We’re in the early part of our Fight the Frump week! And for this edition, I want to talk about hair.
Yesterday we started our Fight the Frump challenge!
Before we move on, let’s go back to some basic principles. Fighting the frump is NOT about vanity and not about living up to some magazine cover. Fighting the frump is about changing our attitude and our outlook on life so that we are more productive, approachable, and respected.
How? Because the way that we dress affects our inner reality. If you’re sloppy on the outside, you’re less likely to feel organized and motivated. If you look like you don’t care for your appearance, you automatically don’t look as friendly as people who look like they do take some care, because you’re giving the impression “I don’t care what people think of me.” And if you look frumpy, then you also give the impression, “I don’t think I’m worth a lot of time or energy.” That shows that you don’t really respect yourself.
When you take care, though, then you say, “I like myself. I’m a happy person.” That may sound shallow, but psychological research shows that when we care for our appearance, we feel better about virtually all aspects of life.
So today, I want to focus on something basic: your hair. Tomorrow we’ll tackle makeup.
Yesterday the comments focused mostly on clothes (likely because I was talking about clothes!), and we will get to that later in the week. But here’s the truth:
You can wear the best outfit in the world, and if your hair is a mess, you won’t feel good in that outfit.
Our hair is the most basic part of our appearance, because it frames the face. It gives that first impression. And so you need a good hairstyle!
I actually spent a lot of time caring for my hair as a teenager and a woman in her young twenties. I either curled it a ton:
Or I cut it short and curled it:
It’s not that I had good haircuts; I just spent a lot of time on it. But after I had kids it all changed. My hair is very heavy, and doesn’t hold curl tremendously well without a lot of time with a curling iron. So I just gave up. And I went back to my glasses, too.
Seriously, I look younger here than my two younger cousins! And just to prove that I ALWAYS looked like that, here’s another shot from our playgroup:
Within a few years I was sick of being frumpy, so I finally got a good haircut I liked. I found a hairdresser in Belleville that went to our church, and I just let her do whatever she wanted. She texturized my hair like crazy (because it’s so thick) so that it would have more body and shape. She’s been a super good friend ever since (she was even the “flower girl” when we renewed our wedding vows after 25 years). But I have always felt so much better!
Here I am in 2004, with Katie, right after Jill did my hair:
The key for me has always been that I want my hair to look amazing even after just a few minutes. I can’t be tied to a curling iron or straightener to feel good, or I will never do my hair.
So here I am when I first wake up in the morning:
And here I am after brushing, a tiny bit of gel, and a little bit of hair spray. Total time: Under a minute (barely!)
A good haircut makes a huge difference.
And that’s what Rebecca found, too.
My daughter, Rebecca, had beautiful curls all the way to her waist when she was in high school.
Somewhere right before university, her hair just lost the natural curl and went to just waves and a bunch of frizz. It became really hard to manage, and never really got back to that natural curl she had before.
So (I have her permission to write this!) her hair has been pretty frumpy since she was 18 unless she put a solid hour into styling it. So here’s what she did (take it away, Becca!)
Becca here. It was obvious that I needed a change. Seriously, university put me into a funk when it comes to hair and makeup and now I work from home, so it’s easy to let it slip! Here’s what I tended to look like (but remember, these were when I was comfortable enough to take pictures, so it was usually way worse than here!):
I was getting really tired of dumpy whenever I looked in the mirror, though, so I called up a hairdresser friend and told her that I needed a hairstyle that:
- Worked with my natural wave/body so I wouldn’t have to straighten it every day
- Wouldn’t have to be blow-dried
- Would be easy to fancy up for special occasions
- And would take less than 5 minutes to style
So I got a layered bob with a body perm and it has been a HUGE success.
Here it is after just a bit of spritzing and some gel in the morning:
A whole lot better than before (trust me)! Finding a hairstyle that works for you and takes only a very little time is such a huge help. Have straight hair? Maybe a layered cut with texture to give it more volume. Have half-wavy hair like I do? Maybe add in some curls to help give the volume more structure.
It doesn’t need to take an hour to look put together. The difference is huge–and my husband loves it! But I spend less time than I did before, and now it actually looks good. Which is a big relief!
What if you have long hair? Seriously consider getting it textured
My daughter Katie has extremely heavy, extremely long hair, which pretty much always looks amazing. But it’s because she keeps her ends trimmed, AND because Jill (yes, we all go to the same hairdresser because Jill is awesome) texturizes it like crazy. She takes those texturizing scissors and just chops chops chops. That way Katie’s hair is a lot thinner as you move down, and then it flows better and holds curl better (because Katie actually takes time to curl it.
Here’s one of her engagement photos:
It may look like she has simple long hair, but she doesn’t. And that’s the key, I think, to making long, straight hair look good: It can’t be all the same length. It has to be heavily texturized if it’s thick.
All of us did the same thing. We went in to see a (good) hairdresser and said, “this isn’t working for me. What should I do?” And Jill looked at our hair type and suggested things, even out of the box things (like putting a perm in).
The worst I ever felt about myself was when I had no hair style.
I feel so much better now. Your hair matters. If you don’t know what to do, go on Pinterest and search for hairstyles for your hair texture and length. See what you like, and then bring pictures into a hairdresser. But invest in a good haircut. It makes a huge amount of difference–more than any clothes actually will.
And join me tomorrow when we talk about how a little bit of natural makeup can make a huge difference, too!
Here’s your Fight the Frump challenge today: Ask yourself, Do I have a hairstyle where I can look good and feel good in less than 5 minutes? Ideally, really, under 3? If not, then plan when you’re going to go and make a change!
Join me for the rest of my Fight the Frump challenge!