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View Full Version : What to do w/ Shoulder length hair? Help! Frustrated!



Beesweet
March 18th, 2008, 11:51 AM
I just hit shoulder length while LHC was down! It's layered, type 2b. Was more of a 3a until henna and turning my back on commercial products. I still have bangs, and about three layers of hair.
I want to put it up but nothing works. I end up with a bandanna, which I could live with until my hair hits waist, frankly, but makes my poor hubby wince. I use some grabby clips, like an octopus clip also. Nothing stays for more than an hour or two. I'm constantly refixing it.
Scrunchies and a pony tail give me a headache for some reason.

I've never had long hair. My mom always cut it since I have so much of it, and I was always told my face is "too long" for long hair , so I cut it off my whole life. Plus I am really tall and always thought I couldn't wear hair up.

I don't want to cut anymore, but I am at a frustrating phase.
If I leave it out, it gets right in my face, as it is too short to lay over my shoulders down my back, plus I play with it and twirl it too much and want to stop messing with it.

Just a note: this is the point where I usually chop it off! I don't want to do that, but am quite frustrated and feel very ugly.
Any wisdom and kind words out there?

wintersun99
March 18th, 2008, 11:53 AM
..........

Nightshade
March 18th, 2008, 11:58 AM
Uhm, something like this would at least keep it back from your face, and the little sections should hold well with a tiny butterfly clip:

http://www.dressytresses.com/hair/gallery/instruct/twisted-corkscrew/gallerypic.jpg (http://www.dressytresses.com/hair/gallery/instruct/twisted-corkscrew/)

Caldonia Sun
March 18th, 2008, 12:04 PM
You could try a french twist. Should length usually works well for that style for me and I think it's very comfy. To hold the layers, either the little jaw clippies or a pretty headband. They're really in style right now. The Icing has some really nice hair toys, relatively inexpensive.

ReadingRenee
March 18th, 2008, 12:04 PM
Do you have a Claires where you are? I saw some of those twisty headbands there the other day, the kind where you twist little bits of hair off your face and it will hold it in place.

Of course you could just tell your husband to deal with the bandannas for a couple of months if you like the bandannas because if you let your hair grow, eventually you won't have the same awkward layer problems you are having right now.

This IS the hardest stage, I remember when I was here. All you can do is just keep letting it grow! If you cut it, you will just have to go through it all over again if you decide to grow it out again. If you let it grow past this point you will NEVER have to deal with it again. Just try to remember that. :)

Crinita
March 18th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Is there a possibility that you could wear headbands? There are several very cute options that are out there now and are very in expensive. An alternative to the bandana is a long scarf which tends to be a bit more feminine. I was in college when I grew mine out so I opted for the bandana/hippie look for about 6 months then switched to scarves/headbands for more dressy occasions. French braids will also keep it out of your face while redistributing the weight (this was when I learned to French braid as well.)

Just a few thoughts, good luck!
Pax,
Crinita

chrissy-b
March 18th, 2008, 12:19 PM
my hair is just about an inch from my shoulders and i've got layers and bangs. i usually do two twists (almost like a little bun on each side of my head which hold up with bobby pins) and secure all the layers with clips. its not the most exciting updo, but it keeps my hair out of my face and keeps me from cutting it. if my hair is particularly soft and won't hold (as it often does) i use a little KMS paste. eventually i want to stop using styling products, but right now it's what i need to do.

this is the worst phase and the time when i always cut my hair too. i'm struggling to live with it as it is now, knowing that if i hold out my hair will be long again before i know it.

good luck and don't cut!! you'll be glad you weathered the shoulder-length storm.

birthmarkie
March 18th, 2008, 12:26 PM
Shoulder length is a big accomplishment. You should be proud of yourself. I would also recommend doing half-ups and using clips to hold back the sections that get in your way, like on the sides. Also, try to enjoy having your hair down at this length. In some ways, it is easier to deal with hair loose at shoulder-length than at other lengths. HTH.

Ursula
March 18th, 2008, 12:26 PM
If your problem is that layers in the front won't reach the back to get in a ponytail or other updos, maybe try this:

Do a center part. Then do a part from the top of your head to just behind your ear. Take the hair in that section, and braid it. Repeat for the other side. Bring these small braids to the back of your head, and fasten together with an elastic or small barette.

Bangs can go into these small braids if they reach, and if you want, or be left out if they are short enough to stay out of your eyes.

