Lob City, population: Most of Your IG Feed
Hello! I hope this post finds you bright and cheery! Or if you are the dark and moody type, that’s okay, I just want you to be yourself.
Speaking of being yourself, deciding I wanted to cut off 7 inches of my hair back in August of 2016 took little deliberation. It is what my spirit wanted!
*throws head back and lifts hands in air*
I was about to turn 25, my hair had been long and its natural color for quite some time–I was ready to freshen things up. I was going through a lot of changes and chopping off all traces of my dead ends felt metaphoric.
The last time I was at Aalam Salon, I was turning 21. And honestly, it was one of the best experiences I had ever had with a hair salon. Why did it take me four years to go back? Because I was being a Frugal Frannie, people. Aalam is a little pricier than what I was accustomed to paying for my hair, however, after several trials and tribulations–I’ve decided that, in matters of hair and peace, the money is so worth it.
Photo by: Grace Kim
This was taken the day after I got my hair cut & colored at Aalam, off Preston and near 121 in Plano. Since I left feeling so special after my 21st birthday cut, I wanted to go into 25 with the same feeling. I went back to Michael (hi Michael!) for my third visit at the end of 2016, to continue adding to my balayage.
1- I went into my August visit knowing the look I was going for.
2- I knew I was in good hands, that my stylist, David (hi David!) and good ol’ Michael, my colorist, both knew more about hair than I.
So, after telling them what I had in mind–I just sat back, relaxed, gave them free reign, and looked forward to being surprised by the end result.
To me, everyone is different, right? What looks great on Megan Fox might not be the best for me, right? Cause like… I don’t look like Megan Fox. It’s important to me that the stylist I go to knows how to flatter me, the individual.
Aalam’s artists have these qualities and you should look for them in your stylists, too:
-Understands face shape and what cuts will flatter said shapes
-Understands color theory
-Is nice (hehe)
I told them I wanted to do a lob (a lob is a slightly Longer bob) and that, when I buy makeup or clothes, I feel that cooler colors flatter me. For Michael, that translated to: she wants cooler tones, she has virgin, black/brown hair–she wants ashy tones. Voilà! Yes, yes, that is what I want.
So, here’s what we started with:
Photos by: Austin Crow | Martinus Smith
When doing a cut and color in one appointment, I learned that color comes first. Since I was going so much shorter, David started with one quick, Mulan-like cut in order to clear off the hair that would be pointless to color–I didn’t even have time to say goodbye! 😉–and then we started the balayage process.
When all my hair fell to the floor I was like, yes, this is awesome! I could already feel the chic, I’ve-got-places-to-go-and-I’m-down-to-earth, vision I had for myself coming together!
Michael did some mixing and literally started painting my strands via brush. How cool. right? In French, balayage means to sweep or to paint (thank you Marie Claire!). This hair technique creates a very blended, natural transition of color. For myself, I have always preferred natural looks. That’s why I have been happy with my natural hair color for so long. I still feel natural with my new hair color–it’s as if I’ve been on a very long vacation in the sun.
Photos by: Grace Kim
See? My initial highlights were subtle. I know myself pretty well–I was ready to go short, but also knew that I would eventually want my hair long again. I saw this as a great opportunity to yes, change things up, but also, to start healthy haircare habits. By cutting my hair short, I wanted to grow it out long and lush! Highlighting/bleaching your hair, especially if it’s dark like mine, can cause some real damage when not done properly.
Balayage should definitely be looked at as a transitional process. To achieve lighter hair in a healthy way, you need to give yourself time in between visits and gradually lighten your locks. Luckily, since balayage is so blended, your hair growing out, isn’t an issue. By that I mean, you don’t really have to worry about jarring roots.
David is amazing and I will continue to go to him. It’s time for me to get a trim, but I am planning on growing my hair back out, so I won’t be maintaining the lob. I was tempted to keep up with it! Because really, I just loved the cut so much. But hey, summer is coming up and I want to be able to get out of the pool and whip my hair back and forth, okay?
Photos by: Michelle Khan
This was after my second color treatment–as you can see, the highlights are more prominent. So, apparently, my dark hair likes to pull an orange/red tone. To counteract that, Michael achieved the more ashy, cool tone by adding a gloss to my hair. From my understanding, this gloss traps the bleach, more or less, and forces that cool tone to come out–rather than the warm tone my hair naturally gravitates toward. (From hairstylist terms, this description may cause a head shake, but in laymen’s terms–you got it, right?)
So, something I’m actually not sure of:
While I grow my hair back out, should I keep up the balayage? Or should I go back to my natural color? Hm. What do you think?
Photo by: Michelle Khan
Photos by: Simran Milak | Shelby Eckerty
Let me know what you think in the comments below! And as always, feel free to ask questions. Also, if you’d like to know more about Aalam or would like to book an appointment: