Pretty in my Pocket partnership

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 7.25.54 PMHey guys. I’m excited to announce my partnership with a cool new beauty app called Pretty in my Pocket (PRIMP!) that is dedicated to sharing quality beauty knowledge and advice from beauty experts around the world. PRIMP is about connecting consumers with beauty products and tricks that are right for their hair, skin, and lifestyles.
Now, you all know that I am a dedicated ‘Free woman” (I ShamPHREE!) and use only natural raw remedies in my hair routine. What you may not know is that although I do not use conventional hair products on my own hair, I have worked in the beauty industry for over 15 years and have had a lot of experience with beauty products. Enough to have a strong voice on the ones I like and have used on myself as well as on clients in the salon!
In my PRIMP profile, you will find my ‘beauty bag’ filled with product and tool recommendations and reviews for those of you in the market for some new products. So far, I have only reviewed products that I personally like and use on my hair clients in the salon. I give them all a 5 star rating, because I only review the ones that I really like.
Also on my profile you will find many hair looks and tutorials straight from the HTHG blog. So, that said, check out this great app and please share it with your friends!

Follow PRIMP on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for up to date tips and tutorials!

A camera for life. #besttoyever

7U6A0041I have always considered myself a hobby photographer. I slept through photography class in highschool. I got really excited about shooting photos just as analog was turning into digital so I kind of missed my chance to shoot with film. I got my first digital Canon Powershot at 19, before leaving on a trip to travel Europe and Turkey with a friend. The first half of that trip was consumed by me and my camera. The second half of that trip, and probably still to this day, the camera spent at the bottom of an Irish river. *sigh*

Next camera was a Nikon early digital model, with a viewing 7U6A0358screen that flipped up and could swivel. I loved that camera and took it on my next trip through Portugal and back to Ireland. After several years of heavy usage and heavy hands ( I am not the carefullest) it crapped out on me.7U6A0375

Next camera was back to Canon, with the Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 which was great for taking nice photos of my kids and was small and sturdy and easy to use.
When I started my blog, I shot almost exclusively with my Iphone 4. When that died on me, I upgraded to an Iphone 5. For some reason I didin’t feel like the photo quality was as good with the 5. Maybe I was just underwhelmed by how much I paid for the damn thing.7U6A0484

When I decided to really pursue blogging and sharing photographs, it was time for a higher end camera. I wanted something that was small and user friendly but also that shot very high quality photos in different lighting. I decided against full format to save space and bulk. I liked the idea of carrying my camera in my pocket if need be. I went for a mirror-less Sony DSC-RX100 which I absolutely adore. It shoots pretty, clear, balanced photos and is great for both fun time family and DIY hair time. Only problem for blogging is that it doesn’t have a tether-and-remote capability, which I’ve come to find out is essential for shooting ones-self effectively.7U6A0370

I have had the privilege of working on various photo shoots with some incredible photographers. My faves……Bill Anthony. Alixandra Brown. Bob Cochran. Sian Kennedy. On location, I drill them about their cameras. I mostly don’t know the language that they speak about ISO and F-stop and light meters. I am an experiential learner to the max. Tell me something, I might forget. Show me something, I might remember. Put a camera in my hands and let me play with it, I will figure it out and know it for life.7U6A0059

I decided to stop being intimidated by full format, and learn to use a real camera. I wanted to break the cycle of maxing out camera capability and moving on to the next model. It was time to go big or go home. So, I sold my car and bought a new camera. I got the one that the pros use. I made a pact with myself to learn the craft of proper photography by feeling it out, being patient and curious, playing around, keeping my toddlers grabby hands the hell away from it, and taking great care of it so that I can use it forever and ever. I got a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and I am like a damn kid in a candy store. This is the best big kid toy ever made. It is a Behemoth of a beautiful machine and it makes photos look better than reality without altering anything. WTF?7U6A0073

I plan on sharing some really pretty pictures with you from now on:) The pictures in this post are only the beginning. You get to witness me learn to take better photos and break through my ‘fear of machines’ mental block here on HTHG.

