In Which I Straightened My Hair (???????)

If there is one person that shouldn’t go messing around with my hair, it’s DEFINITELY ME. I am absolutely the WORST when it comes to experimentation, but for some reason I just can’t seem to resist it!

Case in point: a few weekends ago, I woke up with a craving to straighten my hair. I mean, it’s been YEARS since I’ve done this myself (and last time I almost broke my neck in the process), so I guess I was due for a bit of adventure.

I rummaged around my natural hair goodies and remembered that Motions had sent me a sample of their new Straight to Finish line! I popped open the box and not only was the whole product set in there, but ALSO a handy-dandy little flat-iron! How serendipitous indeed!

So I washed and conditioned my hair with their products. There’s actually only a leave-in (no conditioner), which made me nervous, but whatever—I was on a M.I.S.S.I.O.N.!

First things first, I sat beneath my hooded dryer and let my hair dry 85% of the way through. Then I dug out my comb attachment for the blow dryer and worked it through my curls.

At this point you might be asking yourself a very, very, important question:

Cass, do you even have enough hair to blow dry it straight!???

The answer is no, not really. But I worked it out.

Well, kinda.

The result was one of the more ridiculous looks I’ve ever, EVER seen on my head.


So, yea. That happened.

Then I proceeded to smooth on the Motions Straight Finish Sealer, aka heat protectant, a CRUCIAL step. Ever since I had to cut of 10 inches of heat damage once upon a time, we do not mess around without heat protectant!

Then there was the flat-iron. Almost immediately I was ready to be done. It’s that SMELL, ya know??? My hair wasn’t burning or anything, it just smelled…. straightened. It is a scent (stank odor?) I do not miss.

After about 30 minutes, I was through my entire head and the result was………..less than appealing.



I tried to make it work by adding my side part back and using some styler to hold down the sides, only to realize that the only styler I have is actually for CURLS so almost immediately my hair started to revert back to its natural texture.

Within 30 minutes, I was in the shower washing my hair and getting it’s texture back!

So what did we learn??

  • First of all, the Motions Straight Finish products did a great job. My hair reverted immediately and there was no damage. Thumbs up on the product living up to its promises!
  • Ya girl needed a haircut. BADLY! When I got my last cut, I didn’t want to go TOO short, so the blonde ends were left on. It added a little pepper of color, but honestly it always kind of annoyed me. However, seeing the colored pieces in their straightened form realized just how dry and damaged they were. It was absolutely time for them to go!
  • IMG_0937

  • I love my natural hair. Simple as that!
  • Welcome back, curls!!  You were missed!

    Welcome back, curls!! You were missed!

NATURAL NEWS: SheaMoisture Reveals At-Home Hair Color Line

Well this is just some of the coolest news I’ve heard from a product line in a while and if you read the title line, then you already know:

SheaMoisture just launched a line of HAIR COLOR

I’ve been a big fan of SheaMoisture for a long, long time. They’re easily accessible (Target, Walgreens), have a great price point (under $10) and have uncomplicated, wholly natural ingredients! Now the brand has released a new line called The Art of Color that boasts over 12 new hues ranging from Light Blonde to Dark Brown to Bright Auburn to Jet Black.


Like the hair care products, The Art of Color products were formulated without ammonia, a common, hair-damaging ingredient found in many at-home hair color kits, and are infused with natural ingredients such as Soy Protein, Organic Glycerin and Shea Butter! You can expect the permanent colors to provide complete grey coverage and lift 2 shades.

“We created the SheaMoisture Hair Color System in response to our customers asking for a healthier hair color option,” says SheaMoisture founder and CEO Richelieu Dennis. “We formulated our system to be ammonia-free, and added natural and certified organic ingredients to nourish the hair during the coloring process. We’ve also included three of our award-winning hair care products to ensure that your hair retains moisture and color stays true.”

Now my favorite part about these new products is the box artwork! Each box features an original watercolor painting by artist Michael Jamal, commissioned by SheaMoisture to depict each of the 12 new colors. SheaMoisture Creative Director Jewels Barron explains that for the brand “it was important to us to represent our community in a way that encompasses all of our individualism and beauty.” Barron adds, “I want women to see themselves in the hair color box art, not heavily Photoshopped and made-up models, who don’t speak to their uniqueness and personalities.”

I don’t think I’ve ever said this about a hair product before, but I want to make one into a poster for my home! Is that possible, SheaMoisture? Can you hook a girl up please? Kidding…wait, no I’m not at all. I want this as a poster.

Anywho, artwork aside–I’m really excited to see these on the shelves and scope all the beautiful, colorful results! The Art Of Color hair color system will be sold in 400 Targets around the country for $14.99.

