Protective hairstyles….How to wake up with happy hair.

happyhairThe further I get into my ShamPHree journey, the more I understand the importance of protection to healthy hair. Especially since I am growing out my hair.

While we sleep, our hair is at the whim of our restless dream induced thrashings. You may not believe it, but this is a lot of wear and tear! With protective overnight styles, we can both protect our hair, and encourage it to act right when we wake up in the morning!

Lately, I have been experimenting more with letting my hair be it’s wild curly self. Generally, it looks great the first day, but by the 2nd day it is a huge mess unless I re-wet and style it. This is where I learned the art of Pineapple-ing. And yes, It works. So well, in fact, that it inspired this post;)

These techniques are designed for all hair types. Let me show you my 4 favorite ways to protect my hair while I sleep.

How to wake up with happy hair

First one is a simple, loose braid. This is great for soft styles and waves. It is nice on finer hair because it protects it from overnight breakage, and leaves you with some movement and body. It can be used on medium to long hair. Just do a loose braid and secure the end with a tear-free elastic. You can do this one on wet or dry hair.

The second one is the Pineapple. This one is perfect for curly hair or all lengths. All it is is a very loose ponytail on top of the head with a scrunchy! Then, fan all the hair out around the scrunchy so it looks like the top of a pineapple and hit the hay. Wake up to relatively intact curls! This one is best done on dry hair.

Next one is my personal favorite, the high twisted bun. I use this one when my hair is damp and I want it to dry while I sleep without getting all crazy on me. I take all my hair on top of my head and loosely twist it into a bun and secure it with a scrunchy, not too tight. I wake up with surprisingly polished waves and body in my hair. This one is great for all lengths and textures.

The last one is a good old head scarf. This one is great for shorter curly and wavy hair textures and allows you to wear your hair curly for days on end without re-wetting or re-styling! I take a large square scarf and fold it in half diagonally. Then, I arrange my hair how I like it, and wrap the two long ends of the scarf gently around my head and tie them in the front. Then I flip the point of the triangle over the top of my hair and tie or tuck it in the front with the first tie. It makes a nice secure but not-too tight bonnet.

Try these methods out and I think you will find that it takes time out of your morning hair routine, and keeps your ends from breaking. What are your tricks for protective overnight styling?  Please share!


10 tips for growing your Natural Hair long.

Reader Submission!

This post was submitted by a HTHG reader and Salon Owner at Studio 11 Salon in Orlando, Florida. It is her guide to growing out your natural hair. Please also see my guide to growing out short hair for more tips on growing.

10 tips for growing your Natural Hair long

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 4.39.12 PMGrow Your Hair long naturally this year with these helpful tips! I know I know…Waiting for your hair to grow out can often be a tricky phase to deal with! When we’re in between styles, it’s often hard to get excited about our hair. And whether you’re growing your hair out for long locks or simply growing out a fringe, these few tips should really help keep your hair looking healthy.


This step may seem counter-productive; however, going to your hair salon for regular trims is the best way to keep your hair looking healthy. Split ends are not your friend and if you leave them to grow you’ll end up chopping more hair off in the long run.



Getting creative with styling can help create a range of new looks without actually having to head to the salon. If you’re growing out a fringe, try pinning it or braiding it back when it gets to that awkward in-between stage. Changing your part is another simple yet effective styling tip.



Damaged hair is not a good look for anyone. When growing your hair out, keeps it looking its best by using protective styling products, especially if you blow dry or straighten your hair on a regular basis. Hair needs to be strong to grow long, and using protective products will help you reach your goal.



Washing hair every day can strip its natural oils off, making it look tired, dull and dry. When waiting for your hair to grow out, aim to wash your hair every two to three days as this will allow the natural oils to do their work.



Pamper your hair once a week by using a deep conditioning treatment. This will help strengthen hair and hopefully undo any damage that’s been done during the week. This is a both a preventative and restorative measure to keep your hair follicles at their strongest.



Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 4.39.00 PMVigorously brushing your hair can cause breakage – We all know that. That’s why you simply must avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet and opts for a wide toothcomb, instead, to comb through and work out those tangles in a manner than doesn’t scream “hair damage”. Invest in a quality brush as well, to ensure both optimal styling results and stimulate blood circulation around your scalp.



