Thursday, 28 June 2012

A bit more of Q&A

I’ve wanted to do a remake of the biotin rant for a while. I was never really happy with it: It was written as a direct reply to someone back on LHC and I think it shows in the whole post. I even had to cut it down to get it to fit the 10.000 characters post limit. The whole thing reads as one long reply to someone and not an “article” or a piece worth linking to or remembering. I was actually a bit surprised it was taken so serious and became so popular.

Anyways. For the last two weeks the word document that contains it has been staring accusingly at me from its little icon and my desktop and I… Have been experiencing a complete writers block on it. The only thing I’ve managed to do is to clutter the document up with links and quotes.

I guess I just feel completely demoralised on putting some “real” work into it. I know those who already agree that moderation is the way to go will agree with it no matter what I write. And those who thinks I’m a jealous bitch who isn’t half as smart as them anyways (Also, I have bad hair!) because they found the magical pill for hair growth and just I’m trying to keep people from learning the secret to super hair growth will disagree with me no matter how many studies and recommendations I quote.

So yea, it feels entirely demoralising to put my best effort into it. It feels like just asking people to consider moderation will be met with a loud “Pfft!” complete with flying spit and all.


So, time for more procrastination and replying to my gentle readers!

I think it's awesome you wanted to go bald. I've known a few people who have done this for that reason, or for charity events, but they wanted to try it and chose a cause so to speak.
It's sad that people can't do anything like this for their own reason. I mean, heck, it's your head, your hair and it suited you! and it seemed like fun--well, outside of the odd hair growth phases--to see where your hair would end up/how it would look etc.
Very admirable. :) 
~ Darkhorse

That’s a good point. Maybe you get less attitude from people for being bald if you can inform them you did it for a good cause? I guess if I had known of a worthy charity that could have benefitted from my bald head, I would have done it for them instead of only myself.
My only regret is that I didn’t get dreadlocks or something cool before shaving it. Why not do something like that if you’re going to cut it anyways? I could have used more planning!

Thanks for replying! I found one 400g container of cassia at the local health foods/organic goods/homeopathic excesses store. Sounds like that's more than enough!
I've been curious about the thickening properties in part because my mother has really really thin hair and worries about it a lot. If I try cassia and it works for me, I might suggest we try it together sometime. 
~ gossycrafts

Most welcome! I try to reply to people’s posts when they take the time to comment or ask me something, but I’m really bad at remembering it. Same with emails. I always forget to reply after reading.

I have a single additional thought to cassia: I guess depending on how thick (Cassia heavy) your mix is you may want to double the volume of how much treatment you usually use. A standard 200 ml conditioner bottle can give me a nice coverage for a deep conditioning, but I think I need to almost double the volume in total for cassia. It’s a lot harder to spread and you probably shouldn’t try too hard when it’s so “rough” and grainy. (That’s a good quality if you want to exfoliate your scalp though!)

OMG I really really enjoyed you talking about shaving your head and people's reactions and general stupidity. I find it very impressive that you're so sensible about stuff like this, I find people in the "long hair community" (not the forum with that name just people online who grow their hair long and care about it a lot) react really weirdly to things like shaving your hair. It's almost like long hair is "sacred" or something and if you do anything like dye/cut/damage/shave it, you're a criminal! 
~ Theodora 
Haha, thank you, thank you!
Uhm, gosh where to start here…

1) Thank you. But I said that already.

2) Someone once used the term “long hair circuit” and I kind of liked that. That should cover all forums and non-forums and groups and tumblrs and what have you. It’s not meant to correct you or anything, I just kind of like it.

3) Completely agree on the “sacred” thing. And I totally don’t get that!
I mean, most of us live in societies where shoulder length hair is considered “long” and waist length is “Holy effing crap!”-long. Hence, people with really long hair get a lot of crap from people who don’t get it (Just see how many threads with “My [Blank] said something mean about my hair!” you can find on any hair forum) and naturally it’s nice to go on a forum where people understand you!
And yet, you get a lot of crap about “ideal” hair. And a lot of people being busy passing judgement on hair that in their personal world is “weird” (Because their own hair is of course normal)
You would think you could find a “sisterhood” in having long hair and having other people not understanding, but instead of supporting each other in their “weird” hair, so many pass judgement on hair, treatments, cuts and methods?
I’ve even had people getting upset over plans to trim my hair. Yes, people get upset because I wanted to trim my own hair. I don’t think I can explain my reaction to that without using several curse words.
It’s like if you have “good” hair you absolutely have to grow it super duper long. Which I really don’t get. And seems to be indirectly/passive-aggressively rude to everyone who doesn’t have “good” hair. Because it is not “Such a shame!” if someone with thin hair cuts it? Errh…

Long speech short: I agree. I don’t get it. I don’t get the pushing for “the perfect length” and I don’t get why people are so busy passing judgement on other people’s hair.

(Boring anecdote: On LHC someone posted how “World record long hair would be crazy!!!1!” and I replied that it wasn’t very nice since someone with “world record long hair” could easily be a member there. I mean, honestly, what kind of idiot would go on a long hair forum and then post about how crazy extra long hair is? Anyways, apparently that was very rude of me and I got an infraction for it. Shortly after, she posted about how she had overheard a comment that might have been about her hair so naturally she came to whine and moan and get lots of sympathy on LHC. How do you like your tall glass of karma, bitch? Unfortunately in her case, it didn’t come with a side order of “learning from your experiences”.)

4) I just don’t think I’m a shallow person in that way. I’m not beating my own drum and I know everyone probably says so too, but I really don’t think I am.
Maybe it comes with having super sensitive skin. I always had people drawing conclusions about me based on the state of my skin (“Filthy pig who can’t do a simple wash-tone-moisturise routine” seems to be a surprisingly common conclusion) and I guess I just never felt the need to take my frustrations out on other people. Appearances don’t say much about the real person inside.

5) Before I shaved my head I did a lot of fun things to my hair. Mostly bleaching or colouring in crazy coloured stripes. I actually quite liked the crazy streaks. It was fun, easy, you could display them or hide them and didn’t take too much upkeep: If you aren’t super dedicated to colouring-upkeep it seems all crazy colours eventually fades into a disgusting rotten moss-kind of colour. With just stripes, you are a lot freer.
But no matter what crazy colour thing you do to your hair, someone else has done it already. It probably won’t shock anyone but a few conservative grandparents. Being bald on the other side… Well, no one sane would voluntarily go bald, right? Right!

So up to shaving my head, I had never really experienced anyone giving me crap for my hair. That all changed though.
But all criticism and meanness depends on where it comes from.
My mother was deeply disturbed by my bald head. But to quote Chandler Bing on Friends: “I expect this from her. She has always been a Freudian nightmare.”

What I didn’t expect though, was that my closest friend at that time acted like that too.

The following might be offending, but I think I need to explain anyways: She used to be fat. Like, not “curvy” or anything. She was a fat girl. But once she went off to university and away from moms home cooking and was busy with school and taking care of herself (Less time for snacking?) the weight just dropped off her. She told me about how angry it made her that people treated her differently. How annoyed she was that guys never looked twice before. How people treated her with more respect now. How everyone suddenly stopped treating her like “the fun one”.
In short; I thought she was a non shallow friend. I thought she had learned from her personal experience how awful it is when people are shallow jerks.

I guess I assumed there was a version of “Do not do unto others what you would not want them do unto you.” that went “Do not repeat unto others what others have done to hurt you.”  

But with my waist length hair gone and a bald head instead, she turned out the be embarrassed to be seen with me!

That hurt me really deeply. I still can’t believe that someone who should have learned that beauty comes from the inside and that shallowness is awful and hurtful would act like that. We ended up just sort of going our separate ways and I haven’t talked to her in 10 years, but I will never forget that experience.

Other than just plain being a bad friend, it had me thinking: What if I got a sickness that affected my looks? What if I got cancer and turned bald “for real”? What if I ended up in an accident and in a wheelchair? Maybe covered in scars?
How would she react to that if she was embarrassed over just my bald head?

No, people like that have no place in my life.

And on that sunny note… Good night to all!


  1. I would LOVE to see photos of your striped hair!

    I am sorry that you learned about the true colors of your friend. I think many of us can relate.

    I never understood why friendships went sour, but I have had people I thought I knew, just disappear, with not even a word. I never got it, but I also don't have time to wonder. People's live change, and I can accept that. But, to base it on someone's looks? That's just...rude.

    My friends are friends. Bald, short hair, long hair, rainbow hair, fat, skinny---whatever is on the outside doesn't matter. What's inside does.

