Sit with me

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Jules red ombre

Ahoy all you good rats out there. Tonight I’m writing a most exciting entry.

As many of you know I’ve been working hard at the salon taking on some really exciting projects. Sure they’re technical and require focus and quick thinking. But there’s another side to working the chair. The most important side.

Taking care of our guests.

I know I talk a lot about the role of service and how important it is to me. Yet without it, my job as your stylist is pretty empty.

Many of my guests are close friends of mine and visiting me for a session in the shop is an extension of what we do together.

Yet, so many of the people I serve come in as total strangers. And I have a limited time to become someone familiar and trusted to them. Isn’t that a bit unsettling when you think about it?

One of the biggest critiques of salons and stylists I hear is that the impersonal and cold treatment really spoiled the experience for many.

My good friend Paul always affirms that a solid product is based in the even richer and greater experience surrounding the product…no matter what the product may be.

And you know what? He’s right. There’s no replacing a bad experience. And there is no reason for me to ever give anything but the most attentive and authentic experience I can.

With that being said, I want to tell a story about the red ombre you see above.

Jules came to me for her hair color by referral from one of my most treasured people ever, Cassie. Jules drove for many miles for me specifically to color her hair.

When meeting her for the first time, I had to not only provide the final results of vibrant color and professional hair health….but I had to provide the most critical piece of making sure Jules felt at ease and excited about her visit. Since fashion color work ranges between. 3-6 hours in the salon. That’s a long time to spend with a brand new person, especially one performing intricate levels of hair chemistry on one’s scalp.

Like a good coach,  the stylist must know which stories to tell and which questions to ask to help build rapport and trust…..as written in such sterile language in every cosmetology textbook.

To me….it goes beyond that. Sitting down with me for your session means sitting down with the best version of myself that I can offer. Hair Forever is my house and when you visit me, I want you to feel at home. I want you to see your place in the tradition and history of Hair Forever.

The process of getting to know each guest is one of my favorite parts of what I do. 

The role of stylist truly is hanging out with your friends and creating meaningful and beautiful art together.

So I will close with this thought:

I take my time and craft your hair magic because I care more about the person than I do the procedure. I never rush because while you’re on my time, I aim to give you all of my time.

You sit with me and we create together. I was never the fastest stylist but I’d like to think I’m the one you can relax with.

I love what I do and I love each and every chance I get to connect with you.

This is mr phil signing off

See In Color

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Color Banner

Greetings to all you good rats out there.

Tonight. We talk color.

As long as I can recall, hair color as an art has fascinated me. I never knew the science that sent into it nor did I fully understand its complexities until hair school.

The irony is that I’ve worn fashion color in my hair on and off since some time around 1995.

Yes it is a complicated process to color hair. Chemistry, math, color theory and thermal reactionary knowledge all are used simultaneously in the time your hair is being colored.

It is a field so rich in skill and precision that smell stylists only work with color as their full time job…

Yet….
So many people experience the initial ease of store bought box dye. And only for them to later deal with the long term hair health risks of store bought box dye.

Many of my color service appointments are complicated by box dye’s aggressive and chemically abrasive nature. Box dye chemicals work in similar fashion to the road priming liquid sprayed down on highways prior to snow storms. Metallic salts penetrate deep into your hair and deposit all sorts of long lasting chemicals.

I am open with my pricing and services on my menu.

Box dye can make a $65 color service turn into a $200 service because of all the steps needed to take to:

1. Remove the box color as best I can
2. Treat the hair to maintain strength and integrity
3. Correct as much of the remaining color as best as I can
4. Match the color shades to your desired level
5. Deposit and tone your final new color.
6. Condition the hair and rebuild protein bonds

The work to correct box color is mighty.

So next time the big companies on TV show you their newest campaign for whatever over the top color scheme they are offering. …remember that box color may do things to your hair that may never be fully reversed.

