Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Little Vacation

Well, even bloggers need to take a vacation from time to time, and I'm no exception. I am taking a couple of weeks off of blogging and I will return sometime in the first or second week of the new year, with my January update photos.

I ended up trimming my bangs on Christmas Eve, because I just couldn't hack having them in my eyes. I may or may not decide to grow them out. I think the Holidays wasn't a good time to start the process. We'll see what I decide in the next few weeks.

If anyone has any photos that they want to share of hairstyles they've done, please feel free to email me about it.

I wish everyone a joy-filled New Year, and I'll see you in a couple of weeks!

'Til a few days into January, my friends. Much love to all, and extra hugs to anyone feeling hopeless.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishing You Well

Whether you celebrate Christmas or if you don't, I want to wish you all peace of mind, joy, good health, prosperity, and hope.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is almost over for us. The kids were with us and we had a lovely, quiet family evening with a nice dinner, some singing and a lot of fun.

Today, I did touch up my roots, and afterwards I washed it with coconut oil shampoo. I am really happy with both the colour and the condition of my hair.

I had a big surprise this evening when I discovered that my mum has actually tried the coconut oil shampoo herself, and she is extremely happy with it. She purchased the coconut oil earlier in the week, but didn't use it on her hair until today. Her hair turned out extremely full of body and quite lustrous.

She's not certain on what her ratio was though. I do know that she used much less oil than shampoo.

A really great bonus is that in the meantime between buying the coconut oil and using it on her hair, she used it on  a small patch of psoriasis that she's had for a while and it cleared it up in just a couple of days, after having tried many creams from the doctor that had proven ineffective. Coconut oil really has some amazing properties that make it a wonderful multi-purpose oil.

It's the coolest thing to turn my mum onto a new haircare routine!

Anyway, that's it for tonight. I'll be heading to bed and waiting for Santa to come shortly.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, another religious holiday or merely get to enjoy some extra days off work, I wish everyone the happiest of happy holidays.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Final Holiday Preparations

Well, tonight we did the last bit of Christmas shopping, so all the gifts are taken care of and so are all of the groceries.

It's so nice to be sitting here right now with both of my kids on the sofa beside me and my husband sitting just across the room on his computer.

It's really finally starting to feel like Christmas now.

We still have a few things to do tomorrow around the house, but it will be taken care of. Both kids will be home and many hands make light work.

Also tomorrow, I'm going to touch up my roots, so I'll be prepping my hair with coconut oil.

I am so looking forward to a beautiful family Christmas Eve tomorrow night.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all and extra hugs to anyone feeling lonely today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Daughter's Home For Christmas (And Her Length Pics)

My daughter is home for the holidays, and I couldn't be happier. She arrived here just after 5 pm and we've been yapping ever since.

We did take a moment to take some length photos of her. Her dark blonde hair looks lovely, especially considering that she was on a bus for 7 hours.

Here are my daughter's hair photos:

Well, I hope you'll excuse me making this brief so that I can get back to catching up with my daughter.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday--Need a Break Today

Today I'm feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and I have nothing to say, so I'm taking the day off of blogging.

I am healthy and fine and so are my family members, but I just need a break.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all and extra hugs to anyone who is living in fear.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Yes, I've still been so busy that I can't think straight. Added to all of my busy-ness is the knowledge that Christmas is only days away.

I haven't had time to participate in the online hair forums, and I have pretty much been practicing benign neglect with my hair.

I've just been wearing it up in a bun, and brushing it just once a day to change the style slightly.

I've noticed that when I do the Movie Star Shampoo (oil soap) in the correct proportion, I can actually stretch out washes for an extra day, which is a surprising bonus.

I'm still waiting for my hair to be long enough to do some of my favourite styles, like the Celtic Bun, but I am finding it easy to be patient, given that I'm so busy these days.

I'm just not really giving my hair a lot of thought, which is probably a good thing.

I hope that everyone's week is off to a good start.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quotes About The Nature Of Life, Love and The Universe

Here are some quotes that I've been pondering and mean a lot to me from a diverse array of authors. There might be one that strikes you.

"If out of all mankind one finds a single friend, he has found something more precious than any treasure, since there is nothing in the world so valuable that it can be compared to a real friend.--Andreas Capellanus

"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread."--Mother Teresa

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."--Buddha

"We have to take the whole universe as the expression of the one Self. Then only our love flows to all beings and creatures in the world equally."--Swami Ramdas

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty".--Albert Einstein

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."--Robert Francis Kennedy quotes

"Wicked men obey out of fear; good men, out of love."--Aristotle

"Man is a being with free will; therefore, each man is potentially good or evil, and it's up to him and only him (through his reasoning mind) to decide which he wants to be."--Ayn Rand

I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all, and extra hugs to anyone feeling misunderstood

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hairstyle How-To: Asymmetrical Figure 8

This sleek hairstyle can take you from office to holiday party, depending on how you accessorize it.

Here are some photos, clickable for larger pictures as always, with instructions following them.

It's made by doing a Figure 8 updo as shown in this entry,  however, instead of moving the top coil of hair straight down to create the "8 effect", you move the coil in a slightly diagonal direction.

After that, move the coils to position them for your desired look. This makes it look much less like an 8.

Put in hair sticks and you're done. In these photos, I'm using Mei Fa Hairstyx in Raspberry.

Hope you're having a lovely pre-holiday weekend.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all, and extra hugs to anyone feeling alone today.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another Busy Day And No More Oil Slick :)

Well, I have just now (hopefully) finished doing the personal business that has kept me busy for the last 10 days, at least for today. I'm hoping to have the weekend off of that, and the boys and I are going to clean the house and get things ready for Christmas. We will wait to decorate when my daughter arrives home, as is her wish. We like to decorate late anyway, so that the magic of the decorations is still in bloom on Christmas day.

My husband and I will be doing some Christmas shopping tomorrow evening. The last Saturday night before Christmas is absolutely the best time to shop if you don't want a crowd. Most people are out at Christmas parties, and the stores are relatively quiet. It's the best kept secret in retail! We can do five hours worth of Christmas shopping in an hour and a half. We know what we need, so it's going to be fun.

I washed out the oil slick with a 1.5:1 ratio of coconut oil to shampoo, and my hair is back to its happy self. It's amazing really, how much difference it can be from saturation level to the appropriate level of coconut oil to shampoo. I actually might have been okay with a 2:1 ratio, but I wasn't taking any chances, given how oily my hair was. I'm still working on finding the perfect mix.

Some people are having success with merely a 1 :4 ratio of coconut oil to shampoo. We're just all so different. It amazes me.

Right now, it's just me and the dog. My son is at work and so is my husband, although he'll be home for a dinner break later in the evening.  I'm wound up like a top right now after a day full of phone calls and errand, and I'm bone tired.

Once again, I'm going to do my best to relax this evening in hope that I'm ready to spring into action tomorrow.

