Site Overlay

Conversations in the Chair

XXXI: It is in your mind...

"Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave."~M.T. Moore 11/2022

(Help Ukraine. Scroll to March 2022 for a list of organizations in need. SLAVA UKRAINE)
(Help support reproductive rights. Scroll to July 2022 for organizations in need)

As we watch the leaves change and submerge ourselves into all the things that make fall the best, it's that time of year that the consultation starts off with, "should I go darker for the fall and winter" or, "I need a change, what will make me look younger or more youthful".

As you know, I am not one in the industry that supports conformity in regards to the whole "I need to go darker in the fall". If you identify as a platinum blonde, going darker is going to cause trauma. If you want to embrace a change due to loosing that summer glow, than who am I to discourage you, I'm all for it. However, when it comes to the conversation about "how to look more youthful," this verbiage should be eliminated from the vernacular.

With constant pressure in this modern world we are in, for women (no man hating just focusing on the facts), we have daily reminders (and sometimes silent ones) that push to conform and mold ourselves to a certain standard. Why are standards so skewed when we mature equating to becoming invisible or unattractive? As I simmer into my years, I am hearing this more and more in my chair. TBH, it breaks my heart. Why are we not considered of beauty when we age?

As I chew on this, I do ask myself how can we change aging into a positive versus a negative? When will society consider that not all of us get the opportunity or privilege to "grow old".  At what point, can we just live and live our best life vs having to worry about the societal toxicity of what beauty should be defined as?

XXX: Pick your poison

"Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand."~H. Williams 10/2022

(Help Ukraine. Scroll to March 2022 for a list of organizations in need. SLAVA UKRAINE)
(Help support reproductive rights. Scroll to July 2022 for organizations in need)

And in a blink September has ended. The buzz of fashion week has subsided, kids are back in school and most (if not all) of us are fully back in the office. As the winds start to cool and the hours grow darker, there is a noticeable change in regards to appointment making.... arriving on-time and last minute cancelations.

As most of us have been in this new world since day one learning to adapt, grow and hold onto whatever we have in order to survive, there is a habit that has been observed in regards to clients and their time of arrival or last minute cancelation. Everyone's time is important. No one's time is above another. Time is precious. When behind the chair, time is a value, it is money. Some of you have your own business. Some might be micro (shout out) all the way to limitless sizes of operation.

As a hair artists, everyone is allowed a get-out-of-jail-free card. When it becomes a habit, (I am going to say it) you come off disrespectful. Especially when you get a response of, "oh I thought you were going to run late so I went shopping". (And yes, that statement was said to me). As a hair artist, we are ready and conditioned to people please. When you run late, we greet you (97% of the time) with a smile, "it's ok let's get started" kinda approach. When WE run late, which also happens, why does this turn into prime time verbal assault or disdain or an eye roll?

Why I am bringing this up is to allow all of us to do better. Know that when you are late, that affects the rest of our day. Same goes for when we run late for you. It is also a reflection on how we can be pro-active vs reactive. Remember, we are here to make you feel more beautiful and better.


XXVIIII: Noon burnt gold into our hair…

“Being a fish out of water is tough, but that’s how you evolve.”~K. Nanjiani 9/2022

(Help Ukraine. Scroll to March 2022 for a list of organizations in need. SLAVA UKRAINE)
(Help support reproductive rights. Scroll to July 2022 for organizations in need)

“I only want a dusting, a trim, a ghost cut….” You name it we’ve heard it. Whether you have straight hair or texture, trauma haircuts are real and can shape your salon experience moving forward. 

Observationally, this is noticed with clients who have extreme lengths, texture or identify with their hair. 

When it comes to these traumas, all stylist are not created equally. Some tips to help navigate this stressful adventure. 

One: Find a professional you trust. We hear you along with your needs and concerns. We are going to strive to do our best to please but know, we cannot fix the damaged already done. We are here to try and change your thoughts and experiences to be in a more positive environment.

Two: Verbiage. Know what to say. As hair artist, we will inform you on your options for optimal health in regards to how much length to loose however. If you are not willing to go all the way with loosing those inches, then know you will have to compromise when it comes to the expectations. If you are also letting your stylist know what you are comfortable with and what you are not and they still are not listening, time to find a new stylist.

Three:  If you get along with your hair artist and a mistake is made, grow and work with us. Even if we don't get it right every time, better to grow with someone who will get to know what your hair goals are vs jumping around and starting new every single new service that is being requested. 

XXVIII:  Mistakes have been made.

"I don't aim for perfection. But I do want to try and come up with something interesting.”-K.Bush 8/2022

(Help Ukraine. Scroll to March 2022 for a list of organizations in need. SLAVA UKRAINE)
(Help support reproductive rights. Scroll to July 2022 for organizations in need)

When does do it yourself cross a line of don’t do it yourself and leave it to the professionals? We have all heard of at-home hair care, hair color or hair ideas that go viral to the exhaustion of hair professionals alike. As we shake our heads at times while accessing what needs to be done to correct a “what I saw online” moment, it just has me pondering the why. 

An observation in the industry is the undervaluing of our talents, knowledge, education/educational investments along with drive behind what makes us passionate great hairdressers. “That’s too expensive,” “I can get it done cheaper elsewhere,” “It’s just hair, it’s not that hard”. We start to hear these things over and over and over again and eventually we might start to believe it. 

Yup. Nope. Stop right there. This is not ok!

