Tag Archives: hair

The History of Balayage

Alright Ladies, this month we have decided to give you a quick history lesson on one of our favorite colour techniques, “The Balayage!” This will include its history, when it was introduced in the US and how it compares to your regular “Foil Highlights.”

Balayage, a.k.a “sweep away” originated at the exclusive gorgeous “Carita” Salon in Paris in the early 70’s making a huge name for itself with it’s beautiful and effortless sun kissed look. While it may look simple to achieve, it takes a well trained eye to understand the hairs texture, movement and “random” colour placement necessary to create this look.


In the 70’s, this technique was originally called “Balayage a Coton” for it’s use of cotton strips to separate the coloured hair from the untouched portion. It was introduced during the time when our industry norm was frosting caps and solid colours, making the Balayage technique truly revolutionary for its time! In the 80’s the industry introduced many varieties of foil highlighting techniques and it wasn’t actually until the early 90’s that Balayage first entered the US by storm grabbing the attention of top celebrities and became one of the hottest colour trends to date!

It seems to me that most clients that highlight their hair on a regular are almost afraid of stepping in to the world of balayage as it is something “new” to them and may seem like a big change. Ladies, here are some great reasons as to why Balayage is our top choice for highlights over the Foil technique! When the hair is sectioned and “weaved or sliced” in to a foil, the whole section is saturdated in colour giving it a dense, uniform effect which gives it an unnatural appearance. Within weeks we start to see our regrowth or our “line of demarcation” and it seems we are due for a retouch.


By using the Balayage technique it is softly hand painted on the surface of the hair, leaving you with natural-looking swipes of colour going from thick to thin and play off of the hairs natural movement. By choosing Balayage, you can go months without retouching and it just gives that free flowing, untouched look. It can be done with any variety of colours making it flexible for your wants and needs and makes it more manageable for your wallets ladies! A little something to think about before booking your next colour service.


When booking your next colour service, what will YOU choose?

Wedding Hair Tips

10154068_656342954451117_1104384409_nWedding season is approaching and we know that all is stressful for those brides-to-be out there; here are some tips and pointers to make life a little easier for you.

The first mistake made by many is not scheduling a hair trial for their big day. The best advice we can give when it comes to booking these appointments is book months prior for the wedding day, at least 6 weeks for the hair trial and 2 weeks for a trim and conditioning treatment. All of this preparation will give you ease in the end, there will be no stress over dead straggly ends, you AND your stylist will be prepared for your updo weeks ahead of the set appointment and you won’t have to worry about your stylist or salon not being available for the wedding day because you’ve had it reserved with more than enough time ahead.

Next is DO YOUR RESEARCH!! Find multiple styles that you can see yourself wearing, even if you only like pieces of the style; this will give your stylist a visual idea of what you are looking to create. Schedule enough time to try out 2-3 different styles on your trial day and remember to bring a friend, a second opinion will never hurt to have by your side; just ensure it is someone you trust to be entirely honest with you. Bring a camera with you and have your friend take photos from all angles; doing this will make things easier when it comes to decision-making.

The dress plays a big part! You could have a beautiful dress and beautiful hair, but putting them together is what matters. Harmonizing everything is what makes a beautiful bride; if chosen correctly your stylist will be able to create the perfect overall look just by seeing a photo of the dress, preferably of it on you, but on the hanger works too! Now, for all you soft speakers out there.. This is the time to speak your mind. On your wedding day you could never be too specific, if you don’t like something about the style your stylist is giving you, no offence will be taken by letting him/her know; however don’t be opposed to taking suggestions either, keep in mind your stylist is the professional and may actually be able to improve the look by playing off your ideas.

Stick with the weddings THEME.. It may surprise you but, this will pull the entire wedding together let alone your look. For example if you’re planning to have more of a vintage theme you want to keep your hair very elegant rather than big, busy, and wild. Braids are beautiful but a tight braid around the hairline doesn’t photograph well and often has a tendency to look adolescent. NEVER wear a pullover shirt or sweater to the big appointment, the last thing you want after all that stress and work is to ruin it when it comes time to change into the dress. Stick with a button down or a zip sweater, it’ll make things easier when the time comes.

The most important part is to remember that YOU FEEL BEAUTIFUL; it’s your day!

-CLB team


HEALTHY hair starts with a healthy you…


HEALTHY hair starts with a healthy you.Welcoming the new year, we all have our resolutions; most of which don’t last all that long. However when it comes to eating healthy it has more benefits than just a healthier you; it is also where healthy hair and skin starts. This month we’re giving you some tips on how to get the most out of your hair through the kitchen and good products.

