Archive of the Category 'Beauty'

Healthy Hair, All Year Long

Spring is here! As we scour the magazines for the latest hair trends of the season, deep down inside we know that once winter rolls around the process of change happens all over again. With each passing season there is always going to be a new, fun trend to try for your hair. Let’s face it, changing your hair is fun and a great way to change up your look without permanent commitment. However, all that changing from dark to light and back to dark isn’t really the best for our hair. So how do people go through these changes and their hair still looks healthy? Read on to find out how you can have healthy hair through all of the trends.

Choose Your Color Wisely

When you consult with your stylist, you should ask them what type of color they use. Permanent color is, well, permanent and even though it will stick to your hair, it will be all the more difficult to remove once you’re ready to lighten up again. Ask your stylist about using Demi-Permanent color instead. Demis usually will last you 6-8 weeks until you’ll need a touch up again and will be much easier to get out of the hair compared to permanent color since they fade out of hair.

Next, it’s time to think about what kind of change you’re looking for. You should consider your hair type, the integrity of your hair and how much change you’re looking for. If you love your blonde locks and don’t want to go much darker, choosing a brunette shade for cooler seasons is probably not the best choice. The same goes for darker hair. If you aren’t too keen on brightening up too much, a heavy highlight session is probably not in your cards. This is not to say that it won’t be flattering, but if you’re going to go back to blonde in the summertime, it’s going to take a toll on your hair.

The best way to change it up during the year is a more subtle approach. For blondes who like to stay blonde, going a few tones darker- or even opting for a ‘cooler’ tone- will help you feel on trend with the winter without being too much of a hassle. For brunettes and darker, adding in a few highlights just a few shades lighter will help brighten you up for spring without being too damaging on your hair.

Picking a Service

Now that you have an idea of what color you’re going for, it’s time to think about a service. You need to ask yourself the following questions: How much brighter/darker do I want to be? Where do I want to see the most change? Do I want to keep any of what I have now? These questions will help during the consultation with your stylist. They will help your stylist determine what service would work best for the look you’re trying to achieve.

It’s important to do your own research and bring in pictures. To help you and your stylist visualize how much lighter or darker you want to be, pictures will help a great deal. Even though your hair and the model in the picture’s hair are different, it will still help with a general direction to go. Are you looking for an all over lighter look, but still want to keep some of your natural color? Do you love the contrast of a sombre or are you more into the subtle, sun-kissed look of a balayage? Figuring out how you want to change for the season will help you and your stylist choose a set service to book.

Upkeep!

Whether you’re blonde going darker for cooler months or a brunette shaking things up with some highlights for summer, you will experience some damage. Keeping up with the trends also means keeping up with your hair and knowing what it needs. When you’re looking to go lighter, you should have a hair mask that will help add protein to your hair. Aveda’s Intensive Treatment or MoroccanOil’s Reconstructive Mask are great to help add a little oomph to your hair. These will help with damage control on your next highlighting service. Though they won’t stop all the damage, they will surely help keep hair stronger.

When it’s time to deepen the color, you should get a good hydrating mask like Aveda’s Dry Remedy Mask or MoroccanOil’s Light or Intensive hydrating mask. Winter months are drying and our hair suffers just as much as our skin. Getting a good mask to keep hydration in your strands will also help keep damage at bay so your hair is nice and healthy for summer highlights!

Seasons change and so should you. Not only is changing up your look is keeping you in trend, but it’s also fun to experiment with your appearance. It’s extremely important to consult with your stylist when deciding a major change. Brightening up and Toning down doesn’t have to be as dramatic as brown to blonde, but it can still change the way you look. Since spring is around the corner, it’s time to lighten those locks! Book your consultation with your XEX stylist soon so you can warm up just in time for beach weather.

March 22, 2018 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Hair, Inspiration

Welcome Spring!

Even though we’re still feeling the chill of winter, it is March. That means that spring is around the corner. While we’re waiting for the flowers to bloom, it’s the perfect time to transform our hair into a springtime style. Here are some of the trends to look out for this spring season.

Nirvana Blonde

Selena Gomez’s hairstylist is responsible for this trend. Taken inspiration from the late Kurt Cobain, this look combines a soft, platinum blonde with a brown shadow-root to give you that grown out, grungy kind of effect. Ask your stylist to closely match your natural color to maintain this look for longer times in between appointments. This platinum-beigey look won’t be too harsh against the sun and will still make you feel soft and feminine.

