Stripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method)

Stripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.comStripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.com My mom and I have been doing the No Poo method for exactly two weeks now, and we have had drastically different results, which emphasizes to me how there is no “magic formula” that works for everyone.

As I’ve been doing the No Poo, I’ve had no greasy transition (the linked post, which has a wealth of info in the post itself as well as a ton of answers to questions in the comments, says you’ll experience a “greasy period” as your scalp tries to reset itself). Quite contrary, I feel as though I get LESS greasy between washes.

My mom, on the other hand, feels as though her hair is unbearably greasy on the second day, and is having a hard time sticking to only two washes a week (recommended, as more might dry out your hair). However, she was used to washing her hair daily, and she has a very oily scalp naturally. She has noticed that she doesn’t really need the vinegar rinse — that her hair is soft and less greasy without it (the vinegar is a conditioner, and perhaps if you have super greasy hair, you may not need it). She’ll be following a few of the suggestions for oily hair, or perhaps going the Low Poo way if she continues to have greasy hair after a few more weeks.Stripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.comStripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.com

As for me, though, I have had a ton of success with this method, and only one or two issues that are incredibly minor.

Before I get into why it’s working out for me, though, here’s my scalp stats: I have a naturally dry scalp, very thick and long hair (as you can see) and previous to going No Poo, I shampooed at MOST twice a week, sometimes once a week, and sometimes… well, this mama of a one year old didn’t get a chance to shower. So my scalp was probably pretty prime for working with the No Poo method.

Stripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.com Since going No Poo these are the pros I’ve noticed:

  • Softer hair — with shampoo, it was okay, but usually just tangly
  • MUCH easier to brush through — like, almost no tangles with brushing, unless I’ve used massive amounts of hairspray. With shampoo and conditioner, it was always a struggle to brush my hair, wet OR dry, unless I used the mega-super-hydrating stuff that comes with hair dye.
  • My usually flaky scalp is no longer flaky
  • Way, way less fallout in the shower — like, 2-3 hairs vs the previous 10-15, and much less hair in my brush after brushing
  • My terrible in-need-of-trimming ends break off less
  • Split ends are smoother and less noticeable
  • Overall, ends are less crispy, smoother, and less brittle
  • More volume at my roots, which previously just fell flat due to (I thought) the weight of my hair.
  • Easier to curl and style than before, when curls would fall flat in a matter of hours.
  • Thicker-feeling hair overall, which could be partially due to new growth that I suspect is partially because of pregnancy
  • BETTER smelling hair than when I was using shampoo (I always got a whiff of wet dog with shampoo, but now my hair smells a bit sweet, thanks to the black tea bag I stuck in my ACV solution (suggested by a comment I found somewhere — black tea for dark hair, chamomile for light, berry for reds)
  • No more body welts from my allergy to shampoo!

Stripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.com Stripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.com

Cons:

  • My hair can get SO FLUFFY, and as a girl used to flat, straight hair, this has been… interesting. A very tiny dab of coconut oil run over the ends fixes that, though
  • Not a con for me personally, but it could be for many — the smell of ACV in the shower is very strong. It doesn’t stay on your hair after rinsing, but to some people (who don’t like the smell of vinegar), it could get overpowering. You can, however, use a citric rinse instead, which is also listed towards the bottom of this post.
  • Also not really a con, but my hair looks less shiny and smooth which I am guessing is due to lack of silicone and heavy conditioners — it doesn’t bother me, and I’ve noticed that after using coconut oil to help with flyaways and then running a curling iron over wibbly spots, those spots shine more. I think the less shiny is due to more volume and hair not “sticking” to itself as much.

Stripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.com Stripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.com Side note, these pictures aren’t the best representation of how my hair looks after No Poo, because I had it up in a very messy and haphazard bun while it was wet, which resulted in unruly waves. That were easy to brush, but didn’t lose their wave at all. So, y’know. Normally, after washing and letting it dry, my hair is fuller but still pretty much straight. Stripes and Florals (and the No Poo Method) | www.eccentricowl.com

Shirt, Target | vintage skirt and belt, thrifted | boots, JC Penney | glasses, c/o Firmoo

A few questions I’ve been asked about this:

1. Do I rinse with cold water? Nope; I shower nice and warm. Cold water DOES close the cuticles on your hair shaft and make it look shinier, so you can, but so far as I’ve read it’s not actually mandatory.

2. Is it color safe? I have dark brown dye in my hair to cover up the red, and so far, no color stripping. I have read from hairstylists that permanent dyes (of any color) should not be affected, and if anything, the baking soda is the culprit as the vinegar is a solution that is very diluted. But, for reds or blondes, I’ve also seen experiences that are half and half — some have had reds turn more orange, or blondes get lighter, and some have had no changes. It may just depend on the strength of your solution, how much junk was in your hair, or even your hair type. So you’ll have to do lots of research before you try it on dyed hair.

