Why You Should Change Your Hair Style

Your hair is the crown you never take off, the best accessory you wear everyday, the epicenter of your external beauty people notice.

We change our clothes everyday. We adjust the style we wear with the event we are attending, if it’s a Netflix & Chill kind of day or if it’s a take on the town with the girls kind of night.

We don’t eat boiled chicken everyday. If we want spice, we order tacos (and margaritas.) If we want sweet, heck yes, we order cheesecake smothered in chocolate or berries or both.

When we are in a hair funk and feeling less than glorious with our mop, what should we do? CHANGE!

Hair was never meant to be static. Hair is hair that can be an array of colors, molded into numerous styles, and cut into sculptural masterpieces.

Investigate why and how your hair exudes beauty. How do you feel? Who even are you?

Change is good.

How many times have you changed your hair? Me? God, more times than I can count. I have been literally every color under the sun. I have had long, get stuck in my armpit hair and I have had pixie, shave the back of my head hair. I’ve styled it vintage, boho, rocker, & lazy. I mean I am a hairstylist so I may be bias. But, I love change.

According to a U.K. Study, a woman can change their hairstyle up to 104 times. Shit, even I am slacking (maybe). The study also found that women change their hair color at the very least 3 times and their cut on average twice a year.

But why do we have the burning desire to change our hair? And so often.

The ideal answer would be that we change to discover are uniquely true beautiful self. We finally find that perfect color, stunning length, and adorable style that accentuates all our best assets. I mean that’s the dream right? But when you find it, do you keep it forever and ever and never let it go?

Eh.

You change. Your life changes. Your body, face, & look change. And your hair follows foot. What was perfect then isn’t now. Hence why some of us change it a buttload of times. That edgy haircut your 18 year old rebel self may not be perfect for your now blank age we won’t discuss. The long, luxurious locks may be too difficult to tame with your now busy lifestyle.

Who you were yesterday is not who you are today. Who you are today will not be who you are tomorrow. So embrace change baby.

Word of caution though. Emotional changes need to be carefully thought out. Don’t go wacking off your locks because the d-bag broke up with you. Don’t go turning your platinum to black because you lost your job, your dog died, or your last friend had a baby and your about to be the old lady in the shoe with umpteen cats. Stop. Breathe. Think about it first. Don’t be going jumping out this hairstyle change plane without a parachute. Lucky for you, if you got a fantastic hairstylist, she’s flying tandem with you.

Life isn’t easy. (If you read my blogs, your probably like yea this poor girl got it real good this year.)

We all encounter conflicts, trials, & devastations. Sometimes, life just falls flat.

All those shitty, life-sucking events can drain out confidence. Once that pond is dried up, you kind of want to curl up with one of those umpteen cats with a pint (maybe 2) of Ben & Jerry’s, and go on strike from the adult world.

I get it.

We need a swift kick in the ass from the confidence boot. What better way than to book an appointment at a decadent salon (preferably mine… cough cough… Live Salon) and pamper your damn self. It is almost impossible to not walk out of there doing hair flips and feeling yourself.

Not only will you and your hair feel banging but you will more than likely receive a bazillion compliments from friends, family, and the lady behind you at Walmart.

A new ‘do can completely transform your image. Sometimes we just need to shed our skin and develop new. We change our jobs, we move, we redecorate our homes, we wear heels and we wear sneaks. Who wants to wear the same hairstyle we wore in our 4th grade pictures for the rest of our life? I sure as hell don’t. (Those pictures are hidden forever.)

“A women who changes her hair is about to change her life.” -Coco Chanel

Well said, Coco.

There are times we want to look sophisticated, sexy, professional, edgy, or gym-like. We wouldn’t go to an interview for a Fortune 500 company with a pink Mohawk nor would we go on a date with a hot man with a headband and sweaty bun. We transform when times call.

Needless to say, a new haircut is cheaper than redoing your kitchen or continuing to have that new car smell.

It is cheaper than botox. A new color or cut or even a minor style change can cut years off your looks.

Just because you are 60 does not mean you need to lop off your locks and go au naturel. That’s BS. Seeing an experienced stylist that can offer you advice on what would bring out the spring chicken in you would be a wise decision.

