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Whittles308
September 14th, 2014, 10:00 AM
Hi all! I'm new here but have read as a nonmember for some time and just wanted to start my hair growth journey and have it documented!

Backstory:
I have been a bleach blonde for almost 15 years, and never had issues with my hair growing and retaining length. I had always carefully done it myself with literally no issues. Then I had a hairdresser/friend completely fry my hair, but it was still manageable. When I got pregnant I took a decent sized chop(from bsl to shoulder) and returned to my natural color(7n). I wasn't pleased with the color change at all. And about six months after my baby was born I decided to go blonde again. At this point in time my hair felt wonderful and healthy and I figured I would go to a salon and get it done. Well my usual hair dresser stood me up and another girl said she could fit me in, and I was just feeling like I needed some me time and went ahead and let her do it. Well it turned brassy! I left in tears and went to another hair dresser whom I knew who corrected the problem at the cost of my hair integrity. From that point, for the past year I have been trying to do damage control and just getting tons of breakage and shedding, my scalp was not healthy and everything had just gone to crap! So last week I decided to give up the bleach and address these issues before I ended up bald!

I colored with a demi and chopped off a large amount of hair, leaving me now with hair just around shoulder at the longest but with a lot of chemical cut layers throughout and very thin. I won't be using anymore dye on my hair so I will use that as a growth guide and will also measure to see how much I am retaining. I know I will need to continue with lots of trimming to rid the worst parts of my hair so I probably won't see much change in length for a bit.

I eat a mostly clean, paleo diet and drink tons of water, but I am also tackling this with vitamins as well. I think my anemia played a big part in this as well. I am also supplementing with vegan shakeology(not paleo approved but I still am using it), biotin, gnc ultra nourish hair and nails, evening primrose, flax seed oil, fish oil, msm, iron and a prenatal. I really think getting my anemia in check will help a lot.

Previously my hair has grown well(~3/4inch every 4 weeks) but I'm hoping to get a boost in this.

I will ill also be doing castor oil/coconut oil/olive oil oil rubs 2x a week as well as a protein treatment as I feel needed.

My hair is very fine, and very straight.

I will be laying off the heat tools as well, except for special occasions where I need to wear my clip ins and will only curl that part.

So current stats: shoulder length, 20 1/4" measures from hairline straight back. Very damaged, processed.
Goal: mid back, lightens to a level 9(I know that's not great, but right now I can't imagine not being a blonde again, however, that may change!)

i will post pictures as soon as I empty my phone and make some space and will post back here often! I feel so discouraged right now because my hair is so bad and I am very vain! I miss my long blonde hair more than you can imagine!


I look forward to sharing this journey with you all and I know I will get lots of encouragement here!

Whittles308
September 14th, 2014, 10:11 AM
Sorry for any random typos, I am posting from my phone!

Clarkie
September 14th, 2014, 10:23 AM
Welcome! It sounds like you've had quite the journey with your hair so far. I'm sure laying off the bleach and heat will do wonders for you. Try not to be discouraged. It sounds like your hair grows fairly quickly and will probably grow even faster now that you are taking better care of it.
I haven't used any heat on my hair for about 3 months and I'm astounded by the amount of new growth I am seeing.
Try to check out the threads for the various hairtoys. I always feel so much better about my growing out layered hair when I have it up with a pretty hairtoy :)

Whittles308
September 14th, 2014, 10:39 AM
Thanks Clarkie! I'm off to find these hair toys you speak of!

StellaKatherine
September 14th, 2014, 10:47 AM
I would suggest to read about honey lightning and other methods. I personally started using chamomilla tea rinses ( the last rinse in the shower and not washing it out). Incredibly good for scalp and it does give golden shade to the hair. Heard that cassia can give golden tone to the hair as well :) So natural lightning could be a possibility maybe ?

Anyway, welcome! And good luck on your journey ! :flowers:

ExpectoPatronum
September 14th, 2014, 10:57 AM
Maybe if you decide to go blonde again, you can go get it done with coconut oil in your hair? I've read on here people doing that prior to bleaching to help reduce the damage that bleaching causes. Coconut oil will also help your hair now so it sounds to me like you're off to a good start!

