Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to REALLY get long hair

I would like to take this time to apologize to every one for my original How I get  longer hair post. When I posted that, I was kind of "lazily" growing my hair- so I basically posted the exact same thing every one else was posting "Don't brush your hair when wet, get lots of sleep, eat good foods, don't use heat, blah blah blah." My readers deserve better right? When I made my last post, my hair wasn't incredibly healthy, but it was doing ok- and it was growing decently, but it had taken awhile. I wasn't religiously doing much to actually make it grow...So today I'm doing a new post on How to ACTUALLY get long hair fast.
            Several months ago I decided I wanted to dye my hair red. I bleached my hair, waited a day, then dyed it. It was a beautiful cherry coke color; but I decided I wanted it brighter, so after a week I re-bleached it and dyed it red. I mean RED. Think Ariel. I've never over processed my hair before, but this time I went too far. My beautiful, waist length hair broke. It fell out, it snapped, it frayed ;  and suddenly one day I was in the shower, and my hair no longer touched my nips- whereas it used to cover them completely. I was devastated. I was doing all the usual stuff (once again, kind of lazily), and my hair just kept getting shorter. Well, I'm getting married in June, and at the time my engagement pictures were coming up, and I was desperate. I wanted to have long pretty hair, both for my wedding, and for the pictures- but I didn't want to take the easy (expensive) route and get extensions. So I decided to health and love and VOODOO the SNOT out of my hair and FORCE it to grow!

Feb 1, 2014
March 1, 2014

yeah, that's right- only a month apart, but you can definitely tell there's been growth. So here's what I did.

Step 1: And this is by far the hardest one.....The Big Chop. Basically I went into a salon and said, "I need my hair to grow, cut off all the unhealthy stuff." She combed my snarly, dry, horrible mess of hair out and held up about two inches and told me, "This has all got to go." I was devastated. However, it turns out her salon didn't accept my credit card, and neither did any other salon I could find- so instead I ended up at home with my hair scissors, hyper ventilating and crying while my boyfriend held my hand. About an hour and a gallon of tears later, it was done. About 1.5-2.5 inches were gone. The above picture of Feb. 1st  is the day after my big chop.

Step 2: Take your dang vitamins. I know this is one of those "typical" things, but this is important. Don't be lazy about this. Go buy vitamins and take them EVERY DAY as recommended. It will help. I personally take a hair, skin, and nails; biotin; Gelatin capsule; Fish oil; garlic; aloe vera gel; collagen;  and tumeric for my hair. I used to take Vitamin E,  B-complex,and multi-vitamins as well, but when I read through the ingredient lists on my different supplements, I realized I'm getting more than enough  through my other supplements.

Step 3: Drink LOTS of water. I know, another "typical" one. But it's important. My hair was really dry and needed moisture. I was slathering on moisturizing stuff, but I had no idea what I was doing.
Moisture from the outside is good, but your hair also needs to be moisturized from the inside. Drink as much water as humanly possible.

Step 4:  Get the right products.  Back before I fried my hair; I asked a stylist what I could be using to get longer, thicker hair. She recommended a shampoo she said helped her and her clients and it was only $50 a bottle (yikes, right?)! It was a pretty big bottle, so I decided to try it. No. I didn't notice my hair getting thicker or longer, but it did get less manageable. After my big fry; it just made matters worse. my hair was dry, crunchy and tangled. It was hopeless. So..... I threw away all the products I was using and went to my trusty friend Walmart.

  • Equate Everyday Clean:I got back to my basics, my reliable shampoo that I KNEW worked.  Basically, this is Equate's version of Head and Shoulders. It's three dollars for a giant bottle, and it smells great. This shampoo is designed to heal and help your scalp. Healthy hair comes from a healthy scalp.

  • While I was there I saw that Head and shoulders had some 2 minute masks. One was for dry, damaged hair. This mask is to be used at least 3 times a week,after your hair has been washed and conditioned. It is meant to be both massaged into the scalp, and throughout your hair, then left on for two minutes.

  •  L'oreal  Total Repair Extreme Emergency Recovery Mask: I also found this hair mask, and thought wow that sounds exactly like what I need. This mask is meant to be used once a week, between shampooing and conditioning. You work it into the length and ends of your hair and let sit for three minutes.

  • Aussie's Three Minute Miracle 10x Strong:  I needed a Conditioner that could moisturize a desert. This was the best conditioner I knew of, So this is what I got.

