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CLCNY20
April 25th, 2008, 04:29 PM
I've come to an epiphany about hair (and I'm sure it won't be the last, lol) and I wanted to share it. I'm sure everyone has realized something special/unique/weird/coincidental/glorious about hair (whether it's yours, or just hair in general) and I'd really love to hear about it! Especially if you have hair beyond your shoulders, I'd really love to learn what you've been through/figured out along the way...

I made a blog about this on my hair site, but since I don't have a siggy yet I'll just paste it here:

_______________________________________________

My Little Hair Epiphany


[SIZE=3]First off, I just want to say that I’m highly embarrassed at all that I’ve put my hair through, and at all of the “styles” that I’ve forced my hair to emulate all in the sake of getting a compliment. They were not worth loosing inches and inches and inches, and were not worth the dryness that the ends of my hair are now suffering.

Hair can tell you a lot about a person. It can tell you if a person is a risk-taker, or not. It can tell you if a person is pressured by society to do things that aren’t really the best for them, or if a person doesn’t give a damn about society’s opinion. Most importantly, it can tell you how well a person takes care of themselves. If you don’t believe me, take a look at these Hollywood stars…

As shiny as their hair may be, it doesn’t take a genius to see that it’s over-processed, and dry/brittle/damaged-looking when you catch them off the red carpet; this means exactly what I just said in regards to who they are as a person—shiny and pretty when in front of the camera, and in bad condition when they think they are alone (but sadly, they are never alone, and cannot escape the truth).

Take a look at Goth guys/chicks, at the Kool-Aid (no joke, and no intention of being rude, but that was what many Goth friends have told me they use) they put into their hair to take the ends from black to Manic Panic red. We look at them and think, “wow…someone’s trying to make a bold statement!” and it’s true—if these Goths wanted to be low-key, they could just have their beliefs and keep them quietly to themselves, but they want to make a statement, and with a Kool-Aid brightener hairstyle, the statement is, “I want to stand out, I want to be noticed…but I don’t want to do any harm to myself just for the sake of a trend”. Kool Aid does, after all, wash out.



I’ll have to finish this later, my boss just pissed me off pretty badly, and I lost all track of thought…



Okay, so as I was saying before (trying to regain the momentum I started this article out with…) your hair says a lot about you, whether you believe it or not.

I will not count my hair/hairstyles under the age of 19, because they were controlled by my mother (but then again, so was I, lol—so in a way my hair did tell the truth about who I was/my lifestyle).

From 19 on, I was wearing my hair in weaves, and extensions. What did this say? “I have no clue what to do with what God gave me, so I’m just gonna hide it under something more manageable”.

Now, I just want to note here that NOT ALL PEOPLE WHO WEAR WEAVES ARE DOING SO FOR THE SAME REASON! I just happened to be at that end-of-adolescence stage where I had NO clue who I was, and just figured, “fine, I’ll work and go to school, because that way I’m covering all bases, and making everyone happy”, but the truth was that not everyone was happy…I wasn’t happy…

I finally took my weave/braids out at around age 22, and my hair had grown down to the longest it had ever been (which wasn't that long, it was just a little passed my shoulders). I was so proud of it, and even my mother was raving about it…and then the unimaginable happened…

Somehow, someway, my hair broke off at the ends. I think it was from perming it after like 3 months of it resting under braids, but it came off like crazy. And not just an inch of it…not just two…

I had about 4 inches of new growth, and pretty much all 4 inches broke off, and unevenly to boot. So, I finally got my moment of glory, and it got snatched from me before I could even enjoy it. I was devastated.

Left with no other choice but to save-face, I went back to the weaves. I’ve been wearing weaves and braids in my hair ever since my early twenties, and I’m now in my late 20’s, and still have them in.

How does this tie into my 20’s? I’ve been doing what society expects me to, in order to “save-face”. Even when I wasn’t working, I was still busting my ass to look for work, and even when I wasn’t looking for work, I was beating up on myself for taking a break. Meanwhile, I wasn’t stopping to really figure out what I wanted, and just kept getting swept up in the crowd of people all around me, and the media--into the direction of "what needs to be done/should be done" instead of trying to found the "what wants to be done/can be done".

Well, here I am, 28-years-old, and I’ve finally woken up about my hair. I no longer want to wear weaves, and I damn sure as hell don’t want to pay for someone else to put them in (a couple hundred bucks, and I have important things I could be doing with that money), not to mention not wanting to do them myself anymore (I cannot tell you how long it takes…) I want to wear my own natural hair, and not be afraid of breaking it all off through negligence.