Life changing.

No seriously, a new ‘do can be life changing. Don’t laugh. It’s true.

At times we use our hair as our security blanket or body armor. We cling to it even when it doesn’t suit our truest self because it’s all we know. We don’t eat tomatoes because our parents hated tomatoes, but tomatoes are flipping delicious vegetables or fruits or whatever they are calling themselves these days.

Our attitude, personality, and inner beauty are all inextricably connected to our external style and ultimately our hair. Think of how badass, beautiful, and chatty you feel when you leave the salon and your appointment landed on your work’s holiday party compared to slinking into Walmart when you ran out of tampons in your jammies hoping you see like zero people you know.

I’ve seen grander stories happen- the shy girl who hid behind bangs and glasses suddenly walk around like her shit don’t stank because she went all platinum blonde ombré with her bad self or the 60 year old cancer survivor who wore ball caps and pony tails to cover the grey and thinness look in the mirror crying with her new brunette pixie not believing that she could look so beautiful again.

It happened. I saw it. And a simple hairstyle change can move mountains for you too.

How could you not want to wrestle in your own confidence, passion, or badassery? Do you not want to feel sexy, powerful, or perfectly feminine? To receive that unbelievable energy from a new hairstyle you have been dying to try is exhilarating.

Change your hair. Change you. Change the world.

Happy Transforming!

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Hair Care When Piggy is Strapped 


Contrary to popular belief, you can have fabulous locks even when your poor piggy bank is strapped. However, there are always stipulations and of course, reality.

Let’s talk haircuts. 

First and foremost, if you keep your hair healthy, the less haircuts you will need. Keep heat to a minimum. Let me tell you this, no one needs to put 450 degrees on their poor hair strands. Whether you have 5 hairs on your head or a mane as thick as a lion, stop it right now. Turn that flat iron down to 350-375 degrees and take smaller sections to heat thoroughly and safely. Sure, it may take you a whopping 10 minutes longer, but your hair won’t be so mad at you. Also, quit the addiction to your hot tools. Listen, it’s okay to let you natural locks free, especially in the summer. But if you must, always use protection. In addition to turning down the heat, use a heat protectant prior to coming at it with a raging hot iron. Redken’s Iron Shape is an incredible option and does not leave a product feel in the hair. A little will go a long way making your hair and wallet very happy.

If you are one to always have your hair in a pony or headband, make sure they are not super tight. They will cut your hair only causing even more damage, splitting the hair where the bands are. Which then, in turn, will only make you think you need to flat iron those fly-always even more, upping the horrific devastation. The war will never be won that way.

Healthy Hair = Less Haircuts = Happy Piggy 

Now, choosing a hair cut style that is congruent with your budget is also important. That trendy undercut or asymmetrical bob will need shaping more often. If you are working with a strapped piggy bank, a smart decision may be to choose a lower maintenance style.


This goes for hair color as well. 

If you have black hair naturally and want to color your hair platinum or you have tons of grey and color your hair dark, obviously your stylist will need to see you much more often, a maximum of every 4 weeks. If you are working on a budget, it would be smart to talk to your stylist on a more wallet-friendly hair color.
Luckily, trends such as ombré and balayage allow you to push appointments farther since these trends already give the illusion of regrowth or “roots”. Or if you are one to receive all-over-color or root-touch-ups as well as highlights in the same visit, think of alternating these services at your appointments. For instance, Visit 1, you receive both services, and at Visit 2, you solely touch-up the regrowth with color. This way you are saving pennies at every other appointment.

Intelligent Choice of Color = Fuller Piggy

It is also paramount to do everything you can to conserve your color between each appointment. If you are not caring for your hair, you can kiss your color and your money goodbye. One will spend tons of money on a professional hair color and then use a cheap drugstore shampoo only stripping it out of their hair. Is this really saving money? Using professional-grade, salon-quality products and keeping heat use to a minimum, you will further safeguard your color.

It starts in the shower. 

Let me reiterate, buying cheap drug store products, especially box color, will NOT save you money. $6 box hair color turn screw up will cost you hundreds of dollars in corrective color at the salon, and those Pantenes and Suaves will cost you more in the amount of color appointments needed.

