All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!

Because You Asked…


Many of you have asked about these secret weapon hair products I have stumbled across, so I will share my secrets with you!

But some background first.

I am not a hair person.  I was raised by a woman who wasn’t a hair person.  My mom never taught us how to do our own hair because she didn’t really know how to do hers.  We were put in front of a mirror, at the age of 9 or 10, with a curling iron and hair spray and told to make our hair look nice for brunch at the country club (oh dear GOD!) but we had no clue what we were doing – and Mom wouldn’t help us.  Many times, we tried our best and were told to start over because it didn’t look good.  This is not included in my list of fond childhood memories.

My older sister learned how to “do her bangs” 80’s style and taught me.  I had sky-scraper bangs for years.  YEARS.  The higher, the better.  We moved from being forced to curl our own hair to having to curl my mom’s hair (geesh!) for trips to the beloved country club.  It was quite comical – skyscraper bangs on a grown woman.  But – we did as we were told.  And, in all fairness, every one of every age had stupid, high, hair-sprayed hair back then.

When it was time for me to go to high school, I was being transitioned from public school to a very small Catholic, all-girls high school.  I was not looking forward to it because I loved my public school – I fit in great, I was quite active in most things, and had lots of good friends.  I went begrudgingly to private school and immediately stood out as a “public school transfer” because of my perm and sky-scraper bangs.  The girls I was joining in private school were mostly quite refined and simply attractive – “girl next door pretty” (the type of pretty I always wanted to be).  They’d been in the private school system their entire lives and had been simply pretty by nature and grooming by their mothers.  I know this sounds trite but believe me – it’s true (in regards to my high school, anyway).  I think wearing uniforms is a big contributor to this (and I’m a big, HUGE, proponent of school uniforms).

So I quickly decided that things had to change – that it was time to look the way I wanted to look and not the way my  mom wanted me to look.  I ironed my hair with an iron – on an ironing board – for a week before my mom relented and let me get my perm reversed.  I immediately started growing out my bangs.  I quickly had long, bone-straight hair with perfectly bouncy bangs.

And that was it – that was my look for the next 19 years.  I shit you not.

Because I still didn’t really KNOW how to do my hair.  HA!

When I became pregnant with Matthew, I decided that it was high time that I get a look for myself besides my old Catholic school girl look – that I needed a real hair style.  The gal I’d had cutting my hair since moving back to Iowa would trim me every 8 weeks and never suggest anything – no suggestions on style, color, shape, etc.  And – her neighbor was one of the gals from my high school that molded my image of myself.  She was one of the girls with the beautiful long, dark hair and awesomely bouncy bangs.  And I needed to get away from that – but she always wanted to talk about that gal when I’d come in.  (That gal still has the same hair style – and honestly – it still looks perfect on her!)

So I asked my friends for recommendations on a stylist who would not only cut my hair, but suggest fun things to me and teach me HOW to DO my hair.  I found the most perfect gal and she truly spent the first session writing down instructions for me, with tips for each product and when to use it.

She sold me this awesome thickening cream that was proprietary to the salon (it was a white label product that they put their logo on) and it was great.  It did the trick every time.  I used it for over a year and I had great, thick, straight hair with style.  And then they quit carrying that thickening cream this past spring.  Holy hell, I was at a loss.  My hair gal said that they didn’t have anything quite like it anymore and that all of her clients were upset.  She helped me try new products, but none of them did what I wanted.  None of them did the same thing that that cheap cream did.  In fact, they all dried my hair out.

I went to Ave.da a month or so ago and explained my plight.  They told me that they didn’t have anything like that cream for me.  Sigh.  I went home and kept using that drying stuff.  But on Monday, I needed more conditioner so headed back to Ave.da and asked a different gal for her thoughts.  She sold me two things and told me how to use them.  The best part is that Ave.da will let you return any product you don’t like as long as it’s not more than half-used – so I was taking no financial risks (after spending over $100 so far trying to find a replacement for the discontinued cream).

I bought the Pure Abundance Style Prep to spray on my wet roots right out of the shower, and the Phomollient to put in my damp hair after drying it just a smidge.  This stuff is working!  What’s funny is that I used to use Phomollient years ago, but I was using it all wrong by putting it on my very wet hair.

My routine is this:

  1. Shower
  2. Pat dry hair with towel
  3. Spray roots with Pure Abundance Style Prep
  4. Blow dry hair for a couple of minutes until hair is “damp”
  5. Put 5 pumps of Phomollient in damp hair, concentrated from roots downward
  6. Style with hair dryer until completely dry
  7. Comb and shape
  8. Put about two pea-size dollops of Arr.ojo Texture Paste in dry hair, working from roots downward
  9. Come and style again
  10. DONE

I no longer need to flat-iron my hair – it keeps its straightness all day long, even after being tucked behind my ears.  My hair has more volume now at the end of the day than it every has.

So there you have it!

My new line-up1

My new, winning line-up!

Author: Courtney

Hi, there, I’m Courtney. I never planned to stay home with my kids, but I got sucked into motherhood when my first baby came into our lives after years of infertility and multiple rounds of IVF. His brother followed closely behind, something we didn’t plan on after having such a rough road with achieving parenthood the first time around. My boys are IVF cycle twins, conceived on the same day but born two years and one day apart (they were both transferred on the same day in October, but with two years between them). My boys are the best of friends and my husband is a terrific husband, father, and most importantly… friend. He fully supported my desire to stay home (“I just wanted it to be your idea and not mine, I totally want you to stay home and raise our kids!”) and encourages me in everything I do. I am a lover of projects, spreadsheets, fitness, healthy cooking and eating, crafts, selling my stuff on FB (HA!), and the outdoors. If I’m active, I’m pretty darn happy!

7 thoughts on “Because You Asked…

  1. I use the same two Ave.da products! So glad you have found hair happiness!

  2. me thinks I’m going shopping….something worth trying!

  3. Thanks for the recommendations- I love Aveda, but am always so hesitant to spend the money. Sounds like it’s worth it though. My mom never taught me to do my hair either. Her solution- have it cut short, like a boy. Having a teacher tell me I was going in the wrong bathroom in pre-school (because she thought I was a boy) is my childhood trama memory. If I have a daughter, I am going to be all about bows and cute hairstyles, so there will be NO mistake- ha!

  4. Thanks! I bought one of those hairdryer-twirly brush things on the basis of a blog (and I was not disappointed!) and now I’ll try this!

  5. Yay! I’m glad you’ve found some good products… and I seriously LOVE how everything Av.eda smells! Oh my, heavenly!!! I use their confixor… and it is a serious miracle worker!!! And it smells like heavenly choirs singing to me. 🙂

  6. Oh man, why do I have to be so CHEAP! I want to buy these, but I seriously haven’t even had a hair cut in over a year (I cut it myself, including layers, HAHAHA! See “why do I have to be so CHEAP” above). Aveda is good stuff though, I used to use it in college…. maybe I’ll give it a go. My hair could use a little oomph these days.

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