Why Balayage? It Will Change Your Life!

I had a new client sit in my chair today wanting highlights.. I asked a few questions about her lifestyle and how often she gets her hair done. She told me she hadn’t gotten her hair colored for almost a year and rarely has time to get her hair done because she is busy with work and her daughter. I asked if she had ever heard or ‘balayage’ thinking it would be perfect for her.

Balayage is a color technique that has been around for quite some time, but has recently gained popularity. It is hand painting color or highlights onto the hair to give a more natural and diffused look to the highlights. It is amazing for people who don’t have the time to invest into getting their hair colored on a regular basis. I thought it would be the perfect technique for this busy mom.

The amazing this about balayage is it’s completely customizable which means your hair color is yours. No one else has your hair. It can be used alone, accompanying traditional foil highlighting, with a base color, or using your natural hair color. It can be done or short or long hair so it works for almost everyone. I personally love it because as a stylist, I get to create something new and artistic every time. It challenges my skills and forces me to think outside the box.

It’s unlike traditional highlights because the grow out isn’t as noticeable. It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t get their hair done often, but still wants to do something different and on trend. In addition it can be easily changed for the seasons. Simply tone the existing balayage so it can fade by the time you are ready to go back bright for the summer. Next time you decide to get highlights, consider balayage. It will change your life!


 Tips for Styling Frustration

Stylists are constantly being asked for styling tips, which is awesome! It feels great to have guests trust your opinion on anything hair related. I love showing a guest a new way to style their hair. However, sometimes guests give up quickly when trying to learn a new style out of frustration. Here are a few tips to get going and inspired to try that new style.

5) Give Yourself a Break

Cut yourself some slack if the style doesn’t come out right the first time. No one (including veteran stylists) get everything exactly perfect the first time. Remember when watching YouTube videos or browsing Pinterest that the people most likely practiced that particular style over and over again.

4) You Are Not Doc Ock

For those who don’t know, Doc Ock is a character in Spider-Man who has four extra robotic arms fused with his spine. What I’m trying to say is, you only have two hands. The easiest and quickest way to ruin a style is to try to do everything at once. Instead of focusing on the overall style, break it into its components and attack one aspect at a time. Watch your stylist next time. We clip things, pin things, put rubber bands in… all of these things help us break the style into pieces and parts.

3) Your Stylist Has a Lot Of Training.. You Do Not

Most stylists have thousands of hours of training on how to do hair. It’s going to be way easier and faster for a stylist to execute a style. If it takes your stylist 30 minutes to bust out that sweet braid you’ve been eyeing, but an hour into the style you’ve started over three times and now have a rubber band stuck in your hair… do not fret! Your stylist has probably done that braid, or one similar, 100 times. Take a breath, try to untangle that rubber band, and start fresh for the fourth time.

2) Take Your Time

Seems like a simple enough concept, but you’d be amazed by how many people (myself included) have attempted a style 30 minutes before they’re supposed to leave. DO NOT DO THIS! Procrastination is never good, especially when it comes to hair. Double, triple or even quadruple the amount of time you allow yourself to complete your desired look. If possible, practice a few days before and work out any kinks. Take note of what you did well and what took you a few times to get right. That way when you go back a second time, you’ll knock it out of the park!

1) Try To Get Away Without Product, I Dare You

It still blows my mind after 5 years of doing hair, that there are people who are so anti-product when it comes to their hair. It’s like saying, “No thanks, I’d like to make this way harder for myself. I like to suffer while doing my hair.” Before I became a hairstylist, I never used product. It wasn’t until I started cosmetology school that I learned just how difficult I was making it for myself. Do yourself a favor, get some quality styling products (from a salon) and use them. Find what’s going to make it easiest for you to style your hair and ask your stylist how to use it. Better yet, watch what they are using and ask why they’re using that particular product and how. When it comes to product, cheaper does not mean better. Consider spending a few extra bucks to get a superior product. Plus, when you buy from a salon, you’re helping out that stylist you love so much! 

The most important thing to remember is, never give up! Styling hair isn’t easy, so I hope these tips breath life into your styling spirit. Now go get ‘em tiger! Master that braid, attack that twist… hell, attempt flat iron curls again! 

Why I Decided to Open a Studio Salon… At 5 and a Half Months Pregnant

Finding out that I was pregnant was one of the scariest things to hear as a hairstylist. So in the midst of all the uncertainty and fear, I decided to open a salon!  

What makes it so scary? Being in an “untraditional” job means no paid maternity leave, rarely you have health insurance through your salon, and the issue of no guaranteed income once you come back from however much maternity leave you decide to take. Without going into too much detail, let me break down the pay structure of most salons. An hourly wage is almost non-existent in a salon setting, unless a stylist works for a large chain salon (Cost Cutters, Great Clips, etc). That leaves a commission based pay or booth rent. With commission, the stylist is paid a certain percentage of their overall service dollars. Booth rent, a stylist pays the owner a set dollar amount either monthly or weekly and the stylist keeps the rest. Both of those mean that a stylist only makes money if they have a client in their chair.

