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.

Latest posts by Amanda Millican (see all)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Latest posts by Maggie McCawley (see all)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Latest posts by Erica St. Clair (see all)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 Morrison

Owner of Urban Betty Salon at Urban Betty
Named one of the Top 200 Salons in the country for 2011 and 2012 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.

Latest posts by Chelle Morrison (see all)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Featured Betty for the Month of May

Throughout the history of Urban Betty we have acknowledged an employee that has gone above and beyond every month with the Betty of the Month award.   A few years ago we decided to extend that award to clients as well.  Stylists’ are encouraged to nominate clients they wish to recognize and at our monthly meetings a name is drawn at random.  We call this the Featured Betty!

The winning Betty is asked to answer some questions about things they like, products they use and any other interesting information they wish to share with us.  We post a blog along with their photo and when they come in for their next visit we present them with a travel size shampoo, conditioner and styling product in thanks for being such a great Betty!

1743671_10152677963089546_1911915548_n-1Name: Susan Morgan-Tullos


Hair Type: straight


Who is your stylist?  Amanda Millican



How long have you been a Betty?  “a few years”


What is your indulgence?  “Chocolate!”


People may be surprised to know: “that I donate blood regularly”


Three words that describe you:  “positive, energetic, giving”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Urban Betty at Austin Fashion Week

This year Urba10256904_677131329001524_6042807510198240206_nn Betty participated in the 6th annual Austin Fashion Week. Not only did we hold our own event, we styled hair for the AFW runway, and our owner Chelle Morrison, took home an award for Austin Fashion Week Philanthropist of the Year.


Photos courtesy of Wendy Gail Photography


Signature Betty Party” was a huge success. We had over two hundred attendees and raised one thousand seven hundred dollars for the DSACT cause. The main features for our event were free Signature Betty cocktails sponsored by Deep Eddy Vodka, and a Signature Braid, Nail, and Curl Bar. Everyone lined up to get beautified by the Betties!



           We rocked out hair during the Austin Fashion Week runway shows. Our in house wedding and updo specialist, Nina Fitzgerald, created a look to mesh with each fashion designers theme. All the stylists paired up in teams to tackle each models head of hair backstage. Needless to say, the runway was a huge success!


Photos Courtesy of Fashionably Austin

10268433_674887135892610_4903428841766449043_n 1613879_674887085892615_8526924449378712281_n 1010887_674887285892595_9036786191546393588_n

10348705_10154131286020352_1893045752948949901_oAnd last but definitely not least we took home a golden boot at this years Austin Fashion Awards. Chelle Morrison, owner of Urban Betty was awarded Philanthropist of the Year. Urban Betty is a drop of location for Project Princess, which collects used dresses and accessories for girls going to prom. The salon holds event throughout the year that give to causes such as: Safe Place, Austin Pets Alive!, Movember and DSACT. Chelle also routinely donates gift cards to organizations all over the city. Not only is she a small business owner, in her free time she participates in the Central Texas Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Congrats Chelle!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Revive Your Winter Damaged Tresses

I don’t know about you, but winter has been harsh on my hair!  All the dry weather and plus the constant change from warm back to cold, did a number on my hair.  The weather can cause the hair to become dry, frizzy and unmanageable at times.  Here are some things you can do to fix all your winter hair problems.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Number One, come get those split ends snipped off.  No need for a lot of length off, maybe just a skimming of the ends is needed.  Trust your Betty to tell you what’s needed.






Number Two, while booking your haircut also book a deep conditioning treatment.  This has saved my hair.  They are simple, relaxing and only a $15 to $20 add-on to your haircut price.




Last but NOT least, Number Three. And I feel that I speak on behalf of most of the Betties is we all love the new PureOlogy line, Strength Cure.  I’ve been using it on my clients that are in need of it and the results have been fantastic, tangle-free, strong, happy hair!10252162_10152170578968224_3669592937221931530_n








Written by Madelon Sanabria, hairstylist at Urban Betty Salon

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Betty How To: Waving Iron


My name is Chelle Morrison, I’m the owner of Urban Betty Salon and I’m also a hairstylist. I’m going to be demonstrating how to use a deep waver iron so you can have natural looking beachy waves.

picisto-20140217193951-471998 What tools are you using to achieve this look?

The tools I will be using to achieve this look are a deep waver iron, 1 crocodile hair clip for sectioning, and 1 large comb.

What products will you be using or what have you already done to your hair to prep it?

I shampooed and conditioned my hair with Bumble and Bumble Mending.  I then sprayed Bumble and Bumble Prep throughout it to detangle with a bit of Milk by Reverie through the mid shaft and ends.   Next I sectioned and blew it dry thoroughly.  Make sure that your hair is completely dry before using the waving iron so as not to burn your hair.  If you have lots of natural curl, please straighten your hair as much as possible with only the blow dryer.  The key is too smooth it out with only the blow-dryer.  Never use a flat iron or other type of iron before you use a waving iron.


First I’m going to section my hair horizontally across the back only, I’ll use the crocodile clip to pin the rest to the top of my head.  Make sure that your sections are only as thick as the diameter of the iron.  That helps to prevent grabbing too much hair.  I usually break the first section into two pieces and comb through them before using the iron.  I bring the section to the side and begin using the waver at the top.  I then move the iron down the section.  Be sure to incorporate part of the last waving pattern in your next move to keep the wave fluid.

Next I’m going to move up the back of my head in horizontal sections until I reach the crown of my head, leaving each section down that has already been waved. I usually take 2-3 sections within each section.  When you finish that and reach the top of your head, start with your sides.  Work your way up to the top of your head horizontally again.  Make sure you work towards your part.  Always wave your hair in the direction of where you part your hair, never away from it.  I part my hair slightly off center, so it makes it easier to section.  If you have bangs, I suggest not using the waving iron on them.  Because if they are not long enough, it can cause a weird outcome.  Only use the waving iron on hair in the front that is 6 inches or longer.  Since I have bangs, I have dried them smooth and will bobby pin them back into the rest of my hair.

Final Finish!

After pinning my bangs back into the rest of my hair, I loosely run my hands through it.  You can flip your head upside down as well to break up the waves.  Never comb through the waves!  That can cause frizz.  I apply a bit of Bumble and bumble Brilliantine through the bottom to create separation and add to the beachy look.  Just a dime sized amount is all you need.

What do you like about this style and why do you do it?

I love having wavy hair and the ease of it.  It looks natural and I can easily wear this same style without washing it for 3 or more days.  In fact the longer I go the better it looks.  This is a great hairstyle for humid and rainy days; it only makes it look more natural!

Watch the video here!

Chelle Morrison

Owner of Urban Betty Salon at Urban Betty
Named one of the Top 200 Salons in the country for 2011 and 2012 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.

Latest posts by Chelle Morrison (see all)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Featured Betty for the Month of April

photoName: Julie Monone


Age:    41


Hair Type: straight


Who is your stylist?  Chelle Morrison


How long have you been a Betty?  “8+ years as a Betty, but I’ve actually been seeing Chelle since 1996!”

What are two of your favorite products and why?   “Bumble and Bumble and Biolage, these are two great products for colored hair!”

What’s your hair “do” tip?  “Having long hair, it tends to be dry. I have learned that sectioning off my hair while blow drying has helped tremendously and has cut down on split ends and dryness!”

How do you spend your free time?  “Gardening and being with my husband and two dogs. We love spending time outdoors and we have lots of adventures together.”

What is your indulgence?  “Great hair is definitely one of my biggest indulgences!”

What is your favorite local store? “What is your favorite local store – Austin Rocks on 2nd! I love to shop local!”

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,