I'm sure you'll get to MBL in no time, especially with that growth rate. Just remember to be very gentle with your hair.

Just be aware that oiling the scalp can cause an increase in shedding in some people. They do have great benefits but that's just something to watch out for.

Good luck!

Whittles308
September 14th, 2014, 01:03 PM
Thank you all! I didn't even know there were some natural lightening methods! I will definitely look into those!!

I haven't done the math yet on how long growing this is going to take me, I don't want to really think about it since I'm such an impatient person LOL! The number one thing I am looking forward to is getting my thickness back! My hair just feels so thin, and my buns are just kind of sad they are so thin!

I just keep telling myself it's hair and it will grow back!

Whittles308
September 16th, 2014, 03:23 PM
Ok here is my first, sad picture. You can really see how thin, scraggly and damaged it is.

Not sure why it's so blurry but you can get the idea of how bad it is.

http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z391/whittles308/Mobile%20Uploads/image.jpg (http://s1187.photobucket.com/user/whittles308/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image.jpg.html)

Whittles308
September 16th, 2014, 03:59 PM
You know looking at this I am not even really sure what I should consider my starting point at, it looks a bit longer than I thought it would from the back, however it's so thin near the ends I know those will strands will be getting snipped fairly quickly.

Whittles308
October 6th, 2014, 05:27 PM
Sooo I had my hubby remeasure my hair for me, I was actually at 19.5" on September 16, he measured for me this morning and I am at 20.75"! Yay for growth! And retention! Not sure what is working because I'm doing EVERYTHING possible to make it grow but it is growing well!

gustavonut
October 6th, 2014, 09:33 PM
I hope I helped!

Federica
October 7th, 2014, 04:42 AM
Ok, so congratulations on your hair journey beginning!

Bleach is evil, and I mean REALLY.
I know how hard it is to accept yourself, but non processed hair is SO MUCH stronger and grow much longer than chemichally processed ones. That's a fact.
But the good news is that you CAN dye your hair with herbal and deposit only dyes, without any harm.
If you need a boost, here is the thread about growing out bleach (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=51155&highlight=giving+bleach) :)

I won't lie to you, your hair is damaged. You made the right decision to chop off the most of it and start fresh, and everyday your hair is a tiny bit longer and healthier than the day before.
A couple of things you can do to keep your hair protected, especially now that it's weak, is to keep it up, stretch your washes and take the most gentle care of it.
That means: updos and braids held with hair friendly toys (flexy 8, forks and sticks, spin pins, ficcare, claw clips), please note that ponytails are not hair friendly, and if you need to use a hair band avoid at all costs the ones with metallic parts or glue, they rip your hair like not even Freddy Krueger would.
Try to wash your hair 2 times a week at most, don't pile it on your head (tangles like crazy), dont' use heat and don't detangle before it's totally dry.
You might be interested in other washing methods, I use the WCC (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=119314), but many people here use to CO wash (I can't find the official thread about it).
Keratine and silicones may help with bleach damaged hair, because they patch cover the damage and hide it. Coconut oil is very good as well.
Use only a wide tooth comb or your fingers to detangle, and a soft natural boar bristle brush (BBB). If your hair is breaking all over, don't use any brush.
Protect your hair for the night: wear a satin cap (I don't), a silk/satin pillowcase (also very good for the skin!) and keep your hair contained in a loose bun or braid, to prevent tangles and rubbing.
Your hair is a mirror of your general health, so take care of it and your hair will be good!

Happy growing!