To keep your blonde from turning golden, check out Keratin Complex’s Blondeshell shampoo and conditioner! These are free of sulfates and have special toning action to battle against golden tones in hair- perfect to maintain the ashy-beige look.

Stay Ghosted

For those of us who live for fashion colors, the trend this season is “Ghosted”. This look plays off the delicate coloring of opal hair mixed in with granny hair from a few years back. The overall look gives you a soft, light color with hidden dimensions of pastels and silvers. With every movement, your hair can reveal Smokey pinks, lavenders or any color you can think of. It’s about subtly with this trend.

The trick with this color is to take extra care of it. Rinsing hair in cool water and grabbing color safe shampoo and conditioner (like Aveda’s Color Conserve) will help with the fading of the subtle tones. This look will be high maintenance, so if you’re not looking for frequent trips to the salon, talk to your stylist about similar options that will keep for longer.

Bangs are In!

If you’ve ever been caught between whether or not to get bangs, this is your year to take the plunge. There are two types of bangs coming into season year. For those who like a shorter bang, boyish bangs are here! These are shorter and give a choppy look to them to give off a piecey, effortless feel. They can extend across the forehead at an angle, or they can be a little longer and side-swept. Usually, this style of bangs is located above the eye and above the brow.

Another ‘bangin’ trend this year is wavy bangs. This look is more delicate and is often seen on Victoria’s Secret runways. These are longer, less harsh looking bangs that are still choppy, but the strands are kept longer and wispier. Combine these with beach waves and you’ve got the perfect summer look.

To keep your bangs looking fresh and your eyesight intact, XEX offers complimentary bang trims for our regular clients, so the upkeep of bangs can be a little easier on your wallet.

90s Comeback Haircuts

The redemption of 90s fashion hasn’t stopped just yet. This year, haircuts are taking inspiration from this time period. It’s all about blunt cuts with the ends curled or flipped out. Structured, blunt cuts give you an edgy look while still maintainable. You can go for a sleek, straightened look or a fun, textured feel with just a few minor styling choices. The best thing about these cuts is that they’re not too short or too long, so growing them out isn’t a hassle.

Go Big or Go Flat

Do you have natural texture? This Spring, find products that will enhance what you’re working with. Products like curl creams and enhancers will help you get an extra bounce in your strands. The bigger the hair, the closer to the stars so why not let it go wild. Moroccan Oil’s Intensive Curl Cream or Aveda’s Curl Enhancer will become your best friends. These two products pack a punch to your curls, springing them into action while keeping away the frizz.

Spring is around the corner and it’s time to get your hair prepped and ready to go! There are a ton of trends to choose from and not all of them are right for you. Consultations with your stylist are important when deciding someone different for your look. Your stylist knows your hair and what will look great on you. So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call at XEX today to get your locks ready for the spring.

March 15, 2018 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Hair

Pucker Up!

Your Valentine’s guide for perfect lips

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and whether you have a date in mind or you’re treating yourself to some love this year, it’s never a bad time to perfect your pout. Cracked lips and smeary lipstick no more. It’s time to start learning about how to get your most kissable lips ever (even if you’re just admiring how awesome you are in the mirror).

Exfoliate!

The first step to soft lips is exfoliation. How often you exfoliate depends on your daily habits. Liquid Lipsticks are notoriously drying while some brands of stick lipsticks have extra moisturizing power. If you’re one to rock liquid lips every day, you may want to think about adding exfoliating to your daily routine; However, if you’re a few times a week kind of person, then every other to every three days should be plenty. It all depends on your lips’ needs and how dry they get during the year.

There are several ways you can exfoliate the dry skin away. A popular way is to use a sugar scrub. You can pick one up at any store that sells beauty care products (your salon may differ on what their brand has to offer). You can also concoct your own exfoliator by using coconut or olive oil and sugar. For a more immediate solution, use a wet tooth brush and gently scrub your lips to achieve the same results (without the yummy flavor).

