Medusa. The Salon

Jessica Offenbaker

Hair Tips

Want Healthy Hair FAST?

Posted by jessica offenbaker on March 20, 2014 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (7)

Let me let you in on a little known secret for healthy hair FAST! When I worked in New York, our model clients had to constantly change their hair for different designers and different photo shoots. One month they would have to chop their hair off and a couple months later they would need hair again. Of course extentions are the obvious go to but guess what...extentions need hair to be clipped to and they actually damage hair if worn constantly so what did the models do to grow their hair back out fast??? NO not pre-natal pills and NO not every hair supplement works!!! A little known supplement called Vivscal is the magic pill. Just like any other product it usually takes a couple of months to fully appreciate the results you will recieve but I haven't heard any complaints to this day! So go check out the website at and try them yourself because after all, healthy hair is the best canvas for your hairdresser to work with! Here's what Tabatha Coffey had to say:

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Posted by jessica offenbaker on June 2, 2011 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (3)


How VERY HARD water affects Bleaching/Highlights

Blonde or bleached hair or highlights that are regularly exposed to the Very Hard Water in San Antonio will show some distinct characteristics that you will readily recognize. Among these are:


  • Difficulty getting sucessful results from color services 
  • Dullness 
  • Brassiness
  • Dusty/chalky tones
  • Rusty Orange discoloration (iron buildup) 
  • Green discoloration (copper buildup) 
  • Poor texture
  • Lack of movement in the hair
  • Hot, smoking foils when highlighting your hair due to iron in the water


You might be surprised to learn how what’s hiding in your water affects your hair, scalp and skin and can sabotage your services! The problems shown above occur because Very Hard Water Over-Oxidizes hair while coating it with heavy mineral particles that do not wash away. Very Hard Water contains high levels of these calcium and magnesium “rocks.” Chances are, you are washing your hair in Very Hard Water several times a week, creating a massive buildup of minerals that will prevent color from adhering to the hair itself resulting in fading, ashy ends and lots of reformulating and rebleaching on my part. The only way I can combat these water-borne elements and give you healthy hair with great color and style is if I know what’s in the water and what to do about it. Tap water also affects the texture, brilliance and manageability of natural blonde hair, as does pool water. The good news is, I can offer a solution for this as well! 

There’s a Wellness Solution to Very Hard Water on Bleached and Highlighted hair

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When I see hair that shows the symptoms of exposure to Very Hard Water, I send clients home with a box of Malibu Wellness Actives Blondes Weekly Brightener to keep blondes (both natural and colored) bright, shiny and fresh, and to prevent minerals from building up again or chemicals from oxidizing the hair and ruining the color, texture and pliability. 

How VERY HARD water affects Haircolor

Hair that is regularly exposed to the Very Hard Water in San Antonio will show some distinct characteristics when I attempt to apply color that I will readily recognize. Among these are:


  • Difficulty getting successful, accurate results from color service 
  • Uneven color 
  • Constant reformulation 
  • Color not true to swatch 
  • Color fades within weeks or even days 
  • Lack of vibrancy 
  • Flat opaque reds and browns 
  • Chalky blondes with no sparkle 


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Malibu Wellness Actives Color PrepareMalibu Wellness Actives Color Correction

There’s a Wellness Solution to Very Hard Water when Coloring hair. When I see hair that shows the symptoms of exposure to Very Hard Water, I can start your Color service Malibu Wellness Actives Color Prepare before you color. This will help to clear much of the buildup from the hair and prepare it to receive the color service. If you are doing a touch up, I can substitute Malibu Wellness Actives Color Correction to gently normalize the color without lifting. Sometimes this is the only step I need to do to correct color that has gone dull or opaque. If your hair doesn’t show any problems or adverse conditions, I can send you home with a packet of Malibu Wellness Actives Color Prepare for you to use within a day or two of their your color service to remove minerals and oxidizers prior to coming in for their appointment. 

How VERY HARD water affects Scalp/Dandruff/Eczema

Hair and scalp that are regularly exposed to the Very Hard Water in San Antonio will show some distinct characteristics that you will readily recognize. Among these are:


  • Flaking 
  • Itching 
  • Redness or inflammation 
  • Irritation or sensitivity 
  • Dryness 
  • Flare-up of scalp conditions 
  • Abnormal Exfoliation 


Most of the products you use for dandruff and/or eczema are either tar based, which can suppress scalp exfoliation, or contain Zinc Pyrithion, a chemical which, when released into the environment has been shown to poison fish and other water-dwellers.

Malibu Wellness Actives Hard Water Weekly Demineralizer

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There’s a Wellness Solution to Very Hard Water on Dandruff and Eczema of the Scalp. When I see hair and scalp that shows the symptoms of exposure to Very Hard Water, I recommend the Malibu Wellness Scalp Wellness System -- a gentle, earth-friendly and highly effective shampoo, conditioning and treatment program. I also send you home with a box of Malibu Wellness Actives Dandruff/Eczema Weekly Scalp Massage to demineralize and normalize the skin of the scalp while helping to prevent buildup and soothing the symptoms of irritating scalp conditions. 

How VERY HARD water affects Haircuts & Styles

Hair that is regularly exposed to the Very Hard Water in San Antonio will show some distinct characteristics which you will readily recognize. Among these are:


  • Difficulty getting proper angle on cut 
  • Lack of flow and movement in hair 
  • Hair that lacks shine and natural translucence 
  • Precision cuts that don't behave when styled or require excess product to hold style 

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Malibu Wellness Actives<br/> Hard Water Weekly Demineralizer


There’s a Wellness Solution to Very Hard Water Damage on Cuts & Styles. When I see hair that shows severe symptoms of exposure to Very Hard Water, I recommend an in-salon Malibu MakeOver Crystal Gel Treatment with Power Protein Builder. This time-tested treatment gently removes mineral buildup and stops oxidation, replaces proteins in the damaged hair shaft and normalizes the hair and scalp. It is also critical to prepare hair to respond properly to chemical services. I send clients home with a box of Malibu Wellness Actives Hard Water Weekly Demineralizer to prevent minerals and oxidizers from building up again and to keep the results of your service looking good longer.


