Sunday, October 31, 2010

Shedding A Bit More Than Usual

I've noticed in the last couple of weeks that my hair seems to be shedding a little more than it ordinarily does.

I'm not pressing the panic button, but I am going to try to figure out if I really am losing more hair than usual, or if it's just that I've been wearing my hair up for longer periods of time, and combing it less lately, thereby having more hairs come out in a comb or brush at one time than usual.

Also, I've discussed before the phenomenon of shed hair looking like exponentially more than it really is due to increased length. That has happened to me before at this length, and it turned out that my shed count was well within the normal range at that time. It may be true now too.

Given all of that, I'm going to make an effort to comb my hair more regularly for a week or two, in order to keep an approximate count of the hairs that I shed. I'm also going to give it a good brushing before a wash so that my hairs have more likelihood of coming out in the brush and less likelihood of literally going down the drain.

One thing I do know is that my hair isn't breaking, because there is a root on every shed hair, so that's a good thing.

If I really am losing a bit more hair than usual, it's likely just a normal part of the hair growth/release cycle. So for now, I'll just keep my eye on it, see if this is actually occurring, and if so, how long it lasts.

Clearly, if it really turns out to be a problem, I'll have to see a doctor and check on my hormone levels and thyroid, etc., but it's far too early to be thinking in those terms right now. As I said, I'm really not too concerned right now, as I have a few reasons why I might be noticing this at the moment.

I hope that everyone who celebrates Halloween, whether with your friends or with your little ones, or who is at the door giving out treats, has had a good time. It can be so much fun!

Our neighbourhood is going through a cycle of less children trick-or-treating right now, as happens in many neighbourhoods. We moved into this house when the development was first built, and many of the folks here, including us, had young children. All of those children are grown now, and although some new young families have moved in, we only have about 1/4 of the number of children coming to the door than we did 13 years ago, our first year in this home.

As for me, I am very tired right now. I had a poor sleep last night, but I did have a nap, so I'm feeling far more tired than I think I normally ought to be right now. I think it's the pre-menopause, but I'm not sure. What I do know for sure is that I need to get out and walk more than I do. That can only be a help, and I've not been doing it. Maybe just writing that here will give me more incentive to do it.

For tonight though, it is soon to bed for me.

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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some Thoughts On A Saturday

Today is one of those days where I'm simply baffled and angered by the unnecessary cruelty of some people to others. Usually, I think I've heard everything, yet sometimes when I hear comments made to people about their choice of hair length or clothing, I am stunned. 

I am currently at a loss for words, so I'll let people who have possessed far more wisdom than I ever will, do the talking for me.

Bullies are always cowards at heart and may be credited with a pretty safe instinct in scenting their prey.--Anna Julia Cooper

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength--Eric Hoffer

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself--Harvey S. Firestone

Please try to remember these things the next time someone attempts to hurt you through words. I'm trying to.

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

Friday, October 29, 2010

Yet More Rules

Thank you everyone for your comments to yesterday's posts. It's clear that many of us see or have felt the peer pressure of the die-hards at the long hair forums. All of us who have or want to have long, healthy hair need to educate ourselves on the dangers of various methods or treatments, or we might be where I was before I joined LHC. Before LHC, I was blow-drying, heat styling and colouring, and I always had to cut my hair once it got below APL, because it would just be too thin and broken, and often I had a lot of split ends.

So don't get me wrong, I was not complaining about the Long Hair Community. I love the place. They have given me so much advice and support. Sometimes though, a vocal few make it seem as though there is only one "right way" and for a new member, it can be hard to see past that. I think some of that stems from the fact  that people who make the less popular choices are quiet about it.

I just believe that once we are educated, we need to decide for ourselves what is going to be best for us. In my case, I know I'm sacrificing what could be a longer ultimate length by colouring my hair. However, thanks to LHC knowledge, I make other healthy choices that keep my coloured hair the best it can be.

Ideally, that's what a support forum should be; a place to get the information we need, but to be able to then make our own choices once we have the information and still feel supported.

Well, I suppose that if I were to get a perm on top of my hair colour and then use a curling iron every day, I would get little support, but if I were doing all of those things, I would have to know that I would not be having healthy long hair. I don't even know if I would have healthy chin length hair if I did all those things.

Just when I was feeling a bit frustrated yesterday by a yet another new member feeling apologetic over a hair choice, again thinking that there was only one way to grow long hair, I was frustrated once again by the media.

Yesterday on the Today show, there was a topic about long hair on older women. It was inspired by the article from the New York Times that I cited last week. The author of that article was on the segment as well as a "hairdresser to the stars", interviewed by Meredith Vieira.

I don't ordinarily watch that show, but I did get a link from LHC and watched the segment.

It was a 2-part piece, first with a two-minute packaged report that was all about older women wearing longer hair these days. The rest of the segment was a live discussion hosted by Meredith Viera. One of the guests was the author of the New York times article, who is 56 with long salt and pepper hair. The other guest was a hairstylist who agrees that times are changing and older women often look good with longer hair.

It was meant to be a positive piece about long hair on older women. I think. At least it started that way. The woman from the Times talked about her experiences and her conviction to wearing long hair. The hairstylist noted that many women have a softer look when their hair is longer.

However, things began to change. The hairstylist made it clear that by long hair, she meant hair that is no longer than collarbone length. She also made it clear that some sort of face framing layers are a must for older women. Finally, she said that grey hair and long hair do not go together. In fact I think she was against grey hair at all, to be honest.

There was also a very strong hint that in order to wear even the "acceptable" length of long hair for older women, we must be physically fit and not overweight. Well, currently I'm about 20 pounds overweight, which I'm not happy about, and if I cut off my hair and went for a short cut, I'd really be feeling bad about myself.

So in short, according to this expert, women who want long hair in middle age can have long hair, but only if we satisfy certain conditions.

You can see the Today show segment here, as long as it's still up and running.

I was so delighted by that article last week, but not so delighted by that TV segment. Is there ever going to be a day when an expert will come out and say that women should just wear our hair in the way that makes us feel beautiful? Is there ever going to be a day when society just accepts and respects individual style? I don't know, but if I ever hear tell of it, I'll let you know.

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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Don't Apologize

I always feel so sad when I read a thread on LHC where someone feels the need to apologize because they blow dry their hair, colour their hair, or do anything that is not considered the ideal in hair care.

While I have written about the dangers of heat styling, and the damage that it did to me, I certainly am not trying to tell anyone not to heat style. While I don't want layers in my fine, straight hair, I thinks layers can be a saviour to someone with really thick wavey or curly hair.

I think what I try to do is give information, or my experiences, so that people can make informed decisions. That certainly doesn't mean that I expect anyone to follow my advice. Also, I am well aware that we are all so different and what may be good for one person may be a disaster for another.

I of course colour my hair, which by any standards is not a healthy hair choice. I must admit that I felt ganged-up on when I first joined LHC by some diehards who are against colouring of any sort. While I understand that for some it's a concern for one's hair health, there are also those who seem to have a moral belief that "nature knows best", and that we should just live with whatever colour we have. I'm happy to know the dangers of dyeing my hair, but I'm not interested in anyone's moral concerns.

It took a long while before I realized that there were an enormous number of LHCers who also colour their hair. They just seemed to be awfully quiet about it.

