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27 Nov

Tape-In Hair Extensions for A Red Carpet Look with Novak Hair Studios

Hairdreams Tape-in Extensions

The 411 in the 817: Hair Edition

Red carpet hair extensions featuring Novak Hair Studios, the latest and greatest solo artist, eco-friendly salon in Fort Worth.

Most of you know Jason and I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Academy Awards this past March alongside our wonderful friends Angelique and Mike De Luca. But before we headed out to La La Land, I needed to kick my beauty routine up a few notches.

So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a few things I hadn’t done before, including Botox and fillers (this post coming soon) and a total hair makeover, which included hair extensions.

SoFortWorthIt Hair Extensions

Anyone who knows me knows I am very particular when it comes to my hair. Through the decades, I have had multiple experiences at different salons and various stylists that ranged from not-so-great to exceptional. Check out the homemade perm job from my grandmother and a run-in with Sun-In at Camp Longhorn. NICE, huh?

My signature-look for the longest time was blonde hair, and it perfectly fit my bubbly personality. After transitioning to a more healthy, brunette color a few years ago, I thought it would be fun to experiment with extensions to keep that full-bodied, voluminous look.

Christy Dunaway Smith Chair for Cancer Care Services 2013

Being the research queen that I am, I reached out to a few experts in the beauty industry in search of the top stylists who specialized in hair extensions. Ben, the co-owner of Novak Hair Studios, and his ultra-talented sidekick Madalyn were recommended with the best of the best reviews.

I knew that Madalyn at Novak would provide the service I was looking for, and would ultimately understand what I needed to take my hair game to the next level.

Ben Novak and Madalyn Porche

I may be biased, but I am here to tell you that Ben’s team is indeed the best in the industry, and that is no exaggeration. In fact, Novak Hair Studios is the official sponsor for Mrs. Texas, Mrs. Oklahoma, Miss America Texas, and Miss Teen Texas. Whoa, that’s kind of a big deal, right?

Not only that, local Trinity Valley student Brenna Flynn of Fort Worth took the crown as reigning Miss Texas Teen USA 2018.


Highlighting the hair extension process and procedures.

I started this process by booking a complimentary consultation with Madalyn so she could asses my hair and pick the best extensions that matched the color, texture, and length of my current locks.

SoFortWorthIt Hair Extensions Novak Hair Studios

Although Novak Hair Studios uses several different extension brands, Madalyn chose Hairdreams, a tape-in brand that uses real human hair and is known for its natural texture. Human hair just feels better over synthetic, and it is by far the superior way to go.

Tape-in extensions are best for keeping your hair thick, happy, and healthy. Plus, they can be reused up to 4-5 times which will save money and time in the long run.

Hairdreams tape-in

The extension process didn’t take nearly as long as I had imagined. For my hair, the installation was around 45-60 minutes, in addition to the standard amount of time it takes to color, wash, cut and style.

I go in every 5-7 weeks to have the extensions taken out, cleaned, rebound, and moved up closer to my scalp, on top of the services mentioned above. A reinstall day is always a little bit longer than the 1st time you have them put in.

Overall, I always plan for 4 – 4 ½ hours in the salon on extension day.

At the moment, I am on my second set of tape-in extensions this year. The 1st set, which were installed in February, lasted all the way through Halloween while taking a Memorial through Labor Day break. Since we are at the lake as much as humanly possible during the summer months, I really wanted to preserve the integrity and longevity of my Hair Dreams extensions by not exposing them to harsh conditions like lake water, sunscreen and chemically treated pool water.

Remember above when I mentioned how tape-in extensions don’t damage your hair? This picture was taken right after I had them removed for summer break. I believe using these particular extensions has actually made my hair healthier.

How Much do Extensions Cost?

So here is the scoop, Novak Hair Studios truly wants to take care of their customers- so much so that they do not mark up their hair extensions when they purchase from a third-party distributor. Instead, they pass their cost directly on to the customer.

When I originally had my first set of extensions put in before the Academy Awards, Madalyn used seven packs of hair for a fuller Red Carpet, glamorous look. Each pack included six pieces, so we used 42 extensions total, which came to $500 for all of the hair.

For the first time around, it is about $900 for the average person to walk into Novak for a full extension service, including color/hi-lite, cut and style. Paying for your hair upfront is the priciest part of this gig, but after your initial appointment, your regular maintenance is most likely similar to what you have been paying for a typical hair appointment.

For everyday purposes, Madalyn recommended we go down to six packs at the next install to maintain a more manageable look.

Novak Hair Studios is in a League of Its Own

Now let me highlight this luxury solo artist salon in downtown Fort Worth a bit more for you. There are so many unique characteristics that make up Novak; it’s just too exciting not to share.

Novak Hair Studios
Novak Hair Reception Desk

Novak Hair Studios is partnered with Green Circle Salons, a sustainable salon solution that helps recover and repurpose beauty waste to ensure that 95% of everything is recycled, including the hair trimmings.


Their eco-friendly model also goes as far as using water-saving Ecoheads on their European wash bowls (reduces water and energy usage by 65%) and an HVAC system that is continuously cleaning the air from chemicals released throughout the day.

The customer service at this salon is unparalleled. A concierge service will check on guests periodically to make sure they are being taken care of and comfortable, and who can resist a complimentary glass of wine from their digital beverage menu.

While you are waiting for your foils to set, enjoy that glass of Chardonnay in a PRIVATE processing lounge so you can rock your lovely foil-covered head without other guests seeing you.

And I’m head over heels with the organic and cruelty-free Eufora hair product line that is exclusively sold at Novak Hair Studios. This stuff is the BOMB!


