1 Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do That 1 Thing | The Billfold

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do That 1 Thing

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing

The way I “DO” my hair is to take a shower at night and go to sleep with my hair wet and sometimes I’ll wake up and my hair will be kind of kinky wavy and look okay, but really more often it looks a mess and I either put it up or wear a hat. AND THEN THE NEXT STEP is that I get sick of it and cut it all off.

This is what happened on Saturday. I woke and was like, “Bye, hair,” and proceeded to call ten salons near my cousins’ house, but they were all booked up. But I did not give up, I did not go quietly into the good night, and when I called an eleventh salon, I got an appointment. 

So I went and I explained to the dude: “Do whatever you want but I don’t want to have to ‘DO’ anything to it and if it means you have to cut it all off, you can, but just cut it in a way that will make it pretty at all times, even though I have never personally experienced that haircut, maybe you have magic scissors.” He was like, “Okay.” Instead he gave me a classic bob which looked INCREDIBLE after he gave me a blowout and then flat-ironed it and put some product in it. It continued to look incredible until I WORKED MY MAGIC and washed/slept on it and then it looked like a mushroom.

My plan was then to go cut the rest of of it off—I figured that since I had gotten a SUPER CHEAP $40 MINNEAPOLIS HAIRCUT SPECIAL, I could just get another one, haircuts for everybody. But cousin said: “Why don’t you just try to blowdry it?” And I said:”That’s not part of my identity.” And she said: “What is your identity?” And said: “I’m low maintenance.”  And she said: “That is not a true statement,” and she also said, “Blowdry your hair.”

But we are a family of scientists (also not a true statement), so we are experimenting. Today I washed my hair in the morning, let it airdry, and brushed it (Cousin: “You know your fingers aren’t the best brush.” Me: “What’s a brush?”). I’d say it looks “OKAY,” but still not “HOT.” Tomorrow I’m going blowdry it and then the next day I’m going to flatiron it and then COMPARE AND CONTRAST.

My task for today is to RESEARCH HAIR TOOLS so that I can do some fancy math to decide whether it’s BETTER FINANCIALLY to invest in STYLING PRODUCTS AND HAIRDRYERS AND FLATTENERS or more haircuts, taking into account the COST of beauty tools and also, based upon how the next few days go, the VALUE of my time in the mornings and the VALUE of having meh versus okay versus great hair. Also my mom hates my hair short so there are also psychological costs to consider. Very busy day over here. Just incredibly extremely busy.


56 Comments / Post A Comment

spex (#1,159)

This post = my life.

(Related: I was always particularly wounded by that part in “When Harry Met Sally” where Harry tells Sally she’s the worst kind of woman: the kind who is high maintenance but thinks she’s low maintenance.)

elizabeast (#629)

@spex Ugh that line ruins me every time. I’m like “But Harry! I’m so chill!…Right?”

Slutface (#53)

Blowdry your bob with a round brush. It will take 15 minutes and you’ll feel put together. It really does help with your self-esteem when you’re feeling like a mess inside and can look in the mirror and think at least you aren’t looking like a mess on the outside. Also, you’re an adult, brush your freakin’ hair.

Lily Rowan (#70)

@Slutface It will seriously not even take 15 minutes, if you let it air dry for a while first.

minijen (#656)

@Lily Rowan Most important part of this – when your hair looks good, the rest of you can be a little less neat. Also, people that groom themselves get hired more than…the other sort.
(*lightning of hypocrisy shall strike me in 3…2..1…)

selenana (#673)

@minijen Meh grooming.

ellabella (#1,480)

Yes, all of these things are true. Blow drying/flat irons are SO not part of my identity, either! I grew up in San Francisco, where I don’t think anybody blowdries (at least in my head). But then after living in Chicago for three years I finally broke down and bought a blow drier after getting sick of cold, wet, frozen hair.(i.e. I asked my little brother for one for Christmas. He wisely went to Walgreen’s and chose a “travel” one that’s been great, even though I would never travel with a blow drier because 3 books >>> 1 blowdrier in packing size/weight). Now that I live in NYC, people actually look NICE and wear MAKEUP and I feel like maybe I need to get a flatiron. My main criteria for flatirons that I think you should include, Logan, are that it can’t be pink/purple/leopard print.

