This post is dedicated to my mom, Ann. She has taught me many things and I have taught her many things back. She used to braid my hair into 2 french braids and it was pure heaven. So thanks, mom, for everything. And happy mothers day to all the mamas out there! I hope you have planned something nice for yourself to celebrate mothers day this year.
I took Selah to the playground today. It was peak playground time in Seattle. First sunny week of spring, 10 AM on a Wednesday. The place was crawling with moms. I got to thinking about mom hair.
Like all the other urban modern moms, I promised myself that I would keep my look together after having kids. I abandoned that promise about 5 months into my first pregnancy, when yoga pants and hoodies won out over cute vintage maternity dresses and designer jeans. I promised myself that I wouldn’t drive a mini-van. I promised myself I wouldn’t have a pancake butt and mom hair.
As I watched the children play, ( AKA studied the mom hair in action) I realized that not only do I have a mini-van, ( Not that cute VW bus behind the mini-van) but I also have mom hair. And it is not so bad. It is just a messy ponytail/top-knot, natural textured fuss free simple easy hair.
1. Tired of looking and feeling tired? Try bangs! They are an instant style pick me up and they are easy to DIY!
2. Make sure your hair routine suits your lifestyle. Are you spending more time than you would like trying to get your hair to behave? Maybe it is time for a hair consciousness shift. Free the beast. Work with what you have, not against it. Maybe it is time to try ShamPHree-ing.
4. If you color, stick with shades that flatter you. If you are stuck in a color rut and have been getting the same bleach highlights for the last 10 years, consider transitioning to a more low-maintenance color process.
5. Search high and low for a hairdresser that understands your taste and lifestyle. Ask around, search the internet, stop people on the street.
6. Have fun with your hair! This website alone has nearly a hundred easy DIY hairstyles for all hair types that can be done in 5 minutes or less with nothing but a couple of bobby pins and some small elastics. Even a small accent braid in your top-knot goes a long way. Experiment with DIY hairstyles. Try HTHG’s Tired Mama Braids!
What I saw at the playground today was a lot of moms who would rather be at the park with their kids than messing with their hair. I am grateful that mom hair has evolved from the days of that terrible mom-bob fashioned by Martha Stewart. Aren’t you?
My daughter Marley’s hair is finally long enough to braid, after her 4 year old DIY haircut experiment. She is also old enough to have caught on to that silly old gender stereotype that boys have short hair and girls have long hair. So, she only kept this hairstyle in long enough to let me take a picture, then promptly took it out because it made it look like she was a short haired boy from the front. She will learn.
On a slightly different topic, almost 6 is a cool age. Marley is starting to develop a social awareness that makes me proud. Hearing her excitement when she talks about MLK and Rosa Parks and how they stood up for what they believed makes me feel like there must be a bright future for my children. I showed her the Same Love video by Macklemore and now she understands the adversity of people who are not treated fairly based on their sexual orientation. She asks A LOT of questions. She wants things to be fair for all people. And she is a complete bossy know-it-all who will not take ‘no’ for an answer so I like to think that she will grow up to make the world as she wants it.
Cool Kid Braids
Getting back to hair, this braided hairstyle is super easy to do and it is perfect for medium length hair. It consists of 3 little braids and a bun. Here is how to do it.
1. Section off both sides of the head, from behind each ear, across the top. Part section down the middle. Make a small dutch braid on one side. secure with a small clear elastic,
2. Repeat on the other side.
3. Join your braids together at the back of the head with another clear elastic. Remove the elastics from the ends of your first 2 braids.
4. Braid the ends of your first 2 braids in with the rest of the free hair. Secure the end.
So, the spray bottle is starting to be a little hard on the old trigger finger. My co-worker the talented esthetician Alexa Marley had the perfect idea of using her peri-bottle for her no-pooing. It is perfectly squirty.
HTHG TMI peri-bottle fact: Fellow home-birthers remember the peri-bottle as a squeezy angel of relief that we filled with healing herb tea and squirted onto our lazy-zones while we peed to keep it from burning a terrible seering pain, post birth!
I want to get some made with the HTHG logo on it. Anyone know how to do that sort of thing?
I was excited to go home and lanolize the wool, because I’m kind of fascinated by the magic of wool and lanolin. Plus, I love the lovely rose scent of my Woolybottoms Love spell lanolin.
If you don’t know, lanolin is a natural substance of fatty acids that is secreted from the pores of a lamb. It’s role is to seal the wool and skin of the animal by creating a breathable moisture barrier that protects against the ravages of climate and the environment.
“Lanolin alcohols are a rich source of cholesterol (an important skin lipid) and are powerful water-in-oil emulsifiers; they have been used extensively in skin care products for over 100 years. (wikipedia)
Modern analytical methods have revealed lanolin possesses a number of important chemical and physical similarities to human stratum corneum lipids; the lipids which help regulate the rate of transepidermal water loss and govern the hydration state of the skin.
the barrier repair properties of lanolin have been reported to be superior to those produced by both petrolatum and glycerin” (so it is a great alternative to synthetic silicones and plastic based additives in hair and skin products)
When you lanolize a wool diaper, it becomes waterproof, soft, durable, and anti microbial. I always put some on my hands when I do my diapers, and I like how it moisturizes. It is heavy, but it seems to penetrate really deeply into my dry skin. It leaves a supple, shiny, but not greasy finish.
Anyhow, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to try some as a DIY at home hair treatment. I did some research on it, and found these two interesting articles about lanolin in curly hair. ( lanolin and curls)
I kept seeing that lanolin is a humectent and wanted to find out exactly that means.
I didn’t want to put it directly on my hair because it is quite heavy and a bit sticky, so I went ahead and lanolized my hair exactly as I would my diapers. I figured that diluting it with hot water would be good be cause it would disperse it better, and help it penetrate. I mostly wanted it on my crunchy ends that seem to need a good sealing.
“There are lots of benefits for using lanolin for hair. It readily penetrates the shaft of the hair, helping it to retain moisture and protecting it against breakage. Once it has been absorbed by the hair, lanolin works as a humectant, continuing to draw in moisture from the air”.-wisegeek
Here is what I learned from my hair lanolizing experiment….. After the treatment, my once curly but now straight-ish hair wanted to curl again. It felt a bit heavy at first, but after a day, it feels really really healthy. My ends are nice and smooth, and it shines like a diamond. I lanolized my brushes, thinking maybe it would give me the protective benefits of lanolin very subtly every time I brush.
I would definitely do this again, especially during harsh weather months when hair feels dry and static-y.
I would TOTALLY recommend this treatment method for curly, course, and dry hair. I would not use it on very thin or fine hair. I’m going to do it once a month in conjunction with my ShamPHree routine.
Here is what I did……
I began by no-pooing just with baking soda. Then I got a big bowl and put a pea-sized scoop of lanolin in the bottom of it. I boiled a half gallon of water. I poured the hot water over the lanolin so that it melted. I whisked it a bit to disperse. I let it cool. I made a little place on the couch where I could lay down for some respit while my hair soaked. When the water had cooled down to a comfy temperature, I layed down and set my hair afloat in the water. I swished it around, but only soaked the bottom half of my hair. Then I just lay there for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes was up, I jumped in the shower and rinsed with diluted ACV, and then cold water.
You can thank my inner scientist for this post, and I give credit to my scientist family for that. Who else would soak their hair in lamb sweat and then try and talk you into doing it too?
No really, though. I have a hunch that this stuff is incredibly beneficial to human hair and skin. Will you try it? Let me know what you think.