But I know the dangers, I do what I can to minimize the damage and otherwise take good care of my hair.

So if you're blow-drying your hair, flat ironing your hair, dyeing your hair, wearing bangs, or whatever makes you feel good about your hair, just make sure you are armed with information and then go ahead and do it.

Just as you don't need to listen to the people who tell you to cut off your hair, you don't need to follow all the hair care rules either, if you don't want to.

Apologize to no one.

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Current Routine In Summary.

I've been asked by a reader to summarize my current hair routine and treatment program in one post. So of course, I'm going to do that. Now, I know how drastically different every head of hair is, even people with hair of my own hair type, but I'll do the summary of my regimen for the record. I'll be making a page with this summary for ease of access.

Washing: Every 2 or 3 days (I try to stretch it to 3): I wash my hair using the CO method. I am currently using cone-free conditioner, usually the inexpensive Suave Naturals.

I then rinse with a mild apple cider vinegar rinse. I use about 5 or 6 tablespoons of vinegar to 2 litres, or approximately 8 cups of water. I use that as a final rinse right before getting out of the shower.

I leave the towel on my hair for no more than 10 minutes and then I add a pea-sized amount of conditioner to my length as a leave-in. I'm currently using Burt's Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet conditioner.

I do not comb or brush my hair when it is wet or damp, with the exception of my bangs, which are short. I let my hair air dry and then I begin to finger comb it as it dries. Only after my hair is dry will I comb it with a horn comb.

Nightly: I put my hair in a bun on the top of my head after a short session with a boar bristle brush. I secure it with a scrunchie or a clip.

Oiling: I use a total of 6 drops of jojoba oil to my hair from the ears down when my hair is almost dry. I put 2 drops in my hands, rub them together and smooth the hair from one side of the head between my hands. I repeat with the other side and then repeat with the back.

I use the same amount of oil again right before bed, and lightly brush it through with a boar bristle brush. I do that each night until the next wash.

Deep Oiling: I like to do a deep oil treatment once every 2 weeks or so. I soak my hair in either extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil for at least an hour, sometime for several hours. About an hour before I wash, I put conditioner on my dry, oiled hair, bun it up, and leave it until I wash. This ensures that the excess oil comes out. Because oil and water don't mix, it's best to add the conditioner first, rather than wetting the hair and trying to shampoo it out.

Protein Treatment: About once a month I do a protein treatment. I like Joico K-Pak. I like to leave it on my hair for an hour before COing.

Deep moisture treatment: I also do this every two weeks or so. I use one part honey (I microwave it for about 30 seconds so that it doesn't lighten my hair) to 2, 3 or 4 parts of conditioner, depending on how I make it that day. I put that in my dry hair (sometimes I dampen it lightly with spray bottle of distilled water), and completely saturate my hair with it from root to tip. I cover it with a plastic grocery bag and then cover that with a towel. I leave it in for at least an hour. When I get into the shower, I add some water to my scalp, work it in well, and treat the mixture as a CO. I rinse it out as I would a usual CO.

Occasional treatments: When my ends feel crunchy or velcro-like, or if my hair is getting very dull, I will clarify my hair. The shampoo I use for that is Herbal Essences Drama Clean. I always moisturize my hair very well after clarifying.

Sometimes I do a coconut milk soak. I soak my hair in full fat coconut milk, cover it with a plastic bag, and cover that with a towel. I use CO to remove it.

Once in a while, I do a mayonnaise treatment. This would be in the place of a deep oiling, and has the added benefit of protein as well as being a very good pH for the hair and scalp. I use full fat mayonnaise and I wash it out with conditioner only.

Colouring my hair: My hair is dyed, and I touch up my roots only every 4 to 6 weeks. I always coat my hair in coconut oil overnight or for at least two hours before the touch-up, in order to help prevent peroxide damage.

I think that's pretty much it. It sounds like a lot when all written out, but really, it's not a lot in terms of actual time spent or dollars spent.

Well, we had quite a storm last night, and it brought on a major migraine. It will be early to bed for me, as I try to banish this latest bout, which is a real blaster.

I am happy to say that despite this migraine, my spirits are much better in general today than they had been for a couple of weeks.

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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Happy Birthday To My Daughter!!!

Yes, today is my daughter's birthday. She is my firstborn, so it was 22 years ago today that I became a mother. She's living several hours away, so I won't see her today, but she's coming home on the 5th of November for a week, as I mentioned a few days ago.

I was going to write about my daughter's birth, but I'm finding it very emotional, and I will have to write about it some time when I'm not so choked up.

I am very emotional every year on my children's birthday. Perhaps it's because every detail of their birth is so crystal clear and it's hard to believe that it wasn't just yesterday.

I've never had a problem with my children growing up. I've spent every moment I could with them, and I enjoyed every minute of it, knowing how fleeting it all would be. Yet the birthdays make me so sentimental. Well, I guess that's just being a mum, isn't it?

So, since I'm finding myself stuck for words, I'll post a photo of my daughter with me just minutes after her birth.

And at 15 months. She was a going concern and a tiny package full of mischief. Look at that twinkle in her eye. She's still a going concern, but she's grown up to be a poised and lovely young woman. She still has a hint of mischief, in the best possible way.

Well, that's all I have to say about that, or I'll start blubbering.

Many, many thanks to all of you who posted such kind words and celebrated my milestone with me yesterday. I so appreciate it.

'Til tomorrow. Much love to all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October BSL Update: I'M THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I mentioned yesterday that I was nervous about taking a BSL update photo, but I did it anyway. (Photo clickable as always)

I am well and truly at BSL now!!!

Yes, my ends look a bit thin, but we knew that, as I've mentioned ad nauseam that I'm still trimming out the damage that I did over 2 years ago. I still have a few inches to trim off.

But I'm at BSL again for the first time in almost 2 1/2 years, and I couldn't feel happier about it. Since I skipped my trim in September, because I was getting so close to BSL, and of course I haven't trimmed in October, I now feel free to have that much-needed trim, and I'll be able to feel good about it. I'm going to get back into my "trim 1/2 inch every 3 months routine" now, until I reach waist length, which even with the trims, should be next summer.

I really do feel so happy to know that my hair has been getting longer this year after maintaining between just below shoulder length and BSL for almost 2 years.

So, while I won't deny that my damaged ends still bother me, I will say that for today at least, it's a very good hair day for me.

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

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coconut Milk Soak Sunday

Yes, I know I did a deep oiling just the other day, but I simply felt the need to do something nice for my hair again today, so I did a coconut milk soak.

I'm getting very good at doing the soak, and I don't seem to get as many drippies all over any more. I think the secret is dipping down and really saturating my length well before putting the remainder on the scalp. Of course, now I have a bit more hair to absorb the amount that I use (200 ml--half a can)

My hair is still drying, so I can't report on the results, but I do like the "weighty" feeling that my hair has right now. When my hair is slightly damp, as it is right now, it usually feels much lighter. I can't explain why, but I just love that heavy feeling that my hair has after a coconut oil soak.

It was a month ago tomorrow that I did my September BSL update. I'm almost afraid to try it again tomorrow. Don't ask me why. I don't know.

