My Hair and How I Got There

My hair and style has been a creative endeavor for me over the past few years. The spark for this came in the form of Ivy Costa, a personal stylist who has helped me tremendously. I get asked a lot about my hair and clothes and things, and I happened to stumble across the first picture in this post a few weeks ago. It was a WOAH moment because I didn't realize how very far I had come. I thought I'd share about my transition from yogi-mama to—well, to whatever I am today. 

Let's go back to 2011 

Here I am in 2011. This was post-yoga intensity. Can you spot the awkward yogi in business clothes? :)

Here I am in 2011. This was post-yoga intensity. Can you spot the awkward yogi in business clothes? :)

I was just coming out of my yoga-is-life/life-is-yoga period. A lot of people who discover yoga go through a really intense period where they are all yoga, all the time. I certainly did. There was a period of time where I was doing one....and often TWO 75 minute yoga classes a day. Plus workshops, and seminars, and trainings, and reading about it. I threw myself into it. It was massive fun, I learned so much, and it has definitely impacted me in ways I can't even fully grasp today. (I still have a regular practice and teach in the just won't find me in a yoga studio quite as much!)

During this intense yoga phase, I had let my hair just grow and grow and grow and had not had a haircut in a couple years. The first photo is just after my first appointment with Ivy and it was before I went for my first hair cut and makeup consultation. The blazer was new.

I was used to wearing yoga pants.....every day. Lots of shirts with buddha and OM and Sanskrit on them. Flowers in my hair. I was ready to evolve and grow because while I had definitely fallen into a comfortable clothing habit, it wasn't me anymore

I got my first haircut and highlight!

I got my first haircut and highlight!

Getting that first haircut was a big step for me. The haircut you see  is completely tame, but going from my uncut, long, yogi hair to this was a big step at the time. Looking at it now I'm like Girl, that's nothing. 

The reason I hired a stylist was because I recognized I had some bad style habits.

  • I bought lots of the same things (Target V neck shirts in every color, I'm looking at you) 
  • I had regular closet meltdowns, yet I had more clothes than would fit into a very large closet and a very large dresser. With so many clothes, how did I 'never have anything to wear?'
  • I had clothes from high school and college. I couldn't part with them. Even though I didn't wear them.
  • I didn't really have a style.
  • I most often wore browns, blacks, greys and muted tones and I did not think of myself as a 'muted tone' kind of girl. Yet, why did I dress myself that way?
  • I realized I didn't know how to dress. By dress, I mean, put together an outfit. And by that, I mean how to not grab yoga pants. 

Ivy was some of the best money I ever spent. I have saved time, money (by not buying anything I don't wear), and emotional energy. I have not had a single closet meltdown since that day, nor have I ever said "I don't know what to wear." Amazing. 

Ivy went through all of my clothes and was that objective person that could get rid of things I just hadn't been able to part with. She also kept a small amount of my clothes, purses and shoes to begin to build a new wardrobe for me. That was an awesome day. And I was ready to get rid of it all too!

Ivy went through my wardrobe. I got rid of all of this. 

Ivy went through my wardrobe. I got rid of all of this. 

and all of this. 

and all of this. 

and all of this!

and all of this!

I then sold most of the clothes at a yard sale at my parent's house. Looking at this now....dang. I had WAY too much stuff. I sold almost all of it and donated the rest!

I then sold most of the clothes at a yard sale at my parent's house. Looking at this now....dang. I had WAY too much stuff. I sold almost all of it and donated the rest!

After the big purge, getting dressed became completely effortless. I felt confident every single day and I knew that what I was wearing was flattering on me because I had this objective person in my life that would tell me otherwise. Life got REALLY simple when I got rid of all those clothes and shoes. At this point, all of my clothes and shoes would have fit into four 20 gallon totes.

I also just needed a small closet. I got rid of those dressers (still don't have one)! I gained floor space! Gained under-the-bed space again! It was awesome, and still is. 



(above) Here I am—after I got used to my hair, and used to my new makeup routine. Makeup became simpler too....all of my makeup products fit into one small zip pouch. I got rid of EVERYTHING else. So simple, so great. I was feeling good. 

Then I went to an ashram. This was I think May-ish? It's one of the places in the world that I love the most. I could talk a lot about it, but I'll say that this particular visit, I was dressed a little differently than my previous visits. Those are glitter flats, and I am not wearing yoga pants.

I moved to NYC that summer and started to put into practice things I had been taught about color and cut, style and silhouette. I started spending time reading about personal style....which is something my previous very-intensely-yogafied-self would NOT have been doing a year prior.

I liked the idea of having a personal color palette put together. I liked figuring out those certain cuts and styles that worked on my figure. I realized that I liked expressing my creativity through my appearance. And I discovered that I felt better overall when I did.

Here are some snaps from that summer in the big apple. I think this was THE SUMMER OF 2012. 

