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View Full Version : Longtime lurker - thanks to everyone - my hair history (abridged)



Eirelin
June 12th, 2011, 11:27 PM
I have been hanging around, just absorbing all the information available here, and had to say thank you to everyone out there for all the photos, advice, recipes, etc. Unfortunately, I have spent way too much time reading and not enough posting, so I don't get to see everything. I decided it was time to start posting, even though I really haven't much to say, basically being here to learn.

So, thanks to LHC, I have discovered henna :) Naturally, I'm a faded strawberry-blonde with silver coming in, especially around the face. It's rather depressing, especially since the silver started when I was only 27. And since the red I had as a child faded to strawberry-blonde as an adult and from there to a kind of dull hay color, I have always wanted to go back to having it red. Besides, my skin is too pale for it; I looked all washed out.

I also donated my hair 3-1/2 years ago when my sister died of cancer, and that turned out to be a huge mistake! For some reason, anyone who cuts my hair suddenly turns into my mother, and they cut it ALL OFF! I mean ALL! (I knew my mother always wanted a boy, but come on!) And since I am now in my upper 30's, I always seem to have to argue with them, "No, I do not want it short, and no, I am not too old for long hair!"

To make a long story short (pun intended), it was not only chopped off more than necessary for donation, but it was also crooked. This was an outdoor event, I was the last volunteer, and the sun had already gone down, but I still think that a stylist from a salon should have been able to get it even! But no. When I saw it, I had to cry. And when I went in to the local salon that following Monday, I found out that it was all crooked, even to having over an inch difference in length in spots and nothing matching. So, they had to cut off even more and giving me all these instructions on products to put in and how to style it with a blow dryer and round brush, etc.

I don't like putting stuff in my hair and I certainly don't like blow drying to style it! And to do this every day? I didn't even like the style; it made me look 15 years older.

It was just a mess, so I finally went in and told another stylist, "Okay, let's start all over. Give me a pixie cut." Thanks to the scissor-happy Mom, I have had them in the past. I don't like them, but at least they are evenly cut and can be grown out easily.

So why did I end up with probably the only stylist in the USA who does not know how to do a pixie cut? Instead, it was basically a boy's cut, somewhat longer on top.

Sigh.

After that I gave up. I have gotten about 3 trims since then (over about 3 years' time), and it is finally growing back. I have had some bad color problems and gave up on that, too, and then I discovered LHC and henna :)

Finally! And I have been learning about different hair styles, hair sticks, and all the other wonderful things that are out there.

I used the henna on May 12, a month ago. It ended up a little darker than I like after oxidation, but overall I am very happy with it, except that the roots are growing out now and I'm afraid of the touch-up process, but since the whole-head henna worked so well, I think this will turn out all right, too.

So, photos (if I can get it to work properly):

This was the day after using henna (and after throwing in Curlformers for about an hour):
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/226825_223349157677476_100000071796284_1040390_200 6724_n.jpg

This was 5 days later:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/229323_224403030905422_100000071796284_1048731_377 5671_n.jpg

And my first attempt at a rose bun (which I learned about here). My layers are still really too short for this, but it's not too bad, considering that I had put it up the day before, slept in it, and had it like that all day, with only the boiled lemon homemade hair spray :)
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/248719_226425710703154_100000071796284_1065226_486 1641_n.jpg

My first attempt at a French Twist with not-quite hair sticks. They are actually plain old bamboo chopsticks painted with black nail polish. I did get some hair sticks later, but they are still the cheap plastic ones.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/250654_226425747369817_100000071796284_1065227_259 0077_n.jpg

And finally a braided Chinese bun with hair sticks. It's still too short for this, but the style really makes it look like I have more hair than I do.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/254983_229864943692564_100000071796284_1092112_627 4213_n.jpg

Eirelin
June 12th, 2011, 11:30 PM
Oh, and the top color was perfect! So now I need to figure out how to use the henna to get it lighter like that again.

I might try the honey/conditioner idea to see if it will lighten it just a little bit.

