fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Posts Tagged ‘hair’

…things are never what they seem.

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm

blogLooking out of my kitchen window while peeping at facebook, tunes from Pandora floating in the background (Beyonce today — don’t judge) and sippin’ on my favorite coffee with organic half and half, I saw my friend’s status… and it was like she read my mind.

Six simple words… “things are never what they seem.”

My shoulders twitch from an immediate chuckle and I’m now wearing a huge grin.  From over 8,000 miles and a different time zone away she always appears at the most appropriate moment.  Haha… I’m chalking it up to energy —  how in the world did she know that I was JUST about to write a blog on the very same subject?!

Don’t let me lose you… and please don’t wander off so quickly, for I am not about to blog about anything negative.

Her words, “things are never what they seem” are incredibly refreshing to me and embody one of the most important life lessons.  Simply put, we all have unique stories.  In turn… completely embracing this truth and refraining from applying your own perceptions to the life of another (I know… much easier said than done) is the key to finding that ethereal happiness we all desire.  Right?

Countless people seem to have contemplated this and figured it out.

How easily can one find quotations by Confucius stating “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” or Theodore Roosevelt saying that “Comparison is the thief of joy” … what about our very own “Live your best Life” Oprah Winfrey and her many mantras… “With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.”

Haha… calling Dr. Richards.  Dr. Richards?

Naaaaaaah.  I’m not a psychologist.

I’m creative.

I’m an artist, an interior designer… a stella & dot stylist.  Actually, “completely right-brained” might offer a more precise description.

Emotion, intuition and nonverbal communication steer my actions and furnish me with insight.  Couple that with over four decades of wisdom (in the form of life lessons) a splash of analytical tendencies and a wholesome love of self… I’m thinking that in itself could afford a figurative “Dr.” status!  Haha… just kidding!

Seriously though… I’m just like you.  Working hard, trying to be a productive member of society/my community, wanting each day to feel good and basically, be happy.  And of course…sometimes, lose sight, start glancing at that “greener grass” and make assumptions about what may or may not be in another’s world…  shit, I’m human, eh?!

But… I always come back to the notion and much-needed filter, “things are never what they seem”.  These words act as a refreshing reminder and enable me to completely appreciate what I have in my world.  Because the bottom line is, we ALL have unique stories… and discounting yours while elevating someone else’s will only generate for you, a long (actually, it should read: looooooooooooooooooog) road of internal discontentment.  Yep… I said it!

The past 54 days have been some of the most enlightening days in my lifetime and have fortified this belief.

Since shaving my head, the amount of feedback that has been forwarded my way has been incredibly humbling and at times surprising.

Without going into great detail… the feedback stems from being showered with complements, told that I was an inspiration/brave, asked if I was undergoing chemotherapy and even received an embarrassingly unwanted head-rubbing.  Some have revealed to me that they could never see themselves doing this and why they couldn’t… others told me that when my hair grows back I should think about wearing “this” type of style and they proceed to tell me what “this” should be… and others have simply embraced my new look… and left it at that.

Hey, I know why I shaved my head and I am still comfortable and delighted with my decision.

But, going back to… “things are not what they seem” — with each response, my “right-brained” self used the comments as a gauge. A dual-sided gauge no doubt, for surely those that decided to give me feedback had some sort of preconceived notion as to why I would or would not shave my head.  Sometimes what I thought an individual might say, they didn’t… or, what I thought they wouldn’t say, they did.

Can you imagine 54 days straight of “something that someone said or did” granting you with continuous “ah-ha” moments?

Well…welcome to my world… and I would NOT trade it for anything!

Surely my friend didn’t have my hair adventures on her mind when she posted her status… but I can guarantee you that in some way, shape or form… her reason for posting her statement directly relates to we ALL have a unique story.  AND simply… embrace it for what it is!

55Tomorrow is day 55…

with an open-mind, I enthusiastically await what comes my way.

Cheers!

-k

A rebirth on a birthday…

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

IMG_8097I did it because I was curious.

I did it because part of me was a stranger.

I did it because I craved a change.

I did it because it was honestly long over due.

And, by doing so, I wanted my actions to be a bold and brave example for my children… especially my daughter.

What pray tell did I do?

Haha… not groundbreaking news in the least.  But for me, a rebirth of sorts.

I have decided to stop using relaxers and chemically straightening my hair.  I am joining the ranks and “going natural” — you had better believe, I am ready for my natural hair texture to make its debut!  Obviously, in order to sport my natural texture, that relaxed stuff has got to go. Hmmmm… time for a transition.

