In a series exploring the complicated relationships we, as women, hold with our hair throughout our lives, All the Pretty Birds introduces ‘Our Hair, Don’t Care’, an installment series of women we love sharing their personal beauty journeys.
If you’re an avid lover of fashion, both on Instagram and Youtube, you’ve probably seen Karen Britchick aka Karen Blanchard on your feeds. We are big fans of her at Team ATPB and were delighted to feature her earlier this year in this Pretty Birds profile. She started documenting her style way back in 2008 on her blog Where Did U Get That. Now, she’s a regular fixture on Youtube with her ongoing street-style video series called “What Everyone is Wearing in New York” documenting what people are wearing on the streets of NYC.
Get to Know Karen Blanchard
As a Brit living in New York, her style is chic, fashion-forward, and stands out from the rest. Here at ATPB, we adore her floaty dresses and drool-worthy boot collection. This month, we caught up with Karen about her hair journey, her favorite protective styles, and how your hair can complete your look.
ATPB: Most of our experiences around hair start in childhood, are there any distinct memories you have growing up in the UK?
Karen Blanchard: The main one I have is sitting on the floor between my Mum’s legs and her combing my hair while we watched TV. I remember she would say “Go get the comb and brush” and I knew that meant it was time. I also remember her tipping my head over the bathtub (we didn’t have a shower at the time) to wash and condition my hair. I remember how my hair shrunk when wet, but over a period of days, it got longer as it was dry. I remember also older relatives would pull on my long plaits saying “Give me one then?” Those were the days.
ATPB: In some of your older content, you had heat-styled hairstyles and now you have a fabulous curly ‘do – what prompted that change?
KB: The long straight hair I had was chemically relaxed and I noticed over time, that my hair was slowly getting thinner. I just didn’t like that and wanted a change. Plus I felt that I didn’t want to be putting a chemical relaxer on my scalp for the rest of my life, so I took the plunge and decided to go natural. I wear my own hair in a protective style under a wig I found (I have several of the same ones!). I wanted one that closely resembled my own hair on a good day! Many people think it’s my own hair, so I chose the right one. But change is good and I’m currently looking for a completely different style or two though, wig or not.
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I’m not sure if I’ll have a proper answer at the end of 2020 on how this year has been. It’s probably the same with you too and these past few months has been the most time that I have ever spent indoors and even though I work from home anyway, this is different. Yes, I try to do all the things that we’re supposed to: I’ve tried working out again (for the umpteenth time), to eating well, to take daily walks, to being productive, to stick to a schedule and to do all the things that we’ve had suggested to us, but how many of you really are doing them all? This procrastinator is the first to say that I am not but I am trying to pick off a couple. I’ve added taking @Ritual multivitamins which are made to fill nutrient gaps in women's diets plus they’re vegan friendly, have no artificial fillers and are gluten-free. You can check my stories or use code BRITCHICK to get 10% off your first three months of @Ritual Question: Are you doing any of the above ’to do list’? Be honest! #ritualpartner
ATPB: You’re known for documenting style around NYC, do you find your hairstyle impacts your outfit choices and style?
KB: It does actually. If someone doesn’t have ‘a look’ with their hair then you don’t pay attention to it, but when they do and it just works, then their entire outfit is a wow. Hair is an extension of you and your style so often that I have discovered people with killer hair that is the icing on the cake to their overall look.
ATPB: You moved to NYC in 2001 – how has the city you call home inspired your hairstyles?
KB: I don’t think it has to be honest. I think if anything, it’s great to see so many embracing their natural hair more often. New York gives you permission to be whoever you want.
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On the team of standing out this Fall in this dress from @hushhomewear instead of being a wall flower. Anyone else going with something bold this season for a change? Ps. You can see the dress in action in my stories! #myhushstyle #ad 🍂 . Dress @hushhomewear Boots @hushhomewear . #zebraprint #animalprintlover
ATPB: Switching it up is always good for a refresh and you did some gorgeous braids recently, what other protective styles are you gravitating to?
KB: I’m probably going to try dreadlock extensions. I have the packs sitting here already! One day, right? Also to sleek my hair and do a long ponytail, split down the middle and do two really long ones, plus a hat!
ATPB: What does your wash day routine look like during the COVID-19 pandemic?
KB: It’s no different to pre-Covid! I wash it once a week and do a deep conditioning treatment, although the biggest change since the start of the pandemic is that I’ve not gotten any hair trims. I haven’t had one in a year and as a result, my ends are a mess. Everyone is booked up so I have been trimming it myself but it’s not good.
Love Karen Blanchard’s style? Follow her on Instagram, check out her blog, and subscribe to her Youtube channel.
Images via Karen Blanchard