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641 E 1st St
Tustin, CA, 92780
United States

714.505.0777

Blog

The 411 of Cruelty-Free Hair Care

Shannan Boccignone

At Allen James Salon, we are committed to a profession that honors integrity within our products, practices, and those affected by it. When we discovered Australian hair care line Kevin Murphy, we were instantly amazed at the mindful practices behind their business. When we learned how great their products worked too, it was a one-way trip into our stations and retail shelves.

KM's core values of performance, strength, and longevity cross over from product to lifestyle. All ingredients are sourced using micro-cultivation, organic growing practices, and mindful harvesting techniques to extract the best of the best without sacrificing ecological character. Each product is carefully crafted without sulphates, parabens, or animal testing. Did we mention they smell amazing? Plus, the packaging looks great on your bathroom counter and in your shower caddy. 

Our stylists at Allen James have experimented with the entire product line, and we came up with a list of our Top 3 Favorite Products:

  1. Young Again - This weightless treatment oil is a weightless, post-wash dream. Immortelle, kemon oil, and camellia sinensis leaf extract pack antioxidants for anti-aging benefits that stop damage and prevent breakage. Burdock Root and Safflower Seed Oils boost body and shine while smoothing and softening the feel and appearance of your hair. Apply to freshly-washed hair before styling products and create a powerful palette to any desired look. 
  2. Fresh Hair - A dry shampoo for the 21st century, indeed. This baby is said to remove all your sins from the night before. It is a must-apply when you wake up with limited time and still need to look your best. Remove odor, freshen up, and eliminate excess product from the last night's style. Apply by shaking well first, then spray evenly onto dry hair and work through from roots to ends. Brush the product through and your back to Square One. 
  3. Angel Wash & Rinse - We are all guilty of over processing our hair. Whether you've gone from black to blonde or been a little to heat-style-happy, this shampoo and conditioner combo is perfect for traumatized hair. Prevent color loss, protect against environmental damage, and shield against UVA rays to keep hair's defense strong against the elements. Enjoy volume, thickening, and a bath of antioxidants. Apply Angel Wash to wet hair and massage from scalp to ends. Rinse well, and finish with Angel Rinse to maximize all the benefits of this dynamic duo. 

For questions regarding available Kevin Murphy products and information, contact us at the salon. We are happy to help you find a product assortment for your hair type and desired style. 

The Secretly Easy Way to the Hair of Your Dreams

Shannan Boccignone

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Extensions used to be an elusive and expensive luxury that seemed only celebrities could accomplish. Yet now, we have access to the most coming-of-age technology at prices that really don't break the bank. So many of our favorite celebrities like Chrissy Teigan are rocking this easy-to-pull-off beauty secret. 

Our renown stylists are in love with Great Lengths Extensions, made from 100% human hair and one of the finest brands on the market. It's never been so easy to add length, dimension, thickening, and color accents without committing to a permanent style or color treatment. Add volume to the perfect special occasion look like your wedding. Or choose from a rainbow of strands that will flair up your conventional color for this summer's hottest music festival.

Extensions are perfect for any hair type, age, and taste. We offer free consultations for anyone interested in making a subtle or drastic change to their hair. Contact us for details on how to discover how to achieve the hair of your dreams!

Before extensions

Before extensions

After extensions

After extensions

Summer Hair: Memorial Day is here just in time for a sizzling sunset ombre.

Shannan Boccignone

Memorial Day Weekend signals the start to summer and all it's trending glory. Beach wardrobe is first choice and the warm weather gets us all outside for barbecues, bonfires, and pool parties. 

We also love the different options for hair color that make sense in the sizzling summer sun. Our in-house stylist Crystal Devor recently put together a rose gold getup that will make you melt. The client originally had a red violet ombre that she wanted to gild up for the hotter season. What resulted was a gorgeous rose gold, sunset-inspired ombre masterpiece. Here's the color technique Crystal used to pull off such a stunning style:

  1. Use a color remover to pull out the red pigment as much as possible.
  2. Apply an all-over ombre foiling technique with Wella Blondor bleach and 40 volume developer. 
  3. Once the hair lifts to the desired blonde, hand paint on fashion colors. Crystal uses Keune Orange and Magenta blended into each other, then Joico Metallic and Rose near the ends.

