Plopping: Amazing curls in 6 easy steps!

LogoI hope you’re not tired of hearing about my hair yet because today I have good news for those of you who, like me, struggle with what to do with your naturally curly locks. Not long ago, I had reached a point of total frustration with my partially grown and extremely unruly hair. I was almost ready to call my hairdresser and have it cropped off again. That’s when I decided to try plopping, a technique that my daughter often uses on her much longer, but equally curly, hair. I was absolutely amazed with the results and it’s so easy!

When curly hair is wet, the curls are smooth and defined, but when it dries, those lovely curls lose their definition and often become a nasty pile of frizz. Definitely not the look we want! What we do between wet and dry makes all the difference in the world. Plopping helps curls keep their shape, even after they dry.

So what are those 6 easy steps?

Step 1:

Wet your hair and squeeze out any excess water.

Step 2: 

Apply product. This may include a leave-in conditioner as well as mousse, gel, or curl creme. I use a handful of Herbal Essence Tousle Me Softly mousse.

Step 3:

Lay a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt on a flat surface (chair, bathroom counter, bed) with the sleeves closest to you. Using a t-shirt instead of a terry cloth towel is key to successful plopping. Terry cloth absorbs too much moisture, which curly hair needs, and its harsh fibres promote frizz. If you prefer, you can purchase a special microfibre plopping towel, but one of the things that I like best about plopping is that it doesn’t require any costly implements. I simply found an older t-shirt in my closet that I wasn’t wearing often and set it aside for plopping.

Step 4:

Bend forward at the waist positioning all of your hair on top of your head and at the centre of the t-shirt.

Step 5:

Take the far edge (bottom hem) of the t-shirt and flip it up over your head so that it rests at the back of your neck. Tie the sleeves of the t-shirt behind your head. If they are long enough, you may want to wrap them around to the front and tie another knot to make your turban more secure. Tuck in any loose ends and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. The t-shirt will soak up moisture without creating frizz and will also absorb any excess product preventing hard, crunchy curls. Some women leave their hair covered longer; even overnight. Experiment to discover what works best for you.

Step 6:

Remove the t-shirt and let your hair air dry or blow-dry it with a diffuser. Do not touch the curls while they are wet.

It really is that easy! I don’t take great selfies, but here’s what my very first attempt at plopping looked like.

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While the curls relaxed a little through the day, this is what it looked like 8 or 9 hours later, ready to go out for dinner with my husband.

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I can’t begin to tell you how many compliments I’ve had since I started plopping!

For a simple tutorial complete with photos, click here.

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Creating a distraction

LogoIt’s now been five months since I made the decision to let my hair grow out and I haven’t given up yet! I even survived six weeks of camping, often without power. I’ve been surprised and pleased with how well it’s gone, but there are days when I despair and consider giving up; days when the unruly curls and frizz almost get the best of me.

I’m enormously grateful to whoever invented hair combs. Some days sweeping the sides back and holding them in place keeps me from completely losing my mind, but I’ve also learned that accessories are a great way to create a distraction taking attention away from my hair and focusing it elsewhere.

Here I’m wearing a silky scarf designed by Northwest Coast indigenous artist, Clifton Fred, and a pair of eye catching earrings.

The same principle works to draw attention away from other flaws or body parts that you’d rather not accentuate. Hats, scarves, sunglasses, belts, statement jewelry, colourful handbags, or stylish footwear are all great ways to steal attention. Use them to draw the eye away from those parts you don’t particularly like and to enhance those that will give you your best possible look.

For example, if you have what is commonly referred to as a “turkey neck”, lose skin around the neck that often develops as a woman ages, you may want to camouflage it by drawing attention down and away from that area. Opt for scarves, necklaces, or earrings that create long vertical lines. On the other hand, if you are big busted and prefer not to accentuate that feature, shorter statement necklaces that draw the eye up to your neck area are a better choice.

Be careful not to overdo it by wearing too many accessories at once, but be sure to add one essential and inexpensive accessory to every outfit… your beautiful smile!

Before we leave the topic of my unruly hair though, I just wanted to share the fact that it’s a genetic trait inherited from my mother’s side of the family. Clearly, I have passed it on. Here’s my youngest grandson ready for his first day of preschool last week.

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And here’s what he looks like when Mommy tries to tame his locks!

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Photos of Simon: Melaina Graham

Growing it out

LogoDry hair, oily hair, straight hair, curly hair, thick hair, thin hair, coarse hair, fine hair… is there such a thing as a woman who is truly happy with her hair? It seems that we always want the hair that someone else has! Apparently, we’re also willing to spend a lot to get it. I have no idea how accurate it is, but one estimate that I read recently stated that American women on average spend approximately $700 annually on their hair. That would include haircuts, perms, colouring, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, and other styling products, as well as accessories including combs, brushes, curling irons, straightening irons, and clips.

Like most women, I get tired of my hair. A few months ago, after keeping it short for many years, I started wondering if perhaps it was time to try a longer style again. I asked you what you thought and several readers urged me to let it grow. Here’s what happened:

 

In today’s photo, I had just come from the hairdresser. She trimmed the ends, shaped it a bit, trimmed the front and thinned out the top. She also had fun playing with my natural curl so it’s a bit wilder looking than I usually wear it.