How does that mirror my life? Well, at the age of 28 I have decided that I would like to return to school, but unlike when I was going to college a few years ago, I will be majoring in a trade/craft that I truly admire (Computer Graphics and Animation) rather than what I think my family would rather (Nursing…which is what I was going for before, but was just not feeling). I want to be true to myself, and make sure that 40-year-old me isn’t crying into her hands, wishing she could return and be true to herself back when she had a better chance to…

Also, my boss is trying to punish me for not wanting to go into Sales from my Administrative Assistant job title—even though this is what I interviewed for, and even though I explained to him (both at the interview and many times after) that I chose to be an Administrative Assistant as a JOB not a a CAREER, which means that I have no plans to remain one (nothing against those who choose to remain one, but I’m too young to stay in this category…it’s decent pay, but I’d rather be making computer game animations, or working for Disney and Pixar [FONT=Wingdings]J ) I told him I will soon be returning to school—even though I’m not sure if it’s going to be this year or next, and wanted to make sure I was in a job title which allowed me the flexibility to come in earlier and leave earlier if I had to, and also to leave when I had to, period (you can’t just up and leave in the middle of a sale). He doesn’t understand, however, and is attributing my non-acceptance as me either being lazy, or not believing in myself enough to do Sales. I’ve told him I’ve DONE Sales before, and that it’s not a big deal, but he hears what he wants to, so what can I do?

I will not let anyone tell me something cannot be achieved, either in my life or with my hair. Let God be the one to decide that, and let me be the one to second it.

So here I am, ready for what may come, but armed with more knowledge than I've ever had in my life before. I don't mind failing, I know I'm going to stumble and fall quite a few times before I find my footing, but as long as I'm giving my best effort, and not letting the little things sway/stop me, I'm find dusting myself off, and continuing on my journey, taking with me all the good/bad lessons learned.

And that’s my little hair epiphany of the week. :D


C

Eden Iris
April 25th, 2008, 05:28 PM
Thank you for that, CLCNY20. Good luck with your education and career, and of course with growing out your naturally beautiful hair.

Druid of Alba
April 25th, 2008, 08:38 PM
I have realized that long hair is a part of who I am. Sadly, it took cutting of most of my hair to realize this, but I am just happy that I know this now.

PhillyGirl1978@
April 25th, 2008, 08:45 PM
That was a really great article. I have had some epiphanies mostly when I went CG and started taking care of my natural curls instead of pretending to have straight hair for years. My hair has really rewarded me by growing and looking great.

CLCNY20
April 25th, 2008, 10:05 PM
Thanks for the well wishes, Eden! I'm glad to have a group to share this with, I'm truly amazed by how open-minded and loving you guys are, it's almost unreal =)

It is a spiritual thing, in a way--isn't it? I mean, it's not like some object or possession that you can just place down and walk away from, it's a part of you, and it can tell you so much about yourself--I feel like a fool for ignoring/trying to hide it.

Sanguine
April 26th, 2008, 10:34 AM
My biggest hair epiphany was that trimming every 6-8 weeks does not help it grow, it only makes it shorter.Now I avoid salons and hairdressers as a rule.
You might be interested in this ginormous thread, I know I am!!

http://www.longhaircareforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=204301

Nyght
April 26th, 2008, 12:49 PM
I wish I hadn't taken my hair for granted when it was long. Now that I am growing it out again, I appreciate every single inch!

An epiphany I have had recently is when I work out in the heat and keep my scalp covered (usually with a bandanna) it seems to grow so much faster. It grew nearly an inch since the first of April!

CLCNY20
April 26th, 2008, 06:50 PM
I knew it! I've ALWAYS felt my hair grew super fast during the summertime for that very same reason! I figured it was because of the sweat that kinda...not to be gross, lol, but "marinates" your scalp for a while, just kinda tenderizing it...

But then I saw this site where they claim that hair grows faster in the winter, because of the shorter days...

I was like "bull..."

heidihug
April 27th, 2008, 11:32 AM
I had a hair epiphany about a month ago - see this thread to for how I "worked" it out:
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=1661&highlight=close+cutting

Like you, CLCNY20, I think I was worrying more about pleasing others than about serving myself. After all, if I'm not happy with who I am, how can I expect others to be understanding of my behavior? Being depressed and crabby all the time is a bad way to live life, I know from experience.

amaiaisabella
April 27th, 2008, 02:10 PM
My hair epiphany was when I realized that by washing my dry hair every day or every other day, I was actually making it drier! Before, my hair was very fragile and broke easily, but since being here, my hair has grown stronger, shinier, and has a LOT more moisture!

Thank you, LHC :)

Periwinkle
April 27th, 2008, 02:19 PM
My biggest hair epiphany is that my hair looks damn stupid in a ponytail with a centre parting. I wore it that way every day for about eight years. I am NEVER doing that again.