First thing is first; both dry and oily hair can be caused by the same simple problem; washing too often!! The recommended washes per week is 2-3 times. If you’re suffering from dry hair, you might notice you need a little extra moisturizing through out the week; simple fix. Don’t be afraid to run some conditioner through the ends when you feel you need it, especially in the colder weather it is always good to keep the hair moisturized. A good serum is never a bad idea either; for example Pureology’s shine max, or precious oil care serums are perfect for dry hair that needs a little more attention. Dry hair can be a result from eating fatty, sugary foods lacking the vitamins and minerals the hair requires in order to grow strong and healthily. As far as oily hair goes; try steering clear of fatty, oily foods. As hard as it may be, it is recommended to hold off the excessive washing even with oily hair; you’re hair will eventually begin to work with the stretched washing routine. To say the least, a good wash comes with a good product. Washing once a week or two with Pureology’s purify shampoo paired with the hydrate shampoo and conditioner should help tame those over produced oils.

A healthy diet plays a big part; we’ll tip you in on some finds that encourage healthy hair growth, as well as some other benefits that may play into healthy skin care. Foods such as Salmon, herring, sardines, avocado, and pumpkin seeds; are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which the body needs in order to promote hair growth; this is also something our body doesn’t produce much of on its own. These foods contain selenium, which protects hair and skin from sun exposure. As far as salmon goes; BE CAREFUL, make sure you’re buying wild salmon, not farmed!! Walnuts are also rich in omega-3’s; in fact the only nut with a significant amount. They are also rich in biotin and vitamin E. Much like the others above, walnuts are also excellent as a sun protectant, as well as protecting cells from DNA damage. Another mineral found in walnuts is copper, which keeps natural colour looking rich. Use walnut oil in your salads and cooking rather than canola or other oils. It is good to eat foods high in protein, like eggs and meats, for without it the body can not reproduce the hair from daily loss, and if it does it could be very dry and brittle. Like oysters for example which are also an excellent source of zinc, which protects against hair loss. Foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, and mangoes have an antioxidant called beta carotene, of which our body produces into vitamin A; protecting and producing oils that maintain the scalp, freeing us of dry, and itchy skin. Blueberries have been called the “vitamin C superheroes”. Vitamin C protects the hair from breakage, some other foods high in the C are kiwi, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries.

So why not start the new year off right, not only for your body, but for all the benefits that come along with eating well. There is never a bad time to start taking care of yourself, so take the challenge; we assure you’ll be happy with the results.

Hair Thinning

Let’s face it. Hair thinning and loss can be a private panic for most women – and men. 

webmd_rf_photo_of_hair_loss_chartImagine if you will, the first time your client looked in the mirror or caught their reflection in a store window and truly realized it was serious. They couldn’t dismiss it any longer. The panic sets in.

That moment is not just about vanity. Hair thinning and loss evokes a physiological reaction, one that can result in a loss of self-esteem, perhaps cause depression, anxiety and lead to other emotional issues. For many, our hair is what makes us feel beautiful, youthful and well, healthy.

Being professionals, we want to help. But perhaps we aren’t sure where to start, or even how to identify the many factors that are attributed to hair thinning and loss. 

As a national educator on the topic, I’ve come across countless stylists and salon owners that ask me just that – how can they help their clients navigate the sometimes-complicated waters of “why” this is happening to them. And second, how can they help them find a solution?

To begin, we must understand that hair thinning and loss can be attributed to many factors and, often, combinations of those factors. Generally speaking, they may include:

 – Genetic predisposition (family history of hair loss)
 – Stress and trauma (constriction of blog supply; poor vitamin assimilation)
 – Nutrition and diet (high consumption of animal fats)
 – Health issues (thyroid imbalance)
 – Medication (side effect caused by chemotherapy or other medications)
 – Environment (pseudo-estrogens and pseudo-androgens)
 – Chemical damage (incorrect chemical processes applied to hair)

Most of these initial factors lead to a “miniaturization” of the hair, when hair follicle deterioration caused by pollutants or toxins caused individual hairs to become smaller and finer, until the follicle remain in the “resting” phase and is totally dormant. 

Sound confusing? It’s Ok. We are here to help. You can stop by our salon Char Le Blanc Salon & Spa so we can answer any questions you have.



WHY NOT USE BOXS COLOUR??1) Unpredictable Results
Let’s face it, most of you box color users out there did not attend cosmetology school, and are lacking what we in the business call the “laws of color.” You probably aren’t sure exactly what color your hair is when the color is processing, or when to take off the color to achieve your most desired result. You probably don’t know what colors to …mix to cancel out undesired tones in your hair, and we don’t expect you to. But, because of these reasons box color is more like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.

