Thursday, September 30, 2010

September Growth Progress

Well, it's the last day of the month, so of course, that is progress report time. 

Today I measured in at 25 5/8 inches (65.1 cm), which made for a respectable growth month. I dusted about 1/8 of an inch this month, so while I have a net growth of 1/2 of an inch, my hair actually has grown 5/8 of an inch in September.

I'm not posting a progress photo today, since I just posted my BSL update photo a few days ago. I will be doing my quarterly comparison photo next month.

I was looking at my growth and trimming statistics for the past year (yep, I keep a chart--I really am that geeky), and while my hair has grown a total of 6 5/8 inches, I trimmed out 2 7/8 inches of damage in that time for a net growth of  3 3/4 inches.

I'm sure that you can understand that with this trimming of almost half of my growth in the past year, it's been a long haul to get as close as I am to BSL. This is why I was so surprised and thrilled to see that I will likely be firmly at BSL in the next month or two. Every little milestone just means so much to me right now.

I have no regrets about the amount of trimming that I did. It was imperative for me to trim those almost 3 inches off, in order for me to feel positive about my hair. As I've mentioned ad nauseam, I had a great deal of breakage on the bottom few inches of my hair, especially on the right side. It's nice to see the amount of see-through ends slowly getting to be less and less.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. For me, it's not about quantity; it's about quality. So I've sort of made a nice compromise, and I have experienced growth while at the same time slowly removing the non-quality hair.

It will be such a relief when the damage is gone for good.

In any case, it really does look like I'm on track to be at or near waist length by my birthday next July, even with regular smaller trims.

Did I mention that this process has required a lot of patience?

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Love to all and extra hugs to anyone feeling blue today.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baby Shampoo Is For Babies--Seriously

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people either in real life or on the hair forums mention that in an effort to be gentler to their hair they have decided to use baby shampoo.

Now, I understand the reasoning; if the shampoo is gentle enough for a baby, then it should be mild and gentle on the hair, right?


Baby shampoos are generally "no more tears" or "tear-free". Now let's think about it. Tears are salty. That means they are alkaline. So in order for a substance not to sting the eyes, it has to be alkaline.

Our hair and skin likes a more acidic pH. This is why so many people like to use a rinse of water with a mild dilution of vinegar, lemon, or citric acid. It keeps the cuticle of the hair closed and shiny. Our scalp and skin also depends on an acid mantle to protect us from dryness, flaking and certain bacteria. Most adult shampoos these days do indeed have a slightly acidic pH level.

So in truth, while baby shampoo is gentle for babies, it's really in the sense that it does cleanse the hair, but does not cause them undue pain. It's the baby's comfort that is the concern. The shampoo is not made to keep a baby's hair in optimum health.

Using baby shampoo, especially repeatedly, will cause the cuticle of the hair to open. This results in weaker, rougher hair, and also in hair that will not hold in moisture. Ultimately it results in damaged hair. Once hair is really damaged, we all know that it can't be repaired. It can be improved, but never repaired.

The bottom line is that baby shampoo really is meant only for babies. It's not meant to be used to promote healthy long hair. While it is gentle on one's eyes, it is very harsh on the hair.

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: I'm SO Tired--Expect Rambling

Oh my goodness, I am simply exhausted. My husband directs the live news programs at a TV station and he's currently on the shift where he directs the morning show. This means that his alarm goes off at 3:30 a.m.

When his shift changes, it often takes me a few days to be able to sleep through the alarm, his shower and his getting out of the house, but this time, it's been three weeks and I still haven't adjusted.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning and honestly, that's just too darn early for me. I can't function very well with so little sleep. Unfortunately, the nap I hoped to have didn't work out all that well, so I am really looking forward to bedtime.

Fortunately, my husband has a good routine down that has him managing to get enough rest, but just barely. He's a night owl, so it's not easy. I'm just happy though that he has a sleep system for this shift that sees him getting enough sleep.

At least I was able to do some laundry in the wee hours, while the electricity charges are lower.I guess that's a plus.  I actually got quite a bit of work done today, considering. It does feel good to get a few chores done that I didn't expect to get done.

In good news, my son went on a job interview today and got the job. I couldn't be happier. It was his first interview since starting his job search and he is now employed already. Woo-hoo!!!

He's taking this year to save up money for university next year. He is also a AAA Junior baseball player, which is why he didn't pursue a full-time job in the summer. In any case, I hope that he enjoys this job. It sounds like it's right up his alley.

My daughter is an actress, and she has recently gotten a role in an independent film of Shakespeare's MacBeth. She cut her acting teeth by acting with a local Shakespearean company here in our city, so it should be like going home for her.

So it's all good with the kids.

In silly news, we had to purchase a new propane barbecue over the weekend, and the cat just loves the big box that it came in. She goes in the box, and the lids flop down, and you would never know that she's in there. We would have tossed the box out with the recycling on Sunday night, but we decided that we can live with the box in the house for a while, since the cat is having so much fun with it.

As for the dog, he's busy shedding, in preparation for his winter coat..

In what-movies-I've-seen-lately news, I finally managed to watch a mainstream movie. As I mentioned last week I've primarily been watching obscure and/or indie films and I've also been watching a lot of foreign films.

The latest movies I watched though was truly mainstream. It was Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. I've long been a fan of A.C. Doyle and have read every book and short story about Sherlock Holmes that he wrote. I didn't know what to expect from the movie. However, I was thoroughly entertained, and I can imagine seeing it again.

Lots of rain and thunderstorms today. The weather really has been all over the place lately. It simply can't make up its mind.

Okay, I guess that's enough rambling for one day.

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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Decisions, Decisions On A Rainy Monday

If anyone reads this blog and doesn't really know me they would think:

  • I have nothing more important to think about than hair
  • I have nothing to worry about other than my hair
  • All I think about is my hair
None of that is true, of course, however sometimes thinking over minor hair dilemmas is much more pleasant than thinking about other things. It is definitely a pleasant distraction.

Today I was debating again about whether or not to grow out my bangs. I ran across a photo of me from when I had grown out my bangs, and it looked so pretty. It was nice to be able to part my hair on the side from time to time, and to have all of my hair in an updo.

Then I realized that it looked pretty because I had done a damp set with curlers, so I was easily able to create a nice swoop and have my bangs out of my face.

So I looked at some other photos of my hair without bangs, and I wasn't so impressed by how it looked on a day-to-day basis. I had to always have my bangs pulled back into an updo or if I wore my hair down, I had to keep them behind my ears, because my hair is so fine and straight that it falls straight down into my face.

I've heard tell of people "training their hair" to naturally go into a certain direction, but I can assure you that try as I might I could never train the front to my hair to stay out of my face. And believe me, I tried.

Also, like it or not, bangs are part of my identity. I've pretty much alway had them, and I feel more like me with them.

I know that bangs are work for some people, but mine are straight and thick enough that they behave and stay straight down with no work whatsoever. Once in a blue moon, I'll wake up with them sticking up, but all I have to do is give them a light mist with water, comb them down, and I'm ready to go.

