Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Over 9,000 years ago, it was discovered that the henna plant had multiple uses, one being its decorative staining quality in which it is known best for today. Pakistan, India, Africa, and the Middle East have been practicing henna tattooing for over 5,000 years. It has not been long that the technique spread across to other countries.

The flowering plant grows 12-15 feet high and thrives in extreme temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and wilts when temperatures drop to 50 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The reddish-orange dye used for henna temporary tattoo designs is called lawsone. Lawsone binds to the keratin protein in our skin, safely staining the surface. Depending on the quality of the henna, which is determined by the process of making it and the temperature of the substance, the stain can be anywhere from pale orange to nearly black. One’s skin can also determine how dark the stain is. The dye made from the lawsone is called “henna” as well. It has been used for centuries to dye skin, hair, fingernails, and sometimes fabrics like silk, wool, and leather.

The process of transmitting lawsone into henna dye for the skin takes approximately three days. The leaves of the henna plant need to be fully dried up and crushed into a very fine powder. Then, using one of many techniques, it is made into a creamy paste which is applied to the skin to stain the surface layer. In desert areas, people have been using the paste of henna to soak their palms and soles to cool off, as there are natural cooling agents in the plant. As long as the stain remains, they feel a cooling sensation throughout their bodies. When the stain began to fade away, it would leave patterns on the skin, which led to the idea of making designs with the paste. Not only does henna give a cooling sensation, but it acts as a sun block as well. If you desire a cool design with your summer tan, get a henna tattoo and bask in the sun; once the dye fades, your tan will still celebrate the beautiful artwork!

It is also said that the herb henna has healing qualities. It has been applied to the skin to relieve headaches, stomach pains, wounds, burns, and fungus. Henna can also reduce fever and has been used to prevent hair loss.

Henna designs were traditionally used for special occasions such as birthdays, holidays, and weddings. Africa, Pakistan, India, and the Middle East all practiced traditional henna use, especially on Mehndi night, which is a celebration featuring the bride of a wedding that is to come. The bride and guests are all decorated with the temporary tattoos by multiple henna artists during the evening. Today, brides like to have their designs done previous to Mehndi so they can enjoy the festivities and have a darker stain on the wedding day. As tradition stands, as long as the bride’s henna stains her skin, she does not have to do any housework; the darker the stain, the better the marriage will be!

Today, with the tradition spreading, it is normal to see henna designs on the hands, feet, pregnant bellies, and heads of those at the beach, shopping, or walking along the street. It is a beautiful art form that is suitable for anyone.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Loving the QC!

It’s summer, which means one thing—time to travel and play! When you see explorers entering our city, be sure to send them to Plaza Midwood, NoDa, Uptown, Dilworth, and neighborhoods in-between, as we really do have A LOT. There are quite a few events and opportunities for enjoyment coming up in the Queen City worth checking out!

Galleries and museums are constantly switching out exhibitions and provide great opportunities for community-based events. Beginning in June, the Mint Museum on Randolph Road will be showing their never-before exhibited fashion collection, entitled “Behind the Seams”, showing off the racked garments from throughout the ages they have been keeping sacred behind doors. The Bechtler and the Uptown Mint Museum location also have rotating, as well as permanent, exhibitions throughout the year, ready to be seen, critiqued, and sometimes interacted with. Check out their web pages to keep up with live music and dance lessons held in the museums, as well.

If you take your knowledge with some drinks, every third Thursday of each month, Discovery Place in Uptown offers “Science on the Rocks”, closing its doors to everyone under 21 to serve cocktails while the adults play and stroll about the exhibitions. Not in the mood to learn while drinking? Bring your dog to one of Charlotte’s many dog bars, beer stores, or breweries. In NoDa, the arts district, Heist Brewery, The Dog Bar, Salud, and Growlers are just a few places to walk around, drink, eat, and relax. Plaza Midwood also offers an arrangement of drinking spots, including Thomas Street Tavern, Pizza Peel, and Common Market. There are more; just get out and explore!

