ABS is finally here and it’s the LONG awaited launch of my new product! Three years in the making, SalonRestore is launching tomorrow.

I was at The McCormick Place Convention Center today with my distributor rep. Bill Coleman, owner of TempleClean, LLC. My product will be featured at his booth (booth # 3941 btw!) and I’ve got a nice little display, Keynote presentaion that will loop, and a big QR code where attendees can scan and enter to win a free bottle of .

See you at the show!!!

Update on Monday, March 5, 2012 at 07:39PM by Registered CommenterWelcome to Salon Restore!
Ah… the post-show glow! I’m sitting here at my desk just thinking about all the inaspiring and amazing things that were ABS America’s Beauty Show this past weekend in Chicago. The Stylist Choice awards, the Student Competition, the Web-Casts, the product launches, the hair extensions and line extensions, credit extensions, and, did I mention “HAIR EXTENSIONS”?! I’m thinking that there must be some very bald people somewhere in the world right now wearing t-shirs that read “sold hair for beauty purposes”. And to those wearing that hair, I say if you own it, then yes it is YOUR hair, fair and square.

Onward to the Stars!! As always we were dazzled by Kris Sorbie, Beth Minardi, autographs with Tabatha, clipper cuts with Ivan, and drinks with (sorry – I promised that I wouldn’t say, but you know who you are!). I mean, is it a show withOUT the stars – I think not.

As I sit here, humongous show bags by my side, I absolutly cannot wait for tomorrow to come so I can take all my new finds to the salon and try them out. I hope you are as excited as I am. Bye for now and as always, Peace, Love, and Keep it Clean,


The ever-changing Uptown neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side has just treated us to another high. Newly expanded Spoil Me Salon & Spa, located at 4668 N. Broadway, gives the area a much deserved turn for the swanky! Owner Adel is an extraordinary stylist with great taste, wonderful customer care skills, and a flair for the fabulous. Obviously, I was thrilled to receive an invite to the grand opening of her expanded and newly remodeled space. Working with design experts headed up by MiLo Design Studio, the salon and spa take up an impressive TWO store spaces including the much sought after corner space with chic corner entrance. The space manages to straddle that fine line between modern and fabulous and yet is still very comfortable and inviting. The new spa-side takes the style of the salon-side, with its funky chandeliers and exposed cool light compact fluorescent bulbs, and brings it into sheer elegance with colors and textiles that makes you want to put on one of their fluffy robes and sip a mamosa whilst cucumber slices adorn the eyes. The pedicure thrones are fit for the prince-or-princess and a large patterned overstuff sofa beckons you to grab your kindle and breathe deep spa-breaths of relaxation. I was also very impressed with the spacious massage room, the esthetics room, and the waxing room, not to mention the to-die-for private shower suite with river-stone floor, stacks of fluffy towels, and more lounge space so you can sit down to lovingly blot your gorgeous hair. But hey, why blot your own hair when you could finish up your skin or body care with a great cut and style. And, there’s a full line of TiGi cosmetics, which have long been a leader in professional beauty makeup, so you can look – and feel – like a pampered Hollywood star by the time you walk out. Adel, I wish you many wonderful years… thank you for bringing your amazing brand of style to Uptown! Success to you always darling!!


Remember the commercial for Neutrogena shampoo… you don’t use it every day but, as I recall, once a week or every once-in-a-while to get rid of certain types of build-up in the hair. The claim was that after using the shampoo you could go back to your favorite shampoo and it would work better.

This is precisely how I feel about bleach. For daily use, I use Salon Restore. It smells great and won’t alarm the clients that “cleaning products’ are being used – it’s pure magic after you take down that vivid red, or deep grey-coverage dark brown that leaves the shampoo bowl looking so horrid. And then at the end of the night, I give the sink and back bar a nice douse of Salon Restore and let the Stay Active Technology do its’ magic. But don’t get me wrong, I do use occassionally use bleach! About every other week I spray a bleach cleaner on the sink and I think of it in much the same way as that memorable shampoo ad. To me, bleach is the “something different” cleaner, ensuring me that Salon Restore is doing its best job in the days and weeks inbetween.


In 2003, while under contract with the San Diego based media and product development company that purchased the rights to my electric round brush, I thought it would be “fun” to keep on creating – the more the better. And while contemplating all that I wanted to (concisely) say about dry shampoo’s – which I LOVE – I thought back to my presentation that I called “Necessity Becomes Luxury”. Trite? Sure. But filled with some great stuff? Looking back on it all these years later – YES. I say that because many of the imagined products and product concepts have come to life, which is a very encouraging thing for a product developer. Not that I want someone else to “steal” away a great idea of mine, but it reminds me that the things I come up with are things that companies develop, sell, and that people do want, and that encourages me to keep on moving forward. I turn back to the pages of NCB now, along with some new fave’s, to bring you the following entry:

As a stylist, I love to see gorgeous blown-out hair. But the work that goes into that takes both time and effort. So why, after all that arm pulling and blow-dryer balancing, would you want to wet the hair and ruin all that work just because there is a little dirt and oil? Dry Shampoo’s are magic for just this purpose. Now, people who remember the product Psssssst! will remember a very basic spray-powder that was used for camping, sleep-overs, and other ‘water un-available’ purposes. The idea was great but powder floating out of your hair throughout the day was not. A few other ahead-of-their-time products came and went, most notably: Algemarin Dry Shampoo, Sebastian Dry Clean Only, Klorane Dry Shampoo powder, and Batiste Dry Shampoo. Some of these products are still made, some aren’t, and some of the companies that once made them now make others – a quick Google search will tell you more than I can ever hope to link to here! :)

I’m happy to say that time has been kind to dry shampoos, mainly because of new technologies and new formulas. Invisible corn, and other, starches have taken the place of talc, along with awesome new fragrances and smart packaging. My new faves include Shuga Leave-In Shampoo and Brocato Big Easy Volumizing Dry Shampoo – both are aerosol. Shuga makes a sweet little travel size with a firm cap because yes, accidentally deploying a bottle of this stuff in your luggage would be a waste and probably a bit of a mess. As a reward for reading thus far, I will reward you with my absolute favorite, not only as a stylist, but also as someone who doesn’t like to over shampoo but who is, myself, very oily naturally, and a product lover to boot. The one that I reach for most often is Keratin Complex Volumizing Dry Shampoo Lift Powder. This stuff is the best. it’s non-aerosol and has a built-in brush. You simply extend the brush and give it a shake, allowing the shampoo to move from the lower container straight up and through the brush. Then you simply brush your head, your hair, even your hairline. The super fine powder instantly vanishes and your hair looks and feels CLEAN. And did I mention the scent? Oh my! It’s smells sh-amazing!! What’s more? The bottom chamber which holds the space-age product is clear, so you can see when you are low, and every box comes with… wait for it… a SECOND full container of the stuff, so when you run out you simply snap-on a whole new container of product and keep right on cleaning. It’s small size can be taken anywhere, so you can use it whenever you need it. The original white has NEVER gone powdery on my hair but they now also offer not only the neutral powder but also one for blondes and one for brunettes.

The bottom line is that you should always use what you love and ask a professional stylist before you drop any large amount of money. Also, ask if there is a return or exchange policy just in case. Everyone has different needs, wants, and preferences and I’d love to hear if you have a favorite dry cleanser that I have not mentioned!


I’ve been a bit troubled about all the “organic” talk that goes on in the industry, and there seems to be more all the time. For those who really work within the guidelines of producing organic products I do know that this is not only a real thing but also challenging to do. Organic farmers are subject to both Federal and State guidelines as well as on-the-spot inspections and rigorous paperwork for the government. To go one step further I’d like to define “Organic” as I know it to be: things grown that are free from chemical pesticides, both during the growing and after when the crop is ready for market.

With those things said, is it truly possible that we have so many organic products? I mean, it’s tough to create organic products, and in the beauty industry where we apply topical products, as opposed to eat them, is it even important for products to be organic? Going further, when a product says that it is organic, are they saying that it is 100% organic (this is what it seems that clients think) or are they saying that it “contains” some amount of organic materials blended into other ingredients that are NOT organic (this is more how it seems to me). And if the latter is true, then is it fair to say that the product is organic in the way that the grocery store or farmers market has to really go to a lot of work to say that something is organic. I don’t think it would be fair to put a few drops of organic material into hundreds of gallons of mixed product and then play up “Organic” on the label. Sure it contains organic something-or-other, but that’s a lot different than the totality of the product being an organic product.

Myself, I am very into reducing, recycling, free range, and supporting brands and companies that give to their communities or to charity (or both!). I am a bit less into organic since, to me, this does NOT mean that pesticides are not used, it just means that CHEMICAL pesticides are not used. I’m happy to try organic foods and learn about why they are good for me. Still I feel rather unsettled about talking to my clients about their need for organic shampoo. I’m just not quite sold on the whole thing.



I’m from the old guard. Long Beach in the winter and New York in the spring. Other hair and beauty shows were in “smaller markets” (excuse the industry lingo there) like Dallas, Seattle, and Atlanta.

But after this past weekend in Orlando, I am here to officially change my tune. THIS – The Premier Orlando Show, aptly named “International Beauty Event” has it all – exhibitors large and small; they are all here. The best, the biggest, the newest, the freshest, the hottest, and the coolest… and every degree inbetween said hot and cool. And my personal fave, tiny town – you know, those smaller booths on the fringes showing off their wares, some for the very first time.

I was truly wowed almost every moment, from Mary Rector Gamble speaking so movingly about the loss of industry icon Vidal Sassoon – thank you Mary for those moving words. And then WHAT, if anything, can be written about the RAW event! WOW! BehindTheChair.Com orchestrated 7 teams, all made up of professional stylists under the age of 30, with each team having an experienced mentor to guide them. Thier task? To create the best on-stage hair performance ever. Sounds simple? Not. Everything from the hair, makeup, costuming, blocking, and choreography, had to come from the team with the mentor only there to bring about the creativity and cohesiveness of each team. They also had to present a 90 second video about their journey in the creation of their presentation. And if that’s not enough? They had celebrity stylist Ken paves, magazine cover royalty Garren, and Oprah producer extraordinarre Ellen Rakieten. And did they have questions! The teams had to stand before AND after each performance and explain any, and everything. And of course the evening could not be complete without the good graces of Tabatha Coffey, who to me, is such a star for our industry because she’s shown the world what it is to BE a hairdresser.

