4 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Buy Professional Hair Products Outside Of A Salon

A search on eBay or Amazon for your favorite high-end salon products will always render a bunch of hits, most of the time at crazy low prices. Since these products in the salon can be a little on the pricy side, it’s always tempting, seriously tempting, for clients to go looking for deals online. Here’s 4 reasons why that is not exactly a great idea.

  • Quality. Seriously, who knows what is actually in the product you’re buying when it’s not from a salon? There have been a countless number of cases where a client has bought a product from a 3rd party and even though it was in the correct packaging, the product was watered down, mixed with other products, or past their expiration date. When purchasing products from a 3rd party, you never really know what is in what you’re buying. Unless it’s straight from the source or a partner, it’s questionable. The extra $5 that you spend in salon on your favorite Tonic Lotion from Bumble and bumble. is to ensure you get exactly what you paid for and nothing else.



  • Stylist Knows Best. I know it may sound like there isn’t much to hair products or that the descriptions on the back are all the information that you may need, but there is much more than meets the eye. After a session with your stylist, they have already spent a couple hours with your hair. They will be able to tell you exactly what products you need and how to strategically use it depending on your specific hair type or regimen. I’ve seen stylists recommend the same product in completely different ways. We are so well trained on exactly what to prescribe to each individual person that we do it in the grocery store. We sit in hours of product knowledge classes so we know precisely what regimen to design for you. The extra bucks you spend in salon is for us to be able to share this knowledge with you and make sure you go home knowing how to use these products in a way that will best benefit you.
  • Support Your Salon. Being able to carry product lines in salon like R+Co, Bumble & bumble, and Oribe aren’t as simple as making a phone call. To ensure brand equity, these product lines have to thoroughly look into the salon as a whole. Salons have to fill out applications and brand representatives from the lines have to visit each applicant to make sure they fit the criteria the line is looking for. Not only can it be challenging to get the product lines in a salon, but to make sure the salon product shelves are stocked and looking their best is a job in itself.
  • Totally Illegal. If those reasons above aren’t enough of a deterrent to stop you from buying online, think about the fact that it’s totally illegal. If products aren’t being sold from the actual entity OR a network salon / business, it is not considered be from the company. Some big product lines have spent millions of dollars in trying to make sure this crime is cut down to maintain a strong brand. Some scammers have gone as far to actually dumpster dive in Sephora dumpsters to get empty bottles of products to resell them with fake ingredients. Gross.


You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and use cheap cleaner that might bleach your seats. You wouldn’t use dish soap to wash your most expensive ballgown. Make sure the money that you put into your hair is always taken care of by products that are reliable and straight from the source.


@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions


From Tokyo To Los Angeles- Meet Chiyuki.

If you were to run into her on Colorado Bvld., she would give you a gentle smile and a delicate “Hello.” but behind the chair, she is creating some of the most badass work in the industry.


Our new girl on the block, meet Chiyuki.

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Chiyuki was born and raised in Japan & graduated from Tamagawa University in Tokyo  for International Economy. Like most hairdressers, she questioned her career choice. “I was always thinking about becoming a hairstylist, but I always had the doubt in the back of my mind. ‘No, No, No. You can’t do this.’” After Chiyuki graduated University, she came to her fork in the road; Do I stick with what I studied in University or do I follow my heart and do hair? “I always thought ‘Is it too late?’ because the majority of hairdressers go straight to hair school right out of high school.” Chiyuki sat down with her parents to tell them her dilemma, and they encouraged her to do what made her happy. She told herself ‘it’s never too late’. A weight was lifted off her shoulders; from that moment on, it was all about hair.

Chiyuki started at her cosmetology school while assisting a small hair salon located in Yokohama, Japan. At this salon, she became an expert in extensions, braids, & dreadlocks. After  3 years, Chiyuki decided to move to a bigger salon, right in Tokyo, where she was educated on Sassoon-style cutting. She worked there for 7 years but always felt like her heart was in Los Angeles. “I always loved the culture of the United States, I used to visit Los Angeles to see my mom’s best friend. I always loved the style of the city.”
With nothing holding her back from her passion in hair, Chiyuki decided to move to United States.

I had to ask her why. Why leave all that you know; your family, your friends, the life that you’ve built in Japan to come to a foreign place like Los Angeles? With both cities being staples of the world, why leave one to go to another? Her answer was simply- Creative Freedom.

