DIY silver hair toner

Ever since I began transitioning to my natural silver hair, I’ve been on a mission to banish the yellow tones from my hair. And while there are many products you can find for this purpose, I love to keep things simple and save money at the same time. So I experimented and came up with an easy toner recipe for me and all you thrifty silver-haired sirens out there.

Make your own silver toning conditioner

All you need are two simple ingredients to make the perfect toner to keep your gray and silver hair bright—cheap white hair conditioner and semipermanent dye.

Suave conditioner and Arctic Fox transylvania dye

Suave conditioner and Arctic Fox transylvania dye

I use Suave coconut conditioner from Walmart (about $2) and Arctic Fox transylvania semipermanent dye ($13 to $18). I recommend getting the 4 ounce size because it will literally last for years using the small amount required for this recipe.

DIY toner recipe for silver hair

Take one cup of conditioner.

white conditioner

One cup conditioner

Add ¼ teaspoon Arctic Fox transylvania dye.

1/4 tsp Arctic Fox transylvania dye

1/4 tsp Arctic Fox transylvania dye

Stir into the conditioner and mix well.

Stir dye into conditioner

Stir dye into conditioner

After mixing, the conditioner looks like a medium shade of indigo blue.

Blue toning conditioner for silver hair

Blue toning conditioner for silver hair

Transfer the toner to a pump bottle for easy use.

Store conditioner in a pump bottle

Store conditioner in a pump bottle

The great thing about this mixture is that it brightens hair without leaving a blue cast. But if you would rather be left with a subtle blue shade in your hair, simply double the amount of dye, using ½ teaspoon instead of ¼ teaspoon.

How to use toning conditioner

Use the toner on your hair once or twice a week.

After I wash my hair in the shower, I squeeze out excess water and apply about a tablespoon all over my hair.

toning conditioner

One tablespoon toning conditioner per treatment

Then I comb through my hair with a wide-tooth comb, pin my hair up and continue on with my shower, rinsing my hair at the end.

Perfectly toned silver hair

toned silver hair

My silver hair after using DIY toner

And this is lovely result, silver hair without any yellow or blue tones.

I hope you will give this DIY toner a try on your own silver tresses.

The gray hair tag: Answering 10 questions about my gray hair

Right now there’s a tag going around on social media for those of us in the gray hair community to answer questions about our transition to gray hair.

Now more than ever, gray hair is a choice. It’s just as valid as all the other colors. It doesn’t mean that someone is old, not relevant or has stopped caring about her appearance. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We gray hair pioneers are trying to change that outdated perception. That’s why I decided to participate in this tag. I hope that my answers to these ten questions may help you with your own transition to gray hair.

1. How old were you when you started going gray?

I was 16. I remember being at school, looking in the bathroom mirror and I saw one or two gleaming silver strands in my medium brown hair. I was shocked!

By my late 30s, my hair was at least fifty percent gray and the rest of the color was a faded reddish brown which did absolutely nothing for me. That’s when I started regularly dyeing it dark brown.

2. How old were you when you decided to transition?

Shortly after my 60th birthday. I had always wanted to go blonde and I thought, “What am I waiting for.” I was also going through a traumatic time recovering from a broken ankle and I was ready for a new me.

3. Did you go to your hairdresser to help with the transition or did you just go “cold turkey?” What did your hairdresser do to help if you went to one?

You really only have three choices when transitioning to gray hair. You can cut it all off, you can let it grow out, or you can bleach it.

I chose bleaching and went to the hairdresser to get all the dark color removed from my hair. That is the fastest and most expensive option.

4. What was the reaction of your friends and family?

I didn’t go directly to gray hair. It was blonde for a few months. The people who knew me only as a brunette didn’t seem to like it, but only a couple of people said anything to me. My sister-in-law said it made me look old. Other people (casual acquaintances and strangers) liked it a lot.

As my natural silver hair grew out, I started experimenting with temporary pastel colors. I didn’t get any further comments from my friends and family. However, I have gotten many compliments from strangers on my new look.

5. Favorite thing about being gray?

I just love the color silver! I like being able to add colorful accents to my hair. I had never really experimented with my hair color before and it’s really fun.

6. Least favorite thing about being gray?

There is one minor thing and that is having to tone out yellowness, although it’s fairly hassle free the way I do it.

The only other thing that bothers me is that there’s no word for people with silver hair. There’s blonde, brunette, redhead, but no term for those of us with gray hair.

7. Do you receive a lot of criticism for your gray hair? If so, how do you deal?

Fortunately, I get no criticism for my gray hair. Truly the only things I get are compliments on my ombre. And if somebody did have something negative to say, it wouldn’t mean anything to me because I no longer care about what people think. I love it and that’s all that matters.

8. What is your favorite compliment that you have received about your hair?

I really do get a lot of compliments on my hair that I never got when it was brunette. But a few months ago I was at a club waiting for the music to start.

Where I was sitting a light was shining down on me, making my hair look so silver white. At that particular time the ombre had faded away and I wasn’t wearing my hair extensions, so it was just my hair in all its glory. A man came up to me from across the room and said, “I just love your hair!”

9. What is your biggest piece of advice to anyone looking to start the process?

Just know that it’s going to be an emotional time. Thinking about things like, am I old, is this going to make me look old, will I be accepted, etc. And then having to adjust the colors of your wardrobe and makeup; everything has to change. There’s a lot to deal with.

I also think going to a hairdresser to help with the transition is the best idea. If I had it to do over again I probably would have done heavy foils instead of overall bleaching. It might have been less damaging and would have been more gradual and an easier adjustment.

If you really want to go gray, just do it. Don’t let anyone hold you back.

10. Who is your gray hair idol?

There are three ladies on YouTube that I’m drawn to.

Maryam Remias is the one who inspired me with her ombre hair. I loved the way it looked on her and she gave me the courage to try it for myself.

I also like Monique Parent. She does so many things with her hair, including trying hairpieces and temporary colors to change things up.

And I admire Victoria Marie who has the most striking silver hair and who’s making a documentary, Gray is the new blonde.

These inspirational, vibrant women are redefining what it means to be gray.

Where are you at in your gray hair journey? Please feel free to share your story below.

DECODED: Sanford Bennett face exercises

Are you here looking for info on how to do Sanford Bennett’s face exercises? Good, because that’s what you’re going to find in this article.

