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firevegan
July 13th, 2014, 02:51 AM
I just read nightshade's damaged hair article. It shows photos of types of damaged hair, and enlightens you to the science behind what damage is.

I've henna'd my (pre-bleached, pre-dyed) hair, got sick of the red and dyed over it with black, bleached it back, and did it again. etc. Needless to say, every hair on my head likely demonstrates one of those pictures in the article that has a completely destroyed cuticle.

It is so damaged that I have to constantly keep it up 24-7 because if I leave it down for 5 minutes it becomes matted together like one giant dread. haha, it's terrible and quite hard to manage. (Not complaining, I promise.)

So I am seriously contemplating just shaving it all off and starting new. I want to rediscover my natural hair-color and grow it out "virgin", without dealing with half cool brown and half flaming orange hair once I hit my goal length.

Is there ANYONE out there who has shaved their long but damaged hair off and started new? Tell me your story?

Maybe point me to a support thread for other shaved head / fresh start people?

Here is nightshade's wonderful article: http://web.archive.org/web/20120125071723/http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79

Nesoi
July 13th, 2014, 03:22 AM
Mine wasn't damaged (it was past waist-length, virgin and in good condition) but I DID cut it all off. I pixied for a couple of months and then got sick of the upkeep so I started shaving it at home. I last shaved it in 2012 and now I'm almost at APL in 2014. I absolutely love that all the hair I have has been looked after since I grew it, if that makes sense. I have had one big trim at the hairdresser (to de-mullet) and done one small home-trim in that time. I used to cut my own hair at WL anyway so it's not new for me.

It WAS a big adjustment going from very long (in non LHC terms) to very short, but I loved it! I loved having a pixie, I adored having a shaved head, and I have actually loved every stage since, chin/shoulder flippy abyss excepted. And even that looked pretty cute with very minimal effort as I learned to let my natural waves take over.

There are quite a few people on the Super-Shorties thread who are starting again from shaved, and you can also Google Igor's Bell Tower if you haven't already and see an awesome journey from shaved to past knee!

So my advice would be: do it. But that's because I did it and enjoyed it! Others will be along with different experiences and advice. Something else you could try is cutting back to one body marker at a time to see if that helps with the damage without losing all your length. How long is your hair now, BSL?

Medievalmaniac
July 13th, 2014, 06:39 AM
I was going to recommend the same thing-- rather than shaving it entirely, what about trying to cut back to APL, or collarbone, or even a bob, and then growing it out from that point with microtrims? It would spare you the complete shock of going bald--unless you want the experience to see what it's like.

I went from TBL to bald, but it was because I was undergoing cancer treatment. It was traumatizing and horrible and it has taken forever and ever to grow back. I'm currently almost 3 years out from bald and just getting to BSL, and it has grown out in layers, so I have quite the mullet going on right now.

So, I think it depends on your comfort level with the idea of being a super-shortie for at least 1.5 years (that's when I hit shoulder) and your ultimate goals for your hair. If it were me, I'd start by cutting it to a shorter length but not necessarily shaving it all off, and then using rehabilitation methods to help it grow healthier from that point.

HairFaerie
July 13th, 2014, 06:50 AM
I did. It grew from shaved to almost waist in three years with plenty of cuts/trims in between. Unfortunately, I ruined it again...

PinkyCat
July 13th, 2014, 07:49 AM
I didn't shave but I chopped - recently.
Remember my crazy blonde excursion last summer? Well I was at TB and I was suddenly possessed by this crazy idea that I needed to be blonde. I wish I could easily post pics because the journey was amazing. (I'm on mobile)
I did 6 full bleachings in a 30 day period - oh I was blonde alright. But my curls! Gone! They just lay there dead, frizzy, flat. It was like 80s hair metal cotton batting .
So I enjoyed the new color for a couple months, my ridiculous black roots coming in every two weeks which I bleached immediately. Boy is that for the birds let me tell ya.
So I decided to go back dark. It took a good 5 more tries because there was no cuticle left to hold the color - it would fade out in days!
It was ugly hair. I felt like Gargamel. No shine, no curl, nothing pretty or nice about it. Even soaked with oil & bunned it looked like a brillo pad staked to my head with a stick.
So one Friday night, hubby was out riding moto with the boys, and I was home with a bottle of merlot. The next thing I know, I'm in the bathroom with my CreaClip hacking andslicing and chopping.
It felt AWESOME!! I went from TB to Neck in a matter of moments! And it curled up!! Woo hoo!!
I had to slap hubbs a few times to revive him after he came home & fainted (kidding). But boy does it feel and IMO, look great. I have a very round basketball shaped face so the fullness of the curls around it looks amazing. I can just put it back in a teeny ponytail but it just looks so severe, I wonder why I wore it like that for so long.
So I'm growing out, but I'm only going to apl with layers so I can keep this awesome lion's mane of fullness!!

