Telling My Story

In hindsight I never stood a chance. Both my mother and father are both professionally diagnosed with a lovely array of neurosis. There was no way I would come out unscathed by the amount of mental illness that runs within both sides of my family.  Back that up with being raised in a time when mental health wasn’t even a blip on the radar.  My generation still had the old school views of “suck it up”, “the kids just hyper”, “they’re just a bad seed”.  Serious problems were blamed on puberty, hormones, etc. I don’t even really remember how I first brought my depression/anxiety to my PCP, but i think it began with my fathers bi-polar II diagnosis…

I remember being prescribed multiple anti depressants with horrific side effects. Weight gain, mania, self harming thoughts, people harming thoughts, insomnia,  just to name a few. My PCP was less that supportive and i was tired of swallowing pills with terrible reactions. I closed that door, so did my practitioner.  Nothing was ever addressed again. I simply thought this is just how it is. After all, Xanax was the equivalent to a tic tac and opioids were prescribed to everyone. Maybe this was just life?

Now, I try to look back as far as I can. Why do I hate the holidays? Why do I hate winter? Did something happen?  I was always sick in December. I always remember being sad. Being removed. Being more self destructive during those late fall/winter months. Drinking excessively was the norm and pretty much the only way I was leaving the house (not to mention alcohol is so commercialized and normal no one would have ever noticed the issue then). That’s the funny thing about re-occurring cycles, I don’t think you really notice how frequent/timing until it’s been quite a while Almost 15 years later I’m realizing the big pattern. My wife pointed it out to me that for most of my life I lived in survival mode. My father was incredibly abusive to my mother, myself, our pets, our home… basically anything he came into contact with. My mother suffered debilitating depression and she truly managed everything in the best way she knew how. I now love and admire her for how she was able to truly survive her illness and protect me at the same time.  Sadly, the damage was being done and the foundation was laid and this is where i have been for many, many years… in survival mode.

Being in a healthy and safe relationship has allowed me to recognize patterns and behaviors that are still keeping me in a state of survival mode. I simply thought everyone suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety. But what I didn’t realize was that it isn’t normal to lay in bed and sob for no reason for days or weeks. It’s not normal to have rolling anxiety attacks. It is not normal to have panic attacks that render you helpless and exhausted. It isn’t proper to purposefully isolate myself, be as mean and ruthless as possible just to push people away because the only emotions I could process are anger and happiness because those were two acceptable emotions for you to express as a child/adolescent.

In the past year, I have had two (what I would consider) bad episodes. Maybe even the worst simply because of where I am in my life. Until this past year, I blamed a lot of the episodes on seasonal depression, toxic relationships, poor stress management, etc. Bad relationships with people who only triggered and mocked my mental health. Prescription drugs and alcohol. Financial stress. Family dysfunction. NOT A SINGLE ONE of these issues plagued me this year. As a matter of fact, my life has been pretty phenomenal the last 4 years. Better every year to be exact…. except when it came to my mental health.

Apparently this is/was hard for most people to believe. Whenever I would open up to anyone the first question is always “how are you and crystal?” Honestly this pissed me off more than anything. I thought “how dare you”.  How obtuse, how ignorant. I despised that people are so quick to project their own issues with their relationships onto our relationship. Anyone who gave a damn to pay attention to how my wife and I interact would know that’s impossible. Hell, you don’t even need eyes to feel the love we have for one another. I know most people don’t believe how perfect my life truly is. And this is exactly why I am choosing to write about this. Not because I want anyone’s sympathy or attention. If you know me these are the last two things I want from ANYONE. I don’t like attention. I don’t like emotions. But it upsets me so much that people (including myself) don’t realize that you can be “strong” and suffer from mental illness. You can just be anxious. You can experience depression.  I’m not saying for no reason, typically it’s latent unresolved trauma and/or chemical imbalances but it’s not always the spouse, or the kids, or someone’s job… My wife is nothing but supportive. We have an amazing life filled with more than I ever imagined I’d have. So what the fuck is my problem? I know what my problems are and they aren’t big enough to cause this. Is there really something “wrong” with me? I will not lie, it’s been hard for me to deal with but I am sorting things out. And they’re for me to deal with along with my medical care team and therapist. But what I realized is I am not alone. And it makes me so sad to think of other people who have felt and feel the way I do/did.

If you have ever been so depressed you just wanted to disappear you’ll understand some of what I am talking about. I’m not talking necessarily about actually taking your own life… but just literally wanting to disappear because you think everyone around you would be better without having to deal your shit (and yes I’m aware this still counts as suicidal thoughts). To ME it feels a little like this… I’m so anxious about leaving the house I would rather rip my skin off I know it seems extreme but there is so much happening so fast in my mind that I spin out of control and I want to come out of my body. My head and chest are so full of this creepy crawling feeling that I want to just explode in public just to get away or out of a situation. When my friends/family take my “bad attitude” personally but in all reality I am scared to death and I am in pure panic and I am only trying to deflect everyone from my general direction because I don’t want anyone to see me like this or I am scared of how I may lash out— the point is you’ll never understand if you haven’t suffered from mental illness.