@ellabella Whoa there, you can rip my hot pink travel Conair hair dryer and its accompanying zebra print carry bag out of my cold, dead hands.

It was $20 and I’m pretty sure it’s actually better than my full sized one at home.

@ellabella see, my criteria for flatirons is that they must be pink, purple, leopard print, or preferably all 3. mine is turquoise leopard print which is an acceptable compromise. i was actually really excited when my old one broke and i had the opportunity to buy a turquoise leopard print one.

hellonheels (#1,407)

I totally get your conundrum, but in my experience, the amount of time I spend styling my hair is absolutely worth it considering a) the confidence it gives me and b) how much less time I spend stressing out about how terrible my hair looks.

Also, maybe if your hair is styled you won’t need to wash it every day? I wash and style mine three times a week, so it only works out to about an hour total over the course of the week. Dry shampoo is your friend!

selenana (#673)

@hellonheels Ha ha washing every day. You mean once a week?

3jane (#645)

Logan! If you like that your hair is wavy/would like it to be wavier, let me share with you my lazy-hair secret.

I have a cute bob like your new haircut, but I use curl activating/defining whatever (the expensive stuff works really good, obv, but the $6 stuff works for me too!) on my damp hair, scrunch it with my fingers, twirl some pieces, and have a super sweet curly/extremely wavy bob that has gotten me the most compliments of all my haircuts. I started doing this (the curly thing) when my hair was halfway between my chin and my shoulders and it worked good then, too. ALSO until very very recently I just let it air dry, but I finally caved and bought a diffuser for my hairdryer and get it just dry enough before I leave. The only catch is I have to hop in the shower and rinse my hair out every morning, but it helps me wake up, it is fine. It is CONSIDERABLY less work than trying to get my hair to be a straight bob.

mishaps (#65)

@3jane I have the curly hair, so this is close to my routine as well. Try putting some Devachan One Condition on your hair after your rinse it out – you can rinse the conditioner out, or leave it in, or both.

(I have also heard good things about Garnier Fructis products, which are cheaper, but if you are in NYC, Ricky’s is ALWAYS having sales on Devachan, and the giant container of conditioner will last you for months)

Curly hair can either be lazy hair, or intensive-effort hair, there is no inbetween.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

My curls are both lazy and intensive-effort; I contain multitudes.

intensive-effort because:
1. Much longer showers in order to wash the hair (hair washing is like 2/3 of the shower time).
2. Huge amount of (less and less easy-to-access exactly the kind I use) conditioner ($$$) to control the hair.
3. Huge amount of time just to apply the conditioner in exactly the right way so that my hair dries all cute.
4. I need a silk pillowcase so my curls don’t dry all funny-looking. ($$$).
5. Spend time panicking/raging when companies decide to discontinue my HG conditioners, followed by time having to find a new cheap conditioner to meet my exacting specifications.

lazy because:
1. I wake up in the morning and my hair is just… done! This is invaluable to me as someone who is not functionally awake until 9am at the earliest.
2. I rarely need to worry about haircuts ($$$). My hair looks awesome even if I haven’t seen a hairdresser for over a year.
3. I don’t need to wash my hair every day – it can appear put-together for 2 days.

wearitcounts (#772)

@TARDIStime if i may inquire:

1. how exactly do you apply your conditioner to make your curls look all cute?
2. which conditioner do you use?
3. silk pillowcase, whut, this really works for drying hair at night???

i have weird hair — it’s quite curly on top, but thicker and straighter underneath. my stylist says i have “two hair patterns,” which, GREAT, thanks genetics. ANYWAY i usually can go two days without washing my hair too and i use a pretty insane amount of conditioner AND i only finger-comb in the shower, NEVER brush, so I THINK we may have similar hair, at least my top layer, and i am curious about your methods!

wearitcounts (#772)

@TARDIStime ALSO “i contain multitudes” +1 FOREVER

3jane (#645)

@TARDIStime “Lazy and intensive-effort” is an apt description of curly hair. Also expensive (the price of curly shampoo/conditioner is some bullshit).