When waiting for your hair to grow out, stick to easy and fuss-free hairstyles. Elaborate hairstyles can place undue stress on hair strands causing them to break. Avoid tight buns or ponytails and opt for loose braids or low ponytails.



Exercise can apparently help with hair growth, which gives us all another great reason to finally start working out. It stimulates cell production, it gets blood pumping around the body and we all know that improved oxygen circulation around the scalp can help with both hair health and hair growth.



Our diet can have a direct impact not only on our wellbeing but our looks as well. This is very much the case when it comes to hair growth as well. A diet rich in protein and iron will help build your hair’s strength and encourage better growth.



Hair grows at a fairly set rate, so be realistic when setting goals to grow out your hair. The process takes time and patience and determining a time frame for you to reach your goals is a great way for you to plan the process.

If you’re looking to grow your hair out, hopefully these tips will help get you there. And remember -Waiting for your hair to grow out doesn’t have to be a painful process. What are your best tips for growing your hair out?


This article was provided by Studio 11 Hair Salon. Follow us on Facebook Studio 11 for more pictures and conversations.

Awkward grow out, phase 3 fix.

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 12.23.15 PMViewer submission!

Here is Erika, with her hair grown out from a super hot Girl with a dragon tattoo haircut. She is stuck at step 3 of growing out her short hair. This is the hardest phase.

She writes…….

Hey, Roxie! Okay, I’ve finally broken down and decided I HAVE to go get a hair cut so I wanted to send you some pictures and see if you could give me a little advice on what to ask for:

I still love my hair. Love it, love it. I no-poo about once a week and rinse with hot water every day. I use coconut oil at night once every couple weeks and only use a straightener in the most desperate of situations. I love my hair best when I air dry and “scrunch” a little. The reason I want to go in for a cut is really just to fix my bang situation. They’re grown out. There are two sets of lengths from the Dragon Tattoo cut. The longer ones I’ve been parting and taking to each side and the shorter ones I leave out on my forehead. I love the sides of my hair so much, but the front view is disappointing. I watched the video you made of a DIY bang trim and I was *this* close to doing it because you explained it so well. In fact, I would probably still give it a try if you give me a couple pointers based on my pictures.

I basically just want some cute shorts bangs but I’m not sure if I should keep growing the longer bangs or cut them too. I also don’t know if I should get the back trimmed or the sides at all. I want to keep growing out my hair and have a natural feminine look, but if you have any interesting cut ideas let me know I want to have a clear cut idea when I go to a hair dresser because you’re the only one I would trust to just “do whatever”.

Thank you so much for all the good advice you’ve given! I never thought in a million years that I could not use shampoo and especially not use heating tools and actually love my hair. It’s so nice to actually love the hair I was born with. It’s a huge boost of confidence. I’ve also been using your advice on doing baking soda as a face wash and vinegar as a toner and I absolutely love it. My bathroom supplies have been cut down 75%.

HTHG’s response……First off, Im so glad you are liking the ShamPHree ( No-poo) Method. Kinda life changing, right? And coconut oil too. Love the stuff.Here is what I would suggest you do with your hair, Erika. I agree, the bangs look like they need a little style, and the back part is getting a wee bit mullet-y. I think that short asymmetrical choppy bangs would be perfect on you. Basically, this means sectioning out your bangs, then splitting them in half horizontally. The hairline section will be cut on an asymmetrical line, nice and short. Then, you will chop into the ends using the point cutting technique.

Then, you will comb down the top section, and cut them at the same line, parallel to your first one, but about 3/4 of an inch longer. Use the same technique to texturize the ends.

Moving on to the back…..This may sound funny, but get yourself a small elastic ponytail holder and make a tiny super tight ponytail centered in the back, about 2 inches above your back hairline. It will not be long enough to get the hair from around the edges, but don’t worry about that. Cut about an inch off the ends of the pony. This may be basically the whole ponytail. What this will do is shape the hair around your neck and remove bulk and poof from that area, giving your hair more of a bobbed shape.

