Logistics or failure to plan is planning to fail

Life is hard, but with a little planning, you can make it easier.

UPDATE: 7/6/2020

  • COVID-19
  • My Dad passed away April 12th
  • We had to move again, similar situation. West Mesa to Alta Mesa. Bushnell came through again.
  • We rented an RV to travel to Minnesota to prepare my Dad’s house for sale. 3 days there, 1 week at the cabin cleaning, 50 industrial size garbage bags to the dump, 4 days back. Camping is totally off brand, but not bad in a camper!
  • COVID-19 surge…

Finding a rental

We received notice from our Landlords that we needed to vacate in 90 days.  It wasn’t our fault.  They had a sudden and unexpected death in the family.  It was easier to kick us out than it was for them to find a more optimal situation.  We had a good run.

It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon…

Garrison Keiller

Sam was closing up shop in Oregon and Lillian was in Texas dealing with the estate.  Neither of them had time to find a home in California.  Totally understandable, but pretty inconvenient for us.

Patrick checked on Zillow right away to find another place to rent.  I was at the salon waiting for an evening appointment, but checked out Craigs List quickly to see what was available.  We had it narrowed down to about 5 possibilities, one of which didn’t take dogs, so that one was eliminated.  The last 4 were all good enough. That was Tuesday.

We drove around and around Santa Barbara checking out each house on Wednesday.  We talked about the logistics of each one.  One had an amazing view of the ocean, it was just up the hill from the salon and halfway to my son’s work.  But the house was poorly designed and placed so it took no advantage of the view.  Another one reminded me of The Brady House (ah, no thanks).  It was so much of it’s time, to be generic, also not logistically great. Another had easy access to the beach (Hendrey’s), but I would have to drive to the salon and Chris would have to take a Lyft in both directions.  It had an interesting view of Elings park, but I’m kind of 50/50 on paragliding.

We narrowed it down to one house by Thursday.  A Charmingly functional home on the West Mesa.  It is one of four homes that were developed together, although only 3 remain in their original condition. Patrick called the property management company and left a message with two different people.  I sent a message through Zillow that we were interested.  Then we waited.  After a couple of hours Patrick thought that maybe we could get their attention better by filling out an application.  I was skeptical, but he’s usually right about these things.  He received a call in about 20 minutes (I know.  So annoying, right?).

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail

Benjamin Franklin

Joe thought we should take a look around before we proceeded, so he gave us the door code.  We flew over and it was perfect.  Same square footage as we had, but a much better layout.  Bedrooms on the North side of the house for those of us who like to sleep late and all the living space in the front of the house.  Patios in the front and back.  A view of the ocean and Santa Cruz Island in the front and a mountain view in the back.  We told Joe we’d take it.  Chris and I filled out our applications and we got a call Friday morning that we were approved (many thanks to Patrick’s awesome references).  We did a walk through and got the keys.

Postcard size view
Our little view from the patio.

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.

Garrison Keiller


Patrick packed a duffle bag and encouraged us to do the same.  Chris and I packed everything up and put the boxes next to the door.  Patrick put the boxes in the car and unloaded them at the new house when he had enough to fill the car. Patrick pretty much single handedly filled the garage and the closets and bedrooms.  Movers (YAY!!!) were schedule for the following Thursday.

Dennis, Joe and Hugo showed up and started to work wrapping my antiques and ikea pieces alike.  These guys were hilarious, riffing on each other with self deprecating humor.  They were just charming.  It took pretty much all day to move our stuff across town.  Patrick was so impatient with me when I wanted use graph paper and cut little square to scale to represent our rugs and furniture.  But In the end, it all paid off on moving day, when all I had to do was point to where I wanted stuff and they placed everything in the perfect spot.

furniture arrangement
Why was this so hard?

