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The Hairy Adventures of Katja

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    Posted: May 22 2005 at 1:10pm

I just measured my hair last night and figured it's about time I start keeping a closer eye on my hair length.  I know it's a weird time of the month to be measuring, but I finally got a proper tape measure and I just couldn't wait until the end of the month to use it.  I figure I'll measure again on June 1st (not that the results will be much different) and then continue to measure on the 1st of every month after that.

Here are my official hair statistics as of May 21, 2005:

Hair Type: 1b-1cNiii (straight with slight body wave/some visible waves, not fine or coarse, thick)

Base of ponytail: 5.5"

Length of virgin roots: 3.5"

Length of bangs: 9.5"

Length from hairline to longest strands: 24.5"

Length when I started growing it out: 14"

Short term length goal: 27.5" (waist length)

Long term length goals: 31" (tailbone), 35" (hips), 40" (classic)

Avg. Growth Rate: .75" per month

****In light of how fast it's been growing lately, I've calculated that I will probably reach waist length by the end of September- provided I don't get any trims, my hair stays in good condition and it keeps growing this fast (with summer coming up I'm hoping it will). Therefore, I've decided to change my sig ticker to say "4 months until waist length" instead of 8 months and 3 weeks.  I hope I'm not jumping the gun by doing this, but I feel I underestimated my hair when I set the thing and my calculator seems to think so too.****

Edited on August 30th, 2005 to change journal title.



Edited by Katja
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 01 2005 at 6:31pm

I measured my hair about a gazillion times last night after my shower and couldn't really come up with a consistent measurement.  I got everything from 23" (which doesn't seem possible considering it was 24.5" when I last measured and all I've done scissorwise is search & destroy) to 25.5" 

The measurement I got more than any other was 24.75", and since that seems the most logical considering my recent growth rate I've decided to name that as my "official" end of May/beginning of June hair length.

Other than that, hair seems a little damaged this week. Am going to invest in better (sharper) trimming scissors as mine have become dull in only a little over a month. Hopefully I can pick those up tomorrow.  Also, I've purchased some Organic Root Stimulator Mayonnaise and am going to start using it once a week. 

Additionally, I've finally found a way to remove the grease from the first 4 inches of hair at the back: used just a tad of Head & Shoulders in that spot and then some of my old clarifying shampoo (Neutrogena Anti-Residue), then rinsed it like there was no tomorrow.  2 days later and the grease/hair sticking together hasn't returned.  One less hair issue to worry about.

Next hair measurement: July 1st

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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July Measurements:

Hair length (from hairline to longest strands)- 25.5"

Length of bangs- 10" (after trimming them about a quarter inch)

Length of roots- it's hard to tell because the root colour is so close to the dye colour... but I measured about 4.25"

Notes:

-My new scissors are AWESOME and they only cost $5.99

-The Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise works like a dream... I recommend it to anyone looking for some natural deep conditioning and great hair

-Finally got around to purchasing some apple cider vinegar and did my first ACV rinse (I'd been using white distilled vinegar) last week.  Doing it again tonight.

-Ran out of my good vitamins last month and can't find another bottle of them anywhere... have been taking crappy drugstore vitamins with only 13% biotin... hoping this doesn't slow down growth.

 

People have been commenting on how long my hair is and how great it looks.  Even my {nearly blind} grandmother could tell it was getting really long... yay!

P.S- Just wanted to add that my hair is now 2" from the top of my waist when wet



Edited by Katja
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 28 2005 at 5:55pm

End of July Hair Measurement: 26", from hairline to longest strands

Again, I couldn't get a very consistent measurement.  The reason it's so hard is because I have just a handful of hairs that haven't been affected by layering, meaning they're the longest, and they're at the exact center where my arms can't reach too well with the tape measure.  Then I need to stretch those strands out to get the full measurement.  I really should start getting someone to do this for me.

Anyway, this month obviously brought about somewhat of a setback in growth.  I was expecting this, though, because I went on vacation for 2 weeks and a) didn't have my ACV or hair mayonnaise (all I brought was my vitamin-E gel, my 2 conditioners and a small bottle of diluted shampoo), b) didn't have much time for my hair anyway, and c) kept forgetting to take my vitamins.  There's also that biotin situation I mentioned; I don't know if that has anything to do with it.  In any case, I'm not discouraged.  Tomorrow I'm hoping to make the trip to the health food store and buy a bottle of 300mcg biotin, since that's what I was on before and it seemed to give good results.  I'll report back on that.  Also, my hair seemed to suffer more damage than usual this month- as in, I've been trimming splits two or three times a week.  I don't know how related that is to the things I mentioned above, but I'm going to keep an eye on this.

