Still Growing Out My Hair: Getting Through the In-between Stages

(My hair last year.)

I started growing my hair out last January. It was a super short pixie cut and it was fun while it lasted (for about 10 years). Since then, I've tried everything to make my hair grow faster. Two things really worked. The first are supplements from Phyto and the second was the Chinese Herbs line from Peter Lamas.

So now, one year later, my hair is only a few inches off of my shoulders. Not too bad for one year's time, including a few major haircuts along the way.

But now it's not long. It's not short. I can't really pull it into a ponytail. The bangs are in my eyes (again). It's at the dreaded middle length stage.

I keep telling myself that loads of people actually aim for this stage of in-between hair. Famous people, even. That knowledge does nothing to make me happier. So I decided to strike out of my pin-straight hair mold and go for something I haven't ever done as an adult.

Use a curling iron.

(Me at work on a day where my hair isn't making me crazy.)

I know, it's not a new idea at all. But I never have the confidence to step outside of what I do everyday and be different. Sure, I'll wear a bright lipstick or eye shadow that demands attention, but I haven't worn my hair in a different texture as an adult. I've even worn extensions, but it still looked like my hair, just longer. I've found wearing my hair curly makes almost everyone who knows me stare at me and feel the need to make a comment, good or bad. And maybe it's wanting to avoid THAT interaction that made me shy away from trying something different.

So how did it go?

Really well. First of all, my hair is holding curl really well, for a reason I can't explain. I used to want to have Heather Locklear hair when I was really little and would play with curlers and a curling iron for HOURS. No amount of Aqua Net could hold that curl in. Maybe my hair is changing, maybe it's the negative ion hoo-haa doo-dads in the curling irons, I don't know. But my curl is lasting all day, without a lot of product to hold it in place.

I tried three different methods and got three very different results.

Day One:

I diffused my hair with a DevaCurl DevaFuser. I love this diffuser. Not only does it let you get into the roots and dry your hair faster, it's really easy to work with. And faster drying means less heat damage! I didn't use any product in my hair when it was still damp, other than Phytomist, to keep it hydrated.I then used a clipless curling iron and took take large sections of my hair and wrapped them around the rod, making sure to leave the ends out, for a fresh look. To make the ends look slightly more polished, I used Davines N 10 Universal Polishing Coat on the ends and in places where I needed a little more control.

Overall, this method made my hair HUGE (I do have a lot of it, so I shouldn't be surprised.) I then lightly sprayed it with Rockaholic Flexible Hairspray from Tigi. Still huge, I threw a bedazzled headband (that always felt too girly for me before) and tamed my mane. The result was really soft and pretty! Time commitment: An extra 25 minutes.

Day Two:
I diffused my hair with the Deva Curl diffuser and used some Garnier Curl Shaping Gel on my wet hair. I then took smaller sections of my hair and tried to wrap them around the clipless curling iron more neatly. I tried to section out my hair and control the placement of the waves a little more. The curls stayed much tighter (thanks to the smaller sections and Garnier, I'm sure). I used some Tigi spray and a little Peter Lamas Chinese Herbs Revitalizing Conditioning Cream to weigh my hair down and make the waves stand apart a little more.

My hair was still way too big, so I went with another headband. I think I like this version even better. Time commitment: An extra 30 minutes.

Day Three:
I blew my hair dry normally and aimed to make it straight, using a bit of the Garnier spray to help hold the waves.
I then used a Gold N Hot Triple Barrel Curling Iron around my entire head. I sectioned my hair out into top, middle and bottom layers and tried to include some waving on each layer, all the way around my head.

After the waves set, I used my Oil Comb from Ricky's of NYC to add shine, settle the waves and keep it from becoming huge. I think I like this look best! It's a bit of old Hollywood, a bit of glam and a bit modern. Time commitment: An extra 10 minutes.

Do you have any tips for getting through the in-between stages of growing out your hair? Please do tell! I need all of the inspiration I can get!

I purchased everything mentioned with the exception of Phyto products and the Chinese Herbs Styling Cream.

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  1. I find it interesting how my hair normally looks like your hair styled and I hate the volume/curl! I guess the instruments make it more manageable since you put the curl where you want to and it's not chosen by nature. I got my hair cut about your current length and now I'm hoping for it to grow a few more inches. In my opinion, at this length (for me) it looks better straight which I don't have the patience nor time to really do every morning. Sorry for the ramble! =)

    BTW - I hope you're staying safe in B-more with the current ice storm.

  2. I saw your new haircut - I love it!! It frames your face so beautifully!

  3. Kelly, How funny is that? I just knew you would look gorgeous with curly hair!! And you totally do. I LOVE it.

  4. I am at the point where I have it short and am just starting the growing process.

  5. im in exsactly the same stages but i keep dyinggg and straightning my hair tho i use heat protection and a tonne of conditioner my hair has onlu grown around 2 inches in the past 3 years its very very fustraighting especally now im at the sholder point it dosent seem to budge ! lol


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