Buried deep in the archives of my blog, I participated twice in the Side By Side Challenge hosted by 2 Girls in 2 Cities ~ Polka Dots & Transitions. After a break from blogging (and consequently a break from the challenges), I return today to participate in what is most certainly a challenge for me – Braids.
First off, check out all these great styles with braids! Braids aren’t really a natural thing for me nor something that has drawn much of my interest despite being a recent trend, so I accepted this challenge with a bit of skepticism (as further explained below). But much to my surprise, everyone’s looks turned out so well. Check out their links below for the full post from each lady to get a better look at the magic they worked on their fancy hair styles.
Braids pose a challenge for me for about a million reasons, but let’s focus on the biggest ones:
1. Braids don’t often show up in the corporate world, so if I commit to sticking to my theme (to the best of my ability despite diverging from it a bit during maternity leave), working braids into a work-appropriate outfit proves tough. Braids are boho, or whimsical, or childish if not styled properly. I don’t intend to be any of those things at my office or at a client event filled to the brim with corporate men a decade or two older than me who already view me with a hesitant eye.
2. Genetics blessed / cursed me with straight-as-a-board hair. My hair lies perfectly flat no matter what I do. For everyday prancing and dancing, this works out well. While I own a hair dryer, it often collects dust while my hair air dries. The hair dryer gets pulled out from under the bathroom cabinet on rare occasions when I have to race out the door on a cold winter morning and don’t want frozen hair. Needless-to-say, my hair is low maintenance. But that means I don’t own the products or tools to do anything interesting with my hair, and I wouldn’t know how to execute any interesting ‘do’s even if I had the tools at my disposal.
*On a tangent, I discussed this a few years back with a stylist while getting my hair cut as she tried to sell me a product that she swore would help my hair hold curl and volume. She told me about previous clients who’d used it and loved it, and I skeptically let her attempt to work magic on my lazy locks with the “magic hair potion.” At the end of the appointment, my entirely flat hair left her speechless, and she didn’t even revisit trying to sell me the product upon my departure. My hair has a mind of it’s own, and it’s decided to live life one way, and only one way, on the straight and narrow.
So, with a little fear and much skepticism, I accepted this Side By Side Challenge of Braids from Amanda and Jennie over at 2 Girls in 2 Cities and started to browse none other than…Pinterest, of course! I’ve confessed my undying love for Pinterest and, what better place to find ideas for a simple braid that I might actually be able to execute that also bodes well for an executive look? I found a couple of ideas and pinned them to my new A Hair Affair Pinterest Board. But then Sunday, walking to the park with all my boys, I spotted a woman walking out of the salon with her hair styled in a cute side bun with a braid swiped across the back. It looked easy enough, and I had worn my hair in a similar way as a bridesmaid a few years back (sans braid), so I elected to give that ‘do a go. I didn’t creepily take any photos of her “street style” hair, but trust me, my attempt turned out pretty darn close.
All in all, this might have been one of the most rewarding blog posts I’ve done in quite some time. I took on the challenge expecting to share something mediocre, at best, given my hair’s impossible independence coupled with my unwillingness to look like a child. The look ended up a bit wispy, but I think the “messy” look is sufficiently sophisticated to wear to the office (or even for my meetings in the board room down the road). So not only did I find a new way to wear my hair to work (that only took about ten minutes to complete), but I have a renewed faith that my hair may actually do something interesting for me once in a while. I won’t be wearing tight, beautiful curls anytime soon. But with a bit of creativity, I apparently have more fun hair options than I thought. Thanks Jennie and Amanda for the motivation to try something new and step out of my comfort zone just the tiniest bit!
** As an aside, M just walked in while I was writing this (my hair still tied up and braided) and said, “You’re hair looks nicer than it did at your sister’s wedding.” 1) He’s right, but my hair looked like crap at my sister’s wedding so the bar was set pretty low and 2) Might that be the last time I overpay someone else to do my hair if I can throw it up myself in ten minutes and it looks nicer than the professional work? **