My Hair Journey | Stacie Raye

My Hair Journey




My hair and I have a love hate relationship.  I don't know if it' because I'm getting older, or what, but it's been giving me problems.  It could be the fact that I NEVER go to the salon. Or, maybe because I trim it only every two years or so.



You see, I'm a DIY kinda girl.  At least when it comes to my hair.  Can you believe I've been relaxing it myself since I was 14? Trust me, that's a long time.  I should be an honorary cosmetologist by now!  But I'm not and I think it's beginning to show.

About 10 years ago, my ultra thick tresses grew quite fast, and I didn't have that short hair complex, so I would cut it off into some sort of bob (my default haircut).  Then, it would magically grow back.

Now, it's breaking off instead.  I attempted to grow out my recent cut only for it to break clean off about two months ago and I didn't even know what I did to cause the breakage.  Well, I have some idea.  My hair was wet and I put it into a ponytail, (my default hairstyle).  The next day, I noticed that my ponytail was a lot shorter.  Turns out at least an inch of my already short hair, was gone!

But I have done that many times before with no problem! Hmm.........

Another issue I have is the fact that one side of my hair is shorter than the other.  Now I realize many women have this problem, but it looks as if one side isn't growing much at all.  I know it's growing, because of my new growth, but I don't see the length.

Oh, and did I mention that I color it myself too?

I know what you're thinking.  "Why doesn't she just go natural?"  Girlfriend, been there and done that.  I was in the fifth grade and my mom cut off my beautiful armpit length hair into an ugly Afro.  I only remember going to summer camp and coming back with matted hair, so she cut it off.  All I could do was put a little Blue Magic and water in my hair to try to make a curly look, but I ended up just looking like a boy.  That was a very difficult time in my life and i'll never go back, no matter what bomb products come out!  O.k. enough of my sob story.  Time to get over it lol.

So....

I think...no...I know it's time for a change.  The first thing I'm going to do is change the shampoos and conditioners I use to sulfate free ones.  Second, I'm dying my hair black to start all over.  Thirdly, but probably most important, I'm going to get my ends trimmed.  This is hard for me though, because I have been jacked up in the past.  Stylist get scissor happy and that 1/2 inch quickly becomes 1 1/2 to 2.  But I've got to trust someone to do it.



Tell me, what is your relationship like with your hair?
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101 comments

  1. I *also* have a love late relationship with my hair, but now I buy it and I usually love what I purchase LOL :)

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    1. Lol Nellie! I hear ya. I'm thinking about buying something cute myself.

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  2. It comes with age. I have really long hair (about 2 inches from reaching my bum) and it only stays down or is in a pony tail. I ony cut a 1/2 inch off every 3 to 4 months.

    One thing to not do is to put your hair up with a tight band when wet. Use a loose and soft scrunchie. The band breaks it.


    Sulfates... no sulfates... the biggest thing is conditioning... and not brushing your hair while wet unless you comb it starting tip and going up to root.

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    1. That some great advice. Thanks for the tips!

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  3. Join the club. I get my hair relaxed about every 7 weeks - new growth only & trims every other visit. I've been trying to grow my hair out for at least 20 years & it never grows beyond a certain length now that I'm 45, I see more grey coming in & I'm starting to give up on ever having long hair. I have changed products over the years trying to find products made for my chemically processed highly textured hair & I don't have the answers. My hair is always longer on one side than the other & she corrects it when she trims it.

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    1. Ah, a women after my own heart ;). Sounds like we struggle with some of the same things. Well, at least I'm not the only one. Maybe we can share what does work and help each other out.

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  4. Girl, having your mom cut off your hair in the fifth grade does not count as going natural. Or trying to be natural. I'm trying not to giggle at the thought 'cause I remember that fifth grade can be brutal!

    The issues with one side being longer than the other (can) result from a couple of things. Unless you're ambidextrous you probably comb your hair slightly different from one side to the other, that can cause a difference. Also, if you tend to sleep on one side or the other that can change your growth pattern.

    One of the best ways to grow hair is to wear protective styles quite often, co-wash every other time and use natural products. I frequently change the brand of product I use, but I always stick to a basic kind - natural ingredients along with the ingredients I know my hair thrives on.

