Ask The Experts - Bobbie Chavarria

An educator, session hairstylist and salon owner, Bobbie Chavarria taps her 30 years of experience to answer your must-know questions about your hair. Take a look at some of her best advice for your hair woes.

Is there a way to make my hair grow faster?

Patience really is the key here, so have a goal and work towards it. Schedule regular trims every 10-12 weeks, taking off like 1/8 of an inch to prevent split ends from taking over. Regular salon appointments will actually help to maintain the length of your hair by preventing split ends from traveling up your hair shaft. Also, use quality products that work together, a system. L'ANZA's Healing Nourish is a great system of cleansing, conditioning and spray-on leave-in scalp treatment. I also suggest biotin tablets as a hair-boosting supplement. In addition, try changing your pillowcase to a "satin" type versus a traditional cotton one, as it will cause less friction with your hair.  

My hair always feels so brittle. What causes this and how can I get rid of it?

Several factors play a role in why hair feels brittle. Environment is one of the factors, from over exposure to sun while outdoors during the summer to over exposure to the overheated indoors in winter. Chlorine year round can also get you. Even heat styling your hair every day can take its toll. Using the incorrect products could also lend a hand. To remedy this, make sure you are not using over-cleansing, oil-removing shampoos. Sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners will not only help prevent color fading but they will help prevent moisture loss. During the winter your hair will benefit from a deep conditioning treatment regularly at home. Redken All Soft Conditioner is a great choice.  

How often should I be doing a deep treatment? How do I know what type to use?

If you wash your hair daily, then I suggest doing a deep treatment two to three times a week. If you wash once or twice a week, substitute a masque for your conditioner. Typically, the thicker and courser the hair, the more you’ll need a moisturizing oil-based masque that is hydrating. L'ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Intensive Hair Masque is my go-to. For finer hair, look for a lightweight conditioner geared to strengthen and rebuild your hair. In that case, Kenra Platinum Revive Treatment is a great choice. 

I have some natural curl and wave in my hair but it always looks so frizzy when I try to style it. How can I wear my natural texture without all of the frizz?

Natural curl and wave tends to have a coarser cuticle, thus the feeling like it is growing big on you throughout the day. To combat this you need to lay your foundation starting with your shampoo and conditioner. Brazilian Blowout Shampoo and Masque is the perfect pair to begin your day. After shampooing and using the masque, follow with a smoothing serum such as Brazilian Blowout Smoothing Serum and/or Dry Oil.  Once you've applied, make sure to use a large tooth comb to distribute the product evenly. This is where it will be decided if you have a great hair day or an okay one!  Making sure your product is distributed evenly throughout your hair means that every part of your hair will react similarly. If you miss some areas, then those will be the areas that frustrate you during the day. Take the time on day one to prep your strands and you can easily get several days of frizz-free hair to enjoy. 

What’s the right way to create beachy waves for a long bob?

There is no right or wrong way to create beachy waves, just different interpretations of it. Here’s my suggestion: beginning with dry hair, divide it horizontally into three sections. Begin at the bottom, mid ears and down and work upward. Clip mid and top sections out of the way. Starting with the bottom section, take large vertical subsections and mist each with a thermal spray like Joico Ironclad Thermal Protectant. Next, use your choice of curling rod or iron. A 1.5-inch barrel is a good starting point, but depending upon the length of your hair, you may want larger or smaller rod sizes. Take your curling iron or rod vertically and curl the entire length of the subsection (roots to ends). Alternating curl direction, repeat for that entire lower section and then continue with your mid-section of hair. Once that section is done, move on to the last section, your crown. At the crown “drag your rod” so it's not used as close to the root, which will give your finished style a more natural lived-in look. Once all curling is complete, finger through your hair and then finish off with a light dusting of hair spray as needed.  

Coated Elastic Hair Band

I love having long hair but it can be kind of boring. What are some quick ways to style it, besides a ponytail, to add a little personality?

There are so many possibilities with long hair, that its exciting. Here are some of my go-to ideas:

One idea is a messy ballerina bun. It’s easily created by wrapping the length of your ponytail around the elastic band, securing as needed with bobby pins. Next, using the end of a comb or chopstick, evenly lift sections of hair for volume and messiness.

There’s also a trifecta of easy ponies that create lots of volume. Here's how: think of it as a waterfall of hair. Divide your hair horizontally into three sections. Begin at the top and make your first pony. Take your middle section and make another pony right underneath the first one and then make your third pony sitting under the second one. Take your back brush or comb and lightly back brush (tease) the hair for volume.  

Another idea is to take a low ponytail, braid it and then loosen the braid by pulling on both sides. Wrap the braid around the elastic of the pony and pin it into place.

If your hair is one length, work off of your natural part and then create a part two inches deep all the way along your hairline. Create a ponytail at the nape of your neck with hair from this section to produce a headband-like effect. Fluff your hair around that and you are ready to go.

How can I dress up my short hair for special occasions?

Accessories can be your best friend. From headbands to clip-in earrings that you use as hair decor, the options are endless. Add any of these to some waves or texture that you've built in with product and you’re go to go! If you want to add some temporary length, consider working with a seven-piece clip-in extension set such as Victoria’s Secret Hair (VSH).  It’s simple and quick to change your look and it comes right back out again once the event is over.

I’d love to do one of these new wild colors like teal blue or even pink but I’m not sure if it will look good. My hair is naturally dark. Will these colors even show up?

You have a few options in front of you. If you are just curious and do not want a long term commitment, try hair chalk. L’Oreal Professional Hair Chalk allows even the most vivid teal to show up on the darkest hair without pre-lighting (bleaching to a shade of blonde). It lasts about two weeks and then is gone.  

If you are looking for a long term commitment, then you first need to find a good colorist in your area. That’s very important. You also need to understand that going this direction is not a ‘one appointment and you're done’ type of thing. It will likely be more than one appointment to safely lift your dark hair color to light (a shade of blonde).  Once that is achieved then a fashion shade can be applied. That fashion shade is only meant to last about 14 days, so you need to think the timing through. This means not only are you looking at being in the salon every 2-3 weeks to refresh your vivid shade, but also about every 3-4 weeks to touch up your blonde at your roots. With this kind of color, regular salon maintenance is a must. Using proper products is also key to maintaining healthy hair.  As long as you are okay with this commitment and the continued cost associated with its upkeep, you will really enjoy your new color! 

About Bobbie Chavarria

Bobbie is the owner of Chava' Pelo Salon in Milpitas, California where she specializes in color, cutting and helping others create their own personal transformation, which can include a combination of techniques. When not in the salon, she educates for various product manufacturers, traveling worldwide to inspire others about her craft. Bobbie also provides session hair and makeup for a multitude of print and video projects.

Whether in the salon, on stage or on set, Bobbie’s vision challenges the way hair and makeup are traditionally thought of, thus communicating a story through beauty. Not only does she provide soft, natural looks, she also explores bold, exciting imagery only limited by her imagination.  Her mission is to create visual stimuli that tells an engaging story through the beauty of hair and makeup.  

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