Spanish hair

The Hair Story - Part II

So where were we?

Oh yes. Extensions. Again, it can have a bad connotation, but why should it? It's all in HOW you use it. I heard something along the lines of : On your wedding you should look like a BETTER version of your everyday self, but not UNLIKE yourself. The idea is that you don't suddenly transform yourself that it's almost unrecognizable, but that you also don't treat it like any other day of the week.

My bestfriend, ironically, ALSO went for a Spanish look on her wedding (4 years ago!), and she wore a simple, low bun. Actually, my Godmother styled her hair :) Well, she DOES have thick hair, but it wasn't long enough to make the bun look FULL. You know, those luscious hair buns? So my Godmother added some extensions to increase the volume of the bun and viola! The perfect touch.

So! Back to me screwing up. I managed to make a hair appointment in Houston, and I wanted to have the extensions for the hair trial. She told me to wash my hair the day before our trial so it wouldn't be so silky clean the day of. I stayed up that night till almost 1 a.m. sewing those extensions! I had to wake up early and I just LOOKED so tired. I threw on a dress, and looking still half-asleep I left for the appointment that was 45 minutes away. By the way, I was staying at my cousin's house in Houston once I left Atlanta for Texas the month of my wedding.

My hair decides to feel extra greasy today, even though I had washed it the day before. I think because I kept running my hands through it when I was stressing over the extensions that the oils in my hand made it more.. matte-y. Meaning, it didn't feel flowy and just.. drabby. Am I making up words?! Blogger keeps underlining them in red! Anyway, I was NOT feeling my hair and KNEW this was going to affect the styling.

I show the stylist the photos, describe the looks, but also emphasize that I am VERY open to ideas. I want her to be inspired and use her skills to do what she does best. The first thing she does is start curling my hair. I notice that she doesn't even change my hair part. I start to shift in my chair when I see the curls slide out of the curler and they look so tight. Ugh. When she gets to the last layer, I speak up. She informs me that the curls will start to become loose as time passes because they lose shape, so it's better that they're slightly tighter. Slightly? Um.. okay. Also, the curls aren't that bouncy because my hair is heavier from the natural hair oils + product. So much for the romantic curls :(

Once the curling is done, she begins the styling. I interrupt and ask about the extensions. And guess what? Guess w-h-a-t. Dummy here picked extensions that were the actual LENGTH of my hair! Meaning, I wouldn't have layers .. I would just have a LOT of hair at the same length. I needed to get them a few inches longer so that some curls could be longer than others. Y'all, I REALLY thought I had picked some long extensions (12 inches!!). But I didn't realize how long my hair had gotten and how SHORT it becomes when you curl it. Clearly 12 inches isn't long enough. Who would have known. So make note of that ladies. Hold the hair to your ear and see how long it drops.

Blah. She tells me that on the wedding I can just buy longer ones from them ($20 per/track) or bring them myself and that it "should work out." I don't know about y'all, but I DON'T want to see my wedding hair on my wedding day. I want to see it BEFORE because that might not be my wedding hair if it doesn't turn out well!

Finally, she starts pinning things so my hair can cascade down my shoulder, except -- the curls are so tight, it's not really "cascading." It's just sitting there. POP. That's the sound I heard in my head when my bubble busted. Plus, my part is STILL on the same spot when I came in, and she didn't do anything special when she pulled it back.

Biggest mistake brides make: Do NOT go home and complain about your hair style if you have not said a WORD to your stylist. Your stylist needs to know if she can make any changes because she can't read your mind. She could probably read my body language...

And my body language was saying "Weeelll.. I was picturing something a little different." I explain to her what I was hoping for, and she re-does the side section. It came out pretty. Very pretty. I would be alright wearing this to a bridal shower. But NOT my wedding. I asked her to take a photo and I'm sorry it came out blurry!

The front

You see my arrow? I'm pointing to the curl that looks like it's been brushed. Notice how at the VERY top of my head, it's like my hair appears to be slicked down. (BTW - I made this one B/W so that the blur wouldn't look as strong).

The side

The curls were just... all wrong...

The other side

Now this is the part I asked her to make it more 'intricate.' I REALLY did like it, but because I didn't like the hair as a whole -- it didn't work for me.

At this point, I had already asked to make changes, and even after the changes I wasn't satisfied, so my answer was clear = Not my stylist. If that's how she curls hair, it's not like I can say "Can you change the way you curl hair...?"

What I learned from this session:
  • My hair needs to be washed relatively close to the trial because hair products weigh my hair DOWN. It gets oily easily. This is not the case for everyone, so this is why brides -- you MUST have a hair trial if that is important to you!!!
  • The tight curls REALLY shortened my hair length = buy longer extensions
  • It is better to walk away from a trial you didn't like then cross your fingers it will work on your wedding day
  • I MUST, must, MUST blow dry my hair with as much volume as possible before the trial.
Stick around for the FINAL part that includes photos of the SECOND trial with a friend and how we eventually got .... this

*photo by Raya Carlisle

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.