Saturday, July 23, 2011

Twisted, Beaded, Braided-Give Us A Head With Hair

From real laurel leaves in classical Greece to gold-encrusted replicas in Imperial Rome, hair ornaments have been used throughout the ages as objects of beauty and as social messages.

In ancient China, the ji ceremony awarded 15-year-old girls a hairpin that showed she was old enough to marry. Auspicious birds and beasts, such as the dragon, phoenix, duck, deer and the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, were also popular. The deer denoted success. The duck assured marital bliss. 
The five petals on a plum represented blessings, high-salary, longevity, luck and wealth. When Chinese lovers had to part, they often split a hairpin―both of them keeping a half until they were reunited.
Tibetans, women in some African tribes, and Native Americans, braided the hair and adorned it with silver, stones, bones, beads and feathers--while in the Middle East, Muslim women had to hide their hair under veils with their real hair shown only to their husbands. (Married Orthodox Jewish women still wear wigs to this day for that same reason and so as not to distract men from their prayers.) Indian women had no such restrictions. Their hair was often as decorated as their saris.

Renaissance women plucked their hairlines to give the coveted high forehead look and then covered their hair with nets of pearls or jeweled caps and the hardly-ever bathed ladies of Queen Elizabeth's court took to wearing velvet headbands (no doubt to keep their dirty hair away from their faces.)

The 18th century might take the cake when it comes to historical hair ornaments. Women hair was piled high―very high―over wire cages and held together with starch and horsehair. Atop the towering coiffures (requiring several hours and ladders to create) were fantastical models of birds' cages (with live birds,) war ships with flags flying, and entire bowls of fruit (long before Carmen Miranda brought the latter to Hollywood.) Not only were these hairstyles hard to sleep in (custom made to accommodates their necks, leaving their hairstyle in tact) but the material used to create the towering style proved a perfect nest for vermin.

Practicality came back in fashion after the excesses of the 18th century. First lady, Dolly Madison, introduced jeweled turbans and the flappers of the 20's fit headbands snugly over bobbed hair.
 In the '30's few women could afford anything more than “bobbie pin.” Hairnets used during a day's work in the factory for the Rosie the Riveters of World War II, gave way to fashionable nets called “snoods” for evening. “Lady Day”-- Billie Holiday-- became famous for the gardenia behind her ear and the fashion was taken up by film stars like Dorothy Lamour. The 1950's saw the helmet hair of Doris Day, which didn't allow for lots adornment, but the long and loose hair of the 60's more than made up for it.

Janis Joplin and the other hippies of the time braided beads, feathers, jewels, stones―anything at hand―into their wild manes and it's been anything goes pretty much ever since.

When Bo Derek rose from the water in the movie “10”, cornrows (for white women) interspersed with beads came into fashion. Hair sticks like those in ancient Japan made a comeback.

Sex In The City's Carrie Bradshaw put damn near anything in her hair―including a bright blue bird for her wedding to Mr. Big. Paris Hilton popularized extensions (a take on the African American weaves) and Believe is riding the wave of that popular trend by offering colored extensions (one or two in different colors make for a fun statement at a party or the beach) and we even have feathers to weave into your Summer 'do.

All too soon the cold winds of winter will make us cover our heads with hats and scarfs. Why not let your Hair fly--adorned-- in the breeze? Take a page from the lyrics for the namesake number of the musical “Hair”:
Give me a head with hair...
                                                                 Knotted, polka-dotted
                                                               Twisted, beaded, braided
                                                    Powdered, flowered, and confetti-ed
                                           Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghetti-ed
At Believe, we are all singing. Come in and let us decorate your Crowning Glory with fun extensions (and think about giving the one with feathers a try. C'mon, you only live once!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

When the cat's away...

Every boss in America holds their breath a little when they go on vacation and have to leave their business in the hands of their staff...everybody but Lisa Koebbe Bevan, owner of Believe, that is.
She gets to head on down the highway knowing her business is safe, sound and running like clockwork, thanks to Believe's Manager, Shannon Marriott.

Shannon is my right-hand woman,says Lisa. "She's smart, intuitive, hard-working and the clients love her, almost as much as I do.”

