Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The No Heat Summer Challenge

Last year I posted on my Instagram about the results I got from the No Heat Summer Challenge and I've had so many people ask me about it since I thought I'd write up a post for all you Challengers!

My hair from about Jr. High to mid College was the WORST! It was always short because it was always damaged and breaking. I would try to grow it out but by the time it was barely passed my shoulders my mom would give me the firm but loving "your hair looks like dead straw and it's time to cut it" talk. It wasn't until college that I started taking care of my hair enough to grow it out. And by "taking care of my hair" I mean, I died it brown instead of platinum blonde, started "deep conditioning" (aka, leaving Pro V in my hair overnight) and didn't rip it in and out of messy buns all day. The result I got was the mid back length that I wanted but it was still thin, dry and ratty at the ends.

JULY 2005

(High School Hair - Please excuse the chubby face and posture...)

Fast forward 6 years, 5 moves, 2 kids, 2 states, 1 dog and 1 husband later...

I'm back to blonde, it's the longest it's ever been but it's still dry, stringy, full of static and dead at the bottom and took me almost 5 years to grow out. I go in to a stylist I've never been to (I just moved to a new state) and she DESTROYS my hair in one fatal swoop. I end up dying it brown to cover her mess and my entire head of hair shrivels up and dies... (I cried for 3 days) I ended up chopping my hair to my chin in January 2014 and kept it short until September 2014 when I decided to grow it out again.

DEC 2013 (Just before fatal hair dresser incident, see how weedy and thin my ends are?) 

My two beautiful best friends make me crazy! They are the kind of women that have the long, amazing, shiny, straight hair that grows grows like a weed! They never style, never color, never straighten and they look gorgeous every day!!  I, on the other hand, come in with the thick, frizzy, wavy hair that HAS to be styled every-single-day and cut every 3 months or I look like big foot! One night I asked them both, "what do you guys do to your hair to get it SO healthy!?" to which one of them replied "well, I'd say the biggest thing I do is, while I'm in the shower, I put my conditioner in and then I just leave it in while I shave and do everything else..." to which I replied with a dumfounded look and my mouth wide open! I have been doing that for 15 years! It LITERALLY says to do that on every shampoo bottle!! I have been doing that since I could read and wash my own hair!?! WHY is their hair SO healthy!! I have been buying product after product for years, asking all my stylist friends for advice and trying all the Pins Pinterest has to offer! They don't even care about hair care! They just wash it and let it air dry everyday!!

Then it hit me ....

------ they NEVER put heat in it!!-----

They curl their hair every once in a while for church or a date but other than that, they just air dry everyday! Thats got to be their secret! Problem solved! ... So now you're probably thinking the same thing I did at this point "Yeah, but my hair air dries like a Star Trek cast member because it's too damaged... " when in reality,

Your hair doesn't air dry well because it's too damaged, but the more you air dry, the healthier your hair will be and the better it will air dry!

It's a vicious cycle and you just gotta jump in somewhere!

I remembered reading a blog post years ago about a girl who did, what she called, the No Heat Summer Challenge (and I cannot for the life of me find that post again!). Basically she just didn't put heat in her hair AT ALL for 3 months. I blew right passed that post because I could NEVER air dry my hair and go out in public. I tried to remember what I could from from her post and decided last summer I was going to do it! 

I did it for 4 months and I had AMAZING results you guys!!!  I am about to reach my year mark of going 90% of my days with no-heat and it's been awesome! Remember how I chopped my hair to my chin September 2014? The picture below is May 2016! That means in 21 months my hair grew 11 inches!! My hair has NEVER grown that fast! It is thick top to bottom and my frizz is almost completely gone! I have no split ends, no damage ring around the middle from excessive pony tails and it's SO SOFT!!! I wanna touch my hair all-dang-day it's so soft! Now, when I do style my hair with heat, I can go to bed with it wet, wake up and it takes me 2 minutes to straighten! 4 years ago my hair would be a matted, chaotic mess after sleeping on it! It's so healthy now, when I run a straightner through it (again, for like, 2 minutes) it'll stay that straight for DAYS!!

JUNE 2016

Heres roughly my timeline during the challenge (sorry I'm a photographer so i'm behind the camera most the time so most of these are just cell phone selfies...)

That last one (December) was taken the morning after I went to bed with my hair soaking wet!! Woot woot!!

Here's total air dry in Las Vegas at my one year mark
here's my hair straightened at my one year mark!
Again! I let it air dry and then ran my straightener through it for TWO MINUTES!!
I have NO damage line from pony tails! I have no split ends and my hair is smooth and soft and shiny!!

Okay people! I have just hit my 1.5 year mark! When I started this my hair was dry and damaged and just at my shoulders! My hair filled in, thickened and grew 13 inches in 1 and half years!

Before I started this challenge it would have taken me 5 years to get it this long and it would be dead, dry and barely qualifying as "hair" anymore! This "No Heat Challenge" went from one hopeful summer to an ENTIRE lifestyle change for me and my hair! I love it so much!! I know 1.5 years sounds like a long time but trust me, Future You, will thank you for starting now!

Here are the rules!
1- Absolutely no blow drying! NONE! zip! zero! If you're gonna cheat, don't start with the blow dryer!! It's horrible for your hair! Start with elastics (you cheaters...)
2- Obviously no curling irons or straighteners either.
3- You may only do your hair with heat for special occasions like weddings, dates, and occasionally church. (The grocery store is NOT a special occasion!)
4- NO pony tails! ... YUP! you heard me! Hair elastics are SO damaging to your hair! Resist the urge! Don't pull it up! If you HAVE to pull it up, do a loose, straight pony tail or a french braid! With braids, at least the elastic is at the very bottom of your hair where it will be trimmed soon and not in the dead center of your all your length. Also, no messy buns (those just damage everywhere) and ESPECIALLY no wet hair pony tails!! Your hair is at it's weakest when it's wet, so you don't want to make it suffer in a tight bun when it's at it's weakest.
5- Endure to the end!! I promise, it'll be worth it! 

Here are the steps!
Step 1- Take a "before pic" of your hair! 
Step 2 - Make a note of how long your hair is but don't stop measuring at the very end of your hair! End measuring where the damage gets really bad! My biggest improvement I saw is my hair is now thick all the way to my ends and that counts as growth! My hair grew 5 inches total in 4 months but the overall length of it only got 3 inches longer (if that makes sense?) Meaning it filled in 2 inches of thickness at the ends too!

Step 3 - Go to my Pinterest board for ideas on how to do your hair with no heat and minimal hair ties!
(Tip - My go to for the grocery store was my hair pulled through the back of a baseball hat with no elastic)
Step 4- Stay Strong! Don't give up!

There were days when I wanted to give up and just style my hair! I got so sick of my husband coming home to Beaker from The Muppets everyday. I got so tired of trying to find ways to do my hair even to go to Walmart! Keep moving forward!
I promise it will be worth it! 
After a month or two your hair will start to air dry naturally and with out all the damage, it will dry smoothly. I did the Challenge for 4 months and I've kept doing it for almost a year now! The craziest thing is I actually prefer my hair air dried now over curling or straightening! It feels so soft and natural when it's air dried and I can feel the damage in my hair the minute I put heat in it! 
The best part is, now when I do straighten it, I air dry it 90% of the way, blow dry for about 2 minutes, touch up the top with my straightner and it's done!! 3 years ago it would take me 40 minutes to blow dry and straighten all of my hair!! I ALWAYS get comments on my hair when I straighten it now because it's so thick and long! I seriously have people coming up to me and touching my hair...

Other hair-care tips
Tip 1- Over the years I've found two game changing hair products! They have both completely changed my hair and I tell everyone about them! 
(Keep in mind, I have thick, wavy, dry hair! If you have thin, fine, oily hair these products may not work as well for you!)
(Tip 2 - understand your own hairs needs!)

You can buy both of these Products on Amazon
It's a 10 // MoroccanOil
When I get out of the shower I towel dry my hair, flip my head upside down and apply the It's A 10 leave in conditioner to my ends, then I do the same thing with the Moroccan Oil! (Don't get the oil near your scalp or you'll look like a grease ball) Get these products! Invest in your hair!! It'll change your life! You can buy them both on Amazon and both bottles will last me around a year!
Tip 3- STOP USING CHEAP SHAMPOOS!!! I'm not saying you have to pay 60 bucks a bottle, but please, for everything holy, stop buying Pantene ProV!!! Cheap shampoos are full of waxes and other things that are TERRIBLE for your hair! You can literally take scissors and skim off the wax that builds up on to your hair from those brands! I started using John Frieda Frizz Ease (Because again, Frizz is my middle name) and it was a game changer! It's only $7 a bottle and Ulta has them on sale for buy one get one 50% off a lot. Also, the clouds parted and WALMART just started selling the line!! No more long drives to get my shampoo anymore!
Tip 4- Don't brush your hair when it's soaking wet, remember, thats when it's weakest! Towel dry, add your two products we just talked about above, and then dry.
Tip 5 - This last ones hard for me cause my hair feels SO good but, there is such a thing as "over brushing and touching"! When you touch your hair it deposits oils from your hands making it weaker, when you brush it too much it breaks off pieces each time. Try to resist! At first I just carried a brush around with me all day to keep the frizz under control, now I have to resist brushing it cause it looks like gloss when I brush it out! Put the brush down and keep your hands to yourself! ;)
Tip 6- Invest in a microfiber towel! Heres my favorite one! They are so worth it! When you get out of the shower, wrap your hair in a microfiber towel while it dries (I leave mine on while I do my make up or get ready for bed) The microfiber creates way less frizz than the harsh terry cloth towels! I saw results with mine in about 4 days!

Turning your hair into something you love 
is just at the end of the summer!! 

You just have to endure some frizz and creative no-heat hairstyles for a few months!! 

I wanna see your results!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Megan + Nate

Hey everyone! I'm still here I promise! While I lived in Colorado I got brought on by a studio that kept me crazy busy with weddings! I completely loved it! I met so many awesome people and shot at so many amazing venues all over Colorado! I was so busy though, that my blog and website completely suffered! So now that I am back in Utah with 2 kiddos I'm going to take this time to catch up on my website and blog! So to start that off

This was my very last wedding in Colorado :(  I did this couples Engagements and loved them SO MUCH I decide to extend my leave date just to shoot their wedding! So bless their heart for putting up with a 7 month pregnant photographer but they're wedding was the perfect finish to my 2 years shooting in Colorado.

Their ceremony was off the dock of a lake up in a mountain town in Colorado. Their bridal party was fun and crazy and full of liquor and I loved every minute of spending the day with all of them! Thanks Nate and Meg for letting me be a part of your day!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Marni's Maternity

This beautiful woman is my life long friend Marni. We met on the first day of the 7th grade, I got pushed and landed on top of her desk and it was love at first sight :) She earned the nickname Squid in Jr. High so thats always what we've called her. We've been through a lot and she's become my 2nd sister. My favorite thing about her is she's not anything anyone else wants her to be. She is so natural and simple and I admire her independent personality. She married a great guy who we all love and supports her so much in her natural life style, so much that he let her be nuts and do an all natural at home birth for their first baby! WHAT A WOMAN! She's amazing in all things and I love her so much. Congrats on your baby girl Squid & Paul!! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Cutest Little Backyard Wedding

I had the great opportunity to shoot a wedding of a good friend of mine a couple weeks ago. She was on my volleyball team in high school but was much younger than I was so I never got the time to know her. Then as fate would have it, 5 years later, I ended up moving to St. George next door to her big brother and sister-in-law who would quickly become our best friends. Soon after that she moved in with them and she met her handsome fiancé Lewis. This beautiful bride has been through all the ups and downs of life and love and she has finally found an amazing man who will take care of her like she deserves for the rest of her life. We so much appreciate Lewis for stepping in and being the perfect man for our Kayla. Good luck in all your years to come you two! Love you!
My favorite part about shooting weddings is "The Mess Up". EVERY couple I have ever shot has had one and 95% of the time they are adorable mistakes that give the day such a fun memory. 
This one I think topped my list of favorites! 
During the ceremony the groom said "I do" way before he was supposed to and the couple instantly burst into laughter, the groom then turned to the congregation and said "I'M SORRY I'M JUST SO EXCITED!! LETS DO THIS!" ha ha ha!! 
It was so cute and so romantic. I hope he wasn't too embarrassed about that because I bet his new wife thought it was adorable! 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Proud to be an American

I had the opportunity to do a really cool session a few months ago and I'm excited and humbled to post about it today. 

>> This is the Kimber family <<
they are an amazing family who has dedicated their lives to serving our country. 
 We got together for this session one week before Kens 4th deployment to Iraq as a Chinook Pilot. 
Ken was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom III which he was gone for 12 months and missed his son Hunters birth, he got to meet Hunter at 8 months old. 
He was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom V-VI in which he was gone 15 months and missed his daughter Kierras' birth, he met her at 10 months old. 
Ken helped transport supplies as well as troops. In June of 2011 he was deployed to Honduras for 6 months where he helped with capturing a Drug Cartel and helped find submarines full of illegal drugs.
 Now he is in Afghanistan for anywhere up to 18 months where they are helping to close things up so that our troops can all come home.
Ken does mission planning, keeping track of troops and has been in the Aviation unit of the Army for 12 years as Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth Kimber.

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