Are You Killing Your Hair This Summer? Stylist Tips To Save Your Hair

They say holding a seashell to your ear will give you the sound of ocean waves. Sometimes, though, if you get a few hair strands caught between, you will hear your hair screaming.

Or playing Lauren Hill’s “Killing me Softly.”

Because you’re killing your hair all summer.

Hair murders are convicted summer after summer. I’ve been a hair murderer, as have half of my clients. Often, stylists can tell the difference between broken hair caused by chemical damage, and broken hair caused by…TBD. Sometimes, it is self-inflicted. While many of my clients worry their dryness is caused by going lighter from the spring, a peek at their hair leads me to believe otherwise.

Most hair needs a trim by the end of the season, but let me share with you easy ways to keep your hair as intact as possible.

Ponytails can cause breakage. I know. How can you not have a ponytail in the pool? If you’re a consistent ponytail kind of girl, try mixing up the location on your head so the stress points on your hair varies. If you wear your wet hair up, it’s extra prone to breakage. Think about all that extra tension the weight of wet hair causes. Makes sense, right? Using metal-free ponytail holders can help, and consider a braid every once and a while. (Or, consider forgoing hair ties altogether and just flip your hair around like Ariel. She always had her hair down and flowing in all those oceanic currents, and she was fine, so IDK, maybe we’re all just high maintenance.)

Hats. They cover your hair. Need I say more?

Use leave in ANYTHING. THIS. IS. IMPORTANT. What would your skin be like if you used NOTHING to protect or hydrate it all summer? Chapped, in pain, maybe bleeding? Dry at best? Your hair is no exception! Protect it from the elements using even just ONE professional product. It can be a leave in conditioner, a serum, an aerosol shine spray, whatever! Having ANY barrier from heat/salt water/chlorine is better than none at all. Even if you don’t use a professional shampoo and conditioner, you absolutely need a leave-in product of choice…or don’t complain about your hair snapping off.

‘Cause it will.

Use a serum/leave in before brushing. Pool and beach hair can leave your hair more tangled than usual. Take your tiiiiiime to brush though your hair softly. Do you ever just rip through it really quickly? Stop doing that. Use a serum or leave in conditioner to add a little slip and make combing wet hair easier. Consider keeping a little travel size serum in your beach bag with a wide tooth comb.

Air dry your hair dry. Wait, should I have made this post a poem? I guess it’s too late for a hair haiku. Anyway, increased pool/beach activities and sweating generally leads to more frequent hair washing. Prevent further damage from styling by letting your hair air dry if possible. Or, just use a dry shampoo and don’t let your significant other tell you NOTHIN about personal hygiene.

Continue Reading

A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Trophy Wife-ing

My trophy wife data comes from observing a good handful of Las Vegas women who have forgotten they’re not Kardashians…

A COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO BECOMING A TROPHY WIFE

Regardless of your social media platform of choice, avoid taking selfies without Snapchat filters. Use only the dog or flower crown filter lest you should reveal your age (and pores).

If your Starbucks order is not to your liking, or if the drive-thru employee put the order label over the cup’s logo AGAIN, thus ruining above mentioned selfie with your drink, address the issue. Let your complaints fly off of your lips with the same sharpness as the needle that has just injected them. If that sounds harsh, you’re better suited to hang out with the soccer moms, not the trophy wives.

Make an effort not to furrow your brows in your Starbucks scolding. Never show signs of emotion, specifically on your face. Trophy wives everywhere look to Victoria Beckham for inspiration. Not only will this impassiveness keep you mysterious, it will also prevent you from draining your Tom Ford fund on Botox. A few more laugh lines and you’ll be shopping at The Rack.

Although some may interpret this unexpressive attitude as heartlessness, it’s better than being considered sweet. Trophy wives should never like anything sweet, unless it’s the agave-based dressing on sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic kale. Anything made without this sugar substitute will later be carved off by a surgeon.

In the rare and unfortunate event that this should happen, clothe yourself in as much Lululemon as possible to distract eyes from any healing scars. Better yet, accessorize your Lululemon with jewelry, preferably something with a giant designer logo. Sparkly Chanel logos are best. This is a typical trophy wife defensive maneuver used to blind those that seek proof of plasticity.

