Tag Archives: hair

Hair Tips From Ryan Nickulas


Ryan Nickulas, celebrity hairstylist

Most people may know Ryan Nickulas from starring in the hit LOGO series “The A-List: New York”, but aside from being a reality star, he’s also a badass celebrity hairstylist. The Massachusettes  native has styled the likes of Rachael Ray, Pam Anderson, and Isaac Mizrah – but his all-time favorite, VIP client was his mom (adorbs right?).

While maintaining star-worthy hair may seem like a chore, the New York City hairdresser swears it’s not as difficult as it seems.  Nickulas, who works at the Vidov Salon, believes that even a ponytail can slay. We recently caught up with this 16 year hair veteran to discuss his career, favorite trends, and simple ways to keep your tresses on point.

MLB: What inspired you to get into the beauty industry?

RN: It was just natural for me; grandmother was a hairdresser, so I just grew up around it. I was that 10 year old asking for highlights (laughs).

MLB: I know you’re originally from Cape Cod, but now you work at a swanky New York salon. Why did you decide to come here?

RN: I moved to New York for love. I had rekindled with my [now] husband, and followed him to the city. Being that I had a trade, I knew that I could do it anywhere. As a kid I always read fashion magazines and dreamed of coming here, so it all worked out.

MLB: What is your favorite hair trend right now?

Hair by Ryan Nickulas

Hair by Ryan Nickulas

RN: I’m obsessed with really, really, really long hair extensions like you’re seeing on the Kardashians and Nicki Minaj. I love the opulence of it, they’re so seamless and simple, yet avant garde – it’s amazing! I once did a 38 inch installation for a client, but getting in and out of a car and using the toilet with hair that long can be difficult  – you gotta be careful (laughs).

MLB: As spring approaches, what would you recommend for a woman to do to switch up her look in the new season?

RN: Everyone is cutting their hair. In the same breathe that I love a good 38 inches, the other flip of the coin is that a sleek cut is crisp and clean. J Lo just did it, she chopped her hair to her collar bone. For everyone’s sake, it gets all the dead ends off, and it makes for an easy color change. Chopping it off is a great way to feel fresh.

MLB: What is a simple hairstyle that any woman can do?

RN: If you have enough hair to fit into a ponytail, do a ponytail. I love seeing women’s hair up! It opens up the face, brings attention to the eyes, and it works for every lifestyle – whether you’re hustling or you’re bougie.  You can make it fun by using a curling iron to create texture.

MLB: What’s hottest trend in hair color?


Hair by Ryan Nickulas

RN: Oh, that has to be “sombre”. That’s a subtle ombre that you can create with toners. It’s a simple way to ease into summer, it makes old color fresh again. If you look at the celebrities [their hair is] not jet black or over-highlighted, it’s kind of in between. There are highlights and lowlights in [the hair] but it’s all really tonal.

MLB: How do you keep colored hair super healthy?

RN: Always conditioning treatments, condition your hair often. A lot of women over-shampoo their hair, when they should be shampooing a maximum of twice per week. A lot of girls don’t realize that if they just get in the shower mid-week and rinse their hair well, put a conditioning treatment on and rinse that thoroughly, it will be enough to maintain healthy hair.

MLB: How do you feel about the pastel-colored hair trend?

RN: I think it’s on its way out, though Easter is around the corner (laughs). It’s out. It’s done. There are some really amazing hairstylists still doing it, and it’s great for Instagram, but the everyday woman is not doing it.

MLB: A lot of women of color are nervous about coloring their hair, especially if it’s relaxed. Is there a safe way for them to color relaxed?

RN: No, sorry. You really shouldn’t bleach relaxed hair, there are ways to lift the hair without bleach but they’re still damaging. When you add a heat style, on top of relaxer, on top of color, it’s not the best. It’s almost like just pick one (laughs). My best advice is don’t do it, but there are creative ways of adding color without actually coloring, like extensions.

MLB: Can you share some of your favorite hair product brands with us?


Hair by Ryan Nickulas

RN: Yeah, I love Oribe and Goldwell. Goldwell is the hair color that I use, but they also have an amazing treatment line. I recently discovered Jen Atkins’, OUAI, and it a great line. It’s clean, crisp, and works across the board for most people.

MLB: What is the best hair advice that you can give women?

