Protect Your Scalp! Summer Hair Guide for Men

It’s already the end of May and the temperature outside is feeling warm! With warm weather come more outdoor activities like camping and trips to the beach. Warm weather also indicates that the sun is closer to the Earth which means more damaging UV rays hitting your scalp. It’s easy to forget to pay attention to your head when you’re taking care of skin protection. Here are some tips to help keep your scalp healthy this summer!

Do a Daily Cleansing

We all know the summer is hot. We also know that heat makes us sweat in order to cool down. Well, our scalp sweats just as much which is why it’s important to shampoo it every day in the summer. Sweat not only is filled with toxins your body wants to get rid of, but it’s also jam packed with salt that dries out the skin. Aveda’s Men’s Pure Performance shampoo is gentle and helps remove all this dirt from your follicles. If you find that you need a little bit more help removing dirt, Pure Performance also carries an exfoliating shampoo to help really scrub away any dirt without over drying your head. Finding a good shampoo and conditioner duo is vital for your scalp health. It’s important to invest in products that won’t damage or dry out your hair and skin. A clean and moisturized scalp will also help fight again hair loss and thinning.

After Shower Care

Once you’re all done with shampooing and conditioning your hair, the routine shouldn’t stop there. An important part of your after-shower routine should be to oil your hair (yes, oil). Even though your scalp produces plenty of sweat and oil during the summer, it’s also excreting salt and other toxins your body sheds while sweating. Shampoo helps get rid of all this, but also leaves your hair feeling dry. Oil helps add moisture to your hair, leaving it shiny and moisturized. Aveda’s Dry Remedy Oil is an amazing go-to for summer since it’s not only moisturizing, but also light enough to avoid clogging up your hair follicles and having your hair feel unwashed.

Outdoor Protection

If you’re planning a day in the sun, on the beach or elsewhere, you should make sure you have plenty of sunscreen. Not only is sunscreen important for your skin, but it’s just as important for your scalp. Sunscreen can be applied onto the scalp and hair to protect from painful sunburn. Your doctor can help determine the SPF that’s right for you, but you should always wear some sort of sun protection if you’re planning a day outside. If you feel like sunscreen isn’t enough, a hat is another alternative for protecting your scalp. Make sure that your hair is not too tight because this can cause unwanted tension at the root which can lead to breakage and fallout.
For those of us who plan on hitting the pool this summer, make sure you’re protecting yourself from the chlorine. Chlorine is not only damaging to your hair, but it also damages your scalp and contributes to dryness. To help, a swim cap will protect your head against the chlorine. If you’re not too keen on wearing a cap, Aveda’s After Care Cleaning shampoo is here to help. Wash your hair after the pool with this shampoo and pair it with Aveda’s After Care Masque to help rinse any chlorine from your hair and add extra moisture to your scalp.

Go see your Stylist!

Another great way to help your hair and scalp look and feel its best is to get regular cuts. Cutting your hair short for summer is great because the shorter the hair, the more your scalp will be able to breath as air flows through. Another thing to avoid is chemicals. Color, relaxers or any other service that involves chemicals can dry the hair in the summer; however, this can be the last thing you switch up.

Your stylist will be able to help you determine which products to purchase, what routine to follow and what cut you should get to ensure that your hair and scalp are healthy, shiny and moisturized during the hottest time of the year. The summer is a wonderful time, especially for outdoor activities. It shouldn’t be wasted on sunburnt scalp and damaged hair. Protect your head and let your hair flow in the wind this Summer.

Taylor ScanlanWritten by:

Win a $50 Gift Certificate to Morton’s The Steakhouse!

Congratulations to Gretchen Oschman on winning our 177th High Five Giveaway! Thanks to all who entered.

For our next High Five Giveaway we have a $50 gift certificate to Morton’s The Steakhouse.

