Employed!

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Hi guys. I know it’s been a good while. I have been horrible about staying on top of writing; juggling my free time with being a mama and work has been hard. Yes, that’s right you read correctly. I have a job! I finally have the career I have been desperately searching for. I can even use my biology degree! I work as a clinical research coordinator here in Austin, Texas and I am absolutely loving my position thus far.

So you’re probably wondering what being a coordinator entails. I work on recruiting new participants for studies and making sure that they match the inclusion/exclusion criteria. I am also in charge of screening them to make sure that no medications, health conditions, or allergies interfere with the study. Clinical research is all about data collected in that moment, so I have to take extra precautions to make sure that all data is taken down in real time, which requires the utmost attention to detail. I check in panelists when they arrive, band them, and screen them appropriately as required, as well as make cold calls in the back office.

Life has been up and down. Griffin turned one, Caleb and I celebrated our third year wedding anniversary, I opened a side business: Griff ‘n Co, and we added a new family member! I plan on doing late posts on these events, so stay tuned. I also have been focusing on taking care of my skin and using some amazing products to rejuvenate it and get a beautiful complexion. I am eager to share my routine! I just wanted to briefly check in with you all and let you know that I am still here and trucking on. As far as health, I finally got a diagnosis. Years of suffering have led me to the answer I had been seeking! What are your guesses? You’ll find out soon.

Thanks for staying with me.
xo,
Cass

Pregnancy, Moving, and a Shower!

Long time, no write. It has been so hectic these past couple of months. Caleb, first and foremost, went to California and we were away from each other for two months which was incredibly hard and extremely draining. He stayed with his parents to save up some money for our new place and to pay off some bills, while I stayed with my mom and her boyfriend back in Texas. It was a definite test of strength in those months; being pregnant exasperated my loneliness and I just felt miserable until he came home.

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Once Caleb came back to Texas, we made plans to start looking for a home near Austin so that he could attend Austin Community College and use his GI bill to earn his degree. We struggled for a couple of weeks on figuring out what we would be able to do, but with lots of prayers we finally found the perfect duplex and things have fallen (or have been shoved) into place. We are now slowly settling into our new community and have found some great friends through our church. It’s hard not to over worry about getting all our ducks in a row before the baby is born, but were doing our best to just have faith that everything will work out for us and that God will provide for us and our child.

Once we get everything unpacked and set up, I’ll take pictures of each room (especially the nursery!) and document my experience with moving while 32 weeks pregnant (MAN! Has it been absolutely draining). We are only down to a handful of boxes and a couple of rooms need some extra tidying, but we are making progress and I am hopeful we will have our house completed before the baby’s arrival.

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Another extremely exciting event happened this past Saturday; our baby shower! We headed down to Waco and had the cutest summer “Let’s Flamingle” themed shower at a little café branch of a downtown bakery called Olive Branch Express. My mother-in-law hosted this wonderful blue-and-pink shower with the decorating help of my aunt and what a perfect turnout it was!

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We had a great time catching up with family and opening presents for our little squish as we call him/her. We are extremely blessed by the love surrounding our baby. I know that  they will be completely loved by us, our families, and our church family. Thirty-four days left and anxiously counting to meet you little one. We do have names picked out, but are waiting to announce until we know if the baby is a girl or boy, so shortly after birth!

 

I can’t believe how fast this pregnancy has gone for me. There are times where it feels like it’s going so slow and I just get overwhelmed because baby is riding up into my lungs and I feel like I can’t breathe, but really it’s been like a blink of the eye. Here we are 35 weeks into this baby-baking business and trying our best to manage birthing classes, learn cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and the ins and outs of infant raising!

I can’t wait to meet our little blessing and once we have everything  unpacked and put aways, I will be ready for them to enter the world! I’m so blessed to have had a healthy pregnancy. I’ve had hip and back pain, but I’ve managed to push through it and focus on the bigger picture. We’ve gotten this far with no gestational diabetes, great blood work, and good blood pressure with minimal complications. GOD is great in his many miracles.

