The L Factor wants to THANK YOU

It is hard to believe that it has been over 7 years since Jodi and myself opened the doors to The L Factor Salon. Gosh, did we have big dreams or what!? We totally had no idea what we were doing, we just went for it. We are so fortunate to have the most amazing clients and friends who backed our every move and stayed loyal to our business. Many charity events and 8 amazing hair shows to boot! We LOVE what we do for a living. Both of us feel so fortunate to be able to do what we love every single day. We constantly strive to grow in our career as hairdressers to give our clients our absolute best every time and we always will. There really are not words to deeply express our gratitude to our clients, community, friends and family. From the bottom of our hearts we THANK YOU for your business. 

     We realize that there are some “rumors” flying around town right now about the future of The L Factor salon and Jodi and myself want to set the record straight and let you all know what is happening. We ask for your continued support and encouragement through this next chapter and know that our clients have and will always come first.  Jodi and Gina did not have a “big fight” which led to closing the salon. There is no drama in this situation. We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished in the last 7 years together. As you all know, there are times in life when change is necessary and standing up and being honest in order to make changes isn’t always easy. Jodi and Gina have chosen to remain friends and put that before business. We both have decided it is time to spread our wings.  You will still see Jodi and Gina come together in the near future for charity events and other special events. 

     There are some changes coming in the near future. Your appointments will remain at The L Factor salon up until August 9th. When the time is necessary we will let you all know where your next appointments will be located. Please know, we have your best interest in mind.  We want this transition  to be as smooth as possible and with your continued support, it will be.  We love each and every one of our clients. While change can be hard at times, it also can be very positive. We promise continued excellence in taking care of you all. We will promise to let you all know the next move as soon as we can. 

Thank you again for your respect, encouragement and support through the next chapter in our lives. 

Gina Leonard and Jodi Leighton

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Look close, you may have chin hair!

 I am going to bring up the elephant in the room and that is Women and facial hair.   Why oh why must we, as women have facial hair? I mean really. Don’t we go through enough as women by giving birth? It is such a nuisance and trust me ladies, all of us have it in some way. We don’t like to talk about it, but it is there. I feel that it is my duty as a hairdresser to bring it up and/or recommend options to remove it. I think there is one reason that women don’t do anything about it and that is fear. The fear of the LIE you have been told. “If I try to remove it, it will come back thicker and/or darker”. It is a Lie, I promise.

    Removing body hair does not make it grow more, faster or come in darker. The reason that it may seem it does is because the facial or body hair has been there and it has become “damaged” if you will. It makes it appear softer and finer (just like damaged ends of your hair). Once you remove it, it comes back in as brand new hair and the edges of it are more blunt and it may feel rougher or thicker. This is more true if your method of removal is by shaving. Better options for removal are by waxing. When you wax the hair you are removing the entire shaft of hair down to the roots. The more you wax the same area consistently, the less the hair will grow back because of the damage caused to the roots. Think of your eyebrows and those of you who can’t get them to grow back because you over-tweezed them.  The reason is because you removed the hair by the roots and damaged it causing it to stop growing.

    There is no need to have to put up with embarrassing facial hair and even if it doesn’t bother you, the rest of the world is looking at it (sorry, but it is true). Don’t be too shy and ask your hairdresser next time if she thinks you need to wax at all. As you age your hormones change and this can cause facial hair to grow. I will be honest, I have it too. After years of teasing my Mom about her chin hairs, I turned 35 and there they were. Here is my public apology to my Mother, that just wasn’t nice.

    If the idea of having to start a maintenance plan to deal with this doesn’t interest you there are also permanent ways to remove body hair. Professional Laser treatments are available and I would recommend calling your local licensed skin care center. I know in our area there are a few options for this. I am told it takes 4-6 visits and then the hair is GONE FOREVER. I myself, love this option, I just haven’t been able to find the time. The fact that the hair is gone permanently offsets the cost to me.

    Take a good look in your rearview mirror ladies. We all know that the rearview mirror doesn’t lie. If you see some facial hair, take care of it. You will always get the truth from me. You have been lied to for years. It will not grow thicker or faster if you remove it. In fact, waxing does the opposite. Call your hairdresser today!

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Keep it Professional

Prom and wedding season is fast approaching. I have to admit, this this is absolutely one of my favorite times of the year. After the longest winter ever, it is nice to think about warmer weather, bright colored prom dresses along with the laughs and joy that a wedding day brings.  It is important to leave you hairstyle to a professional for this or any special event in your life. I know that there are many pictures and how to videos out there that make it look easy. If hairstyling were “easy” then all the salons that exist out there would be out of business. If you want to look your absolute best on your big day, make sure you schedule your appointment and do it fast!

