Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hope's Journey Growing Out Pixie: The Planning Stage

So, I have a pixie cut. I have had one since February this past year, and have been dreaming of growing it back out into a bob ever since. Now, I never actually wanted a pixie cut; my hairstylist decided to give me one even after I specifically said "DO NOT CUT MY HAIR INTO A PIXIE." And she did it anyway. Yeah. I didn't really want anything super long, just for it to grow back to the length it was before.

However, almost a year later, my hair is the exact same length. The longest hairs are just barely past my ears, which I am a little thankful for. When I got my first pixie cut a few years back (which is why I really didn't want to get this one), it was cut boy short, and my ears were exposed. Like, excuse you, how am I supposed to make it through the winter? It took me less than a year for my hair to grow back, and then a year after that, my hair could touch the top of my shoulders and even touch my back in the shower. And then hairs started falling out like rain whenever I would wash it, and it just felt disgusting. So then my mom made me cut it again, into a shorter bob. A few months later she complained that my hair was too damaged (it didn't really look that bad, and I explained to her that having a pixie cut really drained my confidence when I was in middle school) and took me to get it "trimmed." My mother respected my wishes of not getting a pixie cut, but my hair stylist didn't really seem to know what a pixie cut was, because even when I said I didn't want one, she cut it into one. My mother told her about my complaints, and she said that I showed her the picture and said, "cut my hair like this, or whatever." Apparently saying 'or whatever' means 'forget that I just said I don't want a pixie cut,' but it doesn't matter because I never even said 'or whatever' the little liar. And so now I am stuck with my second pixie cut.

My hair grows about one inch per month, although it appears to be a half-inch because my roots are curly (I have relaxed hair). But no matter how long it grows in between relaxers, my stylist still cuts my hair to the length it was previously, even when it isn't damaged. I can recall one time when my hair was relaxed and she didn't cut anything off, but that was a very long time ago. So, I have decided two things: 1) I'm growing my hair out on my own. 2) I'm going natural.

So, how am I going to grow out my hair? By first getting to know my hair.

A little bit about my hair

I don't know what the technical term for my hair type is, but it is fairly coarse, very thick, and has curls so tight they could fit through a needle, probably. My hair is currently relaxed, and has been getting relaxed since I was about eight years old. When I was in ninth grade, I had about a six-month stretch between relaxers (I tried using home relaxers during this time, but none of them worked) and noticed that this was when my hair grew the longest. Well, the longest since I started relaxing. Right now, I am getting it relaxed every 6-8 weeks, and it grows about an inch in between. While my roots are very thick, my ends always end up thinning out, especially on my left side (which I sleep on). My goal is to try going 10 weeks between relaxers in the spring/summer time. I also use olive oil products at least twice a week. In the past, Proclaim! olive oil products has made my hair speed up its growth process.

My current length

My hair is a little over eight inches long on the right side, reaches the nape of my neck in the back, and two inches on the far left (when I don't comb over).

How often I touch up

I get touch-ups about every 6-8 weeks, and my hair gets trimmed almost every time.

My regimen

Night regimen: I try to wrap my hair in a silk headscarf every night and spray olive oil hairspray on it shortly beforehand.

Morning regimen: I remove the scarf and turn on my straightener. Then, I use a wide-toothed comb, a slightly thinner-toothed comb, a thinner one after that, and then a thin-tooth comb. I then straighten my hair and brush the back with a horsehair brush, or I comb through with a thin-tooth comb.

Weekly regimen: I wash my hair on the weekends, and I try to make sure the shower water isn't too hot. I skip shampooing altogether, because I lose less hair when I forfeit shampooing. Then, I leave in the olive oil conditioner for at least thirty minutes (while the room is still steamy), reading a chapter of a book or so before hopping back in the shower. Afterwards, I rub olive oil all over my scalp and through to the ends. I then rub a special type of oil at the roots where I part my hair, to promote soft roots (and it makes them smell good). I try to avoid heat styling for a few days to keep my ends from splitting, and I spray olive oil hairspray the next day.

More about my weekly wash routine

I use Proclaim! olive oil conditioner. When I shampoo, which I do once a month, I use Proclaim! olive oil shampoo. My hair probably smells like olives. I will also start leaving in my conditioner for longer on the days I shampoo; I will probably leave it in for a little longer. As for the stuff I put on my roots, it's Perfect Results Super Grow. The stuff works like magic-- my sister who has almost waist-length hair has used this, and it made a BIG difference on how long her hair grew. The olive oil and the olive oil hairspray I use are both by Proclaim. Basically, Proclaim! and Perfect Results work like magic. My hair has never been softer, and my hairstylist barely even trimmed my ends last time!

My styles

I wear my hair down just about 100% of the time, since there isn't much I can do with this length. I can put my hair in very high or very low ponytails, however for a high ponytail it requires bobby pins (and it hurts really bad), and low ponytails I reserve for decorating cakes and painting rooms. I wear it in a classic pixie style during the first three weeks after a touch-up. Then, I wear scarves and other protective styles during the last few weeks.

Using heat

I try not to heat-style, but I do it really often. When I don't need to, I don't do it at all. I allow my hair to air dry after washing, and I never curl my hair. However, I straighten it almost every school day. I need to get my act together; I know.

How I maintain moisture

I use olive oil hairspray almost every time I use heat. As for keeping my back and left side hydrated, I am going to start using hair lotions. I am also planning on using an olive oil/cinnamon hair mask once a month or so, once I figure out if it's safe on chemically-treated hair. But, my weekly routine has been lasting me the whole week without going dry lately. If I can limit my heat usage, my hair will always feel soft.

Internal ways to promote healthy hair

I take hair, skin, and nail vitamin supplements I bought from Wal-Mart. I haven't used it much lately because you have to take them three times a week, which is a difficult routine to keep up, especially during the school year. But during the summer when I was using it correctly, my hair felt very bushy at the roots, and grew pretty quickly. My nails have been very strong, but then again they were already in pretty good shape. I also hear garlic supplements can help to reduce shedding.

Setbacks along the way

I think I already talked about them, but an additional struggle is my issue with hair loss. I am someone who is generally under A LOT of stress during the school year, which unfortunately takes up most of the year. In addition to that, I am prone to bald spots because of my vitamin D deficiency. I currently have a bald spot on the left side of my head above my ear that has been shaved down and covered with a longer piece of hair.


So, now that I have gotten to know my hair, now I know the things I need to work on.

  • I am going to start stretching between relaxers. I'm going to try going 8-10 weeks between relaxers for my first stretch, and then stretch for two extra weeks every time.
  • I am going to try to braid my hair more often, so that I don't need to use heat. I can only braid the right side, but it's something.
  • I am going to use more protective styles (like bandanas and headbands), so that I don't constantly put stress on my hair with heat and pins.
  • I will massage my scalp more often.
  • I will actually take my vitamins, three times a day.
  • I will drink more water.
Wish me luck! I've grown out a pixie before, so I know I can do it again!

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