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Category Archives: behind the chair


Judith B is having a contest and we’re excited to share!

Win haircuts for a year!  Tell us why you deserve free haircuts for a year and send in the entry form info to our salon at:

261 N York Rd Elmhurst, IL 60126

INDE AD - JAN 2015

Winners picked on Valentine’s Day and will be notified by Email or telephone.

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Best Express Hair Treatments

LOVE LOVE LOVE Kerastase Fusio Dose Express Treatment.  We’ve been using it for about a year at my salon and it IS what it’s cracked up to be.

It’s totally personalized. This in-salon high concentration treatment ritual offers infinite combinations of advanced formulas and active ingredients.You can address  dry ends and add shine, or reconstruct  fragile hair and add umph!   Best of all- you’re not limited to just ONE CAP you can add and add (upcharge, of course).  Everyone has different needs so why make a treatment that only fits SOME people when you can have a treatment that can fit EVERYONE at ALL TIMES!

AND, just like Kerastase’s Modes Operandi, they’re long lasting.  I’d say about 4 weeks, given that you’re using the appropriate professional shampoos, conditioners and styling products.  Then again I never understood people that pay so much for their hair and then use horrible take home products!.  Don’t you want the only accesory you wear EVERY DAY, your hair, to look salon ready at all times?

You need to try a Fusio-Dose treatment. TO-DAY.  Learn more details by going to Kerastase’s  Facebook page’s Fusio-Dose™ app .  AND FYI as an add on service to your already there salon visit it’s anywhere from $15-25, not bad at all.


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HJ 2011 British Hairdressing Awards are open

It’s official!  The 27th annual Hairdresser’s Journal

2011 British Hairdressing Awards,

sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional, have launched!


There’s no better way to make a name for yourself in the beauty industry than to enter one of the many respected competitions, awards or events.  Even if you’re not lucky enough to win, the publicity surrounding these events ensure that your name will be promoted throughout the industry, and your work will be seen by some of the biggest names in the business –
and, most likely,  published.
Hairdresser’s Journal’s British Hairdressing Awards 2011, sponsored by Schwarzopf Professional

Who can enter?
All qualified hairdressers who have been working in the UK for a minimum of three years; with the exception of Newcomer of the Year, where entrants should be 25 years and under, with a regular column in the salon.
What are the details?
For initial entry, submit four photographs created in the past 12 months, which depict current trends in a creative and inspirational way. Call the number below or visit for more details, as specific requirements for each category vary.
What is the prize?
A trophy, PR support, and a prestigious title from the ‘Oscars’ of the hairdressing industry.
Where can I get the information?
Call 020 8652 8845 or go to
If you’re in the area, Download Entry Form here.

Angelo Seminara, one of my favorite & inspiring hairdressers, won British Hairdresser of the Year 2007 &  2010

Here’s one of his looks from last years competition.

Each year, hundreds of hairdressers from all over the UK dedicate months of hard work preparing their entries.

There are 15 categories to enter, which include a variety of disciplines, regional and specialist categories:


Artistic Team

Avant Garde



Colour Technician

and the most prestigious award – British Hairdresser of the Year.

Take an hour and look through last year’s winners & entries.

Even the newcomers category will blow you away.  Here’s a sample:

Eastern Hairdresser of the Year
of the Year
London Hairdresser of the Year
London Hairdresser
of the Year
Midlands Hairdresser of the Year
Midlands Hairdresser
of the Year
North Eastern Hairdresser of the Year
North Eastern Hairdresser
of the Year
Northen Ireland Hairdresser of the Year
Northern Ireland Hairdresser
of the Year
North Western Hairdresser of the Year
North Western Hairdresser
of the Year
Scottish Hairdresser of the Year
Scottish Hairdresser
of the Year
Southern Hairdresser of the Year
Southern Hairdresser
of the Year
Wales and South Western Hairdresser of the Year
Wales and
South West Hairdresser
of the Year


Don’t forget to also check out the nominees for 2010

Any  hairdresser can compete with the biggest names in the industry on a level playing field. This competition is based on photographic entries that demonstrate the skills & talents of the entrant. All entries are judged independently by a distinguished panel, with all entries remaining anonymous, and results counted and compiled by an independent firm of auditors.

HJ’s British Hairdresser of the Year is the most prestigious prize in hairdressing. Each year the shortlist is nominated by an anonymous panel of hairdressing experts.  The nominees then create a collection of hairstyle photography that demonstrates their hairdressing skills and submit a CV that proves why they should be the hairdressing ambassador that is the British Hairdresser of the Year.

Competitions like this have significantly raised the bar of hairdressing in general. Let alone British hairdressing!   It’s huge publicity for all who make it in the top tier.  And winners, even if unknown, become overnight sensations.  The most pretigious award of the night – British Hairdresser of the Year – is recognized worldwide.  The winner officially becomes the ambassador for British hairdressing and appears on all forms of media outlets: TV, Radio, Print, Commercials, etc


If you’re in the area, Download Entry Form here.

Closing date for entries is 5pm, Friday 24th June 2011.

The Awards will be announced on Monday 28th November 2011

at Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel, Park Lane, London W1.


I’m excited to see the results!

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Hairbrained is a social network of Hair Stylists, Salon Owners, and Educators from around the world. All together on one website to bring you the latest in the industry.

Some people compare it to facebook for hairdressers, but in reality it’s more than that.  It’s an amazing resource: Great member blogs, groups and forums which give us tons of insight on equipment, tools and products as well as inspirational photo galleries (my fav) for your viewing pleasure.

Currently has 10,000 members with a new goal of 20,000 (maybe next year)

Here’s a video of Paul Mitchel’s Robert Cromeans (Video by Takashi Kitamura)


If you’re into hair the way I am and haven’t joined hairbrained, go now!

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America’s Beauty Show…

America’s Beauty Show, formerly the Midwest Beauty Show has been going strong for 80years!  Going on now, March 12-14 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

There, the top educators, most successful salon owners and coolest platform artists will inspire and challenge you to take your business—and yourself—to the next level.

I practically would’ve stayed at the ABS RUNWAY all day given all the great presentations that were going on:

SUNDAY – March 13
Farouk with Rocky Vitelli and Leonel Rodriguez – 9:30-9:45am
Sassoon with Mark Hayes & The Sassoon Academy Creative Team – 9:55-10:15am
Toni & Guy with Zak Mascolo, Darian Bishop, Joseph Marzioli & Samatha Finley – 10:25-10:55am
Paul Mitchell with Robert Cromeans, Stephanie Kocielski, Angus Mitchell & Takashi Kitamura – 11:05-11:30am
Irvine & Louise Rusk – 12-12:40pm
Intercoiffure featuring Vivienne Mackinder, Gina Khan & Jo Blackwell-Preston– 12:50-1:50
Anthony Mascolo – 2:00-2:50pm
Pivot Point International featuring Yolly ten Koppel – 3:00-3:15pm
Nick Arrojo – 3:25-4:05pm
Matrix with Brian & Sandra Smith, Chrystofer Benson & Daniel Roldan – 4:15-4:35pm
American Crew with Theri DeJoode– 4:45-5:05pm

I even saw the hairdresser’s photographer BABAK snapping shots of the models and talents on stage.

BUT  there was too much to see and shop for on the main floor.  Including the legendary man himself, Vidal Sassoon.  Bought my copy of Vidal: The Autobiography for $30, released Feb 24th, 2011. I suggest you buy it on AMAZON for less ($18.45)  Yes it was a rush purchase!  Mainly because I needed to get it signed and take another picture to add to my collection of Celebrity hairdressers.

I’ll be there tomorrow mainly to watch some great platform work and continue to be inspired by some of the classes offered by the NCA/CCA.  Here’s Monday’s ABS RUNWAY SCHEDULE.  Yes, I’ll be there for Tabatha.

MONDAY – March 14
Student Conference presenting Ted Gibson & Yolly ten Koppel – 8:30am-10:00am
American Crew with Theri DeJoode – 10:10am-10:30am
Tabatha Coffey – 10:40am-11:20am
CND Shellac™ & Fashion Fusion INTA Conference with Jan Arnold of CND – 11:30am-2:30pm

Pictures will be posted ASAP with the collection work and trends of the famous hair “houses.”

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So much going on, so litte time

I have a list of things I need to cover here!

Look for the following posts to satisfy:

Mercedes Benz NY Fashion Week FEB 10-17  featuring NY FALL/WINTER 2011

London Fashion Week FEB 18-23 featuring LONDON FALL/WINTER 2011

83rd Annual Academy Awards FEB 27th

Milan Fashion Week FEB 24-28 FALL/WINTER 2011

Paris Fashion Week MAR 1-9 FALL/WINTER 2011

America’s Beauty Show MAR 12-14 showcasing HAIR & Beauty Trends and products for 2011+ (Chicago)

Midwest International Salon and Spa Expo MAR 26-28 By the industry for the industry, Midwest edition. (Chicago)

AND OF COURSE… industry talk, then reviews: products, tips & tricks, equipment & tools!


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America’s Beauty Show

Woo-hoo!  I’m so excited!  America’s Beauty Show (ABS) is coming: March 12-14, 2011 to McCormick Place in downtown Chicago.

ABS  is one of the largest professional beauty industry trade shows.  5th largest convention in Chi-town and it’s not open to the general public.  Sorry to all you kitchen colorists and beauty junkies.

This year is going to be pretty exciting.  Not only are they showcasing the usual: new trends, new products, demos, free stuff, discounted stuff, hot models and great energy, they showing the Vidal Sassoon: The Movie @the Cadillac Palace.  The man himself will be there accepting the Hair Icon award and having a Q&A with the film’s producer Michael Gordon, founder of Bumble + bumble.