The Dangers of Oxidation from Chlorine in Your Water

The water in San Antonio comes from: Edwards and Trinity Aquifers (Ground source)

Dangerous Oxidation from the Chlorine in Your Water

Your water contains up to 1 ppm of chlorine. Treated water – from city plants – contains chlorine to kill bacteria and make the water safe to drink, but washing hair and skin in chlorine is the same as washing hair and skin in bleach: Hair proteins and hard water minerals become oxidized causing dryness, loss of color and dullness as well as scalp and skin problems.

The pH of Your Local Water and Its Potential for Problems

Your water’s pH is as high as 7. You already know that pH means the potential for hydrogen which leads to the potential for hair, scalp and skin issues! Higher pH immediately causes hair to lose shine and smooth texture, but an even more dangerous effect of a high pH level is that it induces the hair cuticle to open which can allow minerals to penetrate and damage hair proteins. Additionally, an excessively low or high pH can cause corrosion of copper pipes releasing tiny particles of copper that can attach to hair and cause discoloration. While the table above shows you the pH level reported by our local water plant, you should still test the water at home for its pH level so you can adjust your needs accordingly. Here's how:

Clients Who Use Well Water

Did you know that as many as 21,839 in Bexar county get their water from private wells? Even if you have Soft Water, many of you could be using much harder water at home from a private well. Private wells contain iron and a slew of heavy metals that discolor, add weight, cause breakage and hair loss and otherwise wreak havoc on your hair and skin. Well Water can cause many of the same problems as Hard Water. Symptoms include:


  • Dull, limp hair 
  • Brassiness 
  • Rusty orange discoloration (iron buildup) 
  • Poor texture 
  • Lack of movement 
  • Difficulty getting successful results from chemical services 
  • Dry skin or signs of premature aging


In addition to helping me better guarantee your in-salon services, knowing that well water is a factor can guide me in recommending products for use at home on hair, scalp and skin. The first step, if possible, is to have you bring in a sample of your water so I can test it. Knowing the content of your water is critical to the success of your hair, scalp and skin services.

You can get that information in one of two easy ways:

Request Water Quality Report or Test Your Water

Request a Water Quality Report

If you reside in an area serviced by a local water department, your water department is required by law to mail your Water Quality Report to you annually. If you do not have a copy of your most recent Water Quality Report, simply call your local water department and ask them to mail it to you.

Once you have your Water Quality Report, fax it to Malibu Wellness at 317.375.3175. Click here to print a cover page to accompany your faxed Water Quality Report. Once we receive your faxed Water Quality Report, we will analyze your water data and email you a customized analysis of how your water is affecting your clients’ hair, scalp and skin and your services!

Test Your Own Water:

If there is no local water department serving your area (which means your water comes from a private well), you can test your water with a water hardness test strip (available at your local pool supply store).

After you’ve tested your water and you know if your water is soft, hard or very hard, email your results to Malibu Wellness at and we’ll email you a customized analysis telling you how your water is affecting your hair, scalp and skin.

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Hair Soaks Up Oil!

Posted by jessica offenbaker on May 3, 2010 at 11:34 AM Comments comments (4)

ColourCode Salon is now joining up with Matter of Trust to help soak up oil with the help of YOUR hair!  Here's how getting your haircut helps:

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Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on February 2, 2009 at 1:07 PM Comments comments (0)


All Soft Shot PhaseClear Moisture Shot PhaseColor Extend Shot PhaseExtreme Shot PhaseReal Control Shot PhaseSmooth Down Shot Phase

An exclusive, professional in-salon service, Redken Chemistry offers intense, customized treatments for whatever your hair needs – whether it’s moisture, color protection, strength, softness, control, or a combination of these benefits! Each treatment also has a corresponding take-home regimen so you can maintain the incredible results after you leave the salon.

Who is Redken Chemistry for?

A deep conditioning treatment such as Redken Chemistry is great for distressed hair. Distressed hair is weakend hair that has been physically changed in some way. There are two key types of hair distress:

  • CHEMICAL DISTRESS: caused by overuse of chemical services such as haircolor, lightening, perming or straightening
  • MECHANICAL DISTRESS: caused by normal wear and tear from blow-drying, curling and flat irons, and every day brushing


Redken Chemistry offers six “shots” that can be blended for truly personalized solutions:



Feature Photo

  • Extreme Shot Phase for distressed hair
  • Color Extend Shot Phase for color-treated hair
  • Clear Moisture Shot Phase for normal/dry hair
  • All Soft Shot Phase for dry/brittle hair
  • Smooth Down Shot Phasee for very dry/unruly hair
  • Real Control Shot Phase for dense/dry/sensitized hair

Speak to your stylist today about scheduling your customized Redken Chemistry service.


Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on August 4, 2008 at 10:31 AM Comments comments (0)

Bleach lighteners are used when one of the following results are desired:

  • when clients with naturally dark hair desire tones too light to achieve with permanent haircolor alone
  • removing artificial haircolor such as in a corrective color situation
  • lightening selected strands in a highlighting service

Oxidation in the lightening process means the hydrogen peroxide is mixed with an alkaline product such as bleach. Once activated, the lightening mixture changes melanosome structure and lightens the color of the hair. It does this by breaking the melanin into tiny fragments which are no longer able to absorb light to the same degree as before. The melanin does not immediately lose its color when oxidized. The hair goes through relatively predictable color changes as the pigment disperses and lightens the hair to a new level. There are several stages of lightening from the darkest to the lightest:


This lightening process fractures the color pigment creating undertones that are unwanted.

