Tag Archives: beauty

Curly girl update

I know that you’re all anxiously awaiting the results of my curly girl experiments.  Today I went for my little every-six-week touch-up and had some layering done to my hair.  I had the stylist use curly product and diffuse-dry my hair. 

Here you go!  I’m pretty happy and, while I’ve laid out a bit of cash over the past few weeks on product, it’s been way easier to deal with my mane and it’s been less frizzy and more manageable than ever.




Why does this woman have a t-shirt on her head?


It’s a glamourous life I lead.

Please, if you aren’t interested in hair care sagas, move along.

All my life, I’ve had wavy, coarse hair, which apart from a dalliance with perms in my 20s, I pretty much kept short as an adult.  Something happened when I hit my late forties… It felt too perky and mannish or something.  So I started to grow it out.

During this grow-out phase, I also decided to let me grey emerge.  With some strategic highlights and avoiding mirrors, I had about an inch or so of growth before my sweetheart commented that I was too young to let this happen to me.  I’m probably 75% grey and I suspect he wasn’t ready to be married to an older woman.  His culture is one of dark haired 75-year-olds, so it kinda made sense, even though he’s probably 99% grey.  So I stepped back onto the colour treadmill.

The in-between stages of the grow-out were painful, but every time i had a blowout at a salon, my hair was soft and straight and lovely.  Problem was that I couldn’t reproduce this at home.  My hair constantly looked frizzy, wonky, and to my dear mathematician husband’s dismay, asymmetrical.

My sister passed me a plastic tupperware container of “curly” hair product and suggested that I give it a try.  It was an improvement, but I was still spending far too much time fixing and drying and flat-ironing and messing around in my bathroom.

I had read some time ago about the “curly girl” revolution, sparked by Lorraine Massey’s seminal tome Curly Girl: A Celebration of Curls: How to Cut Them, Care for Them, Love Them, and Set Them Free.  There’s a website devoted to all things curly called naturallycurly.com.  You can find Massey’s hair classification system for different types of curly hair at the website.  I’m a 2(c):  “Wavy plus thick and coarse and a little resistant to styling and will frizz easily.”  There are lots of product recs and a forum to discuss hair, which is a bit much for me, but I did peruse it to get some product tips.

The philosophy espoused by Massey and her disciples is to work with your hair to bring out it’s natural essence.  My sister has been harping (nicely) on me about this for some time but it wasn’t until I started reading about how to actually do this that I decided to give it a try.

The main steps seem to be as follows:

  • Stop shampooing and use conditioner to clean the scalp. Sulphate in shampoo lead to frizz.
  • Use a ton of conditioner on your hair and leave it on as long as you can. Rinse it out in cool water. Consider leave-in conditioners as well.
  • Stay away from products with silicone in them
  • Stay away from towel drying other than patting. Use a microfibre towel or cotton tshirt to wrap your head for the first stage of drying.
  • No hairbrushes or blow dryers, other than a diffuser.  Keep your hands out of your hair.
  • Product is your friend.  Find ones that work for your hair.

I haven’t been a big shampooer for a few months.  Maybe once a week. So I’m good to go on that front.  I have slathered on conditioner and run a wide tooth comb through my hair in the shower to work it in.  After squeezing my hair dry, I put in product (some styling cream and soem gel) and  I hang my head over and wrap it in an old large tshirt.  After 20 minutes or so, remove towel, don’t touch hair (especially, don’t run your fingers through it as this breaks up the curls!). 

I did this two days ago and got quite nice waves, a surprising crop in fact.  I’m working it again today, and this time I added some gel before the towel to see how that looks.  I noticed two days ago that I had a patch of frizz on one side of my head and I suspect that I missed that area with the curl cream, so I paid more attention today to get all areas covered.  

I need to get my hair cut to avoid the triangle-head phenomenon common with blunt cuts, and my roots are screaming, but I’m pretty happy with this new hair freedom.  I’ll put up some pics of my finished hair later today.

Almost 50 and still causing a stir.

At the behest of my dear husband, who never says a negative word about my appearance or behaviour, I decided to go back to covering my gray.  I had it done this morning, plus some highlights, and it looks great I must say.  I look younger and less tired, just in time for our romantic trip to Rome next week.

