Monday, April 25, 2016

Thinning Hair / Postpartum Alopecia

I am now experiencing first hand how it feels to have thinning hair. When I was 30 I got a  tight perm so I could become experienced with curly hair, now at 35 I am learning what it's like to work with my own thinning hair. I've seen hair fall out for many clients over my 10 years as a hairdresser.and I've seen hair grow back too.

I've seen thinning due to
">post pregnancy like mine now, chemo therapy, age, medication, surgery, lupus (autoimmune disorders), diet, hair twirling, and most commonly STRESS. In all of these cases I've seen hair bounce back, even with my client in her late 70's. So, I know this is temporary for me...I hope...
Even though I know my hair should eventually stop falling out by the handful, I am still afraid. When I run my hands through my wet hair clumps wrap around my fingers and cover my body. It's horrible. My hair loss makes me feel unattractive, helpless, insecure, and sad.

A beautiful client of mine said "It's okay for a man to be Q-ball bald, but it's never okay for a woman". She has lupus and is in a phase where new growth is coming in and her hair is full, but she knows the emotional pain of thinning hair.

As a hairdresser for men and women I know men hate it too, but it's much more accepted. While men try a few shampoos and medications they will stop if they feel there are any side effects. Men generally have a back and forth relationship with trying different methods to stop their hair loss as they age. Women on the other hand... We OBSESS over it. We will try everything: medicine, vitamins, Ovation Cell Therapy, color, thickening products, extensions, wigs, accessories, styling options. I mean we try EVERYTHING!

So, here is what I'm doing to stay hot!!

1.WASH YOUR HAIR LESS. For me, the most hair loss is during washing and brushing the hair. Use dry shampoo and wash your hair once or twice a week tops. I know it looks better clean, but if you can stretch it even every other day you’ll retain more hair throughout the shedding period while your hormones are leveling out. REST ASSURED YOUR HAIR WILL GROW BACK!!

2.CHANGE YOUR PART… If you part in the middle sweep from side or back. Cover as much of the head with the longer hair.. Not a combover.. but kind of… Also a jagged part distracts from thinning compared to a straight part. 

3. BLOW DRY WITH THICKENING SPRAY at the part in the front at the roots or wherever you’d like to disguise thinning. You don’t need to blow dry all of your hair if you don’t have time. But, if you blow dry the root with THICKENING SPRAY it will look fuller. Use heat to activate the product. 

4. CURLS/WAVES  use a curling,flat iron or rollers... waves make the hair look fuller because they take up more space than when the hair lies flat or straight.

5. TEASE AND PIN..  One of my favorites ways to add volume is to tease the top so there is no part just a ponytail. Make sure you use a fine mist of hairspray at the sides to give a more polished look and hide the flyaway. Don’t spray the top only the sides near the ear.. This avoids the 80’s slick ponytail. 

6. We pencil in our eye brows right? So, Why not PENCIL/SHADE/DUST the scalp with matte makeup.  The hair appears thicker when a light scalp isn’t showing through.

7. SCARVES/HEADBANDS/ HATS…..this will help in the meantime…YOUR HAIR WILL GROW BACK. 

8. PRODUCT…Thickening shampoo/conditioner, Thickening spray, Root lift mouse, Thickening  powder, dry shampoo.

9. HAIR PIECES .. caps, bangs, extra hair … A wig shop will have them… You don’t get to be ranked #3 “100 Sexiest Stars of the Twentieth Century” by Playboy and #2 on the list of Men’s Health “Hottest Women of All Time” without knowing a few tricks…>Raquel Welch

10. NUTRITION...Make sure you're getting enough iron, vitamin c, biotin, protein, vitamin D. 

Another great post as I search for pictures... This blogger has some great tips. buzzfeed

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Palm Springs Wedding

This year has been full of gorgeous wedding hair!! Here are a few images from a recent Palm Springs wedding. 