This will grow out really well, and you can do the same thing again in 6 weeks or so to get you through that next phase. Good Luck, my lady! Send us a photo of the process if you want! XO, HTHG

Here is Erika’s response…

Hey Roxie (HTHG)! Thank you so much for your advice on cutting my hair. I did just what you said: right out of the shower, i sectioned out my bangs, halved them horizontally and cut the hairline section in an asymmetrical short line. Then I brushed out the top section and did a line parallel to the first one. I ended up cutting a little shorter on that section than I wish I had. (I was trying for the 3/4 inch difference you suggested but messed up a little) but when they grow out I’ll give it another go. I think I’ll also work on cleaning up the line a bit (or maybe choppy-ing it up a bit). I love the way they look now even! For the back, I made a tight ponytail and chopped the sucker off just like you said, and it worked perfectly! I was worried because it wasn’t exactly a clean cut I made in the back, but you can’t tell at all. It’s amazing, you can’t even tell that I cut it myself (or that it’s the first time I’ve EVER cut my own hair) In fact, at the post office today someone told me they loved my hair cut! I’m thrilled.

Unfortunately it was hard to get pictures of the process, so I just have this one. It’s after I cut the first section of bangs, before I combed down the top section.

Here are some after pictures. Thank you again so much. I feels so empowering to finally cut my own hair.

The 10 step program for growing out short hair.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 9.47.18 PMAre you trying to grow out your short hair? I feel your pain. I think I could write a book on the subject of growing out short hair. I have spent my whole life failing at it. Finally, now that I am almost 30 I have found the patience and restraint as well as the strength to talk myself down from a near-hair-chop in desperate times.

As a 29 year old with hair now past my shoulders, I am excited to share with you my tried and (finally) true guide to growing out your short hair. Let’s start with a breakdown of grow-out phases from pixie to practically Rapunzel. Here is a very reasonable 18 month hair growing out plan to follow, with a trip to see your stylist ( or DIY, or assisted DIY;)) every 8 weeks.

The 9 phases of growing out hair….

short1. Pixie cut. This cut will grow out into a mopp-ish shaggy mess in about 2 months. Make sure to have your follow up haircut scheduled for 8 weeks. At that point, have your stylist trim the back up so it hugs your neck, and texturize throughout the haircut to add movement. A little rule of thumb……The first 4 months of growing out a pixie cut is not about the business in the front. It’s about the party in the back. Basically, the back should be kept as short as possible until the front pieces are jaw-length. This will keep you out of the mullet zone.

2. This flirty and adorable haircut will look great for about another 2 months. Have your stylist cut the back short again, and give you a general shape up and trim. This will polish it up.

3. The most challenging phase yet….2 months of weirdness. This is the phase that generally teeters between mullet and shag. Have hats and head-scarves accessible;) After 8 weeks, have your stylist trim the bottom layer in the back to get you working towards a bob.

4. Phew! finally. You have entered bob territory. You made it past the first big hump. Now is the time for bangs! you will feel so much better with a little bob and bangs. Discuss bang options with your stylist.

5. Grow, grow, grow. Another challenging phase as the hair hangs just above the shoulders….Can’t quite put it in a ponytail, and it looks a bit awkward down. after 2 months, have your stylist trim it and remove weight from the ends to help you avoid that weird bell shape that can happen.

6. You are barely past the shoulders! Enjoy the fact that you all of the sudden have tons more styling options! After 2 months, have your stylist add some more layers to it. This will make it look longer, and give it shape.

7. Experiment with your color. Now is a good time, because you have 4 more months of growing without a lot of exciting haircut options to try. Highlights around the face? Ombre? After 2 months, have your stylist give you a trim to cut off any dead ends.

8. Are you bored with it yet? keep growing, and have your stylist give you some nice face framing layers at your 2 month appointment. This will give you soft and pretty pieces that accentuate your face when you wear your hair up.

9. Your hair is basically long. Now is another great time to experiment with bangs. Try something fun and different like short and choppys, because now that you are long haired, your bangs will pretty much be your only outlet for hair-cut experimentation. After 2 months, get an end trim. And for the rest of time, do make sure your ends are trimmed every 8 weeks. This will keep your long hair much healthier. And Yes, you certainly can trim your ends yourself.

Now that you understand the phases of hair lengths during the process of growing out your hair, here are 10 tricks to help you along the process from short to long.

The 10 step program for growing out short hair.

