The Do’s and Dont’s of hair care at home// Home Hair Care

I realize this may be a lengthy blog but it is totally work the read!!!

Caring for those Locks takes hard work and dedication!!!

Body Builders….they are strong! Axe body spray?….now that’s chokingly strong, but hair? We rarely equate hair with strength because it IS typically soft and silky to the touch, but unless you are the  Pantene model, shiny tends to evade us.  However, when pampered with great professional products and just a little personal TLC, your hair can be stronger, than a hormonal woman’s grip on chocolate!!! Not to mention soft and shiny all at the same time. What could be better? All you need is a little information, well in this case maybe a lot of information, to get you headed in the right direction for creating a head full of the strongest of strands, and I’m here to provide it!! Hair 101: Hair is made up of a protein called keratin plus amino acids, and each strand is like a power cord: It has an outer sheath, or cuticle, that encases the inner cortex. The cuticle can withstand abuse such as heat and brushing — to a point, but even durable strands can use a jolt of support.

Take charge with these tips:

Handle with care. Hair can be stretched 30 percent of its length before it breaks. Water makes it swell, so vigorously combing damp strands will cause them to snap. In the shower, saturate hair with conditioner, then detangle to help knots slide out easily. Cool it. Heated tools deliver great looks, but they can also burn hair. Before wielding your flatiron, apply a styling product that uses cuticle coaters like silicone to protect. One of my favorites is the Moroccan Oil. Once a week, clean tools with alcohol to remove product residue, which can sear into hair, making it brittle. Be salon smart. The ends of your hair split as they age (strands can be up to two years old, depending on their length) Get a trim every 8 weeks atleast, and wait about the same amount of time between color visits, especially for highlights. For root touch-ups (which you can do more frequently), ask for dye with less ammonia, a chemical which can make hair wiry over time.

Smooth cuticles are the ticket to irresistibly sexy hair, and there’s no better polisher than conditioner.

How to get your hair SOFT: It’s chockablock with fatty alcohols, oils and other sleekifiers. But don’t slap on any cream rinse and call it a day. Use these hair-quenching ideas: Seal the deal. You may not shampoo every day (it strips hair’s oils), but you should condition each time hair is wet, to lock in moisture. When water evaporates, it draws moisture from inside the shaft, drying it out. Start with strokes. Before stepping into the shower, gently comb dry hair to dissolve product buildup, dirt and oil. The gunk will quickly rinse out, leaving a clean surface for conditioner to penetrate. Squeeze out excess water before applying conditioner. Hair is like a sponge — if it’s saturated with water, it can’t soak up anything else!!! Go deep. Are you coping with coarse, strawlike hair that resembles Raggedy Ann’s mop top? Rather than hide under a hat, try a supercharged treatment that contains amino acids and natural oils, such as Moroccan Oil Mask, twice a week. Massage into scalp with fingertips, then comb through hair. Next, wet a towel, wring out water and microwave it for a few seconds. Wrap the warm towel around your head and wait 20 minutes before rinsing. The towel traps heat, increasing absorption.

These tricks will keep your hair in prime-shine condition.

How to get your hair SHINY: Ruffles may be a big fashion trend this spring, but hair looks best when its cuticles — which are composed of cells that overlap like shingles on a roof — remain flat. If they’re on an even plane, light bounces off, creating a high sheen.

Go gently. Wet cuticles lift easily, putting out the welcome mat for frizz and dullness. Frantic towel-drying can rough up the cuticle, too. Try patting strands with a superabsorbent towel. Start at roots, soaking up water, then slide down to the tips.

Gleam on. The ideal shine-enhancing duo: a blow-dryer and boar-bristle brush. After tousle-drying with fingers, go through sections with the brush. The bristles are slightly textured to smooth the cuticle delicately. Dry hair downward, in the direction the cuticle lies, for a mirror like luster. Finish up. Tame errant fly aways by spritzing a paddle brush with shine spray and lightly brushing from roots to ends; this will deposit enough product to calm frizz without making hair oilier. To touch up dull, frayed ends quickly — necessary the day after a blowout — dealing out an aloe-infused baby wipe and slide it down the bottom 3 inches of hair.   Following these tips and tricks daily will ensure that your hair is on the path to healthy Strong, Soft and Shiny Hair.

