• Laura

ROOTS (a series) - part four

Sometimes when we admit to failure, we allow others the chance to thrive

This one is about my actual roots. Yes, we are talking about my hair.

Ladies, (and gentlemen too) please don’t act like you haven't dealt with your version of similar “basic” drama these past several months of pandemic life. It needs to be talked about. We need to at least find the slightest bit of humor in this all, make fun of ourselves, and to acknowledge the polarizing results of our personal growth during such a heartbreaking time.

So here we go.

Up until a few weeks ago, my hair looked terrible and I 100% could have been the girl in one of those quarantine hair memes circulating on social media to point out our newfound au natural vibes. However as much as I wanted to persevere, and really intertwine my #selfdiscovery mantra with my physical appearance, it wasn’t vibing. Oh confidence boost where are you?

Disclaimer here, this is clearly a bit of a superficial discussion topic and I totally get that. So my goal is to merely give you a few chuckles, and hope that as you close your laptop, or swipe over to stalk social media on your phone, you'll be inspired to support a furloughed Innovator. I also hope I nudge you to gain a little ounce of drive and go fix a problem. Any problem, and don’t be afraid to fail, because sometimes we just do.

Now back to my roots...

Rewind to early March 2020. I had been working non-stop. The typical Q1 intensity for the Orlando meetings and convention scene. Covid-19 was ramping up, and business/groups were starting to cancel, but there were still so many unknowns. It was definitely getting scary, but suddenly, what felt like happened overnight, I was on forced vacation with the majority of my colleagues.

I decided to look on the bright side and absorb the time off I needed. I was finally getting a few days to recharge before my next huge program started (which had not canceled yet) and I felt it necessary to take care of a few little personal maintenance issues. At this point, we had no idea or maybe were in denial, of the severity of the situation. Everyone in hospitality knows that when it’s busy, it’s BUSY. 12 hour days are the norm. Well, at least was the norm.

It’s almost impossible at times to schedule doctor or dentist appointments, get to your kid's activities or school commitments, or take a shower (I kid, I kid.) In other words, getting my hair done was not exactly a top priority for me to tackle on the list of “to-dos” every time I wrapped a group and saw the sunlight again for a few days. It was time though to get my roots done, and I’d found my window.

For convenience purposes, I changed things up and booked an appointment at my hotel resort salon. I kept hearing about this amazing colorist, seeing her post on Instagram and was really impressed. I figured I’d give her a shot.

The day was approaching. I was so excited. Then I got my furlough call. It didn’t take long to realize that the majority of the rest of the building was also furloughed. Including the amazing colorist.

So I got bold and messaged her, and promptly invited her to my house to keep our appointment. Unconventional? Yes. Where there is a will, there is a way, right? We both had a need, and we could help each other.

My hair looked beautiful, she nailed it. And just in time, because right after that appointment, the pandemic skyrocketed and we all know the rest of that storyline.

I went into quarantine feeling and looking fresh during those few weeks of the furlough Phase One, which if you recall is Spring Break/Vacation mode from A Tale of Two Furloughs part one. No, I wasn’t going anywhere, but it felt good to feel a bit more groomed while sitting by the pool waiting for my phone call to return to work.

Fast forward six months, still no phone call and my ROOTS had taken over my head. It’s fine, it’s FINE I kept telling myself. That mentality can only last so long. I started avoiding even looking at myself in the mirror because I wanted to pretend this wasn't a thing. At a certain point though, I had to admit it was definitely a thing.

I began to obsess with how to tackle freshening up my hair without actually spending the money to do it because, without a job, money is NOT a thing.

Time to problem-solve.

I was on Pinterest searching for home remedies for hair lightening hacks. I tried olive oil, lemon juice, and lightening shampoos. Thank goodness we have a lemon tree. I floated on my raft constantly, my hair sprawled out, and one day I even went on a walk with the blazing sun burning my olive oil slathered head desperate for a few strands to lighten up. Yes, I took a selfie, and no I won’t be sharing.

It wasn't good.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and pay for an at-home balayage kit and attempt to give myself some hair love.


“Splotchy” was the word my husband used.

“Cheetah hair” is the term Gladi used.

This was a Covid low.

Failure doesn’t usually sit well with me, however, it’s a concept I’ve been forced to address since my layoff. I’m not good at everything, and that’s ok. I tried, and I’m proud of myself for making the attempt. So I accepted the honest and, somewhat direct, feedback of my attempts with humor. Then I got creative with how to hide the “cheetah splotches” during a few zoom calls and a BBQ with friends that all took place soon after the experiment. Finally, I decided it was time to call in a professional to fix the mess.

Sometimes certain things are worth the expense and truly require a professional versus the DIY approach. Sure, it might have been beans and rice or hot dogs for dinner that week, however, the value of getting the tiniest boost of confidence after six months seemed priceless if I could feel like a human again.

Time to call back the amazing colorist, yareBeauty, who I soon learned had been busy building a brand while on furlough. The stars had aligned because of course, I wanted to provide an Innovator with the business. During the appointment, I learned so much about her brand and gained a ton of inspiration about the give back that H&F Redefined could provide, which at the time was still being developed.

In just a few hours, she transformed my hair, let us interview her, and helped instill a sense of confidence and beauty back into my heart and on top of my head. She also gave us that extra motivational push we needed, confirming that the work we planned to do with H&F Redefined was no doubt going to be inspiring. How many more Innovators are out there we wondered? Let’s just say we have a healthy pipeline of content through Q1, 2021. People are rock stars out there!

Before Yare left my house that day, she confided in us that after my first appointment back in March, she left that day feeling as though her dream to start her own business could actually become a reality. WOW, powerful to think taking a risk on someone and going outside my own comfort zone could have such an impact on their life course.

Knowing I was able to support her new beauty brand made all the trial and error of botching my hair leading up to this point so worth it. Once again, we love it when things come full circle. She's officially now my hair girl and a significant part of our H&F Redefined community.

What I’ve learned as my takeaway from his extremely surface-level experience, is that sometimes you have to just admit to being ok with failure, suck it up, and call in the professionals to fix them ROOTS. We never know how impactful it can be on someone else's life when we trust them, support them, and believe in them.