Well folks, we did it. We walked into The Harbor salon in Silver Lake Wednesday morning and walked out that afternoon feeling like different people. It’s shocking what a good cut and color can do to your day (and confidence). If you have no idea what I’m talking about then rewind back to this intro post. The briefer recap is this: A few of the braver EHD members in the office and I popped over to the brand new The Harbor salon for a hair transformations in exchange for sharing about our experience on the blog and social media. It was about as nerve-racking of a team building exercise as you could get. My only request was that whoever wanted in on the hair transformations had to be willing to get at least ONE big change (I excluded myself from this rule because I’m the boss and that’s what being the boss means). Keep reading to see who made what changes…
The Harbor is a very sweet little salon in Silver Lake (aka very convenient for me), that also happens to be just as full of charm as it is full of very wonderful and talented hair magicians. It’s owned by Shanda Wallace (pictured above with me), and just opened its doors in July.
In the end, four girls from the EHD office (and me) walked in with open minds and willing hair. Sara (on the left, EHD’s resident photographer) wanted to make a color change and was in good hands with Josh Miramontes and Ash Bazarjian. Julie (in the pink coat on the right, an EHD associate designer/project manager) worked with Rachel Hummel on her goal of a shorter length and darker color.
Velinda (our resident curly haired staff member, and an EHD design associate) had stylists Kat Cali and Darla Hawn as her dream team. And last but not least Ryann (our blog assistant) had stylists Kelly Walker and Lauren Payne in her corner while she went even shorter than she already went (in length, not height obviously).
Isn’t that space so cute? It’s bright, open and minimal but has great little design pops all over. Those gold sconces are great, and they match the circular gold mirrors we all used to stare at ourselves. Floating stations keep things from feeling cluttered, and those big salon chairs are very comfortable for long stints of color processing. There are also little hanging planters along all the walls to keep things feeling fresh and alive. Like I said, minimal but very, VERY cute.
Sara underwent just about every coloring technique in the book from the looks of it. Those two guys spent a good amount of time just mixing up color, brushing it in, and foil wrapping her entire head. She didn’t seem to mind though and quickly admitted that having two talented men softly touching her head for 3 1/2 hours was a dream and made her feel like a very important person.
Darla took Velinda’s hair from a medium brown to a darker, richer brown tone. We were all SHOCKED at how long Velinda’s hair got once it was wet and weighed down. You always hear about curly hair being unassumingly long, but seeing it in person was pretty eye-opening. So many of you in the last post brought up the concept of a dry cut for curly hair. Velinda got a little bit of both. They did some initial cutting on her damp curls and then went back in once it was completely dry to get the final shape perfected.
Ryann wanted to go even shorter than her already-above-the-shoulder cut (which, by the way, she did herself with the help of her boyfriend a few weeks ago…18 inches chopped off). She wanted something along the lines of Parisian page boy chic. She also got some depth and warmth put into her hair with the help of some toned glaze. Julie also went darker but in a much more dramatic way. She’d had light brown hair with additional highlights for years and was ready to go a little darker even than her natural color. But her stylist pointed out that as the color wore on her hair, it would start to naturally lighten in some areas, allowing her hairs natural highlights to add dimension.
I worked with Shanda to reshape my hair, adjust the color, and tape in extensions. My hair just hasn’t been growing the way it used to, so I was ready to add some faux length and volume while I give my hair some TLC.
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…THE REVEALS.
I LOVE my extensions. Having longer hair just feels like me. I think that maybe I just don’t have the time nor desire to style bob-length hair. I already know how to style my longer hair. I can throw it up in a cute pony, or quickly add some bounce to it with a curling iron…
As a reminder here’s where I started, and what I was using as my inspiration:
That was the inspiration, on the right.
If only I could go back in time and keep that hair. I know you are thinking “Wait, what do you mean? You changed it after this?” YEP. It was too ashy for me and I’m used to brighter around my face. Honestly, I’m kinda nauseous about the whole thing because I feel like such an idiot. My hair DRINKS toner and now it’s been toned and retoned about five times and it looks nuts (check out stories to see what I’m talking about). So many people have DM’d me and I frankly don’t really want to even talk about it. But here’s the plan: I need to wash and wash and wash my hair to get out the variety of toners because it’s just too processed right now. So sorry, not really an “after” yet for me. I just wish I hadn’t changed it after Shanda first did it. This fine, porous blonde hair really can’t handle going darker just to go lighter again (without a TON of damaging bleach which I’m trying to wait on). I just want a time machine. But it’s okay. It’s just hair.
