Hair Donation Q&A

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen that I recently underwent a major haircut! I’d been growing out my hair for a while with the express purpose that I wanted to donate it. There are so many people out there who are battling cancer and sometimes it feels like there aren’t too many things outsiders can do to help. But when I thought about donating my hair, I realized that it was something I could do and felt that if my hair can help even one woman who’s struggling, then I am more than happy to do it. I thought that some of you might have questions about hair donation, so I decided to do a Q&A rather than my traditional blog post format.

What company did you donate to and why?

The hair donation company that everyone thinks of is Locks of Love, but I decided to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. I chose Pantene because I really liked that they donate their wigs free of cost, which isn’t the case with every organization. I also like that Pantene is geared towards women with all types of cancer and is very inclusive.

How many inches did you donate?

I’ll admit that I went in thinking I was going to donate the minimum, which is 8 inches. However, once I was in the chair, my stylist and I decided to just go for it, and I donated 15 inches of hair!

How long did it take for you to grow your hair out?

My hair grows really fast and grew over a foot in just over a year. To keep it healthy and growing, I tried to really limit heat products and if I used them, always used heat protector. For more info on how I got my hair to grow, check out this post with my top 5 tips.

Pre-chop

Can I donate if I have colored hair?

The last time I colored my hair was more than a year ago, but the length was obviously still included. I think most people think that if you have colored hair, then you can’t donate but that isn’t actually the case. The restrictions are for bleach and permanent hair color, and unless you are covering gray, most hair stylists use semi-permanent color on hair, which is what I had in the past.

How do you donate the hair?

It’s actually really simple! You just have your hairdresser make a ponytail and cut above the hair tie. Then you take your dry ponytail and send it in a padded envelope to the address Pantene provides.

How did you feel when the chop happened?

I was really excited but of course, a little nervous too! Prior to going in, everyone was telling me how much they loved my long hair which made me feel a little conflicted but I remembered why I was donating and stuck to that! When my hair stylist cut the first part of the ponytail it felt kind of odd and much lighter… I also knew at that point that there was no going back!

How short do you have to go?

Your haircut can be any length, as long as the ponytail you are donating is 8 inches of length, not including layers. When my stylist cut my ponytail, my hair naturally fell in an a-line shape and we both loved it immediately so we decided to go for that!

Post-hair donation

How are you adjusting to the short hair?

When I first came home from the salon, I absolutely loved it! I was so happy with the finished product and excited for something new. That lasted until the next morning when I woke up and looked in the mirror and realized just how short my hair really was! There was about 36 hours where I wasn’t sure of my decision, but after that I started loving it! It’s been a really long time since I have had short hair and I love how swingy it is! It’s also super healthy, looks thicker and makes me feel sassy! Also, because it’s not long enough to pull into a bun or braid (it can fit in a small ponytail) I’ve started finding new ways to style it which has been really fun!

I hope that I answered any questions that you might have about hair donation! If you have any others you can email me or comment below and I will update this post with them! If your hair is long enough, I highly recommend donating it to such a worthy cause. It takes at least 6 donations to make a wig, so every donation counts!

Long Hair Care Tips

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that my hair has gotten long- like real long. My hair has always grown fast, but after my hair cut last year, I decided that I wanted to grow it out. Well fast forward to now and my hair falls all the way down my back. I’ve had it long for the summer which has been both fun and incredibly convenient as for me as I think long hair is the easiest to style, but a cut is in my future. I’m going to donate it to Pantene and a whole post about that will be on the blog after the big chop happens. But for those of you who are wanting to help your hair grow long, or just keep it extra healthy at the length it’s at, I’ve put together some essentials for keeping my hair healthy and looking good!

Long hair care GGGF

1. Deep Condition Weekly

I’ve always been a faithful user of a good conditioner, but it wasn’t until recently that I started deep conditioning my hair. This is great for any length of hair as it helps make it stronger and healthier but is especially essential for long hair, color-treated, or damaged hair which tends to get dry. I’ve tried a few on the market and my favorite is the L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm. This treatment does it all as it repairs split ends, weakness, roughness, dullness and dehydration. It claims to reverse a year’s worth in damage in one wash, which I think is a slightly lofty claim, but it really does work.

