Thursday, January 31, 2013

How I Get Longer Hair

Everyone seems to be shocked by my hair.. and I guess I can't say I blame them.

At this point my hair had begun to grow out.
The bottom grew fastest, so I rocked a chick mullet for awhile
When I was 15, I had the brilliant idea to cut all my hair off. I mean ALL of it.

It took me a couple of years to grow that mess out- and even then, I kept it shorter than my shoulders because "punk girls don't have long hair"
my hair was never very healthy either... Probably due to the fact that I dyed the snot out of it.

At 18, I went through my worst breakup, and gained the desire to be attractive, so I started taking care of my hair and letting it grow.
    at this point my friends were telling me my hair looked good long like that (lol)

These are my extensions from exactly a year ago.
 At the time they were clips. my real hair only skimmed my breasts
For awhile,  around 19-20, I became obsessed with long hair. I spent tons of money on extensions, and gained a fear of salons. Finally after the extensions ruined my hair, I found myself in a salon chair for TWO hours while the amazing stylist laboriously removed residue from my hair (She's a champ guys!) I vowed I would never do this again. Flash forward about eight months.

I'm standing in my bathroom, head bent over, blow drying my mid back length hair, while talking to one of my friends. He's watching me and asks, "So how long is your real hair?"  I was stunned for a second, and then told him that it was all my real hair (except for the color that I had added with the glue again. I couldn't help it). That made me feel pretty awesome- but he's not the only one. It's now been five months since that incident, and my hair scrapes my waist. In the past week alone, THREE people have asked if my hair is real, including my own mother. I still don't think my dad believes me that it is. Anyway, the point of this post is that I often get asked what I do to make my hair grow.

Now, everyone is different. Not everyones genetics will allow for long flowy hair, and some people's hair grows reallly slow. I myself was always jealous of the Boyfriend's hair because he needed a haircut every two weeks or so or else his hair was too shaggy for him to style, but mine never seemed to budge. These tips may not work for you- but they do pretty good for me. Alright.

So once again I'm cheapy-cheap. Or frugal which sounds much better and more sophisticated. You will pretty much never see any product in my blog that is expensive unless it is the only way to go and it is 100% worth the cost.

  1. First off, you need to make sure you have a good shampoo. I don't necessarily mean salon quality, or anything, but a shampoo that makes your hair feel healthy.Ones that worked for me are:

  •  Mane N' Tail: I used this for a long time, and it made my hair soft, silky, shiny and manageable. I don't know if it helped with length, but it sure made my hair healthier
  • Head and Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo (but Equate version)- If I don't wash my scalp frequently enough, my scalp gets really itchy and flaky, and my hair literally starts to hurt my scalp. I purchased this shampoo, and my scalp got healthier, which resulted in my hair looking better. And it's really cheap too.
  • Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship- This stuff smells awesome. All their products do, and my hair always looked really healthy and happy while I was using it.
I DO NOT like Garnier Fructis. I hate their hair care products (at least shampoos/ conditioners) I have been using their Length and Strength  and Fall Fight products. My hair is dry, it clumps instead of flows, it lacks luster, it feels heavy and I'm not even sure if it is clean.

Their products may work for you, some people swear by them. The point is, shop around and try some different products until you can tell that your hair is healthy. Your hair isn't going to be doing much growing until it's healthy. Another thing to consider- When you shampoo your hair, you are putting a detergent on it, which not only strips off the dirt and grime, but also the hair's natural oils that keep it healthy. Conditioner is our little compensation for that; it puts moisture back into the hair. I know a lot of people who use cheap shampoos, then spring for expensive fancy conditioners. If you are going to spend a lot of money on a hair care product, shouldn't it be the one doing the cleansing so it does less damage? Just a thought.

