Moxie: A series on self-care (team good hair for life)

Look, everyone, it's the series I totally left behind in June! We all know I like to play it fast and loose with the rules around here so is it really any surprise this is making a tiny comeback? In case you are new, here is a refresher on why I (occasionally) write about the most overused millennial word SELF-CARE. Mental health is a pretty valuable asset. Having emotional intelligence, security of mind, and ways to process stress are strengths that our generation seems to lack. Counselors are consistently pointing people, especially women, back to the art of self-care. No, it's not about always having manicured nails or getting your hair done, although those actions can definitely be a part of it. It's not about maintaining certain looks, it's about maintaining your soul. Giving yourself space to breathe gives your mind room to heal. And listen, we all need to heal our minds. Between social media, the news, and the constant barrage of background noise in our society, we all need regular palette cleansers. Sometimes the act of self-care truly is about taking care of our body. Women often neglect themselves to care for others and in that case, yes, taking time to wash your face or schedule regular doctors appointments are perfect ways to invest in your well being. Sometimes, self-care looks like pursuing hobbies, getting outside, blocking off coffee dates with a friend or for solo time. The act doesn't matter as much as the intention does. I've chatted about a few ways I practice self-care in both the physical () and the mindful () ways. Today, we are getting physical à la Olivia Newton-John and chatting about hair. 

I get quite a few questions about my hair. It's large and in charge, full of curls, volume, and sass. Honestly, it has a personality all of its own. Is it vain to say it's my best feature? Yes? Ok, I won't say it. Let's just all think it quietly to ourselves for a minute. Done? Great. 

My hair is super thick, dries out easily, and frizzes with the slightest mismanagement. It has taken me about twelve years to learn what hair care practices not just work but actually enhance my locks. Over my life, I have had many horrible haircuts with terrible layers, one that I gave myself that left me looking like a Nascar baby. When you cut your bangs straight back into your hair instead of straight across your forehead, you create a mullet. If only my two-year-old mind realized this the day before professional family pictures. I digress. Here are the tips and tricks I have picked up over the years that now allow me to feel great about my hair with minimal effort. Since the proof is in the pudding- here are pictures from seconds after I had a baby and three weeks after I had a baby. In both of them, I hadn't washed my hair in about a week and had only blow dried it and run a straightner on a few pieces the day I shampooed. 


1. Get the right haircut

The first time I got a dry cut on my curls it was a GAME CHANGER. My hair stylist, Laura, who is a straight boss, had me come in with my hair naturally curly. She cuts the curls individually to shape my hair which has made all the difference. The crazy thing is I had never heard of this type of cut until about a year ago. It wasn't until I got fed up with how my natural curls looked that I started googling best curly hair practices. Obviously, this doesn't work for everyone. But, RESEARCH the best type of haircut for you! A good haircut goes a long way.

2. Invest in amazing products

The amount I've spent on hair products over the years could probably purchase a car. I have tried so many brands- from salon quality to drug store grabs- with incredibly mixed results. Bumble and Bumble, a salon favorite, fried my hair. I had finally found a complicated concoction of shampoo, conditioners, serums, and products that made my hair look pretty good. Then I started using Monat. Monat is an all natural hair line that is full of essential oils. If you want great skin, what are the basic rules? Drink water, wear sunscreen, use good products. Hair care is pretty similar. Drink water, eat well, use good products. Monat is definitely the way to go for products that lack all the bad stuff (parabins, sulphates, etc) and are full of nourishment for your scalp and locks. Struggling with which products to choose? When in doubt, go for hydration.  I use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner then a hair masque or leave in conditioner every so often. For styling, I use a blowout cream. Rarely, I'll use some dry shampoo. That's it, the whole list of products. QUALTIY>QUANTITY

3. Quit brushing your hair

Seriously, quit it. Invest in a wide tooth comb, it will cost you about three dollars, and use it in the shower with your conditioner. Still get a little tangled? Run the comb through your hair after a shower with a detangler or leave-in conditioner. It's also great for bringing some bounce back to four day old hair. The classic brush? THROW IT AWAY. It's breaking your hair and causing more damage than good. 

4. T-shirts NOT towels

Want a simple trick that will make a huge difference? Switch out your towel for a cotton t-shirt. That rough motion of rubbing a towel into our heads is a sneaky hair destroyer. So, when you get out of the shower, instead of towel drying your hair, wrap up your locks in a cotton t-shirt. This will soak up the extra moisture and be way more gentle on your hair which eliminates frizz and breakage.   A three pack of men's white v-necks from your local Target works wonders. 

5. Stretch it out

This may seem contradictory to some of you, but stretch out the time between your shampoos. Still shower, hear me say that loud and clear, but start to add an extra day or two in-between when you shampoo your hair. Classic shampoos beat up our hair. We think the suds are making us squeaky clean but in reality they are causing buildup on our strands and stripping the scalp of it's natural oils. (This is why you NEED Monat) When you start to wait between shampoos, you allow your scalp to product healthy oils which are great for your hair! There is a movement called the no-poo method where people get completely off shampoos. I think it's crazy but the reason behind the madness is right. Give your hair a break from washes, even with great products, and it will thank you.



There you have it. The five things that make a massive difference in my hair. While your hair type may be different, these are all fairly universal and should give your locks some love. 

Want to try Monat? Check out my website and send me any questions you have. You're hair will never look better, I promise.

Make hair great again. #teamgoodhair4life




Meredith Harper