Oh, hair.

Have you ever gone through pictures and looked at how your hair has changed through the years? I recently perused through my photos that I’ve had uploaded to my drive, and holy smokes– I only went as far back as 2008, and I am a completely different person. Completely. I know I’ve done posts on my hair journey before, but there’s something to seeing it and chronicling it in pictures. I’ve become so much more educated on how to take care of my hair and I’ve become so much more aware of how I like it within the past couple years that I’m not quite sure what I was doing with it everyday beforehand. Was I in tears every day? Was I cutting my own bangs out of a deep need for control in my life? Was I expressing a constant struggle with anxiety by curling every half-inch strand around a small curling rod until I looked like I just had a pile of springs on top of my head? What was any of this accomplishing?! I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND!

October 2008 hair

This was when I thought I was cool. Well actually, that’s a problem I consistently have so that could likely be said for each picture here. But this was when I thought I was really cool. This was one of the first times when Justin colored my hair (a couple shades darker), and my cut was super-razored, super-layered, and super-textured. I wanted stick-straight hair back then, but I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like it so much when I achieved it every once in a while. I finally realized that flat-against-the-head straight just isn’t flattering on my face shape, which is somewhat narrow. I look best with a little volume.

November 2008 hair

BUT NOT THIS KIND. This was maybe one or two months after the last photo, and I would trim my own bangs in little fits of impatience. Oh God. WHY?! I would rough up my hair at the top because I thought it looked edgy. Just … no.

May 2009 hair

Maybe six months later, and we’ve landed on this in May of 2009. The curl in my hair really came out with all the layers, clearly. My bangs are growing out slowly here, and so I would try to brush them to the side, but I’m pretty sure I was employing the dreaded “curly hair with straight bangs” look. Bad. But I had fun with this hair; I’d finally started using tools besides a straightener and so that was exciting.

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This is my hair in October of 2009. I remember this being the first time that I felt extremely proud of how I’d done my makeup and my hair. I’d been skilled with the makeup brushes for quite some time by then, but this was one of those days when I set aside the time, I knew I was going to be in front of an audience, and I wanted it to look perfect. I also had Justin put in my first set of highlights that summer, and I’d wanted them to look grown out a bit by this point (a preview of my love for ombre’, all the way back in 2009!). This was probably when things started to take a permanent turn for the better …

February 2010 hair

… but apparently I still had an obsession with curling my hair with a one-inch iron. I’d gone back to a single-process color by this point, which was February of 2010. I liked the look at the time, but such curling madness without at least a little brushing out would be a no-no these days.

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Ah, summer 2010 hair. This I loved. We cut it shorter and put in some new, sunny highlights. This was also the first year that I started actually enjoying summer. I’d always considered myself a fall/winter girl, but some trips to the beach alone along with tracking my severe dip in mood and energy during the winter lead me to realize that the sunshine may actually be quite good for me. The hair matched.

Fall 2010 hair

And then I went dark again, just for autumn of 2010. This was a rough season for me and for some reason, and the hair just brought me down. I should’ve kept up with the highlights, but I wanted “fall hair” and I felt that that meant it needed to be darker (and Meesh, you were blonde!!). I still wasn’t the greatest at styling it on my own, though (and I don’t know what was up with my eyebrows or face either– I look funny and I’m not sure why). However, hope was on the horizon- Jessica Biel had debuted an incredible hair style that became known as “ombre” during her press tour for “The A-Team” during that past summer. I’d been trying to go for something similar about a year beforehand and had adored the natural “roots” look, and here was a celebrity showing off the very look I’d wanted for so long (and all before it literally EXPLODED and devolved into the strange dip-dyed Pinterest-pandered look I see everywhere now). And so, in late December of 2010, Justin and I put our heads together and he gave me my first ombre’d hair.

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I loved this. I LOVED this. It came out perfectly, and he placed the highlights closer to my roots so they could grow out and blend even more with time. This is one of mine and my husband’s kick-butt engagement shots by my amazing bridesmaid Kara Lackey, and there are few un-Instagrammed pictures of me in which I truly love my hair. This is one of them.

