Hair today, gone tomorrow … (aka My Weave)

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Or really gone last week. As many of you know, about 2-3 months after giving birth to Ephraim and the first 20 or so extra pounds of weight that I gained had been shed (I gained 55 total) I made a fatal error in judgement. I needed a change. I wanted to look different than I had during the whole pregnancy. Because weight-loss seemed unattainable, especially instantly, I decided that I would chop off my hair. I wasn’t going to go super short or anything, just something simple and light for summer. I looked for pictures everywhere and finally decided on this …

110205_ritchie_0305

I am going to chalk this decision up to severe sleep deprivation and body dismorphic disorder. I will grant you that it is a great haircut. It looks fabulous on her. She weighs 12 pounds. I weighed, well lets just say A LOT more than that. Also, she had not recently given birth and still been holding onto twice her normal volume of hair. Seriously, my hair got so thick while pregnant that it was a struggle to get a rubberband to loop around it two times. I have really thick hair anyway and it is also course and naturally curly. What the HELL was I thinking …. probably that a CHI iron is a miracle worker. It is not.

So I made the appointment, took my pictures in of Nicole’s chic bob and here is where the saga and trail of tears and money begins. The cut was okay. Not great, but ok. I came home and figured if I played with it some I would like it better. I paid the $40 to my stylist (who had been doing my hair for about 2 years) and left. I met Alexis for lunch and we both agreed that my hair needed to be thinned out. It was looking to mushroomy. I also felt that I needed to add some highlights just to give some added demension. I made another appointment. I left a little bit happier and $55 bucks poorer. Something still was not right. I realized when some well intentioned woman at church commented on my “cute mom bob” that I had to immediately begin the process of growing it out. As I mentioned earlier, the CHI iron is not a miracle worker alone so I would have to blow dry my hair straight first and then flat iron. Wearing it curly was impossible. My head looked like Sputnick. I also realized that my round brush was too big to use so I made a trip to Sally’s Beauty Supply to get a new brush … or three. I probably spent about $35 there. Then I decided I also needed a new blow dryer that was ceramic and had tourmaline (what the???) so I could reduce my drying time. I was the mother of a new baby you know. A few less minutes of drying time was worth its weight in gold. That was another $50 or so.

 

My first attempt at blow drying the new do without a round brush.

My first attempt at blow drying the new do without a round brush.

 

Trying to grow out the bob

Trying to grow out the bob

 

 

 

 

About 2 months later I called and scheduled another appointment. All I needed was color for my roots and the ends snipped. It was July 18. I remember that day both because it was Ephraim’s 5 month b-day and because it was the day my hair was cut into a mullet. A mom mullet if you will. You be saying to yourself, “She is exaggerating.” You would be wrong. I knew as watched the previous mentioned stylist clip away that it seemed like an awful lot of hair for just the trim I had requested. I felt that nervous feeling where you think, “Should I say something?” but I pushed the thought away. I reminded myself that in the past I have been so phobic about receiving a bad haircut that I have questioned every move the stylist would make and often times keep them from doing a good job. It helped calm me that my older sister, Samantha, was there to get her hair cut too (by the same stylist) and she kept chatting with me and holding Ephraim. It was a distraction that kept me from realizing I had been butchered. I could tell when the woman begin drying it that something was wrong. After it was dried and flat-ironed I could see there was way more weight and volume in the crown than in the middle. I asked if she could thin it out a little to help. She did and attacked me with the razor to “texturize” it. It made a bad situation immediately worse. That one is on me I guess. I was so distressed when I left the salon that I actually forgot to pay her the $60 I owed for cut and color.

