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Friday, July 19, 2013

Talia Castellano: Her memory is a blessing...

This week, the world lost a very bright light to our mutual enemy, cancer.

Talia Castellano, a thirteen year-old girl, and YouTube sensation, had been battling cancer for over half her life. She used make-up as her wig, and her internet tutorials, some filmed from her hospital rooms, inspired millions of lives. Ellen Degeneres so admired this young girl's courage and determination that she started a campaign to have Talia made an honorary Cover Girl. Ellen succeeded, and Talia's face graced what will be some of the cosmetic company's most memorable advertisements.

Talia often said she would watch other YouTuber's videos to cheer her up, most notably those of Kandee Johnson. Kandee's warmth and joy radiate from her blogs and videos, and her tribute to Talia and her family was one of the most touching. See Kandee's tribute here.

Our hearts go out to Talia's mother, Desiree and her sister, Mattia. Though we feel the ache of loosing Talia, her life and her memory are blessings.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Updo: I don't know what I want!

Wedding season upon us and there may be a need to style our hair that is a little more than our everyday fashion.  It is not out of the question to add some curls and frills for something important like a banquet, wedding, or another important life event.

At your scheduled hair appointment, it helps if you bring in pictures of what you are thinking to at least give your hair stylist a starting point.  Even if the whole style is not what you are looking for, you can tell us what you like and don't like.  I always seem to be inspired if my client has a picture of the outfit they are wearing to the event.  It is much easier having more information than not.  If you just have no idea what you want, this post is for you!

Here are some questions/items to consider:
1.  Schedule a little extra time around your appointment as a buffer.  Before any service, your hair stylist will conduct a consultation.  If you don't know what you want, it may take a little longer until you are able to decide on a direction to which you want to go.  This is just something to be aware of so you do not get in a pinch for time.

2.  What event are you going to?  A casual wedding verse a very traditional wedding will make a difference for your updo.  A graduation is different than a conference where you are winning a highly noted award.  Are you going to be outside or inside for this event?  This will be the perfect starting point.

3.  Simple is always best.  Keep your thoughts basic.  Do you like curls?  Do you like straight and sleek?  Do you want something a little bit trendy?  Do you want bangs or hair around your face left down or will that drive you nuts?  Do you like volume or would you rather a slightly sleeker design?

4. A basic style can be enhanced by curls, braids, twists or other designs.  These are the perfect accent to any style.  A simple rope braid or twisty can add a elegance and flair to any simple updo.  Do you have any hair pieces like clips or headbands that you want us to incorporate?

5. Never be afraid to ask your hair stylist to tweak a section if you aren't feeling it.  I have had clients that call themselves picky.  And they are, but in the end it is about making YOU happy.  I will do my best to cater and work hard in creating a beautiful look that suits you and the occasion.

Coming in a day early for her client consultation made a huge difference in how I approached this hairstyle.    My client has naturally curly hair.  Since we highlighted her hair prior to the updo--we washed and blew her hair straight.  Her mom had an idea in her head of how she wanted her daughter's hair to look for her graduation.  She explained it to me and then I was able to translate that just as she wanted.  I did add my own flair in the back section in the movement of curls and how I pinned them. 
My dear friend Jessica had a wedding to attend this past Saturday.  Prior to me doing a consultation, she sent me a picture of a style she wanted to do.  I had a good idea before seeing her hair of what style she was wanting to achieve.  In the picture, the front was parted and left some hair down framing the face.  After seeing her dress, I asked if she would be willing to try something different.  She was open to it bringing the front of her hair out back instead of parting it.  Her dress was very classic style and by eliminating the part and moving it off to the side, we were able to keep consistent with the theme of her outfit and soften the updo's design.  

Coming to get your hair done should be a fun and exciting trip to the salon.  I hope this helps give you some direction when you are uncertain of the look you are needing/going for in your style.  There is nothing I love more than a client who participates actively in the consultation, is open to me suggesting and creating some variation, and in the end seeing a big smile on their face.  It is rewarding as a client and as a hair stylist.

