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

Summer Hair Tips

Summer Hair Tips

Summer can be tough on our locks.  The sun, baking our heads at 100*, sand and salt and let’s not forget chlorine!  We have it all here in Santa Barbara, sea, sand, wind, humidity and desert dryness (love those sun downers).  How can we protect our hair from the harshness of summer?  What are some things you can do to keep your color fresh, even in the hot weather?  What can you do to rehabilitate dry, damaged hair?  

Hair Protection

Every story about hair starts in the shower.  What are you using as your cleanser?  What are you using as your conditioner?  I like to recommend to my clients that they shampoo for the hair you would like to have and condition for the hair you currently have. 

  • If you are struggling with dry hair and you’d like to have smooth hair, start with an anti-frizz shampoo and use a moisturizing conditioner.
  • If your challenge is breakage and would like healthy hair, shampoo with a smoothing shampoo and finish with a protein infused conditioner.
  • Your hair color is fading and you’d like to keep in vibrant longer, wear a hat!  Seriously, it’s the best way to protect your head, but if you just don’t have a hat head, I understand, start with a mild cleanser and finish with a sulfate free (possibly color enhancing) conditioner.
summer hair tip, wear a hat

Wear a hat!

If you only have one concern, color for example, double up and shampoo and condition to protect your color longer.  You get the idea.

Summer Hair Products

The products you use in the summer time should be few and light.  Choose products that will achieve the style you want.  Sleek, smooth, curly, wavy, you do you!  Here are a couple of ideas.

Protective Hair Styles

The way you wear you hair in the summer can affect the overall condition.  If you’re a pony tail person, a great protective style, try to place your pony in various elevations on your head.  If you always put your elastic in the same spot you’ll eventually get breakage in that area.  You can also switch it up by opting for a braid without the elastic on top. 

  • Try tucking your hair through the hole in the back of a baseball cap rather than tying it up. 
  • There are so many decorative combs and headbands available now, just remember to stick them in different spots to avoid breakage. 
  • Scarves and head wraps can evoke an island vibe.
  • Classic big straw hat.
Repair your hair

Sometimes you can do everything right and still you have damaged your hair.  The best thing to do first is not panic.  i have deep conditioning treatments that can help restore resilience to your locks.  I also have products available for you to take home to manage your summer hair.

Thanks for reading.

Sarah Kelly

805.324.7950

Bespoke hair styling for discriminating people.

Be-spoke

bəˈspōk/

Adjective, British

  1. (of goods and services) made to order.

When you come in the Salon with a picture of a haircut you like, I will ask you a couple of questions.

What is it about this hairstyle you like?  Is there anything that you would change?  Then I will look closely at your face.  I know, it’s a little unnerving, but I think it’s important to assess your features, symmetry, proportion, and current hair length and texture.  This is why I love the idea of bespoke hairstyling.  It’s not only a picture of you when you looked and felt your best, it’s an image of you right now.  I want to give you what you want, but I want to tailor it to who you are right now. Bespoke hair styling means a hairstyle especially for you.

We all gravitate back to the hairstyle we wore when we felt our best.  I can’t say it was when we were at our most secure, most successful or even most beautiful, but it was when we felt like a million bucks.  It’s usually a time when we felt youthful maybe even invincible.  I’m not saying that we’re longing for our youth.  Hell no.  I think we are a lot wiser than we were and wouldn’t exchange that wisdom for anything.  What I’m trying to say, is that we gravitate to the place where we felt comfortable.  I can tell you, I’ve done the pixie, bob, long hair thing so may times.  If I were to be really honest with myself, I have to admit that the length of my hair is proportional to my weight.  I cut my hair off when I’ve dropped a ton of weight.  I don’t have perfect features by any means, but I feel terrific with short hair, and clearly no photos of my really long hair.

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and every length in between…

What is your lifestyle, how much time do you have to do your hair?

Let’s talk about what’s going on in your life right now.  Where do we want to add emphasis?  Where would we like to add drama?  What can we do to draw the eye away from certain areas?  That’s what I mean when I say Bespoke Hair Styling.  I want you to have the perfect style especially for you.  I schedule an extra fifteen minutes just for our consultation so I can customize the perfect look to suit your lifestyle in the next forty-five minutes.

Get a custom hairstyle, tailored specifically for you.  Be Bespoke

Sarah Kelly, P3 Hair Design, 805.324.7950

Hair Donations

p3 hair, sbhair, santa barbara hair, hair donations, big chop

Letter of Thanks

What I’m doing:

I recently boosted a Facebook post with pictures from the the last year or so of hair donations that I’ve done at the shop.  The response was amazing.  The support for my efforts and the number of “likes” I received was humbling.  The attention I received inspired me to post about Who I send my donations to and why.  What are some of the other charities that help people cope with hair loss.  I had the opportunity to take a donation from a women who’s from the town in India where the majority of “Remy Hair” is from and the history of hair donation there.  It all reminded me of the documentary “Good Hair” produced by Chris Rock.  He was inspired to make the movie when his daughter asked him why they didn’t have good (straight) hair.

Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, India:

A client called to make an appointment for a hair donation back in Minnetonka.  She had beautiful wavy dark brown hair down to the middle of her back.  She told me she used to donate her hair every year, but now that she’s a little older, her hair doesn’t grow as fast as it used to so now she only donates every other year!  I had just seen the documentary “Good Hair” and was sharing an anecdote about extensions and the Temple in India.  She laughed and said that’s the village she grew up in.  I apologized for my super arrow view, she said don’t worry and told me more about it.

One of the original donation centers is in Tirumala, in Southern India, where roughly 20,000 people a day come to donate their hair.  The origin story goes that Sri Venkateswara wanted a lavish wedding celebration.  In order to finance it, he took out a loan that was so great that followers are still paying it off today.  It’s seen mostly as a sacrifice and as a way of shedding the ego.  The Temple collects 500 tons of hair per year.  The pristine hair is auctioned and sold on the world market for wigs and extensions.  Here is a little snippet from “Good Hair”.

Who I’m sending donations to and why:

I recommend Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  I like that they only need 8 inches of hair.  People can donate 4 to 6 months sooner than with other organizations.  Pantene doesn’t charge for their wigs.  PBL has a good record of keeping their administrative costs down and have most of their resources going to women (specifically) in need.  The hair is mailed to a sorting center coincidentally, to Grand Rapids Minnesota where my parents live.

pantene beautiful lengths, hair donation, sb hair, santan barbara hair, p3 hair, sarah kelly

Other possible Charities:

I’m a fan of  Wigs for Kids.  I’m Facebook friends with the founder Maggie Varney.  She’s a tireless worker in her salon and for the charity.  I went to the website a couple of weeks ago and I was surprised to find a message that they would prefer cash donations over hair donations right now.  While I appreciate the overhead that goes into getting these wigs to the kids who need them, I was a little put off.  It’s easier for me as a hairstylist to recommend that I bundle 12 inches of hair on a big chop makeover than it is to encourage someone to donate money.  Still their heart’s in the right place.

wigs for kids, hair donation, sb hair santa barbara hair, p3 hair, sarah kelly

Locks of Love.  I used to send my hair donations there, back in Minnesota.  They need 10 inches of clean hair.  LoL doesn’t mind if the hair is chemically treated (color or perm), but they don’t accept hair that has been bleached (highlighted).  They have a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator.   LoL can’t seem to shake the stigma of charging for their services.  The application process for a child requires a tax return, so the price is on a sliding scale depending on income.  Still Locks of Love is the most popular charity for kids with hair related medical issues.

Locks of Love , hair donation, sb hair, santa barbara hair, p3 hair, sarah kelly

They’re all great charities.  Let me know when you’re ready for the big chop!

Sarah Kelly

P3 Hair Design

805.324.7950

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!

 

 

 

Plopping Curly Hair

Plopping curly hair is just carefully placing your curls into a cotton tee shirt and allow the shirt to absorb the excess water, without the friction and frizz of a terry cloth towel.

I’ve had a couple of easy breezy long haired curly girls in my chair lately who had never heard of hair plopping.  It’s a really easy way to dry and style your curls simultaneously.  By the way, it also works on short curly hair.

plop, hair plopping, curly hair plopping, Caviar, Alterna, Bamboo, CC cream

Prep, Style and Finish!

Here is what you’ll need to get starting plopping:

  1. A great hair cut. The best tools and products aren’t going to give you amazing curls unless you have a great cut to start.
  2. Good quality products.  I like to use a Prep, Style and Finish product.  The Prep product should be a leave in conditioner.  Even if you’ve conditioned your hair in the shower, use a leave in to protect your curls from the elements.  UV protection is a bonus, moisture is a must! You can use a mousse, a gel, or a lotion to Style your hair.  You might even want to keep each of these types of products on hand.  Each one has a different level of hold and degree of softness.  The lighter the hold, the more soft your curls will be.  When your hair is mostly dry, finish your curls with shine spray, an anti humectant or even an anti frizz product.  I’ve written about what a fan I am of Alterna Haircare, but you can review my post here
  3. A very well loved tee shirt.  I wouldn’t recommend a pit stained shirt with old paint spatters, but a tee shirt that has been washed more than a few times.  The video shows a long sleeve shirt which I think is a terrific idea.  I’ve also had clients use their husband’s tee shirts because they’re big enough to fully envelope their curls.

