Hello friends! It’s been a fucking minute, hasn’t it? My apologies, it’s just that winter is stealing my soul and with it all my inspiration and ambition. I am 100% absolutely ready for Spring. One thing that’s been inspiring me so much lately, though? HAIR. All the hair. My hair is something of a hot mess right now, but I’m feeling very hopeful about what the future holds for my hair and how I’ll get there. This past year, I’ve made a few (beautiful) hair mistakes, which only makes me reflect on the past 10 years’ worth of (not always beautiful) hair mistakes and finally, what I’ve learned. Mostly what-not-to-do’s. I think we all have a few of those, am I right?
My hair journey has been colorful, damaging, and impulsive. I love dying my hair, I love bright colors, I love it all, but back in 2007-2011, I wasn’t super familiar with how it all works and why was my hair falling out??? Since then, I’ve learned a lot about bleach, toner (what an amazing thing, that you don’t have to bleach the literal shit out of your hair to get it that blonde??), and more. I’ve decided to quit bleaching my hair for awhile, as heartbroken as I am not to be bright and beautifully blonde anymore, I know I need to do it for the health of my hair. I’ve also decided to quit using any heat tools on my hair for a while; 10 days into my no-heat plan and my hair is already looking so much healthier.
I’ve mentioned the natural state of my hair before: fine, thin, straight, flat. The first time I dyed my hair was in sixth grade, when I begged my mom to let me dye my hair red. She let me, because I’m a persistent and whiny child who she probably just wanted to be quiet. Aside from some highlights in eighth grade, I think I left my hair alone until my freshmen year of high school, when I dyed my naturally brunette hair black.
MY GOODNESS look at that lil baby face of mine. I can’t believe this was 10 years ago? Think about all the hair I would have if I just left it alone! But you know, where’s the fun in that? Also, peep that pale AF skin of mine (my mother lovingly describes it as “aristocratic” or “you look like you never go outside”.)
My poor hair choices only went downhill from here…. After my freshmen year ended, I decided I was going to go blonde. From dyed black. By myself. With a lot, a lot of bleach. I remember bleaching my hair for SEVEN HOURS and then wondering WHY WAS MY HAIR FALLING OUT??? (I wasn’t always the brightest in terms of common sense…. This is the same girl who poured straight bleach over her jeans to get the mid-2000’s popular acid-wash effect and wondering why my jeans literally fell apart when I took them out of the washing machine. I’ve learned a lot about bleach.) Unfortunately, I don’t think I have any pictures of this blonde hair. Picture a brassy-blonde wig over the picture above and you’ll be set.
My sophomore year, my experimentation with colors began, and my hair was always short. Are you familiar with scene kids? If not, click here. Or not, because even looking at those pictures I’m embarrassed. Anyway, the next few years I went back and forth between black and colors, black with blondeish, black and brown, bleaching and dyeing and bleaching and dyeing.
In 2011, I decided once again to take the plunge… This time dyeing my whole head bright, screaming red. And let me say, I absolutely loved that color. Despite how damaging it was and the fact that my work hated it. It didn’t last that long, but I would go back to that color in a heartbeat!
Unfortunately, the red didn’t last long. Neither did all the hairs that got broken off by overbleaching. Leading to:
The self cut pixie. To be fair, I did really like this, but damn you really realize how much hair keeps you warm when you only have a few inches of it. I cut my pixie in October of 2011 and froze that whole winter. I lived in scarves to keep my neck warm.
Growing out a pixie cut can be painful, but thankfully I’m pretty used to having short hair. I honestly feel like I’ve been “growing my hair out” SINCE 2011. By the end of 2013/beginning of 2014, my hair was actually looking pretty good! It was black, long, and relatively healthy.
However, because I’m Odessa and I can’t have nice things, the beautifully long black hair didn’t last that long, either. I decided I was tired of having such dark and harsh hair and wanted to try to transition back into my natural brown. To do this, I first tried a couple boxes of “Color Oops”, which is designed to strip your color. At this point, the ends of my hair had about 2.5 years worth of monthly or every-other-monthly black dyes and was not taking to the color being stripped out very well.
After Color Oops
And then, the fateful day, when I walked into the salon expecting a dark brown to lighter brown balayage and walked out blonde. Not what I was expecting, but I fell in love with my blonde hair and all I wanted was to be brighter and blonder. And then started falling down the rabbit hole of colors, because Instagram is a dangerous drug, as is hairdye. 2016 ensued as follows:
Call me Odessa Darling: Queen of car selfies & poor hair choices. Which brings me to today, after the loss of many inches, most of the blonde, and about half of my pride in my hair.
(I promise I’m not as sad as this picture looks)
30 DAY NO HEAT CHALLENGE
I’ve challenged myself to go 30 (or more) days without using any heat on my hair: blow-dryer, flat iron, curling wand. Nope, nope, nope, none of that. I’m currently 10 days in, but realized I forgot to take a proper “before” picture, so I guess I’m starting my 30 days over again (gotta have that legit before-and-after shot, right?). I’m learning how to deal with my natural texture, finding I have more wave than I would have thought, which is a pleasant surprise, and doing my best to get my hair healthy AF. I’ve also started taking collagen powder again and as always, loading my diet with healthy fats (avocado, nut butter, eggs, mmmm).
My biggest obstacle so far has been wearing my hair ‘messy’ at work and feeling like I have constant bedhead. However, I’m figuring out how to style it, and the days I really can’t handle the bedhead I’ve been rocking the double dutch braids.
I’m excited to post the improvement and growth I’ll have a month from now! Anybody want to join me on my 30 day no heat challenge??