Facts and Myths: Children’s Hair



I get SO many questions regarding children’s hair.  It perplexes parents, because there seems to be the understanding that children’s hair is different than adult hair.  In some ways it is.  The fact that it is still changing being number one.  Let me go through some common misconceptions and some tips and tricks.

#1  Shaving my kid’s hair off will make it grow in thicker.



I get this question more than any other.  How much validity is there to this concept?  The short answer is none.  It doesn’t work.  If you did this and your child’s hair grew in “thicker”, that’s because it was going to anyway.  Children are born with a certain texture or curl speed and it can all change within months and it continues to change at puberty.  The hair we have is controlled by our hormones.  Really our genetics ultimately.  If both mom and dad have fine hair, it’s very likely that baby will also have fine hair.  If hair thinning or loss is a factor in the family, then guess what?  It’s likely your child will be dealing with that as well.  There is not a single magical hair cut that will change your genetics.  And ultimately that is what shaving the head is.  It’s just a really short hair cut.  Whether you cut it down to the skin or down to one inch long, it doesn’t matter.  It’s just a hair cut.  It doesn’t have mystical hair thickening powers.  The density of the actual hair shaft and the curl speed is all determined by the follicle and it’s shape.  Which is located inside the scalp tissue.  And if you’d like to know the origins of this tradition…a baby’s hair was shaved off because it was thought to be dirty from birth.  That’s it.  Not because it changes what a child is genetically predispositioned for.

#2  I shouldn’t use “adult” shampoo on my kid.


Once your child is a toddler, it is perfectly find to use professional brand products on your kids, and I highly encourage it.  Using the cheapo kids stuff from the drug store is not doing them any favors.  It’s setting them up for scalp and hair issues.  I use Livingproof on my son.  His hair is healthy and shiny and stays clean way longer.  When he was a bit younger I used Johnson and Johnson on him and found his hair to be dull, full of tangles, and very dry.    Once I made the switch his hair has been healthy and beautiful!  Children need basically what adults need.  It’s still hair no matter the age.  A great regimen and routine cuts.  If your child has unruly curls, or just cannot be tamed, I’m sorry to say, but it’s just part of the lifestyle.  You’ll have to invest a bit more to manage that hair.  No amount of coconut oil or whatever other salad dressing you put in their hair will fix the issue.  You will need to get them on some great products to have optimum hair health.

#3  I want it to GROW!  I’m never cutting it.


A routine haircut ensures healthy hair that will grow just the same.  The hair grows at a certain rate everyday.  This all goes for adults as well.  If you trim off less than what you grow roughly every 6-8 weeks, guess what…your hair will grow!  Consider the actual appearance of your hair.  Yes it’s long, but are you really considering those rat tail ends part of the length?  Do the fading wispy ends actually appeal to you or did you have a more thick and healthy look in your mind?  I’ve had many clients tell me that their hair is thin when really it’s just damaged ends that NEED TO GO.  I’ve also heard the very popular claim that their hair just stops growing at a certain length.  Not true.  It’s just that your hair is disintegrating as fast as it’s growing out of your head.  Break that cycle with a trim.

#4 Vitamins will help hair growth.


That’s right!  Biotin and B vitamins are amazing for hair growth, skin health, and nail strength and growth.  I highly recommend it.  Still have prenatals left over?  Take them!  Those Hair Skin and Nails vitamins and gummies that have been flooding the market…basically biotin and b vitamins so if you don’t want to pay the crazy price tag on those or join some pyramid scheme to get a discount on them…go ahead and buy the regular supplements from the pharmacy and you’ll notice a difference in about a month.  Other things that help…a great diet, plenty of water, and a low stress life.  Big challenges, trust me, I know.  For your kiddos, ensure they are taking vitamins daily, make sure they are getting a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.  And do what you can to make sure they live stress free.  Hair loss, thinning, and stunted growth are all medical issues that a hair product or vitamin may not help with.  Some blood work may help uncover any underlying medical issues.  Prescription medications have a major influence on hair as well so consider that as you’re researching causes.

#5   What do I do if my child is a swimmer?

Please protect their hair!!!  Chlorine is really damaging and will lead to dry and unruly hair.  Livingproof makes a great spray called Restore Instant Protect.  It repels chlorine and has a UV protectant.  A little goes a long way but boy does it help!!  Make sure you are shampooing and conditioning your little one’s hair every time.

