From the diary of a hairstylist: by Crystal Casey

Category
  • The price we pay.

    What you are about to read touches a very sensitive subject, a subject that 80% of couples fight ( & ultimately get divorced) over, a subject that people avoid & most times are in denial about. 

    Money.

    As a hairdresser one of the first questions I get asked is "How much will this cost?" if they don't ask it, then I do. The reason I ask "Whats your budget for this?" is not so I can take all that they have, its so I can work within the budget I am given. If my guest is showing me pictures of $250 hair & their budget is $175 then its my job to say "I'm sorry but for your budget, Im afraid thats not possible, instead we can do this or this." In some cases my guest will allow themselves a larger budget & sometimes we reach a compromise. 

    I know I am not a cheap stylist. I have done my research, I know what surrounding salons charge for similar services. When I first opened my salon I put myself at the lower end of the scale, but didn't cut myself short. As I furthered my education, grew my salon & became more "in demand" my prices went up. 

    But, what I really want to touch on today is for clients. 

    Let's start with price quotes. I really struggled with this when I first opened but, I have it down to fine science now. Pricing depends on many things, those things are:

    1. Length of hair & thickness.
    2. Previous services & your goal color.
    3. Treatments ( no GOOD stylist is going to let you leave with brittle hair).
    4. Amount of product used. 
    5. How long your appointment is going to take, time is money. 
    6. Technique used to achieve goal results.
    7. Is this considered a color correction?

    Giving price quotes via message or email is not my favorite thing to do. However, I will do it. I just make sure the quote covers lowest to highest & everything in between. 

    Next up, Color Corrections. Color corrections for me have a base price of $200 & go up from there. Usually its $100 an hour after the first hour, however...every circumstance is different. Hair is completely unpredictable things can go amazing & your black box hair color can lift to level 9 yellow no problem or I can color remove you twice & your hair reverts back to black....(that has happened to me it turned into a 12 hour correction)

    Specialty Colors: Ombre, Balayage, color melts, fashion color....pretty much everything that anyone ask for anymore is a specialty color. These are colors & techniques that need tremendous extended education. 

    Education is not cheap. My first year in business I took lots of independent classes & attended some hair shows where I was almost on education overload. I spent $5,000 in 8 months doing all of this. In the end it was totally worth it. I invested in myself & my profession & my clients could see the difference. I spent countless hours on periscope watching other stylist, learning from them, absorbing all the free education that was at my fingertips. 

    There will always be those people who respond with, "Wow, you're too expensive!"  Or "That's way too much, I can get a cut & color on my long, thick hair for $75!" (of course in a case like this I want to ask why they are looking for a different hairdresser then... haha) but, my response is usually "Good hair isn't cheap & cheap hair isn't good." 

    I don't really feel like I should ever have to explain WHY my prices are what they are but, I do hope this small break down will help some of your understand. 

    My salon expenses are about $2,231 a month. This includes my rent, my product, my phone, advertising cost (website, Facebook etc) this doesn't even begin to touch on the countless free photoshoots or color models I do to have material to advertise with or to get my name out there. 

    My personal expenses are about $2,863 a month, this includes my car, insurance, groceries, gym, cable, electric, rent, student loans etc. 

    Neither one of these totals reflects health inspections, license renewals, what I pay in taxes, new tools & equipment or holidays. 

    They also do not reflect the travel I do to educate, or the travel I do to go to hair shows/classes to learn.  new trends. These are bare minimum totals. 

    So my bare minimum monthly totals are around $5,094 give or take the time of year or any travel. 

    My tools range from $80- $1,500.

    Products, I spend about $350-$400 a month.

    When I expanded my salon it cost about $4,500

    Owning a business or even renting a booth is not cheap.Those stylist who are commission employees, they more than likely have money deducted for product & they do have to buy their own tools. 

    Please remember this the next time you want to tell me or another stylist that we are "too expensive" we have bills to pay just like you. This is our job, our career....this isn't a hobby & we aren't playing dress up just because we like pretty colors. Being a hairdresser is incredibly complex, its chemistry, its electricity, its geometry, its public speaking & its art. 

    Ps- for those of you worried about my spelling & grammar...I'm not. If you could read & understand this post, I did my job :)

  • Year in Review 2016

    Year in Review 2016

    2016 was a freaking amazing year for me! 

    It started with my first solo class in Las Cruces, New Mexico at my pal, Angela's studio! 

    ..........annnnnndddd then I got a finger tattoo to commemorate it! (( & finally got snapchat))

    Followed by.... our first Goonies event in Phoenix, Arizona! 

