Aug 132013

Teresa Callen Dry Haircut Artist

I am often asked the difference between a haircut on dry hair and one on wet hair. Most of my clients have naturally textured hair, so I cut hair dry about 95 percent of the time.

Human hair generally holds about 40 percent of its weight in water. Because of this, curly hair tends to behave very differently when wet. If I cut it wet, it springs up when dry, making the shape I want to create less predictable. And most of us wear our hair dry so it makes sense to cut hair how we wear it. The bottom line? The difference between wet and dry hair makes it hard to trust the outcome of a wet haircut on hair with any natural texture.

Many heads of natural curls and waves are not consistent all over. Often I must cut straighter pieces shorter than locks of hair with tighter curls, so I can get the right shape. As an example, women like me have wavy hair on tops of their heads and curls around the perimeter. I would not be able to detect the texture variation if the hair was wet, so I cut it dry to discern the different types of curls and waves on each head.

Wet haircuts give harder, more noticeable lines to a shape. This is a great way to design stylish-looking hair, but with naturally curly and wavy hair, the final result often looks better when softer lines are created. Dry haircutting creates these softer lines, while keeping the focus on curls and waves. In most wet haircutting, the distinct lines of the style can override natural texture. In short, you see the line of the style rather than the curl or wave pattern. Cutting hair dry allows me to keep the design focus on curls and waves and not on the lines of the cut.

So, softer lines, variations in texture, and a technique I trust are all why I choose dry cutting to show off my clients’ lovely natural curls and waves.

Mar 132013

A TED talk that is worth the ten minutes to watch. Looks are powerful, a tool you can use in your favor, and superficial. In this talk we are reminded that many of the images we see in the media are artwork and not what we see in daily life. Please click on the link below to see the video.

Cameron Russell talks about looks and being a model.

Mar 072013

Teresa Callen Hair Artist for Curls and Waves

The sheer number of products to choose from can be a challenge in finding the best products for your curls and waves. Critical thought is needed, because websites and magazines tend to have a necessary bias toward their advertisers’ products when making recommendations.  The bottom line with product is personal preference—you have to like the smell, look, and feel of what you use on your hair.

I suggest you ask anyone with hair similar to yours what they use. That is one of the best ways to find products that work. You might have to invest a little money and try out a number of products before you find the one product or the mix of products that enhance your waves and curls best.

Regarding ingredients, I have found with cleansing products, that low detergent and sulfate free are a good bet. Some curls react very well to a no-detergent cleanser such as Deva Curl No Poo. If your scalp has a tendency to flake, then I suggest a little detergent. Some of my favorites are the Image Arts line Anti-Frizz Shampoo and the Pure Moisture Shampoo.

Conditioner is very important in getting wavy and curly hair to stay frizz free. Leaving in some conditioner can be quite helpful. Our best seller is a leave-in conditioner called Elixir 11.

To style waves and curls, water in the hair is the ultimate moisturizer. Allowing your hair to dry on its own even a little bit helps it retain some moisture through the day—which makes for lovely hair.  Generally, most waves do best with stronger-hold products like gel or mousse. Hair with plenty of natural fullness and curl tends to do well with the weight and moisture of crème-based products. Fine hair can be tricky, with a need for a stronger or heavier product to weigh the frizz down. Adding water to your hair during the day is often helpful for this hair type. Simply pat water into your hair and let it dry untouched. This can also reactivate products that are a few days old without your having to add more.

To find the best products for your curls or waves don’t be afraid to ask and try. Most of us find our way to the best products over time.

Mar 062013

Tips for making your hair its best on your wedding day.

The first step for beautiful wedding hair is to choose your dress and any accessory you wish to wear. Once you’ve done that, send your hair artist a photo of yourself in your dress, showing front, back and side view. A picture of your dress and any headpiece or accessory is an important visual your stylist needs for hair design. Photos of styles you like are also very helpful in designing your hair. Most professionals find that images are a good way to get a solid idea of your taste in wedding hair.

