Sunday, 26 March 2017

About web content scrapers and why every blogger needs to be aware of them

ABOUT-WEB-CONTENT-SCRAPERS-AND-WHY-EVERY-BLOGGER-NEEDS-TO-BE-AWARE SEO PAGERANK // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

As some of you may know, my blog content was ripped off recently by web content scrapers but what does that actually mean and why is it bad for your blog?

CONTENT SCRAPING 101

Content scraping is when an individual takes content from many other sites, collates it and publishes it to their own site as if it's their work. It's theft of original works and it can negatively affect the SEO of the site it was stolen from. Many sites are made up of works entirely stolen - scraped - from other people. There are a lot of content scrapers out there -  this is the second time it's happened to me. Scrapers may steal a few of your articles, or they might copy your whole damn website.

This is what an example of what a scraped website looks like. This was the site of the last person to scrape my content. As you can see it has content from several different people, but nowhere on the site does it LINK to the people whose work it has stolen.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Pink and khaki, it's officially a thing

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen this outfit a while back, as I always preview things on there first. Talking of Instagram, I've been banned from posting/commenting/liking/replying/making stories on there as their algorithm as picked me up as a spammer. I'm waiting for an actual human to respond to my report, but I won't be holding my breath for a swift outcome with the weekend an' all. I think happened because I thanked 3 people for comments they'd made on a photo of me, but because I don't follow them, Instagram thinks I'm one of those annoying spambots who tag loads of people in comments. It's a massive pain in the arse, but c'est la vie!

Moving on, part of my fashion manifesto for this year was using colour in new ways - both harmoniously and in jarring ways. Pink and khaki was a match I didn't expect to like, but I really love it. This was a minimal makeup day and a chilled outfit as we were only popping out to Primark to get James a new belt, but I bought a new bag while I was there and wanted to show it off straight away.

I've decided to start putting the outfit details in the main body of my text (before I do the 'read more' section) as in my reader survey about 1/4 of you said you were bothered about not being able to read in one chunk. At least this way if it's outfit details you're after, you'll get to them quickly. I aim to please. 😜

I'm wearing:
Jacket, past season Boohoo
Top (under dress) H&M+ £8.99 *AL
Dress, local shop (hacked from a 3/4 length playsuit)
Tights, Big Tights Company 90 denier (currently out of stock)
Trainers, Evans £28 *AL
Bag, Primark (in store only)

Thursday, 23 March 2017

At this moment | Lifestyle

at-this-moment-lifestyle // www.xloveleahx.co.uk

WATCHING

A few days ago I started watching Shooter, the Netflix series starring Ryan Phillippe. It's about an ex-Marine who was set up for murder. I was expecting it to be a propaganda-fest in the usual 'Murica the greatest nation in the world style, as often happens when American patriotism, guns and TV commingle. I found it really immersive from the first episode, which was nice as the point of watching TV for me is not having to think about the day to day stuff. If I'm thinking about my laundry pile or the washing up the show really doesn't cut it. I think I'm about 6 or 7 episodes into the first series, and I really like it. I didn't see the attraction to Ryan Phillippe back in the day when he was younger - he was far too pretty for me - but he's matured nicely and he has a beard now, so there's that. 😍

READING

I've been reading a book about Lee Harvey Oswald - Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy? by Joachim Joesten. It's 50+ year old book, written about a year after Oswald was shot dead in police custody. It's very detailed and quite long-winded. It paints the picture that it's very unlikely JFK was shot by Oswald, but as always these things are open to personal interpretation. I've kinda given up on it though, as I got a bit bored towards the end. The language isn't too old fashioned, but he goes into such great detail about everything my eyes did start to glaze over. I usually fill my head with crappy fiction books, but I'm trying to read more non-fiction this year.

MAKING

I'm making attempts not to buy any more clothes or makeup. Does that count? 😉 I'm also making efforts to lift my mood by thinking happy thoughts and counting my blessings.

STARTING

I've decided to start scrapbooking, using the Project Life system. They do packs of journal cards so you can jot down a few details; filler cards in pretty colours with a quote or a nice pattern on; and first and last page headers to set the tone. My depression and anxiety is hammering me at the moment and I need to do something simple to take my mind off it. The little card in the header image is from a couple of taster kits I bought to see if I would like it. (I would have used the cards for blog background photos otherwise). Some years ago I used to scrapbook mine and James's gigs, festivals, holidays and outings. I think it'll be nice to document every day life, even the mundane stuff, as it's fun to look back on. I keep a diary sporadically but it'll be good to print some photos and write a few words about the weeks that pass rather than having memories stuck in my head and photos stuck in my laptop. It's my birthday in 2 weeks so I'm going to spend any birthday money I get on a scrapbook album, page protectors and more cards.

FINISHING

I had been watching Jack Taylor on Netflix but I've given up. I enjoyed Iain Glen in Game of Thrones and although Jack Taylor started off cheesy, I hoped it'd get better, but in my opinion it got worse. When one of the main characters got replaced mid-series (by someone with less charisma IMO) and another character left I gave up. There's no need to watch just OK TV when there's great TV out there.

ENJOYING

My mum and step dad came to stay for a couple of days at the beginning of the week, which was really nice. They took me to my gynae check up on Monday. (All is as well as can be. I'm going back for another scan in a year to monitor the massive accumulation of fluid in my abdomen. As that isn't the cause of pain - my heavy periods are - there's no point operating to release it). On Tuesday it was a beautiful sunny day so we went to Rye and had a picnic. It was a real mood booster.

Blue sky!

TEXTING

I've been texting my friend Mich to talk about visiting her and her hubby in May. We have friends in far flung places across England and our summer is usually packed with good times. 

LOVING

Organising things! I bought an old fashioned Dymo label maker a few weeks ago and I've been labelling wardrobe shelves, chests of drawers and storage boxes. It's difficult as I have clothes in both bedrooms but once I've created order I can label everything. The aim is to know where everything is at a glance, which might avoid unnecessary purchases. I forget what I have half the time! James and I also did a lot around the house this weekend. I took the doors off the built in wardrobe in the spare room as they scraped along the runners every time I moved them and they set my teeth on edge. We decluttered our huge boiler cupboard to put the doors in there, moved storage furniture around in the spare room and started setting up James's drum kit in our bedroom. I was determined that unlike in the old place we weren't going to have his drum kit in the guest bedroom! Our bedroom is huge so there's plenty of room for his kit, our kingsize bed and all our wardrobes. We still have a way to go before everything is as we want it, and we need to make large purchases like outdoor furniture for the balcony, rugs and so on, so we'll do a bit each month.

HATING

The world we live in, where sick individuals do things like drive into people in bridges and stab policemen. It's more than that though - it's all the other things that aren't focused on by our media, like drone strikes in far flung countries killing hundreds of innocents at a time. All violent deaths are sad, and I wish the media encouraged us to mourn for them evenly, not just care about white deaths.

What's new with you? Let me know.

I had an 'I don't want to blog any moooooooore!' moment earlier in the week but I've put it down to crap mental health and PMS. My blog email account is in away mode though as I definitely need a break from the demands of that. Self care can take any format - even burying your head in the sand!

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

I use Google+ comments. If you don't have a Google+ account, feel free to comment on my Facebook or Twitter page, where my posts are also shared. 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Fat Girl Casual

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

If you're reading by RSS/email, my feed has shortened to stop the theft of my posts by content scrapers. Click through to the blog to see the whole post.
I've been playing around with looks, splicing dressy things with casual things. I've a new-found love for casual wear that I've never had before, and it's because as a fat person I've had to PERFORM high femininity at all times. Fat girls don't get to hang out in sweats with messy unwashed hair in a bun and get called cute. People think we're lazy slobs who look like that all the time. So I've spent a looooong time avoiding wearing anything casual to avoid The Judgement™. Well fuck that shit because I'll soon be 43 and I'll wear what the fuck I want. I didn't even realise until recently that my avoidance of casual wear was a thing. It's weird to be socialised to behave in certain ways and not even realise it until one day BOOM - epiphany. So I'm messing around with femme + casual wear to get the feel for it before I jump into full-on casual wear with both feet.

Monday, 13 March 2017

My Fertility Story part 2 - my first ectopic pregnancy

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MY-FERTILITY-STORY-PART-TWO-MY-FIRST-ECTOPIC-PREGNANCY CHILD LOSS BEREAVEMENT // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
It goes without saying but TW: child loss.

Only after I started writing this did I realise how much a toll bringing it all up would take, but like they say on Mastermind, I've started so I'll finish. I've had it better than some and worse than others, but everything I've been through has made me a stronger person. Here's the story of my first ectopic pregnancy. It happened 14 years ago but I'll recall it as best I can.

