It's taken me a long time to get here.
Even most of the people closest to me didn't really understand why it would've taken me so long to get here. But, it made sense to me and I probably held out too long, because I truly feel like "me" when I'm a blonde.
Back in 2011, when I started getting sick and had changed my diet to strict Paleo to start healing - I also cut out all traditional make-up (my face was breaking out with cold sores and sties from the chemicals), all chemical household products and I stopped coloring my hair. In hindsight, I still believe every one of these choices was the correct choice for me and our household.
And due to our infertility issues, I wanted to make sure I was as chemical free as possible to rule that out as a reason we were not conceiving.
Switching to my chemical-free beauty routine has proven to be amazing. My face is happy with the mineral, gluten-free makeup and of course nixing chemicals from the home is not only healthier for us, but for the baby in the long run as well. And learning about our food has been one of the biggest life changing paths I've ever taken.
But saying goodbye to my blonde locks was hard on me. I know that may sound vain, but I believe as women, doing our make-up, wearing clothes that reflect our style and taking care of our hair and nails makes us feel feminine and pretty. As wives, as mothers and in our community. And I think that as long as we are honoring God with our lives and don't put our vanity before Him or priorities or people in our lives, I think it is a healthy aspect of being a woman and embracing the fact that we are the fairer sex. (And I mean, how fun is all that girlie stuff we get to play with?)
But fear of the chemicals, fear of doing the wrong thing, fear of going against my new beliefs kept me from exploring the option of altering my hair in any way and I went back to natural for nearly 4 and half years.
It was recently that I spoke with my Naturopath and CBT Therapist about it and they spoke to me about calculated risks and the role psychology plays into our physical health as well. They both agreed that I can't obsessively live a life that is 100% clean, no one can in today's world, and that I needed to let go of the anxiety I carried around and decide where I was going to be more lenient with the boundaries I placed on my own life.
I know, to most, this sounds over-dramatic. But seeing what chemicals and processed foods and items was doing to me in my past, my anxiety and fear started to rule in my kitchen, outside my home and at my vanity.
With my pregnancy well under way and healthy, I spoke to my OBGYN about what I had spoken to my other team of doctors about and she agreed that it was safe for me to take this calculated risk. As my pregnant body grew, I wanted to connect with how I felt most womanly and beautiful, for myself and for my husband. And that was lightening my hair.
As simple as that sounds, it took great faith and leaps for me to arrive here. I was still cautious. Using only highlights where no dye would come in contact with my head, to protect baby. But I walked out of there feeling renewed, younger and more beautiful than I've felt in years. I felt like Mandi again.
Is there a part of your beauty routine that connects you with the woman you are? I'd love to inspire and lift each other up. We are all beautiful, no matter our hair color or what we wear, but finding those little joys that make us smile or light us up, I think those are special extras we can use to give us confidence in our day to day.