Essence of Beauty: Hair Break-Up/Co-Only

I’ve barely put away the Halloween candy and somehow, the holidays are nearly in full swing–my cousin just told me Christmas is only seven weeks away. It’s hard to believe. But that means gift giving–which means gift guides–and food–which means new recipes–and general holiday partying–which means outfit posts–so basically, you can expect to see much more of me much more often.

Anyway, my hair’s been through a lot this year–like when I did this–I dyed it myself a few times, then I got a Groupon for this salon that was literally a shack on the side of the road in Enfield, Conn. and she totally gave me the worst highlights ever; then I went to my friend Liz who had never colored my hair and she made me pretty and blonde again. Then, most recently, I thought it’d be cool to “sombre” (subtle ombre) my existing highlighted hair, so Liz bleached the ends and darkened my roots and made it sort of all blend together. Here’s the “sombre” look:

I'm about two years behind the trend, but @lizboghosian #ombre -d my hair today (finally!) #hair

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That was about six weeks ago. Meanwhile, I’ve been blowdrying and heat-styling the crap out of my hair, I got a trim about four weeks ago and I thought it helped, but combing my hair–wet or dry–the last four or five days had been a painful struggle, one that I didn’t really understand.

I’ve been doing a modified version of this method, called co-only, which is short for “conditioner only,” since the last time I got my hair done–so six weeks. I say “modified” because I only have wavy hair, which calls for an occasional shampoo here or there since our roots tend to get oilier than those with bonafide curls. The way it works is you apply conditioner to your ends first to protect them from getting ravaged by the shampoo, carefully massage shampoo into your roots and rinse everything, then re-condition the way you would with co-only. It helped. A lot. My hair has been healthier looking, shinier, my color (toner) lasted way longer than it would’ve even with a sulfate-free shampoo, and my hair was far more manageable…except for the ends, which were only getting moisture!

Here’s a picture of right after that hair cut 4-6 weeks ago:

Best friend pic! #RehearsalDinner #MechAndTrev

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What?! It was the bleach. I could barely get a comb through my straw-like ends, even after multiple conditions, detangling spray, coconut oil…I tried pretty much everything. And I blow-dried my hair twice last week–once for my Kate Middleton look for Halloween and a second time for my great uncle’s 90th birthday, let’s just say I’m glad I did my makeup after I was done crying trying to get a round brush through it.

My hair was probably not happy with all the work it took to achieve Kate Middleton’s “Chelsea” style blowout for Halloween:

The Dutchess of Cambridge is making a rare appearance in Springfield, Mass. today! #HappyHalloween #KateMiddleton #Costume

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So today, we broke up. Well, my ends and I did. I woke up this morning and promptly called Liz’s salon and made an appointment without telling her, then I bombarded her with pictures I’d screenshotted from Pinterest that morning of the “lob” hair cut (long bob). Apparently “everyone” is doing this cut right now, Liz told me, so obviously I needed it too, but I really just needed to get rid of three-or-so inches of the ends of my hair. So I did it. The last time my hair was this short was in 2012 and I cut it for color-related reasons too, but this time I wanted to chop it off, whereas last time I didn’t really have a choice unless I wanted to look like I had stuck a fork in an electrical socket.

And it’s refreshing. I had no anxiety when she was chopping away, in fact, we talked about going shorter, but I decided I’d wait to get used to this first. I feel like a new person, which is weird, but good since I’m trying to get rid of the weird negativity with some projects I’ve been working on that’s been weighing me down.

So sometimes a hair break-up can feel like a fresh start…and I’m especially excited to see how much better co-only works with my new shorter ‘do!’

Before and after:

First I had long hair, now I have a #lob courtesy of @lizboghosian! I needed a hair break-up for sure. Feels soooo good! #Hair #Fall

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If you’re in Western Mass, go see my girl Liz. Just go. Tell her I sent you.

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