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Becky 2.0 by: Annaliese L.

Becky 2.0

So there I was, staring at myself through the mirror. I didn't recognize myself. I felt like a whole new person.

"I can't believe you did this, Becky," said my friend Andrea when I told her what I had done. "You're like, a changed women."

And I was. I was a completely new and improved Becky. Becky 2.0, if you must. Just this simple change had completely turned around my whole life. My attitude was different, my perspective on life was different and the best part ? the way men looked at me was different.

This was it. This was the year I was going to get myself a boyfriend and hopefully a husband so I could finally start my life. My mom would be so pleased.

"Wait till she sees me," I thought to myself. "Maybe now she won't treat me as "the ugly duckling" of the family. Maybe now she'll be proud of me."

I stepped out of my apartment complex and into the big, beautiful new world. I walked confidently down the street watching the admiring glances of the passersby.

"Yeah, take a long look. Because this Becky is here to stay," I thought smugly.

I strolled into Starbucks and ordered the first thing I saw on the menu. Screw my normal, boring, everyday cappuccino. I was a changed woman with a changed drink...a Venti Java Chip Frappuccino with 16 shots of espresso, to be exact.

"Oh my Lord!" I said to myself after one sip.

"Well maybe not everything had to change," I said as I threw my drink away and ordered my usual.

I walked into my office complex and soaked in all the stares.

"I guess everybody gets their 15 minutes of fame after all," I joked to my coworker who was too busy awing at my new style.

I sat down at my desk and smiled to myself. This was by far the best purchase I had ever made.

I snuck a glance over at Josh, the tech guy at my office. I caught him staring at me and I whipped my head back fast, swooshing my hair in a romantic movie type way. This was the best day of my life.

Josh was, let's see if I could explain... he was... quiet and hardworking and we barely spoke a word to each other, but the chemistry between us was more than Albert Einstein could ever imagine. And today, I could feel that chemistry growing. Today was going to be the day that he sauntered over to my cubicle and asked me out. Today was going to be the day that he realized I was the girl for him. I was his other half, his rock, his peanut butter to my jelly.

And it was all because of these gorgeous, luxurious, most amazing things ever created... my 20-inch Human Hair Extensions.

"Spill, now," said my co-worker Carol as she walked over to my desk.

"What?" I said smugly, knowing perfectly well what she was talking about.

Without waiting for a response, I started rambling on about my newfound purchase.

"Well, if you must know, I got hair extensions!" I squealed like a teenager.

"I was just searching the internet the other day and this website popped up, like it was meant to be! I didn't think much of it when I clicked on the link, but the moment my eyes laid on the Pro Premier Remy 20 inch extensions, I knew I was in love. I had to get them! And guess what else? They had free overnight shipping! It was most definitely meant to be."

"I have got to get myself a pair," said Carol.

Soon, a whole crowd of my short-haired co-workers were huddled around my desk, asking questions, touching my hair and staring in jealously.

Everyone wanted my extensions.

"I was starting a trend. By next year, every person walking down the runway in New York will have these extensions!" I thought as I flipped my gorgeous locks.

Author Biography

Becky 2.0
By Annaliese L.

Hi! I'm Annaliese. I'm 15 years old and I love horseback riding, modeling, hanging out with friends, and writing. I'm on my school newspaper and I want to be an investigative journalist when I get older. I love animals and I'm obsessed with Justin Bieber. My dream is to meet him one day. I also love doing hair. My friends are constantly asking me to do their hair during class. I love it, but the teachers aren't too fond of it, haha. And I can't wait till I get my Human Hair Extensions!

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The Curly Gene by: Karla R.

The Curly Gene

So I guess it is true that we all want what we don't have. Girls with straight hair want curly hair and girls with curly hair want straight hair. I have to say I'm guilty of that. I suffer from the "curly gene." I?m a Latin girl with curly hair, and let me tell you it's not easy keeping my hair nice. It?s pretty much impossible! Ever since I was really little, I've struggled with frizzy, thick, curly hair. I still remember kids making fun of me in elementary school. They would call me Cave Man, poodle, fluff ball, you name it. I would literally try EVERYTHING to make my hair not so curly, but as a 9-year-old little girl, I had no luck in finding the cure for my "curly gene."

Then I started middle school and discovered my life saver- THE FLAT IRON. I had never felt so happy before. This was like the new chapter in my life, or so I thought. From that day on I was flat ironing my hair everyday till eighth grade. I didn't even care it took me an hour to do it all. Three years of burning my hair didn't really help my "curly gene.? It even made it worse due to the fact that I now had my hair full of split ends. It was a hot mess! My hair was now frizzier than before. It was stiff, dead and nasty. Even when it was straight it didn't look like how I wanted it to. Finally my mom was tired of seeing my hair like this and she had a solution. I had no other choice than to go with it. She took me to cut my hair. She told the hair dresser to cut off all my dead ends. Once she was done, I took a look at the mirror and I wanted to cry and scream! My hair was gone! The lady cut my hair up to my neck. Without saying anything I ran out.

I couldn't live with the fact that I was now going to have short hair. Let me just say short, curly hair isn't easy to manage. During that summer I was using horse shampoo because my cousin had told me it made her hair grow faster. When I started high school, my hair was longer, but seeing all these girls with their long, pretty hair made me miss mine. For half of my freshmen year, I used product after product to try and make my hair grow, but I was very unlucky.

Finally one day my mom suggested hair extensions. At first I was a little unsure, so I went on You Tube and started looking at hair extensions reviews. I came up on one that caught my eye. The video was by "MAKEUPBYMELL" called "HAIR EXTENSIONS." In this video, the girl was talking about her new 24 inch hair extensions she had purchased from Pro Extension. I decided to check out the website and saw some for $99. It was like love at first site. I wanted them! So for that Christmas, that was on top of my list.

We purchased my extensions on a Tuesday and got them the next day. I loved them so much! I found that curling them with a thin curly iron would make them look like my natural hair. I also found that the extensions covered most of the dead ends on my natural hair. But my favorite hairstyle was just doing beachy waves on them, by using a two inch wand.

Maybe my hair extensions didn't cure my "curly gene," but it definitely made it look better than ever. But what did cure my "curly gene" was just learning to love and accept the fact that not all of us have the prefect hair. Maybe we do try to hide our natural hair most of the time, but as long as we're happy, it shouldn't even matter!

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Alopecia Areata by: Casandra B.

Dealing With Alopecia Areata

Have you ever worried about hair loss? Have you ever seen chunks of hair on your hand when you brush it or take a shower? Have you ever felt your hair getting thinner and thinner?

Well, I have and it's extremely devastating! I been dealing with hair loss for many years now, more specifically from a condition called Alopecia Areata. Many people might have never heard of Alopecia Areata, but I'll explain what it is.

Alopecia Areata is a condition that causes round patches of hair loss that can be about the size of a quarter or even bigger. This condition could lead to complete hair loss! The cause of Alopecia Areata is unknown. That's why I have no clue how I have this condition if neither of my parents have it. It is thought to be an autoimmune condition because this occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.

Not only could Alopecia Areata occur on the scalp, but you could also lose hair on the eyebrows and eyelashes! The part that frustrates me is that there is no cure for this condition, but there are treatments that could be used such as steroid injections under the skin surface, topical corticosteroids, topical immunotherapy, topical minoxidil, ultraviolet light therapy and the use of wigs.

What upsets me is when the bald spots fill in with hair after treatment and then suddenly another bald spot appears! The first time I found out that I was losing my hair was when I was taking a shower and I was shampooing my hair. I noticed a lot of hair on my hands and on the bathtub. At first I thought it was normal because hair is supposed to fall out every day in order for new hair to grow. So I didn't mind it at first. But then the next day when I was straightening my hair I noticed a huge bald spot that I hadn't seen before!

I started panicking and crying, asking my mom if she knew what it was. She told me she had no clue and that she would make an appointment to the dermatologist so that he could see what is was and if there was a cure for it. So then a few days later my mother takes me to the dermatologist. When I saw the dermatologist he immediately told me that I had Alopecia Areata!

He prescribed me medication -- a liquid type steroid to rub into my bald spot. After a few months of treatment I noticed that my hair has regrown back. But as you could imagine, other bald spots appeared randomly! Alopecia Areata has changed me. Ever since I was diagnosed with this condition I felt my self-esteem drop so much!

I still have this condition after five years of treatment! I don't know what to do! There were times that I had to wear wigs because the size of the bald spots was extremely huge and there were multiple bald spots throughout my scalp! I'm scared that one day I'm going to wake up with no hair on my body or scalp! I hope someday there will be a cure for this condition! Until this day on I still have to color my bald spots with a color hair stick and my hair keeps falling out! I'm so self-conscious there isn't a moment that passes by that I can't stop crying when chunks of hair falls on my hands.

Sources

  • Habif TP,ed.Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philiadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2009:pp 932-934.
  • http://www.medicinenet.com/alopecia_areata/article.htm
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Tricks & Tips by: Demar B.

Tips and Tricks - Keeping Extensions Fresh

Pro extensions have the best quality, real human clip-in hair extensions I've ever come across. And trust me, I've tried them all from the synthetic to the stringy and there's not much you have to do to the Human Hair Extensions besides apply and style. Here are some tricks and tips that will assure your Pro extensions clip-ins look and stay flawless.

