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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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Justin Bieber's New Haircut - The Difference

Justin Bieber is a "heart throb!" I loved his "Never Say Never" movie!!! He is like a "Chris Brown" before the "Rihanna" situation. Justin is sooo talented! Yes! Did I say that I got swept off my feet with the Bieber-mania???? Anyway! Justin has a new haircut!!!! I grew to love the old one. He was a trendsetter and leader. This new haircut is cute too . . . . but I hope that he stays "original." "Original" won our hearts . . . speaking as a fan!!!!
Okay, pictured are two different pairs of thinning shears. Justin's hair has strong directional growth patterns. Thinning shears such as the ones pictured help to thin out the areas of direction allowing for styling products to further assist in control of styling direction. Notice that one pair of shears has more teeth than the other. The more teeth then the more the two cutting edges hit; therefore more hair is cut. So less teeth; less thinning is done. In order to make sure that the hair is not too thin where it can become see-through, the thinning shears with less teeth would be the preferred choice to maintain Justin's new haircut. Also, the general rule when using thinning shears is to cut in the middle of the strand or toward the ends. There will be rare to no case where anyone would need to thin at the root. Using thinning shears at the root of the hair would give you the feel of "breakage" on a real head. If you are thinning "commercial" or "weaving" hair -- thin at your heart's content.

As far as Justin's final finish, I believe his fringes were razored a little to create a soft textured framing along the face.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cape Color: Precision Haircuts for Longer lengths

Cape colors vary for a reason! If you have longer hair, then hair professionals need to be able to see what they are cutting. If you have black hair and a black cape draped around you, then you may not get precision in your haircut! So if you have light colored hair, then the black cape works out great! Black capes are the most common color for capes because they match every salon's decor. However, if you have black/dark hair, ask the stylist for a lighter color cape or a lighter color towel to go on top of the black cape in order for you to see your true hair density.
Pictured is an "over the shoulder" drape by the company "Hair Art" to assist in haircutting at a 180 degree angle. (i.e. straight down) There are actual weights built into the front side to keep the drape from slipping off as you cut. The cutting trend is a straight across cut; so this drape is best used when someone wants a bell shape.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Comparing pressing combs and their teardrop base

In this picture, you see two of the leading brands of "iron" tools: Kizure and Golden Supreme. I am loving my Golden Supreme marcel irons, but I have found the Kizure pressing comb to be "second to none."
Look at the side of the teardrop bases. The Golden Supreme has a smaller teardrop (pictured on the left) and requires an extreme flipping angle to get the base of the iron to straighten the hair. However, the larger teardrop base of the Kizure pressing comb (pictured on the right) can just guide down the hair strand almost effortless. I prefer the Kizure pressing comb over the Golden Supreme. I believe that both are pre-tempered brass. In addition, I found the teeth on the Golden Supreme pressing comb to be sharp and rough which is not a good combination when it comes to hair nor skin. I tempered the Golden Supreme pressing comb a little and roughed it up to dull the tips; so the teeth are not so abrasive now. The Kizure pressing comb was perfect. No sharp tips nor edges and was ready to use.

Be careful with the cheaper pressing combs, you probaby will run into some of the same sharp teeth/tips and a small teardrop base. These deficiencies can make your work harder and not as healthy for the hair.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Titanium Flat Irons versus Ceramic Flat Irons

Can you see the reflection of the ceramic flat iron in the plates of the titanium plated flat iron?

According to my research, the advantages of the titanium flat iron over the traditional ceramic iron is that there are "no uneven hot spots," and it helps control static electricity in the hair.

I was told that running a wire clothes hanger along your clothes will eliminate static electricity in clothes. So passing the titanium(metal) plated flat iron through your hair should help eliminate static electricity and flyaways. A moisturizing flat iron protection spray such as Alfa Parf's Pure Veil should also help with static electricity.

The titanium flat iron pictured is by Croc. Babyliss has a very popular titanium flat iron. It is "sky blue" in color. The ceramic iron pictured is FHI Heat's Runway iron.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coconut Oil as an overnight hair treatment

Coconut oil seems to be the next most popular oil behind the Argan Oil. The coconut oil is heavy so I suggest that only coarse hair or double processed hair consider using it as a treatment. It is a solid that will liquefy with body heat. It can be greasy, but when used as an overnight treatment to be shampooed the next day, it leaves the hair extra soft! According to the "IndianSpectra" magazine, they recommend this treatment twice a week. However, remember you are to shampoo the next day so that the hair is not too heavy.
According to the instructions, this brand can be used to cook with, consumed as a dietary supplement, used as a skin care regimen as well as a hair treatment. It does smell a little like a cooking oil. Also, a little goes a long way! It can be purchased from the Vitamin Shoppe and other "organic" food markets.

Jennifer Hudson: Spotlight!

Jennifer Hudson was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show recently. She has lost 80 pounds and went from a size 16 to a size 6! Congratulations Jennifer and Weight Watchers for a job well done!

In order to achieve Jennifer's "sassy bob," a layered cut is needed in the front with a longer bang area. The traditional bob cut is needed in the back with some razor cutting or notch cutting all over.

I love this haircut and style over the traditional hard, stiff bob look. At night, just wrap it up and finger it out!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Top Hairstylists aren't just men!

