I hate my hair ...

… or please help me pick a new hairstyle.

I wish I had a recent picture, but I’m afraid I don’t, so I’ll try describing myself and perhaps any of you who are hair experts can help me out.

I am a 43-year-old woman with (dyed) red hair. I have a small oval face and small eyes. My hair is fairly coarse and wavy. Not curly, not straight. Wavy. Which means that it’s a giant pain in the butt - it’s not straight enough for straight styles and not near curly enough for curly styles.

Currently I’ve got a blunt cut with bangs. I put about 10 pounds of straightening lotion and leave-in conditioner on it and it looks good for about a day. Then it starts frizzing and waving up on me again, and it looks like crap. It doesn’t help that I have a cowlick on one side of my head about 3 inches above the temple. It causes the bangs there to do weird things and I’m constantly having to fix it. The ends also don’t want to stay turned under - there’s always a section that is sticking out. And we won’t even talk about the spot on the back of my head where the hair all grows in opposite directions, making it look like I’ve got a bald streak down the back of my head …

The last time I went to the hairstylist she suggested a shorter cut because of my small face and because it (in theory, anyway) should be easier to maintain. I’m not against trying it, but I don’t know what kind of style to pick. I do know that it can’t be too short (like a pixie cut or anything) because my husband hates really short hair on women and while I know he’ll try to keep quiet about it, he won’t be happy. I’m not sure I’d like hair that short either.

So - any advice? Other than just shaving my head and buying a wig? Because that’s what I feel like doing right now.

I am a 45 yo woman with coarse, wavy, extremely thick brown hair with (natural) red highlights, rapidly turning silver. (I gave up coloring my hair a few years ago!) My hair is impossible to deal with, so I just let it grow. I am able to sit on it now, and generally keep it either braided or twisted up and secured with a clip. I’m not crazy about it, but my husband likes it, so…

If I were to get mine cut, and my only recommendation to you, would be a medium to shoulder length shaggy/layered cut to take advantage of the wave and put the cowlicks (I have several of those as well!) to use in giving your hair body. A stylist will know how best to cut it in order to deal with the problem areas. You wouldn’t need to use much product on it, and I highly recommend Biosilk Silk Therapy by Farouk, it makes my hair smooth and silky, never sticky, I love it!

The best of luck to you, I often hate my hair, too!

First, get a copy of “Curly Girl”. It has good tips on dealing with frizzy hair (avoid shampoo, don’t blow-dry).

I have moderately curly hair, and it tends to be frizzy. I don’t shampoo more than once a week, and then only the top. I wash it every other day, and just use conditioner. Works fine for me, because my hair is dry, so I don’t have to worry about it getting too oily. I use Kiehl’s creme with silk groom (expensive, but worth it), and the next day I use John Frieda Satin Shine finishing cream. I dry it a little bit, because otherwise it takes forever to dry, and I don’t want to have wet hair all day.

Where do you get your hair cut? Maybe it’s time for a change. Find someone who’s good with curly hair. I think most stylists know how to cut straight hair, and when someone comes in with wavy/curly hair, they do the same kind of cut, and it just doesn’t work. You’re in Chapel Hill, right? I go to Mina’s Studio (way more than I can afford for a haircut, but Robin makes my hair look so good). I used to have a co-worker with wavy hair who got her hair cut at the Beehive, and it looked really good. I wouldn’t recommend Moshi Moshi–they use the same cut on everyone, and I know people who have had really bad cuts there. I wasn’t impressed with Curl Up and Dye, either.

Wow. With haircuts starting at fifty bucks, Mina’s better be good! I usually pay $60 for both a cut and color … and actually, I don’t have a big beef with the place I usually go to. The real beef is with my actual hair ;).

First (and you may already know this): don’t wash your hair every day. My hair is fine and wavy (so it is probably easier to work with than yours), but I will go two or three days without washing my hair. If I wash every day, my hair gets frizzy and falls out :eek:

Second: Embrace the wavy! It’s totally in right now :wink: Seriously though- shower before bed, toss your hair up (with straightening junk of your choice… I prefer BioSilk liquid as it is not as heavy as lotion) in a messy bun on the back of your head. When you wake up, take your hair down, finger comb it, tousle it up a bit. Then take a curling iron to a few random pieces. Don’t curl in the traditional way (clamp at the bottom and roll); instead skip the clamp. Just take random pieces of hair and wrap them around the barrel for a few seconds. The result will be a nice clean wave. A few pieces like this through the top totally clean up waves.

I’ve found that my best cut involves long layers. A curl or wave’s worst enemy is a blunt cut, as the result is usually boxy. I skip bangs because wavy bangs are hard to make look good.

