We All Want “Good Hair”


Is there any woman out there that doesn’t hate her hair?  Ok–hate is strong word, but seriously, can’t our hair just do what we want it to?  (I mean, I’m only asking to have perfectly tousled effortlessy-chic beach waves….For real….give me Rachel Zoe’s hair and I will be happy the rest of my life.)

Is there anything better than the moment you look in the mirror after getting your hair done at the salon?! Of course not, it’s the best feeling ever.  According to one study, women experience such a boost in energy, confidence, and optimism from changing their hairstyle or color that they do it on average, about 104 times in their life.  Surprisingly, when our hair looks great, we are nicer in general. 56% of women in one study said they’re nicer to others when their hair looks great. In fact, 67% of women say they have a better day overall when their hair looks good.

So, we all want better hair days.  We all want our hair to do something it generally doesn’t do (I want long thick blonde hair even though my hair grows .000000001 inches a year…) 

In an effort to make us all appreciate the hair we have, I will be positing daily hair tips–including style tricks, quick fixes (for bad hair days!), and upcoming trends. Subscribe to my blog to receive pointers, DIY styles, and product reviews.

Featuring My Clients’ Favorite Products

I am the biggest advocate of at-home care for your hair.  Shampoos, treatments, and products make the biggest difference when styling and maintaining your own hair at home.  Do you ever feel like your hair looks awesome right when you leave the salon but it’s hard to recreate the same look when you attempt to do it yourself?  It’s probably because you are underestimating the power of styling products.

The same goes for maintaing your color.  Blondes easily fade to yellow brassy tones (it’s just the nature of blonde hair, unfortunately!)  But using the right shampoo and conditioner can keep your hair from fading or turning yellow.  My blonde clients know the importance of purple shampoo, and they don’t hesitate to use it on a regular basis.

Here are a few products that we LOVE!

Jessica has naturally strawberry blonde hair which she HATES.  She prefers cooler, ashy blonde tones.  Without purple shampoo, her pure blonde tones would only last a few washes.  Here is why Jessica loves Schwarzkopf So Silver Shampoo:


Name: Jessica Jacksa

Favorite Product: Schwarzkopf Color Save Silver Shampoo

Must Have BECAUSE: This product is a must have for blondes. It helps maintain my cool blonde tones and makes my natural warm tones cooler.

Best for what hair types: Blondes!

Time of year to use product: Year round, but especially during the summer when I like to be an even cooler, lighter blonde.

Smells like: A fresh, clean scent.

How to use: Work and lather in wet hair! If you’re feeling like your blonde is faded or turning yellow, let it sit on your hair for 1-2 minutes before rinsing.

Secret Styling Tip: Pair with the Color Save Conditioner for added moisture and shine! I also like to use a finishing spray to show off my bright blonde tones.


If you have trouble getting volume or lift in your hair,  check out Bumble and Bumble’s Dry Spun Finish.  Here is why Erica and Melanie love this great texture spray in their hair:


Name: Erica Freeburg and Melanie Martin

Favorite Product: B.b. Dry Spun Finish

Must Have BECAUSE: Helps go days without shampooing, and gives lots of volume! It’s amazing for creating styles and provides an even easy-to-use application.

Best for what hair types: All hair types. Good for anyone who wants extra volume or hold. Especially great for limp or fine hair that doesn’t hold a style well.

Time of year to use product: Anytime of year, especially in the summer when hair gets more oily.

Smells like: Bb’s Thickening Spray (if you’ve used it!) Has a light, slightly floral scent…smells amazing!

How to use: Use on dry hair: spray it at the root before you tease, or through all your hair before you curl to create texture. On second day hair, spray at the root to absorb oil and create a clean matted look.

Secret Styling Tip: Your hair doesn’t have to be dirty to use this product. Spray into your hair right after you blow dry. It will keep hair looking “clean” prevent it from looking greasy 🙂

Are You Using the Right Brush for Your Hair?