2. Diet. Everyone knows that they should be eating healthy, but most people only think of a healthy diet affecting their weight. Wrong wrong wrong. Your diet plays a role in everything, from how well you sleep, to your skin's health, to how well you do at work/school, and more. I won't preach about what you should or shouldn't be eating, but some things that will help

  • Drink water. Lots of it. Being hydrated will help your scalp be more healthy, and keep your body hydrated. A hydrated body is a  healthy body and healthy bodies have better hair and skin.
  • Make sure what ever you are eating (even if it's not "healthy" per se) has some form of nutrients. Avoid empty calories. If it's not bringing anything good to the table don't eat it.
  • Take a dietary supplement that is high in Biotin, Niacin, Vitamin E and Vitamin A. These are all vital for development of hair, skin and nails. Try to get them in your diet too. Yes, your body can only absorb so much, but for me, I like to make sure my body has enough rather than too few.
  • I personally take vitamin E capsuls, collagen, biotin, fish oil and a multi vitamin for my hair.
3. Sleep. Get plenty of sleep. This is how your body repairs and recuperates. Be sure it has ample time to relax, mend and grow. While you are sleeping:
  • braid your hair: If you have really long hair like I do, braid your hair before you go to sleep. This will prevent snarls and tangles as well as breakage while you slumber
  •  use a hair wrap: If you have shorter hair, or your hair is more delicate, or you want more protection, get a hair wrap. Wrap your hair up in this to keep it from pulling, snarling and breaking while you sleep. This is also good if you want to preserve curls or another hair do.
  • get a silk pillow case: Silky pillowcases allow your hair to slip and move easier without catching or breaking, and you will have less snarls.

4. Hair care- alright now we are to the interesting part. I am not a professional, but these are all things I've either learned through my experience or from other people, and they work well for me

  • Only wash your hair every other day. Go longer if you can. Unfortunately my hair gets greasy (which not only makes my hair look bad, but also makes my face break out) and my scalp has issues if I go longer than three days without washing my hair. When you wash your hair, you are using a detergent to strip your hair's natural oils. Washing hair too often is damaging, just like over processing- so be sure to give your hair a break.
  • Only apply your conditioner to the ends of your hair, never to your scalp. My hair is long, I go about half way up and let it soak. This keeps my roots fro being weighed down, while my ends are shiny and silky.
  • DO NOT comb or brush your hair while it is wet. Don't.  Your hair is far more prone to breakage while it is wet. Do not twist it either. I have a microfiber hair towel that I bought at the dollar store. I wrap my hair in that and let it dry a little bit.
  • Hair massage- Massaging your head for at least one minute everyday increases blood flow to the scalp, and helps hair grow better. So  while my hair is wet, I use a caffeinated hair spray on my roots and gently and carefully massage this into my scalp for a full minute. After that, I apply argon oil or Organix coconut milk hair oil to the ends of my hair, rubbing in, while carefully getting a VERY small amount through the rest of my hair.
  • You should cut back on heat. This is my one hypocritical statement. I blow dry my hair EVERYDAY unless I'm feeling really lazy or not going anywhere, but if you can help it, lay off the straightener and the blow dryer a bit
Now, my blow dryer serves two purposes for me, 1. my hair does not air dry prettily. My cowlicks go crazy and my layers get all frizzy and weird. 2. This is how I get the tangles out of my hair. Before I start to dry my hair, I spritz it down really well with a heat protection spray, and then with a heat texturizer. After that I blow dry my hair, using one hand to move hair around and separate it. The heat makes all the tangles and snarls disappear. Once hair is COMPLETELY dry, brush hair out.

  • Tip your head upside down! Tipping your head upside down for at least thirty seconds a day increases blood flow to your scalp, which helps your hair grow longer. I do my thirty seconds (and more) by flipping my head upside down while I blow dry my hair.
  • Invest in a good brush. I won't use bristle brushes anymore. They snarl my hair, tug/pull and cause pain. Buy a boar bristle brush- aim for all natural fibers. I found mine at walmart and paid somewhere around $6. Boar bristle brushes have a million benefits. They don't rip, break or pull your hair like normal brushes, they are gentle and better for breaking up snarls and tangles (because they don't yank your hair out and break it) and the natural boar's hairs help to bring the oils from your scalp throughout the rest of your hair.

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