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Growing my hair out (and other appearence changes), tips and advice

GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what?Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
I've wanted to grow my hair out for a while, but have failed miserably every time. Some details about my hair:

- It's thick like a lions mane.
- When it grows out, it gets loosely wavy, but I think eventually the weight of the hair would straighten it...I think

The plan is to just grow basic long hair, something I can throw in a pony tail.

So my questions are these:
1) Is there a good base line haircut to start from if you plan to grow your hair out? Preferably something that doesn't leave me looking ridiculous in the near term.
2) Before it's "long enough", is there a particular way I should tell a barber/stylist to trim it? I'm looking for specific verbiage here. Cut the whatchmasoogy with the number 4 whatchawhosit and such.
3) While I'm growing it out, what general care should I do, above basic washing and conditioning?
4) Once it's grown out to the length I want, what kind of barber/stylist care should I get? My in depth knowledge of what to do with long hair is basically me hearing other people talk about trimming split ends.

In a somewhat unrelated question, as I am going through a lot of personal appearance changes since my divorce, I'm curious about "re-piercing" ears. I took my earrings out when I was married as neither my ex-wife nor her family liked them, and I just never put them back in. I can still see the holes, but haven't worn anything in them for years. Should I go to a professional to have them re-pierced, or should I just shove a stud back through the hole and clean it up with some peroxide if there is any bleeding?

Sagroth wrote: »
Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling

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    Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    You are essentially going to look silly for a while during the mid point whatever you do. Power through. Maybe wear a hat.

    When hair is long you can style it as much or as little as you want. For the basic floppy haired hippy look such that I affect, then getting my wife to trim the ends every so often is all I need and in no way worth paying a barber.

    MhCw7nZ.gif
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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    I'm going for something a little longer than floppy haired hippy. Probably down to my shoulder blades. More 80's greasy hair rocker I guess? Just, without the grease, alcoholism, heroin addiction and STD's.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    It's going to look silly for at least a little while, and there's nothing you can do. What I've always found is that if you go in to your stylist or whatever and say "I'm growing it out, please just neaten it up a bit" you are more likely to walk out with a trim and most of your length left... unless you end up in front of one of those people who thinks they know what you need and isn't interested in your opinion, but then they're going to do whatever they want no matter what you tell them. This has happened to my husband, who is a "use the number 4 whatchawhosit" kind of guy. The person said "I know what looks good" and ignored him, and yeah, he never went back there. Also the person was wrong; he walked out of there looking like Dennis the Menace. :P

    My rule of thumb is that shampoo is for roots and conditioner is for ends. I have that kind of thick, wavy hair so I use a lot of conditioner, but only a very small amount of it goes anywhere near my scalp or else my hair gets greasy fast, where my ends soak it right up. With shampoo, I find that my ends stay nice MUCH longer if I just give them a quick once-over with pre-existing lather, but it pays to really get my scalp with it. Doing things this way has the added benefit of needing to wash my hair a LOT less frequently, which is much better for my scalp and I get fewer split ends.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    On ear piercings: The easy way is probably to go back and have them redone. The way I usually do it is to see how far in I can get the post.. most of the time even though it seems closed I can work the post through carefully and not break skin. I have two holes in each ear and only routinely wear anything in one of them, but on the rare (probably less than once a year) occasion that I want to wear something in the second I can almost always get the post through with some careful effort, and I don't think I've ever drawn blood that way.

    If you do draw blood, alcohol/peroxide the crap out of that.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    Yeah, mine have been ringless for probably six years, so I should probably head down to my tattoo/body piercing place and just have them surgical needle them again.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    100% agree with what Ceres said - that's basically my exact routine, as well. Also, because wavy hair can be prone to frizziness (which mine is, unfortunately), I also usually put some kind of smoothing "serum" on the lengths and especially the ends of my hair after getting out of the shower (and then i brush it through), which helps reduce frizz for me.

    In my experience, if your hair is wavy, it's not going to straighten out all that much even if you start to grow it out and it gets heavier. It will straighten a bit, especially the closer it gets to your head...but it won't straighten a lot.

    Also, in order to avoid frizz, try to be patient when brushing out knots. :P And always, ALWAYS brush out knotty hair starting at the ends, and then work your way up. If you try to force knots out of your entire length of hair all at once, you'll break hairs and cause sadness.


    Regarding the piercing...definitely get it professionally re-pierced. It's more sanitary than trying to punch a blunt-ended earring through, and because it will be done with a needle (i.e. less damage than if you'd do it with an earring), that'll help it heal faster.

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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    Well, I don't mind it staying wavy. I'm not going to flat iron it or any of that crap.

    I will look in to some smoothing serum, as my hair does frizz as it gets longer. I'll also start using the suggestion of shampoo = roots, conditioner = tips.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Just as an FYI - smoothing (or anti-frizz) serums also go a long way. My hair is long and pretty thick, and usually I don't need more than one pump of the stuff. If you use too much (or apply it when your hair is dry), your hair may look a bit greasy in spots. If that happens though, just brush it through to disperse it more evenly, and you're good!

