We’ve all been there at one point in our life, trying to decide what the f*ck to do with our hair to make it look like we’re not in the growing out phase. Ah yes, the growing out the pixie phase. Going through it will definitely award you another girl scout badge of honor and you’ll always think twice (or thrice) when your hairstylist suggests going short because it’ll make your eyes *pop*! Just say no. Once in a lifetime is once too many. I, like so many other women out there have lived through the awkward phases and now that I’m one solid year into my growth I feel I have some worthy tips and tricks to pass on to the next generation of chop shop victims.

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February 2015

1. You’ll see it on every blog and praised by celebrities left and right but they’re all onto something, VIVISCAL. I didn’t start taking it until about 6 months into my growing phase and I wish I had from day one, I’d be Rapunzel by now. This little vitamin has a hair growth punch that just can’t be matched. In truth, it does take around 3 months for it to really kick in but when it does then the results are amazing. I haven’t been able to find them in the Czech Republic so I rely on Amazon for my fix, Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Nutrient Tablets, 60-Tablets.

2. Along with Viviscal I also take 5,000 mcg of biotin everyday. Now not everyone can take biotin, a lot of women have reported that the most severe side effect of it is acne. I held off adding it to my regimen because of that worry but after about a week of no breakouts then I patted myself on the back and plowed on.

3. Put down the blow-dryer. And curling iron. And flatiron. It’s not like you have much hair to curl anyway! Heat damages your hair and right now you need the least amount of damage inflicted on your head as possible. Besides, the whole natural look is in now, embrace it. For the first 6 months or so of growing I would shower at night, add a little texturizer in it and sleep on it. I rocked bedhead for most of 2015. Now that my hair length is all even and I’ve regrown my volume back, I still wash it at night and will use the curling iron/flatiron sparingly for special occasions once a week or so.

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May 2015-Pardon my schluppiness, I was working in Iraq then…

3. Pick your products wisely. I used to LOVE switching up my hair products and trying every new bottle under the sun but this last year I’ve wizened up and realized that those 50+ unpronounceable ingredients aren’t the best to put on my baby locks. I’ve now switched to only natural, organic products or homemade. My favorites are Pura d’Or Argan Oil shampoo, a locally made olive oil conditioner, my own batch of leave-in conditioner of coconut milk/jojoba oil/coconut oil and a weekly moisturizing treatment of egg/full-fat yogurt/jojoba oil. Keep it simple ladies. You can find it on Amazon here, Pura d’or Premium Organic Argan Oil Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo (Gold Label), 16 Fluid Ounce.

4. There seems to be a toss-up between getting trims and not getting trims during this stage. Personally I have gotten trims just because I am a firm believer in the damage that split-ends can wreak on your progress. I am forever trying to explain this to my Love and he just shrugs his shoulders. You can’t fix split ends after they’re there. You can only trim them off. But if you keep them growing too long then they’ll grow up the shaft of your hair then you have to trim more. And we don’t have that much to trim off to begin with. So trim them off! I only had 2 major trims during the entire year to help shape my hair as it hit certain stages. Oh, and the duck tail. God bless the duck tail. If you don’t keep that in check then you’ll have a party in the back before you know it. I would trim the nape of my neck every 3-4 weeks, it wasn’t the most graceful trim but there’s no way around that when you’re holding a compact mirror in one hand and trimming scissors in the other.

5. Don’t do what I did around month 9 and drink a bottle of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, watch a lot of Mad Men and decide I wanted bangs and to be a red head. The bangs happened shortly after glass 3 and I drunk messaged my stylist on Facebook and made an appointment to go red that week. She graciously cleaned up my attempt at bangs and through no fault of her own I walked out of the salon with Paramour orange hair. I cried that day. And drank more wine. She let me come back a few days later to go a lot darker red but the only thing I learned from all of that pain was that natural blondes DO NOT hold hair color very well. A week after that incident my Love and I went on vacation to Costa Rica to meet my future in-laws for the first time and my red had faded to a very dry and brittle orange again and I couldn’t do anything about it.

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October 2015-Post bangs and red decision

6. Which leads me to the next point…Avoid damaging your hair as much as possible. Between the two hair colorings and the subsequent bleaching after coming home from Costa Rica, my hair was dry and brittle and now had tons of split ends. So that drunken night cost me who knows how much hair growth. It took me a month of intense weekly moisturizing treatments and daily leave-in treatments to repair the damage and just a minor trim with my stylist to tweak the ends. And she’s still chuckling about bangs decision…To combat the brassiness from the bleaching I use L’Oreal Paris Professional Silver shampoo once or twice a week.

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November 2015-Post bleach (sorry for the nipple shot)

My hair is now chin length and my bangs are manageable now (I don’t even style them as bangs, just brushed to the side) so at this point it’s just maintenance and patience. And deep breaths. And lots of long hair envy on the metro. And wine.

 

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