It’s Not THAT Difficult, Part II

Ok, so here we go again. I’m back yet again to talk about what is surely the most important subject in the world- hair!! I’m sure the men reading this (and I’ve discovered over the years that there are indeed a surprising amount of men who read this site) are probably like “oh she’s talking about her hair again” or  “post some pictures!”

 

 Anyways I mentioned last time that I never cut or trim my hair. And I don’t. We are taught all our lives to get those constant trims and cut those “split ends.” It’s generally an accepted “fact” in our society that regular trims are absolutely necessary just as much as it’s an accepted “fact” that sugar makes you fat (it really doesn’t, at least not on its own, but that’s a subject for another time). My hair has seen some sever damage over the years. When I was younger I would play with it and twirl it all the time and dye it and my ends were very damaged. My hair had a hard time growing much past my shoulders for a great portion of my teen years because of my mistreatment of it. But I never cut or trimmed off the damaged ends and instead just left it alone, stopped playing with it, and it started getting longer. Split ends are inevitable. You can trim them off if you don’t like it, but you’re just going to keep getting them and they aren’t going to keep your hair from getting longer by any means. Nor are they going to travel all the way up to the roots and cause all your hair to fall out and make you go bald or something. Unless you’ve got some medical condition, it just doesn’t work that way.

 

 What needs to be understood here is that our hair is always growing (except for certain rest periods it takes). From what I understand of the science behind this is that everyone’s hair has a predetermined growth length cycle. When it reaches the end of its growth cycle the strand of hair generally falls out. We are constantly losing hairs. An amount of 50-100 hair strands lost each day is normal (more than that may be a sign of a problem, though). Sometimes it appears that our hair isn’t growing when in fact it is, we’re just losing length because it is damaged. So if you want it to grow you just have to focus on keeping the strands healthy and free from damage and simply wait it out.

 

 I look at my own hair and it is very long in the back, reaching all the way to my belt when straightened out, but the sides seem to be struggling to get past mid-back length. I’ve come to realize this is probably due to heat damage as I have not been conditioning my hair well or putting any heat protection on it. I’ve been frying it with the blow dryer every morning and it does appear that my hair is paying the price. I theorize that the back of my hair doesn’t receive as much heat damage because it’s so hard to reach (I can’t even get the straightener all the way to the ends of it as my arms won’t reach) and thus it is able to reach its full growth potential and grow all the way to my belt. The sides, however, get the worst of the heat and are probably suffering from some breakage preventing them from getting longer.

 

 There’s never been a time when I’ve taken more than a few days’ worth of a break from putting any type of heat on it so I’ve realized it’s time to get serious and forgo any heat and deep-condition it and use a wide-toothed comb to gently brush any tangles out, comb some leave-in conditioner in it then let it dry naturally and refrain from touching it. Even after only a few days it looks a lot better and healthier, but since hair only grows about ½ an inch a month on average, there won’t be any noticeable difference in length or fullness for a few months. Most say you shouldn’t wash it all that much (like maybe only 2-3 times a week) but for me that isn’t an option. Since I workout every day, I have to wash it every day. I just gently sponge the water out of it with a towel afterwards and treat it well otherwise.

 

 Another thing that is important is diet. If your diet is poor or you are malnourished your hair will suffer for it (as will your skin, teeth and overall well-being.) In fact, hair is often the first to suffer when you have any medical condition or aren’t eating healthy enough. Technically at only 110-111 pounds my BMI is only 18.2-18.3 which, yes, technically makes me a bit underweight. I’ve gotten many comments on my weight with many people thinking me to even be anorexic or suffering from some eating disorder. Well, I’m not anorexic nor do I suffer from some eating disorder and I’ve actually maintained this low body weight for a very long time without any ill affects either of a physical or psychological nature. In fact, many people would be shocked at the amount of calories I actually consume every day to maintain my weight. Nor do I eat nothing but celery or carrot sticks and I would never purposely throw up anything I’ve eaten. I’ve thrown up twice in the past few years and it was only because I had a stomach bug. It wasn’t pleasant and I certainly would never wish to do something like that on a regular basis.