Last, but not least, the attention to detail that Novak prides itself on is unlike any other. Novak’s fantastic staff members and stylists radiate passion for their work and continuously strive to create a positive pampering experience for all guests. I immediately feel right at home when I walk into Novak.

Photography by Maria Ciszek & Novak Hair Studios


Who is ready for a very exciting giveaway from Novak Hair Studios! After all, what says red carpet more than having red carpet hair?!

Start your night out with an Oscar inspired HotTools Pro 24k Gold 1.1/4 inch curing iron with a pure gold finish, along with an arsenal of the styling products you will need to be ready to make headlines for your academy awards debut. Eufora Retain Spray to help retain curls and provide heat protection, Eufora Tame Spray to help lock out frizz and provide additional memory for curls that will last through the after party, Eufora Full Effect Dry Texturizing Spray to help separate and add fullness to any style, and lastly Eufora Uplift Extra Firm Finishing Spray to finalize and perfect those locks. But that’s not all, Madalyn is throwing in a full blowout and style for your next big night out on the town.

Please read the TERMS & CONDITIONS for full details and disclosures located in the Rafflecopter link below.

16 Sep

SoFortWorthIt LOVES Beauty

When I was a little girl, my mom always said to me, “beauty comes from the inside.” I never quite understood what she meant. I thought, how could your guts be pretty? It wasn’t until the dreaded, hormonal, pre-teen phases of middle school, when I started to realize what she was trying to tell me. People’s behaviors determined if they were truly beautiful or not. I feel very fortunate my parents emphasized the importance of inner beauty, because no matter what you look like on the outside, if your inside isn’t beautiful, then you’re just plain ugly.

Me, at age three.

Truthfully though, no matter who you are on the inside or out, we all want to look the best we can, right?

Fort Worth Star Telegram, Class Acts, 1991.

Well, you have come to the right place! I can’t wait to share with you the amazing world of maintaining your fountain of youth. Speaking of youth, here are two dear friends of mine who know more about beauty products than anyone else I know.

Lisa, on the left, is the founder of LA FACE, an all natural and organic luxury skincare line. She definitely knows the science behind age defying. Kathryn, on the right, has tried every beauty product known to man, no joke. In fact, she travels with a duffle bag filled to the brim with all of her lotions and potions.

These gals are my go-to when it comes to trying something new or answering any questions I might have about ingredients. I look forward to sharing their opinions here in SFWI Loves Beauty!

I’ll talk about what’s happening in the DFW area with current trends, beauty education, and products & services.

I’ll also share all the details of the products I’m using and my current routine.

Charlie Price, hairstylist to the stars, Charlie & Co., 2017.
Makeup application at the Chanel counter, Neiman Marcus, 2017.
Airbrush makeup application, Bella Retreat, 2016.

Most importantly, I will never write sponsored content about a product or brand that isn’t already a natural fit for myself. I will always stay true to my readers. If you see something here, rest assured I love it, and it’s worth trying!

SoForthWorthIt is always on the hunt for the holy grail of luxurious beauty products and trends. If you have a product that meets my standards, I’d love to collaborate! Reach out to

1 Sep

SoFortWorthIt LOVES Wellness

I am super excited to offer a wellness section on SoFortWorthIt! I’m passionate about health, living life to the fullest, and taking great care of myself to ensure that I live a long and prosperous life.

With that said, you’re going to absolutely love the topics discussed. From healthy recipes to organic and natural products, all the info is here. Plus, I’m sharing my experiences and what I’ve learned from health seminars and institutes, and it will blow your mind! “Knowledge Is Power” is my motto, and we are going to be powerful.

Josh Axe, The Truth About Cancer, 2016.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, The Truth About Cancer, 2016.

Straight up, I am going to be totally honest here. I am not a health professional, nor do I have a degree in anything related. What I do have, is a lot of knowledge on wellness. I don’t know everything, but I am pretty keen on healthcare diversity and passionate about continued education.

Here’s the skinny of my fat. I grew up with ADHD, and it wasn’t easy. The prescription drugs I took had many side effects, including loss of appetite and depression, which led to a seriously unhealthy relationship with food. Taking these drugs long term as a child has also greatly affected me as an adult. 

In middle school, I developed PANDAS from several bouts of streptococcal infections, which triggered OCD tendencies. After seeking treatment at 25, I was formally diagnosed and started OCD therapy for several years. Even with the tools and skills I’ve learned, I still struggle with ADD and OCD to a degree. It’s a constant battle I have to live with. Let me just say, having a very patient and supportive husband is a huge blessing.

Very patient and supportive husband!

When I was in high school, my mom introduced me to the three-week Life Transformation program at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach. This was the beginning of a beautiful journey about healing the body with raw vegan food. The seeds planted way back in 1993 have grown and blossomed into a love of learning about alternative health and healing. Since my first visit to HHI, I have been back many times over, learning new things and trying new foods each time. 

I bet you’re wondering right about now if I am vegan or not… Truth is I primarily eat a plant based diet, but I do enjoy wild caught fish and high-grade organic animal protein on occasions. Locally, I purchase ALL our meat from Burgundy’s on West 7th. It’s been over seven years since I’ve eaten factory farmed meat. I also recently gave up dairy and gluten. I only indulge (excluding factory farmed meat) for special occasions or while traveling. Life is too short to miss out on all the fun!

So, there you have it in a nutshell. As a family, we take a holistic healthcare approach. Although there are many schools of thought, natural options before mainstream medicine is how we roll.  I do want to say, we are not against conventional medicine, there are, of course, times when it is necessary.