The best advice I can give is to spend time and money to have your hair professionally done before your wedding day so you know what you’re going to look like. It also helps to wear the style for a day or an evening to see how it wears and how comfortable it is.

If you color your hair, have that done a week or less before the big day. It also helps to have your hair cut at least two to three weeks prior to your wedding. For some types of hair, it works best to have a cut a month before. Do get a trim even if you wear your hair up. Clean ends can make a big difference in your look and in removing an intricate updo the day after the celebration.

Be sure to wear a shirt that buttons down the front to any hair and makeup appointments on the day of your wedding. If you plan on wearing flowers in your hair, it is important to add them very close to the start of the wedding to keep them fresh. Use hairspray prior to adding flowers. (Some sprays can wilt flowers quickly.)

Make sure that any wedding hair accessory is firmly attached to your hair. My special trick is to use an “X” pattern with hair or Bobby pins. Even a fancy comb needs to be attached carefully so that it will stay put during the festivities. Most hair artists are experienced in getting hairstyles to last gracefully through an important event, so using the services of a professional is the best way to go on your big day.

Jan 142013

specialist in naturally wavy and curly hair

The winter months are when clients ask for advice on frizzy hair most frequently. With dry atmosphere, cold air, and other factors increasing static, we tend to have more issues with frizz during the winter than any other season.

To combat frizz, I suggest using more product on your hair. A small increase is plenty. Another option is to use natural oil on your hair—jojoba is one of the best, but olive or almond oil will also do. Apply the oil to dry hair starting at the middle of your hair shaft. Be sure to stay two full inches away from your scalp. But if your scalp is dry, feel free to apply the oil there as well. Wait from 5 to 30 minutes and then wash your hair. Some of the oil will remain to weigh your hair down, and that usually decreases frizz. If oil is too heavy for your hair type, condition more often instead.

For static, one of the best remedies is to rub a dryer sheet over your fly-away hair. Anti-static sprays also work well sprayed on a brush or comb and brushed through your hair.

During the winter, it’s tempting to take hotter showers than normal to warm up. Try to keep your shower lukewarm and you will be doing your skin, scalp, and hair a favor.

A humidifier can be great for the skin and scalp in winter months. Another way to add moisture to your system is to drink more water.

Wear a hat, or if your hair is long, pull your hair back or put it up more during the winter months.

The scalp is usually the greatest challenge in the winter. With less UV exposure, our scalps tend to flake more than at any other time of year. To help deal with scalp flaking and dandruff issues, I have created five posts. Just click on the relevant links below to find more information to help with your winter hair and scalp.

Advice For Itchy, Flaky Scalp

The Lowdown On Dandruff

 When Your Scalp Flakes

 How To Manage A Flaky Scalp

 When To Go To A Doctor For Your Scalp Issues



Jan 082013

Expectations and Self-Acceptance

The greatest beauty secret I can share is to maintain realistic expectations of your hair and to nurture a healthy attitude of self-acceptance. We live in a culture that is known for self-loathing.  Many Americans live with the feeling that we are not enough and what we have is not enough. We watch TV shows and movies with actors picked for their above-average looks and for bodies that require more maintenance per day than most humans can achieve—while still holding down a job and fostering a loving and supportive family life. The image we are presented is far above what can be achieved, yet many of us think we should look that way every day.

Magazines showcase images that are so touched up that even models say they do not look like that in real life. My advice is to see the portrayal of the human image in magazines, ads, and movies as the art form it is. A team of professionals works to create the hair and makeup, and after that, the image goes through post-production work to deliver an image that is more like a beautiful painting than reality. Many of us now know this, but it is important to good self-esteem to remember this fact every time we look at an artful image. If we do this, we can adjust our expectations of what our hair can look like on days without professional help.

I once heard a self-help guru suggest thinking loving thoughts each time we see that roll of flab or poorly placed wrinkle or blemish on our own bodies. After more than 30 years in this industry, I have to say that the most beautiful people I know have healthy expectations of their hair and overall image. Your hairdresser can teach you tricks to deal with a bad hair day, but the bad days that come from within are the real challenge. I agree with the guru. When you are tempted to see the negative in yourself and focus on it, intervene and take a more positive slant.