 

 The real deal is that skinny is only attractive if it comes along with being healthy. We all have seen people who are very skinny and look sickly. It’s not attractive. Long, luscious hair is generally a sign of good health because it means the individual hasn’t had any serious illness, health problems or malnutrition for the last 2-4 years enabling them to grow their hair out to such a point. Protein and Iron are particularly important, as are the B-vitamins, for growing healthy hair. This is why, unless you are abstaining for religious, ethical or health reasons, I would highly recommend the consumption of meat- and in particular red meat as it is very high in heme-iron (a highly bioavailable kind of iron), vitamin B-12 (which typically can’t be obtained without meat consumption or supplementation), zinc (which also keeps your skin healthy and less prone to scarring), and high amounts of protein as well as many other nutrients that non-meat eaters are oftentimes deficient in.

 

 As I mentioned before, I don’t survive off of carrots or celery. Truth be known, I rarely eat my fruits and veggies (it’s bad, I know). The bulk of my diet consists of bread, beans, cheese, meat (both red and white) and sweets. Yes, I eat sweets. I have a major sweet tooth… I also eat some fruit, vegetables, fish and nuts in smaller amounts. I also drink a nutrition shake with my lunch to get adequate amounts of nutrients I may otherwise be lacking in my diet. Health is a major concern for me. I also never eat low-fat foods unless it is the only option. I drink whole milk and don’t eat diet foods nor take any kinds of pills. I never smoke or do drugs. I drink some in moderation (usually red wine) but recently I don’t drink very much as even a glass of wine seems to have the tendency to give me some mild depression the day after so I have pretty much stopped drinking at all. A low-fat diet is not really that healthy in my opinion. Dietary fat is good for your hair and your skin and without it you won’t even be able to absorb many essential vitamins (the FAT SOLUBLE vitamins). That being said I’m not one of those low-carb people either. The calories I consume everyday generally come from equal portions of both fat and carbs, as well as adequate amounts of protein. Overall I try to maintain a very well-balanced diet for both health and aesthetic reasons, and also because it tastes good.

 

 I’m also very squeamish when it comes to women and hair-cutting. If I’m ever watching a movie where a woman is cutting her hair I always have to cover my eyes. I seriously can’t watch. I nearly have a heart attack watching Roman Holiday when Audrey Hepburn chops all her hair off. Yes, she still looked hot with it short but she lost a large portion of her femininity and youthful innocence when it got chopped off. The starlet herself is actually an unfortunate example of what starvation and malnutrition can do. She is often remembered for her small figure and tiny waistline, but as many know, she suffered from severe starvation and malnutrition during World War II, oftentimes barely surviving with little or no food at all even to the point of boiling grass just to have something to eat. She suffered a lot from various health conditions including jaundice, anemia and edema from being so malnourished. I’m not sure if she lost clumps of hair or any of her teeth, but one can assume she probably didn’t grow much hair either when she was so malnourished. The appearance of her skin suffered greatly as well. Apparently health problems haunted her all the rest of her life, probably in large part because of starvation and malnutrition in her youth. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can sometimes cause permanent and irreversible damage, so malnutrition and eating disorders are no joke and your health is certainly not something you want to gamble with.

 

 The point is, good nutrition is essential for health and for growing your hair as well. Hair grows. You don’t have to do anything such as cutting it to get it where you want it to be. Your goal should always be just to nourish your body and stay healthy. Take care of your ends so they don’t break off and your length can be retained as your hair continues to grow over time. That being said, don’t over-nourish your body! There is such a thing as consuming too many vitamins (which can also cause hair loss) and consuming too many calories will make you pack on the pounds, thereby undoing all the feminizing and beautifying affects that growing your hair long was supposed to accomplish in the first place!

 

 

 

**Again, this is all just my opinion. I’m not a doctor nor stylist so keep that in mind.**

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