    It's been a long time since I've had a relaxer, but I know regular trims and deep conditioning are a must. Rest assured though, there are changes with age. My mother had waist-length hair growing up. After a big chop as a teenager she couldn't get much further than bra strap now it's a little pass shoulder length or at shoulder. It's thinned a lot so she wears protective styles - braiding, etc. and wears a wig.

    With three daughters and a head full myself the journey to finding a truly perfect routine for our hair is an ongoing one. In fact, I'm sure I've written about it a couple of times. :-)

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    1. It counts to me sister-girl lol! I know it was a really long time ago, but the thought of being natural would only bring back bad memories for me so it's better that I didn't.

      But you know what, I haven't thought about the way I brush/comb my hair. I brush one side a lot because of the way I my part my hair for a pony tail. That's probably why it's so short on that side. I brushing my hair away lol.

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  5. You know my relationship with my hair:) Is the color you using permanent? If so, you should stop using permanent color if you're going to continue with the relaxer. If your hair is still growing, it's the split ends that's preventing you from achieving the length. Find a hairstylist you trust and make sure you get your ends trimmed every time you get a relaxer. If you keep trimming it and not trimming the right amount for the spit ends... it's going to keep splitting.

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    1. Hmmm...I hate cutting my hair lol. But I may need to just get it done and stop playing :/.

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  6. Hi Stacie!! I just went natural about 2 months ago. I'm afraid of the BC, so I've been gradually cutting off my perm. I cut about 3/4 inch last night. I don't have much left. I'm soo excited!!

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  7. Oh hair! I have a mostly I don't care relationship with my hair. I had really long hair up until moving here and letting someone cut it. Since then I've been growing it out but not keeping it trimmed. I trimmed my ends on my own and the results have been great. I've also decided to go natural so I'm just growing it out for now. I'll let you know how it goes during this transition phase. I haven't been natural since I was 7!

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    1. I'm sure it will work out just fine. I've thought about it, but it was only a though. Hope it goes well for you :)

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  8. I have dealt with my share of hair drama and bad haircuts in the past and now pretty much stick to the same do also. My trick for repairing my hair when it's breaking or weak is weekly almond oil treatments and avocado hair masks...that tends to restore the dried hair and prevent breakage.

    Good luck at the stylist!

    Raj
    Pink Chai Style

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    1. I love avocados but have never tried the treatment. Maybe I should!

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  9. Girl! I was a ponytail all day long kinda girl. Long naturally curly hair. But not the cute kind. Never could just let it dry and go. NEVER. Until.. I switched to sulfate free shampoo. My hair and I... we love each other again! I have never gotten so many compliments on my hair. What brand do you have in mind? I'd be happy to share what I use... the5turners@gmail.com

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    1. Honestly, I don't know if I can shake the ponytail look. I've been wearing it for so long. I'm glad to start trying the sulfate free shampoos. Hopefully it will make a difference.

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  10. I hear you! My hair is super dry, damaged, frizzy... ugh! Never looks healthy no matter what i do. I quit dying years ago hoping that would help and rarely use a blow dryer or hot tools too, but nothing seems to help! You've inspired me to go get a hair cut though! I was doing that regularly in hopes that it help but I totally fell of the wagon and i'm so embarrased to say this... but its been like 2 years since I've gotten a trim! Yikes!

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    1. Girl, you and me both! Right now, I'm debating on where I can go to get my ends trimmed. My hair is so jacked though, so I may have to get a lot cut off :(

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  11. In January of this year, I went to a salon for a hair cut, and they totally butchered my hair! It's September, and I've gone to two different salons since then, but the problem is still not totally fixed. LOL I could empathize with you while I read this, because the stylist who butchered my hair totally did cut it all shorter and choppier than I asked for . . . and she cut one side way shorter than the other. :D The good news is that it will eventually grow back.

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    1. True, it will grow back for sure. Problem is, I don't want to wait that long lol.

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  12. Gosh I thought I was the only one that had a "love/hate relationship" with my hair. I would love to find a good stylist for my hair, but it always seem they still give me what they want me to have.

