Heater, Mother of Lance

An advantage to setting the bar so low

I know you guys want to hear about my hair, so let’s do this. You ready? Yeah? WE ARE SO HARD CORE. Drugs. Guns. Porn. Prostitutes. Embezzlement. Tax evasion. HAIR.

I’ve been growing my hair out for about 19 months, and this is its current status:


Good lord, I look wholesome. Whoa. Anyway.

So, this isn’t necessarily current current. This is one of the photos Cami took of me back in the middle of May when I needed some new head shots. So, what, a month and a half ago? It’s not much longer now, so just pretend that if my hair had its own Facebook page it would be all, “What is on my mind? THIS. This is on my mind right now. And hey, everybody from high school, please stop calling me back to Jesus.”

I like it so much more than the short cut I had for three years, if only that the length gives me so many more options. Up and down. See how many options that is? TWO WHOLE OPTIONS. If I had the time or desire I could probably come up with a dozen more but this is why I am not a fashion blogger. Another reason I’m not a fashion blogger? Let’s see, how many times has a picture or a story of a toilet appeared here in the last couple of weeks? Yeah. I’ll stick to exploiting my kids.

As much as I love this length, it is now at a point where blowing it dry requires an inordinate amount of time. Like, forever. Like, I started blowing my hair dry last week and it’s still not dry. I workout four to five times a week and I will be standing there blowing my hair dry and my arms will start to ache. You guys. I have to take a breather in the middle of blowing my hair dry so that my arms don’t collapse. That sentence right there is going to end up on some tumblr calling out whiny privileged people and I’ll be like YOU come dry my hair. And when they show up and attempt to do so they’ll be all, oh my god you just changed my entire world view.

Yesterday my schedule was nutso insane, and because everything was skiwampus I had to sneak in a 15-minute power workout in the middle of the day. It’s this race against the clock sort of thing where I do five rounds of five different exercises, and even though it’s only 15 minutes long the intensity of it makes me want to puke the whole time. Why do I do workouts like this? Well. My mother did carry me in the womb almost four weeks after my due date, and then when she went into labor she CLEANED THE HOUSE instead of heading to the hospital, so there is obviously something wrong with me and it’s all her fault.

Afterward I hopped in the shower and then realized I didn’t have two weeks to blow my hair dry before heading out to another appointment, and so for the first time since my hair has been this long I let it air dry. Just lathered it with some product and prayed for the safety of anyone who came into contact with me for the rest of the day. Because good gracious, my hair, you guys. You just never know. It’s got a natural wave to it. And that wave can look casual. OR. That wave can look homeless.



Tyrant saw me later when it was dry and could only mutter an, “Oh.” That was his very kind way of saying, “What in god’s name, woman? Did you do that on purpose?”

Since I had showered I was no longer in my gym clothes, and when I showed up in shorts and a t-shirt to pick Leta up from camp, she did a double and then a triple take.

“MOM!” she yelled. “Why are you so dressed up?”

Yeah. Isn’t that great. So great.

“And your hair!” she continued. I winced, waiting for her to say something awful. “It’s so beautiful!”

It’s… what… I mean…

“Did you curl it? It looks so fancy!”

“Thank you, Leta,” I responded. “No, my hair just does this if I leave it alone. You really like it?”

“I love it!” Her enthusiasm was so unexpected. “You should wear it like that more often!”

Oh my god, am I ever terrified of her puberty, but oh my god, how awesome is it going to be when we get to swap stories about tampons and conditioning shampoo. I love girls!

Together we walked over to the building where Marlo spends her day, and when she saw the two of us enter the room she stopped suddenly and stood transfixed, blinking, staring at me. Oh god, oh god, oh god, I thought. If I was scared of Leta criticizing my hair out loud, what was this unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation going to unleash? I closed my eyes for a second and waited for it.

“YOU HAIR IS STHO PRETTY!” she yelled from across the room. She ran over and jumped into my arms specifically so that she could touch my hair. She petted it like it was a newborn puppy, so gently, so admiringly, so cautiously like it might get upset, turn around and swat her with a paw.

“I love it, I love it, I love it!” she squealed.

