caucasian woman long curly hair

Claudine’s Hair Salon Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that you’d like to see addressed, please send it to me, and I’ll pop it onto this page. Thanks.

How are you?

I’m really doing well. Thanks for asking.

How often should I wash my hair?

Here’s the really vague answer to this common question: As often as works for you.

If your hair is oily, you may find yourself washing it every day, and more during the hot weather. That’s fine, as long as your hair is being conditioned, at least with a light leave-in, each time. If you have dry skin, your hair probably doesn’t need to be washed more than every other day, and unless you’re using a lot of styling product in it, your hair won’t look dirty for days. As we age, our skin produces less moisture, which is as true for our scalp as for our face and body, so shampooing can be less frequent. Chemically treated hair tends to be dryer than virgin hair. (Yes, that’s what it’s called when it’s natural.) Shampooing less frequently helps to keep your salon color from fading, which means that the ends can be colored less frequently, which means that your hair is healthier, and that you save money. Long hair can be shampooed at the scalp, where there’s more oil, without running the shampoo through the length- this helps to keep the ends from becoming dry.

If your hair is thinning, it’s a good idea to wash it daily, using a gentle shampoo designed for thinning hair, as shampooing removes DHT and other natural toxins from the skin, which are believed to be associated with hair loss.

When you can go a day or two without washing your hair, you will be using less energy and water, which is great for the planet and your pocketbook.

My natural curly hair is really frizzy. What can I do to get it under control?

Curly hair has a life all its own, and each will be affected by cut, shampoo, length, and climate, etc., as there are so many hair textures that are curly. Here are a few hints that should help tame your mane.

The number one key to shiny, bouncy, curly hair is to leave it alone. If you can, let it air dry. If you’re in danger of freezing to death, here’s the best technique for getting it dry without frizz.

Towel dry, apply conditioner, and comb. Light spray leave-in conditioners work best with fine texture hair, while lotion leave-ins or just a dab of your regular conditioner are effective for most hair types. Coarse hair needs a bit larger dose of your regular conditioner, or even a bit of hand/body lotion pulled through.

Set your blowdryer to its hottest temperature setting, and to its lowest air setting. Work your hand into or around your hair, to lift it and keep it still. Hold the dryer to that section until your fingers start to blister. No,don’t really do that. But the point is to move your hair as little as possible. Continue until your hair is barely damp.A lot of moisture in the hair dilutes the product you’re using, and therefore its effectiveness, and weighs the hair down, which pulls out the curl.

Now you want to apply the product. Apply the curl enhancer/gel/mousse/paste/cream to your hands, as if it were hand lotion, and then gently grasp your hair; re-rub your hands together and grasp another section, and so on. This distributes the product without disrupting the curl. Continue to dry the hair, then apply a sealant/glossing product, by the same open hand grasping technique, to prevent moisture in the air getting into the hairshaft. This process takes time, but is worth it.

Also, carry a fabric softener sheet in your purse. If your hair gets a bit wild, run the sheet over it. This will help control fly-aways, as it gets rid of static.

Do hairstylists like it when I bring in a photo of a hairstyle I want?

Yes! It’s a great way to convey what you want, even if what you end up with is specifically tailored to you.

I’m pregnant! My grey is showing! Can I have my hair colored?

First – Congratulations!

Second – Ask your doctor. Most are fine with it, but there are some who recommend their patients hold off on hair color. Some think it’s great as long as the color isn’t applied to your scalp. It’s a personal decision for you to make.

Here are some options that don’t require your wearing a hat for nine months:

Overall color, which is applied to your scalp, will cover all the grey, brighten mousey hair, or give you vibrant locks. There is no root showing, until your hair grows out a bit, usually about two weeks. A quick note: all hairstylists use vegetable based dyes. Metallic dyes are not used legally in salons.

Overall haircolor can be applied 1/4 inch from your scalp. This will cover all your grey, and prevents absorption through your skin. There will be minor exposure to the chemical as the diluted color is rinsed from your hair. This leaves you with a 1/4 inch of outgrowth, or root, showing, which may mean that you’ll want to have your hair colored more frequently.

Another option is to highlight your hair. Strands of hair are sectioned off from the rest, and colored, either darker or lighter, in foils, paper, or painted free hand. This technique also prevents any product from contacting your scalp during processing. And while this also leaves a 1/4 inch outgrowth line, the color is blended with your natural hair color, which means that you won’t have to have it touched up as frequently.

For some women, the best option is to use tinted shampoos or rinses at home. This works best on blonde to light brown hair, as it won’t hide grey, but camouflages it somewhat.

Many women have their hair colored during pregnancy, and the only repercusion I’ve known anyone to experience is a reaction to the smell of the product, usually during the first trimester. Let me know you’re expecting, and I can schedule your appointment when no one else is having a chemical process done, which will minimize any exposure to odors.

What’s the best way to find a new hairstylist, when I relocate?

Approach anyone whose hairstyle you like, preferably with hair similar to yours. Ask for a referral. They’ll appreciate the compliment, and their stylist will be thrilled.