This should keep your hair out of your face. You could then do a ponytail with your back hair, including the ends of the small braids in the larger ponytail.

cindy58
March 18th, 2008, 12:27 PM
When my hair was about your length I was growing out bangs and layers too. I learned to french braid starting at my hairline in front and then did a half up fastened with a pretty clip.

The french braid contained all the different lengths pretty well, off the face + was a bit different than a regular half up.

k_hepburn
March 18th, 2008, 12:28 PM
How about headbands? I found those indespensable years ago when I was growing out my fringe! Aren't cloth headbands in bright colours and bold patterns back in fashion currently? Or, for a more elegant look, you could treat yourself to one of those Ficcare (http://www.ficcare.com/Collections.aspx?catId=11) metal headbands.

Another bit of good news: your hair should soon be long enough to do a french twist!

So, just hang on in there! Besides, I really wouldn't give to much credence to those passed-on rules about who may and who may not be suited to long hair! I am always amazed at how many supposed anti-long-hair fashion rules there are about that fly in the face of what we actually see paraded as models of beauty and fashion at the same time. For example, while a lot of "fashionable" / TV-expert hair dressers just love to chop off the hair on anyone submitting to them for a re-styling, touting how no-body over 40 (30, 20 ...) should be wearing hair longer than shoulder length, there is a real spurt of actresses / models / singers that are doing just that and are commonly regarded as pictures of female beauty.

Tall women shouldn't wear up-dos? Going by the red carpet appearances during the latest Oscar presentation, I can see no evidence of the existence of such a rule. If there was, you would think Heidi Klum would know about it, seeing as beauty is her profession...

Greetings

katharine

madisonclare
March 18th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Ughhh I've had this same problem! Im constantly having to refix my hair. I've been using headbands and have also been french braiding it.

I too have problems with playing with my hair. I almost always keep it up because I don't want to damage it. Plus I have a two year old that LOVES to play with my hair.

Sorry not much help, but I'm right there with ya.

Beesweet
March 18th, 2008, 12:59 PM
I don't mean to sound lame, but you have all brought tears to my eyes! I guess I'm having a tough day in general, and for some reason, my hair ( height? looks in general?) are all very emotional for me.

I've been told so many "you shouldn'ts" from hairdressers, and so many people who are close to me. Growing it long is an independence of sort from a lot of bad ideas I've had hanging over my head for most of my life. Kind of an Olive Oyl complex. "You're too tall." "You're too skinny." "You're too big to be feminine." "Your hands are too big." Your feet are too big." "Your forehead is too big." "You should only show *this much* of your face at all times.." "Your face is too long." "Your hair is too big...too frizzy, too curly too whatever!"
I am three inches taller than Heidi Klum -- as she is only 5' 9." I'm kind of a cross between Heidi Klum and the woman from American Gothic, I suspect. And maybe a blond/reddish Joey Ramone.
Something about long hair is honest -- I can't really hide behind ling bangs and sculpted layers around my face so only my nose and chin show, when it is pulled back. What you get is me - -my whole face. It's kind of hard to get used to.

I'm going to take each and every suggestion that gets posted and give it a try. These are all ideas I have not thought of, because I have few "hair skillz" and not a lot of hair creativity.

Thank you! You don't know how much this means to me. I am touched by the number of responses already! What a group!

Beesweet
March 18th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Oh, and I'm not cutting it!

lora410
March 18th, 2008, 01:16 PM
well, your in that awkward phase like alot of us have gone through. I know i use to do the top half up and the bottom half down alot. If you are comfy with a headband then wear it. Its about you not DH or anyone else. In a few months you will be past shoulder and happier, just stick it out with us. there are alot of people here to offer growing out support.

wintersun99
March 18th, 2008, 01:32 PM
If your problem is that layers in the front won't reach the back to get in a ponytail or other updos, maybe try this: Do a center part. Then do a part from the top of your head to just behind your ear. Take the hair in that section, and braid it. Repeat for the other side. Bring these small braids to the back of your head, and fasten together with an elastic or small barette. Bangs can go into these small braids if they reach, and if you want, or be left out if they are short enough to stay out of your eyes. This should keep your hair out of your face. You could then do a ponytail with your back hair, including the ends of the small braids in the larger ponytail.

I love this idea!

eccentricquirks
March 18th, 2008, 01:36 PM
I'm at this stage right now, too, and my only bit of advice is this.

Play.

Seriously.

I have a bear claw type comb claw that I am using with french rolls right now, and yeah, I have to take it down every few hours to put back up when the tendrils fall, but I figure its just more practice for when I hit the big time and my hair gets long enough to stay up all day.

Besides, you can always do something like this AND cover up with a bandana if it doesn't meet your standards. The practice is worth it, I figure. Play, practice, and plot, I wager, are the best things to do right now while you bide your time waiting for the next big growth spurt - its coming, believe you me.

lapushka
March 18th, 2008, 02:14 PM
It can't be that bad. What does it look like now? Are you a wavy, curly? Do you have straight hair, because your options may vary according to that. There are different things you can do depending on your hair type.

Do you have a pic?

khyricat
March 18th, 2008, 02:53 PM
a few suggestions from one who has been there.. twin french/dutch braids often work better than one, if its long enough, pull them together in the back, if not, don't..

SLIDES, especially solid leather ones are your friend.. at that stage, a small slide can take a bunch of hair twisted into a semblance of a cinnabun but not enough to really hold, and hide it, while making it look like a fancy updo. If you can do a ponytail, you can do this, and combined with the front braids it looks really pretty.. oldschoolleather.com is a good source for pretty small slides that aren't that expensive.. I think at one point I literally was folding the hair up into it, just pull back, twist and fold over, so they were just covering two lengths of hair.. not even a small bun...

Claw clips and peacock twists!

hope that helps some..

atlantaz3
March 18th, 2008, 04:31 PM
I did french braids alot when growing out layers. I think they look nice and pull in all the little odd pieces. I also think some of the twistie styles would work and look nice. http://www.dreamweaverbraiding.com/braids/Twist.htm
This isn't the site I was looking for but it has a lot of braiding instructions and may give you some new ideas. Keep growing it's your hair and should be what you want not what anyone else thinks you shoud have.

madisonclare
March 18th, 2008, 05:17 PM
[quote=khyricat;19870]
SLIDES, especially solid leather ones are your friend.. at that stage, a small slide can take a bunch of hair twisted into a semblance of a cinnabun but not enough to really hold, and hide it, while making it look like a fancy updo.If you can do a ponytail, you can do this, and combined with the front braids it looks really pretty.. oldschoolleather.com is a good source for pretty small slides that aren't that expensive.. quote]

I forgot all about these things! I used to have some years back before I cut all my hair off. they kept my slippery,hair in place nicely. I just visited the website you mentioned. The prices are great!! Just what I need. Thanks! Try those Beesweet I'm sure you'll love them!

squiggyflop
March 18th, 2008, 08:22 PM
um i have no real advise since i wore my hair in pigtails when it was shoulder.. that might not be age apropriet for you though.. head bands are great!... im past bsl and still wear my hair down most days... if you think your hair looks bad growing out you should have seen mine when i grew out of my short cut.. in the beginning of the growing out process i looked like i had a mullet for a while... i didnt cut it though.. i just dealt with the shame until i was able to get most of my hair into pigtails..... why not just wear your hair down?? after a certain length you cant wear it down anymore so why not enjoy it while it lasts

Pat
March 18th, 2008, 08:37 PM
I´ve been wearing mine up most of the time since it is driving me insane! There is no way it will obey. The oinly thing I can tell you is to remind yourself that if you cut it you´ll have to go through this again. I guess it´ll get better with time.

Village Mama
March 18th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I have just gotten past the shoulder length stage myself ( I am taller as well... funny when you measure the length, it seems as though it is the same measurement where most people would be at armpit length!) I used a couple of hommade pretty crude leather slides through this stage. With a plain stick it was perfect for everyday and with a fancy dangly one it got me through some more formal occassions. Probably not the best thing ever for hair, but I used bobby pins to pull back the layers in an attractive way. Either a single little poof of the front section, or I would part the hair and pin back the sections on either side. A pretty scarf or two are really handy as well. I put the scarf around my head like a headband, put the rest of my hair into a messy bun , and then pull out little tendril bits to soften the look. ( I can get away with a really messy look though)

Beesweet
March 18th, 2008, 09:50 PM
Okay, I'll try to remember all the things I wanted to reply to:
Thank you everybody! I have a lot of ideas now and I feel great about trying them all out.

Mullet -- Ha! That cracked me up. Glad it's grown out.

