View Full Version : Prolonged ignorement / Long-term styles

September 9th, 2010, 05:45 PM
Hello, people, I need some help.

I am having some difficult times in my life at the moment. To make the long story short I have a newborn, my husband has fallen ill, there never seems to be enough money, the bureaucrats are trying to drive me mad and I have no choice but to work (at home at least). Needless to say, I have very little time for myself and I prefer to be asleep then. Even if I find a free moment, I do not have the energy to do anything with my hair.

Which brings us to the problem. My APL hair is quite short by LHC standards but it has to be contained (babies and hair don't really mix well). I usually put it in a ponytail but I'm already noticing some damage. The bands always slide and become uncomfortable unless the pony is right at the nape of my neck. So I am looking for ways to be able to ignore my hair for several days at a time while damaging it as little as possible.

My current plan is to slather my hair in castor oil and cornrow it but I have some concerns and questions.

Is cornrowing more damaging to straight, medium coarseness hair than kinky hair? I cannot use extensions because of the cost. For how long can I wear them? Are there any precautions I should take when washing other than using a stocking cap?

Are there any other styles I could consider? I am very good at braiding (even if I do say so myself) but I have some growing to do before I can do proper, stable buns. Looking less than great is not an issue.

Which oils, other than castor, are good to leave on hair for long periods of time? Is there anything other than oils I could use?

Does wearing a snood or a scarf around the hairstyle help it hold and remain cleaner or is the difference insignificant?

Any help is greatly appreciated. :)

September 9th, 2010, 06:22 PM
Sorry you're having such a tough time, I hope it improves soon. :grouphug:

Lots of little braids are generally okay for a few weeks, but bear in mind, they need to be done fairly tightly to the scalp. I just took mine out of 28 braids I'd kept in for three weeks on holiday; no extensions, just my hair. I'd done the sides as far back as I could, and my mother did the back. Hers were a lot looser than mine as she'd been afraid of hurting me, and as the hair had grown in, various little bits of fluff and such had gotten caught in the loose roots, and they began to dreadlock almost. It happened at the sides as well, but less so. She also sectioned the hair off with her fingers, whereas I did it with a hairstick with a mirror to help, so they tangled around each other less. (I should say, I am incredibly grateful for her help nonetheless. If I'd have done the back it would've been far, far worse.)

They took just over four hours to put in, and about nine hours sat in front of DVDs to take out, though I did trim the split ends that poked out of each braid before undoing them. Most of the damage was where they'd been tied off (silicone hair ties aren't the kindest). That said, I have slightly wavy, erring-on-the-fine-side hair, and I had less damage than I usually do for three weeks, especially since I'd let the braids flow more or less freely. I braided them together at night, and during the day I usually wore a light headscarf to hide the frizz-fro that developed on the scalp after the first couple of days. Silk pillowcase helped too.

I let them get wet in the shower - water-only apart from one occasion after a swim in the sea, when they got a few strokes of a friend's shampoo (probably SLS and cones) and slathered in (cone-free) conditioner. I would've gone no-water (NW), but my scalp itches like mad without some water; if you can go NW, that would probably be easier.

Be warned though, the shed hairs aren't able to escape, so when you take them out, it will look like you're losing a lot of hair at once when you're not. I freaked out a bit until I remembered. :o

Alternatively, you could try single or twin French braids; they can hold for a few days with gentle treatment. Good luck. :flower:

September 9th, 2010, 07:14 PM
You can do a french twist daily( I can do one at shoulder length), or even just wash and braid it. Braiding it and keeping it down is fine. Even washing it daily is fine, as long as you use conditioner. If you treat it like "just hair", though pretty gently, you might find that you spend less time on it. Also, I think snoods etc are great for keeping hair contained so you only have to fuss with it in the morning and when you go to bed. (and note, by fuss, I mean comb/brush and braid or put in a basic bun)

September 9th, 2010, 07:52 PM
I am very sorry to hear that you are having trouble...I think another option might be to jsut cover it wiht a scarf. When I want to get rid of my hair for some time I just put it into a bun an dcover it with a scarf