 

Much love and here’s to next time!

Xo,

Cass

Cassandra + Caleb

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 07/31/2017 – we had our engagement photos taken in 103 degree heat (although you cannot tell!) by the amazingly talented Robin Rogers in Belton, Texas. The bohemian themed shoot includes a vibrant rug (one that we actually own at home), a pastel pink flowy dress, and a gorgeous updo adorned with flowers. I hope you love our romantic shoot as much as we do.


Hair & Makeup: @katyreddellbeauty | Photography: @robinrogersphotography | Location: Overlook Park, Belton, Texas | His Outfit: @gap | Her Outfit: tba | Mavis + Eleven’s Collars: @madebycleo

Bachelor’s of Science 

This past May I walked across the stage at Texas Tech University and accepted my diploma after five years of intense work, tears, and way too much stress. My undergraduate started in Fall 2010 when I took a few dual-credit classes to prep me for the years ahead. I entered McLennan Community College (MCC) as a full time student in Fall of 2011 after earning my high school diploma (with honors). I continued to live at home and work part time as a waitress and a babysitter. I was inducted to Phi Theta Kappa after my first semester for my grade point average and hard work.

In Fall of 2012, I moved to Austin to attend The University of Texas at Austin. I was accepted into the school of nursing, but switched (due to the anxiety of the competiveness of the program) to a nutrition major. I worked part time as a nanny and completed a few classes, but I grew too depressed to continue on. This was one of the worst times dealing with my depression. I became suicidal and questioned my life therefore, I returned home after the semester and took the following spring semester off to deal with my mental health. I began seeing a psychologist every week and focused on my health and diet (as I put back all the weight I lost and more due to the extreme mental agony).

Summer 2013, I returned to classes online and went back full time to MCC. I lost the weight I had gained previously to get in the best shape of my life. I got my first long-time job as a Client Service Coordinator at Banfield Pet Hospital and my GPA went back up! In May 2014 I earned two associates with honors (AA & AS).
After attending full time in the summer to get all my prerequisites finished up, I transferred to Texas Tech University as a Biology major and a Chemistry minor. I enjoyed my first year full of exciting science classes and excelled academically, but I began having health issues. I had unexplained faintness, rapid heartbeat, and chronic gastrointestinal problems. In September 2014, my heart went into atrial fibrillation and it had to be cardioverted back into rhythm after IV drugs did not work. I also began having intese allergic reactions and anaphylaxis which lead to my diagnosis of Mast Cell Activation Disorder.

Despite suffering from these issues, I was on a great path until summer of 2015. I quit my job because I was discriminated against for having depression and anxiety that did NOT interfere with my job. I was targeted by the head veterinarian (who was pretentious) along with another girl I worked alongside (she was the only black employee and she also was having a tough time). We were both basically treated unfairly and made to quit. I was told if I didn’t quit, I would be placed on leave without pay. We were thinking about getting lawyers involved for discrimination, but as anxiety goes, we both dropped it. This is when I began getting increasingly ill and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I started having brain fog and trouble with words and times (which is maybe why they thought my depression interfered with the job, only it wasn’t my depression at all).


That summer I attended classes full time and worked part time as a veterinarian assistant, but this is when I started having extreme problems (hence the archives start here!). Some of the symptoms I began experiencing was muscle weakness, slurred speech, confusion and brain fog, daily headaches, migraines, loss of balance and coordination, and horrible neck and back pain. The pain was so intense I would lay on the floor crying. I started seeing multiple doctors (even at the emergency clinic). I was told that it must just be a muscle sprain over and over again. As my symptoms progressed, I was let go from my job for fear that I may get hurt. I got several images taken: X-ray, CT scan, and MRI. I was told everything was normal. Luckily I had my dad on my side and we would not give up until I had an answer. I got my hands on the actual MRI report which stated: patient has a herniation of the cerebellar tonsils; something my doctor did not think was important to mention to me. I made an appointment to talk to her and she said that shouldn’t affect me at all because “my flow was good.”

