DIY wedding hair

The Hair Story - Conclusion

Aaalright. I last left y'all with the story of how bad my hair trial went with the salon in Houston. I called a friend from high school, venting my frustrations, and discussing how simple this hair style could be.

This same friend, let's name her Loreal (cause she has beautiful hair, haha), is the one who taught me how to MAKE the extensions. After sending her photos of the trial, she called and left the following voicemail: "Oh nooooo. Alejandra this is NOT what you described to me at all. Look at those curls! Are they even curls? She definitely didn't get it. You know what? If you want, you can come over and we can try creating the look you're going for. Then we can take photos and you can show her the process and I'm SURE she can re-create the look with instructions."

Haha. Can you imagine showing up to a stylist with "How To" instructions. I'm sure she'd love that!

Anyway, I thought that was REALLY, really generous of Loreal to offer. I couldn't believe it. I was incredibly grateful that she would take the time to do this for me.

Excitedly, we bought the appropriate extensions, went back to her place and sewed them according to my head measurements. Another thing to note: I had just washed my hair that morning and blowdried it, so it was really flowy. Already I could tell the difference in the curls! They were bouncy, silky, and loose. She used a lot of hair spray (still), but it wasn't weighing my hair down too much since it was so clean. After simply putting on the extensions (3 tracks), and curling my hair, we got excited like little girls at HOW beautiful the curls looked in comparison to my trial!


As you can see on my mini-diagram what a DIFFERENCE my cleaner hair made -- and blowdrying it. Note the length difference between my natural hair and the extension. Although I was going to cut it, it's MUCH better to have the ability to cut to YOUR desired length, rather than have no layers to work with.

Check out the front:

Talk about drastic improvement! Once we curled my hair and saw how much it would shrink, we knew how much to cut off. Like I said before, I didn't want to look drastically different SO, I cut the extension to the length my NATURAL hair is -- before it's curled. Obviously you lose a lot of length when you curl, so I wanted to make up for that. Also, it obviously adds even more volume.

But want to hear something even crazier? You might be thinking to herself "WOW, those extensions obviously added length, but look at the VOLUME!" Guess what? If you go back to my last post with the bad hair trial -- I had some extensions there too! The only difference is that they were the shorter extensions. So why didn't they add VOLUME? Because my hair was too oily, FLAT, and hadn't been blowdried! I'm telling you this to emphasize what a difference it makes when you blowdry your hair. Granted, the Houston salon lady had only put in like 2 small tracks so we could "get an idea." Here's a really old picture of me with similar volume and my hair MUCH shorter:

or something with even MORE volume...

Hahaha. You get the point!

So we pinned it back, added the flower and it looked like this:

The side

But now the problem is... you can see that we didn't put ENOUGH hair spray because within a matter of minutes, the curls started to fall:

That's not even a curl anymore... it's like... semi-waves? Don't get me wrong, this was DEFINITELY moving the in right direction and I learned the following:
  • Blowdry my hair FO SHO!
  • I need to find an alternative to volume because I LOSE a good portion of it when my hair is pulled back (on the top section).
  • Make the curls tighter because they WILL start to come lose
  • Add more hairspray
However, I was SO excited about it that I asked if she would be interested in coming to my wedding and doing my hair. I KNEW this was a big risk for me to take, and I also knew this could put a lot of pressure on her. I told her to think about it, and that I would be fine with whatever she decided. Loreal took a few days to think about it, then fortunately agreed!

I was so excited because I had someone I trusted, and I didn't have to worry about having to spend so much more money on really expensive hair trials. We decided to do a second trial with Loreal to correct the loss of curls, and get closer to that "wedding day" hair. Ironically, she actually suggested that I don't wash my hair the day of the trial because that might have been why my curls didn't hold. And guess what? The second trial ended up being a hot mess because my natural hair oils once again weighed my hair down and was even WORSE at holding curls.

Panic mode. I had to leave for Houston in 2 days, and we had yet to have a hair trial that was "THE ONE." We schedule a last minute 3rd trial... and she ends up getting a stomach virus :( Ahh!! I HAVE to leave that Sunday to Houston for a meeting with my DJ. I don't hear back from my friend, and then it's Monday and I'm trying not to push it. I don't want to take advantage of her amazing help, but... my wedding is this coming SUNDAY. I wait for Monday to see if she'll call me and -- nothing. I finally call her on Tuesday and reach her voicemail. She ends up texting me, in a matter of minutes letting me know that some conflicts would not allow her to be there on Sunday.

Um. What?

I was really upset, disappointed, and stressed. I couldn't be that mad at her because of HOW much she helped me, but I felt so let down only days before my wedding. Anyway, I HAVE to come up with a back up plan. There is no time to sulk or blame anyone -- it's time to take action. I was in the car with Jasmine (my sis in law) when I was receiving the bad news via text, and turned to her and asked: "Is anyone in your family decent at hair styling?"

I knew what I wanted for my hair and I knew I could do it, but I absolutely needed help. Thank God for Jose's Aunt Jane and cousin Sacora!! They were SO nervous about the potential of doing my wedding hair because of the stress. I reassured them that *I* would be guiding them throughout the whole process and no matter HOW crazy or good my hair looked, it would not be their fault.

Bam! We pulled out the hairspray, my AMAZING curler (y'all this sucker is $75 but it's my secret to tossled curls), tons of bobby pins, and extensions. Since my curler doesn't have a clamp, it takes some time getting used to wrapping hair around the base of the curler and holding the hair. You have to wear a glove too! Otherwise you will burn your hand like crazy. Trust me.

