Happy Garlic Day!

Posted by Maria on April 19, 2017 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Esthetics School, Face, Feet, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

When you think of a spa, you probably don’t think about garlic at the same time, but did you know that garlic is actually a supernatural spa ingredient?

In honour of National Garlic Day on April 19th, here’s a quick snapshot about how garlic is used in cosmetics and how it can be used in the home spa.

GARLIC (Allium sativum):

  • Home spa recipes: extracts, baths, lotions. Garlic among the roses.
  • Role in cosmetic formulation: skin conditioning, masking.
  • Baths: Add whole cloves with their peel to bathwater for antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and to treat ACNE scars.
  • Body: Add extract to a lotion to rub Rheumatic pain and to disinfect insect bites.
  • Feet: Apply to feet to heal corns and bunyans.
  • Food: Eat for flavour and nutrition and to help with colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, digestive problems, high blood pressure, vericose veins, Rheumatism, and to support healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Balances: Root (1st) and Third Eye (6th) chakras plus reduces Vata (Infinity/Air), Increases Pitta (Fire), Reduces Kapha (Water/Earth).
  • Find in: Healthfood stores, grocery stores, markets, wellness centres, pharmacies, cosmetics, food products, medications/supplements, gardens.
  • Caution: Garlic’s odour may be overpowering to the people around you.

Here’s a quote that talks about the aromatherapy side of garlic:

“I could smell garlic, butter, and wine – the world’s most delicious flavor combination. It made me feel warm, like the first few sips of wine always do,”
~ Sarah Jio, The Violets of March

So as you can see, even though it’s known as the “smelly rose,” garlic is still loved by millions around the world and has been regarded as both a food and a remedy since ancient times.

Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

Dry Shampoo Recipe for Camping

Posted by Maria on June 3, 2015 under Aromatherapy, Dear Homespunspa, Green Living, Hair, Home spa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Canadians love to go camping in the summertime, (although some of us would prefer “glamping” but that’s a post for another time. :) )

To kick off the camping season, I thought I’d share a dry shampoo recipe that you can take with you on your camping trips anywhere across this beautiful country of ours.

Dry shampoos are good to use in the great outdoors because:

  • dry shampoo recipe from Homespunspa.the powder is lightweight and easy to pack;
  • the natural ingredients will not harm the environment;
  • homemade dry shampoo recipes don’t contain industrial chemicals like commercially-made shampoos;
  • homemade dry shampoo recipes aren’t over-packaged;
  • the powder does not generate extra garbage;
  • the recipes work for men, women and kids;
  • will cleanse greasy or oily hair without stripping the hair;
  • there’s no water required.

Dry shampoos are not just good for camping and of course, you can always use your dry shampoo at home anytime of year. I keep some on hand in case I need to go out and look presentable but don’t have time to take a shower and wash and dry my hair. And sometimes, if I’m planning to workout later in the day and don’t want to take two showers in a day, I’ll apply some dry shampoo in the morning to refresh my hair. Dry shampoo is a great alternative to wearing hats or pony tails.

Dry Shampoo Recipe by Maria Koropecky

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB Bentonite Clay — a natural clay that absorbs oils and is good for skin and hair.
  • 1 tsp cornstarch — this absorbant powder lends a silky feel to home spa recipes.
  • 1 tsp baking soda — soothes itchy skin and clears blemishes.
  • 1 tsp orrisroot powder — has a slight violet aroma and is used to fix other scents in the recipe.
  • 1/4 tsp myrrh gum powder — is good for dry skin and the exotic aroma warms the senses.

optional ingredients:

  • You can substitute myrrh essential oil for the myrrh gum powder or not use either.
  • If you have dark hair, you can add 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • If you have auburn hair, you can add 1 tsp of cinnamon.
  • If you have grey or white hair, you can use white China clay instead of Bentonite clay.

Method:

Measure and combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and store in a sterilized jar like a salt shaker. You can also put the recipe in a plastic, ziplock, baggy while camping. The shelf life is indefinite as most, if not all of these ingredients, contain some natural preservative properties.

