Devacurl Supercream

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I’ve fallen in love with the Devacurl supercream this winter. First of all, it has the most moisture of all of their styling products, which is great for our dry Michigan months when you may need to smooth, shape and define your hair. It’s also great for controlling your frizz during the humid summer months.

Be careful though, with this product, you can definitely put in too much! How do I know this, you might ask? Well, because I’ve been known to get overzealous with hair products, and have done exactly that.

How much is the right amount? It really depends on your hair type. If you have wavy hair that tends to be on the finer side, then it might not be the product for you. If your hair has more curl than wave and is of a more medium texture, then feel free to use the supercream; but remember: less is more. Put a tiny bit in your hands, work it in your palms, and use your fingers to gently smooth it over your curls.

Now, if your hair is super curly and tends to need TONS of moisture all year round, then this product will be your new best friend. When using this, take smaller sections of soaking wet hair and gently work the supercream into it. Make sure that every strand gets some supercream love. After it’s all worked through, that’s when you take your devatowel, old t-shirt, or paper towel (if you’re in a pinch), and gently squish out the moisture. Then allow your hair to air dry, or slowly and gently diffuse it. As always, before you begin to shake out your beautiful curls, be sure that they are mostly dry; otherwise you’ll be headed to frizzy-ville.

The supercream has you covered all year round. Whether you’re dealing with our dry winters or our humid summers, this product is great for all seasons; although, the amount you’re using may shift a little. Try it out! Your hair will thank you by being softer, more manageable, and far less frizzy. What I’ve noticed with my curly clients this winter is that using these products keeps my hands incredibly soft. They help with your hair AND your hands! Remember, all DevaCurl products are 100% sulfate, paraben and silicone free. Enjoy!

Hair to the Throne’s Second Birthday

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Hair to the Throne Salon is now celebrating its Second birthday! This time of year always puts me in an introspective mood, reminding me of the challenges I faced two years ago while trying to open my own Ann Arbor hair salon. Although the challenges were met, new ones will continue to pop up, forcing me to learn and grow in new ways; with new skills to service my clients and be a better hairdresser than I was last year.

The best decision I’ve made this year is going to the Devacurl advanced class in July. Not only did I have a blast in NYC, but I literally took my curly hair skills to the next level. Since then, I’ve been meeting a TON of curly headed folks! This is a lot of fun for me because I’m the girl with stick straight hair that has always wanted some type of wave or curl. Now I get to play with beautifully textured hair more often.

I’ve also been hearing their crazy curly hair stories; Stories about their childhood “triangle” and “mushroom” haircuts; about their high school hairdresser “perming” their already curly hair in order to keep it under control. Yes, I’ve heard this and so much more.

I am grateful for the opportunity to take hair that has typically been considered “out of control”, and give it the love that it definitely needs. The Devacurl products are wonderful in this regard and the more I use them, the more I love them!

So, as we head into 2017, I would like to just say thank you to all of my wonderful clients, some of whom I’ve known for well over a decade, and some who I’ve just recently met. I look forward to providing all of you with your beauty needs. Have a safe and happy holiday season! Much love, Shannon.

DevaCurl Advanced Class

DevaCurl Academy SealThe highlight of my summer was going to NYC to attend the level two advanced Devacurl class at the end of July. It was such an amazing experience; I have to tell everybody about it.

A little back story first. I have wanted to do this class for several years now. At this point in my career, I specifically want hands-on classes. Hair shows are a lot of fun, but everything is scattered around, with loud music, flashing lights and hundreds of people wandering around observing different professionals doing many different things to hair: Cutting and coloring techniques, special event styling, etc.

I always have fun at hair shows, but in order to take my skills to the next level, especially my curly hair skills, I knew that the Devacurl academy was where I wanted to be. In the past, I’ve played around with their products, and I knew that they were great, but I craved more knowledge!

During this class, I felt like a novice again, which is great because I really do love being “the student” and learning new things. In life, you have to constantly challenge yourself in order to better yourself, and I did that this summer.
It was a three day class Sunday through Tuesday from 10am to 6pm. The first day we went over all things theory about Devacurl in their classroom; their products, their specific haircut, their specific pintura highlighting technique using their patented comb-brush, and then out to practice everything we just learned on our very own curly headed mannequin in the salon area of the academy. All the while my two lovely instructors, plus a couple of their assistants were walking around making sure that we weren’t getting too overwhelmed or lost.

