Making Time to Relax and Unwind

By Kim Taylor, owner and stylist

I’ve been a busy bee my whole life. I always have something brewing and a list of what’s next. Between career, family, school activities, doctor’s appointments, etc. I am swamped. I love to be busy and I am happy in my life, but I AM TIRED. Sometimes I need a little time to myself to unwind and put things in perspective. Sometimes I just need to relax and rediscover my peace with the world. But it’s hard. I expect a lot out of myself and I hate to let anyone down. It’s an unrealistic expectation, but I try. Sound familiar? Of course, it does! We’ve evolved into a society where accomplishing more in less time with greater results has become the “norm”, and while each one of us is unique, we are all very similar in this particular way.

When I opened Essence in 2011, my goal was to take care of people in a way that would encourage and assist them in taking care of themselves. I believe that our most significant responsibility in life is to be good to each other. However, one can only carry that mantra so far if they are not also being good to themselves. It’s really hard to give our best to someone when we are running on empty.

I realize that this issue is complicated, finding time for one’s self is difficult and committing to it can feel more stressful than relaxing. I have learned over the years that no matter how busy I am or how guilty I allow myself to feel, I never regret taking time for myself once I do it. I return to my crazy existence ready and eager to continue giving my best to the world because I am cultivating the best in myself.

I know from experience that nights alone and weekends away are not always practical. Oftentimes an hour or two away from our hectic lives is all we need to feel rejuvenated. From the moment you step through our door, you are our priority. Our purpose is to give you the time, attention, and relaxation that you need and deserve.

We believe everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. One of the most basic ways that we do this is by offering beverages and small snacks. We always have refreshing iced tea and water as well as gourmet hot tea and coffee when you want something cozy and warm. We also offer Chex mix and pretzels in case you need a little snack to sustain you.

We pride ourselves on listening to your needs and do our very best to meet them. If you are cold, we can provide a warm neck wrap to take the chill off, or perhaps you would enjoy a nice warm paraffin hand treatment added to your service? We never require you to remove your shoes in the salon, but if your toes are cold and wet on a winter’s day, we’re happy to loan you a pair of cozy socks to warm your toes during your stay with us!

Our spa services have been carefully crafted to deliver relaxation and results simultaneously. The staff in our spa is well trained, experienced, and talented. Every service we offer is designed to be customized to your needs. If you have a special request, just ask your service provider and we will do our best to accommodate.

We have learned a lot over the past 6 years. Each day brings us a new opportunity to do a better job for our clients. As we grow, we are faced with new challenges. In an effort to address a few of the more pressing issues that have come to our attention, we have implemented policies within the salon and spa that help to ensure your quiet and peaceful enjoyment.

Fairly recently, we implemented a policy in which children under the age of 13 are welcome in the salon and spa by appointment only. Furthermore, we maintain an expectation of good behavior during their appointment. We ask that parents commit to and indulge in the rare treat of time to themselves by arranging for childcare during their appointments. This is all done with our best intention to preserve an enjoyable experience for all.

We try to be considerate of all of our clients by avoiding controversial and potentially upsetting topics of conversation. We appreciate that everyone is entitled to their beliefs and see value in sharing those beliefs in the right setting and under the right circumstances. However, we have seen how upsetting and emotional some topics can be and make an effort to chat about things that don’t ruffle feathers and interfere with one’s ability to relax and unwind.

We do our best to maintain a relaxing feel in our hair salon, but oftentimes it is very busy, and in turn it can be a bit noisy. We encourage all of our clients to schedule a relaxing spa service in addition to their hair appointments; a massage and/or facial does the trick nicely. We offer massage and facials in thirty, sixty, and ninety-minute increments so you can relax in spite of your busy schedule.

The bottom line is that we all need and deserve a break from time to time. We are happiest when we make ourselves a priority in our own busy lives. Perhaps the best part though, is that the people who matter so much to us benefit from the wonderful gifts of love, patience, and compassion that are unlocked when we are feeling refreshed and valuable.

Client Letter Regarding Kid Policy

Our goal at Essence is to provide an atmosphere where clients can relax, unwind, and rejuvenate. As we’ve grown, it has become necessary to address one issue in particular in an effort to preserve the quality of each client’s experience.

Fairly recently, we implemented a policy in which children under the age of 13 are welcome in the salon and spa by appointment only. While in the salon for appointments, we maintain an expectation of good behavior. This includes sitting still and speaking at a normal volume.

The nature of our business requires us to use tools that can be very dangerous to children: spinning chairs, hot curling irons, hair color chemicals, HOT wax, the list goes on. We ask that you monitor your children carefully while they are in the salon so that they do not accidentally get hurt.

We also ask that parents commit to indulging in the rare treat of time to themselves by arranging for childcare during their appointments. This is all done with our best intention to preserve an enjoyable experience for all.

