How to have great hair while traveling abroad!

Last year for my honeymoon, I traveled to London and Paris for two weeks. Before going, several people gave me tips on how to style my hair and deal with power adapters and converters. Did I pay attention? No. And guess what? They were right. So hopefully, I can help a few people out there avoid the mistakes that I made and save yourself and your hot tools! Did I mention I ruined a curling iron and a Chi iron? Yep. This story gets a little expensive.

First off, my hotel in London had an American outlet, so I was safe! I was able to plug in my curling iron and tame my hair. I also forgot to mention that it was

European Converter

European Converter

November, and it rains almost every day. If you have curly hair, wear a hat or embrace your curls. I have half way hair. Which means it’s wavy, frizzy, and straight. You never know what mood it’s going to be in. I usually have to double tame it with a blow dryer and a hot tool. I didn’t pack my dryer, I used the one provided by the hotel. I needed to maximize space in my luggage.  I called around to find out about blow-outs (I was feeling lazy and curious).  The currency in London called the pound is about one and a half the rate of the American dollar right now. Most of the places I called wanted fifty to eighty pounds for a blow-out. YIKES! That’s a lot of dollars. I was not about to spend seventy five to one hundred and twenty dollars on a blow dry. We still needed to eat on this vacation. So the good news is…I had an outlet that worked and was able to do my hair myself.

Messy bun at the lock bridge.

Messy bun at the lock bridge.

Paris was a whole different story. This is where I learned a valuable lesson. Number one, they didn’t provide me with an American outlet. Maybe some of the fancier places do, I don’t know. Number two,

Hats do more than keep you warm!

Hats do more than keep you warm!

NEVER PLUG A HOT TOOL INTO A REGULAR CONVERTER. This is the information that I ignored from previous recommendations. Your hot tool won’t work and it will also short it out and cause it to never work again. The reason behind this is that most regular converters are not able to provide enough wattage. I checked around online to see if you can purchase one that actually will work with a curling iron, and I just got more confused. So if I could recommend anything, it would be to buy a cheap curling iron or flat iron in Europe and just use that instead. I also called around to find out about getting a blow-out. The Euro is much closer to the dollar and blow-outs were actually much cheaper in Paris as well. Most started around twenty five Euro which converts to twenty eight dollars. Call a few days ahead to make an appointment though, most places were already booked. So yet again I was left to my own resources. I know what you’re thinking right now, “You’re a hairsylist it should be easy for you to fix your own hair!”. This is true, however I struggle with the same problems everyone else does. Doing hair that’s not on my own head is way easier for me. So I round brushed my hair with the hotel dryer and rotated between wearing hats, and messy buns.

So the moral of this story is, bring hats and bobby pins to Europe. Also don’t forget to have fun!

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Our 2015 Product Picks

With the new year upon us, its time to start taking extra care of those tresses.

There are so many options out there it’s no wonder most of us are a little lost when it comes to which product is the best and what works. I believe the answer is in the numbers. Here are top 10 most used and bought products by our salon guests at Urban Betty:


#1: MILK by Reverieimgres

Anti-Frizz Leave-In Nourishing Treatment

MILK is carefully handcrafted in California using the finest organic ingredients from sustainable origins from around the world. MILK protects the hair and scalp, while promoting growth and restoration.

#2: Pureology – Hydrate Shampoo

For Dry, Colour-Treated Hair

Gently cleanse without stripping colour with this concentrated moisturizing shampoo. ZeroSulfate formula with the exclusive AntiFadeComplex delivers a rich lather, while infusing hair with essential hydration and colour retention.

Hydrate Shampoo, Sulfate free by PureOlogy

Hydrate Shampoo, Sulfate free by PureOlogy

Features & Benefits

  • Concentrated formula
  • Luxurious lather, easy rinsing
  • Extra gentle cleansers
  • Does not strip colour
  • For concentrated natural conditioning
  • Luxurious fragrance for a multisensorial, spa-like experience

 #3: Pureology – Hydrate Conditioner

Reveals soft, lustrous hair while protecting colour vibrancy with this luxurious, concentrated daily hydrating conditioner. The exclusive AntiFadeComplex maximizes colour retention.

Features & Benefitspureology-hydrate-conditioner

  • Intensely hydrate without weighing hair down
  • For concentrated natural conditioning
  • Awakens the senses with an energizing, refreshing fragrance
  • Replenishes parched hair with movement and manageability
  • Rehydrates lightened and chemically relaxed hair
  • Minimizes static

#4: Pureology – Strength Cure Shampoo


10923646-1395068394-710049Gentle, concentrated ZeroSulfate®shampoo helps fortify micro-scarred, damaged colour-treated hair and provides a velvety soft finish.

