Posted on 45 Comments

Cutting off the blahs

I’ve been kind of blah lately.  My house is messier than I want it to be, which makes me unhappy. But then I feel too disheartened about it to clean it up. And when I let it get bad, I feel guilty, and when I feel guilty, I feel blah. And I don’t feel like leaving the couch. The kitchen is too messy for me to want to cook, not that I really could, for that matter, since I continually postpone the mundane task of food shopping. No decent food in the house leads me to scrounge or rely on takeout, which does absolutely nothing for my already-poor body image. It makes me want to just sit around and eat junk food.

It’s like one vicious circle inside of another vicious circle. Or maybe it’s more like a vicious figure eight. It’s all related, and it all feeds into itself. Blah.

Often when I get to feeling like this, it seems like there is only one rational course of action.

Yes, I’m talking about a haircut.

Today, I had about five inches chopped off, and boy do I feel lighter. In a lot of ways.

I had a lovely afternoon with Maria (of Maria’s Unisex Salon), where we chatted about Spain, hair seminars, how quickly time flies, and saving money for travel. I’m not usually at all talkative in the salon chair, but today we had the place entirely to ourselves and conversation just seemed to happen. It was nice. And I left there feeling a lot better than I did going in.

It feels silly (and a bit vain) to say this, but a bad hair day impacts more than just my looks. It’s ruins my whole mood. And I’ve been having one bad hair day after another for two straight months. Enough already.

Do I still have the blahs? I don’t know… ask me tomorrow morning when I attempt to drag myself out of bed for the first time since leaving all of that hair on the salon floor.

Realistically, I know there is more to shedding unhappiness than just a perky haircut, but it’s a good start.

As an aside: all three of the people I live with have seen me since I got my hair cut, but not one of them has noticed (or at least mentioned) it. Maybe I should have dyed it blue while I was at it. Perhaps that would have gotten a reaction. Sometimes living with unobservant men/boys can be so maddening. Either they don’t notice the things I find important, or they don’t know that they’re supposed to comment on these things. I must remember to teach the younger two this very important lesson: Girls like it when you complement their hair.


I’m already taking some additional steps to get out of my blah rut.  I put some Netflix on my laptop in the kitchen, unloaded the dishwasher, and created a nice little (very little) oasis of clean in the kitchen a few hours ago.

It was a good start 🙂

I’m also seriously thinking this might do me a world of good. I need to work up the nerve to start it. And soon.

Oh! Here’s a somewhat-related question… do any of you know of a tried-and-true method for dealing with dry scalp? I’ve got big flakes at my hairline, and I’d like to treat them with something natural.

Over the past few years, I have gone totally chemical-free with my beauty routine, and that includes shampoo. I weaned my hair off of it two years ago, and now I use a homemade shampoo bar and rinse once a week, and few days later, a natural shampoo. (I still shower most days, but my hair doesn’t seem to need washing more than twice a week anymore). I don’t want to go back to using chemicals in my hair, so traditional dandruff shampoos are off the table.

Anybody have a natural remedy they like? Thanks in advance!

Ok. I’m off to dye my hair blue now so somebody around here will pay attention to me. Just kidding. Probably.


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Posted on 45 Comments

45 thoughts on “Cutting off the blahs

  1. First, Lisa, that first paragraph stabbed at me. You put into words exactly why I don’t seem able to manage my house most of the time. That cycle is stifling, to put it mildly.

    Second, tea tree oil. My husband has had good luck with daily use of this ( and its accompanying conditioner. He does have to use it daily to keep the flakes under control, though. Maybe simply adding tea tree oil to your shampoo (put a few drops in your hand with the shampoo) would help? Our boys also use it in their hair as a lice deterrent ever since we had an infestation three years ago. (So far, so good with that!)

    1. And I can’t believe I forgot #3 – LOVE the new ‘do!! Beautiful!

      1. Thanks 🙂

    2. The one shampoo I do use has tea tree oil in it, but I suppose I need to use it more than once a week to see any benefit. Maybe I should try rubbing a few drops directly into my scalp.