    We also got to experience the Grand Canyon together! 

    I LOVE this picture of Ashley & Kenny! 

    Got my bangs cut by the AMAZING Phillip Ring...if you're a hairdresser you understand! 

    and spend some time together creating amazing friendships....

    I participated in my first wedding event.......The Big Fake Wedding.

    Images by Melody Gilliakin Photography

    I went to Devine Intervention hosted by Ruby Devine & finally learned the proper way to create underlights & do the surging technique!

    Then came home & used both techniques to make this....

    I built some amazing working relationships with some of my favorite companies!

    I expanded my salon from 115 square feet to 237 square feet and built an amazing color bar. ((with the help of my dad, of course))

    Another amazing class at my friend, Ambers salon.... Shear Envy Tupelo!

    Premiere Orlando with my Goonies was nothing short of amazing & it was amazing seeing my pal Phil on the main stage! 

    I bought brand new 2017 Subaru WRX....

    Then took off to Atlanta, Georgia for our second Goonies class...

    September brought an amazing opportunity from my pals at Embee Meche, when they asked me to work on the stage at the Next Big Thing Booth at the BehindtheChair show in Ft.Lauderdale, Florida.

    I got to meet & do hair for another stylist I've watched for a while, the beautiful Taylor Rae.

    I got to celebrate my pals who were ONE SHOT finalist .....

    & of course spent some time with my friends & make some new ones!

    October was stellar!!! I accompanied Ruby & her mom to London, England....

    Where I attend my first international hair show & got to meet another fellow stylist Jaymz Marsters.

    who also turned Ruby into a fabulous rainbow...

    of course we did some sight seeing....

    Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)

    London Eye

    Westminster Abbey

    London Bridge

    We even took a day trip to Paris, France

    Eiffel Tour

    Arc de Triomphe

    the street of Paris

    Notre Dame is just as beautiful during the day....

    as it is at night....

    & we even did some shopping on the  Champs Elysees

    Halloween was fun as usual....

    Then it was off on the 2016 Hairstylist Education Cruise to teach with my Goonies...& have some fun!

    I got to snorkel with some fish...

    & parasail in Cozumel with my best pals..

    December brought a huge surprise!

    yep....thats me teaching at BTC .....this was printed in the last issue! 

    2016 was incredibly amazing for me. 

    I enjoy every single one of my clients 

    I am grateful for every single opportunity I am given 

    & I cant wait to see what 2017 brings!

  • Silver Fox....based on a true story.

    Silver Fox....based on a true story.

    Let's talk about the silver hair trend.....

    While silver/grey hair is beautiful (when done well) its damn near impossible to get unless, your hair is already platinum blonde. (this means WHITE! Like Kalessi white, SNOW WHITE, wedding gown WHITE) 

    On that note: To get white, its going to take many, MANY processes & lots of cash money unless, you're a natural blonde.

    Its on too rare of an occasion that I get emails saying 

    "how much would it cost to do this to my hair?"

    color by @bescene 

    Well first of all, what does your hair look like now? How many layers of salon or box color are on it? Just asking someone for a price and forcing a picture on them is kind of presumptuous not to mention rude. But thats a whole different blog post. 

    If your hair is ANY KIND of dark brown to black, all natural or not. (its usually not) 

    The awnser is NO

    NO you can not have that in one sitting

    NO you probably wont have that in the next year.

    NO I'm not going to fry your hair. 

    WHY?

    Well, I'm not Harry Potter & my color brush isn't a magic wand, thats why. 

    WHAT CAN YOU HAVE?

    Red or Orange. You choose. 

    So you're unhappy with my response? You decide to stylist hop? You decide to go to Sally's & try that really cool toner you saw in that YouTube video that uses DOUBLE 20 VOLUME?

     Let me show you what happens when you do that & DON'T do your research. 

    YES that is a bowl full of hair. NO it was not cut off, shaved off or by any other means purposely taken off.  It BROKE off. 

    All of the Olaplex in the world isn't going to save your hair when you have been to 3 different stylist before me & have no clue of your hair history, or leave out the parts where you used that Sally's toner.

    The hair in this bowl belongs to a client of mine, lets call her "Mrs.T" & before you get all bent out of shape she gave me discretion to write this blog & tell her story. 

    Mrs.T is Cuban. I know you might be thinking, what does that have to do with it? Well it has everything to do with it. She went to 3 different stylist asking for white/silver hair. Each stylist just did a full hilight. Now Mrs.T has literally 5 heads of the thickest hair you've ever seen, except just on her head. 

