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my (female) hair
Old 05-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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my (female) hair

I've struggled with my hair forever. I like it short for practical reasons, but think it looks better longer. DH MUCH prefers it longer (it is no way long--perhaps chin-length instead of my preferred pixie). I've tried letting it go gray but it's not all grey yet, and I felt it made me look older, which didn't delight me. So I've been trying to decide--keep it chin length, requiring a monthly cut, color it myself or have it done; or let it grow much longer and always wear it up; or have the pixie cut again. This has profound psychological and financial implications, you must understand. Please discuss
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:27 PM   #2
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I struggle with many of the same things. DH likes my hair long (shoulder length or longer). I think I look good with it long, but I also know that it only looks good if I really work at it.

In the past 4 years, I grew it out with gray, which I didn't like. Yes, the part that was silvery was OK, but there was the dark part which wasn't. And, I felt it made me look too tired.

So I decided to color it myself and decided to try true, natural henna (this is not the henna, you can buy in most stores which often isn't just natural henna). That is what I had in picture 2 (the one with the ice cream). I did this myself. I like the color overall, although it was a little darker than I wanted. But it was a PITA to do. Basically to get good coverage I had to get my husband to help me apply (he didn't complain but I know he didn't love doing it) and then it had to sit on my hair for about 4 hours. So this was a major production every 4 weeks.

Finally, about 6 months I decided to give in to what I really wanted to (not be frugal in this instance) and went to a hairdresser, stripped off the henna and now get it colored every weeks. To get the varied color I want, I have her do both highlights and lowlights which adds considerably to the cost, but I really like it. I'm not sorry that I decided to put this in the budget. I love the color and like looking in the mirror. Maybe I "should" like the gray, but truthfully I don't. And I like the professionally colored hair much more than I like what I could do on my own.

Length is more difficult. I am not tempted to do really long (part shoulder length hair). It is too hot in summer and more trouble than I want to spend. One problem I have is that my hair is thick so when my hair gets below chin length it will naturally dry into something that looks like a triangle (narrow on top and wide on the bottom). So, I need the hairdresser to cut it and layer it so that I don't get that look.

I love the look of it between chin length to shoulder length. In the 3rd picture, I had just gone to the hairdresser the day before and she had cut it and put in new layers to try to help me manage it better.

Here's the thing. When she does my hair, it looks great. When I run my hands over it, it is very smooth and shiny and feels great. But...then I wash my hair (with color on it, I try to wash it only a few times a week). When I do, if I take a lot of care on drying it and spend a lot of time, it looks fairly good from a distance. But, when I run my hands on it, it is not nearly as smooth and shiny feeling as when the hairdresser does it. I've talked to her and she has given me some tips so that helps some. But, bottom line, it isn't nearly as nice as when she does it. If it wasn't totally extravagant I think I would go every week and have her wash and blow dry it.

When I let it dry naturally it doesn't look great at all and I hate that when I spend 45 minutes drying it, well, it looks better but not nearly as nice as when the hairdresser does it.

The easiest, of course, is a very short style where I can just wash it and dry it in a few minutes (or air dry it). It looks OK when I do that but not as nice as when it is chin to shoulder length if I spend the time to blow dry it (but probably better than it looks at the longer length if I air dry ).

Right now I'm working on growing it out to shoulder length and seeing how I feel about it then.

(FYI - Pic 1 is in April 2011, Pic 2 is August 2011, and Pic 3 is April of 2014)
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:27 PM   #3
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Do what you want.

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Old 05-22-2014, 06:06 PM   #4
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I prefer my hair either super short (pixie) or super long (waist length). In between you have to do too much styling.

My husband greatly prefers it longer... so that made that choice easier.

I have him trim it 2 x a year to get rid of dead ends.

99% of the time it's pulled back in a braid, sometimes in a bun, rarely just "down". I spend about 5 minutes each morning on it.

I only wash it once a week - the ends dried out to much if I washed more frequently. I tried to go the "no shampoo" route - but couldn't take it... but did work up to the 1x week... My hair gets oily on the 8th day.... I've trained it.

