Lifestyle

Gym Haircare Guide

It’s not easy sometimes is it?! Keeping your hair looking good, whilst trying to stick to a strict exercise regime. Sometimes that missed gym session literally boils down to not wanting to wash your freshly blowdried hair earlier than necessary. 

I’ve teamed up with Moroccanoil and Fitness Model, Chloe Francis, to share our go to tips to keep your hair looking its best during and straight after an exercise session to ensure your hair doesn’t give you one more thing to worry about in the small 24 hour window we have to fit everything in! Chloe is currently a WBFF Pro 2018 European Champion, a titled earned after following a strict diet and exercise routine in the lead up, and long before the competition. Earning this title wasn’t easy and sometimes Chloe can exercise twice a day. (Pure crazy!) To maintain and style her long, balayaged hair it’s all about having the correct products in her gym bag.

chloe-3.jpg

If you’re yet to discover Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo your life is about to be changed for the better! Described as the ‘holy grail’ of gym hair care, this little miracle will make sweat disappear right before your eyes. You need not worry about that talcum powder effect caused by some dry shampoo’s as the Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo comes in 2 tones (light and dark) to suit all hair types, whilst a rice starch is used to absorb the natural oil. If that isn’t good enough Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo also deodorises, because let’s face it smelling good post gym session is an absolute must. The only real shame is you can’t use it on the rest of the body.

To get the most from Moroccanoil’s Dry Shampoo Dark Tones, Chloe will spray down her parting and around her hairline BEFORE her work out, to make it work just as hard as she does during the workout. This means you can go about your day without having to worry about a post gym hair wash and blowdry, it may even give you a few extra days depending on your hair type.

chloe-2.jpg

Chloes second ‘go to’ is the Moroccanoil Treatment Oil Original. Since using the Treatment Oil, Chloe has stopped straightening her hair as the product alone is enough to smooth down any frizzy fly aways, usually caused when exercising. Chloe uses Moroccanoil Treatment Oil Original everyday on wet and dry hair. Not only to keep her hair smooth but to hydrate and treat her mid-lengths and ends. 

Next up is styling, and we all know the easiest style to exercise with is the 2 second top knot. But if the topknot is too tight, it can be damaging to your hair and also cause uncomfortable tension headaches. Unless you’re gently combing all your hair in the same direction before securing it, opt for something a little looser that doesn’t put pressure on individual strands of hair. Chloe’s go-to look is 2 Dutch Braids (Boxer Braids) to keep her long hair off her face and to stop it getting in the way. As much as this still looks tight and secure, each section of hair doesn’t have far to travel and can easily be loosened once the style is secured with a band. This look is not only exercise friendly, it can last the rest of the day. When the braids are removed, and (more!) dry shampoo applied, a beautiful volumised wave is created. 

 

With all that being said, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable when you exercise. If for you that’s having your hair done or going au-natural, it’s whatever works! Either way, I hope these tips help you save time whilst still maintaining fresh, healthy hair. 

LAURA.jpg

January Round Up

It was Christmas, then I blinked and now it’s nearly February. With my days at the salon being just as busy as they were in the lead up to Christmas, and 2 Moroccanoil trips to Dublin and Barcelona, I feel like my feet have barely touched the floor. 

January/February are notorious for being quieter in the hairdressing world due to most people wanting there hair done before Christmas. However I’ve being lucky enough to have my days filled with clients who I’ve known for years, but also I’ve had the time in my diary to look after 8 new clients. My new clients were all recommended to me and it’s so lovely to know my regular clients are sending their friends and family my way! 

49949902_2004867599550654_7670064352245841920_o.jpg

The month started with an overnight stay in Dublin, tied in with our Moroccanoil post Christmas party. It’s always good to catch up with the Moroccanoil team, and the education put in place for us is by far some of the best training I’ve had. There wasn’t a hairdryer or product in sight for this one, it was to learn about our individual learning style as we will personally teach in the way we best learn. When I share Moroccanoil education with other hairstylists, it’s important everyone can understand and get involved in the way that suits their learning style. This course gave us tips on how to get everyone involved when we educate. Theorist/Reflector best describes my learning style, I’m someone who likes to make a decision based on the facts, and then spend (a lot of) time reflecting. That explains why on my return I wanted to find out EVERYONE’s learning style. I was still reflecting on my trip ya know?!