Pros

Human Hair Extensions human hair clip-in extensions allow you to add volume, length or a little bit of both to your hair without the commitment, worry and cost of other methods like weaves. They give you the freedom to change up your look whenever you want and they are 100 percent real human hair, so no worries of looking synthetic and fake.

Cons

Everyone will be asking you how you got your hair to look so amazing and your friends might be a little jealous

Tips

  • Apply to clean hair- If you apply your Human Hair Extensions to oily hair, after a few wears your Human Hair Extensions will become oily and dirty too and that's not a cute look.
  • Treat Pro extensions as if they were your natural hair - There will come a time when you will need to wash your Human Hair Extensions and they need the same care as your natural hair, so use a quality shampoo and conditioner.
  • Blend - Be sure to get the appropriate length and color so that your Human Hair Extensions will blend with your natural hair and look well, natural! Someone shouldn't be able to look at you and tell that you are wearing hair extensions. If they can, it's probably because it looks choppy or the colors don't match up (If you are using them as highlights that's another story.)

Styling

  • There are so many possibilities with Human Hair Extensions because they are 100 percent human hair. You can cut, curl, crimp, straighten or whatever your heart desires. Just make sure you are taking care of them so your Human Hair Extensions don’t get dull and what I call tumble weed syndrome. LOL!

African American hair

  • Most think that people with African American hair are stuck to weaves and wigs, but NOT anymore. I myself have African American hair and I rock my Human Hair Extensions, but there are some extra tricks that I have to pull out of my sleeve.
  • It's best if you have your hair relaxed/permed so that your hair is silky and soft like the Human Hair Extensions. Then use a comb to part the hair like usual, apply the pieces where you like to add volume, length or both, then take a soft bristle brush and brush your natural hair over the clips and waa-laa! You've achieved a perfect Pro Extension look.

I hope these tips and tricks help you in getting the glamorous, chic, natural look you are going for. With these tips plus the good, high-quality, 100 percent real human hair clip-in extensions Human Hair Extensions offers, how can you go wrong!? Enjoy.

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Manage Red Hair by: Jaileen R.

Tips On How To Manage Red Hair

Before you decide to color your hair red, you should decide how long you want to stay a red head. There are two ways you can go with dying your hair red and that is permanent or semi-permanent.

If you do not think you will want to keep the red in for a long period of time, then you should go with semi-permanent. Now that red hair has become a trend, there is more of a variety of semi-permanent red colors than there was a few months ago.

Once you choose the color that you want, make sure you keep in mind that red color does leave stains. Make sure that when you begin the coloring process that you cover the floor up with newspaper or some sort covering. Also make sure that you put Vaseline around your hairline and ears so that you won't have red stains on them. Once the color is on, make sure you do not over process the color because it will result in a very dark and flat color.

When it is time to rinse the color out, ignore the direction that says to rinse until water runs clear. It is almost impossible for that to happen and if it does, you will rinse out most of the color. Rinse your hair until the water runs a pale reddish color, leaving a little bit of dye in your hair. As you may know, red hair is the hardest color to keep in. It will fade very quickly compared to other colors. In other words, having red color will require a little bit more upkeep so this is something you should also consider before committing to this color.

You may want to use old, darker towels every time you wash your hair. If you have a semi-permanent dye, your hair can stain your pillow cases at first. Also be careful with the neck lines of t-shirts. To have longer lasting results, make sure you wash your hair with cool water EVERY time. Warm or hot water will strip the red out quicker.

Make sure you purchase some color shampoo and conditioner from a professional store. You may think they do not work, but they really help out. Also, make sure you maintain healthy hair by getting regular trims and deep conditioning treatments. Because of how frequently you have to dye your hair to keep up with the red, your ends will become split and your hair shafts will become weaker.

Some people may or may not agree with this, but you may not want to wash your hair as frequently. Every time you wash your hair you are removing color, which would mean your hair color will fade faster, which also means you have to color your hair more often. So in essence, the more you wash your hair, the more damages you will face.

When you think about choosing a red hair color, you do not think of all the different factors that may lead you to not wanting it anymore. You must put in a lot of work to maintain such a vibrant color, and you must be 100 percent committed to ensure positive results.

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From Bob to Bun by: Hillary C.

From Inverted Bob to Side Bun

As my wedding was rapidly approaching in June of 2011, I found myself like many other brides having a hair and makeup trial run. I have hair that's an inch shorter than my chin and cut into an inverted bob. While I have loved this style for years, it didn't present the long, beautiful curls I longed for on my wedding day. I purchased a set of Human Hair Extensions from a local salon and from that moment on I was convinced I could complete my own wedding up do.

I began with a 3/4 inch curling iron, curl spray and hairspray. I sectioned off my own hair starting with the back. I alternated the curl pattern with my curling iron. I repeated the same with the sides, spraying each section with my curl spray prior to curling. I finished with a light hair spray all over. When I curl my hair to wear it up, I always alternate my curl pattern. By doing so I am able to have more volume in my natural hair and it blends seamlessly with my extensions.

I curl each clip-in extension using the same alternating pattern. I use the same curl protectant spray and hairspray on my extensions that I do on my own hair. After all of my extensions are curled, I run my fingers through the curls on my head to separate each curl. I repeat with the extensions.

I begin clipping in my extension sets 1/4 inch from the base of my hairline. I place them slightly to the right as that's the side I wear my bun. Once all of my extensions are in, I begin to bobby pin. For this hairstyle, I always work from the bottom up. By doing so, I can leave several curls loose to give a great, overall look.

I flip over my head and starting at my left ear, I lightly twist a section of my hair under. I pin this section with the bobby pins so the inside of the twist is secure from the inside. I continue to side sweep and pin each section in the same manner, ensuring that they are left loose so you can see the curl pattern.

Once all of my extensions are pinned, I lift the few longest curls and pin the very ends into the center of all of the side swept hair. I then touch up a few curls that I have left around my face to add a very soft and romantic look to this style.

The key is to curl your extensions and your hair with the same curl pattern and the same size curling iron. When the extensions are pinned along with your actual hair, the look is seamless. In the photos above, my shortest layer is 2.5 inches at the top of my head. By using this method and lightly twisting my hair and the extensions together, the look is virtually seamless; giving me the wedding hair I have always dreamed of.

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Hair Oils by: Hailey I.

Macadamia and Moroccan Oil Product

There is always a new product on the market for hair. First it was Moroccan Oil and now it's Macadamia Oil products. I personally have tried both brands and I have seemed to fall in love with both. The macadamia is a favorite in beauty magazines. According to www.Folica.com, the natural oil combines the nutritious properties of South Pacific macadamia oil with Moroccan argan oil to nourish and replenish hair and scalp health. It's ideal for dry or damaged hair types.

This macadamia hair care collection includes a shampoo, an oil treatment, a masque, a leave-in cream and an oil infused comb. The Moroccan collection is by the brand Organix and the collection includes a shampoo, conditioner, oil treatment and much more. It works great at reducing frizz and keeping your hair the way you want it without getting greasy.

I was worried about hair becoming too oily because my hair does that with most products if I use too much, but not with this one. It smells great too. I have also noticed that I can go longer between haircuts as it helps with split ends too. You only need about a dime-sized amount, so the 3.4 oz. bottle will last you forever. My hair is now so much smoother, healthier and much more manageable. Hair dries faster and looks so shiny.

This stuff is literally a liquid-gold miracle product! If you have fine hair, definitely get the Moroccan Oil Light. I have somewhat thick hair, but I use the light version as it does not weight my hair down as much. Love it. So worth the money. For the macadamia it is cheaper and more people seem to enjoy it. I got this for Christmas and I'm addicted. I towel dry my hair a bit, then put the oil in before I blow dry and it's less tangled, soft, light, shiny and best of all-not greasy!

I've used it every day so far, but I should save some of it to make it last longer. I also use a tiny bit more when I'm done straightening it for a smooth finish. It also makes hair healthier and more manageable and smells great! I should've got this a while ago. Every time I get my hair cut, about every two months, my stylist insists on using it every time. She loves to use it before she blow dries my hair straight. It leaves my hair with no frizz or fly-aways.

You can also use it to style. I watched a video on YouTube from Fashionlaugh and she was saying that after you blow dry, you can use a little oil to make nice waves by just twisting the ends of your hair. After I watched the tutorial, I tried it and I do this hairstyle about every day. I hope this review is helpful for someone. My overall review is that they are both great products, but I personally would pick Macadamia Oil.

Sources

Information on bottle of Organix hair products
Folica Youtube (Fashionlaugh)
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The Mullet by: Samantha C.

The Mullet

Haircut. Ugh, to this day the word makes me cringe. A haircut should be a happy occasion, a fresh start, a new beginning. Unfortunately not all of us are so lucky. When I was in sixth grade a haircut trend started to go around my school.

All the girls were coming in with these cute, layered, "Rachel" esque haircuts. I thought they looked so sophisticated and so put together. Here I was with my long, plain hair. Looking back I had BEAUTIFUL hair -- long, black, straight, virgin hair. But that's just never enough is it? If it were, we wouldn't perm our straight hair, flat iron our curly hair, dye our light hair, and bleach our dark hair.