I myself love performing color services. I’d do it every day without ever getting bored. The artistry and precision of it all is simply envigorating to me.

The blend of science and art is truly unique.
From simple streaks to full coverage I love bringing the color to your hair.

This is mr phil signing off, 

Service Over All

Hello all you good rats out there,

I cut, color, and treat hair.

That is the shortest explanation of what I do for a career.

Yet, there is much much more involved when I take a guest at my chair.

I greet you and make sure you are welcomed and comfortable.

I seat you and ask how your day is going…out of genuine interest.

I ask you “what are we going to do today?”….giving you the chance to lead.

I drape you in a fashionably rugged black plastic cape…and begin the process of seeing that you’re relaxed and allowed to unplug.

You see…I was gifted with the love of service. I don’t do hair because I have to, I do it because it is one of the deepest ways I know how to help people.

My love for hair work extends long past the technical applications of shear and color to your hair.

I give you permission to be yourself and to discover yourself by way of your hair adventure with me.

The technical knowledge and skills are simply vehicles for you to find your way to a better version of yourself.

Many people come to me asking for my trusted opinions because unfortunately…..too many other stylists have let them down. Now, I cannot promise that I will never fail you….but I CAN promise that I will do everything within my power to grant you the integrity and respect you deserve in pursuit of completing your service.

Life is complicated…yet, when you sit for me…I aim to bring some solace to your complex life.

In short….a session with me is not rooted in dollars, countless guests, or record beating service times…no….it is rooted in creating a place in time for you to feel good about who you are…or who you want to be.

I offer you my skills and my hands….in return, I ask you to take a moment from your complex life and allow me to serve.

 

This is Mr Phil signing off,

 

Salon Sunday Plans

Hot coffee..falling snow….and event planning: that is my day for today.

I had the idea for Salon Sunday about a month ago while I was at the ‘other’ shop. I took 3 guests that Sunday and they were all for varied services. The common theme was that all 3 were from my women’s client-base.

The idea was to open the shop on select Sundays for specific themed services/groups.

So here we are…a week away from our first Salon Sunday at Hair Forever!

The above image gives you the run down of the back to back Salon Sunday events I’ll be hosting. January 31 for the guys….and February 7 for the ladies.

GOOD GROOMING FOR GOOD GUYS – Sunday January 31, 2016 from 1pm-4pm @ Hair Forever: 374 New Haven Ave, Milford CT 06460

This day is dedicated to the guys and showing off a collection of mini-services they can enjoy in between full hair cuts!

You see, not every visit to me requires a full cut.

I’ll offer discount pricing on

  • Hot lather neck shaves
  • Steam towel scalp treatments
  • Beard Trims/Edge Ups

It’ll be an awesome day filled with product demos, mini-services, and great stories.

WOMEN’S CONSULT DAY – Sunday February 7, 2016 from 1pm-4pm @ Hair Forever: 374 New Haven Ave, Milford CT 06460

Often times, many of my women guests have questions about their color, cut, styling, and hair health. So, I thought ‘why not offer an entire day just to the consultation?”

From what my women guests tell me, too often other stylists fail to offer a thorough consultation to guests. That is a very risky scenario, setting up both stylist and guest for disaster. You see, success comes from solid planning. The more I know of your hair health and hair goals….the better our final results will be.

I’ll be offering:

  • Free Q&A consults in the chair
  • Discounted mini-services on
    • Deep Conditioning
    • Bang Trims
  • Special event gift package prices for future services

Also, you’ll get to see how some of my favorite products from TIGI really do make hair come back to life!

 

Book your slot for either event by emailing HOVEY.PHIL@GMAIL.COM

OR

calling/texting 203-0903-6681

I have to say…I am most excited to offer these events to you guys. Building up your hair health is my #1 concern as your barber stylist.

See you on Salon Sunday!