Sassoon revolutionized  hair with his “wash and wear” philosophy, literally changed the way hair is cut today.  If it weren’t from him, we’d still be doin’ roller sets and most likely I would be a lawyer.

If you’re not a salon professional but still want to check out the festivities you still may have a shot at getting in! BE A MODEL! ABS doesn’t do the hiring so you have to contact the exhibitor directly.  Here’s the list: .  They’ve also been known to post on the

Coming soon…


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errr, don’t be late

I’ll set the scene, salon,  busy Thursday evening.  You have an appointment for a highlight and haircut, possibly a treatment in between (at least 2.5- 3 hours).  You walk up to reception to check in and she tells you your stylist is running 20 minutes behind.  you’re thinking- HELLO?  could you have called me?  I could of not rushed here, or ran an errand or picked up a latte!

Everyone knows the front desk is the brain of the salon.  The assistants and stylist keep them constantly informed about what’s going on so if there’s an issue, they can find a way to resolve it.  Any properly run front desk will call you if your stylist is running late as soon as they know; as yes, if you live far, it might be on the drive over.  It’s a courtesy they provide so you can go get that latte you were craving since 3pm this afternoon.

There are lots of reasons for running late but this obviously goes on both ends; clients and hairdresser.

If you’re a new client, you should be there at least 10-15 minutes early so you can  fill out a new client form,  unwind with a beverage, go to the bathroom- whatever it is –  and have time for thorough consultation.  At my salon, new clients are booked with an extra 15 minutes to provide ample time for a great consultation with their stylist.  The first time  consultation about your color and cut is essential to your final result.  This also goes for current clients who want a big change!

Bring pictures- that always helps.  Your “butter” blond may be a beige-y platinum to another.  We don’t expect clients to speak “hairdresser” but we hear the “terms” everyday, sometimes used incorrectly.  My favorite is when people refer to chin length hair as a “bob.”  NOT ALL CHIN LENGTH HAIR IS A BOB. phew- glad I got that out.  I blame the media 🙂 jk

If  you’re not a new client, PLEASE be on time.  We want to give you 100% of our attention and provide you with the best service possible and part of that is NOT having the next person wait (see first paragraph). AND it compounds, you’re late 15 min… one person changed their mind and wants highlights,  next thing you know the stylist is running an hour behind WITH HELP!  Trust me- we don’t like it.

OH wait!  I almost forgot- being on time but staying on your cell phone for 20 minutes counts as being late!  We can’t do anything if you’re on the phone.  It’s also rude.

If you are running late, please call! Usually the salon can accommodate you and this is basically a way of the front desk to do damage control!  If you’re going to be really late (more than 15-20 min.) you might be rescheduled.  Maybe in the same day if you’re lucky!   No it’s not the stylist being lazy, it’s about customer service.  The client after you deserves just as much attention as you do and if the roles were switched you’d be upset at the stylist for running late (see top; again!)

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a little of me

Hi my name is Judith Barrientos aka Judith B.  I’m currently the Art Director at Effigy Salon in Elmhurst, IL.  Before that I was in the city since graduating beauty school (Pivot Point).  I did my advanced education apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon Chicago in both cutting and color- 3 years of my life, making $3.25-$4.25, but worth EVERY SECOND!

While I was with the company I was involved in shows in both Chicago and London.  I was also transferred to London for a bit which converted me to doing lots of things, drinking tea for one.  Receiving the training that I did paired up with with a well respected company like that made me realize something about myself.  I love knowledge.

I’ve been an educator for ten years- and I still love it.  I’ve written several types of advanced education programs for several salons.  I’ve also had 3 salon certified by the state for CEUs (continuing education units) in  advance education; currently working on numero quatro.  I’ve worked behind the scenes on movies, runway shows, editorial shoots, collection work and talent (comp cards / headshots).  But I’m the happiest sharing the knowledge I possess that I’ve accrued throughout my 15 years of experience behind the chair  and being a natural “researcher.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my clients.  Who wouldn’t like to go into work and say they played with their friends’ hair and laughed all day?  YES, I smile and laugh a lot.  I’m happy with the career path I chose and continue to choose everyday.  Sure you have some ups and down, but it’s that just life?  And seriously?, if the worst of my day is that…  I don’t really have worst days.  I still come home happy.

I have a gigantic list of topics that I feel might interest people:  hair trends, product reviews, techniques, funny stories behind the chair, collection / education reviews, etc.  SO- if you would be so kind- please shoot over some ideas or questions you may have on hair, the biz or life- yeah I’ll take life questions!  chacha does, why can’t I?  I  write this for you my, my peers and hair enthusiasts- ok fine, closet cosmetologists too! But I really recommend taking the plunge to the latter.

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