2) One Size Does Not Fit All
So, let’s think about this logically. Box color is formulated so that everyone and anyone can use it, but not everyone’s hair type, condition or color is even remotely the same. In fact, most box dyes are formulated with maximum amounts of pigment and developer, so that it is able to work on most people. The chances are if you have already dyed your hair previously, your processed hair isn’t going to need that strong of a developer; don’t damage it more by getting one size fits all, box color. You do not want this ‘one size fits all’ mentality when choosing your hair color, give yourself customization and expert knowledge, and seek a hair professional who will be able to accurately create a color for you and only YOU!

3) Regrowth Troubles
Again, you probably thought your regrowth would look like the rest of your head because that’s what the pretty lady on the box looks like, right? WRONG! I know this may seem repetitive, but it’s all about the ability to customize. Your regrowth is virgin hair, and the remainder of your head is more than likely already processed, or has seen some damage due to UV exposure or styling. Think you can pair up a good box color for your regrowth and pair it with the right box color for the rest of your hair without look like two different colors? Didn’t think so, leave it to the professionals.

4) Box Color Is Only One Color
This idea ties in both Number 2 and Number 3. We already know that your regrowth will need a different color formulation than the rest of your head, but how about when you want some actual dimension? Or how about if you want a hair color that takes a little more skill than an all over color application, like the much sought after, ombre look? You will not be able to achieve that with the onne color present in a box. Note: Most hairdressers never use less than 2 different colors to mix your desired color – customization!

5) ammonia
As an ammonia-free hair color company, this is an issue near and dear to our hearts. Most permanent hair color from a box works through the use of ammonia. The corrosive nature of ammonia allows it to blast open your hair’s cuticle, allowing the new color particles to penetrate the hair, and irreversibly changing the hair’s pH to an undesirable level. When the hair’s cuticle has been blasted open with ammonia it has difficulty closing back up. Think about it, an unclosed cuticle means major damage/split ends and inability for the hair to lock in color (fading). And guess what? The more you use ammoniated color, the more your hair will fade, causing you to dye your hair more often, causing hair and wallet distress. Not to mention that ammonia damages the hair’s natural Tyrosine levels; Tyrosine is a naturally occurring amino acid that makes up the protein in your hair and is responsible for the natural pigment. Hey, that’s not all! Ammonia damages your scalp’s sebaceous oil glands, inhibiting its ability to create the hair’s natural oils that contribute to your hair’s much needed moisture. Remember this formula for healthy hair: Protein + Moisture + Proper pH, and what did we just learn? Oh, yeah, ammonia destroys the balance of all of those essential components of your hair.

6) High Levels of PPDs
Recall, we said that box colors contain superfluous amounts of pigment and developer. What does that mean for you? Well, the pigment we are referring to is the pigment necessary for all PERMANENT hair color, PPD, also known as p- phenylenediamine, and many other derivatives that are just as harmful. Unfortunately, box color has an excessive amount of PPDs, causing an increase in allergies worldwide, as more and more individuals are dying their hair. hair dye Allergies are on the rise, causing unsightly reactions and in some cases, fatality. What’s worse? You may not be allergic to PPD this time, but with continued high exposure to this chemical you can become sensitive at any time! It is advised to seek out a permanent hair color line with low PPD and no derivatives, so that likelihood for an allergic reaction is significantly decreased.

7) Metallic Salts
There are still box dyes on the market today that use Metallic Salts, an ingredient used in hair color since the 1800s. You don’t use Candlestick Phones from the 1890s, right? Why not think the same way with your hair and treat yourself to some innovation. Metallic salts build up on the hair causing each time you use that box dye or Henna (the supposed natural hair color) for your hair to darken past your desired result. Not to mention that if you ever want to go lighter, Metallic Salts are difficult to remove for even the most savvy hairdresser (we’ve seen lots of smoke and smells, it’s not pretty). What’s worse? The building up of the Metallic Salts will over time begin to make the hair feel hard to the touch.
That $10 Box Color Won’t Feel That Affordable After a $300+ Color Correction
So, you decided not to listen to the other 7 reasons because you still think you know best. Well, orange you the hair expert? We say orange, because that is often the color your hair will turn when attempting to color (especially lighten) with box color. Do your hair and wallet a favor, don’t spend $10 on box color, and then $300+ on a color correction.

If you need more information about this please let us know or contact our store Char Le Blanc Salon & Spa

Tips for more Volume

This post is for all of us who are continually frustrated with flat and lifeless hair.

Volume 1. Switch to a lighter conditioner: heavier conditioners may weigh your hair down and may simply not be right for your hair texture. Ask your Char Le Blanc Salon stylist which kind is right for you– I know, I know, it might mean having to depart from your favorite island-getaway-smelling conditioner, BB’s Creme de Coco– but there’s certainly an array of lighter conditioners like Thickening for volume and detangling or Let it Shine for some shimmer and they both smell lovely, too.

