ROMPER, SANDALS (similar), EARRINGS (similar here and here)

HAIR WRAP: (c/0) Scunci

Growing up as an aspiring ballerina, it was natural and easy for me to pull my hair back into a sleek “ballerina bun” almost every single day of my life (I did exactly that until I was twenty-two). I could (and still can) do this in my sleep! So whether it be picking up bobby pins, necessary hair spray, no-damage elastics, hairnets (oh and did I mention scrunchies?) were the norm in my household. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for my dad to walk around with a magnet scooping up the missing bobby pins and hair clips or for my brother to find a hairnet tucked away in his pile of clothes followed by: “Ugh, Stephanie!! Get this hairnet out of my stuff!” (If you’ve ever seen a hairnet, you know how unsettling this discovery can be!) 

Now, imagine traditional black or white leotards over blush skin-tone tights accompanied by a pair of classic ballet and pointe shoes that basically matched those tights – I really didn’t have much room to accessorize. Of course, there were the occasional exceptions that granted a few gold hair pins or a scrunchie around my sleek “ballerina bun,” but I’d often try and experiment with different variations of achieving that “perfect” bun (think: low bun vs side part bun vs high bun or a “French Twist” if I was feeling fancy).

It’s no secret that perfect hair was drilled in me. My teachers demanded perfection – many times, obsessing over tiny fly aways or the few strands that would fall out of place during a rigorous practice. I’d constantly hear: “Stephanie, your hair MUST be perfect for auditions. Otherwise you will look sloppy and that is not a proper representation of who you are.” So by default, mega-hold hair spray became my best friend…

When I was nineteen, I remember being encouraged to wear something loud and colorful for ballet auditions in hopes of catching the attention of a prominent ballet director. Needless to say, this was amidst the hundreds of other girls who were incredibly talented and fiercely competitive. Preparing for a ballet audition (almost) became a religious experience for me as I pulled my hair back into that perfect “ballerina bun” once again. But this time, I thought why not tuck in a small, vibrant flower to add that pop of color. I did this because of the stories my dearest mentors, who were excellent Cuban dance coaches, shared with me. They trained some of the best dancers in the world and I wanted to keep this Cuban ballerina tradition of accessorizing with a simple flower alive. I thought: “If I can get them to look at my pretty hair, maybe they won’t pay attention to my bad feet.” Sounds crazy, but it worked. 

Although my ballet career ended two years later, I still kept my long hair and would occasionally work the sleek bun style or wear it straight. No color. It was plain and simple. For whatever reason, I couldn’t part ways with my long hair. I also couldn’t accept that my career in ballet was over. 

Finally, in 2016 I was craving a serious change after a bad breakup, so let’s face it, one day I walked into my salon and impulsively told my stylist to chop off six inches. She was shocked… “Are you sure, Steph?” Without hesitation, I replied: “Yes, just do it.” The impulsive decision was one of the best decisions I’ve made to date. I walked out feeling liberated and new. My hair barely grazed my shoulders and it was the best, unexpected feeling.

Through the years, my hair has become increasingly shorter and shorter. It’s actually right under my chin (when I was dancing, it was down to my waist)!  Though I may not be rocking that “ballerina bun” anymore as before, I’ve been styling my hair in ways that have really resonate with me today. But you may wonder, how do you style short hair? My tip: let’s get to the mane source, all it takes is the right products, a little technique and you’re ready for any occasion. I realized people would complement the variety of hair scarves, no-damage hair ties, hair wraps (and beyond) that I’ve eased into my new daily routine (P.S. thanks by the way)! My secret weapon is actually all thanks to Scunci. They make hair accessories look effortless and chic – an ultra-covetable situation. Today, I’ve been rocking the head wrap to keep me prepped for the heat and also for that fun summer look! #winning

To say my hair is important to me is a complete understatement. As you have seen, through the different stages of my life, my hair has played a huge role in defining who I was and am. First a ballerina. Now a fashionista. My love for accessorizing hair has been a constant in my life. It’s shaped me through the years and causes me to constantly rediscover and reimagine styling. Whether it’s maintaining that perfect hair control or assisting with expressing myself, Scunci’s got me covered. I am thrilled to see where this next season of my life takes me and the fun, new hairstyles to come.

Xo, Stephanie

[Thank you Scunci for sponsoring this post!]