Hair. If you asked my husband his least favorite topic that I talk about more often than I’d like to admit, it would be my hair. But since you are a dear reader of this blog, I trust that you probably think about your hair and will appreciate this post. Let me start by briefly walking you through my hair journey over the years…
For most of my life—and like most little girls, I think—I cycled through long hair and short hair. I’d grow my hair out, get sick of it, cut it, grow it out again, and the cycle went on and on. The last time I cut my hair super short was when I was in middle school. It was unfortunate, really, because not only did I also have braces and a completely unfeminine figure, I also ended up looking exactly like the boy I sat next to in science class. And since our seats were at the front of the room everyone would mix us up. Not a good time for me, friends. Not a good time. From that point on, I committed myself to long hair. It took what felt like forever to grow it out, but by the time I reached high school I had a good thing going.
When I got to college in Malibu, I felt the need to rebel and stand out against all the pretty blondes and dyed my hair black. Yep, black. My grandmother was horrified when I came home for Christmas, but I felt really proud of myself for taking a risk and weirdly liked it while it lasted. I eventually got sick of the black and let me tell you, that pigment does not come out easily. After what felt like eternity, I settled into a nice brunette color and enjoyed having very normal, long brown hair.
Then one day I went to a new hair stylist who only charged $10, and that beautiful brown hair of mine all ended up on the floor. She was pretty inexperienced, which I could’ve guessed by her rate. This time, I decided to just own the short hair and I even got it cut shorter to make it more of a chic choice and less of an accident. I had a little a-line bob and I loved it!
Unfortunately the end of that year was when I put on a ton of weight after my eating disorder. I got back up to a healthy normal weight for me, and then just kept on gaining as I tried to figure out what normal eating even was. A very normal part of the healing process, no doubt, but the short hair really wasn’t working for me at that point and I was stuck with it. I felt a lot like that middle school girl again. I committed to doing everything in my power to help my hair grow long and strong, and from that point on I stopped using heat on my hair. No blowdrying, no curling irons, nothing. My hair never looked all that great, but even when it was heat styled it didn’t look awesome either so I figured it was a worthy sacrifice. I wore my hair in a ponytail or bun almost every day and always brushed it with a boar bristle brush before bed to help distribute the oils and stimulate my scalp. In time, I also started to eat healthier and all of those things combined left me (finally) with that long mermaid hair I’d dreamed of.
Which brings me to today.
Having a baby completely changed my hair and I’ve come to accept that it may never be the same. From hair falling out, to new growth, to hair that’s more prone to greasiness, to less natural wave, to very dry and thin ends, it’s sort of been a hair nightmare. I’ve learned to fake it, obviously, but the state my hair is in these days is just sad. And I’m going to do something about it just like I did all those years ago.
Here’s the game plan…
- Heatless hair styling // No heat on my hair, all summer long. I’m moving my curling wands and blowdryer out of my bathroom to reduce the temptation and help me commit to getting my hair healthy and strong again. I’ve started using the Aquis long hair towel and turban after my shower and love how much it reduces the time it takes to air dry!
- Shower filter // I started using a shower filter a while ago and never replaced it once it expired, so I’m adding a new one to my shower head to ensure that I’m washing my hair in healthier water.
- More nutrients, less junk // I’m actively adding in more nutrient-packed foods to my diet, as well as being better about taking my vitamins every day. I love these gummy ones! Also I’ll be more mindful about the junk I eat, making sure when I do eat it it’s because I want it not because I’m bored or too lazy to make something better.
- Hair extensions // To help me over the hump as I get my hair healthier—as well as make my heatless commitment easier to swallow—I’ll be wearing my Luxy hair extensions more often. I love how easy it is to do a braid with even just a few wefts clipped in—totally hides the fact that my hair hasn’t been heat styled! (Get $5 off your set with the code NATALIE5 if you’re in the market for some!)
Thanks for reading that novel of a hair history. Can anyone else related to these hair woes?! If not, tell us all your secrets to really healthy, long hair post-baby. We need your help!
(Photos by Morgan Ashley Photography, shot when I was 6 weeks pregnant with Jack, before my hair went crazy on me!!)