STAY IN TOUCH:    Instagram      YouTube    Facebook    Email

Be Brilliant at the Basics- Starting with Good Haircare

Feb 18, 2013 | Uncategorized | 7 comments


Looking your best everyday

Haircare- Step 1

Years ago, I recall reading an article in a magazine about being the best you can be everyday. Now, I have been an avid  reader of fashion and beauty magazines for years. Still I can’t recall an article that has stayed in my mind or rang truer than that article did years ago.


The point of the article was that no one could be beautiful all the time. No one wears perfect clothes and makeup every day. Super models have “fat days” and hairstylists have “bad hair” days. Even Halle Barry can have the occasional zit on her nose.

When I wake in the morning and sneak to Starbucks for coffee- I know I’m probably not gorgeous in my running sweats. Without a comb through my hair or lipstick and mascara, I know I don’t want to see anyone I know. But, I risk it anyway- I like livin’ on the edge.

So, I sprint into the coffee shop, desperately checking my purse for some lip gloss. While I’m trying to look cool and inconspicuous, invariably I’ll run into the school principal, or worse yet, the contractor who fixed the plumbing last week. Yes, the one who looked so cute in his toolbelt…. Oh well, I have to have faith that a good haircut and smooth skin will serve me well. If my nails are done, my teeth are white, and my running sweats hug my curves– I probably look okay.

I believe we can have the occasional miss-step and still look great. That’s why it’s important that we pay attention to the basics. As a matter of fact- we should try to be Brilliant at the Basics– because that’s what will keep you beautiful in the long run.


First of all, build your routine and your team. When it comes to your looks- there is nothing like the advice of a professional. Consider your colorist, stylist, anesthetist, and other professionals as part of your team. Get to know them and let them know you. It is well worth the money spent.

Once that’s done, it’s hard to deny, your hair is one of the biggest statements you make about yourself. It’s hard to ignore how someone’s hair is cut or colored when you meet them.  So, pay attention to the three Cs of hair care- Cut, Color and Care.


Pay attention to Cut, Color and Care of your Hair
The Three C’s of Hair Care

There is nothing better than a good haircut to define your style and bring out the new you. A good cut falls together well without a lot of fuss. Look for a cut that fits your looks and your maintenance routine. Work with a good hair stylist and take these things into consideration:

• Shape. Consider the shape of your face and what cut will accentuate your best features. If your face is rectangle you need a different style than someone with a heart-shaped face. A good cut can make a long face appear shorter or lessen the look of a double chin. Take advantage it.

• Style. Also consider your personal style. Are you an edgy person who likes shaved heads and razor cuts or a romantic who likes soft curls and long flowing locks? Find a cut that fits your personal style and it will make you feel comfortable and fit like a glove.

• Type. Consider your hair type. Is it course or fine? Straight or curly? If your hair is poker straight you may not want to struggle each day styling it into curls. Get a cut that takes advantage of your hair type.

• Maintenance. Be sure to pick a style that fits with how much time you’re willing to spend maintaining it. If you don’t want to keep bangs constantly trimmed, they might not be for you. Short hair has to be trimmed more often to be kept neat. This will take more of your time. Edgy cuts that are razor chopped also take effort. They need to be constantly monitored and kept up. So be sure that whatever cut you have make sure you’re willing to do what it takes.

Are you a sun kissed blond or a sassy brunette? Do you like auburn highlights or edgy chunks of blue or red? We are lucky to live in an age when almost any color is possible and maintainable if you’re willing to make regular visits to the salon.
• Matching skin color- There is nothing more unsettling than meeting a woman who has colored her hair without taking into account her basic skin color. Whether you’re olive skinned, freckled faced, or pale and dramatic, there are good shades of hair color for you. There are also shades that aren’t the best. A good shade compliments your skin tone, brings out the color of your eyes and lips and warms up the skin. There are many shades of blond, brunette, auburn, gray. So, finding shades that match well to your skin color isn’t difficult.

• Highlights- Highlights can do a multitude of things- blend in grays, frame light around your face, and be a form of self-expression. You can add caramel highlights to bring out the complexity of your brunette hair color. Darker low-lights can reverse the over- processed look of a “bottle blond” color. Or, express your creative side by adding edgy orange or yellow chunky highlights at the crown of your head. The possibilities are endless, depending on your creativeness and desire to maintain them.

• Roots-I grew up as a brunette in California. Of course, I wanted to be a blond beach girl like Christy Brinkley. Still, I knew that my dark roots would show quickly. Right now it’s in fashion to have a bit of roots show in an edgy look- like Drew Barrymore or Sienna Miller. Still, dark roots and upkeep can bite you if you’re not careful. So, as with haircuts, be sure you take maintenance into account when you color your hair.

