Biolage, Balagee, Bulioge or Balayage?!

Is it pronounced biolage, balage, bulioge.. it’s balayage! Not to be confused with Matrix’s “more natural” line Biolage, Balayage is french in the language of origin and it means to sweep or to paint. Now Balayage is much different than Ombre, even if you google the word Balayage, thousands of Ombres will pop up. So lets stabilize this first and foremost. Ombre is a look, like saying a pixie cut, an Ombre within haircolor has a fade or gradient to the color itself. Balayage is a technique used to achieve a desired look, like doing a razor cut. So to be technical you can very much achieve an Ombre using a balayage highlighting technique, but you can also achieve an Ombre using foils.

With that said, where does balayage differ from foils? Balayage is usually left in the open air to process versus being in a foil. The hair being isolated in a foil creates more contrast alone, but the metal foil is also a catalyst for heat, so you get an even bigger lift, and more intense contrast. Now we all know there is a fine line bewteen “high contrast” and zebra stripes.. In addition balayage also equates to “surface painting” the hair, versus hair in a foil will be fully saturated with the lightening product and also coming very close to the scalp. In this scenario balayage would create a much softer highlight that has a slight gradient from the scalp to the mid lenghts of the hair, whereas the foil would be a higher contrast and the same brightness from scalp to ends. Some adjectives we like to use when referring to the look balayage creates are: sun kissed, organic, beach hair, dimensional, soft, subtle, like teenage girl highlights from nature. Now I did say usually left in the open air to process, you do see a lot of times that people are using saran wrap. In my opinion this hurts the blending that you’ve already created but hey that’s just my opinion, and that is one of the beauties of our industry there is no “right” when is comes to creating art. I also must express my love for the REDKEN free-hand lightener. This lightener was created just for balayage specifically, so what it does is it actually forms a hard shell over the piece of hair you just painted. This keeps the moisture locked in underneath the shell, on the hair, and the longer lightener can stay moist, the longer it can lift, thus eliminating my need to use saran wrap.

We also call balayage an “emotional” technique meaning that is goes more off of feel than structure. Again this could be compared to razor cutting. In razor cutting there often isn’t a hard line of a guide to follow, you more go by feel and visual analysis of the hair and shape. It requires a much more flowy arm and wrist action to cut with the razor properly, and in addition there are various ways to angle the razors blade to create unique looks and texture. Same goes with balayage, your not following a structured foil pattern to create a look, your going off of feel and visuals to create an organic look. And the application method is much more flowy with a wrist and forearm sweeping motion. That is why at TSPA Ft. Myers we are so passionate about teaching the body mechanics of balayage to our students. From proper alignment, to elevation, to brush saturation and blending we got you covered! And it is from this foundation that we believe you will be able to create any look you desire using balayage and getting away from the 1000 foil marathon dance.

– Richie Wermüth – Co-Owner, TSPA Ft. Myers

Our Baby on the East Coast. Tops Hair Salon’s Evolution: from the 80s to present day.

Nancy could not believe it, she now lives walking distance from the beach, her dreams had become a reality. Her husband just accepted an offer to work as an engineer for NASA for the new space shuttle program. Nancy is officially a resident of the Space Coast! She did have one worry  on her mind and that was,

“will she ever be able to find a hair salon that felt like back home?”

So how do you find the best hair salon in town in the 80s? Word of mouth of course, forget the newspaper. Her friend did tell her about this new salon in Rockledge, Florida called Tops Hair Salon. It already had a good reputation amongst the community because the owners’ oldest sister, Jung-Hi, already owned a salon in the Mall. But this was the fresh new spot to be, twin sisters, Min Wermuth and Mae Choss were fired up and passionate, and ready to make a name for themselves. Min had recently stepped away from the corporate grind and Mae had graduated at the University of South Florida and was ready to rumble. Tops was set up to be the salon of the 80s where people came to feel great about themselves, emotions were elevated, and where business was done ethically with integrity.

Nancy soon came in for her appointment, Madonna was jamming out in the background, the walls were decorated with jet black hard geometric shapes with splashes of electric turquoise and magenta with a gold tinsel accent. The air was clean with a slight hint of permanent wave and the service she received was thorough and genuine. It felt like home, Nancy Loiselle became a lifelong client with Tops Hair Salon.

This was my moms goal of her first business when she opened in 1985. To own a place where she could be herself, create a culture that fit with her belief system and make others feel genuinely appreciated and accepted. The marketing back then really was straight forward. You had newspaper, yellow pages, radio and to this day the best form of marketing still, word of mouth. The business established a fantastic reputation and it grew steady and organically. Min quotes “the marketing was to serve my guest so well that they could not stop talking about me.”

As time went on more stylists were added to the team and eventually the business became too big for the current location they were at, so it was time to start looking for a new location. The building that really stood out was actually an orthodontist selling his free standing building. So we had the option to purchase the property that we would work from instead of paying rent. After really looking into the pros and cons, and crunching some numbers, Min believed that what fit her business philosophy the best was to purchase the building. This ended up being one of the best decisions for us. I love that in our industry you have the opportunity to work as a very creative stylist, but also a savvy small business owner. At this new property, lets call it the “Eyster building” we had so much more freedom with what we could do with the space. For many years the salon carried a full Brighton retail line which did so well and the guests loved it. Again I love the versatility of our industry that we can own a salon, own the property, and have a retail store within the salon. Tops had many great seasons and flourished all through the 90s.

