7 At-Home Hair-Color Myths, Dispelled.

It has always felt very unfair to me that a person should be barraged by aisles of beautiful ladies on hair color boxes promising shiny and natural looking results, only to screw up their own hair so bad that they have to at worst cut it all off, and at best, live with shitty looking box-color.

There are some real intricacies to coloring your own hair at home. There is a reason why hair stylists must complete several years of schooling….The chemistry and color theory that must be understood to be able to achieve predictable color is very detailed, intensive, and different for every head of hair.

That said, it is NOT impossible to get great hair color at home….but there are some basic rules and points that your box-dye instructions won’t tell you, that I think you should know because I want your hair color to be beautiful, and I don’t want to have to fix it for you when you fall pray to the false promises of your un-informed box dye escapades. Before you dive in, here is what you should know.7U6A0606

The chemicals in this box are safe!

Unfortunately the chemicals in your box color are the same chemicals that other industries take very strict precautions to avoid having any contact with. Real talk. Not at all safe. Proven unsafe. Unfortunately, the hair color industry has not progressed very far from it’s original formulations.

The chemicals in box hair color are heavy chemicals, and they are being applied right onto your head. And rinsed down the drain, into your water system, and then into the ocean, contributing to the mass poisoning of our ecosystems and our bodies.

This may not stop you from using hair color. Strangely, It hasn’t stopped me. But it has made me think hard about the risks associated with it. And it has inspired me to seek out alternatives, like Bay Area based at-home hair color company Madison Reed, who are not using Recorcinol in their formulations, and are working hard to find new innovative and safe ways to formulate hair color for the public.

You can lighten your previously colored hair with box-dye!

Nope. Rule number one in color chemistry. You cannot lighten hair color with hair color, BB’s. That is what bleach is for. If you have ANY kind of artificial hair color in your hair, permanent, semi permanent, henna, etc, you CANNOT lighten it out with box dye in a lighter shade. What will happen is that your un-dyed roots will lighten up nicely, and the rest of your hair will get lot’s of unnecessary damage, and barely (if any) color change at all.

You won’t get brassy, we promise!

The nature of our hair is that when it is chemically altered, it will always want to be ‘brassy’. It will always tend-towards warm tones. No matter what cool, gun-metal brown hair dye we use to eliminate those gold and red tones. The brass will always come back. SO, the best thing to do is to be realistic and accept this reality. No magic will change this reality.

Instead, have a plan to control those brassy tones using a Color Reviving Gloss treatment or add some veggie-dye like Manic Panic to your conditioner and use it regularly. If your hair is looking orange, use a blue-violet. If your hair is looking yellow, use a purple, and if your hair is looking red, use a green. Consider it your DIY perfect tone secret. Shhh!;)

Color-safe shampoo is the best way to keep your color fresh and bright.

Nope. Sorry. The best way to keep your hair color fresh and bright is to not wash it. At all. Just rinse and condition. Just sayin;)

You can remove permanent color with products like Color Oops!

I can’t tell you how many people think that Color Oops will give them their natural color back after they have a hair-dye disaster. It is so hard to accept that your hair has been permanently altered after a dying mistake. Color Oops does remove hair color, but it will leave your hair is dire state of patchy uneven color and make future coloring very unpredictable. I always suggest using a less harsh approach to removing color, along with patience. Or, if you are desperate, call in a professional.

You bleached your hair, now you want it dark brown again. No biggie!

This is the most common way that people end up with green hair accidentally (myself included, age 11. Hair disaster story for another day.) When you are planning of going from very light hair to dark hair, you must first ‘fill’ the hair with an in-between shade that will restore the missing warm pigment to your lightened hair, giving it the base it needs for the dark color to be rich and deep instead of dish-watery and dull. My go-to filler? I love Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss in Miele as a universal filler. After filling the hair, you can dye right over it with your desired shade.

When you touch up your roots with permanent hair color, just pull the color through the ends to refresh it!

Can you do this? yes. Should you do this? no. If your previously colored hair needs freshening, use a semi-permanent color or a gentle Color Gloss Treatment to brighten it up while your roots are processing. Continually coloring hair with permanent color will just lead to extreme dryness, dullness, and muddy-looking strands. Not to mention split ends!

Choose a gloss shade to match your root shade to minimize damage and maximize vibrant, fresh color…. Madison Reed makes it really easy by sending your root color and your gloss treatment to your door every month so you don’t even have to think about it.

I sincerely hope this little guide helps you understand a little bit more about at-home hair coloring. Here is to dispelling myths, clarifying details, and being informed. May your at-home hair color days be bright and predictable! For more detailed DIY hair color information, check out this guide, the Do’s and Don’ts of DIY Color.

As a DIY hair blogger who is committed to quality information and tips for better hair care, I am a proud affiliate of Madison Reed as well as many other companies who’s ethics and goods I personally use and believe in.

Cheers to great hair!

Owl’s Botanicals: Skin Care for Gentle Nourishment

7U6A2174Hi babes. I want to share with you today a skincare line I have fallen in love with.