To correct this, the opposite color(as seen in the color wheel below) is added to the formula to "cancel" out the unwanted tones or other colors are added in varying amounts to add special effects or customize the color to an individual's desire.

Lighteners can only lift up to 7 Levels. Women with Black and Very Dark Brown hair CANNOT be pale blonde without depleting the cuticle of the hair and ultimately "melting" the hair off. Another key rule to lightening, you can not bleach over previously bleached hair. Doing so also depletes the cuticle and hair becomes very weak until it breaks.

There are three general classifications of lighteners used in the salon: oil, creme, and powder. Each performs a specific function, and has unique characteristics.  There are also two basic classifications:
1. On-scalp: Used on-scalp for double processing and off-scalp in highlighting and creative color techniques.
2. Off-scalp: This type of bleach is usually stronger and faster-acting than on-scalp bleaches due to the higher pH and stronger peroxide activity.

OIL lighteners

These are frequently used for on-scalp applications when a mild lightening action is desired. Oil lighteners are part of a 3-component system including powder activator(s), hydrogen peroxide developer and of course Oil. Oil lighteners have a pH of approximately 10.

CREME lighteners

Creme lighteners also include developers and may also include powder activator(s). They are formulated to stay moist during processing in a no-drip consistency. They are popular for their versatile application techniques and are used in both on and off-scalp methods.

POWDER Decolorizers

Powder lighteners are often selected when lighter blonde results are desired on darker natural hair colors. Most powder lighteners are for off-scalp techniques, although some do provide the flexibility for on-scalp applications. The pH of powder lightener is approximately 10.5.

pH has a scale from 0 to 14 reflecting the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. The lower numbers denote acidic conditions and the upper numbers denote basic, or alkaline, conditions. Pure water has a pH of 7.0, and other solutions are usually described with reference to this value. Acids are defined as those solutions that have a pH less than 7 (i.e. more hydrogen ions than water); while bases are defined as those solutions that have a pH greater than 7 (i.e. less hydrogen ions than water). Ideally you want your hair to be balanced as much as possible. Normally hair ranges between 4.5 and 5.5 on the scale, but with color and highlights hair loses it?s pH balance. Permanent hair colour and professional bleaches are normally 9.5 to 10.5 on the scale while at home colour/highlighting treatments are much higher which ultimately cause the hair to be dry and brittle. Whereas products high in acidic qualities rob your hair of oxygen and can destroy the proteins that keep your hair strong and healthy. 


Types Of Hair Dye

Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on July 28, 2008 at 5:17 PM Comments comments (5)

Most haircolor requires dye and developer to produce a result.  There are two general categories of dyes: Oxidative and Direct Dyes. 

  • Direct dyes are pre-colored molecules that coat the surface of the hair and do not require a reaction with hydrogen peroxide. 
  • Oxidative dyes are extremely small colorless molecules that penetrate through the cuticle and into the cortex with the aid of an alkaline substance such as ammonia. 


 Direct Dye Molecules Oxidative Dye Molecules



In order for oxidative dyes to form colored dye molecules, oxidation must take place. Oxidation is the chemical process of a haircolor dye reacting with a developer to form visible color.  Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is one of the most predominant oxidants used to develop color.  Ammonia also acts as a catalyst to activate hydrogen peroxide, which causes the oxidative dye molecules to couple and form.  There are two other types of color as well.  Semi- and Demi- Permanent. 

  • Semi-permanent color products are formulated with direct dyes meaning that the color is present and visible without the need to chemically develop it with peroxide. What you see in the bottle or tube is what you can expect to see in the resulting haircolor. Semi-permanent colors can cover gray without lift, but shampoo away in five-ten shampoos. They are more rapidly lost from porous hair.
  • Demi-permanent or tone-on-tone haircoloring products may be formulated with oxidative dyes only or with a combination of oxidative and direct dyes. Demi-permanent colors must be mixed with a low volume hydrogen peroxide to develop. The formulations in these products contain low concentrations of alkali for minimal lift or can be formulated without ammonia for no lift. For example, Redken Shades EQ Conditioning Color Gloss processes at an acidic pH without lift.

    Semi-Permanent Molecules       Demi-Permanent Molecules


With that being said, most box colors you buy at the store are metallic direct dyes.  The color molecule just sits on top of the cuticle and never actually penetrates in to the hair shaft, unless your hair is extremely porous and/or damaged, then anything can be permanent to some extent.  It can blend gray hair up to 75% but also rinses away, back to your natural color after several shampooings.  You're not supposed to run the color through to the ends with permanent color.  That's why you notice home hair jobs are always extremely darker on the ends.  It's coating after blotching coating permanently sticks to the ends.  Also, the grade of dyes they use is low.  You can find them in textiles, food color, and fabrics fibers like wool, alpaca and mohair as well as synthetic fabrics.  That is why the color selections never come out natural looking on your hair.  Why would anyone want to dye their hair with fabric dye?

What Is Hair?

Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on July 21, 2008 at 2:23 PM Comments comments (1)

Hair is basically an extension of your skin.  The visible part of the hair, which is the hair shaft, is made up of a non-living protein called keratin and is broken down into three layers: cuticle, cortex and medulla.

  • The cuticle is the translucent, outermost portion of keratin that protects the inside of the hair shaft. It is generally six to ten layers thick, with scales that overlap each other like shingles on a roof.
  • The cortex or middle layer is composed of softer, more pliable spiraling chains of protein, which give hair its strength and elasticity. The cortex contains melanin or hair pigment. (The cuticle may contain melanin or hair pigment in very dark hair.)
  • The medulla, when present, is the innermost layer running down the middle of the hair shaft. In humans, it has no known function.

