Tuesday, 2 September 2014

My Hair Growth Story.

Truth be told, I'm rather proud of my hair. It's taken a hell of a lot of patience, a lot of experimentation, and a fair bit of self restraint to get it to where it is today. When I was younger I always tended to have longer hair, however at fourteen I decided I wanted to cut it short and dye it dark, and it was a massive mistake. It didn't suit my face shape, and I regretted it almost instantly. A few years later when it had grown out a little and I'd become committed to my signature shade of red, I decided I wanted to grow it out to true Ariel-esque lengths. Now I'm about there, and I've become obsessed with growing my hair. My new goal is to grow it to mid thigh length - wish me luck!

Barely a week passes where I don't get asked what the 'secrets' behind my hair growth are, but honestly, there are none. Patience is key, and I'm hoping this post will really demonstrate that. My three main tips would be to really take care of your hair by using as little heat and as few styling products on it as possible, learn to trim your own split ends so you can avoid scissor happy hairdressers (bonus - you'll save a fair bit of money!), and finally, have patience and realistic goals. Power through the awkward lengths - it'll be worth it!

Without any further ado, I present my hair growth story....

2007 - Shoulder Length
Aged fourteen, I cut my hair from waist length to shoulder length in a bid to blend in more at school. I was incredibly insecure in my appearance, hence wanted nothing more than to melt away into the wallpaper. Whilst I soon realised that cutting it short had made me feel worse about myself rather than better, I did make one good hair decision in the following months - dying it dark red, as demonstrated in the above photo. As cliche as it sounds, dying my hair red really was the first step in coming to peace with my appearance.

2008 - Armpit Length
My success with the red dye had entered me into a  vicious cycle of hair dying, which really didn't help with my hair growth - but it did make me happy! In an attempt to make myself a more content with my short hair, I did have a few haircuts, however eventually I threw in the towel and decided I really wanted to grow it long again. I didn't do myself any favours, dying it every few weeks, washing it daily, and brutally straightening it six days a week, but for an indecisive fifteen year old, managing to avoid the going to the hairdressers regularly for a restyle was an achievement. At the time Grant had the same length hair as me, which also spurred my decision to grow it!

2009 - Bra Strap Length
This was the year my hair began to feel 'long' again, and I really became committed to my signature red. This was also the year I began to feel a lot more at ease within myself, and I think my hair had more of a part in that than I'd usually care to admit! I started college, hence I was wearing more colourful clothes, and being a bit more daring with my style. I cut myself a bold, asymmetric fringe, and whilst I liked how it looked when it did what I wanted it to, it was also a complete pain in the neck to style and maintain throughout the day, so I soon decided to grow it out. I was still going to the hairdressers, but only about twice a year. I'd yet to learn the perils of everyday washing/heated styling, however it would take a few years for the damage to really show.

2010 - Mid Back Length
I was still dying/washing/heat styling my hair more than is advisable, but my stylist had taught me to trim my split ends myself so I'd stopped going to the hairdressers. I was getting more creative with my styling, however that was partially down to dealing with a half grown out fringe! My first goal had been to grow my hair long enough to cover my chest, and this was the year I truly achieved that. I was starting to think of my hair as my best feature, although in truth I didn't take care of it nearly as well as I should have.

(side note: look in the background - Grant had the same 'please stop taking selfies' pose back in 2010 as he does today!)

2011 - Mid Back/Waist Length
This was the year I first started university, and all of a sudden not getting my hair cut professionally became less of an active decision, and more of a financial necessity! I was still washing it daily, however I finally cut down on how regularly I dyed it in an attempt to save money (and in fear of wrecking the bathroom I shared with my housemates). I wasn't very happy in my living situation, so my hair growth became the least of my concerns. It was only the next year that I really realised how much my hair was growing!

2012 - Waist Length
As I mentioned above, this was the year I really noticed how much my hair had grown - all of a sudden, I had proper long hair again! I finally realised how much damage my dye/heat/washing habits were doing after encountering some brutally honest comments about the state of it on a forum, so I slowly began washing it less, using gentler dyes, and letting it air dry. I also began buying more appropriate shampoos, conditioners and treatments from Lush. I was very conscious of the state of it, so I began wearing a lot of topknots!

2013 - Hip Length
With our wedding on the horizon, in January 2013 I made the decision to start washing it only twice a week, and to go completely cold turkey on heat styling. The growth astounded me. For the first time in years I could really see it growing. Considering I was also trimming in every few weeks to keep it in top condition for the wedding, it grew an awful lot. I was delighted with the length by the time our wedding rolled around. I was starting to feel like I had real Disney princess locks, and I was beginning to receive regular compliments on the street.

2014 - Tailbone Length
Earlier this year I reached my most recent goal -tailbone length- and in celebration I've begun introducing a bit of heat styling back into my regime, but only in moderation! I'm only washing my hair once a week now, and afterwards I tame the frizz and add a few curls to the lengths with my straighteners. I trim it regularly and treat it with lots of coconut oil, as well as avoiding ammonia dyes and only using semi-permanent dyes on the lengths. When you pull it straight, I'm nearing my current goal of 'classic length' (when your hair is half the length of your body), however I think I've decided that my final goal is mid-thigh. I want to have real fairytale hair, but I think anything beyond my knees would be a bit too much to handle! Once I reach my final goal I'll start cutting it regularly, maintaining the length and focusing on getting the tips as full as possible!

What are your hair growth stories?

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Late Summer Romance.


We really are clutching to the last straws of summer now, and this outfit kind of celebrates that. As per usual, Miss Patina have created a perfectly pretty dress that is so quintessentially British -and has just been reduced to less than £40- however in anticipation of chillier weather I paired it with a fabulous faux fur jacket I received last winter. I didn't wear it nearly enough back then, however this autumn/winter I intend to fully embrace my pastels, so I'm sure I'll be getting a lot more wear out of it!

Yesterday I met up with Alex from On Serpentine Shores. The story of our meeting really is one of those stories that proves what a small world we live in! Grant and I went to secondary school with her boyfriend, so when she got into blogging he pointed her in my direction. I must say, it's incredibly refreshing to meet someone else from the more Southerly reaches of Cornwall who *gets* blogging. I really haven't found anyone else yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing more of her whenever Grant and I come back to visit family. We met up down in the cove, got to know each other over teas and coffees at a beach-side tea rooms, sat by the sea for a little while exchanging stories, then sauntered up to my parents place to spend some time with the animals. I had really lovely few hours with her!