They also soften the look of an updo. Since I have such straight hair, when I wear my hair all pulled back, it's pretty severe. I used to try to offset that by French braiding the top of my hair, but it didn't work miracles.

Well, it looks as though in the process of writing this, I've answered my own question. For me, having bangs is less maintenance than not having bangs, so for now, they stay.

This evening is another night out for the boys, so I have the house to myself this evening. I didn't sleep much at all last night, so I plan on going to bed early. I've done about all of the work I could do today (which wasn't much), so I guess I'll look for a movie to watch.

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

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Responding To Some Comments and Welcome New Followers

Well, as you all likely know by now, I have a terrible time responding to comments in the comments section. I always feel as though the reader won't come back and see it, but I'm going to try to change that.

For today, I want to respond to some of the recent comments made.

I was surprised to learn that I'm not the only one who avoids the news. Aamba, Luluj, and SchnauzerMom, I feel that I am in good company. I thought I was the only person that I know who doesn't keep up on the seamier side of life through watching the news. There is just so much going on out there that we really don't need to know in order to lead full lives.

Blueblackhusky, formerly known as PassionKiller, don't be surprised that I answered your question with an entire entry. Your question about ponytail breakage was a very good one! I know that satin scrunchies aren't terribly fashionable anymore, which is why you aren't finding them in Romania. As you said, they were available some years ago. They are primarily found these days online by longhairs like us. I think you can get some at If you're not interested in them for everyday use, you may find that the hosiery idea works for you. Of course, once you learn a few easy updos, that will make life a lot easier for you.

Kathy, I'm happy that the lemon rinse worked out for you. I'd love to know if you tried it again.  Lulu, I guess it's not for you. If I don't hate a new treatment the first time, I will give it a month, and I'm still doing the lemon rinse thing. As I mentioned, even though my hair is so straight, it does get a touch of frizz from time to time, and I like the idea that the lemon juice keeps moisture in the hair.

I do love my ACV rinse though.

I really enjoyed the comments about my entry about '60s hair. It's fun for those of us who were there to remember, and I think it surprises younger people that the '60s were not the free and easy times that people think they were. It was a long time before what the hippies and college kids wore translated to the real world. It still amazes me that in 1968, we were still wearing dresses, white gloves and hats to church (we little girls wore hats with elastic under the chin, the way party hats have elastic--ouch!), and by 1974, it was nothing to see girls wearing jeans to church. Talk about culture shock!!! Unbelievable in such a short period of time.

As regards my post about friendship, I really appreciated the comments. You're right, SchnauzerMom and Aamba, true friends are rare, and are to be cherished. I honestly believe that any of us are fortunate if we have three friends like that in a lifetime. Your words, though few, Birthday Princess, put a lump in my throat. Thank you, sweet friend, and I was surprised and delighted to see you here.

Just Amy, I agree that it's a blessing to be grown up and still fascinated by the moon. I'm happy that you got to enjoy it the other day. Do you remember being a kid and being in the car, thinking that the moon was following you? The trees and houses would whip by, but the moon followed the car. You're too young to remember this, Amykins, but I'll never forget looking up at the moon the night that the first astronauts walked on it 1969. That was an amazing feeling.

It's so funny that you mentioned Birds of America. That was one of the recent indie films I had seen, although here on our cable movie channel it goes by the name of Laws of Motion, which according to IMDB was the original working title. I really enjoyed the movie, and I thought that the acting was excellent, and I so enjoyed the eccentricities of the characters. Gotta love dysfunctional families, don't we?

I ended up watching an indie movie that night after all, although it had mainstream actors in it. It's a movie called Paper Man. It starred Jeff Daniels, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, and a very restrained Lisa Kudrow. I think you might like it. It was funny, sad, touching, sometimes surprising, and ultimately satisfying, in my opinion.

Maya/DuckyDot, thank you so much for your kind words and for reading. Your hair will be long enough to do these styles before you know it! I'm happy that you're able to get some practice in already. :)

Oh! And if you're having trouble getting into LHC, try clearing your browser's cache, or try logging in with this address: That might work.

And I guess the jury is in, both with my blog buddies and at home regarding yesterday's entry. I will not be trimming my hair until it's enough past the bra strap that I can have a half inch trim and still have hair that is below the bra strap. It's been a long haul for over 2 years, constantly trimming out the damage incurred at that time, so I deserve a break and to just enjoy the growth. Thank you all for your opinions. Agnes and Lady of Canterbury, it's so good to hear from you again.

I know that AutumnLeaves is unable to read right now, but I hope that just by writing this, you'll know that I think about you every day, and I'm sending you lots of love, hugs and good wishes.

I am grateful to see that some of you have officially become followers here in the past few days. Welcome, welcome.

I love you guys.
'Til tomorrow.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September BSL Update: Oh, So Close!!!!

Just a very quick entry today, friends.

On a whim, I decided to take a BSL update photo, and I was surprised to see that I'm almost there!!! I think I only have about a half inch left before I am firmly covering the bra strap. I really didn't expect to be so close so soon, especially after my update photo in early August. You can click the photo to enlarge it.

I really do need to trim in October, but it's getting so tempting to wait until I've reached BSL, wait another half inch and then trim my regular half inch.

Oh, the dilemmas we longhairs have! This is going to be a tough one.

Anyway, that't the excitement for today. I hope you're all having the best weekend.

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

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another Of My Long Hair Inspirations

While I have mentioned some of the long hair inspirations of my youth, I have never talked about the woman that really made me finally decide that growing my hair long when I was over 45 was okay.

Up until then, I was buying into the idea that I had to be stylish and age-appropriate to some degree. I thought that being older, heavier and no longer being able to look glamorous meant that long hair was not for me.

It was Tyne Daly in her role as Maxine Gray in the TV show Judging Amy that made me re-think all of that. I liked the down-to-earth, homey personality of Maxine, and her common sense approach to life. And I loved her long silver hair.

As characters go, I identified more closely to the character of Amy, who was closer in age to me, and was raising a child. However, I would often find myself looking at Maxine, and thinking how much I admired that she (and of course Tyne Daly who played her) defied convention and had long hair for her own pleasure only.

I enjoyed seeing her going to work with her hair pulled back in a simple bun. Most of all, I enjoyed watching her in the scenes at home late at night when she might have her hair down, or in a long braid that laid over her shoulder.

It opened my eyes to the idea that it's not only okay to be an individual, and that it's okay to have long hair as a woman of a certain age, but to the idea that I could grow my hair for no one else except for myself.

Tyne Daly broke all of the Hollywood rules. Was she slim? No. Did she dye her hair? No. Was she over 50 and wearing long hair? Yes. How wonderful is that?!?

Honestly, at this point I don't even remember exactly how long her hair was, but I do remember thinking how soft and feminine she looked in those at-home scenes when she was in a bathrobe perhaps, and wearing her hair loose. Most of all, I remember that she possessed that unique brand of beauty that comes from simply being oneself.