The first step is to get your appointment booked. Prom and weddings usually happen on Saturday and that is the busiest day in salon. If a salon or a specific hairdresser has a good reputation for doing an updo and/or makeup, you can bet that they may already be booked. Most weddings book a year ahead of time and that is smart. Once you have the date of your event, next call is to the hairdresser. If you are getting married, you may also consider having the stylist come to you at your location to get ready. Check to see if this is something that they offer, but expect to pay more than you would going in to the salon.

I recommend a verbal consultation only. Formal hairstyling is very specific and expecting it to come out the same twice is unrealistic and sets you and the stylist up for failure. There is no need to add extra stress to your day. The best thing you can do is bring pictures and sit down with your stylist to talk about what you like and what you don’t like. The stylist may want to play with your hair and see how it takes a curl or goes up. They may have recommendations for you as far as color, conditioning treatment and the need for extensions to complete your look. I strongly discourage a full run through, but I highly suggest a verbal consultation.

When it comes to the day of the event, I tell my clients that dirty hair is best. Freshly washed hair does not hold curl well nor does it stay up as well. If they hair needs to be washed then they stylist will do that themselves prior to a blow-out or they will tell you it needs to be done. TRUST me when I tell you not to wash your hair. Don’t worry that it is going to look dirty or greasy or “smell”. There are going to be a ton of products going into your hair the day of your event and the majority of that is hairspray. Hairspray contains alcohol and alcohol can dry out your hair. I tell my clients if they insist to “wash” their hair on the day of then to rinse it only and use conditioner, but leave out the shampoo.

There are very few special event moments in our lives, prom and your wedding day are a few of the biggest ones. You want to look your absolute best and you should. Make sure you leave it to a professional. Take the time to find one that you feel comfortable with and be realistic about  your look and what your hair will and won’t do. Trust the hairdresser to know best and I promise you will look FABULOUS!

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     I know that there are many of you out there who play hairdresser in your bathroom all by yourself. You try to save time and money and grab the dreaded “box” from the local store. Most of the time it gets you by, so you are ok with it. I want to know something, do you really think it is working? Do you really think your hair looks its best? What about the one time that box doesn’t work out, what will you do then? Do you know that hairdressers usually get $100/hour for corrective hair color? That doesn’t sound like savings to me. Do you know what you are really putting on your hair?

    There is a reason that in order to become a hairdresser you have to attend 1500 hours in school and pass a state licensing exam to legally do hair in the state of Maine. There is a lot that goes into doing your hair and the science behind hair color. I know that the commercials look appealing and super easy to do yourself. Of course they do, that is how they market it. The chemicals found in haircolor off the shelf are intensely stronger than any professional hair color Because the are pre-mixed, they are also unpredictable. This means that your “ash blonde” may be working for you and has been for years, but there will be a time you will use it that it won’t and God only knows what your hair color will be,  We are taking chemicals here people. Would you inject yourself with botox if you could buy a store version? Put that box back on the shelf and call a professional.

   There are also many so-called “natural” hair color products out there and these are especially concerning to me. Just because they claim to be natural or “ammonia- free” doesn’t mean they are better for your hair or safer. Many of these products contain metallic dyes and/or harsher chemicals that are not regulated by the FDA.  Once these chemicals are on your hair they are there FOREVER. You cannot color over them or change them with any other chemical. If you do, your hair will literally melt off. The only way to change that is to cut it off and start over. So, just realize that once you try it, you are stuck with it like a tattoo.

    I am here to BEG you to leave this up to a professional. Don’t just assume that you can’t afford it. There are many options in the world of color and I know one of them will fit your budget. Make sure to let your concerns and your budget to be known up front. You know you don’t really enjoy doing it yourself. Take time for you by going to see a professional hairdresser. You are going to look and feel your best when you leave and you can trust what is going on your hair to be safe, guaranteed!

I always welcome questions, email me at:

I offer FREE consultations in my salon.

The L Factor

Twin City Plaza Brewer


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Getting Married?

      Myself and my  team from the salon just participated in the Bangor Bridal Show last weekend at the Spectacular Event Center.  We did hair and makeup for about 30 models that participated in two separate runway shows. One Saturday night featuring dresses from Dream Dress Bridal and one on Sunday featuring dresses from The Henry’s Bridal boutique. We had a lot of fun doing the hair and makeup, especially since we had complete creative control over the looks. We chose to show classic wedding hair based off of three hairstyles. The classic vintage wave in long hair left down, the top bun (think Audrey Hepburn), and the low romantic chignon. All hairstyles are really based off of these three looks and a Bride can never go wrong choosing one of these looks for her big day.

    I gave a talk prior to the start of each runway show where I discussed classic hairstyles and my self composed list of “Do’s and Don’ts” of wedding hair and makeup. I believe it is safe to say that for most, the dress is the #1 most important thing when planning a wedding. It is the first thing you think about. I am here to tell you that your hair and makeup need to be #2. I suggest that you hire a professional and expect to pay well for it. You get what you pay for and you want a salon and stylists that have the experience with weddings and a good reputation. You are going to pay more for it and it is well worth it. Your look and the look of your wedding party is important. Make sure that you insist your entire wedding party gets their hair and makeup done at the salon of your choice and don’t take no for an answer. Doing your hair yourself is going to show when everyone else had it done professionally. We suggest that you bring pictures, lots of them to communicate with your stylist. Don’t be unrealistic about the outcome and don’t expect your hair to look exactly like those pictures. Use them as an inspiration for your personal look. Make sure that your personality shows up in your look, but don’t get too trendy. Choose one thing and go for it. An elaborate dress, heavy makeup and a big crazy trendy hairstyle is going to be over kill. Let the dress shine, as it should. Your makeup should be just a step up from your normal everyday look. A heavy smokey eye and the trendy side braid should be left for the next formal party you go to, not your wedding day. Make sure that you listen to your stylist and his or her recommendations. Remember, we are licensed professionals. This is your first wedding, but honey, I’ve been to so many I can’t even count them. We have the experience and that is why you hired us. If we tell you that you should put your hair up because it is 100 degrees outside in the middle of August, listen to us so that you don’t look like a drowned rat in your pictures.

    Your wedding day is the biggest day of your life. You are going to look back on the day for years to come in your pictures and video. Make sure that every time you look at those pictures you are happy with what you see and that you don’t say “what was I thinking”. Most salons offer free verbal consultations and it is also a great idea to schedule an appointment with a few to get a feel for the salon and to meet the stylist. Have them style your hair for a special night out to see if you like them and the way they work. Ask around, word of mouth is the best way to find the right salon. Whatever you do, just leave it to a professional.

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pinching pennies

 Well, here it is, another New Year has come. It’s always exciting to welcome in another year and reflect upon the past and look forward to the future. The hustle and bustle of  of the holiday season takes us through it all with my anticipation and excitement. Once we get through all of that and January 1st gets here, bring on the let down and the stress. The stress of money being tight after all that we spent on christmas, entertainment, house emergencies (that always happen around the holidays) and heating costs. Then we all sit around stressing out about how we are going to pay for it and where we have to budget and cut things out for a while. I am right there along with all of you. There is one place you don’t have to cut entirely, nor should you and that is your hair.

    Your hair and how it looks and feels really does make a difference in how we approach our daily lives. I know this to be true because I see it every day behind the chair. It is the reason I love my job so much. Something that can be so simple to me can make a huge difference in someones life and how they feel about themselves. Your hair is your public business card to the world and you should keep it looking its best at all times. This doesn’t mean it has to cost an arm and a leg. Don’t cancel your next appointment, just adjust things a bit from here. How do you do this? I always give my clients options with their hair cut and color. You can adjust things by just going all out at your next visit. Be upfront with your stylist and let them know you are on a budget. cancelling your appointment all together could end up costing more in the end. If you wait too long and then come back your color may be in a “corrective” color stage and that is more expensive to you and takes more time. Options for you are just touching up the root area only, skipping the foils or just adding a few, passing on the hair cut with a color, adding a semi-permanent glaze (to blend and refresh), just getting a bang trim etc. Trust me, these are just a few of  the options you have to get by while still looking and feeling your best.

    A way to make a big change in your look on a budget to to get bangs. Not only are bangs and and face framing fringe totally on trend right now it is a quick and easy way to really change up your look. This should only cost you the price of a bang trim too! Opt for a semi-permanent color to just freshen up you look, blend away gray and add shine and hydration along with a bang trim and you are looking fab for another month for under $40. Most stylists offer specials during this time of year as well to adjust to the slow down many of us face through January. Take advantage of them while you can. Adding just a few foils in your part and around your hairline can really make a big change and this too keeps is under $40 for you as well. Don’t panic and cancel your appointment, instead just change it up a bit. Be upfront with your stylist and your hair and your mood will thank you. I welcome questions and comments by e-mail at

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Back to Your Roots


     Fall is most definitely in the air isn’t it? The weather has been so beautiful, I hope it lasts long into October. What is it about fall that has us wanting lots of change in our lives?  We start cleaning the house, organizing our life and call our hair stylists saying “time for something new”.  I love this time of year because almost all of my clients are ready for a change of some sort. It keeps me on my toes and keeps my job fun and exciting. My first recommendation as soon as the chill in the air arrives is go ahead, change it up. Don’t opt for a subtle change, that is just boring. Give that summer hair and the millions of blonde foils you added a break. I have a challenge for you today, GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS!



