It … could … work!

So, you know how sometimes you’ll be looking at some ‘How To’ tutorial article in a magazine that shows you (in three easy steps!!) how to blow out your own hair into goddess locks? Seriously, it’s so easy, right? And then they’ll recommend, like, one miracle product that will do just the trick to get you from Point A to Point Z. Seriously, just a little dab of Moco de Gorila and BAM- your hair be lookin’ like this.

I think we’ve all felt a little mislead at some point by tutorial articles. The work it truly takes to achieve that kind of red carpet hair can have a team of stylists clocking in literal hours on one head of hair. However, every once in a while one little feature is found to be so helpful and accurate, like a precious golden nugget.

Enter this ever-so-tiny feature in the July 2012 issue of People StyleWatch. My recent haircut had rendered me somewhat anxious as to how to style it in it’s more natural state (read: wavy/curly). This little gem recommended just a couple cheaply-priced products and the fabulous, super-convenient suggestion of air-drying your hair overnight! I chose to purchase the Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly spray gel because I’d never tried a spray-gel before, and the novelty only cost me five bucks. I followed Strahan’s instructions, covered my hair in heat-protectant spray the next day, misted with the spray gel, and then used my 1-inch iron to create waves in different directions. I had good feelings about this one. It could work!!

Voila! I’d say it was a success! You’ve gotta love successful little tips in a world full of useless beauty information. The spray gel has a nice scent, but for how much I touch my hair I find that I have to use quite a bit for the waves to really hold strong. No harm in that, though. Cheers! xo, MR

Drugstore Cowgirl

Familiar sight?

Yes, I do frequently find myself perusing aimlessly through my local drugstore. In fact, I frequently find myself perusing aimlessly through the not-so-local ones as well. CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreen’s, and whatever others there may be … I’ve wandered them all, near and far. However, I should add that it is especially awkward with the local stores because the check-out attendants see my face quite a bit. But that’s not really what makes it awkward, when I think about it … it’s the fact that nine times out of ten, I walk out of the store without buying anything. I literally … just … wander. And then I leave.

I’ll wander down the hair care aisle and open up maybe five bottles of shampoo or conditioner, smell them, and then shut them, put them back, and leave. Or I’ll stare at the L’Oreal eyeshadows, pick one up, walk around with it, and then put it back and leave. Or I’ll be staring at the skin care products and I’ll pick up the package of pre-moistened face towelettes and kind of squish them in their package, and then put them back and leave. Or sometimes … I just stare. And then leave.

Don’t ask me why I do any of this, or what it does for me when I do it. Believe me, I’m aware of how I may look as I engage in these behaviors. Shoplifter? Social disorder? Obsessive compulsions? Incurable boredom? Yeah, it could look like it (and trust me, I’m not kidding when I say that the cashier attendants know who I am … they give me the look every time).

Wandering through the drugstore beauty aisles will probably remain one of my favorite ways to kill time, though. Maybe it’s just the idea of being around the products of an industry I enjoy. But seriously- there’s enough to look at, there’s usually something new, I’m not too tempted to buy anything there because most of the products ain’t that great for your skin or hair (and if I do buy anything I probably won’t be spending too much). So if you see me creepin’ at Rite-Aid next week and sniffing a deep conditioner without any intent of purchasing, just keep your side-eye to yourself. You know you do it too, honey boo boo. xo, MR

Concerning my hair, and how much I used to hate it but now do not.

It’s true. I really, really hated my hair up until perhaps two years ago.

During high school, I wanted long, straight hair. Well, perhaps with a little wave, but I thought the most beautiful hair was blown-out, flat-ironed hair. I remember finally getting a flat-iron for Christmas that had legitimate power (as in, you could fry a piece of bacon with it by just passing it through the plates once) and I was so excited. Finally- no more weird kinks, no more untamed baby hairs at the front of my face, no more frizz.

And so that’s how it was for me for like, six years. When I had the time, I’d blow out and flat-iron my hair until I was satisfied with it’s texture. And because I barely knew how to properly proceed with such a task, it would take me forever. The real problem, however, was the fact that my hair is nowhere near naturally straight. It’s wavy, verging on curly. Add to this the fact that it’s not terribly thick, and you’ve got dry, somewhat delicate hair … not ideal for frequent frying (say that five times fast). On top of that, I’d spend all this time trying to control my hair into what I thought it should be only to have it zap back into its natural state once any ounce of humidity hit. It was a grueling era of fighting against my genetics.

And then in mid-to-late college, I discovered the curling rod. Oh, the curling rod. At that point I’d gone from desiring pin-straight locks to wanting Kim Kardashian’s Disney princess length and perfect waves. I’d even given thought to getting extensions (a thought that doesn’t pass through my mind anymore … perhaps more on that later). And so, again as a result of not knowing what I was doing, I’d wind each section of hair around and around that rod, until my head was covered in brown spring-coils (and it didn’t even look like Kim Kardashian). I thought it looked good, my friends may have thought it looked good … but looking back, it didn’t look that good.

But something happened between that point and now. I began to lose the luxury of a little something called time. I was working at a coffee shop (and do I still work there? I’ll never tell …) and teaching high school social science all within the same days, and there were just too many days where I had to just get up and go. Toss my hair up in one of my beloved topknots or just leave it the way it was. I’m not a good waker-upper, and so whatever my hair looked like when I got out of bed … was pretty much how it was going to stay all day. But as I would peruse through one of my fashion publications, I’d be surprised to see how much messy hair was being sent down the runways. Or how much easy hair, I could say. And then, on the beauty blogs I’d read, I’d always see these beautiful French women with clear, luminous skin without makeup, but paired with undone hair. It would look so, “I don’t give a damn but I know I still look fine”. And that’s when my idea of beautiful hair changed.

Beautiful hair has texture, versatility, and health. Beautiful hair is like an art media that can be molded into what you want. You can curl it, straighten it, color it, style it sleek, style it rumpled and messy, or just do nothing with it. You can just leave it be when you want, because beautiful hair doesn’t need to be controlled. It is well taken care of, and left alone when it needs its alone time. Beautiful hair is loved in its natural state.

Sometimes I make some waves in it, but most of the time I let it air-dry. I’ll blow it out every once in a long while, but most of the time I just let it be. I am a deep-conditioner addict (as in I leave it on for twenty minutes or so and I do it every third wash), and I only wash it twice a week. I’d perhaps like there to be a little more of it and maybe a little thicker, but I find myself satisfied with the fact that when a hairstylist gets hold of it, I frequently get compliments on how easy it is to work with. If a stylist is giving me the thumbs-up, that’s all I need. Here, a look at the products that keep my hair at its best-

I’ll give a breakdown on why some of these are my favorites later, but you can probably at least tell that I like to take the more natural route when it comes to my hair. And I prefer the natural look, as well. I’m not looking for overdone, I’m not looking to add to what’s already there, and I’m not looking for Kim- I’ve got me. That’ll do. xo, MR