A peek into my kit: Tools

Posted in Answers, Products on December 21st, 2011 by Reagan

Tags: , ,

Hello there! Todays peek into my kit is all about my tools!

First up, I like to be prepared for the possibility of hair cutting. What if they are desperate for a bang trim? What if their ends are trashed? At a wedding recently, I ended up using my razor for two different brides maids..otherwise their heavy bangs would have been flopping in their face the whole day! I almost didnt bring my cutting tools and boy am I glad I did. So add your shears, razor (this one!), and a cutting comb (carbon!) to your check off list of what to bring.

Also, at least one rat tail comb (this one!) and possibly a teasing comb (not pictured, but like this) if thats your thing.

Next, I like to bring an assortment of brushes! I love my Mason Pearson for doing pin straight blow dries, smoothing out up dos, brushing out curls, etc. I love my pocket size Mason Pearson for bangs and little jobs. I sometimes use my Masons for teasing too! For round brushes, I like the Ibiza, and use two sizes, small and medium. I never need any other sizes.

A good blow dryer with nozzle is so important. On many jobs I dont even use a flat iron or curling iron, just a good blow dry. I have been using the Twin Turbo for about 7 years. I only took a break once when someone gave me an FHI. Once that broke I was right back to the Twin Turbo. I actually have two. Its the perfect air flow and the even perfecter heat.

Curling irons in a variety of sizes. I have about 4 Hot Tools marcel irons. 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, 1 inch and 1 1/2 inch. I use the 3/4 and the 1 inch the most.

This are the most commonly used tools. Depending on the job you might need a defuser, a flat iron, foam for forming, clippers, etc.

Anything you other stylists out there swear by?

Photos by Jake Breinholt for Hairdresser on Fire.

A peek into my kit: Pins

Posted in Answers, Products on December 15th, 2011 by Reagan

Tags: , , , , , , ,

For our Pins segment, Ill be covering a broader area than just pins. Im including all the things I use to secure different styles. Before you get started, you want a pin case. This one below is great. I didnt use my own picture because my pin case isnt organized very well right now.
You can get this one here.

I like to bring a big clip to hold the hair while Im blow drying/curling. This clip holds the thickest of the sections and never falls.

I make sure to always have lots of two prong clips for setting. Also, if you are doing a shoot or a show (or even a wedding) the make up artist will want to front of the hair pinned away so it doesnt get in the way during the make up application. A lot of times Ive used a piece of tissue between the hair and the clip to prevent a mark, but there are also special clips just for that purpose if you dont want to deal with the tissue.

Bungees are the best way to get a smooth pony. They hold the hair tight tight tight! See my bungee tutorial here!

I go through these little bands like crazy. I use them mostly for securing braids and ponies. Make sure you have clear (pictured, but hard to see) for your blonde clients.

Japanese bobbies. Ive written about these before. Normal bobbies dont come near these guys. They are expensive, but one box comes with hundreds, and you non hairstylists will likely have a life supply by getting one. You hairstylists will likely have a few months supply. Lets be real. We go through a lot of bobbies!

Last up is hair pins. I also like Japanese because they are easy to form without being too flexible. They are very comfortable to wear. The longer I do hair, the more I find myself using hairpins instead of bobbies. Go here for a quick hairpin tutorial!

Tomorrow Ill choose a winner! Also, We have a new tutorial all edited and ready to go. Ill probably post it Monday, but I just had to tell you!

All photos by Jacob Breinholt for Hairdresser On Fire. Except the top one.

A peek into my kit.

Posted in Answers, Products on December 14th, 2011 by Reagan

Tags: ,

I got an email from a young stylist asking for a peek into my kit. She wanted to know what I would bring with me on a job outside of the salon. Im going to break this up into a few posts so that I can get into more detail with out it being too long and boring, but in the meantime, here is a peek!

Ill be breaking it down into pins, products and tools.

Looking forward to seeing in the comments what other stylists bring along with them too!

Photo by Jake Breinholt for Hairdresser On Fire.

Reagans guide to healthy(er) hair.

Posted in Answers, News on November 7th, 2011 by Reagan


Is your hair straw-like?

Over-processed? Over dyed? Over heat-styled? Over everything?

Then Ive got the solution for you!

(does that sound like an infomercial?)

