Curly Hair Trends: It’s No Secret, Curls are Turning Up Back in Style


Young lady performing the gsture for quiet

It’s No Secret

Seems like a long time since it’s been trendy to wear curls in your hair. Guess what? They’re on their way back onto the hair fashion scene and I just have to breathe a little sigh of relief.


It has been far too long that the focus has been on flat, straightened, silky hair that does nothing more than just hang there; mocking anyone with the slightest degree of natural wave in his or her hair.

William Cowper

William Cowper


Don’t get me wrong; I love Brazilian Keratin treatments as a styling option but out of it, a society of clones were formed.  This is where I quote William Cowper and say, “Variety’s the spice of life, that gives it all its flavour.” (I’ll refrain from providing a picture of Cowper and his wig; Cher-like curls, for fear that it may just ruin the impending trend of curls. Oh, what the hell, here he is.)


Now, tBack of a lady's head with wavy beach hairhis trend of waves and curly locks seems to have begun with the looser and carefree style, called “the beach wave.” The beach wave, in its defining moments, started as a very loose, light ‘S’ pattern that was barely perceptible in the landscape of keratin straightened and flat ironed hair.


Slowly, this light wave is becoming tighter, more pronounced, and is, mostly, accomplished by means of damp setting on special rollers and, more predominately, by use of electrical appliances, such as, curling wands, irons, and flat iron techniques designed to create bend, rather than straightness, in the hair.

Curls with Light Multi-Colored Extensions

Curls with Light Multi-Colored Extensions


So far, permanent waves have yet to make a strong comeback, on the scene but it is only a matter of time before they will be utilized to support this hair trend, as it gets curlier and curlier.

This is where hair extensions can come in handy. There’s no doubt that massive curls can be achieved using human hair extensions.


So it begs the question: should you color your curly hairstyle? This personal decision  should be discussed by you and your stylist. It’s imperative that you select an expert hair colorist, or you could end up with a hair disaster.


Business woman with curly hair

Corporate Curls

With curly hair looming on the horizon, I would only offer up this advice: Make sure you choose your hair professional, wisely. The determining factors in a great permanent decision, as opposed to a bad permanent decision, begins with the haircut and ends with the correct, or the less desirable, incorrect, chemical alteration of the hair.

Whatever your decision may be regarding just heat styling of a wave into your hair or, the choice of a great permanent decision, I would encourage you to contact me for a free consultation to discuss what I can do to make your hair as beautiful as it can be. Should you have any questions, email me direct .



*Image ID-10077021 (It’s No Secret) and ID-10074862 (Corporate Curls) courtesy of [imagerymajestic] /

Product Review: White Sands Styling Sprays

I’d like to take the opportunity to utilize my blog, at times, to review products. Some of the products that you’ll read about, here on the pages of my blog, will be stellar examples of what shampoos, conditioners, or styling products should be and some of the reviews will expose products that, in my humble opinion, are just worthless crap.


White Sands Sprays

White Sands Sprays

The first review I would like to do is that of a group of styling sprays produced by a company by the name of White Sands.


The White Sands Company was created and developed by the Salas family in the 1990s and, as stated in the company description, is dedicated to the needs of both the hairstylist and the consumer.  They produced a few, really great styling spray products that stand out in a sea loaded with mediocre, at best, hair sprays.


I was introduced to White Sands about 6-7 years ago while attending a national beauty show in Chicago. As I meandered the show floor, I observed various models walking around with hair, some at least 18 inches long, standing straight out from their heads. Some of this hair was curled into very large loops, some was zigzagged into various positions, some was just standing out stick straight; but all of the hair, that I was seeing, defied gravity and had a shiny, fabric-like texture. I thought, “Holy crap! That hair has to be ‘cemented’ into place and would, literally, break off if it were touched.”


A model approached me, as models often do (LOL!), and invited me to touch her “gravity defying” hair. To my great surprise, the hair felt like hair that had little to no styling product on it, at all! I was super-intrigued.  How could this be?


So, I made my first order of business to go to the White Sands classroom where, I watched a demonstration, by Fernando Salas, who was cutting and styling hair using these incredible products. After the class, I had the pleasure to meet with Fernando, and some of his family members, to discuss the White Sands product line, cutting, and styling techniques.


After 20 plus years in the beauty business, and attending lots and lots of hair shows and educational classes, you rarely see, or learn, anything “new.” Usually, the best that you can hope for is that you see something, marketed as new, that is something that you saw and taught year’s prior, that you just forgot about.


A person in the business, for as long as I’ve been in it, tends to become cynical and jaded regarding anything that’s labeled as “new.” They find themselves yearning for that special product or technique that will really re-energize them and advance their talents to that next level. Well, that’s just what happened with my introduction to White Sands styling products and the techniques demonstrated by the Salas family.


