View Full Version : I want to cut off all my hair and start over.

November 10th, 2011, 04:32 PM
For about 4 months now, i have been heat, dye, and damage free as being a part of LHC.
But, my hair was damaged quiet a bit in the past.
Ive noticed slight differences in my hair before and my hair now, but my hair is still having difficulty showing REAL growth and it is causing me to become impatient.


That was a comparison I made about a month ago, my hair is still about the same length a month later.
Am i having too high of expectations? Or should I just got with my gut and cut it all off and start over?
I really dont know what to do. Maybe im just feeling that itch to cut it, because i havent DONE anything with it. Has anyone gone through this or does anyone have any words of advice on what I should do?

November 10th, 2011, 04:37 PM
Maybe your hair grows slowly. Just keep doing what you are doing. Your expecting way too much in a very short amount of time. Look at your hair a year form now and decide.

November 10th, 2011, 04:40 PM
Um, that looks like very good growth for 3 months. Remember that average is only 1/2 inch per month, and having old damage is likely to make things a little slower. Long hair is all about patience.

November 10th, 2011, 04:41 PM
I don't think my hair would grow that fast in three months...and my hair grows at least a 1/2" a month. I think you're doing great!

November 10th, 2011, 04:44 PM
I think you should wait just a little bit longer until you decide whether to cut it or not. It looks like you gained a lot of growth, so you might have had a spurt. I think if you really want to cut it, and it's not just an urge, I suggest the two-week rule at the very least. You've made a lot of progress. :) It would be a shame to cut it off because of a whim.

November 10th, 2011, 04:47 PM
My hair didn't show significant growth until I had the worst of my ends cut off, which was 5-6 inches for me, taking me from nearly waist to APL. Progress was much better after that.

But there's nothing wrong with growing and trimming a little bit at a time, either. A lot of people do it that way. One way or another, one day your damage will be gone and your hair will be long.

Do what appeals most to you.

November 10th, 2011, 04:48 PM
I'd give it another 2 weeks at least before you make a decision. And if you do decide to cut it, maybe you should trim it off in smaller amounts rather than cutting it all off in one go. Good luck!

November 10th, 2011, 05:02 PM
Hi,:) I think your hair is growing at the average rate of .5" per month.
You could probably get it to grow a bit faster but not much. Exercise and vitamins are a good start (on top of a good diet).

Well, I'm probably not the person to ask because I did cut my hair off and started all over, and I was 1" away from waist!:D

I wasn't happy with the thinness of it after I had a major shed from poor health. And I believe hair looks fuller when it is one length so I cut it blunt at its thickest length which is shoulder length for me.

You could cut it to shoulders and have a blunt hemline and that might make you feel better. But it might also make you regret cutting it.

It's good to wait a couple months and then decide.;)

November 10th, 2011, 05:24 PM
Ive just got this itch to cut it. Its so annoying :(
I will wait until ive hit a year without heat and stuff, and see if there really is "growth" or breakage like ive been seeing a lot lately.

November 10th, 2011, 05:27 PM
Looks good to me. Sometimes when my hair is at an awkward stage I just have to make myself forget about it and try not to obsess. It seems to grow much faster that way.

November 10th, 2011, 05:29 PM
It looks to me as though most of your layers are at about chin right now, is that right? If so, I can totally see why you would want to chop.

And you could. I chopped to remove layers, and loved it. You hair has been bleached...which means that if you chopped it to chin-length, you would get rid of much of the damage, your hemline would be thick, and you would probably notice swifter progress as you wouldn't be losing lots of growth to breakage.

However, there are some more options. Every month, you could tie a ribbon under your arms and trim all the hair that goes past it. If you do this every month, you will slowly chop out your damage and your layers will catch up.

Or, you could continue to grow, but do monthly microtrims - trimming, for example, half your growth per month. It is a great way of growing out damaged hair, and you may actually notice more growth from doing this. See here for how to grow out damaged hair: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79

If I were you, I would chop to chin length. I would chop because you have so many short layers and one long layer, and that is a royal pain in the butt to grow out even if your hair were not quite damaged. (I do not think you are an i thickness, for example. perhaps your ponytail is currently i, but it looks like you are at least an ii if I look at the layers that do not yet reach your ponytail). But that is the sort of person I am.

