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What Your Hairdresser Really Thinks: Salon Dos and Don’ts

A good hairdresser is worth their weight in gold. They’re a rare and highly covetable breed whom you may find yourself incredibly invested in – so much so, you contemplate moving cities if your beloved “hair engineer” – gasp – moves to a faraway salon.

RELATED: Winter Hair-Saving Remedies

Okay, maybe not quite, but you get my drift: I’m addicted to the high of good hair and so my beloved, talented hairdresser occupies a special place in my heart. I tell her all my secrets and have laughed and cried under her care and then, like my own fairy godmother, she makes my hair look better and better each time I visit. I fully understand and support celebrities spending thousands of dollars to fly their hairdressers with them all over the world. Wouldn’t you, if you could?

But have you ever wondered what your hairdresser is really thinking? The secrets only they possess in their quiet, calm reverie? Read on, for senior Queensland hairdresser Elyse Louise, 22, was kind enough to share her top 5 salon dos and don’ts. Here, Elyse dishes the dirt on big industry no-nos and the appropriate hair etiquette we should all adopt.

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  1. Creepy crawlies: One of Elyse’s pet hates is, understandably, coming across a client with a head full of nits! Gross! As heinous as this is, it does happen, she says, and leaves hairdressers with no option, but to refuse their services and send the client home. Aside from being totally rank, it’s against hairdresser workplace health and safety to work on a nit-plagued ‘do. Elyse says she’s seen young kids through to teenagers with the dreaded infestated hair.
  1. Celebrity lookalike: There’s nothing a good hairdresser hates more, says Elyse, than a client bringing in a photo of celebrity and saying: “Make me look like that”. For starters, you may not resemble your fave celebrity in any way and hairdressers are expertly trained to match your hair style to best suit your individual facial structure and hair type. This means that as much as you might think and hope your hairdresser can suddenly transform you into the likes of supermodel Gisele, it just ain’t going to happen.
  1. Clients with no idea: Another big hairdresser hate is clients who say: “Just do whatever you want”. This is a big gamble: how do you know your hairdresser isn’t a complete sadist who will shave off all your hair just for kicks? Elyse says hairdressers much prefer it when you come into a salon with a strong idea of what you want; otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s time.
  1. Invest in a change: If you’re looking for a major, new ‘do – for example going from black to blonde – be prepared for the fact that you can’t do it in one session, Elyse says. A big change will take many salon visits to accomplish unless you want less-than-amazing results. So, be patient and persist with it. Hairdressers, as amazingly talented as some of them are, still cannot perform miracles (bugger).
  1. Hairdressers aren’t psychics: The next time you’re tempted to say to a new hairdresser: “Do it exactly the same as the last person” – give yourself a little slap, Elyse says. Hairdressers aren’t mind readers and it’s inevitable they’ll cut and colour your hair differently than the last stylist. Sure, you can carefully instruct them on exactly what you want, but they most likely will not give you exactly the same result as a hairdresser from another salon. Be open to change, or don’t ever go to a new hairdresser.



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One Product Your Hairdresser Wants To Keep Secret

It’s the time of the year when everybody’s hair goes a little haywire – literally. And with in-salon hair treatments sometimes costing upwards of $100 it can be a real struggle (not to mention expensive) to get your locks in good shape again after they’ve been subjected to the hair torture devices of summer – sun, salt water and styling tools. Which is where this little celebrity secret comes in.

Blake Lively swears by it, so does Kate Hudson; even Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are singing the praises of this unexpected hair saviour and hairdresser’s worst nightmare. No matter what you’ve heard about coconut oil and its much debated health benefits, the one thing that is certain is that when it comes to hair, this stuff really does live up to the hype.  Here’s why:

Nourishment with a capital N

The N word is a favourite in the hair salon realm, along with the M word – moisterising. Luckily for your strands, coconut oil is going to do both of those things like a dream because rather than coating the surface of hair like store bought products and hair masks tend to do, the natural oil works to penetrate each strand’s cortex meaning deep nourishment and the added benefits of improved hair strength and flexibility.

Sans chemicals

At the end of the day when it comes to chemicals, your hair really is better off in the long run without them. Not only can they be harmful to your health but they can also strip hair color, leave you with a frizzy mane and drain the moisture, resulting in hair loss and breakage. All-natural oils like coconut oil are free from harsh sulphates, ethoxylated thickeners, parabens and formaldehydes, which are common nasty ingredients in salon products.

