Friday, March 9, 2012

Growing it Out

You may or may not know that I lost both of my grandfathers to cancer last year (read tributes to them HERE & HERE). After my first grandfather died, I cut off 15-18 (!!!) inches of hair and donated it in his name to WIGS4KIDS.ORG, which is a much better choice than Locks of Love. Do a little research into LoL and you'll find that they aren't a very good option.
Donating my hair was a good decision and I don't regret doing that, however I don't want to keep my hair short. That means I have no choice but to go through the lovely awkward stages of growing it out.
Everyone knows that the fastest way to grow your hair out is to stop cutting it, but that's really hard. It can be super tempting to visit the stylist at each little stage and take off a seemingly small amount to soothe the situation, but those visits *add up* and dramatically *add on* to the time it will take to lush out your locks.
A month before the cut- but I don't have a back shot :/
That doesn't meant you're destined for months of bad hair, though! Today's post will focus on some of my favorite tips and tricks that I've used to help me get through these stages. You can see in this post how long my hair was pre-cut, post-cut, it was a dramatic change and will take some time to get it long again!
Even if you aren't growing out your hair, these are fun styles to try, so let's take a look! 
(1) Loose curls. I tried linking back to this site to credit the photo, but the link given on Pinterest was broken. An image search showed it comes from This is easily recreated by using a 1.5 inch iron & wrapping 1 inch sections of hair around the barrel. Start at the bottom of your head, with the excess hair sectioned off at the top. Work your way up the head, releasing sections as you go. 
(2) Waves. Just like loose curls, waves hide an abundance of growth. Create big, messy hair using sea salt spray. Alternatively, follow these instructions from one of my favorite bloggers for gorgeous, heat free, beachy waves. 
(3) Accessories. Using hair bands, bows, etc, will help you fake longer hair. When I was first trying to get my hair into a ponytail (which I can now do!!), I would take the bottom pieces that fell out and use bobbie pins (criss-crossed together) to hold them up. Next I'd use a hair band to hold the sides in & distract from the pins at the bottom, making it look pretty vs. messy. Hair bows teamed up with a bobbie pin are perfect for holding back awkward staged bangs. I've done several tutorials for hair bows, bands & halos HERE, HERE & HERE.
(4) Layer it. This is only to happen once! If you're going from a short stacked bob to longer hair, your hair is going to be very heavy in back due to the short stacking. It doesn't lay well. That means that when you get to shoulder length, you're allowed *one* cut. If you get a cut like this, you won't lose length, but you will add in some layers that will make your hair fall much more nicely and let you breeze through the final stages of growth!
I know that it's technically gluten-free friday, but I'm running one day behind. I generally write everything in advance over the weekend and then post each project daily. I had to do Thursday/Friday last night, so that means Thursdays post is up on Friday and GF friday will actually be GF saturday this week :) 
Wishing you all the best and hoping that maybe you're inspired to get through the short and experience your hair LONG! Though, short or long- there are tons of fun ways to style hair at any length. As always, thanks for reading!


  1. I donated my hair to Love of Love 2.5 years ago when I took off about 16 inches. Before donating I read their site and discovered that they get a lot of hair they can't use or end up selling to wig makers because it does not meet their standards. I still donated, because 1) I did not know of other options, but 2) I work in non-profit and know the difficulties of keep an office and staff running on limited budget. I figured even if they sold my hair and it help the organization financially, I would be pleased. I appreciate your post, as it has made me aware of other organizations like Wigs 4 Kids, but could you elaborate on why you don't think Locks of Love is a good option?

    I think my next donation will go to Wigs 4 Kids or one of the other organizations that receive less hair donations and may be able to better use my ponytail. But I wonder if there are more of a reasons you feel Locks of Love shouldn't be the receiver of hair?

    Thank you for so many great posts that make me stop, think, and consider new things. Your site is a great lunchtime retreat in my busy day and although I don't know you, I find your opinions and outlooks insightful, so thanks in advance for your response.


    1. Hi Xin! Thanks for the feedback :) It's been a while since we researched LoL, but check out this site for more info.
      I was originally informed of W4K by my cousin who has donated a zillion times (to both organizations). She had a lot of interesting information. I'll talk to her and see if I can get some for you :)

  2. I find the cancer issue to be an interesting complaint. I donated my hair years ago, and honestly, I'd rather see a child with alopecia receive my hair, because that can be a much longer impact.The issue with the number of wigs created is a bit concerning. I have also heard, though, that a lot of times people do not properly read the directions and send in hair that is not quite long enough or not healthy enough.

    1. All great points, Heather! I think my paradigm is cancer which is why I'd love to see kids with cancer get them, too. People often don't pay attention to the requirements, which is really sad. What a waste of great hair! I don't think that LoL is a *bad* choice, just not the very best :) I prefer Wigs4Kids, especially since it's Michigan based and I'm a Michigander! There's no shame in donating your hair to any great cause!

  3. great post - ty for the tips!


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