Posted by: hairtrends | February 10, 2011

Bangs! by stylist Liz Troncale

“Do I, or do I not”? This is one of the most asked questions I get as a stylist. The answer, why not? After all, it is hair, and it will grow back!  Every time we turn around, some celebrity fashionista presents us with a new hair style, and a new trend begins… and why not?  Hair is always changing.  I believe that hair is the only accessory you cannot take off, and one of the greatest ways to express ourselves without saying anything at all. It is the frame that surrounds the canvas we call our face, and for many women, a source of confidence.

There are a few things to think about when contemplating bangs, like face shape, hair texture, and type of bang you might want to achieve your desired look.  For example, if you have considerably curly hair, bangs may not be the best idea, as a straight or slightly wavy bang works best.  In this case, try to think of adding layers to break up the curl and framing the face.  Hair texture plays an important role in deciding the type of bang that is right for you. If you have fine, straight hair for example, a wispy bang will help achieve a whole new look without doing much at all. I find that clients with fine, straight hair shy away from layers, because their hair will look too thin, or they don’t want to see harsh lines.  In this case, introducing a bang is an excellent idea, because it gives an entirely different look without adjusting any other part of the hair.  There are many different types of bangs to please everyone, so talking to your stylist is a great way to find out which type of bang will work best for you.  If you are still having doubts about bangs, perhaps you would start with a longer side-swept bang that will allow you to play with the idea of having a bang without much commitment. If it turns out that it wasn’t the right move for you, no problem, they can easily be blended in with your hair, and problem solved!

Another tool that is just as important as the texture of your hair is the shape of your face. I find that most people think their face is round, and this is very seldom the case. Ask your hair stylist your facial shape and go from there. For example, if you do have a round face, a heavier, straight- across cut bang might not be the best idea, as it tends to shorten the face, and can give you a rounder appearance.  This bang would work better on someone with an oval or heart shaped face.  There are as many types of bangs as there are facial shapes.  You can think of bangs like you would a pair of jeans.  There are many types of jeans as there are many types of bangs, and each fit is different.  And as we choose the perfect jean to accentuate or compliments our body shape, there is the perfect bang to accentuate and compliment our face shape and features. It is not rocket science to determine the right bang for you. Simply know that there is one out there for you, and with the guidance from your stylist and a little bit of confidence on your part, this can turn out to be one of your best hairstyles yet!  So, “Do I, or Do I not”? …Yes I do!!!

Liz Troncale is a stylist at Saxx Hair Design
Make an appointment with her
by calling

Posted by: hairtrends | July 27, 2010

Blue Velvet is Still Stylin’!

Blue Velvet Salon is named one of Elle Magazine’s Top 100 Salons in the USA! The article, United States of Style, featured in Elle’s August 2010 edition, ranks the Birmingham-based shop as one of America’s best.  And, it’s the only hair salon in Alabama to receive this highly-esteemed recognition.

This is the second consecutive year Blue Velvet has received such an impressive commendation by the magazine.  “I’m elated!” replies Rachelle Perrin, owner of the 14-year-old establishment.  “It’s a thrill to be recognized by such a prestigious magazine.”

Blue Velvet opened its doors in 1997, and has been rockin’ the newest styles, latest products and best client-based service ever since. “We bring big city style to Birmingham and blend it with true southern hospitality,” Perrin states.

“The salon is about creating a personalized experience.  Leaving here with beautiful hair is a given; so we strive to keep that open, friendly feel.  We do that by thinking big but, staying small.”

“It’s a lavish experience, like the name suggests,” affirms Katie Odom, a 17-year-old, Curry High School senior and first-time client.  “The place is cool and the stylists are awesome. Elle (magazine) had it right; Blue Velvet’s one of the best.”

When asked why people should treat themselves to a day of beauty in light of the country’s struggling economy, Perrin revels an optimistic viewpoint.  “People need to feel good about themselves,” she asserts.

“A new color or cut will last five to six weeks.  That’s a lasting investment in looking good & feeling great-and, it’s a lot cheaper than six weeks of therapy.  If you look good, you feel good!  A great, new style can bring you confidence; it may even help get that new job.”