Thirdly: Invest in good tools. You’d be amazed what a difference the tools make. If it is an option, I HIGHLY suggest a Chi flatiron (and that one comes with my Biosilk!). My hairdresser used this iron on me and I was shocked how soft and nice it made my hair. She used the iron on my friend who has ringlet curls and, with one pass, her hair was completely straight. Good stuff.

A couple moderately priced (read: from Target) curling irons are good to have on hand. I have on small one, one medium one (about an inch), and one large one. I mostly only use the medium one though. The good thing is that the medium one has several heat settings to choose from.

A blow dryer with a diffuser will do wonders to your waves-my hair gets downright curly when I use a diffuser.

Biosilk. . . I cannot say enough good stuff about this product. I use it in my hair while it is wet, blow it out, then use a drop for fly away touch ups when I am done. I love that stuff.
Oh and I pay $75 for my cut, color, and brow wax.

Well, a good stylist can work with challenging hair. You may like your people a whole lot, and they may be wonderful people, but that doesn’t mean they have the training or skill to work with your type of hair.

I second the long with lots of layers idea. You want to work with your hair, not fight it. Hair will always win in the end.

I don’t wash my hair every day; I’m too old and my hair is too dry for it any more. The coloring is hard enough on it. I also try to avoid heat on it, so blow drying and curling aren’t something I do very often at all - just special occasions. My hair starts to break if I do that too much. Really, the more I do, the worse it looks, it seems. And I’ve tried just about every straightening/smoothing product you can buy on it. The more expensive ones are only slightly better than the cheaper ones, at least on my hair. Humidity is also a huge enemy here - I live in the South, and you can almost gauge the humidity level by the degree of frizz I’ve got going. Hairspray works to keep it down, but then it just looks flat and kind of dirty.

I think one major problem, besides the fact that coloring is hard on my hair, is that the grey hair I have is different - I call it ‘witchy hair’ because it is more coarse and almost kinky in nature. I think if it I let it go grey, I’d look like the female version of Einstein … just without the brains :stuck_out_tongue: .

Ugh. Reading this over, maybe I SHOULD just shave my head and get a wig.

Ain’t this the truth!

What products do you use? Run me through your basic “hair washing” morning routine and your “off day” (when you don’t wash) routine. Let’s figure out what can be fixed here :smiley:

I also came in to reccoment a Chi iron. I think everyone can have beautiful hair if they use a Chi iron. It can flatten even the curliest hair. I straightened my friend’s hair with one in about 30 minutes, and she had the kind of hair that no one thought could EVER be anything but super curly.

Dear Og, that makes me sound like I’m a Chi iron salesperson. I’m not, I just like them!

My hair gets washed twice a week. Currently I use Thermasilk shampoo and conditioner - I’ve used about a million products over the years and so far this is the best I’ve found for my hair without spending a fortune. After that, I use a lot of leave-in silk protein conditioner designed for women of color (I am a very, very white woman, but this stuff works really well on my hair without being sticky or heavy) and the Thermasilk smoothing gunk. Then I leave it alone, pretty much. Blow-drying will just make it flyaway and dry it out more - being dry is a major problem, which is why I think a shorter cut will end up being better - no extremely dry, nasty ends to deal with. I do brush it a few times while it is drying to encourage the ends to go under - otherwise the waves set in, and I’ve got one side that goes under, the back sticks out and the other side twists around. Having my hair longer does help pull the waves out, but then we’ve got the problem with the crunchy ends …

On days when I don’t wash my hair, I wear a shower cap in the shower because the humidity makes my hair frizz. When I get out of the shower, I wet down just the areas that have once again decided to go their own way and comb and/or brush them in the direction I want them to go in. Then I let them air dry.

See, the thing is I pretty much fight my hair every day, and I’m sick of it. I’d like to get a basic cut that would require less fussing and hopefully also look good. I just don’t know what that would be …

Yay! I was waiting for your reply (really, I kept checking back!).

I should note that my only expertise here is that I am a person who loves doing hair and makeup. I’m the one who all my girlfriends come to when they want a change in their hair or makeup routine; or if they’ve got a special occasion. I was the prom makeup-doing queen! :wink:

Anywho, I just wanted to drop by before going to class. I’ll be back this afternoon with a lengthy, babbly, and hopefully (somewhat) helpful post.

In the meantime, I really do suggest getting some Biosilk. It’s about $15 for a tiny bottle, but a little goes a loooong way. I’ve had my small bottle for at least four months now. Biosilk is light, silky (one would totally hope so with that name), and really, really effective*. The issue I take with the standard creams/lotions (like the Termasilk gunk, which I actually have used) is that they weigh down hair without doing much good. Most of the creams I’ve tried don’t do much to stop fly aways and do nothing more than eat my volume, damnit :stuck_out_tongue:

*I swear I don’t work for Biosilk! I just loves me some good hair products.