RN: Cut your hair! Whether it’s just a dusting or a trim, it really, really, really helps maintain the integrity of your hair. Like 90% of women skip out on cuts or push them back; when they should be trimming at least every 3 months.

For more information about Ryan Nickulas, or to book a hair appointment click here.

A Cool Way to Wear Your Hair Down On Your Wedding Day



More and more brides have chosen to pass on the super-structured wedding updos of yesteryear, in favor of styles that give them that coveted, “I woke up like this” look. As a bridal hairstylist, I’ve noticed that a lot of brides-to-be are requesting to wear their hair down, and they want it to look as if it hasn’t been fussed with. Loose waves are an extremely modern look for exchanging nuptials on the big day, but hair that looks effortless, often takes a lot more effort than you’d think.  As with anything else, having the right tools are essential in order to make it last all day. To get gorgeous boho bridal hair, you’ll need:  mousse or a root lifting spray, a blow dryer, a medium hold hairspray, a 1” curling iron, texture spray, and finishing cream.


  1. Start of by saturating your hair with either mousse or root lift spray, and brush the product through the hair to distribute it evenly.

  2. Flip your head upside down and blow dry the hair with your head flipped. This will give the hair height and volume.
  3. Section your hair whatever way is easiest for you to when curling. Next, spray your favorite medium hold spray to each section, and brush through the hair.
  4. Curl each section with a 1” curling iron is alternate directions, so the curls won’t be too uniform.
  5. Once your whole head is curled, run your fingers through them to loosen them up, and apply a texturizing spray (my favorite is DrySpun Finish by Bumble and Bumble) to the waves to give them a lived in feel.
  6. Shape the hair until you reach your desired look, then lock in the style with hairspray.
  7. Finally, use a finishing crème to tame baby hairs and fly aways, and you’re all done!

Although wearing your hair this way alone will be a gorgeous wedding style, a fun accessory (such as a hat, flowers, or a clip) elevates the style to the next level.



Keep Cardio from Killing Your Hair


You already know that cardio messes up your hair. Whether you’re rocking a blowout, a bunch of bouncy curls, or something else entirely, your style and texture probably won’t make it through your HIIT class (unless you are one of those superhuman non-sweaters…oh, how I envy thee). But did you know that sweat actually does long-term damage to your luscious locks too?

I’m training for a marathon and noticed that all this running (or really, sweating) is turning my hair into straw. I am heat styling less often than before to make up for the extra shampooing, but realized that duh, salt is drying, and sweat has salt in it. Plus, it makes color fade faster.

Dry shampoo can be great for saving a style, but will only further dry out your actual strands, and besides, after a 12+ mile run, there’s no magic save for my drenched tresses. So here’s my tip: if you know that you will be sweating to the point where you will have to (ARGHHHH!) wash your hair, use the time to baby it too. I’ve been putting deep conditioner in my hair and putting it in a braid or bun. On days where I don’t think I’ll be sweating as much and really have no intention of washing my hair, I use a leave-in conditioner.

Condition your body; condition your hair.

xx Dana

Troubleshoot Your Curling Iron Technique


Curling iron newbies share a lot of the same complaints. Let’s go through them and figure out how to curl like pros.


Dents are usually caused by curling your hair in the wrong direction relative to the clamp. Curl toward your ends, not away from them. You can also get a dent at the bottom of your hair if you don’t get all of your hair inside. It’s best to start your curl at the top of your hair, not the bottom. You’ll avoid dents, give less heat damage to the most sensitive parts of your strands, and get longer lasting curls.

It’s Not Working!

If your iron is working, and you hold the iron for an appropriate amount of time and there’s still no curl, your sections are probably too big. In general, you can figure out how much hair to curl at a time by holding your iron vertically and choosing a section of hair the same width as the iron. This will give you the curl traditionally associated with the width of the iron you chose. Once you understand this, you can break this rule. Do you want super loose, almost blowout-looking waves, but all you have is a 1″ curling iron? Throw your hair into a high ponytail, divide your hair into four sections, and wrap it around the iron. After it cools and you let your hair down, you’ll have loose waves. Real pros can create dozens of different curls with only one iron!