"When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew."~ Frank Sinatra

"Never fear quarrels, but seek hazardous adventures." ~Alexandre Dumas, 
The Three Musketeers 1948,1844

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine…” ~ Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca 1942

Photographer: EPlove Photography

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Fashion Buzz Benefitting Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego

Beehives...Spring..Yellow.. Glitter..Sunshine
The Fashion Buzz Fashion Show produced by Leonard Simpson was a huge success. I was proud to lead my hair/makeup team for this spring event benefiting San Diego Epilepsy Foundation.  The show featured designer Sue Wong's gowns. Sue Wong sells in specialty boutiques and retailers including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Lord and Taylor, and Macy's. 

Here are a few of my favorite images.. More can be found at

We had so much fun with hair and makeup creating the designers looks. Makeup had gold glitter eye shadows. I'm hoping this trend catches on for summer! Sue Wong also requested the always sexy smokey eye and red lip. Runway has an over the top, theatrical quality that  is an exaggeration of what we would wear everyday. For this fun look we did a pop of color for the eyes with blues, white, and yellow. I've been wearing my blue eye liner, shimmer, and hot pink lipstick and feeling very beachy!

Many thanks to Leonard Simpson and Brittany Simpson for bringing this creative vision to La Jolla. Leonard Simpson keeps fashion fun by choosing the daring shade of yellow for his show and his guests suggested attire. This happy, youthful color brings us into a bright, fun spring season.

It was such a busy day it was hard to get all the team together for a photo

Hair Team

Danielle Gunderson, Julie Helena-Garrison, Kathleen Mulvnany, Amanda Moore, Brandi Kantari, 
Cat Nugyen, Adriana Cortez, Britney Cook, Kira Pinski, Connie Novello

Hair and Makeup Team

 Kathleen Mulvaney, Emalyn D., Nancia Haiges, Danielle Gunderson, Verna Cortez, Emelia Halfmann, Sabrina Wesley, Kira Pinski, Chelsea DosSantos, Britney Cook, Renee Rhoads, Jessa Gregory, Connie Novello, Cat Nugyen

Behind the Scenes

Kathleen Mulvaney, Cat Nugyen, and Nancia Haiges work quickly to finish up our model

 Makeup Artists Verna Cortez and Renee Rhoads

 Hairstylists Adriana Cortez and Connie Novello creating a beehive

Backstage moments before the show started the lights dimmed. As, the models queued up one of the younger ones took a deep breath and just before she hit the stage made the sign of the cross. The music was on, the lights were low, everyone was rushing around doing constant touch ups on hair flyaway, lipstick outlines, powdering noses, finding loose threads, tags out, watching for all the details. In that unexpected moment with that one action the young model was vulnerable and beautiful to me. This private moment reminded me how brave these models are to walk the runway. They must be powerful, elegant, confident, and glide in their motion. I love these girls.  They are kind. They giggle a lot. They are smart. students..scientists.. designers..inspiring individuals.

Brittany Simpson and Leonard Simpson after the show with our gorgeous models! Nice Job!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Indian Wedding Hair

San Diego is a huge wedding destination. Working with brides from all over the country as they come to sunny California to tie the knot, is exciting because they bring so many fresh details to their special day. Some of my favorite weddings this season have been Indian weddings coordinated by Nahid Farhound. Her attention to detail, quick responses, decision making, and kindness make her one of the most sought after planners in San Diego....possibly the most sought after for Indian weddings because of her experience and connections.

This is a special video from my bride Aimee as she celebrated her marriage with her friends and family.  Their wedding had the traditional Christian and Indian ceremonies. It was a blend of their families traditions and what was important to each of them as they join in their new life together. I love seeing a couple laughing and looking at each other with admiration and support. They were so sweet throughout the two days checking in with each other smiling at the happiness of their partner. Their love was the detail that touched me the most, it spilled over into every aspect of their wedding... the gorgeous henna on the palms, hands, feet, ... the Italian lunch and Indian dinner... amazing... the gold shoes and flowing mane on Craig's horse as he rode into the crowd dancing in celebration, the jewelry ...always amazing with Indian weddings.. placing the tikka on her friends who some were wearing for the very first time... the clothes and fabrics... okay enjoy the video... more Indian wedding details to come as I have more time to blog when the holiday rush slows down at the salon..Just thought this was so sweet and wanted to share:)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Embracing Locks of Love

