So you want to get your hair done?

Hello all, time for an update!

So we’ve been moving through a very strange time, haven’t we?  There has been so much change lately both in the state of the world and with the outlook in terms of our health, community, economy and politics.  So that’s why there have been no updates.  I am sure some of you are also in the weird head space where you aren’t sure if salons should be open yet, but you still want to get your hair done.  I am with you there, and so are many of my clients.  I trust all of my clients to make their own decisions for themselves and to make decisions with respect to the health of me and my family.  I am also NOT taking new clients currently and my online booking is closed.  If you want to get an appointment with me I am very slowly rebooking clients for a couple days per week.  Some of these days I will be completely alone in the salon, other days I will be working with one other stylist.

Have I been appropriately isolated?  That is for you to decide.  I go to the grocery store once a week and we still have interactions with one family since we watch their baby.  They work from home.  We go on walks outside and swim at the state park, but always areas where it is easy to go above and beyond the 6′ of social distance.  If any of that makes you nervous or uncomfortable, I encourage you to wait to get your hair done.  For what it’s worth, I don’t anticipate having a social life in the near future whatsoever.

As for the salon as a whole, here is what my boss wants y’all to know:

Dear clients,

 

As we approach the ability to reopen the doors to Luminosity Hair we have taken the time to ensure that the safety of everyone is being considered. This is something that we are not taking lightly and are implementing these policies to best be able to avoid the spread of this terrible virus. We ask that you read over these policies, in order to be able to come see us, because we’re excited to see you. Please understand that we are now operating at a totally different pace and workload, so please be patient as we adjust to our new normal.

 

Clients:

Here are some changes that we ask you to abide by for the time being. We understand that some of these might sound a little overboard, but this is what has been determined as being best for everyone involved. Thank you.

 

  1. When arriving for your appointment please stay in your car until you have been sent a text/called by your stylist to come inside. This helps us maintain the 4 people only limit that the salon has implemented. The salon door will remain locked at all times to avoid anyone from walking in without permission to do so.

  2. Please be wearing a mask. We would prefer that you wear one that is attached behind your ears as it will make doing your hair much easier. Otherwise, you will have to hold the mask to your face at all times. We would also recommend that you wear a mask that has the nose piece, this will ensure you don’t end up with a mask full of hair. : )

  3. We will only be doing shampoos for chemical clients and some haircut clients. If you don’t need to be shampooed, we ask that you allow us to skip that process. This will allow everyone to stay safer by having less contact with any surfaces in the salon. Also, blowouts will be, temporarily, not a part of service. It’s in the best interest of everyone to not offer them at this time.

  4. We will have a touchless thermometer to be able to take temperatures upon arrival.

  5. If you have been traveling for work or possibly exposed to someone with COVID-19, please stay at home.

  6. Please do not touch the products on the shelves. If you do need anything, we will be happy to grab it for you and bag it up.

  7. Upon arrival please go and wash your hands for the 20 seconds that the CDC recommends. We will also have hand sanitizer for whenever you feel you need some.

  8. Please only arrive for your appointment alone. Extra guests are not allowed by state regulations. If you cannot come alone, please let your stylist know and you will be rescheduled for a better time.

 

Again, please remain patient with us as we start the soft reopening of Luminosity. Our scheduling is going to have to be much different than before, and we have to put the safety of everyone first. We appreciate all the support and love we’ve received, and cannot wait until we get to see your faces! (Even if behind a mask!) Feel free to reach out with any questions!

Lastly, it feels weird starting back at work when I was just barely learning to accept not working, but it feels right to me to have a really gradual re-opening.  In my heart (and from my research) I feel safe working and taking care of my clients as I have for the last couple years: one-on-one in a very controlled space.  I know many of you I won’t see for a long time.  My heart is with you.  Don’t be afraid to reach out just to say, “Hello.”

The only way right now to make an appointment is to text me: (541)954-2017 or send an email: rachellynn54@gmail.com.  So reach out whenever you’re ready.

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My beloved clients

Hello All!

