Tag: hairdresser

Friday Feeling [20] – there are lots of ways to help with mental health

There’s a lot of media coverage about mental health lately, and rightly so; it’s important for such a widespread issue to be out in the open and for people to understand more about it. We’re talking more openly than ever about anxiety, depression and personality disorders, and hopefully it’s becoming less of a stigma.

But mental health isn’t just manifested mentally. It can have a physical effect too, and that can be as important to treat as the root cause.

This story about a teenager who had neglected herself so much through her depression that her hair was matted and looked beyond repair is a great representation of that physical manifestation. She felt so worthless and so low that she couldn’t be bothered to wash or brush her hair, and had just left it to it’s own devices. It was in such a state that she asked the hairdresser to shave it off in time for her upcoming school photographs.

But the hairdresser refused, instead dedicating time and patience to grooming the girl’s hair; detangling it and styling it over a period of 13 hours. And, at the end of it, the teenager said that she felt she could actually smile for her school photograph.

Depressed girl and hairdresser

The power of kindness, the power of feeling like someone cares, and even the power of looking good (as fickle as some people seem to think that is) can all help someone with depression to recover. How lovely that the hairdresser recognised that, and made the decision to nurture the suffering girl, rather than just take the easy route.

Read the full story here.

Thanks ,as always, for reading! x

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A hair revelation – the humble paddlebrush!

I’m not sure whether my arms aren’t long enough (!!) but I’ve never been able to master a blowdry. I get all of a tangle, and I can’t reach the back of my head, and the fact that I’m looking at the reflection of my limbs as opposed to the reality of where they are confuses me (yes I know I’m supposed to be a grown adult).

I’m also not very patient and, in truth, can’t be bothered with the length of time it would take to do after each wash.

As a result, straighteners are my friend. It means that I can just rough dry my hair on full heat as quickly as possible, embracing all it’s glorious frizziness, and then make it look like it’s not a pile of twigs I’ve attached to my head through the wonder of GHDs.

The only exception to this is when I’m on holiday, because it’s warm enough for my hair to dry quickly which creates rather lovely if wild and tempestuous wavy curls. The kind that work when you’re strolling round the beach wearing drapey dresses and sandals, but don’t work in real life in an office in the middle of an industrial estate.

So, how did this paddlebrush hair revelation come about? Honestly, it was as a result of me not being very great at being a girl. Again. I couldn’t find my own hairbrush. So I used the husband’s instead.

At this juncture I should point out that the husband is better at girls stuff than I am. Not wearing a dress and heels, or anything like that. But looking after himself and his appearance. He has a regular skin routine. He uses intensive conditioner and hair products. The background to that is that he has beautiful long surfy wavy blonde hair which is very thick and was getting tangled after washing, so his hairdresser suggested he buy a paddlebrush (oh yes, that’s another thing he’s better than me at – he goes to the hairdresser. I don’t). She said it would be kinder to his hair than combing when wet, and the padded bristle base would remove pressure on his head.

So, back to me using it. As I said, I couldn’t find my own so thought I’d make do with his. And the result was smooth hair that only needed straightening a little bit. I assumed it was just a fluke, so tried it a couple more times. The result was the same. Straight and smooth hair with a bit of oomph and bounce.

Unstraightened hair

I now very very rarely straighten my hair. In fact the husband uses the straighteners more than I do (surprise!) I haven’t adopted any technique, or spent any time drying in any particular way. I do exactly the same as previously; point the hairdryer and brush through.

Pretty chuffed tbh!

To finish, at risk of making the husband sound like a whimsical flaxen haired book character, he’s 6’2″, broad shouldered, with muscly arms and 2 full sleeve tattoos. It just so happens that he takes care of himself like a girl. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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My journey to red (ish) hair

So yesterday I declared that I am past hating my hair. It’s finally getting to a stage where I think we’ve turned a metaphorical corner, and I no longer cringe in the mirror and want to pull it out of my head.

