Ever since I can remember, people have made remarks about my hair – how thick it is, how long it’s been, how soft or shiny it looks; that it’s “like a horse tail” (except, considering I’ve grown up working with horses, its really not). I've had a love-hate relationship with it since middle school, although most days now in adulthood, I'm happy to have a head full of hair, even if I look like Dora the Explorer on bad days.
When some of my workout videos started going viral in 2012-2013, the rumor was it "definitely isn’t real", but, the bittersweet (for me) fact is that: it is.
Those who aren’t convinced it’s all a head topping sham in the form of extensions, a weave, a wig or some kind of photoshop’ing, CGI smoke and mirrors, ask what I did to ‘get great hair’ and how I maintain this crazy mane of mine. I figured that sharing this mini vlog that shows you an inside look at how much hair I really have, what it looks like when I go in for a cut, and some fast-facts all about it would help answer questions and hopefully offer some practical and applicable tips and tricks to help you have your own healthy, beautiful hair.
FAST FACT #1: I have not colored my hair since 2008.
Prior to, my hair had taken a real beating from bleaching and coloring since 8th grade. It was still thick, but was a lot more prone to breakage and split ends. Most of 2006-2007, I was blonde, and although I’d like to think I pulled it off, I’d take my natural locks any day over that high-maintenance, not exactly ‘affordable’ look. The last color treatment I had was a permanent, black, all over color that steadily grew out. Naturally, my hair has a lot of auburn and red, especially in natural sunlight, so going a few shades darker helped me avoid highlighting any split ends or breakage from previous lightening.
FAST FACT #2: I rarely blow dry my hair and use heat styling tools minimally and cautiously.
From about 8th grade until I turned 21, I would religiously blow dry my hair after every shower (I hadn’t adopted the whole ‘not washing your hair daily’ thing, yet), and most of the time follow with a straightener or curling iron- mostly because I was too insecure to not at least feel like I was trying (what a waste of energy). Now, you’d be hard pressed to find me blow drying my hair or styling it at all. I’ve grown to love my natural waves and volume, and most days I’m sporting a braid, ponytails or a low messy bun. If I do use heat to style my hair, I use a heat-protectant product to ensure a little protection. Because my hair is thick, and there is some natural volume, I can usually get away with a little coconut oil or smoothing serum at the bottom quarter of my hair to create a casual, natural look.
FAST FACT #3: I make it in for a trim 2 or 3 times a year, although I could bump that up to 4 or 5 to avoid natural breakage and split ends.
If you’ve kept up with me for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that until last Spring (2016), my hair had been almost obnoxiously long for quite a few years. Because I didn’t have a lot of breakage going on, I could get away with two trims a year in order to maintain the length. I remember seeing a few of my more popular workout videos after they went live, and thinking, wow, my hair is basically the size…. of half my body. Probably need to do something about that. I procrastinated a real change for a few years, and finally decided to just wing it and go for a long a-symmetrical bob in March, 2016. I had no remorse and loved having about 12-inches less hair to shampoo, condition, and style. I did straighten the ends more than I typically had been, just so I wasn’t walking around looking like Dora the Explorer.
I hadn’t taken any length off until now, June 2017, and in the vlog attached to this post, you’ll notice the length in the front from the asymmetrical look was taken up several inches. And, because I had some split ends going on from lack of regular trims, my stylist, Melissa LaBeaf, used a little split end treatment by Brazilian Blowout, to seal up some of those lingering ends.
FAST FACT #4: Daily diet and water intake has helped me maintain hair that grows quickly and stays strong.
Since I’ve been such a water drinker for so long, I’d like to think that has helped at least maintain some of the health of my hair (and skin). I’m also a long time proponent of good, day to day supplementation and love the omegas, vitamins and probiotics that I’ve used for about a decade. Every cell in our body needs nutrients, healthy fat and water to function optimally, so I don’t neglect this part of my life. Nutrition is so personal depending on someone’s background, lifestyle and goals that I won’t leave my regimen here, but you are welcome to reach out to me if you are looking for someone to work with in order to reach your goals or take your health to the next level.
Now that I’ve shared four of the biggest reasons my hair has looked the way it has and now looks the way it does, I’d love to hear how else I can help you tame your own mane or answer other questions you have! Comment below and feel free to pass on to those who might enjoy reading this or watching this vlog! Thanks for reading!