Saturday, 26 November 2011

Annoyed over something stupid

I received a link from a friend today that I had been recently quoted on LHC for having taught a member something. So what is the problem? 
That said member makes it sound like it was something I believe in, when I really don’t. I might have explained the reasoning why some people do this, but I have also posted several times how I don’t believe in the effect.
So yea, I believe the reason behind some people swearing by the final cold rinse is to “close the hairs’ cuticles that have been opened by the warm water” but I don’t believe it has any real effect since following that logic, it would mean the cuticles would re-open again as soon as the hair heats up to room temperature again, right?
Save yourself the cold water torture and go for an ACV rinse instead.
Oh and just to be completely clear, this Igor is a former member of LHC. She was kicked out for being horribly evil and “spreading misery”. Thankyouverymuch.

Friday, 25 November 2011

A question about shedding

I would really like to read about if you have had any major shedding and what you did to make it stop. 
Yes, I have experienced shedding. I actually lost 1-2 cm circumference of my hair after a very sneaky shed. Without going into details, I had one of those periods in my life where it felt like “Oh great, what else can go wrong?!” was seen as a challenge to see how much it really took to break me. I was incredibly stressed and it was followed with a long period of deep depression that has taken me years to get out of.
I didn’t notice it until way later, but I must have shedded a little extra each day. You wouldn’t notice 5-10 extra hairs under normal circumstances and especially not when you’re so stressed out you can’t even sleep without taking pills or so depressed that taking a shower seems like too much work because it requires having the energy to dry yourself off and braid your hair afterwards. 
It wasn’t until 1-2 years after when I was plagued by the regrowth that was long enough to get in my face but too short to go safely up in a bun or braid that I realised I had gone through a shed. It didn’t take much thought to add two and two to why that happened.
 So, yes I experienced a bad shed, but I didn’t realise it until after it had stopped on its own again. I can’t really tell what to do to make it stop since it stopped on its own. The fact is though, that I’m in a completely different place in my life than I was then. 
But I have two thoughts on unwanted shedding:
  • Get a blood test.
  • Look into stress-coping.
Getting a blood test is the best place to start. If not for anything else, at least to give yourself the peace of mind to know it isn’t a sudden illness or deficiency you’re experiencing. Of course some doctors can be unwilling to take a blood test on a “healthy” individual and they can be quite condescending when it comes to “silly” things like hair loss. I have experienced enough doctors in my life to know the threads on doctors brushing off concerns about hair loss with a condescending “That’s normal” are completely true and frequent. After all, with “normal” shedding being between 50-200 hairs a day, how can you even tell someone you don’t know at all that their shedding is normal, even when the owner of the scalp swear they’re experiencing a drastic increase?
So what should you do? Lie. It’s that simple. Tell your doctor that a relative have been diagnosed with a deficiency and it makes you worried you might have it too because you feel you have experienced some of the same “symptoms”, could he/she draw a routine blood test to give you peace of mind? It will require a bit of research, but only a truly arrogant ass of a doctor would be able to brush off a “real” concern that can be put to rest with such a simple step.
Even if your increased shedding isn’t caused by stress, it is a highly stressful experience. You may even start to feel stressed over the shedding itself. And no, it doesn’t make you a horribly vain person to worry about that. Anyone who dares to judge you over your very real, physical concern isn’t worth your time.
As for handling stress, there are many good sources for information from people who are trained in dealing with this and have degrees that are relevant.
I can share what I found have helped me though…
Make a minimum list of things you need to do for the day. Be realistic! Cross out things as you have finished them and start with the easiest one to encourage yourself. Life can seem a lot easier when you have your to-do’s on a list instead of rummaging around in your skull.
Make your sleep a priority. During sleep is the time where your brain restarts, your body repairs itself and it will give you the mental and physical means to deal with a stressful day. Air out your bedroom before sleep; change your bed sheets frequently and to something a little more luxurious. Make sure to set enough time in your schedule to get the 8 or so hours you need. If you have trouble dosing off, don’t be afraid to look for aid in herbal supplements or prescription pills. We have all experienced how a full, satisfying night of sleep can make the entire world a different place.
Make food and nutrition a priority too. No living off fast food and sugary snacks no matter how much easier it is! You need real solid and healthy food without sugar crashes to give your body and mind the energy they need.
Take at least 15 minutes each day to put your feet up, relax and not worry about anything. Set an alarm if you need to help you focus on relaxing! Put on a facemask or paint your toenails, drink half a glass of wine and read a Cosmo. Take it as a mental break and don’t feel guilty for it. Take it as a priority to make yourself relax and spend some time to make yourself look good in the process too; it will make you feel better and more confident. Under eye bags and dull skin never helped anything and if taking care of this will help you relax and unwind in the process, it’s just an extra plus. I think the one thing that really broke me down in the stressful period was that I didn’t have a place where I could just put my feet up, relax and prioritise myself. You need to create a space for yourself for that.
Those reading this will have noticed that I haven’t actually mentioned any “hair solutions”. Well, there is a reason for that. I truly believe that if you’re experiencing a bad shed, you need to look for a mental or physical reason. As it has been said many times, hair is actually very far down the body’s pecking order and your hair will suffer when something else is wrong. Bad sheds aren’t something that will be fixed with massage, pomegranate juice, kelp diets or what have you. They might mask the symptoms and reduce the shedding for a while, but they will not cure what is really wrong and what is really causing the shed. You need to address that and either fix it or learn to deal with it in some way. The shedding will eventually be reduced or go back to normal when you do.
But never forget you can always find people who will listen and truly care on hair forums.  

