Pump up the Volume: Putting Volume in your Fine Hair

When it comes to hair, some of us are born with thick locks and some of us aren’t. Whether you were born with it or it naturally occurred, thin hair is not the end of the world. Yes, it takes a little bit more work to look fuller, give bounce and bring a little life to it, but every hair type comes with challenges. Having thin hair doesn’t always have to mean it’s flat. Read on and find out what cuts and products you can get to make your hair look and feel thicker.

Chop it off!

Thin hair doesn’t restrict you to longer styles with tons of layers. Shorter haircuts work great as well! A textured pixie is not only easy to style, but the stacked, short layering helps give you the appearance of thicker hair (even without product). Styling products such as Aveda’s Pure Performance Thickening Paste or Aveda’s Light Elements Defining Whip can help create a texturized finish to give your hair even more body. Since short haircuts can be scary for some of us, it’s important to talk to your XEX Stylist about what will compliment your facial structure and give you the appearance of fuller hair.

Stay in the Middle

Okay, so what if you’re looking for something a little bit longer- but not too long! Medium length cuts are your best friend and they’re even in style! Whether you prefer your hair to sit right at the chin or to touch your shoulders, these cuts are not only stylish, but they’re also easy to maintain. Having your stylist cut layers into your hair will help create some body while adding texture. You can also have your stylist cut your hair blunt giving you a bulk that creates an illusion of fuller hair. When styling, use a round brush to give your roots extra lift while blow-drying. Aveda’s Pure Abundance line carries a style prep to promote volume for a thicker appearance. You can also throw in some clay to help texturize your layers and add dimension.

Keep it Long!

Okay, so what if you don’t want to part with your long locks? Don’t worry, because even long, fine hair can look thick. With long hairstyles, you’ll need some layering to help your hair from falling limp throughout the day. Long layers can help create texture and fullness to the hair. Another trick for longer cuts is to have your stylist give you some. A side-swept bang can draw attention to your face and create a nice, rounded out frame. The best way to prevent long hair from looking lifeless is to add a few waves. You can add waves with your flat iron or curling iron; or, by braiding damp hair and allowing it to dry overnight. Make sure you add some light hold hairspray- like Aveda’s Air Control- to help the waves from falling flat. You don’t want to use a strong hold hairspray because it might just weigh down your hair.

Products you should invest in

Now that you’ve got some idea for your next haircut, here are some products you should invest in to help. When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, try to find something that is meant for thickening (like Aveda’s volumizing clay shampoo and conditioner). These products are designed to thicken your individual strands to gvie your hair a little extra depth. Try staying away from anythng too moisturizing- these products can weigh your hair down and cause it to fall flat. After washing, you’re going to need some products to help even more. A mousse can add extra weight (in a good way!) to your hair. MoroccanOil’s volumizing mousse is perfect to lift your roots up- this product is best for medium-long styles. A root booster is another fantastic product that helps add some extra lift. A volumizing spray or thickening spray (Aveda’s Volumizing or Thickening Tonic) are great as well! Volumizing will lift your roots and thickening will temporarily expand your strands. Together, they’re the perfect duo. For added texture and volume, a dry shampoo will help give you a fuller look while keeping your roots from being too oily and sitting too close to the scalp. Any of these products will help you have the fullest hair you can possibly have! You don’t need every single one, but a quick chat with your stylist will help you narrow down the essentials that will give you the best results.

Remember, with every great haircut there is a great stylist behind it. It’s important to talk to your stylist and bring up any concerns you have whether it be about the cut, color or product you’re looking into. Everyone’s hair and scalp are different, so some products listed above may not be for you, but don’t be discouraged- there’s a product just waiting for you to discover it. So, book your next haircut and get ready to have the fuller looking hair you’ve been fantasizing about.

Taylor ScanlanWritten by:
April 18, 2017 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Hair, Stylists Picks

Win a $50 Gift Certificate to The Dearborn Tavern!

Congratulations to Melissa Eberhardt on winning our 176th 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, Chiago. Learn more about The Dearborn at TheDearbornTavern.com or call them at 312-384-1242.

Contest Question

How long can an average highlight appointment take?