Like the many who have made and will make this transformation, each transition method is incredibly personal and varies.   For me… I tend to air on the side of impatience.  Once I finally committed to the decision, I wanted to start from scratch.  A quicker and more noticeable metamorphosis was the goal.

So…

I shaved my head.

It sounds so matter of fact, eh?  Straightforward and unemotional, “I shaved my head.”  So not the case.

It has been years in the making.  Years of contemplating.  Years of changing my mind.  Years of being curious as to what hair texture resided under all of that relaxed hair.  Years of pondering — would I even be able to style the mysterious curls that would sprout without a relaxer in my hair?  Years of not being ready because I was concerned (truth be told… fearful) of what others may think.  Years of wondering how I might be perceived without my relaxed hair.   Years… years… YEARS!

Actually, last year, during a week-long birthday trip to Paris, I was “this” close… “this” close to making the transition and shaving my head.  I never mentioned it to anyone… not even the girls that accompanied me on the trip.  I was going to wait for my birthday and just do it.  Considering that I adore aesthetics, a “story” and creating “moments”… you would think that the scenario was ideal.  Naaaaah.  I chickened out!  I just wasn’t fully committed to my decision and still unnecessarily anxious as to what people would say.

What boggles my mind is that in other areas, I would say that I certainly display confidence and can be exceedingly vocal with my opinion.  With my relaxed hair, I have never been shy… I am not timid about cutting it or even experimenting with color.  Ahhhhhhh… I do adore vibrant shades of red!  But walking away from a relaxer and NOT chemically straightening my hair — it would just stop me in my tracks.  Being afraid of the unknown, literally stopped me in my tracks!

As a five-year old child, my mother started using a relaxer to help her manage my thick head of hair.  A head of hair that drastically differed from her very fine curls.  It was what I knew.  Continuing into adulthood, I maintained what my mother established.  And when my daughter’s thick curls grew thicker, I would sometimes reach for a children’s texturizer  to assist me as well.  Truth be told… I loved the look of a relaxer in my hair and I liked the styling options.  But… decades and decades of chemically straightening my hair has resulted in damage, breakage and thinning.

Now, I desire a change.

The courage has been slowly churning and brewing inside… and just like a roller coaster cranking up a hill, now it’s time for the ride!  It’s kinda like one of those bucket list items and going against the norm.

Unlike last year, when I attempted to make this change, I did decide to discuss my intentions.  I talked to my baby sister.  I value her opinion and had questions  about her natural hair and her experiences.  In an effort to possibly gauge the reaction of people in my corporate interior design environment, I mentioned it to a co-worker who has been employed with the company for a considerable amount of time.  I also talked to my husband and my two children.  I knew that my husband would be supportive and in my corner.  Being 14 and 12, I was uncertain as to how my children would respond.  Questions and answers… more questions and answers, not about me wanting to refrain from relaxers, but about how I might look with my shaved head while my hair grows back.  Haha… kids, eh?!  To the rest of those very close to me, I remained quiet.  I think I just wanted their raw reaction… either once they saw me, or when they read this blog.

I will say that I  also did a fair amount of research…

Google, scores of YouTube videos, facebook pages, blogs, hair product websites.  SO much information available.  Happily, I have made several discoveries!  Nine new products purchased from Carol’s Daughter and Ouidad.com are sitting on my bathroom counter for my daughter and me.  I registered at Curl Box and  I am just waiting for them to extend the invite.  I started following…ahem, actually addicted to Whitney and her Naptural85 blog, vlog and YouTube channel.  Her natural hair transition commenced in 2008.  From the videos that I have watched thus far, her time-saving tips with make my transition a breeze and will easily aid me in taking better care of my daughter’s gorgeous head of hair.

So today, on my 43rd birthday, I am happily welcoming this brazen attitude towards my new hair journey.

Don’t get me wrong… there is still an element of nervousness.  Knowing that today was the day, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach.  Game day, eh?!  All of the hair routines that I have comfortably established and that are second nature… they have got to shift.  But keeping it really “real”… the nervousness truly stems from me wondering what will be my reaction to my newly shaven head?  Liberating… is what I was told by a girlfriend who shaved her head decades ago.  Hmmm… will I feel liberated?

It’s game day… game day… game day!

The kiddos are at school and my husband has taken the day off of work to share with me… create my “story” and share this “moment”.

Together… we shaved my head!

Haha… kinda romantic, eh?!

Scissors in hand, he made the first snip.

