Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Great Hair Affair

Sometimes I worry that I'm going bald.  I often think Why can't I be a Kardashian?  I want long, thick, flowing tresses.  I'll make a naughty tape if it will buy me lovely locks. No one wants to watch that.  Not even me. They are like the popular girls in high school. . .only they never grew up to be matronly housewives.  Where's the justice?

In response to this 'do my son said "You're hair looks like Adele's today!"  I wish.  But flattery will get you everywhere, kid.

I had long, thick hair as a kid, but after having my son and as I progressed through my twenties it got finer and thinner.  I don't think it is getting worse, but I do think I've become hypersensitive to it. Add to that the fact that it is naturally curly and frizzy and you can imagine how sexy I look in the morning.  Like I've been living under an overpass.  I'm not exaggerating.  I believe with enough practice I can master thicker, sleeker looking hair through products and styling techniques.  Still, I dream of having long, lush hair.  Hair extensions sound like a giant expensive headache that may leave my natural hair even more sparse; and I'm not sure that clip-in extensions would look very natural.  It doesn't mean I haven't spent hours looking.  But oh boy can people make them look easy to use on YouTube.  I found this one particularly interesting:


Hair hanging from my head by fishing line?  Ingenious.  Just as long as my husband doesn't get frisky and try to run his fingers through my hair.  I guess he'll have to make out with skimpy-haired Sarah or suffer through the frightening ordeal of thinking he's accidentally ripped out all my hair.  How romantic.


I also ran across these.  I got so excited that I picked out a set and put them in my virtual shopping cart.  Then sane Sarah stepped in and starting reviewing them online.  Apparently they shed like crazy.  As long as I never let my hair move or get touched by a stiff breeze, I should be fine.  I also noticed that this girl has really thick hair to begin with, so the clips are probably well hidden.  And how about the fact that they could only whittle the how-to video down to ten minutes and she does this every day?  There are no magical fast forward sequences in real life.  Sorry honey, mommy can't drive you to school today.  I'm putting in my hair.  I guess I'll pass.

I've even watched the infomercials for Joan River's scalp powder.  I really hope it doesn't come to this.



Until I find a magic hair elixir, I'll have to make do with what I have and a little ingenuity.  I also have to be careful with what I use because my scalp is super sensitive and allergic.  I really drew the short stick in the hair department.  Still, I've found a few tried and true favorites that get me through the day and I'll gift you with this knowledge.  If you have lovely, thick hair, well, I guess we can still be friends.  Just don't wave your bouncy locks in my face.  In fact, always wear a ponytail and show a lot of scalp in my presence.  That's reasonable enough.  Besides, I'm a gem to be around so it will be sooo worth it.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo and Conditioner

When I was younger I lusted after smelly shampoos.  All the other girls left a trail of loveliness as they walked down the halls of our school, casually tossing their hair over their shoulder.  I was sooo jealous.  I tried them, but within a week my scalp would be literally falling off my head and the itching was so bad I wanted to shampoo wiht hydrocortisone.  By my mid twenties, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would have to settle for Head & Shoulders, T-Gel or Nizoral shampoo.  How sexy.  Nothing like the scent of coal tar as I swung my hair around.  No wonder guys ignored me.  A couple years I ago I saw these at my local hair salon and decided to give them a go.  Lo and behold, they didn't irritate my scalp!  It actually improved it.  Maybe my hair isn't destined to feel like hay!  I now use these daily and hope that "special" isn't synonymous with "limited edition."  I really don't want to have to go back to the stinky stuff.  This shampoo leaves my hair clean but not stripped like the medicated shampoos, and the conditioner is lightweight but effective.  It makes my whole scalp tingly, like I brushed my hair's teeth with a really minty toothpaste.  Now there's a visual.

