I was a hairdresser before I had kids. The best kind of hairdresser. The big hair, high heels, painted on jeans, cigarette smoking, foul mouthed and fun-loving kind of hairdresser. I was passionate about doing hair, making people look and feel good. Facilitating someone’s self confidence and helping them wear their inner confidence on the outside.
After I had kids, the desire to make everyone happy shifted to focus on them. And once I got the mom thing –sort of- under control, I started to focus on my fitness as well. I was going to the gym daily, and spending the rest of my time at home with baby or at the grocery store. I didn’t want to spend tons of time styling my hair or sitting in a salon, but I did want to look and feel good when I was out and about.
I put my skills as a stylist to use and figured out a system so I could be a fit, healthy mom, who also looks okay walking around the Superstore. This involved a couple of key products, which I am going to share with you now, so that you can stay fit and fabulous, without wasting precious time and money.
Being a fit mom means we often prioritize our workouts ahead of other things – like showers – that other people might deem important. It’s already hard to get in the workout so once we’ve gotten that out of the way, I mean, we’re not going to push our luck. Plus, if we can manage another workout tomorrow we’re just going to get sweaty all over again!
If I do manage to get a shower in every day or so, I definitely am not washing my hair. That is just asking for trouble. Especially in the winter. I usually have to run out the door to pick someone up or drop someone off, so wet hair is not a good look(in fact it’s a really cold one).
I don’t need to be glamorous for day-to-day mom life, but I’ll admit it, I want to look clean. Or clean-ish. So the first product on my list is:
#1 – Dry Shampoo – This magic little product acts a quick fix for greasy hair. It gets in there and soaks up all the oily bits, leaving your hair voluminous and textured. Like you went for a “messy look” as opposed to just being a hot mess. There are a lot of different products out there, I know it can be intimidating to try new ones. I have pretty thick hair, workout 5 days a week and usually only wash my hair 2 times in a week(if that), and my favourite dry shampoo is Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Dry Shampoo. I’ll warn you though, it’s not for the faint of heart or fine of hair. It is potent, which is great for moms like me, but definitely not for everyone. If you have thinner or finer hair, or you’re just not a sweaty/oily person, try something like KMS California Hair Play Makeover Spray. None are overly expensive, but if you want something a little more budget friendly you can also try Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo.
Now if you’re putting product, of ANY kind into your hair, you need a REALLY good shampoo, to get it out. I don’t mean really expensive product, I mean you need to do a really good job of shampooing it out. Especially if you’re getting sweaty every day. That’s why they call it “build up”. You need to soak your hair with water, use a little shampoo, scrub-scrub-scrub, rinse, repeat,( yes you actually should) and then you need to rinse for 2 minutes.
I know, who has time for that. Well, you do! You’re already in the shower, make the most of it. If you don’t want an itchy scalp and greasy hair before its even dry, you must get those products out, clean your head, and rinse out the shampoo.
This is why I only wash my hair once or twice a week, because I do a hell of a job of it.
Now it does matter what kind of shampoo you use, and how much. No more than a quarter size dollop of product in your hand, other wise you’ll be rinsing out suds for a half hour.
Things brings me to the next product, that a mom getting sweaty on the regular can’t live without :
#2 Clarifying Shampoo – This is the kind of shampoo that gets in and gets all the gunk out of your hair. Including sweat. Shampooing is not the time to be moisturizing and nourishing, that’s what conditioner is for and we will get there, but shampoo needs to CLEAN your hair. So using one that is meant for cleaning will get you an extra day or two out of your clean hair. Who doesn’t want that? The one I use is Pureology Purify Shampoo. To try it out, Live Clean Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Shampoo is a little more affordable. But honestly girl, once you’ve implemented these techniques into your routine, the bottle will last so long you won’t mind the price.
Now that your hair is clean, let’s take care of it a little. I have a feeling you don’t wrap your hair in a silk scarf to sleep at night. (But if you’d like to try you can find them here). Our hair gets beat up, whether we are putting it in one of those crazy “mom-buns” while it’s still wet, drying it on highest-heat-highest-speed to get out the door in time, or wearing our workout pony tail all day, our poor hairs get put through the ringer.