Seriously. This is what working from home does for you. All you have to do is shower, change out of your gym clothes, slightly modify your hairstyle and BOOM. Your kids are like MY MOTHER IS A MAGICIAN.

  • lisdom

    2013/07/03 at 11:34 am

    My hair is naturally wavy, and I wish someone had told me during high school that if I just left it alone, it would do the “beach wave” thing that’s so in fashion right now, instead of blowdrying it to smithereens and having poofy awful hair. You look beautiful. =)

  • Elspeth

    2013/07/03 at 11:34 am

    “skiwampus” is an awesome word that I should use more often.

  • Sara

    2013/07/03 at 11:36 am

    Curly, natural hair is ALWAYS better than trying to force it on a daily basis to do something it’s not meant to do! I haven’t met one naturally curly haired lady who looks better when she straightens. Embrace it!

  • Sara Lanthier

    2013/07/03 at 11:38 am

    I love it curly – like seriously.

  • katalia

    2013/07/03 at 11:39 am

    I have board-straight hair that won’t do anything without a lot of product … my whole life I have wanted waves of some sort, so I say rock it! Beach waves are the best.

  • Deborah Kallgren

    2013/07/03 at 11:39 am

    I’ve never understood the desire to try to tame curly/wavy hair. This time of year in Virginia it’s frizz, but it’s curly and it does what it wants to do. And I love it. Yours looks great curly, by the way.

  • wonderfulchaos

    2013/07/03 at 11:41 am

    Your hair looks very nice curly. I mostly leave mine curly but there are days I need something different and blow dry it out straight. My old dryer took forever, but then I moved and got a second bathroom, and got a blow dryer for that room, and it’s so much more powerful and awesome. Get a more powerful blow dryer, your arms won’t feel like their going to fall off.

  • The Absent Minded Housewife

    2013/07/03 at 11:49 am

    I used to keep my hair boy short when I was all teenagerish. It was pin straight then. Joke’s on me. Grow it out while I’m raising kids and find out that the hormones give me natural Jan Brady side head ringlets. Let my hair air dry and Diana Ross’s wig gets jealous.

  • Big Dog Momma

    2013/07/03 at 11:49 am

    Ugh, my hair is the same. Very thick and wavy (not curly) and just applying product to wet hair and walking out the door can go oh, so many different directions! It’s a risk. But a risk worth taking to save an hour of DRYING time in the morning.

  • Big Dog Momma

    2013/07/03 at 11:51 am

    So THAT’S my problem…trying to make it behave. Who knew??

  • Keltie

    2013/07/03 at 11:52 am

    It does look pretty! Do that more!

  • KatieMama

    2013/07/03 at 11:52 am

    Now we know where Marlo gets her beautiful curls!

  • Piedtyper

    2013/07/03 at 11:54 am

    I did that once. My son said, “Did you dry your hair today?” “No.” “Yeah, you might not want to do that again.”

  • Meg Griswold

    2013/07/03 at 11:59 am

    I love it! Embrace your natural hair. You will save so much time and money and in the end be happier. You look really great and I say that your kids’ opinion was spot on. Who the hell cares what anyone else thinks?

  • Sarah Gammell Matthews

    2013/07/03 at 12:06 pm

    Love the hair, love the girls’ reaction!

  • Karen Bernstein

    2013/07/03 at 12:09 pm

    Here’s another thing to try – don’t shampoo for a week. Curly hair hates shampoo. Let it go for a week (if you get too sweaty use a bit of conditioner (which also has detergents in it!) when you shower. THEN let it dry and see what it looks like.
    I am a curly girl who lives in Houston and I gave up trying to tame my hair in this humidity a looooooong time ago. Every now and then the stars align and I am at the hair stylist on a day when the humidity is below 50%. She’ll blow out my hair straight and I’ll go home to show everyone my “new look.” The first time I did this the kids, who were 6 and 8 or so, cried. Not kidding.

  • Morgan Gardner

    2013/07/03 at 12:11 pm

    I’m a curly-haired girl myself and I have to say… it looks so beautiful like this!