Blue Velvet’s success can be attributed to innovative stylists, committed

to keeping current on

the freshest techniques and trendiest fashions; its unique product line, Bumble and bumble-sold in only two percent of top hair salons across the US; and its loyal clientele.

“Our clients are the whole reason we’re here,” Perrin says with a smile.  “Elle Magazine’s recognition is an exciting

honor but, it’s our clients that keep us reaching for the stars.”

Blue Velvet Salon is located in Mountain Brook Village, across from Daniel George.  For information regarding hours of operation, employment opportunities or to meet the stylists, clients can visit the Blue Velvet Website or call (205) 879-2080.


Blue Velvet Salon
2834 Culver Road
Mountain Brook Village
(205) 879-2080
Rachelle Perrin, Owner

Posted by: hairtrends | June 14, 2010

Quick Tricks and Helpful Hints For Everyday… Shaun Thomas

Here are just a few little tidbits of information that you may (or may not) know that can give you just a bit of extra glamour every day!

1.  You know those nozzles that often accompany your new blow dryers in the box? Well, they are there for a reason and, believe it or not, will help to give you more control over your styling methods when blow drying your hair. The nozzle actually helps to focus the warm air from the dryer exactly where you want and need it for specific needs. Want to achieve volume? Use the nozzle to focus warm air at your root to really get the hair lifted off the scalp. Also, without the air diffusing all over the place, your hair doesn’t get blown around like crazy, and this means less frizz! Think about what happens when you are caught outside on a gusty day—it’s the same concept! By focusing the air just on one area at a time, you get more control while smoothing and styling, thereby resulting in a much better finished product!

2. Try drying your hair 100% but without using a brush. Then, take sections of hair and mist with a light hairspray/thermal protectant before wrapping each section around a heated roller. Start at the bottom and increase the size of rollers as you move up the head. This will result in a style that is wavier on the bottom and smoother up top with consistency throughout the style. After the rollers have cooled down (about the time it takes to apply your makeup, wink wink!), carefully remove them and before tousling your tresses, mist again with a medium weight hair spray to hold your vixeny coif!

3. Tired-looking locks? Need a boost of shine for lifeless, dull hair? This simple recipe can be made right from your own pantry! Dissolve a spoonful of natural honey in two pints of water and apply to freshly shampooed and conditioned hair. Do not rinse, but style as usual after toweling dry. IF your hair is especially fried, add a few egg yolks to the mixture, just remember to shampoo after!

4. Want a quick and sassy way to throw your hair into something other than a ponytail? Secure your mane in to a low pony leaving a couple of pieces out around the face and at the nape of the neck. Flip the ponytail up and clip into place using tiny clips or berets. Criss-cross the nape pieces to cover the ponytail holder, and then secure with a couple bobby pins. Finally, fan out pieces of the ponytail in a cutesy, random pattern and pin into place. Mist with a light spray and fluff hair around the face, and then you’re good to go!

Shaun Thomas is a stylist
at Sanctuary in Homewood
For an appointment with him,
please call

Posted by: hairtrends | October 21, 2009

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words… Thomas Moore

Communication is one of the most affective tools in helping your stylist achieve the look you desire. Below are some helpful hints in how to communicate to your stylist what you are looking for regarding your cut and/or color

1. A picture really is worth a thousand words. A lot of times people will choose one or more pictures that are similar in cut and color styling. Even so, it is really helpful to bring these pictures and let you and your stylist look them over to see what similarities they may have and what will work with your facial shape, coloring and styling capabilities. Pictures really are one of the most affective tools when communicating.

2. With so many styling and make over shows, books, magazines, etcetera, more and more people are becoming familiar with styling terms. But it is important when using technical cutting terms, to express to your stylist what the end result should be. By sticking to discussing of results versus techniques, little to no confusion should occur.

3. Ask questions. If your stylist does not offer up the information in the beginning of your consultation, then ask questions. Before deciding on a new cut or color, you should know how much effort is involved in the styling of your new cut, what products have been used and/or any special treatment needed for maintaining your new color.