   Seriously, consider getting your hair color to a more natural state. If you are a woman in her 30′s or older, more natural hair color is going to make your and your hair look younger. We missed the train of wild color and crazy highlights in our 20′s. Don’t think that this means you must have boring hair color either.There are so many gorgeous shades of brunette that are absolutely stunning. Going back to your roots, does not mean boring hair at all, I promise. Don’t think that this means you must have one color on your head either. Natural hair color is NOT one-dimensional either. Most likely your Stylist will choose 2 or 3 tones within a shade or two of your natural color (at least that is what I would do).

 Darker hair color has little to no damage effect on your hair either. After a few months of sun, surf, and hi-lites, I promise your hair is thirsty. It is nice to give it a break through the colder months when moisture is hard to come by. Darker hair equals healthy shiny hair and that is the trend right now. Darker hair color is like getting a deep conditioning treatment. It will fill in all the little “holes” in the hair strands that lighter color and the sun have left for you. Realize I am talking professional hair color. This is not true for box color at the grocery store, leave this job to a professional (there is a reason we go through years of training and are required a license by the state). Dark, all over color is going to fill in all the damaged areas of your hair, leaving it shiny, thick and gorgeous.

Going back to your roots is also going to be nicer on your wallet too and maintenance is easier, needed less frequently and takes less time than other colors do. Don’t try this at home ladies, call a professional. If you have questions for me, drop an e-mail to

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So you think you want to be a hairdresser?

    So many people tell me that they think my job would just be so fun. I can’t argue with that. I believe that I have the best job in the world. I get to reach out and touch people every day. I love that something that is a simple as a hairstyle can change someones life and even just brighten their day. I love what I do and it is the reason I pursued this career. I love the fashion industry as a whole and knew I wanted to be involved in it somehow. It was far more important to me to love my job every day and enjoy going to work then it was to make a ton of money. These are the reasons I chose Cosmetology. As wonderful as my job is, it also comes with a lot of things that many don’t realize and I think should be said if you or someone you know is thinking about becoming a hairdresser. Here are a few questions to ponder before signing up to become a licensed cosmetologist.

  1.   Do you like people? Seriously, do you really LIKE people and I mean all types of people?  Every single walk of life is going to sit in your chair and in order to be successful as a hairdresser you have to like them and know how to work with them. I don’t believe you should just like people. You have to LOVE people, LOVE being around people and LOVE interacting with them every single day!  I bring this up first because I have met many a hairdresser who says that they don’t really like people. I, for the life of me, don’t get that one, but it is true and it happens. So, if considering this career path sit and stew on that one.

2. Are you a creative, artistic type person? I believe that anyone can go to school to learn how to cut hair and most of you can go to school, finish and pass your state test to become a licensed cosmetologist. This is not going to make you a successful hairdresser, I promise. The type of talent you need to do well and to become a great hairstylist is not taught in school. It is truly an art and you have to have some amount of inner artist to be able to do well. I think more people who are artistic should consider this as a career path. Every six weeks you get to create a masterpiece that walks around advertising for you everywhere. How cool is that?If you are not crafty, creative and/or artistic person then this is not the job for you.

3.   Are you willing to put the work in?  Are you a hard worker? Are you self motivated? Are you goal driven? All the above must be answered with a YES. This is a great job, but it is hard work. Physical and mental work. Most hairdressers work very hard with no paid vacation time, no health insurance or any other benefits given to them. You are not going to leave hair school with what you need to make it in this career. You don’t know nearly enough. Gosh, I have been at it almost 12 years and I don’t know enough. You have to be willing to work and I mean WORK. This is the service industry. It is going to take you years to build a clientele and then you have to maintain those clients and adjust where you lose some. You constantly are “selling” yourself and your talents. If you expect to have any of it handed to you, you are mistaken. If you understand and I mean really understand what it is going to take then you are going to do well.