Plus, nothing says, “I work out hard,” like Lululemon and Bvlgari jewels.

Below, trophy wife fail. Fail fail fail.

Continue Reading

The Skinny on Microblading from a Squeamish Someone

First, let me tell you that I didn’t get my ears pierced until right before prom my senior year of high school, because I absolutely can’t handle anything medical or needle related.

And, if I just referred to piercing my ears as a medical procedure, that’s also telling. I’m sure the sixteen year old at Claire’s that pierced mine was highly qualified and preparing for her fellowship at the upstairs location.

In short, I can’t hang.

I first heard of microblading a little over a year ago. You know about it, right? Microblading is a semi-permanent cosmetic process to enhance eyebrows. A sharp tool (noted) is used to deposit ink in skin to create natural-looking, individual hair strokes. Although it’s not as permanent as a tattoo, my microbladed brows have lasted me over a year without fading. I just went in for my first “color boost” to freshen the up at 11 months and 1 week. I now treat my brows’ ages like babies.

You should probably Google your questions about microblading facts, because I don’t know how accurate Ashton-pedia is, and I’ve already told you everything I know. Still, my friends and clients ask about my experience on the regular, so I thought I’d share my own personal FAQs on my two microblading experiences! Solely my opinions, but I like pretending I’m an expert right now.

Does it hurt?
The real question is: DO YOU WANT TO BE BEAUTIFUL OR NOT? Have you seen the process? There’s no way to avoid some discomfort…unless your microblade artist has prescription numbing cream. (The girl I go to, Boston, works at a MedSpa, so the numbing cream is a major bonus!) I’ve had it without numbing cream the first time, and it made me cringe, but was totally tolerable.

What if you don’t like your brows?
Well, I guess you just hope people like you for your stellar personality.

Just kidding. There is a removal process, but THAT sounds like a real process and still takes time. Do your research on your microblade artist, and keep in mind the whole “you get what you pay for” thing.

How long does it last?
I’ve seen various places advertising it lasting 3-5 years, but in my experience, I’d say about two years. I like my brows fairly defined, and found that if I go to someone who takes time to really get the ink in, they’ll last for a full year without touch ups (professional or my own filling in)!

Would you do it again?
Dare I say yaaas? YAAAAAAS. Even without the numbing cream, yes. I love them.

I’m feeling this FAQ. (Thank goodness I’m not still single because I had an epiphany about replacing dinner dates with a printed list of personal FAQs, since that’s the kind of scripted conversation first dates really are.)

Please take time to appreciate this “after” picture I sent to Boston, the girl who did mine, because the first 30 I took would make you scream and throw your phone. It still might.

Continue Reading

What If I Match My Babysitter? Age Appropriate Shopping Concerns

I just have a question under the category of “adulting.”

What am I supposed to be wearing at age thirty?

It’s less my age, maybe, than my stage of life.

Here’s my sitch: pregnant, postpartum, disproportionate nursing bod’, pregnant again, think-I’m-normal-size-but-not-really, back to normal (ish). Another baby wanted.

Am I given a pass to buy inexpensive clothing where sixteen year old girls waste time in line posting their Coachella pictures?

Or, is having a real-life wardrobe imperative to my being taken seriously during squabbles with our pediatrician’s front desk staff? (“Oh, you’ve been sitting in the empty room with a fevering child for over an hour? I must have not checked you in. What’s your name again?”)

Next time, I want to be like, “THIS IS A CHICO’S BLAZER, KAREN, DO I LOOK INCAPABLE OF A TERRIBLE YELP REVIEW TO YOU?”

I’ll bust out any amount to have the upper hand at a pediatrician, I’ll tell you that much.

I dislike paying $75 for a made-in-China shirt that I will ruin with hair color at my job, or Cheetohs at my other job, but I’ll break out my Southwest credit card if needs be. I’m happy to rack up enough points to get to San Juan this summer.

Well, at least Wichita.

(Below are some of my most complimented pants. I wasn’t aware they were pajama pants when I purchased them. I just assumed Kate Moss for Topshop meant English chic. I DO wear them to social events, and you SHOULD be jealous I found the only comfortable high-waisted pants ever made. Or just bless my heart.)

