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?!

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XOXO,

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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:

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Let’s Talk About Therapy: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

 

Today is World Mental Health Day, so I want to get real with you.

A few days ago, I shared on my Instagram (@ashburgett) that this summer was really rough for me. I experienced one of the most traumatic life events that I wouldn’t wish on anyone (although I know it happens all the time), and I had trouble processing that experience. I was working 50-60 hour weeks while going through it too, so I never gave myself time to cope with the emotions I was dealing with. I put on a front like I always do when I go through something difficult, told myself to put my big girl panties on, and tried my best to suck it up and put a smile on my face every day.

This was so detrimental to my mental health.

Because I’ve always been commended on how “put together” I am, how ambitious I am, or how much I’ve achieved, I try my best not to be vulnerable around others and never really open up about what I’m going through. IMG_3168I’ve created a wall to block out emotions that are hard and unpleasant. I never want to deal with those feelings because I’m literally terrified of being “weak”.

I also shared on Instagram that rescuing Fitz, my adorable lab/retriever mix, has really allowed me to start healing. And it really has. He’s a total sweetheart, cuddles his mama all the time, gives me something to nurture, and showers me with the all affection that a girl could want (J does this too lol). However, what’s really started getting me over the hump of what’s easily the worst season of anxiety and depression I’ve ever gone through is seeking professional help.

I’ve always been apprehensive about seeking out a therapist/counselor/psychologist for my depression. I think this is mainly because I’ve always prided myself on being able to work through my problems myself or talking myself out of thinking that I’m really in that much pain, but I also think I’ve always been worried about the stigma associated with seeing a therapist. I don’t want people to see me as weak or think that I’m “crazy” or “psychotic”. I want so badly to be that strong, ambitious, put-together girl that I’ve always been told I am.

But the truth is, I’m pretty fucked up. I have a lot of problems: I’m insecure as hell, I always fall into seeing things through “the glass is half empty” lens, and I genuinely feel like I’m always bitter about something. My life has never been sunshine and rainbows; it’s messy and uncertain. I’m constantly worried about money, but I still seem to spend so much on frivolous things. I care way too much about what others think about me, and I’m always thinking about the “what ifs”. I’ve created this wall that doesn’t allow me to be vulnerable with others, and makes me not give a shit about making new friendships. I’ve put myself on this downward, self-hating spiral that I can’t seem to get out of.

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 12.39.09 PMAnd while recognizing all of this about myself hasn’t been the easiest, it’s forced me to really think about my life and how I need to make some changes. Recently, my therapist had me diagram my inner self. I split myself into the “good” and the “bad” and was able to identify which qualities affected the way I thought and acted. I can now go back to that diagram and check myself when I start feeling insecure or when I start feeling bitter and ask myself “Why do I care what people are thinking about me?” or “Focus on all the positive things that came from doing this or doing that”.

I want to implore you all to seek out a therapist/counselor/psychologist. I think one of the biggest misconceptions about going to therapy is that you have to “have problems” or be depressed to talk to a psychologist, but you don’t. Some sessions I just talk about what’s been going well in my life and that things are going smoothly. Other times I do have problems (whether they’re trivial matters or something more serious) that I need to work through. Either way, talking to a third-party about what’s going on in your life is so, so helpful (especially while you’re in college and have so much going on!!!).

I also want to note that most colleges and universities usually offer free clinical services. I grew up with either not-so-great health insurance or no health insurance at all, so I didn’t have the opportunity to meet with a counselor when I went through some of my “underlying issues” as my therapist would say. I also never took advantage of the counseling services my undergrad offered when I really should have, and it’s one of my biggest regrets. So, try it out! Make an appointment and just talk to someone. We’re all works-in-progress, and you’ll learn so much about yourself, trust me.

What are some of the experiences you’ve had with therapy? Let me know in the comments below or via email! I’d love to hear from all of you.

Xo,

Ashlyn


I want to thank my very best friends for being there for me through all of this chaos, and for pushing me to talk to a professional. I am truly so lucky to have such great people in my life.
To learn more about World Mental Health Day (October 10th), visit the World Health Organization website.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline phone number is: 1-800-273-8255.