Advice Column

Confessions of a CosmetologistIf you have a hair or beauty question please leave a comment below, e-mail me, or send me a message on Facebook!

You may also want to check out my quizlet section for help with damaged hair, perms, makeup, and more!

Be as specific as possible and feel free to leave your own beauty input as well! I will do my best to respond in a timely fashion via e-mail or the website!

Please don’t forget to check for advice I’ve given to other readers! Who knows….your question may be answered…or you could learn something great :).


💋Advice Column


Is It Too Early For Makeup?

Hi ,
I was wondering if could ask you a few questions about talking to children about cosmetics.

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Hair Color At Sally’s Beauty Supply

I have been coloring my friends hair using the Matrix 505N color. Its pretty much dark brown when its done. She has gray hair and very stubborn to accept the coloring.

Read More…

Haircuts For Short Curvy Women


I am 18 years old and I really don’t know what type of haircut to go for.

I do know that I fall under curvy, although I am short (5’1) and I like how my shape is.

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Biotin For Hair

Hi, I just started taking biotin, but I usually perm my hair.

I was wondering will my hair be affected if I permed it, while still taking biotin?

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Perms with Colored Hair

I was reading something you had on perms and I just wanted to know what you would recommend.

I colored my hair myself about 3 months ago and I have talked to a couple other people about this but I was wondering what your opinion would be.

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Perms with Highlighted Hair


i have healthy highlighted hair and am wondering if i am ok to get a spiral perm , in your opinion of course, I would have a test patch done professionally first.

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Why won’t color stay in my hair?


I get my hair colored silver/grey and I wait 3-4 days before I wash my hair. But when I do shampoo, which is with purple shampoo, a lot of it washes out and has a coppery color and then there are grey streaks as well. Is it possible to have hair that can’t be dyed?

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Who Does Donald Trump’s Hair?

I would like to know which barber does Donald Trump’s hair!

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When It’s Time For A Makeover


I’ve never really done myself up or worry about my hair, makeup etc. Well, I’ve been working on losing weight and I have gone from 200 lbs to 170 lbs!

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How To Explain A Haircut To Your Stylist

Dear Erika,

I have been struggling for a long time on how to explain to hairdresser how to cut my hair.

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How To Restore Damaged Hair

Hi Erika,

I was wondering if you have any tips on how to restore my damaged hair.

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Proper Pedicure Sanitation Procedures

Hello Erika,

I am a cosmetologist too and I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction as far as where do I go to get the latest information on pedicure sanitation procedures.

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How Can I Add Body to Fine Hair?

My daughter has thin, fine, long hair to her lower back. It was professionally colored a month ago. It doesn’t hold curl from rollers or an iron and falls flat against her head.

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Full Bangs

Dear Erika,

Would love you opinion on whether or not I can rock the full bangs. I need a change but I don’t want to do something I could regret!

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Making the Switch: Box to Salon Color


I had a question about going from one box dye to salon coloring, before the box coloring has grown out.
I had dyed my hair a few times when I was in high school, then pretty much vowed to leave it natural, which had natural high lights and I was fine with it.

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Should Hair Extensions Tangle Easily?

Dear Erika,

Do you use hair extensions? According to your personal experiences, is it normal for them to tangle easily after months of use?

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What’s the Best Hair Color Brand?

I have preference for professional hair dyes, no drugstore brands please.
I’m going to dye my hair light brown, maybe a 6 tone, but something natural looking.

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How To Grow Out My Bangs

I have long hair and I went in for a trim. I asked for “short in the front to long in the back”, but they gave me bangs instead! What can I do?

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Hairstyles For Heart-Shaped-Faces


I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions as to what sort of haircut I should get.

I’m average height and rather curvy, and I have a heart-shaped face, I think.

Read More…

How To Fix Matted Hair

Dear Erika,

My wife has severely matted hair, and will not let any of her friends help her out of embarrassment and is too tender headed to get it done by herself, so that pretty much leaves me (the man who shaves his head bald weekly) to help her and I haven’t a clue where to begin.

