Ok! Can we get real today? Like REALLLLL! This is one of the most vulnerable posts I’ve done (in a vain sort of way) because sharing pictures from my younger, rebellious, partying days really is not only hard for me in an embarrassing way but slightly, physically, painful way as well! I mean if were all being honest here most of us would love to box up our old photos tied to bad memories & hair days & light the sucker on fire RIGHT? Well nope- Here I am; sharing mine on the internet- for the entire world to see. I’d like to think for good reasons though because one of the biggest questions I get from people who knew me & the history with my hair is “how in the F**K did you get it looking normal again & how did you get it to grow after it was practically falling out!!!??!!!??”
To give you all a little more of an idea I went ahead and created a little timeline. So without further ado (& please be nice to me) I give you my hair’s history 😉 –
By 22 I had already tried hair extensions a handful of times but couldn’t seem to keep them in good enough shape to last. At that time my lifestyle wasn’t the prettiest. I went through the wild party phase like most of us but eventually found myself slowly growing out of it. I found an apartment on my own & began practicing better self-care. Right around the same time I went on a trip with my mother and grandma. My hair was BLACK at the time. Choppy and breaking from the dye & heavy clip in’s I was wearing to hide the butch of my natural hair. The entire trip my grandmother would go back and forth over what to do & how I wasn’t taking care of it. She pleaded with me to try going back to my natural color. By the end of the trip she had taken me up to a local salon, sat me down in the chair for a consultation where even the stylist refused to touch my color. That day it hit me, just how bad I had let it get.
I spent the next several months leaving my hair alone. I made a drastic change with my hair regimen & stopped using flat irons, blow dryers & dye. Coconut oil became my best friend! I would run a 9 hour treatment on my hair every Saturday with raw, unfiltered coconut oil. After showering, I would lather my hair from scalp to end with this stuff & then twist it into a bun and leave it on top of my head for the day & in the evening I would rinse it with cool water & allow it to air dry overnight. My hair finally got to a point where I thought it might withstand a little coloring & I had it dyed back to a light brown. I had no clue what my natural color was anymore but figured that a light brown was a good place to start in attempts to go natural from that point on, letting the color simply grow out.
For the next two years I did nothing to my hair accept weigh it down with a few clip in extensions. The only hot tool I would use was a curling iron once a week which even with that I would only wrap my hair around the barrel for a few seconds verses clamping it. I was very strict about sleeping in my extensions & I began taking better care of them. I knew they weren’t good for my hair but they gave me confidence. I was always body conscious even at my smallest & for whatever reason, long hair became almost a cloak that helped hide my insecurities & flaws; at least in my mind. Although my hair at the time still didn’t appear “healthy” it was undoubtedly growing.
When I was 23 I met my sweet heart Jake. I was in a much better place with myself physically & mentally which is why I think he had come into my life then. I was still wild & young & faulty but I was better & in him I found someone who bettered me even more. It wasn’t long after we had begun dating that we found out I was pregnant -but that’s another story for another time! Obviously pregnancy gave my hair an incredible boost but I cannot give it all the credit. The morning my water broke I remember Jake gawking in utter shock while I strut around brushing my clip in’s. I insisted on not leaving the house until my hair extensions were in.
Today I cannot tell you the last time I wore hair extensions. I just assume that after we brought Dash home from the hospital that they eventually must have just gotten lost in the piles of dirty laundry or thrown while on a tornado cleaning spree. I remember wearing them a couple times here and there to work but eventually gave up on them entirely because I simply no longer had the time to take care of them. The next thing I remember is my hair growing like crazy. It was as though the extensions were actually blocking my hair growth.
