Archive for May, 2008

Beautiful Shiny Hair Becomes a Dry Tangled Mess. Why?

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Another common concern we receive from new stylists making the switch from other hair extension companies to Donna Bella is, “when I buy hair from other companies, the extensions are so smooth and silky when pulled out of the package, but then after a few washes, the hair becomes a dry, tangled mess.”

Here’s why that happens: A little manufacturing trick that has become very popular within the last 5 years is what we call “coating” or “dipping”. After the human hair has been hackled and sorted, it then moves onto the coloring process. After the hair has dried, some companies will “dip” their hair in a silicone solution. What this does is put a slippery, shiny protective layer on the outside of each hair strand, making it look and feel very high quality.

Unfortunately, this silicone solution doesn’t last very long. What happens is the client goes home extremely happy with a new beautiful look. After a few days of wear and a couple of washes, that silicone comes right off, conveying the true quality of hair.

This “dipping” process is very common for manufacturers and hair extension companies to use especially with non-remy human hair. Non-remy human hair is a much lesser quality human hair because of the way it was collected. Non-remy human hair is collected from the floors of salons and homes after it was cut from the person’s head.

The problem with this is that once that hair hits the floors, it’s impossible to tell which direction the cuticle is facing. In other words, which end is the root or top and which end is the tail or bottom? The collector carelessly puts it all into a bag which is taken to market for resale. Why is the cuticle so important? I’ll tackle that topic in another blog entry.

Let’s get back to my original point, the reason why hair may have been beautiful right out of the package, but quickly becomes a dry tangled mess. Remember a lot of the new hair extension companies popping up don’t even know why this is happening to the hair they sell.

The reason is, they have no participation in the manufacturing process. They just get online, locate a “hair manufacturer” and start buying. As we say at Donna Bella, the test of time is our best friend. This is how you, the stylist, can determine the difference between Donna Bella and our competition.

Surviving (and profiting from) a Slow Economy

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

It’s on the front page of every newspaper in the US – and around the world: the troubled US economy. As consumers, and for many of us as business owners, we’re feeling the pinch everywhere – from the grocery store, price gouging hikes at the gas pump, electricity bills, to raising rents. Like every slump, there’s a mountain high somewhere in the future, but in the mean time, it’s survival mode for many.

Beauty Store Business magazine has a series on the economy and the beauty industry this month. Here’s a clip from their most recent article:

The three best ways to survive any slump, real or anticipated, are to:

  • Know your business well so you can fine-tune it to increase profits (see “Knowing Your Numbers,” below).
  • Take advantage of federal income tax laws to minimize the bite of taxes and help pick up a bigger portion of your cost of doing business (to be discussed in Part 2).
  • Employ cost-cutting strategies to help you weather the storm (to be discussed in Part

The article covers the “how to” of survival and is a must read for any salon owner or beauty industry professional

Get it here.

Bad Black Hair in Extensions

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

“Why are black hairs mixed in with my blonde extensions?” This is one of the common complaints we hear from stylists that use other hair extension companies. Here’s the answer: Although it happens to all types of hair, the black hair problem is most prevalent with Indian hair. The reason is because within the last few years, Indian women have started using a product on their hair that has substantial amounts of coconut oils.

Over the years, while growing their hair to 18,” and sometimes much longer, the coconut oils have a lasting effect on the hair. It would only be considered a negative effect to manufacturers like ourselves, because it makes the coloring process much more tedious and difficult.

The coconut oil creates a seal or repellent inside the cuticle, not allowing the hair shaft to take new color deposits. Another reason for black hair in your extensions is the black hair strands are synthetic. You might ask how those synthetic strands made their way into your 100% human hair package. I’ll answer that question in another blog.

Even if that black hair does not burn or shrivel up when using a flat iron or curling iron, does not mean it is human hair. There are now new synthetic fibers on the market that are heat resistant. Also a topic worthy of it’s own blog. Another reason for black hair mixed in with your blonde extensions is the hair donor had damaged or old hair.