Since my hair is wavy–and I think this applies to Logan too–there has to be some effort involved unless you go pixie cut, because in the day-to-day wavy often just looks oddly lumpy. The trick for me was figuring out my hair curls with a lot less effort than it straightens, and just embracing that.

Megano! (#124)

I think there is just a point where you have to accept that you have high maitenance hair. Sometimes there just is no miracle cut, you know?

wearitcounts (#772)

@Megano! PREACH


Megano! (#124)

@Logan Sachon I’m sorry but if I have to accept my hair will never, ever curl, you have to accept that your hair needs work to look good!

e (#734)

@Megano! There is! There is a miracle cut! FOR EVERY PERSON. I BELIEVE THIS. There is a way to cut every person’s hair on the planet so it flatters them without product. The trick is that you have to find your unicorn stylist and you also have to accept what your hair is like. If you have straight hair, its not going to be big, if you have curly, it won’t be flat.

CaddyFdot (#2,686)

I agree too! However I think every person needs to be clear with the person cutting their hair about the kind of work they are willing to do, and the stylist should ask and respect the answers. I told my guy I don’t put a lot of effort in, and I don’t want to buy a million expensive products, and he gives me great cuts that looks especially great when he does them but still work when I do it the next day. The cuts themselves cost me money, but it is totally worth it to have curls I like instead of ones I hide in a gross ponytail.

novembertea (#2,203)

@Megano! I’m assuming you have thick hair – get it thinned professionally, dye it (weaken the natural barriers in your hair by making it porous and thus easier to style), use a styling/heat protecting mousse, blowdry to where it is 99 percent dry, then immediately curl. Use hard hold hairspray liberally (I recommend Big Sexy Hair, but Aussie is okay. Never Suave!) I’ve never known anyone to fail with this regimen!

Megano! (#124)

@novembertea I have the exact opposite of thick hair, and it’s short now anyway (like think pixie cut short), but thanks!

clairapluie (#805)

Just get the plain black CHI. The kind you get at Target or Ulta. It should be about $90 give or take. I’ve had my CHI for about 6 years.

LizF (#1,399)

I don’t use a flatiron enough to justify purchasing one so every one I have had in my life has been a hand-me-down. Ask around to see if any of your friends are looking to upgrade, make out like a bandit by accepting their old one!
I don’t blow dry that often either but I have a travel size one that is leopard print (because despite what ellabella says, leopard print is fun) that I bought on sale from Sephora. (I’ve found that usually my friends get new blow driers because theirs burnt out rather than they are looking to upgrade)Like anything in life, you can’t really lose anything by researching your options and I happen to have incredibly generous friends who also like to recycle. I bet you do, too, Logan.

My hair routine is wash at night, comb through, put in a bun. Then in the morning I take down the bun and hope it isn’t wet enough to freeze if it is cold and then I style (half up, usually. Takes about 20 seconds) and run out the door.
I also have not paid to have my hair cut/styled other than for prom since I was 14. Related, to let you know that this method works: I get a lot of compliments on my very low-maintenance hair.

wearitcounts (#772)

Instead he gave me a classic bob which looked INCREDIBLE after he gave me a blowout and then flat-ironed it and put some product in it. It continued to look incredible until I WORKED MY MAGIC and washed/slept on it and then it looked like a mushroom.

i can’t stop laughing. have also experienced this. my solution? i tell them not to bother blow-drying my hair straight. that way i’ll know what it will look like in the morning.

EDIT: that and i won’t suffer from the grief that is realizing i will never, ever replicate the amazing that my hair once was.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@wearitcounts A backward thing just happened to me, where I did not like the cut when she blowdried it, but I like it the day after.

wearitcounts (#772)

@aetataureate that is all kinds of wonderful luck!

Megano! (#124)

@aetataureate A backward thing usually happens to me where I hate how they style it (cuz stylists seem to have a tendency to tease the volumize the fuck out of it, even when not really appropriate), so I prefer how it looks the next day.

Keck (#2,466)

I routinely lie at the salon because for some reason I feel embarrassed that I don’t have a blow dryer, or any hair product other than a 30+ year old round brush (prob the first one ever invented). All the little plastic tips have fallen off of my brush so the bristles are sharp and you can tell when I’ve brushed my hair because my scalp looks like an angry cat fell on my head. On the plus side after a lifetime of avoiding dryers, sprays and dyes my hair is baby soft. Ugly as hell, but baby soft.

