Friday, May 2, 2008

The hair issues

Okay. So, for my whole life (or at least since 13, when I realized I could do something besides a brush and a ponytail) people have LOVED my hair. And while I like it most days, it's a vicious cycle, a lot of work, and a fair bit of frustration.

Everybody has bad hair days - but mine is like living with a constant state of "If I do it exactly right, it miiiiiight come out right." There is no telling what my hair will do. I'm a bit abuse of hairspray, hair gel, and I've perfected the ponytail. Blah.

I have 3 looks.

Dead straight. So straight that (you can't see it here) the little short/broken hairs in my part stand on end. Ew. But if I put anything on it, it'll curl back up. I CANNOT be out in the rain with this hair - or else I end up with funky hair and no product in my purse. Also, it's a long process. I don't own a hairdryer (I think one of my sisters stole it), so I have to air dry it and then either wait all day or overnight to straighten it. And it's a US plug, so I have to take a mirror into the living room, sit on the floor, and plug it into the converter (that's attached to the Wii - coz that's used more often). Haha. It's only GOOD for one day, and it's *ok* in a ponytail for a 2nd day. By the third day I'm wearing hats. It's just that since it takes me so long, I try to get "my money" out of it. Right?
This is rare. Like half a dozen times a year. Sometimes even less. Definitely 3rd of the looks.

This is the 2nd most-often of the looks. It involved doing the "just right" routine. Comb while wet, after intense conditioning, and then hair gel scrunching, upside down, spray EVERYWHERE with hairspray and don't touch it the rest of the day. It usually goes frizzy in the back quickly, I get pissed off and throw it up in a ponytail. But this is probably my "best look".

And this is what I look like most days. I give up. And if I run out of hair gel I can't do anything else. Bobby pin the front back (because scraping it straight back is so ugly) and the rest in a ponytail or messy bun. Usually it's a messy bun because my ponytails tend to look like "My Little Pony" tails - a big fluffy curly-cue. Blah. If you see me on a non-event day - this is me. 5 out of 7, if not 6 out of 7 days.

I'd love it if my hair was like this. It's less "crunchy" looking. I'm trying to sort out what I should do with my hair. I've been doing variations of the same thing for 10 years now, and I need a change. But not drastic. I like my hair longer - I've done ultra short before. Like - channeling Meg Ryan in the mid-90's. But it's a lot of work. This looks more "loose, free, and forgiving". (PS. It's borrowed from

Curly hair is its own kettle of fish. I'm learning slowly. I just want to make up my mind before I get into the salon (got a gift certificate for my birthday).

I'd like to introduce myself. "Hi. My name is Susie and I'm a home-haircutter." I have had 1 professional haircut since I was 17. 6 years. Yeeeeeeaaaaaah. And at that, it was a friend who had her licence. And she cut my hair in the bathroom at university. OK EBI girls - admit it. Who else had their hair cut by Jessi in the Watson 2nd bathroom? Or 3rd East? Hehe. But other than that? I've been using scissors over the sink on Sunday morning when I get annoyed by my hair. No joke. Ask my MIL - she's been witness to my two lengths of hair on Sunday morning....

So. A change is in the works. I hope. Definitely time for one.
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  1. My hair frizzes like a mad fool. It's wavy and there's a lot of it, but it's really fine. I'm the same, just scrape it back and whack it in a pony. My mum paid for me to have it styled, but the chick didn't cut it the way I wanted and I hated it, (even though every one else loved it) so I feel really bad that I've wasted her money. When I straighten it, it frizzes and feels nasty, and I'm forever running my hands through it to keep it off my face, so it goes nasty really quick, and if I just leave it, it looks terrible. She thinned it all out (even though I didn't want her to) and so I have this glorified mullet. I need to get more product, I think.

    Anyway, I feel your pain.

  2. I'm sure everyone and their brother will be leaving you advice or whatever on your hair, but even so...

    My step-daughter has naturally curly hair (and I LOVE IT). I've read parts of a book called "Curly Girl" by Deborah Chiel, Lorraine Massey (2002). It gave me some great tips - maybe it could help yo?!? One of the tips (which surprised me) was to not shampoo your hair.

    Anyway, just thought I'd offer that suggestion. Hope you find a great solution for you AND your hair issues! (I think you look pretty however you wear your hair!)

  3. Oh Susie that last picture there of you with Oceana, I can just see baby Joshua's face shining through yours. He looked so much like his Mama.

