Blondes all around

Long time no blog! It’s been a wild fall season, full of travel and continuing education.

I just returned home from my final hair training of the year, and have big bright plans for 2019! If you’re not following my current work on Instagram, head over there by clicking here. I occasionally update using the story feature, and it’s getting exciting with some changes that are coming up.

2019 will mark Gingersnap Hair’s 4th birthday! With that, I will be relocating my salon to the Kirkland/Juanita/Bothell area. I will be updating everything to reflect my change of address once we get through the holiday season.

I am SO EXCITED to share what I’m up to with this new chapter in my business. With refocusing to being an extensions-exclusive salon, my new space is going to be magical to be in. Bonus? I can now serve wine :)

More on that later, but in the meantime here are a handful of lovely blondes created with the help of some hand-tied NBR hair extensions. There is no better way to add fullness, length and COLOR to your hair than with this method.

 Alexa wearing two rows of hand-tied extensions in a soft blonde ombre

Alexa wearing two rows of hand-tied extensions in a soft blonde ombre

 Ally showing the world what you can now do while wearing hair extensions: BRAIDS!

Ally showing the world what you can now do while wearing hair extensions: BRAIDS!

 Danielle with some gorgeous 20” hair in a dimensional blonde ombre

Danielle with some gorgeous 20” hair in a dimensional blonde ombre

Back to your regularly-scheduled blog updates, starting now! Ready to learn more about what NBR can do to up your hair game? Want to know if it’s the right fit for you? Find more info and start your consultation here.

It's all about COLOR

I joke sometimes that I get to paint people for a living, but there’s some happy truth in that! We look to subtleties in color all around us- choosing from hundreds of white paint swatches to get the perfect brightness and mood in our homes, being particular about the colors we wear, having that most-flattering shade of red lipstick.

We live, dream, and absorb color, all around us! Haircolor embodies all of these things for us. Some folks don’t consider changing theirs until society deems it necessary (sigh, those gray hairs), some take doing so as a crucial part of their identity (ahem, hi!). Color can brighten your face and mood, make a huge statement, and reflect your inner self on the outside.

 2 rows of NBR, totally natural caramel tones

2 rows of NBR, totally natural caramel tones

I take a lot of pride in constantly honing my craft as a haircolorist. Every person’s desires and palette are different- my brain loves a great challenge. There are few things more satisfying than seeing someone leave my studio uplifted and glowing.

With NBR, the possibilities of what can be done person-to-person are blown wide open. Getting your ends white blonde, or that white blonde hair to be thick and lower-back length can be impossible in the “real world”. Not with Natural Beaded Rows! Part of why I chose this method to be my specialty is the absolute obsession with color behind the scenes.

 2 rows of ruby flame NBR for dream haircolor and density

2 rows of ruby flame NBR for dream haircolor and density

Every hand-tied weft of hair is individually colored, then layered into other wefts to create a color blend that looks like it is actually growing out of your scalp. The color possibilities are endless, to where you can choose a basic palette and actually swap out different sets of hair at each tightening. You can have the platinum Khaleesi hair of your dreams, or simply a little extra pop through your ends without bleaching your natural hair. You can have the fantasy rainbow unicorn hair you see all over Pinterest even if your natural hair is black or too fragile to withstand the processing.

 Hand-tied hair freshly colored for an NBR appointment

Hand-tied hair freshly colored for an NBR appointment

I’m seriously like a kid in a candy shop when I’m getting extension hair prepared for appointments. I train constantly in new haircolor techniques like root shadowing, reverse balayage and colormelting in order to bring my clients the most current, beautiful effects for their hair.

 Copper, rose gold, pale blonde

Copper, rose gold, pale blonde


This fall, it’s all about warm, rich, autumnal colors (of course!)- but also PURPLE. Pantone Ultra Violet is the contrasting tone that is showing up all over fashion and decor for the season. It’s also a FANTASTIC color to put into hair, especially mixed into brunettes.

Pantone Ultra Violet

If you could have any color you wanted on your hair (ignore work, this is about you!), what would you choose?