Arnold-Chiari Malformation: “structural defects in the cerebellum. That’s the part of the brain that controls balance.”

She insisted that I just needed a psych referral and basically disregarded my physical concerns, needless to say I fired her. I fought hard for a consult with a “Chiari Expert.” My dad actually found a doctor in Houston that specialized in neurology and did posterior fossa decompressions as part of treating Chiari symptoms. I made an appointment with him and had severe issues having my insurance cover it. My dad offered to pay out of pocket for one appointment; we arrived, cash in hand, only to be told that was incorrect and they didn’t take payment from the patient (only insurance companies). My dad begged for them to see me, seeing how badly my symptoms were progressing, but we were turned away. He didn’t stop until he talked to the insurance representatives and they agreed to cover an appointment.

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I finally met Dr. Parish in November and he immediately diagnosed me with Chiari Malformation. My hands and feet were numb due to the lack of proper flow of the spinal fluid cord and he assured me that he could successfully complete the operation with a good chance of aiding or resolving some symptoms. On December 9th, 2015, I under went brain surgery to correct my defect. I had a leg graft taken to be placed in the back of my skull to allow more room for the cerebellar spinal fluid (CSF) to flow. This was an extremely hard time for me as I finished my semester only days before having to be operated on. That semester was truly a grueling one; I had to battle ongoing symptoms of the defect while having to focus on school. The brain fog was immense and it was hard for me to concentrate and memorize. This was the start of working harder than everyone to maintain my grades. In addition to all of this, my grandmother passed away in November only a couple weeks before my operation, but I made it through.

I tried to use my winter break to recover. I signed up for Spring classes foolishly. I was so eager to stay on the path to graduation which was planned for December 2016. After making it all the way through April, it became too much for me to deal with. I wasn’t used to studying after the operation, which is thought to be a Traumatic Brain Injury because of the invasiveness and the aftermath. I couldn’t cope with my confusion. Although my numbness and slurred speech improved, I had much difficult thinking of the right words, staying on a schedule, and had a horrible memory. The pain, which I thought had been resolved (probably masked by the incision pain?), reappeared in March. I made the choice to medically withdraw. My anxiety was incredibly high because I had never had such problems with school as I did that semester.

That summer I had so many life changes. My previous relationship ended and I met Caleb. I questioned my ability to go through another year of school, but I pushed forward. I ran into financial issues as I had to find out the hard way that financial aid is hard. I returned to school in August 2016, determined that it would be my last fall semester. I changed my minor from chemistry to health professions because I would have had to stay an extra semester for one class and I had had enough! I somehow made it through a grueling semester in which I moved and made some serious changes.

January 2017 I started my last semester at Texas Tech, extremely terrified at the course load. I’ll admit that I’m terrible at chemistry and had to buckle down to pass. I somehow managed to make it through despite facing some discrimination along the way (short story: my chemistry teacher blew up on me for forgetting how to set up and apparatus). The months were the slowest of my life. They dragged on and on and I counted the days I had left. I finished my last final on May 12th; that feeling of waking up the day after and coming to the realization I don’t have to endure this repetitive cycle of driving 72 miles back and forth to school and constantly stressing over attendance (that’s what chronic illness does) and proficiency (grades!) is over… it’s liberating, the best feeling in the world! I can’t believe I did it. Over 5 years of hard work with so many challenges and setbacks. I’ve done it! I drove to Lubbock alongside my mom, Caleb, and Dianne to accept my Bachelor’s of Science on May 19th!

So what now? Where will my life take me? I’ve spent this past month applying for jobs left and right, in hope that the perfect one will arise and be interested in my education and experience. I’ve been looking at administration jobs because I know with my chronic pain and conditions, a standing job isn’t ideal. I’ve been working hard this month: exercising, eating healthy, and attending appointments (neurology, allergy, and my PCM to manage my care). I ended up in the ER late May after some terrifying symptoms (numb and blue limbs, confusion/brain fog [worse than usual], feeling faint, & low blood pressure) occurred. It was concluded that I had complex migraine (how can this turn your limbs blue with the blood pooling?) and I got a referral for neurology to see why I am having chronic migraines and neurological issues. The ER doctor said that he saw an old lesion on my cerebellum, which makes me wonder if it is a result of the decompression or something completely different. I fainted a couple weeks later and experienced rapid heart beat upon standing, so a referral to cardiology was put in as well. Praying that I can get these symptoms under control!

