Dark Alley Haircuts

IMG_1660Hey ya’ll.  I do a semi-annual impromptu pop-up hair salon in a dark alley behind my favorite Seattle bar, Al’s. I only do it if I happen to show up there on a Saturday when Holley is bartending, with my shears and enough people happen to complain to me about their long shaggy hair. Then, the chair gets pulled out the back door and I start cutting hairs in the dark. It is a personal challenge and I generally get my drinks payed for. It also makes me kind of feel like I’m part of some kind of off-beat speakeasy for the night, so I do it.

IMG_1649IMG_1655This time around, 2 brothers from Florida were in need of haircuts. Or so they said. I almost had to turn them down based on the fact that they both had fantastically pretty 70’s shags. And I wanted to braid their pretty hair so bad.

But they talked me into it. So I we went to the dark alley hair chair. One of em got a lot chopped off. The other just needed a little trim and a clean up.IMG_1651IMG_1658

Maybe I’ll see you at Al’s sometime. and If I have had enough to drink and I happen to have my shears on me, you might get invited to the Dark Alley.

xo, HTHG

Bobby pin appreciation month!

Hi honeys. Let’s talk about bobby pins.

7U6A5246My life is littered with them. Everywhere I go, I leave a trail of bobby pins behind me. Every purse, every pocket…..If I ever can’t find one, I just check the cracks in the baseboards in any given room in my house.

I have random things hanging around that are held together by jerry-rigged bobby pins. They are everywhere. I love this article on practical uses for bobby pins that don’t involve hair.

My favorite bobby pins are the Goody Styling Essentials 3 inch bobby pins for longer hair, and Marianna classic brown bobby pinsfor every day. Nothing fancy…..But I don’t go ANYWHERE without some stashed somewhere where I can surely get to them in a pinch if something breaks or something needs to get dug out or poked or someone’s hair needs a fixin’

Despite my adoration for bobby pins, I sure spend a lot of time trying to hide them inside hair do’s. One of the first things I learned in beauty school is that when styling hair, the bobby pins should be 100% function and practicality…..NEVER seen, always hidden but always there.

September seemed like a good month to stop trying to hide bobby pins, and give them some love by rocking them proudly as an accessory. Free your Pins! While paying with bobby pins one day, a world of fun opened up before me. So I decided to write this post and share it with you!

7U6A50127U6A5022Last time I had fun with bobbies, I put together this tutorial about how to paint bobby pins with nail polish. This time, it is using your colored bobby pins to create designs on the head and in the hair!

I first rounded up some small, medium, and large pins and painted them colorful and sparkly. Here are some bobby pin hair creations that I came up with.


And an extra hair tutorial for more bobby pin fun!


Need more bobby pin inspiration? Check out this post on how to make your own crystal hair pins!

I would love to see your bobby pin hair creations! Send them here to me or post your bobby hair on instagram and hashtag them #freeyourpins

You can find me here @howtohairgirl for daily hair pics.

xoxo, HTHG

Holley and Savina: Dip dye and sign language.

7U6A1018Holley is one of my closest friends. She is a magnetic and magical woman and I consider her a sister, a confidant, partner in crime, and a muse. She is the mother of 2 beautiful and captivating daughters Loretta and Savina, both with completely different special needs.

Holley stole my heart with her beautiful Roma eyes and her knee length black hair at first sight, and she has been a force in my life ever since. Please read this post about Holley, the Roma people and their hair.

7U6A1010 I am endlessly fascinated by Roma people, or “gypsies’ as they have been historically called.








Interesting fact here though……Calling a Roma person a gypsy is like any other derogatory racial slur. But in our culture, the word gypsy has taken on some kind of positive mystical archetype. The gypsy moniker has become so normalized that non-Roma women all over the place are calling themselves gypsies without realizing any cultural implications. The origin of the word has been buried in one of our worlds biggest cultural misunderstandings.

