Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I don't wash my hair!

Yesterday I confessed that I have bucked the tradition of washing ones hair everyday, in favor of the once or twice a week routine.  Here's the link in case you missed it.  And while I know lots of people who are completely grossed out by this idea, I wanted to share my point of view on why I do it and how others can embrace it as well.

The most common question I get asked is "Doesn't it smell or get greasy?" And the short answer is sure - after 5 or 6 days, but generally not.  HOWEVER....it did at first. Like all elements of our body, we get used to a routine, and our hair is no different.  If you wash it every day and strip all the natural oils out of it, it's going to create even more oil.  Don't wash it for a day or two, and you're in grease city.  But, if you stop doing it every day, gradually your body will begin producing less oil, allowing you to go for longer periods of time.

So how I did get started on this whole process - well it's really very simple.  I hated washing and drying my hair.  That's it.  In my teens it would take me a full hour to wash and blow out my hair.  Now of course, in high school even the hint of grease would incite all sorts of comments, so no self-respecting {wanna be cool} girl would ever dare go a day without washing - lest someone assume that gasp  you didn't bathe either!  However, once to college, I discovered that really I could go two days without really anyone noticing.  And at that point, 2 days was about my limit.  But once I began working, and missing my sleep, I began stretching it.  First 3 days, then 4.  Maybe go 5 if I didn't have any weekend plans.  Over the course of the last year I've finally made the switch to once a week.  I referenced Rosie's article in my post yesterday but wanted to share a few extra tips that I thought she left out.

So behold - a Southern Belle's secrets to NOT washing your hair.

  1. Find a shampoo and conditioner that work for you.  My stylist (and all the other stylists I know) hates it when I tell her I use Pantene but literally I've used the stuff for years and my hair is healthy and looks good.  Use whatever you want that works for your hair!
  2. Find a good conditioner that doesn't weigh your hair down - and echoing Rosie's recommendation - DO NOT put a lot on your roots.  In fact, I avoid my roots all together and focus on the mid-shaft and ends.  The roots are the first place that will get the natural oils, so you're just setting yourself up for extra grease.
  3. Consider if your hair style will support this.  Similar to Rosie, I have long hair cut in various layers, so extensive styling is not a must.  If you prefer a very styled look - honestly - this probably won't happen for you easily!
  4. Reduce the number of styling products you use. For me - I don't use anything other than a little bit of straightening serum in the summer when it's humid.  I may use a little hair spray if I curl my hair, but it's sparingly and often the lightest, flexible hold I can find.  (No Aquanet here, unless it's for a special event.) By reducing the products you use, you also reduce the amount of build up that happens, which can make your hair look dull, flat, or greasy.
  5. Remember, it takes time. I promise, unless you have super course or really thick hair that's naturally dry, you won't be able to go more than a couple of days at first.  But have faith - it does get better.  And if you make it to day 3 and your hair is an oil slick, then wash it!  This process is suppose to make your life easier, not cause more stress.  Even now, there are weeks, where by Thursday, my hair is looking rough, I'll either rinse it or do a full washing.  No big deal.
  6. Learn to keep your hands out of your hair!  This is a biggy and was very hard for me because I was always fussing with my hair during the day.  The more you touch, the more oil you transfer from your hands to your hair.  So hands off!
So there are some of my top tips.  But what's my routine?  Well, here you go.
  • Sunday - typically my wash day, because my evenings are calmer.  If I know I want to wear my hair in curls that week, I'll take the extra time post shower, to blow dry it and curl it immediately!  If not, I'll usually just blow dry the roots and let the rest air dry, then hit it with a flat iron the next morning.  This is the time to style it though.
  • Monday - style as normal.  If I've curled it the night before, I may touch it up in the morning, but usually it's just a quick comb (wide tooth or pick style to not break up the curls too much).  If I let it air dry the night before I'll straight it with a flat iron.
  • Monday Night - My hair creases, so I don't do the bun or pony tail like Rosie does, but I'll give it a quick brush with a natural bristle brush to help distribute the oils.  (Not the 100 strokes many of our mothers believed in though!)
  • Tuesday - Usually it's holding the style from Monday pretty well.  I may touch up some areas with the curling iron or flat iron if needed.  Typically my hair on Monday and Tuesday looks the same.  Quick brush at night again.
  • Wednesday & Thursday - Again, quick touch ups when needed.  May pull up the front or sides if it's starting to look flat.  I generally try to avoid the pony tail early in the week if I can.  Sometimes mid-week I'll rinse my hair - meaning just stand under the shower, no shampoo and maybe a little (and I mean very little, like pea size) conditioner on the ends if they are rough.  But usually this is more because I just want to stand under the water than because I need to wash my hair.  Style as usual. 
  • Friday - If I can keep my hair down I will, but most of the time by Friday I'm exhausted and struggling to just get out of the house, so a nice bun, braid, or pony works great.  I may use a little bit of dry shampoo  (the spray kind works great - I don't have a favorite brand, just whatever is on sale when I need it) if I have some areas starting to look bad.
  • Saturday - Ponytail day.  Keep it simple.
  • Sunday - For church, I usually just pull it back into a nice bun or sleek pony. Nothing fancy here.  Ready for another wash. 
And that's it.  Don't believe me that's it's possible - here's a picture three days in!

