Embracing The Hair I Have

I’ve always really, really loved clothes and accessories. But shoes? Makeup? Hair? No thanks. I’ve just never been very into any of those things. When it came to my hair I’ve always felt pretty clueless. I have a TON of hair and it’s very thick and has a natural wave to it. I always describe it as the kind of hair that you have to do something with. I can’t just “leave it natural” like someone with naturally straight hair can or someone with naturally curly hair can. It’s an in-between of the two that always has required some pretty hardcore work.

I used to always blow it dry and then just leave it. It had a lot of wave and curl to it and I never liked the way it looked (this is me with my bff cousin…I love how we are representin’ the brand names haha).

Then my senior year of high school my best childhood friend learned how to straighten her hair. Like me, she had a LOT of thick hair and I spent the night with her every Wednesday night so we would learn together how to use the straightener. From then on I blew my hair dry every time I washed it and then I’d straighten it, every single day

Several years ago I really wanted to learn how to wear my hair curly. I knew it was possible because anytime I got sweaty or went swimming my straightened hair would instantly curl up but it wasn’t pretty curls and I was clueless about how to achieve the look I wanted. My college roommate tried to teach me and her advice was a diffuser on a blowdryer and a TON of product. Musse, curling spray, hair spray, etc. It worked but my hair was crunchy and it was also SO big. I would do it occasionally but typically only during times when I knew I’d be sweating a lot (sweating with my hair straight made it SO bad but sweating with it curly was fine!).

For the most part though, I have done my hair straight every single day since I was 18. That’s 12 years people! I have REALLY wanted to learn how to style it different ways, but I’m just not blessed with that gift. I’ve bought so many tools (wands, curling irons, hot curlers, etc), used so many products, and even watched so many you tube videos. I basically gave up and decided I was destined to have to straighten hair for life. I’d do it with a curling iron on occasion but it never really turned out the way I wanted. Zach always LOVED how my hair looked when I left the hair salon b/c Renika, my stylist, would always give it some great curls! I just couldn’t ever copy the look at home! I get easily frustrated about it when I try and feel like it’s just a big waste of time. You can ask Robyn…I’d text her pictures of my efforts and they were pretty laughable. I’d spend 40 min curling it and end up with like maybe one curl at the end! 

Then one day I happened to read this post from Mix and Match Mama.  I’ve loved Shay’s blog for awhile now and always like her vibe. I think we have a similar style, lots of basics in our wardrobes and I love her beachy hair look. When I read that post I realized I felt the exact way about my hair that she felt about hers. I’ve always felt like I am forcing my hair to do something it’s not meant to do and I’ve never liked the results! My hair straight is fine, but I don’t LOVE it and I always felt like my hair had potential that I wasn’t allowing it to live up to since I’m so untalented in the styling department. When she talked about her own hair and about how she decided to embrace the hair she has…I was inspired. She talked about how her hair is thick and has a natural wave to it and it basically sounded like she was describing MY hair. 

Here’s Shay!

Back in March I read the post and decided to give it a try for myself. We were going to the beach for Spring Break and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to try a new look. Beachy hair at the beach just makes sense right? This is actually THE LAST picture of me with straight hair! Goodbye old look!

I followed all her instructions (using cheaper products…which I’ll get to in a minute) and it did take me awhile to adjust to the new way of styling it. However I traded 30 min of straightening to only 7 minutes from start to finish! And that’s even with being new at it! This was day 1 of the new style!

When I’d straighten my hair I’d always like it at home in the mirror. Then I’d leave for the day and walk out into the humidity that is South Ga and BAM! my “good hair” would be gone and I’d end up tucking pieces behind my ears to hide the waviness. With the new beachy look I can embrace the waves! This was after a day at the zoo in central Florida! (excuse the nursing cover ha!)

I’ve been wearing my hair this way every day since March so that’s a solid 3 months now. I’ve tried out a few different products and didn’t want to recommend anything until I felt like I really had a good system down. From Shay’s post I only bought ONE thing that she recommended. I am all about the cheap cheap and just didn’t want to spend a fortune on hair products. I’m not saying that the ones she uses wouldn’t work, but I didn’t try them so I can’t speak about them.

Here’s the products I use:

Sebastian Potion 9 (This is the one thing I bought that Shay recommended)
Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil (I got this from CVS and they often have them on BOGO)
Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray (Walmart carries it for like $5)
Tresemme Tres Two Extra Hold Hair Spray (This is my FAV hairspray! Zach and I both love it!)

Here’s how I achieve my new hair look:

I shower and wash my hair at night. Shay’s post recommended certain shampoos and conditioners but I didn’t see a point in buying anything special? I just use the same stuff I’ve always used!

When I get out of the shower I comb my hair with a wide tooth comb. I’ve found I have to really, really comb it. Like if I don’t get out all the tangles then it’ll be a hot mess the next day!

As soon as I’m done combing I squirt one pump of the Sebastian Potion into my palm and run it through my hair. Again combing it!

Then I take my hair and put it up in a bun and use one of those cloth hair ties to secure it so I won’t have any creases. (like these )

The next morning I wash my face and do my makeup with my hair still in the bun. Then I take it down and it looks like this. Typically there are still some damp portions but the front pieces are really dry, and not all that wavy.

I spray the argan oil all over and then spray the sea salt spray all over (side note but I LOVE the argan oil stuff and will use it throughout the day if I notice I have frizz!). I run my fingers through it and kinda crimp it up in my hands some too. Basically I just mess with it. If the front pieces are still not wavy then I will use a curling iron and just curl some pieces. It looks pretty crazy at first but the curls fall fast so by the time I actually am done with the kids and breakfast and all it looks good 🙂 I spray the whole thing at the end with the hair spray! 7 min flat and I’m good to go!

My biggest issue with the new style has been the back of my hair. I have SUCH thick hair that stylists tend to assume I need to have layers. But actually layers are worse for my hair. They make it even BIGGER than it already is. I’m trying to grow out the layers now and it just creates an issue in the back. I have this one section of hair that’s too short from the layers and is also more corse and thick than the rest of my hair. It’s tricky!

If I could just chop off that one section then the back would be much easier to work with! Ha! I’m hoping once that layer is completely grown out it’ll solve the problem. In the mean time I use a mirror to see the back and work with it to achieve the look I want. Sometimes I even use the curling iron to curl a couple small pieces in that section. I’ve also found if I’m diligent about combing through my hair really well then it doesn’t get as corse and lumpy looking 😉

Now that I’ve really gotten the hang of it I usually don’t even need to use the curling iron at all and I am cutting that 7 min down to more like 3! It’s great not having to use so much heat on my hair and it’s SO great having so much more confidence in my hair style. I feel like it really is my way of embracing the hair I have and just owning it! I got my hair cut last week and she straightened it when she was done cutting it and my first thought was “oh no. I’m gonna love it straight and wanna go back!” but I actually didn’t like it straight at all. Zach agreed that we like the natural beachy hair best! I like the way it looks down, or in a pony, or even half up. I like that I have more TIME in the mornings to play with it more and try different ways of wearing it. I love that in the hot summer heat I don’t have to worry about my hair. It looks great even when I’m sweating! I think it fits my style more than the straight hair did and I am so glad I read that blog post! If you have hair similar to mine then I really recommend giving this method a shot! It’s been a game changer for sure!!! Thanks Shay for the inspiration 🙂

1 Comment

  1. Zala Hair
    March 7, 2023 / 3:15 am

    I loved reading your post on embracing the hair you have. Thank you for promoting self-love and confidence!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *