Friday, 26 August 2011

5-stranded braid, third attempt

Today I was going to just try to braid like yesterday for the practise, but I suddenly had an idea that I needed to try.

I split my hair up as shown here:

First I split it in 1 and 2 and pulled the parts in front of my shoulders. Then in 3, 4 and 5. I pulled 1 and 2 backwards and switched 4 and 5 to the front of my shoulders. I braided 1, 2 and 3 like a regular 3-stranded braid, before adding 4 and 5 as a 5-stranded.

It worked pretty well!

So what was the difference from my very first attempt? The sad fact that my hair from ears and down is a lot less dense coarse than the top and that in my first attempt those parts ended up pitifully thin which didn’t help me in the braiding at all.
Of course it also really helps that I’m beginning to get a bit of “feel” for it.

My only complaint would be purely cosmetic, that when I added 4 and 5, it “drowned” the detail of adding 3.

Since hubby and I were going out, I ended up pinning the braid up in a bun. Even though I have never experienced any unwanted touching or too pushy attention, I’m still a bit paranoid about it.

With the 5 stranded braid bunned up, I noticed what must be the biggest difference for me: It was really flat. Usually my 3 stranded braids turn into real “balls” and refuse to lie flat, which is the main reason for my favourite bun being a braided Nautilus.  The 5 stranded bun stayed flat and snug all day. Strange how two extra strands can make such a big difference in a bun!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

New goodies have been ordered

Lisa posted this on Facebook:
Kevin of Ketylo is offering me an opportunity to get some corian Ketylo sticks. Corian is an acrylic countertop material and is dense, sturdy, and of course, waterproof. This is a one-time only deal, as he will not list them in his store ever. Prices would be $12 for short, $14 for medium, and $16 for long, which is $2 cheaper than his in-store prices. International orders are fine, and will be shipped via fist class international, which is cheaper than Ketylo's shipping rates as well. :) Please contact me directly to place your order. All payments are due by August 27. I will be calling to place the group order on the 28th. Payments accepted via paypal ONLY. Thanks all and happy shopping!
I mean… how could I resist?

I have just sent the payment for 3 pairs in large: The two blue kinds and the spotted grey one.

Impatiently waiting for goodies now!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

5-stranded braid, second attempt

So my brilliant idea from yesterday was to split my hair in 5 slices as a cake if you imagine my head seen from above. Then I would take the two front parts, then the second two and finally the back part in and braid that way.

It turned out as a pretty big fail though: The front that I wanted to make the two first parts out of, is so much finer and less dense than the hair from the back of my head. I then thought I could fix it by “fish tailing” and add more hair as I got the first few steps done. Seemed like a good idea in theory, but in reality I ended up in a huge tangled mess of hair! I couldn’t tell where I was coming from or going to or keep the five strands apart at all. Yikes.

I ended up having to comb everything out again and start over. Since my idea of an organised and controlled 5-stranded braid failed so hard, I decided to try once more where I just “feel my way” before quitting.

Next time I just split in five by feeling and started braiding along the way to focus on the “feel” and get used to the motion. The result was much better.

I thought I managed to keep the 5-strand pattern all along the way, but looking at the picture I’m not entirely sure. There are a few messy points above my shoulders where it doesn’t look like I kept the 5-strand pattern, but otherwise it looks pretty acceptable.

The 5-strand pattern doesn’t look very distinguishable from a 3-strand braid until about waist length though. I guess the 5-strand braid is another style that isn’t exactly friendly to thick hair?

I have a note that might be very useful though: Combing the lose hair makes the parts “blend” into each other and makes them hard to separate. I need to learn the balance between combing to keep it smooth and not combing to keep the parts separated.

Leave in conditioners

As readers will know, I’m a big fan of leave in conditioners. My styles usually look smooth, sleek and controlled which is something people often comment on. This is something I thank leave in conditioners for. Other than looks, they make my hair easy to detangle and handle and protect my hair from environmental damage such as being dried out too quickly, being whipped freely in the wind, to some degree from sun bleaching and of course some protection from mechanical damage of handling. In short; I recommend them highly!

They don’t have to be expensive salon bought. I buy Sunsilks orange line, the one for damaged hair and get it at my local H&M. It has a wonderful creamy texture that I like. I use it as a “base” and add other ingredients.

Oils, aloe vera and regular, diluted conditioners work for some people too.

You can also try mixing in those colour-specific, non-deposit leave in conditioners to your regular mix. They give a certain boost to your natural hair colour. Since I have an “in between” colour, I have tried for blondes, brunettes and redheads to intensify one or another tone.

Usually I mix the cheap Sunsilk with more expensive alternatives. Here is an approximate list of what I mix in for inspiration:

Weather: Wet and windy.
Spring here offers a huge range of weathers, from burning hot sun to freezing rain. I never add oils during the cold season out of fear of it freezing, stiffening and expanding inside the strands. I never heard any reports of damage, but I’m still suspicious of it. I mean, if an oil changes and solidifies in the fridge, wont it do the same inside a hair strand? Doesn’t sound good to me and I don’t want to risk it.

Weather: Hot and sunny. Lots of time spent outside in the great weather.
I look for products boasting UV filters and not just for leave in conditioner. Also I add about a tablespoon of regular sunlotion for skin use. More than that will change the texture of the leave in conditioner and make my hair greasy. I know it probably won’t have a big effect, but when it comes to preventing hair bleaching in the sun, everything counts.
I buy a salon bought spray with UV filter too to mist over as a "finishing spray" for all exposed hair. I wear lots of headbands and scarves to protect my scalp and hair from sunburns. I’m suspicious of oils in the summer time. Some oils have been used to intensify tans, so will oils increase the suns effect on hair too?

Weather: Sunny and windy.
For me, the autumn is the dullest season. The leaves fall and the sun fades. A wide range of weather, often wet and windy but without the cosines of Christmas approaching. I like shine products to get my hair to get a bit more "umph" in this season of beauty blah. Cone products seems to offer more hold to wind-proof up dos. I also like mixing in leave in conditioners for red hair in my usual mix to give my red tones a bit of a boost. Red tones are usually in fashion around autumn so I like intensifying them.

Weather: Freezing and wet outside. Hot and dry inside. The temperature and humidity differences between outside and inside are high.
Cone-rich products to protect hair from the sudden changes in humidity. I never add oils during the cold season out of fear of it freezing and stiffening inside the strands. I wear lots of headbands and scarves to protect my scalp and hair from the cold.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

5-stranded braid, first attempt

I don’t usually post my fails, but I think I could benefit from working my thoughts and observation through and putting them down.
I had the idea of starting a French braid with 3 strands and then adding 2 parts from the ears down and braiding it into a 5 strand braid.
Well, that was the theory!

I got completely confused and couldn’t separate the different strands and find the pattern with my fingers.
The result ended up as some sad mash-up of fish tail, 3 and 5 strand braids up until I got to shoulder length and could bring the braid in front of me where I could see what I was doing.
Then from shoulder to about BSL I think it ended up as more of a fishtail braid. (As far as I’ve gathered, the difference between fish tail and x-strand braids is that a x-stranded braid works with the same strands separated all along the way and with the fish tail you just take out a part of the whole each time you “braid in”)
But then from BSL and down, I finally got a hang of the motion and could keep the strands separated.

Here is the result:
Close examination shows the difference clearly!
From BSL and down it looks surprisingly good. At least IMHO.

I have an idea for how to try it differently tomorrow…

Monday, 22 August 2011

Hemp oil rules!

Yesterday was wonderfully warm and sunny and hubby suggested we took a long walk together. So I put on a T-shirt, shorts and this pair of heel-less sneakers shoes I have. They’re really great when it’s too hot for sneakers and I don’t feel like wearing sandals.
But I overestimated how hot they would become in the sun and the long walk and they started burning my feet. It hurt really bad!
When I came home I sat with my feet in the tub and cold water for like an hour. I limped pitifully and had to nap on the couch with my feet hanging freely over the side. I couldn’t even stand touching the mattress! I hoped they would stop hurting after the nap. They felt skinless, burning, crunchy dry and I could feel 6 blisters developing.
After my nap I ended up on the UTT chat where I whined about my sore feet. Longhairedfairy (At least I think it was her. Let me know if it isn’t so the right one can get credit!) gave me the advice of using hemp oil because it has healing properties. So I sat with my sore feet in a plastic bag with hemp oil for an hour before patting them dry. The hemp oil instantly soothed them and they stopped burning. Such a relief!
So… Hemp oil rules!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Thought of the day

I remember my first thought of super long hair. It will have to be at least 10 years ago. I had started watching Sailor Moon on some German channel and really enjoyed it. Later I found out that the German dub is pretty awesome compared to the English; They haven’t hacked it to bits in editing, removed all the fun jokes or made the voices sound like retarded 7 year olds with a bizarre sense of “slang”.
I started reading some fanfiction too, mostly on (Which was pretty awesome until they removed the NC 17 option)
In one story which title and author has been lost in the fogs of my memory, Usagi (Sailor Moon) remarks casually to Haruka (Sailor Uranus) about her hair that “…I need to put it up or it will touch the ground”
For some reason that line just burned into my memory.
Pretty weird though because my hair then was about mid back and I had no intention of growing it super long. The longest hair I had ever seen was about classic. Sure I knew that people with super-super-super long hair existed, but that was in the reality of Guinness records books along the lines of “Most live snakes inserted in body cavities” aka: Freaks with no real-life application.
I never really “noticed” the super long hair in Sailor Moon as such. I mean, in anime you have the strangest and most alien hair styles and colours, so the classic to knee length hair of Venus, Mars and Moon wasn’t strange at all.
Maybe the line struck a cord because the writer thought of the “option” of growing your hair that long? I’m not even sure.
It’s funny to think back on.

1-2 (maybe 3?) years later I would shave my head and end up growing super long…

Hair nerd thought
If sailor moon is just 150 cm tall or 4´11” (Why yes, I Googled for it!) She would still have had to have been actively growing her hair long for almost her entire life to reach the classic to knee length with her hair put up in odangos like she has in the beginning of the series (Where she is 14)

First season

Speaking of those funny odangos, they never really looked like real buns to me (Has the hair-nerd finally crossed the line into insanity when she analyses “reality” in anime?) but more like hair being draped over balls

I never understood that extremely heavy fringe thing all the characters has going on…

Venus posing as Sailor Moon. Notice how short her hair suddenly is! Usually Venus is drawn having classic to knee-ish long hair, but with those odango, her hair shrinks back to BSL?

Sailor Venus flipping her hair lose. Nothing much to say other than “Pretty!”

Oh and this has nothing to do with the hair, I just think it’s hilarious because it’s true!