      Re: the first paragraph, I’m sorry to hear you identify. I suspect it’s pretty common, though. Sometimes taking care of a house can be such a thankless job, it’s easy to let it go. And not so easy to get back into maintaining it once you have…

  2. Totally wouldn’t work. I dyed my hair Friday, MUCH darker than it had been. The first person to notice noticed in a meeting I had at 2 this afternoon. In the interim, I’d seen not only my coworkers (this morning), but a lot of my non-coworker friends (over the weekend).
    I am hoping that it’s that they’re oblivious, rather than that it looks SO BAD they don’t want to mention it.

    You, on the other hand, look GREAT.

    1. That’s exactly the question – are they clueless, or did I make a terrible mistake with my hair? 😉 Thanks for the complement. And I’m sure your hair looks nice – I only remember you having dark hair and it was always lovely – I want to put an exclamation point here, but my tablet is not letting me use any of the characters above the number keys for some reason. Weird.

      1. It is probably pretty close to the color you remember. It had been several shade lighter (topped with a couple of gorgeous inches of very gray roots). This is a little darker than I meant to go, but I thought it was an improvement nonetheless.

        1. What I want to know is how we could possibly be old enough for gray hair. This does not seem possible. And yet the mirror doesn’t lie…

  3. I can only speak for myself, but if I hadn’t read the post I would have said that you pinned your hair back somehow rather than cutting it. Am I just clueless too?

    BTW, is that your natural color? It’s very nice.

    1. You are a man, so yes, it is entirely possible that you are clueless about women’s hair, LOL!

      Thank you, it’s a slightly lighter version of my natural color. There are about 1.5 inches of dark brown (with bits o’ gray) roots that are all mine, but the rest is the result of playing around with color this past summer.

  4. Your haircut looks fab. Nice and fresh. I have no idea how your guys didn’t notice, except that they’re guys. My hubby NEVER comments on my hair either.
    Hope the haircut helps you escape the blahs. It’s amazing that how we feel about ourselves can impact on so much, but I believe it does.

    1. Neil only saw me for 1/2-hour yesterday afternoon before he went out for the evening, but he did notice this morning before he left for work, so that’s something. The boys didn’t notice at all until I pointed it out. I think I need to train them better, for their future wives’ sakes, LOL!

  5. I love the shorter hair. So, I second the mention of tea tree oil. I have psoriasis and I find it helps even with that. Also you might try massaging in some oil olive one a week.

    Sounds like you have the September blues. I hear it’s really common for adults to get because we don’t get that change of going back to school like when we were younger, so we feel blah.

    1. Thanks for the complement and the suggestion.
      You might be right about the September blues, especially given the fact that my summer left a lot to be desired.

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  6. The hair thing is obliviousness lol. In my household, we’re all awful about it.

    The blahs… I can totally identify. I feel much better when I stick to my schedule (and they told us schedules were best for kids, hah!) of house, work, real food, exercise, etc. I try not to kick myself when I slip because even half sticking to it is better than abandoning the whole project.

    1. I feel better sticking to a schedule, too. And yet, even knowing that, I have a tendency to resist the schedule. And then my mood tanks. I need to develop some self-motivation somehow!

      1. When I talked to a “life coach” (aka smarter wiser person / therapist in her real life) she said a lot of people spend an insane amount of their lives looking for that magic pill: the motivation, the right time, the best way, the perfect method. And then beat themselves up for not finding it.

        I still do it too but as much as possible these days I just try to drag myself up out of my chair to go do some of what I know needs doing. Sometimes you get into the flow and accomplish a lot. Sometimes it’s just drudgery but you get it done (or at least well on its way) and go back and sit down. Less guilt though which means next time you’ll have less inertia holding you down.

  7. I have naturally curly hair, and no one ever notices when I get my hair cut! This last time I got my hair cut the folks at work noticed, but only because they had never seen me with shortish hair and it was a more dramatic change than I usually do (not entirely intentional!). Your hair is lovely and suits your face very well.

    I can relate to the blahs. Except I seem to feel this way a lot more than in just the fall! I do think that has a lot to do with it, though. Even if we didn’t have a whole summer off it is still natural to feel a bit off when that free wheelin’ feelin’ time is over.

