View Full Version : The keys to successful growing?

May 13th, 2010, 01:04 PM
Hi all! :waving: I have this thing I would like to discuss with you.

One thing has never changed since I joined the LHC in 2006 is the fact that I want long hair. I really do.

If I had kept growing and stuck with my original plan I would probably have been at waist or tailbone with one length virgin hair right now. Instead I am at between collarbone and APL with highlighted and layered hair. Why is this?

I have cut and dyed my hair a number of times since finding LHC. First I dyed my hair dark brown, the I regretted it and highlighted to get my natural color back. Then I cut to get rid of layers because I wanted one length hair. Then I highlighted some more. Then even more, and cut new layers. Then continued growing but by my hair got very thinned out by the time it reached BSL and was very damaged from the bleach. Then decided to start over because I wanted one length virgin hair again at cut back to shorter than shoulder length. And now a few months ago I got this impulse and highlighted and layered it yet again. So this is where I am right now, still dreaming of long hair!

So I am trying to figure out the reasons for this behaviour. I am thinking it's a number of things like thinking that other people think I am prettier in highlights and layers. Maybe it's because I am frustrated with life and can't change anything but my hair. Maybe I am too hard on myself when I care for my hair, thinking it has to be uo always and that I can never ever trim it. That makes it too hard and eventually I just give it all up. I am not sure. I am a bit of an "all or nothing" kind of person. Either I take very good care of my hair or I don't care about it at all. I realise that it's when I take no care of it at all it gets long, but also damaged. When I care much about it and take care of it I always end up cutting it off to "start over" because all I see is damage. Le sigh!

Anyone else have these problems? How do you deal with them? Anyone got rid of them? And how?

May 13th, 2010, 01:10 PM
Nope, I think my problem is trimming -- I'm just going to have to buck up and try to trim myself and not fear the jagged edge -- plus I can focus on the saving $$$$, that should help keep me focused. Mine has always been somewhere between BSL and WL -- so mid-lower-back.

May 13th, 2010, 01:26 PM
I completely understand your grow/change/grow cycle! I used to do it myself. In January 2010, after just highlighting:( it cutting layers into it, it was just below SL. I decided to leave my hair alone for the first time in 5 years. Now it is May and I am at APL. :cheese: Since I've left it alone to grow and see the results, my impulse to cut/color again is GONE for good! BSL...here I come!

You can do it, just stick out at least 4 months of treating your hair well and once you see the results, you will commit. That is my opinion at least.

May 13th, 2010, 02:02 PM
I think you need to learn how to ignore your hair - i know its hard!

Wash it when it needs to be washed, trim when it needs a trim, minimal combing and no heat.

And don't be so hard on yourself. Accept that there may be some damage here and there, and maybe even a few splits.

If you really do want virgin waist length hair, then learn to appreciate your hair, accept its texture and colour.

Try to set yourself mini goals, like no trimming for 3 months and take lengths shot first of the month, might help to motivate you :)

good luck

May 13th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Hey there , it sounds to me like maybe you are not comfortable with yourself and feel you need to change , maybe one day you see super blonde hair and think thats better and cave in and do it as its quicker than waiting for it to grow .Then you switch do someting else. You are sabotaging your true desire of long hair so ultimately you are not quite happy with these new styles.
Dont cave in to your urges. Keep your end goal in site . beautiful long shiny hair . Just my pennys worth i could be wrong . x

May 13th, 2010, 02:20 PM
It sounds like you might be impulsive. The style change that you can have right now trumps the style change that's going to take years of patience.

Perhaps you can make a pact with yourself or a friend that your hair is off limits, and you will express your need for change with makeup, jewelry, hair accessories, learning new things to do with your hair - like curl it or put it up.

Good luck! I was so impulsive that I had to wait for patience to come along in my mid-40s, which turns out to be all right. It's a good time to grow long hair, less demands from small children, etc.

May 13th, 2010, 04:06 PM
Like Spidermom indicated, for me, patience came with age. I finally become disillusioned with the never ending cycle of needing to do something to improve the appearance of my hair. I finally started focusing on my goal instead of my hair's appearance.

You simply trim it less than it grows, refrain from doing stuff to it and try not to break hairs by containing it whenever it could be damaged by wind, seatbelts, eyeglass hinges, the backs of chairs, collars, necklaces, brushes, combs, other people, harsh products and appliances, etc...

If you want to grow, don't be influenced by anything other than your own goal.