I discovered that I loved color on my body.....I believe the trendy color at the time was called flame red and oh man, I loved it. Especially paired with bright green. Thank you J. Crew, for the memories.

In my previous phase as a yogi-mama, I was all about browns and blacks and taupes and earthiness. "Can you tell I practice yoga, like, every day? Obviously I do because look at me." My appearance was saying something much different by the summer of 2012!

That same summer, I had a free evening and wandered around lower Manhattan—I went to the WTC site, just kind wandered and walked and walked. I ended up getting another hole pierced in my ear after I ended up in the East Village. Happens sometimes. 

I only have two holes in one of my ears and I think I'll keep it that way. I like the asymmetry. The 'earring' pictured was what I rocked for a few weeks while it healed. Today I have a nice selection of fun studs that I choose from.

In 2013, I spent time experimenting with my style. I'll spare those photos because 2014 was when my hair really changed. 

January 2014

Ivy came to visit and check in. (Recognize the blazer? That was one of my first purchases after the purge.)

Then, I started getting more adventurous with my hair. The key here is a good hair stylist. Mine is Samantha Moyer from High Five Salon. Ivy referred me to Samantha way back when (she is who gave me that first cut!). We went here:


Then we went blonde. I also discovered bright lipstick and found my favorite brand, BITE. 

MAY 2014

Samantha took me even blonder, and we started shaving part of my head. Below, you'll see Samantha did rose gold tips on my hair. 


Here's a photo where the hair grew out and you can see my roots (I really like that look). 

autumn 2014

November 2014

Then we went purple! Samantha did deeper purple at the roots, and then added in icy violet near the middle part and tips of my hair. I have never had a non-natural hair color....not even in high school. At first I was concerned I made a horrible mistake....but very quickly realized I was absolutely happy, confident and feeling great with it. It has been fun to work with that purple hair and the colors of my makeup and wardrobe.

December 2014

I went in for a touchup before Christmas, and by this point I had about half my head shaved. The shaved head part might be the best part. It feels so good!

January 2015

This was taken just 2 hours after my latest cut. We're working on growing the length out in the back a bit more so we can do more things with it style-wise. I also asked for a more vibrant purple this time. If you look near my scalp you'll see what looks like smudged color....that will wash out after my first wash and the vibrancy will settle a bit. Also, check that close shave! Hair freedom, baby!


I get stopped on the street now, with questions about my hair. I also get emails. This is so funny to me because before I had absolutely unnoticeable, unremarkable hair! I am by no means a hair expert, but these are the questions I get asked.

What's it like having that haircut?

Absolutely wonderful and completely empowering.

Do you have to do anything different when you wash your hair?

I use a purple shampoo and purple conditioner. I also only wash my hair every 7-10 days. I wash my scalp (the shaved part) daily with regular soap, but not the 'hair' part. It's great. 

Does your employer allow that?

Yes. I own the company and I say it's OK. :)

How has your hair affected business?

This was my concern at first...but I quickly learned that I was waaaaay off in thinking it would have a negative effect. It has been the opposite. I engage in conversations with people more easily and more often, and there is no doubt in a client's mind or potential client's mind that I am confident. People want to work with confident people.Oh, and there's that memorability factor...people remember me now.

What are you going to do when you want to grow it out?
Grow it out! It's not a big deal to transition through a variety of styles back into longer hair. I also have a wig that I wear sometimes. It's reddish brown and the hair comes to my shoulders. Sometimes I just want long hair...but I don't want to maintain it. Hair can be fun, and it certainly is for me.

Does that take a lot of work?

No, it—by far—requires the least maintenance of any haircut I have ever had. I wash it once every 7-10 days, which means I only get a blow dryer out every 7-10 days. I style it once with product, and then sleep on it with no issues. In the mornings, I will brush it out and the product in the hair lets me mold and shape it however I want. For me, from wake up to out the door, it takes about 15 minutes, total. I have a minimal makeup routine (still just have one zip pouch of makeup) too, so that helps. Hair + makeup + outfit is never more than 15 minutes. I have gained so much time over the 2011, it would take me 15 minutes to just pick an outfit!

This is also the least expensive cut ever. It takes less electricity, water, hair product and time to maintain it. 

Where do you get your hair done?

High Five Salon. 


December 2014 Brooklyn, NY

December 2014
Brooklyn, NY

I wore it like this in December a lot.

I wore it like this in December a lot.

This was a fun way to wear it!

This was a fun way to wear it!

In Closing

I hope this was helpful and maybe interesting. I always love before and after posts, and I'm happy that I can contribute a real one.

 Anyone can evolve and enjoy their own personal style. You saw my 'before' and my 'after'..... hopefully it will inspire your 'after'.

What is a style trick or tidbit you've learned?

Have any favorite products?

What has simplified things for you?

Cole Imperi, CT5 Comments