In any salon situation, the longer a stylist is not actively taking clients, the higher the risk of losing clients; be it to another stylist in the salon or another salon altogether. This poses a huge problem for a pregnant stylist. Any amount of time taken off for maternity leave is risking clients seeking services elsewhere. Some clients stay, some clients leave. It all depends on how much time a client is willing to wait for that particular stylist to return.

Another up and coming option for stylists is what’s known as a studio salon. Think of these as a bunch of mini salons (about 100 sq ft) all in one building. Studio salons are popping up all over the country and stylists are flocking to these still new concepts. These studios are much the same as booth rent salons with one key difference: the stylist is now the owner of their own salon! Studio salons take away a lot of the start up costs of opening a business, but there is definitely still some overhead. So why the hell would anyone start a business at 5 and a half months pregnant? The answer is simple: I didn’t want to.

I was working in a booth rent salon in an area of Denver overflowing with young people. It was a great salon, but I was making no money. I had another full-time job as an educator at a cosmetology school. An awesome job with benefits and pretty good hourly wage. So why wouldn’t I just stay there? I had a 45 minute commute each way and with a baby I would be making just enough money to pay for rent and daycare for my newborn. Plus, I was still working at the salon after I left the school at night and on Saturdays. I definitely wanted to keep my clients, but I didn’t want to spend so much time working that I would never see my baby or my partner. I decided shortly after finding out that I was pregnant, to leave the salon and look for other salon options. The owner was more than understanding, so I went on my way to find something else. After a month of searching I had two different salon with offers on the table. I decided to go for the smaller and less well-known salon because of the higher commission percentage. It was going to be a perfect set up. The owner and myself agreed on a four day schedule per week and I would be making enough money to leave the school! I was so excited. I felt like I had found the perfect place. The salon carried the line of products I wanted to work with and I was going to have the perfect schedule to raise a newborn.

However, it was now time to have the dreaded “I’m pregnant” talk. Legally you do not have to disclose a pregnancy to a prospective employer and rejecting an job applicant because they are pregnant can make for some pretty nasty lawsuits. With that being said, I didn’t want to start a job under false pretenses or wait to say something until after I started working and have any negative emotions towards me for not saying anything earlier. So, I let the owner know that I was pregnant a couple of days before my official first day. I showed up for my first day early and excited! My excitement was short lived because as soon as the owner came in she informed me that she decided not to fill the position. My throat tightened and all I could muster up was a simple “okay”. She kept talking and cited reasons in her personal life for deciding not to move forward. I tried to listen and be understanding towards her, but I was now tuning her out, tears were welling In my eyes and all I could think was, “What am I going to do? I already quit my job! You’re really fucking me over lady!” I smiled with my now visible tears and told her it was “fine” even though it was NOT fine and I wanted so badly to call ‘bullshit’ on her. I quickly started gathering my supplies that I had already set up the week before. I messaged my partner to “come get me NOW” and had to run to the bathroom to cry in peace since the salon was full by this point. Stylists are taught early on to avoid burning bridges at all cost, so I thanked her once again and left.

I was back to square one, except this time I didn’t have my full-time job. Luckily, I had a few days left at the school and the director was amazing enough to offer me a part-time job at another campus. At least now I had time! I quickly started to job hunt since I had clients scheduled and nowhere to do services for them. Shit! This is why early I said I didn’t want to start a salon studio, I HAD to. My choices were: give up doing hair, start the process of finding a new salon over with a good chance it will end the same way (with a job swiftly taken off the table), or grab life by the balls and go into business for myself. I decided to do what was best for my family and called the rep for the salon studios closest to my previous salons.

This experience has left me here, writing this blog on the eve of the opening day of my business. To say this: yes being pregnant is scary and being a pregnant hairstylist is scary for a whole different set of reasons. The hair industry can be a very cruel place to work sometimes. I’ve never been one to back down from a fight and building a successful career in the hair world is a fight every damn day. Did I want to give up when it felt like everything was falling apart with my career? Yes. Did I feel helpless? Hell yes! Do I know what’s going to happen when I come back from maternity leave and whether or not I’ll have any clients waiting at my door? Nope. But I’m going to be the mother of a beautiful baby girl soon. I no longer get to give up or be helpless because now I have someone else to fight for. With that, I give the world Fox & Crow Salon! Born from a mother’s desire and need to succeed. I need to succeed not only for myself, but for my growing family whom I love with all of my heart.

-Emily Jayne


Fox & Crow Salon