How Donating My Hair Was the Most Liberating Feeling + 4 Fave Hairstyles

Hi beautiful! I wanted to share something special with you today. I’m a big believer in change…it fuels us, challenges us, and drives us to reach our dreams. A few months ago, I made a pretty big change and let something go…10 inches of it! 💇🏻

I’ve had long hair halfway down my back since I was a little girl. I never knew anything else. As a believer in taking chances and radical change, I was ready to cut off what “was” and try something new!

I decided to donate my hair to Locks of Love, which provides hairpieces to children in need who have a long term medical diagnosis. It’s always important to me to give back and Locks of Love is such a great cause. My new do had a big impact on me, and I wanted to share the experience with someone else who needed what I no longer did. So I waited until my hair was long enough to chop off the required 10 inches, have my new bob, and donate.

I went to see my amazing hairstylist and friend Nicole at Harper Salon (@nicohair). She tied my hair back in a ponytail and as soon as the scissors took the first chop, I loved it!! I ran my fingers through my new short hair and instantly felt a sense of freedom come over me.

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Since I cut my hair, I’ve had so many girls ask me for advice about making a big beauty change. My biggest piece of advice: Do what you’re feeling! If you want a change and a little adventure…GO FOR IT! You can always grow it back. I’m looking forward to more little snips, styles, and colors as I grow mine back out…if I do! ; )

Today, I’m sharing four of my go-to hairstyles with my new bob! My new hair is so easy to style ~ I pretty much shaved 30 minutes a day off my getting ready routine! That’s 30 extra minutes for my Booty Call, me time, or time with loved ones.

These styles are perfect for a workout, a day at the office, or a night out with Bobby or friends. And they all take just 5 – 15 minutes to do…so easy! Our hairstylist and girlfriend Ashley (@ashleyckucich) helped me style these and I asked her to share her best tips for getting the look!

Try them out and show us your beautiful dos on Insta @ToneItUp!



Wavy & Crimpy

My deep wave crimper is my favorite hair tool! It’s inexpensive and instantly adds texture. To do this at home, divide your hair into small horizontal sections. Pin each section up. Spray each section with a lightweight hairspray. Starting with the bottom sections, use the crimper to add texture. After crimping, spray a texturizing spray all over your hair while lifting and separating out the hair with your fingers. Our K&K Sea Salt Texture Spray smells like tropical paradise!

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Straight & Sleek

I love this look for a day at the office or a date night! Divide your hair into small horizontal sections. Straighten each section with a flat iron and add a slight bend inward at the bottom of your hair. Use a bone non-plastic comb (it doesn’t melt!) to rake the hair down in front of the flat iron to make sure your hair is evenly straightened.

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Half Topknot

This one is so simple and fast on busy days! Start by using a flat iron to make beachy waves. (Check out our tutorial HERE!)  Go backward and forward with each curl, alternating to make sure your hair looks really natural. Pull the top part of your hair into a ponytail. Comb the ponytail slightly and wrap it around in a bun, leaving a few pieces out. Secure it with bobby pins!

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Half Braid

Start by putting your hair half up and half down. Rubber band the bottom section so it stays out of your way while braiding. Section the top into two sides. Rubber band or clip off the opposite side to stay out of your way. Braid one side of your hair and secure with a small rubber band. Unclip the other side and braid it. Rubber band both sides together. Take the bottom section out of the rubber band. Your hair will be out of your face all day!

What are your go-to hairstyles? Anyone else thinking of making a big hair change?

And always remember that beauty comes from your heart and spirit. You’re gorgeous inside & out!


  1. I tend to grow my hair out and chop it off, grow it out and chop it off. I have been on a mission the last couple of years to grow my hair long but I saw a video of myself and felt like the long hair made me look old. When you cut your hair off Karena I was like “oh yeah, I used to love having a bob!” so in a way you inspired me. I’m a busy, working mom and as you mentioned, having 30 minutes extra is really helpful. I get a ton of compliments and I just feel more “me” since I made the change.(Plus my hair doesn’t get in the way as much now when I am rolling at Jiu Jitsu classes). Thank you for sharing your story!

  2. Love this! How do you keep your hair from kinking near your part when using the waver? Mine always leaves a harsh line where I start crimp. Thanks! 😽

    1. Hi Sam! I make sure to mix up the direction of the crimper for each piece. That way the waves look more natural!

  3. THANK YOU THANK YOU for some short hairstyles! I usually keep my hair about my shoulders and love that you are showing how beautiful it can be! I can’t wait to try your tips!!

  4. I absolutely LOVE your hair Karena!!! It looks amazing and I love that you donated it <3 What a wonderful gift to give those kiddos!!! You have such a beautiful heart! I recently whacked all my hair off too back in November and I love it! Short hair rocks! I'm growing mine out to a bob that's more your length right now just because I miss a top knot lol Way to be an inspiration girl! LOVE IT!

  5. I haven’t had short hair in over five years. You have me very seriously considering cutting it short again!

  6. I love this post! I’m actually graduating from college on Friday and planning on donating my hair Saturday morning!!! Thanks for all the great tips!! ❤️❤️ Can’t wait to try these new hairstyles!

  7. LOVE the short hair! LOVE that you donated it! It looks fantastic and really suits you! And how awesome that you feel liberated! Funny how long it sometimes takes us to see how our attachments hold us back!

  8. Thank you for sharing your story, Karena. I am considering donating my hair to Locks of Love as well (have always wanted to, but always got sick of long hair and cut it before it was long enough). Since you have had highlights in the past, I am assuming they allow colored hair? I’ve had some color done too, so wasn’t sure if that would affect whether or not they could use my hair. Thanks!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this!! I often struggle with what to do with my shorter hair. I want to get that crimper!

  10. Yes!!! I’ve been waiting for this! I cut my hair short right before you did and am so envious of how cute your hair looks everyday! I will need to practice these. Thanks Karena!!!

  11. I bought a deep wave crimper because of you Karena and I absolutely love it. It’s such a small thing, but it just instantly boosts my mood when I see how stylish my hair looks!! I love you girls so much!!

  12. Thank you so much for this! I recently chopped about 10″ off my hair as well to donate to a local-to-me charity making wigs for terminally ill children. I cut my hair short a few times growing up and after a traumatic experience, never went back…until now. I must admit that most days I wear my hair the same (curly with the sea salt spray) but once and awhile will also straighten it, but find it takes so much time, especially knowing I’m going to mess it up the next morning when I get in my bootycall. ha! I’m going to try that half top knot and the braids though as I think that will be a fun change to the original. I miss my long hair, so I do plan to grow it back out, but I also really love knowing that I helped someone in need, especially since I’m starting to get more and more gray hairs which means by the time it’s long enough to donate again, I probably will have too much to qualify for a donation.

  13. Love this!!! I had really long hair, down past my butt, and decided to chop off 15 inches when I graduated nursing school last year. It was a wonderful feeling making such a big change and knowing a child in need could use my hair (I also donated to Locks of Love). Since graduation, I now work as an oncology nurse and see first hand how important the hair pieces that come from hair donation are to my patients going through chemo. I am so happy I made the decision to donate. In fact, I’m growing out my hair to do it again.

  14. I cut my hair for the first time in five years last year. All through my son’s chemotherapy I grew out my hair. Didn’t even trim it. Then last year it just felt like time to let it all go and start fresh. I love my long bob. It’s easy to manage.

  15. Karena, I’m loving your new ‘do! My hair grows really fast so I have donated to Locks of Love several times. I love that fresh cut short hair feeling! The top knots always looks so much cuter with short hair ;)

  16. I remember when I donated my hair years ago! I donated 12 inches!!! I also send my hair to Locks of Love. It’s an amazing feeling that’s hard to discribe but I would definitely do it again!!

  17. I love this so much! I grew my hair out for our wedding and regretted not donating it after I cut it. I’ve recently been growing it out and decided a few weeks ago that I would grow it out to donate and go all out on a bob. I loved reading your story behind your hair and it turned out so cute! You also style it so well – I’ll definitely be taking tips from you. I think I’ve got a few more inches to go ;)

  18. Thanks Karena! I’ve been a short hair girl for awhile and while I love all the beauty tutorials they were always for long hair! Loving that you have short hair :) It looks great on you!

