Beauty: Top Down – Hair


So, the beauty adventure has begun! I dedicated this past week to making my hair look cute. Now, I have a few factors working against me  The first is my hair.  It’s curly with a  chance of frizzy.  Double the frizz potential when the humidity gets over 20%, which is every day in the summer in DC. Then there’s the fact that my hair is fine, which means my frizz can reach really epic heights. Then there’s time.  I don’t have much in the mornings.   I wash my hair at night, slick it into a ponytail and sleep on it wet. Sometimes this works pretty well and I wake to reasonably tame hair that only needs some touching up with a hair dryer and round brush.  Then there are mornings when I wake up to this:

Yeah. I know. Moving on.

I have been looking at people whose hair I like lately and they all seem to be devotees of the flat iron. I am not a devotee of the flat iron.  I had a flat iron but I threw it out during our move in January when I pulled it out from under the bathroom sink and realized the time since I’d last used it could be measured in years. So, I tossed it. Which means this new hair adventure was a perfect excuse to go out and buy a shiny new flat iron! Thanks to my Twitterati I had a brand name in mind when I walked into Bed Bath and Beyond to shop for one (flat irons apparently count as “Beyond”.  Or maybe “Bath”.) I found a dandy one on sale for about $15 which fits right into my el cheap-o price range so I snapped that sucker right up and took it home.  What follows is the Flat Iron Diary of my first week attempting to tame the wild frizz.

Day One: Date Night! I want to look hot so I showered right before the sitter came.  I dried my hair then let the iron heat up. Wait.  Not heating.  WTF? Oh.  There’s an on switch. Right. OK, commence ironing! (20 minutes of combing, clipping and stroking my hair with hot metal later) It’s straight! It’s flat! It’s going totally unnoticed by my husband but the sitter, who is a good friend of mine, is complimentary. She might just be being nice though because I’m supposed to babysit her kid next weekend and insulting babysitters is a good way to ensure they feed your kid ice cream before bedtime so they’re still awake and wired when you get home.

Day Two: First workday doing hot hair. And first day with product.  I worked some straightening stuff through it after washing it last night.  It was old product though.  I found it in the back of my bathroom cabinet and the first few pumps of it were kind of viscous.  It’s probably ok though, right? I’m faster with the iron today but my hair looks greasy.  And limp.  And the ends look like a chewed up child’s paintbrush.  The kind you get in art class to do watercolors. Hmmm. I wonder when I last got it cut? (flips through calendar) Two months ago. Great. I’m getting it cut today if my stylist can work me in (three hours later, post-hair-cut) My hair looks fabulous! I should get it blown out everyday over lunch!

Day Three: I don’t know what my stylist did yesterday but I cannot replicate it. It started out ok but by noon my hair is bending in several different directions.  I resort to a clip. Voila! Instant hair repair! Ok, fine, it’s instant surrender. I suck at hair.

Day Four: I’m getting speedier at this hair thing and now that I’m doing this product-free, my hair looks less greasy.  I usually don’t use product because my hair is so fine that putting much of anything in it makes me look like a guy from Jersey who owns stock in a gel company. Every once in a while, though I buy product thinking it will be better and it never is.  But I persist in trying and wind up with the results I got a couple of days ago.

Day Five: Motherf@cking iron gave me a second degree burn on my finger. But my hair looks cute! I consult a co-worker who confirms that continuing to style hair despite burned finger is totally normal even though stopping to run cold water on the burn probably would have prevented the blister.  We suffer for beauty!  Well, I suffer for dubious results. For some reason the ends look splayed out  matter what I do with the iron. Coworker’s hair looks really good.  Maybe I could get her to teach me some tricks.

Day Six: Home with sick kid.  If you think I’m doing my hair, you are nuts.

Day Seven: Saturday! I wash my hair in the morning for once and let it curl naturally.  It’s really cute.  And way easier than using the iron. And I didn’t burn myself.  Think my husband would object if I started showering in the morning for the sake of cuter hair?

Conculsions: This hair thing is clearly going to be an on-going process.  I am determined not to give up on the iron and stow it under the sink for years on end this time but I may not make it an every day thing.  And I might see if there’s a way to get my curls to work with night washing.  I’ll report on my findings at a later time.

Next week in Beauty Top Down: Skin care!

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19 comments for “Beauty: Top Down – Hair

  1. June 22, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I think I’m gonna love this series! I just looked through the series of photos from Lila’s first year…. my hair progressively gets shorter every few months…. Now it’s wash, blow dry the front so I don’t get some goofy elvis wave, product, scrunch ‘n go… :0)

  2. June 22, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I love my flat iron… but yeah it’s a chore. And I burn myself…. a lot.

  3. Lynn
    June 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

    ooh, i like the curly from saturday! very cute. of course, i always wished for curly hair. the times my mom got me a perm when i was younger–they fell out after a week. that isn’t supposed to happen.

    destined for straight hair. that’s me.

  4. June 22, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Hmm…I’m on the other side of the “flat hair” tracks. I also have very fine hair, but it is *straight*. When it’s humid, it’s extra straight plus extra limp. Any curl I try to put into it is summarily defeated by “limp” within an hour. I have the same problem with product tho. Stylists don’t seem to – they can load my hair up with tons of crap & it looks good. I spray a teensy bit &….well, it goes bad. Very bad.

