What a long, strange trip it's been (Part 2)

(Continued) For the first 5 years of my career, I continued bartending while I was doing hair because I wasn't making enough money to survive. Between starting my career during the recession and not being all that good, it was a slog. The thing that kept me going was that I loved hair, I loved working with people, I liked the creativity and I liked the challenge.

At Bumble and Bumble's flagship salon, NYC

I took classes anywhere and everywhere to beef up my skills and be around people more talented than myself. Vidal Sassoon, Redken, Bumble and Bumble - I found inspiration and ran towards it. About 6 years into my career, I started to feel more comfortable. I didn't have to pray to the color gods that my formulas would work. I was more confident in my skills and I started to get busy. I was able to stop bartending and just focus on doing hair. It was such an incredible feeling.

Finally, after having saved enough money, I was able to take a vacation to Kauai, Hawaii. This was a dream vacation for me and I was beyond excited to go. When I got there, I realized it was too hot and humid to actually style my hair. I had brought products to air dry my hair but they only left it frizzy. Up until this point, I had tried many products over the course of my career to air dry my hair with, but nothing ever worked the way I had hoped. As I was walking around in the sultry tradewinds of paradise (it really happened like this!), I got an idea. Could I make this product? How hard could it be? 

Hanalei, Hawaii - perfect for air-dried hair!

Hanalei, Kauai...I'd do anything to be back there now! (With AirWaves, of course!)

I spent two years researching my idea. Was there a market for a great air-dry product? Could I afford to hire someone to make it? Could I make it myself? Eventually, I decided I would at least try to make it on my own. I had such a specific idea of what I wanted and I just wanted to see if I could do it. I took a natural haircare formulating course. I stalked cosmetic chemist forums. I turned our spare bedroom into a lab and tinkered with my formulas until I loved them so much I wouldn't use anything else.

My husband calls me the "hot lunch lady" in my lab gear

That's my story! Now, enough about me. I'm really interested in you! How did you get here? Do you air dry your hair? Do you have questions for me? Post below, I'd like to get to know you!