What Happens When the Weather Changes?

weather hairIt’s the end of August. Kids are heading back to school and the days have gotten shorter since mid-July. The end of summer is also the end of warm weather, and while you may think the cold only affects the environment around us, the cold does a number of things to our appearance as well. Read on about what types of changes your hair goes through as the days get colder.

Hair may get Dry and Dull

As the temperature drops, so does the moisture in the air. The humid days of summer are in the past and the dry, winter air takes over. The air in the winter has the power to suck all the moisture and hydration from your hair leaving it feeling dry. This will also leave your hair looking dull and dreary.

To counteract this, make sure you’re getting as much hydration in your hair as possible. Aveda’s Dry Remedy line is amazing for winter dryness. Using hair oil in the wintertime and deep condition with a masque once a week will help you to shiny, healthy hair even in the winter.

Your ends will Split

Even though keeping your hair nice and moisturized is going to help its overall health, your ends are likely to split during these colder times. To help prevent as much breakage as possible, it’s recommended to stay away from heat styling. If you much use hot tools, get a good heat protection. For blow-drying, invest in a good serum like Smooth Infusion’s Naturally Straight. For curling irons and flat irons, MoroccanOil’s heat protecting spray will work.

You may lose some Strands

With the lack of humidity and all the drying out your hair is going to face, you may lose a little more than normal on daily hair loss. Its okay, you’re not balding. Your hair is just really dry and breaks a little more easily. An easy way to help is just to keep your hair hydrated. This includes the inside as much as the outside. Drink plenty of water and make sure you use products to bring back moisture and hydration into your hair.

The winter time can be a tough one on our hair. From drying it out to creating all sorts of static, it can take a toll. As long as you take the proper precautions, pay attention to any changes your hair may go through, and take the right steps, you’ll have healthy, shiny hair all through the New Year!

August 17, 2017 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Hair

Win Lunch for 10 People at Wow Bao!

Wow Bao Website

Congratulations to Nikki Boyer on winning our 180th High Five Giveaway! Thanks to all who entered.

For our next High Five Giveaway we are giving away lunch for up to 10 people at Wow Bao (a $130 value)!

About Wow Bao

Wow Bao specializes in savory steamed buns – a favorite portable snack throughout Asia, pan-seared potstickers, steamed dumplings, fresh soups and salads, rice bowls, and homemade fresh ginger gingerale. A major “fast food” throughout Asia, our bao flavors include: BBQ Pork, Thai Curry Chicken, Spicy Mongolian Beef, Kung Pao Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken and Whole Wheat Edamame. To help start the day off healthy and delicious, Wow Bao offers three flavors of breakfast bao: Bacon, Egg and Cheese, Spicy Sichuan Sausage, and Egg, Spinach and Mushroom. And for the dessert lover in us all, Wow Bao features two, Coconut Custard and Chocolate.

Wow Bao has multiple location in Chicago. The closest one is just steps from XEX at 1 West Wacker Blvd, Chicago, IL. Visit their website at www.wowbao.com or call them at 312.658.0305 for more information.

Contest Question

Will getting regular hair trims help it grow faster?

Hint: Check out our recent blog post for the answer.

Now, just add a comment to this post with the right answer to be eligible to win! The winner will be announced on Friday, September 15. Enter by midnight on Thursday, September 14.

All individuals 21 and older are eligible, whether you are a client of XEX or not. Must be able to pick up the gift certificate at XEX, 35 West Wacker Drive, Chicago within 30 days of winning. Leaving a comment opts you in for the XEX email list, which is sent out 1-2 times per month. You may unsubscribe at any time.
August 15, 2017 | 26 Comments »
| Posted in: Salon News

Choosing the Right Foundation

foundationA good relationship always begins with a good foundation. You can’t have something that flakes or melts away on you! No, we’re not talking about a significant other. We’re talking about your face foundation. Most of us begin (or end) with a layer of foundation in our makeup routines. Foundation is there to help us even out our skin tone, cover up blemishes and create a dewy- or matte- base for the rest of our look. When you choose the wrong foundation for your skin, you run into problems like overly dry looking skin or foundation that just melts away. Knowing your skin type and the products that work well with it can help create the flawless skin of your dreams.

Two things to consider

Before you dive into different brands of cosmetics, you need to think about your own face first. Choosing the right type of foundations comes down to two things: Skin type and Skin tone. Your skin type is important to determine what formula of foundation will work and your tone will help you find the right shade to blend in. Your skin can either be dry, oily or a combination of both (normal). In reality, you can use whatever foundation you please, but you won’t always get the same results. Mineral powder foundation may make oily skin look matte and soft, but will cause dry skin to appear even drier.

