Today on the Forever Bride podcast we are talking all about why it is so important to find the right hair stylist and why finding the right products are almost as important as finding the right spouse.
[Ashley] Hi everyone! Welcome to The Forever Bride Show! I am Ashley Hawks and I have a very special guest here today, someone who I have known for many many years outside of the wedding industry. I know I say every time: “Oh my gosh my really good friend!” but this literally is my best friend in the studio today! This is so crazy when worlds collide. But Tena Breeggemann is here today in the studio and we are talking about why finding the right hairstylist and finding the right hair products are almost as important as finding the right spouse. Tena, thank you so much for being here!
[Tena] Ash, thanks so much for having me. I want to say quick, I am so proud of you, you're the most amazing human, one of the most amazing humans I know and I'm so proud of the amazing girl boss you are and thank you again for having me. I'm so excited for you!
[Ashley] I love you. By the way for those of you women that are listening and I'm sure you understand this as you're picking out your bridesmaids and you're moving into this next chapter of your life. Can I just remind you as a woman in her 30s and has gone through life a little bit. I still got a lot of life to do. But how important it is to surround yourself with really positive women that are going to support you and encourage you, not only in your marriage but in your career and when you start raising babies and it's so important to have people like you in life.
[Tena] Thank you and it's important, I agree. Probably the most important thing is to have a good tribe of people around you that will do life with you, whether it's the best of times or down in the dirt. We've been there together!
[Ashley] Oh girl! So for you guys you have to follow Tena just to kind of understand this this amazing woman that is sitting with me here today, so on Instagram her handle is @tena_breeggemann. We'll put a link on the website so you don't have to worry about it because it's a ridiculous beautiful name. But Tena is the only one that's allowed to touch my hair because she is the best. She specializes in color and products and cut. And she works with Sexy Hair! So you want to make sure that you give Sexy Hair a follow to it's @sexyhair and we're actually talking a lot about product today. I am a big, big believer in good product and I didn't realize how important that was until a couple of years ago. So before we dive into all the things, tell me a little bit about you. Well I mean I know about you but the people listening don’t - tell us about you and how you got started with Sexy Hair and a little bit about your beautiful family.
[Tena] Thank you. Well I actually start with a funny story. I started my love for hair when I was a little girl and my grandmother owned a dog grooming shop. So it doesn't sound like that would be a fitting thing for what I do now but honestly a lot of the same things are true. There are clients and I grew up watching her nurture and love on these animals and make them, the animals, feel beautiful too. It's so funny to watch them when you pick them up how excited they are. And so we all have this inner thing that just cries out to feel beautiful. And whether you truly believe that, like in your soul or not, part of my job as a hairstylist is to help you find that, whether that be something I can impart on one visit or on your wedding day, or a lot of times I am teaching stylists how to do that in their day - to - day lives. But I started out there and then I went to college for something totally different. And one day I was complaining about how I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life as I was doing my girlfriend's hair and she said: “Tena, have you ever thought about going to beauty school?” It had never crossed my mind. I just always was creative. I always enjoyed loving people so that's how I started in beauty school. From there, we had an educator who came in and was teaching from a product company called “Back to Basics” I don't even think this company is around anymore, but when they came in I was like: “That is what I love, that's what I want to do!”. Because hair is amazing and I love what I do. But I love when you partner it with a good product and what that can do for the overall finished style and just teaching your clients. Being an educator to every single person that's sitting in their chair, in your chair, not just on a stage at a hair show. Those are amazing things that I get to do with Sexy Hair, but that's not all I do. I do it every single day behind the chair, I teach my clients how to use the products correctly. So yeah. Now I've been doing that for 15 years with doing hair and I've been with Sexy Hair for eight. And I love it!
[Ashley] So I know we're gonna talk about Sexy Hair a lot and you know our show isn't big enough or cool enough yet to have sponsors and Sexy Hair is not sponsoring this although a total shout out! Love your products, love it. But you know it's kind of a running joke - you go get your hair done at the salon and you leave there looking like a million bucks versus like the next day when I try to do it on my own. I honestly have to say I have figured out the reason, I have figured out why you look so amazing when you leave the salon, and then when you try to replicate it at home it looks nothing like it. I mean the stylists obviously are very trained in what they do, but it's the products they use in the salon. It really, really is. Tena and I've been friends for years and she's told me this for years and it hasn't been until the last couple that it started listening. Ladies, I finally figured this out. Do not wait until your 30s to figure this out. The products make a difference. So your title is a platform artist and educator - what is that?
[Tena] Well honestly I wear a thousand different hats, so I get to work for an amazing company that allows me to work on a stage at hair shows if that's what they need me to do. If they need me to go into a small salon that has just picked up a bunch of our products and just teach them about how can we talk about these products to your clients and what can we do with them. That's what I get to do. So I can do anything from going and standing in an Ulta location and handing out samples, to educating one on one, or on a big stage.
