My 3 Wavy-Hair-Don't-Care Products.

My hair is one of my favorite things about myself. As I am in a season of unearthing what's going on in my heart, I'm trying my best to be intentional about meditating on things I like about myself. When it comes to this postpartum body of mine, I can easily get distracted by focusing on the things that aren't what they used to be, but I don't want to focus my energy on being negative towards myself. My hair is one of my favorite things about my body because I feel like it fully represents me - kind of crazy/relaxed/free/unique. What do you like about yourself, friends? If you're finding it hard to pick something out, I encourage you to spend a little time today finding something you really appreciate about yourself. It's a reeeeeal good exercise. Like giving you a good hug.

I would hug you right now if I could.

So, as for this mane - I love this time of year when the weather warms up because I don't have to blow-dry my sometimes-mangy gigantic hair. I have really thick long hair, so when it's cold outside, it's necessary to blow dry it or else I walk around with a sopping head for 3/4 of the day and it makes me super cold. But when the weather warms up, I like to forgo all that time (blow drying takes forever!), and just let my hair air dry with the help of a few products that keep it tamed down AKA beaten into submission. For those of you who like to give your hair a break from heat styling (and save time!), I thought I would share a few products that have consistently worked for me over the past few years.

I don't like using a ton of products. Like everything else in my life, I have very little time to spend on fussing with my hair/makeup/clothes, so I try to keep things around that perform excellently and do the work for me.

1. Honest Company Detangling Conditioner
This stuff works like a charm and, actually, Everett and I share this product equally. I use it right after I get out of the shower, and he uses it after his nightly bath. I never really imagined I would share hair products WITH MY SON, but it works so well for both of us and smells really good without having that annoying, fragrance-y scent like so many beauty products. I've raved about my love for Honest before, but this is one of those products that just works, so I keep working it. I spritz it on my towel-dried hair after I shower and it does a great job closing the cuticle and giving my hair a little extra moisture.

2. Biolage Whipped Volume Mousse
This is the first mousse I've even used that doesn't harden the hair in an annoying way. I like my hair to still feel like hair, and this one does a great job of taming it and capturing the waves in the nicest kind of way, without actually hardening them into a sculpture. You know what I mean? I put a ping-pong ball sized dollop in my palm, flip my head over and distribute this throughout mid-shaft to the ends of my hair, avoiding the roots entirely.

3. 12 Benefits Healthy Hair Treatment
This spray gives my locks a little bit of texture and helps separate my waves so they remain touchable. You know how some texturizing sprays can be sticky/tacky/waxy feeling? This one doesn't do any of that - it feels like you've been on the beach for the first hour of the day and your hair is just getting some good breezy salt mixed all around. It's just really, really nice. I keep this one in my Amazon shopping cart and re-order it periodically. I spritz this on when my hair is still wet, and once I do, I'm done!

And there you have it! I use these in the order listed on the days that I wash my hair, then let it air-dry. If I want a little extra oomph or I don't want to give it the time to air-dry, sometimes (only sometimes) I will use my hair dryer with the diffuser attachment and blow dry it on medium heat. This zaps some of that extra moisture and works if I have to be somewhere looking "put together" soon. But most of the time I just have to be at my son's play table, making play dough or dolling out the pb+j or something of that kind. I try to let my hair go for a few days like this before washing it again - by days 2,3 and 4 I am usually braiding it or throwing it up in a top knot. And here is a really fun post from my friend Lauren on how to work that dirty hair for all it's worth.

Happy warm weather hair to you, friends! Now tell me - what attribute do you really really like about yourself. I want to hear! I really do.

P.S. - Wearing this tank, which is my favorite new thing. How often can I wear it without it being too often?

3 Tips for Brunettes Going Ombre.

Tips for Brunettes Going Ombre:

I was so ready for a change. But when I went in to see my hair stylist and threw out the option of chopping my hair off, she quickly talked me down off that ledge.

