Free shipping on all orders over $39

Julie- my long and winding road to hair acceptance

Is a Solution for:
Thinning Hair & Shedding
Reviewed by JulieKay July 6, 2010 31 Comments

“Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen”

~Rado, James; Ragni, Gerome

I don’t think I’m overstating if I say the relationship we women have with our hair can be the most rewarding in our lives and yet can cause the most devastation to our self esteem. Many of us find our singular identity in our hair; be it style or structure. We spend much of our lives in a love/hate alliance with our hair, and wish for hair, any other hair, but that with which we were born.

My battle began before memory. My mother had a favorite story to tell of when I was two and a half, down for a nap. She’d put me down with glorious waist-length wavy hair. She came into my room to find me happily clipping away around ear length with my safety scissors- I’d cleared around half my head, she said. There was nothing to do but find a salon. Thus, I was I was introduced to The Pixie and, from that point on, perfectly straight hair.

In high school, I’d become a Breck girl! Hair products weren’t sophisticated as they are now. Breck was the Bomb, though! As a sophomore- 1966- I wanted to be blonde. Mom was cool with this and again took me to a salon to have it professionally colored. It took six hours! But I walked out of there looking like Marilyn Monroe. Well, at least the hair.  When I was done with the blonde thing (about six months) did I go back to natural professionally? No. I went to a drugstore and bought Clairol in medium brown. I came out of this looking like Sophia Loren and not in a good way. Of course, being 16, my life was over! I was never leaving the house again.

By my senior year I felt so experienced! Your hair is your hair. Be happy with what you have. My best friend at the time had super curly frizzy hair and was always anxiety ridden about her hair. I grew quite philosophical regarding this topic. I realized on many levels, but especially hair, we’re often not happy with what’s facing us in the mirror. Yeah- that’s my Libra rising. That bleach trick had done a number on my head, no pun, and I became “wise.” I wish.

Now really! The hair fixation… You know what I’m talking about, it returns. It revisits.

I made bad choices in my early 20s. The next one happened after visiting my sister-in-law, and she had a friend over. I loved the hairdo she had called The Lioness. It had obviously just been cut. It looked like Farrah Fawcett’s hair. Gorgeous. I asked where she’d had it done. She named a local beauty college. Do you sense danger? I got detailed information, and I made my appointment the next day. I remember sitting in the chair, this chick clipping clipping clipping my hair and saying, “I hope I get it right.” Long story short: She had only watched this cut being done on the chick I’d seen. My head was her “first cut.” I called it The Ragdoll. Around jaw length and flat as a pancake. The style would have been very cool today. Maybe.

A few years later I was AGAIN overtaken by the need for change. It can be almost painful when you think you can look like that picture in a magazine. Or you keep seeing women on television with a cut or style, and you start to believe you can achieve that look. I’m so over that- I kept telling myself, no really, I’m doing a good job. But at 27, I had to have the Barbra Streisand 80s look. Her curly look! Don’t laugh. I’m serious. But, well, let’s call that The Curly Ragdoll.



I hit rock bottom, hair-wise. I don’t even wanna discuss the mullet period in my 30s.  I finally crashed and found my reality. I had stick straight, ash brown hair. Best worn single length just past shoulders with bangs; straight bangs. They call them fringe today.

And in my 40s I fell in love with my hair! Absolutely in love. I knew what I had as far as hair goes. What it could and couldn’t do. Mostly what it couldn’t do. What I could wish for, but never achieve. None of it mattered. I was centered. I’d found acceptance. Then I hit 50, post or mid menopause, and my hair began to curl. You don’t see it in any of my pictures, because I blow it dry and use a flatiron. But it has so much curl, that if I encouraged it, I would look like Harpo Marx! I’m simply nonplussed. My stylist is, as well. Just when I truly accepted my hair and loved it; it no long is the same hair. Unreal.

Today I’m no longer a Breck girl. That simplicity got lost around 1975. I started using Sebastian Professional shampoo. Adored it! I used it for 20 years at least. It was discontinued, and I was devastated. Since that time I’ve been on a seemingly endless journey for the perfect set of hair products. I didn’t color my hair until I was 55. Until then I didn’t need a conditioner, which complicates the game. The past year my hair has thinned around the hairline. Yikes! Today I use Rain Shadow Labs Amino shampoo ($11.95) and conditioner; Schwartskopf leave-in conditioner (with sunblock for hair); Moroccanoil; and Folligen mixed with emu oil (3:1 ratio) the night before I wash my hair. I wash my hair about every third to fourth day. This is truly strange to a chick who washed daily until I had it colored at 55. It’s a major transition.

