Ask the Experts - Salon Kavi

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Karla Pelaez-Barrick and Victoria Pelaez

Karla Pelaez-Barrick and Victoria Pelaez, owners of of Salon Kavi in San Mateo, California, answer some of your most pressing questions about your hair and makeup. 

Q: I hear that it’s best not to wash your hair immediately following having professional color done…Is that true? If so, why? Otherwise, what are some of the best ways to preserve my color?
A: There really is no technical reason why you can’t wash your hair right away after color, but considering that you just got your hair professionally done, not sure why you would not want to prolong that look as long as possible. Color will naturally fade just slightly with each washing, but not more than usual if washed immediately following the service. I do, however, suggest using a gentle professional color care shampoo and conditioner to help maintain your color investment. For the ultimate in color retention, I recommend (especially for reds) alternating between Kérastase Chroma Sensitive, which is an ultra gentle cleansing balm and Kérastase Bain Mirior. Also, rinse with cool water to keep from blasting the cuticle open. If you can skip a day or even two between washings, even better!

Q: Should I be worried that my scalp tingles a bit when color is applied?
A: I usually suggest not washing your hair prior to any color service that involves touching the scalp. That way you are less likely to have any scalp sensitivities. Also, tell your colorist your issues and concern so they can do more elaborate test patches to see if you have any allergic reactions before proceeding.

Q: I’d love to give my mother in a law a much-needed makeover, but a friend mentioned that it would be considered rude, even tacky and insulting to get her a gift certificate to my salon. What do you think? 
A: I think that most people would appreciate the gesture, mothers-in-laws included, but I might suggest looking into how the gift card or certificate reads and take careful consideration how the gift is presented. You want your motives to read more like a gift of pampering versus a suggestion that the recipient could look better.

Q: I love my hairdresser and how she does my color, but she never really gets my cut right. Should I say something or just move on to someone else?
A: A stylist can’t fix what they don’t know is wrong, so tell her your concerns. If you still feel that you have made every effort to communicate on your end, even taking pictures in from this magazine, and she still doesn’t get it right for you or is not willing to recommend someone else to do the cut portion, tell the salon owner you are considering moving on. As a salon owner myself, I would want to know that there is an issue so I could pair you with a better haircutting option in the salon.

Q: I see the same products I get in my salon at the supermarket for about the same price, so why should I buy them from my stylist?
A: When you buy professional salon-only products from the drug or grocery stores, they really can’t be guaranteed for quality.  Technically they have been diverted and you really don’t know the source or if the product inside is really genuine. You also don’t get the benefit of the expert advice only your hairdresser, the person who really knows your hair, can offer. Besides, I would hope you want to help support your local salon, versus the large chain of drug or grocery stores.

Q: I hear that texture is very “In”, and that if we have natural curl or wave we should embrace it. Unfortunately I can only get messy frizz versus a nice wave or curl in my hair. Any suggestions?
A: Actually this is one of our favorite types of hair to work with, as there are so very many styling options! If your hair is thick and coarse, your curl needs lots of moisture and conditioning every time you shampoo. I might also suggest a good leave-in conditioner like KMS Moist Repair Revival Cream and some great curl enhancing products like KMS Curl Up Curling Balm or Control Cream, if you have super thick hair. If you have finer or thinner hair with frizz, use a leave in conditioner but a lighter spray-in is a better bet. Try KMS Moist Repair Leave-in Conditioner on damp hair and then work in KMS Curl Up Wave Foam to help bring out and hold the curl.

Especially to the sections that are the frizziest, take smaller but random pieces of damp hair, smooth them out and twirl then around your finger to help activate the bend. This will help smooth down the cuticle and minimize the frizz. Air dry or diffuse dry, pushing the hair up and cupping it if you have finer or thinner hair. Don’t cup the hair, but blow down the hair shaft as you lightly lift at the root if you have thicker or coarse strands. Either way, just remember that the less you touch the hair during and after drying, the less likely frizz with happen.

Q: How can I dress up my short hair for a special occasion?
A: If you have length on top, consider adding bends, waves and or curl using a smaller iron.

You can also make it sleek and look timeless and classic by creating a slick, head-hugging style. Bumble and Bumble Gellac can offer a soft lacquered look. It’s a heavy hold gel that is brush-able. For a softer version, consider KMS Design Wax. Adding hair accessories is always a great option too and can dress up even the simplest cut. Consider clips, combs, pins and headbands with just a hint of bling to dress up your short coif.

Q: Should I be considering a certain type of makeup when having it done for my wedding? Should I be considering airbrush makeup? I hear that the pictures turn out better but I don’t know what I should I ask for.
A: Having done makeup specifically for photography, I can tell you that there are types of foundations that offer sort of a second skin, which photograph beautifully. They can be much heavier than regular foundation and can be too much for some people, especially on your wedding day. There’s also the whole High Definition or HD makeup, which can take things even further. Airbrushing is one of the ways to apply foundation but if you have even the slightest amount of facial peach fuzz or naturally dry skin, this is not the way to go for you. A cream foundation may be a better bet, or if you need less coverage, even a liquid foundation. My suggestion to you is to tell your makeup artist what you are trying to achieve (showing samples like you would for a new hairstyle) and do a trial run (or two) to see what you think. Although professional cameras may be more sensitive and show much more detail, you can take a few snaps of your own to get an idea what’s best for you on your special day.

About Karla Pelaez-Barrick & Victoria Pelaez
Sisters Victoria Pelaez and Karla Pelaez-Barrick are co-owners of Salon Kavi in Northern California's San Mateo area. Karla is a hair extension expert while Victoria specializes in hair color and makeup. They both feel that on-going education is an important part of being a successful hairstylist. Each year they and their staff keep up to date on the newest trends, techniques and fashions by attending hair shows, classes and seminars. Salon Kavi has trained and attended classes from some of the best in the industry including Wella, Vidal Sassoon, Goldwell and Beth Minardi.

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