Monday, October 31, 2011


Microdermabrasion, also known as microderm, is one of the easiest and most effective anti-aging treatments you can get. It is essentially a powerful mechanical exfoliation done by a highly trained technician with an expensive machine. It is usually done with either the original crystal microdermabrasion technology or the newer diamond-tip microdermabrasion.

The benefits of microderm are many: 

~ it softens fine lines and wrinkles
~ helps to smooth coarsely textured skin
~ decreases the appearance of scarring
~ decreases pore size
~ reduces superficial hyper-pigmentation, also known as age spots

Microderm also makes it easier for high-tech skin care products to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and help build collagen, which gives skin its youthful appearance. It actually works by removing the uppermost layer of dead skin cells from the face, chest and hands.  True microdermabrasion is usually done in a day spa, medical spa or specialized skin care studio and gives results you can not achieve with a home microdermabrasion kit, which is basically a scrub for the face that is often too abrasive and can even irritate your skin.

The original microdermabrasion technology, which has been around since the'80s, is called crystal microdermabrasion.  It uses a special wand to spray aluminum oxide crystals (also known as corundum, the second hardest mineral after diamonds) and vacuum up the crystals and now-loosened dead skin.  Crystal microdermabrasion might also appear on a spa menu as "particle resurfacing",  "power peel", "derma-peel" or "Parisian peel".  Note:  Other types of crystals are sometimes used in some microderm machines, including salt and baking soda, but they are not very common.

Also growing in popularity is the newer "diamond-tip" microdermabrasion.  It achieves the same results but with slightly less discomfort and without the crystal residue at the end of the treatment.  However, some women still prefer the more aggressive feel of the crystal microderm machines, because they can tell something "is happening".

The Benefits of Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion can achieve dramatic results, but it is highly dependent on the skill of the esthetician. In general, it's best if you get it from an esthetician you already know and trust.

For the best results, it is generally recommended get a series of treatments. Your esthetician should be able to recommend the number that is appropriate for your skin type and condition. A typical protocal is six treatments about 10 to 14 days apart.

Because the machine can be adjusted depending on skin type and condition, even people with sensitive skin can get a treatment from a skilled esthetician. Doctors with medical spas can own more powerful machines, but more is not always better with microderm.

The price for a single microdermabrasion treatment usually ranges from $100 - $150. With a series of six, you sometimes get one free. It takes about 30 minutes and there's no down-time for the skin to recover.  That's why it's also sometimes called a "lunchtime peel."

It is important to realize that you have taken off the outermost layer of the skin, which is also its protection, so this is not the time to go to the beach. Be careful with your skin a few days after the microdermabrasion treatment: don't do vigorous exercise and don't expose your skin to the sun. Wear a gentle physical sunscreen, even if its a cloudy day. Don't expect to get the same results with a home microdermabrasion kit, which works more like a scrub. In fact, you can easily overdo it and irritate your skin.

How Microdermabrasion Works

The crystal microdermabrasion device consists of a compressor that draws in air through a hand-held wand. When the wand touches the skin, a vacuum is created. Aluminum oxide crystals, also known as corundum (the second-hardest mineral next to diamonds) blast across the skin’s surface, picking up the dead surface skin cells along the way.  The crystals and dead skin cells are quickly sucked up through a different tube in the same wand and go to a disposal unit. 

The depth of exfoliation is controlled by the strength of the vacuum and crystal flow, which is determined by esthetician. He or she makes two passes over your skin, sometimes a third if your skin is thick enough or if there is an area that needs special attention, like a scar or brown spot. Crystal microdermabrasion can be slightly uncomfortable, especially around the sensitive tissue of the mouth and nose, but it should not be painful.  The esthetician should be checking in with you about your comfort level during the treatment. If anything hurts, speak up and the force of the blast can be reduced.

The esthetician, who should be wearing gloves, a mask and eye protection, also leaves traces of the crystal on your face, which might be red afterwards. Your eyes should also be protected.

Cautions on Microdermabrasion

~ Check on the training of the person who is going to give you the microdermabrasion treatment. Results depend on their expertise. Bad technique can lead to abrasions and pin-point bleeding that means the treatment was too aggressively.

