Tag Archives: hair

The Pros and Cons of Straight Hair

There are quite a few blog articles out there about dealing with curly hair, but not a lot about straight hair, I’ve noticed. Most folks believe that curly hair is the harder type of hair to deal with, whereas straight hair seems “easier.” As an owner of straight hair, I believe I may be able to set the record straight (hee hee) about how it is to live with straight hair (and to love it, in fact!).

A Little Background, Please

I’ve had stick-straight, fine hair my entire life, and up until a few years ago, I despaired of being able to do anything with it. With my oval face shape and curvier body size, big, glossy, voluminous curls looks REALLY great on me…BUT they take many hours and lots of product to achieve. (And even then, the curls aren’t guaranteed to stay. See: prom night, when I let down my sponge-rollers after 17 hours of letting my mousse- and gel-soaked hair dry in them…and promptly saw that hard-won curl relax into straightness again. Much ARGH.) And what about the Great Brillo-Pad Spiral Perm of 1991? Let’s just not go there. :S

But a few years ago, I realized that even though I didn’t have the big amazing curls I thought I wanted, I did have something quite lovely in its own regard; straight, shiny hair.

This is how my hair dries naturally, with no product in it at all–glossy, smooth, and straight. For years I bemoaned the fact that I could do nothing “cool” with my hair…not realizing that this style was “cool” in and of itself. There are curly-haired girls who get up extra-early every morning and work for two solid hours to get their hair to look like this (much to my surprise!).

I’ve generally kept my hair long and center-parted like this, and so I’ve ended up with a head of fairly easy-care hair, quite by accident. Many women cannot say that; they continue to fight their natural texture every day, as I did for several years. I suppose the big difference is that I finally got tired of fighting my hair texture and decided to run with it instead.

So, without further ado, I present to you “The Pros and Cons of Straight Hair;” straight-haired girls will probably nod and laugh, and curly-haired girls may just sit and wonder at how the “other half” lives. LOL

Pros of Straight Hair Cons of Straight Hair
  • No need for frizz serums
  • Very, VERY shiny 😀
  • Looks tidy and sleek without much effort
  • Smooths down flat to your head for sophisticated updos
  • Braids easily
  • A little easier to detangle (note, I said “a little”)
  • Easy to part
  • Things wash out of it easily (shampoo, peanut butter, marinara sauce…hey, I have long hair that likes to dip itself in food occasionally)
  • Strong, doesn’t break off easily
  • Want volume? Really? Seriously? Uh, NO.
  • Barrettes, clips, and bobby pins slide right out of your hair if they aren’t glued in or cemented in with hairspray (NOT kidding)
  • Shows greasy roots/excess hair product very easily
  • “Bedhead” texture = not cute with straight hair. More like “strung-out-on-something” texture.
  • Hair elastics must be wrapped around the hair 3 or 4 times for it to hold the hair firmly enough
  • Curling your straight hair? Don’t bother if your hair is longer than shoulder-length; the sheer weight of your hair will drag the curl right out in MINUTES.
  • Hairspray turns straight hair into an unmoving mass, like a frozen curtain
  • Any clip or barrette that has been put into your hair runs the risk of leaving a very noticeable “dent” in your hair when it’s taken out (very unflattering)

What do you think? Have I hit the nail on the head (or the hair)? 😛 Let me know in the comments!

Beauty Hack: Sprayable Conditioner

It never failed: every time I went to put conditioner on my hair in the shower, I’d inevitably end up with a glob of it refusing to wash out of my hair properly. It got to where I quit even using conditioner for a while, because I was tired of my straight, medium-fine hair looking flat and greasy even right after washing. No matter how little I used, it never seemed to wash out effectively, even if I just used it on the ends of my hair. It just wouldn’t “spread” right on my hair, somehow.

The A-HA! Moment

Before styling my hair one morning, I sprayed in a little leave-in conditioner (which had been my fallback product since the in-shower conditioner wasn’t working out so great). “Man, I wish the bottled conditioner was this easy to apply,” I found myself thinking. “Wish I could just spray it in and wash it out when I was ready.”

