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Recent Posts by Michael Skradis

Attention: ALL BEACH BUNNIES!!

Summer is here, the water is warm, and the drinks are cold. Time to grab your gal pals for some fun in the sun. Before you head to the pool or plunge into a lake or the ocean, check out these tips about how to keep your “mermaid beach waves” healthy and beautiful for the warm days and nights to follow!

We like to call these few tips and select haircare products our “SPF Heroes” because they help us raise the Summer Protection Factor for your hair keeping your locks healthy and strong.

PRE-SWIM

Because hair is porous like a sponge, it likes to soak up whatever it comes into contact with. Prior to submerging yourself under the waves, douse your hair in filtered or chlorine-free water. Needless to say, if your hair is already full of WATER, it will absorb less of the chemicals and salt from the pool and the ocean that make your hair dry and brittle.

Taking your pre-pool prep one step further, especially for those with naturally dry hair or for those of you who swim often, grab some Leave-In Conditioner by Bumble and bumble OR grab some old conditioner you’ve set aside and slather it all over your wet locks. This not only provides a barrier between the water and your precious hair, but it acts as a “masque” to treat your hair to repair and moisture as you have fun in the sun. Pay special attention to your mid-strand and ends where hair is most delicate. After coating with conditioner, twist up into a chic ballerina bun or sumo topknot to ensure you will be the hottest gal poolside.

For PREMIUM protection (and if your locks can’t withstand the heaviness of conditioner), snap up Aqua Seal by Kerastase. This spritz-in product forms a watertight seal around your hair shaft and offers the BEST protection of any pre-pool protection method out there.

POST POOL

After you slink in from the pool or dust the sand off of your bronzed legs, get ready for some of the best hair you’ve ever had!

If you didn’t apply conditioner to your hair before basking beside the pool, apply a generous amount of Hairdresser’s Oil by Bumble or Elixir Ultime from Kerastase to your mid-strands and ends. If you’re not in a rush to get ready for evening events, twist your hair up into a chic ballerina bun and let it dry. When you pull it down, find your part, shake out the twist, and grab your blowdryer to diffuse your hair into the biggest and best beach waves ever.

If you already slathered your hair in conditioner to protect it from the sun, one helluva blowout is on your horizon. No need to wash; if your beach bun dried in the sun, that’s perfect! Spritz your hair with Hairdresser’s Oil Primer or some Reactivating Mist (both by Bumble and bumble) to wake up your sleepy strands. Pull out your blowdryer and your boar bristle brush and put those skills you learned at our Blowdry Bootcamp to use. Your hair will end up soft, shiny, and smooth all because you showed your hair some love before stepping outside.

Just in case you are heading straight from the ocean to dinner, don’t fret. Your hair is already damp from the conditioner and ocean water so just mist those little fly-aways that surround your gorgeous face and get your blowdry on. The salt from the ocean will help speed your style along while the conditioner (that has been hugging your hair all day) keeps it safe and moisturized.

ALWAYS

The summer isn’t the only time we need to worry about damage to our hair from the sun and the elements, so there are a few things you can do to always protect your hair from environmental factors that cause hair erosion and breakage. First, always shampoo and condition with stylist-recommended professional haircare products. In particular, choose a wash-and-rinse that has some UV and color protection. This will help sustain your color services longer and keep the tones true between salon visits.Also, use a thermal protector before using a blowdryer or hot tools. These products keep your hair safe from damage caused by daily styling. Lastly, try to style your hair with products that are “SPF-approved” by your stylist.

Our favorite products are in the Soliel and Chroma Captive line presented by Kerastase as well as the Hairdresser’s Oil and Color Minded lines by Bumble. Also, pick up your thermal protectors: Nectar Thermique or Chroma Thermique by Kerastase or Styling Lotion and Does it All or Spray de Mode hairspray by Bumble. Utilize these (and all the expert products made by Kerastase and Bumble) to have the #besthairofyourlife!

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Think Outside the Box, and the Drugstore

One size does not fit all. Box-color is designed in a way so that it may potentially alter a wide range of hair shades and types and, not surprisingly, the results come without any GUARANTEE. This is possible because box-color formulations are created with the maximum amounts of pigment and developer. This is not only unnecessary for most consumers, but also highly damaging. Have you noticed that in the past, box-color left your hair feeling dry and frizzy? These days, boxes and commercials tout deep conditioning treatments and leave-in potions that leave hair smooth and shiny. These additional conditioners are band-aids; they are intended to cover up damage caused by high levels of developers and typically are not long lasting.