Moving forward, clients that bring their child(ren) to the salon will be asked to reschedule their appointment for a time when they can arrange for childcare.

I understand that you have many salon and spa options and I truly appreciate that you have chosen Essence. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and sincerely hope that you will continue to choose Essence for your beauty and relaxation needs in the future.

Thank you,

Kim Taylor

Owner

Sunny Summer Skin

By Kim Taylor

Blue skies and warm breezes make summer a favorite time of year. Now that we are in full swing with the season, it is vital to remember the importance of a solid skincare routine for your face AND body. Every fall we notice an increase in scheduled skincare treatments; an effort to fix the damage done over the summer. What many don’t realize is there are ways of preventing and reversing damage to their skin, even in the summer. We start this process by incorporating three things into our routine; exfoliation, hydration, and sunscreen.

You’ve heard it said a million times- hydration, hydration, hydration. YES! Hydration is ultra-important, especially in our dry climate. Drinking tons of water is key, but hydration also happens from the outside. The challenge with hydrating topically is that as we age, our dead skin cells do not slough off as quickly as they should, creating a barrier against our skincare products. Additionally, our skin toughens over time to protect us from environmental exposure. This also makes it hard for moisturizers to penetrate deeply into the skin, affecting their ability to heal and hydrate.

This is where exfoliation becomes important. Regularly exfoliated skin is able to accept all of the essential vitamins, nutrients and moisture that our skincare products provide. There are different methods of exfoliation; some are more aggressive (and effective) than others. For the body, we offer sugar and salt scrubs as well as dry brushing. These exfoliating treatments are paired with massage to hydrate the skin and provide therapy for the muscles.

At Essence, there are two categories of facials: signature and specialty. All include the fundamentals: cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, and protect. EVERY facial we offer is customized based on a skin analysis before your treatment begins.

Signature facials are designed to maintain healthy, youthful skin. They are both relaxing and effective, including a mild exfoliation that is often in the form of a scrub or gentle mask.

Specialty facials are designed to treat a wide array of challenges such as acne, hyperpigmentation, and aging skin. The exfoliation techniques used in specialty facials include glycolic and salicylic toners, scrubs, gommage, and enzymatic masks.

Beyond facials, our estheticians offer many types of treatments for the face, neck and chest. During your skin analysis, your esthetician may recommend a treatment that is deeper and more effective than a signature or specialty facial. This is based on what your skin analysis indicates that your skin will yield the highest benefit from. Two Client favorites are dermaplaning and microdermabrasion; for their effectiveness and for the way they make your skin feel soft and smooth. We also offer chemical peels, which have a wide range of strength and effectiveness. Peels can be given as a single treatment, but they are most effective when done in a series of four to six treatments. Many times, these “super treatments” take the same amount of time as a facial or can be added to your appointment that day, making it easy for you to modify your service if you choose.

Regardless of what you do each day, sunscreen should be a part of your routine. Use SPF 30 if you are driving to work & back with less than 3 hours of total sun exposure. For prolonged exposure, SPF 50 is more appropriate and will protect you for a longer period of time. Look for cream based physical sunscreens that list Zinc Oxide as the main active ingredient- it is the safest and most stable. Don’t forget to reapply regularly while outdoors- sun damage is a key factor in our skin’s aging process, making sunscreen an imperative defense.

At Essence, we believe that a strong homecare regimen combined with regular professional intervention is essential. Consultations are always complimentary; we look forward to helping you find the best combination of home and professional treatment for your skin!

Finally, do you have an upcoming vacation, wedding, or just plain desire to always look your very best? Essence offers full face and body waxing (brows, bikini, arms, legs, etc.) as well as spray tanning, a healthy and quick alternative to tanning beds.

Blonde Ambition

By Kim Taylor

I believe I speak for just about everyone when I say that we are all ready to feel the warmth of the summer sun! Even a mild winter like this one wears out its welcome eventually.

Summer in Evergreen always delivers; long, warm, sun-filled days and comfortably cool star-filled nights. Who could ask for more?

The lightheartedness of summer takes its effect in many ways. In the salon, requests for lighter hair increase drastically as the weather shifts; making this a perfect time to address some of the questions we hear most frequently when discussing going blonde.

Olaplex

One of the most important things I want address is compromised hair. This is hair that has been over processed- whether it is controlled over processing to get to the desired lightness or hair that has been taken from dark to light and back again several times. Neither scenario is unusual; we want what we want and change our minds regularly. As stylists, we adapt and do our best to meet the challenge.

One of the most powerful tools we have for these occasions is Olaplex. This additive is a product that every type of color client but particularly blondes can benefit from.

