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Winter is a beautiful time of year. It’s all about cuddling up in front of the fire with your loved ones, sipping on hot chocolate, and building snowmen. Right? Well, kind of. Winter is a time for sweet treats and fireside hang-outs, but if you live on a farm then it also means trekking through snow, hacking away at ice, and scrubbing slushy mud off your boots. Dressing in a way that’s stylish, weather-appropriate, and practical for your day-to-day life can be tricky as a farmgirl. Luckily, this guide has got you covered.

Insulated Leggings

Fleece-lined leggings are a lifesaver. They’re super warm and let you move freely, but they’re also stylish and easy to layer. Pair them with a warm coat and boots for work on the farm and dress them up with a cute top for time off.

Cozy Hoodies

When you don’t want to get out of your pajamas but there’s work to be done, hoodies are the perfect solution. There are so many available that you can always find a design to suit you…or go with the easy option and steal oversized hoodies from your brother, boyfriend, or husband!

Fur-Lined Boots

Try to find a sturdy fur-lined boot that’s waterproof, well-insulated, and durable for work on the farm. Avoid fabrics like suede and look for something hardier that’s perfect for mucking out barns and trekking through muddy fields.

Knitted Hats

Knitted hats are super cute and highly practical. After all, you don’t want to get a cold when you’re out repairing potholes or moving cattle in the harsh weather. If you won’t be working with dangerous machinery, you can even go for one with a fun bobble!

Plaid Shirts

Plaid shirts have thankfully become fashionable again in the last few years, so this farmgirl’s favorite is back on the menu for work and play. Layer up with a thermal tee and coat for outdoor work and dress up with skinny jeans and heeled boots for time off.

Heavy Coats

It goes without saying that you’ll need a good winter coat. Oversized jackets are in style at the moment, so if you play your cards right, you can find something that’s practical and fashionable. Make sure that it’s waterproof, hardy enough to survive mud and barbed wire, and full of pockets.

Don’t freak out about how to dress for winter – with this handy guide you’ll have all your winter essentials covered without ending up with a bunch of impractical items you’ll never wear.

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How to Choose Natural Hair Products Like a Pro

The natural hair industry is booming. That’s good news for curly- and kinky-haired women, but it can also be really overwhelming! There are so many brands, and every brand has multiple lines of products for different things. If you feel paralyzed by the sheer number of options, here are a few guidelines to help simplify things.

Learn to decipher the ingredients

This is the most empowering thing that you can do as a consumer of hair products. Don’t just buy products based on what they claim that they’ll do — check out the ingredients on the back. Pay special attention to the first five ingredients, since those are the most highly concentrated.

You don’t have to learn all about hair chemistry to figure out which ingredients to look for. If you have a few products that have worked well for you—or, conversely, products that you hated—you can start there. Which ingredients are in those products? Some specific things to look for include:

  • Does the product contain oil, and if so, what kind?
  • Is there glycerin?
  • Is there protein? Is it one of the main ingredients or further down?

These are just 3 of the most common love/hate ingredients. Figure out what your hair loves and hates, and branch out from there.

Get to know your hair

A lot of women have multiple curl patterns on the same head of hair, but knowing your overall location on the hair type spectrum is helpful. If you have a very loose curl pattern, creams and butters will wreak havoc on your hair. Conversely, if you have tight coils, you can skip any conditioner that comes in a spray bottle—chances are, it simply won’t pack enough oomph.

Aside from how your hair looks, how does it usually feel? Most hair falls into the “high porosity” or “low porosity” camp. Low porosity hair needs tons of moisture, preferably with heat. High porosity hair needs less moisture but with plenty of oil to seal it in.

Does your hair become frizzy a lot? If so, a strong conditioner or gel is your new best friend. Do your strands break off easily or become limp? Then you may actually need less moisture. Instead, go for a product with protein.

Knowing what your hair needs will help you target your search.

Experiment, experiment, experiment!

Still, it’s impossible to know what results you’ll get until you’ve gone through the whole routine. Even the same products can have different results on different days. Curly hair is mysterious if nothing else!

You might be thinking, “I don’t have the money to spend on products I might end up hating!” I feel the same way. A couple tips for experimenting on a budget:

  • Buy travel sizes at your local beauty store.
  • Let other folks experiment for you. Read or watch some online reviews to get a head start.
  • Start exchanging products with friends so you each get to try new things.

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