Manner:

This can get a little messy so it’s best to do this outside. I don’t recommend applying this clay powder over a sink because eventually it will clog your drains.

If you’re keeping your dry shampoo in a salt shaker, bend at the waist and simply shake some powder on your head near the roots. Let it sit for a minute and then brush it out.

If you’re keeping your dry shampoo in another container, scoop some out with a spoon, bend at the waist, sprinkle over your head, wait a minute or two, and then brush everything out.

Apply more dry shampoo as needed and brush your hair thoroughly. Once you notice a difference and feel your hair is clean, remove any excess powder that may have landed on your neck and shoulders during application.

Voila! Your hair is clean and you’re good to go. I hope you enjoy the myrrh and orrisroot fragrance.

Let me know what you think of this dry shampoo recipe and I’d love to hear about your camping trip, too!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day the Homespunspa Way

Posted by Maria on March 17, 2010 under Aromatherapy, Green Living, Hair, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized | 7 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

As it tis St. Patrick’s Day today, I thought it would be fun to talk about beer as a home spa ingredient.

Body on Tap Shampoo plus Irish Spring Soap equals Magically Delicious

Body on Tap Shampoo plus Irish Spring Soap equals Magically Delicious

Before you go out on the town tonight to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, why not get into the spirit with some home brewed spa treatments. If only they still sold Body on Tap Shampoo. It was made with real Budweiser beer! Personally, I’ve never actually used this particular brand because I was underage at the time. :) I remember the ads from a lot of the shampoos from the 1970’s that don’t exist anymore like, Breck (“and they told two friends and so on and so on…”) and Gee your Hair Smells Terrific and “Squeeze and go from flat to fluffy, squeeze, with Prell Concentrate.” Good times. Good times. Hey, another 1970’s throwback!

With ingredients like green tea and silk amino acids, shampoo has come a long way in 30 years, (how much do you pay for a bottle these days?) but the idea of putting real beer in shampoo isn’t complete flimflam. What may seem like marketing shenanigans to us in 2010 actually has some validity. Not only does beer bring out hair’s natural shine and highlights, it also adds body and volume too. And some people may consider beer’s unmistakable scent as aromatherapy at its finest. So, if you’d like to make your own beer shampoo, here is a recipe.

St. Patrick’s Day Beer Shampoo

Ingredients:

  • 2 bottles of Guinness beer — adds shine, body, volume and fragrance to hair
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar — astringent vinegar restores the natural pH balance of skin and hair
  • 2 TB honey — has moisturizing and antiseptic qualities
  • 1/4 cup regular, as unscented as possible, shampoo (optional)

Method:

  1. Pour the beer from one bottle into a glass mug and take a swig.
  2. Pour the other beer, apple cider vinegar and honey into a saucepan and reduce over medium-high heat to a half cup in volume. Keep your eye on the pan and stir occasionally. Adjust the temperature if necessary. Within 20 minutes, the mixture should start looking like thick syrup.
  3. Once the liquid reaches the desired consistency, take the pan off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. If you want, you can keep this recipe as it is (as a hair rinse) without adding extra soap. You can also combine the beer mixture with pre-made, unscented shampoo and pour the mixture into a recycled shampoo bottle. Make sure to label it so you don’t forget.

Manner:

  1. Massage the beer shampoo into wet hair. Lather, rinse and repeat. Follow with a conditioner.
  2. Tell two friends about this recipe :)

Storage:

  1. The alcohol, honey and shampoo base should act to preserve this recipe without refrigeration for at least a couple of weeks, but you’ll use it up by then, anyhow, right?

Cheers and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

9 Ways to Spring Forward with Chamomile this weekend

Posted by Maria on March 13, 2010 under Aromatherapy, Bath and Body, Face, Feet, Hair, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Pop-Psychology, Sleep, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

It’s time to spring forward again. At 2:00 am on the second Sunday in March, we set our clocks ahead one whole hour to go to Daylight Saving Time and therefore magically lose an hour of the day over the course of the night.