Sundial
June 12th, 2011, 11:35 PM
I really like that color on you and I don't think it's too dark after oxidation :D it's better to touch up just your roots so that the rest of your hair doesn't get darker with repeated hennaing since you happen to think that this shade is already too dark for your tastes. I think some people apply it with an applicator bottle to the roots and just mush it in

Mairéad
June 12th, 2011, 11:37 PM
I am mad jealous. Your hair is freaking gorgeous.

Your henna color is wonderful and looks very natural. You'll probably only want to do roots from now on.

katsrevenge
June 12th, 2011, 11:38 PM
Love the shade! And, from my own henna research.. it really can't be lightened once it is in. And, it can only get darker. But, it really looks good on you!

And I love the braided buns. :)

Eirelin
June 13th, 2011, 12:05 AM
Thank you to everybody! It's not TOO, too dark. I just preferred the first couple days. I am still pretty happy with it.

So, I guess the honey thing works with henna/indigo but not plain henna? That's okay. It's certainly not that I'm disappointed; I like it very much (and I loved it the first couple of days).

So, just trying to grow it out longer, get the layers out, and learn more braiding techniques.

I have been drooling over Dreamweaver Braiding for years.

One more question: I have a big problem with being dehydrated, although I drink anywhere from 10 glasses to a gallon of water a day. It's weird, I know, but I have yet to find a doctor that knows why. The upshot of it is that my hair and skin are always very dry. I have seen several recommendations and recipes on here but don't know what to try. I can't afford anything expensive, so can anyone recommend anything at home? I've been using Suave Naturals Clarifying Shampoo once every week or two and Suave Naturals Conditioner once a week. Have done the lemon juice rinse once (a couple of weeks ago) and EVOO several times a week, as well as trying to remember to put it up in a braid to sleep. Oh, and I have a silk skirt that I wrapped around my pillow to sleep.

Any other suggestions or anything I'm doing that I shouldn't be?

katsrevenge
June 13th, 2011, 12:19 AM
I'm still pretty new... but I've been told once henna is in, it is in. But you could try; it might work a little!

Since I've come here I have discovered oil. I'll leave it to someone else to explain it better.. but plain old olive oil from your kitchen is GREAT for hair.

PraiseCheeses
June 13th, 2011, 12:34 AM
First, your henna color is gorgeous and looks very natural!

About the dry hair and skin – in your post, you say you use a clarifying shampoo up to once a week and conditioner only once a week. Does this mean you wash once a week (using conditioner every time) or do you wash more than once a week, but only condition once a week? Clarification (heh…:p:rolleyes:) would be helpful – just what is your wash routine? If you’re washing and not conditioning every time, you’re removing moisture from your hair without putting it back in. Same thing with dry skin – my skin improved SO MUCH when I started washing with oils. It also sounds like you may be clarifying much more than necessary - especially if you don't use heavy serums.

A few things to try:
CWC. Coat the length of your hair with conditioner, then shampoo your scalp. The conditioner protects your ends while gently cleaning. Then rinse, and condition the whole head of hair again. I’ve had great results with V05 Tea Therapy conditioner, and Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition is a favorite of the forum.

Alternately, try washing with just conditioner. Conditioners contain light surfactants (the stuff that bonds to dirt and oil and removes it). Ever washed your hair in the sink and seen a few suds after rinsing out conditioner? It’s not shampoo that was left in your hair. :) Once again, something light like the Suave or V05 is *perfect* for this.

Mister bottles: There’s a thread about this in the henna and herbal haircare forum. Mine contains water, aloe, and a bit of coconut and almond oil. Mist the ends before bunning or whenever your hair is feeling dry.

I think these are probably some of the easiest changes to make right away, because there are no elaborate adjustments to the routine. If you’d like to try something more, look into deep oilings and SMTs. You’re definitely on the right track with the braiding and sleeping on silk!

Hope that helps - and welcome to LHC! :cheese:

Hotrox
June 13th, 2011, 01:01 AM
You have really beautiful hair, and I think the colour is lovely.