Over the last 9 years that I've been a hairdresser I've had a ritual of letting go. I collect hair for Locks of Love or Pantene Great Lengths and when I need to change the energy in my life I mail all the hair off to one of these organizations. I've mailed the hair when I've had an unhappy or difficult client, when I'm trying to deal with a break up, especially trying to heal after my divorce, there were many shipments as I made baby steps in healing. I sent a bundle when I moved from Portland to La Jolla...I use it to let go.. I use it to move forward...

 I feel like hair holds energy. If hair grows on average 1/2 an inch/month that's only about 6 inches a year. Locks of Love requires 10 inches for the wigs it makes for children. Pantene Beautiful Lengths requires 8 inches for the wigs it makes for adults. That means the hair that has been cut off has been through all of life's ups and downs for a year, usually more like 3 years. I find people donate when it is a time for them to let go or transition into a new phase in their lives. I see it especially around the time of a new baby, after a wedding, career transition, helping a friend through cancer, transitioning into first adult job, graduating college, and some people do this in cycles every few years getting the big cut. It's freeing to shed this hair. It's scary to give away what can be a cover we hide behind. Hair is very powerful..In the Bible when Delilah cuts Samson's hair he became powerless. When people cut their dreads some believe there is a shift in energy.

 This time I don't feel like I am letting go, but rather I am embracing this new chapter in my life. I have found a place to live that feels like where I am supposed to be. Sunny, warm but not hot, by the ocean and by rocks, with people who live active full lives, and I'm building community in my new home. The transition of moving is always hard, but feeling like this is where I belong and that I'm at the beginning of something wonderful is a very good feeling. I don't have all the answers or know exactly where I will be, but I love being a hairdresser and I love San Diego. I'm happy to be on this path seeing where it will go.

much love to
 my mom and dad
 my sisters who are always a phone call away
my cousin Clara who's hair is in this shipment
 my roommate Ricky who's hair is in this shipment
my friend Cristine
 my bff's Jessica Cochran and Christine Eggers
my new friends Kori, Kelly, and Ann
and all the people who have supported and shaped my life along the way

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Leonard Simpson's 10 Best Awards/Fashion Show 2014

This is the second year I've had the opportunity to be a lead at Leonard Simpson's 10 best Dressed Awards. Deena Horeck Von Yokes from Studio Savvy and I worked with our teams to create Angelina Jolie inspired double french twists, sweet hair bows, gold glitter eyes, jeweled lids, deep dramatic red lips, pops of pink and orange. Thank you Leonard for dreaming big!! And, thank you to my amazing team for your talent, time, and positive energy!! I can't wait to work with you all again!! This show is fun because it brings stylists and makeup artists from salons across San Diego and freelance artists together for one night to create something magical. I always learn when I work with someone new.

Hair & Makeup Team

(the few I was about to round up for the picture...busy backstage)


  1. Ann DeNicolo
  2. Brittney Page
  3. Danielle Annarumma
  4. Erin Oclair
  5. Libbey Lazarus
  6. Rachel Gallenberger
  7. Renee Rhoads
  8. Sasha Brinncess 


Photo Credit:

Designers that caught my eye:

Alpaca Couture
Karla Lamas
Oseas Villatoro
Rocky Gathercole
Viet Chung Vo

Thank you Leonard Simpson for producing this show! Below is one of my favorite pictures of Leonard with his dear friend Sally Thornton who was one of the founders of the 10 Best Dressed show honoring philanthropists. This is Leonard's 7th year producing the 10 Best Dressed show. His love of fashion and his generosity for local charities come together in a night full of surprises. This year the theme was a moment in time. We walked through history with gladiators, a steam punk group with costumes and bikes from he late 1800's, My Fair Lady fashion, and modern couture. He had Joy Sargis borzoi show dogs, jewels, fur coats, clock cakes, and details to touch every heart. He created "A Moment in Time" with this memorable show.