I will refer you now to a few past blogs I have written regarding these No-Nos before I go into a tangent.

But to sum up quickly, why drugstore products are bad, bad, bad…

They are filled with sulfates (salts), parabens (preservatives), silicones, and to top it off, primarily water. If this sounds bad, it’s because it is. Please read those past blogs.

Drugstore Products = BAD NEWS = Sad Hair and an even Sadder Piggy

Sure, professional-grade, salon-quality products may cost you more initially, but they will last you longer, save the integrity of your hair, and lengthen the lifespan of your color. Pureology, for example, prides themselves on being 100% vegan, containing zero-sulfates, anti-fade complexes, and very little water, lasting 60 shampoos. Now that sounds incredible, right?

Professional Products = Happy Hair = Pleased Piggy

I can hear you saying… But I still can’t afford it!

Okay, let’s think on this. Your hair is the accessory you never take off, your forever crown, and not to mention what people see when they, in fact, look at your face. I understand we all have our vices, some it may be shoes or handbags that we throw on the disgusting bathroom floor. There is no judgement here, but think about it. Maybe it’s okay to spend a little bit more to one, have your hair done correctly, and two, that suits you and your bank account best.


It is always important to keep in check with reality. Make sure you have realistic expectations with your hair that match your financials. And for heaven’s sake, care for your hair like you would a newborn child.

Questions and Comments are always welcome. Please stay tuned for next blog on holistic avenues in hair products. (This does not mean substitutes, but more as in new additions to your now fantastic routine.)
Happy Savings! 

The Art of the Eyebrow

So I have had tons of requests to write a column on achieving the perfect brow. First things first, let’s talk about what’s trending with the brow. 

1. Thick Brows

Natural looking brows is the way to go. No one wants pencil this eyebrows anymore. So, put the tweezers down ladies. Over plucking is now not attractive and can cause serious problems. Going overboard on the tweezing may eventually lead to problems with the hair growth. But this leads me to another point: We don’t want wholly mammoths on our face either. So how do we know when we’ve crossed the line? Here is a diagram to help you figure out where the natural brow should be:

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The brow should start no further in than the inner corner of your eye. Go to far towards the nose and you are bordering uni-brow. The arch should start in the middle of eye and from a slight angle from the corner of nose. And the eyebrow should stop at a 45 degree angle from the outer corner of your eye and it needs to stay in line with the start of the brow.

The proper shaping will create the best look. Teeter from this and you may be walking around with an unwanted look of emotion.

2. Coloring In Your Brows

This does not mean draw them on. Less is more ladies. Find the color and the type of  product that will work best for you. You can use a pencil, shadow, or cream. Do you have unruly brows? A cream may work best for you to keep them tamed. Are your eyebrows light? A shadow will create a more natural, softer look? Pencils works for all eyebrow types; however, use sparingly and lighting brush the pencil over the brow so no harsh lines are created.

Find the perfect shade can be a daunting task. My suggestion would be start of slightly lighter than what you think your eyebrow color is. Any shading to them will automatically make them appear darker.

As I always say, “Practice makes perfect!” Will you get them perfect the first go-around? Maybe not. That is the beauty of makeup. It comes off. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

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1. Start with a clean brow. Use a brush to tame the unruly hairs.

2. Prime the eyebrow with your foundation. 

3. Use your pencil, cream, or shadow to draw your guideline, following your natural shape. 

4. Lightly create your top line and softly blend and color in the brow. 

5. Use an opaque concealer to define a crisp outline below the brow.

6. Use a concealer or your foundation to outline the top.

7. Blend the lines out on both top and bottom.

8. Finish by dusting a setting power over top to set the brows so you don’t lose them by the end of the day. 

Our eyebrows are what creates our emotions. They can strengthen your look. Keep them natural and all will be right in the world.

Find a good stylist or brow artist to create the initial look for you. You can keep up with them on your own. But again, beware of overdoing it. Regularly see your stylist for proper upkeep with the shape.

Happy Browing!

Bring In Fall With A Kiss… And Dark Lips

I love, love, LOVE lipstick. I never leave home without it. Fall is one of my favorite seasons for lipstick since I can break out those dark, sultry tones. Nothing says “HELLO!” like sexy, can’t-wait-to-be-kissed lips. So hello fall. My lips (and his) thank you.