I love my hair. I do. I think once we stop loving our hair something inside parishes. It matters. So don’t let your fellows discourage you, or you discourage yourself. Try new things. Have fun. Today there is so much new technologies regarding hair it’s unbelievable! I envy the young heads. As for me, I’m working to keep the hair I have and not achieve the Telly Savalas look. And as Junko says: Share the love.

~Peace

  • July 28, 2011

    by Junko

    Wanna add an inquiry to this post since it's live and kick'n!. I've been thinking about trying some products from Loma Pearatin. Anyone try anything from this line? Thoughts prior to my purchase would be highly appreciated!

  • July 27, 2011

    by Jaysie

    Thanks, Julie - I was at Ulta today and the only Schwarzkopf leave-in they had in stock was the Moisture Kick. I'll look into the L'anza, too, because Moroccan Oil didn't knock my socks off. Looking forward to trying your recs because the humidity is making my hair a fright show!

  • July 27, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Jaysie! old post- old mare, me! HA. I love my Schwarzkopf leave-in conditioner. I use BC Bonacure ColorSave color spray conditioner (it's in the pink line of their products). I also use, if you're wanting a wonderful dry oil, L'anza Healing Strength Neem Plant silk serum. I think it far out performs Moraccanoil, which I used for a could years. Thanks for asking, and good luck! ~jk

  • July 27, 2011

    by Jaysie

    Julie - I know this is an old post but I'm experimenting with leave-in conditioners. If you see this, what Schwarzkopf leave-in do you use? There are more than one in this line.
    Thanks!

  • August 20, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    Jaysie, sorry for such a long wait... No I don't use that Schwartskopf product (just their leave-in conditioner). Once dry I flatiron quickly. I think this process alone shines my hair.

    Thank you, Lisa! Any and all suggestions regarding hair thickening are eagerly welcomed here! Nick Chavez. Hear this? We have another hopeful... =) Welcome to TIA. Make yourself at home.

    ~jk

  • August 20, 2010

    by Lisa

    Hi ladies I just found your site as I search for thinning hair solutions. I have porous, fine, curly hair that frizzes easily. I've been losing some after 3 babies in a 5 year span plus developing thyroid disease in the process. I've gone from having great easy to deal with hair and consistent bad hair days, to having to wear a ponytail constantly. I wanted to share with you a shampoo/conditioner I tried from QVC that thickens my hair magically - I love it. By Nick Chavez it's a 3 piece sh/cond/mousse "Killer Body Collection" set (I never use the mousse but it's the only way to purchase). These products use collagen, are sulfate and paraben free and have truly been amazing for my hair. I want to tell every woman with thinning hair about it. Note that poeple complain about the bottle but truly the product is worth learning to deal with the delivery system. I also use his volumizing spray after. I tried his other thickening shampoos and this one is truly remarkable. Good luck!

  • July 15, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Julie - I use the 2" Hot Tools gold iron or the Conair 1-3/4" ceramic and they do a great job of smoothing. Do you use the Schwarzkopf Citre Shine? If yes, do you use it on dry hair before you iron or do you put it on towel dried hair before blow drying? I don't iron every day. Usually I mist my dry hair with water and put it in large velcro rollers. I've concocted my own water sprays with added ingredients but have yet to discover a recipe that will make my hair frizz-proof while still moving like hair without a lot of product on it. If Jennifer Aniston could bottle her hair gene, I'd buy it. :)

  • July 14, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    It was around the time No Frizz released that I came to terms w the fact that I had mildly frizzed hair; from crown to end, and had had for years. No, I don't use No Frizz regularly. Like you, Jaysie, it's for specials or wet days I know I need it- when the curl it going to reoccur. But what I do do now is flat iron. After two years or more of this process, I can't say, and I've asked my stylist, that my hair is damaged by it. Nor does it take very long. I only have to do it on my wash days. It not only defrizzes, it puts the shine in, as well. ~jk

  • July 14, 2010

    by Junko

    Jaysie, Too funny * Good to see that you're maintaining good humor thru it all!

  • July 14, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Junko - I'll look forward to your review of C-Tonics, especially since you used it for 3 months. In the meantime, I'm going to read up on it again. Thanks for your generous offer on your unused stock...I'll keep it in mind.