Good news though: an inch from now, I should be able to fake waist length.    I'm going to try and upload a progress pic today or tomorrow.

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2005 at 1:32pm

I hope you all noticed my witty new journal title.  Ha ha. 

 

My end-of-August measurements look like this:

Length of Hair: approximately 26.75"
Length of "Bangs": 11.5"
Length of Virgin Roots: about 6"... that's six inches of growth since December 7th, 2004.  I've kept four of those inches.  I can't wait to see how long my roots are come this December!

Some notes...:

-My hair is starting to taper at the ends... I'm excited!

-I'm still using the generic drugstore vitamins and no biotin supplement.  Also, I drink one SlimFast a day and my hair seems to take kindly to the vitamins in that.  I don't think I need the really good vitamins I was on earlier this year anymore... it doesn't seem like my hair really misses them.

-I plan on conducting a massive search and destroy mission this week, as I've been lax with the scissors in recent weeks and I'm starting to see more splits than I should.

Random Stuff... this is going to be a longer entry than usual:

Okay, first of all... I went to the Bahamas for a week at the beginning of the month, and I got my hair braided.  63 braids.  I'd had it done before, so I knew what I was getting myself into.  I left the braids in for two weeks, and although I suffered some damage from them (not to mention they were a seven-hour pain to take out), a lot of this month's growth happened while I had them in.  They were a lot of fun (and it was nice not having to brush or style my hair) but I think that will be the last time I get them done.

Anyway, here are some pictures:

Hope you can see those.  Sorry about the low quality.

And now... outlining my current hair routine:

*First of all, I always wash my hair with cold water.*
Mondays: ACV Rinse + 2 conditioners (AllSoft and Bed Head)
Thursdays: Diluted shampoo + 2 conditioners
Saturdays: Mayonnaise treatment- leave hair mayonnaise on for 15 minutes and then wash out
Once a Month: Mayonnaise deep conditioning treatment: Mix 1 egg with hair mayonnaise and leave on hair for 1-2 hours
Once a Week: Trim- search & destroy
Every Night: I sleep with my hair in a Bubba Tail (putting hair bands down the length of my hair- "Princess Jasmine style").   This helps me avoid tangles and frizz, and also helps me enhance my hair's natural wave... and on a length note, I can now fit five evenly spaced elastic bands down the length of my hair; in early June it was only three!

Product Reviews:

Redken AllSoft Shampoo:
I used to not like this too much... it dried out my hair, as shampoos tend to do.  But since I diluted it- I have a 1 liter bottle which is about 3/4 full; half of this is shampoo and half is water- it works really well.  Though by next year I hope to have ditched it for a conditioner only routine, if my scalp will allow.

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo: I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.  It's way too harsh- a lot of my ends broke off after I used it the first time, not to mention my hair felt ber-dry.  I sometimes use it to clean my BBB, but no way is it ever touching my hair again.

Redken AllSoft Conditioner: When I first started using this, it was my miracle conditioner.  It still works GREAT, but I now need more of it to create the same effect.  I'm thinking of taking a break from it and maybe starting to use it again in a few months.

BedHead Moisture Maniac Conditioner: Pretty much the same deal as the AllSoft, only I'm going to keep using this.  It helps my hair retain moisture and combats frizz.  I've been using this stuff off and on for almost four years.

White Rain Strawberry Essence Conditioner: This is a great light conditioner and it smells wonderful.  I use it sometimes before I shampoo.

Infusium 23 Leave-in Spray: I used this a lot while I had my braids.  It works okay, but if you spray too much it leaves your hair feeling dry. 

Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise: My god, I'm in love.  This is a phenomenal conditioning product.  I use it once a week and it puts my hair in beautiful condition.  I recommend this stuff to anyone- you can find it at any drug store and it costs about $10.

