A Little Hair Help

Fusion Stylist

Hair extension questions answered. Trends explored before you commit to them. Products tested and reviewed.


Filtering by Category: gift ideas

Boutique Salons

There are specialty salons popping up all across the country. These salons are catering to specific needs that their clients may have and also highlighting the specific talents that a stylist or a team of stylists cares about the most. Unfortunately none of these boutique salons exist in Boise, ID yet, but I am sure it won't be long.

Blow-out Bar

This type of salon specializes in a finished look. They specialize obviously in the blow-out which is a blow dry style that leaves your hair very voluminous, shiny and sexy for a couple days or one hard night! Some Blow-out Bar Boutiques are also offering extensions, up-dos, conditioning treatments, or skin care services. 

The convenience offered is a quick style, easy to obtain appointments most days of the week and trendy amenities, such as iPads or iPods at each station and espresso. Sounds fun! Check out this Blow Dry Bar in Scottsdale, AZ called Primp and Blow 

Color Bar

This is a salon specializing only in color. Many color clients feel the same way about what they want in their color. They want it cheap, they want it fast, they want it perfect and they want it to last. Certain salons are now catering specifically to the color market. They want to offer technically advanced haircolor done quickly. What is there not to love about beautiful haircolor that is affordable and uncomplicated?

By offering only color these boutique color bars are able to speed up the process of an appointment which translates to a lower bill for the client. For complete ease of access clients may not even have to book an appointment, just drift in when the mood (or the gray) strikes them.

Here's an example of a color only salon in Toronto, Canada called Color Lab 12.

Braids, Buns and Pony's

These salons offer a new menu of affordable services specifically for a finished look. So what is on the menu? Typically you will find about 20-30 different braid, bun and ponytail options, including trendier options like the sock bun or the messy bun. Since these looks can usually be achieved in 15-20 minutes and require little product the price will be low. Stylist also offer tips on how to re-create a simpler version of this for an at home attempt or tools to take home to re-create the look (i.e. the sock in the sock bun). Products are going to be a key element of styling any of these looks so be prepared to shell out more $ on retail than on the actual style itself. 

Here's an example of a Braid, Bun and Pony Style Bar called Lukaro in Beverly Hills, CA

So which one would you be the most tempted to try?

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Gifts that no girl wants

You're thinking, great Christmas is almost here and I had better get something for my gal, but I have no ideas. Well let me steer you far away from these ones. 

Psychic fair

A gift certificate for a psychic. This will only make us ask questions about your future, or better yet our future without you in it.

Camelback hydration pack

Camelback hydration pack

The hydration pack that you want for yourself because you found such a sweet deal on it. Nope, don't want it. I actually had this happen to me. 

Richard Simmons

Bad workouts we can do at home. Really any at home exercise motivation will be taken the wrong way. If your girl is really into exercising already get her a gift card at a local exercise store.

Act like a lady think like a man

Self help books in general are a bad, bad gift idea. This has got to be one of the worst, especially if it's given to a woman from a man.

Kay Jewlers

Ugly jewelry. This is the biggest waste of money. Honestly I have never met a woman who is just longing for any pre-designed piece of bling from Kay jewelers. Their slogan "Every kiss begins with Kay" is enough to make any girl throw up in their mouth a little. Don't do it.

Kegel Bells

Kegel weights. Let's face it guys, you are never going to have the sex life of your dreams, and neither are we. Lugging home vaginal dumb bells are definitely going to decrease your odds of getting any closer to that dream.


Household cleaning gifts are the lamest. Come on. If you really feel like your house needs a new vacuum get it for the family or for yourself, but do not buy this as your wife, girlfriend, lover gift. Unless it is the most bad ass vacume (Dyson) and attached to it is a note saying "I will be doing the majority of the vacuuming this year, so you can catch up on your self-help books or kegel exercises".

Colon Hydrotherapy Kit

Do it yourself Colon Hydrotherapy kit. This is the worst by far. Although I think it would make a great white elephant gift. I just liked the picture. 

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The gifts all girls want

Many of us are trying to come up with the perfect gift for friends and family this season. Sometimes it can be really fun and other times it can feel like you are just spending money on something because "you're supposed to". I don't like feeling that way. I love to fill my online shopping cart with all sorts of items, some for me, some for them, some for me. Basically I just shop for myself and give them gifts to other people and then if they don't like it I can always relieve them of it. I think most people are pretty please with the gifts, because I only want the best for myself. So here are some ideas for all the people in your life.

For the concert, theater, museum, sporting event junkie in your life.

Mini raspberry bush for your gardener of limited space, time or energy.

The most delicious coffee delivered to a bean connoisseur.

For the friend who is always bringing you the pastries she doesn't want to eat all by herself.

The book lover who never feels too old to enjoy Roald Dahl.

For the gal who has a few secrets to keep, it has a lock!

Girl who is always on the go, but still wants to look damn good!

Your friend who is always smelling so good and is looking for something new.

