Tag Archives: hair length check

2016: A Year in Rear View

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Photo shared by Famartin
Photo Adapted

2016, for me, was a year of setbacks. After more than half of the year was over, I discovered that most of my hair’s lack of hydration was due to the fact that I live in a hard (to very hard) water area. Ever since I purchased a new shower filter, I have noticed an exponential reduction in split ends and single strand knots (SSKs). However, after gaining and retaining an additional three inches in length during the last quarter of the year, I lost it all (and more) due to a foolish decision to put my hair in mini twists. After that, my hair’s health declined dramatically. It’s been an uphill battle ever since to recover from fragile, damaged ends and extensive hair breakage (I lost as much as 5″ in some areas)! I’ve dusted my ends multiple times to try to get back to the status quo for my hair.

When my hair growth continued to stall and I observed that I still had split, scraggly ends, I bit the bullet and chopped off an additional 1″ – 1 ½” (around the beginning of December 2016). Unfortunately, that meant losing more length on top of what I had already lost due to breakage, but I wanted to start fresh in the New Year. Plus, I always choose the health of my hair over the length of my hair. So, I’m not afraid to get scissor-happy when necessary. 😉 Besides, only a month later, it has proven to be the best decision I ever made since my hair grew (and I retained) 0.5″ in the last 30 days (finally)!

As a result, in 2017, I will be focusing predominantly on restoring the health of my hair and length retention. It’s back to basics for me … Moisture! Moisture! Moisture! I will continue to moisturize my hair twice a day (in the morning and at night before I go to bed). I am thinking of reincorporating the GHE method back into my regimen on a more consistent basis. I totally failed to do this last year, which I think only exacerbated my dry hair woes. I also plan to experiment with a few more hair growth aids and styling products to make up for lost time. 😉

So far this winter, the main struggle I’ve noticed is that my natural hair is in this awkward stage where the length of my hair, when down, (i.e., in wash ‘n gos and twist-outs) sometimes brushes up against my clothes, especially after day 4 or 5 when my shrunken freshly washed hair starts to loosen and become more voluminous after repeated stretching from twist-outs or general styling. I think that might have contributed to a lot of breakage as well. So, I hope to twist AND pin my hair up or do more roll ‘n tuck styles. Because my fine strands do not like being in protective styles over extended periods of time, I’m going to try to minimize over-manipulating my hair. In addition, at night, I have been loosely bunning my hair or tucking in my ends and pinning it in place to better protect the oldest part of my hair.

I’m also toying with the idea of ditching shampoo altogether and co-washing exclusively. If that doesn’t work, I may add a pre-poo or oil rinse to my regimen. I haven’t thus far to try to keep my hair wash day as minimal as possible, but I definitely think my current hair regimen needs a revamp, so I will be tweaking it from time to time as I start the journey of finding new products and methods that will work for my hair’s current needs. I’ve already incorporated a mid-week co-wash back into my routine. I used to do this when my hair was relaxed and I was transitioning to natural. So far, my hair seems to like it. Because I exercise an hour a day 6-7 days a week, I think an additional wash may be necessary to better maintain my hair’s moisture and to keep my scalp free from bacteria (i.e., from sweating during workouts) and excessive debris.

Here are the current measurements of my hair. As you can see, I lost 6-8″ in overall length from the continued breakage I experienced from hard water, the damage I suffered from wearing my hair in mini twists, and much-needed trims (to cut away fragile, split, tangled ends).

Current Measurements

FRONT: 14″

SIDES: 11.5″ (LEFT); 12″ (RIGHT)

CROWN 14″

BACK: 11.0″

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Filed under Hair Regimens, Length Checks

Trudging Along … An Annual Length Update

My biggest hurdle in the last year has been keeping my hair hydrated. (The struggle is real!) The year-round humidity I have to constantly battle has been brutal. Even in the height of winter, where I live, humidity can be in the mid 90s! Although I edged past shoulder length a while ago, the discovery that I live in a hard (to very hard) water area, has been enlightening, to say the least. For instance, it has at least armed me with the necessary information to understand why I experienced so many single strand knots (SSKs), dry ends (regardless of daily moisturizing), and hair breakage (despite a commitment to only using direct heat on my hair twice or thrice a year, max).

The moral of this story? If you are experiencing stunted hair growth, investigate, investigate, investigate! It could be that you need to change your products or alter your hair care routine. Or, it might be due to something completely out of your control, like hard water. But, even if you do have to dance around your local tap water, there are still viable options available to you. I’ve purchased a new shampoo and conditioner combo (review coming soon)! I have also recently started re-utilizing the GHE method. In the meantime, after multiple trims in the last year due to severe tangles, here’s where I currently stand …

 

FRONT

15″ (shortest strand) – 15.5″ (longest strand)

SIDES

13″

CROWN 

15″ (shortest strand) – 16″ (longest strand)

BACK 

11.0″ (shortest strand) – 12″ (longest strand)

I experienced quite a bit of breakage due to the hard water in my area. As a result, I also had to trim my hair excessively (more than normal) to prevent additional damage. So, I was basically only able to maintain my length from last year, which means, essentially, I broke even … no loss … no gain … I just maintained my length all over.