Well, as to my personal life, I'm delighted to say that my daughter has firmed up a date for coming home. It's technically a birthday visit, but her birthday is on Tuesday, the 26th and she can't come home until November 5th, but I'll take it!

She'll be here for a week, but I think this time she'll be very busy catching up with friends. The last time she was home, many of them were away, and also she had a hectic schedule that time. We have a tentative date to go out to karaoke together, so I do hope that I'm migraine-free during her visit. My son is of legal age, so perhaps he'll join us at the karaoke bar. I'm looking forward to it. I haven't done the karaoke thing in a few years.

I am not a good singer, but I do find that singing karaoke is both fun and somehow very liberating.

I'd like to add that I'm most pleased with myself for remembering to actually reply to comments in the comments section. An old dog can learn new tricks, I'm finding over and over.

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. I enjoyed my quiet one very much.

'Til tomorrow. Much love to all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hairstyle: Wrapped Hairstick Bun with Tucked Ends

Well, my hair is now long enough for me to do my Wrapped Hairstick Bun with the ends tucked in without aid of any hairpins. I can just tuck the ends under before the final push-through of the hairstick.

This is what it looks like with the ends tucked in.

So I guess I've reached yet another mini-milestone. It's always nice to see progress, even in the smallest ways. I couldn't do this two weeks ago.

In just over a week it's time for me to do my quarterly length comparison update. I hope that there is enough difference in length to show a good 3 month difference from the first of August to the first of November.

There was no real difference between May and August, as only the sides were longer. I had trimmed off the "V" at the centre of the length, so that took off two inches of overall length. I'm looking forward to seeing a visible difference this time, as I haven't had any big trims.

It was a lovely, sunny morning, and then suddenly it started to rain. It just seemed to come out of nowhere. I certainly don't mind the rain, but it did come as a surprise. Well, I guess one should never be surprised by the weather in October. It's a very changeable month.

So that's it for today. I'm off to enjoy my Saturday night in a quiet way. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend too, wherever you are.

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

Friday, October 22, 2010

After The Deep Oiling And A Positive Article About Long Hair In Middle Age!

I forgot to mention yesterday how my deep oiling of Wednesday worked out. It was a very good success, and the photo taken yesterday was indeed taken after that treatment. It was the right time for a good oiling.

On LHC today, someone started a thread about this article in the New York Times, which was for once a positive opinion about long hair in middle age. The author made some very good points, and I liked the fact that she didn't write it as though having short hair is unattractive. I always like it when people understand that we all have different needs and preferences and that having long hair is no better than having short hair. It's all about what we feel good about for ourselves.

It's unfortunate that this is one of the first articles I've read of that nature in a mainstream publication in all the years that I've been planning on growing my hair longer.

Of course, I know that the pervasive opinion in our society is and will continue to be that older women should wear shorter hair, but it is nice to hear someone speak up for those of us who choose long hair for a change.

I just know that barring a health disaster, I'll be having long hair as long as I'm able. I waited far too long to grow my hair, and I have no intention of ever having short hair again. I've been there, done that so many times that I know I'd regret it in an instant.

Now, just what length that long hair will be is something I don't know. However, I can't imagine that there will ever be a day when my hair is not long enough to bun or to put in a nice braid or ponytail.

I guess APL would be about as short as I could ever see me going again. But that would be in the distant future. At this point I'm just looking forward to achieving waist length next year, and hoping to see tail bone at some point after I've maintained waist length long enough to cut out the existing damage.

Will I ever be able to reach tail bone?  I honestly don't know. I really hope so though. It depends on how thick I can keep the ends. I don't want tail bone length hair if it's just spindly. My hair type doesn't do spindly very well.

Anyway, another week is over. For me, I must admit that's a relief. This has not been a good week for me. I'm feeling a bit better today than I have been, but I'm still not feeling like myself. While I have a migraine going on aside from my hormonal issues, I am feeling more optimistic, as though there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

It's nice and sunny as I type this, and it's very cheering to me.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I really do.

'Til tomorrow. Much love to all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Embellish Your Ponytail: French Braided Ponytail

This is another way to jazz up a simple ponytail or even a simple low bun.

I simply French braided my hair to the nape, and then wrapped the ponytail with a hair safe elastic. In this photo, I used a hair Bunjii, which is extremely hair friendly, but unfortunately is no longer being manufactured.

It's quick, it's easy and it just adds a bit of interest to an otherwise simple style.

On another note altogether, it's been a strange day weather-wise here today. It rained, it was sunny, it rained, it was sunny, but it's been fairly mild out. The only thing is that I've never known from one moment to the next if it will be nice enough to go for a walk or not. It's been completely unpredictable. Right now it's raining again, just since I started writing.

Wow, Friday tomorrow already. This week has been a blur for me.

I've still not caught up on my sleep but I'm feeling a bit better emotionally today. Whatever is going on with my hormones just might be stabilizing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  

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

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Doing a Deep Oiling

After doing my root touch-up on the weekend, my hair felt like it needed a good oiling. So last night I slathered my hair from the nape down, put it up on a bun on the top of my head and slept that way. I added oil to the rest of my hair this morning, and about 2 hours ago, I put conditioner all over my hair.

Once I finish writing this, I'll rinse it out, do a CO and hopefully have nice softer hair. It really wasn't terribly dry or brittle feeling anyway, but it just felt like time for a good oiling.

I pretty much knew that I wouldn't be going out today at all, so I was okay with having all of this oil on my head for the day. If something came up, I could have always washed it sooner anyway.

I still didn't get a good enough sleep last night, so I still feel as though I'm walking on a tightrope today, somewhere between sanity and going off the deep end. I know it will get better though. These things always do.

Thank you everyone, for the comments left yesterday. They really meant a lot. Each and every one made me feel more hopeful that this phase will pass.

Once again, I'm looking at the clock and ciphering just how much more time I have to put in before I go to bed. I'm going to try to hold out until 9:00. Chances are better that I'll sleep through the night that way, rather than following through with the urge I have to go and lie down right now.

It's probably a good thing that I have a headful of oil and conditioner, because there's no way I could sleep like this way anyway, and maybe the shower will perk me up a little.

I have a lot of hair-related issues that I'm just dying to discuss, but it just won't flow out right now.

Again, I thank all of you for standing by me during this time of minor difficulty. It's really hard to write anything at all right now, but nonetheless I'm writing something, and not giving up just because I'm down. Quality blog entries? Not really, but at least I'm showing up.

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Still Feeling Off

Well, it's a nice and sunny day, and I actually did have a fair night's sleep last night, but I'm not even close to feeling like myself again. 

I know it's hormones due to my age, and sometimes just knowing that is enough to make me feel more at ease with myself, but this time, it's just not working. I wish I could describe how I feel. The closest I can come is to say that my brain feels as though it's not correctly in position.

I'm feeling annoyed over the tiniest things, and I'm just not feeling good about me. I know that everyone feels this way from time to time, but this has been going on for a few days, and I've had enough of it for now, thank you very much.

I don't like blogging negatively, yet at the same time, this is just the way it is right now, so there's no use in pretending otherwise. I feel as though I'm inside a dense fog and I can't see my way out. The things that normally make me smile are not making me smile right now. I just don't feel like I'm me.

Perhaps I'll wake up tomorrow morning and everything will look different.

