Hydrangea Hair

Hey babes. Wanted to share these shots of a recent hair color I did on my sister Brook, inspired inspired by one of my favorite flowers ever, the Hydrangea. 7U6A8717 7U6A8724 7U6A8684  7U6A8781

When Brookie left, I handed her a bottle of New Wash, because if you want to extend the life of your brilliantly flower colored hair, it is The Way. Keep your color bright with New Wash and tell them How-to Hair Girl Referred you when you go to buy your first bottle. New Wash is FullSizeRenderHair Color Salvation in a Bottle, and you know I don’t recommend products lightly;)

Brook has been a daily shampoo/conditioner user for her entire life. My very own sister. I have tried to get her to see the light of weaning from the suds, but until the New Wash, she has been very skeptical and resistant to straying from her tried and true routine. Another reason why New Wash is awesome…….For those who are skeptical of going Shampoo-Free altogether, it is a great first step. When she got home and used her New Wash for the first time, she texted me this:IMG_9540

That hair wash was the best thing ever.

Have you tried New Wash yet? Also, what is your favorite flower?

xo, HTHG

Real Confessions of a Hairstylist, Words with Jenny Strebe

I have been following Jenny Strebe, blogger at The Confessions of a Hairstylist, since I began my blogging journey. She published a hair tutorial on Pinterest that became my hip mom 2 minute hairstyle mantra for years to come, that’s how I originally found her.

I have watched through the interwebs as Jenny Strebe’s blogging voice strengthened, her babies were born, her career exploded with her braiding skills, she started traveling in her VW bus teaching braiding and up-do workshops, and more recently she co-founded Pulp Riot Hair Color with a collaborative crew of very talented hair colorists.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.02.57 PMConnecting with people through the digital realms is interesting, watching someone else’s life transform in a curated way. Jenny’s ability to be a powerhouse career woman and artist while raising a family really inspired me to want to know more about how she balances everything, in real life.

The sense that I got from her was that she knows when to make appropriate sacrifices to be able to keep the balance of work and family, like as of now……She isn’t working with clients in the salon.

As a mother and a very ambitious person, It can be very hard to balance the work/life thing without feeling like we are lacking somewhere and I’m always looking for advice and encouragement on ways to keep the balance without the burnout. We salute you, Jenny Strebe, for being one badass mama artist in the hair industry which really needs more badass mama artists to lead it.

Today, words with Jenny Strebe, platform artist, master-braider and blogger at The Confessions of a Hairstylist.

Real Confessions of a Hairstylist, Words with Jenny Strebe


We begin with this sweet moment, a snippet into Jenny’s MO with raising her daughter to believe in her own dreams.

 Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 1.59.56 PMPhoto by Sara Bishop

Yesterday when I got home from my work trip, I picked up my daughter from school and Instead of telling my sweet Magnolia I missed her so much I said “I’m so happy to see you my sweet Magnolia, mommy was gone because I was out chasing my dreams, and someday you will to.” Magnolia got tears in her eyes and said “I know Mama” that brought so much joy to my heart to hear her say she understands. So moms out there, don’t feel guilty to follow your dreams too! You can have it all.

Jenny, where are you from, where do you live now?

 I’m from Walla Walla Washington originally but I went to school in Portland OR and am currently living in Scottsdale, AZ now with my husband and 2 children.

How long have you been doing hair?

 For 16 years!

What are your specialties and why do you love them?

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.02.44 PMCutting and styling are my specialties. But I’m known for braids and simple up-dos. I love braiding the most now because believe it or not, I didn’t know how to braid up until about 2 years ago! I didn’t want to do them, but then one day I tackled them and fell in love with braiding and its become a strength!

Tell us about your jump from stylist to educator.

I like tackling my fears, and as a young stylist i wanted to be a platform artist. I actually got anxiety and could barely speak in front of other people 8 years ago. I started going to beauty schools and educating my staff to get used to talking in front of my peers. It became addictive to see my students have aha moments so then teaching became a passion of mine!

Jenny Strebe, encouraging words on educating………

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.03.38 PMPeople have been telling me that I’m a natural educator. Little do they know my story. I used to have a panic attack teaching at beauty schools when I first started educating 8 years ago. I then made it a personal mission to become comfortable teaching and presenting in front of audiences. I spent years teaching for free going to beauty schools until I landed a position as an educator and art team member for a number of years. After I left to booth rent and create “confessions” I then taught a number of free classes to my peers to get a feel for my new found love of educating and figure out who I was as an educator. It’s crazy to think one of my biggest fears have now become one of my biggest passions. I want to be a living example that you too can be whoever you want to be, and to make your fears or your weaknesses one of your biggest accomplishments and strengths. You can be whomever you want to if you put your mind to it!