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Length Check – 12 Months of Growth

Here is a video update I did of my current length …

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Cayenne Pepper Oil Treatment: FAIL!

FTC Disclaimer
This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

I have been reading dozens of posts over the last several months about oil infused with cayenne pepper being used to grow hair. Of course, I was immediately intrigued. LOL! I did some research and there seemed to be mixed reviews. Proponents of the oil exclaimed that it helped to propel their hair growth and, in some cases, even grew hair where it once was bald.  Others claimed that it made their scalps burn, their hair shed excessively, and caused extensive breakage.

There also seems to be some confusion over the proper application. There are two opposing viewpoints: (1) apply the cayenne-infused oil to the scalp, massage the scalp for 1-2 minutes, leave the oil in for 2-3 hours, and co-wash it out, or (2) apply the oil to the scalp, massage the scalp for 1-2 minutes, and leave the oil in, without rinsing out until your normal wash day.

The negative testimonials really scared me. However, I couldn’t find many who had used the cayenne-infused oil  that had posted before and after pics. So, naturally, I was still curious! Well, curious AND cautious. In fact, it took me a month to garner the courage necessary to even take the oil out of the shoe box in my closet … and probably another 2 weeks to decide to use it!

I know what you’re thinking … that I’m a glutton for punishment. But, hey! Someone’s gotta test out these crazy hair growth methods! And, I just had to know if it would work for me. Here’s how I made my cayenne-infused oil …

Recipe Card - CAYENNE PEPPER OIL

  1. Add 4 tsp of cayenne pepper to any container with a lid. 
    • You can use a funnel to avoid wasting any cayenne or making a mess.
  2. Add 4 oz. (½ cup) of any oil(s) of your choice.
  3. Add ½ tsp. vitamin e oil (to prevent rancidity).
  4. Seal container and keep in a cool, dark area that won’t be exposed to light.
    • I kept my oil container in a shoebox in my closet.
  5. TIPS:
    • Shake the mix each day. (I shook mine 25 times over the course of 30 days.)
    • Let mixture cure for 2-4 weeks. (I let my mix cure for 30 days.)
    • When ready to use, strain the mixture into an applicator bottle.
    • Shake the applicator bottle prior to each use.
    • Apply sparingly but directly to the scalp every night and massage for 1-2 minutes.
    • Avoid contact with your eyes (unless you enjoy pain)!
    • Do a “patch test” prior to use to make sure that you ARE NOT allergic and can handle the potency level. For some, cayenne pepper can cause skin irritation. So, if you have sensitive skin, DO NOT use any oil infused with cayenne pepper.

THE PROCESS

To my surprise, the cayenne pepper oil DID NOT burn or irritate my scalp AT ALL. The first few days, I felt a very slight tingle that was barely noticeable. After that, I pretty much felt absolutely nothing.

I used the cayenne pepper oil for two weeks straight while using the GHE five nights a week. I left the oil in my hair each night until my weekly wash. My scalp and hair never felt oily. If anything, it felt like the cayenne pepper oil dried out my hair a bit. Week three, I didn’t use the oil or the GHE at all because I had family coming into town for a week, and I was worried that applying cayenne pepper oil every day and using the GHE would ruin my hairstyle (i.e., prevent it from lasting 7 days). Week 4, I used the cayenne pepper oil while doing the inversion method.

DAY 1 of CAYENNE PEPPER OIL

DAY 21 (WEEK #3): DAY 1 of INVERSION with CAYENNE PEPPER OIL

DAY 28 (WEEK #4): MORNING AFTER DAY 7 of INVERSION with CAYENNE PEPPER OIL

THE SKINNY

As you can see, I only received about a 1/2″ of total growth over the course of a month, and that’s with me doing the inversion method. I gained pretty spotty growth from the inversion method while using the cayenne pepper oil (my worst to date while using this method)! While I am grateful the cayenne-infused oil didn’t burn or irritate my scalp, or cause extensive breakage, it didn’t exactly encourage any hair growth either. In fact, I think it stunted (or at least stalled) my hair growth during the month. My hair in the front is about 1/4″ shorter than last month (from 9.25″ to barely 9.0″). So, I had some minor breakage there. However, I maintained my length on the side of my hair that I gained in the first three weeks of the month (at 9.25″). And, I gained a 1/2″ in the back of my hair from last month (from 8.5″ to 9.0″). 

Not sure if the cayenne pepper oil caused the stunted growth and minor breakage, or if the inversion method simply exacerbated the problem, or if it’s all of the above, but I’m convinced that the GHE saved my hair from breaking off excessively and becoming damaged. So, no more cayenne pepper oil for me!  Truth be told, I’m feeling a little silly for tripling the recipe and making 12 ounces of oil.  Sigh … But, I’m not one to be wasteful. So, I plan to add a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper oil to my weekly cholesterol treatment when I deep condition my hair to help me use up my remaining oil. Waste not, want not!

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Filed under Length Checks, Science Lab