You CAN wear dark lipstick. No matter what skin tone or hair color you have, anyone can pull it off. Of course there are a few key points to keep in mind.

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1. Remember, if you are going to do a bold lip, keep eyes soft and minimal. My favorite look is a simple gold shimmer shadow with only mascara and a deep burgundy lip. You will look like you walked straight off the runway.

2. Know your skin tone and underlying pigment. (Please refer to my blog Undertones… De-Mystified)

3. When it comes to those burgundy shades, there are 4 tonal differences to keep in mind: pink, brown, blue, and red.

If you are light-eyed, a pink-based burgundy will make your eyes pop. (Deep Mauve or Rose may be your color.)

If you have dark eyes, use a brown-based shade. The honey in your eyes will be greatly accentuated. (Cherrywood can have hints of brown in the shade)

Blue-based burgundy looks fantastic with all eye colors. Keep the tone rich if you have a neutral, olive, or warm skin tone and muted for lighter or cool skin tones. (Plum is a delicious example of a blue-based burgundy)

Burgundy with a red base will balance out brunettes and they will be able to support the shade. (Think of this as a vampy red)

4. Take them for a test drive. Whether you are at the salon or department store, swipe the color on a white tissue. If you like the shade, try it on. Take a cotton swab and run it across the lipstick. Use the cotton swab to apply it to your lips. Does the color brighten you up or does it make you look sleepy? If the shades lightens you up, that is the one. Now rock it.

5. Lipstick first, then liner. Darker shades can be even messier than red. Apply the lipstick first keeping away from the outer edges. Blot. Now use a matching or only slightly darker liner to outline your lips. Nude liner will work too. Reapply your lipstick remembering to color within the lines.

6. Skip the lip gloss. Dark lips do not need any help in the attention department. Lip gloss can tend to make darker colors bleed. But if you must gloss, only apply a dot of it to the very center of your bottom lip.

7. Rock them. Exude confidence when wearing dark lips. Walk around like you own the place. Having confidence is even sexier than just the lipstick.

Happy Fall!

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Say No To The Box

I have clients who still use box hair color. I understand that sometimes financials get in the way of awesome hair, but when your head is obviously your most worn accessory, it is not to be skimped on. I know color forwards and backwards and I am here to educate you on the significant reasons of why you should not use box hair color. I will also give you less expensive ways to get custom professional color at the salon. You don’t have to always break the bank to look fabulous, but you do not have to go cheap either.

1. One Size Does Not Fit All

One size fits all jeans do not exist in real life and neither does hair color. Jeans that fit a size 4 will not fit a size 14. A box hair color blonde may work on your sister who is already blonde but may turn orange and brassy on your locks.

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As a hairstylist, we take so many factors in when customizing a color just for you. Not only do we take your physical features into mind but we also utilize the correct chemistry to determine the developer that should be used.

Most box hair colors use a 12% developer, meaning it is creating only little lift and then deposit making it 100% impossible for brown hair to become blonde. It also results in “hot roots”. Brown box hair color will appear to have a red or warm tint at roots because it was not meant to be lifted to reveal that underlying pigment. And of course, the number one hair rule, color does not lift color. If you have dyed your hair dark brown and now want to be even a light honey brown, forget it. Sure your regrowth may turn out perfect, but your ends won’t budge.

2. Color Must Be Customize

Like I said, stylists take many factors into consideration when customizing your hair color.
-Natural & Underlying Pigment
-Level of Gray (if any)
-Previous Chemical Services
-Porosity or Damage of Hair
-Skin Tone
-Level of Lift or Deposit

You hair stylist will then determine the type of hair color to use and the correct amount of lift needed. You are not given these options when you use box color at home.

3. Semi, Demi, & Permanent Face Off

Some box colors claim they “last 30 washes” but do they really? In a salon, there are significant difference between these types if hair colors. A box cannot tell you which one is correct for you to use.

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4. Step Away From The Bottle

If you want dimension, a bottle will not give you that. I don’t care that the box says it is “multi-faceted”, there is absolutely no way one bottle can create depth and highlights at the same time.