• Gray- If you take pleasure in being beautifully gray as you age- then enjoy it and care for it.  If you prefer to cover your gray as I do, speak with your colorist on the best strategy to maintain it. Often they’ll recommend highlights so the gray is less visible. How much easier it would be to be a blond now- my gray might blend in.


It’s very important to know how to care for your hair and keep it in the best shape. We all know the marketing spiel for shampoos- lather, rinse, and repeat. But for many of us, that’s way too many harsh chemicals for our hair. Over shampooing, sun exposure and styling tools can do a lot of damage.

• Daily Maintenance- When it comes to you hair- don’t worry about doing what anyone else is doing. Listen to the condition of your hair. My hair is fragile and can’t handle daily washings. I’m tough on it with blow drying and hot irons. I’d been “sold” on using up all that shampoo. Now I just wash my hair every 3rd or 4th day. And condition every washing.

• Damage- At one point, I had ruined my hair with perms and harsh coloring products. I found a stylist who helped me. Washing my hair every 3 days only, I was able to let my hair recover.  I’ve completely eliminated perms from my schedule. If you still perm your hair, be sure to invest in good hair care products and deep condition your hair regularly. I still use blow dryers, curling and flat irons on my hair so I watch closely for any breakage. If I see any I go to my “recovery” plan. I let my hair naturally dry with a little conditioning gel in it- I ban any tools. I’ll do this until I can feel the softness and fullness are restored.Find the care schedule that works for you

Proffesional Hair Care


• Products- It’s important that you consider using good products on your hair. They don’t need to be expensive, but it may take some trial and error to find good ones- especially if you hair is fragile. I have used Joico, KMS, and Pureology. There are also good less expensive drugstore brands. I’ve tried several for colored hair with good results. You just need to be persistent to find good ones. Also remember that gels, mousses, and treatments can help to maintain your hair style and condition.

• Sunscreen- Good products can go far to protect your hair between washings and keep it in top shape. Exposure to the sun can accelerate the fading and drying of your hair. Leave in conditioners with sunscreen protect the hair from sun and wind. Hats can also afford some protection from the elements.

Your hair can be a great introduction to people when they see you- and if you keep it in good shape with the three C’s- Cut Color and Care- it will always serve to show you at your best.

Share your tips with me in comments here or like and post to  my Facebook Page.  And stay tuned for other post about being Brilliant at the Basics- simple things you can do everyday to keep you at your best. I’d love to hear from you!

Register at for regular updates and to catch the other issues of Brilliant at the Basics.



  1. Sarah

    At least you don’t go to Starbucks with pin curls in your hair! I have great hair. I used to let it just grow out, but now that I started to grey I had to get serious! I believe a great cut is the key if u go low maintenance. Love the post!

  2. Dawn Biocca

    I love this one. I don’t have great hair and I want to change that. I am doing my shampoo every 2-3 days because mine is still at the oily stage – my aging has not changed that. I do want to hid the gray and would love to have a good hair cut. But I have a husband who loves my long hair. I need to compromise with him and that can be rough. I would love to go short but that is just not in the cards now. I am in my 50’s and really don’t like the long hair as it tends to drag me down. I also am not into taking a lot of time with my hair so I need something that is simple to maintain. My goal is that in March I will find a good stylist and get my hair taken care of. I will start off slow with taking 2-4 inches off of it then work up to my shoulders. I will post before and after pictures.

    • Virginia

      Good luck-it sounds like you want to change color and style- that’s always fun! I’d love to see where you land and post it for people if you’d be okay with it. keep me updated!

  3. Nina Knox

    Hi Virginia,
    You are so right on about the Basics. I depend on my basics now, because I don’t like putting on makeup or fussing with my hair every day. But if the Basics are in shape, then I feel comfortable in answering the door when that unexpected guest comes by. Then no makeup, but a clean smooth clear face, and no fancy hair, but a good cut and color, and clean clothes are all good enough.

    • Virginia

      Yes Nina, I feel a little funny getting into full hair and makeup if I’m spending the day writing at home. Good point- I don’t need to worry when someone comes by! Thanks for sharing, V

  4. Lisa

    Once a year GH runs a series on best consumer tested beauty products. In 2011 Biolage’s product line for aging hair was highlighted as a #1 choice that you can buy at drug store. I tried it, and I’ve gotten more compliments on my hair than I have since I was 15! There are others to try as as well such as Age Beautiful Intense Strengthening Treatment ($10 at Sally Beauty) got high marks too. I’ve kept that article now for two years and keep finding winners.

    • Virginia

      Good tip Lisa, there are so many good products out there- it’s nice to narrow it down a little. Thanks for sharing, Virgina