“Good hair aint cheap and cheap hair aint good”. If it isn’t that hard, then why are you asking me to do it? Why should my craft and career come at the cost of being free to you? To be an invested hair artist these days is more than being a personality. We invest in our skills and growth. We are the types to work all the time and not know boundaries. We are the types that don’t know how to say no. So when we advise you on things to do and not do based on your self education or what you have seen online, it is with merit to the why. 

Our value should come as an investment to yourself. No matter what your budget allows, there is nothing wrong with paying less or more. It is what you find worth putting your monies towards. Beauty professionals and the services we provided should be prized with more respect. I love what I do but just because I love what I do doesn’t mean I should do it for free. The beauty industry is what we chose as our career path same as yours. It is a career. Not a hobby.

XXVII: I am strong...

"I am invincible. I am woman."-H.Reddy 7/2022
(Help Ukraine. Scroll to March 2022 for a list of organizations in need. SLAVA UKRAINE)

We now face a critical moment in U.S. history. At J.L.BYRD, we stand in support and remain steadfast in the belief that access to reproductive health care is a fundamental human right.

Below are a list of organizations that are in need of you:

PLANNED PARENTHOOD-(CLICK HERE)-supporting reproductive rights since 1916.

GENDER/JUSTICE-(CLICK HERE)-supporting gender equality since 2010.

NEW VOICES FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE-(CLICK HERE)-supporting reproductive justice since 2004.

CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS-(CLICK HERE)-supporting reproductive rights since 1992.

NARAL PRO-CHOICE AMERICA-(CLICK HERE)-supporting pro-choice since 1969.

At J.L.BYRD, we believe in choice and support all individuals within those choices. A portion of all proceeds made at J.L.BYRD will be donated to helping reproductive rights and gender equality.

XXVI: Summer lovin’…

“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start.”-J.Collins 6/2022

(Help Ukraine. Scroll to March 2022 for a list of organizations in need. SLAVA UKRAINE)

Spring has started to wain as summer begins again. A time to relax and feel joyous. A time to get a way. A time when school has ended and who knows what adventures await. A time to change our hair color or maybe grow our hair out. Not sure about you, but with all this change upon the wind it at times can seem very overwhelming. With feeling overwhelmed, it can escalate into more severity if not accepted and addressed. How  do you manage without getting to the burnout phase? 

As a small business owner (and growing), best advice is to accept that you cannot do it all… and that’s ok. In the beauty world, we are pressured daily to post content ( and filter them to the ideas of what perfection is defined as), hustle culture, always say yes, no lunch break, going into work sick, imposter syndrome and the list goes on. In the world of beauty, it can get really ugly. 

As I navigate this myself, the best ways I have found to continue to be the best I can is to plan, prepare and accept when things need extensions. Asking others for guidance and advice. Never looking at failures as lack of accomplishment but rather an opportunity to grow. 

As you navigate on ways to avoid being overwhelmed, always know at the end of it all… 

You are not alone. 

XXV: Mankind must put an end to war…

(Help Ukraine. Scroll to March 2022 for a list of organizations in need. SLAVA UKRAINE)

“I intend to live life, not just exist.”-G.Takei 5/2022

New York City has some of her most blushing moments in the spring time. Encompassing colors and hues of soft pinks and pastels that can bring you to a halt. Things feel different this spring. Noticeably, some of us are starting to crawl back into our offices. Small introductions to our former lives before the pandemic. With all these positive changes, I have started to notice some of us reverting back to our old ways in regards to thermal styling resulting in damage. 

A few tips. Let us start with products. There are difference depending on the heat source known as direct and indirect heat. Examples. Blow dyer is in-direct heat. Flatiron and Curling Iron, direct heat. Products tell you what kind of heat they are used for. These products list which heat source they work best with along with recommended temperature use. The heat source listed also activates the product to it’s fullest potential. Some of my favorites for blowdrying is Kevin Murphy's EVER.SMOOTH (<-click here) and ILES FORMULA FINISHING SERUM (<-click here). For curling tools and/or flatirons, I am still obsessed with ILES FORMULA FINISHING SERUM. I love this product in particular due to it’s formulation for protection of both heat styles. 

So as we start to transition out the days of goblincore, make sure to start loving your hair with a little heat protection.  

XXIV: Help is still needed

"My mom and my dad wanted my brother and I to have a better life, you know, better education, better jobs. It was probably harder, much, much harder, for my parents."-M.Kunis 04/2022

At J.L.Byrd, WE STAND WITH UKRAINE. Please scroll through the March 2022 conversation to see organizations in need of your help.

XXIII: Do you know that a wall has two sides?

“We have to offer the society a new model of behavior, based on equal rights and opportunities ”.-I. Sovsun 3/1/2022


