megan graham beauty: the blog

Does wearing extensions damage your hair?

posted by Megan Graham on 01/20/15

Does wearing extensions damage your hair?

The short answer to: Does wearing hair extensions damage your hair is: it doesn’t have to. The most important part (in my mind) of a hair extension consultation is determining whether a client has hair that is strong enough to support extensions that are bonded. Bonded extensions are my personal favorite as far as options are concerned, but they are not a good option for everyone. I’ve worn extensions for a solid 5 years, and if anything, my own hair has become thicker, healthier and longer. I put a picture of my hair in this blog with no extensions to show you how healthy hair can look after wearing extensions for years. That said, I wear very small bonds so the weight on my own hair from each cluster is minimal, I have them applied the correct way at the salon….with plenty of hair to attach to, no over direction…I am very gentle with brushing through my hair and styling, I switch them out with a fresh set before many clients normally would, and I separate them daily to ensure that they won’t become tangled and matted. Some of the ways that I see damage which is caused by hair extensions?

•When a client doesn’t separate her extensions the hair forms a small dreadlocks which is extremely hard to separate and can easily break the hair which is tangled.
• When too much hair is applied to one client and their fine or wear hair isn’t able to support all that hair.
• When the extensions are kept in the hair too long and as the clients hair naturally sheds, each extension is on too little hair which can eventually pull out that cluster of hair.

Basically, the kind of extensions used is important (I use Hairdreams……it’s a very expensive product, but I believe the results justify the price) the expert application is important as well, but the maintenance is the factor which truly determines whether you will have damaged hair after wearing extensions. If you try to wear your extensions for longer than recommended you will surely wind up with damage to your hair. If you have questions other than: Does wearing hair extensions damage your hair please book a complimentary hair extension consultation with me at Megan Graham Beauty Salon In Boston on Newbury Street.

does wearing hair extensions damage your hair

does wearing hair extensions damage your hair

lease call the salon at 617.236.8100

Stay Beautiful!

Megan

Endurance Pilates Boston

posted by Megan Graham on 01/06/15

Sometimes (ok, I’ll be honest…..all the time) I get in a fitness rut, and don’t take the time to try new things.  As you may or may not know, I love lifting weights…so lifting is my entire fitness routine.  So many of my clients and friends take pilates or barre class and tell me how challenging it is, but to this day I avoided barre class because I thought it would be “too easy”.  I may even have been guilty of rolling my eyes on some occasions when people told me how difficult barre was,  my mom always told me that I needed to learn to be “more responsible” for the facial expressions I make, but clearly I’m not.

A new Barre, Pilates and Yoga Studio (Endurance Pilates) just opened up in Boston on Washington Street, and my close friend Nikki Stalling is teaching a Barre class, she she invited me to try.  I had my doubts, but decided to give it a go….trying new things is an important part of life right?
Here’s where the surprise set in for me.  Barre is hard, I mean really, really….like I can’t finish what we are doing….my legs (or abs…..whatever body part we are targeting) are on fire and I need a breather….tough.  Some of my favorite parts of the class were: the attention to posture and form.  It’s so easy to get in the habit of slouching and slumping, and having someone correct that is so valuable.  Beautiful posture emits confidence and looks amazing.  Don’t you want that?  The subtle, targeted moves we did for abs.   It’s pretty common to do an ab workout in the gym without actually hitting the desired muscles.  Not here.  Nikki corrected a few things with my form and the ab work was so much more effective.  I can only imagine the changes that I would see with this over 4-6 weeks.  This alone makes coming back completely worth it.  To me, all of the movements we did were targeted and efficient.  When doing barre work there was a strong emphasis on shaping the back of the leg as opposed to the front of the leg.  There was also a strong focus on glutes which is helpful for so many reasons.  From a vanity perspective, having a great butt…it looks good.  Clothes look better, swimsuits look amazing.  No one looks good with a flat butt,  but with all of the sitting and inactivity…..you see it all the time.  From a health perspective, strengthen your flutes and you’ll be less prone to back injury and pain.
I’ll be making the Barre class with Nikki Stalling at Endurance Pilates Boston a regular weekly addition to my workouts that I already do.  I’m so excited for the results that I’ll be seeing in a few weeks, and think it’s a great workout.
Stay beautiful and healthy!
MeganEndurance Pilates Boston

Hair color for men

posted by Megan Graham on 12/28/14

hair color for men

hair color for men

Sometimes it’s not easy to leave your work at the “office” ,especially when your job is coloring hair!  When I walk around the city, or watch TV, I can’t help but take notice of all the bad hair color that I’d like to change.  Men’s hair color is a tricky thing, and more often than not when I see hair color for men I’m less than thrilled.  I think that when coloring a man’s hair, a few rules should apply:

1.  Do not use permanent hair color.  The roots will be more obvious, and a strong line of demarcation will be present.  Also most brown hair color will eventually oxidize and appear slightly red, this isn’t a good look for a hair color for men.
2.  Use more artistic placement and don’t try to cover up every strand of grey, just turn back the hands of time a bit.  Again, by not covering every strand of grey the grow out will be softer and less obvious.  Sorry guys, no one wants to see a line of demarcation (AKA an obvious grow out in a man’s hair) it really doesn’t look good.
3.  Stick to cooler, icy, ash tones.   Avoid golden tones.
4.  Avoid colors that are extremely dark.  They look like shoe polish, and trust me…..you aren’t fooling anyone.
To book an appointment or consultation at Megan Graham Beauty please call 617.236.8100

Phthalate free beauty products

posted by Megan Graham on 08/21/14

Anyone who knows me knows that two of my favorite things are health and beauty. Sometimes though, the more I learn, the more I wish I din’t know:( I’ve been trying to switch to beauty brands that don’t contain Phthalates ( a dangerous hormone disrupter) and found that it’s very difficult to find makeup that doesn’t contain Phthalates. Phthalate free beauty products are important because Phthalates have been linked to early menopause and potential pregnancy problems (among other things)

Tarte makeup is Phthalate free so I made the plunge this weekend and decided to try it. So far so good. It’s not quite as easy to apply as some brands that I’ve used, but I like the idea of Phthalate free beauty products….. Stay healthy and gorgeous! Megan

How to avoid brassiness in blond hair

posted by Megan Graham on 08/01/14

How to avoid brassiness in blond hair

How to avoid brassiness in blond hair

Over and over again at the salon, I hear the same topic, which tells me that it’s very important to many of my clients.  They want to know how to avoid brassiness in blonde hair.  When I see a first time client, and they are brassy blondes, the following things are often the reason:

 

Water- If you don’t have a water filter on your shower head, you may develop brassiness over time.

Poor choice of aftercare products- If you are using inferior products (and you know that 50 percent of you are…….they will strip your hair color and turn the most beautiful blondes brassy)

An all over base color which is much lighter than your natural root color.  A base color always creates warmth as you lighten it.  The rule?  The higher you lift the bas, the more warmth you’ll see.

Highlights weren’t lifted blonde enough, or the product chosen to highlight was strong enough to lift past the warmth.

These are the most common reasons that I see over and over, and are some of the things to look for when trying to figure out how to avoid brassiness in blonde hair.  I’ve added a picture of a blonde client who came to me with very brassy hair due to the fact that the base color that was being used on her was simply too light, and was creating unwanted warmth.  I used a slightly darker base color and created her lightness using highlights.  To book an appointment at Megan Graham Beauty please call 617.236.8100 or book online by going to: www.megangrahambeauty.com

 

 

Stones and Carrots

posted by Megan Graham on 07/26/14

My friend Nikki Stalling has launched her new line of gorgeous, refined, handmade jewelry after years of gathering inspiration while traveling the globe as a full time model. Graceful, balanced and unique pieces are Nikki’s signature, and they have a way of making your wrists look so delicate while wearing them. Please take a look at her website, custom orders are also available upon request. https://www.etsy.com/shop/stonesandcarrots

Stones and carrots

Stones and Carrots

Single process or highlights?

posted by Megan Graham on 07/23/14

single process or highlights

If you’re calling a new salon and trying to figure out exactly what your hair needs, it can be very confusing for many people to decide whether they need a single process (all over) color or highlights.  When people ask me single process or highlights, this is what I tell them.

Single Process is used for:

Covering grey

darkening the entire head

lightening the hair slightly

adding red

 

Highlights are used to:

Lighten the hair and add dimension

control red tones in the hair

give a more natural effect.

 

If you’re looking to lighten up your hair quite a bit without adding red tones, a foil will give much more control and precision than a single process.  In my daily life, I don’t single process to make a client noticeably lighter unless she wants to be red because it will always add red tones.

On the flip side, Highlights don’t cover grey….they might camouflage it a bit, but to get the full results and coverage, you may need a single process (base color) followed by highlights.

For more information on single process or highlights, or to book a complimentary consultation at Megan Graham Beauty, please call 617.236.8100 Wednesday thru Saturday.

 

single process or highlights

single process or highlights

 

Blonde highlights before and after

posted by Megan Graham on 07/07/14

What makes a beautiful blonde?  Personally, I don’t thing there’s anything worse that the typical bleached out, heavy-handed blonde highlights that are applied evenly throughout the head, in an almost machine like fashion.  In this blonde highlights before and after picture are some of the qualities that I love to see on a blonde.  Natural, dimensional, believable and blended.  This particular lovely client doesn’t want to visit the salon too often, so I kept the entire color as soft and as natural as possible.  For someone who is willing to do a little more maintainance I would love to brighten up the color even more, and lift the base a smudge just to bring back that childlike beachy glow that she would have had as a blonde.

A beautiful blonde is not:

Overprocessed

drab

dull

brassy

flat

grey

stringy

We’ve all seen it haven’t we?  Hair color that is so obviously….hair color.  Wouldn’t it be better to have someone think that the blonde you’re wearing is actually yours?  Realistic color choices, shine, health and a natural, delicate foiling pattern make or break how natural your blond looks.

blonde highlights before and after

Blonde highlights before and after

There is so much beauty in a color that had a little interest and asymmetry, a touch of darkness where you might now expect it, or a shiny golden copper lowlight to offset light golden blonde highlights.  There isn’t one blonde that works for everyone, and most blondes will look amazing with several different colors.