I would like to take a defensive stand on not brushing your hair. Mine gets poofy and weird when I brush it. It looks like Hermione. I don’t have very curly hair, just wavy (amount of wave depends on the day/humidity) but brushing it makes it look BAD. I use lots of conditioner when I wash it and then finger-brush normally. Maybe someone has a hair secret for me but this has generally worked pretty well. (No brushes, no masters!)

TARDIStime (#1,633)

@apples and oranges This is how I roll, also. Finger brushing while in the shower, just before conditioning is the bomb diggity!

AlliNYC (#1,725)

You know what, if you just flip your head upside down and blowdry it with a brush, a bob will take like 3 minutes to dry. Then flip your head back up, laugh at how ridiculous you look (80s punk rock headbanger without the Aquanet!), then brush down all the volume and POOF your hair is perfect. This was my morning hair routine for 3 straight years, and it never ever got old.

My hair routine is to wash my hair, wait 30 minutes, go to bed, and usually it comes out wavy and perfect and sometimes it comes out awful and I have to — wait this is sounding awfully familiar.

Anyway, I do own all the tools. Blow dryer. That narrow shafty thing you put at the end of the blow dryer. Curling iron, straightening iron, diffuser (my diffuser is broken though). I used to blow dry and straighten my hair every time I washed it which I can hardly believe these days. I also find the straightening iron, if my hair isn’t perfectly dry and already blow dried pretty straight to begin with, actually makes my hair frizzier.

Anyway when I blow dry my hair it comes out straight, when I go to bed on it wet it comes out wavy in varying degrees. So I guess for 20 minutes every few nights I could get more put together looking hair but not only is my messy bed head hair easier but I like it better. SO THERE.

i can just feel that this comment is longer than i intended it to be

readyornot (#816)

This whole comment thread makes me hate the patriarchy, basically. Because, sure, I feel better when I do my hair, and I feel THE BEST when my stylist has done my hair and it is sleek and shiny and Pantene commercial perfect. But I do not like that I have to spend all that fucking time and money to get that feeling!

Here are the tools which I own and resentfully use, oh, once every other week:
T3 Micro Featherweight Luxe Hair Dryer (2.9 pounds)
Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron

Yes they were expensive and yes I feel guilty.

kellyography (#250)

Cutting high-maintenance hair is NEVER the answer! I tried it freshman year of high school and my stylist gave me a damn mushroom cut. Horrible idea/long hair forever. I also second the idea of a curl activator. I use John Frieda (cheap) or Frederik Fekkai (expensive) pretty much all the time because flat ironing is bad for your hair and kind of time consuming when you’d rather be reading. Either way, though, I am jealous of people who look good in bobs – my face is way too round for that shit.

My one thing: I did ALL THE LAUNDRY yesterday and today I am determined to put all my shit back on low shelves from when I packed it up in anticipation of flooding from the hurricane. SLOW PROGRESS!

themegnapkin (#444)

@kellyography I flat iron my hair while reading. It’s a lot easier now that I have an ipad.

While we’re talking about hair – does anyone have any good recommendations for cheap anti-frizz/make your hair nice and wavy but not insane products?

CaddyFdot (#2,686)

@apples and oranges
I like the Garnier Curl Sculpting cream gel. I have actual curly hair, not just wavy, but this one when put on slightly-air-dried hair cuts down the frizz better than most other stuff I’ve tried. And it’s drugstore available, not pricey!

Megano! (#124)

@apples and oranges Garnier has Morroccan Oil stuff that I cannot attest to the effectiveness of, except that my sis has kind of frizzy hair and loves the expensive Morrocan Oil stuff.

