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Let’s talk hair

Haven’t posted for a few days – I’ve been too busy cooking! ;) First let me just say thank you so much for your sweet comments on my last post. Not only for all of the great recipe sites (which I’ve been checking out and will be incredibly helpful) but also for your words of encouragement. I’ve always known I have the best blog friends in the blogosphere. :) And speaking of a really sweet comment, here’s one I got a couple of weeks ago:

“Maybe I can ask this question under organizing? It really deals a little more with time management. How do you do your hair? It always looks so nice and styled, healthy, and pretty. When you were writing about being in a funk, I identified with wearing my hair in a pony everyday because it takes extra time to do my hair and I just need girlfriend advice. Like do you wash it at night after the kids are asleep? in the morning and let it air dry then blow dry the style, straighten and add a little curl with the iron? how long do you think it takes you to do your hair? I mean I think it takes me over 15 minutes just to fully blow dry. Is there a product you really like? I guess I wanted to ask an expert in style and time management! Thanks for your blog, I really enjoy your honesty, tips, ideas, and love for life! God bless!”

Amy, thank you so much for that comment. It made my day! Especially since I am in a total hair rut right now and ready to chop it all off. I’m sharing this comment on my blog for two reasons: first: because Amy, I didn’t know how else to answer you, and second: because I get asked two questions all the time. One is “how do you do your hair?” and the second is “how long does it take…how do you have time to maintain it?” Many of you have asked me about my hair on this blog and I haven’t answered anyone so I thought I’d take the time to do that now. :)

So. Here’s how I do my hair. (BTW – I thought about taking pictures of the ‘hair steps’ I go through to explain this, but there was no way to do it without taking pics of myself with the tripod and looking and feeling like a total dork)

My hair is naturally curly. So is Kenny’s which is why we have kids with hair like this:

If I just let my hair dry on its own it would look like this:

(Halloween 2008 – Kenny and I dressed up as ourselves from High School.  Oh yes.  I really did wear that dress!)

Great for the late 90’s or for Halloween. Not so hot for right now.

So right out of the shower the first thing I do is put some Enjoy straightener (purple bottle) on my hair. I’ve tried lots of straighteners and I like this one the best. Then I blow dry my hair straight one section at a time. I pull it all on top of my head with a clip except for the bottom section. I blow dry just that part, then I blow dry the middle section, then the top. I have really really thick hair. So thick that I have to get it thinned every time I get it done just to keep it from being out of control. So straightening it takes me 15-20 minutes. Then I section my hair off again and take my curling iron (a regular 1 inch) and curl each piece like I’m curling it in a ringlet, but a loose one. When I get to the top section I just slightly curl my bangs, etc. off to the side. This takes me around 25 minutes to do. When I shower, do my hair, and put on make-up I’m looking at spending at least an hour.  There is NO WAY I could maintain this everyday.

So here’s my little secret. I don’t wash my hair that often. I know. Gross. Yuck. You’re all probably totally disgusted, but I’ve always told it like it is on this blog so why stop now.

Because my hair is naturally curly, it holds curl really well so I can go to sleep at night and wake up and have my hair look pretty much like it did the day before. I shower with my hair piled in a clip on the top of my head and then just put a curl or two in it to touch it up, put on some make-up and go. Takes 20-30 minutes instead of an hour and a half. If I’m exercising really hard I have to wash it more often and then I rely on a pony tail. But if not, I can go for days. In fact, I like my hair a lot better on the second or third day than on the first day I wash and style it (the curls look looser and aren’t as full). I usually wash and style it 2-3 times a week. Sometimes I’ll shower and blow dry it straight right after I put the kids to bed and then get up and curl it in the morning. Other times I shower and blow dry it early, then get the kids up and ready for school, then curl it while they’re eating breakfast or something. So THAT is how I maintain this hair style and the funny thing is, because I can get this style to last for days, this is the EASIEST hair style I’ve had by far.

(This looks like about a third hair day – looser curls)

Which is why I don’t know what to do with it. I’m kind of tired of it, but I’m nervous to cut it because I don’t want a style that is more work. San Diego is humid and my hair does NOT want to go straight here so straightening it is a high maintenance do for me. Short hair is hard because I have to style it every day. It kinks in the night and can’t be salvaged.

I’ve had my hair short:

I’ve had my hair in between:

I’ve had my hair long:

I’ve worn it straight and curly. Layered and not layered.