Continue Reading

Things Every Hairstylist Wants You To Know

As a hairstylist, there are several things I wish my clients knew about the behind the scenes of my job.

For instance, the most tiring part isn’t standing; it’s having a constant jazz-hands attitude for twelve hours straight.

I go through a lot of erasers with scheduling.

Most of my clients become like a second family.

Pictures are extremely helpful. Entire Pinterest boards are not.

Most photos are filtered.

I don’t care much about my own hair anymore. It’s maybe clean, and that’s about it!

Even though I’m only in the salon part time, texting, calling, and social media DMs makes me feel like I’m never off the clock. Annnnd sometimes a little chased.

My clients inspire me and are my soundboards. They help me in so many aspects of my life. (My life is a group effort.)

It’s just hair.

All stylists have a phrase they repeat when they aren’t listening. Mine is, “That’s so funny.” Perfectly vague, perfect variety of implications.

What I REALLY wish all my clients knew at this very moment? The one thing I’ve been asked more than ANY other time in my seven year hair career:

HOW TO ACHIEVE SHINY HAIR, specifically as blondes.

Contrary to the beliefs of the professional Pinterest aficionado, no crazy homemade recipe will remedy dull hair like these three things will:

Blow dry straight down. Do you look like a chia pet after you blow dry your hair? If so, it could have to do less with your hair texture and more with your blow dryer. Check which direction your blow dryer’s nozzle is aimed. It should be going WITH the direction of your hair…away from the scalp. You may get some volume, but you’re also shattering your hair’s cuticle. Keeping the cuticle intact helps retain color, moisture, and strength, and keeps each individual hair strand from fraying. Ideally, you need a blow dryer with a nozzle attachment to direct air in the correct direction.

Use a gloss. Calm down with over conditioning. While you DO need a good conditioner, you don’t want something so heavy that it leaves you crazy greasy. Think of it as clear cellophane over your hair. It’s temporary and lasts about four weeks, but it’s more of a sealant than conditioner. This is especially effective after color services.

TRIM YO HAIRRRR. Even if it’s just 1/4”, you need your hair trimmed. You know when your nail gets a little crack in it, and if you don’t cut it, it just snags on things and goes deeper? That’s like your hair. Getting those little dead ends off makes SUCH a difference to the overall appearance. YOU CANNOT repair split ends without cutting them. As far as I’m concerned, we celebrate Easter because there has only been ONE resurrection, and it’s not your ends. You get me? If anyone develops a way to mend split ends without cutting them, we can celebrate some kind of second Easter…which I’m all for.

I love Cadbury Eggs so much.

Continue Reading

Habit Class + Working with Assistants Ages Me

I took the hair color class of my dreams over the weekend, and I am still nerding out about it.

Habit Salon in Arizona has been pumping out my most requested Pinterest photos from clients, and I have been dying to know their secrets for years. By some kind of magical luck, they came to Las Vegas, and my salon hosted their class.

If this means nothing to you, just know that any woman that can pull over $30 grand by teaching one class should be on your radar. After a whole night of debating waist hug/shoulder hug/lean-in hug for my photo op, I side hugged that woman! It was like touching a unicorn.

The legitimacy of this class was seconded by the purses of the attendees. When you see a Louis Vuitton bag WITHOUT logos all over, you know you’re in the right place. I stand in awe of a woman who will drop a crazy amount of money for an unpretentious looking bag. It seems more flippant than arrogant, and for some reason I really smile at that kind of ‘tude.


Tory, Louis, Gucci, Chanel. Gang’s all here!

There is one more thing besides color education that stuck with me after the class.

I am not twenty.

The backbone of the hair industry is predominately young-ish girls, and I’m realizing that I’m definitely progressing to the older side of that. Most of the girls at the class had flown in town, but were disappointed to not fully appreciate their Las Vegas trip due to their underage status.

This makes me at LEAST ten years their senior, and so relieved my Botox appointment was last week.

When people ask me my age (which, by the way, is weird at an approaching point, right?), my knee jerk reaction is twenty four. Forever in my head, I’m about twenty four.

But, I’m thirty. Missed a couple years somewhere.

