In My Hair Dreams

When I  lay down tonight, all comfortable and warm and hoping to influence hours of sweet dreams, I might try to conjure up this:

NU-POP_HR_13Dreams are a mix of reality and flights of fancy and this shot from Sassoons’ recent collection keeps my mind active in overdrive. There are colors, in different extremes. There are shapes. Basic shapes, asymmetrical, and textured shape over shapes. I sense a blurred timeline. Sixties and seventies and this new millennium, possibly what will be commonplace in the 2020’s. What could feed my imagination while I sleep is my belief that soon all women and girls will again be styling, coloring and dressing their hair after 20 of the most boring years in hair history. We in the industry have made the most of it, but it has become commonplace, do it yourself looks that even on the red carpet seem uninspired. Maybe I need to amend my inspirational quote from just “freshly washed and styled” to add “a cut and color that makes a statement about what you are feeling and how you wish to present yourself”. After all, it’s just hair. And it grows back. Goodnight and sweet dreams.

Make your Ponytail a HairSTYLE !


This is not an exaggeration when I say 85% of clients living in my demographic require one thing from me. That is to leave hair long enough to get into a ponytail. Reasonable request, but this is what I see all day, every day, all over town-

th56U295WHil_570xN_598710172_pcfsIt’s not even just the hairstylist in me, it’s the man I am that thinks this screams “I don’t care” (how I look). I’m serious. This would be the only requirement in my pre-nup. Promise me no limp, greasy, uninspired ponytails (or sun visors or baseball caps).

Now don’t write me off as a chauvinist or misogynist and certainly don’t cop out thinking I don’t get the necessity of it all. Pause for a moment, contemplate where I’m coming from. Maybe slip on a scrunchy and take a look. Is this really how you want to present yourself to the world?

Ponder the “bump”. A very simple and easy addition to any ponytail.thCUOFCVS7You can bump it. Just back comb either the bang area, the crown, or even all over your head. Here’s where I say I love a woman who isn’t afraid of a can of hairspray, but that’s a whole other post.

I need not go further. I’ve probably done myself a dis-service with this subject anyway. Please do search “ponytail images” and you’ll see some gorgeous ones. For more inspiration, you tube to see the tutorials and that will make you less afraid. I know when I’m sitting on the beach, a stylish ponytail (and maybe statement earrings) is going to catch my attention even more than the hair that’s just blowin’ in the wind.

You can vent your anger in the comment box. Thank you.


2014-blonde-extreme-beehive-with-fringeDo you know what Ladies? Establishing a relationship with your stylist can benefit you way beyond your expectations. I already know you want your blonde hair long enough to get into that ponytail. Well, the gal in this pic has that and you can look like this too next time you venture out to the Belly Up concert venue or taco Tuesday. Isn’t there a part of you that would dare to step out demanding attention? We can so totally do that in less than half an hour. Take advantage of what I can do for you. It’ll take your date night up to the stratosphere. You know you want to. Frequent me. The more you do, the better I know and get intimately involved with your hair. It’s always about you!

The Next Big Thing in Hair Trends?

Trends. Some come out of no where but then are gone overnight, never really taking hold. Others are shocking almost to the point of disapproval, but slowly take hold. And by slowly, I mean it takes years. The public is fickle and people usually shy away from change. In my years, I’ve noticed sometimes it’s as much as seven years before women on the street are wearing variations of a style some celebrity brought to the forefront. In fact, there are two types of cuts popular right now that are influencing where we ALL will be 3-5 years from now. The first is Miley Cyrus’ shaved out undercut and the second is the Pixie that this time around I’ll credit to Ann Hathaway. We also are seeing a lot of the “lob”. Translation: The long bob. Point is, long, voluptuous tresses topped out with the addition of extensions and more women every day have begun to cut their hair.

But some females will always want to wear their hair longer and if we polled the guys I’m sure the majority would request their girlfriends keep it that way.

So how will long hair trends evolve? We’ve been smoothing and taming for a lot of years now. Brazilian Blowouts..Blow Dry Bars..Flat Irons..Beachy Waves. I’m sensing it might be time to flip it. How about-safe_image.php1093197

Personally, I love it. If this indeed becomes a reality, we will be perming  again. Only differently. Crimped textures and tight root curls.

But like I said, this might meet with resistance from some who’ve seen it strutting the catwalk, but give it time. It may become literally, ‘The Next Big Thing!”

Haircut Makeover- Yes Please!

10444010_10152720013426907_917790894066210759_nStep one. BRUSH IT OFF YOUR FACE!

