Tag Archives: hair length goals

Fairytale vs. Blunt Ends

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Last month, I straightened my hair and, though I was pleased with the length I attained, I was disappointed that my perimeter wasn’t fuller. You see, ever since I entered the Curly Nikki presents Kim Coles’ Grow Out Challenge in early 2011, my goal has been to have waist length hair with a full perimeter. I dreamed of having a “hemline” that looked like that of one of my hair crushes, Courtney Natural Hair.

*le sigh*

*le sigh*

Although I’ve surpassed waist length a couple of times since then (I’ve had one trim and two haircuts since January 2012) … my slower growing and more breakage prone crown, low density nape, propensity for search and destroy (S&D) missions, and a layered cut have prevented me from achieving a full thickness perimeter.

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December 2012: Prior to 12/16/12 cut.

As I mused over the elusive, full hemline that kept evading my grasp, I happened to end up watching Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers one evening. It was shortly after I had my hair cut and specifically requested that more length be taken off of my longest layer and less off the shorter layers so that I could thicken up my perimeter. But, as I looked at the women in LOTR and their long, flowing, wavy hair, it struck me that their wavy locks were also not blunt or full at the ends. And, you know what? I kind of liked it!!

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I then remembered that this type of perimeter is called “fairytale” ends. I think that I came across the term a couple of years ago on The Long Hair Community forum in thread like this one here. As I started perusing the pages of the post, I began to think about how many of us equate a thick, full perimeter with healthy hair and a wispy, thinned one with damaged, unhealthy hair. But, as I looked at the pictures on the thread, many of the women appeared to have very healthy, shiny, long hair despite having wispier ends. As I read the comments, I noted that the fairytale ends were attributed to varying hair growth rates and employing S&D trimming versus overall trims/cuts to make the ends even. The thinner ends weren’t frowned upon as unhealthy, damaged, broken or “dead” (I love that one — all hair is dead! *lol*). It really was interesting to see how this type of hemline was celebrated, and even coveted, in this forum as it is viewed as more natural looking and enables easier updos due to the tapered ends. Also, similar to Chicoro’s “Lead Hair”  Theory, it is espoused as a way to achieve longer lengths as one is not constantly cutting hair that grows unevenly (due to varying growth rates) even, which results in the loss of healthy hair length.

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Sources: left pic; right pic

In contrast, when I attempted to find a similar thread in the Long Hair Care Forums (the black counterpart to The Long Hair Community) I didn’t have much luck. The only thing that I found was this thread: Girl, ur ENDS are JACKED UP. LMBO (I’m sorry, that subject is HEE-larious to me!) In this thread, one young lady references fairytale ends and how she thinks they look nice on longer hair. A couple of others essentially said the same. And a few commenters did state that thin ends did not necessarily mean damaged hair. However, the overall consensus was that thinner ends look wrecked, they need an “aggressive” cutting and “hanging onto thin ends” for the sake of length is pathetic. I think in the black hair community in particular (though this does seem to be a universal view), thin ends are typically seen as a sign of broken, damaged, unhealthy hair and we’ve been conditioned to think that there is no way that wispy ends can be healthy. If someone insists that their thinner ends are healthy and their hair isn’t damaged or excessively breaking, we give them the *side eye*. And, don’t get me wrong, in many instances, thin ends are a sign of damaged hair. But, I’m discovering more and more, that may not always be the case.

As I continued to think on this, I realized that, generally speaking, I had never been too concerned about even hair. Over my 12 1/2 years of being natural, I generally only wear it straight twice a year. As long as it hangs well when curly (which can be a challenge given my multiple curl patterns) and feels healthy, I’m good. And, when I do wear my hair straight, I have never gone for the pin-straight look. I always curl it in some fashion to give it volume, body and bounce as my hair is so fine and would be very flat if I wore it bone straight. Finally, I thought about how even long, wavy or curly weaves or wigs often don’t have a blunt perimeter and usually have fairytale ends to make them look more natural.

wavyweaveSource: Philly.com

So, all this being said, I’ve started re-thinking my two year goal of achieving a full thickness perimeter! I mean, I still love a full hemline and I still want mine to be thicker than it is above (think I’m on the right path with my last cut). And, of course I want my ends to be healthy, which is why I cut off any split ends and SSKs that I feel or see regularly. But, now, I don’t know if I’m worried about my hemline being blunt anymore. I’d like to get to tailbone/hipbone length as my ultimate goal. But now, I think I’ll be happy with, and may even prefer, a healthy fairytale hemline on me versus the elusive blunt one that I’ve been seeking for the last two years. Go figure!

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Please feel free to expound upon any of your answers and/or add your thoughts on this topic in the comments below!

