I'm granting you a reprieve from the vacation chatter with this: let's talk about hair. Mine is red. It's naturally curly and I always wanted it straight. So my freshman year of college, I had it chemically straightened for the first time. At first, I loved it. It was easy to manage and so much less maintenance than my natural texture. After a while, however, there were split ends and pieces that just felt fried no matter how well I conditioned them. Not to mention the fact that my hair grew in curly at the roots but remained straight everywhere else (not pretty). So then there was the cost of upkeep: we're talking $700+ every few months. Forget about it.
I resolved to stop getting my hair chemically straightened and get regular trims until it went back to its natural state. Eventually, however, the half curly and half straight look got to me and I had no choice but to chop it to just above my shoulders and let it all grow in curly. I let a stylist convince me to try the Brazilian keratin treatment to supposedly reverse the damage the chemical straightening had done and, while it felt great for a few weeks, there are still pieces that had more chemicals in them and are still straighter than the places where it's grown in curly. And again, $300 every few months to make it feel shiny and new? Not on my (non-existent) budget.
Now my hair is shoulder-length and mostly curly with the exception of a few pieces in the front where the stylist clearly doused my hair with chemicals to keep them straight longer. It's frizzy, especially in the summer humidity. I wear it in a sloppy bun in the daytime and occasionally curl the ends (while straightening the roots) when I go out at night. This might be as close to its original state as I'm going to get it, but still I'm not happy with the outcome.
I stumbled upon this picture on Pinterest the other day and instantly recognized it as what my hair would look like in a perfect world. I want my long hair back and I want it tame, frizz-free, and all other kinds of perfect. That's not too much to ask, right? Now clearly I need your help. Products, techniques, tools to make my crazy frizzy halo of hair look like the above. And if you have any similar stories, misery loves company. Ready, set, go!