Thirties are an interesting in-betweener place to be. I’m loving the thirties, and feel much wiser and less inhibited than I did in my twenties, but I still feel like I’m straddling the line of “adult.” It’s like I’m just pretending, and no one has caught on. Since I’m married with a mortgage and kids, everyone is cool with me trying to do real life?

And there are so many “stills” in thirty.

Even though I’m a married mom, I still have dreams. I still get REALLY excited. I still look forward to holidays, maybe even more than now than I did when I was little. I still like glitter nail polish. I still call my mom when I have questions. There is still a group of “the older girls” that I deeply admire and am happy to tag along with. I still have “when I grow up” hopes…but have I already grown up? Or when does that happen?

And yet, I bonded with an acquaintance during a riveting conversation about grout.

Grout.

Ah ha! There is the boring adult conversation I had anticipated.

So, maybe I have arrived.

All I know is that I better stay on my A-game with hair education so my job isn’t soon replaced by a girl who doesn’t understand the significance of September 11.

Continue Reading

Regarding My Last Post…

Ok, hold on.

Thanks to all those long wearing lip colors (Lipsense, Kylie, and otherwise), I’m not looking perfect for 10 hours straight like everyone else seems to be. I’m sitting here looking like the Joker after scrubbing my face with only 90% removal success. I get it…you use makeup remover. What about that faint pink tint that’s still stained all over my mouth, like I’ve been lapping strawberry Kool Aid out of a dog bowl? What ABOUT that?

No wonder my kids aren’t scared of anything. Imagine the terrifying mother they see every morning after a red lipstick night out, smiling at them while she pours their Corn Pops…

I once had a rash like this when I was pregnant. Perioral dermatitis. Google it when you’re feeling bad about yourself.

Anyway, that’s a visual of me right now as I read and feel embarrassed by the many responses to my last post. My experience is so minuscule compared to others’ stories, and I’m just short of cringing for posting all my thoughts. It’s like I just pressed “submit” to posting a diary entry online, but I guess that’s kind of my M.O. on Fluent in Blonde.

…which is cool, until hundreds of people see your naked soul and how weird you really are. The dolphin girl on The Bachelor premiere understands exactly what I mean.

This is a round about way of saying thank you for deeply heartfelt thoughts and words. As unmerited as they are, I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have such a supportive, caring, inspirational network of friends and family. Thank you. Really.

(And if you REALLY love me, will you text me a good makeup remover? Because if not, you know the lipstick below isn’t coming off until Saturday.)

Continue Reading

“Why are you dressed so scary?” (Mean Girls, anyone?)

If your iTunes library is like mine, you never know what’s going to play. It makes my wanting to go to both the Kanye and Andrea Boccelli concerts a little more understandable.

Am I headed to library story time?
Are we getting spiritual?
Are we robbing a 7/11?
Is it Christmas? (Always kills my gym vibe.)
Am I 80?
Am I white?

(I did some cleaning house after Gus played a 1999 Xzibit song in Hobby Lobby.)

image-1-1

The nights I don’t fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, my brain mirrors that same randomness found on my music selection. I can’t stop shuffling through the sporadic thoughts.

I would love to be in Maine for fall. I’ve never been to Maine. I’d eat lobster rolls every day. I bet Canadians have friends that live in Maine. What would I do if I ran out of gas driving to work? I wonder how many kitchen fires Pinterest has caused.

And every Halloween for the past three years, I’ve thrown this into the bedtime thoughts:

I want to be a dead doll. Can I do that makeup?

Get reeeeal. I can’t do that makeup without looking like a cracked out drag queen, but one Jessica Cannon’s got that makeup and body paint DOWN, and Eric Cannon documented the whole thing. It really happened. I am obsessed with the, “This is beautiful. No, it’s the creepiest. No, it’s pretty. No, it’s so scary,” indecisiveness. That’s why the idea has haunted my thoughts for years.

Thanks, Jess, for knocking that thought out of my brain’s bedtime playlist. You created something even better than I’d imagined!

(If we ever have a toy haunt OUR house, it would definitely be SOPHIE. You, know, the giraffe? She’s got some major motives.)

lux_5554

lux_5541

lux_5628

lux_5524

lux_5594

Like I said…Sophiiiiiie.

As always, if you feel inclined to share, please do!

Continue Reading

My Dance Date 2k16 / Would I Sue Brian If He Broke Our Contract?

