Life Hacks - Do You Have Extensions?


You may be reading this for one of two reasons... One reason could be because you have seriously wondered if I have extensions, or two, you've already asked me about this and assume I'm finally coming clean! While this is not a typical topic for me to blog about, I've had enough people ask me this question that I figured I'd just come out and tell y'all...


I GREW IT!

My hair cost me nothing except tons of time.

Believe it or not, some people have come up to subtly rub my head or play with my hair to find out!

No lie, this has happened.....on more than one occasion hahaha!


So I am going to start at the beginning of my hair growth journey so that you may truly believe anything is possible:

Spring/Summer 2011: This was my bold, blonde bob! As you can see, I was PLATINUM and wondering why I couldn't grow long, healthy hair. Eeek!



Then as it started to grow, I understood that the bleach was the reason it wouldn't grow before. So in 2012, I dyed my hair the same as my sister's color: near black! We looked a lot alike that year.

I kept my hair dark until 2014, and as you can see, it started having no trouble in the growth department. For the first time, my hair was smooth and silky and I loved it!

But I knew black wasn't most suited for me...



Soooooooooo..... I stripped the color out!

Spring/Fall 2015: I had decided to stop dying my hair altogether, & you can see the reverse ombré effect. Since my hair was naturally so light, the black turned to this redish/orange color after I decided to "strip" the color out and go natural.



Summer 2017: I'd officially grown my hair to my goal length: LONG!! After stripping the color out in 2015, I never put color on it again and my hair would not STOP growing! By this time I had mastered my routine and had paid attention to the do's/don't do's, (which are all in this post!)



Finally, Summer 2020: This is the longest I've ever let my hair get...(wellll, CORRECTION)...that Covid-19 forced me to have! It wasn't exactly by choice since my hair dresser was locked away for three months. I called and said, "Yes, please get me in as soon as possible... I'm sitting on my hair! heh..." She gave me a "I've heard that exaggeration before" laugh, and I'm thinking... "No, girl.. I'm so serious!!" Hahaha



Then I finally got my Covid-19 cut and WHALLAHH:

DISCLAIMER: Some girls recently asked me: KENZIE!! You told us not to color our hair if we're trying to grow it!, so why did you bleach yours?!?!?!"

I answered, "Because mine was done growing with 4 inches to lose. Patience."


SO!


I'm writing this blog for anyone who was like me years ago wondering:

WHY WON'T MY HAIR GROW?!

WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!

WHAT PRODUCTS DO I NEED?!

SHOULD I BE TAKING VITAMINS?

WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG?

SHOULD I BLAME MY HAIR DRESSER?!

WHAT IS MY QUICK FIX?

ETC...

ETC.........

ETC................


But first, the MYTHS:


1. You need $$$$$ products!

EVEN THOUGH I use oils, heat protectant sprays, and leave-in conditioner daily, I am not even going to list any hair care product for you to go buy because I do not believe it matters one bit which kind you use! I use whatever is cheapest at Walmart and I use it constantly just to keep my hair detangled and to keep moisture in it, but I've tried every kind and can't tell any difference.


2. Cut your hair so it will grow!

I UNDERSTAND where these people are coming from, but this just does not make sense. Sure, you mean that in order for hair to grow it's got to be healthy, but there has got to be a better way to put it! I get my hair cut 2x a year--Christmas & summer--and it's about 1/2 an inch each time. But if you find you're needing more than that off because your ends are dead..Just keep reading for your REAL solution. But just remember 2+2=4....CHOPPING HAIR < GROWING HAIR. It just makes sense.


3. Brushing your hair wet!

This is THE MOST IMPORTANT section in this entire post if you are seriously wanting to grow your hair. Yes, once you get out of the shower and start viciously brushing away at your wet hair to remove knots, your hair is at a very weak state. However, picture this: When you go swimming and you're under water, your hair is naturally separated by the water, but the moment you get out of the pool you've got a nasty mess of hair clumped together. So at which state should you be brushing your hair?! It's NEVER after you just get out of the shower! Let it air dry and then work through it with your fingers. But my real KEY to all of it is while my hair is completely submerged in the shower water, I lather my hair with lots of conditioner and section off my hair and brush it while running under the water. I do not brush it again until it's done air-drying (if then) and then style it.

