The Hair Files: George Papanikolas for Joico and Just Extensions!

For some reason, as soon as January hits, I always seem to get in a hair funk.  My friends assure me that my hair looks “fine” but I get really down on myself and end up going back to the two things that make me hair happy: perfect blonde highlights and new hair extensions.

So I went back to one of my absolute faves for highlights: George Papanikolas for Joico.  I’ve already raved about him here and hereso clearly, you know I’m obsessed.  George is one of the hottest and most sought after colorists in HollywoodInstyleAllure, and People Magazine have all recognized George as one of the countries top colorists.  Using the French, freehand technique “balayage,” he creates natural-looking, sun-kissed color that looks, as George says, “like you’ve spent a summer at the beach, not three hours in the salon.”

One of the most important ingredients in George’s color blends is a foundation of healthy, shiny hair.  To produce his vibrant color results, he relies on Joico’s Vero-K-Pak Color, as well as Joico’s Hair Repair System which includes Joico’s K-PAK Deep Penetrating Reconstructor to keep his cients hair in optimum condition.  This award-winning hair fixer is packed with Joico’s unique Quadramine Complex, which transforms strands instantly, leaving hair stronger, glossier and easier to manage.   

So touching up my color was step one (and photo one, above).  Step two was filling out my fine hair with extensions.  Now, my previous hair extension experience was truly epic but when I found out about Just Extensions, LA’s first extensions-only salon, I HAD to try them out.  Just Extensons is a Drybar for hair extensions, if you will, and you know how much I love a dedicated salon.  The best part?  Aside from the excellent customer service, their extension packages are crazy affordable.  I texted my friend Kristen, who is a frequent “weave” getter, and when I told her she could get a full head for $150, she replied back “a full f&*cking head for $150?!?!  I’m making an appointment!”  Now that’s excitment for good hair.  With three signature packages that include; micro-links, braided sew-in, beaded one-step weft, and fusion techniques (all ranging from $100 – $300), there really is something for every hair type.  Ugh, and guys, I TRIED out clip-ins (really, I did), but they’re just not as good!  I’m sorry.  This is the real deal.  I sent the salon manager a recent photo and when I came in for my appointment, she had four packs of perfectly matching hair, ready to go.  About two hours later, I looked like the second picture and I’m not even kidding – heads turned as I walked down the street.  A true testament to GOOD HAIR.

My Hair Extensions: Grand Finale

As you’ve been reading, I’ve had Hair Dreams hair extensions in for the last several months and, as all good things come to an end, it was time for them to come out.  I couldn’t have been happier with the results and you can read HERE to see all my other posts and photos.  

The photo above is me (and my BFF Dawn) post-extensions and you can see that my hair, though shorter and finer, is still perfectly healthy and not damaged at all.  Pretty impressive after nearly 6 months of extensions!  The most common question I get is “well how long is your real hair?”  My “real hair” is actually quite long and grows really fast but I love my extensions for volume and thickness.  All fine-haired girls need to know that you can make your hair thicker with extensions and, since they’re made from real hair, the extensions actually blend really well into your natural hair…no one ever knew I had extensions in, trust.  I decided to give my hair a “rest” for 3-4 months and then I’ll go in for another round of Hair Dreams.  I can’t WAIT.

Hair Extensions: Round Two!

before                                                        after

You probably read my posts last spring/summer on my first experience with HairDreams hair extensions and guys, I had to have them back.  I’ve never had a problem growing out my hair, in fact, my hair grows too fast (hello roots), but I’m cursed with baby fine locks that can fit between my thumb and pointer finger when pulled together.   The thing that people still don’t know about hair extensions is that they are actually amazing for volume and fullness. I have dreams of big, Vicotoria’s Secret model hair (who doesn’t) and even though that’s not actually very realistic for me (it would look incredibly fake), the extensions give me a ton of extra thickness that makes me less self conscious and also makes my hair look way better when styled.