Consider your options carefully for two weeks, then make a decision.

Cassie 123
November 10th, 2011, 05:29 PM
If I were you, I probably would. You've said in other threads that you're still getting breakage, and your super-fine hair was damaged pre-LHC by coloring and heat. Your hair is still fairly short, so you wouldn't be losing a lot, and your face would look quite beautiful with a cut as short as you dare. Give it two weeks to think about it, and if you still want to, then go for it.

November 10th, 2011, 05:48 PM
That looks like normal growth rate to me.
Are you contemplating a pixie cut, or a blunt bob, or a bob with layers?
I vote against a short blunt bob since you have curly hair ... that's probably going to look like a bottom-heavy triangle shape which isn't a flattering look on most people.

November 10th, 2011, 06:34 PM
That looks like normal growth rate to me.
Are you contemplating a pixie cut, or a blunt bob, or a bob with layers?
I vote against a short blunt bob since you have curly hair ... that's probably going to look like a bottom-heavy triangle shape which isn't a flattering look on most people.

I just want to cut it all off. Haha. I dont have a style I want, it is just i look at my hair and im not happy with the progress. But im sure im just over thinking and not being patient enough.

November 10th, 2011, 06:50 PM
microtrim on the first of every month, that way you can grow and get rid of damage at the same time :-) your photos show a really good growth rate .. patience is key here ;-)

November 10th, 2011, 08:08 PM
You could join in on an updo challenges? I did this a month or so ago when I was getting frustrated. Instead of focusing on your hair you think about the styles and experimenting with different hair do's. I did it for 40 days and the bonus was that it grew quite noticeably while I wasn't thinking about it so much.

November 10th, 2011, 08:17 PM
Hmm, its hard to say.
as much as some others may not agree, i think that sometimes if its bad enough you should just do it, and its up to you to decide if it is bad enough.

In june i cut all my hair off so it was barely touching my shoulders and sometimes i wish i hadnt but the quality of my hair is so much nicer now. my weight line is heavy now and my hair is actually keeping the growth it makes instead of just breaking off. im showing more growth now than i had ever before in a whole year! :)
another thing you could do if it made you feel better would be to maybe get a nice decent trim instead of hacking it all off.
goodluck :]

November 10th, 2011, 08:33 PM
If you don't have a specific style in mind, why not just cut to your shoulders rather than cut it ALL off and see if getting rid of a lot of damage makes you feel better about your hair.

November 10th, 2011, 08:33 PM
microtrim on the first of every month, that way you can grow and get rid of damage at the same time :-) your photos show a really good growth rate .. patience is key here ;-)

You could join in on an updo challenges? I did this a month or so ago when I was getting frustrated. Instead of focusing on your hair you think about the styles and experimenting with different hair do's. I did it for 40 days and the bonus was that it grew quite noticeably while I wasn't thinking about it so much.

^^^I agree with these. I think you've made wonderful progress and personally, I wouldnt chop (that is, if your main goal is to grow it long). Maybe trim, and continue to baby it, and even the really damaged hair will get a little better with time and care. I have a significant amount of bleach damage (repeated highlights), but after a year of s&d and coconut oil and whatnot, it blends in just fine with the healthy hair. Everyone has ups and downs with their hair-esteem. If we all chopped every time we got frustrated, there would be no long hair!

November 11th, 2011, 12:25 AM
I'm with the micro-trimmers! Don't cut it off just because you are frustrated with it. It all happens to us but you will probably regret it in the long run. I speak from experience here....ending up with a pixie due to damage is not a good look for me and everyday I wish I had kept my hair longer. Baby your hair for the next year or so and it'll be fine :)

EDIT: I know you probably don't feel like this but I'd actually kill for hair as long as yours.