#6 I don’t need to condition my child’s hair.


Please shampoo and condition every time.  Really curly hair needs a different regimen, but most hair types absolutely benefit from conditioning.  Don’t you put lotion on your child after a bath?  Why?  Because the soap dries out their skin and they need that moisture added back, right?  The same thing happens to hair.  I love the Livingproof Perfect Hair Day shampoo and conditioner or the Full Shampoo and Conditioner for kiddos.  That’s what I use on them when they come to the studio for a trim.  It leaves hair healthy and shiny, nourished, and really helps with tangles.

#7  My kid doesn’t need a heat protectant.


They sure do.  Every time you blow dry their hair you are cooking those strands.  A little blow dry lotion or a leave in conditioner of some kind that has a heat protectant is a HUGE benefit and will prevent damage and tangles.  For my kiddo I use Livingproof Perfect Hair day 5 in 1 treatment.

The number one hurdle I hear from parents is that salon professional product is too expensive.  I understand.  However, consider that salon professional products are highly effective and more concentrated.  You use way less each time.  If you’re using Livingproof the added benefit is their Healthy Hair Molecule which keeps hair cleaner longer, meaning you won’t be washing their hair as often.  Drugstore product creates a vicious cycle.  You end up using more because it’s mostly water and very little effective product.  There are a lot of cheap waxy fillers, resins, and silicones so hair ends up with buildup.  This buildup makes hair feel dirty so there you are again washing hair more frequently.  So you’re either replenishing product more frequently at $7-$15 a bottle or replenishing perhaps once or twice a year at $26-$30 a bottle.  I’ve found it works out about the same when all is said and done.  I challenge you to try a professional product for a few months and then use your drug store product.  Can you feel the difference?  As a professional I can SEE AND SMELL the difference.  My clients could probably all tell you that I know the minute they have started using something different.  I have a clever little test to show them the build up on their hair too.  With products like Livingproof that are scientifically created to solve the root issue of hair problems there is absolutely no reason that you or your children should have to deal with your hair.  It truly makes styling and maintenance very easy.

I’d love to hear feedback on this topic.  Are there any other questions you have that I haven’t addressed?  Anything you don’t agree with?  Are you willing to take the Salon product challenge?





How often should I be seeing my stylist?



With so many services available at the salon, how can we keep track of when we’re supposed to be doing what?!  Here is a handy guide and some general rules that will help you schedule out your pampering services.


If your stylist is anything like me, she’ll want you to space out your appointments, but that’s just my personal preference.  Of course some of my clients don’t have several days in their schedule so we do the works when they come in.



Depending on your growth and style, you’ll want to come in every 3-8 weeks for a cut to keep it healthy.  I could go on and on about why it is so important to stay on a regimen with this.  People think I’m making things up when I tell them they need to see me every month or two for a trim.  The longer you wait the more out of shape your style will be.  Hair grows at different rates all around the head so after a month when your hair just looks weird or won’t style the same this is usually the reason, don’t blame your stylist.  Another reason, hair begins to split at the ends especially if you heat style.  The hair on the ends is farthest away from nourishment (your scalp) so it dries out a lot faster.  Periodically trimming the ends mean the splits won’t get all the way up creating flyaways and frizz.


This also comes down to your growth rate, but generally 4-6 weeks for a retouch.  Really it’s when the regrowth is about 1/2″.  Any more than that and you may end up with an uneven color.  When the regrowth gets beyond that you run the risk of an uneven color, or a more involved color process.  The stylist may end up needing two formulas to get an even result.  This is because as hair grows away from the scalp it hardens and reacts to color differently.  Another reason is that the temperature varies, so closer to the scalp it is warmer and therefore processes color differently.  You can end up with banding or blotchy color which is pretty expensive to fix.


This is where it gets tricky.  Highlights can be done in a variety of ways now that don’t require as much maintenance as it used to.  Once upon a time you would have a harsh line and about every month you’d be in getting your highlights retouched.  Now with balayage and hair painting it isn’t necessary.  Sometimes it just looks better and better as it grows.  So in the case of highlights I would say refer to your stylist.  They will know best.  I tell my clients to come in when they can’t stand their hair anymore.  If they get traditional foil highlights, I try to soften the regrowth line so it isn’t as obvious.