Chop! Chop! I Couldn’t Resist the Clippers.

For the past couple weeks I’ve had a trip to the salon on the mind.  My ends were feeling ratty, my color had seriously grown out and it was just time to get in Marie’s chair at Madusalon and let Lola get some professional love.  The issue is, I was headed into the salon with The Itch.  You know, that little voice in the back of my mind that has been saying [for upwards of a year] “SHAVE IT OFF!”

Seeing as I transitioned for a year, I never had the opportunity (or the guts) to chop my hair super short, but it’s always been a style to which I’ve been drawn  I wrote an entire series on this blog called “Chop! Chop!“, which features interviews with those who have rocked their 2nd Chop (starring: Felicia Leatherwood, Tomiko Frasier Hines, and Pam Jenkins of Koils By Nature).  To me, these ladies were almost braver in chopping the second time around because they had already crossed the finish line that most naturals are yearning to reach: long, natural hair.  So for these Chop! Chop!’ers to just clip off their years of “work” inspired me by showing not just that it was possible, but also yielded beautiful, confident results with no regrets.

So there I was, with a 2nd Chop on the mind, a hair appointment on the books and the conflicting emotion of wanting to have beautiful flowing curls.  I explained all of this to Marie who took my confusion in stride and helped me sort it out:

“So you want short hair, but also long hair?”


“You’re making no sense.”

“I know.”

“Well, show me what you’re talking about.”


After a trip to her computer where I showed her some cropped cuts and styles I’ve been eyeing she sat me in her chair and broke out the clippers.


My heart raced as I saw piles of my curls fall to the floor and disappear into a trash bin.  I have to admit I was sad to see them go.  Very sad.


I’ve always loved my spiral boing boing curls, but I also found myself entranced by the sleek, short silhouette I saw in the mirror.


Once the cut was done, we decided to do another round of all over color.  I’ve been a HUGE fan of the color I’ve been rocking this past year so decided to bring it into my new style.


After a round of all over dye, followed by highlights and a finishing toner, I was washed, styled and only had a few minutes to sit beneath the dryer before I had to dash off to be a guest judge at an elementary school spelling bee in Oakland (!).

Typically Marie does a final cut to finish the style, but I had to dash out the door so quickly we didn’t have time that night but decided that I would return to the salon in a couple days for her to check it out.  I also promised I wouldn’t post pictures of her work until it was all finished.

Leaving the salon, my hair looked great!  I was loving the cut and felt fresh, sophisticated and renewed.  However, the next day, things started to go downhill….

…and learn why in part 2…

Lola’s Honeyed Hair Color (Lots of Pics!)

It’s been a minute since I had my hair colored.  Over three months to be more precise.  I’ve loved how the color has evolved and grown out, giving me this cool looking ombre shadow on the shorter side of my hair, but when my hair was pulled into the updo for the wedding a couple weeks ago, I was kind of horrified by how distinct my roots were! I’ve heard of some people needing to color their hair every month, so I will certainly take the 3 months, but this week I finally hightailed it back to Marie’s chair for a touch up of my color.  Before coloring I did a seriously deep deep treatment to make sure my hair was as nourished and hydrated as possible.

See when my hair is normal, all looks good and I've got a cool shadow effect on the side, but....

Holy roots!

Marie began by applying an all over color just to the roots. My hair is not bleached, but is lightened using a high lift developer. This stuff is intense and tingles as soon as it hit my scalp. It didn’t have to stay on for very long, but once rinsed out, I was once again frightened with how terrifyingly Garfield/Snooki orange my roots had turned!


Then toner is applied to, well, tone that orange right on down. I love the way this stuff settles right on in and gets the color to the place it needs to be.

Toni Tony TONER

Since we were just touching up the roots, we didn’t redo my existing highlights so this time around we got to go straight from the wash bowl to the styling. Madusalon uses a technique called “Noodling” that to pull product through curls and give them a looser defined curl pattern. I love the way this looks, but I would never have the patience to do this at home by myself!

You can easily see the difference in curl pattern between the noodled and the clipped portions. Impressive!

Then I sat beneath the dryer for an hour and got about 98% dry.

And while drying I played on Instagram. I love Instagram...

Once I was fully dry, my hair had this great curl pattern, but had dried stiff and flat to my head like a regular ol’ helmet-o-curls.

Lola in helmet formation

Then Marie worked her magic with a Deva diffuser and fluffed my curls right on back to life! Check it out!

The finished color and style:

In addition to spending time with the always lovely Marie, I got to spend some time with Ami who is now taking clients of her own (very exciting! go see her too!) as well as the lovely Ilham who is moving to Paris to do her study abroad shortly. (Alors mes copines Francaise, il faut la rencontre la bas!!)