5 Steps in 5 Minutes to Keep Your Post-Facial Glow

Shannan Boccignone

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You've just left your skincare professional and heads are turning. People in the fluorescent lighting of the grocery are noticing your beaming complexion and wondering how anyone can look so perfect under that kind of flaw-exposing light. When you get home, date night prep only requires a few coats of mascara and you look gorgeous. There's no need to mask that glow with coverup.

But then the next morning arrives and duty calls: you need to shower. You know all that amazing product from your facial that was making you look your best is going right down the shower drain. But does it really need to?


At-home skincare is very straightforward when you have the know-how and the right tools. Keeping up with your complexion only involves several daily steps with a few, sporadic extras that only take up a small portion of your week. Here is the best way to easily keep your face glowing until your next facial appointment in 5 easy steps in only 5 minutes.

  1. CLEANSE. This is a daily step that should occur morning and night. In the morning, it is important to wash away the excess oil and dirt that can accumulate on your pillow. (Pillow cases should also be washed weekly so you're not sleeping on a hotbed of pore-clogging gunk!) In the evening, routine cleansing removes the buildup of the day--makeup, sweat, and airborne matter like free radicals that can clog pores during the night and nullify the hard work in your beauty sleep.
  2. TONE. Toning your skin helps restore its proper pH balance after cleansing. It can either add or balance hydration so that your skin hasn't been stripped of the necessary oils that keep it healthy throughout the day
  3. TREAT. Adding a specialized treatment serum is a great way to target imperfections. Looking to mask fine lines and dark spots? Vitamin C treatments help with collagen production and can fade the look of sun damage or acne scarring. Is your skin on the dryer side? Adding a serum with hyaluronic acid can help attract moisture into your cells keeping them plump all day long. No matter what your issue is, they have an app-lication for that. 
  4. HYDRATE. Dry and aging skins can benefit from a moisturizer as the final step in daily skincare. Even oily/combination skins can benefit from formulations that help with oil production and blemishes. Often times just a pea-size amount is needed to do the trick so be mindful of your portion and make your tiny jar last months.
  5. PROTECT. (Daytime only) In our day and age, this is one of the most important steps. Sunscreen and antioxidants can help keep your skin youthful for years past your 20's. Even during winter, your skin is susceptible to UV damage so don't forget it just because the sun might be hiding. Find a sunscreen formulated for your skin type, as there are many oil-free options for those who are breakout-prone. If you are using an acne treatment in your routine, your skin might be even more prone to sun damage. Also, free radical damage is another environmental threat to consider. Pollution, smoke, and other particles in the air can latch on to skin cells and rob them of their livelihood. Antioxidants help to reduce against the premature aging that can be associated with this type of threat.

Extra skin love that won't be necessary every day:

  1. EXFOLIANTS. Exfoliation can occur anywhere from 1-3x per week based on the recommendation of your aesthetician. There are two types of exfoliation: chemical and physical. Chemical exfoliation uses ingredients like alpha and beta hydroxy acids to help remove cell buildup, the surface of acne, and mature/delicate types of skin. This method is ideal for acneic skin types because it doesn't disrupt and spread bacteria inside pimples that can cause repeat visits. It is also beneficial for aging skin so that delicate complexions don't micro-tear. Physical exfoliation are products like fine, granular scrubs that can help control thicker, oily skin types that aren't prone to breakouts. They smooth the surface and help with oil control.
  2. MASKS. Masks are a spa-like way to indulge your skin in an extra weekly treat. They can hydrate, purify, brighten, and nourish depending on the product and skin type. They are a fun step to add to your routine on a Sunday night to help kick start a glowing week of beauty ahead.

Find the products that will work for you when it comes to maintaining your post-facial glow. Helen, our in-house aesthetician, loves Yon-Ka skincare products. She can offer a consultation to recommend the best take-home tools for your needs available right in our salon. Contact us for more details on how to keep it glowin'.

How to Achieve the Perfect Blowout

Shannan Boccignone

Veronica Bowers is one of Allen James' top hair stylists. Her years of experience have made her an expert at providing her clients awesome salon-finished hair. Now she has shared some of her favorite take-home tips to help you recreate your salon look in the convenience of your own home. 

Veronica's Favorite Styling Products & Tools

As we all know what may work for one hair type will not do as good of a job on another hair type. Here is a comprehensive list of Veronica's favorite products that will manage and maintain all hair types including fine, thick, and coarse hair. 