Keratin and smoothing treatments

I highly recommend pre-booking this service for the exact time it would be due.  I am a certified Brazilian Blowout Stylist and the life on that is about 12 weeks.  It’s best to do the next treatment before the previous one has completely faded out of the hair.  This is so you’ll have stronger healthier hair each time.  Every subsequent treatment builds on the last one.  So when you get your treatment done, go ahead and book 12 weeks out for your next one.  Another reason to do this is that the service is lengthy so you will have a harder time getting in on the schedule if you wait until the last minute.  Your stylist will be compelled to squeeze you in because they love you, but don’t you want an unrushed service?


This is along the lines of the Smoothing treatments or relaxers.  Refer to your stylist about when they need you back for a retouch and pre-book the service.  This is a lengthy service so you want to make sure your stylist has enough time on their books to complete you.

Staggering appointments

Your stylist will thank you for staggering your appointments.  This allows them to keep everyone on track for their appointments and opens up availability for others.  I have several clients with a TON of hair and usually have to reserve several hours.  In this case, if every one of my clients was getting highlights, a cut, and threading done, I would never have time for everyone to look fabulous all the time.  Someone would be roughing it for a week or so.  I recommend getting hair cut first.  This way color/highlights can be placed according to your style.  If your hair is really short, it may help to do the color first because it’ll be easier on your stylist to work with your hair.  Not all stylists are the same so make sure you ask your stylist what they prefer.  Some like to do an entire look in one day and some salons split up the task so it doesn’t really matter.


Giving birth to an angel.


There are moments in our life we never forget.  Sometimes they are beautiful happy moments that we cherish and nurture by recalling them often.  Sometimes they are the darkest moments of your life, too painful to willingly recall.  Somehow they claw their way to the forefront of your mind, never to leave.  This post is about the latter.  I’ve always been OK with sharing my life, this particular moment especially.  I’m writing this because I needed an honest post like this 17 months ago.  I hope it is helpful, hopeful, or informative.


17 months ago…

It was the night before my 20 week ultrasound.  I was so excited to see baby again.  Normal pregnancies allow for maybe 2 or 3 ultrasounds.  We had planned to take our son, who was three and a half at the time, so he could see his baby sister.  In the middle of the night, I felt pressure.  Thinking I just needed to go to the bathroom I rolled back and forth awkwardly to get out of bed and waddled over to the bathroom.  Except it wasn’t just the urge to go, it was something else all together.  Something came out.  I’m not sure what.  My water broke.  That’s all I remember.  I screamed out my husband’s name.  I just kept saying No no no no no over and over.  I could feel my heart pounding in my throat.  This wasn’t right.  It’s not time.  Everything was normal, why is this happening?  My husband’s panic evident in his voice, looked at me “What do we do?”  This wasn’t something we were prepared for.  It wasn’t in any books, it wasn’t a part of any tour.  Nobody had warned us.  I sat there hovering over the tub, sobbing.  I couldn’t even talk.  I just watched the pinkish fluid trail towards the drain and my heart broke.  My husband had his head in his hands, tears welling up in his eyes “Oh no no no my baby, my baby.”  It is so painful to recall this moment.  The moment our hearts broke, our lives changed, and nothing was ever the same again.

Minutes later we were rushing towards the hospital.  I fell into a wheelchair, my mind spinning.  They rushed me to labor and delivery and told me to pee in a cup.  How could I?  If I pushed I would lose more water and all I could imagine was my tiny baby suffocating in my womb, the place she is supposed to be the safest.  I protested but the nurse demanded a sample.  She stood there with me while I tried and all that came out was more amniotic fluid.  My husband gripped my shoulder tight.  I sobbed harder.  I looked at her through my tears.  “I can’t. I can’t.”

I was laid on a bed and hooked up to monitors.  I heard the familiar rapid rhythm of my daughter’s heartbeat and what I felt wasn’t necessarily relief, but perhaps a flicker of hope.  She’s still with us.  Maybe there is something they can do.

I frantically started praying.  Even in my mind I was stuttering and sobbing through my prayer.  Will God understand me?  Does he just get what I’m saying?  I switched gears and talked to my baby. “We’re fighters in this family.  We don’t give up.  Please don’t give up.  Stay with me.  I can’t lose you, please don’t leave.”  I repeated this over and over in my head.