~ Do not get microdermabrasion if you have extremely sensitive skin, diabetes, vascular conditions like rosacea, skin inflammation, bacterial infections, lack of tactile sensation, keloid scarring, cuts and abrasions, or have gotten Botox within 72 hours. Other contraindications to microdermabrasion include sunburn, viral infections like herpes simplex, and acne. If you are taking anti-coagulant drugs.

~ Apply sunscreen and stay out of the sun after your treatment. Along with the dead skin cells, you have removed some of your protection.

Where You Can Get Microdermabrasion
You can get excellent Microdermabrasion treatments at INTUITION Salon & Spa, 16 N. Ft. Harrison Ave, Clearwater, FL
Call 727-443-2927 to make an appointment.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hair Loss, Prevention and Solutions.

Hair Loss, Prevention and Solutions.
Dawn Shannon
Salon Owner and Master Stylist

Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor and this article is written strictly from my 20 years of experience as a professional hair stylist.  This article is not intended to diagnose or cure anything.  If you have or suspect you have a medical condition resulting in hair loss, please see your health care provider at the soonest opportunity.

With that out of the way, there are several factors which can result in hair loss, and yes, age is one of them.  Is there something you can do about hair loss?  In my personal experience the answer is a resounding YES, you can!   Is hair loss completely preventable?  I honestly don't know.  The KEY thing to remember in treating hair loss is that you have to do SOMETHING (it doesn't magically stop all by itself) and that the SOMETHING you do has to be done routinely and consistently.

Hair loss may be the result of several different factors, including diet, reactions to medications, stress, etc., but the majority of people I have noticed suffering hair loss are those who have experienced a MAJOR PHYSICAL CHANGE, such as pregnancy, major weight gain or loss, surgery or some other Life Shocking Experience, and they start noticing hair loss about three months later.  The good news is - IT USUALLY COMES BACK!

Another major factor in hair loss is BAD WATER.   The area where I live has horribly hard water, which gets so bad a times that I start noticing considerable hair loss on my clients.  Because of this I've researched ways to help them find solutions.   It actually gets so bad sometimes that I observe considerable hair loss on some clients, which is why I simply had to help find some solutions for them.

Another question I get asked is - "Does hair color, chemical straightening or perms cause hair loss?"   My answer is no, not in my experience.  A bad, non-professional application of these could cause hair "breakage"  which occurs from breaking at the shaft, not coming out of the root. (but this is not the same as hair falling out of the scalp itself) so don't blame your Professional Hairdresser for baldness.  

Products and Solutions.
Here are some products and solutions that I have found to actually work for hair loss.  Some of these don't work for everyone, other do.  And yes, some of these items can be purchased in my shop or elsewhere … the point here isn't about making a sale but to help you.  I will be adding to this list and updating this article as I find more workable solutions.

1. My all-time favorite product is NIOXIN, a professional Salon line of hair care products.  They have a great deal of information on hair loss on their website and their products are amazing.  They have shampoos, scalp treatments and more, and further information can be obtained from any Salon that carries the line.  The two best NIOXIN products that I consider "must-haves" are the FOLLICLE BOOSTER and the VITAMINs - follow the directions exactly and they WORK.

2. Next is a Chinese herb called " Yang Xue Sheng Fa Capsules " - which is herbal and stimulates scalp circulation.  This herb seems to work for many people, although I really wouldn't be able to give you the technical explanation of HOW or WHY, sorry!

3. Third is a product called "Ultra Hair Plus", which can be purchased at many health food stores.

4. I also met a lady who claimed to have lost her hair completely - TWICE!  She now has thick, beautiful hair and actually wrote a book about her experiences and what solutions she found to fully handle her hair loss.   Her name is Jeanne Powers  and her book can be found at

5. My other main solution is to have my client install a water filter directly on their shower. These are available quite inexpensively from any home improvement store and last about three months before the filter needs to be changed.  Even if your entire house has "filtered" water,  getting the extra filter on the shower head you use to wash your hair most often will help to greatly reduce hair loss.   And do NOT be afraid to wash and brush your thinning hair normally.  Some people tend to wash and brush their hair less if it is thinning, thinking less will fall out if they handle it less often.  In reality, quite the reverse is true!   Thinning hair NEEDS the added circulation provided by routine wishing and brushing, so don't neglect it.

6. I've also had clients who had trouble with thinning hair and my solutions above didn't get the expected results.  These I sent to a naturopath / nutritionist and they discovered a weak thyroid (or what have you) and when THAT was handled the hair started coming back using my advice as above.

