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  • Shoulder to Waist length hair, and back again, experiences and tips

    Soooo, I thought it'd be a good idea to share some ideas based on experiences with my own hair growth. Let me know if you have questions or suggestions for me Some background, you can skip it to number 1. if you want... I suppose I have 3a/b/c to type 4 hair, I can't really pinpoint it, and Im not into hair typing. I cut it March 30thish this year to collar bone length from somewhere between bra strap and mid back length. I did that partly out off frustration with long hair, but mostly because my ends were horribly fried from years of bleaching, heat, hair dye, sulfates, relaxing it once the year before, and whatever else. Before that cut, and before that length, the longest my hair has ever been is waist length, the shortest, was in 2009/2010 when I cut it collar bone length, with short, very short layers, and short bangs. This time, in March almost April, I cut it evenly straight across so most of my hair, excluding the bangs and whatever other layers and breakage I may have, is the same length. So, that was near April, it's now October, and my hair has only grown about 2-3 inches, which is normal, Â*though I can't help feeling that my hair used to grow faster. This is when I started really reflecting on all Ive put my hair through since I first dyed it at 16, and so on. (Im 26 now). I also noticed more of my hair falling out in the shower and coming out in my comb when I do actually comb it. I noticed my hair thinning and becoming fragile and I started getting worried. I noticed other things changing like losing too much weight and and weird acne :/ headaches and mood swings. Eventually, around August or so, I started thinking maybe it was my birth control. I then realized I got the birth control implant on Â*March 18th and that I cut my hair March Â*31st. I started noticing my hair falling out around the same time I noticed all those other symptoms, all of which got progressively worse since the bc. So fast forward to now, I just had the implant removed, Im on a mission to have waist length hair by this time 2017, and I'm hoping its not completely destroyed by the time it gets there. That's the background. What I've learned from growing maintaining and having short almost pixie hair to long almost classic hair, then chopping it, and going back again: 1. Cutting hair that isn't irreversibly damaged is regrettable. Cut only what you absolutely have to even if it looks weird or lopsided, just let it grow out if you don't have to cut it. Do cut split ends, don't cut hair just because you haven't cut it in a while. Not if it's not necessary for the style or length you're going for. 2. Do NOT bleach your hair. Not with bleach powder, not with box dye. Check the ingredients of your dye. Avoid bleach and blonde hair colors at all costs. Its not worth it and there are plenty other colors. The hair you bleach, you're going to chop eventually, whether because you don't like the color orange or the damage, so don't do it. When dying your hair stay within two shades of your natural color, use henna or semi permanent dyes when possible, and try dyes that are made specifically for dark hair colors (if your hair is dark) to avoid as much damage as possible. 3. The medications you take can affect your hair growth. For me, Nexplanon caused my hair to fall out and turn brittle. There are other medications out there that Are known to cause hair loss, if you take something you suspect may be causing your hair to fall out at an alarming rate (more than 100 strands a day is the average) than have a look into what you're taking. 4. Diet and Vitamins- I don't have the best diet, but I do try. For meat, I mostly eat chicken and beef, turkey for sandwiches I love bread, strawberries, peaches, Asian noodles and Italian pastas, eggs and bacon, asparagus, McDonald's and sushi. I eat everything. I just finished a Snickers. I don't know how much my diet really affects my hair, but I do know drinking more water made my hair shinier, and when I was pregnant with my son and taking prenatal vitamins, my hair grew like crazy, was extremely shiny, and very manageable. I don't take vitamins now, but I do plan to start again. Vitamin B, folic acid, and Vitamin D are great for your hair. A combo of those vitamins is a good mix for healthy hair. 5.