3. Do I use any shampoo any more? NO. Thus, it’s called “No Shampoo” because… I don’t use any shampoo.

4. How often do you wash your hair?  I wash my hair the same amount as I did with shampoo, so pretty much every four days or so. (Twice a week, ish.)

5. Will it damage your hair to wash more than twice a week? The No Poo method is NOT meant for daily use, just as you shouldn’t shampoo every day, and the entire point of going No Poo is to allow your scalp to self-regulate its oils. I don’t know whether doing three times a week (which might help oilier scalps) will hurt anything, though, and I’ve seen advice saying if you really can’t STAND the oiliness, every other day is okay as long as you are able to taper off. The goal is to wash 2 times a week (or less, if you get to the water-only stage.)

6. Does your hair get greasy? Well, I don’t have a naturally oily scalp, so no. I’m on day three after wash day, and my hair is just BARELY starting to feel a bit oily if I rub my fingers along my scalp. It still looks as clean as it did on day one, though. If you have a naturally oily scalp, like my mom, then yes. Your scalp will get greasy, and if like her you shampooed daily, your “transition” period can take as long as six weeks before your scalp calms down.

7. You use this in the shower, right? Yes. It’s meant to replace shampoo and conditioner.

8. Has your hair gotten longer since starting this? Ha, well, it’s not Miracle Gro, so as far as I’ve noticed, my hair has stayed at its normal growth rate of somewhere around 1/2 inch a month. However, it does feel thicker and I do have new growth (which, like I said, could partially be pregnancy), and the No Poo method does promote new hair growth due to unclogging your pores and allowing more hair through your scalp. (here’s an example of my hair about a month ago, vs what you see in this post.)

9. Does it wash out hair product (hairspray, gel, defining agents, etc)? Yes! I’ve used a boatload of hairspray while doing this, and it all comes out in the shower.

So those are the questions I got from friends; if you have more, ask away! I’ll do another update once it’s been a month, and we’ll see how my mom does with adjustments and her oilier scalp. If you’re thinking about jumping in, read this post about No Poo to get started. And if you are looking for a homemade conditioner for dry hair, here’s a recipe!

And remember, you will probably have to adjust the levels of what you’re using for your particular scalp. So what works for me may not work for you (as proven by my mom and I using the same method with far different results.). Experiment!

Happy Wednesday!

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Maternity Wardrobe: 1970’s hippie dress and the honesty of Mondays.

Maternity Wardrobe: 1970's hippie dress  | www.eccentricowl.com The honesty of a Monday following a bad night’s sleep and a nearly-canceled (but thankfully, not) thrifting trip to meet a friend whom I had only ever met via blogging and Facebook: today is a day sans makeup, with unbrushed hair hastily pinned into some semblance of a topknot, and earrings only worn because of the discovery of this dress while thrifting.  Maternity Wardrobe: 1970's hippie dress  | www.eccentricowl.com And, while I am being honest, I am only blogging today because of my love for this dress and my being accustomed to blogging five times a week. It is hard to break the habit once the habit has formed, and in the new year I have made blogging less of a priority over other things in life… but I miss it. Some days. Maternity Wardrobe: 1970's hippie dress  | www.eccentricowl.com Being a stay-at-home mom, many weeks Facebook and the blogosphere are my only forms of socialization outside of the constant one-sided conversations I have with Asa. Thus, though I only slept four hours last night due to a semi-sick child, I could not make myself cancel meeting Myranda, finally, even though extra naps today would have been much appreciated. I was so glad to see a face I felt I knew (I know all of her siblings, but had never met her), and at least for my part, it was a wonderful trip with no awkwardness.

Though I may have talked more than I should have, which is something I do when I meet new people. Maternity Wardrobe: 1970's hippie dress  | www.eccentricowl.comVintage dress, thrifted | earrings, gift | boots, JC Penney

And, in keeping up with the honesty of today, I will admit that instead of being a productive mother, I am going to rescue Asa from the confines of his crib (where he should be napping, but has instead resisted and resorted to pitiful tears) and we are going to watch Disney movies until my husband gets home.

It is Monday, after all. These days should be taken slowly, and with lots of snacks. 😉

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New Year’s Day

New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.com New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.com  The first day of a new year is such a strange and wonderful thing. It feels almost like any other day, but you know that it has begun an entire new set of events that have yet to happen. You look forward with anticipation, hope, resolve, and perhaps even a little bit of fear, yet you also look back with memory, fondness, sadness, and bittersweet longing for things that will never be again.

You feel as though you should do something to begin the year with a head start, but on such a day as this, when there are so many resolutions made and so many things to move into, where do you begin?

