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Flowing and Glowing (Tips for Long Hair Part II)

Houston, TX

Oh how funny... but maybe that's it... I need to take a booster seat with me! LOL Well, I've not tried for several years because I had so many negative experiences. I keep hoping to meet someone with similar hair & get a referral or something, but so far, no luck. I think they don't want to have someone crying or upset if it doesn't turn out, but I'm not like that... personality wise. I know it would grow back. Although I am used to it long & putting it up & all... I miss the femininity of it being bouncy & able to do all the things it did at the shoulder length. I know women feel like they look younger with short hair, but I just don't see that. Maybe it's because almost all the older women 40+ here in Texas have very short hair. I associated short hair with being old as a child. I cried when my mother cut her hair short after she turned 40. About two days ago I saw a stunning women about 55-60 with gorgeous silver hair down to her waist. I was just astounded & couldn't help staring. I wanted to run up to her & start asking questions! LOL Well, thanks for all the compliments, but my hair in reality is flat, straight & thin. I have to plait it most of the time. I stopped using much henna now. I'm with you guys... it's too much trouble! LOL Grey's not that bad after all I'm learning!

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

I'll bet if you donated 10'' to locks of love someone would cut it!

I too think of short har as an older womans cut. That, and the curly lamb perms.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Either my dad or my DH usually trims my hair. I've had trouble convincing professionals to touch it, too! Nuts. All I was asking them to do was cut off an inch or two, following slight curve that was already there... They'd do it, but there would be this big debate over who would be the one that would have enough nerve. I found I had better luck in barber shops. A guy barber may or may not have much experience with long hair, depending on how many ponytails he sees, but just about anybody can do a trim across the bottom -- and a guy won't tell you he's afraid to touch it, LOL. Of course, I wasn't going in for a "cut" or a big change, just for a trim.

I'm thinking if you really want to cut a lot off, and nobody will do it, you might be ahead to gather your hair into a ponytail and cut the length off yourself, within a few inches of where you want it. That's what they do anyway, when there's a lot of length to remove. Then the stylist might be willing to proceed! Just make sure you've already got an appointment, LOL.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

That is really weird that nobody wants to cut it--maybe the last time they cut really long hair, the client then changed her mind and freaked out right in the store or something. LOL
Guess I'm lucky my sister is a hairdresser.

Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

Popping in with an update, and you're not gonna believe this.

Yep. I cut it. It is now waist length. Do I regret it? Every day. Alas,
it will grow back, better than ever, it's just going to take time.

Karen Marie

Photo of my hair taken down after it was in a braid all day,
before it was cut.

This message was edited Mar 25, 2008 6:58 PM

Thumbnail by WUVIE
Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Incredible! Hey, waist length is plenty long, but you were brave to do that! Mine was barely hip length when I got about 10" cut off, but it had a lot of split, dry ends, so it needed it. Don't you think it feels better--lighter, healthier? And yep, it can always grow back.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Wuvie, even at waist length, your hair is still stunning! And it's probably a lot easier to braid back or sweep up into a bun now... I'll bet you wear it down more often, too... ?

I've cut mine from hip length to just above my waist, probably 6 inches from where it was a few months ago... Unfortunately, this was necessary because I lost nearly half the thickness of it while trying to find the right Rx... two of the medications had hair loss as a side effect, and to add insult to injury, they didn't work! It's growing back... I've got short little inch and a half long hairs and also 5 inch long ones... but it's going to take a while for those to grow out to my waist! Meanwhile, the bottom part was just too thin, so shortening the overall length was necessary.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do as it grows out... as some point, maybe I'll cut it to halfway up my back in order to get it thicker again... I'll just have to see what it looks like and play it by ear.

I went to see my primary doc, to get some bloodwork done and make sure it was just the Rx that was causing the problem... My hair was back in a ponytail. He said, reassuringly, don't worry -- the good thing about chemical hair loss is that the hair always grows back! It'll grow back! I said, I know it'll grow back, but I'm still a little bummed, because it'll take a good 5 years... he looked startled until he peeked around me to see my ponytail sweeping the exam table, then said, "oh."