It was an idea that I liked. I realized that I had not missed my chance to wear my hair the way I always wanted. And I could do it for no one else other than me.

Yes, Ms Daly has since cut her hair, nevertheless, I will always remember how much she inspired me to be my own person, regardless of what society has to say.

I hope everyone is set for a wonderful weekend.

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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Quiet Thursday

I really enjoyed watching the Equinox moon rise last night and I woke up early enough to still see it in the morning. I feel wonderful when that happens. To see it rise toward the front of my house and see it set in the morning on the other side of the house makes me feel so good. 

It always occurs to me that every single person on this earth is looking at the same moon, sometimes hours before me, or hours after me. I never tire of pondering that.

I don't know why, but I've always loved looking at the moon, especially when it's full and close to the horizon. I always think of the movie Moonstruck when I see a low full moon that looks enormous, and think of "Cosmo's moon".

I did end up trimming a tiny bit last evening. Well really, it was more of a dusting, because I literally trimmed off so little that what came off looked like dust. It won't make much if any difference in length, but I just felt the need to follow the age-old ritual of trimming a bit on a fortunate day. 

Call me superstitious; I don't care. I feel as though I'm following in the footsteps of the ancestors when I follow old folklore.

Today it's been a quiet day, and very pleasant. Since I'm not going anywhere, I decided to let my hair marinate in a large quantity of coconut oil for most of the day, and I'm going to do a deep moisture treatment this evening. 

It's another movie night for me. I haven't chosen what I'm going to watch as yet, but I think I'm going to go with something new and mainstream. I've been watching a lot of indie movies of late, so it's time for a movie that perhaps other people I know may have actually seen.

I want to say hello and welcome to the new followers to this blog. I am ever humbled by the idea that anyone follows this blog, and very appreciative.

I myself need to start commenting more on the blogs that I read. I am the worst at making comments. I don't know why, but I often think that what I have to say is irrelevant. I need to change my thinking about that, because I know just how much it means to me when people comment on my own blog.

I do want to say that I enjoy all of the blogs to which I am subscribed, and I am going to work on being more interactive.

Well, it's time to start with the hair routine before I decide on a movie.

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Autumn!

The Vernal Equinox is just a few hours away, and with it comes the official first moment of Autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere. In some ways it feels like I was just watching the snow melt in early Spring, but when I really think about it, I guess it was a rather long hot summer.

In any case, I welcome the new season, and I look forward to the beautiful colours of Fall.

According to The Almanac, today and tomorrow are good days to trim hair for optimal growth and according to  The Morrocco Method Lunar Calendar, today and tomorrow are best days to "beautify" hair, whatever that means. I suppose it just means it's a good time to do any trim, treatment or touch-up. I often notice that the Equinox and Solstice days are often viewed by many cultures as the very best times of year to trim one's hair.

It's making me rethink the idea of waiting until October to trim. After all, I'm going to get the trim one way or another, and who am I to argue with hundreds of years of folk wisdom?  Whether I trim now or trim next month, I'll still reach the same length by Christmas, which I hope is BSL.

I'll let you know tomorrow what I decide.

It was a very rainy morning and early afternoon, but it's nice and sunny now. The sun is beckoning me, so I'll close out this entry now.

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Friendship

I've often told my children that if one can have three true friends in a lifetime, one is very fortunate indeed. I truly believe that.

By "true friend", I mean someone with whom  I have a strong bond that can withstand time and distance. A friend whom I may not have seen or spoken with for years, but when I do, we can pick up where we left off, as if no time had passed.

Some friendships are by nature transient. It may be a friendship formed in the workplace that doesn't translate into the real world. It may be a neighbourly friendship that fades once one of us has moved.

Then there are the friendships that while genuine, dissipate as the two of us grow in different directions, with different interests.

Of course there are the toxic friendships too--the ones that truly have broken my heart. I wish that I had been taught about them when I was young. These are the things that our mothers never tell us. I've had too many of them, and I only have myself to blame.

In looking back, I now see that there were plenty of warning signs. If I'd had the awareness to heed those signs, I would have saved myself many a tear. However, it's live and learn, I suppose.

One of the warning signs of a friendship that will ultimately break my heart is the friend who feels obligated to tell me every bit of gossip said about me. I used to get very hurt by this, but I always assumed the best about my friends and I thought they were telling me these things for my own good. They were not.

I now see that these were simple ways of undermining my self-confidence. For example, I didn't need to know that a man at a dance said that he thought I looked pretty until he saw me up close and saw my acne. Yet my friend was compelled to tell me this and many other similar such things during the course of our friendship. I also didn't need to know what another friend told me years laters: that my neighbours were gossiping that I may be an alcoholic because I was rarely outdoors. The truth was that it was a bad migraine summer, and I was much more comfortable indoors with the air conditioning. I don't think my friend said anything to disabuse my neighbours of their notion, either.

Then there have been the friends who love to make jokes at my expense. Jokes that are not particularly funny,  and sting a bit. However, if I say anything, the friend will say, "I'm only kidding. Relax". Well, you know what? I won't relax anymore if a "friend" makes me the butt of all her jokes. It really isn't funny, and usually, I've found that there is more than a grain of truth from their point of view in their hurtful jokes. Experience has now taught me that there is often at least a hint of malice there.

Still another warning sign for me is the friend who loves to tell me her problems, and will let me spend hours helping her cope and strategize, but when I have a problem, she has no time for it. These people are not friends. They are people who tend to suck the life energy out of me.

Enter the friend who gives me bad advice. For example, we go shopping and the friend says, "Oh, this sweater would look nice on you". However, the sweater is a colour that looks awful on me. I may ignore this the first couple of times, but if it becomes a trend, then this is not a friendship. Again, this is someone who is trying to knock me down rather than build me up.

Perhaps the most painful is the friend who betrays a confidence. The last time this happened to me was many years ago, but I still haven't gotten over the heartbreak. However, a couple of the above warning signs were there for me to see all along, so I guess it's not surprising that our friendship ended in the manner it did.

What I've noticed about many of these "friends" is that often they will be the ones to end the friendship, and shun me, once I've caught on to them. More interestingly, I discover that for sometimes years after they have stopped talking to me, they are still asking questions about me, and following my every move. If they have no desire to even talk to me, why do they care about what I'm up to?

So I am delighted with the handful of lifelong friends that I do have. They are people who enjoy discussing subjects of mutual interest, my interests or their own. They are people who are loving and giving, and expect nothing. Hopefully, I reciprocate. They aren't offended if life has pulled me in another directions for a time, and I am not offended when the same happens to them.

They don't share nasty gossip with me, nor I with them. They are happy for my small triumphs and sad for my misfortunes, as I am with theirs. They make me feel good about myself, and hopefully I do the same for them. I can trust them with anything and they can trust me.

Now, I continue to make new friends, even on the Internet. Everything I've mentioned applies with Internet friendships as they do in real life. I hope that I've finally reached a point where I will never give my heart to someone who doesn't deserve it. It's taken a lot of hard knocks to get to this point, but I think I'm just about there.