    So you can imagine how just a full hilight may have left her feeling....mmm....unfulfilled. So on to the next stylist she went....

    Again, another head of hilights, she's a bit lighter at this point....but it's still not enough so she headed to her 3rd stylist where she again received a full head of hilights. All the while using Wella's T-18 toner in between, which uses DOUBLE 20 VOLUME developer. Clients or future clients who are reading this, i STRONGLY advise NOT trying that at home. 

    Finally Mrs.T found me, when she got to me her hair was strong enough to handle one all over lightening session (with 3 different formulas of lightener) & a good ashy toner that came in the form of Redken Shades EQ, to get her as close to her goal as possible. All of her formulas included Olaplex & we did a stand alone treatment on her as well. 

    She loves it! "This is the closest to my goal I have gotten!" she exclaims.

    She leaves happy, Olaplex #3 in hand. 

    About 4 weeks go by & I get a message from Mrs.T. She still loves her hair, but she is seeing some warmth & was wondering if we could just hilight those out. 

    My first concern is for the integrity of her hair, we set an appointment & she comes in, her hair is actually in great shape! I go through & meticulously foil out any warm pieces I see being very careful not to touch ANY WHITE. I used 5 volume developer with my lightener & olaplex. 

    She lifts well, hair is still strong, I mix up her toner (add the Olaplex) & get to rinsing. I'm noticing a lot of hair in the sink, but think nothing of it because she has A LOT of hair which means, more than average hair loss. 

    Toned her with Schwarzcopf, absolute whites in Grey Lilac & Slate Grey with 10 volume & Olaplex. Max of 7 minutes this toner sits on her hair. 

    As I'm rinsing more & more hair is coming out. I won't lie this is where I started sweating a little bit. 

    I put Aquage equalizing detangler in her & GENTEELLY brush her hair out at the bowl with a wet brush. 

    Well, the hair keeps coming, so much so that it fills the bowl you see above. 

    I let Mrs.T know the WHOLE TIME what is happening, she's nervous.....I'm nervous. I smother her hair in a masque & send her on her way, no heat for that hair today. I advise her of the same and tell her Olaplex is going to be her best friend. 

    She sends me a text 2 days later. "Well, the verdict is in, do you want to see?"

    I literally cringe at what I'm about to see.

    HOOOOOOWWWWW??????

    She loves it!!! She said its definitely lighter (weigh wise) than it was before, but its just like it thinned it out a bit. 

    If ANY white girl had this happen to them, they would be rocking a pixie or may even be bald. 

    6 months goes by & she makes an appointment to come back in. All the white still referring people to me left & right. 

    This is what her hair looked like when she came back 6 months later....

    And this is what kind of breakage she had......

    Not just in that one spot, but in multiple places. 

    She had been taking great care of it, using Olaplex, good shampoo & conditioner & NO HEAT. 

    We were Finally able to get her what she wanted. A grey to silver melt. 

    I used Schwarzcopf absolute whites in Slate Grey & Grey Lilac with 10 volume developer melted into Kenra Charcoal on some strands & Paul Mitchell Pop XG Steel & Joico Titanium on other strands. All formulas included Olaplex. 

    The outcome was stunning. 

    Moral of the story?? 

    RESEARCH any and all hairdressers in your area when asking for a specialty color.

    LISTEN to what they are telling you, often times these kinds of colors are a process.

    DON'T throw a fit when you can't have what you want....thats bad form. We are the licensed professionals & I promise we know what we are doing. 

    DON'T believe everything you see on YouTube. 

    Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CryistalChaos to see all kinds of fun hair art. 

  • Opa.....Hola...OLAPLEX!

    Opa.....Hola...OLAPLEX!

    OLAPLEX

    What is this stuff??

    Olaplex is a bond multiplier. Your hair is made up of thousands of bonds that are damaged & break everyday. Yes, just brushing your hair can break bonds. Olaplex restores those bonds by linking the broken ones back together. Making hair stronger and healthier.

    Olaplex extends the life of color by 2 weeks, allows the stylist (me) to push hair further to get lighter, brighter blondes. Olaplex allows for brighter fashion colors such as neon greens, yellows & blues or more vibrant purples, pinks & magentas. 

    Olaplex can also be used as a stand alone treatment to stregenthen hair that has been previously damaged by other stylist or at home. But color is not the only thing we do that damages our hair. Flat ironing, blow drying, washing with bad shampoo, over exposure to pool chemicals & the sun & yes even brushing can damage your hair. Olaplex repairs from the inside out. 

