Give Me Down To There Hair

Let’s talk hair.

I’ve seen the post-wedding chop discussed on the blog (for reference, check out Mrs. Jet Setter, Mrs. Blue Whale, and Mrs. Palm Tree, all of whom are making me reconsider this entire post because I love their PWCs so much) and around the boards. Well, I was one step ahead of the game, and I did a post-college chop instead.


Two years ago. (personal photo)

I’m not really sure why I did it—to look more professional? To symbolize my transformation from college bum to grown woman? To break me of my sloppy topknot habit? Because it was summer and my neck was sweaty? Whatever the reason, it all got hacked off.

Pretty much as soon as I got the big chop, I was ready to start growing it again. My hair had been more or less bra strap length since high school, and I just didn’t feel like me. I don’t handle change too well.

And then, I got engaged, and I went into full-blown panic mode. This is so horrible and selfish of me, and I can’t believe I’m putting this on the Internet, but part of the reason I wanted a longer engagement was because I wanted plenty of time to grow my hair to a more respectable (for me!) length. Not to prepare myself emotionally, not to lose weight, not to save money, but because I wanted my lovely long hair back. Ooooooookay.

So what am I doing to accomplish this lofty, worthwhile goal of mine?

First, the scientific stuff. Hair grows, on average, about a half inch per month. You cannot fight Mother Nature on this. Ignore the serums, supplements, etc. that say otherwise. They will not work. Your hair grows at the rate that it grows, and you get what you get and you don’t get upset. IT’S SCIENCE. (I’m an accountant.)

Instead of focusing on getting my hair to grow as fast as possible, I’m working on maintaining as much length as possible. Who cares if my hair grows a half inch per month if my split ends are an inch long?

I present to you my master plan for long, healthy hair:

  • Eat right. You know how I said earlier that special hair growth supplements don’t work? Well, I was only partially right—they work if you have any nutritional gaps that they can fill. If you’re not getting enough B vitamins, for instance—most prevalent in red meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs—then yes, a Vitamin B/biotin supplement will work wonders for you, but if you’re already eating a balanced diet, supplements won’t do a thing. Instead of blowing a ton of money on expensive supplements, spend it at the grocery store. Don’t skimp on the healthy fats and lean proteins; your hair is made primarily of protein, so it makes sense that incorporating protein into your diet will benefit your hair. Take a regular old multivitamin if you’re so compelled.
  • Please, please, please quit heat styling. On a good day, I have beachy, Blake Lively-esque waves. However, most of the time, I look like Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange. Needless to say, giving up my blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron, and hot rollers in favor of embracing my natural texture has been challenging. But it’s been worth it; not deep-frying my hair to tame it into submission every single morning has paid off – not a split end in sight. You don’t have to take it to my extreme, though; at the very least, use a good heat protectant (I like GVP Thermal Protection Spray from Sally’s) and maybe cut back the heat styling to every other day.
  • Maybe stop brushing your hair so much, too. You know how every time you brush or comb your hair, you end up pulling a bit of hair out? If you don’t do that so much, that hair will stay attached to your head and not end up clumped in your brush. Crazy, right? All sarcasm aside, I comb my hair once when I get out of the shower, and that’s it. If things get a little unruly, a little finger tousle usually sorts things out. For a while, I was using a certain cleansing conditioner that rhymes with Hen, and the product directions recommend both massaging it into your hair for a prolonged period of time AND combing it through your hair. If I didn’t scrub the bejesus out of my head, my hair looked greasy. If I did, I ended up with a sewer rat-sized clump of hair on my drain. It didn’t take long for my hair to start looking awfully thin on top. Long story short, I went back to regular shampoo that didn’t require so much manual labor, and hey presto, my hair thickened right back up. So stop touching your hair.
  • No chemicals. Sorry, Bees. No fun allowed when you’re on a strict hair growth regimen. My hair is naturally a very attractive shade of mousy brown, so I can’t fully commit to this point. I’ve just given up permanent color—I still use demi-permanent color on a regular basis. That counts, right? Do your best to put away your hair color, your relaxers, your perms, all that good stuff.
  • Oh, and no more super-tight ponytails. Back in my long hair glory days, I always had a bit of breakage at my crown. Coincidentally, it was in the exact same spot where my ponytails and topknots sat. Nowadays, I try to leave my hair alone as much as possible. If I have to put it up, I don’t tie it nearly as tightly as I used to. I still use regular old hair elastics, but if you were feeling really passionate about it, fabric-covered Scrunchies are your best choice to keep breakage at bay.


Stephanie Tanner does it right. (via Full House Wikia)

  • Find products that will nourish your hair. Use them. Nowadays, the only product I use in my hair on an everyday basis is Orofluido elixir. It does everything I could possibly want—tames the frizz, makes my hair look shiny and healthy, and protects my hair from the elements. It makes foregoing the heat styling acceptable. I also deep condition once a week with this macadamia oil hair masque. It’s great at repairing the damage I’ve done from not adhering to the bullet points I detailed above. (I only cheat sometimes, I promise.) Hydrated hair = happy hair = healthy hair.
  • Quit stressing. Alternately, find a healthy outlet for your stress. Stress causes hair thinning, which is counterproductive to our goal of fabulous long hair. Take this as an excuse to treat yourself.
  • Get regular trims. Blah blah blah, sounds counterproductive, but we want quality, not quantity. Once your ends start splitting, the split will eventually go up the shaft of your hair unless you cut it off. Emphasize the fact that you are just looking for a trim to clean up any dead ends. This shouldn’t require more than a quarter inch trim unless you’ve done some serious damage.