The styling products that really stand out in White Sands line are the styling sprays:

Liquid Texture Firm Hold


Liquid Texture Firm Hold

This product truly is the “ultimate design tool,” allowing the creation and recreation of unbelievable hair designs. This product imparts incredible shine, when used in conjunction with hot tools and provides for hairstyles with memory (allowing for long lasting results) regardless of humidity.

Liquid Texture Medium Hold


Liquid Texture Medium Hold

This product, too, out rivals most products for use with hot tools, because of the properties it possesses to guard against heat damage, resist humidity, and enhance color and shine. It’s a wonderful product to use with a blow dryer to achieve voluminous styles with outstanding luster.

Infinity Hairspray

Infinity Hairspray

This is my favorite hairspray to use after a precision haircut. As its name describes, this hairspray allows, both the hairstylist and the consumer to achieve infinite styling options with extraordinary hold, style management, and flexibility. Hot tool use, with Infinity Hairspray, presents unprecedented style creation and recreation while bestowing fabulous shine with gravity defying results…and without flaking!


Stuck Up Mega Hold HairsprayStuck Up Mega Hold Hairspray

This is a great mega hold hairspray used for finishing work. It can be used with any of the other sprays or as a stand-alone finishing spray.



So, by now, if you think that I am a huge fan of White Sands styling sprays, you wouldn’t be wrong. For more information regarding the purchase of White Sands products or, more importantly, inquiring about receiving a great service at the Beauty Asylum, contact me for a consultation at no cost or obligation.

From Beastly to Beautiful: Celebrity Hair Extension Disaster and Happy Ending

Horror Story ImageEvery once in a while, in my position as a hairstylist and high-end hair extension provider, I come across a true hair horror story. The horror stories that I’ve encountered are generally run of the mill and involve clients who have attempted some sort of color service, at home.


This story, however, is different. It all started after hours one balmy Saturday evening. I was out to supper at one of my favorite restaurants, and was just starting the main course, when my business phone started ringing.Saturday Moon


Now, I always take my calls, even when it’s after hours. This evening was no exception. “This is Harold,” I answered. “Hello, I understand that you are an expert in Great Lengths Hair Extensions and in color correction, is that right?” enquired the desperate voice on the other end of the phone. “Yes, I am. How may I help you?” I responded.


I knew, at this point, that this potential client must have found me through my website. The client responded, “I have a problem that I need fixed, as soon as possible! My hair color is bad and I need extensions. Can I come in tomorrow?”


Normally, I don’t work on Sundays but my curiosity was piqued by the degree of frantic anxiety I could sense in this woman’s voice. So, I agreed to set up an appointment, the next day, for a consultation.

Hair Extensions and Color Before Correction

Hair Extensions and Color Before Correction


Well, two things surprised me when this mystery client arrived. Number 1, I recognized this woman as, shall I say, a celebrity and number 2, her hair was absolutely TRASHED! In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen such a mess involving bleach, hair color and hair extensions, together.


The worst part of this calamity was, an experienced and licensed hairstylist in Las Vegas, NV perpetrated this disastrous hair crisis. I would love to tell you who the celebrity is but I promised I would not. I would also love to tell you who the hairdresser was that committed this criminal act but I will refrain from that as well.


Allow me to describe what you are looking at in the photo.


The Color: The color, obviously grown out, was previously bleached then improperly retouched; only bringing what was once re-growth, from days of yore, to a brassy yellow-gold shade. To compound this problem, the bleach was pulled through the previously bleached hair, which created an over-processed situation, causing a huge amount of breakage.


The Extensions: The extensions were done using a strand-by-strand application technique but each strand was attached to a base that, not only, disrespected the natural hair to hair strand ratio (The density of the natural hair must be equal to the density of the extension strand used. Normally, a 1/4 inch square base is used with nice and clean partings.)

Broken and Damaged Hair

Broken and Damaged Hair


There was also a complete disregard for the angle of application (Without creating a proper working angle following the hair growth, a problem called “hair traction” is caused. This pulls on the natural hair and is the determinant factor of pain and unnatural hair loss at the scalp level.)


The bonds, the material used to attach the extension to the natural hair, were very large and intrusive; not to mention what you cannot see in the photo and that was the feeling of them being soft and sticky. I use a pretty incredible bond-removing compound that normally turns the keratin bond substance to a powder, allowing the extension to slide out.


Well, not in this case! The bond remover didn’t seem to do anything, at all. The bond remained soft and tacky. Apparently, the “professional” (I should refer to him as a criminal) that attached these horrible extensions, used a hot glue gun, complete with craft store glue.