But first, what are ectopic pregnancies? From the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust: Ectopic pregnancy is a common, occasionally life-threatening condition that affects 1 in 80 pregnancies. Put very simply, it means “an out-of-place pregnancy”. It occurs when a woman’s ovum (egg), that has been fertilised, implants (gets stuck) outside the womb. The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy is the Fallopian tube but there are many other sites where an ectopic pregnancy can be located. It is, sadly, not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy into the womb to allow it to grow normally.

It was 2003 and I had no idea what an ectopic pregnancy was until it happened to me. James and I had only been going out for 3 months. I had just started using the pill and we were also using condoms in the changeover period, but little did I know that James's man-product was no match for contraceptives!

The first I knew something was wrong was when the worst abdominal pain I'd had in my life started. I was writhing around in bed all day and the pain was unrelenting, but I finally managed to get to sleep. The next day I woke up and still had a nagging pain (although less intense) so I got an emergency appointment at the doctors. Thus began my first of several internal examinations of the day, and the doctor said he suspected it might be an ectopic pregnancy. I did a pee sample but if I was pregnant it wasn't far enough along to show up on their test strip. I was told to buy a pregnancy test on the way home and if it was positive call them back straight away. I went to Boots absolutely sure I wasn't pregnant, but I picked up a test anyway and went back home to pee on a stick. It was a good job I was sitting down because when those lines appeared I might have fainted had I not already been seated.

I rang the doctors back to tell them yes I was pregnant and was told to come straight back. While I was in the surgery the doctor phoned the gynae ward at the local hospital to tell them I was coming in with a suspected ectopic pregnancy. I went to my local hospital and had more internal examinations, blood tests, urine tests and a scan. The tests confirmed I was definitely pregnant, but I don't think they could see a mass on on the scan (unlike my second ectopic pregnancy) so they told me to come back if my pain got worse. Sods law - as soon as I got back home the pain came back with a vengeance. I'd barely got in the door when I had to go back.

I was admitted, and it was a scary, confusing time - not just because I was likely losing a baby, but because I didn't even know I *could* get pregnant. Apart from the fleeting possibility of miscarriage I'd put out of mind years before I'd never really thought about trying to have kids. I'd never even done a pregnancy test before. It was all too much to take in and I shut down. I was in shock. I didn't ask any questions so I had no fucking clue what was going on, and no one was telling me anything either.

I was in a huge, drafty high ceilinged room which looked like something out of the Victorian age. I saw various doctors and nurses, none of whom seemed particularly warm or sympathetic (in stark contrast to my second ectopic pregnancy in 2011, where the staff were almost entirely fantastic). I was having regular blood tests to see what my hcG pregnancy levels were (which rise as a pregnancy goes on) and I was in so much pain. In the latter stages of my stay when they thought they were going to operate I also saw a surgeon and anaesthetist. None of my family live locally so I only had a visit from James and one of my co-workers while I was there. I felt very frightened and alone. My relationship with James was still really new and he was only 22 - ill equipped to deal with a suddenly pregnant girlfriend. He came down to visit me on the Saturday I was in there then told me he was going clubbing that night. It was totally surreal!

I was in there for 3 days in total, the second of which I spent nil by mouth as they were going to do a laparoscopy the following day. I had yet another blood test on the morning of the third day expecting my operation to be any time, but I'd started bleeding vaginally. A nurse came round and said "We'll take you off the drip and then you can have some breakfast and go home. You're losing it." Again I was in shock. I now know my bloods had shown the pregnancy hormone was dropping and thus the pregnancy was coming to an end, and that was a particularly brutal way to inform me. My aunt was coming to visit me from London, the first of my family to get there, but instead she ended up escorting me home. She said I was as white as a ghost and I remember being totally spaced out. 

I know now this is what's called a tubal abortion, where the foetus dies in the tube. No one bothered to explain this to me though. I was given a few leaflets and sent home. There was absolutely no follow up, no suggestion of counselling, and I wasn't the type to ask for help (or even acknowledge I needed it). I went back to work after a month because I was pressured into it, but I wasn't ready. I don't think you're ever ready after a thing like that. You're changed forever. Everything looks the same on the outside, but you're never the same again. I think I made things worse for myself by pretending it was for the best, that I was unaffected. In truth it affected me very deeply, but I didn't know how to deal with my feelings so I ignored them. I never really learned to mourn until my second ectopic pregnancy in 2011, the one where I nearly bled to death when my fallopian tube ruptured. That had been a planned pregnancy, but I'll talk more about that when I write the next post in this series.