I felt the need to put this guide together after trying to find the very same information on the internet. However, the only things that came up were websites where people have created their own facial exercises “inspired by” Sanford Bennett’s face exercises. Upon closer examination, these exercises bear no resemblance to the ones he wrote about in his two books, Exercising in bed (published in 1907) and Old age—its cause and prevention (published in 1912).

I went on to read both of these books which were fascinating but also a bit hard to follow. Especially the second book which felt like wandering around in a maze. The exercises are not grouped together and the pictures are not near the explanations. Not only that, a lot of the information is repetitive.

So I’ve done my best to decode these facial exercises by grouping the explanations and pictures together. Some of the explanations are verbatim and others are summarized. They will be in order starting from the top of the face and working down to the neck. I have also added my own comments and suggestions as needed.

Sanford Bennett

Sanford Bennett (1841 to 1926) called himself “the man who grew young at seventy” and his before and after pictures seem to back that up. I believe he was a visionary and I encourage you to learn more about him by reading his books (linked at the end of this article).

Sanford Bennett before and after

Sanford Bennett before and after

He developed his face exercises based on a pamphlet that was used by Ninon de L’Enclos (1620 to 1705). She was known as the woman who never grew old. Here’s her portrait at age 70.

Ninon de L'Enclos age 70

Ninon de L’Enclos, the woman who never grew old

General directions

  • All these exercises are meant to be done lying down.
  • Don’t be too vigorous with friction and massage because you might chafe the skin and/or make the muscles sore.
  • Two methods for facial rejuvenation are discussed: facial massage and rubbing out wrinkles. I believe the facial massage is meant to be done dry, while rubbing out wrinkles is meant to be done using a little oil or skin cream for lubrication. Therefore I think it makes more sense to do the facial massage first, followed by rubbing out wrinkles.
  • The exercises should be performed once a day. Bennett said his full body and face exercise routine took about an hour. Just doing the face exercises should take a lot less time.

Facial massage

The skin, like any piece of leather, is improved by friction using dry palms and fingers. It will remove fine lines and wrinkles.

You may temporarily create new lines because vigorous massage may rapidly remove underlying fat deposits. New fat will form again quickly and the face will resume its former condition with some slight improvement also.

Facial massage is performed by contracting the muscles while massaging with the hands in place on the skin.

Bennett also claims that friction with dry palms and fingers will whiten the throat and brighten the sides and bridge of the nose.

Here are diagrams of the facial muscles that will be worked.

facial muscles

Exercising the temples

Firm rubbing of the temple muscles with the palm of the hand will develop the sunken muscles. Frequent friction towards the corner of the eyes will smooth the temples and remove crows feet. Do this for several minutes.

Alternate this process by striking rapidly with the tips of the fingers. This percussion action carries blood to the part being treated and will help promote the growth of tissue.

In time the shrunken muscles will be increased, even to the plumpness of youth, and the crows feet will disappear.

Sanford Bennett temple exercise

Sanford Bennett temple exercise

Exercising the cheeks

The first book contained two cheek exercises. During the five years between the first and second book, Bennett devised simpler and more effective cheek exercises. Those are the ones I’m presenting here.

If you would like to read about the original cheek exercises, please refer to page 217 of Exercising in bed (linked at the end).

Cheeks (first exercise)
Contract or bunch up the cheek muscles. Press your palm firmly on the cheek and rub firmly, deliberately and well towards the temples or corners of the eyes.

Start with 10 to 15 movements and increase as you see fit. You can do one side at a time or both sides at once.

This exercise strengthens the large circular muscle around the eye and will prevent sagginess. It will also develop the cheek muscles which will make the hollows disappear.

Sanford Bennett cheek exercise

Sanford Bennett cheek exercise

Cheeks (second exercise)
Draw up both corners of the mouth in the position of an exaggerated smile. This will bunch up the supporting muscles on the upper part of the cheekbones immediately below the corners of the eyes.

Now drop the chin to its utmost extent. This will place further tension on the cheek supporting muscles. In this position, open and close the jaws and steadily rub with the palms of the hands.

This will enlarge the muscles, giving support to the overlying skin and tissue which will give the cheeks the rounded appearance of youth. Over time there will also be an increase in color and a more youthful appearance.

No further instructions were given so I’m suggesting opening and closing the jaws 10 to 15 times.

Exercising the mouth

This works the circular muscle surrounding the mouth to prevent or correct drooping and sagging. Insert your little fingers into your mouth and alternately pull and relax.

While not stated, the mouth should be tensed during the exercise.

Duration is not specified so I’m assuming you start with 10 to 15 reps and work up as you see fit.

Sanford Bennett mouth exercise

Sanford Bennett mouth exercise

Exercising the chin

Rest the chin on the palm of your hands and contract the muscles (set the teeth firmly). Press firmly and rub the underlying muscles vigorously. This is the same method described for the muscles surrounding the eye but requiring more pressure.

The position of the hands should be continually shifted for the most rapid muscle growth.

Duration is not specified so I’m suggesting remaining in each position for about 10 seconds.

Sanford Bennett chin exercise

Sanford Bennett chin exercise

Exercising the jaws

Deep massage with the heel of the hands along the edge of the jawbone (with the teeth firmly set) will result in a rounder, more youthful appearance.

No further instructions are given but I think it’s implied that your hands should be repositioned until the entire jawbone is massaged.

Duration is not specified so I’m suggesting remaining in each position for about 10 seconds.

Sanford Bennett jaw exercise

Sanford Bennett jaw exercise

Exercising the throat

Three exercises are shown for the throat/neck area.

Throat (first exercise)
Lie on your side with your head on a pillow. Place your thumb on the throat under the chin (or at about the center of the muscle which extends from the adam’s apple to the chin). If you lie on your right side, use your right thumb, and vice versa.

Bring the head forward, chin to chest, then back again, while keeping pressure with the thumb. Start with 10 reps and work up to 50.

Repeat on the other side.

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 1

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 1

Throat (second exercise)

Lie on your side with your head on a pillow. Turn the chin as far as possible toward the upper shoulder. This will contract the sides of the neck. Drop your head back on the pillow and relax. Start with 5 reps and work up to 50 or more.

Repeat on the other side.

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 2

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 2

Throat (third exercise)

Lie on your back with a pillow under the shoulders for greater stretch.

Throw the head back as far as possible and bring it forward toward the chest. Begin with 5 reps and work up to 100.

Helps to reduce a double chin and is also good for the abdominals.

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 3

Sanford Bennett throat exercise 3

Exercising the neck

For developing and strengthening the neck, lie on your back with a pillow under your head. Clasp the back of your head with your hands.

