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Although I have been at home for over two months, I have been trying to pay a lot of attention to what is going in the world and the attitude of others on a variety of topics as we all learn to cope and accept the new reality.
While I agree that some things are more important than others and should be addressed first and foremost, there are other basics of modern life and hygiene that are important in their own ways. These are the things that affect our mindset more than we realize or even like to admit.
Someone sent me a list of some of the top search topics that people are looking for now and it was clear that with the lack of barbershops and hair salons in operation, that people were struggling to keep up appearances and confidence. You see if you just stay in your bathrobe all day and don’t keep up your appearance it can affect your attitude and that can translate negatively into all aspects of your life. When you stop carrying about yourself, it affects your survival mindset.
Many of you that have read Gaye’s articles over the years know that she was a self proclaimed glamourista. This is the lady that that told us that we should put makeup in our survival hygiene kit.
I absolutely agree with her. Long before this happened I put back a box of women’s skincare and beauty supplies.
Gaye and I talked a lot about things like that when we chatted online.
This article is going to cover a lot of ground and it is not just going to be about women’s stuff either. There are a lot of guys and gals out there alike that cannot just go out and get a haircut. We are going to talk about cutting hair at home and I will suggest some tools.
Also, you are going to get to see the fabulous haircut that my husband Matt gave me. Yep, we have been cutting each other’s hair at home. I am not just telling you to do something that I wouldn’t allow myself. While I have been cutting his hair for years, he recently started cutting mine and I wish I had asked him to do it years ago.
What you need:
Clippers are nice for cutting men’s hair to a short length or performing undercuts. The truth is that all you really need for a haircut is a pair of scissors and a comb if you take your time.
I like to keep a razor comb around for adding texture. You can get disposable ones that you just throw away after they are dull. After buying one and then throwing one back in the preps, I decided to just get a metal one with replaceable blades. It is a lot less expensive in the long run and you get a better razor comb.
Cutting hair for the first time. Tip #1: Remember it will grow back.
It is important to take your time but also don’t expect perfect results the first time you cut your hair unless you are keeping it really basic. On the other hand, some of the fancy haircuts you see people wearing are not always that hard to achieve at home with the right tools.
Have a reasonable attitude about hair.
One reason why people in the same family won’t cut each other’s hair is the fear of hard feelings and retaliation. Well everyone needs to just get over it. Either cut your own hair or accept the fact that if someone else does it that you may not get the oh so perfect hair of your dreams but it will probably still look alright especially if you pick something simple or just get a trim from a family member. Watch a few hair cutting videos and go with it. Here is one for the ladies. I have linked to a video for guy’s hair a bit later in the article.
My husband performed my latest haircut. He perfectly replicated a fancy asymmetrical bob I found online. It took him maybe 20 minutes.
Where to find hair dye if you really must have a particular brand or color? Why eBay and Sally’s Beauty Supply of course!
Sometimes I get tired of the amount of time it takes to do the complicated henna and indigo process I use. It really does take all day to process and several intense rinses. When I don’t use it I like to use Adore semi-permanent dyes. They are affordable and they have just a few ingredients. If you have shorter hair a single bottle will do your hair 2-3 times. They offer every color in the rainbow too.
Amazon and other shippers can be really slow or just out of some brands. If you can find your brand on Amazon and the shipping speed is okay then go for it. I have to say that I have found that eBay offers a better shipping speed on some products.
Here is a video on guy haircuts that is worth checking out.
Natural Hair Dye Options
Lightening Hair Naturally
Nothing is going to replace what hydrogen peroxide in hair dye does to lighten. Some blonde hair can only come from a bottle that has a lot of chemicals in it. That being said there are still some things you can do to add highlights and lighten hair.
Lemon Juice- Only use the organic kind please. I made the mistake of using the cheap stuff and had a terrible allergic reaction that required a doctors visit. This happened after years of using it off and on. Citrus can get treated with a lot of garbage so go organic for this one. Mix a few tablespoons in 4 oz of water and spray over your hair. Let the sun shine on it as much as possible.
Chamomile Tea can help add highlights to hair that is already medium blonde or lighter.
Coffee rinses help out brown hair. You can use brewed coffee as the liquid to mix up henna based dyes.
Just plain henna gives hair a red tone. There is a neatral henna that doesn’t deposit any color but conditions hair. The addition of other plants to henna results in other hair color shades.
Rainbow and Light Mountain make henna-based hair dyes. These are great for covering up gray or evening out your hair. The Light Mountain brand even comes with gloves to use.
If you have damaged or heavily processed hair, henna can be a good choice because it coats your hair and helps make it stronger. When I was a teenager and used to bleach my hair, I bleached it too much and one section of it actually turned the blue color of the bleach. Really damaged hair needs to be treated with care. After I did that as a teen, my hair was really weak and broke off super easy. It took time for it to recover.
How I Get Blue Black Hair With Henna and Indigo
Black hair is really easy to achieve with natural pigments but as I stated before, it takes some time and is a little messy. I buy 1/2 lb bags of regular henna and indigo.
First I mix the henna with hot water to make a paste and smear that all over my head. I put a plastic bag on and go about whatever work I need to do for a few hours and then rinse. I dry my hair a little and then mix the indigo with hot water and smear that on and wait another few hours.
After that, I can finally rinse it all out. This is something to do when you are doing housework or stuck inside. Some might be wondering why not mix the two pigments together. The answer is that the henna has to be applied first so that the indigo will bind to that and the combo results in a blue-black color that is hard to achieve any other way without chemicals. Since your hair gets coated heavily, it helps strengthen it which is a big bonus if you struggle with breakage.
The Strand Test
I am not big on testing out a small section of my hair when I get a new dye or product but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it yourself. Some hair takes dyes differently than others. You may also want to know how the dye is going to react with your natural hair color. If you are prone to allergies or skin irritations, a strand or patch test is probably a good idea too when trying something totally new.
Consider something less high maintenance than usual.
Some hairstyles look good but boy they take a lot of time to keep looking good. During uncertain times you might consider something that requires very basic styling if any at all.
Don’t be afraid to have some fun too!
Remember that a lot of fabulous hairstyles that you see on celebrities and musicians are achieved with wigs and hair extensions.
I actually recommend playing with hair extensions and wigs for a different look. I have long hair in a lot of the pictures you see me in but the truth is that as I hit my 30s my hair just wouldn’t stay long. I could never achieve the really long hair I could when younger. I keep my hair shorter now and use hair extensions for variety and when I want to have long hair.
Once you realize that all that great hair out there is usually fake and people playing dress-up, it is much easier to not feel silly using fake hair. Plus it is a way to have different colors or streaks without destroying your hair with a lot of chemicals.
Make an evening of it. Do hair, facial, pedicure, manicure, etc.
Self-care is important for attitude and outlook. I call it spa time. I might do it while I am writing in the evening or when I occasionally watch a show. It helps me relax even if I am still working a little bit. Yep, I am definitely the type you will find in a robe with a mud mask on, a hair processing cap on, drinking a beer, and listening to Prepper Broadcasting Network or similar.
You may find that you actually can just do your hair at home and save a lot of hassle and money.
I know that hairdressers are not going to like this but the truth is that some people really don’t need the expertise of a haircutter or stylist. I spent plenty of time at hair places in the late 80s and early 90s but I have found that I just don’t enjoy the experience and it takes up far too much time. I live in a tourist and second home type of area and the places to get a simple haircut under $30 are becoming more scarce. My needs are basic.
I do have to say that if you are making a really major change to your hair you should probably try to go to an expert stylist initially and then see if you can maintain it yourself. Sometimes if you get a good base cut or style you can keep it up with just a little trim here and there at home.
The benefits of dry shampoo are many.
If you use very specific products for your hair or want to make your soaps and shampoos go further then consider using dry shampoo to increase the time in between washing your hair. Even if you are working outside a lot and sweating, dry shampoo works and you might realize that you were washing your hair too much all along.
Cut hair when you are not super tired, emotional, or even slightly inebriated.
A lot of bad haircuts can happen if you do it when you are not on top of your game so to speak. I saw a lot of Facebook memes about people cutting their bangs because of boredom. Cutting hair requires some concentration and you certainly don’t want to do it when you are upset or after drinking. There are sharp things involved. Just because you get your gumption up after a few pandemic brews doesn’t mean it is a good idea to give yourself or someone else a haircut.