Monday, March 28, 2011

Tabatha Coffey's Prescription for Great Hair

We are so stoked to have guest blogger and hair superstar, Tabatha Coffey sharing her style tips with hip + urban girl today. She is incredibly strong-willed, with a no-nonsense approach that inspires me in my weaker moments. I mean, what would Tabatha Coffey do? Not only is she smart, she's also talented and is giving us a prescription today on how-to get great hair:

Choose a hairstyle and/or hair colour that WORKS for your lifestyle. 

If you choose a style that requires daily styling to look its best, then you’re going to have to have the time (or make the time) to do so every morning.  If you’re not consistent with your styling routine or not particularly skilled with a round brush and blow-dryer, then it’s best to request a hairstyle that looks great with minimal styling.  Same goes for hair colour.  If a client is honest with me and tells me that they are more likely come in every six months for hair colour (instead of the typical 4 to 6 weeks), then I will either suggest a color that is similar to what they want but requires less upkeep. I could also use an application technique that ensures her colour looks as good as it can for as long as it can.

Don’t let your hairstyle get out of shape. 
Talk to your hairstylist to determine what the maintenance level of your particular style is, and then set up a regular appointment schedule. If you have a short, precision style, you’ll probably have to come in every 4-6 weeks for a trim. If you have a longer, layered styled, you can probably stretch your appointments to every nine weeks. If you’re trying to grow your hair out, get a trim every 12 weeks to keep split ends at bay and ensure your hair stays healthy looking.

Stay on top of colour. 
The general rule is to allow for at least ¼-inch of re-growth before re-touching your color.  In the meantime, keep gray regrowth undercover by taking a plain waterproof mascara from the drugstore (nothing fancy or expensive) in a shade that’s similar to your hair colour and apply to where it’s showing most (usually at the hairline and/or part). For dark roots on light hair, use plain baby powder or a light coloured hair powder (Bumble and Bumble make good ones) that matches your particular shade of blond.

Use the RIGHT products. 
While there really isn’t much of a difference between salon and drugstore brands (there are great formulas in both), there is a catch.  When you buy a product from a hairstylist, you’re getting a regimen that has been specifically prescribed to you by a professional
who knows your hair type and what balance of ingredients is necessary to achieve your desired the end result.  When you go into a drugstore or supermarket, it’s a guessing game and you’re the only player: Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find exactly what your hair needs and other times you won’t.

Shampoo and Condition the RIGHT way. 
As trivial as it may seem, properly shampooing and conditioning your hair are actually the most important steps in your hair maintenance routine. When correctly selected and applied, shampoo and conditioner set the foundation for everything that comes after. As far as how often to shampoo, that depends on your hair type. People with fine/oily/short hair can shampoo every day as long as they’re using the right products. People with thick/coarse/straightened hair sometimes can wait 2-3 days between shampoos, and often even look better the day after a shampoo. To make sure you’re on the right schedule, ask your stylist what their recommendation is. Also don’t forget to deep condition regularly (all hair types need this): 1-2 times a week for healthy hair; up to 3 times a weak for damaged, chemically treated hair.

Tabatha Coffey is in Toronto this week for The Allied Beauty Association Trade Show on March 27th and 28th, 2011.  Her new book, It's Not Really About the Hair is in-stores now.  Learn more at

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