Yes it’s your hair; no I won’t make you blonde today

We’ve all been there. And if you haven’t, you probably will be one day.

Your hair is dark, and you want to be blonde. A Kardashian (I couldn’t tell you which one) did it in one day so why can’t you?

I get it, I do. You’re paying, you want it done now and you are frustrated that no one seems to be able to do it.

Let me preface it by saying we are all able to. It has nothing to do with our capability and more to do with our integrity, and the integrity of your hair.

If your stylist knows you and your hair history, the chances of you getting blonde faster is higher so I recommend finding a stylist and getting cozy. Much like a doctor, we keep records of your hair history so we know exactly what has been done, how you keep it maintained at home and what you’re going to do when you’re blonde. This is so valuable for major hair changes so stop bouncing from chair to chair, find someone you like and get over the fact that she books “so far ahead” and be grateful she’s talented and sought after and just pre-book mk?

Now that that is out of the way, let’s move on to reasons a stylist says no to making you blonde in one day:

  1. How much time do you have? Did you book a consultation prior to this appointment and set aside 4-5 hours? Because if you are just sitting down for a colour that’s not going to cut it. Colour corrections are finnicky and if your stylist doesn’t have an assistant, it’s nearly impossible to do if double booked with other clients.
  2. It’s not just the lifting that takes time, it’s the treatments in between, because sure I can maybe make all your hair blonde today, but I just might end up sending it home with you in a plastic bag and a fancy new $600 platinum pixie cut.
  3. On that note, what’s your budget? Colour corrections vary by stylist, salon, experience and product used. There is no guarantee on cost when going into a colour correction and your budget needs to make room for *oh crap you have a ton of hair* or *we need to lift again / highlight* or even better? You have banding weeeeee
  4. More budget … again, treatments cost money and they vary on salons and procedure. There can be a couple done in one visit depending on your process and don’t forget to factor in your new shampoo, conditioner, protein and deep moisture treatments, styling treatments and to do it all again in 4-5 weeks (minus the products, but hey, they run out and you’ll need more)

Here’s the reality, most people don’t have 8 hours to spend in the salon going from black to blonde in one day, nor do they have the budget. It’s much easier to spread it out over a few months, or in my case a year. Yes, I’m a stylist, no I don’t pay your prices for colour and I still took a year.

Why? Because I wanted healthy (ish) blonde hair. Because even with all the treatments in the world, coloured and lifted hair is damaged hair and damaged hair is great! I can’t stand when my hair is too healthy because news flash! It doesn’t style well.

Blonde in my world = volume. Praise the Lord.

Ok, so you have the time, you have the budget, your hair history is with your current stylist and you’ve never coloured your hair at home and she still won’t do it.

Why?

There are no guarantees.

She might be scared to say yes because she knows that some hair is harder to lift (like mine needs two processes in one visit on a root touch up to be platinum) and she knows that you won’t be happy if you don’t leave Gwen Stefani blonde today and we just can’t guarantee it will happen and we truthfully don’t need you going around town badmouthing our work and how “warm it still is” when we exhausted all our options making your blonde dreams come true.

I recommend being willing to spend 2-3 visits going blonde, and hey maybe you get lucky and it happens straight away!

I’ve personally done a technique that got my client to a perfect, healthy platinum blonde in one visit but it was a 5 hour visit and $600 and that doesn’t happen often and people are rarely willing to pay. She was unhappy with the price even though she agreed her hair felt perfect and she figured she could have seen someone else for cheaper and gotten the same result.

Ouch.

So yes, I’m a little leery about taking people blonde because I have personally found if the price isn’t $200 and perfectly white the client isn’t happy, even with a properly discussed consultation.

So if you’re ready to ride the platinum train be willing to:

  1. Manage your expectations for the end result and work for that perfect blonde within a few visits
  2. Pay for it and pay well #notaboxedblonde and expect the “quote” to be loose
  3. Visit in 4-6 weeks (preferably 4) depending on growth and yes, pay for it again.
  4. Be happy with your toner for 1-2 weeks and then wish you had never washed your hair ever
  5. Learn to wash your hair less.
  6. Have photos (pictured is my hair warm and cool; know the difference and show the difference because we all see colour differently)
  7. Trust your stylist

 

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below and submit your hair questions to braidsandbrassfitness@gmail.com 

