So I worked at a hair salon this summer
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I worked at a hair salon And Learned These 14 Beauty Tips

Beauty tips every girl must know.

I worked at a hair salon And Learned These 14 Beauty Tips

This summer was a learning experience for me, but not in a typical way.

I was in a position where I learned new things almost every day and got to interact with the sweetest of people. It might shock you when I tell you that my summer job was the receptionist at a hair salon. This job meant so much more to me that answering phones and booking appointments; it consisted more than sweeping freshly chopped hair and refilling the Keurig.

Now, I am no expert by any means, but here's just a smidgen of beauty advice both that I already knew and learned this summer.

1. Salicylic acid is great for breakouts

Some foundations include a percentage of salicylic acid. This is great to apply on your skin during breakout season and can help to balance your skin. I personally use Maybelline's dream pure BB cream for this purpose, I absolutely love this drugstore find.

2. Got acne scars? Try a peel.

A skin peel from your local esthetician is the way to go to clear up any acne scarring you may have. The peel stimulates collagen production in the areas where the collagen was lost due to the scarring. The peel of course will not completely erase the scars, but may blend them into your skin to make them less noticeable and easier to cover with some makeup.

3. Absolutely NO SULFATES

If you know me at all, you've probably heard me tell you this before. I will repeat this dozens of times until I see you take action against it! Sulfates are extremely common in any drugstore brand of shampoo and conditioner. Sulfates are TERRIBLE for your hair as they strip the color and your hairs' natural oils and proteins.

This will make your hair dry and unhealthy and left feeling waxy containing unwanted residue. Almost no professional products contain sulfates, but just are not as financially accessible for everyone. Some brands, such as L'Oreal, have affordable sulfate-free lines which I love to see stocked on shelves.

This also applies for parabens, stay far far away from these artificial ingredients. You have been warned.

4. Use your fingertips

Anybody else's favorite part of getting their hair done the shampoo bowl? Ever wonder why it feels so soothing when the stylist shampoos your hair? They use their fingertips! When shampooing hair, the goal is to remove the dirt and get hair clean.

Lots of people just use their fingernails or don't massage the shampoo deep into their scalp. This is basically defeating the purpose of cleaning your hair because you're essentially just moving the dirt around. It's easier to get a deeper clean and massage when you're using the tops of your fingers and not using your nails.

Be sure to really work your fingertips through and around your scalp to ensure that you're getting out of the shower with actual clean hair and not just replaced dirt. *Side note: we do not wash hair, we shampoo hair. You wash a car, not your hair. You polish fingernails, you paint a house...pickin' up what I'm puttin' down? #terminology

5. Greasy hair can be improved

Since we're on a shower kick here, might as well add in a little trick I learned. If you're finding your hair is oily and greasy after you just cleaned it, it might not be the shampoo's fault, but more about the conditioning process. Try to only condition from below your earlobe and down. The hair at the top doesn't need to absorb the moisture of the conditioner as much as the ends do.

6. (Try to) Use a comb instead of a brush

This one is tricky. I am a big advocate for brushes over combs simply because my hair is very thick and long and tends to get tangly. However, combs are much better for your hair, especially when wet. A brush easily pulls your knots out which allows you to lose that chunk of hair, whereas a comb works through the knots and saves you a couple of strands. I try to do this but if I'm being candid, it's on a rare occasion. What can I say, it's my guilty pleasure ;-)

7. Upward strokes, less wrinkles

Always ALWAYS use upward strokes when applying or removing anything to your face and neck. This will decrease your risk of wrinkles and droopy skin. This is especially important during makeup and moisturizer application. I always try to move in circular motions with my foundation brush for my neck and face and apply my chest and neck with moisturizer starting from the bottom and working my way up. It's so easy to move from the top of your neck down, however this runs the risk of collecting skin at the bottom which will lead to buildup and eventually...wrinkles....

8. Starting from the bottom

Tip #7 is also relevant to your hair as well. Whenever putting a product in hair, always start at the ends and work your way up. The ends are always the most easily damaged and most accessible to damage so you want them to soak up the bulk of your product's proteins and vitamins in it. This also goes for combing your hair, always work from the bottom and up or else all of your tangles will submerge at your ends and you'll be harsher than necessary on your hair (let's be nice to it). I'm totally guilty of frequently breaking this rule, because it feels so much more natural to start at my hairline and work my way down, but try to do this whenever you remember, for the sake of your hair.