Damaged from previous hair color. Woman coloring their own hair before selling/donating it, is much more common in China than it is in India. Bleaching hair in China has become very trendy. It used to be only in the larger coastal cities that women would bleach their hair. But because of T.V. and media, even in the rural western cities, which is where most raw hair comes from, women are bleaching their hair. As we all know, bleach damages the hair and makes it more difficult for us to further lift and deposit colors.

Why do Donna Bella hair extensions not have this black hair mixed with the other colors? Donna Bella has always prided itself on the fact that we buy and process our own hair. Besides Great Lengths, Socap, Hair Dreams etc., most hair extension companies buy their hair already packaged. They have no idea where the hair came from or how it was processed. The manufacturers may tell them it is Indian or European hair, but they have no idea because they don’t spend time in India and China quality controlling their products. Donna Bella Inc. does. If any of that poor quality or synthetic hair makes it into our raw hair, it is always sorted and taken out before it goes into the final package.

A very long explanation, but now you know why some hair extension companies have black hair mixed in with their other colors – and knowing is half the battle.

Hair Extensions Addict and Con-Artist Caught

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

A lust for hair extensions is what finally brought Jocelyn Kirsch and her 25-year-old lover, Edward Anderton, to justice thus ending the couple’s identity-theft scam, federal authorities said recently.

Her hair extensions, valued at $2,274 at Philadelphia hair salon Giovanni and Pileggi, were attached to Kirsch, 22, a former Drexel University senior, over 7 1/2 hours in late November. The duo also gave the hair stylist a $250 tip – and a bad check.

“Captured by the hair, that’s the joke. But it was the greed of the hair extensions,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan said recently.

Most of the couple’s fraud occurred over the Internet, where they purchased items by opening up credit cards, using personal information from friends, co-workers and neighbors in a condo development, the Belgravia, in Center City. But their in-person appearance at Giovanni and Pileggi showed they had become careless, federal authorities said.

“Once that check bounced, then there was an ability to go back, actually identify the victim and tie to that a name.”

From there, Philadelphia police were able to get descriptions of the suspects and stake out the UPS store in West Philadelphia where one of the victims told cops the couple had opened a mailbox – in her name. One day later, on Nov. 30, the two were nabbed by University of Pennsylvania cops.

Human Hair is Like Diamonds (Fakes sometimes looks better than the real thing)

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

The team at Donna Bella hair extensions had another great show at IBS New York 2008. IBS NY is always a fun show because stylists attend from all over the world. In years past, we’ve noticed a lot of our new stylists come to us with little or no experience with hair extensions. However, due to its popularity, we now notice a lot of stylists are switching to Donna Bella after using other companies’ products. For marketing purposes we’d love to share the names of companies and reasons/complaints that you divulge to us, but also don’t want to upset anyone. So without mentioning names, we will mention your concerns so others can be on the lookout. Hands down the most common complaint about other hair extension companies is “the poor quality of hair”. With further questioning, we heard:

“A lot of black hair is mixed in with the blonde colors.”

“The hair is very dry and course.”

“The hair is beautiful when I first take it out of the package, but after my client washes their hair a few times, it loses that shine and becomes very dry and frizzy.”

“The hair quickly becomes a tangled mess, even when cared for properly.”

Unfortunately at hair shows, companies can and in some cases will tell you whatever they want just to get a sale. Keep in mind, exhibiting at these shows is very expensive, so can you blame them for trying to sell as much as possible? I say YES, if they’re lying to you. So how do you protect yourself from making the mistake of investing a lot of money toward a new hair extension system, only to find out how bad the quality is? I wish there was some easy trick to it all, but there’s not. Human hair is a lot like diamonds. To the untrained eye, a fake can sometimes look even better than the real thing.

Be wary when companies start throwing around phrases like “remy, virgin, European, Indian, cuticle” etc. Before going to a show, I would suggest that you jump online and do some research. Also try and find out how many years a company has been attending the show. Usually the small guys that throw a company together, just to make a buck, don’t and can’t keep coming back. Some of the major players that have been at this for many years are: Great Lengths, Hair Dreams, Socap, Cinderella and HairLocs.

