This article could be called ‘How to Maintain Long Hair When Sensitive to Chemicals’; however, ‘How Lilla Rose Tamed my Hair’ is massively appropriate, even though both titles could suit: My hair is pretty long now, due to it ‘maintaining itself’. My favourite hairdresser moved to a salon smack bang in the middle of upper-class-polluted suburbia: an Aveda salon in South Yarra. (Aveda do low-toxic hair colours and skincare.) I want to go there but I don’t want to impede on my recovery. My local Aveda salon, where Cody used to work, seems to be closed, or they’ve all disappeared: no one is answering the phones! This leaves three options: 1), Go somewhere new (instruct new hairdresser and colleagues on how to go fragrance free, and test to see if they get it right, all over again!); 2), Go back to the salons and home-hairdressers where I’ve gotten ill from breathing air congested with toxic fragrance products and hair spray; or 3), Grow my hair out. Like way past my butt… and beyond (Butt and Beyond! A new fashion?).
Rapunzel like hair would be great if I didn’t need it ALL up off my face when I write. It’d be perfect if I didn’t need it held up, comfortably tight, when I work out. It’d be funky fine if it didn’t dip its long tendrils into food, the sink, rabbit litter trays, and other strange places, while doing my daily chores. My hair, it’s the one element that needs to be perfect (besides my shoes): clean, good cut, tidy: that’s not much to strive for, no?
Lately though, it’s been out of control:
Okay, I’m going to sort out the hair cut situation asap, but for now, I’m liking this long hair. Except for it hurts wearing it in a ponytail, it’s just so damn heavy, and when I jog or walk fast on my treadmill, it yanks against my scalp. (A 4 cm cut (apron 2 inches) is looking mighty fine right now.)
Enter ‘Lilla Rose‘: Mostly, I’ve been using the ‘Lilla Rose Flexi Clip’ (in size Large, but as my hair’s grown, I think I need the Extra-large!); this allows me to wear it in a ‘Tails Up’, a ‘High Bun’, and a ‘Low Bun’. If my hair’s wet, I can put it in a really tight bun, high on my head, that’s perfect for working out in.
This is the silver Dragonfly ‘Flexi Clip‘ by itself: Isn’t it pretty? The detailed work is so fine and intricate. And the sturdiness of these clips needs to be felt to be believed. This is one of the first ones that I bought, starting my collection of Lilla Rose hair accessories. It’s been used hundreds of times already:
What I like most (besides the inertness of the materials—who would of thought: an inert hair accessory for people sensitive to chemicals?!), is the niftiness of getting my mass of hair into a tidy Up-do within minutes. I brush it, pull it up as if it’s going into a ponytail, then, holding it in place with one hand, while twisting it into a bun with the other, I then gently push the stick through my bun, securing it into the Flexi Clip! All without an elastic in sight (or breathing range!). I’m then ready to scoot out the door.
Or, I go out like this:
The other day, I was running late for meeting a friend in the ‘Fragrance Free Room’ in my Uni’s library (for another eBook lesson), I wasn’t well, and getting out the door is difficult when you have to worry about looking like you actually care about your appearance when it’s just another thing to do that’s making you tired (Chronic Fatigue much?). Anyway, I grabbed my Lilla Rose Flexi, twisted my hair into a bun, popping in the Dragonfly! Tired, and sick as I was, instantly I felt prettier, like I’d actually worked at creating a masterpiece with my hair! The above Up Do took less than a minute to construct! It’s bit messy but you get the idea, yes? It really is that easy.
On days like these, I’m lucky, messy Up Do’s are in fashion; pity wearing a mask out in public is not! The other bonus: when wearing a mask with a Flexi Clip, as apposed to wearing it up with an elastic, it doesn’t get caught in my ponytail because I position the bun up high, above the elastic of the mask. I use a 3M mask, the kind with the elastics that go around the back of the head, with my pony tail slipping down from it’s elastic, it gets caught up, which frazzles me because 1), I just want to put my mask on and protect my airways; and 2), I just messed my hair up! However, with the Flexi Clip, it stays where I put it!
During the months of this year where I was suffering severe sinus pain and depression, besides cuddling dwarf rabbits while writing about them, I played with my hair. A lot. Below, is a part of my personal collection of Lilla Rose Hair Jewellery that I’ve amassed since June, 2014. My consultant is Erin Svejda; and I’m pretty impressed with how Lilla Rose managed to send out my order free from fragrance (I’ve had three orders, and so far, so good.). I always worry when buying ‘Girly’ items because I think they may be drenched in the stench of fake chemical based fragrances aimed at female consumerists. And I’m really tired of airing stuff out; especially when it won’t air out and I can’t use said stuff. Not so with Lilla Rose Hair Jewellery!!! Three exclamation marks generally means I’m excited, and so I should be; just look at my booty:
Lilla Rose has come into my life just at the right time: This year, as I’ve shared with a few friends, and now, all of you, too, I’ve stopped using (some) products containing elastic: due to the high amount of petrochemical vapours embedded in them, and the effect they were having on my upper respiratory system, my ability to think straight and my overall wellbeing. It’s not all elastics… Clothing from ASOS, of the actual ASOS brand, has low-VOC elastic; however, Target (in Australia, has fallen down Slumdog Millionaire’s toilet): their elastics just won’t air out! (The clothing will fade in the sun, mould from the rain and emanate with woodsmoke from hanging out on the clothesline for so outrageously long, before the petrol dissipates from the elastic.) Ditto for Jethro and Jackson.