Hair bonds are broken during thermal, mechanical and chemical services. This is a fact. The more chemically processed the hair becomes, the more susceptible it becomes to every other type of damage. Olaplex is added to bleach or color when mixing and works by finding single sulfur hydrogen bonds and cross linking them back together to form disulfide bonds. This amazing product has allowed stylists to push further in terms of lightening the hair, but it has also provided us with a powerful tool for color correction and rebuilding hair that is in the most desperate condition.

In twenty-two years of hair styling I have never seen a repairing product of this caliber. Olaplex can also be used in the salon as a restructuring treatment and has a take home product that helps ensure the longevity of the service between appointments. If you want to know more about Olaplex ask your stylist- it is worth its weight in gold.

Color vs. Bleach

This is a debate I hear a lot in the salon. Clients are concerned that their hair will be more damaged by bleach than by high lift color. First things first- lighter blondes (think Katy Perry, Michelle Williams, and Jennifer Lawrence) could not be achieved without bleach. Most likely they have a combination of bleach, high lift color, and darker blonde in their hair to create the lightness and dimension that we are all so drawn to.

The fundamental difference between bleach and color is that bleach lifts pigment (natural AND artificial hair color) out of the hair but it does not add anything back in. Color is designed to lift natural pigment (color cannot break through artificial color in a consistent manner) from the hair while simultaneously depositing artificial color into the hair.

A common misconception is that high lift color isn’t as powerful as bleach and therefore must not be as damaging as bleach. The simple truth is that bleach’s strength is determined by the volume of developer used, while high lift blonde colors can only lift as much as they do because they are loaded with extra ammonia and mixed with a higher volume of peroxide. This is not to say that high lift blondes are worse than bleach. They are different animals, but they are comparable in terms of chemical and strength. The bottom line here is that your stylist’s intention is to please you; a good stylist will choose the least damaging path to the desired result.

To Tone or Not to Tone

A toner’s job is to add tonal value to bleached hair (highlights or full head). Remember, bleach lifts color out of the hair, without adding anything back in. A toner can take a bleached blonde from raw to refined in two to twenty minutes. Toners wash out over time so depending on how often you shampoo your hair, you may be a candidate for toning in between highlight appointments.

Not all bleach blondes require a toner; often times bleached hair looks beautiful in its raw form. This is highly dependent on where the bleaching process starts, for example how dark the beginning color is, how damaged the hair is, etc.

There are also toning shampoos and conditioners on the market designed to be used as needed at home. They are usually purple and are great for blondes who evolve to more brassy/ golden tones between appointments. This happens a lot to swimmers, people with well water, and those who spend a lot of time outdoors. At Essence, our favorite is Surface Pure Blonde Violet Shampoo and Conditioner.

Base Bump

Base bumping is a quick color process that lightens the base color around the hairline and in the crown area just enough to subdue the difference between the natural hair color and the lightness of the highlights. It is great for clients who like their hair to be very blonde and heavily highlighted but do not want to take the next step into being a solid blonde. It takes the edge off of their base color which gives an overall softer, lighter appearance.

Base bumping is done at the shampoo bowl, right after the highlights are rinsed. Base bumps can also be done in between highlight appointments to keep color looking fresh.

Good Color Takes Time

While many color services take about 2 hours, drastic changes cannot always happen that quickly. Sometimes, (and especially with blondes) it takes a much longer appointment, or several appointments to achieve the desired result.

If you have dark hair naturally, or if you have colored your hair dark and want to be light, you may be looking at several appointments to get your hair to its optimal color.

It should also be noted that blondes require regular salon appointments every 4-7 weeks to keep them looking their very best. You may not need “the works” every time, but rest assured, your blonde will need a little something to keep it fresh, on tone, vibrant, and looking healthy.

Protect Your Investment

In addition to regular salon visits blonde hair needs to be cared for at home. Gentle shampoos, hydrating conditioners, and repairing masks are a good place to start. Additionally, thermal protectants, argan or bassu oil, and protein spray will go a long way in protecting the integrity of your hair between appointments. There is no shortage of products on the market that claim to protect and feed the hair. We recommend a selection of tried and true products that we carry in the salon: Olaplex, Surface, Moroccan oil, and Kevin Murphy to name a few.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing color services, a consultation is necessary. Our basic color services start at $80. Dimensional techniques such as highlights and balayage increases in price according to technique and time required as well as how much product is used. At Essence, consultations are always complimentary and never obligatory. Our staff is happy to hear your vision, make recommendations, address concerns, and quote you a price based on a recommended path of action. We love what we do and look forward to making you beautiful!

Best Face Forward

by Kim Taylor

Wow! Is it spring already? It seems like just yesterday I was muddling through winter and now all of a sudden I have this burst of energy and motivation to clean and organize EVERYTHING! Unfortunately, even with the longer days I still can’t find time to do it all. I’ve learned over the years that I can’t tackle everything at once; I have to break tasks down into small projects or nothing will ever get finished. The other piece to that puzzle for me is trying to throw in a fun project here and there to keep me motivated.