  • nicki

    2013/07/03 at 12:11 pm

    You look so young…

  • Mona (Moxie-Dude)

    2013/07/03 at 12:13 pm

    OMG – can I relate! I also work from home and after I train in the morning, I often never get a chance to get out of my gym clothes until it’s time to get ready for bed. Lately the days have been running away from me so that I go from looking like an ambassador for sweat pants to fresh out of the shower and into my PJs. Okay. Enough about how I can relate. YOUR HAIR LOOKS GREAT. (Yelled that just so that it stood out more than me-about-me rant.)

  • The Fashionable Housewife

    2013/07/03 at 12:13 pm

    Booh ya! I wish my hair looked like that when I just let it air dry. I would have an instant afro if I left my hair to it’s on devices. You look ravishing and I agree… Should definitely wear it like that more often. It suits you.

  • april

    2013/07/03 at 12:15 pm

    You’ll know things are gettin’ serious when your hair has it’s own life list.

  • Jo DeBell

    2013/07/03 at 12:22 pm

    Have you ever heard of the curly girl method, or Devacurl? Lorraine Massey? You actually do Less to your hair and it does More for you. You do look fierce with a wave!

  • Jo DeBell

    2013/07/03 at 12:24 pm

    My own parents started to introduce themselves the first time I (a very curly girl for life) came come with straight hair and bangs

  • Diane Cayton-Hakey

    2013/07/03 at 12:36 pm

    I have very straight hair and spent the 80’s and 90’s perming and trying to make it do unnatural things. It’s easier simply to let it do what it was meant to do… your curts/waves are gorgeous, Heather. Stop fighting it and let it be. Kind of the secret to life as well. 🙂

  • Dawn

    2013/07/03 at 12:38 pm

    I think your hair looks great like that. I am a curly girl, though, so I am a little biased. If you have some natural wave to your hair you can take advantage of it. Use gel specifically for curly hair. Use a minimal amount of shampoo, or better yet find some for curly hair which goes by the term “no poo,” because shampoo has harsh chemicals that are bad for curly hair. Do not towel dry your hair. When your hair is wet, squeeze at much water as you can out of it, then put in some curly gel and scrunch it up. Let it air dry. I wear a t-shirt for a while because it will drip a bit, but moisture is a curly girl’s friend. I say go natural instead of blow drying all the time. It looks great.

  • lolquint

    2013/07/03 at 12:42 pm

    I totally relate to the blow drying time frame, I have gotten to the point where I refer to the styling as an “event”. It is the event before the event. Gads.

  • Jenna

    2013/07/03 at 12:43 pm

    I like it! As a person with stick-straight hair (air dry or blow dry, I never understand why my wavy- or curly-haired friends stress and fuss about blow drying and straightening on the reg. The times I’ve seen my friends go without product/blowdry/straightening, I’m always in awe of the natural beauty they’re trying to hide! Let yo’ freak hair fly, girl!

  • Necole Kell

    2013/07/03 at 1:04 pm

    I have three daughters and I know how you feel. I put on makeup and my girls are like “Mommy you look so pretty.” All is took was make-up. Thank goodness I am pretty much a yoga pant wearing slob most of the time, or I may never get any compliments from my girls. I love being the mother of girls.

  • kate

    2013/07/03 at 1:07 pm

    It’s fantastic! I’m a firm believer that curly/wavy hair looks so much more relaxed and loose and sexy, which is certainly does on you! Plus, EASY! Hell yes.

  • Jamie

    2013/07/03 at 1:08 pm

    “This is what working from home does for you. All you have to do is shower, change out of your gym clothes, slightly modify your hairstyle and BOOM. Your kids are like MY MOTHER IS A MAGICIAN.”

    Absolutely. My kids feel the same way!

  • Kara

    2013/07/03 at 1:17 pm

    A. Your hair looks awesome both straight and wavy. B. Do you actually wash your hair after every workout? Like every day? If you do, you are WAY more together than I am, and I don’t even have kids. I wash my hair about twice a week, and I also work out at least 4 times a week. So basically my hair is always sweaty. Yeah.