Now fast forward to the Y2K and the 2000s this is when I got to really become part of the Tops team. Sure I grew up in the salon as a little kid eating Little Caesars crazy bread in the breakroom, playing with perm rods and sweeping up hair. But now I actually had something to bring to the table. As I was a TSPA student myself my mom had me working the front desk and shampooing guests. This is where everyone of our teammates begin, at the shampoo bowl, no exceptions. And I just have to take the time to say that a good shampoo can make or break a stylist. It can go overlooked and it is such a crucial and intimate part of the guest experience. With me now in the building often, and mom seeing some fresh blood coming up from the next generation, mom was ready to take the salon to the next level. The first change that I actually made was to get us a credit card machine, we stayed on a cash only basis for as long as we possibly could. The next big leap we made was to get away from using a paper and pencil appointment book and switch to POS and scheduling software system. I got to say it was a little sad when we had to throw away our foot long eraser, that thing always made me chuckle, but the new Mac desktop was a pretty sweet swap. The client rolladex got imported into the new system one by one, along with our client history book and formula notes. Retail and inventory was next to get that as automated as possible for the time being. Then came the webpage, the social media plan, the review based websites, and also our referral program, new guest packets, loyalty program etc. The corner stone to personal growth in our industry was also cemented into the foundation of the business and that is a consistent continuing education program/calendar.

After these key elements of running a small business in the 21st century were laid, it was time to focus on creating an associate training program. This is when the true flame to our next chapter of growth and giving back was ignited. How we define an associate program is, it is a “masters degree” to your cosmetology school degree/license. As a new graduate, it is where you first learn the salon’s pace, expectations (from guests and co-workers), and culture. You can only take in so much when you are in school and this gives the recent graduate the opportunity to be connected to a seasoned veteran stylist and learn how the flow, juggle, and operate as they do. Once an associate graduates the program, they then earn a spot as a level 1 stylist with an actual station assigned to them. A stylist is then coached on a growth plan referred to as the level system to go from a level 1 stylist to eventually a level 4AA. In this growth a stylist can literally more than quadruple their income, and receive their own associate to grow, encourage, and pour into. The next post I will go into the intricacies of what it takes to jump levels, this also will portray the beauty of the system because if you want a promotion all the numbers are laid out for you, you just have to to have the moxy to hit them. I will also cover, from a salon owners perspective, why it is so much better to have a handful of level 1 and 2 stylists versus a couple level 4+ stylists. Signing off for now.

-Richie Wermüth – Co-Owner, TSPA Ft. Myers

 

 

 

 

Back to Beauty School: Tips for Fall!

Summer is halfway over, and it’s time to start thinking about getting ready to go back to school. If you’re a student at a cosmetology school, back-to-school means cute outfits, new school supplies, and of course a fresh image! How do you prepare for this big change? Here are some must-dos for the new beauty school season!

Hairstyle

Those lazy summer mornings of being able to sleep in and still have time to do your hair are slowly winding down. Plan ahead to make sure you have time to do your hair, and if you need some ideas, try this fast and easy messy bun that looks like you spent more time than you did on your hair.
messy bun tutorial

Instead, if you want an amazing variation of a ponytail, try this neat trick to add more volume and style to your basic ponytail. In order to achieve this look, all you have to do is separate your hair into two ponytails, and tussle the top one to disguise the second. Not only does it make your hair look fuller, it can also make it look longer, too.
ponytail tutorial

If you want to make summer last even longer, rock a simple beach wave. Give it some character by playing with some fun bobby pin accents. Pulling back your hair slightly will keep your hair out of your face to stop you from accidentally cutting your hair while you’re learning to handle your brand new shears.
beach wave tutorial

Beautiful Accessories

As a student in the beauty industry, you always need a hair tie on hand, but it can leave a nasty groove in your wrist. This hair tie bracelet is a fashionable must-have for someone who needs a hair tie at all times. Not only does it look great, but it feels great, too! Check out the original hair tie bracelet at the company Bittersweet.

hair tie holder

Fresh Makeup

Scrambling to get the last little bit of product out to complete your back-to-school look? Save the hassle and make sure you have enough product by purchasing and replacing old makeup. Even better, use the back-to-school shopping trip as an opportunity to invest in a new eye shadow to go with your glam, new outfit!

Shoes

If you’re a student in a beauty school, cute but comfortable shoes are a must! Chances are, you’ll be on your feet more than you’ll be sitting. The floors of a salon are extremely slick, too, so find shoes that are non-slip, comfortable, and stylish. There are more than just clunky, black sneakers available now! A good place to start looking is at Shoes for Crews.

Water Bottle

Whether you need your morning coffee fix or just a way to stay hydrated while working during the day, invest in a good water bottle. Working in a salon can be tiring, and a water bottle is a great way to refresh yourself while working. There are so many choices to choose from when it comes to water bottles. A water bottle with a straw could prevent hair from getting into your water while practicing haircuts, while a flip top might be easier to drink out of. Do you want one that’s plastic or one that’s metal? How about one with a straw or one with a lid? The choice is up to you!

Woman with water bottle

Refresh Yourself

It’s not enough to be ready physically. You also have to be ready mentally, too. Going back to school after a long break without the right preparation can be hard to do. You have to put yourself in a completely different mindset. Here are some tips to help you get mentally prepared for the coming school year.

  • Fix Your Sleep Schedule. Summer’s almost over, which means saying goodbye to those late nights under the stars or saying hello to a brand new school experience. Start going to bed earlier than normal to get your internal clock adjusted to getting up early.
  • Organize Your Place. You don’t want to wake up frantically trying to find your kit, your new outfit, or any of your new school supplies. If you get everything ready before the school year starts, it will save you the time and stress of trying to find everything.

Looking to get back to school to feel that thrill of starting a new school season? The Salon Professional Academy at Ft. Meyers has classes starting soon! Check out our amazing programs and apply today!