Monday 29 October 2012

Weave Really got to Stretch it Out...

When packing in a slight rush to move to a foreign country, there are things you may leave behind.

Unimportant things, such as your sewing machine; those pair of jeans with the hole; toothpaste.

But today, I realized I'd left behind something mega important.

It's winter! Rain, and thus tangles, will surely be upon me. How will I survive without stretching?
 What to do? 

Ah, but look what I did remember to pack.

Weave thread somehow managed to find itself into my bag, despite the fact the first (and last) time I had a weave, I was not even legally old enough to do a paper round. Whatdaheck?!

Anyway, having stumbled across this very informative video by the lovely Nadia of GirlsLoveYourCurls, I may give African Threading a whirl this winter.

Granted, the last time I had this style done, I was too young to consent to the actions being taken upon my person, so my mum did it in looped arches over my head that had the other kids calling me spidey-head.
Nowadays, they'd be calling me innovative! 

I actually took my twists out on Friday. I'd started on Thursday night and hoped it would take me till Friday afternoon to take them all out, but nope, I didn't finish till 10pm on Friday night. So I just bunned it and left it like that.

On Saturday morning, I quickly mixed up some bentonite clay mixed with some ACV and water and slathered my head in it. I ended up leaving it in for an hour, because my housemate got to the bathroom before me >.<

When I finally got in the shower, I rinsed it all out quite easily and then conditioned. 
I tried my best to leave it on for longer than three minutes, but there's only so long a girl can scrub her elbows for.
Rinsed that out, put in my homemade moisturiser, and then decided to thread my hair to stretch it.

It took me nearly two hours to do my head, but that's because the technique takes a while to get down, and I was wrapping quite tightly. 

Also, on some of the sections, I would be nearly to the end, check the mirror and realise that I hadn't secured it tightly enough at the root and the thread had slipped, so I'd have to undo it and start again.

I used about 5- 6 foot (up to 180cm) of string for each section and on some of them, I ran out.
But the stretch was pretty awesome. Instant hairnorexia cure.


Taking them out was ridiculously easy. Seconds per section. Really. However, it was only a couple of house (6 hours, I think?) so my hair wasn't completely dry, but it was on it's way there.

The roots were still a bit big, because I didn't secure them all very well, so I just threw my hair into a bun. But then I remembered buns don't always work for me, so I split it into two buns. Then each bun I split into two sections and fat-twisted each sections. 

Friday 26 October 2012

Needs Vs Want

Can I ask you a question? 
Wonder: Yeah, course. 
Me: Do you think £194 is too much to pay for a hair dryer? 
Housemate from next room: No!! / Wonder: What?! 
Me: Actually, it's in dollars. So it'd only be about £120... 
Wonder: .... You're kidding. What does the site say when you convert it to pounds? 
Me: I didn't say I was going to buy it! It's just...research. 
Wonder: You can't be serious. I've seen you walk half a mile to save 30p and now you want to splash out on a £200 hairdryer?!  
Housemate from next room: You get what you pay for!
Me: Like an investment? 
Wonder: I have a hairdryer! You can just use mine (We have already seen evidence of his friend's love of hair tools, so I guess this admission was inevitable. Didn't make it any less funny). 
Me: Well, does it have *reading from the site* 3 heat settings, a cool shot and tourmaline crystals? And ions? 
Wonder Thing: blows hot hair like a hair dryer should -_- 
Me:  Ion deficiency is really bad. A hairdryer needs 'em! Ions are important!
Housemate from next room: Very important! 

Oh, looks like I got ions and iron confused. My bad.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Following Cassie's Footsteps

When one moves to a new place, the natural instinct is to explore it and check it out. Ascertain what your favourite shops and places and where they may be.

It's always nice to have a little bit of information.

Fortunately, Cassie of has already written a short but informative piece about her hair related travels in Paris.
Boom, instant guide to hair care in Paris.

Obviously, my first stop as a wannabe mixtress was AromaZone. 

It was exactly as described, though a lot smaller than I'd imagined. In my mind's eyes, I'd envisaged it as a ingredient emporium, but it was cosier than I thought. All the ingredients were separated into sections according to their purpose and then neatly lined up alphabetically.
I'm not exactly a diplomat when it comes to the art of the French language, so I have to admit that my knowledge of the Latin names of ingredients really helped.
So much stuff! There were testers too, so you could immediately feel the texture and smell the different oils (eurgh to raspberry oil - not as tasty as I was hoping!).

