Your Need to Know Hair Care Questions Answered for Amazing Locks

New Year, New Me! While this might be a little cliche, my self-care and beauty routine has been BEGGING me to hit reset. Mommy of 2 and almost 5 months postpartum of the new little human, my beauty routine has consisted of 3-4 hours of sleep at a time (if i was lucky!) and an extra large cup of cold coffee. Sound familiar?

I’m going to state the obvious here but sometimes we fail to remember it when we are running around like crazy and taking care of others…when you look good, you feel good. Feeling good enables you to be a better you. To get on with my plan of attack, I started with my most precious asset…my long long hair.

Lifestyle Blog Chocolate and Lace shares all your need to know hair care questions answered.

Enter Strand Salon. I cannot stop preaching about Strand and probably never will. If there is one thing you do this year in your beauty routine, find a good salon. I mean a good one. If you’re within driving distance of Central Connecticut, go to Strand. Immediately. If you can’t get there, your salon should have a team of stylists that are constantly learning and growing in their industry. If your salon looks outdated and the stylists are outdated, it’s time to find a new place to call home for your hair.

See the best haircare products for balayage colored hair. 


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Strand Salon is the place I can literally walk in, completely exhausted, not say a word, sit in a chair and they will just get to work on achieving your vision. Or better yet the vision of yourself you never even knew you had. Owners and Expert Stylists Jennifer and Paul Misciagno are that good. In fact they have trained their entire team to deliver exceptional salon results. I have seen multiple stylists at Strand and I am never afraid to go to a ‘different person’ as long as it’s in the Strand building. The precise consistency and training at Strand is on point.

After nearly 5 months from my last color and cut, I was still getting compliments up to the morning I walked to get my Mommy Makeover. I wouldn’t recommend waiting that long, I just had been pretty far from Connecticut and a little busy having a new human to get back! Yet even being seriously overdue for a cut and color, because of the long-term care I receive from Strand of my hair, it still looked great. I sat in Jen’s chair and uncertain of what exactly I wanted, I just asked her what she thought. She articulated to me her ideas on my hair for both this visit and future changing seasons and all I had to say was ‘let’s do it’.

During my time in Jen’s (also a fellow mom who totally gets it) chair I was able to chat her up with your most pressing hair care and beauty questions. Listen up ladies!

What should I say to my stylist to get ‘your’ color’?

“Always bring in a photo for inspiration but not duplication!” Jen says. She achieves my custom color by first darkening my base to a rich dark brown and bringing it down 2-3 shades. This helps the lowlights and highlights pop. Next she hand paints my highlights. Her favorite Clay Lighter is ‘Freelights’ by Wella. She always brings out a few extra light around my face to really make it pop.

What I love is that Strand keeps my tones on point for the season and keeps in mind that I don’t like to wear a lot of make up. In the fall I go bit darker with more lowlights and in the spring it’s back up with ashy and honey blondes.

Lifestyle Blog Chocolate and Lace shares all your need to know hair care questions answered.

How do you make your hair grow back after a baby?

This was by far the most popular question! Hair loss after pregnancy is extremely common. It’s natural to have fall out after baby. This time around with baby #2, my hair was falling out with super speed. Hair was literally everywhere in the house! My OBGYN explained that if it’s falling out in the shower, that’s normal however if your pony tail feels significantly thinner, then something else may be up. To be honest I am lucky I started off with as much hair as I did!

First I want to recommend getting your hair cut and keeping it trimmed. We often want our hair to grow longer and so we tend not to cut but the opposite is true! You need healthy hair to get it to grow.

Strand had a solution for hair growth as well. Jen introduced me to Initialiste by Kerastase. Initialiste is a beauty product, not a styling product, that stimulates hair growth. As you apply it, it penetrates your scalp for both health and grow. Jen recommended adding it to your nightly hair routine by dividing hair and placing it down three places on your scalp.

I have added this product to my Amazon Page CLICK HERE for more info. I’ve been using it for a week and love it so far! (Keep you posted on my final result!)

Lifestyle Blog Chocolate and Lace shares all your need to know hair care questions answered

Everyone is asking for Balayage, what is it?!

Balayage is a technique, not a color. Jen at Strand has been doing this technique for over 10 years to customize the way color looks for each individual. Balayage is the way lightener is swept onto the hair. It’s great for blondes who want to be significantly lighter and for brunettes or redheads that only want to go a few levels lighter.

Jen goes onto say that it’s all about what each individual client needs for their hair. “It’s important to set realistic goals with my clients and do what’s best for their hair needs. Some may need foils in a balayage technique to get the maximum lift. Some may need babylights mixed with balayage to get a really beautiful dimensional color. Balayage can be done on long to short hair.”

But what are babylights?

Babylights are micro weave sections of hair in foils that add dimension.

What hair trend has come back in a major way? 

One major request at Strand that has come back way are bold fashion colors. At Strand they use Pulp Riot which has a life of anywhere from 4-8 weeks. When choosing to go a fashion color, you have to prepare for the upkeep. After 2 weeks of washing you will see fading. In most cases the hair must be lifted to a level 8 or higher in order to achieve the desired color. Be prepared to spend 2-4 hours during application to get the professional bold color you want at the salon.

Check out Strand’s very own Rachel and her insanely gorgeous and bold locks on Strand’s Instagram Page. I would die to be this cool!

What should I be adding to my beauty routine this year?

Jen took one look at my face and said “you need to see my brow girl”. (YES you need a stylist that is HONEST with you.) I started to sputter but…but…but.. and she simply said, it’s a game changer. At Strand, the expert is Mary Kate and after a quick consultation she sent me home with RevitaBrow. RevitaBrow is a brow enhancing conditioner. Apply once a day to improve brow growth.

You see my brows…there isn’t much to them! Strand offers both RevitaBrow and RevitaLash services. Unlike ordering these from the internet for the same price, when you go into Strand you get the expert advice. Which for me, is everything. Yes, hold my hand because I don’t have time to read, learn or watch YouTube videos on the internet!…Strand I love you.

Okay, okay but is there anything I can do to save time in my beauty routine?

Yes! Wash less! A good shampoo and style should get you through 2-3 days of great hair, maybe even more if you use an awesome Dry Shampoo such as this one. Strand recommends Kerastase Powder Bluff. I love this one because its an aerosol which I find easier to use than just a sprinkled on powder. Just apply to your roots on day 2 or 3 and your ready to go! Hashtag…#momlife

Lifestyle Blog Chocolate and Lace shares all your need to know hair care questions answered.

A few hours at Strand and my hair makeover was complete! Not only did I receive the expert appointment I needed but a new regiment to keep my locks fresh and healthy. If you see me I’ll be hair flipping all over 2018.

Thank you to Jen, Paul and the entire team at Strand for always keeping my hair amazing. I don’t know what I would do without you!

Lifestyle Blog Chocolate and Lace shares all your need to know hair care questions answered.Lifestyle Blog Chocolate and Lace shares all your need to know hair care questions answered.

Not in CT and can’t head into Strand? I’ve linked the products I use here on My Amazon Page.

Ready to take your new hair to the gram?! Check out my favorite apps to use HERE to make every photo Instaworthy.


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