May 14th, 2010, 02:16 AM
I understand how you feel. I have also been told that lighter hair than my natural color suits me better, but for now I am sticking to my goal and people are commenting how soft and shiny my hair is. This really gives me a lot of strength to carry on. However, if you feel that you cannot do without dye then why not try a good quality semi-permanent? It will give you a change for some time and won't damage your hair as much as permanent.
My stumbling and falling on my path towards long hair is usually break-ups and highly stressful times. I then get the urge to highlight and/or overall dye it. I then just chant in my head: hair does not define you. You want long hair.:o:)
All I can say is: stick to your guns:guns: If you feel you are about to trip (read: fall victim of the dye/layering/chopping monster) then just come and look for support here.:)

May 14th, 2010, 03:11 AM
Lize, why exactly do you want long hair? What does long hair mean to you? I think that is an important question, and if you find the answer it might help you stick to your goal. For example, if you want long hair to free your hidden hippie your approach would probably be different than if you want long hair because you want to feel elegant and feminine. Or maybe you´ll find that deep down you don´t want long hair after all - that you really only admire the look on others, or you connect long hair to a certain mindset you admire and really want to change your personality but try to change your hair instead. It is not a question you need to answer publicly, but you yourself should be sure of your reasons and goals before proceeding on your long hair journey.

On a more pratical note: I think what helps to break the cycle is set yourself a two-week rule before making any changes (and stick to it, of course!). And learn some updos - or even just one - that you find flattering and easy to make, because IMO updos are the key to successful growing. They protect your hair, they hide bad hair days, they help to keep your hair unobtrusive in daily life, so you won´t have to live with people constantly questioning your decision to grow - and last but not least they´ll help to keep your hair hidden from yourself on those days when one just hates everything about one´s hair and has the urge to cut.

May 14th, 2010, 05:12 AM
I second Spidermom's and Calista's words - completely right and spot on! I just want to add that maybe you are a perfectionist and want to look every day PERfect. But on a longhair journey, there will be days when your hair looks less than perfect. If you really see yourself with long hair and want to grow your hair, you may have to learn to get used to the less-than-perfect look on some days or in some phases. Just ignore it, put your hair up and take good care of it. Don't see your hair as styling material but as part of yourself.

But don't beat yourself up for not reaching your goals. You have the right to make your own decisions and change them again ;-) "Lady Catherine will never know... "

May 14th, 2010, 05:24 AM
Lize, I've been through what you are going through so many times, and I really think I've finally broken out of it.

For me, it was that any time I felt blue or frustrated about other things, I would distract myself by thinking about my hair. I would want to try a new colour, or I would think that a cut would make me feel "brand new".

Naturally, this is flawed thinking, but it's very, very common for many women, and also I've observed in real life, of some men. I may be way off base, but I suspect that's what may be going on with you.

If you really do want to grow your hair long, try to stick to realistic short-term goals and celebrate when you get there.

When you're feeling down or frustrated, buy yourself a little treat. I'm not talking about anything expensive. It could just be a lipstick or a new drugstore hair accessory. Whatever. It doesn't matter as long as the impulse for something new does not involve cutting your hair.

As regards the highlights, it seems that you like your hair more when it is highlighted. I don't think you need to give that up, if you go to a really good colourist. Look at some of the members here with very long hair who highlight. They just really baby their hair, and they're doing great

Maybe your goal doesn't have to include having virgin hair.

Also, I second Calista in asking you to assess what the allure of long hair really is for you. Having a firm grasp of that in your mind will really help you stick to growing.

And do try to invoke the 2 week rule if you ever get the urge to cut.

I really do understand your frustration. I hope that you can sort it out. :blossom:

May 14th, 2010, 05:38 AM
So I am trying to figure out the reasons for this behaviour. I am thinking it's a number of things like thinking that other people think I am prettier in highlights and layers. Maybe it's because I am frustrated with life and can't change anything but my hair. Maybe I am too hard on myself when I care for my hair, thinking it has to be uo always and that I can never ever trim it. That makes it too hard and eventually I just give it all up. I am not sure. I am a bit of an "all or nothing" kind of person. Either I take very good care of my hair or I don't care about it at all. I realise that it's when I take no care of it at all it gets long, but also damaged. When I care much about it and take care of it I always end up cutting it off to "start over" because all I see is damage. Le sigh!

Anyone else have these problems? How do you deal with them? Anyone got rid of them? And how?