I also colour my hair, which means it needs extra love. So I use a conditioner treatment to repair some of the damage done. Of course breakage is irreversible, but I still want to be able to get a brush through. So here we are at my last, but not least, product that any fit mom NEEDS.
#3 Treatment Conditioner – I use mine every time I wash my hair, because it only happens once every 4 or 5 days, but if you have finer hair or wash daily, I would recommend using a regular daily conditioner and the treatment only once a week. I use Bed Head Dumb Blonde Reconstructor. Or try Alba Botanica Hawaiian Hair Care Real Repair. This stuff is thick and creamy, not to mention smelling like vacation (which is what showers are, right?).
After you have thoroughly rinsed your shampoo, apply a quarter size to the ends of your hair. Once that is worked in, if you still need more, then another quarter and work up the hair shaft until you are satisfied with the saturation. Don’t go putting handfuls into your hair, it just goes down the drain, along with the money you spent on it.
Leave your conditioner treatment on while you take care of the rest of your shower responsibilities ( ie: shaving, washing face & body, staring aimlessly at the wall, hoping kids are ok but not worrying enough to hurry or check, yelling back at toddler through the shower door “WHAATTT?? Mommy’s in the shower!!” or whatever you do in there). Then rinse it out, not for as long as the shampoo, just until you can’t feel the slimy texture anymore, just soft smooth hair.
If you’re anything like me, you collect products, because you try one after another and they work, for a little while, and then they start to not work, so you buy something different. Taking a little time and doing a little research will make all difference, in that you can buy a little more expensive product, that is totally suited to your hair. Cost does not equal effectiveness. You have the buy the product that’s right for your type of hair.
I know it’s hard to get time away from the kids, but if you can, book a free 15-minute consultation with your hairdresser or one in your area. They all offer this service. Ask her what kind of hair you have, get specific, and give her details, too. Tell her how often you wash it, what products you currently use, what sort of colour you have on it and what kind of heat styling you do.
Hairdressers know a LOT more than you think. She will be able to tell you exactly what type of hair and scalp you have, and probably give you some tips on how to treat your hair better. No obligation to buy, or book, unless you make a great connection and want to of course! Hairdressers are passionate about taking care of hair (I know, I used to be one, and still am at heart!) and she will be happy to talk to you about your hair, it’s her job!
Once you’ve had this conversation with the stylist, you can narrow down what kind of products to buy. Yes, it says on the bottle “Fine/normal hair”, “Oily scalp”, “damaged hair” etc, but if you are just guessing what type of hair you have, you may as well close your eyes and just buy the first bottle you touch.
Now that you have a product that is suited to your hair, you can get started using them properly. I know hair products and all things beauty seem extravagant and selfish when we are moms, that somehow we should spend our 8$ on another pair of rubber boots for our 3 year old instead of something to make us look and feel great.
You should not feel guilty about wanting to look good. It’s not wrong. It’s normal. And chances are before you had kids it was just part of daily life, to take care of you, to make yourself feel and look good. Now you’re a mom and it feels like the end of the world if you take 2 minutes to put on lipstick, bronzer and mascara.
But if looking good makes you feel good, then you should do it. In fact you should do it more. Your kids deserve a happy, confident mom. Not one who is resentful of not feeling good about herself, or who is embarrassed to go and introduce herself to the other moms because she’s “a mess”. We are all a mess. Some of us just hide it better than others. Why not be a hot mess?
I’m not saying spend hours in the mirror getting your Dolly Parton on, but why not two minutes here and there, just to make yourself feel like a hot mama? There is NOTHING wrong with that. It is just what I need when I’m having a crappy day is to look in the mirror and say “damn, girl” with a wink and a point, knowing I have taken care of myself for the day and can move on with taking care of everybody else.
Want to say YES to even more self care in your life? Don’t know where to begin? I GOT you mama – join the #betterafterbaby community NOW!