Raise your head off the pillow then press it backwards while using resistance from your arms. Start with 5 reps and work up to 25.

Sanford Bennett neck exercise

Sanford Bennett neck exercise

Rubbing out wrinkles

In commencing the friction treatment and to keep the skin in place while you rub, stretch the skin with the first and second fingers of one hand and rub with the other, or the palm of the hand.

The points needing the most attention will be the corners of the eyes, mouth, temples and immediately in front of the ears. To prevent chafing some lubricant (oil or face cream) must be applied at the points you’re rubbing.

To tighten wrinkles, after using friction, spread raw egg white over the wrinkles with a shaving brush. Let sit to dry for five minutes. As it dries, the skin tightens up. Rinse off with pure, warm water.

Egg white is a powerful astringent that should remain on the skin for a short time as it may cause the skin to shrivel. Therefore, this method should be used with caution.

The frequency for the egg white treatment is not stated so I’m suggesting it only be done once or twice a week.

Afterwards wash the face with soap, dry off and apply a thin layer of vaseline. Rub in and wipe off the excess, which will leave the skin soft, smooth and not shiny.

I believe this step is optional.

For more information

Exercising in bed

Old age—its cause and prevention

I welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. I would love to hear about your experience with Sanford Bennett face exercises.

Tips for dyeing and maintaining lavender hair

It’s hard to imagine a happier and more flattering color than lavender. And when that color is on your hair, people are going to notice. So if you’re ready to jazz up your look, and you don’t mind receiving lots of compliments from just about everyone, give it a try.

But you should know a few things going in. The dyeing process is messy. Color can go on uneven. And the biggest downside to lavender hair is the fact that it fades fast. I mean really fast.

Having spent the last two years experimenting with lavender on my hair, I’ve learned a thing or two about dyeing it and keeping the color for as long as possible. To summarize, my tips are:

Keep it clean
Keep it even
Keep it longer

Supplies needed

Before you get started, you’ll need:

Mixing bowl and applicator brush
Wide-tooth comb
Gloves
Mirror
Claw clip
Hair dye (semipermanent)
White conditioner (optional, for diluting stronger colors)

Hair dyeing supplies for lavender hair

Hair dyeing supplies for lavender hair

Dyeing and maintaining lavender hair

Keep it clean

When I say keep it clean, I’m not talking about your hair although that should be clean too. I’m talking about the bathroom because nobody mentions what a mess purple or lavender hair dye can make. Even though you try to cover every surface, you’ll be finding purple spots everywhere, and they’re hard to remove.

So if you don’t want your bathroom looking like a splatter art project, I suggest dyeing your hair inside the shower. Dye seems to come off easier in there and the mess is contained. Most spots will come off with rubbing alcohol. Lay a cloth down on the shower floor and you’ll have even less to clean up.

Shower set up to dye hair

Shower set up to dye hair

Keep it even

Splotchiness is a problem when dyeing your hair lavender or purple. The darker the dye, the more careful you have to be with application.

The brand of dye you use makes a big difference too. Arctic Fox is by far the easiest semipermanent dye to work with. Girls Night (a pinky lavender) and Periwinkle (a bluish lavender) are good color choices.

Arctic Fox Girls Night semipermanent dye

Arctic Fox Girls Night semipermanent dye

On the other hand, Manic Panic Ultraviolet is for me the prettiest shade of lavender when diluted with conditioner. Unfortunately, it goes on so splotchy and uneven and fades so fast, that it’s just not worth the hassle.

When dyeing your hair, start with dry, clean hair. Treat small sections at a time, about an inch wide. Try to spread the dye out evenly from the root to the ends. Rub it in with your fingers then go through it with the comb.

arctic fox girls night

Getting ready to dye my hair

After all the hair is done, gather it on your head and clip it in place. A half hour later you can wash it off.

I’ve found it does no good to leave the dye on for extended periods of time like some people recommend. I’ve tried it and have even washed it with cold water and I can say that those things made no difference in the staying power.

In fact, every day the hair fades even if you only wash it once a week. (Obviously it will fade faster the more you wash it.) I only wash mine once or twice a week.

Keep it longer

Lavender hair will only last one to two weeks depending on how deep the color was to begin with. If you don’t mind starting off with purple hair (Arctic Fox Purple Rain), you might even get three weeks out of it.

I’ve found the most effective way to extend the length of time between applications is to deposit dye every time you wash your hair. My favorite method is to use lavender conditioner after washing my hair. This allows me to go four to six weeks before dyeing again.

Girls Night and Periwinkle can be used straight out of the bottle as a conditioner. But if you’re using a purple dye, it should be diluted with white conditioner to a pale shade. With more intense colors you run the risk of getting a big purple blob on the back of your head.

To test for the right color, touch the dye with your finger and wipe it off. If it leaves more than a slight hint of lavender, you need to add more conditioner.

lavender conditioner comparison

lavender conditioner

The right amount of color for lavender conditioner

What I do in the shower is wash my hair first, squeeze out excess water and apply tinted conditioner with the applicator brush. I do this without looking in a mirror. Next I comb through the hair then pin it to my head with the hair clip. All these things live in my shower in a handy acrylic basket stuck to the wall.

hair supplies basket

Shower basket holding my hair supplies

If I end up with extra conditioner, I save it in an empty pump bottle for next time.

Then I continue on with my shower, rinsing my hair out as the very last step. So the hair is usually tinted and conditioned for about ten minutes at that point.

Some people say purple shampoo is good for maintaining lavender hair but I disagree. I experimented with purple shampoos and found that they’re only good for toning blonde or silver hair. To try and get more color payoff you need to saturate dry hair with the shampoo and leave it on for a while. In my opinion, this is a waste of money and time so I stick with the conditioner method.

So now you’re ready to rock your lavender locks!

Toning my Zala hair extensions silver

One thing I love is to go dancing, with my long, flowing locks moving with me to the music. I love LONG hair! And I used to have really long hair before bleaching the life out of it.

No problem—Zala hair to the rescue! They have the most beautiful, silky human hair extensions at a really good price. Although they have a lot of different colors, they didn’t have a silver that matched my hair. So I got 20 inch clip-in extensions in the color #60 ice queen platinum blonde. They’re 100% remy human hair and you get five pieces, 120 grams.

zala hair package

So long they barely fit in the photo

Oh my, these are gorgeous and thick! Most of the time I only wear two of the larger wefts.

But back to the toning.

Before wearing them, I needed to get them closer to my natural color and keep them as light as possible.

