Tutorial: French Braid for Short Hair

A while ago I posted a picture of my hair in a French braid on my Instagram page, asking people to ‘like’ if they wanted a tutorial. And then almost two months passed. Well, today’s the day and here’s the tutorial of how to get a braid out of chin-length waves. It’s pretty easy, the tricky part is pinning up all the short strands at the nape of the neck.

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Tools
Bobby pins x lots
Hair tie x 1

Steps
1. Take a section of hair towards the hairline. In this picture I took it off to the side and braided diagonally, but you can start in the centre too – this style is all about the texture and getting the hair off your face.
2. Split the section into three parts and do one stitch of a braid (one side over the middle, the other side over the new middle).
3. Take a new section of hair from the hairline to the braid and add it to the outer strand. Bring the strand with the added hair over the middle strand, making it the new centre strand.
4. Repeat until you run out of hair long enough to add to the French braid and tie off the end with a hair tie.
5. With the remaining hair, take it in random sections and start twisting them and pinning them until they are all up and out of the way.
6. Appreciate your effort with a selfie and tag me on Instagram if you have a go (@asteriskthat).

I apologise for the lack of images to help with the instructions; I’m hoping to film a tutorial for this simple braid soon.

Love and waves,
Astrid

How Do You Sleep?

For those of us with textured hair – from the slightly wavy to the tightly curly – maintaining our hair through the night is a big deal. I believe this comes down to the fact that we don’t like to brush or comb through our hair. Oftentimes, this can make things much worse. I showed you guys what it looks like when I brush my hair – but that’s nothing compared to curly-tops with tighter textures.

There are a few ways that curlies try to prevent the bedhead:

The Pineapple

This technique requires you to bend over so that all your hair is hanging towards the floor. Then, taking a scrunchy, gently gather all your hair into a loose ponytail right on top of your head. Some curlies like to make a loose bun, especially if they have particularly long and thick hair.
Pineapple-ing (yes, it’s a verb now) keeps your hair out of the way while you sleep, and hopefully only the underside of the hair will get smooshed.
The downside to this for some is that no matter how loose the scrunchy is, they get a dent in their hair when they take it down the next day. Luckily for me, that doesn’t happen – my only problem is that at the moment my hair is only long enough to keep half of it up.

The Satin/Silk Pillowcase

This isn’t a technique – just a product, really. The idea is that silk or satin is much smoother, and a lot less likely to suck moisture out of the hair than absorbent and snagging cotton. I’ve never ended up buying a special pillowcase, but I did buy a cheap silk scarf big enough to lay over my pillow – I really did notice a difference, although it’s tricky trying to get the scarf to stay all night.

The Satin/Silk Bonnet or Scarf

Satin and silk bonnets are very popular in the curly community, and a scarf is just another way to put the protective material around your hair while you sleep. With the scarf method, I find it hard to get the happy-medium between tight enough to stay on and loose enough to be comfortable. And with bonnets, if you buy a cheap one, the elastic gets loose quickly and I find that they also fall off by morning.
On the bright side, I recently bought a silk bonnet through a fellow member of the Aussie Curly Girl Facebook group* – her mother makes them – and it has been great so far – the elastic is firm but not uncomfortable, and there’s enough there that when my hair gets longer, it won’t make the bonnet fall off.
One thing I have heard is that it can cause breakage to the fine hairs at the hairline – I haven’t seen any evidence of this on my own hair (I’m convinced that the fine hairs at my hairline are never going to change).

Braids or Twists

Twisting or braiding the hair while you sleep is a good way of preventing tangles in the hair. It also preserves the ‘S’ curve in the hair. However, depending on how many braids or twists you do, it can alter your curl pattern. That’s what lots of curlies are going for, but if you don’t want looser or tighter curls overnight, maybe stay away from this option.

The Combo

Many curlies use two or three of the above methods, either for extra effectiveness or insurance against one failing (like the bonnet comeing off or braids coming undone).

My preferred way is: switch it up. When I first started learning about how to take care of my hair (and make it look good in the process), I used the pineapple method. Because it was the first thing I tried, I found it worked really well. But as I found out more and more, I experimented with different things. That’s what I love about hair in general: there are so many ways to style it and take care of it, no one way works for everyone and, if you’re like me, different things work depending on the results you want and the changes in seasons and hairstyles.

So, readers, what do you do to keep your hair from getting messed overnight? Let me know in the comments, and if you try any of these ideas, also let me know – I’d love to hear what works for you.