Hair Sorcery- Easier than "Wash & Go"

I got to do a NBR tightening (what we call the maintenance appointments for Natural Beaded Rows, where the rows are removed, re-beaded, and put back) for the sweetest lady this week. She recently moved from an area where extensions are a more well-known option for improving hair situations and found me as she LOVES the NBR method.

The Seattle area tends to be all about low-maintenance, wash & go hair. I'm a big believer in making your mornings as easy as possible, but I'm ALSO a believer in really good hair and 9 times out of 10, wash & go just doesn't cut it.

Even if you enjoy a shorter length of hair, NBR makes mornings so much easier. I'm a testament to this- I'd get frustrated trying to restyle my fine, limp hair after day 2, and give up. That meant washing, blowdrying and restyling my hair every other day, adding 30-45 minutes to my morning routine. With the extra volume and density of NBR, I wash half as often, wake up ready to go, and dang- my hair looks GOOD. 

Check out the difference- the first photo is without NBR in (pretty! But needs some styling and volume. This is day 3-4 where most of us hair mortals are sad about how flat things get):

 With NBR just taken out

With NBR just taken out

Next photo- with NBR added back in and some fresh sparkly face-framing babylights:

 Boom! After NBR for fullness and brighter color on the ends.

Boom! After NBR for fullness and brighter color on the ends.

The extra volume and pop of color through her ends will take Alexa from daily wash & style sessions to twice weekly styling & beauty queen gorgeous. NBR isn't just for mermaids- there are so many ways to wear it! The extension hair holds style for days and helps to boost up your natural hair.

For your own NBR session, click here to start the consultation process. This information in the form at the end of the page helps me tailor a 10-minute conversation with you, saving you a trip to the salon before your hair day. Ready for some chair time? <3

NBR: The most customizable extensions on the market

Pretty much every hair extensions method out there involves the following: client shows up, color swatch ring comes out, and then the best match is found, ordered, and installed. The result is usually what you might expect... it looks like hair extensions- where you can tell something is off.

One of the funnier things I've heard lately was from my dad. He's always been my biggest fan, and even knows what balayage is! I was doing his bi-weekly buzz cut the other day and he was like "hey, I need a stack of your new cards". Sure, okay! But... any particular reason? "I saw this woman at the grocery store yesterday who had THE WORST EXTENSIONS. She needed your help!". I mean, if my dad can spot some rogue weave in the wild, you know there must be a better way.

Enter NBR. I haven't had this much fun working on hair since my early days when I worked on photoshoots at every opportunity possible. I'm not only helping transform my clients' everyday looks by giving them the fullness and lush hair they've always wanted... I'm giving them REAL hair that looks like it popped straight off of Pinterest. And it's low-maintenance, to boot! 

 Preparing hair for Sarah's NBR installation

Preparing hair for Sarah's NBR installation

I first met Sarah years ago on one of my many trips to my local craft store- she always helped me out when I was looking for some odd thing for my projects, and eventually she became my client at Gingersnap. When I was just getting started on my Natural Beaded Rows journey, she jumped straight on board and wanted to give it a shot. This got me excited because a) she always had super fun color requests and b) she was never able to grow the long lush mane she'd wanted.

We chatted color, set our date and then I set to work getting her new hair ready. We always do some variant of red, but this summer we were feeling a blend of blush, pink, copper and blonde. This isn't any kind of swatch-and-go situation: I custom-colored every piece of hand-tied hair and then layered them together in her installation. 

 Sarah, after her NBR transformation

Sarah, after her NBR transformation

The result? Pure, inimitable happiness. This is why I love what I do <3

 Sarah's before &amp; after

Sarah's before & after

Ready for your own experience with the best-kept secret in the hair industry? Click here to start your own unique consultation process.

Sarah

It's all about YOU- Invest in yourself!

Having had that baby-fine, soft hair that just doesn't have the fullness I want (you know the type: looks gorgeous for two hours after a blowout, looks like a soggy rat by day 2), I've tried every type of hair extension out there. I loved the idea of the extra length & oomph you could achieve from hair extensions!

