My Starting Point

I have always dreamt of long hair and never managed to get my hair past shoulder length before getting bored with the length and style and cutting it back into my signature bob haircut. Everybody has always said to me “oh but you suit short hair.” This was always why I would cut my hair when I got impatient because I knew that it did suit me.

In July last year after a friend of mine got bonded extensions I decided to finally get my dream of long hair for the small price of £180. My hair at the time had stayed at a stagnant shoulder length for over a year after regular highlighting, blow drying straightening and a complete hair colour change to ginger.  This had clearly only just maintained my length and I was getting so tired of waiting for a miracle so I saved up and had the bonds put in.

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Here is a photo of my before and after with extensions. I loved having my extensions, despite finding them extremely uncomfortable for the first 2 weeks and a pain to wash and dry! But I finally had my princess hair length. I kept them in for the maximum 12 weeks and felt that I had maintained them extremely well. I had them taken out by the same person that put them in and afterwards I was very disappointed with the condition of my hair. I could feel chunks of it being pulled as the bonds were removed (I think she was just in a rush and had another client on the way) and even more came out as I washed my hair. So in august 2013 I was left with no option but to cut my ratty hair back into a bob.

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I maintained this length with a few cuts until around November time and then it naturally went back to shoulder length without any real effort other than holding out on trims for a few weeks longer. I continued to have my hair highlighted blonde and trimmed every 2 months and still blow dried and straightened it every other day. I still wanted longer hair but just thought that patience was the key.  It wasn’t until August 2014 that I started to research how I could get my hair to the length I wanted, quicker so that I wouldn’t end up getting bored and cutting it off when it got to an awkward length. And so my journey to long hair began.

My hair length August 2014

My hair length August 2014

In this blog I will be posting progress pictures as well as tips and tricks for growing long and healthy hair. This is in the hope that it will motivate me to keep going so that I can get the natural long hair I’ve always wanted!

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Hair Products

Shampoo and conditioner

I’ve recently started using Loreal’s ever pure sulphate free shampoo. This is supposed to be the best thing for dry and damaged hair and I can truly say I love it! It makes my hair smell and feel great and you hardly need to use any of the shampoo because it lathers up so well. The shampoo and conditioner cost 5.99 each in boots and are definitely a good buy as I feel like they are kind to my hair.

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Brushing

One thing I have read a lot of online is that you should NEVER brush or comb your hair when wet.  Now although this does make sense in some ways I just don’t find it practical at all. Especially when I am no longer blow drying and leaving my hair to dry naturally.  It just ended up getting tangled and drying horribly. I tried the recommended wide tooth comb but I found even this was pulling on my hair.  A few friends then recommended the Tangle Tamer brush which was featured on dragons den a few years ago.  There are a few copies of this now so I picked one up for £4 at a hairdressing wholesalers and haven’t looked back! Nothing glides through my hair like it both wet and dry.  I don’t feel like there is any pull on my hair however I do make sure that I brush from the bottom then work my way up. I really do believe this has played a big part in my hair getting stronger and not breaking because of it.

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Hair clips

Working in a school I generally wore my hair up as I was always scared that I might catch some visitors if I got too close to the children! I used hair bobbles and usuAlly had a high ponytail or a twisted top knot.  Since doing my research I’ve realised that tight bobbles really don’t do your hair any good and can cause a lot of breakage even if you use the ones without metal which I did. I invested in some medium sized clips which I now use to either scrape half my hair back into or do that same twisted knot but securing with a clip instead of a bobble.  I must admit it’s not the most fashionable of hairstyles but it’s perfect for me at work.

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Treatment

Since starting my journey all I have read about is the holy grail that is coconut oil! I’ve tried hard to do a coconut oil hair mask every couple of weeks.  I simply melt a couple of spoon fills in the microwave and work it through my hair. I then would wear a shower cap to create the ‘greenhouse’ effect.  This does make my hair super soft once washed out and has probably helped to keep my hair healthy.  To me it is quite a lot of effort to do and the results haven’t been amazing for me but I will keep at it for now because everyone else really does rave about it.

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And that’s it! I no longer use shelves and shelves of hair products like I did before. This is as minimal as it gets for me although I know some people use even less. At the moment this works for me and is affordable and relatively hassle free.