New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.com New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.comFor me, the first day of the new year doesn’t really have the fanfare and excitement of other holidays. There are no presents to open, no chocolates or flowers, no church service to attend at dawn; we’ve never had a tradition for this day. It just begins, like any other day, with a quiet sunrise, and suddenly it’s a fresh year that will inevitably fill up before I know where my days went.

This year, though, I am trying to begin my new year in the spirit of improvement, and I am already living a few of my resolutions out. I think perhaps even if there is no huge celebration for the first day of a new year, simply choosing one thing to better yourself that day, and all of the following days, is the perfect way to celebrate the blank slate of the coming days.

New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.comNew Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.com Today I am living out a few of my resolutions already; I am already amidst the first week of a Whole30; I’m wearing lipstick; I’m dressed in the retro/vintage look I hope to stick with for at least six months, and I’ve also carried out a resolution I didn’t add to my list: this year, I plan to give over control of the photography in my outfit posts to my husband.

It’s hard for me to admit that he takes better pictures of me than I do, because I have quite the independent streak. But even if you all don’t notice, I see such a huge difference in the photography when he takes the camera over. Of course, a person will likely always take better photos than a tripod and a self-timer, but somehow I felt as though I had to do it by myself. Which is silly, considering most bloggers out there tend to prefer another human to photograph them versus having to take their own pictures.New Year's Day | www.eccentricowl.comCardigan, skirt, and belt, thrifted | shirt, tights, and shoes, Target | glasses, c/o Firmoo | headband, modcloth | earrings, gift

And in letting him take over my outfit photography, I am in turn also working on cultivating our relationship. I always feel as though it must be a bother to him whenever I ask him to take my outfit photos, but time and time again he tells me that he likes to do it.

This month I am excited to add to my cultivation of relationships by meeting Myranda, a fellow mama who, funny enough, I only know through my blog (and also Facebook) although I’ve met and known all of her siblings over the last ten years or so. I am so excited to finally meet her. And I’m very excited to finally have a car, so that I can do things like this again!

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and have a wonderful New Year’s Day! Our celebration was incredibly low key (aka, we watched Doctor Who, played Mario, and barely made it past midnight), but today we plan to go out for lunch and see a movie. What are you all doing for the New Year?

Happy Thursday!

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Book Review/Inspired Outfit: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

2Collage 2 I meant to do a book review with this outfit, obviously, but I put it off so long that I don’t feel I can accurately review The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate any longer. When I finished the book, I really enjoyed it but I also felt so-so upon closing the last page; it was entertaining and definitely worth a read, but didn’t leave me moved in any one direction.

Which isn’t as helpful when I’m trying to review it; I want a book that captures my emotions and keeps me thinking about it for days afterward — whether it be with love or with sadness. The best books impart lingering emotions, I think. 4 The best I can give you is a little synopsis of the characters.

Calpurnia Tate is a girl growing up in a household of boys, who realizes as the year passes that she is expected to essentially become her mother — a woman tasked with the endless job of caring for a house. Day in and day out, her mother’s jobs are never done. But Calpurnia, having befriended her Grandaddy (an eccentric gentleman obsessed with science and creating alcohol from pecans (or walnuts…?)), has had her mind opened to the world and all of its possibilities, and she becomes dissatisfied with what is expected of her. She wants to be more than just a housewife. 5 14 So, she balks at her duties and runs off with Grandaddy every day to discover the world around her, and is scolded for her negligence when she comes home. Her mind expands and her character grows as the book progresses until by the end, she begins to entertain thoughts of going to college. Which is basically where it ends.

It’s a fairly simple premise, but the characters themselves fill it with interest and hilarity, and I really enjoyed Calpurnia’s journey from a naive young girl to a young lady thirsting for more and more knowledge. 69 I’ve been realizing as I read more and more books… I really do judge a book by its cover. Perhaps it’s the artist in me, but if a book has a horrible cover, I am less inclined to read it. I will obviously give the first few chapters a go, but I’m much more drawn to good covers, like this one. It’s quite aesthetically pleasing!

So, you know. I like this book for its cover, too. Does anyone else really hate how the trend now is to put actors on the covers of books their movies are based on now? That is my biggest cover pet peeve. Ugh.

8 Collage 1 So this brooch was made and sent to me by Courtney, aka Some Call me Q (Instagram, blog) some time ago, and I JUST remembered that I had it! I’ve worn in a few times, but I feel as though I only wear pins in the fall and winter. I really love how unique this is; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brooch made out of zippers before.

But the fact that it was made by an internet friend for me makes me love it SO much more than my other brooches (hopefully they don’t get jealous.) So, thank you Courtney!

And also, she’s having a baby. Which is awesome. 7Dress, thrifted | cardigan, Target | tights, Nordstrom rack | shoes, Modcloth

(Above, cue me cracking up because I can’t take myself faking reading a book.)