I think it was Sunday when we got up enough energy to finish cleaning the old house.  I had intended to go get some caustic chemicals to do the job, but instead used my clean green homemade stuff with about 10 magic erasers (damn those things are amazing). To sum up, we found out we had to move on Tuesday and it was done 2 weeks later.  If you have a good project manager and plan well, you’ll usually end up where and how you’re supposed to be.

Well that’s the news from Lake Wobegon

Garrison Keiller

Patrick’s got a new side gig and part time opportunity and Tali was at AVS again, and I’m going to have surgery on my knee in September.  I’ll save those stories for the salon.

I want to get to know you better.  Schedule an appointment to talk about your dream hair.  My mission is to help you embrace and enhance the natural color and texture of your hair.


Sarah Kelly

P3 Hair Design

Product Sales

It’s been a difficult couple of months. I was thinking about how best to help you (my clients) while I’m unable to provide services behind the chair. I’ve really struggled to find products that best fit my mission statement to provide the highest quality with the most natural ingredients.

Organic Hair care

I went back to a brand that I tried eons ago, Simply Organic Hair care. They have rebranded, updated and expanded their products. Most importantly, they reached out in support of Hair Stylists (me) in what has been the most transformative time for my business. Here are a couple of products I think you’ll be very interested in using.


Holistic hair tribe has a couple of shampoos I think you’ll like. Oway Curly Hair Bath shampoo has licorice extract, crabwood oil and coconut in it for moisturizing, curl enhancing and frizz reducing,. The Curly Hair Bath product is pretty rich and best for thick hair and might be too much for medium to fine texture.

For medium to fine hair, Silk and Glow give you all the benefits of the Curly Hair Bath, but with a lighter touch. The key ingredients here are Oat Protein for strength, Organic Cupuaçu Butter for moisture, and Brazil Nut Oil for anti-frizz.

I don’t want to leave out my color clients, Oway has the perfect shampoo, Color Protection Hair Bath. Red Vine provides antioxidants to protect, Goji Berry for oxidative protection, and delicate cleansing agents. If you use these product links, don’t forget to use my PARTNER CODE HHT3075 at checkout to get $5 off.


The Curly Hair Mask (that’s what Oway calls cream conditioner) is the companion to the Curly Hair Bath. It contains the same natural ingredients as well as Macadamia Nut Oil for shine and smoothing. Again, great if you have really thick curls, you might want to opt for something lighter if your hair is fine. In that case, I would recommend Frequent Use Conditioner. The main benefit is that it nourishes and moisturizes the hair without weighing it down. Key ingredients include Lemon, White Tea Extract, and Aniseed Extract. These will give you healthy shiny hair – everyday. Again, if you’re clicking on the product links above, don’t forget to put my Partner Code: HHT3075 in at checkout!

Light natural conditioner.

Color Enhancing Conditioners

Here is something I know you’ll love, color enhancing conditioners! It might be a little late now. You might have and inch or so of new growth, but rather than reach for box color, order a Hmelt Mask to blend away grey and increase the longevity of your color service. I’ve linked to chestnut, but there are lots of shades to choose from including some fun (temporary) fashion colors.

Color enhancing conditioner


I know, Olaplex is the opposite of organically derived hair products, but I get a lot of requests for it. They’ve been really supportive of hair stylists while we’ve been out of work. So here’s a link to their products if you have a lot of damage from color processing (did you use box color?) or breakage from previous blonding services. I have a couple of clients who have felt that their hair was physically repaired to its previous condition from using Olaplex. I will still be able to provide the Olaplex Service in the salon going forward, but if you would like to try the shampoo, conditioner and the new No.7 bonding oil, please use my affiliate link so I can get a little extra income while I’m out of the shop. Thanks, you’re the best.

No.7 Bonding Oil from Olaplex

I hope these products can tide you over until I can get back into the shop. Hopefully they will let us get back to work really soon. I have a list of clients who are waiting to get in, if you’d like to be included on the first call list, email me and let me know how you’d like to be notified. Miss your face.

Sarah Kelly



Hair Emergencies, don’t panic!

