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Thread: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

  1. #1
    busy beegan ~ ( , ) ~ Annibelle's Avatar
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    Default Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    It’s a bit early, but I won’t have time to post in early May, so…

    It’s almost my third LHC anniversary, guys! And it feels like it’s been so much longer… unlike my hair, which is shorter than when I joined. Would you like to take a stroll down memory lane with me? : )

    Let’s start with May 2011, when I joined. I hadn’t yet begun “actively” growing my hair. In fact, I never would have considered my hair long… it was just sort of there. I wasn’t a crazy LHC member ; ) so I never took photos of my hair, so I had no idea that it was WL. But one day I decided to grow my hair, so I found LHC.

    This is what my hair was like when I joined:



    Looked pretty good, right? In fact, when I look at these pictures, it makes me feel like an idiot for ever cutting it.

    BUT it was all an illusion! My dark shirt makes everything look much nicer than it is. Here’s what it really looked like:



    I didn’t even know my ends were so thin until I went to post my first photos at LHC. I was so embarrassed! And many people said, “Don’t worry—it’s probably just breakage. Cut where the hemline thickens and take better care of your ends.” The problem was that there WASN’T breakage, so I just couldn’t figure out what the heck was wrong with my hemline. I would do microtrims, but they really didn’t help me. After a year of microtrimming, my hemline looked basically the same. Maybe even worse.

    I decided that BSL was probably my terminal length (without super thin ends, anyway), so I decided to embrace texture instead of length. I learned through LHC that my hair was NOT stick-straight, after all. (I had been using coney Pantene before joining LHC, and beating my hair into submission because I thought my waviness was just incredibly messy frizz.)

    Here is a representative photo from my first months at curly girl. It’s not flattering, but it’s honest. This is how my thin straight ends looked when naturally wavy:



    You would think I would’ve just chopped to APL, but I’m a coward… so instead I kept my hair in a puny bun, hoping a little benign neglect would help. It didn’t. My hair kept growing (it even got close to hip), but everything from APL down looked the same, no matter which products I tried or how many microtrims I did that month. I was so disheartened, but I kept trying to find the perfect routine. And I never, ever wore my hair down—even around the house. I was too embarrassed.

    Anyway, here’s what that same hair looked like with a black top:



    Not bad, unless I wanted to wear a color other than black. Wearing black all the time—and hating my hair—was really depressing me. So I got a cut to APL at a curly salon. (The experience was horrific, but the results weren’t actually that bad—but she gave me some crazy layers after chopping my fairy tale ends, which basically gave me those fairy tale ends I’d been trying to avoid…) And I still hated my hair, unless I wore it naturally wavy and with black. I’ve already discussed the black issue, but let me tell you about wearing it wavy. Other wavies will probably understand. Curly girl, for me, involved CO washing, scrunching with gel, drying with a diffuser—or waiting 8+ hours for my hair to air dry. And my hair isn’t thick or very wavy! Anyway, curly girl also meant, for me, never touching my hair. Never enjoying my hair. Swatting my husband away from my hair. And having good hair only on the first day, because resting my head against ANYTHING, let alone sleeping on it, meant a big dandelion fluff head until my next wash. A HUGE pain in the butt!!!

    And then last summer I moved to a new city with a slightly different climate and water. And my scalp and hair rebelled. (They still have their hissy fits from time to time.) Any leave-in left my hair disgusting, and the build-up was so bad that I needed to clarify and/or chelate every wash. I went from happily CO to needing to use shampoo at every wash. My scalp developed scabs (gross!) and was so itchy. And my hair was so frizzy from all of the clarifying!

    But then winter passed, or the water changed, or the heavens smiled down on me… because suddenly my hair wasn’t so bad:



    Then I chopped it—finally!—and was surprised to see that, even with a pale top… my hair looked pretty thick:



    I could also enjoy my Caruso steam set:



    And I got the urge to just keep cutting. I wanted a pixie! Or maybe SL. But my confidence grew so much with that cut that I wanted to keep cutting. So I just maintained around APL for a few months… until I woke up a week or so ago and decided that I wanted long hair. Lol. My current routine is easier than anything I’ve done before: I shampoo and condition (keeping it cone-free, even after quitting curly girl, because cones give me bacne—something else I learned from my time here). I comb wet. I blowdry my unruly bangs. I twirl half of my hair over each shoulder. It dries. I fling it over my shoulders, finger comb, and finger twirl/curl random spots to help the natural wave. I enjoy it. It’s consistent—something that wavies will understand is highly desirable. I sleep on my hair. It looks great the next day. I comb it whenever I want. It looks fine:



    After a few months of fantasizing about cutting, I’ve returned to my goal of HL… but it’s conditional. Before, I held onto length for the sake of having length. But I was miserable. Now, I’m happy with this length. I’ll be ecstatic if I make it to hip with a thick hemline, but I will not sacrifice hemline or hair health to get there. So if I stay at this length, or shorter, forever—fine. As long as I have a hemline of which I can be proud. : )

    I still don’t know what’s going on with my hemline. Will it refuse to be thick beyond this length, like it did before? Was it a health issue that has passed? I was pretty unhealthy for a few years before I joined LHC, and my health improved significantly a bit over a year ago. So I don’t know. I’ll just keep being as healthy as I can and appreciate my hair. Sending positive vibes its way certainly can’t hurt. : )

    I want to be WL by my 4th LHC anniversary, and HL—my ultimate goal—by my 5th. Along the way, I want to maintain a fairly care-free routine. I can’t go crazy with my hair anymore. It was not mentally healthy for me. I got too obsessed and self-conscious. I love hair—otherwise I wouldn’t be here—but it IS just hair.

    Happy growing—or maintaining—or cutting, everyone. I know I’m certainly no LHC pro, but out of all of the things I’ve learned here, this is the most important that I think about every day: Just make sure you’re happy with your hair. Sometimes that means cutting, or growing, or styling in a new way… but if you find yourself bunning not because you like buns (they are so beautiful on everyone but me—lol!) but because you hate your hair, it might be time to change something. I know this is the LONG hair community… but I think it would do everyone some good to think of it more as the “happy hair community.” If you sacrifice for length and enjoy the sacrifice, great! Woo hoo! But I’m sure I wasn’t alone in hating the process and feeling dejected, so if that’s you… learn from my mistakes. If you hate your long hair, cutting isn’t the worst thing you could do. For me, it was the best. No regrets here—except for that I didn’t cut sooner. xoxo

  2. #2
    Member ARG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    Congratulations! Your hair looks wonderful!


  3. #3
    busy beegan ~ ( , ) ~ Annibelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    Thank you, ARG! I finally feel as if I can feel good about having my hair down, so that's how I've been wearing it most of the time.

  4. #4
    Bibliophile patienceneeded's Avatar
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    Default Re: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    Congrats on 3 years! Your hair is beautiful at every length.
    "There is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of one small candle." - Spanish Proverb
    Hip length to Pixie, now growing long again. Currently past SL, heading to APL.

  5. #5
    Member Crumpet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    Wonderful post and gorgeous hair! I also discovered my waves when I joined the LHC -- its incredible to suddenly figure these things out.

    You're right about how we can over-focus on hair and your suggestions for moving forward are right on. Congratulations!

  6. #6
    Tries to Help Everyone jacqueline101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    Wonderful post and pictures. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    http://51303.photobucket.com/user/ja...ker101/profile
    Some say I'm nearing hip and my fat ate the hair I'm jacqueline101 not a pronoun
    jacquelinewalker101.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Member blue_eyes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    Your story is so inspirational! My hair currently looks almost exactly like your 3rd picture; my ends are very thin thanks to dye/bleach damage. I definitely obsess and feel miserable about it. I think you're so right about needing to just be happy, regardless of length. I'm very happy for you, your hair looks beautiful!

  8. #8
    Member restless's Avatar
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    Default Re: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    Your hair looks amazing now, well done! Though I have to admit I think you´ve been a little too harsh on yourself throughout the years because to me, your hair looked lovely in all the pictures above, even when you had some fairy tale-ing going on. However Im very glad to read youre starting to feel better about your hair, that you enjoy it and that you too finally can see how pretty it is.

    Congratulations to the anniversary!
    Last edited by restless; April 26th, 2014 at 10:57 AM. Reason: corrected a typo

  9. #9
    Member divinedobbie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    Very inspirational story and your hair looks lovely! Thank you for posting

    24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 - 32 - 33 - 34


  10. #10
    Member Flor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Annibelle's 3-Year LHC Anniversary :) (pic heavy!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Annibelle View Post
    Here is a representative photo from my first months at curly girl. It’s not flattering, but it’s honest. This is how my thin straight ends looked when naturally wavy:

    My dream hair!! *sniff* I actually posted a thread a few days ago, basically asking how I can "fake" fairy tale ends like that at midback length I'm hoping mine will look close to yours on that photo when I'm at waist. Fascinating, isn't it? How we find different things most beautiful I'm glad you now have hair you're happy with!

    Loved your story! Thank you for sharing!

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