What inspired you to teach? 

The addictive feeling of helping raise other stylist’s confidence in their own ability to do hair.

What do you find the most effective way to teach other stylists? hands on? Demo, both? theory? discussion? etc. 

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.06.10 PM I like to do a hands-on class with a demo. I think its important to do the hands on and demo because as hairstylists we are creative and tactile, we learn in all sorts of different ways, so doing both helps lock it into our brain.

You are a mother, how do you juggle motherhood and a career? any tips or tricks? share any secrets you may have? 

I don’t really have secrets but with anything, you have to sacrifice something to be good at something else and right now I’ve sacrificed my clientele. I don’t work inside the salon as much, and I think that’s how its easy for me to juggle. When I have my kids I’m 100 percent a mom, but when I’m working I go full force.

Any tips for keeping up a strong marriage while on the road following your dream?

Always respect your spouse and their dreams. My husband is my rock, he supports me 100 percent and I support him. Too be honest, he is really special. I’m not sure how many other men out there would do the same.

Where do you see our industry headed?

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.03.07 PMA more digital, connected world. I see everyday hairstylists having so much more of a voice in the industry. I love that hairstyling is being seen as a more well respected art form. I’m really excited that having cool and colorful hair is now normal instead of being looked at as too alternative. This makes our job as stylists so much more fun:)

Tell us about Pulp Riot?

 Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 1.55.40 PMPulp Riot is a brand new vegan color line developed by stylists, for stylists. Our goal with it is to show the color community that this line is for them and as a collaborative team, we will inspire and educate them every step of the way!

……..I have been told NO, I can’t or that my ideas and/or dreams couldn’t become a reality over time and time again. Over the years of working on my brand, I have finally made a voice for myself and have been searching for my tribe, my squad, my hair family where I could help positively impact the industry with like minded individuals. Little did I know that all the times I was told NO was going to help push me the direction that I was destined to go

– Words from Jenny on finding her Pulp Riot Color Family. More Here!


Can you share what your favorite hair creation is, all time?

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.10.56 PMI loved this combo braid!

What is your Favorite Color?

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.20.05 PMMint green
If your 16 year old self saw you now, what would you say to yourself? Would you be a fangirl?

 I would say things will get better, it’s okay to be different! I had a tough time as a young women. I totally would be a fan girl!
Favorite music to do hair to?

Hip hop! I may listen to kids bop on the way to drop off the kids, but I love me some hip hop, especially old stuff.

 Product you are obsessed with?

My old fave was Bed Head spray wax but it’s no longer available. But my fave now is texturizing/volume spray.

Where do you draw inspiration from for color/styling?

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.19.52 PMEverything! Right now its muted metallics. I like to look at the intricacies of stones and rocks and check out the different shades inside them.

Are you ever afraid you will run out of ideas?

 Yes, but then after awhile something will always trigger new ideas. But I find out when I’m burnt out and uninspired, I just need a vacation to help me re-engerize.

Jenny, we wish a vacation on you any time you burn out, because we love to see your inspired work. Thanks for kicking so much ass.


xo, HTHG






Love Battle at Foxglove City

7U6A8051Here are some shots from a recent afternoon Foxglove Love Battle session that transpired in my neighborhood with two of my dear young muses, Birch and Cameron.

In a city without many empty lots left overgrown, I love this one lot that we chose to shoot at, to it’s fullest. It is like my own wild piece of countryside behind a white picket fence, old knotty apple trees, plants made lush and green by years of goat manure from the former homes previous owners, who were urban goat farmers and edible weed lovers.

Welcome to Foxglove City, please enjoy the photos:) 7U6A7948 7U6A7725 7U6A7896 7U6A7884 7U6A8094

And lastly, this beautiful shot of the braids coming down ( The deconstruction shots are always best!)

Do you have a little secret garden around where you live? If you don’t, I encourage you to find one:)

Secret Garden Braids

xo, HTHG

Honoring our Daughters with Braids

IMG_7527Hello hair friends and sisters:)

This post today is dedicated to the daughters of the world, which is all of us with possibly some additional sons, and this is for them too, if they are into braiding their hair with flowers, and if they are, we salute and love them for it.

I want to be the kind of mom who honors my children for truly who they are, and I want them to be the kind of kids who understand that and know it deep in their hearts. And it is so hard sometimes to nurture that connection and love when we are stuck on the hamster wheel of ‘normal life.’