In good news, my daughter will be coming home for a visit some time soon. That will be very nice. We don't yet know exactly when or for how long, but it should be some time in the next couple of weeks. It's a long bus ride from where she lives to here, but she seems not to mind it too much.

My son is happy with the job he's gotten. We don't know if it will last much beyond Christmas, but if not, I'm sure he'll find something fairly quickly. I don't know what it is about my kids, but they never seem to have much of a problem in that way.

It's playoff time for Major League Baseball, so there's been a lot of baseball on our television of late. Baseball is my favourite sport to watch on TV. I may be Canadian, but I'm afraid I am not a hockey fan. Nor am I a football fan. It's a good thing I like baseball.

I'm having a hard time trying to decide which teams to root for this year though. Once the Blue Jays are eliminated, usually I can pick a team that I can get behind, but not this year, I'm afraid.

Well, it's time to take the dog out. I hope that I'll have some hairstyle photos tomorrow, but I'm not making any promises, given my experiences in the last few days. I don't know whether it's my hair not cooperating or my fingers, but just like my mood, my hairstyling ability has been a bit off.

I hope that everyone is enjoying the week. I'm looking at the calendar, and I see that we're getting very close to Halloween already. And those of you who live in North America know what that means these days (and maybe elsewhere, but I can't say for sure) . It means that in less than two weeks, the Christmas season starts in all of the stores. Unbelievable.

Thanks to everyone who's been hanging in with me while I've been so down. I hope to have my characteristic optimism back soon.

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

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not Much On My Mind

I've been feeling quite ill today, and to top it off, I had yet another poor night's sleep.

I can't quite think straight, and I just don't have it in me to write much at all.

I did try to do a couple of hairstyles so that I could put some photos in the blog today, but I couldn't get one to turn out right. It's just one of those days, I guess.

Fortunately, I haven't taken my feelings out on my hair, so it's still on my head, and not any shorter. And that's about all I have to say on the subject of hair today.

I really need a good night's sleep tonight.

I'm going to eat early, and go to bed early. Right now, I'm just looking at the clock, and trying to be patient until it's a decent time for me to turn in.

'Til tomorrow. Much love to all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Blues

I was up too late last night. I don't know why. I had no intention of staying up late, and I wasn't doing anything special or exciting, but nonetheless, it was close to 3 by the time I fell asleep. I was up at 7:30 a.m.,  and while that's a great deal later than I ordinarily sleep in the morning, it certainly wasn't enough sleep to keep me going for the day.

So I had a tired yet sometimes enjoyable morning, but I wasted the beautiful afternoon sleeping, only to wake up feeling completely out of sorts. I honestly don't know what's going on with me sometimes. I feel as though I have some grumpy, snarky entity taking over my body and saying and doing things that feel beyond my control. Is this something to do with pre-menopause? If so, I want to figure out how to fix it. Even if it's hormonal, it's no excuse. There has to be some way to get a grip on this moodiness. I've done a lot of research on the Internet, but I've found nothing terribly helpful.

Well, as I said yesterday, I changed the colour that I use to touch up my roots. I am quite pleased with how it turned out, but it was pointless to try to take a photo today, it was already too dark to take an outdoor photo, and as we all know my hair looks different in every indoor photo anyway. I don't even know if the colour change will show up in photos. In any case I'm pleased with it. It's just a touch brighter than it has been. I think after so long of using the same colour for touching up my roots, the length of my colour was just grabbing it more and more to the point that it was lacking in any life.

We shall see how this pans out in future.

I am feeling frustrated again by remaining in that hair length no-man's land where I'm still limited to what hairstyles I can do. I go over to my hairstyle website, and I look longingly at some of the styles I had done before, but even though I was able to do many of them at this length, due to my new increased thickness, I just can't do them again yet.

It's a bit discouraging. I know that my hair has grown a lot this year; I know that I am closing in on my next milestone, but I am getting bored of wearing my hair virtually the same way every day. I just have to keep on keeping on, I guess. It's just disappointing when I want to put a new style photo in the blog, only to find that it's not working for me

Maybe I'm just having a bad day, and things will look different in the morning. Right now, I'm just not feeling very good about myself at all.

Hoping to be more cheerful tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Night Touch-Up

Wow, we were blessed with a most perfect autumn day today! I could live with days like this all year around. The sun was shining and it was mild and beautiful out. If only the sun didn't set so early these days.

Melissa, you were right. It's gorgeous here, and I'll bet that it is for Lulu too, also in the Golden Horseshoe as I am.

Thanks for your tips about the photographs too, Melissa. It always seems that the weather does not cooperate when I want to take an outdoor photo. Usually when I want to take a hair photo, it's windy, foggy, rainy or all of the above, while being sunny and calm every other day. I try to take my photos in the same place in the house all the time, but clearly it's not working for me. I'll have to find a new location, perhaps.

At the old LHC (properly known as the Archived LHC), when we had photo journals, one of my friends, Xandergrammy, used to give my hair colour a "name of the day", like Honey Caramel, Sunlit Toffee, or something equally yummy sounding. Even then my hair showed as a different colour every day. That was almost 4 years ago now.

By the way, I have actually started to actually reply to comments in the comments section, like a normal person, so if you leave a comment, you may find that for once I've addressed it.

Anyway, after the sun set this evening, I decided to touch up my roots. I changed it up a little by trying a different colour, so I applied it after marinating for a lengthy time in coconut oil. I still haven't rinsed it, but I will be momentarily. I doubt that anyone will notice a change in colour, but I will. I think that it was time to try something new. Eventually, the rest of my hair will gradually change as it grabs the new colour.

I wrote about  the movie "The Brothers Bloom" in my film blog today. It's a movie that just came out on DVD this year, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Well, it's late, and I need to go and rinse my hair and then I'm going to relax, have an apple and read.

I hope everyone is enjoying as lovely a weekend as I have been.

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

Friday, October 15, 2010

Embellish Your Ponytail: Side Rolls

I've been in a bit of a style rut again lately. I've pretty much just been putting my hair up in simple cinnamon buns. I haven't even been braiding of late.

Sometimes it's nice to wear a really simple style like a ponytail, but it's nice to spice it up a little. You can embellish it with some 2 or more small accent braids, as I did when I mentioned embellishing a simple updo (sometimes if I have time, I use 6 or 8 accent braids), or you can try some simple rolls, which add a nice, elegant effect.

In this photo I just twisted each side of my hair into a roll before fastening the ponytail with a small Ficcare Maximas (Antique Gold with Aurora Borealis Crystals).

Twists are so quick and easy to do, and they even make my fine, straight hair look more interesting in a ponytail.

However, I find that rolls are much more impressive in wavy or curly hair. They're just as easy to make, but they make more of a statement.

I would love to figure out how to make my hair look its true colour in every photo. It either looks too dark, as it does today, or it looks too light or bright. Once in a while it looks as it does in real life, but not often. Some people really have the art of consistency down, but I just don't have it. Any ideas?

Well, it's just about time to make another video. Sometimes I still can't believe I actually make those videos and put them on the Internet for anyone to see. I was hoping to do a Celtic Knot soon, because I've had a few requests, but I can see and feel that it will be a few months before I can make a decent Celtic Knot again. I'll think of something. Maybe I'll do an Infinity Bun or a Tucked French Braid.

