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15 Mar '17

ISA Professional Hair Stylist: Emily Anderson!

Get to Know ISA Professional Hair Stylist

Emily Anderson

Admit it; we all love checking out Instagram to get the latest inspiration. Whether it’s with makeup, fashion or our area of expertise, hair, you can always count on finding a picture that gets your interest. You scroll and heart many pictures of talented artist’s work but once in a while there’s one that stands out, and Emily Anderson (@emilyandersonstyling) is definitely one of those stylists! Her beautiful feed was filled with so many hair inspirations and amazing shots of her hair creations (like her pixie cuts that many of us considered rocking, but only if she held the scissors).  

We are now happy to announce that Emily Anderson is an official ISA Professional Stylist and to celebrate, we wanted to share with you the gorgeous #flatironcurls that she is so well known for! Her personal favorite is our titanium flat iron; its tapered tip and rounded sides make it perfect to create those signature flat iron curls. Be sure to follow her and show her some love.



This video is perfect if you want to learn the correct way of achieving these beautiful flat iron curls. We know that Emily makes it look easy and you may get frustrated as you learn, but keep at it and watch yourself improve. Remember, our flat iron’s design is perfect for this soft look and really, after seeing her end results, you know it’s completely worth the practice!



This photo is a great example of Emily’s talent: a stylish pixie cut, pink color work and once again, flat iron curls created with our titanium flat iron! We love colorful, bold looks and this pink would be so much fun to try out. It also highlights how flat iron curls can be possible with short hair, too! 



Another amazing pixie cut styled with our titanium hair straightener, this time a bit shorter and just as awesome. We suspect that after seeing her creations, it’ll make you consider getting a chic pixie cut too! 

28 Feb '17

Dying Your Hair: Before and After Care

Proper Care for Dyed Hair

Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Maybe you’ve been struck by a heady whim and can’t wait another second. However you got here, you just know: you’re ready to dye your hair. You’re armed with photos of Evan Rachel Wood’s chic grey-blonde or a gorgeous pastel pink color melt or one of NaturallyTash’s latest stunning color combinations. You’ve made an appointment with a colorist, and you’re counting down the days.



So all that’s left is waiting for the appointment, right? Well, yes and no. We’ve got a few tips to prep your hair for the big day. Grab a chair, and take notes, everyone: welcome to Dying 101.  

Keep Your Hair Healthy 

One of the biggest keys to a great color application is to have healthy hair. (Also a good rule in general, let’s be honest. Treat your hair like the crown it is, folks!) Use quality cleansing and styling products that are gentle with your hair. Make sure to use your heat styling tools correctly, and protect your hair before using them. You should also indulge in a moisturizing hair treatment about once a month.

We’ve got many great pieces on how to keep your hair healthy here on our blog, so you don’t have to look far for more great advice. Just scroll back and keep reading! To get you started, here’s how to get healthy hair with 3 oils.  

Don't Wash Before You Go 

Pink Hair | ISA Professional

Do not wash your hair right before you go to the salon - preferably, wash it at least two days before your appointment. Doing this helps ensure your hair’s natural oils haven’t been washed away, and the even distribution of oil in your hair should give you the best chance for evenly-colored hair.  

This break also gives your scalp a chance to heal from any scratches it might have picked up during a vigorous hairwashing. Crying in salons is very serious business, and you don’t want to suffer because the chemical treatment is burning on broken skin.  

When you do wash your hair for the last time before seeing your colorist, use a clarifying shampoo to remove any product build-up in your hair. If your hair is healthy enough, or has low porosity, you may want to skip the conditioner at this point. For natural hair with high porosity, you should deep clean and deep condition; check out NaturallyCurly’s guide, “How to Prime Your Hair for Color (No Matter Your Porosity).”  

Try not to use any styling products in the last 48 hours before you’re parked in your colorist’s chair.  

After Care for Dyed Hair

The day has arrived! The dye has been applied! You look fabulous! Now - how do you keep it that way? 

We’ve got tips for that! And they’re mostly common sense, and a snap to follow.  

First things first: wait as long as you can to wash your hair after having it dyed. While waiting 24 hours is generally enough to ensure the color’s been absorbed, some colorists are firm on suggesting 48 hours - or as long as you can go.  

While you’re not washing your hair, it’s time for a shopping trip: stock up on shampoo and conditioner formulated to protect color-treated hair. You should be able to find these easily within your favorite brand; some product lines even get really specific and protect certain colors.  

You may also want to wash your hair less often, to keep your hair’s natural oils going strong. Coloring your hair can damage the hair cuticle, making your hair more porous and prone to moisture loss - which means prone to color loss as well. You’ll also want to avoid super hot water, which can strip your hair’s moisture. Be sure to condition with every wash, and regularly deep condition as well.

Make sure to protect your hair from the elements as well: the sun can fade your fab coloring job, and chlorine from pools can do nasty things to it. Try to use hair products that include UV protection, and wear a hat or head covering while outside with no shade. You can protect your hair from pool water by covering it with conditioner before jumping in.  

Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed Dying 101 - instead of a degree, you get an awesome new hair color! Best class ever, am I right? And if you don’t like the color, you can simply change it again. Now hit the comments and share your advanced tips with the class!

06 Sep '16

Pro Tips for the Great Hairstylist Quest

Finding The Right Hairstylist

Woman Cutting Own Hair - ISA Professional

So you need a great hairstylist.

Did those six words make you break out into a cold sweat? I don’t blame you. Whether you’ve moved to a new area or had to fire your old stylist, looking for a great one is no easy or laughing matter. After all, a bad haircut is its own special kind of hell. No one’s got time for that, so it’s essential to find a good hairstylist on the first try. Luckily, we have a few solid tips to help you choose well.

It Never Hurts to Ask

See someone with fantastic hair? Especially a similar or related style to what you want? You know what to do.

The difficulty level on this technique depends on how much you go out and how outgoing you are. With friends, it’s easy: if you love the new ‘do your friend is rocking, ask her where she got that awesome style and score a referral to her stylist. With acquaintances or strangers, this may be more challenging, but go for it if you’re comfortable: ask for their stylist’s info and follow up. To break the ice, just make sure to compliment their style first before confessing “Help me, your stylist is my only hope!” Unless that’s too Princess Leia for you, then just casually ask for the stylist and salon. (Let’s face it, very few people can pull off braid-buns over the ears, anyway.)

Research Salons In Your Area

Hair Stylist Cutting Damaged Tips - ISA Professional

This one may be a no-brainer, but we’ve got some tips to make it a more fruitful search. First, consider what area to research - are you only willing to consider stylists within your city limits, or are you willing to travel for a great cut? Decide how far you’re willing to travel - for example, my current stylist lives 3 hours away, but for her inspired styling skills, that’s not too far for me to go. (I also have a low maintenance style and don’t require frequent cuts. But seriously, I would probably walk to Mordor for my stylist.)

Once you’ve answered that question, get a feel for what salons are in that area. Visit their websites, look at any photographs and stylist profiles they feature, and let your gut instinct guide you. Does it look like someplace you’d like to spend time? Do the stylists sound experienced and promising? Are the prices for their services within your ideal range?

If they don’t have a website, don’t despair! Round out your research by checking review sites - Google and Yelp can help guide you on the relative quality of the salon and their stylists.

Stylist Working with Client in Salon - ISA Professional

Sift Their Social Media

 This tactic builds on the previous suggestion - once you’ve identified a salon or stylist you’re interested in, you can get more information on their work by checking any available social media feeds. Facebook is an excellent resource with visitor reviews clearly distinguished, and Instagram is a popular place for stylists to showcase their work. Twitter can also be helpful when searching for shout-outs or microreviews from customers after their salon visit. This tactic may also give you a feel for how busy they are, which is generally a great indicator of how popular their stylists are. Their social media streams are also useful places to keep an eye out and score any promotions they’re offering. Think of it as going Sherlock Holmes to locate the best stylist, and you don’t even have to wear a deerstalker cap. Which is best, because they’re not in style.

When In Doubt, Check It Out

Hair Stylist Washing Hair - ISA Professional

 If you’ve found a potential salon or stylist but you’re still not sure, why not go and have a look in person? You could just walk in to make an appointment - it’s not like you’ll get one right there, but you’d have a chance to look around while arranging one. Some salons may feature professional photos of their stylist’s work in-house as well. And if you don’t want to commit to a full cut quite yet, you could start with a blow-out to get your feet wet. If they offer a professional wash with a scalp massage as well? Honey, as Tom and Donna from Parks and Recreation put it, “Treat yo self.”

With these tips in your skillset, you should have a leg up on finding a great hairstylist. I know it can seem terrifying, but just take a deep breath. Let it out. Be brave. And follow our list.

Got foolproof tips of your own for scoring the perfect stylist? Share them with us in the comments!

22 Aug '16

Cutting Your Hair is an Act of Courage

Haircuts and the Courage to Get Them

Never underestimate the self affirming power of a haircut.

We are all familiar with the experience, many of us have even done it ourselves. She broke up with her boyfriend and cut her hair. She took a gap year between high school and college and cut her hair. She lost her job and cut her hair. Hair is strange. Hair has no nerves so it sends no pain signals when we cut it. But it is more a part of our self identity than many other parts of our bodies that do send pain signals at the slightest provocation. I don't ever ask myself, “am I having a good elbow day?”, but I do ask, “am I having a good hair day?”

Lady with Blonde Hair

Our Hair and Us

We have many myths and legends about hair. Hair is power: Samson lost his famous strength after Delilah cut his hair. Hair is horror: Medusa's hair made of snakes turned anyone who looked at her into stone. Hair is salvation: Rapunzel lets down her hair to allow her prince to climb up into her tower.

