Fair warning: This post will be extremely boring to anyone other than my long hair friends... and will most likely bore some of them to no end as well.
With a whole new life starting for me in two weeks, I've been thinking about a lot of things and included in those thoughts are what to do with my hair. Being a longhair, it's important you know! For the last year I've pretty much ignored my hair because life was too crazy to pay it much mind. But now, along with many other things I want to pay attention to and pursue, I'd like to concentrate on improving and changing some hair-related things.
I have goals and issues and questions!
My goals, whether unrealistic or not, are:
1. Grow to classic length with "thick" ends
2. Thicken up my hair
3. Stop using chemical dyes
4. Make and use some good quality hair treatments.
Grow to Classic Length with "Thick" Ends:
I've wanted to grow to classic for a few years now, but because of my work environment and my own personal preference of wearing my hair down to work at least once a week, I've kept it between waist and tail-bone. I can wear it up or down at those lengths and my ends look pretty good. Now that I'll be out of the corporate environment, I will feel free to wear my hair any ol' way while attempting to grow it longer. But I don't want it longer if it's going to look scraggly. My hair is too fine to look good with wispy ends. I want to finally find out how long my hair will grow and still look good to my eyes.
Thicken Up My Hair:
I had a horrible shed last year and lost 1/4" off my circumference. It was 3.75" and is now 3.5". Not drastic maybe, but with hair as fine as mine, I don't want to lose any. I'd never had a shed like that before that I can remember and thought maybe it was caused by my new vegan diet. But I read about it here and am thinking it wasn't the change in foods that I ate as much as life was insanely busy and cockeyed and stressful then and my caloric intake was much lower than usual because I literally didn't have as much time to eat. I know I lost weight unintentionally that I didn't need to lose. In reading the article, it sounded to me that I had experienced telogen effluvium, something I'd never heard of.
From the Mayo Clinic: "Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that is usually due to a change in your normal hair cycle. It may occur when some type of shock to your system — emotional or physical — causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state. The affected growing hairs from these hair roots fall out. In a month or two, the hair follicles become active again and new hair starts to grow. Telogen effluvium may follow emotional distress, such as a death in the family or a physiological stress, such as a high fever, sudden or excessive weight loss, extreme diets, nutritional deficiencies, surgery, or metabolic disturbances. Hair typically grows back once the condition that caused it corrects itself, but it usually take months."
I think the stress and constant work of getting our house ready to sell, Mike changing his career path, my new diet with not enough calories and a few other pressures might have caused it. I don't think it was lack of nutrients in my vegan diet per se, though I've been eating a bit of fish and poultry and eggs lately because I was worried. I'm not shedding crazy anymore and new hair seems to be shooting out of my head, so I'm hoping that with life settling down and being less stressful, things will be good again hair-wise. The shedding did stop while still on my vegan diet... I think maybe it was just a body adjustment for me because I know some vegans with beautiful, thick hair.
In the meantime, I've had Mike start giving me some nice scalp massages with oils - though recently read somewhere that people with fine hair shouldn't get scalp massages! What the? Is it because the hair is more delicate? Anybody know?
Stop Using Chemical Dyes:
Hopefully, I've used my last chemical dye. I don't want to go grey though because it washes me out drastically and my hair feels much thinner without color. Since I won't be going to work, I can experiment a little more liberally with color and am thinking seriously about using henna, cassia and buxus in some sort of combination. I've read pretty extensively on each one and my biggest fear is the unpredictability. I will do a lot of tests, but I'm wondering how to test on my virgin hair since most of my hair is chemically colored. I will be able to do a test on my blonde length easily because I've saved hair from trims, but how do I test my virgin almost white hair in the front and my mostly medium brown hair in the back? I'm sure the color will look different on all three colors. I think I will have to post a question over at Hennaforhair and see if I can get some help or suggestions.
If I could have what I want, I think I'd be quite happy with a light strawberry blonde... something like #3 in the picture below, from Mehandi, showing cassia, henna and/or buxus mixes on solid white hair:
I actually love the darker, richer coppers and reds that I've seen online, but maintenance for my lighter roots would be horrible. I need a color that's close in lightness to my virgin hair so that when it starts to grow out there won't be a drastic line. I like thinking about going from blonde to something with some red in it. Mike would love for my hair to be a flaming red! He's all excited about the change and that's good because he will be applying whatever I put on my head, thank goodness.
Make and Use Some Good Quality Hair Treatments
I need to start doing good stuff for my hair again and have been looking through my books and collected recipes and searching online to see what I want to try. I'd like some scalp and length treatments and am starting to get the itch to make more balms, salves, oils or whatever looks good for my hair type. There are certain oils and herbs and other things that are supposed to help hair growth and health - and that's one thing I'll be playing around with.
To sum up, I'd like more hair, thicker hair and longer hair - and am willing to work to get it. Come on now, is that too much to ask? I'm not even asking for waves and curls, which would truly cap off my dream hair request! :)