Snip. Snip. Snip!  It was then when anxiety began to lessen.  By the time he used the clippers I was at ease.  BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  The sound filled the bathroom.  Interesting sensation having one’s head shaved.  My very first exposure to clippers was a mixture of comical and (as my girlfriend mentioned to me so many years prior) liberating!  All of that hair falling… and (as I do, keeping it real) all of the dry flaking skin scattered all over me and on the bathroom floor… thirty minutes later, I was in awe of this new look.  My new look.  Bold and sexy.  WOW, who knew I had such a cute little head!  I can’t stop touching it.

Talk about new experiences… the shower afterwards was so refreshing.  I have never…EVER felt the spray of the shower head directly on my scalp.  No hair… just scalp!  This is my new world, eh?  Or at least until it begins to grow back.  Haha… and until it grows back, my husband and I are twins!

You know what I am really wondering?  How long will it take to grow enough hair so that I can color it red?  Haha… I never said that I was walking away from the color… and with my new curls, I am certain that I will love it even more!  I’ve just gotta find color that is fitting for my new texture.

shavedHappy happy birthday to me!

I couldn’t think of a day more fitting to make this transition.  My rebirth on my birthday.  Hmmmm, now when my kids get home, I wonder what they will say?

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!

Cheers!

-k

True or false… Redheads stop traffic?

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2011 at 12:16 am

Indulge me for a moment, for anything is possible.

Redheads… stopping traffic?

The thought is especially entertaining, considering that I sport red hair.  Not even a secret – I have absolutely no shame in stating that the intensity of my color is 100% compliments of a box!  Sadly, the remnants of my natural, childhood reddish-brown color have long faded.  Besides a high-school experiment with that awful/should be banned Sun-In product and a very short jaunt with do-it-yourself blonde highlighting kits, red has been “my thing” for nearly a decade.  I think it has turned into an addiction.  Hmmmm, something about that color…

Red tresses.  Of course you don’t really stop traffic, but it definitely allows you to stand out in a crowd!  Who can miss that fire radiating from your head?  Not to mention, if you get separated from your party, the hair color serves as a built-in tracking system… without a doubt, you will be quickly located (haha – truth here; this has happened to me countless times, including a huge crowd that swallowed me outside of the Coliseum in Rome.  Like I said… something about that color.)

Bottom line, I like it.  Especially since I spend money to capture this color, I better like it, eh?  For as long as I have been coloring, I feel as if I should wear an honorary “ask for help” badge, as to identify me to those who are curious about coloring their hair — especially going red.  Lots of successes and probably more fails, I have used almost everything… brands for both ethnic and non-ethnic hair, rinses, semi-permanent and permanent color.  Once again, I get sucked in by labels, marketing and images — jeeeze, if the model on the box is attractive and the name of the color is gripping – I am buying it!

Note to self; just remember to avoid the box that turned your hair, as my daughter dubbed it, “Bratz doll” raspberry — ewwwwww!

One day into to my latest coloring, Feria by L’Oreal, color called Ruby Rush, I am reminded of why I am so fond of this particular  product.  It is easy to apply.  Gloves that fit securely… come on fellow colorers, the gloves are a big deal.  The box comes with an ample amount of “after the color” conditioner and, most important, results that are beyond striking!  Their patented multi-faceted, 3X highlights color is never a disappointment.  Yes, I sound like an infomercial!  Well… in that case, let me just say that if red isn’t your thing, Feria is available in 37 colors — a shade for everyone.  I am pretty certain that blondes and brunettes alike will be just as pleased as I!

For me, red hair has become one of my favorite forms of expression.  I find the color to be glamorous, sultry, mysterious, ..even fun and animated.  The color pairs well with my design profession.  Aside from assisting clients with color schemes for their home…do you know how much fun it is to select my daily wardrobe based on my hair color?  Haha – could that be the underlying reason as to why green has always been my favorite color?

Soooo…

Since the verdict is still out on stopping traffic, I’ll share my three quick tips that will stop you from making mistakes with your color:

1.  If you are going to color your hair, make the color last longer by using a shampoo and conditioner suited for that color.  Reds fade so quickly – with this color especially – it is imperative that you use products that don’t encourage the color to be stripped.  (Pssst… I think John Frieda products are on point!)

2.  Haha – I have fallen guilty of this one more times than I care to admit.  If you are going to color… stick with it.  Roots are just ugly!

Finally…

3.  Study your complexion and undertones.  Color according to what enhances not detracts from your natural beauty.

Easy, eh?

For those that color their hair, I know you share my sentiments regarding your color of choice.  I’m thinking that maybe… just maybe it is possible and true.  Not just reds, but shades of all color stop traffic.

Better believe that I’m working on it!

Cheers!

-k