I'm glad I cut it, though, because it's a lot less obvious (to me, anyway) now that it's so much thinner. :-)

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

That does sound frustrating, Jill! It is a pain waiting for several different lengths to even up from a haircut, but from medicine that didn't even do it's job? sheesh...

Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

Could you take biotin and MSM combined with your current medication?

:-) ((HUG))


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Biotin & MSM? What's MSM? Will it make my hair grow faster? :-)

Hey, I'm just happy it's growing back. I'm probably almost done whining about it, now, LOL. Thanks! The good thing is that I think it's still thick enough to wear as long as I've got it now. I am wondering what it's going to look like in a couple of years, though... maybe I'll have to get a "real" haircut just to make it look like those different lengths are intentional!

Emporia, KS(Zone 5b)

msm= methylsulfonylmethane

It's major use is to help ease pain from joints but some folks claim it's an all-around cure-all...clearing acne, even. Can be a bit pricey, smells like sulphur, but people swear by it.

I used to work in a vitamin store. lol

This message was edited Mar 21, 2008 7:41 PM

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Huh. Taken internally, or applied externally? Ages ago, my dermatologist gave me a sulpher concoction for my teenage acne... smelled awful (put it on just at night, LOL), but worked!

Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

Hi Critter,

No, not topically, it is in capsule form. Check your
local GNC if you have one. I don't ever smell or taste
anything sulphuric, but because I'm fussy about things
like that, I also use oil chews instead of fish oil capsules.
I couldn't stand the burping. Ugh. Nasty. The chews are
much like an orange Starburst candy.

I usually only buy the Biotin 300, no need for too much excess,
you'll just pass it.

:-) KM

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

I have that problem with fish-oil capsules, too. You burp and get a fishy taste in your mouth. Eeeew....but as long as they're good for you, I'll take 'em. Besides, I got a buy-one-get-one deal, so I had about 300. LOL

Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

For a buy one, get one, I'd burp, too. Ha, ha!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Thanks! The main thing I've been doing to encourage new hair growth is simply to wash my hair less often... that works fine in the winter, but soon it'll be summer and I'll be outside getting sweaty & muddy in the garden!

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Oh, I sure hope we get to do that soon! lol

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

I cut my own hair by parting it down the back as for braids. I try to comb each to the front, equally, and not pull it. Then I just cut an inch or so off each side trying not to stab my boob with the scissors.. Comb it back, see what needs fixing and repeat.

Wuvie! Oh my gosh!!! You did it! Well, now that you have, enjoy it as it grows out. It has to be a new experience and it will be better than ever! I agree with Critter about enjoying wearing it down now.

Critter, I feel bad just reading about the medications. It is a big loss when it's your hair. I'll bet Doc wouldn't have been happy to have it happen to him. Thickening up the hair is a good thing tho. Mine doesn't even seem to be growing since I wacked 3'' off. I hope it's all growing at the same time, but it's always grown out in a vee. It's not doing that yet. I'm not fretting because it looks better than the thin ends.

Wuvie, I buy the fish oil from Putitan Pride vitamins and never burp it up. The cheap Walmart capsules I burped.

I swore when I was eating peanuts, macadamia, almonds and walnuts every day to get potassium, my hair was in it's best shape. I still eat all those, but not daily.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Thanks... I think I'm just happy that I've definitely stopped losing more hair and that its growing back... I can deal with what it's like at this point. LOL, if the meds had worked to get rid of the migraines, I think I'd have coped pretty well with going bald. Fortunately, I've found a preventative medication that doesn't seem to be causing any problems... so, no migraines worth mentioning these days, *and* I get to keep my hair! I win! :-)

Billy, I've trimmed my own once or twice as you described, but I never get a really nice line when I do it. But when it gets to the point where it starts breaking from split ends faster than it's growing, you have to do something! I like mine cut in a curve, about like the Mona Lisa's smile, so it shapes into a nice ponytail.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

I used to like the curve, but when it got mostly one length I thought it looked longer straight across. And looking longer is the goal :))

Julie, I missed your birthday. I hope it was a good one!