This big southern city is not just a concrete melting pot of awesome cultures, authentic restaurants, and a cool skyline—it offers opportunity for biking, jogging, walking, hiking, rafting, and indoor trampoline fun. Allow your explorations to guide you into nature. The QC has an arrangement of greenways to guide you toward your destination of choice. Freedom Park  is a big hit here, and there are plenty of other green spots throughout and surrounding our home. Go to the park, then enjoy a massage at Elements Massage in Dilworth to relax or get your kinks out! You can splash around at the Whitewater Center afterwards to cool down—it’s a fun way to beat this southern heat!

Are you into live tunes? There’s the Evening Muse, Uptown Amphitheatre, Snug Harbor , Neighborhood Theatre, and others! The venues range from tiny, eclectic spots to large theatres. Keep up with upcoming shows by visiting the links in this article, or just keep an eye out for the many posters lining our street posts and bulletin boards.

Our staff loves this area; maybe we’ll see you around town!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

We Love Our Local Artists!

               Orange Olive was established in 2008 with a love of design and creativity in the foreground. Being in a 100+ year old mill house lends itself naturally to charm, and we wanted to honor the history of the space we are in by complementing it with antique and modern design.Being a part of the arts district of Charlotte, we have continued to take pride in the culture surrounding this city through display of its talented local artists.
                Four times a year, Orange Olive looks forward to opening its doors to the public, serving the community beverages, snacks, and a night of art. Currently, we are hosting and selling pieces by five local artists: Missy Mace, Cat Babbie, Katie Watson, Sarah Doedtman, and Brandon David Henrie. Each artist on display has something unique to their process and concept:

Missy studied art and painting at UNCC before realizing her love was in the craft of jewelry. She uses beautiful beads, rare materials, and miscellaneous leathers and metals to create one-of-a-kind pieces, put together by work of her two hands. Her business, Blue Jane, has taken off over the past few years, and her craftsmanship and keen eye for detail has made it happen.

Cat started her online store after she realized that what she loved doing for herself and as a hobby, could also make others happy. We are proud to help such a free-spirited, fun loving gal display her hand-made leather cuffs, but her work doesn’t stop there. Her business, Cat Babbie Makes, can be found online (click link to view) with available items such as purses, felted cocoons, and other little gems she has to offer.

Katie is an English teacher in Charlotte and gets her inspiration from her religious beliefs, family, surroundings, and explorations of her feelings. She uses paint on canvas to display streaks, dashes, dots, and blends of different pigments which give representation of her inner self. Her palette ranges from deep strokes to pastel wisps and splashes of exploratory movement. Her paintings look fabulous on our walls, and would work well in any space, for anyone with an eye for a good piece of art!

Sarah’s scarves are made uniquely—she doesn’t even use tools. There’s no need for needles or crochet hooks with this gal; Sarah uses her arms and hands to knit these beautiful neck decorations, each one different than the last. Her business is called Knotted and can be found online as well, showing her talent through all her unique, fashionable statement scarves. No two are alike, but they are all wonderful.


Brandon conceptualizes his pieces through his ideas of hierarchy, hypocrisy, and irony. His fine art pieces display characteristics of fine materials, beautiful lines, with a juxtaposition of a usually “negative” or “distasteful” image or display. While talking about his work to Orange Olive, he said, “I contemplate contradictions that reside between the tasteful and the tawdry to create arguably elegant objects and installations that oscillate between good and bad taste.” His framed works are simply elegant, displaying floral lines and gold leaf next to skulls and other images. His work can be viewed here.

                We love our current artists and are excited to see more of their work and meet new artists in the area! Everyone is invited to recommend local talent to our salon—we would love to see your work!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Service at Orange Olive!

Threading has been used in Eastern countries for centuries, though it is fairly new to the Western world. Its origin is thought to be based in the Middle East and South Asia, spreading to China and now other areas of the world.