VO5 Hot Oil Treatment: Someone gave this to me as a gift.  I used it yesterday out of curiosity, and I have to say I wasn't impressed.  It made my hair feel a little softer, but that's about it.  Don't waste your money.

Paul Mitchell Straight Works Gel: I use this sometimes after washing to help my hair dry straight, and it works... to an extent.  It doesn't make my hair pin-straight but it does get rid of a lot of my visible waves.  However, I wouldn't recommend it if your hair doesn't like silicones... it contains A LOT of them.  Hence why I only use it every once in a while.

Paul Mitchell Gloss Drops: Same deal as the straight works, only it's used for frizz.  What I like about it is you can put it on wet OR dry hair.  You only need a small amount and it works pretty well.  Again, though... lots of cones.

and last but not least...

Boar Bristle Brush by Scnci: This is a cheap alternative to the expensive mail-order BBB's.  Personally, I don't know what I'd do without mine. 

CONCLUSION:

I hope that wasn't too boring.  Next month, my hair should be at the top of my waist.  I'm really looking forward to meeting this goal and then changing my sig ticker in anticipation of my next goal (hip length)!



Edited by Katja
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
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Rveille-moi la fin du neuvime mois

END OF SEPTEMBER HAIR MEASUREMENT: About 27.5"... like I've said before, it's hard to get a consistent measurement.

Technically, my hair is now waist length.    However, it's only about a centimeter past the tippy top of my waist and that's when it's wet.  When it dries, it gets poofy and the ends curl to about an inch away from the top of my waist.  But that's okay.

Although this month was great because I met my first short-term goal, it was one of the most difficult months of my "long hair journey."  During the first week of September, I over-proteined my hair (too much egg and hair mayonnaise) and it was a disaster.  I had excessive breakage, tangling and frizz- all of which occured literally overnight- and my hair became coarse and wiry.  I was freaked out.  There was even a point where I decided to cut it all off if it didn't get better soon.  It took three weeks to get my hair back to normal, during which I clarified like crazy, cut off 99.9% of the split ends and stressed hairs, and made sure I was extra careful when brushing, washing, etc.  I figured out the other day that part of the problem was a brush I was using- not my BBB, but my synthetic nylon-bristled one.  I liked that brush because the bristles were strong enough to go through my thick hair, but I realized (don't ask how... it's a long story and I'm already wordy enough) that it was causing a lot of the breakage and hair stress.  Not to mention emotional stress, which only adds to hair problems.  No more nylon-bristled brush for Katja.

--------------------------------

Surprisingly enough, my hair has grown through all of this.  I'm amazed at its continuous ability to bounce back.  Next month I may take a new progress pic.

Oh, and before I forget!  I found a way (and I know there are many ways) to soften and slightly darken hair using herbal tea.  RECIPE TIME!:

-2 (tea)bags of Black & Orange Pekoe Tea
-1 bag of Chamomile Tea
-A large cup
(I used an old 32oz. Slurpee cup)
-Water

Place the teabags into the cup and add as much water as you see fit.  Stir/mix well.  Wet your hair with regular water and then place the length (this is assuming you have long hair... I don't know how this would work with anything above shoulder length hair) into the cup.  Let your hair soak in the tea/water mix for 10-15 minutes.  Then take it out and rinse it with cold water. 

-After doing this, my hair was immediately softer and about a shade darker, which was good because I wasn't liking the brassy blonde color I got from the sun this summer.  This mixture would probably lighten or darken your hair depending on your color, or it might not change the color at all.  The extra softness was really nice and made my hair easier to manage.  I'll probably keep experimenting with different herbs and teas and expand upon this mixture, and I'll post those as I figure out what works and what doesn't.

---------------------

In conclusion, my second short-term goal (hip length) is only four inches away.   I'm *hoping* to get there by March, but that all depends on whether or not my hair decides to go dormant for the winter again like it did last year.  My new sig ticker will therefore have a question mark after "...until hip length."  I wouldn't mind if my hair stopped growing for a month or so- it needs a break- but I also want to reach hip length soon.  And after that, only 12 inches until mid-thigh!

Katja

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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OFFICIAL END OF 2005/BEGINNING OF 2006 HAIR STATS:

Length (from hairline to longest strands): 28" (waist length)
Length of virgin roots: 7.75" since December 7th, 2004
Length of "Bangs": 13"... almost collarbone length!