Once you’ve found your skin type, you will need to determine your skin tone. Your skin tone is broken up into two things: Lightness and undertone. Know the level of your skin can be relatively simple, but it is mostly trial and error. A lot of lines have a good spectrum of light to dark shades and different brands have different variety. When it comes to your undertone, this is where the tricky part comes into play. You can check your undertone by looking at the veins on the underside of your wrists. Blue veins mean you’re cool, green mean warm and both means you’re neutral. Brands often have a different undertone to their foundations, so the best way to check is to spend some time trying them out at the sample counter before you purchase.


Foundation comes in all different formulas from powder to creams. It’s important to know which formulas can work for your skin in order to achieve the best results.

Liquids and Creams

One of the most common forms of foundation is a liquid/cream foundation. These usually come in bottles and are applied with a foundation brush first and then blended into the skin with a buffer brush or a makeup sponge. They can be applied sheer, but will allow better coverage the more you build them up. These types of foundations usually come in a variety of formulations from oil-free to waterproof and often offer two different finishes: Matte or Dewey.

Matte-finish liquids and creams are great for humid climates, lightweight and hold back a shiny complexion. These types of foundations are recommended for those with oily to normal skin types. A matte finish may emphasize a dry complexion, so it’s best to steer clear.

Dewey-finish foundations are wonderful to add a little natural glow to the skin and work well in dryer climates (especially winter time). These are best for those with dry to normal skin types since they tend to offer a little moisturizing power. If you have oily skin, stay away from this type of finish. The dewiness can cause your skin to look too shiny and may even slide off throughout the day.

Powder Foundations

Powder foundations are the next most common forms of foundation. They either come pressed in a compact or loose in a jar. Don’t confuse these with setting powders. An easy way to tell the difference is that powder foundations will be tinted while setting powders are usually translucent. There are straight powders and there are some that go on as creams, but dry to powders giving you the same, soft finish.

Pressed and loose powder foundations offer a quick, smooth finish. They’re applied with a fluffy brush or a powder puff. These are usually sought after for their convenience and easy, on the go application. Pressed and loose powders are recommended for those with oily to normal skin types since the formula often helps reduce oil and shine. Sometimes, loose powder can emphasize dry patches, so stay clear if you have dry skin. If you do have oily skin, don’t go overboard with powder since they can occasional cause clumps.

Cream to powder foundations go on creamy but dry as powders. They’re great for slightly dry, slightly oily and normal skin types. These foundations offer coverage from sheer to full and tend to be a little bit heavier than the foundations listed above. Be wary with these foundations. If your skin is on the extreme side of oily or dry, these will not work for you. The cream exaggerates oil without having enough of a powder finish to absorb and the powder finish can exaggerate any dry patches you may have.

Other Types of Foundation

Beyond liquids and powder, there are two other types of foundation worth mentioning. They are: Stick/Cake foundation and BB/CC creams. Even though they both are liquid/cream, they’re opposite spectrums of coverage. Stick foundations are extremely heavy while BB/CC creams are extremely lightweight and offer minimal coverage.

Stick/Cake foundations are best for normal skin types. They are thick and can often replace concealer when it comes to covering up blemishes. These are not recommended for oily skin since they can clog pores and worsen acne. They also can settle into wrinkles and other creases in the face; however, pairing them with a setting powder can help prevent this from happening. This look can also benefit dry skin. Since they go on so thick, they may help add extra moisture to dry areas and prevent caking or flaking throughout the day, but be cautious! If your skin is too dry, you may find the foundation caking up around your dry patches.

BB/CC creams are tinted moisturizers. They’re amazing for normal-dry although they offer very little coverage. They moisturize, even out your complexion and even offer SPF to protect you from the sun! These are great for hot, summer days where wearing any makeup can be unbearable. They’re also good for beach days when you’re still trying to wear a little bit of something, but don’t want to wear full face.

From liquid to powder, foundation can come in all different types of formulas. Finding the right foundation is key for any makeup routine (if you use foundation that is). Even if you’re not huge on it as an everyday look, it’s always good to keep in mind for special events such as weddings or date nights. Knowing your skin is the first step to knowing your foundation. If you’re unsure about your skin type or tone, talk to your stylist or schedule an appointment with a makeup artist here at XEX to get more information.

August 10, 2017 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog

Hair Myths We’ve all Believed True

Hair MythsMyths are all around us. Since we were children, we’ve been told things like if you shave the hair on your arms, it will grow back thicker. If you haven’t heard that exact one, it’s more than likely that you’ve probably heard of plenty of other myths. Myths about hair have been around forever, and it’s time to sit back and look at the most common ones thought to be true.

Myth: Washing your Hair Daily is Essential

Bottom Line: Not True

Sure, it sounds like a good idea to scrub your hair with shampoo every day, but it’s actually doing a lot more harm than good. Each time we shampoo, our natural oils are stripped from our hair. If you are shampooing every day, then you’re not allowing those oils to rejuvenate and condition your strands- which help fight against brittle ends.

What if your hair gets greasy, is it okay then?