I’ve reached out to a few individually, but wanted everyone to know:  I have been back in the salon for about a month now.  It has been really incredible to see my job turning into the career of my dreams!  Every day that I go into the salon I get to have great conversations and use my creative powers to help people improve their day to day experiences with their hair.  I get to stay close to home and take care of my baby on breaks.  I even get to walk to work some days!

That said, there have been a lot of new bodies in my chair recently, and that has been so incredible.  It’s like this area is a bottomless well of cool, down to earth people that have hair.  This means that pre-booking or getting the spot you need a few weeks in advance is becoming important, especially for those that need weekend or evening times.

Have a great Sunday and hope to see you in my chair soon 🙂

Welcome to the World Gaius Alexander Carr

Wow!  What a whirlwind of a week.  Last Thursday Richard and I left Samson with some friends to enjoy a final date before new baby showed up.  When we returned home was when it all started.  All seemed normal and good and we were relieved he was good for our friends, but then he awoke at 3:30AM, sicker than he had ever been in his life.  He couldn’t even remember having thrown up before so he didn’t understand what was happening.  At that point I had two days left of work so I was relieved that Richard and I seemed completely fine.  We did our best to comfort Samson for his 24 hour bug and we were all tired but knew there was just a little bit of work for me and then we could enjoy some time of relaxation before new baby arrived.

Well, my last day of work went relatively well, but I could tell by the end of the day there was some serious pressure building and I was uncomfortable even just sitting through a haircut.  When I got home a little after 4pm, Richard was barely holding it together, he was so sick and desperately trying to help Samson who was still under the weather, but no longer super sick.  I didn’t have the heart to tell Richard at that point how bad my contractions were feeling.  I heated up some soup leftovers and tried to slurp down some water… and that’s when it all started for me.  Fast forward to a few hours later and I’m throwing up in the shower while Richard calls the nurse line.  Fast forward another hour and we’re driving back roads to the hospital since Richard isn’t fit to drive on I-35, then throwing his flashers on in the middle of the Congress St Bridge so he can unleash a tsunami of vomit.  We get to the hospital and we’re both throwing up and Samson is being generally confused but pleasant and I’m wondering why the labor and delivery area is such a long walk from the front door.  I get into triage around 10pm, they take awhile before they can get me any medicine but eventually give me a bunch of medicine for my flu-like symptoms (though I tested negative for the actual flu) and several bags of IV rehydration.  The hope is that once I’m rehydrated labor will stop, but my contractions are already close and powerful and baby boy is pressing down hard with his head.  They can’t give me an epidural because the idea is for me NOT to have a baby that night.  Friends come by to scoop up Samson, which is amazing because Richard can hardly stay upright he is so ill.  Around midnight they give me some Fentanyl that takes the edge off for about fifteen minutes before I feel the full power of the contractions again, now happening every 1-4 minutes.  Richard is alternating between being as helpful as possible, crumpling into a puddle on the floor and running to the bathroom. Around 1am they make the call: I’m going to have this baby.  The next hour and a half is spent watching my nurse stressfully try to get everything ready and try to get me an epidural.  Around 2 they are finally getting an epidural in, or trying, as my tech, who Richard and I refer to as Mr. Magoo, talks at a snail’s pace and all the medical professionals are chatting amongst themselves about other patients… no one notices my water breaking, or me saying out loud that my water is breaking.  They forget to turn on the medicine that feeds into the epidural until I’m already 9.5 cm and I am telling them, this baby is coming out, like I can physically feel him coming out.  The nurse tells me not to push because they aren’t ready yet.  Lots of scrambling and Richard insisting they bring the doctor in.  Once the doctor is there it’s two contractions (7 pushes total) and baby boy is out with no tearing.  They plop him right on my chest and perfect baby boy starts nursing pretty much immediately.  I feel better pretty much immediately, too.  Welcome to the world baby Gaius Alexander!  Born 2:39 am on Sunday 3/3/19, 7lbs 13oz and 20” tall.  He is the essence of chill.