Hair Emergencies. Now that I have your attention, it’s not a thing. I admit, that I will probably be seeing more than a few home job corrections and I’m happy to help when all of this is over. In the meantime, here are some DIY hair tips you can do until you can get in to see me at the shop.

Trim your fringe (bangs) at home. Hair emergency #1

I’ve helped a few clients with how to trim their bangs without ending up with bumper bangs (see Bettie Page). If you’re like me, it was cute when you were in your 20’s, but not so much now. Sam Villa is a stylist and educator who breaks down his techniques into bite size hints that anyone can do. Just a friendly reminder that he teaches to professional hair stylists, so it’s a little different on a mannequin then in the mirror. My one caveat is PLEASE START LONG. You can always take more off, but once you cut it, you can’t put in back on.

Covering Gray or new growth (roots). Hair emergency #2

This hurts me as much as it hurts you, but don’t try to color your hair at home. I know this will be painful and hard to look at. Hopefully, you are currently doing your work remotely (Social Distancing People) and can call in to a conference bridge for your meetings. If, on the off chance that you have to do video conferencing, this is not a hair emergency, here are a few thoughts on disguising your stripe. Watch this really cute young lady make quick work of a zig zag part. Her accent is adorable.

Deep side part

The video above reminded me that a deep side part is a great method to cover new growth at your hairline. If you do a no part, part or a center part, don’t panic, just move that sucker to the side and swoop that heavy side over. Leave your hair a little loose over your forehead and tuck it behind your ear. Try to find a spot where your new growth is less noticeable to get the right effect.

Hats and headbands.

I sport a baseball cap on most of my days out of the salon. I know, sacrilege for a curly girl! That said, the brim keeps the sun and my curls off my face. When I’m lounging around the house I will have a little butterfly clip holding up my bangs. Again, the point is to keep the hair out of my face. It will not however, cover the gray any which way. I have so many headbands it’s not even funny. If you’re trying to cover new growth before a color service, let me recommend a wide scarf or headband. My last tip is to use Buffs. This is the most versatile hair emergency apparatus I have ever encountered. It’s a scarf, it’s a headband, it’s a scarf, it’s a neck gaiter. You get the idea. Wear that puppy down over your forehead to get maximum camouflage.

There are no Hair Emergencies.

I’m sorry you’re having a tough time. I hope these hair tips help in the meantime. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Get a handle on your hair while I’m out of the shop. We are all in this together and we have to protect our most vulnerable friends and family during this time. Remember to wash your hands and don’t touch your face! I can’t wait to give you a huge hug when this is over.

Huffpost posted a day after I did

They posted several YouTube videos on Bang trims, Trimming your ends, Men’s haircut, and even a curly tutorial. Check it out…

I also have some styling tips over here….

Here are some links that I’ve found to be helpful:

I’ll reactivate my online scheduling links and phone when we have a better idea of what’s happening. Don’t panic and don’t forget your towel

~ Sarah.

Hair Loss in Women

What are the possible causes of women’s hair loss

The Primary cause is family history.  Female Pattern Baldness is usually a gradual shedding over time.  The scalp becomes easier to see over a long period of time.  If you feel that your hair is falling out fast, or falling out in huge amounts, consult a Doctor and here are some things you can check before your appointment.

Normal growth and density of curly hair.
Normal Texture and Density

Hormonal changes can also cause your hair to fall out.  I think we can all remember pulling wads of hair out of the shower drain when out babies where a few months old.  Pregnancy disrupts of cycle of growth, resting, and shedding.  We essentially stay in resting phase and some moms will experience their hair actually gets thinker!  Menopause, is the other end of the hormonal cycle.  The testosterone in our systems starts to go down and with it, our hair often starts thinning.

Some medical conditions have the unpleasant effect of making your hair fall out.  When a client asks me about sudden or excessive hair loss, I will always ask them to get their thyroid checked.  That gland in your throat regulates your metabolism.  A simple blood test will ensure your T3 and T4 levels are normal.  Women with diabetes or Lupus can also experience hair loss. I hesitate to mention this, but it’s important to note that if you or your kid are losing a lot of hair it can also be a symptom of a possibly disordered diet.  In all these cases, medical intervention is absolutely necessary.

