Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hair Intervention or How an honest stylist changed my life.

My hair is thick. We're talking scares-stylists thick.  My new stylist introduction generally starts with a phone call with me telling them how thick my hair is. Them reassuring me its not really that thick only to show up and have them make any number of comments about how thick my hair is. 

Generally everyone's solution is to thin it out with those scissors that cut every other hair. The truth is, no one really seems to know what to do with it or would actually offer me their professional opinion until Mark.

Here's the thing, Stylists. We want to know.  If someone comes in and asks what you recommend- Tell Them. Don't be afraid. Tell them. You will win a life long client if you not only tell them, but they believe that you aren't just trend dropping. Get to know your clients, if you have the chance, cut their hair at home to get a sense of who they really are.

Mark did all of these things.  He came and cut my hair in my kitchen.  This was unique for me, but was so much more comfortable.  We weren't rushed. There weren't clients sitting and waiting. We listened to music and he did was he did best.  Throughout the consultation, he was more than open to answering questions and offering suggestions.  Because there was no salon affiliation there were no products to push or brand loyalty.  Here's what I learned.

Less is more.  Less styling time. Less hair products. Less washing.

  1. Less Washing/More Rinsing: Here's the thing about washing. When we over wash with shampoo/soap, our body over produces oil to make up for what is stripped.  Thus the reason we complain our hair gets oily every day.  Try it out. Give your hair 2 weeks. Let your body readjust.  Your scalp will feel better. Your hair will be less oily.  Rinsing 2-3 days per week is fine though.  Rinse thoroughly and spend time rinsing it.
  2. Less Coloring: Stop coloring your hair.  Hair color isn't supposed to be perfect.  It's supposed to be natural.  I've been banned from coloring my hair until further notice.
  3. Less Products: Invest in a nondrying hair product.  I love Kiehls Silk Groom.  Wavy or straight, this product does wonders.
  4. Less Styling Time: A great stylist and a great haircut will cut your hair so that it doesn't take 40 minutes to style every day.  He cut my hair to my hair texture, my face shape and my personality.  
 A little self acceptance...
 By working with my hair, not fighting against its tendencies, it worked and it's surprisingly easy. For the first time ever, my long hair isn't overly styled or piled in a bun on top of my head.  I'm wearing it as nature intended wavy in the back and straighter in the front and air-dried. Guess what?! It not only looks good but it fits me.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I was 18 the first time I cut my hair short.  After being long and bottled blonde all 4 years of high school, I up and cut it off shortly before graduation.

Although enough time has passed that I don't recall what actually prompted the haircut, I do remember the rush.  Looking down and seeing piles and piles of hair on the floor, hearing the clip of the scissors close to my ears, the final unveiling.. it was invigorating.  It was, other than the small tattoo on my right ankle, my first act of independence. I didn't get permission. I didn't advise anyone. I just did it. 

A few months into college it happened again- only this time my innocent chin length bob took a turn for the wild side along. I went super short. There were clippers used. Yes. The ones used to cut man-hair were used on my neck. The buzzing sound, the soft prickly feeling of the short short hair afterwards, it was freeing.  And, if I must say so myself, I rocked it. It was fun, carefree and brazen. I loved (and still love) every minute of that look.

It's no exaggeration to say there are very few styles and natural hair colors I haven't tried out.  There was the pixie, the Annie Lennox look, the wig... I won't go into each hair cut (yet- and I promise when I do there,  will be photos), but the point is- those first two haircuts were the first in more than a decade long hair-evolution.  I'll spare you the pop-psychology, but there's no coincidence that my hair mimicked my life: evolving, chaotic, sometimes unstable, confused and dramatic. 

However, I'm pleased to announce. After 13 years of hair extremes, I've come full circle and for the first time in my life, I'm wearing my hair as its genetically intended.  It's wavy, it's thick, and its kind of blonde. And you know what else, it's kind of awesome.  All it took was a stylist to tell me like it is.  Don't you wish more people were like that?

Details on the hair intervention to come.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Who are you and why are you starting a blog anyway?

Let's just get it over with.  You know.. the initial post where I explain who I am and my grand goals for this venture.

Who am I? My name is Melaney but it's spelled weird, so everyone calls me Mel.  I am a married 30 something with great husband and an adorable dog who looks like a puppy even though he's five (the dog, not the husband) I live in an apartment in West Hollywood, but have nothing at all to do with the entertainment industry.  Really, I'm just your average mid-westerner living in a way more than average city.  Residing in such an image driven city has made me realize my middle of the road tendencies more and more.  For every "so LA" thing I do (for example, my love of raw juices and growing number of tattoos), it seems to be balanced by the my mid-western core (example: still believing that you should cook with butter).   I love cheese.  I talk to my sister almost every day.  My friendships are the thing I am most proud of in my adult life.

So why am I starting this blog? 
Fine question. In an era where everyone and everyone's dog has a blog, youtube channel and Etsy store,  I can't promise anything more than an exercise for myself and the few people that may have an interest in what I have to say. This isn't about money or fame.  I have no delusions of becoming some famous blogger when in reality, I suspect there are a million women just like me.  Average, flawed, amusing and definitely self-deprecating. 

The thing is this- I'll let you in on a small secret.  I'm really great at starting things and not great finishing them.  I'm not proud of this, but its true. Note to self: make a list of said things for a future post.

For example, I've started 3 blogs all with pretty decent commitment only to have them fall flat after a few months.  This may surprise any of you that know me professionally, as I'm a Project Manager by profession.  Those of you who know me personally may not be surprised at all.  I get really excited about something and sometimes lose interest or get distracted by the next shiny thing.  I'm sure many of you suffer from my same follow through issues.

The thing is, I used to write.  I used to write well and I used to write often. I wrote, because it's what I'd always done.  I wrote because I loved playing with words to try and describe a certain feeling.  I wrote because I am from a family of letter writers and early on I realized that I could organize my thoughts much better in print. I used to write because there was just no other option. 

But somewhere along the way I stopped.  I found other outlets. I fell in love like a grown up. I stopped hating myself, my parents and the small town I grew up in.  Life became less dramatic as hints of self acceptance started permeating this poetic soul. That feeling of impending combustion if pen didn't hit paper became fleeting.  However, it didn't stop the joy I felt when sending silly weekend recap emails to my girlfriends after we spent time together or the daydreams I had about putting together family memoirs.   Emily Dickinson said "I thought being a poem oneself precluded the writing of Poems", maybe I became the poem I always kind of wanted to be.

Maybe, just maybe, at the end of the day, I just got lazy because it got harder.  I'd picked all the low-hanging fruit. So here we go again, 3rd possibly 4th time may be the charm.  Wish me luck..