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She told me that in Japan, the clients like to stick to a status quo. “So for example, if I recommended a hairstyle that was out of the status quo, the client would second guess it; ‘Is this too much for me?’ I would always try to stress to them, “Be unique!” but in Japan, some of the hair that I like to create is out of most clients comfort zones.” In the United States, we love to be unique with our hair. Adding our personality to our tresses is something we have loved for years. (remember the iconic feather extensions?) In Japan, hair is extremely detailed and precise. “There are so many extremely talented hairstylists in Japan & I learned so much, but wanted to give more unique hair. I can be more creative here.” Chiyuki told me with a huge smile. “When I visited LA, I saw so many people that were unique. They knew what they liked.”


“Its not only about hair. When I’m doing my clients hair, that is the closest I can get to them. I am kind of shy, but when I’m doing hair, I can touch them, and I feel like I’m becoming close to them. A mutual trust. When I’m finished and they look happy, that is the most amazing feeling to me.” -Chiyuki Furuta



Sometimes your passion can take you places you’d never think you’d end up- like half way across the world for Chiyuki. We are more than excited to have her on our team.


@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions

How To Stand Out In An Online Crowd: With Jonathan Serna

1.4 million hashtags and nearly 660k followers, Behind The Chair has become a staple of the online community in the hair world. To be “featured” means you get to have your work displayed in front of hundreds of thousands of hairdressers hungry for knowledge and inspiration. To be featured once is definitely an accomplishment in your professional life, and Jonathan’s work has been featured 3 times since the beginning of 2016.

The question we are dying to know; how do you get noticed in such a competitive industry through a social platform?

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I have to start by saying how incredibly humble of a human being Jonathan is. Every time he has been featured on a popular Instagram, he is nothing but grateful & gracious that the work he pours his everything into is recognized by such a huge entity. After a busy Wednesday, I asked some need to know questions.

Why do you feel like you keep getting featured?

“I feel like I keep being featured because I genuinely love what I do. I never feel like I work because I have so much fun connecting with my clients and establishing that relationship. I feel like if my love and passion shows in my work, and entities like @ModernSalon or @BehindTheChair_Com can see that, THAT’S whats capturing the attention.”

What are your tips for Instagram?

“There is no rulebook or guideline that I could set, because I don’t feel like my account is any better or any more special than anyone else’s. If you have your own Instagram account, run it that way you want. If you are happy with it & branding yourself the way you want to be branded, wether its simple and minimalistic photos or if you like pops of color and attention grabbing pics, do what you want to do. Because I’m doing me and I feel like it’s helped me get to where I am and is getting me get to where I’m going. I am staying true to who I am as a stylist.

But if I have to get technical, I make sure my pictures:

  • are crisp & clean
  •  have even lighting with no shadows
  •  are taken on a plain wall.

Thats the style, the vibe, & the mood that I want my page to have. I like everything to be cohesive. Keeping that look as a whole on an account is important. I think thats where your professionalism shows and I feel like  brands like @ModernSalon & @BehindTheChair_com can see & pick up on that.”

Why do you do what you do?

“This is actually a very hard question. It is a feeling of gratification that I get from this craft that I was blessed enough to be able to do with my own two hands. I get to bring out the inner beauty in others that I see in them and help them feel better about themselves. When I am allowed to sit down with someone and bring out what I feel is the best part of them on the inside and show it on the outside, theres no better, more gratifying feeling than that. Just like everyone, I have my own insecurities, but when I get to be the medium that helps someone get rid of some of their insecurities about their appearance, I feel like it helps mine go away too. This is exactly why God put on this earth.”

Last words of advice?

“Don’t measure your success by how many features you get, don’t measure your success on how many clients you have, OR how many followers/likes you get, but measure your success based on how happy YOU are doing what you’re doing and how happy you make your clients. At the end of the day if you go home and wake up the next morning & all you can do is think about doing hair again, then I think you’ll be successful.” -@JAndrewSerna


“They buy the stylist BEFORE they buy the service.”

Before even a comb goes through the hair, before any color is mixed, and before the shears are even out of their case; They buy the stylist before they buy the service. How do you stand out in an online crowd? Live your passion. If you are living your passion, it WILL be noticed. We are all put on this earth for a specific purpose, some find that purpose at an early age & for others, it takes a little longer to find. Whatever the case may be, finding that niche and being completely passionate about it will always make you stand out among the rest.


