The Snooze Button Look

I have a hair confession.  Some mornings (okay, most mornings) I ride the snooze button until the very last second and I have less than ten minutes to get my locks in reasonable order before work. Luckily, my hair is long so I can just comb it and tie it in a knot and go. I know it looks better when it’s blown out or curled up or even just braided. I know. But a girl needs her beauty sleep right?

On more than one occasion I have had to resist the urge to get bangs, add layers or even crop it down Miley Cyrus style.  Instead of cutting it, I usually go for a trim or change up the colour. Why not go for a new look? I keep my hair at waist length for a couple of unreasonable reasons.

 

I’m afraid of the hair stylist.

I’ve had many unpleasant experiences at a variety of salons. There was the poodle perm when I was a pre-teen. Then there was the “mullet incident” if 1989. Then there were years of attempts to describe one inch to a stylist. For the record, one inch of dry hair is at least three inches of wet hair in hairdresser-lingo.  And finally, a few years ago I spent upwards of $300 at a high-end salon in trendy Yorkville in Toronto. I had just started dating my now fiancé and wanted to impress him with a sexy new do. I told the stylist to do something wild, that I was open to change. I ended up with a dark brown swath (bangs? not exactly) in the front and then an orangey-blonde chunk of long hair in the back. It was the mullet incident all over again!

Still in Mullet Recovery

I have post-traumatic hair disorder.

When I was twelve, I begged my mum to let me cut my nearly knee-length, beautiful, shiny, dark blonde hair into the same trim bob that she was sporting. I went to school the next day and the supply teacher mistook me for a boy (it didn’t help that I was skinny, nearly six feet tall and flat as a board). I’ve been trying to re-grow my long lost locks ever since.

My fiancé likes the long blonde look

My fiancé likes it.

We first met when I was seventeen and my hair was very long. We started dating sixteen years later, and he tells me he loves my long hair because it reminds him of the huge crush he had on me when we were young. How could I resist such a sweet compliment?

I am beauty-lazy.

If there’s a short-cut to pretty, I take it. If there’s a homemade solution to an expensive salon-worthy problem, I will be in my kitchen making it. I would rather slather my head in mayonnaise than buy expensive leave-in treatments. I don’t know if this trait proves that I’m a savvy consumer or a crazy control freak or both, but I can say that I’ve found some great do-it-yourself hair treatments that are worth trying.

Here are some quick hair tips for all of you out there who share my struggle with the snooze button:

 

  1. Add some shine. Drizzle a little olive oil in your palm, rub your hands together to warm it and run your fingers through your hair. Amounts depend on the dryness of your hair, so experiment when you aren’t rushing to go out.
  2. Grow it long. Drink lots of water and make sure you have a good balance of protein and vitamins in your diet. No matter what you put on your scalp, the true health of your hair, nails and skin depends heavily on your internal health. Get enough sleep, exercise, protect your hair from the sun, reduce stress and eat your veggies.
  3. Deep Condition. Coconut oil is a fabulous deep conditioner, but you can use Avocado, Eggs, Yoghurt and even mashed up bananas to get softer hair. Mix any of them together with a small squeeze of honey and a few drops of olive oil until you get the consistency of a thick conditioner.  Experiment until you find the combination that works best for your hair. Then make a smoothie with the leftovers.
  4. Degrease. Oatmeal and water will degrease oily hair without stripping the natural oils from your scalp. Another easy one is one part lemon juice to two parts olive oil. I’ve even heard of rinsing your hair in beer, although I haven’t tried it as I don’t fancy smelling like a brewery.
  5. Style.  Style starts with a good cut that suits your face and lifestyle. Talk to your stylist about an easy-to-recreate hairdo that you like. Avoid trends for the sake of trends. It’s okay if it takes you some extra time to make it fabulous on special days, but if you’re anything like me, you need a quick and simple hairstyle for regular busy mornings. Ask your stylist to show you how to make your hair look good in less than ten minutes, with as few styling products as possible.  Or if it’s really long, just tie it in a knot and go!

 

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  • Steff

    I share many of the same thoughts, fears, and habits as the author. As a child my mother always kept my hair short and I was forever being mistaken for a boy. When I hit my teen years I was determined to grow out my hair and NEVER be called a boy again (forget that I also grew an ample bosom so mistaking my gender was almost impossible). Now, in my late 30s, with two toddlers and a third child on the way, I find myself asking do I really need the hassle of all this hair. It’s long and heavy and the most I ever do with it is pull it back or put it in a braid. There just isn’t time for anything else. But I am terrified to do anything about it.

    My sister is a hairdresser and she used to make sure I looked presentable but she moved away over 10 years ago (and when I say away I mean another country) and I just don’t trust anyone else. I have a wide face, I wear glasses, and I have no idea what would or would not be flattering. All I know is I am ready for change … but I am too terrified to take that first step.

