19 Jan How to Prepare for a Hair Transformation

Selena Gomez rocked the beauty world with her dramatic hair transformation earlier last year. Her two stylists performed miracles on her hair for 12 hours straight in a single day to transition her from her normal dark color to what she calls “Nirvana Blonde”. It looks incredible and her hair stayed healthy! These sorts of transformations can inspire people to try new hairstyles of their own, but there are some things you should consider before undergoing your transformation.

Always Consult With a Professional

Never undergo a hair transformation without first consulting a professional cosmetologist! Everyone has completely different hair, all the way down to the biology of how their hair would react to different treatments. What works for Selena Gomez may not work for someone else. If you’re not careful, you could wind up like Katy Perry who had to cut off all her hair because it was so badly damaged! Ms. Perry still looks fantastic with her short pixie cut, but we’d rather that you get a pixie cut because it’s your choice and not because your hair is fried!

Most cosmetologists are more than happy to consult with you for free about your future style. They have the training and skills to be able to tell you what might work for your personal hair situation. Not only that, they can help you roll out a plan if your transformation might take multiple visits over several months.

What the Professionals Say

We had the privilege to interview two of our outstanding instructors at Aveda Inspire Greatness Institute. Heggy Gonzalez is an instructor at our Provo campus, works in a salon, and is an Aveda Hair Color Purefessional. Ely Sanudo is an Aveda Institute alumnus who now teaches cosmetology at our Tucson location. These ladies know their stuff when it comes to hair! We interviewed them and they both came up with some excellent considerations for a successful transformation:

Hairstyle Must Match Lifestyle

Both Heggy and Ely explained that every hair transformation requires a different level of commitment and preparation. If someone already takes the time to style their hair every day and take care of it, they’re more likely to be a good fit for a long-term, dramatic hair transformation. If someone is used to a low-maintenance style, then a high-maintenance hairstyle might not be the right fit for them. Consider the commitment you’re willing to make for the look!

Try Before You Buy

One of the easiest ways to see if a hairstyle suits you is to try on some wigs! You can also draw your inspiration from magazines, or even try combining photos of you with pictures of the hair that you want to try! If it’s a big transformation, it’s a good idea to try out a new hairstyle before you commit to it, especially if it’s a hairstyle that would take a long time to come back from if you don’t like it. For example, if you have long hair and want to try a pixie cut, it can take a more than a year to get your length back to where it was if you don’t like it!

Transform for the Right Reasons

Some hair transformations can be pretty dramatic and very hard to reverse, so it’s important that you change your hairstyle for the right reasons. If you are undergoing an emotional period of your life, make sure that your transformation is one that you won’t regret shortly after it’s done.

Hair Grows Back, Have Fun With It!

No hairstyle is truly permanent, so you should try new things that you might enjoy! Heggy said that If it doesn’t work out, hair grows back so it’s not the end of the world! Hair is meant to be styled and experimented with. It should be fun, so while transformations can be a big deal, don’t forget that your hair can always grow back!

Prepare in Winter for a Summer Transformation

A change of hairstyle is very common between the winter and summer months. Long, dark hair tends to be more prominent during the winter, while people tend to explore warmer colors and shorter lengths in the summer. If you’re looking to have a chic summer look, make sure you’re talking with your stylist now in case it’s a look that will take several months to achieve. Also make sure you’re taking extra steps during the winter to maintain healthy hair!

Many people like to try blonde colors during the summertime. If you have naturally dark hair, get started on the transition in January through March to make sure the transformation is done in time for the summer rays. Some people can take as long as six months of visiting every month to transition from black to blonde without damaging their hair. Just keep in mind that your hair will be different shades in between your starting and end color along the way, so it’ll be quite the journey!

If you’re hoping for longer locks for the summer, start the growing process as early as your cosmetologist thinks is necessary. Hair can grow at an average of half an inch a month, so if you need an extra three inches by June, make sure you stop cutting in or before January. Alternatively, if you’re hoping to go for a much shorter cut in summer, you can try cutting your hair short in increments so that it’s not so shocking when all of your hair is gone. Consult with your cosmetologist to determine what is best for you!