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Bunning Challenge Week 6: Henna Time and a Braid-Out

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Okay, super quick update. I wore a pretty standard boring bun all last week. But, around Thursday last week, I knew that there was no putting off a henna/indigo treatment anymore.

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The roots were GLARING!! So, with a four day weekend ahead of me, I knew that I could get ‘er done! I’d already mixed and frozen a couple of boxes of henna a week ago. So, I just needed to decide which kind I wanted to use, thaw it and get to work.

I had mixed and frozen a box of Dulhan and Godrej Nupur and decided on the Nupur. I’d picked it up several months ago from my local Indian grocer, Patel Brothers, for about $4 based on the review of Marsha of Hairology. It is a BAQ henna, but has 9 other ayurvedic “herbs” added into the mix.

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via Godrej Nupur 

Godrej Nupur brings to you the best quality Rajasthani Mehendi with 9 carefully chosen natural herbs. The ingredients are added in perfect proportions to give your hair the fabulous shiny & silky feel that you desire every single day.

Following are herbs used in Godrej Nupur Mehendi with their benefits.

Brahmi – Promotes hair growth.
Shikakai – Leaves hair clean & shining.
Aloe Vera – Maoisturises hair & makes it silky.
Methi – Conditions, nourishes & revitalises hair.
Bhringraj – Makes hair luxuriant.
Amla – Darkens hair colours, adds shine & luster.
Neem – Fights scalp infection & prevents dandruff.
Hibiscus – Rejuvenates hair making it shiny & silky.
Jatamansi – Prevents graying of hair.

Now, I was a little worried about the amla given my allergic reaction to it in the past and the excessive and prolonged shedding that I think was the result of it. However, because amla was low on the list and I knew to be on the alert for itching, I decided to give it a go on Sunday morning. And …

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 … All went well!!! No itching to speak of and, post 4 hours of henna/heat … great grey coverage!!

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Of course, after this, I had to apply indigo to the crown of my hair and then deep condition. Now, after dealing with my hair all day (started at 11 am, finished around 7 pm), the styling session was SUPER quick. I applied a little Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner as my leave-in, placed my hair into 6 braids and sealed with my coconut oil body whip *lol*.

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It was dry the next morning by the time we were getting ready for my family Christmas Eve dinner (actually, the above pic is of dry hair), so I was psyched. And, I released the braids to reveal a pretty nice braid-out!

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But, it was up in a bun before we went out the door. I know, I know! But, I had on a corduroy blazer, a wool coat and a scarf!! That’s a lot of friction and it’s exactly why I’m in the midst of this bun challenge! And no, it wasn’t even a fancy bun. It was a plain ol’, regular boring bun that wasn’t even that smooth around the edges. No pics.

Alright that’s it! Gotta go!! Hope that you all had wonderful Christmases!! Mine was nice, spent with my family on both sides, but pretty uneventful!

Lata!!

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Okay Bunning Challenge ladies! Who is still doing this?!?! C’mon, give a quick shout and let us know if you are still hanging in there!

July-September GOC Final Update: Margaret (#5)

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mjg 1 GOC Nov 2012
This is a July/ Aug/Sept update of the 2012 GOC. Here I am summarizing my accomplishments, challenges, continued commitments as well as lessons learned.

Hair
I continued to involve myself in the mid-week modified co-wash using H2O/Aloe drench, shea butter mix and coconut oil. Love it!!! With the fall/winter season, I realize I will need to up my moisture and there have been some awesome ideas presented here to maintain moisture for a week or more.

I am still washing with Terressentials Left Coast Lemon Mud Wash (undiluted) weekly. I also have a bottle in Lavender Garden when I want to switch it up. My hair seems to favor the Left Coast Lemon more due to the essential oils. ACV is used monthly before the mud wash on the days I henna and continues to work well.

Henna and Ayurvedic powders (Amla, Brahmi and Bhringaj) monthly make my hair conditioned and dark. Although I do not use indigo, I mix my henna and place in the freezer a month ahead of time. I understand repeated henna’s as well as freezing and thawing henna will allow your hair to darken.

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I found a new HG … Blensblend 3 in 1 Conditioner. It is an all natural conditioner that can be used for 3 purposes … detangler, rinse out and/or leave-in. I have been using it just as the conditioner in Shelli’s cool and seal technique. Once it is placed in my hair, any existing tangles melt like butter and the slip is phenomenal. I have also used the Blensblend hair and body butter after applying Giovanni Direct Leave-in (GDLI). I have not used the new formula for GDLI, however I plan to soon. I have also experimented with adding full fat yogurt to my deep conditioners. Works like a charm.