As well as the typical 'health food' shop products, they also have emulsifers, hydrolats, containers and neutral bases for the more serious mixologists; indian powders, henna, and their own line of handmade cosmetics too. There
I went to the sample area and bough some aloe vera (which I later found out was cut with sunflower oil/helianthus annus - sigh), brazil nut oil, some vanilla scented sesame oil (so scrummy smelling! Has bits of vanilla seed floating about inside) and some green montmillonrite clay - I'd been running low on bentonite clay (and it was reduced, so...). They're all under 2,00€ for a 10ml sample of anything, if you want to try before you buy, which I thought was more than reasonable, considering that most of them are organic (bio).

That was only on my first trip there, but we'll talk about the rest later on :)
It's easily reached by the metro - Odeon on ligne 4, Maubert Mutalite on ligne 10. Check to be sure..

Next up - Saint Denis Strasbourg!
That was all Cassie had mentioned, so I hopped on the Metro to the stop. My first experience upon exiting was different because I'd gone to the wrong stop - if you want to get the exact same experience as her, of emerging in front a fair and white skin bleaching shop, go to the Chateau d'Eau stop, not the Saint Denis Strasbourg one.
This will also mean that you don't end up lost in a labyrinth of clothes shops too!
When I finally found my way back to the correct, hair-related area, I did get a few guys asking me to enter their shops to get manicures, pedicures  (not so much with relaxers, since I was in mini twists). I just insisted I didn't speak French well.

Well, I don't.

 One guy was really insistent, so I simply stared ahead and said 'Non, merci' over and over again whilst walking away.
Some of them will approach you as soon as you get off the metro train, even if you're only changing over to another line!
It's far more annoying than it is scary.

I found that the hair shops were incredibly similar to many of the hair shops I'd frequently back when I lived in London, though I did find one that sold Jane Carter hair products for under 20 euros each. I don't know if that's good or not; I just know that I was surprised to see them there. 

I'll admit - I chose which shops to enter based on size. The bigger shops tended to have a bigger variety.

I went to look for the 'Little India', which I assumed was Passage Brady, but at the moment there's a lot of construction going on and only a few restaurants were open.
So I called it a day and went back home.

However, Cassie's article has proved to be incredibly helpful to me - I literally can't imagine what I would be doing if I hadn't found AromaZone! I've been back twice already (or is it three times...?)

Monday 22 October 2012

Out with the Old

And in with the familiar!

So, after sitting down and whining and fretting about everything I wanted to do to my hair, what did I do?

Why, mini twists of course!

Putting them in:

I started it late on a Tuesday evening and finished it on Thursday afternoon.

Which means, technically, it took me less than two days and is officially fast than my last set.
Huh. Maybe I'm getting faster?
I think I changed my technique half way through, because one side was longer and straight than than the other.

Did it on dry hair, using only minute amounts of shea butter mixture on each twist section.

And then I got my hair trimmed by The Wonder Thing.

I simply pointed out the ends that weren't curling, gave him the hair scissors and let him do away with the wicked, whittled ends. I know that when it comes to cutting, I'm a bit stingy, whereas my better half was deliciously ruthless in following my instructions and snipping off up to 1.5-2 inches of rubbish ends.

After which I spent the next hour and a half stroking my hair.
Despite how much I despise cutting my hair, I love the way it feels after it's been cut. I definitely need to maintain this feeling throughout the year.


Wetting my hair in the shower every morning and adding aloe vera gel and some sort of oil (usually this one) on top has kept the twists feeling great. I prefer to do this in the morning because then I'll definitely do it - at night, it feels like far too much hassle to do!
 I've got to admit, I haven't always worn my satin scarf at night - at first I thought I forgot it at home. However, I managed to find it, only to have it continuously falling off my head during the night.
Can't. Win.
I do tie the twists up at night though, to prevent too much movement and overheating of my face during the night.
I co-wash every week or so and go over my scalp partings with an old, soft toothbrush and some witch hazel every week. Also, because the water in Paris is notoriously hard (the pipes in my apartment are a mess), I've started adding Apple Cider Vinegar rinses in to my weekly co-washes.
Every now and then, I re-do the twists around the parameter and some with the loosest roots..
That's it!

It was also semi-perfect timing that I put these in, because then I could join Loo's Challenge with ease, because I was already there.

At the time of this being published, they've been in for 5 weeks (finished them on September the 13th) and I originally thought I may actually be pushing for 8 weeks (until November the 16th). I might even put them back in - who knows?

I just really appreciate the convenience of having my hair like this when I'm so busy settling in and running around. And not having to stretch on a weekly basis! (At least) What joy!

Saturday 20 October 2012

My Not So Secret Location

Hey. Wanna know where I've been/I am? How about a couple of guesses?

1st clue: Dun dun dun dun dun dun DUN dun dun, dun dun dun duuuuun dun dun dun!*


Okay, 2nd clue. It's a biggie.