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend, and for those of you who will be partying, please be safe.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all, and extra hugs to anyone feeling frightened today.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Can't Allow Panic To Set In

Well, I have a migraine, I've been busy with taking care of things for my parents to the exclusion of almost everything else, the house is a mess, Christmas is coming, and I can feel panic beginning to arise.

I need to put a firm stop to that ASAP. I cannot afford either mentally or physically to go into panic mode. After I write this, I am going to chill, chill, chill and then chill until there is not a lick of anxiety left in me. I have to do it.

Logically, I know that all of the Christmas stuff will get done, and so will everything else. There really isn't all that much to do, so I'm worrying needlessly. I'm just overwhelmed right now.

I don't have a thing to say about my hair, as I haven't given it a single second of thought today.

Okay, my mind is a blank, so I guess that's it for today. Not much of a post, I'm afraid, but that's the kind of day it is.

Hope to be clear-headed and write a worthy post tomorrow. How I would love to have a hairstyle photo to show!

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Arrgggghhhh! I'm an Oil Slick

I think by now it's clear that I'm in love with my coconut oil soap. From reading the reports of everyone who is using what is now being called "Movie Star Shampoo", everyone seems to need a different ratio of coconut oil to shampoo. Some use more shampoo than oil, others, like me, use more oil than shampoo.

However, the last time I washed my hair, I accidentally doubled the amount of coconut oil in my mixture.

Let me tell you, it ain't pretty.

The ends of my hair are fairly happy, but all of the hair from the forehead to the nape just looks plain oily. Wearing an updo barely helps, because it looks as though I greased my hair back. Yipes!

So, I'll be making sure to be more diligent about my measurements in the future. When I do the correct ratio, my hair doesn't look oily at all. In fact it just looks lustrous and full.

There's a lot going on right now in my life that's distracting me, so I'm not really in shock that I made such a goof. Anyway, one shampoo will take care of that little oops.

My bangs are already at the stage when I would ordinarily trim them. I guess I forget how quickly they grow. They're starting to irk me already, so I may have to start using gel to keep them out of my eyes.

I don't know how this bang-growing-out thing is going to work. I just might not have the patience right now.

I'm starting to get a bit nervous about Christmas. I've had so much on my plate that I really haven't made the proper preparations as yet.

I guess things will get done though, as they always do.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Another Quote

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”--M. Ghandhi

Sometimes we feel so small and helpless in this world and feel that we can do nothing to change things. We may feel that our feeble efforts are of little use. Yet, even in the smallest ways, if we behave in the way we wish the world to be, it does change the world, even if only one person learns a lesson or benefits from us.

You don't need to be perfect; heaven knows I'm not. However, if you can behave in ways that improve your own or someone else's life, even in the smallest way, you are making a difference.

Perhaps you give a smile to someone who needs it. Or maybe you say a kind word just when that person needs to hear it. Maybe you'll open up a door for a stranger at a store, and that's the first kindness that they've experienced in some time. You might stand up to a bully and tell them that what they're doing is just not acceptable. You may have been an abused child, but have made a firm commitment to never lay your hands on your child. That in itself is a little miracle. You have broken a cycle.

Even a genuine compliment given can change a person's mood and therefore their day. We can literally give a gift to every person we meet, if we choose.Who knows what chain of positive events we might start.

It doesn't take a world leader or a saint to change the world. It doesn't take money. We can make little differences every day.  Don't ever forget your own power.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thinking of Growing Out My Bangs

I love my bangs, but sometimes I want to change up my look. 

Since I won't be cutting my hair any time soon, getting a perm, or changing my hair colour, growing out my bangs seems like the only way to change my hair's appearance. If I grow out my bangs, I'll be able to include them in crown braids or other hair styles that I really like.

The last time I grew out my bangs, it was a hassle, even once they were fully grown out. Because my hair grows straight down, my hair was always in my face unless I clipped it back or put it behind my ears. It was fine for updos, but not when I wore my hair down.

Ideally, I'd like to "train" my bangs to frame my face, but as much as I tried, it just doesn't work for me. Gel was not an option at that time, because the only gels I knew made my hair stiff and dry.

Since then, I discovered my Morrocco Method gel, which is flexible, hair friendly has amazing hold and requires very little product. I'm hoping I'll be able to use that to keep my hair out of my face.  In any case, it's going to be quite a while before I have to worry about it because I just trimmed my bangs about 2 weeks ago. Mind you, I generally need to trim my bangs every 3 weeks or so; maybe I'll need to start holding my bangs back artificially fairly soon, come to think of it.

Anyway, wish me luck. As many of you know, growing out bangs requires oodles of patience, and I'm already using up my supply.

So I guess we'll see.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Another Unexpected Benefit of Oil Soap

I've been extremely busy taking care of some things for my parents as well as coping with a migraine for the past few days, and while I've been showering, I haven't been washing my hair.

In the past, whether I used shampoo and conditioner or conditioner only, I've always felt my hair is greasy by day 3.

Today, my hair feels as clean as it did on the day I washed it. I can't begin to tell you my surprise. That oil soap is becoming better and better, as far as the benefits.

Who would have thought that using all of that coconut oil with shampoo could make such a difference and leave my hair feeling so soft but not oily?

I couldn't be more delighted with my results, as I've already said.

I hope to hear from some of you who have tried the oil soap method. It's the most revolutionary thing that I've tried since starting my long hair journey.

It's important to know that everyone seems to need to use a different ratio of coconut oil to shampoo, and some people are using no conditioner afterwards at all, while some of us have to.

Anyway, if you've tried it, I'd love to hear about it.

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful weekend.

'Til tomorrow my friends. Much love to all.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sometimes This Is Tedious

While I have oft said that I am not trying to rush into the future and wish my life away, I must admit that this hair-growing can be tedious. It requires every ounce of patience that one possesses.

I know that some of you are lifelong longhairs, and can't relate, but for us growers, the difference from month to month is so frigging minuscule.

When I look at my progress from February to December, I realize just how far I've come, but I have a feeling that my next trip to waist is going to be a very, very long haul.

I guess this is an exercise in patience that I sorely need.

On the upside, I am still very happy with the present state of my hair. Aside from the fact that there are many hairstyles that I can't yet do, I am enjoying my hair as much as is humanly possible. I JUST WISH IT WERE LONGER!!!

Of course, I'll get there in due time, so I'm doing my best to relax about it. Unfortunately, once in a while I have days like these.

I suppose everyone has days like these whether it comes to hair, saving for a special item or losing weight. We get past it and don't let it get us down enough to give up.

Speaking of weight, I hadn't weighed myself for some time. I weighed myself 3 times this week, and there's no doubt about it; I've lost 10 pounds. It doesn't really show much, but I do know that the next 10 pounds will show a lot.

Realistically, I don't expect to lose more than another 10-13 pounds, unless I become a long distance runner. I will look quite good 10 pounds from now and I'll be able to wear my jeans!