Curls Don’t Last

Don’t tug on a curl while it’s still warm, unless you want to loosen it. If your hair has a hard time holding a curl, try to slide the iron off, maintaining the curl, and pin it to your scalp while it cools. Letting your hair set will give you hours of extra curl. And of course, hairspray is your friend.


xx Dana

4 Root Lifting Alternates to Teasing Your Hair


Voluminous hair is what most women want, and quite a few women find hard to achieve. For so long, teasing was the only know option to achieve sky high volume – especially at the crown, but the ugly truth about teasing is that it can be damaging to the hair. There are quite a few alternatives to this archaic technique that give just as much height, and a more modern finish. Here are some of my favorites:

Garnier Root AmpGarnier Root Amp – This root lifting mousse comes in spray form, allowing you to concentrate the product only on the desired areas. You can use it on wet or dry hair; simply spray the Root Amp and blow dry the hair in an upward motion for a lasting root boost.


Dry shampooamika Perk Up Dry Shampoo –  Sometimes hair falls flat simply because of excess oil at the roots. In this case, you can achieve volume at the crown by absorbing the oil with dry shampoo – Perk Up by amika is my fave. Using it is super easy, but your hair must be dry. All you have to do is apply the dry shampoo directly to roots and rub it in with your fingertips. Perk Up instantly rids you of the “grease ball” look,  and brings your hair back to life!


Paul MitchellPaul Mitchell Extra Body Daily Boost – I would recommend that this product be used on damp, towel dried hair only; I tried to use it on dry hair and the results were not good.  Apply the Extra Body Daily Boost generously to the hair (concentrating on the root area) and brush it through to distribute the product evenly. What I love most about this product is that you get the same amount of lift whether you blow dry with a round brush or if you lift the hair with your fingers instead. By coating all of the hair while damp, the results will be hair with a lot of body from root to tip.


Powder PlaySexy Hair Powder Play – This is one of the most interesting products that I’ve ever come across. While it is a powder like dry shampoo, it does something totally different. Powder Play doesn’t absorb oil, it changes the texture of hair to make it more gritty. Applying it is a little tricky because it requires some finesse. You cannot apply a liberal amount in one area, it has to be delicately sprinkled around on to the areas where the volume is desired. Once the Power Play is on, then you start your shaping process (yes the powder allows you to shape – awesome right?). The powder creates volume while simultaneously roughing up your hair, so that you can manipulate it how you like.

Trust me, you’ll thank me later 🙂

Make Your Hair Color Last


Even the most renowned hair stylists in the world still believe that shampoos and conditioners formulated for color-treated hair are necessary. You know who doesn’t believe that? The cosmetics chemists who create the formulas and know better. Believe it or not, the biggest enemies to hair color are sun, heat styling, and water. There is not a single ingredient found in nature or created in a lab that has been shown to prolong hair color. Remember, the people who are trying to convince you otherwise are also trying to make you believe that you can repair split ends.

Compare a shampoo formulated for colored hair to an “all purpose” shampoo from the same line and see what difference you can find in the ingredients. Google every ingredient featured prominently in the former and see if you can find any evidence whatsoever that it helps fight fading. No? Thought so. That is not to say that there are no products that strip color–it’s just that nearly every hair product on the market now has remarkably similar ingredients, the vast majority of which do not harm color. Also, keep in mind that some colors fade faster from hair than other. If any of those color protecting products actually worked, you would never hear another faux-redhead complain about fading again.

The only thing you can really do to prevent fading is to wear a hat to protect your hair from UV light, shampoo less frequently (because of the water, not shampoo!), and keep heat styling to a minimum. As I mentioned in my post about sunscreen, UV rays cause dye molecules to oxidize and lead to brassy hair. A spray sunscreen is another option for protecting color. As for protecting hair from the damage you’re doing in the shower, put the money you would’ve spent on a fancy set of “color-safe” shampoo and conditioner, and get a shower cap and a good dry shampoo. Even shampoos with sulfates are fine for your hair–really! (That said, avoid sodium lauryl sulfate, because it’s bad for your scalp–sodium laureth sulfate is much more gentle.) Color-depositing conditioners are another option I would recommend, but keep your expectations realistic.  Stay vibrant!

xx Dana




Two Places You’re Forgetting to Put Sunscreen


This post isn’t about your hands and feet–I’m assuming you know by now that all of your skin needs to be protected from the sun. So where might you be forgetting?

1. Your Lips

Lips are skin too. Believe it or not, you can get skin cancer on your lips. But let’s say you’re feeling immortal and are more worried about the superficial side effects–keep in mind that sun damage causes skin to lose elasticity. Your lips already have some of the thinnest skin on your body, and sun damage can make it look thinner.