  • Abundance International(CLICK HERE) is dedicated to supporting orphanages in Ukraine with what they need to care for the special needs children and those who have been dropped on their doorstep for care.We work with the orphanages in Ukraine to provide needed medicines, practical supplies, physical therapy equipment, and orphanage renovations. Many of the infants dropped off at an orphanage are rejected because of physical problems the parents don’t want to deal with. The government of Ukraine is only able to provide minimal provisions. Without the needed medicines and physical therapy equipment provided by Abundance International many of these children would be physically scarred for life – and some wouldn’t survive. You can donate at (CLICK HERE).
  • Voices of Children (CLICK HERE), a charitable foundation based in Ukraine, has been serving the psychological needs of children affected by the war in the country’s east since 2015, according to its website. The group’s psychologists specialize in art therapy and provide general psychosocial support with group classes or individual sessions. Many of its psychologists are based in the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, areas that have long been controlled by Russian-backed separatists and that are on the front lines of the current, wider conflict. Now, Voices of Children is providing assistance to children and families all over Ukraine, even helping with evacuations. You can donate (CLICK HERE).
  • Journalists with the Kyiv Independent (click here) have done tremendous work covering the war, offering the world constant updates as they fear for themselves, their families and their homes (click here). The Independent has started a GoFundMe(CLICK HERE) asking for support, but they’ve also promoted a separate GoFundMe(CLICK HERE) — “Keep Ukraine’s media going” — for journalists around the country who have received less international attention. “[Ukraine’s reporters] have shown extraordinary courage, but the reality on the ground is that most operations cannot continue from Ukraine alone,” one organizer wrote (click here). “This fundraiser is aimed at helping media relocate, set-up back offices and continue their operations from neighboring countries.”
  • José Andrés, the beloved D.C. chef famous for feeding people in need (click here) around the world, is already in Europe with his World Central Kitchen team helping provide (click here) “thousands of meals in Poland, Romania and even inside Ukraine,” he wrote on Twitter. Anyone who wishes to donate to the efforts can go here (CLICK HERE).
  • Razom for Ukraine (CLICK HERE) was founded in 2014 and has since launched efforts to build a stronger democracy in the country. Now, according to its website, the nonprofit is “focused on purchasing medical supplies for critical situations like blood loss and other tactical medicine items. We have a large procurement team of volunteers that tracks down and purchases supplies and a logistics team that then gets them to Ukraine.” Razom — which means “together” in Ukrainian — posted a list (click here) of the lifesaving supplies it has already purchased and is asking for more support here (click here).
  • Click on the website for Care(CLICK HERE), the international humanitarian juggernaut, and a pop-up window appears. “UKRAINE EMERGENCY,” the alert says, with a photo of a woman holding a child. “Families in Ukraine are fleeing violence and urgently need emergency aid. CARE is providing food, water, and more,” the homepage says. The group has partnered with People in Need (CLICK HERE) and hopes to build a fund that can reach 4 million people, especially women, girls and the elderly. Donations for Care can be made (click here).
  • Save the Children(CLICK HERE), founded more than a century ago, is blunt about the grueling nature of its work: “We work in the hardest-to-reach places, where it’s toughest to be a child,” its homepage says. The organization says it is “gravely concerned” for the children of Ukraine and Afghanistan. Its donation page says that $50 can prevent three children from going hungry for a month, $150 can provide warm blankets for 30 children, and $300 can furnish masks to refugee health workers on the front lines.
  • Sunflower of Peace(CLICK HERE) is a small nonprofit with ambitions to help Ukrainian orphans and internally displaced people. A post on its Facebook page in mid-February said it had launched a fundraiser for first-aid medical tactical backpacks. Each backpack, it says, can save up to 10 people. They’re packed with bandages and anti-hemorrhagic medicines, among other critical items. The group has worked mostly off its Facebook page(CLICK HERE), where it’s accepting donations.
  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs oversees U.N. Crisis Relief(CLICK HERE), with donations going toward U.N. efforts to fund work in humanitarian crises. Primary goals include supporting lifesaving activities, filling funding gaps and expanding assistance in hard-to-reach areas, according to its website. You can donate here(CLICK HERE).
  • The International Rescue Committee(CLICK HERE), founded in 1933, helps those impacted by humanitarian crises and works in more than 40 affected countries, as well as communities in Europe and the Americas. According to its website, the IRC is on the ground in Poland and working to help displaced families. The site offers suggestions(CLICK HERE) on how you can assist Ukraine, such as welcoming refugees and social media activism. You can donate here(CLICK HERE).

XXII: Shut 'em down open up shop

"If you're afraid to fail, then you're probably going to fail."-K. Bryant 2/1/22

As an educator and mentor, it is a fascinating observation to witness giving future professionals or professionals alike guidance to turn around and ask "what happened?". To your continued surprise and the response of the learner, "oh I just thought my way was 'better' / 'the correct way' ".

When it comes to being in an industry where we have the power to alter peoples images, sometimes in less than 30 minutes, this "I thought my way was the correct way," might lead you into some trouble, especially without years of experience, technical skills and/or knowledge.

This industry is always evolving and we need to continue to grow and educate ourselves. This also means to grow and be humble along the way. Whether 1 day, 1 month, 1 year, 10 year or however long you have been continuing to strive for excellence in the field of beauty, don't loose sight on how it feels to be a learner and the frustrations and celebrations that come along with it.

XXI: Turn, Turn, Turn

"When people say, 'She's got everything', I've got one answer - I haven't had tomorrow." -E. Taylor 1/1/22

(Use Adjective of Choice) New Year.