Chocowalnut
October 7th, 2014, 08:48 AM
Good luck and congratulations on starting your journey! I was in your same shoes about a year ago. I had a bit past apl - was just starting to feel long- but it was all bleached and very damaged from many bleaching and coloring applications. I decided to do a big chop to get a lot of the damage off. I went to necklength and shortly after dyed my hair with henna. It's grown out to almost apl since then. I should be at or close to apl at the end of this year. So for a little inspriation/motivation, I will say my hair is completely different and healthier. I can let it air dry and it will actually look good, not frizzy and damaged as heck. I am as much as possible embracing my natural texture and color. (I am growing out the hanna now, too). Since you love blonde, as I did, I would definitely try cassia. I haven't but I've tried henna which is supposed to be the same pretty much, and it worked unlike any other marketed product ever as in thickening my hair and giving it shine, softness, bounce, etc.. amazing. Anyways, have fun growing it out! Stay strong :)

Whittles308
October 7th, 2014, 09:06 AM
Thank you all so much for the words of encouragement and advice! I have been cowashing, but I am having to wash more than I would like to as a result of going to the gym everyday, any tips on that? I have some dry shampoos but I'm not crazy about how my hair feels after using them, it seems like it just soaks up all the oil. But I am air drying but I know that it can't be great for it to be washed so often.

Another issue I am not sure I addressed I my earlier posts is my severe anemia. I have always had anemia, but during and after my pregnancy it's gotten so much worse. I just had to up myself per doctor orders, to three iron pills a day plus dissolvable b vitamins, if my anemia doesn't improve I'm going to have to go on injectables because I'm borderline needing a blood transfusion my numbers are so low. I imagine although I haven't discussed it directly with my doctor, this has taken a huge toll on my hair as well. Has anyone else dealt with anemia and had hair issues because of it?

I really hope in the next month we can get this under control. I was really worried my growth would slow down but I think the vitamin regimen is really helping. I eat a very clean diet as well, mostly sticking to paleo with a few cheats every now and then.

Whittles308
October 7th, 2014, 09:08 AM
Sorry for any typos I am posting from my phone!

brickworld13
October 7th, 2014, 09:29 AM
Way to go! That's pretty good.
I am about the same length as you, maybe shorter, but my hair is thicker so it's harder to take care of in my opinion.

Here are my hair growth tips:

-Oil your scalp with coconut oil the night before, or the same day just wait at least 30 minutes, before you wash your hair.
-I've recently started cowashing and it has made my hair less tangly and more smooth and it feels and looks like it's growing already!
-If you cowash, clarify your hair every month (or whenever you think is best.) then use a deep conditioner right afterwards. It's helped make my hair really thick and shiny! (My clarifying shampoo is suave clarifying daily shampoo. My deep conditioner is Garnier fructis deep conditioning treatment.)
-Limit your your washes. (You will hear that a lot on here.)
-Detangle your hair and brush with a boar bristle brush every day after your wash. Always, always, always comb your hair before brushing with the BBB! If not, you will pull out hair strands and cause more bad than good.
-Drink lots of water every day, which you should do anyway.
-Scalp massages! You can do it with oil or without. I prefer without oil.
-Protect your hair while you sleep by wearing a braid (if you can.)
-Use a sealing oil after your shower. I use either coconut oil, jamaican black castor oil, or jojoba oil. Apply to your wet ends.

I hope I helped!

I'm not picking on you gustavonut, but some of these suggestions may not work for whittles308. :flower:

Oil on the scalp can be problematic for some and increase shedding or cause dandruff. Please be careful if you try this.

Also please be wary of CO washing. Some people can't do this because of dandruff issues, endless itchy scalp, or increased shedding.

Fragile hair that is badly damaged usually cannot stand a BBB. It will shred the damaged hairs and quickly cause loss of length. Gently detangle your hair with your fingers or a wide tooth comb that doesn't have seams. I sometimes skip that part and just use my Tangle Teezer because it does a good job, but just remember to be gentle.

I know you've been reading from a while, but if you haven't read the damaged hair article in a while, you definitely should. It's got lots of tips. http://web.archive.org/web/20120125071723/http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79

Welcome and good luck. :waving: Your thickness will recover and you will reach your goal faster than you realize.