And education was in focus for sure. Large, well appointed and deluxe conference classrooms adorned the massive halls of the Orange County Convention Center and there was much to choose from. I also do NOT want to miss telling you that while this massive beautry event was going on there was also Premiere DAYSPA and Spa Business Forum going on concurrently and your one pass got you into both. A separate floor map made it easy to navigate it all.

I guess, as someone who recalls how “hair shows” used to be, and how they could all kind of seem a bit stuck in the same-ness of it all I am absolutely floored and impressed with every aspect of this show. And Yes, I myself am on the show floor for the entirety of the show so I am not just popping in and saying “oh la la”- no. This show was a joy to work, to attend, and most of all to experience.


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a little love comes our way from owner and stylist Andrea Brewer of The Raw Salon & Spa in Burlington WI. Andrea shares with us: “SalonRestore is the ONLY thing we use on the chairs to get color off. (Because it’s the only thing that works). You saved my 3k chairs, almost 30k total!!”

Thanks Andrea and thanks to all our fans – we love you right back!! Happy Valentines Day, Matthew :)

For more on The Raw Salon & Spa, please check out thier website:



It’s Sunday night, and you know what that means, right? It means of course that it’s time for some Good Christian, um, well this is the Internet so, Bitches (or “GCB” as ABC calls it!). Kudos to Australia for keeping the FULL name intact! According to Wikipedia “Several ABC affiliates in Texas and other states in the Bible Belt threatened to not air the show if the name wasn’t changed.” If that’s their idea of southern charm then I’d hate to upset anyone – really!

GCB, based on the books by Kim Gatlin feature such a rich collection of Texas woman that the show creators and hairstylists must be having a fabulous time creating hair that is just a little closer to God than yours or mine. Created and written by Robert Harling and produced by Darren Star of Glee fame.

With names like “Carlene, Cricket, and Gigi” and set in the ultra-rich area of Dallas called Highland Park, the hairstyles are as colorful as you’d imagine. In particular, Annie Potts’ apricot colored bouffant up-do is an Ab-Fab homage and my personal fave. But then how can you overlook the golden tresses of Kristin Chenoweth’s character Carlene Cockburn or Jennifer Aspen hilarious beauty queen bourgeois Sharon Peacham. I’m starting to wonder just what is in a name after all?!

The brunettes are in the house with Marisol Nichols who plays the real estate power-broker Heather Cruz and Miriam Shor as business tycoon Cricket Caruth-Reilly who, let’s just say, is keep a special secret! For more on it all check out Wikipedia or go to ABC!


Easter brunch today was delicious – but not just for the food, for the “shop talk” too. My friend Nestor is just finishing his very prestigious apprenticeship in the swanky Wicker Park neighborhood here in Chicago. So of course I wanted to know how he was feeling about haircolor formulas (the release of The Hunger Games’ formulas were particularly on my mind!). But Nestor has had some bad reactions when working with hair-color: hives, trouble breathing, and other undisclosed reactions. His troubles reminded me that about ten years ago I was told by my doctor that I would have to find “other” work, due to Contact Dermatitis. What could I do? I never imagined doing anything else except being a colorist in the big city. I took my disappointment, put one foot in front of the other and tried my hand at a couple other color-free businesses. I dabbled in the gift basket business and the low-budget telephone business too. But I longed to be back in the salon. So I decided to go back just one day a week.

I was careful not to book too many back-to-back colors – I balanced hair color services while doing hair cuts and my favorite Breck Girl blow-outs. And MOST importantly, I was very careful handling hair-color products. I invested in higher quality gloves that allowed me to feel the hair through the gloves and didn’t pull the clients hair. I also started down a path that continues to this day: working with ammonia free and demi-permanent hair color. This was a real savior for me, and which brand I use is not the most important part (if you look to my C.V. I think you can easily find my brands of choice). What is important is that I discovered all the many uses for toning, depositing, filling, Low-Lighting, grey blending, and even grey coverage, all with ammonia free demi color! Amazingly the Contact Dermatitis that my doctor had diagnosed never returned. And I never returned to that job at the phone company either. I worked my way back to the salon full time, be careful all the while with what types of color I used and how often I used them. In the winter my hands do get irritated but I’ve found great lotions, liquid brush-on adhesives for those little cuts, and warm mist humidifiers for my home. I also check in my dermatologist and doctor if I’m having a flare up, which, with all the care I take, I’m please to tell you is not very often! I am certainly not going to tell you that this home cooked recipe will work for anyone, but please don’t forego your passions without trying everything you can. As I’ve discovered sometimes where there is a will there is a way.


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