This is a very exciting post for me to write.
Almost two years ago, in March 2014, I was trying to find new hair extensions for my strawberry blonde hair. I had purchased a pair that was a great color match from a local Los Angeles hair extension store.
I didn’t want to re-purchase them, however, because I felt like they dried out fast, weren’t sewn well, and were overpriced for that quality. The color was great though. So I searched high and low online, ordered “Strawberry Blonde” hair from lots of popular hair extension companies and was disappointed over and over again. Sorry, I hate starting out with a negative! But this experience was what drove me to start the line.
I realized if it was this hard for me to find high quality extensions that matched my hair, and I’m searching both in this huge city that caters to tv and filming and has so many amazing beauty stores AND I was searching online and getting no where, then there were probably tons of other gals trying to find good strawberry blonde extensions too.
That’s when I decided to do the damn thing myself.
My parents were visiting me in Los Angeles at that time. We sat down to dinner one night and started talking. It was at this really cool restaurant around a crackling fire pit and it went on for hours. Everything spilled out and I told them that I had been thinking of starting my own line of hair extensions. At that point, it felt and seemed just like a dream inside my head. I had maybe mentioned it to one or two people before, but it felt so far away from reality that I had sort of kept silent on it. I had no idea where to even start. I was almost embarrassed to bring it up, which makes no sense, because it was with my parents, of all people. You know, the people who gave me life.
My parents owned and ran their own business, so I sort of expected them to give me a dose of reality on the whole thing. They built a business from scratch in their 20’s and kept it running successfully for over 40 years. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had said “don’t do it!” Ha! But they listened, asked me a ton of great questions to help me problem shoot, and were supportive. My dad even called me the “Forrest Gump of Hair.” I’d been doing a ton of research and was deep into the extension world at that point. I did sound a little bit like Forrest Gump in the scene when he’s on the bus and talking about the different kinds of shrimp.
I knew I wanted to get the extensions as soon as I could so other people could get a great Strawberry Blonde shade, but I also knew that I wanted them to be absolutely perfect if I was going to really do it. I knew the feeling of spending $200 on new extensions, having them come in the mail and not feeling great about them. I wanted getting my hair extensions to be the opposite of that. I wanted it to be an all-around amazing experience.
The extensions were about to become my baby, and I didn’t even fully realize how consumed I would become at that point. In hindsight, I was the nerd in high school who would triple check my tests before I handed them in, so it shouldn’t have surprised me that much.
After that night, I started saving as much as I could from every job I had. I hadn’t even become a full time makeup artist yet, I was still working a zillion odd jobs and I squirreled away that cash like nobody’s business. It was important for me to be 100% invested and independent as I started the line.
Quickly, I started doubting if anyone would actually want or buy them. Which I guess is what happens when you are spending every extra dime of your own money on something (while all your friends are going to Hawaii – true story.) Right as these nagging thoughts began, I started getting a ton of questions on here and my YouTube videos about where to buy good red extensions. The timing could not have been better and my faith was restored. The universe is a beautiful place.
When I started, I set out to make amazing extension shades for redheads. I even went as far as cutting out pieces of my own hair and mailing them to my manufacturer so they could get the color perfect. Which I’m sure they thought was super normal.
As I was going through my hair samples, realized there were too many gorgeous shades to do a line of extensions just for redheads. I felt like my eyes were suddenly open and I was seeing all these gorgeous hair colors in real life that I hadn’t noticed before. I literally could not stop looking at other women’s hair. I fell in love with so many hair colors, so I expanded to a full range of shades.
I thought and felt when I started working on the line that I knew all there was to know about extensions. I had been wearing extensions for about 5 years at that point, tried tons of brands, and had been a hair model for several years. I had been researching everything I could about hair extensions for months. My father had called me the “Forrest Gump of hair!” But the longer I was testing hair samples, the more and more I learned about extensions. I would stay up until 3 in the morning reading about weaves and hair types. I was washing, re-washing, and heat styling (the most damaging things you can do to your extensions: over-wash and heat style too frequently) my hair samples daily to see which held up the best.
I was loving how much I kept learning about the business. With every sample set that came in (over 30 sample sets just in Strawberry Blonde, btw… I went a little nuts finding the best hair) I figured out little ways to make the hair different and better than anything that’s on the market. I ended up with double drawn (thick from roots to ends), REMY (cuticle intact – stays healthier for longer), 100% human hair. It’s so damn silky. It’s thick. It stays soft and healthy feeling longer than any other set of extensions I’ve ever owned. I would not stop until they were the BEST extensions I had ever owned.
I designed every inch of the extensions sizes, clips, sewing, and the boxes myself. Everything about the extensions was planned, down to the smallest detail. Even each weft width measurement was carefully designed. And by “carefully” I mean I went a little nuts again. I started bringing my flexible measuring tape with me on makeup jobs. When I was putting clip-in extensions on clients, I’d measure the backs of their heads to get the perfect sizes for each piece of the set, called a “weft.”
I still can’t believe that 1: I asked people if I could measure the backs of their heads. 2: People let me. 3: They also hired me again. Each of those things is absolutely baffling to me.
The box is reusable. Reduce/reuse/recycle, baby! It’s made from heavy weight cardboard, so that it can be used to hold brushes (gggHAIR brushes coming soon!) and ponytail holders and bobby pins. There is a tester section so you can make sure the color is a perfect match before you open the whole box. This little message is one of my favorite details on the box.
By the time the line was ready, it had been almost two years. I can’t believe how long it took me, but I was also say that I have never, ever, ever been so proud of anything in my entire life. I could stare at just the boxes alone for hours. I keep touching the hair all day long, like a weirdo. I’m just so, so crazy in love with it and how it came out.
There were definitely a lot of bumps in the road. In every aspect, there were so many glitches. There were days when I would just sob and sob and felt like it was never going to happen. Days that I just wanted to crawl back in bed and not have to be an adult.
But every time I look at the hair, I get this flip in my stomach. I know that I sound absolutely looney over hair extensions, but that’s really how I feel. I’m over the moon about how they came out and it all feels worth it.
All this being said, I also decided to start a separate blog on the extensions site, www.girlgetglamorousHAIR.com. I wanted people who were interested in extensions to be fully informed before they bought extensions from me (or any where for that matter.) But also, I wanted you guys, my blog readers, to feel respected and not bombarded with hair extension posts. So this blog will remain the same with makeup posts and hair technique tutorials and product reviews.
This blog has brought me more joy and happiness into my life than I ever could have thought possible when I started it. And I hope that it brings something positive into everyone’s life who is a part of it. I really do.
I’m really, really excited about this next part of my life. Terrified, but also excited. I kept the Eleanor Roosevelt quote “If you dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough” tucked into the corner of my bathroom mirror. And I am scared. Scared and thrilled and happy and hoping my dreams come true.
I am excited to get back to a regular posting schedule. I really did miss getting to blog and talk with everyone regularly.
Thank you for everyone’s support along the way. I got such nice messages on my Instagram and Facebook page.
Can’t wait to see what this year brings for everyone! Cheers and thank you again.
Big hugs and kisses. xo – Molly