A New Me: Why I Chopped it Off

10.5 inches off to help someone else!

If you know me, then you know that I’ve usually worn my hair pretty long — rarely is it shorter than a few inches below my collar bone. I’ve cut it short before, (I wore a “slightly angled bob” once because I was too scared to go for the full effect) but it’s never been that short. I would say long hair has been my comfort zone for a long time because of my mom. When I was young, she used to force me to cut my hair super short, and I hated it. When I was old enough to make my own hair decisions, I “rebelled” and grew it out once in high school super long. Considering that my hair is ridiculously thick and heavy, it was quite a feat to manage that mane. I chopped it off eventually, but probably only 4-5 inches.

Even when I cut it short, my hair was relatively shorter than usual anyway, so it wasn’t a drastic change. However, now and then I like to do something that really puts me out of my comfort zone. I’ve always wanted to donate my hair to a cause like Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths because it makes me sad to see all that hair  (and someone in my family gave me great straight, healthy, low-maintenance hair genes — thank you to them!) go to waste. Even so, to donate you have to cut about 8-10 inches off (depending on where you donate), and that’s a lot of hair. I chicken out every time. I’ve even tried to grow it long enough so that it wouldn’t be so short when I cut it, but to have that heavy of hair in the Texas (or New York) heat is simply impossible. Plus, I break too many hair ties for my own good when it’s that long — growing it out is just too hard.

This last time I walked into the hair salon, I went with the same intention as ever: cut off 4-5 inches and freshen it up. But then I started thinking — when will I ever donate if I don’t do it when it’s this long? I started talking to my stylist, (who really deserves the props for this) and she convinced me that we could make my hair look good even without 10+ inches on it. Again, the nerves hit, and I almost chickened out. But then I started thinking about how I was going to cut off so much hair anyway — why not cut a few more inches and donate it to someone deserving who really is losing their hair and can use it? My hair will grow back even if I don’t like the cut (and my hair grows freakishly fast anyway). This was an opportunity to do something amazing, and I was going to cut my hair anyway — just do it. I told her to make the cut.

So, she measured, tied it up and started snipping. Whew — my heart was actually pounding as I felt the all the weight come off, and I held all that hair in my hands. (It’s a little creepy to see it like that…) But then she started styling it, and I was so happy with the end result. Even if it’s too short to tie up in a ponytail, it makes me so happy that my hair didn’t go to waste. Finally, I checked off something that I’ve been wanting to do for years!

I chose to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths in the end. Even though Locks of Love is a great organization, they’ve been said to throw a lot of hair away because of their criteria. Pantene might do the same if they don’t like my hair, but either way — I tried!

If you’ve been meaning to donate, just do it — that’s my advice. Every time will seem too soon, and it feels so good afterward because you know it’s something that would have been thrown away anyway. So, make the cut! Good luck! 🙂


Burnside’s Sideburns: The Man Behind the Hair

Do you ever wonder how certain terms and sayings were coined? Most usually don’t make sense on their own, and you know they just HAVE to have some sort of historical context to them,  some wacky story to explain.

I always thought that the term ‘sideburn’ wasn’t as nonsensical as other terms. The ‘side’ part makes sense:  to signify the hair that lines the SIDE of someone’s face. The ‘burn’ part? Probably to do something with the fact that the line of hair looks like a burn scar or something? (I don’t know – just guessing here) Funny enough – neither is completely true nor false!

Meet the man behind the coining of the term ‘sideburn’: Ambrose Everette Burnside!

What are the chances that the man’s last name reworked actually kind of make sense to name facial hair lining the side of the face?!

Burnside was a general in the Union army, a railroad exec, industrialist, inventor, AND senator (whew!) in addition to the namesake behind the sideburn. Turns out the term originally WAS ‘burnside’ but was reworked at some point to ‘sideburn’ (convenient). And BOY, does this guy have sideburns!

Flat Iron Curls and Carrie Bradshaw Hair

Carrie Bradshaw of the Sex and the City franchise was a bit of a Rachel Green, herself (Jennifer Aniston’s famed role on Friends if you lived under a rock last decade). Her hair changed with her boyfriends, and while she grew it out, blew it out, and cut it off – SATC fans will always remember her with the classic Carrie Curl.