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    1. Yeah, that is bad. Stylists need to really listen to their clients.

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  13. Here's the problem with my hair: it is long and very curly. I can't brush it dry, and most days I don't get a chance to get in the shower [actually, we only have a bathtub, no shower--not a fan] in the morning, so I feel like I have to just throw it into a bun, and my husband apparently hates the bun look...sigh...

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    1. Oh, I wish I had your problem lol. I've been wanting to wear a bun on top but my hair is way too short.

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  14. I second going no sulfates in your shampoo. Your skin and body absorbs all of those chemicals so you want to use only ingredients you can pronounce.
    good luck with the hair.

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    1. Thanks you. I will keep that in mind as well.

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  15. STOP coloring it and never dye it black, go with a dark brown. I have a love hate relationship with my hair. I stopped relaxing about 20 years ago but I have long curly hair so the length weighs it down. I have to tell you, the best thing I ever did for my hair was finding a stylist that I love. I had hit and misses before with stylists. I finally asked someone whose hair I really liked where they got it done. I now have happy healthy hair.

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    1. I will probably use rinses or a semi permanent because I love color so much. But you're right. I need to cut back on coloring and find someone I trust.

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  16. Oh man, hair drama! We've all been there. I actually had my dream hair over a year ago. It was all long enough that I could pull it back in to a ponytail and not have to worry about it. Then I moved to Tijuana (long story) and there was no hot water so we had to shower with buckets... it was so aggravating to deal with long hair. So my husband translated what I wanted to a woman (BIG MISTAKE! WHY did I think that was a good idea?!) and she totally butchered it. I've been growing it out for over a year now and while I'm on my way... it's just awkward now. I always seem to have really terrible haircuts at the most important moments in my life. It's weird.

    - April

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    1. Oh that sounds awful! Bad haircuts are the worst!

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  17. Do you have a friend that is a stylist or at least a friend that you could go to her stylist? I would start there with the trust. Pick someone who always comes back from the salon with a good 'do' then you know you are most likely to get good results! My hair has always been a crutch for me. I hide behind it way more than I should. It's super thick, super wavy, and most people have a hard time dealing with it. After having so many people botch it up, I got scared. When I was in my 20s I landed a guy that was perfect. I went to him for years and years until I left OK and moved here to MI. Then I went back to my DIY days. I do have one girl who I let trim here and there and then hack it off because every 18-20 months I donate it to charity for cancer patients in need of wigs.

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    1. That's great that you donate you're hair super cool. I did have a stylist I liked but guess what? He's now Will Smith's personal barber, no joke!

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  18. WOW! I am super impressed that you style and relax your own hair. I would not even trust myself to trim my bangs (if I had them). I can just barely touch-up my husband's crew cut and I am not joking! I keep my hair long so I can just throw it up most days. I tried shorter haircuts over the years but I could NEVER get them to look just right. You are gorgeous, woman! I am impressed with your beauty DIY. XO, ellie

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    1. Aw thanks Ellie. How sweet of you to say. When I was younger, I wanted to go to school for cosmetology, but never did. Guess that's why I like doing my own hair so much.

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  19. LOL...your story is kind of funny. AFM hair seems to be difficult to take care off at times....let me know when you find the real secret..LOL

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    1. Don't get me wrong, I love my hair and it's texture. I just notice a change since I'm getting older.

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  20. I'm right there with you in never going to a salon. I was spoiled because my best friend is a phenomenal cosmetologist, but she now lives across the country. And, since she's gone, I have had one stylist quite literally cut a chunk out of my hair so big that it couldn't be fixed for over a year. Then, the next one cut my hair crooked. Now, I'm a little stylish-shy... especially since I am a long hair kind of girl. I can't wait until my friend comes home for a visit in October- my ends are in bad shape! Good luck finding a fantastic stylist!

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    1. Oh, I would love to have a friend that does hair. That would be the best!

