A few weeks ago one of my favorite ladies from high school was in town visiting with her husband. After our squeals left him deaf she breathed a sigh of relief and said “I’m so happy you still have your long blonde hair. As long as you have your long, blonde hair everything is right in this world.” Just hearing that reminded me why I befriend this awesome lady back in the day because she cracks me up with her blunt honesty and way with words. Meredith has known me through a handful of hairstyles back in the 90s and early 2000s and I always joke with my girlfriends that my hair is all I have to offer, but it’s all in fun. Clearly, my ever-present sarcasm and ability to remember lyrics to any song are at that top of the list as well!
Ever since I was young, friends, parents of friends, strangers and more would comment on my hair. This was a real moment of pride for my mother who was 1.) able to birth a little chunker with a full head of dark brown hair and 2.) able to keep my long hair from looking ratty and disgusting. When I was in elementary school, my teacher called my mom to tell her that I had failed cutting and asked if I was using scissors at home to practice. Trying not to laugh at my teacher whose responsibility it was to you know, teach me, my mother told her that no, I wasn’t not using scissors at home and politely asked if she had seen my long, straight hair? My mom further inquired if my teacher would then trust a small child with scissors around my down to my butt-length hair? With a laugh they both agreed that they wouldn’t; which is why to this day I can’t use scissors for shit but damnit if my hair doesn’t look good!
Back in the 90s when I was taller than my brother and could sit on my hair!
While I may not be good with scissor my hair stylist is and she has done a good job of hiding her eye rolls when I would come in and ask for shoulder length hair, or a lob or ::gasp:: dark chocolate locks. That was a cool look for two weeks until my mother looked at me wide-eyed and gave me a simple “No.” I immediately went back to blonde and growing my hair long again. Then a few years ago a leader of mine suggested that I looked too young for my job and even spoke a bit young by using nicknames to refer to my coworkers. While this was something I had done all of my life, I wouldn’t have done so if my coworkers hadn’t suggested said names. Trying to be a good direct report I slowed my roll on the nick names and booked an appointment with my stylist, April, and chopped my hair to my shoulders and went for a dark blonde look. What I should have done, in retrospect, is report him to for HR for even commenting on my looks. So with this new ‘I want to look older’ do I realized I still looked young and now I had short hair that I did not love.
I quickly realized that my hair belongs to me and as they say ‘you do you’. I have spent the last few years working hard to grow my hair back to the long, blonde, girl who all of my Orlando friends met 10 years ago and the girl who my high school gal pals remember from our Starbucks study nights. So, now, with my hair finally long enough that it gets caught under my arm, gets tangled up in a shoulder tote and weighs down my ponytail I’m happy to share just a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way!
How my hair looks when someone else washes AND blows it dry!
Cleanse and Condition: You have to find the right shampoo/conditioner that works for you and your hair and the time of the year. If you knew me eight years ago you’d cringe at that sentence because I was famous for using 2-in-1 products! Now, I’m addicted to Alfaparf Milano’s Semi di lino line and buy the 32 oz bottles from Amazon to save a ton of money from buying it directly from the salon. Also, I highly suggest once a week doing a serious deep cleanse and get the gunk out. I love using T-Gel and you can find this in any drug store or Target, but I’ll warn you, it smells terrible. So you want to do this once a week followed by your go-to shampoo! Don’t be swayed by the dandruff talk on the bottle, while that’s a bonus, this miracle product works hard to get all the extra hair product gunk out of your hair that your normal shampoo couldn’t do. Trust me, your hair will thank you and you will have one of your best hair days ever after a single use!
Dry in Style: As my hair got longer I realized I really hated how my hair looked after I blew it dry. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I had all the right products but none of the result. When I went to get a trim from my stylist, April, I realized she was using a round brush about a bajillion times bigger than the one I was using at home. She told me that there is literally a brush for every style and length of hair. I immediately went to Ulta and hung out in their brush section for a good ten minutes learning about which brush I needed. Turns out for my length, bigger is better! But seriously, finding the right brush is key to getting your hair to look hair commercial worthy! Don’t forget to apply a hair oil post-blow dry so you can tame the frizzies, I like Aveda’s dry remedy daily moisturizing oil and it smells amazing!
Three Day Rule: I think most guys would basically die if they realized that women don’t wash their hair every day. In fact, if I can stretch it to three days and my hair still looks good it takes every fiber in my being to not Tweet about it and shout it from the roof tops. I mean, it saves me about 30 minutes of precious ‘get ready time’ every day that I don’t wash it. I generally can always go two days but I have found with the invention of Dry Shampoo that I can extend it longer, or I can save my hair after a good work out. I tried a handful of different options but keep coming back to PhD by Living Proof. Not only does this stuff smell amahhhhzing, seriously I want it as a perfume, but it also works really well. I recommend spraying your hair right before you go to bed; all of that tossing and turning in the night will really help this spray do some serious magic!
Burn Calories, Not Fingers: Beachy waves are all the rage and even better with second-day hair. However, I see everyone running out to buy the latest hair wand to achieve this look. Some of these wands can make a serious dent in your bank account and I’m here to tell you that this is NOT NECESSARY. You, too, can look like a Bachelor contestant who got eliminated before hometown dates with the magic of the curling iron you already have. If you don’t trust me, stalk my Instagram not a single curl was made with a wand!
I’m partial to the Hot Tools line, but any will do, just use the one that is the right barrel size for your length. My hair is pretty long and I like the 1/14″ barrel. I’m currently curling with this sassy rainbow number because my roommate and I bought the wrong size barrels for our hair length and swapped. Oh, the power of having girlfriends as roommates! Anyway, I have perfected my curls without that ‘clamped’ down look at the ends and found the perfect tutorial for you to explain how I get my waves, no glove needed! This video, from The Beauty Department, is one of Lauren Conrad’s many lifestyle/beauty/be a boss blog-sites, I mean she is the original beach girl after all!
So, these are just a few of my tips on how to have TV star gorgeous hair, but not Connie Britton’s hair; she is in another stratosphere and we must all respect and bow down to her hair gods! Tell me, what are your goto’s when it comes to your hair and getting ready. Do you have any favorite sites or tips you go to for tricks?
Keep that mane gorgeous and as my bestie Maggie and I say to one another…Love you! Love your hair!