I got a chance to go back to Trashy Roots Salon in Round Rock, TX and learn how to create this curl myself, and with just a flat iron. Check it out for yourself!

Pravana Beach Wave Perm Review: Two-Week Update

It’s been almost two weeks since my transformation from a pin-straight haired gal to a bonafide wavyhead, and I have to say I really love the change. It’s been really fun to wake up to new hair everyday. The waves are soft, natural looking and easy to manage. But — it wasn’t like that from the get-go!

After I got the beach wave perm done, I had to wait 48 hours to wash my hair, and since it had been styled, I just chose to keep it up and out of the way until I could wash out all of the product.

48 hours later, I was dying to hop in the shower and check out my new waves. I used the Pravana Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner Anna from Trashy Roots Salon & Spa had recommended for me. While the conditioner’s scent reminded me of the conditioner the at-home color kits include, it did the trick. My hair was clean and soft once I got out of the shower. I towel-dried my hair, combed out the tangles and sprayed some of the Pravana Intensive Hyrdating Leave-In Conditioner in.

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch…

Next, I sprayed my hair down with the Pravana Beach Wave Control Mist.

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch…I was done!

Having been a bit wary of how much maintenance I’d have to give my new wavy hair, I was pleased to say it was actually really quick and simple.

The mist was supposed to give me the “beach wave-y” look, and it did — for a while. I have super thick hair, and with my layers and relatively short-length, it had a lot of volume on its own. I was concerned about the level of “poof” it might have with the waves, and I was right to be! Later on that night, my hair had taken on a personality of its own — with too much volume and not enough definition, I looked like a dog with big fuzzy ears! Definitely NOT the look I was hoping for!

What to do? I sprayed it through with the mist, as the directions said, to “refresh” my waves. It helped – a little. But really, all I was left with was some dampened waves and hair that was all tangles.

The next day, I decided to nix the mist and try the Pravana Curl Enhancing Gel. Anna had recommended I use this for a “wet look”. I gave it a go after washing my hair. I was surprised when I squeezed some out that it was more the texture of a serum rather than a gel. I worked it through my hair and did some more scrunching. Voila! Hours later, I had more defined waves that looked natural, yet styled. That didn’t take me any work or time at all, and the results were more than satisfactory! Plus, my hair doesn’t feel like it has a ton of product in it. I can still run my fingers through it without running into tangles.

My hair has on occasion taken on more poof than preferable, and on those days I’ve pulled out the mist. I find that it works well once my hair has already had some gel through it. Although I’m not a huge fan of the mist because it tends to feel more product-ey than the gel, it’s a good refresher for my hair in the middle of the day!

What’s funny is that although my hair is super straight naturally, and even more straight when I take a flat iron to it (to get out all the kinks) – no one has commented on my new do! I’m assuming that people have simply assumed it’s my natural hair and I normally iron it out everyday. Guess it goes to show you how natural this look really is! Even better is that I’ve been able to literally wash, gel, scrunch, and go every single day. No ironing out kinks — nothing! It looks super natural in the day and just as dressed up at night. I’m loving the versatility!

Here’s my look from day to night after the Pravana Beach Wave Perm:


Beach Wave Perm Review

pravana beach wave permThere’s a new perm out called the Beach Wave Perm by Pravana Naturceuticals. This isn’t your mom’s 90’s perm — it’s really different. All natural and keratin-induced — it’s supposed  to help strengthen your hair and leave it in better condition than before.

Now, I don’t buy into all of THAT, but it IS different. Firstly there are no perm rollers used, but rather sponge blocks. The idea is to create soft, natural waves, not tight curls. I was lucky enough to act as a guinea pig and try it out at Trashy Roots Salon in Round Rock, TX.  Considering my hair is super straight, this was a nice change. Since I had a formal event to go to last night, I asked my stylist to style my hair and she curled my new waves for more defined curls and put it up in a simple up-do. Usually, my hair doesn’t curl AT ALL with a curling iron, but lo and behold, my hair is still curly a day later! So far, so good!

Check out my account of the experience.

Also – I know the picture won’t stay up for long on the video – sorry! There was a kink in the editing. Check out my full story in written form and before/after pictures on my account for NaturallyCurly.com

Also, check out my 2 week post-perm update

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