The reality tended to be a bummer, though. You can imagine it: that first comical moment I put 22" long blonde clip-in extensions into my cute little pixie cut, that one time I got a head of keratin-bonds that took 5 hours to put in, 5 hours to take out and left my hair a broken mess, you get the idea!

As a stylist, I've been on the lookout for a method that would solve my clients' hair problems without the typical laundry list of issues (color looks fake, bonds show when the wind blows, can't pull it up or back, involves acetone or alcohol to remove the hair, etc etc etc). In the last few years I only offered what I considered to be the gentlest methods- halos and tape-ins that didn't require solvent removal. Even still, these methods weren't perfect and I'd only ever offer them to clients who specifically reached out to me.

Enter NBR. I kept seeing these GORGEOUS before & after photos pop up on Instagram where the end result was so seamless... the color looked not only real, but BOMB, and the styling possibilities looked endless. I stalked the creator of the method's social media for months, thinking there must be some catch. Turns out, no catch! It's just awesome. I was intrigued by this gorgeous method that was specifically designed for the type of hair most of my extensions clients have- MY hair type- baby fine & fragile.

 From my skinny hair to luscious volume with NBR

From my skinny hair to luscious volume with NBR

Before I headed to Southern CA for my first certification course over four days, I had clients being like "are you going to get these? Your hair is already long! Do people get extensions?". At that time it was like... yes... lots of people get extensions! But me, I need to be convinced. I hated wearing tape-ins for a lot of reasons, and I would only wear my halo extensions for special occasions (I wore one for my wedding last year!).

Once I got my NBR in, the lights came ON. No need to say much more than that- I added 5" of length, but beyond that it was about the FULLNESS. I legit have goddess hair now, the type of hair that turns heads and I love that I have zero fear of anyone going "oh that girl clearly has extensions". The newfound confidence is real!

 I add 4-5" of length to my hair, and 2-3x the density with NBR

I add 4-5" of length to my hair, and 2-3x the density with NBR

NBR is the real deal, and my clients are obsessed! I LOVE that I now have an extensions method that I believe in wholeheartedly. Check out what my client Lesley has to say about her new Natural Beaded Rows extensions below.

Are you ready to take your hair game to the next (seamless, invisible, gorgeous, and low-maintenance) level? Click here to invest in your confidence, your crown, and yourself!

Braided Pony Tutorial

I'm excited to start sharing some styling tips with you all! I'm all about simple but beautiful hair tips that you can easily DIY at home. Check out the video below for a simple how-to that is super customizable.

 

Products used: Hairstory Dressed Up, Denman brush, clear elastic bands, bobby pins. The best product of them all: my NBR! Natural Beaded Rows is the best way to get a fat, fluffy Pinterest-style braided 'do.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any styles you'd like to see demonstrated!

Speaking of NBR... check out this beautiful transformation. Even if you've had skinny hair your whole life, we can give you the fullness and style you've always wanted.

 One row + a mini row of NBR for an incredibly natural look!

One row + a mini row of NBR for an incredibly natural look!

 We can fill in sparse sides with NBR without ANYTHING showing.&nbsp;

We can fill in sparse sides with NBR without ANYTHING showing. 

 

Click here for info about getting your own NBR!

 

Imagine the (styling!) possibilities

 I've been getting a lot of questions about styling NBR. 

  • Can it be pulled back without showing? How high?
  • Do I have to curl NBR?
  • Can I just wear it straight?
  • What about braids, will my extensions show?
  • What products should I use?

Not only can you ponytail your NBR extensions, they give you the BEST ponytail. Topknots, high buns & half-up buns are possible too.

 Silky straight NBR

Silky straight NBR

Can NBR be worn straight? Do I HAVE to curl it?

Yes- it still blends beautifully styled straight! The extension hair comes in multiple textures, and all of them can be worn straight if you'd like. If you primarily style straight and your hair is naturally smooth, I recommend wearing Silky Straight extensions instead of body or beach waved.