About washing your hair after exercise. You don't actually need to do that unless you feel smelly. I occasionally will rinse my scalp with water unless it is time to wash. There are other members who just use water on workout days.

The anemia needs to be under control. That will help immensely. The hair is a reflection of the health of your body. If your body is lacking nutrients your hair and nails won't grow very well. Those iron pills don't absorb very well when taken in combination with other things so they should be spaced out to make sure you aren't accidentally blocking absorption. Your doctor should be able to answer the questions you have about this. If you are not a vegetarian or vegan, you should increase your consumption of red meat, especially organs. The nutriets are easier to absorb from food than they are from supplements. Don't be afraid to go for the injections. They work very quickly and some other members have mentioned them elsewhere.

Whittles308
October 7th, 2014, 09:38 AM
Thanks! I try not to brush my hair at all, well with a brush anyways. I do use a wide tooth comb.

I eat so much salmon and red meat it's not even funny, I probably eat a small cow a week being my diet is paleo based, so mainly organic vegetables and meat only.

I am taking my iron vitamins with small meals three times a day, we think I have an absorption issue that is just getting worse, but I'm trying my best to tackle it as naturally as possible. It's very frustrating to feel like you are doing everything you can and not really seeing a change though :( I'm also hoping that I don't have to cut down my weight training as my goal is by next June to compete in my first fitness competition.

Whittles308
October 7th, 2014, 09:40 AM
Thanks! I try not to brush my hair at all, well with a brush anyways. I do use a wide tooth comb.

I eat so much salmon and red meat it's not even funny, I probably eat a small cow a week being my diet is paleo based, so mainly organic vegetables and meat only.

I am taking my iron vitamins with small meals three times a day, we think I have an absorption issue that is just getting worse, but I'm trying my best to tackle it as naturally as possible. It's very frustrating to feel like you are doing everything you can and not really seeing a change though :( I'm also hoping that I don't have to cut down my weight training as my goal is by next June to compete in my first fitness competition.

If my new regimen of iron isn't working I will have to go on injectables, and I'm not squeamish about doing them, it just seems swallowing a pill is easier, but if it isn't working it's just a big waste of time and money.

Again, I truly appreciate the advice and most of all the encouragement.

Whittles308
October 7th, 2014, 09:40 AM
Sorry I'm not sure why it posted twice? And incomplete? I'm such a forum newbie ;)

brickworld13
October 7th, 2014, 09:44 AM
I know how frustrating it is to have medical problems that just don't seem to have solutions. Keep trying your options. Hopefully you find a solution soon.

ETA: We've been having a lot of double posts from the server. No worries there.

Liz_park
October 7th, 2014, 10:02 AM
Hey there,

I saw your post and I just want to say best of luck! I have been growing a similar cut from August 2013. I had a disaster hair cut and the stylist cut all kinds of crazy uneven layers all throughout my hair. It looked thin, and similar to your length.

The good news is that I joined LHC and learned to care for my hair. Now, a little more than a year later, it is super healthy, shiny, and APL in length. Iíve trimmed the layers away and I have never been happier with my hair.

I am bottle blondie too, but I donít use bleach anymore. There are other ways of lightening your hair, and I have also really enjoyed having my hair a bit closer to my natural colour, which is probably about a level 7 ash blonde.

Some things that have worked for me:


I swore off salons. In theory it seems like a ďprofessionalĒ should be better at caring for my hair than I am, but they are not. I self-trim using super sharp scissors, and I colour my own hair using professional colour that I buy off the internet. I recommend sleekhair.com if you live in the US because they are super quick and have every type of professional colour you can think of.
I use coconut oil in my hair once a week. This totally helps rehabilitate it after colouring.
I pay special attention to the moisture/protein balance of my hair. There are several threads on this in LHC, and once I understood it, my hair was so much happier!
For the first few months when I was growing, I put my hair up and didnít look at it. This really helped me grow it out and keep it healthy at the beginning


All the other things you are doing sound really great. Keep your chin up. It seems really frustrating at first, but it really gets easier as time goes on!