  19. Karena, you are so beautiful inside and out. You inspire me through every workout and meal, and now through my beauty routine. I’ve always relied on my long hair to identify myself but this post gives me courage to donate. I’ll keep you posted on my progress :)

  20. Karena,

    I have struggled with hair crimpers in the past and gave up. But I am willing to try again! Is there a specific brand you recommend?

    Help a girl out!

  21. My hair is the same length as yours but I usually just wear it sleek. Please do a tutorial using the crimper or hot iron so I can finally try something different!!!

  22. Love what you’re doing. I’ve recently donated my hair and feel the same freeing feeling that you expressed.

    Children with Hair Loss is another great organization that accepts hair donation, and they only require 8 inches! They also provide free wigs to children until the age of 21, for more the site is here:

  23. I donated my hair a few years ago, too! Very liberating. I’m all about change and your hair looks great short! Thanks for sharing!

  24. That is so amazing giving back and i love that about you girls. I loveeeeee the bob on you and the short hair is ESPECIALLY awesome on hot summer days. I need to get me a crimper and love all these styles!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  25. I love this! I have donated my hair twice and have made it my life’s rhythm to grow it out/donate it every two years. My hair grows fast, why not share it! Both times I’ve done it (the last time I didn’t even really LOVE the haircut) I felt re-invigorated, sexy, and powerful. Not to mention I felt that warm fuzzy feeling of having done something worthwhile by giving to those in need. I instantly realized how trivial hair was. I had always had long hair and I think I hid behind it. I never made big changes because I didn’t want to draw attention, but that was B*** S***! I took my life by the scissors and took a risk. Suddenly I felt I could conquer anything and any look. Too often I think we build molds for ourselves and then try to stay in them “I’m not the rocker chick, I can’t wear that even though I like it because it’s not my style” IT CAN BE YOUR STYLE! If you like it and it brings you joy- DO IT! All that positivity came from chopping my hair off- who knew! Live on, ladies!

  26. When you do your hair straight, what products do you use? Also, I watched the tutorial for the beach waves, but she uses a wand, and you’re using a straightener. How do you do it with your straightener?

  27. Okay, I was gonna say that the sleek bob was my fav. Then I saw the waves with the topknot and thought that was my favorite. And then I saw the braid!! I just can’t pick my favorite!! I love them all!!! I definitely want to try the topknot! I’m not talented enough for the braid :)

  28. I absolutely LOVE this!!! You look amazing with your fresh new look and you did good in the world by donating your hair, and some person will be deeply grateful for that. What a wonderful gift.

    I love to experiment with different hair lengths and styles. I cut mine shorter recently and it was a big change and now I’m growing it back out but my sister told me I shouldn’t because women in their 40s should not have long hair. What the heck? My grandma rocked her waist long grey hair in beautiful braids when she was in her 70s and 80s. We should all rock the hair styles we want and not worry about what any stereotype of hair we are “supposed” to have! Your short hair is as sexy and chic as your formerly long tresses! I love it and want to cut my hair in a bob again!

    This post totally makes me want to grow my hair out to donate and then go back to a cute, sexy bob like yours! I’m definitely going to get that crimper!

    The only thing that makes me hesitate to go shorter is no ponytail hair in the summer! lol! I live in my buns and ponytails!

    Thanks for sharing this with us!! I’m so inspired!

  29. I just cut my hair a couple of days ago to donate and I am trying to adjust to 13 less inches. Thank you for this post! I will be purchasing a crimper to give me more options! XO

  30. Love the hair cut!! Mine is very similar, i would another post about workout hair styles for this length! I never know what to do other than a ponytail with a head band, help! Your hair is always on point! xo

  31. i totally ripped off this look! you looked beautiful and since we have the same face shape, so I had to try it! I have only done the sleek look but I will be trying the other looks!

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