View Full Version : The worst of both worlds!

August 6th, 2008, 10:56 AM
Suggestions, advice and comiserations welcome :-). I just got back off a wonderful vacation 'back home' in England. My hair, diet and other routines went out the window of course. I did remember to take my thyroid meds but the vitamins and water were sparse over 2 weeks. I also remembered to do one oil treatment.

Several shock-horror aspects: I wore my hair up because it was so windy (compared with metro Atlanta!) over there, and looking at the photos I am horrified! Imagine if you dare - me and my little head barely visible on top of my long, rangey body, thin hair scraped back (no way to pouf it out I'm afraid), dark roots showing, sticky out ears and teeth for the Dumbo and Goofy effect. Yikes. I'm gonna have to photo shop myself out of some of these :violin: - the best ones were when I let my hair get buffeted by the wind (my hair looks better and covers my face into the bargain).

As if that weren't bad enough: I get home and look in the mirror and see the dark roots and hundreds of curled up ends all around the front (which are grown out bangs/layers), as well as on the very ends at the back. :steam

I can handle the fact that the ends need trimming, and plan to do so starting in September, but the combined effect of ugly highlight-line + dark, dark roots PLUS those damaged looking ends (which are not split, btw), really made me think albeit for a millisecond, that maybe my only hope would be to get a drastic 6" cut :-(

I'm over that thought, however, and am now open to other more sane suggestions. I need someone to tell me not to panic! How did anybody else handle such hair-reality-check moments?

August 6th, 2008, 11:24 AM
For one thing, i do not think your hair looks bad. it looks quite nice to me actually. however, I can understand not liking what i see in the mirror myself.

1. If you are so worried about your roots, maybe try a demi color to help even it all out, or go with some formation of henna+(buxom or indigo etc.)

2. When i feel the need to tell my hair who is boss, I am a big fan of search and destroy missions. Realistically it may not be doing much to help improve appearances, but it does make me feel better.

3. I am betting when you get back to your regular routine you will start feeling a whole lot better.

Just remember the things you love about your hair and focus on those instead of the negative aspects.

August 6th, 2008, 11:24 AM
I have those harsh reality checks just about every time I see photographs of myself. We are our own worst critics, you know. You could post photos here and let everybody tell you how cute you look. Even when you don't agree, it helps to know that other people see you differently than you see yourself. And now - one of my ugliest photographs of all time:
I'm sure you don't look that awful.

August 6th, 2008, 11:38 AM
Just wait 'til you turn 50 -- then you'll think how excellent you looked at 41!

August 6th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Spidermom! You're hilarious! I don't think you look awful at all - but point well taken about being our own worst critics. I don't have a hosting photo site so right now I can't spar with you on who looks worst :)

Erin - thanks for the advice! I do need to change my avatar photo because my hair doesn't ever look that together and I think it's a false representation of what it looks like. But yes it could be way worse, and at least I have hair. A friend of mine has had male pattern baldness since her twenties so I should just be grateful! I have never done a S&D so that might make me feel better tonight. I have a few splits (three out of about 1" worth of hair ends).

Cindy - this is true and I do keep trying to tell myself that because I thought I looked bad at 18, then 28, 38, etc. Good point.

August 6th, 2008, 12:01 PM
I am far from photogenic but everyone tells me i look so good in my photos... I just don't see it lol

August 6th, 2008, 12:10 PM
Pamper your hair while you get back on your normal routine. Lots of gentle care and gentle handling. Maybe a clarifying shampoo to start if you washed your hair in water very different from your normal home water.

Then lots of deep condtioning and oilings or herbal treatments. Try keeping it gently pulled back and maybe covered with a pretty scarf or hairband to hide the roots a bit.

Wait to take any drastic cutting measures for at least a week while your hair gets settled again.

August 6th, 2008, 01:21 PM
Well, as a 1a/f/ii myself, I know just how difficult it is to hide those roots!

However, I will give you a tip for wearing updos that don't look do flat. You can French or Dutch braid your hair starting right at the top of the forehead. Keep French braiding to the crown, and then wear you updo of choice. This will definitely give you lift.