September 9th, 2010, 08:12 PM
Pepperminttea, good to know there didn't seem to be more damage. :) The fluffgathering sounds a bit bad but I think the cornrows would actually get less fluff since there is not as much space between the braids and they are flat on the scalp all the way. Just have to make them tight enough and add very small sections at a time. I'm wondering, though, if by going NW or WO my hair wouldn't become over-sebumed. I was WO for 3 months and briefly NW afterwards and if I didn't preen the sebum became thick. In warm, dry weather it practically glued the hairs together. This might become a problem when removing the braids. :hmm:

Fractalsofhair, this is pretty much what I have been doing. It works but not as well as I would like it to. Waking up at three in the morning with the snood having slided off and the braid half-unraveled to a crying baby who is very ready to pull on anything within reach... Not the best option. But thank you for the input. :)

arwenevenstar37 Hopefully it will get better soon, thank you. :)

September 9th, 2010, 09:13 PM
I had short hair with babies. I think the braids would be pretty uncomfortable. I've braided mine into small braids but can't sleep with it like that. It might be different for you, of course. Good luck!

September 9th, 2010, 09:31 PM
I've been in a 'way too busy IRL' situation lately too, and it's a great time to practice benign neglect.

For me, at shorter lengths, I used clips to hold simple updos in stable styles that tolerated being ignored. IMO, both the length and quantity of your hair will determine which styles and types of clips (or claws) will work well for you.

If I'd known about bending double ended knitting needles to make my own hair pins way back when, I'd have probably done that. Nowadays, they're my go-to, utilitarian hair toy. Losing one isn't an end of the world crisis, so I feel less stressed about wearing them instead of my less-replaceable, more stylish hair toys.

September 9th, 2010, 10:02 PM
I second (third?) the scarf idea. You can pick up some very cheap, very cute scarves and there are websites that show how to essentially do hairstyles like buns and "ponytails" by using the scarf as a makeshift hair extension. And they look *really* nice. My french teacher actually wears a scarf every day (she's got a bunch) and it looks very sophisticated. Added bonus that your hair is out of the way of grabby kids' hands. :)

September 10th, 2010, 03:14 AM
I find that a Dutch braid with leave in-conditioner can stay acceptably neat for 2 days

:flowers: good luck with everything!

September 10th, 2010, 03:24 AM
I have nothing to add to this thread, but I'm going to say dutch braids and scarves are really good ideas. I've been living in a dutch braid for the last week or so. Not the same one, but they don't take very long to do. And once you fold them under and pin, they stay. It's like having no hair at all!

ETA - Claw/beak clips are awesome for getting hair out of the way superquick. Under a scarf, they don't even have to be neat.

September 10th, 2010, 03:53 AM
Congrats on the baby, I hope things get better for you soon! You can do double dutch/french braids, french twists in a claw clip, pony/bun in a scrunchie. I don't know what a stable braid is?
You can use coconut oil under your braids and buns

September 10th, 2010, 07:48 AM
Why not braid it at the back in one plait and secure with anti-breakage silicon rubber band? Or use the Goody twist pins to secure the bun? Congrats on the baby and I hope your husband gets well and your situation improves. >>>>hugs<<<<

September 10th, 2010, 07:54 AM
When my hair was about your length, I usually held it to the back of my head with a big jaw clip. Easy to put up, easy to take down, and it stays out of reach of babies.

September 10th, 2010, 09:43 AM
I just started an online business a couple of months ago, and it's taking as much of my time right now as a newborn (although it's no where near as exhausting). I've putting my hair up in a braided bun held with a fork, and ignoring it altogether.

At night, I just take down the bun and sleep with the braid. I do keep it clean, but honestly I could probably go a lot longer between washes and it wouldn't make any real difference.

Hang in there. Tiny babies are all work, but I promise they are worth it. :)

September 10th, 2010, 10:00 PM
When my hair was your length I used to use a bandana to keep my greasy roots from showing. Think 70s not Aunt Jemima. I also used to clip the front back and leave the back down. I loved banana clips. These are all things I used to keep my hair out of the way when I was babysitting a newborn 18 hours a day. I know how their little hands can find things to grab so quickly. I liked jaw clips, too, but they can get heavy. If you're looking to go a few days without washing, don't oil first. You will not need to oil except right before you wash your hair. Good luck and catch some sleep when you can :-)