XX: Dear Diary,

"I have no idea what color [my hair] really is, and I never intend to find out."-B.White 12/31/21

If your 2021 Experienced:                                                                                                                                                           Renewal, Compassion, Fun, Happiness, Pride, Petrified, Possessive, Adoration, Enthralled, Lost and Heartbroken over the passing of Betty White, Employed, Excitement, Addicted, Dopey, Peace, Satisfaction, Acceptance, Affection, Lean, Joy, Done, Adoration, Desire, Interest, Provoked, Wanted, Unemployed, Grateful, Jubilant, Love, Humble, Contentment, Empathetic, Amusement,  Appreciative, Confident, Optimistic, Exhausted, Cheerful, Carefree,Sweet, In-between, Kind, Loyal, Lust, Gladsomeness, Goofy, Inspired, Fires, Enchanted, Poor, Ethereal, Funny Friendly, Relief, Floods, Poor, Calm, Sensual, Awe, Warm, Fat, Romantic, Aware, Comfortable, Enraged, Free, Courageous, Hopeful, Fascinated, Manic, Tender, Proud, Relief, Covid-19, Eager, Dispirited, Innocent, Insanity, Tornadoes,  Addiction, Sexy, Understanding, Patient, Surprised, Craving, Wonder, Amazed, Longing, Foolish, Mellow, High, Sentimental, Anew, Low, Focused, Determined, Fearful, Grieved, Distracted, Baffled, Needy, Lost, Self-pity, Pessimistic, Giddy, Crafty, Flirty, Hysteria, Withdrawal, Worried, Abandoned, Doubtful, Frazzled, Sorrow, Curious, Guilt, Apologetic, Horrified, Beautiful, Overwhelmed, Nervous, Homesick,Full, Anxious, Cringe, Terrified, Cautious, Terrified, Panicked, Alienated, Burnout, Challenged, Jealous, Neglected, Ugly, Fraud (feeling like a), Stressed, Agony, Empty, Shock, Depressed, Desperate, Confused, Alone, Tense, Hopeless, Weary, Uneasiness, Tense, Sympathetic,Suspicious, Homelessness, Paranoid, Reluctant, Skeptical, Sulkiness, Horror, Sadness, Unhappy, Hungry, Emptiness, Misery, Climate Change, Grateful, Abused, Merry, Somber, Racism, Foolish, Festive, Grim, Mourned, Objectified, Exploited, Forgotten, Hated, Abashed, Wanderlust, Aching, Insecure, Apathetic, Defeated, Pity, Submissive, Lonely, Heartbroken, Depressed, Worn-out, Glum, Cowardly, Gloomy, Hurting, Disappointed, Tired, Melancholy, Lovesick, Left-out, Resigned, Miserable, Shy, Vulnerable, Yearning, Nostalgia, Remorse, Pensive, Reclusive, Hate Crime, Protective, Dismay, Distress, Anger, Annoyed, Delighted, Bitter, Frustrated, Enlightened, Dislike, Spite, Uncomfortable, Cold, Bitter, Infuriated, Rage, Cheated, Vengeful, Disgust, Animosity, Insulted, Envy, Uneasy, Loathe, Offended, Hopeless, Wild Fires, Troubled, Embarrassed, Political Unrest, Boredom, Wrath, Disapproval, Craving, Unwanted, Outrage, Awkward, Rich, Hatred, Resentment, Lazy, Mean, Hatred, Cranky, Grumpy, Aggressive, Body Dysmorphia, Horror, Vigilant, Vibrant, Pity, Cruel, Gone, Bullied, Mania, Eating Disorder, Protective, Uncomfortable, Adored, Invincible, Worthy, Poor, Religious, Empowered, Exiled, Resentful, Disgust, Delirious, Denial, Obsessed, Defensive, Destructive, Peaceful, Ecstatic, Lively, Exuberant, Wanted, Loyal, Curious, Tranquil, War, Worthless, Impatient, Sleepy, Passion, Zesty, Magical along with any other words I failed to mention. It's ok. You are not alone.

Bye 2021.

Part XIX: Vanilla winter waves

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I count say any other way- things I had no words for." -G. O'Keeffe 12/01/21

The wind and temperatures are starting to drop. The rain drops freezing into tiny pieces of art work. As we all now quote as the season approaches, "winter is coming". From our last conversation, guests, friends and family are all chiming in on the need for hair tips as we start to loose moisture and shine entering the colder seasons. Along with moisture concerns, some find this time to transition from lighter colors to darker, more seasonally richer tones. 

When it comes to the need of moisture, stick with products that help to target hydration vs protein. If you are not recommended a protein based product by your stylists/colorists, I would not recommend taking it upon yourself to prescribing a product as such. If you use too much protein in the hair, it can sensitize it = hair breakage. I would encourage doing a moisturizing at home mask (or a once a month in salon condoning treatment).

When you change your color from light to dark, fading can be a frustration that follows. If you are one to change like the colors of the season, chat with your hair professional about their favorite color depositing conditioner. One of my favorites is the WELLA COLOR FRESH MASKS . With easy to follow instructions, this is my new at home color care go to. 

'Tis the season that our hair needs some TLC. Using the above options is a hug of moisture or a color refresh your hair might be asking for.

Happy Hair days and from all of us here at J.L. Byrd, we celebrate you and another year. Seasons wishes and a happy and healthy New Year. 


Part XVIII: Cool Change

"No water, no life. No blue, no green."-S.Earle 11/2021

The holidays are upon us and it feels (for some) like things have returned to a stat of normalcy. Travel plans, holiday shopping, meal planning, or just staying where you are having another day. We all will be doing vastly different things but one this is for sure, while we continue to push through this pandemic to an endemic and enter the cooler seasons, moisture is a must. We are still actively washing our hands and I don't know about you, but mine are pretty thirsty. Drinking plenty of water throughout your day will help in hydration along with giving you a healthy glow. Water is the fountain of youth but at times, my hands need a little extra.  Recommendation for those thirsty hands....keep some form of moisturizing lotion or oil on you to keep your hands from cracking and your cuticles from screaming. Lotions with ingredients as Vitamin E, Aloe, Hemp, Chamomile, Rose, Shea Butter or Jojoba Oil (but not limited to) will help aid in hydration and extra perk; some of the above ingredients, such as aloe or chamomile, can give your hands much needed relief with soothing qualities.

Part XVII: Quién es esa niña?

"Whose that girl?" -Madonna 10/1/21

A few entries back, it was mentioned how our society bases value and credibility upon how many likes and/or followers we have acquired. A number, based on the imagery of perfection.

Now here we are. Absorbing damaging information and alarming facts; The Wall Street Journal broke word reveled by internal documents that Facebook is harmful to (teenage girls) self esteem. That mental health is on a collision course due to the the struggles of constant perfection being pushed into our psyche. We all know this. We all knew this. We all ignore it. We all ignored it. We all continue to participate in it and yet, where do we go from here?

It's time to unplug.

We need to start embracing and celebrating all that our journeys have to offer. It's not always going to be picture perfect, but isn't a picture worth a thousand words?

Part XVI: With great power comes great responsibility 

"All at once, summer collapsed into fall." -O. Wilde 9/1/2021

Another summer is coming to a close. This summer was supposed to be a summer like no other but September is here. Fashion week, the September issues and yet the streets of New York City feel more like a holiday weekend; Quiet. Along with not being 24/7 anymore, it's just different. While we all navigate our individual normals, a topic that has perked my ears is what it means to have a platform and a social media presence in the modern world we are in. Conversations on what it means, what responsibilities should be had, and when it is time to stop following.

Depending on your "pandemic", there are still an exuberant amount of individuals still looking for work, behind on bills, wondering what tomorrow is going to bring yet, continue to have hope that help is on the way. In times like these, following an "influencer" who has taken vacations, flouted social distancing, has an income that equates to wealth that could solve hunger issues, lives in a palatial set up and yet, complains. Complains about how hard it is to be stuck in their homes, not having a normal vacation, being a prisoner on acres and acres of land. When is enough enough?

Why do we continue to support and look up to individuals who don't do anything for society except take and expect more?

At this point in the game, it's time to start unfollowing this toxic "influence" and start looking at those that are trying to make a change and help. What ever that may be in your eyes, we need to start helping and supporting each other. We need to start embracing the human experience and start living it, before it's too late.


Part XV: Summers almost gone.

"Where will we be, when the summers gone." -The Doors 8/1/2021

As we continue to grow and navigate through the new world, the beauty industry continues to shift what tomorrow might look like. One thing is for sure, the hesitancy to normalcy is becoming a new wave of thinking. With this new wave, what is trending in the hair world is more manageable natural hair without loosing your style or your identity. Embracing your roots, embracing natural highlights and dabbling in the shades and hues of coppers. Such an exciting time to experiment with something new! While we cannot control the world, we can start to try and regain control of ourselves while embracing our individuality. Let's grow and continue to put our best forward. It's a new day and summer is almost gone.

Part XIV: Summer time time time. 

"I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free."-R. Parks 7/1/2021

An article circulating recently is that of a hairdresser who charged $2400 for a cut and color make-over (and they still managed to get some lightener on the guests shirt). The question at hand; was this client ripped off or not. As part of the masses were focused on "canceling" this hair artist, others came to their defense.

"This shouldn't have taken 13 hours," "this is a rip off," "this is overcharging" etc. With the before and after pictures showing an amazing transformation, why has it come to fruiting that hair artists need to defend their worth when it comes to their craft? It takes years of dedication, continued education and (at least) a year of commitment of time and money to receiving your cosmetology license.

This was a corrective color service, this was a service that can not be fixed with a little color over it, trim and on your merry way. For those that think  they can do it cheaper or themselves, then go for it! Good hair isn't cheap and cheap hair isn't good. When you discount yourself and go to a discounted hair coiffure and don't get the the results you wanted, you end up paying more to fix it.

Instead of attacking someone (is it jealousy?), maybe try asking " why do you charge the way you do". If you are in the chair of an honest cosmetologist, transparency will take over and an explanation will ensue as to why a licensed professional service can come at a cost.

Part XIII: June's in bloom

"June is the gateway to summer." -J. Hersey 6/1/2021

New York city is finally getting its groove back. The streets are starting to bustle and our chairs are getting busier. With this new outlook and the vibes that are following, you might be feeling like you need an all over change, refresher or inspiration; along with a much needed vent session when returning to your stylist. After the set appointment time, your look is finished, you tell your stylist you love it/thank you, check out and go on your merry way. You get home, see a friend, take a photo and realize, you HATE it. What do you do?

First let me address that this is the worst feeling for both parties. Our intention as hair designers is not to make you unhappy, we wouldn't be in this industry if we weren't people pleasers.... ask your stylists how many holidays/events/occasions they have missed to accommodate the needs of the industry.

First thing you should do is call and ask to speak with your stylists. First thing you shouldn't do is call and ask to speak with you stylists to then verbally attack them over the phone. (We want to help you, but this does not help the situation. We know you are upset, this is our work, we are upset too.) We are human, mistakes are made but we, as professionals, do have policies in place for corrections/adjustments/redo's. We want you to come back to us so we can fix our work; we want you to be honest as we are honest with you. If you are not comfortable returning to the said stylists, ask to see someone at the same salon and if you are ok with it, have the other stylist present so they can be shown how to achieve your requested look. If you are truly at a point that you just want to forget it all and move on, then yes, ask for a refund but note, this does not mean you should go on all your social media outlets and trash this person who has tried to appease the situation. If you are wanting this "move on" option, then hold your word to it.  If the professional has given you options to help, you shouldn't take that and be malicious with it.

When it comes to a service with an unhappy outcome, it can come down to a few things; expectations, reality, photo comparisons, maintenance, money, rushing the professional, first time client, long time client, filters, at home rituals, identity, no consultation (I consult with every client, no matter how long they have been in my chair), jumping from professional to professional (no consistency) and apprentice stylists vs stylists expectations.

I did leave one example out but am going to put it down with caution but we are being honest right? Though this last one is rare, there are clients who are so hard or unable to please that you (both professional and guest) may want to ask yourself, "Is this worth it for both parties?".

Part XII: May Day!

“Another May new buds and flowers shall bring: Ah! why has happiness no second Spring?-C.Smith 5/1/2021

Spring is springing here on this day of May in New York City. As we continue to creep back into a version of "normal", something in the world of beauty really caught my attention.

I am starting to see more and more "body inclusivity" and "real beauty" campaigns starting to gain some traction. Our attention is leaning further away from curated beauty to organic unedited unfiltered feeds of what our new day looks like.

If we are now focusing on things like "real beauty" concepts, why are we still valuing likes and followers to some sort of self worth? A like validates the brain just enough to release some good feeling chemicals yet that is supposed to impress to the extent of self worth? When are we really going to start normalizing it to be ok to be you? Is a picture worth a thousand words?

The first step for all of us is to start with ourselves and know that beauty does not have a definition or a one size fits all look. Then maybe, just maybe, we could share and harness that power to really make some change.

Part XI: April Fool's

“Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.” -T. Capote 4/1/2021

Do you ever wonder why your hair color doesn't look as vibrant or rich or cool in some lights? Where are you spending mot of your time now?

I have been getting requests and questions on how to enhance hair color due to noticeable dullness / lack of vibrancy while on zoom. (One day we will look back on this and go "remember zoom?") One way to correct this without asking your colorist to change your formula is to adjust your lighting while on zoom. Ring lights can make a huge difference but if you want to use what you have, get creative and take time to see which light and where look best. Another option is an at home toning conditioning rinse to use frequently to keep the color as fresh as possible in between appointments. A favorite range of mine is Davines Alchemic Systems. (Please advise if you want to achieve the best results, the shampoo must be used with the conditioner). Finally, ask your colorist to enhance what you are wanting to see more of. Know that we are not always around a filtered image so be advise that this also might come with additional at home and in salon rituals.

Part X: 1-800-273-8255

“When you're surrounded by all these people, it can be lonelier than when you're by yourself. You can be in a huge crowd, but if you don't feel like you can trust anyone or talk to anybody, you feel like you're really alone.” F.Apple 3/1/2021

This post talks about suicide and mental health. If you or anyone you know ifs suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-8255.

Depending on where you live, life has it's moments and stressors. Not sure about you, but living thought a pandemic has really brought to light some thought provoking conversations in the chair. As a hair coiffure, we tend to be the third party that our clients rely on to talk to. Sometimes about really heavy topics; sometimes light and sometimes nothing at all. I recently came across a list of (one of many) "things your hairdresser wants you to know or not do," kinda of tag line. I could give commentary on numerous points that other hair creatives have mentioned but one took me by surprise.

"You don't have to talk. You don't have to be silent. Just know that we are stylists first and not necessarily therapist. If you tell me you are suicidal, I'm not equipped to help you with that. We have a good chat. I can tell you about my struggle and you can tell me about yours, but really talk to someone who actually knows how to help and deal with that. It can be a very hard things for us to hear, too" (no name is needed)

Fact. We live in a world that being a hairdresser is more than doing hair. We have access to numerous platforms to better ourselves to understand the "I'm not equipped to help you with that" response. Sometimes what sets apart a hairdresser from a therapist is the pice tag. Maybe, this stylist could've stopped to consider, "is this a cry for help"? Mental health is so in the fore front of our daily lives now. It is not something we have to suffer alone. Yes we have to navigate through some major real life things but this person is not only in your chair paying you, but sees you as a friend. Think about it. If someone is trusting you with their image, don't you think at some point in your hair story together that life just gets too real and your guest is trying to relate? Can they afford therapy? Trying to not feel alone?

Sometimes it breaks down to this, a cry for help can be in many forms; sometimes as hairdressers nothing seems off limits in our chats. Know this, the person in your chair trusts you. As a hairdresser, it's an honor to build these connections and build such trust. Our craft for what we do for our guests is more than just a hair appointment.

If you or anyone you know ifs suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-8255.

Part VIIII: Lather, Rinse, Repeat

"My favorite thing about New York is the people, because I think they're misunderstood. I don't think people realize how kind New York people are."-B.Murray 2/1/2021

The city is slowly starting to stir. It is more in the winds with their cold sting. Not sure about you but I am so over wearing masks however, as the new normal presses on one thing is for sure, masks are here for a little while longer. If you are experiencing the dreaded "maskne", myself included, two things work best for me and continue to work. With the help of these products, this is my once a week skin savior to help me continue to prevent my maskne flare ups.  (Please note, if you are following any dermatologist regimens please consult before adjusting to anything recommended.) Exfoliate and hydrate. This is my mantra though this journey of clear skin. As a once a week nightly ritual, use your favorite facial exfoliant followed by a moisture rich face creme, lotion or serum of choice. One of my favorite combos is Lush Ocean Salt face and body scrub followed by Glossier Priming Moisture Rich. With the sooting affects of sea salt followed by that extra kiss of skin comfort from the lavender, this has been my lifeline. As we continue to continue, one thing is for sure, there are worse things than maskne, but I hope this helps.