  5. Jenny
    June 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Let your hair curl! I have been consulting with curly-haired folks for help with Elsie’s hair and was directed to this website: http://www.wikihow.com/Follow-the-Curly-Girl-Method-for-Curly-Hair

    Her hair is looking so much less frizzy and insane, and I’m glad cause otherwise we were gonna cut it way short until she demanded long hair and could deal with it herself.

  6. June 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I love it curly! I have half curly/half straight hair and I go back and forth with what I like to do. If I do curly then I have to get a perm to get the curl to be uniform. If I do straight then I have to spend forever and a day straightening it (I have one of those round brush blower thingys–>yes, that is it’s technical name). Currently I am in a ponytail mode with the excuse that S will pull on my hair if I wear it down. Anyone buying it? No? Thank goodness my husband does. 😉

  7. June 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    as a fellow curly girl, who tries to tame her mane with an iron, i say GO CURLY! i lived in hawaii for 4 years and learned to embrace the curl in all its glory! people are so jealous of girls with curls, i’ve learned. i use a creme based product, and very little at that, scrunch them up and let em go. the more humid, the prettier the curls. and don’t ever touch them, because that brings on the frizz.

    your curls are beautiful, by the way!

  8. June 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    My hair is fine, but not curly – in fact it mostly just clings to my head. – unless it is super dry – then it sticks straight up! 😉

    I like it curly…but I am jealous of curls and waves.

  9. CaGirl
    June 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Use a small amount of heat protectant spray first. Try angling the flat iron as you get to the ends to curl them under a little bit. Also, use a small (dime size) amount of Moroccan Oil on your hair when you’re done – it tames any leftover frizzies, is good for your hair & smells amazing! Finally, try only washing your hair every 2nd or 3rd day. My hair used to be 1-inch long cause I was sick of dealing with really fine hair that was half wavy & half straight. My goddesses of a hairdresser taught me these tricks & now it’s past my shoulders! I wash & flat iron it at night & then have 2-3 days where I just run a brush through it in the morning & I’m ready to go. (I do use a shower cap to keep the moisture in there from making it frizzy in the mornings.) Good luck with the rest of beauty top down!

  10. CaGirl
    June 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Use a small amount of heat protectant spray first. Try angling the flat iron as you get to the ends to curl them under a little bit. Also, use a small (dime size) amount of Moroccan Oil on your hair when you’re done – it tames any leftover frizzies, is good for your hair & smells amazing! Finally, try only washing your hair every 2nd or 3rd day. I wash & flat iron it at night & then have 2-3 days where I just run a brush through it in the morning & I’m ready to go. (I do use a shower cap to keep the moisture in there from making it frizzy in the mornings.) Good luck with the rest of beauty top down!

  11. CaGirl
    June 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Use a small amount of heat protectant spray first. Try angling the flat iron as you get to the ends to curl them under a little bit. Also, use a small (dime size) amount of Moroccan Oil on your hair when you’re done – it tames any leftover frizzies, is good for your hair & smells amazing! Finally, try only washing your hair every 2nd or 3rd day. (I do use a shower cap to keep the moisture in there from making it frizzy in the mornings.) Good luck with the rest of beauty top down!

  12. CaGirl
    June 22, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Use a small amount of heat protectant spray first. Try angling the flat iron as you get to the ends to curl them under a little bit. Also, use a small (dime size) amount of Moroccan Oil on your hair when you’re done – it tames any leftover frizzies, is good for your hair & smells amazing! Finally, try only washing your hair every 2nd or 3rd day.

  13. CDG
    June 22, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I went with the wet/dry flat iron and it changed my life! I blow the roots dry for volume, then iron the still damp hair dry.

    I do not do that every day. Or even every week. But oh, when I do! I am 33 and I have finally learned to do my hair!

  14. KLZ
    June 23, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Hair is one of my enemies. At any place on my body.

  15. June 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Love the diary of hair! And the pictures are fab! I have a cabinet full of products that are “guaranteed” to not be greasy…. though they must be in the back of the cabinet for some reason. hmm..ok,no you do not want them. And I think that showering in the am for the sake of cute hair is absolutely reasonable 🙂

  16. June 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I don’t have curly hair myself (more like super thick and mostly straight except for the parts that aren’t, sigh). But I’ve read several stories of people swearing by the infrequent shampooing solution. There’s even a movement called “no poo” (ick) that skips shampoo entirely and just rinses with water. The idea is that your scalp’s natural oils are much better at keeping your hair soft than any artificial shampoo or product. I tried it and I just got thick, limp hair–but YMMV.

  17. June 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I permed my hair a couple of times and the curl never went away but it’s not huge curly just wavy and annoying. I also have really fine hair so NO PRODUCT! I can NEVER get it to do what the stylist does and I watch her every move. I thought about getting one of those things you see on TV that flatten your hair by rolling it flat but I wouldn’t be able to work it I’m sure. I am so hair challenged. I totally feel your pain!! If I wash mine at night it’s limp and nasty the next day. If I wash it in the morning it just does its thing. I tried a flat iron and failed. I just fully give up. I am growing mine out and I have no idea what I’ll do with it when it gets there.

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