Guilford, CT(Zone 7a)

Wuvie - Your hair is just gorgeous! It is so nice to see photos - it reminds me why I want to keep growing my own hair. People must go crazy when they see you - Even with your now waist length hair.
Another culprit of hair loss - Antibiotics. I noticed my temples are thinning out - You can see my scalp when I pull it back. I complained to my hairdresser the last time I had it cut, & she did some fancy snipping to help cover it up. She made my bangs wider, so the shorter hair would fill in the thin temples. It worked! Now off to find some supplements...
Birthdays seem to come faster these days, don't they?

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Oh, sorry Julie... glad to hear your new hairdo helped! One thing about hair loss due to a medication reaction -- it really will grow back. Soon, you'll have extra-thick bangs! *hugs*

Deatsville, AL(Zone 8a)

Just found this thread and have read most of parts 1 and 2. I am always interested in new things to try on my hair. Mine is long but not as long as some of your pictures. It is about mid way down my back and I am working on getting it longer so I am glad to know there are some supplements I can get for that. It would have been longer now, but I had to get several inches cut off last winter because of some issues with split ends and the cut I had previous to that was not good and it was cut uneven so I had to get it all straightened out. My hair is curly and naturally dry so I have to load on the conditioners to keep it nice looking and healthy. I normally start out the day with it down and by lunch time I have it thrown into a pony tail or some type of bun.

Raleigh, NC

hey y'all - I just stumbled in here and I need help.

I had long thick curly hair. over the years of health problems my hair fell out and came back finer. it's so fine and thin hairdressers all recommend NOT brushing it and cutting it super short. I've forgotten what to do for long hair! I'm not kidding!

My youngest - age 16 - demands long hair. Her father, age 55, still has very thick hair with plenty of body. She has super duper thick hair, has some body, but is fine. It tangles so badly I've never seen anything like it. When she was little, we kept it short.

Even worse, her scalp is hyper-tender, she's alwasy been terrified of me coming at her with a brush! any brush! so sometimes it matts in the back of her neck like my dog's undersides! I can't stand it.

It's currently mid shoulder blade length. She's 16 and she doesn't care about grooming at all.

Any product suggestions? Any other suggestions? Mom and daughter WWIII coming up.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Welcome to the "club" Katy! :-)

One of the best conditioners I've tried is to "deep condition" every month or so by saturating my hair with apricot kernel oil (or a similar "light" oil -- olive oil or even canola will work in a pinch), combing it through and leaving it on for several hours or overnight (I braid my hair, pin it up, and cover with a shower cap... holds in heat and keeps oil from getting all over) before shampooing out.

I have to confess, I didn't end up trying any special supplements... just eating healthy stuff and taking a multivitamin. I've been keeping the ends trimmed up, and that helps keep it from looking thin, and I think I've just gotten used to having my hair be less thick for now. It's definitely growing back, but the longest regrowth (from last summer) isn't quite long enough to reach my ponytail elastic... so you can imagine what a messy looking bun it makes at present, LOL!

I think regular trims are one of the best things for good growth... my hair will actually get such bad split ends that it starts breaking off faster than it grows... without trimming, I think it would get gradually shorter rather than longer!

Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

Hello Bonjon!

Ooh. This may be tricky. Is she not interested in grooming it because she is
a tomboyish type, or is she sensitive about the brush? Or maybe another reason?

Another question. You mentioned it is shoulder blade length. Does she want it
longer? Does she wish to grow it very long?

Sorry for all the questions, hope we can help you.

Karen Marie

Deatsville, AL(Zone 8a)

My hair is also thick and curly. I suggest a lot of conditioning. I use a conditioner in the shower and then a leave in conditioner when I get out of the shower. Apply it on to towel dryed hair and then brush the hair right after that. She should be able to get a brush through it a lot easier at that time. If she doesnt want to have to brush it much then she should wear it up to keep from getting tangled.

Also, for curly hair (and again I speak from experience) try putting a curl cream on it after showering. It will keep the curls in place, and leave them more hydrated and less frizzy. It does not leave hair sticky or hard like gels or hairspray does.


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Bonjon, look in the kids' section for detangling products -- sprays, shampoos, conditioners. They really work! My niece has long, fine hair, and it would be in endless knots without detangler stuff. If she's shampooing her hair every day, a children's shampoo will be more gentle on her hair and scalp anyway.

