I was born with a full head of hair. As a child I had brushing shoulder length hair with heavy, cut straight across bangs. My mother trimmed my hair herself: Apparently a hairdresser had cut me in my ear when I was very small and I was afraid of hairdressers. At least that was according to her. I can’t remember anything like it and I have no scars to be found.
It was a horrible style on me: It made my face look short and fat, and that I was definitely not. It makes me cringe when I see childhood pictures of me that no adult ever intervened and helped me get a more flattering style.
I think I was around 10 when I decided I wanted to grow my hair longer. My mother was happy to get out of the “upkeep” and completely stopped helping me with it. The result was that around 13, my hair was past waist and a horrible tangled mess. I still can’t believe she didn’t care to help me with it when I so obviously had no idea how to treat it or even keep it combed.
At around 13, after one of my mothers awful bang trims where she again snipped off more of the long hair to make into bangs, I decided to grow them out. By then, after years of my mothers “trimming” where she each time took more and more length into bangs to make them blunt, I honestly think half my hair was bangs!
At 14, my bangs were long enough to stay in a low ponytail and I had the entire length cut off. It was well past classic but not in a good condition. I had blunt, one length shoulder long hair and I loved it. No one had ever taught me about hair and style and I discovered that the one length cut made my thick hair so much easier to handle. The style was so much more flattering on me than the heavy bangs. The only down side was that it had to be tied back at all times. I have a very vague natural part so my hair wants to fall into my eyes.
Between 14 and 19 my hair went back and forth between brushing shoulder length and hip long. At random intervals when I got tired of it, I had it cut back to shoulder length.
I also started playing around with bleach and crazy colours. My hair is naturally a “leverpostej”, a Danish expression for that “too dark to be blonde and too light to be brunette” colour that is very common here. I bleached it to get a “normal” blonde and dyed streaks of crazy colour in it. I think I had just about every colour you can think of at one time or another. I favoured blue and green.
At my first semester at university I wanted to bleach it again, but a friend of mine advised me to use undiluted lemon juice to leave on for hours instead of the store-bought bleach. “Because it’s natural, it’s better for your hair!” she said. I thought that made sense and soaked my waist length hair in lemon juice. It fried my hair. Of course now I know that lemon juice is exceptionally good at dissolving protein bonds (Which is why it’s good in marinade: It tenderises the meat) and what does hair primarily consist of? Protein. My hair was in a pretty bad shape.
I talked to a friend about cutting my hair very short to get rid of the damage and try something new. During the conversation, I joked that maybe I should just shave the whole thing off. She replied “Better do it now then. Soon you are too old to do something as unmistakably stupid as that.” That comment scared me more than the thought of how my naked head would look under my hair!
Of course usually when I tell people why I shaved my head, I simply tell them my hair was fried from the lemon juice. Although there is no doubt it was pretty bad, I could still have nursed it back to health. The truth is that I wanted to try to shave my head. But most people simply can’t understand that. Most people react like you admit you like to hit babies with puppies if you tell them you voluntarily shaved your head. Most people can’t accept that you do something to your own body and own appearance that doesn’t fit into their narrow opinion of “normality”. It’s pretty sad really.
So I shaved my head on December 23rd 2001. It didn’t look as horrible as I had expected. In fact, the stage at about 1-
long was really cute and feminine on me. It was fun to try! Unfortunately I learned how unbelievably shallow “friends” can be. I ended up dropping a handful of people from my friend circle after their reactions to my baldness. It’s amazing how people can react to something that is purely cosmetic and doesn’t change your person! Really, it made me wonder how they would react if I had been in an ugly accident and got covered in scars. Or maybe even became handicapped? I don’t have time and energy for people as shallow as that. 3 inches
I soon missed my long hair though and decided to grow it to at least shoulder length where I could tie it back. Short hair like that is very time consuming and needs lots of styling products to look decent.
By the end of 2002 it reached the stage that was the worst for me: Long enough to get in my eyes and mouth but not long enough to be tied back. It was so extremely annoying! I knew I had to power through the stage to get to more manageable length though. No length was ever as awkward or time consuming as that! I was very happy when I could switch the styling products for a simple elastic.
In 2003 I searched randomly for long hair care and stumbled upon yahoo groups for long hair. I learned some, but ultimately found the mail form of discussion to annoying and was annoyed by the more fetishy posters. On August 13th I registered on the longhair community under Igor, my real life nickname.
One of the first tips I learned was taking vitamins for hair growth and I started taking a simple multi vitamin. Up until then I always had some very pitifully bending, thin and peeling nails. They would literally have fallen apart before growing long enough to show some “white”. (On a side note, I will never understand why my parents never reacted to that when I was a child. That is definitely not normal nails) After some months of just a simple vitamin pill, my nails had grown noticeable healthier and stopped peeling!
In 2004 I started slowly transitioning to CO wash only, a process that took me about a year. Since then I have used shampoo less times than I can count on two hands. CO washes are great at keeping my scalp clean and my hair healthy!
In 2006 I had a strong allergic reaction on my skin to something unknown. I spent over a year seeing dermatologists and other “experts” that never found the reason for the reaction. (That’s a long story for another day, but let’s just say my opinion on dermatologists can be summed up with “arrogant” and “useless”) I had more blood tests done than I could keep track of and they all showed completely normal levels of vitamins and minerals, so I guess my body need the supplements to stay within the norm. Of course this is something I figured out on my own after seeing how my nails changed after I started taking supplements, but it was nice to see it in writing.
2007 was the worst year of my life. It was one of those periods where it felt like life kept throwing crap at me to see where my breaking point was. My boss had suffered a serious heart attack and was hospitalised for a very long time and I had to do his workload too. I had two grandparents in and out of hospital for months each and one of them died. My brother, whom I’m very close to, went through a very ugly divorce. On top of everything, the man I thought would be my husband and father of my children some day turned out to be a controlling, narcissistic nightmare (He wanted me to cut my hair too. Not so much because he disliked it, but because he wanted me to change something I liked for him) Life sucked and I suffered with stress and depression. During this period, I must have lost a lot of hair. Mercifully I never realised this until later. Good thing, because it wouldn’t have been something I had been able to handle at that time. I never noticed the extra shedding, but most people probably wouldn’t notice 5-10 extra hair a day. I did notice the regrowth later though and added 2 and 2.
I met hubby in 2009 and even though I don’t believe in “The one” I must admit he is one of the best things that ever happened to me. He likes my hair too! In 2009 I also tried experimenting with cassia and oils. Back when I first learned about hair care, I eagerly tried everything and my hair absolutely hated oil, so it was a pleasant surprise that my hair would tolerate oil. It probably has to do with “age” and the wear and tear that can’t be avoided.
Fast forward to December 2010 where I registered on untamed tresses under Titian after many years of frustrations with longhaircommunity. Shortly after, I started this blog.
Since I shaved my head I have pretty much let my hair grow longer. My hair colour has since then changed and I find I have a lot of red in my hair that I never knew was there. I like the red tones! I’ve had trims and small cuts, but it has continuously grown longer and I’m now approaching calf length.