I never really understood the concept behind Daylight Saving Time but have accepted this practice as one of the rhythms of the season. If nothing else, it reminds me to flip my mattress.

All of this extra sunshine is great, but there is a bit of a downside to this shift. Apparently, driving to work on the second Monday in March is slightly more dangerous than usual because the time change on the weekend disrupts people’s sleep patterns and causes them to be extra groggy on the road, which contributes to more traffic accidents.

So, I thought I would help people maximize their limited sleep time and reduce crashes by talking about Chamomile today.

Chamomile

With its apple-like scent and taste, Chamomile (which looks more like a Daisy) helps calm the nervous system and is used as a natural sleep remedy. Spanish chamomile is called manzanilla which means “little apple” but the generic name “Chamomile” is derived from the Greeks who referred to this herb as kamai which means “on the ground” and melon which means “apple.” The term “road apples” comes to mind every time I try to remember this, but that’s something totally different. :)

It’s Saturday Night, Why Am I Drinking Tea?

There are lots of things you can do tonight with Chamomile before you go to bed, to help you get a good night’s sleep in spite of being cheated out of an hour. Here are some tips from my book, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa Way:

  1. Drink a cup of chamomile tea for sleeplessness, nightmare prevention, depression, anxiety, anger, headaches, indigestion, female issues and shock;
  2. Place warm tea bags on your eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles;
  3. Use chamomile water as a toner in your facial to clean pores, relax facial expression, and de-stress (good for all skin-types);
  4. Use as a hair rinse to add highlights and gloss, repair damage, encourage hair growth, and for a relaxing fragrance;
  5. Use chamomile essential oil in foot creams to fight fungus;
  6. Add to bathwater and soap recipes and take a bath right before bed;
  7. For extra aromatherapy, spray your bedroom and sheets with comforting chamomile linen water;
  8. Use the herb in sleep pillows;
  9. Add chamomile essential oil to massage oil to relax, foster sleep, lift depression, soothe pain, and strengthen breathing.

Enjoy your weekend and may your commutes to and from work be smooth and clear this week. Feel free to add your comments and tips to this post.

Looking at Life Through Rose-Coloured Tresses

Posted by Maria on June 14, 2009 under Dating, Fashion, Hair, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Spa Review, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized | 2 Comments to Read

****What Not to Wear spoil alert****

In an effort to cling to the vestiges of my youth as they slip through my fingers like sand, I went to my hair appointment with a colourful idea. I wanted to add some pink.

I personally think that getting your hair done is one of the best ways to manage stress. I particularly love getting my hair washed.

I had been toying with the pink idea for a while. I thought about it during my last appointment with Richard as I was flipping through some hairstyle books. There’s lots of stuff being done these days with deep blues and vibrant reds. I couldn’t decide between pink and purple. Purple has always been my favourite colour but pink seems more flattering with blonde.

At first Richard wasn’t so keen on the idea. He has been a hairstylist for over 20 years and knows a thing or two about people, their attachment to their hair and the concept of change. He knows when to green light an idea and when not to. He tested me with some questions like, Why do you want to do this? — Because I’m turning 40 in a couple of days and I want to do something youthful?

He showed me all of his colour samples and the tube of “Pretty Flamingo” and said I had an hour to think about it. Should I or shouldn’t I? What will my cat think? What will my mother say? How will my forestry co-workers react? I was thinking, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea afterall and was talking myself out of it.

As Richard was cutting my hair, I was telling him about Friday night’s episode of What Not To Wear where they literally roped Jessie, a 52-year-old woman from Texas, into a make-over. They caught up to her at the South Fork Ranch, home of Dallas, the 80’s tv show and she was wearing an animal print dress, a leather coat, rhinestones and pumps. She was nominated by her 34 year-old daughter with long blonde, big Texas hair, who was going to be moving out of her mother’s house soon. Apparently, the mother was divorced and single and the mother and daughter would hang out together to meet men, though the men would always pick the daughter.

Jessie admitted that her feelings were really hurt after being nominated for the show. But I guess a $5000 shopping spree in New York City didn’t sound so bad.

