Long Hair Don’t Care…Until You Clog the Drain

I have long hair.  I do a lot of hair management in the shower:  rinsing, co-washing, washing, conditioning.  Hair and product builds up pretty easily when you have long hair.  Imagine those hundred or so hairs that are shed daily going down the drain in tangles mixed in with oils, conditioners, and creams.  It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s a fact of life for someone with a certain hair care regime. 

Thankfully, for me, my plumber teaches me a lot about the light tasks that he often gets called (and paid) for.  I know how to free up a seized garbage disposal and change a toilet flapper.  When he was called to clear out a slow draining bath tub, he showed me the 5 minute fix that would save hundreds of dollars in labor and parts costs. 

               You need:

  • dish liquid
  • plunger (the simple rubber kind you remember from your childhood, $5-10)

The key point he made is this:  it’s the upward pull, NOT the downward push that frees up clogs.  He said that most people put in too much work by trying to push down really hard and passively allowing the plunger to return to the extended position.  PULL UP AS HARD AS YOU PUSH DOWN. 

               Here is his normal routine:

  1. Run a little water into the tub/shower
  2. Pour some dish liquid down the drain.  A teaspoon or so should suffice.
  3. With rapid motion, use the plunger to work the dish liquid into the drain
  4. With more force and slower motions, push and pull with the plunger.  Remember:  PULL UP AS HARD AS YOU PUSH DOWN.
  5. You should start to see a lot of disgusting guck and grime coming out of the drain.  Clean it out with a towel. 
  6. Run a little water to check drainage.

This worked on an almost completely clogged drained. 

The benefits of this approach are many.  It doesn’t use a lot of water.  A product is not required that will produce fumes or dangerous waste.  It is not a time consuming approach.  I could go on. 

Let me know how it works for you.

 

 

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Falling back in love with my hair: Kitchen items

SO I posted a couple of weeks ago that I am taking some time to fall back in love with my hair.  This has meant shaping my styles and my routines around my hair’s specific nature.  I have watched videos and read blogs in order to get more information on what women are doing with their hair.  I’ll write a post on my favorite products soon, but I wanted to share a little bit on my foray into kitchen items.

Growing up my mother used kitchen items in my curly hair.  I remember conditioning sessions with olive oil very fondly.  I have come up with an arsenal of products that have proven to work very well for my hair.  Granted, I have purchased separate bottles for cooking and hair/body.  Click the links for additional information from a cool science/natural hair blog.

Unrefined coconut oil:  for my texture, this is a little heavy for styling.  I use it for pre-wash conditioning (w/ Rosemary, Lavender, and Tea Tree oils) about twice a month.  Since I store this in the fridge, I let a couple teaspoons sit at room temperature for a 5 minutes or more.  Then, I add a couple drops of each essential oil.  I normally braid and tie up my hair in a satin scarf and allow body heat to work some magic. Also, it is amazing for my son’s eczema!

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar:  along with aloe vera juice, I use this as a rinse after washing/conditioning.  I mix a 1:1 ratio in a spray bottle, spray on, then rinse out.  My scalp is flake-less for longer now that I have started this practice.  I also use apple cider vinegar and aloe vera juice when I do a bentonite clay mask on my hair and scalp.

Grapeseed Oil:  along with jojoba oil, I use this for a little pamper me hair treatment.  The main benefit of this treatment is the aromatherapy.  I add Tea Tree oil and other essential oils to a mix of grapeseed and jojoba oils in an oil spray bottle, spray on my hair and scalp, put on a conditioning cap, then a scarf.  I do co-wash my hair post treatment.  Tea tree oil has a strong scent, but it’s tingle is really relaxing for me (a little does go a long way).

Honey:  I use honey in my homemade deep conditioner.  I have changed this to use coconut oil and I warm the honey a bit so that the honey:coconut oil ratio is 1:1.  I may start to mix in a conditioner product containing protein (formulated to be left in the hair for a longer time).

There are a few other kitchen items that I use, but these are my staples.  Coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, honey and grapeseed oil can be purchased together for less than $30.  Stored properly, they last for months.  Prices for essential oils cover a wide range.  I use my essential oils with carrier oils, epsom salt and sugar for body pampering sessions, not just for my hair.

Gaultier Spring 2013 Couture: A girl can dream

When I think of Jean Paul Gaultier, I think of cone bras and safety pin dresses.  His work often conjures up images (from my teenage obsession “Fashion TV”) of women in black dripping in power.

As a womens wear designer, I like his point of view.  People call it S&M, but I think there is more depth.  I think it’s a rebellion against patriarchy and tradition.  Yes, it’s sexual.

I found myself trying to play catchup on fashion and came across his Spring 2013 Couture line on style.com.  It was what I enjoy about Jean Paul Gaultier in a way that I don’t recall ever experiencing.  This line is regal in a way that I don’t think he has done regal before.  (Or maybe I need to dig deeper in my mind and the archives of fashion websites.)  It is still powerful and edgy, but with a slight shift in perspective.  It’s JPG, just different.

from style.com

from style.com

jeanpaulgaultier2013spcouture2

from style.com

jeanpaulgaultier2013spcouture

from style.com

These pieces are the kinds of creations that get filed under “a girl can dream.”  They take me back to my childhood fantasies of my grown up self.  One day, maybe.

