megan graham beauty: the blog

Focus on the positive

posted by Megan Graham on 01/27/16

focus on the positive

Megan Graham

Have you ever noticed how quickly a woman will deflect a compliment?

We don’t always focus on the positive. She’ll minimize it, give someone else the credit, or fully shake her head and disagree with you. Yes, of course, we were all taught to be modest, but I think that there’s another thing that happens to women, and it slowly eats away at their self confidence. The interesting, and sad thing that I’ve noticed, not only with myself but with many other women I’ve known over the years, is that they are the first ones to listen to a negative, or terrible thing that someone else has said about them, and they remember it forever. I’m not sure of exactly why this happens, but it’s something that each and every one of us has to work hard to keep from happening within ourselves. You have to know, and have faith in exactly who you are, so that no matter what anyone says about you, you know the truth, and no longer fear the unkind words from others. When I was younger, and I was bullied in school, I remember feeling so afraid and embarrassed when I would be picked on, and all I wanted to do was to go home and never come back to the school, the place where I feared and had trouble concentrating because there were a few kids who decided to pick on me every day. I wish I could go back now as an adult, able to handle it and take on every one of those situations again. I wouldn’t have let those kids continue to do it, or listened to the cruel words.

As an adult, I’m both surprised and not surprised by the fact that bullies still exist. They were there when we were kids, and they grew larger, but mentally they didn’t grow up, and here we are. Mature, grown, fully developed human beings won’t call you names! Your first hint that there is a problem with another person, name calling. Consider the source when you are being attacked by someone, I know it’s scary, and no one likes it, but it’s usually a problem that comes from inside them, not you.

Only a few years ago I still felt shaken by the negative barbs that people throw my way. The interesting thing? 99 percent of what people say to me is positive, but I latched onto the 1 percent of people that chose to be unkind. I worked so hard to become stronger and more self assured, and to focus on the positive. I know who I am, and what I’m capable of, and I also know that for the peter pans who decided not to grow up, or respect anyone’s space besides their own their will be anger. The stronger you get, and the more clear your boundaries, the more people (I find) seem to use the dreaded b word.) Don’t be afraid and don’t listen. Focus on the positive and know that you can handle the pressure because you are strong and fair. You determine your state of mind, and you can’t and won’t give up an ounce of happiness to crazy makers. Stay healthy and beautiful and love yourself! Megan

Inappropriate questions

posted by Megan Graham on 01/19/16

Megan Graham Beauty

Inappropriate questions

 

I’ve always been a fan of the book Miss Manners, and there is something that I think back to again and again in life, and that is the number of inappropriate questions that I hear on a daily basis. Just because you want to know something doesn’t actually mean that you should ask. I’m amazed by the number of times I hear people ask (and not only to me, to the people around me?) How much are you paid? Is it real? Are you keeping it? Why aren’t you married? Maybe it’s our society and the way that every gossip magazine feels free to badger every celebrity and ask them about every detail from what they had for breakfast, to why they are breaking up with a signifigant other, but I think out society has gotten a bit out of control with questions.

There really isn’t much that you can do about inappropriate questions other than to simply ignore the person asking the question and change the subject, or to say: I’m not comfortable answering that. It would be wonderful if people suddenly developed better manners, but since the only person you can ever change is yourself, controlling your response to inappropriate questions is the best thing that you can do. Here are a few that people love to ask me:
Why aren’t you married?
Do you workout 7 days a week?
Is that hair real?
How much was (insert item here) that?

Just remember that it’s your prerogative to maintain your privacy, and if someone was very close to you…they would most likely know the answer to many of the questions asked because you would have told them. If not, that’s up to you as well. Just because a question is asked doesn’t mean that you must answer.

How to avoid brassiness in blond hair

posted by Megan Graham on 01/18/16

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 blond hair.  When I see a first time client, and they have brassy blond, 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 base, 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

 

 

How to dry your hair

posted by Megan Graham on 01/11/16

It seems so basic, everyone does it….but there’s the way it would end up naturally, vs a glossy, shiny, beautifully styled result with minimal effort and that is our desired end result.  Here’s how to dry your hair for the best results with minimal effort.