Well, this is my last outfit post of the year! What a crazy thought; I can’t remember which Dressember day this was, hence no banner, but if you still want to donate please do. I’m not sure if I’ll be participating next year, but I will definitely be supporting others in their Dressember campaigns. And I’m so sorry I never did a roundup of my favorite Dressember posts! I’ve been stalking all of you who have said you’ve been doing it, but I’m really… a procrastinator. Leave your favorite Dressember post in the comments (of your own) so we can all see how wonderfully this cause is supported! (Or, in the case of Skye, your favorite un-Dressember post.)

Happy Monday!

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P.S. You still have a few days to fill out my blog improvement survey if you want to. It’s short, I promise!

Christmas Cocktail Party: Get Ready With Me!

First of all, please take this survey as I am striving to improve the blog in the new year and would love to know what you’d like to see more of, what you think could improve, and any other feedback you might have!Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com I gotta warn you guys, today’s post is going to be very photo-heavy. But since there are only a few days until Christmas, I thought I’d do at least one Christmas-themed outfit/makeup post.

A few weekends ago, one of our friends hosted a Christmas party that was Cocktail-dress required, and I didn’t realize that until we were almost to the party. So I didn’t get to go full cocktail; my husband and I ran to Target on the way and grabbed the maroon peplum dress I’m wearing in this post and some silver flats, and I had to make do with a few bobby pins I found in my purse… and that was it. I actually changed in the car. Yeah. That really happens.

So today I thought I’d do the outfit proper, with what I would have looked like if I had realized beforehand that it was a cocktail party. I shot a photo tutorial for some fun makeup, showed you how I did a quick and easy holiday hairstyle, AND photographed my outfit, all for one post.

Ready? Yes? Yay!

First up, makeup. We’ll call this look Sugarplums Dancing. Because you’ll see why. As always, begin with a clean, moisturized face. I’ll admit I slept in my makeup last night and only washed it off right before this picture, but uh… pretend I woke up with a fresh face, ok?Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Apply your regular routine of foundation, blush, and powder, applying a bit of extra powder beneath your eyes as this will make it easier to brush away any falldown eyeshadow later.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com I prefer to do my brows before I apply eyeshadow, but this is because I use the same brush for dark liner shadows as I do for my brows, so… if you’re lazy about changing brushes like me, fill in your brows as you please.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Next, taking a shimmery shadow that is a few shades lighter than your skin, apply it to your browbone and the inner corner of your eye to catch all that light from the Christmas tree. Then with a light gold shadow, cover your lid from your lash line to just above your crease. Use the same gold shadow all the way beneath your lower lash line. Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Taking a dark plum shadow (and now you see where the makeup name came from), create a vee shape from mid-lash line, up and out to the crease, and inwards again. Apply the same shadow on the outer half of your lower lash line.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com With a dark brown shadow, deepen the plum color only on the outer edges of your eye, and apply dark brown just at the very outside of your lower lash line. And then, with a darker gold shadow, pop some color on the middle of your lid. Just for fun.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Blend it all because that’s how they say you should. (I’m feeling facetious today, can you tell?)Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.comWith dark brown or black liner, create a cat-eye shape (or whatever liner shape suits you the best. I like cat-eye because it’s a bit retro and universally flattering.) If you like, set the liner with shadow in the same color.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Now for some fun! With a wet shadow brush, grab yourself some straight gold glitter and dab it on wherever you want. I applied it just above the liner line from the inner corner out to where the darker shadow begins.   Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Curl your lashes, if you need to (I have to because otherwise they hit my glasses.), and add a few layers of mascara. My current favorite is L’oreal Original Voluminous. It’s kind of amazing stuff. Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com Now, with some plummy liner, line your lips to prevent feathered edges, and first apply a plum-colored lipstick, followed by a pinkish-red lipstick. Mixing lip colors adds dimension and also creates custom colors; this made my lips match the dress I’m going to wear.  Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.comNow your face is pretty. (Well, it probably was before. Now it’s… more pretty.)

Next up, the easiest, laziest fancy hairstyle known to woman. Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.comCurl your hair loosely (or as curly as you like, actually). I took pretty large sections of hair and was done in about five minutes because I hate spending hours on my hair. Be sure your hair is parted on one side or the other.

Then, taking a large section on the side that your hair is parted away from, pull your hair straight out from your head and curl it under with your fingers, from halfway down the shaft of your hair. This will create some volume instead of slickly-pulled-back-hair. Pin the rest of your hair on that side up in the back, so that you’ve got all the hair to one side of your head. On the other side, loosely bring your hair back from your face in a small section, and pin it back over the hair that’s already tumbling over your shoulder. And… you’re done.

Get yourself into a pretty holiday outfit, and go party!Christmas Cocktail Party | www.eccentricowl.com See more of the outfit after the jump! Continue reading “Christmas Cocktail Party: Get Ready With Me!”