I dropped into a local fast-food joint on my walk home from the salon and settled in to my burger and book, when a gentleman sat down at the table next to me.  I live in a very Jewish neighborhood, and this guy totally reminded me of my (Jewish) father:  one of those older guys, not too tall, thinning grey hair and, ahem, a relaxed look about his clothing. You know, sort of loose fitting trousers, a short sleeved mostly polyester button up shirt, and a plaid wool jacket over top.  (My father was a cardiologist and no doubt made quite a good living, but his casual clothes made him look like your neighborhood Home Hardware salesman.*)  

Shortly thereafter, a similar looking fellow walks up and exclaims “There you go again, Mort…sitting next to the most gorgeous gal in the place!  Every time I see you, it’s the same thing!”  

Mort:  “Don’t start with me. We’ve got business to do.  Leave the poor gal alone….she’s trying to read.” 

“But did you see….?”

Mort shakes his newspaper at the friend, exclaiming “Enough already.  Get me some coffee…there’s something I want you to read.”

My eyes were boring holes into my book at this point, and I’m trying to stifle a smile, but I have to say, it made my day.  It’s even possible I did a little hair flip when I turned the page



*And it’s true.  One time I was in a hardware store with him when I was about eight, and someone came up to him and asked him for help with some paint.

Seven Quick Takes Friday



For the past week, I have been trying the so-called “no-poo” method of hair management.  This involves ditching shampoo and using a baking soda paste to “wash” and some apple cider (or other) vinegar as a rinse/conditioner.  I have to say, it’s working remarkably well!  I don’t have before and after pics, but my hair is much smoother and less frizzy than normal.  I can also go an extra day (or two) between washes, which is a good thing with my coarse mop.  The second time I did it, I forgot to get some vinegar so I just skipped that step and it was still fine!  I’m using my regular styling products plus a new tool….


Ever since I’ve started growing my hair out, I have bemoaned the fact that I can’t get it to lie flat like my stylist can, with just a hair dryer and a round brush.  I can’t seem to put the hair tight enough to dry it flat, and let’s just forget about the back side of my head.  I had been contemplating getting a flat iron for some time, and I picked one up at Winners earlier this week.  Can I just say that I lurve it.  Seriously.  I am not a hair freak in any way, nor do I pay very much attention to my appearance in general, but this little (zebra-striped) baby is fabulous!  I’m probably frying my hair or something, but it gets it nice and straight and kind of soft.  I’m a convert.

While we’re on the subject of hair, I am considering letting my grey grow out.  I estimate that I’m over 50% grey, at least at the front.  After perusing Going Gray Looking Great and requesting the book at the library, I’m going to talk to my stylist and see if she can do some magic with a combination of low-lights and highlights to let my grey come in without looking like a skunk.

Okay, enough about my hair.  (And I said that I didn’t really care about it….)  The Declutter Club started on Monday with an online chat for an hour, which was great.  There were over a dozen of us online, plus some who couldn’t make it.  I’ve been working hard on getting my living room bookshelves into shape, purging books, listing some to sell, giving some away, and generally sorting through all kinds of papers and junk that I had stuffed in various places.  Next week, I will start working on a large former TV cabinet that I’m now using for linen and candle storage.  I want to get this unit out of my house, so I’ve got to find a home for all the stuff inside it.


The print editions of the National Post and The Star reported that Target is considering coming to Canada in the next 3-5 years.  Target, along with Trader Joes, were the big losses when we left the US 2-1/2 years ago.    Oh, and real barbeque.  Heavenly days!

Alex is coming home from Queen’s for the weekend.  Apparently, a lot of people are going skiing this weekend and he’ll find it hard to study.  Yes, you read that right.  We’ll see how much studying gets done at home.  And I need to remind him to turn off his file-sharing software on his computer….luckily for us Bell caps internet overusage at $30 per month.  We could have been hit by an extra $300 last month for whatever it is that he does.

I requested and received reservations for two papal masses when we’re in Rome over Easter.  We’ll be able to attend the Holy Thursday mass at St. John Lateran (cool VR tour) and the Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s.  Those letters are my favorite faxes of all time!  Now I need to book a tour of the Vatican Museum.