Made lovingly in the Ozark Hills of Arkansas by my friend and Spiritweaver sister Amanda Hall, Owl’s Botanicals is a gentle nourishing line of Organic, simple and lovingly made remedies for all skin types.

I have been using the Cleansing Grains, Organic Rose Hydrosol and Regenerate your Face Oil for a month now, and my skin has made a very graceful transition from Summer to Fall…….A transition that is usually fraught with breakouts and dryness.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 5.29.36 PM




The Cleansing Grains is a nice powdery blend of clays and grains that gently cleanse and exfoliate. I have been mixing mine with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to create a paste for extra toning.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 5.30.33 PMA spray of Rose Hydrosol balances and calms my sensitive skin, the scent sending me straight to my mother’s rose garden in early June.



Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 5.30.14 PMRegenerate your Face oil is the icing on the cake. I am a big lover and believer in natural oils in my skin and hair care, and this blend is perfection. My skin drinks it right in, soothing, calming, and refining. The smell is divinely herbal, a great scent to apply to your face before bedtime. (It passes the test for my partner Jonny who doesn’t like most smells.)

I will be getting more Owl’s Botanicals products as soon as I run out, and I recommend you get on board with this line ASAP and start taking great care to treat your bodies largest organ with nutritive ingredients, because the skin absorbs 60% of what is applied to it……And while you are at it, tell Amanda I sent you;)

My skin thanks you Amanda, for creating this lovely line.

xoxoxox, HTHG


Bandittown Babes and Beehives.

In a photographic nutshell, my Bandittown experience went like this:

First off, a night of dancing and merriment with some fantastic North Folk locals like This special man. 4 tours in Vietnam, couple years in the pokey, many years spent as a sculptor…… A very dear man. He just really wants a sweet wife. Any takers? I would if I wasn’t already spoken for;) 7U6A0820

Also, a woman named Annette, which she followed with ‘like Anette Funiccelo!’ in case there was any confusion. She danced with me, helped me find my purse when I lost it, and then talked me into really wanting to get a Harley because of how it good it feels to sit on them with the engine going. 😉 Love you, Anette. Friends for life. Can’t believe I don’t have any pictures of you.

Tin Type photos with the awesome fellas from Revival Tintype.IMG_72707U6A2111

Alix Brown, my lady friend from LA brought Janel AKA Judy along, and they were an absolute delight and a hoot. I am so glad to have friends like them in my life. Smart, strong, bold, women with great senses of humor. What could be better?

Savina, the 4 year old wonder-woman was very patient with all of us hearing folks. (she is deaf.) Luckily, Alix can sign.



Holley’s beehive was so stunning, she inspired many other beehives at Bandittown, and before long I was sweating and working my butt off teasing, combing, building, wrapping, smoothing, curling and pinning. #missbeehivin7U6A0922_27U6A0929_2



Sarah, my dear friend and traveling bed-mate, sold her gorgeous leatherwear. Don’t you love her leather applique vest??? Find her at 10th And Olive.7U6A1009

Here is Alix’s beehive, btw. Inspired by Bridgette Bardot with little purple neck bangs.7U6A1011

Darling child Hive on Adia


Taylor, up-and-coming editorial hair stylist got this hive’n’braids.7U6A1068

Some braided whiskers…7U6A10777U6A1026

Non-ironic mullet braid, on an awesome North Folk townie lady with a broken arm and an ice cream cone. She said she hadn’t felt that pretty in years:) Love.7U6A1085

Brette suprised us from SF. Best present ever. She is the one with the braided Sci-hive up-dune. 7U6A1150#beehivebbs

Night time escapades with my gals.7U6A18917U6A1775 #tootsietumbleweed

Pool with little Savina the pool shark at the Buckhorn Saloon.7U6A1929

This guy. He missed his chance at being my first ever man-hive because he was scared of his girlfriends reaction. I told him to grow a pair and just let me give him a beehive. He was drunkish. He let me give him braids instead. That’s okay, I guess, but I still really want to give a dude a beehive so bad. Any takers?


Jaime Wyatt, playing a great gig while Holley danced. And watching the sweetest biker couple ever dance together.7U6A15087U6A1384

Lastly, a day and night in Yosemite, getting free.7U6A20827U6A20657U6A2016


Great times were had by all at Bandittown, and I will be back again ASAP for another HTHG Beehive popup:)

xo, hthg

Free Your Hair Earth Collection Debut

In a world where the systematic abuse of our planet and our bodies has become the norm, the term bio-remediation really stands out.

Bio-remediation is the practice of using organic plant matter to clean up  to restore health and balance to the landscape. It is a technique most commonly used to clean up environmental messes, but the more I learn about it, the more I feel passionate about using the concept of Bio-remediation in my beauty and personal care routine to restore vitality and balance.7U6A4324

Our hair and skin and bodies are constantly barraged by environmental stresses that weaken and ravage the fibers of their strength. Much like the earth itself, these fibers can be restored and protected by employing many potent natural compounds found in plants.