    Finding frizzy hair solutions is my personal merry-go-round. Every July 4th holiday, everyone at our family gathering loves to watch my hair inflate and frizz out, kind of like in time-lapse photography. =/

  • July 14, 2010

    by Junko

    Jaysie, I'll be submitting a review of C-Tonics soon. I think it might be loved by a mid to short cut that needs a LOT more texture. I've stopped using it and have full unused bottles of Core and Blossom I can send you if you want them. Sorry to hear that you are struggling so much with finding solutions.

  • July 14, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Junko - My hair is below chin length, about mid-neck. It's not layered all over, but the ends are moderately stacked on a blunt cut (no razored ends for my hair!) and I have what's called an arc of shorter hairs around my face though they are not cut deeply into the sides.

    I keep a "hair products" list on my desktop where I cut & paste ingredient lists and reviews for brands I intend to try. C-Tonics is on the list but haven't gotten to it yet. I'm currently testing the Nurture My Body shampoos (bought the sample kit of 4 products).

    If you've found there is something really different about C-Tonics, I'd love to hear!

  • July 14, 2010

    by Junko

    Jaysie, how long is your hair and is it blunt cut or layereed? Have you tried C-Tonics? I've just done 3 months with it and was curious as to whether you've tried this line yet.

  • July 14, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Julie - My hair is extremely porous and that characteristic is the most devilish. I can get my hair to look great at home or at a salon thanks to what I deem a good cut, but the minute it's exposed to a nano-drop of humidity or if my head sweats, the style flops and the frizz starts - like I have my finger in an electrical outlet. Beacaue my hair is also fine textured, hair sprays, mousses, gels, etc. all turn my hair to cotton candy. Living Proof is the only product I've used that actually prevents frizz & maintains a style somewhat, however, it makes my hair feel un-hairlike so I only use it for a special occasion. I've also found that B&B Styling Lotion is somewhat okay, except that I shampoo about every 3 days and the B&B gets icky the next day. Kerastase Apres Soleil has also worked better than most products, but I'm trying to avoid silicones, something I may just have to resign myself to. I've tried nearly every frizz, moisturizing, deep conditioning (with an electric heat cap), protein, smoothing product out there from high-end to low-end and still my search continues because I get undesirable side effects. For example, I jumped on the Ojon bandwagon early on and found it made my hair extremely wavy, but, weirdly, only in certain sections. About the only brand I haven't tried that's supposed to help a lot with frizz is Wen. But I equate that line with the condition-only protocol which also didn't work for me. I've seriously considered thermal reconditioning but have read about possible bad results.

    Didn't mean for this to be so long and I hate to sound like a whiner, but I've really been around the block a few hundred times with hair products. Now that I'm on a less-chemical-more-natural kick, my options have trimmed down, but I'm still trying!

  • July 12, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    Jaysie- I do as much as I can to hydrate my hair. When I get it colored, during the wash I get an extra deep conditioner that lasts about six weeks. This does seem to make a difference. I don't overwash my hair, maybe every 4-5 days. I do blow dry and flat iron it, but all the products, especially Schwartskopf, have heat shields. I only have to straighten it the day of my wash. You could have my hair- well, I want MY hair, but yours could look like my hair. Believe me, I wasn't handy w a dry and a round brush or a flatiron three years ago. I burned my forehead and fingers more than I can count. Now I can dry and style my hair from "wet in the towel" to "done" in about 8-10 minutes- in only every 4-5 days. But again; it's all in the CUT! And that took seeminly forEVER. ~jk

  • July 11, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Julie - No, I'm not happy with my hair. It's dry, porous, wavy and frizzes at the first inkling of humidity. Just like you wrote about wishing for someone else's hair, I wish I had straight, smooth hair - like yours! - so I could wash it and go. And now it's thinning at the temples so I started FNS + emu about a month ago. I've spent a small fortune on hair products over the years and should've put all that money toward a beach house!