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    UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    On ear piercings: The easy way is probably to go back and have them redone. The way I usually do it is to see how far in I can get the post.. most of the time even though it seems closed I can work the post through carefully and not break skin. I have two holes in each ear and only routinely wear anything in one of them, but on the rare (probably less than once a year) occasion that I want to wear something in the second I can almost always get the post through with some careful effort, and I don't think I've ever drawn blood that way.

    If you do draw blood, alcohol/peroxide the crap out of that.

    Nooooooooo

    Alcohol/peroxide on piercings (or heck, any wound) is bad news

    Soap & water and saline wound wash, either one you make yourself for a soak or one in a can from a drugstore, only

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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    It really depends on what you do for a living, but long hair is almost always a professional liability. I assume you have a career where it won't be a problem.

    fwKS7.png?1
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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I do. I'm a software engineer, and I live in the pacific NW. Long hippy hair and scruffy beard is almost basic office attire for programmers up here.

    I also work for the federal government where even the hint of discriminating against someone for their looks is a no no. There are people around here with long hair, big beards, tatted up, earrings, you name it.

    Plus, it's not a face tattoo. I could cut it off if it came down to it.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    @Gnometank, Do you want the name of a couple people that I go to here in Portland? They're both under $30 (around $25 I think?) a cut and they're both amazing. Just go periodically see them and they'll guide you to the haircut you want over the months

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    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    Sure, hit me.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Sure, hit me.

    Hit.

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    curly haired boycurly haired boy Your Friendly Neighborhood Torgue Dealer Registered User regular
    Keep in mind that the number of things a guy can do with long hair is surprisingly (culturally) limited. it's not like we can throw it up in a bun :P

    As a guy who had formerly long hair, make sure you have a plan for the long term. If you're used to a short-hair regimen, realizing that the longer it gets, the more attention it needs can be an unwelcome surprise.

    RxI0N.png
    Registered just for the Mass Effect threads | Steam: click ^^^ | Origin: curlyhairedboy
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Keep in mind that the number of things a guy can do with long hair is surprisingly (culturally) limited. it's not like we can throw it up in a bun :P

    He lives just outside of Portland. He could french-braid it and no one would blink.

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    curly haired boycurly haired boy Your Friendly Neighborhood Torgue Dealer Registered User regular
    Esh wrote: »
    Keep in mind that the number of things a guy can do with long hair is surprisingly (culturally) limited. it's not like we can throw it up in a bun :P

    He lives just outside of Portland. He could french-braid it and no one would blink.

    touche!

    RxI0N.png
    Registered just for the Mass Effect threads | Steam: click ^^^ | Origin: curlyhairedboy
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    lifeincognitolifeincognito Registered User regular
    A lot of good points so far in this thread already. I'd echo the need for at the very least a good shampoo, conditioner and a de-frizzing agent.

    The concept of NOT washing your hair might seem a bit odd, but you'll have to get used to it because you really do not want to keep working it over all the time. I have somewhat wavy-curly hair and would advise that you brush it quite a bit prior to showering. This will help reduce hair that could fall out in the shower and potentially make you a principal financier of the Drano Company. Additionally, you'll want to use the post-wash state of your hair to train it.

    If your hair has never been long, it really won't know what to do when it gets long. If you have a specific hairstyle in mind, start prepping your hair to do that after you shower with brushing into shape, gel, bandanas, hairties, whatever. Throwing a hat on it will probably mat it down, but can be useful once the hair is dried. Conditioner is obviously trying to help hold moisture in to prevent your hair from getting frizzy and destroyed. It can be helpful to keep it bunched together post wash as it seems to help prevent it from drying out quickly and how it dries tends to be how it wants to stay.

    Asking them to cut your hair so it can grow in is probably the best way to start out. Eventually, you might to start ask about layering, but they should already be doing this to your hair as it grows in over time. I have been told that hair grows about 6 inches a year on average, so YMMV but don't plan on having awesome long hair for a while. Regular haircuts will be important to cut off split ends and anything that dies early and starts getting tangled frequently when you brush it.

    Enjoy it.

    losers weepers. jawas keepers.
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    I'm demanding an update after Gnometank hopefully hits up one of my friends.

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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Usagi wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    On ear piercings: The easy way is probably to go back and have them redone. The way I usually do it is to see how far in I can get the post.. most of the time even though it seems closed I can work the post through carefully and not break skin. I have two holes in each ear and only routinely wear anything in one of them, but on the rare (probably less than once a year) occasion that I want to wear something in the second I can almost always get the post through with some careful effort, and I don't think I've ever drawn blood that way.

    If you do draw blood, alcohol/peroxide the crap out of that.