The only way dimension can be achieved is professionally. We can see where your hair falls, strategically place foils, balayage, etc. You do not see box hair color magically growing a pair of eyes or hands to do that, do you?

5. Straw-Like Hair

This agitates me to no end. Clients now are convinced that ALL hair color leads to straw-like hair texture. This huge misconception has now led to an uneducated public.

Box hair colors are still using Metallic Salts from the 1800’s. Really? Way to evolve. These will continually build up on the hair which will darken your hair way past the desired result. And god forbid you ever want to go lighter. Even an experienced stylist will have difficulty lifting that.

The ammonia level is devastating in box color. It will irreversibly change the pH level of your hair and its corrosive tendency will blast open the cuticle of the hair shaft. An unclosed cuticle only means major damage, split ends, and the inability to lock in color.

All this leads me to my next point…

6. Hair Cuts

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All the damage the $10 box causes will eventually lead to an unwanted hair cut. There is no way to rid your hair of split ends except for a hair cut. And the damage will probably become so severe that there is no amount of deep conditioner that can repair it. So you can say good-bye to your long locks.

Also, you will spend close to $40 on a fabulous hair cut to only ruin it when you go home and use box hair color. You wouldn’t put $40 bucks in a garbage disposal would you?

7. Caps, Highlighting Combs, and Ombre Kits = Disaster Waiting To Happen

Don’t be foolish! If you are not ready to spend $300 to correct these, do NOT spend $10 on any one of these at-home kits. You will either end up looking like a cheetah or a zebra or like someone threw up on your head (sorry). These are just bad, bad, BAD news. So just don’t.

8. Advertising Celebrities

Do you really think Eva Longoria really uses box hair color? NO!

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Enough said.

9. Box Formulas May Change

Box hair color are massed produced by manufacturers and the formulas may change. So that honey brown you have been using may not be so honey the next time you use it.

Professional formulas do not change. If a stylist creates that honey brown for you, she keeps that formula in your file so that next time you come in she can touch up only your regrowth with that formula to avoid over depositing and can use a different formula to refresh your ends. How’s that for consistency and customizing?

10. You Are Worth More

You are better than average or far-below-average hair. We all have those designer shoes, bags, or gems, why not have designer hair?

If you are dead set on using box hair color then so be it and we will let you be. But, we are here to advise you on only what is best for you and the integrity of your hair.

You have a beautiful personality. Your exterior should match so that you can just ooze beauty and confidence.


 

Now, if you have chosen to finally take the professional route, how can you keep your piggy bank from crying?

Take it slow. If you are going for a major change, take baby steps. Your wallet won’t take a major hit all at once. And do realize it may take more than one visit to achieve the wanted results anyhow. When you have been using box color, the stylist has a hard time predicting what the lightener may lift to. Plus, we should protect the integrity of the hair.

For those of you who have those stubborn grays. Try highlights! The regrowth will be much less noticeable allowing you to get away with color services less often.

If you get the works done including color, highlights, and a hair cut, think about alternating services. For instance, on the one visit, do all 3. Maybe the next time just do the base color at the regrowth and a clear shine on ends to give them life. Then repeat the first visit on the third appointment.

Pick a low-maintenance color. Reds are hot, I know, but they require more often appointments since they tend to lose their vibrancy.

And no matter what, use professional color-safe products. You finally made your hair designer quality, treat it right. You wouldn’t throw your Coach purse on the bathroom floor, would you? You just invested in your hair, don’t strip it and ruin it by using cheap products.

Happy Coloring!

The Bobby Pin… You’re Doing It Wrong

If a woman leaves bobby pins, she is marking her territory.

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I have been a hair stylist for almost 10 years and when I saw this I was like “hot damn!”

The groves of the bobby pin assist in holding the hair in place. When the flat side is against your head, it can more easily slide down. It has been life-changing since I came across this little gem of a tip.

So, now let’s take it to the next level!

Bobby pins are smooth metal. To give them extra grip spray them with dry shampoo or a light hairspray and BINGO! Those babies aren’t going anywhere.

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Let’s lock and load them. To effectively hold twists and braids, follow the picture above. The bobby pin is almost completely hidden and it holds much better. With this tip, you can easily achieve so many different styles.