 

Next up was Barcelona, for Moroccanoil’s ‘train the trainer’ event. Every year Moroccanoil’s education programme changes, the courses are updated and shared with the European team before we go and share them. I had 3 courses (Bridal, Knotwork and Editiorial) to learn in 3 days, with 2 hair cuts thrown in for good measure. 3 courses in 3 days may sounds like a lot of information to take it, but when you’re fueled by copious amounts of tapas and a small (to medium) amount of wine, it’s all good! I had a great trip, not only was it lovely to spend time with the team, I learn so much from them all. We all live in different parts of the U.K, but we manage to get together regularly for various work events.

 

As far as January’s goes, it’s been a busy one. And with a busy February filled with appointments, education, and London Fashion Week amongst other things, it doesn’t look like we’ll be slowing down just yet!  

 

 

 

2018 - Thats a Wrap

2018 has been an amazing year. I always wonder how the year flies by so quickly, but as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. As much as sometimes the business of life can be overwhelming, how lucky am I that all the things that keep me busy, I love?!

I’m greeted every morning by my 18 month old son and his out of control bed head. Even though sometimes the 5am wake up calls aren’t ideal - his cheeky grin and crazy hair never fail to make me smile. I always thought my energy was a little out of control, as I don’t like to sit still for too long. However Arlos is on another level. He doesn’t seem to need much sleep and the only person tired after an extreme soft play session is me. He’s such a character and has some amazing friends that we love to meet up with regularly. He really is the most precious, important thing and he makes everyday a good day! We have a close knit family and Arlo gets to spend lots of time with his Grandparents, in fact the only person he will stay still for is his Granddad. Therefore it’s his job to control Arlo for family photos!

image5.jpeg

As you may have read previously, we have recently moved house. The idea of moving started back at the beginning of the year and as some of you probably know, the moving process can sometimes be a long, drawn out one. I’m proud to say we have moved in to our dream home and I can’t wait to get my interior design head on in the new year. (Hello Pinterest!)

image2 2.jpeg

Back in March I returned to work after 9 months away from the Salon, and I remember feeling all the emotions prior to returning. Will I be able to get myself and Arlo ready and out the house for 8am? Can I remember how to Balayage? Will I miss my baby too much? I was genuinely worried. However it turns out I had nothing to worry about. We’ve found the most incredible childminder who keeps Arlo sooo busy, he wouldn’t even have time to miss me. I can still Balayage, and getting us both ready is no problem. I have a great bunch of clients, and as much as I still have time in my diary for new clients generally I start my day knowing who all my clients are, and what the plan is for their hair. I look forward to seeing them, catching up with them on what they’ve been doing (I have really interesting clients!) and most importantly letting them leave feeling really good about their hair. Don’t get me wrong, it wouldn’t be a Saturday if I didn’t get home and moan about my back pain, but on the whole I do ok!

image6.jpeg

I started my blog whilst on Maternity leave, and with the help of my boss, I have learnt how to run my website and use photoshop. (Very basic photoshop skills, but I’m still learning!!) My job is hair, however I spend my time talking about uplifting, interesting things and I thought why not share the fun things I get up to, and things that make me feel good?! I love listening to my clients, so who knows - maybe a few of them like listening to me!

Lastly I’ve managed to keep up my work with Moroccanoil, whilst taking on a new role as a Moroccanoil Ambassador for the UK - something I’m very proud of. With the recent launch of Moroccanoil Color Complete, Moroccanoil needed someone passionate about hair colour to look after their VIP clientele. Mixing Moroccanoil with my colour brand of choice has been great fun and given me the opportunity to meet some amazing people, whilst also pushing me out of my comfort zone.

image4.jpeg
image2.jpeg


2018 has been a good year, however there are a few things I’d like to work on in 2019.

I’d like to keep doing what I’m doing whilst trying to maintaining a good work life balance. I’d like to spend more Sundays with my family and stay off social media on that day.

I’d like to continue my work with Moroccanoil, and with 2 trips booked for January to Dublin and Barcelona, and Fashion Week not far around the corner in February, it’s looking to be a good year.

The third big thing I’d like to work on in 2019 is video tutorials for my blog. I’ve previously been asked to do video tutorials, but as soon as I press record, I seem to morph in to this stiff wooden board with long arms that forgets how to do hair. This one may need a bit of practice, but I’d quite like to give it a go!

So there it is, basically a blog written by me, all about me! I hope you’ve all found joy (even if it’s just a little bit!) in 2018, and I wish you all a happy, healthy 2019.