4.Quick Fix!

NOT REAL. Unfortunately, they never are in any case. Vitamins may or may not help, but it certainly won't be a drastic change in speed. I tried that. It just takes tons of practical, intentional steps that I have listed for you below.

Finally, my personal SOLUTIONS:


1. Stop coloring your hair!

At the time I had my blonde bob, all my friends had long hair and I had no idea why mine wouldn't grow. But you see, my natural hair color is displayed in 2017 as you see the growth once I'd stopped coloring it. Years ago I had highlighted my hair until it couldn't take it anymore and broke off! I just had no idea that my hair was breaking off as a result of bleaching it!! Anddd that's when I dyed my hair black... :)


2. Silent Brushing!

This is a rule I have kept for years and is probably 95% of everyone's problem. If you can hear yourself brushing your hair, you've found your issue. Your hair is strong, but not strong enough to be detangled using a forceful bed of spikes in less than 10 seconds everyday. I start at the bottom of my hair and NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER at the top... You will rip out about two years of growth every two years with harsh brushing.. And what do you know..

2-2=0... This means no growth! Or if it does grow, you'll realize the ends of your hair are always split or are unhealthy and need to be cut.. and that means -1.... so 2-3=-1. And none of us are trying to move backwards here! By the way, get a Wet brush. That just means the bristles aren't super hard and will move along with your hair. Walmart has the off-brand for less than $10.


3. Find a pro!

I did not realize how important this was!! Many hairdressers specialize in different things like color, trendy cuts, or the ability to recreate a photo.. But I found it's terribly hard to find a hairdresser that barely cuts your hair. That might sound crazy, but for someone who wants to keep most of their hair AND keep it healthy by removing split ends... It's hard to find someone who won't cut off years of work... Literally. You must find someone who doesn't believe the whole "you must cut your hair to grow it" idea.. Instead, find someone who knows how to trim effectively!


4. Do your hair before bed!

I honestly believe this is a HUGE factor. If you move a lot in your sleep, like me, then you should take note on this point! For the past 7 years or so, I will not go to bed without doing my hair! By that I mean that my hair has been in a braid, Jasmine ponytail, fishtail, secure bun, or SOMETHING before I go to bed... Every. Single. Night. What happens at night is your hair rubs together! Here is an experiment.... Next time you have a loose hair fall out, take about 30sec to rub it together into a little ball against itself. Then straighten it out and you'll realize that that hair will be 20x weaker and it will most likely break if you pull on it. Secure your hair in some way so that all your days of hair care aren't negated every night.


5. Stop overdoing it!

Get creative. Seriously, I love to curl my hair, but if I did everyday my hair would be 6 inches shorter! Braid it for some loose beach waves! Find cute up-dos! If you do curl it, start curling from the top of your hair and let the ends of your hair endure the least amount of heat ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8Quj_uF2EY ) <<<--- as shown in this video! Avoid hairdryers and learn to budget time to air-dry! And DO NOT wash your hair every day! If you have oily hair, get dry shampoo! If you have dry hair, get dandruff shampoo and whatever oil Walmart has! Your hair falls out every time you wash your hair so wait every other day at the most...every two days is even better!


5. Patience!

If you do not have patience then the new curling technique won't be worth it.. And the massive long-hair knots will make you want to rip out your hair yourself. You'll forget the silent brushing technique. You'll go to bed without braiding. It might not make the priority list to seek out someone who can trim instead of chop off your work.. And maybe being a blonde is more fun than all that waiting, year after year, for that dream length..


BUT for all of you out there who were like me wondering why your hair won't grow..

This is everything I wish I would have known!


Let me know if you are going to give any of it a shot or have any questions! It's fun to do this stuff together!

ALWAYS,

Mackenzie Wray


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