With Ami

Another job well done by Marie at Madusalon! Even on the second day, Lola is still looking on point! (Gotta love that noodling!!)


Happy weekend, y’all!!

Getting Back to My Roots. Literally.

Remember when I was all sorts of nervous to give Lola her virgin dye job and then it turned out to be AWESOME and I’ve never gotten more compliments on my hair?  I do too.  It’s been great and the color has settled in well, even lightening a bit due to some nice sunny days here in San Francisco.  More than ever, people  have been stopping me on the street, complimenting not just the cut and my coils, but the color.  Gee thanks! Color me flattered!

But I’ve been noticing that nature is doing it’s thang and like it has my entire life, my hair is growing.  Issue is that with color, you can ACTUALLY SEE the growth.  It’s not too bad and I’m sure that I’m the only one that really notices.  Frankly, I only notice when I pull my hair back from my face like when I go to bed.  Or take pictures to post on the site like this one:

It’s kind of cool to see just how much my hair has grown in a month.  Having the line of demarcation between natural color and hair color makes that super easy to see!  While it doesn’t necessarily upset me, it definitely makes me aware that with color comes responsibility and eventually I will have to head on back to Dear Marie at Madusalon for touch up color.

Hmm.  Touch ups.

I haven’t thought about getting a “touch up” in a hot minute because before it was when I needed to get touch-ups with you-know-what.  (Ha! Relaxers are like Voldemort around here.  Except that Lola is Harry Potter and will now and forever reign supreme.  #nerdalert)

All in all though, Lola has maintained superb health even after going lighter.  Aside from the stint in Europe where I didn’t have access to my steamer, I have deep conditioned and/or steamed religiously once a week, ensuring that my coils have retained their moisture.  In fact, I haven’t needed to adjust my regimen whatsoever since the color, which makes me think that we were partaking in some excellent natural hair practices to begin with!

What are your plans for the weekend?  I’ll be headed over to a NARS beauty event here in San Francisco (I heart NARS) and celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a BBQ and amigos.  Happy friday, lovelies!

COLOR ME RAD: Lola De-Virginized (part 2)

Let’s see…now where did we leave off in the story of Lola’s virgin color. Oh, right. Me leaving you hanging for three days waiting for the official pictures! Muahahahaha

Ok, so the truth is that after steaming, I decided just to leave the deep conditioning treatment in my hair and roll out of the salon (to a much anticipated happy hour at NOPA). We used Deva’s Heaven in Hair, which is sold as a deep conditioner, but can be used as a styling cream. In fact, I would say that it is absolutely one of my FAVORITE styling creams out there. But in an effort to bring some moisture back to Lola, my hair was completely over saturated with the product. My instructions were to wash it out and re-style in the morning and come back the salon for a visit for any final trims. That’s the perk of living just four blocks from Madusalon. What it meant for this piece was that right after the coloring, my hair was chalky and dull until I washed it and we certainly didn’t want to do a reveal like that!

So the next morning, I got up and washed my hair using JessiCurl Cleansing Cream, conditioned first with Deva One Condition and then Darcy Botanitcal’s Pumpkin Seed Conditioner, then styled on soaking wet hair with Hair Rules Curly Whip. My curls felt soft and hydrated if not only slightly looser on the finer sections right above my ear. Here is a shot of when my hair is still sopping wet:

Color is darker when it’s wet and I was impatient to see it fully dry. To expedite the process I sat beneath the hooded dryer for about 40 minutes then fluffed with the nozzle on my hand dryer. I WAS REALLY LIKING WHAT I WAS SEEING!!

I went back do to Madusalon and we all agreed that the color was ON POINT! After clipping a couple random curls, Lola and I were sent on our merry way! The final color:

It’s more blonde and less red than I had originally anticipated, but it certainly complements my skin tone more–what can I say? I’m a California Girl! I’m going to call it California Golden Copper! CGC BABY! WEST COAST REPRESENT! Ha!

I’m glad we didn’t go as red, and Marie, oh that Marie told me that she never wanted to take me as red as the pictures, but more caramel, but works wonderfully and doesn’t (as I feared) prohibit me from wearing my precious red lipstick!).
The color actually quite subtle when inside and shimmers in the sunlight. Friends who have known me a long time have been coming up and asking “did you do something different?” and then when I tell them they say “WOW! It’s IS lighter!” I’ve been getting huge compliments, especially at the TextureTalk event yesterday. We got tons of headshots from the event, so I’ll be sharing those shortly so you can see more of the color, especially on the shorter side.

All in all– a great experience thus far with the color and looking forward to rockin it!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...