Now, if you are anything like me, bobby pins seem to migrate into places in my house where they seem to be lost and gone forever. Store bobby pins in tic-tac containers. Keep one by your bedside, in your vanity, and shoot, put one in your purse for hair emergencies or midday transformations. Plus, we’re repurposing what would normally be trash. Go green, baby!

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These tricks are game changers! Honestly, I just made your life 10 times better! And remember, practice makes perfect! It will definitely take a minute to change your way, but pretty soon you will be yelling at your friends, “You’re doing it wrong!”

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Happy Pinning!

What Your Stylist Wants You To Know… And Understand

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1. We love when you bring in photos, BUT only when they are realistic. When looking at hair inspiration, keep in mind what is feasible. Does the model have the same hair type, meaning is it fine or thick? If you have finer hair, we cannot make you look like Kim Kardashian without having to actually add hair to your head. Color is a whole other animal. If you have continually dyed your hair dark, those light blonde ombres are not an easy task. Lightener has to eat through all those layers of color and may require several appointments. Keep realistic expectations when bringing in photos to your stylist. We are beauticians not magicians.

2. There is no such thing as a “wash and wear” hairstyle. We can definitely achieve a low maintenance look, however, no maintenance is impossible. All hairstyles require some sort of product and finagling whether it be just combing or a little fluffing.

3. Count how many products we use. So many people say, “I can’t do anything with my hair” and when we ask what kind of products you use and you say, “none”, that is why. You will never be able to recreate the same look nor feel if you aren’t using products. And take this for an example, how many black heels do you own? Not all black shoes go with the same outfit. This means you may need a few “wardrobes” of hair products for different looks.

4. Do not change your color drastically too frequent. You hair is not a cat. It does not have 9 lives.

5. For color appointments please come with clean, dry hair. Color is more easily absorbed when it doesn’t have gunk and buildup to get through. And if we have to blow dry you before your color, we will charge you more for the added time and effort on our part.

6. If we tell you “no” or that will fry your hair, listen to us. You are our walking advertisements, we obviously do not want you advertising frazzled
hair. Trust us, we are only looking out for the integrity of your hair. However, if you must proceed, please budget for a deep conditioner. You will need it.

7. Do not blame us for giving you what you wanted. If you asked to go platinum blonde then realized you look much better as a brunette, we have to charge you. If you hate your new bangs, please don’t hate us. We only want to make you happy and beautiful. We live to please.

8. Split ends cannot be mended. Hair products cannot fuse hair together. There are products that will calm and smooth the fuzz, but the only thing that will get rid of split ends is a trim.

9. Salon products are better than Walmart’s and even though they may seem more costly, buy them. Why? Chemists. High end brands pay high-end bucks to chemists to create our luxurious products. Pantene, Pert, and Prauve are just cheap knockoffs with cheap ingredients. (Please refer to my blog Salon vs Drugstore for more information.)

10. Bleach is not as scary as you think. Many clients are terrified of bleach due to its so-called damaging effects. Bleach is only damaging when overlapped. Be honest with your hairstylist if you have had highlights or lightener in the past, even if you are brunette now. If your is long and you had highlights even two years ago, the lightener still lives on your ends.

11. We hate no-shows. If you need to reschedule an appointment or just cannot come in, please call us. We are not going to yell at you and this gives us the opportunity to fill your spot. Many of us work on commission. Without a booty in our chair we have no paycheck.

12. We would rather fix our mistake than you go elsewhere. You are not going to offend us if you are unhappy with something. Again, we live to please. We want you to be happy. It is devastating to us emotionally and financially when you go around talking about how unhappy you are with us and our work. Please let us know. We can only grow from our mistakes and if we don’t know, we can’t fix it.

13. Do realize we paid a lot of money for our education and we ARE educated professionals. I promise you, we kind of know what we are talking about. We will have a proper consultation with you and we understand that you are some smart cookies but we are the ones who have been trained.

14. If we are running behind, please be patient with us. You wouldn’t want us rushing on you to get to our next client. We try our best to give all our guests the same love and attention. If you just stay calm and be patient, we are guaranteed to give you the best customer service.