Moments of Blondness
About a week or so ago I was having a friendly exchange with fellow blogger, Sanjana Soni, and before I go any further you have to check out her fabulous food blog at: feedingthesonis.com. At any rate, we got to talking about the word blond and I said (no offense to any blonds), “sometimes I act blond” (it’s probably more like frequently but that’s not the point). We were having a grand ole time and all the sudden the light bulb went off and I remembered that I forgot that I’m now blond, literally (see what I mean about how I act?)
Before the holidays I mentioned that I was going to do something drastic with my hair and then post pictures. I’m not quite sure how this got by me but today I’m posting the original pictures the day after my stylist (Bryan Hartman) worked his magic.
I had my hair cut extremely close to my scalp, straightened, then dyed blond. No stranger to short hair, this was the first time I had it cut this short but I wanted a very low maintenance doo and one completely alien to those of which I’ve become accustomed.
I’ve never kept the fact that I wore wigs off and on (more on than off) a secret. As a matter of fact I look at wigs like I do any other accessory and depending on my mood I could change hair styles with the blink of an eye. I was content with my wigs up until last year when I began going to Bryan to get my hair done.
Last month I did a post that featured Bryan (if you haven’t seen it you can view it HERE), and that we would be working together so that he could share his expertise with you. Since he is such a busy man I decided I would interview him during my hair appointment last week. Following is the first part of our conversation (I’ll post the second part next week).
By A Hair
Me: So tell me Bryan what drew you to hair styling?
Bryan: My mother (who went to beauty school when she was young) had me doing her hair and she said I had a talent so then she had me do all of her girlfriend’s hair. Then I started doing some of my friend’s hair from school.
Me: How old were you when you began doing your mother’s, her friend’s and your friend’s hair?
Me: Seriously? So you started doing your mother’s hair when you were 12?
Bryan: Sure I did. I even gave her perms.
Me: Wow, it’s amazing that at such a young age you had this natural gift for styling. So when did you go to school for formal training in styling hair?
Bryan: Initially I took cosmetology as an elective in high school but later dropped it when I was bullied for choosing this course. So I dropped cosmetology and ended up taking commercial baking and it wasn’t until I was inspired by a friend of mine that I then went to Pittsburgh Beauty Academy (PBA) at the age of 27.
Me: How long did you go to beauty school and was it there that you became a Paul Mitchell stylist?
Bryan: I went for 9 months and then another 3 months to get my teaching license. We had a teacher in school who swore by Paul Mitchell products and she would tell us it was such a great company and gave us all the benefits of why it was so great. But we continued using other products until there came a point when were thought “why not just use all the Paul Mitchell products as recommended. It was at a hair how where we heard this speaker talking about how a chemist formulates all these products for the different product lines to work with each other; “you use this one hairspray, this wrapping lotion and this shampoo and you don’t get the same results because they have different Ph balances.”
Me: I remember you recommending Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger products for my dry and damaged hair. So I did a little digging and found that Paul and co-founder, John Paul DeJoria created the self-sustaining, solar-powered, Paul Mitchell Awapuhi farm in Hawaii where awapuhi is still harvested for their products today. Can you tell me a little about awapuhi?
Bryan: Oh yes, I’ve been to the farm and if you saw a picture of the awapuhi flower it sort of looks like a pine cone. Hawaiian women are known for using the content of the awapuhi flower directly on their hair for shampooing. The majority of the ingredients in Paul Mitchell’s products are natural and another thing worth mentioning is they do not do animal testing.
Paul Mitchell creates products for hair texture not skin color. A lot of people think Paul Mitchell products are for white hair and that’s an untrue statement. Paul even said one time “the only thing black and white about our company is the bottle.”
Me: Interesting, I did not know that. So what is the difference in hair texture between a black and a white woman?
Bryan: The difference is in the way the hair grows. There is not a one that fits all for everybody, everyone has their own challenges and it’s up to the stylist to know what they’re doing. We are so intermixed in our culture today that we have many different textures and stylists have to know what they’re working with.
I don’t want to make anyone’s hair bone straight. I want to soften, relax and curl that’s the idea. Relax means just that, relax, and another misconception is that relaxers are only for black women and again it’s not true. It’s not a black or white thing. A Jheri curl is the equivalent to a perm that you would do on white textured hair, it’s the same chemical. The chemical they use is called ammonium thioglycolate which is used for curly perms. The first process for a Jheri curl is to change the hair, straighten it, then go back in and curl it.
Hair is hair it’s all keratin, a protein, the only thing that makes us different is the follicle hole.
Me: So hair is protein and it’s also dead correct?
Bryan: Yes, but it’s important to maintain it to keep it healthy and fresh. You know the hair grows in 3 stages (anagen, catagen, and telogen) so the hair is constantly replenishing itself. Everyone loses between 75 to 100 hairs a day.
Me: Yikes, so it’s like skin? As we shed old skin cells and regrow new ones.
Bryan: Yes, exactly, and like the bible says “a woman’s hair is her crown and glory.” This is why it’s important to take care of it.
Be sure to tune next week when Bryan talks about his approach to hair styling.
“Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.” ~Author Unknown