Features & Benefits

  • Concentrated fortifying sulfate free shampoo for damaged hair including heat or mechanical damage, environmental damage and chemical or colour damage
  • Removes dulling residues with maximum respect for the scarred, sensitized cuticle
  • Leaves hair fortified inside, soft outside
  • Helps protect colour radiance


#5: Pureology – Strength Cure Conditioner10923643-1395068394-709615

Opulent formula with our exclusive AntifadeComplex™ detangles, strengthens and conditions to improve  hair’s touch and light reflection.

Features & Benefits

  • Concentrated daily conditioner helps strengthen hair from heat or mechanical damage, environmental damage and chemical or colour damage
  • Instantly conditions and detangles
  • Improves hair’s touch and light reflection
  • Helps protect colour radiance


#6: Bumble and bumble – Full Form MousseB1PX01_250x430

  • What: A cushiony creme mousse inflates hair as you add heat to lift, sculpt and hold full-bodied silhouettes
  • Who: All hair types and textures, especially fine. Appropriate for use on color treated hair.
  • When: On damp hair, before heat-styling.
  • How: Shake well, then dispense into palm and spread through fingers. Work through hair, roots to ends, then blow-dry. For the illusion of more hair, layer and build.


#7: Bumble and bumble – Thickening Spraybumble-and-bumble-thickening-spray


  • What: Begins styling lift-off for any hair type (thick, thin or otherwise); moderate hold.
  • Who: Anyone.
  • When: Anytime; after Prep or Tonic Lotion and before heated tools (or any sort of setting).
  • How: Spray on damp hair evenly by sections; work through and style.

#8: Pureology – Miracle Filler

Miracles happen! Daily leave-in treatment fills in gaps in hair’s cuticle, leaving high-lifted or highlighted blonde hair 78% stronger after one application!template_product_headers_large_P4PMF

Features & Benefits

  • Daily blow-dry reparative lotion
  • Provides increased strengthening with continued use
  • Contains 15x more Keravis than other Perfect 4 Platinum products to help hair recover up to 78% of the strength lost during chemical lightening
  • Protects hair against mechanical stress

#9: Bumble and bumble – Dryspun FinishB1MT01_250x430

  • What: This translucent dry spray creates instant fullness and texture to spin hair into an airy silhouette.
  • Who: All hair types and textures, especially fine. Appropriate for use on color treated hair.
  • When: On dry hair, after heat-styling.
  • How: Shake well, hold can 10 inches away from dry hair and spray in even strokes where you want lift and airy texture.

#10: Bumble and bumble – Sumo Tech022307_bumblebumble2_b

  • What: It’s not a wax, not a paste and not a creme, but a midweight moulding compound that’s a combination of all three (and a miracle of modern technology).
  • Who: Anyone; a natural for short hair; won’t overwhelm fine hair; perfect for highly textural cuts.
  • When: Anytime; after Prep or Tonic Lotion; use on damp or dry hair to style.
  • How: Spread a dime-size dab or two onto palms and work through barely damp or dry hair with fingers and style; work quickly and try not to overwork; spray down with Tonic Lotion (or Shine On Finishing Spray) to rework or to cut hold.


Kim Light

Kim has an impressive background in customer service and management. Kim's most rewarding, yet challenging responsibilities at Urban Betty are annual fashion shows and events hosted by the salon, which she personally coordinates and directs.

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Featured Betty for the Month of December

imageName:  Houston Puryear Ward


Age:   27


Hair Type:  Blonde-ish. Medium Length. Getting thicker by the day – thanks to my pregnancy!


Who is your stylist?  Laura Heyns North




How long have you been a Betty?  “2.5yrs”

What are two of your favorite products and why?

“1. Precious Oils Conditioner. First of all the smell is amazing! I also love how soft and shiny it makes my hair.

2.  MILK Hair Treatment. I love knowing all the goodness it does for my hair, plus the smell is great too!”

What’s your hair “do” tip?  “I really like to tease my hair for special occasions. I’m a Texas girl, so I love big hair! Laura has taught me the perfect way to tease, it’s all about the comb!”

How do you spend your free time?  “In my free time, I like to see live music, spend time on the hike and bike trail at Lady Bird Lake, hike one of our many greenbelts and spend time with my wonderful family and friends.”

