family pic

family pic

Monday, May 12, 2014

How I Style My Hair

I just received a Facebook message from a friend asking me how I style my hair and I've decided to complete something I've been working on for a while now….I'm going to give you a curly hair tutorial :) I'll be honest with you, I'm just about 29 years old and I feel like I'm JUST now getting a grip on the whole curly hair thing. Some of these steps may sound absurd, but I challenge you to give it a try!

First… some curly hair facts:

Interesting Fact #1. You only need to wash your hair a couple of times a week. You may even be able to get by washing it once a week. You may be thinking but I have to wash my hair every day or two because it gets oily. Each time you wash your hair you strip it of oil causing your scalp to produce more oil. Endure a couple of weeks of gradually washing your hair fewer and fewer times. Eventually your scalp will not produce as much oil. 

Interesting Fact #2. Curly hair looks the worst the day you wash it. It typically looks the best a couple of days after a wash after a little freshening up which I'll explain later.

Interesting Fact #3. Curly hair is VERY dry. I feel like you can never have too much moisturizer in it!! A good THICK RICH conditional needs to be your BFF.

Interesting Fact #4. Curly hair NEEDS layers. Without layers the root gets weighed down giving your hair the look of being flat on top and full on the bottom. Curly hair looks great when its full on top and tapers out towards the bottom. You can only do so much with products… you gotta have a good hair cut. Tell your hair stylist that you want your cut to give you this look. DO NOT GO TO GREAT CLIPS. I have shed tears over some awful Great Clips hair cuts. You just gotta spend the money on a good haircut. 

Ok. Now for the tutorial

STEP 1: 

Wash your hair with shampoo. Honestly I don't have a particular shampoo I love. I do know that Suave doesn't work for me. I also know that I have to rotate between shampoos every couple of weeks. I use a lot of shampoo to get all my product out and just rinse it out. I don't try to comb hair during my shampoo. 


CONDITIONER…Your BFF remember. I use:

I use about 3 half dollar size squeezes. This stuff isn't that expensive so I justify the generous amount! I use very little on my scalp to prevent excess oil. Rub it into your hair, work it into the ends first, wait a few minutes (shave, do whatever else you need to do) then, using ONLY your fingers, comb the conditional in your hair. This takes me FOREVER it seems, but remember, we are only washing our hair now a couple of times a week so we can justify a longer shower :) Do no use a brush because a brush will break your hair causing more frizz. I usually take small sections of hair and run by fingers carefully through it, adding more conditioner if it's too tangled for my fingers to run through. 

Finally you can run your fingers through your hair. Now rinse your hair and…. REPEAT. What??? Yes. Condition it one more time. You don't need as much conditioner. Just a quarter size drop. Rinse it out. Your hair is now silky smooth. 

Now ring out the excess water from your hair and…. get ready for it… add just a little bit more conditioner to your hair. Just a dime size amount and LEAVE IT IN YOUR HAIR. Remember we aren't loading our scalp up with moisture, just our dry dry hair. 

Step 3:

Put your hair in a towel. DO NOT BRUSH YOUR HAIR. Yes, this is an important step. Leave your hair in the towel for at least 5 to 10 min. This keeps your hair from frizzing and moisturizes hair even further.

Sep 4:

IMMEDIATELY (if I want a few minutes my hair starts to dry with in an irreversible style of its own) grab some Curl's rock curl amplifier, which looks like this:

This stuff is pricey, BUT it's really the only pricey product you'll be using. See we've totally justified buying this ;) You can get it at Target or at a hair salon. I use about 3 quarter size squirts of this. DO NOT comb this through your hair. Just scrunch it and gently rub it into your hair. Think of your hair as being extremely fragile. You do not want to separate those curls.

Step 5:

Put your hair BACK into your towel for just a minute or 2. A little weird I know, but it takes out the excess product that will cause "crunchiness" and it will get your curls all back together after messing them up a bit with the application of the curl amplifier. Look at this picture to see the different between my curls after removing the towel the first and second times

After hair being in the towel the first time:

After applying amplifier and removing from towel the second time:
Step 6:

Blow dry hair with a diffuser. Which looks like this:

My goal is to dry it so it has body on top and tapers out towards the bottom. I focus on drying my hair (which is simply done by pressing head of the diffuser to scrunch your hair towards your scalp) in the middle of my scalp. Think of where you want body and spend more time scrunching your hair there. For example I want the top of the back of my head to have the most body. I spend more time drying there and leave the section towards the bottom of my head a little wet.

