One of the things that I really look forward to about coming down to Florida for the winter is reuniting with my fabulous hairstylist, Amanda. I’ve never encountered another stylist who makes me feel like I’m her art project that she aspires to turn into a masterpiece. She is meticulous. She is just really really fabulous, honestly. I sat down with her recently for a Keratin treatment and balayage at Tresses Color Bar Salon in Wellington. Amanda sees her Wellington clients here on Fridays, but is otherwise at her own private salon, The Mane Cave, in Lake Worth. I was excited to have the opportunity to talk to Amanda about not only hair, but also her upcoming product launch.
Nicole: Amanda, tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you came into your profession?
Amanda: I was born and raised in West Palm Beach Florida. I am a Scorpio, born November 3. I grew up in art school with a strong passion for visual arts. I am a licensed cosmetologist of 11 years.
The beauty industry became a sixth sense; it came so naturally to me. And I am a perfectionist and in the beauty industry that’s a plus. Not too many hair stylist or anyone in any trade or business for that matter take the time to perfect their craft – go the extra mile.
Nicole: Tell us about what inspires you to go that extra mile as you clearly do, I can attest to that!
Amanda: My inspiration ultimately stems from my amazing clients. To make someone else feel good and look good, boost their confidence, and put the smile on their face when they leave… I mean if that’s not enough inspiration than I don’t know what is. It’s priceless. That is inspiration and that makes me smile.
Nicole: Can you tell us some of your best haircare tips and advice?
Amanda: My best secrets to good hair….First and foremost, stick to professional color! Stay away from box dye, which is just full of excess ammonia, vegetable dyes, direct dyes and metallic dyes. They also formulate most box colors with a pretty high volume developer (color activator) which just blows the cuticle layer of the hair open. In addition to professional color, find a hair stylist that cares about the quality of your hair, not just selling you product/services. For example, more often than I’d like to admit stylists will overlap highlights. Not intentionally, just out of carelessness, laziness or to knock out a head of highlights for quick $150-$200.
Second, stay regular with trims!!!! I cannot stress this enough. Find a stylist you love, connect with, trust and understands your concerns and desires. I have clients that come in for a “trim” every 8-12 weeks. Hair grows 1/4 – 1/2 inch a month. Get rid of the “dead” ends before they start to split. This leads me to hot tools; overuse of hot tools, whether a blow dryer or flat iron will with out a shadow of a doubt damage, dry, and split your hair.
I am all for hot tools, just take it easy with the wear and tear!
Nicole: Are there any current trends that you are seeing or any that you anticipate in the coming year?
Amanda: Trending in hair now; I would say natural texture, beach-y texture, natural color, balayage highlights. Long one length bobs are totally in. I have a strong feeling shorter hair will be very popular again soon. Brushed back slick hair and platinum icy hair is still in, I don’t for see that losing popularity any time soon.
Nicole: I know you aren’t a product pusher, but we’d love to know if you have any favorite products/brands?
Amanda: I have yet to find a brand I love! Haircare is my next venture!
Kerastase is always great for moisture and health of the hair.
I recently stumbled upon a professional brand that I love, Amika.
Smells delicious and extremely moisturizing!
Products I would say you can skip on “salon quality”are pomades, texture cream, beach salt spray, and clarifying shampoos.
If you consider your hair healthy and you don’t color it or use hot tools often, you’ll be pretty safe using something from the drug store if need be.
Nicole: I’m really excited to hear more about your current project. Tell us about Herbalism & Alchemy!?
Amanda: I have been working on a skin care line for about 8 months, a non toxic natural and effective approach to caring for you skin. I have struggled with skin issues, such as acne and sensitive skin my whole life. You would think with age these things would subside, but they haven’t. I’ve tried everything from the dermatologist, medications, diet and avoiding certain foods, and even lifestyle activities. About two years ago I started having a lot of health issues. I ended up in the hospital and the doctors didn’t find a thing. I’ve been to my orthopedic hand and wrist specialist about 4 dozen times. Ive been diagnosed with Raynaud’s syndrome, Livedoreticularis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, which led to tenosynovitis ( tearing and swelling of the tendon sheath). The RA is sending too many antibodies to the tenosynovitis site, causing inflammation and extreme pain. It has been debilitating both mentally and physically.
To have found a career I love so much at such a young age – I built my clientele by word or mouth only, roughly 300 clients.
To wake up some days in the fetal position not being able to open my hand, make a fist, or even move one of my fingers, that will take a toll on you.
One day I woke up, covered in hives (which has been an ongoing thing since 2013) I looked at myself in the mirror and said NO MORE. I need to formulate a skin care line. I mean if I can get it right and I works for my awful skin, it will work for anyone. The pain of my hands really gave me an extra push, god forbid I can’t do hair anymore one day. That was the birth of my skin care line, Herbalism & Alchemy. I am looking to launch my line in the spring/summer 2018. The launch will include face soap, scrubs, masks, toners, and lotions along with body soap and lotions.
Nicole: I can’t wait to try it! It is beautiful product, that is for sure. I’ll be sure to let my readers know when it is availible! Now, one last question. Tell us something about yourself that people might find surprising?
Amanda: Something about me you may find surprising…. I am shy and reserved! When you see me, I am covered in tattoos and I don’t dress conservatively. But I am an introvert.
Hmmm….. Oh, I have a twin brother! I am 19 minutes older.
I was a gymnast growing up. 12 years of training with goals for the Olympics one day. I quit in high school because I heard it stunts your growth, and I really wanted long legs and boobs.
Nicole: Haha! See, I didn’t know any of that!!! Love it. Thank you for sharing your story and giving us some great advice today.
You can follow Herbalism & Alchemy on Instagram to stay tuned for further looks at product and updates on the launch.
Have a fabulous day!