Managing Time + Finding Balance as a Studio Suite Owner

When I decided to open my studio suite three years ago, my biggest motivator was to have a better work life balance. But, I quickly realized the tricky part of being both a service provider AND a soloprenuer.. Figuring out how much to work in the business, on the business, and oh yeah! Have a personal life, too.

Here's the dilemma. When working behind the chair, it's dedicated time with clients (rightfully so). Then, you have to factor in the extra hours of work to keep the business running and marketing yourself. How on earth do we get everything done and not feel like we are constantly treading water? How do we find the time?

"Time is our most valuable nonrenewable resource. If we want to treat it with respect, we need to set priorities” -Albert-László Barabási

My friends. There is no perfect example of work life balance. Finding that balance is a constant journey and never a final destination. But, the first thing you can do is look at TIME as a precious resource. Then, be more intentional with how you are spending it.

Managing Time and Finding Balance as a Studio Suite Owner | Teddi Bickers | Indianapolis Hairstylist

Start With The Pain Points, Then Work Backwards

You can’t buy more time, you can’t borrow more time - all you can do is make room for it. And the best way to do that? Identifying what priorities and goals your time is best spent on.

I find that it's best to start with these questions:

  • what tasks take a lot of time that you don’t need to be doing?

  • what things do you hate doing, procrastinate on or stress you out?

Answering these two questions can bring a lot of clarity to the ways you don’t want to be spending your time. And help you work backwards to solutions. For example, are you answering client correspondence all hours of the day? Embracing online booking, and not having to play phone tag, might lighten your load. Make it a goal to run your business on autopilot or outsource as much as possible.

I love this quote from the book, Essentialism:

“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done.” -Greg McKeown

But, how do you know what your time is best spent on? Or what the “right things” are? To me, it's anything that that will create immediate impact or change. Or anything that grows and propels your business forward. I try to always view my to-do list at hand with this lens.

CEO DAYS

Now you know what your time is best spent on and what your most important priorities are. So, how do you delegate time to getting them done?

This is where CEO days comes in. I adopted CEO day at the beginning of 2019, and it's been a GAME CHANGER for me! What is it, you might ask? It’s essentially identifying your weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks + priorities. Then, blocking out time on your calendar to get them done.

I schedule my monthly tasks on the first Monday of every month and it only takes me about 1.5 hours. Some examples of what I do on CEO day:

  • review profit/loss statement for the previous month

  • categorize previous months transactions in Quickbooks

  • review financial + business goals

  • create my Instagram/blog/email “content calendar” for the next few weeks

The accountability of having this time blocked out on the calendar is CRUCIAL! In fact, I look forward to CEO days because it feels like I have a strategic, mapped out plan of action for the next month.

Create Boundaries + Build "ME TIME” into your schedule

I know a lot of us feel like we have to be ultra productive on our days off getting work related activities done. Look, there will always be items on the to-do list. Rarely will you end a day feeling like you got everything you possibly could “done.” And that’s where boundaries come in. Set a time limit on work and stick to it. Honor your ME TIME. I think this is a huge component in finding a better work life balance! Honestly, you bring your best self to the table when you’ve had time to rest and recharge.

Being able to have white space and day dream keeps us innovative. Having down time is nothing to feel guilty about, and is vital in having a sustainable career.



ACTION STEP:

Take a look at your schedule currently and inventory how you are spending your time - both personally and professionally! What tasks can you delegate or outsource? What could you streamline and automate?

I’d love to hear if you adopt CEO days into your schedule, or if this article helps jumpstart you on managing time and finding balance - tag me in your posts or stories on Instagram!

I’m here to cheer you on, my friend!

The Reasons Behind Hair Loss and How to Recover

A few years ago after a period of stress in my life, I started having major hair loss. It was so upsetting to run fingers through my hair and practically see clumps falling out.