These tools will help you and your stylist find the right look for you that can be maintained at home until your next appointment.

Photo 16Thomas Moore is a stylist and educator
at Richard Joseph Studio Salon at Belk Brookwood
For an appointment with him,
please call 205.877.4346

hair_00131There are many reasons to consider transitioning from chemically treated to natural hair. Perhaps you have experienced damage or thinning hair and no longer wish to subject your hair to harsh chemicals. Maybe you are ready for a change and would simply like to get acquainted with your hair in its natural state. Whatever the reason there are several things to consider before making the transition.

During the transitioning phase you will be dealing with two textures of hair. This may prove trying at times and you will find that you cannot treat your hair the same as when you were using a relaxer. You may experience breakage at the point where your relaxed hair meets your natural new growth. It is important to understand that your hair may look worse before it looks better as you try to find the right combinations of styling products and hairstyles to carry you smoothly through your transition.

Your expectation need to be realistic as you grow out your natural hair. Black hair comes in a wide range of textures and depending on your own preference some may be more desirable to you than others. You may have started to transition because you liked someone else’s hair in its natural state and think you can achieve the same appearance. You may be disappointed to find that your hair does not form ringlets or that you cannot achieve a full afro like someone else. Adolescent photos are the best indicator of what you can expect as you make the journey towards your hair being fully natural. If you liked the look of your hair before relaxers, then you are more likely to be satisfied when the transition is complete.

You may receive a lot of feedback from others both positive and negative regarding your decision to transition. Unfortunately, African-Americans have a complicated history with regards to how we view our hair texture. Curlier hair textures have a history of being viewed as “good” while coarser textures have been labeled “bad.” Someone with loose curls may experience more positive feedback and encouragement while they transition. Those with coarser hair may be discouraged and frowned upon. Whatever you decide, do not let the negative opinion of someone else halt your transition once you have chosen to embrace your hair in its natural state. In truth “good” hair =healthy hair regardless of texture. “Bad” hair = unhealthy hair. The best answer for any naysayers is to transition successfully to completely healthy natural hair and let the beauty of your hair speak for itself.

What is the best way to go Natural?

Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural (Straight Look)
Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural (Straight Look)

There are only two ways to go natural.
1. You can cut off all of the relaxed ends of your hair. Better known throughout online forums as “The Big Chop”.
2. You can allow the relaxer to grow out until your natural hair has achieved the length you desire. This method allows you to just trim the relaxed ends as your natural hair grows.

Keep in mind that you will now have to learn to care for your hair in its natural state. So take your time so you can be open to experimenting with various styling options and hair products that will work for your new hair type.

Working with your natural curls may seem challenging at first. But you will eventually learn to love your curls once you have found the hair care regimen that works for you. Your biggest challenge will be finding ways to make your hair more manageable.

Ways to Make Your Natural Hair More Manageable
• When combing or detangling your hair, always comb from the ends to the root using a wide tooth comb.
• Natural hair is easier to comb while wet! Many naturals can attest to this.
• Provide your hair with adequate moisture to prevent drying and breakage. Moisture is a MUST!
• Regular conditioning is also a MUST. It will become a very important part of your natural hair care routine.
• Keep heat to a minimum. If you must use heat, please invest in a good heat protectant. Keep in mind that heat (like chemicals) can alter and damage your natural hair texture.

Be creative!!! You are only limited by your imagination. So don’t be afraid to try various styles and accessories to find what works for you.

Essential Tools Needed for Natural Hair Care
• A wide tooth comb.
• A boar bristle brush for smoothing down edges.
• H20 – Yes, lots and lots. Natural hair thrives on water.
• A good detangler.
• A good hair softening cream.
• A very good moisturizer.
• A very, very good shampoo & conditioner:
• A leave-in Conditioner.