The first order of business in the lengthy process was to remove these awful bonds. Typically, bond removal for the number of extensions used in this job, takes about 30-45 minutes. These bonds were so ghastly that it took me nearly 3 hours to eliminate them without yanking out my client’s hair, in the process.

Hair Post Awful Hair Extension Removal

Hair Post Awful Hair Extension Removal


The next step was to correct the color. Extreme care had to be taken to lighten the regrowth, set right the brassiness of the last stylists attempt at highlighting, and to try stabilize the porosity of the over-processed, over-bleached hair, so as to, prevent any more breakage of the client’s natural hair.


Next, I trimmed and cleaned up the broken and split ends. Whenever the hair is as damaged and broken as this hair was, the cut is as critical as any of the other steps in the process. Once the new extensions are attached, it is virtually impossible to go back and trim off the damage from the client’s natural hair.


It is imperative that the client’s hair blend, seamlessly, with the new extensions. Ordinarily and preferably, I will wait a couple of days before I attach new extensions after a color service. This is because I like to give the newly colored hair a chance to re-stabilize from the chemicals that were introduced.

Hair Post Awful Hair Extension Removal

Hair Post Awful Hair Extension Removal


The chemicals have a tendency to swell the hair shaft and compromise the longevity of the newly attached hair extensions (In other words, the bonds could slip off the hair shaft after the swelling subsides, making it necessary to re-do the extension service).


I warned my patron of this possibility and, because of her public persona and her demand for instant results, she agreed to hold me harmless for any premature hair extension slippage. We then proceeded to the final step.



Hair with  Color Correction and New Hair Extensions

Hair with Color Correction and New Hair Extensions

another 6 hours and, as you can clearly see, for yourselves, my client’s hair had been transformed from Beastly to Beauteous. In total, from start to finish, it took 10 hours.


So, what’s the moral of this horror story? Avoid the fright and the ensuing terror of a possible hair-raising experience at the hands of an unscrupulous hairdresser by checking into The Beauty Asylum for your hair color and extension needs.


Contact me today for a consultation!

The Return of the Precision Haircut

Image of TiaOnce upon a time, there existed a haircutting technique known as the precision haircut. The precision haircut was based on the theory that, with proper design and attention to detail, any texture of hair, even the most unruly, could be tamed and easily styled.

This was accomplished by the scientific and artful hair stylist by means of engineering the haircut, taking into consideration wave patterns, or lack thereof, the creation of design lines, weight-lines, guidelines, and pivot points that allowed the freshly cut head of hair to fall naturally and flow into the predetermined desired style.

So, what happened to the precision haircut? Did it become extinct? Is it a technique that has no place in the 21st century? Or, is it possible that the precision haircut deserves a new home and resurgence in popularity?

Vidal Sassoon was a pioneer in precision cutting. Paul Mitchell took precision hair cutting to new levels. Countless others in the beauty industry created incredible and long lasting trends using precision cutting. So how, then, did the precision haircut lose its standing in the cosmetology field?

The story, as I heard it, began with a style trend inspired by homeless people wandering the streets outside of one of the “ritziest” hair training academies, in the world. A few stylists, working on a new trend release, were watching the homeless and critiquing their hair (as if the homeless needed any critical hair advice).

These “visionaries” made bets, between each other, as to whether they could recreate this “homeless hair” look, in such a manner, that they could market it as the next best hair fashion trend. This is the tale of how the chopped, disconnected, overly texturized hair cut was born.

Well, that’s what I heard. Is it true? Who knows? But, whatever the real truth is behind how the “homeless hair” style and trend got started, it was the cause of the precision haircuts retreat into relative obscurity.

Having previously been trained in working in a very precise manner, the new trend was extremely hard, for me, to embrace. Why? I had a problem with the concept because I thought that cuts should be reproducible.

If a client likes the style of the last cut and wants it cut like that again, the stylist should be able to replicate the last look. One of the drawbacks of the “homeless hair” trend, as I will refer to it and as described, is that it is chopped, thinned, and incredibly disconnected in such a way that it’s extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to follow the same design.

Image of ValentinaYou may be able to get nearly the same look but, over time, the style continues on an evolutionary path, with each “trim,” of becoming shorter and thinner, until eventually, the cut is unrecognizable from the original version.

The second problem is that other services, such as permanent waving, that would have supported a client’s lack of thickness or wave, became a thing of the past. This was because the over-texturized and disconnected hair couldn’t be wrapped sufficiently enough to avoid permanently crimping and “fish-hooking” the ends of the hair.