  1.  This step actually takes place before you wash your hair.  Right before stepping into the shower gently untangle your hair.  I use a Mason Pearson brush, or the Hairdreams extensions brush.  Your hair is stronger when it’s dry, so it’s the perfect time to remove any tangles.  This process is so much easier before than it would be after.
  2. Condition your hair, but avoid using too much product and concentrate on the ends (think ponytail area and down) to avoid greasy roots.  Why bother washing it if it just looks dirty right after?  There really can be too much of a good thing.
  3. Gently wrap your hair in a bath towel after stepping out of the shower for a few minutes.
  4. I repeat step 3, but first I remove the bath towel and gently brush my hair with the Hairdreams Extension brush, then I re-wrap it in a special high absorbency hair towel.   This saves me so much time later when I’m blow drying.
  5. Apply product. Always, always use a heat protectant.
  6. Start drying before the hair is too dry or you won’t be able to fight the natural texture that has set in.  There’s a fine line between too dry/wet, but it’s always better to start early!
  7. I use med heat/ high air flow to get out most of the moisture, and flip my head upside down while blow drying the roots for extra volume.
  8. Style using a higher heat if you have curly or wavy hair.  I usually tell my clients to spend an additional minute of two making sure that their hair is dry after they think it is.  That last few minutes will lock in your style and make sure that it doesn’t frizz later.
  9. Refrain from touching your hair as much as possible.  The more you touch your hair, the faster it gets dirty!

I hope that this helps you a bit when you are wondering about how to dry your hair!  If I left anything out that you’d like to see, or you found this helpful please let me lnpw by commenting below:)

 

xo,

 

Megan

Thanksgiving and feeling grateful:)

posted by Megan Graham on 11/23/15

Thanksgiving Megan Graham

Thanksgiving Megan Graham

If I don’t get to see each and every one of you before Thanksgiving, I just wanted to send out a quick note to say that seeing each and every one of you at the salon truly makes me happy, My job is no different than any other in the fact that I am tired at the end of the day, my feet hurt sometimes, and I am always busy…but how I love it. It’s Thanksgiving and I’m feeling grateful… I have been so blessed to have so many amazing and kind people visit me at the salon, and to make great friends along the way, all while transforming their hair! I never dreamed that my little salon could turn into such a cozy home that housed so much creativity, and such an amazing team. Thank you for your support and trust, and for taking the time to come to see me when I know how busy each and every one of you are!

fondly,

Megan Graham

What Brand of haircolor Do You Use?

posted by Megan Graham on 11/09/15

A question that I am asked again and again is: what brand of hair color do you use in the salon? Although I do think that a top quality luxury brand of hair color can make a difference in your final product, to me a great hair colorist could work with almost any brand of hair color and still have a beautiful result. I think that when people have had a bad experience with haircolor they assume that it must be due to a brand of inferior haircolor, instead of actually realizing that the problem is they have a stylist or colorist that does not know how to use the haircolor itself to get the desired result, and may not realize the limitations of hair color.

When I was in my early 20s and decided to pursue a career as a hair colorist, I imagined that I would work for a few months and train and almost immediately become an amazing hair colorist. Before I started training I had no idea of how much chemistry I would need to learn and what a deeper understanding I would actually need to have in order to produce consistent, beautiful, healthy hair color. In order to be a great hair colorist you need to be able to anticipate what a clients hair is going to do with the particular shade and to be aware of what processing they have done before hand, what color is on the actual hair shaft, and the condition of the hair. Truly, it is not as simple as picking out a shade and having the hair develop into that shade.
When people ask me what brand of hair color I use, I tell them that in my salon I carry many different lines of haircolor because there are several different manufacturers that make the best product in each category. To me it’s like shopping for make up… I don’t always buy one line because someone makes my favorite mascara, someone else makes my favorite foundation and yet another company makes the best lipgloss.

So basically in answer to the question what brand of hair color do you use? I always explain that haircolor is 80% skill 20% product. If you don’t have the proper skill set, experience and artistic eye you could take the most expensive, most researched hair color and have atrocious results. The best way to get a great hair color is to search for someone with extensive training and experience not your favorite brand of product.

Adhesive And Bonded Extensions

posted by Megan Graham on 08/24/15

What is the difference between adhesive and bonded extensions? Is a question that I spend quite a lot of time explaining at the salon, so I thought that I would take a few minutes to explain for anyone that is interested in extensions and would like to know more. Both methods of applying extensions are actually quite good, but most of the time we reccomend one method above the other and this blog should help to explain why.

I personally wear bonded extensions because: the bonds are extremely small and the same color as the hair, os they are difficult to see, and although you can technically feel them, they are too small to be a bother. The hair is of the finest quality so if anything, my hair feels better, not worse when I have extensions in Note: This is definitely not true of all bonded extension brands, just the particular brand that we carry at the salon, They last for 8-12 weeks with minimal maintenence, just gently separating them daily so that they don’t form a cluster. Bonded extensions also look great in a ponytail or almost any style that you can think of. The downside of bonded extensions is that are much more pricey than adhesive extensions and also that some hair types are not strong enough to support them and could actually be damaged by wearing them.

Adhesive extensions can be a great option for: someone that has never had hair extensions before, and are actually much more cost effective than bonded extensions. The difference between adhesive and bonded extensions is that we almost always rebound adhesive extensions at the salon, which makes them much more cost effective in the long run. The hair quality is beautiful, though not quite as high end as bonded extensions and the way that they are bonded is larger, so you are more aware of adhesive extensions that you may be of bonded extensions, but in the end, the beautiful hair and fullness is so worth it, and once you wear them I doubt you’ll want to be without extensions again.

If you have any questions about the difference between adhesive and bonded extensions please ask below in a comment:)  Adhesive and bonded extensions are both great and we’d love to find the option that works best for you.   Thank you for reading and stay beautiful! To book a complimentary extension appointment at Megan Graham Beauty please call 617.236.8100

 

How To Get Long Hair Faster

posted by Megan Graham on 03/23/15

How To Get Long Hair Faster

How To Get Long Hair Faster

 Maybe it’s because I wear my own hair so long, but I frequently have clients ask me how to get long hair faster.  I don’t actually think that there are many things that any of us can do to get long hair faster, but there are many things that we can do to prevent our hair from breaking which takes away the length that we are trying to achieve.  Many times when a client tells me that her hair hasn’t been growing, I can actually see the regrowth so I know it is…but something that she is doing is keeping it from actually getting longer.  Here are a few of the things that I tell my clients when they as me how to get long hair faster.
• Be gentle when brushing and combing your hair.  So many people rake through their hair and create breakage.  Even the thickest hair strand is still quite delicate.  Treat it like silk to get long hair faster.
• Whenever possible avoid the flat iron.  Have you ever burned your hand on a hot iron?  It hurts….as does your hair.  Save them for special occasions.
• Move hair out of the way when carrying bags and purses.  They will break the hair over time.
• Use a heat protectant daily
• Wash hair every other day
• Put hair in a braid while exercising instead of a ponytail
• Take a multivitamin
• Eat plenty of healthy fats, protein, and fruits and veggies.  You are what you eat…..really.
• Get regular trims, but be specific about the amount taken off.  Don’t say “do whatever you want….”or someone will!
• Stick to the same hair color family.  Changing back and forth will damage your hair.
• Use Kerestase shampoo and conditioner…..it works.
• Use the Olaplex conditioning treatment during color
These are some of the tips I give my clients when they ask me how to get long hair faster.  If it’s not growing fast enough, call the salon at 617.236.8100 to book an extension consultation.  Stay beautiful!  Megan

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