Good heavens, the weekend is here already! I said it yesterday and I'll say it again. This week has just flown by! Today has been nice and sunny, cool but not cold. I hope the weekend is just as nice. Whatever the weather, I wish you all a lovely weekend.

'Til tomorrow. Much love to all.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

If The Odour Of Apple Cider Vinegar Bothers You

A lot of people like the results of an ACV rinse, but do not like the vinegar odour that is left in their hair. 

I think that some people use too high of a concentration of vinegar to water, and that's often the problem However, some people find that they are bothered by the odour of ACV long after their hair has dried, even when using a weaker mix.

If for some reason I feel the need to use a heavier than usual mixture of ACV to water, I have found a way to nullify that vinegar scent.

I've mentioned before that I use about 4 or 5 tablespoons of AVC to a 2 litre pitcher of water as a final rinse after every CO. With that dilution,  there is no lingering scent, at least not for me. But sometimes I use a heavier dilution, especially  if I've just clarified my hair and I really feel the need to make sure that I do all I can to close the cuticle and counteract the negative effects of clarifying.

What I do is put the vinegar in my pitcher first, and to mask any potential vinegary odour, I have found that essential oils are very effective. My personal favourite essential oil for this purpose is lavender oil. Not only is lavender oil fairly inexpensive compared with other essential oils, but it is extremely hair and skin friendly, and has a clean, green fragrance. I might add 5-10 drops of the lavender oil to the ACV in the pitcher, depending on what I think is necessary and then add the water.

When I do that, I never smell the vinegar, even when my hair is still wet.

Another thing you might try is using white vinegar. A lot of people find that white vinegar has less of a lingering odour. Also, remember that if you have very pale blonde or silver hair, you are better off using white vinegar anyway, as ACV can deposit a slight golden cast to pale hair.

I really like essential oils and I often add them to other products, like conditioners, if I find their fragrances unpleasant.

Well, it rained all night and most of the day here today. I kind of like rainy days when I don't have to go out, because they are peaceful and somehow relaxing.

I'm afraid that I woke up far too early again this morning, so I'm still feeling very tired. Does anyone have any tips on preventing early morning waking? I don't have any trouble falling asleep; I'm just not sleeping through the night.

My hair is feeling more like itself today, after this morning's CO.

Right now I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas, just waiting for the day when I can post that I've reached BSL. I am really champing at the bit to be able to do some of the styles I used to do when my hair was longer, but that will take a few months I guess. Patience, again.

In my new movie blog, I discussed Don Juan DeMarco, with Johnny Depp today. If you've seen it and would like to add comments, or if you haven't seen it and are curious about it, please check it out.

I can't believe that it's already going to be Friday tomorrow. Where did the week go?

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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's One Of Those Days

I just can't seem to do a thing with my hair today other than put it up in a very simple bun. I did a deep oiling yesterday with EVOO, and my hair dried nicely, but I think it didn't need the additional drops of oil that I later put in my hair without thinking about it. 

I was on auto-pilot I guess, since I usually oil my hair every day. After a deep oiling though, I generally don't add any more oil until the next wash.

Even though I'm getting to know my hair much better than I ever did, I still slip up sometimes. I guess we all do from time to time.

It's been over a week, but I still can't get over the fact that my hair is looking long, even at the front. I was just looking at a front photo of myself taken in January, and the difference is astounding. It's not a great photo, but once I take a new photo of myself from the front, I will post it anyway. 

Today has not been the day to take a face photo though. I have a migraine, acid reflux, and I woke up in the wee hours of the morning once again, after going to bed last night a little later than usual. I think I'd rather have a bit of rest and feel a little more healthy before having another photo taken.

Right now, I'm looking at the clock and wishing it was a little closer to bedtime. I could likely fall asleep right now, but then I'd jeopardize my night's sleep, methinks.

Anyway, I know that I'm usually Chatty McYapstick, but for today, that's about it.

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

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Let's Put an End to Bullying!

I've heard it said in the past few years that bullying of children and teens has reached epidemic proportions. As far as I'm concerned, bullying has always been an epidemic. The difference is that now, at last, we are starting to discover the harsh consequences of bullying.

Children and teens have always had a certain amount of gang mentality, but it does seem that because of the increase of actual gangs, the bullying may be more dangerous than it was when I was a young woman.

I can't tell you how much I dislike the "kids will be kids" mentality that so many adults have about bullying. I've seen it in parents, I've seen it in some teachers, and I've even seen it in the Principal's office.

While it may be true that kids will be kids, I don't understand why parents don't take the time to sit their children down and explain to them how harmful bullying can be.

There's also the "it will make a man out of him" mentality that some parents have. I will never comprehend that one.

I also don't understand why some parents don't teach their children that it's not okay to make fun of someone just because they're different.

Children who are smarter than the others, heavier than the others, less athletic than the others, socially awkward, children who are perceived as unattractive, or those who do not fit the gender norm are all easy prey for bullies.

It's easy to understand when children are young and don't know any better that they may think that bullying is okay, but I really believe that by the time they are well into elementary school, they should thoroughly understand the consequences of bullying.

This is where I think a lot of parents are dropping the ball. I don't think that many parents actively condone bullying (although I know for a fact that some do), however, they don't speak up enough and teach their children to accept others' differences.

A young person whom I love very much was bullied due to a health issue. The bullying became so bad that there were threatening phone calls made, harmful pranks and on occasion, beatings.

When the parents of the bullies were confronted with their children's behaviour, they made excuses for their children rather than agreeing that their children's actions were wrong.

The school's stance was not very helpful to the bullied child either.

Fortunately, this child's health improved and soon the child was off to a new school and was able to have a fresh start. Many children are not that fortunate.

With the rash of teen suicide that are going on, I really believe that we all need to take a more active role in raising awareness of the consequences of bullying.

I would like to see parents taking responsibility for their children's actions. I would like to see more anti-bullying awareness take place in the school systems starting at an early age. I would like to see the schools take more action when bullying occurs.

Some people survive bullying and become strong, self-confident individuals. For some people, the self-esteem lost due to bullying never recovers. For others, it becomes too unbearable for them to face another day and they make a terrible choice to use a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I urge everyone to really talk to your kids about these issues and for heaven's sake, take it seriously, whether your child is being bullied or whether your child is the bully. Because it really is serious.

Okay, I'm off the soap box now. On an entirely different note, I wrote my first entry in my new movie blog. I've put the link in this post, but there's also a link under my profile photo. If you're interested in movies, you may find it interesting. I'd love to hear any thoughts or suggestions that you may have.

It's been another beautiful, warm and sunny day today. This is truly dream weather. In the spirit of my topic today, I'm going to show some photos of my cat Q and her arch-nemesis, my dog Barclay, doing their part to get along.

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

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Canadian Friends!

Yes, here in Canada, today is Thanksgiving Day. Many families celebrate it on the Sunday, but today is the actual holiday.

I really do have a lot to be thankful for, and please know that I am thankful to every one of you who takes the time to stop by and read my entries.

This year, my daughter was unable to come home for Thanksgiving, but she'll be here in a couple of weeks, to celebrate her birthday with us. She'll be 22! Even I can't believe it.