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

Monday, September 20, 2010

Video How-To: Figure 8 Updo

This bun is fairly easy, once you get the knack. I tried to go slowly so that you can follow along. I hope it's helpful to some of you.

Remember, if your hair is too short or too thick to do this bun right now, you can always do a Figure 8 Half-Up, or do two or three Figure 8 Buns in a vertical row.

Thanks to all who left comments and sent emails. I can never tell you how much I appreciate them. I will respond as soon as possible.

'Til tomorrow. Much love to all, and extra hugs to anyone feeling lost today.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Remembering '60s Hair

I was born in 1961, so I spent my childhood in the 60's. While a lot of younger folk think of the '60s as a time of long hair, parted in the middle, it really wasn't so until the late '60s and even then, usually only teens wore their hair that way.

In truth, up until about 1968, the '60s were still much like the '50s. And of course, our mothers had been teens or young women in the '50s.

At that time, jeans were for play only, and girls and women always wore skirts or dresses when going out. Women did wear slacks around the house, but they didn't wear blue jeans, not ever, unless they worked on a farm.

Most women who were married had shortish hair, and they wouldn't be caught dead with it straight. Back then, there were no blow-dryers, curling irons still hadn't become mainstream, and almost without exception, homemakers wore curlers in their hair all day, every day, until such time as hubby was about to come home for dinner. There was a lot of teasing of hair back then, as well.

I remember well the brush rollers that most of the women wore, and I recall the scent of setting lotion on their rolled hair.

My mother used setting lotion, but I have a recollection of her using flat beer as a setting lotion for a while. It seemed funny to see a spray bottle full of beer in the fridge.

It was a very common sight at the local grocery store or the bank to see a woman with a head full of curlers, covered with a satin scarf, tied babushka style.

If a woman did have longer hair, chances are that it was set into a teased and lacquered updo that lasted a week. Perhaps a bouffant or beehive.

Another popular trend that I recall in the mid to late '60s was the wearing of wigs. Most women had two or three wigs or hairpieces sitting on foam wig-forms. Sometimes, the wig would be a different colour than the woman's own hair, and sometimes women would buy long hairpieces, matching their own hair, called "falls". The falls could be worn long, or styled to create an updo.

"Frosted" hair was popular with young women. Frosted hair is similar but unlike what we today call highlights. It was in fact a type of highlighting, but it ended up making the hair look greyish. I smile just remembering it. I knew a few women who had their hair frosted, but mostly the women I knew had a frosted wig.

Until the late '60s, even teen girls wore curlers, especially for a night out.

And believe it or not, there was no such thing as yet as conditioner, and the shampoos were harsh. So women generally only washed their hair once a week or so. I remember a lot of career women and homemakers making weekly appointments at the hairdresser for a wash and set.

It was quite an innovation when a product called "creme rinse" came out in the very late '60s. That was the first time that there was a product that would detangle hair. Creme rinse was concentrated, and you'd put a capful in water as a final rinse.

I don't think any of us could have imagined the huge changes that were coming our way both in clothing fashion and hair fashion. I wonder if there was ever such a huge change in style in any other decade as there was between the '60s and the '70s

By the time 1974 rolled around, everything was different. We had gentle shampoo and conditioner, and we had blow-dryers. This meant that hair could be washed daily, and it also meant that women could wear new styles that could be cut to be easily blow-dryed into place. Also, curling irons and hot rollers became popular and affordable.

It was an interesting time. I am so happy that I was able to witness it.

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

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Abbreviations And Terminology I Commonly Use

I thought it was about time to make a list of some abbreviations that I either use, or want to use but don't, because I fear that readers who don't frequent long hair message boards won't understand. There is also some terminology that I use that may not be understood unless I explain in every blog entry.

Here is a list of my abbreviations.

  • ACV-apple cider vinegar--I use a diluted solution of ACV and water as a final rinse usually after washing my hair
  • APL--armpit length hair
  • BBB--boar bristle brush--a hairbrush with natural bristles, which helps distribute the hair's oils more evenly and is generally gentler than a brush with nylon or other plastic bristles.
  • BSL--bra-strap length hair
  • CBL--collarbone length hair
  • CO--Conditioner Only--a method of washing hair using only conditioner, but no shampoo; this is the method I use
  • CWC-Condition, wash, condition method of washing one's hair
  • DT--deep treatment; it could be a deep moisture treatment, a deep oiling, or a deep protein treatment; I usually specify
  • EO--essential oils such as lavender oil, which I often use to add a pleasant scent to conditioning mixtures I make, or to my mister bottle of distilled water, that I often use to dampen my hair.
  • EVOO--extra virgin olive oil
  • JO--jojoba oil
  • LHC--The Long Hair Community--the primary hair care forum that I frequent
  • LHL--The Long Hair Loom--another wonderful community for people interested in growing long hair
  • S&C--shampoo and condition
  • S&D--"search and destroy" method of cutting out split ends
  • TBL--tailbone length hair
  • TLHC--another acronym for The Long Hair Community
  • WL--waist length hair
Terminology I use about hair

  • Baby Hairs--shorter, finer hairs found around the hairline. Usually these hairs have a short terminal length, but occasionally they are caused by breakage
  • Canopy hair--The hair that grows on top centre of the head and forms the "roof" of your hair if you wear it down; it is the hair most exposed to the elements and can be more fragile than the rest of the hair
  • Cones--shampoos, conditioners or serums that contain some form of silcone such as dimethicone
  • Halo Hair--new hairs are growing in all the time, and so we always have hairs of varying lengths on our head; sometimes the shorter ones fly around in the air creating a halo effect
  • Hemline-the bottom edge of one's hair; in my case I trim my hair into a gentle u-shaped hemline
  • Terminal Length--the length at which any hair naturally stops growing and falls out
That's the list for now. I'll add to it if I think of any others that I have forgotten or haven't yet used. Please ask if there is a term or abbreviation that I use that isn't on this list.

On another note, it's a lovely day here, and I hope it is wherever you may be. Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Protecting Hair From Ponytail Breakage

I received an interesting question from a new reader, asking how to prevent or minimize the breakage at the nape that can occur when wearing ponytails frequently. I know that many people perpetually have some shorter hairs at the nape, so I thought it would make a good discussion.

First of all, a lot of us find that we have short hairs or flyaways around the nape, and it's not necessarily due to breakage. Many of us have "baby hairs" at the nape that have a very short terminal length. I know that I have some, and I've always had them, no matter what the length of my hair. I rarely have ever worn ponytails either. This could be what you're experiencing. 

Some people also have the same type of baby hairs at the temples or on either side of the forehead. Again, that's usually not breakage, it's just an area of the head that often has a very short terminal length and also you may notice that the hairs are finer than on the rest of your head.

However, if you really are experiencing breakage due to wear and tear from ponytail ties, there are a few things you can do.

Obviously, the simple answer is not to wear ponytails frequently, (as you said yourself). I know that is easier said than done. Ponytails can be so handy.