I’ve been told I have a square shaped face. What hairstyle should I wear?

Really? Rules, rules, rules. There are so many “shoulds” out there. The “right” color; the “right” shape; the “right” length, …

What you want to achieve is balance. Some hairstyles will definitely look better than others, just like some clothing is more flattering, but you should like your look, whether or not it adheres to a prescribed style. Your hair is a reflection of your personality, your age, your health, and your genetics. A strong angled jawline may be an amazingly attractive feature on you, (think Minnie Driver)and if you follow the “rules”, you will play it down, losing the impact of your unique look.

Much of styling is using common sense. If your face shape is long and narrow, and you have an incredibly swan like neck, your appearance will be more balanced with fullness at the sides of your face, instead of on top of your head. But you know that. When you look into the mirror, and you like what you see, does it really matter what the magazines or the “pros” tell you. And what if you ask, and someone says, “Oh yes. This is THE style for you.”? Are you really going to wear that one style for the rest of your life? Your face shape isn’t going to change.

A stylist’s job is to help you make decisions about your hair. And, yes, we might know a few tricks, or have some suggestions, that you haven’t considered. A great tool for finding a hairstyle that suits you is to look in magazines, or online, for someone with similar hair and a similar face shape. If you like how it looks on them, you might want to try it yourself – for awhile.

I have so many split ends! Is that normal?

Usually. Most likely, you just need to have your hair cut a bit more often. Contributing culprits? Blowdrying, flat ironing, curling, not using conditioner, infrequent trims, picking at the ends, and length. My clients with long hair are occasionally subjected to what I call a split end trim. I cut their hair dry, in small sections, bending the hair so that the ends poke out, allowing me to cut off any splits without compromising the overall length. Splits can travel up the hairshaft, weakening your hair, and requiring a major cut. Get a cut every three months, at minimum, to keep your hair healthy – more often if it’s chemically treated.

I love to swim, but hate the way it makes my hair look and feel. How do I get the green out?

Ah, the Perils of Chlorine. “Swimmer’s hair” is nearly guarantied for anyone who spends much time in chlorinated water. The longer your hair is, the more intense the impact of the chlorine and metals.

The green color in your hair is not actually a direct result of the chlorine in the pool; more an indirect result. There are a lot of metals in tap water. The chlorine oxidizes the metal, like a lovely verdi-gris on a copper roof, or rust. What you see is the result of the chlorine effecting the metal that has been absorbed into the hair shaft, mostly from the water in the pool, but also when you wash and rinse your hair. What the chlorine does directly is even nastier. You know; that straw-like, crispy, weirdly shiny hair, that feels like slime when it’s wet? Chlorine opens up the cuticle layer, or outer protective layer, of the hair, breaking down the structure, so all those metals can get in, and all your natural pigment,or your expensive salon color, leaches out. That’s also why it affects longer hair more harshly: the ends of your hair are already porous, and will absorb the chlorine and metals even faster than the healthier hair near your scalp. Chlorinated water is damaging your hair whether or not you can see any green.

There are swimmer’s shampoos which can be very effective for removing the chlorine and metals, however, these can be very drying and can actually pull some of your color out as they work. A cheaper option, that is also very harsh on your hair, is to shampoo with dish soap. An age old remedy (How long has chlorinated water been around?), is to use baking soda, or to crush several aspirin, and dissolve in water and apply to your hair, leave on for several minutes, and follow with a shampoo. Don’t do any of these steps for more than a few days. Always apply a good conditioner during any period in which you are using these solutions.

Removing the green is one thing, but preventing damage should be the primary goal. The absolute best technique for preventing swimmer’s hair is simply towel your hair with tap or bottled water, BEFORE going into the pool.Picture the way a dry sponge absorbs water. If you’re in for a long day at the pool, get out and rinse your hair occasionally. Some people suggest putting conditioner on your hair, after wetting it, before going into the water, preferably wearing a swim cap. Go ahead. Try to get your teenage daughter, who just spent two months finding the perfect suit, to stuff her head into a piece of rubber. The conditioner isn’t a bad idea – just make sure you’re using a “no tears” formulation for children, or your eyes will sting all day. And keep in mind that many municipal pools don’t want any lotions worn into the pool, including sun-screen, which you should always wear, but that’s for another section. Wash your hair as soon as possible after getting out of the water, and condition it well.

Swimming is good for you, and if your hair suffers a bit for it, I still think you’re coming out ahead.

What are those weird little curly strands in my otherwise straight hair?

Assuming that’s not your grey coming in, which can be much different in texture than your normal hair, it is probably hair that has been over-stretched, by either brushing or combing with too much tension, generally when it’s wet, or by roughly pulling out ponytail bands or clips. Both actions pull just one or two hairs so hard that they snap, leaving a short, twisted strand that has lost it’s elasticity. Most people have a few of these, regardless of hair type; straight or curly, fine or medium. If you have a lot, talk to your stylist, who may recommend a shorter style. This tends to be a teen condition. Be gentle with your hair. Nothing will repair these broken strands, and they need to be cut at the scalp.