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MissManda
August 30th, 2010, 07:43 PM
Hello Everyone! :waving:

It was my one year LHC anniversary on August 10, 2010, but due to an incredibly upsetting family issue, I felt it would be best to delay my anniversary thread until I was feeling a little better. So please allow me to share my hair journey with you all. My hair has been through a lot over the years, but I am still so surprised that my hair made so much progress in one year.

I had long hair when I was a child (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=57250) and I loved it and always got compliments on it. I was very proud of how long, thick, shiny, and beautiful my hair was. Unfortunately, there were people who did not like my hair one bit and constantly told me how thin and flat it was and that I should cut it. After years and years of being nagged by these same people, I caved in during sixth grade and got my very long hair chopped into a bob (sorry no pictures, I'm to embarrassed to post any, it was that bad). I liked it for maybe the first twenty minutes after the cut, and then I started to miss my hair dearly. I spent two years trying to grow my hair back out, with very little success (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=57252) because my grandmother would insist on awful-looking bangs, refused to teach me how to properly care for my own hair (the adults in my life insisted on taking care of it and not me, unfortunately), and would nag me even more about how awful it looked. I never succumbed to dying or using heat on my hair, but I did not know how to do any updos to protect my hair, so it was not in good shape. After getting that bob, i was so horrified of hairdressers that I refused to go get my hair trimmed and my hair got "scraggly."

So in eighth grade, I decided to get my hair cut into a pixie, which I wore through most of high school. I got bored of it quite quickly and started to hate it because people constantly mistook me for a boy, but I was too terrified to try to grow my hair out again because my grandmother would tell me that my hair was too thin, fine, and straight to be long. I was so ashamed of my naturally straight hair that I decided to try a perm during my junior year.

I must say that having a perm was sort of fun for a short time because of the dramatic difference between the curls and my straight hair. But the curls had a major downside because they made my hair excessively dry and I couldn't get a comb through my hair while it was slathered in conditioner in the shower. I decided I didn't want a second perm, but I was bullied and threatened with straight, ugly hair if I didn't, so in November 2007, I got my second perm.

January/February 2008.
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/picture.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=80883

The second perm made my hair even worse and it was at that point when I decided to never, ever do something so damaging to my hair again. Rather than declaring it to everyone, I kept it my little secret. Since my hair was still curly, I managed to grow my hair longer (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=74376) than I would have if I kept my hair straight because the perm hid how "ugly" my natural hair was. Unfortunately, this led me to use the curling iron on my hair. I graduated high school and my hair got a little longer (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=55468) during that summer, even if the hairstylist cut off more than I would have liked.

As a graduation/birthday present, my boyfriend's mom had bought me natural shampoo and conditioner that really helped with my severely damaged hair. I didn't know anything about 'cones back then, but I did notice that my hair, even the straight parts, looked much better and was not flat. I left my grandparents' household in the fall of 2009 to remove myself from their abuse.

My DBF and his parents took me in and treated me like family. i told them how uncomfortable I was about growing out my naturally straight hair because I had been told how ugly it was in the past. They helped me get on my feet and taught me how to take care of myself and as I grew as a new adult, my hair grew, too. It was awkward (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=57251), but I managed. In March 2009, I got the rest of my perm cut out and got my hair demi-dyed for the last time. I reached APL around May or June 2009.

Then I stumbled upon the long hair care boards in July 2009. I was looking for photos of long hair for an art project I was doing with my DBF and I was blown away by what I had found. There were people with all kinds of hair growing to long lengths and I remember drooling over all of the beautiful signature pictures. I was happy to discover that there were people with hairtypes similar to mine that were growing their hair out. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I could grow my hair out to be just as, if not more, beautiful as when I was a little girl.

I promptly gave up my curling iron and I started using the CWC method to help with my dry hair. In August, I joined this site because I felt that my hair looked way better than before.

Here is my very first presentable length shot in August 2009.
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/picture.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=56184

I started to teach myself lots of new braids (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=72698) and new ways of being gentler with my hair. I bought a wide-tooth comb, a couple of wooden brushes, and a BBB. I also discovered jojoba oil as well as the wonders of AVG.