There are many practical reasons to cut hair. To trim split ends. To make it easier to get ready in the mornings. I have very thick coarse, mind of its own hair. For me, when it gets too long I get tension headaches. But in addition to these practical reasons to cut hair are all the emotional reasons. I have one friend who is famous for saying, “Don't cut your hair!” as soon as someone says they've had a fight with their spouse. But why are we so obsessed with not cutting hair for “the wrong reasons?”

When I was 10 I took a swim class that mandated hair be put into swimming caps. My hair was so thick, and my head so big, that even though me and my mother tried for an hour the night before the first class to fit it all into the swim cap, we failed. My mother, being an eminently practical lady, brought out her old fashioned cloth cutting scissors, and cut my hair off. It had been the length of my belt, and became in an instant the length of my chin. At 10 I was more interested in writing and painting than hair, but I cried.

My mother said, “It'll grow back, it's just hair.” My mother is many things, a brilliant mathematician, a true friend, a brave bilingual storyteller, but she is not a hair stylist. I managed to fit into the swim cap, with a little reservoir tip remaining on top, and my hair looked for the next two years as if I had always just taken off a swim cap because it was chunky and flattened to my face.

Short Hair Blond Bob - ISA Professional

In my teens I had bangs. I think every 13 year old decides that bangs would be awesome, I know me and all my friends did. We even did them the “proper” way, brushing hair forward then separating out the would be bangs and rolling them into a pillar of twisted hair then cutting. We were assured by the older girls and the magazines that this would give the perfect natural look, where each hair was slightly longer or slightly shorter than the hair next to it.

At first I loved it, it was an evolution at a time when so much else was changing. If I can have breasts, then why not bangs? Because they were annoying. They shortened my already round face. They moved every time there was a breeze and brushed against my forehead and aggravated my pimples. They flipped up the wrong direction, especially on mornings when I was already late for school and couldn't find my curling iron or flat iron. When the bangs got longer they bit into my eyelashes and tried to poke my eyes out. I used hair spray, I used gel, I used sculpting putty, nothing would make them stay and heel. “Don't worry,” we said to each other, “it's hair, it'll grow back.” Doing research for this article, I looked up best celebrity bangs and almost did it again. But no, I'm not Twiggy and I am not Zooey Deschanel and I am not a girl who can pull off bangs.

My sophomore year at college I went with two friends to a salon. It was what I expected being an adult would be like, girls out in the big city getting our hair done together. Except that I got the worst blunt hair cut of my life. Worse than the one my mother gave me. One of my friends got a terrible all over orange tinge and the other had blonde highlights which were so over bleached that her newly blonde hair developed split ends and broke off. Another friend that year decided to take out her frustrations with a boy by bleaching her hair and dying it a radical color. Unfortunately, she left the bleach on too long and ended up bald. She wore head scarves and bandanas for months after that. We were good friends, we cheered her up, we commiserated, we laughed about it together long before she got over it. I said, “Don't worry, it'll grow out.”

Professional or DIY ?

Haircurt Tips ISA Professional

After that incident I took to cutting my own hair, frequently and a little at a time. It had to stay long because I wouldn't be able to cut the back otherwise! I played instead with color: platinum blonde for 18 hours until the roots began to grow, strawberry pink for 6 weeks after that, fire engine red for a year, honey, auburn, chestnut, fuschia pink.

I didn't see a professional hair stylist again until a friend introduced me to her stylist a few years later. He lives on a Caribbean island and had once cut hair at the Bergdorf Goodman salon in New York but missed home so he returned. He had cut the hair of more than one Miss Universe. In his tiny Roman temple of a kitschy salon decorated with plaster columns and cherubs holding baskets of grapes, I got an incredible hair cut that somehow made my hair beachy yet smooth, symmetrical yet voluminous. There were subtle layers on top that were shorter than the main hair, and shorter layers underneath? It was more magic than anything else. For the first time ever, I could twist all my hair into a bun on top of my head and require no bobby pins to keep it in place. It was easier to french braid and do other updos and styles after that hair cut. My hair did what I wanted it to, every day for six months. I was in hair heaven!

Of course, it grew out and I haven't been able to attain the same look again. But I am also not the girl I was when I got that hair cut. I don't have the same job. I don't live in the same country. But I still have the same hair, long and coarse and with a mind of its own.

I have a wonderful stylist now who speaks my language. When I talked about bangs last year she recommended starting slow. She gave me what we call “faux-bangs”, hair cut to the length of my bottom lip, hair that softens my jaw and looks feminine when I tie the rest of my hair back into a low braid but that doesn't annoy me or get into my eyes. When I want to dress up I will use a flat iron to straighten my hair until it looks like CGI, or curl it with the same hair straightener into tight curls that relax a day later into soft waves. It's not perfect, but it's my hair and I love it.

Hair is important. Hair is powerful. There is no bad reason to get a hair cut, because deciding to get a hair cut is an act of courage. It is a definitive choice. It's hair, it'll grow out. So have some fun with it!

What hair adventures have you had, with cut, with color, with products? Tell us in the comments below!


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ISA Professional Heat resistant curling glove for hair curler flat iron hair straightener
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