    You have hair like mine, I can do three things with it and do them well but it takes a mighty effort lol. May hair looks absolutely awful if left to its own devices!

  4. You're a brave girl to cut your own hair! Hope you find something that you love. I'm desperate to get my hair cut but I'm biding my time til I get back to the US.

    Hope Oceana's better.

  5. Let's hear it for curly haired people! Whoo-hoo!! Okay, why was I the only one whoo-hooing? Oh, probably because curly hair is a pain in the butt!

    I feel your pain, Susie. When I wear my hair curly I dare not go outside when it's windy, and I must put ten tons of crap in my hair, otherwise there's not room for all of us in this world. Just my hair.

    I haven't worn it curly here in New Mexico yet - too windy. Thankfully, my hair does awesome when I straighten it. AND, there's no humidity down here. Can I get an AMEN!

    I hope you can find a style you like, where the hairdresser can either cut it into that style, or can shape it so it can grow into that style. Sometimes patience is required - yuck, right! But it is amazing what a good cut can do. Oh, and have fun! Let them pamper you! :)

  6. Hey Susie - so two of my friends at school (sisters - of ruth harlen... you should remember her) have curly hair like yours. I watched how they did their hair, and even got them to do it to me once. Have you ever heard of diffusing? Ever seen that weird round attatchment at the end of a hair dryer? well it involves that, some mouse, and only about 15 minutes. yes, there is hair spray, but it never came out crunchy (on theirs. mine was another story). Check my blog for a picutre of my hair and their hair curly. Love you!!!!

  7. LOL Susie, we have the same hair. I think the biggest thing is the no blow dryer/air dry routine. If you had a blow dryer and a diffuser, your life would be way different (that's not to say I don't sport my fair share of ponytails). I think they crunchyness comes from the product air drying. Blow drying should help that. So for curly hair, I wash, do the product thing, airdry while I put on my make-up (don't be crazy, lip gloss, a little eyeliner and mascara) and then blow dry/diffuse. For straight, I wash the night before, blow dry as straight as it'll get w/ a paddle brush and then in the morning straighten all the way with the flat iron.

    Can we get you a blow dryer and diffuser? Girls in blog land, can we help her out. I assume they sell them in NZ, right? So it'd be a matter of taking up a collection???

    I don't even know you, yet I'm totally in love with your family. I've often wanted to help you guys out but don't really know what to do. Maybe this is the perfect thing!!?? Nothing like having a good hair day to make a post-partum Mama feel better about herself!!

  8. Oh, and you totally look like Sarah Michelle Geller with your hair straight.

  9. Susie, I can't NOT respond to this post! I can relate so well!

    I was born with lovely straight hair, but around age 8, I was all of a sudden graced with the horrors of frizzy, wavy hair. This lasted about 3 years, until I finally had full blown curly hair. And it is a daily battle for me as well! I know most people with straight hair say they would die for naturally curly hair, and that their straight hair is so boring...but they wouldn't last a day with curly hair, would they? I usually just wash, condition, apply minimal gel, and scrunch. This gives it a soft curly look, but most days my curls fall flat instead of having any volume. I usually leave it down, since when I pull mine back I get an awful frizzy "halo" around the front. *sigh*

    So, I sympathize. But, good hair day or bad, we're still beautiful, right? :)

  10. NOT THAT YOU ASKED ME!!! but I love the straight hair :) except I KNOW THAT IT TAKES TOO LONG and that is something we mothers don't have! again I know you did'nt ask but maybe you should try mid length layers and instead of hair gel, try a moose because it is less weighty and it dries softer on the hair (more soft and touchable less crunchy) I know you didn't ask so I hope my comment doesn't seem too imposing :)
    love ya,
    P.S call me vain but I have been thinking about needing to do something with my hair too before pic's with Elijah. Especially ALL THE GREY :(

  11. Hey Susie! Sounds like you change your hair as often as I (or want to anyways)...I have had mine really long (waiste length), shoulder length, with bangs, without, really short, short, etc. My hair is also too natuarlly curly...and I only can dream of having curls like your and in the pics....MY HAIR WON'T CURL LIKE THAT! lol....and it frustrates me greatly...when I want curly hair it looks officially like crap...when I don't want it happens anyways....when we moved SOuth...I became quickly accustomed to humidity...UGH!!! That kills your hair....and I found this out VERY
    Your hair looks great though! (and I WISH I could get mine that straight....but as you now...humidity destroys all wishing)

  12. While I don't have your curls, I do get to put up with hair that often looks like a really dead and frizzy perm. It's not curly and not straight - sort of a weird wave. I usually just give up and put it in braids.