Consider your collection of haircare products: every bottle probably earned its space on your shelves because of careful selection and thorough research.  Is the same true for your hairbrush?  The beauty tool that you’ve used every day since you were a child?  Hopefully you’ve upgraded over the years, but if your current hairbrush is in your drawer because it was the only on sale at Target (and it also has a squishy handle), it’s time to invest in something with a little more quality.

Using the right hairbrush is often an oversight, but it’s important to use the right one for your own hair type to avoid breakage, damage, and weak styling.  Confused about which one to pick?  Seek no further, I have all the answers for you my friends!


Fine to Normal Hair: Boar Bristle Brush

Boar bristle brushes help to attain polished strands.  By lifting away dirt and dust, they help to redistribute your scalp’s natural oils through the ends of your hair.  Boar bristle brushes are gentle, effective, and easy to use.

Denman’s Medium Boar Bristle Brush ($34).


Thinning, Delicate, or Damaged Hair: Soft Boar Bristle Brush

Boar bristle brushes are great for those with delicate hair as well, but make sure you choose one with extra soft bristles.  Soft brushes will stimulate the scalp, increasing circulation, which will help maintain the health of your hair without being rough on your tresses.

Kent Ladies’ Narrow Soft Brush ($90).

soft boar brush

Very Thick or Coarse Hair: Nylon Bristle Brush

In order to work with thick or coarse hair, it’s imperative that you use a nylon brush.  Nylon bristles are stiff and offer more control than boar bristles to help unruly, unmanageable hair stay in place.

Mason Pearson’s Pocket Size Nylon Brush ($68).

nylon bristle

Normal to Thick Hair: Mixed-Bristle Brush

Mixed bristle brushes are really a great combination.  Nylon bristles will help detangle your hair while boar bristles will distribute your hair’s natural oils and smooth the cuticle of your hair strand.

Mason Pearson’s Handy Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Hair Brush ($150).

mixed bristl

Curly Hair: Wooden-Bristle Brush

Curly hair can be brushed as long as it’s with the right tool.  We all know that curly hair can be challenging, but with a wooden bristle brush, your hair will maintain its curl and won’t induce frizz or poofiness.  Wooden bristles help to gently seperate curls, while  getting rid of knots and tangles.

Kent’s Woodyhog Brush ($24).

curly wooden

Bangs and Very Short Hair: Small, Round Boar Bristle Brush

A small roundbrush with boar bristles will do the trick.  Boar bristles create tension and encourage smoothness.  The size of the brush will help to catch all the hair, even extra short pieces.

Spornette De Ville’s Rounder Boar Bristle Hair Brush 1.5” ($18).


Halo Hair Extensions: Add Length and/or Thickness



Removable hair extensions that are better than clip ins!

I recently attended the beauty show and was introduced to a new line of hair extensions that I am OBSESSED with! The line is called “Halo Couture” (Look it up, read reviews!) They are so much better than clip-in extensions–easier to use, no damage, completely seamless– and they aren’t as much of a commitment as keratin bonded extensions (I still love those too, but I know they are pricey for some people!)

Do they stay in/are they secure?
YES! The halo is custom fitted to your head size with the unbreakable “miracle wire” so they are snug to your head. You can move and shake your head around and it will not come out. You just can’t swim/shower without taking the halo off.

What kind of hair?
The halo is made of 100% human indian remy hair. This is the best kind of hair for hair extensions. It is the least processed, easiest to style, and looks the most natural. You can do anything to the halo that you would do to style your own hair!

Why is a halo better than clip-in extensions?
The Halo’s miracle wire makes it completely comfortable and non-damaging. Clip in extensions can cause breakage and discomfort, leaving the hair thin and brittle. Halos don’t put any tension on your own hair and blend seamlessly, looking and feeling better than clip ins!