And then, it hit me: haven’t I seen spray bottles on sale, in beauty supply stores if nothing else? Couldn’t I just put my conditioner in a spray bottle like those?

The Hack in Progress

sprayconditioner I went out to my local Sally Beauty Supply and picked up three of these little spray bottles, meant for travel size products (available online as well as in-store). Then, I went home to try out my idea.

The first run-through of my idea didn’t go quite as well as I thought–the conditioner seemed too thick to be able to spray that well. Then, I realized that I had a little room in the top of the spray bottle; I added a little tap water, shook it up, and voila, I had a sprayable conditioner!

How It Works Now

I eventually used all three spray bottles for my various shampoo-matching conditioners, and I can say now that it’s made my conditioning time a lot simpler. Not only do I use less conditioner, leading to less greasy strands, but it spreads more evenly on the hair and washes out more effectively than it ever has before.

For general use, I spray a few sprays of conditioner into my hand, rub my hands together, and then run my hands through the midlengths and ends of my hair. I find that the spray bottle makes it easy to add just a little more conditioner to my hand without glopping out a whole bunch like my conditioner bottles usually did. (If you trust your aim, you can spray directly into your hair for even easier application!)

Spray Conditioner How-To

  • Buy or reuse a spray bottle (any size will do, depending on your need). Just make sure that the sprayer is not a “fine mist” one (the conditioner will only gunk it up). Also, if you’re reusing a spray bottle, make sure you wash out and rinse not only the bottle, but the sprayer head as well. You don’t want weird product residue and conditioner mixing together on your head!
  • Fill your bottle part of the way with conditioner. If you want a fairly thin, easily-spreadable conditioner, as I did, fill the bottle up 2/3 with conditioner. If you want a little thicker conditioner, fill it up 3/4 with conditioner instead. Don’t go more than 3/4 of the way full with conditioner, though–it won’t spray well if it’s too thick, as I discovered.
  • Add in water, leaving a little room at the top for the sprayer head to be put on.
  • Once the sprayer head is on and tightened, shake up the bottle really well.
  • Ta-da! You have sprayable conditioner, ready for your next shower!

Life Hack: Using OxiClean to Clean My Combs

Most of us think of OxiClean and other super-detergents as being more for the laundry and really tough stain-fighting. But leave it to me to find another (creative) use for it!

The Problem: Strange Film on My Combs

I’ll admit, I’m slightly vain about my hair’s apparent cleanliness and tidiness. I could usually care less about being completely made up, wearing pretty (and painful) shoes, etc. But I absolutely hate when my hair looks dirty just after washing it, or when it has tons of ratty ends, flyaways, or a non-centered part. (OCD, much? 😛 )

This whole not-quite-obsession with having clean- and tidy-looking hair roared up out of my subconscious one recent evening, when I had gotten home from a workout and quickly hopped into the shower to clean up. My hair felt great after I washed it–felt squeaky clean, light, and generally awesome. I went to detangle it with my trusty wide-tooth comb…

…and a minute or so later, I looked at my detangled, “clean” hair in horror. My hair no longer looked shiny, but dull with dirt; moreover, there was a white filmy substance just barely visible on a few sections of my hair.

A serious “OMG-WHAT-DID-I-DO?!” moment ensued, culminating in the discovery that the offender was the wide-tooth comb itself. The white filmy stuff was clearly visible between the individual teeth of my comb; it could easily be scratched off with a fingernail or toothpick, rendering fingernailfuls of white goop that felt like gluey gel to the touch.

I was pretty sure this stuff had to be hair product buildup of some sort (found out later it had to be excess conditioner, because I don’t use my combs for anything but detangling just-washed hair), but I still wanted it off my comb(s). Both of the wide-tooth combs I had in my drawer were like this, and it disgusted me. The damage had already been done to my current hair wash, but I wanted this junk gone off my combs so that I didn’t have to worry with it the next day.

A Creative “Solution” (Literally)

I debated for a moment about getting an old or unused toothbrush and trying to scrub away at the “teeth” of each comb with some soap. And then, my eye lit on the huge tub of OxiClean powder under the sink, awaiting its myriad uses in laundry stain-removing and house-cleaning. “I wonder…” I thought. Well, it couldn’t hurt to try–my combs were solid plastic, after all.

So I filled up my trusty 12-quart dishpan (great for soaking delicates and small items) halfway with hot water, then put about a third of a scoop of OxiClean in it and dissolved it. After I was sure it was dissolved thoroughly (like usual), I threw both wide-tooth combs in the tub–and left it for a while, going about the business of getting dried off, wrung out, and dressed again.

The Result: Squeaky-Clean Combs, Squeaky-Clean Hair!

After about 2 hours of checking it, flipping the combs over in the water, etc., I went back and checked them. When I lifted one from the water, I saw a literal CLOUD of itty-bitty debris shake loose from it underwater, and I thought, “Oh wow, this might have really worked.” But I didn’t believe it for myself till I scratched at one of the teeth with my fingernail and came away with absolutely nothing. The OxiClean solution had indeed dissolved all that product buildup, leaving the comb clean as a whistle. HOORAY!

I rinsed the combs very, very well under both hot and cold water and let them dry overnight before using them again, and I have to say, my hair is turning out so much better. And to think, I thought all this buildup on my hair was the fault of some of the shampoos I was using!

To Try This at Home:

  1. First of all, do not try this on any brush or comb that has rubber, silicone, or wooden parts. I don’t know exactly how OxiClean would react with these materials, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be good. A completely “hard plastic” brush or comb shouldn’t hurt, though.
  2. Use either a dishpan or a sink to soak out your chosen hair implements.
  3. Fill the pan/sink with only enough hot water to thoroughly submerge your brushes/combs. Note: Combs will float, but this is not a real issue–just flip your combs over every so often so all of the plastic, especially between the teeth of each comb, comes in contact with the water. (Hot water makes the OxiClean work better, I’ve found.)
  4. Dissolve a third to a half scoop of OxiClean in the water before you add your brushes/combs. (My measurements come from the scoop that came with my tub of OxiClean, which looks like a powder laundry detergent scoop.) If you’re soaking a lot of stuff or if it’s all absolutely caked with stuff, go with a half-scoop; otherwise, less is more.
  5. Put your brushes/combs in, and soak for at least an hour. Check periodically to see how it’s progressing, swishing the combs and brushes underwater. Your brushes/combs are clean when you can scratch at the bristles or teeth with a fingernail and come away with nothing.
  6. Rinse, rinse, rinse, and by the way, rinse your brushes and combs. Make sure there is no OxiClean residue left, otherwise you could do damage to your hair when you use your combs/brushes next.

One Final Note

In future, I’m going to keep an eye out for any more product buildup, doing the old fingernail-scratch test. I figure I’ll have to soak my combs again in a few months, perhaps. This isn’t something that has to be done every day, for certain, but every few months should be enough to keep all-plastic hairstyling tools in shape.

My Style In Pictures

With the advent of Pinterest, we all find it easier than ever to describe our personal styles through pictures. As a plus-sized, partially disabled young woman, I can’t always wear or create all the things I pin (and who can? LOL!), but I’m still drawn to certain fashions, makeup looks, and hairstyles. Thus, my Pinterest boards have become both a realistic portrayal of my personal taste as well as a fantasyland of things I’d love to wear.

Scroll down and see key elements of my style (which I call “Comfortably Classy)! (You can click on the pictures to see these pictures on Pinterest, too!)


longcenterpart headbandandroll auburnwaterfall
clawclip braidandbun bigwaves
sweptup highbun longsmoothhair

Makeup/Beauty Looks

oldhollywood naturalblush
contouredglowingskin darkstunning
smokyeyeredlip ombreliner


filigreedrop swirlingtear pearldiamondstuds
doubleinfinity fairynecklace crownring


offtheshouldertop longjeans blackpencilskirt
boatneckdress ladylovesongdress blueskirt
capelet bellsleevedress pedalpushers


jeweledflipflops anklestrapballetflats
wedgeheel ankleboots


See More!