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How To Care for African American Hair


My name is Jasmine and i had a question about how to care for my African American hair. I have really thick ,dry, and unmanageable hair and am not sure what to do with it all.

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What Kind of Box Color Should I Use?

Hello Erika,

Thank you for having written a nice article about hair color pitfalls. Right now, I am coloring my hair at home because it is financially more feasible…

Read More…

How To Be a Confident Haircolorist

Hi Erika!

I work at a salon in a small town. I just started here a month ago and am trying to build my clientele. I get a little nervous when it comes to color.

Read More…

How To Remove Box Color

Hi Erika,
Uhm so I dyed my hair red with a box color and it looked okay at first. After a while the color changed and I didn’t like it so I decided to dye it black. After like 4 months of having it black I started getting tired of it, I asked a friend for advice on getting rid of the black and I was told to use two boxes of the lightest blonde color I could find.

Read More…



About The Author


Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

24 Responses to Advice Column

  1. Anonymous says:

    So I am a girl in my teenage years.
    I have this problem that has ben bothering me for a very long time now. I have got really dark hair on both me thighs and my arms. For some time I have used an epilator. Even through I follow all of The instructions it is like it dosnt really pull the hair out with the roots on my arms, so now I have these really thick and dark hairs on my underarms, just like if I shaved them. What can I be doing wrong?

    • Erika says:

      The best option is to wax, and continue waxing. I know it can be uncomfortable, especially when you first start waxing, but it will get better!

      I’ve waxed literally everything that can be waxed….and it’s awesome. Some of it I’ve done myself, and some I’ve had done at a spa. I do not recommend waxing on your own unless you do your homework first and follow instructions completely. There are lots of at-home waxing kits(I’ve tried the strips that already have wax on them, wax rollers, etc.), and the best option if you’re going to do it at home is to have your own wax pot. I prefer cream wax, and you may want to start with the sensitive formula if you’re not sure how your skin will react.

      Here’s what I use at home:

      Gigi Wax Pot

      Gigi Creme Wax

      Non-woven Strips

      Small & Large Wax Applicator Sticks

      Good luck with waxing! I know you’ll be happier with the results…your hair will come back less each time and it will last longer than other methods! Thanks for checking out my blog!

  2. Ana says:

    I’m 16 years old and I’ve been experiencing many silver hairs for the longest. I first started getting them when I was in middle school and I actually really love them. My hair has never been shorter than my elbows because my mom never let me cut it but just recently she allowed me to do a big chop all the way to my shoulder. I don’t know if it’s just my eyes playing tricks on me, but it seems like my silvers aren’t growing in as much as they used to. Is there anyway I can speed up the growth of them naturally ? I love the way they look on me and it definitely does make me feel different and a whole lot more confident with them because you don’t see many teenagers with so many grays. I’ve also even thought about dying parts of my hair silver but I don’t want to damage it. My hair isn’t jet black but looking at it you’d think it was and I know I’d have to bleach it a few times before I can get it gray. What do you think ?

    • Erika says:

      If I were you I would just wait it out and see what happens over the next few years. Your hair is going to be so naturally beautiful(I’m sure it probably is already!)…don’t lighten it or anything yet!

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Emily Rutz says:

    Hi so I’m on the bus and my hair is sticking up and falling out and I don’t have a brush

  4. Abby says:

    Hello –

    I’m hoping you can give me some advice on what shampoo and conditioner combination might be best for me. I’m incredibly lucky to have thick, manageable, dark brown hair that never feels super dry or oily (except maybe on day two or three without a shower) – about as “normal” as you can get. It also has a slight wave to it and has never been colored.