Managing my health and upcoming career is stressful to think about, not to mention my endless wedding planning for our upcoming October “I dos.” I often think about my future life and what it will turn out to be. I’ve always wanted to be a mother, but I never thought chronic illness would affect me so much. I just need a steady career and some more answers and/or treatments to manage my defect and diseases. Right now I’m battling my thyroid disease as my medication needs to be adjusted (my synthyroid dose is too low). I just found this out on Friday after my biopsy consult. My doctor that had ordered this test had my results and said nothing (why you have to investigate yourself!). No wonder I’ve been feeling so sluggish, run down, and hungry. Despite working out and eating healthy, I’m not losing any weight! So many times I haven’t been informed of my test results, which is why now I will request a copy!

Here’s to my crazy life ahead (post-undergraduate)! Let’s see where life leads me! Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

Xo,

Cass

Busybee

Sorry for the lack of posts, I’ve been so busy with school and the hustle bustle of traveling back and forth from my new home to my school. I moved in with my fiancé about a month ago and it’s been great! We’re getting our little duplex home settled and our neighbors are good friends too! Once the house gets settled I want to post my little interior decorating results. Living in Fort Hood is awesome because I feel safe and I take Mavis for walks often. It can be hard sometimes when Caleb is in the field, but I’m starting to get settled in, but it’ll take awhile to get used to. In other big news, we are planning on getting a baby pug next year! We’re on a waiting list for a black baby girl and we’ve picked a name for her already. The first week of December we’re getting involved with the Austin pug rescue! Mavis will be attending the holiday ceremony and I’m sure she will be the star of the show. That’s all for now!

Xo,

Cass & Mav

Yes!

Well I’ve been a busy busy busy bee! First of all I started back to school and that has occupied all my free time. I’m taking five classes for my last fall semester in college: Organic Chemistry, Exercise Physiology, Biology Seminar, Pathophysiology, and Abnormal Psychology. So far I’m doing relatively well for such a full load, but chemistry will always be my down fall. I have to focus and buckle down to get ahead. 


Other news, I got engaged! The man of my dreams got down on one knee on October 7th and I say yes without hesitation. Caleb is my best friend and my soulmate. I knew pretty quickly that he was the one for me. If you haven’t found your significant other yet, let me tell you, love at first sight is possible because it happened for us. I can’t write enough to explain my absolute admiration for this man. His soul, his humor, his smile, his eyes, his everything… I love it. He’s the reason I wake up with a smile and go to bed with sweet dreams. Having a long distance relationship is difficult, but it has been well worth it and I will be moving mid October to join his side.


 I’m so entirely excited for our upcoming plans: house decorating, furniture shopping, wedding plans! I’m ready to spend the rest of my life with him! Caleb, Mavis, and Oliver, my little family is perfect! I’ve never been so happy in my life. That explains my absence! My goals are to survive this semester and prep for my last one in the spring, plan an amazing wedding with my fiancé, get in shape with my honey for our big day, get married to Caleb in front of God, my family, and friends, and graduate with my bachelors in Biology and a minor health professions. 


As far as my spoonie situation, things have gotten worse. I had a pain management appointment back in late August where I received six large injections in my back with the hopes of relieving my pain. I was numb with a pinching for less than 24 hours. My back has been excruciating. I went to the doctors and almost passed out in the clinic from the severe pain. I received a renewal on my pain medication (luckily, because I was petrified I would not get refill), a muscle relaxer prescription, and a shot of toridol. My mother had to pick me up and I slept as soon as I got home for a solid two or three hours until Mavis demanded my attention. I’m becoming less hopeful about my situation with my back, but hopefully I’ll be receiving better medical care here in the near future. I’m constantly praying that my back will become manageable and that I can live without being dependent on pain meds. Thank you to all that continue to follow my difficult but lovely journey. To all my spoonies, don’t give up. You do have a purpose; if I have one (I want to be a great wife), you surely do too. 

Xo,

Cass

Follow me on snapchat (@cassandrasheab), Pinterest (@cassrobnson), instagram (@cassrobnson) for more of Caleb’s, Cass’s, and Mavis’s adventures!

Vida

 Rollercoaster. That’s what my life has become. So many ups and downs. I had an amazing trip to Galveston. I stayed with my best friend, Dianne for a glorious week by the beach! The water was amazing and the weather, so pleasant! I took Mavis along with me and she got to enjoy her very first beach list and could not get enough. She officially loves sand: eating it, tossing it, and covering her bitty body with it! She also is a professional seashell collector and bird chaser. Galveston is such a dog friendly area and I was imagining my future along the coast with my curly-tailed babe. I collected so many sea shells and enjoyed hours at a time on the shore.

Along with the much needed and wonderful getaway, I started talking to a certain someone. At first it was friendly hellos and cute little questionnaires. What started as an interesting chat became so much more. I have found my soulmate. I know this seems sudden and completely out of the blue, but I think when you know, you know and well, I know, at least I’m fairly certain. This man treats me so incredibly and accepts me for all that I am. I’m not an easy package and I know this. How do I say, “Hey, I have a chronic illness and bunch of issues, and I’m sorry, but this is who I am”, and expect another to say “okay, I want you regardless.” Not an easy task to take on and it makes opening up hard, but I did and to my surprise, I was accepted. Chivalry is not dead, I know this to be true now. Caleb treats me with the upmost respect and I feel at peace around him. I think we just connected right away and we have so much in common. I think all my praying and hoping has finally paid off. I’m passionate about our relationship. I think it’s easy to say that this is the one for me. C is already my best friend and I’m not one that easily trusts others, but yet, it’s so natural for me to trust him.

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With joy comes pain. My pain has been unbearable lately. The past three days I have basically been bed ridden with severe back pain, debating whether or not to make he emergency room trip. I constantly worry that this is what my life will become: Days at a time suffering. Tomorrow I have a pain clinic appointment to hopefully get this under control. I also got news that I cannot be genetically tested through my health network because they don’t do that type of testing. I basically have to research on my own to get my diagnoses, but I just don’t have the energy or time right now and it’s just a label, isn’t it? If this pain doesn’t subside, I don’t know what I’ll do. I need tomorrow to come so I can see if this pain relief will come.

In other bad news, my finances are quickly diminishing. My parents are divorcing and so their finances are suffering too. I don’t have enough money for classes or even enough to live on hardly. I’m so stressed. I don’t know if I will be able to graduate this May after all, if I don’t have enough money for it. I wish I could change so many things, so many stupid decisions. I have blown through my money. I’m the typical dumb young person. I thought I was ahead by having a savings account, but that can only go so far. I finally was able to make a payment while awaiting my loan to go through, thanks to my dad

One last thing! I’m hosting a fundraiser to help support my living and medical bills. Bravelets are wonderful little bracelets in all different styles that say ‘brave’ to support a cause. They come in a number of different colors, but the featured are some of my favorites: glacier blue, pink, and silver. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Xo,

Cass & Mav

Over It

So a lot, and I mean a lot, has happened over the past two to three weeks. My life has decided to completely fall apart leaving me in many severed pieces. First off, I’m newly single. Almost a two-year relationship over. I’m a little broken inside, but I will move on. I will find the man of my dreams, who will treat me with the respect and love I deserve. So I moved in with my mom. Lots of boxes, lots of arguing, lots of pain (physical and emotional). My life continues to shred: my computer crapped out, I quit my job due to pain and school, and I had a visit with two doctors, who basically are predicting I will be in pain for the rest of my life. Real peachy, right? So I’m a broken pathetic mess. My hair is now blonde and I’d like to go icy blonde. After your heart is torn into pieces, all you can think about is changing your physical appearance and yourself, so that’s what I’m doing. I have more posts planned, but with no computer and my lovely life, things are a bit delayed. All I can say is in the Fall Out’s likeness, please stand by.

