August 18, 2017

Let's Talk Hair & My Recent Identity Crisis (So Dramatic, I know)

 I have had extensions on and off for for as long as I can remember...fifteen years to be exact. Back in the day, I would add fun colors like red, purple, blond, and blue to get bright colors added without having to strip and dye my natural hair. I also love donating my hair every couple of years, so I'll grow it out, cut off 7-11 inches, and then rock a shorter look for a few months. Then I get the long hair itch and rock extensions for 8-10 weeks. No, I haven't had them in every year, or for longer then a few months at a time, but I love the idea of being able to change my look on a whim and that includes long and short locks. Adjusting to the changes has always been easy for me. I love my hair long and I love it short, so it's really always been whatever. 
As most of your know, I got Dreamchatcher extensions for the first time put in my hair back in November. Since August of last year, I have also been adding ombre and having it touched up more frequently in recent months. I'm not a hair specialist, but I can only tell you my feelings and what I think happened that led me to not like how I looked. I hate admitting that my hair made me feel this way, but here is my story. 
I LOVED my most recent round of extensions. So much so that I kept getting them moved up (or extensions maintenance) every eight weeks. 10 weeks in, I went to my hair dye girl and she dyed my roots and added ombre to the crown of my head since I could not dye the extensions. 16 weeks in, I had my extensions out for 24 hours and I had my entire head touched up with my ombre. At this point my hair felt thin, but I thought it was just because I was use to the extensions and I had them put back in the next day. 8 weeks later, again I touched up my roots and the ombre around the crown of my head. Now fast forward to 38 weeks of having these beauties in my hair. I had planned to take them out for 24 hours, get my roots and full head touched up with ombre and have them put back in. In an unexpected turn of events, the day I was to get them back in, my hair girl was unable to follow through with my appointment due to an emergency. Plus, the day prior when I had them out and my color done, the color was not done perfectly. So, I had to go back and have more ombre put in on the top (i.e. more bleaching), then get my first hair trim in seven months. This experience alone was crazy stressful. I was leaving in two days for a blogger trip and had weird dark streaks in the front of my head and all of a sudden, no extensions. So...the first time I would be doing my hair would be on my trip. No pressure folks! ahhhh! ;) 
After I saw the girl who has cut my hair for the past 10 years, I was not super pumped. The first thing she said to me is "What happened to your hair? It used to be so much fuller and stronger." She knew I wanted to keep it longer, so she really just gave me a trim. But mostly it just confirmed what I was worried about, which was that my hair was all sorts of off. For the next week I wouldn't look in the mirror and then cry if I did. I mean, come on Lisa! How ridiculous. I am a mother of a daughter and this is not what I want my daughter to think is normal. We get this idea of beauty, of our own beauty in our mind, and when that's gone, what? My hair is not what makes me beautiful. Being a good mom and getting through the toughest of days makes me beautiful. How I treat others makes me beautiful. I am ashamed that I let myself go down that rabbit hole, but I refuse to not acknowledge that I am human and this happened to me for the past month.
Here is what I think happened to my hair: After seven months of extensions, my hair got use to sitting in a certain position. When I took all those extra pieces out, by hair didn't know how to lay correct. Plus, since I had colored it so much more then I had in my entire life (I've always had dark hair, not light), I had a good amount of breakage. Do I think the extensions ruined my hair? Not solely, but it has been a hard month to counteract the damage.
(As you can see above, my hair is broken, frizzy, uneven underneath..just on one side, and so thin.)
Now, a full month later, I am finally starting to feel normal in my own skin hair again. A lot of it is realizing that I was addicted to the extensions. I was also thinking that my beauty was defined by them. Are they amazing? Absolutely! Will I ever have my Dreamcatchers put back in? Most likely! But I will never have them in for such a long period of time. 
Below: How my hair actually sits vs. a quick hair flip to fluff up my hair. Big difference, right? It's all smoke and mirrors folks! 
Here are a few products that have been bringing my hair back to life. I have gone through over a bottle of hair oil and I only wash it once a week. I am taking hair vitamins and not using a blow dryer. ..ever! I curl my hair once per week and do not touch it up after that. The lack of heat and increase of hair oil seems to really be helping. The above photos were taken four weeks after extensions. And even though I love the photo where my hair is more fluffed up, the real life one is OK too. 

So I guess my bottom line is even I get caught up in the IG perfection and what I think you guys think I should look like. It's weird, even after kids, I was ok with my body changing and allowed myself time to bounce back. I grew two humans for the love of God, honestly I was proud of my body! I was kind to myself. This is the first time, in my blogging career, that I was irrationally hard on my appearance. We are not always going to love how we look. And that's OK, but as a 38 year old, mother-of-two, I promise going forward to try be less critical of my appearance. I know who I am and I like me. And lest's be honest, beauty is only skin deep and on the inside I know I am beautiful! 
Thank you for taking the time to read today's blog post! Some of your may find this silly, some of you may thank me for being honest. I wrote it for neither reaction. I wrote this for me. Which makes this post one I am very proud of! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xo 

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