Please read all about ectopic pregnancies here - especially what symptoms to look out for, but I will say this - if there's any chance at all you could be pregnant and you've had sharp, insistent abdominal pain for a number of hours, get yourself to a doctor or early pregnancy unit at your local hospital ASAP. Ectopic pregnancies can and do kill. I'd been in hospital care for over 12 hours with my second ectopic pregnancy when my fallopian tube ruptured. Had I been at home I wouldn't be here to write this today. I would've bled out in the ambulance. You cannot take any chances with suspected ectopic pregnancies.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

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A Wednesday (Addams) state of mind

If you're reading by RSS/email, please note my feed has shortened to stop the theft of my blog posts by content scrapers. Click through to the blog to read the whole post. 

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.
FAT WEDNESDAY ADDAMS GOTH OUTFIT // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK Well I had lost my outfit mojo but I've found it again. This is one of those outfits which came about in a flash. I had to go to the post office and some other errands and my hair was greasy so I needed to do something quick. Buns or plaits? Once I'd plumped for plaits the rest of the outfit came to me. It was well overdue I got my goth on again as I've been wearing a lot of 'pretty' outfits recently.

I dress so seasonally - when it's cold and grey I need colour in my life to keep the misery at bay. But once the world comes alive again in spring I can haul out all the dark shades because life has enough colour without me having to add to it. I've tried to mix up the textures a bit to add interest to an almost all black outfit, but the light was fading a little so it may not be clear that I'm wearing leather look leggings.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Mustard and rust

Hello! If you're reading by RSS/email, please note my feed has been shortened to stop the theft of my blog posts by unscrupulous content scrapers. Click through to the blog itself to read the whole post and see the photos.
MUSTARD-AND-RUST-A-PLUS-SIZE-OUTFIT-POST // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

As well as my ongoing fascination with pink and grey at the moment, I've also got a yen for earthy colours like rust, mustard and dark greens. Here's a very simple (and inexpensive!) outfit I wore recently which cheered me up with its burst of colour.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Current fave colour palette - pink and grey

Hello lovelies! I'm in a proper funk with regards to outfits at the moment. I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but I keep finding fault with everything I put together. I've deleted about 6 whole sets of photos in the last month. Waaahhh. I'm loving colour at the moment, especially pink and grey together, so let's focus on happy things. 😊 Spring is just around the corner, so there's a lot to look forward to.

James and I went to some local woods to take these photos and there were so many people coming past. I was feeling very grumpy about interrupting my posing mid-flow until I realised all of them had dogs. It's worth being constantly stopped in my tracks to say hello to inquisitive doggies. I'm less keen on meeting their people, though. 😉

Life lately

LIFE LATELY FEB/EARLY MARCH // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

Hello lovelies! I thought I'd do a catch up post as I have a few things going on.

It's been a rough month or so for me but hopefully things will be much sunnier soon. Many of you will know that I really struggle with life in the dark months, and that's been especially true recently. Everything has been an effort, even the most simple things like self care. I've been living out of my bed. I've been spending at least 12 hours a day asleep, trying to sleep or trying to find the strength to get out of bed. I've been having really bad troubles with my sleep recently - taking hours to get to sleep, waking up multiple times in the night, never sleeping through a whole night. I've had all kinds of things going on on top of that - a lot more gynae issues than usual, far heavier periods and a lot more ovary pain. Well, I had a routine blood test last week (just in time!) and it turns out my thyroid has gotten worse and they've had to increase my medication. This happened a few days ago and I should hopefully start to feel the benefit soon. Your thyroid controls the behaviour of every cell in your body. It affects how you process food for energy, your hunger/satiety levels, how you sleep, your mental health and even your periods. No wonder I was struggling, but better days are coming!

Another thing that's been happening is I've had a lot of my blog posts stolen/borrowed by another site (depending which way you look at it).

Thursday, 2 March 2017

My Fertility Story - Part 1

MY-FERTILITY-STORY-REPRODUCTIVE-HEALTH // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
I've heard it said before that bloggers shouldn't share too much of their personal lives, but I think that's complete bollocks. Yes, people might come to my page for the outfits, but how you connect with people is through sharing stories of your life. I have a lot of stories in me and I want to tell them - I have a burning desire to do so at the moment. Sometimes I'm obsessed with doing outfit posts, sometimes it's makeup, but at the moment it's opening up my heart.