I got in the car and tried to reassure myself that once I got home and played with it, it would be okay. I called Alexis and asked her to come look at it. She walked in and said, “It is kind of a mullet”. My worst suspections were confirmed. I called my friend Natalie who had mentioned before that her hairdresser had gone to LA and learned how to do extensions. I called the girl, Jenni Rea, and explained what had happened. She had me come in the next day for a consultation where she would explain the procedure and then look at my hair to see how many “bundles” of extensions I would need to fill in the sides. She also said the bundles were $200 apiece. I went for the appointment and she combed through my hair and began asking questions about who had cut it and what I had asked them to do. She recognized the name of the stylist and new her by her reputation for being a great hair dresser. She could not figure out the cut. She kept asking me, “What exactly did you ask her to do?” I said, “I told her that I had not liked it short and was growing it out. All I wanted was a trim. She asked if I wanted long layers and I said yes.” That seemed unreal to Jenni when you consider that the layers cut into the top were only about 2-3 inches long. And the hair was so over texturized that it appeared frizzy. She confirmed that I would need at least 3 bundles of extensions. I went home and prepared myself to explain to my husband why I needed to spend $600 dollars to fix my hair. I simply told him that weighing 20+ pounds more than before and adjusting to my new role as a mom was enough. My self esteem simply could not take the blow of walking around with a mullet. To my amazement and delight, he agreed. Even he knew I had a mullet.

I called and scheduled the appointment. She ordered the hair and on the afternoon of July 29 Jenni Rea glued someone else’s hair into mine. The company she trained with is called Great Lengths and they pioneered this particular type of extensions. I asked a lot of questions about the hair. I had assumed it came from women who grew their out and then sold it, like people do for  Locks of Love. She said this hair all came from India. Women there grow out their hair and then go to the Hindu temples and offer it as a sacrifice to one of the Hindi God’s. The temple then sells the hair to Great Lengths and it goes through a process of dying it and other stuff and then is sold. Oprah featured it on a show earlier this year. It took about four hours to put the extensions in and then she had to explain to me how to take care of them. It was very high maintanence. I had to use a special brush to brush through it 3 times a day. Whenever it got wet I had to put this special spray onto the bonds to prevent them from breaking down. It is better to dry the bonds immediately rather than leave them wet. On and on. Other than that, treat it just like normal hair. I could wear it curly or straight because the hair is naturally curly. I could also color it too. The better care I took of it, the longer it would last, somewhere between 4-6 months.

Well friends, it has officially been 6 months and the extensions came out last week. It was brutal. They first put some solution on the bonds to break them down and pull them off with a pair of pliers … literally. Then it was combed out with a fine tooth comb. OUCH!!!! My head was so sore. I think I understood in part what black women go through with their hair. Anyway, this post got way long. Here are some pics. I don’t have any good mullet ones because I refused to be photographed for the most part.

 

The mullet (wet) the night before the extensions went in.

The mullet (wet) the night before the extensions went in.

 

 

Extensions in

Extensions in

 

 

 

 

 

All Me!!!

All Me!!!

Some of my extensions. We'll call them souvenirs.

Some of my extensions. We'll call them souvenirs.

So if you total this all up, one bad decision to cut my hair in the first place, combined with a really bad day at the salon. cost me pretty close to $1000. Not to mention what it cost me in tears and frustration. You may be asking yourself if the $600 (without tip) for the extensions was worth it. Every Penny!

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About rachaelneagle

I am a 39 year old wife and mother.I have two children, ages 5 and 2. I am passionate about my family, God and getting healthy. I love to learn as much as I can about health and wellness and share that information with others.

3 responses »

  1. Girrrl…I sho did like yo weave, but…..
    Thank God that is all over for you. And thank God for cosmetic miracles during the healing process of your hair! 🙂 I love your honesty.

  2. Your hair looks BEAUTIFUL! (and so do you!) I love that picture of you and Ephraim! And I NEVER even knew you had extensions! Thats pretty incredible! I loved your story! I too have had my horror hair stories! But your story is the best, EVER!

  3. Rach,
    I believe I now owe you $105 for the laughter therapy you just provided me. I can’t tell you how glad I am that you posted this long tale about your mullet. I am so surprised that I knew none of this so I can assume that it was such a taxing ordeal that you couldn’t even articulate it. There are some things of which we simply must not speak…

    I laughed the hardest about Michael’s quick agreement that it was okay that you spend $600 on extensions – he had seen the damage with his own eyes.

    Oh! Please keep blogging! I need the chuckles.

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