Professional hair color is customizable. Each one of us is a unique being and our hair is no exception. Because of this fact, professional hairdressers take many factors into consideration when developing a color formulation for your color services. These include:

Unknown• Natural color level and underlying pigment

• Skin tone and eye color

• Level of porosity or possible damage

• Previous color services

• Percentage of gray (if any)

Additionally, professional hairdressers are trained in science, chemistry, and the “laws of color” in addition to technical and artistic application. This advanced knowledge of color physics paired with expert application takes professional color service results light-years beyond the grocery store, box-color guessing game and its application at your kitchen or bathroom sink.

If you think you will end up looking like the celebrity on box-color commercials or the model on the box, you are sadly mistaken. Manufacturers of box-color are masters at advertising. Their specific job is to make you believe that the results you see in commercials are achievable at home. What they don’t focus on is how those results were achieved for the advertising campaign. National advertising regulations state that only 10% of the celebrity or model’s hair must be colored with the product being represented. Beyond that surprising fact, the shade used on the model was chosen and applied by a professional colorist in addition to highlights, toners, and glazes. Following the model’s color service, the hairdresser then styles the model’s hair with professional styling products adding in extensions and hairpieces when necessary. This is the standard process used in box-color advertising… that is, if the model’s hair is even hers! That’s right; at times the celebrity or model in those commercials is wearing a wig. (Do you think Sarah Jessica Parker colored her own hair for the Garnier Nutrisse commercial? NO! SJP was wearing a wig professionally colored by a team of professional colorists and stylists in NYC.) The same goes for Beyonce (wig), Gwen Steffani (only toned with box-color), Eva Longoria (only glazed with box-color), and Tina Fey (additional dimensional color services used to represent box-color results)

How old is the stuff in the box? Who really knows!! In a professional salon, the product used to compose color formulations is ordered on a weekly basis. This means that they may be relied upon to produce consistent and precise results because they haven’t been sitting in some big-box store aging on a shelf. When boxes hit the sale shelf that usually means the product is discontinued, expired, or replaced. All three of these scenarios are color mishaps waiting to happen. Professional color does not expire because it is custom created with new ingredients at each appointment.

Have a discussion with your hairdresser about the results you are looking for and have an honest and open dialogue about your “Beauty Budget”. Doing so will allow your hairdresser to offer you expert recommendations about color, style, and maintenance while receiving professional services at your salon. Dedicate yourself to creating the best hair of your life by thinking outside of the (haircolor) box!

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The Hard Truth About Hard Water + Your Hair

One of the aggressors against beautiful, soft, shiny hair is the environment.  This can take the form of free radicals, dry winter air, and UV damage from the sun.  Many of these you can combat by using professional haircare and styling products from award-winning companies like Kerastase and Bumble and bumble.  These products are scientifically developed with quality ingredients that infuse moisture, add vibrancy and vitality, repair damage, and protect against further damage.
One environmental component that is challenging to defend against is
hard water.

What is hard water?

Water is nature’s best solvent and picks up impurities easily.  Hard water is water that has a high mineral content.  It is created when water “percolates” through calcium and magnesium deposits such as limestone, chalk, and dolomite.  The Midwest and parts of the Ohio Valley have some of the hardest water in the nation.

How does hard water affect hair health?

Hard water isn’t only hard on our appliances, clothes, and skin- it is also damaging to our hair.  Bathing with hard water leaves behind minerals that build up over time.  This causes hair to be:

  • Brittle,
  • Frizzy,
  • Dull,
  • Susceptible to color fading,
  • Brassy.

Regionally, many of us complain of brassiness when it comes to hair color.  Some may even notice a green hue when they look in the mirror.  These results are caused by a natural chemical reaction to the minerals found in the water you shower with.

How can I avoid hair damage caused by hard water?

We can avoid damage caused by hard water; the easiest method is to install a water softening system at home.  Not only will this help your hair, but will improve your skin, clothes, and the amount of product you use at home to clean with.  Sure, not many of us have the budget to install house-wide systems, but it can be as easy as changing your showerhead.  Many DIY and “big-box” stores carry showerheads that have a built-in filter that softens water much like drinking filtration systems.  Typically the cartridges are replaceable and are fairly easy on the pocketbook.

Regular hair treatments to remove mineral build-up

Another method to help battle the mineral “bulge” is asking your stylist for a professional treatment to remove mineral impurities and restore the body, bounce, and brilliance of your hair.  These treatments are especially poignant prior to coloring services.  Creating a clean (hair) canvas before applying color is the most effective way to achieve precise results and prevent premature fading.  Add these treatments before haircut services or to a weekly shampoo-blowout and you will be on the road to the best hair of your life without hard water giving your hair a hard time.