A brief history of the fact that Igor is a nutcase

I have a few things in my life I’m a complete control freak about. My calendar is one of those. I’m a chronic list maker and this one basically runs my life.
I have everything in it including my suggested hair and skincare schedule. It’s always stuffed full of little souvenirs from my life. Some people keep pictures, receipt and little memory things in their valet, for me it’s in my calendar.

I’m extremely picky about the calendar I pick out and even buy new pens every year to fill in my schedules and information.
  • It can’t have a spiral back because my keys always get stuck in those.
  • It has to be one page per day, although one for both Saturday and Sunday is okay too.
  • It has to be the right size, A6-A5.
  • It needs to have a notes-section.
  • It needs to have enough room for stuffing in extra pages, pictures and receipts.

Funnily enough it turned out that Chemist friend is just as weird as me when it comes to calendar so we went shopping together! I have never met anyone who is as weird when it comes to calendars as me.

I found one I had never thought of before, a Filofax that could be completely closed like a big clutch. It was instant love, I had to have it!

Here it is next to the calendar I got for hubby. That one is more like the kinds I have usually gone for. I would have picked that one if I hadn’t fallen for the Filofax. Then of course I needed to replace a whole lot of the papers inside it. Why do the Filofaxes always come with one page per week as standard? I don’t know anyone who likes that!

Look how brilliant it is on the inside with plenty of room for cards and papers.

But... Big fail: It turned out it was too small to even contain the one day per page calendar. No!! The rings inside were simply too small in circumference!

One heartbroken Igor had to return to the store to see if it came in a bigger size. It did, but then I had to jump to an A4 size and that would take up most of my bag. Fail!

But then I spotted a calendar that were like a combination of the rejected one and a regular calendar. It had the calendar part and a zipped off “clutch” part. The rings were plenty big for the one page per day calendar too.

Not as much in love with this one as with the completely zipped off one, but it is still pretty sweet!

Now it’s time to start filling it up with information. That always takes some time! Then stuff it full of my “little” collection of souvenirs from my life and people I love.

I really think I have a good plan outlined for healthy hair 2012 and will enjoy filling that in…

Will post pictures of the finished calendar if I haven't bored everyone to death :)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Today’s hair

I wanted to demonstrate the braided crown braid-fake infinity combination for the knee length updo ideas-thread on UTT
So here is today’s hair


From the front



You can see the wrapping/braiding pattern from the back

Other side

I have no great secrets to this one. I like Dutch braids because the pattern is prettier, you put one braid around the head in front of the start of the braids and put the hair stick through the end of the first braid, then wrap the second one around the stick in an infinity pattern

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Colouring eyelashes

I got a few questions about this, including from real life friends so I thought I would put a post up on it.
This is one of the things I really swear by. It’s quick, efficient and will keep you naturally looking great for over a month with just 5 minutes spent!

Have the following items ready:
  • Cotton pads
  • Mascara brushes. Old and cleaned ones
  • The box with the dye solution
  • Toner. Just the kind you usually use

Before you start:

Put your hair up and keep it back with a bandanna. You don’t want any stray hairs getting in the way, in your eyes or accidentally ending up black.

Be aware that once the two liquids are mixed, the result is instantly permanent! I’m demonstrating this over our coffee table, but you should always do this in a place where spills won’t destroy your tables. It doesn’t come off anything, including nails. They have to grow out if you spill or get a smear on them.

I use a brand called Depend, but back in Denmark I used Swiss O Par. It’s exactly the same thing though: Same contents, same method and same colour choices: Black, brown and dark brown. I use black. There are other options out there with a longer dye release, but it sucks sitting blind for up to 30 minutes when you can get it done in less than 5!

The pack comes with these little “protection pads” to put under your eyes. I don’t use them at all though. I’ve been wearing contact lenses for some 15 years of my life and dying my eyelashes for 10, and my near-eye motor skills are so fine-tuned I think I could do this in a moving car.
Maybe my lack of spills is also to do with that I don’t use the stupid Q-tips that come with the pack. You’re supposed to use them for applying the liquid on your eyelashes, but to me, that is just ridiculous: You come dangerously close to actually dripping the liquid in your eyes.
Use them to mop up spills or clean your ears instead.
Instead, I use an old mascara brush. Dip it into the little bottle with the first solution.
Then brush the liquid on my lashes. Start on the inner corner of your eyes, it’s easier that way.
When the lashes are nice and wet, I get the cotton pads ready. Pour a bit of toner on so you’re ready to remove spills if necessary, and you don’t have to fumble around with this after the dye. This will also give the solution a bit of extra time to soak in for better dye.
Now I brush the liquid on again to make sure I have a good coverage.
Next, take the tiny comb and the gel solution. Spread a thin strip of the gel on the very outer edge of the little comb.
Comb your lashes through, starting at the inner edges of your eyes. The gel seems to “plump up” when it comes in contact with the liquid. The mix of gel and liquid turns black and your dye is done!
Just to make sure I have enough coverage, I take a second old mascara brush and brush through my lashes to make sure I have covered and mixed everything.
Now it’s time to clean up. This is where you will be happy you have made the cotton pads ready and you just have to reach out and grab them. 
And voila, done! The dye lasts until your eyelashes shed, so 4-6 weeks depending on their growth.