Love and waves,
Astrid

*If you’re in Australia and would like more information, go to my contacts page and let me know. I’ll see what I can do about getting you in touch :)

Aussie Spotlight: MooGoo

Well, it’s been a shamefully* long time since I last posted, hasn’t it? I’d like to say that I’ve been busy (to an extent, I have been) but really, there has been time for me to post; I’m just really good at procrastinating.
How have you guys been while I’ve been away? I hope the world is treating you well, and if you’re into Halloween, I hope you’re having lots of fun gearing up for it. I spent yesterday afternoon talking to Mum about Jack O’Lanterns and decorations coming up to the 31st, and I’ve been on a massive horror film kick lately too. Do you love getting the bejeesus scared out of you too?

Aaanyway, I’m getting distracted (this is why I should post more often, I’d be able to spread my ramblings out a bit) – do you want to read my next review of an Australian hair care brand? Of course you do – so keep reading to find out my thoughts on MooGoo ;)

Milk Shampoo
MooGooShampoo
This shampoo tricked me. At first, it felt kind of drying – my hair was squaky clean and I was worried. But after I applied conditioner and my hair dried, my hair felt very soft and less frizzy than usual.
By the third time I used it, my hair wasn’t feeling stripped and I wonder if my hair was simply adjusting to the particular combination of ingredients in the shampoo.
The best thing about this shampoo is what it did for my scalp; my scalp didn’t start to itch as soon and I managed to stretch my washes from every three to every four or five – pretty amazing to me!

Cream Conditioner
conditioner_web
MooGoo is one of my go to conditioners and my favourite all-rounder. I use it to co-wash, condition and as a moisturising and light leave in. And paired with the shampoo, it’s even better. I got multiple compliments on my hair while I was trying out the duo and my hair had less frizz than usual.
If I weren’t so keen to keep searching out and reviewing Australian brands, I’d want to keep going with these.
And, rumour has it, MooGoo is in the process of trialling an actual leave in conditioner! Exciting :)

Where can you get MooGoo? They sell online, have a search feature for stockists on their website, and ship internationally.

How much is it? $$

Eco-friendly? 9/10

Animal testing? No.

Curly Girl friendly? Yes, 3/3

Colour safe? No; I couldn’t find anything on the label to say so.

Have you tried MooGoo? Let me know what you thought in the comments, and if you have any suggestions for an Aussie brand to try out, add that too! Also, I’d love any horror film recommendations coming up to Halloween :P

Love and waves,
Astrid

*I use that word lightly. Shame is a pretty strong emotion to feel about something that’s a hobby. But you know what I mean; colloquialism etc.

As with all my posts, opinions are my own and I purchased these products myself. The images come from the MooGoo site.

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Holiday Time

Hi readers,
I’ve been a little lax with my posting, haven’t I? I’m currently four days in to the two week break after my first term at hairdressing school (yay!). My plan was to get back to the five days a week posting schedule that I’d planned at the outset of this blog.
That clearly hasn’t happened, despite having enrolled myself in Writing 101 with the hope that it would give me that extra push to post five days a week.
So what have I been doing? Well, I’ve been writing (just not here). Everyday since Monday, the first thing I’ve done after breakfast is open up my journal and write. Then, after I feel like I’ve done enough freewriting, I move over to another notebook and continue work on the novel I started months ago – before starting hairdressing school.
It feels good to be familiarising myself with the characters and their stories again. It’s right at the beginning and my protagonist has only just begun to get her feet sticky, but I’m eager to find out how she’ll get out of her current situation – though she’s going to get more involved by trying to get out. 
Needless to say, I haven’t done any revision for school either. It’s funny how I have this constant swing between the two things I really enjoy doing (actually, it’s a trifecta – I also love dancing) – I use one to procrastinate about doing the other. But if that’s all I have to worry about right now, I think I’m doing pretty well.

Now it’s your turn, my lovely readers; have you been doing enough of what you love lately? I would love to hear about your projects and passions inthe comments ☺

Love and waves,
Astrid

First Post In Reverse: My Freewriting Response

Well this is the start of a freewriting exercise. It’s more difficult to do these on the computer as opposed to handwriting (my preferred way of freewriting – I do that all the time), because the backspace key is just there.
However, it is actually easier because typing is closer to the speed of my thoughts than handwriting.
So I realised that I wasn’t seeing things backward – I just missed yesterday’s assignment for Writing 101. It doesn’t really matter. I know that the purpose of Blogging U is to get us writing everyday. That’s what makes this better than a uni course – there isn’t that dread of a final grade. If I get more readers or page views out of this course – awesome! If not, at least I got a chance to practice my writing.