Happy New Year

Xx

A Day With Monica Vinader

I woke up Tuesday morning feeling a little nervous. I was about to travel to King’s Cross to meet a group of girls I’d never met before. We’d then be travelling to Norfolk together for a very special event. I’d been told to look out for Nicola, wearing a beige coat standing underneath the departure sign. I arrived super early, and began to make eye contact with everyone wearing beige. It felt like a very strange first date, but when we all found ‘Nicola in her beige coat’ we laughed at how shifty we must have looked lurking around Kings Cross.

image2.jpeg

The 5 ladies I was meeting, like me, had won a competition to visit Monica Vinader and her team at their Head Office in Norfolk. We had a lunch date with Monica organised, a jewellery styling session and a drive through Holkham Estate in which the offices are situated. Excited.com!

I absolutely love Monica Vinader jewellery, I discovered the brand about 8 years ago and have slowly been building my collection. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, my ideal day out is a trip to The King’s Road for a spot of food, a relaxed look around finishing at Monica Vinader’s Duke of York Boutique to treat myself! I love to travel to new places and I love meeting new people, so I knew this was a trip I couldn’t miss.

image6.jpeg

Before I left, I said to my Mum, “Imagine if nobody wants to talk to me on the 2 hour train journey?!” But luckily I had nothing to worry about. Myself and the girls instantly bonded over not only our love for ‘MV’ jewellery, but our passion for our jobs, our families and we didn’t stop talking from King’s Cross to King’s Lynn. I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier bunch of girls to spend my day with.

The drive to Holkham was spectacular. Small country roads surrounded by acres of land and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it was a beautiful Autumn’s day. I decided not to research Monica Vinader HQ before my trip. I’m getting a lot better at taking my days as they come instead of knowing all about the places I visit before I go, and I’m so glad I had no idea what was waiting for us.

image9.jpeg

A converted 16th Century cart-shed on the Holkham Estate is home to Monica Vinader and her team. A beautiful mix of old and new, makes this workspace like nothing I’ve seen before. Strawberries and cream are a must on the lawn in Summer, and with freshly made lunch brought in every day for the team, it was like no ‘office’ I’d visited before.

We visited every department, from the design studio, to quality control, and it’s like anything, until you see the work that goes in to something behind the scenes you don’t truly appreciate it. Lunch with Monica and her team was such a lovely experience. We chatted for hours over the most tasty nutritious lunch. Time really does fly when you’re having fun.

image1 2.jpeg

I can’t go in to too much detail *top secret stuff* but we were privileged enough to be shown the new 2019 collections. Monica and her team were intrigued to know our thoughts on the new pieces, and quite honestly I loved it all! A mix of 18ct rose gold, ethically sourced pavé diamonds, and amazonite gemstones had drawn me in, and this was just a small part of the collection. It’s not just the jewellery I love, it’s also the brand. Monica Vinader have recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary, (exactly the same age as Moroccanoil!) and since I discovered them I have always loved what they do.

What a brilliant way to spend a Tuesday, an amazing opportunity to spend time with a group of lovely people. You should have seen us on the way back to the train station, like kids in a candy shop, with our very generous gifts. Thank you to Monica, her team and my fellow winners for a brilliant day.

image8.jpeg
image3.jpeg
image4.jpeg
image5.jpeg

My Fall Overhaul

Didn’t Summer treat us well? Warm sunshine on top of warm sunshine, no wonder the colder weather has come as a bit of a shock. I’m taking the change of season as the perfect opportunity to concentrate on caring for my skin and hair. I absolutely love autumn. The changing colours, dusting off my boots and outerwear, cranberry and copper hued make up, my list goes on. However, I suspect the sudden change in temperature, combined with windier and wetter weather has contributed to my skin breaking out and my hair feeling dry. Over the last month I’ve been working on getting my skin and hair back to its best and I’d like to share with you some miracle products I’ve been using along the way.

image4.jpeg

I had the pleasure of meeting skin care guru Renee Lapino at a PR event back in summer. I now watch her Instagram stories daily and what she says, goes. A trained medical facialist, Renee specialises in treatment, skincare, and lifestyle advice to achieve and maintain glowing skin. As I mentioned the drop in temperature, mixed with broken sleep (courtesy of my 1 year old), and a small amount of stress (courtesy of a house move!) my skin wasn’t feeling 100%. Cue Renee’s recommendations and my skin no longer feels dry or itchy. First up, Fillerina Day Cream Grade 1. Dubbed as ‘filler in a tube’ this day cream promises to smooth away fine lines, whilst plumping and hydrating. It felt gentle on my sensitive skin, and worked quickly providing day long hydration. It’s a yes from me! Not only did I notice visible improvement, this wonder product doubled up as a long lasting primer. Before switching up my skin care routine, I’d notice early afternoon my face start to itch, especially around my nose and top lip. Fillerina and I believe my next hero product have stopped itchiness and fully reduced redness.