 2. Pat down your hair or air-dry (a little) before you blow dry. All this takes is time, or blow drying to a lower heat setting. This will help to reduce frizz.

3. When blow drying your hair, apply a body-building product like Styling Creme at your roots. This, along with blow drying with your head upside down, will help you to achieve fullness with the right amount of hold before you style.

 4. Try a round brush: Hate to say it but sometimes you have to work for bouncy, shiny, soft curls.

 We suggest using a medium-sized, boar-bristle round brush, blow out your hair as usual, until it’s about 80 percent dry. Then start rolling sections onto the brush and then flipping it vertical to your head. Hold each section that way and blast with heat from the dryer for several seconds, then pull the brush straight down until the hair slides up and off. What will happen is that you’ll get bouncy bend in your ends, just like Kate–sort of partial ringlets–instead of the curled under or out effect you usually get when rolling hair onto a round brush horizontally.

 5. Don’t be afraid to tease your hair. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t all have such thick and full hair– the ladies here at Char Le Blanc Salon & Spa secretly love teasing their hair.  First, get rid of knots and tangles from hair with natural bristle brush. Use a teasing brush or a flat-backed brush to backcomb sections of hair around the crown of your head 1-2 inches in thickness from the rest of the strands and clip the remaining hair out of the way. You can gather smaller strands for tighter results or larger strands for looser results. Oh, and don’t forget to brush down your hair thoroughly after teasing it, or else you’ll probably look like a lion all day.

 5. Confused? Book in for a 15 minute quick style or tutorial at Char Le Blanc Salon & Spa  with your favorite stylist. Any of our stylist will be happy to help you make sense of these techniques or simply explain quick and easy tips and product recommendations for building and maintaining hair volume.




Did you Know that Hair Changes?

Do you have any of these hair issues?repair-damaged-hair



Little do you know, your biggest hair concerns could be because your hair is aging. We hate to admit it, but things change and not always for the better. It’s not that we mind getting a bit older; it’s that we want to look fabulous doing it.

Here’s why your hair changes.
Just as skin ages, so does your hair. Visible signs of aging hair appear as early as your 20’s.

As you age, issues such as sun damage, chemical processing, coloring, sulfates and hot tool damage become front and center. Hair has less elasticity making it more fragile. The scalp produces less sebum causing dryness and dullness, while thickening of the cuticle makes hair feel wiry, frizzy and coarse. You can lack volume and body as the hair shaft contracts and protein diminishes. Slower growth rates and hormonal changes can cause thinning. You may color more often and need to protect that color.

How can you make sure your hair stays fabulous through your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond?

-Avoid products that are damaging to the hair. This means using sulfate-free shampoos and products with added protection built in.

– Avoid over exposure to the sun as it can breakdown the chemical bonds in hair. Use products that have UV protectors to reduce the risk of damage.

-Keep hair moisturized so that it maintains a healthy elasticity and experiences less breakage. It will also up the shine factor which is always a plus.

We recommand using Pureology Shampoo, Conditionner and Mask!

We sell this line at our salon and our customers swears by it.

Char Le Blanc Salon & Spa

How to have a great hair extension experience


Getting hair extensions can be life-changing. In just a few hours, you can have hair that would take years to grow. There are so many possibilities, and the experience can be amazing. Here are some tips that can make getting hair extensions extra special.

1. Come to your appointment prepared. Make sure your hair is free from any oils and buildup. This will help the extensions stay in securely. Ask any questions and resolve all concerns before the installation process so you feel confident and ready. Bring something to read or watch while your stylist is working. It could last anywhere from half hour to three hours.

2. Use only sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Sulfates are too harsh for extensions. You can read more about the dangers of sulfates here. Your extensions will last much longer if you avoid sulfates.

3. Brush often. Three times a day is recommended, and make sure to be gentle, starting from the tips and working up, always holding the roots with your other hand. This will prevent your hair from matting and tangling.

4. Go to your touch-up appointments. Your hair will grow and take the hair extensions with it. About every 6 to 8 weeks, your stylist will take out your extensions and move them up closer to your scalp. These touch-up appointments are a great time for your stylist to check your hair and look for any signs of damage.

5. Don’t overdo it. It’s okay to give your hair a break. Although extensions are designed to last for a long time, your hair might benefit from a rest for a while if you’ve been wearing extensions non-stop for years. The scary damage seen on TV comes from improper installation and overuse of extensions.

With proper treatment and care, extensions will not be damaging. They’ll be fun, fashionable, and beautiful!