[Ashley] So one of the first things that I want to talk to you about is finding the right stylist. This is so important. I joke that it's kind of like finding the right man because this is a long term relationship. Girls you know this, once you find the right stylist this is a long term relationship. How do you even begin the journey of finding like this stylist that's right for you?
[Tena] Well I think that nowadays something that's very applicable is that a lot of people are looking up stylists on social media. It's kind of a walking business card, our social media. So whether it be Instagram, or a Facebook page, a professional page, a website. Those are great places. But honestly, I've always talked to my friends. So absolutely if you're new to a place I would start with the social media and then kind of go from there. But one of the things that you really want to find is a person you just connect with and everybody is different. There's a lot of different hairstyles out there. I have many friends; I have some who are super outgoing - I feel like I'm pretty outgoing - but I have some that are super outgoing and then I have ones that are a lot more reserved and quiet and you're gonna attract the clientele that's like that because not everybody wants a chatty Cathy as a hairstylist. My husband, prior to me, he preferred not to have a stylist speak to him whatsoever because he just wanted to get in and out. So you need to find the stylist that you connect with. I think that's the most important because at least in my opinion as a hairdresser I would say that 90 percent of what I do is not hair.
[Tena] I think a lot of it is the love and the energy you're imparting on your client at that time and also taking the time to listen to them not just talk about myself or my crazy life or my four crazy kids. But you know to listen. I've had people - I feel very fortunate because of my job - I've had people, I have a small studio a salon as you know, but I used to work in a great big salon and I loved it. But what I wanted, what I craved, was having a little bit more of a slow environment where I could be more one on one with people because that's where I thrive. And I think everyone needs to know their strengths. That's my strength and I prefer to be more one on one, to be a listening ear when they need it. I've had people come in to my salon when they have just miscarried or I've had somebody come in who just found out that their spouse is leaving them or they're having infertility issues and tell only me. And so I feel very very blessed to do what I do because it's something that I don't think many other people in this world get that opportunity to do that.
[Ashley] That's so awesome. Anybody who's had a great relationship with their hairstylist knows there's something magical about sitting in that chair and the cape goes around you and you relax and you spill your guts.
[Tena] It's therapy.
[Ashley] I think there's something in the hairstylists like Bible that says whatever happens in the chair stays in the chair.
[Tena] It’s true! My husband has asked me sometimes like oh what's going on with them and I’m like,I can't tell you! Client confidentiality. I'm literally not going to tell you, it's not your business.
[Ashley] So that's like more strict than doctors! I think that's half the reason why you and I are such good friends like oh she's got more dirt on me than anybody and if anything I have to stay friends with. So it wasn't until a couple years ago that that you started sneaking little samples in my purse and encouraging me to try things. But what I really appreciated about you with the samples is that you didn't push me to buy anything but you actually taught me how to use things when I was in your chair. I remember it was something called powder play that came out. It was this dry shampoo phase a couple of years ago and for me dry shampoo I didn't quite get it. You know a lot of it in the beginning was really like white baby powder and I've got brown hair but there's this powder play and I remember instead of just putting it on my hair you were talking me through how it worked. Like how I was supposed to use it. How much was too much. Tell me about products and just how important it is for you to educate your customers before you just sell them something.
[Tena] Well I think one of the first things you should know or anyone should know is, in general, stylists are very feeling breed. Obviously, as you can tell, we've talked a lot about how we very much interact and connect with our clients. And so the last thing I ever want to do is sell a client something that they will not use or they do not need. I absolutely do not want to do that. I only want to talk about something that I think is: beneficial to their hair needs, the things that they've talked about, their wants and desires as their end result. And so usually on any given day if you really wrote down all the things that you put in your hair I could list off at least 10 different items whether it be shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, a smoothing thing, something for volume, a hair spray, something for my ends, easily I can come up with 10 products. So whenever somebody comes in and they tell me like, for example if somebody says I really would like volume in my hair but I only air dry and I'm a wash and go kind of girl. Well that's when we're going to sit and talk about powder play like what you're talking about. Power play or any type of texture using powder. Any line, any brand. would be something that you could put on dry hair that would help achieve volume so it's going to really coexist with the style that you've created in their hair and their haircuts and help them to get that.
[Tena] So really if I were just to do a haircut and be like, well you have to style it in order to see the volume, a lot of people are going to say, honestly as a mom I don't have time. I don't have time to do that. So I want options. So when somebody sits down I'm going to give them my top five that I would use in your hair. Here's the three that I think are the most necessary and if you could only take away one here's the most important because I again never would ever want somebody to feel like they're being pressured. That's uncomfortable for everybody, especially if you go home and you never use it. I think that's probably the most important thing is if you go home and you purchase something from your stylist (not somewhere else!) and it's not working for you, please don't let it sit there on your shelf and not do anything, because they would not want that for you and it's a waste of your money. What you need to do is find it, bring it back, and just say this isn't working for me, am I using it wrong? Is there something I could be doing differently? And any good hairstylist will exchange it or help you find the correct thing.