Xo,

Cass & Mav

Tickled Pink

After much thinking and soul searching, I decided to finally take the leap and dye my hair pink! I originally was thinking a pale pink would be gorgeous, but my hair is far too dark to transform that quickly, so with the help from Kaylah from The Dainty Squid’s Hair Master Post (who recommended the hair therapy session mask, placenta leave-in conditioner, and boar brush), I picked out the perfect hair items to achieve my raspberry locks.

It took me about a week to prepare my hair for the bleaching process. My natural hair is curly and a dark brown. I have never entirely bleached my hair and the past experience I have with it, I let a friend ruin the ends of my long hair because she had no idea what she was doing. I almost always go to a stylist recently since I know I am not an expert, but I used to color my hair reds and browns and blacks myself because my hair does not hold color well at all, so I knew I would have to bleach to see any results at all.

I used Eva•NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask every night and let it sit 3-5 minutes after shampooing.

The Therapy Session Hair Mask is a deep conditioning treatment that repairs and strengthens dry and damaged hair. Hair is left hydrated, smooth and manageable. KERAVIS PROTEIN – Clinically proven 3X stronger hair. ARGAN OIL – Feeds hair with Vitamins A & E, Omegas 3, 6, 9

I then rinsed with cold water only and pat dry my hair lightly. Afterwards I sprayed Hask Placenta Super Leave-In Conditioning Treatment (which smells amazing, just shake well) all over my hair and let it sit for three minutes before brushing with my Spornette DeVille 100% Boar Bristle Oval Cushion Brush, which is great for distributing oils throughout your entire head and smoothes hair.

The Hask Placenta Super Leave-in Conditioning Treatment restores life & lustre to bleached, tinted, damaged & relaxed hair. Instant Hair Conditioning Treatment is excellent for all types of hair that has been abused by the heat of blow dryers, Curling irons, tinting, bleaching, relaxing, frequent shampooing & overexposure to the sun. Works Instantly to restore life & lustre to dry brittle hair. This product is not tested on animals.

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Eva•NYC Hair Therapy Mask, Spornette Deville Boar Bristle Brush, and Hask Placenta Leave-in Conditioner.

Making sure you have time to really give your natural hair some TLC before you bleach is extremely important to prevent major damage and hair breakage, that will just leave you traumatized and your hair beyond repair.

Here are products I recommend you should also acquire for maintaining healthy hair. I use As I Am Naturally Leave-in Conditioner as well to add some extra moisture to my hair and also promote hair growth. I like this product because it doesn’t weight down my hair and make it feel greasy, so I usually put this on after the placenta leave-in, but either way would work.

Here’s my natural dark hair after conditioning treatment, placenta leave-in, and brushing with the boar brush.

 As I Am Naturally Leave-in Conditioner, a great leave-in is a vital first step in styling. Smooth it on after cleansing and conditioning. Your finished style will be softer shinier and more manageable. This natural wonder keeps tangles away and provides a great foundation for natural styling. It contains an organic strengthening agent, plus natural ingredients that promote hair growth.

Another great product to try, if you don’t want to use the Eva•NYC Hair Mask, is Davine’s Nounou Nourishing Hair Mask for Dry Hair or Nounou Nourishing Repairing Mask for Dry and Brittle Hair that I use here. They both smell amazing and were recommended to me by a stylist I visited in Austin during a lightening treatment several years back.

Nonou Nourishing Hair Mask for Dry Hair – Nourishing and repairing mask for damaged or very dry hair. ideal for bleached hair, with highlights, perm or relaxed. Its formula is designed to deeply nourish treated hair, it also makes it soft and silky, giving it body. it does not weigh down the hair.

I did one oil treatment and am planning on doing weekly treatments that stimulate hair growth that I discovered from this infographic on pinterest (source unknown). I have read that it is also healthy to massage your scalp with the oil on as well.