More gift ideas to come...
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Creating an experience you crave

What is it about the salon that leaves us wanting more? What is it about any business that makes us want to return? The product, or end result is ultimately the reason for the visit, but it's all the small courtesies that make the big difference. So let me tell you what you have been missing at Platinum Beauty Lounge by having your hair done elsewhere.

Prior to your arrival you will receive a e-mail, text, or phone call reminder, whichever you prefer.

Platinum Beauty Lounge Boise, ID
  • You are offered a beverage from our lounge area. We serve beer, wine, tea, hot chocolate, white chocolate mocha, vanilla caramel coffee, regular coffee, soft drinks and ice cold water.
  • A proper consultation is conducted.
  • Enjoy a hand or scalp massage
  • Superior massage and rinse at the shampoo bowl
  • Bang up service in color, cut, and/or extensions
  • Attention to detail
  • Bombshell blow-dry and style
  • Detailed information about the products that would work perfectly for you
  • Speedy checkout and rebook
Call now to book your holiday appointments! Limited space is available. 208.841.1090
Platinum Beauty Lounge located on 1020 W.  Main St
Jennifer Bridges station Platinum Beauty Lounge Boise, ID
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LUSH Cosmetics

I stumbled upon LUSH Cosmetics when I was in Seattle recently. The exterior of the store called to me "come in, come buy something" so when I stepped in I was already excited. They have piles of fresh handmade soaps, creamy face wash bars, shampoo bars and all sorts of other goodies. The staff was very friendly and upon learning that it was my fist time in the store they gave me a quick run down of they products that they loved the most, although it seemed rather hard for them to choose. Another perk of the company is that almost everything is Vegetarian and quite a few products are Vegan. I can't wait to gift them to my friends for Christmas.

I was drawn to the facial products because I tend to have too many shower items already, but now I want a great deal more, o.k. I want everything. I am already planning my return to the store when I am back in February because I can't wait to get my hands on some of the fresh face masks that aren't sold online. I have actually had dreams about shopping here again, that's how pleasant it was. When I woke up I felt like a home-sick kid longing for the comforts of their familiar territory. So I felt the next best thing to fulfill that craving would be to place a on-line order. Here are a few of the items on my long list.

Sexy Peel, LUSH 

Big fragrant blocks of colorful soap. All Soaps are vegetarian. Most are vegan too. Try this one SEXY PEEL a combination of organic orange and lime juices. 

Curly Wurly, LUSH

CURLY WURLY is packed full of creamed coconut and coconut oil for healthy hair and scalp. It's also loaded with fresh eggs and hand mashed avocado butter to give moisture back to the hair

Big Shampoo, LUSH

BIG is a va-va-volumizing sea salt shampoo. Using a seaweed infusion and citrus juices for incredible shine and sea salt to de-grease hair and remove dead skin cells.

Ma Bar, LUSH

MA BAR Is a fresh handmade bubble bar for your bath or shower. This one is a scrumptious chocolate caramel scent with a lump of brown sugar in the middle.

Dream Cream, LUSH

DREAM CREAM is nothing short of a miracle product. This cream has been making skin care dreams come true for years now. It is a combination of lavender, chamomile, and rose absolute in a soothing oat milk base. You can use it all over your body and face. This is LUSH's number one best selling product of all time!!

Sacred Truth, LUSH

Fresh Handmade Face Masks: These masks are so scrumptious and fresh that they are only sold in the stores. They are stored in a mini refrigerator at each location and I was so sad to learn they couldn't be shipped because I would have purchased at least 4-5 more of them when on location. So if you ever do make it into a store, our closest locations are Salt Lake City, Portland, and Seattle, stock up. My favorite is SACRED TRUTH which is a brightening, restorative mask. It's so hard to choose between the 9 that they offer. Why not purchase all of them?

Tell me which products you would choose?

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Kevin.Murphy White Color Bug

I am eagerly waiting for my share of the Kevin.Murphy White Color Bug. It should be arriving in the stores next week! If you would like me to reserve one for you, let me know ASAP. I will only be able to get a few and they will be gone within days.

Here is what you can use it for:

  • Use as a base layer on dark hair, this will make the purple, pink or orange color bug brighter.
  • Use as a base layer on lighter color hair. It will make any other color on top look very vivid
  • Create platinum highlights on any color hair with no chemical damage.
  • Use on blonde root regrowth to disguise those roots and extend time between appointments.
  • Use as a dry shampoo in any color hair.
KEVIN.MURPHY Holiday White Bug

Here is the best application technique for pops of color:

  • Use a pomade as a base, it will hold the color longer and give the powder a substance to adhere to making the color brighter and more noticeable.
  • Section your hair, somewhat isolating the pieces that you want to color. You can do just the tips, or ends of a larger section of your hair, or individual long strands.
  • Take your favorite pomade, mine is Kevin Murphy Sticky.Business, grab a half dime sized amount, place it in your palm and rub your palms together. Rub them like your are applying lotion to just your palms, keep rubbing until the pomade is no longer white, but is clear in appearance.
  • Apply the pomade to your determined  sections by smoothing downward in the direction of the cuticle and sort of smearing the paste in like lotion for your hair.
  • Take the cap off of the color bug and place the colored chalk piece against your section, using your fingers apply pressure to the hair using the color bug as the backing. This will get a nice thick coating of chalk on the hair. Repeat until desired depth of color is achieved.
  • If you are going for a second color on top I would reapply the pomade to your hair and then repeat the application process, but don't make your hair look greasy with too much pomade.
  • Keep your hands off it for the rest of the evening and I would shy away from light colored shirts so you don't get residual color on them.
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How to Choose a Shampoo

It's a daunting task, even for me because there are just too many options. Even if you decide that you like a brand they usually have 10-20 different options for you to choose from. Why so many options?

