Monday, September 30, 2013

Hair! Shmair!

I have high maintenance hair.  I'm not afraid to admit it.  I was voted 'Best Hair' in Mrs. Stewarts' 5th grade class and I am still proud of that!  I'm also not afraid to admit that one of my very first thoughts about moving to Germany was: "Who will take care of my hair now?!"

When Isabelle was just a toddler I had a disastrous experience with an at-home box color....I'll save you the details because it's a really long story, but I very literally fried parts of my hair off.  It took a professional many, many, many hours over a period of months to repair the severe damage I had caused.  She lovingly brought my hair back from the dead, but not without bunches of deep breaths and forearm swipes across beads of sweat on her brow.  I haven't touched my hair since, and I never will.  This is why, when I meet a stylist that I like, I have a very hard time letting go.  It is also why I put a lot of money into the hair products I use.  So to tell y'all that I was nervous to make an appointment for a cut & color in a foreign country is putting it kindly. 

I was dreading it.  

I was losing sleep over it.  

But when my hair got too long and too heavy to put in a messy bun anymore, it was time to make an appointment.  Whether I was ready or not.  

I went to a German hair stylist for the first time this weekend.  The gals I work with directed me to a salon owned by a British lady who has been in Germany for more than 20 years.  They speak fluent English and take VAT forms (Value Added Tax forms take Germany's 19% tax off whatever it is us military/military dependents are buying.  Not all stores will accept them, and since we have to buy the forms, they're only worth it when spending over a certain amount of Euro).

The lady that did my hair was amazing!  I knew right away that I liked her and trusted her.  I wanted to go a little darker for fall & winter so she opted for "caramel blonde" highlights.  She seemed to know exactly what she was talking about, so I started to relax.  I wanted to cut 4-5 inches off but not go anywhere near my shoulders.  She said that going near the shoulders is too difficult a length and "flips easily" so she understood what I wanted.  But she also talked about more personal things that had nothing to do with hair and I related to her very much!  I really started to relax after that. 

I'm at the "new" point right now where I'm still trying to figure out how to style it with 4 less inches to deal with, but these crummy iPhone pictures taken suuuper early in the morning before work gives you an idea.  

The most valuable advice, validation, and encouragement I have gotten has come from other military families that have been stationed over here for a little while.  With their advice I am getting more comfortable, braver, and less self-conscious about being a foreigner.  And now, I've got all my bases covered:  a) a great gal to do my nails, b) a hair salon that I really loved, c) trendy clothing stores minutes from my apartment, d) and friends to help me navigate all of Germany's little quirks. 


  1. I like it darker! I understand the flipping at the shoulders thing...I am growing mine out and I am thankfully just past that stage!

    P.S. I have been reading since Chelsea tweeted about your blog ages ago (which makes me feel kinda creepy) and stuck around because I've had fun reading about your military life! I thought I would finally say hi :)

  2. I'm so glad you like to read my blog! It's nice to know when someone is reading it!

  3. I also love reading your blog!

    I can remember the first time I - a German girl- went into an American hairdresser. Non of the necessary vocabulary was taught to be in school…

    Tell us more about ‘Germany's little quirks’. =) It’s so interesting getting to know my country through your eyes. You’ve really shown me its beauty in some of your posts.

    Thank you for sharing!!

    Liebe Grüße,

  4. I'm so happy you like to read my blog! I'm working on a blog post about some of Germany's quirks :) I'm not sure when I'll get it done, but keep reading! :)

  5. I will keep reading :) by the way, you know that your lastname is German right? It means 'fast/quick' :)
    Liebe Grüße,