Learn the Skills for Yourself

Is the science of hair something you love? Do you enjoy problem solving with people to help them look their best? Cosmetology could be the right career for you! Contact us to learn more about what you can learn in our accredited cosmetology courses, or visit our cosmetology program page to read more!

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A circle of hands holding a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon.

02 Oct Breast Cancer Awareness Month With Inspire Greatness

The month of October is a busy time at Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes. Why is there so much hustle and bustle during this autumn month? It’s because we want to help in moving forward the research to cure breast cancer.

Every 2 minutes, a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. At Inspire Greatness, we realize this is unacceptable and it’s our goal to:

  1. Give back to survivors.
  2. Raise awareness about breast cancer.
  3. Help contribute to finding the cure.

Here are some of the things we do to help accomplish these goals.

female hand holding a breast cancer awareness ribbon

Give Back

There are millions of breast cancer survivors in the United States. We want to help survivors and fighters in their journey to recovery. While we can’t provide medical assistance, we can help them look and feel beautiful.

During the month of October, Inspire Greatness will have a Survivor Service Day. On this day, breast cancer patients and survivors can come into the salon and get complimentary services. If you’re a patient or survivor, find out which campus is closest to you and when your Survivor Service Day is. Even if you’re not a breast cancer patient or survivor, make sure your friends and family know. We want to give back and serve as many people as we can on our Survivor Service Day!

Raise Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month – emphasis on “awareness.” As more people become aware of the reach and affect of breast cancer, more people become proponents of finding the cure and being the change.

Our hope is that many of the things we do in the month of October at Inspire Greatness will do two things. First, make people more aware of breast cancer and the many ways there are for people to get involved and help. Second, help people take initiative and become part of the team that moves breast cancer research forward.

We also hope that people who come to Inspire Greatness for a service or participate in one of our Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities feel like they are contributors to the great cause.

Contribute to Finding the Cure

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Hair & Makeup Show – In October Inspire Greatness will be hosting a fashion show of sorts to help raise funds to breast cancer research. This fashion show will be unlike any other you’ve ever seen. The themes for the Breast Cancer Awareness Hair & Makeup Show are inspired by the music of the 1970s and include Rock & Roll, Disco, Funk, and Punk. Hairstylists and makeup artists will be creating looks that match these themes that you’ll love! The proceeds from this show will go to breast cancer research, keep an eye out for your chance to buy tickets!
  • Silent Auction – Silent auctions are a classic way to help raise funds for a good cause. You can attend an Inspire Greatness silent auction at a campus near you to help further the cause of ending breast cancer. You’ll almost certainly be able to find a great gift to bid on. If you win, you can give the gift to a friend or treat yourself; you deserve it!
  • Runway Contest – We always like to see our students show their talent. In October we let them put their talent to good use and have a Runway Contest to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer. Students will create fashion show looks and let their models strut their stuff in front of a panel of judges. This event will be one you won’t want to miss.
  • Limited Edition Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme – Aveda is also a big part of fighting breast cancer and has donated almost $4 million to research. This October you will be able to buy a special edition Breast Cancer Awareness Hand Relief cream. For every bottle of cream that is purchased, Aveda will put $4 more toward cancer research. Not only will you be helping to find the cure to breast cancer, you’ll be helping your hands stay soft and smooth. It’s a win win.
  • Appointments for the Cure – We are so excited to be a part of such a great cause that we are even going to donate 100% of the service revenue from our clinic floor for one day to support research. Find out when the Inspire Greatness clinic nearest you is having their Appointments for the Cure day and schedule an appointment. You’ll want to do it sooner than later, cause times will fill up fast!

breast cancer awareness team of cosmetologists

Getting Involved

The scheduling of these events will depend on the location. To stay informed on when and where you get involved with Inspire Greatness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, follow us on social media:

Building a Brighter Future

An important part of our involvement in Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the effect that it has on our students. Our hope is that they will be inspired to become leaders in the future. We want them to be the driving force behind creating more awareness and progress for causes such as breast cancer. We want to give our students the opportunity to be integral parts of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help give them the desire to continue being drivers for positive change.

