I’m WEIRD about my hair.

I care so much about hair health that I once went almost THREE YEARS without putting any –ANY– heat on it. No blowdryers, no curling irons…. nada.

Now, I’ll style my hair maybe once a month. So still, not a ton. Hair health is extremely important to me… plus I like to be low maintenance wherever I can. (aka I’m lazy about hair.) Skincare I’m as high maintenance as you get… so I balance it with little hair upkeep. Ya feel me?

I don’t even own a blow dryer. 6 months ago I bought my first curling iron since high school. (Which I’ve only used twice!)

Needless to say- it’s INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT to me to have a hair stylist that cares a SHIT TON about hair health. Thankfully I found that in my bestie and hair guru, Michelle Palos at SF Color Collective. (On Union St.)

Michelle has been doing hair for over 10 years. She went to cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell and assisted under Leslie Bethancourt for two years (owner of Salon Capelli in El Dorado Hills, so good she’s damn near impossible to book with these days)… Michelle is the bomb! She continues to go to cutting edge hair classes too to perfect new techniques. Girl puts in WORK.

She’s the best. A pro. And someone who you just truly enjoy talking with for hours as you get beautified. She’s a total girl’s girl.

She does a lot to keep my hair in tip top shape. She’s always giving advice to women about specific hair styles and expectations and always has little nuggets of info to share with people. She genuinely enjoys helping people achieve what they want hair-wise and making them feel beautiful.

This is Michelle:

I’ve wanted to interview her on Violet Fog for so long! (I finally got her to make a hair Instagram!)

She does many Violet Fog reader’s hair now. And blogger’s love her too! (You know bloggers are bat shit crazy about finding good hair people since they are in front of the camera for a living.) <—-Hell EVERY woman is bat shit crazy about their hair let’s just be real.

She does @twoAndTheCity‘s hair too, who actually wrote an article about Michelle HERE.

So enjoy this interview with Michelle and hopefully you get some good tidbits from it!

Violet Fog: What are the top 3 things someone who colors their hair can do for hair health?

1. Get your hair cut every 8-10 weeks 
2. Deep condition once every 1-2 weeks. Blondies: Use Olaplex #3 once a week to either rebuild your damaged or brittle hair or to keep your hair healthy and strong for your next color service.
3. Take biotin and keep eating your healthy fats!

What IS Olaplex/Smartbond? Why is it important to find a hair stylist that uses that? Been hearing so much about it.

I’m going to copy and paste the exact answer one of the girl’s in the Violet Fog Nice Girl’s Club Facebook group wrote out, because I was seriously impressed (I love that group by the way) she said: “Olaplex a treatment that rebuilds the natural bonds of your hair. There’s 3 steps but 1-2 can only be done in a salon unless you have a cosmetology license and can buy it yourself. Number 3 can be bought by anyone online- you put it on damp hair leave it for a at least 10min then shampoo and condition. It’s seriously a life saver. I went from very very dark brown to blonde( 2 8hr bleaching sessions) where my hairdresser used olaplex during and then I’ve been doing a treatment every other week and my hair is totally fine! Healthy, and strong. No breakage at all.”

Here’s the main differences between Olaplex and Smartbond if you’re really interested. I am a total fan of both and actually find them quite similar.

Michelle’s work.

Dispel the myth about not being able to grow out your hair if you keep getting trims. What should one ask for? Some stylists get so scissor happy it’s actually kind of scary asking for a “trim”…

Some clients that are trying to grow their hair out tend to shy away from getting their scheduled haircuts because they think the more often they get their hair cut, the longer it takes to grow aka never reach their long hair goals. And they also associate getting a haircut means taking a few inches off every time But that’s WRONG! When you neglect getting your schedule haircuts, you get split ends. And that’s exactly what the hair does– it splits into two pieces which is why your hair can’t continue to grow because it’s not one strong healthy strand. The more you neglect your split ends, the more it travels up your hair shaft which is why us hairstylists end up having to cut more off. So come in every 8-10 weeks (long hair peeps) and 6 weeks (short hair peeps–they lose their shape faster so need to come in more often). Doesn’t have to be a “big haircut” every time– it can be as easy as coming in for a dry haircut and “dusting your ends” …just anything to clean it up and keep it healthy. Haircuts don’t have to be scary 🙂

Takeaway: the term to ask for is a DUSTER.