Even no-damage elastics will wear away at the hair if worn in the same place day after day. One thing you might try is varying the placement of your ponytail. One day wear it low, the next wear it high, another day wear the ponytail in the middle of the head. Then try wearing a side ponytail. As long as the same hairs aren't put into contact with the ponytail tie in the exact same position day after day, you won't be stressing the hair as much.

As well, you may want to look into alternative hair ties. Many people make their own hair ties from cutting circular strips from nylon pantyhose or stockings. The good thing about that is that hosiery comes in so many colours. Aside from the usual flesh-toned shades, you can find black, white and other shades that don't end up looking like hosiery when it's in your hair.

Silk or satin scrunchies are excellent as well, and cause minimal friction.

Yet another thing to remember is not to pull the hair too tightly before putting it into a ponytail.

I think the best idea though, is to learn some quick and easy hairstyles that contain your hair without damage. Braids are a great option, and of course there are a lot of buns that are easy to do. Ponytails are still fine, but try to really minimize how often you wear them.

If anyone has any other ideas, I'd love to hear them.

I would like to say hello and welcome, PassionKiller, and thank you so much for the comments you left today.

'Til tomorrow my friends. Much love to all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


As I've mentioned many times before, I wash my hair with conditioner only, CO being the abbreviation.  A lot of people want to try conditioner only, but find that it leaves their scalp a bit too greasy.

Here are a few tips if you try CO and find that your scalp remains oily.

  1. Make sure that your hair is really, really wet before using the conditioner.
  2. Use a LOT of conditioner. I usually use a handful or more. For this reason, I stick with the very inexpensive conditioners, such as Suave Naturals, and I stock up if they're on sale.
  3. Work it in just the way you would with shampoo.
  4. Gently clip up the conditioner-laden hair and try to leave it on your hair for several minutes. Usually for me, the time it takes to wash my face and body, etc. in the shower is long enough.
  5. Rinse, rinse, rinse. I generally rinse for about 3 minutes.
  6. Consider using a mild vinegar rinse. A few tablespoons of vinegar in a pitcher of water will generally remove excess conditioner residue.

If you've tried all of the above and still don't feel good with COing, but you don't want to go back to regular shampoo and conditioner, there is also the CWC (condition-wash-condition) method. It's a very good compromise between the two.

How to CWC:

  1. Wet hair thoroughly.
  2. Put conditioner on the length of your hair from the chin down.
  3. Shampoo the scalp.
  4. Rinse well.
  5. Condition as you normally would after shampoo and conditioner and then rinse as usual.

I hope this is of help to some of you who are struggling with finding just the right routine for you.

As for me, I'm still on the lemon juice rinse experiment, in lieu of using an apple cider vinegar rinse. It's often said at The Long Hair Community that it takes a month to know if a new aspect of our routine is working or not. It's been a week now, and so far so good. I originally said I would give it three weeks, but I've decided that I will give it a month.

My hair really does feel soft and lovely. I'm not certain if it is as shiny as it is with the ACV rinse, but I'll keep my eye on it.

I'm dying to hear if any of you curlies have tried the lemon juice rinse. I think it's meant to make the biggest impact on wavy and curly hair.

So that's it for today.

'Til tomorrow. Love to all, and extra hugs to anyone feeling ill today.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vanessa Redgrave's Long Hair

I watched a movie entitled Letters to Juliet. It was a nice little romance that primarily took place in Verona, Italy and the surrounding area. It was a good, not excellent movie, but it was an interesting premise for those of us who are romantics and it was worth the time spent watching it.

I was really taken with the beautiful landscapes in the movie, but I was more taken with the hair of the movies two leading ladies, young Amanda Seyfried, with her lovely thick waist length hair, and the over-70 Vanessa Redgrave, with her gently u-shaped APL length hair.

Ms Redgrave has always been a beauty, but with age, her beauty is even more apparent. Her expressive eyes and bone structure make her an exceptional example of what one can look like over 70.

However, what I noticed the most was her lovely long silver hair. Her hair was well below her shoulders, and she wore it primarily with the sides up or in a side-parted ponytail. There was nothing the least bit strange about seeing a woman her age with long hair. It looked elegant and beautiful in every scene.

While I can see that her hair has thinned somewhat, it didn't take away from how sleek and elegant it looked, and I can't imagine anyone saying that she looks foolish with long hair.

I know that 99% of us do not look like Vanessa Redgrave, but it is lovely to see an older woman who does not feel compelled to cut her hair to chin length or shorter. I am quite sure that there is many an expert who would think that she should have shorter hair, but she is her own person, and I admire that.

She is a lovely inspiration to me, and a reminder that there's no hurry in my long hair quest. It's not as though I have a deadline. Long hair can be forever.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Love to all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: I'm On a News Fast

In my never-ending quest to try to balance my mind, emotions, body and spirit, I came to the conclusion a couple of years ago to never again watch a newscast or read the newspaper, unless I'm looking for a specific article.

You may think that I must be woefully ignorant about current events, and you would be right. If something is important to me, I will look it up, but I simply can't tolerate sitting through even five minutes of a newscast.

It seems that the news is always bad news or completely irrelevent, and I find it frustrating and upsetting. I can feel anger or sadness swell even after the first or second news story. There is so much unpleasantness in this world, and I choose to focus on what is pleasant.

I know that it drives my poor mother crazy that I am not aware of certain current events, or who is who in the pop culture world, but it has helped me enormously to withdraw from that aspect of life.

If something really important happens that I need to know about, I can be certain that I will be informed by my husband, my children, my parents, or friends. I don't need to subject myself to stories about violence, abuse and the underbelly of society. I also don't need to know which pop princess is in which rehab facility.

I rarely even watch regular broadcast television these days, with the exception of the shows I watch with my son, such as Survivor or The Amazing Race. Even the brief new updates that pop up during commercial breaks can be enough to make me want to scream.

I am aware that I am extremely sensitive, so I am definitely not recommending this for anyone else; I'm just telling you about my own strategy to cope in this world.

Oddly enough, I can watch just about any movie without being upset by it. Many others find that movies are too violent or too explicit in some ways, but to me, it's just a movie. It's fiction. I can deal. It's the real world that I find much more upsetting.

Sometimes I see that I am shrinking my world by keeping certain things out of it, but right now I have to do what I have to do. If I have to hear an important news story second-hand from a family member, so be it. If an election is coming up, I can do my research without having to watch the mud-slinging.

Ironically, my husband is in the TV news business. However, he supports my news fast.

I don't know if I'll ever go back to watching or reading the news. I think it's been better for me to live without it.

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

Monday, September 13, 2010

Please Don't Gild The Lily

I own a lot (read: too many) hair accessories. Some are very simple in line and colour, some are simple but colourful, and a few are very fancy, with Swarovski crystals or very ornate in other ways.

I so often see photos of very intricate hairstyles adorned with extremely ornate hair accessories. Now of course this is only my opinion, but to me, this detracts from the art of the hairstyle.