Tell her to keep looking until she finds a brush she can stand. I like one with fairly widely spaced plastic bristles with a little "knob" on the end of each bristle. My hair is really fine, and I can work my way through knots and tangles with a brush like that. I used to use a wide toothed comb instead of a brush -- that might be a better option. When you hit a big snarl, turn the comb so it's vertical and work your way through bit by bit. Hanging onto the hair above where you're bushing will protect your scalp from pulling... but you still don't want to just yank... you just have to coax the brush down through the hair a little at a time. Sometimes it's easier to start at the bottom and work your way up.

Hope that helps...

Raleigh, NC

See I didn't give enough facts. It's not my hair I'm worrying about, it's my DD's hair problem. Hers has body like her dad, thickness from both of us. But it is straight and fine. I'm clueless on straight hair. Her hair easily forms ratsnests to the point of matts.

She's a geek. Her figure developed early and large (Dolly Parton at 14), so "fashion" does not fit. Ever since a 2nd grade teacher - this is real folks, documented at school - set her up to have her ostrasized by her peers, she's been picked on for many things and felt neglected for years and years in school. "Ant-low" self esteem, I call it. Even a lisp. Found out she had a form of dyslexia: her eyes didn't track well enough to read until she had therapy for it. Otherwise she's as bright as her genius dad. Like him, and he mostly raised her, she lives in front of her computer. Tons of acne, face is totally blackheads. getting her to care for her skin properly is an issue we wont tangle with here (could not resist the pun - sorry)

hopelessly oily hair within 48 hrs. a touch of dandruff. the greasy matted hair makes me feel like a horrible mother and gets her ostrasized even more - sometimes she looks like a dirty hippie from the '70s!

Think the matts are mostly because she wont let anyone else brush, and she doesn't brush well enough, due to the hyper sensitive scalp.

Her hair, when properly brushed out and clean -gorgeous! I'd french braid it for her daily if we could get and keep the matts out. Doc says get the hair up off the skin and the skin will improve too. Due to the sensitive scalp, she dislikes headbands - she says they hurt.

Deatsville, AL(Zone 8a)

Well, if her hair is that oily, I would not condition as I said earlier. Maybe just a shampoo daily to keep from being oily looking and try a detangler spray for the tangles. The main thing is to figure out what products work best for her hair and stay on top of it so that the tangles dont get so bad. I never had acne so I cant tell you something that worked for me there, but my SIL had acne pretty bad and she found that the proactive products worked great for her. Really cleared her face up. I think she orders them online.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I asked my SIL, and she said she particularly recommends the L'Oreal Kids detangler spray.

What about getting her hair done in tiny braids? I don't know if she could stand getting it done... but that would take care of the brushing issue for weeks at a time. The other hairstyle I was going to suggest is dreads... but properly done, with advice from a good salon about how to do them. Badly done dreadlocks are, well, dreadful. But if she's already getting flak about her appearance, then I don't think a "far out" hairstyle is a good answer for her.

Have you seen a dermatologist about the hypersensitive scalp? That doesn't seem normal to me... at 4, a kid might whine about brushing hurting, but at 16 it shouldn't be that big a deal unless something is really wrong. Maybe there's a problem that needs to be addressed at the root, so to speak.

Guilford, CT(Zone 7a)

The best product for knots is "Cowboy Magic" - It is a horse product, but the horsey folks figured out that the stuff really does work like...well, magic! It is silicon based, so the knots slide right out. It is amazing stuff, & I can't think of anything better for a young girl with unruly hair. Once that hair gets knotty, no one likes to yank a comb through it. Just rub some in & the mats loosen up. I found mine at a pet store/tack shop.
I did Accutane years ago. Never had a single zit again. EVER.
It sounds like your girl is going to go far in life. She has a lot to offer.. I know she probably won't realize this for some time, but she will know this eventually. And the best part is that the day you leave high school, all that crap disappears. There is none of that nonsense in college. I bet she blossoms then!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Well said, Julie... an older friend of mine used to say high school girls could be mean as snakes, but frankly I've never known snakes like that, LOL. There are an awful lot of really wonderful kids in high school, too, but sometimes it can be hard to hook up with the right ones when the wrong ones are shoving you off to a corner. I think Julie's right -- let her break away from high school and get to a place where smart is neat and different is cool... she's going to amaze you even more than she does now!

