein and moisture.  I will also be applying the color to wet hair with this line.  That will help mitigate any porosity and make sure we get even color results.  L’anza also has Flower Shield to slow the fading process.

Make your appointment today with me at P3 Hair!  Call 805/324-7950 today.  I’m available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11-7; or by appointment.

Sarah Kelly is P3 Hair.

Curated Curls, carpe diem!