About Morton’s The Steakhouse

Morton’s The Steakhouse at Wacker Place is located at the epicenter of some of Downtown Chicago’s most celebrated attractions and downtown hotels. Walking distance from the Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park and the Chicago Theatre District, this steakhouse offers a superb dining location for a business power lunch, after work drinks and small plate $5 Bar Bites, an exceptional dinner or even over 4,000 square feet of private dining space in six private dining rooms.

Morton’s The Steakhouse is located at 65 E Wacker Place, Chicago. Visit their website at or call them at 312.658.0305 for more information.

Contest Question

What two serums are great for hydrating and smoothing out frizz?

Hint: Check our our latest 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 Thursday, June 15. Enter by midnight on Wednesday, June 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.
May 15, 2017 | 48 Comments »
| Posted in: High Five Giveaways

Thick Hair, Don’t Care! Managing your Thick Tresses

Last month we talked about the struggles of styling thin hair and ways we can boost up the volume to give the illusion of thicker, voluptuous hair. Even though thick hair is often yearned for by those with finer hair, it comes with its own styling tricks to avoid a frizzy, unmanageable mane. If you have thicker hair and are looking to add some shine and silkiness to your tresses, keep reading!

Wash and Condition!

More often than not, those with thicker hair notice that their shampoo and conditioner don’t always run out at the same time. Usually, the conditioner goes first. This is especially true if your hair tends to be on the frizzier side. Instead of constantly running out and buying a new bottle of conditioner, you should purchase a one that’s more concentrated, or ‘thicker’. This will give you enough product to work throughout your hair by just using a small amount. Aveda’s Smooth Infusion line is perfect for keeping frizz away, smoothing out your hair and giving you enough product to work with to your ends. If you need something with a little more moisturizing power, Moroccan Oil also carries a smoothing line that will help keep your hair in check. You should always avoid products that promise extra body or volume. Your hair already has enough volume and body; you don’t need to overdo it. When purchasing a shampoo and conditioner, your main focus should be hydration and moisture.

Don’t Skimp on the Styling

As painful as it is to hear, blow-drying is important when it comes to keeping thick hair manageable. It might take forever, and most of the time we’d rather sleep a little longer than to deal with a sore arm all day, but blow drying really does have its advantages.

When you wash your hair, blot out any access water and grab your products. Products help smooth, tame and hold throughout the day. Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener or Moroccan Oil’s Smoothing Lotion are great serums for hydrating and smoothing out frizz. Sprays designed to help cut back drying time are great too! They usually contain a conditioning agent like oil and some form of heat protectant to keep damage to a minimum. Stay away from salt sprays or any spray that might dry out your hair. This will only add more frizz. For curly hair, use curl creams to add moisture and use a co-wash when shampooing to avoid over-washing your curls. Aveda’s Be Curly line carries a curl enhancer as well as a co-wash to help you along the way! Moroccan Oil also has an Intense Curl Cream that locks in some extra moisture while bringing extra spring to your hair.

Be Cautious About Going Short

Depending on your texture, those with thick hair don’t have many options that are shorter than shoulder length. Well, you use to not have many options. Nowadays, stylists have ways of thinning up your tresses allowing you to go shorter without sacrificing any movement. Keep in mind that not all shorter cuts work well if your hair is wavy or even curly. If your hair isn’t cut right, thick hair can easily be hard to style the shorter you go.

The best person to talk about what cut will not only give you a great look, but also won’t be difficult to style and lay right is your XEX Stylist. You should always listen to what your stylist has to say. If they don’t recommend a certain length, try going a little longer and decide from there. They’re there to ease you into a style that’s trendy and manageable with your lifestyle. They also want to make sure that you’re comfortable and confident with your appearance.

So, whether you have fine hair or thick hair, all hair requires special maintenance to keep it looking and feeling its best. If you’re unsure about your hair type or want to learn more about how to style your hair, book a consultation with your stylist! They’re here to help!

Taylor ScanlanWritten by:
May 5, 2017 | 9 Comments »
| Posted in: Hair, Stylists Picks

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 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 | 42 Comments »
| Posted in: High Five Giveaways