Toning Shampoos: A Personal Testimony

If you haven’t heard about “purple shampoo” or “color depositing shampoo” by now you may be living under a rock. While color depositing shampoos have been around for decades, it is gaining a whole new respect.

Previously, the purple/silver/blue products were used on those with white or very grey hair to keep the unwanted yellow tones out of their hair from environmental pollutants. There were also commonly shampoos for red deposit and dark tones for brunettes.  More recently, it has been reinvented with the surge of interested in “over-toned” hair that is silver, fashion colors, or an extreme cooled blonde as well as the addition for all natural hair color.

For the past several weeks my wife (who is blonde) and myself have been experimenting with several different brands and tones to see what brands we prefer and the effect these different lines have.  It has been especially interesting to try on myself due to the fact that my hair is light but “red.” I prefer the gold, copper, and orange tones so it was really visible in my hair to see the effect of the shampoos.

This wasn’t my first rodeo with the color depositing shampoos. I have used some in previous years when I actually had blonde hair. They have come a long way in just a few short years. It seems like almost every major line has some type of “blonde shampoo” or a specific “color correcting” shampoo. The tonal deposit ranges from nearly nothing to extreme. So extreme that, if you have light enough hair and you want to experiment with a true temporary color (i.e. pink, blue, etc.) you can with just a simple shampoo.

The lightest tonal deposits came from brands like Pureology, Redken, Goldwell, and Sexy Hair. Not that I don’t like these, they just did nothing to my hair. My hair was too warm to see any difference with the minimal tonal deposit contained in these shampoos/conditioners. Now, on someone with lighter hair, it was evident that there was some cooling effect on hair with only minimal yellow tones to cancel (which  make sense seeing that purple does not correct orange/brassy tones).

What I consider to be the mid-range in tonal deposit were the Matrix,  Framar “color lover” shampoo, TIGI, Pravana, and Clairol “shimmer lights.” These had a softening effect on my color and made a huge difference on my wife’s hair. With prolonged exposure (repeated washing or longer deposit duration) her hair was noticeably brighter, or even silver-toned.

The most tonal deposit came from the Celeb Luxury lines: VIRAL and Gem Lites.  I will also add that with the Framar “color lover” and the Matrix “so silver” and “brass off,”  if these shampoos were left on in excess of 2 minutes their toning power became much more potent. Back to the Celeb Luxury… These shampoos are crazy! They have two sub-lines. One is designed for the fashion colors such as green, pink, red, purple, yellow, just to name a few. The Gem Lites sub-line was more suited for natural colors. It was nice to see that you were able to deposit for all shades of blonde (warm and cool) as well as brunette, and red. They left the hair very shiny. I personally really liked the ginger/orange red depositing shampoo. It was marketed for strawberry blonde tones and it was right on target. I did personally try two VIRAL shampoos as well. I used the light pink in my hair to try to replicate a “rose gold” color. It worked. And it worked well. Crystal tried the lavender, purple and silver. All of which made her hair those colors. Within two washes all the tone was gone.

So what’s the catch? Well, here’s my opinion. All of these shampoos have something in common. They are depositing a superficial pigment into your hair. This means there is a layer of substance sitting on the outside of your hair’s cuticle layer. In my, and my wife’s experiences we weren’t in love with the way out hair felt after using these shampoos. Some were so minimal it was barely noticeable (Matrix, Pureology, Redken, Goldwell). While other were apparent (clairol “shimmer lights”,  Color lover, Celeb Luxury “VIRAL” and “Gem Lites”). It was nice to play with color but I did not like how my hair had an obvious feeling of residue. It doesn’t bother most people but I am a person who doesn’t like ANY product feel to my hair, so I am especially sensitive to it. I have talked with many other people and some of the more extreme shampoos don’t even bother them.

Conclusion, I think these shampoos are an amazing way to maintain the color of your hair or to play with a fashion color without to full commitment. I think that a color depositing shampoo should be in every blondes shower. I’m going to say that again. I THINK A TONING PRODUCT SHOULD BE IN EVERY BLONDES SHOWER. They are worth it when it comes to maintaining the vibrancy, tone, gloss, pigment, brightness, whatever you want to call it of a blondes hair. They don’t need to be used every single day, but can be, and they help rid your hair of unwanted yellow or brassy tones. To me that’s a win!

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Hair & Skin Summer 2017: 3 Easy Ways To Stay Beautiful

It’s finally summer, and we all know it’s time to sun ourselves and show some skin!  But what does his mean to our skin and hair? TORTURE!!! The sun is not your hair or skins friend, it’s the exact opposite, the enemy.

But, fear not! I’m here give you 3 tips on how you can keep your hair (color) and skin looking amazing while you enjoy the summer months!

1)  SPF.

It’s in everything these days… body lotions, skincare, even hair products. I too often hear people purposely neglect using SPF because they “want to get a tan,” but in reality you can still get a tan with SPF. Anything over 50 SPF serves no extra purpose, and you can use something as low as 12 SPF and still protect your skin and get some glow. The goal is not to burn.  If you’re burning, you’re causing serious damage. 

As for your hair (color) you’re drying it out! Especially if you have chemically treated hair, this is a no go! Ladies and gentleman get a hat and a hair care product with SPF and protect that investment.  If you spend serious cash on a color you love, please keep it away from the sun (this includes a tanning bed).

2) EXFOLIATE.

It’s always a good idea, but you especially want to keep your skin glowing and in tip too shape in the summer.  You’re going to be bearing some more skin so make sure you invest in something good for your body and face to help you skin shed that old skin.  Check your ingredients and stay away from anything with unnatural fragrance, alcohol or ethanol. 

3. LOTIONS AND OILS. 

Now that you’ve got that summer glow, let’s keep it! Body lotions and oils are going to be your best friend.!  You want to keep your thirsty skin hydrated from the sun exposure.  Chlorine and salt water will also dry your skin out. Have you ever noticed someone having an amazing sheen to their skin? It’s probably a body oil!

My personal favorite is the Eminence Apricot Body Oil.  It’s helped me keep my tan from May. If you know me, I am translucent and my tan is everyone else’s natural skin color. The trick to body oil is you want to make sure the ingredients are natural and are for your skin.  NO BABY OIL as it is a mineral oil and can clog pores!

Let’s pretend you have spent a little too much time in the sun, make sure you slather yourself in moisturizers AND hydrators!! I’m in love with Eminence Stone Crop Hydrating Mist! This will help reduce redness and hopefully help keep you from peeling. It will also have you feeling refreshed!

In case you were wondering, here’s a list of a few of my favorite products to keep you covered!

1. Any Eminence SPF product (ex. Tomato Day Cream SPF 16, Tropical Vanilla Body Sunscreen SPF 32, Rosehip & Lemongrass Lip Balm SPF 15) or Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

2. Pear & Green Apple Sugar Scrub for an exfoliant or if you’re in a pinch or can’t buy a product simply mix high quality olive oil and a coarse grain salt

3. Body moisturizer I suggest Cetaphil moisturizing lotions due to it’s hypoallergenic and gentle qualities or Eminence Apricot Body Oil & Eminence Stone Crop Body Lotion

4. Hair care, you’re going to need to invest in a cheap yet effective conditioner if you are a frequent swimmer. Any cheap conditioner will do. Make sure to rinse your hair with fresh water after swimming and comb through the conditioner of your choosing.  If you’re looking to try an SPF take a look at a number of leave in products from companies like Wella, Bumble&Bumble, and Clarins just to name a few. Nioxin also has specific treatments for scalp and hair protection. All Pureology products contain an “anti-fade” complex which will help protect your hair color as well as damage from the sun by containing sunflower seed cake oil! (plus Pureology in vegan–YAY)

So I Guess I’m Doing Hair Now…

I never actually had any intention of becoming a cosmetologist.  For as far back as I can remember, I wanted to do something with animals. When I was applying to colleges I was applying for biology or equine sciences (horses).  So, when I ended up in cosmetology school, I have to believe that it was divine intervention.

It was a week before the deadline to submit my deposit at Bethany College. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was more than excited to be accepted into their equine sciences program, but I just couldn’t bring myself to submit that paperwork. I found myself not eligible for grants, and my parents weren’t going to be in any position to help me financially. The idea of taking out tens of thousands of dollars for a student loan made me sick to my stomach. So, I scratched that idea. I decided to take the next year off and work instead.

I had taken college classes my senior year of high school, and there was really nothing else that interested me. I thought that if I worked maybe I could find some clarity and figure it all out. I worked a retail job and was a lifeguard at a local pool in the summer. I was quickly hooked on having an income. I couldn’t imagine not having my own money after this. I was approached about corporate positions through the company I was working for, but the idea of an office job wasn’t that interesting and the idea of relocating wasn’t something I wanted to do at the time. I started looking for another job. One day, while shopping, I saw a woman my mom had previously worked for. She owned a salon. I remember growing up around the salon. It was always a fun and interesting environment. She told me to stop in and fill out an application.

