The Blog

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It’s Not About Your Hair

It’s not about your hair.

That’s the first thing I think of when people start asking me questions or want me to share something about my life story.

I know that’s what you want to hear about, but my heart posture is wanting to bless you and your life with so much more.

I spent the first ten years in poverty, wearing my church donated, hand-me-down Husky jeans, and they were the ’70s boy brand made for chunky kids. 

Everyone in my family had straight, fine blonde hair, and then there was me with my curly wild mane.

I dreamed of being famous, but I think what I longed for was to be seen. 

Dancing and singing were my first loves, and I performed in musicals and bands and regularly choreographed routines for Olivia Newton-John with my crew. 

I wanted hot rollers when everyone else asked for soccer balls or baby dolls for Christmas. 

If you came to my house, you were getting a makeover before doing anything else. 

Hair and makeup were my other natural talents, and I figured this would be my way out of poverty.

I tell you this backstory because all of it plays into WHY I do what I do. 

You know what I do, but why I do it is far more critical. 

When I moved to Portland, I never wore my hair in its natural state. 

I always blew it out, then used a large curling iron to put in big, fat, beachy waves. 

Guess what? It rains almost every day here—slight exaggeration but not far from the truth. 

As soon as I would go outside, my hair would go right back to its natural wavy state, and the laziness in me would be like, how come I just spent all this time on my hair? 

So I started researching how to handle my waves because I was tired of being no style lady. 

Then I learned about Lorraine Massey and her “CG method.” 

I stopped using shampoo, and I was a die-hard about all the rules. 

I did this for about 17 months straight and got certified in a curly cutting technique that no one was doing in the Pacific Northwest. 

Pretty soon, 80% of my clientele were curly, and I decided if I wanted to master this, I would take everything else off of my menu and devote my career to studying waves and curls. 

I remember having dinner with my husband and telling him, “I wanna be the best in the world at this.” 

Once, a friend who was a stylist herself asked me, “Where are you going to find all these curly people?”

The exact amount of the population with wavy or curly hair differs depending on where you get your information, but on average, it’s between 65-80%. 

What I’ve found over the years are two dominant reasons people aren’t wearing it in its natural state. 

One, they can’t find a stylist who will cut it so it will best suit their waves or curls. 

They don’t know how to manage/style it themselves without a lot of “poof” and “frizz.” 

That’s why I call my method SHAPE and HYDRATE. 

I believe those are the essential components of getting the best from your hair. 

Get it shaped every 4-6 months in the best way for your particular patterns. Yes, I said patterns because you probably have at least three different ones on your glorious head of hair. 

Learn about hydration. What it looks like, and what it feels like. What it sounds like.

Hydration is the marriage of water and conditioner. 

That is the simple, minimalist foundation of good hair.

Curly hair is everywhere now, and there is a new blogger, Youtuber, and influencer popping up every day, sharing their journeys with us. 

I love the wealth of information available to us now and how this community has become a cheerful voice of self-love and acceptance. 

However, I find that less is more for me and the daily research I do behind the chair. 

In life and hair. 

That’s the beautiful discovery I’ve learned along the way. Curly hair teaches us a lot about life. 

About letting go, being ok with non-conformity, freedom, liberation, individuality, and teaching an entirely new generation a different way. 

These are the lessons I’ve learned and taught that keep me so inspired in my industry. 

One of the things I feared when I decided to be Curls only was that I would get bored. 

I get bored very quickly and am a multi-passionate person, so there were so many things I did not want to let go of. 

I had to dig deep to find out why I wanted to use this platform as my voice of change, self-love, and self-acceptance. 

What was it about curls that made it so different and unique? 

It is the stories that keep me motivated. Sometimes there are tears, and other times its just complete joy and constant smiles.

I know that growing up battling insecurity and low self-esteem fuels me to encourage women to believe in their worth, value, and purpose.

Connection is huge for me and plays an integral part in my day-to-day behind the chair.

I don’t like to rush through or feel like it’s a factory in the salon. Even if we are double booked, it’s a top priority to make sure I’ve connected, listened, and engaged with my clients.

They are my people. I love my community. 

Every day I ask myself two questions before I go into the studio. 

How can I serve? 

I think this is so important. I went into this because the need was great, and I believe powerful things are born out of need. 

Even with my Instagram account, I try to come with this servant’s heart attitude and think about how I can add value to the lives of those that are hanging out on my page. 

I also love to ask myself how I would behave if I were the best in the world at what I do.

This challenge keeps me on my A-game. It keeps my heart in it when my feet are tired. It keeps me smiling when I hear a thousand stories. It keeps me listening when I’ve heard a thousand stories. It keeps me teaching so that people walk away with the tools they need to feel confident. There are no half-assing things.

The hardest part about being behind the chair is the physical toll it can take on your body. I feel like mentally, I could sculpt and talk all day long, but at 46, it gets exhausting. 

Doing hair is in my blood, and I was born with a natural talent for doing this. To see people and create what I call “soul hair.” 

Business also runs deep in me, and I am obsessed with marketing and building brands with purpose and integrity. 

Project 1248 is part of the first philanthropy program I’ve created for the salon. 

It’s based on Luke 12:48, to whom much is given, much is required.

I give away free services when I hear someone’s story, and my heart is moved to compassion. 

It’s important to give back because I’ve been so abundantly blessed. 

Cancer survivors and moms of special needs kids are close to my heart for personal reasons so that’s where this project is directed. I also partner up with other community services such as WithLoveOregon and Compassion Tigard. 

Although I can’t get up off the floor as fast, I’m still a dancer. You won’t find me twerking, but dance is where I get my “runners high.” You will also regularly find me playing Pac, Dre, and Big. 

I’ve debated bringing a piano and microphone into the salon, but I regularly get shot down about my crazy ideas, so I digress and settle for karaoke parties. 

My family is the joy of my life, and my grandkids are the frosting on top. 

I think it’s essential to create a life you love by design. 

I recently had what I think is probably the pinnacle of my career when I was invited to share my story at Marie Forleo’s studio in NYC. 

I thought of that poor little girl in the backwoods of Arkansas who built end tables out of cardboard boxes and had big dreams. 

I was full circle with my curly wild mane minus the husky jeans. 

My greatest hope for everyone sitting in my chair to take one of my online courses, come to one of my stylist classes, or hear something from me on social media is that you will be inspired and remember it’s not about your hair.