When I was little my hair was like Katsmeow middle picture (henna one). Now it's a little more brown than the bottom picture... but starting to get some gray in it. Haven't decided if I'll dye it or not.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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I started getting some gray at 21 and now at 64 it's salt and pepper (heavy on the salt). I tried having it colored every 4 weeks (when I get my hair cut) but it was a PITA. I've decided not to be a slave to the color..most people say I have the silvery gray which looks good Short hair for me. I feel it's really a personal decision and I personally have reached the age when I really don't care what others think........does that sound as bad as it looks on paper ?
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:47 PM   #6
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I let my hair grow out to about three inches and then get a cut. Use a special shampoo twice a week to keep it gray and not yellow. Due to receding hairline I shave the first couple of inches on the top front of the head about twice a week when I shave my neck.

The shampoo works on the beard also.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:34 PM   #7
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My hair is thick and curly. It is chin length. I scrunch it dry and that gives me a more or less no fuss hairdo. The trouble lies in needing a good cut at least every 6 weeks. I hate the expense-$45 plus tip-but vanity wins out. I color it myself once a month. I don't know how gray I am since I've been coloring since my 30s.
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my (female) hair
Old 05-22-2014, 08:04 PM   #8
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my (female) hair

Mine is naturally very curly. I'm 59 and have age appropriate white streaks throughout. It started at the crown at age 28. When I look in the mirror I still see mostly brown but in pictures I see much more white!

In adulthood I mostly wore it short and embraced the curl. In my early fifties I started my part time job as a school crossing guard and found that I was out in the wind and often wore a hat. This crushed my curls and I found that I liked it all a little longer. I let it grow out enough to tie it into a ponytail. Just for something different I let it grow long, trimming the ends when needed until it grew long enough to make a braid. I've had the braid for 7 years now and it's very practical and it keeps my hair out of my face.

I've never colored my hair and don't think I'd ever start. Would not want to deal with the roots growing in all white.

I really enjoyed the short, curly years and I think about cutting it short but I know if I did that I'd never grow it back long again.

When it's short it can be curly like a poodle or brushed out into softer curls. When long and dried loose it makes spiral curls like telephone cords (you know, from a corded phone!) or it can be brushed out into thick waves.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:46 PM   #9
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My hair looks better short.

But, I am loving retirement so much, and I just don't like spending the time to get it cut.

Consequently, I get it cut REALLY short. Then I don't go back until it is WAY long.

Right now, it is in the WAY long stage. Actually, this time it looks a lot better than usual. Maybe my hair has finally got to a stage where I can just let it grow. It is completely white now, and actually I like that color on me.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:18 PM   #10
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palomalou, Try dyeing it yourself but get a friend to check the color if you want to look natural. I have some friends that dye their hair and they pick the wrong color, too light or too dark. I don't care if you use to have real dark hair, for most people as they age they look stupid with dark hair. What's wrong with the people that have bleached out, yellowy blonde hair. Have some fun and try something. If it doesn't work out it will grow back and the color will grow out. Give it a try. Oh and don't forget to dye your eyebrows too!
I get a lot of migraines and don't want to mess with my hair. It's long and I wear a braid or ponytail most of the time. No gray hair yet.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:37 PM   #11
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I have a chin length bob and usually wash it every other day. I used to have it colored, but I was tired of the time and expense and the chemicals, and the grey kept showing so quickly. I have stopped coloring it. It does not look too bad. I keep thinking about having a pixie cut, but I am afraid that it would not look right on me. I have gone to the beauty college to get my hair cut the last 4-5 times. It cost $13.00 plus tip to have it cut, shampooed and blow dried. Definitely not the very best cut around, but it looks about the same as it did before when I paid a higher price. I feel about the same way as Dancer does in not caring so much what others think. I am 61 and I don't mind looking it.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:44 PM   #12
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I treat myself to hair color every 8-9 weeks. It feels so good and is very silky. I also buy Moroccan oil for my hair from her and put a few drops on when my hair is wet. It smells like sandalwood and it really helps keep it soft. DH uses the oil more than I do as his hair is pure white and dry. I've kept it short most of my adult life. It's less trouble that way. I might do something less often after ER next year. But I'll keep coloring and use the oil.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:07 PM   #13
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I let my light brown hair go gray until I was in my late forties, I think. It was not a pretty gray (it was splotchy battleship gray mixed in with the light brown) and more importantly DH, who asks nothing else of me, really wanted me to color it. I paid a hairdresser in a nice salon to color it until DH joined me in RE and feeling guilty about the cost, I told the stylist we were moving to a fixed income and I needed to cut expenses.