This series will talk about my reproductive health in general, my two ectopic pregnancies, the reproductive health issues I've had since I had my fallopian tube removed, and also the decision for James to have a vasectomy, thus making us a childless couple. This is quite a lot to tell, so I'm going to break it up into at least a few parts. These posts will obviously deal with child loss, so please don't read these posts if they'll upset you.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

When plus size models aren't plus enough

I've recently become a contributing writer to Indie Bomb, whose purpose is: Independent Plus Size Bloggers and Designers promoting innovation in fashion and journalism. Expect articles about the fashion industry, blind product reviews where the tester only finds out who made the garment after they've shared their opinion, and interviews with independent designers.

My first article for Indie Bomb - click to check out the site.

When I first heard that a lot of plus size models pad their bodies to fit the clothing they model many words sprang to mind but most of them are far too rude to share here. As a UK size 28 woman my thoughts on plus size models are already complicated. It’s galling that clothes sold by retailers for women up to UK size 32+ are modelled on someone who’s at most a size 18. Discovering that these size 18 women are actually size 12-14 and padded out to resemble an impossible standard is even more of a smack in the teeth. So common is the practice in the fashion industry well known plus models such as Iskra Lawrence are open about the practice of packing shapewear shorts with 1.5 inch thick foam pads which widen the hips and round the buttocks, and using chicken fillet bra pads to enlarge the breasts.

WHEN-PLUS-SIZE-MODELS-AREN'T-PLUS-ENOUGH // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

[Image source: Refinery 29]

Monday, 27 February 2017

Dusky pink and stripes feat. New Look and Junarose

It feels like a while since I did an outfit post. I've been taking outfit photos every weekend as usual but I've found a reason not to share them every time. The reason I didn't share these? The coat arrived the day before we took these photos and the creases hadn't dropped out from being folded up in transit. 😁 I can see that's bloody ridiculous now! I fall into that daft blogging 'EVERYTHING must be perfect!' mentality every once in a while, which is a dead-cert way for me to make myself miserable. I am NOT a put-together girl. I've always got hair in my eyes, lipstick on my teeth, my skirt tucked in my knickers or some other minor calamity, or all of them at once, and that's OK. It's not like a fashion shoot where you have a hair and makeup person and someone to check everything's in place before a single shot is taken. James wouldn't notice if I dropped a tit out, let alone if my necklace is off centre or I've smudged my eyebrows halfway across my face. 😉 This is a blog, not Vogue, so I don't know why I put myself under such impossible pressure. If you're a blogger and you're nodding along to this, cut yourself some slack, yeah?

Friday, 24 February 2017

Why I'm considering making my blog a PR free zone

Why I'm considering making my blog completely free of brand and PR company involvement.

When I re-birthed this blog into a plus size fashion space in 2012 I had a purity of purpose. I wanted to help women-identifying people feel better about their bodies. At this point I was in my late 30s and I'd been dieting since I was 10. Suddenly realising I could come off the hamster wheel was an epiphany in the truest sense of the word. Radical fat acceptance bloggers like Rachele Cateyes' and her blog The Nearsighted Owl had made me realise it was OK to really exist in a fat body. To live without shame, without apologising for my existence. Plus size fashion bloggers opened my eyes to the possibilities out there to clothe my body, but my heart belonged to the women who were there in their living rooms, wearing thrifted clothes and staring at the camera defiantly, goading the reader into 'Accept me or fuck off.' It was love at first read and that has always endured.

Once this tentative love affair with myself began I hoped to be the person to others that Rachele had been to me, to show women that it's OK to love and accept yourself by living in this truth myself. Falling into fashion blogging was a mistake, really. I was high on the possibilities. There was more out there than the Simply Be catalogue and Evans for the first time in years and I was giddy on it. I fell in head first. That love affair of being blessed with clothing choices has never really ended, but my heart always lay with radical fat acceptance.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Unpopular opinion? Why IDGAF about LFW

WHY I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT LFW // AN OPINION POST BY WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
It's London Fashion Week and social media is full of takeovers by bloggers, F-ROW photos and much excitement. Each to their own, but I don't give a flying monkey fuck about LFW (or any other straight sized fashion week) and here's why.

