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The Wrath of Grapes (13)

Thursday, 24 May 2012 00:40

A heavy dose of reality

Written by Regina Leonard

I consider myself lucky to have a job I love. I chose to become a cosmetologist because it was more important to me that I love going to work every day than how much money I made each week. I can honestly say, as I approach the 11 year mark, that I still feel that way. Being able to impact people's lives, make their day and give them confidence by making their hair look its best really is the best job. I have met some pretty amazing people in the last 11 years and a lot of them still come see me every six weeks. There is however, one part of my job that I can say I hate, and that is shaving the heads of beautiful, strong, amazing women faced with the battle of their life after being told, "You have cancer."

Despite being the hardest part of my job, I am always truly honored when asked to do this for someone. It is a moment I never forget, even if I didn't know them beforehand. In fact, I often think about those women and pray that they are doing OK. Most of the women become clients of mine afterwards, and I am happy to say that is because they beat cancer and got their hair back.

Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:11

Olive oil and your hair

Written by Regina Leonard

I sit looking out the window on a damp and cold spring day when all I can dream about is warm sun and blue skies. No doubt hot and humid days are coming, but right now I can't get enough moisturizer in my skin or my hair, and I am willing to bet the same goes for you. Winter and the dry air that comes with it does a number on our skin and our hair, but today I have a solution for you - and you don't even have to leave the house to try it. Do you have some extra virgin olive oil in your house? It is a great home remedy for dry hair, scalp and even for hair that is falling out or not growing.

Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, making it a perfect home remedy for your dry hair and scalp. I recommend doing this once a week or as needed and it is so simple and easy to do. You will need at least 1/4 cup of oil for short to medium hair and around 1/2 cup for longer hair. Warm the olive oil in the microwave before applying it to your hair roots to ends. Grab a shower cap or plastic wrap after you have saturated your hair and scalp, and leave it to work its magic for at least 30 minutes. I even suggest sleeping with it in your hair overnight and rinsing and shampooing it out in the morning. You can't overuse it by leaving it in too long. However, you need to allow it the 30 minutes in order to be effective. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:27

Wedding season

Written by Regina Leonard

The recent warm weather has me thinking about my favorite time of year: wedding season. I am one of those rare hair stylists who actually loves weddings and updos, and I have been privileged to be a part of some truly gorgeous and amazing weddings. I work exclusively with Amber Small from Sweetest Thing weddings, and that has brought me to some great locations to do wedding hair. In Maine, that is usually the coast, and it makes for a pretty great day at the office. As I started preparing for the upcoming season, I began thinking about what the upcoming trends would be and what brides would be wanting this year. As I was doing some searching on Pinterest and Google, I thought more about what not to do with your hair on your wedding day. There is so much to consider when it comes to your hair for your wedding.

When and where are you getting married?

The location of your wedding and the time of year are crucial details for every aspect of your big day, but especially for your hair. If you are planning a wedding outside in August, then I would insist that your hair be put up. Don't plan on a long, curled hairstyle that you want to leave down in the hottest and most humid time of the year. What you will be left with is a flat mess.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 16:15

Stop washing your hair

Written by Regina Leonard

So many of you are so used to grabbing your shampoo every day and washing your hair that you have not even thought about not doing it. Meanwhile, you are complaining about limp and dry hair and wondering how to fix that with a magic product or hairstyle. You just need to stop washing your hair! There is absolutely no need to shampoo your hair every single day not matter what. I know what you are thinking right now, 'Are you kidding? I can't do that. My hair is greasy. I will feel dirty.' I've heard it all. Just keep reading, give a thought to it and start the process by only washing your hair every other day.

When I tell you not to wash your hair, I am telling you to not put shampoo in your hair. You can still rinse it thoroughly with water in the shower and use conditioner on your ends if you must. The water is going to rinse away sweat, dirt and most professional products. Not shampooing is going to allow your natural oils to penetrate the rest of your hair and leave it conditioned and healthy. The reason our hair is so dry is because every 12 to 24 hours (or more if you are a two shower a day person) we are stripping it by using shampoo to clean it. So let today be the day you give this a try. Before you get in the shower use a nice brush (preferably a boar's hair brush) and brush your scalp and hair thoroughly so that the oils are worked throughout your hair. Remember the old saying, 'brush your hair 100 strokes each day?' It is necessary and something a lot of us have long forgotten. Look back in time to the days when women had long beautiful hair. Do you know why? Because they brushed it and didn't wash it every day.

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 16:09

Dear Gina

Written by Regina Leonard

I get a lot of common questions from fans and clients. I collect them and every so often will use them in an article to help you all out. If you have a question for me regarding hair and makeup, e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Enjoy!