A favorite spring project of mine is going through my makeup, purging and replacing the old while adding a few fun new items to update my look. This task feels especially significant to me this year as I am turning forty in April. I believe forty is just a doorway for all of the amazing things yet to come, but I still want to walk through that door looking twenty-five (ok, I’ll settle for early thirties).

First of all, I know that it doesn’t matter how great my makeup arsenal is if I don’t take good care of my skin. I own a salon and spa for goodness sakes, doesn’t that mean I know everything? HA- NOT EVEN CLOSE. However, I am a pretty smart cookie and I’ve staffed my spa with professionals who know a whole lot more than I do about skincare and makeup.

Before I get too excited about freshening up my makeup, let’s chat a bit about skincare. I am a true believer in professional skincare at home and in the spa. I use a combination of Sanitas and Image products and I love both equally. I never get rid of skincare products that are working for me- although I do have to replace empties and add new products that address my skin in a different way. I make sure to book skincare appointments regularly, (about every 6 weeks) so that I stay on top of changes in my skin. I’ve noticed in the last few years that I need and prefer a slightly more aggressive approach in the treatment room. In our dry climate, and maybe because I am no longer a spring chicken, I benefit greatly from resurfacing treatments such as microderm and dermaplane. They help my skin absorb all of the nutrients that are packed into my homecare products. One of the most fabulous things I can share with you about the estheticians at Essence is that every treatment is carefully customized to fit the individual needs of each client. This ensures you always get the facial your skin craves.

Skin that is well cared for is easier to apply makeup to and will yield a more natural and even result. My first choice in makeup is Glo Minerals. One of the qualities that makes Glo a standout makeup line is that they use pharmaceutical grade ingredients. They infuse their formulations with Vitamins A, C, E, and Green Tea Extract, a powerful antioxidant blend vital to maintaining and protecting healthy skin. I’ve been using Glo since we began carrying it in 2013. The line is complete; everything you need from foundation and concealers to eyes, lips, and cheeks. I truly appreciate the beauty and artistry that goes into a great smoky eye, a perfectly contoured jawline, and lips that pout but not overly so. However, I am more of a “fresh face” kind of gal. Their primer, sheer tint foundation, and blush are easy to use and feel amazing on my skin. Complement those staples with a couple of fun eyeshadows and lip colors and whatever else Glo is cooking up this season I am fresh and ready for spring (and the big 4-0)!

In anticipation of a beautiful spring, Essence has put together a week-long skincare and makeup event April 3-8. Our skincare specialists, Serissa Asta and Lindsey Sloan will be offering skincare and makeup consultations as well as specially priced makeup services. (details below)

Serissa Asta received her training at the Aveda Academy in downtown Denver in 2006, and continued her education at the Denver School of Aesthetics receiving certification in chemical peels and microdermabrasion. Serissa is talented in the art of eyebrow shaping and is experienced in body waxing. She thrives in situations that enable her to use her vibrancy and creativity, especially in the realm of makeup application. A former freelance makeup artist for MAC, Serissa thoroughly enjoys walking alongside her clients in mutual pursuit of renewal and reinvention. She values the process of skin care and strives to meet the unique requests that each client brings to the table.

Lindsey Sloan has been a licensed esthetician for over 14 years. She is very passionate and is deeply committed to achieving the best results possible, customizing every service to meet the needs of each client. Lindsey loves to learn and grow. She regularly attends advanced education classes and offers purposeful, effective treatments. Well-rounded and skillful, Lindsey offers a full menu of skincare services. Her specialties include anti -aging treatments, dermaplaning, and all types of waxing. She holds a degree in Psychology and enjoys assisting others in their journey to wellness and wholeness.

If you are looking for a fun, feel good spring project- consider adding some fun new skincare and makeup goodies to update your collection. We are excited to help you put your best face forward this spring!

Best Face Forward Event

When: All week Monday 4/3- Saturday 4/8

Where: Essence hair, skin, and body 1422 Bergen Parkway, Evergreen

  • Complimentary skin analysis, foundation matching, and makeup consultations by appointment.
  • Makeup application/lesson $45 by appointment (regularly $55- $65).
  • 15% off all Glo, Image, Sanitas, and in stock Clarisonic products.
  • Enter to win a sixty-minute customized facial with $50 makeup and/or skincare product purchase.

To book a consultation or makeup application/lesson, call 303-670-0777

AND….

While you are thinking about it, go to our website to see the great packages and seasonal offerings we have designed with YOU in mind. Happy spring- we’ll see you soon!