She said to buy l'oreal 5, natural light brown, as that is what she had been using on my hair for five years, in the "professional" line, except for special occasions. So I have been using that about once a month for almost six years. Anyone who has been having her hair colored by a stylist should be able to mimic how the color is applied. Maybe the gray and the light brown absorb it differently, but it is not a uniform color so I like to think it looks very natural (as if 63 year olf women have no gray hair ).

The time coloring it myself is about the driving time back and forth to a salon, and the cost is maybe $8 each time. But if DH didn't prefer it colored, I would stop tomorrow.

Re cut, my wavy hair looks best very short but i keep it about chin length with layers and bangs. I cut an inch off the bottom layer and my bangs every six weeks or so (my hair is very forgiving of mistakes), again, mimicking the stylist's technique. When the layers are all the same length, maybe six months, I go back and repeat the layered bob cut.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:24 AM   #14
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I have no gray. I have "naturally occurring ash blond highlights". I can't color it anyway, because then I would no longer be a real blond, so I enjoy my new highlights. Since it is fine and straight, it has been a chin length bob for most of my life. Too much longer and I look like an aging hippie and shorter requires too much styling. Since the haircut is simple, I just get it done at one of the walk-in cheapo places. My solution to gray and wrinkles is to avoid looking in the mirror as much as possible. My mom colored hers for years, but finally tired of it. She let the gray grow out and wound up with a funky streak of auburn in the middle. People keep asking her why she dyes a streak in like the kids do, but it's natural.

Spend the money on what makes you happy.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:48 AM   #15
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My stepdaughter and her husband own a larqe beauty salon here in the big town of Houston. It's a real money machine ($$$ and they make sure to spend all that income! $$$).

I would be curious to hear what you ladies spend on cuts/styles/coloring, etc at your salon (just as a frame of comparison). Now, if you don't want to broadcast that cost, that's OK too.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:58 AM   #16
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A thank you to the ladies from us menfolk, we deeply appreciate all the time and effort you put into being even more attractive to us. And yes, it is worth the effort.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:20 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
My stepdaughter and her husband own a larqe beauty salon here in the big town of Houston. It's a real money machine ($$$ and they make sure to spend all that income! $$$).

I would be curious to hear what you ladies spend on cuts/styles/coloring, etc at your salon (just as a frame of comparison). Now, if you don't want to broadcast that cost, that's OK too.
Hmmm, I don't know, will they give us a discount?

What do they charge for a cut and colir?
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:27 AM   #18
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Katsmeow, are you certain we are not sisters? I've been dyeing it myself for 30 years, with perhaps 6-8 times having it done at a salon.
If this works, there will be two photos.
Here for all are my options:
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:00 AM   #19
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Hmmm, I don't know, will they give us a discount?

What do they charge for a cut and colir?
Not exactly sure but it would be in the range of over $100 and up to $200. The way it's done in these places (at least in the Big town) is the shop owner hires cosmetologists on a contract basis and each one gets to keep a % of the cost of the service they provide.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:03 AM   #20
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My wife does the salon coloring and keeps hers fairly short. Her hair is natural curly so less troubles with it shorter, especially given her job as nurse. I just accept it as a cost roughly 4-6 weeks between the expenses. She has always done this, never seen her with grey hairs mixed in.

Now me on the other hand, mine is mixed grey and brown, and getting more grey then brown. Men don't have the same problems with grey hair making them look older as women do. I used to get haircut about 6 weeks interval. Since I cut mine short and with clippers, I bought my own and now my wife cuts my hair for free. Two haircuts cost paid for the clippers. Now I am money ahead!

My philosphy on my hair: if it fall out or truns grey that is how God made my genes and that is how it will be. No coloring or fake hair for me. Men have it a lot easier, I just towel it dry, comb into approximate position and that is it for the day. No treatments, no hair spray, no coloring, blow dry or curling iron - no problems!
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