Now, I’m not saying that styles shouldn’t change with the times or, that avant-garde hair cutting shouldn’t be produced. What I am saying is that a modicum of reproducibility be pondered prior to the execution of a new cut. That would truly meld art with science. Well, that is exactly what I did. I came up with a solution to the problems described earlier. I called it Precise Imprecision ™.

Though, the “homeless hair” trend is all but dead (thankfully), Precise Imprecision ™ is a technique that combines the precision hair cut with any artistic style that involves disconnecting, disjoining, and texturizing hair. The process of cutting, in this manner, basically, involves three separate haircuts, on one head of hair. As you could imagine, the cut takes a bit more time to execute because there is so much more attention to detail.

The beauty of this system of cutting is that it establishes a means for style recreation of virtually any particular haircut…it creates a rhyme and a reason…a method to the madness that bridges a deeper client stylist relationship. The client is happier and the stylist is happier.

Isn’t that the most important aspect of any customer service experience?

If you’d like to experience Precise Imprecision ™ please Request a Consultation. I’d be glad to discuss your needs.

Corrective Hair Color – Going from Blonde to Brunette and Back Again

Welcome to my inaugural post for the Creative Hair Design Blog.

Love Before Going Dark

Love Before Going Dark

I have chosen the subject of corrective hair color as my first of many posts that I will design to illuminate the consumer, as well as possibly, the professional on a range of topics involving the beauty industry. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

As the story goes, I met Love (her real name and, as it turns out, the descriptive term that epitomizes her very being) many years ago. We not only have a wonderful stylist/client relationship but also have enjoyed a close friendship, outside of the salon.

For years, I have highlighted Love’s hair, creating an incredibly nice blonde, as you can see from the “Before Going Dark” picture.

Last year, Love was experiencing some drastic changes in her life and started talking, with me, about experimenting with changing her hair color to a darker level.

I expressed, just a little concern about this want, explaining that going from blonde to dark wasn’t a problem, from a technical standpoint; but it is an issue to go from dark back to blonde if she decided she didn’t like her new color.

Let me explain, a bit, about both processes. Originally, Love’s hair is, technically, a shade of light brown. I lift the color out, using a mild bleach, to create a light blonde. The products used create a minimum of damage to her hair.

When a dark color is introduced to the previously lightened hair, often times the hair becomes like a sponge and readily accepts the new artificial color molecule (providing that the pre-lightened hair is not overly porous).

I explained to Love that it might be difficult to remove the absorbed artificial hair color molecules, if she discovered that she didn’t like the color change. With that in mind, I forewarned her that she should be VERY POSITIVE about moving towards the dark side, in regards to her hair color.

Well, guess what? Love took my light admonishment about going darker with her hair color as a sign that I didn’t want to do the job…So, she took the initiative, herself, bought her own hair color, and proceeded to color her own hair.

Love Pre-Color Correction

Love Pre-Color Correction

As you can see from the Pre-Color Correction photo, Love didn’t do a bad job. She said that she liked it, I told her that I liked it, her friends told her that they liked it and she wore her hair that color for 6 months before she, ultimately, decided that she missed being blonde.

It was at this point, my warnings started to make sense and have some very meaningful impact to my good friend, Love, especially since they involved significant cost and time factors. She started asking about the process of returning to blonde, again.

Luckily, in our technically advanced times, there are products that can gently remove artificial colors without severely compromising the condition of the hair. These removers are a welcome addition to the hair coloring field because, in the not so distant past, the only way to successfully remove artificial colors was to use a harsh color stripper that, not only removed the artificial color but also removed the natural hair color in a bleach-like manner, blowing the cuticle layer wide open and leaving the hair in a compromised and precarious condition.

The newer decolorizing products and process, though very efficient and easy on the hair, are not without their frustrations. Suffice it to say, if the directions of the product are not followed down to the exacting detail, the process will fail and must be repeated from the beginning, resulting in wasted time, product, energy, and money.

In the case of Love’s correction process, I determined that, to remove the medium warm brown artificial color molecules, residing in the shafts of her hair, it would, most likely, require no less than 6 consecutive applications of the artificial hair color remover.

Each application of this remover would take about 40 minutes, adding up to a grand total of 4 hours just for this preliminary process.

Love After Color Correction

Love After Color Correction

The next step was to highlight the virgin hair, the previously darkened hair, and then

re-lighten the previously highlighted hair in such a way as to avoid any breakage of the hair shaft, whatsoever.

This was no small feat and took a great deal of time and attention to detail. Fast-forward in time, 8 hours, and you can see the results of our hard work and patience in the After Color Correction photo.

Love is, once again, back to blonde, and thrilled with the outcome!

If you are looking for a color correction expert, please contact me today for a no obligation consultation.