M. I. A.…

Missing in Action (MIA) is a term used to say that a soldier cannot be found after a battle and might have been killed, captured, or wounded.  People everywhere fight all different types of battles on a daily basis and many of them are internal – naked to an untrained eye.  From career moves to heartbreak to loss, my life has been my excuse for not blogging.  I know I have not written a post since Fall of  2015.  A friend wrote recently that its funny how a couple years can feel like yesterday and a lifetime ago all in one.  While I was MIA both my hair and I have continued on our journey.  As for writing…I’m back.

In the St. Louis airport following Memorial Day weekend, I was complimented on my curls by sweet girls working at Starbucks.  I started my usual speech about hair care and products.  Then, realizing they were working, I wrote down my Instagram and blog site.  As I walked to my gate I thought, “Yikes!”  I haven’t written anything new in forever.  These girls may not even recognize me.  I was reminded why I started sharing my #curlchronicles, to begin with.  My curl story is like so many others out there….at one point I just did not know what to with my hair.  In life before FaceBook and Instagram,  I would pull out a product and give it to a woman, girl or parent of a child with curls so they could try it and learn to nurture and love their curls as I have.  Today, I usually text links to Curlbox or products from DevaCurl Decadence, Tigi Curls Rock, or my current go to by Creme of Nature.

So I am MIA no longer.  I honestly have a lot to say.  There is a lot that is written in my head and on my heart.  I will start with my hair transformation over the last two and a half years.  Shortly after my last post, I was reminded of my college days with highlights and lighter hair.  I went to get some blonde and an awesome stylist, in North Carolina, at Ulta Beauty Salon named Chelsea started me on my journey.  Using Redken products we focused on the front.

Ulta - Raleigh NC

With Chelsea from Ulta, ready to start my process to blonde

I didn’t want to go too crazy and Chelsea was really careful.  She didn’t want to go too blonde too fast.  I was worried because my hair tends to pull red so it needs ash to balance it out.  I was happy with the start and promised to return after a couple weeks for round two.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is be patient.  It is important to listen to the experts (make sure they are experts).  Friends’ recommendations, Yelp or Google are your best sources.  Remember to read the good and the bad reviews and throw out the extremes of both.

By November, I was ready to go again so I returned to Chelsea and this was the result.


After a day or so I realized I may have made a mistake because my curls were beginning to lose their coil shape.  I now know it was because of processing the same hair with bleach without using a protectorant like Olaplex (but more about that later).  I was excited about the blonde in the front while frustrated by the stretch of my curls and the look of the colors from the back.  I wasn’t sure what I could do next to get the look I wanted.

2016 brought a new career and a new (old) city in my life.  I relocated to Atlanta but before the move, I made a trip to Ulta in FL and then in GA.  More bleach on bleach and stylist hopping put my hair at serious risk.  At first, everything seemed fine. I was liking the color, I just wanted more. After a “Master Stylist” faux pas that resulted in orange hair, followed by the lavender grey correction by another stylist I was faced with the consequences of too many cooks in my kitchen. My hair was fried. It was damaged, breaking, dull and dry.

Then enter my Knight with Shining scissors. James. I found James by accident. I had been hearing nothing but good things about Deva Curl’s – Deva Cut.   You may remember that while in Florida I was going to Ouidad Stylists.  I went on DevaCurl.com to find a stylist near my new home in Georgia. I found a great salon conveniently just around the corner from where I was living. However, when I got there the stylist that I was looking for was not available. I was told by the receptionist that I would love this guy named James. I looked over and saw a skinny, tall pale man with blonde waves and looked back at the girl like, ”Are you serious?!” She shook her head, yes, and I sat in the chair. A couple hours later James had brought hydration and shape back to my messy curls. Due to the amount of breakage around my face, I even trusted him to give me bangs. A first for me but glad I had tired them remember this, faux bangs?

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At this point, I was giving the color a break then I realized I wanted to work on the blonde. I called the salon for James and I found out he had left. Luckily, the receptionist was his friend and told me where I could find him. He had started his own salon, CurlEnvy, and was happy I found him. DISCLAIMER: I had to beg and plead and promise not to sue if I lost all my hair to convince him to take me blonde all over.
He was so cautious. Over the next year, with 2 visits, I became “total blonde”.  The final appointment took 11 hours for everything to be completed. James, his partner Shawn and I watched Bridget Jones’s Baby, drank wine (me, not them), talked about life and people. It was a long night and it was so worth it!  Now you can see where the last couple years have gotten my curls.  More about where it has gotten my life next time.

Step One with James

Started from the bottom….


Step Two with James


Final product with James

Now we’re here!