Part VIII: As strong as an Ox

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."-R.W. Emerson 1/1/2021

Happy New Year. 

Part VII: Dear Diary,

"Tomorrow is gonna be a brighter day."-C. Stevens 12/31/2020

If your 2020 Experienced:
Happiness, Pride, Petrified, Possessive, Adoration, Enthralled, Pride, Fat, Distracted, Employed, Excitement, Addicted, Dopey, Peace, Satisfaction, Acceptance, Affection, Lean, Joy, Compassion, Adoration, Desire, Interest, Provoked, Wanted, Unemployed, Grateful, Jubilant, Love, Humble, Contentment, Empathetic, Amusement,  Appreciative, Confident, Optimistic, Exhausted, Cheerful, Carefree,Sweet, In-between, Kind, Loyal, Lust, Gladsomeness, Goofy, Inspired, Enchanted, Poor, Ethereal, Funny Friendly, Relief, Poor, Calm, Sensual, Awe, Warm, Romantic, Aware, Comfortable, Free, Courageous, Hopeful, Fascinated, Manic, Tender, Proud, Relief, Eager, Dispirited, Innocent, Insanity, Addiction, Sexy, Understanding, Patient, Surprised, Craving, Wonder, Amazed, Longing, Foolish, Mellow, High, Sentimental, Anew, Low, Focused, Determined, Fearful, Grieved, Distracted, Baffled, Needy, Lost, Self-pity, Pessimistic, Giddy, Crafty, Flirty, Hysteria, Withdrawal, Worried, Abandoned, Doubtful, Frazzled, Sorrow, Curious, Guilt, Apologetic, Horrified, Beautiful, Overwhelmed, Nervous, Homesick,Full, Anxious, Terrified, Cautious, Terrified, Panicked, Alienated, Challenged, Jealous, Neglected, Ugly, Fraud (feeling like a), Stressed, Agony, Empty, Shock, Depressed, Desperate, Confused, Alone, Tense, Hopeless, Weary, Uneasiness, Tense, Sympathetic,Suspicious, Paranoid, Reluctant, Skeptical, Sulkiness, Horror, Sadness, Unhappy, Hungry, Emptiness, Misery, Grateful, Abused, Merry, Somber, Foolish, Festive, Grim, Mourned, Objectified, Exploited, Forgotten, Hated, Abashed, Wanderlust, Aching, Insecure, Apathetic, Defeated, Pity, Submissive, Lonely, Heartbroken, Depressed, Wornout, Glum, Cowardly, Gloomy, Hurting, Disappointed, Tired, Melancholy, Lovesick, Leftout, Resigned, Miserable, Shy, Vulnerable, Yearning, Nostalgia, Remorse, Pensive, Reclusive, Protective, Dismay, Distress, Anger, Annoyed, Bitter, Frustrated, Dislike, Spite, Uncomfortable, Cold, Bitter, Infuriated, Rage, Cheated, Vengeful, Disgust, Animosity, Insulted, Envy, Uneasy, Loathe, Offended, Hopeless, Troubled, Embarrassed, Boredom, Wrath, Disapproval, Craving, Unwanted, Outrage, Awkward, Rich, Hatred, Resentment, Lazy, Mean, Hatred, Cranky, Grumpy, Aggressive, Body Dysmorphia, Horror, Vigilant, Vibrant, Pity, Cruel, Gone, Bullied, Mania, Eating Disorder, Protective, Uncomfortable, Adored, Invincible, Worthy, Poor, Religious, Empowered, Exiled, Resentful, Disgust, Delirious, Denial, Obsessed, Defensive, Destructive, Peaceful, Ecstatic, Lively, Exuberant, Wanted, Loyal, Curious, Tranquil, War, Worthless, Impatient, Sleepy, Passion, Zesty, Magical along with any other words I failed to mention. It's ok. You are not alone.

Adieu 2020.

Part VI: It's that time of year

"When your lips get dry, is there anything more frantic?"-Emily Weiss 12/01/2020

The holiday season is here and it is defiantly feeling different. No holiday parties. No date nights in the many decorated establishments that glitter with lights and cheer. We are forced to find it elsewhere.

As J.L. Byrd continues to follow guidelines recommended during COVID-19, we continue to be thankful and grateful for the outpour of support and loyalty. Though it all feels different, this doesn't warrant us to not take care ourselves.

As the season changes, some (I included) will encounter dry scalp issues. Two of my favorite go to's are Briogeo Scalp Massager and Christophe Robin's Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt

Sometimes I use them together and other times I use them separately. When my scalp is in need during such dry times, this helps the exfoliation process along.

If used together, start on wet hair, apply quarter size of Christophe Robin Cleaning Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt. Lather then massage into your scalp with the Briogeo Scalp Massager. Follow with conditioner of choice. If separately, use the Christophe Robin Cleaning Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt as your shampoo followed with your conditioner of choice. If you feel you need the extra exfoliation, incorporate the Briogeo Scalp Massager. Also note "the Briogeo Scalp Massager can be used alone on a dry scalp or paired with shampoo, oil, or treatment for a massage therapy experience in or out of the shower." P.S. If you are a no-poo fanatic like me, this can be incorporated into your no-poo lifestyle.