So one thing frustrated me; one thing makes me happy. I guess we're all this way to some extent.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all, and extra hugs to anyone feeling alone today.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hairstyle How To: Double Vertical Braids

This is an different variation on wearing a regular single braid or double braids. It doesn't look too interesting when you're standing still, but it creates an interesting swing when you walk.

I often do triple vertical braids, but for today i just did two. I didn't part the hair evenly enough into two sections that the braids were equal in width, but this gives you an idea of how it's supposed to look.

This is clearly an easy hairstyle to do.

Firstly, I parted my hair as if I were making a half-up, and I braided that area.

Secondly, I braided the remaining hair.

As I said earlier, this style has much more impact when one is moving. It creates an attractive swing, and has even more impact if you try three vertical braids.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quick Entry

Today I've been busy with family business for my parents. I've spent the day running around and/or on the phone, and I am completely spent. If I have any brain cells left, I can't access them.

I'm just popping in to say that while I didn't respond as yet to yesterday's comments, I really enjoyed them.

Just keep supporting your friends, what ever their style may be. And if someone gives you unwanted advice about your own personal style, let them know that it's not okay. We can't change the whole world, but we can effect change occasionally one person at a time.

Having a great hair day!

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Further to Live and Let Live

On Sunday I discussed the seemingly constant cry for women to cut their hair that seems to permeate all media.

I really appreciated all of the comments left on that blog entry and the emails. A point was raised that of course, women cutting their hair into particular styles keeps the women going back to the hair salons and that is completely true.

The world of beauty and fashion would be nowhere without changing styles. With regard to hair, new hair cuts and styles leads to more business for hair salons, it creates a need for certain new styling products and appliances, and generally benefits all businesses who have a stake in the hair market.

So I do understand why beauty and fashion editors will discuss the latest trends in hair, which will then in turn benefit their sponsors.

What I don't understand however, is why they can't just show off the latest styles without putting down people who dare to be different. It's one thing to show what's hot right now; it's another to insult an entire group of people.

It seems to be a constant that long-haired women of a certain age are treated as unstable people who are either trying to recreate our youth or to trap a man. There are endless articles trying to uncover the "hidden reasons" why a woman over 35 or so would choose to wear long hair.

The really sad thing is that so many women buy into it. I wouldn't mind if they just bought into it for themselves alone, but it so often seems that women are on a mission to change other women who don't fit into the current fashion mold.

I myself have had hurtful things said to me about the length of my hair and my age, and by people very close to me. For the most part, I get compliments on my hair, but the negative comments, especially from friends and loved ones, do sting. I can't lie.

So once again, I ask you to support your sisters in whatever their style happens to be, whether they wear a brush cut or hair down to their ankles. We women are so much stronger when we are supportive of one another's differences rather than expecting everyone to be the same and belittling those who are not. 

Wouldn't a world where we all looked and dressed completely alike be boring?  I think so, and I like to celebrate every woman's own unique brand of beauty.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Domestic Violence

I have been blessed to have a gentle and loving husband.

So many women have not been so blessed.

If you see any woman being abused in a domestic situation, please, please don't be the person who wants to mind their own business and stay out of it.

Please report any instances of spousal abuse to the police. You very well may save a life or more than one life.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all, and extra hugs to anyone in pain today.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hairstyle How-To: Franny's Easy Holiday Updo

I know that a lot of people are looking to try a new look in updos for the holiday season. I believe that the easier, the better, most of the time. This is another very quick and easy hairstyle that takes only a minimum of practice to achieve an optimal look. It's surprisingly impressive from behind, and shows quite nicely from the front. It's something like a French Twist with a large loop on the top and can make quite a bold statement if done correctly.

Here is a back view of the updo: (All photos are clickable for larger pictures and closer viewing.)

The Instructions:

1. Gather hair as if into a ponytail.

2. Loop ponytail around two fingers on left hand. (all of this will be opposite if your are left-handed.)

3. Twist the loop that you have created in a counter-clockwise direction.

4. Continue twisting loop until you run out of hair to twist.
5. When you've run out of hair to twist, tuck the ends into the French Twist-like portion of the hair and secure near the top of the twist and under the loop with a barrette or hair clip. In this example, I am using a medium Ficcare Maximas in Blue Jeans. I must mention that I did not end up tucking all of the ends into the twist in these particular photos.
6. Fan out loop, and leave it free, as I have done, or pin the loop in place to achieve your own desired look. You may want to pin some parts of the loop up and some in other directions for a different effect.

Here are two other photos of the finished product:

I hope that you'll give this updo a try. As I have mentioned it's extremely easy to do, and I'd love to hear how others have made it work with various hair types.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Live And Let Live--Please!

I am really getting tired of articles written by beauty reporters and fashion consultants who think that very long hair simply needs to be cut. I was pointed to the direction of this blurb, written by the Allure Daily Beauty Reporter.

I really felt annoyed that the reporter had to put down a woman for proudly having hair down to her buttocks, and then going the extra mile to figure out the psychological reasons why some women are "afraid" to cut their hair.

While I have no doubt that some women cut their hair for psychological reasons, and others keep their hair long for psychological reasons, I truly believe that most women wear their hair at the particular length they wear it simply because that's the way they like it.

Of course there are also religious and cultural reasons why some women keep their hair very long.

Once in a blue moon, I read similar articles about women with short hair, but the focus is almost always on long hair. And by long hair, usually beauty editors mean anything longer than collarbone length.

Why is there this seemingly constant need in the beauty industry to suggest that women need to cut their hair? Particularly, women who have reached middle age are picked on for having long hair. If a woman feels beautiful with her hair at whatever length she wears it, that's good enough for me. I wish that we women would all be more supportive of one another's unique style.

Isn't that what it's really all about?

I hope everyone had a beautiful weekend.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all and extra hugs to anyone who is ill today.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another Quiet Saturday, and Still Loving My Hair

It's been a lovely quiet day. The men of the household are both off today, and they took advantage of the day off to get some extra sleep. I was up early, so I had a lot of quiet time to read and to watch a movie. I did a few chores, but mostly I have spent the day relaxing. What could be more delightful?

I watched White Oleander today. I've seen it before, but it's being run again on one of my movie networks, and I thought it deserved another viewing. I had forgotten the beautiful long hair in the movie. While I am quite sure that both Michelle Pfeiffer and Alison Lohman are wearing extensions in the film, it is inspiring nonetheless to see straight blonde hair that is longer than waist length. While I'm not fool enough to think that my hair will ever look like the hair I saw in the film, it still gives me incentive to keep on growing.

My son and I caught up on the episodes that we had missed of The Amazing Race, which we've been watching together since the second season. We always have a lot of fun watching it, and we never fail to have at least one good belly laugh when we view it.