    Nooooooooo

    Alcohol/peroxide on piercings (or heck, any wound) is bad news

    Soap & water and saline wound wash, either one you make yourself for a soak or one in a can from a drugstore, only

    Somehow I had never heard this (although I admit I had my suspicions from what I know of biology :P ), but I looked it up and there you have it.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    peroxide is good for cleaning out the wound the first time, since it kills pretty much anything, however since it kills pretty much anything, including the living/regrowing tissue, it will take forever to heal

    camo_sig.png
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    As for the hair, I did this when I was in high school. I also have wavy hair, not super thick but wavy. I went from a "normal" haircut to a length I could put back in a ponytail after about half a year, I believe, and in the interim I wore a baseball-style hat. My hair did not get curlier or straighter, and I kept it at shoulder length.

    It is generally harder for men to maintain long hair unless they've had it their whole life, as unlike women, I find that men mess with it more and care for it less. They are more prone to go for a long period with a trim, they put less product in their hair that's solely for the health of the hair, and they tug and play with it in a more rough way. I kept my hair long for about 6 years and then cut it to "long, but not long enough to put in a ponytail" and then it made its way to its current short-ish length.

    The biggest problem I had with long hair is that men have big heads and are more prone to receding hairlines, even if they don't have a problem with baldness in their family. Women with long hair have a number of style options open to them due to their generally fuller manes and more petite bodies/faces. Men inherently have fewer options simply because even basic things like braids tend to look incongruous. I tried different styles with my hair but in general I found that only two options looked good -- down, which looked just OK, and ponytail, which looked generic. In my case, I was young enough that I was generally confused about style and now believe that for long hair to look good, you need to have a good face for it, good hair for it, and a willingness to experiment with styles that are ultimately simple. We don't have the options that women have, and since women have somewhat of a monopoly on long hair, many hairstyles are associated strongly with women.

    Long hair also turned into dating poison for me. I was single for about 18 months after high school, and my first year and a half at college I had zero women interested in even really talking with me. I even met some people through friends and I heard at least twice "oh, I didn't know you had long hair." Even in socially liberal areas, people will look at you differently, and I think long hair more naturally pairs with beards and facial hair over cleanshaven.

    When I cut off my long hair, I spent some money and got some good haircuts by real stylists and now have a short style I'm very happy with. I don't recommend long hair for any man anymore, but if you ARE going to do it, do the same thing that women do when exploring new hairstyles -- find a celebrity with a similar face-shape as yourself but who also has the hair style that you want. See how they wear their hair and the clothing styles they wear along with it. In general, clothing style and hair style goes together regardless of gender, and if you're not growing your hair out for style, it's inherently a style choice -- you're choosing a hairstyle and it's how people are going to see you, regardless of what you think about it. You become a "guy with long hair." For some guys, it works. For others, they have to struggle with lengths, cuts, and styles to find something that works just OK. For many men, it's not really an option.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
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    MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    I've had my hair down to mid mid-back since just after high school. I don't think I've *ever* had a single negative comment. But I'm also in Portland and in IT/Programming.
    At my current job, I had it dyed purple for a while. PDX is just a different place.

    Things I can contribute:
    There is a time period where your hair will be exactly long enough to poke you in the eyeball. I recommend a hat.
    The Qui-Gon hairstyle is an excellent compromise between having the "hair down" look and keeping hair out of your face.
    Once it's medium length, get half to a full inch cut off every 6 months or so to keep it more manageable.

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    radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    Definitely avoid washing every day if your hair tends to be on the frizzier and dryer side. giving your scalp a chance to produce its own natural oils will help to balance things over time and keep the top from frizzing as much. My hair is super curly, crazy dry and I generally wash it 2-3 times a week.

    Personally, I like avoiding products with silicones in them. Silicones give your hair that slippery, shiny, salon feel but they do build up in your hair over time and create a synthetic coating around the individual hair strands. I found after the transition of going silicone free that my hair feels much softer, natural and curls better but for about a week while it was shedding the coating it was weird and dry no matter what I did. It's just a matter of what you prefer! If you want to keep it nice and strong look for things with avocado oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and other related things in it.

    The other important thing is making sure you get your hair trimmed at regular intervals. Trimming does not make hair grow fast but what it does is keep split and dead ends from building up and ruining the health of your hair. It's going to die from the root up and that's going to create a lot of dryness an excessive frizz.

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    SightTDWSightTDW Registered User regular
    I wish I had any real advice to give. I've grown my hair out for a while now. I can't really pinpoint when it started, but its somewhere in the range of two years. My only personal input is that I have done basically ALL of these things wrong and every once in a while I suffer for it. Discovered real knots only recently and that was a bit of hell. I never got out of the habit of washing it every day, so I'd recommend getting to that sooner than later.

    I'm guilty of a lot of the things that have been said here in that I've generally treated my hair poorly. I'm not especially fond of my ponytail, and I can't stand having it down. Just gets everywhere and something about covering my ears makes me uncomfortable. I need to get a trim yesterday to take care of split ends, but I'm on the verge of just getting it cut and donating it. I think I'll give some of this a shot myself and see if I become any happier with it.

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