There are also many other factors that need to be taken into consideraton when determining color formulations.  Texture, abundence, formation and natural haircolor.  Texture is the diameter of an individual hair strand otherwise known as fine, medium or coarse.  Abundence or density is the amount of hair upon the head per square inch.  Formation is generally described as straight, wavy or curly.  And it needs to be determined what percentage, if any, grey hair goes throught your natural color, and what level your natural color is thus determining the undertone we want to counteract:

Is the hair damaged?  What's the porosity? What's the chemical history?  Has it been previously treated?  Does it have color?  What color has been put on it?  Is it chemically straightened? STILL THINK IT'S EASY?

Your natural hair color is related to the quantity, size, type, and distribution of cellular bodies called melanosomes, which contain the pigment melanin.  There are two types of melanin -- eumelanin and pheomelanin -- which are found in various ratios in each individual hair strand.

  • Eumelanin are oval shaped dark granules that range in color from brown to black and are insoluble in solvents, resistant to chemical treatment and have a complicated chemical structure. Darker levels of hair have a higher concentration of eumelanin.
  • Pheomelanin are diffused small particles that range in color from red to yellow. Its shape is different than eumelanin and it is more soluble. Pheomelanin usually occurs in lighter shades of hair, making light hair easier to lighten.
  • Gray, white or non-pigmented hair is considered by many to be the same although there are subtle differences:   Gray hair is a gradual loss of pigment in the hair resulting from a decrease in melanin production. The hair appears to have an absence of pigment, but it is not completely devoid of melanin. In white hair, melanin may be completely absent or dormant.   

    Law Of Color

    Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on July 14, 2008 at 12:11 PM Comments comments (1)

    I think it's time to explain a little about hair color and how it works.  Some people seem to think hair color is like paint, you just put it on and its supposed to be the color on the box.  HAIR COLOR IS NOT PAINT!!!   Most people don't think about the fact that color is a complex, fascinating and beautiful combination of light and pigment.  Painters, photographers and other artists use it to express their creativity, but color is actually explained in scientific terms and theories.  Haircoloring is a powerful way to accent skin tone and eye color and help express personality.  Hairdressers are like scientists for your hair.  There is a lot we need to know to determine a color formula that should be applied to your hair to achieve coveted results.  There is also a HUGE difference between box colors you find at the store and professional color.  We'll get into that later.



    Light theory applies when we color the hair fiber, we are working with a material that is translucent in nature.  Light reflects through and off the surface of the hair, which affects how we perceive its final color.  The dye in haircolor products works in conjunction with the natural color pigment in human hair in a way that is also predictably governed by the principles of color.  Scientist Isaac Newton  discovered that sunlight is composed of separated wavelengths. Refracted through a triangular prism, white light appears as a rainbow of continuous colors ranging from red to orange, yellow to green, then blue to indigo, and finally violet.  Each color has its own individual wavelength.  Red is the longest length of visible light, and violet is the shortest. 



    The three main characteristics of color are hue, saturation and tone:
    ? Hue is the name given to a color like red, blue, and yellow for example.
    ? Saturation is the percentage of hue in a color, a low saturation of red results in pink for example.
    ? Tone is the amount of light value in a color, pink has more light value than deep red for example.


    Our eyes are like a camera. The lens focuses, the iris accommodates light intensity, and the retina takes the picture and transfers it to the brain.  When white light shines on an object, part of the light waves are absorbed by the object, others are reflected and scattered, and yet others may be transmitted.  This is a result of the unique atomic structure of the object.  Red hair color, for example, absorbs all light rays except the warm ones, which are transmitted. This is why red hair looks red. 

    The color spectrum consists of three primary colors: blue, red and yellow, in order of their dominance. These 'pure' colors are called primary because every other visible color is produced from them.  There are three secondary colors: violet, orange, and green. These colors are produced by combining the primary colors in pairs of equal proportions:
    blue + red = violet, red + yellow = orange, and yellow + blue = green.  Tertiary colors are created by mixing equal proportions of primary colors with their neighboring secondary color. The six tertiary color combinations are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, and yellow-green.

    These colors are arranged on a color wheel. This is a tool frequently used by haircolorists, painters and other artists who work with color.  A primary color is positioned opposite the secondary color containing the missing two primary colors required to achieve balance. For example, blue is opposite orange - which is created by mixing red and yellow. Red is across the wheel from green - a combination of blue and yellow. Mixing two opposite colors together results in a neutral color, such as brown or gray, depending on proportions.  Opposite each tertiary color is another tertiary color containing the missing primary colors needed to complete the combination of all three primary colors. That missing color is called a complementary color. All colors on the wheel, when mixed with their complement, refine or neutralize each other to become a shade of brown or gray.  The color wheel is important to formulating haircolor. For example, a client with medium brown hair is interested in going lighter and doesn't want any red tones. To counteract the naturally occurring unwanted red undertones, the haircolorist could select a corrective base with the tonal value opposite the unwanted undertone on the color wheel (in this example, green is opposite red). Remember, opposites on the color wheel neutralize.


    The color wheel is further divided into warm and cool colors. Colors that are predominantly blue are cool-toned colors. Blue is the darkest and coolest primary. When it is combined with any other color, it is the stronger shade and results in a darker color with a cool tone.

    Colors that are primarily red or yellow are warm-toned colors. When red is added to the mixture, the result is a warmer tone. Yellow is the lightest of the primary colors, and when mixed with other colors, results in a lighter and brighter effect.


    Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on April 26, 2008 at 11:48 PM Comments comments (4)

    1 Heat Tools & Sun

    2 Flat Iron Addiction

    Yes, yes, technically hair is already dead.  Hair is dead skin.  I know, sounds gross, but that is why "you are what you eat".  With that being said, it's understandable why heat is the number one KILLER of hair. Unfortunately, it's also the most common. Heat opens up the top layer of your hair, called your cuticle, which lets moisture and color slip away and in turn, lets the environment in. This creates dull, frizzy hair and potentially leads to split ends and premature hair loss. Preventing this is quit simple. Don't over style your hair. Try letting it dry naturally, then go through with a blow dryer to smooth it out if you must blow dry your hair. After you're finished, hit it with a COOL shot(the button does have a purpose after all). Go a couple of days without washing your hair. This allows the natural oils to distribute all the way to your ends. If you must wash your hair everyday, Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners and always RINSE WITH COOL WATER! The colder the better. Your hair is like your skin. Hair Cuticle=Skin Pore.  Oh Flat Irons!!!  Hair Homicide.  These things are around 450 degrees, you know.  Imagine what that type of heat does to your hair after awhile.  Better yet, let me show you:

    Here we start off with a normal, undamaged, healthy strand of hair

    Here we end up with an unhealthy, damaged, broken strand of hair due to heat.  More often then none, this ends up as premature hair loss.  Your hair becomes so weak it splits all the way up to the follicle.  Especially the tiny hairs around your hair line called lanugo, you know the ones you go over and over with the flat iron cause they're too fine to straighten.  Please, Please, for the sake of your hair, DON'T GET BURNED!  No pun intended.  Here are some tips if you absolutely must style your hair.


    Good cut- A good professional haircut really does make a difference. If you have a good cut, it should make the styling process a lot easier.

    Good blow dryer- There are many of them out there. My 2 favorites are Ceramic/Tourmaline and Ionic. The difference speaks for itself. Regular blow dryers run heat around coils(like the ones on a stove) potentially damaging your hair. Ceramic/Tourmaline dryers run the heat around ceramic/tourmaline plates so it heats up faster therefore dries your hair faster so you don?t have to apply as much heat to your hair. Ionic dryers actually break the water molecule clusters into micro-fine particles and penetrate into the hair shaft to maintain moisture. HOWEVER, don?t be fooled by the Wal-Mart dryers. Revlon, Conair, etc. Think about it. Hairdressers use professional dryers sometimes up to 10 times or more per day. Our dryers last about 5 years. By that time you could have used about 5 or more cheapy blow dryers, damaged your hair, and spent about the same if not more than a professional dryer.

    Shampoo- Most shampoos strip your natural oils away while cleansing your hair. Professional Shampoos are designed to attract dirt without removing your hairs moisture. This is imperative to your blow dry so your hair maintains its sheen and doesn?t look dull and frizzy.

    Condition ends only- The reason we wash our hair is because the scalp tends to look ?greasy.? This is because our natural oils need to distribute to the ends of our hair. That is why I recommend conditioning only the ends of your hair to prevent oil buildup at the root. For extremely dehydrated or unruly hair, use a deep treatment once a month.  If you feel you need more, go to your salon for a Hair Recovery Treatment.  While your conditioner is in, comb through with a wide tooth comb to distribute your conditioner evenly, otherwise there's no point in conditioning.  When you start to feel the conditioner slipping away while rinsing, start cooling the water temperature down and rinse with cool water, the coldest you can handle.  This is also great to close the pores in you skin, and keep the moisture locked into both your skin and hair.

    Towel dry- Try to get most of the moisture out of your hair by blotting or twisting with a towel. DO NOT RUB. That will only create tangles and cause breakage.

    Product- The right products are important. They are they foundation of your style. First apply a leave-in conditioner suitable for your hair. This will even out your porosity and help whatever product you use after to go on evenly. Then choose the right styling product, usually silicone based for unruly, frizzy hair, and hydrolyzed wheat protein for fine textures.

    Power dry 80%- This means blow drying utilizing your fingers not a brush. Make sure the airflow is facing down the hair shaft to prevent fly-aways. For sleeker styles blow dry your hair flat to your head while running your fingers through it. If you are desiring a fuller style, either blow the roots in the opposite direction in which you want them to fall, or blow dry your hair upside down still with the airflow headed down the hair shaft. Make sure to get the moisture out of the hair. When your hair is wet is when it is most fragile. Creating tension with a brush before power drying would cause breakage.

    Choose Brush- You want to choose a brush that compliments your style. The bigger the brush, The straighter the hair. The smaller the brush, the wavier the hair. I like to use ceramic-ion thermal brushes from Olivia Garden(picture below). They help straighten or curl the hair without so much heat if used properly.  Boar hair or natural bristles tend to add more fly-aways and get stuck in the hair easily if not used correctly.  Paddle brushes are great if your hair is already perfect.  Just make sure the bristles aren't too close together.  That creates too much tension and is hard to run the brush through your hair.  If the bristles are too far apart, there's not enough tension to smooth your hair.

    Section- The sections you take are important. Make sure your brush is able to fit all the hair in each section. I like to take 4 to 5 easy sections. First from recession to recession(those are the points where your hair recedes a bit from your forehead). Second section from temple to temple. Third from ear to ear. Fourth section crosses over the top of your occipital bone(the bump in the back of your head).  If necassary Fifth on inch into your bottom hairline.

    Air Flow Nozzle- After your hair is sectioned, put the airflow nozzle attatchment on the front of your blow dryer. This directs the airflow to your hair instead of directing your hair in all directions of which you don?t want it to go. The nozzle enables you to smooth your hair faster and more efficiently.