Maybe you’re asking yourself why share this if you don’t want attention? I like helping people. I want people to feel okay with themselves. Shit, I would like people to understand me better. On the outside people say I look happy, confident, secure, maybe even intimidating. I’m sure people think I’m a bitch as well (admittedly i can be). Point is, these aren’t traits of a depressed person. A lot of the time I don’t even know I’m headed in this downward spiral until it’s too late. One minute I’m on cloud 9 then I’m falling down this endless pit. It just happens.

For the past two years I have had more bad (mental) times than good. I recently chose to leave a very successful job of 5 years. My mental health was deteriorating and it became painfully obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic that I did not want to return to this place. Full disclosure… I had been considering leaving for 2 years. I just didn’t know what to do. I had promised myself that I would NEVER change jobs again. What did I learn from this? Never say never.

****Side note: I didn’t even want to give the satisfaction of even addressing rumors but since there’s so many out there floating around I may as well give MY version of MY reality and what was happening to ME.  NO ONE “made” me leave, NO ONE influenced me to leave, NO ONE “took me with them” and if you want to talk about a “ring leader” let me be the one to tell you I lead my own ring over here so lets just cut that shit out immediately.

I considered changing careers. I considered moving away to start over. I really didn’t know what to do. Having written the original draft of this on a late night/early morning in January I still had no clue what was going to happen for me. I had recently been given the opportunity to become an independent educator and that was giving me vital energy to push forward. I had previously applied to be an educator and couldn’t accept the position because I was no longer working with this brand in salon. So when this opportunity presented itself I was so happy. When this new opportunity became peppered with greed, jealousy, rumor, miscommunication and hatred I realized so many things that I just could not look past or continue to be a part of. Then COVID hit. Everything came to a screeching halt. During the time off I didn’t even want to think about my career. I was so over hair and anything related to it. The several weeks off were everything I needed and I won’t lie, I LOVED quarantine! I was being optimistic in thinking that I would be off work through the summer so when the governor announced we could return to work in 2 week time I was devastated to say the least. I missed all of my clients and friends but I couldn’t shake the physical and mental symptoms that plagued me. It was a very quick decision to leave but that decision left me feeling free and happier than I had been in a while. I knew I made the right decision instantly.

So there it is folks. Yes it helps me talk about my mental health struggles, but I also want to help other people feel not so alone. Because I feel alone but I know I am not. I’m grateful for therapy. I’m grateful for phenomenal friends that are there for me whenever I need them (which isn’t often but I know you’re there) and my wife– to whom a thank you doesn’t even come close to being enough. I can’t imagine how people struggle without a support system.

I also needed to take this time to lightly tell my story. A job is a JOB. Yes you need to love what you do. But you also need to love where you do what you love. You are allowed to change careers or jobs. You don’t owe any employer anything but the respect they show you. You aren’t their property or possession. And you are allowed to make decisions that put you, your family, your mental health first. You aren’t “fucked up” or “ungrateful” for changing jobs either. I think living in a small town makes this concept a little more foreign but contrary to the “popular” belief most people change jobs, positions, careers multiple times in their life. It’s also okay if you commit your life to a singular job. Both are your choice and should never be up for scrutiny or debate from others. In fact, if you are trash talking because someone made a career change maybe it’s you that needs it? Maybe you’re jealous? Maybe you are just that miserable that you have nothing better to do but gossip?

So that’s my little story. I hope this gives someone else the courage to seek help, the desire to improve their life, the support to make a big change or the courage to tell their story. I also hope this makes society realize that people suffering from mental illness need support. It is NOT just their mindset, it is NOT their perspective, they don’t need to just cheer up. STOP trying to shrink or invalidate our realities. It is NOT always an external source causing a problem either. After all mental illness is usually some form of chemical imbalance, neurological issue, cognitive/behavioral issue or a delightful combination of things. If someone you know is battling mental illness check on them! Ask them how you can help. Sometimes we don’t want to take the help but just knowing we are on the minds of others can be enough to give you a much needed re-direct.  Let them know you care and respect their boundaries. Some people may be very open (like myself) while others may choose to remain quiet about their struggles.  I hope this insights satiates you curiosity. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think people would want to read this blog just to find some juicy tid bit of drama or gossip pertaining to my recent career move. I hope that if you came for a shallow reason that you are leaving with a deeper understanding. Thank you for you time.

Show Your Stylist Some Love

Finding a stylist you love and trust is a lot like finding a partner.  There’s a vibe. There’s chemistry. Face it… it’s a relationship. So when you find your person, how can you ever repay them for all the happiness and satisfaction they bring you? 