Step One: Get a freakin trim! Take a look at your ends. If they are see-through, fuzzy and/or slightly resemble cotton candy or velcro, you need a haircut. The longer you put it off, the higher the damage is going to spread up the hair shaft. Put down the internet and call your stylist. Then come back and finish reading this extremely informative and well written hair article.

Take a cue from Olivia, perhaps?

Step Two: Tone it down, literally. If your hair is as damaged as we think it is, you are probably bleaching it a lot, right? Hows about you tone it down to a more natural color that doesnt require so much lifting? Youll be able to go longer between color visits, and the less processing the less breakage! Ok? Yay!

Something like this maybe. Not bad, right?

Seen here

Step Three: Cool it on the heat styling. A little heat is ok once in a while. Hell, its ok a few times a week. But if you are shampooing, blow drying, flat ironing every single day, I really doubt your hair health will ever improve. Your hair might be addicted to the flat iron, it might be the only way to get it smooth at this point. My advice is to pull it up in a pretty pony, a beautiful bun or a sassy braid. You can do any of these with zero use of heat. Im willing to bet that the number of people who notice you are no longer torching your hair daily will be less than you think.

Seen here

If you practice these three steps, then I have no doubt you can have healthy hair. If you refuse them, then I guess you like cotton candy for hair! Sorry!

Hair Answers: Dealing with cowlicks

Posted in Answers, Products on October 28th, 2011 by Reagan

Tags: , , ,

Q by Heather: Id like to get your take on cowlicks.  I have hair that looks very similar to yours, maybe a little thinner, and I have HUGE issues with the whorl at my crown.  Its fine when I wear it curly, but when I go straight it seems that no matter how I blowdry or tease, after a very short time you can see my hair start to split in the back.it drives me nuts!  I end up having to wash my hair way more often than Id like because its the only way I can get it under control after sleeping on it.  Any suggestions?

A by Reagan: Heather, youre on the right track! There are a few tricks to dealing with cowlicks that I have found very helpful. The first trick is to leave the hair in that area a little longer. You dont want to be cutting short layers or fringes where there are cowlicks. The extra length with help weigh down the hair, making it more manageable. My next tip is to comb and blow dry that area first, while the hair is still quite wet. Make sure you are blow drying against the grain of the hair, this will help to manipulate that little tuft to lay down a little more. My final tip, is instead of shampooing your whole head in the morning just spray down that area and start over. My favorite blow dryer is the Twin Turbo, give that a shot. They range from $90-$150 on Amazon. And for the millionth time, use a nozzle!!

Cowlicks are such needy little things, right? They love all the attention like that one girl from highschool! haha. Good luck!

Has a client ever made you cry?

Posted in Answers on September 30th, 2011 by Reagan


Me crying at work because Im cold.

I got an email yesterday from some girls who are in beauty school. They have been dealing with some rude clients and wondered if a rude client has ever made me cry?

Yes, yes they have.

When I was an assistant, there was this really mean old lady who had done every plastic surgery known to man at least 15 times. I dont know if this was the reason for her hating the world, but I just dont know. Im open to it. Anyway, I was about to blow dry her hair when she stopped me to ask how old I was. I answered 21, she said give me someone else. you dont know what youre doing, youre too young. i just dont want to deal with this today.. I said that Id go find her someone older (haha) and while I walked around the salon looking for someone older than 21 to blow dry her hair, she sat there muttering loudly about someone so young shouldnt be working here. they dont know what theyre doing. my day is just too busy to have a bad blow dry.

I went to the back area and started crying. I felt so bad. This lady was a repeat offender, though, and had made at least 2 or 3 other assistants cry before.

Nothing else comes to mind as far as crying, but there was another time maybe 3 years ago where a woman was equally rude. She was the kind of woman who thought she was super fabulous (but wasnt), so she acted like a diva wherever she went. I think she probably left the salon and called all of her friends to brag about how she just yelled at the girl blow drying her hair.

Anyway, In the first 5 seconds of the blow dry, she said Stop! Arent you going to do it this way?. I said yes, but Im first getting these frizzy hairs in the front so they dont dry on their own. She started flipping out and saying I didnt know what I was doing and ran out of the salon with wet hair. Then in the doorway, she turned around and yelled If you want to learn how to do a REAL blow dry, try going to the Upper East Side!!.  And that was the last time I saw her and her ugly knock-off Coach handbag.

