Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cindy knows: It's all about the hair

It’s all about the hair – and mine ain’t my crowning glory :o
Here’s the deal. I have high maintenance hair. Not thin but definitely not thick. It's baby fine, string straight and has abso-freakin-lutely NO body. I live in fear of high humidity days. I run, screaming, from gusty winds. I tremble at the thought of an empty bottle of hairspray. But I leap for joy – you can picture that, right? - at the thought of vacationing in Colorado. Great hair air there, let me tell you. Zero humidity. Had some of my best hair days EVER in Denver. Next week I’m going on a white water raft/camping trip in the Grand Canyon. Normally, Arizona is no problem. Dry, dry, dry. But I mentioned water, right? So I’ve already given the edict to my rafting buddies: Photo ops officially end after the first rapids because the ‘do’ will go down in a blaze of white water and glory – make that gory. Ug. Truly, I’m more afraid for the hair than I am for my life.

After that first soaking, it will be hat hair from then on and let me tell you – it ain’t pretty. Although … just today I found a nifty little battery operated portable curling iron on line. It’s on its way (expedited mail delivery) as we speak. And it MAY be my saving grace in camp each night. There are ‘cute’ guides on this trip, after all, and hey, I may be happily married but I ain’t dead.

From the time I was old enough to know the difference between a bad hair and a good hair day, I’ve been planning around ‘the hair issue’. I was reminded recently how long it's been an issue when I was cleaning closets and discovered a box with my 6th grade diary. I kid you not, EVERY day had a journal entry something like: ‘My hair looked pretty good today.’ Or, ‘Today was awful. I didn’t want to go to school because my hair looked so crappy.’ Nothing shallow about me, even at 11 and 12. Ahem.

I know...I know. Some people might call all this fixation with hair an issue of vanity. Well --- yah. But those of you who have ‘bad’ hair know it’s much more than that, right? Right?? It’s an identity thing. And it ranks right up there with chocolate on the important meter. My friend, Susan, doesn’t understand. That’s because Susan has this amazing head of course, dynamic, glorious hair that NEVER goes flat, NEVER needs a curling iron and, God Love her, NEVER needs mousse, gell or even hair spray. Did I hear a collective gasp? If I didn’t love her so much I’d hate her for her hair alone, it’s that good.

So what about the rest of you? Anyone else out there feel my pain? Anyone else own a bazillion half-used bottles, tubes, cans, and vials (yes VIALS) of hair product that promised you the hair of your dreams but delivered only more nightmares? Or is truth in advertising more than a myth and somewhere out there one of you has, indeed, discovered THE HOLY GRAIL of hair products that lives up to all the hype and gives your hair the much sought after volume and lasting hold without the helmet hair effect? If so … there could be major perks in it for you if you will but share with this poor, pitiful hair deficient author who desperately needs to figure out how to survive RWA in Dallas in July. Again.

Come on, people. I’m whining here. Give. I need the secret to successful hair. And I need it soon. Let me hear what you've got. At the very least commiserate with me about your own hair dilemmas. I know you're out there. But you - yeah, you know who you are - you're the one with the gorgeous natural curls that you just once wish were straight. You don't count, sweetie, unless you can reaaallllyyy convince me you've got a problem :o)

Oh - and least I forget I have a new release out May 29 - INTO THE DARK. Also the first 4 books in the Bodyguard series (TO THE EDGE, TO THE LIMIT, TO THE BRINK, OVER THE LINE) were re-released this month. Truthfully, I could use a few sales - I NEED new hair products.


Keri Ford said...

Let me apologize first, because I think this is going to be long.

I couldn’t have described my own hair better than you did. Thin. Flat. Stringy. No shine. Tangles. And did I mention I shed? Like a freaking cat. My remains are all over the furniture, the floor, I find them twisted around my son’s hands- no, he can’t really reach out and grab a handful from my head yet. I don’t know were he gets them. Hubby unclogs the shower drain once a week because it stays stopped up. For some reason the rain makes all those little uncontrollable flyaway hairs kink up like an early 90s perm suddenly revisited. And only the rain does that. If it air dries from the tub, it looks as though I’ve dipped my hair in a gallon of vegetable oil. Air dries from the pool you can’t tell what it looks like because it’s just one hunking mass of tangles. There is one bonus! With all those factors, I can blow-dry fairly quickly!

But these are my secrets for a decent hair-do as long as the weather is perfect. As in, no wind, no moisture, and not so hot you sweat.