There is a lot to love. Not only does Shannon lend a hand on the styling side (blow-drying, helping with the fun extensions-some with feathers—Believe uses as fundraisers for charity, doing color for select clients) but is a whiz at the administrative side of the business.

I set appointments, order supplies, send out email blasts, run payroll and make sure things run on schedule,Shannon says. "Sometimes that does mean lighting a little fire under Lisa's rear end, I admit.”

In return, Shannon is learning a lot. She gets to observe, up-close and personal, the workings of her boss, Lisa, who is a board-certified colorist (one of only 2,500 in the country). Shannon, who studied Cosmetology in high school is ever enthusiastic about adding new techniques and tips to her stylist toolbox. But Shannon is equally grateful to interact with (and learn from) all of Believe's great clients and staff.

I majored in Communication and minored in Business at the University of Albany and I get to use my education every day in my position here at Believe, says Shannon. "I am learning about how people work together, how best to communicate with the varied personalities of the staff and, most importantly, how to meet the needs of our clients and keep them happy.”

Shannon, who has been with Lisa for three years (she answered an ad in the Pennysaver and Lisa is still thanking her lucky stars) will be manning the ship on July 19th and 20th while Lisa is away for a short vacation.

I'll be doing color and blow-dry sessions, answering the phones, scheduling appointments and will try to find time to even get a little cleaning done,says Shannon. "I like being busy and this summer at Believe is keeping us all hopping...and that's a good thing.”

Call Shannon now to schedule your Believe appointment before leaving for your own vacation.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Learning About Layers

Fireworks aren't the only things hot this time of year. The temperatures are soaring and so is the humidity. Besides making you feel like there is no real point to taking a shower, humidity either makes you frizz up like Ronald McDonald or makes your hair as limp as a dishrag.

Help your hair beat the heat--without having to cut it all off—with the perfect solution...lovely layers. Whether your hair is long and luscious or short and sassy, layers are the way to add volume and body to your hair, despite the sizzling weather, and here at Believe we know how to make the most of your hair type.

If your hair is fine, you know those baby hairs of yours lay as flat as a rug at the first sign of ---well, almost anything. At Believe we can add long surface layers adding texture and volume. We'll create irregular lengths (with some fancy snipping) and not just blunt your hair horizontally (like the little Dutch boy haircuts you got when you were little) but vertically all around the perimeter. We can add texture by notching the ends with scissors (putting a little AESTELANCE BUTTER with Rosemary, Basil & Sandalwood oils in adds even more texture.) Really short hair is no problem to layer, too—you can spike it up (ask us for CHROMASTICS SPRAY GEL with sunflower seed oil, a natural sunscreen,which we carry at Believe) or, on really hot days, just run your fingers through it and off you go.

If you have thick hair, we will use chunkier layers in your cut, softening the ends with a razor to add a little swing to your style. We can go a bit shaggy (if you've got nice soft hair) or rip it up with some asymmetrical layers (from short to longer on the sides) for deconstructed coolness.

Round faces would do better with weight off the sides (this makes your face look skinnier) and wide foreheads look better with more top layers, letting your hair glide to fuller near the bottom. If your hair is straight, thick, and not too long, we can give you uniform layers, too (but don't try this with really long hair unless you are going for that Cave-girl look.)

If you have coarse hair, make sure you pick an experienced stylist (may we suggest the great staff at Believe?) as layers in this type of hair can be hazardous if not done carefully (you'll have ends popping out all over.) It takes a stylist who has a little sculptor in her (and we are Michelangelo of hair, we promise.)

Sculpting is also needed if you have curly hair. You have to be careful of the cut so it doesn’t grow out in a circular shape—or worse still, a pyramid. If your hair is long, surface layering should be long and, if your hair is short, you'll want uniform layers to control the curls.

If your hair is as straight as a board, be careful that your layers are blended in well, else it will be like seeing a painted wall with every brushstroke showing. Depending on how hip your are, you can get entirely different lengths cut into your hair. You can have real cowlick short hair on top or slightly longer to frame your face and longer at the bottom. Experiment! Be brave! Your hair will grow out.

We at Believe will be glad to consult with you about your hair type (taking into consideration your facial shape, too) and help you discover how layers can add bounce and body to your summer style. Call us soon though (because even the hardworking staff at Believe takes a vacation—Lisa will be gone July 16-23 & July 29 & 30) so call today.