If you have naturally oily hair, you can wash it more frequently than those who don’t, but you still shouldn’t use shampoo daily. Instead, invest in a co-wash to get rid of dirt and products without removing the oils that keep your hair shiny and healthy. Aveda’s BeCurly line has a co-wash that works wonders. Even if you don’t have curly hair, you can still use a co-wash to help clean your scalp without stripping your hair.

Myth: You Shouldn’t Dye your Hair when Expecting

Bottom Line: Not True – Unless your Doctor says otherwise

It’s a long, ongoing myth that pregnant women should not get their hair colored. It’s a common concern that the fumes from the chemicals will harm you or your baby. Today, a lot of dyes are not harmful to your health like hair dyes back in the day. There are even dyes out there that are gentler than their counterparts- such as Aveda’s color line. It’s presumably safe to go get your hair done while you’re expecting. If you do have any concern, you should always check with your doctor beforehand. Although it’s safe, you want to make sure that your doctor doesn’t see any issues.

Myth: Regular Trims will make your hair grow faster

Bottom Line: Not true

First thing’s first, you should always go in for a regular trim to keep your hair looking in top shape; However, they will not make your hair grow any quicker. Hair growth starts at the root, not your ends. As your ends get damaged and split, they can leave the bottom of your hair looking scarce and uneven. This will also make your hair appear thinner than it really is. Your splits can travel up your hair strand and cause breakage through your mid-shaft as well as your ends. This is why scheduling regular trims help! Not only can they get rid or reduce your split ends, but trims also help your hair look fuller and healthy.

Even though trims won’t speed up the rate of your hair growth, they do encourage healthy strands to keep your hair strong and your ends fresh.

Myth: Brushing your hair with 100 strokes daily will promote longer, healthier hair

Bottom Line: Not True

While brushing your hair is important to remove knots and tangles, you don’t have to worry about counting every stroke. The more often you brush your hair- beyond what is required- the more you run the risk of more damage and breakage. You should only brush your hair when you’re styling it and leave it alone. When you brush, you can pull the strands from the follicle and weaken the strands that are on your head. You should also never brush your hair when wet. Hair is weaker which can lead to more breakage if handled roughly. Use a wide-tooth comb or a brush made for wet hair (like the Wet Brush) to help distribute products and allow your hair to dry naturally- or style it with a blow-dryer.

There are different brushes out there and each one caters to a specific hair type. If you aren’t sure that you’re using the right brush, ask your stylist. They’ll be able to help you choose a brush for each of your styling needs.

Myth: If you pluck a gray, two more will take its place

Bottom Line: Not True

Grays grow and, depending on your lifestyle and family genetics, they’ll grow despite what you try to do to stop them; however, plucking them will not make more come. It’s a common misconception that when you pluck a gray hair, more will come in its place. Plucking your gray hair will not cause this, but might cause bigger problems like scars, infection in the hair follicle and balding in that area. Having gray hair comes naturally, so it’s good not to stress about it. You can talk to your stylist about your concerns and look into some coloring appointments to color them in the future, but they’ll agree- never pluck your grays!

There’s a ton of misinformation out in the world. The best thing to do when you’re not sure of something is to ask an expert. When it comes to your hair, your hairstylist is the best person to consult with- especially when it comes to myths and old wives’ tales.

Taylor ScanlanWritten by:
July 27, 2017 | 6 Comments »
| Posted in: Beauty, Hair

Win a $50 Gift Certificate to The Dearborn Tavern!

The Dearborn Website

Congratulations to Sue Herrmann on winning our 179th High Five Giveaway! Thanks to all who entered.

Our next giveaway is for a $50 gift certificate to Ala Carte Entertainment!

About The Dearborn

Anchoring the southeast corner of Dearborn St and Randolph St, The Dearborn is an 8,000-square-foot, 225-seat, urban American tavern by sisters & proprietors Amy Lawless and Clodagh Lawless. Let Executive Chef Aaron Cuschieri inspire your palate, adding his eclectic twist on sophisticated classics, laid back ‘lick your plate’ dishes & essential Chicago favorites.

Meet at the bar, dine in the restaurant, grab a post-theater night cap at The Dearborn.

The Dearborn is located at 145 North Dearborn Street, Chicago. Learn more about The Dearborn at TheDearbornTavern.com or call them at 312-384-1242.

Contest Question

We posted a quote from a celebrity on Sunday, July 16. Who was the celebrity?

Hint: Check out our Facebook page for the answer!

Now, just add a comment to this post with the right answer to be eligible to win! The winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 15. Enter by midnight on Monday, August 14!

All individuals 21 and older are eligible, whether you are a client of XEX or not. Must be able to pick up the gift certificate at XEX, 35 West Wacker Drive, Chicago. Leaving a comment opts you in for the XEX email list, which is sent out 1-2 times per month. You may unsubscribe at any time.
July 17, 2017 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: High Five Giveaways