A woman was admitted to the space on the other side of the curtain.  I could hear her moaning through her labor.  The nurse excitedly motivated her.  “You’re going to have a baby, today!”  I listened to her husband trying to soothe her.  After a little while she was taken to a room to have her baby.  I smiled sadly at my husband, “This is one of the best days of their life…”  He knew what I meant.  Even in our situation there was joy all around us.  The bittersweet complexity of life.  One suffers while one experiences jubilation.  Life and death separated by a flimsy curtain.


I was admitted into a labor and delivery room and was told I would be getting an ultrasound to figure out what is going on.  I asked the nurse for a catheter.  She looked at me like I had grown a second head.  “There’s no need for that, you can get up.”  But I didn’t want to.  I wanted to keep the amniotic fluid in.  “But it will hurt.”  I didn’t care.  That didn’t matter.  I needed to do everything I could to keep my child safe.   She reluctantly agreed.

Yes it did hurt.  But I squeezed my husband’s hand, distributing the pain between the two of us and it wasn’t so bad.  A necessary sacrifice.

There we sat.  Waiting on an ultrasound.  A few hours later the tech came in with the portable ultrasound machine.  His face was grim as he scanned all around.  The baby was fine but there was very little fluid in there.  I also had placenta previa.  He told me a doctor would be in and left quietly.  I knew what that meant.  There was no hope to be had.  It wasn’t going to be good news.

I wasn’t in any pain besides the ache in my heart.  I listened to the doctor quietly.  I felt like she was talking to me while I was riding a carnival ride.  A rush of wind in my ears making it hard to make out the words.  I realized later I couldn’t hear her because I was choking down sobs.  The prognosis wasn’t good.  I had lost my bag of waters so nothing was protecting the baby from the outside world.  She estimated I would naturally go in to labor about 72 hours in after getting an infection.  She said there was a slim chance I would stay like this, build up my waters, and have the baby prematurely.  But she didn’t want to give me false hope.  She said the slim chance was like 1%, maybe less.

My husband and I sat there.  Sucker punched by the news.  I turned to him.  Gripping his hand tight, I kept repeating that the baby would be ok.  I would stay just like this and we would have the baby early.  We’ve seen these miracles happen.  People go on to have healthy babies.  I desperately set the intention.  He wearily nodded his head and repeated back to me what I was saying.

We stayed in the hospital like this for almost three days.  That magical 72 hour mark.  I still felt fine.  The nurses in the department rotated through and I must have met every one of them.  One of them said she was praying for me to stay a long time and that the baby would be fine.  She decided she would teach me how to knit during my time there.  Her next shift she would bring me the supplies.  Each one stopped in for some hair advice and if they weren’t assigned to me they would come by on their lunch breaks to check in on me and chat.  By that third day I was so familiar with the schedule and procedures.

On the evening of that third day I laid in bed with a gas pain that wouldn’t go away.  I complained to my husband who rubbed my belly a little but fatigued from lack of sleep and an abundance of worry he fell into a deep sleep on the couch next to me.  I listened to his light snoring, meditating on it. Trying to focus on the pain and minimize it.  The pain became rhythmic and stronger.  I couldn’t help but let out moans and breathe through the pain.  I worried I would wake my husband.  Poor guy was so worried about me, I wanted him to rest.  But something about the way it hurt and the way I was moaning sounded so much like the woman who was admitted while I was being triaged.  I think I’m in labor I thought to myself.  My heart sank.  I tried to for a second concentrate on the pain, willing it to just be gas pain.  But it was pretty obvious that I was in labor.  I pushed the call button and a nurse came running in.  My husband woke up and came to my side.  I kept telling the nurse it just felt like gas pain.  She gave me something for the pain and told me that if it was labor pain I would still feel the pain but if it was gas the pain would go away.  I waited…as the next wave ripped through my lower half I began to cry.  No.  It was labor.  This is it.  She turned up the monitor and my daughters heartbeat filled the room.  I listened.  This was it.  I’d never hear that heartbeat again.  Something broke inside of me.  My husband stroked my hair and held my hand as I breathed through the labor.  He kissed my forehead and told me to breathe.  The nurses ran around setting up for the birth.  Before I knew it, I felt like I had to push.  The nurses nodded at me and said “Whenever you’re ready.”  Really.  Because I’m not.  I’m not ready for this.  I wasn’t prepared for this.  This isn’t how this was supposed to go down.  I lay my head back and cried.  I cried to God and anybody that would listen.  I no longer felt the pain ripping through my lower half.  I felt an ache in my throat.  Like a giant frog in my throat.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  I listened to my husband’s soothing voice.  And then with no pain killers or analgesics I pushed out my baby girl.  The room fell silent.  Her heartbeat was gone.