My Roma love story began for me when I was a 3 year old America born little girl living on a Fava bean farm in Portugal. I would sneak out of bed at night and watch the families in the Roma camp dancing to wonderful music late into the night out my little bedroom window, wishing I could be there and wondering why the Portuguese people around me seemed to dislike these amazing people so much. It was so hard to understand. It was my first little picture of massive cultural predjudice. Read about it, so that you understand.

7U6A0913Holley’s daughter Savina is almost 4 years old. She was born strong, bright, and completely deaf. As you can see, her lack of hearing does not in impair her ability to express herself! Ah the beauty of visual communication. Savina gets it.

I had the pleasure of coloring Savina’s hair for the first time last week. She wanted pink ends, so I used the last ounce of my Manic Panic Cleo Rose and did some easy pink dip-dye.


I didn’t have to bleach her ends first because like most little kids, her ends were naturally lighter from being a kid in the Summer sun for the last 3 months. It worked perfectly.

IMG_1662I put her hair in a high ponytail, and then just worked through it applying the pink piece by piece in the ends and laying it on foil. Want to try this on yourself or your kid? It is stupidly easy to DIY, here is the tutorial:)

Savina was so proud sitting there in the chair, trying to contain her excitement. She checked her little self out from all angles in the mirror from all angles.

After we rinsed her color out and it was time to take some pictures, I saw this awesome side of Savina that I hadn’t yet witnessed. She came alive in front of a camera……A completely fierce and independent spirit. Just like her mama.

After that, the kids played together for a while in their own awesome way. My girls never play quietly under any circumstances, but with Savina I witnessed this lovely quiet play that shocked me. The three girls sat on the floor together building with blocks independantly but with collaboration and sharing. It was so peaceful and sweet. In the other room, Loretta laid contentedly for a while in a nest that the girls had made for her. Loretta is a wonderful story for a different day. I will try to get my hands in her hair soon so you all can meet her, too.

As a mother, watching my children adapt to play without a common language is really cool. They don’t skip a beat. Playing is universal. Children seem to understand each other in a certain way that transcends language or experience.

I am looking forward to learning more signs with my kids in the future.

Among many of the amazing things that Holley does in life, pioneering an effort to change deaf public school policy in our city which has notoriously neglected the rights of deaf children and families is just one of them. Want to donate to a great cause or get involved with deaf policy? Check this out.

xo, HTHG

ShamPHree Man love: Man-PHree kit and products!

Hey babes. When I say babes, FYI, I am always referring to both she babes and he babes. I’ve got some very dude-friendly new products in the ShamPHree shop that I’m excited to share. The first is a new Infused Vinegar formulated to treat dandruff and hair loss and leave the scalp super balanced and invigorated! 7U6A1182

It is called Hair and Scalp Tonic, and it is for anyone of any gender but it has a classically ‘male-ish’ scent.

ShamPHree Hair and Scalp Tonic is for great for thinning hair, sluggishly growing hair, very fine hair, and any ailment of the scalp. It is made with raw organic ACV, infused with calendula, burdock, rosemary, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, tea tree, cedarwood, pine, and fir.

The next exciting thing is the announcement of the Man-PHree kit. It is the basic ShamPHree kit, branded in a more masculine way, with the Hair and Scalp Tonic instead of the classic ACV.

7U6A1162Lastly, I’ve got a Man Package for your bearded boy buddies which is the Hair and Scalp Tonic and a BBP balm for a discounted price!


Any of these three options would make a great gift for your boyfriend who is concerned with the state of his flaky, itchy scalp, or your brother who needs help free-ing his hair in general.

Did you hear the news yet about ShamPHree Free Domestic Shipping?

Yup. Not a rumor. Also, FYI, 10% of every sale gets donated to a great cause. Check it out here!

xoxo, HTHG

Pit hair, feminism, and conscious positive choices.

7U6A4351Hi dears. Please check out this guest post that I did for Offbeat home+life about my hairy pits, and my views on feminism and conscious positive choices. This post is very dear to me, and I’m thrilled to share it with you in hopes that it can encourage and inspire more thoughtful and positive choices.

Yours Truly, HTHG

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