3 Affordable Products That Helped Me Grow Out My Bleached Hair


The first time I ever got highlights in my hair I was seven years old. Seven. I’ve been bleaching my hair for nearly 16 years (give or take my scene queen wannabe days, but I was still coloring my hair black every six weeks nevertheless… LOL sry mom). If you color your hair, but especially if you bleach your hair regularly, you know how damaging it can be. I’ve tried everything from $300+ keratin treatments to name-brand sprays and hair masks, but nothing’s helped, and it’s certainly been discouraging for my wallet.

So, I got fed up and resorted to the only thing I thought would work: cutting off all of my hair. Well, not all of it but pretty close. My hair was so dead that I opted to get a “lob” which actually turned into a short af bob (hate when that happens). It was cute, but nothing compared to my long, luscious wavy locks that I had in high school. I was desperate for my hair to grow back, but again, nothing helped. Not even biotin (!!!).

I continued to bleach my hair because I’m most comfortable as a blonde. But I needed to find something that would keep my hair healthy and my wallet happy. Here’s what I found worked for me and what I sincerely hope will work for you!

Vital Protein’s Collagen Protein Peptides ($43)

I plan to write an entire blog post on this stuff because it’s just that good. I started taking Vital Protein’s Collage Protein Peptides about six months ago and the results that I’ve seen in my hair have been ridiiiiiiculous. My hairstylist couldn’t believe how much my hair had grown since the last time I saw her, and I owe it largely to this stuff. I put two scoops in my coffee every morning and viola, shiny, strong hair. Get you some, for real. It’s less than $40/month for a subscription and worth every. single. penny.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm ($5.99)

I got this product in an Influenster PR package. I was super hesitant to use it because it feels like a really thick conditioner and my hair usually gets extremely oily, but OH MY GOSH. Within a week, my hair was so much softer, and there were noticeable differences when I wore my hair natural (aka softer hair = less frizz…thank you LAWD, amirite!?). This L’Oreal product is so affordable, will last you at least three months (I use about a quarter size dollop on the ends of my hair every day). Try it out! You will not regret it.

Mane ‘n Tail Original Shampoo ($6.19 for 32oz)

I’m sure you’ve heard about Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo before and thought, “Does that really work?” I think it does. It’s made with collagen, so it helps your hair look stronger and shinier. And combined with the products listed above, I’ve used nothing but Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo for the last year. My hair seriously hasn’t looked healthier, stronger, and longer than it has in YEARS.

Try these three products together for a month and see if you have the same results, because I would bet that you will. For less than $65 (which is, let’s face it, almost half of what it costs to get a full set of foils), you can keep your hair protected in between bleaches! Maintaining blonde hair is no small task, but if you can save money on products that will keep your hair strong and not looking fried, why not try them!?

As for me, I’ll be embracing my natural beach waves for as long as possible, and I will never take them for granted ever again. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the growth I’ve had (I can almost get a high pony without bobby pins woohoo). If you try any of these products, please let me know! I’d love to hear how they work for you. Have more questions about hair? Let me know! I’d be happy to help. 🙂

What are your favorite hair products?!




4 Tips for Packing for Your First Conference

Last week, I flew out to Vancouver, Canada for the Unbounce Call To Action conference and was there for four days! Because I just recently started working in marketing, I was so excited for the opportunity to go and learn alongside my coworkers about the industry (and I was extra excited about going to Canada for the first time!!!) Every time I travel, though, I tend to overpack. Bad. Since I was limited to only a carry on, this was even more overwhelming. I figured that this would be a good opportunity to share some of the tips that help me get organized and narrow down my traveling essentials. Here’s my 4 tips for packing for your first conference when you’re dealing with limited space.

Packing Tip #1: Make a list and lay everything out

Packing for Your First ConferenceI’m a visual person, so checking things off a list and being able to visualize everything on the floor helps me so much (and reduces my travel anxiety!). I start my lists by planning my outfits for each day (shirt, pants, underwear, bra, shoes). Next, I list the accessories I’ll need to bring (purses, jewelry, etc.). When I’m traveling with just a carry on, I use a tote bag so I can fit my work laptop, charger, notepad, headphones, etc. and will later use it has my bag for the conference. Then, I’ll list what needs to go inside of my tote bag. Finally, I list out what beauty products I’ll need to bring and make sure that I have the products in travel sizes.