They cleaned her up and wrapped her in the standard pink and blue striped blanket.  They handed her to me.  There I held my beautiful little girl, my husbands hand on her head.  I held her as she slipped away from us.  This cruel initiation into a club we never wanted to be in.  We cried together.  Both wracked with pain and grief.  They asked us if we wanted a picture and we declined.  As much as I knew I would never forget her, I didn’t want to remember these details.  I wanted to remember her my way.  We stared at her for so long.  She had my grandfather’s nose, my husband’s hands and feet.  She was really tall.  Her skin was so fair and she had a tuft of dark brown hair.  She had a slight smile on her face and oh God was she beautiful.  Just 21 weeks into my pregnancy and she looked so much like her big brother, like one of us.  I didn’t want to let go.  I held her to my skin just wishing that my breath could fill her lungs, that the electricity from my heartbeat would make hers beat again.  My doctor came in and sat next to me.  She touched the blanket affectionately and stood silent as I grieved.

They took her to the nursery and supplied us with some ham and cheese sandwiches.  I looked at my sandwich and tears welled up in my eyes.  I had stayed away from cured meats to protect her.  Somehow it seemed ironic to be eating it now.  I felt like a failure.  I felt empty.  My doctor came to check on me again.  She sat down next to me and held my hand tightly.  We cried together.  She reassured me it wasn’t my fault and that some things are out of their control.  I nodded but still felt like I failed my family.


There are moments in our life we never forget.  This was one of mine.  It’s been 17 months and I’m still figuring it out.  The sadness never leaves you.  It’s inside everything you do.  I had a miscarriage before this and for me that was easier to get past.  The genetics didn’t line up, something was wrong and it was an early miscarriage.  There was a reason and explanation for what happened.  But this…no reason, no explanation.  My child was ripped from me for no apparent reason.  I flip flopped between anger and hurt and acceptance.  I had moments of strength and moments where I couldn’t bear the pain.  I cried like I’ve never cried in my life.  Nothing could soothe me.  My husband would hold me and rock me like a child.  He’d pat my head and just let me break in his strong arms.  I don’t know how he knew to do this, but he just let me break.  He didn’t try to make me stop crying, he didn’t try to fix it.  He just let the pain swell and steadied himself.  Like the rock I would hold onto during a flood.  We took turns falling apart and sometimes we fell apart together.  But we consistently had each other and that is what got me through.

One hard part of this was when it came time to tell people what had happened.  Not because it was difficult to talk about.  I’m an open book.  But the response I was getting.  One person texted us relating their miscarriages to what we went through.  Another person asked if there was anything I could have done differently.  Yet another told me I’d be pregnant again in no time.  On one hand I understand that most don’t know what to say in this situation, but on the other it hurt worse to hear this stuff.  There is no consoling this kind of grief.  As humans we have an inherent need to fix things or to say the right thing.  I’d say in this case it’s better to just listen and not say anything.

I won’t even get in to the folks who called it a miscarriage as if it was somehow less that way.  “Oh yea, so and so had a miscarriage but they had two healthy babies after that.”  No a miscarriage sucks pretty huge and a preterm birth is terrible too.  Each is a unique situation that can’t be compared.  I gave birth to my daughter.  I held her, saw her face.  She has a name.  We came home with a death certificate.  Is it less because she was so young?  Do grieving parents who lost their 16 year old somehow win this?  If I entertained all the questions that popped in to my head I’d be the cynical mess I know I’m not.  Instead, I choose to educate people.  When I see them struggling for words, I immediately say “You don’t have to say anything, it’s OK.  It’s a terrible situation, and that’s that.” or when they try to encourage me with a future birth I remind them that none of it is certain.  I accept this grief as a part of my life.  That it makes anyone else uncomfortable is none of my business.  I own this grief.  When it becomes overwhelming, I let it swallow me up and I experience it.  Then I release it and think fondly of my daughter.  She’s my angel baby.  We can’t see her, but we can feel her presence.  She is with me always.  When people ask how many children I have, I pause.  That is such a painful question.  What do I say?  If I say one then am I disregarding my daughter?  If I say two and one has passed, will people perceive me as an attention seeker?  But that’s the truth isn’t it.  How many kids do you have?  I have two.  One that runs and one that flies.