I hope this helps answer some questions you might have!  If not - please ask!  For me, it saves a ton of time each week and makes my morning routine so much simpler!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Mom Confessions

Well it's Monday {again} which means another installation of Monday Mom Confessions, so let's just jump right in!

Confession #1 - I actually had some really great blog posts ideas, some of which I remember, but most of which I don't.  Trying to be a little more intentional about writing down my ideas when they hit - or even more shocking - actually writing the posts!  Blogging is a lot harder than it seems!

Confession #2 - Several years ago, there was huge uproar when Phaedra Parks - Real Housewives of Atlanta - couldn't remember {or lied depending on what you read} how far along she was in her pregnancy.  I remember, myself being pregnant at the time, that it seemed crazy to me that she won't know when she was due, being it was her first baby and all.  At the time I could tell you down to the hour how pregnant I was and thought "what mother doesn't track how far along she is?"  Flash forward to last week, when going in for my usual OB appointment, my doctors begins by saying "So you're at 23 weeks now..." and seriously, I kid you not, I just nodded my head because I honestly, couldn't not determine if she was right or not.  No Joke!  I can tell you the due date without hesitation and I would have guessed somewhere in the correct range of weeks, but really couldn't have told you with 100% certainty whether she was right or not {she of course was}!  Even in the moment, it made me laugh so hard, because this time around, I haven't kept track.  Don't really care to either.  I attribute it to the fact that in my mind I know it's going to be a long wait and counting down the weeks doesn't make it go by any faster.  That and having a busy 2 {almost 3} year old and trying to pack and move a house, while working full-time {are you exhausted after reading that? YIKES!} really is a full plate right now.  I guess that's the difference between baby 1 and 2 (or 3 or 4 for that matter).

Confession #3 - I've said it before, but being pregnant for me is a necessary means to an end.  It's not something I particularly love going through.  So it really is no surprise that this weekend the "OK I'm over this, I'm done being pregnant" mood struck.  Thankfully I've got a lot to keep me distracted between now and July.

Confession #4 - I don't get March Madness.  The trash talking, the betting, the general craziness that surrounds it...I just find it all a little annoying.  Where I'm from, college basketball is king, and I'm a proud alumni from a school with one of the best (if not the best) basketball programs in the country.  I wear my designated college colors on game day {at the insistence of my husband} and cheer when we watch the games, but that's the extent of my "fandom".  However, when I see all this craziness, it just makes me scratch my head a little.  I mean seriously, people are getting into fistfights over the performance of a bunch of kids! KIDS!  18 & 19 year old boys!  Crazy!