Meanwhile, I’ll let the rest of the team elaborate on their looks…
I LOVE my new hair. I seriously smile so big every time I see myself in anything reflective these days. It’s new and different for me, but I don’t feel like I’m walking around with someone else’s head on my shoulders. I can dress it up with texture spray for an edgier look, or keep it sleek for something a little quieter and sunkissed.
My hair was completely untouched before Josh and Ash got their hands on it. It was shoulder length, medium brown, and fine (as in “not exciting,” but also a little thin and soft). I really wanted to try something I knew I couldn’t normally afford, but something that wouldn’t need too much upkeep afterward. My original inspiration photos didn’t include the one above of Lucy Hale, but the night before we went to the salon, I was scrolling through Pinterest, saw this photo, and knew it was the direction I wanted to go in. It was darker and more natural at the root, but way lighter at the bottom, with all of this depth and warmth. A lot of my friends wanted me to try the ‘pumpkin spice’ color I had proposed, but the guys let me know that would mean color maintenance. This option will allow my natural root to seamlessly grow in, while also going with more of a spiced blonde at the tips, rather than a cooler ice or ash tone.
We only did one short round of bleaching, so my hair barely feels any different and I can’t see anything that’s setting my “split end” alarms off. I’m already using the Olaplex line, including the intensive hair mask, which so many people with bleached hair call “magic.” Ash also sent me home with some purple conditioner to try if I wanted to experiment with a cooler tone in my ends at any point (or if my blonde starting turning brassier than I wanted it to). I’m also so excited I can finally try Kristen Ess’ temporary rose gold hair tint. Josh gave me a super textured cut, which I love and works great with my typical “beach waves” style (the only thing I really know how to do). But I also can’t wait to experiment with new styles and looks (for example, my usual ’90s-esque matte mauve lipstick now looks horrifyingly try hard next to my blonde ends, so it’s time to try some new, brighter colors). Josh and Ash are my heroes.
I feel human again with this new hairstyle!!! After having the same locks on my head for over a decade, I felt stagnant in life. Getting something this drastic makes me feel brand new and mentally ready to accomplish some goals that have been lingering off to the side for a while now. It is amazing how something as simple as a hairstyle can give you a new lease on life. I guess it’s time to finally go to the DMV or go skydiving???
Rachel, my stylist, worked her magic on me (thank you again). As someone who has gone to the same stylist since the age of 11, I was hesitant to let someone else’s hands touch my hair but right away I felt so at ease with her maybe due to the fact that we bonded over both being born and raised in the valley. Yup, that’s right. I am a proud valley girl! I was so appreciative of her taking the time in our consult going over every detail of what I wanted done, from the exact color, type of dye and how it would grow out/fade over the next couple of months to the texture and length of my cut. We probably spent a good 15 minutes discussing it all. We decided on a brunette color 3 shades darker than my natural light brown hair using a demi hair dye which when it starts to fade will let those highlights come through again (making it easier to maintain). I had told her shoulders or shorter in terms of length and we decided on a lob which sounded perfect especially after the initial cut (I was still a little scared). Before getting to the color part, she started off with a dry cut just below my clavicle which was a good 3-4 inches shorter already. It was HAPPENING, no turning back now.
I absolutely love how it turned out and I am still doing double takes every time I’m near a mirror. We ended up cutting off a total of 5-6 inches. I haven’t had my hair this short since I was 4 when I also had bangs, red glasses and, of course, a pink flowered jumper and matching hat…it was the early ’90s and I was VERY cool. Rachel even taught me how to achieve the coveted “bed-head-beach-waves-tousled-but-not-too-perfect” hair. So hands up emoji to her. The whole team was so sweet, they made little gift boxes for each of us with products specifically catered to our hair needs. I got and already used the Evo Haze styling powder the next day which helps to give a little more life to the roots and that piecey / textured feel on the ends. Thank you Rachel, my fellow valley girl, you are the best!
I’ve had the chance to live with my new do for 48 whole hours, and it has taken all 48 to get used to glimpses of my new reflection. I immediately felt a refreshing excitement when they started slicing my hair into bangs. I mean it, they sliced…with a knife! (okay, a hair razor, but practically a sword).