Season's Greetings and continued thanks from all of us at J.L.Byrd

Part V: You don't own me

"The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” - Ida B. Wells 11/01/2020


Part IV: Fairest of the Seasons

"My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent." -R.B. Ginsberg 10/01/2020

Summer has ended. A forgotten time when our hair would absorb the flirtatious rays of the sun. Those endless summers.... the summers of yore.

One noticeable difference with this forgotten summer is the new rituals we are embracing. "Your hair feels amazing! What are you doing differently?" I ask in sheer joy. "I stopped shampooing everyday." My cosmetologist dreams have been answered!

Since the beginning of my career I have been a dedicated "no poo" junky. Your hair does not need daily shampooing as this can cause issues like dryness, brittleness, over proteinized tendrils and loss of shine and luster but not limited to. On top of that, if you color your hair, shampooing everyday can make your color fade quicker!

What is refreshing to know is that your hair can be trained to embrace this new no poo lifestyle. Hey, I workout everyday and still enjoy being a no poo enthusiast. Just rinsing, exfoliating my scalp and putting a finishing oil in my hair has an uptown finish with a downtown approach.

I would recommend if you want to try this, start by alternating your shampoo with conditioner. Day One: Shampoo normally. Day Two: Use a little conditioner on your scalp and exfoliate. Rinse and style as usual. Day Three: Shampoo normally and so on and so forth until you are able to start rinsing in-between shampoos vs using conditioner on your scalp. Be patient. This will not be an over-night miracle but a little patience added to the process will make the experience less frustrating when you have those "bad hair days".

Part III: New Beginnings

"Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind."-B. Lee 9/1/2020

The fleeting of that warm summer breeze and the subtle change of temperatures; September has arrived with a soft welcome in NYC.

The industry is still reeling from the new normal. September issues are coming out yet the fashion industry is still at a halt. Should we adjust our look with the season? What is the season of quarantine?

Beauty is evolving. We cannot unsee these changes. As we have continued into the new normal, a noticeable amount of color requests have been evolving. Such services, including but not limited to, are grey/gray blends/reductions, less chemical use, brightness, tonal adjustments and highlight changes... the sudden need for change is real. Why is this urge to Phoenix out so strong?

The current affairs that we are continually seeing unfold daily are not within our control. The decision to change your hair, or keep it the same, is your own. You trust your hairstylist, we appreciate that, yet have made the choice. It can be incredibly freeing.

Some of these choices involving your hair, such as hair loss, growing out chemical adjustments, internal change and more, can also not be within your control. We are here to support and embrace the best you while this is occurring. Your hairdresser might be more than just someone who attends to your hair needs. They might have experience in these fields, have other clients that have through it, or they themselves have knowledge on the topic.

Part II: The Norm

Isn't it pretty to think so?" -E. Hemingway 8/1/2020

We have entered the new normal. The beauty industry has defiantly felt a shift and not in a cosmic awakening that most of us relish in. With the hot topics of the modern world shaping or reshaping our opinions, where (or should I ask how) does the beauty industry organically and responsibly embrace this new normal?

Within our education, whether the first day of our cosmetology career or within the however many plus years behind the chair, we are informed of what is appropriate chair talk and inappropriate chair talk. Everything is deemed appropriate except these three topics… Politics, Religion, and Sex. Yes, these are the three things that we have been taught that we can’t (or shouldn’t) discuss. 

While some of us run to the salon to get away from our daily lives including the current air of topics, some of us love nothing more than to discuss, debate, ask for advice or just vent about said topics but not limiting to. Where do these lines start to blur, in particular if it comes down to how one’s beliefs might be viewed as controversial.  

What can be deemed appropriate and inappropriate? Is it just that we keep our conversations, even taboo, to a murmur? What if such topics affected the culture in which we spend most of our time in? When you sit in our chair, when we walk into our “salon space” ourselves, there is a connection. Shouldn’t your hairdresser and salon be a safe space? 

Opinions vary, as they will continue to but one thing we can all agree upon; Always know your audience.

Part I: the intro

Out of the Chair, into the blog 7/1/2020

Hello and welcome to Conversations in the Chair; A place where beauty evolves the norms towards paths unknown.

Observation. I found the beauty industry to be more exclusive than inclusive. The barriers that appeared were all based on something; race, age, gender, looks, likes... you name it. An industry that should be welcoming to all, professionals and non professionals alike (hello! these lovely humans need us and our expertise!), seemed to be closing doors for those that didn't fit "the mold”. (This statement might sound familiar.) 

Stories and moments, ideas and life are shared in the chairs that I have and continue to stand behind/beside or right in front; sometimes sans chair. Our journeys can be vastly different or very similar. Conversations in the Chair might sound like someone else’s story. A story might sound like a broken record as you may have heard something like it before. Conversations in the Chair is about sharing the beauty within theses beautiful moments while enhancing our outermost. 

My name is Lindsay Loo. I am a Wella Advanced Educated Color Expert and Renegade stylist located in the heart of New York City. My career has taken me all over the world with one thing in common, how can I (we) make the beauty experience more beautiful? The journey led me to realizing it didn’t stop at hair. It was the human experience. Connecting. Learning. All of it. 

I am not sure where this blog is going to take us. It is the start of something that we will have to let grow, evolve and bloom into what it wants to be. All I know is I am here to share stories, experiences, beauty tips, beauty advice and how our journey’s connects us.    


The content displayed on the website is the intellectual property of JL Byrd. You may not reuse, republish, or reprint such content without our written consent. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information on this website, you do so at your own will. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.We reserve the right to change this policy at any given time.