The Essence of Beauty is the Beauty of Essence

By Kim Taylor

Hi there, my name is Kim Taylor and I am the owner and a stylist at Essence Hair, Skin, and Body. We opened our doors on May 2, 2011 with one goal in mind; providing excellent beauty and wellness services to the community in a relaxing and unpretentious environment. Becoming a part of the Evergreen community has been an incredible experience, and we have truly been blessed.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I knew that we had some important decisions to make. While we had experienced success and steady growth at our Hilltop location we felt that it was time for our next step towards solidifying the business. We knew we needed a more visibility, but there was no way we could stomach another buildout if we didn’t own the space. In May of 2015 we found what we were looking for, a single story building in Bergen Park. Better visibility, easy access, great parking, surrounded by open space- PERFECT. Okay, almost perfect. The building needed to be rezoned and completely gutted after being a veterinarian’s office for thirty years. Anyone who knows us knows that we have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew every chance we get. It’s been a blessing and a curse over the years, but hey- we’re still standing, right? VERY long story short, we spent 7 months rezoning and financing the building and another 6 months pouring ourselves into a really challenging renovation. The result? A beautiful, relaxing, unpretentious new location designed to better care for our clients!

I believe that our most significant responsibility in life is to be good to each other. This is the true “essence” of this retreat style salon and spa– meeting the beauty and wellness needs of our clients while synchronously going beyond the surface to touch their lives. Sometimes an hour or two away from our hectic lives is all we need to feel rejuvenated and ready to continue giving our best to those we love.

The staff at Essence is committed to staying current in education and trends. It is our mission to provide exceptional service with beautiful results. We offer complete head to toe care: hair, nails, skincare, massage, and spray tanning are all provided by trained and talented professionals.  The result is an unforgettable experience that will nourish both the body and the soul.

Our hair studio offers a wealth of services: beautiful dimensional color, maintenance (gray coverage), customized cutting and styling, conditioning and smoothing treatments, and hair extensions for starters. We have a creative team of stylists that come to work each day eager to surpass expectations. Emily Passaloukas (Walter), who has been with us since the beginning is a beautifully free spirit and a true creative. Mackenzie Morrison is well rounded, consistent, detail oriented, and patient. She is also our in-house hair extension specialist. In September, after working closely with me for the better part of a year, Kelly Wiggins began building her own clientele. Kelly has blossomed into a great stylist- she is quiet and kind, don’t be surprised if she is more interested in learning about you than talking about herself. In October, we welcomed Kristen Sherman to our styling team. A recent transplant from the east coast, Kristen brings over fourteen years of experience with her. She is hard working, fun, and full of energy.

Our spa offers a complete menu of skincare services including facials, peels, dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, and more. Lindsey Sloan and Serissa Asta customize every service to accommodate the unique needs of each client. In addition to improving the quality of your skin, we also offer brow shaping, face and full body waxing, brow and lash tinting, and makeup. Our “healing hands” belong to Gigi Worley who has spent years honing her skills in massage therapy. Our most requested types of massage are therapeutic and deep tissue; however, we also offer prenatal, hot stone, and lymphatic massage to help strengthen the immune system. Our sole manicurist, Penny Sutter has years of experience in manicures, pedicures, and acrylic nails.

I am personally very proud of our team. All of these ladies are unbelievably talented and amazing to work with.

To get 2017 started off right, we have put together some great seasonal offerings:

Instant Luminosity Facial

Specialty facial that includes a lactic acid peel for deeper results without the downtime usually associated with peels. Great for aging, hyper-pigmented, normal and combination skin.

60 minutes/ $100

Cranberry Massage

Relax and unwind with the power of cranberry to help smooth and soften skin. This treatment incorporates the warmth and comfort of hot stones to aid in relaxing tight muscles for a more effective treatment.

60 minutes/ $88                 90 minutes/ $116

  • Ask about pairing a brown sugar scrub with your cranberry massage!

Awaken Scalp Treatment

Soothe and invigorate dry winter scalp. Increase blood circulation to promote healthy cell turnover and reduce flaky scalp and itching.

45 minutes/ $45                 Add to any hair service/ $15

  • Please ask for this treatment when booking your service as it will add approximately 15 minutes to your appointment.

 

For a full menu of our services please visit our website: www.essencehairandbodyretreat.com. To receive emails about our seasonal and special offerings, contact us through the website or call the salon- we’re happy to add you to our mailing list.

Finally, for those of you who are already loyal clients, thank you for your support- it helped strengthen my resolve through a challenging yet very rewarding 2016.

And as a note to future clients; walk-ins and same day appointments are always welcome upon availability- and we ALWAYS try to accommodate. So, if you haven’t been in yet, call or stop by, we look forward to meeting you!

Hair Extensions – Friend or Foe?

By Mackenzie Morrison, stylist at Essence

Let’s face it, we all know someone who knows someone who’s had a negative experience with hair extensions. Damaged hair, a painful and lengthy application process, a ridiculously high cost; the list goes on. Most of the bad rap that hair extensions receive is due to people with little or no experience trying to make a “quick buck” by offering a service they are not qualified to provide. Unfortunately, this deters many women who could be looking and feeling amazing in longer, thicker, beautiful hair [extensions]. The first and most important step on the path to great hair extensions is finding an experienced stylist who knows what they are doing.