Oct 012012

Tips for great hair in the fall season

At the end of summer, your hair is in a state of recovery. You’ve spent time outside in conditions that create noticeable changes in the fiber of each strand of hair. Both natural and chemically treated hair needs a little help from you to speed this recovery process.

Fall is the season to give your hair a trim or new haircut. Removing frazzled ends can make hair softer, and it will tangle less. Neat ends also look much better.

Conditioners can help a great deal during the fall. If you have a deep conditioning product in your bathroom, now is the time to use it. Deep conditioners work best if left on for 15 to 30 minutes or more. Follow the directions carefully, but know that they need time to work their magic. If conditioner makes your hair go flat, I suggest that you condition the ends only. Give yourself a gift—sit and read or take a long bath while the conditioner improves your hair.

During the fall, colorists tend to add more pigment to hair coloring. Fall is also the best season to start using a shampoo or conditioner that contains color. Be sure to test the product for staining by leaving a small dollop on the floor of your tub or shower for an hour and then rinsing it off. Shampoos and conditioners with added pigment can add real sparkle to colored and natural hair during the fall when light begins to fade earlier in the day.

Fall is also a great time to get in the habit of brushing your scalp in preparation for winter. Doing so can help avoid winter scalp issues. Be sure to use a brush that has bristles with smooth, rounded ends. Brush your scalp just before you wash your hair. This is a great tip even for those who do not brush or comb their hair for styling reasons.

If you wear a hat, be sure to turn it inside out and leave it on a windowsill or in the sun for an hour or so. This is one of the best ways to clean a hat, and it helps to preserve the health of your scalp.



Oct 012012

How to deal with swimmer's hair.

Chemicals in swimming pools can be tough on hair, but the health benefits of swimming are worth it in every way. Here are some tips and information to you help with swimmer’s hair.

Before entering a pool, be sure to thoroughly wet your hair before you get in the pool. If you wear a swim cap, put it on over your wet hair. Hair has the capacity to absorb 40% of its weight in water, so make sure that it’s absorbing tap water rather than pool water.

Swim caps have improved a lot over the years and are one of the best ways to protect your hair from the chemicals found in most pools. If you put pure jojoba oil or conditioner on your hair after you wet it and before you put on your swim cap, you’re taking protection to the next level. These products will saturate your hair, decreasing absorption of pool water exponentially. Oils and conditioners can cause problems in a pool, so please wear a cap if you choose this route. It will help whoever manages the water where you swim. If you do not submerge your hair when you swim, then tie it up securely to keep it out of the water.

When you’re done with your swim, wash and condition your hair immediately. Your goal is to keep the chemicals from drying in your hair. Wash with your normal shampoo. Products for swimmers have a different pH or act as a chelating agent, which is the ingredient that is supposed to unlock the chemical bond that forms between your hair and pool chemicals. These products are harsh—sometimes worse than the water you are swimming in—so use them occasionally, rather than regularly.

One of my best tips is to research the pool you swim in. A well-managed pool avoids the pH problem that cause green hair or other extreme swimmer’s hair issues. A complex series of chemical events needs to occur for your hair to turn green. Chlorine is actually not the cause. Instead “aggressive water” caused by the wrong pH level oxidizes the metals in the pool’s heating and plumbing system. These metals become part of the pool water and then bind to your hair. Other swimmer’s hair issues are a texture extreme (a very dry feel to the hair) and hair that breaks easily. A professional at pool management understands how to keep the pool water balanced to avoid skin and hair problems. Find a well-managed pool to swim in and your hair and skin will be happier for it.


Aug 312012

Teresa Callen love healthy curls

One question I hear a lot  is “Are there any supplements or foods that will make my hair, nails, and skin better?” I’ve spent years on looking for the right answer, so let me save you some time in your search for great-looking hair, nails, and skin.

There is a temptation to find a quick fix, such as a pill or a product. But quick fixes do not work. What does work is a great diet and regular exercise.

