On Thinning Hair

In the fall of 2010, I finally got fed up with my rapidly thinning hair.  I shaved my head.


The good:

  • Really, really short showers.
  • Drying time was basically none.
  • I liked how it looked.
  • Wigs are super fun ūüôā
  • I got a lot of compliments. ¬†Some ended with, “I wish I could do something like that!”
  • I saved money on haircuts and hair products. ¬†(I used a trimmer.)
  • I didn’t have to go through the mental hoops required every time I decide to dye away my grey hair.

The bad:

  • It was a lot colder than I thought. ¬†Fall was a bad time to do this, I didn’t have a chance to get used to the body temp change before the outside temp dropped.
  • When I dressed up, I felt less formal than I do when I have longer hair. ¬†This also goes for short hair. ¬†I recognize that this is completely my deal.
  • A surprising number of men thought it would be ok to inform me that a bald head is unfeminine.

Neither good nor bad:

  • Shaving and buzzing really dark hair on pale skin looks pretty much the same. ¬†After the first couple of times, I stopped literally shaving it and just set the clippers on the shortest setting. ¬†Shaving does feel really nice, but it seemed silly to go to that extra effort and razor blade cost for a millimeter of hair.
  • Tango lead hair color preference by number of dances from most to least:
    • Red
    • Blond
    • Purple
    • Black
    • Brown
  • People who met me with a wig on would not recognize me if I wore a different wig or no wig the next time I saw them.

I eventually grew my hair back out. ¬†Starting fresh, I used sulfate free shampoos and silicone free conditioners. ¬†I didn’t start with the shampoo and conditioner until my hair was 2-3 inches long and started to feel like it needed it. ¬†After a year of no cutting, I could get my hair to stay in a ponytail after a year of growth. ¬†Curious what the growth pattern would look like, I didn’t cut it for 3 years. ¬†It basically grew out in layers, the bottom part would hang down the lowest. ¬†My hair was still thin, so I trimmed up that back part to make the length look fuller.

I went on spirolactone after about two years of growing my hair out. ¬†Around the same time, I started following Curly Girl methods fairly seriously. ¬†I stopped brushing my hair and went to only finger combing it in the shower. ¬†My hair felt fuller, but I wasn’t sure which was the cause until recently when I had to go off the spirolactone. ¬†After being off of it for a couple of weeks, my hair started falling out in gobs. ¬†The end result is that it didn’t look good anymore at that length. ¬†It was stringy. ¬†When the curls did clump together, the end result was 5-6 nice big curls, big empty spots between them. ¬†You could see my scalp clearly between the clumps.

I started playing with pin curls and finger waves, 40’s style. ¬†My hair responded perfectly to this treatment. ¬†It looked good, the fluff made it look thicker, but I wasn’t happy having to spend that much time getting hair that looked nice.

I found a local curly stylist and asked him to make my hair look good. ¬†I explained the hormonal thing and let him know that for now it was going to stay thin. ¬†He cut my hair into a long bob, saying it was more traditional and less extreme than a shorter cut. ¬†He let me know that if I didn’t like the length, he’d cut it shorter in a month for free during my bang trim appointment.

I dyed my hair for a conference. ¬†I’m about 50% grey. ¬†The grey hairs are clear, so my hair looks a LOT thinner when it’s undyed. ¬†The dying made it look fuller, but suddenly it wouldn’t curl normally. ¬†I was unable to make my hair look good without pin curls. ¬†This was actually a perfect length for a really nice pin curl style, but again, I wasn’t happy with the time sink that went into making my hair look anything but patchy and stringy. ¬†It was also now too short to put into a ponytail. ¬†On the last day of the conference, I wore my purple wig and got lots of compliments.

I went back to the stylist. ¬†I asked him to cut it shorter. ¬†I told him that if it still looked too thin to me that I would shave it off, so to do whatever he thought might make it look good. ¬†He gave me an asymmetrical cut. ¬†It’s now a long pixie on one side and a very short bob on the other, angled in the back. ¬†It looks fuller than it did before, and I like this style. ¬†Because it’s asymmetrical, it doesn’t obviously look patchy. ¬†I can go to the gym and it usually stays out of the way. ¬†I like it for now, but I have so many bad feelings around my hair right now that I don’t really think I’ll stay with it long-term.