Down to the bleaching process. Some people have recommended using the bleach over an oil of some sort to further protect your hair, but I decided not to go with this option. I used Radical Bleach Kit from Beyond the Zone from Sally Beauty as recommended by Kaylah. (They also have a Color Remover if you absolutely HATE your results). On Thursday night I did the test strip. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to complete the full process, so spread the process out over two days. The test strip test tells you how long you need to leave on your bleaching mix without destroying your hair. Although it gives you estimates on the package as you what time is needed for hair colors, check your color every ten minutes, by having a spray bottle of water near by and spraying the bleach off and rubbing with a damp paper towel.

I ended up having to leave mine on for two hours for my test strip as I have very DARK hair, but on the day of bleaching (Friday) I quickly learned that roots are much different than other hair and lightened at a much more rapid pace than expected. I had to remove the bleach from my roots with a spray bottle and paper towel way earlier than expected. So, I recommend your test strip starts from root to tip!

Tips: Avoid getting the bleach on your skin because it will burn. If you use foil, make sure you get BOTH sides of the strands of hair. Use a buddy if at all possible. If you are alone and like it that way, a couple of mirrors might be able to do the trick, but be ready to do touch ups over the next few days. Also, this hair cap look can terrify your dogs, so don’t take it personally. They still love you and your transformation, your hat just is alarming.

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Bleaching Process took around two hours and was immediately washed out afterwards.

Purple Shampoo – purple shampoo is know to take out unwanted yellow and orange tones from bleached hair, although obviously my cheapo ways didn’t help as I tried to borrow some from work for dogs. I am not sure what works the best, but I have heard good things about this brand. Here’s an alternative, I have found, and here is what I used (you can laugh). Smelled good regardless and I knew I was coloring soon, so it didn’t bother me too much. I of course used my hair mask and left it on a bit longer than usual (about 10 minutes) and rinsed well with cold water. It is important to use cold water to rinse your hair, now that it will be bleached and colored to maintain the bright color you desire.

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After the bleaching process, “purple shampoo”,  hair therapy mask and spray, and drying

I slept in my newly blonde mixture overnight, to give about twelve hours of relaxing between. I then started my coloring!

Colors: This is totally up to you! Reds? Blues? Greens? You choose! You can get some inspiration from my hairstyle board if you choose to. I don’t recommend Manic Panic as it just does NOT stick to my hair at all and just washes all out, and the cheaper the price, usually the cheaper the quality. I personally chose Punky Colours by Jerome Russell in Flamingo Pink, as recommended by Kaylah as well, to start my color transition. I’ve heard great things about oVertone Haircare products being wonderful, but they are on the more pricy side. I ended up buying the pale pink set, but I returned it, after deciding I may not want to have colored hair for very long as my situation has made an 180º turn around.

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The Dyeing Process!

I dyed my hair accordingly to the Punky Colour (available at Ulta and Amazon) instructions (15-30 minutes) leaving it on for about 20-25 minutes. The smell was wonderful (like raspberries) and I tried my best to fill in every single hair spot, although I had to go back the next day and re-bleach and re-color a few stranglers. I did however have a not so good “reaction” to the Punky Colour dye. I began feeling sick automatically after applying. I had my epipen near by to make sure my airway would not close up, as I have severe allergies to some spices and certain unknown things. I felt sick to my stomach the entire time it was on my head and I washed it off at 20 minutes after forming a headache. I suffered from a headache the entire day after that, but I don’t know if it would be related to the possible chemicals in the dye or not.

In the end, I loved my outcome! I later bleached my eye brows and dyed them to match my flamingo pink hair, but after some deep consideration, I plan on dyeing them back to my natural hair color because it just is a bit too much for me believe it or not. I have gotten so many compliments on how much my hair is amazing. I work at hair color acceptance place (although surprise!, my two weeks was submitted yesterday, later more to come on this) and absolutely love showing off my unique hairstyles! Also, I have to say I take WAY better care of my hair now then I ever did when it was natural.

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Much Love,

Cass