I am still using the oil soap shampoo, and I continue to be delighted with the results. I'm still playing around with the ratios. Most recently I've been using a ratio of 1:1 of coconut oil and shampoo, mixed with water in a squeeze bottle. I am finding it necessary to use only the smallest amount of conditioner, which is nice. This method is turning out to be quicker than even COing has been, and I really had that routine down.

You may recall that it was through reading Ktani's blog entry about hair care from movie stars of the past that I first became aware of the oil soap. If you haven't read Ktani's Hair Sense blog and you're interested in some interesting research regarding hair care, I suggest you check it out. She also wrote a very interesting entry debunking the myths surrounding silicones in conditioners, which I found very informative.

In any case, it's been 3 weeks with the oil soap, and the results are still amazing me. This is the closest I have ever felt to having hair that looks like the hair in hair care commercials. I think this is the future of my hair routine.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Really Enjoying My Hair Today

First of all, thank you to all who commented on yesterday's progress photos. It made me feel very good, and I really appreciate it.

It's been a long haul just to get where I am, so having people cheer me on helps like you wouldn't believe.

Usually, when I'm just at home, I wear my hair up to keep it protected from wear and tear. While I do like to wear my hair loose when I go out, it's usually up when I'm here.

Today though, I wore my hair loose for part of the day, and I caught myself looking in the mirror with surprise a couple of times. I am yet again noticing how much longer it's getting, especially in the front.

It's such a great feeling to actually be able to see myself that my hair is growing. So often, we don't actually notice the changes in our own hair, because we see it every day.

Perhaps because I wear my hair up most of the time, I view my hair the way others might who haven't seen me for a while.

So I guess wearing one's hair up serves more than the purpose of protecting the hair and keeping it out of harm's way. It also allows us to notice the difference when it's worn down.

I'm really feeling positive about the way my hair feels and looks these days too. It's really been soft and shiny.

All in all, this has been a delightfully good hair day. I think I'll just leave it at that.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend.

'Til tomorrow my friends. Much love to all.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Update

Here are my December length photos. This month my hair grew 1/2 inch, but I also trimmed 1/2 inch, so there has been no visible growth. For quite some time, actually a few years, my hair was growing 3/4 inch per month, but I've noticed that for the past few months, I'm only gaining about 1/2 inch per month. I don't know why I'm experiencing slower growth, but it's been pretty constant since early this year.

Nonetheless, I'm pleased with my progress.

As a reminder, here is a length photo from February of this year.

It's probably needless to say that I'm not thrilled with the thin ends (do I ever stop whining about that?), but I know that eventually they will be removed.

Also, I'm starting to think that since the slower growth has become a regular thing, I may not be at waist length for my 50th birthday next July. If that's the case, so be it. I'll get there eventually.

All in all, it's been a pretty good year so far for growth and trimming away damage, so I'm good with it.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all, and extra hugs to anyone feeling anxious today.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy December!

It's December already. I can scarcely believe it. Does last Christmas really feel as though it was almost a year ago? No. Not at all, at least not to me.

Seriously, where does the time go? It feels as though I'm still getting used to it being 2010, and yet in a month, it will be yet another New Year's Day.

When I really think about it, I can see and feel that time has passed. A year ago, I was still on what had become a complete hiatus for 15 months, from any online forums, my own website and Facebook. I wasn't even writing emails. For some reason, I needed to be alone with my thoughts for a while, and it wasn't until mid-January of this year that I returned to LHC and it was in February that I became active on Facebook. It was in April that I began this blog.

Also, a year ago, my hair wasn't even reaching APL length, and now I've just gotten past BSL.

When I think of all of the individual events that have happened in my life and in my family this year, I do realize that it really must be December, but it really is true that time is a relative thing, and as we get older, time genuinely does feel as though it passes so quickly. It's so important not to look to far ahead and wish your life away.

That's why I really do my best not to think ahead much to my next goals where my hair is concerned. Yes, my next goal is in the back of my mind, and I do have some days when I am frustrated by my lack of length, but for the most part, I try to just appreciate my hair the way it is now, and focus on its health and not on the length.

It seems as though just about everyone I know either has a cold or has a family member who has a cold. I am one of the ones who has a cold right now. It started on Sunday, and today, I'm feeling an enormous amount of sinus pain, and I have some chills, although I only have a very low-grade fever. I am quite certain that I do not have a sinus infection, so I know that in just a day or two I'll be feeling better.

I won't lie though; a sinus headache along with a migraine is really not much fun. The weather went from a balmy 57F/14C yesterday down to about 32F/0C today, so I think the drastic change accounts for the migraine. That should stabilize soon too.

On days like this, I am very happy that my hair is long enough to put up so that it can be kept out of my face.

This morning I took my hair down from my bedtime bun, gave it a brushing to get rid of shed hairs, and I just put my hair back up in a bun. Voila, hair done for the day!

I know that a lot of people find that having bangs is a lot of work, but with my hair type and the thickness of my bangs, mine are completely maintenance-free. They just lie straight down from the time I comb them down after a wash and they stay that way until the next wash. Once in a blue moon, they stick up on one side after sleeping, but a quick pat with a wet hand, and a couple of strokes with a comb, and they're as good as new.

I guess I'm lucky in that way.

Anyway, I do wish a very happy December to everyone.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: The Season Begins

Well, looking at the calendar and seeing that tomorrow is the first of December has really woken me up to the fact that Christmas will be here before I know it.

Unlike many of my friends who have all or most of their shopping done, and even their decorating, I haven't really even given much thought to Christmas yet.

We never really have been a family who decorates the house for Christmas far ahead of the actual day. We generally decorate and put up the tree about a week before Christmas. Sometimes I think that when the decorations are put up too early, they have lost their magic by the time Christmas actually comes. It can get to the point where you don't even notice them anymore, because they've just become part of every day living.

As for the shopping, well, I am definitely behind. If I were a different kind of person, I would have been out last Friday, when all the sales were on. However, I just don't do well in those kind of big crowds. I tend to get overwhelmed and frustrated. My husband and I have discovered that Saturday evenings in December are the absolute best times to shop. It seems that most people are busy at Christmas parties and there are relatively few shoppers. We can usually get pretty much all of our shopping done in just a few hours on a Saturday evening, as long as we have things well planned.

For me, the key is knowing in advance what I am looking for. I like to have an idea of what I want to get someone before I head out the door. I'm not a shopper who likes to just browse and stumble upon an idea.

The most important thing is that both of my kids will be here for Christmas, and we'll all be together. That's the real magic of the season. And now that they are young adults, Christmas is calmer and less tiring than it was when they were little.

At first, I missed all the craziness of Christmas morning with small children. However, it didn't take me long to appreciate the peace and quiet enjoyment of the family just moving at a relaxed pace on a Christmas morning and having the family actually sleep in past 6 a.m. It used to be the kids who were up first, but now I'm usually the first one awake, being the early riser that I am.

For the last few years, I've been up hours before the rest of the family on Christmas, which has been quite nice, to be honest. It's enjoyable to have some time alone at the beginning of the day for quiet reflection.

