Posts Tagged 'hair'

Shower Headband Book

Today I awoke to the harsh realization that for maybe the 5th time in a year, there was no hot water. This manages to magically happen overnight each time, and I’d say that 4 out of the 5 times this has happened I’ve been buck naked standing with my hand under the faucet, pleading hot water to come out because I need to be at work soon.

Then I am forced to go to work all greasy and gross and ripe from the day before. Okay, greasy and gross and ripe in MY OPINION. Though I did spray myself very thoroughly with Body Shop Cranberry body spray, which in my mind, can cover the smell of most anything. I literally boiled water so that I could wash my hair, because not washing my hair is something I just can’t deal with.

I also realized that if I don’t have a shower in the morning, it’s mostly my hands that don’t feel clean, which is completely insane because hands are pretty much the easiest thing to wash. I don’t know what it is about the shower, but whatever happens during those, what, 10 minutes? It’s magic.

So I sat at my desk all day, greasing it up and feeling pretty gross. Hopefully the water is back to normal now so that I can go home and have a proper, water-wasting 15 minute shower to wash off the day. I can’t take it! I must shower!

Things would be different if I lived in the woods. You just end up so dirty finally that you maintain a nice stasis of dirtiness and don’t really need to bathe. But I am not in the woods, I am in downtown Vancouver…which I suppose is right near a forest, but lets not make rash decisions.

For whatever reason I also decided to “spice” things up a bit and throw on a headband, which is just another way I like to torture myself. Must every headband on earth dig like a motherfucker into my skull? Apparently the answer is yes. We all know I can’t wear those round headbands because of my slanty skull, but sometimes I like to throw a nice regular headband into the mix. I should have really thought that through though because I wear glasses, which also take up the exact area code that headbands like to live. They’ve been dueling all day for ‘prime skull crushing’ territory, and I’m pretty sure that it’s the glasses that are going to win. Sorry headband, we tried but things aren’t really working out for me. I want to see other people.

In some other sucky, first-world news, I ordered the other Stephenie Meyer books on Sunday night, foolishly thinking they’d arrive within the week. Apparently, amazon.ca has other ideas. Namely the date of December 3rd. I’m hoping this is just a rouse and I will magically have all the books tomorrow, but seeing as how this week is turning into a shitfest, I’m thinking they will probably arrive next week. Sigh. Steve tried to cheer me up when I asked him what else I should read in the meantime (I’ve already devoured the partial draft of Midnight Sun) and he sent me this book jacket:

Which has more wonderful elements than a girl can really ask for. My favorite part is the open fly on the cover. So suggestive!

Caca review

I thought I had lost my post about the caca brun hair henna, but apparently it posted last night without me noticing, so the following is my account of the process and outcome.  It is quite an epic post, but I think it will answer most questions about the process and outcome.  Feel free to ask any questions though, and I’ll try to post a photo as well.

First of all, it apparently is really supposed to translate to sh*t, because they call it the “no sh*t hair dye.”  I’m thinking maybe “sans caca” would mean more in the way of a “no sh*t” hair dye, at least to me.  Or why didn’t they just call it henna hair dye?  Is that trademarked??

Also, in Canadian dollars, the block cost me $18.95 pre-tax, which is more expensive than regular old hair dye, but if you have up to say, a little past shoulder length hair, you’ll only need half the blocks, so that makes it around $10 each time you dye it.

Another thing to note before I explain my hair outcome, is that this stuff stinks to high heaven.  It just stinks, I can’t explain it any better.  I was advised to use espresso as the fluid instead of water, so I did, and that made it smell even worse.  Some people like the smell of henna though, but I’d say that’s maybe only 5% of the population.  From the reviews I read, around 50% of the people who try this stuff get a pounding headache from the smell.  Some websites suggested putting essential oils into the mix, but I didn’t have the time to go looking for essential oils, so I had to go without.