I was sorry to read about your long and hard journey to being a long haired girl, but I think it was totally worth the effort, its just stunning on you :D

pixiestar
June 13th, 2011, 01:29 AM
Your hair is gorgeous, love the colour:D
A suggestion for colour. If you like first day colour you could mix henna and cassia to get a lighter brighter colour, have a look on the herbal hair care forum. Also just do roots next time:)

Eirelin
June 13th, 2011, 02:11 AM
First, your henna color is gorgeous and looks very natural!

About the dry hair and skin – in your post, you say you use a clarifying shampoo up to once a week and conditioner only once a week. Does this mean you wash once a week (using conditioner every time) or do you wash more than once a week, but only condition once a week? Clarification (heh…:p:rolleyes:) would be helpful – just what is your wash routine? If you’re washing and not conditioning every time, you’re removing moisture from your hair without putting it back in. Same thing with dry skin – my skin improved SO MUCH when I started washing with oils. It also sounds like you may be clarifying much more than necessary - especially if you don't use heavy serums.

A few things to try:
CWC. Coat the length of your hair with conditioner, then shampoo your scalp. The conditioner protects your ends while gently cleaning. Then rinse, and condition the whole head of hair again. I’ve had great results with V05 Tea Therapy conditioner, and Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition is a favorite of the forum.

Alternately, try washing with just conditioner. Conditioners contain light surfactants (the stuff that bonds to dirt and oil and removes it). Ever washed your hair in the sink and seen a few suds after rinsing out conditioner? It’s not shampoo that was left in your hair. :) Once again, something light like the Suave or V05 is *perfect* for this.

Mister bottles: There’s a thread about this in the henna and herbal haircare forum. Mine contains water, aloe, and a bit of coconut and almond oil. Mist the ends before bunning or whenever your hair is feeling dry.

I think these are probably some of the easiest changes to make right away, because there are no elaborate adjustments to the routine. If you’d like to try something more, look into deep oilings and SMTs. You’re definitely on the right track with the braiding and sleeping on silk!

Hope that helps - and welcome to LHC! :cheese:
Ah, you are right. I didn't put that very well.

I wash it pretty much every other week with Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Conditioner. The alternating weeks are wash and condition with Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo followed by Suave Naturals Conditioner (not clarifying) Tropical Coconut. I have been doing this for about 2 months now. Before that, I just used regular shampoo and conditioner, still washing only once a week or so (I might actually go a week and half to two weeks without washing it, depending on whether or not it seems to need it). I thought that since it was meant to be used only a daily basis that perhaps it was okay for me to use it once every week or two, but you are right; that may be too much.

I do have a misting bottle but it only has water.

I have been using the EVOO since it is all I have on hand. I have noticed the other oils mentioned here, such as coconut =, jojoba, and macadamia nut, but I haven't a clue where to find them. I have looked in the ethnic sections of different stores, but they all seem to have other things mixed in with them, not just the oils I am looking for.

Actually the photos I have posted are some of my best. Of course, I do not really have all the curls. That is when I have used the Curlformers or soft rollers. It helps hide the fuzzy dryness. I have read about the ways to categorize your hair type, but I must admit I haven't any clue how to apply it to my own hair.

Panth
June 13th, 2011, 03:51 AM
Ah, you are right. I didn't put that very well.

I wash it pretty much every other week with Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Conditioner. The alternating weeks are wash and condition with Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo followed by Suave Naturals Conditioner (not clarifying) Tropical Coconut. I have been doing this for about 2 months now. Before that, I just used regular shampoo and conditioner, still washing only once a week or so (I might actually go a week and half to two weeks without washing it, depending on whether or not it seems to need it). I thought that since it was meant to be used only a daily basis that perhaps it was okay for me to use it once every week or two, but you are right; that may be too much.

Yeah, clarifying shampoos are harsher and are designed to remove build-up (cones, gel, hairspray, serum, etc.). So, even if it says 'Daily' on it it may be too harsh for your routine, particularly if you aren't using the sort of things that it is designed to remove.

