everything I've learned about growing, maintaining, styling, and loving long hair

my hair journey

hormones and hair

So having 2 kids has relaxed my hair.  At first, I thought it was neglect, because….. you know… 2 kids.  But now that I’ve had several months to make sure my hair was properly conditioned and cared for, and trying in vain to get my curls back, I’ve decided for sure that the texture really has changed.  And I’ve decided to just try to embrace it.

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I know at least 2 other women who have experienced this.  Out of curiosity, I’ve been researching, trying to find what causes it to happen.  Apparently, nobody really knows.  We all know that hormones play a part in hair texture.  I mean, raise your hand if your hair got curly when you hit puberty.  follicleshape1And it is known that the increase in progesterone during pregnancy causes the hair growth phase to last longer, resulting in longer thicker hair.  It is also known that the shape of the hair follicle determines the texture of hair.  Round follicles produce straight hair, oval produces curly hair.  The flatter the follicle is, the curlier the hair is.  Several sources I found speculate that some hormone increase or decrease causes the hair follicles to actually change shape.  But it has never been determined which hormone does it or why.

Regardless, here I am now, starting almost from scratch, searching and experimenting to find what works for my “new” hair.  Wish me luck!

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long hair problems…

You know you have lots of hair when you’re going for this…. image and you end up looking more like Princess Leia. image


hair growth

IMG_0184This is what it looked like last time I trimmed my hair.  It has never, I repeat… NEVER, looked like this before.

My hair has always been somewhat thick, but always naturally tapered drastically.  I end up with more hair on the floor when I trim my bangs than I do when I trim my hemline.  That’s the way it’s always been.  As long as I can remember.

And did I mention the 8 inches I trimmed off last year to maintain length?

Pregnancy has been kind to my hair.  🙂


no-poo success

So I’ve been doing the baking soda and vinegar routine for about a month and a half now.  I can’t tell you how impressed I’ve been!  I didn’t have any transition phase.  I haven’t used “normal” shampoo on a regular basis for years, so my scalp really had nothing new to adjust to.  My hair feels soooooo much better!!  It also looks considerably better, as you can see from the photos.  The curls are coming back, it’s shiny, it feels soft and healthy.

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I finally bit the bullet and ordered some good shampoo and conditioner.  I’m not sure yet how I want to continue….. stick to no-poo for a while?….. switch back to shampoo and conditioner?….. use a combination of both?  I’m undecided.


product troubles

If you’ve read much of my past blog, you probably know that my biggest complaint is finding a shampoo or conditioner I love……. and then they change it.  And the hunt for the right product starts all over again.  The past few years, things have been up in the air with products for me, never quite settling on one I love.  And in the process, using my husband’s Pantene in between.  😝

I finally settled (as in, I bought it more than once) on one my hair mostly likes, but it’s about $8 a bottle, and I can only get it online. (No stores around here carry it.) But money got tight, and I stopped ordering it. I used Pantene for a few months, just because we already had it, but my hair felt gross and got really tangled on the under side (a result of cones).  So, I stripped my hair and tried another product.  It’s organic, no cones, cheaper than the one I order, and I can get it in local stores.  However, after using it for a couple of weeks, my hair feels like it’s coated in wax!

So……. with all that, my hair is not in good shape.  It’s limp and heavy, it waves instead of curls, it frizzes as it dries, etc.  The only time I wear it down is when I flat iron it. 🙁  I seriously need a change.

Last week, I decided to get real basic and try the baking soda & vinegar routine.  I’m giving up shampoo and conditioner entirely for the time being.  I can already tell a difference after only one wash!!  I won’t be doing this long-term because I’ve heard it can be damaging.  I’m just hoping to get rid of all the build-up and get my hair back into decent shape.

On the up side though… my hair is thicker and growing faster than it ever has before!  (I’m sure it’s due to pregnancy hormones, since I just had my second child.)  I trimmed off a total of about 8 inches last year to maintain my length.  8 inches in 1 year!!!  How exciting is that?! 😊

Here is a video showing the baking soda & vinegar wash routine.

 


length update

Here’s the latest pic of my hair.

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IMG_7733aAfter taking this photo, I realized that there’s not enough contrast to see the ends very well.  So I took another one wearing a white robe.

You know, it really is a good idea to take pics every so often.  So many times I start thinking that I’m not making any progress, and then I look back and realize I really am!  All this time I’ve been thinking about how much my hair has suffered the past year during this total lack of attention.

Then I compare it to this pic, —> taken about a year and a half before.  My hair looked pretty sad back then.  Much better now, in spite of everything.

The roots have flattened out quite a bit and I’m not getting as much volume.  Part of that is lack of trying, but a lot is due to the length weighing it down.  Even when I put out a lot of effort to get volume at the top like I used to have, it just doesn’t happen.