Growing pains, bad hair days
The first time someone said to me ‘‘there is only two weeks’ difference between a good haircut and a bad one,’’ I was horrified.
It must be something to do with the kiwi number eight wire, ‘‘she’ll be right’’ mentality because I have heard the phrase countless times since.
Men are far more forgiving than their female counterparts, especially where longer locks are concerned.
There is many a woman in a moment of hormonal insanity who has gone for the all-out dramatic chop, only to lament her loss for what seems like an eternity.
So if you should find yourself in this position or if you want to consider a different style with more length, where do you start? Like all things, it begins with a mindset.
An unrealistic expectation is the number one reason for disappointment. Hair grows roughly 1.2 centimetres a month, which is why hairdressers recommend appointments every four- to- six weeks for maintaining a shorter style.
With longer hair appointments can span anything from six to 10 weeks to maintain optimum condition. If more length is required on reasonably long hair, appointments every 10 to 16 weeks will suffice.
After expectation comes strategy, and it comes down to what suits your lifestyle. Achieving any significant length is going to take one to two years, so you will need to incorporate some daily routines that will help take the edge off those growing pains and bad in-between hair days.
For longer hair, investment in a postiche ( French for wig) brush is my number one recommendation. This is a narrow bristle brush with a long tail. You can purchase these from a salon or shampoo shop. It is ideal for taming longer locks without the torture. It will also provide clean sectioning with the tail for hair-ups and braiding.
Damage is often caused by using a brush on wet hair so it would pay to invest in a widetooth comb for when your hair is wet. But regular brushing on dry hair helps to distribute the natural oils from roots to tips.
For shorter styles the challenge is growing out layers. For some it is easier to grow the layers out first, before aiming to gain sufficient length. One of my clients set her first goal as growing out very short layers to the point where she could hook the hair behind her ears.
From that point forward it became easy to reach her next goal of long flowing locks. Her routine for the next six months involved following a three-day regime. On the first day she would blow dry and style her hair, on the second day hook the hair behind her ears, and on the third day wear a hat.
Other options include learning how to use accessories such as bobby pins to twist the hair into informal corn braids to pin hair out of the way around the back and sides.
Further choices that have proved popular are clip- in human hair extensions. Adding additional length and bulk can provide the ideal base to create more elaborate hair ups as well as masking. Next month: Styling your profile shape
Paula Birnie is a hair and wardrobe stylist who lives in Titahi Bay. For more information about hair, makeup and styling go to www.completeenvy.com.