@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions

Hair Stylist- Forbes Least Stressful Job Of 2015?

About a week ago, I was casually strolling through my Twitter feed on my day off after a long, hectic week of being in the salon. As I was scrolling, I came across this post from Forbes Magazine:


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I was shocked. There is no way a Hair Stylist has the # 1 LEAST stressful job in America?! After thinking about it for a while, I realized why people not in this industry could think this profession is a walk in the park. “How could someone who makes hair pretty all day have a stressful job?”

If you aren’t in the hair biz, you don’t know all the stress that goes into each day- into each client to make 100% sure that they leave with a boost of confidence and hair that matches their lifestyle. The toner formulation that can make or break the hard work on your balayage. The perfect length to cut the lob. The color correction strategy. The right product for that male client. The foil placement that is crucial. Where a lunch break is a blessing and if you have time for coffee, it’s a great day.

One stylist wrote into Forbes saying “From working on a strict, constant time schedule, where running even 5 minutes behind can cause big problems to your schedule. To the added pressure of trying to achieve the perfect desired look for your guests. Hair stylist are on the spot all the time during their work hours…” (Candice Elyse)

It is easy to assume that us as Hair Stylists have an easy job; how amazing is it that we get to be apart of a such positive moment of someone’s life? But every day, I watch my colleagues pour their heart and souls into every client that sits in their chair, I watch them express themselves as artists. When your canvas is living and breathing, you want nothing more than for them to feel their absolute best, and that can be a huge weight on your shoulders no matter how well trained you are.

The pressure to deliver is constant, but after you finish that last blow dry section and turn your client towards the mirror, the sparkle in her eye and the infectious smile is always well worth the stress.


What are your thoughts on this article from Forbes?

Comment below.



Advice Every Hairdresser Needs To Hear

As Salon Sessions was slowing down after a hectic Friday, I caught Neeko in the middle of running around. Over the hum of the blowdryers, in the waiting area, I asked him, “Neeko, what is the number one question that young professionals ask you?”

He sat next to me and explained to me a concept that young, old, new, seasoned- all hairdressers can benefit from.

“The question I get asked at almost every class is ‘Neeko, how do you do stars?’ Thats when I ask them, ‘Are you doing stars already?’ Most of them, maybe 99% of them say no. And so that’s when I tell them, ‘If you’re not doing stars now, or even having star qualities, how will stars ever hear about you?’ So my whole concept behind that is that you should be treating the older lady, the young girl, or lady that lives down the street like a celebrity. That level of performance, that level of service, the caliber of what I bring to the table would have never became known if I didn’t. If you start now, if you plant seeds, it will crack the ground and before you know it, you’ll have fruit.


America’s Next Top Model shot in Salon Sessions Studio 

“…you should be treating the older lady, the young girl, or the lady that lives down the street like a celebrity.” -Neeko Abriol

At every class I talk at, I tell everyone, you HAVE to start now, wether your clientele is celebrities or not. If you hold that standard, you can take your level of customer service and your performance to a place where a star will hear about it.

Stars are regular people, real people, but its crazy that everyone would treat a celebrity different than they would a regular person. If you treat everyone exactly the same, which should be amazing, then amazing will be drawn to you. If what I do is amazing, beautiful, fits the right demographic, that demographic is going to start gravitating towards you. I did that with Pink, Halle Berry, Tyra Banks, Missy Elliot, we would invent a new look to launch to a new demographic. We created looks based on who they are or what character they were playing. And I take this same mindset back to the salon to create looks based on my clients lifestyle’s, personalities, and the role they play in their everyday lives.”

The biggest piece of advice I took from Neeko was “You have to be everything you want to be today in order for everyone to gravitate towards you tomorrow.” With 2016 right around the corner, make treating every single client like a celebrity, your new years resolution.

Well said, Neeko.


@salon_sessions | #salonsessions

VS Fashion Show- Maria Makes History

When you think of the hair at the Victorias Secret Fashion Show, you automatically think flawless beach waves and sun kissed balayages. Maria Borges is changing the status quo, she made Victoria’s Secret hair history by walking down runway with her natural hair.


Angolan model, Maria Borges, has walked down the runway for Victoria’s Secret 3 times prior to this influential moment, each time sporting long, black extensions and signature VS waves, but this time, she walked completely natural. “I told my agent I wanted to walk in the Victoria’s Secret show with my natural hair,” Borges told Essence. “I was nervous, but I had to do it. When they said ‘yes,’ I didn’t expect it, but I was so happy!”