There are plenty of lip balms with an SPF. Alba Botanica makes a great one for 2.99.

2. Your Hair

OK, your hair isn’t actually in any danger in the way that your skin is. There’s no melanoma of the hair. Your scalp is another story, but you wear a hat, right? Riiiight. But you’ll want to put a hair sunscreen on for sure if you color your hair. UV rays cause dye molecules to oxidize and lead to brassy hair. And pssssst—you don’t need to pay a lot of money for a fancy hair sunscreen. You can use any spray on sunscreen you find at the drugstore on your hair. This is one situation where you will want a product with alcohol. While alcohol is drying on hair, your hair is already dead, girl, and it’s not going to cause the kind of damage it does on skin. The other spray on sunscreens will make your hair look greasy, so this is your best bet. Just be kind to your hair and deep condition it once a week, and try not to use other alcohol-containing hair products on the same day.


xx Dana

An Easy Way to Loosen Hair That’s Curled Too Tight


spiral-curls-for-prom touchedLoose waves crop

With summer coming up, we all want a loose style that doesn’t look like it’s been fussed over, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. You want to set a nice strong curl that will last all day, but don’t want to end up looking like Shirley Temple. Have you ever curled your hair and after trying to loosen it, you realized that  your coils are way too tight? Even though I’m a professional, it happens to me all the time! You never really know how hair will curl when prepped with certain product and/or when certain irons are used. I used to run the flat iron over the curls to relax them a bit, but I recently found another great option that does not involve utilizing more heat. What is it? Surf Spray by Bumble and Bumble! The sea salt spray formula was designed to give hair an effortless, tousled look, and it relaxes curls beautifully. Spray your hands with Surf Spray and run them through your hair until you achieve your desired look. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!

surf spray touched

Surf Spray, $27

Birdcage Veils to Die For

One of my favorite trends in bridal right now is that brides are wearing shorter veils. While long cathedral veils are gorgeous, I find that shorter veils look so much more modern – especially birdcage veils. As a single gal who’s not even engaged, I must admit that I’m guilty of looking at veils and choosing which ones I’d wear for my wedding sans fiancé; and no veil has given me more wedding fever than the birdcage. This veil is my personal favorite because it has a vintage feel, it’s not cumbersome, and it can be modified to your personal style. Here are a few of my faves:

Simple tulle birdcage

birdcage tulle 45

Available at Nordstroms, $45

Birdcage with organza flower

birdcage with organza flower 130

Available at Nordstrom, $130

Birdcage with feathers

birdcage with feathers 7699

Available at Affordable Elegance Bridal, $77

3 Gorgeous Ways to Wear a Bun to a Wedding

Finding a perfect style for a wedding can be a daunting task, not because they’re hard to find, but because there are so many great ones. I always say, when in doubt keep it simple.  And what could be more simple than a bun? I recently did a bridal trial with a client and we utilized a bun in 3 ways; and they all looked gorgeous. I’m going to show you how to recreate these styles so that you’ll be wedding ready. All 3 hairstyles are suitable for both brides and bridesmaids.

For all 3 styles, you need to start off with either hair that has been blown out with a round brush, or hair that has been set with large curls.

Classic Bun :

image11.Tease the hair at the crown and the sides to create volume and then spray the tease for hold

2. Gather hair into a loose ponytail in the middle of the back of the head, and secure with a bungee.

3. Wrap the bun very loosely to create a large bun, and secure with U-shaped hairpins (not bobby pins)

3a. For shorter hair, you may need to use a mesh donut or even a sock to create the appearance of a larger bun.

4.  Continue to shape the hair and spray it in place.


Half Up Bun:

image21. Section the hair horizontally from ear to ear and clip the bottom half out of the way.

2. Tease the hair at the crown of the head and spray it to hold volume in place.

3. Gather all of the hair loosely from the top section, twist it into a knot shape, and pin it in place with U-shaped hair pins (not bobby pins).

4. Let the clipped bottom section loose and brush it.

Spray the style with a medium hold hairspray to keep it in place.

Low Bun:

  1. image3Tease the crown and sides of the hair to create volume and spray the tease hair to maintain the body.
  2. Brush all of the hair back to create a low ponytail at the nape of the neck.
  3. Secure the hair with a bungee.
  4. Twist the hair into a knot shape and secure with bobby pins.
  5. Spray the style with freezing spray to keep it in place.