1) Referrals, reviews, recommendations.  Stop. Before you read any further, if you love your stylist you should be following them on ALL social media platforms. And if you really love their work, feel free to re-post. The power of social media is everything!!! Facebook, Instagram, Yelp… even going to the stylists web-page and writing a review is an amazing way to share your personal thoughts, experiences and feelings. Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful referring tools. If you love your stylist, please share us!  We won’t get too busy and forget about you! Too many times I have heard clients say, “I’m keeping you my secret,” for fear that their stylist will become too busy. Please remember this is our livelihood and your personal recommendation means EVERYTHING to us. Many salons even offer referral programs to express their gratitude. So please take the time to write about your experiences and share your thoughts! 

2) Stop buying products outside of the salon. Many clients aren’t aware that we, as stylists, are always learning.  We need continuing education hours (CE hours) to keep our license current and us legal. What does this have to do with buying products? Well, for instance, at Legal Hair we carry Redken, Pureology, and Eminencé product lines. 


When you purchase these PROFESSIONAL ONLY products directly from the salon, you help us to accrue points which enables us to receive the best and most current training from the top educators.  I am proud to say that I am able to get FREE education, because our companies value us that much.

However, when we take the time to tell you about a product, or show you what we would recommend for your best outcome, and you buy it online or from a chain store (or worse, from a drugstore that isn’t legally allowed to retail the products but they do anyway) you are hurting your stylist/salon that you love so much. Now I know some department stores offer discounts and point systems, but please don’t let that sway you. Remember that your stylist knows you and has the latest information about the products. And again, we appreciate it more than you’ll ever know when you choose to support us! 

3) Pre-booking.  It may not always be easy with scheduling, but it is so amazing to know we get to see you again! It helps ensure you have an appointment when you want and need it, and it is such a confidence booster to your stylist. It’s an amazing feeling to know my guest believes in me so much that they want the be sure to get back into my chair every 4, 6, 8 weeks because they trust me to make them look their best. 

4) Tell the truth.  Telling a white lie to save someone’s feelings has never helped anyone. If we, as your stylists, do something unfavorable, please communicate! If we offend you, don’t perform to your standards, or if we aren’t communicating well, please speak up. Remember this is a relationship! When your partner is messing up, you call them out, right? Well, we are no different. It does you, nor your stylist, any justice to be dissatisfied with something and not speak up! We are all human and sometimes we can become just plain unmotivated.  Sometimes you speaking up can help us take a good hard look and fix ourselves. Trust me, we all need a reality check sometime!

I really hope you take the time to consider each of these ways to reach a new level of connection with your stylist. Communication is key. You helping us is a priceless way to say thank you and show your support! 

Honor Thy Stylist

By now most, if not all, of us have seen the funny memes, Facebook or YouTube videos showing “the worst clients” or “stylist pet peeves”. Honestly, they’re funny and I’d be lying (and so would every other stylist) if we didn’t admit we watch and think omg I’ve been there, I’ve had that person in my chair. 

After 11 years of doing hair there isn’t too much that can rattle me. You can be nasty, rude, indecisive, picky and I can shake that right off. The biggest gripe I have is that for the “no call/no show” guest. 

I could go on and on sharing personal experiences about the worst clients I’ve ever encountered or seen other stylist deal with but it’s much bigger than singling out those individuals. I have come to realize that people truly don’t understand what happens when you don’t show up.  And please believe this is something that is bigger than someone not showing up for their hair appointment.  It’s about being inconsiderate and not valuing someone else’s time. It’s about being selfish. 

To shed some light onto this I’d like to explain what happens when you make an appointment and simply don’t show up.  For this example I’m going to widen my scenario by not only using COMMISSION based stylists, but also, tattoo artists, makeup artists, photographers, free lance graphic designers or personal trainers (just to name a few commission based professions). These jobs, and many others, require the individual to make appointments (most of the time without deposits) with their prospective client in order to provide a service for which they will be paid for.  So when you make an appointment and don’t show up, we don’t get paid.  

What makes this worse for me personally is I always have a tendency to go straight to the worst case scenario. I immediately worry that they’ve gotten into an accident or are sick or something medically has gone wrong and I just don’t know about it.  Unfortunately all of these things have happened to me personally. In these instances there’s never a reason to be upset because it’s life–it happens!! I just want to make sure you are okay! Especially for stylists, when we see our guest every 4,6,8 weeks and you don’t show up we know it’s unlike you and that’s alarming. 

But then there’s the other side… when someone consistently no show/no call, or calls 5 minutes before and cancels. Please understand that this leaves us with NO TIME to fill your appointment. It leaves us wondering what has happened.  And then it puts us into a position where we may have to resort to some measures that may cause some friction. What do i mean by friction? I mean you may be stopped from booking appointments with your stylist or the salon in general. You may be required to pay a deposit to book future appointments. 

I also understand a lot of people don’t realize there are still 100% commission based jobs out there. Meaning, no work, no pay.  I’m here to tell you these jobs exist.  I don’t know many stylists who actually get paid hourly. So please consider this when you are thinking about blowing off your 2pm blowout because it’s nice and you want to go outside. 

