A huge thanks to Herbal Essences and POPSUGAR for sponsoring today’s post.
When I look back at old posts here on Oh So Glam, I’m always struck at how many hair changes I’ve put myself through over the last six years. Hair has always been so important to me and my overall look — but I’ve oddly felt fine making (more than a few) drastic changes. Do you know when girls go through a breakup and immediately dye their hair or chop it off? I feel like with every life change, I felt the need to change my hair’s appearance. I’m partnering with Herbal Essences today to share MY hair story — with every change I’ve ever made to my hair, there’s always a story or feeling attached to why I made it.
These hair changes really all started over the last decade. Before that, I was always a standard brunette — with a few chunky highlights added in here and there. The only cut I ever made to my hair was a disaster when I was 12 — I chopped my hair above my shoulders to look like the Olsen Twins and didn’t realize the repercussions of not owning a hair straightener — I’m not even sure if they were invented in 1998. I was a frizzy mess, and vowed never to touch my hair again. I was planning to have long hair the rest of my life.
In 2008, I graduated college and was thrown into the work force. During my first job, I was bored out of my mind. Sitting behind a desk all day long wasn’t cutting it for me, and I was itching for a change. If I couldn’t get away from my job — then it was going to be a physical change. My mom is lucky it wasn’t a tattoo. It was the days of the early Kardashians and it seemed everyone had that dark rich brunette hair color. My summer highlights had grown out, my hair felt mousey, and I wanted that rich brown color for the winter. So, that’s what I asked for. What I got was black hair. The shade was WAY too dark, it was winter — so I was PALE as a ghost, and it was just all wrong. Like, so utterly wrong. I remember my dad (who has black hair, mind-you) said to me, “You just don’t look like yourself.” I cried, I tried to go back and have them lighten it. But, the color was SO rich, highlights wouldn’t take. I had nothing to do but wait it out — wait for the color to fade a bit and then go back and try to have them lighten it. For that entire winter, I had the darkest brown hair you could ever imagine. It changed my personality. I know that sounds insane, but it did. Whatever hint of bubbly personality I had went out the window. I felt edgy, quiet, insecure, wanted to wear black all the time, and had to wear loads of makeup so I didn’t look like a vampire.
The second I was given clearance to go back in and lighten things up, I did. Oh, and I also went to a different hairstylist, in case you were wondering. From there, I was so desperate to feel like myself again, I told the next stylist to MAKE ME LIGHT AGAIN. We had to add highlights in stages, so I went back every few weeks to add more blonde. It seriously took MONTHS. After about 4 rounds (and a WHOLE LOT of $$ later), I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, “THERE SHE IS!!!!”
After I started my blog in 2011, I felt more comfortable trying and experimenting with trends in my wardrobe — it was an outlet of expression, something I was deeply needing at the time. That mindset spilled into my hair choices, and after ombré starting making the rounds in the hair world, I was all in. At first it was subtle, and then it was extreme. I felt cool, confident, and ahead of the curve (since I was always trying to stay on top of the latest hair trend). After we got engaged in 2014, I knew I was going to want to look as natural as possible, so for 6 months, my hairdresser gradually removed the ombré (a combination of cutting the ends and bringing the color from the ends up throughout my hair). I got married looking like this, which is pretty close to my natural hair color. I knew going natural was the way to go for this huge event — but the change I knew was going to happen in my life was making me want to start fresh, with a brand new look. I wanted to chop my hair off — and was counting down the SECONDS until I could.
I don’t even think I made it two weeks after our wedding before I chopped 7 inches off. I remember my hairdresser Emily (who did my wedding hair and makeup) asking me for the 10th time if I was SURE I wanted to do it. I looked at her with a straight face and said, “GO!!!” and she blunt chopped it right off. It felt liberating and gave me one of the most freeing feelings I’ve ever had. Six weeks later I was back in her chair asking for more. She chopped another 3 inches off. It was like an addiction, I couldn’t stop making changes. Another few weeks went by and I was back in her chair ONCE again asking her to make me blonde. I now had a blonde lob 3 months after getting married with long brown hair.
The thing about hair that I didn’t realize before — you can hide behind it. I was always used to long, flowing hair. My beachy waves always gave me a boho look — I apparently looked like a free spirit. My hair was always just put together enough, never perfect, with the right amount of messiness to it. My long hair used to soothe me in times of stress. I have the worst habit of twirling my hair around my fingers when I’m deep in thought and picking my split ends when I have anxiety — I don’t even realize I’m doing it. All of that went out the window when I cut off my hair. As freeing as it was to have it short— we’re talking almost to my chin, it was also a scary change. My clothes looked different on me. Makeup looked different on me. I turned 30, put on about 15 pounds since the wedding, and started struggling hardcore with hormonal acne. And, I had nothing to hide behind. That was the thing that I never realized — no matter what was going on, I could always hide behind my hair. On confident days when I had on a killer outfit, spent time doing my makeup, I loved my short hair. On days where I had 5 breakouts, and was in sweats pounding away on the computer, I hated it. I felt very out of control, not like myself, and that freeing feeling started to fade fast. I knew it was time for another change.
One day I woke up and started making different choices. I started by working out 3-4x a week — something I could easily control. I also got myself on a plant based diet — which almost immediately helped me shed any weight I put on and cleared up my acne. As for the hair, I added extensions, darkened it just enough to get me back to “bronde” as my hairstylist likes to call it — brown with a little blonde painted on. Within a month, I felt like a new version of myself. It’s been such a crazy reminder what an impact hair has on my overall feelings. I’ll be staying like this for the foreseeable future — until another life change comes along. 😉
I wanted to partner with Herbal Essences on this post, because I love their messaging. They encourage women to embrace changes in their life — both big and small and LET LIFE IN. I absolutely love the video below, it really spoke to me, and I love being apart of this campaign.
I would LOVE to hear your hair stories below — I’m sure you all have similar ones. I can’t be the only one, RIGHT?! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading!
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