Cheap as chips (or coconuts)

Coconut oil has been used by traditional Pacific Islanders for centuries as a daily grooming routine for the hair and scalp, and do you know how much it costs them? Not a damn thing! While we can’t exactly pluck a coconut from a palm frond here in the Western world, we can stock up on inexpensive coconut oil, coating hair lengths and ends in as much of the good stuff as we like for an in-home hair treatment – minus the pricey salon trip.

For those wanting an all-round coconut hair routine, Nature Pacific has created Virgin Coconut Oil Rich Shampoo with the driest and most damaged hair in mind. The special blend, made from Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil is paired with only the most natural and nourishing ingredients to ensure the special fusion stays with Nature Pacific’s synergy of natural remedies based on thousands of years of Pacific Island tradition.

Bad Haircut Or Makeover Opportunity?

Ever been told things happen for a reason? Yes, even being on the receiving end of a bad haircut! Recently, I went into a new hairdresser and asked for the Jennifer Aniston look. I hadn’t had a cut for a long time because I’d changed states and was a bit hesitant (to say the least)  about letting a new hairdresser touch my precious locks. Lengthwise; it was long. Damn long!

Needless to say, I walked out with a short bob. My initial response was WTF! Not only had this new hairdresser neglected to do as I asked, but I’d lost at least 15 cm of pure length. The horror! Jennifer Aniston’s style was, therefore; totally out of the question. So, I walked out of the salon with murderous intent because the ‘professional’ with scissors had snipped away at my identity.

After a few hours of despair, self pity and all that crap, I decided to flip my attitude and considered myself quite lucky. Loads of people get the same hair cut – time after time. With a bad cut, you have an opportunity to experiment with something different. It’s all in the attitude. You can either sulk about it until your hair grows back or you can turn lemons into lemonade. And here’s a few tips on how to do just that.

1. Avoid DIY cutting

Put down the scissors NOW! DIY works well for a variety of other things but fixing your haircut really isn’t one of them. It doesn’t matter if you have a bit of experience, either. Chances are you are probably a bit emotional and what starts as a bad hair cut could end up being a total disaster.

2. Check out the latest styles

Jump on the internet and check out the latest styles. Work out what will suit you and be realistic about achieving it. If you’ve had long hair for a while, going short will be a big change and you will need some time to get used to it. Make the best of the situation and think sexyThere are plenty of sexy shorter styles, which may look better than your previous long locks.

3. Using what you have

If you have natural curls, reinventing a bad haircut will be fairly easy. If you have straight hair, you may want to invest in a curling wand or opt for an even shorter look. You will need to go to another hairdresser to have it done. Either way, think about what type of hair you have and work out ways to make that bad hair cut work for you.

4. Products

Most of us have a few products tucked away. It’s time to use them. If you don’t have any, think about what you want to achieve, go and spend a bit of money and buy them. They aren’t going to break the bank and they will make you feel better. It’s tough to put a price on that! For example, the wet look is really sexy and suits lots of different hair styles. Applying it is easy and you can get the look you are after. Plus, it can cost as little as $10.

5. Attitude

It doesn’t matter what your hair looks like. Beauty comes from within.  If you walk around with a shitty attitude, it will shine through. If you approach this event as time for a makeover, you’ll do fine. You’ll probably get comments about how great the new style is and how brave you are for trying something new.

If you obsess about your misfortune, not only will you act and sound like a whinger, which repels people, but you will have missed an opportunity to improve yourself. Life often throws things at you for this specific purpose. So grab it with both hands and make it work for you.

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5 Secrets To Finding An Amazing Hairstylist

They say in the best of times and in the worst of times, a hair stylist is often a women’s best friend. An IBISWorld’s market research report published in February found that in the face of turbulent economic times, the Australian hair industry has performed surprisingly well over the last five years, and so, perhaps this is true.