    I’ve been using a drugstore brand for most of my life because I didn’t think I needed anything more. However, since moving cities, I’ve noticed my hair has felt dirtier from the excessive amounts of minerals in the local water. I brought this up to my hairdresser and she mentioned that this might not be the driving factor – instead, the waxes found in drugstore brands are often the thing to blame. Do you have any suggestions? I’ve read great things about Pureology but it just seems like too much money to spend for someone like me, who doesn’t have any special care requirements.

    Also, I really hate the feeling of having product in my hair so I always avoid styling products and hairspray. In recent years, though, I’ve taken to heat treating my hair quite a bit (either with a blowdryer or a curling wand) and am wondering if I should be using something to prevent damage. My hairdressers always compliment me on how healthy my hair looks so this may not be an issue but I thought I would ask.

    Thank you for your help!

  5. Cherise says:


    First off have to say I have what feels like tons of questions lol. But to keep it simple and some background info about myself. I’m African American and have been getting my hair relaxed(and do stretch it to 3 months) since my teens. I have also always used the petroleum based hair greases(Super Gro, Tea Tree Oil etc.) to moisturize my hair and promote hair growth. Which ever since I was a young girl my mom always said was the best way to go for black hair, to which I took her word for it as I’m not that great with doing hair in general and figured she was pretty spot on. But as of last year my mom passed away and with her some of the additional hair care knowledge she had about things too. So I’ve been trying to navigate things on my on and find a reasonable and very manageable hair care regimen for myself.

    However in establishing my new routine I’ve been reading up on all kinds of different things from various websites and will admit I’m positively beyond confused. Here are some of my questions:

    1. I have dandruff and I have heard and even read it is best to wash your hair two times a week to cut down on the flakes. But I have also read that being African American, we have dryer more fragile hair too and need shampoos with Argan Oil type conditioners in them. Do you by chance know of any dandruff shampoos available with that in there? Or if none are available do you think it would be a good idea to buy Selsun Blue and then a conditioner with Argan or Coconut oil in it? I just don’t want to combine too many things and miss out on the positive benefits of either one.

    2. How exactly and in what ways do deep conditioners, hot oil treatments, and pre pooes compare/contrast from one another? Is one more beneficial than the other and how often are you to use them?

    3. Also does a deep conditioner work to help prevent and change damaged ends or damage from a relaxer or would only getting a protein treatment work best? As I know the beauty school I go to, some of the instructors have often told me over the years that I need a deep conditioner. But as I don’t live in the area of that particular school, I had never taken them up on the offer(as it be too long a drive going back and forth). But now what I have learned about relaxers stripping and damaging the hair and that protein treatments are necessary I’m wondering if they are the same thing or not.

    4. Also what days would you advise for someone to wash their hair that has a somewhat unpredictable work schedule? B/c as it stands right now with me working part time, I try and wash my hair every other Saturday and then moisturize, flat iron, and then curl it with foam rollers on Sunday to be ready for the work week(because I never know on which days I’ll be on call and which ones I won’t, so like to stay prepared) . And I’ve read it’s best to do it like Sunday for a regular wash and moisturize and then on like Wed. do a co-wash and deep conditioner. Which I’m not even sure you can or should co-wash your hair if you have dandruff right?

    I think I’ll stop right here for the time being, but definitely have more questions. I hope I didn’t ask too much stuff for one post, lol. Thanks again.

    • Erika says:

      It sounds like you just need to moisturize your scalp. I’m not sure that you need dandruff shampoo, and it’s hard to say without seeing your hair.

      I disagree with washing your hair twice a week….that’s a lot of work for you! Plus, drastically changing your shampooing schedule can make your scalp more dry. I think what you’re doing now is perfect. Stick with washing your hair every other weekend. You should comb or brush your hair daily(mainly for scalp stimulation), so that your pores don’t get clogged. That can cause more dryness and discomfort.

      To help with the condition of your hair after relaxers…..deep conditioners are best. A protein treatment is great for damaged hair, but you don’t want to overdo it with proteins. Too much protein can cause the hair to become brittle and break. So, protein treatments should be balanced with moisturizing treatments.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      Morrocanoil Hair Mask

      Leave-In Conditioner/Protein Treatment:
      It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin

      *Use after each shampoo before the hair dries.