We’re not afraid to list these companies because we believe in friendly competition. All of these companies have done good things for the progression of our industry. We encourage you to also look at our competition and make the decision that best suits you. Watch for future posts about some of the complaints that were mentioned above. There are answers and solutions for all of these concerns.

19th annual North American Hairdressing Awards (NAHA)

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

It’s that time of year, when the hair and salon industry’s biggest and best do’s are shown off in Vegas. This year’s award ceremony promises not to dissapoint and the following stylists have been announced. The event will be held at the Mandalay Bay, in Las Vegas Nevada on July 13th.

From all over North America, talented stylists have been selected to compete in 12 categories. There are 60 finalists, entered from over 600 entries, and the judges have admitted that these are some of the best entries to date.

Editorial Stylist of the Year
Michael Albor (The Loft Salon + Day Spa, Boston, MA)
John Donato (Donato Salon and Spa, Toronto, ON)
Nicholas French (Matrix Global Academy, New York, NY)
Charlie Price (Click Salon, Denver, CO)
Maryl Velbeck (Trend Wave Studios, Los Angeles, CA)

Make-Up Artist
Raquel Atienza (Toronto, ON)
Giancarlo Intini (Aurora, ON)
Janell Geason (Eden Prairie, MN)
Angelia Senevisai (Minneapolis, MN)
Tatoulian Sevan (St. Laurent, QC)

Master Stylist of the Year
Edwin Johnston (The Cutting Room Creative, Nanaimo, BC)
Alain Pereque (Salon Pure, Montreal, Quebec)
Charlie Price (Click Salon, Denver, CO)
Ruth Roche (RARE, New York, NY)
Brian & Sandra Smith (Dahon, GA)

Student Hairstylist of the Year
AbBear Blasi (Eric Fisher Academy, Wichita, KS)
Daniella Bowman (Aveda Fredric’s Institute, Cincinnati, OH)
Denise Joyce (Eric Fisher Academy, Wichita, KS)
Whitney Vallee (Inpure, Montreal, Quebec)
Chelsea Vittorio (Aveda Fredric’s Institute, Indianapolis, IN)

Salon Team
Deborah Gavin (Fresh Hair Studio, South Hampton, PA)
Daniel Holzberger (Van Michael Salons, Atlanta, GA)
Suzanne Martin (Three Small Rooms, Barrie, ON)
Tony Ricci (Ricci Hair Co., Edmonton, AB)
Ryan Teal (Capello Salon, Milwaukie, OR)

Hairstylist of the Year
Maureen Anlauf (Juut Salon Spa, St. Paul, MN)
Marjorie Clarke (The Hair Force, Paradise, Newfoundland)
Daniel Holzberger (Van Michael Salons, Atlanta, GA)
Charlie Price (Click Salon, Denver, CO)
Dimitrios Tsioumas (HiLites Hair Salon, Fulton, MD)

Rene Antonio (Salon Gregories, Balboa, CA)
Dana Lyseng (Supernova Salon, North Vancouver, BC)
Lisa McAuliffe (Afif Salon, Toronto, ON)
John Simpson (Lewis Salon, McDonald, Pennsylvania)
Chisun Tsang (Blushes, Ottawa, ON)

Fashion Forward
Maureen Anlauf (Juut Salon Spa, St. Paul, MN)
Lucie Doughty (A.T. Tramps, Venice, CA)
Shirley Gordon (Strands Hair Studios, Weaton, MD)
Ryan Teal (Capello Salon, Milwaukie, OR)
Lisa Vann (Etherea Salon Spa, Seattle, WA)

Salon Design
Scott Cole (Paul Mitchell the School, Carefree, AZ)
Van Council (Van Michael Salon, Atlanta, GA)
Eric Fisher (Eric Fisher Salon, Wichita, KS)
Bruce Osgood (Osgood-O’Neil Salon, Dallas, TX)
David Wagner (Juut Salon and Spa, Edina, MN)

Contemporary Classic
Maureen Anlauf (Juut Salon Spa, St. Paul, MN)
Chrystofer Benson (Logics, New York, NY)
Marjorie Clarke (The Hair Force, Paradise, Newfoundland)
Steve Elias (Elixir Salon Spa, Berkeley, CA)
Matt Swinney (Evolution, Minneapolis, MN)