Is there a blonde that you have been trying to achieve but haven’t been happy with the results? Sometimes it can take a while to get the blonde highlights before and after color that you really want.  If you feel that you aren’t getting the color that you want, tell your stylist… above all else, we want you to be happy.

To schedule a color or consultation at Megan Graham Beauty with Kayla, Kristine or Megan, please call 617.236.8100 or book an appointment online at www.megangrahambeauty.com

 

 

 

Pawsh Dog Boutique Boston

posted by Megan Graham on 06/10/14

Pawsh Dog Boutique Boston

Pawsh Dog Boutique Boston

I usually write all beauty focused blogs, but recently I had a learning experience at Pawsh Dog Boutique Boston and I thought that I would write about it, as that is usually the best way that I learn. Sometimes for me, some of the worst experiences that I have with businesses as they affect me personally, are actually the best for me business-wise as the illustrate to me how clients feel, and what I want to avoid in my business. No one is perfect, and it’s important as business owners that we avoid operation based on our feelings, and instead that we do things professionally.

I have been going to Pawsh Dog Boutique Boston since my Dog Teddy was a puppy, about 7 years. When I first got him he wore a little ponytail, and later on when he got a little older I had his hair cut shorter into a puppy cut, so that he would be more comfortable, and not have to wear a tight ponytail day in and day out.

There was quite a lot of turnover at Pawsh dog Boutique. I think the longest I ever had the same groomer was maybe a year. Each time that I would get someone different it would take a few times to get the haircut right. I didn’t get upset, I just kept sending in Teddy (and then his sister Lola) with a photo of each of them, so that the groomer would see how they wanted it.

Last summer, I found out about something called a crate dryer (it’s a cage that groomers close dogs into that dries the dog, and it had been outlawed in many states. Not Massachusetts yet, but hopefully soon. There have been many injuries and deaths from crate dryers, so I called Pawsh Dog Boutique Boston to make sure that they don’t use one. They told me that they did….sometimes. I asked them please never, ever to put either of my dogs into one, and told them that I would pay extra to have them dry both of them by hand.

The last time I brought the dogs into Pawsh, the groomer didn’t do the cut as I had shown in the picture, so thinking that it wasn’t a big deal at all, I asked if they could cut a little more off. I popped into the Boutique, and the owners wife was pretty unfriendly and said that maybe I should go to another place for my dog grooming. She said that the groomer didn’t want to groom my dogs anymore because she doesn’t like to have to make all of the changes.

Here is a link to another person who just had the same experience: http://www.yelp.com/biz/pawsh-dog-boutique-and-salon-boston?hrid=e1L8ObxQjmBm8h4d-BGDww

It was a big learning experience for me because: I think it’s important to treat clients respectfully, and if they come to you asking for a change ( and it was possible to achieve that result in the first place) it’s important to value them, and to complete the work for which you were paid. I also think that sometimes businesses that have rapid employee turnover such as Pawsh become a little afraid of their employees and do some things that are not in the best interest of their business. I get emails every week from Pawsh Dog Boutique Boston because they are running a contest to try to get votes to win Best of Boston and they are offering incentives for people to vote. All I can think when I see this is…..why not actually just be the best? Be consistent with your haircuts, treat your clients with respect, and do the best job. To me, that is the only way that they will win. I wouldn’t bring my dog to Pawsh Dog Boutique Boston, because they treated me poorly, and so I would not be able to trust them to treat my dog with care. Just my thought for the day.

Healthy Hair Straightening Treatment

posted by Megan Graham on 06/07/14

I had the Vegan Hair treatment done to my hair at the salon about five or six weeks ago, and I wanted to give an update on how my hair has been in the weeks since then.  I have gotten a lot of questions from clients and friends since then, so I wanted to write a post to explain what my experience has been with the Vegan smoothing treatment.  I have been wanting to find a product like this for a long time, and I was having trouble finding a healthy hair straightening treatment.

The major difference that I have noticed after having the hair smoothing treatment applied to my hair is that it has drastically cut down on the amount of time that I have to spend styling my hair in the morning.  The curl smoothes into sleek hair much more easily, and even if I leave a certain amount of dampness in my hair I don’t have the problem that I used to have which is that my hair would frizz and curl, and grow in volume after I had already styled it.  When I walk out into the humidity my hair also doesn’t  lose it’s style, and stays relatively straight and smooth.  I’m happy to have finally found a healthy hair straightening treatment, and will have an easier time getting ready in the morning, as well as keeping my hair smooth this summer.  I’d reccomend this treatment to anyone who is looking to have their smooth blow dry last longer, and keep the frizz at bay.  I wouldn’t reccomend the treatment to someone who is looking for hair that is pin straight without any work.  The benefits of the healthy hair straightening treatment are: less frizz, smoother shinier hair, less heat damage and a long lasting style.  To book an appointment for a smoothing treatment or consult please call: 617.236.8100.