The second day was the most intense. We had to take all of our freshly learned techniques and now apply them to a live model! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous, I definitely was, but I took my time, asked my instructors a lot of questions and explained to my model that I just wanted to take my time and do a good job. After all was said and done, she loved her hair and thanked me for taking the time to work through all of my questions about the new skills I was learning.

On the last day it was back to the classroom to discuss the events of the previous day, and to go over any questions that anyone might have. Then it was on to the next step; learning the Deva-bob, a short haircut created just for curls, and yet another way to use their pintura highlighting comb-brush. At this point, when everyone was running out of steam, we still gave it everything we had to get as much out of this class as we could.

What you get with your Devacut is this: A dry haircut tailored to your specific head shape, the No-Poo transformation where I’ll go over the best way to use the Devacurl products, and I’ll finish with styling and maybe a bit more hair shaping. If you’re getting the pintura highlighting, I’ll do the haircut first, then highlight/lowlight, and when that’s processed, I’ll cleanse and style it.

In the end, this class far surpassed any and all expectations I had. I thought that I would learn a little bit more than I previously knew, but in reality, the skills that I learned this summer gave me the confidence to tackle any curly head of hair, whether for a cut or highlighting. My time at the Devacurl academy in NYC was in no way wasted, I loved every minute of it. As of now, I have my level 2 advanced diploma, and soon I’ll return to become certified and share all I know with my wonderful clients.

Thank you so much for supporting me so I’m able to constantly increase my knowledge of hair. Much love.

Gender Neutral Pricing

Gender Neutral
Photo Source: Goethe Institut

I’m excited to update all of you about some changes I’ll be making this summer regarding my services. I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing men and women throughout my career, and, pun intended, have watched them grow in positive, inspiring ways; both hair and non-hair-wise, as a result of us working together. As I continue to progress, it’s my desire to offer unmatched service along with results that improve my clients’ lives. That’s why I’m happy to announce that I’m completely switching over to gender neutral pricing.

When I first started in this business, there was one price for men, and one price for women, and the difference between the two was usually around ten dollars. Why? When it takes me the same amount of time to do both? Just because that’s the way it’s “always been” doesn’t mean that’s the way it always should be, especially in 2016.

So, slowly, I’ve been working to close that gap over the years to the point that I’ve decreased that difference to five dollars. Gender neutral pricing is the next, most logical step. I haven’t raised my prices in a while, so this July will be the month of the increase, and will be as follows:

My short haircuts, hair that falls mostly above the ears, will be $45. My medium haircuts, hair that falls mostly between the ears and shoulders, will be $50. Finally, my long haircuts, hair that falls at or below the shoulders, will be $55. If your hair is super long and crazy thick, it’ll be a bit more than that, around $60.

My hair color prices will increase as well. Root touch up: $90+ Depending on thickness of hair, amount of roots, etc. Allover color: $100+ Depending on length, thickness of hair, etc. Highlights/Lowlights: $90+ Depending on thickness of hair, amount of foils used, etc. Please feel free to book a consultation with me at no cost to you and we’ll go over everything beforehand!

This price increase has been long overdue, and it will allow me to continue to give the best service to all of my wonderful clients who continue to support Hair to the Throne Salon! Thank you, and much love.

Beauty and the Diversion Beast

Stop Diversion Photo
Photo Source: American Salon

As an Ann Arbor hair salon owner, where style is in constant demand, it’s important to stay on top of your education game. This is how I get refresher information on the industry as a whole, find new tips and fun tricks to better myself as a hairdresser.

Earlier this month, I attended an educational afternoon with some wonderful folks from the Matrix company care of Sola Salon Studios. It was great. Not only was I given some quick styling ideas, for a fun date, wedding, club night; I was also reassured that some of the obstacles that I face as a hairdresser, are also the same for other beauty professionals.

One such obstacle is the topic of diversion. Diversion occurs when the professional products that we know and love are sold in “unauthorized” places. Educators refer to these places as URL’s: unauthorized retail locations. Diverted products are bad because they could potentially be old, counterfeit, diluted, or even expired formulas that may not be safe for you to use.