image1.jpeg

When my skin feels compromised, the last thing I want to do is cover my face in make up. It makes my skin feel tight, increases sensitivity and the redness can make me feel a little self conscious so it’s a vicious circle. I use foundation to cover the problem, however long term the clogging probably does more damage. (It’s not easy, is it?!) Renee, the Queen of Skin, pointed me in the direction of Oxygenetix foundation (shade - ivory). Not only does Oxygenetix address a wide range of skin problems, it can be applied directly to compromised skin to give even colour/coverage whilst supporting the skin’s healing process. A firm favourite amongst Medical Facialists, it can be used following surgical procedures and aesthetic treatments to support collagen production and skin cell growth. It took daily use over 5 days to eliminate the problem, but it genuinely helped and felt great on my skin. I will be sticking with this little 15ml miracle, if it’s good enough for Kourtney Kardashian, it’s good enough for me!

image2.jpeg

My blonde beach waves call for 4 monthly bleach highlights and weekly heat styling - 2 of the main culprits contributing to breakage and dryness. Teamed with the colder weather and the drying effects of central heating, my hair needed soon TLC. My mid lengths and ends were starting to feel a little dryer than usual, you know that feeling when your hairbrush pulls on little knots - that was me. Luckily this problem was combated in one swift hair wash. A detoxing shampoo using Eufora’s Urgent repair was my first port of call. Now here’s a fact that not even many hairdressers know - Hard water has a negative effect on your hair. It makes your colour dull, the minerals from hard water build up on the strands and stop your hair swaying like it should. If your water leaves water marks on your shower door, the chances are you live in a hard water area. (UK hard water map.) Eufora Urgent Repair deeply cleanses the hair removing hard water and product build up. The clean fresh feeling Urgent Repair gives is hard to describe! It makes my hair feel lighter, more volumised at the root, it stays cleaner for longer, it’s just wonderful!

image5.jpeg

With a clean canvas, next up is Moroccanoil Mask Light. I use this mask regularly through out the year as a twice monthly mask, however it can be used in replacement of conditioner for an intense hit of moisture. A teaspoon sized amount through mid lengths and ends left for 5 minutes transformed the textured of my hair instantly. The knots are gone for good, and my hair is soooo much easier to blowdry. I’ll be using my Moroccanoil Mask Light in place of my conditioner in to the cold winter months, to help keep my blonde locks healthy.

The Creative Head Awards ‘18

Picture this - it’s 7pm at The Natural History Museum. The champagnes flowing and the atmosphere buzzing. London’s iconic Museum has been transformed into the party place to be. 650 hairdressers and industry greats all dressed to impress for one of the main events in the hairdressing calendar, The Creative Head It List and Most Wanted awards ‘18.

Errol Douglas MBE couldn’t be missed in a bright red blazer, whilst Sophia Hilton wowed in an embellished black dress, her signature yellow hair styled to perfection. There’s excitement in the air and the entrance to the museum is quickly filling with guests dressed to impressed. Our industry is a creative one, and this creativity definitely shone through. With beautiful ballgowns, one of a kind suits and hair backcombed to new heights, it’s the perfect occasion to dress up, show your individual style and celebrate hairdressing with like minded, fun people.

awards-.jpg

The prestigious event sold out in under 5 minutes and as finalists in the ‘Best Local Salon’ category we were lucky enough to be in attendance. Cocktails and canapés to start in Fossil Way, followed by a 3 course dinner in Hintze Hall. Surrounded by truly stunning architecture and dining beneath the skeleton of a 25 metre blue whale made this awards ceremony such a surreal evening.

 

With category’s including ‘Award for Innovation’ and ‘Best Salon Experience’ it was a great opportunity to see what others are doing to set themselves apart and really stand out. Best Salon Experience was won by Stil. A Scandi inspired salon nettled in Notting Hill. Whilst Stewart Roberts won the Award for Innovation. Stewart set up Haircuts4Homeless back in 2014 after seeing a video of a man cutting hair for the homeless in New York. He now has 300 volunteers in 45 locations and has issued over 35,000 haircuts. “You have never really lived, until you have done something for someone who can’t repay you.” A haircut for a homeless person isn’t just a haircut, it’s talking to someone for 45 minutes, it’s being listened too and time away from everyday life. It was clear to see Stewart felt overwhelmed upon receiving this award, but for me this was the stand out award of the evening.

pur-photos.jpg

We made it to the final for ‘Best Local Salon.’ Our entry put together by Ben Hunt to showcase the work we do for people in our local community. One of our stylists Jan, spends her Sunday Mornings in Guildford working with a charity called Greenlight cutting hair for the homeless. 2 years ago Val teamed up with Regenerate Rise. A charity with a mission to eradicate isolation within the U.K, Val welcomed a group of elderly ladies to the salon for a pampering day with our apprentices followed by afternoon tea in our local cafe, Randall’s. An opportunity for these ladies to have a great day out, something they can’t do on their own. It’s not until you hear about charities like Regenerate Rise that you realise how lucky you are to be surrounded by family and have people to talk to every day.