Hint: Check out our latest blog 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 Monday, May 15. Enter by midnight on Sunday, May 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.
April 17, 2017 | 43 Comments »
| Posted in: High Five Giveaways

Embrace The Fantasy: Get the Hair of your Dreams

Have you ever wanted bright, out of this world hair? From magazines to social media, colorful hair is filling the world around us. And why not? It’s fun, exciting and out of the box. What does it take to get it? Sadly, when it comes to fantasy colors, it’s not a once and done ordeal. It takes time, money and sacrifice to achieve your dream, but that’s not a reason to shy away from working towards your goal. Here’s an explanatory guide to a whole different world of hair color and what it takes to take your hair to the next level.

How Long Should I Expect before I’m there?

Fantasy colors are no joke and most of them take several trips to the salon before you’re ready to finally dye your hair the color you’re looking for. The reason for this is that hair is unique and what’s on the surface is not what’s underneath. For example, when you start to lighten black or dark brown hair, you’re going to see red right away. Eventually, red will become red-orange, and then yellow all the way until your hair is a pale yellow. With all of this lightening, your hair is going to take some beating. This is important to keep in mind when thinking about dying your hair an unnatural shade. How long it will take depends on numerous of factors including: if you’ve dyed your hair before, how dark your hair is and the integrity of your hair. The only way to know for sure what to expect is to book a consultation with your XEX Stylist so they can evaluate your hair and map out the steps to take to get you to where you want to be.

Well, how much will this cost?

With all the time you’ll be spending in the salon, expect to put some money towards it. Like every good investment, bright hair isn’t cheap. Think of it this way: an average highlight appointment can take anywhere from 2 ½ to 3 hours. That’s a long time to sit in the chair, but it’s what it takes to get a beautiful result. As mentioned earlier, don’t expect to get there in a day. For example, it’s normal for someone who is working their way to pastel hair to be in and out of the salon a few times, spending a couple of hours there each time. Depending on how long your stylist thinks it will take, the price can be a little more than you anticipated. Luckily, these appointments are spaced out to allow your hair ample time to rejuvenate before the next lightening. During your consultation, your stylist should be able to give you a ballpark of the price, but keep in mind that hair is unpredictable, so the price may fluctuate.

So, I have to be orange for a while?

One of the main concerns when taking the plunge is that you’re going to leave the salon with brassy hair. This isn’t necessarily the case. First of all, yes, you will be orange before you’re a pale yellow and that’s okay! The darker the hair, the more pigment there is that has to be lifted underneath the surface. The good thing is, you don’t have to leave orange. Your stylist is there to make you feel beautiful every time you’re sitting in their chair. Talk to them about what your options are for in between appointments. Most of the time, a stylist will be able to help make sure that your color is beautiful when you leave the salon. Now, it may not be what you originally were looking for (you’ll get to hot pink soon enough!), but it will be something that looks good and won’t have you wearing hats until your next service. So, yes, you will be orange before you’re pale yellow, but, no, you won’t have to walk around like that if you don’t want to. Keep in mind, asking your stylist to make sure your hair isn’t an unsightly, brassy tone does require more time and more products which will cost you more. Make sure to bring any concern you have to your consultation so your stylist knows what you’re expecting.

Will my Hair Fall Out?

No, your hair won’t fall out if you know how to take care of it. This is where your stylist’s knowledge of products and treatments comes into play. The more you lighten your hair, the more likely your ends will have some sort of damage. This is inevitable. However, if you take care of your hair and allow your stylist to trim the ends after every- or every other- appointment, then you should be fine. When you’re in the lightening process, get a good, sulfate free shampoo. Keratin Complex’s Blondeshell shampoo and conditioner is perfect for this! Not only is it moisturizing and sulfate free, but this shampoo is designed to help remove and tone down yellow tones in blonde hair. If you’re starting with dark hair, Aveda’s Blue Malva shampoo and conditioner will help with brassy tones. As for deep conditioning treatments, MoroccanOil carries a reconstructive treatment mask, designed to help moisturize and strengthen damaged ends. Everyone’s hair is unique and your stylist is the perfect person to discuss which products would give you the best results and help maintain strong hair.

Taylor ScanlanWritten by:
March 30, 2017 | 5 Comments »
| Posted in: Beauty, Blog, Hair, Inspiration

Win a $50 Gift Certificate to Ala Carte Entertainment!