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  21. I used to have a love/hate relationship with my hair. Then I made a deal with it. I would stop trying to make it do crazy things, and it would just look nice. So now all I do is wash and condition it and brush it out. No blow drying, no styling, nothing. I trim it myself, too, mainly because I've had it butchered way too many times. It's long and baby fine, but there's a LOT of it. (I went through a phase where I was losing it due to PCOS, and it was surprisingly devastating.) Most people don't realize how much hair I've got until they get in there and try to work with it, then they go, Wow - more there than I thought! :) I think women in particular have really complicated relationships with our hair.

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    1. We sure do Cricket. It sounds like the lack of styling has really helped your hair stay healthy. I'm going to try to find healthier ways to wear my hair as well.

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  22. I think one of the best things for you to do is talk to people you know who have hair you like and ask them what stylist they go to. If it's a good one, they will sit and discuss with you what you want out of your hair before they even put the cape on you or get the scissors out. It took me a while when I moved to find a stylist I trusted, but I found her through a friend. My hair is so much more healthy now that I don't color it myself. I also feel like using better quality products on it helps in between appointments. I skimp on other aspects of my life (DIY manis and pedis!) but if I mess up my hair I can't really start all over, you know :) Good luck!

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    1. So true Shereen. I really should ask around. That's probably the best place to start.

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  23. My mom struggles with her thinning hair - she has been wondering if there were any natural remedies out there.

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    1. I think it's just a natural occurrence when we age. Don't know if there's anything that really works.

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  24. I feel the same way about my hair. In my 20's I used to go to the salon every 8 weeks. My hair was amazing. Now in my 30's with 2 kids, I do it all myself and I hate it. Right now I am actually growing out my hair to its natural hair color which hasn't happened since I was 14!

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    1. I've done my own hair since I was 14. Mostly because I didn't have the money to go to the salon. Now it's just easier to do it myself.

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  25. I'm an all-natural gal, and started using sulfate free shampoo a couple years ago. I really love the texture my hair has taken on since switching! However, I feel like I am actually losing more hair in the shower when I shampoo. It's a little strange, but might just be because I have to scrub my scalp harder since the sulfate free shampoos don't get very sudsy. I attempted to do a couple different versions of the no 'poo method and it just didn't work for me. I was a greasy mess for weeks, and couldn't get it right. I'll stick with the most natural shampoo I can afford :)

    I hope you're able to make a change that you love! I definitely don't understand the challenges that come with natural hair (although I do think yours looks beautiful!) :) My husband and I are in an adoption process, and are open to adopting children of any race. If we are placed with children who have natural hair, I may be contacting you for help and advice!

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    1. I'm eventually going to try some natural shampoo as well. Right now, I've switched to a sulfate free and it's been 2 weeks.

      I'll be posting my journey so feel free to check back as a future resource :)

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  26. I love getting my hair done, but I'm cheap. I even have a friend that does hair at her house and it's half the price of a salon. I'm too cheap to even do that a few times a year. I tend to get my hair done once a year and then it looks like poo a lot from grow out. lol

    I like highlights because it covers the grey better. Hubby got tired of all the stains from me dyeing my own hair and he's become quite good at coloring my hair for me. Think 6'2" lineman and little plastic gloves that don't even fit my hands that come in the package. Yes, I'm sure you just giggled to :)

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    1. I wish I had someone that could do my hair. I'm cheap too and sometimes I just want to do it myself.

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  27. I personally have a crazy hairline that makes it annoying for me to get haircuts. I have gotten used to it and embraced the craziness that goes along with it. Other than that I love my hair! Thanks for sharing !

    Daou @ CarMeCrazy

    http://carmecrazy.com

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    1. I bet your hairline isn't that bad. Sounds like it works for you though.

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  28. My love/hate is that I only get my hair cut about once a year. I always have good intentions to do it every 2-3 months, but the time and budget seem to go too quickly! Oh well, at least this last time I had enough cut off to donate it :).

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    1. That's great that you donated your hair. Now if I could only get mine to grow that long...

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  29. I usually like my hair, except when I don't. Ha! I have the hair that people say they'd give anything for. Naturally curly/wavy. It usually looks like beach waves and when it is humid, it goes a bit more curly. It can either look amazing or disastrous and I still need to figure out what causes it to do either! Sometimes I wish I had straight hair because my life would be easier and I could have so many more short styles and layers, but in the end I'm grateful for what I was born with and it is fun to have big curly hair.