[Ashley] Here's something really interesting that I want to make sure everybody is catching. When I started using quality hair products versus the lower end, like discount stuff literally from Walgreens, like I'm so cheap when it comes to my products - I'm working on this. But when you would give me some samples to try one of the hard things that I had was with a cheaper product I would have to use a lot more - in everything! I would have to use more shampoo, more conditioner, a ton more hairspray. I mean I was using so much product and then all of a sudden you would give me a sample of something really great quality and it wasn't quite getting the results because I realized I was still using the same amount and it was too much. So yes it's a little bit more expensive. But actually if you sit down and you kind of look at it or do the math on it, you're using so much less product and getting the same results, so long term you're actually not spending more.
[Tena] Well actually when I educate stylists who are nervous about talking, a lot of stylists out there are nervous about talking to their clients, because again they don't want to feel pushy. But what I'm trying to educate them about is how the client is really coming to them as their hair doctor. This is the most important thing, you would never go to your doctor and say you know hey I've been really dealing with heartburn and then your doctor says, well here I have a prescription for you for that, and then you're like man yeah I'm not going to do that. I mean if they have a solution for you, you would fulfill the prescription! So really we have to look at it as a prescription for you.
[Ashley] But yeah. So I think that is really huge too. I mean if you're hair stylist recommends something chances are they're not trying to push something on you they're actually listening to you complain about, man I really wish I had more volume here and is back combing like a thing anymore? Do people still back comb?
[Tena] They totally do. It's ok. It's a tried and true method. All of the things come back, so I think we were very natural for a while and we're gonna see that big hair come back a little bit. Any time you want to know what's current or what’s going to be trendy with hair. It’s the same idea with fashion take 20 years and subtract it. So that means that we're getting in like ninety nine, which is my favorite because we're gonna be going back to the early beginnings of NSYNC and Britney Spears. That's what our inspirations are coming to.
[Ashley] A little New Kids On The Block.
[Tena] That would be a little earlier but I appreciate that!
[Ashley] We have one of the biggest New Kids On The Block fans right here in the studio.
[Tena] Yes. I love them. It's OK. We all have our weird things.
[Ashley] OK so now my biggest thing is now I obviously have you that I get to go to and just shoot you a text, like I'm low on hairspray, I'm coming over. But where can people, I'm gonna give a shout out to the Strong Sexy Hair, because that's that's what I'm using right now. I was using the pink one. What is the pink one?
[Tena] Vibrant. The rose colored one is, to speak for everybody who uses any hair care product, that would have been your color safe shampoo/conditioner line. Then strong is one that is going to strengthen from the inside out. The strength of your hair. So if you're dealing with a lot of breakage or especially if you're going into a wedding where really most brides, let's be honest, they're like I want to grow my hair out for my wedding this year I'm sorry but this is a tangent. This drives me crazy. If you don't want to wear long hair for your wedding. There are options for you out there. There's clippings there's lots of extra additives we can do. You do not need to grow your hair out for your wedding. That's my own little soapbox.
[Ashley] Public service announcement. Almost every single hair photo on Pinterest one hundred percent has fake hair in it. Nobody's hair looks like that. Nobody.
[Tena] I have to say I have a lot of friends that are very influential on social media and do amazing things. I'm so proud of them. But just for those listening know that 98%, I'm going to go high, 98% of what you see on social media is a wig or or pieces are added in or things like that. So especially on your wedding day when you're looking to create a specific style. It's important to look at what kind of hair you have but also is this even plausible. Bring it into your hairdresser, ask what we could do to make this happen, because sometimes that might require just getting some extensions added in or picking up for the day of.
[Ashley] It's no different than a push up bra. I mean come on we're gluing on eyelashes. Nothing wrong with a little extra hair back here.
[Tena] Absolutely not. I love hair extensions. I think they're so fun, especially for a night out. But yes.
[Ashley] For the few guys that are listening they’re probably like, oh I thought everything was normal and natural and your everything was that perky!
[Tena] And in reality we are rubbing eyelashes off and hair is falling out.
[Ashley] Boys you have no idea. You're going to get married and you're gonna learn all these things. We should recommend that men listen to this. We've been talking about this and please send me a message if you would actually listen to Tena and I rant on for a little bit. We joke about this all the time, because we spend too much time together. We would have so much fun just sitting, having a podcast like once a week, having a glass of wine. And you guys can just call in and ask us questions and we will give you our advice on how to handle that piece of drama.
