Real Life Results: My attempt at plopping for curly hair

Every now and then, a new tip pops up on the internet that I feel compelled to try. This month, it was “plopping” — a way of priming your curls by drying them in a t-shirt. A few hours later, I was supposed to have beautiful, shiny, perfect ringlets. Here’s the whole process, from start to finish, from Buzzfeed.

And here are my results…


Step 1 – Wrap wet hair in a t-shirt, carefully rolling. I also put in plenty of my favorite product at this time.


Step 2 – When your hair would normally be dry, unwrap the t-shirt. This is after an hour and forty minutes of drying. I was not impressed.


And here’s the final result. As you can tell by my beauty pageant expression, I found my curls more Hermione than plop-perfect. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough for the t-shirt to dry on my head, but after an hour and 40 minutes I was over it. I find I have better results by gently blotting with a towel and air drying, or using my nifty microfiber hair wrap.

So, I dunno. Internet, you lose on this one. However, a friend of mine tried plopping and she said the results were amazing. Curly-heads, try it out and let me know if I’m just a plop novice, or if this trick is for the birds.



A walk down Alyssa’s memory lane: From blonde hair to… darker blonde hair.

People often ask me if I’m a natural blonde. I reply yes, because I am. However, do they need to know that my actual, natural blonde is probably the darkest blonde you can be without being brunette? Naaaah. I was a towhead from birth (and always thought that was actually spelled TOEhead, for the longest time), and my wispy white blonde Children of the Corn hair lasted me until I was about 10.

That's me on the left, with our brother in the middle, and April on the right. Look at me rockin my double chin!

That’s me on the left, with our brother in the middle, and April on the right. Look at me rockin my double chin!

Then, my hair became more golden and grew interesting cowlicks and stubborn waves, until it burst into mermaid-esque ringlets. In high school I messed around with all kinds of hair dyes, I was fond of pink, and at one point had a yucky purple that turned gray. Me and my friend Lisa (Hi Lisa!) would spend hours in her bathroom working out the perfect punk rock highlights. Then, one year, I went auburn. I quite enjoyed that color, and thanks to the powers of Facebook, a friend recently found this picture documenting my redhead hue.

Me on the far left. I was so skinny!

Me on the far left. I was so skinny!

For about the past ten years I’ve been a home dyer, and stuck to a golden blonde shade that needed touch ups about every five weeks. I had the best luck with the $2.99 box of Revlon ColorSilk Dye, and did it by myself on random weeknights, being careful not to touch my head as I putzed around the house for 30 minutes smelling awful.

Golden Blonde by Revlon

Golden Blonde by Revlon

For the past year, I’ve been an “ultra light” blonde, which is pretty much platinum. I had a  lot of fun with this color, but it had some significant drawbacks. The first being that I needed to do my roots about every 3.5 weeks, and I’m lazy. The second drawback was that it really washed out my face, and if I didn’t put on blush, I looked like a walking q-tip. Given that I work from home I wear very little makeup, but when I do go out, I’d rather kids not point to me and ask their parents how a cotton ball learned how to walk. The third drawback was that since it’s basically bleach, the color was killing my curly texture and making it a limp wave. It was time for a change.

Photo by Lynnette Joy Photography from three weeks ago at my best friend's wedding

Photo by Lynnette Joy Photography from three weeks ago at my best friend’s wedding

I’d been hemming and hawing about going back to my natural color for a few years, but was always too chicken. The closest I ever came on my own was during this era, which was a “Dark blonde” box dye that I felt was too red. I lasted like this for about two weeks before running for my blonde safety net.


Reddish blonde.

Over the past year, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a wonderful hair stylist who really “gets” my hair. Curly hair is a pain in the butt, because it changes day to day depending on the weather, the water texture, your shampoo, your stress level. George at Floyd’s Barber Shop in Encino is awesome (and so is Mikki!), and he’s been cutting my hair the past year. At our last visit, I asked him what he would do to my hair in terms of color. He won me over with a description of a multi-tonal mix of highlights and low lights, that would allow me to grow my roots out and have a very low maintenance of about every 3-4 months. I was in, and this Friday, we went for it!

Why yes, I do post terrible before photos of myself on the internet. In the name of science! Photo collage by George.

Why yes, I do post terrible before photos of myself on the internet. In the name of science! Photo collage by George.

I really love the new look! It was a little bit shocking at first to see the newer, darker me, but I knew I liked it. I’m still not 100% used to it, but I’m already loving the fact that I feel like my face looks slimmer and I don’t need as much makeup to look “alive”. I’m also looking forward to my low-maintenance new hair routine. So, ‘fess up – is your hair your natural color? Do you dye? If you do, would you ever go back to your roots?

The after of my new 'do

The after of my pretty new ‘do

Aspirational Fashion Friday

Let’s lighten it up today with FASHION! I’m no fashionista; most of my clothes come from Old Navy and Macy’s and are about 1) comfort and 2) fit. I dress business casual Monday through Friday for work, but I love sun dresses, tank tops and jeans on weekends. One of the best perks about getting to my goal weight will be shopping in the “misses” department rather than plus. Let’s go on a virtual shopping spree for when I reach my goal weight, shall we?

First, is a bee inspired outfit I made on Polyvore. I love the look of skinny jeans with some tops, but I don’t think they’re quite right for my plus-size body. A cute printed tee and fun fedora would be flirty and casual, perfect for strolling the farmer’s market.

For the bees

I love feminine, flouncy sun dresses, and this one from Billabong would be super cute with a jean jacket and girly pink wedges.

Date night

Since I did bees, I have to do birds! I love the flouncy look of tunic tops but can’t always find ones that are flattering for larger busts. With trouser jeans, this look would be perfect for a casual Friday in the office.

For the birds

And lastly, something for an important client lunch – perhaps where you’re pitching a new concept to an ad agency. Something professional, yet young and with personality. I’d love a structured and feminine polka dot dress with a chic cream blazer, fun heels and a timeless bag.

Let's do lunch

That was fun, and friendly on my wallet – kind of like virtual window shopping! Do you have any aspirational outfits or styles? Tell me about them!