Pretty Mess Hair
It's been a challenging year for Erika Girardi amid her ongoing divorce from estranged husband Tom Girardi. But despite the setbacks, Girardi continues to work hard and pursue her passions — including a new beauty business endeavor — launching this month.
Famous for her signature, long bleached blonde hair, Girardi, 50, created her own line of luxury hair extensions called Pretty Mess Hair so anyone can get L.A.-level hair at home.
"I have worn every type of hair extension on and off stage, and on TV for over a decade," Girardi tells PEOPLE exclusively. "So I know what I love and works best for all situations. You name it, I've worn it!"
Pretty Mess Hair will offer a variety of extension options including different types of wefts (which are sewn in) and tape-in extensions. Girardi recommends the tape-ins for a beginner. "It's quick and easy to maintain, but still considered a professional product," she says.
Girardi says she's always been drawn to extensions because it helps her easily experiment with different looks and feel her most beautiful.
"There is not a 'look' I will not try because the great thing about extensions is that you can quickly and quite easily take them out and still have your original hair. No permanent commitment, which makes it fun!" she says.
Girardi adds: "Beautiful hair immediately makes me feel pretty and as if I can take on the world! Nothing is quite as powerful as a luscious mane of hair."
But while she loves going glam, Girardi admits (like the rest of us) she really leaned into a more low-key look when she locked down during the height of the pandemic. "[It] was actually a great time for my hair and skin. I was able to go long periods without having my hair colored or professionally styled, so it grew!" she says.
She also used COVID-19 lockdown as a time to try out different hairstyles on herself at home. "This also gave me time to play with clip-ins, ponytails and tapes, which gave me some much-needed glamour during quarantine," Girardi says.
Pursuing this passion project has been just what Girardi needs to put her in a positive mind space.
"I've definitely had quite an interesting year and being a part of a new business venture is both exciting and refreshing," she says. "It gives me butterflies. This is a new chapter of my life and I'm grateful to be moving in a glamorous, wonderful new direction."
Girardi filed for divorce from Tom Girardi, 82, in November 2020 after 21 years of marriage, telling PEOPLE at the time, "This is not a step taken lightly or easily. I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together."
That December, Tom and his law firm, Girardi Keese, were sued for allegedly embezzling funds from several families who lost loved ones in a 2018 Boeing plane crash. He was also later sued by his business partners, resulting in a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition from Tom and his firm that same month.
Girardi has been accused of conspiring with Tom and allegedly using her "notoriety" to hide assets as a bankruptcy trustee continues to investigate Tom and his firm. She addressed the divorce and legal drama throughout RHOBH's 11th season. During the reunion, she denied knowing anything about Tom's "alleged theft."
"There is a real boundary as to where I can and cannot go. However, if anyone in these cases has been proven wrong, I want them remedied," she said. "Despite what you read, I have done everything they have asked."