Maladydee (#909)

I finally did my one thing! I went and bought tenant insurance, and it was both more and less annoying than I thought it would be!
First, I tried to go through my bank, because hey, one less company to keep track of, but they would not let me because I’d never had insurance before. (Actual quote – me: So because I don’t have insurance, I can’t get insurance? him: You can’t get insurance from *us*. )
So after a bit of googling, and some unsuccessful phone calls, and a bit of dicking around on the internet, I found a broker that I could get to by bus, got a quote, and headed down, braving the cold and snowy wasteland that is winnipeg in the winter (mitigated by an awesome transit system, with lots of heated bus shelters), and got myself some insurance.
I did the thing I’ve been putting off for 6 months. (in this apartment. Actual time spent putting off getting tenant insurance in my life: much longer than 6 months.) And now I am eating reward sushi.

amirite (#2,677)

@Maladydee Good for you! This is on my list! But first I have to estimate the replacement cost of all my belongings, which is the part I’ve been procrastinating on. Maybe I’ll do it this weekend. (No I won’t.) (But maybe I actually will this time.)

Maladydee (#909)

@amirite it took about 10 minutes to do a rough estimate, and then the lowest policy they had was still $10 000 more than I needed. So don’t bother trying to get super precise.

e (#734)

Logan!!!!!! So many thoughts for you! The number one way to solve this problem is not to sleep on your wet hair! Move your shower to before dinner, when you get home. Or, you know, the morning.

The number two way to solve this is a little longer term, but WORTH it.

I have had this exact same “triangle cut” experience as you, and I suspect that part of the problem is you probably have strands of wavy hair that looks like straight hair when it is long and the weight of the hair pulls it straighter. Then your stylist cuts it like straight hair and then the second you wash it it springs up into a poofy spring ball with sticky out parts? Is that what is happening?

I am a lazy groomer with wavvy hair and here is my approach. First I get a good hair cut from a magical woman who knows how to work with wavvy hair so when my hair air drys it ranges from mild wave to big fat curls, to tight curls on a humid day. A sign that the person you got the cut from knows what they’re doing will involve using the straight razor on your hair. Tell them you have wavy hair and prefer to air dry and see what they say. If they tell you to use lots of product, peace out. Good signs- if they talk about “lightening” up the hair, razoring, layering, “adding texture”, anything like that. You want someone who is going to shave off piles of your hair from the top at an angle until it poofs up nicely- its pretty much opposite how straight thin hair will work.

Step 2: I shower and wash my hair every other day with curly hair specific shampoo (bumble and bumble- also heard good things about devacurl and mixed girls), and on those days I blow dry JUST the bangs and hair right around my face, after I let my bangs air dry for about 10 minutes. If you are a shower every day kind of girl, then I’d recommend that you invest in one of those silly caps and still dry your bangs back into shape when you get out. If you get the bangs right and have a good cut that works with the wave, you will not have any other problems with your hair. Also there’s stuff you can put in after showering- curl conditioner leave in stuff that will keep you all fancy if you like that.

But honestly my system is cheaper than my old non system system. The cut is more expensive and the shampoo is too, but I use less shampoo and get cuts less often because my hair looks great. The blow drying takes me maybe 3 minutes- tops- every other day. I am the kind of girl who shaves her legs only when she’s not wearing leggings with her dress, and wears leggings with her dress so she never has to shave, and my usual makeup routine is sunblock and one swipe of eyeliner. So I know from not wanting to fuss.

Maladydee (#909)

@e you aren’t kidding about using a straight razor and talking about texture being good signs in a hairdresser. I just got the best haircut of my life last week from a woman who did both of those things. I didn’t know my hair could look this good, this easily. The only requirement is that I *have* to blow dry my hair instead of letting it air dry. That is the only trick.

3jane (#645)

@e YES THIS. My hair is not quite curly enough to not need a little product encouragement, but I should have mentioned my amazing hairdresser textures the fuck out of my hair and spends most her time cutting out weight. I finally make enough money to get my hair trimmed up on a regular basis, but before that she called me her little muppet due to the massive mop I walked in with every six months (it grows out, not down).

themegnapkin (#444)

@e your mileage obviously differs, but I have curly/wavy/frizzy hair, and razor-cutting it and thinning it out makes it look worse. Texturizing just creates more flyaways that eventually curl up and look terrible.

e (#734)

P.S. Logan as proof I can send you a picture of my shiny curls that I have today, with zero product in them, as a result of air drying and only drying the bangs, if you need to be convinced.