I just happened to have Adore Creative Dye in platinum for toning my own hair so I decided to use that on the extensions.

adore platinum hair dye

How to tone Zala hair extensions

First I did a test on a 2 inch weft using the dye full strength. I just brushed it on the hair, making sure it was fully saturated. Twenty minutes later I rinsed it out. (Be sure to use gloves when using dye!)

The color was a very pale blue which was not what I was going for. Here it is compared to the original color.

zala hair toned and untoned

Left is untoned, right is toned platinum full strength dye

Next, I diluted the dye with white conditioner, about a half and half mixture, and tested another 2 inch weft. Perfection!

Half Adore dye, half conditioner

Half Adore dye, half conditioner

So here you can see the different tones side by side. On the left is the original ice queen color. In the middle is the hair toned with the half and half mixture. And on the right is the hair toned using the undiluted color.

hair swatches

Left=ice queen, middle=toned with diluted dye, right=toned with full strength dye

Storing your hair extensions

And here’s a little tip for storing your Zala hair extensions. They sell something for that but I just DIY’ed it using things I already had.

A pants hanger covered by a plastic bag works just as well. Cost: zero dollars. I store them hanging in the closet, ready for the next dance party!

hanger for storing hair extensions

hanger for storing hair extensions

Wearing my Zala hair extensions

Here are some before and after shots. Even though there’s a little pink color on my ends, Zala hair blends in well.

Front, before and after extensions

no extensions

Before

wearing extensions

After

Back, before and after extensions

no extensions

Before

wearing extensions

After

Curled hair before and after extensions

And here it is with curled hair.

Curled hair before

Curled hair before extensions

Curled hair after

Curled hair after extensions

Ready to party!

Wearing high heels after a broken ankle

Can I wear heels after a broken ankle? This was one of the questions on my mind during my broken ankle rehab after a trimalleolar fracture.

Wanting to walk in high heels is not a matter of vanity. It’s the desire to be made whole again and is an important milestone on the path to full recovery.

The answer to that question is yes. But it requires training, just like learning to walk again required training. Because the ankle will wobble and the foot will hurt from bearing weight at different angles. And you’re going to be limping again, not a cute look in high heels.

The secret to walking in high heels post accident

A bit before the second anniversary of the accident that occurred in September 2015, I decided it was high time to get back into my heels. I had already gotten used to wearing stable shoes with higher heels such as my flat boots with 1 inch heels and my cowboy boots with 3 inch heels. But it’s a whole other thing trying to walk in skinny-heeled shoes that I wore prior to the accident.

The first time I put them on I felt like I was teetering on top of a very tall ladder. Actual height: 3½ inches. Of course my right foot was fine but the left one was hanging on for dear life. Once again it was like my left foot was a separate entity from the rest of my body.

Taking that first step was crazy for a few reasons:

It hurt
I had to hang on to the wall
I was limping

So what did I do? I got out my secret weapon…the crutch that helped me learn to walk without limping. Yes friends, I was walking around the house using a crutch wearing high heels. But you know what, it worked!

Soon the crutch was back in the closet and I was able to wear my tallest, skinniest pre-accident heels out in public. This triumphant moment happened on October 27, 2017!

High heel training program after a broken ankle

Below is an outline of the training program I created for myself to transition into high heels, followed by detailed explanations:

  • Out with the old shoes
  • In with the new shoes
  • Sit, stand, walk around the house
  • Don’t limp!
  • Walk around the yard
  • Take them for a test drive

Out with the old shoes

I decided to get rid of all my platform shoes. I love platform shoes and I had some really cute ones but I’ve always known they were unstable. They rock and it’s easy to fall off of them (hence, the broken ankle).

I even got rid of my wedge shoes because that solid bottom sole also feels a bit unstable compared to shoes with a separate heel and more flexible sole.

That left me with a few slides and sandals of varying heights and heel widths.

My high heels from lowest to tallest

My high heels from lowest to tallest

In with the new shoes

I got a few pairs of block-heeled and chunkier-heeled shoes. Fortunately, they’re in style once more but I’ve always thought they were cute.

I recommend getting shoes with varying heel heights (1½, 2, 2½, 3, 3½ inches). My maximum is 3½ inches. Training involves working your way up from the lowest to the highest, and from chunky to skinny heels.

Stability and proper fit are important. Pumps, boots and shoes with straps are the most stable.

Make sure the soles aren’t slippery. If they are, scuff them up with a little sandpaper because the last thing we want is to fall again.

high heels

Sit, stand, walk around the house

Begin high heel training with the shortest, chunkiest heels and progress to the skinniest, tallest ones.

Slip on a pair and spend some time just sitting with them on, about ten minutes or so. Then stand up in them. That’s not going to feel too great but you need to get used to them gradually. Take a few steps if you can. Stop and try it again the next day but increase the walking time.

My house has carpet and tile, and I worked up to taking a few laps around the house, getting used to walking on different surfaces. I would try to go ten laps.

Don’t limp!

Before beginning high heel training, you should already be walking limp-free. If not, you can refer to these articles for tips on walking without a limp: Broken ankle recovery and Magic shoes.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of walking correctly. As I said earlier, I needed to rely on a crutch while I was learning to walk properly in high heels. The crutch goes on your good side to support your bad foot during a step.

The goal is to have a measured gait, taking the same amount of time with each step.

When I mastered walking around the house properly without a crutch, I moved on to the next challenge, walking in the backyard.

Walk around the yard

Now it’s time to strut your stuff outside. My backyard is mostly concrete and I would do about ten laps around the yard in my heels. I did this for a few days before I felt ready to move on to the next undertaking, going out in public.

Wearing my high heels

Wearing my high heels in the real world after a broken ankle

Take them for a test drive

After you’ve got walking in the backyard down pat, it’s time to wear your high heels out in real life. Go on a short errand or over to a friend’s house, some place where there’s minimum walking. Bring a pair of flats or your magic shoes in case your feet poop out on you.

Gradually you can go for longer trips, maybe even try a little dancing. Keep backup shoes on hand until you no longer need them.

i can wear my high heels again

Congratulations! You have now graduated to wearing high heels with confidence!

Intermittent fasting and keto after 60

powered by baconToday I want to share my experience with intermittent fasting (IF) and the ketogenic diet I’ve been doing for the last six months. My main goal in trying both of these was to lose weight, which I have done and continue to do.