I have been applying hair extensions for the better part of a decade. My goal is to arm you with enough information to decide if you are truly interested in extensions and help you become comfortable enough to ask the right questions.

Types of Extensions 

There are four basic types of hair extensions and each type has slight variations available. The most basic are Weave-in hair extensions. The back and sides of your hair are braided into small rows and long wefts of hair are sewn onto the braids (YIKES- these are not for the tender headed!) They are very tight at first, but they do loosen and are usually worn for 3 -4 weeks. Weave-in hair extensions take about two hours to put in and are ideal for creating dramatic length for special occasions.

The second type of extension is a Tape-in extension. These are small wefts of hair (about an inch wide) that are sticky on one side. Two wefts are sandwiched together with a small amount of your hair in between them. Tape-in extensions take about two hours to apply and last 1-2 months.

Next, are Clamp-in extensions. These are small bundles of hair that have been bonded together at the tip. They are paired with a small amount of your own hair and clamped in with a small metal bead and pliers. They take anywhere from 1.5-3 hours to apply and because they are not actually bonded to your hair the metal bead starts to slip after several weeks. They usually need to be reapplied every 4-6 weeks.

Last, (but definitely not least) are Bond-in hair extensions. These are very small bundles of hair that have a keratin tip. The tip is heat bonded to your hair close to the scalp using a special heated tong. These are the most labor intensive and also the most versatile and believable extensions available. They can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to apply (longer in some situations) and last 4-6 months (YES- half a year!)

Why Extensions? 

The first and most obvious reason to get hair extensions is length. Good quality hair extensions come in lengths measuring 10 to 22 inches- you can have hair so long you can sit on it! Another great benefit of hair extensions is thickness and volume. One of my favorite reasons to use extensions is to fill in thin spots in my client’s hair or give them a little “oomph” if their hair is getting thin. Have you ever seen a dramatic asymmetrical cut that you love but your hair isn’t quite long enough to pull it off? Applying extensions to one side provides the drama you want now- without the painfully long growing out process. Think about all the fun and funky colors that are popular now; you can achieve those extreme colors without fading (EVER!) and you don’t have to damage your hair with bleach or color. On that same note, non-chemical highlighting or ombre effects are a great option with extensions. You can pick the lightest blonde without worries of chemical breakage, fading, or brassiness. There really are countless ways to use extensions to achieve your desired look!

The Cost Factor 

Many celebrities spend thousands of dollars a month on their hair. Unless you want your extensions reapplied weekly, you will not spend anywhere near that amount. The key factors that determine the cost of each extension service are desired length, thickness, and the effect that we are working to achieve.

Unless you are only going to wear extensions for a few days it is imperative that high quality, 100% human hair is used. Human hair extensions are not cheap, but they can be washed, dried, and styled the same way as your own hair. Lesser quality hair may have been processed carelessly, poorly sorted and bundled, or blended with synthetics or animal hair, yielding a less expensive product that doesn’t hold up to every day maintenance and wear. Worse yet, low quality hair can get matted and tangled into your own hair creating a mess of damage that will result in having your own awful experience to share with all of your friends.

The cost of hair extensions is derived from a combination of the cost of the hair and the time it takes to apply the hair and shape it into the desired result. A very dramatic transformation will generally require more hair and time, thus being more expensive. Adding a bit of thickness or a splash of color takes less hair and time and is quite affordable. Consider what you spend regularly on Starbucks or lunches out; wouldn’t you rather have long thick beautiful hair?

Why Essence? 

At Essence, we offer only high quality, 100% human hair extensions. All of our hair is purchased through reputable vendors that guarantee the quality of their product. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to care for them- extensions do require home maintenance if you want them to last and look good as long as they should.

Extension Consultations are always complimentary at Essence. In your consultation we discuss which type of extensions make the most sense for your type of hair, desired result, and budget. If you decide you want to move forward, we determine the length, color, and amount of hair to order. At that time you will be given a total for the cost of your hair. Once paid for, we place the order and set up an appointment for you to come in and have your extensions put in. The cost of having them put in is due upon completion of your appointment. It really is that simple- and for many clients it is a complete game changer. If you would you like to find out how extensions could work for you personally, call the salon and set up a consultation with Mackenzie. I look forward to meeting you!

Fall Favorites

By Kim Taylor

Hello Fall- my old good friend. I love you for many reasons; changing leaves, crisp air, warm jackets and cozy nights perfect for cuddling.

Fall appeals to all of my senses but I am most affected by the comforting flavors and scents associated with this incredible time of year. The sweet and spicy scents of autumn relax my mind, taking me to a place where nothing feels as pressing and critical as it is in “real” life.