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

You may have asked where all the proceeds from these events go. At Inspire Greatness, we are proud to give our proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Why? Because the BCRF is the highest rated breast cancer organization in the United States. They have earned an A+ from Charity Watch and 4 out of 4 stars from Charity Navigator. We love partnering up with the BCRF and are confident that our contributions are being put to great use!

Coming Together

Not only is Breast Cancer Awareness Month a good time to get active in a good cause, but it gives us an opportunity to connect with the communities where we have campuses. We want to be a valuable member of the Denver, Phoenix, Tucson, and Provo communities. We want to add value and give back to these communities. We hope that during Breast Cancer Awareness Month we can do that.

Join Us

We are excited about everything we have going on in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We hope that you can join us in our mission to give back, raise awareness, and contribute!

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Aveda Rituals book cover

24 Jan Balancing Beauty and Wellness during Kapha Season

Aveda is rooted in the traditions of Ayurveda, an ancient healing system originating in India. Ayurveda has influenced all forms of modern and alternative medical and healing practices and involves the art of balancing mind, body and being. Fast-forward to today, Aveda’s products and services are inspired by the idea of it’s founder, Horst Rechelbacher, that beauty and wellness work well together. Horst’s vision is also rooted in the Ayurvedic tradition. Products should be healthy and made of pure ingredients rather than toxic petrochemicals and synthetics. Products can be a part of the wellness process.


Ayurveda focuses on balance of the three doshas: Vata (air/infinity energy), Pitta (fire/water energy) and Kapha (water/earth energy). Each of us has a blend of all three of the doshas that govern our mind, body and soul (being). Some of us have more Vata energy so we experience more air and infinity qualities like being cold, dry, quick in movement, enjoy change, have high energy and have a lighter, thinner body frame.

Vata doshas also exhibit dry hair and skin, usually show more nervous energy and have active, restless and creative minds. Vata’s can also be inconsistent and unreliable. Those who have more Pitta energy show more fire/water qualities like being determined, strong leadership, strong focus and sustainable energy. Pitta’s usually have an athletic build, have sensitive skin and have a higher body temperature. They are natural leaders and inspire easily but can also have high tempers and get angry easily. Kapha’s are considered the most fortunate in Ayurveda because they are less likely to become ill and are able to stay in balance more so than the other doshas. Kapha’s usually have thick, lustrous skin, hair and nails. They tend to carry more weight and move slower. Kapha’s are methodical thinkers, loyal and trustworthy.

The doshas also represent the three seasons in Ayurveda and govern certain times of the day:


Kapha season = mid-January to mid-May
Pitta season = mid-May to mid-September
Vata season = mid-September to mid-January

Kapha time = 6 am to 10 am / 6 pm to 10 pm
Pitta time = 10 am to 2 pm / 10 pm to 2 am
Vata time = 2 am to 6 am / 2 pm to 6 pm

Currently we are in Kapha season so no matter what our dominant dosha is, we all experience the elements of water and earth this time of year: slow, thick, heavy, dense, cold and fluid. This is the time of year to slow down, catch our breath and reflect inward more. It’s a time to eat heavier and nourishing meals, rest more often and take time to enjoy life. There’s a delicate balance to drawing in the richness of Kapha energy to soothe and nourish without becoming too sluggish, tired or withdrawn. Daily rituals involving beauty and wellness will help to ensure there’s balance during this time of year.