Moisturize Constantly

When it comes to keeping your lips smooth, moisture is key. We tend to forget to take our lip balm with us or even use it, but getting into a good habit of moisturizing multiple times a day will help keep cracks away. It’s important to get a good lip balm that won’t wear down in a couple of minutes. Aveda’s Lip Saver is a good, thicker moisturizer designed to deeply penetrate your lips and keep them hydrated even against the cold wind. You should always have three lip moisturizers on hand: One for home, one for your bag and one for the office. This way, you have no excuse to not apply.

Outline before you Color in

Now the fun part: wearing lipstick. Before you begin to apply your lipstick, you should use a lip liner the same or slightly darker than the lipstick you’ll be wearing. For ultimate staying power, line your lips and then fill them in with a liner. Lip liners help create a base for your lipstick, keeping it in place and helping it last a lot longer in between reapplication. You can also play around with tones underneath different lipsticks to change the shade or create a different appearance (like red liner under pink lipstick).

Choose your Lipstick, and Master it

There are many different types of lip products to choose from. Lip glosses can add color, but will still leave some translucency to your lips, so a good liner is a must for a solid look. These will help keep moisture in your lips, but you will need to apply it more often. A stick lipstick is your traditional type of lipstick. These can range from matte to glossy and contain more pigmentation than glosses. Even though the applications are usually after eating and drinking, these will still wear down throughout the day. Stick Lipsticks will hold some moisture to them, but run the risk of smearing or feathering. Liquid Lipsticks will give you the most staying power. These work well for date nights since they tend to last through eating and drinking for the most part. Some liquid lipsticks are metallic, but most of them are matte finished. When applied, liquid lipsticks go on wet and then dry leaving your lips feeling a little dehydrated. It’s especially important to exfoliate and moisturize before you wear these lipsticks to prevent your lips from looking too caked.

Don’t be afraid to doll up even if you’re just treating yourself this year for Valentine’s Day. Your lips are the outline to your smile so they should be taken care of to finish off a radiant appearance. Have fun with the colors and choices you choose, there’s a million different options. Don’t forget to put your best pout forward and smile.

February 13, 2018 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Inspiration

From Dark to Light and Everywhere in Between

dark to light hairIt’s not uncommon to want to brighten up in time for spring. Many of us opt for darker hair in the colder months and then brighten up for the summer. However, depending on how drastically lighter you’re planning to go, it can take a major toll on the integrity of your hair. The best way to go from dark to light is by taking your time and caring for your hair. Going from dark to platinum doesn’t have to mean cutting off all your hair in the process. Read on for the right way to lighten up your look with minimal damage.

Consult with your stylist

Before making the decision yourself as to where you want to take your color, you should book a consultation with your XEX Stylist. A consultation is a great way to talk to your stylist about what you want and to get their professional feedback before you dive in. Bring in some pictures of the ‘look’ you’re going to be going for so they can gauge the proper services to get you there. You have to make sure that the level is achievable without completely killing your hair and that it compliments your skin tone. Since your stylist knows what’s been done to your hair, they will have a better idea as to what it’s going to take. They can also recommend treatments to keep your hair moisturized and strong throughout the process.

Invest in Treatments prior to your first appointment

The next thing you should talk to your stylist about during your consultation is what kind of pre-treatments the salon offers for your hair. Even if your hair is perfectly healthy, you will be doing some serious processing to your tresses. Moroccanoil’s Reconstructive Treatment is a good deep conditioner that will plump your strands and prepare them for a beating. You can also add on a deep treatment, like Aveda’s Damage Remedy Treatment, to your service. Again, it’s important to listen to your stylist’s recommendation. In some cases, they may not recommend you to go lighter due to the condition of the hair. In this case, ask about anything you can do to help get on track so that you are able to lighten without losing too much hair. Even though going blonde can be fun, you want to make sure your hair is in its best shape or you will be chopping more off than planned.

Be Prepared to spend time and money

For those of us looking to go drastically lighter, we should be prepared for anything. This means that we should be willing to dedicate some serious time and money to ensure that our hair is going to look and feel amazing. Most of the time, taking someone platinum takes multiple salon visits which can really dent your bank account if you’re not ready for it. It’s important to discuss these concerns with your stylist at your consultation. It’s more important to take care of your hair while getting a service done than to worry about extra charges. Olaplex is a popular bond building additive that helps maintain your hair’s strength, but it will cost extra; however, losing inches off your hair will also cost you in a different way. It is best to get an idea of what you’ll be spending before you book your services so that you can save accordingly.