Jessie reluctantly went to New York. She didn’t see anything wrong with what she was wearing in the first place but tried to take in the rules as best she could. No more rhinestones for her, she thought. Admittedly, I think giving up 20-year-old clothes would be hard for me also. I have clothes like t-shirts and socks from my high school days in my drawers too. Why?  I don’t know. Do I still wear them? No.

It was obvious Jessie was clinging to the good ol’ days of yesteryear — when things were the way she wanted them — she was young, beautiful, married and living the high life. Unfortunately, things changed and she was resisting big time. There were no smiles. There was no enthusiasm. At first Stacy and Clinton, the show hosts, were their usual joking selves, but they quickly learned she had no sense of humour about this and they reined it in to a more demure level.

When it came to her hair, Nick, the resident hairstylist on What Not to Wear, sat her down in his chair and callously held her hair in a fan above her ears and said something to the effect of, this is going, say good-bye. I think that was the last straw for Jessie. It was the turning point where she lost the rest of her patience and wasn’t going to tolerate this invasion into her life a second longer. That’s when things went southfork and had Nick approached this with a little more finesse, things may have turned out differently.

All in all Nick did a nice job on her hair. He made it more golden, than platinum, and cut her hair into a chin-length bob. I often don’t care for his hairstyles though because he tends to border on mullets — and by that I mean, he straightens the hair near the ears leaving it to lie flat — but in this case the style was quite flattering. She looked younger and better.

I think she used the word “pretty” but her face was saying something else. You could see her disappointed and angry thoughts fermenting under the surface of her skin. She knew if she said anything out loud, she would either say something really awful or she would burst into tears. I’ve been there before in many situations but I’ve never actually watched someone else do it. Cut to commercial.

We’ve all had bad haircuts in our day. I can remember the time I went to a new stylist and as I left the salon, all of the other stylists stopped what they were doing, watched me as I walked past and all had this look on their face that said, “Oh you poor thing.” I can laugh about it now.

When they returned from the ads, Jessie was in the greenroom crying and Carmindy, the make-up artist, came to talk to her. Jessie said, none of the men would like her hair, so Carmindy said she would send someone in to fix things. The fix was blow-drying the hair in a more flippy way.

I happen to know, (by eavesdropping on a conversation between my bus driver and another passenger a few years ago — it was a story about how the bus driver gave up a scholarship with Vidal Sassoon in England to take care of her grandfather), that Nick charges something like $250 or $400 U.S. for an appointment. He’s no slouch. He knows what he’s doing.

Carmindy was treating her with kid gloves and applied her make-up, although I didn’t pay attention to a word. I was watching Jessie’s face as she seethed in anger. She said, “I’ll live with it for a week and see how it goes.”

When she checked in with Stacy and Clinton in her new outfits, new hair and make-up, there were no yahoos. No cheers.

And low and behold, within the month, she had extensions put in and the colour re-platinumized. Talk about kicking a gift horse in the mouth.

She was less than impressed with her tress. I, on the other hand, felt blessed. As you have probably guessed by now, I went ahead with the pink and I’m really happy. What’s the difference between my experience and Jessie’s? First of all, my hair wasn’t drastic on the grand scheme of things and second, I asked for it. Jessie did not. It was my idea in the first place. I have been going through gradual changes over the past several months and am getting used to seeing a different person in the mirror, while her transformation happened all of a sudden and it was too shocking.

My hairstylist Richard said people don’t like change — they think they do, but they don’t. That’s why we find the nearest Starbucks or the Gap and shop there because these places are familiar and predictable. Don’t mess with Texas.

My advice to Jessie is:

1) Smile more and frown less — no quality man would be interested in spending time with a bitter woman with a poor attitude.

2) Hire a personal trainer — if nothing else, it will do wonders for your self-confidence.

3) Appreciate the wisdom you have gained over the years — it will serve you better than your youth and beauty ever did.

Watch What Not To Wear on Friday nights on TLC and check out the fansite at tlc.discovery.com for more comments on this episode.

Can you find the pink? What do you think?

Can you find the pink? What do you think?

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