The moral of the story here, please be considerate. If you are sick, call! No one will be upset that you’re cancelling. We will want you to rest up and get better. We will also be very happy you wanted to keep your germs to yourself haha.  If you don’t have it in your budget, please call! No one needs to know that’s why. A simple call to cancel with no explanation is just fine.  When asked if you want to reschedule just say you’ll call at a later date. If it’s a beautiful day and you just don’t want to sit inside, CALL!  (On the flip side to this scenario, don’t be upset if you cancel last minute to enjoy the beautiful weather and you cannot be rescheduled for several weeks.)   

Toning Shampoos: A Personal Testimony

If you haven’t heard about “purple shampoo” or “color depositing shampoo” by now you may be living under a rock. While color depositing shampoos have been around for decades, it is gaining a whole new respect.

Previously, the purple/silver/blue products were used on those with white or very grey hair to keep the unwanted yellow tones out of their hair from environmental pollutants. There were also commonly shampoos for red deposit and dark tones for brunettes.  More recently, it has been reinvented with the surge of interested in “over-toned” hair that is silver, fashion colors, or an extreme cooled blonde as well as the addition for all natural hair color.

For the past several weeks my wife (who is blonde) and myself have been experimenting with several different brands and tones to see what brands we prefer and the effect these different lines have.  It has been especially interesting to try on myself due to the fact that my hair is light but “red.” I prefer the gold, copper, and orange tones so it was really visible in my hair to see the effect of the shampoos.

This wasn’t my first rodeo with the color depositing shampoos. I have used some in previous years when I actually had blonde hair. They have come a long way in just a few short years. It seems like almost every major line has some type of “blonde shampoo” or a specific “color correcting” shampoo. The tonal deposit ranges from nearly nothing to extreme. So extreme that, if you have light enough hair and you want to experiment with a true temporary color (i.e. pink, blue, etc.) you can with just a simple shampoo.

The lightest tonal deposits came from brands like Pureology, Redken, Goldwell, and Sexy Hair. Not that I don’t like these, they just did nothing to my hair. My hair was too warm to see any difference with the minimal tonal deposit contained in these shampoos/conditioners. Now, on someone with lighter hair, it was evident that there was some cooling effect on hair with only minimal yellow tones to cancel (which  make sense seeing that purple does not correct orange/brassy tones).

What I consider to be the mid-range in tonal deposit were the Matrix,  Framar “color lover” shampoo, TIGI, Pravana, and Clairol “shimmer lights.” These had a softening effect on my color and made a huge difference on my wife’s hair. With prolonged exposure (repeated washing or longer deposit duration) her hair was noticeably brighter, or even silver-toned.

The most tonal deposit came from the Celeb Luxury lines: VIRAL and Gem Lites.  I will also add that with the Framar “color lover” and the Matrix “so silver” and “brass off,”  if these shampoos were left on in excess of 2 minutes their toning power became much more potent. Back to the Celeb Luxury… These shampoos are crazy! They have two sub-lines. One is designed for the fashion colors such as green, pink, red, purple, yellow, just to name a few. The Gem Lites sub-line was more suited for natural colors. It was nice to see that you were able to deposit for all shades of blonde (warm and cool) as well as brunette, and red. They left the hair very shiny. I personally really liked the ginger/orange red depositing shampoo. It was marketed for strawberry blonde tones and it was right on target. I did personally try two VIRAL shampoos as well. I used the light pink in my hair to try to replicate a “rose gold” color. It worked. And it worked well. Crystal tried the lavender, purple and silver. All of which made her hair those colors. Within two washes all the tone was gone.

So what’s the catch? Well, here’s my opinion. All of these shampoos have something in common. They are depositing a superficial pigment into your hair. This means there is a layer of substance sitting on the outside of your hair’s cuticle layer. In my, and my wife’s experiences we weren’t in love with the way out hair felt after using these shampoos. Some were so minimal it was barely noticeable (Matrix, Pureology, Redken, Goldwell). While other were apparent (clairol “shimmer lights”,  Color lover, Celeb Luxury “VIRAL” and “Gem Lites”). It was nice to play with color but I did not like how my hair had an obvious feeling of residue. It doesn’t bother most people but I am a person who doesn’t like ANY product feel to my hair, so I am especially sensitive to it. I have talked with many other people and some of the more extreme shampoos don’t even bother them.

Conclusion, I think these shampoos are an amazing way to maintain the color of your hair or to play with a fashion color without to full commitment. I think that a color depositing shampoo should be in every blondes shower. I’m going to say that again. I THINK A TONING PRODUCT SHOULD BE IN EVERY BLONDES SHOWER. They are worth it when it comes to maintaining the vibrancy, tone, gloss, pigment, brightness, whatever you want to call it of a blondes hair. They don’t need to be used every single day, but can be, and they help rid your hair of unwanted yellow or brassy tones. To me that’s a win!

Hair & Skin Summer 2017: 3 Easy Ways To Stay Beautiful

It’s finally summer, and we all know it’s time to sun ourselves and show some skin!  But what does his mean to our skin and hair? TORTURE!!! The sun is not your hair or skins friend, it’s the exact opposite, the enemy.