What is the difference between highlights and balayage?

Highlights consist of a weaving technique that comes straight from the root.  Balayage is a feathering technique where you free-hand paint the color on. It’s more of a rootier, drawn out natural look.

What the hell is TONER and who should ask for it/would benefit from it? I know you use it on me everytime and I swear my highlights grow out nicer… but I’m still not sure what it is!

Toner is used after lightening a client’s hair and is usually the end application to enhance bleached hair… this is double processing. For blonde hair, it is to neutralize the unwanted tones or to enhance. A client can even come in JUST to get a toner– if they feel they are too brassy or ashy and just not happy with the tone of their hair, a toner is a quick 10min process in the shampoo bowl and an easy fix!

Whatever toner is, I dig it. 😉

Tips on curling hair? YOU KNOW I SUCK AT CURLING HAIR.

Always curl AWAY from your face for the front pieces and then alternate difference directions around your head. I personally am a BIG fan of leaving 1-2inches of hair out at the bottom to give it a more natural, tousled curl (plus it keeps your length) and my go to curling iron size is 1.25 inches.

Tips on straightening hair?

After blow drying your hair, only flat iron your ends vs flat ironing straight from the root. This way you will keep the volume in your hair but still achieving a smooth ends. If your hair is a little frizzy then take a thin section only on the very top of your head and flat iron that section all the way down. It will then act as a vail and cover up any other unwanted frizz. It will appear that your entire head is smooth but again keeping the volume on your hair so it’s not completely flat to your scalp.

What should someone do if their hair stylist messes up their hair? What should they expect?

We are human and mistakes unfortunately happen. I personally would want my client to contact me asap and let me know what they don’t like so I can then get them in asap and fix it free of charge. After all they are my walking billboard and I don’t want my work displayed on an unhappy client. I will always do everything in my power to do what I can to make them happy. I know some clients get really nervous to reach out and admit they aren’t happy but TRUST ME we want you too!! Much better than complaining to all your friends and not giving your hairstylist a chance to correct their wrongs and make you happy. Also if you are unhappy with your hair reach out ASAP! If you wait too long there’s a chance you might get charged because it hard to know if a client is unhappy or is just due for another color appointment.

Blondes or brunettes– what is easier to maintain?

Brunettes because they don’t have the same obvious outgrowth as blondes do. But blondes typically have to do more to upkeep the HEALTH of their hair due to the bleach.

Settle the argument: is it better to get color done on DIRTY hair or CLEAN hair? Some people think color sticks better to dirty hair…

Oh, CLEAN! The oilier and dirtier the hair in addition to product build up the harder it is for the color to penetrate into the hair. Plus let’s be real, it’s not very fun to be working on smelly, oily, dirty hair. If you’re just coming in for a haircut it doesn’t matter since you’re going to be getting your hair washed within 5 mintues but with color ALWAYS come clean. Doesn’t mean you have to wash your hair that morning but at least on the cleaner side is better.

More of Michelle’s work!

How does one determine if they are better with “cooler” tones or “warmer” tones? Can you help them with this and is one easier to achieve than the other?

That is based on the clients skin color and yes hairstylists can definitely help them. They are equally achievable.

What are some styles that people ask for but are kiiiinda hard to maintain?

Short haircuts only because they lose their shape faster so it requires you to come in more often for a haircut. Same with a bleach and tones (Applying bleach straight onto the root) since you notice your roots much quicker that would require you needing a root touchup more often –potentially every 4-6 weeks unless you enjoy a more drastic rootier look.

Where can we find you?!

You can DM me anytime on my hair Instagram (@MichellePalos_hair) or call my salon SF Color Collective at (415) 529-1861. Thanks for having me!! Always fun to meet other VFers and beautify their hair!

About The Author

Katey Yurko

Katey || INFP || Founder/Director of Violet Fog ||

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