Lovely vintage

Imagine walking into a consignment shop and seeing a pair of gorgeous handmade velvet (REAL VELVET) pumps.  These pumps are so beautiful.  Handmade.  Olive green velvet with satin accents.  Leather soles and lining.  The size and style information are handwritten in wonderful penmanship.  I could not walk away from these shoes.

Then, imagine walking to the front to buy said shoes and being told that you have given the store so much business that you have earned a gift credit.  Gorgeous handmade vintage pumps…FOR FREE!  (At least that is how I thought of it once the credit was applied.)

vintage Delman pumps

vintage Delman pumps

I also picked up some tan leather platform stilettos and a cute leather flower ring.

Love second hand shopping.  Between Goodwill and consignment shops, I should have no problem finding a dress and pearls to go with these beauties.

Taking the time to fall back in love with my hair…

I am a curly girl for life.  Yeah, I straighten sometimes and that’s just fine.  I would say that I love my hair.  I think that, over the years, I haven’t been so “in love” with it.  I’ve resorted to hair management.  No enjoyment; it’s just there, on top of my head.

I’ve fallen into these routines.  Wake up and put it in a top knot.  Wake up and put it in a pony tail.  Oh it’s summer time?  Wash and go.  Tired of combing it out?  To the salon.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with such routines, I’ve just realized I’m not making the most of my hair.  Like, I said I love my hair.  It’s the one aspect of myself that has miraculously escaped judgement by my adult self due to evaluations through the lenses of mainstream beauty.  I should treat it better.

Various hair-carnations.

My various hair-carnations.

I have been natural almost my whole life.  I yielded to the pull of the creamy crack for a little bit as an undergraduate.  I ended my relationship with relaxers for a year, then decided to chop my booty-length hair off.  All off.  [See bottom left of above picture.]

Combined with my interest in having more knowledge of what I put on and in our body, I have put a lot more energy into nutrition and the products I purchase for myself and my son.  More than choosing things that are labeled “organic” or “natural”, I have started to do more of our diet, hair care, and body care from “scratch”.  I am also more selective of what I use that isn’t home made.  I tend to purchase products after careful deliberation and research of a product line’s reputation.  Even though it’s not feasible to 100% convert my hair care over night, I appreciate the natural hair blog world for the information that is available at my finger tips.  Sites like CurlyNikki (check out her new book) and Hairscapades are AMAZING!

I have challenged myself to resist the heat and straightening in order to get to know my hair again.  It hasn’t been very difficult with products from companies like Curls and Trader Joe’s.  Also, thanks to the natural hair blog world and what I learned from my mother, I am armed with my grapeseed oil, aloe, essential oils, raw apple cider vinegar (just to name a few things).

I’ll keep posting some of my findings on the blogs.

P.S.  Grapeseed oil is good for curly hair and oily skin!  I would start there!

May have to try this!

hairscapades

As you know, I’ve regressed and have been playing with mud lately. LOL! Nah, but really, I used a bentonite clay mask on my face last Tuesday and the prototype for a new Wonder Curl clay hair mask the weekend before that. Well, this has me wanting to revisit bentonite clay for my hair. I tried it once before a couple of years ago, but wasn’t impressed. But, I’m also a firm believer in, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I also have been wanting to try my hand at making my own Terressentials Mud Wash. If you remember, I liked it, but not the price and shipping costs. So, I started researching this a while back and resumed again this past week. In my search, I came across this post on La Coco Bella and asked if I could share as I thought y’all might…

View original post 1,103 more words

It’s a jacket, but it’s so beautiful

This jacket is…

I love florals.  I love florals in the way that makes the Christian Dior Fall 2010 Haute Couture line a permanent memory.  It was colorful, lush, and grand.

When I think of florals in fashion I think of the many interpretations; my mind wanders from the beading of Naeem Khan to the sweet prints of Tracey Reese.  I particularly ENJOY an edgy rendition of florals.  I particularly love a floral presented in a way that makes me say “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that before.”

Enter the floral corded moto-jacket from 3.1 Phillip Lim.

IMG_4779

from June Ambrose’s Instagram account

I was casually Instagram stalking June Ambrose (as I am known to do over lunch) when I came across this pic.  It was so beautiful I had to take a screen shot.  The colors.  The texture.  The zippers.  The shape.  THIS IS A WORK OF ART!  And did I mention it’s silk.

I have daydreamed about this jacket.  Yes, I daydreamed about wearing this jacket with black leather skinnies with black leather stiletto boots.  And a black pencil skirt and pearls.  And a black maxi dress with orange, mint, lavendar long beaded necklaces.  Funny, I only wear it with black in my daydreams.

Either way, it’s gorgeous.