18 June 2014

Would You Risk Blowing Up Your Boat For Better Hair?

"The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair." Audrey Hepburn
At first when I saw that Kelley was coordinating a topic on "Beauty Routines Afloat" on the Monkey's Fist, I started laughing to myself thinking, "What beauty routine?" I didn't really have one on land and living on a boat hasn't really helped out in this department. I figured it was one of those topics which I really had no place participating in. Very similar to my feelings about bikinis. 

I'm really hoping Audry Hepburn was right about this whole beauty thing because not only are my clothes not very glamorous, but the effects of all chocolate and cookies I eat on board to cope with gale force winds are showing up on my figure. Hence, no bikinis for me. I do, however, comb my hair everyday. So, I've got that going for me.  

If you want real beauty tips, I'm sure Kelley will have some great posts to share. But if you want tips about how to disguise hairy legs or fool people into thinking you've washed your hair (while possibly causing your boat to explode), then by all means, read on.

1. Bruises are a great distraction from hairy legs.

I'm all about the glass being half full rather than half empty. This applies not only to wine, but also to your attitude. When we first moved on to the boat, I was really starting to get despondent about all the bruises on my legs. When you boat gets tippy and you're a bit of a klutz and you have skin that bruises easily like a turnip, then chances are you're going to get a lot of bruises. They aren't pretty and when you go onshore non-cruisers tend to look at you funny. But then one day, I realized that the bruises were like the best concealer ever. There were so many of them and in such exciting shades of purple, green and blue that no one noticed how hairy my legs had become. Glass half full! 

2. Freckles are cute in moderation.

When I spend a lot of time in the sun (as one does when they live on a sailboat), the freckles on my nose come out. I think they're cute and they make me forget that I'm not wearing any make-up. Of course, they're also a sign of sun damage, so the one thing I do religiously every day is to put sun cream on. Because one thing make-up or freckles can't disguise is melanoma. You can read more about why I take the harsh New Zealand sun so seriously here.

That's was a bit of a downer, so here's a joke to make up for it:

Q. Why do bananas have to put on sunscreen before they go to the beach?
A. Because they might peel!

3. Want better hair? Say a little prayer to St Martin de Porres. 

I have quite possibly the worst hair ever. It is really fine, gets greasy really quickly and either frizzes out from my head at very strange angles or sticks flat to my head in the most unflattering way. On land, I usually work around it by washing it every other day, using a hairdryer and saying a little prayer to St Martin de Porres before I leave the house. And if you're wondering, before becoming a saint, Martin was a barber-surgeon in Lima, Peru back in the day. In addition to knowing a lot about bloodletting, he also knew a thing or two about cutting hair. He also did a lot of other good works, but it is all about the hair for me.

When you live on a boat and have to shower and wash your hair in the cockpit, in the often cold waters of New Zealand, and you don't have a hairdryer, then things aren't all that pretty. Showering becomes a luxury and I've found that saltwater can leave an interesting crunch in your hair. I tried all sorts of things like shampooing my hair with washing up liquid. But the best thing I found was a little gift a friend gave me of Batiste dry shampoo. It works wonders - my hair seemed cleaner, the chemical fragrance covered up the natural odors emanating from my head and it had a bit more body. Or as much body as super fine hair can have.

But one teeny, tiny problem. When you turn the can over, you can see a warning that the product is highly flammable. If you live on a boat with LPG and open flames, this can be a bit worrying. I still used it though. I figured if the boat exploded at least my hair would still look good. Safety vs. beauty - sometimes you have to make choices.

I do have one other solution if you don't want to take a chance with causing an explosion on your boat and you're having a bad hair day. It's simple - you just need a box. It's probably better for the environment too.

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  1. Hi Ellen. Great post, laughed loads:) Like yours, my hair is fine and I usually was it every day. On the boat I've resorted to a baseball cap with the peak pulled well forwards, plus sunglasses with huge lenses to hide the lack of mascara. That way, even if I don't look well groomed most people I know don't even recognise me :)
    My multicolour leg bruises look like tie-dye leggings, which could be a trendsetter.
    Preference? Glamorous or sailing? Sailing every time!

    1. Tie-dye leggings - brilliant! That's such a good description of what my legs look like - love it!

  2. Ha haaa! I am in the same boat as you Ellen! (s'cuse the pun) This morning I hauled out my yacht and spent the rest of the morning waterblasting the slime off her. I am now at work and have got spots of antifouly water on my face, and hair that smells slighly fishy. I am hoping not to have too many visitors today!

    1. Oh yes, that slightly fish smell that hair gets - I know that one well! Hopefully, you were able to avoid the public yesterday at work!

  3. Enjoyed greatly! Thanks for keeping the glass half full!

    1. Thanks Vandy - the glass is always half full on our boat :-)

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