Here is a short YouTube video that will walk you through the process of hair plopping:

If you’re at work and can’t do a video right this moment, here are some instructions on plopping hair with a t shirt with photos from naturallycurly.com (love those curly gurrlls).

Call (805) 324-795 to schedule a consultation with me on how to get your best curls yet!

Sarah Kelly – p3hair

curated curls

The Top Three Questions to Answer Before Your Makeover

New Year, new look, new you!  I love a makeover.  If you’re ready, here are the top three questions you need to answer before your makeover.

1. Thanks for bringing in the photos. What do you like or dislike about them?

Editorial styling is an art.  People in magazines are made up to look good for the camera.  Neither of us really has any idea what it took to get that volume/color/style.  I love visual aids.  They are a true expression of what you’d like me to do.  We’ll talk about what you like about the photo and I’ll check your current length, the condition of your hair, the texture of your hair and make sure it’s a good match for your lifestyle before we start your makeover.  We’ll walk through the haircut and I’ll talk you through any changes that I feel would better suit your features.  Please be patient with my questions.  Hair is my passion and I get very excited about it, I want you to be excited about it too!

2. How much effort are you willing to put into your hair?

If you’re a no fuss, no muss, person, thats okay, Most styles do need a little product – even Beachy Air Dried Waves require a little texturizing spray and a leave-in conditioner.  Super straight styles need some heat from a blow dryer and tension from a brush.  Ask me how to blow out your own hair.  Do try to embrace your natural texture – it’s the path of least resistance. If you’re not afraid of styling tools, loose curls or flat ironing your hair can refresh any hair style.  Platinum Blonde or fashion colors are beautiful but huge commitments of time and money, so if you want to go from dark brown to blonde or on the flip side, going from grey to dark brown be prepared to sit at the salon for a few hours and come back every three or four weeks for retouches.

3. What are you using at home?

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Sulfate free shampoo and conditioner are going to best protect your new cut and/or color.  Salon QUALITY products are just that.  I’m going to use the best possible products on your hair so we achieve the best results, why wouldn’t you want that too?  Clients ask me what is the difference?  P&G (no offense) are going to use the least expensive stuff they can get in the highest quantities.  It’s simple economics.  I have the best quality products for a reasonable price, I have to buy them too!   I highly recommend Alterna Haircare products and you can pick them up from Mira Bella.

So, when would you like to get together?

Sarah Kelly – p3hair

(805) 324-7950

curated curls

Hair Products

P3hair, Sarah Kelly, santa barbara

Products enhance your hairstyle

I’m getting to know Santa Barbara better every day.  What I’ve heard in my chair mostly these first 6 months is requests for little or no hair products.  This puts me in a bit of a pickle.  While I want very much to give you the service you want, I also want very much to give you the hair style you’ve requested.  Most days that means putting a little something-something in your hair.  

If I insist on putting some goo in your hair, please don’t be offended.  I just want to give you the best possible results.  California poses a number of environmental challenges to most hairstyles.  

▪ Sun:  

The sun will dry your hair and fade your color.  In most cases, I want to slather your hair with moisture.  I want to protect it from damage.  In most cases, I want to help you protect your investment in hair color and provide products with UV protection.

▪ Salt:

In most cases the ocean provides terrific texture.  Add a little sunscreen and you have yourself great “Beachy Waves”.  But, see the facts above.  If you’re spending time at the beach, you’re exposing your hair to drying atmospheric elements that could again ruin the investment you’ve made with me.  Let me use some leave in conditioner to replace the moisture and protein the ocean has removed.

▪ Humidity:  

Santa Barbara has the most amazing weather.  Our mornings are a little overcast, sometimes foggy, usually humid.  This is going to make your hair frizzy.  There, I said the word, yes frizzy.  If I’m seeing you earlier in the day, I’m going to want to put some serum in your hair.  Yes, it’s an oil, yes, if you use too much it can appear greasy, but I won’t do that to you!  I’m going to use the serum to smooth the cuticle of your hair and seal it so it won’t absorb any more water from the air.  Cool huh?  I might also add the serum as a finish product to again smooth and gloss your hair.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m using Alterna Haircare Products at my station and now they’re available to you through Mira Bella’s retail area.  I may also cocktail in some Kevin Murphy products, a higher end product that’s also available.

I am all about keeping it natural, but I promise the products that I recommend to you when I’m styling your hair are all natural.  They are free of alcohol, sulfates and parabens and are not tested on animals.  They will rinse right out on your first shower, so you won’t get any build-up.  Come on, treat yourself to a little aromatherapy session while I create the perfect hairstyle just for you.

Carpe Diem

Sarah Kelly – p3hair

(805) 324-7950

curated curls