Oh, and I mustn't forget Flexi-8s, which are my favorite hairtoy. Here is a length shot from the end of December 2009.
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/picture.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=58764

By May, my ends were getting really unruly, were breaking off, and were resembling Velcro. I decided to henna my hair to keep it together until I could buy a suitable pair of hair scissors. When I used chemical dye, I loved the auburn color that it would make my hair, so henna seemed like the best option for me.

Here are the results of my first henna in May. I am very happy with my color and I cannot wait to do my next henna!
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/picture.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=73199

I then discovered the wonders of coconut oil and have found that my hair cannot seem to get enough of it. :D I have also been experimenting with CO. I also managed to get my hands on a decent pair of hair scissors so I could give my ends a well-deserved trim.

My trim made me realize that my hair was longer than I thought it was. I was convinced it was midback-length, when in fact it was about halfway to hip (I trimmed 3 or 4 inches off). You can't see it well in this picture, but you can see my scraggly ends. Excuse the lack of shine/depth, as the sun was going down when the picture was taken.
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/picture.php?albumid=6100&pictureid=79689

Here is my most recent length shot taken right after my 3-4" self-trim. Please bear with my cell phone's camera, as it does not pick up detail well. I hope you can see my less-scraggly ends and my new U-shaped hemline. :)
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/picture.php?albumid=3936&pictureid=80993

So... can I call this waist? ^

Thank you so much, LHC, for all of your knowledge and support. I don't know where my hair would be if I hadn't found you. I feel so enabled now that I can put my hair up in creative and pretty ways, properly care for it, and trim it myself. I have even re-learned to love and accept my hairtype as well as realize that it is not ugly, flat, or stringy. I still have a long way to go both length-wise and S&D-wise :eyebrows:, but I am happy with the progress i have made so far and I am really looking forward to where my hair journey will take me during the coming year. Hopefully I will be around tailbone next year.

error
August 30th, 2010, 07:53 PM
WOW your straight henna hair is fabulous you look so gorgeous like that .

christine1989
August 30th, 2010, 07:57 PM
What great growth! And the color is lovely. :)

Rennire
August 30th, 2010, 07:58 PM
Your hair is beautiful! I love the Henna shot!
Happy Anniversary!!!

Debra83
August 30th, 2010, 08:02 PM
Fantastic!!! I LOVE happy endings!!!

Smile4Kiki
August 30th, 2010, 08:05 PM
what an incredible journey... amazing progress!

Peregrine
August 30th, 2010, 08:06 PM
Beautiful hair! I don't know why your grandmother said you shouldn't grow it long, as it looks wonderful long.

GrowAlready
August 30th, 2010, 08:12 PM
It looks so much healthier and more beautiful! My mom used to perm my hair in between ages 8-14 and I hated it! Congrats on your beautiful long hair!

PineappleJello
August 30th, 2010, 09:17 PM
Your hair is so pretty :) I love the henna in it :)

CrisDee
August 30th, 2010, 09:28 PM
I'm so glad that you not only found supportive people on this forum, but in your life. Your hair looks absolutely lovely! :flower: What a great lesson for us all in not looking to please other people when our own eyes tell us something different from what they're saying :flower:

patience
August 30th, 2010, 09:31 PM
Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!

Wonderful progress... and another :thumbsup: for the henna color.

DarkChocolate
August 30th, 2010, 09:32 PM
Your hair is so beautiful:)
I love your henna color:)

TinaDenali
August 30th, 2010, 09:34 PM
My goodness, you've got some gorgeous hair! I'd LOVE to have your head of hair. What great body and texture. Your grandparents were quite rude to tell you anything else.

And great growth! Yay!!

BrightEyes
August 30th, 2010, 09:41 PM
MissManda, you have a gorgeous head of hair! And I love your henna, the color is beautiful and shiny. You've made such great progress, you're an inspiration.:cheese:

ifyouforget
August 30th, 2010, 09:58 PM
*love* your hair, it's so healthy and shiny! Whoever told you it needed a perm was nuts.

ericthegreat
August 30th, 2010, 10:04 PM
Congratulations on your one year anniversary!!

And might I say, your naturally straight hair is beautiful!! I have no idea why so many people in your life seem to think of your hair is so undesirable, it looks so shiny and silky to me. I also love the red henna shade you have had done, it makes your hair so shiny and healthy looking.