Good Natural Products to Have
*depending on hair texture and style
• Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner
• Aveda Damage Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner
• Aveda BeCurly Shampoo and Conditioner
• Aveda BeCurly Curl Enhancer
• Aveda Style Prep Smoother
• Aveda Universal Styling Cream
• Aveda Phomolient
• Aveda Smoothing Fluid
• Carrot Oil
• Jojoba Oil
• Coconut Oil

Sumetri Martin is a stylist at Richard Joseph Salonspa. To make an appointment with Sumetri, please call 205.871.6001.

Sumetri Martin is a stylist at Richard Joseph Salonspa
in Mountain Brook Village.
For an appointment with her,
please call 205.871.6001.

Posted by: hairtrends | January 13, 2009

Makeover Inspiration

Check out these  2008 celebrity make overs!

Looking for some Inspiration?

…and these best Celebrity dye jobs

Posted by: hairtrends | November 20, 2008

Cosmetic Database

There is a great trend toward being “green” these days (have you noticed?) – but going even further than being green for the environment, I think there is a trend toward taking control of personal health and asking questions like we’ve never asked questions before.

It is very important to be aware of what you put on your skin and especially what you put on your children’s skin. Your skin is yeyeshadow1our largest organ!  There are such amazing products on the market today, but sometimes I wonder what makes them so amazing and what the ingredients are doing to my health. There is a WONDERFUL searchable website (called the Costmetic Database) that rates ove 40,000 products (makeup, skin care, hair care, nail care, oral care, fragrances, suncreens, children’s products, feminine products etc.) by their safety. It even lists all the ingredients and tells you what they are and what they can possibly do to you (cancer, hormone disruption, neurotoxicity, allergies, reproductive toxicity etc). I don’t want to be an alarmist, but there’s some scary stuff in normal every day products I was using!

One thing that I’m particularly interested in knowing is if my products were tested on animals. I avoid products with animal testing at all costs. The Cosmetic Database also has this information. I have written many-a-letter to companies I found out were using animal testing.  It is SO important that we do not let beauty products be tested on animals. It is insane the pain and torture companies put cats, rabbits and dogs through – especially when other technology is available. Please check to make sure your products aren’t tested on animals and if they are – let the companies know you won’t support them until they stop!

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) independently brings you the reseach gathered in The Cosmetic Database. The EWG also has sites that research which fruits/veggies have the most pesticides, which pet foods are nasty, and others. Check it out!

Posted by: hairtrends | November 14, 2008

Embrace those Curls! by Rachelle Perrin

As a kid in the late 70’s I was really jealous of the smooth “Farah Faucet” wings, unfortunately I felt cursed with frizzy curls. Like a lot of my naturally curly brothers and sisters, I grew up hating my curls. I lived through bad haircuts that were always cut too short because the stylist didn’t consider “shrinkage”. I tried every crazy thing I heard of to get those long straight locks. Like orange juice cans as rollers, really harsh chemical strengtheners that broke my fine hair, and I have to mention how my best friend would help me use an actual clothes iron to straighten my hair out! That’s healthy.

Even when I became a stylist, I was motivated by vicariously living through the silky straight hair of my clients. As the years passed, new products were developed and my knowledge grew of the hair world. I finally learned to love my curls, but it wasn’t will out a lot of trial and error… and a few tears.
If you’re a curly girl, my hope is to share with you some tips to take to your stylist that will help you get the best cut for your curls. Be prepared! Stylist love pictures! It gives us a visual to work from. Think about the texture of your hair. For instance if you have fine thin curly hair, don’t take your stylist a picture of someone with thick course curls.

Long layers work great with curls! It doesn’t matter if your hair is a chin length bob or curls down to your waist. A common complaint I hear from new curly clients is that they have flat hair at the roots and “poofy” hair toward the ends. It creates a triangle shape.  Long layers will help create balance throughout the shape of your hair. Ask your stylist to cut your hair where you part it. I have often seen clients come in with imbalanced haircuts because who ever cut their hair last parted it in the middle. Cutting hair with a middle part is fine if you part it in the middle every day, but if you part your hair to one side, get it cut that way. Your curls will hang better and you will have a more consistent style every day.

