Fashion

My Hair Journey: How I Repaired My Damaged Hair!

Today, I wanted to share a little bit of my hair journey so far. I’ve had my fair share of of hair troubles and bad haircuts just like anyone else, but now I’m feeling like I have a better understanding of what my hair needs after 24 years. I’m still figuring out some things, like what products work best for my curly hair, but I think we’ve come a REALLY long way!

To start, I’ve had super curly hair my whole life and I’ve always had it pretty short. I’ve dyed it a bunch of times and spent most of my life straightening it because I really had no idea what to do with it. Growing up and being mixed race, I didn’t really have anyone to look up to for that sort of thing. No one I knew had hair like mine. It wasn’t quite kinky curly enough to resonate with the black girls, but it definitely wasn’t straight to identify with the white girls. It was something I struggled to figure out for a very long time and because of that I spent a lot of time experimenting with it.

2010: Summer after freshman year of high school
2010: Spring of freshman year of high school

Just before starting my freshman year of high school, I got probably the worst hair cut and dye job ever. It looked actually horrible and I was so frustrated with what to do with it, so I spent my whole freshman year straightening my hair. Just before my sophomore year, I finally found a new hair salon and worked with a woman who really knew what she was doing. At that point I started getting keratin treatments every 6 months and that was truly what changed my life as far as my hair goes. It took a few years, but eventually, it completely tamed my curls to a point where I could manage them. I still didn’t know what products to use on my hair, but at least I was okay with just braiding it and letting it air dry. After that, It was uphill for a while! By my senior year, my hair was finally healthy and long(ish) and I felt way better about it.

Fall 2013: Freshman Year of College
Fall 2013: Freshman Year of College (Sorry this was from snapchat when it had the absolute worst quality ever)
Spring 2014: End of my freshman year of college

After starting college, my hair was still really happy and healthy and the longest it’s ever been. That, of course, is when I made the BIGGEST mistake of my life. Literally ever. During my sophomore year of college I decided to bleach my hair because I wanted to have blonde hair so badly. At first, it was okay and my hair survived and was pretty healthy. But when I went for my 2nd touch up, was where things went really left. My hair was completely fried and broken. I didn’t realize how bad it was for a little while, so I continued to bleach it for about a year until my hair had broken off and was completely dead. It was the worst experience ever seeing huge clumps of my hair fall out in the shower because it was so weak and brittle.

Spring 2015: My first full head of blonde highlights! It looked so healthy still but just wait.
Summer 2015: Still not too bad, but definitely had a lot of fall out and shedding at this point
December 2015: When I finally realized I had to do SOMETHING

Finally, I dyed it back to brown and did my best to let it recuperate but about 8 months later, I tried it again and got another set of balayage highlights. But unfortunately, my hair just wasn’t strong enough to handle it and it was the same thing. Lots of hair falling out all the time! Finally, after another few months, I decided enough was enough and I dyed my hair back to brown and vowed to never bleach my hair ever again. This was my senior year of college. After that, I did my best to keep from putting heat on my hair by braiding it or putting it up into buns most of the time. My hair was so damaged that it never stayed straight anyway. Now once I graduated, I moved back home and had to find a new hair salon because my old lady’s shop closed down and I was honestly terrified of working with someone new. Now I went to a new salon and got a few hair cuts there, and they were not great but eventually we got into a good routine and I trust her!

2016: After dyeing my hair back to brown, attempting to start the healing process
Summer 2016: Went back to blonde cause I wanted to try it again and made the second biggest mistake of my life (aside from trying to contour my nose???)!
Fall 2017: Back to brown and finally actually trying to help my hair (like a smart girl)

In March 2018, I decided to finally chop most of my hair off and start over. I had horrible damage in the back of my hair from the bleach still so I decided to get back into getting keratin treatments and I cut my hair up to about my collar bone. After that I also started taking the Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair gummy vitamins and held off on heat for just about 6 months. I think I only straightened or curled my hair twice in the whole 6 months. After that I got another very small trim and a keratin treatment that lasted me another 6 months and that leads us to where we are today. In June 2019 was my last hair cut and I’m proud to say this is the healthiest my hair has been since my horrible bleaching fiasco and it grew about 6 inches in the last year which is amazing. I gotta say it took A LOT of patience and a lot trial and error but I’m proud that I was able to do this.

April 2018: One month after my big chop and arguably the best photo I’ve ever taken
August 2018: Still figuring out how to have curly hair
August 2018

To be honest, I can attribute majority of my hair success thus far to my big chop in March 2018, keratin treatments, very little heat, and the Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair gummies. Without these things, I honestly don’t know where my hair would be right now. Patience was a major key as well and I’m happy that we got here! I also have a code for for $10 off your first order of Hum Nutrition vitamins if you’d like to try! Just add in the code 15DDAD at check out!

February 2019: After getting my second hair cut for the year in October 2018
April 2019
June 2019: About week after my most recent haircut and keratin treatment
June 2019: 6 inches of growth in one year!

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you’d like to see more of these posts, let me know in the comments! xx

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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