What does a halo cost?
In general, a halo costs anywhere from $300-$800 (depending on the length you want) and they last forever. As a wholesale account, I can sell them to you for much cheaper. A halo purchased from me ranges from $175-$350 depending on the length. This includes the custom fitting and blending with your natural hair.


Here is a video of how they work and how great they look (I have one, they blend well with short hair too!): http://vanillafringe.com/a/Confessions+6923

If you are interested in ordering or have any additional questions please let me know by emailing me at acarlevato@gmail.com

Keratin Treatments: Everything You Need to Know!


A Keratin treatment is a hair smoothing treatment that helps to eliminate frizz, cut down blow dry time, and tame curl. It adds keratin protein to your hair, giving it shine and strength. If maintained with a Keratin safe shampoo, the treatment can last up to 6 months (even longer if you don’t shampoo everyday!)


A formula of keratin protein is applied to clean, clarified hair. It processes for 30 minutes and then is sealed into the hair with a blow-dryer and a flat iron. The formula must stay on the hair for 72 hours (3 days) for it to work to its maximum potential. After three days, it’s safe to wash your hair!


Keratin treatments are good for all types of hair! If you have curly, unruly hair, a keratin treatment will soften your curl and make your hair smooth and wavy. If you have frizzy hair, say hello to smooth, shiny locks. If you have damaged, over processed hair, the treatment will add protein and make your hair healthier. If you have thick hair that takes forever to style, a keratin treatment will cut down blow dry time by at least 50% and virtually eliminates the need to flat iron!


One of the biggest concerns women have regarding keratin treatments are whether they are safe. Keratin treatments have come a long way since they were first introduced a few years ago. They no longer contain high amounts of formaldehyde (and no one has to wear masks when applying the treatment anymore!) and they are safe to breath in. The only people that need to be cautious when getting keratin treatments are those with allergies and pregnant women.


Most importantly, consult with your stylist if you are interested in the treatment. You stylist knows your hair and what is best for it. Not all hairdressers are certified to do the treatment, so ask your stylist to recommend someone else if they don’t do it themselves. Getting certified is a big expense for salons, so do your research beforehand! A cheap service usually means cheap results.

Well ladies, there you have it-all the facts about Keratin treatments! If you have any other questions, leave them for me in the comments below!

The Perfect Brow

Brows have the ability to make us look younger, slimmer and instantly groomed. Fashion trends for brows vary, but in my opinion, the perfect brow is thicker at start (by the nose), has a defined arch, and is thin towards the end.  The current trend? A fuller, naturally groomed brow. However, finding a beautiful brow shape that suits your face is more important than following trends. I never leave the house without grooming my brows, and I get comments on them all the time.  Here are some commonly asked questions:

How do I know what shape my brow should be?

This is the best way to map out your general brow shape and proportions.

1. The line from the edge of the nose (directly up) is where your brow should begin.(You can map this out by holding up a pencil or make-up brush as a guide).

2. The line from the edge of the nose going straight through the pupil is where the arch should sit..

3. The line from the edge of the nose to the outer corner of the eye is where your brow should end.

If your current brow doesn’t follow this guide, don’t worry! Imperfections can be filled in with a brow pencil or powder.

How do I make sure I’m shaping my brows correctly? 

If you are shaping your own brows, make sure you only pluck one or two hairs at a time. Stop and check in a mirror from afar. Does the shape look okay? Be very cautious and go slowly. Plucking above the brow is fine as long as you are only removing stray hairs away from the actual shape of the brow.

What if I’ve overplucked?

Too-thin brows can instantly age your face. If you have over plucked, simply let them grow out as much as possible, and see a brow specialist who can reshape them for you.  Resist the urge to pluck yourself until the shape is well defined.

If your brows are seriously out of shape, have been over plucked, or you are going to shape them for the first time, please consider getting them shaped professionally. Be very careful where you go; the best way to find a good brow technician is through word of mouth. Ask for recommendations from your family and friends (make sure you like how their brows look!)