But, fear not! I’m here give you 3 tips on how you can keep your hair (color) and skin looking amazing while you enjoy the summer months!

1)  SPF.

It’s in everything these days… body lotions, skincare, even hair products. I too often hear people purposely neglect using SPF because they “want to get a tan,” but in reality you can still get a tan with SPF. Anything over 50 SPF serves no extra purpose, and you can use something as low as 12 SPF and still protect your skin and get some glow. The goal is not to burn.  If you’re burning, you’re causing serious damage. 

As for your hair (color) you’re drying it out! Especially if you have chemically treated hair, this is a no go! Ladies and gentleman get a hat and a hair care product with SPF and protect that investment.  If you spend serious cash on a color you love, please keep it away from the sun (this includes a tanning bed).


It’s always a good idea, but you especially want to keep your skin glowing and in tip too shape in the summer.  You’re going to be bearing some more skin so make sure you invest in something good for your body and face to help you skin shed that old skin.  Check your ingredients and stay away from anything with unnatural fragrance, alcohol or ethanol. 


Now that you’ve got that summer glow, let’s keep it! Body lotions and oils are going to be your best friend.!  You want to keep your thirsty skin hydrated from the sun exposure.  Chlorine and salt water will also dry your skin out. Have you ever noticed someone having an amazing sheen to their skin? It’s probably a body oil!

My personal favorite is the Eminence Apricot Body Oil.  It’s helped me keep my tan from May. If you know me, I am translucent and my tan is everyone else’s natural skin color. The trick to body oil is you want to make sure the ingredients are natural and are for your skin.  NO BABY OIL as it is a mineral oil and can clog pores!

Let’s pretend you have spent a little too much time in the sun, make sure you slather yourself in moisturizers AND hydrators!! I’m in love with Eminence Stone Crop Hydrating Mist! This will help reduce redness and hopefully help keep you from peeling. It will also have you feeling refreshed!

In case you were wondering, here’s a list of a few of my favorite products to keep you covered!

1. Any Eminence SPF product (ex. Tomato Day Cream SPF 16, Tropical Vanilla Body Sunscreen SPF 32, Rosehip & Lemongrass Lip Balm SPF 15) or Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

2. Pear & Green Apple Sugar Scrub for an exfoliant or if you’re in a pinch or can’t buy a product simply mix high quality olive oil and a coarse grain salt

3. Body moisturizer I suggest Cetaphil moisturizing lotions due to it’s hypoallergenic and gentle qualities or Eminence Apricot Body Oil & Eminence Stone Crop Body Lotion

4. Hair care, you’re going to need to invest in a cheap yet effective conditioner if you are a frequent swimmer. Any cheap conditioner will do. Make sure to rinse your hair with fresh water after swimming and comb through the conditioner of your choosing.  If you’re looking to try an SPF take a look at a number of leave in products from companies like Wella, Bumble&Bumble, and Clarins just to name a few. Nioxin also has specific treatments for scalp and hair protection. All Pureology products contain an “anti-fade” complex which will help protect your hair color as well as damage from the sun by containing sunflower seed cake oil! (plus Pureology in vegan–YAY)

5 Steps to Healthier, Longer Hair

1. Be nice to your scalp.

A healthy scalp = healthy hair. When you do shampoo your hair make sure you really scrub your scalp. Be mindful to get all excess skin and product off! Many product companies have specific products for “scalp detox” or even “scalp exfoliants”. If you help to create a healthy base environment, you ensure your hair can grow freely and strong. 

2. Brush your hair.

I mean really get in there! Brush your scalp! Use a soft tip bristle brush to remove loose skin residue, product, debris from your scalp. Brush your hair multiple times a week to remove all the hair you are shedding (you lose approx 100 hairs per day) so that new hair has room to grow in!

3. Treatments galore!

You already know I’m a treatment junkie, but there are specific treatments for long hair.  Length primers, split end mending, end bonding (whatever you want to call it) are specialized products that seal the oldest and weakest lengths of the hair so that they can hold on and stay long! 

4. Just a “dusting.”

Just because you have long hair does not, I repeat, DOES NOT, mean you shouldn’t have some type of cut maintenance routine.  This doesn’t mean you have to cut the end length of your hair BUT have your stylist make sure the split ends are removed from your hair. 

If you don’t cut off your split ends your hair WILL continue to split up itself. Even if this means you need to just “dust” the ends from time to time. I promise you will be happier with thick, full long hair over “witchy,” scraggly ends. 

5. Less ponies, more braids.

Goodbye pony tail! Ever notice all the breakage around your ponytail line? That’s because we have a tendency to consistently pull our hair up at the same spot causing breakage! So here are some solutions:  try a gentle loose braid, a soft bun (break out those 90s scrunchies) or even a claw clip.  The harsh tension of an elastic can you sabotaging your length.

So I Guess I’m Doing Hair Now…

I never actually had any intention of becoming a cosmetologist.  For as far back as I can remember, I wanted to do something with animals. When I was applying to colleges I was applying for biology or equine sciences (horses).  So, when I ended up in cosmetology school, I have to believe that it was divine intervention.