Heartwillfollow
August 30th, 2010, 10:30 PM
Love your hearing your journey.. (Big hugs) your hair is beautiful !!!!! :)

Juneii
August 30th, 2010, 10:34 PM
I can't believe you permed your hair to hide the shiny straight straight hair you naturally have. Your hair looks beautiful, what great progress you have made since you started!

Luckysock
August 30th, 2010, 10:39 PM
wow what a difference! I love the straight and henna - fabulous on you!!!

jessie58
August 30th, 2010, 10:42 PM
You've had some great growth and your hair is looking wonderful. Happy LHC anniversary.

Moondust
August 30th, 2010, 10:53 PM
Congratulations!! What a wonderful story:) I agree, your henna hair looks amazing.. beautiful shine! I'm planning on trying coconut oil too. You've inspired me even more : ) Congratulations again, and I look forward to seeing your length continue to progress!

Loreley
August 31st, 2010, 01:38 AM
Happy anniversary! :)

LittleOrca
August 31st, 2010, 01:41 AM
Your hair looks fantastic! :thumbsup: You got a lot of growth and thickness. :)

Blond Unicorn
August 31st, 2010, 02:09 AM
Wonderful hair and so much grow! Amazing!!

DavidN
August 31st, 2010, 03:42 AM
Congratulations, MissManda, on your one year anniversary in our community, and here's to many more! You have made such excellent progress, and look at that shine!

I am so sorry that you have been faced with family difficulities, and hope things are brighter for you now. Thank you for sharing so much in your post.

DaniiL
August 31st, 2010, 04:14 AM
Wow, what a story!
Your hair looks fantastic now!!!! :cheese:
Happy anniversery!

Phexlyn
August 31st, 2010, 04:37 AM
That is an impressive journey, MissManda, and your hair looks great! I love that auburn henna colour on you. :)

Happy Anniversary :blossom:

Joliebaby
August 31st, 2010, 05:04 AM
Congratulations on your awesome progress!!!!! And yes, you can call that waist :)

DecafJane
August 31st, 2010, 05:40 AM
Wow, your hair looks incredible - well done! :D

Chrissy
August 31st, 2010, 06:12 AM
I love your story. I was never allowed to have long hair as a child. I think it was partially due to the fact that there were 4 girls. I think my Mom didn't want to have to take care of all that hair. We were always forced to have pixie cuts. I went through the perm stage in my 20's. I did it for awhile.

I love your hair and your story touched me.

Johanna64
August 31st, 2010, 06:59 AM
Congratulations MissManda :)
Your hair looks so healthy and shiny.
Good growth!!

EtherealOde
August 31st, 2010, 07:34 AM
Happy belated anniversary from me, along with another voice saying your hair is lovely.

Henrietta
August 31st, 2010, 07:44 AM
Of course you can call this waist! Fantastic progress. Your hair is so healthy and smooth : )

growing2shine
August 31st, 2010, 01:20 PM
Congratulations with the anniversary. Your hair has grown a lot and the henna really looks amazing on you. Your hair is beautiful and so are you! ;)
Happy growing...:cheer:

Maddy25
August 31st, 2010, 01:27 PM
Wow wow wow!!! The henna is amazing on you! Drop dead gorgeous :)

Mexibeach
August 31st, 2010, 01:28 PM
Happy anniversary! Stunning hair!!! I was worried to try henna but when I see that color, I will try it .... when I get some length back that is!!

little_acorn
August 31st, 2010, 01:30 PM
Fantastic progress and you havce gorgeous hair - happy anniversary :flower:

melrose1985
August 31st, 2010, 01:35 PM
Great growth! I love the color of your hair.

MissManda
August 31st, 2010, 02:23 PM
Wow, I can't thank you all enough! :crush: :flower:

When I look at how far my hair has come, I honestly do not understand why my hair type was so undesirable, either and I am very sad that I succumbed to the pressure to cut my hair off. The people who told me all of those awful things grew up in the "big hair" era and listened to everything the hairstylists said and it really is a shame that they did not appreciate my hair being different (hair-wise, personality-wise, and otherwise) because most of my relatives are wavies or they use products and perm. My grandmother said she used to have hair long enough to sit on that her mother had chopped off and I am surprised that she was not more compassionate, but what's done is done. I know better than to follow their hurtful advice now. Even though my big chop was rather traumatic for me, I am also happy that I made that decision because I might not be an LHCer today, nor would my hair be where it is today.

