Real Talk Series: “I Saw Something Boring When I Looked In The Mirror”

In this addition of Design Essentials Real Talk Series, we chat with Hairstylist/Salon Owner, Nina Christmas, as she takes us through a weekend celebration that involved her 35th birthday, grand salon opening, and a color and cut hair transformation that left her feeling herself (despite a few hiccups). 

Design Essentials: Wow! You had a lot going on in one weekend. Was coloring and cutting your hair always a part of the plan?

Nina Christmas: It was a combination of it being my birthday (a mid-life crises) and Instagram. I was online scrolling and I saw this really pretty blonde hair. It gave me inspiration to color my hair. 

Nina’s signature color and style before the transformation.

I typically do chunks and slices of lighter colors, so I already had some blondes, coppers, and reds throughout my hair, which I wear in a [silk] wrap with bangs. But I didn’t feel youthful. I didn’t feel playful or fun. I saw something boring when I looked in the mirror. 

Design Essentials: You started with a color transformation to remix your look but experienced a slight hiccup. What exactly happened?

Nina Christmas: I used 20 and 40 volume lighteners throughout my hair with foils, but the foils gave off a little more heat than I needed. So, in the bang area there was some over-processing where my hair was already the lightest with the copper pieces. Instead of foiling, I should have done some free-hand painting.

I typically do my color myself because I like to place it and watch it. But I was tired, so one of the assistants at the salon helped me and I wasn’t really monitoring the process because I was talking and joking. I still got a really nice color tone, but my hair was weak after blow-drying and flat-ironing. So, I did an amino acid treatment to strengthen and save what wasn’t going to snap or lose elasticity. 

Design Essentials: Did over-processing your hair lead to the bob cut? 

High-lift blonde color & bob cut transformation

Nina: Actually, I had a bob haircut in the beginning of the summer and it grew out. But after the over-processing I needed some deep reshaping. So, after coloring my hair I had a coworker cut it for me because I wanted to give some difference to the back and leave the sides long. Then the next day, after all the birthday and grand opening celebrating was over, I proceeded to cut my hair shorter myself with a good pair of shears. 

Design Essentials: What was going through your mind as you were cutting? 

Nina: My cheek bones were popping out and that made me smile. I started feeling myself with some duck lips. And I was reminded that I liked my hair short when I wore it that way about 7 years ago. I just felt like I was getting back to myself. Getting back to my ego. It was liberating!

Design Essentials: We love the new cut and color! Are you satisfied with the transformation?

Nina: I am satisfied with my cut. But it’s growing quickly and I’m learning that it may be time to apply a texturizer or relaxer around my hairline and temple because I sweat. It’ll give me the convenience of getting through the day without my hair curling up. As for the color, I’ll probably change up the tone.

Design Essentials: What are your hair goals for 2019?

Nina:… [Silence]…Now you got me scrolling though old pictures…My wrap was hot! I shouldn’t have touched it, I could of did a little center part and kept it moving [laughs]. But seriously, as far as hair goals I don’t necessarily have any. I’m going to go with the flow and let my hair grow out. And if something happens, I’ll change it up. Then change it up again!


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Design Essentials new Real Talk Series is an exciting blog segment in which we chat exclusively with everyday women and men willing to share their unique hair journeys through open and honest conversation.

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