I have some progress pics, but they'll have to wait until tomorrow as I left the USB cables for my camera at home (I'm staying with family for New Years').  But trust me, they're worth the wait.

As for my hair's current condition... after my last entry, I went into a sort of "hair rut."  Two weeks into October I decided to dye the non-virgin portion of my hair back to its natural color (summer made the dyed part a gross orangey-blonde color and my hair was two-toned and very unappealing).  I know I said I'd never dye it again, but I just couldn't stand being two-toned.  Anyway, I used a semi-permanent dye to just color the blonde part and the color blended almost perfectly with my roots.  And over 2 months later, it hasn't really washed out which is good. 

However, the dye caused A LOT of damage.  Whoever said semi was better for your hair than permanent was wrong, because the damage was about the same if not worse.  The last 6 inches of my hair looked completely fried, the ends were fuzzy and I had major breakage.  I ended up having to cut about a half inch off.

Then, just as my hair was recovering from the dye, I was hit with a ton of schoolwork.  An endless array of papers, projects, etc.  Not to mention it was "crunch time" for a play I was in at the same time.  For about 3 weeks I was under massive amounts of stress, which stressed out my hair, and I didn't have much time to eat which just made my hair problems worse.  Finally, as soon as the stress was winding down, I had to get my hair done to be a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding.  The stylist, while very respectful of my length, butchered my hair with a curling iron (she did use heat protector spray, however, which I'm convinced saved my hair from breaking off at the root).  Then she put it up in 43 jagged, metal bobby pins and topped it off about a pound of hairspray.  My updo looked AMAZING, but it was such a pain to take down and then wash out.  I had to cut another half inch.

But now, with all of that ugliness behind me, my hair looks and feels great.  I was going to trim another half inch last night just to start fresh for the new year, but the ends looked so healthy that I only took off about 1/8 inch.

My recent hair setbacks may delay the arrival of hip length, but the important thing is that I'm back on track and ready for all the growth 2006 is willing to give me.  And for the sake of my sanity, I've decided not to measure again until June 1st (that's right, six months ), but that doesn't mean I'll stop taking progress pics.

Wishing you all the best hair possible in 2006,
Katja

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Here are those progress pics I promised... taken on December 30th:

 And so far, I've kept my resolution not to measure it.

I do, however, have some semi-exciting hair news: I cut my bangs!  I realize this probably makes me a masochist, as I was finally getting out of the awkward length stage with my bangs (which, at 13", were pretty much not even bangs anymore) and now I have to wait for them to grow again.  But the ends were always really ratty and tangled no matter how often I trimmed them, and when I ran my fingers through them I could feel the damage.  So I decided to cut them.  However, the real exciting part is this: I only cut off the chemically processed part (about 5"), so now when I run my fingers through them, I am feeling 100% VIRGIN HAIR.  It feels so soft and healthy.  And I haven't felt virgin ends in almost 2 and a half years, which is why I'm so excited about this.  It also satisfies my haircut urge for awhile, and I looooooove the cheek-length bangs.

As for the rest of my hair, I trimmed off about 1/4 of an inch this week.  I'm starting to think it may not reach hip length by March, but that's okay.  As long as it's healthy, right?  I also did an ACV rinse for the first time in about 2 months (LONG OVERDUE, I know) and my hair felt great afterwards.  It was like all the hard water deposits had been choking it all this time, and now that I did the ACV rinse my hair can breathe again. 

I've changed my hair routine a lot to accommodate the cold weather, as well as the New Year and my hair's general health needs:

-I only wash it once a week (normally weekends), and if I feel like my hair needs it I'll condition it once during the week.  As my hair gets longer, I'm finding it a lot easier to go a few more days between washing.
-I do an ACV rinse and deep-conditioning with hair mayonnaise every 2 weeks.
-I ACV my brush every 2 weeks.
-I don't brush my hair with anything but my fingers while it's wet.
-I wear it in some sort of "contained" style every day and allow myself one day a week to wear it down.
-I conduct a search & destroy of split ends once a week.

That's basically it.  Happy hair adventures to you all!

~Katja

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2006 at 9:02pm

Has it really been over two months since my last hair journal entry????  I swear I wrote just a few weeks ago.  Strange how time flies, eh?

