Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

The Hair Business: Cancellations, Tipping, and Salon Ownership

Cancellations due to Weather
So it never rains in Southern California . . . this makes for many more gorgeous hair days.  California's low humidity has been perfect for those with press and curls over the years. Only when people move from California to the East Coast and begin fighting rain and humidity that they realize how much the weather does make a difference with their hair upkeep.

I researched some years back that Santa Barbara, California was voted the best city for hair because its weather stayed consistent for most of the year.  So what about those of us who live in cities where rainfall can be quite a regular occurrence?

Without some hairspray or extra holding spray, you have to wonder if it is even worth going to the salon.  Some clients go because they need a clean head, but for those who are more focussed on style, cancellations may come more commonplace because getting it styled on a rainy day is somewhat risky.  No one wants to waste their money, and many complain when too much holding spray is used.

Rainy weather makes it tough on the salon business in 2014 when people are already trying to stretch their dollars.

The rule of thumb used to be "not to tip" the salon owner because the owner was already making money off their other hairstylists working for them.  Sometimes I have run into customers that stand firm on not tipping the salon owner even if the salon owner is the sole and only operator in the salon.

With many hairstylists moving into salon suites, they are salon owners, but many never considered the fact that they could lose their tip money because they branched out into their own individual styling studio/suite.

I have not figured out a way of tackling this topic with those who stand firm on not tipping the salon owners.  Often times, I find that "tipping" is such a delicate topic and a courtesy that it almost seems taboo to educate on the tipping process.  Maybe this article will open up dialogue about when to tip the operator even if they are the owner of the hair business.

Salon Owners
In some states, state laws do not require salon owners to have a license to do hair. North Carolina is one of those states.  The problem with this practice is that salon owners who do not practice the art of hair can NOT effectively make sure their clients are happy in case a service correction needs to be made.  Granted, salon franchises such as Sports Clips, Great Clips, Hair Cuttery, etc  have built brands where people know that finding someone great working there may be a gamble, but for the affordable price, they may be willing to take their chances. Many of these "fast haircutting places" work fine with business savvy people owning them. However, when non-franchise salons are being run by business people who just want to own a salon in theory, they are less likely to survive in 2014 because the retention of hairstylists as well as the retention of clientele for those hairstylists can be challenging..  A example of two salons bumping heads is described in this link.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Poem: Phenomenal Hair

photo credit: and pinterest

Phenomenal Hair
By Benita Blocker

A Loc Print Exclusive to me
now provides the confidence you see
from the wind blowing to the tilting of my head
 the sway of my locs give me reasons to get out of bed.

They are the pep in my step,
The glide in my slide,
The wiggle as I jiggle,
The signal they are medicinal.

My loc Journey has been rocky indeed.
Patience and perseverance came in handy as I was in need.
Natural hair locked for control,
Always plays a crowning role.

My loc rhythm has harmony,
and it is phenomenally clear
that my locs are  part of an epiphany 
of the symphony
entitled Phenomenal hair.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Two Years and Two Months Rainy Day Check-in

Hi Everyone: I have been walking in the "light to moderate" rainfall today.  The type that is not enough to use your umbrella, but it's enough to cause your curls to drop.

Well, it's official - I'm at two years and  two months Loc-versary.  Today almost slipped by without a mobile phone snapshot.  So here I am - I think that I have finally arrived at the phase of nothing but gaining length going down versus branching out. I have a lot more confidence with my locs at all times now.  So with that confidence, I have been able to focus on other cosmetic makeup options.

Well, I just turned age 44 and I have always felt that my lips were gigantic. So I always would try to minimize them using lip liner, and sticking with a neutral lip gloss.  Well, I had a makeup artist (man) who loved the size of my lips.  He said that big lips were in.  I had to laugh because I was obviously ahead of time when it came to my lips.  So he put a loud pink color on my lips, and I felt like I looked like I had lip injections.  I kept the color on to see how other strangers in the mall would see me.  If people were going to stare or do a double take, then I would know that I was out of my league.  Well, surprisingly, no one really paid any attention. Wow!

Okay, the pink color does not look that loud because of the shadow from the lighting and camera angle,  but I have some nice full lips right?  Well, although, I decided not to stick with the lip color the makeup artist picked for me, but I did decide that I am going to start wearing more color on my lips.  I am still going to minimize my lips with my lip liner, but I agree that brighter colors give me a more youthful appearance.

You may be wondering what does lip color have to do with my hair?  What does cosmetic makeup have to do with hair?  Well, I am happy that you asked.  For most of my life, my hair has consumed so much of my time that I did NOT any energy left to experiment with cosmetic application.  Also, if you don't have "slamming hair" then it throws off your whole fashion image.

So you can have "drag queen gorgeous" makeup application and your hair is a hot mess, then you still look overall like a "hot mess" despite the extra care that you put in your makeup and clothes.  So the shackles are loosed, and I finally feel like I am free.  I feel more comfortable in allowing other beauty professionals to offer makeup and fashion tips that actually work for me.  Before I felt that tips offered were not becoming to me.

People judge you by many things - car, shoes, watch, purse, clothes, skin, nails, and hair.  However, you can be a runaway slave with gorgeous hair - someone will finish shining you up.  It is weird to feel that locs equal gorgeous hair, but in my world, my locs have started to put an extra pep in my step.  That makes them gorgeous in their own right.  From the wind lightly blowing them to the shake they make as I slightly tilt my head.  I am loving them phenomenally.  Phenomenal hair.

Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid and When

Sodium Chloride
Avoid shampoos with sodium chloride for those who get keratin or smoothing treatments.

Avoid shampoos with sulfates for those who get demi-permanent or permanent haircolor.

These ingredients strip the hair causing both of these salon services to fade and to not last as long.  There are other studies that claim these ingredients are associated with hair loss, but the actual haircolor or keratin treatment are both chemicals that could also cause hair loss.  So if you are willing to get chemicals, then you should be willing to use shampoos with sulfates in order to strip the hair of the "bad stuff."

So learn when to use shampoos that strip the hair and learn when not to use certain shampoos.  Ideally, home maintenance products should not be stripping.  Just leave the harsher shampoos in the hands of the salon professionals to know when to use them.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weighing In: The Facts about Locs

I just paid $10.00 per ounce for these locs. I wanted some on-hand for future loc extension clients.  These locs were not freshly shampooed so I shampooed them about seven lathers and rinses and weighed them wet.  They were about 3 ounces wet.  So locs when wet can be 1.5 times heavier than when they are dry.

After I dried the locs in the platform dryer, they weighed a quarter of an ounce less.  Wow! Dirty locs are slightly heavier than clean locs.  You can see the difference in the radiance of the locs too!

Of course, these facts may be nothing new to some of you, but I wanted to make note of them.  Also, I have discovered that more and more people have engaged in their loc journey.  I can't help but to assume that I was their inspiration.  Yayyyy!

Okay, I have limited locs for loc extensions now in stock!  They are $2 per loc!

For those who want to sell their locs, if the locs come from a smoker, then I had a hard time getting the smoky smell out of them.  Therefore, I would NOT be interested in buying locs with a strong nicotine smell.