Once upon a time, there was a sassy redhead who loved her red tresses. They were her signature “accessory”. She loved to design her look with her fiery locks in mind. Not to mention… she had the attitude to match!
Then, tragedy occurred.
Somewhere in her clouded mind, this feisty redhead thought that a head full of long, red, wavy curls would look fabulous. And just like she was back the 80’s, she spent hours in a salon with stinky processing solutions and tight rollers that gave her a migraine headache. When she was done, her hair was full, curly and bright with color.
To quote the title of a S. E. Hinton book: “That Was Then, This Is Now”.
After a few weeks, her color began to turn a bland red with no shine or finesse. Her waves turned into a huge hairball of frizz. And every time she would brush, comb or wash it, hunks would break off in her hand. Eventually, the damage became so bad, she needed to cut away most of her marred mane just to salvage what was still in tact. The sad part? To do this she had to cut off about 6″+ of her beautiful ruby stands. Unfortunately, what was left wasn’t very healthy and needed continuous TLC. It was going to be a long process.
It didn’t take a lot of thinking to convince the sassy redhead to go to a new salon. On a referral from her friend, she found her hair savior beautician who worked magic better than Houdini. The red tresses got stronger, the perm s-l-o-w-l-y relaxed and her hair became more and more healthy. The only thing that was still frustrating? The length of the locks seemed to be taking FOREVER to grow. She wanted her long hair back…now! (Did I mention redheads are impatient too??) So she asked her magical hairdresser what she could do to get her long hair back sooner. The answer was obvious and not cheap if she was going to do it right. The only option: extensions.
With samples from her beautician, the sassy redhead thumbed through the options for her extensions. Colors, materials, grades, textures, the works. This Sassinista decided these were going to be an investment, something she would utilize for years to come, so she wanted the best of the best. She had worked hard for the money she was going to use to buy them, so the decision was hers: another pair of Manolo Blahniks that she’d wear only twice a year… or gorgeous long, red hair that would lift her spirits daily. The decision was easy. Hair it was.
Two weeks later and five sets of real hair auburn red extensions in hand, this sassy girl–moi!–got the hair she had always wanted. It was long, bright and soft, and it felt like it was made just for me. I was in tears, so happy that I had my long hair back…and then some. But now I was faced with a new challenge: keeping my new hair looking fresh and natural. With the proper instructions and the right products, I actually have found this to be very easy!
So what are some necessary items to keep my new long hair investment looking and feeling fresh, natural and healthy? Check these items out:
pure BLENDS Color Depositing Shampoo – This shampoo is part of the pure blends fade prevention and color correction system. The shampoos come in a variety of shades so you can create the tone that you like best and keeps your natural or enhanced color looking bright in between trips to the salon. It is sulfate & sodium chloride free, created with an herbal blend, plus is keratin and collagen infused to create a hydrating formula that will eliminate color fade and color washout. I use a combination of two parts Red and one part Marigold to give me the bright red I love with a hint of copper. The pigments are strong, the scent is appealing and the color is perfect to keep my hair blended perfectly with my extensions! A fab find for my hair. (Check salons in your area poor ones that sell the pure Blends line.)
Roux Color Refresh Mask– If you are finding that you need a major “oomph” in your color that your shampoo can’t keep up with, this is a great way to get a mini blast of temporary color that can hold you over in between freshen-up dye jobs. This product is sold in a packet with a reclosable tab so you can get almost two uses out of a packet. Follow the directions exactly for the best results, especially about timing how long to leave it on. Although the color selection is very limited (only four!) I have found that by mixing the Fire Red with some of the Light Beige Blonde gives me the shade for me. This with the pigmented shampoo really keeps the frenzied fading reds in line! (Sally Beauty, $3.99)
Miracle 7 Leave-in Mist For Extensions – When I got my new hair, the one thing I was told was, before I combed it with a wide-tooth comb, to spray it with a healthy detangling spray. This one is just for extensions and is great. It helps to reduce static electricity, frizz and tangling while helping to blend your natural hair with the extensions. It also protects against UV damage which can cause fading and increase a natural looking shine. This is a must use for me every morning and every night before my routine comb out. (Sally Beauty, $13.99)
The Wet Brush – Okay, ever since I started really taking pride in my hair and its health, I knew that the ultimate no-no was to brush your hair wet. It pulled, it broke damaged strands off, and it weakened even healthy ones. The Wet Brush does help reduce that, but I’m still a wide tooth comb after washing girl however. What I do love about The Wet Brush is that it is super gentle on my natural hair and extensions when they need a brush fluffing. The tips are super soft and the bristles are über pliable so the hair–real or extensions–aren’t pulled, tugged, or ripped out. A super gentle brush to give your hair body and shine. (Sally Beauty, $8.99)
Paul Mitchell “Hold Me Tight” Hair Spray – Some hairsprays I think are in a competition to see who can hold your style the best in the middle of a hurricane. I’ve used “solid hold” sprays that actually held my hair in place because it turned my hair solid! With my new extensions, I needed a spray with a light, manageable hold with flexible control while still locking in moisture and shine. I’ve had many sprays over the years on my bathroom counter, but to keep my hair in place, maintaining a natural look, without causing buildup or dryness…this is my one and only, go-to spray! (Target, $17.99)
There you have it–the story of the redhead, the disaster and the extensions. Although I am sad that I had to “buy” myself long hair again, I have to say, at the present time, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. It’s an investment, no doubt. An investment in yourself. But just like a house is an investment, you do what you need to do to keep it looking its best. And if you do?…it will hold its value for a long, long time. Which is exactly what I plan to do with my “new” accessory!