The great thing about this way of eating is that there’s a lot of flexibility. So there’s no “right” way to do it. That’s good but also bad because it can be confusing when you’re just starting out. Hopefully my experiences will clear up some of the confusion.

I’m going to talk about how much I’ve lost, the foods I eat, how much exercise I’ve done, how I’ve felt, and the benefits besides weight loss that keep me motivated to continue. I will also list some resources at the end where you can go to get more extensive info on both IF and keto.

You may find this especially helpful if you’re a mature woman who’s having a hard time maintaining and/or losing weight.

Intermittent fasting

Let me start by saying I’m 62, post menopausal and living without a gallbladder. (That hasn’t been a problem for me on this high fat keto diet although it can be for some.) I’ve lost 18 pounds in the last six months and am still losing about half a pound per week.

Prior to that I had been dieting for a few months and had been on a plateau for about a month when I discovered IF.

I was really resistant to the idea at first because it sounded potentially unhealthy. But when I learned it’s a good way to keep insulin levels down, and therefore lose weight, I decided to give it a try.

Without going into too much detail, IF has been described as an eating window. You only eat during a certain period of the day which can be anything from 12 hours to four hours. Another way to look at it is skipping breakfast or not eating anything after dinner.

I do the 16:8 method which means I fast for 16 hours and eat during the other eight hours. I like to eat soon after getting up in the morning and then eight hours later I stop.

There are days I choose to fast longer or shorter. I’ve gone as long as 21 hours fasting or as little as 12 hours. I intentionally vary the schedule to keep my body guessing and to have a normal social life.

In the beginning I was confused. Do I eat three meals a day or just two? I started with three meals a day but felt too full so I cut back to two.

Then I was worried I wasn’t eating enough. And because some people claim you can eat any type of food you want, I started eating chips and cookies. Well that was a mistake and I put on a couple of pounds.

Around that time (about three weeks in) I discovered the keto diet.

keto after pic

Wearing size 6 jeans Xmas 2017

Keto and keeping it simple

The keto diet is a low carb high fat diet, or LCHF, generally defined as 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs. This forces your body to use fat (ketones) for fuel rather than sugar (glucose) from a standard high carb diet.

Most people say you need to keep track of your macros and recommend recording your meals in MyFitnessPal.

I did this for maybe one day. I don’t like tracking macros, counting calories, adding up points, etc. I’d rather learn to eat intuitively.

The most important thing to remember is to keep net carbs at or below 20 grams. And if you’re trying to lose weight, eat a little less fat so your body will burn stored fat.

I keep a mental note of my carb count which is pretty easy because my meals are simple and repetitive. If I want a special treat, I work it into my daily carb allowance.

How do you know if you’re in ketosis

Ketosis is when your body has made the switch from burning sugar to burning fat. It can take a few weeks to adapt and it’s different for everyone.

A lot of people will test their ketones and blood sugar and generally obsess over whether or not they’re in ketosis. Once again, this is not for me. I just go by how I feel and since I’m losing weight, I know I’m on the right track.

I did have the “keto flu” for what seemed like forever. In real time it was three or four weeks. How did I know I had the keto flu? Well I just generally felt like crap. I was so lethargic and tired I could do almost nothing but lay around. And my symptoms were exacerbated by a summer heatwave.

Then I learned that keto flu could be remedied by taking electrolytes, specifically sodium. I started sipping on some homemade bone broth and began to feel better within about three days.

Eventually I became quite energetic as is typical on a keto diet. Increased energy and the fact that I can go long hours if need be without food tells me that I’m in ketosis. Another sign is keto breath which I do notice from time to time.

Foods I enjoy and what I eat on a typical day

I like buying high quality food and cooking most of my meals from scratch. I buy grass fed beef, organic free range chicken and organic eggs. This is not mandatory on a keto diet, it’s just my preference.

I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners but every now and then will have a Zevia diet soda.

I also have no interest in keto versions of high carb foods like pancakes, cakes and cookies. The only thing I make once in a while is coconut flour muffins. But it’s perfectly fine to eat keto treats occasionally if it helps keep you on the diet.

The foods I like to eat most often are eggs, bacon, beef, butter, cheese, half and half, peanut butter and sour cream. Sometimes I also eat avocados, almonds, chicken thighs and mayo.

My usual breakfast is one egg and two pieces of bacon. Lately my favorite concoction is what I’m calling a cheesy jalapeno egg with sour cream.

Cheesy jalapeno egg and bacon

Cheesy jalapeno egg and bacon

I don’t usually have lunch but if I’m hungry I may have a bite of peanut butter or pork rinds. And for a tasty treat, I mix half an avocado with a couple of tablespoons of sour cream, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. I either eat it with pork rinds or homemade cheese chips. Yum!

For dinner it’s often ground beef with vegetables. Sometimes I make my own version of “crack slaw” (without sweetener or sugar). Once in a while I’ll have steak or chicken with sauteed vegetables or my homemade sauerkraut. And last week I had taco salad with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, olives, salsa, tomatoes and sour cream.

Taco salad

Taco salad

For dessert I like to have exactly five chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s. I work it into my macros. It keeps me from feeling deprived and doesn’t trigger any carb cravings. Now ice cream or chocolate chip cookies would be another story.

TJ's choc covered almonds

Daily treat: chocolate almonds

As for bulletproof coffee, it’s not for me and maybe not for you if you’re trying to lose weight. I make my own cold brewed coffee that I either drink black or with half and half and no sweetener.

To supplement or not to supplement

I’ve been taking a variety of supplements for the last few years and will keep taking them because I notice a difference. Some people believe you should get all your nutrients from food. That would be ideal but I’m not sure it’s really possible. However, I’ve been able to cut down with no ill effects which is saving me money.

Exercise

For the first four months I did the T-Tapp barefoot basic plus workout five days a week. Then I took a couple of months off and recently started doing T-Tapp three days a week, and a kettlebell express workout two days a week. I still lost weight when I was not exercising.

I keep a file of my exercise schedule with weekly measurements and monthly weigh-ins. It gives me encouragement and perspective on how far I’ve gone.

Strategies for living an IF and keto lifestyle

Everyone has to decide how strict to be with the diet. Are you going to cheat, carb up or bring your own foods to non keto gatherings.

My goal is to have a normal life that includes celebrating holidays, special occasions or going out on Saturday night.

After two months on keto I incorporated “cheating” into my lifestyle. It’s also part of my strategy to avoid a plateau. So far it’s working.

Saturday is my free day from keto and IF because I like going out on Saturday night. I reserve that day for eating things I might be wanting such as bread, pizza or dessert. And I almost always make organic popcorn.

