I’ve been meaning to write a WTHayley post for months now and over the last few weeks, I have had so many people comment on my hair color and curls that I figured I would write a post to share my hair secrets and hair history with the blogosphere (I still can’t believe that’s actually a word).
I’ve gone through my stages of terrible hair (some might use words that aren’t as nice) – frizz, multiple bottles of Sun-In, 80’s, 90’s…. you name it, I’ve had it. Growing up with curly hair was torture and ironically, the street I grew up on was…. Curley Street.
According to my parents, I was a late bloomer when it came to hair growth (which I suppose runs in the family since my youngest, also with curls, still has short hair at the age of 6 because it just refuses to grow).
My mother, when I was about 6, must have gotten fed up and heard some old wives tale that the shorter you cut it, the quicker it will grow. NOT TRUE!!! I ended up looking like this(Image on the left). Full on JEW-FRO. Thanks mom. Not that her spaceship hair cut looked much better and my poor brother always trying to brush his curls out as a kid and ending up with a Princess Leah look. The best part was, although my mom was a hairdresser, she refused to cut my hair herself knowing full well that I would never speak to her again so she took me a few houses down to her friend Betty who did the deed for her. I’m not even sure if Betty was a beautician.
It took years before my hair grew back to a normal length and I’m not even sure there were any photos taken during those years. As the second child, my parents tried to prove their were photos of me (which equated to them telling me ‘we loved you just as much as your brother even though there are 14 albums of him and none of you) but they happen to all be on slides – apparently all the rage during the late 70’s and early 80’s. When I questioned them years later, they would try to make me feel better by holding ‘projector night’ where we’d take the little square slides, hold them up the light and look at these tiny 2×2 images that you could barely even make out a person, let alone colors or details.
(Left Image below taken at Timber Lake Camp…. hair still trying to grow and not quite sure what to do with it. Photo with mom taken at the camp bus stop a few years later during the 70’s Farrah Fawcett phenomenon with the flipped back sides – super cool with Cabbage Patch Kid to match)
As for this image below of me going to my Jr. High Prom – Stag (not surprising) has been the butt of many jokes over the years and rightfully so. There are no words. My fiancé keeps this picture posted next to his computer just as a reminder of how far I’ve come… although he says it’s just there to make him smile (or die laughing, depending on his mood).
THE LATE 80’s: When the 80’s rolled around and perms were all the rage, I thought it would be cool if I permed my hair too. So I bought a home kit, thinking I might have inherited some of my mothers skills, which I quickly learned are not genetic and are actually something you need to go to school for. Needless to say, my home kit enabled me to get a little bit of a tighter curl allowing the AquaNet to fully do it’s duty. I won the hair height contest hands down. Just a little spray and then the… ‘can you blow on this’ to my BFF’s while I held my bangs 5 inches above my head… totally did the trick.
(Right Image: My brother fully learned to embrace his curls after moving out west in 1990 to San Diego and living the surfer life)
THE 90’s: After my freshman year in college, dead ends, weird color still growing out, and trying to get rid of the awful bangs (see image above with brother), I decided over the summer to CHOP my hair off and go back to my natural color. The short hair was fun and cute for a while. When I got back to school Sophomore year, nobody recognized me…. not even my own boyfriend at the time.
Graduation, moving into NYC and getting my first corporate job, along with an extra 20lbs (I missed out on the Freshman 15 and just put it all on after college with the NYC carb-load-can’t-afford-real-food diet of bagels, pizza and pasta), I went for a new reddish/purple/dark look. (Due to excessive weight gain, photos have been torched). A few years in, I discovered highlights – just a few hits here and there. I stuck with my girl for many years and was happy until about 2 years ago when I finally discovered what true happiness was.
THE COLOR: My best friend(see image below), who I should disown for the price alone, introduced me to Nicole Tresch at the Rita Hazan Salon. This woman is a gift to hair and a color genius. After the first appointment, I was hooked and haven’t looked back. She is truly amazing and every time I leave there, I am over the moon at how much I love the color of my hair. It changes from lighter to darker depending on the time of the year and mood the day of my appointment but all in all, I love it every single time. The upkeep is a royal pain in my ass but well worth it.
THE CUT: I have used many people over the years to cut my curls but at the end of the day, Sean James at Rita Hazan is THE MAN. He makes it a point to bring his scissors in contact with every single strand of hair on your head. I kid you not (and it takes a very long time)…. but the end result, amazing. He also is a styling genius when it comes to dolling you up for events (image above Wedding Glam Shot taken at 2am after a night of partying – hair still looking fab).
THE CURL: Now to the important part…. CURL management. You name a curly hair product and trust me, I’ve tried it. I’ve had my luck with a few things over the years but my newest obsession is this…. Ouidad Whipped Curls. It tames, it holds, it lasts, it keeps it soft and bouncy and not weighed down.
THE PROCESS: Here’s my advice for curly hair… we are going to have good days and we are going to have bad days… same as everyone else. However, our bad days are worse than those straight hair bad days. When it comes to curls, you just need to figure out what it takes to makes your curls behave the way you want them to. Here are some of the questions and then I’ll tell you my answers.
Shampoo and Condition?
Leave in Conditioner or Wash it out?
To Brush or not to Brush?
Keep wrapped until ready to dry or let it air dry then blowdry or just air dry?
Mouse or Gel? And How much?
Regular Blowdryer or Diffuser?
MY PROCESS: I shampoo and put in a half-dollar size of Ouidad Whipping Curls in the shower and pull my fingers through the curls. I scrunch the water out of them with my head upside down and then immediately get out of the shower and wrap it in a towel. The towel stay on until I am ready to blowdry. I put in John Frieda Frizz-Ease Curl Reviver Styling Mouse and dry immediately with a diffuser with my head upside down. I scrunch but don’t run my fingers through it. When it’s just about completely dry, I flip my head up, apply direct head to the front pieces to get it out of my face and then use Aussie Sprunch to hold it in place. The result… manageable curls that last pretty much the whole day.
Other products I have had luck with…. Nexxus Humectress (which I use as a leave-in conditioner), Pantene Curly Hair Mouse, Paul Mitchell Mouse (not sure if the one I used is even still around). I hope that this is helpful and entertaining. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. If you don’t have curly hair and read all the way to the end…. thank you for being a fan.