Upside Down Braided Topknot.

It's practically a jungle here. The beating sun and sweltering humidity are quite a force to be reckoned with. Georgia is just so hot. I've vowed not to cut my hair off even though my baby yanks on it whenever he can grasp a handful. Which leaves me to my imagination for finding different ways to get it off my face. I can't have a sweaty neck or keep getting my hair pulled out - I am already losing so much hair with all these postpartum hormones swirling around in my bod. Please, I need to keep all that I have!

This is my latest favorite updo, and I thought I would share it here since I've been wearing it so often. It's a twist on a regular topknot, and it's best styled with extra dirty hair. I usually do this on day 3 or 4 after a shampoo :)

Upside Down Braided Topknot:
1. Starting at the nape of your neck, gather three sections of hair and start a dutch braid.
2. Begin the braid at the bottom of the head and continue gathering hair (as you would a normal french braid), and braid upward.
3. Once you've reached the crown of your head, do a few extra turns of the braid without adding any extra hair.
4. Twist your hair, as you would for a normal top knot, and secure with a hair tie.
5. Gently pull at the sections of the braid to loosen and give it a fuller, more lived-in look.
6. You shouldn't need to secure anything with bobby pins - the messier the better!

Are you all interested in more hair posts like this? If so, I can work on photographing a few more looks, especially updos for summer. Let me know in the comments! xx

3 Ways to Style Unwashed Hair.

I am so grateful to the lovely Lauren, blogger over at Blissful Happenings and momprenuer at Rocco+Norah, for guest posting here today. As I take some time with my new baby love, I am sharing some posts from esteemed and treasured blogging friends, and Lauren is one of those! So excited to feature her witty voice (+ hair hacks) here!

As a general rule of thumb I only wash my hair once a week. I'd like to say that it has something to do with creating texture and not overworking and drying out my hair... and while that's got some to do with it, the whole "keeping a toddler and infant alive" is really more to blame. Also, did I mention I'm lazy and tired?! Yeah, that too.

Now I know your thinking this boo is cray, she must wear her hair up all the time and to that I say a resounding NOPE. In fact, I rarely wear my hair up even on the dirty and oiliest of days. Don't get me wrong I love a good mom bun, but here are my 3 go to styles.

1. Dry shampoo and side swipe.
My dirty flipped hair would make Kristen Stewart herself proud. This is my go to with hair that's a little bit oily, but not yet a hot mess. So the key to using your dry shampoo is spraying said shampoo into small flipped over sections of hair at least a foot away. Then let set and pat out any residue. Continue on to the next flipped section. Then choose a good section to make a hard part and flip over. The whole point is to have it look like you didn't try. If you must, throw on the curling wand and touch up the front pieces, but remember this is not about looking perfect. Think quinessential French messy hair!!

2. Half up top knot.
So once I can no longer handle the greasy side swipe I graduate to a Lil' top knot. I've recent chopped off all of my hair, but I loved this when my hair was waist length too because it was out of my face without the weight of 300 pounds of hair. I think this is the cutest and so easy to do. Take a section of all of the hair that gets in your way, you can make a small triangle from the crown of your head if you wanna get fancy. Twist. Secure with 2-3 hairpins. I prefer them to bobby pins. The trick is that you don't just toss in a pin straight, you start at a 45 degree angle pointing down and then once in the hair pull the pin up and wiggle it in so it gets lodged in the hair! Magic.

3. Hair Accessories.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't include my beloved turbans and hats. I love a good hair accessory and I couldn't do life without them. Hats. Hats. Hats. I love hats. I know some people get nervous at the thought, you just can't "pull them off"... my response, pish posh. Everyone can wear hats you just have to find one that fits and fake it until you make it. I promise a handful of times out of the house in a hat and you too will be hat person. I love ball caps, fedoras, wide brim, etc. basically all hats. I also love a fab little turban. Rocco + Norah mama turbans are basically my jam. (shameless plug) they look adorable and give you that I'm so chic and bohemian vibe that no one will be noticing your less than vibrant (ahem, dirty as all get out) locks.

Thanks for checking out my post. Hope this can help you through those trying days where your hair is the least of your cares or worries. #momlife, you've got this boos!!! To see more of my messy hair check out my Instagram and my (sometimes) blogging over at Blissful Happenings.

How to Wear Milkmaid Braids.

When you have a lot of hair, you have to get creative on the in-between-washing days. I try not to wash my hair everyday because it can get dried out and honestly, it can be a lot of work to fix it every single day. So I've started adopting my childhood method of braided hair, and I must admit, I am loving the throwback. It makes me feel childlike and girly, with a touch of Scandinavian :) It's easy to sweep my hair up into a bun, topknot or ponytail, but on some days, it's really fun to break out my old braiding skills (I learned how to braid practicing on my American Girl doll), and do something fun like these milkmaid braids. If you have a lot of hair and know how to do a basic dutch braid, then this is going to be the perfect style for you!

1. I start with at least day-old hair. I use 12 Benefits on my wavy hair days (when I don't blow dry), and by the second day it is usually settled into the hair nicely and doesn't need any other gel/pomade/mousse, etc. You want some dirtied-up hair for this style to work.

2. Part your hair down the middle and divide into two sections. I like to tie back one side with a hair tie or clip, just to keep it out of the way while I work on the first section.

3. Pull one section of the hair into a ponytail at about your ear. Begin braiding, doing a simple dutch braid.

4. Once you're finished, tie off the braid with a clear tie or one that is close to your hair color. Then braid the other section, using the same technique.

5. Once you have two braids (and you get finished pretending you're Pippi Longstocking) wrap one braid around the front of your head. I like to leave a little bit of the part showing in the front. Pin the braid using bobby pins, pushing them diagonally in.

5. Wrap the second braid in front of the first one. Tuck the ends under the first braid and pin it as well.

6. Next I like to loosen the individual plaits of the braid, to make it seem fuller and messier. If the braids are too tight and perfect, this look can come across a little dorky. So I make sure to mess it up a bit. It's more fun to be imperfect.

There you have it! This is a whimsical way to dress up your hair, even on days when you didn't take time to style it. But be aware - you might have some people call you Princess Leia. Some people really don't know their science fiction hair - hers was BUNS. Happy braiding, friends :)

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!