If I've spent time making a hairstyle with intricate braids and loops, I want the style to be seen; I don't want the focal point to be the hair accessory. It not only takes away from the work I've put into the style, but it also can look too busy. I need the accessory to complement the hairstyle, not overwhelm it.

On the other hand, if I want to wear a very ornate hair accessory, I would choose a hairstyle that is simple, with smooth lines. In this case, my hair will look sleek and hopefully pretty, but it also showcases the beauty of the accessory.

So the rule of thumb that I use is intricate hairstyle=simple hair accessory, simple hairstyle=colourful or ornate hair accessory.

Naturally, all bets are off if you are attending a Rennaissance fair, or if it's Halloween, but those are exceptions, in my mind.

In other matters, I am going through an impatient phase right now again. I know, I know, I'm whining again, but I'm telling you, sometimes this journey feels like it will go on forever. I am so close to BSL, but at the same time so far.

I am itching to do some styles that my hair simply isn't long enough to do, and also, I am eager to get to the point where my hair looks like long hair, not just longish hair.

Of course, in the real world, my hair is long hair, not only in my own age group, but even among teens, I rarely see hair that is below APL. Seeing waist length hair is a rarity: an exception, not the rule.

I'm also having a bit of a hard time adjusting to my new thickness as it's inching down my back. I tried to make a simple herringbone braid today, but I need to practice again with my changed thickness before I get it right. It's really amazing how much difference this increased thickness has made. While it means that I have to readjust my hairstyle technique, I couldn't be more delighted.

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

My love to all, and extra hugs to anyone who's feeling blue. 'Til tomorrow my friends.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Supplements For Hair Growth

There is a lot of talk on the long hair discussion forums about supplements that many claim to increase their growth rate.

While I would never dispute someone's own personal claims and findings, I have no interest in taking supplements that are purely for hair growth. There are a lot of people taking Biotin, MSM, vitamins specifically for hair and nails, and even people who are ingesting diatomaceous earth, the latter of which may be somewhat hazardous to one's health.

We're all different, and we all like to do things our own way. Myself, I don't like the idea of taking supplements that I don't need just for a bit of extra growth. Especially for anyone with skin problems or allergies, taking unnecessary supplements can aggravate existing conditions.

I must make it clear that I am not anti-supplement. For some people it's a really good option. To me it just seems like spending extra money and taking possible risks for what I think is likely minimal results.

I'd be interested to hear anyone's experiences with supplements, and if you think it's worth the money and trouble.

On a different note, I would like to say hello to new readers, followers, commenters and a few people who have sent me emails of late. I really appreciate hearing from you and I am honoured that you take the time to read and in some cases write.

A special shout-out to the We Three Gang for visiting and reading. It's been a long time since I've seen or heard from any of you. I was delighted to know that you've visited, and to the European member of We Three, I can't believe you spent so much time reading! Having observed how you handle your forgiveness, your friendships, holding grudges, generosity of spirit and compassion, I am quite genuine in saying that you have inspired me to be a better person, old girl.

I will respond to the emails, but it will not be today.

I hope that everyone's weekend is winding down nicely and has been a good one.

Love to all. 'Til tomorrow, my friends.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hair Is Feeling Good Today

In Thursday's entry, I talked about a weak dilution of lemon juice in water as a final rinse. I mentioned yesterday that I did try it out. Today is day two, and my hair is really feeling good. It's very soft and silky, but not limp and shiny.

I've told you before that I always rinse with a dilution of apple cider vinegar with good results. Today and yesterday, my hair has felt better than it even does with the ACV rinse.

While it's impossible to know at this point if it's the lemon rinse that is making my hair feel so good after just one try, I can safely say that I'll keep it up for three weeks and by then I'll know if the lemon rinse is responsible for making my hair feel so good or whether this is just a happy accident.

I've talked about the many factors that go into a good hair day before. It could be the difference between rinsing one's hair for an extra 30 seconds or using just a tiny bit more conditioner than usual.

In any case, I recommend that if you have curly or wavy hair that is prone to a bit of frizz, this is really worth a shot.

I'm looking forward to seeing whether or not this is just a fluke.

To do the lemon rinse, I put 4 teaspoons of lemon juice in a 2 litre (about 8 cup) plastic juice pitcher. I filled it with water and after I finished rinsing the conditioner out of my hair, I dipped the length of my hair in the pitcher for about 30 second or so. Then I poured it over my hair and scalp. Easy and inexpensive.

I also had one of those happy hair moments today. I was just sitting here and I leaned over to pick up my tea, and I felt my hair touch my arm in a new place. Sometimes it amazes me that we can sometimes feel growth in that way.

So all is well in the hair department today.

This week I shall make a hairstyle video. If I can't do it Monday, I'll be sure to do it by the end of the week.

I hope that you all are enjoying your weekend. I've really been enjoying the milder weather that we've been having lately.

Well, it's movie time for me now. I'm going to watch a ghost story this time.

'Til tomorrow. Love to all, and extra hugs to anyone struggling with heartbreak.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hairstyle How-To: 3 Braid Half-Up

This hairstyle is inspired by Arwen's half-up hairstyle in one of the Lord of the Rings movies.  It's really easy and it's kind of fun.

To make this hairstyle I:

1. Parted my hair across the top of my head, from ear to ear. I clipped that hair up and out of the way and put the length in a ponytail to also keep that out of the way. The hair clipped up is my half-up hair.

2. I parted the front section I had made in the middle.

3. I then took the left side and divided it in half vertically from part to hairline.

4. I braided the front half of the left side of my hair.

5. I then took the right side and divided it in half vertically from part to hairline.

6. I braided the front half on the right side of my hair.

7. I took the loose section that remained from the original part (the back of the left and right sides of the half-up hair) and braided it.

All of the photos are clickable. It's really easy to see, especially on the right side, the breakage that I'm gradually cutting out. 

And just for fun, here is a comparison of this hairstyle made today with a photo of this hairstyle made on January 19th of this year. The length of my hair looks thicker in the January photo, but that's because I put less of my hair in the half-up section.

It's a nice reminder that my hair really has grown in 8 months, despite my regular trims and cutting 2 inches off of the tip of my V-shape in June.

Hope you like this style.

I tried the lemon juice rinse today, and my hair is very soft and shiny. It's too soon to really tell about the frizz. but my hair is nice and smooth.

My verdict:: too soon to tell for a straightie, but I'll be doing it for the next few washes.

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

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Diluted Lemon Juice Rinse

I was reading this blog entry by ktani the other day. It seems that a recipe of  roughly 1/2 tsp of lemon juice per 500ml (8.5 oz) of water is a gentle rinse that combats frizz. The idea is meant for people with curly hair that tends to frizz rather than curl after washing.

I looked at the photographs in the thread at LHC of Mariika's usual hair compared with her hair after using this recipe. The difference was astounding. Her previously frizzy locks were in perfect curls after using this rinse.

