A New Me for the New Year!

December 31st, 2010


I grew up somewhere between punk and new wave. This means we did crazy things to our hair. Before tattoos and body piercing, hair was a canvas for expression, fashion or rebellion; we colored it, shaved it, drew lines in it… you get the picture. As I contemplated a fresh look for the New Year, I knew I wanted the fun of the old days and not to take my hair so seriously. As a mother and business owner, I also needed a style that would last 4 or 5 days once I had styled it – meaning I’d use product, set it, curl it or whatever… get it looking good and then maintain that look between washing.

My Challenge: What can I do that will be flattering, age appropriate, manageable, and the opposite of what I currently have?

The Solution: Go shorter and add texture with a perm!

The Process: First Gail cut my hair, after I showed her photos of stylist I liked. A few days later, Samantha gave me a perm. Both Gail and Samantha were extremely supportive in this process and let me provide lots of direction. (I can’t help myself from directing! That is why I am so empathetic to clients with similar personalities.)

For the perm, I chose to go the tough route – air neutralizing. This means I actually walked the streets of S.F. with perm rods in my hair, got in my car, and drove home. I then proceeded to try and sleep, though not very successfully. I got 2 hours of sleep at most. The next morning I removed the rods myself. Although this is a time-consuming and un-pretty process to get a perm, your hair is a lot less damaged and the curl formation is better. I had decided from the beginning that if I was going to do a perm, I was going to go all out.

After removing the rods, I had a pretty intense fro for a few days until I washed my hair. Then I started snipping… a little here and there every night for a week. (Yes, I am one of those, too.) Finally, it got to the point where John had to re-cut my hair. And at this point, I was really starting to like what was taking shape, but I decided that the curl formation needed a little help. The next morning, I washed my hair and air dried it for about 30 minutes. Then I took about 10 minutes to pin curl my hair. Once it was all pinned, I drove to work and worked in pin curls for about an hour (some of my clients thought this was my look). Finally, I took the pins out, and voila! My hair had great loopy, uneven curls with crazy direction. I did nothing to it for 4 days, and it got even better as time went on.

Follow-up: So here it is a couple weeks later and I have to say I’ve gotten a few questioning looks. But, since I’m resourceful and am willing to try new things… I have enjoyed this new curly, girly look of mine! I have also enjoyed teaching my clients how to do pin curls. Since I have had my new ‘do, at least 1-2 clients a day ask me to show them how to do the same to their hair. All the attention has doen wonders for my confidence, and I feel like I am on my way to trying many more shapes, textures and colors. Go ahead and try your own new adventure in hair, it the most fun I’ve had in years!

Happy New Year!
Melissa Ryan

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