As a salon we have raised over £82,000 for various charities and with our next charity event coming up in October, wouldn’t it be great to push that figure well in to the £90k?!

winners.jpg

We didn’t win ‘Best Local Salon’ however when you break down everything we do as a team it really was the taking part over the year’s that counts and doing what we do for others that really matters.

The Creative Head It List and Most Wanted awards was an opportunity for us to spend time together as a team, catch up with our friends with in the industry and it’s safe to say we all left feeling inspired and maybe ever so slightly merry!

The Hairdressing Wage

This is a subject most people don’t want to talk about, and quite rightly too. There are many reasons why you may want to keep your wage private.

I would assume that with most jobs you get paid an hourly/day rate. Some jobs you can earn extra from overtime, and some jobs will include a bonus sceme. I would like to explain how my wage works.

Now, I’m not doing this just for the sake of it. I’m doing this because firstly, I feel hairdressing as a career choice is still frowned upon by many. I have had people ask me why I decided against College and University when I achieved good grades at GCSE level. I have also been told I’m quite intelligent for a hairdresser and should have pushed myself more. (Classic!)

Secondly I think SOME hair stylists are under paid due to unrealistic goals being set by their employers and that reflects badly on the salons that pay fairly.

Lastly, and the main reason, is due to a Cosmopolitan article I read 2 years ago. It still haunts me a little occasionally! We, as hairdressers were ranked the 4th worst paid job in the UK, earning on average £10,019 per annum. I know you need highs and lows to make an average, but to see that written in an article is enough to put anyone off starting a career in hairdressing.

IMG_2790.JPG
IMG_2788.JPG

So back to the wages...

I get paid on a commission basis. This means I get a percentage of the price I charge. I don’t have a target to hit to ensure payment of commission, I will always receive commission for every hair service carried out. My targets are only set so I can see how I’m doing over the month, they are not wage related.

I also receive commission on the products I retail. We stock, what we feel, are the best brands, and to recreate what I do in the salon and protect the hair, these products are needed. If my client has just spent £136 on their colour, they don’t want colour fade from a low quality supermarket bought shampoo. (Ekk!)

IMG_2787.JPG

The retail commission percentage will increase if we choose to spend it on self development. I have used mine to pay for 2 courses in San Diego, to build upon my skills and knowledge, knowing self development will lead to promotion.

I’m happy with my pay structure however I have worked hard from day one. (Maybe not every day, but most days!) I got an apprenticeship wage when I first started (£320 every 4 weeks) and this was increased at the age of 18. Todays apprentices get paid a little more, the minimum apprenticeship wage is currently just under £600 every 4 weeks. The apprentices at my salon Pure Hair get paid more than the minimum apprenticeship wage during their 2nd year. When I qualified I worked hard to grow my client base, and with the help of my employers and recommendations from happy clients, I did that quickly.

IMG_2785.JPG

With the realistic targets set and the fair percentage I get paid, I’m pleased to say I earned just shy of £40,000 last year. I was happy with that. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still room to grow.

To get a pay rise I need to receive a promotion.  A promotion will be given on knowledge, experience and request rate (How many clients ask for me). So when my prices increase, my wage will rise.

IMG_2789.JPG

Another way is filling my day with higher paid services. I LOVE to colour, and colour will earn me more money as the service is a higher price.

I have worked in a salon where stylists don’t get paid on time; where colour stock is so low clients are lost because the desired result can’t be achieved; where the bottles at the shampoo area are filled with a supermarket brand because it’s cheaper! How can a commission based stylist reach their potential when they have to deal with this? (I didn’t work there for long!)

IMG_2783.JPG

As much as hairdressing is branded one of the worst paid jobs, it's also said to be one of the happiest and most fulfilling jobs. For anyone wanting to start a career in hairdressing, do your research. It can take time to find the right salon, so don't settle. Find a salon who invest in their team, who put training first, and who's hairdressers look like they genuinely LOVE what they do. Don’t be put off by negative comments, unfair employees and scary articles.


READ MORE