As many of you may know, I’m a huge fan of the Pureology, Deva Curl, and Evo products. I purchase all of these wonderful products from licensed distributors that in turn, get their products directly from the company. That’s how I know it’s the real deal. However, if you get these products from the grocery store, drugstore, or any place other than an authorized salon, spa, or salon related website, what you’re getting may not be what you think. Meaning also, that it may not perform the way you expect it to.

For example, in the class I mentioned above, these ladies were talking about the fact that their products have a special scan-able code on them to help determine whether it’s real or fake. They also said that their company, like many others, will often buy products from the drugstore, grocery store, etc., to test the quality of what’s inside. What they said next was literally unbelievable. They told us that what was inside some of the bottles was actually DISH SOAP! That there are people out there who create their own “copycat bottles” that look similar to the professional ones, put whatever they want into them, and sell them to a salon/drugstore/etc. cheaper than a licensed distributor will. Yikes!

What this means is that you, as the consumer, are getting the raw end of the deal, literally. This is why buying your products from a salon, spa, or another authorized source is the best way to go. Plus, the price you pay at the drugstore is probably more expensive than at your local salon. Also, it’s a great way to support your local businesses, thank you for reading!

Hair to the Throne’s First Birthday

Photo Source: Thriftyfun

This time of year is all about being grateful and appreciating everything that you have in your life. As the year comes to an abrupt close, you reflect back on the decisions you’ve made, some good, some not so good, and prepare to move forward into the next year.

A year ago, I was wrestling with a decision on whether or not to take the leap and open up my own salon. At the time, I was struggling with a lot of things and didn’t think I had the confidence or will to branch out on my own.  I soon realized though that it was either now or never, so I leaped. It’s scary moving into the unknown, as all of you know, and thankfully, I had a great support system around me that assured me that everything was going to be fine; and also had no problem nudging me back on track when I wandered off into oblivion.

One part of that support system is my loving husband and my wonderful, faithful friends. Every step of the way they had my back, urging me on, helping me to stay focused, or maybe to help me decompress after a long days work. I am thankful for them in so many ways.

The other part of that support system is my clients! I would never have had the courage to grow and be out on my own if not for their support as well. They are who keeps me and my business alive. People say that a person’s hairdresser is also their therapist, and I’m saying that it definitely goes both ways. I have been given some of the best advice from my clients. I am grateful for them.

I can’t say enough times how happy I am having made this decision to begin Hair to the Throne Salon, thank you to everyone who helped make this possible! I also want to wish everyone a safe, happy, holiday season! Much love, Shannon.

Seeing Peaches at the Crofoot!

Peaches – Source

This month I went to see one of my favorite musicians, Peaches, perform at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac. If you’re unfamiliar with her music: think quasi-rap, over the top, sexually explicit lyrics, backed up with pounding danceable beats all crafted by her. Peaches also happens to be a bit of a style icon for me, wearing avant-garde futuristic clothing combined with funky fresh hair along with having hysterical back up dancers in similar gear.

I was pleasantly surprised with the space at the Crofoot – excellent for seeing any kind of music show. It’s cozy, fits fifteen hundred people maximum, clean, and filled with a friendly, professional staff ready to deal with the typical high energy crowd with a few drinks in them ready to party.

Case in point, my friends and I had a couple of drinks, and at the end of the show wanted to run out to the car to get our concert t-shirts to have them signed by the amazing Peaches. The security staff was so cool with us going back and forth, it warrants me to mention it. We actually went out a couple times, and each time we were met with smiles and understanding instead of the usual “grumpy” antics of the quintessential concert venue security staff.

I will definitely be back to see a show there! The space is great, the bartenders are quick, and the drinks are very reasonable! Also, if you ever have a chance to see Peaches in concert, go for it! You’ll dance, and laugh your booty off. Overall, my experience was memorable and fun, so go check out this space!

Red Yoga Studio Ann Arbor

Nicole and Kelli
Nicole and Kelli – Source

This month’s post is about two of my favorite yoga instructors in town, Nicole Ferguson and Kelli Harrington. I’ve been huge fans of theirs for over five years now, and I’m very happy to say that they now have their own yoga studio RED YOGA on the west side of Ann Arbor near Zingerman’s Roadhouse.

If you’ve never tried yoga before, I strongly recommend it. It doesn’t matter how flexible you are (or aren’t), but rather, it’s a great practice to help keep you grounded and centered during your busy life. For me, it helps with keeping me in the present moment, something that’s incredibly hard to do.