Alaskanheart
April 27th, 2008, 03:16 PM
My biggest hair epiphany is that we all go through stages, and changes and growths sometimes these stages can last for along time and some for a short time.While I have done alot of things to my hair that changes it from its natural healthy appearance, and stunted its growth, I am not ashamed or feel that now that I am taking better care of it that I am superior in any way to people who are still bleaching , getting extentions, cutting into trendy do's.For many creative people hair is just another tool to express themselves, others enjoy trying new looks.I guess the biggest thing is that we cant judge someone and assume we have insight into their personality by looking at something as trivial as hair, to do so seems very shallow and ignorant.

krt1013
April 27th, 2008, 04:23 PM
My biggest epiphany came recently, when I realized that I don't have to blowdry my hair to get it to be smooth. I recently started eliminating bad stuff from my haircare routine and have been focusing on much more natural ways of moisturizing (rather than just slapping on some frizz-ease, lol). It's amazing how damaged your hair can get when you mask the damage rather than moisturize it! I had to cut off so much hair last summer that it went from the middle of my back to just below my shoulders. But, my new growth was so worth it! I owe this board and Makeupalley.com so, so much...

From a post I just wrote:

I used to always blow dry, no matter what... and ended up with lion's mane poof whenever humidity struck!

Now though, I only use soluble 'cones and rotate between Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream and Nature's Gate Nourishing Hemp. Still can't go more than 2 days between washing, but I'm working on that... Heck, I used to wash 1-2 times a day with Pantene, of all things, when I was running track in high school.

I condition every day and always oil my ends before bed. I'm still looking for the 'perfect' oil: right now I use a blend of avocado, jojoba, olive, and coconut. Using coconut oil only seems to make my hair stiff rather than soft, so right now the blend helps keep me smooth and shiny. Do you guys have any oil cocktails that seem to work for you?

It's funny thinking how a year ago, if I had to airdry, my hair would look like the bristles on a broom, and now, airdrying actually gives me MORE softness than blowfrying! Before, I thought that I was doomed to blowdry every day if I ever wanted any kind of shape or smoothness. How wrong I was! Silly consumerism... my teenage self was so lost.

I can't wait to see how my hair continues to improve over the summer months when I can get outside and soak up the warmth! Yay for sunshine!:D

CLCNY20
April 27th, 2008, 04:36 PM
A few more epiphanies of mine:

Anything with a lemony/citrus-type scent means dryness for my hair (enter the Garnier Fructis disaster I just went through. I have my hair in microbraids, which I only just did last weekend, and will not be redoing until another 3 weeks from now, so I'm stuck with the itchy scalp that this horrible lemon-based product has given me, and am so pissed that I spent so much money on it all).

Shea butter is really good for my skin! I am in AWE of how bright and smooth my complexion has become by applying it after a shower...and this is just my second day of using it!

Black soap is not some nasty concoction of dirt and fly doodoo, as I used to believe when I was younger, lol. It's actually a really great and gentle all-natural cleanser that I will now use instead of conventional bar soaps, which dry my skin and leave me feeling itchy. I'm even considering using it as my shampoo.

DO NOT apply leave-in-conditioners to your scalp, or it will leave it as itchy as mine now feels (I'm pretty sure that's the culprit).

And finally, if my hair is poofy after blow drying...then why not air dry? I mean, it won't be STRAIGHT after air-drying (and I'll need to coat the ends especially well) but anything is better than frying my hair with a dryer, and THEN straightening it with a flat iron...

julya
April 27th, 2008, 05:10 PM
CLCNY20, I don't really have a hair epiphany, but I'm planning to go back to school and I'm 28 too. I'm actually taking one class right now (chemistry) andy trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.
Thanks for posting this!

Melisande
April 27th, 2008, 06:08 PM
I did have hair epiphanies... and quite a lot lately... but I want to tell here about a scalp epiphany.

I have dry and sensitive skin that I treat very well with shea butter and oils, for many years - long before I learned to take of my hair, I took care of my skin.

I did notice after shampooing my hair that my hands were dry and had to be moisturized. It didn't occur to me that my scalp might be dry, too.

When I put for the first time jojoba oil on my scalp it hit me: my scalp is SKIN. It wants to be pampered and treated well and oiled and moisturized just like skin everywhere else.

Since then, I can hardly stop myself. I oil my scalp regularly, and it's all the happier for it. My new hair grows from a happy scalp.