      Morrocanoil Styling Treatment

      Mizani Scalp Oil

      • Cherise says:

        Thank you so much Erika. You are a virtual Godsend on clearing some of that up for me. I swear it was like information overload with so much that I was reading. But I will definitely check out the products you recommended. I’m also heading in for a touch up on my relaxer this weekend and will see if I can get an instructor at the school I go to, to kind of do a damage assessment and see what they say on the protein front as well. As I had read/heard about some very bad experiences for people doing too much protein as well. Thanks again and will for sure come back if I have more questions about anything else. 🙂

  6. Ana Hutchison says:

    Hello ,

    Due to my grey hair I have been colouring my hair every four to five weeks for many years….I have thin oily straight hair. My challenge, to find the right combination of products to use on a regular basis.
    Styling products are heavy and make my hair oilier, I can’t find a shampoo and conditioner that helps maintain the colour and hairspray makes my hair look dull. Any suggestion on products for style and colour would be great….Thanks Ana

    • Erika says:

      How often do you wash your hair and what products do you currently use? Are you currently using a color care shampoo & conditioner? Does your hair gradually get oily throughout the day?

      Without knowing more about you….here are my suggestions:

      Shampoo- ColorProof SuperPlump Volumizing Shampoo
      Conditioner- ColorProof Super Plump Volumizing Conditioner

      Occasional Shampoo- ColorProof ClearItUp Detox Shampoo
      *A clarifying shampoo is great for cleansing the scalp/pores, and it also gets rid of oiliness! This shampoo won’t solve the problem for everyone, but it’s great if you feel that your hair is still oily right after shampooing. Don’t use it everyday because that could trigger your pores to produce extra oil in order to replace what has been suddenly taken away.

      Styling Prep- It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In LIGHT
      (after towel-drying/before blow-drying)

      Heat Styling- Pureology Colour Fanatic…concentrate on ends!
      (after dry/before using curling or flat iron)
      *The It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In is also a heat protectant, so you can skip this product step if your hair is easy to work with and/or you don’t have any frizz. If you can tell me more about how you style your hair and your daily routine, then I can give you a more accurate suggestion.

      Additional Styling- ColorProof PowderFix Instant Texture
      *Using a powder product to style your hair is great if you have issues with oiliness and/or thin hair. This product should be applied at the root (usually I just sprinkle a little then use my fingers to “fluff” it through), and should not just be thrown “on top”. From your part you’ll just section about 1/2 inch of hair straight back, then sprinkle it. You can apply every 1/2 inch to inch going down your scalp as needed for additional volume.

      Finishing- Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Hairspray
      *I LOVE the Caviar line and I’ve used the hairsprays, repair sprays, and shampoo/conditioner for several years. Of course, I rotate my shampoo/conditioner with other lines.

      Optional Styling Maintenance- ColorProof DrySpell Color Protect Dry Shampoo(spray) or Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo(powder)
      *Dry shampoo is a life saver for anyone that’s dealing with an oil issue! I don’t have oily hair, but I use it so I don’t have to wash my hair as often. Unless I’m working out…I only wash my hair every 3rd day…so on the 3rd day I freshen it up with a little dry shampoo and it looks/feels great.

      *People with “chronic oily hair” should use dry shampoo mid-day or after work/before going do dinner so they don’t have to run home for a shower first (for example). It’s also great for those that get oily bangs every day (usually happens because of present oiliness and/or putting hands in hair too much throughout the day).

      *Dry shampoo can be used for styling after you blow-dry instead of the ColorProof PowderFix Instant Texture product if you’re just doing an everyday style. The PowderFix will add more volume and texture, which is for more of a “going out” style (depending on the person).

