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The ‘No Straighteners’ Challenge: An Update

 

 

Back in April, I told you that I was planning to ditch my hair straighteners, having used them constantly for almost a decade. As I have unruly, ultra-wavy hair, my straighteners were most definitely my best friend, and I always felt my most glamorous with super-sleek, straight hair.

Unfortunately the battle with my hair really began early last year. Years of straightening had left my hair frazzled, parched and a little on the static side. There were days I looked like Mr. Majeika and no amount of hair product would help. I was beginning to lose hope of ever having hair I could be proud of again.

I  made a great egg and olive oil conditioner – but was too lazy to prepare it every time I washed my hair. Naughty! I also tried a variety of shampoos and conditioners which I thought might help improve the condition of my hair. Everything helped to some degree but nothing eradicated the problem completely.

That’s when I decided that the only thing left was to ditch the hair straighteners. I knew it would be hard because without straightening my hair, I look like a small shrub! Would I be happy for Mr.D. to see me looking like this every day? Could I walk down the street and not mind the horrified stares? Would  I be able to ignore the smirks from my students?

But I knew that if I continued to straighten my hair, it would just become an even bigger mess. My hair was so straw-like I felt as though I had a haystack on my head. No, the straighteners had to go.

So they did. Well – almost…

I set myself a challenge that I would go a month – possibly longer – without straightening my hair and see if it made any difference. For the most part, I was actually very good and kept to my word BUT…  I couldn’t stand the kinked sections of hair that framed my face, so I cheated a little and straightened those sections. But that’s all I did. The rest of my hair was completely untouched by my straightening irons. Thankfully my Tresemme Keratin Smooth shampoo and conditioner left my hair adequately sleek so that I could get away with not straightening my hair.

In fact it’s only been in the last couple of weeks that I’ve taken to straightening my hair again but not in the same capacity as before. The straighteners only come out when necessary and even then it’s only to smooth down the sections that really need it.

And what’s the condition of my hair like now? A million times better! All the effort was so worth it. Yes, I still have a little frizz going on but my hair is definitely more soft, shinier and a lot smoother. It’s less dry and looks and feels much, much healthier. It’s definitely been given a new lease of life, and I intend to keep it this way.

 

I’ve also been paying more attention to my diet and been eating more fruit, vegetables and oily fish as well as taking vitamin supplements, as I know that what you put into your body is just as important as what you put onto your hair. I’ve also felt that having super hot showers might also have been drying out my hair, so I’ve been washing my hair in much cooler water.

So I didn’t adhere to the challenge one hundred per cent – but I still think I did quite well. And now I no longer depend on hair straighteners to have great looking hair.

 

So for you ladies out there who are reaching the end of your tether with dry, straw-like hair, there is hope. The best advice I could give you is a healthier diet and using your heated hair appliances a lot less.  It could well be the making of your hair!

 

 

Good luck!

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The No Straighteners Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

Forget the wheel, the motor car and even the mobile phone; for me, the greatest invention ever has got to be… hair straighteners! That’s right, hair straighteners. But then when you’ve got unruly hair that can only be tamed by a good pair of straighteners, you’d think that they were the best ever invention too.

I have been using hair straighteners since I was in my mid-twenties and I could never get over the transformation: I went from looking like a small shrub to looking like a girl from a hair commercial. Amazing! I have a fantastic pair of straighteners by Tresemme and they go everywhere with me.

 

Sadly, I’ve noticed that all this non-stop straightening over the years has left my hair in something of a sorry state. It’s become quite parched, frizzy, static and more unruly than usual. Using styling products is only a short-term solution to the problem. I’ve tried using home-made remedies such as conditioners made from egg and olive oil and switching to different shampoos which are suitable for my hair type. I’ve also limited the number of times I use my straighteners, use a heat-defence spray before using heated appliances, and have reduced the heat setting on it. And it has made a noticeable difference… but it’s not enough.

