Thursday, 20 February 2014

Looking after my Locks

Memories of hair disasters, lessons learned, and a few new products to try.

Well, I have to say, it’s been quite a journey.  The ups and downs of the past two years have been a struggle, and there have been times when I thought I’d never make it through.  Torturous impatience and moments of sheer despair have had me on the brink of giving up, becoming a quitter, throwing in the towel.  But, determinedly, I battled on, and finally I made it... yes, I managed to grow my hair!

Before, and...

I’m pretty lucky I guess in that I have (at least for now) a good, thick, strong head of hair - despite the abuse I’ve inflicted upon it over the years.  In my youth, I was, shall we say, quite experimental with hair and beauty and believe me I’ve had no end of disasters in my time.

I remember once, as a petulant, know-it-all, teenager being told by my regular hairdresser (Ian, of the rather ‘trendy’ at the time ‘Heads by Dove’ salon) that he “couldn’t possibly perm over bleach flashes” (now, now, don’t laugh... it was the 80’s!) Both infuriated and disgusted with his lack of enthusiasm, and his unwillingness to support my natural creative flair in hair design, I decided to go in search of a new hairdresser – I’d show him!

So there I was, a day or two later, having managed to find a suitably disreputable salon, willing to carry out the cardinal sin of perming over bleach, wishing my new hair-do was nothing more than a nightmare.  Oh my, that is exactly what it was, a terrible, terrible nightmare!

I will never forget the look of horror on the face of the poor trainee, (who’d been unfairly given the impossible task of creating something less than disastrous from a mixture of peroxide and perm lotion), when she carefully removed the towel turban to reveal the true horror of the chemical reaction which had just taken place on my head!  My hair had an interesting and unexpected tinge of khaki green, and was the texture of cotton wool (soggy cotton wool!) – I know... served me bloody-well right!  Anyhow, long story short, it cost my poor mother an absolute fortune to get the mess put right with a series of consultations, colour building sessions and conditioning treatments at a fancy city centre salon – thank you mum, you were a life-saver and I am eternally grateful!

So, did I learn my lesson?  No, I didn’t!  In fact I continued to ‘express my individuality’ and experiment with hair, fashion and make-up for many years to come, creating one hideous look after another.  It’s a wonder I have any hair (or skin) left at all!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really one for getting stuck in a rut, and still like to play around a little with my ‘look’ from time to time. In fact, thinking about it, over the course of the past eight years or so, I’ve gone from long to short and back again, and from blonde to brunette (with every shade of blondish-brown in between).  As a result of one particular change of hair colour, just a few years ago, I actually suffered a very nasty chemical burn on my scalp (at the hands of a so-called reputable salon) which resulted in a trip to A&E! Luckily this happened during the winter months, meaning I could at least cover up the disaster with a hat until it healed some weeks later.

With all that said, I’m well aware that I am now a little older (and wiser?!), and my philosophy on hair and beauty these days generally tends to be ‘less is more’. I realise that beauty blunders are not so easily ‘styled-out’ in my post-forty years as they were in my teens and early twenties, and so I try to go with what I already have, rather than against it.  This also means trying to treat my hair and skin with a little more TLC than perhaps I have in the past (stable door after horse has bolted does spring to mind but hey, better late than never!)

In conclusion, having passed through the pain barrier that is the ‘in-between-stage’ of hair growth, and having achieved my goal of short to shoulder-length, I’m determined to make it all worthwhile.

So, after a very useful and informative chat with my hairdresser, I’ve taken the following first steps in my quest for luscious, long locks:

1. Ditch the products I’ve been using lately (apparently, rather than leaving me looking like Cat Deeley, they are instead doing nothing more than stripping my hair of colour and nourishment), and replace them with quality salon shampoo, conditioner and a leave-in treatment.  These products will, I’m advised, smooth the cuticles leaving my hair soft, detangled and shiny, at the same time as providing effective heat protection.

2. Invest in a good oil, and use it regularly.  Ojon Rare Blend Oil, claims to be ‘Total Hair Therapy’ and is just the product to help boost moisture, nourish, repair, tame frizz, prevent heat damage and reveal dazzling shine.  Wow! (actually I’ve been using this for a while now, and it is pretty special stuff).

3. Brush regularly with something that doesn’t tug and take half my hair out in the process.  Sounds simple and obvious, but pain-free de-tangling is something that has always evaded me and my hair care routine, that is until I discovered the ‘Tangle Teezer’.  Not quite sure how it works, but it does!

and finally...

4. Give my hair regular breaks from heat-damage, by sometimes leaving it to dry naturally and wearing it up for a change.

Hopefully, if I stick to a good hair-care routine, and if these products actually deliver on their claims, I will shortly be boasting a shiny, frizz free, beautifully de-tangled, head of hair. Fingers-crossed J

Happy Hair-dos!

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