Tools – What are the best brushes to use for smoothing?

Hello again. We have decided the time has come to help with a question that gets asked time and time again in the salon, ‘What is the best brush to use to smooth out my hair?’.

There are many options out there to choose from but there are a couple of things worth discussing first: The bristles and the body of the brush.

Firstly, the bristles. The more the better. The only kind worth considering are natural boar bristle brushes. This may sound a little grotesque at first  – especially if you are vegan or vegetarian – but we can assure you, NOTHING can smooth the hair out like these bristles can. The tension that boar bristle gets on the hair helps to create unbelievable shine. The density of bristle is important too so, of course the more expensive the brush when it comes to boar bristle, the better.

Secondly, the body of the brush. A single piece of wood is the best. A plastic body with ceramic plated shaft is all well and good but different materials mean joins in the body and that means your hair will get lodged in these joins when you are using the brush. Ouch. Metal plated brushes can super heat and damage the hair beyond repair. So wood is the way to go.

There is only one drawback – it takes time to master. Due to the density of the bristles, the hair can easily become tangled in the brush especially if you have particularly tuggy hair. It really is worth persevering and figuring out a technique that works. Essentially, a great smoothing product (like Redken All Soft Argan-6 which it just so happens we supply), a tail comb, some section clips and a bit of time. Brush through the hair thoroughly after washing, then work section by section smoothing the hair before applying the heat.

What brands do we recommend? Well there are four main brands:

Firstly Kent make beautiful brushes and are pretty reasonable.

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Next up is the great value Denman.

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Mason Pearson have been making brushes pretty much since the beginning of time.

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Lastly, by far and away the best brushes on the market are YS Park

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YS Park make very high quality professional tools but these come with a hefty price. The brushes in this range go from around £35 to £65. This can seem like a huge sum but these brushes should last a lifetime if looked after.

We hope this helps make your life a little easier.

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UNDERCUT

Hello there. We would like to show you a look that we love in order to give you a few ideas about how it can work. The undercut has been around for a long time but was made famous in hairdressing circles via the uber-awesome Christiaan Houtenbos in this iconic image:

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As you can see, this image is AWESOME.

The undercut is a versatile technique and look that can be used purely to help the function of the chosen style (remove a load of weight and reduce styling time)

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Or to be a main feature of the style. Obviously, it takes some balls to go for something as wild as this:

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Obviously, this is not for everyone.

Undercuts can work on anyone we think and if you are feeling a little unsure you can always try a faux-undercut like Jessica Alba..

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Here are a few more ideas we love to give you inspiration the next time we see you…

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Balayage Vs Ombre: Spot the difference…

Hello you beautiful people. So you have been thinking about a change of colour? You may have heard about Balayage or seen an Ombre and wondered about the difference? Well, your friends at Muse are here to make your life a bit easier. We do quite a lot of both in the salon and this is how we would define each one:

Ombre – Generally this effect is a more obvious blend of dark at the root to light on the ends of the hair. This can be tailored to each person depending on how wild or subtle you would like to go. The great thing about this technique is that it will last; you start with a root. Depending on how much blonde you want to see on the ends of your hair, once the procedure is complete, you don’t need to ‘re-blonde’ the ends until they grow out. Also, when the ends are blonde you can apply all kinds of awesome temporary tones to make it more wild or soft. The root area will need a touch-up every 6-10 weeks depending on how many shades darker it is from your natural colour.

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Balayage – The French term ‘To sweep’ is a softer more sun-kissed look. The colourist will tend to use a softer more sweeping effect with the brush focusing mostly on the face and the surface of the hair to highlight and enhance the areas which would naturally lighten in the sun. This is a super-duper low maintenance style which means cost-effectiveness too!

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These looks are not for everyone and were considered a passing trend but it would seem that they are here to stay with many celebs still sporting them today. Both effects look much softer on loose curls more than straight so this will require some effort for those of us who do not have naturally tumbling locks. If you are considering either you should ask yourself a few questions:

How do I feel about permanent roots?

Can I curl my hair every day (or at least have lots of texture?)?

Can my hair cope with bleached ends?

If you can deal with all three of these and are feeling sassy, then Ombre is the look for you. If you feel like you like the idea but would prefer something softer, Balayage is totally the way to go for you.

We hope this has helped you to make your decision.

 

The Hard Part…

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Hello people of the internet. In this edition of our blog, we are going to introduce the hard part. This style has been making the rounds for a year or so on the catwalks but has really started to take hold for the man about town in the last few months. We love how smart, classic and modern these styles can be. These looks are definitely not for everyone as a sometimes dizzying amount of styling and products can be required to make the finished result as sharp as it was in the salon. Recommended products are mousse when the style is wet (it just so happens the Label.M volume mousse is easy to use and has a directional spray) and depending on yr preference a medium wet look finishing paste (Label.M again – Power Paste is awesome). Be super prepared and have a hairdryer and brush to smooth the style into place and give volume.

Short and Sassy

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Here at Muse, we think that nothing is sassier than a woman who can pull off short, fun, boyish hair. It screams SEXY. Would you ever be brave enough to go for the chop, or are you already the queen of the pixie crop?

If you’re tempted to go for the chop, check out these styles below for some inspiration. New year, new hair? See you soon!

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Smooth lovin’

Sometimes a girl just wants to feel all prim and polished. Tousled and casual is great for an every day look, but every now and again we like to go full-on sleek and sexy for that special ocassion (yes, that includes Ryan Gosling dvd viewings…)

The first step to sleek and sexy is a good daily conditioner. For added frizz relief, a weekly deep conditioning treatment should do the job and make your locks shiny and smooth. Regular trims (every six weeks) and products that protect against heat damage will also get you on your way to being a sleek, shiny goddess!

Our favourite wonder-product to achieve this look is Redken’s Smooth Lock deep conditioning treatment that contains butter silk for long lasting smoothness. We can do in-salon treatments, or you can take it home for a full on pampering session.

Here’s some smooth inspiration…