Ask an Expert: Hair Addition.

Our resident hair expert is Chelsea Victoria. A 16 year veteran of the hair styling industry. She is a Redken certified Master Stylist. She is a color and cut expert who often speaks at cosmetology schools. She has attended the Matrix Academy in New York City, and owns the Anue Salon in Little Rock.

shameless plug for my photo skillz

shameless plug for my photo skillz

So, I had folks submit their hair questions and we got answers for you. Everything you were always curious about but never wanted to ask your own stylist.

Why should I go to a professional stylist to get my hair colored instead of using store-bought “box color”? First, box color results are really unpredictable. They will be different each time you use them, even if it’s the same brand/color and it’s never what you expect. It isn’t going to be the color on the box. Something people don’t think about is that you can’t color over color – you have to lift pigment. It really is a chemical science. So if you are dark and trying to go red, or red to light brown…anything, you have to remove the old color first or not only will the color be wrong, but it just won’t last. Box colors are also really damaging to the hair – they have too much “volume” (peroxide and chemicals) and hair doesn’t need that much. It’s too harsh. But so that results are noticeable they make it extreme. Another reason? The technology isn’t up to date because patents exist for salon quality hair color  and “affordable” box color is technology that has had the patent has expire. It might be decades out of date.

Need more reasons? Check this out.

What’s the deal with dry shampoo? Every kind and brand is different. Some are talc based and that’s not great for your hair, especially for brunettes, because it’s visible and can start to look ashy. They aren’t that great for your scalp in the long-term – but they can be great for a pinch. The talc and alcohol in them can dry out your scalp and long-term could upset oil production which is vital to a healthy head/hair. Shampooing at least a few times a week is important for removing dead skin cells, dirt and oils that build up over time and could cause the hair follicles to die. So if you get too reliant on dry shampoos you could do long-term damage to your scalp and hair and actually accelerate thinning and hair loss. People focus on hair a lot and forget that a healthy scalp is just as important.

There are tons of images of before and after shots on Google. And a lot more information available online as well. Product suggestions and DOs & DONTs. I keep some in our Apocalypse Box (the box with candles, bottled water, matches, canned food, batteries, etc. for when the power goes out or we get snowed in for days…) so that I can not feel gross.

What’s the upcoming hair trend you’re excited about? Platinum blond is super hot right now and I love blond! Extreme blond, not just the classic beach babe blond. Braids are really in right now. You see them everywhere. I must have done 100 prom styles that involved braids. The pixie and the lob (long bob) are very hot. The pixie is timeless and I LOVE it! L.O.V.E. Neon colors are picking up steam and they are great because they aren’t super permanent (you can’t make those intense colors last on a permanent basis). Pastel and light colors are in right now (Nicole Richie and Kelly Osborn) but neon is the next big thing.

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platinum blonde

6th Annual GLSEN Respect Awards - Arrivals

a great pixie

Today - Season 61

the lob

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neon hair

What’s the most common hair mistake you see? Bangs. Without a doubt. Bangs (technically fringe in the stylist vocab) is so risky. Not every face shape can pull them off and a lot of people (most) immediately regret them. And you’re stuck with them. Next? Really bad ombré. That’s not a problem style, in fact it is one of my favorites – but a lot of stylists around LR (and everywhere really) are doing it badly. It’s a genius and amazing technique but if you do it badly – it’s no good. And then people think ombré hair is the problem and it isn’t – it was a poor job on the part of the stylist.

Note: I can rock the shit out of bangs.

What are some store brand products you would recommend or that I could get away with? A lot of brands that are available in store are actually more expensive than a salon after you figure in the amount you get, the amount you have to use to get the effect you want and the cost. There’s also not a lot of regulation with store brand products so it could be counterfeit or expired product. So now you have an inferior product for as much or more than a salon quality product. It could be a bogus return (folks returning baby shampoo in an expensive product bottle…that happens more than you would want to believe). In a professional setting a distributer is going to make sure product is in date and is quality. In a salon if product is returned we don’t resell it. We can’t trust it 110% so we don’t put it out there. That being said, Loréal has a good hair spray. Elnett. The smell isn’t amazing (in my opinion) but a lot of celebs use it.

For more celebrity hair must haves: click right here. 

Are regular haircuts important? Yes! Honestly, 10 weeks is the longest anyone should wait between cuts. Once you get a split end it can’t be repaired. You can only cut it off (split end repair products are typically waxy and all it’s doing is holding the split end down, not actually fixing it). It keeps your hair healthy and a stylist is going to be helpful for growing hair out (all hair doesn’t grow at the same rate so you have uneven growth). Even if you aren’t getting expensive coloring done a haircut really is important maintenance.