Some other conditions that cause patchy hair loss: Alopecia Areata is losing your hair in spots. It’s an autoimmune disorder and is pretty rare (2% of people).  Ringworm (Tinea Capitis) is a fungal infection, usually affecting the hair follicle. There are both topical and oral antifungal treatments for this.  If you have kids in school, it’s not unlikely.  

Medication can also affect hair growth.  We’re all pretty familiar with the side effects of cancer treatments.  If you’re going through chemotherapy, ask if they have a Cold Cap.  It’s shown to have a lot of benefits for keeping your hair.  I would also be happy to help you do the big chop, it you feel that the discomfort of a cap is not for you.  Some anti depression medications can cause hair loss as well as some blood pressure and arthritis medications. 

Sudden, traumatic life events.  If you have suffered a very stressful event, I would say any of the big ones, Marriage, Divorce, Moving, Serious Illness, or Death of a loved one (including pets), can trigger hair loss.

Lastly, hairstyling can be a contributing factor.  Tight ponytails or buns can not only break hair, it can also cause Traction Hair loss along the hairline.  This is a real problem with women who enjoy sewn in hair extensions.  People who wear hats and helmets daily can also have similar issues.  

Excessive hair loss
Is this normal?


It’s important to use caution when handling your hair.  Gentle scalp message is preferred over vigorous scrubbing.  I’m not a fan of brushing personally, but Wet Brushes have changed my professional life.  They go through tangled hair like butter, especially when used with conditioner.  I’ve mentioned tight hairstyles and weaves, but also heat styling can be a problem.  Try to keep the temperature as low as possible.  Set the curling or flat iron high enough to work, but low enough to not damage your hair.  My darling niece allowed a friend to straighten her hair and ended up burning her curls out.  It took a long time to get her natural texture back.

Check your meds.  See if hair loss is possible side effect.  Ask your doctor if there is a different formulation available to help you.  Check your supplements.  Selenium can cause a problem (but only at toxic levels…).  Always, always, always check your B vitamins. Low Riboflavin (B2) and Biotin (B7) can cause your hair to fall out, not mention create issues with nerves and brain function.  

There are a ton of options for treating hair loss in women.  Please see the links below for some products that might be helpful for you.  Like most products, you may have to try a couple to find the one, or ones, that work best for you.  

AG Hair Natural Line
93-98% naturally derived

My Hair Loss Recommendations:

Hair Donations

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

Letter of Thanks

What I’m doing:

I 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 narrow 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’ve recommended Pantene Beautiful Lengths  because I liked that they only needed 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 was mailed to a sorting center coincidentally, in Grand Rapids Minnesota where my parents live.  Unfortunately, they are only accepting human hair donations through the end of 2018.  PBL will be providing synthetic wigs in the future.  I’m very sad to hear this.   

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

Going Forward:

When I last updated this blog, I decided to go ahead and recommend Locks of Love to my clients.  A beautiful and thoughtful fan on Facebook almost immediately replied “NOOOOOO!”.  My first thought was, Wow, that’s a pretty visceral response, but when I asked some more questions, Brande reminded me about why I didn’t go with LoL in the first place.  They do charge recipients based on their ability to pay.  She pointed out that it’s not fair, that it’s not exactly charitable.  She did some digging and found another charity that fits right in with what the Pantene program provided.  So I’m introducing Children With Hair Loss.

Children With Hair Loss is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides human hair replacements at no cost to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss.

CWHL requires at least 8 inches of hair and it doesn’t matter if it’s color treated or gray, as long as it’s clean and in good condition!

hair donation, p3 hair design, 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.  They have pretty rigorous standards.  They need 12 inches and it must be virgin (no perms, highlights, gray, or color) hair.  I don’t run into that very often, so I’m not sure when I will ever have an opportunity to donate to this wonderful organization.