They suggest you grate the blocks into a non-metal dish (something about henna reacting to metal), which I did, but let me tell you, I can cheese grate with the best of ’em, but I had to stop more than a few times and rest my arm.  Because it’s a fairly hard block, it is hard to grate, and it takes longer than you would think.  And it gets on your hands as it sort of melts, and then the smell starts to appear.  Stinkus-maximus.  I ended up trying to chop the rest up because I couldn’t deal with grating it.  Maybe if I tried to prep that part a few days in advance I wouldn’t have gotten fed up, but I did and I chopped.

The various instructions I read also stated that you shouldn’t pour boiling water into the brown dye because that will change the molecules.  I don’t know if that’s really true, but I’d rather not have to walk around with green hair, so I just used the hottest tap water I could to make the espresso.

So you mix it to this paste that’s kind of like a thick, thick sour cream.  I couldn’t get the little chunks to melt, and I stirred and stirred.  No dice.  I assume that the boiling water would have come in handy at that point.  I just plopped it on my head with a few chunkles in it anyway.  I started with my front hairline.  THIS WAS A MISTAKE.  Basically, you are putting mud on your head, thick, sort of sandy mud. Once you paint some on your head, you’ll be hard-pressed to try and part your hair with a comb, your fingers, a fork, your dog….ANYTHING.

It will also start to dry as you put it on.  I read a good suggestion that it’s best to sort of hold your head over a tub and apply it from back to front.  I found it really difficult to get into the middle of the hair pile, which is usually pretty easy with regular dye because it’s so pliable.  My solution for that was just slopping a shitload of henna on after I was mostly done and just mashing it around.

When it dries it also starts to crack a little bit off of your head, so it’s very messy, and it will dye anything that it touches (the same as regular dye).  You don’t get gloves, so I used my hands.  Most of the dye washed off my hands, but they are slightly greenish-tinged on my palms.  Really not noticeable, but since my hands are attached to me, I noticed it. You can usually buy a pair of rubber gloves from the pharmacy counter, in case you need to know where to get gloves.

After I got all the dye on, I had to wrap my hair in cling wrap to help the color develop.  I HIGHLY recommend this, as the henna will dry and crumble off of you otherwise.  This also took the punch out of the smell, making it more tolerable.

The instructions recommend that you leave the dye on a minimum of 2 hours, up to 8 hours.  Really, unless I slept on it and wrecked my sheets, I wouldn’t be able to sit around for 8 hours waiting for color to develop.  I only lasted 3 hours.  I was noticing the smell too much and it was making me sick, so I went to the tub to wash it out.

Washing it out is another ordeal. It didn’t harden on my head because it was only on 3 hours and it had cling wrap over it, so that was good.  Basically it’s like washing mud out of your hair.  This is where the little clumps became an issue.  I spent probably 30 minutes rinsing my hair, if not more.  I tried to get it out faster and detangle by using a cheapy conditioner in large amounts, rinsing, applying more, rinsing, etc.  This helped, but my hair still smelled entirely like henna and coffee, so I had to use shampoo, and then conditioner.

I washed my hair again this morning and I can still smell the henna, if that’s any indicator of how much the smell sticks to your hair.

When I dried it the first time I noticed the ends of my hair were sort of green/blue, which scared me, but as I looked closer in the mirror, I realized that it was just more henna residue on part of my head.  I washed it again, and even this morning I had to wash a portion of my hair in the sink as the residue seemed to want to stick to this one part of my hair.  I haven’t heard of anyone else having that problem though.

As for the payoff, colour-wise I got a nice, shiny dark brown that blended the new roots with the darker portions.  I also had a nice weird strip of hair that was a bit lighter in between the new growth and the point which I dyed my hair from a golden sort of orange to deep brown, and the henna covered that as well.  I’ll have to see how the color develops, as apparently it takes a few days to experience what the final result will be.  So far my hair is nice and shiny, and it feels really nice and healthy.

I feel like if you want a drastic change in color that this stuff might not be what you’re looking for.  Basically, my natural hair is a bit mousy, so I am just trying to make it more vibrant, and this stuff does that.  I wouldn’t do it again without essential oils to try and cover the smell.  It made me feel sick, so I had to take two Tylenol, and it’s still sort of wafting into my nose today.

