the smell of my desperation has become a stench

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.

  • Jackie B.

    2013/07/04 at 4:07 am

    If I wear something other than a t-shirt and shorts it’s “Mama, where are you going?” and then if I add a little lipstick it’s “Mama, you are so beautiful!” What a boost to ones self-esteem, well unless you think about the fact that I must really look like crap the rest of the time.

  • Candace Barr

    2013/07/04 at 5:45 am

    Looks great! I cut bangs about 6 months ago (thick, choppy ones) and my baby cried when she woke up to me for like 3 days. Real confidence booster!

  • Jahid

    2013/07/04 at 8:30 am

    Really this is very nice. I like it very much.

  • Jahid

    2013/07/04 at 8:33 am

    Really this is very nice. I like it very much

  • Stephanie Reidy

    2013/07/04 at 9:16 am

    My boys are ALWAYS shocked when they see me with hair not in a ponytail with make-up on. “Mommy, you look sooo pretty. What do you have on your lips?” And I work out of the house!

    Hair looks great Heather. You keep rockin’ it!

  • jasilee

    2013/07/04 at 10:43 am

    it’s a little gnarly in the selfie, not gonna lie. but your kids are right, closer to natural is really pretty. just run a little product and finger curl a few around your face, to smooth them out a bit. it will look fantastic. play with it, it takes time to learn but no time at all to execute once you’re good.

  • jasilee

    2013/07/04 at 10:48 am

    true! i’m a wavy girl. i have naturally lovely waves if the humidity is right and the stars align. which is next to never. so i only wash my whole head 2x a week.. i’ll use a little shampoo only on roots in my daily shower and run a little extra conditioner through the ends if it’s absolutely necessary but it’s best not to strip your hair too much. oh, and sleep with it directly straight up in a bun if it’s long. amazing for volume and smoothness!

  • melissa

    2013/07/04 at 11:12 am

    You have beautifully naturally curly hair, girl. Leave it alone and watch the magic happen.

  • Jen Wilson

    2013/07/04 at 11:43 am

    Mine has a natural curl/wave as well, but I always blow dry it (and have to pause in the middle three or four times, too)(the blow dryer is HEAVY!). You do look quite fantastic, though. I’m with your girls. You should wear it like that more often. 🙂

  • Shelly

    2013/07/04 at 12:24 pm

    Heather — “this unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation” OH MY GOD amazing! Hilarious.

  • Courtney Macavinta

    2013/07/04 at 4:56 pm

    I love it. I use this “beach hair” stuff when I don’t want to dry…

  • Anon

    2013/07/04 at 8:31 pm

    I have naturally curly hair that cannot be straightened without serious chemical intervention (which I will never do). It pains me when I see women who I know have beautiful natural curl who straighten the hell out of it every day because that is what society tells us we are supposed to do. Since when did every woman have to have straight hair? I love naturally curly hair, and I wish more people appreciated the simplicity and beauty of this type of hairstyle. I think your hair looks great and hope you wear it that way more often!

  • Joanne Lunn

    2013/07/04 at 8:32 pm

    Ummmm…how the heck did it take so long for your kids to see you with simply styled hair? Something tells me that you probably have never accidentally made them bleed from sandpaper legs. Oh Heather, please just take a deep breath and jump outside of the box. You can do it. YES YOU CAN!

  • Michelle S.

    2013/07/05 at 1:10 am

    Loose curls look really pretty on you. This will save your arms and your hair: don’t blow wet hair dry, even when you want a blow-out. Air dry your hair and use your blow dryer on it when it’s nearly dry. Sounds stupid, but you’ll be amazed at how much better your hair will look and feel. I have long hair. I brush my hair thoroughly before washing. I never wad, pile, or scrub my hair while shampooing. I never rub my wet hair with a towel, I simply towel-wrap my wet hair snuggly for 10 minutes or so. I never brush, comb, or blow wet hair. I gently shake, scrunch, or finger-comb and let it air dry almost completely (I’m out west too, so it doesn’t take long at all). Once my hair feels damp dry or just cool to the touch, now’s the time for tools: blowers, ionizers, brushes, irons, etc.

  • Kate S.

    2013/07/05 at 7:18 am

    “…unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation…” Best! Hahaha!

  • Kate S.

    2013/07/05 at 7:19 am

    Also, it should be your next tagline for your next masthead.

  • Susan LaPooh

    2013/07/05 at 9:04 am

    Yep another work-at-homer and I get the same thing when I get DRESSED….”Mom, where are you going?” I gotta get out more!

  • Ds

    2013/07/05 at 9:59 pm

    It’s a 10 – you can get it at the supermarket. A bit pricey but it’s the best for spray & scrunch & go for waves after a workout. I love the waves on you.

  • Courtney

    2013/07/06 at 12:23 am

    I think your girls are telling you something.

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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