P.S.  Did you know that rainwater is naturally soft?  This is because the water in a droplet of rain lacks calcium and magnesium ions.

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Back to Basics: Shampooing 101

We have been washing our hair for years, but a surprising question is; are we doing it right?  Sure, it may sound absurd that there is a right and wrong way to wash our hair, but the truth is that there is!  Our mission, as a team of professional hairdressers, is to ensure that our guests have the best hair possible.  This takes on two forms: health and style.  Although we cannot change the intrinsic qualities of the hair a guest is born with, as professionals- we can work to improve and maintain the condition of the hair canvas.  Read along as we outline some of the “basics” of this not-so-basic beauty routine.

Are you shampooing too often?

So many of us have the thought ingrained in our minds that we must shampoo every day to feel clean, smell fresh, and prevent “greasy” hair.  In actuality, “daily shampooing is only necessary if oil production on the scalp is high,” writes Zoe Draelos, MD, in the International Journal of Trichology.  Inherent excessive sebum production is somewhat rare, but manageable with the correct cleansers and styling products.  Typically, however, most oiliness comes from the environment, product build-up, diet, and- you guessed it- shampooing too often.

Most of us with “normal” hair can get away with shampooing every-other day.  Others with intrinsically dry or curly hair may be able to shampoo only once or twice a week.  (For these guys and gals, we will address “co-shampooing” in another article.)  To manage our worries between washings, professional hairdressers, dermatologists, and health professionals alike recommend hair powders or “dry shampoos” to soak up oil, add fragrance, and revive day-two style.

Are you using the right shampoo?

Yes, believe it or not, there is a difference between a professional brand of shampoo and those washing/styling systems found in grocery stores (such as Suave, Pantene, and Head and Shoulders).  Namely, these differences come in the form of the cleaning agents and the quality of their ingredients.  Most professional brands, such as Kerastase and Bumble and bumble use a surfactant ingredient called Sodium Laureth Sulfate that is safe and gentle to the hair strand.  Grocery store brands typically use detergents such as Ammonium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate.  These detergents are inexpensive, simple to prepare, and excellent cleaners, but keep in mind- detergent is great for our clothes and dishes, not for our hair.

  • Completely saturate your hair with lukewarm water (rather than hot H2O) being sure not to miss hair around the nape of your neck.  Making sure that your hair is fully wet before adding shampoo not only ensures that shampoo can do its job, but also emulsifies and rinses out any potential product build-up.  Avoid piling your hair on top of your head throughout this process to prevent tangles and knots.
  • Add a quarter-sized amount of shampoo to your hand and distribute between your palms.  Focus the shampoo on your scalp and  at the roots of your hair using your fingertips rather than your fingernails.  Massage in circular motions throughout your crown, on the sides, and finally at the nape of your neck.  Because of the high-quality surfactants found in professional shampoos, there should be little-to-no lather.  Lather and foam are of little importance when it comes to a great shampoo, but they often get the most attention from consumers.  We’ve all seen the shampoo commercials with heads heaped with bubbles.  These images have taught us to associate lather with a product’s cleansing ability, but science shows us that this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
  • Lather-rinse-repeat is not necessary unless you have an extremely oily scalp and have been instructed to do so by your hairdresser or medical professional.
  • Rinse your hair with lukewarm water.  Again, massage your scalp and root area as you rinse, pulling the shampoo through your mid-strands and ends.  It is not necessary to focus shampoo throughout your hair shaft; the act of rinsing out your shampoo will clean your hair from root to tip.
  • Apply conditioner only to the mid-shafts and ends by emulsifying the conditioner in your palms and distributing it gently with your fingers and hands.  The scalp and root area is naturally conditioned by the sebum produced by your hair follicle.  Because this natural oil cannot travel the length of your hair fiber on its own, conditioner is needed to add hydration, repair, and protective qualities to these areas.  Using a wide-tooth comb in the shower will ensure you achieve an even and thorough distribution of conditioner.  After combing through the mid-strands and ends, you may use the comb from root to tip as you rinse to prevent tangles and knots.  Conditioning is also an important step for those with fine or thinning hair.  Proper use of conditioner makes your hair soft, lustrous, and lightweight helping to add the illusion of density and volume.
  • Dry your hair by squeezing or pressing your hair between a towel, t-shirt, or regular kitchen paper towels.  Doing so prevents tangles and roughing-up your hair’s cuticle.

Everyone has specific hair needs.  It is important not only to use professional haircare products, but those products recommended by your hairdresser.  Beautiful hair begins with a healthy canvas and we are dedicated to helping you achieve the best hair of your life through personalized hair-need diagnosis, product recommendation, and styling education.

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