November 11th, 2011, 01:08 AM
When you have all-over damage like you do, any way you look at it you'll have to be patient and wait for the damaged hair to grow out. There's just no magic remedy for it. So your options are to trim a bit every month and maintain length until the damage is gone, or to cut quite a bit and wait until the rest of the damaged hair grows out. Either way it's going to take about year, give or take a couple of months, which may sound like a lot but really isn't when you're talking about hair growth. My vote would be to even up the length a bit and then do microtrims, but it's your hair so if you want to chop then go ahead. But remember that if you want long hair eventually you need to treat even your short hair as though it was long and fragile, because those are going to be your waist-length ends in a few years. :)

November 11th, 2011, 01:19 AM
How about this: cut a few inches of damage off in December. Enough so you'll have fresh and reasonably healthy ends. Then you start a " no trimming in 2012" thread ( s&d allowed) and see how you do after a year with no trims. I did something similar for 2011 and so far it has worked out great! Good luck with whatever you decide to do:)

November 11th, 2011, 11:57 AM
Ugh, doesn't it just suck growing out short haircuts? I think you'd look great with a little evening up of your layers, even if you went as short as your shoulders, and then let it grow from there. It would feel a lot thicker and you'd still be able to get it up and out of your face.

November 11th, 2011, 12:08 PM
It's been suggested already, but to back it up more, I definitely recommend some S&D'ing.

You look like you're close to being able to put your hair up, and trimming now will take some of that away. Being able to put my hair up and away has saved me from the shears more than once.

And, S&D'ing will take your focus from your hair style and focus it on your hair health! It sounds like you're in a rough patch, and we've all been there, and I feel for you. Damage sucks to grow out, and long healthy hair can seem pretty distant sometimes. Hopefully, you'll find something on this thread that helps :)

heidi w.
November 11th, 2011, 12:25 PM
First, I recommend you compare your hair factually. Measure. And compare the "look" with dry hair, not wet hair.

I don't think there's a big need to chop it ALL off and start over. At most, maybe a trim, perhaps.

Know that I believe you to be patient. From month to month you're not going to see an enormous difference. For example, average growth rate is 1/2 inch per month. 6 inches, on average, per year.

With this data, starting all over will be a true exercise in more and longer patience. I think you're wanting too much, too soon and not remaining in reality about what will things look like from month to month. I think you're just overthinking the progress. Most uber long hairs get there because they just ignore their hair, for the most part, putting it up most of the time, and generally ignoring the subject, except that they practice good hair techniques such as proper detangling, good washing/conditioning practices, maybe use some vitamins, watch their diet, that kind of thing. And eventually, lo, one day it's uber long. But they NEVER cut their hair off and start all over again. It's just not an option. Time is time.

heidi w.

heidi w.
November 11th, 2011, 12:26 PM
Ugh, doesn't it just suck growing out short haircuts? I think you'd look great with a little evening up of your layers, even if you went as short as your shoulders, and then let it grow from there. It would feel a lot thicker and you'd still be able to get it up and out of your face.

If you're growing out layers, at some point, you will likely want to consider trimming to get a more even hemline, and then continue with the process of letting it grow.

heidi w.

heidi w.
November 11th, 2011, 12:28 PM
How about this: cut a few inches of damage off in December. Enough so you'll have fresh and reasonably healthy ends. Then you start a " no trimming in 2012" thread ( s&d allowed) and see how you do after a year with no trims. I did something similar for 2011 and so far it has worked out great! Good luck with whatever you decide to do:)

At this length, a few inches typically translates to two inches. Two inches off this short of length is actually a fair percentage of length, and I am against the idea for you. If you want length, you'll be more likely to be unhappy with shorter shortness. A few inches = two inches, typically, and two inches equals, in terms of growth rate average, 4 months of effort. I wouldn't take near that much off. I just wouldn't recommend that at all.

heidi w.

November 11th, 2011, 12:40 PM
Where you'll be able to see the growth is at your scalp. If you have color, watch the distance between your scalp and the line of demarcation (that line where the color changes from your natural to the faded dye) to determine how much it's growing.

