Yessss, I did it again! I got another haircut y'all!
In case you're keeping count (you're probably not, and that's 137% okay - you have better things to remember lol), this makes my third official curly cut. My first curly cut was at Devachan Culver City with Sergio - when I officially had my heat damage removed and stepped into 100% natural life. The second cut was again at Devachan Culver City with Carleen, who rocked my curly cut and red color.
This third cut was done by none other than Brandie Kekoa, of Be Kekoa Healthy Hair Studio in Temecula, California! For those of you guys who didn't know, in addition to making my most favoritest co-wash EVER Be (Bae) Clean, Be Kekoa is also a full service salon run by Brandie and her amazing staff (#shoutout to Audra and Charmaine!) in Temecula. Seriously - Be Kekoa is like 5 minutes from the wineries (more on that later).
Brandie has already taken me from red to black, and from curly to straight. This time around, her task was to take me from hot mess to hot mama! Okay, that was corny, but really. My hair was a hot mess for about 52 different reasons. Here were the top 4:
- I've got multiple textures with disrespectful shrinkage. The back of my hair hangs looser and longer, while the front shrinks up (three different ways, of course - ranging from deep wave to ringlet). This means that as my hair grows, mushroom mullet is the result.
- My hair has color damage. The red was gorgeous, but it did a number on my curls. You guys may not have been able to tell, because I go stealth mode about treating it and nursing it back to health, but it's there. My hair was about 75% healthy at the time of my cut (meaning only about 25% damage on my ends), but it was still visible damage. Damage - whether it be from color, heat, or overmanipulation, changes your hair and makes it hard to work with. But I've got some tips for that coming very soon.
- Because of #1 and #2, I found myself playing with scissors. A LOT. More than your standard seasonal trim, with a whole lot less precision and patience. This made for an absolute, unmitigated disaster. My hair was not only uneven because of mullet realness, but because I would just snip when I saw a tapered or scraggly end with no sort of concept for balance, evenness, proportion, shape - none of that. Because I'm not a stylist and I don't know what any of that means anyway.
- And, I hadn't had a professional shaping since 2014. Yes, I've had DIY trims, and professional trims when getting my hair straightened - but no professional curly cut in almost two years.
All of those factors combined made for an extravagant, hot mess. Needless to say, Brandie had her work cut out for her. But as you'll see in the pictures, she did the darn thing!
|For your reference, my mushroom mullet o' curly hot mess.|
After my consultation, Brandie went to work her curly magic on my tresses, doing a dry, curl-by-curl cut. Brandie's done a number of certifications and natural hair trainings in her 10 year career - getting education and information everywhere from Devachan to Titi and Miko Branch (Miss Jessie's), and even celeb stylist Felicia Leatherwood (hey girl hey!). On top of that, Brandie is a natural hair veteran in her own right - and she's got the super healthy tresses to prove it.
Sidebar: that's one of the main things I love about Brandie. She walks the walk and talks the talk. I know folks are shelling out rent and car note sized payments to see other curly stylists in Southern California (I'm thinking of one particular fellow who shall remain nameless because I'm still a child of God), but there's something deeply comforting about sitting in the chair of someone who knows exactly what you're dealing with. Someone who doesn't just proclaim themselves to be an expert on textured hair because it's cool and profitable, but who literally has to wake up in the morning like you and I, and work with kinks, coils, and curls, before heading in to work. Brandie doesn't talk down to you, she won't shade you for using silicones and shea butter, or judge you for occasionally flat ironing. And she won't chastise you for making mistakes with your hair - she simply educates you on how to take care of it properly. Oh, and she doesn't shy away from any texture. Brandie's clients range from bone straight and barely curled to super kinky. I've sat in her salon enough times (as a client and as a spectator) to see her do it all.
Now back to my experience. After the dry cut, Brandie cross-checked her work to make sure that even though my textures were different, the cut was balanced and even. That impressed me so much - even with all the aforementioned drama I had going on with my curls, Brandie still made it happen.
Next came my absolute favorite part of the experience - the wash! I know y'all feel me here...ain't NOTHING like having someone else cleanse and massage your scalp. Audra has such blessed hands... I could have laid in that bowl forever! That scalp scrub and massage was heaven sent. After cleansing, Audra covered my tresses with the Monoi Orangesicle Protein Smoothie (sigh... an in-salon only treatment, no to go containers!), and sat me under Bertha, the mother of all steamers.
|Bertha played ZERO games.|
Unfortunately, I couldn't take my "after" shots in the salon, thanks to a hot mess mishap. There was a guy (the name of his company escapes me) and his son who visited the salon, selling soul food. Yes, soul food on demand. And we were STARVING. So, April got chicken wings and mac and cheese, and I settled for corn bread stuffed with sweet potatoes and greens. Yes, it was every bit of magical as you could imagine. Because I'm not a huge fan of fried chicken, and I don't know how to eat wings (according to everyone who's ever gone out to eat with me), I only took one of April's wings. And then, I forgot to wash my hands after eating. So while sitting under the steamer, I rubbed my eyes. And then rubbed, and rubbed, and rubbed, and rubbed - until they were puffy and bloodshot red. I looked high as a kite - a likely reaction to the oil and seasonings on my fingers.
I didn't want y'all thinking Brandie was running a salon full of stoners, so I delayed on the pics. But now - they're all in this post! So get your fill of these selfies, and more to come!
|I love how rounded and full it is!|
|And because it's balanced, I can play with the parting!|
|How's that for before and after?!|
|What, you thought I was gonna not go out to Temecula and leave with 3 bottles of Bae Clean?!Pshhhh...|
Be Kekoa Be (Bae) Clean Review
How I Use Be Kekoa Products on Wash Day
Be Kekoa Be Moist Review
Be Kekoa Tamanu Oil Works Miracles
Got questions about my cut or anything Be Kekoa? Leave them in the comments below!