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On Celebrating Failure

The year of discipline continues 📖 
Since the start of my journey, I have been trying to find my way back into the word of God. In all truth I was mad at Him for a long time for all the hell we went through and I had a hard time reconnecting. 
But I know my Jesus, and despite the struggles and hard times He is with us, and I knew I had to come back to him. 
Fitness saved my life, and God gave me fitness. I used to feel guilty for being able to dedicate myself to a workout daily but not to reading my Bible and now I don’t because I understand something, that fitness was the only way BACK to Him. It’s the only way to clear my head of the frustrations, of the fog that was post partum depression, of the anxiety … it’s what gave my mind rest. 
Sometimes I cried when I finished workouts in the beginning. Sometimes I still do, because it’s through movement I find peace, I find God there. 
Fast forward to today. Today has been a long long time in the making, and it’s only through trying and failing daily for a year that I sit here successful today, and by trying I mean thinking about doing it and not doing it. That’s it. I made no big efforts except the intention in my heart to succeed, knowing full well my standing with God was not dependent on my Bible reading, but my growth is. 
I look at this the same way it takes some people to start clean eating or to start exercising, because I don’t LIKE reading my Bible. Not yet. Because there’s no emotional joy attached to it. It feels like a chore and so that is how I am approaching it. 
Instead of sitting down trying to have these all powerful moments every day I’ve simplified the process for myself. I wanted to start January 1st but I didn’t and that’s ok, I started today. I will simply read the Bible on a schedule for the simple sake of finishing it in one year (which fully reminds me of the days in Jakarta that we spent reading the Bible non stop for THREE DAYS over the city we were ministering to. Powerful stuff.) 
And for some reason, today was the day. 

It’s the slight edge. It’s the compound effect of positive steps forward every single day, so whatever you’re trying to accomplish I encourage you to fail gloriously every single day and rejoice in your failure because it will lead to your success. 
Never feel bad for your journey. It is yours and yours alone, and if you need someone to celebrate failure with, look me up. I’m really good at failing forward. 

On “Those” Days; An Open Thank you to my Husband and Mother

Today has been one of those days one of those weeks months years.

Ok, but today it all boiled down to a nightmare of a day.

I truly want to be one of those moms who writes about nothing but the rainbows her child poops and all the glorious joys of motherhood. And I will. One day. I do know those joys, I have those joys, I live for those joys … but to be honest, if I talk to you and you speak of nothing but all the happy times and how amazing everything is 24/7, I don’t relate to you. And sometimes I hope you’re a liar, because if you’re not, what the heck am I doing wrong? Is my parenting bad? Are my sons endless tantrums and lack of sleep my fault, thus causing the misery we find ourselves drenched in from time to time and if I could just … teach him better, none of this would be happening?

Probably not true. But my thought process none the less.

In any case, if you’re like me and my husband, you’ve had … well let’s politely call them shitty days. Yes, I know. I’m a Christian, and I swore. No, it doesn’t make me cool. No, it doesn’t make me evil. I’m very sad, very vulnerable and very tired today. And sometimes, it’s the only word I can find. So shitty it shall be.

Today started out like any other day…6:00AM wake up on the nose, child in the fridge screaming for strawberries and the tantrum over food begins. No, you can’t eat 12 plums and 38 strawberries for breakfast. Here’s your eggs. Well you said you wanted eggs. No you can’t have oatmeal. Because you asked for eggs and I made eggs. I don’t live to make you food. Yes, you can have a plum when your eggs are finished. Because if I give you the plum all you’ll eat is the plum until your stomach thinks your full and you never eat sustainable food. Sustainable. Sus-tain-a-ble. It keeps you full. No, you can’t have more strawberries. When you’re done screaming and kicking on the floor, come find me. I’ll be eating your eggs.

Usually my patience is pretty far reaching. I am able to take deep breaths and relax, remind myself this is a stage and that one day he won’t throw himself on the floor every single morning the minute he wakes up, and he will have slept through the night.

Today was a different day.

I managed to get in a team call this morning while he screamed and ran around peeing on things because he’s kind of over being told he has to pee and is rebelling, and I managed to do quite a bit of tidying around his tantrums. We also sat together and drummed, and played hide and seek around his fort, and read books inside of it. He then napped for 1/5 hours and woke up foul, as usual. And today I couldn’t handle it.