I'm currently growing out over a decade of damage and the horrors of hair school (bleach and shears and chemicals, oh my!), I know it can feel like it takes FOREVER to see any change. I have tons of breakage, and even though my ends look incredibly ratty, this is the longest my hair has ever been and it's difficult for me to let go of my sad little scraggles. If I were to cut off all my damage, I would go from half way between tailbone and classic to just below BSL, which, for me, would be akin to blasphemy.

Just hang in there. Your hair IS growing, you just have to look at it differently to see it. :)

November 11th, 2011, 07:05 PM
Today, I cut off about an inch of hair. I feel a teeny bit better and my plan is just ever 3 months, cut off an inch. So febuary ill cut off an inch, then around my 19th birthday it will be a years growth so ill cut off another inch and just let my hair do what it needs to do.

Thank you guys for all your advice :)

Red Rapunzel
November 11th, 2011, 07:27 PM
You could try wearing it up a lot in order to take your mind off your length issues. However, if you truly feel that too much damage has already been done, it might be best to follow your gut instinct to just remove the damaged hair and start anew.

Red Rapunzel
November 11th, 2011, 07:28 PM
I like your idea of cutting off an inch every 3 months - great plan!

November 11th, 2011, 07:37 PM
Ignore the itch! Ignore it! Squash it like a bug! Or, at the very least, do wait for a full year of LHC lovin' on your hair to see if a chop is necessary for healthy growth the way you want. My plan for a thicker hemline is to grow two or so inches beyond a goal, then snip, two inches beyond the next goal, then snip (or, as long as needed for the hemline I'm after.)

But yeah, my hair has been short/shaved bald at any given point in the last 7 or8 years, and I always ended up whacking it off out of frustration with it, which, in a another 6 or so months time, led to more frustration. It's a wonky stage to be in, but you'll have a much better idea of what you really want to do with your hair after a longer period of having it, and a better idea of your growth rate, which, by the way, looks great to me!

November 12th, 2011, 10:12 AM
I would wait, it sucks cutting it off and regretting it! I get that itch too, I love change! I decided to not cut and just get bangs.

November 14th, 2011, 10:47 PM
Well, since cutting an inch off, i really havent noticed any length change. It still looks the same too me, so i dont feel terrible. Lol. But its nice that this entire week i have been ill so i havent washed my hair in days >.>

November 15th, 2011, 10:34 AM
Well, if you think chopping it all off feels really right to you go for it!
But I would consider that shoulder length can be really annoying, as your hair is constantly being rubbed against your shoulders and may cause further damage For me personally it was the toughest hair-growing phase to overcome because it seems to grow also so slowly :rolleyes:.
As per your pictures you are kind of past this stage, so maybe monthly microtrims and babying your hair may be just another good option. But again, if cutting your hair seems right to you go for it!

November 15th, 2011, 10:50 AM
I am going through the same thing with my hair right now. I have damage on the ends and just cut 2 1/2 inches off last week. It made it a lot thicker on the ends , but now I want to cut off more !! I think for me it may be just the itch to cut. I go through phases like this fairly often. My hair is fine and damages easily. I still color and blow dry and that causes damage too, I know. But I feel I have to blow dry, to be able to do anything with it other than it just lying there flat. I will probably just leave it alone now, but I do want to cut more!!

November 15th, 2011, 11:26 AM
I was thinking of cutting my hair off but I gave it a strong trim. I missed those bottom inches SO much. I just kept reaching back and my hair wasn't at my waist and it was driving me crazy. Then I found this site and reached back and there it was, my old friend, my hair at my waist.
Sometimes you go nuts for a long while and then forget about it for a while and then you'll look back and say, wow, it grew.
I wish you the best!

November 15th, 2011, 11:54 AM
Honestly? I think a good stern trim could give you a hemline that you'd feel better growing out. It would have been nice to see some pictures of your hair dry, but it looks like you have a lot of layers going on, which can be maddening to grow out. Plus there's nothing like a fresh, blunt hemline to make your hair *feel* healthier.

I think it really depends on your hair goals, whether you value length or hair you feel comfortable with now. I would add that you got great growth in those three months.