I think I will try again though, now that I’ve tried and know what the consistency is.  I may even just try another brand of henna, as I am sort of trying to move away from chemicals right now.  Any organic grocery store probably has henna as well, so there are options other than the caca block.  If the henna comes pre-ground, I’d probably go for that over having to grate the block myself.  I also don’t really like the idea of shelling out $20 on a trial because you can’t buy it in smaller blocks.

I just wish there was a way to get rid of the awful smell!  Smells really set me off, so this was not exactly pleasant.  And sitting around with plastic wrap on my head made me sort of antsy.  I think that’s because I’m used to the fragrance of chemical dye, and the fact that I usually only wait like 25 min for the color to develop.

If you are committed to trying to be more eco-friendly though, and gentle on your hair and scalp, I suggest trying it out, even though I had a number of complaints.  I think as I do it more, I’ll get better.  If the color doesn’t stay on well, I may pass on the Lush brand again, and opt to try another brand.  I’m not sure how the dye is priced at other places?  Possibly better, possibly not?  Lush also sells 3 colors I believe, a red, a brown, and a black.  I read complaints that the caca brun was dying a few people’s hair reddish, but that didn’t happen to me.  I managed to rid my hair of most of the red though, so perhaps these people had some red in their hair to begin with?

If you have any gray hairs please be cautious.  I’ve read that because the structure of gray hair is different, it absorbs henna with a VERY bright colour payoff.  I don’t know if I’d use this stuff if I had light hair.  It’s also tricky because there are no swatches to reference.  There are a lot of photos on the Lush message board though, a lot of before and after, but a lot of the people also don’t know how to take a close-up photo without it being terribly blurry.  I think it will give you an idea of what the expected outcome can be.

Also be cautious if you’ve dyed your hair chemically within the past month.  Try perhaps strand testing first.  Some people have had their hair go green due to a chemical reaction between the dye set in their hair and the henna.  I know my hair well, so I know it reacts reasonably well to henna, and back again.  My suggestion for a strand test is to pull some hair out of your brush (enough of a clump that you’ll be able to see the change in colour) and put that in some henna and then rinse.

If you are feeling less risky, you can find professional hairdressers that use henna, you just might have to hunt.  My last henna experience was maybe 6 months ago, and I got it done at a salon.  It was red henna, and my hair has trouble keeping the best of reds, so this stuff came out within 2 weeks (BUMMER). This, with a haircut cost me about $150.  However, if you want a nice brown, I would think the colour would stick better for the cost because the molecules are smaller. I’ve been dying my hair since I was 12 and my hair feels just as silky with henna as with chemical dye.  I’ll keep you updated on the status of the “wash out factor” though.

In conclusion, I give the Lush henna a 3/5.  It’s pretty messy, pretty stinky, takes a long time, is hard to grate, and hard to clean up (tub cleaning took another 1/2 hour).  HOWEVER, I think I would still choose this a few more times before moving back to a chemical dye because it’s better for your hair, conditions your hair, leaves it nice and shiny, is much better for the environment, and will likely improve in application with practice.

Caca for your hair?!

So I’m sitting here with henna on my hair, and have been for TWO HOURS.  Here’s what the Lush website had to say:

“Caca Brun is a spiced brown henna to give your hair a deep brown gloss with ground coffee added to deepen the color. We use nettles for extra shine. While the henna is working on your color, the nettle powder helps to condition your scalp. This Caca is for those who want to give their mousy brown hair a deeper, more defined color and have it shine like a well-buffed teak tabletop.”

Awww yeah, tabletop hair! Apparently trying to treat your scalp and hair better means that you have to find many, many hours to sit with this on your hair.  Basically, you break the henna block up and grate two or more blocks into a bowl.  Then you add water, or coffee, or tea (just to try and help the color develop) and you plop it on your head.

caca

I didn’t have any gloves, so now my hands are sort of greenish brown.  Aaaand it’s going to take a while to wash it off.  Blerg!  Oh, and did I mention that I had to wrap my head in plastic wrap too?  I look ridiculous.

