Our August Community Outreach: Autism Speaks

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States each year.

Jonathan and I have several friends whose children have been diagnosed. Having witnessed their diagnosis as an outsider, we’ve seen the grieving stages the parents go through as they grapple through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, then ultimately acceptance with the disorder. We are oftentimes at a loss with what to say or how to help. It’s frustrating for everyone not knowing the true cause of the disorder. It makes parents question every little thing of the child’s past, all the way to conception, which leaves parents’ minds on an eternal treadmill of questioning thoughts — which for anyone can be exhausting. What we do know about children with autism spectrum disorder is that they are each amazingly gifted and unique. We know they are loved very deeply by their friends and family, even though it may seem at times that these same family and friends are exasperated. The truth is autism is exasperating. It’s also, at times, wonderfully incredible. As our friend said of her sweet, adorable son, “He teaches us something new about ourselves and about the truly important elements of life.”

We’d love for you to take a moment to browse through the Autism Speaks website. For the month of August, Salon Khouri is donating $1 from every haircut to Autism Speaks.

Can we introduce you to an amazing woman?

Minu taking care of herself and her heart -- working hard on the treadmill.

Minu just six months after open heart surgery

I was flipping through my Facebook feed a few weeks ago and saw a slightly blurry picture of a beautiful woman on a treadmill. I’ve shared the photo with you above so that you can hopefully see what I did. There was something about her smile and the happiness dancing in her eyes. She had a look about her like she was ready for an adventure and her demeanor is not just inviting you to go with her, but daring you to. My eyes then glanced at the text above the photo in the Facebook feed: “Who would have known my mom had open heart surgery 6 months ago! Amazing.”

I nearly fell out of my chair and I had to know more. I asked my friend if she would mind bringing her mother in for a little bit of well-deserved pampering at Salon Khouri so that I could talk to her and learn more about the woman behind the mischievous grin.

Minu is 66 years old. She’s been battling high blood pressure for over thirty years. Over the last several years, she has been struggling with bouts of severe depression. During a visit to her cardiologist in 2012, it was discovered that her left main artery was 98% blocked. The scan also revealed that her aorta was about to tear. This came as a complete shock to Minu and her family. Quick to take action, the family met with the Medical Director of Cardiac Surgery of Inova Fairfax Hospital, Dr. Alan Speir, who soon after performed open heart surgery on Minu to save her life. During recovery,  both of Minu’s lungs completely collapsed and Minu was placed in ICU where she fought for her life. But, as you may have noticed from Minu’s grin, she’s a fighter. Just six days later, Minu was on a path to recovery and was released soon after. She began cardiac rehab sessions every other day for three months, and now visits for follow-ups, and to show off her amazing shape!

A gift that Minu serendipitously received from having the surgery is that her depression is now almost subsided. We both chatted about the possibility of the lack of proper blood flow that could have been a major contributor to her depression. I asked her what she now does to remain healthy and she proudly replied that she exercises thirty minutes a day and lifts light weights to keep her heart and body in shape.

As you may know, February is heart awareness month. Last February, we launched a “color for hearts” campaign at Salon Khouri, donating $5 from every hair color to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women fund which we are again doing this year. I fell in love with Minu — her passion, her warmth, her teasing smile and playful eyes. We have nominated her as our role model for women’s heart awareness. Her story is remarkable and her determination is absolutely something that we can all be encouraged by.

Minu after a little pampering at Salon Khouri

Minu after a little pampering at Salon Khouri. Photo by Aliyah Dastour of Alimond Photography.

We love our clients and our community. If you ever have feedback on our salon or our blog posts, please always let us know.

Warmly,

Jennifer Elkhouri
co-owner, Salon Khouri

Tips to extend your blowdry

We hear it so often from our clients: “I can never style my hair the same at home — the blowout never lasts as long as when you do it.”

Well, we are here to tell you a few tips as well as the number one secret to extending your home blowout. Extending your blowout so that you are not washing and using heat on your hair daily is the best way to maintain healthy hair — styling your hair daily with hot tools is one of the worst things you can do to your hair. And, healthy, resilient hair is much easier to work with and will behave far better than dry, damaged hair. So read on to find out how you can achieve the same lasting salon blowout at home:

Tip #1: Product, product, product. There is a reason why one of the first things stylists do when you sit in their chair after a shampoo is to apply product. Product is the number one secret to extending your blowout. It helps shape the style but will also help your hair hold the style. A good stylist should be telling you about the product they are using and why, as well as telling you how much to apply and how. Not every product is a good fit for every hair type.

Tip #2: Use a quality blowdryer with various heat settings. These are usually available for purchase at a salon, and yes, they are higher in price than something you will find at a drug store. But there is a reason why they cost more: they work better. Their motors are better built, and will therefore last longer, but more importantly, they produce higher heat and air velocity than drug store dyers. These two elements, heat and velocity, make all the difference in drying your hair. Currently, the best dyers are professional dryers with ionic-ceramic technology, which will result in smoother, softer, and shiner hair, and in half the time.

Tip #3: Purchase a good dry shampoo. Eufora has a fantastic dry shampoo called Touch Up that we love. The best thing about this dry shampoo is that is comes in tints to help cover root demarcation. Dry shampoo is perfect to use to get another day out of your blowdry.

Tip #4: Section, section, section. This especially goes for you ladies with thick hair. You will not get staying power in your style if you are trying to dry too much hair at once. Plus, if not sectioned carefully, you could be overheating areas of your hair causing damage. Our advice is to purchase at least two quality clips and begin to section your hair as you blowdry.

Tip #5: Tossle-dry your hair 85-90% before sectioning and drying your hair with the round brush. This will speed your blowdry time but will also keep the majority of your hair from direct heat longer. The best way to tossle-dry your hair is by using a vented flat-brush and combing in various directions while drying. Once the hair is 85-90% dry, then section and use the round brush to smooth and dry small sections of the hair.

Tip #6: Use a blast of cool air to set the style. Once the hair is dry, but still using the round brush, finish off each section with a blast of cool air to set the style and tame frizzies.

Following these simple tips will help your blowout to last at least two to three days! All of these tips were covered in our Styling 101 class at Salon Khouri. Be sure to Like us on Facebook to hear about other events offered at our salon.

Laid Off? We’re Here to Help.

Being laid off can make you feel like you’ve been kicked in the gut. It’s personal. And it can oftentimes shake our confidence.

Like it or not, studies have shown that appearance does matter, especially when it comes to landing a job. A study by Beth Winfrey Freeburg Ph.D. and Sally E. Arnett Ph.D showed that “prospective employers‘ and interviewee‘s determination of job fit in part are based on appearance.” The same study references over twenty-five  articles and studies that confer their findings. An article in Elle titled, Is Your Hair Holding You Back, reminded us of the line in the ubiquitous film Working Girl where Tess takes a pair of scissors to her ultra long locks and mile-high bangs, lops them off with one fell swoop announcing, “You wanna be taken seriously, you need serious hair.”

So, we’d like to help. Now through December, if you have been laid off and are currently looking for work, we would like to offer you complimentary hair makeover with one of our fabulous stylists, Kelly Stoneberger. We simply ask that you email us your resume as payment. We will post your resume on our Facebook page in the hopes that one of our fans can help.

We believe, and I mean we truly believe, that looking good boosts confidence. And confidence, along with some solid interview preparation techniques, will help you land your next job.