Thursday, 30 June 2011

Crime Statistics And Hair Clips: A Little Story For You

How Becoming A Crime Statistic Taught Me The Value Of Good Hair Accessories

"Everything's connected," as my father likes to tell me. And good quality hair clips are no exception, of course.

Bear with me on this and you'll see how small details can indeed matter. Even in an incident of violent crime.

You Can Become a Victim Anywhere

A couple weeks ago I became a crime statistic.

If you've been following my blog or emails for a while, you probably know that I am a bit keen on figure skating. I skate 3-4 days every week and I have hopes of competing in the British Nationals next year (at a low level, though - I'm not that good!)

So I was squeezing in a short practice at the ice rink during the public session in the afternoon when a group of five young teenagers decided they took a dislike to me.

They had been fooling around on the ice earlier playing a dangerous game and the management had very strongly told them off. They were actually lucky that they hadn't been banned.

They subsequently decided that I had been the one that had "grassed them up." Which I hadn't.

When I later stepped off the ice to get a drink from my bag, two girls from the group skated up and shouted at me, demanding to know why I had reported them. This became more heated, even as I explained management had CC TV covering the ice and everyone had seen them.

The girls swore at me and one then threw a water bottle cap in my face before skating off.

I figured that was the end of the matter. As they were clearly not afraid of threatening behaviour, I decided it was unsafe to return to the ice with them around. Not wanting another confrontation, I took my skates off and packed my bag to leave.

It is my habit to keep my skatebag near one of the side fire exits. This is because I can put my skates on close to the gate and it is only two steps from the bench onto the ice. This helps keep my blades sharp. Unfortunately is also a corner of the ice rink that is rather isolated.

As I stood to go, the two girls stepped into this corner and positioned themselves, blocking both exit passages.

I approached one of the girls as I made my way to leave, and put a hand on her wrist so I could pass.

"Don't you push me," she said.

"I'm not pushing anyone," I replied, and firmly holding her wrist I moved her arm aside and stepped through.

"Where are you going?" she shouted after me.

I said nothing and suddenly I was punched in the back.

Never Underestimate Your Opponent

I'm sure with my grey hair I probably appeared to this girl like a weak target. She had no way of guessing that I train to fight in both karate and kickboxing three days a week and I have one hell of a reverse punch.

I spun around, and without thinking grabbed her upraised arm. I was about to follow through on what would have been for me the instinctive and well-practiced second strike.

She was in a bad position, physically weak, on skates with poor balance, standing at the top of a set of stairs.

"What, think you're tough?" she spat into my face. And thank goodness she did.

I immediately recognised that this girl had her blood up and was only interested in escalating the fight.

The image that immediately came to my mind was a scene from the original Karate Kid film, where Mr Miagi councils his young student Daniel that "the best defence is to not be there."

I immediately released her, saying "No. I'm not tough. I'm going."

Then I turned my back to her and started walking away.

Now this was very risky for me.

Because, and this is important, I didn't have my hair up in a good hair clip.

Long Hair Can Be a Liability

My biggest worry as I turned from this girl was that she would go for my hair. When I later talked about the assault with my karate teacher he agreed that was the point when I was possibly the most vulnerable.

If she had got my hair and used that advantage to get me to the ground, with them wearing ice skates it would have gone very badly for me.

She hit me twice more in the back as I walked away, but she was fortunately hobbled by her skates as her friends called for her to leave me.

I reported the incident to the children's teachers (who were having tea and a nice chat in the cafe), and to the management. Then I left.

After getting home I phoned my husband, then the police and officially joined the massive pool of statistics recording violent crime.

What I learned by becoming a crime statistic

I have two lessons from this experience that I want to impress upon you:

1. Every woman should take up a real martial arts course. Not some girly "punch in the air" boxercise class at the gym. A proper course where you repeat "double jab, cross, duck, hook, reverse" over and over and over until you can do it instinctively both with power and speed. You might just need it. Plus your husband will probably thinks it really cool.

2. Have a good hair clip, for crying out loud. Not only does it keep your hair out of your way and looking good, whether you are battling work colleagues or feral teenagers, once you're a bit handy with your left hook punch a strong barrette or beak clip makes for a nasty, nasty weapon.

And I can almost guarantee your assailant will be extremely surprised to find you suddenly armed.

Shop All New Hair Clips and, uh, Weapons

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories

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Monday, 27 June 2011

Hair Clips In Harrogate, Or How To Grow Out A Fringe?