A week ago, I wasn't even ready to start thinking about the Christmas season, but now, on the eve of December, I have to admit that I'm looking forward to it.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Are Salon Shampoos and Conditioners Really Worth It?

This is a question that most people who care about their hair want to know the answer to. There are a lot of people who only use products purchased at a salon, and many of us who use grocery store brands.

I remember the days when I was single and had the disposable income to get my hair cut or trimmed every 8 weeks and have highlights put in every 3 or 4 months. I used to love the salon experience, and of course, I always bought the products that my hairstylist recommended.

Later, once I was married, had kids, and no longer felt that it was appropriate to spend a lot of money on shampoo and conditioner, I was fortunate enough to have an aunt who used to give me just about a year's supply of salon-brand shampoo, conditioner and deep treatments each Christmas.

Did those products really make a difference?

In my case, I honestly have to say no. For the past few years I have been primarily using the least expensive conditioners that are available. Although until I started using the coconut oil soap I wasn't using shampoo regularly, I did have a shampoo to clarify my hair when needed. Again, it is a bargain shampoo.

And my hair has never been healthier looking or more well-behaved.

While it's true that there are other factors as to why my hair is in better condition than it ever was, such as not heat styling, not combing my hair when wet, and wearing my hair in a protective updo while I sleep, if the salon products were that important, my hair just wouldn't be as healthy as it is.

I know I can't speak for everyone, and perhaps people with different hair types than mine might benefit from salon products. I just know what works for me, and what is working for me right now is the bargain basement products.

While I felt really good using the high-end products that only could be purchased at a salon, I think it was the illusion of using only the best that made me feel good.

Of course, it's important to remember that as with anything, there are going to be drugstore or grocery store products that don't particularly agree with one's hair, but I'm fairly sure that there is going to be something in those stores that will work just fine. It's a matter of trial and error. The same goes with salon products.

Personally, I would rather use trial and error on inexpensive products than on expensive ones.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hairstyle: Lace Rope Braided Half-Updo

No, I am not sporting beachy waves created by heat styling products today. :) I managed to resist

Instead I'm wearing a Lace Rope Braided Half-Up. As you can see in the second photo, I rope braided the sides of my hair, using the lace braid method, and then continued each rope braid until they met in the middle, where I fastened them together with a France Luxe Barrette.

Of course it's always in hindsight that I see all of the flaws in my photos. For example, the hair from the crown, above the braids, isn't as nicely combed as I would have liked, but as so often happens, things show up in photos that don't seem as obvious when I look in the mirror. Sometimes that flash acts almost like an x-ray, exposing every imperfection. Since it's dark outside now though, I had no choice but to use a flash.

I see that my perfectionism is trying to kick in. I am supposed to be breaking myself of that habit. Well, I guess that just posting these photos is proof that I'm at least making a bit of headway in that area.

In any case, this is a nice style idea for days when I want to enjoy my length, but keep the canopy hair somewhat protected by being out of the way.

This style could be varied by taking the two braids, combining them and then making a single braid from them. I'll be showing that type of combination braid in a future entry.

I am looking at the calendar, and I am almost in disbelief that November is almost over. Christmas is in less than a month!

I imagine that many of my friends managed to do Christmas shopping this past Friday, when there were some good sales on. I was not brave enough (or well enough) to venture to the stores that day.

I hope that everyone has had a good weekend.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Missing My Heat Appliances

It doesn't happen often, and I don't frequently get the urge, but today, I am just longing to use some of my favourite heat appliances.

There are so many beautiful photos of women with loose, beachy waves that are so popular these days, and I would just love to have that look.

The only way I could really attain that though would be to use a large-barreled curling iron, or use a technique with a straightening iron that I've seen done. I also have a triple-barreled curling iron that gives lovely waves.

I am not one of those people who thinks it's sacrilege to use heat appliances. While I have written at length about just why heat appliances are damaging to hair, I don't think that there's anything wrong with people using them, as long as they are making an informed choice. Plus, some people have strong hair that can withstand heat styling better than others.

Unfortunately, I know I can't have it all. I've already made an informed choice to dye my hair, knowing that no matter how much care I put into my hair, there is no way it will ever be as healthy and strong as if I didn't dye it.

Given that I do colour my hair, I really can't risk the additional damage that heat-styling would cause.

When I used to heat style, I would often have split ends even at shoulder length. Right now, I don't have even one split end.

Yet, I am just itching to pull out a curling iron right now and style my hair into the loose, sexy waves that only hot irons can produce.

Yes, I can create a type of curl with sponge rollers, and I do know of ways to create waves with bandannas, braids and pin curls, but the outcome isn't as easy to control as it is with heat appliances. Also, there is instant gratification with heat styling.

However, I'm wearing my hair down, and even though it was washed yesterday, it looks as lovely and shiny as freshly washed hair. And there are no annoying splits for me to obsess over.

So I guess my curling irons will stay in the drawers and cupboards where they've been for over four years now. As much as I'm craving those beachy waves, I know that I would regret it if I started giving in to heat styling. I should count myself lucky that my hair is as good as it is considering that I dye it.

Perhaps instead, I'll do some sleuthing for yet more new methods of creating waves without heat. If I discover anything exciting, I'll be sure to share it here--with photos, of course.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all, and extra hugs to anyone feeling ill today.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hairstyle: Dutch Braided Bun

The hairstyle I'm wearing today is a Dutch Braided Bun. If you can make a regular French braid, you can make a Dutch or inverted braid. I've mentioned before that to make a Dutch Braid, you cross the middle strand over instead of under for every round of braiding.

I Dutch braided my hair and continued the braid to the ends and fastened it with a hair-friendly elastic. Then I took the braid, coiled it around itself and secured it with a Ficcarissimo in Emerald.

The braiding in these photos looks a bit loose. I think my hair was a bit too soft today to do a really nice tight Dutch braid. Sometimes it's easier to have a tighter braid a day or two after washing. However, if you know me, you know that I like looser braids just as much.

It's been a very windy day here today, and this is the first time it is actually starting to feel cold. We got the tiniest dusting of snow flurries. It was so light that it looked like the powdered sugar on a doughnut. Here for a few moments and then gone.

I hope that everyone has a lovely weekend.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

First Snow Flurries Are Coming

Yes, it's true; we're expecting some minor snow flurries tonight and perhaps tomorrow. I don't think it will amount to much, but it certainly reminds me that it's not summer anymore!

Actually, where I live, we don't tend to get much snow. Sometimes there is a great deal of snow an hour to the southeast of us and sometime a lot an hour to the northeast of us, but it's rare that we get a huge snowstorm, comparatively speaking. I guess it's the way my city is situated on the lake.

Last year we really didn't have a really meaningful snow storm. It seemed that a lot of places in the U.S. got dumped with a lot of snow, but not us. That's fine by me. I actually can't remember the last time we had a blizzard.

While I'm not too concerned about the minor snow flurries, I do know that it often takes people a while to get used to driving in even light snow, so I hope that everyone keeps safe.

I have to admit that the change of the weather has brought on another mega-migraine. I struck a good balance between resting and doing a couple of simple but extremely important tasks today. Accomplishing anything at all when I have a migraine makes me feel good, and having done some things that really needed to be done made me feel great.

I'll be relaxing pretty much for the rest of the day, and I'll turn in early.

It's also been a bit of a holiday from thinking about hair and hair-related topics for me. I haven't even checked in on any of the long hair sites today. So I really don't have to much to talk about hair-wise.

I'm still feeling content with my hair, and today, it's just up in a simple bun, quietly growing without my being aware of it.

Well, it's Thanksgiving in the U.S., and I wish those of you who celebrate it a very happy day.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Still Refining My Oil Soap Method

Yes, I'm still on the oil soap kick. I'm changing up my mixes to see just what works the best.

As I mentioned on Sunday, I touched up my roots, and often my hair is a bit dry afterwards. It wasn't as dry as usual this time, but I did a deep coconut oiling on the length of my hair last night.

Today I washed it out with 2 parts coconut oil, 1 part shampoo, and 3 parts water. I'm still playing with the ratios. I'll be happy when I've decided on one recipe that I can use all the time. Today's recipe was good. I thought that the 3 parts oil was good too though. I must keep experimenting.

It still amazes me that while my hair is being rinsed after the oil soap shampoo, it feels a bit oily, but when I get out of the shower and remove my turbie towel, my hair doesn't feel greasy or oily at all, and it dries beautifully. It doesn't look as though there is oil in my hair, but the shine and manageability is drastically improved.

On the other hand, if I apply even the slightest bit of coconut oil to my hair when it's dry, it looks very oily indeed.

I should also add that I only had to use a fraction of the conditioner that I would normally use, after rinsing out the oil soap.

It's been really interesting to see how many different people at LHC have been enthusiastically participating in the oil soap experiments. It seems to be an overwhelming success with just about everyone, from fine straighties such as myself, to people with extremely coarse and curly hair and everything in between.

I suspect that once my month of experimentation is finished, I will be using oil soap instead of COing. It's early days yet, but I think that will be the result. I just may have to change my regimen post to reflect this.

One of the great things about belonging to a long hair forum is being exposed to so many new ideas and the enjoyment that comes from participating in the experiments that one is interested in. It feels really good to know that I'm not the only person crazy enough to try these things, and it's a lot of fun to compare notes.

It's been such a long time since I felt the urge or need to try anything new, as I've been in a very happy hair routine for years. It's been quite refreshing to embark on something new, and it reminds me of the excitement I felt when I first joined the forum at the time that I first started my original long hair journey.

I just find it really exciting to know that as much as I've learned about caring for my hair, there are always new things to discover.

By the way, I have read and am extremely appreciative of all of the recent comments. I just haven't gotten around to responding to them as yet, but I will.

To my American friends who celebrate it, I wish you all a joyous Thanksgiving. To those of you who don't, I hope you enjoy your little vacation.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: A Bit On Being A Mom

Is there any role that we women might choose to take on in life that has more possibilities for experiencing great joys as being a mother? On the other hand, is there any role that is more fraught with the possibilities of self-doubt and self-recrimination?

Obviously, many women choose to be child-free, and believe me, I'm not implying that every woman thinks that the greatest joys in life come from being a mother, but for those of us who have chosen to be mothers, I think most would agree that some of the most euphoric moments in our lives have centred around our children in some way or another.

But as I mentioned there's that shadow side. That side that has us second-guessing our decisions, the side that has us looking back and wondering if we made the right choice on such and such an issue many years ago. And the scary truth is that we'll never know the answer to that.

Maybe not all mothers have this experience, but I know I do.

I always wanted to have children. Becoming a mother seemed as natural a choice to me as breathing. During pregnancy I was so excited, but at the same time so frightened, Who was I, I would think on occasion, to raise a child and prepare him or her for the world? How could I teach and shape little minds when I had so far to go as a human being myself?

Yet, the children came and I gave it my all, despite my worries. I did the best I knew how to do. And I raised some pretty awesome kids, who are now young adults. So for the most part, I guess I did okay.

I look back though and I see the mistakes I did make and some that I may have made. I always tried to do right by them, but how does one know if one has succeeded?

Sometimes we have to make hard choices, and we really have nothing to go on except our gut feelings. That has to be good enough.

I just wish that it always felt good enough. Logically, I know it's impossible to be a perfect parent, no matter how hard one tries. In many cases there is no clear-cut right answer to an issue, and we have to go on instinct alone. But is our instinct always right?

One thing I noticed when the children were growing up is how they would remember so clearly some seemingly random, relatively unimportant events, yet they had little memory of events that I would have thought were life-changing.

One never really knows what goes on in the mind of a child, what they hold on to, and what they let go of.

Most days, I feel as though I did a pretty good job as a mother.

Some days, I just can't stop thinking of all of the do-overs I wish I could have. Some nights I lay awake, filled with regret and anxiety over a choice that I made five, ten, fifteen, or even twenty years ago. There is no changing the past however. That much is certain.

I just hope that one day I get to the point where I really believe that having done my best and giving them all my love was truly good enough.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hairstyle: Asymmetrical Boho Bun

Today I'm wearing an Asymmetrical Boho Bun.

I did a rather loose Dutch lace braid from my right temple to my left ear. Making a lace braid is just like making a regular French or Dutch braid, except that I only add new hair to the outermost strands as I go.

And to be honest, the term "Dutch braid" is really a misnomer, but it seems to be the common terminology for an inverted French braid. With a Dutch braid, the centre strand is always braided over the other two strands rather than under as in a usual French braid.

After I finished braiding, I just twisted a bun under my left ear and pinned it into place. It has a bit of a messy look, but it just doesn't look right to me if it's too perfect. It should look as though it's just thrown together.

I hope that everyone's week is off to a good start.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another Quiet Sunday

It's been a nice quiet day here today, and I've enjoyed it.

I just touched up my roots and my hair is still wet. I waited 5 weeks between colourings this time, but really, my silver roots were far too apparent. It's really best aesthetically for me to touch up every 4 weeks, but this time, I wanted to give it a bit more time. However, if I had had a special event to attend this week, I definitely would have coloured sooner.

I was thinking today how nice it would be if there was just one tried and true hair regimen that worked for everyone. It always amazes me how even people with the exact same hair type differ with how they react to various products and treatments.

I feel so fortunate that I've found a regimen that works for me.

I am really starting to feel like my hair is long again for real. I am not jaded enough by the many extreme lengths at LHC to feel as though my hair is "short" at BSL.

Perhaps if I ever reach my goal length of tail-bone, I may eventually feel that BSL is relatively short, but I certainly don't feel that way right now.