Packing Tip #2: Try on your outfits (comfort is key!!!)

Checking the dress code for any conference is super important. Many conferences require business casual or business professional attire, but luckily, the conference I attended was more casual, so I had a bit more flexibility for comfort. When I’m putting together my outfits, though, I always ask myself things like: “Will I be able to sit in these pants all day comfortably?” “Can I walk or stand in these shoes for long periods of time?” “Will I be adjusting my bra straps all day with this top?” It can be so tempting to wear brand new flats or heels, or a top that looks super cute but requires you to adjust the straps all day, so keep in mind: if they’re going to be uncomfortable, don’t bring them.

Packing Tip #3: Limit yourself to only the essential beauty products

Packing makeup is always my weakness. Although I use the same products every. single. day., I still find myself wanting to pack every nude lipstick I own, five shades of foundation (just incase I tan sitting in the window seat ya know), and every eye shadow palette I’ve ever purchased at Ulta. So, I check myself. I’m not going to prom; I’m not going to dinners that require extra glam. My daily, “natural” makeup routine is all that I need. Pro tip: I try to limit myself to a small cosmetics bag. If it doesn’t all fit in there, I need to consolidate more.

Packing Tip #4: Do NOT get caught up in the “What if” scenarios

If you’re like me, you probably over analyze every travel scenario possible. What if there’s a storm? Should I pack an umbrella and a rain coat? What if I have a layover? Do I need to pack another outfit? What if we go to a nice dinner? I might hate what I packed…Should I bring five backup dresses just in case?

Stop. Don’t listen to these thoughts. If you’ve made a list of the absolute essentials for your trip, you’ll be fine. If you have a layover? You can re-wear an outfit or wash an outfit at a hotel. If there’s a storm, you can grab an umbrella there. Worried about hating what you packed? That’s why you try it on before you go.

Packing for any trip is stressful, but when it’s your first work conference, it can be that much more overwhelming. I hope that by following each packing tip you’ll be able to consolidate what you really need, feel confident in what you’ve packed, and have a successful trip! What’s your favorite packing tip?!

Here’s what I packed:

[foogallery id=”1686″]

One Year Later…Who Rescued Who?

Wow—where to even start with this post?

That it’s been a whole year since Josh and I adopted Fitz is overwhelming in itself. To think about the place I was in that made me want to adopt a dog in the first place, and seeing the place I’m in now brings tears to my eyes.

It’s crazy for me to think about being thankful for the circumstances that led to me and Josh adopting Fitz. The pain, loss, and desperate need to fill a void that I was going through was getting to be unbearable, but Fitz has helped me heal.

Rescuing Fitz has made me feel whole. It’s given me a purpose and something to wake up for every day. And when I look into his eyes, I know that he can tell that I’ve both been through hell and back, because he has too. Fitz knows no personal space, but that’s okay. When you have a tendency to push people away like I do, having a cuddly, 60-pound dog sit on your chest will make you accept love and compassion whether you want to or not. And that’s exactly what I needed.

When we adopted Fitz, he was emaciated and on the verge of being euthanized. It pained me to think about what he had been through. But the second he jumped into my car, I knew he wasn’t thinking about that. He wasn’t thinking about his past; he was thinking about his future. He was trusting. He welcomed us into his heart and loved us without reservation. And that’s exactly what I needed.

This is the greatest lesson I’ve learned from him over the last year: to trust others, to be more accepting and compassionate, and to let others back into my heart. It’s so easy to feel jaded by the people that have wronged you or to feel that God has wronged you or put you through unfair circumstances, but the Mercy and Grace that I’ve witnessed through my rescue pup’s eyes has made me softer and more open to the idea that there is good in the world. And that’s exactly what I needed.

When I slip back into thoughts about what I went through before we adopted Fitz, I try to remember the excitement Fitz felt when we took him home. A fresh start, a new beginning. Just what I needed.

Fitz was my new beginning at happiness, & I couldn’t love him more for it.

Happy One Year, Sweet Fitzgerald. We love you!