Confession #5 - So when I read Rosie Pope {Maternity Guru and star of Bravo's "Pregnant in Heels"} blog post a couple of weeks ago, I knew I'd have to share my confession.  I case you missed it, Rosie came out of the closet {hair closet, that is} and shared with the world that she only washes her hair once a week!  And like Rosie, I too am a once {maybe twice on a busy week} hair washer too!  And it's wonderful!  Rosie walks through her weekly routine in her blog, but there's a few things I think she left out.  So I've started on a post with my steps and tricks too.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping this week!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Mom Confessions

Another week, another round of confessions to share.  I've got to admit that doing this is a bit like therapy - I feel better {hopefully you do too} by just sharing the random crap that I think!

Confession #1 -  By Thursday morning I was already willing myself up out of bed by the promise of a LONG Saturday afternoon nap.  Seriously?!  How sad is that?  Even sadder, looking back, that my sweet child decided Saturday was decidedly NOT the day to take a nap {or any day that is part of the weekend apparently}.

Confession #2 - I grew up with a mother who REFUSED {yeah seriously in all caps} to leave the house without her hair perfectly fixed and make-up applied.  No surprise living in the south, but somehow that "need" missed me, especially after having kids.  My kid, nor my husband, love me any more or less with make-up and fixed hair, so my weekends are typically deemed "make-up" free.  And honestly, sometimes even shower free.  So much for a proper Southern Belle.

Confession #3 - After a lovely chat with a fellow preggo this week, I was starkly reminded how much I absolutely loathe being pregnant.  My friend on the other hand loves it.  To each is own I suppose, but seriously, the weird junk that happens and the general discomfort sucks.  It's a necessary means to a v. happy end, but still the process sucks.  {The same goes for working out in my book.}

Confession #4 - The one good thing about being "with child" {yeah that phrase bugs me too} is that I have a free excuse to wear leggings any day I want.  And I plan on taking advantage of that benefits as much as humanly possible!

Confession #5 - I had several other funny things to share from the past week, but it seems I've forgotten {probably as a result of daydreaming about my Saturday afternoon nap} so maybe next week I'll do better!

Until then!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Big Reveal

So a little over a week and half ago we found out what this little bebe in my belly in was.  I talked about my preference for a little girl here.  I wanted a girl, point blank, and when the ultrasound technician announced that we were having not the baby girl I desperately want, but instead a sweet baby boy, I felt like a ton of bricks had hit me in the chest.

So how did I feel.  Honestly?  Really, really crappy.  I laid on the ultrasound table, thankful that my baby was healthy, but dreadfully sad that he was indeed a he.  I even cried.  Yep it was a bittersweet moment.

I managed to pulled myself together to get through my doctors visit, but spent the rest of the day in fits of tears, trying to keep it together as much as I could.  And finally that night,  I let myself fall apart and truly cried my eyes out for a solid 30 minutes.  It was difficult.  I honestly felt like I had failed my family, who all really wanted a little girl.  And really, I felt like I was being punished.  I wasn't getting what I wanted.  And everywhere I looked, everyone was having their perfect boy/girl family.  It wasn't fair.

But like all disappointments, there comes a time when that disappointment fades.  The next day the cloud began to lift, and I finally began to believe all the things I had been trying to convince myself all along.  My son will have a brother whom he can wrestle with and be rough with.  They will be able to play with the same (or at least similar) toys and occupy each other.  They will have each other.  And I am already totally stocked to dress a little boy.  Having another little boy might not be so bad after all.

I also starting looking for blogs of other mothers with a pair of boys.  Reading what other mothers had felt and experienced and the joy they have gotten from their boys, really helped put things into perspective.  And while it doesn't completely take the sting away, every day is easier and easier to envision that my son will be here in a few short months.