You’re going need to cut down on styling

It’s going to be a challenge and you will probably not feel ‘finished’ with your look, but those daily hot iron habits will need to change if you want to save your hair. You don’t have to quit cold turkey, but cutting back on how many times you style will seriously help. Heat also has the tendency to dull out the color and cause discoloration, so cutting back on use will help keep color looking vibrant. Whenever you need to grab you’re curling or flat iron, you should start turning the temperature lower. This is the same for blow dryers too. Lowering the temps will help reduce the amount of heat damage you receive on your hair for the days you do have to style. Remember to always use a heat protectant for extra protection against damages.

Know the techniques

There are so many ways to go blonder, it’s all about research. Babylights and Highlights are great for an all over lighter appearance whenever you leave the chair. These won’t lighten every strand of hair, but overtime you will be full blonde. If traditional highlights aren’t your thing, you can try the sombre technique. This combines the contrast of an ombre with the subtle, sun kissed look of a balayage by bringing some lighter pieces higher. The top half of your hair will look darker initially, but overtime you can be all over blonde. Your stylist may recommend going back and forth between techniques to help the process.

In the end, going blonde is fun after you’ve been dark for so long. With the proper care, the transition will be seamless and your hair will still look beautiful. Remember to talk to your stylist before you make any sudden decisions. Talk to them about how often you style, what services will fit your lifestyle and any other concerns you may have as you’re transitioning. Take everything they tell you about aftercare as well as what they recommend for your next service with consideration- they do know your hair best.

Happy Lightening!

February 1, 2018 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Hair, Inspiration

Say Goodbye to Dry, Cracked Hands

Dry Cracked HandsHappy New Year! It’s finally 2018 and we’re off to a rather chilly beginning. Well, okay, maybe it’s more than just a little chilly. Whether you’re braving the bomb cyclone on the East Coast or putting up with the blistery winds of the Windy City, we all have a few more months of low temperatures. When it comes to dryness, nothing suffers more than our hands. From texting to getting in and out of stores, our hands are constantly cracking this time of year. Have no fear! Your time with painfully dry hands is over! Read on to find out how you can have soft, silky hands all winter long.

Stick to all natural

It’s tempting to walk into a store and pick the best smelling hand wash out there; however, maybe the best smelling soap isn’t necessarily the best for your hands. Most of the time, soaps with scents, added detergents and other chemicals will cause some serious drying to your hands. Luckily, when you choose a hand wash that’s all natural, you don’t have to worry! Natural soap is made out of the stuff soap should be made out of- fats and an alkalizers- so, you don’t have to worry. These will ensure your hands are as hydrated as they are clean.

Use Oil

When it comes to moisturizing, the first thing we reach for is the most expensive lotion we can find in hopes it will be the solution to all our winter problems. Unless you’re carefully reading and understanding what ingredients go inside, lotion can cause your hands to dry out even more. If you’re not one to stand and read every last ingredient, don’t waste your time. Instead, switch to oil. Hand oils are great since they’re what lotion is made with! Instead of all those additives, oil will do its magic with no extra help. Aveda’s Stress Fix Concentrate is a perfect, lavender scented oil to keep your hands soft and hydrated.

Moisturize as often as needed

Moisturizing during the winter should become a ritual especially before you hit the hay. It’s essential you moisturize before you go to bed since this is the time you’re not constantly working with your hands. Moisturizing before bed allows oil to sit and soak in without rubbing off on other objects you might touch throughout the day. Putting on a little extra oil and a pair of gloves is a great way to help it deeply penetrate your skin- think of it like a deep conditioner for your hands. If you’re prone to extremely dry, cracked hands, try this trick once or twice a week to give them a little extra TLC. Finally, make sure you hold yourself accountable and stick to it, get three moisturizers: one for home, one for on the go and another for work. This will help remind you to keep your hands soft and crack-free.

When it comes to the winter, we don’t have to suffer. With a little tender love and care, we can survive the polar vortex moisturized and ready for spring. Winter’s harsh, but our hands don’t have to be.

January 11, 2018 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Inspiration