9. Hair masks FOR THE WIN

When I asked one of the stylists at my salon what her number one tip to a client would be, she described to me the importance of a hair mask, and it's even better if you consistently do one. You can buy them super cheap at any drugstore and they will work wonders in smoothness and shine for your hair, it's basically like a mini deep conditioning treatment. Try to leave it on 30 minutes once every couple of weeks, or whenever you can. When I'm up for one, I'll apply it affter I shower and put my hair in a shower cap for 30ish minutes then wash it out. Hair masks are so crucial because your hair can get damaged from heat without you knowing, resulting in frizziness. Hair masks soften and replenish the moisture that is lost so 10/10.

10. Relaxation vs. treatment

Just for a second, I'd like to touch on a common misinterpretation that I myself was under the wrong impression of before my esthetician explained it. A microdermabrasion is a skin treatment to remove dead cells from your skin using crystals. It is not as much for relaxation, that's what facials are for :)

11. Think again on that pricey curling iron

The ~look~ nowadays is the cute beachy waves that everyone loves. Everyone thinks you need a specific type of super expensive curler to accomplish this look. Don't get me wrong, I loveeeee a good high quality curling iron, but they aren't as necessary as you may think. It's less about the type, price and brand of curling iron and more about the way you're curling your hair and the way you hold the curler when you curl and how you release the curl from the iron. For a beach wave, you want to hold the curler horizontal to the head and release downwards. You also want to wrap the hair around the iron away from your face on each side of your head. With the back pieces you can switch off twirling each way, but with the side pieces near your face, twirl away to nicely frame your face shape. For tighter curls, hold the curler upside down and release from there. This is tricky to explain without a video tutorial, but I hope my word vomit here helps you get closer to achieving that desired beach wave.


I feel like this gets so overlooked and it really shouldn't. It's literally one of the most important rules to maintaining healthy hair. When you curl or straighten hair, you're most likely putting 300-400 degrees of heat onto each strand of hair...let that sink in. You are literally burning your hair, it does not deserve that :( Please, just use some heat protectant before you use any type of heated styling tool.

13. Steamers are your best friend

This is so random, but honestly one of my favorite tips. At the salon, we had many shipments of clothes come in for our boutique section. Through this I learned about the magic of a steamer. Literally forget irons, they are irrelevant to me now. Steamers are so much easier and my favorite thing to play with when I'm bored. Call me a weirdo but I really feel very satisfied when I steam out all those nasty wrinkles. Definitely recommend investing in a steamer!

14. Gel pedicures exist and they are life savers

Yes, I know it sounds silly. Let me be the first to tell you that I thought this was ridiculous when I first heard about it. However, I think that gel pedicures are SO worth it!!! They last so much longer, like I'm talking 5 weeks perfectly polished without chipping. I'm now finding myself spending the few extra dollars for polish that lasts until I'm bored of the color and actually want it removed.

Warning: this is about to get sappy.

This summer I learned that the receptionist is literally the MOST important job at the salon. Of course, it would be nothing without the stylists, esthetician, nail technician and professional masseuses. But I learned how important it is to accommodate people and how essential it is to treat everyone like it's their birthday.

A simple smile goes a long way, and you never know what kind of baggage or sucky morning people are walking in with. You can actually change the course of someone's day by offering them a coffee or water, or by giving a compliment about their new hairdo, outfit, etc.

And even by asking questions about something they're probably dying to talk about (yes, I'm referring to the elderly women that come in showing me pictures of their 12 grandchildren and give me their whole life story [it's pretty cute]). Without the receptionist, stylists don't get appointments, cannot confirm appointments as easily with clients resulting in a weak clientele, are not able to purchase and recommend products, or give off a welcoming vibe to all customers. Believe it or not, clients can and will be lost simply because of a lack of respect, diligence, and kindness from the receptionist, they're the first person who they see when they walk through the door.

I'm not gloating or boasting about myself by any means, because I definitely made my fair share of mistakes when I was training (including calling the wrong number to confirm an appointment and receiving nasty words back...that was exciting). I saw elder ladies walk out with confidence because of their new nails or rejuvenated skin. I got to experience giddy 8th-grade girls getting all dolled up for their formal and loving their look.

I got to know many of the clients by name when they walked in and see how great they felt that I recognized them. I had the pleasure of being around the sweetest and most encouraging coworkers that brightened my days and actually cared about getting to know me and getting a glance at their life too.

I think my favorite part of all was observing the priceless looks on each customer's face after receiving a service and feeling good about themselves. I loved my summer job and although these ~beauty tips~ are great, it's really the people I met and the smiles I shared that made this summer job so fantastic.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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