  • July 11, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    deb- if you don't get a good feeling, don't stay. I myself laugh a lot, and I think folks think they're dealing with the village idiot at first because it's worse if I'm nervous and don't know my audience. But you must feel comfortable and reassured that the place is The Place, or at might be the place... make sense? Good LUCK!!! ~jk

  • July 11, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    Jaysie- it's situations just like yours that can put you off your hair. Are you happy w your hair now? ~jk

  • July 11, 2010

    by deb

    It's time to make that monthly hair appt. so i'll be visiting a few salons to see if there is someone who can deal with my desired hair results and the reality of what I have. Thanks for the input Julie and I'll let everyone know what happens. deb

  • July 10, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Julie - When I was a teenager, one of the ladies in our neighborhood entered beauty school and she practiced on anyone willing up and down the block. It sparked a revolution among the housewives. My mother turned henna red and then decided she would try a product on me rec'd by the budding hairdresser that would "brighten" my dishwater blonde hair. It was called Marchand and not only did it turn my hair brassy orange and fry my hair, I think it fried my hair follicles. My hair has been frizz prone ever since. =/

  • July 9, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    Trust me, deb, I know! I went to the same person for 25 years while she moved further and further away from me, because every time I tried someone new, my simple hair cut (and style) was ravaged. Sounds dramatic, but it's true. Having added coloring to the scenario only complicates things, as well as my hair aging. Don't be afraid to speak out, and tell the salon what it is you think you need. They should try to pair you w a person best suited to what you're asking for. If they don't; move on. Good Good luck! Everyone deserves to feel great about their hair and to look forward to getting it "done." /wink ~jk

  • July 9, 2010

    by deb

    thanks for your response Julie. you do have beautiful hair and I will take your advice about seeking out a stylist that understands my hair. I've had some issues in that department. d.

  • July 8, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    Marci- I'm not sure about using Rain Shadow Labs conditioner only as your wash. What I do know is their amino shampoo is the first shampoo where I have zero hair falling out during my shampoo and rinse; absolutely zero. I'm trying to determine if during conditioning there is less fall out. I think as I use it longer it's getting less, but to be entirely honest it could be wishful thinking. I've always lost tons of hair during my wash and rinse. Tons. At least the first half of that is down to none; now I'm working on the second part.

    We do have to lose some hair, though...

    Junko- OH Buddha! It was ok that I was cutting my hair, apparently. But I wasn't happy w short hair. ~jk

  • July 8, 2010

    by Junko

    Julie, beautiful hair! I remember my devastation from a pixie cut ordered by my father at the age of five. You're absolutely right in saying that once we stop loving our hair something parishes inside and that it matters. Apparently, even at the age of 5 it matters. Wonderful article!

  • July 8, 2010

    by marci

    I conditioner-only wash. Do you think the Rain Shadow Labs Amino Conditioner (only, not the shampoo too) would help me with my thinning hair? Your hair looks beautiful!

  • July 7, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    Oh hennared! Yes, that is one our worse fears. And it has happened to me, as well. I went quite "Jack Nickelson" the past couple years due to stress and probably just the natural aging process. I began using Folligen with emu oil. I used it 3-4 nights in a row a few months ago. I stopped due to scent. But it works! From that short useage period, I have a whole new fringe and fill-in from ear to ear. So I imagine if you use it anywhere on your head, it'll work the same. I began using it again a couple weeks ago on the night before I wash my hair in the hope/belief that less is better than nothing. Use Marta's link. There are more products suggested here at TIA. Good luck and let us know how it goes! ~jk

  • July 7, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Hennared, you can check our section on thinning hair under in our "Hair" category. http://truthinaging.com/category/hair/hair-thinning-treatments

  • July 7, 2010

    by hennared

    I was hoping this article might address my dilemma. I actually always loved my hair. Whenever I was dissatisfied with anything (else) about my looks, my hair, I could count on. Until reaching perimenopause. Now, half of it has fallen out. It could grow in curly, frizzy, who cares, I just wish it would grow in. Articles here about hair -loss- would be most welcome.

  • July 7, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    STORIES! I'm certain y'all have hair stories... I want to hear them, please =)

  • July 7, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    deb- It really does take a good stylist and a good relationship w your stylist. He/she will know you and your hair. Will recommend gentle changes. Won't let you go where they know you've been and just doesn't work. Product is secondary- in my opinion. It shouldn't cost the Earth, either. I'm frugle! But I've found my stylist; I trust her completely. It's me I don't trust. ~jk

  • July 7, 2010

    by deb

    I want to love my hair....i really do. I have so much of it and because it is fine, frizzy and thick, thick, thick....i come off looking like cousin it (remember cousin it?) most of the time. I haven't found a product yet that can contain this mane. Any suggestions?

Join the discussion! Leave a comment below.

My Comment

Add a comment...

-or- Cancel Comment
* Required Fields
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More

  Loading...