Since threading has recently made its way into the US, aesthetician training does not incorporate it into their teachings. The majority of those practicing this technique have brought their craft from their native countries, where they learned it through traditional practices. Sejal, our Threader here at Orange Olive, has learned her technique from Indian practices and she has been doing it for almost thirty years! Her love for threading started when she was a young girl, admiring her sisters’ practice of the technique. Her passion has grown throughout the years, as well as her precise skill, enabling her to perform nearly sixty brow threads in a day at her recent position. She also offers upper lip and full face threading. Orange Olive is ecstatic to have this talented new addition to the family!
In addition to time efficiency, threading has other benefits. While waxing can cause skin irritation, discomfort, or redness due to possible skin layer loss, threading has none of these side effects! The hair is still removed from the root, which makes the hair grow back thinner, finer, and at a slower rate. This technique is all natural, as well. Because it is all natural and does not cause irritation, it is suitable for sensitive skin and is a dermatologist-recommended service, even for those on skin treatment medication.

This efficient, safe, healthy method of hair removal is making a move through the country and will be taking over the NoDa area at Orange Olive! Come see Sejal for your threading services by calling 704-334-2229 today!

Friday, January 24, 2014

NAHA photo shoot 2014 "Grunge Chic"

Orange Olive has always been dedicated to being on top of the trends, but in 2012, we really began to focus on editorial projects outside the salon, participating in photo shoots, hair shows and fashion events. We felt this would help us expand our context and see what's going on out there first hand. Meeting new, interesting characters inspires us, introduces a fresh source of motivation, and challenges us on another level. We love what we do, LOVE it; but creative minds need stimulation and diversity to fuel the passion. Photo shoots are an excellent way for us to meet these needs and keep the evil monotony monster at bay. They have quickly become a new infatuation of ours that we are eager to explore further. It also helps to keep things fresh behind the chair and ensure our clients are not getting bored. (After all, we do realize the monotony monster does not only attack stylists...)

We are very excited to have just completed our second NAHA photo shoot which is a national competition for submission to the North American Hairstyling Awards. This is one of the (if not THE most) prestigious awards in our industry. Last year, the Orange Olive Hair Gallery submitted our "Dark Glamour" collection under the team category and traveled to Vegas in July where the winners were announced. It was very exciting and we plan to attend again this year.

Dark Glamour
2013 NAHA shoot with Jonathan Hutchings 

Did you know that Charlotte's own Katy Albright went home as the winner of this award in the make-up artist of the year category in 2013? How delightful to see someone so young and talented recognized on a national stage this way. We have been shooting at the same studio that Katy worked  at last year to transform her model for this competition. Congratulations Katy!

 Having the right team is always important, but for a project like this, its crucial. We feel very fortunate and grateful to have once again collaborated with photographer Jonathan Hutchings who has been nothing short of amazing, and his equally talented wife Hannah, who provided wardrobe design for our shoot this year. What a great duo! Not to mention that we totally struck make up artist gold when Kymm McLean, signed on... She truly brought the concept to life with her art. Its fantastic to work with people who are just so full of zest for their craft; they do their job effortlessly, with little direction and just seem to get it. Now we see what the fuss is all about with this gal! We look forward to spending more time with Kymm in the salon this coming year as we have discussed having her hold customized in house educational sessions for continuing education credits as well as to help us advance our own cosmetic application skills! 
"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" James Keller
Kymm with models is the prep room
Kymm McLean

Stylist Destyn was in charge of conceptualizing and directing this year's shoot, which meant many of the decisions were her responsibility; a heavy task she may have been initially unprepared for, but in the end stepped up to the challenge and conquered. This type of project, while fun, can also be a lot of pressure. The bar for NAHA is set very high and unifying a team of 6+ opinionated stylists, a make up artist, assistants, models, wardrobe, and photographer to share in a collective vision can be a challenge. Destyn's low key nature was tested during this process, but the twenty two year old handled her first time in this position brilliantly. The Grunge Chic collection represents her introverted yet  intentional style and has a feel she resonates with, though she admits it all evolved somewhat from her original vision for the shoot. It was fun to watch Destyn's process. And the result; not overstated, but definite points of interest and curiosity; a duality we strove to explore and express in our images. She was inspired by the effortlessness of the Marc Jacobs brand but added her own edge. We wish we could share the final images with you here and now, but because of the sensitive nature of this competition, we must wait until July to release them. Until then, enjoy the behind the scenes shots we are able to snag. We'll keep you posted and please wish us luck in the team entry!