I say go for it - you may just discover that you adore it!

Federica
July 13th, 2014, 09:47 AM
I've never shaved my hair or cutted it very short, I chosen the other way to remove damage (several trims and protective hairstyles) and - to be honest - sometimes I wish I had the courage to cut it all off and start fresh.
But if you really want to chop it all I would suggest you to start cutting it to a shorter body marker, wait a couple of weeks then decide if you want to cut it more or not.
Best wishes on your healty growth :)

lapushka
July 13th, 2014, 09:50 AM
But if you really want to chop it all I would suggest you to start cutting it to a shorter body marker, wait a couple of weeks then decide if you want to cut it more or not.

Best advice *ever*! Go shorter slowly, in case you regret it. Going bald or *very* short is a shock to the system (ask me how I know), and you might not take it well, so go slowly.

Hrtchoco
July 13th, 2014, 10:00 AM
I agree with cutting it short but not too short initially. I had a few big chopped not due to damage, but I just want shorter hair. It was kinda hard to grow hair back healthy from very short length for me since I just didn't want to trim all that much.

neko_kawaii
July 13th, 2014, 10:02 AM
I went from waist length to shaved in one go, but not to remove damage, simply because I wanted the experience. I say if it is something that interests you, go for it. I found it a great experience and enjoyed watching people react to it. When it gets long enough to be unruly I either encouraged the unruliness or covered it with a pretty scarf/bandana.

truepeacenik
July 13th, 2014, 10:10 AM
Here is igor's story:
http://igorsbelltower.blogspot.com/p/my-hair-history.html

Shaved bald 2001, currently at knee.

Islandgrrl
July 13th, 2014, 10:28 AM
I didn't shave mine completely, but I did take hubby's buzzy clipper to it in early 2005. I had started with knee length hair in about 2000, and gradually, over the course of several years cut to around waist length. I took it all to about 1/2 inch long, from between waist and hip length, and it had been colored with conventional color. It wasnt in the best shape, but it was not horrible. I kept it at pixie length for about a year and decided it had to be long again. The first two years I played around with color and had it cut often to keep it looking like it had an actual style, and in early 2007 I started growing from a chin length bob. It was fairly well damaged from a color mistake that I tried to fix on my own (so not smart). In searching for natural hair care and a way to manage the damage I found LHC and joined in November of 2007. My hair is now lower-mid-thigh length (is that even a thing?).

Igor was (and still is) very inspiring to me. Although I subscribe more to the benign neglect school of hair care.

MINAKO
July 13th, 2014, 11:08 AM
My hair was damaged badly once from chemical straightening, i didn't have the balls to shave it tho and just cut to where i thought it would be healthy enough to deal with, so i got a neck lenght lightly layered cut with some face framing pieces.

lilin
July 13th, 2014, 04:11 PM
I totally understand what you mean about wanting to know what your completely natural and well-tended hair would be like. Shaving my head is on my bucket list.

I'm still growing it out for now, but I know I'll do it someday. My hair's in decent shape overall, but I have some damage from a bad wash routine, rough handling, and experimentation gone awry. There's actually a little texture demarcation that is currently near my shoulders, below which my hair tends to frizz and above which it doesn't. What would my hair look like if it was cared for ideally right from the start of its life outside my head?

Another thing I've wondered is this: if my mantle was completely untouched for a while (as I imagine one doesn't need to wash stubble-length hair!), how would it change, and how would that change the needs of my hair? Would it self-regulate better? Would I need to wash it less? I will probably be living in a place with softer water as well, so what would this do to my hair needs? Might I finally have success with WO!?

Someday, probably in a year or two, I'd just really like to experience bald when I'm ready. I'd like to see how it changes my perception of myself, the health of my scalp, and what ideally cared for hair looks like for me.

I imagine some people will have something to say about that, but I doubt any of them are people I care about -- I've done pretty well at weeding out shallow people.

So I say, let it sit for a while, and see if you still want to do it and why. If your main motivator is frustration with the damage, I'd echo what a couple others have said -- maybe cut it shorter first, then see how you feel. If your main motivator is experiential, then hey, maybe just go for it. I've done huge chops before (not quite bald, but pixie from almost waist) and personally, I didn't regret it. But that was just me and my own personal motivations.