With that in mind, the team and I worked closely together to design some really incredible experiences intended to take you to that same place of calm relaxation.  Each service is customizable, and all are therapeutic for the body and soul.

Immune Boosting Pumpkin Butter Massage

We could all benefit from a bit of immune boosting as we come into fall and winter. This treatment begins with thirty minutes of immune boosting lymphatic massage, transitioning to a customized therapeutic massage with soothing, ultra-hydrating pumpkin body butter.

60 min/ $80 or 90 min/ $105

Pumpkin & Brown Sugar Body Scrub and massage 

This luxurious body scrub has sugar, spice and everything nice.  A blend of pumpkin butter & brown sugar exfoliates and moisturizes; gently polishing away dull skin to reveal radiance underneath.  This treatment is paired with your choice of a thirty or sixty minute massage.

 60min/ $95 or 90min/ $130 

Add six hot stones to any body treatment for $15

Now that your body is relaxed and healthy, let’s talk about skincare. Summer is an amazing time of year, but can be brutal to our skin- especially areas that are always exposed.  In addition to the great skincare treatments we provide year round, we have two really amazing fall themed facials on the menu through November. Equal in price, both are deliciously enjoyable and effective. A complimentary skincare analysis at the beginning of your appointment will determine which facial suites your skin best.

Spiced Cider Facial

This aromatic facial will delight the senses as well as the skin. Two masks are used in this fall favorite; apple orchard enzyme and an autumn spice. You will enjoy a relaxing massage of the face, neck, and shoulders as well as a complimentary eye treatment.  This treatment is packed with antioxidants as well as anti-aging ingredients and is great for most skin types.

Pumpkin Facial

After a thorough cleansing, a pumpkin enzyme mask is applied, followed by a relaxing massage of the face, neck, and shoulders. Next, a goji berry anti- aging mask is used to enhance skin firmness while relaxing fine lines and wrinkles. This amazing facial includes a complimentary eye treatment and is finished with a custom blended moisturizer.

 60min/$80

At Essence we firmly believe in nourishing and protecting your hair year round and after a summer of hard core sun exposure, it’s time for some much needed TLC. Hair that is properly conditioned and cared for regularly is shiny and beautiful and will hold color truer and longer. We offer several types of conditioning and repair treatments, but we do have two recommended favorites this fall.

Born Again Treatment by Kevin Murphy 

This is a unique reparative treatment that contains ingredients that are so small in their molecular size and weight they can pass into the cortex of the hair instantly. Essential oils are the force that brings this product to life. They are heat and light sensitive; once you open them to the air and light they become energized: moisturizing, repairing, and regenerating.

Young Again Masque by Kevin Murphy

This is a deep conditioning restorative masque with a complex of 20 Amino Acids, Quinoa and Rice Proteins, Immortelle, Lotus Flower and Baobab Seed oils to renew youthful luster to dry, damaged or brittle hair.

*Both treatments begin with a gentle exfoliating cleanse of the hair, removing environmental and product buildup and are finished with a blow-dry style. Book a Born Again or Young Again treatment now through November, and receive a complimentary travel size of the treatment for follow up use at home.

45min/ $50

Add to a color or cut service $20

As the weather changes, there is a small window between basking in the summer sun and the hustle and bustle of a joyful holiday season. Embrace it! Relax. Enjoy. Take a deep breath and take in the abundance of life.

Wax On, Wax Off

By Kim Taylor

Now that summer is in full swing, I thought some of you out there might appreciate a little FYI about waxing. Hair removal is a funny subject; people tend to talk about it quietly, if at all. But in a society where no one wants hair anywhere except on their heads waxing has become a very popular option.

Below, I have addressed some of the most commonly asked questions about waxing. At Essence, we strive to offer exceptional service to each client. Our service providers are happy to walk you through your service before beginning, answering any questions you may have as candidly as possible. So without further ado…

FAQ

How long does the hair need to be before I can get waxed?

Let the hair grow for at least seven days after shaving. For you shavers this may be even more painful than getting the wax itself. Ideally, the hair should be 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch long. If you feel the hair is too long, don’t fret- your technician will trim it to the appropriate length.

How long until the hair grows back?

This is a tricky question because when it comes to the hair re-growth cycle we are not all created equal. Some clients come in every six weeks and have hardly any hair at all (no fair!) while others have to come in every three weeks. The most popular length of time between waxes is four weeks.

Will my hair grow back darker and/ or thicker?

No. waxing pulls the hair from the follicle weakening the root. So if anything, it will grow back weaker, more sparse, and easier to remove next time.

Will my hair ever stop growing back?

No, but it will become more sparse and finer in texture if you wax regularly.

Will medication affect my waxing?