Here is to working hard and giving yourself permission to deserve the best for once. Cheers!

XO, HTHG

Why I decided to stop shampooing my hair.

IMG_1780When I was a kid, I had a DIY hair ruining experience that traumatized me. My hair melted off and it was my own fault for not reading the warning on the perm bottle. Over processing happens to many of us at some point. But it left me feeling very self conscious about the way I looked. At the age of nine, I had officially became the perfect target market for Big Beauty ad campaigns.

For the same reason that a junkie might turn to jesus, I turned to the enticing promises of beauty products to fix my down-and-out hair. I entered the Big Beauty marketplace as an up-and-coming insecure teenager with bad skin and hair and a will to be beautiful. It took me 20 years to look back and understand the origin of my unwavering belief in the words printed on plastic bottles.

By my late 20’s I had 2 daughters and had slowly emerged from the fog of my young years. I began questioning my own beliefs and reasoning. I started to understand myself better and I saw my own “don’t tell me what to do” attitude morph from a child’s defiance to teenage stupidity and finally into a grown woman’s will to find her own identity despite mainstream standards set by multi-billion dollar industries. This is the will that my children will inherit.

As a hairdresser, I had been hearing about the no-poo method for years. No-poo-ing means using Baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice to cleanse and condition the hair. My first thought was 1. Gross for not shampooing your hair, and 2. Double gross for using the word ‘poo’ associated with hair.

But there was something about it that I found intriguing. Everyone I encountered who used this method generally liked their hair while the rest of us (myself included) complained and bitched about our hair, desperate for that hair product system that would magically turn us into Pantene models.

My hair has gone through many changes. Cuts, colors, styles, bangs, not to mention texture changes due to hormones. After I had my first child, my curly thick dry hair straightened out, thinned out, and got oily. Nature’s way of being an asshole while I nursed my colicky baby. nice.

Still I remained, notoriously a hair product whore. I was controlled by my restless and constantly unsatisfied hair. I would find a product or product line that I liked, use it until it ceased to please me, and then move on to another. A new one would work for a while but at some point my hair would inevitably stop liking it, meaning it was time for a switch. I would be happy with my hair for a couple weeks, and then all of a sudden it would be lank, lifeless, and oily all over again. Over my now nearly 30 years, I have spent more money than I would like to admit on hair products.

One day, while watching Mad Men, I had one of those ‘DUH’ moments when I realized that a good ad makes you think that you need something. A necessity. Without even wanting it, it becomes absolutely necessary to have it. I had been naive enough to let myself get tricked into thinking that I needed to empty my pockets to buy my own beauty.

This ‘duh’ moment was the origin of my no-poo journey. I got tired of searching all over for something to fix me and make me beautiful. I was being fed BS by companies who wanted my money in return for my promise to never feel beautiful enough and keep on buying. And as a mother, my bullshit sensors are very fine tuned.

I must add that I am not anti-hair product. There are some great hair product companies out there. I respect the companies that are breaking the mold instead of defining what is “beautiful” and are encouraging people to work with what they have naturally instead of fighting against it. I love that there is more of a focus on sustainability, natural hair, and social awareness emerging within these smaller companies. The industry is slowly changing to suit the wants and “needs” of 99% of the population who are living in an economy that is deep in recession, disillusioned by corporate America. People are slowly starting to get back to their roots. (Pardon the pun)

But it isn’t changing fast enough for me. All I wanted was to like my hair and not pay dearly for it. I started blogging about hair to share my hair trials and tribulations with others. Part of starting my blog was to report about jumping off the hamster wheel of beauty industry standards, into the great black abyss of what I hoped would be a more sustainable and self honoring beauty regimen. I switched to the no-poo method.

First thing I did was rename it the ShamPHree method. It sounded prettier and made it easier to talk about. Sham for Shampoo, PH because it balances the PH of the hair and scalp, and ShamPHree because it is about freeing your hair of shams.