StellaKatherine
July 13th, 2014, 04:23 PM
I had really short hair last time at age of 5... sometimes I wonder if I missed, If I should have shaved my hair or something while I am still young enough to experience lol But I know I will hate it.... :D

firevegan
July 13th, 2014, 11:39 PM
lilin: Damage is not my main motivator. I've always told myself that there certain things I must experience to become strong, and shaving bald was potentially one of them for me. I really love the way you described everything and I 100% completely agree with you, that is precisely the reason for me as well and I could not put it better myself. Most people's hair is addicted to shampoo and I wonder how virgin hair that never experienced harsh irritants would react to WO, etc. I'm curious.

I deeply want to experience this and nothing is holding me back except my family and everyone encouraging me not to shave it all off. I know I won't look that great for a while but I could use wigs and hats and scarves.

Nesoi: It was BSL last night but I chopped it to shoulder length before going to sleep. It was kind of impulsive but I really want this damaged velcro off of my head, haha.

Pinkycat: I have bleached my hair several times in one week to achieve white hair before, so I know how that feels haha, that's actually why I cut all my hair off to one inch in 2011

Also everybody.. why do you need to get frequent trims while growing out a pixie? Is it because of the traveling splits?

neko_kawaii
July 13th, 2014, 11:48 PM
I think the trims for pixies thing is more to prevent mullets than anything else. Growing out all one length from the scalp hair looks odd to most eyes and many feel the need to shape it up to make it look "presentable". I approached it as a challenge. What can I do to keep it out of my eyes at this length? Off my neck? Ha! That looks hilarious, out the door I go.

gnome82
July 14th, 2014, 01:45 AM
I wanted to get my head shaved but my other half really didn't want me to so I cut it short instead. Due to damage during pregnancy and huge post natal shed.

Islandgrrl
July 14th, 2014, 01:49 AM
Also everybody.. why do you need to get frequent trims while growing out a pixie? Is it because of the traveling splits?

Three words: Mullet of Doom.

firevegan
July 14th, 2014, 02:01 AM
I read Igor's Bell Towers blog post. She's so lucky she decided to do this a long time ago.. I wish she had one of those youtube videos showing her transformation.
My sister (who actually has an account on here) recently shaved her head in December 2013, and now she has a pixie. She has yet to trim it. I guess the mullet of doom is her next hairstyle ? haha

I pretty much was bald and going through this very process when I first signed up at LHC, I had one inch of hair when I first started and I hated the way I looked and kept destroying my hair with bleach to get rid of the mousy color. I guess I just feel like doing it the right way this time. But the constant trimming thing.. I'm not sure I could do that. So I might not be able to do this.

YvetteVarie
July 14th, 2014, 02:07 AM
I grew out my hair for about 3 months and then chopped off all the damage (so from about neck length to an inch). Its been 2 years since the chop and I'm almost bra strap length. And I have trimmed off about 3 inches in between. Emotionally I wasn't ready for short hair so I used extensions to grow out my hair to a length I was comfortable with wearing out. But cutting off the damage was the best thing I did for my hair

kqq
July 14th, 2014, 03:05 AM
I don't think shaving is a good idea. I have cut my hair to pixie about 6 years ago. Now my hair is about middle back lenght when it is straight. So as you see I takes a very long time to go back to long hair.
My hair wasn't damaged, I cut it because I want to see how I would look in short hair. And now I am waiting and waiting for long hair.

If you have got damaged hair maybe you should try to cut a little piece, not all hair.

Timea
July 14th, 2014, 03:20 AM
I have shaved mine before, not from damage but just because I wanted to. It was fun. It grew back. It didn't take that long to grow back. I might do it again someday. It's up to you really. If you tend to do things and then regret them later, then you should go in stages to be more sure you won't regret it. If you are good at predicting whether you'll like something you decide to do, then trust your instincts and go for it!

Johannah
July 14th, 2014, 03:44 AM
If you really want to experience this, go for it. Don't let anyone or anything get into your way. Just make sure you are absolutely ready for it, because it's something you can't turn back and it'll effect you for several years. Good luck!

lilin
July 14th, 2014, 05:22 AM
lilin: Damage is not my main motivator. I've always told myself that there certain things I must experience to become strong, and shaving bald was potentially one of them for me. I really love the way you described everything and I 100% completely agree with you, that is precisely the reason for me as well and I could not put it better myself. Most people's hair is addicted to shampoo and I wonder how virgin hair that never experienced harsh irritants would react to WO, etc. I'm curious.

I deeply want to experience this and nothing is holding me back except my family and everyone encouraging me not to shave it all off. I know I won't look that great for a while but I could use wigs and hats and scarves.