    Olaplex is not a deep conditioning treatment or a band aid for the hair. If you lack moisture or protein, those things will still need to be added back into the hair. This also does not mean you can go back and forth between blonde and black.There is only so much the hair can take. Olaplex is a tool for stylist, not a cure for bad decisions. :)

    High Voltage Hair has been carrying Olaplaex for months now & I have been loving the outcome! Be sure to ask me about it at your next color reservation! 

    How it works: Olaplex is mixed into your lightener or color. Simple as that. At the shampoo bowl after color is rinsed Olaplaex step 2 is applied for 10 mins. Then we style as usual. No super extensive process.

    This is what your hair looks like with lightener before adding Olaplaex & this is what it looks like with Olaplex. Big difference huh? 

  • Prom/Ring Dance Hair & Makeup Package is still in full effect!

    Prom/Ring Dance Hair & Makeup Package is still in full effect!

    It's that time of year! Let the Ring Dances & Proms begin! Soon after that comes Graduation! How time flies right? This year Dhalia Edwards & I have put together a pretty sweet Hair & Makeup Package for all you lovely ladies out there. I love collaborating with local vendors like Dhalia & making you lovely ladies feel awesome on one of the most important nights of your life as you leave the teenage years behind & head into the adult world. But, dont be scared it's fun I promise! 

    Prom or Ring Dance Hair & Makeup 

    For only $125

    Get a basic down style & makeup application for only $125. Makeup will be provided by Dhalia Edwards. Upgrade your hairstyle to an up style for just $20 more & receive a free Paul Mitchell Stay Strong mini hairspray to keep your hair going strong all night long. 

    We will also travel on location for parties of 3 or more. 
    Please contact Dhalia or Crystal to make your reservation! 

  • DIY: Painted Ornate Mirror

    DIY: Painted Ornate Mirror

    Every salon needs that PERFECT, regal, ornate mirror. Even in the most modern of salons. But what happens when you find that PERFECT mirror & its the wrong color? Well it means your life it over. Its ruined. Youre entire decor planning has been ruined & you just CAN NOT go on. JUST KIDDING! You paint it!

    So I found my perfect mirror at, at home (previously Garden Ridge) did I pay a little too much for it? Yeah probaly, is it perfect? YES, YES, YAAASSSSS! Was it the wrong color? Of course it was.....WAS! I knew I wanted my ornate mirror to hang above my coffee station on my black & white striped wall. So when I found this......

    Kinda looks like a sheet cake, huh?

    I just had to have it. So being as OCD as I am, I wanted all my pink to be the SAME PINK. So I just used some of my wall paint to paint this little guy pink! I kind of like the Rustic, antique look so I choose not to spend 759304032 hours painting in all the cracks to make the frame 100% pink. I just let that little bit of white stand out, it goes with the look & colors of my room. 

    Now when I got the mirror it was all shiny & pretty. But because my wall paint was matte with primer...I had to add some of my own shine. So i went to Home Depot & the super nice lady there pointed me in the direction of spray on lacqer! 

    It made it all shiny & new and pretty just like when I bought it! So waa-la! My mirror was ready to be hung. 

    Oh & say hello to these two amazing ladies Elizabeth Heson of Elizabeth Henson Photos & Holly Coriell of Just Dandy Events!

    Photo by Chelsea Anderson Photography

  • DIY: How I made my own Lighted Retail Shelf

    DIY: How I made my own Lighted Retail Shelf

    So when you're opening a salon there has to be space for RETAIL. A place to display all those delicious smelling products that you use on your clients. Those things that are better for their hair than those drugstore products they've been using. 

    When I put my deposit down I knew exactly what shelf I would be using for my retail shelf. It was an Ikea shelf from my old apartment. Of course....it was RED. Doesn't exactly jive with the pink,black & white I was going for. 

    Sooooo, I painted that bad boy black...not just black...black chalkboard. 

    I used this Rust-oleum chalk board paint as a base (bc it scratches off easily) then covered that paint with actual paint on chalkboard paint I got from Target. (I totally forgot to photograph that paint, but its the only one Target sells)

    This was the end result. 

    My original idea was to write the retail names & prices on the ledge of each shelf in chalkboard marker. Then my dad had a better idea, we had some signs with LED lights in them that we were pulling apart to put underneath each shelf to light up the products. Those signs just happened to fit perfectly with the legenth of the shelf. I now had an entire lighted retail shelf with lighted signs. I measured the signs, picked a font & printed the names of each of my retail products. 