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  30. I am a big DIY girl myself, and I color my own hair, and cut my families hair, but I have to trust someone else for my cut and style. I have fine thin hair and I need all the help I can get with it. Good Luck.

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  31. love hate relationship it is for me too. Hate to grow my hair long because it takes too much work to dry and style. hate my hair short because it makes me look fat and boyish. must color my hair because already lots of greys! ugh! whats a woman to do!!

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    1. I know! Guys have it so easy. They just cut it off or go bald.

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  32. I'm with you girl! I never go to the salon, just don't have time for it, lol.
    Ugh, okay, maybe once a year when I just can't stand it any more. I'm all about DIY hair care, why not?
    Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Me too. I love doing my own hair, but I really need to get these ends trimmed.

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  33. Ha! I couldn't possibly cut my own hair. But I used to color it all the time. Now I just go with the natural color and leave it at that.

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution
    www.thejennyevolution.com

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    1. I wish I could cut my own hair, but it's probably good that I don't know how. It would be a mess I'm sure.

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  34. I have some hair horror stories involving cuts, dyes, and weave. I have been natural since 2007 and have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I love and hate it's thickness. I love my curls but hate the fact that I don't have one curl pattern --- it's madness. I am really wanting to learn more about taking care of my hair. Youtube...here i come!

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    1. YouTube is WONDERFUL! lol I love all the ideas and tips you can get.

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    2. YouTube is WONDERFUL! lol I love all the ideas and tips you can get.

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  35. I too have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I want it long, I want it short. I just don't know at times. I hope you find something that works for you.

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  36. My hair has made me mad for some time now. lol

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    1. You and me both lol. I mean my hair too lol.

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  37. I went poo-free last year and my hair is much happier for it! I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair -- we always want what we don't have... I wanted straight hair that swooshed and fell back into its perfectly cut state -- like Dorothy Hamil's at the Olympics... Instead, I had unruly fine curly hair. I kept trying to change it until I found a hairdresser who finally understood my type of hair and cut with the curl instead of against it. Amazing! It curled, but looked sassy instead of dorky. Now I am phasing out harsh chemicals (both for my hair and my skincare). I use conditioner to wash my hair and henna to color it. And my hair has never been happier. The henna part is fairly messy -- so I don't recommend it for the OCD-clean folks. There are other natural colorings that are more user-friendly.

    But working with what you have is the first step to loving your hair. It will surprise you when you let it.

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    1. That's great advice. Learning to love what I've been given- love it!

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  38. I just got a hair cut, and it's a really badly done haircut. I was a stylist for 8 years and loved doing hair, but it's not an easy job for sure.

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    1. Sorry about your bad haircut. Hope it grows out soon.

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  39. My mom was a hairdresser before I was born. I have had every odd or fancy hairstyle she ever wanted to try on me...I am the 1st grader in the class picture with a bouffant. I have a no fear attitude about my hair because it will grow back. I have had short and spikey and shoulder length and straight. My default is a bob though. Be brave...it is just hair.

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    1. Sounds like your hair was always done up when you were young. I would have enjoyed that.

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  40. All I can say is that when I style it, it never looks the way it does when I leave the salon ;)
    I did finally find an all natural, chemical free shampoo and conditioner that actually works better on my hair than anything else ever did, so that's good :)

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    1. I can never get that salon style again either. Glad no chemicals are working for your hair journey.

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  41. I'm a Naturalista and I love it! I have to admit that I really don't need chemicals on my hair. I like wearing my hair in curly styles and I love how soft it is. I do get highlights put in for a bit of added punch. I get it trimmed once or twice a year and get a professional to put the highlights in. Other than that, I try different products to see the many styles I can do on my hair.

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    1. I love curly hair. Sounds like it's cute.

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  42. You look great- don't beat yourself up! :)

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    1. Thanks for the compliment. No beating myself up here. Just venting ;)

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  43. took me a long time to find the right combo of hair style and color so I didn't have to fuss so much with it each morning. Keep experimenting until you find that right one then stick with it.