Let me go on record as saying I’ve always loved a shag and all it’s variations. This one has heavy top layers which is unique, but works beautifully with the shorter length. It’s in opposition to longer length shags that sport short layers in the crown. The main thing that makes a cut a “shag”, is squareness in it’s shape.

There is geometry involved in hair cutting, Vidal Sasoon brought this to the forefront a long time ago and turned what we do into an art form (Jeri Redding, aka Redken, championed us into a “profession”).

Back to this fabulous haircut on this beautiful girl. It’s so, SO time to be cutting hair again. Currently, women with the longest hair are mistakenly feeling the most hip. That ship has sailed and if you aren’t “lobing/bobing/shaving or pixieing your hair, you’re passe. Period. The term “shag” may sound retro, but there’s nothing backwards about the way we do hair today. We spin it with texture and a personalized shaping to every individual.

I know it’s hard to sit in a chair, not knowing in your mind’s eye what might be happening to your hair as your stylist has at it with you, but if you don’t “go for it” by giving it up with a green light/carte blanc, you may never know.

So start with a shag. It’s long enough to be safe. If you find or get lucky enough to land in the chair of a really good stylist, you will be thrilled to be liberated from the l-o-n-g, h-e-a-v-y locks losing popularity as of yesterday.

Yes, it’s definitely time to cut your hair. I’ll do it. Come see me.

Professional Hair Styling Products

10438267_844088308949040_6407743798816596634_n Allow me to agree with you on this – NO ONE likes to be pitched at the whole time you are captive in the chair to buy products. I’ll go on record saying most Stylists who do this are being pressured by salon owners. Usually younger, commissioned workers who enjoy an extra dollar or two in their paychecks at the expense of driving you away from ever returning to their chair or that salon again!

And what do we want? A shampoo that lathers, smells good and leaves our hair feeling clean. Well grab ten bottles off the shelf in the supermarket and probably 7 or 8 will fit the bill. Conditioners? Keratin-Hemp-Avocado-on and on and… just let me get a comb through it. Right?

Not really. What it boils down to is one of two realities. Over the counter retail products act on the outer layer of your hair leaving it with a cosmetic feel. Professional products honestly do work from the inside out, often times stemming from insanely expensive and exhaustive scientific, chemical research that has led to the purest of ingredients with an understanding of hairs’ base structure.

So I’ll keep that simple and stop right there with washing and detangling your hair. Styling products, however. Now here’s a horse of a different color. Millions, yes there are millions of styling products designed to do thousands of promised things to your hair and hundreds of companies each have dozens of options for each and every one of your specific needs.  😉

A top notch Stylist will more than likely utilize between 5 and 7 products on your hair before he is done. I do. Here’s why: #1 I shampoo you. #2 (I don’t normally condition at the sink. There are too many fabulous leave-in conditioning products these days) I will always on chemically treated hair first spray on a damage reconstructor, work it through then overlay a cream moisturizer which affords some slippage while I’m cutting. So that takes us to # 4 Root lift. Maybe not all over, but all women benefit from root lift products. They work! #5 Heat seal. Good professional blow dryers can and irons definitely reach temperatures of 350- 400 degrees. Thats HOT! So now your hair is dry and I’m going to take you to the next level with my irons, either flat or I’ve got four or five different size barrels. I need product #6 to “set” my style. I’ll brush/fluff/push your hair around to get in the shape I want with product #7 a working hairspray. # 8 will be an oil which is a must and that might be mixed with # 9 a texture paste for that peicey look. If I love how it looks, you might just get a quick shot of # 10 a finishing spray!

Just sayin”

Bump It – Styling hair with volume

Yes, I grew up a Jersey Boy, where legend has it “big hair” is infamous, as it might be in Texas (wherever that is). Maybe my appreciation for tall tresses stems more from my early start as a stylist during the “Dynasty Era” when we permed every one’s hair, and encouraged it up and out as far as it would go. To this day, though, I love a Gal who isn’t afraid of a teasing comb and a can of hair spray So let’s take a look at the subtle reason this woman looks so fetching here in this photo. 10646877_10152688938428679_4702258610890954009_n

Yes she is reasonably attractive and the fact that she is wearing heavy makeup makes you linger for a second when you glance at her. But even though her hair doesn’t scream “I’ve been styled”, it has been back combed which adds to the overall allure. You can’t deny it. It makes a girl a woman. It takes a haircut to another level. I’d say 60% or more of client’s in my chair ask for more volume. Well, here it is. No need to go crazy or formal. It’s really quite simple. BUMP IT!

Independent Stylist Kevin Dodson, currently located at Deco Hair Studio in the Cedros Design District in Solana Beach, bordering Del Mar, is a premier stylist in the San Diego area.  