So here we were, our first hair trial -- days before the wedding. I turned to Aunt Jane and said "Okay Aunt Jane -- your responsibility is to spray the curls, tease the roots, and add the extensions." So this was our flow: I divided my hair into sections, Sacora did the curling, and Aunt Jane sprayed them down and added the extensions with my guidance. Once my whole hair was done, we got to the tough part -- styling it.

I explained how I wanted the side that was pulled back to almost look braided. Basically, I didn't want to just grab the left side and pull the hair back to the side and pin it. Aunt Jane BLEW me AWAY with her sudden creativity! I simply showed her from what I managed to reach on the side of my hair and she took over. It came out PERFECT!

Aunt Jane turned to me and said: "You need to tell me the TRUTH. Do you REALLY love it? Because I need you to love this on your wedding day. If this isn't what you want, you shouldn't keep it." I responded "Trust me -- I REALLY do love it. I promise I would not keep it if I didn't like it. I couldn't do that to myself on my wedding for the sake of being polite!" Haha. But let me say, we teased my hair SOOO much to get volume for the top section.

Here they are in action on the wedding day:

Sacora curling

Aunt Jane teasing :)

NOTE: My hair is NOT that short -- we actually pinned the bottom UP so that as we did each section, we loosely kept the curls bunched together to retain their curl.

We put on my veil, added my earrings and I looked at the mirror. Wow. I realized how God literally took care of me. A situation that could have been so stressful ended up being taken care of by my new family. Aunt Jane and Sacora would have NEVER imagined they would be doing my wedding hair. Heck, I didn't think -I- would be doing it!! But ultimately, God proved that all it takes is trust. To trust that he will take care of you, no matter how far you're pushed.

The Hair Story - Part I

Guess what I got in the mail on Friday?! My wedding photos! I want to take y'all back to some of the stories I wasn't able to share at the time due to the chaos that is... wedding planning.

We begin with: The Hair Story

How on earth did I manage to do my own hair with the help of Jose's relatives for the wedding? I have to tell you what pushed me there in the first place. And I'm completely putting it out there.

Before even getting engaged, we all knew who was going to do my hair: My Godmother. Since the age that I had hair, which was probably around 2 years old since I didn't seem to GROW any as a baby(!), my Godmother was my hairdresser. She is also my mom's bestfriend and hairdresser. I suffered through horrible "let-me-try-this-cut" experiments, stylish cuts, and I was able to perfectly rotate a round brush on one hand and hold a blow-dryer in the other by 6th grade. Yeah, it was serious business.

Then just a few months after my engagement, we found out my Godmother got cancer. Unfortunately it just became worse and worse as time passed. She is still alive (thank God), but around Christmas time she let me know that I needed a back-up plan.

I didn't know how to feel. Upset? Frustrated? Guilty?! Stressed -- that was a clear one. At that point I let go of my Godmother as a hairstylist and just focused on desiring her attendance at my wedding. Then of course that led to: Who is going to do my hair?!

Ironically, she actually suggested that she teach me the style and that I could do it myself on the day-of. I thought she was crazy! Would I seriously want to stress myself out by becoming responsible of my wedding day hair?!

Fast forward to March. Time was ticking and I was only 3 months from the wedding AND on top of that, I didn't live in Houston so I had no knowledge of good stylists. I knew I was going to have to spend money on a hair trial (possibly more than one if need be!), and make sure they were available on my wedding.

Wedding Hair + New Dresser = Hard to Trust. I was not excited. I searched Project Wedding and found 3 salons that got EXCELLENT reviews. The trials were pricey, so I set up an appointment with one. I took these set of photos as inspiration:

I wanted volume for sure...

My hair pulled to the side, softly, cascading down my shoulders..

And the curls to be romantic and loose. I wanted to look Spanish and sexy, but not like a pageant girl either.

I brought this picture to say "I don't want these curls!"

I selected an up-do as a back-up and wanted to share it with y'all because it's so pretty:


Lovely, huh?! I didn't think it should be too hard. However, my biggest concern was my actual hair. I knew that curling it would shorten the length, and on top of that, my hair is fine.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of: hair extensions.

*shudder* Is that weird?! That feels kinda.. fake. It is fake. And yes, I wasn't a fan of the idea.... at first. Until Ren showed me the ones she bought and made. She explained how much cheaper it was to buy the human hair at a beauty supply store (yes, I said HUMAN hair!! crazyyy!), buy the clips, and sew the clips onto the hair yourself. Let me show you...

When you buy it at the beauty store, it comes in a looooooong set. You cut it into sections depending on how many pieces you want to add to your hair like so:

See the clips? The sections can be short or long, and all you have to do is part your hair on the layer you're adding the section of hair, TEASE the roots, add hair spray, and attach the clips:

The girl above is using a really LONG strand near the crown of her head.

Down here you can see the actual extension already attached to the roots and being curled.


This is why you MUST buy human hair -- you can curl it, straighten it, and wash it. And always keep it UNDER the top layers because you don't want the clips to start poking out of your head. The photo of the blonde girl's hair looks cheap from this perspective, but once the top layer of your natural hair comes over it, it blends beautifully.

Luckily for me, I wasn't adding many and I was curling it. I only needed about 3-4 sections of it to add volume. I decided to go for it. But was it that easy people? Of course not. Not only did I buy the wrong length the first time, but my trial did not go as I had hoped.

That's for Part II. Yes, that includes pictures of the trial. Y'all didn't think I'd post the whole novel now, right?! I need some sleep! Night :)

p.s. does human hair extensions freak you out?! I'm just curious as to where they get the hair... On second thought -- maybe I don't.