Also use one finger of your hand that is not holding the hair dryer to gently press hair against the scalp the opposite direction you are wanting it to lay. I notice that my curls seem to curl flat against my scalp from the root and they need me to push and dry them the opposite direction in order to give the root some body.

Dry your hair until the sections towards the top middle and back middle of your scalp are dry.

Step 7:

Flip your head back.

It looks a bit crazy at this point, but you can see that there is some body on the top and it's a bit wet on the bottom. Fix your curls, tucking in curls that are sticking up and getting your part where you want it (I love a side part with curly hair)

Step 8:

Get out your hairspray. I use this:

Love this stuff! It's cheap and it is the only kind that works from me aside from Big Sexy Hair hairspray (which is much more expensive).

Spray your entire hair with this stuff after you've tucked and styled your curls. I lightly spray it over the frizz that's starting to come up and quickly run my fingers through the frizz very gently, tucking it back into my curls.

Step 9:

Get your diffuser back out and gently dry/scrunch the bottom of your hair. You do not need to flip your hair back over for this because we do not want this section of your hair to have much body, just the top.

You are basically drying your new styled hair into place at this point. If you are having one of THOSE hair days and your hair still doesn't have much body, go ahead and flip your head with the hairspray now in it and dry it a bit more to add some volume.

Step 10:

Go out and rock your curly hair :)

Remember that your hair will look the best a couple of days after your wash. When you go to style it without washing it, simply mix a little bit (dime or quarter size) of conditioner with some water and wet your hair a bit with your hands, Put it up in a towel for 5 to 10 minutes, Add a squirt or two of curls rock amplifier, flip your head over and dry with a diffuser for just a few minutes, and flip your hair back over adding some hairspray. You'll love the results if you just give it a try :)

I know this all sounds so complicated, but it actually doesn't take me much time at all. The days in between my wash I only spend 5 to 10 minutes styling my hair. I hope this encourages your curly girls to embrace your curls and just go with it! Don't try to make your hair something it's not, just figure out how to work with what you have. You won't regret it :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Loving My Children As They Are

Hey friends… I'm back :) The past month my life has been crazy and my mind has been mush. I'm going to just be honest… this whole blended family thing is hard work! I think I know what I'm doing, then I realize that I've been doing things completely wrong, then I realize that I may not have been entirely wrong, then I realize that I have no clue what I am doing! Really that pretty much summarizes my thinking process… pretty much every hour… of pretty much every day. Needless to say, there can be a lot of confusion!!

I have this vision of the family dynamic I desire for my home. Where the kiddos all see themselves as equal and loved… now part of the same family. I have this picture in my head of what our family should be… and I can't make it happen. My family consists of many ;) other individuals with separate visions and desires for our family. I can't make everyone love each other and accept the love they are given… and it hurts my heart each time I see that play out. 

Words are said that sting at times and cause me wanting to retreat. And to be honest sometimes I have had to retreat, getting alone to pray for strength or to call an encouraging friend. But most of the time I can't retreat. I can either fight back or look beneath the hurtful words to see a little boy, hurting and confused. Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes I have to look long and hard and squint my eyes a bit before I see that hurt, but its there! These boys have been through many trials that were completely out of their control. Every child should have a dad and mom who loves each other and loves them… and they didn't get that. It's not fair to them, regardless of who is to blame for their loss. 

And this brings me back to sacrificial love. Am I only going to love my kids if they love me back and treat me kindly? Or am I going to keep showing them love where they are at in their pain, even when it hurts me? It's not easy and I wish I could be bulletproof, but I'm not. Showing steadfast love will hurt, and is it worth hurting over? 

Christ died for everyone, not just those He knew who would love Him in return. He died for the atheist,  He suffered and bled for him, even if His love would never be accepted. I know what you are thinking, Well, He was Jesus. Of course He could love sacrificially! Like He was some kind of superhero who showed sacrificial love because of his super powers that enabled Him to do so. No, He didn't have super powers. He came to earth as a man, hurting and facing temptation just as we do now. 

So I end this post striving to show each one of my children Christ's steadfast and sacrificial love. How this plays out in all the different circumstances and issues that come up, I have no idea. But I strive to keep my heart tender to their hurt and to love each of them as they are.