    • Chloe

      I hear you Steff! Every time I sit in the stylist’s chair I think, ‘is it time to chop it all off?’ and then I chicken out. That being said, change is a good thing, if you feel ready. The best advice I can give about choosing a style for your face is to find a picture of someone who has a style you like AND the same face shape and hair texture and then ask a stylist (or two, or three!) if they think it would work for you.

      • Steff

        Thanks for the advice! Now to find a picture and a hairstylist I can trust … ahhh … my slight trust issues 😉

        • Chloe

          🙂 Try Pinterest. Great place to lose an afternoon haha.

          • Steff

            I have a 3 year old girl and a 2 year old with another boy on the way at the end of August … we lose a lot of things but an afternoon is not one of them 🙂

  • Ang

    Just ONE hair disaster story?? As a self-proclaimed do-it-yourself-hair stylist/colourist I have had many bumps along the road to achieving the look that I want (at the time…it changes often). I am a BIG fan of abnormal hair colours and have had my hair in every colour from blonde (big highschool mistake..I’ll save that for another disaster story eeek), to red to purple to pink to blue to black and back again. A couple of years ago I was going through a break up and, as this seems to be a trend with me over the years, I felt the need to change my hair and get a new “look”…this endeavour involved wanting my dyed black hair to become a beautiful shade of indigo…a goal I never obtained. I began the process by stripping my hair with a colour remover and throwing a manic panic dye over it – to my duress it wasn’t nearly the blue that I wanted it to be. So I thought to myself “hmmmm let’s try some bleach and start over” – some words of advice, do NOT put bleach on top of freshly manic panic’d hair. The front pieces of my hair literally started to melt off…I could see it becoming a gelatinous mass of greenish goo and proceeding to peel my hair off.
    I had started this process with healthy, shiny black (dyed) hair that was half way down my back and past my collar bones in the front…I ended up having to cut off about 6 inches all around and ended up with make-shift long bangs (uneven at that because of course I wouldn’t give it and go to a stylist because THEY might ruin my hair). Did I mention that my hair had turned out a disturbing colour of greenish-blackish-gray? I was terrified to do anything else to it, but couldn’t leave it that colour, so I threw in a black semi-permanent after I cut it. I think I left my hair black (and bleach free) for about 6-7 months after that to allow some sort of recuperation. A couple of years later and my hair is now back to a firey red (and on the road to being healthy again after much pampering, well aside from the constant colouring (although I only use vegetable-based dyes now) and the occasional bleach cap 😉

    • Chloe

      I’m so glad your hair recovered and great advice re: Bleach and Manic Panic. Every time I bleach my hair I have this horrible sinking feeling that when I unwrap it from the towel it will have all fallen out. You must have FREAKED OUT! Thanks for sharing!

      • Ang

        Yep, I definitely wasn’t happy about the meltdown!! Lesson learned!
        Sidenote – the most effective (and safest) way to remove unwanted vegetable dye (Manic Panic, Special Effects, Fudge Paintbox etc…) is a homemade hot oil treatment (warm up extra virgin olive oil, leave on hair with a shower cap on for about an hour) and then rinse….repeat if needed!!

  • Sandy

    My hair disaster story? I have many…and they were all caused by me…on purpose! I was a teenager in the 1980’s…the decade of big/punky hair. My hair ended up cut into all sorts of spikey, weird angles and coloured numerous shades of burgundy. It was suffocated in numerous gels, sprays and ever sugar water! I spent one summer with “raccoon tail” stripes of brown, red and blond down the back of my hair. Another summer I participated in a hair show at my local mall. My mother watched in horror as they shaved the back of my head, dyed it bleach blond and dyed an “X and O” tic-tac-toe board on it. Today, I pretty much leave my hair alone. It has been through enough! lol

    • Chloe

      Thanks for sharing Sandy. I did some similar things as an ’80’s teen – including dipping a random piece of my hair in a bottle of peroxide until it turned blonde..sort of…and trying for the stripey look too. Ah the 80’s. Back then it was brave to be crazy with your hair, so good for you!

  • When I was about 15 I tried to dye my hair blonde (from its medium brown natural hair colour). My hair was long and much to thick for one box of home hair colour so the end result was me looking like a leopard and running to the neartest hair salon begging them to fix it!

    • Chloe

      Ah the elusive blonde at home! I’ve been wrestling with this problem for 20 years. After lots of experimentation, I’ve discovered the best at-home blonde for me is icecream (some Shopper’s DM’s carry it). It’s messy, and you mix it much like a stylist would so you need some tools, but it works well to lift the reddish chestnut out of my hair. I also recommend a blue shampoo or toner to get the gold out. Or you could just keep your gorgeous dark hair, like I probably should have!