Short bangs:

and long bangs:

And nothing has been as easy for me to maintain as my current style has. So I’d love a little girlfriend advice from all of you! Should I change it (and if so, any suggestions?), or should I leave it as is?

Oh! One other thing. In the past I used a really expensive curling iron, and then I bought a cheap $10 one from Target to take to Italy (Kenny and I went for our ten year anniversary and I needed one that would work in European outlets). My hair curled so well on our trip with the cheap one that I stopped buying nice ones and haven’t spent more than 10 bucks on a curling iron since! (maybe they’re frying my hair and I don’t know it…)

{Italy 2007}

Hope I answered everyone’s hair questions and hope you aren’t too disgusted. (speaking to the whole five of you who actually made it through this long, boring post)

Wishing you all nothing but good hair days in your future! :)

xoxo, Erin
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36 thoughts on “Let’s talk hair

  1. soooo…wow! i was JUST thinking that I really needed some hair advice- and boom, you wrote this post. how cool is that? i can very much relate to southern california climate and what it can do to a girl’s hair! your hair is beautiful. mine is in a ponytail most days lately- but hopefully that will soon change. :-)

  2. I would leave it long. It is beautiful and there will come a time (when you get older) that you will need to get it cut. By the way, did you know you can have it straightened professionally and it will last 4-6 months?

  3. Thanks! I always like a post that I can relate to. I have very curly hair too and find it’s easier to maintain if I straighten it and just “touch it up” everyday.
    With three young children clips and ponytails have become my best friends, but it’s nice to make myself presentable every once in a while.

  4. THANK YOU!! I’ve been wondering how you get your beautiful hair looking that great with the waves in it. I, too, have long hair and struggle sometimes when I get in a hair rut. I also have curly hair and blow dry it straight but then I end up leaving it straight because I’m too tired to curl it!

    Leave it long!! That’s my 2 cents.

  5. Sounds like you should probably leave it as is. It’s so pretty! There’s no way it looks like you wash it 2-3 times a week. Lucky you!!
    My skin is oily so I HAVE to wash daily :(

  6. Well. You are gorgeous no matter what style you have your hair, however if you are wanting to change it up I really like the in between style! :o) I tell ya what. That is quite a process. I have a lot of hair, but very fine. Impossible to keep in any style! UGH. No, really, it totally disgusts me. Happy Friday!

  7. Erin….not gross. It’s really unhealthy for hair to be washed everyday (I hope that makes you feel a little better). I too am a wash a few times a week person. I too have super thick hair. I too take 20+ minutes to dry my hair. I too understand hair frusterations. You get the point. I always rely on my stylist/hairdresser to help me out with new hairstyles. She knows my hair so well and me for that matter (she should I’ve been going to the same stylist for 13 years), I love that I can show her something I like and she can tell me if my hair can pull that off. Let’s face it we can’t all have our favorite celebrity hairstyle. That’s where I suggest you start. I love your hair but I know how I feel when I need a change.

    Love your blog! Thanks for sharing and being so honest….no matter how gross it may be. :)

  8. Your hair is cute now and if it’s easy for you then I say keep it the way it is! How sweet of you to document all that you do, helping out some girlfriends!

  9. I have a lot the same kind of hair- naturally curly and lots of it. I don’t wash mine everyday either. I wish I would have learned this little trick earlier in life though. I love the way your hair looks so I would totally keep it long too.

    Good luck with cooking- I am really trying to get out of my rut too. I really don’t enjoy it. Why do we have to eat?

  10. What a fun post! I love your hair, and I have a little secret too. I don’t wash my hair everyday either. It takes way too long. I always get to a certain point then chop it off then grow it out again then chop it off. I love your long hair…I wish mine was that long right now! Have a great day!

  11. Do you ever just leave your hair curly? Us fine, straight hair folks always envy you curly heads who have automatic body while we must wash daily and go to great lengths not to look like our hair is plastered to our scalps.

    Thanks for helping me realize that curly hair is just as high maintenence as straight hair! The grass is always greener on the other side, huh?

    I once had a perm and used a diffuser attachment on my blow dryer and it gave the curls a smooth rather than frizzy finish. Have you ever tried that? Have you ever had a shorter style that you wear curly?

    Your hair is so beautiful, I’d say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But I know that gut feeling of needing a change. Good luck and you’ll just be gorgeous no matter what you do with your hair!

  12. Amen to the curly/thick hair don’t wash it every day routine. I wouldn’t survive any other way. Like you, I have to get my hair thinned every time I get a cut (every six weeks) Though I do find Utah is substantially kinder to curly hair than anywhere else I’ve ever lived (ie: St. Louis, humidity!!!)