John Freida (sp?) makes the best shampoos and conditioners. I use Brilliant Blonde when I’m feeling extra wealth in my checkbook. There’s a bottle for each color. I don’t use it often, because with long tangly hair, I have to use a lot of conditioner and those pricey little bottles just don’t get me far. Other than that, I am falling in love with Pantene-Pro V Ice Shine (or is it Sheen?). I wash and blow-dry before I attempt any fixing. Even if I’m letting a pro hairdresser do it and she tells me not to wash that day.

Add a handful of Baby Powder once it’s dry. Far as I know, a scent doesn’t make a difference, nor a brand. But I use Johnson’s. The baby powder absorbs any excess grease from your scalp and allows the hair to stand up better. It’s probably not good for the scalp and I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say it might cause dandruff with everyday use for long periods of time. (if you need to revamp a style after a few hours, this is a great way to get it done)

I keep fairly long hair-usually down to my bra strap in the back. My hairdresser tells me it’d look a lot better it’d cut off some of that weight, but I’m determined to have glorious, lustrous looking hair. So I hot roll. I use the jumbo rollers. Two on top, two on each side, and two sets of two next to each other in the back. Before I roll a strap, I squirt it with flexible hold hairspray. Doesn’t matter the brand to me, as long as it’s flexible- not the maximum flexible hold, that comes later. But I find myself using John Freida and Pantene Pro-V, cause my wal-mart mixes all the stuff together by brand. My hot rollers are the velvet ones, cause no way will my fine hair hold on to a heavy, slick, wax roller. Let them completely cool and remove.

Flip your head over, have your flexible hold hairspray ready and gently head bang to loosen those curls as you spray. Use fingers for stubborn curls. When you flip back over, you’ll be reminded of out-of-control teased hair, but gently pick it into a style of choosing and spray heavily with a maximum hold flexible hairspray. Half of that huge volume will be gone in an hour and it looks like halfway thick hair. Good Luck!

Cindy Gerard said...

Wow! Keri. You are my new hair hero!
Sounds like you've got this down to an art. But... and it's a big one. You mentioned curl. mine is the string straight variety. But I'm going to check out those products. I'm confused on the baby powder. How do you apply it so you don't look like you have, um, baby powder on your head??
Keep 'em coming ladies.

Keri Ford said...

Yeah, I only get curl when I use my hot rollers or if I get rained on. Other than that,it looks as though I've iron my hair. I think I would have been popular in the 60s. Was that when they ironed hair?

Anyway, for the baby powder, I flip my head over, and pour the powder in my hand and shake it in, making sure I get it against my scalp and down the strands really good. Probably should have mentioned to make sure you hold your breath.

I've only had the powder show one time, and that was right around my face. I just took a dry rag and kind of hit myself with it to knock off the excess.

Try it right before washing your hair until you get the hang of it. Then if you come out looking like a cu-tip, you're ready to wash.

Michele Hauf said...

As a former cosmetologist, I used to be hair-obsessed. I had every curling iron, all the curlers, pins, gels, sprays, mousses, and even gave myself my own perms (still do, once in a while).

I've done a complete one-eighty. I'm now very keen on 'au natural'. There are days I'll get up, glance in the mirror, think 'it'll do' and don't even bother to pick up a comb. Seriously. I have stick-straight, down to my elbows hair that (like Keri) sheds like a mother. I can run my fingers through it and come out with a handfull. But that's normal, I've learned. 70-80- strands of hair loss a day is normal for any person. But boy, do we chicks with long hair really notice it. All over everything. Including hair balls that form in the dryer and attach themselves to the towels. It freaks the famiy. :-)

Anyway, my hair care system is shampoo every other day, or even every third day. (Shampooing too much strips precious oils from the hair shaft, and really, we only need to concentrate on the scalp the most when we shampoo.) I don't blow dry, haven't for over a decade (takes two hours to dry), and I don't curl. I do ocassionally use hot rollers for a book signing.

But that's the thing, I don't have a social schedule. I never leave the house, so why bother curling? Should I be fixing myself up to sit in front of the computer? To get groceries? To go to the Post Office? I just don't know...


lois greiman said...

Wow!! Baby powder!! Who knew? Keri, you're a genius.

I have yucky hair. Really yucky. One on each side of my head and both of them are straight. I have no hair secrets, no regiments, no hope. I'm thinking, in fact, of shaving my head and getting a nice scalp tattoo. Who's with me?

Cindy Gerard said...

I'm beginning to think that LONG hair might be the solution but a per son reaches a certain age and it's a little hard to pull off. Definitely gonna give the baby powder a try!!

Helen Brenna said...

Keri! You're superhairwoman!

I always hated my fine hair until I started coloring it. That made it drier, but also gave it more texture.

Lois, I can see you with a nice skull and crossbones tattoo. LOL - not.

Kathleen Eagle said...

