Going Curly Again (Haircut)

I really don’t like to go to the salon. I did, sort of. A long (long) time ago. Generally, though, it’s just a measure of pain.

In the past 10 years I’ve gone from my natural curls to relaxed, and now back to my natural curls. I like both. Having curls is cheaper, though, and easier to manage. I can still, if I want to, flat-iron my hair. As it is when I go to get my hair relaxed it doesn’t attain the amount of “relaxation” that I would like. It is stubborn. Very difficult to get the curl out of. I usually go home with chemical burns up and down my scalp, and sometimes my ears, and a gaping hole in my bank account.

Which leads me to wonder why I buy into the process.

My last relaxer was sometime last year, I think. Maybe longer. My new curly growth is at a place where I feel like I can do a (semi) “big chop” (cutting off all chemically treated hair, leaving the natural, new growth) without having a mini-fro. I’ve taken some off on my own here at home, but I’m starting to feel like I’m wearing the Emperor’s New Clothes on my head and I’m the only one who thinks I look sort of OK. It was time. I was sensitive, though, to the fact that all of my boys twist their face in fear when I’ve threatened to cut my hair really short.

I went to my posts from a few years back to see if I could scrounge up a picture to bring with me to this new salon and found my post, Why I Hate to Get My Hair Cut. That was my first adult curly cut with a “Master Designer” at an expensive salon. This sums it up:

The Master looked like any other stylist. I don’t know if I expected her shears and supplies to be holstered to her belt with a spotlight for a backdrop, or what. But the moment she took my hair in her hands I knew. She ain’t never touched hair like mine before.

Part II shows a picture of the massacre that took place that day. It doesn’t help my salon aversion. Finally, there is the pro bono cut I received and was happy with. Based on my satisfaction with that cut, I continued to see the stylist that fixed my hair for the past 5 years, getting my hair relaxed and cut. But still, I’m not a salon person. The less time (and money) I have to spend there, the better. I have no standing appointment and I generally don’t really look forward to going there. I think it boils down to not feeling like anyone really understands and/or is capable of doing my hair. Once in a blue moon I leave and am happy. The rest of the times I hold my tears back, waiting to get out, go home, and wash my hair.

Sadly, my final appointment with that stylist ended on a bad note. I’ll try to keep it simple. I had an appointment. They called to move it to a different time slot. I said that was fine, as long as there was enough time to do my hair (this is based on past appointments and seeming to “run out of time” quite often). They assured me there was, and I should have known they were mistaken. I went in to get my hair cut and it was entirely rushed. I felt like I was at a cheap-o salon where they treat you like meat. After my trim, my hair was nice and man-handled. Anyone who is curly know you really can’t style half dry, disheveled hair into anything pleasing to look at. So there I sat, waiting for her to re-wet me or blow it out and she asked if I wanted it in a braid before I left. “Uh, no, I want it blowed out.” Duh. I’m paying you up the wazoo to cut and style, so… yeah. Style it. She looked to the waiting room and said, “Honey, my next client is here, I don’t have time for that.”

I left with my hair looking like a child was playing Pretend Salon Day all up in it. It was another instance where I thought I was either going to cry myself, or make someone else cry from my wrath. Neither was appealing. Halfway home I called and complained (cried) to the receptionist, too embarrassed and dumbstruck to have made my feelings known on the spot. Leaving the salon looking gawjuss is a confidence-booster, leaving worse than when you walked in has the opposite effect. Thankfully the receptionist totally understood and said she could understand my misery. In the end, they sent me a gift card for half of the service price, called and left and apologetic email, and told me they hoped I’d return.

I will not return, thankyouverymuch.  I felt decent about my relationship with my stylist, but do not feel valued as a customer. I won’t be back.

Hence my search for a new place to chop my locks. I found a Salon Finder through a site I frequent. The place I chose had good reviews. They got me an appointment within 24 hours.