There are so many intricacies to being a bereaved parent.  It’s an unnatural pain.  No one in this world can relate.  Not even other bereaved parents.  Each situation is so unique that each person who goes through it has their very own pain.  Even between my husband and I, we grieve differently.  I don’t know his pain and he doesn’t know mine.  We are there for each other and understand the importance of allowing the pain to be present.  He watched his daughter enter the world and slip away, a visual I’m sure haunts him. He watched his wife, usually strong and confident, fall apart and suffer through a birth that didn’t end the way it was supposed to.  He had to grieve and keep it together for me and our son.  These are his pains.  I felt the tiny kicks and hiccups.  I went through a pregnancy and felt each contraction as I pushed her little body out.  I came home recovering from a delivery.  My milk came in and I had no baby to feed.  I sobbed to myself as I pumped the milk into the bathroom sink to relieve the pain from it building up in my breast.  How can we relate to one another?  Our experiences are unique.  I respect his process as he respects mine.  We listen, we stick around, and we get through it together.

Each person is different, and I think the important thing is to respect the grief.  Some people cry there eyes out locked in a room and that’s ok.  Some people socialize and try to move past it filling their days with normal activities.  Anything goes.  It’s all OK.  I went and got my nails done.  I had them put a bow on my ring finger to remember my little girl.  While getting them done I looked over at the pedicure stations and there was a mother and daughter getting pedicures.  I stared at them longingly.  Perhaps I creeped them out.  I blinked hard to push back my tears.  And as soon as I was done I ran to my car and sobbed into the steering wheel.  I wasn’t ready for the reminders.  Shortly after I went through the starbuck’s drive through and the barista asks me how I’m doing.  One of those questions we ask people without wanting the honest answer.  Just say you’re fine and move along.  Don’t complicate this simple social interaction.


Overtime I’ve lost friends because they just don’t know how to process who I’ve become.  It’s a strange thing.  You assume your closest friends will always be there for you especially during your hard times.  But it seemed our grief was inconvenient.  If we talked about our daughter they get visibly uncomfortable.  Soon we weren’t invited to things.  I wanted to be hurt about it, but I felt numb.  People in my life I least expected to be there, rose to the occasion and became an important part of my support system.  People that had been in my life forever, faded into the background becoming a vestigial piece of the person I used to be.  The person who hadn’t suffered a loss like this.  The loss has made me more understanding and infinitely more compassionate.  I am grateful of everything.  The problem with this was that frivolous conversations ceased to interest me.  I defended the defenseless and because of my stronger sense of gratitude I had different things to say when these friends complained about petty issues.  I wasn’t the carefree kid I used to be.  I was a grieving mother with a story to tell.

If you’ve been through a pre term birth, or are facing circumstances that will lead you down this path, please know you aren’t alone.  It is surprisingly common, which doesn’t make it any easier, but at the very least please know you are not a failure.  Nobody talks about this.  Especially in the Indian Community.  It’s taboo.  I think it’s seen as a sign of weakness.  To which I would throw up my middle finger and scream bullshit.  Why are we so ashamed?  Why are we not more loving towards people who go through this.  I’ve heard people from my community talk about others this way.  “Oh did you hear so and so lost their baby, so sad, poor girl.” Says the auntie with the old spinster daughter, just barely hiding her glee.  It makes me sick.  I was terrified and confused when I went through it.  Since then so many people have told me they went through it or know someone who did.  There are support groups out there.  The group ‘Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep’ really helped me.  Talking to other mothers who had been through it helped me to clear away the confusion and celebrate my daughter.