This time around, I went to a HairDreams hair extensions artist, who lives in Venice, and she was a-mazing.  She used their LaserbeamerXP to apply the extesnions, which is a hi-tech laser bonding application system excusively used with HairDreams patented Comfort Point Bondings.  It was a little weird at first because you hear this weird laser (duh) noise and feel it moving your hair around…but the extensions went on SO fast and NONE have fallen out so far…it’s been about a month now.

While I didn’t have any issue with the hand application from hair extensions round 1, the LaserbeamerXP bonds up to eight sectional strands at a time and takes 50% less time than hand application…so it’s good for a girl on the go.

My extensions will last for about 5-ish months so stay tuned for another update next month after I go back for an “extension check up.”

LaserbeamerXP application for HairDreams


Hair Extensions Update: The Finale

Nadine, Jamie C., Sydne, me at a friend’s surprise birthday BBQ

It was time. I laughed, I cried, I get my Hair Dreams hair extensions taken out.  You might remember my last update back in March, where I got “touched up” a bit and was told that I could keep my extensions in for another two(ish) months…I was elated.  Well it came to a point where they were way grown out and sadly, it was that time.  I never thought that I would’ve grown so attached to someone else’s hair but ladies, I did.  I can’t reccomend them enough and a big part of that was also my experience at The Doves Studio, who was amazing at matching the exact shade of blonde that I wanted, helping me with my questions and just having overall amazing customer service.  (Make sure to ask for Chris Rosario!)

But I digress, it was time for them to come out and yeah, I was definitely nervous about how my natural hair was gonna look after five months of having the extensions in.  The result?  Well it was certainly a shock to see how my natural hair didn’t look or feel the way it had with the extensions IN…but overall, my natural hair stayed extremely healthy with almost no breakage!  I immediately needed my highlights touched up and The Doves Studio was nice enough to give me a slightly darker blonde shade for summer (in the above photo).  I thought it might be fun to go slightly darker during the summer months and my colorist actually lightened my entire base color before putting the highlights in, making maintenance a bit easier.  What do you guys think?

Redken Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that, sadly, I had my extensions taken out on Saturday (more to come on this). The loss of my gorgeous (store-bought) hair actually put a huge damper on my day, oddly enough, and when I came home and took a look at what I was left with, I immediately went over to my “beauty closet” and started fumbling around for hair-reviving products, serums, volumizing sprays, basically anything that I thought might possibly make me feel like I hadn’t just had 90% of my hair removed. When I saw Redken’s new Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist, I figured “hey, shiny hair might make me feel better”…and I was right.

I’ve always given shine mists the old side-eye since often times they can make your hair greasy or weigh hair down but Redken’s version gave my hair a pleasant sheen but there was no stickiness or weight added. It’s great after using a flat iron, for a gleaming, polished finish and it contains ingridents known to boost shine, condition and nourish hair like Camelina Oil and Vitamin B5.

Hair extensions UPDATE!

So back in early January I got my very first set of hair extensions; it’s been about three months now and I’m still totally obsessed!  As far as maintenence and care, I’ve been following all of the rules that the staff at The Doves Studio told me (e.g make sure they’re not sticking together, don’t use too much product, etc.) and I’m really happy that I went with Hair Dreams since there were so many hair extension brand choices and it was hard to decide.  This is high-quality hair people, no one can ever tell I have extensions in!

I did experience about 10 pieces falling out after a month and so I called The Doves and asked if this was normal (it is not).  Turns out pieces do sometimes fall out but since so many had fallen out in such a short amount of time, they wanted me to come in and check them out.  In about an hour The Doves staff replaced the missing pieces and we realized that the hair they were attached to was probably too fine to hold the bond and since I got “touched up,” only one or two pieces have fallen out since!  Success.  I’m going to be majorly bummed when I have to get them taken out in a month or so.  Stay tuned for one more update!