Needless to say, I HAD to have this haircut. At the time, it was a matter of life or death. So one day I went home from school and told my mom about this life changing haircut I wanted. Now my mom wasn't the typical mom. She wasn't big into hair or makeup. In fact, my dad did my hair most of the time, but I described the haircut as best as I could.

"Shorter on top and longer underneath" were the words I used. I would go on to regret those words. My mom said, "Oh, you mean like feathered?" I had no idea what feathered meant. I don't think anyone born after 1980 knew what it meant, but it sounded right.

Feathered, light, fluffy, yeah that sounded great. So instead of going to a salon that might have picked up on the epic mistake being made, my mom took me to her friend's house, who used to own a salon.

"Used to" being the key phrase here. The woman is about the same age as my mom. My mom tells her, "She wants her hair feathered."

Now my dad was against the haircut from the beginning. He was in love with Cher and the closer my hair was to hers the better. My mom and I came home that night and my dad met us in the front yard. I will never forget the look of anger, sadness and utter disappointment on his face.

See, he thought I chopped all my hair off because from the front I LOOKED LIKE A BOY! The woman had given me a mullet! I had short feathered hair on top and this long layer that hung down past my shoulders in the back. I took all of my hair and put it up in this tiny, misshapen ponytail right on top of my head because that was the only way to put it all up.

Throughout the year the ponytail got a little lower and lower the more my hair grew, but it never came out of that ponytail. To this day I usually cut my own hair because the thought of someone getting near my head with a pair of scissors makes my "fight or flight" kick in, which is pretty dangerous for the stylist and myself with so many pairs of scissors lying around.

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Bad Hair Day... by: Scarlett P.

Bad Hair Day/Hair Care Tips

I had the "Bad Hair Day" to end ALL bad hair days. It was the tail end of last semester (mid-Dec '11). Senior project had successfully passed and I was in dire need of some root touch up before a family/holiday reunion. My hair was then an off black hue with Ombre died copper ends.

At this time I was considering going the Gulianna Ransik, beige-blonde Ombre route. Long story short, my usual hair lady was booked until a week after the family event and one of the girls from my senior class, who had done quite a nice senior project on cosmetology, offered to do it for me. She told me that she could easily continue the Ombre that was already lightened into my hair with bleach and darken my roots for $50, which was the cost for the supplies from Sally's.

This is where my radar should have gone off, like "Uhm…HELLO," off black to blonde in one sitting? I think not. Thinking that it was a good, cheap and easy quick fix to my hair-dilemma was an $800 mistake. I had failed to realize that all of her pictures of the hair she had done were one-toned jobs. Simple, one toned jobs. They looked nice and her confidence in telling me she had "done this before" won me over.

I ended up sitting in her bathroom for a grand total of six hours. She managed to turn my hair CLOWN RED with bleached "hot spots" that looked like thumb prints all over my head. She bleached my roots WHITE BLONDE on the underneath and bleached my roots golden blonde.

She tangled my hair horribly, putting in MicroBead extensions the WRONG way, and only putting in a row of 20. Continuously throughout the "appointment" she said "Oh, your hair just hates bleach, it's not doing well at all," then continued to go on about how she did one of our mutual friends' sisters' hair and how she paid $200 for "no reason" according to the amateur hair dresser. My hair looked like Strawberry Shortcake's for the family reunion.

It's safe to say that I won't forget this particular one for a while, considering all the family pictures we took. It has taken six trips over the past few months to correct my hair. Between bleaching, highlighting and conditioning treatments, as well as re-toning all to the cost has been about $800 and it is still NOT DONE. I learned that you should never take the "cheap route" when it comes to hair and NEVER have anyone without a license come close to touching your tresses.

Hair tips I've learned through the years:

  • Adding whipped cream to split ends temporarily mends them for events, photos etc.
  • Spraying Hydrogen Peroxide on hair with a spray bottle over time will bring out natural highlights.
  • Dark eye shadow (for dark hair with light roots) is a quick emergency root cover up.
  • Curling hair helps to add distracting definition when you've had a color slip-up.
  • Fish-tail braiding wet hair and letting it dry overnight gives you a Taylor Swift/ mermaid wave when you wake up.
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Hair Today by: Claire P.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Throughout my life my hair has always been a very defining feature of my personality. When I was younger it was blonder than the sun and exhibited my love for the outdoors. As I grew older, it began to curl and frizz. That was my awkward phase and allowed me to grow stronger.

In high school, I did everything anyone could imagine to it. When I was shy and confused, I hid behind long, mousey, brown locks. When I was bold and excited, it was cropped into a 40s' doo and dyed platinum blonde. When I was into theater, it was long, curly and dark brown like Christine in the Phantom of the Opera. From long to short, from blonde to black, my hair has seen it all. That’s why this year became one of the most difficult ones of my life.

I know it is embarrassing to say that my hair affects who I feel I am as a person, but I'd be lying if I said it was not true. You see, this year I found out that my hair may all be gone in the course of a few months due to a condition called Alopecia. It is a medical term for baldness that is often caused by stress and genetics. As a true diva, this hurt me to the core. I went in to the doctor when I started to notice just how thin my hair was actually getting.

I grew more and more worried when I discovered that my hair was no longer growing. I am a freshman in college, the time in my life where I should be feeling liberated and excited to start my future. I sometimes find it hard to face myself at all. I see all of these girls with long, gorgeous hair with fun pigmented colors and there I am again, the shy girl with the mousey brown locks. I often looked at pictures of myself with my thick and gorgeous hair and realize that I may never have that look back again.

It took awhile for me to realize that my appearance may never be the same and that the bald patches do have a chance of staying there my whole life. But through a journey of self-acceptance, I have taught myself to realize I am not my hair. Though I could never lie and say that long hair is still not a dream of mine, I can say that my character is not affected by my appearances.

I am in a relationship with a wonderful guy who met me after all of my hair began to fall out and loves me regardless. I find that in times of struggle and personal despair that people discover the kind of person they are meant to be. I can still be my diva self through my actions and attitude and not solely because my hair changes color every other month. All in all, Alopecia has taught me that I am fierce from the core and that while hair is a wonderful attribute, it is not the only measure of beauty.

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Hair Today by: Tara T.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I've always had long, luxurious locks. Rarely taking heat to them, they were in mint condition, not a split end in sight. It felt like silk running through my bony fingers. Sixteen years, countless trims and 30 inches of luscious, golden brown hair later, it happened.

It was an average Thursday until my mother and sister arrived home. My sister's hair, which was once similar to mine in color and length, was now gone. I clamped my hand tightly over my mouth to keep from laughing, but I couldn't. I let out a giggle. My mother scolded me. My sister bolted up the stairs as the tears streamed down her face.

It was a mushroom sort of cut with sparse fringe sitting about two centimeters above her brows. I learned later that she had gum stuck in her hair at school and one of her classmates lent a helping hand, making the situation far worse than it initially was. I found out they just came home from the local barber shop.

That night at the dinner table it was quiet until Papa came home to join us. Once he sat down, he saw her hair and heard the story. The joking started and it didn't stop. For days and days it continued. My sister could never take a joke and she still can't. All week she was devastated by the constant attention we brought to her hair. The Friday after the cut, my sister seemed awfully accepting of the jokes we made. I was confused by this, but at the time, didn’t think much of it.

On Saturday when I woke up, I went into the washroom, washed my hair and began to dry it. When I was done, I moved in front of the small, white, wood trimmed mirror that hung above the sink. That's when I saw it. The right side of my hair was missing. It vanished.

I raced down the stairs still in my night clothes, enraged. They all sat around the table with glasses of juice and plates piled with eggs and bacon. Papa was mad about something. He was yelling. My mother looked calm and ate in silence. I decided not to interrupt. With a huff and a puff, he turned to me. That's when I saw it. He too was sporting a new haircut. It looked just like mine, only opposite. His left side was missing. My sister laughed at us. My mother joined in, all of her hair still intact.

My mother took me to the barber shop the next day and I had my hair cut. It matched my sister's perfectly.

Now 24, my hair has since grown back. I've kept it relatively short. This taught me not only to treat others the way I want to be treated, but to also always keep a set of extensions or a hair piece handy because you never know when you will need extra length or a little volume.

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Fixer Uppers by: Eva K.

Quick Hair Fixer Uppers!

Ever wake up with gum or any other candy in your hair? I have! Instead of going straight for the scissors and chopping off your hair, take some peanut butter and apply it to the gummed area using long strokes, working your way down to the ends of your hair. I know, it sounds gross.

If there is a lot of gum, use a lot of peanut butter. You want to use creamy rather than crunchy peanut butter because of the oil content. The gum should start to dissolve in the peanut butter. Wash your hair with your normal shampoo and conditioner routine.

There are several other ways to get the gum out of your hair using cooking oils such as Canola, Vegetable and Olive oils. You can also go to your local drug or medical store and buy adhesive remover.

Have you ever woken up late and didn't have time to do your everyday hair routine? These quick little tricks can help you look your best in minimal time!