My husband works in television, and of course television never sleeps--not even on holidays--so he had to work today. However he does get an extra two weeks of vacation to make up for the fact that he works on holidays, so it's all good.

After a cloudless and sunny weekend, I'm sitting here almost in the dark at not yet 3:30 p.m. observing and listening to a thunderstorm. I don't mind; the rest of the weekend was so much more beautiful than one could have hoped for.

Having spent a record-long amount of time with a terrible bout of PMS (read: grumpiness), my period finally arrived on Friday, but for some reason, I've been feeling a bit weepy. I guess when one is approaching menopause, hormones just don't work in the manner we're used to.

I mentioned on Saturday that I'm looking forward to waist length hair for my 50th birthday next July, and also that I want to lose some weight before then.

I am so far failing at getting more exercise, but I have been cutting down on portions, and after months of being at the same weight, I've finally lost 5 pounds. Ideally, I'd like to lose 20 more pounds, but I can live with losing 15 more pounds.

As any of you over the age of 40 or 45 know, it's not quite as easy to keep the weight off as it was when we were in our 20s, but of course it can be done. I do not think however, that it's realistic to expect to get down to the weight I was at 21. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd want to.

The most important aspect that will decide whether or not I can lose this weight will be getting myself motivated to do regular exercise. I am at this moment committing myself to getting some extra exercise in every day.

I haven't exercised regularly for some time, so I'll have to go in baby steps, but that's okay.

As I've already said, I think it would be nice to have a prettier waist to go with my waist length hair when I turn 50.

I'm still feeling really good about my hair. I have wrapped up my experiment with the lemon juice rinse. I think it was successful in keeping more moisture in my hair.

I'm going to go back to ACV rinsing now, and assess how my hair feels after a month of that, and then decide which method I prefer.

Well, dark and thunderstormy; sounds like a perfect night for a movie.

I have decided that because I have such a passion for movies, I'm going to start a movie blog and discuss films new and old that I have really enjoyed. I'll be talking about classic films, indie films, foreign films and mainstream films if I like them.

I have no interest in writing about movies that I don't like. That's too negative for me, and I like to keep it all positive when possible.

It won't be a daily blog; my plan at this point is to write three times a week. I'll see how that works out. I may change my mind on that. I may have my first entry in tomorrow.

Well that's it for today, folks.

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

Sunday, October 10, 2010

When You Over-Oil Your Hair

And you will, if you are new to oiling your hair, or even if you know better and just have a mishap. Just about everyone does at one time or another. I've mentioned before that I use about 6 drops of jojoba oil on my hair each day, but it took some experimenting with amounts and different oils before I found the right every day oil for me, and the optimal amount for me to use.

In the early stages though, I would often apply an oil and it would simply make my hair look oily.  Not about to go and wash my hair right away, I quickly learned that the best thing to do was to brush my hair with a BBB and then bun it or braid it. The oiliness wouldn't be so obvious and sometimes the next day the oil would have absorbed enough that it didn't look quite as oily anymore.

However, sometimes one can over-oil to the point that it's hard to wash out. So many times I've read on LHC that people over-oil and find that their hair still feels greasy after two or three washes.

And yet many of us, including myself, often deep oil before a wash, and have nice, soft hair without apparent greasiness. How do we do it?

Well, the secret is conditioner.

While it sounds counter-intuitive, conditioner actually removes excess oil much more easily and of course much more gently than shampoo.

I don't know the science behind it, but I do know that what we perceive as being the greasier substance (conditioner) removes excess oil very effectively.

I can saturate my hair with coconut oil or EVOO and wash it out with conditioner only.

Here are the most effective ways that I've found to wash after over-oiling or deep oiling. Even if you use shampoo, these tips will be helpful, I think.

  1. Coat the length of your hair with an inexpensive conditioner, such as VO5 or Suave Naturals.
  2. Leave that conditioner in your hair for 30-60 minutes if possible. I like to bun my conditioned hair and clip it up out of the way until it's shower time.
  3. When it's time to wash, make sure that your hair and scalp are thoroughly saturated with water.
  4. If you are a shampoo user, add another layer of conditioner to your hair from the nape down and try to concentrate the shampoo on the scalp only.
  5. Rinse well.
  6. Add your usual final conditioner, and leave it on as long as you usually would.
  7. Rinse well.
You should find that your hair is soft and smooth, without any excess oil that will carry over until the next wash.

I hope that's helpful. I know that when I initially had some over-oiling experiences, I used to use shampoo to do most of the oil removal, and it just didn't work. If my hair was not still greasy, I can assure you, it would be extremely limp.

Oh my goodness, we've been blessed with yet another beautiful summery day. I can't remember a weekend that's been quite so lovely. Is there anything more beautiful than a warm, but not hot autumn day when the sun is shining and there's not a cloud in the sky?

I had a wonderful experience today. My best friend from university, whom I count as one of my few true lifelong friends celebrated a birthday a few days ago. She has been living in England for 25 years, and I've only seen her 3 times since that move. 

One was when I went to England to stay with her for two weeks--a wonderful experience--and the other times have been when she has come back here to visit. We hadn't talked for a long time, and we are both terrible at letter writing, although I admit, she is better than I.

In any case, I had lost her phone number, but as providence would have it, I found it just in time to phone her today, just a couple of days late for her birthday.

We haven't spoken on the phone in 10 years, but the minute we heard one another's voices, we shrieked and giggled just as we did 31 years ago when we first met. We spoke at length, catching up on each other's lives, and having a few reminiscences, even recalling the day that we became real friends all those years ago.

It was so much fun, and honestly, I would have thought that we had just spoken to one another yesterday. We just picked up where we last left off. I found out that she has a Facebook account (I had searched there for her in the past to no avail), so we'll be able to keep in touch more frequently and easily in future. 

So today, I am feeling doubly blessed.

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

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Such a Beautiful Day!

First of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the comments regarding yesterday's blog entry. I am touched and honoured by all of them.

Ohtawen, I don't know if I know any herringbone braid tips for you. Your beautiful hair is so long that I think my arms and fingers would be too tired to make a full, neat herringbone braid with it. I suppose the best advice I can give you is to just practice using strands of the very same size, and only make the braid as long as you are feeling comfortable doing it. The nice thing about herringbone braids is that they look nice even if they have a very long tail below the braid. I think that muscle memory plays a big part in making any braid as well. For hair as long as yours it also takes stamina.

It's just a lovely day here today. It was like the very nicest days of summer all day; the sun was shining, it was nice and warm, and the sky was blue and almost cloudless. There was just the lightest breeze and the day felt so peaceful. What could be more delightful than that in October? Now that it's dark, it's cooling down, just as it should. I notice that some of the leaves are just starting to turn. Soon there will be that beautiful colour explosion that those of us who experience such beautiful autumns look forward to.

To be honest, I haven't thought much about my hair today. It's still nice and clean from yesterday's wash and required nothing more than a light combing before I put it back up in a simple bun.

That's just another thing I love about long hair. It can go from fresh out of bed in the morning to very presentable with no trouble at all.

I'm still feeling really good about how my hair is actually looking long to me. It is such a strong reminder that my journey is well underway.

It's also exciting to think that by month's end, my hair might actually be just below my brastrap. That is such a huge milestone, after being at APL or shorter for so long, and I hope never to have hair any shorter than this again. I know I've said that before, but I can't help saying it again.