      ❤Please reply to this comment with more about your daily routine and/or products that you regularly use. There may be other options for controlling the oiliness. I hope this helps! – Erika

  7. Shannon Knowles says:

    Help! I have fairly long, fine naturally curly hair that is in a severe state of neglect due to financial constraints. I have maybe 5-10% grey which I have been coloring with a box ($3 kind…ugh) about once every 3 months for the last year. I have done full root to end color because I have changed color slightly each time trying to find the right one. I shampoo and condition about every 3 days and use lots of leave-in shea conditioner and mousse. I straightened my hair today for the first time in about a year (I don’t use any heat otherwise) and was SHOCKED at how horrible my hair looked AND at the breakage! My unprofessional guess is that I need to cut off at least 6 inches! Any advice???

    • Erika says:


      It would help a lot if you could send me a photo of your hair, one head shot and one close up of your mid-shaft to ends. If you send me an e-mail from the contact page I will reply and you can send me an attachment. You can also send me one on Facebook.

      Fine hair is a little different because it usually can’t handle as much as medium to thicker hair.

      When you say box….is it permanent or semi/demi-permanent? How different were the colors that you chose as you reapplied your color?

      Also, heat is a no-no if you already have a lot of chemical damage. If anything….you should stop using heated tools immediately and we can go from there! There’s hope….I promise! 🙂

  8. Diane says:

    Which is more damaging on colored hair a perm once or twice a year ago and then letting air dry or using a curling iron(with heat protectant) maybe 2-3 days a week?
    I have babyfine, thin demi colored hair(in a salon) to cover grey and I wear it a bit below my shoulders(I’m a tall, very curvy ,busty woman) I’m in my late 50’s. Too short cuts not too good on me.
    Before I started going grey I used to get perms in the 80’s and 90’s to bulk up my fine hair but now that I color my stylist does not want to perm anymore.
    Is using a curling iron(maybe not everyday) less damaging.
    I’ve tried heatless curls, too, sometimes it looks great but sometimes it looks weird which is what happens with fine hair.

    • Erika says:

      The perm is definitely more damaging. You’re lucky to have a hairstylist that tells you her honest opinion rather than trying to make more money off of your uncertainty.

      Short story….

      My grandmother was completely gray at 40. She got two perms a year for several years, and about 10 years later she started coloring her hair. Same salon, same stylist until I started doing hair 🙂 Rather than doing what was best for her…..the stylist started coloring her hair every month and every quarter she would get a color and a perm all in the same appointment! OMG…horrible!

      Styling her hair was so hard because it was tangly and “stuck together”. Now she uses hot rollers and/or the curling iron and does not get perms. It took about 6 months to get her hair back to normal at the time!

  9. Robyne says:

    Hi I’m Robyne . I was wondering … I have pink highlights in my hair that are faded out . Is it OK to bleach my hair and roots and start over with the pink? Plz help

    • Erika says:

      It all depends….what color is your natural hair? Did you get the highlights done professionally, and do you plan on re-touching yourself?

      I would not suggest bleaching all of your hair if that’s what you mean.

      When I do this type of highlighting on my clients I re-touch only the new growth (feathering the bleach slightly into the previous highlighted area for blending), then I reapply the semi-permanent hair color (pink, purple, turquoise, etc.). Most clients will have the semi-permanent color “refreshed” a few times before lightening the re-growth again (generally re-growth is touched up every 2-3 months).

      • Robyne says:

        My hair is brown but is now blonde with the pink highlights underneath. I want to redo my roots and recolor the faded pink. …I did it myself and wanted to retouch my self . I used color brilliance brights. Ion, magenta semi permanent creme hair color 305075.

        • Erika says:

          No matter what, always remember that bleaching hair that has already been bleached or colored permanently will have unknown results.

          1) Hair that has been previously bleached: The more you lighten it the more damaged it will become.
          2) Hair that has been previously colored and/or bleached: It may not lighten as far as you want it to and it may turn out “splotchy”.

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