This look takes about five to 10 minutes depending on how much you have to work with. This look works best if you tease your hair just for a little lift. Take a small to medium section of hair at the crown and pull it to the side and up, creating a stylish bump. You can pin it with a couple bobby pins or a cute clip.

Braided hair seems too cheesy and so fifth grade? NOT! This sassy style is great for several occasions and looks like it took you hours to create. Make a simple, yet loose and to-the- side braid. Let some pieces flow out around your face. Apply little shine serum to a couple of the flowing pieces to add a little extra oomph!

This cute, yet very nice look is one of my personal favorite. The poof! You can create ?the poof? with some cute clips, mouse and a couple bobby pins for extra security. Create a poof by teasing the section and amount of hair you want, not to crazy, but just enough to own this look.

Pin the poof to the middle or top of your head and spray a small amount of hair spray or even some shine serum to the poof. Try not to make it have a slicked look. You want it to be flowing and natural. Take your hair, whether is straight, wavy or curly, and use your fingers to comb through some mouse from root to tip. Let it dry. No brushing is needed for this look.

Beachy waves! I love the going to the beach in the summer. It's my go-to place! And instead of throwing your hair up in a bun or ponytail, wave it! Take a curling iron and make loose curls. Take a mouse and apply it evenly to the curls. Next, take a wide-toothed comb or your fingers and gently comb it through the curls. This will break the curls up and create a wavier look. Do this until you have created the desired wave look. Spritz on some shine serum and hit the beach!

MarieClaire.com Seventeen.com/Magazines
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Fun Hairstyles by: Tiffany B.

Fun Hairstyles

It's always fun to dye your hair and play with it and find what works for you. If you are anything like me, you get bored with your hair quickly. You dye it, you highlight it, you cut it and you add to it to give yourself a boost of confidence.

I play with my hair at least once a month. Everyone should play with their hair because our hair is our look. Our hair tells people a lot about who we are. It adds flair to our style or finishes our look. Now I'm going to tell you fun and easy ways to mix up your everyday hair safely with the least amount of damage.

Bobby-pins - Bobby pins are fun, easy, and inexpensive. I have found many new looks with just a box of bobby pins. They enhance an up do. They can add volume to your everyday style. Most of all they are the safest way to mix it up with your hair.

Clip-on hair extensions - Hair extensions are an amazing tool. They can give you a whole new look of longer or thicker hair. Clip-on extensions are the way to go. You can take them out at the end of the day. They are safe and easy. They can dramatically change short hair to long, flowing hair, or they can take thin, long hair and make it thick and luxurious.

Accessories - You can add a flower to your hair or maybe a headband. Hair crystals are an elegant way to spice up your hair. Feathers can add a hip flair to your style. Those changes are subtle, yet make you feel a little different for the day. They are super simple and can be found pretty much anywhere. They can really brighten your look.

Temporary Dye - Temporary hair color can give you the jolt of color you need for a few days. You want to try out a new color but are not sure if you will like it or not? With temporary hair color the actual particles of color adhere to the outer lay of the hair shaft and that is why it can be removed from the hair with shampoo. The color does not change the natural color of the hair in any way. It will only coat the hair. It's a great way to experiment with little damage.

Highlights - I personally love highlights. You can make them subtle or extreme; it's all up to you. Whatever your hair shade is, you can add one or more highlights to add texture or to enhance your look or style. Highlights are a great way to mix it up with your hair when you are just tired of your bland color and want to add some tones for the season.

These are just a few safe tips to the endless possibilities to mixing up your look. The choices we have and the options are limitless. It all ends with your imagination. So grab some extensions and some bobby pins and start finding that little thing that gives you the spark that puts a smile on your face and confidence in your heart. Overall confidence is the sexiest thing you can wear. Enjoy!!

Essortment.com Temporary Hair Dye Info
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Worst Hair Care by: Shylynn H.

Worst Hair Care Experience Ever

I want to share the absolute WORST salon experience ever!

I went to get a perm and a trim a few years back. First off, the lady did not trim my hair, she literally cut it about two or three inches off! I was so mad, and what made it worse was the perm.

By now I knew that my hair wouldn't turn out the way I wanted it too because my hair was too short and a perm wasn't going to help with that! I paid this woman to do it, so I just went with the flow.

While she was perming my hair, I kept repeating that the chemicals were dripping down my neck. She just simply said, "Oh, it's okay, don't worry."

I knew it wasn't just okay. When I got back home, I realized my neck kept having a tight feeling and it was stinging. I took a mirror and looked at it and my neck was burned from my hairline to my collarbone.

I cried and cried that my hair looked terrible short and my neck had such a burning sensation along with red blotchiness. I immediately called the company and complained. They apologized and said they would take care of it and paid me $300. My hair hasn't grown back since then.

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Self Haircut by: Laurin H.

Self Haircut Gone Wrong

It all started about a little over a year ago. Side bangs and layers were all the rage at my school and I wanted them too! I asked my mother to get me some, but she kept on putting it off saying, "Maybe next week Laurin." Finally I got sick and tired of waiting and decided to do them myself. Little did I know it would turn out disastrous.

After a long day of school and then babysitting, I sat down on the floor of my room in front of a mirror with a pair of old craft scissors. I thought I could do it to look just like the girls in the magazines, but boy, was I wrong!

See, I already have very fine, thin hair. So you can just imagine what it would look like when I attempted to cut layers with my razor blade. Clump after clump fell to the floor until I had achieved the layers I wanted, but my remaining hair was so thin you could see right through it!

Next, I tackled my bangs. I had watched several YouTube videos on how to cut bangs, so I was pretty confident. I was so excited to start! Like I said, I sat down with my craft scissors I got in kindergarten, yes kindergarten, and started cutting away at my hair. Basically in the end I ended up just cutting my hair in a completely straight line across my forehead an inch or so above my eyebrows. They looked terrible!!

The next morning I tried to hide it by throwing my hair into a ponytail and pinning my sorry excuse for bangs back. I thought I was sneaky enough to get away with not showing my mom for at least one day, but no! Of course she noticed! I was so ashamed of them when she requested I take my hair down so she could see. It looked terrible and I knew it!

Then came school. Most kids in my class didn't even notice until a few of my closer friends called out, "Hey! I see you got a haircut!" They meant well, but all it did was embarrass me. I shot out a quick, "Yeah..." and slipped out the door towards my locker. Looking in the mirror I sighed. "Why didn't I just leave my hair alone!!"

After several minutes of fussing with my hair, hair spraying it, pulling it back, and putting bobby pins in, I headed back to class. It was a long day, and so were the following days until they grew out.

Now, a little over a year later, I am still repairing my hair from that one terrible night. It is still as fine as ever with my old, long, extremely stupid layers in it, but it is getting better. I plan on purchasing some beautiful, long extensions soon to help with my whole hair situation, but until then I have to suffer through the terrible haircut I gave to myself that one dreadful night.

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African American Hair by: Kaylin W.

African American Hair

I will break every myth you have ever heard about African American hair. We will be covering the bases of regular wash and care, the maintenance relaxer and healthy choices.

So what is good hair? That's the common questing that goes around the black community. Everyone has their opinion as to what the real answer is. I'm going to shut it down with one simple answer, not just for African Americans, but for everyone.

Thick and Healthy

Just because it's straight doesn't mean it's great. People go around thinking that they have the best hair because it has length. Yet their hair has no shine, it's brittle, has split ends and no bounce. It's just simply dry and dead. I'm going to give you a few tips and trick and rules to go by so that you can have thick and healthy hair.

Regular Wash

  1. When washing your hair, make sure you use a shampoo and conditioner that specifies your needs (dry scalp, dandruff etc.)
  2. While washing your hair, don't focuses on making sure the soap is on every inch of hair. Get to the root of the problem, meaning your roots. Focus on the base of your hair and get in good with your roots because that's where all the dirt and grime is collecting.
  3. After you are done with shampooing your hair and you put the conditioner in your hair, make it a point to get everything even on your edges. If you don't own a wide tooth comb, get one because when you put conditioner in your hair, you need to comb it through, starting from the bottom to the top, meaning from your ends and working your way to the roots.
  4. Next, you put a cap on your head and sit under the dryer for 30 minutes. If you don't own a personal under head dryer, then sit with the cap on your head for about an hour and then go to wash out your hair.

Dry and Care

  1. There's a trick to not only minimizing the static in your hair, but also over frying it from heat. You simply let your hair air dry for a bit so it's mostly dry and go through it with a blow dryer.
  2. Before your start flat ironing, you must spray heat protectant throughout your
  3. The you carry out with your regular straightening routine.

The maintenance relaxer

  1. Always base your hair with a good basting cream (no Vaseline)
  2. When doing your hair, never put the relaxer from root to tip, only the roots because that's where the new growth is.
  3. Once you get the relaxer in your head, get a rat tail comb and comb through in layers to make sure that it's all smoothed out. Immediately wash it out.

