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Thread: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

  1. #1

    Default Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    So here's the my story, followed by a plea for help trying to find the answers I need to let me tolerate gorgeous long hair..

    I used to have hair that varied from bra strap to mid back, all through my teens. I cut it really short when I turned 20, mostly out of boredom and experimentation. When I tried to grow it long again, I got horribly frustrated and just couldn't stand the issues long hair created. So for the past 3 years, I've been repeatedly shearing it off (1 inch long in the very back, to about 8 inches in the very front so it just curves under my jaw and frames my face), then letting it grow till it brushes my shoulders, getting fed up, and chopping it all off again.

    For a good chunk of the time it's been short, I've been having a happy-fun-playtime with dye. It's been everything from neon purple to black. As I get sick of one color, it gets chopped out and a new one comes in. (I loved the purple so much that it actually got my hair past my shoulders for a few months... Then Summer hit..)

    For the past year, deep reds and burgundies have been my colors of choice. And I realized it was what I actually wanted to stick with. But the fade and mess was awful, my hair hated the harsh red dyes (even more than it hated the bleaching for the purple, go figure), and my scalp was getting inflamed and angry. A desperate search for a way to keep my red hair without losing it AND my scalp health brought me to henna.

    And the henna, in turn, has brought me here. I have fallen in love with my hair again because of it. I love the color, the texture, the health. And I REALLY miss my long hair. I just don't know if I can tolerate it!

    The Issues:
    I live in Houston, Tx. The Summer here is brutal. The winter sometimes is, too- as in, you still may be sweating outside even in December, some days. 100+ degree weather paired with 80 to 90% humidity for the majority of the year. It's very difficult for most people to deal with heavy hair, especially when it's down, in this climate. And, at the risk of TMI, I've got the sort of hormonal imbalances that lead to heavier than average sweating, and the place I sweat the most from is my scalp and back of the neck. So there's really just no way of living in this city with long hair and NOT putting it up off your neck most of the time, if you plan on stepping out of air conditioning at ALL. Additionally, my new career often requires that my hair be kept up and in a surgical cap. If you need to wear a cap,it's long enough to be put up, it must be.

    But, it seems, after my first major "short cut", I lost the ability to put my hair up. I know a lot of folks get ouchy scalps or headaches with heavy hair piled up on their heads, but my issue with it is a bit more extreme than most. Even a very loose ponytail at the base of my neck, no sense of specific clumps of hair pulling or anything, results in a significant tension headache within 30 minutes. When it was long(er) with the purple dye, I tried everything. Loose pigtails. Braided pigtails. Loose single braids. Clips. Even just a headband to push it out of my face hurts sometimes. Before I did that first major cut as an adult, I never had this issue. The entire time I was 18 and 19, my hair practically lived in a tight bun on top of my head during the summer, and it took a LONG time or a serious hairtie screw up to give me a headache of any note. But now, it gets to brush my shoulders, and I try and throw in loose 3 inch long pigtails, and here comes the headache again..

    If I can't put my hair up, I can't grow it long!

    HELP!! You beautiful long haired gurus! Is there anything I can do to fix this? Some trick I haven't tried yet? Some transcendent words of wisdom??

    I want gorgeous, hennaed, long hair!

  2. #2
    Member ladylowtide's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    I figured I would try and post something because I have hennaed hair and we have like identical hair classifiers.

    I have found from my personal experience that henna has very much helped my scalp issues. I have very sensitive scalp skin and do a lot braids because manipulating my hair in a direction in which does not necessarily lay makes my scalp hurt a lot.

    That being said I have noticed the more you put your hair up, the less I have had pain in my scalp and the longer I can tolerate buns.

    So maybe with time and some resolution to your scalp issues?

    As to the heat, where I live we get 110 + degree whether. I put it up most of the time. But when my scalp is being sensitive I leave my hair loose, or in loose braids and I tie it up in a scarf so it can just rest. There are all sorts of vintage scarf wearing tutorials you can find on youtube for tying it up and out of the way while still looking cute. I personally favor a simple turban like style that hides all of my hair, (good for a sweaty head day).

    Anyway, hope this helped and good luck whatever you decide.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    First of all...

    Have you tried taking a painkiller for the headache? Do you get headaches at other times, or is it *only* and *ever* when your hair is up?

    With what you're describing, I really find myself doubting that it's the hair causing it. It sounds a lot more like my sister's migraines, or my partner's. They're both a bit atypical in their migraine presentation partly due to their pain tolerance being ridiculously high. What feels to them like fairly minor pain takes pretty serious doses of painkiller to get to tolerable levels. (realistically, a lot of my headaches are probably technically happening via the same mechanisms as migraines... but I can get away with a lot less painkiller so it's not worth trying to get a diagnosis) If you're getting a lot of headaches, I can see how headaches happening for other reasons might make you think it was your hair.

