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Ready to feel more like myself…

Those who have known me before I had Jax know I had my hair in braids for nearly 10 years. It started as a way to hide the chunk of hair our puppy bit off the back of my head, but I fell in love with it. Crazy hair is part of who I am, and I haven’t felt “me” without it.

When I got pregnant, I experimented using nicer synthetic hair and leaving more of the braids open at the end. That made redoing my hair much quicker, which was the goal pre-baby.

When Jax arrived, I had simplified down to two rows of loose extensions braided in. I was really enjoying it that way! It added a couple inched of length and at least 50x the thickness. I have the thinnest, finest hair ever.

But then came the postpartum shedding. It started when Jax was 3 months old. We started losing our hair together. He went totally bald on top. My hair was falling out in handfuls a day. I couldn’t keep my braids in because the hair they were attached to was coming out so quick thanks to the hormone changes. It was decision time.

It was a hard one. I hate hate hate hate (times infinity) my hair. Hate. It is thin, fine, drab, won’t do anything you want without massive amounts of hair spray/gel/whatever-I-hate-them-all, and grows its super slow motion (despite me having fingernails that grow like weeds). But I decided I had to take out the extensions and live with my real hair for a while. My hair was boob length, but ratty layers because there was no reason to cut it into any shape before. Tapered hair blends better in braids and loose extensions anyway. I went to a great hair dresser and got it chopped off into a bob.

The shedding reached it’s peak when I had bald spots at my temples and a massive halo of 1-2″ regrowth all over. My hair was heading towards mullet town, so I got even more cut off to shorten the difference in lengths. I didn’t like it, but I hated the mullet more!

And so I’ve been waiting… I played with semi permanent color for a while; dark blond, then red. Then I started going back to normal in anticipation off matching extensions again.

Fast forward to now. The shortest parts of my hair in the back are finally long enough (2″) for extensions after the hair cut in October. Jax is independent enough that I can work on my hair while he plays. Danny was planning a long boys’ weekend away. I had some crappy leftover extension hair in the closet (this in a really tangle-prone, random brand). I made my goals for the weekend: get through the massive amount of laundry, keep baby and myself sane and do some experimental extensions with that old synthetic hair.

I somehow got them all in! I did big sections so I’d have fewer to do – I’ll need to do them smaller with the nice hair. I wasn’t not in love with the sloppy quick braids showing so much, so I’ve been rocking the hats I bought to hide my short hair for now. This weekend, I experimenting leaving the top 1/3 of my hair unbraided to see how badly it stands out. It’s far too thin to hide the braids still. All that shed hair needs to grow back first.  Ideally, I’d like to only have a few rows of extensions in to add length and thickness, but my testing shows it won’t work out. It was so much easier with my long, tapered hair!

So my plan is to order the nice hair (Can’t stand this tangled mess. I’ve already chopped a ton off!), finish taking out the test braids, dye my hair lighter to match and do a full head of open-ended braids. I’ll need to do them thinner than my tests to show less scalp. I’ll need to do the braids a little longer – the 2″ temp braids are falling out already. One attacked me in the shower! My other changes from past installs is leaving my bangs loose and a side part. I’m undecided about having a center-back part for pigtails. I may skip it. I may put a few full length braids in for variety. It is going to take a while to do the install because of all the sectioning/parting, but once it’s done once, it will be quick to redo individual braids regularly.



Originally published in my journal, Stvlive :: Stephanie's Thoughts. Leave me a comment!

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September 2011


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