Healthy Choices

  • Any time you put heat to your hair, always use a heat protectants.
  • Don't always go to the highest temperature on any heat styling tool. Go halfway
  • Only get relaxers every three months.
  • Wash every two weeks
  • Get a trim every 2-3 months. You have to kill hair to grow hair.
  • Never let a relaxer sit in your hair for any time. Always wash it out after smoothing out. By doing so you won't over process your hair.
  • Don't put oils and shine product in your hair. African Americans have natural oils in their hair so there's no need for it. So when you do add it in, your're only making your hair get dirtier faster.
  • Finally, minimize how much heat you put in your hair. As an African American woman, the way I minimize using heat is by only using it after washing my hair and always wrapping it up at night so that it stays fresh. That way I won't need to use heat.
  • Follow these steps and you too can have thick and healthy hair.
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My Story by: Danielle B.

My Story

Long hair, short hair, strong hair, thin hair, wavy hair, straight hair, curly hair. Everyone wants what they do not have. All my life I have been trying to find what is missing in me, looking to see what beauty product makes me feel better about myself. I spend hundreds of dollars per year just to try and satisfy my own needs when what it's really about is what you make of yourself. You need to change your attitude and be more positive about your appearance. Heavy or thin, whom who carries themselves with pride will succeed.

I used to believe that buying hair extensions made you fake and act like you are trying to be someone else. I never really followed my own heart and what I wanted to look like. I just chose to look like everyone else. The popular girl would chop off her hair, so I would too. But deep down, I have always admired people with really long hair. I never listened to my own voice and wore what I wanted to wear. The negative opinions filled my head with doubt and sorrow when I attempted to be myself.

This year, my New Year's Resolution is to find myself. I have been working on it every day for the past few months. I now do not care what other people think about me and I am starting to eat in public and I am feeling great. I am wearing what I want to wear and I notice now I am starting to set trends. I have always been a fan of retro makeup (bright red lipstick, pin-curls, etc.) I also love wearing bows in my hair. I wore a flowered headband with a bow on it to school and realized 15 other girls were wore similar things the next day. It made me laugh because I use to be that girl and now I am the trend setter. People are now looking up to me and asking me where I got my ideas from and I told them to just listen to their hearts and present yourself as you wish.

Now that I have mostly achieved my goal, one of the last things I have wanted for myself is to have long hair. For the past year, I have been trying to grow out my hair but it grows incredibly slow. By the time it grows two inches, the ends are split and need to be trimmed. I have decided to buy extensions from Human Hair Extensions. I do not care what anyone else thinks and I am going to have long hair whether they like it or not! Hair is amazing in so many different ways. It allows people to express themselves. It shows their nationality, culture and personality.

Everyone has beautiful hair. Extensions are an amazing way to add length and volume and I am so excited to be wearing them. I hope everyone else can realize that being yourself is the best way to go and people will love you for that. Follow your heart and be who you want to be. Embrace your features and make them stand out.

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Pink Hair.. Oh No by: Emily M.

Pink Hair.. Oh No!

How does someone go from having beautiful, blonde hair to vibrant, bright pink hair? You let your friend dye it.

This happened about a year ago when I went to my hairdresser and asked for blonde hair with a couple of pink streaks throughout it. He did an amazing job and it looked sick! I walked around for the longest time with the coolest looking hair. Everyone at my high school had plain looking hair because we were such a country school. Imagine being the one that looks different! It was an amazing feeling.

A couple weeks later, I noticed the pink beginning to fade out of my hair. It was way too soon for me to be able to afford to go back to my hairdresser. I was debating on dyeing parts of it myself, but then I realized that could end really badly. So I asked one of my friends who had dyed a lot of other people's hair and she said she would be able to do it.

So we went to the drug store and bought the "Vibrant Fuchsia" and the tools we needed to dye just the random pieces in my hair. We went back to her house and I was a little nervous at this point because it could ruin my hair. She starts dying the sections of my hair and she only did about four random pieces. Everything was going good and we let the color set in my hair.

When we decided to take it out, what did we realize? My whole head was pink! I guess the color must have soaked through completely. It is not an understatement when I say it was vibrant pink. I began to panic because if the day couldn't get any worse, I realized I had work the next day. My work has a policy where we have to look acceptable, and trust me this was not acceptable. My parents picked me up from her house and I kept a hood over my head. When my mom realized what I did, she laughed, over and over again.

The next day, I needed to fix my hair, so I went back to the drug store and got a dark brown hair dye. I went back to my house and began to dye my hair. I must have done a horrible job because when I got to work, I covered the top layer of my hair, but there were random pink pieces underneath. I had to wait a couple days before I could dye it again.

Never will I ever let myself dye my hair a vibrant color again. I now have complete trust in my hairdresser because she has never screwed up as bad as I did.

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Tame Your Mane by: Danielle S.

How to Tame Your Mane

When it comes to hair, I am always searching new and different ways to style my hair, color it, or even just make it healthier. I watch millions of YouTube videos, read countless amounts of forums and articles look at thousands of different style pictures to find new tips and tricks.

I have also done so many different things with my hair throughout my life, I have a tip or trick for just about anyone. My hair has changed so much over the last 23 years you would be amazed. It started off thin and straight as a pin, to now being thick and wavy/curly. I have also tried every variation of colors one can imagine, I am a natural dark rich brunette (I think, ha!) and I have been almost golden blonde from highlighting, Rhianna Red, Burgundy, Black, etc. With all those colors, I learned from experience and from reading/watching how to take care of my hair in every stage/color/length.

Thin Hair Tips:

My mother always kept my hair short and layered when I was younger because of how thin it was, the short layers helped give it volume and made it look thicker as well. But if you don't want to cut your long locks off, I also recommend lots of layers and a texture cut to keep your long hair from looking drab and flat. Also blowdry it with some mousse for added thickness with a round brush (big for long hair, small for shorter hair).

Thick Hair Tips:

When you are getting your hair cut, make sure to ask your stylist to NOT blunt cut your hair. It will make the ends of your hair feel and look extremely heavy and thick, you want a nice wispy textured cut with many layers. It will help distribute the thickness of you hair more evenly around your head and give you volume in all the right places.

Dry/Chemically Processed Hair Tips:

Make sure you are buying shampoo and conditioner specifically made for this type of hair, thinking that any generic products will do the trick in order to save a few bucks might do more harm than good. Also, invest in a nice leave-in conditioner, it will help give more moisture o your hair after you get done washing it. With that make sure you are NOT washing your hair every day, you are doing more damage by doing so, sometimes less is more. My typically washing routine is every other to every three days (depending on the color, the season and my daily activities). That doesn't mean don't shower, just throw your hair up in a ponytail/bun and keep it from getting too wet when you need to shower, it will save you time and damage. Lastly wash you hair last in the shower, the more water that runs through it, the more your conditioner will run out, leaving you hair with less moisturizing product in your hair.

Keeping Your Color Longer Tips:

Wash AND rinse your hair in cool water, I personally will take cooler showers in order to make my red shades last longer, it may be miserable but at least my hair will look great! Your hair is porous, warm water opens pores more, meaning more color will be coming out of your hair, i.e. your color fades faster. Using cool water also helps give hair more shine and leave it feeling softer. Moisture is key in keeping any color lasting longer, so things like thermal protectants, leave in conditioners, oils, serums, etc. are worth getting a hold of.

Healthier, Longer Hair Tips:

As many people have stated before, keep yourself healthy. Eating well and exercise will help promote not only a healthy and good looking you, but it will keep your hair looking great as well! Some additional things I have found that keep my hair looking great and help it grow faster, taking my vitamins. There are specific vitamins made for helping your hair, skin and nails that you can get at any vitamin shop or drug store, folic acid is also a good addition to the list to take.

Simple things when it comes to hair care will mean the most, remember sometime less is more when it comes to things like washing and using heat. Love your hair and treat it well, it will in return love you back and look great!

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Perfect Ponytail by: Lindsey C.

Tips for Perfect Semi-Formal Ponytail

Ever feel like you can't find the perfect ponytail? I did, so I scoured the internet for tutorials of the perfect pony. Much to my surprise, there were slim pickings. Instead of coping one of the fabulous looks, I decided to mash them all together and create a look of my own.

I look everywhere for inspiration on how to form a cute ponytail, but I am a very picky hair person and all of the looks were too typical. You have your sporty ponytails, your business ponytails, your formal ponytails and of course your, "I just threw this up without looking in the mirror" ponytails. There is virtually every type of ponytail you can think of, so you can imagine my surprise when I was unable to find a ponytail to work for everything.

Finally, after countless hours of searching everything from Greek goddess to mod ponytails, I finally had all the skills and ideas for the perfect ponytail. It combines the classic bump from hairspray with a braided, boho headband and a curled back.

First, you will need to wash and condition your hair. Then, after towel drying your hair to a damp state, rub a small amount of mousse into your hands and rake it through the roots as your scrunch to add volume. Then dry the hair away from the scalp. A good way to do this is to lean upside down and dry your roots; it will add a voluminous touch to your hair.

Then once you have dried your hair, section off the hair above your ears. It should look like a half-up hair-do. Then, take the hair from the left side-leaving the back and a small portion in the front-and Dutch braid the hair. When you braid the hair, pull in and upward and outward motion; this will allow the braid to lie over your head more smoothly. Then do the same on the right side, only this time braid it regularly. After you have braided the hairs, just tease the ends or secure them with a small hair elastic. I like to tease the ends upward because then you do not have to worry about the band showing.