Who or what inspires you?  “Traveling – I try to do it as much as possible. My new husband and I just returned from our honeymoon in Bali and are preparing to go to Europe for a month very soon!  If I can find the time, I’ll go ANYWHERE.  Experiencing new cultures and meeting people from around the world is very inspiring to me.

People may be suprised to know:  “I was born, and raised in Austin. A rarity these days!”

Who or what inspires you: Bobbi Brown, Makeup Artist. My inspiration from day 1.

Featured Betty for the Month of October

Andrea FitzgeraldName: Andrea Fitzpatrick


Age:    36


Hair Type: fine, curly (but dried straight most of the time)

Who is your stylist?  Erin does my cut and color.  Laura did my hair and makeup for my wedding recently.

How long have you been a Betty?  “Almost three years”

What are two of your favorite products and why?   “Milk – because it makes my hair look and feel healthy and soft.  I’m also loving the Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil Shampoo and Conditioner right now because it makes my hair feel so smooth and de-frizzed and it smells SO good.”

What’s your hair “do” tip?  “I’ve learned in the last few years that not washing it everyday is really good for it.  I used to think that was so gross, but now I use dry shampoo between washes and wear it up a lot –  it works great!”

How do you spend your free time?  “In my free time, I like to see live music, spend time on the hike and bike trail at Lady Bird Lake, hike one of our many greenbelts and spend time with my wonderful family and friends.”

Who or what inspires you? “Traveling – I try to do it as much as possible. My new husband and I just returned from our honeymoon in Bali and are preparing to go to Europe for a month very soon!  If I can find the time, I’ll go ANYWHERE.  Experiencing new cultures and meeting people from around the world is very inspiring to me.

Fashion Colors


Fashion color have become very popular as of late and I get a lot of questions from my clients about this. So, if your find yourself perusing through Pinterest for Katy Perry’s emerald green or Kelly Osbourne’s muted lavender, there are some things you should be aware of.

Achieving these colors is no easy feat and requires some finesse. Many of the beautiful heads of hair you see online are photo enhanced, or might be colored extensions or even wigs.  So remember how important it is to talk with your stylist about how realistic your expectations might be for your hair.

Most visits require a pre-lightening service before your desired shade is applied. The type of pigment that makes up this color is known as direct dye or stain. The color molecules are larger than that of permanent color and never truly penetrate the cuticle of the hair. This may pose a problem after leaving the salon. You might find some hues of color on your towel, in your shower, or on your clothes. It’s important to have a glaze or treatment after your color is applied to seal in the color as best as possible. This doesn’t always solve the issue of bleeding, but it is very helpful!

Fashion colors last between 3-4 weeks depending on how often you shampoo. It’s best to use color safe or sulfate free shampoo and very cold water.

This trend is really fun and it’s exciting to see the changes that take place after each home shampoo, but it requires a lot of upkeep. If you aren’t quite sure you’re ready to commit, try using colored hair chalk or snap in extensions!

Chenoa Copeland

Hairstylist at Urban Betty Salon
Chenoa is an amazing hair artist that specializes in ombre and blonde highlighting.

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Color Won’t Lift Color

“Color won’t lift color.”  This is a phrase that I learned to live by in eight years of working as a hairstylist.  This concept can be a tough one for clients to grasp at first.

Don't do it!

Don’t do it!

I can recall my high school days where I experienced several awkward, unfortunate “at home” dye jobs.  On one such occasion, I colored my hair with a Nice and Easy ash brown permeant box color.  I chose this shade based on the beautiful, tan, bohemian Goddess with long, flowing, shiny locks on the cover of the box.  Why yes, I would like to look like that!  This was a terrible choice because my hair was bleach blonde at the time and would suck up that ash tone looking extremely dark and grey.  And it did!  Not only was my hair completely black in some places but it had a grey/green hue to it.  It was severely uneven, weimaraner grey in some areas and black in others.  This was due partly to the horrible application I had done for myself and that my damaged hair could not absorb this dark color without the use of a color-filler, provided by a professional.  My dry, murky, shoulder length hair did not resemble much of that sun kissed Goddess.  Through tears I had an epiphany.  I’ll just go back to blonde!  I returned to Eckerd’s and purchased yet another Nice and Easy (I was beginning to resent this name) box of permanent hair color.  Only this time I chose the blondest picture I could find.  I went home and slapped that puppy on.  I even let it process a little extra just for good measure.  All I’m going to say is that it did not work.  It took years to overcome that mistake(s) and made for very award, brittle, insecure times.

I often talk to clients that are clearly smarter than I was and are not attempting their makeovers at home, but are disappointed when they can’t “go back to blonde today”.  Once permanent hair color has been applied to the hair, the only thing that will break through that color is a high lift lightener (aka bleach).  In most, if not all cases it would not be a good idea to saturate all of one’s hair with bleach.  Depending on the health of the hair and what has been done in the past the results could be anywhere from drying to melting the hair as well as an uneven, undesirable tone.  There are cases where a “cleanse” (a mixture of bleach, developer, and shampoo) can be applied to the hair to break through an existing color.  This is a bit milder to the hair but would need to be watched closely by a professional, and again would only be successful in certain cases.  The best way to lighten colored locks is through highlights.  Yes, these highlights would need to contain bleach but only a fraction of the hair would be lightened and susceptible to damage, versus an entire head of hair.  To lighten one’s hair overall using highlights may take several sessions, but it is the safest way to go.  This method will not only preserve the integrity of the hair but also ensure that it is wearable and presentable while transitioning to a lighter color.  While changing up one’s hair color and “going dark for fall” is a lot of fun, I urge my clients to make sure it is something they really want to keep for a while because as I’ve learned the hard way, you can’t always just go back.

Amanda Millican

Hairstylist and Color Specialist at Urban Betty Salon
Amanda excels at blonde coloring and highlights but also enjoys creative color, especially ombre. Some of her specialties include up styling and extensions. Amanda is a mother of two and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her kids, cooking, and working out.

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Growing out your pixie? Be patient!

I recently cut my hair to a short pixie cut in February. Not that I don’t love it short, but I decided to start growing it back out in April. Growing out a pixie is a lot like growing out bangs, if you have everMia_Wasikowska_2010 been through that frustration. You try to be patient, but all you want to do is cut it all off because it’s so awkward. In order to cope with the overwhelming desire to cut it all off, I have been trying some different things with my hair.

Normally, I have a very heavy front piece, and push it all forward and can flip it all to either side. As it gets a little longer, I am able to curl most of it to create some texture while eliminating the feeling of having an overgrown bowl on my head. Another cute style I’ve been trying as it grows a bit, has been to push everything back from the center of the top of my head, and leaving a nice little side bang area, maybe wear a headband to keep everything back. On nights I feel a little more spicy, I will push all of my hair back to a pompadour, sleek on the sides with volume on top. Teasing my hair a bit and giving it that bouffant volume makes it look like a completely different hair cut.

???????????????????????????????If you find yourself still bored and desiring to cut it off, try changing up your color. Adding a few peekaboos or highlight will add dimension and will give you a feeling of a new style, without compromising the length you’ve been working so hard to achieve. Start looking for pictures to make it through the phases. This will help you to make small goals rather than waiting the entire time until you get that Victoria secret hair. Be patient, take vitamins, and don’t cut it!

Maggie McCawley

Hairstylist at Urban Betty Salon
Maggie joined the Urban Betty team in 2014. She is an amazing hair artist and enjoys the craft of hair coloring and cutting.

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Which is the Very Best BlowDryer for YOU?

Picking a blowdryeHairdryer_20101109r can be a confusing and daunting task. With so many dryers to choose from how are you to know which is right for you? Well I’m here to make it easier for you to pick one. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

Wattage is an important fact to consider. The more watts the more power. I prefer to have high wattage with low EMFs. You get an amazing compromise between having the most power while being kind to your environment.

blow-dry-barIonic is the best way to go. Traditional dryers use old school heating methods such as plastics and metals that literally boil the water off your hair. Ionic dryers produce negatively charged ions and trap moisture inside the cuticle having it lay flat  and eliminating frizz.

Settings are also something to keep in mind. I prefer high,medium,and low speeds depending on the style and texture of your hair. Make sure that your dryer contains a high,medium, low heat and a cool button.

Be weary of heavy dryers! The lighter the dryer the less tired your arms become  and you can spend more time enjoying styling your hair.

Attachments are something you should consider. I always have a hair concentrater which is the key to silky smooth styles. If you are curly haired gal, a diffuser is a must!Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 12.37.49 PM

Just remember to keep it simple and checkout reviews online. Getting your new dryer should be fun and exciting.