Darla (color) and Kat (cut) were my weapon-yielders and they BOTH HAD CURLY HAIR, which if you read post #1, you’ll know was a huge relief. Darla guided me through a color treatment that wouldn’t be high maintenance to maintain; a semi-permanent treatment that will slowly fade as my hair grows, preventing root lines. I’ll probably keep it dark though. I love it. Darla also kept some strands of my natural color to add subtle highlight and dimension. As a quick reminder, here was the before and one of the looks I was considering (but feared):
Kat, who had both curls and bangs (but wore it straight that day. Thanks a lot, KAT!) understood my concerns about bangs with curls…poofy ’80s/top-heavy mushroom hair. And she knew how to cut/style to avoid them. First, we took a look at what pieces of my hair “naturally wanted to be bangs.” We pinned those strands into a sort of faux-bang and took a look. Then, I made the final decision…sure, why not! (always best to wing such things last minute…y’know, things that’ll take three years to correct if you hate).
Last Wednesday, all of your strong opinions bore revelation to the true issue at root of our divided country…curly bangs vs no bangs. It was Kavanaugh all over again (too soon, I agree ::cry face emoji::). One warning I carefully considered was that bangs with curls meant extra work. I think that CAN be true. Luckily, so far in my 48 hours of experience, it’s meant increased ease. My head took to bangs, and the new fringe needs NO help from styling. I can air dry and go, which means I found the four-leaf clover of forehead curl and can’t promise this will work at home. Even Darla and Kat said, “you almost never know how curls will take to bangs.” To be careful, Kat cut my “future bangs” extra long so she could see how the curls would behave. Then she let my hair air dry (w/slight help from a diffuser) and made final cut-edits while dry.
Between my re-shaped hair and my bi-annual, second-hand clothes-shopping trip w/my wife this week, I feel suddenly stylish. Feigning vogue is super fun and I promise to keep it up!…all month…maybe. At least now, when I return to my standard jeans and tee, I’ll be rocking locks with built-in style.
The new look is SO different after a decade of same ‘ole, same ‘ole. It’s taken a bit to decide if I liked it out of pure shock alone, but it’s really grown on me. I can’t wait to play with new styling options (and straightening)! My wife, the most important person to have on the “pro-bang” side of the country, is obsessed! Ultimately, this isn’t anything I would have thought to do without the challenge/offer from Emily, but I’m pretty thrilled.
Okay guys, here she is. The new NEW Ryann. And I have to say, I love this length on me. My stylist Kelly and I both agreed that my face shape longs for short hair. It just works. Though I love Rapunzel hair for many reasons—one being that I can throw it up in a messy bun and go about my day—I think short hair is my hairs’ calling. I know we all wanted short bangs for me, too, and I agreed, but ultimately Kelly and I decided to do subtle middle part bangs to start. Unfortunately, you can’t really tell in these photos (because I’m fidgety on camera and had tucked the bangs behind my ears) but she gave me curtain bangs which adds a lovely texture to this cut. Now that I have spent a few days with this hairstyle, I am definitely up to going full-on with the bangs. Maybe I will even do another solo salon day in my bathroom, who knows??
Now let’s talk color. I left it to Sara to be #blondecurious, which in the end I did not regret. My hair has never been dyed so fear of damaging my poor virgin hair made me reconsider the blonde lifestyle. Instead, Lauren suggested we do a warm chestnut brown, which would make going lighter a possibility in the future. To be honest, I couldn’t get the Parisian inspiration photo out of my head (the one I was surprised many of you thought I should go for) so sticking with my dark roots just felt right.
Don’t these darling women look great? To make sure everyone has their “hair selfie,” the salon has the cutest photo booth, which is perfect for snapping that new hair photo (this feels far less narcissistic somehow than the classic “driver’s seat selfie”…it’s never not awkward to sit in your car after a haircut taking photos of yourself awkwardly in the parking lot). Even if you don’t use the app they have provided, it’s the perfect light for a quick selfie or instastory. Plus, the back wall is covered in a very sweet LA themed illustrative wallpaper.
There was a lot of hooping and hollering when the team made it back into the office later that day. Lots of “let me see, let me see” and head petting ensued (and okay, some hugging). We’re still trying to get used to the back of everyone’s heads (is it Julie or Sara? OH THE CHANGES) but all in good fun.
Thank you again to the wonderful team at The Harbor salon that greeted us with enthusiasm and excitement bright and early last week. Your space is truly a delight. If you’re local to LA and looking for a new set of hands to tend to your hair, be sure to pay Shanda and her team a visit.
Okay, now’s the time to hear from ALL OF YOU. You guys were SO engaged in our last post (in fact, some of you said you wished we had done the reveals right away instead of waiting a few days…sorry we just needed time to pull all the assets together), so we want to hear what everyone thinks of the final looks/reveals. Do you love them as much as all of Team EHD? Did anyone inspire you to shake up your own style and try something new? We’re all anxiously waiting to hear what you think. xx