Long hair is definitely a part of who I am and I don't ever want to cut it short again unless I absolutely had to. I have learned that pleasing others by changing my appearance (or personality, for that matter) will never make me happy and I have accepted the fact that not everyone is going to like my hair and support my journey. After all of those different haircuts (bob, "accidental" mullet, pixie, shag, etc.) I have finally learned what makes me truly happy, and in my opinion, suits me best, too, as short cuts make my face look too round for my liking.

Thanks again. I have enjoyed every moment of being a part of this community. I am glad that I feel welcome here. :blossom:

Pumpkin
August 31st, 2010, 02:24 PM
Your hair looks beautiful!! Happy Anniversary!!! :)

jasper
August 31st, 2010, 07:44 PM
Congrats on your anniversary! Good luck on another year!

MissManda
August 31st, 2010, 07:48 PM
Thank you! :flower:

triumphator!
August 31st, 2010, 11:12 PM
Yay congratulations on the growth, increased knowledge, and freedom from toxic influences! Your hair is beautiful :)

sycamoreboutiqu
September 1st, 2010, 01:09 AM
Most definitely - congrats and so glad you made it here.

I think glossy straight hair ( with a henna glow to boot) is the most attractive thing there is
(coming from a curly/wavy).

I too remember getting the dreaded "Pixie" when I was in 3rd grade. My sister and I both had managed to grow mid-back length hair (thanks to grandma who lived with us and had long hair herself) BUT - Mom thought she knew best.

We were two active kids who were always in the dirt and she figured it was for the best.

We had a bit of advance warning this time though and we actually ran away from home (for a full day no less) to avoid the dreaded cut.

Picture this. Two little girls - about 6 and 8 years old, packed a peanut butter sandwich meal - got on our bikes and rode on down to the next town where we stayed until dark.

We had recently moved to a new town, 3 miles down the road from our old house and I could still remember how to get there so we rode down that road ( no sidewalks, kind of risky by today's standards ) and went and camped out on the lawn there for a good part of the afternoon (strange that nobody ever questioned us).

Of course we were in BIG trouble when we finally returned ( I think they had just contacted the Sheriff to report us missing) AND she had rescheduled our haircuts for the next day.

I remember hating her for that.

Why do mothers think this is the thing to do ?

My own daughter has always had long, glossy blonde hair and I know I never cut it against her will. She cut it short a few times, grew it cut it and now she is letting it go really long.

Today we are in the middle of a growing contest. Hers is straight and mine is wavy but I think
we are "neck and neck" in the length department - approaching waist.

How fun - to be in my mid 50's and my hair is the LONGEST it has been in my whole life.

I had it down one day this week ( rare thing for such hot weather) and I happened to be meeting my mother that day. She never said a word about the length, but did comment that it was SO RED ( Henna in the sun ... gotta love it ).

Funny, it has been this red for nearly 2 years, but it has never been this LONG.

Long hair is the best revenge.

annarose
September 1st, 2010, 10:05 AM
What a great story! You are a good writer.

You and your hair are simply lovely, actually it was your shiny siggy pic that made me think about hennaing again and I'm glad I did.

Thank you and keep on growing that gorgeous hair!!

Sammich
September 1st, 2010, 10:20 AM
You are fabulous, and grats on taking care of your hair better!
Your story was intriguing, and I loved reading about your new discoveries.
Congrats on your anniversary also, I love the sleekness of your locks. :)

MissManda
September 1st, 2010, 03:26 PM
Thank you! :flowers:


Most definitely - congrats and so glad you made it here.

I think glossy straight hair ( with a henna glow to boot) is the most attractive thing there is
(coming from a curly/wavy).

I too remember getting the dreaded "Pixie" when I was in 3rd grade. My sister and I both had managed to grow mid-back length hair (thanks to grandma who lived with us and had long hair herself) BUT - Mom thought she knew best.

We were two active kids who were always in the dirt and she figured it was for the best.