I didn't know what a hair slide was until I looked it up, but it turns out that it was the exact thing I was searching for in the store today. I just didn't know it was called a slide. That is a great idea. I had success with them the last time I tried to grow out ( before I got frustrated and chopped!)

Pig tails -- I tried it and it feels great around the house. I think I will make my middle school daughters recoil in horror if I pick them up from school like that, but it's great around the house.
Maybe I'll do it if they are in trouble or something....ha ha.
You are right about the age thing. If they were sleek pig tails, that would be one thing, but mine are very er....puffy and springy and I look like a large kindergartener.

The braid ideas are excellent and I am inspired to practice. So far I only do those when slathered with cocount oil, covered in a bandana, and going to the beach to surf. I can do them quite easily, it just reminds me of band camp, and I was a real dork back then, but with practice, I bet I can make them look good.

All of your little details about the small braids, the little clips around the front (thanks Nightshade), the french twist, bobby pins....all fantastic. Plus everything else I forgot to mention but will be revisiting over the next weeks -- thanks!

I am commited! I'll try to post a pic when I can figure out how to do it. I'll get on it tomorrow.


Gratefully....

Nicole Marie
March 18th, 2008, 10:05 PM
Hey just an idea, you could grab some small pretty clips (butterfly or otherwise) or even just bobbypin-type thingies and use them to hold back the layers around your face. If you feel like it looks awkward, perhaps try a side part (if you usually part it in the middle), then play around with pinning it in different ways. Perhaps try french braiding? Maybe try and teach/train your hubby to do it for you ;) in repayment for your consideration in nixing the bandanas. Braids are cute & comfy, and shouldn't hurt your head if you do them properly..

SippyCup
March 18th, 2008, 10:37 PM
Grow out the layers, my only decent suggestion.

Silverlady
March 18th, 2008, 11:19 PM
I too went through the stage(s) you are in. I just really got into headbands and kept cutting off the bootom in the back until it finally became one length. I found that decorating headbands was a very creative and fun way to stay committed, focused and involved with the growing out process. Basically, headbands saved me from giving up, the dream of finally having long hair. I started with 3 inches in 2002 and finally got to 31 inches in 5 years 2007.

rubyredslippers
March 19th, 2008, 12:41 AM
Half-updos are your friends, too . . . you can do a little ponytail, or twist back sections from above your ears and clip them together at the back of your head. It can be drawn straight back or to the nape. You can make these as big or small as you like. I find this a style that suits at any length, and helps constrain things a bit.

Another style that you could investigate is the sock bun. I'm not sure if your hair is quite long enough for that but it's certainly worth a shot!
:bluebiggr
Keep up the good work!

ari810
March 19th, 2008, 01:18 PM
It seems my hair has been in this state for the last 6 years. I like to twist it really close the head when its still wet or damp. You take little sections of the hair and twist it all the way back to a common place in the back of your head. Then, twist the bottom sections up to the same spot. Sometimes I intertwine them with each other and then fasten them with bobby pins. At first I needed about 15 bobby pins but I can do it in about 8 now. It all depends on what you're going for. This sort of gives a bun effect and looks nice without being a lot of work. I like it to look messy but it can be very neat also.

karmela
March 19th, 2008, 01:21 PM
If you put the two front bits back in a half-up it usually gives the illusion of making your hair look longer if it is shoulder length and layered - try it and see! Works for me x

Anje
March 19th, 2008, 01:58 PM
Headbands were my salvation when I was growing out bangs, and they're great for layers, too. Another possibility might be to do side rolls (http://www.dressytresses.com/hair/gallery/instruct/hair-roll/default.asp) (or reverse rolls, but they can get spikey with ends) into a low pony.

Beesweet
March 20th, 2008, 07:25 PM
I just got some of these in the mail! It's a step up from the bandanas.
http://www.tznius.com/cgi-bin/product.pl?productid=340
Right now it is buy three get one free. All cotton. Very long and soft. Good sun protector too!
I am thrilled.

Also, I found the strangest clip made by Vidal Sassoon. It is made for very thick hair.
The shape is almost impossible to describe -- something like two melted and warped half circles on either side, that come together with a few teeth on each half. I dunno how else to say it other than it looks cool.
They are all plastic, smooth, and were two for three dollars. Cooler than the big funky toothy clips I have been using.

These plus all your tips....I'm a happy camper for the next four or five inches.....

Thank you all again.