A month ago, I took my kids out of school for 2 weeks because I wanted them to be able to run free in the Ozarks and spend time with their loved ones and friends in our other hometown of Fayetteville Arkansas. And I needed a chance to remember who I am, and who they are, and why and how I love them.

I had been feeling increasingly out of touch with them in our busy Seattle life……Our days a routine of rushing them around and then feeling frustrated at their slow pace.

IMG_7417Being a mom is really hard because I often feel like the asshole, or I like to call it a momhole, if you will ( DON’T google it! No DON’T!) We simply don’t get enough time to just relax together (much less on our own!) , follow our curiosity, and just be without plans to keep us rushing around like rats in a race. We desperately needed some time to slow down together.

On top of feeling like a momhole in general, there is also the guilt of motherhood and womanhood, where everything we do is in opposition to what we should be doing, no matter what we are doing. What?????????? wtf. Makes one want to just say fuck it, I’m just going to do whatever I want forever.

IMG_7447Which is what we did in Arkansas last month, and it was divine. We crashed couches, we invited ourselves over to the homes of some of our favorite people, we ate, we danced, we played, we slept, we spent mothers day in our underwear lounging around like sloths, and we worshipped the great mama in the river with some of our best friends.

2 full weeks just BEING with our daughters, letting our little community hold us, not rushing, and just letting our days unfold was the best therapy that we could have asked for.

IMG_7512As we drove back to the airport at the end of our trip, a 4 hour journey to Kansas City, the guilt started to creep back in. What kind of mother would give up this sort of life? What kind of mother would leave the sweet community that raised her a mother, to move to a city that is no longer hospitable to part-time working parents who refuse to not be there to watch their kids grow up?

We drove past a sign advertising the Gentry Animal Safari…….Just 15 miles up the road!

IMG_7503What kind of mother would drive past the Animal Safari and not stop so her kids could see the weirdness of totally not native animals roaming the land that WallMart bought? What kind of mother would not let her children hand feed a kangaroo white bread while drinking coke and eating red vines and hot dogs cooked in rancid oil?

What kind of fucking mother am I.

And then, as if by magic, a literal field of beautiful wild flowers entered my vision on the side of the freeway. Hark! A Park!  I pulled the car over, and we ran together into the middle of the field. We all knew what to do. We sat at flower level, watching butterflies flutter by and listening to the sound of the flowers sing.

As I watched them frolic in absolute joy and wonder, I forgave myself for all the things I don’t do for them. As I braided their hair, I bowed to them in my heart, honoring them for being who they are and reminding me to stop beating myself up for not doing more for them. In my own annoying mom way, I tried to telepathically beam that straight down their throats and into their joyful little hearts.

There is nothing like braiding someones hair to show them that you honor them:)

If you are a mama, braid your kids hair. If you have a mama, braid her hair for her.

Thanks for reading my rambles:)

Here are the braids I gave them.



Pretty self explanatory, although the trick for this second one is that I pulled out all the hair along just the outer edge of both braids, instead of both edges. Then used pins to secure the braids across the back of the head to the other side, and tucked and pinned the ends of the braids underneath.

Honor yourselves, Honor your daughters. Lot’s of love.

Also, PS. Our youngest daughter Selah is graduating from Preschool today so I’m feeling very sentimental.

xoxo, HTHG


Spirit Weaving the Crown

IMG_8985IMG_8340Hello dears. I hope you all are doing well! I just returned from the Spirit Weavers Gathering where I set up the Adornment Space with Stefani Padilla and Rebecca from Heartfire Henna as a sacred area for adornment through hair cuts, braiding, and henna.IMG_8674

I spent an entire day, dawn till dusk, decorating redwood trees with flower garlands and mandalas. Twas absolute heaven. Then spent 10 days within that beautiful sacred space, braiding hair and bonding with incredible women. IMG_9014-1IMG_8994

I also facilitated a Braid Workshop (Weaving the Crown) and Braid Circle which was incredibly fun and the women who came to learn blew my mind with how quickly they picked up braiding and how empowered they felt by learning the ancient craft.

I have so much I want to share about it, but I reckon all the jewels of memories and knowledge I learned and shared will be coming out slowly in posts to come. It was such an honor to offer my skills and have them be so lovingly received. Let’s just say this…..My heart exploded. Thank you all who were a part of it.

And I have many photos to share.

Interested in booking a Braid or Beehive bar or a Braid Workshop for a party or an event? Email me at howtohairgirl@gmail.com

More soon, HTHG

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