    1. Thanks for the complement. I think it’s pretty common for those of us with curly/wavy hair to have changes go unnoticed. In my case, I’m always changing the length of it. I yo-yo between short and long pretty frequently. So, I understand when people who don’t see me every day don’t realize that the yo-yo has snapped back up to short 😉 But my family who lives with me? Crazy for them not to notice 5 inches! (In my husband’s defense, he did notice the next day, but my boys never did.) Ah, well. It’s almost a week later. I’m over it now 🙂

  8. I love the hair – it really suits you!

    Whenever I feel that cycle of shopping and cooking and eating and cleaning up – and that other cycle of wearing clothes and washing clothes and hanging clothes up to dry and ironing clothes just to wear them again – really starting to get to me, I like to do something to switch it up, and I think your haircut idea is fantastic. In fact, I might even do the same thing and trim off my own September blues – I did just get paid after all…

    1. You’re so right about those cycles! And they are neverending. And when people rarely stop to say, “thanks for folding and putting away my shirts” or “this chicken is delicious,” well, it feels thankless. Even if it is the job I chose for myself, I kind of like to be appreciated for it now and then.

      So, did you get a haircut? 🙂

      1. It’s on the list… Along with laundry, vacuuming, a couple of craft projects, groceries, cleaning the kitchen and a LOT of coursework. Sigh…

  9. Dear Lisa

    I showed my husband the two pictures of you (before and after the haircut) and asked; “what is the difference”? He replied ” one picture is taken with wideangle and the other with telephoto”. Oh I had a good laugh!
    Great post, great haircut, and dont change the color of your hair…

    1. Oh, that is just too funny!! And now you totally have my pity the next time you change your appearance and hope that he notices 😀

  10. First, your haircut is lovely.

    Second, I’ve recently had the blahs. Which for me have a tendency to turn into anxiety (fantastic). So, I’m linking up with the Nester this month for a 31 day series. Every day I tackle 1 nagging task that’s been lingering on my to do list. Like finally taking all the extra “stuff” from my recent move to Goodwill. And you know what, it’s helping.

    PS Get a haircut is one of the nagging tasks on my to do list!

    1. I LOVE THAT IDEA! Oh, I really, really, really, think I would feel better if I tackled some nagging tasks. And one-a-day sounds like such a do-able rate! There’s just one thing… I know myself, and I will probably put off making the list (which would make the list itself be my #1 nagging task, LOL!)

  11. Know where your coming from…hope all is better now.

    Great hair cut!! I’m into instant gratification. Wouldn’t it be sweet to take a pill in the evening, wake up 10 to 20 pounds lighter?? The sheets would be a mess, but what the hey, have to wash them anyhow 🙂

    My last “gotta do something” I had my eyebrows and eyeliner permenantly tattooed!! I LOVEEEEEE it!!

    1. Haha! Oh, I’d love one of those pills 🙂 I hear you on the instant gratification. Sounds like the tattoos were the perfect choice for you!

  12. Love your hair! Men are silly-heads. I recently cut 3 inches off my hair AND my stylist straightened it AND I cut bangs. Now, I’m really lucky to have long wavy/curly hair that I can let go wild without much product or fuss, but the people closest to me, including my boyfriend and best friend (a man) and co-workers didn’t. even.notice. I knew that I looked good, but dang! Really guys? It’s just not in some people’s DNA to notice such things. Luckily the person that did notice was my 4 year old son, at least I’m doing something right…

    As for the flaky-ness, are you eating a lot of eggs? Too many eggs in my diet = fish scale sized flakes around my scalp. I cut out eggs or reduce the amount I eat and the flakes go away. In conjunction to that, I use unrefined coconut oil on my scalp once a month. I massage it in during a movie/tv session and then wash and condition really well… it’s lovely.

    1. Ok, you win, LOL! I think if I had gone to all of that trouble and nobody noticed, I would be pouting for a week. Or, at least, wondering if I looked so awful nobody wanted to mention it 😉

      I don’t eat eggs at all, so that’s not it. I use coconut oil for moisture on my face when it needs it, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to massage it into my scalp once in a while. Thanks for the suggestion!

  13. I love the new haircut! The blah periods come and go, and it’s easier to feel energic during the summer! Fall makes me tired every year. I’m sure you’ll get better once you start making your awesome pumpkin bread 🙂

    About the dry scalp, you’re probably cleaning it too aggressively. I know many people use shampoo bars, homemade or storebought, but not as many talk about pH. Hair and scalp are at their best condition when treated with products pH 4-4.5. Shampoo bars are soaps, so their pH is at least 8 (often 9-10). Washing your scalp only with that has probably dried it -hence the dandruff.
    Try using vinegar or citric acid in water in your last rinse. You could also alternate the shampoo bar with other methods, even a shampoo -one that has mild tensioactives.
    Have you ever used gram flour or the indian herbs like shikakai? I use them a lot and they’re gentle to the scalp.

    For your sake please don’t, don’t rub tea tree oil directly on your scalp, it’s too aggressive! Where can I find the list of ingredients of your tea tree shampoo? I’d like to have a look at it, maybe it contains tensioactives that your scalp finds too strong.

    1. I do, definitely, need to make a batch of pumpkin bread! Once I clean up the kitchen…

      The idea of pH never even occurred to me. The ingredients for the tea tree shampoo are listed here. But, like I said, I only use it once a week. Also once a week, I use this shampoo bar and a vinegar + rosemary rinse that the shop used to sell, but I don’t see there anymore.

      Honestly, I seem to have the least amount of flakes, when I wash my hairline with the same stuff I use on my face.

      Thanks for the suggestions.

      1. I use olive oil on my scalp. Usually, I’ll put it on after I am out of the shower. I will wear my hair in a pony tail for a few days after because I have fine hair – and the olive oil makes my hair limp like a wet noodle. I would also recommend invigorating the scalp, I have a little scalp massager and it’s marvelous! There is something to the old wives tale of brushing your hair 100 strokes every night 🙂

        1. Thanks for the tips. I do like to massage my scalp with my fingers – it feels so good!

  14. I know you’re trying to avoid commercial products, but I have to tell you that my hair has been so much nicer since I just cut out shampoo. I’ve been following the Curly Girl method of co-washing for years now, and I really haven’t ever been happier. Yes, I use commercial conditioners for washing my hair, but I avoid products with sulfates and silicones in the ingredient list. The book also suggests a scrub of brown sugar mixed with conditioner for getting the scalp cleaner – maybe that would help you?

    1. ps, I think the new haircut is very flattering – as for the guys not noticing, the only time ppl in my life notice a new do is when it’s blown out straight, which only happens when I get it cut! Heck, they didn’t even notice when I added highlights. Oh well… I did, and it made me happy. That’s what counts. =)

      1. So true!

    2. Thanks for the tip! I am sure I could find a conditioner that doesn’t make my skin crawl 🙂

  15. My grandmother always recommended using the gel from inside aloe leaves for dandruff. She even gave me a aloe plant once, saying that there was something in the gel that would kill the fungus that caused dandruff.

    It did seem to help when I tried it.

    However, another cause of flakiness can be an over-active immune system [which is also the cause of psoriasis] — in that case, the layers of skin form flakily because their growth pattern is ‘off’.

    1. Thanks for the tip. You may be onto something with the psoriasis. I have a spot on one of my knuckles that looks suspiciously like that, along with a few spots around my eyebrows. They come and go, depending on what I use to clean my face. Real soap seems to be the worst. Homemade cleansing bars with oils, butters, milks and such see to be the best.

  16. The downer part of _mild_ psoriasis is that the side effects of treating the condition can be more serious than the original problem of flakiness. Drugs for treating psoriasis block the same part of the immune system that protects you from tuberculosis and certain cancers, and infections that can affect the brain. If you’re miserable, that’s one thing, but if it’s an inconvenience you can manage in other ways, the risks/benefits of treatment should be discussed with your MD.

    1. Well, I’m not quick to take drugs for anything. I’ll suffer with a headache for a while before even popping some ibuprofin. So I wouldn’t be likely to take anything for just a couple of spots that don’t really bother me (aside from aesthetically). For now, I’m happy just rubbing in a little bit of coconut oil and letting it be. Thanks for the info.

  17. Ever tried massaging a mix of yogurt, egg n a few drops of lemon juice? It helps reduce dandruff n adds shine to yr hair. Shikaksi and aloe vera gel work great too. Latter can be used on skin for various ailments including sun burns, tried n tested by yours truly. A regular use of hair oil shld help tackle the flakiness.

    1. I’ve never tried that. Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

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