    But I did just read on the blog of a woman with really curly hair about the products that she uses. I have no idea of availability in NZ, but you might find some luck checking out Just an idea.

    Sara from Canada

  13. Ok it's up susie I finally made a blog! It's!!! Spread the word!

  14. hahahaha I feel like i could have wrote this entry! I know the "have to get my money's worth" on the straight hair. What has helped my curly do is to use a pick on it when you're in the shower when the conditioner is in it...get all the tangles out. Then put gel in it when you get out of the shower...let that sit for about 15-30 minutes and then spray the dickens out of it with hairspray and scrunch... Also (and I have NOT had time to do this since I've been a mom) but I USED to put gel in it then lay down in bed for about a half an hour with a fan on me and my hair laying on the pillow scrunched, then put hairspray on it. LOL The things we do...

  15. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. Every time I have seen a picture of you on this blog, I long for YOUR hair! I love the curly look. I WISH my hair would go curly like that! I have funky wavy hair that has to be flat ironed daily! Unless I do the ponytail look...which like you is more often than I would like. Change is good though. I just got 6 inches cut off of my hair. I like it. The change is good.

    Still praying for your sweet family!

    Much Love,

    Kristy Bolte

  16. I have wavy/frizzy hair too so I know where you are coming from. I have found that mousse works a lot better than gel in the "want curly but not crunchy" department. It gives control but not crunch. The absolute best is a frizz serum--which tones down frizz and adds waves but does not add crunch. Good luck!

  17. I love the straight hair. Have you ever thought of straightening it with a product. I know the salons do it. It's like a perm but straight. Have a blessed day!
    Cindy (Marie and Steve's friend)

  18. Hi Suzie,

    This might sound funny but when I see your hair or like in today's post hear about your hair I think of Joshua. I really miss him.

    When I see your eyes or tatoos, I think of Oce.

  19. Oh yeah, did I mention the fact that I LOVE the fact that you used that fabric that has been lying around the house for EVER and made something pretty with it? very nice job!

  20. I too have very curly...FRIZZY hair. It takes an act of congress for it to actually be straight. I bought a Chi flat iron recently (less expensive if ordered from Also...if you decide to buy a hair dryer (keep it away from your sisters) I totally recommend getting one with an attachable diffuser. It basically looks like a gigantic satellite dish attached to your hair dryer. Totally makes the curly hair thing a lot easier. I don't know you...but I'm not at all kidding when I say that I would mail you one if you can't find one in New Zealand. : )

    Good luck!


  21. I'm sooooo agreeing with the diffuser thing. I have stick straight hair but back in the day I was known to sport a tight spiral perm or two. A diffuser makes ALL the difference with curls and not having crunchy hair.

    Audrey - I'd love to pitch in to get Susie a hairdryer and diffuser.

    Susie - would that be something you would use? I also think it would make a world of difference for when you straighten your hair.

    Nicci in Bellingham

  22. Suzie -

    My hair is almost exactly like yours. One word - PRODUCT. IT's all about the product.

    Her stuff is super expensive, but the protien treatment and the climate control gel are totally worth it!

  23. My hair looks JUST like yours. Diffuser, or straightening with a dryer. All natural is a mess. Sometimes, mousse alone while wet gets an ok look. Big and curly. But not enough natural curl to get the look in the picture you want. I hate it. It won't go one way or the other.

    A good layer-y cut helps a lot though.

  24. Well I have straight hair with this funky excess body and wierd waves in places so no I can't exactly get the whole curly hair thing but I must say after living with my sister-in-law, Gracie, I decided curly hair was not for me. She also has the book Curly Girl and said it was a big help. Oh I remember your short cut,it was so cute but I can imagine frustrating at times. And yes as an EBI girl, Jess cut my hair many times in the Watson 2nd Bathroom. I think there were girls in there every friday and saturday night getting something done to their hair. Actually I've gone back to a very similar style after growing it out for a while. I'll still praying for you. And if I get a way I'd love to contribute to the hairdryer fund. I went through a couple years here in Kenya without one and I don't think I ever wore my hair down...It was always up in some random style.