Also, I know just how quickly 1a/f hair start to look scraggly at the ends. It makes your hair look sort of damaged, when in fact it's not. It's because every hair grows at a different rate, and with such straight hair, it really does show after a very short time. I have solved this problem by learning how to do Feye's hair trimming method, and giving myself tiny trims every 2 or 3 months. It keeps my ends looking neat, but it still grows nicely.

For right now, I just suggest giving your hair a lot of TLC. I've been here at LHC long enough to know that people rarely look as bad as they think they do. It's so easy to be hard on ourselves.

You'll be feeling good about your hair again before you know it. :flowers:

August 6th, 2008, 02:27 PM
When my ends get bad, I usually clarify (if I haven't shampooed in a few weeks or used products that might build up), then do several rounds of deep conditioning. For me, that's almost exclusively SMTs, which get along very nicely with my hair. My ends have a tendency to get little kinks in them when they get dried out, so that's where I'd suggest you start. If your hair is lightened on the ends, you might want to do a protein treatment, too, but start with moisture.

August 6th, 2008, 03:30 PM
Gabriel - I did notice a difference in the water when I got back. This morning in the shower my hair felt sticky and chunky, like I couldn't get it clean.

Anje & Gabriel - yes, I think you're right about more conditioning. I usually do 1 light one and 1 heavy one per week, and I guess I only did 2 treatments in 2 weeks. So I will step that up this week and hopefully that'll get things back in equilibrium. I have never tried a protein treatment so I'll look in to that.

FrannyG - Interesting about the braiding on top. I will try it. I'm useless at braiding my own hair but I can imagine like everything else it's a question of learning and practice!

Thanks for all the help!!

Indigo Girl
August 6th, 2008, 09:10 PM
Hi MsBubbles ~ :bluesmile

I agree with spidermom...we all tend to be our own worst critics. It's hard to tell from my avatar pic, but my hair has a ton of damage on the ends. I have days where I find it frustrating as well. Ultimately though, I ignore it and just keep applying lots of TLC: daily updos and jojoba oil on the length are my weapons of choice.

I would hold off on a cut and focus on a balance of benign neglect and pampering your hair - forget about the "bad" photos. I think in time - once you get past the awkward stage - you'll see a difference that you can both like and accept. :flower:

August 7th, 2008, 06:23 AM
Awwww....MsBubbles. I'm sending big 'ol hugs to you!!!!!

We are DEFINITELY our own worst critics. Please try to not be so hard on yourself. I'm sure that being off of your regular hair routine has something to do with it, but I'm sure that now you're back in the swing of things, you'll start to feel better.

Try not to cut it just yet. Wait a little while. I'm kinda new here, but I remember reading something about a 2 week rule (in terms of waiting to cut). I'd say if the ends are really bugging you, why not just take off 2 inches to start (instead of 6)? But I'd still wait before you do that, too. Just keep it conditioned & maybe keep it pulled up ;)

As far as the root situation...I'm right there with you. I got some GREAT advice from the members here (not to mention support) on how to deal. Thank God for headbands!!!!

Don't be so hard on yourself :) I'm sure you're just beautiful :)

Julie :) :) :)

August 7th, 2008, 08:14 AM
Just hang in there, it's probably not as bad as you think. Your normal routine will help a lot!

... there's a reason I have little ZeusCat as my avatar.... ;)

August 7th, 2008, 04:14 PM
Indigo Girl: thanks for the input. I have a lot to learn about oil and I keep hearing about jojoba oil from similar hair types to me, so I should check that out and see if it helps.

Embee: Right! I guess I should just not worry for now and see what's going on after a week or so back in the old routine.

Julesn: I think I'd die if I cut off 2"! But I'm thinking I might need to do that. I dunno. I read your thread talking about roots...you work in a salon, right? Wow, that's like trying to diet when you work in a chocolate factory :). You have it harder than a lot of us! Looking at the emerging damage and thinking I might be stuck at BSL for about a year until all the highlights grow out, it gives me more incentive to leave things alone up top. I'm still lightening a few strands around my crown/hairline though, probably not even half a centimeter's worth.

But I think habitual s & d sessions are in order, as well as not worrying about it in the meantime. Gonna have to get me some granny glasses so I can do the S&D though :(