After reading up on how it works, it makes me wonder if it would be beneficial to straight hair as well.

The mixture is so diluted that I wouldn't have to worry about it lightening or drying out my hair.

While my hair is straight, there is occasionally a bit of frizz, especially in some of the silver "halo" hairs.

I'm going to give this a try tomorrow and see if I notice any difference from my usual ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse.

I'll let you know what the results are for me. It might be something that some of you curly girls might like to try. If you do, let me know what happens.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Love to all.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It Happened Again

Once again, I saw a very, very short haircut and thought how adorable it is. Emma Watson (Hermoine in the Harry Potter films) got her hair cut in a very short pixie, reminiscent of Mia Farrow's old look in the late '60s. I think it's gorgeous. I honestly thought for a moment how fun it would be to be all cute and pixie-like.

Then I remembered that:

A/ I'm not 20 anymore.

B/ I am not a size 0 or anything close to it.

C/ It would feel liberating for about a day, but then I would just think I look like a man which would mean:

D/ I would feel the need to wear makeup all the time.

E/ I could really only wear my hair in one style.

F/ I would be ready for long hair again in about a week, but it would take me three years or more to get my hair back to where it is now, and even now my hair is too short for some of the hairstyles I love.

G/ I would probably look about 10 years older.

and most importantly

H/ I would totally look like my dad. And in case you're wondering, no, that would not be a good thing.

I'm so happy that I've been there/done that already in my life and that I can now look at these things logically.

I think I'll just live vicariously through Emma and enjoy her new look and keep my old look.

Thanks to everyone for your comments to yesterday's blog. They meant a lot. Really.

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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Chronic Illness

Having a chronic and debilitating but non-life-threatening illness is frustrating and at times humiliating. For me, it's migraines and chronic fatigue. 

I've been to every kind of doctor, both traditional and alternative for years. I've tried every treatment available to rid me of this disorder to no avail.

I remember life before migraines loomed so large in my life, and I really miss it. I miss feeling comfortable enough for a car ride, or having the energy and good spirits to visit a friend or have a friend over.

Most of all, I really dislike how so many people simply don't understand how this chronic condition hampers me so much.

When the migraines first started, they came infrequently, and didn't affect my life very much. However now that they are an almost daily occurrence, it affects everything in my life.

I'm hesitant to make any firm plans with friends or family, because I've had to cancel out so many times. This is frustrating for those members of friends and family, but I too am frustrated.

Of course, many people who do not have migraines think of them as simply really bad headaches. They have no idea that it's a full body experience. There's not only the head pain, but there are visual disturbances, and vertigo sometimes verging on dizziness, and oh, the nausea.

If it were just a bad headache, believe me, I'd be delighted! It's the attendant discomfort that really gets to me. It's hard to even contemplate going for a car ride when I already feel more than carsick.

The worst though is when people who are close to me start to believe that it's "all in my head", or that I'm faking it to get out of a function or a get-together.

I can tell you that this is not the case. Yet I've lost friends over it. That I understand. It's hard to be friends with someone you can't count on. What has hurt me is having family members who refuse to understand my state and are judging me.

I honestly try to start out each day with a positive outlook, and I try to be as cheerful as I can be, but sometimes, it's just not easy.

And then there's the guilt. I would love to be able to do more, not only around the house, but out and about in the world. Some days, I just can't do certain things and even though I know that I can only do what I am able to do, guilt creeps in.

Also, there is the guilt of knowing that there are so many people who are fighting life-threatening conditions, yet seem to be more active than I am.

I know that many of you who read this are living with some debilitating chronic conditions. I wonder if any of you experience the same thoughts feelings or frustrations.

If you've read this far, thank you. I just needed to get some of those thoughts off my chest. I am not looking for sympathy from anyone. I would like a bit of understanding though.

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

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labour Day!

Well, it's Labour Day already: the unofficial end of summer. It's been an interesting long weekend weather-wise.

I always still feel very wistful on Labour Day, as here in Ontario, the first day of elementary and secondary school always starts the day after Labour Day. It's funny that it's been some 31 years since those days for me, and even my kids are no longer in school, but the feeling of that fresh start that the new school year brings is still with me.

I've always loved this time of year. It has so often heralded new friendships, and new experiences. I also love the weather of the impending autumn. I suppose I'll carry that feeling with me until the day I die.

Not much to say about my hair today, so I'll just post some photos of how I'm wearing my hair today. It's sort of a crown braid, but not really, because it circles the back of my head rather than the crown. Of course it's done exactly the way I do a crown braid. If anyone can think of a more appropriate name for the braid in this placement, I'm open to ideas. Crown braid just doesn't sound right.

I like the way the wisps are blowing in the breeze in the third photo.

I lace braid my hair to do crown braids, rather than French braiding the regular way. Lace braiding is just like French braiding, except that I only pick up the hair on the outer side of my head for each plait. I find it not only quicker and easier, but I also like that the hair in the centre of the braid is not all parted for each braid strand.

This braid is an inverted lace braid, commonly called a Dutch Lace Braid.

I hope that everyone who has had a long weekend has enjoyed it.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Love to all.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Style I Tried Today

Today I tried a new hairstyle. It's a Lazy Wrap Bun. It needs a bit of work and some polish, but I'll show you how it turned out today anyway.

It's a very quick and easy style, it's protective and requires almost no manipulation, such as twisting.

Once I get this down pat, I'll make a video how-to of this style. I think I like it. It's simple, but it could look very elegant, if smoothed down neatly. I am only using the one Mei Fa Raspberry hair stick to hold it, but it's very secure.

I finally trimmed my bangs today. I was considering yet again growing out part of my bangs, but I ended up cutting them in full again today.

It's beautiful and sunny as I write this, and not too hot. Actually, it was downright chilly this morning. I think it might get hotter again tomorrow, but not too hot.

I'm feeling a bit better yet again today, although I woke up at 4:30 a.m. this morning, so I'm looking forward to a better night's sleep tomorrow.

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

Saturday, September 4, 2010

No Trim This Month

Thanks to everyone for your get well wishes, as I am feeling somewhat better today. Much to my surprise, I had a full night's sleep last night, despite all of the napping yesterday, and it made a lot of difference. The fever is not gone, but it's down significantly, and I am a little more aware of my surroundings again today.

I finally managed to wash my hair, and I'm glad that I knew that after having it bunned for a few days, with very little combing in the mean time, there would be a lot of shed hairs ready to be removed, or I may have panicked when I saw all of the hair that came out in my comb. However, it was just 3 days worth of shed hair that was unleashed, so it was entirely normal.

My hair is not quite dry, but it was just about dry enough to take a photo of the ends. My assessment is that I can go one more month without a trim. My ends are thinner than the rest of my hair, especially on the right side, but we know that already, as I am still growing out and trimming out the damage. Nevertheless, I don't see enough new unevenness or thinness to make it mandatory to trim this month.

I'll have my half inch trim in October, after checking with both the Morrocco Method Lunar Calendar and The Almanac's Best Days. I like to choose a day that they both recommend. Usually there is at least a day each month when their best cutting days overlap.