We had a bit of advance warning this time though and we actually ran away from home (for a full day no less) to avoid the dreaded cut.

Picture this. Two little girls - about 6 and 8 years old, packed a peanut butter sandwich meal - got on our bikes and rode on down to the next town where we stayed until dark.

We had recently moved to a new town, 3 miles down the road from our old house and I could still remember how to get there so we rode down that road ( no sidewalks, kind of risky by today's standards ) and went and camped out on the lawn there for a good part of the afternoon (strange that nobody ever questioned us).

Of course we were in BIG trouble when we finally returned ( I think they had just contacted the Sheriff to report us missing) AND she had rescheduled our haircuts for the next day.

I remember hating her for that.

Why do mothers think this is the thing to do ?

My own daughter has always had long, glossy blonde hair and I know I never cut it against her will. She cut it short a few times, grew it cut it and now she is letting it go really long.

Today we are in the middle of a growing contest. Hers is straight and mine is wavy but I think
we are "neck and neck" in the length department - approaching waist.

How fun - to be in my mid 50's and my hair is the LONGEST it has been in my whole life.

I had it down one day this week ( rare thing for such hot weather) and I happened to be meeting my mother that day. She never said a word about the length, but did comment that it was SO RED ( Henna in the sun ... gotta love it ).

Funny, it has been this red for nearly 2 years, but it has never been this LONG.

Long hair is the best revenge.

I never liked getting my hair cut when I was very young, either. I remember hiding before hair appointments to avoid it even and I think if I had the means of running away from it, I know I would have. But oh boy, I also know about getting in trouble! :D

Having been a fellow wild child (I spent a LOT of time outside playing in the woods around my old house), I can understand why some parents would want to cut the childrens' hair short if they won't let their hair be put up. It makes me feel really lucky that no one wanted to do any of these things to my hair.

I think it is wonderful that you support your daughter in growing her hair without pushing any certain lengths or styles on her. I think the growing contest is very cute, too and I know how wonderful it feels to share your long hair experiences with someone else. :) My DBF, MIL, and FIL are longhairs too and I love to show them how to do different braids and putting their hair up for them.

I like that my mom, who does have hair on the thinner side, keeps her hair long and how she hasn't cut it despite the comments of others.

I think one of the main reasons I had long hair was because my mom used to love my hair and she and my grandmother would fight over it a lot. I remember this one time where my grandmother decided I needed a haircut and cut bangs over my ears (if that makes any sense...) and had a lot of length taken off. It took years to grow that awful cut out and my mom was so angry. Even though I do not get along with my mom, I am grateful that she did not have any resentment for my straight hair, as my mom is a fellow straight and silky. I do wish that the adults took the time to teach me how to put my hair up myself, but I don't worry about it anymore.

princessp
September 1st, 2010, 05:34 PM
Wow excellent growth! Congratulations!

spidermom
September 1st, 2010, 05:41 PM
Your hair looks lovely at waist length. Amazing how many of us ruined our hair trying to make it prettier when the prettiest it can be is natural and well taken care of. I used to flat-iron mine because it's not pretty to have crazy-mixed-up hair that is straight, wavy, and curly all on the same head.

PiroskaCicu
September 1st, 2010, 05:44 PM
Wow!! Beautiful!!
And thanks for sharing the wonderful hair story :)

Kome
September 1st, 2010, 05:45 PM
Soooooooo pretty and great growth. Your hair looks amazing with henna. Keep it up! I'm doing another application right now, but I added in a little pink dye... hehehehe. :)

Feng-Shui
September 1st, 2010, 06:18 PM
Congratulations on the anniversary.:toast:

Your hair is beautiful. :flower:

I likes the color and the gloss of Henna.

Thank you for your interesting history.
It was a joy to read over your progress over the time.:)

MissManda
September 3rd, 2010, 08:29 PM
Thanks a bunch! :blossom: :)

WyrdWay
September 3rd, 2010, 10:09 PM
wonderful growth! And I can't wait for your next henna either!

Wally
September 4th, 2010, 01:43 PM
Congrats on your anniversary. I am so pleased to hear your story and see your wonderful hair and progress. Heartwarming. I hope everything goes well for you.