    Within the last year, I tried a brazilian hair straightening treatment called Simply Smooth. It’s some sort of Keratin hair straightening treatment (so not a stylist, so don’t quote me!). It’s supposed to last 3-4 months and is much safer than some of the straightening systems that have formaldehyde, etc (Yikes!) in them. I found that rather than “straightening” it reduced a lot of the “poof” and craziness. And it reduced the time it took to blowdry my hair (usually 20 minutes) down to 5 minutes and then all I had to do was run a flat iron through my hair. It was WONDERFUL. But expensive. My hair is thick and comes between my chin and shoulders. The cost breakdown was by the ounce of product used in your hair. I think it cost me between $200-$250 but I tell you it was heaven. It took forever too….3 hours. But I figure over 3-5 months that’s what a lot of people who color their hair pay, so that was how I justified it. :)

    I will say, I love the color of your hair. It’s beautiful.

  13. Leave it. It’s perfect. :)

    P. S. I miss you and I want to catch up but I’m barely keeping my head above water here. Can we plan a girls night????

  14. What a fun post! I’ve had hair envy every since I first started reading your blog and saw all your gorgeous pictures! My hair is naturally, um… “POOFY/wavy”, but fine. Blow drying takes me less time than yours, but I always just end up running a straightening iron through it which creates a boring straight and flat style… I’m so sick of it! I want nice pretty curls like yours on a daily basis! :) I’ve been told it is best to NOT wash your hair daily (lately I do wash daily, but need to stop!).

    For all of us fine-maned ladies dry shampoo or hair powder is a must when skipping out on washing our tresses! It soaks up excess oil. Here are some great options:,default,pd.html OR

  15. This post makes me envy you even more!! I would kill to have hair like yours. I say keep it just the way it is. It’s gorgeous! And you can’t beat washing it 2-3 times a week!

    Your fine and thin haired friend :)

  16. You are so LUCKY that you can go three days with your hair “as is!” My hair is super fine and I have a lot of it … combine that with an oily complexion and I have to wash my hair pretty much every day. Boo. Lots of ponytails and hair clips over here … if I don’t blow it out and run a straightener through it it looks horrid down!
    That being said? Leave it long. The “third day” photo totally did me in. Your hair is FANTASTIC!

  17. Leave it!!!! I would kill for hair like yours!!!My sister has the same kind of hair. Mine is thin and yucky and I have to wash it everyday to make it look somewhat presentable!!!

  18. Hi Erin, my name is Genn. I live in So Cal too, and I am a hairdresser. I have a client who sent me the link to your blog and said to check it out because that is how she wants her hair cut. :) So, I checked it out and then told my client, Oh my gosh that girl’s hair is so pretty and she is so darn stinking cute. Her whole family is! Seriously, so I am glad that I have now found your blog.

    I say leave your hair the way it is. I have two littel girs, and for the first time in my life am wearing my hair pretty long and you are right, it is much easier to style. Mine is naturally curly (and getting curlier the older I get), but I prefer it straight too. Don’t we all… So I also wash about 3-4 days. I tell my clients all the time that it is SO much better for your hair,and SUCH a time saver.

    From what I can tell, you have great hair!

  19. I love this post! I have very curly hair (like a hairdresser once said she’s never seen hair this curly on a white person!) My roommate in college used to get so mad that I could wash my hair every few days and that the straightened/looser curls never went away until I did wash it. Unfortunately, as you know, after I do wash it, it’s a lot of work. My hair also does some really freaky things if I blow dry it, so I have to wash it at night and let it air dry. Anyway… have you seen any of the infomercials for the InStyler? As silly as it sounds, it has changed my life! I’m contemplating buying a 2nd one just to have on hand, because if mine ever broke, I would be devastated! Check out their website… maybe it would save you some time, too??

    (and I agree with everyone else. You are super cute and have awesome hair!)

  20. I love your hair. If you like it, leave it alone! :) I do have a question about your youngest daughters hair…. do you put anything on it? If so, what? I have a 19 month old with VERY curly hair. It doesn’t have much weight on it yet and it is getting bigger insted of longer! The curls also get very frizzy throught out the day. Your little one always looks so nice and her hair is in such perfect curls. Help please! :)


  21. I forgot about this in my orginal comment- I love finding good products and I was going to mention that I just starting using the Matrix smooth conditioner (in the orange bottle) I kid you not, I love it!!! My hair is so much smoother and softer with it. Just thought I would share cause there is just nothing like fighting that natural curl.