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

Locks of Love.  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.   The application process for a child requires a tax return, so the price is on a sliding scale depending on income.  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


News for P3 Hair Design: New PUPPY!

Good News

My last blog post was really sad.  I felt, at the time that I really needed to chime in on all the disasters going on in the city.  We all suffered a little PTSD after the devastation.  I felt like I couldn’t really express my grief over my dog Louie, when so many others had lost so much more.  The good news is that I was able to heal just a little bit more when I adopted my new puppy, Tali.

bmd, mesadogs, new puppy, santa barbara puppies

Taliesin “Tali”

Puppy Spot

I wasn’t really shopping for a new puppy. I was just Googling around.  Patrick had checked all the Bernese Mountain Dog puppies available through the AKC, but none of them really felt like the right dog for us until I found Puppyspot.com. I saw a couple of cute puppies, but none of them really touched me until I saw “Maggie”.

BMD puppy, new puppy, mesa dogs, santa barbara dogs

I just knew this was my Tali

New Puppy

Look at that face, LOOK AT IT! Those eyes, that pink snoot, and the fluff, just look at her.  She is gorgeous.  Well, I was smitten.  Patrick was like, “Are you sure you’re ready?”  And I said “Are you sure you’re ready?  She’s going to be essentially your dog. You’re the one who’s going to be home with her all day.  Are you sure?” “Let’s do it!” I’m telling you, I pressed a button on my computer and a week later I had a puppy.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  I was contacted by a puppy concierge in about 20 minutes.  I gave them my credit card and next thing I know, I’m going to LAX Delta Live Cargo to pick up my new puppy.  Shut The Front Door!

Tally Ho!?

No, just no.  Tali is short for Taliesin.  Frank Lloyd Wright’s home in Spring Green Wisconsin. FLLW also has a home in Scottsdale, Arizona called Taliesin West. I’m a huge FLLW nerd.  I’ve been to Taliesin a couple of times.  We have a HUGE picture of it in our home.  Patrick has a poster of his studio in his office.  It’s a little over the top, I know. Fandom has no bounds.

Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright, Spring Green, Wisconsin

Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin

What has any of this got to do with hair?

Well, nothing really.  It’s just an excuse to share pictures of the cutest puppy that ever lived.  My apologies to Zoe and Louie.  They were great dogs in their own right. However, Tali came fully formed right out of the crate.  This dog has prescient knowledge that I just can’t explain.  She knew her name (remember, the breeder named her Maggie?).  She was house broken, sit, and down, okay, she could use a little work on stay and come, but wow.  I don’t know about your dog, but my dog can see about 3 to 5 steps ahead of things.  She grabs other dog’s leashes at the park before they have a chance to get away.  She begs for scraps from the couch, because it’s closer to the dining table.  See what I mean?

BMD, Tali, new puppy, mesa dogs, santa barbara dogs

Tali the mountain dog

So that’s what’s new with me.  Please come in to see me and I’ll tell you about the rest of my family, but I’ll show your the most recent pictures of my new puppy.

Carpe Diem

Sarah Kelly

P3 Hair Design


Grit, Determination and Hypervigilance

December was a tough month for everyone

Thomas Fire:  281,893 acres burned in Ventura, Ojai, Carpinteria, Summerland and Santa Barbara. 1093 structures destroyed and 280 structures damaged

Thomas Fire Map

Thomas Fire Map and Evacuation Areas


I live and work on The Mesa.  You can see on the map how the fire circled around downtown and the Mesa.  The Firefighters held the line along Mission Canyon and 192 to protect as many people and properties as possible.  They held a town hall briefing at 4:00 everyday.  We watched on Facebook.  All the agencies involved were represented and answered any questions the public had.  All the agencies complimented each other on how well coordination and communications were done throughout the emergency.  It was really awesome and really terrifying.