Unfortunately, hair loss will happen to 1 in 3 women in their lifetime for a multitude of reasons. If you’re currently experiencing hair loss - don’t freak out! It’s not uncommon and although it feels stressful and embarrassing, there are solutions for treating it.

The Reasons Behind Hair Loss and How to Recover | Teddi Bickers | Indianapolis Hairstylist


First of all, what causes hair loss to happen?

  • A hormonal imbalance: such as going off birth control or experiencing the symptoms/effects of PCOS and endometriosis

  • Postpartum hair loss after pregnancy or (sometimes) when you quit nursing

  • Stress and physical trauma: having a major surgery, experiencing an emotionally stressful or  traumatic event, enduring a physical accident (like breaking a bone, being in a car accident, etc). This type of hair loss usually happens 3 to 6 months after the event.

  • Changing medications

  • Making major changes in diet or after significant weight loss


    What can help your hair recover after hair loss?

  • Incorporate supplements into your diet: supplements have mega doses of the nutrients your body needs to grow healthy hair. I personally love using a protein powder in a daily smoothie instead of swallowing capsules. I have also heard amazing things about the supplment Viviscal.

  • Use topical products specifically created for hair loss, such as Nioxin: I personally used the Nioxin Scalp Treatment (a leave in spray that you apply to your scalp) and saw great results. It immediately stopped my excessive shedding and encouraged thicker and fuller hair to grow in. I highly recommend taking the Nioxin Consultation Tool on to see which products work best for your specific case.

  • Use styling products specifically created for volume: These will plump up your strands and give an overall effect of more fullness and body. Some of my favorites are: BODY.BUILDER, PLUMPING.WASH and PLUMPING.RINSE, FULL.AGAIN, and DOO.OVER from KEVIN.MUPRHY. Ask your hairstylist for their product recommendations and how to use them!

  • Use a root touch up spray (a pigmented aerosol spray) similar to your hair color to fill in any sparse areas (like when you pull your hair up and want to fill in around your temples). This will give the appearance of thicker hair!

  • Be EXTRA gentle on your hair: this means using a Wet Brush to brush out your hair, not wearing tight ponytails or buns, and forgoing extreme haircolor changes. And DO NOT sleep with your hair in a ponytail!

  • And once again, please consult a doctor if you believe your hair loss is beyond “normal” and may be something more problematic.


RemeMber: be patient and consistent with these remedies. It can take anywhere from six weeks and beyond to start seeing any major progress. Take a deep breath, tell yourself you’re still beautiful, and don’t get too stressed about it. This is totally common and your hair WILL recover.

If this information was helpful for you, I’d love to hear! Shoot me a DM over on Instagram and let me know!


What You Need to Know Before Going Blonde

So you've decided to take the leap and LIGHTEN UP! Who can resist when you've scrolled through Instagram and seen a dozen drool-worthy, beachy blondes on your feed?

But wait! Before you schedule your appointment, here is some essential information you need to know and be prepared for:

What You Need to Know Before Going Blonde | Teddi Bickers | Indianapolis Hairstylist

The Details

  • If you're going to be visiting a stylist for the first time, I highly recommend booking a consultation with them. This gives them a chance to see your hair in person and come up with a plan of action for your initial appointments. If you'll be seeing your longtime, trusted stylist, make sure they know before your next visit that you are wanting to make a big change - they can make sure your upcoming appointment is booked accordingly.
  • Plan on being in the salon awhile for your initial appointments - one session of lightening can take several hours.
  • Inspiration photos from social media are great visual tools to give your stylist reference for what you like, don't like, and what your goals are. However, be open to your stylists suggestions and know that your dream hair might not be realistically achieveable.
  • "Instagram worthy" hair can be an expensive investment, so it's crucial to discuss with your stylist your budget and how long you would like to go in between appointments. This transparency can be extremely helpful to your stylist creating a maintenance plan.