Soon, I can start thinking about my next big goal of waist length. And I must start working on losing a few pounds so that I can have a nice waist to go with my waist length hair.

Anyway, that's it for today. I'm just going to kick back, relax and enjoy this lovely Saturday night.

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

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hairstyle: Herringbone Braid Half-Updo and: 6 Months of Blogging

Hi everyone! Thank you all for the good wishes. I did sleep well last night and I was indeed able to enjoy the beautiful day we've had here today. Lulu, you're right; it's been just like a perfect summer day.

Today marks six months since I started this blog. I couldn't have imagined then that I would write an entry every day for six months.

Since April 8, 2010, this blog has been visited by people from 2036 cities in 89 different countries who have spent a total time of 24 days and 7 hours reading (my own family is not included in these stats). My blog is small potatoes compared with the longtime career bloggers, but it still boggles my mind that anything I've done has managed to reach all corners of the earth.

If you're under 40, you likely can't grasp just how mind-blowing it really is. When I was a young woman, just making an overseas phone call was still a big deal and we couldn't ever have imagined a day when just about everyone would have a cell phone. The last thing we could have imagined would have been having the ability to connect with people all over the world via something like the Internet. It amazes me still, when I think about it.

Writing this blog has reminded me that one is never too old to try something new. It has helped me to get over myself, and not worry if I write something that someone might find foolish, post a photo that is not perfect, or make a video in which I'm stumbling over my words. It's something I simply couldn't have done five years ago.

So for those of you who are still in your 20s or early 30s, and you're starting to feel the panic of "running out of time", please know that you can change and grow and learn new things throughout your life. You don't have to do it all now. There is still so much to look forward to, and let me also tell you another thing. Being 50 is not the same as being old.

Most of all, I am filled with gratitude daily for the comments and feedback that some of you leave, and for the emails and messages I receive. Believe me, you all give me so much more than I am giving and I am truly grateful.

Okay, now about hair. Today I've done a herringbone braid half-up. A herringbone braid is one of the simplest braids to do, but I do have to warn you; it can be tiring to do, especially on really long hair. The strands are small, and it takes patience. However, it's extremely easy, so that makes up for it.

As you can see, my braid in these photos is not perfect, but I still like the way it looks. Perfection is over-rated.  Photos can be clicked to enlarge them.

For those of you who have never made a herringbone braid, a half-up is a nice way to start.

To make a herringbone braid all you need to do is

  1. Divide hair into two sections.
  2. Take a small amount of hair from the outer portion of the left section and transfer it to the right section.
  3. Now take a small amount of hair from the outer portion of the right section and transfer it to the left section.
  4. Repeat until you have as much hair braided into a herringbone as you wish. 
  5. Tie off the end with a hair-friendly elastic.
Another way that many people like to do a herringbone braid is to make a ponytail first with a hair-friendly elastic and then do steps 1-5. I like to do it without a ponytail tie to start, because I like the v-shape it makes at the top, but both ways are pretty.

To my Canadian friends, I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving weekend. I hope that you spend time with people whom you love, and if not, that you can connect with them in some way.

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

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just Checking In Quickly

I guess I spoke too soon when I mentioned on Tuesday that I had begun to sleep a little later into the morning. It seems that Tuesday just happened to be a lucky day.

Yesterday and today, I woke up very early again, and along with having an extreme migraine, it finally really caught up with me.

I spent most of the day today feeling exhausted, tried to nap, failed and later in the day I no longer had a choice but to go back up to bed and fall asleep. I ended up sleeping for a few hours.

It was one of those strange sleeps when I awoke not knowing if it was morning or night. It was dark outside, and my eyes were too fuzzy to see just what time it was, so it took me a few minutes to get my bearings.

Such a shame, because it was a really beautiful, mild day with sunny skies, and I didn't get a chance to get out and enjoy it.

As for my hair, well, it needed to be washed today, but that didn't happen.  It's all bunned up and it will stay that way until tomorrow morning when I have a shower and CO.

Maybe that long sleep that I finally had today will still allow me to get enough sleep tonight to feel somewhat rested at last tomorrow. I hope so, as clearly any and all hair topics I wanted to discuss today have flown out the window.

I really appreciate all of the comments yesterday. It's wonderful to be able to share the little joys in the journey with you and to receive such supportive feedback.

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

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Hair Is Starting To Look Long--Even To Me!

I don't know what made Monday different than the day before, but for some reason, I looked in the mirror and for the first time in a very long time, I thought to myself, "My hair is really getting long".

Somehow there seems to be a magic length when my hair goes from looking like sort-of-long hair to looking like my idea of long hair. I don't know what it is about this length, but I remember from the past times of getting to this stage of my growth that I had these realizations at just about this time.

It's really quite nice to suddenly be able to see with my own eyes the progress that I've been making, without comparison photos or a measuring tape.

Perhaps there will be another stage in the coming year when I will have yet another epiphany, and see that my hair is looking really long.

Oddly, or perhaps not, my husband said yesterday that my hair was looking very long. I hadn't said anything to him about my hair, which tells me it's not just me who sees the difference.

So here I am at another mini-milestone. While I still have many goals ahead of me, I am finally actually able to see that my hair is getting to where I want to go.

It's a great feeling.

I know that to some longhairs, my hair is still considered relatively short, but in the real world, my hair is actually quite long, not only for women my age, but even the teens and young women that I see. I doubt that I'll ever be able to achieve the extreme lengths that some women do.

I'm getting excited again thinking about just where I might be a year from now.

I know that I have to have my regular trims or else I'll have to have an actual cut. This much I know from my past experience. However, the amount I'll be trimming will be far outweighed by how much my hair will be growing. I still think that I may maintain at just an inch or so past waist length for a while to allow my thinner ends to catch up with my new growth, but I'm not going to etch that in stone.

So, it's a good hair day for me. Yay!

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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: This and That

Tuesday again already; where do the days go? It's a cool rainy day here today, and I have the heat on in the house. I can hardly believe how it goes from being so hot to cold enough to turn on the heat so quickly. It's been raining steadily since yesterday afternoon, and it's quite dark in the house. Of course it won't be long before it will be dark for real at this time of day.

I thought I had added the fourth photo (the close-up) to yesterday's blog entry as well as fixing some typos before I published the post, but apparently I didn't, as I had to fix them up today. So if there was a sentence that you didn't understand yesterday or if the hairstyle instructions didn't sound right, hopefully it makes sense today if you reread it.

My daughter has had a severe flare-up of eczema, and it escalated quickly into an infection. Fortunately, her dermatologist has given her carte blanche to go into the office whenever she has an emergency. She had to have four, yes four, prescriptions filled yesterday, and she has to stay off work until Saturday. It's times like this that I really dislike her living so far away. Does a mother ever lose that urge to nurse her child, even when said child is an adult?

We've spoken on the phone a few times, and the last time, I made her laugh, and considering how much pain and discomfort she's in, it made me feel good to hear her laugh.

I got a call from my mother today, and she had to have her male cat put down. He was 17 and he had a good life, but it's always so hard to lose our pets. This particular cat was one of the cats that came to our doorstep looking for a home, when he was still a kitten. We couldn't keep him at the time; we already had our limit of cats, but my parents took him, and he provided them with a lot of joy. My mother isn't overly emotional, but she cried a lot over the loss of this kitty.

