What to Tell your Hairdresser

I don’t mean secrets. ūüôā ¬†I just had a wonderful hairperience for the first time in like 6 years. ¬†Finally. ¬†And before I went, I did a lot of research on what to say to my hairdresser. ¬†After my own trip, I narrowed down what is ¬†actually important to say and do if you’re trying something new.

  • Consult, consult, consult. ¬†This shouldn’t be a scissors-in-hand talk. ¬†The two of you should be in front of a mirror talking about what you want, and listening to the feedback of each other.
  • Tell your hairdresser what it is that you want, and bring pictures to demonstrate. ¬†Don’t use words like: short layer, long layer, or thinning out unless you researched what they mean. (I had no idea that some of those words meant something other than what I had always thought!) ¬†Pictures are especially important if you are talking about a color. ¬†Even though colors can be described, they are really a visual thing and nothing speaks louder than words than a picture!
  • Tell your hairdresser what you don’t want, and bring one or two photos to explain. ¬†You obviously don’t need a portfolio of hair you don’t like, but bring a picture or two of a hairstyle/color similar to what you’re asking for, but that falls short of what you want. ¬†I find this helpful because if you’re like me, there is an image in the back of your mind of a “failed” version of what you’re asking for (and you’re afraid your hair might end up looking like that). ¬†That’s the image your hairdresser needs to see.
  • Be honest and realistic about how you take care of your hair, and what you’re willing to do for it. ¬†If you want a textured lob, but your hair is fine and straight and you hate using heat products on it, say so. ¬†Your hairdresser will (or should!) be open with you about if your desired hair will work out, or some options for how to achieve something similar based on how you plan to style your hair on a daily basis.
  • Most of all, don’t be disappointed if your hairdresser steers you away from a fantasy haircut/color you had in mind. ¬†(Or at least try not to be too disappointed!) ¬†It’s better to know it won’t work out before you cut or dye your hair!! ¬†And if your stylist is thoughtful and encouraging, she should be able to come up with an alternative, but possibly similar style/color that will suit your needs. ¬†And in the end, you’ll be happier because it will turn out well!

What do you tell your hairdresser? ¬†Secrets? ūüôā


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How to Find a Good Hairdresser

It’s a scary thing. ¬†A stranger approaches you with scissors with the intention of cutting your hair. ¬†And whether they are trying something new or maintaining what your previous hairdresser achieved, it’s a nerve-wracking moment. ¬† As someone who just found an amazing hairdresser after 6+ years without one, let me tell you how I did it. PS. If you’re lucky enough to have friends who have amazing stylists, go with their recommendations. ¬†But if you’re an Army wife like me, sometimes we have to sniff out the salon ourselves.

  • ¬† ¬† ¬†Google local hair salons. Those “yelp” and “google reviews” aren’t necessarily a trustworthy source, but they can steer you clear of a 1-star salon.
  • Lookup the salons on their actual website. ¬†This is helpful because it will often have a section of “our artists” with bios/pictures of the hairdressers. ¬†Never judge a hairdresser by her look, because it has nothing to do with how she will help you achieve your look! ¬†But it helps to read their bios because often they will mention being a “color expert” or a “pixie-cut specialist.”
  • Next look the salon up on social media. ¬†I found Facebook to be most useful. ¬†Not only will you possibly discover a coupon or promotion, but salons often have photo albums of “befores and afters” or portfolios of their various stylists. ¬†A portfolio can tell you a lot about a stylist.
  • Call the salon (or call a few if you’re making comparisons). ¬†The receptionist can’t represent what kind of experience you’re going to have, but it can still help. ¬†A rude or disinterested receptionist might tip you off that the salon isn’t going to be super accommodating or particularly concerned with your concerns. ¬†When you’re on the phone, you can also ask if they have a stylist that specializes in whatever you’re seeking…especially if you couldn’t decide between a few of the stylists.
  • Book the appointment and then trust your instincts! ¬†Don’t worry, booking the appointment doesn’t automatically chop or dye your hair. ¬†You still get to meet your stylist and have the consultation before the cutting begins.