I am indeed enjoying the cooler air that has come today, and I'm sure we'll have a few more blasters of heat before the summer is officially through, but this has been a very nice respite today.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend. For those of you who celebrate Labour Day as we do, I hope you enjoy your long weekend.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Love to all, and extra hugs to anyone with an ailing loved one.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Just The Facts

I'm really not well today. I was up after only three hours of sleep last night with the chills/high fever, and it took me two hours of shivering to finally get myself up and out of bed to take some Tylenol to reduce the fever, and then use the bathroom. I couldn't even think of getting back to sleep at that time, but I've had two long naps today; one in the morning  and one in the late afternoon/evening.

Today has been merely a blur of feeling ill and in a fever-induced altered state and then falling asleep for a few hours here and there and having fever-induced vivid crazy dreams.

Needless to say, I didn't get to giving my hair a deep treatment today, nor checking out whether or not I need a trim this month. In fact it didn't even cross my mind until I thought about my blog. To be completely honest, I don't think I've touched my hair since I put it up before bed last night in its bedtime bun where it remains as I write this, some 22 hours later.

That's going to be a lot of shed hairs when I take this bun down and give my hair a good combing  and then a brushing to remove those sheds before getting into a shower.

I've tried to stay out of trouble today, being so zombie-like, but just before writing this blog entry, I went and knocked over a glass of lemonade from the end table right onto the carpet. I don't even recall touching it, but I must have; there was no one else who could have knocked it over.

All I can say is that it's wonderful to have a husband and a son who told me not to move; they'd take care of it, and they did. Such kind and good-natured guys.

Don't get me wrong; I've cleaned up more than my share of spills in the last 20-odd years, but this was one time when it was really, really nice to have the guys realize that it would probably be best for me and likely all concerned, for them to take care of it for me. They have really been wonderfully understanding on those days when I've not been well.

So that's all I've got for today. I'm just looking forward to bedtime.

Later, my friends. Love to all.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sometimes It Really IS Hard To Trim

Thank you for the nice comments to yesterday's blog entry. I really am happy with my colour, my hair is shiny and I have no split ends. I don't know why I felt the need to apologize for the photo just because the ends looked uneven due to bun dents, but that's how it is sometimes in the world of Crazy Longhairs; we are our own worst critics.

Lulu made a very interesting point in her comment yesterday. She said that having a small trim seems like such a big decision all of a sudden. I don't think that there is any committed longhair who can't relate to how you feel.

Now, in my first year of growing, I had considerable damage from the days before I knew how to care for my hair. My hair had previously been blow-dried, hot-ironed and over-lightened. It's not surprising that after 9 months of growing without any trims, my hair was covered with splits and was extremely thin at the ends. I was just a whisper away from waist length, but the bottom 6 inches were see-through.

My decision to dye my hair medium brown, which required two full-head dyes did not help matters. My hair looked pitiful and felt like straw. It was the easiest decision of my life to cut off those six inches and have a fresh start.

A year later when it took repeated dyeing to get back to my blonde shade (before I knew about the wonders of coconut oil protecting from peroxide damage), again, it was easy to chop off six inches of visible damage once again. I even cut off a further two or three inches. For the next year and a half, I merely maintained my above APL length, so I was trimming frequently.

Once my hair felt healthy enough to start growing again, this past January, suddenly trimming has become very difficult. Logically, I know that for me, trims are essential. My hair is so fine and so straight that any true unevenness shows up like crazy and thin ends simply are not for me. Yet doing that mandatory trim is getting harder and harder to want to do.

My head and mind know very well from experience that where my hair is concerned, the old saw, "A stitch in time saves nine.", surely applies. My emotions and my heart on the other hand, are getting excited about reaching that next goal.

And so with that disconnect between head and heart, the decision to trim when necessary suddenly becomes huge.

The bottom line is that I have to be strict with myself, assess my needs honestly and be disciplined enough to trim when it's time to trim.

In my case, I trim when my hair begins to look uneven. Other times, it may be that I can simply feel with my own hands that it's time to trim.

If my ends feel like velcro and I've tried the usual first aid of clarifying and then doing a deep moisturizing treatment and that hasn't worked, then chances are that it's time to trim.

Having learned the skill of trimming and cutting my own hair and bangs has proved to be invaluable. As I've mentioned before, I use Feye's Self-Trim Method, with excellent results. It still amazes me that I, who can't draw a straight line to save my life, or cut a straight line freehand on a piece of paper, can cut my hair successfully.

To this day, I've never unintentionally cut more hair off than I wanted.

In any case, this month was slated to be my trim month, but since my growth rate has been slower than normal this summer, I may hold off until October. I've given my hair an extra day of rest since I touched up my roots on Monday, so I won't be washing until tomorrow morning. I'm going to do a deep moisture treatment, comb my hair straight down and really look at my ends. If they're uneven, then I trim this month. If they're still okay, no trim until October.

I think I'll have a photo taken of my ends combed down so that I can really see it clearly before I make my decision. Whichever decision needs to be made, I'm going to make sure that I post about it and stick to it, without regret.

I have realized that I really do have to let my brain do the talking when it comes to my hair and not my emotions.

I think it's hysterical that I've written so much on the topic of trimming just a half of an inch, but that's the way it can be with Crazy Longhairs. In any case, I'll let you know tomorrow what the verdict is.

'Til then, my friends. Love to all, and extra hugs to anyone in pain.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 2010 Update

Well, it's September already, but it certainly still feels like the heat of the summer. It's hot, hazy and humid again today.

While many people claim to have a summer growth spurt, it certainly hasn't happened to me. I had a decent month of growth in August, but just a modest 1/2 inch, which is a bit less than my personal average. I'm now just slightly over the 25 inch/ 63.8cm mark. I'm still happy with it though, as I know that my hair is still slowly creeping toward my next goal of BSL, which is not far away at all.

I took a photo of my hair today, although it's not too pretty. When I do my quarterly updates in February, May, August and November, I always try to make sure that my hair looks its best, but for the off months, I don't worry about it too much. My hair looks more uneven than it actually is in this photo, as it's day 2 hair and it has dents in it from being bunned. I really wanted to take an outdoor photo too, but it's quite windy out. So this photo will just have to do.

After my next wash, I'm going to try to reassess whether or not I can wait another month before my next trim. It's difficult for me to assess it today, because of the bun dents making my hair looking so uneven. It's always easiest to assess right after a wash, after combing.

I had a very successful root touch-up on Monday, and I was indeed able to stick with the non-cone conditioner after the dye was rinsed out. This is quite a breakthrough after two years of having to use silicone-based conditioners. 

All in all, I'm pleased with my progress, and while I'm getting a wee bit impatient to reach the bottom of BSL, I know that I'll get there by the end of the year, whether I decide to trim this month or next. Now that my hair is longer, it gets easier to trim neatly, which is a bonus.

So that's it for today.

Til tomorrow, my friends. Love to all.