Victoria’s Secret reps LOVED the idea. During casting, the lingerie label asked 23-year-old Borges to come to auditions, but to leave her extensions at home. Borges was estatic. “We were all nervous because I didn’t expect them to answer so quickly,” but that “yes” turned into one of the most iconic VS moments since their first show in 1995.

Styling Borges’ hair for the show was totally a breeze. She wanted her hair as natural as possible. She aimed to let her gorgeous texture take the stage. “I asked them to only put in olive oil spray and that’s it. I was happy because it took 10 seconds to get ready. It was the first time I didn’t have to straighten my hair. It was so easy and I loved it,” Borges said.

Care at home is just as simple. Her product of choice? Olive Oil!

“Be strong. If you say you’re beautiful without hair and makeup, then they will believe you. It’s about being confident and always being yourself.” – Maria Borges

Borges took the leap of faith and underwent her ’big chop’ after Riccardo Tisici, Givenchy’s Creative Director, encouraged her to do so. By the time Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2015 show rolled around, Borges was already rockin’ her short ‘do.


Maria Borges modeling for Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2015

Borges told i-D how having her hair short and natural has really pushed her to discover her own personal brand as a model. She wants to see her industry embrace diversity and individuality. ”The industry—thank God—has become more accepting of individuality. They accept whatever makes you feel comfortable, cool, and beautiful,” she tells i-D. “I think that for those of us who grew up watching Naomi Campbell and all the top models who had beautiful long extensions, it’s freeing because now you don’t have to adhere just to that standard. You can change, you can go natural, you can have different colours, and you can be yourself.”

We are loving the hair, Maria!

Catch Maria and all the gorgeous Victoria’s Secret Models on

Tuesday, December 8th @ 10pm on CBS!

@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions

Our Viral Vixen Victoria: Behind The Color With Jane

Our very own @JaneTheColorist was featured on the iconic industry giant, @ModernSalon ’s Instagram last week AND Saturday by the every hairdressers favorite website, @BehindTheChair_com for her gorgeous pink creation.

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By popular demand, we sat down for a session with Jane to talk journey, formulation, and inspiration.


Meet Victoria.

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She met Jane back in 2013 when she was Jane’s model for a haircut photoshoot. After deciding she wanted to switch up her look, Victoria and Jane talked about a cut that would frame her face perfectly and express her creative side.

She loved her cut so much, Victoria decided she wanted to experiment with color. Jane, being a 2 time semi-finalist for Wella’s North American Trend Vision Awards, was totally stoked.
First Session:
Jane lifted Victoria’s natural level 5 hair all the way to a level 9 using Blondor Lightener + 20 Volume Developer until she was a level 9. After the lightening session, Jane colored Victoria’s base with Illumina 9/43 + Koleston Perfect creme developer 30 volume (1:1)  for 30 minutes. After her base, she went through Victoria’s hair with weaved sections of Wella’s Instamatic’s Pink Dream, Smokey Amethyst, and Muted Mauve with Color Touch Emulsion 1.9 vol developer (1:1).

Victoria rocked the color for about 3 months before she came back to Jane to go lighter & brighter!
Second Session:
Jane retouched Victoria’s regrowth with Blondor Lightener + 20 volume developer to make her whole head an even level 9. After the lightening, she went through on the base with Wella’s Color Touch Special Mix 0/68 and 0/56 + Color Touch Emulsion Developer 1.9 (1:2) alternating both colors in using pivoting radials around the head, and front was predominantly /68. She let this process for 20 minutes and after,  went through Victoria’s hair again with Wella’s Instamatic’s Pink Dream, Smokey Amethyst, and Muted Mauve, for 20 minutes with Color Touch Emulsion 1.9 vol developer (1:1), but predominently Pink Dream. After the color was finished, Jane went back and “sealed” with Sebastian Clear Cellophane for 20 minutes under heat to promote longevity of the color.

The process in its entirety took 7 hours, but was more than worth it. After the color was complete, Jane finished the look with a textured bob and fellow stylist @hairjames gave Victoria her intricate designs.


“It’s fun. I love clients that like to change it up like that. I like to be creative and to think outside of the box. I like to stretch the creativity and to test myself. ” -Jane


Amazing work, Jane!

@salon_sessions | #salonsessions