The outside air quality was anywhere from “unhealthy” to “not recommended for sensitive groups”.  N95 masks were distributed to the public, free of charge from a group called Direct Relief.  I read they distributed somewhere in the neighborhood of 300,000 masks.  We were cooped up.  I had not experienced that kind of cabin fever since the winter of 2013.  Where in Minnesota, there were 53 straight days of below zero temperatures.  But I digress, that’s what got us to Santa Barbara to begin with! Somehow during this time I caught a whopper of a cold which made is much easier to binge watch the news with minute by minute updates about the fire.  I went through two boxes of tissues, but I had my trusty dog by my side…

Then the rain came  

The Rain storm started about 3:30 am on January 9th.  I only know because for some reason Patrick got up, I opened one eye at the time and then went back to sleep.  The estimates are somewhere in the 1 inch per hour range for awhile and 1/4 of and inch per hour during the late morning.  Patrick was concerned about our new retaining wall, which fell during the winter storm last year.  Yes it held.

Then came the devastating mud slides.  I read that the burned chaparral caused a waxy residue to form on top of the charred dirt.  This did not allow the rain to be absorbed and caused the water to run down the mountains and pick up earth and boulders that eventually hit Montecito. 

You might not be familiar with this little Santa Barbara enclave, but you might know some if it’s residents.  Oprah moved in a few years ago.  So did Ellen and Portia de Rossi.  Rob Lowe fed Fire Fighters in his kitchen.  But my favorite is of course The Dude, Jeff Bridges.  I do have a six degrees of separation story there, but that’s for another time.  21 people died and I think 2 are still missing.  A few of these souls were in the voluntary evacuation area.  It’s difficult to fathom the terror they must have felt. 

This is actually the first time I’ve been able to watch any video of the damage,  it’s just too heartbreaking.

But I’ll always have my dog by my side

And as if this were not enough, the universe provided one last blow, my beloved rescue Berner Louie died after a very sudden and devastating illness.  The Saturday before Christmas, he started to limp and then knuckle his toes.  We brought him in to AVS to be looked at.  They took some X-rays, but the Vet felt that there was nothing really remarkable about them.  She mentioned the atrophy in his legs, but suggested rest, anti inflammatories and some pain management.  He got up under his own power and came home. 

By the Wednesday after the Holiday, Louie wasn’t able to get up on his own, and was unable to use his hind legs at all.  We went back to AVS and were told that there really wasn’t any hope.  He no longer had any feeling in his back legs and was unable to go to the bathroom on his own. Louie’s paralysis would most likely be progressive. We made the gut wrenching decision to let him go.  We try to reconcile our grief with the fact that he had an amazing five years with us and really became the dog he was always supposed to be. 

I guess that was his Karma.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Louie “Booboo” Kelly

Grit and Determination

It’s difficult to see the bright side in all of this, but some good came out it all.  Santa Barbara came together with grit and determination.  Everybody pitched in in one way or another.  Mira Bella Salon and Spa decided to give a Direct Relief donation in lieu of our holiday celebrations.  Direct Relief distributed masks, first aid and vaccinations for workers in the mud slide area.  What is not widely known is that the CEO of Direct Relief is a resident of Montecito and was personally impacted by the fire and the flood.

We were joined at Mira Bella by Patricia Noel Studio.  The stylists there worked with us for 10 days while Coastal Village Road was cleaned up and until it was safe to return to their home salon.  They are amazingly busy Hairdressers and brought a buzz to our shop we haven’t seen in awhile.  It was great to welcome and support our hairdressing community and lift the spirits and business of another shop during this really difficult time.  We’ve made some great friends.

The sunshine has returned and along with it some unusually warm weather.  Santa Barbara is healing from the fire and the floods.  We hug each other a little tighter and give each other the help we need.  I think that is the lesson I’m supposed to take away from all of this.  I’m not alone and it’s okay to let others lead and be strong when I just can’t.

Stay strong 805

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


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


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