Even though it might sound funny to pick out a stylist before you’ve even visited the salon–I highly recommend it! ¬†A salon might seem great, but its the hairdresser that counts. ¬†You will feel a lot more comfortable trying out a stylist if you know something about them and what they specialize in. ¬†This is what I did, and it helped me find the perfect hairdresser¬†for the hairstyle I was looking for!


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My First “Real” Haircut in Like 4 Years

I got my first “real” haircut after a long period of at-home trims! ¬†Nobody is probably that surprised…that’s something we all do, right? ¬†Umm…except me.

I don’t like getting my hair cut professionally. ¬†I’ve had far too many bad experiences. ¬†Sometimes “bad” simply means annoying. ¬†Like I find it really frustrating when the hairdresser takes my hair clips out, lets down my 30ish inches of hair and looks disappointed in me. ¬†I get the look of you-know-hair-isn’t-meant-to-be-this-long. ¬†Or worse I’ll get a quippy comment from her, when she’s hoping we take off a lot and when I say all I want is a trim, she looks skeptical like my hair seriously needs a whack. ¬†But often “bad” just means that the hairdresser doesn’t listen to me and cuts off more than I asked for because she thinks it will look good. ¬†But it doesn’t look good because 1) I didn’t ask for it and therefore I don’t think it looks good when she improvises ūüôā ¬†2) she doesn’t add any kind of texturing style, just a simple whack. ¬†Hair doesn’t look good whacked, in my opinion.

So here is an honest confession: I usually just have my husband trim my hair. ¬†He is very even with the scissors, and he is even less willing for me to lose inches than I am. haha So I can always trust him to do a good job and I appreciate the time he takes to make me feel like my hair looks good. ¬†I haven’t had a “good” experience with a hairdresser in over 6 years. ¬†So I stopped going.

What exactly prompted me to get it professionally cut? ¬†Because I wanted something “different.” ¬†I love having long hair, but long hair = old hair and old hair = thin ends and thin ends = not what I wanted anymore. ¬†I wanted something with a bit of body to it, and maybe a shape at the ends. ¬†Different from what I currently had. ¬†So I researched and panicked and pinned and then finally made the phone call. ¬†I looked extensively at hairdressers’ portfolios online and that’s how I found Maral. ¬†She had quite a few “before and afters” for long-haired girls that didn’t simply mean: before=long, after=chopped to the neck. ¬†So I liked her.

When the day came, my stomach hurt so bad. ¬†I was so nervous. ¬†I was more scared to get my hair cut then I was for most of my O.B. appointments.haha ¬†I had my phone loaded with pins of what I wanted and some horror pins of what I didn’t want. ¬†My teeth might have been chattering a little bit.

When I met Maral and sat in her chair, everything changed. ¬†She was so amazing. ¬†She said she was a “hair realist” and liked to tell people the truth about what would work/look good and what wouldn’t. ¬†When I explained that my length was crucial to my emotional state of being, but that I was tired of straight, super long, possibly prone to drying-out hair, she was honest and encouraging. ¬†She said my hair was healthy, but that she agreed since it was long (equals old ends, see above) that my hair was thinner at the bottom. ¬†She said I couldn’t achieve voluminous ends to my hair if it stayed 30 inches. ¬†Apparently all my pinterest pics were deceiving me with extensions. ¬†She said nobody can have 30 inches of hair that has the same volume/thickness from roots to ends. ¬†She also recommended against getting layers, since that would thin my hair out more. ¬†(I have very straight hair, so they weren’t going to curl voluminously). ¬†The kicker was that I said since I have a newborn that I really only wanted wash-and-go hair, and that I wouldn’t have time to curl it. ¬†She said if I had time to use hot tools, I could achieve some really pinterest-y hair, but since I didn’t want to do that, then I should stay simple.

