Archive of the Category 'Inspiration'

Why Get Keratin?

The days are getting longer and summer is finally approaching. Alongside sunshine and festivals, there is also high heat and humidity causing excessive frizz. Some of us can survive with a few products, but there are those of us who just can’t seem to keep the frizz away no matter what we try. Well, have you tried a Keratin treatment? Keratin treatments are designed to smooth out the hair giving off a sleek appearance. Read on to find out why you should get one.

What is a Keratin Treatment?

Keratin is the main protein in hair and nails. If your hair is porous either naturally or from damage, chances are you are also lacking some keratin proteins. A lack of keratin in the hair can lead to dry, damaged and breaking strands. A Keratin treatment will help you prevent all this by filling in the holes and adding that keratin protein back into your hair. The results are a sleek, shiny look that can even be easier for you to blow dry and style on your own.

What to Expect

Getting a keratin treatment can take you some time in the chair. At XEX, we offer two types of services: Keratin and Keratin Express treatments. Both yield the same results, but they do differ in process. An express Keratin lasts 6-8 weeks and is usually an hour and a half visit with your stylist. A full Keratin treatment lasts you six months, but will vary from person to person as far as how long you’ll spend at the appointment. These can take at least a couple of hours to complete, but will last you a lot longer.

Your hair will be saturated first with the solution. This will coat the hair and allow the porosity to fill in. After it sits, the stylist will then shampoo you with a keratin safe shampoo and condition with a keratin safe conditioner. Then, your hair is blown out and flat ironed to really seal in the treatment.

After Care

Another thing that is different when it comes to a full Keratin treatment and the express is the aftercare. An express treatment is done when you leave the salon. This means that, besides special products, you don’t need to take any special precautions.

A full Keratin treatment isn’t so simple. The first important thing to note is that you have to wait 72 hours before you can get your hair wet. This means: no washing, rinsing, sweating or getting caught in the rain. In this time, you also should wait to use any styling accessories in your hair. Keratin treatments leave hair in a very sensitive state the first 72 hours. Wearing any sort of barrettes, headbands, hair-ties, glasses (over your hair/pressing against the hair) or hats will all result in dents wherever the accessory was place. So, it’s best just to grab some keratin safe dry shampoo after your visit to keep your hair looking good while you’re waiting for the 72 hours to be up. You can use a silk scarf to gently tie hair back from face, but make sure not to tie it too tight.

If your hair does end up getting wet before time is up, you should immediately blow dry and flat iron it. If you’re concerned about the state of the keratin even after you do this, go see your stylist to see what they can do to help.

Products for Keratin Treatments

It’s extremely important that all your products are safe to use for keratin treated hair. All your products should be free of sulfates and sodium chloride. These chemicals have the tendency to remove the treatment from the hair leaving frizzy, dull results. XEX stocks Keratin Complex shampoos, conditioners and treatments to help keep your hair lasting. We carry both color care and purple shampoos and conditioners, so whatever your hair, we have you covered.

Your stylist will be more than happy to help you choose products that fit your lifestyle and also suit a Keratin treatment. If you follow a certain ritual in the morning, let your stylist know what your go-to products are. If they’re not keratin-safe, we’ll find you an alternative that is!

If you suffer from summertime frizz, are longing for sleek and shiny hair or just want to be able to style your hair quicker, a Keratin treatment may be for you. Not every hair type should get a keratin treatment, and sometimes it’s not recommended on overly porous or damaged hair. Before you make your decision, be sure to book a consultation with your XEX stylist to ensure that the Keratin treatment is right for you.

April 25, 2018 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Hair, Inspiration, Keratin

Why You Should Switch Your Shampoo and Conditioner

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. You’ve probably heard this phrase before and used it several times in your life. We often resort to this thinking after trying something new and not feeling completely satisfied with the results. So, instead of wasting money again, we shrug it off and reach for the same thing we’ve come to know and love. This phrase can be used for many things, but today we’re going to talk about your shampoo and conditioner.

Although it may seem like no biggie to stick with the same combination, it’s important to remember that your hair is different at different points of the year. Your hair may be drier in the winter, more oily in the summer and frizzy during Fall and Spring. Using the same shampoo and conditioner all throughout the year can result in unsatisfactory hair. Read on to learn the importance of changing up your shampoo and conditioner to put your best hair forward.

When’s the right time to change?

Your hair isn’t going to ‘get used’ to your shampoo and conditioner, so you don’t have to worry about it not doing its job; However, using the same combo for a long time can result in buildup throughout the year. It’s also good to keep in mind that your hair isn’t the same all throughout the year. So, when should you be switching it up? There’s no ‘right’ time to change, but there is a right ‘feel’. The moment you start to notice changes in your hair (dryer, duller, oily, etc) is the moment you should start thinking about switching up your products.

Getting to know your hair and what it needs to look its best is important. Talking to your stylist about what is happening at the time can help them consider the problems you’re having and which product will help to improve that. If you notice your hair feels drier, grab something for moisture. If you see that you’re suffering from brittle ends, get something focused on reversing damage and so on and so forth.

Try a Combo

When it comes to changing what you know, you may have a hard time deciding which product to go with. A hydrating shampoo may be good because your ends are dry, but if your scalp produces excess oil, you don’t want to add more moisture into that. If you don’t need a heavy conditioner for your ends, but you notice your scalp is dry, you shouldn’t get a moisture-rich conditioner.

Try thinking of your hair as two parts: top and bottom. The top of your hair consists of your scalp and new growth. When considering your scalp, you should be considering shampoo. If you have excess oil, you don’t need a shampoo that is going to add more. Try considering a shampoo such as Aveda’s Rosemary Mint or Shampure. These are your basic shampoos that will get the job done without any added help. For dryer scalps, Aveda’s Dry Remedy Shampoo will help encourage hydration. If you color your hair, it’s best to get a color safe shampoo like Aveda’s Color Conserve since shampoo is the more ‘stripping’ of the two, this will help keep your color nice and fresh looking.

When it comes to your conditioner, you should think about your ends and whether or not they’re dry or damaged. If you color your hair but keep the ends light, a color-safe shampoo and a damage repair conditioner would be a great combination for you to try. It’s all about paying attention to your hair and what you’re looking for for your scalp and for your ends. You may not need excess moisture on your ends, but your scalp could use it or you may have too much at the scalp, but your ends are dry and brittle. Feel your hair and take a mental note the next time you need to purchase more shampoo and conditioner.

At the end of the day, it’s important to switch up your shampoo and conditioner. Not only will it help keep your hair looking its best in every season, but you also get to try new and exciting products to see what they can do for you. If you’re at a loss or are trying to be a little more cautious when it comes to new things, don’t worry. Your XEX stylist is here to listen and help you out. All we want is for you to look and feel your best so it’s our job to let you know what products will help!

April 12, 2018 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Blog, Hair, Inspiration

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

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