   I can’t sugar coat this because it is a big commitment and if you aren’t aware of these few things then you will be wasting your time and messing up perfectly good hair. There are many more rewards to my job then negatives, but that is because I love this job and I am fully aware of all that it takes. If you or someone you know is considering this career, please share this with them and I am always available for advice and support. Email me at

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What Happens in Vegas is NOT staying there

    I just got back from the Paul Mitchell signature gathering in Las Vegas. Myself and 5 other stylists from my salon saved our pennies and make the trek out there to experience it and to learn the latest and greatest styles and tricks to bring back to our clients. I have always been a hairdresser who has to constantly be inspired and wants as much education as possible. I believe to be the best, that is what it takes. I wanted to take this time to share with you a few things I saw.

   Many clients are going to ask us what was “THE” trend there in cut and color. I am here to tell you that the trends are everywhere. COLOR is the trend and lots of it! Bright, lived in, ombre, blonde, dark, red, pastel, you name it and it is there. The trend is to have color in your hair and for it to look shiny and healthy. In fact Paul Mitchell is about to launch a new color line to give you all just that! Shines XG is coming and the results I saw were amazing.

   When it comes to haircuts I have been saying that THE trend for fall is going to be short hair. I believe it is time for the trend to come back and for everyone who paid big bucks on extensions to rebel and cut it all off. I also think that the Great Gatsby movie will play a huge part in the trend as well and most movies do set the current trends. Bring back the 20’s, the clothes and the short hair. These haircuts are considered “precision” cuts and I would recommend a experienced stylist if you are ready to make the change.  Beyonce, of all people just cut her hair all off. I saw a lot of great short haircuts in Vegas from all over the world. It’s coming, I am here to tell you that.

   Mens hair cut and color was something else I saw a shift in. Men want a quality haircut and they too don’t like going gray. Mens color has come a long way and the men are starting to wear clean and sharp haircuts. Not your average clipper job either. I saw some men with some really great hair in Vegas (some nice suits too).

    Updo’s and hair styling was interesting as well. The trend I saw the most and one I actually learned hands on (straight out of Italy), was sleek and classic styles. Chignon, barrel curls, twists. They all had a twist to them to make them new and fun, but still the look was sleek and classic. The good news there is that once you get one of these styles you will not have to worry about your hair the rest of the night. Fix it and forget it.

    I loved the experience I got in Las Vegas. It is such a thrill to be surrounded by 4,000 hairdressers from all over the world. We got to connect and learn from each other and it didn’t matter that we didn’t actually speak the same language. We had a common language and it was the love for what we do and for hair!

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lazy days of summer

The lazy days of summer are upon us. We all have felt the humidity in the air lately, haven’t we. We have an extended amount of daylight right now and I believe you should spend it wisely and not in the bathroom trying to fix your hair. In fact, I hope you are reading this article outside right now. Maine Summers are just too short to be fussing over your hair.  Humidity causes a challenge when it comes to styling hair. You can fight it, or you can stop trying so hard.

    Put up the hair dryer for the summer. You’re just going to sweat to death while you use it anyways. Hang it up and let it stay there until fall.  I suggest turning on the fan in your room while you get ready. Let your hair catch some fresh air for the summer and air dry it. Humidity causes frizz, adding more heat to it from your hair dryer isn’t going to help, but only make it worse. I also scrunch my hair while on my way to work with the ac cranked and the windows cracked. You may chuckle at this, but I get the most compliments on my own hair when I have done nothing but let it do it’s thing that particular day. This will be true for you too, I promise.

    You do need to get some great products for your hair to help prevent frizz and provide your hair with proper hydration. It may be humid out, leaving you to think you don’t need more of it in your hair, but in fact you do. Hair needs proper moisture balance and in the summer it needs extra love and protection. The summer sun, heat and humidity all take a toll on our hair. Along with regular trims with your stylist a good product will make a big difference.  Paul Mitchell released a SUN line last year that is sulfate free, protects your hair from the sun, adds protein and leaves it looking it’s best all summer.

    If you have any type of texture in your hair, don’t fight it it. Go with it. Use a great styling product like mousse or gel and scrunch away. The more you fight natural texture the worse your hair is going to look. Embrace your texture, those that don’t have it, wish that they did. Summer is a great time to sport loose messy beach hair and simple styles that are pulled back and kept in place for the day. I can’t urge you enough to just go with it and let your hair win. If you start with the right products, I am sure it will stay looking it’s best.

   If you still are uncomfortable with this, make sure you talk with your stylist about it. Ask for a summer styling lesson at your next visit, or schedule a consultation.  I am always here for questions by email

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