Choosing a brow product

Brow powders give a soft look that will fill any gaps and create definition beautifully. Use an angle brush and choose a color close to your natural brow color (or a shade lighter than your hair.)  Brow pencils do the same thing, just apply them by feathering light strokes so that they look natural.


Are you damaging your hair?

damgagedCommon ways that we all are damaging our hair (sometimes without even knowing it!)

Using too much heat.
Have you seen the youtube video of the girl who burns her hair off with a curling iron? (If you haven’t, it’s a must-see.) I’m not insisting you completely cut out heat from your styling routing, but be aware of how often you are flat-ironging, blow-drying, and curling.  The less often, the better.  Try switching your blowdryer to “warm” instead of “hot.”  Save the curling iron for the weekends.  And if you must use heat on your hair everyday (I’m guilty!) try to move quickly and use bigger sections to avoid damage.  Another tip- leave the ends out, especially if they are dry or brittle!

Backcombing, ratting, poofing, whatever you want to call it, the higher the hair the closer to heaven, right? If round-brushing and volumizing products aren’t cutting it for your hair, make sure there is a method to your teasing madness.  Ratting your crown and creating a big matted bird’s nest isn’t going to end pretty.  Instead, take neat sections and “pat” the hair from the midstrand to the root and spray with a texture spray.

Cheap Tools and Products
This is the one that everyone hates to hear because no one wants to break the bank trying to have healthy hair. If you can’t afford all professional hair tools and products, the most important hair investments are a quality blowdryer, flat iron, shampoo, and heat protectant.

Being Overly Rough
Be gentle with your hair.  Use a wide tooth comb on wet hair instead of ripping through it with a brush.  Don’t wrap your elastics too tight, and make sure to brush it everyday.

Shampooing Everyday
Try shampooing your hair every few days to restore natural oils and moisture.  If you must wash everyday, mix up your routine by only conditioning every-other wash.  Shampooing too often can dry out hair strands and actually send your body signals to send more natural oils to your scalp.

Coloring with a Box
Box color is so incredibly harsh on the hair that it’s almost impossible to strip out. Box color is formulated to work on any hair color and type.  Professional color is mixed custom to each client’s hair.  A blonde with fine hair doesn’t require the same harsh chemicals that coarse, dark hair can handle.

Pushing Off Haircuts
Haircuts should be maintained every 6-8 weeks.  Even if it’s just skimming the ends, trimming off breakage will make your existing hair continue to grow longer and thicker.  If you are growing it out, tell your stylist you want a “micro-trim.”  Long hair isn’t pretty unless it’s healthy, keeping up with consistent haircuts will keep hair at its healthiest!


Hair Questions Answered! Oily Roots, Dry Ends…Sound Familiar?

hairhelp“My hair is oily at the roots and has no volume, but is dry at the ends. The more I style it, the drier the ends get, but the more I condition, the roots get oilier. Help!”

First of all, are you shampooing every day?  If so, you’re stripping away your hair’s natural oils, causing your scalp to overcompensate by producing even more oils.  Try shampooing every-other-day. After two weeks, your scalp will start to regulate its oil production.  You should start to notice that your second day hair is a little more bearable!

Secondly, make sure you’re applying conditioner from the midshaft to the ends of your hair.  Avoid the root as it will get conditioned by your scalp’s oils naturally.

Lastly, the best-kept-secret to voluminous, shiny, second-day hair?   Dry shampoo!  I swear by this stuff.  It absorbs oil that flattens hair while also adding volume.  I use mine on clean hair too to give it a little more texture and lift.  My favorite:  Bumble and Bumble Dry Spun Finish (it’s amazeballs!)  For best results, spray dry shampoo about an arm’s length away from your scalp, let sit for a minute, then rub it in with a comb (your fingers’ natural oils could make it greasy again!)

As for dry ends, a light leave-in serum will do the trick.  Apply to wet hair to protect from heat, and on dry hair to seal the cuticle.

Voila, dolls!  Healthy happy hair!