Beauty knows no limits.....
Catie Manning, Hair Stylist

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Salon and Stylist: The Right Fit

Living in a country where there is a salon/barber shop on every corner, it can become intimidating when it comes to hair needs.  Each person is different in expectation and desired results when it comes down to it.  Whether you are someone who is looking for a color artist, someone that knows how to cut and style short haircuts, or just someone to trim your flowing locks, it is most important for you to find someone who you are comfortable with when receiving a service.

As a stylist, I know each person or potential client varies in their needs when it comes to their hair.  Some look based off price, others off of building a personal bond with their stylist and some based off the quality of the service itself.  It is most important no matter what your needs are to find a stylist that is able to listen and support your needs all a while exceeding your expectations for your service.  Picking a salon that you feel comfortable in is just as important as finding the right stylist to fulfill your needs.  Each time you may try some place new where you go to a new stylist.  Every time you try a new stylist, you place your trust into someone that you may or may not get the result you desire, and a feeling of disappointment may arise.  To eliminate this disappointment, here are a few helpful tips to help you decide which is the proper salon setting for you and finding the right stylist.

Do your research.
If you need a plummer and you need someone to fix your broken pipe, what do you do?  My first go-to is to ask someone or look on the internet.  Facebook too can be a helpful and quick way to get an answer from friends.  If you are looking into finding a new salon in your area or a new stylist, ask around!  I have found this is the best way to get the most candid and honest responses.  Don't just take people's word for it, but it is a great place to start.  You can look at salon reviews almost anywhere online.  If you are on the fence about one, step in and take a look.  You will know from the first impression whether that is a salon you can see yourself patronizing.

"I like the salon feel, but not so sure about the stylists...."
Sometimes when exploring the salon scene, you might really like the feel of the salon, then you look at the stylists and it totally blows your impression.  The feel is fresh and clean.  It's a little edgy, but you can deal with it.  Then, a stylist walks up to you that is tatted up, piercings up and down their ears and mid-drift showing.  You might be saying, 'this is totally not me'.  If that is the case and you don't feel comfortable then that salon is probably not for you.  Odds are the salon culture to which I described above are targeting trendy hipster type Millennial generations to which desire to be on the edge of cultural hair trends.  Not every salon is like this but that is why it is so important to walk-in and check-it out for yourself as you are the only one who will know if the salon is right or wrong for you.

Quick Cut Shop, Salon, or Day Spa?  Where do I start?
First, define your needs.  If you want someone who can cut your hair quickly, a 'quick cut shop'--like Great Clips might be a great place for you to start.  Their stylists are efficient and have had training the way their company teaches them.  They are quick, efficient, in and out sort of service.  You won't have the perks of getting your hair washed, but you will be guaranteed a quick service.

If you want a little more than the just the quick cut, maybe try a place like a Famous Hair, SmartStyle (Walmart), or a Fantastic Sam's type salon.  These type of salons perform basic services like shampoo, cut, color and other chemical services to which you will not see at the quick cut shops.  They have a little more value added services.  These are corporate type salons to which price and services might have limitations.  This would be something to look into if you are interested in something a little more than just a cut.

Another salon you might consider is the independent salon, if you are someone who wants a little more individualize attention.  This salon is one with usually a single owner and local to the area you are living.  These are where you are going to see a little more variety in pricing and demographics.  Since they all vary, I would say you might search a little bit about each salon and check if price and services are what you are desiring.  They are more individualized.  These salons might be a little bit pricier than your basic salons, but they offer a lot more and will be more specialized if you are looking for something specific--for example a specific trendy cut or achieving a color that is unique.  Maybe you like a specific brand such as Redken or Paul Mitchell products, so you want to find a salon that is devoted to the brand.  Finding a salon in the independent realm might be your best bet, if that is important to you.

Maybe you are looking at going to one place for all your needs: facial, massage, hair and style.  The Day Spa setting is definitely the place to start.  These type of salons offer everything.  They usually have a wide variety of products and services ranging from hair, nails, and complete body wellness.  This all being said, they are usually higher end and attract higher end clientele.  Their prices will be higher going into it, but the service being rendered should go above and beyond your expectations.  Read the reviews before spending the money.