The funny thing, is that I did learn how to do a blow dry at a salon on the Upper East Side. That is where you go for an old lady blow dry. I can do that if you want to look like a news reporter, but I would much more prefer to make you look like a Victorias Secret model, if you will only let me.

In both of these cases, I didnt do anything wrong. It was just nasty people taking out their nasty attitudes on me.

So, chin up! Just make fun of the rudies when they leave. There are other ways to get your point across besides stomping around and being rude, so in my opinion, they deserve it.

Hair Answers: Too much flat ironing.

Posted in Answers on September 28th, 2011 by Reagan

Tags: , , ,

Me on the far right, in 2001. Addicted to the flat iron. (and bleach and lipgloss and cheerleading)

Q by Allie: Hey there Reagan! My name is Allie and i absolutely love your blogs. I am a teenager with a similar hair texture to yours except slightly curlier/frizzier. I feel like all teenage girls nowadays flat iron their hair daily which is obviously super damaging. do u have any cute hair ideas that dont involve too much heat!? hopefully u see this cause i really need some help here! thanks.

A by Reagan: Allie, I was a flat ironer too! The flat iron became really big when I was in high school, and I guess its never left the high school scene! In my experience, the flat iron is what destroyed my hair. Before the flat iron, my hair was so thick and perfectly healthy. Before I knew it, the flat iron had wrecked my hair so much that the only way for it to look smooth was to keep flat ironing it every day. It wasnt until I finally cut off lots of length and left it alone that it got back to health. Pheeww! Bad memory!

Anyway, Allie, I love you. Do you know how much I hate unecessary damage on hair? Because of over-heat styling, overdue haircutting, over-processing color treatments or whatever it may be. Just treat your hair nice and it will be so much more glorious resulting in tons of boyfriends or girlfriends or jealous people! I am constantly trying to show my clients how to keep their hair healthy, so thank you for this question.

So to answer your question finally, I say look all over this blog! I am really into just enhancing your hairs natural texture. Maybe by blow drying only the roots and letting your ends dry how they naturally would, or just curling a few pieces around your face to feel jazzy. You could also let your hair air dry before putting it in a bun, a pretty ponytail or a braid of some kind. And dont be afraid to use product. Product is always a great way to cut down on styling time AND damage. As always, I love Redken Outshine for almost every hair texture and styling purpose. But I still think its freaking sick and disgusting that they call it polishing milk. Milk?? Are you kidding me?

I have an idea! What do you say you and I run around dressed like hamburglars and steal all of your friends flat irons so they are forced to stop doing it? No? Thats illegal?

Brides with Bangs.

Posted in Answers on August 31st, 2011 by Reagan

Tags: , , , ,

I recently got an email about brides wearing bangs, asking if I thought it was a good look. Yes, I do! But I dont know if Im the type of girl who says you should completely avoid dating your wedding. I mean, it will be kind of fun to look back at the pictures and know know that what you wore was what you wanted, instead of not wearing what you wanted because you were too afraid of the occasion being dated. I wore my hair long, down and wavy with a nod to the 1940s (with sort of a victory roll on the side). I also wore a big champagne colored sash which will forever go down in 2007 wedding history. The point is, it was what I wanted to wear. (Actually, I got married in Vegas and it was the only dress I tried on. But I did my hair myself and I did like it.)

So, maybe sweepy bangs wont be around forever. Maybe you have Zooey Deschanel hair and that wont be around forever either. But if you love your bangs, and you dont feel like yourself without them, you should just wear the bangs.


..If you are afraid of looking like you are hiding under your big heavy bangs in all the pictures, then maybe you should try curtain bangs. Which is basically the beautiful bangs you already have, just parted down the center. Youll have the comfort of the bangs that you know and love, but you will also be able to see your forehead!

So I know none of these above ladies are brides at the moment, but I do know that they all have the beautiful curtain bang that I love so much. I wear curtain bangs whenever they get too long to wear all the way down. Theyve been too long for that for several months, and Ive enjoyed so much the curtain look.

I am interested to hear if you wore bangs to your wedding. Or if you will. My friend Maggie has had bangs as long as Ive known her (6th grade) and she is getting married in just a few months. I am so curious what shell do with her bangs. Frankly, I cant picture her without them!

PS this question came from Bosnia! Crazy!

How I got good.

Posted in Answers on August 23rd, 2011 by Reagan

Tags: , ,

I recently got an email with a question that really had me thinking. She was wondering how I got so good at hair. This question had me experience severe flattery syndrome.