Moroccan Oil

When Argan oil became all the rage a few years ago, I was sure that I would be excluded from this trend as well.  There was no way I could use an oil-based styling product!  Now I'm eating crow, and boy is it silky.  A dab is all I need and it smooths and calms my hair perfectly.  And because it is so moisturizing and soothing, it helps keep my natural oils at bay.  My comb glides right through my hair after I use it and it leaves a subtle but nice scent.  Love.

Phyto Universal Elixir Scalp Stimulant

I got a sample of this somewhere and finally got around to using it.  It came in a single use glass vial where you broke off the top and replaced with a plastic applicator tip.  It said to leave on at least 20-30 minutes, so I applied it and sat down with a magazine for the duration.  The first thing I noticed was the smell.  It could knock your socks off.  My husband says it makes his eyes water and my cat won't come anywhere near me.  Still, it was tingly and felt pretty good.  I washed and dried my hair as usual.  It left no greasy residue and my scalp and hair looked fantastic.  It stayed fantastic for days.  When I went to order it, I once again had my socks knocked off. . .by the price.  Thirty-two bones for less than an ounce?!  This is highway robbery of the scalp impaired.  How dare they?  I sucked it up and bought it, hoping a little goes a long way.  It doesn't.  I've used it four times and the bottle is half empty.  Or half full when I'm feeling optimistic.  Either way, I've used half. So what is a girl and her aggravated scalp to do?  I consider it a luxury and only use it once a week or when my scalp is extra cranky.  I also leave it on overnight now to really get my money's worth. I tried finding deals on it, but it seems to be excluded from every retailer's discount code.  I hope they are real proud of themselves.  Forget being a Kardashian. . .I want to be the inventor of this stuff.

Carol's Daughter--Lisa's Hair Elixir

I'm on my second bottle of this stuff.  It's awesome.  Just like it boasts, it is tingly and warming and soothing. I apply it directly to my scalp and rub in really well.  Then I sleep with it in and wash it out the next morning.  The smell is light and sweet and it leaves my hair and scalp super balanced.

Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Lite

This is the stuff that first turned me on to the Carol's Daughter brand.  A tiny amount applied to damp hair made it shiny and smooth.  I used so little at a time that after a year the product started separating (it has only natural ingredients) and I had to throw it out before I'd used it up.  It was only the sample size.  I have also come to realize that these products are intended for ethnic hair.  The phrase "for relaxed hair" and the fact that Solange Knowles is their model should have been a dead giveaway.  I'm not that astute apparently.  In the end I don't really care who it's for.  Their stuff works and I love it.

Aquage Uplifting Foam

I had a hair stylist a few years ago that really pushed products after my cut.  Because I have a problem saying no, my visits were often very expensive. She talked me into buying this and it sat in my cabinet for ages.  I finally dusted it off about a month ago since I've become serious about improving the look of my hair and creating volume.  It works really well.  I was timid at first and just sprayed it near my scalp after sectioning off my hair.  It helped, but what really works is to spray it directly on the scalp and rub it in.  It can be a little freaky because it feels like you just put in waaay too much mousse; but that's how you know you've used enough. It's a high powered foam, so I was really intimidated.  I once sprayed my entire bathroom in the process.  But when I really rub it into my roots and blow dry with a round brush, my hair has a ton of volume that lasts throughout the day.  I can never get it quite as volumized as a hairdresser can, but I think that is because they are standing above me and are pulling my roots straight up while they dry.  I'll keep practicing, but I'm definitely sticking with this stuff.

Conair Mega Ceramic Vented Round Boar-Bristle Hair Brush - Large

I've had a large round blow drying brush for a looong time.  It has also sat under my sink for a looong time.  It was prickly, hard to use and cheap.  I finally threw it away a couple weeks ago and decided to pick up a new one.  I stumbled upon this at Target and love it.  I can't find it on their website, hence no link, but it is definitely in stores.  It has a wood handle with grips, a vented ceramic core and natural boar bristles surrounding each rounded rubber bristle.  The combination makes it easy to handle, even for this novice, and makes my hair shiny and volumized.  I dry for a bit with my hands, then finish with this and I'm impressed with the results.  I haven't gotten it stuck in my hair once.  That's saying something.  A brush that is easy to use, gives the results I want, and doesn't require removal with peanut butter on a regular basis?  It must be true love.