I found out I had bad hair early on. Mama told me. Often. In a whiney voice. She wanted a little Shirley Temple, but I don't know where she thought she'd get such a creature. Her hair wasn't much better than mine, and Daddy started balding about the time I was born. I have vivid memories of the stench of the Toni Home Perm (hence my adulthood collection of 50's era Toni dolls). I was probably 4. Nowadays Child Protection would undoubtedly put Mama on notice.

Last week I spent $165 + tips for foil and cut. I know you can pay a lot more, but this in MN. And anyone who knows me knows how painful this is for me. I'm cheap squared. But Mama lives in my subconscious, and hair makes the girl. My womanly aspect doesn't do much on a daily basis except wash and air dry, but my inner girl gets me to the hairdresser for my periodic stabbing at outer beauty.

Yes, Keri, I was right in style in the late 60's, early 70's. I didn't need an iron. Hairdressers are always surprised to find that (there's more hair here than I thought." It's pleniful but fine as can be. ("Mama, you said it was fine. Why are you crying?") Ah, well. One thing I know for sure: my head is too big and bumpy to go without.

Anonymous said...

Cindy - first I LOVE your Bodyguard series. It was my glom for the spring. I'm anxiously awaiting the new book.

Hair - Mine is a mess. I have fine, thin, oily (yes STILL oily at 42), chin length bobbed Indian Hair. And I live in Oklahoma. (Can you say wind and humidity?)

Anyway, I've really had luck improving my hair in the last couple of years. My secrets? After 30 years with bangs, I grew them out, started coloring the gray (helps dry it out, and thicken at the same tie), and I cut if off to a chin-length bob with a side part.

Also, found a WONDERFUL set of hair-care products for thin, fragile, easily falls-out hair.




I LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff. I buy it at the local beauty supply (I have a connection with a Beauth License) and use all their stuff. They have great shampoo and conditioner (I use 2 bottles of shampoot to every one conditioner!) and they have a hairspray with extra hold that can Move without losing the control. NO HELMET HEAD.

Anyway - just saying, it might be worth a look.

P.S. Did I say that sometimes I can even go TWO days between shampooing and I've NEVER done that before in my life til I used this stuff.

Good luck!

Marcia in OK

Cindy Gerard said...

Lois - I FEEL your pain. And you always look amazing
Kathy - Toni's. OMG. I'd forgotten but just you writing about them conjures up the smell. I HATED Toni's but like your momma, my momma always tried. Can't tell you how many grade school photos I have with - you guessed it - a brand new perm - tight little frizzy curls. Oh, the humiliation!!
MARCIA - First - thanks on the Bodyguards. You're a sweetie to say such nice things. Second, I'm going to check those products out And maybe consider a new cut. I've had it layered for a number of years to 'achieve' the all illusive body but I gotta tell you, I don't think it's working.
Keep 'em coming people. I'm loving this - and I did mention rewards, remember.

Keri Ford said...

I am amazed by those of you who can color you hair and find texture! I colored mine once, and I couldn’t even get TANGLES to hold it turned so silky smooth. Now, I can highlight and get texture to have great hair for a solid month.

Kathleen! $165! As in DOLLARS in American money??? Wow. In south Arkansas my lady will highlight and cut for about $80. It’s been a few months, so it could have gone up since then, but man.

Diane in Syracuse said...

So, I'm right there with you all on the thin, fine hair, but mine does have a little body. It's just below shoulder-length with short layers in the front (I have a 4-finger forehead - bangs are pretty much essential, especially since I've always had crease, even as a teenager, despite my carefree life and happy disposition).

I'm nearly 42 (not coloring my hair yet, though white strands are no longer singular but RIGHT THERE IN FRONT where I see them), but still have the long hair - when I'm feeling dignified, I wear it up. Sometimes in a tucked up french braid, but most often, I have one of those things (two flat fabric-covered pieces that fold over your hair) that you just pull to the end of your hair and then roll the hair around it and then -snap! - it coils into a (nearly) perfect bun (that, incidentally, makes your hair look thicker, because of the machine).

Gratifyingly, it works better on me than on my niece's much thicker hair.

I tried short hair in college, but it was harder to make it do right than to put it up, and I have more options this way.

I use Body Shop shampoo, conditioner and this coconut thing for the frizzies.

Hi, Marcia!

Christie Ridgway said...

I won't tell you how much I have to pay in SoCal for cut and highlights... But has anyone seen that commericial for Las Vegas where the two hot women with lovely hair go into the bathroom and trade wigs? I'm so thinking...hey, that would be fun. A wig!

Anyone ever tried it. I suppose a good one is tres expensive.

I like my hair, but Cindy, even with my good hair that damn Dallas ruins everything. Why do we keep going back there for the RWA conferece?

p.s. Can't wait for your next book!

Cindy Gerard said...

Ah, wigs. Been there. Done that:o) it was a long time ago. Long time. I remember them as being tight and hot. But they were kind of fun.
And I'd love your hair too if I had, Christie. Bounce and body and shine. Very nice. Nice enough to make me pout when I see you :o)

And Dianne. French braids. Oh. I've always wanted to be able to french braid my hair but even when I wore it long and one length, it was so fine and slippery a braid wouldn't stay in.

Lots of good ideas. I'm thinking I either have to go longer or shorter in quite with this middle of the fence stuff.

byrdloves2read said...

Cindy, I don't have any hair care products to recommend but my hairdresser and I found what works for me. My hair is fine and stick straight, won't hold a curl longer than half an hour. I now cut it in a modified "Dorothy Hamill" or bowl cut and get it permed on really big curlers. This gives it just enough body to turn the ends under. I wash and blow dry it every morning and don't mess with it the rest of the day. I don't even carry a brush or comb with me.

Good luck finding your own solution.


Cindy Gerard said...

Now THAT sounds like a great solution. My hair is the kind that even though it's string straight, the ends have this ugly little thing they do up frizzing up just enough to look totally weird. The only color I do now is a highlight but I'm not sure even that would work with a perm. But I'll be checking it out. along with all the great products everyone has suggested.
More, people. I'm still up for more!!

Kaitlin said...

Cindy-I didn't mean to laugh at your dilemma...truly I didn't, but I had to. See, I've got basically the exact opposite problem. My hair is extremely fine and EXTREMELY thick. So thick in fact that I cannot do anything with it. I've braided it & the braid fell out. I've curled it and the curls go flat. I've used hair spray, gel, etc. and my hair just goes Pfft.

What's really funny is just recently I cut my hair. It was almost halfway down my back & I got it cut to just below my chin. As the hairdresser was cutting, she was exclaiming "I see curls back here!" I was thinking "Yeah, right," but amazingly enough, she was right.

Sure, they only lasted that one day until the next day when I was my hair, but now every time I was my hair (twice a week), there are curls! Do you have any idea how crazy that is? LOL!

So, just because someone has flat hair or thin hair; thick hair or no hair, there's always something to complain about because we're human.

Though, I do have to say that I've been going silver since I was 16 years old (thanks to my mother's genetics) and at almost 31, the silver is becoming more noticeable...but you know what? I don't care, because it's beautiful and aging gracefully is what it's all about...right? LOL! :)

Kaitlin said...

PS...Cindy, when does Dallas' book come out for certain? Your website just shows a tentative date of June. Is there any further info? Please? :D

Cindy Gerard said...

Key Kaitlin
Curls? Heaven.
Mine is thick also but so fine and straight. Did I mention straight?
May 29th is the release date - so we'll hope it's out by then
thanks for asking!!

Cindy Gerard said...

Thanks to everyone who chimed in and gave me hair advice. I sooo appreciate it. I promised rewards - or something:o) Anyone who replied with helpful hints please go to my website and e-mail me your full name and snail mail addy and I'll slip some goodies in the mail to you.
thanks again

Cindy Gerard said...

Oh - and I almost forgot
I'm blogging on Plot Monkeys tomorrow. Would love to see you there.

Kaitlin said...

Well, since I didn't have any actual suggestions, I guess that excludes me. *sniffle* Aw well. I usually just put mine up with a headband. Gets it out of my face, which is all that matters to me anyway. :)

Bill & Jean said...

This is a little late in the thread, but I enjoyed the reading. I have superfine, straight hair, but a ton of it. The result? A ton of hair that won't hold a style...at all! And, once it grows, it acts like really heavy hair (basically limp and dead). After years of wearing it long, then cutting it off and repeating the process ad nauseum, I finally have it cut in a modified 'Rachel'. I know...so 90s!! But, I can grow it to my shoulders, or cut it back a little and each style is fine. I don't have to use a curling iron or rollers. I use some type of volume mousse (pantene, clairol, nexxus, matrix, etc...) before blow-drying. I use a round brush at the roots and blast the crap out of it. If I know it's going to be a really humid day, I also use hairspray at the roots (one can never be too sure). I assemble it in some sort of respectable style and spray, and spray, and spray until it's relatively shellacked (sp?). I've used every hairspray imaginable and find that the sebastian and matrix knock-offs in the drug store actually work best (what's better than $3-4????).

When all else fails and I just know it's not worth the battle, a clip in the back or barrettes on top work wonders. Also, I ride a motorcycle and nothing works better than a bandana for those days.