You can find even more examples of my style (plus a ton of life hacks, organization and decor ideas, health tips, etc.) over at my Pinterest!

My Favorite Beauty Products

Though most of my blog posts don’t trumpet my femininity to the heavens, I definitely am a girl–and so, I figured I’d indulge myself in naming some of my all-time favorite beauty products, partially inspired by Jenny’s post about her drugstore beauty haul. (By the way, this post is not sponsored by any company!)

See what products have pleased this incredibly picky girl, below!

Face Products

St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub
Nivea Soft
Vaseline Cocoa Butter Lip Therapy
Urban Decay Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette
Covergirl Instant Cheekbones Contouring Blush in Refined Rose
Lipstick Queen Lipstick in Medieval
Lipstick Queen Lipstick in Jean Queen

With my fair, sensitive yet oily skin, and my desire for a simple makeup routine, I focus more on better skincare and a couple of enhancing makeup products rather than caking on skin-colored makeup. I’ve used St. Ives scrub weekly for years, and Nivea Soft moisturizer is an excellent follow-up to it. (Other than these two products, however, I only use water on my face during the rest of the week–my face breaks out and gets angrily dry if I try to wash it too often.)

The Lipstick Queen lipsticks are the best-pigmented, least-sticky lipsticks I’ve ever used, period (Medieval, especially). I love Medieval’s soft red color–it’s red without being crazily dramatic, while Jean Queen is the perfect pinky-nude color. Plus, Vaseline’s Cocoa Butter Lip Therapy helps my peeling lips (possibly caused by a vitamin B deficiency) during the night. Combine the two and I have radiant, soft, boyfriend-approved lips ALL DAY. Meanwhile, CoverGirl’s Instant Cheekbones blush gives my face a soft lift without looking too made-up, and Urban Decay’s lovely range of metallic eyeshadows lend a pretty highlight to the lids of my deep-set eyes.

Hair Products

Pantene Damage Detox Weekly Deep Cleanse

Pantene Classic Care 2 in 1
Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo
Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner

My straight, medium-fine hair and my oily scalp actually combine to give me easy-care hair. I can pretty much wash, comb, and wear in the summer, and wash, comb, dry and wear in the winter (which is all the styling I care to do, LOL). Thus, my hair beauty routine is focused around great shampoos and conditioners rather than “styling” products.

Pantene’s Weekly Deep Cleanse is just about as great as their discontinued Clarifying Shampoo (which I loved <3), and I use it as my first shampoo in the shower to degrease and prepare my hair. Depending on the time I have to get ready, I can then either reach for my 2-in-1 shampoo or my Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. Both have wonderful light fragrances and leave my hair looking and feeling like silk, which both my boyfriend and I love.

Body Products

Dove Original Beauty Bar
Venezia Soapworks Rose Soap

Venus Original Razor

Venus Breeze Razor With Shave Gel

Since I’m phasing out shower gels and body washes in favor of cheaper moisturizing bar soaps, I’ve listed my two favorite bar soaps here. Dove’s original white soap has been a go-to product since my childhood, and Venezia Soapworks’ rose soap is a new favorite with the potential for the richest lather I’ve ever seen a bar soap make. As a time-saver, I use my Venus Breeze razor in the shower–I don’t have to buy separate shave cream, AND it’s one fewer thing I have to carry when traveling. My original Venus razor serves alongside a simple bottle of conditioner for longer shave sessions or for touch-ups.


My pared-down beauty routine may look too simple to some, but these are the products I have personally tested and found to be AMAZING. I have no brand loyalties, and like I said at the beginning of the post, nobody’s paying me to say any of this–I just love these products!