How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Hair
November 27, 2018
I’ve not had the best luck getting my hair done in LA – which is quite surprising considering there are a plethora of fantastic stylists here (… apparently a plethora of bad ones too). A situation that I’ll never live down (thanks to my husband and brother) was one that happened about 4 years ago. I booked an appointment to get some highlights done and walked out ($400 later…) completely bleach blonde (with a beautiful hint of brassiness). Thankfully, I had a hair dresser back home in Florida who I trusted to save my hair. After that incident, I decided to just stick with boxed products and save myself the embarrassment and money!
I eventually got a solid recommendation from a friend about 3 years later for a salon in downtown LA where she only had excellent experiences. After a nervous first visit, I left feeling the best about my hair in years! I’d since been getting my hair cut & coloured by my wonderful stylist, Hannah, at this salon for about a year. The week before I flew out to France for our wedding, I paid a visit to Hannah and got the best colour and cut job I’d received yet! Thrilled with my hair, I felt confident knowing I’d look great walking down the aisle.
Fast forward to about 6 weeks later. My roots were starting to grow out and I was in need of a proper touch up. But I decided against it. I’m not sure if it was the guilt of having spent so much on our wedding and honeymoon that I figured I could cut back on expenses (hair being one of them). Or if it was the fact that I was immersed in France for three weeks surrounded by the most naturally beautiful women on the planet (I’m banking on the latter) but I just all of a sudden made the decision to stop.
It’s no secret that almost everything in LA is more expensive than most parts of the country. Hair styling included. Each time I go to the salon to get a balayage treatment, root touch-up, and hair cut I spend about $500. For someone whose hair grows quite quickly, regular maintenance can cost a pretty penny! The cost alone is a good reason to ease back on my visits to the salon.
However, bleaching my hair is certainly not a wonderful thing for it either. Whilst I love the contrast of my natural dirty blonde/brown colour and the beautifully added blonde highlights with a balayage treatment, my ends were definitely getting coarse and needing some extra TLC at home (which = more $$$ on special conditioners, etc.). So, what have I noticed since halting hair treatments for about 7 months?
// 1. Eddie, my accountant, is a happy guy. ‘Happy husband happy life’ also works! I think any significant other would have mild heart attacks at the thought of $500 disappearing every 6-8 weeks for hair treatments. So, he’s been relieved at the reduced spending.
// 2. Learning to love my grey hairs. I’ve been getting grey hairs since I was 21! They’ve certainly become more prevalent over the past few years, however. Embarrassment of my grey hair was a primary driver for colouring my hair to begin with. I was ashamed of them and absolutely mortified when I saw people catching a glimpse at one that was starting to grow out. Why on earth was I so embarrassed by them? They’re a sign of aging, growth, adventure, history, and wisdom (<– just go with me on this one). Men are praised for growing into their wrinkles and salt & pepper hair styles, yet women are expected to cover up and look pristine? I’m learning to hate this double standard and want to push back on it where possible. This is just one step I’ve had the courage to take.
// 3. Roots. Roots. ROOTS. Boy oh boy is the difference wildly noticeable at 7 months’ growth. Curls are my friend (bye bye straightener for a while!). It’s harder to notice the growth with waves than with pin straight hair. I recently purchased a beautiful hat from the Rose Bowl Flea Market that has become my new best friend and as we enter winter, I’ll certainly by relying on beanies to hide the colour contrast on my head. This is probably the hardest part of the growing out process. I’m definitely feeling a little Miley Cyrus circa Malibu at the moment and am wondering if I’ll cave (like she did) once it looks like I’ve gotten an awful ombre job! My stylist has mentioned that she could tone my hair so that the grow out process doesn’t look as drastic so I’ll admit I am considering that.
// 4. IDGAF. I’m slowly (very slowly) starting to not care as much what people think about me and whether or not my hair is perfect. The best bit? I still have friends. I’ve since gained more friends. Not one person has ever mentioned my hair or how awful it looks (god bless them) so surely it’s not a major determining factor in my circle of friends (the relationships I care about the most). I’ve got a (kind) rant of a post coming about this expectation of perfection. Stay tuned! I’ve also had friends reach out and let me know that they too are doing the same thing! Empathy in numbers is a beautiful thing and definitely makes this process much more doable!
// 5. Shine! I’m starting to get a shine back on my roots from my natural colour. It feels healthier and it’s apparent that my bleached hair is far more damaged than my new growth.
Photos by Mo Summers
The ultimate goal is to get to my original hair colour and not rely on hair treatments as a regular part of my beauty routine. Accepting a little help to get there (and to not look so dishevelled) might be necessary. But we’ll see! Perhaps I’ll give an update in a few more month’s time if you’re keen to hear how the process is going?