CLCNY20
April 27th, 2008, 08:21 PM
Julya, that's great to hear! I wish you all the best, and thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in that :)

jessie58
April 27th, 2008, 08:58 PM
My hair epiphany: cutting bangs into your hair will not make you miss your husband any less. Nor will it make him come home any sooner. :silly:
I thought I would cheer myself up by cutting bangs myself and by getting a trim. Uh, no. Not a good thing. Cutting your hair when you want shorter is a good thing. Cutting your hair when your husband is away for months at a time is not a good thing.

Another hair epiphany, I just realized the other day that my hair ends were getting drier and drier. I had been putting coconut oil and shea butter on my wet length over the last month or so. I finally put 2 and 2 together. Duh! I stopped using the oil/shea and with the trim I mentioned above, my hair is now nice and soft on the ends.
*lightbulb*

angelthadiva
April 27th, 2008, 09:20 PM
I have two: Wash less and wear my hair up more.

The less I wash it, the less I'm messing with it. The more I wear it up; the less I'm messing with it and it's more protected.

The time one wastes in trying to make OP happy is time that can not be recaptured. Finding something that you are good at; and being able to get paid for it, is one way to achieve that happiness.

I recently went through this little phase a few weeks ago; because I too switched gears from what I had originally was going to school for...Besides the basics, all my other classes were geared toward elementary ed--Now, I'm going into social work...So, basically I have to start all over. I started feeling overwhelmed and began thinking I would never finish blah, blah, blah...Then I reminded myself that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time...You can't look at the whole elephant (or you will get overwhelmed), just focus on one little spot at a time, and in no time it'll be all gone...I stopped beating myself up and was glad that I actually have a plan. Yeah, it's gonna take some time, but guess what?! I will have done it, and I did it for myself.

The next time your boss suggests the sales stuff; tell him you are flattered that he thinks so highly of you, but you don't think the sales department fits into your long-term goals. If flexibility is what keeps you in your current position; maybe you could negotiate some terms. Ask for the sun, moon and stars. If he's serious, and he wants you, he might make it worth your while...Hey, you never know, if you are good at negotiating you might get him to pay for your schooling...It worked for me! :) :flowers:

Sara_Smiles
April 27th, 2008, 09:29 PM
It only recently occured to me that the straight, light blonde hair I've been perming and darkening since I was 16 was prbably the most flattering hair style I could have ever asked for, and its going to take me months and months to get back to that.

wintersun99
April 27th, 2008, 09:43 PM
..........

CLCNY20
April 27th, 2008, 09:51 PM
Thanks for the advice, Angel, and for the rest of the epiphanies all of you guys have shared with me.

As far as getting into Sales, I've seen pretty much every sales person that entered our company fired...and I've only been at the job for a year-and-a-half, so that's saying a whole lot. It's OK though, him refusing to up my pay, or give me commission for the money that I bring into the company with support revenue (I'm practically selling support, but he refuses to view it that way) is the kick in the behind I need to go back to school. He thinks he's breaking me, especially when I slip up and kinda moan and wail about financial troubles (which I will never do to him again...I now know that he was using that as blackmail to go into sales) but he doesn't realize I'm like the rubiks cube of human beings, and unless he knows the formula, or has a LOT of time to waste, he might as well move on.

I have also noticed (2 days into my shea butter usage) that while it makes my skin soft and gives it a healthy but non-oily glow, it doesn't do anything for my hair...and I'm not sure if it's my imagination or what, but my scalp's itching more and more in the areas that I've applied it to. Hmmm...

Ella
April 28th, 2008, 06:04 PM
My awakening was when I missed a trim and started pulling my hair back to make it look neat. I suddenly realised what I was missing out on having short hair....

asantegold
April 28th, 2008, 07:54 PM
Great post CLCNY20

My hair epiphany is that my hair is protein sensitive. Even though I've been reading hair boards for a while and new the importance of moisture for my hair type, I hadn't balanced out the need for protein with relaxed hair and moisture.

Curlsgirl
April 28th, 2008, 08:30 PM
That was a really great article. I have had some epiphanies mostly when I went CG and started taking care of my natural curls instead of pretending to have straight hair for years. My hair has really rewarded me by growing and looking great.

This is me!!! I don't do CG but the book and learning to take care of and "embrace" my natural curls was it for me for sure!

Now it's who I am!

AJoifulNoise
April 28th, 2008, 08:39 PM
When I joined the LHC I had a couple of epiphanies.

- Just because my scalp is oily, that doesn't mean my hair can't use moisture. In fact, it desperately needed it. Deep Treats are my friends. This was my biggest epiphany.

-I need conditioner for my scalp as well as my hair (bye-bye dandruff!)

-My hair breaks less the less I use a brush. I remember the snapping sounds. *shudders*

CLCNY20
April 28th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Thanks, Asante. I'm kinda hesitant about using protein in mine, even though I haven't permed for 5 months now...