It was a week before the deadline to submit my deposit at Bethany College. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was more than excited to be accepted into their equine sciences program, but I just couldn’t bring myself to submit that paperwork. I found myself not eligible for grants, and my parents weren’t going to be in any position to help me financially. The idea of taking out tens of thousands of dollars for a student loan made me sick to my stomach. So, I scratched that idea. I decided to take the next year off and work instead.

I had taken college classes my senior year of high school, and there was really nothing else that interested me. I thought that if I worked maybe I could find some clarity and figure it all out. I worked a retail job and was a lifeguard at a local pool in the summer. I was quickly hooked on having an income. I couldn’t imagine not having my own money after this. I was approached about corporate positions through the company I was working for, but the idea of an office job wasn’t that interesting and the idea of relocating wasn’t something I wanted to do at the time. I started looking for another job. One day, while shopping, I saw a woman my mom had previously worked for. She owned a salon. I remember growing up around the salon. It was always a fun and interesting environment. She told me to stop in and fill out an application.

I went the next day to fill out an application and had an interview. I was hired with one stipulation: go to cosmetology school. Now, I’ll be honest. I HATE SCHOOL. I love learning. I DESPISE SCHOOL. And after working for the past year, I was not looking forward to going… but I went. It was terrible. If it were not for working in a salon I would have never went to cosmetology school.

And I actually didn’t finish. I quit. But I continued to work for about another year or so and decided that maybe this wasn’t for me. I was being pressured to go back to school and finish (because it’s illegal to work as an apprentice/cosmetologist without a license), but I was in no mood to deal with school.

I ended up quitting my job and moving to Columbus, Ohio. I was serving tables and working retail again. I hated that too. I missed the creative outlet of doing hair. After about a year I moved back home to Steubenville.

I had to get it together. I went back to the salon. She was kind enough to offer me another chance as long as I went back to school and finished. I re-enrolled into school and finally completed the hours I needed.  To this date it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I had to go through something that I hated so terribly for something I wanted to do so badly.

Make-up was my first love. I loved to paint, draw, and color as a child, and I still do now. It all came so naturally to me. If it wasn’t for the direction of my first employer, I would have never finished.

I realized that this was an great career. One where I was able to meet so many people. I am able to be artistic and creative. I am able to think and do freely in an open environment, and it’s amazing. A lot of the people I met during my first job, I actually still know and/or have as current clients today. The bonds you create with people in this industry are unlike anything else.

Sometimes I wonder how differently things would’ve turned out had I decided to go to Bethany, but I’m always glad that I didn’t. Throughout all the ups and downs of my life in this career, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m where I need to and should be. I’m happy. I get to create every single day. I have met some of the most important people in my life as a Cosmetologist, and I can say with total confidence that I have the career I was destined for.


Unicorn hair, mermaid hair, holographic hair, whatever you want to call it is a trend that just can’t quit! BUT there are some things we have to talk about before you dive into this investment.  Yep, that’s right INVESTMENT. 

The color options are endless.

The patterns are only limited by your imagination.

Every color company has a “vivid” color line to quell your desires.

So what’s the hang up? Well, here may be several. I feel like we have reached a point in this trend where it’s very important to share some critical information about vivid, neon, pastel hair color.

1)  IT IS NOT PERMANENT.  It’s not even semi-permanent. It will not last forever.  In most cases it’s not going to even last a month. These colors are made by using “direct dyes”. These are large specialty pigment molecules that deposit a tone (color) onto the hair. This means it is very superficial. So many times I feel that my guests are let down because they love their color but after a few washes the colors have faded so much that it’s barely noticeable. This is a reality that you will have to accept if you want to go on this journey. You can extend the life of this color by washing less frequently, using the BEST quality products, and using less heat on your hair. 

2)  IT IS AN INVESTMENT.  You will be spending some money on your hair.  In some cases I have spend 6 hours lightening a guests hair multiple times to achieve the needed level of lift to allow their hair to become he canvas I need to deposit these colors.  This means an investment of your time and money. It also means investing in product!

3)  BATHROOM CLEANUP.  If you love your white towels don’t use them!  Your bathroom/shower, bed clothes, towels, and sometimes your clothing can become a casualty!  When you turn your hair magenta and then decide to get a sweat session on, your sweat then becomes pink. No lie, it’s happened to me.  My head was so sweaty the hair color left on my head/hair ran down my face and neck and the collar of my t-shirt was a nice purple color.  When you wash your hair some pigment will come out, and if you aren’t taking time and proper care to rinse your shower out, you may be left with a nice ring of whatever color your hair is.  And those poor towels… sigh…. time to get some dark colored towels haha. 

4)  MAINTENANCE.  What you are left with when all those colors fade is going to be some varied shade of blonde.  It’s not always pretty.  So you need to be mindful of this as well.  If you’ve made your whole head fire engine red, when it fades is probably going to be a nasty orange-yellow color. You may need need to pre-book weekly or even bi-weekly appointments to have your hair color refreshed in order to keep it looking nice. 