I don’t know why my son doesn’t sleep well, and I don’t know why he wakes up angry. But it frustrates the hell out of me, because I want to fix it. I want to see him happy and thriving, and to see him so upset all the time honestly just breaks mommas heart. He cries intermittently and hard for a long time after waking up. We’re talking a couple of hours until he’s righted himself, and I’m at the point where I’m falling asleep while he’s screaming because I’m so bloody tired of it all. My body is exhausted and my mind is weary.

And then in walks my husband, and in walks my mother.

My mom came to help me clean today … and all I could do was sit there. And cry. And then leave to nap. And then wake up and stare into space. And watch her clean.

She cleaned my floors, my banisters, my kitchen and every inch she moved along, she scrubbed away a bit of the clutter frustrating my heart.

My husband was in there with her, helping, putting in an effort … while I sat here. Immobilized by exhaustion? Yes … depression? Maybe … in any case, I am not alone in these struggles and there he is. Doing things I cannot do. Cleaning dishes. Making dinner.

My family has surrounded me and it took me a good couple of hours to get up off the couch, and pitch in.

And to top it all off? I can’t show my gratitude…I can’t seem to be very warm and inviting and kind. I can however be critical, condescending and lack the ability to extend anyone else the grace to not be perfect.

So because I can’t seem to find my voice when anyone is present to say thank you, here I am. Saying thank you.

Lucas, you have strength I cannot comprehend. No, you don’t have to be pregnant. No, you don’t know how tired or emotional I am. But what you do know is that you were once married to a vibrant, joyful woman who didn’t condescend, criticize and fall apart. I promise you, even though I keep losing that woman, she is here, and I will keep doing everything I can to find her, to be her. You have put up with just as much sleep loss and frustration and joy and pain as I have, and yet you come home and you take care of this family. I promise I will show you all the kindness I have, even if it’s not much I will muster it up and give it all to you. You have provided for me, for Asher in ways you’ll never understand. Food, finances, it all pales in comparison to the peace you’ve given me to know I am married to a warrior. A fighter. A man who is so capable of loving even when love is not being shown. Sometimes I get angry around you simply as a reaction to your love, because it’s too much for me to handle your gentleness that I react negatively…like being in the presence of God’s overwhelming love that if we don’t feel worthy we run from. I’m 5. No big deal. Just know that I see you, for every little amazing thing you do, even though I don’t seem capable of voicing it. I’m learning. Pray for me and work with me; I know God will use you to be the hand that pulls me up. Thank you for every day, for every hug, for every kiss, for every time we forget to make eye contact throughout the day and then you touch my shoulder to remind me that you’re there. Thank you to the ends of the earth, which I will crawl to to find a way to show you my love.

Mom, I don’t know how you’ve put up with me all these years. To no end do I wish I could actually be as kind as you deserve, when I am this down and out. And just like Lucas, what kills me the most is your endless ability to pour out love on me when I’m like this. To not ask for anything in return. To just be willing to do whatever you can to help me and my family, even if you never get a thank you. I wish I could open my heart when it’s this hard, but I haven’t been able to, and you deserve every ounce of gratitude I can muster. For loving my son to the ends of the earth, to taking him when I’m working, to always be there to help me, to always bend your plans to help mould them around mine and A’s sporadic naps…you’ve never asked for anything, and I’ve never been able to give much, but my love and respect and deeply rooted desire to be like you, you have. Thank you for choosing to love me even on the hard days.

I 100% believe this will pass. I know that this is 95% sleep loss and 35 weeks pregnant. But it’s hard to see past that, especially when I had such a good handle on it just a few short weeks ago.

But I’m here, putting the few things in front of me that I know how to do.

One of those being my complete and utter commitment to sharing my journey with you. Because while it is scary to some to be “so open” it’s actually very therapeutic for me. I’m a verbal processor but I also believe that God will use my struggles, and reach out and touch someone with them.

Maybe to help you feel like you’re not alone.

Mom’s, it’s a tough gig.

And sometimes, we aren’t the nicest to those who are nicest to us, and I know you’re like me and find it devastating to know we’ve hurt someone whom we love so dearly.

If you’re in the same boat, I’m praying for you. The trenches are deep, but the hands reaching in are strong and sturdy.

Grab hold of one and don’t let go.

Commit with me to taking the time every single day to doing something that utterly feeds your soul.

Spend time with God, knit, rest your face in the sun, walk alone outside, exercise, eat well and as you walk alone let the wind caress your skin and fall in love with life every single day.