It's definitely been an indoor type of day, a lazy day, and I have to admit that I don't have a lot to show for it. Some days are just like that. The hurdle there for me is to not allow it to make me feel guilty. Seeing that written in black and white has just strengthened my resolve to just accept this day for what it's been.

I'm happy to report that day by day, I'm finally sleeping a bit longer into the morning, and hopefully I'll be getting a full night's sleep every night again soon.

I see that Shutter Island is OnDemand on my cable subscription, so I think I may watch that tonight. It looks like it could be interesting. I prefer seeing movies OnDemand when possible, because it means that I can take breaks when I need to without missing any of the story. It may even be the night to pull out my Snuggie to keep me feeling toasty while I enjoy the film. After that, early to bed.

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

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hairstyle: Mini-Basket-Weave Half-Updo

First of all, thank you for your comments and show of support yesterday. It was a rough day and you all helped me stick to my resolve to trim very slowly until my damage is gone rather than give way to thoughts of cutting it all out at once. It is so true that I would regret it. And it's a good lesson for me to live with my hair being less than perfect. It's also true that we are our own worst critics. 

Today I had a nice visit with an old friend. We've been friends for over 30 years, since I was just a slip of a girl of only 18. We try to meet up once a month for a few hours, just to keep up and to share our new favourite books and movies, and to catch up on one anothers' lives. It was very pleasant, and it has become an important ritual to me.

I still haven't managed to quite figure out the new hairstyle I have in mind that I mentioned on Saturday. I won't mention it again until I have a handle on it.

I will share with you today's hairstyle. Now that it's getting cooler, sometimes I like to be able to wear half-updos, which keep the delicate canopy hair out of harm's way, but still allow me to show some length.

This is one of the very first half-up hairstyles I learned, other than a simple half-up ponytail, many years ago. I saw it in a magazine long before I joined LHC and began to attempt more difficult styles.

Photos are clickable, as always, for more detailed viewing.

I like this half-up because anyone can do it, and it's just a bit more interesting than a regular half-tail. It works best with a beak clip. In these photos, I'm using a medium-sized Ficarre Innovation beak clip in Pink Marble,  but I used to use a simple Goody beak clip that I purchased at  the drug store that was extremely inexpensive.

To make this style, I parted my hair from ear to ear over the top of my head. I then pulled back the front section I had just parted as if I were about to make a ponytail. I then divided that "ponytail section" into four equal strands. After that, wove the outermost left strand towards the right: under the next strand, over the next, and under the next. Then I took what was now the second strand from the right and wove towards the left:  under the next strand, and over the next.

Then I secured it with the beak clip, concentrating primarily on the left-hand side. It's nothing terribly fancy or exciting, and it's very easy, but it's just a little bit different. I hope you like it.

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

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lack of Sleep, PMS and Damaged Hair Don't Mix

Sunday evening already! Where did the weekend go? It was rainy all morning and cloudy and cool all day. Today was the very first time that the house was just a touch chilly when I woke up. Not chilly enough to put on the heat, but chillier than I've been used to.

I slept a bit longer last night--until 4:58 a.m. That was just not enough to make up for my sleep deficit, and I have PMS. Not a good combination.

I did that lovely deep coconut oiling yesterday, with wonderful results. I love that the oil can be washed out with conditioner. It never ceases to amaze me how well conditioner cleans hair. In any case, my hair feels soft and lovely.

However. I have to admit that I've been obsessing again today about my thin, damaged ends. I honestly don't know how bad it looks to any of you, but I can tell you that I can really feel it.

When I pull my hair into a ponytail and slide my hand down, there is not a gradual taper. There is a very abrupt point where the hair palpably gets thinner.

I swear if it weren't for you all who read this, I may have given in to temptation and chopped off enough hair today to get rid of those last few thin inches.

I am so fortunate to be accountable to you who read my words, as well as to my family. It makes giving in to hormonal whims more difficult.

So, crisis has been averted, and I won't chop. But I have to admit to you that I wanted to.

Finding that balance between cutting out damage and still allowing my hair to grow is very difficult at times, and today was particularly hard.

I just have to remember that I cannot expect perfection. No one is perfect and my hair doesn't have to be perfect either.

Thank you all who read my blog. You all help me more than you'll ever know.

I hope that you all had a great weekend, and I wish you a happy week ahead.

Love to all. 'Til tomorrow, my friends.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Barely Coherent

That's me today. I woke up yesterday morning at 3:30 again, and this morning I awoke at 4:30. Let's just say that I'm sleep-deprived, to say the least, and I'm finding it difficult to think in a coherent manner. Oh, and I have PMS like mad.

So, I guess I'll make this entry brief.

The weather has cooled drastically here, and I'm not sad about it. The extreme heat and humidity that we had this summer was getting a little old. I know we'll be in for at least one more hot spell, but for now, I like the more temperate weather.

As for my hair, not much new. I trimmed my bangs a couple of days ago, and today I gave my hair a very deep coconut oil treatment before COing. I do that about once a month, and my hair likes it.

I have an idea for a new hairstyle, but I'm not sure whether or not it will work. My hair is wet right now, as I just finished COing, or I would have tried it today.

If I master the style, I'll post it here as soon as possible. In all my time at LHC, I've never seen it done, but you can bet that if I've thought of it, someone else has, so I'm sure it's been done before. If I can't master it, I'll send out the idea, and maybe one of you will be able to do it.

I noticed today that when I sit in one of my customary positions, the sides of my hair touch the crook of my elbow. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it's been a long time since I felt that sensation. Have I ever mentioned just how much I love those mini-milestones? It helps keep me on track and motivated.

Well, this really was a drive-by entry, but I'm so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open. My plan is to sleep until at least 6:30 tomorrow. I hope my plan works.

I really hope all of you are having a wonderful autumn weekend.

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

Friday, October 1, 2010

October 2010 Progress Photos

I had said yesterday that I wouldn't post progress photos for October 1st, because I had just posted my BSL update a few days ago. However, what is a progress blog without photos of progress? 

I ran across a photo of my hair in February of 2009, and I decided to take a comparison shot, wearing the same shirt that has some clear markers on it.  Photo can be clicked to enlarge it.

My hair in the first photo, from Feb. '09 was 17 inches long. This is the shortest my hair had been in almost five years. It's a pretty good example of the breakage I had incurred. It's especially notable on the right hand side.

My hair in the second photo, taken today, is 25 5/8 inches long. I trimmed almost half of my growth in that time, so given that, the progress has been fairly good.

I do wish I could figure out a way to have the colour the same in every photo, but I just can't seem to do it. My  hair is actually the same shade in real life as it was in the before photo, but it's looking dark in the photo taken tonight and too gold in the photo on the left. I guess the lighting in the house has changed.

I'm noticing that my ends look fairly thin in the second photo, but having studied photos taken in the past month that I've posted here, I'm thinking it might be a bit piece-y because it was just a bit damp.

In any case, while it's been arduous to cut off so much hair while trying to grow it, I am very happy with the results so far. I still plan on maintaining my length for a while once I hit waist length next summer, in order to remove remaining damage.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Love to all.