  22. Do not change it! I love it this way…and I totally relate to this post since I have very similar hair and I do the same thing…not washing everyday once I have straightened and styled!

  23. Leave your current style. I have the same type of hair you have. I thought I needed a different look and recently cut it. Since I have a little ones I thought short hair would be easier. It’s easier to sytle but I have to wash it more often now. When it was longer and thicker I could go with just 2 washes a week. So I’d say leave it and save yourself some time.

  24. You have a great long hair don’t cut it! My hair is very thick, coarse and dry! I am like you and go days without washing it. I don’t think it’s nasty at all:) Some people just don’t have to wash their hair as often! I did buy s hsir product called dry shampoo and now I can go even a day longer without washing my hair. You just apply it to your roots and it dries the oils up! Did your hair fall out after having kids? Mine is falling out so bad I have bald spots which is crazy wtih all the hair I have. Another wild thing having a baby does to your body!

  25. Erin, I can’t believe you! You really did the hair post! You must be feeling really good, so I’m glad for that! I am SO jealous of your hair and the fact that you are able to only wash it a couple times a week! The thing I dislike most about myself is how much freaking time I spend getting ready, I hate it, but yet I can’t not do it! SO frustrating! You are just super lucky that you can do that and not wake up with super nasty-oily-sticking-up-in-every-direction-gross hair! Seriously, I am so envious. Keep it, your hair is great, it ALWAYS looks cute!

  26. I always envy those with thick hair because they can get away with not washing their hair everyday. I have super thin hair and it’s fine and to top it all off, I don’t have a lot of it! So, when I go a day without washing, it looks greasy and flat and YUCKY! To keep it healthy, I don’t blow dry it everyday. Because it’s so thin, it pretty much dries once the wind blows on it, LOL.

    My two cents about the length — keep it long. It looks great on you, and one day you might not be able to wear long hair and you will miss it. I always have said I will cut my hair short when I reach this age or that age…but so far, I haven’t had the nerve. I just turned 41 and still my hair is down to the middle of my back. But one day….one day it will be short. And so I’m wearing it long while I can :)

  27. Hi Erin- it is so amazing that you posted about your hair. Over the past couple of weeks, I have wanted to post about your hair, but I thought it might be rude. Honestly, I think you should cut it a bit – or leave it curly. You have a longer face, and your long hair drags you down – the curly hair (with volume on top) makes your face look fuller and less tired. If you don’t want to leave it curly, then I suggest going with the in-between hair you showed in one of the pictures – again, I think a bit more volume would look great on you!!

  28. HA! I knew I wasn’t the only one who was OBSESSED…er…interested with the process of how to make perfect hair like yours. I know most woman have many many deep thoughts, but let me tell you, sister; post’s like these are pulitzer material for the fellow momma’s who read your blog.

  29. Erin,
    Love this post and all things beauty/fashion related. :) Here is some unsolicited advise. :)

    First, your hair is absolutely gorgeous and you should not cut it all off! I love it just the way it is.

    Second, I understand the need for an ‘update’ now and then. Have you ever thought about wearing it naturally curly every once in a while? Or curling it a different way? Or wearing it in a side braid or side ponytail? We have VERY similar hair (long, naturally curly that we straighten and then curl, I only wash twice a week too btw) and when ever I am in a rut – I start experimenting with what I’ve already got rather than chop it off. I think you would look super cute with some small changes in styling and trying new things. Look in magazines and on the web for fresh new things to do with long hair. My hairstylist gives me new ideas all the time. I just wish I lived near you and I’d show you what I mean! :)

    You may not want to wear your hair naturally curly, (because I do not like my hair that way at all either) but lately I’ve been just letting it air dry once every couple of weeks and I get a TON of compliments on it. Both my daughter and close friend recently told me it was their favorite way I do my hair. WHO KNEW? It may be the same for you too?!!!

    P.S. I do my hair EXACTLY the same way as you, except because I live in the desert, I only use leave in conditioner instead of a straightening product.

    You are gorgeous and so is your hair!!! sorry for the long comment. :)

  30. Hi Erin!!! I love your blog. I like to cook a lot but I need help in the organizing and cleaning dept! I have very curly hair and I have struggled with it. Mine is so fine that it doesn’t really like to be straightened. I just found Ouidad is all about curly hair and keeping it curly. You might like that. Although, if my hair could do what yours does I would totally do it. Your hair is awesome!!!

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