So at the end of the day, I did see blue, and was blue for a couple of days, but for those mothers who are going through this, I just wanted to say you're not alone.  In fact, I was shocked when a fellow mother told me that she had the very same feelings, except she was wanting two boys!  {Imagine my shock that someone would actually want that!}  The truth of the matter is that we all have underlying expectations, whether we want to admit it or not, and there's nothing wrong with being sad when our dreams don't exactly happen as planned.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Mom Confessions

So part of who I am, and how I'm strangely wired, is that I L.O.V.E lists.  Any lists really, but especially funny or random ones.  So today, in honor of my quirk {and who am I kidding, my need to just tell random things about myself} I present my top 5 Mom Confessions from the last week.  If you, like me, love reading other funny (or sad, or true) mom confessions, and happen to be a Tweeter, I would also strong encourage checking out the hashtag #momconfessions will also give you hours of enjoyment.

Confession #1 - Because a) I didn't want to wash extra cups and b) I really hate having to put together the straw cups for my toddler, I washed and reused the same sippy cup all weekend.  (Don't worry I cleaned it!)  He doesn't care, but my mother and grandmother would be absolutely mortified if they knew.

Confession #2 - When my dear son decided he wanted to play with the metal rake this weekend, I directed him to our weed infested flower beds and told him to have fun.  Win Win!  Most of the weeds got pulled and all I had to do was watch and catch a few rays!

Confession #3 - After dragging my poor child around the city for two days of house hunting, I "accidentally" forgot to set the alarm this weekend to get up and go to church.  We all needed the extra sleep!

Confession #4 - I seriously debated giving up my precious lunch hour to run to the grocery store so that I wouldn't have to navigate it later tonight with the toddler.  I ultimately decided against, being that it's poring down rain currently and I really didn't want to get out, a decision I know I will be repeatedly kicking myself over later this evening as I fight the after-work grocery mass with a hungry and tired 2 year old {probably in the rain too}.

Confession #5 - {Climbing on my soapbox now} As a working mother, I'm a huge advocate for work/life balance and companies taking a stand to support women (regardless of their "mother" status).  But few things bug me more than when super wealthy {and successful without argument} women, such as Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, publically vocalize how "easy" motherhood is or how women should just "lean in rather than pull back when facing [career] obstacles".

Before you jump on me for being judgement, or pick up the pitch fork as well... let me explain this one a little.  I think their underlying message is overall a good thing - that the more women who stand up and take on leadership roles, the greater the likelihood is that companies will have to start evaluating policies to support women, including equal pay.  It's a natural progression.  But their "just get out there and do it" attitude is what rubs me.  As a working mom (who thankfully has a wonderfully supportive husband, with a relatively flexible job) I don't always have the choice as to whether I can "lean in" as Sandberg advocates, because unlike her, my child is in daycare.  A daycare with set hours and set fees if I don't pick him up on time.  So while there have been times in my career where I was able to seize those opportunities that maybe required me to work late for a day or week {with major thanks to the husband}, that isn't something I'm able to do on a regular basis.  And unfortunately, it's those moments - the late night conference calls or the weekend work sessions - that often end up making the difference between being flagged as a go-getter or just another mom.  I also, don't have have the luxury of having a private nanny and nursery in my office, a la Mrs. Mayer, so that I can visit and cuddle my sweet baby anytime I please.  Please understand, I get that they've made significant sacrifices over the course of their careers to get where they are, and I certainly don't begrudge them of that, because at some point they will have (or have had) those "mommy guilt" moments but expecting that all women should simply "accept" those sacrifices as normal not only bothers me, but makes me really question if they understand what being a parent is all about.  With out any question, I could and would work my tail-end off if I was bringing home an annual income of approximately $30 Million, as Sandberg does, or having the earn potential of $71 Million over the next 5 years like Mayer, but the reality is there are months where paying all the bill and putting a little bit into savings is difficult, and for many people, even making all the bills on-time would be a dream!

The reality is being a mother is hard work, and working outside of the home only adds to that.  So when people who can afford to simply say "Sorry I'm leaving and you can't stop me" or "Hold that call because I need to take a couple of minutes to cuddle my baby" marginalize the struggles we face day in and day out, it just sets me off. {Ok - Off my soap box now! Sorry}

So there you have my top 5 mom confessions for this week.  Can't wait to see what this next week brings!