New Styling Tricks For Your Fringe

I returned Sunday afternoon, lugging my case full of hair accessories back from a personal hair consultation with a customer with a new trick for you, if you have decided to grow out your fringe.

All you need is your favourite small hair slide or side barrette.

The Client
The client has hair past her shoulders, fine but a lot of it, with long layers cut into it. She was frustrated with her hair and usually pulled all her hair back into a high-ish ponytail.

As a mother of two small children, she needed a fast and easy style that kept her hair out of the way without fuss. But she wanted to look nice and groomed, and if possible stay that way all day.

The Challenges
Even though she had fine hair, the volume of it meant that it was quite heavy.

This restricted her choice of hair accessories. The design couldn't be too open, because her hair had a definite slippery texture and the weight of her hair would just pull her hair out of most clips.

Her personal style is very clean and classic, so as Claire highlighted in her recent series about styling layered hair, you have the difficulty of your layers falling out of most updos.

This can look charming, if you have a more casual or sporty style. If you don't, then it can just look scruffy.

My client was in the process of growing out her fringe (which, with her square face shape, was the right decision, in my view), but it seemed to only be "put in its place" with a scraped back style, which didn't flatter her angular face.

The Solution
I had brought along one of our brand new small French hair slides, the Slim Oval, which is a pretty slender oval shape.

We did a very gentle quiff, with the Slim Oval holding the very front of her fringe all the way back towards the back edge of her crown.

This could be made more secure with a very light misting of hairspray, to make sure the style holds all day.

Another alternative which would give a more secure hold, is our new Classic French small comb.

Unfortunately I didn't have any of these with me on the day, but we have other customers with fine hair who do prefer their combs for quiffs and half-back sorts of styles.

We then made a French pleat with the rest of her hair, using either the Silk Wrapped Cutout claw or the French Pleat medium comb, leaving the ends of her hair fanning out at the top.

This mostly covered the Brise small slide so it couldn't be seen. But if her ends ever fell to the side as she went about her day, then she had a pretty little hair slide showing, which was completely inoffensive.

The Verdict
The client announced she felt like Audrey Hepburn! I think that counts as a good result.

See all Stone Bridge hair slides and barrettes

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK

Monday, 13 June 2011

Fine Hair? I Have Got A Brilliant Hair Clip For You!

A Hair Clip That WILL Actually Hold Long Fine Hair. Don't Believe Me?

Last year we introduced our French Handmade Beak Clip, which was enormously popular and sold out quite quickly. This clip in my personal consultations has done well in every appointment with a client who has fine or slippery hair. I think without exception this design ended up being purchased - it is just so good.

This summer, we've got a Pacific Islands inspired version for you: the Moana Etched French Beak clip.

I've got a video here for you going through which colours will suit your hair best, to give you a little help.


Hair Accessories Shown In This Video

Moana Etched French Beak hair clip
Lune French Beak hair clip (Sold Out!) See our Brill Beak Clips

Browse All Stone Bridge Beak clips

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories

Friday, 3 June 2011

Styling Ponytails With Long Layered Hair

Day 5 Of Claire's Favourite Hair Accessories For Layered Long Hair

Making a ponytail when you've got layered hair can be irritating, with top layers always slipping out and falling into your face.

Claire has a few top tips on creating a ponytail that works in her last video for you.


Ponytails For Long Layered Hair Styles

Hair Accessories Shown In This Video

Basic Elastics
Crystal Bauble elastic
Classic Wide barrette (Sold Out!) See our Classic French Oval Barrette
Portofino Crystal barrette
Coco Bow barrette (Sold Out!) See our Splendide French Bow Barrette

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Headbands Perfect For Hair With Layers

Day 4 Of Claire's Favourite Hair Accessories For Layered Long Hair

Welcome back! Once you've got layers cut into your hair, you can find some types of headbands get completely hidden with your hair falling forward, while other styles simply look odd.

Claire has done her homework for you and gone through all our headbands to work out which ones are most suitable and how to use them in a layered hair style.


Headbands For Long Layered Hair Styles

Hair Bands Shown In This Video

France Luxe Triple Wide hair band(Sold Out!) See our Classic Double Headband
Ficcare Metal Mesh bandeau hair band
Super Comfy Skinny headband (NOT recommended for your hair)
Silk Double bandeau haïr band(Sold Out!) Silk Wrapped Zig Zag Headband