So I’ve been working really hard for the past year to grow my hair out, and here I am!


BM B and I. (personal photo)

Today, my hair is solidly armpit length. I’ve got a little over four months to go before the wedding, and I’m feeling pretty confident that I can add at least another inch-ish of healthy, quality length before then.

So about that post-wedding chop—over my dead body. Not after all the work I’ve put into growing it out.

Anyone else growing their hair out for the wedding?


Mrs. Filly

Boston, MA
Wedding Date:
April 2014
Airplane Wedding Dress Reveal
Winter Is Coming!

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  1. Member
    luluvohn 1194 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:16 am

    I’m definitely growing mine. I go through cycles with my hair: blonde bob, grow it out, red bob, grow it out, brown bob, grow it out. Something like that. I’d happened to cut my hair last Christmas as a present to my mom (she prefers my hair short and blonde) and FI proposed about 3 months later. Thankfully we’ve had a reasonably long engagement (15 months) so I still have about six months to get the length I want. It also helps that I moved back to my old hairdresser (who will also be doing my hair for the wedding). He gets to have full control over my hair and do whatever is best for it.

  2. Member
    bribaby119 203 posts, Helper bee @ 6:33 am

    I have long hair and I am trying my dangdest to keep it that way. My problem is that I have naturally curly hair so I am trying to keep from using too many products. It’s way harder then it looks!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Meredith, Guest @ 7:51 am

    My hair was fairly long anyway, and I tried to supplement my hair and nails with prenatal vitamins. I don’t know that it did much then, but now that I actually AM pregnant, they’re both super strong and growing like crazy!

  4. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:33 am

    I feel like part of why so many brides get PWCs is because they do everything they can get to get the most length right up until the wedding, and then afterwards realize how unhealthy their hair had gotten (guilty as charged!). Split ends galooore. Sounds like you’ll be in much better shape than the rest of us since you’re actually taking good care of your hair, and not just avoiding trims hahaha. Love your hair color, and can’t wait to see what you choose to do with your hair on the big day!

  5. Member
    veggie_rachel 575 posts, Busy bee @ 10:51 am

    I didn’t grow mine out so much as I just left it alone and let it do it’s thing. I had a pretty updo for the wedding, but my stylist mentioned that it would’ve been easier to work with if it had been just a bit longer. So I guess I should’ve been following some sort of list like this. But it all worked out in the end. And like you, I haven’t cut my hair since the wedding a month ago and really like my long hair :)

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Emily Alice, Guest @ 11:06 am

    Yay someone else who is growing their hair long specifically for their wedding! I get some crazy looks when I mention how much having long hair on my wedding day means to me haha..
    My hair is long already and at it’s longest right now (almost waist length – about half way between my bum and bra strap). But I would still like a few extra inches! I’m guilty of not having it cut since February eek! I’m going for a tiny trim next month and then will probably have it cut one or two more times before the wedding (Jan 13). I look after it and don’t think my ends are bad but that could just be denial!!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Emily Alice, Guest @ 11:06 am

    @Emily Alice:
    Oops meant to say Jan 15!

  8. Member
    ecjohnson 157 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:59 pm

    I’m going in for my PWC on Wednesday! About a year into my relationship, I realized it was for keeps and immediately started growing out my hair then in anticipation of a future wedding! 4 years later-I am so done!

  9. Member
    daniellekira 573 posts, Busy bee @ 3:25 pm

    I wish I went to that extreme with my hair, but with it being thin it is harder to manage than I would like it to be. My co-worker went all out and didn’t blow dry, only used heat two or three times a week, took vitamins, etc and her hair grew fast and looked beautiful. I did the post wedding chop, but kept the length and just added more layers.

  10. msfilly Member
    Mrs. Filly 64 posts, Worker bee @ 3:44 pm

    @luluvohn: I definitely went through color phases with my hair, but I’ve never really changed the length, and I didn’t realize how much I loved my long hair until I chopped it all off. Six months is plenty of time to grow your hair out, no worries!!

    @Bribaby119: I bet your hair is absolutely gorgeous – show off those curls!

    @Meredith: I actually read recently that it’s the estrogen surge during pregnancy that makes your hair/nails grow like crazy, so prenatal vitamins aren’t really helpful in that regard. They definitely didn’t help me :(

    @Mrs. Wallaby: I think I’d be singing an entirely different tune if I weren’t trying to recover from my post-college chop! I didn’t have short hair for THAT long, but it was enough to know it wasn’t for me, haha.

    @veggie_rachel: Leaving your hair alone can be the best thing for it sometimes. I actually feel like my natural waves have gotten way more defined since I quit messing with them every day. Glad you’re loving your long hair!

    @Emily Alice: WOW – you go girl! I’d kill for hair that long!

    @ecjohnson: Nice thinking ahead, haha. Sounds like you earned your PWC for sure!

    @daniellekira: I’m sure your hair looked great! And you’re right, a PWC doesn’t have to necessarily mean going short – I bet your layers were really pretty and pumped up the volume with your hair.

  11. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:27 pm

    I love my long hair, it`s my security blanket. No PWC for me! Though I might get some PW bangs, still thinking about it!

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