  • Pantene Pro V Overnight Miracle:  I also wanted something to help strengthen my ends at night while I was treating my scalp (more on that in a minute), so I decided to give this a shot. For the day, I already had my Nexxus split end remedy stuff.

Obviously you don't have to get these exact product. What you should look for are:
  • Shampoos that make your scalp healthier. Healthy hair comes from a healthy scalp
  • A hair mask that suits your hair's needs. I chose one for damaged, brittle hair because that was my main problem. Growth retention is an extremely important part of getting long hair
  •  A creamy, moisturizing conditioner. My hair was sick and dry; and dry, unhealthy hair isn't going to grow. In almost two months, I got basically no growth (I could tell because my dye job had no roots) 
  • A leave in treatment that says it prevents breakage
  •  caffeine sprays (not necessary, but helps promote growth)
  •  Overnight treatment. This can be a moisturizer, strengthener, what ever you need.
Step 5: Shower daily this one is hard for me. I work early, and sometimes I'm tempted to just wake up and go.  But an important part of your hair's moisture comes from- get this- water.

Step 6: While in the shower, wash your hair with Cold Water. I know, this sounds awful. Anytime my hair needs to get wet, I turn the temperature way down, and angle my body so the cold water only gets on my hair, not me. Hot water is drying to the hair, and I'm in rescue mode.  If your hair is healthy, you might not need this- but it never hurts.

Step 7: After watching BILLIONS of youtube videos labelled "Get Long hair Fast!" and hearing "Don't wash your hair every day, Don't comb your hair when wet, don't use a straightener or dryer and that's how you do it!"  so many times I wanted to cry; I finally stumbled on some Voodoo. The Inversion Method. Basically I would take coconut oil, and warm it up using hot water (not the microwave- because this is said to kill the nutrients), and then distribute this evenly over my roots. once my roots were well saturated I would massage my scalp for 3-5 minutes. After I was done with that, I would go lay on my bed upside down with my head over the edge for 5-10 minutes while I read or used the computer. Everyone says not to do this. I say, listen to your body. If you feel dizzy or weird, stop. Don't do it if you're pregnant or have serious health problems. Be smart. I normally do the inversion method right before bed, so after my time is up, I put my over night miracle cream from pantene into the length of my hair, braid it tightly, and then put a processing cap and a night cap over it and go to bed. Do this every day for a week. In my research, I've found it's better if you only do this a week at a time so your body doesn't get too used to it. I've been doing a week on, a week off.

I allow the oils to sit and absorb into my scalp overnight, however, this means I wash my hair every day. So, on the days I normally WOULDN'T wash my hair, I get a small amount of shampoo, rub it between my palms, quickly massage it into my scalp and rinse it off and I'm done. On the days I normally WOULD wash my hair- I wash my hair normally and use my masks and conditioner.

Step 8: Air Dry and Protect! After I get out of the shower, I gently comb through my snarls with a wide tooth comb. Then I spritz my roots with a cocktail of sprays. One is fall fight from Garnier, another is Everstrong anti breakage, then there's a couple nexxus ones for strength, and for moisture. Then I work my nexxus leave in serum through the ends and add a dollop of argon oil. Once I'm done, I tightly braid my hair and go. This helps protect my hair while it's wet.

If I'm going somewhere or have people to impress, I do the same thing, except instead of braiding my hair, I smooth a small amount of blow dry lotion through my hair, and then use my dryer on cool and high, with the ion setting on.

Step 9: Stop treating your hair like it's Caucasian. Did I just say that? Yes. Yes I did. I'm a white girl. I'm as white as they get. When I was going through youtube, it wasn't until I stumbled accidentally onto tutorials for African American hair that I realized those fierce ladies know something about hair. All the Voodoo whoodoo nonsense I found on how to ACTUALLY grow your hair- was on African American tutorials.  Shop in the ethnic aisle. try crazy things like co washing (haven't tried it yet, but supposedly great for dry hair) and using monistat for a hair treatment. (also haven't tried it yet, but it's on my list)

I'm not going to lie. My hair is SOO much healthier now. It's smooth and soft and moisturized. I can comb my fingers through it no problem. And, as you can see, it's growing.

A couple days ago I bought some new stuff that people both on pinterest and on amazon are raving about for hair growth. I will post my reviews soon so that you can know too!

**Also, if you are looking for the most incredible conditioner you will ever use, ever- I was at my boyfriend's mom's house over the weekend, and in my bathroom she had Back to Basics Pomegranate Moisture conditioner. I have never felt a conditioner this thick or creamy before. I bought mine for $6 on ebay.

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