It certainly can! Retinol and Retin-A taken orally or used topically will postpone your ability to wax. You need to be off of these medications for a minimum of 2-3 weeks before your waxing session. Blood thinners and some other medications and products thin out the skin making it more likely for

you to peel or burn during your waxing session. If you are unsure about any of the

Medications you are taking ask your doctor before you come in.

Can I tan before or after my wax?

Plan on waiting at least 24 hours after your wax to tan, and DO NOT come in right after a fresh spray tan as the wax will take it off.

I have a special occasion coming up and have never been waxed. Are there any special instructions?

Whether you want a premarital wax or just a vacation ready bikini line, we recommend you plan to have at least two waxes prior to the event. This will ensure you do not have any reactions to the wax before the big day.

It also gets the first wax- which is the most uncomfortable out of the way. The second wax will provide a much smoother, cleaner result with less post-wax tenderness. If you don’t have time to squeeze in two waxing sessions then make your appointment for at least three to four days before your special occasion.

How do I know what type of bikini wax to ask for?

(The following are names and descriptions of the bikini waxes offered at Essence.)

The Conservative– The name says it all. Basically, any hair that could play peek-a-boo outside the swimsuit line is removed. No more, no less.

The Risqué– Not too much, not too little. Just right for those of you who are feeling a little flirty! A step above the Conservative but not quite a Full Brazilian, this wax comes with the option to have the hair removed from your tush.

The Brazilian All hair is removed from front to back. Your choice of removing everything or leaving a “landing strip”.

What is Double Dipping?

Double Dipping is when the technician dips the wax applicator stick back into the wax vat after using it on you or someone else- possibly allowing the spread of bacteria. Each wax applicator stick should be dipped into the wax only once, and then disposed of so that the wax being applied is always sterile.

Make sure when you are getting your wax, there is no double dipping and steer clear of those hairy scary spas!

How do I prevent ingrown hairs?

The best way to prevent ingrown hairs is to exfoliate gently in the shower 2-3 times a week. Exfoliating helps thin hairs that are not strong enough to push through the skin to surface, preventing inflammation.

The Art and Science of a Spray Tan

By Kim Taylor

I gave up UV tanning beds a long time ago. Even before I got older and started worrying about skin cancer. I always burned, and my skin was ALWAYS itchy and dry. The problem is that I am a true believer that people look healthier and are actually happier with a little color to their skin. And so my search for a healthy alternative began.

I have tried every type of self tanner you can imagine. I have tried cheap brands from Wal-Mart and not so cheap brands from makeup counters at department stores. I’ve even ordered “miracle” tanners from midnight infomercials. I’ve carefully followed the most ridiculous instructions you can imagine. I have stood in spray booths that turned me the color of Magda from Something about Mary and I have been airbrushed the most beautiful color of orange you can imagine- IF I WAS A PUMPKIN!

Even with my experience with sunless tanning, there was plenty to learn when I began shopping for a sunless system for my salon. Without getting too detailed and boring, I’d like to explain how a spray tan works, and why it is a great alternative to UV tanning.

The Art

The beauty of a spray tan is that the solution reacts with each individual’s skin, making each application unique. Solutions can be adjusted for desired darkness, but keep in mind that a healthy natural glow always looks best during every phase of the spray tan’s life.

Once the client is properly prepped, the artistry begins. The solution contains a cosmetic bronzer that can be seen immediately, but will wash off in the shower. This bronzer is used as a color guide for the technician to ensure even coverage. Because we come in all different beautiful shapes and sizes, there is quite a bit of thought and effort that goes into giving every client their best possible tan. Each certified technician has a foundation of training combined with their own experience, both spraying and being sprayed.

The Science

The active ingredient in self tanners is a food grade product called DHA. It is a simple carbohydrate that is derived from plants sources such as sugar beets and cane. There are no known toxins or allergens in DHA.

DHA reacts solely with the stratum corneum-the outermost layer of woven connective tissue. The stratum corneum houses the body’s acid mantle, or natural protective barrier. The acid mantle stores natural body oils and DHA reacts with the free aminos found within those oils. This reaction turns the acids a slightly rusty brown color that continues to darken over the next 16-18 hours.

The key to a good result is in the preparation and in the post care of the skin. Because the tan is developing on the outermost layer of skin, exfoliating the skin prior to application is crucial. The body naturally exfoliates that outermost layer every 4-6 days, so exfoliating before a tanning session will ensure that the newest skin possible is being sprayed for a long lasting, even result.

Spray tans are water resistant, but exposure to abrasive soaps and detergents are discouraged. It is also a good idea to avoid chlorine for at least 48 hours. Keeping the skin hydrated is a major factor in the longevity of a spray tan.

The Preferred Product

At Essence, we use Norvell sunless products for two reasons- training and results. Norvell Sunless Spray Systems provides the color of a natural suntan without harming delicate skin cells. For any occasion- or just because, Norvell Spray Tanning is the quick, safe way to go golden.