Cassie doing a test shoot with Jonathan Hutchings
(testing lighting, backdrops and posing)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rainy day blow dry tutorial

Trust us, it IS possible...

Styling your hair on a rainy day may seem like a futile exercise, but we have complied some tips to make your time spent worthwhile! Sure, you may have to put in a little extra effort to win the battle against humidity, but having your blowout look as fab at 5pm as it did at 8am, is totally worth it.

Here's how:

#1. Be Prepared
 First of all, you need to make sure that you have the right tools...

What you will need:

  •  A proper blow dryer (worth the investment) 
  • The right brushes
  • Sectioning clips
  • Thermal protectant spray
  • A good frizz fighting product
  • Finishing spray

Our stylists’ favor Bio Ionic round brushes; excellent general purpose nylon bristle brushes that come in 4 sizes and work well on a variety of textures. Designed to speed up drying time and built to last.
 XS-XL $27- $42

  •   Clips! 

 2 for $5.00

#2. Section your hair 
Parting your hair into quadrants makes the task less overwhelming and helps focus on smaller areas without getting lost. Start by taking a comb and dividing the right and left side of your head leaving a mohawk section on top and clipping. Start the side parts  just above your temple area (or end of your brow) and extend back behind your ears, then down. Just do the best you can to end the section in the back. (Don’t worry, it doesn't have to be perfect.) Repeat on the other side fastening all sections with clips as you go. You should now have four sections; your top mohawk, two sides and back.

#3. Technique counts!
While there are no firm rules on where to begin, when blow drying your own hair, you may find it easier to start with the back section. This area is the most challenging, so you might as well get it out of the way before your arms get fatigued.  Blow dry your hair on high heat holding the dryer a few inches away from the brush  focusing the air flow in the direction you want your hair to stay. Be sure to always use a thermal protectant spray when engaging in heat styling. One of our favorites is Davines' Melu shield. We like to use just a few light spritzes on wet hair prior to starting our blow dries. (Active ingredient in this product is  rosemary extract which is refreshing and has antioxidant rich properties.)

8.4 oz $31.50
 For the top section, if you want more volume, have the air flow follow your round brush up and back as you dry your sections from root to end. For those of you who covet that Victoria Secret look, you can roll your hair onto the brush and let cool for a few moments (acting as a quick set technique while you give those arms a rest). Big hair not your thing? If you prefer to keep it flat or have curls you are trying to get to obey you instead of their nature, pull your sections down, maintaining tension and focusing on the root, again directing the air from the dryer down the hair shaft sealing the cuticle.

#4. Make sure your are drying thoroughly! 
On a rainy day, you need to go all the way with those sections ensuring they are all 100% dry. This will give your hair the foundation and structure it needs to last through the day.

#5. Product? Yes please. Just a little. 

Sure, you will need some frizz fighting power product to accompany you on this quest; just don't go nuts. (Overuse can actually have the opposite affect that you want.) We recommend a versatile conditioning frizz-fighter such as Oi oil or Oi milk.
Oi milk $28                 Oi oil $39

If your hair is thick, curly, course &/or dry it can most likely handle a bit of a heavier product. Stylist Jess recommends Bb Defrizz which has a light silicone to protect against humidity. Make sure to still use product sparingly focusing application especially to the ends.
2oz (keep me in your purse) $15
4oz (I'm not scared of commitment) $26
  • Finish it off 
Using a finishing spray such as Bb "Does it All" will lock in your style for the day. After a gentle mist of  spray, let your style cool before heading out the door.