"You're a new mom, right?"

I nodded to her.

"Yeahhh, no. Let's do something slightly less drastic."

She was probably right to steer me away from something that might make me cry later. We settled on going for an ombre-esque color job. I didn't want something stark and uber-trendy, but something that felt fresh and fun. Oh, and something that required literally no "fixing". I don't fix my hair. Like ever. My kid uses my hair brush exponentially more often than I do. I feel your sweeping gasp of surprise. No really, I know you're not surprised, because my hair looks like a hive everyday. I don't mind. I like the weird kinky waves and I got excited that the new color might actually make those pop a bit more. Meaning maybe I don't need to fix it ever...?

It's been a bit of a journey, this whole dying-my-hair thing. I have really really dark hair. So lifting the color many many shades lighter has been a process, and it's been different than I expected. Blondes, you people have it so easy. Even light-brownie girls, it's a breeze for you. But us chocolate-heads? Well, if you want to go bright, it takes a bit more time/effort/frying than you might think. Here are a few things I learned along the way.

1. Bring in Inspiration Photos. A LOT of Photos.

First things first. You need to explain in detail to your stylist exactly what you want. The kind of ombre you're looking for - subtle? Stark? Natural-looking? Trendy? Now I know that showing the hairdresser photos of Victoria Secret models isn't really fair. "I really like her hair. Can you make me look like her??" That's a tall order. I mean, she's a stylist, not a wizard. But I have to be honest, I really DO like those angels' hair. It looks natural and messy and pretty. And the gradation of color is exactly what I like. So when I showed my stylist photos of Lily Aldridge and her gorgeous, yet subtle chocolate to creamy butter shades, she and I agreed on this look as our goal. You can see the Pinterest board I used for inspiration here.

Clearly I can't pose.

Clearly I can't pose.

2. Go For Some Face-Framers.

Adding some face-framing pieces creates a bit more pizazz to the front of the face. Also, if you're going for a strong contrast between your natural color and the new color, adding a bit of warmth around the face seems to help "haze" the effect a bit.

3. Adjust Your Expectations.

I'll be honest. It took me three times of sitting in that salon chair to finally achieve the color that I wanted. The first time, there wasn't enough of a contrast and I wanted the color "pop" to be brighter. The second time, things went frighteningly orange. Which can happen to my dark-kind of hair. Copper is like my melatonin's go-to. Grrrr copper. The third time, I finally got that creamy, buttery tone I craved. But this happened over the course of three appointments and 6 weeks of time. So it wasn't an in-and-out, super easy kind of thing.

As a dark brown brunette, it takes a lot of time to process your hair in a healthy way that won't make it snap off. It can be frustrating to wait so long, but being patient is really the only key to getting what you want. Pacing the color appointments in two-week increments helped break up some of the damage so that it had a bit of time to repair in between. And I got to see how the color would react to the sun, to my hair products, and then I could come back in and explain all of that to my stylist.

I'm really happy with the color we landed on here. Although this Georgia humidity is making me feel like I always always have wet curls, the color is super fun and warm and it's exactly what I wanted. For now at least! (We girls have reserved the right to change our minds a lot :)

Post-Dyed Hair Care:

There are a few products that I've been using since I colored my hair, and they have worked out really well. I've alternated this Alba Color Shampoo, this Aveda Co Wash Shampoo and this hilarious blue tint shampoo (it smells a little elderly and perfume-y) but it gets the job done! Also, to protect the color in all this crazy heat and sunshine, I've been using this Aveda Heat Protector Hair Veil before I jump in the pool or spend a long amount of time outside. I use this Honest Company Leave-In Conditioner and this 12 Benefits Hair Treatment everyday when I get out of the shower... and now you know my entire hair routine. I don't really heat style or anything of that sort. Unless I have an extra thirty minutes of time and somewhere fancy to go, which these days, you know... I just don't!

I hope this helps if you're planning on making a big change to your hair! Let me know how it goes!