Â* Use finger detangling as much as possible. If you have curly hair, combing it can be counterintuitive if you're not straightening it afterwords. Finger detangling is good even if you're trying to keep the curl. Simply go for the tangles that you can feel are going to lead to a break in your hair if left alone. Do this on damp or wet hair, not dry. Feel it out and detangle only hairs that are knotted together, not twisted together in a curl, leave those alone, again thats if you're straightening your hair. 6. Use oils in your hair to help it retain moisture, as a leave in conditioner, to reduce frizz, to enhance shine, and in some cases, for styling purposes. Peanut oil, olive oil, lavender oil, and many others are great for all hair types but especially those that need the moisture locked in. My hair isn't very porous, so I use the oil mixed (lol) with water sprayed into my hair. Or I'll just dab some oil on after a shower. Either way, or however you choose to do it, it can be really good for your hair. 7. Use professional grade shampoos and conditioners when you can. Biolace is my personal favorite. I found it at a local salon and it's cheap in comparison to some others. Its really moisturizing and smells great. I use the shampoo once or twice a week, and the conditioner every other day. That's just me. Some people can go longer between washes and do to maximize health of their natural hair. 8. Avoid shampoos with sulfates if possible, and when dying your hair, if you must, remember certain things: A. Bleaching or going lighter can't be undone. You've stripped your natural pigment and are left with what's underneath. Be prepared to deal. B. Eventually your roots will show. Choose a color that won't clash too much with your natural hair. Even if you plan on touching up your roots often, remember you don't want to dye your hair too much. C. Jet black hair dye might be too dark. If you want dark hair go for dark brown, auburn or mahogany. Blonde is too light, go for light golden brown or honey blonde (which may look orange). D. If you want actually blonde hair, bleach your hair with bleach powder or effasol first, then use the blonde dye you want, otherwise it's not going to be blonde but red-orange. E. If you want a more playful hair color, purple, blue, vibrant (not grundgy) red, etc, I recommend seeing a stylist, or YouTube videos of girls who know what they're doing and DIY it I have no experience here, sorry. F. Finally, dye a shade lighter than you want over your dark hair. It'll likely be darker than you picture in your head. But always do a strand test to be sure! 9. Keep your hair protected. This means a scarf at night and a leave in conditioner during the day. Avoiding heat as much as possible. Avoiding brushes which will be not so kind to your hair. Avoiding hair products that dry out your hair like hair spray, gel, certain shampoos and conditioners, and lotions. I don't use any leave in conditioners, but Crema Negra is a product I have used to keep my hair protected. It smells so that sucks, but it works wonders. Use rollers if your hair will allow it. Avoid blow outs. If you must use hair extensions, wear wigs, braids, or weaves, keep your hair protected by following standard protocol keep hair as loose as possible so you don't pull out your hair, wear a protective cap over your real hair if wearing a wig, and follow the general advice of your peers. I've never had hair from elsewhere on my head, but I've helped my mom with her hair extensions and braids and from that I know you need to keep your scalp as moisturizer as possible. You can also use oil for anti frizzy treatment. 10. Positive thinking! May sound crazy, but positive thinking goes a long way. Remember the most important thing is that your hair is healthy. Every hair length can be worked with, and it's fun to play with different colors and styles. One thing I forgot to mention, DONT RELAX YOUR HAIR. That's important. I relaxed mine in 2013 and while it did make my hair straight, it made it too straight, to the point where I couldn't wear it curly at all, so I was forced to straighten it all the time. Not cool. It does nothing positive to your hair. So be NATURAL and have fun with it, cause its way more fun K, 3 am my time, sorry for any typos and if this was posted in the wrong spot. Or if i came off preachy. Just my advice.
    Last edited by eleanordewitt; 10-19-2014, 10:08 AM.

  • #2
    The advice is well taken. I believe the best thing to do is to first know what your goal is, then learn what your hair requires to stay strong and healthy, and then create a regimen and narrow down products to the essentials. Then try to be consistent and also be prepared to make necessary changes as needed. I also learned the hard way about how removing damage can be a game-changer in obtaining length quicker along with low manipulation and protective styling. That was advice I read many times but didn't believe. Now I know better.