November 15th, 2011, 01:03 PM
I'm not going to tell you absolutely not to cut: that is entirely your decision to make. But - if it helps - this is what I've learnt about growing and cutting from my own experience:

If the hair is actually damaged (or, as mine was, it had been dyed permanently - say, with henna - and you wanted to get rid of the colour but would have ruined it trying to get it out) then cutting definitely has benefits to it. It's the way I went. As I said, I wanted to get rid of henna and there is no way of doing that, for most people, without simply growing it out. Otherwise my hair was in good condition and a little past APL, but boy, I did not suit that red and I wanted it gone. So I went to a good salon, with a hairdresser I really trusted and got it snipped into a cute little pixie. The short style was fun in its own way and I loved having my natural colour back. I've been growing it out for about eighteen months now, and even though I've had it trimmed again several times since the initial chop - to get rid of the very last of the henna, and to reshape it as it grew to prevent a mullet(!) - it is now well past my collarbones again.

A good thing about starting over was that I knew I was going to start over - as a result the hair I have now has never seen peroxide, bleach, strong chemical dyes or processes of any kind, or heat styling (no straighteners!). So again, if you've abused your hair in the past, a cut - even one not as dramatic as mine - might be helpful in removing the old ends. Damaged hair - particularly as it grows longer and gets older - is prone to breakage, which might be why you think yours isn't growing?

The important thing though, if you're considering a cut but ultimately want long hair, is to see it not as a diversion or a setback, but as part of the whole, long-term process of having that long hair. And it is a long-term process: hair grows very slowly and if you're sure that yours is in brilliant condition then you're probably doing all that you can right now, and will just have to wait it out, I'm afraid: a cut in that case won't help it grow faster. I have to be honest, I'm not very self-disciplined, so the only reason my hair has made it back out of the pixie again is that I had a clear reason for cutting, not just general dissatisfaction: I wanted long hair in my natural colour, and my aim was always to put the length on hold to get the colour I wanted, then to continue with both.

Having a strong reason for cutting it off also helped me deal with the regret afterwards. Before I went to the hairdresser, I wrote my reason for having my hair cut on a piece of paper, stressing how much I still wanted to grow it, and that this would actually help me get the beautiful long hair that I wanted. There probably will be regret: even though I knew why I'd cut mine, and although the super-short style was fun (and weirdly, not unflattering), half the time I felt really unfeminine and plain, the odd-one-out amongst all the pretty, long-haired girls at uni. When it got to me, I'd look at that piece of paper and then go off and do something nice to my hair, that would keep it soft and healthy as it grew.

I wouldn't wait it out a year - but I would give it until the new year. Until then, if you're completely undecided, I'd keep a sort of diary - nothing special, just jot down the one thing that strikes you the most about your hair each day, whether you are completely in love with it or at your wits' end. It will help you work out what you really think about your hair, on a more general level than however you happen to be feeling towards it in the moment. You might be more positive about it than you think! In the meantime, your hair really isn't that short (it's longer than mine!), it has lovely curls and it definitely is still growing: you can see that from the pictures - so find one new thing to do for it each week, to make it look and you feel really special. Maybe look up a new updo on this site and perfect it, or try a new product, oil or homemade treatment. And if damage is a problem, you could always just get it trimmed while you're deciding whether to have a major cut, maybe by an inch, to see if that helps.

Good luck! x

November 15th, 2011, 03:04 PM
Ahh yeah, I understand where you are coming from.

I really think it depends on the extent of damage. Sometimes it's really nice to just chop that damage away!!

However, it can also suck to cut your hair too short if you're trying to grow ;)

I have definitely done dramatic cuts in the past due to extensive damage. Honestly, when my hair would just break when I ran my fingers through it, I knew there was no real option but to chop. I think I chopped to just over shoulder length, then gradually got shorter, and finally I cut out all the colour etc and ended up with the shortest hair of my life!

I have been growing my hair since cutting it to my shoulders about 3 years ago, but due to heaps of shedding last year, my hair is still not looking great, and even after I cut off the damage from blonde foils, I still coloured my hair chemically and heat straightened it. I wish I had found LHC a couple of years earlier :rolleyes:.