And it also stiiiiiinks.  Sort of like pot and burnt hay?  I’ve read reviews of chicks keeping this on their head for 8 hours.  WHO HAS THAT KIND OF TIME?  I guess it’s something you’ve got to do on a full day of cleaning or something.  Anyhoos, I am sort of sick of the smell, and now it’s been 3 hours, so I’m gonna wash it out and see what happens…

Tangle Jangle

This weekend consisted of two things.  Me finding out I had a hole in my favorite pair of jeans, and then me realizing that my hair is returning to a tangled mess.  I don’t know how to solve either of these!
Basically I’ve gone to about 15 stores looking for jeans.  I just want relatively skinny jeans that aren’t ridiculously expensive.  I must have tried on 10 pairs of pants, and only one was close to fitting, but it said, “CAUTION: The colour on these pants may bleed onto other fabric.”  What?!  I’ve had this happen on the odd occasion, but I’ve never received a warning in advance.  Why would they do this?  There wasn’t anything mentioned about the dye helping them fade properly, like you’d see with raw denim.  Maybe I’m just too cheap to shell out for “premium” denim.  Oh wait, I AM.  I even went to Old Navy, but they don’t have any skinny jeans.  WHYYYYY?  
Ok, let’s get real, I own a pair of blak jeans, and then tow pairs of wide leg jeans, and then a pair of straight leg jeans.  I’m sure I could survive.  The skinny jeans are the old steadfast, but I cannot find a pair in sight.  
There happens to be a store by my work that sells only jeans. Very good news.  However, I believe their pants START at $100 and go up to $800.
“I’ll have your finest pair of your cheapest jeans, please!” I am so refined.
Okay, I am willing to go upwards of $120 for a REALLY, REALLY amazing pair of jeans, but if I don’t have to, I don’t want to.  At least not right now.  Because your clothing wearing out right before Xmas?  SUCKS. Excuse me while I go put on my barrel dress with rope suspenders.
And then we come back to my never-ending hair issues.  TANGLES!  WILL THE MADNESS END?!  I thought I struck gold with this crazy Burt’s Bees shampoo/conditioner combo, but over the last two weeks it’s been crazy tangle madness.  All-natural shampoo/conditioner has been nice though.  I feel like I’ve got some kind of buildup or something?  Buildup and tangles?  Mmmm yeah, I am making myself sound REAL nice and classy.
I can’t find kids detangling shampoo anywhere near me.  Are there no kids in downtown Vancouver?  Are there no tangles?!  WHAT’S GOING ON?!?!? I plan on scouring the city until I detangle my damn hair.  You know what works?  That stuff you use after you dye your hair.  Why do they not sell bottles of this?!  Is it so I’ll keep dying my hair?  I have never found something that has worked as well, and I’ve tried a bajillion brands of conditioner.
I have too much time on my hands.

Case of the Slanty Skull

I’ll admit it.  I can’t wear headbands.  I have maybe one that doesn’t give me a splitting headache, and the rest make me want to pass out.  You know the ones.  Those headbands that dig into your skull so badly that you want to drill a hole in your temples.  Yes.  Those ones.
And then there’s those large elastic band ones, the ones that go around your whole head.  I can’t wear those because I have some sort of magical slanty head and the back of my skull won’t support them!  They slide right off!  It’s like I have no skull back there!  Just a ramp!
I thought maybe if I just teased my hair a bit at the back that I could make it work with this pretty little ribbon headband, but then this morning I noticed the regular headband headache popping up, and there I was, taking off another headband because my poor skull can’t deal with it!
Does anyone else have a weirdly-shaped cranium?  I can wear hats, but no headbands.  Except this one little headband that somehow doesn’t give me a splitting headache.  A nice purple one with a bow.  Because bows are great.
What is it with girls and their hair?  I can only count maybe a handful of items that I can actually put in my hair that don’t give me  a headache.  And then there’s that glorious moment at the end of the day when you take the elastic out of your hair and rub the spot where it was.  Ooooh that’s good.  It’s like taking off a pair of heels.  Except most of the time you don’t notice the elastic punishing your skull.  Oh but to take the elastic out at the end of the day, that is one of life’s pleasures as a woman.
Now I’m off to take Advil to cure my headband headache!  Boo!

February 2017
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