A year (or nearly two in my case) feels like a long time but looking back, it’s gone quickly. Those who have been reading Just Nice Things for at least a couple of years will know the obstacle I had to face in 2011, leading me to stop blogging for a while. (Here’s a little reminder of that.)
I have openly talked about the drastic loss of hair I suffered as a side effect of taking harsh medication, and the sadness and distress it caused to see pretty much half my hair fall out. However, I knew it was just a temporary glitch and I was far more concerned with fighting my illness and recovering from that.
I stopped my treatment towards the end of March last year but I still had to be monitored with regular check-ups and tests, and that it takes up to a year for the drugs to leave the body. It’s also when the healing process began.
This February I was given the all clear and discharged. On Valentine’s Day funnily enough. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m back to my usual self and it’s as if the last 18 months never happened.
But back to the point of this post. This time last year, the above picture is how my hair looked – very thin and whispy. I barely recognise myself when a year prior to this, I looked completely different – I had a huge crop of hair!
Georgia had to cut my hair much shorter to regain its strength and to allow it to grow back healthy so it was like taking a step back to go forward. I wasn’t happy when I had been wanting to grow my hair longer but I agreed with Georgia that this was the way forward.
Yesterday I popped along to my favourite salon and four hours later, I left looking like this:
Now I’ve had a little booster with some human hair extensions by Racoon but only in the sides as that’s where my hair is the weakest. I first tried them in the new year and decided I wanted to keep them (expertly done by Billie).
There is actually a logical explanation behind this and it’s not for vanity alone. Billie advised that by having some extensions added for fullness, they would also take the stress and pressure off my real hair at the sides from when I use straighteners. Think about it – when you run straighteners through your hair, you are pulling at it. My hair at the sides always seems to be particularly weak as a result of such actions.
After two months of wearing extensions, when they were removed we noticed a difference – the hair looked stronger. I have continuously used straighteners but running them over the extensions has meant they have guarded my real hair from damage.
Some friends have told me they aren’t keen on extensions as they ruin real hair. Not if they are applied correctly. These were attached by glue about an inch from the roots, so the new hair has room to grow and become strong and the extensions are completely separate from inflicting any potential damage. I also didn’t experience any hair loss, no headaches and after a day, I forgot they were there.
Although the extensions have been matched perfectly with my real hair, the only giveaway is they are longer in length (so I’ve cheated a bit!) but could you tell if I hadn’t made the revelation?
My real hair has been growing back quickly too; the back alone is sprouting new, healthy hair which I am so chuffed about. I try to use castor oil whenever I can as that stops hair breaking and promotes growth but my use of it is now pretty sporadic. My health bouncing back is most likely the main source of it all.
The extensions are something I don’t intend to keep forever, but they are very addictive and has made managing my hair so much easier. The important thing here is they are doing something positive to my real hair so it feels like a treatment at the same time (albeit an expensive one!)
It is a welcome change to find a salon which is concerned about progressing forward with the needs you may have, and the girls at The Chapel have done exactly this for the last two years with me. They’ve already got ideas in their heads about what they’re going to do to my hair in the summer and for Christmas and do you know what? I can’t wait.
If you’re wondering what products I used here, they are: Illamasqua Skin Base in number 12, NARS blusher in Taj Mahal (face), Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in On And On Bronze, Urban Decay’s Smoked palette, Bourjois’s Eyeshadow pot in number 16, Maybelline’s Rocket Volum’ Express mascara (eyes), and MAC’s Chilli lipstick with Illamasqua’s lip gloss in Drag.