Working with Style: This hair of mine

10 Dec

One of the long-term effects of tomboyishness on my life has been my over-the-top love for the ponytail.

It’s out of control. Seriously. Sometimes I don’t even dry my hair. Sometimes I use it as an excuse to skip a day of showering.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with wearing a ponytail, but in a professional environment, I think it tends to look sloppy and lazy if you do it every single day, and that’s where I’ve found myself. I use the excuse that I just don’t have time in the mornings, but the truth is that I don’t make time in the mornings for it.

This past week, I challenged myself to at least make it out the door with my hair down on my way to work. I have very fine hair, but it’s also got some curl to it, so I can’t just wash it and let it go. And I have never known how to style my hair properly; even when well-meaning family members or hair stylists have offered suggestions, I haven’t really paid that much attention … “because I’m a ponytail girl.”

I set out to find something that would work well for my hair and for a morning-time schedule that can be a little hectic. I want to be able to wear my hair in different ways and not to be looked at as someone who doesn’t care enough to look polished in the office. Here are my results from last week:

Day 1: Curly(ish)

Hair day 1

The process: Shampoo (Suave Professional), conditioner (Yes to Carrots), sea salt spray (Not Your Mother’s), blow dry on low, volumizing powder (Not Your Mother’s).

Results: Even though I like the way it looked in the picture above, by the time I’d even made it to work, my hair was pretty flat. So something about this combo was not quite right for my fine, fine hair (see next photo).

Day 1 - FLAT

Day 2

Hair day 2

The process: Shampoo, conditioner, blow dry, volumizing powder (same products mentioned previously).

The results: A little better. Without the sea salt spray weighing my hair down, it didn’t get so flat during the day. But it ended up being a little frizzier than I hoped for.

Day 3

Day 3

The process: Shampoo, conditioner, John Frieda Frizz-ease spray, blow dry, straighten with flat iron, volumizing powder and Bed Head shine spray.

The results: Definitely the best hair day this week. I got two compliments on my ‘do. I didn’t think it was perfect, but it was definitely my favorite hair day for the week.

Anybody else have my type of hair? If I don’t blow-dry it, I end up with a flat, frizzy mess; if I just blow dry it, it’s too frizzy, but if I flat iron it, it’s too flat. I’d love to hear more recommendations of products to try in the future, especially stuff that doesn’t take a long time. I think my next purchase will likely be volumizing shampoo, so if you have ideas for me, let me know.

Note: I paid for all the products mentioned out of my own pocket, and I didn’t use any affiliate links. I also linked up with Liberating Working Moms‘ weekly Working with Style post.

Idea theft and a benefit of being (a little) boyish

6 Dec

I read this interesting Forbes article today a friend of mine linked to about whether men are routinely taking credit for women’s ideas in the workplace.

Thankfully, I work in a place that is very female- and family-friendly, but even so, I have certainly experienced this. I’d say it happened more often at previous jobs, and I can think of one very specific incident at my current job. I’d proposed an idea that turned out to be extremely successful for an event the college I work for was putting on. At the follow-up meeting after the event, my boss congratulated a higher-ranking male employee for his great idea. Now that male employee was at the meeting where that idea came up, and he did play a large role in planning and executing the event. But the idea was definitely mine.

What did I do? I let it slide. Maybe I should have spoken up, but it seemed like it would be attention grabby and petty-seeming.

After my initial post last night, I spent some time today considering the type of balance I hope to find in life, and this article made me consider what might be considered more feminine habits I’ve developed in the workplace.

The article suggests that many women are more passive and less confident than men in their presentation of ideas, and I find that to be true for me. I don’t know that I believe that to be an inherently feminine trait, but in the business world, it seems to at least be considered one.

It’s an aspect of my life where I don’t necessarily feel the tomboy side of me is prevalent enough. There are times when my confidence shines through, and I am able to persuade people that my ideas are not just possibilities but they are right. But I could use a little more straightforwardness in the workplace.

I think it’s important for me to understand this about myself: I will never entirely abandon the tomboy side of me, but I can grow into a better, wiser person by evaluating my habits. There are things about myself I want to change, but knowing the core of who I am is key to being the person I want to be.

What is this about, anyway?

5 Dec

I voted. Very adult behavior, yes?I’m turning 30 next month, so I think at this point growing up is inevitable. I might as well embrace it.

My 20s have pretty much been spent ignoring this fact in many ways. Oh, I have a grown-up job and a grown-up marriage, a not-so-grown up little boy, a mortgage, car payments, etc. But I’ve resisted every other form of adult behavior with just about every fiber in my being.

So I’m starting a blog as a coping mechanism, I guess. I already have a family blog, but this one is going to be more specifically dedicated to my journey from overgrown tomboy to (hopefully) successful, happy, responsible adult. I have some ideas for what I want to post here (a little bit of fashion, work-related stuff, marriage as a tomboy, hosting, cooking, motherhood, etc.), but I’m also open to wherever life takes me.

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