First of all you have to decide what it is you are struggling with, let me give you some examples

  • You want cleaner hair
  • You want bigger hair
  • You want skinnier hair
  • You want more hair
  • You want your hair to be less frizzy
  • You want you hair to feel less dry
  • You want to protect your color
  • Your scalp itches or you think you might have some flakes
  • You don't know what you want but you just don't want to spend too much or buy cheap shampoo.

Lucky for you most higher end shampoos are multi-taskers so you may only need one or two in your arsenal to satisfy your needs all year round. 

These are the products my clients are purchasing the most of...

Kevin Murphy Angel Wash: This is a product that helps your hair become bigger, fuller, more voluminous. Often considered a volumizing shampoo but it is so much more. It protects that beautiful color you have in your hair. It helps to heal and repair any damage that is happening to your hair, and unless its a pixie cut there is damage. This shampoo also helps to control frizz and reduce breakage. I'm sure you're dying to use it already.

DS-Laboratories Revita Shampoo: If you are concerned with hair loss, hair thinning, or excessive shedding, this is the shampoo for you. This hydrates, feeds, and stimulates the hair follicle to reactivate the growth cycle that is either too short or lying dormant in the follicle. This will also help protect your color and prevent damage although if you are struggling with frizz you might want to consider rotating this in with your other shampoo.

DS-Laboratories Dandrene: If your scalp is occasionally itchy or you are seeing some flakes this is the product to try. Not only does it calm inflammation and itching but it helps to rid your scalp of the fungi (I know it sounds gross, but everybody has fungi on their scalp, sometimes it just gets out of control) and control excessive oil on your scalp. It also calms inflammation and itching so you won't feel embarassed by those flakes. 

Kevin Murphy Maxi-Wash: If you want your hair clean, like really clean, squeaky clean this is the shampoo for you. It will remove product buildup without removing color. It will remove chlorine from blonde hair, it will remove all the sweat from dancing, the stale club smell, the old hairspray and glitter leftover from the weekend. It removes buildup of chemicals that you didn't even know were there. It also contains a natural antiseptics to detoxify the hair and scalp.

Kevin Murphy Born Again: This is an ultra rich moisturizing shampoo for tortured or chemically dehydrated hair. It is wonderful if your hair feels crispy, dry, lifeless, dull or in general uncooperative. We all have our days. This shampoo acts like a conditioner. Also if you feel like your hair has too much body or fly away feeling it is craving moisture and this might just be the drink it needs.

If you have other questions concerning other brands or problem you are experiencing with your shampoo please let me know and I will guide you towards a wise choice.

Side note: Don't ever purchase a 2 in 1 shampoo, they don't exist, it's a myth.

Don't forget to read: How to wash your hair

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Fall means lots of birthdays, including mine!! What makes you feel good on you birthday? Is it a phone call from a friend, a specially chosen gift, nobody remembering your birthday (that's only nice after the age of 35)?

Well here are some suggestions for a few good gifts:

For the friend who is into their skin: Dry brush and almond oil


For the friend who loves to make smoothies: PB2, powdered Coconut Water, Berries and this amazing Smoothies book

For the friend who loves technology: iTunes gift card, c'mon who doesn't want this?

For the friend who you want to spend more time with: Concert tickets to any show and drinks beforehand.

For the friend who has kids: Bose noise canceling headphones would be ideal, but they are expensive. For a quick substitution may I suggest earplugs and a bottle of wine. 

For the friend who never wants to spend money on themselves or anything else: A magazine subscription! It will make them feel loved all year, just choose the topic you think they would like best. Or if you want to irritate them choose a subject they don't like at all and have them suffer 12 times a year when they receive it.

For the awkward pre-teen who already has everything but thinks they have nothing: I find that more is really more in this circumstance. They want big gifts, but they want a lot of gifts equally as much. I like to get one gift that they really want like a video game, or a awesome cell phone case and surround it with mediocre but thoughtful gifts like, MIO water enhancer, gum, nail polish, chapstick (but my lips hurt real bad...) Maybe even some cold hard cash if you're so inclined. The key to remember here is that there is no way you can pick out something cooler than this pre-teen can pick out themselves, don't even try.

For your Dad: Powertools, a tablet or a home cooked meal are tops on men's lists.

For your Mom: Brunch of course, or a good book, a sentimental card, a framed photo of yours truly . 

There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.
— Jerry Seinfeld
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