As a hairstylist, my job is quite physical, so integrating yoga into my schedule has helped me stay in shape while working. I often don’t even realize my poor posture while doing hair! Yoga is a great way to “straighten” out my body after working on my feet all day. Putting it into different positions (the spinal twist is a personal favorite) to help counter what I’ve been doing for the past several hours.

The classes at RED YOGA are fun, challenging, inspirational, and VERY sweaty. So come prepared with water and a hand towel to stay hydrated and to wipe away your sweat. They use a different type of heating (infrared) to warm up your muscles and help you to gain greater flexibility. You can read more about that on their website though:

Overall, the team of yogis at RED YOGA that Nicole and Kelli have put together is awesome! Take any class with any instructor and you won’t be disappointed. After your first class, you can sign up for two month’s unlimited for only $99!
Yoga has changed and will continue to change my life for the better, and I greatly appreciate Nicole and Kelli helping to guide me through that positive change. You are two great ladies! Thank you!

Cover Up Tattoo

Name Brand Tattoo Crew
Source: Google

I had such a great experience this month; I have to share it with you!

I’ve been thinking about getting a new tattoo for awhile now, but finding the right place, let alone the right person can be challenging. I find that it’s similar to finding the right hairdresser; you simply have to “click” with that person. You have to trust that your vision is in the hands of the right professional.

I had gotten a tattoo when I was nineteen, and basically hated it ever since, so I’ve been thinking about covering it up for a long time. I knew that the next tattoo had to be a bit bigger, and far better than the old one, and done by an artist I completely trusted.

Cover up tattoos can be tricky, so I wanted to find the right artist for the job. Several years ago, when I was working at a salon on State Street, I worked with someone who told me that Jeff Zuck from Name Brand Tattoo was the man for the job.
I‘ve known about Name Brand Tattoo for several years now, but I postponed going for a few reasons. First, I had to be certain of what I wanted, so I put some thought into it and let some time pass to know whether or not I’d make the right decision. Secondly, tattoos cost money, so I needed time to put a bit of cash aside for it. Third, it’s important to look at the artists’ work to make sure you like it and are inspired by it.

This month, all three came together perfectly. I finally had everything ready to contact Jeff about my cover up. I sent him an email and we chatted back and forth about my ideas, photos I’d sent him (Pinterest), etc. After a couple weeks, he said he’d do it and for me to make an appointment for a consultation at the shop.

I just have to say that from the consultation to the completion of my tattoo, everything was excellent as far as customer service is concerned. The shop is incredibly clean and inviting, with a staff of friendly people that are ready to work hard to make sure you have a great experience, which I did, of course. I can’t say enough positive things about Name Brand Tattoo; great artists, awesome shop vibe, wonderful people all around. I will definitely go back!

Pomade for Short Hair

evo casual act a great pomade for short hair
Photo source: Mhoom

A Great Pomade for Short, Fine Hair!

The evo brand styling pomades are the best that I’ve worked with so far in my career. This month’s feature product is the casual act moulding paste. It has a little bit of hold without a ton of shine, so it’s perfect for the fine haired short haircuts.

This pomade works great on those above mentioned haircuts. If you have any kind of texture to your hair, you’ll need something that has more of a shine quality to it to help smooth out your texture (but more on that later).
The best way to use any pomade, from my personal experience, is to begin by completely drying your hair. Once dry, put a small amount of pomade in your palm, about a nickel’s worth, and vigorously rub your hands together until the product seems to disappear in your hands. You can always add more product if you need too, but if you over saturate your hair; you’ll have to start all over.

Next, start in the back of your head (the first swipe is going to have the most product on it), and work your hands from roots to ends in an upward movement all around your head. What I usually tell people is that if you don’t look like a crazy person when finished, you haven’t done it right. Your hair should be sticking up all over the place because you’ve saturated all of the hairs. After that, then you can start to bring your hair down and put it where you want it, sculpting it into place.

This pomade, as well as all evo brand products is: sulphate, paraben, dea, tea and propylene glycol free. The key ingredients being: lanolin, lanolin wax, and beeswax. What that means, is that it’s easy to get this product out of your hair, it doesn’t tend to build up, so you can look and feel great about your hair day in and day out!

Ann Arbor Hair Salon

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