Congratulations to Jill Blardinelli on winning our 175th High Five Giveaway! Thanks to all who entered.

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

About Ala Carte Entertainment

For almost 40 years, Ala Carte Entertainment has brought an eclectic variety of unique restaurants to Chicagoland.

Chandler’s Chophouse sizzles, serving up critically acclaimed USDA prime steaks and succulent seafood along with live entertainment. Chandler’s Chophouse proudly serves the biggest steaks and more in the midst of the scenic Schaumburg Golf Club.

Moretti’s is a fixture in Chicago’s Edison Park neighborhood, suburban Schaumburg, Fox Lake, Mount Prospect, Lake in the Hills and Bartlett, serving their famous pizza and other Italian and American favorites. And speaking of fast, both Famous Freddie’s Roadhouses feature classic comfort foods at 1960’s prices in a fun atmosphere.

Almost all of Ala Carte Entertainment’s taverns and nightclubs offer menus that are a cut above typical “bar food.”

Learn more about Ala Carte Entertainment and see all of the restaurants where the gift certificate is valid at Aceplaces.com.

Contest Question

What is the name of the “Pet of the Week” dog that we posted on Facebook on March 15?

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 Monday, April 17. Enter by midnight on Friday, April 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.
March 15, 2017 | 4 Comments »
| Posted in: High Five Giveaways

Distress Yourself for Spring

It’s time to prepare for warm weather. For most of us, this means packing away our sweaters and trading them in for light jackets and t-shirts. This is also a time where we usually begin the process of spring cleaning – a time where we scrub our homes from the floor all the way to the ceiling. While we’re washing the baseboards and dusting the ceiling fan, we should be thinking about ourselves. When was the last time you took an hour from the day and spent it kicking back, relaxing and breathing? It doesn’t take long, but any moment we take to destress ourselves counts.

Mend your Ends

If you’re going to start from head to toe, like you do your home, then what better way then to begin with your hair? Your hair has been dried out by the winter air and could use a little extra moisture to give it some luster and shine. Depending on your hair type and the quality of your strands, there’s a hair masque for you. Aveda offers a masque for damage, dryness and even curls while MoroccanOil has hydrating, repairing and smoothing masques to fit your hair needs. Apply the masque after you shampoo, and put a cap on it. After a half hour (or longer), rinse out the masque and style as needed. If you’re unsure what type of masque to get, an XEX stylist is always here to help.

Reveal Radiant Skin

Your skin has also felt some of the dryness that the winter brings. During the winter, our skin loses radiance due to dry, dead skin cells sitting on the surface. Cleansing your skin is not enough to help get off that excess dullness. After you cleanse and tone, pick up an exfoliate (like Aveda’s BioKinetics Exfoliant) to help buff all of that away. Once you’ve managed to get rid of anything on the surface, it’s time to bring some hydration back into your face. Aveda carries a hydrating herbal face mask that’s perfect to help rejuvenate your complexion. Let the masque seep into your skin for 10-15 minutes (always read the directions printed on the container for any product) and then rinse and moisturize. To save time, apply the masque while you have your hair masque on.

Soak off Stress

You’ve also probably felt stressed, fatigued or a combination of the two at some point this winter. Well, it’s time to take you away from the world with a nice bath. Baths are great to soak your muscles, hydrate your skin and destress your mind allowing you to relax and drift away. To give yourself maximum relaxation, try out soaking salts or essential oils to add to your bath. Aveda’s Stress Fix line carries both of these products and equips them with a calming sensation of lavender which has been proven to reduce stress and relax you. Invest in a body scrub (like MorroccanOil’s Body Buff) to add to your cleanse. These work like face exfoliants with added lotions and oils to moisturize and exfoliate to help buff away surface cells.

Release your Mind

With life getting in the way, we sometimes forget about our psyche. While you’re revitalizing your skin or refreshing your locks, you should also clear and cleanse your mind. Allow yourself to close your eyes, relax, read a book or do something you love. This is your time for you to relieve stress and unwind yourself. Whether or not you can do this once a week or once a month, it’s important that we don’t forget to take care of ourselves. Any moment we have counts to create a healthy you inside and out.

Taylor ScanlanWritten by:
March 2, 2017 | Leave a Comment »
| Posted in: Beauty, Hair, home, Inspiration