    I hid all the wires by taping them to the top of the shelf with black duct tape, and running them into a wire hider along the back of the shelf. Those can be found at Lowes & Home Depot for about $13-$21 depending on legenth. 

    Now the chalkboard paint seems like almost a waste since I decided to go with lighted signs. BUT, I can still write on the side of the shelf to welcome all new clients to my salon. A little something to make them feel special! 

    You can also find LED lights like this at Ikea possibly Home Depot or Lowes. 

    All finished product photos are by: Chelsea Anderson Photography 

  • DIY: Black & White Striped Walls

    DIY: Black & White Striped Walls

    So when I started collecting decor for my new studio, I knew I wanted to keep it 100% consistent with my branding. As you can see all of my cards, service menus, & now, thanks to April at Paper Dolls Designs, even my bridal menus are black & white striped. 

    I orignally was going to go with removeable wall paper. Since it is the buildings policy that we not paint any dark colors on the walls, painting the stripes myself was out of the question. So I rememebered seeing something on Pinterest about removeable wall paper. After going back to review the measurements each peice came in I realized that at $35 a pop I would end up spending a FORTUNE! The orignal blog I had read, the lady had gotten the removeable wallpaper for free from the company to write a review. So, boo to that. & forget REAL wallpaper that shit will NEVER come down. 

    So here I am racking my brain thinking about ways to get black & white stripes at a price I could afford. All of sudden my neighbor offered me the BEST solution I could think of. 

    KITCHEN CABINET KICKBOARDS.

    DUH! Now the only problem was that they are about $7-$8 PER 8 foot board at any Home Depot or Lowes. Then I got the bright idea (ok my mom got the bright idea) to check Home Emporium. BOOM. Found them for $3.99 a board! Unfinished, pine & ready to be painted. All together I ended up spending $94 for my black & white striped wall. $24 for a gallon of white paint, $10 for a pint of black paint $60 for 17 kickboards (i somehow got one for free). AND I have perfectly straight stripes. Something that is seemingly IMPOSSIBLE with paint. And after covering my entire stylist station and shampoo area with black contact paper......I think Ill pass on the removeable wallpaper. 

    BEFORE

    AFTER

    (yes that entire shampoo area is covered in contact paper)

    Studio Photos by Chelsea Anderson Photography

  • The most amazing giveaway you have ever seen.....

    The most amazing giveaway you have ever seen.....

    This is a giveaway of EPIC proportions! 

    I work with the greatest wedding vendors in Hampton Roads & this just proves it! 

    The open house giveaway will include:

    1 full size Shampoo/Conditioner of Paul Mitchells Ultimate Color Repair 

    1 full size Triple Rescue

    $10 off any color service from yours truly

    $200 towards a photo session of your choice with Memories by Mere Photography

    1 Set of lashes from Dhalia Edwards 

    1 full size lip lock from Makeup by Kim Porter

    See my review of the lip lock here.

    $200 towards a boudoir session with LeZandra Photography

    1 hour free photo session with Jason Jarvis Photography complete with styling! 

    How can you win this amazing giveaway???

    Simply come to the open house & sign the guest book! The winner will be choosen at random & sent an email to let them know of thier winnings! Simple.as.that. 

    My new studio will be located at 1544 Laskin Rd #104 Virginia Beach Va, 23451, inside the Salon Plaza building. 

    Cant make it to the open house? Thats ok, there will is an online guest book for you to sign on the 8th from 2-5pm for you to enter!

    Just go to the "GUESTBOOK" tab under Salon Specials & Services & put in your email. You will have signed the guestbook AND entered to win the giveaway! 


  • Open House Announcement!

    Open House Announcement!

    Just a shout out to let everyone know that High Voltage Hair's open house will be Sunday, February 8th 2015 from 2-5pm!! 

    I will not be open for business until February 9th. 

    This is just a little time I set aside for vendors & clients to come by, see the new space & get acclimated to its new location. 

    The new location is at 1544 Laskin Rd #104 Va Beach, VA, 23451. I am inside the Salon Plaza building in space #104!

    HEELLLLLLOOOOOOO VENDORS!!

    If you would like to donate to the gift bags that would be great! Even if its just a bunch of business cards. I will also be keeping some business cards on hand at the salon to give out to clients & future brides. 

    I'd love to help promote all of  you!! 

    Just contact me to set up a time to pick your promotional materials! I will need them by Sunday February 1st! 

    I HOPE TO SEE EVERYONE THERE!!!