Kapha daily rituals:


  • rise between 2 – 6 am, waking after 6 am is Kapha energy so it’s more difficult to wake up during heavier, slow energy
  • start with morning stretches, yoga, exercise or meditation to get the body and mind moving and unstuck
  • take pride in self-grooming with hair, skin and aroma – use only natural ingredients and non-synthetics so as not to add more toxins to the body
  • dry brush to help boost skin circulation, remove dead skin cells, and increase skin elasticity
  • drink two glasses of warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar to help purify the body of toxins
  • enjoy a simple yet hearty breakfast every morning between 6 – 10 am
  • make lunch the biggest meal of the day between 10 am – 2 pm
  • enjoy time to be creative and inspired
  • take time to tune-in and appreciate life
  • eat a simple dinner before 7 pm and allow time for the body to digest and rest before bed
  • minimize TV and screen time, especially before bed


Too much Kapha energy can increase feelings of depression, withdrawal and disconnection. To balance the winter blues, it’s important to stay on routine and make the effort to be social and stay active. There’s less sun energy this time of year so it’s also important to enjoy sunshine by being outdoors when possible as well as increase Vitamin D3 intake. This is a great time to indulge in personal stress-relieving rituals like massage, facials, and play with new hair styles or makeup.

CoBeautifying Radiance Polishming soon to Aveda is the new Beautifying Radiance Polish – the perfect balancing solution during kapha season. This rich and luxurious body scrub will slough away dry skin cells and stimulate skin’s circulation, creating a nourished and beautiful glow.

Aveda’s services are rooted in Ayurveda and use the principles of this healing system to create balance through the products and services. Experience an Elemental Nature spa treatment that is customized to your current dosha or elemental nature of earth, water, fire, air or infinity. For more information about rituals and Aveda products visit www.aveda.com or check out the book Aveda Rituals, by Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda.

Prepared by Alicia Parks Christus for Inspire Greatness Institutes. Alicia is the marketing team lead at Aveda Institute Denver and a certified yoga instructor. She teaches Ayurveda and yoga classes and has led Ayurvedic wellness programs and yoga teacher trainings. For more information email achristus@avedadenver.com or follow along @aliciaraeyoga.

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Aveda Chakra essential oils

09 Sep Take 10: Chakra 2 Balancing Body Mist

Enjoy this Take 10 from our Aveda Institute Denver Marketing Team Lead and Ayurveda guru, Alicia Christus!

“As we move along through our chakra journey, the second chakra is next in line. However, we don’t necessarily focus on balancing the chakras in order. Often our chakra energy will be out of or in balance in no particular order. Today, the second chakra may be in need of balancing but tomorrow it could be chakra 7.

Take 10 to learn more about your second chakra: Svadhisthana


The second chakra translates to mean “her favorite standing place or sweetness.” It’s all about connection the the 5 senses and relationships to others. It’s located above the pubic bone and below the naval.

The energy is water, the color is orange. The demon that lives here is shame. This is also a place to focus on our connection to touch and feeling safe around others. Feeling nourished, supported and able to relate.

When you are balanced in the first second chakra you have strong connection to your senses, you feel stable, alert, tuned-in and have a balanced emotional state.

When you are imbalanced you may have difficulty with relationships, lack trust in others, and guard against others. You may have trouble understanding safe relationships and trouble with sexuality or reproduction.

Hip opening poses and forward folds are great postures for invoking balance within the second chakra. Aveda’s Chakra Spray is a blend of sandalwood, organic orange and geranium and will help bring balance through a sensory experience and guided meditation. Visit www.misterchakra.com to experience different mantras, meditations and even nutritional options to help balance.

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06 May Review shout outs!

Lets celebrate our amazing guests for writing down their experience as well as our FP’s for giving all of their guests $500 haircuts!


“Kristina did a fabulous job! She is going to make an amazing stylists! 2 thumbs u=)”

“Amazing! There was no need for me to be apprehensive about a new person. She was awesome in every way” (Review for Katie H)

“Nicolette did an outstanding job-she is a colorist extraordinaire”

“Gilad was amazing and I was privileged to be part of his teaching process & work with the student”



Inspire greatness!



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04 Jan A New Kind of Resolution

Our AIX Admissions Dream Maker, Sally Halder, shared this New Years Resolution Wellness today that I had to pass on!  As many of us have learned from Brad Van Dyke, our Director of Education, in his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Master Series, setting goals for ourselves is key to the second habit: beginning with the end in mind. Why I like this wellness that Sally shared so much, is because it breaks large resolutions down into 12  short-term goals, which may eventfully become habit. I also love the idea of setting and sharing these goals with my friends for accountability, support, and group celebration. So, will you be in my “resolution of the month club?” 🙂

Happy New Year!