 

this is Mr. Phil signing off,

Hair Repair: Sara

Good evening everyone…Mr Phil here

As we brace for a mega blast of winter in Connecticut, I thought I’d take time and write about one of my most proud moments as a stylist.

The lines between barber and hair stylist are more blurry now than ever. I’ve recently thrown myself back into the world of hairdressing. I have too many interests to limit myself in any way.

So when Sara came to me with a unique challenge, I gladly and confidently accepted.

I often am asked “How do I know it is time to switch stylists?”. That is a very valid question.

In Sara’s case….color procedures, hair cuts, and bleaching sessions done to her by other stylists left Sara scared to venture to a new stylist…trust had been broken. So turning to box color and over the counter hair care products was really the only answer.

The scary thing is, that once stylist-guest trust is broken…it is incredibly hard to rebuild.

I knew the back story going into Sara’s consultation. So when I had a chance to examine her hair for color, texture, and over all integrity….a plan had to be formulated efficiently and decisively.

I won’t bore you all with the technical details of what had to happen…but I will say this….the above before-after photos you see came in the span of 2 sessions…of 3+ hours each.

The simple ‘cut & color’ menu certainly does not cover what was needed to get Sara’s hair back to health. Instead, I came up with a care plan of cut, new home care, color, deep conditioning, and extensive future goals for Sara.

The importance of hair health really matters to me.

Your stylist is supposed to look out for your hair health on the regular. Not just ‘cut & color’ your hair when you are ready. Hair health matters to me because if I see or notice something that may adversely affect your hair cut/color/style….I am going to speak up.

A lot happens when you see me for a service. I look beyond the obvious and want to provide you with the most complete service I can, even it takes a bit longer….I’d rather you leave happy and healthy each time. My methods are designed to find you as many benefits as possible…and then deliver the cut, color, treatment or service you seek.

Switching stylists is something that I invite you to try…only if:

  1. you feel like there is an added benefit you are not getting with your current stylist
  2. there is some sort of feature or service that is solely granted by a particular stylist
  3. you are not fully happy with the service you are getting or if something seems amiss every time you sit for a particular stylist
  4. your current stylist admits that he/she cannot deliver services you are interested in

In Sara’s case, simply performing the bare minimum of coloring her hair….was not ethically OK by me. I knew that good color could not fix the damaged hair.

Previous color, thermal damage, and remnants of poorly executed haircuts required I dig deeper…I took a chance and offered my best professional opinion, despite it being tough news to hear.

And with that…I am proud to report that Sara’s hair is leaps and bounds healthier because our plan was solid. A good consultation, test chemical strand, and accurate methods took longer….but the health of Sara’s hair and self confidence too will stick around longer.

I invite you all to come in and see me for your next service. I am honored to be your barber-stylist.

 

This is Mr Phil signing off,

 

Upon My Return (part I: hair)

Ahoy all you good rats out there! I’m back with a pretty introspective entry, in hopes of keeping this blog going strong in its early stages.

My day has been one of looking back so that I can look forward.

Life changed dramatically and suddenly on Wednesday January 6, 2016 when I was forced to take decisive action and leave a very toxic and unethical situation. With all my salon gear packed into boxes and cases…I was a barber without a home only for a short while…I was temporarily a photographer without a set.

Life does not always hand us the circumstances we may want. Yet, for me at least….life is better now than I’d ever expected. BECAUSE of the changes…..when faced with trouble there are 2 choices…

  1. grow from devastation and rise above it to new heights
  2. allow the trouble to defeat, crush, and demean us

I my friends…aim to grow.

Through the graces of whatever you pray to..in my case Grandpa Joe (my great Grandfather, who was the barbering pioneer in my family)…I was invited back home to Hair Forever to take back my chair. And you know what, I took that invitation with the deepest sense of honor I could.

in this week back at Hair Forever, I have learned so many things….perhaps not new methods or techniques….but I’ve learned more about myself than the craft.

Before I continue…I want to say this: I will not shed any details on the exact nature of situation I was forced to leave. I will not give those parties the satisfaction of discussing the disturbing lack of ethics they perpetrated against me.

I will only speak of the positive experiences I have had since that day.

Hair Forever….as many of you know, is the shop I grew up in. Owner, Bette Scott, cut my hair for over 20 years in the very shop I now once again reside in. So now on my 2nd tour there…here are some things I learned upon my move back in.

  • My talents and passions are never limited or discouraged at Hair Forever
  • My style of cutting hair is unique and the people who enjoy what I do, are all part of the successes I’ve had…regardless of where I work
  • I am fortunate to always have a chair at the ready at Hair Forever and graced by good light and a drawer to call my own
  • Hair color is once again possible for me
  • Every guest that sits for me is treated like an old friend
  • Seeing piles of hair hit the floor is oddly satisfying while I cut
  • Good product, great service and grand respect are what you can expect when you sit with me

When I took to my first day back, I was nervous…nervous for some reason that I didn’t fit in….yet, I met a new guest and made sure he left more than happy with his new hair cut. And so it began…me picking up the game right where I’d left off. I knew I was home.

I came back to Hair Forever more sure of my tools, more steady of hand, and more focused of mind. I think if anything…in the West Haven fiasco, I learned how to trust my instincts and rely on my training to complete any service without fail.

To come back and pick up the color brushes again and create my first full head of hair color in many months was an awakening for me. It made me realize that the world still has a spot for me as colorist.

For those of you reading this entry by way of Facebook, you have now seen the list of very significant people who made this week the epic success that is has been. I want to thank each and every one of you for the push to rise above the horrible incidents of last week….and to defy the critics as I found my place back among the ranks.

To you all….I extend my deepest gratitude.

And for those who have not yet joined me at the salon for some service….come down, try me out and we’ll have a great time. I promise.

To the future…we look back so we can look forward.

 

This is Mr Phil signing off,

 

 

All New Again

Hello, my name is Mr. Phil Hovey.

I am many things….but most of all, I am a creator.

One might say I am destined to create in anything I do…never content with staying idle, I seek opportunities to make something out of nothing….or to modify what is in front of me.

Many years ago, I ran a blog called “Find Your Light”..where I talked about the inspirational facets of the photography world. The blog took on a few iterations before I felt completely satisfied with its output.

Once I began my journey into the world of hair cutting as a barber, Find Your Light felt too strictly photo related….yet starting a secondary hair blog felt contrived.

Many people run super successful singled ended blogs. I however, cannot be single ended. I am multi faceted….so it is my hope that this new site will bring about a free and fluid manner of expression from me…to you.

My work as a barber-stylist takes place at Hair Forever in Milford CT. I grew up in this salon, from the time I was in middle school to my early 30s, my hair was cut by Hair Forever owner Bette Scott. She now has taken in me in as one of her team members. I couldn’t be happier there.

As a photographer, I work everywhere…the world is my studio…and from time to time I set up within 4 physical walls to bring to life my special kind of studio magic.

Those are details about myself that you all may know. I am always up to creating something with hair or photography.

Yet, what you may not know is that deep down inside….I’m pretty introverted and despite the bold ways you are accustomed to….I enjoy taking time to myself and planning almost every concept…pen to paper, thought to theory…I do so much behind the scenes work prior to launching a new plan.

For so long…I tried to keep separate my barber and photography careers. It seemed like a good idea at the time…yet, the two worlds are greatly intertwined for me. Photography lead me into hair cutting…and now hair cutting features much of my photography. So this new site is a welcomed change where I can seamlessly blend those worlds together into a perfect storm…mixing together all my creativity.

Well, here we are at the end of my first entry…and I guess I have said a lot without really saying much about myself. Keep posted, as in the days to come…I’ll add some new thoughts for you…and maybe even some new photos.
Till then……

This is Mr Phil signing off,