Nesoi: It was BSL last night but I chopped it to shoulder length before going to sleep. It was kind of impulsive but I really want this damaged velcro off of my head, haha.

Pinkycat: I have bleached my hair several times in one week to achieve white hair before, so I know how that feels haha, that's actually why I cut all my hair off to one inch in 2011

Also everybody.. why do you need to get frequent trims while growing out a pixie? Is it because of the traveling splits?

Yes, exactly. My older hair that went through 2 years of harsh shampoo is very different from my younger hair. Like I said, there's actually a visible demarcation if I pull it straight, or it's humid. Because of this, I have to find things that work for my more stripped hair, and my less stripped hair, which may or may not be ideal for my mantle, which will affect all of my hair. It's kind of a catch 22. What if my hair had never been subjected to that all? Of course, it's impossible for us to have truly natural hair in unnatural environments -- even water quality has a significant affect on hair, and what kind of washing routine will be required (very hard water can cause build-up all by itself). But I'm willing to bet I'd have fewer problems with a properly built up mantle and hair that had never been exposed to protein-denaturing surfactants.

And then, yeah, in a society where women's hair is so attached to their attractiveness, which is so attached to their value as human beings, what's it like to be a bald woman in our society? I'm willing to bet you'd learn a lot and, yes, become a stronger person. That's another reason why I want to do it someday.

I say go for it, then, and anyone who just can't associate with you over having a shaved head... well, maybe you ought to rethink whether they're worth your time. It's just hair.

As far as the mullet of doom, how I've usually approached it is wait until the hair on the top of my head has reached below my ears, then cut/shave the back of my neck. It still doesn't look amazing, but it shortens the mullet phase. And besides, it's only temporary. I haven't done the frequent trimming thing -- it just makes it take longer to grow out! I prefer to just wait until I can cut off the "mullet tails" all at once and be done with it. :D

Nesoi
July 14th, 2014, 06:25 AM
I haven't done the frequent trimming thing -- it just makes it take longer to grow out! I prefer to just wait until I can cut off the "mullet tails" all at once and be done with it. :D

Yes, this was my approach too ;)

Firevegan, if you're already chopping your hair at home it sounds like you are getting into the right mindset to shave it off! Why not try another couple of weeks at shoulder, and if it's still driving you crazy I say go for it :twisted: But I do think a pause at shoulder might help you decide if you really want to shave it or if it is more manageable at this length.

truepeacenik
July 14th, 2014, 12:04 PM
I didn't shave mine completely, but I did take hubby's buzzy clipper to it in early 2005. I had started with knee length hair in about 2000, and gradually, over the course of several years cut to around waist length. I took it all to about 1/2 inch long, from between waist and hip length, and it had been colored with conventional color. It wasnt in the best shape, but it was not horrible. I kept it at pixie length for about a year and decided it had to be long again. The first two years I played around with color and had it cut often to keep it looking like it had an actual style, and in early 2007 I started growing from a chin length bob. It was fairly well damaged from a color mistake that I tried to fix on my own (so not smart). In searching for natural hair care and a way to manage the damage I found LHC and joined in November of 2007. My hair is now lower-mid-thigh length (is that even a thing?).

Igor was (and still is) very inspiring to me. Although I subscribe more to the benign neglect school of hair care.


Lower mid thigh is totally a thing. I'm in upper mid thigh.

We have to make milestones! The femur is the longest bone, and the thigh the longest unmarked expanse.

(At the Berkeley meet, I called EdG's hair "upper width of calf.")

hairpleasegrow
July 14th, 2014, 12:52 PM
You are very brave to even consider a shave. I know this nightshade article well I read it all the time it has changed how I look at my hair (the science behind why my ends are like velcro…lightbulb moment) I joined here 6 months ago, I was at APL and I've cut back to SL and I will probably be here for a while. I have 3 inches of almost virgin growth which is promising but I am finding it very hard. Suggest to cut no more than SL at first , this way you can always go shorter and it isn't too much shorter from APL if you regret going to SL (Compared to a shave or a bob).

Neecola
July 14th, 2014, 12:58 PM
I've never been completely bald, but I did buzz cut my own hair in my younger days. I joined LHC in 2010 with shoulder length hair that had been dyed multiple times and abused out of ignorance. I hated my curly hair for most of my life and after being here for a few months, I really pondered what my "real" hair was like. I decided to remove the damaged hair; I didn't shave it bald but did cut it into a pixie of sorts.

But it was not a difficult decision for me at all; I've had short hair many times. However, now that I have nurtured my hair and even come to appreciate the things I hated about it when I was younger, it would be a more difficult decision to make. I would still do it if I had damaged my length and was no longer happy with my hair.