I Am Living Proof (That My Hair Stylist is Nothing Short of a Savior)


I get asked about my hair ALL the time. How I do my unique, "Sara Duffey top knot," how I create my, “I-don’t-care-but-secretly-I-do,” beachy waves, and of course, how I achieve my, “I-shoulda-been-born-in-the-South,” killer volume. Lol.

And I love that people love my hair!

But what they don’t know is that I haven’t always LOVED my hair. In fact, my hair and I – oh we have been through the ringer. Have we ever. It’s been a roooough few years for this blonde mop my loves.

Let me explain…

I’ve always had long hair. It’s just me. I feel the most beautiful and like myself in long hair.

Here's a pic from when I was dating my hubby (12 years ago!) It captures the length, health and fullness of my "old" hair. (Excuse my paper thin brows. That was the style then, lol.)

After my daughter was born, however, it started to change. As in - NOT a good change. My natural curl turned into natural frizz and it began thinning breaking off like nobodies business. Everyone would always ask me if I got a haircut. I was like- “NO!! My hair just hates me right now.” (Talk about a stab in the heart, lol.)

Here's what it looked like. Again - excuse the brows. They got better, but not much. lol.

I went to all kinds of doctors and experts and they all said I was fine. FINE. I was like – “For the love of God people!! Please let there be something wrong – so that I can fix it!!” I finally just tried to embrace that I may never have long hair again. Wahhh.

Fast forward to a few years and my hair had finally begun to grow, but never past the tippy top of my shoulders. (insert sad, puppy dog face) And I was doing everything right: using good product, limited washing, regular trims, limited heat use. But practically nothing changed. It was fried. And I was a wreck. For reals.

You can ask my hubby, or anyone who knows me well – I would spend hours researching how to help my breaking, fragile, non-growing, fried hair. I wore clip-in extensions often to create fullness and length. I tried every DIY and in-salon hair remedy I could get my hands on. Supplements. You name it. Nothing worked. I would just end up in tears. Almost daily. I felt hopeless. And helpless. Crushed.

Here's a quick collage of it looked like... Now, as a beauty expert I could hide my hair condition well. Clearly. lol. But, I couldn't hide the length. Granted, it was longer than before - and long enough to finally wear with some loose curl. But after becoming a mom, this is as long as I could ever get it... for YEARS. Just barely past the top of my shoulders. And even so - it was so thin at the bottom!!

Some may think hair is insignificant, and for some it may be. And that’s ok. But it isn’t for me.

For every woman, our physical appearance is such a huge part of our identity. It is like an extension of who we are. And this can be a glorious thing. Yet – when any portion of this appearance is a hot mess, and we can’t do anything to “fix it,” it’s pretty devastating.

But additionally, as a beauty professional, who is seen as an expert on all things beauty and style, my hair is a giant part of my “uniform” and my personal marketing/PR. It’s part of my livelihood. So having unhealthy hair is a huge knock to my credibility. Kinda like taking nutrition or physical fitness advice from an obese person… We all just all gotta walk our talk. And for me that means many things – but healthy hair is definitely one of them.

Anyhoo – I have a genuine purpose for sharing this nugget of vulnerability. Lol. Fast forward a little more, to just under a year ago.

I was so desperate. I even prayed often that God would give me wisdom on how to deal with my hair mess. I felt a little silly/superficial at first – because we often think we can’t go to God with these “types” of things, but I didn’t care – I just laid it all out there and told him what was on my heart. And not to get all God-y on you, but he PROVIDED. In such a major way.

Read on.

One day, I randomly remembered an ole hair stylist pal of mine, named Cassie. We hadn’t spoken in years, but I decided to reach out. Initially, I just asked to pick her brain in hopes of gleaning some all-powerful hair wisdom. Lol. How she responded astonished me.

In moments, she told me to come see her - and that she would HELP me. So I did.

I’ll never forget what she said when she saw my hair– “Honey, I can fix this.” And, “It WILL grow.” She even told me that I’d notice a difference immediately.

Say what? I was shocked.

I hadn’t felt that kind of calming reassurance and encouragement - ever. Her gentle assurance and loving, mama-bear tenderness was exactly what I so desperately needed. I cried! I couldn’t believe it. Or how God had provided. I mean, really? It kinda felt too good to be true. Shoot - only days before I was a blubbering, hair-hopeless, hot mess. (Are you getting a visual?)

But even though hearing her reassurance was so amazing, I was still skeptical. Let’s be honest – I hadn’t had my long, loooong hair really since pre-mommy hood. So it still seemed like a very far-fetched dream.

Well - fast forward to now. I have been seeing Cassie as my amazing hair-maven for just under a year now. And my darlings – without being inauthentic, or uber cheese ball, I can whole-heartedly say, she totally saved my hair – and thus, changed my life. Honestly.

Here's what it looks like, today. (Well not literally today, but you know what I mean.)

The other day, my husband even said, “Wow babe, your hair hasn’t been this long since we were dating!!” (Which was 12 years ago folks!!) He’s right.

At 36 and a half, I finally got my 25 year-old, long, happy hair back. A day I genuinely never saw coming. And it’s not crunchy, breaking or uber fragile anymore. It feels absolutely amazing to the touch. (Like I just walked out of a Pantene commercial, lol.) It’s long, healthy, silky, and pretty much awesome.

Amen to that.

So – I decided it was time to share this magnificent gloriousness with the world. Right? I know there are others out there just like me. Who feel hopeless and need some serious hair-saving. If you are that someone, then this is for you.

And just so you know, my sweet Cassie didn’t ask me to do this. It was my idea. 100%. I just couldn’t keep something and someone this great all to myself.

Xoxo... Sara

P.S. If you are in the market for some hair-saving, or just need an awesome stylist, you may contact my amazing hair savior, Cassie, here.

{FYI: The gorgeous family photo above was taken by Jennifer Koskinen of Merritt Design Photo.}

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