I am looking forward to the ability to do more styles when my hair gets longer though, and I definitely don't think that my hair is long enough, but I'm pretty content right now. I must remember how this feels the next time I get frustrated with my hair.

Well, I don't really have anything more to blab about today. I'm going to have some soup and watch "High Society", which is a film I haven't seen in years.

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful weekend.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Powerful Beyond Measure

For a couple of weeks, I've been ruminating on this passage from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson. It resonates with me so much, because I realize how we women especially, often tend to minimize the importance of our presence or our impact in this world.

Although the passage speaks of God by name, I think that the passage is meant for anyone, regardless of spiritual beliefs. If you're an atheist, simply substitute the word "mankind" instead. Some may want to use the words, "The Universe". If your religion has another name for a higher power, then use that. The important thing is the message.

I have thought about these words line by line, and I really feel the need to share these thoughts on this Saturday evening. I hope you'll give them some thought:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are
powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It's not in just some of us;
It's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all, and may you all shine.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Wouldn't Believe It If It Didn't Happen To Me

I have tried all kinds of homemade treatments and different methods on my hair since joining LHC. I've never been one to spend a lot of money on expensive salon products or anything, but I will try just about anything if it's cheap and homemade.

Although many treatments and elements of my regimen have been good for my hair's overall health, I have never once done anything that was so successful that someone actually noticed the difference.

Until now.

My husband, knowing my interest in hairstyles and hair care, has been wonderful with supporting me in my long hair journey. He does notice a new braid or hairstyle, and he does notice when it's starting to look long, but this time, he noticed that my hair looked different after using the oil soap!

He remarked to me yesterday that he could see the difference after the first time I tried it. I asked him to describe what he meant. He said that my hair looked much shinier, and he noticed that it's just falling differently. I asked him to try to articulate what he meant by that, and it seems that he sees that my hair looks somehow fuller and that it falls like a sheet rather than going "piece-y" as it usually does.

Now, I don't know if you realize how HUGE this is. Using the oil soap, I did notice myself that my hair is more shiny and lustrous, and I did notice that it's softer and that my halo hairs are lying down a bit more rather than sticking upwards.

However, I never imagined that the difference would be so noticeable that it would be visible to someone else!

I can tell you that I will definitely be continuing to experiment with the coconut oil soap until further notice. I can't tell you how excited I am with the results!

Well, I had a very strange night last night again. It's still this dang migraine. I woke up at 2:15 a.m. and I was wide awake. I had not gone to bed early last night.

Needless to say, I was not feeling too hot. I was waiting to feel drowsy enough to go back to bed, but it just wasn't happening. Finally at about 11:30a.m., I was able to head upstairs and at last I had a very long nap. After so little sleep this week in general, I confess that I still feel exhausted despite the long nap, but I am sure that if I can sleep well tonight, I may well feel rested tomorrow. Which would be nice. This has been a bit of a rough week, and sadly those things that I wanted to get done that were hanging over my head are still hanging there.

Well, if I feel better tomorrow, I can go a long way to get these tasks out of the way. Okay, I'm going to sip some tea and relax away this migraine.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hairstyle How-To: Twisted Crossed Half-Up

This style is just about the easiest half-updo that I know. However, I think it's elegant in its simplicity. (Photos clickable for larger image.)

I parted each side of my hair from the crown to the ears. I took the right side and twisted it inwardly three times, then took the left side and twisted it inwardly three times.

Then I crossed the left twist over the right twist and secured it with a Ficcare beak clip.

It really couldn't be easier.

For anyone who's wondering, I still have the migraine that started on Monday. I did however, get a better sleep last night. And once again, I'm happy to say that my spirits are good.

'Til tomorrow my friends. Much love to all.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just Coasting Along

The title says it all. I'm just coasting on this long hair journey at the moment. I'm pretty happy with my length, and looking forward to the next milestone, but I'm not thinking about it too much. I am happy with my trim, and, well, just over-all pleased with my hair in general. I don't know that I'll feel that way tomorrow or next week, but today I do, and that's good.

I tried the oil shampoo again today. This time I thought I'd try a higher ratio of coconut oil to shampoo. I used 3 parts coconut oil, 1 part shampoo, and 3 parts water in my squeeze bottle. I love the way it comes out frothy almost like mousse. It makes it really easy to make sure that it spreads everywhere on my scalp readily.

Right now, I like the results of the oil soap with the higher oil ratio. The first thing I noticed was a huge increase in shine after my hair dried. Also, my hair doesn't feel too oily in any way. Of course, the true test will be how my hair is tomorrow. If I find that it's too oily or limp, then I will try at 2:1:2 coconut oil/shampoo/water ratio the next time. Really I should have done that today instead of 3:1:3, but I'm nothing if not zealous in my experiments.

I am back into a bit of a style rut. I just keep putting a bun on the top of my head when I'm at home. I do that because it's comfortable, really.

Unfortunately, my migraine did not go away, and it's still blasting away today. I set a new record of waking up early due to migraine, which was 2:30 a.m. I managed a short nap, but as you might imagine, that didn't do much.

I guess given how lousy I'm feeling physically, it's not surprising that I have not been busy practicing new hairstyles, or trying out some of the more intricate ones that I already know.

Again though, I can honestly say that my spirits are good, and as we all know, that's the most important thing.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Writer's Block

I am staring at this computer screen and I realize that I really don't have much to say today.

Just as my tummy was starting to feel better, I felt a migraine coming on late yesterday, and by 4:30 this morning, it was such a blaster that it woke me up.

So I'm not feeling too comfortable at the moment, and the computer screen is not my friend right now.

I am a bit frustrated because there are still a couple of things on my to-do list that I wanted to get done and over with today, but I've been unable to, due to this migraine.

I'm hoping that this one will go away swiftly and not linger for days.

The house seems so quiet this week with my daughter gone back home and my son working full time hours. Even though he's considered a part-time employee, he's getting a lot of work. I know he's going to be really happy with the next few paycheques that he gets.

I  am just wishing that I too could get out and work. It's migraine days like today though, that makes me wonder just when I'll be able to feel confident enough regarding my reliability in to take on work. I have way too many days when I can't function and if I had to work in this condition--well, I just couldn't. I don't think I'd make a good impression at any job if I had to leave work half-way through a day because I couldn't see straight.

Surprisingly though, my spirits are quite good, and I'm happy to have shed, for now at least, the gloom that permeated my existence a couple of weeks ago.

This is a total non-sequitur, but I've had an urge to buy some new makeup lately. Unfortunately, especially with the big plumbing expense, this is not a good time. Once things right themselves money-wise I'm going to treat myself to some new eyeshadow, I think. Or a new brand of mascara. Or both.

Well, that's about all the writing I can do for today. My eyes are telling me to stop. Plus, I think I've just been whining.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oil Shampoo

I have been following a thread on LHC that Ktani started and references in this blog entry of hers.

