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Monday, 25 May 2015

The Challenge: 365 Days Later.

The day finally came! I'll be honest, the year flew by faster than I could have imagined, and despite my wildest fears I still have a full head of hair, and healthy hair at that!

The year was full of moments of weakness, wanting to cut or colour my hair. Wanting to grow it out and wanting to cut it all off. Wanting to see my natural colour and wanting fiery shades of red or warm chocolate browns or the whitest blonde you've ever seen. But, alas, I made it. (As a side note I have a friend who is a hair-chameleon, I'll just continue living vicariously through her).

The below photos are from the 365th day of my journey. My hair was lifeless, but i'd managed to get six solid inches of growth and was really happy with the colour - colour I haven't seen in 12 years!!

The inverted bob grew out surprisingly well. Leaving me with jagged, but mostly single length hair. The coloured portion of my hair had become extremely brassy, so I was definitely ready for some fresh ends and colour. 

My dear friend Becky from Beauty by Bexx was up for the task of fixing my overgrown jungle hair. So, one year later, she stepped up to the plate, and hit it out of the park! Becky has a super intimate home salon. She studied at John Casablancas Institute in Vancouver and has now been practicing for one year. 

Becky was floored at how healthy my hair was, despite the year off from proper hair care. She was excited to get some fresh colour in, adding some foils only to the hair that was previously coloured, bringing it up a few levels and then toning it to a beautiful ashy colour. 

I think it's safe to say the results were stunning! A friend even remarked "I'd pin that!"

I'm sure many are wondering, would I go a year without a hair cut or colour again? And the answer is, yes! I don't know that I will, but I most certainly would. It's not for everyone. If you use heat everyday, or express yourself through your hair, then I wouldn't recommend it. But for me, it worked! It's not probable that I will go that long again, but I also don't think I will be a regular salon visitor, not so long as I am sporting a hair style or colour that doesn't require constant maintenance. 

Now I'm left to find a new goal... any suggestions??


Friday, 20 March 2015

The Challenge: Decisions, Decisions.

Last Friday I reached the ten month mark in my challenge to go one year with out cutting or dying my hair. It's made the frizzy, broken, dry hair that inhabits my head a little easier to bear, but it also came with a large dilemma. What do I do with my hair?

I've gone through some extremes during this journey. From wanting an incredibly vibrant red to convincing myself a pixie cut would look stunning... I've basically run the gauntlet. But now that the hour is nearly upon me, I just can't decide. So I'm asking for you help. Maybe you've read along from the beginning, maybe you've known me all my life, or maybe you've just started reading about my journey, but regardless you do have an opinion, and I want to hear it.

For this post I took some photos of my natural hair; unbrushed, air dried, natural. Have a look and then decide: what should I do with my hair? 

My hair has a lot of "attitude" - unruly waves and too much volume.

Leave me a comment here, or on Facebook. My next post will be after the cut: stay tuned!!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Challenge: The Final Stretch.

If this hair journey was a baseball diamond, I would be just putting my foot down on third base. Tomorrow, my journey is officially three months from being over!

Things have changed a lot in the last couple of months; some for the good, some less so.

First, the bad. Not two days after my last check in I burnt my hair. I wanted to have a relaxing bath, complete with wine, body scrub and candle and ended up with a singed pony tail. Luckily, the damage was minimal and completely unnoticeable - but it did cross my mind that I was going to have to cut my hair. And I'd really like to cut my hair...

But of course I didn't. My hair is currently growing like a weed, the new growth so incredibly healthy and wonderful. I am completely amazed at the difference between the coloured portion of my hair and the new growth. I think it's safe to say my next goal will be growing out all the colour in my hair. In the mean time, I've been deep conditioning at home and am hoping to have a deep conditioning treatment done in a salon soon. That way I get some pampering, and I still keep my goals.

Now that my hair has gotten longer, I've been able to try some fun new styles. I still use braids a lot. I find that they tastefully clean up those pieces that just aren't long enough. The high point below involves a french braid at the back of the head. It's a super fun way to jazz up a pony!

I'm thrilled I've nearly made it to the end! I've enjoyed my journey so far, but am in desperate need of a trim and some pampering! With only three months left, I'm starting to think of ideas for style, cut, and colour - what do you think?! Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Until next time,

xo A.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Challenge: It's All Downhill From Here.

I absolutely cannot believe how quickly the last six months have gone! I am already officially halfway done my year long challenge. It's all downhill from here! If you missed the first posts, have a look here!

Things are certainly getting more challenging. I'd love nothing more than to get a hair cut and a fresh colour (especially now that it's winter and I'm still sporting blonde locks). I did have a dear friend and fabulous stylist take a look at my hair a couple of weeks ago, however; and she said that I really only have about a centimetre that needs to be taken off! I'm hopeful that I will be able to retain most of the new length at the end of this all!

Day 44 compared with Day 184
Day 184
Fringe is almost fully grown out!
Aside from desiring a fresh cut, and healthy, happy locks again; I am having some serious hair envy this season. I am in love with the reds that are out this fall; here's to hoping the colours are back next year! As an aside, I am happy to finally (after about 12 years) see my natural hair colour again. I'm excited to see it grown in and see how it changes with the seasons.