At the time this was happening, the smell was so strong; and as the weeks went by and this continued to happen, the petrol odour became stronger. I tried to ignore it; after all, it’s just an odour, and I’m keeping it away from my face, I thought. But no, the petrol chemical odour would permeate my hair; and with brand new elastics, or old ones that I’ve worn in my hair for too long, my scalp gets itchy—the itchiness is not caused by the elastic itself, rather, it’s due to Candida: in turn, caused by sugar, yeast, moulds—and the petrochemicals in the elastics sting any rashes, itchy or inflamed skin… (I’ll share my discoveries and solutions for clothing elastics in another post, I promise.)
There are some methods that people use to get particular chemicals out of clothing, but I’m just not down with that, right now. Lately, if I can’t wash it out and access it within at least a month, I’ll often give it away to charity. I just don’t have the time anymore to wash and air everything, I need to be judicious about what I buy; I need to focus on what’s important to me. They’re just hair ties, leggings and PJ’s; as long as they go to good homes, they’re expendable—in-a-dispointing-I-feel-as-if-I’m-just-buying-stuff-and-trashing-the-earth kind of way.
So I’ve given up wearing my ol’ faithful leggings from Target, my PJ’s from Jethro & Jackson and hair ties from LadyJane (LadyJane comes from Target). Those hair-ties I’ve been using since I was a kid. Is it me, or are they made differently, like, with cheaper, nastier materials? Who knows?
Ergo, Lilla Rose disclose the materials used in their unique hair jewellery: piano wire, silver plate, brass, glass pearl, faceted amethyst, glass beads, copper, gold plate, to name just a few. I’ve even used the nickel, which I’m fine with; but if you have nickel allergies, you’d best go with one of the plated ones. The Filigree Dragonfly Flexi-clip with its Celtic antique beadwork (in the 1st hair photo, above) is the one I wear the most. It’s made with piano wire and as you can see, below, it’s adapted to the curvature of my bun:
That just goes to show you how the piano wire works: it has it’s own memory!
I also really love my Lilla Rose Gold Filigree Dragonfly Flexi Clip:
Also in my collection are two nifty hair pins that I like to use: the Lilla Rose ‘You Pins‘. These are a set of pins that, due to their unique shape, are designed to sit in line with the curve of our scalps, and are capable of holding up even heavy hair like mine. (No more hair pins digging into our heads.) Who would think two delicate looking pins could hold up a mass proportion of hair?:
This set are the called Hawaiian Rose. Like this:
As you can see, I’ve been playing with my hair a lot, lately. It’s an art form that’s a necessity when your hair is this long. And until I get a cut, I need to keep wearing it up, less I look like a straggly hippy who doesn’t use deodorant, yeh?
Before we go, here’s some more of my Lilla Rose collection. I know, I spoiled myself:
As an aside, in the comments at XOJane, I witnessed someone say: “It’s stupid when people wear chopsticks in their hair. It makes me want to go out wearing a fork in my hair.” Okay… these are Hair Sticks but chopsticks can be cool too, as I’m sure forks (of some kind) could, too. My Hair Sticks are blue acrylic beads that are fastened onto wooden sticks via a nail. They are pretty sturdy and stay in my hair all day.
Oh, and this is my Lilla Rose Headband:
At the back there is an elastic–and I’d love to know what materials are used in the manufacturing of this elastic because it doesn’t itch my skin and has no petrochemical odour—and it’s texture is smooth and soft on my skin. The Lilla Rose Hair Band is adjustable so it fits any head size, and can be manoeuvred so it’s perfectly comfortable. I wear this when I write as it keeps my hair off my face for long periods at a time.
And, of course, I bought the set:
As you can see, I’ve mastered the necessity of managing my hair without the use of elastics. I love that Lilla Rose hair accessories are made out of various metals, glass and acrylic. There are a few more products they stock, which I’m yet to try but as you can see, I’m pretty passionate about these little beauties…
Oh, and… Lilla Rose Hair Tutorials!
Erin Shows us How to Do a Classic Bun with Lilla Rose You Pins:
And a Braided Lazy Wrap Bun with Lilla Rose Flexi Clip:
How to Use the Lilla Rose Mega Flexi Clip to Create a Bun for Long hair:
Check out all of the Lilla Rose range, here
Subscribe to Erin’s Newsletter, Hair of Glory, here
XOJane: 4 Non-damaging Hair Accessories
Research Jesper Elberling: Chemical Intolerance among Hairdressers in Denmark