Finger detangling is continuing to work well especially with slippery conditioners. I pre-poo weekly, prior to every wash, with coconut oil and will switch to EVOO for my Fall/Winter Regimen. I may start using the comb at least once a month as a safety measure and for trimming purposes. Any stylist for the most part will comb prior to trimming. I have dusted my ends during this time and have a recommendation for a stylist, who I will consult with soon for a trim. Regarding length check, I appear to be at waist length at my longest layer. (Excuse the oily hair/fingers) lol. I am aiming for continued growth with hip length being the ultimate goal.

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Health & Fitness
Carlson’s Fish Oil has been great; however I am going to order Viviscal to further support my goals (I have some thinning that has to be tackled). Walking 6 days per week is not a problem due to having a partner to encourage. Being consistent with fitness classes have been more of a challenge due to my second job schedule. This particular portion of the challenge I am continually working on. My food vices are no-no’s right now as it seems the items I like are those that cause my GI problems to occur.

Cleansing
I am continuing to work on this element of the challenge as well. On a good note, although negative situation continue to raise its ugly head, I have been blessed with strength to stay away from the drama and toxic situations.

I feel that I have not obtained the goals I originally set forth and plan to continue my plans throughout the remainder of the year. My reward will come next year in the form of a trip to the mountains in Spring 2013. Life is full of its challenges and I am not going to allow these defeat me.

Shelli, with everything you and your family have endured this year, I appreciate the strength and perseverance you have shown during challenging times. We take so much for granted. Thank you for sharing with us the good and bad. I hope all of you ladies did well as we continue to isnpire and uplift each other. 🙂

XOXO

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Check out the rest of  Margaret’s GOC-The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April Update
May-June Update

Final GOC Update: TerrificLady (#6)

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5JUL2012

Hair
This is the end of the challenge and I should say I did not reach my goal of 8″ long hair. However, I am close. My front section reached 6″+ and the rest of the areas are 7 to 7″+ long. Keep in mind that I dusted my hair in July and August and lost maybe a 1/2″ only. Here is a line up of progress pics from April to September.

I did not continue using the JBCO and WHGO … for no apparent reason. However, I will try them again for a longer period of time. I guess I was not consistent. Dunno.

Anyways, a new product that I like is the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I kept the same hairstyle for this month, which is the one where I pull half of my hair and hold up in the middle and leave the back area loose.

I flat-ironed my hair with my Solia flat iron. The ends were terrible. Too many knots at the ends. you could feel and see them on the pic I took :-(.

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Health & Fitness
Now that we are at the end of the GOC, I started going to the gym finally on Ocotber 5th. My weight varies between 137 to 140 pounds, depends which scale I step on. Does not matter, I don’t really want to loose weight, I just want to tone my body and lose belly fat only. I am from the Caribbean, I like to have curves. lol.

(By the way, I also did my medical tests and got good results. Hope to keep it that way with Jehova’s help. Nobody wants to get the big C.)

And my two beautiful daughters are going natural as well. The youngest 1 year before me and the eldest about 7 months after me.  At the left is my eldest and at the right my youngest. My niece is in the middle.

13OCT2012 RIENNE,MIRELLY&JARRI

Want to read TerrificLady’s GOC-The Sequel journey from the beginning? Check out her initial submission and updates here:

Initial GOC Submission
April Update
May Update
June Update
July-August Update

Final GOC Update: Mershauna (#14)

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by Mershauna of The Dancing Optimist

Man, where has the time gone? Two senior showcases and countless midterms later I am finally able to get a feel of having a life again. Sadly, my busy schedule has limited the frequency of my updates. I am, however, excited to hear about this new bunning challenge. I’m always down for a challenge lol. But, back to the subject at hand, my final update.

Hair
To be honest, I haven’t measured my length since October when I straightened my hair. My hair is past the bottom of my sports bra, so I have been retaining length.

I’ve stuck with twists to protect and stretch my hair. I’ve been wearing mostly buns since I dance everyday, so my hair has been protected. Recently I started experimenting with gels to keep my hair tamed and hopefully cut down on tangles, which cause me the most breakage. I’m really considering Donna Marie’s Miracurl Styling Gelly. All of the reviews I read said it was good, but had too much hold, which sounds perfect for my hair.

Health & Fitness
I have not been able to get to the gym. But when I have free time to workout, I tend to run. It’s not as bad as I use to think. The iPhone app Zombies, Run!, keeps things interesting. I managed to lose a few pounds also. I now weigh 133 pounds, which is a great feat for me. My diet has helped a lot with this. Eating more seems to be boosting my metabolism and the way I feel.