I personally have had every bright color imaginable.  I have put my hair through the ringer. I LOVE all of these hair color trends.  There’s nothing better than expressing your individuality with a custom vivid color. And I am by no means trying to talk anyone out of these colors. 

I have two clients in particular who only color their hair with these fun colors.  Their hair always looks amazing and fresh… but only because they play by the rules. It can and does work under the right circumstances.

So let’s sum this up. If you want to have the latest trend in vivid hair color then you must be willing to do your research, invest your time, invest your money, and play by the rules! Don’t be afraid to schedule consultations. In fact, I highly recommend, and in some situations insist, on having a sit down, face-to-face consultation.  I hope this doesn’t discourage anyone, but offers a more detailed breakdown as to what to expect!



Pureology Product Review

Why pureology? 

Anti-fade complex 

Bottles made of 50% recycled materials 

No sulfates in shampoos or conditioners 

Naturally derived plant extracts 

70+ shampoos per bottle (standard size) 

Okay enough of that… if you don’t already know, Pureology is the #1 color care specific product line.  It is a luxury hair care line and worth it! I’m going to be making this a series of reviews as I have now used all the Pureology lines carried at Legal Hair! 

Today I’m going to talk today specifically about the NEW hydrate “sheer” moisture shampoo, conditioner and air dry cream! 

The big difference between the hydrate and the hydrate sheer is the silicon free formula. What does this mean to you? It’s lighter weight and has a better feel. I personally prefer it to the regular hydrate. Although I have thick, boarder line coarse hair, I commonly find that products weigh my hair down too much. 

The hydrate sheer product line smells amazing!!! Although it has the same scent notes as the original hydrate I felt like it smelled lighter and more fresh. 

The slip of the product was so much better. It has a much more silkie feeling. The conditioner is much thinner than the original hydrate. I did notice it had better detangling qualities as I was able to finger comb my biggest problem areas with ease. 

The crown jewel of the product line (in my opinion) is the Air Dry Cream.   The genius behind this product is that is controls frizz, hydrates, and soothes dry hair without the need of blow dry or heat application. It left my hair SO INCREDIBLY SOFT. My wave/curl was left lightly yet perfectly contoured. My hair was not weighed down at all. The only “issue” I had was that my hair was almost too soft. Is that even such a thing? Even days after my hair maintained this softness. 

I have to give it up to this line. It is in the top 5 of my favorite shampoos and conditioners. And it’s 1 of the 2 favorites I have in the Pureology line.  

The Real on All the Fake

Fake lashes, fake lips, fake brows, fake cheeks, fake butt, fake everything!!! 

**I’m going to make one statement before I dive deep into this so I clear up any misconceptions of hypocrisy. Yes, I have Botox. Yes, I love my Botox. No, I have no other work done. No, I am not opposed to cosmetic enhancements. Yes, I think doctors are too eager to make everyone look like Kylie Jenner. (Rolling my eyes)**

The beauty industry continues to evolve and with that it has mixed with cosmetic procedures and or enhancements. You don’t like your ______?! We can fix that!! 

See, here’s my problem with all of this, 9/10 there’s nothing wrong with you!! But society makes it too easy to think you have flaws.  If your eyelashes aren’t long or thick enough you need to fix it. If you don’t look like you just got punched in your mouth you need to fix that. (Lol ok maybe that was harsh… but you get what I’m saying). What happened to being ok with what we have?! 

I’m not talking about being okay with wrinkles and age spots and alopecia. If you are aging or you’ve lost your lashes then by all means proceed! I’m talking about when you’re 22 and beautiful and you can’t accept who you are because you don’t look like Barbie. 

I have a huge secret for you young girls… YOU’RE NOT ALL GOING TO HAVE WAIST LONG HAIR FULL LIPS A BIG ASS, BOOBS, FLAWLESS SKIN AND LASHES THAT LOOK LIKE GODDAMN BUTTERFLY WINGS!! STOP!!  What makes you an individual is the fact that maybe your nose has a different shape.  Maybe your eyebrows are straight and you don’t have an arch. Maybe your hair is fine. Be okay with what you have. 

I feel like there needs to be some light shed on some of the most common procedures and enhancements. So along with this rant, I’m going to touch base on some of these things based on MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES or from me talking to professionals and close personal friends who are or have received these enhancements. 

