As a new mom I have come to realize that there is one thing that everyone tells you ahead of time..."Your time is not your own!" And boy is it true. Leisurely getting ready is a luxury that I no longer have. Now that I think about it, I don't think the word leisurely describes anything I do these days, nor do I think it will anytime soon! So the thing I have become obsessed with is a quick way to still get ready and look and feel like myself. Everyone is different, but the truth is for me I don't feel as confident when I am not somewhat put together. I'm okay with a cute top-knot but not a "top-mop" because the reality is I still have a husband I'd like to impress, even after 8 years of marriage. Also there's still that whole my-body-does-NOT-look-the-same thing going on post baby, so having on some blush and having my hair done is the little mirage I defer to when I still can't fit into my jeans. I need at least one area looking half way decent even if the other parts of me are on the struggle bus. The best advice I've received and will give to new moms is to come up with a few things that make you look and feel great about yourself. Maybe that's a nightly bubble bath, maybe its having your nails done, maybe its going on a jog or getting your eyebrows waxed. You do you mama! Whatever gives you that extra boost of confidence. I know for me I can still feel somewhat confident even if I have a little spit up on my shoulder or legs that aren't shaved if my hair is done the way I like it.
So what I am loving right now is dutch braids! All day every day. 1.) It keeps my hair out of my face 2.) Covers up the fact that my hair may or may not be dirty 3.) Is an easy way to keep heat (curling iron, straightener, blow dryer) off my hair another day to give it a breather And 4.) With a little practice it really does not take long.
I am by no means a hair or braiding expert but here are some tips and tricks for how I accomplish a dutch braid:
- Youtube - I spent lots of late night feedings watching braiding youtube videos and it helped me to get the hang of it. I'm a big fan of Abby from Twist Me Pretty and she has tons of great videos!
- A Dutch braid is a normal three-strand-braid except the key is that with each piece you add more hair to your braid by picking up small strands every time you cross pieces under the center strand. This makes the braid look like its sticking out or sitting on top of your head.
- Once the braid is complete I like to tug on each piece of the braid to make it look more full and thick (tight skinny braids remind me of little girls, but fuller braids seem more mature to me).
- Another way to achieve a fuller looking braid or longer braid is to use clip-in hair extensions which I occasionally do. I use these from Luxury For Princess.
- Crown braids seem difficult but really the difference is that on one side you braid up your head instead of down. Then you tuck it under on the other side and secure with bobby pins.
- Braiding for me works better on second day hair vs fresh clean hair.
- Texture also makes it easier to braid so I use either Big Sexy Hair texturizing powder or Batiste Dry Shampoo to accomplish this.
Okay so that's my two cents on the why and hows of my Dutch braid obsession. It has given me the extra boost I need here lately to get through a grocery store run to Trader Joe's, nap time, or even date night! What are the little extras you like to do to feel great?