Monday, May 30, 2011

2009 recap: July - December

The rest of 2009 featured some more slow lengthening but not at the same rate I enjoyed in previous years.  One style that I've tried quite a few times but that has never felt totally comfortable for me is the segmented ponytail with multiple bands.  Some people swear by this style and find it helps protect their hair and keep it safe during vigorous activity.  In July:

August 2009 marked one year from my big cut.  I'd say the length had been fully regained but without quite the same thickness:

In September:

In November, Amanda and I were visited by a fellow longhair and longtime friend:

By the end of 2009, it was an open question whether my hair was continuing to gain length or not.  Since that four inch cut in August 2008, I had only been getting trims of about a half inch every 6-8 months.  For the first time, I had to start asking myself if I had reached terminal length or was at least getting close to it.

2009 recap: January - June

After that cut of four inches in August 2008, I settled in to patiently wait for regrowth.  In the meantime, I became engaged in February!:

Amanda and I also went on a trip to Arizona that month and stayed in beautiful Sedona.  We hiked/climbed up Steamboat Rock.  This was near its summit:

The shed had lessened my braid's circumference somewhat but it was definitely in the process of recovering.  This photo was taken on another hike in Sedona:

We visited the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert:

My hair was steadily regaining its lost length.  In April:

and May:

and June:

By halfway through 2009, I had just about gotten back to the length I had at the time of the shed.  The thickness at the ends wasn't quite the same but it was close.

The Great Shed of 2008

For reasons that will never be clear to me, I experienced a terrible shed starting around the middle of July 2008.  I remember every morning handfuls of hair coming out as I brushed my hair and braided it.  It was alarming to say the least.  I'd always thought that the normal pattern of shedding hairs that have completed their growing cycle and having these replaced by new hairs was pretty much a constant thing with little variation.  Perhaps a lot of my older hairs just completed their growth cycles at the same time...?

Having never been faced with this before, I wasn't sure what to do.  After it went on for a month, I knew something had to be done because the ends were getting noticeably thinner and ratty looking.  I had Amanda cut about 4 inches off the ends.  It had been a long time since I had had that much cut at once.

This was how it looked in September:

The shed is not too noticeable here because the thin ends had been removed.  I could definitely feel the dimished density, however.  The worst of the shed was over in about two months.  Here was my hair in October:

It was disheartening to see that length gone but all I could do was hope for steady regrowth.  Fortunately, by the end of the year, my shedding pattern had returned to normal.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


In May of 2008, I decided to take the plunge and join the online dating site  It turned out to be the single best decision I've ever made in my life.  Just hours after I posted my profile and before I had even had a chance to post any pictures of myself, I was contacted by the woman who would become my wife: Amanda.  Seeing pictures of me turned out to be a good thing as she really likes my long hair.  After a couple of weeks of emailing and phone contact, we first met on May 25, 2008.  It was a fantastic first date and things just went from there.

This was taken shortly after we met in the backyard of my house:

One of our earliest dates was at Walden Pond famous for Thoreau's connection to it.  We had a memorable walk around the pond.  It was a time I'll never forget.

We enjoyed a series of dates exploring the North Shore of Massachusetts together such as this time in Gloucester:

Ah, good times and good memories!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hair Progress in 2008 (January - June)

Looking back in hindsight, the first six months of 2008 were the best I've ever enjoyed hairwise.  Its growth rate was still pretty good and it maintained its thickness pretty much to the ends.  The latter half of 2008 would bring an unpleasant change with regard to my hair but we'll get to that later. 

The year got off to a great start in January as I received another visit from my longhaired friend who put more styles into my hair:

A halfup rope braid:

and another interesting halfup braid:

In February I tried an experiment of putting Loreal's melting gel into all of my hair.  I had almost never used gel since getting out of the awkward stage but I was curious to see what effect it would have.  It made my hair more voluminous:

In March I practiced the rope braid that I had been taught the previous year:

In April and May I went to a number of different places to take photos.  I admit that I was enjoying my long hair very much!

My hair had reached a length in which it would stay behind my shoulders pretty well:

Then someone came into my life who made me very happy.  Can you tell?

The next entry will explain more about that.  :D

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hair Progress in 2007 (July - December)

In July I was able to go on an epic trip to three National Parks: Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier.  I might detail more about this trip another time.  For now, here are a few pictures from that:


A poor attempt at a folded ponytail:

A rare ponytail:

Near Yellowstone Falls:

As mentioned in my last entry, the plum color faded pretty quickly but was still evident in August:

and September:

The growth rate continued at a fairly steady rate for the remainder of the year.  My hair's waviness remained in evidence at times such as in this October 2007 photo:

and somewhat in this photo also taken in October:

In November I went on a very enjoyable hike up Mount Garfield in New Hampshire which was already snowcovered.  As usual during exercise activities, I wore my hair in a braid.  This photo was taken at the summit:

As 2007 ended, I had completed almost four years of growing since that short cut back in January 2004.  I had my hair trimmed a couple of times in 2007 but only about a half inch off the ends each time.

Hair Progress in 2007 (January - June)

I suppose it was simple naivety but seeing that my growth rate had been steady for the previous three years, as I entered 2007 I pretty much expected it to just keep on that way.  It turned out to still be a year of good growth but the rate did slow some and would slow even more in years to come.  I will discuss more about the reasons behind various terminal lengths in a future entry.  2007 opened with me feeling very optimistic about my hair.  Not only was it growing steadily, but it remained thick to the ends as shown here in January:

I continued to hone my regular 3 strand braiding technique.  This photo was taken in January at Singing Beach in Manchester, MA:

and in early March 2007:

I was blessed in March of 2007 by being visited by someone who was also into long hair and who happened to be an expert braider.  She put a number of these styles into my hair:

4 strand box braid:

Dutch braid:

5 strand French braid:

The only braid that I learned how to do myself was the rope braid.  I'll post a sample of that in a future entry.  I decided in June 2007 to dye my hair a temporary color that fades after 28 washes.  I picked a plum color:

I liked not only the color but also the way it left my hair feeling.  Red tends to fade pretty quickly but it left highlights that would remain apparent for quite a while afterwards.