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Message started by Martyr on Sep 29th, 2010 at 7:07am

Title: The Martyrdom: My Official Hair Growing Quest
Post by Martyr on Sep 29th, 2010 at 7:07am
Hello and welcome to my personal hair journal. My name is Mason and I will be sharing my journey with you as well as asking for advice. Please feel free to post as I would like this to be a place for discussion as well as documenting my experiences.

My Hair: My hair is quite wavy with loose curls at the ends, I often get a few large ringlets if I don't brush it out after I've washed it. I've never once dyed my hair and rarely blow dry it. I usually brush my hair, but after reading that combing is better I will be doing that from now on. My hair colour is a rich dark chocolate with hints of caramel and copper, so basically it's dark brown with natural highlights.

History: I've been growing my hair since I was 15, which is almost three years ago. I've never had long hair before, so this is the first time I've had they joy of growing my locks. Unfortunately I am completely hopeless with looking after it and will need to learn everything, I'm a complete beginner; I'm not expecting to be told everything and I will do my own research, I'd just like to discuss with everyone how they care for their hair.

Care: I shampoo and condition my hair with TRESemmé Salon Silk as it makes it quite shiny and soft. However I'm sure they're are much better products that suit my hair, whether it's to better my natural waves / curls or to make it shine better.

Goals: I'm hoping to get my hair healthy first before I actively try to grow it. I know it may sound silly, but I have no idea if I have split ends or not, but I will get it trimmed to ensure there are none. Currently the length of my hair is around BSL, but as it curls it could be longer or shorter. I would love to grow my hair to the floor and that would be my ultimate goal.

Issues: I think the three most damaging things to my hair are; my diet, the techniques I use, and the products I use. I don't eat regularly so I'm pretty sure I'm not getting enough nutrients; I can't take care of my hair well, I brush (tear) knots out and can't plait it; I'm certain that I should be using more specific products and need to buy better brushes and combs etc.

I haven't given you much to work with, but I will post a picture once my hair has dried a bit more so that you can diagnose it for yourself. The main thing I want to discuss is shampoo, conditioner, brushes and combs that would suit my hair type and bring out it's best. I'd also like to know what nutritional substitutes you take (I've read that nettle tea is supposed to be good), home (and herbal) remedies you use and what hairstyles I could try.

Title: Re: The Martyrdom: My Official Hair Growing Quest
Post by Curlgirl64 on Sep 29th, 2010 at 7:57am
Well, you're off to a wonderful journey!!  Glad you've chosen us to share that with!
First read the Ulimate Guide for Growing Long Hair,here on the forum.
You'll have to make some tough decisions though.  One of the hardest things to do is cut off all damage.  That could mean as little as an inch to as much as 6 or more!!!  Take deep breathes and stop asking yourself,"What did I get myself into?"  When breathing has returned to normal......a deep conditioning treatment is in order asap.  Whether you follow a recipe here or buy it, it's up to you.
I won't overwhelm you,so I'll stop here and let you read other journals,explore the boards and just soak in some info.
Please feel freee to ask questions.  There are no stupid questions so don't feel intimidated.
Can't wait to read more of your journal! :)

Title: Re: The Martyrdom: My Official Hair Growing Quest
Post by Angel on Sep 29th, 2010 at 1:37pm
Congrats on starting your hair journal, Martyr. :)

You've actually given us quite a lot to work with as far as suggestions go and your hair sounds very pretty.

Unfortunately I haven't much advice to offer in the way of caring for wavy/curly hair because I'm a natural straightie. But there are a few curly girls here whom I'm certain will chime in.

As far as combs, you'll want to go seamless. That is, a comb that is carved from a single piece of material rather than plastic pressed in a mold. Seamless combs are usually made from wood, bone, cellulose or acrylic and you can order them premade online or sometimes have them custom made (this is the kind that I use). I don't recommend brushes for waves or curls - that sounds like an invitation for frizz.

Oh, and here's a link to the Ultimate Guide To Growing Long Hair that Curlgirl mentioned.

Also...have you considered satin pillowcases?

Title: Re: The Martyrdom: My Official Hair Growing Quest
Post by Martyr on Sep 29th, 2010 at 3:00pm
I did try to be thorough with my description, but really a photo would be best. I've just finished my deep conditioning, but I have no idea how it will turn out; I made one from coconut milk, honey, mayo and olive oil (probably not the best and it wasn't smooth). I gently rubbed it into my scalp and hair for 5 minutes then left it in for 15 minutes before washing it out with lukewarm water (no shampoo). I hope I got it all out! If it is quite bad I'll have to wash it again, but it has a more subtle sheen now. I've left it for more than an hour, but it looks too oily / greasy so I'm going to have to wash it again (hopefully it won't be too harsh).

My hair is quite bad now as I added too much olive oil which has made it very greasy. I've washed it twice with a grand total of 8 shampoos (way too much!) and it feels horrible. I guess my hair hates oil, or I'm not using the right products / techniques but I'll wait until the weekends now before I try out any new products or recipes.

I'm going to try and do everything properly, so I'll buy new bedsheets and pillow cases, combs and products. I'll definitely go shopping on the weekend for some things as well as get my hair trimmed (I just want to see if anyone can tell me how damaged my hair looks).

Thanks for the link to the comb and article, I'll read through it in more detail. I like my hair colour and you can sort of notice the lighter colours, but in bright light you get the full effect. Also do you have any tips of how to keep your hair knot free? I've read that putting it up in a bun is best (using LongLocks Hair Sticks ;)) but at the moment I just use  Scunci seamless hair bands. I'm also completely useless with things like plaits and have only used hair bands; I'll happily try styles out, I just don't want to damage my hair.

Title: Re: The Martyrdom: My Official Hair Growing Quest
Post by Angel on Sep 29th, 2010 at 7:10pm
Egad. Sounds like somebody needs an ACV rinse. :P I hate when the gunk doesn't wash out.

Have you by any chance tried the CO (conditioner only) wash method? You just apply a really light conditioner through your entire hair, then rinse it out. Following with a heavier conditioner from the ears down is optional. I've heard that this technique works well for curly/wavy types.

One thing about olive oil is that the extra virgin variety (which we call EVOO) is usually too heavy for hair and doesn't seem to absorb very well...if at all. You might want to try something lighter. Jojoba is said to be the closest thing to natural scalp oils.

As to tangles, the best solution that I've found is a leave-in conditioner. They come in sprays or crèmes and should be applied to wet hair from the ears down. I've found that an additional end treatment (such as oil or serum) is necessary for very long hair.

Contained styles such as buns, braids and updos also keep your hair out of harm's way so it can't get tangled or damaged in the first place. Braiding is actually really easy once you get the hang of it. It takes practice. Oh, and always secure them with a safe hairtie - no seams or metal bits. You may be able to find these at places like Tesco or ASDA (apologies, I don't know all of the UK equivalents).

Good luck.

Title: Re: The Martyrdom: My Official Hair Growing Quest
Post by Martyr on Sep 30th, 2010 at 4:44pm
Thanks for all the tips, I'll try my best to incorporate them into my routines effectively.

I won't try out anything new until I've come back from college tomorrow as the last thing I want to do is try out loads of things before I go to sleep (also I still need to do some homework!).

I'll look into buying some supplies on the weekend, such as ACV, Jojoa oil and some leave-in conditioners. I think I'll do a CO wash now, as my hair feels really fine and straw like, so I know that it's not got enough moisture.

I'll try braiding my hair again, I did it last night when I went to bed, but I kept dropping the strands and it was messy. But practice makes perfect! Oh, and you did a wonderful job with the supermarkets, but it is annoying when you can't get the same brands in different countries.

Title: Re: The Martyrdom: My Official Hair Growing Quest
Post by Angel on Oct 1st, 2010 at 1:58am
Even more annoying is when you have the same brands but different products! Case in point, UK Pantene is far superior to US Pantene.

ACV can be found in any grocery store. I usually get 1 gallon bottles of it. It goes faster than you think!

Jojoba oil...eh, you're on your own there. I'm told that it can be found at whole food markets but I've never actually looked for it.

Braiding at night before bed is a brilliant way to teach yourself. Even if you mess up, no one will see it anyway.

Satin or silk pillowcases are helpful in preventing tangles and excessive dryness overnight. They allow your hair to slide instead of getting caught up on the fabric. My guess as to where you could find these would be places like John Lewis or Marks and Spencer? Tesco may also have them - I know our Target does.

Whatever you do, just try to remember to be gentle with your hair. Take care of it and it will take care of you.


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