Hair Story

Ever since the lovely Louise over at Sprinkle of Glitter (I blogged about her beauty challenge here: – check it out!) did a post about her Hair History, I thought what a great idea!  Though mine isn’t really a history, it’s more of a story.  So here goes:

Even since I was little I’ve had blonde, fluffy, frizzy wavy hair and to be perfectly honest, it’s only in the last year or two I’ve learnt how to manage it!  It’s always been about boob length, with no layers making it quite heavy, but I’ve learnt how to roll with that, and I like it, so why change it?!  

ImageHere’s me way back when in 2007, at a Wedding I believe.  As you can see, no product, no accessories (apart from the John Lewis red peacock thing going on..!), no nothing really.  I think I just spritzed it with some hair spray and off I went.  How wrong of me!  I mean, it’s fine because I was only 15, but looking back it looks awful!  It was around about this time my hair started to go darker and my Mum sat me down and we had the highlights talk .. and I’ve never looked back!



Gosh, how terribly natural!  Aha!  This is me in Kenya, Africa in 2009 whilst I was out there at a school teaching street dance to kids.  Apologies for the dazed look, I discovered my love of coffee on this trip and think I was off on a caffeine high somewhere above.  This is pretty much my hair, completely natural!  This is what I have to work with everyday, and NOW, I think I do okay.  But here’s what happened next …


Oh hey there cheeky.  This is one of my MANY dance looks I’ve had over the years.  I’ve had braids, the tightest plaits in the world, up dos, down dos and lots and lots of hairspray.  All the hairspray from dance was seriously starting to damage my hair around this point (2009) as well, until I discovered deep conditioning hair treatments.  L’Oreal do a great one for highlighted hair.  You have a shower normally, shampoo your hair normally, then whack on the treatment and leave it for as long as you like really!  My hair dresser told me if I wear a plastic shower cap over the treatment it works more effectively so I do that as well, cling film works just fine also.  I tend to do that about once a month when I feel like my hair needs some loving.



And the girl discovered straighteners!  I don’t tend to straighten my hair very much at all really, only ever usually for nights out clubbing.  Every time I have a special event, it’s always curls r us over at Bella Land.  I love this picture because my hair looks so shiny!  As it tends to when it’s straight.  I always prep it with a heat protection serum or spray, that really helps with the shine factor!


This was taken in 2010, and probably when my hair was the longest it’s ever been.  It also shows my pretty signature style: curls (created with tongs) and my side parting kirby gripped to the side/up.  I discovered my side parting when I was about 11, and it only ever heads central when I forget to brush it after it’s washed (usually being when I have a lot of work on).  The side parting is my saviour.  It makes my face look slimmer and I love all the styles you can do with it, without looking like a 5 year old: braids, plaits, even bunches!



When I discovered dip dying!  I had this done in 2012 and I remember it only happened a day or two before Jessie J went public with her purple tips.  Annoyed?  Me?!  I love dip dying with random colours because it allows you to have the freedom of a different colour without going too drastic, and it usually washes out in about 6 weeks anyway.  My hair style here is literally just braided in plaits when wet the night before, then spruced with some hairspray.  If in doubt, that’s what I usually go for.



And here’s me just a few weeks ago!  My hair dresser persuaded me to move away from the dip dye because he thought it was a bit too blocky (and to some extent, I agree with him) and allow him to just brush casual streaks of this deep red through my hair from about half way down.  And I have to say, I loved it!  Definitely my favourite so far :)

So there’s my sort of hair story!  The red has almost gone now and my hair is still about the same length because it grows at snails pace but I can’t wait to try some more colours!  I don’t have a hair appointment til around March time now, but I’m thinking some copper streaks?  What do we think guys?  

What’s your Hair Story?

Love Bella x



Look How They Shine For You

These past few nights have been ridiculously hot.  So hot, I’ve taken to sleeping downstairs in our back sun room/conservatory sort of area.  However, come 4am I’m woken by the natural light streaming through the windows, meaning I have to trudge back upstairs to my bed, duvet and pillow in tow.  Not the most settling of night’s sleeps.  Nevertheless, lying on our cool leather sofa enables me to stare up through our roof windows and look at the sky.  The other night I noticed something I haven’t noticed for a long time, stars.