Anyway, happy Spring!  Thank goodness the warm weather is on its way.  This winter really did a number on me, not to mention my hair.  Basically, right after my last entry I spiraled into another hair rut.  More like a hair, skin, mind and body rut actually.  Not sleeping enough led me into a vicious cycle of eating junk food, being a couch potato, and drinking wayyyyyyyyy too much coffee.  Which, of course, led me right back to not being able to sleep.  My face broke out, my stomach felt chronically ill, I had huge dark circles under my eyes, I gained five pounds and my hair became a giant ball of frizzy stress.  And my brain felt totally fried.  After a while the coffee didn't even wake me up anymore, so I would have to either upgrade to a 24oz cup in the morning or have a second and third cup during the day.  Seriously... you don't realize how destructive and addicting coffee can be until you're addicted to it.  On the very rare mornings when I decided I could do without coffee for the day, I ended up being terribly irritable and feeling like I was about to collapse.  And of course, walking to campus every morning in the freezing wind with my hair down (because I never had time to put it up) didn't help matters.  Let's just say that caffeine and winter are a heinous combination.

It was at the very end of February when I realized that I needed to make a change.  So I, the perpetual listmaker, made a list of what I needed to do to turn things around.  I made a plan on how I could gradually give up coffee, and I decided to start doing yoga again as well as get more exercise in general.  So far, giving up coffee has been easier than I initially thought.  The first week was really rough- I experienced that same irritability, extreme fatigue, and the ever persistent caffeine headache- but I knew that I was going to have to go through the "withdrawal symptoms" before I could be completely coffee-free.  During the second week, all I had coffeewise was a tiny 6.5oz mocha frappuccino.  Now, two weeks later, no caffeinated beverages have passed my lips since. 

As for the exercise part, I started a full program last week to help lose those five pounds and improve my hair's condition.  In addition to my two daily walks to and from school (I really should buy myself a car, no?), I've been doing Abs of Steel workouts for ten minutes a day and yoga for twenty minutes every night.  And a thirty minute jog three times a week.  As a result of all the physical activity, it's been much easier to fall asleep at night and therefore much easier to wake up in the morning.   Not to mention I feel absolutely wonderful.

All this rambling is, in fact, relevant to my hair.  I promise. 

Since giving up coffee, cleaning up my diet and increasing my amount of daily exercise, my hair has begun to feel a lot better.  It's so much softer and shinier already, and the split ends I cut off last week haven't been resurrected yet.  I've also noticed that my hair finally looks waist length when it's dry.  Which is great news, considering it's technically been waist length for a few months now.  This must mean it's grown.  I've been really itching to measure it, but I know it'll be much more thrilling if I hold out until June 1st so I can see all of 2006's growth thusfar.  I can't wait.

My only real hair concern right now is my neverending quest for the perfect product.  See, the bottom layer of my hair is genetically coarse and kinky and wiry.  It has all the symptoms of "stressed hair" (and I suppose, to some degree, that it is a bit stressed), but it's always been like that and many of the women in my family have the same condition.  I've tried cutting them off, but they just grow back the same way.  And for the most part I've learned to live with that one section of hair.  But sometimes, like tonight (which is probably why I'm writing this), I can feel the wiry texture against the back of my neck and it really irks me.  Really.  I've tried tons of products that claim to make even the coarsest hair smooth and soft, and none of them have ever really worked.  But I refuse to lose hope.  There has to be something out there that will fix- at least temporarily- what genetics did wrong.  So please, if you know of anything at all that might help, don't hesitate to tell me about it. 

That's about all I have to say for now.  Sorry for that long coffee ramble.  But seriously, if you're a long hair enthusiast with a coffee addiction, I strongly urge you to either give up the caffeine or kiss your long hair fantasies goodbye. (Yeah, quitting caffeine is definitely the better option.)

Looking forward to some warm breezes and long, silky hair,
Katja



Edited by Katja
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2006 at 5:57pm

Some Quick Hair Updates:

In less than a month, I will be measuring my hair for the first time since New Year's.  The measurement, I've realized, will either leave me ecstatic or thoroughly disappointed, depending on what it turns out to be.  So I'm a bit apprehensive about measuring.

But you see, it feels like it's grown. 