For Fine Hair

  • Kevin Murphy FULL.AGAIN thickening lotion
  • Kevin Murphy ANTI.GRAVITY.SPRAY weightless volume spray
  • Kevin Murphy DAMAGE.MANAGER instant heat sheilding spray

For Thick, Coarse Hair

  • -Kevin Murphy SMOOTH.AGAIN anti-frizz treatment
  • -Kevin Murphy ANTI.GRAVITY.SPRAY weightless volume spray
  • -Kevin Murphy DAMAGE.MANAGER instant heat sheilding spray

Finishing Products for All Hair Types

  • Kevin Murphy EASY.RIDER anti-frizz creme 
  • Kevin Murphy SHIMMER.SHINE reparing shine mist.   
  • Kevin Murphy SESSION.SPRAY strong hold finnishing spray

Tools for All Hair Types

  • Boar Bristle Round Brush
  • Hair Dryer
  • Hair Clip
  • Velcro Rollers (optional)

The Boar Bristle Brush is an excellent choice, as it helps to smooth down the cuticle which reduces frizz and creates shine.  The Velcro Rollers are an added tool to help create more, longer-lasting volume at the roots. In this case, they aren't used for curls. 

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The Blowout

Once hair has been washed and towel dried, comb it out according to your part line for a great starting point.

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  1. Apply the appropriate styling lotion to your hair according to your type and begin blow-drying with a round brush holding it approximately 2-3 inches away from the brush as not to burn the hair. It always helps to begin in the front in order to maintain control of the way in which your style will lay. 
  2. Once the roots are about 80% dry, lightly mist the Kevin Murphy ANTI.GRAVITY weightless volume spray in at the root around the crown area and continue on with your round brush and hair dryer.  (Helpful tip: should you have some areas that seem over-volumized, don't fuss and leave them alone to let them settle and move onto your next section.
  3. Once the front is dry, secure the hair around your occipital with the clip so you can focus on drying the hair in your nape area. 
  4. Once the front and nape are dry, you can drop down a section of hair that has been clipped up using horizontal rows and continue round brushing until there are no more sections to complete. At this point or while each section is still hot, you can roll in your Velcro Rollers to create more volume if desired. Once cooled remove rollers and allow hair to settle into the style.

Finishing Strong

The key to a gorgeous blowout is the finishing products.  We are crazy about combining the Kevin Murphy EASY.RIDER Anti-Frizz Creme with the Kevin Murphy SHIMMER.SHINE repairing shine mist.  

  1. Combine both products in your hand by using a dime sized dab of the EASY.RIDER followed by 1 to 2 sprays of the SHIMMER.SHINE. Work them together in your hands and run through the hair starting in the most untamed spots first.  This dynamic duo helps to create a flexible hold and shine while it tames frizz and fly-aways. 
  2. Lastly if you love hair spray, spray away!  I prefer to use the Kevin Murphy SESSION.SPRAY. as this strong hold spray can be lightly misted for a little flexibilty or it can be layered on for a much stronger hold that will last all day.
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For more assistance, leave your questions of comments below!

Fuller Brows in 3 Easy Steps

Shannan Boccignone

It's Date Night, and you realize your brows look a mess. It's too late to book an appointment with your favorite brow artist, but you need help now. Worry not, darling. Here are three simple steps for some brow TLC from our beauty expert Crystal Devor

Tools needed:

  • Sharp tweezers
  • Spoolie brush (naked mascara wand)
  • Angled brow brush
  • Small brow scissors
  • Brow powder in a shade darker than your hair color (We love BDB Brow Powder)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Facial cleansing cloths
  • Witch hazel

1. Map your brows!

Measure the spacing of your eyes and arches. Use the long end of your angled brow brush to get an idea of where each arch begins and ends. It's normally to have asymmetrical placement, especially if you are guilty of over-waxing in the past. This will give you insight into where the lighter areas are that will be filled with your powder. Once you know where to start, grooming for symmetrical arches becomes a breeze.

2. Groom!

Use the spoolie brush to comb the hairs in the ideal direction. Take care to trim any long, errant hairs. Next, tweeze to create your desired arch and use the brow mapping intel to create symmetry where your arch begins, and where it ends. 

3. Fill!

Use the angle brush to fill color in the sparse areas by pressing the powder into the skin, and then overlap with light strokes. Prefer your pencil over powder? Still use the angle brush to apply color from the pencil for more control over your color. Lastly, use the spoolie brush to lightly blend your color into brow fibers and skin for a clean, smooth finish. 

These 3 steps are a quick, fuss-free way to groom when there's no time to see your beauty specialist. Let us know your favorite SOS brow care tips in the comments below!