Saturday, July 27, 2013

What is Ombre?

With summer in full swing, many of our clients are asking how to get a fun, sun kissed look to lighten up their locks. We asked our resident color specialist, Courtney, for her take on a great summer look that allows for optimal versatility and can be adapted to meet every guest’s personal uniqueness. She has provided us with a little history on one of her favorite looks, Ombre, and details on what to expect when opting for this service.

Courtney, Color Specialist at Parlor

Ombre by Courtney Sutherland

Ombre is a hair color technique made extremely popular in the last 5 years. The term Ombre is from the french word meaning “shaded” or “shading”. In general, the term Ombre is synonymous with the image of dark new growth fading into lighter ends. In most cases, this description adequately describes what most guests visualize when originally consulting with them. However, as Ombre has evolved through the years of its popularity, so have the options for the colors used in the technique. Anything from bright blonde, vibrant red, and pretty pastel hues have been used. 

The actual technique can vary from stylist to stylist. Back combing is the most widely used, along with balayage painting and free form highlights. Because there are so many "looks" with Ombre, it is essential to have a lengthy consultation with your stylist, and to bring in many pictures of the exact look that you're going for. Many guests entertain the idea of Ombre because of its low maintenance upkeep. Since the technique calls for the lightening of ones ends, the dreaded roots aren't much of a concern. In general, guests that I perform the Ombre technique on only have to come in every 4-6 months for brightening, or reapplication if they've received a haircut. Most of the true maintenance is up to the guest with at home care. The biggest issue with Ombre is that you are lightening the ends of the hair, which are the most fragile and most prone to damage or dryness. It's crucial that Ombre guests take home a leave in conditioner and dry or damage repair shampoo. My favorites are Aveda Dry Remedy or Aveda Damage Remedy

When booking your appointment for you new Ombre look, expect to be at the salon for around the duration of a full foil (2 hours). Depending on your natural color, or current color canvas, it may also be more than one step to get you right where you want to be! 
This beautiful technique has shown its staying power, and the effortless look of lightly sun kissed locks is the perfect summer color! 

I invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with me and we can talk about the best option for you!    ...Sincerely Courtney Sutherland

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Introducing Laura our new addition to Parlor on Avenue B!

Announcing the newest member of The Parlor Beauty Squad...

Hairdressing since 2003, Aveda Minneapolis Trained
Specializing in Haircutting, Styling, and Makeup,
Laura's love is educating and giving back to the industry!

Here I ask a few questions about her background, interests, and outlook on teaching...

(Gwenn) What influenced you to become a hairdresser? 
(Laura) Art and music.  I've always loved drawing, painting, sculpting and sewing.  I enjoy the three-dimensional element of creating mixed media pieces and working with my hands, so hair design, for me was and is a natural extension of that.  I have always been obsessed with music and singing and am really inspired by musicians.  I knew I wanted a hands-on career designing and creating.  After a few years of contemplating music school and art school, I decided to try Cosmetology as it was always in my mind as a career option because I had a hunch I would love it.  After touring the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis, I knew that was where I needed to be.  I instantly fell in love with the craft and found that I could use hair as my medium and make people smile doing it.

(Gwenn) What is your favorite hairdressing memory?
(Laura) There are so many!  I can remember the very first time I styled hair for a photo shoot.  It was the biggest high. I remember driving home after working for 14+ hours, smiling and thinking..."This is living."

(Hair by Raymond McLaren)
(Gwenn) Do you have a favorite all time haircut or technique? 
(Laura)  Precision cutting. I ventured out to Santa Monica to take a Vidal Sassoon class a few years into my career.  I am naturally meticulous and detailed, so I was always drawn to his techniques.  Ever since then, I have been obsessed with precision cutting and graduation techniques for structured bobs and shorter haircuts. It is very challenging, which is what I enjoy about it and I feel it's a skill that develops your visual eye and the control needed to design strong, beautiful shapes while expanding your creativity.  

(Gwenn) Do you recall a memory of when being a hairdresser or teacher changed
someones life? 
(Laura) Upon completion of teaching my first Introductory Class at the Aveda Institute, my
students gave me a card thanking me for being a part of their lives and expressing how much they learned from me and how much they were going to miss me (even though they would be in the adjacent classroom).  I was overwhelmed and cried as I realized.."Wow, I really made a difference."   I connected with them and we inspired each other.  I find the rewarding aspects of teaching to be immeasurable.

(Laura)  Also, I think a lot of people are unaware of the impact and volunteer opportunities available for Hairdressers to make a difference on a grander level.  I  try to volunteer as much as possible for different organizations.  I currently cut patient's hair at a Hospital which has been an amazing experience and brought a lot of joy to my life.

(Gwenn) Being an educator is there was one piece of advice you would say to future hairdressers? 
(Laura) Feed your passion.
  Take as many classes and explore as many avenues as possible.  You never know what you may fall in love with or who you may meet or what connections you may make that could change your life.  Share your experiences and expertise with other artists.  Work hard, but be good to yourself and remember that balance is important.

 If you could live in any era which one would it be?  
(Laura) That's a hard one.  When people ask me this, I always think of the movie "Blade Runner" where the main character's style is a futuristic-vintage fusion. So, I often imagine what fashion will be like 50 years from now because I feel like vintage fashion from the 20th century will stay with us. I would have to say the 1940's if I had to pick one from the past as I adore the silhouettes, fashion and hair styles and love to re-create those "period" looks. Hair Styles from the 20's, 30's and 40's are so timeless and will always look beautiful, whether classic or modernized. 

   Thanks for talking with us Laura!  I am glad you found us though our mutual love for Aveda and its culture.  With your professionalism, love for teaching, learning and bettering our craft I have a feeling we will have a long future together here at Parlor.  I am excited to introduce our guests to your incredible talents while we share you with The Aveda Institute as an Aveda Educator, here in New York City.

Your In Service,
Gwenn LeMoine
Parlor and Parlor in Brooklyn

 Laura Boland is available Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays
 at our location in the East Village 
(AVB between 6th/7th)
 212--673-5520 or email us at