The Process

  • If you have naturally brunette or dark blonde hair, it can take multiple sessions of appointments, spread out over a period of time to replicate your inspiration photo. If you do not have any color on your hair currently, it may only take a few sessions to achieve your desired level of blonde - if you have any box or permanent dye on your hair, it could take several sessions. This article from Glamour is really helpful in visually demonstrating the number of sessions it can take to achieve a certain look while going lighter.
  • For some clients, their hair easily lifts to a bright blonde. For others, especially those who are naturally dark/brunette or clients with coarse hair, they will need to embrace warmer golden tones after their first or second session of lightening. All natural hair color has underlying warm pigment within the cortex of each strand, which is exposed when lightener is applied and processed. This means the hair passes through a spectrum of warm tones while lifting - red, to red-orange, to orange, to yellow-orange, to yellow and finally pale yellow. In general, it can be difficult or sometimes too risky to achieve a beige or cool blonde with naturally dark/brunette clients.

The Maintenance

  • When going through major lightening transitions, you will want use quality, professional salon products to maintain the health of your hair (bonus points if you use a weekly masque/treatment). At the very least, invest in a sulfate free/paraben free shampoo and conditioner. You may also want to incorporate a purple or blue based shampoo and conditioner (which neutralizes yellow or brassy tones) into your cleansing routine. My favorites in the salon for bright blondes are the KEVIN.MURPHY BLONDE.ANGEL.WASH and BLONDE.ANGEL treatment.
  • Depending upon your maintenance plan, you may also want to visit the salon routinely for a toner (a semipermanent gloss that adds shine, can neutralize warmth, or add vibrancy back to certain shades of blonde). Check out my article on Why a Toner Makes Your Hair Look Amazing.
  • If you have hard water at home, I suggest using the Malibu Blondes Remedy or the Malibu Hard Water Remedy weekly to prevent yellow/brassiness. This 5-minute treatment removes hard water deposits and impurities.
  • And last but not least, while going through major lightening transitions, be gentle on your hair with hot tools - such as blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons. Excessive heat can damage your chemically altered hair, as well as oxidize your highlights and turn them yellow/brassy.

And there you have it..! All the essential information you need to know before making a blonde transformation. None of this is meant to deter you from wanting to go lighter - we as stylists take the health of your hair, your monetary investment, and your time seriously - and we want you to be thrilled with the result! Transparency and education is key to ensure both the stylist and client are on the same page.

If you're looking for inspiration for a change with your hair, check out my Pinterest or Instagram!

How to Keep Your Hair Healthy During the Winter

If you live in a colder climate this time of the year, chances are the freezing, dry air has taken a toll on your skin and hair!

After having a handful of clients recently ask for advice what to do about their dry scalp, or how to combat static (ugh!) - I thought I'd pull together some of my best tips for how to keep your hair healthy during the winter.

How to Keep Your Hair Healthy During the Winter | Teddi Bickers | Indianapolis Hair

You might want to slightly alter your cleansing ritual and products you use in the shower during the winter months:

  • Avoid using overly hot water when cleansing your scalp and hair - during these frigid cold months, it can be especially drying to your ends and skin in general.

  • If you're experiencing mild dandruff or an itchy scalp, I would highly recommend a clarifying or exfoliating shampoo. The MAXI.WASH by KEVIN.MURPHY contains fruit-derived AHA's that will gently remove dead skin cells or build up on your scalp and hair cuticle. My hairdresser friends that use R+Co say the exfoliating CROWN Scalp Scrub is amazing, too!

  • Make sure you're deep conditioning the ends of your hair often! Even if it's letting a masque sit on for a few minutes in the shower, it's better than nothing. My absolute favorite is RE.STORE by KEVIN.MURPHY - it's so incredibly lightweight, yet makes the most tangly, dry hair easier to manage. I also recommend the Prenup Instant Spray Hair Mask by IGK. It's SO easy because you can just spray it directly onto your ends.. bonus points for this one because it smells like the beach!