It won’t be like this forever.

Just promise me you will take the steps to walk forward every single day.

More than a fitness coach, I walk hand in hand with women struggling with things I too struggle with.

A tribe of strong women is forming around me, and together we climb ahead.

I have an incredible support at home, and there are those of you who are single parents or struggling the same but have no family to help …

I can’t say I’ll come be the things for you that my family is for me, but I can walk with you. I can climb with you.

We are strongest when we hold each other up.

On the Cheat Meal and Balance

Ok ladies and gents, welcome to the fitness portion of my blog, where I will share thoughts, tips  and encouragements on all things fitness. 

Today the message that’s heavy on my heart is about finding balance. 

Do you know what I hear all the time? “I fell off the wagon…” “I cheated last night …” “I screwed up again…” and it’s not a healthy mindset

The pendulum has swung and people go from eating unhealthy and having NO fitness in their lives, to expecting themselves to eat healthy and on point 100% of the time and workout every day without fail for the rest of their lives. I’m of the belief that this is not attainable. It’s also not sustainable. 

We cannot expect perfection of ourselves from now on for the rest of forever, that is why people fail. That is why people have one chocolate bar and don’t try and workout or eat healthy again for a year. Because you failed and what’s the point because you just keep failing, right?

Well, let me just clear the air. A chocolate bar isn’t failing. 

Let me ask you this … if you drop your phone and the screen cracks, do you figure since it’s cracked you might as well stomp on it until it’s completely destroyed? No. You pick it up, maybe you fix it, maybe you put a case on it … you get the point. One treat doesn’t mean you destroy your body from here on out. 

It doesn’t make sense. 

I am here for my mental health. The body results etc is all fun, but it’s all a natural by-product of the work I put in for a healthy mind. To be the best version of myself starts with my mind. And in all truthfulness, a healthy version of myself doesn’t look like me sitting alone in the corner eating plain chicken and steamed broccoli for the rest of my life while my friends laugh and play while indulging in greasy food. 

This journey is supposed to be one of freedom. Yes, we want to eat clean most of the time, fuelling our bodies and getting our blood pumping to keep our hearts strong, but I also want to go for a meal or desert with my family and never feel guilty. 

Because enjoying or refraining from food doesn’t define my idea of a full OR a deprived life. 

It’s not about food. 

Right now, I am sitting on the beautiful island of Kauai in Hawaii for 10 days with my family and so far I’ve had chips and salsa for lunch, a bottle of Pepsi and some (ok half a box of) gluten free Oreo cookies in the last 4 days. And I don’t feel bad. I don’t feel like a hypocrite either. Because I’m not trying to tell people to live in a box for the rest of their lives.  


I will take you on a 30 day challenge to clean up your eating and to get you to a place where you are making MORE healthy choices than unhealthy. Where you are exercising 3-6 days a week depending on your goals. Where you can lift your spirits from a workout and fuel your body for a long healthy life through clean eating, and then go out for a beer and nachos with your friends because you know you have the discipline and practices in place that that one night isn’t going to ruin your end goal, whatever that may be. 

We live for these memories. 

What I want people to learn is HOW to eat, how MUCH to eat, and then how to go on and live life on their own terms in their own definition of balance, and live healthy long lives fulfilling their goals and dreams because their weight and internal health isn’t holding them back. 

Get strict for 30 days. 60 days. 90 days. Whatever it takes to make that total life change. Get to the point where if you start eating junk, after a day or two you don’t feel good and know it’s time to reign it in and eat clean again. Get to the point where skipping a workout is the worst feeling. That’s where you want to be. It’s a mindset

I can’t tell you what your balance looks like. But I can tell you that eating a chocolate bar doesn’t mean you’ve screwed up again and are off the wagon. 

There is no wagon. 

This is life. 

And if you keep telling yourself that you’re cheating, you’re going to feel guilt and shame and you’re going to want to hide it. 

There is no room for shame on my team. 

Set your goals. Learn how to achieve them, and reward yourself with living.  

Don’t sit at home alone eating a pint of ice cream; how uninspired! Go to a ball game with your friends; laugh, cheer and have awful dome beer with nachos and cheese so fake you could probably make a plastic bottle with it. But the food is not the focus. The point is, you go out and enjoy your life, with no guilt and no shame. If you want to eat clean while you’re out, eat clean. But if you want a beer and you know that your life is on track and you have the self control to enjoy one day without making it a habit, have a damn beer and relax in the knowledge that you have put in the work. 