If you don’t believe me just google “importance of a regular haircut” and see what you get.

Is there anything I can do at home to prolong my color/highlights so I don’t have to go to the salon as often? Of course. Good. Quality. Products. Tinted shampoos are great because they will have pigment for reds or browns, or lightening agents for blonde. They’re going to counterbalance the “fading effect” you get over time. Darkening is depositing pigment into the molecules of her hair. Lightening is stretching out the molecules to make it more light reflective. So products made for your color are going to help maintain. Good quality product that won’t stripe away the work the stylist did in the first place. And you maybe don’t need to use it (the colored shampoo) daily but if you mix good quality salon shampoo with store brand, generic shampoo you’re chasing your tail. Or if you mix salon quality hair color with bad $3 shampoo you’re just asking for your color to, literally, go down the drain.

What’s your favorite styling tool? A round brush. A good ol round brush. Nothing can beat it. We have become a society of flat ironing and hot tool using people and it makes us lazy. A good blow out with a round brush will do amazing things for you that a flat-iron just can’t do. PS. Use a heat protectant…always. Otherwise you can really mess up your hair. 400 degrees isn’t healthy for your hair.

Note to self: buy round brush….learn to properly blow dry my hair…

What’s your favorite hair style? Soft beach waves. They’re so pretty and look great on everyone. I love doing short haircuts. That is really fun for me. I love updos. And a classic, clean ponytail. Nothing can beat a great ponytail.

AFI FEST 2011 Presented By Audi - "My Week With Marilyn" Special Screening - Red Carpet 2010-10-19-15-01-20-7-such-a-classic-powerful-ponytail-or-high-horse-hbeach-waves-hair-tumblrombre-hair-8

What is my favorite style? It may not be classic, yet. But finding a way to go grey in a chic way. Start now. I can’t get over this silver/grey hair…. Like. I want it BAD.

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Where does hair come from? (leave it to a dude to ask a weird question) I’m not sure. I only deal with it once it’s there. But. It’s a collegian. It’s a genetics thing. If you’re asking about hair growth, as in how do I get it to grow, where does it come from – healthy living with exercise and a good diet. Keeping clean hair and washing your scalp with stimulation to help circulation. Hair growth is all about health and genetics. All people’s hair grows at about the same rate believe it or not. Taking a TON (actually an unhealthy amount) of biotin might have some effect…and some people say taking pre-natal vitamins help (but its the biotin) or that their hair grew faster when blah blah blah, but its going to come down to they were eating better, living a healthier lifestyle and that helped their hair growth. You just have to be patient.

What’s a good haircut/style for aging woman with thinning hair? The Pixie is great. I think the Pixie might be my favorite hair style ever… Women to emulate: Jamie Lee Curtis is a great example. Anything Sharon Stone does. Or Annette Bening. The Pixie is great because the over all shorter hair will mask the thin areas because it will look more consistent. Longer hair will add weight that will only help make it more noticeable, even though you might think more hair would help you hide it. Rounder faces want to add a little spike or angle. More of an angular face will respond to a softer, rounder style. Think about yin and yang and evening everything out.

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I’m blond and when I was young I had strawberry blond hair. In my 30s I can’t get the strawberry color to stay. It ends up too blond or too orange. What’s up?! Redheads have thicker hair than blonds or brunettes. Another genetics thing. My guess is the product is the problem. It’s a difficult question to answer via the internet because there are all kinds of follow ups I would need to know…but a color specialist (not just a licensed cosmologist because believe me there is a HUGE difference) should be able to put some strawberry/red in your hair without it going orange or being unnoticeable.

Flat Hair: whether from chemo or naturally thin and flat… what can be done about thin, flat hair? Back to what we talked about – it’s all about quality product. Crappy shampoo will weigh hair down and make it feel or look flat. So it’s all about getting some good product. Some mousse or root booster. Redken Guts is a good one. Redken also offers a thickening lotion. Aerate is body building mousse. All available at Ulta. A good cut will help too. No layer bobs work well. Fewer layers typically make the hair seem thicker because you aren’t taking hair away from top of the head. Pixie looks great (I keep going back to that pixie cut!) but if you’re younger that may not be the direction you want to go.

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Chelsea is local and would be HAPPY to work with anyone who feels inspired to try some new things with their hair. I can personally vouch for her because she takes amazing care of my hair and we all know I change my hair A LOT. She’s on Facebook or you can hit her up at the salon (make sure you told her you know me cause then she might tell you some juicy gossip about my latest adventures).

Have more questions you want answered (like what is the deal with all these salt sprays, is salt good for your hair?) just keep them coming!

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