You don't have to curl it. However- if you're going from short to super long, however, you may want to wear your hair slightly waved to help blend as your hair grows out.

 Braids! Yes!!

Braids! Yes!!

Can I braid my hair with NBR? Absolutely! I love sleeping in braids and pulling my hair back with braids because it's not only cute, but it helps keep a pretty wave in your hair, which extends how many days you can wear your style. NOTHING will show, even if you wear 2 French braids straight down the back of your hair. 

I LOVE how you can take a basic braid and fluff it up a bit. NBR gives you the DENSITY that makes braids look next-level & Pinterest-worthy.

 One of my favorite, easy ways to sass up an easy summer style- silk scarves. Make sure they're real silk- it grips and makes a much more secure knot than synthetic fabric.

One of my favorite, easy ways to sass up an easy summer style- silk scarves. Make sure they're real silk- it grips and makes a much more secure knot than synthetic fabric.

How about PRODUCT. What do I use with my NBR?!

The quick answer: Oil, moisture, a Wet Brush and style-extenders. You don't need a lot of product in your arsenal, but you DO need the right stuff. Stay tuned for the next Gingersnap Blog update!

During your NBR appointment I will go over personalized care instructions with you, and recommend products tailored specifically for your hair type, texture and color. I'm ALL about low-maintenance gorgeous using the right products.

Ready for your endlessly style-able Natural Beaded Rows? CLICK!

Blonde Ambition

NBR is a lot of things... and one of the most fun? It's instant gratification in hair form!

My last post on Gingersnap Blog showed a really stunning example of what you can do to create lush fullness and color dimension on already-long hair (using 1 row + 1 mini row). This week I'd love to show you something different: short to long, on someone who already has lots of density.

I've been coloring Ally's hair for a few years now & we've done so many lovely blonde and rose gold tones! Ally has wanted to be a mermaid for quite some time, but it can be so tricky to add realistic length when your hair is already super thick- the hair can look disconnected and unrealistic.

Lucky for us- Natural Beaded Rows has arrived!! It's a hair extensions method that was designed particularly with fine-haired clients in mind, but yes, it can also be used to add length to all of you ladies with all the hair.

I decided to start Ally off with NBR by using the middle length, 18". I created a customized blend of beautiful blonde tones, and then added a shadow root to every piece of hair that matches Ally's natural color perfectly. Her hair was also freshly balayaged and glossed for maximum pretty. The net result? An absolutely perfect, seamless match. There isn't any other method out there that involves custom color on the extensions at this level of detail.

I'm calling this beautiful blonde blend Caramel Macchiato <3

 Ally is wearing 2.5 rows of beautifully-blended 18" NBR

Ally is wearing 2.5 rows of beautifully-blended 18" NBR

I love the mix of vanilla, caramel and light cocoa tones! Check out her before & after pictures below- beautiful before, mermaid after!

 A little bit of extensions magic

A little bit of extensions magic

NBR can be used to fill in, boost texture, add length, add color... or all 4! 

Ready for your own NBR transformation? Get more info & tell me more about YOU by clicking here!

Ally

A Little Hair Magic Goes a Long Way

Michele has been a big part of Gingersnap for quite awhile now- I first met her when she was referred in by another client of mine, and quickly became a big, bright energy in the salon. She even offered to help me out with my wedding day! Her decorating and coordinating skills blew me away- and I still recommend her to friends and clients who need help with events.

We've added a few extensions to her already-long hair since our hair journey started a few years back and I was over the moon to get to share the new extensions method I'd just discovered with her. As a client with hair on the fine side, it could be a challenge to find the right solution for daily wear. Our criteria are as follows: must look good (duh!), must be able to go into a high bun and topknot (tough one, but we always found a way somehow), and must be easy to take care of with an active lifestyle. We made do with tape extensions for a couple of years, but those could present a bit of a challenge in the updo & hideability departments.