We were able to leave the hospital 36 hrs later, and such a blessing to return home.  Although what followed a perfect day at home was a jaundice scare, where we needed to take baby Guy to the lab every day to get his levels tested, afraid we would need to be readmitted to the hospital.  All while I’m still recovering from giving birth (although I’ll admit I’ve had a relatively easy recovery so far) and the boys are recovering from the stomach bug.  Luckily, Samson, even recovering from sickness and facing some strange changes, has been so sweet and such a doting big brother.  When Guy cries he runs with a blanket to help him stay cozy, or whatever else he thinks will help, including the gentlest little pats.  He loves grabbing his hands and dancing with him, again, very gently.

All in all we are doing great!  Stay tuned for some great pictures we had taken while we were in the hospital 🙂

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Now Taking Appointments at Luminosity Hair Studio in Mueller

Hello friends and clients (and those who may become one of those in the future),

I am thrilled to announce that I am now taking appointments at Luminosity Hair Studio in the centrally located Mueller neighborhood of Austin.  I look forward to welcoming you into this beautiful space, abundant in light and cute details.

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We carry R+Co and Kevin Murphy products, with a focus on friendly ingredients and low maintenance styling.  This is a space where we try to make every client feel beautiful as they are, focusing on hairstyles that enhance and highlight qualities, rather than covering up alleged flaws.  I hope that this will be a space where all of my clients feel comfortable and at ease.

Parking is free on the streets surrounding the salon.  Feel free to call/text with any questions and concerns (541)954-2017 or email me rachellynn54@gmail.com.

Much love to all!

Rachel

Just some musings after a Elevate Hair (Austin)

It’s been a long time since I posted for a few simple reasons.  I mainly fell out of habit due to traveling a lot and dividing my time between salon life and my life as an educator.  A lot of people do a lot more and still have time for impeccable social media involvement, but for me I was starting to feel a phoniness about it and it’s just not how I wanted to spend my time.  Then as I quietly stepped down from my teaching position,  I didn’t feel like I had a voice anymore, or maybe I wanted to keep that voice to myself.

Tonight was a really incredible night at Austin’s Elevate Hair event, which is supported by the Hairbrained community.  It was a really nice opportunity for me to get a little taste of everything in the industry and for me to reflect on the choices I’ve made in my career.  In short, I am really, really happy with where I am right now.  I’ve had a really exciting career and I’ve seen this industry from a lot of angles.  But having a solid home base, with so many coworkers I adore and that inspire me and push me daily, that’s a really special thing.  I ran into a stylist from a salon I taught at a few years back in Houston, and it was really cool to have someone tell me how skills I taught had actually changed how they cut hair.  I really do appreciate the time I was able to spend teaching and the ability to pass on techniques that were passed down to me.  But I also know that stepping back was the right thing to do.  This past year has been about working my skill set, growing with my clientele and reconnecting with the things that inspired me to become a hairstylist.  And this next year will be about my (growing) family.  But it’s a pretty awesome feeling to be in a position where you can see many other paths that you could be on, and to still be satisfied with the road you’ve taken.

I have a lot of cool stuff I’ve been up to, but just never posted about: training with ZGAT this year, this event tonight and also a little video work. I wouldn’t expect any posts soon, but hopefully I can get some updates going in the near future.  And thanks, always, to Hairbrained for being an awesome community and keeping things real. 

Hair in London and Dublin

I didn’t get many great pictures, but when I think of hair in London, I think of softly diffused/almost faded colors that were still somehow very vibrant.  It almost had the feel that hair had light projected or reflected onto it, rather than being that color.  It was very cool, and had a very soft and intentional effect without seeming overly contrived.  London, like here, though, is in the midst of a return-of-the-grunge phase, so it was at times difficult to tell who was fashionable and who had just rolled out of bed.  Not that that isn’t one of my favorite styles 😉  The most striking thing to me, which I sadly didn’t get any pictures of, was the variations in reds there.  I believe you could trace this partly back to the fact that London has a higher rate of natural red heads and strawberry blondes.  Peeking through the color cabinet, there are a lot more shades in the red and warm brown families, but also red shades that are a bit more ashed out.  In the US I feel like most of the clients that go red go REEEED, but in London there were a loft of softened reds, some of which were quite natural, others that seemed matted down, but in a very cool and interesting way, and still quite vibrant.  In Camden, where I was staying, there were a lot of pinks, purples, blues, etc.