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And this was the goal! Grow it out, keep up with the ombre’d color, and do a half-and-half look for the wedding in June of 2011. Achievement unlocked! My friend Kat Thompson styled my hair for the day and I probably sent her such a weird combination of pictures for inspiration that made absolutely no sense. How she managed to know what I wanted through all of that mess, I’ll never know. And speaking of my wedding, I still need to do a post on my hair and makeup just for that day.

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During the autumn after the wedding, Justin cut some blunt bangs for me. I liked it, but they were difficult to style everyday. I don’t think I’ll do bangs again until I’m much older (because they make you look younger), but they were good to try just for a season. And I got to do this fun shoot thanks to the fabulous Laura Licata and her talents!

August 2012 hair

The ombre’ adventures culminated in long, wavy, grown-out beach hair by August of 2012. This was good. Very good. A lot of oil masks and a lot of tender, cautious care with natural products and little washing, but it was worth it.

Fall 2012 hair

And then we chopped it! And went back to fully brunette! I think I finally felt confident enough to style it and Instagram it myself by this point. I employed the use of larger irons and, ironically, just started caring less over all. Less became more in 2012. It was a good year for hair.

More Fall 2012Winter13 hair

And here we are today, basically. A little grown out (and I’m going for long again!), and my natural color. I’ve been wearing it straight; I’ve been wearing it wavy. I like to sleek it up, and I like leave it down. Who knows what I’ll say in a couple years, but for the moment I just feel like this works. Justin recently put an ashier single-process color that took out any red and put me back at a basic, natural brown that’s probably the closest thing I’ve had to my natural color in years. It’s good to be back, but the sun’s been out a lot lately and I just don’t think I’ll be able to resist some ombre’d highlights for long. We’ll see. xo, MR

Oh now THIS is the kind of thing I LIVE for!!

Oh how thoroughly disappointing the SAG Awards were tonight.  The Golden Globes had been somewhat of a bore for me as well, and so I’d truly been looking forward to tonight’s red carpet with the hopes that someone … anyone … would put on a dress to make my jaw drop.  But alas, my jaw remains fully closed and in fact a little clenched in frustration.  Nights like this kill me.  I mean, yes, it’s great to look all boring kinds of sexy in a column dress so everyone can see that you can work your curves and blah blah blah, but let me tell you- I will continue to throw this at you until someone tops it.  When you, as a celebrity, have access to literally every great designer’s atelier on this planet and each one of those designers would give their right leg to dress you, thou shalt NOT waste my time with another monochromatic mermaid gown on the red carpet.  Grow a pair and actually take advantage of the fashion that’s at your over-privileged, perfectly manicured fingertips.  I mean seriously!  Do I have to rely on mah boo Marion for EVERYTHING?!

And so we’re moving on from this discussion to something else that’s fascinated me lately.  Oh, and how!  So, I purchased the latest issue of Self magazine for the purpose of motivating myself into a more regular gym routine.  I’d initially inserted about a million jokes here when first writing this, but I have to admit this is a completely true desire, void of any irony.  No, I’m not looking to Instagram pictures of my Fergie abs while I frolick around in a bikini at Stagecoach.  But I am looking to take seriously the idea that man cannot live on Cheetos alone, and if one does, a price must be paid in copious amounts of running and veggie consumption.

But I stumbled upon something funny while perusing this latest issue of Self, and it did nothing short of fuel the fires of Mount Doom in my Fergie tummy.

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Well, well, well, what have we here?!  The kind of article I live for- the kind that asks what guys really think of the stuff we do with our hair, face, and body, and how we should take such opinions into account when we get ready to bring our ugly selves out of our Hobbit holes and into daylight for presentation!  Excellent!

So, I guess the deal with these is that you’ve got some panel of highly qualified dudes (guys that know lots about the wiminfolks, cause they haz a Y-chromosome and eyeballz) that look at various celebrity photos and rate YEAH, BRAH! or NAH, BRAH! while throwing back a can of mildly-flavored pee Coors Light.  Totes fersh, breh.  And so above we have our first exhibit- Jessica Biel demonstrating nail color and ombre’d hair.  The verdict on nails?  Well Lord bless ’em, the lads say they don’t care!  Sweet relief for us!  “That’s something only girls notice”, dude-breh-number-one says.  Oh, but notice that dude-breh says those nails had BETTER NOT be chipped, lest we be perceived as someone who has a life doesn’t have time to keep her nails perfectly manicured!

