You might be following along with my hair story. I don’t talk about it too much because, well hair grows really freaking slow. On your head at least, everywhere else it seems to grow too fast, right!? (P.S. I want to get laser hair removal, has anyone had it? Fave spots in DC to get it?).
Back to my head. I don’t update about it much because not much has changed. If you haven’t been following the story, here’s the very short version. In January 2015 I dyed my hair pure white. It was white until September 2015 when I felt like it was just really dry and getting a little too damaged (hahaha now I look back and think THAT WAS NOTHING). And I wonder, had I been taking care of that white hair if it would have been fine. Oh hindsight is a 20/20 bitch isn’t it?
So I thought, I want to get my hair back to healthy, I’ll dye it light brown to give it some nutrients back (have my hair stylist do it) and grow it out a little from the breakage from how harsh the white is (plus me not conditioning it or taking care of it — I didn’t know!). Well, two weeks after having it brown I just hated it. So I asked my hair stylist to put in some blonde highlights on the top (a partial highlight basically).
That is when it all went down. I should have just stuck out the brown, but no. Instead I thought let’s test the limits of my already fine, thin, fragile, breaking hair! Ya that’s a FANTASTIC idea. I don’t take photos of myself for a living or anything!?! (SMH)
The blonde highlights were just too much for my hair to handle. And it broke off. Like any piece of hair that got the highlight broke off and ended up being anywhere from 1-3 inches long. On the top of my head. Yeah. No one could really tell because as you might know a highlight they take pieces of your hair not every strand. And I did a partial this time, so the bottom half of my hair was fine (or just damaged from the white, and not the new blonde). But the top half. Ohhhhhh the top half. Well it was pretty much gone. So if I slicked it into a bun, you wouldn’t be able to see that I had like 2 inches of hair on the top of my head. Actually this photo shoot was done very shortly after my hair fried off. So you might think, oh it looks fiiiine. But it’s not when it’s your hair and now this is your only option for 2 years.
As the assistant was lightly drying my hair to see the color, all of these weird short white things were flying around me and I was like, what the heck IS that? Then I saw the black hair brush, and the ENTIRE PADDLE was covered in white stuff. I say stuff because I LITERALLY DIDN’T THINK IT WAS MY HAIR. I grabbed it out of the assistants hand (gently) and started pulling at it like, “IS THIS MY HAIR?” with a complete freakout face, but not a hysterical voice as there was another client in the room.
The hair I was pulling out of the brush felt like, hmmm how can I describe this…sort of like really soft cotton candy if cotton candy was a soft thread. Not like hair. I had found the limits of my hair and people, and it was not pretty.
Instead of being drama, I took a few minutes in the mirror to digest what had just happened, assessing the damage, left the salon, and walked to my car. Yes I changed stylists after that, but I don’t have ill feelings toward my previous stylist. I didn’t cry, I didn’t freak out, I just walked to my car (slightly hyperventilating) and started Googling hair regrowth — from pills to products and every weird YouTube video about massaging oil into your hair upside down.
I decided that there wasn’t anything I could do to change what just happened I just had to deal with the situation, and do my best to grow my hair back out and take care of what I had left. So you have probably noticed I almost always wear my hair in a bun. I actually have since I dyed it white in January 2015 (I thought bright white hair on me looked weird down, and I liked how it looked in a bun), so it’s been two full years of wearing my hair in a bun almost every single day.
As much as it sucks to not have my long hair — I would die for my beachy waves back — only having the option for a bun was actually a little freeing. I mean I have two looks; straight back in a bun (high or low, or even somewhere in the middle), or a parted bun. Yep, real exciting. The good thing about it is that it’s really easy to do. I don’t have to spend much time on my hair. Which has been nice. Even when it was long I wore it in a bun a lot, but I always had the option to wear it down. But for the past two years, I haven’t had that option.
I have only worn it down for 5 photo shoots. Let me break it down for you. Three of the five of those photo shoots I had a hat on, so I’m not really sure that counts. The other two shoots I put my hair up half way through the shoot so there are only a few photos I published with my hair actually down without a hat on. Why? Because I hated how it looked by was just trying to change it up.
Now that you’re caught up. I’ll tell you where I’m at today.
The top layer of my hair is still pretty short (for me). Probably about 6-8 inches long. Because even though it was 1-3 inches when it fried off, that 1-3 inches was going to break off at some point. 3-6 months ago the last of the scraggly ends were cut or broke off. So all of the hair on the top of my head that did get fried is now gone, and it is all new. But it’s still short. So instead of having a mullet, I’ve had to continue cutting the back of my hair that didn’t get fried and therefore my hair is still really short (for me). And no, I don’t like it.
So while I’m glad I am back to a healthy place with it (thanks to Winston), and I can actually finally dye it again (yes I’ll be going as close to white again as I safely can). It’s still probably going to take another year or three to get it where I actually like it. Until then I will mostly wear it in a bun. But every once in a while I get a wild hair (ha!) and wear it down. Like in this photo shoot.
It doesn’t look terrible in person, and it doesn’t look terrible in these photos (because duh, I picked the best photos!) but still, I don’t like it. It’s been 1 year and 4 months since the “incident” as I like to call it, and that’s a long damn time to not like your hair. And I probably have that long to go.
So just a word of warning to all of you gals abusing your hair by dying it light colors all the time — be careful! And if you are going to do it anyway, then you need to be using a lot of hydrating hair masks, using lots of conditioner and oil, and NOT using hot hair tools as much as possible. And if you are going to use hot hair tools, get a product that helps protect your hair before you use them.
Here are some of the products I’ve been using that are good for damaged hair and growing out your hair:
+ Kérastase Initialiste — Advanced Scalp & Hair Concentrate
+ Olaplex No.3 — Use 1x a week.
+ Viviscal (I should be taking this much more often)
Photos by Laura Metzler