I liken this experience to riding out a storm.  A storm so powerful it uproots trees and leaves debris in it’s wake.  You look around and see remnants of this storm, reminding you of the fear and difficulty it brought to your life.  We rebuild and wait for the clouds to part.  We wait for that rainbow.  There’s no telling how long it will take for that beautiful vision.  On the one year anniversary of Sahaara’s passing we visited the park where we scattered her ashes.  It had been sort of a gloomy day, the clouds threatening a storm.  As we walked towards the river access, the clouds began to part.  We looked up to see not one but two rainbows.  A flock of birds flew around and I noticed a beautiful sunset.  The sunset was symbolic of our daughter.  We kept catching the sunset on days we were really missing her.  It became an association and seemed very appropriate on her birthday.  To one side was a beautiful glowing sunset and on the other side the moon had risen and the sky was darkening.  I thought of that woman on the other side of the curtain…birth and death…separated by a flimsy curtain.  The day was so perfect.  When you have a baby after losing one they call it your rainbow baby.  The double rainbow made me think of that.  A few weeks later a positive pregnancy test parted the clouds and a rainbow broke through the grief.  Christmas morning I woke my husband up with the news.  I am currently 20 weeks and anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby girl.  Sahaara’s presence is so much stronger; watching over her baby sister.    If we hadn’t lost Sahaara, we wouldn’t be having this baby.  If we hadn’t gone through all that, this wouldn’t be considered a high risk pregnancy.  It’s been heavily monitored and protected by a gaggle of doctors.  They’ve been able to intervene on things that wouldn’t have been tested for in a regular checkup.  So many times we wondered why.  It took us this long to find our answer.  We leaned on our faith and spirituality to make sense of it.  After patiently waiting for the storm to pass, the clouds have parted and our rainbow is upon us.




What is Balayage?


I can’t believe I haven’t written this post sooner.  I get asked this constantly.  And I’ve heard a hundred different ways to pronounce it!

Balayage is a french word meaning to sweep or to paint. Simply put, it is a technique not an effect.  The resulting effect from this technique is dramatically different than traditional foil highlights. Balayage creates a sun-kissed natural looking hair color with softer, less noticeable regrowth lines. The main idea being less is more.

Balayage is great for someone looking to update their look without committing to increased maintenance.  Foil highlights can tend to have more separation in pieces and usually create a growth line.  Now keep in mind foil is a tool and can be used during a balayage service to keep highlighted pieces from mashing together.  So when I say traditional foil highlights I mean the particular method where hair is weaved into a foil and painted with lightener. (Please don’t call it bleach!)


This picture shows the technique and the effect.  Notice how the highlight has a soft line so as it grows it will look better and better.  The before picture…looks like a DIY ombre!


Here is a beautiful example of Balayage technique used to achieve an ombre.

Now let me show you the difference between ombre, sombre, color melt.  Each style has a different effect but all are done with balayage technique.


The ombre transitions from dark to light and is pretty dramatic.  The sombre of “soft ombre” has a dark to light gradient but much more subtle.  Color melting melts together two colors using balayage technique.

Balayage is an advanced skill, so make sure if you choose to go this route that your stylist knows what they’re doing.  This can go horribly wrong if the stylist isn’t familiar with creating a soft transition or if they aren’t educated on sectioning techniques.  Most importantly they need to understand toning.  What’s toning you say?!  Well that’s a topic for a whole new blog post.  Stay tuned for the answer to that.  Post your questions in the comments below.  What’s your favorite look?



Are you washing your hair the right way?

Shampoo hair the right way

Shampooing seems like such a simple thing.  It’s just washing hair right?  So why does it confound us so much?  I am going to lay out the dos and don’ts of hair washing.

How often?

This is so variable.  It all comes down to hair type and lifestyle.  If you’re working out hard everyday and sweating a ton, I’d say you need to wash your hair more often.  If you have curly hair, I would say wash your hair less often.  Moisture being the main thing here.  The more you wash, the more natural moisture you won’t be able to accumulate.  If your hair turns into a grease-pit the very next day, you may be using the wrong products.  In the time I’ve been doing hair, I’d say very few people actually have an oily scalp problem and it’s more of a horrible product problem.

How is it done?

As a rule, I tell my clients to wash their scalp and condition their ends.  Start at your scalp with the shampoo, make sure you emulsify completely in your hands before you start massaging.  This will help disperse the shampoo easily.  Massage with your finger tips and try to be gentle.  The more rough you are at this point, the harder your hair will be to manage.  Being rough during shampooing will rough up the cuticle layer and make hair frizzy and unmanageable.  So gentle massaging and take the suds to the ends of the hair and gently wash.  You don’t need to waste product on the ends.  They just don’t need to be cleansed the way your scalp does.  Rinse.  Now when you apply conditioner, apply it to the ends of your hair and work through.  For some clients, I tell them they don’t really need to bother conditioning the scalp.  Unless your scalp is extremely dry, your natural moisture and oils will do the work.  But if you feel incomplete, take what is left on your hands and bring it to your scalp. Rinse.

When should you deep condition?