No Rules – Textured and Layered Hair

new blogHow can or would you ask for a cut like this? You can’t. This is shear (no pun) creative, free flowing artistry. Hair cutting, coloring, and finished styling is reaching the point in 2014 where there are fewer definitions and no boundaries. However, if you study this image, there is balance, imagination, texture and a degree of realism considering the models’ hair. There is nothing artificial about the finished photo. She could look like this every day. Whoever cut this thoroughly understood where they were starting from and probably were amazed when they finished that it was as incredible as it is. “No rules” does not mean you can hang a star on any whack job. A good haircut will always be defined by how it reacts for the client each and every day she wakes up to it. Styles, even on the runway look so casual, but that’s only because there was a lot of talent that was the contributing factor. Casual-messy-tousaled? yes.Beautiful and attractive- indeed!

Independent Stylist Kevin Dodson, currently located at Deco Hair Studio in the Cedros Design District in Solana Beach, bordering Del Mar, is a premier stylist in the San Diego area.  

Dare to Cut It – Medium Length Layers

american-horror-story-season-4-cast-confirmedThis is a picture of Jessica Lang from last season’s American Horror Story. I fell in love with her haircut and marveled at it every episode. I have done variations of this on numerous women and it always results in a surprisingly exciting and drastic change without sacrificing a lot of hair.

So many females where I live on the coast in San Diego California wear their hair very long and casual. “It has to fit into a pony tail” is the main restriction. No one really stands out as an individual as far as I’m concerned. They all look terrific when they leave the studio with hair I’ve blown and styled, but long hair takes time and effort and I don’t see many women around town looking like they’ve put that effort in on their own. Still, most clients sit in the chair and say they’d like a change to their hairstyle, but are reticent to sacrifice any length. This is why I love this cut. Let me break it down for you:

The first thing I say is, “We can keep the length”. Well, maybe that isn’t exactly true. You can hang on to most of the length is more of a truism. Since the front becomes more open, you need balance with the length in back so you don’t end up with the dreaded “mullet”. So now we’ve established confidence because we still will have “long hair”. The shape in back will change from either the straight bob line, or if it was severely “V’d” to a softer “U”, rounding towards the shoulders. This trim will add weight and lessen the amount of layering, which translates into less styling time.

The next confidence builder is we will be keeping long layers and preferably the long bang. If we don’t already have the long bang, we don’t trim the fringe this cut so we already are making that big change. Where the cut becomes unique is when we angle the side hair from the bang length to the back section, whacking off the corner that was just hanging in front. This opens up the whole neck and collar bone and the hair “hugs” in, very soft, stylish and feminine.

Obviously there is more to the execution of this cut (every client’s hair and head is unique), which is why you need to come and see me!

Lather Up – Sulphate shampoo


I flipped when I came across this picture. There’s a lot of talk right now about sulphate free shampoos. Apparently they are less likely to cause your hair color to fade and will help hair retain its condition, especially important when you have invested a fortune in keratin smoothing/relaxing treatments. I’m all for both these reasons to spend a little more on shampoo. From a stylist’s point of view, I’ve put time, energy and creativity into the dimensional look of your haircolor and it’s a shame for it to fade when that can be helped. I mean, should it look good for two weeks, then not so much for the next 4-6 weeks it takes you to come back? When shopping for a sulphate free shampoo, the first question to ask is “Does it lather?” If the answer is “no” or, as important “I don’t know” then don’t buy it. I’m not saying a shampoo that doesn’t lather can’t cleanse your locks, but I think I speak for the majority when I say it makes sense sudsing up to carry the dirt away. Besides, it’s fun and feels good.

Now here’s where I tell you what I tell every client, regardless of whether or not you chemically treat your hair. When washing your hair, be gentle. Diffuse the shampooing product in your hands, and slide your fingers up under your hair along your scalp, massaging your head. Do not feel compelled to pile your hair on top of your head to scrub and abraide your poor hairshafts. If you use a lot of styling products and must wash more aggressively, pull the lather down through your strands in the direction the cuticle imbrecations are formed to lessen abrasion.

I’ll research different sulphate free shampoos and report back on the ones that do lather nicely. The only one I know of at the moment is Paul Mitchell’s “Double Hitter” men’s shampoo. I probably won’t end up poo-pooing the one’s that don’t here. I don’t want to be negative. So stay tuned-

Independent Stylist Kevin Dodson, currently located at Deco Hair Studio in the Cedros Design District in Solana Beach, bordering Del Mar, is a premier stylist in the San Diego area.