I don’t recommend supplements that are specifically designed for hair, nails, and skin. I have watched too many people take them with little result. What I do recommend is to learn how to improve your diet and how to take supplements to enhance your overall health.

The first step to glowing hair, nails, and skin is to get a high level of antioxidants into your body. To  measure how well you are doing, go to a professional with a biophotonic scanner and have a scan done four times a year for a year. After that, have a scan done once or twice a year. Most Americans have a very low score—at the red and orange end of the spectrum. A high score—at the blue end of the spectrum—is your goal. That will give you the best-looking skin and hair you can possibly have.

I cannot tell you how life-changing it is to measure your antioxidant levels. If you live in Northern California, I strongly suggest you visit Richard Lee, MD. Because of him, many people tell me I have great skin and hair. He charges $20 for a biophotonic scan, and you do not have to be a regular patient to take advantage of this service.

If you want to know more about biophotonic scanning, check it out on the Doctor Oz show. You’ll learn  what it measures and how important a high score is. There are four parts to the show, and it’s worth a watch. I found his explanation well done and easy to understand.

I have kept my score in the blue for more than three years and have never felt better. My medical test results prove that it’s worth the effort. Outstanding hair, skin and nails can only be had if you work at great overall health.

To eat yourself “blue” and achieve great health, start by researching these websites:

I think supplementation is a great way to augment a good diet. To find the supplements that match your body best, I suggest taking the time to fill out the questionnaire at Dr. Weil’s Vitamin Advisor. You’ll get a free, no-obligation recommendation.

Some of the best diet ideas I’ve ever heard come from Dr. Lee and his team of professional nutritionists. A key recommendation is to “eat all over the rainbow.” That means eating a lot of vegetables of every color.

Varity in your diet is paramount, and the main ingredient in a healthy diet is vegetables. To get a glow going that you cannot create with any skin care or cosmetic product, plant-based is the way to go. (Good products do help a great deal in getting great skin, but they are second to a good diet.)

Dr. Lee also recommends an 80-20 guideline. To follow it, eat healthy 80% of the time and for the love of food 20% of the time.

For more information on a plant-based diet, I suggest you watch the movie, Forks Over Knives. The healthy eating information is really well done.

Summing it up, it took me three years to get a blue score. It may take you less time, but however long it takes, the results you’ll see that your hair, skin, nails, and overall health are so worth the effort. I exercise regularly, too. To understand the role that exercise plays in great hair, nails, and skin, I recommend the book, Younger Next Year.




Aug 012012

Why The Ends of Your Hair Feell Dry

Your hair is pretty amazing. Each individual fiber has a complex structure composed of three distinct layers—cuticle, cortex and medulla. As hair ages, it undergoes a process called keratinization. Your skin, hair, and nails all go through a form of keratinization and experience varying degrees of hardness on their surface and inner structure.

As hair grows and ages—and its growth phase can last close to five years—its cells remain tightly attached to each other. Over time, these cells undergo a programmed death and fully harden. If you touch your hair near the root, then further out toward the middle, you will notice a distinct difference. The ends of your hair are the hardest of all, and this is because of keratinization and that cells towards the end are in a different phase than the cells towards the roots.

Actually, keratinization is much more complex than my explanation, but it’s important to have a basic understanding of the process. So many of my clients are frustrated by the dryness of the ends of their hair, and they think they did something to cause it. The truth is that the healthiest hair gets hard and feels dry. That is its nature.

Keratinization is a natural process that prevents hair from breaking off close to the scalp. Your hair is like a helmet made to protect your head and the brain inside. The dryness at the ends of your hair is nature’s way to maintain this protection.

As a society, we value the appearance of people who spend time grooming themselves. Good grooming is visually equated with success. Because of this, it’s not considered socially acceptable to let the ends of the hair look broken or split.  We trim our hair so we will look good. If we balance grooming with the understanding that hair does feel hard and dry at the ends, I believe it makes for healthy expectations about what hair is and what it can be.



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