#6. Don't touch!
Keep your style safe under and umbrella and keep your hands out of your hair! The less you mess with it, the more staying power your style will have. Vuala! Enjoy your rainy day blow dry and let us know how it goes!

Want to know more about the ins and outs of blow drying? We host a quarterly Blow Dry 101 class where we teach you the tools, techniques and tips you need to create that salon look at home. Its informative and fun. We hope to see you at the next Blow Dry 101 in March 2014!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mission: Holiday Fashion

The invitations are rolling in, and it’s time to celebrate the season.  Whether it’s your office party or a night out on the town, we've done your style homework for you.  Below are head-to-toe fashion ideas courtesy of Linda Martinez with Styled Now! who pulled the looks from our local favorite, Sloan Boutique.  And our very own, Orange Olive Hair Gallery team chose the coordinating hair styles to compliment the looks.  Best of all, in addition to providing helpful photos they have given commentary on each look to help you get started.  All the work’s been done for you, grab a cocktail and enjoy this time to dress up and shine!  Happy Holidays!


The Outfit
The great thing about an office party, no matter where you work, is that all you need is one key element to change your professional attire into festive attire. Replace your jacket for a matte sequined duster or boyfriend blazer to instantly jazz up your skirt or pantsuit. If your field is a little more creative or lenient, then a beaded skirt in a dark tone is the perfect way to mix it up. Or you can try a bold new seasonal color silk top or a bold, statement piece of jewelry. All of these ideas will instantly add Holiday cheer to your everyday work attire

The Hair
A perfectly un-perfect loose tousled bun with soft pieces falling from the fringe & volume at the crown is the perfect statement to make at your work party this year. Those days of super-polished hairstyles are gone. Undone is the new done; but you have to make it look like you tried... Just not too hard.

If your hair is shorter, we say go straight & sleek with a nicely flat ironed bob to make a point and show off those intentional angles. Let your outfit say the rest.


The Outfit
While dressing for a casual party seems to require not much thought for some, here are some tips for others. This is the perfect time to introduce a trend into your wardrobe and try it out. For example, instead of your great black cashmere sweater, find a black sweater or top that has a leather sleeve. Pairing this with jeans or waxed denim is an easy, casual holiday outfit. Add some jewels and great boots and head off to the party. Also the midi or hi-lo skirt is a great festive party skirt for any occasion. These skirts can be worn casually with a fitted tee or nice sweater. Add some wedge or heeled booties to finish off your look.

The Hair
Finish off a fab casual look with some sassy hair to match. This messy updo is simple to do at home with a few bobby pins, a curling iron & hairspray. Let the back fall loose and be sure to get that volume at the front. Have fun!


The Outfit
This year black is the strongest player in the fashion world. This simple, yet elegant black sequined lace dress is perfect for women of any age.  Because of the nude sheer underlay, choose jewelry in warm tones to compliment the dress. Keep the silhouette strong by using a black shoe and clutch. Because of the style of dress, many styles of shoes work. You can choose a pointed, single sole stiletto, a strappy heel or a platform, whichever suits your personality.

The Hair
Sexy, sophisticated, not overdone. Sleek playful side curls with a gentle side part and volume; an adorable and fun style for a night on the town.


The Outfit
Here is where you can have the most fun. Dressing up for the holidays is not about choosing a cute sparkly dress anymore, it’s about taking chances with all the great fashion trends and making them your own.  I can’t think of a better way to do that than with a sequined maxi skirt. Own it with a ribbed tee or tank and throw on a fur vest or leather moto-jacket and you are sure to make an entrance. Try a color block clutch and some fabulous heels to complete your new holiday attire and enjoy the festivities.

The Hair

Great Gatsby inspired side parted soft curls that swoop just so in the front add a vintage elegance to this welcomed revival. If you're trying to say fun and high style this season, try this look to complement any celebration.