She was definitely a bit of a skeptic when I told her I had a new jam for her- but lucky for me, she was game and trusted the process. I removed her tape-ins before shooting the before photo you see below, and then brightened up her natural hair with some babylights and a nice medium-blonde colormelt. After custom coloring a few pieces of 18" hand-tied hair to match her natural, I installed it in one row + a mini row, cutting and blending to match. Check out her GORGEOUS before & after!

 Before &amp; after 1 row + a mini row of 18" NBR

Before & after 1 row + a mini row of 18" NBR

Goes to show you don't need a ton of extra hair, but that bit of fill and extra density makes a magical difference. Her new Natural Beaded Rows extensions hit all of our criteria- they go up, they go down, they hide PERFECTLY and air dry in beautiful waves with minimal styling required. 

Nothing but LOVE <3

 After some NBR gorgeousness!

After some NBR gorgeousness!

Hello and Welcome!

Welcome to the Gingersnap Blog! I'm really pleased to be getting this started and have so much to share. As I shift my focus in my business I've decided to create more of a presence outside of the salon. 

Things you'll find here: tutorials for easy-to-repeat techniques in hair and beauty. Information about how to use and curate product at home. Behind the scenes insights into haircolor, styling, and extensions. Inspiration, both seasonal and as the wind blows.

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

At heart, I'm an educator on one side and an artist on the other. Finding a new path within the beauty industry that really plays to my love of detail, craft and education has me so excited!

One thing I would really like to see happen within the blog is collaboration. I love to find a hot topic amongst my clients for the week and consolidate that into useful info for people. Now that I'm directing my focus beyond the salon and my daily work behind the chair, I want to hear from YOU.

What do you want to know? Is there a problem or frustration you're experiencing with your hair? Something you're curious about? Tell me here. I would love to workshop through your issue.

Today I wanted to share something I'm really proud of.

I've been giving my clients hair extensions for years- from glued-in wefts (yes, YIKES! Early days!) to halos, tape-ins, clip-ins and custom-cut wigs. I started working seriously with long-wear extensions about four years ago with tape-ins, which work great for what they are (you can create dramatic change, add color, and they are wearable for about six weeks with minimal damage) and I was able to really create wonderful change for my clients.

I started learning that customizing color for this hair took the service from "meh" to actually very lovely and convincing. I've had many clients commit fully to adding length and fullness using extensions, and I even wore a halo AND a fall for my own wedding!

Julie is a long-time client of mine. We've given her a wide range of colors and styles with color and extensions- from platinum-vanilla blonde to natural balayaged blend, and then finally to beautiful copper blondes. She has loved wearing extensions for length and mermaid-y fullness as her natural hair can grow quite long, but hangs pretty flat and thins out around the ends.

I had the opportunity to remove her tape-in extensions and give her the Natural Beaded Rows experience. The overall effect went from "hmm, pretty" to "OMG, your hair is INCREDIBLE" and actually left me stunned when we both looked at her hair with her custom-colored NBR in.

Having the knowledge and skills now to help get my clients to this state of confidence, gorgeousness and a little extra bounce in their step is what it's all about for me. It's safe to say I've found my calling! Check out how stunning Julie's new hair looks:

 Julie, before NBR (with fresh color) &amp; after 2 full rows of NBR

Julie, before NBR (with fresh color) & after 2 full rows of NBR

Julie's new extensions don't use heat, glue or excessive points of contact, so the impact on her own hair is minimal to nonexistent. She can use any products she would like to- no limitations on conditioner or oils. Even better, the NBR hair has a gorgeous body wave so her hair will look stunning even when simply air-dried.

 

 No evidence! Perfectly blended, no lumps, bumps or bits sticking out. Her hair moves and flows like her natural would.

No evidence! Perfectly blended, no lumps, bumps or bits sticking out. Her hair moves and flows like her natural would.

NBR @ Gingersnap Hair is being offered by consultation. Please click through and fill out an application over here with your information and I will be in touch within 24-48 hours to set up a time to discuss your hair goals! I'll be setting up appointments for new clients beginning in late July and early August.

Beauty comes from within- but sometimes you need a little boost on the outside to get that glow on. Looking forward to hearing from you all!