My advice would be to stop worrying about what other people think and decide on a course of action based on what YOU want.

And, I agree with Calista.....you need to decide if you truly want long hair, and why. Who knows.....the long hair "bug" may just be another impulse....:hmm: :shrug: If so, just go buy a good quality wig to wear on those days when you feel like you can't live without long hair.....it may keep you from driving yourself nuts with the constant yo-yo effect.....:justy:

And here is something else to think about....it doesn't have to be "all or nothing" as far as hair care is concerned. I go against the grain on many things here at LHC....I chemically dye my hair on a regular basis, I wear it down most of the time, I trim when I feel like it, I have layers, and I use the dreaded cones.......HOWEVER, other than that, I take very good care of my hair.....no SLS, no heat, regular oilings, updos when I am in a situation where I KNOW there is a chance my hair can be damaged....and my hair is now between waist and hip length.

Sometimes I have to compromise on what I want in the short-term in order to reach my long-term goal.....for instance, I decided to stretch out my permanent dying sessions to every 3-4 months (down from every 4-6 wks or so), because my hair was becoming too porous. To combat the color fade, the grays, and the urge to color more often, I started using a demi color in between. It may not be EXACTLY what I want, but it's close, and I can live with that.

May 14th, 2010, 07:05 AM
Practicing long-term goals might help, and actually growing your hair to tailbone might be good long-term goal practice. Break it down into more palatable chunks.

I agree with those who have said that benign neglect is so much easier as one gets older. Plus there's the phenomenon/illusion of life speeding by so much faster as I age. Less time to spend agonizing about my hair than when I was in my twenties. Less reason to, also, because I'm not worried any more about what people think of me or my looks.

May 14th, 2010, 07:29 AM
I'm pretty much like you Lize, so I can relate. I have often this strong urges to do this and that to my hair, and I never get to grow it out. It's an instant way to feel better about myself. I've been a short hair girl all my life, mainly because I was brainwashed into it (for some reason, my mother always insisted I had to have short hair to look good :rolleyes:), but now I decided to let it grow out a bit to see what it will look like (shoulder length right now, that is huge for me :)).

The 2 weeks rule does nothing for me because when I have this impulses, they are so strong there is no way I could wait 2 weeks to do something ;).

Here are the 2 things i find help me very much with fighting the urges to cut/ color my hair:

- find yourself a good stylist and have a great cut.
That's what happened to me and honestly, with a very good cut that really suits me, I have less urge to change and cut again. In the past I had ok cuts that looked bad after 2 months so I wanted to cut again. Now I'm really happy with my hair (slightly layered cut) and I can go much longer between cuts.

- when you feel the urge to do something to your hair, buy a hair accessory (I second FrannyG on this). It gives you that sense of "new" without ruining your hair efforts.

Good luck!

May 14th, 2010, 08:09 AM
Leaving your hair alone (though up and protected) as much as possible is extremely important, imo. My hair grew the most when I was wearing it up except to rinse it a few times a week while I was doing water only. Now, because of my job, I have to wash it once a day which means more mechanical damage from the washing, putting it up and taking it down more often, less protection and more time for me to nitpick and consider drastic changes.

May 14th, 2010, 08:14 AM
Why do you want virgin hair at certain times?

The LHC term of `virgin hair´ always sounded a bit suspicious to me. Is there such a thing as virgin hair? If I was going to avoid chemical dye, heat appliances and harsh styling products, did my hair count as virgin then? What if I used a hair straightener only once? What if I´m soaking my hair in chlorinated water regularly?

I hope you find your reasons for layers and highlights! :grouphug:

May 15th, 2010, 02:22 AM
Wow, so many wonderful replies! Thank you so much! :flowers: I don't have time to write individual replies right now but I'll get back to you later today. :flowers:

May 15th, 2010, 04:22 PM
It may be impulse, it may be frustration, or it may be lack of self-esteem that drives these changes in you. The true answer to why you keep changing your hair cannot be answered until you discover this for yourself. And it can be extremely hard to do the soul-searching required to find those answers, because most of us tend to gloss over that which starts to make us uncomfortable, so quickly that we usually aren't even aware that we're doing it. You might not really even want long hair, the idea of long hair or long virgin hair might be an impulse choice too.