The truth is you may find yourself a little disappointed in this blog post but I am not here to feed you any garbage about a specific brand of products that I use or a special pill that gave me my new hair. My secrets aren’t really a secret because what it comes down to is simple self- care & love. My recommendations aren’t sponsored or expensive or hard to do but they are specific. The first & most important piece of advice I have is to fall in love with your natural beauty. Take it from a mousy blonde herself; I would kill to be more blonde or more exotic looking but I am just sort of in between. “Boring” if you would have asked me a few years ago. Today I can confidently say I LOVE my natural color because it’s natural. Do you know how refreshing it is for someone to ask about my hair color & to confidently be able to say “thanks its natural”- of course minus the touch of blonde at the ends. 😉 Don’t get me wrong I definitely plan to go in this spring for another round of balayage but I will never change my color entirely again. Well! Ya know; we’ll talk again when I start finding grays!
Once you have learned to accept what’s natural, give yourself at least a year of it. You don’t have to avoid your colorist for forever but I really believe our hair needs a LONG break to breathe in between dyes. The rest of my advice is pretty basic. Raw, coconut oil is my vice. I truly swear by this for just about everything but especially for hair repair. I recommend treatments weekly for at least the first 6 months or as many times a month you possibly can. Coconut treatments are not the funnest so I highly recommend sticking to days you either have nowhere to be or don’t mind rocking a greasy bun. The inconvenience is WELL worth it though I promise!
My third tip has to do with how often you are washing your hair. I always go at least two days in between shampoos but when I can I will try and make it three -even four sometimes. There is nothing greater for our hair’s health than our own oil that our scalps work so hard to produce. On my greasiest days I always go for a messy bun, braid, ball cap or pull out the trusty baby powder trick.
Hot tools can do truly amazing things for our look but man are they awful on our hair! Before I owned a hair straightener in the 6th grade I would iron my hair! Confused? – I would take a fucking clothes iron, lay my hair flat on an ironing board and IRON MY HAIR! (You see why the F bomb was necessary right?) So yea, things have deffiately changed since then. These days I straighten & blow dry my hair maybe 3-4 times a year & although I do still curl it a few times a month, (as mentioned previously) I now always wrap my hair around the barrel verses clamping it so it’s not AS harsh. Can’t say goodbye to your hot tools? Find a really good hair primer for heat protection. I love LOVE Bb (Bumble & Bumbles UV & Heat protective primer. SEE HERE
My next tip isn’t my favorite but it’s important & it’s the fact that alcohol sucks for just about everything but a social boost. If you’re wondering why your hair may be dry and sad, it could have something or everything to do with how much alcohol you are consuming. Let’s face it! Alcohol dehydrates every part of our bodies but especially our hair! No joke- hung over hair is a REAL THING! This last summer I went on a 30 day shake diet which required complete sobriety. Let me tell you – the minute my 30 days were over & I got my first taste of alcohol again, I could literally feel the difference in my hair! I’ve definitely cut back on the drinking (obviously I’m a mom) but when I do indulge; I have found that it really helps if I lather my hair in coconut & or argon oil for that extra pick me up in the morning! With that said, that doesn’t mean this regimen will fix any damage a night of binge drinking will cause! For anyone whose attempting to grow their hair long & strong quickly, I highly recommend sobriety for as long as possible or at least doubling up on you daily required dose of H20 during a night out!
YES! Water is ESSENTIAL! My hair looks & feels 50 x better when I’ve drank my eight 8 ounces of water a day! As for a diet, most of us I am sure are aware that a healthy one can lead to amazing hair benefits! Although I am no expert in diets; I can say from experience that my hair glows & grows like a weed when I’m eating clean! Some foods your hair may be hungry for are – eggs, spinach, pineapple, lemon, lime, carrots, avocado & whole grain
EEk is anyone still with me? I know this was a mouthful so here’s a quick break down.
- No Dyes
- No Extensions
- 2- 3 day breaks in between shampoos
- COCONUT OIL/ Argon Oil
- LESS HOT TOOLS! ( For those of you who rely on a blow dryer -I shower at bed time & allow my hair to air dry over night! Braids are a great way to give volume and waves over night as well)
- H2O – Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE!
- Healthy diet filled with leafy greens & citruses.
- Minimal alcohol.
- Patience & persistency! Stick with a morning & night routine that works & benefits you!
THANK YOU For hanging with me & reading todays blog post! I know it was a long one but I so so hope it was beneficial!