After years of angst about what my hair looks like, lately I have stopped doing anything to it at all.

Let me back up. Both of my parents have good thick hair with a bit of wave, which I inherited. But for years, I swam so much that my hair was dry and unhealthy, and I never liked how it looked. As I progressed through school, I learned the beauty of hair straighteners and curl gel/mousse/cream, and once I crossed that bridge I never went back. Even if I was letting it air dry, I scrunched it to death with some kind of product. And most days, I blew it dry and straightened it, because that was the way I could make it predictable. Unfortunately, I never mastered the art of using a round brush to make it blow dry nicely, so the straightening was a necessary second step.

I also went through a phase of coloring my hair. After an unfortunate experiment with “auburn” from a box (read: RED), I started going to a salon. But I was inconsistent about my visits so I almost always had roots showing. Plus I let my already thick hair grow long, and the combination of color, chlorine, and length made it look dry. To me, my senior portrait from high school is the epitome of what I don’t want my hair to look like!

I go all over the map on length, with a tendency toward keeping it about chin length with an off-center part, but again, my salon laziness means that it sometimes gets to shoulder length or a bit longer before I finally do that. Now that I don’t swim regularly, my hair is no longer dried out, and in fact tends to get greasy after a day or so, meaning I don’t like to use any product in it. So I’ve been exposing my hair to heat for years.

One recent Saturday, I took a late afternoon shower and, since I wasn’t planning to leave the apartment, decided to just leave my hair alone. And wonder of wonders, it actually looked kind of nice! It had a subtle curl to it and not a drastic amount of frizz. So I tried the experiment the next day to similar results. And now I am hooked. The extra 15 minutes or so that not drying and straightening my hair frees up in the mornings feels revolutionary. It may not look awesome, but it looks good enough for me. Plus it’s on the long end of my haircut spectrum right now, and I have a feeling if I get it cut, it will have even more bounce to it.

I’m sure I’ll pull out the straightener on days I have some extra time or on days I want my hair to cooperate, but for now I’m enjoying this change. Instead of rushing to dry my hair, I’m sitting here enjoying a cup of coffee and “talking” to you fine folks!

What are your tricks for freeing up valuable minutes of your time? Do you change up your hair routine occasionally?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman