View Full Version : It is a constant battle! It is worth it?

May 18th, 2012, 10:47 AM
Hi! I'm new on here and I'm absolutely in love with LHC and so happy I found you all! I've gotten so much inspiration and guidance just from the little amount of time I've been here. :)
Now, on to my discussion. I consider myself a recovering hair abuser. I have been bleaching and coloring my hair since age 14. Many of those bleach jobs were done by yours truly and did not turn out well. Needless to say, I have a lot of damage! But, in the past year or so I've made a lot of changes. I haven't bleached or dyed my hair in a year! I've really learned to lay off the heating tools and I have about 8 bottles of conditioner in my shower, as well as honey and olive oil. I don't rip through my hair with a brush anymore and I don't throw my hair up in super tight buns with horrible elastic ponytail holders and I take biotin. So, my hair has definitely improved and I'm currently at BSL! :) BUT I'm still not happy with my hair. I know it takes time and patience. My biggest fear is that I'm doing all these protective measures for long healthy hair, and I will forever be stuck with BSLish hair. I'm so scared it won't get any longer than this. I truly hate the color too, my roots are so annoying. I feel as though I look like I let myself go or something. Grr! I know I'm being way hard on myself but some days I just want to throw in the towel and head to the salon for some highlights. But from what I've seen and the people I've met with REALLY Lon hair, they don't bleach or dye it. I suppose I just needed to vent. And I'm sorry for the long thread. Do any of you have days when you just want to go back to your old ways? Any advice on how you get through it? Thank you so much for your help in advance!

May 18th, 2012, 10:52 AM
For me, it's a matter of keeping myself inspired. I often browse the internet for long hair examples that motivate me to keep with it. :) Your hair WILL get longer. BSL isn't the end as long as you don't give up! :D

May 18th, 2012, 10:55 AM
check out youtube for some beautiful new hairstyles to try out :) It realy helps get you over the hump!

May 18th, 2012, 10:57 AM
Thank you MonicaJean! I definitely find motivation in all the long hair here. Especially the members who started out very short :) I suppose it's easy to get discouraged, that's why inspiration is needed daily!

May 18th, 2012, 10:58 AM
check out youtube for some beautiful new hairstyles to try out :) It realy helps get you over the hump!

Great idea! Your hair color is lovely btw!

May 18th, 2012, 11:01 AM
Maybe you could try some honey lightening as a compromise? Some people have had damage from it, but most seem to have had good results. It might make you feel better about the roots, at least.

I do sympathise, though - I'm maintaining at BSL myself, trying to get rid of the worst damage from lots of dye (no bleach though). It's really frustrating; I miss my healthy TBL hair from high school...

May 18th, 2012, 11:11 AM
If your roots bother you very much try to find a natural way to lighten them. Honey, for instance :)
I do have a need for change sometimes too. Cut back my growing bangs, flat iron just for one day, whatever. Something I'd regret later. It will be better when/if you discover it is just short lasting need that comes from time to time, and goes. I search for a new updo or do some fancy treatment. It helps, too ;)

May 18th, 2012, 11:25 AM
I dye my hair and it has hit classic length. I switched to a demi-permanent and don't find it damaging. I almost never use heat on my hair, and otherwise take pretty good care of it. Since I am not lightening my hair, I don't worry about it. When I was using a dye that lightened, I did notice more damage. However, there are also LHC members with long hair who bleach. So it is possible to get longer lengths even with dyeing. I just think it is more difficult and takes more babying of your hair.

I think that you can grow faster if you avoid anything that might damage your hair. However, for some of us it is more important to feel good about our hair at every length, rather than trying to get as long as possible in the shortest amount of time. For me, if I had to deal with hair I was unhappy with for several years to get it to the length I wanted, I wouldn't have continued growing. Instead, I took a longer route but have been pretty happy with my hair all along. Only you can determine what is more important.

heidi w.
May 18th, 2012, 11:44 AM
It gets better. Promise. Remember, it's the little details that add up to the big THUD effect, not one single thing. Beware of wackadoodle ideas. Your hair is likely in the process of changing color or hue. Lots of people's hair color darkens as they become older. Mine has. My top hair is rather clearly a bit darker than the ends. And I've long had roots that hint at what has now arrived. I ignored it. No one else sees it quite the way you do.

Sounds to me that you might benefit from learning some updos, such as a reliable one that you might do often, and a few fancier ones, or at least one that looks fancy but isn't really. You might benefit from inserting floral or dragonfly or big flower (fake) pins or clips to decorate the hair. Maybe you need a hairstick to keep you on coarse.

I hope you're sleeping with a satin or sateen pillowcase or some such arrangement that allows the hair to slide. I hope you're using a comb. I hope you've got a great conditioner. (I have found that to be key.) Maybe you've discovered the benefit of oiling the length? It's sticking to the plan that makes a big difference and eventually becomes normal and you no longer look back to "old ways" as being "easier."

heidi w.

heidi w.
May 18th, 2012, 11:46 AM
You can draw front hair and side hair back, and make a braid allowing the length in the back to hang loose. You can make a braid and twirl it up in a bun. OR you can wrap a ribbon in the braid while weaving, or even as many as 3 or more (depending on the number of strands you weave with....) or you can wrap a ribbon around the exterior of the braid and put it all up. Stuff like that. Not hard but looks fancy and complex.

heidi w.

May 18th, 2012, 12:06 PM
Despite my absolute best efforts to care for my hair and grow it long, I was stuck at just below waist for ten years.

It wasn't until I came here, and learned more about the causes of damage, that I realized I was trimming mine on a regular basis on the back of my own office chair!

I well understand being afraid that one length is as good as it will ever be; I felt that way for years. And being told by hair dressers that some people just can't grow long, that it IS long, or that I would have to cut it to make it long just added to the feelings of futility.

Now, since I've been here, I've seen people with hair below their knees and certain they were at terminal length start growing again when they changed their methods.

So...don't give up! Just do everything as well as you can, try new things, buy a new hair stick or learn a new style now and then, and stick with it.

May 18th, 2012, 12:16 PM
I think it is important to keep enjoying your hair. When you're new on here, it's tempting to change your routine 360 degrees and get completely paranoid about all the things that can be damaging. For instance, I like to wear my hair loose a lot of the times. I also blowdry every now and then. But I do compromise: I try to use only natural products, don't use flat irons or curling irons, don't use chemical dye etc. I guess it depends on your hairtype what your hair can handle, my hair is pretty coarse so it can deal with a lot more than fine-haired people.

I wouldn't suggest bleach though. I know there are people on here with (really) long hair who use bleach, but I personally would not want that kind of chemicals near me. I suppose dye is less damaging.

Going from BSL to waist can take quite some time (thank god I wasn't so obsessed with gaining lenght back then:p) but there are lots of things you can do in the meantime. Try out different hairstyles; there are a lot of youtubechannels that offer tons of ideas. Also using heat free curling methods (again, Youtube, and we have a thread about those methods on here too) can make you look like you've put a ton of work into your hair while being completely harmless.
Hope that helps :).

May 18th, 2012, 01:03 PM
I guess it's a matter of weighing it all out. Damage comes in degrees. There's a lot of don't's on this site and also a great number of do's. Bleach, however, is just one of those things -probably next to flatironing- that you have to really, really be careful with.

Check out the blonette thread for information on the dark, dirty blonde color that few people seem to like, and you might find strength in numbers.

Be proud of yourself. You haven't bleached or dyed in a year! That's something. There's so much you already improved on, but it's going to take time for all of your hair to be healthy. I'd think it's worth it, you've stuck with this for a long time now, to persevere. There is a phase in the growing out process where the roots look "undone" and not well taken care of, like you've let yourself go. But the more it grows out, the less you'll feel like that. Trust me, BTDT. Have gone through the whole growing out stage, and I'm a dark, dirty blonde too.

Good luck, and keep up the good work!

May 18th, 2012, 01:30 PM
Are you growing out natural because you want your color back, or are you just growing out damage? If you are open to coloring without damage, have you considered henna? It makes your hair stronger. AND you get to be a redhead :)

May 18th, 2012, 01:48 PM
I know how you feel. I'm about 2 in from hip length and it seems like my hair has just stalled out... I have to trim more often because of split ends and heavy layering from my last salon cut... Plus, I messed up a V-Hem line (1st attempt) last month and had to take off a lot more than I wanted to fix it. Patience is easier talked about than lived through lol.

I struggle with heat addiction (lol). I'm lucky that I don't have to dye, so I can't say much about that... Since joining TLHC I have found alternative methods to curling my hair. Sock bun's are amazing. I haven't gone without a curling iron for this long in years.

There are non damaging ways to dye your hair if the roots are really bothering you. maybe look into those a little the next time you get the urge to dye?

May 19th, 2012, 03:19 PM
THANK YOU THANK YOU for the all the wonderful ideas and support! I feel better already and i'm back on track! Just the motivation I needed! <3

May 19th, 2012, 05:15 PM
Depending on just how long you want your hair, and how your hair responds to various things... you may find you're able to pick a "vice" that is damaging but not ruinous to your hair.

I know several of our members with quite long hair that's relatively coarse don't actually do a lot of updos. At most, they do a long braided tail. A couple flat out prefer to keep their hair at a length that's long but still wearable loose. (for me, that sounds totally unliveable, but my hair is fine and it freaking FLOATS... so I really prefer that it can't go wandering off into trouble)

For me, I'm one of those ashy natural shades of blonde or brown that sun bleaches at the drop of a hat. I don't get a big summer increase in split ends over my normal either. The mild peroxides in semi and permanent dyes don't do much damage to my hair as well. So for me, dye is a relatively harmless indulgence. But I also don't push my hair to handle a lot of dye... even if I'm keeping after roots, every 3 months is about as often as I'll dye.

Other members find the blow dryer is not a desperate evil that ruins their hair.

It all depends on your personal hair and length goal. Obviously, if you're going for past floor, or even knee, you're going to have to be more careful. But for a lot of people, somewhere in the waist to classic range is totally reasonable even with a vice or two.

May 19th, 2012, 05:22 PM
The biggest thing that helped me with this (and still does) is wearing my hair up everyday and trying to forget about the damage. before you know it, your hair will be longer with alot of beautiful new hair growing in. For me, wearing my hair down meant obsessing over the damage and feeling the need to trim all the time.

I went from shoulder to almost BSL in one year and I know it can get much longer because it was at waist before chemicals destroyed it. I grew it to that length in the past by not trimming it for a year.

May 19th, 2012, 05:40 PM
Ok, I came here in Dec.2011 with very damaged hair, check my story in my profile, I used to get extensions to get long hair, out of sudden I stopped them and my hair was below chin length from front and at a little below shoulder in the back and the ends are very dry and damaged, well almost all my hair was dry and damaged but the last 3 inches should have been trimmed but I could not do this as I have never been without long hair, I was doing everything on this board at once and was very frustrated, then I slowed down and tried to learn to enjoy my ugly length and the newly healthy roots, I added henna even though I do not like the red color, but had to tolerate it and live with it, at 32 I get some grays and I can not go out with this stupid gray, so henna saved me from chemically coloring my hair, I will never go back to these damaging dyes again, now I'm 5 months on this and my hair feels much better (not the profile pics, need to update them), my hair was layers and still do, not that I cut it that way but it seems that the damage from the extensions, hair color, flat iron and so on .. did that, I still have these layers and I hate them but I have to be patient for a year or so until they grow (well hopefully), now my hair is at my shoulder from front and nearly 1-2 inches away from armpit or whatever they call it here, LOL, the top 3- 4 inches are very healthy and shiny, so that's alone tell me that my efforts are paying off, I'm at very critical length that is ugly and can do nothing about it, but I'm trying to be patient and I have these on my priority list: 1- having a health hair from roots to ends, 2- when I can achieve # 1, I can then and only then can get longer hair :)

Welcome to this board, stick around, you can only get good things here.

May 19th, 2012, 05:45 PM
It's definitely worth it!! My hair was damaged from blow frying and ironing!! The coloring I used to cover my gray was from the health food store (NatureTint) which was very gentle, didn't hurt my sensitive scalp and was permanent. But even that stuff was harsh on my hair.
Then I decided to stop coloring - and boy, was that tough! The first 6 months were VERY hard, and I even searched out some experts for help. Most suggested either color again, ignore it, or cut it all off.
I chose to ignore it, and my gray hair is actually not that bad. Some people ask me what color I'm using!! Mother nature, of course!
Now the length is blond near the ends, and the natural brown/gray on top. There was a demarcation line between the two, but the past summer blurred it out. Would I go back? Absolutely not! Since regular oiling, SMT, using a satin pillowcase, no blow fry or ironing, no cones, no SLS, mostly CO wash, my hair has never been happier, and I'm learning to love my curls finally!
Keep at it, you'll be glad you did!!:)