"...She just didn't listen to me....and now my hair is all wrong..." 
I feel like we all have been there.  There are so many times where we tell a stylist one thing and they do something completely opposite.  The result can be either positive or negative.  One way to avoid this is to visit a salon and ask for a consultation with one of their stylists.  If you go to one that is reputable and has a staff member at the front desk to which is friendly and able to ask you what your needs are, they will guide you to a stylist who may be your best fit.  A consultation costs nothing but a few minutes of your time.  As a stylist, I would rather you come in and spend 15 minutes to talk to me about what your needs are before you get a service done and dislike it.  You can tell whether you have a connection with a person in the first few minutes of conversation and if you don't click, cannot guarantee they can achieve what you are looking for or doesn't give you the time of day--try somewhere new.

Finding the right salon and stylist for you is so important.  Don't settle for just an OK salon experience.  You deserve a stylist that is attentive to your hair needs as much as they are at keeping you a happy customer.  You deserve to have a salon that fits your comfort level and one that will keep you wanting to come back.

If you aren't satisfied, talk to your current stylist about your needs.  If you are not satisfied with their response, then it might be time to find a new stylist.  I would encourage you to explore what is out there.  I can guarantee if you aren't happy with your current stylist or salon situation, there are many very qualified stylists in the salon setting you desire that would love to see a new client.  You would be surprised at how much better your salon experience is when you feel comfortable in the environment and are reassured you have a stylist that truly puts you first. The right fit makes all the difference in the world!

--Catie Manning

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pink and Steel Pilates

As Erica so aptly stated in her last post, cancer, and the residual effects of different treatment methods change your body. Since we are not bodies with souls, but souls with bodies, the effects of cancer can change our whole being, which is why her suggestion of journaling is so pivotal.

Another thing cancer typically affects is personal finances. Though there are numerous foundations set up to subsidize the cost of treatment and aftercare, financial assistance for certain types of rehabilitation programs and physical fitness is often overlooked. Until now.

As stated earlier, physiotherapists in New Zealand and Australia are at the forefront of rehabilitation for cancer survivors and have been integrating Pilates into their rehabilitation programs for many years. Pink and Steel Pilates are two foundations that have been set up to reduce, and in some cases, cover the costs of physiotherapy coupled with Pilates as a means to help survivors return to their fitness modality of choice.

The following are some great video testimonies of men and women who have benefitted from the program.

Open Doors-- Part 1 

Open Doors-- Part 2

If you know of any such programs in the United States or Canada, please . We are hoping to partner with a major Pilates organization very soon, to provide low-cost and complimentary Pilates lessons to survivors, and will keep you posted on those developments.

Stay strong!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Getting Back Into Exercise After Cancer Part 1

Each day in both my professional and personal life I get questions about exercise, cancer, and exercise post cancer and during active treatment.  Not only does cancer change your body, but the surgery, chemo, and radiation you have change it as well. So where do you start after months or maybe even years of losing your normal work out routine?  Where do you start if you've never had a work out routine? How do you deal with the neuropathy? How do you deal with the weakness of muscles?  The lack of energy and motivation? How do you even start to have a somewhat normal life?

Cancer changes your whole body and one of the biggest side effects is exhaustion. A lot of times people feel defeated, especially when they were super active before the cancer.  I'm here to tell you that it is perfectly OK to feel defeated.  It is ok to be angry. And you know the perfect place to start getting back in an exercise routine? Start by expressing your feelings about the cancer and how it changed your life.

I could tell you all the benefits of exercise in this first post, but I won't. What I am going to tell you is two things.

1. Get out a journal and write down every feeling you have towards the cancer that overtook your body and changed your life and body forever. Be honest. Recognize the battles you are facing. Truly let your emotions out.

2. Start by taking a walk each day to start to process everything and get your body moving a little.  I don't care if your walk is 3 minutes long. If you walked, it is a start.

Don't try and conquer the world in one day, this will be a process, but I promise you, the benefits will be with it!

You my friend, are a warrior!


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