One way to help you find out your real reasons for what you want in your hair is to do a pro/con list. On the pro side you list all the good reasons to have your hair long, every single reason you can think of that applies to you. On the con side, list all the reasons you can think of against long hair for you. A good example for me would be: Pro- I love the way my hair feels when it brushes against my back, Con- my hair takes much longer to dry because I cannot use a blowdryer if I want my hair to stay as undamaged as possible, Pro- my hair feels so much softer and silkier now, and makes me feel much more sensuous as a result, Con- I cannot be trendy with my hairstyles now, and sometimes wearing a bun can make me feel frumpy.

If you need to, set the list aside for several days at a time, then come back to it with a clear head. Even if something makes you feel negative about yourself, it is good to put it on the list, because it is the only way to see how you really feel. Remember, no one but you will see it, so you can be brutally honest with yourself if you think you can manage that. If it starts to look like you are editing your responses, try putting the list aside for a few weeks even. Or better yet, have a few glasses of wine and then start writing. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, and might make it easier for you to be truthful with yourself.

In the meantime, make a hair pictures collage from pictures of hair you find attractive in magazines or printed from pics online. Pick photos you would love to try on yourself, not just pics of hair that is attractive in general. Put the collage on a piece of posterboard from the craft aisle, and put it up on your bedroom wall or on your fridge. Someplace you can look at it often. See which pics your eye keeps getting drawn to, the ones that make you think you wish your hair looked like that. You might even put a new pic over an older one you no longer find interesting.

If you do both of these things, I am pretty sure you will find out what you really want, rather than what you think you should want, and your choices will become much easier for you. I got the idea for this from some guides I had seen on buying a home, and how to choose what features are important to you. It was kind of funny to realize that this method could be used towards many different decisions in life and it would work equally well for them all.

May 15th, 2010, 09:52 PM
Maybe taking up a new hobby may help to channel some of the desire for change? You can still dye your hair and have it long but it is better to use semipermanent dyes. If you want layers, maybe get very slight ones done so there is less to cut off when you get tired of them. Even experimenting with different hair products could help.

Discipline and curiosity about my terminal length are the only ways I am able to grow my hair. I figure that if I can see this through until the end then I will be able to do other things. All my life I have had people and things interfere with my goals, especially things I am most determined to do and I figure that my hair length is one of the things no one else has control over except for me (if someone comes towards me with scissors I will act in self defense.) It will go a long way to improving my self esteem if I am successful. Honestly, my hair is getting on my nerves right now but I am learning how to deal with it. Whenever it stops growing I will probably cut back to a shorter length or by then I may like it, who knows.

May 24th, 2010, 03:21 AM
Wow, thank you so much for the replies guys! I'll see if I can answer your questions! I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to this thread earlier, but I have been very busy.

ccaswick - I think trimming your own hair can be a great idea! That way you always get exactly the hair cut you want. I always trim/cut my own hair, but maybe I am a little too good at it. :D

ptnicole - I have had commited periods of time that long. Maybe even longer. However the times of doubt still comes sometimes. I don't know why.

frizzalot - Ignoring the hair is probably good. The problem for me is that sometimes I get a little too god at ignoring it, which means I stop taking care of it as much. Acceptance is maybe a very important thing. Maybe I haven't completely succeeded in accepting my hair as it is. I always want it to be thicker and another color.

crystal_k - I think you are very right! I am not as comfortable with myself as I'd like to be. Unfortunately it's difficult to become more self confident, but I am woring on it. I think that also the aspect of quickness is an important one. That you can change your apperance quite drasticly and very quickly. You become a whole different person in 30 minutes. At least that's what you want. You are really just the same person with different hair.

spidermom - Yes I am a pretty impulsive person actually. It actually quite a good idea to try to change using other things instead, like jewlery or make up. Or maybe a new top. I will try to think about this the next time I get urges to cut or dye.

frizzinator - True true. I think I am more patient now than I was 10 years ago, and also more comfortable with myself. I'm just not comfortable enough. Maybe a combination of focus and benign neglect would be good.

fashionaddict - I really CAN do without dye most of the time. I really do think my natural color and texture looks quite nice. But of course you always also want what you don't have. It's would also be good to come here and look for support. I tent to avoid the LHC whan I get those urges to cut or dye. Maybe I should make some kind of promise to myself to come here first if I ever get those urges again. Maybe that'll beat the monster. :)