After securing your braid, you will want to pull down the rest of your hair .Then section off the hair from the ear to ear in an upside down "U" motion. You want the crown of your head to be loose. Then tease the crown gently just to add a small poof to the hair. You can vary the amount of tease to fit your look. The more you add, the sassier it looks. Once you have teased your hair, take the hair you sectioned and tease the under layer once. Lay the hair over the crown and push up to pin. By pushing up you add more volume to the bouffant.

After you have teased and pinned the bouffant, you will place the braid. To place the braid, just lay it over the head and pin through multiple crosses. You want the braid to be tight to the head to add definition to the bouffant, but loose enough to let the hair rest comfortably underneath. When you pin your braid, take a small amount of hair from the side and tuck the ends of the braid inside so that it is hidden. Repeat on the other side.

Then you will take the hair that is loosely hanging on your neck and pull it all into a ponytail. The ponytail can be loose or tight depending on your personal preference. Once you have secured the ponytail, you want to pull the hair you left out in front of your braid back over the braid's base. Take the hair and wrap it around your ponytail in a clockwise manner. Then do the same on the other side, wrapping in a counter clockwise manner and pin.

Then once you have done that, curl your ponytail and any loose tendrils and you have a cute, semi-casual ponytail.

NOTE: I am wearing my Human Hair Extensions to achieve this look so the ponytail is longer and thicker than my normal hair would be naturally.

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Borrow Some Glue by: Tawnee B.

Can I borrow some glue?

Do you ever wonder what your hair is thinking? Like right before you are about to get a chemical relaxer, or a keratin treatment? Or how about right after you get a haircut that is overdue, and your ends are fried and dyed? I have recently realized that hair is full of not only "secrets," but also personality and multiple feelings including happy, sad, mad, hurt, frustrated, etc.

Think about it, whatever we are physically, mentally, and/or emotionally experiencing in life can be displayed through our hair, whether we believe it or not. From bad and good days to wrapped up, pinned in a bun/ponytail, or sexy long curls for a night out on the town with friends, our hair is one of the first things seen by others. Well, if they have hair, bald is obviously noticeable as well.

Proper hair care can most certainly be expensive. From shampoos, conditioners, professional appointments and hair supplements to hair supplies, individuals need to think of their hair like they think of their skin care. Would you walk out of the house without putting on lotion first? Even though we all have played victim to this a time or two, think about what it does to our skin. It leaves it dry, ashy, unprotected and lifeless. For the most part, these same effects occur to the hair as well, in a matter of speaking. Who would have thought that physical stress could make the hair fall out. And yes I said, "Fall out."

Last year, after experiencing trauma from an accident and months of recovery and stress, my hair started falling out. Instead of deciding what hairstyle I was going to wear for the day, I was trying to create a way to comb my hair without using a brush/comb. So far this plan is not going as planned. Apparently, when the hair is stressed, simple things like using a brush/comb can make the strands of hair simply start to fall out from the root. I guess this is my hair's way of telling me that the weeks of bed head were not appreciated whatsoever, but the DAMAGE is done and now the RECOVERY must begin.

It's amazing how one day I can go from finding ways to thin out my coarse/thick/unmanageable hair; including anything from layering to specific hair styles; to now trying to save the life of every strand that I find lifeless on the floor. But, let's not forget the process of trying to remain stress/tension free in order to retain the life of the hair that I still have. Now even though I am a fan of hair extensions, I personally do not think that I could get away with wearing wigs and/or lace fronts. It is truly amazing to me how the human body is connected, but at the moment my hair is not too impressed with the connection.

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April Fools by: Ebony

April Fools

Hey guys. My name is Ebony and here is my story. I was talking to my girl, Allison, who loves everything that has to do with hair. She is a hair fanatic. Since it was April Fool's Day and Allison got me good last year, it was my turn to get her - or should I say her hair.

Allison wants longer hair and she tries every remedy out there to try to make her hair grow faster and longer. One day I went on Microsoft Word and made a fake article about putting mayonnaise, apple cider, cinnamon and pepper in your hair to make it grow longer and faster. To make the article look even more realistic, I went out to Sally's and bought extensions. Too bad I did not know about halohairextensions.org because those extensions cost a fortune!

I called up Allison and said, "Yo! Allison, you have got to see this article about making your hair grow longer and faster. My hair is already down to my boobs!" Allison said, "I'll be right there!

I fell to the floor laughing because I could not wait to prank this girl. The thing is, I was nervous because what if she caught me and she knew what I was up to and what if somehow my prank backfired? I had to calm down, so I decided what better way to calm down than drink some liquor?

I went to my cabinet and pulled out my lucky purple and pink shot glasses and my extra lucky bottle of liquor and started the drinking. I became drunk. The rest of what happened seemed to be a blur, but let me tell you it was NOT good! I remember wandering around the house then I fell over nothing. I remember trying to get up and I grabbed on this article from a magazine on how to make your hair grow longer and faster.

I was excited! The doorbell rang. I answered it and Allison stepped in, asking about the article I found. I showed it to her and we got set up immediately on her hair and on mine. I sat down and said to Allison, "I want to go first!" She said, "But your hair is already long from it. You want it longer than that?"

I, being a drunken idiot, said, "Oh no, these are clip-ins, see?" I took out my clip-ins and I do remember VERY clearly the look on Allison's face because she knew what I had tried to pull. She knew that right now I was drunk and this would be like taking candy from a baby.

Allison said in the sweetest voice, "Ok, Ebony. You want to go first? I'll hook you up!" Keep in mind that my hair is overly processed and when I stopped being mad at Allison, she told me that she didn't just put all that in my hair, but she also put hydrogen peroxide in too, which is what probably made my hair do what it did.

All I remember after that is me waking up with a headache to Allison laughing at me. I asked, "What are you laughing at?" She said, "Look in the mirror, Steve Harvey!" I got up and guess what? My hair was all gone, and when I rubbed my head it was sticky all over and when I smelled my hand it smelled like none other than apple cider, black pepper, mayonnaise, cinnamon and some other unknown scent. I didn't know then, but I know now that it was hydrogen peroxide. She laughed even harder at how wide my eyes were. Then she held up the article and said, "Your little plan backfired shawty!"

Then she said, "Oh, but wait. You do still have these." She walked back into my kitchen, got my extensions off the counter and said, "You best get to gluing." On her way out, I could hear her laughing all the way to her car. The lessons I learned were that I'm going to stop drinking and I AM DONE PULLING PRANKS ON ALLISON BECAUSE SOMEHOW I WILL FAIL!

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Hide the Scissors by: Bethany C.

Hide the Scissors

There are some lessons in life that no woman can avoid. One of the most famous is not to cut your own bangs. We've all done it before and lived to regret it later. Every woman has a story about that one time she cut her own bangs. The humiliation is a shared experience in female culture, along with tips on hiding your folly with bobby pins.

I have what I consider to be one of the worst bang stories ever. No, this is not the time I cut them half an inch too short while wet (you know you've done it), or the time when I cut my eyelid trimming my bangs. This is the time I gave myself what was practically a bowl cut in my journey for bangs.

I've never had a lot of patience. The day I decide my hair needs trimming, it is crucial that I make an appointment before I start plundering the house for hair scissors (my mother hides them from me for this very reason.) This was one of those days. I was in the seventh grade, staring in the mirror at my inch-too-long bangs. I was old enough to know better, but my foolishness took over. I grabbed the scissors and began trimming away.

They look almost okay, but I couldn't settle. A couple snips and a whole lot of hair later, I looked into the mirror and screamed. My hair looked like a combination of a bowl cut and a mullet. What was I going to do?! My school had a strict no hats policy and it was too short for a pony tail. I rummaged through my drawer for bobby pins. As I feared, I couldn't find a single one. I looked at the clock. It was too late to beg my mom to take me to the store. I would have to face the cruel jungle that is middle school like this.

I somehow braved school, compulsively tucking my hair back, hoping no one would notice the catastrophe my head sported. After school I went to the hair salon praying there was something I could do to save my hair.

"Oh wow!" the dresser exclaimed. "What happened here?" I was so embarrassed that I lied and told her I was playing with gum and it got stuck in my hair. The moment I said it I realized how ridiculous that sounded. Playing with gum? Yes, that is what I do with my friends in my spare time. We play with gum in such a way that it sticks in my hair and forces me to cut off all the hair on the left side of my head.

She somehow managed a decent looking style. It was probably the worst hair cut I've ever had, but I can't complain. She didn't have much to work with. The saddest part of this whole story is that I am now 17 years-old and still cut my own bangs. That said, I have never given myself a bowl-mullet again. What I really took from this experience is less is more and make sure that when you lie to your hair dresser, it makes sense.

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Worst Hair Cut by: Jenny B.

Worst Hair Cut Ever

This was in second grade, I was in school one day combing my hair with a comb. One of my friends saw me and decided she wanted to curl my hair. At first I wasn't really sure if that was a good idea, but then she said she would make me look extra pretty, so my crush would notice me for once.

