Hair 101 with Hair Color Guru Gloria Gabriella

Remember the time you got your first highlights? The day you dyed your hair ‘dark brown’ with box color only to discover it was actually black and you looked like  you just came back from the death? The day you were introduced to the straightener.. or better yet, used an actual iron (like in ‘home appliance iron’) to make your hair Avril Lavigne straight? Oh, the fun memories… Not.

I was a victim of all of the above and more as soon as I turned 13. I was taking swimming lessons at the moment, and blatantly refused to wear a swimming cap because it made me look like an alien. My once thick, naturally straight and bright brown hair was starting to look green and frizzy, especially after I unsuccessfully attempted to use one of those ‘sun bleach sprays’ that made my hair feel like straw and impossible to style in any other way besides a high lifeless ponytail.


Overprocessed, frizzy, iron straightened hair – hair would not grow an inch!

I hope you can sense how frustrated I began to feel with my hair back then, because it literally drove me to tears sometimes. Although I am glad my mom let me ‘experiment’ with my hair, I kind of wished she would’ve warned me more of what I was doing to the one accessory that you can’t really take off. Unless you shave, which was not an alternative, of course.


The good old ‘no worry’ good hair days. Where did the bright,naturally straight hair go? Je ne sais pas.

You see.. your hair is a reflection of your health, and unless you have never encountered articles referring to this, you know that men are attracted to women who look healthy (they represent fertility bla, bla, bla), even if they don’t realize it. And even if you don’t give a damn about what guys think about your look, you can’t deny that having healthier hair boosts your confidence and makes you feel better about yourself, as well as make it way easier to style it.

So here I find myself with decent hair (it never went back to the awesome hair I had when I was a kid, TBH), and a bit more knowledgeable of what makes my hair feel and look better. However, I still had a lot of questions and I know you do, so I decided to write a post about hair. Our friend and rockstar hairstylist Gloria Gabriela (follow her @ohgypsyglory on Insta) has mermaid blue hair, the coolest personality, and the best balayage skills I have seen. She is based in Mission Hills, San Diego, at a hair salon called Bamboo, and while she was covering my S&P roots (early grays, thanks dad!) and refreshing my hair cut, she agreed to share some tips and answer some of the most common questions that she gets from clients.

Miss Gloria Gabriella

Miss Gloria Gabriella

Things you need to know about hair care and styling:

* Balayage vs Ombre. Balayage is the most common request Gloria gets from clients. Whether they describe it or show a picture, most people request a balayage, and some emphasize they are not looking for the ‘ombre’ technique. However, it is important to know that these are not exclusive techniques of each other. Most of you actually show a picture or desire a balayage (hand painted highlights) that look a bit lighter at the tips (ombre). Most likely, you want what can be referred to as a ‘balayage ombre’ …

OMBRE means degradation of color.

OMBRE– degradation of color (NOT a client of Gloria)


BALAYAGE =hand-painted highlights (Gloria’s client)


Balayage + Ombre (Gloria’s client)

* Trends and big makeovers. Here is an interesting fact about Gloria. Her blue hair came not through inspiration or after months of debating it, but after a breakup. You know, the moment you decide you want to look different because you will look oh-so-hot and cool that your ex will regret what he did to you? Yeap, that is what happened with Gloria. Fortunately, her hair looks amazing and she actually loves it. While there is nothing wrong with trying things and making changes, make sure it fits your true personality and that you will wear it with confidence. Confidence is your best hair accessory.

* Say no to black hair. Unless you look like Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, or you are ok with it emphdcfbaecc684bb453849bd2c1f24287fdasizing all your facial features, good or bad. Black hair tends to wash you out, and make your face look harsher. You will need to change your entire makeup routine and avoid certain clothes if you don’t want to look like Marilyn Manson. Go dark brown if it complements you, be conscious of your style, colors that look good with your skin, and your natural color. If after careful consideration you still want to go black, rock it, but you’ve been warned. Obviously, different ethnicities play a key role here, some people will look gorgeous, but for our target audience, latinas, it may not be the best option. Personally, black makes my skin look greenish and makes me look sick, plus it looks unnatural; however, I love shades of dark brown.

* Say no to box color. Have you seen that L’oreal hair ad with Beyonce looking gorgeous as usual with a light brown hair shade? Now tell me… do you really think she is using that hair color coming from that $12 box from Walmart? Probably not. She wears extensions and her hair shade is done by a hair stylist who uses professional products that won’t kill her hair. Box color uses cheaper chemicals, and build up in your hair shaft (hence why once you go black you can never go back). It is like a box of chocolates.. you never know what you are gonna get. To the left, to the left. 

* Invest in your hair products, but use them less. Yes, professional hair products will be more expensive, but if you moderate how often you wash your hair you will be ok. No need to wash your hair everyday.. let it rest for at least a day and use dry shampoo if needed. Cheap shampoos have lots of alcohol in them, and some of the chemicals inside are also used to make soapy bubbles in cleaning products…

* La pelona. Nope, you are not losing your hair and becoming bald. You probably lose about 100 hairs a day and that is OK. When you start to notice bald spots that are noticeable, then go ahead and worry about the thyroid, stress, and lack of vitamins that may be causing it

* Hair changes every 7 years. Sounds like a curse. But really, don’t think you will go back to your 15 year old hair anytime soon… i have had curly, wavy, straight, light brown, dark brown, thin, and thick hair in the past 26 years.

* Commit to blonde. If you are a brunette and your stylist promises to get you to blonde in one session.. RUN. You are not in the hands of an expert. Going blonde is a very harsh process for your hair, and should be done in sessions. It requires patience and commitment, as well as some money to pay for the sessions and the violet shampoo you will probably need to cancel out the brassiness.


1st and 2nd session – Gloria Gabriella’s client

Conclusion: If I ever have a daughter, she better not dare touch her hair until she is 18.




To contact Gloria:


Instagram : @ohgypsyglory

Phone: 619-710-5995

You won’t be disappointed!


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