[Tena] Well I think that too, because this is The Forever Brides Show, it's important to know what life is after you've been that beautiful blushing bride and that it's not always the most beautiful moment of your life. There are valleys and there's hills and it's an adventure. And we've walked the life together and seen that adventure and I think that sometimes you just need that good advice. And I feel like we've got a lot of it.
[Ashley] Oh my gosh. I think between the two of us we have what 18 years marriage combined? And you need those girlfriends in your life that are going to listen to you complain and then tell you, you're going to get through this. Absolutely. Yeah. He is a jerk. Yep. Absolutely right. But you're going to get through this.
[Tena] On a very important part too is that - this is totally sidetracked, I love it. I'm here for it - but we are able to call each other and our B.S. too and reel each other in. There's times that I've reeled Ashley in off of the ledge, like you know you're not seeing all the sides here. So I think it's important to have the people that not only have your back, but that also have your marriage’s back. That's probably actually the most important, because it's very easy to find people who will be on just your side. But it's more important to find people that are going to be on the side of your marriage as a whole and your family.
[Ashley] And that's actually what your bridesmaids are for. If you look back in tradition, weddings are still steeped very much in tradition. The people that you choose to stand up with you the people, that you choose to be by your side during those vows. There's meaning behind that position. There's meaning behind standing up, the physical act of standing up, during those vows and saying I support these people. I support this marriage. Like when you're choosing those girls, do not choose them just because you feel obligated, because it's his sister or is this person.
[Ashley] These are people that are going to support you years from now, because you are going to go through tough times. Let that be your take away from this. Hair products and the right bridesmaids that will be with you through thickness and thin and through riches and poor. I don't even know the vows, it's been way too long.
[Tena] We need to have a renewal. And another thing to keep in mind, to bring it back to hair, obviously is that your hairstylist that would be on location on that beautiful day, that person is important too, because every time that I get to be a part of a wedding I take that as an absolute utter privilege. It's a job. And I will do my job well, but it is a privilege to be a part of that person's day. I can't tell you how many fires I've put out that were nothing to do with the bride but like a crazy bridesmaid. I'm sorry. You know there's crazy bridesmaids and maybe an off the cuff mother or mother in law. Your hairstylist really does kind of do all the things.
[Ashley] Well your hair stylist knows. She knows about the crazy mother. She she might not have met her but she knows. That's her. Okay well I got this, I got this, I've got damage control. Your hairstylist has your back and yes ladies that's why it is so important to find the right hair stylist - almost as important as finding the right man. Tena it's been so much fun. I want to know, I always do this. What is your one piece of advice for the women who are listening to this podcast right now planning a wedding and they're in the thick of it. Go back to your wedding and your planning, like what is the one piece that you could leave for these girls?
[Tena] Ok. So to be completely transparent, I have been married twice. I got married once and obviously sometimes things don't work out. But that wedding was very much done for everybody else. So when I married my amazing husband now, when we were getting married, I really wanted it to be a reflection of who we were as a couple and obviously people's opinions mattered. I would never treat any body like that their opinion on our wedding day didn't have value, because it definitely did. But at the end of the day I wanted it to be a reflection of us. So for example, I hate the kissing game. I hate when people clink the glasses, it just irritates me. So we love game night in our family. So there was a game on the table and in order to get the bride and groom to kiss, they had to play the game at the table. And also that would help them interact with people that they didn't know at the wedding. So that was just a reflection of us. So definitely that: make it about you, make it be a reflection of who you are. Sometimes it's so easy to get lost in the planning. Again it's a day, I'd love to say it's the most important day, but really it's kind of a seal of approval on everything else. So just look at it as that beautiful day and from there on forward go into it knowing that you really really are going to try your hardest. I think that's the most important. I don't know if that's a good answer.
[Ashley] There's no perfect answer. I love hearing what people have to say when they have that one really special take away or they have that one piece of advice and that's awesome. That's wonderful. Thank you so much. Thank you for being here. This was way too much fun. I want to keep going for like another hour, I want to keep going.
[Ashley] We’ll think of something else to talk about next time. But I really appreciate it. So you guys listening make sure that you followed Tena on Instagram. We'll have a link on our show notes page. Make sure that you guys are also involved in our Facebook group. We have a private group on Facebook just for brides, there's no boys on there. There's no vendors. It's just for brides to talk and ask questions and vent and complain and help each other and encourage each other is called Forever Brides. It's free - it's this wonderful safe place for you to go and and talk. And make sure that you're also subscribed to this podcast! We release a new podcast every single week and this entire thing is all about you. Hopefully by us rambling on this is helping you and giving you just a little bit of encouragement and a little bit of insight on how to make wedding planning easier. Thanks again for listening you guys. I'm Ashley Hawks and this is Forever Bride.