It took a bit of experimenting with different ways of applying the B.S. (Baking Soda) and ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar). I went and purchased paint mixing bottles from my local art supply store to use as my applicator bottles. I also purchased some yummy smelling essential oils to add to my ACV so I would still get the yummy clean and fresh scented hair that I missed from my shampoo days.

My hair looked and felt great after my first ShamPHree. 2 weeks in, my hair was better than it had ever been. After 2 months, I had my ShamPHree system down. My hair was Shiny, soft, smooth, and balanced. I could go for 4-5 days in between ShamPhree-ing and it never looked or felt oily and limp like it did before. I honestly didn’t expect it to be such a drastic change.

I am now 8 months into my ShamPHree journey and I have no intention of ever going back. I have spent a total of 26$ on my ShamPHree journey experiment. My hair is as happy and healthy as I could ever have imagined. I have successfully detoxed my hair and mind from the grips of mainstream beauty and now I’m on to questioning and personally boycotting other corporate shams like useless baby gear, Febreze and gimmicky kitchen appliances. I only wish I would have started sooner. But then, had it been sooner……It may not have inspired me to share my journey with you.

Are you on instagram? If so, I would love to see your shamphree journey. Please hashtag your #shamphree photos and help inspire this hair revolution!

7U6A9681Are you ready to embark on your ShamPHree journey? Check out Troubleshooting ShamPHree for different hair types and HTHG’s answers to frequently asked ShamPHree questions to get you going in the right direction!

ShamPHree starter kits and products are now available in the HTHG ShamPHree Shop. Get yours today and Free Your Hair!

Reclaimed hair

no-poo4 months in, and I love it more every time I do it. I <3 no-poo.

I’ve got my routine worked out, my formula worked out, my bottles and scent worked out, my weekly conditioning treatments worked out, my winter hair revitalizer worked out, and my moisturizing smoothing product worked out. No more shampoo, conditioner or commercial hair products here. My hair is happy, healthy, and in it’s natural, balanced state. I encourage you to consider joining this hair revolution;)

Have a happy, healthy hair year. XO, HTHG

Do you need help troubleshooting your Shamphree routine for your hair type? Check this post out.

And click here for your complete Shamphree method supply list where you can browse and buy your supplies.

Are you considering going #shamphree? If you are currently using the nopoo method, what are your thoughts?

Are you ready to embark on your ShamPHree journey? Check out Troubleshooting ShamPHree for different hair types and HTHG’s answers to frequently asked ShamPHree questions to get you going in the right direction!

Don’t forget to hashtag your #shamphree photos so we can see and inspire this hair revolution!

ShamPHree starter kits and products are now available in the HTHG ShamPHree Shop. Get yours today and Free Your Hair!

 

Holy #*$%&! Dad? is that you or me dressed up like a dude?!

Have you ever had one of those soul jolting moments when you see how much like your parents you are? After all those years of running in the opposite direction, and there you are right back where you started kind of moments?

Well, I have had many. It has gotten easier to swallow those moments since I have kids of my own, because I’ve begun to forgive your parents faults and realize that they were doing the best with what they had. But it can still be jarring when I realize that I am not appropriately dressed for weather like my mom, or when I catch myself saying “you know somethin?” before I start a sentence like my dad.

On that note, I have to share this story. Over the summer, my family and I went to Seattle to spend time with my folks and friends in my hometown.

My mother was in total purge-mode, so we spent a bit of time going through boxes and organizing, dumping old stuff, giveaway pile etc. I was looking through a box of randoms, and at the bottom was an old passport. I opened it up to see my dad looking back at me, with the same hairdo, glasses, and slouchy collar that I happened to be wearing.

It made me jump, like literally, in the air and giggle hysterically for many minutes. Then, I took a picture of my self and one of the photo of dad and posted it on Facebook so my childhood friends could get a rise out of it. Here is my favorite response…. (Thanks Richard Brown!)

Richard Brown Too much!!! At first glance I thought you’d been taking testosterone shots and needed a shave!

June 28 at 3:16pm ·

Like it??? I love it!

 

 

 

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