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  44. I have the WORST relationship with my hair. I color it and then highlight it and then decide to go back to one color, then I get it straightened, then I go back to highlights, and on and on. Oh, and it's long -- or it was -- and was just a frizzy mess. I could never let my hair just go, without styling it, because it would be a big, bushy mess. So, it's a ponytail or straightened. So, I got my hair cut last week and I was like, let's take a nice chunk off so it's more bouncy and has more life to it, etc., and now I'm still annoyed. It's not long enough for a ponytail and has layers and now I'm just frustrated. It never ends.

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    1. I know the feeling! I hope your new cut works out for you though.

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  45. I stopped coloring my hair after I turned it orange one too many times LOL. But the truth is, who wants to shell out a hundred bucks at a salon? I like to pamper myself with a pedicure or a shopping spree.

    I have always had one too thin hair. It can be stringy and have to body or bounce at all. I have tried shorter cuts, I have tried to blow dry it every day (I am always late in the mornings, so taking time to blow dry rarely sticks).

    I finally learned that the best way to get the hair I want is to use the right products for my hair. I am willing to shell out a few extra dollars - stack a coupon or two and get the right shampoo, conditioner and styling products for my hair. And I only found them via trial and error.

    My daughter is half black/half white - and we have tried every product under the sun for her hair. She has gorgeous, thick curls...but her hair can go from zero to frizzy in 60 seconds flat. I had to learn how often to wash her hair. What her hair needed. What styling products work and what don't. And I am still learning.

    I guess it never ends. We are always striving for that perfect hair...and maybe half the time I get close :)

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  46. I have to say, you don't look old enough to have age-related hair problems! I don't have a love/hate relationship, but I can tell you we do not get along well. In the old days I cut my own hair and sometimes really botched it. Fortunately I was in charge of my department so I could just call my assistant and all I had to say was, "I won't be coming in to work. I cut my hair again." She would laugh and say OK.

    I am much old now and my hair is just ridiculous. It is grey, black, and some white. The kicker is my hair never was really black, but kind of a dark brown. The black, grey, and white hair changes around. The worst is when the roots look black and the lighter colors are blended in below, making it look like I dyed my hair grey and the black roots are growing out! Who would do that? haha I am just happy I don't have to look at myself.

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    1. Thank you. I am getting older, but I appreciate my "good" genes now. I used to hate that people thought I was so young, now I just say thank you!

      That sounds so frustrating that you hair grows in different colors now. I bet it still looks beautiful on you though.

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  47. I have a love-ignore relationship with my hair. I only really notice it when I get ready for work in the morning and when I look in the mirror while brushing my teeth at night and I realize I've been walking around all day with a funky hair do. I hate taking the time to get it trimmed so mostly I don't. I'm so lazy!

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  48. I have a love hate relationship with my daughter's hair. She has a beautiful head of hair but I am not the mom that can do all of those lovely hair styles. If I did not have your youtube then there would definitely be a problem.

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    1. As I stated before, YouTube is the best. Those ladies rock!

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  49. My hair got really messed up in 2008. I had to cut it pretty short. I found the most amazing hairstylist and we have been making magic ever since. My hair is just as soft and is just as long as it was before the breakage. I am "natural" meaning that I do not have a relaxer. However, I choose to wear my hair straightened. It is much easier for me to manage.

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    1. It really makes a difference when you find someone that you love and and trust your hair with. Hope to find that one day.

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  50. I gotta say, you look great! I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my hair and my mom used to cut it all the time when I was a kid. I've never really had a decent school picture LOL. Since I turned 40 and to my horror, I began losing hair. It's changed texture and it stopped growing for a while. Thankfully, now 5 years later, I've had great luck with natural treatments for peri menopause. I do think I'll continue to colour it, though. I am too young to be completely grey LOL

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    1. Turning the big 4-0 has proven to be a change for my hair too, I think. Whatever, I'll still rock what I can!

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  51. I like having long hair, but I am no good at hairstyles!!! So, it's usually a ponytail for me! haha I'm not very creative, nor very gifted in the hairstyling department.

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Holla at your girl!

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