Most people’s prenuptial agreements protect finances.

I didn’t have a staggering net worth or massive inheritance to consider, but I did have my sanity to defend. At twenty two, I was wise enough to know a woman’s opinion holds more merit when she is engaged than it ever will at any other point in her marriage.

It was during that golden time that I made Brian sign a spiral bound paper (college ruled), initialing in blood that we would never live in the Dakotas, I could have a cat, and he would squish spiders.

Like I said, important, important things.

I’m not sure if the agreement will be upheld in court as a legal document, but it is signed and dated.

One item of business discussed during engagement (although it was not signed upon), was to have a BIG date once a year: high school dance style. I’m not talking about going to dinner at Chipotle. I mean, a real, planned, get dressed up and go all out date. Going to high school in Las Vegas, I enjoyed some elaborate dance dates…but wouldn’t it be so much more appreciated to do it all again, married, leaving your house of kids to dress up for the guy you’d actually been hoping would ask you?

It took seven years to execute B + A Prom Date, but we made it happen last week.

Cue spray tan.

I got my nails done.

I timed fresh hair just right.

I bought a pretty dress, complete with the annoyances of trying on 57 before finding one that covered everything it needed to.

I got my makeup done.

Wait, did I shave my legs? Oh, well.

IMG_6120

The Snapchat files
The Snapchat files

We had appetizers at Wolfgang Puck, where I felt inclined to solemnly place a small silver dish at the end of the table with a red rose lying on it…

The hostess had some shaky hands. That's all I know.
The hostess had some shaky hands. That’s all I know.

I surprised Brian with a helicopter tour of Las Vegas.

IMG_5976
IMG_5982
IMG_6046

 It sounds cooler if I don’t tell you it was bought on Groupon.

It sounds cooler if I don’t tell you it was bought on Groupon.

We had a late dinner at Serendipity instead of a show, which I didn’t think we could stay awake to watch. Good call, because we were struggling by dinner.
IMG_6086

Although there was no alcohol involved, I still felt hungover the next morning from too little sleep, so I felt I got the full, stereotypical high school dance experience. Satisfying.

Brian and I had the best time. The night was exciting and fresh, and I laughed hard enough to require a potty break. I don’t tell you any of this to glorify our night…I am telling you this so that you’ll do that same.

If it sounds fun to you, have a “Prom Night.” If it sounds ridiculous, it is.

I’ve always been drawn to ridiculous.

Continue Reading

Summer Slipped My Mind

Toodles, summer. I only say, “Toodles,” because we watch so much Mickey around here. What I really want to say is:

NOOOO. DON’T LEAVE ME. MY LOVE.

But, Ashton, you say. It’s almost boot weather, and nothing tickles you like seasonal shoe rotations!

I know. Is this an identity crisis? I am usually itching for fall, but because I have no one in school to keep me on a schedule, September snuck up on me. I am panicking. (Just pencil me in as “yes” on that identity crisis.)

I LOVED this summer so much more than usual. That could be due to this being my first “normal-ish” summer experience in a long time. (Summer is so much more pleasant and carefree when I’m not nursing or pregnant.) However, after really thinking about it, I think the problem in years past was that I’d forgotten how to do it.

I forgot how to summer.

Thankfully, my little guys jogged my memory. This year:

I rememberered how water from the hose tasted.
I remembered how welcoming and warm cement feels after running in sprinklers.
I remembered the melody of creaky swing chains.
I remembered how Otterpop juice is July’s liquid gold.

It was magical. Thank you, my little guys. Having young children truly makes every season so much more vibrant. So exciting. So beautiful.

As the sun sets on this season, I want to savor every last bit of extended warmth we get in Las Vegas, as well as every minute of precious, unscheduled, “no one is in school yet so I’m not wearing pants” time. IMG_4087

IMG_4827
IMG_3685
IMG_3925

Sunday evening "Ca-sickles."
Sunday evening “Ca-sickles.”

IMG_3365
IMG_3390
IMG_4305
IMG_3909

IMG_2917

IMG_3677IMG_3456

IMG_4097

Summer, it hurts me to have let you you slip my mind for a few years while I was adulting. I’ll try my best to cut that out.

Continue Reading