Calista - I want long and healthy hair because I think that's the style that I would feel most pretty in and look best in. I think it really suits me. And also it's an easy style. Just put it up when you don't want to deal with it you know. The problem is that I am impatient to get there, and I don't like the look of the middle lengths much on me. About the two week rule it has never helped me. When I get the urges they are stronger then that rule. But maybe I should do something else when I feel like that. Maybe get a mini trim and wash my hair or something that I know is going to make me feel better about it. Washing hair more frequently may be one of those magic things for me. Updos are good. And at work they work just fine. The problem is I do martial arts. A LOT. And that involves rolling on the floor and people stepping on my hair almost daily. I will start wearing it in a braid when it gets long enough but now it's usually in a pony when I do that. And since I am an "all or nothing" kind of person it really bothers me that I put so much stress on my hair at practise. That also makes me wanna give up sometimes.

Melisande - Yes, I am a bit of a perfectionist! You are right about that. If my hair feels dry or looks ratty one day I can feel like giving up.

FrannyG - Yay for breaking out of it! I sure wanna break out of it too! :) I can so relate to the feeling blue and focus on hair to forget about life. I think the buying treats thing is a wonderful idea. I should really do that. However about the goals I am not sure. I tend to obsess a bit to much when I set goals. And that eventually makes me cut. It's weird! I have always had goals and I have always not succeeded. I am thinking NOT having goals might be an answer for me, if that could make me obsess less and forget about the hair more. It always grows the most when I don't think much about it. I don't know about the highlights. I like the color but not the texture it gives my hair. So I think I am eventually going to try to give them up actually.

Dolly - I don't think wanting to have long hair is an impulse. I have been wanting it at least since 2006. But I do think you are on to something reagarding the "all or nothing" thing. Maybe I just have to relax and think that I can probably have long hair even if I don't follow every "rule" of the LHC. Maybe that's just too much work for me. My hair is pratty resistant and of good quality. It can usually handle to not be treated like old lace you know. And meybe it doesn't have to be perfect.

MsBubbles - As I said to Franny having exact goals might not be the answer for me. Maybe I just need to think that I want my hair "long" and see how far I can grow it. And the age thing is so right. I agree that the older I get the easier it get's to ignore what I think that other people might think about me.

gi2121 - Yep, agree that the two week rule has never worked for me either. The problem is that I always cut my own hair, so I don't really go to stylists. But I love the "buying a treat"-idea. I think I will do that!

Nevermore - I do wear my hair up most of the time, but righ now mostly in a ponytail. For me it's also very important to wash it often to feel good about it. So I have actually changed from washing every other day using shampoo and conditioner to CO every day and it works wonders for how I feel about my hair!

camara - By virgin hair I simply mean hair that has not been dyed. I want that because that is when my hair has the best quality and the least damage. That's why I want virgin hair.

EtherealOde - I am definately doing some soul searching because you are right that the problem is not with the hair itself. However I am pretty sure that I do want long hair. I don't ever WANT to cut it short even when I do that. Cutting it short is just for making it healthier when I grow it etc. I think the pro/con-list however is a very neat idea! I think I will definately do that! But I don't really drink anymore so I will probably not use any alcohol when I write it. I don't really agree that the alcohol makes us truthful either, I think it probably removes a part of personality that is there for a reason you know. I like the idea of inspirational pictures too! I like to look at the photo albums here on LHC for inspiration and of course I have a few hair idols too that are great inspirations.

Ash - I have a hobby that I spend huuuge amonts of time doing. Aikido. Unfortunately this hobby is a bit tough on the hair! But it does help me to think about other things than my hair. Actually aikido is much more important to me than my hair. Which is good. Growing hair to be in control is kind of cool too, since I really like to have control. Maybe I cut it to gain control, but maybe I should see it as NOT cutting is to have control. I will be thinking about this.

Again, thank you all so much for your replies! Highly appreciated! :flowers:

May 24th, 2010, 04:16 AM
Hi Lize, I used to be extremely impulsive with my hair too. I'd highlight or bleach all of it, change my mind and dye it black to let it grow out, then get the urge to go red, and dye it black again when I got bored with that, cut off the frizzy mess to above shoulders, vow not to dye again, then a few months later start the whole process over again...

What's really helped me is think of my hair as a way to prove to myself that I can stick to something. I regard it as patience and endurance practice. Maybe thinking like that would be helpful for you too :)

And yes, the awkward stages are awful. I always get the urge to cut or dye. If you want to have long hair though the only thing to do is put it away in an updo and forget about it until the bad stage has passed. Good luck!