Bumble and bumble hair (un)dressing creme

I saw this in Sephora and was instantly intrigued.  I didn't know if it would work on fine hair, but I thought I'd give it a try.  I want beautiful beachy hair!  Why should bad fur DNA exclude me from the beachy hair trend?  In defiance of my own locks, I bought it.  I also really like it.  I only use a pea size amount on my whole head, but it gives me texture and control that I can really appreciate.  The sales lady saw me grab it and stopped to offer one bit of advice, "It dries quickly, so apply it in sections."  She had long, thick hair.  My whole head is one section, ma'am.  But I heeded her advice anyway.  I spread a small amount on my palm and rub it into the top half of my hair, then repeat with the bottom half.  When used in conjunction with a root lifter, it gives my hair body and texture that lasts all day.  I'm not sure I achieve a beachy look per se, but it's better than my usual comb over.


In the process of writing this post I discovered that my beloved Dove Flexible Hold hairspray has not only been discontinued, but replaced by a sub par relative. Apparently Mommy and Daddy wanted a new baby because the old one wasn't good enough anymore.  Did I just bring my personal issues into this?  I apologize.  I don't know where that came from.  Now what do I do?  I'm trying not to freak out.  I started watching hair tutorials on YouTube to distract me from this saddening news and one of the girls highly recommended TIGI's Rockaholic Fun Times! Flexible Hairspray, so I think I'm going to give it a go.  I find that aerosol hairsprays are the only kind that don't weigh my hair down.  In fact, they help on the volume front. I'm pretty sure aerosols don't make birds fall from the sky anymore.  I hope.  A few casualties may be worth having beautiful tresses.  I kid.  Sort of.  Perhaps we should just move on.

Pssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo

I'm pretty sure this stuff was around before women could vote.  It's an oldie but goodie.  Because my hair is so fine, if I want a voluminous 'do I have to have some added texture.  My hair is also oily, so I can't just go a day without shampooing.  And because of my scalp issues, I can't go any longer than 48 hours once or twice a week without shampooing.  I told you I was screwed in the hair department.  Believe me now?  For those times when I'm feeling lazy or want to really add some oomph, I use dry shampoo.  This stuff is cheap and easy to find.  I didn't mean to make it sound like a hooker.  I'm sorry, Pssssst!. I just section my hair and spray at the roots until I've covered my whole head.  Then I wait a few minutes to let it absorb the oil before rubbing my hair like crazy.  I am a blonde so it blends in without looking too white on me.  Dark haired gals may struggle with the chalkiness.  Shaking the can well helps prevent this. I have used the Tresemme dry shampoo as well and find that it works, too, but the scent is pretty strong and can compete with my other products and perfume.  This stuff doesn't.

Alex & Isabelle Headbands

These headbands are awesome.  They fit my head perfectly, have just the right amount of stretchiness, and stay put.  I like blow drying my hair upside down (or using dry shampoo on day-old hair) then pulling it into a ponytail or messy bun.  I add one of these and they give me just the right amount of pouf behind it.  I found a person on Etsy who makes these and they are much cheaper (40 for $15).  They are the exact same material and fit as the expensive ones and come in every color you can imagine. You can find them here

I don't think the Kardashian thing is going to work out.  My husband offered to make that naughty video if it would help me achieve my dreams; even if it involves twenty takes to get it right.  He's so supportive. I guess I'll make do.  Although I still maintain that my reality TV show would be just as entertaining but much less obnoxious.  Maybe Ryan Seacrest will come to that realization and give me a show, too.  The point of this post wasn't to lead you to believe I have things under control.  Quite the contrary.  So help a sister out by passing along some hair hints.

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