This post has been in the works for quite some time — stemming from SO many questions I’m always receiving about my hair (& everything that comes along with it)! I wanted a central place to keep all the information together, so here you go! I’m answering some of my most Frequently Asked Questions and giving you the scoop on where I get my hair done, my favorite tools and products, and some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years!
Where do you get your hair done and how often do you go?
I’ve been going to Strand Salon in Glastonbury, CT for a little over a year. Jen does my color, Paul gives me a great haircut (if needed), and Lindsay does my extensions — more on that below! I go about every 3 months or so (give or take), so about 4 times a year!
I asked Jen (@jenstylesu and owner of Strand Salon) to help me out answering some salon questions — she’s the expert after all:
What kind of extensions do you get?
JEN: “We love tape-in extensions and that is the only type of extension work that we do at Strand Salon. We firmly believe that the tape-in extensions are the best option for your hair and allow your natural hair to remain healthy. Also, if your hair is damaged and you want extensions, tape-ins are a great option because you focus most of your styling on the extension hair (and not so much on the damaged hair) so it gives the hair time to repair itself.”
The exact brand of extensions we use on my hair is Hotheads, and I’ve had the same hair for about a year now. Jen orders a mix of colors (usually my base color and then whatever “highlight” we end up adding) and they mix them throughout.
How long do the extensions last?
JEN: “If you take care of your extensions at home properly, the actual hair will last you at least a year. We suggest that you come in every 10 to 12 weeks to have them removed and pushed up since your hair typically grows a half an inch a month. So, as it’s growing the extensions are moving down, they must be pushed up in order to look the very best.”
Since my hair is on the dryer side (and not oily, which would cause the tape-ins to slip), I’m able to stretch to 12 weeks before needing a pushup.
Are extensions expensive?
JEN: “We always require a consultation prior for anyone who wants to have extensions put in. At the consultation, we match your real hair to the proper extension hair, decide which brand would be best for you, and then we do a price quote. And extension installment is $300, a removal is $75, and a push-up is $150. Those prices don’t include the initial purchase of the hair — the hair usually starts around $300.”
I love your hair color! What do you ask for at the salon to achieve your look?
JEN: “The color technique that I do on Christina’s hair is called Foilayage. It is a Balayage-technique done in a foil. The lightener is still painted on the hair but, the foil allows for maximum lift. I’m a firm believer that putting the right pieces of brightness in the right spot has so much more of an impact than lightning a lot of hair. Since we lighten Christina’s hair, I also always add dark back into her hair for depth and dimension and for overall shine.”
What’s your natural hair color?
I’m a natural medium brunette! I have some warmer red undertones (which can get brassy if not dealt with correctly), so I’ve been trying to stay as natural and true to my color as possible this last year. After years of experimenting with hair colors (I’ve been across the board over the last decade), I finally feel like I have a signature look that works with my skin and eye color.
How often do you wash your hair?
I did a full post on this last summer — I’ve trained my hair to go 3-4 days before needing a wash. I know that can be very hard for some people (read my post for my best tips and tricks), but it’s made the BIGGEST difference in my hair’s overall health: my color lasts longer, it’s feels less dry and stays shiny, and it’s a whole lot less time consuming.
Is the Dyson hair dryer worth the money?
In my opinion, it’s the best hair dryer I’ve ever used. I did a full post on last year with all of my thoughts (too long to retype here), but to keep it short and sweet: YES (if you dry your hair often).
What curling iron do you use?
I’m a huge fan of T3 Micro and GHD for hair tools. I love my T3 wand set and curling iron because I feel like I get the smoothest curl using their barrels — it must be something to do with the plating. It also seems to help with keeping the curl intact and smooth, and I rarely need to do touchups! I use the standard 1 inch wand most days, love the tapered wand for the summer (for a more beachy vibe), and use the 1.25 curling iron during the cooler months when I’m going for a more polished look. A huge tip: make sure to turn down the heat settings on your T3 wand — as it typically comes set to the highest setting (extremely damaging and not at all necessary). I turned mine down to the second lowest setting and I’m still able to curl my hair in seconds, no need for extreme high heat… it works just as well (if not better) that way.
Do you have a hair tutorial for your everyday curls?
Yes I do! I filmed it last year and I’m still using the same process!
How do you make your curls last multiple days?
I try to use as little product as possible. Product weighs down my hair and the curl comes undone when there’s too much weight (it also makes my hair feel gritty and dirty). After curling my hair, I’ll run my fingers through to break up the curls and usually let them be. If I know it’s extremely humid (or rainy), I’ll use a very light hold hairspray to keep the curls in place.
THE SLEEP BUN is what saves my curls and helps them last. I first found this on The Skinny Confidential, and have modified slightly to work. Each night, I twist my hair at the base of my neck and clip up with this hair clip. It helps keep the curls in place, keeps my hair off my neck and body — any night sweating and weight from my body laying on the curls makes them instantly deflate!
Would you ever cut your hair short again?!
I never say NEVER ever (that’s a huge pet peeve of mine… it’s always the people that say they will NEVER DO SOMETHING that are the ones that end up doing it… that’s a post for another day). I chopped 7 inches off my hair in 2015 before it was extremely “cool” to do so. I literally had people tell me THEY COULD NEVER chop their hair (the same ones who are now rocking that style). It’s a little been there, done that for me right now and no longer stands out. It’s like a sea of lobs.
I loved the ease of dealing with less hair, but it took FOREVER to grow back (which is why I started extensions in the first place). Maybe if I want a style that’s more fuss-free, I’ll go for it again, but I’m really happy with my hair length right now!
Do you take any hair vitamins?
I don’t currently, but have tried Sugar Bear Hair vitamins and LOVED them, I’m not sure if my hair was growing faster, but it was definitely soft and shiny. I quit them because my husband started snacking on them (they are freaking delicious), and we were going through the supply too quickly! 😉
Favorite shampoo and conditioner?
I love Kérastase products and have been using this color correcting set for YEARS. I use the shampoo/conditioner every few washes, use the mask when I’m feeling extra dry, and use the color booster (in shade COOL BROWN) when I need to tone down any brassiness or when my hair is looking dull. I’m a huge fan of rotating my shampoo/conditioner each wash (I feel like “shocking” the hair makes the products work better) and also love Living Proof Perfect Hair Day and the Oribe Signature Line!
Favorite hair mask? What about clarifying shampoo?
Like I mentioned above, the Kérastase color correcting set is a dream. The mask that comes in that set makes my hair feel instantly luxurious, soft, shiny, and makes me feel like I just got my hair done. I use every other week unless my hair is feeling exceptionally dry. I also love GOOP Scalp Salt Scrub Shampoo for when I reaaalllyyyy need a good clean — it helps with product buildup and oil. I’ll then use a mask in place of conditioner!
Best Dry Shampoo?
Depends on what I’m going for. When I want a little texture, I love the Oribe Dry Shampoo — perfect for a day 3 pony tail. When my hair feels very oily and really needs a refresh, I love Aveda Shampure — it’s actually a powder that you puff into your hair and it works wonders! Overall, I love Living Proof Dry Shampoo and feel like this gives the best clean feeling that also conditions and makes my hair feel super soft! I try not to use dry shampoo until day 3.
That’s it! Hopefully, I was able to answer all of the most frequently asked questions & yours was one of them! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I can add to the post! You can also check out my other hair tutorials in the VIDEO section of my blog and read some of my other favorite hair posts in the BEAUTY section!