Wish me well.




Painting Your Nails Before Work… Bad Idea

I take a long time to get ready in the morning. Not because I’m all jazzed up and dressed to the nines. Just because my hair is difficult, I have a routine that I stick to, and deviance from that sets me off in an irritated spiral.

The main components that are a necessity when readying for a work day are: hair, filled water bottle, filled coffee mug, lunch packed. And, naturally, getting dressed. Everything else in between is gravy. Generally I will leave the house early so I can get to work early to finish any make-up I need applied, or hair fidgeting.

Yesterday I opted for a liquid breakfast, which left me a nice “spare” of 10 minutes. I don’t know what possessed me, but during that time I ended up painting my nails. I rarely have time to paint my nails, and when I do, the paint lasts for such a little time before chipping that I wonder what the point was.

Mission nails done completed. They weren’t too messy either. However, I hadn’t had my coffee, and wasn’t thinking clearly. When you go to a salon, before they apply your color, they have you take your keys out of your purse. Smart, right? I skipped that step. I skipped a LOT of steps. Like getting keys out (work keys, car keys), putting cellphone in purse, lunch in backpack… on and on. Thankfully I had already put my hair net on (to keep my hair in place for a short time during the initial air-dry). What a good idea to paint my nails while I have that on, right?

Needless to say, I arrived with my hair net on. You can see in the picture above that my hair looks about half done. Nail polish and make-up intact, ready to start the day.

My hair dried well, by the way. I’m growing it out curly again and transitioning is a… difficult process. But I’m determined to make it through to the other side. I’ve had some hair fun over the summer, and I’ll share that once the kiddos are in school and life settles a bit (as if).

Today I’ll be picking up some odds and ends for my college student, trying to meal plan and stock my fridge and pantry. We’ve done a pretty good job with eating a lot of stocked pantry food and items from the freezer, but I do think the kids would enjoy opening up a nice bounty of fridge food. It’s been pretty bare.

Enjoy your last days of summer!

Attempting A Two-Strand Twist

I don’t know why I bothered trying. I mean, really. It is hard enough for me to manage a french braid, let alone anything else. But, since I’ve been trying new things on my hair, I thought… why not? (I can give you reasons, but it is too late now.)

Seven dollars later, I’m armed with a sectioning comb (something I could have done with a regular comb) and some hair ties. I skipped on purchasing a specific hair product to style my hair, though. I figured I was already deeper in than I should be. I re-wet my hair a bit, got out the tub of IC Hair Gel and went to town.

I’ma tell you straight up, my hair isn’t a big fan of gel. So I was scared. But I needed something with a little hold. In my quest to simplify, I haven’t been purchasing much in the ways of styling products, and have been using up what I have on the boys. So, the IC Gel was it.

The minute I sectioned off my hair, I knew the girl in the video was a pro and I… well, I wasn’t. I immediately felt the frustration of a novice as my hands fumbled with the strands and my twists looked like child’s play. But I couldn’t just stop.

I made four horrific twists(mangles) in my hair, secured them all, held a mirror up to see the front and back, and then angrily ripped each one out. Mentally spanking myself, I detangled my gel-laden hair, holding back a whimper of defeat. I had lost. I knew it. I was at terms with it.

Defeated but not broken, I knew I could either wash my hair again (not a good idea since it was close to bedtime) or “set it” to dry. I decided on two twisted buns (basically two low pigtails, twisted until they are buns behind my ears, secured). One was up a bit higher than the other, but I was at a point where caring wasn’t priority. I went on about my business, hoping that I wouldn’t look too horrid the next day since I had to work.. I slept with my bonnet on, per the norm.

The next day I released the pigtails and did little else, but a little head tossing. Here was the morning look:


I did flat-iron the bangs. Excuse the blinding glare reflected by my forehead.