(This picture is from

Allure magazine listed six top hairstylist in their November 2010 issue. They were all "White" men. Which leads me to the question where are all the ladies at? (Top female hairstylists! Where are you?)
Allure listed Guido, Serge Normant, Chris McMillan, Orlando Pita, Oribe, and Garren as top hairstylists.

When I think of haircare lines, I think of Paul Mitchell and Frederic Fekkai.

The world needs more female trailblazing hairstylists! Hopefully, one day, I will be leading the pack!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Christina Aguilera: The Blonde Look

Christina Aguilera just starred in the movie "Burlesque," and she just sung the "Star Spangled Banner" at SuperBowl 2011 Pre-show. Both performances show that she has a strong voice! (Although, she did stumble on the lyrics of the national anthem.) By the way, I thought the anthem was traditionally lip synced to avoid last minute jitters? Regardless, Christina Aguilera gave a soulful performance of the anthem and a professional delivery despite a minor imperfection in the lyrics!

Now as far as Christina's hair, I love her blonde look.

In order to achieve this look, Lightener (i.e. hair bleach) is needed if you have Black, Brown, or Reddish hair. If you have "dirty blonde" or lighter hair already, then skip the Lightener process and choose a high lift blonde permanent color. Process according to manufacturer's directions. If you still have some brassiness then tone it down with an ash/violet base semi/demi permanent color. Always shampoo and condition between color applications. Paul Mitchell has a Super Strengthener that can be used after shampooing the lightener from the hair in order to strengthen it for the semi-permanent toning color that can process on wet hair.

A Healthy hair note: In order to keep hair healthy, it is not recommended to go lighter than three to four levels from your natural level. For example: Going from black to blonde is not healthy for maintaining long lengths. Going from a brown/black into a reddish brown is reasonable to obtain and maintain length. Also, going from a light brown to blonde is reasonable to obtain and maintain healthy hair.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Deciding on a "Hair school"

I can only speak on North Carolina practices. Every state has a different culture. As far as 2011 is concerned, it does not matter which beauty school that you choose. Their purpose is to teach you enough to pass State Board so that you can begin your practice in the art of hair.

As far as career placement, Aveda and Paul Mitchell schools feed into a more formal training program after graduation. Also, these two schools use the high-end Aveda and Paul Mitchell products respectively. High end products work on all types of hair and begin to set the standard for other product lines to meet up to.

If you can find a school that gets all types of hair coming in to practice on, then you may get the most diversified exposure only if the teachers are fair in distributing clients to everyone equally. If a student is only being given one type of service 80% of the time, then they will be less efficient in all other hair services. Also, if a school only gets one type of clientele, then everyone will be a little deficient in some areas of the hair practice.

Many schools are ran like salons, as hair service requests come in then they are assigned to those who have mastered that service in order to get people in and out.

The concept of going to hair school to learn how to "do hair" is a little bit of a stretch. If you do not know how to do hair before going to "hair school" then you will have to take "advanced classes" after passing State Boards in order to learn techniques to assist you in surviving in the competitive hair business. Also, North Carolina State Board of Cosmetic Arts require continuing education for hairstylists under 25 years of experience. Innovative hairstylists should be seeking out continuing education all the time.

Congratulations Charlotte, NC for becoming the host city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention! Applebaum (Hair) Salon will be pre-booking hair appointments!!! Creative Director and Founder is Benita Blocker. Other Senior Stylists will be available.

Hair tools: Direct heat versus Infrared Heat

Hot hair tools have been around for over a hundred years! Direct heat is the oldest technology. If you have to wait for a good 10 minutes for the tool or appliance to heat up, then it is direct heat. If the tool heats up in 15 seconds or less, then it typically using infrared heat. So your old curling irons, old flat irons, and hot rollers that you had to turn on early to get them hot enough to use are also direct heat. Pictured are two 2 inch irons. One cost $40 retail and the other costs $200 retail. The $40 marcel flat iron must be heated up in or on a heat source. The use of it becomes direct heat. The $200 Chi Turbo flat iron pictured heats up within 15 seconds of plugging up and turning it on.

When to use the infrared heat versus the direct heat? If you are going for bone straight hair without any bend nor curls, then infrared heat from the flat iron works great for styling purposes. Thermal protectant is vital to maintain the health of the hair. However, if you want any type of body or curl without having to use heat everyday to touch it up, then direct heat from even the traditional curling iron seems to hold for days without reapplying heat. The direct heat seems to give more body. Re-emphasizing that direct heat method has been effective for styling and allowing the hair to grow for over a hundred years WITHOUT "thermal protectants." The only things needed for decades were 1) styling spray for maximum hold and 2)shine spray. And yes, pressing oils were needed for pressing comb applications. No rocket science here . . . and we had plenty of "growing hair!" Madame C.J. Walker was living proof that we did not have to have infrared heat to have long hair. We just need "higher end" hair care products and conservative application of heat for styling.

Please remember that hair should be as clean as possible when using any type of hot tool. Also, hair growth is normally a half inch a month, but we have to prevent the strands from breaking in order to see that the hair gets maximum length.

On a side note, Black salons are losing the black haircare business . . . I do not think that it is coincidence that switching from the traditional stove and marcel styling into exclusive flat iron usage just happened around the same time. The traditional methods of marcel irons and pressing combs defined "Black hair."