In the end, she said what would look “different” but stay easy was simply framing my face. ¬†It barely BARELY took out any “volume” because she thinned less than an inch collectively on either side of my part. ¬†She shaped the back in a U/V kind of way, just to avoid the “little school-girl straight-across thing that has gotten people to ask me if I’m thirteen.” ¬†A scary thought. ¬†She said I should start with that for now because it wasn’t a huge commitment, but would make me feel “different” when I brush it in the mirror.

Moral of the story: ¬†Maral is wonderful. ¬†Getting your hair cut can be okay. ¬†Long hair can still be “different.” ¬†I can do this. ūüôā

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My Favorite Mascara



If you want long, thick, luscious lashes, look no further. ¬†I have tried brand after brand after tube after tube after coat after coat…nothing has held up the way that my go-to mascara does. ¬†It delivers every time without fail, and I love the way it turns out. ¬†A bonus too is that one bottle lasts me quite a while–up to 3 months!

My dream mascara: the L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara. ¬†It gets me every time. ¬†I just love it. ¬†It has a thin, tube-y brush and a silky, thick ink that builds quickly and beautifully. ¬†It adds length and density to your eyelashes. ¬†I love how the brush separates your eyelashes to intensify their length, without making them look too wispy and thin. ¬†The ink thickens your eyelashes without clumping them the way runny mascara does. ¬†It is literally eyelash perfection in a bottle!

To achieve a particularly voluminous and long lash, I typically put on 4-5 coats. ¬†When I say “coats” I don’t mean one stroke and then waiting for it to dry. ¬†I mean that I run the brush over my lashes a few times, do the other lash, then go back in for a second coat…etc. ¬†If you don’t like super thick lashes, then I would still recommend this mascara, but just with less coats. ¬†It still looks amazing with just a few strokes.

When you first open the tube, you might be a little surprised by the thin and unexciting looking brush. ¬†It doesn’t seem like it will do much. ¬†But really, it works miracles! ¬†Give it a try and put on a generous amount–a couple coats. ¬†You will be stunned and I know you’ll look beautiful!

What’s your go-to mascara?


~Read my second post about my favorite mascara here~

~And read my secret to long eyelashes (besides this mascara) here~

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2016 Official Launch

A topic launch? ¬†It’s already 4 days into 2016! ¬†Blog posts have been written, days have passed…it’s not time for a launch.

Unless you’re a phlegmatic procrastinator like me. ūüôā

¬† ¬† ¬†In which case, a launch 4 days-in is totally normal. ¬†It’s just how we do. ¬†It’s pretty effective too. ¬†It’s healthy! ¬†Well, maybe that’s taking it too far.

This isn’t an “official launch” because none of my other posts didn’t count. ¬†It’s because its’ the launch of a bunch of topic dreams that I have had in mind. ¬† Let me explain.

Basically I have so many categories to add to my blog…and so many posts to file under them. ¬†I have a list of posts that I want to materialize onto my blog. ¬†Even more, I have a vision of what I want my blog to look like.

I can’t give away allllllll my secrets, because then you wouldn’t have anything to be surprised by. ¬†But I want you to have something to look forward to, so at least I can give you a sneak peek, right? ¬†To be on the safe side, I’ll just give a rough sketch of what you can expect in January.

I’m planning to post a three-part topic on haircuts, hairdressers, and the like. ¬†It’s not so much a “how-to” as much as a “my-experience” kind of post. ¬†I’m also planning a few beauty reviews as well as one or two baby product reviews. ¬†I also have a secret recipe to share…but it’s not an ordinary recipe, it’s a beauty secret recipe! ¬†There might be a few more topics coming up…but maybe I’ll let those ones be a surprise!

Is there anything else you want to see on my blog this month?