Only very damaged and dry hair needs to be on a deep treatment regimen.  If you fall into that category, and let your stylist guide you, then use a nourishing and strengthening deep treatment.  Your stylist will probably be banging your door down with a treatment if your hair falls into this category.  I have clients who tell me they really need a deep treatment and their hair is so damaged, but the perception is different.  By damaged hair, I mean it’s brittle, and the ends disintegrate at a touch.  Generally a deep treatment every 3-4 shampoos is a good idea, but not necessary for healthy hair.  I always recommend a leave in treatment for my clients.  It’s the best thing you can do for your hair, no matter the type.  There are plenty out there but I really love Aquage Moisture Mist, Pureology Color Fanatic, Redken Antisnap, and Moroccan Oil Treatment.  Use it after every shampoo and you’ll be maintaining your hair and keeping it healthy.  If you get your hair color treated, then absolutely you need a leave in.  Not only will it keep hair from getting dry, but it will help your color stay fresh.

No poo? poo poo?

The whole “no poo” movement has left the country divided.  Here’s where I stand on it.  Ok if you have curly hair, absolutely not if you have fine or limp hair.  If you don’t know what this is all about, it’s basically using a conditioner to clean in between full on shampoos.  Pureology makes some good cleansing conditioners.  These no poo varieties can build up on hair if you over do it and I honestly think it’s best for very curly hair.  The kind that you don’t blow out but leave curly.  I have curly/wavy/frizzy hair naturally.  I have yet to love the no poo thing because it builds up on my hair type and makes my scalp uncomfortable.  To sum it up, if it works for you, do it.  But if your stylist is griping about build up or your hair always feels dirty even after a shampoo…rethink.  And please stay away from Wen.  I have seen and read about some truly horrible results.

Protein? Moisture? What does my hair need?

So the best I can do with this is ‘go ask your stylist’.  I really wish there was an easy answer for this, but it really varies.  I have to touch and feel and even smell my clients’ hair to assess what they need.  Just so you understand the thought process, hair needs a balance of protein and moisture.  Your stylist would factor in environment, lifestyle, your actual hair type, and what treatments you do regularly to your hair.  I’m in Houston, so during summer I have to switch all my clients to a different product pairing because the moisture in the air really makes a difference.  This applies to drier climates as well.  The lack of moisture in the air can contribute to dry brittle hair.  The pH of your hair and the water you use to wash your hair makes a difference too.  If I have clients who have really hard water or constantly complain that their highlights “went brassy”, there is a set of products for that.  So long story short, ask your stylist.  But understand that it isn’t as simple as ‘my hair feels oily, I need something for oily hair’.  You may end up exacerbating the problem because you’ll dry your scalp out and have it creating even more oil to compensate, when the problem was actually you needed a moisturizing shampoo/conditioner.

Is salon product really all it’s cracked up to be?

In short. Yes.  Absolutely.  I’m saying this from experience.  Not because I’m a salon snob.  Truly, if Pantene and Dove were really that amazing, we’d be using it in the salon.  Promise.  I can feel the drug store stuff in my clients’ hair before they tell me they’re using it.  I can smell it.  I can tell when colors don’t process properly, that there is something gross coating the hair.  If drug store stuff is all you can afford, fine, but let me tell you…it all works out the same.  Salon product is concentrated and works.  This means you use less each time.  You get the same size bottle but you use less product.  Drug store product has cheaper fillers that build up on the hair.  So maybe the first time you use it, it’s lovely, but then over time you’ll notice your hair taking longer to dry or it still feels dirty and greasy.  That’s build up.  Your stylist will be able to scrape it off with her shear or razor.  I always do that to show my clients the disgusting film that’s standing between them and that amazing hair they keep praying for.  I’m not trying to shame the people who use drug store product or can’t afford salon product.  There are affordable salon brands like Redken.  What I’m saying is, the solution is there.  If you’ve been having issues, switch your product.  From personal experience, I had to use Dove when I forgot my stuff and my hair immediately was dull and limp and felt greasy.  Same thing with Garnier, Herbal Essence, Tresseme, Vidal Sassoon.  I mean, it was instant and so gross.  So if you have the means, get the salon product.  And from a salon please.  The stuff you find discounted at Amazon, Target or Walmart is unethical and not guaranteed.  If your hair falls out from using that, there is no one you’ll be able to sue or blame.

Leave questions below.  Please be kind.  If you don’t agree, that’s fine.  But you’re wasting your time leaving an ugly comment.