This winter has been, let’s just say, less than desirable here in the Bay Area. Looming grey clouds and heavy rainstorms had me dreaming of a warmer climate. I jumped at the chance when I discovered my friends were planning a week-long trip to Hawaii. I was ready to trade my winter wear for a swimsuit and flip flops. This was an opportunity to get myself “beach ready” and I knew that the most effective way was with a new hairdo and sun-kissed skin.

Services to Achieve My Look

The Bay Area weather wasn’t the only thing looking drab; I noticed my hair had darkened during the winter season. I set my sights on the new hair trend called “Toasted Coconut Hair.”  This look sports darker roots complimented with warm golden tones throughout and platinum-silver tips. Even the name screamed, “beach ready!”

The winter season wasn’t kind to my skin as I realized how pale I’ve become. Anxiety quickly filled my mind with visions of me blending in with the white sand while tourists accidentally trampled me. With that thought, I knew I was ready for my first spray tan. A golden glow was the cherry-on-top to my perfect vacation-ready style.

Source: Mia / Vagaro

Getting My Toasted Coconut Hair

Luckily, I have the Vagaro App to search and book appointments with professional hairstylists near me. The look I was going for was so specific that I needed to make sure I picked the right stylist. I sifted through page after page of business’s reviews and portfolios. When I landed on Crystal Nunez, stylist and co-owner of Salon 2152, I knew she was the one for me. Her calendar had perfect opening (a week before my flight). With a click of a button, my appointment was booked and confirmed.

Source: Bruce / Vagaro

When I arrived, Crystal greeted me with a smile and enthusiastically gushed over the look I was going for. Her passion and energy let me know that my hair was in good hands. My natural hair is light brunette, which allowed us to complete the look in just one visit! Because the look required platinum tips, it took about four hours from start to finish. Four hours is a significant amount of time, but sipping on a mimosa in a cute boutique studio helped the time fly. Before I knew it, my hair dreams were achieved. I was instantly in LOVE! My favorite part about the Toasted Coconut look was the contrast between the dark roots and bright silver tips.

Source: Bruce / Vagaro

Booking my First-Ever Spray Tan

Now that I had my dream hair, I was ready for a glowing tan. Finding the right place for my first-ever spray tan was a challenge. I desperately didn’t want end up looking like an orange Oompa Loompa (real talk, I will never turn down chocolate). After a stressful search, I crawled into bed and hopped on to and found Top Shelf Beauty Bar in Pleasanton, California. Their shining reviews on Vagaro were enticing. Based on recommendations, I booked my spray tan a couple days before my flight to Hawaii, so that my tan would be fully developed in time for the trip.

Source: Kevon / Vagaro

Prepping for My First-Ever Spray Tan

Soon after booking my appointment, Vanessa, Top Shelf Beauty Bar esthetician, texted me with pre-tan tips and instructions. For example, I was tasked with shaving, exfoliating and moisturizing at least 48-24 hours before the appointment. Vanessa explained that shaving and waxing right before an appointment opens your pores causing the tanning solution to seep in, resulting an uneven, blotchy look. Exfoliating, especially on rough patches like your knees or elbows, helps to even out the spray tan.

Source: Kevon / Vagaro

On the day of my service, I was asked to refrain from wearing any lotion, deodorant, perfume or oils. This made me a little nervous because it was a weekday, meaning I would be at work and I didn’t want my coworkers to think that I smelled. But I also knew the temporary inconvenience would ultimately be worth it. I was asked to wear loose, dark clothing to prevent the immediate bronzer from rubbing off or staining my clothes. Unfortunately for me, rain, “the enemy of spray tans,” was in the forecast, so I prepped outfits for the best and worst possible scenarios.

Source: Kevon / Vagaro

Getting My First-Ever Spray Tan

I was starting to get anxious as I drove to Top Shelf Beauty Bar. I prepped accordingly and followed all pre-service instructions, but I still couldn’t help but feel nervous. I was about to stand completely naked in front of a stranger, with no idea as to what was about to happen. Before I even entered Top Shelf Beauty Bar, I was greeted by their doormat, You’re Like, Really Pretty, and a cute decal by the door handle, Hello Gorgeous. I walk in and was immediately overcome by the soothing aroma of essential oils. My nerves were quickly put at ease. I then met Vanessa. She’s was cool as a cucumber and reassured me that she would walk me through the process and answer all my questions.

Source: Kevon / Vagaro

Vanessa put me at such ease. I didn’t even care if I was technically naked in front of someone I had only met 15 minutes ago. To my surprise, the service was all over in 20 minutes. I couldn’t believe that my past self spent hours tanning in the sun when all it really took was 20 minutes at the salon.

Vanessa walked me through all of the post care instructions as my spray tan require some processing time, and this can vary between 2 to 24-hours based on the tanning solution applied. Knowing that my skin doesn’t take bronzer well, I decided I would leave it on for the full 24 hours. When the time was up, I hopped in the shower and rinsed off. To avoid an uneven, streaky tan, I steered clear of soap or shampoo. Afterwards, I patted my skin dry with a towel, careful not to rub off the tan.

Spray Tan Results

I was encouraged to keep my skin hydrated by applying lotion and drinking lots of water. I avoided harsh soaps or exfoliants. I stood in front of a mirror admiring my completed look. Who is this golden goddess ready to hit the beach? Oh, that’s just me.

At 4am, my alarm went off. Barely awake from staying up all night in anticipation, I grabbed my bags and hurried to the airport. After a 5-hour flight, I had finally landed in Kailua-Kona. With my Toasted Coconut hair and bronzed bod, I darted to the nearest beach. I had a newfound confidence and felt that anything was possible, thanks to the services I booked on Vagaro.

Header Image Source: ultra-spective photography