I'd like to think that even with all my winter hair woes, it managed to grow at least two inches.  Having thirty inches of hair to start off the summer would be quite nice, but I don't want to get my hopes up. 

I've started taking a multivitamin again: "Hair, Skin, and Nails."  I'm sure you've heard of it.  Basically, it's got all the essential hair vitamins, including antioxidants, a B-complex and 3000mcg of biotin (which I had great success with last year).  I've been sporadically taking it for almost a month- sporadically meaning that some days I'll take the 3 recommended caplets and some days I'll only take one.  Or none.  I'm really bad at remembering these things.  But I'm definitely going to try taking all 3 every day this month so I can maximize my growth potential for measuring day. 

In other news, I'm really regretting the layers I cut for myself back in March.  They're just face-framing layers, and I only cut them because I thought they'd make my bangs look better (yeah, cutting those bangs was a mistake as well), but they make my entire head look positively horrendous.  I've been putting just my bangs and my "layers" into a half ponytail recently so I can pretend they don't exist.  Please, do yourself a favor and don't try to cut your hair into any sort of "style."  Cutting split ends is easy enough, but cutting your own layers is definitely a job for a professional.  I learned that the hard way, and now I have to wait for this monstrosity to grow out.  Five words: RESIST. THE. URGE. TO. CUT.

Speaking of split ends, I found a strand of hair today that was split twelve times.  Very shocking (and scary) indeed.  I cut it off immediately and searched for others like it, but thankfully that seemed to be the only one.

I tried John Frieda's Brilliant Brunette Color Glaze for "amber to maple" shades, and I really don't recommend it.  It didn't damage my hair, which was a plus, but it didn't add any sort of color either.  And it sucked the moisture out of my hair, so I had to use gobs and gobs of conditioner afterwards.  I used it four times and kept getting the same result.  Believe me, it's not worth it.  I want to color the bottom (aka previously bleached) part of my hair again, just so it's not two-toned for the summer like last year, but I'm honestly at a loss for what to use.  I hate to use a drugstore dye, but none of the natural dye recipes work on my hair.  I was thinking of trying the new L'Oral dye, Natural Match, since it's ammonia and peroxide free.  Have any of you tried it yet?

One more thing: I've come to the conclusion that no shampoo/conditioner combination works better on my hair than Herbal Essences.  I hate to say that, because HE is made by Procter & Gamble (can we say major cruelty to animals?), but it works great.  And it always makes my hair smell great.  I may have found my miracle product.    We'll see.

And now that I've rambled enough, I shall be taking my leave.  Expect an entry on or around June 1st- I'll be posting my measurement and a new progress pic!

Blessed Be...
~Katja



Edited by Katja - June 05 2006 at 5:11pm
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 31 2006 at 7:32pm

So tomorrow is the big day.  Measuring day.  It will be six months and two days since my last measurement, and I'm dripping with excitement.  I can't believe six months went by so fast! 

I'm also a bit nervous, as I'm afraid my hair will be the same length it was six months ago.  I mean, it feels longer and I guess you could say it looks longer, but you never know.  I could be imagining this whole growth thing.  But I hope I can be content with whatever the number turns out to be, even if I'm still at 28".  I did have that little coffee problem for the first three months of the year, and I guess I trimmed off about 3/4" when you combine all my self-trims from the past six months.  Maybe even an inch.  I'm just really hoping my hair grew.  Thirty inches would be phenomenal.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see!
 
Anyway, it's been quite humid here for the past week and I've had my hair either in a messy bun, a pony tail or a "bubba tail" every day/night.  I can't really braid it anymore since I stupidly decided to cut layers around my face.  I mean, I can braid... it just comes out sloppy at the top.  Here's to hoping these layers grow out lightning fast like they did last year.
 
I've decided that I'm definitely going to dye the bottom part of my hair again.  The part that was bleached before.  It's going to happen either June 16th or June 17th (because I leave for Europe on the 18th), and I think I'm going to try the NaturalMatch stuff.  It's pretty expensive compared to the other dyes at the drugstore, but I figure maybe that translates to higher quality.  And if it damages my hair the way the semipermanent stuff did back in October, I think my hair is in good enough shape to bounce back.  All I know is this bleached orange color has been rearing its ugly head recently and I do NOT want two-toned hair again.  I really can't wait until my hair is 100% natural.
 
