My hair gets a lot of attention. On the Facebook: “Your hair is gorgeous!” The instagram: “OMIGOD UR HAIR :P” IRL: “Can I cut off some of your hair?” (A drunk friend was going around Hotel Vegas one night collecting small pieces of people’s hair for some voodoo crap. Obviously, I said no.)
The best thing I hear about my hair is probably the most insulting, but I still love hearing it: “Who is your colorist?!” Wanna know why? Because I’ve never, ever, eevvvvveerrrrrr colored it. It’s 100% au naturel, and it’s definitely the best part about me (besides, you know, my really great personality).
I know, you don’t believe it. How can a twenty-something girl obsessed with fashion and beauty and all that B.S. possibly go for that many years without even a phase. Not even highlights? Nope! Pink tips? Screw off! Crazy cut? Welp…
OK, so I had my phases. I was totally the first girl to rock a scene/emo haircut back in middle school, but I’m convinced it was just a spikier version of the Pob. You won’t see any pictures of that. Besides, I was riding horses about five hours a day, and my ponytail, in all of its preteen glory, blazing down my rhinestoned button up to high-waisted Wranglers underneath custom-made calf-hair chaps, had to go. (It’s hot here, get it?)
In high school (whilst growing out the aforementioned cut I'm sure I received from a Toni and Guy dropout) I totally faked my hair’s natural texture for about three years. My classmates thought I had wavy, naturally “hot mess” hair because I woke up two hours earlier than necessary to run my flat iron through my mismatched and disorganized chunks (you couldn’t even call them layers).
One day, when I was rear-ended on my way to school and spilled my entire dirty chai tea latte all over my car and my perfectly-unperfectly styled hair, I ran home to shower and had to run out the door with wet hair. By lunch, when all of the “popular girls”-–who apparently had mega-crushes on me--saw me, it was marked as the first day I had joined the pack and “straightened” my hair to the stick-to-your-head standard that was popular at the time.
These girls honestly thought I had straightened my hair for three hours just like their ritualistic gathering in the theatre dressing rooms between cheerleading practice and class. I was at once liberated and confused. Everyone envied my naturally straight and flowing hair, sans product, sans effort.
The next morning after my shower, I ran my fingers through my hair and watched it like microscopic C. elegans in a petri dish. It dried (duh), and I was able to analyze the results of doing absolutely nothing but conditioning the F outta the tired strands.
I can’t sit here and preach to you about self-acceptance and embracing your natural beauty, but dudes, I never realized how much damage I was doing to my hair! I’m pretty sure you all know enough about, well, life, to know that the less you mess with something, the better it usually is. If my teenage virgin hair was damaged by a bit of heat every day can you imagine what those bronzed and blondezed popular girls were working with?
So for the sake of achieving (yes, you win a prize: EVIABLE HAIR) what I’ve taken years to perfect: leave your hair alone!
For those of you wanting to up the punx to your hairstylist when they offer to blow out your hair or beat the crap outta your best friend that keeps mentioning dying your hair white (THANK GAWD for Brayden), here are my tips for getting back that V card.
EMBRACE YOUR NATURAL HAIR TYPE
Stop trying to straighten your waves and waven your straights. Got a weird cowlick all the time? Center your attention on that. Make it part of your hairstyle. Flip your hair to the side that it wants to go, not the way you think looks better.
Honestly, if you spend less time looking in the mirror and more time sitting in orchestra practice analyzing your split ends, you’d come to this same realization. Just run your hands through your hair and move it around until it feels good. Feels good? That’s called embracing, my little maidens. Let your hair embrace your head how it wants most the time and it’ll start looking better.
So you think I’m saying to just “Get used to the way my hair looks?” Yes. If you think your hair ain’t doin’ the goddess thing on its own then I’m preaching to condition yourself to think that it is. The crazy thing is that conditioning actually works. You’re more beautiful than you think, remember?
Now that you’re embracing your natural state, let’s move on to...
When I first started my virgin hair regimen, I didn't put ANYTHING in my hair besides a brush (occasionally) and the oil from my fingers when I’d pet it in class. Today, I’m a bit more refined with my haircare, and my hair and ego have loved the attention.
Wash your hair AS NEEDED. Been in the pool all day? Throw on a coconut oil mask before bed and shower tomorrow. Greasy roots and tobacco smell from last night’s show? Dry shampoo, baby. (Lush’s No Drought sucks up even the skunkiest smells.) While I probably end up washing my hair at least every other day (because I’m addicted to showers--ask anyone), these things get me through those days I have to take a Xanax instead of a shower.
I use the same method as Annie to shampoo and condition. Before she left me for the city of subpar migas, we would split the giant island of our kitchen with studying, messy projects, and makeup. Between biology exams and Etsy shop photoshoots, a lot of it started to run together, so you hear my annoying voice behind the camera (clicky-click the link above to check it out) making in-house edits of the process. So watch her shower, shower, then get out and pat dry with a fluffy towel as gently as possible, just getting the excess moisture out. Apply some really nice serum or vitamin E oil to the ends, using the excess to work into the lengths.
Do this every time you shower--seriously. If you don’t, you don’t really care about your hair and should go back up to the “embracing” part of this process or invest in therapy. I’m the queen of going everywhere with wet hair (even the opera!), so I usually twist it up in a self-sustaining bun while I finish getting ready. Mine’s finally long enough to not need an elastic; those things are cancer to virgin hair! (I’m the scientist, don’t question me.)
At this point I don’t have much else to say about what I do to my hair, because it’s nothing. Really.
I go outside occasionally and the sun rewards me with DIY highlights. Some other cool coloring tricks I've tried in the past include coffee grounds, henna, and lemon juice (in order of dark to light color enhancement). Last time I got my hair cut, Shara at Osgood O’Neil in Dallas suggested using highly pigmented pressed eyeshadows to coat my lighter bits with fuchsia, turquoise and gold. I've yet to try it, but it’s tucked away in my head computer for file-opening later. I’ll head over to the MAC store for some super-pigmented funky shades and let y’all know how it goes!
I also eat really REALLY well. That means avocados, sprouted grain toasts, tea, and vitamins (and only that, lol). Beauty IS skin deep! Obviously you’re genetically predisposed to have enviable or not-so-enviable hair, BUT you can eat well, take some supplements, limit stress, get some sleep, and let your hair reflect the magical life you’re living.
While my hair revolution resulted from some hot teenage girls staring longingly at my natural locks on an off day, the same can be achieved from embracing your natural hair 24/7. Not only will you exude natural beauty, but those same girls will longingly stare at your virginity, even when you're 60 and rocking silver highlights from riding horses on the beach, naked.
So, who's still a virgin?