It's a good rule of thumb to use hot tools as little as possible, and exercise a little more TLC on your mane than usual:

  • When your hair is wet, it's actually quite fragile and elastic. Make sure to blow dry your hair thoroughly before going outside in freezing temperatures to avoid any extreme damage or breakage. 
  • Use a WetBrush when combing out your hair, wet OR dry. I know I've sung it's praises before, but this brush is amazing and extremely gentle when detangling.

The most common question I get during winter is - how do I get rid of static electricity in my hair? Here'ss how:

  • Spray a little bit of a lightweight leave-in conditioner, a light hold hairspray, or a texturizing spray onto a paddle brush and brush through your hair - scalp to ends. This will help piece everything together, yet you won't feel like you loaded your hair up with products. I love the Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium or BEDROOM.HAIR by KEVIN.MURPHY for spraying on my brush.
  • If you're blow drying, finish your style with the cool air setting - it will close down the cuticle of your hair strands and set everything in place!

  • Use a dryer sheet and lightly run it over your hair. It will remove static electricity just like with your clothes. Or, if you're feeling fancy, try the Anti-Frizz Hair Sheets from Ouai - I love that these come in individual packets to carry on the go!

I hope these tips help for dealing with hair issues that come along with the extreme weather change. For other hair tips, advice, and inspiration - follow me over on Instagram!


-Teddi

Why a Toner Makes Your Hair Look Amazing

Toner. Gloss. Glaze. This hairstylist lingo is honestly interchangeable, but perhaps as a client, you’ve heard us mentioning one during an appointment and haven’t been 100% positive what we’re talking about.

Here’s the scoop: Toners are the last step in your color service that really ties everything together and makes your hair look incredible. They are also a great maintenance option for in-between balayage or color services to maintain shine and vibrancy.

Before and After Toner | Why a Toner Makes Your Hair Look Amazing | Teddi Bickers | Indianapolis Hairstylist

What is a toner?

Toner is a semipermanent color that is applied to damp hair, oftentimes after highlights or color have been rinsed out at the shampoo bowl. Toners have multitudes of different purposes. Some of those being:

-Neutralizing unwanted tones in freshly highlighted hair
-Restoring vibrancy back to the ends of your hair that have been “bleached out” by the sun
-Adding warmth to your color overall and illuminating your skin tone
-Softening and adding depth to highlights at the root to create a “lived in” look
-Adding a clear topcoat of shine to the cuticle of the hair

How does toner work?

A toner is mixed specifically to compliment your hair and skin tone. I love how customizable and individualized this last step in a color service is! After the toner is applied to damp hair, it processes anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Since it’s semipermanent and only deposits color, it will not shift or alter your natural hair color.

You can expect a toner to last for 4-6 weeks, depending on how frequently you wash your hair. If you wash your hair daily, you can expect the toner to fade considerably faster.

Before and After Toner | Why a Toner Makes Your Hair Look Amazing | Teddi Bickers | Indianapolis Hairstylist

Applying a toner is one of my favorite magic tricks I utilize on a daily basis in my studio. I mean, who doesn’t love shiny, healthy looking hair..?! I hope this inspires you to try a toner if you never have!

The Ultimate Podcast for Beauty Industry Inspiration

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As a hairdresser and beauty industry aficionado, one of my favorite things about my career is learning about the newest innovations and products.

However, sometimes it feels overwhelming to keep up with every blog, Instagram page, and Youtube channel to stay ahead of the game. Discovering the Fat Mascara podcast was exactly what I was needing: a weekly update on insider scoop, product reviews, humorous anecdotes, and interviews with influential leaders in all things beauty - in an audio format I can listen to while I work at home or in the car!

I wanted to share this podcast with you today because it’s been not only educational but also highly entertaining. I love hearing the personal stories from the hosts, Jen and Jess, who are both beauty editors at Cosmopolitan and Teen Vogue magazine, respectively. Even if you’re not really that invested into beauty in general, the hosts are so engaging and have such great chemistry, you’ll get sucked into their hilarious banter.

Here are a few of my favorite interviews with guests on the show:

Episode 6 - “Fake it Till You Make It” with Michael Gordon - I loved hearing this interview with the founder of Bumble & bumble and his insights on where the hairdressing industry is heading.

Episode 14 - “We Made It Our Own” with Sir John - an interview with Beyonce's makeup artist.. need I say more?

Episode 48 - “Smokey Eye Till I Die” with Charlotte Tilbury - Charlotte will have you cracking up when she details her nighttime skincare and makeup routine.

Episode 52 - “We’re Very Scrappy” with Emily Weiss - I’ve always admired the branding and values behind Glossier, and it’s so fun to listen to the founder tell her story.

Episode 68 - “12 Years To Make It” with Harry Josh - I LOVED this interview because of Harry Josh’s storytelling on how he made a name for himself in the hairdressing world. 

Episode 76 - “Lose The Ego” with Jen Atkin - Jen’s interview is hilarious, truthful and incredibly interesting. I loved hearing about how she started her product line, The Ouai.

Fat Mascara has been perfect for keeping me in the loop and inspired, and it’s great that I can listen on the go. Do you have any favorite podcasts? Leave a comment below with your recommendations. I’d love to hear about them!

xo, Teddi

The Best Styling Tools You Should Invest In

The best styling tools for your hair to invest in.

It can be difficult to recreate those beachy waves or that sleek blowout after your salon visit when you don’t have the proper styling tools. Let alone, overwhelming to shop and select which are worth the investment! 

I’ve been so frustrated in the past when I’ve purchased expensive, high-end blow dryers - only to have them burn out on me after one year of use!

Luckily, after over a decade of working behind the chair, I have found tools that perform and stand the test of time. These are my go-to’s while working on clients, as well as styling my own hair at home.

Here are six of my favorite tools to avoid throwing your hair in yet another a messy bun:

  • Babyliss Tourmaline Titanium 3000 Blow Dryer - This is an amazing (and affordable!) blow dryer that will leave your hair so shiny. Tourmaline gemstones fused with ceramic inside the dryer release negative ions and far-infrared heat, which penetrate hair from within resulting in faster drying with less damage. I love it because it’s so lightweight. Buy it here.
  • Babyliss PRO Ceramic Tools 1 ¼” Curling Iron - I get asked what curling iron I use on an almost daily basis! This is my absolute favorite to create my signature beach waves. The ceramic coated barrel evenly distributes heat and creates silky, frizz-free curls. The 1 ¼” is the size I use on almost every single one of my clients - short hair to long hair! Buy it here.
  • GHD Classic 1” Styler Flat Iron - This flat iron is fantastic for straightening out curls or smoothing frizz. The ceramic coated plates glide through the hair so easily. I love that the beveled edges allow you to mimic a blowout, or even create flat iron curls! Buy it here.
  • The Wet Brush - This is hands down the best brush for detangling your hair, wet OR dry. Its skinny bristles are super flexible, so it gently eases through any knots in your hair - resulting in less damage. It’s absolutely made a huge difference in the health of my own hair. Buy it here.
  • Olivia Garden NanoThermic 2 ⅛” Round Brush - This round brush is a lifesaver for smoothing frizz and creating volume. The brush retains heat and glides through the hair like a dream, making it easy to use. The 2 ⅛” size is my favorite size and seems to work on almost any hair length. Buy it here.
  • Colortrak Clips - These clips are the best for sectioning your hair while styling. They are strong enough to hold large sections of hair with no slipping. I love that the rubberized grip will even hold wet hair in place. Buy a pack of four here.

These six tools will amaze you with how much easier it is to style your hair at home. They are well worth the investment to make your mornings go a little smoother!

Let me know if there are any other styling tools or products that you need recommendations for - comment below! For other fun hair tips and tutorials, follow my Instagram page!

xoxo!

Teddi