Follow Up: Hair Color & Style

Back in February I posted about Alexa Chung’s hair and how I was going to be working to grow my hair out to her length.  I’d already been in the process of growing my hair out, but hadn’t had a clear plan of action in mind.  Seeing Alexa on 24 Hour Catwalk gave me the direction I needed when it came to what I wanted to do with my hair–something I was seeking at the time.

Here’s where I was, hair-wise, when I wrote that post. Er, well, this was my hair on Valentine’s Day, but a day doesn’t make all that much of a difference.  It was platinum and about cheekbone length, with lots of layers.  I actually quite liked the shape of the cut and found it pretty easy to style.  In fact, I’d totally go back to it, and very likely will at some point (when I’m ready for short hair again).  I think it worked really nicely with my face.  But at the same time, it was a bit frustrating because getting it out of my face was a bit tricky.

My Hair Feb 14, 2012 - Suburban Style Challenge

At the beginning of May, I went ombre. I loved being platinum, but just couldn’t afford the upkeep any more.  I did the math on what I spent just maintaining my color, and it was a staggering amount of money (over $1000 for a year of maintenance, and that’s not including cuts!).  I took inspiration from both Alexa Chung’s look and Miley Cyrus’ hair and brought them into my stylist, who worked her amazing magic and gave me a beautiful ombre that wasn’t just a harsh line of color difference and matched my natural color perfectly.  She also did a wee bit of shaping on my cut, but that was it.  Here’s how it looked.

Ombre Hair in May 2012 @ Suburban Style Challenge

In May, I was about at the length I had been at a couple years ago when I started growing out my hair for the first time in a few years, and chopped it back to pixie-short again.  It’s that awkward length where I can’t put it up, can’t get it out of my face, and otherwise spend quite a bit of time being annoyed by it’s lack of doing anything but being there.  However, I wanted

Since then, I haven’t been back to the stylist. My cut’s been growing out nicely and I haven’t felt the need for even a trim (I’ve always been blessed with really healthy hair and virtually no split ends).  The golden tone she gave me has faded, as expected, but I’m ok with the color my hair is.  Here’s where I’m at today, almost 6 months to the day from the shot in February, which is kind of cool.  Took this the morning of July 11.

My Hair on July 11, 2012 - Suburban Style Challenge

Quite a bit of a difference!  And, as I suspected, I was right about Alexa’s length on my birthday, which is where I had wanted to be.  Now, obviously, I don’t have Alexa’s or Miley’s waves, but that’s ok.  I can make them if I want to, with product and patience.  As of right now, I’m right between the 4th and 5th pics on this nifty hair grow-out guide, and can finally pull my hair back into a pony tail, or use a clip to pull it half up.  It’s really nice, and I’m remembering the benefits of longer hair!

What’s next? Well, at this point, I’m just going to keep growing it out.  It’s healthy to, from what I hear, and there are a ton of long hair trends I want to try to master myself.  Generally, I’m hair-styling challenged when it comes to long hair, but have proven to myself recently that I can actually master some things, so we’ll see how I do as my hair gets longer.  I think I’ve learned a fair amount from having short hair, and from having short hair styling knowledge–I’ve been able to translate that into longer hair styling.  Ok, well, that, and having a BFF who’s a hair styling master and able to teach me new tricks.

I think I’d like to see where another 6 months takes me.  Looking at where I was in February, and where I’m at today, I’d gauge that in 6 months my hair should be past my shoulders at the longest layers, and well past my chin at the shortest layers.  I might even be able to manage a top knot at that point!

What am I doing to promote hair growth? Well, initially, I didn’t think I was really doing much of anything.  I haven’t changed my hair care habits really, even after I stopped processing so much to stay platinum.  But then I read “How to Grow Out Your Hair” by Beauty Bets and realized that I unintentionally had been doing a lot of that.  I’ve been drinking more water (not as much as I should, but more, and that’s a start) and exercising regularly, and those are 2 things she says help with hair growth.  I also do deep conditioning treatments once a month or so, massage my scalp, and try to limit breakage by not being too harsh on my hair (squeezing dry instead of rubbing with a towel, less heat processing, and not drying it completely every day, plus not pulling it back all the time with elastics).

But, I’m seriously considering adding regular coconut oil massages into my hair care regimen.  This article on Glamour talks about it, and says that Indian women do hair oil massages once a week.  That seems like a lot to start, but I think I can wean myself into it by doing it every 2 weeks.  And it’s another way to use the coconut oil I have, which is great (it seems to be an awesomely versatile product with tons of great uses).  Plus, I can do it while I soak in the tub, which is always a plus.

So, maybe in another 6 months I’ll do a follow up again. And perhaps by then my hair will be past my shoulders, and I’ll have learned to do some awesome stuff with it.  Cross your fingers!

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