Check out the my latest segment on First Coast Living where I discuss these tips and so much more!

2013 Hottest Bridal Hair Trends// wedding hair trends

Buns and Braids….. they are sweeping the country! Every year we see a new trend setting the stage for bridal do’s, and this year is no exception! I am seeing it all, messy buns, high buns, to the side buns, cinnamon buns will give you J Lo buns…….ok,  lets get back on track! Traditional braids, Herringbone braids, Reverse braids, side sweeping braids that go into buns, braids that wanna be buns. You get the picture.  Brides sitting in my chair are asking for all of the above, and we aim to please!  So, incorporating braids this year into any style?  That’s what we ” do” ….pun intended!!

Since braids are a huge  trend this year with no sign of slowing down,  the challenge is to hang on and enjoy the ride. Boho bride to classic bride, the waterfall braid is just right for you. Looking exceptionally beautiful on any personality.

Buns have made such a come back and it SCREAMS classy and sophisticated. You can wear it messy and to the side to create a soft, sweet romantic look or you can wear it smooth and on top of your head to create a look that is simply timeless.

Incorporating a classic bun with a braid will give you CHIC & SLEEK… Its simply Gorgeous… Check out video below to watch my segment on First Coast Living to give you more insight into the hottest Bridal trends this year.

I had so much fun on the set with these ladies. Thanks to Scarlett Lillian Knuth, Adair Currie & Jill Thomas for being my fabulous models.

Cant wait to give all of you ladies more hair tips and tricks!!!

XOXO, Mandi

2013 Brides Choice Award// wedding wire

Hello to you all,

I hope this year is bringing you as much JOY as it is already bringing me…. and its only January!! I couldn’t do any of the things I am honored to do without the help of so many great people and organizations that support me. I am excited to announce to you that I have received Wedding Wire’s 2013 Bride’s Choice Award. With that said, it is YOU, my fabulous and amazing brides who have awarded me this distinct honor by submitting such great reviews. It is with great humility and gratitude that I share this with you today and want to say a heart felt Thank you for the reviews that you have sent in on my half. I realize that you had many options when making your plans for that most special day and I appreciate the opportunity to be a small part of what will ultimately be marked as one of the most memorable days of your life. I have such a great support system of not only fabulous brides, but family and friends, who have lifted me higher than I ever thought possible. I can’t imagine what the rest of this year has in store as we move through each life changing experience that awaits each of us. Stay tuned for the rest of the story as we move through the seasons together one happy bride at a time!!


XOXO, Mandi

Bridal Window Contest Winners Announced// Contest

Earlier in the month Once Upon a Stylist was given the opportunity to have its very own store front window! So I decided to make it the most glamorous window there ever was, to showcase some of my work! In doing this I knew I wanted to create a contest to allow any girl be my featured bride. Above are the pictures of all the Beautiful contestants. They have been vying for your votes for the late few weeks and it is finally time to announce the winners…. STAY TUNED TO THE BLOG TO SEE THE WINDOW GRAND UNVEILING!!!

Coming in as the runners up who will get their photo at the

 top of the window are…….. Kayla and Ashley!!!!

Congrats Girls!

And now for the Winner of the Bridal Store Front Wondow Contest with the most votes is…. LEEANN SOX!!!!

CONGRATS GIRL! You definitely rocked the vote!!!


Holiday Hair on First Coast Living// hair styles

This past week I was lucky enough to score a segment on the morning show called First Coast Living: On this show I got to show the viewers some of my tips and tricks that I use to style my clients hair that they can do themselves at home! Take a look…

I brought along a few of my clients aka  My Main Models… Trisha Miller, LeeAnn Sox and Megan Holtsinger. We had a blast being on set! Pretending we were new casters, weather ladies, and camera controllers… I even played with the “green screen” =) Here are a few pictures that captured those exciting moments.