The one thing people forget to tell you when you grow out your hair

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Confession: I’ve been trying to grow out my hair for almost as long as I have been an adult.

It’s been a long journey, mostly marred by me also having a fondness for changing my hair color constantly. In college, I went from short and red to chocolate brown and back to red and got a perm and chopped it off and grew out my natural hair color.

Then I dyed it blonde, then back to red and brown and cut it again. Every time I would try to grow out my natural hair color, I would get to a point that I got bored and wanted to dye it again. Then sometimes I dyed it red, and wanted to go back to brown. And yet other times I would plead with myself to just CALM DOWN and keep growing it out.

In just the past five years, I’ve had super short and very blonde hair, shoulder length red hair, medium almost black hair and everything in between. I had bangs and pink peekaboo streaks and even did the Brazilian keratin treatment. Changing my hair became a Christmas tradition, and it was rare for me to keep the same hairstyle for more than a few months at a time.

But two Christmases ago, I decided to stop playing around and FINALLY grow my hair beyond the longish medium that I seemed to always stop at. It has been my dream for more years than I can count to have waist-length hair. But every single time I tried to grow it out, my hair would grow out to just a couple inches below my shoulder and… I would get bored yet again.

I’d cut it or dye it or, let’s face it, both. And then I would be pretty happy with my new shorter hair, and go back to dyeing it over and over again. It would be another couple of years, and then I would be back to square one and wanting some long hair again… So what now?

I decided to *finally* grow out my hair and not stop until it gets to the point that I have always wanted it. The last time I had truly long hair was as a freshman in high school, and that is many more years ago than I’d care to count. Okay, like exactly 15 years ago…

These days it seems to be going well.

The big change in my plan came when, the Christmas after I started to grow out my natural color, I decided to get ombre hair. But it was cute and I loved it. Then last summer, exactly a year ago and eight months after my ombre hair, I went back to red hair.

Somehow, and I do not know how, I found a boxed hair dye that was a really gorgeous and natural-looking hair color. I’ve done a lot of different hair colors over the years, in many different shades of brown and even more shades of red, but this was by FAR my favorite.

So here I am, growing out my hair, and I can honestly say that it’s officially reached my bikini line – and officially the longest it’s been in 15 years. WOO HOO!

But there’s one very major thing that I seem to have forgotten in all of my crazy adventures of cutting and dyeing and cutting some more… Long hair is a PAIN.

The one thing that nobody has mentioned to me ever since I got it into my head to grow my hair long is that it can be really annoying to have.

Since I’m currently living in Florida, and it’s the middle of August, the long hair sometimes adds to my daily stress. It makes the back of my neck sweaty and it frizzes like crazy at the sign of rain. Which, if you’ve ever been to Florida in the summer, is basically every day.

But much worse than that is sleep.

The long hair, while it looks cute and all, is an absolute NIGHTMARE when I try to go to sleep. It gets tangled on my boyfriend’s arm as we try to cuddle, it sticks to the back of my neck, and if I try to shift – forget it!

Falling asleep with long hair is basically the worst hair issue I’ve experienced ever since I became Crazy Hair Change Lady.

I’ve been priding myself for many years because I am brave when it comes to changing up my hair, but it seems that the biggest change – and the one I’ve been really wanting – is going to be tougher than I imagined.

So what’s my solution?

A couple nights ago, I decided to start sleeping with my hair in a braid. I don’t know how this solution came to my head but, well, I just knew I needed to do SOMETHING before I went all crazy and chopped it all off again.

I’ve been there and done that for the last decade and a half, and it was time to write a different kind of hair story.

Now, just before getting to bed, and just before I remove my contacts for the night, I grab my hair tie and put my hair in a braid. It looks kind of funny, and I honestly feel kind of silly, but it’s also been working.

When I turn over in bed, no longer is my hair getting snagged under my arm or getting in Adam’s face or, UGH, sticking into my mouth. The night braid has been working really well, even if I look weird at the end of the day.

But then I wake up, feeling rested and pretty good. My neck isn’t itchy, my head doesn’t hurt because I pulled out a few pieces of hair in the middle of the night, plus I can just take it all out and start the day new again.

I never imagined that growing out my hair would actually be this much of a pain, but I’m excited to find at least one solution to one long hair problem.

I know that this isn’t going to be the only problem I face, but for now I’m excited to keep going. For the past year, I’ve had hair that’s a shade of red that I’m absolutely in love with and hair that’s past my shoulders. So far, even when I’ve had the desire to cut it again, I’ve been able to hold off.

Let’s hope I can make the same claim this time next year.

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Author: Irina Gonzalez

Freelance Writer & Editor | I am a Moscow Chica: Half-Russian, Half-Cuban, All-American.

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