That is not to say I go hog wild because I don’t. I try to keep the net carbs under 75 grams.

Sometimes I’ll switch my cheat day for a night out with friends or celebrating a holiday. I just got through Thanksgiving and Christmas this year by doing that.

For those holidays I ended up having one meal that day. I ate mostly meat and green veg with very small servings of everything else including dessert. I was really stuffed and fasted for 21 hours afterwards.

The key is to enjoy yourself for that one day and go right back to keto the next day. No guilt.

Benefits of IF and keto aside from weight loss

The very first thing I noticed on day two of IF was how much better my foot felt. For those of you who don’t know, two years ago I suffered a severe ankle injury, breaking all the bones in my left ankle. My goal is 100% recovery, currently around 98%.

Anyway, after making this observation I did more research to see if there’s a connection between IF and joint pain relief. Turns out it’s something called autophagy, a process the body uses to rid itself of cellular debris. Autophagy reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system. This alone makes me want to keep doing IF.

Watch this short video for more information:

Some of the other benefits have been curing a persistent toenail fungus, saving money on food and supplements, experiencing sustained energy throughout the day, and generally feeling strong.

Recommended resources for more information on IF and keto

Recipe ideas and general information on keto: Keto Connect on YouTube
A doctor’s perspective on keto and intermittent fasting: Dr Eric Berg on YouTube
IF and keto wonderfully explained in plain terms: Butter Bob Briggs on YouTube

Toning synthetic hair

fake hair tonesWhen I had dark brown hair it was pretty easy to find synthetic hairpieces to match. But that changed after I bleached my hair. It was blonde for a minute, then I let my silver roots grow in and tried out different pastel colors.

It was impossible to find fake hair in the right color. I also didn’t want to buy a different piece every time I changed my hair color.

Through trial and error I discovered I could tone synthetic hair using temporary rinses or certain semipermanent hair dyes. Because the color is temporary I could get by with one or two hairpieces and change the color whenever I wanted.

Buying synthetic hairpieces

The first thing I did was to pick up a couple of hairpieces in a light silver shade (from Vanessa Grey and Christie Brinkley).

I like the versatility of these because if I’m having a bad hair day, I can just make a quick updo. Or I can pull my hair half up and make a cute little poof on the top.

Toning fake hair to match blonde, silver or pastel hair

When you’re toning fake hair, it doesn’t have to be a perfect match. It just needs blend because your own hair will be incorporated into the look.

You can do color all over or just put in a few streaks. Lately I’ve been adding multicolored streaks to my hairpieces because I’m often changing the pastel colors in my hair.

I’ve found that the best temporary or semipermanent dyes to use are the ones that are very thin and runny. Roux Fanci Full rinse (for blonde or silver hair), diluted gentian violet (for lavender hair) and Adore Creative semipermanent dye (for pastel colors) are the best. These work because you have to leave the color on the hair without washing it out.

Thick dye like Arctic Fox, which I love for my own hair, doesn’t work because if you don’t wash it out, the piece ends up sticky and it doesn’t look good. And if you wash it out, the color will go with it.

Using Roux Fanci Full rinse to tone fake hair (for blonde or silver hair)

The colors of Roux Fanci Full rinse I used for my blonde hair were Spun Sand and Hidden Honey. I mixed them together to get the right shade.

The color I used to match my silver hair was True Steel.

Follow these steps to tone your synthetic hair:

  1. Put the Fanci Full rinse in an old plastic container.
  2. Swish the synthetic hair around until it’s completely saturated.
  3. Squeeze out the excess and let it air dry for a couple of days.

Whenever you decide to change colors, simply wash it out with a little soap and water.

Using a gentian violet rinse to tone fake hair (for lavender hair)

Gentian violet is an old-time antiseptic. Its bright purple color is a dupe for Manic Panic Ultraviolet. Unlike Manic Panic it’s very cheap, only around $4 a bottle. And because you only need three or four drops, one little bottle will last forever. I’m still using mine.

Follow these steps for toning with the gentian violet rinse:

  1. Important: Make sure you wear gloves when handling this and cover the working area. Even a tiny little speck of this stuff will stain your sink, your hands, your walls. Most times it can be removed with alcohol though.
  2. Put water in an old plastic container and add a few drops of gentian violet until you get the right shade. A little experimentation is needed here.
  3. Saturate the hairpiece in the solution.
  4. Squeeze it out and let dry for a couple of days.

Note: the color does fade over time, just as it does on human hair.

Using Adore Creative Dye to tone fake hair (for pastel hair)

Adore dye can be used straight out of the bottle. The procedure is a little different though. I found it best to rub a small amount of dye into the hair with your fingers. Wear gloves! You can put in streaks or tone the whole thing.

When finished, let it dry for a couple of days.

As with gentian violet, the color does fade after awhile.

How my synthetic hair looks after toning

It’s easy now to tone my fake hair to go with my ever-changing real hair. Here are some pictures of me wearing my toned hairpieces.

I hope this was helpful for you. Please let me know what you think.

Expect miracles? Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry review

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry oil and soap

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry oil and soap

We always hope for miracles from our beauty products but how awesome is it when you find a company that actually promises them.

I’m talking about Swell Skin, manufacturer of sea buckthorn berry oil and soap. And results are guaranteed or your money back.

You are not only guaranteed a miracle, you can expect one overnight. No need to wait weeks or months.

Fantastic, right? That’s what I thought so I decided to put their products to the test.

Promising airbrushed skin in 24 hours

Now what is it we’re supposed to see after just one application? The company claims that 90% of skin’s needs are met within the first 24 hours. As to what it’s really supposed to do, this is what they say:

“Sea buckthorn oil has a reputation for softening lines, plumping skin with moisture, healing skin inflammation including acne, rosacea and many more serious skin conditions.”

Founder Kelli Klus goes on to say, “Regardless of my skin’s occasional challenges, age, sun, infections, spots, acne, rashes, redness etc. the products work immediately to heal each and every one of these problems.”

They sum it up by promising airbrushed skin.

swell skin miraculous?

What will Swell Skin do for me? Putting it to the test

Now I’m fairly happy with my skin’s texture, hydration and elasticity. But I do have a few brown spots, hyperpigmentation and sebaceous hyperplasia (SH) bumps that I’d like to see go away. And occasionally I get keratosis pilaris (KP) on my face.

I took before and after photos (something that’s lacking on their website and on 99.9% of outside reviews).