Now I'm considering cutting a few more inches off, as my hair gets noticeably thicker a few inches up...but I also don't want to lose my length... grrr.

The real decision for me is whether I can wear it down and be happy with it or not. When I am not at all happy with its appearance, then I think it's time to cut. I know a lot of people advocate always wearing updos, but updos to me personally aren't the point of long hair. Sure I pull my hair up for convenience, but I want it to look nice when I wear it loose!

However, I wouldn't ever chop it all in one fell swoop. I'd go with an inch or two. Wait a month, and then cut some more if I still wasn't happy with it.

That is probably what I will be doing (I did it in July and August... but I think I may cut off some more).

November 15th, 2011, 03:46 PM
ooops /snip/

November 15th, 2011, 04:55 PM
Hopefully, cutting an inch every 3 months will squash my itch to cut my hair and do things to it.

This whole want, of cutting it, is probably coming from the fact that before LHC I was a cone junkie, addicted to straightening, teasing, extensions and hair coloring. Im in the "Ive been clean for 4 months.." thing, right now. Almost like, when an addict or smoker, quits their drug of choice and gets to that point in time where they feel like they cant control themselves anymore.
But, lol. Cutting an inch off really helped be in figuring out what I wanted to do.
I realizing now, cutting it all off into a pixie would probably be a bad decision for me. Lol, mainly because it would be counter productive.
Plus, I think in the past 4 months of no heat or color, protective styling, SLS and cone free, my hair is in much better condition than when I did style it everyday. Yes, its probably got a bit of damage from all the things i did in the past, but, it will go away with time :)

November 15th, 2011, 05:06 PM
It sounds to me like you get bored and like to change things up. I think you should invest in hair accessories to change things up. That way you get a nice change and something different everyday, but no damage! :)

November 15th, 2011, 11:45 PM
I wonder sometimes if I need to cut my hair and start over. But I'm afraid I'll never be able to grow it out this long again. After my mom cut her waist length hair years ago, it never grew past elbow length. It makes me fear that your terminal length diminishes as you get older.

But I didn't trim for years (which is how my hair got so long) and I have tons of split ends. Not just at my hemline, but all over. It doesn't look to bad when my hair is down because the thickness makes it less obvious. But when I, say, braid my hair, after a little while the braid looks fuzzy with frizzes sticking out everywhere. Oh to have a pretty, smooth braid...

November 15th, 2011, 11:51 PM
I know that if i didnt trim for years, I would probably still have short hair. Lol. For some reason this is just a feeling I have. :P

November 16th, 2011, 12:09 AM
For me, I couldn't stand all the damaged layers from heat styling in my longer than waist-length hair last April, and I chopped it to a little past APL. I felt SO much better. I cannot even emphasize it. I had soft, shiny, manageable hair that I felt good about growing out again. I am one of those people who can't stand damage, and would rather have it healthy and not as long than damaged and long. So if it's bugging you, go ahead and chop and start over fresh, it will relieve you like you can't imagine. But, if you have the patience you could gradually trim off all the damage or just let it grow like that to a long length while babying it. It's all about what makes you feel best. Go with your gut. :)

November 16th, 2011, 01:21 AM
When I styled everyday my ends were quite damaged and even though it was BSL I felt it wasn't growing much at all. Then I realised that it was because my ends were breaking, nearly cancelling out that growth. When I got them trimmed I noticed my hair "growing" a lot more :)

November 16th, 2011, 03:41 PM
If I were you I will cut off damage. I mean only split ends, not dyed or dry hair. In this way you will see your effective grow :)

November 16th, 2011, 04:09 PM
Well from the picture it looks like about 2-2.5 inches worth of growth...and for 4 months of growth that's pretty good.
;)Average monthly growth is about .5 inch, so it seems like yours is growing on 'average'.

Before a cut though if the ends are bothering you considerably, I might try a micro-trim? That way you can keep some of the length you've achieved and still get rid of a bit of the 'damage' you mentioned.

November 17th, 2011, 10:55 PM
I microtrimmed a week ago guys. Lol.