I knew going into this trip that my hair and I would have to come to a new understanding. You already knew of my plan to let it go to a natural color (gray, it seems), but I haven't shared much about my hairstyle beyond my newfound love of simple braiding. And I've not gone into detail about the love/hate relationship I.'ve always had with my hair. So ... here it is.
I have Fraggle Rock hair. At least that what I wake up with in the morning, and it stays that way if I simply wash it and allow it to dry on its own. An alchemists blend of product and and arcane-but-exacting ritual of styling removes most of the Medusa-ness, but I'm never truly satisfied. It's super thick (yes, better than thin, I agree), so drying alone can take 30-45 minutes. And then I have to attack it with either flat iron or curling iron, because kill it. Kill it with fire. I hate wasting all this time on my hair but am unwilling to go out in public lest someone assume I'm a decedent of Albert Einstein.
I've been close or best friends with enough hairdressers (I'm no idiot) to know that there is no such thing as wash-and-wear hair. Except on unicorns. But I'm starting to question their collective conventional wisdom, as I'm seeing women all around Europe (Copenhagen specifically), that rock simple hairstyles (no bangs, middle part, long hair) and somehow adopt the wind-blown look (because Europe) ... and they look absolutely adorable! They might use a bit of product and they might hit it quick with a blow dryer, but I don't think they are going crazy with hot chunks of steel every day. (And that's better for the hair anyway, right?)
I had already switched up my daily routine before we left the states, deciding to only bring my flat iron and to borrow whatever blow drier I could find where we would be staying. (Mass and volume are at a premium when living -- literally -- out of a single suitcase.) But now even the flat iron is gone (due to converter/adapter issues) and I've only just discovered that hostels don't supply blow dryer. Shit, now what will I do?
The only thing I can. Faced with few options, I stopped blow drying my hair about four days ago, in expectation of complete disaster. So far, it's not really as bad as I had foreseen, thanks largely to having a good hairdresser. Thank you, Mindi! Mindi knew of my plans and showed me how to trim the ends of my hair as well as how to shape my bangs on my own. (I really can't afford to get my hair cut every 4-6 weeks while traveling.) I'm two trimmings in and have managed quite well, I think! With these locks, it's really easy to get the Killer Bangs look from 1987. I'd rather skip those years, thank you very much.
Now, after all that, my post-shower routine is simple. Like, stoopid simple. A couple minutes of brushing my still-wet hair ensure it's laying the proper way. Then I move to makeup -- which I've always done fairly simply -- and twice brush my bangs the opposite of my "natural" direction to give them a bit of body. With my makeup routine complete, put a French braid in my hair, taking car to make sure it's straight and free from wild ends.
All in all, I've added about 40 minutes back into my day to do with as I see fit. And I'm not hating my hair. A win/win situation if ever there was one. My advice: Simplify! Even if you're convinced you can't!