I decided to test these products for either one night or one month. (One month if the overnight miracle did not occur.) And at the risk of becoming lopsided, I used them only on the right side of my face and neck.

Excitement was building as I prepared to use Swell Skin soap and oil for the first time. Would I really see overnight results?

I prayed to the god of skin miracles. Oh magic sea buckthorn berry, please take away my brown spots and bumps!

Using the sea buckthorn berry soap

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry soap

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry soap

The bar weighs 2.25 ounces. The ingredients are sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate, water, glycerine, cocos nucifera oil (coconut oil), hippophae rhamnoides oil (sea buckthorn oil), aloe barbadensis leaf extract (aloe vera), astragalus membranaceus root extract, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), palmitic acid, sodium chloride, tetrasodium etidronate, tetrasodium EDTA.

The soap felt cool like mint and has minimal lather. It has a mild, pleasant smell.

Afterwards my skin felt very clean but not dried out. I was surprised to see it removed virtually all of my makeup. None of my other cleansers can do that.

Using the sea buckthorn berry oil

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry oil

Swell Skin sea buckthorn berry oil

The bottle contains 100% pure sea buckthorn berry oil and is listed as .05 fluid ounces. That’s INCORRECT and I’m surprised nobody’s caught this big boo boo.

The actual measurement is .5 fluid ounces, or one-half ounce, which equals one tablespoon of oil.

And to prove that I poured my brand new bottle into a tablespoon. The picture is below.

Bottle contains 1T oil, or .5 fluid ounces, not .05

Bottle contains 1T oil, or .5 fluid ounces, not .05

Moving on from that.

The oil has a faint smell, like some type of grain. It looks a bit orange and it feels like…well, oil. Yes, it feels like oil, it looks like oil and it does not completely absorb into the skin. It did not, however, turn my skin orange.

Expecting an overnight miracle. Did I get one?

The next morning there was still a little bit of oil on my face and neck. And I had only used a small amount. But it was easily rubbed in to reveal the fact that my skin looked exactly the same as before.

No miracle for me. The experiment continued for 29 more days, only using the products on the right side.

My results after 30 days

So here’s what happened. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

There was no overnight miracle.

There was no miracle after 30 days.

I see no difference whatsoever. My brown spots and SH bumps remain.

During the course of the trial period I did get a couple of pimples and also a couple of KP spots on my cheek. The pimples did not go away any faster. There was, however, faster healing with the KP, drying up in about five days.

My before and after photos

Forehead before (L) and after (R)

Forehead before (L) and after (R)

Eye before (L) and after (R)

Eye before (L) and after (R)

Cheek before (L) and after (R)

Cheek before (L) and after (R)

Airbrushed skin? I think not. 

Conclusion and final evaluation

Sea buckthorn soap

The soap is very good at removing makeup, better than any other cleanser I’ve ever used. But it didn’t make my skin look or feel any better. I would recommend it for being a very gentle, effective cleanser.

The bar will last me for many months.

Sea buckthorn oil

The oil might be soothing if I had irritated skin which I don’t. It left my face a little oily in the morning. The only condition it seemed to help at all was the KP which I mostly get on my body. However, it’s too expensive for me to use on that and I would not repurchase.

After using it for a full month, I still had half a bottle left. If I had used it on my entire face it would have lasted one month.

So is this is a miracle product or hype? My verdict: Hype.

Buy the soap if you want a good cleanser but forget the oil.

If you want to see how well Swell Skin worked on someone with acne, please check out this video. It’s the only review that I could find that actually has before and after photos.

For more information about Swell Skin, visit their website.

Have you used Swell Skin sea buckthorn oil or soap? Please share your experiences below.

Broken ankle recovery: one year later

Unstoppable by Lynda Makara

Unstoppable by Lynda Makara

Exactly one year ago today my doctor told me I was allowed to walk again following trimalleolar surgery. Those were the words I had waited 67 days to hear after breaking my ankle last September. The surgeon had done his work and now it would be up to me to get back on my feet.

This last year has been the most difficult one of my life, physically and emotionally. But I’m happy to report I’m doing very well now. And I wanted to let everyone know that since there are so few success stories to be found out there.

Venturing into the unknown

When I started this “journey” I was given very little information about what was going to happen and how long it would take to recover. The physician’s assistant told me the best outcome would be that I would walk again. The way she said it was anything but encouraging. Yikes! I know they have to prepare you for the worst but at least they could also mention the possibility you could recover fully.

I was fortunate enough to get that reassurance from the wonderful nurses who were prepping me for surgery. One of them told me she had had trimalleolar surgery a few years ago and said she was just fine now. To demonstrate that she jumped up and down, skipped around and stood on her tiptoes. This is a woman who has to spend the whole day on her feet and she looked perfectly normal.

Thinking of her helps me get through the tough times.

persistence and determination

How I’m doing after rehabbing my broken ankle for one year

An update on the physical problems

The physical problems I’ve been dealing with this last year are pain, swelling, numbness and stiffness. Last June I reported being 95 percent recovered and able to do almost all of my normal activities. I think it’s more like 97 percent now. A couple of things I can do now that I wasn’t able to before are running and jumping jacks. I can even walk around in high heels for a very short period of time.

And here’s the breakdown by symptom.

Pain

I have little to no pain walking most of the time and I am limp-free. Sometimes there’s soreness when I relax my foot and discomfort (and random sharp pains) during dorsiflexion. Sometimes my shins hurt too. Standing on tiptoe with the left leg hurts less than it used to. I attribute these pains to tight tendons and ligaments so I’ve been doing some new things in the last month that have made a big difference. I’m really excited about the results and will probably do a separate post on that later.

Swelling

There’s still a bit of swelling depending on how much standing I do during the day. Swelling is limited to right around the ankle and not the rest of the foot as before. I’ve only felt the need to use the ice pack once in the last few months.

Numbness

The numbness is virtually gone. I used to feel it when I barely touched the top of my foot. Now the only time I feel anything like that is when I’m massaging my foot. And even then it’s very, very faint.

Stiffness

My ankle moves pretty normally in all directions except for dorsiflexion. But that has improved recently as a result of the new things I’ve been doing with my therapy. I’ll just keep plugging away at it until I get to 100 percent recovery. My toes also used to be quite stiff but now are normal.

Photos of my ankle one year later

The left ankle is the one that had surgery. They look the most alike in the morning when there’s no swelling. The left one will always be a little bigger now with all the hardware installed. I don’t plan to have it removed because it’s not causing me any problems and I really don’t want another surgery.