Progress.

It’s been slow going but colouring it has definitely helped.

I first pondered going red a couple of months back, in an effort to get through the god awful in between stage of dull-boring-bobbed-notgrowingfastenough hair (which is entirely my own fault as I decided to cut it all off last October). I thought it would be fairly easy. I’ve been there before. OK, so I can’t get as red as I’d like (because I’m not willing to too lazy to bleach it; the upkeep sounds too much hassle) but by using an uber-bright Schwarzkopf dye I can at least get some semblance of red colour, albeit dark.

Me, around 4 years ago

Red

As of last summer I’d been dying my hair very dark brown for a while, but the roots were fading fairly quickly whereas the ends were saturated with colour and looked black. As I wanted my hair very dark, it seemed to make sense to proceed to a black dye. I’ve been stung by this before, about 13 years where I had to grow it out (ugh) so I only ever used semi-permanent. Because, by default, it’s not permanent, right?

Hmm.

I stripped it using a Colour B4 application (which I have used successfully on previous occasions).

Colour B4

But the semi permanent seems to have worked quite literally. But only the roots were truly stripped. The other half…wasn’t. The ends seemed to have retained their darkness, although this wasn’t apparent at first. Only when I put the red colour on did the roots go dark red and the ends black. The red wasn’t bleaching out the remnants of the black.

I had reverse ombre hair.

Blaming myself for not applying a “second coat” of stripper as I had first intended, I gave my poor barnet a break for a couple of weeks (during which time I shampooed religiously with clarifying shampoo to remove any build up) before stripping it again. Twice. If you’ve ever used a colour stripper then you’ll be familiar with the time consuming, laborious and stinky process. If you haven’t – it’s a very time consuming, laborious and stinky process. It took me a whole afternoon of application, sitting with my head wrapped in a carrier bag to retain heat, rinsing, boosting, rinsing, drying and then doing the whole bloody thing again.

I’ve had more interesting Saturdays.

The good news was that this time I was 100% sure all the black was gone. I had pictorial evidence. Look! Brown! (with a hint of ginger!)

Stripped hair

Next step was to try red again.

Schwarzkopf XXL red hair dye

Schwarzkopf hair dye

Well blow me if the previously black section of my hair didn’t go dark again! Admittedly it was dark red this time, very dark red. But I was still two tone.

I sought assistance and advice from the husband – a man who has no hesitation in laughing at me when I’ve cocked up.

And he said it looked OK!

Kooky.

Almost deliberate.

And so I stuck with it.

I’ve coloured it a few more times since then and each time the ends are getting slightly redder (or I’m kidding myself). Obviously, as it’s growing, I have more “naked” hair coming through which picks up the red. So I’m not going to redye it black (toys out of the pram reaction number one) or cut it all off again (toys out out of the pram reaction number two).

I’ve come up with three conclusions following this experience. You may think that one of them would be to go to a hairdresser in future. It’s not (I still can’t get over my fear of the hairdresser).

No, my three conclusions are:

  • Don’t use black dye – even semi permanent. EVER
  • If you’re not sure whether something has worked, it’s probably best to make absolutely sure before continuing with the next course of action
  • I have far more patience and sense of humour with my hair than I ever thought possible

I can categorically guarantee that I have only taken this in good humour because it was at my own hands and not particularly expensive. If this had happened via the hands of a hairdresser and cost me oodles of pounds (which of course, technically, it wouldn’t because they’re professionals), I’d have been apoplectic with rage. Even the fact that when I wear it up in a messy bun (because it’s now long enough to do that, hurrah!) I look like I’m wearing a fake clip on because of the colour difference is just about ok.

Here’s where I am right now. It looks different in different lights, sometimes very red, sometimes not (and absolutely nothing like the box!)

Me dark red hair

It might not be quite a crowning glory. But I no longer want to walk round with my head in an opaque bucket to hide it away. So that will do for now.

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