Hair color changes from the salon to the next visit.... What the heck am I doing wrong?

All hair color is going to fade between visits no matter what. How much it fades depends upon a few things. Is your stylist using a semi, demi or permanent color? How healthy is your hair? Are you using the right products at home to support your color? It is hard to narrow in on exactly what your specific problem is without seeing your hair. I would recommend using the products your stylists suggests that you use. It really does make a difference in longevity of your color as well as condition of your hair. Are you washing too frequently? Maybe you have well water (with hard or soft water issues)? Another suggestion is to adjust the length of time in between salon visits, schedule a Glazing (color top coat) or toner (quick service to rid hair of brassy or unwanted tones for lighter hair color) for your hair in between your scheduled color.

Thursday, 29 March 2012 11:18

Spring is in the hair

Written by Regina Leonard

The gorgeous weather we have been having early this spring definitely has me thinking about summer. A change of seasons is always a good time for a new start, whether that means new clothes, new decor in the house, diet, exercise or anything else.

So how about a new hairstyle? I mean a brand new style - maybe something you have never done before. Why not? What are you waiting for - or better yet, what are you hanging on to? I cannot count the times that I give someone a brand new hairstyle and they look and feel 10 years younger.

I am not just telling you to do this without having experienced it for myself. I cut my hair off recently after five years of having long hair and swearing I would never cut it. I can honestly say I am really happy I did. It looks so much healthier and because it is, I can do so much more with it. Maybe you have been working hard to 'clean up' your life - don't forget about your hair!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:43

Flat-out risky

Written by Regina Leonard

The trend in hairstyling known as the Brazilian Blowout, keratin smoothing treatment or any other similar-sounding service deserves immediate attention. I want everyone to be educated in the dangers this product comes with. I have been telling clients, friends and colleagues for months that the infamous Brazilian Blowout is just that - a blow out. This process that chemically smooths and straightens your hair is doing way more than that, and most of you either just didn't know or refused to believe it. This product contains extremely high levels of formaldehyde and is extremely dangerous for the client, and even more dangerous for me as the stylist.

Customers are paying upwards of $300 for a carcinogen. Sound good to you? Is your idea of perfect hair really worth it to you? Are you willing to put yourself and your stylist at risk for that? I have been leery of this from the beginning and now reports have been released that the FDA is aware of this problem and are calling for these companies to lower the levels of formaldehyde and make their consumers aware. OSHA has issued a hazard alert to consumers and professionals which will outline the problems and hazards associated with this product, and the FDA has issued the companies a warning letter with a deadline to lower the levels or face enforcement action. About time if you ask me.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:15

Grab a beer

Written by Regina Leonard

I am always telling people to use baby powder as a dry shampoo, to add baking soda to their shampoo (to create a clarifying treatment) and some other little tricks of the trade I have collected over the years. This tip is new to my bag of tricks and perfect for St. Patrick's Day. If you don't drink all that beer you bought to celebrate, here is a perfect way to put it to good use.

Grab a beer but don't drink it! The malt and hops in beer contain proteins, which is what your hair is made of and what your hair loses as it is damaged from hair coloring, the sun or other pollutants. Replacing the proteins will strengthen your hair, while the sugars in the beer tighten the hair cuticles, resulting in shiny, bouncy, healthy hair.

Thursday, 08 March 2012 13:15

Female hair loss

Written by Regina Leonard

Female hair loss is a very sensitive subject, but one that needs to be addressed. If you are experiencing it yourself, know that you are not alone: I suffer from it, my mother suffers from it, and so do roughly 75 percent of my female clients. No matter how you look at it, it is real and it is there. It is better to be informed and battle it early than to ignore it and hope that your hair is going to grow back. Fortunately, there are many options to consider if you are suffering from hair loss or thinning hair. I know that I won't cover them all, but I will attempt to leave you better equipped after reading this article.

First of all, genetics plays the biggest role in your fate when it comes to hair loss or thinning hair. Start looking at your genetic line on your mother's side, specifically your mother's father. If your maternal grandfather was bald, chances are you are going to have an issue. Sadly, if you notice thinning hair on yourself already, you really are up against a wall. The good news is that there are products available to help you keep what you have got, but you have to start now.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:13

Stop giving me static

Written by Regina Leonard
We bundle ourselves and our kids up to leave the house this time of year only to be left with bad hat head and even worse static cling! It's that time of year - it's so cold we all really need our hats on to keep warm. But hat hair isn't quite the look we were going for when we left the house was it? Fortunately there are a few tricks of the trade to prevent static in your hair. Here are my top three.

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