  • Sue

    2013/07/03 at 1:21 pm

    I have two boys and a husband, and on the very rare occasion that I look magnificent, I’m lucky if I get a, “You ready to go?” or a “Mom, where are we going?” It’s very gratifying. Really.

  • Meredith

    2013/07/03 at 1:30 pm

    Awesome! I’m a thoroughly committed “let it go curly” gal myself but the first half of this post had me pondering whether I should start blowing it out. My sanity and my hair dryer thank you for the happy ending.

  • Gryph

    2013/07/03 at 1:33 pm

    I just cut my hair off quite short and..I love love love that I now just have to kind pf point the blow dryer at it and it is dry. that’s like the best part of short hair. also I kind of don’t really have to brush it anymore. but mostly the blowdrying.

  • giddypony

    2013/07/03 at 1:51 pm

    I got dressed up (for an 80s party) and did my hair. My 11 yr old said that I looked “Like an alcholic from one of those weird British shows.” I took it as a compliment, damnit.

  • kmpinkel

    2013/07/03 at 2:26 pm

    I pay for “natural” waves, and then when it all starts to grow out….I start my upper body workout to endure the marathon of hair drying. Sing it sista!

  • Kate

    2013/07/03 at 2:27 pm

    I TOLD you it looked awesome in the parking lot, I just didn’t have time to pet it like Marlo… 🙂

  • Sarah Kimes

    2013/07/03 at 2:35 pm

    Two words: Dry Shampoo.
    I have super oily hair, and dry shampoo has been a life saver. I used to wash my hair every day, and now I only wash it every three days. I’ll work out, spray it on my disgusting sweaty hair, take a shower, spray it again and then brush it out. I’ve tried pretty much every kind, but my favorite is Dove, followed closely by Pssst (seriously, that’s the name of it). Both can be found at your local Walgreens/CVS. Or in Utah, whatever government sanctioned drugstore is close by.

  • cartoongoddess

    2013/07/03 at 3:16 pm

    They’re right, you know. Less is the new more.


  • Lisa Gleeson

    2013/07/03 at 3:46 pm

    Ok, that made me giggle 🙂 (in a good way).

  • BeckyCochrane

    2013/07/03 at 3:56 pm

    It looks amazing curly! Soft and sexy at the same time.

  • Mouse in the House

    2013/07/03 at 4:12 pm

    I think it looks great curly! I can see totally why Marlo wanted to pet it. 🙂

  • Mandy Dunn

    2013/07/03 at 4:37 pm

    I LOVE it!!

  • KathyB

    2013/07/03 at 7:35 pm

    Sounds like a perfect solution for the blow drying issue. Listen to your girls. They know natural beauty when they bask in it

  • Lisa M

    2013/07/03 at 8:19 pm

    It is so pretty! It is!

  • Lindsey Orcutt

    2013/07/03 at 8:37 pm

    I embraced my wavy/curly hair last fall and stopped blow-drying altogether. BEST THING EVER. I spend about 4 mins a day on my hair now, which includes washing and/or conditioning it in the shower. I too have the “blow dry hair for a year and it’s still wet” type of thick hair.

  • Anna banana

    2013/07/03 at 8:59 pm

    I too love that curly hair. It looks awesome on you!

  • Teal

    2013/07/03 at 9:39 pm

    My hair gets curly too if I style it just right. I haven’t blow dried my hair for ten years. I just don’t have the patience.

  • Meghan Moore

    2013/07/04 at 12:16 am

    I have never understood the need to always blow dry your hair. My mom blow dried my hair almost daily when I was a child and would put curlers in it every Saturday night. When I was 15, I struck out on my own and shaved my head. My mom had kept it in a chili bowl since I was about 7. Lo and behold, I have naturally omg curly hair. I have maybe blow dried my hair 10 times in the last 12 years. I don’t see the need in it. I just wash it, brush it, and go. So much better for my arms and my hair. You look nice with either straight or curly hair but it will save you a lot of time to skip the dry every now and then 🙂

  • Amelia_J

    2013/07/04 at 12:55 am

    My hair is straight from Jersey circa 1985. HUGE. I’m constantly trying to beat it into submission. Only works sometimes.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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