Sometimes I wonder at my writing, and now I’m wondering at what people will think of this. I often wonder that kind of thing when I’m writing in my journal – just getting thoughts out and the satisfaction of seeing the loops of my handwritten words on the page. It’s so wonderfully tactile.

I just stopped to read that last paragraph – that’s not what I’m supposed to do in this exercise is it? Oops.
In the freewriting assignment (which was actually yesterday’s assignment, so now I’m doing two posts in one day), they mentioned Natalie Goldberg, and Writing Down the Bones. I love that book so much. In it, Goldberg equates this kind of writing – and the practice of writing in general – with meditation. And that is so true – to just write and let the words flow. It’s an amazing thing and I notice that when I don’t write for a while, my anxiety tends to heighten. It’s kind of a chicken/egg thing – am I anxious because I’m not writing or am I not writing because I’m anxious? I think Natalie Goldberg would say it’s because I’m a writer who’s not writing.

This is going to feel weird to let people read this. You’d be surprised how much of my ‘writing’ is this inane kind of natter.

Now I think I should try and veer away from that kind of negativity. Writing makes me happy, so it doesn’t really matter whether it’s good or not. Of course once I get to a point where I produce content people like to read, of course that would be great. But I really just enjoy writing for writing’s sake. It’s very much a private kind of hobby.
Which brings me around to wanting to pursue a career as a hairdresser – it isn’t quite so private. Hairdressing is something that I can share with people and will be able to help people. With writing, of course all that is true too, but so much of it is subjective. Not so say that hairstyling isn’t subjective – there’s always new ways to do things in any creative field – but… I’m not sure exactly what I’m trying to say.
Okay, I think I know what I was trying to say – hairdressing is about people. There is always at least two people involved in the profession of hairdressing: the stylist and the client. There is no way that it can become private – unless you work on mannequin heads but really, what’s the point of that?
With writing, the sharing is optional. So I like that with hairdressing (aside from it just being plain fun) I have to share my creativity for there to be a purpose to it.
It’s weird that for me the two – professions, careers, hobbies, activities (there are just too many darn words in my brain) – are kind of complementary. I don’t think I’m unique – but it is unusual.

After writing in those parentheses, I now have actually run out of words. I wonder how much time is left? Less than a minute! If you’ve read this all though, throw me a comment or a like – I’ll get a kick out of knowing people have read this blabber :D

Love and waves,
Astrid

Handcream

I had this post sitting in my drafts and forgot to publish it yesterday – so here’s a Saturday post for you :)

This is the hand cream I currently have in my handbag – and it’s almost empty!
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As a hairdresser in training, I’ve noticed that my hands are already starting to get dry after a day at school or the salon – and I’m not even in the industry full time yet.
Aside from the dryness, an occupational hazard of this industry is contact dermatitis. So far, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid it but many apprentices and students develop it within  their first few months. I’m not guaranteed safety though – it can  spring up at any time.
So good quality hand creams are a must for hairdressers. I think I might start reviewing hand care products along with the hair stuff.

What hand products do you like to use?
Love and waves,
Astrid

Writing101

Writing 101

A few months ago, I signed up to Writing 201 through WordPress Blogging U. I did get some things out of it – like trying to put a little more thought into my posts – editing being the big thing – but I only made a concerted effort to participate in the first half of the month. In the second half of the month college had gotten into swing and I found it hard to get the motivation to really keep up with the assignments.

Also, I had only just started my blog. This time around, I’m starting from the beginning. I just signed up to Writing 101, which will (hopefully) encourage me to get back to the ‘five posts a week’ goal that I had when I began Can’t Stop Thinking About Hair.

Blogging U is also running Blogging 101 which aims to help with the post developing side of blogging. I chose to participate in Writing 101 because frequency of posting is the aspect I’d like to concentrate on for now. Developing better posts will come once I have that habit – of course, I’m always open to suggestions in the comments here at any time :)

Which of my WordPress readers are joining in one of the courses next Monday September 15th? I’m looking forward to seeing you in the Commons!

Love and waves,
Astrid

PS: I know the past two posts haven’t been hair related – I’ve got two things in the works that will appear at the end of this week or beginning of next week. X