    Next, I'd look at how you're actually doing your updos. On my hair, a bun would never hold with a ponytail holder used as the main attachment. Hair too slippery, so ponytail holder has nothing to grip. Hair sticks work, or hair pins of various shapes (NOT bobby pins, hair pins... there's a difference), or hair forks or tiny claw clips. And honestly, my hair isn't really able to go up in a bun til about arm pit length anyway. Above that, I'm doing braids and half ups. Some folks with less slippery hair are fine doing updos around shoulder, but it really does depend on a slew of factors. And most of the around shoulder updos tend to get held with things like barrettes or Ficcare clips. There are scads of ways to put hair up, and a ponytail holder is not necessarily the best way.

  4. #4
    Member RitaCeleste's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    You should be able to get it pretty long without putting it up much. I have issues with putting my hair up. My daughter has fine hair and hers is at about bra strap and she wears it down a lot. She just uses things that reduce her tangles like a protein treatment and some detanglers.

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    Member Alexblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    I was going to suggest the same thing: Scarfs!

    I grew my hair out from chin length and certainly appreciate the awkward progression to SL. Vintage scarves are a wonderful way to keep the hair up and do not need to be tied tight especially if you want to put a bobby pin or two at the nape of your next and leaving the scarf itself fairly loose. You can also experiment with different styles and shapes until your hair too is long enough to play with itself. Here's a few nice examples I've seen. Some photos show longer hair but they would look just as cute with short too.



    I'm not sure if your scalp with tolerate it but pin curls under a scarf will create beautiful curls in time for an evenings out on the town. I had lots of fun experimenting with pin curls around SL+

    Hope this helps!

  6. #6
    Member Changling's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    Here's a similar thread, maybe something there could help you: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/...ad.php?t=95136

    I think that the problem is that your hair has been short for a long time. Mine has, too, and I have noticed soreness on my scalp, and even headaches, just from having my hair french braided (and I'm not even chin length yet!). It's not even tight, just loose, french braid pigtails. I also do high pigtail half-ups, low pigtails with lots of fringe, and peacock twist half-ups, and all give me sore scalp and headaches, so that I have to take it down, I can't wear it all day like that. But I used to have a LOT of long hair, probably BSL when I got it cut the first time, ten years ago. And i usually had it in a high ponytail, no problem. So I think that since you used to be able to have a high bun, your scalp is just not used to having your hair up anymore.

    My scalp doesn't get as sore anymore, and I think it's because I've "trained" it. Just bring an alternative hairstyle thing to work (like a scarf, or just a comb and wear it down), put up your hair, and when you start to get a headache, take it down. Then when it is feeling better or just getting in your way too much, put it back up. That's what I've been doing out of necessity, and my hair has gradually been able to be up for longer and longer. I can now wear high pigtail half-ups all day if I have to without a headache.
    Last edited by Changling; June 12th, 2012 at 11:53 AM. Reason: accidentally linked 2nd page for some reason...
    Miss my ponytail.
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    Member lapushka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    Quote Originally Posted by electricity19 View Post
    When I tried to grow it long again, I got horribly frustrated and just couldn't stand the issues long hair created. So for the past 3 years, I've been repeatedly shearing it off (1 inch long in the very back, to about 8 inches in the very front so it just curves under my jaw and frames my face), then letting it grow till it brushes my shoulders, getting fed up, and chopping it all off again.

    (...)

    And the henna, in turn, has brought me here. I have fallen in love with my hair again because of it. I love the color, the texture, the health. And I REALLY miss my long hair. I just don't know if I can tolerate it!
    Sounds to me as though you're not even sure you want long hair. You're here listing all the reasons you actually like it short or need / want it short. If you yourself aren't motivated enough to want or tolerate long hair, then what are we supposed to do?
    Lady Senua of the Golden Mask in the Order of the Long Haired Knights
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  8. #8
    Tries to Help Everyone jacqueline101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    I like the scarf idea maybe a stretchy head band.

  9. #9
    Member SongofLove's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    Thanks for sharing your story! Sorry to hear of the heat and the headaches getting in the way of you enjoying your hair!

    I remember when I was growing my hair out past shoulder, I'd get headaches from a loose ponytails, braided pigtails and single braids, too. But for some reason, if I had more than 2 braids, it felt a lot better (maybe the tension was more even that way). So 3 braids was my go-to style back then (sometimes I'd tie the 3 braids together in a ponytail and it still felt pretty good that way). Perhaps something to try?