 

I now have to concede defeat and ditch my straighteners. At least for a while – a long while! I realise the problem are the straighteners and until I stop using them completely, my hair is never going to recover. My hairdresser was appalled by the condition of my hair which she said had been ‘burnt’ from over using heat appliances.

But the question is, after years of being heavily dependent on them, can I leave my house with my hair looking au natural? How will I be able to face my work colleagues with crazy hair? Can I deal with the sniggers from my students? Will Mr. D refuse to be seen in public with me? What will having shrub-like hair do for my confidence? Well, I think my confidence will be in even more tatters if I continue to wreck the condition of my hair which has always been one of my best features and if I want it to stay one of my best I have to take care of it and make sacrifices… meaning no more straighteners.

 

 

So I’m going to give my hair a lot of tlc; continue doing what I’m doing as well as having conditioning treatments at the salon, and not use my straighteners for one whole month and see if there’s any improvement. I’m hoping that some really good hairstyling products will help in making me look ‘presentable.’ But will I really be able to get through a whole month without my beloved straighteners? Watch this space…

…and wish me luck!

 

Egg And Olive Oil Hair Conditioner

 

I was moaning to a friend about the state of my hair when she suggested I give my hair an olive oil deep conditioning treatment. “Don’t you ever do that?” she asked, ” Add some olive oil to your hair and wrap a towel around it?”

I used to. A long time ago. In fact I was fanatical about massaging warm olive oil into my hair before wrapping my hair first, in cling film and then a towel. I did this every time I was about to wash my hair. There was no treatment like it and it left my hair soft, easy to manage and very, very glossy. I loved it!

Unfortunately however, you can have too much of a good thing and after two years of deep conditioning my hair, it actually left my hair very dry and straw-like. I couldn’t understand why. It was a beautician friend of mine who explained it.

“It’s good that you deep condition your hair but you’re not supposed to do it every time you wash your hair,” she said. “you’re actually forcing your hair to work harder and that’s why it’s become so dry.”

So I stopped conditioning my hair with warm olive oil. I was disappointed as I loved my pre-bath ritual and enjoyed in a little self-pampering.   However, over the years constant blow drying and straightening have once again left my hair in a sorry state. Although I always use a heat protection spray on my hair before using heated appliances  and have recently had my hair cut short… it’s still not in great condition. So this weekend, following my conversation with my friend, I decided to go back to my (hair) roots and see if deep conditioning it would make any difference.

This time, I did things a little differently. I actually added an egg to the oil before massaging it into my hair. I remember hearing that eggs work as an excellent shampoo or conditioner as it clings to any dirt or impurities in your hair and also helps to strengthen it.

I left the mixture on my hair for a couple of hours, wrapped neatly in cling film and a towel (much to the amusement of Mr. D!) and waited for the conditioner to work it’s magic!

And work its magic it did! My hair was super soft and shiny. I couldn’t stop running my hands through my hair. It’s been a long time since my hair felt this good. I know it’ll take a few more treatments before my hair is in tip-top condition but I also know not to overdo it again and will be spacing out treatments accordingly. Straw-like hair is so not a good look!

Here’s my method for the olive oil and egg deep conditioning natural hair treatment. I only used one dessert spoon of oil because my hair is quite short but the amount of oil you use depends on the length and thickness of your hair.

  • Put a dessert spoon of olive oil into a small bowl.
  • Place the glass in a pan of just boiled water so that it will warm through. Ensure that the oil does not get too hot.
  • Break an egg into the oil and whisk thoroughly  (the oil should not be overly warm or the egg will scramble slightly.)
  • Evenly apply the mixture to dry hair.
  • Wrap head in cling film so that all you hair is covered.
  • Then wrap head in towel.
  • Leave for a minimum of twenty minutes.
  • Wash your hair thoroughly with your favourite shampoo. Make sure you wash your hair in lukewarm water – scrambled egg is very hard to wash out of your hair!
  • I finished with my favourite conditioner but this step is optional.
  • Dry as you normally would.

Voila! Great looking hair. And for those of you who may suffer from an itchy scalp, I’ve been told that mashed banana is an excellent remedy.

 

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