Talk about hair envy! Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Until next month!

xo, A

Friday, 26 September 2014

Faith Filled Fridays: Where We Find Peace.

There's a lot that goes on in life. Lately, I've noticed it's becoming harder and harder to "keep up." From full time work, to relationships, volunteer work, holidays, events... it's easy to get caught up in the day to day. What's important is where we take refuge; where we find peace.

My husband and I have been talking a lot lately about seeing God in the "mundane." God is where we find our peace, but so often we think that means time spent in deliberate prayer, time spend in God's word, or in fellowship ONLY. Those acts are obedient, they are God filled and they do bring peace! But God is present in everything we do; and because He is there with us always, we can always find peace in Him. 

"The Lord with give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace." - Psalms 29:11

Whether I am making dinner for myself, taking the dog for a walk, or working on a tedious project I wish would come to an end, I can find God and the peace I have in Him. It's in the sun that shines on my shoulders, my puppy's adorable grin, the fact that I have a job, the knowledge that God gives us only what we can handle.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33

Life can get terribly overwhelming, but when we slow down, and refocus, we can see that God is in everything we do.

My prayer this day is that we would all step back, that we would find those details that God shows Himself to us in daily. That we would see the "ordinary" ways that God reaches us. Amen.

Have a great weekend!

xo, A

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Challenge: An Overdue Update, for an Overdue Mop.

Okay, okay. I will admit. Mop might be a little bit of an overstatement. My hair certainly isn't the picture of health, but I am happily surprised by how well its doing! I recently passed the fourth month mark; it's officially been 133 days since my last hair cut and colour!

If you missed the start of my personal challenge and am wondering what in the world I am doing going this long without any up keep, you can catch up here and here!

Finally! A pony tail!

Fringe is passing the awkward stage.

I've recently had to do a bit of an overhaul in the products department. The changing season and an increase in the use of heat tools left me in a bit of a dilemma. 

No 'Poo - No More

For the majority of the summer I rode out the no 'poo or minimal 'poo trend. I went well until I went camping in the desert for a week and ended up with the WORST dandruff of my life. I'm actually not sure that I ever had it before then. Needless to say as soon as I got home I purchased a bottle of Head & Shoulders and after the very first wash I was in love. For the last four (give or take) years I have used exclusively salon quality products and I can honestly say that with one exception this is by far my favourite. I have no itches, no flakes, my hair is shinny, I can go two days without having to rewash if I choose, I have just the right amount of body and it allows my natural curls to come out. I use the Smooth & Silky collection,  but they have a number of different ones to suit any hair needs.

Old Faithful

Marrakesh Oil. An absolute life saver. I had used Argon oil for a number of months, but found it too oily for my hair. I switched about two years ago and I could not be happier. It is the only hair product, tool or accessory that I NEED. It's a miracle worker, it soaks right in, and if I didn't know better I would swear it actually repairs my split ends. Darn near perfect.

The Missing Link

As I mentioned above, I've started using heat tools a lot more lately. Unfortunately, I still haven't found a heat protection spray that I like. I find they all create a ridiculous amount of build up. Up to this point I have tried mostly drug store brands. I am trying to stay away from water based products as they cause your hair to become frizzy and I have enough of that already! 

Do you have any suggestions? What do you use for heat protection?

**Note that I am in no way affiliated with any mentioned products**

Friday, 19 September 2014

Faith Filled Fridays: Patience, Prayer, Persistence.

If you haven't been following along it won't take you long to catch up, the first two posts are here and here

After making the initial decision and overcoming the fear that came with; all I could do was leave things to God. I knew that He would provide for me. For the first time in my journey with Him I felt truly free. It was liberating to leave it all to Him. Worries evaporated. 

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12

I prayed. I thanked. I was patient. I was persistent.

It was difficult. I was unsure of what God wanted me to do. But maybe that was just it; maybe I wasn't supposed to do anything.

On the final day of my employment with the company I was leaving I received a call. A job opportunity that I thought had come and past was on the other end of the line. An interview I never thought would happen, fell into my lap. It took more prayer. It took more patience. If God didn't want me to do anything, should I pass up the chance?

This was the first time that I had received an oportunity at a position that I studied for. I took the interview. Within 3 hours I had received a call back. My heart raced. My hands sweat. And still I prayed. 

I. Got. The. Job.

All my patience; not just in those few weeks, but in the last year. Working jobs that didn't fit my education. Volunteering to get the experience I needed. Working four years to receive my degree. It had all come through in one giant blessing. 

It's safe to say my prayer life has been forever changed. God is so good. He is so faithful. He desires us. He desires relationships and conversations with us.

My prayer this day is that we all would be diligent in prayer. That we would be in constant conversation with our Creator, telling him our fears, sharing our thanks. Knowing that He is consistent, never changing. Amen.

Have a blessed weekend friends!

xo, A.