Dublin, unsurprisingly, felt a lot more raw, but also rough in places.  The city was much more outgoing and friendly.  Their alternative crowd felt much more authentically DIY between their dress and their overall style.  Some cool hair, some of which may have been bathroom haircuts, but I’m not one to judge.  We enjoyed catching some street music (picture below) and even had some Irish punk teenagers offer us some beer out of their back packs.

        

Some brushes worth buying from Denman

Denman is a well known company in the hairdressing community, specificly in reference to the classic 7-row and 9-row rubber Denman brushes.  I actually don’t prefer the classic Denman brushes, there are some others I like a little bit better.  But some of their grooming brushes are worth checking out.  I think of the Denman brand to be of consistent good quality but more reasonably priced.  These aren’t super high end brushes, but always work well and do what they say.

For me, at four years into my career, can’t justify shelling out for a Mason Pearson when my Denman cusion brushes work well.  I use the small boar bristle for almost every updo.  Perfect for a soft tease or to smooth.  The small size makes it perfect for getting close to the root.  I also use the large boar bristle a lot on my thick haired clients before a dry cut or braiding.  Love them!

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Also, this straightening brush is pretty cool.  It has the perfect amount of tension (I was worried it would be too much), does a great job polishing the hair and also smooths and shines the hair quite a bit.  You can get a little bit of a bevel with it, if you need.  Also, easy on the wrist compared to smoothing someone with a round brush.

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Anyway, most of their brushes range from $15-30, which is pretty good for professional quality.  Check them out on their official US site.

Why a Haircut Can’t Change Your Life (Unless You Make It)

As a hairstylist, I have a lot of power to relax, de-stress and, when I’m lucky, empower my clients.  I say, “when I’m lucky,” simply because if I could do this every day, I would be the happiest hairstylist around.  But the fact is, I just cut the hair.  And sometimes color it.  At the end of the day, I am paid to do the very odd job of changing the appearance of protein filaments protruding from the head.  And all the personal, cultural and social entanglements of these protein filaments is baggage that I just don’t have control over.

At times this is a really distressing reality.  Clients come in with all sorts of problems: break ups, social anxiety, work stress, family drama and everything else that comes with living life.  I have always been the type to want to help everyone.  And in the short term, I can help.  I give a good head massage and I am a pro at comfortable silences when they are needed… or distracting with light conversation when that is needed.  I love people.  One on one time with anyone and I can find something to like about them.  But I can’t save people.  I am not a doctor or a therapist or a firefighter or a member of the coast guard…. I’m just a hairdresser.

In my perfect world, people would feel less tied down to societal norms regarding their hair.  And I don’t mean I want people more comfortable with rocking pink mowhawks in the work place, I just mean that hair wouldn’t be a source of extreme stress for anyone.  I wish women didn’t feel like their sexuality were tied to the length of their hair and that men didn’t feel like their virility were tied to the thickness of theirs.  I wish people could be celebratory of whatever they have and enjoy their hair and not have to fight with it so much.  I wish hair didn’t have to be so damn symbolic.

But it is.  And all the time people come in expecting a cure for a breakup.  Or use a haircut as a motivation to get something else right in their life.  And by all means, a haircut can help.  It can help quite a bit!  But it can’t do all the work.  I can’t do all the work.

A haircut can be the catalyst for HUGE changes in a person’s life and for how they and the world view themselves.  But without confidence and purpose, a haircut is nothing.  Hair cannot work alone.  Sometimes it is as simple as a few new wardrobe items, a pair of shoes, a different blush or lipstick.  Sometimes it is much, much more complicated.  If you can’t look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I look good,” it doesn’t matter what the hair is doing.  Someone who goes out into the world after a big hair change without confidence is going to get much more mixed reactions.  Dying your hair a different color will not bring back your boyfriend.  Cutting all of your hair off will not make you a suddenly independent and free thinking woman.  I do, personally, believe that women should experience their hair at different lengths throughout their lifetime.  But when you wake up the day after a haircut or color, you’re still the same person, except a day older and with different hair.

I love change and I love being a part of changes in the lives of clients!  I love to watch people grow and adapt and evolve, and to make them look good while they do it.  But, honey, if you think I can make it happen by myself… well, I wish I could.