This knowledge and understanding, along with my commitment to great hair every day,  is what inspired me to create The Free Your Hair Earth Collection……..To harness the power of my favorite plant allies blended with organic, sustainable harvested oils and powders to create a line of interchangeable hair and skin care products for in-salon, editorial styling, and at-home daily use.

Meet The Free Your Hair Earth Collection, potent plant powered small batch products to treat and bring optimum health to our hair, scalp, and skin while covering the bases of all your hair-styling needs.




This line was created and made in Seattle Washington through the process of planting, harvesting, drying, infusing, powdering, mixing, and blending a combination of my favorite action-proven beauty herbs…..Horsetail, Borage, Burdock, Lavender, Rosemary, Chamomile, Calendula, Wild Rose, Nettles, which make up the Free Your Hair Active Plant Infusion, which is added into each product.




Our plants were either grown in house or locally sourced and wild-harvested by my hands and the hands of my daughters.

Our recipes are expertly researched and tested in the salon on all hair types, and on my girl-crew who have provided endless inspiration for the line. Thanks babes.7U6A3815IMG_5491

7U6A6056The Free Your Hair Earth Collection line Includes:

Shining Hair Oil which nourishes and replenishes moisture and protein loss due to environmental and chemical damage to the hair, restoring your hair to supple beauty and protecting your ends from further damage. This gorgeous oil adds shine and elasticity to all hair types, and is great for before heat-styling as a protector! This oil is also wonderful on the skin and is especially suited to treat any sort of ailment like acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Beauty Vinegar balances and tones the hair and scalp, bringing moisture to the hair while sealing the cuticle for a gorgeous reflective finish. Seals in color, adds supple bounce and softness to coarse hair and curls, and you can use it as a brightening toner for your face!

Plant Paste is a soft matte-finish workable styling paste which allows for sculpting ability with lasting hold and a nice velvety dry finish. It is perfect to style, tame, or add structure and texture to your hair and beard. I love to mix the paste and powder together in my hands and run through my hair for extra texture and hold.

Dry Shampoo is the perfect solution for 3rd Day hair. Our blend of powdered raw ingredients soak up oil at your roots and add just the right amount of texture to your ends, while freshening and reviving your hair into lived-in hair perfection.  Make this one your go-to any time you need to revive your hair and make it last.

For a full list of ingredients, and to purchase your own bottle or set of products, click here.

Babes, I am really excited to debut this project here on How-To Hair Girl because it is such a culmination of many things that I am passionate about learning and sharing, and those our our core values here at HTHG.

Making the Free Your Hair Earth Collection was a journey of love, research, intention, patience, inspiration, creativity, belief, and commitment. Thank you for joining me in the process of developing the line…..I can’t wait to get these goods into your hair and onto the shelf of your salon. Get your FYH Earth Collection goods here, before they sell out, and please share this post with your friends if you think they would be interested. If you want information about a wholesale order, please contact me at howtohairgirl@gmail.

xo, HTHG

Braid Mask Tutorial

braid mask Hello my dears!

Looking forward to Halloween costuming and styling, we have a Braid Mask Tutorial here, as promised……Thanks to Zana Mala for Inspiration and the fierce concept of going beyond the braid to the Braided Mask.

The Braided Mask would be a great addition to a bird costume, owl costume, mosquito costume,  Mad Max inspired costume, or a generally cool empress costume.7U6A9576

To do this hairstyle, I had to do a bit of planning……I wanted a strategic smattering of interwoven braids that would leave her eyes showing, and I kind of, weirdly, wanted her to have a bird-like look with a sharp beak.

So, I planned on a french braid down each side, dropping out some pieces which would connect across her forehead like webbing, and then join together across her nose to form a beak.

I started by making a center part from the front of her head to the back. I sectioned out her bang section and clipped it aside, knowing that this would be the french braid which would join the 2 side braids, creating the spine and connecting the webbing of the braids.

I began with a braid on one side of her bang section, french braiding from the top, down the side of her head. When I reached her hairline around the temple area, I began to drop braid sections on the lower side of her braid, as seen in the ribcage braid technique.

I dropped 4 sections in a row from the lower side of her braid, then continued braiding down the free end, securing the very end with a small elastic.

I did the same thing on the other side.

Then, in the bang section, I started a french braid at the very top of it, and continued french braiding that small section.

Once I worked my way through that section, adding in all the hair, I continued braiding the free ends. After 3 overlaps of hair in the free ends, I began adding in my dropped sections from my side braids, one at a time in order, alternating. This created the webbed look as the sections were pulled across her forehead and included into her center braid. I continued that braid down the center of her face, to the ends. I secured the ends with a small elastic.

Now, with all the rest of the hair, I made 2 basic braids, one on each side of her head.

Then, I gathered the ends of all 5 braids at the tip of her nose, and ponytailed them together with a clear elastic. I removed the individual braid elastics, and combed the tail into a little beak.

Kind of awesomely strange, right?

Try a Braid Mask for Halloween this year, I double dare you.

xo, HTHG


Next Page »