I wasn’t entirely unhappy. It was different from the usual (either flat-ironed or air-dried), and I welcomed the change. It wasn’t 100% dry, though. My hair takes forever to dry. I contemplated hitting it with the blowdryer, but thought that might be a bad idea. Throughout the day I fluffed it up a little bit. I couldn’t get a decent picture of it, though.

This was later in the day, completely dry, after fluffing.


I’ve let my hair dry like this before. It’s nice to revisit again as an option. It looks OK and I like it for something different. Since I just had my hair relaxed last week, my top was pretty flat. I’m not ditching the two-strand twists just yet, but I need a bit more time to review some tutorials.

Late Night HSN Purchase of Carol’s Daughter Products

The title says it all.

Tucking into bed, flipping on the television. Land on HSN. Mindless, semi-entertaining, no huge commitment. Bubbly, not likely to bring nightmares. It was that, or reality TV. I don’t often make purchases (the last one was 2 NFL Snuggies), but I like to zone out to it every now and then. Not long ago Jessica Simpson was on HSN (or QVC?), peddling products with her mom. It was great. The vacant expression and semi-incoherent product descriptions. Good TV. Recently I watched as an older male designer talked up the shirts he was selling (they looked like the geriatric fall preview). The models couldn’t even make the frocks look appealing, but the host and designer pitched on them as  if we were sitting side stage on the catwalk – and kept their faces straight as they did it. They’re good. And this is why I simply would not make a good salesperson. Seriously, that blue, pleated shirt that screams “grandma’s house circa 1980”  is a “must-have” addition to any woman’s wardrobe?

Back to the night of my purchase.

I think, subliminally, I had already heard of Carol’s Daugther products, so I was close to being sold anyway. Strap that in with a dose of fatigue and out comes the white flag of surrender. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time (or vice versa if I end up hating this product). My eyes were glued on the screen as the Carol’s Daughter representative talked, the HSN lady talked, they took a call, they showed hair models, and I dialed like a robot, beep-beep-beep, pressing all the right numbers until I was told my order was complete. The receiver went back on my princess phone, I beat myself up a bit mentally for being such easy prey, shrugged, and continued flipping through the channels.

It arrived today. Simple, yet attractive packaging. Smells pretty nice. But I’m quite sure that my big head of curls is going to eat up these tiny little (pricey) bottles in no time. Which doesn’t make me too happy. See, I’m a JUMBO sized conditioner person. I know, I know, I go to the salon and they talk all this junk about “dime-size, quarter-size” and “you don’t need as much because it is such good product” smack, but you know what? Live with me. Do my hair daily and you’ll see, girlfriend. It takes a handful of change to satisfy the conditioner requirement on my hair. Dime? Quarter? Shoot – sorry. Almost 3 decades and some odd years will confirm that I know my hair, and my hair likes more than a quarter. Thankyouverymuch.

So we’ll see. I’m going to use these products tomorrow, my “Best of the Best” set: Shampoo, Smoothie, Hair Milk & Hair Butter. I’ll let’cha know, good or bad, what I think.

Best Hair Straightener/Flat Iron

I’d like to purchase a hair straightener/flat iron. And a good one, ’cause I plan to use it.

I’ve recently gone from this:

to this:

Nine years of nappy natural hair. It was fun, and I may do it again. But before I went natural, I was relaxed; I wanted to revisit relaxing my hair. The lady who did it was skilled, and excited to work with “virgin” hair. She said that it was nice to be able to start with it and know what works. She learned (as I told her) my hair is VERY stubborn and hard to relax, and that she should have left it on the ends longer. Can’t blame her too much though. With her now knowing exactly what has touched my hair and how my hair works, I’m hoping to render even better results next time. She’d also like to use me for her next Relaxer Class in the fall, so I’ll get a free treatment, which is cool.

In the interim, I am on the search for a good, solid straightening iron for my hair. I have no clue where to start. I’ve seen them on QVC and infomercials, but have no clue where to start. Any recommendations?