Beautiful.  The only time of the year I generally see and notice stars is when I’m camping or travelling.  Living in a huge town means hench light pollution, the awful orange haze above our homes … and no stars.  But last night I saw them.  It made me realise that in the grand scheme of things, I truly am insignificant.  I’ve been so wrapped up in myself, my life, my exams these past few weeks that I’ve forgotten everything true, real and important to me.  I’m so small, so small in relation to this incredible universe.  While I’ve been revising, people have been starving and dying.  I’m actually quite ashamed of myself.  During exams my Amnesty International magazines have been thrust under my bed without a second look, and I’ve haven’t Facebooked my Thailand girls in a long time.

I’d forgotten everything important to me.  I’d lost perspective on my life and the lives of those around me.  Who cares if I don’t get to Uni?  Obviously it would be hugely disappointing, but there are so many people that need me, would love to see me again.  I miss my babies in the Thailand Orphanage, I miss the girls from Kenya and the guy that tried to marry me (that’s another blog!).  I miss being that person who loves helping people and didn’t go out for 4 months to save enough money to fly to Chiang Rai, a city no ones ever heard of in North Thailand!  I miss all the people I’ve helped.  It might sound ridiculous but seeing those stars just made it all come flooding back to me.  Whilst focusing on exams is important and necessary, I’d forgotten the most important and necessary things in my life, my experiences, my dreams, my travels.

So welcome back Annabel!  I have just 3 days, 3 days left of this Exam business before getting back to the girl I truly know I am!  And it’s gonna be good.

This girl was one of the most beautiful little souls I’ve ever encountered, Thailand Orphanage 2008.

They have nothing, but are so happy.  A lesson to us all.  Thailand School, 2008.

This is my Uncle Simon with some of the kids in Thailand, 2008.  He’s such an incredible guy, now living and working out there.

These are the most incredible women I have ever had the honor of knowing.  Kenya 2009, these women prepared all our food for us from absolute scratch, giving us feasts every single day whilst they have nothing, constantly smiling, singing and dancing, radiating life and love.

Myself with my future Husband, Charles and Mother-In-Law!  Kenya 2009.

These beautiful boys sang us ‘Coast to Coast’.  Love, Kenya 2009.

From left, Annabel, Habil and Annabel (I just love that she had the same name as me!).  Two of the most incredible, loving, fun and inspiring girls I have met.  Love, Kenya 2009.

My 18th Year

Admittedly ‘stolen’ from (although he insisted he didn’t mind), I thought I would summarise my 18th year – seeing as I officially become an adult  in 1 week from now :)

  • In April 2009 went on a life-changing trip to Kenya where I taught dance in a school for a week
  • Got a beautiful car, my baby Pedro
  • Sucessfully passed a Theory and Driving Test
  • Danced with ‘Diversity’
  • Through May and June 2009 had my AS Levels, and Passed
  • In July 2009 spent an incredible week camping in the New Forest
  • Spent a wonderful week in August 2009 in Zante with 3 of my best girlfriends
  • Had 5 lovely mini breaks to Nottingham, Manchester, Tonbridge Wells, Oxford and Canterbury to see friends and family 
  • Danced at the 02 Arena
  • Got 5 University Offers
  • Spent a week in Jersey, October 2009
  • Went into 2010 an hour before the British in Bruges, Belgium
  • Sucessfully began (and have so far maintained 2010: Year of Culture)
  • Had 2 consecutive 5 day weekends due to the gorgeous snowfall in January 2010
  • Had a Murder Mystery party
  • Spent an amazing week in Glasgow, February 2010
  • Completed a sucessful ‘Annabel’s Fashion Week’
  • Had 2 of the best days of my life at a Politics Conference; Trinity College, Oxford University
  • Went to Wembley Stadium to see Carlisle United play Southampton Saints
  • Spent an idyllic week in the Lake District

So has been an amazing, incredible, eventful year – all these activites combined with college, exams and the general stresses of day to day life.  Bring on the 19th!