Eyelash extensions… I’m starting here because I have so much to say! I am a certified NOVALash extensionist. No, I do not Lash anymore. No, I am not anti-Lash but I do believe there needs to be a lot of education on this subject. I attended a day long training course and became certified. I was told that there was little to no chance of allergic reaction but just like all cosmetics it was recommended to do a test Lash.  I began lashing immediately. I probably lashed about 4-5 people before I had mine done. I loved them. My lashes were never more beautiful. I felt amazing. I felt like I didn’t need makeup. It was GREAT! Let’s fast forward to later that night. I started itching. It kept getting worse.  So much so that I had to remove them with the adhesive remover. I felt instant relief. The next morning I woke up looking like I went 10 round in a boxing ring.  I was black and blue, swollen, weeping, oozing, and in serious pain. I contacted NOVALash and of course they were shocked and didn’t say it couldn’t be the lashes but seriously doubted it.  After a lot of my own personal research I found out I was experiencing a very severe reaction to the Lash adhesive. More specifically the formaldehyde (Yes, you read that correct. The same stuff they use to preserve bodies.) in the adhesive. So I chalked it up. No more lashes for me.  I continued to apply lashes and started to develops respiratory problems. It escalated so quickly that after applying lashes I would have to come home, apply an ice pack to my chest and take an inhaler.  I promptly quit after consulting with a nurse practitioner (NP). 

So why am I telling you this? Because I was NEVER Told any of this. Ever.  Not even in my training. I felt betrayed and mislead. Bottom line: not worth any of this. My advice to you is to do you research! Go to someone who has EXPERIENCE!! Not someone who just started 10 minutes ago. Ask to see a portfolio. Ask for client testimonials. Ask them about allergic reactions. If they deny this run for the hills because it is real!! You will get what you pay for. If you’re paying peanuts expect peanut results. Also, you CAN DAMAGE YOU NATURAL LASHES!!!  Just like improper care with hair extensions, you can have improper care and application with eyelash extensions and ruin your natural lashes. Not to mention eye infections, mites, and styes 😉 

Lip injections… so there’s a right way and a wrong way. A lot of doctors will totally violate the right way to give you the result you think you want and take your money. Do you want to look like Lisa Rinna?! I didn’t think so…  now, I totally support Kylie Jenner in her decision to get her lips done.  Here’s why: she had NONE!!  Sometimes she had them over filled.  Other times I think they look great. But here’s the catch. You’re going to have them re- injected approx every 3 months. There are more long term options but they are expensive. If you’re paying minimal there’s probably an issue. And if you’re going to a doctor or NP that is willing to inject whatever into your face in whatever amount you want there’s a problem and you need to run!! 

“Permanent makeup”/ microblading …  I have the least issue with this. It isn’t permanent. You will need to re touched in a few years so there’s not much risk there. What you do need to be aware of is what you are asking for. What technique best suits the look you are going for. Again you’re getting what you’re paying for.  Do your research. Ask to see a portfolio. ASK QUESTIONS! Don’t think that it’s ok to go to someone who went to a seminar and learned last week but what’s to charge you $750 to Microblade your brows. It is your personal responsibility to research and decide what you want and get educated by your technician! 

Fillers… if you’re under 35 and you’re getting filler (and you don’t have a serious reason ie. acne scarring, some disfigurement etc) you need to seek professional help in the way of counseling for your body issues. I don’t mean that in a mean way at all but you need to get your life together. Did I mention it’s expensive? You can over do this!! We all know what kris Jenner looks like when she gets her filler.  Do you want to look like this? No I didn’t think so. Fillers are meant to replace what natural again is taking from your skin. I think they are amazing when it’s appropriate. And trust and believe when I’m 40 I’ll be looking into it.  Could I get it now? Sure.  But I don’t need it. I don’t want to start this early and I do not need it! Aging is natural.  It’s going to happen and if you’re not ok with that then you need to find a way to get okay with it.  

Fake butts… this is gonna be short and sweet.  Not everyone is meant to have a big butt.  Get over it.  If your hamstring to butt ratio is off we ALL know it’s fake. You can spot a fake butt from a mile away I don’t care what anyone says. If you want a nice butt you better pick up the weights, PERIOD! 

Boob jobs… personally I’m a fan. If you’re doing this for you then god bless you.  If you’re doing it for attention, again, seek professional counseling. If you are under 25 you have no business  however if you’re going to get them DO IT RIGHT!!!!!! Again do your research. And you will get what you pay for. We’ve all seen bad breast augmentations. If you are interested see the best surgeon you can!! Again, educate yourself! 

I’m not here to “hate” on any of these things.  I’ve always said if I had the money I’d be doing some of these things too. But in all honesty you have to love yourself first.  Hold on, because I know most of you didn’t let that sink in… YOU HAVE TO LOVE YOURSELF FIRST.  We aren’t meant to look the same.  We aren’t all made to have perfect faces and breasts and bodies.  We are meant to age and get wrinkles and gravity will pull things down. You’re going to get spider veins.  You’re going to get age spots. You’re not going to have the same thick hair as your sister, cousin, best friend. But that is what makes us individuals. It’s alarming to me to see so many young girls look so eerily similar. It is okay to be different. 

The last intention I have upon writing this is to spread negativity or bad talk toward these procedures. I just want people to do their research. Go to the best person possible if you are going to have a procedure done. And maybe sit with yourself and really think about if it’s worth it to have that procedure done. Maybe you will be okay with yourself in time.  Maybe that procedure you wanted at 18 won’t be as important at 22. And maybe at 26 you’ll be thanking yourself that you didn’t get that procedure done, because you love what makes you different.