The Story of Saying Goodbye to My Virgin Hair

virgin hair

New season, new me. Is that a thing? Well, it has been for this girl.

I decided to shake things up by *partly* coloring my hair for the first time with the start of fall, and have been LOVING it. The whole experience definitely involved frantic, unsure me asking 1000 questions, but was completely worth it.

Any other never-before-dyed-their-hair friends out there? Or as my stylist called it, have “virgin” hair??

To be honest, I was super nervous about the change. I knew I wanted to do something different, but wasn’t really sure what that was. Cutting off my curls for a drastic length change just wasn’t something I was in the market for.

That’s when I figured color was my main option.

I immediately had nightmarish flashbacks to the early 2000s chunky highlights, even more scary when they were two very different colors…you guys know what I’m talking about? See here and here…and here (love you, Kelly).

virgin hair

virgin hair

Photos: Benavides Photography

Well, turns out in the billion years since that trend, more wonderful, natural looking options have surfaced – as I’m sure most of you beauties knew! Typical me, a little late to the hair game…it only took me most of my so far life to figure out how to style my curls…

Anyways, enter BALAYAGE – a technique for highlighting hair that gives it a gradual, swept or painted, natural looking color in the chosen areas.

Once I landed on this option, I called and set up a consultation over at Ingmar James to meet with my girl, Jackie, aka my curly hair wizard.

Y’all, I had no idea how highlighting hair worked, I called twice within hours (very frazzled) to see if I should get my hair cut first…

Or talk with Jackie first…

Or if I was just doing everything wrong and out of order.

All mini freak-outs to which the kind receptionist assured me there was no must-do order and I was fine.

Let’s just say, I walked in that night and the receptionist, salon owner, and Jackie all had big smiles and were saying things like “There she is!” and “We were just talking about you!” and lastly Jackie with “Come on over here you scared girl!”

Cue thinking to myself, “Was it that obvious I have no idea what I’m doing?!”

Answer: YES.

virgin hair

Well, praise for the funny, wonderful, and talented folks at Ingmar James. And most of all for Jackie, for looking at options with me and talking me through the whole process!

Fast forward a week, and it was finally time for my real appointment. All systems were a go. Some thoughts I had during my experience:

  • Does anyone else feel like a robot or the tin man when sitting in a chair with a million pieces of foil on their head? Eric stopped by to see me and got quite the laugh.
  • Internally thinking, “Oh my gosh, that is SO orange. Well at least I’ll get my Longhorn school spirit on.” – and Jackie reading my mind with an audible, “Don’t worry, we have to tone it down still!”
  • At one point, I had two people working on my hair and I felt like an actual celebrity. #HelloOscarsStatus

Finally, after a few hours, BAM – I had the new and adventurous change (for a first-timer like me, y’all!) I was craving for a little refresh with the transition into my favorite season.

Needless to say, I was #feelinmyself and E wanted to try out a couple photography techniques so we moseyed on downtown for some golden hour shots!

I like to pretend I’m a super model when I wear all black errything, hence my favorite black jeans and sleeveless turtle neck I’ll be wearing religiously this fall. I love how easy it is to dress all black up and down in the fall/winter. I dressed it down here with a jean jacket I could live in.

I can’t find the same top, but see similar here and here. These jeans are the same – I swear by the Gap mid-rise True Skinny!

virgin hair

virgin hair

virgin hair

virgin hair

virgin hair

Jean Jacket | Turtleneck (similar, similar) | Black Jeans

Alright, alright, so before I go – a few tips for any considering to play with color for the first time:

  • Play around on Pinterest for color on textures that look like yours! This was really important for me, because although my hair is sometimes blown out like it is here, more often it’s thick and curly. It was crucial I knew what balayage would look like styled that way, and not just on blown out hairdos.
  • Make sure you understand how you can protect your hair – what highlight method makes the most sense for your texture? What products should you use to avoid damage and keep the color?
  • Lastly, find a a great stylist, who makes you comfortable and let’s you ask alllll the questions (thanks, Jackie!). If you’re in Chicago, the folks at Ingmar James are wonderful options!

Now tell me, are you making any fun changes for the new season?


Psst…need a photographer?? I know a guy. 😉 Check out E’s work & Benavides Photograhy here!


  1. Carmen Cervantes
    October 10, 2018 / 11:58 am

    Your hair looks great!

    • Dayna Reyna
      December 3, 2018 / 4:46 pm

      Aw thanks so much, Elise!! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season! xo Dayna

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