    Otherwise I would also say the scarf idea sounds good (except it might make your head even hotter---I guess you should opt for the lightest scarf possible!). And also keep trying to put up your hair for short chunks of time, only until they're uncomfortable. Perhaps in time you will be able to put your hair up for longer periods of time.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Want to start growing, but serious reservations...

    Quote Originally Posted by torrilin View Post
    First of all...

    Have you tried taking a painkiller for the headache? Do you get headaches at other times, or is it *only* and *ever* when your hair is up?

    With what you're describing, I really find myself doubting that it's the hair causing it. It sounds a lot more like my sister's migraines, or my partner's. They're both a bit atypical in their migraine presentation partly due to their pain tolerance being ridiculously high. What feels to them like fairly minor pain takes pretty serious doses of painkiller to get to tolerable levels. (realistically, a lot of my headaches are probably technically happening via the same mechanisms as migraines... but I can get away with a lot less painkiller so it's not worth trying to get a diagnosis) If you're getting a lot of headaches, I can see how headaches happening for other reasons might make you think it was your hair.

    Next, I'd look at how you're actually doing your updos. On my hair, a bun would never hold with a ponytail holder used as the main attachment. Hair too slippery, so ponytail holder has nothing to grip. Hair sticks work, or hair pins of various shapes (NOT bobby pins, hair pins... there's a difference), or hair forks or tiny claw clips. And honestly, my hair isn't really able to go up in a bun til about arm pit length anyway. Above that, I'm doing braids and half ups. Some folks with less slippery hair are fine doing updos around shoulder, but it really does depend on a slew of factors. And most of the around shoulder updos tend to get held with things like barrettes or Ficcare clips. There are scads of ways to put hair up, and a ponytail holder is not necessarily the best way.
    Yeah, it's definitely the hair. I get migraines, as well, and they're horrible, but have no association. And yes, I do sometimes get other headaches. This is a milder headache than a migraine is by far, but it just starts to bore in and drive me crazy. Painkillers help a little bit, but if I take my hair down, the headache vanishes in 5 minutes. I put it back up, and it comes back... Other headaches I get don't feel quite the same way, and obviously don't go away just because I let my hair down.

    And it's not just buns- my hair has not gotten long enough for buns again since this started. Braids do it too. Clips and barrettes cause problems, as do scarfs, as do headbands. The WORST headaches come from full hair-tie pony tails, etc, and headbands, but the others still generate pain. Half ups are less of an issue, but they don't do the required "getting my hair off my neck or bound up under a surgical cap" deal..

    Quote Originally Posted by lapushka View Post
    Sounds to me as though you're not even sure you want long hair. You're here listing all the reasons you actually like it short or need / want it short. If you yourself aren't motivated enough to want or tolerate long hair, then what are we supposed to do?
    I do want it long. Yes, I focused on the problems, because that's what I'm looking for advice on. I miss my long hair badly. I love the way it looks, the way it feels, and the versatility of style. Short hair honestly doesn't suite me that well, in my opinion, and I love the beauty and femininity of long hair. I'm also completely sick and tired of spending money I don't have for a hair cut every month or two just to maintain my short style in a way that looks suitably professional at work. I'm motivated- at least enough to come here to try and ask for help!


    Quote Originally Posted by RitaCeleste View Post
    You should be able to get it pretty long without putting it up much. I have issues with putting my hair up. My daughter has fine hair and hers is at about bra strap and she wears it down a lot. She just uses things that reduce her tangles like a protein treatment and some detanglers.
    It'll definitely grow just fine down, but once it touches my shoulders, my job requires me to put it up at least a couple of times a week (and I sometimes even wind up having to clip the longer front bits back even as it is now, and even get a mild headache from the two barrettes behind my temples), or I won't be appropriately sterile in the OR. So if it's long, I WILL be putting it up about 3-4 times a week for work. And probably more frequently than that- even at shoulder length, if it's against my neck outside during summer, my hair becomes soaked and plastered to my neck.

    I'm sorry if I'm coming off as unmotivated or way too picky, folks, I just really want to figure out if there's anything I can do about this, or if it's something that has a good chance of going away after a while with special care and consideration that I'm not aware of.. I'll put up with six months or maybe more of this if it ultimately drops down to manageable levels afterwards. But with what I HAVE done over the past several years, there's been no lessening at all until, around 8 or 9 months in to having hair able to be put up, I get convinced it's not going to stop and cut it again..

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