2. Embrace the Tangle Teezer

Since I was a little girl I’ve had hair that was pretty tangled when I got out of the shower, no matter what types of conditioner I used. I remember my mom would spray detangler in my hair and take a long comb to get it under control. So as my hair got longer, I realized that I needed to do something about these tangles! I went to Walgreens and CVS and in the aisles of beauty hair care products, there wasn’t a single detangler on the market! (However, there are now BB Creams for your hair…) I finally checked the baby aisle and found a detangler there, but was convinced that I couldn’t be the only adult dealing with tangles. Enter the Tangle Teezer. Oh my goodness. Essentially it’s a hard brush with firm rubber bristles that somehow slides through your hair when it’s wet, no detangler needed. AKA it’s a game changer! If you have curly hair, this is an absolute must too as it glides through just as easily when hair is dry and somehow doesn’t get caught, meaning no more falling out, breaking hair!

3. Dry hair with a microfiber hair turban

I remember seeing a commercial for the hair turban years ago and my mom and I laughing at it. We thought who would need such a product and the commercial specifically cited that you could “answer the phone” while you had it on as a plus. Well years later, I’m a convert. Basically, long hair takes a while to dry when you aren’t using heat products and leaving it wet down your back is rather uncomfortable. So after I’ve detangled my hair with my Tangle Teezer, I put my hair up in the Turbie Twist. Now, essentially, this is just like a small towel, except it really is great that your hair stays put while you are moving around and yes, maybe even answering the phone. As my hair turns curly, I leave it in there for about 20 minutes to get most of the water out, brush with the Tangle Teezer again, and then put it in a braid to dry the rest of the way.

turban

Make-up free selfie (though I did add a filter- guilty) rocking my turban!

4. Apply a Treatment

After you’ve taken your hair out of your glamorous hair tuban, I like to apply a treatment. From the drugstore, I like Garnier’s Damage Eraser Split End Bandage which strengthens hair and increases your damage resistance. Just use one pump and apply it to the ends of hair, combing through after with your Tangle Teezer. If split ends aren’t an issue (lucky you!) but you still want to give your hair a little love, go for Aveda’s Smooth Infusion which makes your hair smoother and silkier! Both of these products are great and won’t weigh down your hair, while making it softer and stronger.

5. Limit heat products and when you do use them, always use heat protector spray

This one is huge as I’ve always abused my hair when it comes to heat products. Having naturally curly hair, I have been drying it straight and straightening it since 7th grade. While I may like the look, my hair doesn’t like the heat, causing split ends so over the past year, I’ve kept my hair dryer in the drawer. I always thought that my hair would never get that sleek look unless it was blow dried first, but I’ve found that with some special steps, the same look can be achieved. Which means that not only is my hair not getting that 20+ minute blast of heat, but my arm is a lot less sore too! Although I do occasionally wear my hair wavy, I straighten it pretty frequently these days and have found that using a good heat protector spray is essential. I used to stay away from heat protectors as so many of them would make my hair wet (not what you want after spending so much time drying it) or make it crispy which no one wants. But I’ve found the solution to all that- the dry heat protect spray! Oscar Blandi is one of my favorite brands for dry shampoo and their Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray is amazing and protects hair from up to 450degree heat!

Question:

-What’s your secret to keeping your hair looking good?

 

Real Talk: Like A Girl

I’m excited to introduce a new series on the blog today entitled “Real Talk”. Today’s centers on beauty but you can expect these to be on a variety of topics. One of the wonderful things about having a blog is having this platform to discuss things that I find interesting at the moment and sometimes they don’t always fit in the food or beauty category. So here’s some real talk from me to you! If there are any topics you’d like me to cover be sure and comment below!

In terms of commercials, so often these days we are fast-forwarding through them or if we’re on YouTube, waiting the requisite 5 seconds before we can skip them. Except lately, a few beauty brand commercials have caught my eye and enticed me to watch the entire thing. In the past, we have become accustomed to women’s empowerment type of commercials from Dove  (and I have previously written about them here and here) but it is so wonderful to see other female brands hopping on the positive self-esteem bandwagon.

Pantene Not Sorry| Shine Strong

I don’t know about you, but when I first watched this video, all I could think was “Omg, that’s me”. I am always saying I’m sorry whether it is when someone else bumps into me or for a myriad of other reasons. In fact, previous boyfriends have told me to stop saying I’m sorry so often. (And for the record, when someone tells me to stop saying ‘sorry’, it’s extremely difficult for me to not respond with ‘ok, sorry’.) Needless to say, it’s been a bit of a problem. Now I’m not really totally on board with the whole “sorry not sorry” thing, as I think sometimes people use that as an excuse to be rude but I do think that many women are constantly apologizing for things that we don’t need to be apologizing for! As a natural people-pleaser, it’s a difficult habit to change, but I do love the idea to “be strong and shine” and I feel inspired to live that out a little more and leave some of the unnecessary sorrys behind.

