What I Learned About My Hair

What I Learned About My Hair

Ever learn something and go, “How did it take me so long to figure this out?” Yeah – that’s was me, this past Saturday, in disbelief about what I learned about my hair.

What Isn’t New

My ambition simply does not extend to my hair. If I could just wash-and-wear every day, I would. I don’t have much love for the tedium of blow-drying, not to mention using heat less often makes for healthier hair.

In fact, I do it more often than I should. I’m sure my lazy approach to my hair is my most-common detractor from my professional appearance.

It’s a catch-22 – and that’s why I adopted my simpler haircut. It’s easier for me to coax into being presentable.

What I Learned About My Hair

My main objection to styling is that it is time consuming. And that’s true – it is, but only when you have to do it. I already knew I didn’t have to bother every day.

What I learned, however, was that I can easily go longer between washes when I do something with my hair than when I wash-and-wear. That something can be just blowing it out (nothing remotely fancy, mostly a rough-dry with some smoothing to finish) with mousse. When I do that, I get more mileage out of a wash – enhanced, of course, with dry shampoo. Using the same dry shampoo at the same interval on air-dried hair, however, doesn’t allow me to go as far.

The Bottom Line

Applying what I learned about my hair to my approach to this will make it feel like less of an imposition on my, “free,” time. Applying heat to my hair 2-3x per week should only result in about 2-2.5 combined hours, tops, of active time spent on my hair. In all, that seems like low-ish effort to appear put-together for work.

Wearing Invisalign for 20 Hours Per Day

wearing Invisalign for 20 hours per day

There tons of blogs and forums out there with reports from people saying that wearing Invisalign for 20 hours per day is, “impossible.” Invisalign recommends 22 hours of wear per day, which I strive for, but many orthodontists confess that between 20 and 22 should do it.

How I Manage Wearing Invisalign for 20 Hours per Day

I personally haven’t found it hard to wear them as directed. My average wear time is about 22 hours and 23 minutes per day; my maximum time with the trays out so far has been two full hours, and my minimum has been one hour and fifteen minutes.

For me, it’s simple – I really want straight teeth and I invested a lot of money to achieve a smile I am happier with. This takes short-term sacrifice and diligence on my part. The trade off is easy.

At Home

At home, I pop my trays out, eat and drink, then take care of oral hygiene. During dinner, I place my trays in my ultrasonic cleaning bath (okay, seriously, it’s just a little tub with a motor – but that’s what they called it) with some Retainer Brite. After dinner, I’ll take a quick shower (and whiten my teeth with Plus White at the same time) while my trays are still marinating in the solution. Then, I get out, do the whole oral hygiene thing, and I’m good to go!

When I’m Out

Even with eating meals away from home, I do the following to keep them out as little as possible:

  • Order water to drink. If I want something other than water, I’ll wait to drink it until my meal arrives.
  • Keep trays in until food is about to arrive.
  • Be mindful of eating pace; I’m naturally inclined to be a slow eater. Invisalign is forcing me not to linger over my meals.
  • As soon as I’m done eating, go take care of oral hygiene. Frequently, if I’m out to lunch with coworkers, we leave shortly after and I just take care of this at the office.

At least half of my meals are consumed away from home – it isn’t that hard!

Stop the Excuses

Anyone should be able to average at least 20 hours a day and most people, I’d argue, should be able to achieve 22 hours per day wear at least half of the time. The complaints I read cited excuses that sound an awful lot like non-commitment to me.

But snacks!

Get over it. You just spent, directly or indirectly if you’re lucky enough to have insurance that covers them, thousands of dollars on orthodontic treatment.

If you eat properly at mealtimes you will be less inclined to snack. I’m not perched atop some high horse; my diet isn’t the model by which anyone should be basing their life. I’m not a dietician or nutritionist, and I need help; I use MyFitnessPal to record what I eat and to make sure I’m getting enough of what I need.

I’ve been snack-free since July 23rd.

You can, too.

Well I’m a busy mom and, like, it’s just *hard*

No doubt; I bet being a busy mom is hard! But no one said orthodontic treatment is a cakewalk. Being negligent towards your own orthodontic treatment sets a poor example, too; if/when your kids end up in braces or Invisalign, how can you expect your kids to take proper care seriously if you can’t be bothered?

I don’t have time to bother with wearing Invisalign for 20 hours per day! I have a life!

Here’s an unpopular truth: you have time. We all have the time. You just aren’t choosing to reserve some time for this, which you should have done before you committed to Invisalign in the first place. Part of the commitment is making the time to take it seriously; it isn’t like you’re just forking over a few grand to wake up the next day with a straight smile.

I need my coffee.