Well, there's a lot more I could say... but I think I've rambled enough for one night.  I'll probably be updating with my new measurements (and maybe a progress pic if you're lucky) sometime this weekend.
 
Keep Cool,
~Katja
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2006 at 5:06pm

Bad news.  Very bad news.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've lost my tape measure.

 
 
Therefore, I was unable to measure my hair the other day.
 
 
And what's worse is that every store near me seems to have run out of tape measures.
 
 
So as of right now, I still only know of these 28 inches.
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2006 at 8:42pm
Copied from my post in the long hair board to avoid having to repeat myself:
 
About two weeks ago I was bored on a museum tour, and I was looking down at my hair and I noticed that the ends really are in bad shape.   My hair has barely grown for months, probably because of the chronic damage I still have from dying & bleaching it two years ago.  And no matter how often I self-trim and pamper my hair, the damaged ends always resurface shortly after.  I condition my hair to no end, and I don't mind doing so, but if my hair is really this damaged I don't want to waste my conditioner.
 
I was contemplating having my stylist friend trim off 2 or 3 inches, but I know it would only be a matter of months before the damage returned.  So I'm considering cutting off the entire previously bleached part (or most of it) and starting over with healthy, fresh, virgin hair.  It would be at least 7 or 8 inches, which would bring me back to only a bit past shoulder length (if not shorter).
 
I would be really sad to see my waist-length hair go and have to start all over again, but I think it would grow faster (and definitely be healthier) without all that damage.  Not to mention it would all be my natural color so I could avoid dye.  And I could probably be back at waist length within a year.
 
I don't know... maybe I'm overreacting at seeing a few split ends and maybe I'm just going insane, but I'm starting to really like the idea.  I plan on giving it another week or so (as I've read that one should always wait three weeks before making any major hair change), but if I still think it's a decent idea I might just do it.
 
We'll see...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2006 at 7:28pm

wow, it's been quite a while since i was last here!

let's see... what's happened to my hair since last time?
 
got it cut to 22" on august 11th.
it's now somewhere between 24 and 25 inches.
the ends are just now starting to get a little ratty, but it's nothing that a 1/4" trim won't fix. 
other than that, it's in beautiful condition.
 
tomorrow night i plan on adding some highlights & lowlights... just to the top layer, so there won't be much damage.  it sounds stupid, i know, because i've been complaining about wanting my natural color for so long and now that i'm finally 95% natural again i want to change it.  but i figure it'll fade/grow out fast, and it's a better remedy for the hair boredom i've been feeling than a drastic cut or a drastic dye-job.  i'll post before and after pictures in a few days. 
 
i've been really pleased with my hair's progress over the past few months.  getting it cut was probably the best thing i could've ever done.  with proper care, i think i could reach 30" by the end of the summer AND still have really healthy hair.
 
that's about all i have to say for now.  like i said, it's basically been smooth sailing ever since i got my hair cut.  i'll probably measure it and take a progress pic tonight, and then (like i said) post pictures of my high/lowlights in a few days.
 
happy new year, everyone!!!!
 
~katja
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2006 at 2:37pm
Official End-of-2006 Hair Statistics:
 
Length: 24.75"
Condition: VERY healthy but could use a tiny trim
Color: My natural light brown with just a couple lighter sections (the remains of bleach from 2 1/2 years ago) -- adding blonde highlights & chocolate brown lowlights in a few hours
Date of Next Measurement: March 1st
 
Like I said, I'll post new pictures in a few days.  I hope everyone enjoys New Year's Eve- I know I will!
 
~Katja
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2007 at 8:48pm

Here are those pictures I promised...:

Mid-August 2006: 22 inches
 December 31st, 2006: 24.75 inches
 
It's a different bra (I try to take all progress pics wearing the same one but I can't seem to find the one I've been using!), but you can still definitely see the growth.  I'm very proud.
 
and now, the color:
<<--my natural color... beautiful...
 
...and my brand new highlights & lowlights! 
 
They're already starting to wash out, which kind of sucks, but I still think they look nice no matter how long they last.  It's a good way to combat hair boredom, because I've experienced virtually no damage and I'll probably have my natural color back in a couple months.
 
Anyway, that's all for now!
 