Well, at first it was coming out so good. All my hair was coming out very wavy. I loved it. She started from the bottom of my head and worked her way up. It was going good until she had to do my bangs and again my instincts told me that wasn't a good idea. She was very convincing, so I let her do my bangs, which is the pretty hilarious part of this story. She tried to make my bangs kind of like Marilyn Monroe, but instead they came out looking like part of snoop dogs afro and the comb was stuck to my hair the whole day.

She was right my crush did notice me, but with a comb stuck on my bangs, he laughed at me. I cried the whole day. Well, I had that comb on my hair until my dad picked me up from school. He laughed at me and said, "What happened to you?" I told him what had happened and all he did was laugh and then explained to me to never let my friends do my hair ever again. I laughed at that because every girl loves getting their hair done, especially by their friends. My dad ending up taking the comb out of my hair and the whole time my dad was taking out the comb, I could see my crush laughing at me with his friends. So when my dad was done, I told him I forgot something in class.

My dad went to the truck while I headed to my crush and I slapped him so hard his cheeks were red in less than five seconds. Believe me, I counted and now his friends were laughing at him. I walked away and left to head to the truck and my dad laughed at me. He said, "I saw everything. That's my girl. No boys until you're a grandma." We pinky promised. The next week on Monday my crush told me he liked me and asked me if I liked him. Guess what I said? "No!" I walked away and yelled, "Peace out!" Till this day that guy is still head over heels for me!

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Healthier Hair! by: Ashlee M.

Cooking Up Healthier Hair!

Tired of your dry ends ruining that romantic moment? You know, when that special someone runs his hands through your hair and to your horror, it gets stuck! One thing that all of us ladies can agree on is that we would like to have healthier hair. Having healthy and shiny hair makes us more confident. If you're like me, then some hair care products are a wee bit out of your price range. Fear not! I'm about to share with you an organic and inexpensive way to rejuvenate your hair! Start by saying goodbye to your split ends and assembling your ingredients.

What you'll need:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Baby Lotion (any brand really, but make sure it's lotion, not oil)
  • A Shower Cap
  • Hair Dryer

First things first- mixing the ingredients. Take the olive oil and baby lotion and mix it together in a bowl, or a plastic container. I usually start with half a cup of olive oil and half a cup of baby lotion. Mix them together and keep adding to it until it feels like a conditioner. The amount that you use depends on the length of your hair. My hair is medium length (just passed my shoulders) and thin. If you have thicker or longer hair, I suggest adding more.

Now it's time to get messy! Take the mix and massage it into your hair. Start with the areas that need the most attention, so that they have more time to soak up the lotion. Cover your whole head, unless you have oily roots, then stay at least an inch away from them. Put on a fair bit of the mixture.

Are you ready to look spectacular? Well, you're going to have to look a little bit silly first. Once you have all of your hair covered, tie it up and put on a shower cap. Next, take out your hair dryer and heat up your hair using a medium to hot setting. The reason for doing this is to open up your hair follicles. This allows your hair to soak up all the nutrients. Run the hair dryer over your head for at least 10 minutes. Don't exceed half an hour. Leave the mix in for 30-45 minutes.

After the 30-45 minutes, it's time to wash it out of your hair. Make sure you take a hot shower! The steam from the water will open up your hair follicles. The longer the mixture sits in your hair the better, so do your shaving and washing before rinsing. Wash it out with water and then shampoo your hair as usual. If you have very dry hair that tangles easily, then you can put a bit of conditioner in it just to soften it up.

The less heat you use on your hair the better, so I suggest towel or air drying your hair. You'll see results as soon as your hair starts to dry and you'll feel fabulous! I do this monthly and it keeps my hair looking great.

One more step: Enjoy your fresh, new, baby-like hair!

* I obtained this recipe from my aunt, who has platinum blonde hair that she dyes almost monthly. This little trick keeps her hair shiny and soft. If it works this well for her, imagine what wonders it will work on your hair!

Author Biography
Cooking Up Healthier Hair!
By Ashlee M.

My name is Ashlee M. and I'm a 20 year old student living in Ontario, Canada. I wrote "Cooking Up Healthier Hair" hoping to help out girls with dry and damaged hair, and hoping to improve my own with free extensions! I've tried many "home made" solutions.

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My Bad Haircut by: Britt W.

Living With My Own Personal Bad Haircut

People love to talk about the bad haircut they got months or weeks before. We all listen intently when they start talking. We lean in close and hold our breath as we hear the story unfold- the tragic click of the scissors, the hair hitting the floor, the unintentional bald spot. We sigh with relief because it isn't us. At this point we obligingly tell our friend how gorgeous they look now, how you could never tell, how beautifully her hair has grown out.

But have we never given much thought to the fact that we don't want to discuss the bad haircut immediately after it has happened? The one who has received the bad haircut goes out of her way to hide, to camouflage the distressed tresses. She finds new and inventive ways to wear a barrette or a headband. She becomes a hat girl when two days prior she swore she "would never wear hats!" She spends time on the web trying to find a miracle hair growth cure, the perfect pair of extensions, the top of the line, most realistic-looking wig. In the end, she lays herself at the feet of defeat, realizing that the only cure is time.

Her friends and co-workers on the other hand, dread seeing her. Not because she has developed a recently foul odor, but instead because they know she doesn't want them to admit the elephant in the room. When she rounds the corner at work; everyone in the immediate vicinity develops an amazing work ethic. Her husband, boyfriend or significant other doesn't know if they can take one more question that begs them to tell her, "It doesn't look that bad."

So you ignore the bad haircut and you stare intently in her eyes when she talks to you. You try to find reasons to be distracted or called away. In the end, everyone counts down the moments until the haircut from Hades is a distant memory.

Well, I am currently in the throes of one such horrible tress assault. I remember the day so clearly. I happily walked into my favorite salon, thoughts of amazing magazine cover hair floating through my head. And then it happened. My salon girl had someone else. I had hoped she wouldn't be busy, prayed that she would hold the chair just for me. But alas, I was not so lucky. I sat myself down with someone else, received a typical Brazilian Blow Out and waited for my substitute hair dresser to "trim" my ends. Somehow, my request was misunderstood. He instead decided that I should receive a brand new hair cut that would "blend" with my extensions.

DISASTER STRUCK??????.............................YES! I now have two separate haircuts on my head! No, it's not a "Kate plus 8", it's not a "mullet." Instead I have a layered bob in the front with side swept bangs, cute and trendy. But some evil spirit possessed the scissors and somehow decided to stop cutting my hair half way through. I ended up with a lovely blunt cut in the back. The blunt cut is nice and long, easily bendable with my extensions. Too bad the front is left on an island all its own.

"Why not use extensions to fix the different lengths?" Sounds great, except the fact that I have thin hair; therefore I cannot put any extensions above my ears due to the fact that they will show through. So for the next six months I will be braiding the front of my hair like a milk maid, pulling it back into a half ponytail, embracing the "front pouf." No one comments and they all avert their eyes. And I for one and grateful.

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Grow Longer Hair by: Jasmine P.

Grow Longer Hair

So you're probably looking at the title of this article and thinking "yeah right." Ever have those moments where you look in the mirror and go, "My hair will never grow?" Well, I used to too. Hair is what makes a girl feel good, especially long hair. I used to have long hair when I was younger, but I started treating my hair bad. I put water and gel on it every day and put it in a bun. Little did I know this was damaging my hair and preventing it from growing.

I thought about getting a weave, but I heard those were damaging as well. Finally I found this website halohairextensions.org. I ordered the 14-inch clip-ons and when I got them and placed them in my hair, I immediately fell in love with them. But deep inside something was still bothering me. The hair wasn?t my own. I wanted this to be my hair, not clip-ons. Finally I decided that I had to set a goal and this goal was to grow my hair as long as my clip-ons. Ladies, I have been following this regimen for two years now and I am glad to say that my goal is almost complete. Here are a few tips for longer hair. Trust me when I say that if you follow this you will indeed see improvement in your hair!

  1. Take pictures of your hair every month to monitor your hair's progress.
  2. Start with a fresh cut or trim! I know a lot of people who refuse to cut their hair but you have to! If your ends are severely damaged, meaning thin or have split ends, they have to be taken care of. You have to cut those off and start new. Prevent split ends before they start because you can't repair split ends regardless of what a product promises. It may be able to maintain your hair from getting more damaged, but it won't undo the damage that's already been done.
  3. Don't shampoo every day! Shampoo one or two times per week. Shampoo is meant to clean your hair. If you shampoo every day you won't be able to retain your natural hair oils, which are essential in growth.
  4. When washing your hair, don't pile all of it on the top of your head. This will cause tangling and breakage. Deep condition with protein and moisture. I know a lot of brands promise things like volume or curliness, etc. Look for conditioners that have protein in it. Protein helps rebuild your weak strands and helps your hair to grow. A good example of protein is APHOGEE or hair mayonnaise. As for moisturizing deep conditioners, they keep your hair nice and soft. A good example is Herbal Essences Hello Hydration. You should deep condition your hair with plastic cap at least once a week. Your own body heat makes your hair hot underneath the plastic cap
  5. Use a leave-in conditioner after you wash your hair. This will moisturize, detangle and protect the hair when heat styling. like when you use a blower or flat or curling iron. They also prevent breakage and protect the hair from weather damage.
  6. Don't use products containing petrolatum and mineral oil to moisturize your hair. Stay away from alcohol-based products as these will lead to hair that is dry and can break. Examples of this are hair spray, gels, etc. If you have to use them, don't use them every day.
  7. Never use bristle brushes on wet hair. Always detangle wet hair with a wide tooth comb.
  8. Don't over process your hair and limit the use of direct heat. Don't dye it every month or use the flat iron everyday
  9. Be patient! Hair normally grows 3/4 to 1/2 inch per month. Be patient and give your hair all the love and attention it needs.
  10. Consider it as a thin piece of string. You wouldn't want that string to break, but instead to last long and be healthy just like your hair!