    Smooth- Starting in the back most section, each section you take, you will now wrap around your brush, keeping the airflow down the hair shaft, run the brush from roots to ends. Make sure you ARE following through all the way to the ends of your hair. For straighter styles, do not curl the ends with a brush. Keep the ends as straight as possible. For more wave or curl, after you?ve followed through to the ends, wrap the ends up like your brush is a curling iron, still blowing heat on the hair. Let your hair stay in the brush awhile without heat, then slowly unravel your hair. DON?T PULL THE BRUSH OUT. As you work up the sections remember, the closer your keep the brush to your head, the flatter your hair will be. The more you pull the brush out form the direction of fall, the more body you will have. If you have problems when you are trying to flatten the ?bump? in the back of your head, imagine a part down the middle of your head, and blow dry each side straight forward instead of straight down

    Front Area- I like to take the whole front section, even if you don?t have bangs, and blow dry it all forward and straight down. This removes any cowlicks and/or bumps that occur when you blow dry a part into your style.

    Switch Hands- If you find that you style one side better than the other, try switching the hand you are using to blow dry on the side that is not working for you.

    Finishing product- Once your style is complete, a finishing product is used to either add shine or keep humidity out. This product will usually have some type of silicone in it.

    Cool shot- THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. Turn your blow dryer on to it?s coldest air setting and power dry your hair once again. If you skip this last step, all the work you just did will be in vain. The cold air not only locks the products in, it closes your hair cuticle back down and seals your style locking the humidity out.


    If you?re going to be in the sun, use your sunscreen and protect your hair too with a thermal protectant. Anything containing quaternium(not-15 though, that's Formaldehyde), benzophenone-3 or -4, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone (which may also be listed as Parsol 1789 or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane) in the ingredients will do. However please be careful in your choice of sunscreens if your going to be near a coral reef. Right now there isn?t enough information to tell whether sunscreens are really killing coral reefs, but there is proof that some ingredients can harm them. Avoid sunscreens that contain the following:

    Benzophenone-3 or -4
    methylbenzylidene camphor

    Instead, consider using products that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.


    Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on April 20, 2008 at 9:38 AM Comments comments (4)

    3 Boxed Hair Color

    4 Overlapping Bleach/Heating Bleach

    Pre-lightening, or Bleaching hair, is a process in which chemicals remove the pigment, or melanin, inside your hair that determines its colour. This also strips your hairs natural moisture out as well. This weakens your hair. Sometimes to the point of breakage. Most bleaches are only meant to lift, or lighten, the hair up to 4 or 5 levels.  Highlights, in my opinion, look best when they are two shades lighter than your base color.  Your ideal color is usually what colour you were at the age of 12.  I hate(and yes that is a strong word) when women with dark hair want to be blonde. It?s hard to lift through the undertones of dark hair. That?s why they end up with red, orange, and yellow highlights.


    It?s also extremely damaging the lighter you try to go. Most hairdressers don?t have the proper training or just don?t care and stick you under the dryer with foils of bleach on your head. That?s a huge NO-NO in my book. Heat opens your cuticle which help speed the process of removing pigment. With that much heat applied, Your cuticle only has the capability of closing back down 20%-80% at most. This allows all moisture to slip out.  Even if you sit for an hour at room temperature with those foils on your head, it still wouldn't be as damaging as sitting under a dryer.  Imagine if some of that hair was already bleached.  BREAKAGE! Stars like Gwen Stefani who have platinum hair, or the ones that constantly change their color, they pay a ton of money and more then likely have hairdressers following them around. Not to mention, I?ve done Gwen?s hair before. But, I?ve never met her. She has hair pieces and extensions. Half of them do. Their real hair is is so messed up because of all those processes. Gwen?s is quit short because of all the bleaching that needs to be done to keep her hair that light. But that?s why they get paid the big bucks!

    Notice the ends of Cameron's hair won't hold the same colour.

    Notice how Lindsey's Hair colour looks splotchy and uneven.

    Hilary's hair just looks plain dull and dehydrated.  Her ends also won't hold colour.


    First Picture isn't even her hair and boy can you tell.  Sorry, Ken Paves!  Those are bad.  Notice her ends, too.  Brassier than the top.  Speaking of Jessica Simpson, here's a laugh:

    Who's she trying to fool with her fried hair and those synthetic hair pieces?

    Box color. Don?t do it! Do you think the girls on the box did? NO they got their hair done professionally. Just like the store bought products blog, lower grade ingredients.  Metallics to be precise.  Metallic dyes coat your hair in splotches and do'n do much for gray hair.  Any worthy Coor you must let process for at least 30 minutes.  45 minutes if your'e covering gray hair.  What is the 20 minutes they recommend going to do?  Not much.  Most colors lift through pigment for the first half of processing time and then deposit your color the last half.  No wonder these box colors fade right out.  Besides, being a hairdresser is like being a chemist. You have to understand all the different levels of hair. What is the target color? What is the underlying tone of the target color? What are the underlying tones if you use such and such developer? How many levels of ift is that? What base color do you need to neutralize the undertones that will come up? Get my drift?

    As for Organic Hair color! No such thing what these companies do is add a soy based ingredient to the ingredients that are in every other at home color, and try to pass that off for being organic. Closest Thing is Henna which is derived from a plant, BUT all the shades it comes in are RED!!! Henna only ?stains? the cuticle of your hair so it is not considered permanent(it won?t lighten your hair either). However, depending on the porosity of you hair, ANYTHING can be permanent. If you hair is extremely porous, it will soak anything up, like a sponge.  So I would suggest you leave the hard work to us hairdressers. 


    Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on April 5, 2008 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (3)

    5 Crash dieting

    6 Anorexia/Bulimia

    DIETS DON'T WORK! Neither does starving yourself. Eliminating protein and nourishment is not the way to healthy hair! You need protein in your diet. Food and a balanced diet is imperative for your hair to grow and re-grow, you must understand fully how the cycles work in order for you to see how absolutely necessary it is to eat correctly. I talk about this in other entries:

    The food you eat and what goes into your body, shows through you hair. When you change your food intake, it can take weeks or months for results to be apparent, many give up feeling as though the change didn?t help. Hang in there, the change will come. Remember ?you are what you eat? a terrific rule of thumb. Forensics can use a one strand hair analysis to disclose just about everything on a person and it is extremely accurate - your hair is a reflection of your health. All foods you eat are eventually converted to simple compounds the body is able to utilize, glucose being the one that supplies the energy for all cellular reproduction ? including the cells in the hair follicles. So keeping the body nourished is imperative for healthy hair and for hair regrowth, Starving yourself will shut down cell reproduction which in turn shuts down the hair RE-GROWING.

    The number one mistake that just about every person with hair problems makes is . . .lack of protein. Hair is made up protein and thrives on protein, listening to women over the years recite their diet choices, leaves the same conclusion, their diets are what started their hair problems. Vegetarians have a very hard time having luxurious hair, they must put protein back in their daily diet, making sure to have it at breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day for your hair; DON'T SKIP IT! Lunch is next in importance, again making sure that you include as much protein as you possibly can. Fruits and vegetables added to the daily diet are a necessity as well.

    Eggs; they have protein, which promotes collagen growth, which in turn promotes resilience in your skin. Nuts; Self recommends walnuts and pistachios in particular, as they are rich in skin-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts can be high in fat, though, so don't overindulge! Dark chocolate; cocoa has antioxidants, and the more antioxidants you ingest, the better your skin will look Strawberries and blueberries; these are great for your skin because they have vitamin C, which is a big antioxidant. They also help fight skin cancer. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which helps your skin shed old cells and keeps you fresh and glowing.

    Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on March 29, 2008 at 8:37 PM Comments comments (2)

    7 Stressful daily living

    8 No exercise

    Believe it or not, these two go hand in hand. Research has shown that physical exercise is the best tension reliever and is a very important remedy for stress. Exercise improves your cardiovascular functions by strengthening and enlarging the heart, causing greater elasticity of the blood vessels, increasing oxygen throughout your body, and lowering your blood levels of fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides. This mean less chance of developing heart conditions, strokes, or high blood pressure. Mentally, exercise provides an outlet for negative emotions such as frustration, anger, and irritability, promoting a more positive mood by producing positive biochemical changes in the body and brain. Your body releases greater amounts of endorphins, the powerful, pain-relieving, mood-elevating chemicals in the brain. Depressed people often lack these neurochemicals. Exercise will keep your body functioning properly and will keep you feeling both relaxed, refreshed and promote deep, restful sleep. Statistically speaking, women who get five hours of sleep or fewer a night are more likely to become obese than women who get seven hours of sleep. They don?t call it BEAUTY SLEEP for nothing.

    While everyone knows that stress can take a toll on a person physically and psychologically, it also can lead to dermatologic problems, such as acne, brittle nails or even hair loss.


    When a person becomes stressed, the level of the body?s stress hormone (cortisol) rises. This in turn causes an increase in oil production, which can lead to oily skin, acne and other related skin problems. Stress also has a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss that inhibits the skin?s ability to repair itself after an injury.  Heres an inside look:


    When someone is under stress, hair can go into the telogen (fall-out) phase. Telogen effluvium is a very common hair loss problem that can occur up to three months after a stressful event. After the initial hair loss, hair usually grows back in six to nine months. I often get confronted with the issue of hair loss. It is completely normal to lose at least one hundred strands per day. Take into consideration the length of your hair and how long you have gone without washing it. Longer hair appears to be more then it seems and if you haven?t washed your hair in a couple days then some hairs that have fallen become attached to others seeming like more hair is falling out. The picture below explains a normal hair growth cycle.


    Have you ever noticed that when you are happy you feel more beautiful? And what makes a person happy? It can be a combination of factors but some of those is being stress-free, being rested, and being at peace. Our busy lives don't help, but there is a way to achieve that sense of inner peace and therefore increase our outer beauty. Yoga. There are actual internal health benefits to yoga that goes beyond the beautiful toning of your muscles. Doing yoga regularly can be as effective as downing a prescription drug for hypertension (high blood pressure). Heart disease is still one of the leading causes of death for men and women, so why not take preventive measures to combat that?



    No matter what path you chose, even if it isn?t Yoga, you don?t have to over do anything. At least 20 minutes, three times a day is a good start. It's hard to get into a workout routine, especially if you work all day, have a family to take care of at night, and then you have to start all over again the next day. Find a wall in your office and do some standing push-ups. Sit against a wall in a squat for one minute. Do a set of 25 jumping jacks.  Here are some cute tips: Instead of finding the closest parking spot, find the furthest. When you get home, close the curtains and turn on your favorite dance song, dance like a rock star, have some fun and burn some calories! Instead of flipping channels during commercial breaks, do a set of sit-ups. It?s easy to have excuses not to but it is just as easy to find little ways to get you body going. You don?t have to go to the gym you can do these things at home. 


    SMOKING The Statistics Speak for Themselves

    Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on March 26, 2008 at 9:07 PM Comments comments (2)

    9 Smoking Cigarettes and

    10 Smoking Marijuana

    Smoking robs your body of oxygen which in turn robs your hair of oxygen filled blood whose job it is to nourish the hair follicle. What would you do if someone cut off your oxygen intake? You would slowly suffocate. That?s what smoking does to your hair. Check out this diagram:


    It shows you the human skalp and how a hair and hair follicle gets its nourishment and how smoking affects your hair.