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13 Dec 5 Little Known Benefits of Drinking Water!

5 Little Known Benefits of Drinking Water 



We are so fortunate to live somewhere where we have water accessible, and that it is clean. Yet most people are not drinking enough! With winter and dry climates here in full force, it is important to remember to stay hydrated.

The benefits of drinking water have been much discussed in the media. Water helps keep you hydrated, which is important because every single cell in your body needs it in order to absorb nutrients and expel waste products. But what are some of the less well known benefits of drinking water?

1) Drinking Water Keeps You Young

Drinking plenty of water is great for your skin. If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll suffer from dry skin, and you’ll be likely to use more creams and lotions to moisturize. However, creams and lotions don’t strike at the root of the problem. Drinking plenty of water keeps your skin moisturized and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

If you don’t drink enough water, your body will try to retain it in order to conserve resources. This retention makes your skin puffy and can even lead to bloating.

2) Drinking Water Helps You Lose Weight

There’s a reason why most diets and fitness programs ask you to drink a lot of water. One of the benefits of drinking water is that it helps you lose weight.

Water suppresses your appetite, so you don’t eat as much. Drinking plenty of water also prevents fluid retention, because your body won’t try to retain water if it’s getting enough.

Drinking water also helps your body burn stored fat. If you’re not drinking enough water, your liver will be forced to help your kidneys detoxify your body. When you drink plenty of water, your kidneys don’t need any extra help, so your liver will be able to metabolize stored fat more efficiently. Drinking water flushes toxins from your body and prevents constipation.

3) Drinking Water Helps You Build Muscle

Another benefit of drinking water is that it makes your muscles stronger. That’s because water carries oxygen to the cells of your body, including those of your muscles. Drinking plenty of water enables your muscles to work harder and longer before they feel tired, and this can help you build muscle.

4) Drinking Water Makes You Smarter

Drinking water can increase your cognitive function. Your brain needs a lot of oxygen in order to function at optimum levels. Drinking plenty of water ensures that your brain gets all the oxygen it needs. Drinking eight to ten cups of water per day can improve your levels of cognitive performance by as much as 30%!

Drinking plenty of water also supports nerve function. It ensures that your body’s electrolyte levels remain high enough to allow your nerves to relay messages to and from the brain in the way they were meant to.

5) Drinking Water Is Good for Your Joints

One of the lesser known benefits of drinking water is that it helps keep your joints strong, healthy and lubricated. Your joints need moisture in order to remain strong and flexible, so that your movements are smooth and pain free.


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28 Nov Give Thanks!


Hope you all are enjoying your Thanksgiving with friends and family! There is so much to be thankful for! In fact, studies have shown that you should be thankful everyday, not just on a special day of the year.

Scientists have found that people who practice being grateful regularly, experience many health benefits including:

  1. Smoother and coherent heart rhythms.
  2. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
  3. Stronger immune system.
  4. Higher sense of attentiveness, alertness and energy.
  5. Less physical pain.
  6. Longer more restful sleep.
  7. Better able to handle stressful situations.
  8. Healthier relationships with others.
  9. Better physical fitness.
  10. Fewer feelings of sadness and depression.

To experience many of these benefits try to become consciously aware of what you are thankful for in your life. There are ways you can do this; the key is to pick something that works for you and to stick with it. Some ideas you might try are:

  1. Write in a gratitude journal every night before going to bed.
  2. Upon waking in the morning think about everything you are thankful for before getting out of bed.
  3. See how many things your can think of to be grateful for and appreciate while doing one of your daily routines like brushing your teeth or taking your dog for a walk.

Studies have found that people who focus on what they are grateful for everyday for one week straight can experience the benefits up to a six-month period.  Let us take it a step further and share some of the things you are thankful for in the comments section below.



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