Join the club? Get up, eat something and drink a coffee. If you need to refresh your lifeblood coffee reserves throughout the day, the nice thing is that you shouldn’t have to floss. You can just brush (or even skate by with an aggressive rinse as long as your coffee of choice isn’t chock full of sugar).

The Bottom Line

Orthodontists don’t keep the requirements for wear a secret. Don’t choose treatment unless you can also choose discipline! I suggest going through the motions of what your life will be like with them before you commit. Can you eliminate snacks (or make the time to take care of oral hygiene after each snack)? Can you eat your meals quickly and remember to tend to your oral hygiene and reinsertion of trays with a sense of urgency? Will you be able to overcome the potential of a slight lisp? If you cannot commit to wearing Invisalign for 20 hours per day, consider other options.

If I, a 50+ hour-per-week working professional who eats more than half of my meals outside of my house, can manage to wear them for 22 hours a day, you should be able to wear them for twenty.

My Simpler Haircut

Over years and many haircuts that are nowhere near close to what I asked for, I’ve adopted a simpler haircut. Here’s how my stylist and I describe it.

All one length hitting about two inches below the vertical midpoint of my collarbone with low, face-framing layers that start below my chin. I considered a lob (long bob) but opted to eschew that for now.

Easy.

Simpler Haircut, Simpler Styling

Truth be told, I got tired of hunting for a stylist. It takes more time and money than I care to invest at this stage of my life, not to mention the disappointments (be it finished product or stylist ‘tude) that come along with that hunt.

My colorist actually does a nice job but because I’ve opted for this simpler haircut and because I’m only getting balayage highlights twice a year, why pay $40 + tip for what I can have done for $13 + tip?

Don’t get me wrong – if I wanted a more involved or challenging to produce-and-maintain style, I’d gladly fork over more to keep it well-maintained. But majestic dream hair takes monumental effort – ain’t nobody (who isn’t a hair model) got time for that. That’s just not where I am with life right now.

Sure, the experience with the colorist is nicer, but that’s mostly because of the shampoo and scalp massage. It isn’t 3x nicer and I get that when I get highlights anyway!

In fact, my balayage touch up is August 18 – so close, but so far away! I’m excited.

Speaking of Balayage

I’ve updated my inspiration board on Pinterest.

 

I want to go lighter this time, can you tell?

The Bottom Line

Do you have a haircut that must be closely maintained? How often do you go, and roughly (don’t share exacts if it makes you uncomfortable) how much do you spend when you go?

Cool Beauty Products I’ve Seen Lately

Being a blogger on a no buy is a challenging position to be in. I ought to remain at least vaguely aware of wtf is happening (ABH Subculture) and what cool beauty products are launching. ALl oh this, of course, without becoming tempted enough to make purchases.

You are cordially invited to join me in marveling at my first world problems.

Anyway, as a result of

  • trying to stay at least semi-abreast of what is coming out or
  • shopping for other things and seeing ads or seeing unrelated albeit interesting search results and
  • occasionally tagging along with a coworker to Ulta during lunch to help her with product recommendations
–I’ve seen some cool beauty products lately! I haven’t purchased any of these items, but I wanted to share what caught my eye.

Cool Beauty Products I've Seen Lately - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Mini

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Mini

I’ve tried an Hourglass mini before, but ultimately invested in the full sized product because, well, the product is fantastic. I imagine that’s no different with the Ambient Lighting Blushes, but let’s say you’re gift shopping and have a limit of $25-30. This little one, currently only available in Mood Exposure, runs $24.

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First Week with Invisalign

Aiming to correct my teeth - Invisalign

My first week of Invisalign flew by; I’m already on my second tray and a lot has happened.

First Tray – Tuesday, July 25

I went to the orthodontist’s office after work. An orthodontic technician came over showed me my trays and went over some of the minutia like:

  • Keeping trays you’re done with so you have back ups if anything happens to your current tray
  • Cleaning your tray(s)
  • Teaching me how to insert and remove them
  • Teaching me how to use Chewies

Then, the orthodontist came over and examined the fit, made sure I was good to go. We went back over my ClinCheck – by tray 25 (of 40) I should have what appears (compared to now!) to be straight teeth.

I was surprised to find, however, a space for the tooth I just had extracted. They offered to add something to it so that spot appeared to have a tooth, but since it is clear, the gap is tiny, and my lower teeth don’t show when I speak, I opted out of it. The spot for tooth 26 is there in my first through third trays, then is absent starting the fourth. It makes sense to me to have it extracted before starting treatment, but I’m not entirely sure I understand why there is a tooth-shaped space for it in the trays.

 

First Week with Invisalign

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