Perhaps switch to a more gentle shampoo. While you're using up your current bottles, you could dilute them in water so that you use less, thus getting less drying effects. It's surprising how little shampoo one actually needs - often it's just hard to spread around one's scalp so we add more on when really we only need water to make it less sticky to enable us to spread it about.

...

But anyway, your hair looks absolutely gorgeous, so I think it's probably just a case of fine-tuning what you're already doing rather than changing anything drastically.

silvermoon_76
June 13th, 2011, 09:38 AM
I'm just going to go ahead and repeat what everyone's been saying- you have the most beautiful colour! And I love the curls in the first two pictures :)

spidermom
June 13th, 2011, 10:02 AM
Just dilute your shampoo with water and get a more moisturizing formula next time (not clarifying). I saved an empty shampoo bottle because I like mixing my shampoo with water most of the time.

As far as dehydration goes, do you get enough salt? I find that when I increase my water intake, I also have to increase my salt intake or I get dehydrated. Also, after you wash your skin and while it is still damp, follow with oil or lotion. You can apply a very small amount of oil to damp hair also, although I don't like this because it attracts lint and dust. I like pre-wash oilings because I get the benefit without the dust.

Vespertine
June 13th, 2011, 10:17 AM
You have gorgeous hair!

PraiseCheeses
June 13th, 2011, 10:50 AM
I have been using the EVOO since it is all I have on hand. I have noticed the other oils mentioned here, such as coconut =, jojoba, and macadamia nut, but I haven't a clue where to find them. I have looked in the ethnic sections of different stores, but they all seem to have other things mixed in with them, not just the oils I am looking for.

You can find coconut oil amongst the other oils used for cooking. Pure, unrefined coconut oil is solid below 76 degrees F, so don't be put off by that. Some larger or more natural-oriented grocery stores also carry a refined version specifically for hair and skin in the health and beauty section. Jojoba oil can also be found in the health and beauty section. Once again, you'll probably have better luck at a natural foods market than a regular drugstore. :)

Thanks for clearing up your routine; it makes much more sense. :) I agree with Panth and spidermom that a gentler shampoo would make a huge difference.

CarpeDM
June 13th, 2011, 10:56 AM
Love that braided chinese bun!!

Eirelin
June 13th, 2011, 08:27 PM
Thank you so much to everyone, for the compliments and for the advice. It has been very inspiring to come here, but a bit intimidating, as well. There is so much information to process, and there is, of course, always the problem that everyone's hair is different so what works for one person may not work for me. After the fun, fun, fun that my poor hair has been through over the years, I hate to take the chance on anything that might be worse for it.

I will take your advice on shampoo/conditioners, etc., and thank you so much for letting me know where the coconut oil is. I was so irritated that I couldn't find it in the hair care sections! Actually, I'll be happy to find it in the food section; things sold expressly for hair are usually so expensive.

I am so grateful for everything I have learned so far on keeping your hair healthy and on using henna. I can't wait for it to be long again, and I really think the longer hair makes me look younger.

Before the disastrous donation, virgin hair:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/189670_209439419068176_100000063583727_863932_7798 14_n.jpg

About a month after the donation, requiring gel, blow drying, and hairspray, and I hated it with a passion (there was no way I was going to add coloring damage on top of all that):
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/196363_209439512401500_100000063583727_863936_3771 152_n.jpg

(By the way, does anyone know if there is a way to resize photos here so they don't take up so much room?)

long&blonde
June 13th, 2011, 09:23 PM
Your hair is gorgeous! Now, and pre-cut disaster. Can never understand most hair stylists. Seems as if they have a vendetta to get all of us long hairs into the same short hair boat as every one else! Found a local stylist who makes the best french braids, I still haven't mastered. I was So trusting her till Saturday she said to me "I could color & CUT your hair." Me;(disbelief) "CUT!?" Her:"oh,just a Trim,and not every time you color.."(and she was recommending color monthly! ) Meanwhile when I go in for a french braid. Every other week or so? All the elderly ladies there for their cuts and perms, swivel their chairs to watch my hair get braided, and ooh & ahh over it. And she wants me to trim "my dead ends". Isn't all hair dead, except the root? All length is good length in my book!