Want to see where it all began with the first GOC? Find Mershauna’s entrée into the first GOC in June 2011 here.

Check out the rest of Mershauna’s GOC – The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April-July Update

Final GOC Update: Madison (#38)

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Once again, I have to start out a post with an apology because I am absolutely horrible at giving updates. I’ve just been busy with school and now midterms have kicked in, so I’m trying my best to juggle everything.

Hair
My routine is a little different now. I did go ahead and get those ends trimmed n July and my hair really thanked me for it. It was much easier to manage and detangle, even though it barely looked shorter. My stylist gave me a dry Deva cut and I loved it.


March 2012


September 2012

She used Mixed Chicks to style it, which left my hair kinda dry. I went back to Shea Moisture. This time I’m using the African Black Soap Shampoo because I had some dandruff issues (it cleared it right up!), the Raw Shea Restorative Conditioner, the Anti Breakage Mask and the Coconut & Hibiscus and Anti-Breakage Milks. I got most of these in a CVS BOGO sale. They all work much better than the Curling Souffle and the Raw Shea Mask did for me. I also tried the beloved Curl Enhancing Smoothie a million different ways and I couldn’t find a single way that worked for me, so I had to return it.

I also bought some Curl Junkie in a CurlMart sale: the Cleansing Conditioner, Smoothing Conditioner, Smoothing Lotion, Curl Rehab and Curls in a Bottle. I love the Smoothing Lotion and Curls in a Bottle – they have become my HG leave-in and finisher. They’re on the pricey side for my budget, but a little goes a long way and my hair appreciates the love. The Smoothing Conditioner worked as well as the Shea Moisture Conditioner, so I probably won’t repurchase if it’s not on sale. The Cleansing Conditioner works well, but I’m sure I can find a cheaper co-wash. The Curl Rehab was okay, but I want to try the Banana & Hibiscus DC to compare.

I’ve also had a lot of success with homemade DCs. I blend a mixture of avocado, banana, plain yogurt, coconut milk, honey (or molasses) and oils (not all in one mix; just depending on what I have). Then, I sit under a heat cap for about an hour and then wash and condition as usual.

As far as styling goes, I tried to do more twist outs, but they didn’t look right to me. I guess practice makes perfect. I revisited the Argan Eco Styler Gel with the CJ Smoothing Lotion under it and really liked it! Much softer and no flakes, which I would get after day 3 with KCCC. I also did a lot of buns with the SM Milks.

The biggest change has been that I have become a sports anchor for my campus’s nightly newscast, so I decided to get my hair professionally flat-ironed. I would have liked to wear my curls, but I don’t know them well enough to where I can rely on a particular style or method so that my hair will look great on camera. Last month, I went to a place where I got it flat ironed and it turned out well, but the stylist was so rough with my hair. My scalp was a little sore from the pulling. I also felt uncomfortable with the use of a pressing comb and flat iron rather than just a flat iron. I like to know exactly what temperature is being used. On the bright side, I was able to keep it straight for a little over a month without reapplying heat! Yesterday I went to a new salon to which I will be returning. For about the same price, I got an all-natural deep condition with a steam treatment and the stylist blow dried and flat-ironed my entire head in 35 minutes. That has never happened to me in my entire life. She was gentler and only used natural products. In the end, it looked just as good, if not better, than the other salon’s, so that will be my go to salon for straight styling from now on.

Check out Madison’s other GOC-The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
May Update

Final GOC Update: Cassandra (#26)

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Hair
Wow. First, I wanted to thank you all for all of the kind comments throughout this six month challenge. I have learned so much about taking care of my hair from viewing Shelli’s site and the results don’t lie. My hair when straightened is about an inch short of BSL and shoulder length when curly. My edges has filled in more with daily use of my Castor Oil oil blend and I expect it to grow more. I’m still following the Curly Girl method and have a set regimen in place, which might be modified with the upcoming cold weather. If anyone has a CG-friendly moisturizer, please let me know. I’ve reached my hair goal and will be looking into finding more styling options other than WNG or Two-strand twists.

Health & Fitness
Overall, the weight loss journey hasn’t gone as well, but I’m ready to continue the challenge on my own. Since my hair is at a length that I am comfortable with now, I can focus more on losing weight. I didn’t make my 20 lbs weight loss goal, but I have lost a lot of inches. Even though I didn’t make my goal, I am still planning on purchasing the Garmin FR70 Fitness Watch with Heart-Rate Monitor. I will continue doing the Supreme 90 DVD, but I’m thinking of buying the Turbo Fire DVD to increase the workout complexity.

To read Cassandra’s GOC journey from the very beginning, check out these posts:

Initial Submission
April Update
May Update
June/July Update