And the verdict on ombre’d hair?  A resounding “Hell, no!” from dude-breh-number-two.  His reasoning?  “She looks like she didn’t make it to the salon for a year.”  Right.  Because like the dude-brehs always say, they definitely don’t want a girl who looks like she “tries too hard” or “wears makeup”, but we can’t be having a woman looking like she doesn’t try hard enough either.  MAKES SENSE.  I’m sorry Patrick Bateman, but it’s been hard trying to find that right balance between J. Lo and Jennifer Garner for you, or excuse me, that right balance between CAN’T and CAN’T for you.  If Jessica Biel’s hair looks “un-maintained” to you, look forward to seeing me looking nothing short of BEAT next season when I get mine re-ombre’d.  Consider it my gift to you.

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Let’s see, the next victims- Blake Lively with her fishtail braid, short-haired girls, the how-much-makeup question, and a few others.  Of course, that braid is a no from the dude-brehs because “it probably took three hours”.  No, you dum-dum.  It took three minutes because the thing’s probably a bloody extension.  And even if it isn’t (considering Blake is known to have Rapunzel hair), bear this in mind the next time your girlfriend has nice, blown-out, shiny hair that’s left down and casual with soft, “effortless” waves- that probably took three hours.

Oh and take note- NO SHORT HAIR.  DUDE-BREH WILL NOT APPROACH YOU AND OFFER YOU A JAGER BOMB FROM HIS ED HARDY-ADORNED SELF IF YOU’VE GOT THE SHORT HAIRS.  But we are told, quite graciously, “If you look like Halle Berry, then you can go short”.  Oh thanks man!  I mean, I know that Halle spends literally thousands of dollars to maintain her looks each year alone and that if any of us did that you’d immediately judge us for being “too high maintenance”, but it’s a free pass for Halle and all her look-alikes!  Oh wait, there are no Halle look-alikes?  And even Halle doesn’t look like Halle without her Revlon to make her Photo-Ready?  Woops.

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Here are a few more.  We’re given the green light for glossy lips because  apparently they say “a girl wants to make out”, and we’re given a thumbs-down on sleek hair with this astute observation- “Bet she’s wearing really uncomfortable shoes”.  But have hope!  Here’s what we’re finally left with as a conclusion:  We’re told in the Editor’s note on the right that “Confidence trumps all, and they want to sleep with you no matter what.  Like what you see in the mirror.”  Oh, I see, so back-track on this entire article because you know it’s the most misogynistic thing you may have ever published in your sorry magazine, but be SURE to validate us in the best, most helpful way possible- by reassuring us that every guy wants to sleep with us just because we’re … girls.

I can’t even begin to delve into the devastating moral and spiritual implications of this article, but I’ll attempt to be brief in my commentary.  Magazines like Self claim to celebrate you as you, and yet they’re fraught with quiet-yet-somehow-explicit suggestions on how to make yourself better, more desirable, more worthy of that celebration.  Some of these suggestions, as in ones pertaining to diet and health in general, are genuinely helpful and sometimes necessary in our lives.  Others, however, are backwards and hypocritical to a degree that has the potential to lay waste to anything helpful a publication may previously have done.  It is frustrating that this article was found in a magazine written for women, and by women, but features like this truly do a disservice to both sexes.  Women are once again subjected to depthless, crude evaluation that leaves them insecure and anxious, and they’re fed the lie that the ultimate compliment a guy could possibly pay you is wanting you physically.  Men, on the other hand, are portrayed as animalistic, thoughtless jackasses that could not care less about the content of one’s character because they’re solely interested in sex.  It’s a bloody shame, it is.

Here’s what I’ll leave you with- Try the weird hair-do.  Put on the red lipstick that may cause a couple guys to say you look like a clown (true story in my life).  Wear no makeup.  Wear too much makeup.  Make “mistakes”.  And extend the same grace to the dude-brehs when they wear too much Tim McGraw cologne, when they’ve got an awful case of the neck-beard, or when they think it’s cool to look like this.  We’ll all keep up with our same weird beauty and grooming habits, and I’ll keep blogging about all of it.  Do this for fun.  Do this because you like it.  And if it bothers you that I don’t like your sock-bun, just do it anyways.  You know you love that hairy donut on top of your head.  Don’t let me take that love from you.  xo, MR