~Katja
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2007 at 11:37pm
Well, it's been over six months since my last post, and my hair is now about 26.67 inches long.  It would be 27.5, except I got an inch trimmed off back in February.  Still, 5.5 inches of growth in ten months is pretty good.  I'm due for another trim sometime this week, and I can't wait because my ends are started to get really snarled and ratty.  Hopefully the most I'll have to get cut off will be another inch, and then I can spend the whole summer focusing on maximizing my growth.
 
Unfortunately, I don't have a new progress picture because things have just been crazy around here.  I'll try to take one before and after my trim.  However, I'm happy to report that my highlights and lowlights are holding up extraordinarily well- the black has barely faded at all and the blonde has gone a little brassy, but they still add a nice dimension to my hair color.  I've been toying with the idea of making my whole top layer blonde, but I don't think my hair can handle that right now.  If I end up doing that, it won't be until mid-September at least.
 
Other than that, I've been having a few unexplained hair issues recently.  I just wrote a whole long post over in the Long Hair Support forum if anyone's really that interested.  Partly, I think my hair's just not responding well to all the stress I've been under (plus sleep deprivation and bad diet).  Now that summer's here I'll hopefully have more time to exercise, eat right, and take vitamins. 
 
So that's all for now.  My end-of-summer goal is 29 inches.  I don't know if I'll make it- especially since I might have to do away with an inch this week- but I'm going to do my very best.  I'm hoping to at LEAST make it to 28 inches. 
 
That's all.  Be kind to your hair, everyone!
 
~Katja


Edited by Katja - June 21 2007 at 10:41am
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2007 at 10:40am
I got my trim today.  It was a little over an inch, which is more than I would've liked, but I honestly barely care about the length because my ends feel INFINITELY better now.  And now my hair can grow as much as it pleases and I don't have to worry about another trim until at least the end of the summer.
 
So, as promised, here are my before & after shots:
 <-- BEFORE: 26 and 2/3 inches.
 
 
 <--AFTER: 25 and 5/8 inches.
 
My hair is dryer in the after pic, which is why it looks so much shorter.  Plus, the measurement might be a little off because I always measure my hair when it's wet (since, as you can see, it gets wavy when it's dry).  But, there you have it.  Like I said, I'm not thrilled about losing the length, but I really needed to and now my growth won't be hindered by split ends.  And for some reason, the splits got really bad over the past couple weeks- that last inch and a half or so just felt like tangled up straw and I didn't even want to touch it for fear of making it worse.  But now it's 100% better and I can't help running my fingers through it!  What a difference an inch makes, huh?
 
I'll be going on hiatus for a month while I traipse around Europe, but when I come back I'll be sure to post a hair update .  Happy growing to you all!
 
~Katja


Edited by Katja - June 21 2007 at 10:42am
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2007 at 10:09pm
Well, it's been a little over a month since the trim and my hair is measuring in at just about 26 and 1/4 inches.  My only current hair complaint is frizziness, but what else can you expect in this humidity?  In a way, the heat is good because it forces me to put my hair up rather than leave it down and exposed to the elements.  I've been wearing it mostly in braids and buns.  As for the ends, I can't really complain.  I did a search & destroy trim about two weeks ago and my ends have been staying nice and soft ever since. 
 
I'm also happy to report that I haven't used any heat tools all summer, and have only used that vile curling gel on one occasion.  My current hair routine is as follows:
 
-Shampoo (top of head only) once a week with cold water, followed by conditioner (below the ears only)
-Conditioning cream while hair is still wet (leave-in)
-Let hair air-dry
-Put in one braid for bed (every night)
-Use leave-in conditioner on ends whenever they feel a little dry
-Use anti-frizz serum on dry hair whenever I see fit
-CO wash halfway through the week (between shampoos)
-After exercise: leave hair in bun/braid while in shower so as to wet hair, removing any excess oil or dead skin without actually washing hair
 
...And there you have it.  I think I've been pretty kind to my hair recently, if I do say so myself.  As for my growth, I realize now that 29 inches by the end of the summer was a pretty lofty goal.  Maybe I can get there by Christmas?  For the summer, I'd like to see 27.5 inches by September 21st.  So I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully my hair will respond.
 
Hope everyone's having a good summer!
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."
-Woody Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anomis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2007 at 7:05pm
this is a journal, this is how u get started?
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