Today I’m excited to partner with Herbal Essences and POPSUGAR to share my journey to find my best hair color. This post is sponsored, however all opinions are my own.
My hair has always been a physical feature that I’ve placed a lot of importance on. Even more so than my fashion choices, it’s been one of the biggest sources of self-expression for me. I think it was growing up as a Latina in the Midwest – where my dark hair stood out amongst the sea of blondes. It took a while for me to embrace it, but over the years I grew to really appreciate that my darker features made me unique. Of course, like most girls, I eventually started adding color to my hair, but I’ve always wanted to stay true to my natural brunette tone – nothing too drastic. Once I started dying my hair, I learned that was easier said than done. Many times after leaving a salon, I’ve felt hopeless in achieving what I wanted.
The last and final bad experience I had while I still lived in LA. I decided that I wanted to go lighter with my hair again. I had dyed it back to my natural color for our wedding because I wanted those pictures to be timeless not trendy. Once I decided I wanted to make the journey to go lighter again, I decided to splurge at a high-end salon. I went to a stylist that worked on a lot of celebrities so I was sure I’d get what I wanted. I brought in some pictures of what I liked, but inevitably I didn’t get that. I ended up leaving the salon with orange hair. I realized it had all gone wrong when she was drying my hair and it was turning brighter and brighter shades of orange. I was too scared to say anything though because I felt like I was she was the pro and I clearly didn’t communicate what I wanted. I went home and lived with it for a few days, but I was so embarrassed to go out in public. I felt like I had the brightest orange hair and that everyone was staring at it. I ended up contacting the salon and they paired me with a new stylist who fixed it for me. He was a godsend and although I didn’t end up with exactly what I was after, it was much better than what it was.
In that experience, I learned a few things that I’ve taken with me. Number one, my hair is clearly something I derive confidence from. I’ve never felt so embarrassed by my physical appearance. I literally didn’t want to leave the house! Number two, communication is key. I clearly didn’t communicate exactly what I wanted during my initial appointment and I didn’t make sure we were on the same page. I trusted my stylist to know what to do, but I’m not even sure I knew exactly what I wanted. Number three, patience is a virtue. I now know that you can’t go into a salon and walk out a different person. If you naturally have dark hair like me, it will take a number of appointments to get the right color depending on how light you want to go.
That last part is probably the most important point of my whole experience. I went into my appointment with way too many expectations. I wanted to share this experience with you guys because every week I get emails from new readers asking for hair color advice after a bad experience. I totally understand how frustrating it is not to not achieve the results you were looking for right away. After so many years of trying to get to a place where I was happy with my hair color, I’ve really just learned to embrace the process and the periods of change.
After my whole bad dye job experience I ended up finding a stylist in Minnesota (we moved here a few months after that hair debacle) and I’ve been seeing that stylist ever since (Alexa Rae at Haus Salon). We started out with realistic expectations – she let me know that I was not going to walk out of the salon that day with blonde hair, but that we could get there over time. One of my last appointments was to take me to the color I’ve always wanted (ultra bright blonde), but I actually ended up showing up to tell her I was over the blonde. Isn’t it ironic that after so much time spent on trying to perfect my lighter locks, I actually wanted to go darker? I realized a more natural color suited me better and all of that bleach was just damaging my hair. I’m still lighter than my natural color, but we’re using a lot less bleach and sticking with more honey-toned hues vs. ash blonde. I’ve also switched out my blonde-tipped extensions for warmer, more natural-colored ones that are closer to my natural color. Highlighting my hair to match them is so much easier. I love how they look more natural and blend better with my naturally dark brown hair. Isn’t it amazing to see how small changes can reinvigorate your everyday routine?
Now that I’m at a color that I love, strengthening and protecting my hair are my main focuses lately. I’ve also been going back to brands and products that I know work for me. Even brands that I used years ago, but gave up for the hot new brand. One of my favorite brands growing up was Herbal Essences. My sister and I used to be obsessed with all of the floral scents. We used to look forward to when new scents came out. Herbal Essences has changed a lot since then. They still have the best scents, but there’s also been a lot of innovation. Their latest collection is made with Bio:Renew – a signature blend of essential antioxidants, aloe and sea kelp. It’s targeted at renewing your hair – bringing it back to life in 21 days. I love that the brand is still affordable, but that it delivers results comparable to the more expensive brands. Check out the new Herbal Essences here and see more inspiration for making a change.
Sponsored by Herbal Essences and POPSUGAR.