karenb (#2,685)

i hate to do anything to my hair. it is shoulder-length and naturally wavy/curly and fine and fly-away-y. so here’s my trick! whenever i shower, when it’s damp i grab a handful of bobby pins. you take sections of your hair and twist them around, and then – without letting them curl up like spirals – pin them to the other side of your head. alternate sides, and you get a cute updo, sort of like a fishtail braid on the back of your head? leave this to dry (or overnight!) and when it’s 90% dry, take it out and shake the twists loose. you’ll have great shiny waves, without product or any sort of real work.

sparrow303 (#1,641)

My mom has 1/2 inch of hair and I was born lacking the genes to hold a hair dryer. After fighting reality and looking disheveled for 28 years, I got a cute little Tegan ‘n’ Sara-style long pixie/very short bob/texture-y chop last winter and never looked back.

Now my hair dries on its own in 10 minutes and always looks good, even in Chicago wind. This I can do.

@sparrow303 jealous

calamity (#2,577)

I am yet another wavy/curly-haired girl who has accepted that a modified bob is the best of all possible haircuts for me – maybe I’m just incompetent, but I absolutely cannot do the blow-dryer-in-one-hand-brush-in-the-other thing. I can’t even straighten my hair properly anymore, now that I keep it shorter – I always end up with weird lumps at the back.

My hair is also very fine/sparse so YMMV, but here are my best styling tips to make you not hate your hair:

- morning showers. I know, I hate waking up any earlier than absolutely necessary too. But my hair somehow manages to become both crazy wild and flat when I sleep on it. Not a good look. You need to wet it in the morning, and scrunch it as it dries. Spend as much time with your head upside down as you can. Scrunching upside down will give you the body and wave of a good blowdry, without actually using a blowdryer. You use any sort of curling gel during this step, OR you can …

- cut back DRASTICALLY on how often you shampoo. I shampoo once or twice a week, and I’m planning on cutting back further if possible. My hair is SO much better behaved, and it’s SO SOFT, I can’t even tell you. I thought having curly hair (and it’s not even that curly) meant I was doomed to a a lifetime of crunchy, dry frizz. I was wrong – the shampoo-industrial complex had tricked me!! NO ONE needs to shampoo every day, IMO. Wean yourself off shampoo bit by bit, and your hair oils will start regulating itself without going through the gross “detox” period that happens if you try to go no-poo, as they call it. Just use a lot of conditioner and make sure to rub it around your scalp. Most days, that is all you need.

On the rare occasion that I use hair product, I do shampoo the next day. But the less you shampoo, the less your scalp overcompensates by producing extra oil. Plus you won’t be constantly stripping the oil that remains on the rest of your hair, which equals less frizz! My hair looks and feels visibly healthier and more hydrated. And now that it’s so much healthier, I don’t even have to load product on it to make it do what I want it to. I scrunch it in the mornings, and the curl just … holds. (I could also comb/brush it out repeatedly as it dries, and it would be mostly straight, but my hair’s too sparse for that to also look good. That and the prevailing idea straight hair = nice hair idea makes me rage.) (As does the long hair = nice hair idea – don’t give up and grow it out! You’ll have the same problems you do now, only MORE of them.)

Good luck!!!!

novembertea (#2,203)

Logan, next time you get your hair done, ask the stylist what products they used! I’m pretty sure that for your daily on the go regimen, one or two leave in products and very little effort otherwise will suit your needs.

I have a very hard time with my thin, fine, pin straight oily hair complete with cowlicks. I’m still pretty bad at it but I got some really good ideas for managing it from Youtube beauty gurus. Find one that has your hair type and watch his or her tutorials and see what you can learn. My favorite is Rachhloves, her hair/skin/coloring are exactly like mine so her recommendations work really well for me.

km1312 (#213)

No offense to any other commenters here; I’m sure you’re all lovely people with prettier hair than me, but I think I’m probably the only person as lazy as Logan here.
No, I will not shower in the morning, because that means waking up 20 minutes earlier. No, I will not blow-dry, because it’s boring and the blow-dryer is heavy and Breaking Bad is on and just no. No, I will not buy a hair gadget/product that costs more than $10.
My solutions include: headbands, dry shampoo, V05 conditioner (bought for the sole reason that it was on sale for 79 cents – has turned out to make my hair look better than anything else), the acceptance of defeat.
However, I still believe that the MAGICAL HAIRCUT is out there.

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