1.Have a long term goal to work towards. Make sure that it is a hairstyle that is similar to your hair texture. I pinned mine to my mirror so that I would see it every day as I grew towards my goal.

2. Have a short term goal. There are 9 phases of hair lengths between very short and very long. Have your next-phase hairstyle in mind, this will keep you on track.

3. Communicate with your hairdresser. Make sure your hairdresser knows what you are working towards. Show them a photo of your short term and long term goal, and tell them your concerns. Haven’t found a hairdresser that you like? Consult HTHG to help you get on a good grow out path!

4. Book your haircuts in advance. I recommend every 6-8 weeks. A regular trim and reshaping can go a really long way! If you know that you have an appointment booked, you are less likely to make irrational hair choices when your hair is not behaving. Patience!

5. Remember the 2 week rule.  The lumpiest, frumpiest short hair grow out phases can go from wretched to amazing in the course of 2 weeks.

6. When in doubt, accessorize. Going through a particularly hard growing out phase? Get some headbands, clips, head scarves, hats, and flowers and have some fun with them.

7. Find a hair routine that works for your hair type.

Take good care of your hair so that it grows out healthy. I love coconut oil treatments to nourish my ends. Make sure your diet supports healthy hair growth. Take a supplement like Hair, Skin and Nails Collagen Support Vitamins
or Biotin tablets that supports hair growth. Start juicing for faster growing hair. Read up on herbs to support healthy hair growth (Hello Horsetail!.) Remember that sometimes, less is more. Don’t fight your natural hair, learn to love it.

deluxkitWhen I started the ShamPHree method, my hair literally started growing twice as fast. It is kind of amazing what happens when you remove all the gunk from your scalp and hair. And, I am now selling ShamPHree kits in the blog shop! Don’t miss this essential hair growth opportunity.

8. Brush your hair! I don’t go anywhere without my paddle brush. Remember this scientific fact…..Heat and friction cause cell mitosis (The division of cells and creation of new cells) Hair is made of rapidly creating cells on the head. Anything that heats up and stimulates your scalp will help your hair grow faster. This is why hair grows faster in the summer months. Why is no one talking about this fact??? Brushing your hair daily will make it grow faster. It will also help distribute healthy scalp oils and condition your hair. My favorite paddle brush is the Mason Pearson.

9. Experiment with short hair styling options! Have fun and play nice with your short hair.

10. NEVER forget the power of bangs. Bangs can make your short hair look longer. They can add some excitement back into your life. They can help you get out of a hair rut. They can add instant polish and personality to the shaggiest of mops. Talk to your stylist about getting bangs. DIY your bangs. I always do. It is really fun and empowering. Why do I ever even consider not having bangs?

Got it? You are good to grow.

Here is more on growing out a pixie cut.



Long(ish) hair?!

I’m blogging on the train! Im in a tiny little cabin with a couple of bunks, plowing through steaming hot corn fields. It hit me that my first DIY haircut was on a train. Seattle to Yellowstone park, age 7.

Bored to death. I got a hold of my dad’s swiss army knife and took it to the little bathroom, where the scissor attachment took its maiden voyage through my slightly past the shoulder length hair.

I remember the satisfaction that came with doing something so independent and seemingly final as I cut my hair straight across into a jagged, uneven bob. I returned to my family who sat preoccupied in their seats with a smug defiance.

No one noticed. At first I was disappointed by the lack of fanfare, but that soon gave way to the feeling that I had a little secret that was just mine, and I continued to cut my hair in private whenever I felt the urge.

My hair has been above the shoulders ever since, as I have found it nearly impossible to keep my shears and comb out of it. It always seems to be a case of impulse cutting or a client no-show that I decide to start cutting at it, which is mostly just an indication of my own boredom.

So anyhow, sitting here on this train, I would like to share with you that my hair is officially long-ish. It is sweeping past the mole on my upper back, dancing down my shoulders, nestling at my collar bone when pulled into a side pony. Does this train trip mark the passing through an impulsive phase of my life that is coming to an end?

How do you keep from cutting your hair as it grows through awkward phases on its way to long??Maybe a mantra? a friend to talk you down from the ledge? I find that having a photo of my desired hair goal on my mirror is helpful when I get the urge, to remind me not to stray the course.

We will see how long I can hold out.

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