    What I think is the bigger issue? Self expression. There are too many people who want to tell you how to dress, look, wear your clothes, do your make up and your hair. Those with long hair, in essence, are defying some un-written code of some social ethic that I refuse to prescribe to because it's BS. It's MY hair, MY choice, thanks good bye.

    Just as it's YOUR choice to trim your hair. A trim or cut and if you shaved it again, it's your choice! I would still follow your blog because you are an interesting person with interesting views.

    on a curious note: was your scalp/is your scalp as sensitive as your skin? I think you said it is--did you notice an issue after your shaved it? With regards to your skin, it's sensitive, but have you been tested for allergies? I have seen your skin issue on someone else, and it turned out they were allergic to soap/soap products (they didn't get into specifics)

    General society puts far too much emphasis on appearance. I had a friend in high school who suffered from severe cystic acne. She had little to no friends as a result. When girls who were deemed 'popular' asked me why I was friends with her, I said 'because she is a funny, sweet person'. And all they could comment was about how her makeup was too thick. I said 'she's hiding her acne' and they said 'well, that's why she has acne' and I said 'no she has cystic acne' and explained what it meant. They looked at me shocked.

    Yes. Ignorance is brutal. Not bliss.

  2. So I'll try to keep this short, but in light of you not getting too much rudeness from strangers, I'd like to tell you what happened to me, when I shaved my head (2006):
    - a girl I used to work with saw me at the fair, stopped in the middle of the road, gaped her mouth open in shock, opened her eyes really wide and pointed at me, there was no one with her, she was just shocked and pointing as I was looking straight at her and walking toward her (we are not friends or anything)
    - I went to the pool and some guy yelled "dyke" as I was walking out
    - I went to the movies with a friend and some guy yelled "BALD!!!" at me, as if I didn't know how short my hair was
    - a gas station attendant refused to let me use the bathroom (after I made a purchase), did not look at my face (actually that was almost everyone that didn't know me), and refused to give me directions to the freeway, I was lost. I had to pay a homeless person outside for directions
    - I was sometimes referred to as "sir" although I dress girly and I didn't change my style when I shaved my head
    - like I already said almost everyone that didn't already know me refused to look at my face as if I was making them very uncomfortable and if I tried to talk to them, unless they had to speak to me because it was their job (sales associate) they would ignore me repeatedly and if they finally decided to reply they would face away from me

    I found it to be a pretty good social experiment and got to the conclusion that not fitting "girl" norms would have probably gotten me killed by an angry mob in the middle ages. Then again maybe I was just in a very conservative geographical area, aka suburbia. When I visited San Francisco, none of that ever happened. *shrug*

  3. Adelina---that is just horrid!!

    What I find strange, is that like you said Adelina, it didn't happen in San Francisco--makes me wonder if location has a factor in acceptance of personal expression.

    I know many of my friends who love their short hair, worry they look like a 'dyke'. It saddens me because they rock their short cuts and look gorgeous. When Emma Watson cut of her long locks for that stunning short pixie, she told reporters that a woman interviewing her asked if she was gay. I mean, hello?? Can we remove that sterotype please!!! Short hair is short hair, not a sexual preference.

    1. Agreed!
      And San Francisco is full of very different people, basically there is no such thing as weird. There's also a huge gay community there, so that may have been a factor.

  4. Oh boy. Reading your post, Igor (and the comments), I've realized how judgmental people can get over someone's personal choices regarding hair. I simultaneously can and can't believe it; for although I've never experienced anything similar, I know that people generally like to give opinions and unsolicited advice, especially when it's not called for. That said... I'm very sorry that you've lost a friend. But it's better that way. Of course, you already know that, but it's still kinda sad (in light of your former friend's situation, even more so).

    I agree with your thoughts on the general climate in the long hair circuit (oh, I love that term :) I hope you don't mind if I adopt it!). Now, I'm not very active there, but I do keep tabs on the major forums from time to time. It astounded me, as much as you, that on some places one can read posts that reflect the judgmental attitude of the posters. I love long hair, but I don't see what's the big deal if someone wants to cut/color/get a perm, by their own free will. Behaving in an accusatory manner when someone wants to do something with their hair (that isn't in accord with the strict guidelines of long hair care) kinda defeats the purpose of a long hair board. I also disagree with the notion that some people are entitled to have long hair just because they have a desirable hair type... like people with other hair types can't grow out their hair, or their hair is less worthy. That kind of thinking truly boggles my mind.

    Okay, I've written quite a novel :) But that's because you gave me some food for thought ;)