I never understood why people freaked out when we would take off length of their hair. Now I understand. I freak out when Sam (my husband) takes off and eighth of an inch. :) Which in turn only makes me a better hairdresser because now I understand the importance of and eighth of an inch. :) :)
If someone comes in and says they want to grow their hair out then I say OK. But I also tell them that I will not cut it off, even when they are at the awkward length, because that is where we all bail out on the process. If we would just push through the shoulder/collar bone area it will be smooth sailing here on out.
As silly as this sounds, I am pretty sure we could start a support group for people wanting to grow their hair out. I will do whatever is in my power to help someone get where they want to go and feel beautiful while they are at it.
Here are a few tips I found useful during my process:
*Get your haircut every 8 to 12 weeks. (If you do not use heat on your hair then you MIGHT be able to go longer). I suggest not cutting it sooner then 8 weeks because you will just cut off what you just grew out. The reason why you want to get it cut that often is when you have split ends and you don't get it cut at the beginning it will just continue to split up the rest of your hair shaft and break off even more. AND don't pick at them....that is a major NO NO!!
*Make sure you are not over processing your hair color wise. That will make the split end process creep up even faster.
*Leave your conditioner on a little longer. I try to wash my hair at the beginning of my shower so the conditioner can sit on longer. Sometimes I will wrap my hair up with the conditioner still on my hair in a turban and watch one of my favorite shows and then rinse it out after so it has a good while to absorb. ***Side note, if you use a hair mask or conditioning treatment that has protein in it do not leave it in longer then what the bottle suggests. We only need a certain amount of protein, if we have too much it can actually make your hair do the opposite and dry and break.
*Peppermint treatments can be your best friend. The peppermint helps stimulate blood circulation in the scalp which helps the growth process. Brushing your hair daily can also help. :)
*Don't fall asleep with your hair wet in a ponytail. When the hair is wet it has more elasticity so it can stretch farther, but when it dries it shrinks and there is no stretch which can cause breakage.
*Use a heat protectant. This is very important to having healthy hair.
*Have a friend that will tell you to keep growing it when you want so badly to cut it off. I was there many, many times throughout this process and since I am partial to short hair it was very easy for me to want to give in!! But I had friends talk me out of it every time.
Last but not least....Have fun with it!! I will try to post pictures throughout the process to see all the different lengths I have been through!