Maureen Anlauf (Juut Salon Spa, St. Paul, MN)
Nicholas French (Matrix Global Academy, New York, NY)
Shirley Gordon (Strands Hair Studios, Weaton, MD)
Charlie Price (ClicMaureen Anlaufk Salon, Denver, CO)
John & Rebecca Sentell & Morris-Hele (Fresh Hair Studio, South Hampton, PA)

Avant Garde
Martin Alarie (Pure Salon, Montreal, QB)
E. Darian Bishop (Toni & Guy, Dallas, TX)
Nicholas French (Matrix Global Academy, New York, NY)
Daniel Holzberger (Van Michael Salons, Atlanta, GA)
Janine Jarman (Hairroin Salon, Los Angeles, CA)

NAHA 19 will start with a Red Carpet Reception at 6:30pm followed by the Awards Ceremony at 8:00pm. The event will be emcee’d by the witty and beautiful Victoria Jackson (of Saturday Night Live fame). Additionally, special artistic presentations by NAHA 2007 Fashion Forward winner Veronica Bessey, sponsored in part by TIGI, and NAHA 2006 Master Stylist winner Heather Wenman will end the evening.

For tickets, visit or by calling 800-630-3603. NAHA is held in partnership with Cosmoprof North America, visit for more information. Article tip courtesy of Behind the Chair.

Hair Trends

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

In a great article over at She Knows, celebrity hair stylist Nick Chavez discusses some of the upcoming summer trends for this summer and beyond.

On current styles that are coming back, Chavez noted “One of the greatest trends that is coming back is the classic styles — the Sophia Loren kind of feeling. The great part of it was that hairstyle was always messy, but now it’s going into a glam-rock kind of thing,” says Chavez. “Mixing rock n’ roll with a couture dress — it’s amazing.”

He also pointed out the frequent use of the classic, and easy going, ponytail, “The easiest thing to do, and the trend is coming back in a big way. For women, time is of the essence. Women barely have time for themselves. You don’t want to be married to your hair, make-up or nails,” Chavez quipped.

Not to be left out of the hair mix, Chavez highlighted the importance of color, and some that we’re now seeing, “You know what? You’re starting see the reds out there. They’re really pretty. Julianne Moore, for one, is just beautiful — her latest color. You’re starting to see those reddish tones within brunettes now, too,” Chavez said.

“It’s a red ginger. It’s got gold highlights,” Chavez said of Ashlee Simpson’s crimson blush. “That is such a pretty color. It’s an easy color for taking a woman from blond to that red because you can always come back to blond easier.”

For the full interview, and for more hair gossip, check out the article here.

Bridging the Cultural Hair Gap

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Gone are the days of one chemical cure-alls regardless of skin color. We no longer rely on out dated cultural stereotypes when addressing how to “tame” a particular head of hair. Technology and society have come a long way, and now every skin color under the rainbow, with its accompanying hair type, is being treated in a unique way by stylists all over the world.

This months featured article from Launchpad, gets to the heart of this issue. Here’s a clip of the article by Jeryl E. Spear and Alyson Osterman

Twirling textures are coiling their way into the hearts—and services—of stylists. What lies beneath those pretty manes is anyone’s guess these days, as America’s melting pot continues to serve up an ever-growing blend of multicultural diversity. To keep pace with the spiraling array of textures, ambitious stylists are doing more than just honing their chemical skills; they’re becoming purveyors of products that can make even a fierce ’fro do their silky bidding.

Fortunately for beauty pros working in the “mix,” haircare manufacturers have come a long way since the days when a crevasse divided “black” and “white” hair. Today, with skin colors ranging from milky white to ebony and every luscious shade in between, forward-thinking stylists are addressing the needs of multicultural hair through its texture, and not the client’s ethnicity. And like today’s state-of-the-art skincare products that can make the complexion look and behave beautifully, multicultural haircare products are also leveraging the latest high-tech and naturally derived.