But more important than posting this question so that you can all see that someone thinks Im so good at hair, I thought it was actually a really good question to answer for you aspiring stylists. It could even be good for someone struggling in any career field.

Here it goes:

I started out beauty school interested in hair, but not really having any idea of where it could take me. I was in for a rude awakening when I graduated and I didnt have a full clientele immediately. I spent a long time just doing hair on the side because I wasnt making enough money, and I had to rely on waitressing as my real source of income. When I moved to NYC, I found out that you cant work on the cutting floor without assisting experience. I thought I knew so much about hair, but in truth, I wasnt sectioning the hair off right, I didnt know the difference between a stationary blade and a moving blade, and there was so much terminology I had never even heard of when it came to hair. I was embarrassed and it took a lot of pride swallowing to realize that beauty school doesnt count as experience in NYC. Most people assist for 2 or 3 years before getting on the floor.

I chose cutting/styling over color. I still cant really explain why I did, but Im glad. There is definitely more money in color, but cutting/styling feels a little more creative. I worked my ass off. I cried, I messed up a few haircuts, I got laughed at by my teacher and I worked terrible long hours handing people hairspray and shampooing clients for the real stylists. I spent so much time leaning over shampoo bowls, that I had to get weekly back adjustments by a chiropractor. But I also learned a lot. I learned which blade was my moving blade, how to section off for different haircuts/head shapes and most importantly I was in an environment that challenged and inspired me.

I still feel insecure sometimes when I watch some of the stylists I work with. I wonder if Im that good or if Im that professional, but I think that a little of that is important in any work environment. What if I didnt feel slightly insecure? Id go to work every day bored, not trying new things, not looking for constant inspiration. I dont feel afraid of looking stupid, if a stylist I work with knows more than me, I ask them to teach me. We all have our own styles and we can all learn something from each other. I look through magazines, I play with my friends hair, I watch old movies and use what I already know to come up with new things.

Something Ive learned over the years.especially since I spent over three years in a salon that didnt challenge or inspire meis that your talent/creativity will become dormant if you arent pushing yourself. If you go to work and cut/blow, cut/blow, cut/blow, without any variation, you will never grow. If you have an extra 15 minutes with client, ask if you can try a new bun or braid on them that you saw in a magazine. Youll find out that hair is the most fun think that ever was.

Hair Answers: Trendiest Wedding Hair.

Posted in Answers on March 22nd, 2011 by Reagan

Tags: , , , , , ,

Q by Sarah: So one of my BFFs is getting married this June, and I am the Maid of Honor. This is the third wedding for our group of friends, and in both of the previous two weddings, everybodys looked really classic and timeless as far as bridesmaid hair and attire go. For this wedding, we thought it would be awesome if one of my Maid of Honor duties was having a really of-the-moment, trendy hairstyle on the big day. Ie. one that will be dated later so that we can laugh at the pictures in 20 years. Any thoughts on really of-the-moment, trendy Maid of Honor hair? My dress is one of those one-shoulder deals.

A by Reagan: This is definitely a fun question. The first style that popped into mind when I thought of trendy wedding hair, was long, loose wavy hair. This is how every bride/bridal party seems to be wearing their hair these days. I admit, at my own Vegas wedding just over 4 years ago, I did long, loose, flowing waves. It is more popular than ever now. It is a very Victorias Secret look. I think the look will keep around for a while, but it wont be popular forever! I think one day youll look at the photos and know it was a 2011ish wedding. Remember when everyone wore their hair up for their wedding? Up-dos were the big thing? Most people are wearing it down. Down hair is the trendiest of all wedding trends right now. Also, look at the red carpet these days, down hair is all over that business too.

If you want to accessorize it in a trendy way, the bride can wear a birdcage veil, and the bridesmaids can wear a feather/flower piece.

The second look I thought of, is the topknot. The topknot (bun right smack on the top of your head), is definitely a big look right now. It can be done a lot of ways. You can make it slightly fuzzy for a soft/romantic look, thrown together for a messy look, teased to make it big like my party bun, or slick and smooth for a formal look. You can do it in the middle or off-centered. Do the topknot!

(i know the Mandy Moore topknot is very similar to a classic wedding bun, but its the fact that it is so high up that makes it trendy!)


Thanks, Sarah! I hope I get a picture of the look you choose!