I still haven’t decided what my ultimate goal is or how long I’ll let it grow, but reaching the point where I could tuck it behind my ears was a milestone. Summer probably isn’t the best time to be trying to grow it out, but it helps a lot to be able to tuck it under the edges of my cap when I’m golfing, especially in the wild winds that we’ve been having lately.

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While we were chatting today, my hairdresser (who has only been doing my hair for the past couple of years) asked how long it’s been since the last time I had long hair. I honestly couldn’t remember, but it must have been back in the 90s. Here’s a photo from way back then!

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Yes, I’ve aged a bit (okay, maybe a lot!) but I still have incredibly thick hair. I lose a little after each of my cancer treatments, but still my hairdresser has to thin it! I know… some of you would love to have thicker hair. I wish I could share a bit of mine with you. As I said, we always want the kind of hair that someone else has!

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New looks

logoHave you ever noticed that adding a new basic to your wardrobe can breathe fresh life into older pieces?

I’ve only purchased one item from this season’s cabi collection, the Indulgence Tank. With it’s wide ponte waistband and two floaty layers of lightweight polyester creating a beautiful blouson effect, this pure white sleeveless top will go with practically everything.

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Here I’m wearing it with a short navy cardigan that hadn’t been out of my closet all winter. Purchased at Uniqlo shortly after my arrival in China in early 2013, it was once a wardrobe staple, but I’d grown somewhat tired of it. When I paired it with the Indulgence Tank, however, it felt almost new again.

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In these photos, you’re seeing me with more hair than usual. I normally have my hair cut every six weeks, but it’s now been almost nine weeks since I last visited my hairdresser. That’s because I’m trying to decide whether or not it’s time for a longer style. Some days, like the one pictured here, I’ve been playing around with its natural curl instead of straightening it. Regardless of what I decide, I know that it needs a good trim to give it shape, but what do you think? Cut it short again or let it grow? I really want your opinion!

Aging with grayce

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Why is it that gray hair on a man is often considered sexy or sophisticated? Think Richard Richard GereGere, ladies!

Women, on the other hand, have long felt tremendous societal pressure to cover their gray. Amazing amounts of time and money are spent fending off the effects of time and trying to hang onto a coveted youthful ideal. Recently, the lovely young Duchess of Cambridge was chastised in the press for allowing a few strands of gray to appear in her lustrous brunette mane!

Times and trends are changing though and even some well known actresses and models are choosing to embrace their gray. Far from looking old and washed out, these gals are stunning!

Jamie Lee Curtis

 

I’ve always loved Jamie Lee Curtis’ short pixie cut and doesn’t it look great in pewter?

 

 

 

 

 

Kori Hendrix

 

 

Here’s Kori Hendrix, a Texas realtor and model. Isn’t she gorgeous?

 

 

 

 

 

 

In days gone by, it was thought that women who did let their hair go gray should at least keep it short, but not anymore! Look at the flowing locks on these beauties!

Ingrid Becker

 

In her late 60s, Ingrid Becker is a top German model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Model Cindy Joseph

 

Cindy Joseph, began her career in the late 1970s working as a make-up artist for fashion and beauty photographers. In 1999, at the age of 49, she was approached on the street by a casting agent and asked to model for a Dolce and Gabbana ad campaign. That ignited her modeling career with Ford Models Inc., which continues to flourish today at age 66.
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Nicola Griffin also came to modelling later in life. A middle-aged single mother from Nottingham, England, who ran a business organizing student exchange trips, Griffin was standing in line at the bank with her twin daughters when a stranger representing a hair product company asked her if she’d be willing to model for the company’s latest campaign. She was sceptical, but her teenage daughters urged her to give it a try. That quickly led to other modelling jobs and at age 56, she became the oldest woman ever to model for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue!

Born in France in December of 1955, Yasmina Rossi is both a grandmother and a highly sought after model who still looks good in a bikini!

“My hair started turning gray when I was 12 and was salt-and-pepper by the time I hit 20,” says Rossi. “I never colored it, because I knew it was my best asset.”

Yasmina Rossi Model age 59

Yasmina Rossi

Who says gray can’t be sexy and sophisticated?

My first strands of gray began to appear when I was in my mid 40s. I distinctly remember sitting at the dinner table between my oldest son and his friend, both in their teens and both towering over me in height. Looking down at my head, my son commented on the fact that I was getting quite a few gray hairs. “That’s not gray hair,” his friend responded. “Those are silver highlights!” I always did love that boy!

Going gray has been a very slow process. Almost twenty years after that dinner table conversation, my hair still looks more brown than gray in photos. I don’t remember where I first saw the “aging with grayce” phrase, but I’ve adopted it as my own. I can’t tell you whether you should colour your hair or go au naturel, but I love my silver highlights and I have no desire to hide them. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever go completely gray, but if I do, I hope I can carry it off with as much dignity and grace as the beautiful ladies shown above!

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