Life is not made or broken on the back of enjoying junk food or not. A healthy life is not a deprived life, it is a free life. And only when you get into that funnel of freedom do you really get it. 

If your happiness is based on the foods you eat, that is the root of the problem. 

And it has nothing to do with balance, and everything to do with cheating. 

On Making Me Happy

“It’s just not making me happy anymore”

Have you ever said this about a job? I have. In fact I am saying it; and I’ve felt in a very stuck place for the last while. 

Returning to work with post partum depression left me feeling like I hated my job (as a hairstylist) and this left a deeply conflicted feeling in my heart. I love doing hair, I love the art I create, but then I had my son, and that art failed to satisfy me. My career … the work I had literally poured myself into that satisfied my soul for so long, left me feeling drained and unhappy every single day.  

I began to question it every day leading up to work; does this make me happy? I had shining moments that I really loved doing hair; these make me giddy and that feeling carries me for a while, but then it fades, and I’m left wondering where it went and how come it leaves, and how do I get it back? 

I started this coaching business, and I felt fire and passion as I had for the hair world, and wondered if this was my new adventure … yet I still felt conflicted, unable to decide in my heart…am I done? I can’t be; I can’t imagine my life not doing hair and I think of all the people that tell me how amazing I am, and how much they love having me as their stylist…

Conflict. Major conflict. 

Feelings of thinks like I no longer posess a talent. 

Feeling low.

Yet, feeling something…

So what is this?

Well firstly, I think it’s natural. I think it’s the ok that God put a passion in me to be home with my son, and for my passion for hair to take a backseat. My family should be more important to me than my job.

But that doesn’t mean I have to leave. 

That doesn’t mean it’s not “making me happy…”

In our society, if it doesn’t make you happy then quit and keep quitting until you find this magic happiness. 

If your marriage sucks, quit, find a new one. If your job sucks, quit. Find a new one. If your house sucks, sell it. Buy a new one. If your life sucks, move. Build a new one.

Sounds fun and fancy, but it’s not reality.

Because happiness doesn’t come from things.

Happiness comes from me.

I make me happy. I lean into God for my joy. I choose to be grateful. I choose to let emotions rule me, or to rule my emotions. I choose to find joy in the hard times. I choose to allow happiness in, despite my circumstances.

I realized I am so, so incredibly blessed and ungrateful.

I am blessed to have passion for so many things, and for hands that are gifted in them. A mother, a coach, a stylist. All these things I have a love for, and it’s a copout to leave one simply because it’s not doing what I want it to do for me anymore.

It’s childish.

Leaving now would be like stomping my feet in a candy store because I couldn’t get what I wanted. The reality is, I have a choice. I can keep being unhappy where I am, or I can change my mindset. I can choose to find joy and life in my job again.

I can choose to push through these emotional days and see that overall, my job is really really great, and it pays me well, and that I get to afford a lifestyle for my family that otherwise we wouldn’t have.

Lows come, but they also go. Same as highs. They go as well.

If you want to quit somethings right now, don’t. If you’ve lost your motivation, put on your big girl panties and get back to work, and choose life. Choose commitment. Choose to be happy, and to be grateful. Look for the positive.

Realize that the problem might actually be coming from within and that getting up and leaving will only satisfy you for a short time, and then you’re left with unhappiness. Again.

Don’t mope around like I have, waiting for whatever it is in your life to make you happy. Make yourself happy by choosing to move forward.

Choose to cook whole, healthy foods today. 

Choose to workout. 

Choose to get outside, even for 5 minutes. 

Choose to do look on the bright side and be your own inspiration. Dig deep and get to it. 

For me, it’s choosing joy at work. It’s choosing to take my vitamins and drink my shake. It’s choosing to workout. 

EVEN WHEN I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. 

Because feelings are fleeting and they change with the wind.

Stay the course. Find your courage. Find your muchness. And get to work. Get busy. 

And if in the end it means you leave your job, let it be 

  because you are happy, and you have so much happiness that you need another place to let it grow.

For me, I found that joy again in coaching.

I find that joy in sharing words of encouragement to my team, to my challengers and to my coaches.

This is what fuels me and gives me life at the salon again.

The problem wasn’t my job.

The problem was me.

Happiness doesn’t live in place or thing.

It lives in you.