How many times have you seen a meme with the message that motherhood ages you? For me, one too many…
Sure it’s fun to poke around and blame all of our falls from grace on the kids; but if we’re real, we know it’s not true. I’ve always been an antagonist to the way that social media makes women, particularly mothers, feel. And, I’m going to say upfront that this is not an instant game changer type post. No. Nothing in this is going to be a miracle. The suggestions in this post are for the longer-term. They are a holistic approach to anti-aging, rather than a quick cover-up.
Are you ready? Sure you are. Let’s discuss the ways how it’s not motherhood that ages you, it’s just bad habits. I made a skip link here if you want to skip straight to the tips.
Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Formulate. All opinions and beliefs are my own. #customizedhaircare #smartscience
My personal bad habit story
In 2007 I loved to play with hair color and makeup. I did every bad beauty habit in the book; and although this look was really fun, it was clearly far from my natural self. In this picture, I routinely highlighted and straightened my hair. I also tanned under UV lights roughly 3 times a week. Additionally, I wore a TON of makeup. It took me over 2 hours every single day to get ready. Talk about being unproductive.
My hair needed to be re-dyed every 4 weeks because my roots would show. After 9 months, I began to notice a severe degradation of my hair, particularly at my crown area. It was very brittle and used to snap. No cream or commercial hair product seemed to help. I decided to go darker in order to cut back on the dye.
Skip ahead a few years.
At this point, I had given birth to 2 of my 3 children. During the back-to-back pregnancies, I did not dye my hair. However, l didn’t give up straightening just yet. The sad part was, even with all of the prenatal vitamins, my hair was still really thin. Also, notice the flyaways. My scalp was very dry because I washed my hair every single day.
In 2015, I tried cutting it off and starting over. I got back a little bit of volume; however, I was still treating my hair exactly the same. I’m not sure what I thought cutting would do. So, every morning was wash, blow-dry, flat iron. It was so repetitive and a waste of time.
They say motherhood ages you…
I’m still not done with my personal beauty story. By this point, I had all 3 babies. Pressed for time, I decided the ponytail route was the way to go. I still straightened the outer pieces to get them to lay back. During this time in my life, my hair was screaming for help.
Furthermore, in regards to my skin, I used a lot of foundation cover-ups. If you look closely, you can see how inflamed my pores were. I remember rubbing my face throughout the day and just feeling waxy. Gross. All of these terrible things were happening to my skin and hair simply because I mistreated them.
Starting to change
Now, some would say, why not stop heat-styling your hair? Well, in 2016 I finally did. Take note, the hair products used in the picture below were full of silicone, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals. I could not understand why my hair was still so frizzy, even when I stopped using heat. My hair completely sucked.
Fortunately, it was at this point that I began changing my old makeup routine. I would place a little DIY body butter on my face and started cutting back on products. I figured, if I wanted a natural look, why not do it for real?
2018 Current Status
Below, you’ll see the most recent photo of myself. I started ditching my bad beauty habits and began taking a more holistic approach to my looks. I feel much more confident now. Taking care of myself is less about nitpicking and more about embracing what my body naturally wants to do.
The Curly Girl Method has been the primary influence on my hair routine. It’s made such a dramatic difference and I’m so happy that now I literally wash and go. No more fussing. No more fighting.
Furthermore, I completely stopped using makeup, including brow fillers and cream shadows. There is so much to learn about healthy beauty habits; it’s a real progression every day.
Myth: Motherhood Ages You
You don’t have to believe the saying “Motherhood ages you” any longer. Additionally, before using any of my anti-aging tips below, I want to remind you that true beauty starts from within. Take the time to appreciate yourself and your unique features. Not everyone has the same texture of hair, skin resilience, or a million and one other things. Strive not to make yourself like everyone else. Instead, make it a goal to be the most healthy YOU as possible. None of my beauty secrets below involve changing/altering your natural appearance.
You are most beautiful when you enjoy the way you are.
It took me way too many years to understand this in my heart. It seems that no matter the amount of reassurance the outside world brings, it’s the inside voices that count. Those inside voices, unfortunately, if left uncontrolled are also the most hurtful. Be kind to yourself. You are most beautiful when you enjoy the way you are.
8 Tips for Aging Gracefully
Even though I did not start these tips until after my mid 30’s, these beauty routines are appropriate for all ages. Continue reading to learn them all.
1: Avoid using heat tools on your hair.
Some heat tools can reach temperatures over 400F. You can see for yourself from the pictures above that it’s very harmful to your hair. You may temporarily like how your hair looks after it’s heat-styled but after years of usage, your hairs elasticity and strength will suffer.
2: Drink plenty of water.
Drinking plenty of water will hydrate both your luscious locks and your skin. Water keeps your body refreshed so it can maintain its integrity. Without water, you cannot flush out toxins. Additionally, your body fights harder to recover itself. Of all of the anti-aging secrets out there, drinking water is the simplest yet most important.
3: Do not color your hair!
You may feel that motherhood ages you and you need to cover up those grays… But, as you can see from my pictures above, hair dye is very bad for your locks. Sure there are some plant-based dyes on the market now but I’d still caution away from them. At this point, I’m comfortable with grays and feel that they are distinguishing.
4: Massage to stimulate growth
In order to stimulate hair growth, don’t forget to massage your scalp. You want to gently run your fingers over your head for a few minutes. Do this for 10 minutes, about once or twice a week. It will stimulate blood flow to the scalp and encourage new hair growth.
5: Stay away from silicones
Silicones drag your hair down. They are heavy and coat your hair with a barrier that water and nutrients cannot penetrate. Initially, it may appear to make your hair shinier but in reality, it’s like dipping your strands in plastic. Once the silicone is on your hair, water cannot get in. After long-term use, you will notice that your hair becomes drier and drier.
P.S. The same applies to silicone found in skin and body products.
6: Nix the sulfates, too.
Sulfates are just as bad. Sulfates are cleaning chemicals. You can find sulfates in things like laundry detergent and kitchen grease removers. Does that seem like something you’d want in your hair? Companies use sulfates because they are cheap and make bubbles. Totally not good to use on your skin or hair.
7: Apply moisturizers correctly.
Since hydration is so important to skin and hair, read this tip carefully. Never apply any moisturizer, without first, the moisture. This means, when I apply my rosehip oil to my face, I make sure it’s still damp with water. The same is with my hair. I do not apply any nutrient oils when my hair is dry. The goal is to lock in the moisture, so add them directly after your bath or shower.
8: DIY or customize as much as possible
In order to take advantage of anti-aging products, it’s best to DIY as much as possible. Another great option is to have products customized specifically for you.
Now here is the fun part! I’ve partnered with Formulate to introduce the launch of their customizable shampoos and conditioners. They create formulas based on your individual needs and beauty beliefs. If you don’t want certain ingredients, then your customized bottles will not have it. Hence, why it’s so cool.
I’m receiving my first customized package shortly. Stay tuned for a future post about my six-week Formulate results. I’ll give you some more details soon. I’m so happy to work with a company that listens to my specific hair care requests and creates a unique formula just for me. Having an individualized line of products ensures that they work specifically for me. Thank you, Formulate!
What tips would you add?
I hope this post has inspired you to love yourself as you are. It’s all about enhancing your natural beauty, rather than quickly trying to change it or cover it up. Do you have any sustainable beauty tips you’d like to add below? Do you feel that motherhood ages you? Leave me a comment to discuss.
Until next time, when your hands are full, live your life to the fullest.