Sources

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Weave and Wonderful - A Hair Experiment by: Arin

Weave and Wonderful - A Hair Experiment

I am a 15-year-old aspiring hair stylist. I am always looking for new and trendy hairstyles. I have never worn weaves or extensions before, but the weird thing is that I know exactly how to style someone's hair with weave. I have learned so much from watching Youtube tutorials of other women and even younger girls trying new styles. I love seeing new hairstyles with bold and luminous colors. Watching these women apply weaves to their own heads makes me want to run to my local beauty supply store and pick up some extensions, although I can't for various reasons.

But when it comes to Waterfall Braids, Cornrows, French braids, Twists, "Cinnabon" Buns, Faux Buns, Quick Weaves, A-line Cut Bobs, Feathers, Curls, Mohawks, Bangs, Sculptured Ponytails and other do's, there are so many colors to enhance the style even further. All of the lengths and volumes of hair are out of this world.

Although I've never had weaves or extensions, which I plan to get soon, I have had clip-in bangs. In my opinion, clip-in hair bangs, as well as clip-in hair extensions, are probably one of the best creations regarding hair. I love these because people who cannot get weaves yet, have sensitive scalps, etc., can wear these and still look as beautiful as girls with long, pretty hair. The worries of never being able to wear weaves and extensions are thrown out of the window.

Even younger girls and teenagers like me wear them and can change up their look every day. Personally, I prefer clip-in bangs with human hair because you can style them, change them from straight to curly and you can dye them any color you want. I have seen girls wear their hair blonde and the next day they'd show up with reddish hair.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE CHANGING MY HAIRSTYLES! I try to NOT keep the same hairstyle for more than 14 days; but if for any reason this happens, I try to freshen up my look every day. For instance, if I've had straight hair for about 2 1/2 weeks, I grab my clip-in bang and spice up my look a little bit. There is absolutely no excuse for a bad hair day and there's always a style that will overpower your "bad hair."

Hair tips for girls like me who want to avoid bad hair days:

  • Like I said before, if you've had straight hair for about two weeks and you want to change it up ASAP, grab your clip-in bang (whatever color it is) and have a blast!
  • If your hair is curled and you decide to change it up after a while, instead of making drastic changes by straightening it or whatever else, just take some hair pins, a comb, brush and a little hair spray. Pin it up on the sides and you've got yourself a rocking Mohawk!
  • If you have long, straight hair and want a little curl but you don't want a full head of curls, take your curling iron or flat iron and lightly curl your ends outward to have a kind of Farrah Fawcett look!
  • If your hair is short, like shaved around the sides and hair on top, buy some clip-in bangs that aren't your hair color, part your hair on the top and place them on the part so it will look like you have highlights!
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Cancer by: Karen S.

Cancer

As a young woman I took great pride in my appearance. As a teen, I would often get a different "short hair style" chosen from a salon picture as a way to change it up and keep it fresh. Coloring my hair came later on, along with highlights and whole head color changes (blonde to red to dark brown).

When I was 27, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. In a year a half, she had nine surgeries and four chemo treatments. One treatment was an experimental one they didn't even know how to bill at the hospital. It had been sent from John Hopkin's University to Green Bay Oncology specifically for her.

She rebounded briefly after my daughter's birth, her namesake and god daughter. She'd been my coach and was there for the ultrasound. She was the best friend and sister one could ever know. I was so blessed to grow up with her as my "mom" and hero. She died on my daughter's first birthday. She was 29.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 14 months later after a prophylactic surgery (double mastectomy) showed my testing was positive for the same genetic mutation. My daughter was two. The Saturday I woke her with my head shaved (I had started chemo and that Friday it was coming out in handfuls), she just stared in quiet thought. Later, when I nonchalantly mentioned her haircut appointment, she began crying, "Oh, no .... Not like Mommy's!"

Marli said when she completed treatment that she was going to grow her hair down to her butt. I knew that same feeling when I'd got mine to grow back in. Hair changes after chemotherapy and it was difficult for mine to stay healthy at a longer length because it's fine. I discovered that Human Hair Extensions did what nature was unable to do.

The way it filled it up and in was beautiful and just looked so natural. At age 10, my daughter looked at me and said, "WOW! You look beautiful MOM!"

And I felt beautiful. Now she likes to add the color wefts to her beautiful hair, which is growing out from a donation to Locks for Love a few months earlier. What a blessing she is and what a gift to myself.

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From Dream to Nightmare by: Anna B.

From Dream by Nightmare

I was born with the curse that has plagued women from the beginning of time. I was born with curly hair when I wanted straight hair. Therefore, as soon as I learned that there were things that could be done to go from curly to straight locks, I was hooked. The first time my hands were able to run through my straight hair, I knew that this was the hair that I dreamed of. And I took careful precautions even at a young age to keep my hair straight, which was hard when the beach was ten minutes away from my house. But sacrifices had to be made in order to keep my much longer straight hair, and to keep me from having to go back to hair gel, mousse and frizz control creams.

For the longest time I enjoyed the freedom of not having to worry about the puffy-ness of my curls. I loved the feel of the smoothness of the straight hair. And I loved how I felt like a different person every time I looked at myself in the mirror, and the new found attention that I was getting from the male species. Overall, that first couple of years of straightening my hair were great.

However, not every fairy tale has a happy ending, Over time I have learned that to be true, especially when it comes to my hair. After countless hair relaxers, the occasional chemical straightening treatments and the daily hair straightening, my hair has stopped being the hair of my dreams and has turned into a bad nightmare. My hair has gone from long, shiny and healthy to brittle, filled with split ends and short.

I guess I learned that beauty comes at a price. Instead of enjoying growing hair, I go to bed worried that my hair will be only growing in one side again. Why do I worry about that? Well, because during my sophomore year in college, I went to bed one night and when I looked in the mirror the next morning, I realized that my hair was about three inches shorter on the left side than it was on the right side. It was a huge horrible mess. I had to quickly get my hair cut so it would be even and to avoid the embarrassment of having an odd, do-it-yourself-in-the-dark hair cut.

Interestingly, I had initially assumed that in the middle of the night my roommate cut some of my hair off. I had even asked her if she had, but no, the truth was that my hair had become so damaged that it was breaking off by itself. Anyway, I am now in my senior year of college and my hair is still as short as it was two years ago. I regret over-taxing my hair with heat and chemical treatments. I want to go back to having healthy hair. I am hoping that a couple of months of no hair treatments, except for deep conditioning treatments, will make my dull brittle hair come alive again.

In the end, I know that the road to hair recovery will be a hard one since I still get the urge to straighten my hair since I have been doing it for years. But I know that this is something that I must do, even if it requires me hiding all of my straighteners. I am going to miss running my fingers through my straight hair for the next couple of months, but in the end I have faith that the wait will be worth it and that my hair will thank me for it. And as I look at myself in the mirror without my straight hair, I find a sense of freedom since I am no longer spending at least an hour to fix it. I also feel a sense hope that my hair will once again go from a nightmare to a dream. What can I say? A girl can dream, right?

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Annaliese Levy

Becky 2.0
by Annaliese Levy

So there I was, staring at myself through the mirror. I didn't recognize myself. I felt like a whole new person.

"I can't believe you did this, Becky," said my friend Andrea when I told her what I had done. "You're like, a changed women."

And I was. I was a completely new and improved Becky. Becky 2.0, if you must. Just this simple change had completely turned around my whole life. My attitude was different, my perspective on life was different and the best part ? the way men looked at me was different.

This was it. This was the year I was going to get myself a boyfriend and hopefully a husband so I could finally start my life. My mom would be so pleased.

"Wait till she sees me," I thought to myself. "Maybe now she won't treat me as "the ugly duckling" of the family. Maybe now she'll be proud of me."

I stepped out of my apartment complex and into the big, beautiful new world. I walked confidently down the street watching the admiring glances of the passersby.

Yeah, take a long look. Because this Becky is here to stay," I thought smugly.

I strolled into Starbucks and ordered the first thing I saw on the menu. Screw my normal, boring, everyday cappuccino. I was a changed woman with a changed drink...a Venti Java Chip Frappuccino with 16 shots of espresso, to be exact. Read More ...

Thanks for Everyone's Participation!

When Human Hair Extensions decided to host an article contest, we never dreamed we would receive so many entries. The response was more than we anticipated and greatly appreciated. Our final count indicated more than 30 people took the time to write creative, humorous, interesting and informative articles.

The entries we received were very diverse and represented a variety of topics. Because the contest was so open-ended, it was amazing to read all the different submissions and see what people were inspired to write about.

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