Erica St. Clair

Hairstylist at Urban Betty Salon
Erica considers her work to be art. An art that she has been creating since 2006. She attended Baldwin Beauty School in Austin, Texas. She works as a senior stylist at Urban Betty Salon and she looks forward to an unleashing of hair art. Erica specializes in textured haircuts, multi- dimensional color, and classy alternative coloring. She thrives on doing the very best for each client.

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Gracefully Grow Out Your Bangs

Engagement_weekend0561 - Version 2

Engagement photo with bangs.

Last August I got engaged and one of the first thoughts that immediately came to my mind was “How will I do my hair for the wedding?” Groundbreaking world saving stuff here, I know. However, to most women planning a wedding this is an essential detail. I had just chopped my bangs to eyebrow length that summer and I needed them to be long again by next fall. Of course, I had a New York trip planned and engagement photos coming up soon, so I didn’t want to have annoying hair in my eyes during the trip or for professional photos. So let’s just say, I really started growing my bangs out 10 months prior to my wedding. Plenty of time right? Everyone knows the minute you watch a pot boil it seems to take forever. And that is just what it feels like right now with my hair.


Current length of bangs.

Current length of bangs.

I’m about 4 months away from the date of my wedding and my bangs have barely made it past my upper lip. My hair grows pretty fast and it will be fine for my updo, however I can’t help but wonder if the lovely side swoop I’m envisioning for my bangs will end up looking like a half mushroom cut by the end of the wedding.  Oh well! First world problems.

The one thing I have learned during this last year is how to cope with the lovely grow out phase of bangs.

I can show you a couple tips and tricks that have worked for me and I’ll even attach pictures for you to see! Here are some of the nifty “hide your bangs” hairstyles that I have come up with during this process: (All done completely on my own)

The side braid.

Section your bangs from where you part you hair in a 2-inch section all the way to your ear. Clip the rest of the hair out of the way. French braid or corn row your hair halfway down that section. Criss cross two bobby pins on top of each other at the end of the braid. Unclip the other section of your hair and make sure it covers where you pinned the braid. This is a great look that can be worn dressy or casual.

Side bang braid.

Side bang braid.

The pin back.

This is exactly what it sounds like. Simply pull your section of bangs back and twist them. Pull them back underneath your main section of hair. I usually criss cross two bobby pins to keep them put.

Side bang pin back.

Side bang pin back.

Wear a headband. 

There are so many options here. And so many cute headbands out there. I recently bought a headband from American Apparel that had wire in it. Such a genius invention! Keeps the headband in place all day. Especially for those of us with smaller heads.

Ponytail Pompadour. 

Take a mowhawk section on the top of your hair and tease it all very firmly at the roots. Next brush lightly through the teased section with a boar bristle brush. If you need to add a little hairspray to it so you can maintain control, go for it! Gather all your hair into a ponytail at any height you choose. Finish the look with a good dose of hairspray to keep the bangs back. My favorite hairspray is PureOlogy Strengthening Control. If you’ll be out for a while, pack a travel size spray to spritz any rogue hairs that want to come loose. This is a classic look. And it hides bangs beautifully!



Chelle Neff

Owner of Urban Betty Salon at Urban Betty
Named one of the Top 200 Salons in the country for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, & 2015 by Salon Today magazine.Chelle Morrison has been a leader in the U.S. salon business since founding her own salon in 2005. She has over 18 years creating innovative practices in the salon, product, and beauty world. As a woman entrepreneur she runs one of the most successful salons in Austin, Texas.

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Featured Betty For the Month of June


Name: Pie Pisano


Age:    TBD


Hair Type: curly!!


Who is your stylist?  Erica St. Clair


How long have you been a Betty?  “Three years, but I’ve been seeing Erica for five years!”

What are two of your favorite products and why?   “Reactivating Mist by Bumble & Bumble because it keeps my style for days and Bumble & Bumble’s Invisible Oil, it calms my hair.”

What’s your hair “do” tip?  “Do use products with oils such as shampoo & especially conditioner & whenever else you can. It has made a big difference for me.  Curly hair is dry hair by nature.  Be gentle & embrace that curly hair!”

What is your indulgence?  “Dark chocolate, great cable and Netflix series.”

Who or what inspires you?  “People who lead by example inspire me.”

“Thanks for doing  this!  I love your salon & the staff and I have learned a lot from them about my hair care.  Chelle steers a really good ship full of positive energy and I congratulate you all on a job well done!  UB is a credit to Austin.”    -Pie