Straight sized fashion doesn't interest me at ALL. I can hardly think of anything with less relevance - it has no bearing on my life whatsoever. I don't coo over fashion that doesn't cater to me and people like me. I don't get excited by high fashion because I don't get to see it translated to clothes I can wear. Why get excited about all the trends that ultimately people don't think fat people deserve to wear? No thanks. Don't believe me? How many tents with butterfly patterns have you seen over the years? How many tops or dresses which would have been lovely if not ruined by cold shoulders? Because naturally an acceptable part of a fat person's body to show without offending people is their shoulders.


via GIPHY

Have you ever just tried to buy a top, a simple black top? Let's say I want a black top with elbow length sleeves. Well, it'll have cold shoulders or a zip down the back which freezes your spine in winter and cooks it in summer. It'll have some shitty knot thing at the hem, or even worse an elasticated hem. There's no design too simple to be fucked up and shoved at fat people, as if these horrible and unnecessary 'tweaks' take the viewer's eye away from our fatness. I can't tell you how hard it is to buy the most basic of things without someone fucking it up so it's 'appropriate' for a fat person to wear. 

I don't care about all the pretty things that will never be translated to plus size fashion. I don't want to wait to see what crumbs will be thrown my way. You only have to look at a retailer who does straight sizes and plus sizes to see the jarring lack of continuity. Go to New Look or any other store which does both and have a look at the straight sized fashion, then - if you're lucky enough to find a store which has a plus size section - go and look at what's available to you as a fat person. Weep as all the beautiful colours and amazing fabrics downstairs in thin girl land are translated to muted colours and safe, boring patterns for fat people.

I don't care what models the size of my 11 year old niece are wearing - it doesn't translate to my body. Fucking hell, most plus size companies' models don't even translate to my body! I don't see a 2 grand handbag and think 'I can't wait for a high street dupe!' so I can pretend I'm a rich arsehole. I don't want to know trends months in advance. I really don't care. I don't understand why plus size bloggers (especially the larger sizes of plus size bloggers) get so excited about something which excludes them......but that's just me. I like clothes, but fashion? Nah, that's been off limits to me for as long as I've existed in a fat body. I'll just wait for the new season to come around to see what - if any - crumbs have been thrown my way.

Do you give a fuck about high fashion? Let me know.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo I use Google+ comments. If you don't have a Google+ account, feel free to comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, where each new blog post is shared. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Embracing greasy hair - one month in

EMBRACING-GREASY-HAIR-ONE-MONTH-IN / WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
[Image via Pixabay - a great free photo source]

A month ago I wrote about embracing greasy hair and this is an update on how it's going.

Since my teens I've always washed my hair at least every other day, but I'd grown tired the upkeep of the red colour on my hair. A little back-story that I didn't share in the first post: I've been using henna on my hair since about 2008/9 when I became allergic to traditional hair dyes. I'd been using my usual Directions dye for a couple of years, but one time I did it a day or two later my whole face started itching so badly I was clawing at it. I went to the doctor and they guessed it was a hair dye allergy - I was sitting there with lurid burgundy hair, dead giveaway - and they told me to stop using it. I waited a couple of months then tried a sensitivity test of the same dye on my inner elbow to see if I would still react. Uh, yeah. Within half an hour my throat started swelling up and I was starting to have problems breathing and talking so I called a friend and she rushed round some antihistamines. Since then I've only ever used henna on my hair. There's nothing in Directions which *should* make me have a reaction for any of you out there who use it and are now panicking, but Fibromyalgia causes multiple chemical sensitivities so I'm allergic to a lot of things others aren't. *shrugs*

So, getting back to the purpose of this post - if you read the first post you'll know I decided to wash my hair less often to keep my henna fresh longer. So, I've been washing my hair twice a week instead of 3-4 times and it only took a few weeks for my scalp to adjust. I'm not going to lie - the first couple of weeks were rough. My hair was SO greasy on the 3rd and 4th days it kinda grossed me out, but I slicked it back or put it in a pony tail and sucked it up. I learned to love brushing it really slowly with my Tangle Teezer as it relaxed me. I also started thinking of it as my body's natural oils rather than something dirty. Now my hair easily goes 4 days between washes without looking bad - last week I went 6 days without washing it and I only gave in then as I had roots and needed to redo my colour. I've NEVER had roots since I've used henna as it generally fades all over. Here's a photo of me from last weekend with visible roots.
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