Whittles308
October 7th, 2014, 10:06 AM
Oh wow are stories are similar! When I had done my hair on my own I always used a clairol 12a creme with a 30 developer and never had issues, but the "pros" used bleach and I really think that, in conjunction with my health issues put me here today! Your hair looks great, I'm hoping I can get to that level of healthy sooner than later!

Whittles308
October 7th, 2014, 03:20 PM
Ok I stink at taking pictures, and the lines on the shirt are not a great comparison between these two pictures bc I realized the shirt has a lot of variation in how it can fit so from now on I will be pulling it forward so I can keep it consistent from now on. Anyways, if my ends start splitting badly I will probably chop to the green line, but right now every bit helps to blend in my clip in extensions. It's not quite as scraggly as it appears, but I have some grape seed oil in and it's making it kind of stringy looking. Don't get me wrong, it is stringy but not as bad as it looks in the 2nd pic when just washed and dried.
http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z391/whittles308/Mobile%20Uploads/image-1.jpg (http://s1187.photobucket.com/user/whittles308/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image-1.jpg.html)

Georgii
October 9th, 2014, 09:05 AM
Best of luck!

Whittles308
December 4th, 2014, 12:29 PM
Ok I have had a pretty dramatic change in course lol. I decided I would rather have a shaved head and be blonde than dark hair so I went back blonde, with surprisingly minimal damage, and chopped it off to just around chin length. I hate short hair and thought I would be miserable but it being one length again, and feeling healthy, has made the big chop worth it all! But now I will be restarting my growth journey and hopefully, with some TLC, and thankfully fast growing hair I will be back to a more comfortable length soon! As a bonus my hubby was all about the new hairdo!

http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z391/whittles308/Mobile%20Uploads/image-2.jpg (http://s1187.photobucket.com/user/whittles308/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image-2.jpg.html)

Whittles308
December 4th, 2014, 12:30 PM
And here is a very shiny, tired me trying to get another pic!
http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z391/whittles308/Mobile%20Uploads/image-3.jpg (http://s1187.photobucket.com/user/whittles308/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image-3.jpg.html)

Begemot
December 4th, 2014, 01:02 PM
Woah, didn't see that one coming just after looking at the pictures from october! You look beautiful, short hair really suits you :) I too would take healthy hair anytime over longer but not so healthy hair. Good luck with growing longer!

nikolette
December 4th, 2014, 01:17 PM
Welcome Wittles :)

Have you considered maybe taking off the ends that you say are scraggly and starting with your healthiest hair? I know it seems like a set back. A few months ago, I cut off about 3 inches of my hair followed by another 2 inches. And I can tell you that I was so shocked at how quickly my hair grew back after I got rid of the worst of the damage.

Also, after I got over the shock of the cut, I really LOVED having healthier feeling hair even though it was shorter and trust me I am desperate for long locks! For me, it was very cleansing and I felt really free afterwards.

nikolette
December 4th, 2014, 01:19 PM
Welcome Wittles :)

Have you considered maybe taking off the ends that you say are scraggly and starting with your healthiest hair? I know it seems like a set back. A few months ago, I cut off about 3 inches of my hair followed by another 2 inches. And I can tell you that I was so shocked at how quickly my hair grew back after I got rid of the worst of the damage.

Also, after I got over the shock of the cut, I really LOVED having healthier feeling hair even though it was shorter and trust me I am desperate for long locks! For me, it was very cleansing and I felt really free afterwards.



WOW! I just want to say that I wrote my last post as a reply to your initial post and I did not see the update. YOU LOOK FABULOUS! YOUR HAIR LOOKS FABULOUS! WELL DONE!

Now you can grow out free of old damage and enjoy how beautiful your hair is! Wow! really awesome :)

Whittles308
December 4th, 2014, 01:27 PM
Nicolette that is so funny!!! But yes to your advice! I figured keeping half dead scarecrow hair would only impede any new growth anyways and this past Monday I had a glass of wine and just started cutting! But it's exactly like you said, and the feeling of all healthy hair was so worth it even though, like you, I want long hair! There is a certain sense of empowerment and I am feeling very authorative with the short hair. Where did you cut to and how long ago? How much growth have you had?

Thank you both begemot and Nikolette for the kind words on the short hair!

nikolette
December 4th, 2014, 01:55 PM
Nicolette that is so funny!!! But yes to your advice! I figured keeping half dead scarecrow hair would only impede any new growth anyways and this past Monday I had a glass of wine and just started cutting! But it's exactly like you said, and the feeling of all healthy hair was so worth it even though, like you, I want long hair! There is a certain sense of empowerment and I am feeling very authorative with the short hair. Where did you cut to and how long ago? How much growth have you had?

Thank you both begemot and Nikolette for the kind words on the short hair!

Let me tell you, I wanted long hair for year but it never seemed to grow much past APL/BSL and I always thought that my hair grew very slowly. The reason for this was DAILY use of my flat iron with NO heat protectant on the HIGHEST setting. I did that for 10+ years. Add in dye jobs, poor brushing techniques (would RIP through my tangled hair with a regular brush).

Around August this year I started getting serious about my hair. I realize all the damage I had been doing... how could I not have known? I joined LHC. I did a good trim and stopped using heat. But I saw hair breaking off. A lot of it. Then I did a bigger cut, about 3 inches in September. I started measuring after that. I would say I am getting about an inch a month. Which I never ever thought possible! I am also monthly microtrimming because I still have considerable damage up my hair shaft.

Now, 2 days ago I went and did sometimes stupid and got a keratin treatment (lol you can read my anxiety ridden post about googling after damage of the treatment on the mane forum) and I am hoping that it doesn't set me back in my healthy hair journey too much!

Anyway, I think your haircut looks beautiful. And if I am to be honest, it looks much more attractive then the damaged ends. Now you can grow out healthy without those ends hindering your progress!

Happy growing!!!!!

Whittles308
December 4th, 2014, 02:09 PM
I mean honestly after what I've been through with damaging my hair plus health issues on top of it I am grateful I'm not bald headed! Off to go look for your post! Good growing luck to you!

kganihanova
December 4th, 2014, 04:45 PM
It looks so chic!

Whittles308
December 4th, 2014, 04:57 PM
Really thank you all for the compliments, it makes me feel this was definitely the right thing to do!

Johannah
December 5th, 2014, 08:39 AM
Oh wow! It really suits you!!

winship2
December 5th, 2014, 04:21 PM
Great hairstyle on you! I think you did the right thing to cut-- if you decide to grown your hair now, although you may look in the mirror and think, "I wish it was longer" at least you won't be thinking, "Oh, I wish it had more style and looked healthier while I'm waiting to gain length". There are threads here about growing while bleaching, and while I am kind of dubious about how long and healthy hair can get while being bleached, it sounds like for you the most important thing is not length, but a balance of length, health, and remaining blonde? If so, then go for your goal! Good luck growing and regaining health in your body and your hair :)

Rowdy
December 5th, 2014, 04:52 PM
That haircut and color is absolutely stunning on you!! And your cheekbones are amazing!!

nikolette
December 5th, 2014, 05:17 PM
Really thank you all for the compliments, it makes me feel this was definitely the right thing to do!

This was DEFINITELY the right move! Your hair will grow sooo much faster (i.e. you will actually retain your growth) without the damaged ends!
whoo hoo!!!

Whittles308
March 17th, 2015, 03:22 PM
Ok I don't have pics to post(stupid phone is full) but I have been keeping it at the same length, with lots of little trims, and most of the layers are starting to even up to the point I can start really growing it again! Short hair is so much work! I definitely have to dry it all the way if I want it to look good but I have been able to avoid heat tools like flat irons/curling irons. I also have been utilizing headbands like no ones business! It feels so good to feel the thickness coming back to my hair!

MINAKO
March 17th, 2015, 03:33 PM
Congratulations on your progress and happy growing!! :)