I think the L'Oreal detangler has silicone in it also... but I'd sure go with "Cowboy Magic" rather than a kids' product. I think I'll look for some of that myself... Thanks!

Raleigh, NC

I'm going to look for those products. Sounds like they would help. The ones I've wasted money on so far havent helped a bit. My niece is into horses, maybe they know of a tack shop nearby.

JRush, what was Accutane? a cream ? a pill? never heard of it. I would just about kill to get this girl to show how lovely she truly is.

poor thing is about to get a rude awakening. I'm quitting my job (again) so I can stay with her. She's going to taking classes for the rest of the summer: Weeding 101, Watering 102, Excavation 103.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)


UV is great for the complexion! Seriously, I can remember my dermatologist "back in the day" giving me UV light "treatments" at the end of my visit.

Anything that builds her confidence in any way is going to make her feel more lovely... it doesn't have to have anything to do with her physical appearance. Working with you in the garden, knowing that she is worthy of your time and that you value her contributions... that's all good. I hope you both have a wonderful rest of the summer together!

Raleigh, NC

well, she adores animals. Before she discovered she has a bit of her dad's talent at programming, she was determined to be a biologist and teach other people about animals. She's tried for years to breed her hamsters - got a few babies, but the mama would always kill them before they opened their eyes - horrifying!

She has parakeets now, who produced eggs this spring. we have two babies that are almost half grown now. She says she's a "grandma." I'm so jealous - I crossed my irises first, and I"m still waiting for the seed pods to hatch! LOL

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

Bonjon, I'm so sorry your daughter has had it so rough. For the blackheads, buy a tube of face mask. Who can resist trying that? Maybe try Mane and Tail or Infusium shampoo. Give up the brush! Get a wide toothed comb! Will she go to the beauty shop? Maybe shaving some of the hair at the nape of her neck would help. I finally cut the straggly hair at my nape. It grew under my natural hairline. Now it's growing in thicker and healthier. I think it was pure split ends. Critter has a good idea. Kids detangling does work!!

It isn't your fault she doesn't feel fashion concious. I'm not a girly girl either. I imagine ignoring her appearance is to keep people at arms length if they only want to tease her. Is her hair greasy because of diet? Too many chips or fried food?

I went to school with a girl who had thick waist length hair and a real sensitive scalp. I still remember her yelling when someone was combing it for her... in high school :o) she was a junior!

Julie, well said! And so true!!

Bonjon, ROTFL over the home schooling!! She does sound like a unique person and school can be cruel to those who don't fit in. I never fit in. I hid in corners with low self esteem too. She's smart and yes, needs to build confidence. Pets are a good start and breeding birds is an accomplishment!!

Central FL, FL(Zone 9b)

See if you can get your daughter to sit down and watch What Not to Wear. She'll see some really ugly ducklings turn into swans, and that might give her some incentive. She may say she doesn't care and isn't interested in her appearance, but I imagine you see that as a defense mechanism. I hope she emerges from this stage as a confident young woman; she has so many pluses on her side, too! Being a teenager seems to get more and more difficult in today's world.

Getting back to the TV show, WNTW, the other day I watched an episode with a young woman who had dreadlocks that hadn't been shampooed in ten years! Eeew! They cut them off, and they weighed almost two pounds. She ended up with a darling haircut.

I don't have any answers, but I agree completely with Julie and the others. She sounds like someone who is succeeding on her own terms in spite of some obstacles in other areas. And I'd rather be in your position than be the parent of one of those girls I see at the mall who are allowed to dress like they are 30 and of questionable morals, to put it in polite terms.

What would happen if you gave her a gift certificate to spend at a clothing store or a salon and then walked away without telling her what to choose? Who chooses the clothes she wears now?

This message was edited Jul 9, 2008 8:47 PM

Hammond, LA(Zone 8b)

I bought some Pantene "Beautiful Lengths" Shampoo/Conditioner and really like it. Part of the proceeds go to the "Beautiful Lengths Campaign" to make real hair wigs for women who have lost their hair to cancer. Here is the website: http://www.beautifullengths.com/en_US/index_home.jsp

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