Okay, so here is where I get controversial.  I believe cutting curly hair with even the sharpest razor makes it frizz. Your stylist may not agree, but I am a scissor girl all the way! There’s a time and texture for the razor but on curly hair it acts like curling a ribbon on a Christmas present.
Lastly, depending on how tightly curled your hair is, remind your stylist that your hair shrinks up! I suggest adding an extra 2-3 inches to your desired length. You can always ask to have it cut shorter. As you probably know curly hair seems to take longer to grow because of the curl.

Rachelle Perrin is a master stylist and owner of Blue Velvet Salon in Mountain Brook Village.

For an appointment, please call 205.879.2080.

Posted by: hairtrends | October 3, 2008

Iconic Hair by Kari Stubblefield

Couldn’t you have just died when Posh left her iconic bob on the cutting room floor? I know her gamine new look is supposed to be evocative of Audrey Hepburn and Mia Farrow, but the question is, is Posh? I certainly don’t think so.

When I really started thinking about hair trends, I couldn’t help but contemplate iconic hairstyles.
What is it REALLY that makes us so quick to hop in line for that dramatic new look?
Here’s my opinion…

1) It’s not in style. No matter how beautiful the hair, it won’t get noticed if it’s what everyone’s wearing. Farrah Fawcett’s wings were a stark contrast to the stick-straight hippie look. Posh’s crisp bob stood out amidst a sea of long curls and lopsided scene cuts.

2) There’s buzz. After Farrah Fawcett appeared in the 1970’s version of Charlie’s Angels her hair got more press than she did… which she hated. When Friends made a splash, so did “The Rachel.” More often than not, the celeb with the coveted hairstyle is making news with more than just her locks. Plus, big news means big photo ops, and lots of photos of the celeb floating around the salon.

3) There’s synergy. An iconic style comes from… a style icon. She picks the right ‘do for her face, her clothes, and her personality. Di looked demure, Dorothy Hamill seemed sporty, Farrah was a sex kitten, and their hair matched the image. When women request the style, they don’t want to just look like the icon–they want to *be* like the icon.

So the question is, how do you create your own iconic style without winning a gold medal or scoring a sitcom? It’s easy if you follow three simple steps:

1) Start a relationship. Find a stylist who you trust and build a relationship with him or her. Once she knows your hair and your personality, ask her to help you create a look that’s just for you. If your hair’s not yet long or healthy enough for what you’re trying to achieve, she can help you get there.

2) Mix but don’t match. You won’t look like a copycat if you pull inspiring attributes from a variety of icons. Imagine Angelina’s voluminous locks in Jen’s honey blonde, or Reese’s asymmetrical bangs with Katie’s chic bob (may it rest in peace).

3) Keep it crisp. Super-short cuts look best with monthly trims, but you can get a little more time out of a shoulder-length or longer cut. Color should be touched up every 4-6 weeks.

–by Kari Stubblefield
Kari creates iconic looks every day at Richard Joseph SalonSpa. You can make an appointment at  205.871.6001. Check out her stylist page on salonfly to learn more about Kari.

Posted by: hairtrends | October 1, 2008

Kick the CAPS out of plastic with Aveda

Aveda has found that a majority of plastic bottle caps do not get recycled today.

Often these caps end up as litter or trash, ending up in landfills and
beaches or migrating into our rivers and oceans. Birds and other
marine creatures mistake them for food with tragic results. The
magnitude of this pollution problem is devastating to our oceans and

You can be part of the solution by joining Recycle Caps with Aveda.

Aveda is announcing a new recycling initiative that helps extend the
current boundaries of recycling and elicit participation from all
corners of our community. With the help of our network of salons and
stores, in partnership with community schools, we are building a new
recycling program for plastic bottle caps in which caps are collected
at stores and schools and then sent by Aveda to our recycler where the
material is recycled into new caps and containers. Aveda has been able
to work closely with our suppliers to develop ways to make new caps
and containers from the recycled caps. We hope to ship new products
using this reworked, environmentally-friendly material later this year.

Join the Recycle Caps with Aveda campaign. Bring your plastic caps
into an Aveda Store and feel great knowing that they will be
repurposed into new Aveda packaging and kept from entering our
waterways and harming wildlife.