Covergirl #GirlsCan

In this commercial, I love how these amazingly talented female musicians, athletes, as well as TV and movie stars are all sharing how they were told that they “couldn’t do something.” And then they went ahead and did it. Women have been breaking barriers since the beginning of time and it’s so refreshing to see the media focus attention on challenging those walls. It’s also so interesting to see these huge stars whom we associate with their talents that made them famous and think that they were once held back from doing those very things. I feel so lucky to live in a country that doesn’t put barriers on what women are capable of and so many opportunities are now afforded to us. Reminds me of a pin I had in high school that said “A women’s place is in the House… and Senate” and maybe next the White House!

Always | #LikeAGirl

This post is similar to the Covergirl campaign but it focuses on the phrase “like a girl”. It’s one that has inundated our language for so long and yet, this is the first time I really thought about what it meant. I think it’s so eye-opening watching the adults do a variety of activities “like a girl” and then to see the young girls do the same activities to their full potential. It saddens me that as we grow up, many women lose confidence in their abilities and tend to give in to that gender stereotype. But what if “like a girl” meant strong and powerful and capable? How many more things and boundaries would we be able to push? Definitely food for thought in this one.

Clean & Clear | Confidence in Yourself: See the Real Me

I just stumbled upon this video tonight but I had to include because it’s one of my favorites. I’ll be honest, I love beauty and hair and style and think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with those things. But self-confidence is something that every woman has struggled with at some point in their life, if not on a regular basis. The statistic in the beginning shocked and saddened me that 75% of teen girls want to be seen but are afraid of being judged. Little personal story: when I was in middle school my mom had to have a little talk with me because I wasn’t raising my hand in class. I remember telling her that it wasn’t because I didn’t know the answer, in fact, I often did. Rather, it was that I felt uncomfortable giving the correct answer, afraid of how I would be perceived. I was never shy and have always loved speaking in front of crowds and yet, I was worried what people would think if I was correctly answering questions. Thankfully, with my mom’s wise words and growing self-confidence, that worry went away and I became much more engaged in answering questions from then on. But I think girls need to hear the message that it is wonderful to be smart and that it is something to be celebrated, not to be downplayed.

Questions:

-What campaign resonated with you the most?

-Any topics you’d like me to cover in the new series?

4 Fashion and Beauty Trends to Try

It’s well documented that I love fashion and beauty and that’s where the Glitz and the Glam of this blog come from! But as much as I love putting outfits together and trying new beauty products, there are certain trends that I have yet to master. Here are some of my current favorite trends that I’m looking to incorporate into my style.

The Cat Eye

Subtle Cat Eye

The feline flick has always seemed so difficult to me. I am great with pencil liner, can do gel liner even on a moving train and can handle the liquid in felt tip pen. But the full-on liquid liner? It makes me a little scared! I absolutely love how liquid liner looks on the eyes and how it has such incredible staying power, so I recently purchased the Pixi Liquid Liner pen to give it a try. Lining my eyes wasn’t too difficult, but when it came time for the elusive flick, my hand practically started shaking! I have watched numerous tutorials on YouTube and read posts about it, but currently it is still out of reach. I’m determined to master it though and you can expect to see pictures when I do!

Soft Curly Waves

Perfect waves

It seems like everyone is a pro at wielding their curling irons these days and somehow I missed the memo! My hair is naturally curly but I’ve been straightening it since I was in 7th grade. But curling it? It’s another story. Much like the cat eye, I’ve watched a few tutorials on how to get that perfect soft curl, but have been unable to do it! It also doesn’t help that despite my hair having a curly texture, it does not want to hold a curl! I think the secret here might be in both the products and techniques so I’m going to start practicing!

Skinny Pant-Ankle Boot Combo

Miranda Kerr

I absolutely love the skinny jean and ankle boot combo that everyone is wearing these days, especially in the Bay Area. It’s a slight departure from my usual style but I think it looks so effortless and cool and perfect for anything from running errands to a night on the town. I think it all starts with the perfect pair of boots, so I’m currently on the hunt! And of course, Miranda Kerr (above) could make any trend look amazing!

Crop Top-High Waisted Skirt Combo

perfect crop top

At first it seemed like the crop top was going to be a fleeting trend and I’ll admit that I rejected it in the beginning because it reminded me of the 90s when we all wore belly baring shirts. But the crop top of the past few years is so chic and I love that just a sliver of skin shows due to the high waisted skirt! I especially love Reese Witherspoon’s look where it’s just a hint of skin through the cutouts and am hoping to try it before summer ends!

Questions:

-What fashion or beauty trends would you like to master?

-Have any tips for me for mastering the above?