An update on the emotional problems

I didn’t talk about it much before but the emotional challenges are almost as difficult as the physical ones. I’ve experienced fear, depression, helplessness, flashbacks and frustration.

These feelings are very much intertwined with my physical condition. And as it improves, they also improve. I still have frustration with not being fully recovered. And I still occasionally have flashbacks. Overall I feel better now knowing I can take care of myself in any situation I could handle before.

There’s one more thing I’ve been dealing with. The accident changed my identity. I became the girl with the broken ankle and that thought has been with me every moment of every day. Technically it’s not broken anymore and hasn’t been for some time. But every pain, every limitation, even the lack of pain when I’m used to feeling pain, is a reminder that I’m the girl with the broken ankle. I’m not going to be that girl anymore.

From now on, I’m the girl who is UNSTOPPABLE.

Related posts

Broken ankle recovery: learning to walk again

Rehabbing my broken ankle

My magic shoes for broken ankle recovery

Olaplex fixed my fried bleached hair

My bleached, damaged hair

My bleached, damaged hair

What looks like cotton candy but feels like straw? My hair after being bleached from brunette to platinum.

My silky hair was so damaged that no amount of conditioners, oils and serums could tame it. Every time I brushed my hair, my lap was covered in little broken bits. I wished I could rewind the clock to go back in time to when my hair was soft and smooth. Well guess what. I discovered with Olaplex, you can go back.

Yes, Olaplex really does work. It’s a three-part system. Parts 1 and 2 are meant to be used in the salon during chemical processes but can also be used as a standalone treatment. Part 3 is to be used at home for ongoing maintenance.

I got the three-piece kit and did the standalone treatment myself at home which is as easy as putting conditioner on your hair. Anyone can do it, and you should do it yourself because you’ll save a lot of money. I’ll get into the details later and show you my before and after photos.

Before I went ahead and plunked down $100+ for a kit, I had a few questions that you may have as well. Here’s what my research uncovered, in brief and simple terms, to answer the most commonly asked questions about Olaplex.

The most asked questions about Olaplex

What is Olaplex?

Olaplex is a compound called Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. Its purpose is to repair bonds in the hair that are broken during chemical processes. It was invented by chemists and patented.

It comes as a three-part system, labeled as #1, #2 and #3. The same ingredient is used in each part, with #1 having the highest concentration of the active ingredient and #3 having the lowest. Number 1 is called a bond multiplier, #2 is called a bond perfector and #3 is called a hair perfector.

Olaplex is free of silicone, sulfates, phthalates, DEA, aldehydes, and is never tested on animals.

Why should I use it?

Because it mitigates the damage done during a chemical process. While the bonds are being broken during bleaching, Olaplex #1 is repairing them at the same time. Not all of the bonds are repaired during this step so #2 is used right after the chemical process.

How can you use it to repair hair?

Besides using it in a chemical service, you can also use it to repair damaged hair as a standalone treatment. If the hair is really damaged, you can do a treatment using #1 and #2. After that you can use #3 once a week for maintenance and to repair ongoing damage done to the hair.

What’s the difference between Olaplex and knock off brands?

All the knock off brands only coat the outside of the hair and mask the damage. They don’t mitigate or repair the damage. Olaplex is the only product on the market that can actually reconnect broken bonds in the hair shaft.

Will I get any benefit from using #3 even if I don’t get my hair colored?

Yes, it’s good for everyone. When Olaplex was tested on virgin hair, the hair sample that was treated had more shine and felt softer to the touch than the original untreated sample. It had an overall healthier appearance than the control sample.

Are the effects of Olaplex permanent?

According to the manufacturer, the reconnected bonds will not break again unless compromised by additional thermal, mechanical or chemical services.

My experience with the Olaplex standalone treatment

Olaplex traveling stylist kit

Olaplex traveling stylist kit

I ordered the Traveling Stylist Kit which contains one bottle of #1, two bottles of #2, one bottle of #3, along with an instruction card for standalone treatments and for use with chemical processes.

I did the standalone treatment following the instructions on this card:

Olaplex standalone treatment instructions

Olaplex standalone treatment instructions

Here are some pictures taken during the first treatment.

It’s important to note that, contrary to what Kim K has said, sleeping with the product in your hair is not necessary nor more effective. After the product dries out it stops working, therefore the maximum time to leave it in your hair is 30 minutes. No further benefit will be gained by leaving it in longer.

Step by step Olaplex video tutorial

This brief video shows how to do the standalone treatment. When you do this at home by yourself, you should put a towel around your shoulders because the first part is very drippy.

My hair before and after Olaplex

My before and after photos are a little different from most people’s. The before photo shows my hair after flat ironing and with serum, and it still looks like a hot mess.

The after photo is my hair without any heat styling, oils, serums or conditioners. With flat ironing it looks even smoother but I wanted you to see it in its raw state.

After the treatment my hair was so soft, I couldn’t stop touching it! And the breakage—gone.

My evaluation of the claims made by Olaplex

I did the standalone treatment twice the first week, followed by weekly maintenance treatments of #3 for the next two weeks. Then I didn’t do any more treatments for six weeks.

During that time I only washed my hair once a week and used the flat iron once a week on the lowest setting. I let my hair air dry, something I was unable to do before using Olaplex because my hair would turn into a puffball.

My point here is that I did not do a lot to damage my hair, but after six weeks with no treatments it started to break off a little bit more. So I started doing weekly maintenance treatments again.

While my hair’s strength improved dramatically following treatments, it was never quite the same as before being damaged by bleach. And the restorative effects were long lasting, but not permanent.

Olaplex is the most remarkable product and I don’t want to be without it. It’s allowing me to keep my hair long while the bleached part grows out. The kit I got will last many months and I will definitely repurchase once it’s gone.

Update after using Olaplex for a year

It’s been nearly a year since I started using Olaplex and I wanted to show you how great my hair is looking now. It doesn’t break off in little pieces any more when I brush it and it’s gotten longer. So let’s take a look at some pictures.

one year using olaplex

Ten months of using Olaplex. Styled with flat iron.

I only do a treatment every month or two and I still have quite a bit left from the kit I purchased. I’ts definitely been worth the money!

Additional information

To find answers to more questions about Olaplex, please visit their education center.

To buy maintenance treatment #3 directly from the manufacturer, please click here.

For a more technical evaluation of the product, please read this report.

Please add your comments

Have you used Olaplex? What do you think of it?