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Blog Resolutions

In keeping with my current blog post theme this year–namely 2016 and resolutions, I thought I’d make some blog resolutions. ¬†I want to make them public because¬†I’ve heard that helps with accountability (sometimes, haha, but when you’re phlegmatic like me, sometimes nothing can save you lol). ¬†But also, I want to make them public because they affect my readers and ultimately my blog.

1. ¬†Less might be more. ¬†I want to write less articles once my one-month challenge is up. ¬†Even though coming up with a daily post is a fun challenge, I want my articles to pack more punch and be even more thoughtful and well-constructed. ¬†I think that means keeping a draft around for a day or two, instead of hitting the ‘publish’ button minutes after writing a post.

2.  Involve Pinterest.  (Yes, Pinterest might be a totally cliche resolution considering Pinterest is probably the center of many 2016 dream projects. But I had to save myself with something predictable considering that my list of resolutions started out with doing less.haha)  I want to involve Pinterest in my blog.  Should I tell you how or should I let you wait and see?

3.  Photos.  I am not a photographer, but I really want to make a lot of photos happen on this blog.  I love blogs with photos and so I need to make that a definite characteristic of my blog.

4. ¬†Improve my blog-writing skills. ¬†I’m an English major, so maybe you’d think I’d have the hang of this. ¬†But yeah, no. ¬†Writing a blog post is nothing like writing a paper, even though I make it sound like it. ¬†I get waaaaay too much on thesis-chapter-mode when I write and I overcomplicate my sentences with excess punctuation and clauses. ¬†I need to get a better grip on article-style writing. ¬†That’s feedback that I’ve personally received from an editor, and what I’ve noticed on my own blog thus far. ¬†At least I know what I don’t know…right?…or do I lose credit for recognizing that? haha

5. ¬†Increase readership. ¬†I know this is probably the goal of every blogger, but uhh…hey, can I join the ranks? ūüôā I’m grateful for every ‘click’ and page read! ¬†And any more I can earn this year would make me feel like my blog is that much brighter and fulfilling of a project.

I’m leaving it there for now! ¬†There are obviously many more things I can think of to improve my blog, and definitely things I want to accomplish with it. ¬†But I want to take this whole blog-thing slowly and enjoy the process without making it a major stress. ¬†So, baby steps. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Only 5 resolutions…but definitely some dreams in the back of my mind. ¬†So stay tuned for some improvements and fun!


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New Year’s Resolutions 2016

I am definitely a new year’s resolutions-kind-of-person. ¬†I think they’re fun, and I also think they are valuable. ¬†Even though it can be easy to overdo it and make too many resolutions, I think it’s better to be an overachiever in this matter than an underachiever.

I find that lists help me get things done, and so creating a list of things I want to do or improve is a good way for me to make it become a reality. ¬†In addition, I’m definitely a sentimental person, and sometimes new year’s has a slight bittersweet taste for me. ¬†I always miss last year.:) ¬†But resolutions make me excited about what I have to look forward to.

When I make resolutions (though I didn’t make this year’s yet!) I sometimes like to make categories. ¬†I like making a few resolutions that are kind of unavoidable, like if I’m pregnant, I make the resolution to give birth. haha ¬†The reason I like doing that kind of resolution is because it reminds me of what big or exciting things are in my future. ¬†(Plus it’s nice to have some guaranteed success, lol). ¬† My second category is the usual–things I want to do (ex. publish my book, grow my blog, start an indoor garden, etc) and things I want to improve (ex. my french, my piano repertoire, my cello time). ¬†Then I like making a few spiritual goals as well–like more prayer time or completing a certain spiritual book. ¬†If I want to improve in the next year then I definitely need to make spiritual progress!

Oh and last but not least, one big tradition I have is to save my list of resolutions. ¬†It’s really fun to look back and see what was important to me each year. ¬†And some things seem to make it on my list every year! *cough cough FRENCH cough*

What made it onto your list this year?

*Read next: Check out my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017*

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