The happiest I’ve ever been with my hair was when it was less than an inch long, and when it was long, a little thin, and curly. ¬†Long and a little thin is not going to happen anytime soon. ¬†I’m not sure how I feel about needing to take a pill everyday so that I can have hair that I like – it’s a weird feeling. ¬†


Honey on my Face

I keep coming across Crunchy Betty, and I keep ending up in a rabbit hole of interesting posts that she has there.  This time, what intrigued me was a post on washing your face with honey.

Now, I’m allergic/sensitive/whatever you want to call it to sulfates. ¬†I figured this out on my own a while back. ¬†Washing my hands with liquid soap dries them out horribly. ¬†Standard shampoo makes my scalp flake and itch. ¬†Toothpaste has, over time, caused my gums to recede in horror, so now my teeth have exposed roots that are hyper-sensitive.

Because of this sensitivity, I’m always looking for good alternatives to convenience products. ¬†In this case: I want something to wash my face with at the gym that isn’t horribly messy. ¬†I already remove my makeup using the oil cleanse method, but the oil tends to leak all over my bag and make a giant mess. ¬†I have yet to find a good travel solution for this. ¬†Every kind of bottle I’ve tried ends up leaking, particularly if I fly with it.

Ok, so this is a powerlifting blog. ¬†What does washing my face with honey have to do with anything? ¬†I really, REALLY, love to wash my face immediately after working out. ¬†Because I had super oily skin when I was a teenager, I became somewhat addicted to having a completely clean and dry face. ¬†If my face doesn’t feel clean, I have a strong urge to wash it. ¬†A sweaty face is horrible for me, I feel unclean, itchy, and generally unhappy. ¬†It just bugs me. ¬†The pump soap at the gym is always just regular commercial soap. ¬†I HATE washing my face with soap, unless it’s something I’ve vetted to not dry my face out.

So, much as I love oil cleansing, it’s impractical at the gym. ¬†First off, I’d have to remember to bring a washcloth. ¬†I’m really bad about remembering to bring stuff that’s not already in my gym bag. ¬†Second, the shower floor tends to get slick if you happen to either overdo or spill any oil. ¬†I’m not ok with making the shower floor of a commercial gym slick and potentially causing someone to slick. ¬†Conditioner is enough of a problem in this area. ¬†Third is the above mentioned oil leak issue.

A friend suggested using coconut oil. ¬†This works well, but it’s not really all that different than oil cleanse when it comes to making the floor slick.

Ok, so enter honey. ¬†I’m always up for trying a new product that’s already in my house. ¬†After reading the article and watching the video, I gave it a try.

My first try did not go as smoothly as the video made it look. ¬†The honey was sticky. ¬†I was badly in need of exfoliation, so it felt like I was stripping my face off. ¬†It didn’t feel like the honey was actually getting on my face, it seemed like it stuck to my hands and then just pulled off dead skin. ¬†The rinse off left my face feeling fresh and clean, but I disliked how much pulling the stickiness caused on my skin.

My second try was after roller skating.  Both my face and the day were warm.  My face was sweaty.  This time the whole thing felt much more pleasant.  The honey went on smoothly, rinsed off nice and clean.

The third time was like the first in stickiness, but I didn’t notice large amounts of dead skin coming off. ¬†The honey seemed to rub into my skin this time, albeit with a lot of work and pulling. ¬†The rinse off was clean, but I was still not happy with how much skin pulling seemed to be involved.

The fourth time, I think I’ve got it nailed down. ¬†I got into the gym shower and put conditioner in my hair, this kept it well away from my face. ¬†I did not get my face wet, but it was damp with sweat. ¬†I then rinsed off my hands and dried them with a towel. ¬†I put the honey in my hands and rubbed them together to warm it up. ¬†There was apparently still some hair on my hands despite the rinsing, this action caused it to ball up and I got rid of it. ¬†I then rubbed the honey into my face. ¬†Dampness seems to be the way to go, it went on smoothly with no pulling. ¬†Because I was conditioning my hair, I was able to get it right up to the hairline and then rinse it off clean. ¬†I was quite happy with how this worked out and will continue using honey to wash my face at the gym.