But with over 21 000 hair salons to choose from across the country, how should a woman know where to turn when her black roots are two inches-thick the day before a first date? Well, here is a fool-proof list for to ensure you walk out of the salon with both ears intact and without a tinge of green through your hair:

  1. Check the salon’s online reviews: People are amazingly honest online. So, if you want to hear first-hand about someone’s great or not-so-great experience with a salon, just tap their name Google.  
  2. Look for the salons that stand out from the crowd: No matter where you live, there is likely to be a hair salon on almost every second street and it can be difficult to choose the best. Keep a special eye out for the salons that perform consistently well at the national-level, such as those who win industry awards. These salons are not necessarily the most expensive!
  3. Ask for a consultation: You should never let anyone touch your hair without discussing it first.  Be clear about what you want and be especially clear about what you don’t want. The best salons often feature ‘‘consultation zones’’ dedicated to talking over their clients’ needs.
  4. Expect good service: As a paying customer, you deserve excellent, one-on-one service. It doesn’t matter if you are just popping in for a trim or for an entire make-over, you should be your stylist’s focus from the second you walk through the door.
  5. Be prepared to pay a little more: Good quality hair styling is not always cheap. However, unlike clothes or a pair of shoes, you have to wear your hair day-in and day-out, so you owe it to yourself to keep it in good shape. Sometimes the best stylists might charge a bit more than the local barber.





Elysium Hair and Beauty, located on Adelaide street in Brisbane’s CBD, consistently puts their customer first and they have the awards to show it. Earlier this year, Elysium was named the best salon business in Queensland by the Australian Hair Industry Awards (AHIA). The AHIA are run by revered hair and beauty icon Mocha Publishing and seeks to reward salons for outstanding excellence in their field.

Summer Hair Tips by Joe Gibara

Hair know-how with Joe Gibara

Joe Gibara, the face of Braun Independent Steam has come to the rescue with these hot tips for sexy summer hair.?? ??

What are the key trends for the summer party season???

During the summer months, people tend to like their hair to be shorter and lighter. Summer 2003/04 will focus on choppy styles. The dry textured look will replace the waxy look. Undercuts are a great way of achieving this look as they reduce hair bulk, helping to maintain the textured finish.????

What styling products should we be asking Santa for???

When purchasing styling products it is important to make sure the products won?t dry or damage your hair. Braun has a range of steam styling products, called Braun Independent Steam. Featuring a steam curler and straightener and heated power brush, these products style hair at an ideal temperature ensuring hair isn?t damaged. The steam function provides extra moisture and helps control unruly hair.????

Do we need to change our cleansing and styling products to suit the season?????

No matter what season it is or how busy you are, try and find time in your daily routine to groom and style your hair. I recommend a visit to your hairdresser at least every six weeks for a professional cut and treatment.????During the summer months, treat your hair as you would your skin. Rinse your hair after swimming in the ocean and chlorinated pools, condition hair to replenish moisture lost in the heat, where a hat where possible to protect hair from the sun and use styling products that have a sunscreen component in them.????

What are your predictions for hair in 2004???

The fringe has been very popular over the past year. That trend is fading, so as fringes are grown out, they?ll be swept to the side of the face giving that edgy feel, a la Heidi Klum, and side parts will accentuate this stylish look.????

Waves and curls will also dominate 2004 and colours will move into warmer hues such as light brown and soft reds.????

Which celebrity do you think has the best hair and why???

Kylie has great hair, it is always styled beautifully. She adapts her hair to changing styles, but isn?t a slave to trends. Great colour, great length and she maintains it really well.??

Some Tips For Getting a Good Haircut

Are you sick of leaving the hairdresser’s and not being able to repeat what they did the next day? Follow our pointers and see if it makes a difference.

  • Don’t even bother looking at a picture of a haircut you really want if the texture of the hair is completely different to yours. If it has curls don’t think it will work if you have dead straight hair.
  • Always ask your hairdresser to show you, step-by-step, how to style your hair. Take note of the products they use and how they dry it. Don’t be afraid to get them to write it down if you have to.
  • Make sure the cut suits your face. If you have a long face you will probably suit a fringe. If you have a round shaped face, keep hair longer around your face.
  • A good cut should only take up to 15 minutes to blow-dry, any longer is starting to be a problem.

Products you will need for the job when you are home:

  • Quality hair dryer
  • Small and large round brushes
  • A paddle brush
  • Sectioning clips

How to master a disaster if your cut does go wrong

Wait it out

Unless you can’t look at yourself in the mirror without breaking into hysterical screams, try to live with your new style for a week. Sometimes a big change takes time to get used to. But don’t go longer than two weeks because your hairdresser may not consider fixing it up for free if you have left it too long and he/she may make you pay. Make sure you advise them you are unhappy when you call up and ask to see the same hairdresser again or even the manager of the salon.

An ounce of precaution

With any beauty change proper communication is the key. Have a detailed conversation with your hairdresser before they chop. If he/she says the cut won’t look like the picture you have shown him then believe it.

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