    Smokers may notice that the top layers of their hair are quite brittle. This causes them to break off before they are fully grown and is most likely because they are malnourished. Cigarettes contain 4,000 different chemicals and gases, some of them deadly. When you smoke, your blood carries around poisonous carbon monoxide gas which hijacks the red blood cells. This prevents the cells from carrying the right amounts of oxygen around your body. Ultimately, this will affect things like your hair as it is not being supplied with enough nutrients or fresh oxygen from the blood stream.

    Haven?t you ever wondered why a drug test can be done on a strand of hair? It works because any drug that is ingested will circulate in the bloodstream. The bloodstream then circulates through an individual?s entire body, including the scalp where hair follicles are nourished. Subsequently, trace amounts of the ingested drug become trapped in the cortex of the hair follicle and remain there as the hair grows out. As it does, the hair strands also pick up traces of these drugs. The lab analyzes the root and shaft of a strand of hair for any drug residue. Your hair retains a history of drug use for a long time. A strand of hair grows an average of 1/4" per month, so just a 4" length can show drug use as far back as 8 months. What makes matters more difficult, is that second hand marijuana smoke and vapor from heroin or cocaine smoking can penetrate the hair. The laboratory test can have difficulty differentiating between hair contaminated by second hand smoke or hair from an actual user. WOW!


    Smoking is a significant risk factor for strokes- around 11 per cent of all strokes are linked to smoking. If you smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day, your risk of having a stroke is two to four times higher than non-smokers. Passive smoking also increases the risk. A stroke occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain, blocking the blood supply, or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. This deprives the brain cells of oxygen and other nutrients causing them permanent damage or killing them off. The effects of a stroke can leave sufferers permanently disabled and one third of all stroke victims die within a year of the attack.


    ASH, the anti-smoking group, say smoking affects your skin in two ways. Firstly, tobacco smoke released into the atmosphere has a drying effect on the skin and secondly, smoking restricts blood vessels, reducing the amount of blood flowing to the skin. This deprives the skin of oxygen and essential nutrients making it drier and can give it a grey, wasted appearance. Studies also show that smoking may lead to an increased production of an enzyme that breaks down collagen in the skin. Collagen is the main structural protein of the skin which helps it stay firm. So the more you smoke, the greater your risk of developing wrinkles. The study found that smokers in their 40s had as many wrinkles as non-smokers in their 60s. Smokers were also more likely to develop hollow cheeks through repeated sucking on the cigarettes. Smokers are also two to three times more likely to develop psoriasis, a skin condition that causes the skin cells to constantly renew themselves leaving scaly pink patches on the body. Studies say smoking appears to be more strongly associated with psoriasis in women than men.

    Now back to the question of smoking and hair loss. What effect does smoking have on the blood supply and the circulatory system?

    Here is a short list:

    .Nicotine causes an increase in adrenaline which in turn increases blood pressure and suddenly makes the heart beat faster.

    .Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict which in turn makes it harder for the heart to pump blood through the arteries which in turn impacts the blood circulatory system.

    .Smoking produces carbon monoxide which inhibits the blood's capacity to carry oxygen.

    Seeing a healthy scalp and healthy hair follicles are so dependent on a rich supply of oxygenated blood which can deliver all the proteins and nutrients needed for new hair growth, it is only reasonable to conclude smoking and hair loss can be connected.

    Of course, every individual is different and will respond in a different way to foods, substances, drugs and medications. However, as a general rule, smoking can be seen to have a negative effect on hair growth.

    Bad Habits=Bad Hair

    Posted by JessicaOffenbaker on March 15, 2008 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (2)

    12 Habits that DAMAGE your hair:  

    12 Store bought products (Shampoos/Conditioners/Styling)

    Yes, even the ones that would typically get sold in a salon. It's called DIVERSION and many consumers fall for it. Although not all of the products are knock offs(most of them are), some of them are actually just old products that have been lying around in a warehouse somewhere and when that company goes out of business, the products get sold at your local grocery store, or online.

    GROCERY STORE: a dealer in staple foodstuffs, meats, produce, and dairy products.

    I don't see Hair care on that list do you? I wouldn't want old products on my hair. Who knows what the side effects are. I've had clients break out in rashes before, I know that much.

    There are companies in China, Taiwan, the Philippines, etc. that have gone to the trouble of duplicating the bottle and packaging of your favorite products, fill it with some random concoction of ingredients, and sell it for the real thing, then sell them to you for as much as 15% higher than they should be. Please don't buy them in those stores, for your own good.

    Bottom Line, diverted products could be a health hazard. They are often counterfeit, diluted formulas, or old, expired formulas that may not be safe to use. Irritation or even infection can result from the use of diverted products. It should be illegal to divert products.  If you are interested in the statistics, go to the websites:


    Redken Logo

    As for the products the are cheaper like Pantene, Garnier Fructis, Herbal Essence, etc. you get what you pay for. They make their products with what they pay for, lower grade ingredients. Sure, they might contain panthenol for instance, which is pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Panthenol is an humectant, emollient, and moisturizer that coats the hair and seals its surface, lubricating the hair follicles and making strands appear shiny. Sounds great right? Panthenol does not "nourish" hair. It coats it to make it slippery.

    The grade of panthenol used in Pantene is also used in FLOOR WAX! That is why for the first couple of months your hair feels great. Then after a while. The wax coats and coats and coats and your hair feels heavy, greasy, and just plain unclean. So, next time you think about picking one of these bottles up, turn the bottle around and see what you?re about to put on your hair! I will say, though, when summer rolls around and you are going to be outside a lot and in the water, I will condone the use of these lower grade conditioners to coat your hair so chlorine and other environmental hazards don?t seep into your hair. Apply a pretty good amount of the conditioner to damp hair and jump in the pool or whatever you?re doing, but still use your higher end products to wash and condition your hair in the shower.

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