I went the next day to fill out an application and had an interview. I was hired with one stipulation: go to cosmetology school. Now, I’ll be honest. I HATE SCHOOL. I love learning. I DESPISE SCHOOL. And after working for the past year, I was not looking forward to going… but I went. It was terrible. If it were not for working in a salon I would have never went to cosmetology school.

And I actually didn’t finish. I quit. But I continued to work for about another year or so and decided that maybe this wasn’t for me. I was being pressured to go back to school and finish (because it’s illegal to work as an apprentice/cosmetologist without a license), but I was in no mood to deal with school.

I ended up quitting my job and moving to Columbus, Ohio. I was serving tables and working retail again. I hated that too. I missed the creative outlet of doing hair. After about a year I moved back home to Steubenville.

I had to get it together. I went back to the salon. She was kind enough to offer me another chance as long as I went back to school and finished. I re-enrolled into school and finally completed the hours I needed.  To this date it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I had to go through something that I hated so terribly for something I wanted to do so badly.

Make-up was my first love. I loved to paint, draw, and color as a child, and I still do now. It all came so naturally to me. If it wasn’t for the direction of my first employer, I would have never finished.

I realized that this was an great career. One where I was able to meet so many people. I am able to be artistic and creative. I am able to think and do freely in an open environment, and it’s amazing. A lot of the people I met during my first job, I actually still know and/or have as current clients today. The bonds you create with people in this industry are unlike anything else.

Sometimes I wonder how differently things would’ve turned out had I decided to go to Bethany, but I’m always glad that I didn’t. Throughout all the ups and downs of my life in this career, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m where I need to and should be. I’m happy. I get to create every single day. I have met some of the most important people in my life as a Cosmetologist, and I can say with total confidence that I have the career I was destined for.

5 Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without

Quick! Make a decision! Pick 5 beauty products you cannot live without! 

Well, I set myself up for this. I thought “just pick 5 this will be easy enough”, then I looked around my bathroom and cedar closet and realized I backed myself into a corner. 

I love beauty products. I’m willing to try just about anything and it shows. I have quite the collection haha! So, since I set myself up with limitations, here are the 5 things I cannot live without.

1. EMINENCE ORGANICS STONE CROP GEL WASH CLEANSER

Perfect for all skin types and super gentle this is my favorite face wash EVER. The gel consistency feels great on my skin, and it has this addictive clean and fresh scent 

2. ROSEBUD SALVE 

I’ve always been a hoarder of lip products. This is the first line of lip balms that I’ve ever loved this much (Lush Cosmetics is a very close second).  I love the little tins that the balm comes in, I LOVE the smell, and the consistency is perfection. 

3. MASCARA 

Admit it, we all feel more alive with mascara. This is all I need to feel put together. While Lancôme Hypnose Drama is my favorite, (Tarte “better than sex” is a close second but it flakes off half way through the day and I hate that) I have 1 issue with this… Lancôme animal tests and I hate that soooo I’m still looking for something to take this mascaras place. I’ve actually quit buying it.  I’m still using my last tube but animal testing is something I’ll get into in another blog. If you’re wondering why I love this mascara so much, it’s because of the shape of the applicator and the creamy consistency. So, I’m open for new mascara suggestions from cruelty free companies. 

4. EMINENCE ORGANICS STONE CROP HYDRATING MIST 

This product takes seconds to apply and leaves my face hydrated and rejuvenated. I can spray it over my makeup and use it multiple times a day for a pick me up or refresh. It also has the same great smell as the stone crop gel wash.

5. LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER 

Ahhh yes my obsession for leave in conditioners. I know I picked 5 favorites but I didn’t say I had to pick one for each category! Here’s my feelings on leave in conditioners: everyone needs at least one. I have 3 favorites. I use them all for different reasons and at different times of the year. My hair is thick, curly, and borderline coarse so I’m always mixing up products. 

Pureology Color Fanatic or “21 spray” smells incredible, has 21 benefits (including thermal protection) and is a great light leave in for every day. 

It’s A 10 leave-in is my go to for beach hair, severe tangles, and travel. Smells fresh and is a thicker leave in that, when my hair is most unruly, helps me get through the toughest of tangles. 

Sebastian whipped cream. I have had a long term love affair with this product.  I have yet to find a product to replace the way this one contours my hair when I let it dry naturally. It is by and far my favorite smell. And the texture is exactly that of whipped cream! This is my go to on warm summer days when I am not going anywhere near a blow dryer.