How I Learned to Love My Hair

Real Style on 06.08.11
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A few years ago, I lost my job. Two weeks later, my breasts were removed (I had a preventive double mastectomy). And then a year later my hair fell out.

It was quite a lot to take in but I learned so much about myself during that time. And one of the things I found out after losing my hair and watching it grow back was that I was making my styling routine much too hard on myself. So I came up with these five tips for fuss-free hair that also looks great!

Start with Healthy Hair: You’ve heard the saying “You can’t put lipstick on a pig”? All the great styling tools and products won’t work if your hair is unhealthy underneath it all. Start with a proper diet, exercise and drink lots of water. I also swear by a daily hair vitamin.

Wear Your Hair Closest to Its Natural State: I saw this tip in a magazine a while back and now totally subscribe to this idea, even though it took me decades to get to this point. For 30 plus years I used chemicals to straighten my naturally curly hair. After if broke off and fell out, I started wearing it natural and guess what? I DID look better with it closer to the way nature intended. My natural hair frames my face much better.

Limit Heat: This is especially important for curly hair that is susceptible to permanent heat damage. I don’t use directional heat (like a blow dryer) and always use a heat protectant when I use a flat iron, which I do about four times a year. Dry hair is brittle hair; brittle hair is hair that breaks. If your goal is soft, shiny, healthy hair, excessive heat will not help you get there.

Read Product Labels: Great looking hair doesn’t have to be terribly expensive. I tend toward more natural products, many in fact, right from my own kitchen. I’ve used olive oil, avocado and apple cider vinegar (to clarify hair) among other things.

When All Else Fails, Ponytail: This is another reason why I’m a fan of long hair, or at least hair that’s long enough to snatch back if it’s not behaving. With my hair as it is now, I need to take into account all sorts of things; heat, humidity, rain, snow and any other elements not conducive to good looking hair. That’s why I wear an elastic tie on my wrist at all times. It’s a lifesaver!

But the best tip I have for you? Be more accepting of your hair and you. Some days my hair curls perfectly; others, it’s passable but not as good-looking as I would like. So I just sort of go with it. Letting go of that means I have energy to focus on more pressing matters, like finding something to feed my kids that they will actually eat!

Good luck everyone!

Photo: sylvar/Creative Commons

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