Remember,  above all,  that something CAN be done about it and the key is to make a change, try these ideas and see for yourself which gives you the best and fastest results for your hair.   
Lots of Luck!

Dawn Shannon
Owner & Master Stylist
INTUITION Salon and Spa
16 N. Ft. Harrison Ave
Clearwater, FL 33755

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stress Free Wedding Hair!

Tips From the Salon
by Dawn Shannon

- Stress Free Wedding Hair - 

Having done "Wedding Hair" throughout my entire 18 year professional career, I have found a few key "tips" that will make anyone's special day a bit more stress free - well, as regards getting their hair just right!

1.  Wash hair night before (if receiving an up-do.)  Fresh, clean hair is harder to keep up and the up-do doesn't turn out as good.

2. If your hair does get a little bit oily, there is a product from Kevin Murphy that can be used called "Fresh Hair" which will literally "refresh" your hair and absorb excess oils, without drying out your hair.

3. Before getting your up-do, refrain from adding any smoothing products, straighteners or flat ironing, as this makes it harder to style the hair.  (In fact, don't put any products in your hair at all - your stylist will take care of all that for you!)

4. If you are not getting an up-do but are receiving a shampoo/blow dry, also do not wash hair that day as your stylist will want to use the precise shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for fabulous
looking "blow dry" hair styles.

5. Wear a button up shirt!  This is so you don't mess up hair and makeup while changing.

6. It is always a good idea to organize with family and attendants who will be paying for Salon and Spa services before you arrive.   This helps eliminate any uncomfortable feelings about payment when it's time to leave the Salon and head to the Wedding.   Decide before you arrive if the bride, her family or each individual in attendance will be paying for their own services.

7.  Put together pictures from magazines (or other publications) so you can more easily communicate with your stylist exactly what look you are going for.  If you see a picture and like something about it - even if only one part of the look, not the whole thing - bring the picture and point out the part(s) you like about it.

8.  I always recommended that Brides have a trial hair day, a week or two in advance, so you and your stylist can really get totally on the same page, try a few different things in a relaxed, non-rushed atmosphere, and really nail down exactly what you are going to do with your hair for the wedding ... leaving you a bit more stress-free on
your big day!

Celebrity Hair Stylist Dawn Shannon is owner of Intuition Salon and Spa
at 16 N. Ft. Harrison Ave, Clearwater, FL 33755 which specializes in Natural and Organic
Products and Services.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How do you define "success" ?

Sometimes it seems that success just takes being in the right place at the right time .... but I think the majority of the time success is all about being a professional and doing everything one does to professional standards, sticking by one's own "knowingness" of how things should and can be, and keeping one's own integrity  and not settling for less than the best in oneself and others.

With THAT (possibly strange) prelude I bring you ... a recent success for ME! :-)

I was "lucky" (i.e. hard-working, talented, professional & dedicated) enough to be requested on a very special photo shoot ... which landed me being credited for TWO magazine covers ... the February issues of both People and Hello.  (Photos: Michael Doven/Getty Images,  Hair: Dawn Shannon, Make Up: Jacob Bailey)

And this, my friends, is just the beginning of what is going to be MY BEST YEAR EVER!

HAPPY 2011!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The longest most beautiful lashes possible!

Happy 2011 from all of us at Intuition Salon and Spa! 

Here's a TIP & TECHNIQUE I would like to share with you on how to have the longest most beautiful lashes possible.

The first step is applying a product called Blinc Long-Lash morning and night.  This will aid in the growth of our lashes. 

The next is applying the Blinc Lash Primer,  after the Long Lash and before the Mascara
Finally, apply the new Young Blood Mascara, which has been re-formulated and it's amazing how long and thick your lashes will be. 
Young Bllod Mascara comes in Brown and Black.

Of course, these items are carried here at Intuition, and the prices are:
Blinc Long-Lash $48
Blinc Lash Primer $19
Young Blood Mascara $24

So this is my personal discovery and I've found it to be absolutely amazing for creating long, beautiful lashes.
(If you have any questions please feel free to call 727-443-2927 - any of our amazing staff will be happy to help you.)

Intuition Salon and Spa
16 N. Ft. Harrison Ave
Clearwater, FL 33755