High Maintenance Hair AND High Functioning Autism?

Let me start by saying I am so grateful that I have hair. I am grateful that I am not struggling with chemotherapy treatments or female pattern baldness or androgentic alopecia. I pray the Lord will bless and strengthen those who do.

I recognize that in the grand scheme of things, this is a very minor, very first world problem. Yet, please believe me when I say, I have actually asked God, more than once, why He would give me this high maintenance hair and at the same time, a child with massive sensory issues related to high functioning autism.

It is petty, but it is real life for this momma.

My hair is thick, really thick. It is also naturally kinky/curly/frizzy in the back, and completely stick straight in the front…no joke.

This means that it is impossible to just wash and go. It always has been (even back in 10th grade when I was so jealous of the girls that came to school with their hair still wet and by lunch time looked gorgeous – I knew even then, easy hair was not meant to be for me).

I thought I had made peace with it. In my twenties, I learned all the best strategies for scrunching and straightening. I knew and bought all the best products to smooth and style.

I hit a slight bump in my early thirties when my first-born came along. I had no idea how to spend so much time on my hair and nurse around the clock. But, I planned ahead. I actually had friends watch the baby so that I could blow dry. I made it work.

Then, nine years later, that same little baby was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and Anxiety Disorder. As his hormones kicked in and his brain matured, his sensory sensitivities intensified – dramatically.

This means that any real noise, especially the blow dryer, is excruciating to him. Even in our back bathroom, far away from his room, I can hear him crying out for me to turn it off.

It also means that he is less functional. Leaving him alone sometimes is not an option. Leaving him alone with his younger brother is even less an option. Even if I can make it through the blow dry stage of hair prep, taking the time to straighten or curl is completely out of the question, yet my hair demands it.

So, my tips for Easy Hair?

1. Bun vs. Ponytail

Hair pulled into a bun, even a messy bun, has the chance to look more elegant than a pony tail. Even on “bun days” (read 99% of the days), I have had compliments on my hair looking stylish. I laugh every single time. And then say thank you. And then laugh some more, ’cause I did nothing except hope for the best and twist a rubber band around the mess.

2. Fake the Front

If you really don’t have time to blow dry (or if you are like me and the noise will not be tolerated for longer than 30 seconds), just blow dry the very front pieces and the crown. That way, when you do pull your hair into that bun, it looks like you tried, at least a little. It will also be smoother throughout the day than if you just let it air dry while pulled back.

3. Make-Up and Earrings

My sister has always said that your hair can be as messy as you want, but as long as you wear dangle earrings and put on make-up, you look presentable. I think she is 100% right – either that or it is totally wishful thinking. Either way, I’m going with it!

4. Let It Go

When all else fails, you are a mom. You will probably have some days that it doesn’t come together hair wise. That’s OK. You have amazing little ones to blame if someone comes to the door unannounced or your husband comes home to a woman that sort of resembles the lady he knows as his wife. You deserve grace, and maybe a nice blow out this weekend at the salon (a girl can dream people).

For the sake of credibility and public disclosure, please see these pictures of me after actually styling my hair vs. not.

DSC_0669Good hair after 45 minutes of styling (my sweet mother-in-law took care of my son and the hair equipment came out!)

iPhone Photos 082915 234Bad hair after about 2.5 minutes of styling…and yes, I applied a filter to this picture. Although I did wear earrings during the day, they had long since been retired as I cleaned the kitchen and tried to cook a little dinner. Also, please note the random syringes making an appearance. I posted this on Instagram y’all, talking about my slacker mommy tip to wear an apron at all times so I don’t actually have to wash my clothes. Did not even notice the drug paraphernalia in the background. Oh well. Such is life, micro-dosing medicines so my son can swallow them.

What are your mommy hair tricks? Wanna share them?



18 thoughts on “High Maintenance Hair AND High Functioning Autism?

  1. Dry. Shampoo. And then, Dry Shampoo again. A sweet mom friend gave me a “survival kit” after my 2nd was born – in it were protein bars, deodorant, facial cleansing wipes, and dry shampoo. She knew what was up (although, the kit also included magazines to read while I was nursing….clearly she only has 1 haha).

  2. Oh, girl. I. Get. This. I think my hair is worse than yours. Mine is frizzy everywhere, so even a beautiful bun like you have doesn’t hide the halo of frizz around my face. I am in love with my straightener, but if I use it too much (read: more than once a week), it burns my hair and makes it even MORE frizzy and damaged. I had a girlfriend in high school tell me I should go get a relaxer treatment done–like, because I have African-American hair. I’ve just had to get over it, I guess. I have dreams of having amazing hair straight out of the shower, but I have had to slowly accept that this will never happen. My one consolation is that I live in Southern California now, where humidity isn’t really so much of a problem. When I lived in Ohio, it really was a lost cause.

  3. Oh my gosh I am laughing out loud! So nice to read a post that does not has directly to do with Bacon or SD! I am a firm believer in the makeup, dangle earrings and bun look. Ask anyone. Also, ladies u all need to urself a Brazilian Blowout ASAP. Yes, it’s expensive but it works! And no, it has nothing to do with your private hair down there.;) it will, listen now, change your crazy lives. Save up for it, add up holiday gifting for it, whatever.

    1. Now I am laughing out loud! You are too funny – “listen now, it will change your crazy lives!”
      I might start saving now for it…although my sis did it and it was rough. Her hair is closer to mine. It took, but not evenly all over.
      Either way, I am glad that I could write a post that truly expresses this sentiment.
      Love you,

    1. In one of my worst hair moves, I did try to perm the front so it would match. It was not good. Because the back is more kinky than curly, the whole thing still didn’t blend. That and the front pieces were damaged and breaking.
      I have always been afraid to try a relaxer or brazil blow-out, but maybe it is just time!

  4. On my worst hairdays I am wearing a cap or a fancy hat. People react like: oh, you always look that nice, even in the early morningtimes. I am just laughing by my self knowing, that under the hat is the most terible hairstyle 😉

  5. I have a massive amount of curly hair. I only wash it one or two times a week, so in between, i have one solid decent hair day. The rest are pony tails, buns, and braids. Go check out hairromance.com — so many awesome hair tutorials, many of them braids—and very easy. I can do most of them wet or dry, it is a life saver to have an easy go-to braid in your back pocket. If all else fails, I wear a ball cap!

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