In researching hair care for movie stars from the past, she found that Carole Lombard's hair stylist used an oil shampoo that contained coconut oil and castile soap. Ktani did an amazing amount of research on the benefits of using an oil shampoo containing coconut oil. Since that time, many LHC members have been working to create a mix of coconut oil and shampoo that will work for them.

Today I was going to do that protein treatment that I've been talking about for a couple of days, but I still wasn't up to having a deep treatment on my head for an hour, so I thought I'd experiment with creating an oil shampoo.

Because my hair is colour treated, I know how important it is to make sure that I have enough protein in my hair. Coconut oil helps to protect the protein level in the hair, and after weeks of just observing the results of the the oil shampoo recipes that various LHC members have tried, I decided that even though I am a Conditioner Only girl, it couldn't hurt to give this a try, since I had all of the necessary ingredients handy.

For this experiment I mixed one part Down Under Naturals Fruit Kicks shampoo for colour-treated hair, and one part shampoo in a squeeze bottle. I then added one part warm water and I shook up the concoction (I ran the bottle under hot water for long enough to melt the coconut oil first).

When I got into the shower, I rinsed my hair thoroughly with water and then squeezed small amounts of the shampoo mixture on my scalp. It lathered up beautifully, and it had a lovely silky feeling as I washed it. I allowed the lather to reach the ends of my hair so that it could take up some of the oil, and I massaged my scalp for a minute or so.

I rinsed my hair thoroughly and I then added conditioner to the length of the hair from the nape down. I performed the rest of my showerly duties, rinsed my hair well, and then followed with my usual diluted ACV rinse.

I had been concerned that it would leave my hair feeling oily, but that was not the case. My hair feels clean but soft and it dried quite quickly and without any tangles.

It's far too soon to tell if this shampoo method will be beneficial, but I'm willing to experiment with it for a while. When I feel that I've experimented enough, I'll post the results here and also give my results to Ktani.

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful day it was here! Although the weather forecasts showed cloudy skies for this week, it turned out to be a lovely, mild and sunny day. I am feeling much better than I did, although my tummy is not quite back to normal. At least I slept better last night, and I was able to complete some tasks that I was not looking forward to doing, but that I knew needed to be done.

While I didn't set any records for accomplishments today, I did get to finish off a couple of errands that were weighing heavily on me, so I call that good.

I want to say hello to Viiryen, and thank you for posting a comment yesterday!

I guess that's it for today.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rainy Sunday

Yes, it's been a rainy day, perfect for someone who is still getting over a tummy bug. Happily, I'm not feeling the damp chill that I felt yesterday. I'm still not feeling up to par, but I was able to eat a little bit today. Unfortunately, I've been awake since 4 a.m., so my mind is still a little bit dull, as is my body. Early to bed, I guess.

Well, there must be something in the air, because I've noticed an unusual number of friends and LHC members wanting to cut their hair. I wonder if it has something to do with the time of year. I do know that the last time I cut my hair short was around this time of year. I don't know.

I've said before that I really like shorter cuts on some people, but the only thing that worries me is when people make impulsive decisions. It takes years to grow out very short hair, especially layered cuts. On the other hand, hair does grow back. Well, that's why I always suggest the two-week rule. A well thought out cut is likely to be a more successful cut than an impulsive cut is likely to be.

As for me, with being ill the last couple of days, I really haven't been thinking about or doing anything with my hair at all. I guess it's been a few days of benign neglect. I've just basically kept it up in a bun, doing it no harm, but not treating it especially well.

I really need to do that protein pack, because I can tell that my hair needs some protein right now, but it's not exactly an emergency.

Well, I'm off to watch the last hour of the BBC's version of  Jane Austen's Emma. It's been an enjoyable series. While not completely faithful to the book, it is faithful in spirit to the book. I don't think there's a TV or movie adaptation of any Jane Austen novel that I haven't seen. Jane Austen is like comfort food to me.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, did what you wanted to do, and I wish you all a good week ahead.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Under The Weather On A Foggy Saturday

Well, this will be very brief. I've got some kind of a tummy problem that woke me up in the night and I've been up since 4 a.m.  I'm not only feeling quite ill but I'm very tired as well.

After a beautiful week of temperate weather and sunny skies, it's gotten very foggy, and while the temperature is not all that bad, it's one of those chilly damp days when one can never quite feel warm enough. It looks like we are going to be having cloudy skies and rain for the next several days. I'm so happy that the weather was good for my daughter's visit. It's so much colder where she lives than it is here.

If I must be ill, I'm glad it's on a day like this, when I'd just as soon bundle up in the house anyway. I think I'm going to get my Snuggie out of storage and put it to use this evening as I watch a movie. Actually, it's a Snuggie Deluxe--it has pockets!

My original plan for today was to wash my hair and do a deep protein treatment, but I'm too ill right now to wash my hair let alone sit with a head full of damp conditioner for an hour or more.

I really need to feel better tomorrow, because I have a few very important things hanging over my head that need to be taken care of.

So I'll leave you all with good wishes for the rest of your weekend. I'll be bundled up watching a movie and perhaps sipping on some ginger ale, which I seem to be craving.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh Dear

Well, my daughter left for home early this morning, before the sun even came up. We were supposed to take some photos of her hair last evening, and also, she wanted me to give her a trim.

All of that came to a crashing halt when a simple toilet repair turned into a plumbing disaster.

To make a long story short, a pipe that should have been threaded into the main pipe was soldered in by the workers who built this house. There was no way to expect that, because in this particular case, every plumber would tell you that soldering is a no-no. So the shut-off pipe was broken right at floor level when my daughter and my husband were trying to remove and replace it.

Fortunately, the main water was shut off in the house, but once the pipe was broken, there was no way to turn the water back on in our home without a geyser shooting out in the kids' bathroom, which would have caused a major flood.

We had to call in a professional at 8:00 P.M., and before I went to bed, the pipe was fixed, the toilet was working, and we were a few hundred dollars poorer.

Everything was in chaos, and we didn't get around to taking photos of my daughter's hair, nor did I get to give her the trim she wanted.

I guess we shouldn't have waited until the last minute. Well, live and learn.

In any case, I realized that I have a length photo of my own hair that was taken exactly one year ago tomorrow. I took another photo today. Because the shirt has lettering on the back, it's another good one to establish the amount of growth I've had in a year. (Photo is clickable for a closer view.)

Since last year's photo was taken, I have trimmed off  3 1/2 inches, which is about a half of a year's worth of growth, so I'm fairly pleased with the amount of progress I've had in this one year.

I am still embarrassed by the thin ends, but once again, I have to remind myself that I need patience and eventually, my hair will be longer, and all of the thin ends will be trimmed away.

I wonder how many times I've had to remind myself to be patient in this blog. I don't know exactly how often, but it's been a lot. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't need to be perfect, and this is a journey, not a race. Okay, I am duly reminded.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.