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Growing my hair out


Audrey

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Hi everyone,

 

So I'm excited to grow my hair out as part of my transition. What are tips about doing this, as I've always kept it short until now. My temptation is just to let it grow and then decide, but I've heard conflicting ideas about whether it's better for growth to cut it at times. I am very blessed with a full head of hair at my age with nearly no MPB even before starting HRT, so I would love to see what I can do with my natural hair.

Also on the lookout for an affirming hairstylist when the time comes.

Thank you for any ideas!

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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My stepmom is a hair stylist so maybe I can pick up some tips for you! When I did have long hair I got it trimmed everyonce in a while it made it look nicer (when I actually had to get my hair done for formal events, which I pretty much hated) I have short hair and am a guy so I don't truly know much, but I will let you know if I get any tips from my stepmom :DD

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This isn't professional advice, this is just from years of long hair: you'll know when it's time to trim it. You'll eventually find that the ends stay frizzy and you have a hard time getting a brush through the ends even with conditioner. Then it's time to trim the split ends. Otherwise let it grow. 😃 A good conditioner is a must. If your hair is straight, don't condition your bangs or the top of your head, those have enough natural oil. Condition the heck out of the hair over your nape, behind your ears, and the ends. Growing it out is a hassle. For me the in-between stage is a pain because there's nowhere to tie back the strands until they're long enough. Luckily for you, you're trying to wear it in a feminine style, which means there are a lot of nice headbands you can use for the in-between stage.

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Having grown my hair out twice before and doing it again now I have to agree that the in-between stage can be a real pain.  There are days I wear a headband or a baseball cap to keep it out of my eyes.  Neither is a good idea if you're trying for straight hair.  A good conditioner is key!

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Thank you everyone for your ideas. I have actually been experimenting with lots of hair care products the last few months (last haircut was six months ago), and after all that, I am absolutely loving what Aveda's cherry almond shampoo and conditioner are doing for me. Not to promote of course, but I feel like you have an intuitive sense of when something works for your hair type. I will definitely get headbands for the middle stage of growth, it's just about long enough now to start getting towards the top of my peripheral vision and it is arrow-straight and fine.

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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I've only recently cut my hair very short so I don't have experience growing it out from nearly nothing. However my partner recently grew his out and there is a very awkward stage so like everyone else has mentioned be prepared. I do remember growing my hair long from about shoulder length when I was younger and regular trimming helped a great deal. I went every two months or so to just trim the ends which kept it even and kept split ends from ruining my progress.

As tempting as it might be to just let it go, it will look a lot nicer and be much fuller and healthier looking it you get it trimmed regularly. As an adult with straight, beautiful, healthy, low maintenance hair who could not be bothered to shell out for regular trips to a stylist I can tell you that it will not grow out as nicely without regular trimming! I would literally cut all my hair off to about shoulder length then wait a year or two for it to get long and then cut it again. Lather, rinse, repeat... It never grew out as nicely as it did when I got trimmed regularly. Even when I tried to just get a trim, they had to cut off 1-3 inches depending on how long I had waited just make it all even.

Split ends are the biggest reason for seeing a stylist on a regular schedule. Left unchecked, those ends will split right up the shaft and destroy the ends of your hair. The result is that your hair will look thinned out at the ends and in some cases it will seem like you just can't grow your hair beyond a certain length. A stylist can also help with shaping your hair during the awkward stage, give you advice for styling, etc. You don't have to go all the time, but definitely don't wait for it to grow all the way out before seeing a stylist.

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@KiaraThank you so much for this wonderful guidance! No split ends yet but I'm watching for them. I definitely want to make the most of my good fortune with my hair so I will really look for a trans-friendly salon and stylist now. The pandemic is making that a little more challenging right now, but the advantage is that while I'm working remotely, it's a lot easier to hide the awkward stages of growing it out.

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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I decided to just let my hair grow. After nine months it is just now long enough so that I can get most of my hair into a pony tail. Up until now it has been head bands, baseball caps and knit caps. I think I am going to let it keep grow.

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Give a look to your nearest LGBTQ community center and see if they know or have members who are hair stylists that are Trans accepting.  Both the Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores have stylists who are Trans friendly and do good work.

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Vicky

Yes I can use a hair stylist, better yet a style consultant.  I think when this wave of COVID subsides I will book an appointment and see what they can do with my gray thinning ulta fine hair.

Rami

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@RamiThat's my plan.  I've been growing my hair out since March and one of the first things I'm going to do after I'm vaccinated is to make an appointment for my hair and nails.

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I can give advice on curly thick hair.  I have very thick and naturally curly hair and so I have been following the Curly Girl Method which actually works for girls with wavy and curly hair.

 

I would suggest, to get from time to time a small baby trim.  Nothing to much but like an 1/8th of an inch to keep your hair healthy and free from split ends.  I go in for a baby trim like every 3 months myself.  Then for myself I shampoo and conditioner my hair twice a week and co-conditioner on off days so I dont dry out my hair even more than it is.  Also I would suggest to take Biotin.

 

Just the best thing for hair is to really nurture your hair and feed it very healthy like your taking care of your body, you also have to take care of your hair.

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2 hours ago, Aurora said:

Curly Girl Method which actually works for girls with wavy and curly hair.

@AuroraMy granddaughters turned me onto the Curly Girl Method YouTube videos. I'm not out to them yet as far as I know, but they do like my hair.

 

Hugs,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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14 hours ago, Mmindy said:

@AuroraMy granddaughters turned me onto the Curly Girl Method YouTube videos. I'm not out to them yet as far as I know, but they do like my hair.

 

Hugs,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

I have the CGM book and learned so much about my hair that I have Type 3a hair with low porosity and have learned how to care for my hair.  The bad thing about having thick curly hair is that my hair looks short.  But since I did the no no and straighten my hair to see how long my hair is, My hair is pretty long when it is straight.  I joke that it is the only thing straight about me

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On 12/7/2020 at 5:58 PM, Audrey said:

I definitely want to make the most of my good fortune with my hair so I will really look for a trans-friendly salon and stylist now. The pandemic is making that a little more challenging right now, but the advantage is that while I'm working remotely, it's a lot easier to hide the awkward stages of growing it out.

 

Love,

~Audrey.

I would bet that almost every salon in NYC is trans friendly even if they don't advertise it.  Find a convenient salon in your price tolerance and then just give them a call and tell them you're growing your hair our because you are transitioning and need someone to help you since this is all new. Helps if you tell them the type of hair you have as well. Then just ask if anyone there is really good helping people in your situation.  I'm in northern VA and when I called around they always had someone who "is great at helping people in the trans community."

As for when to cut it, if you don't have any split ends, let it grow.  I finally got mine cut after a year just because I wanted it shaped and wanted to ask a stylist questions about how best to style it.  

I have wicked wavy/curly hair though.  

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10 hours ago, Aurora said:

I have the CGM book and learned so much about my hair that I have Type 3a hair with low porosity and have learned how to care for my hair.  The bad thing about having thick curly hair is that my hair looks short.  But since I did the no no and straighten my hair to see how long my hair is, My hair is pretty long when it is straight.  I joke that it is the only thing straight about me

AHHHH- never straighten your locks GF!  lol. Mine is similar.  wet it falls jto top of my shoulder blades but when dry curls up to my neck and I have bangs even though wet it comes down to my lips haha.  Similar maintance to you. I shampoo 1 x a week. Do a deep hydration masks right after that and condition every other time I get in the shower.  I use a couple different curl defining creams depending on the hold I'm looking for.  Then the head goes upside down and I diffuse it on medium heat. Never use full heat. My hair use to have plenty of moisture when I had testosterone but the oils seriously dried up once I was on HRT so some days I use some argon oil on my palms and crunch my dry hair with the slightly oily hands to refresh it.

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2 hours ago, Bri2020 said:

I would bet that almost every salon in NYC is trans friendly even if they don't advertise it.  Find a convenient salon in your price tolerance and then just give them a call and tell them you're growing your hair our because you are transitioning and need someone to help you since this is all new. Helps if you tell them the type of hair you have as well. Then just ask if anyone there is really good helping people in your situation.  I'm in northern VA and when I called around they always had someone who "is great at helping people in the trans community."

As for when to cut it, if you don't have any split ends, let it grow.  I finally got mine cut after a year just because I wanted it shaped and wanted to ask a stylist questions about how best to style it.  

I have wicked wavy/curly hair though.  

Thank you @Bri2020, I'm thinking the same thing too. I feel very blessed to be near so many resources here. I think I found a salon that's pretty close to home and I got a positive feeling from their website so I'll reach out to them.

 

As an aside, someone called my hair beautiful today... and I was just overcome with joy to hear that! Just what I needed. ❤️

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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1 hour ago, Audrey said:

 

 

As an aside, someone called my hair beautiful today... and I was just overcome with joy to hear that! Just what I needed. ❤️

 

Love,

~Audrey.

I never understood how much compliments on hair and stuff could make someone's day until I came out and people said nice things to me.  lol. Now I make it a habit of doing that for others.

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On 12/8/2020 at 11:54 PM, Aurora said:

I have the CGM book and learned so much about my hair that I have Type 3a hair with low porosity and have learned how to care for my hair.  The bad thing about having thick curly hair is that my hair looks short.  But since I did the no no and straighten my hair to see how long my hair is, My hair is pretty long when it is straight.  I joke that it is the only thing straight about me

 

There's a book? I'm going to need to check that out (of my local library). My partner has beautiful curly hair that he has grown out, but he has no idea how to take care of it. I don't know how either given that I and my husband have straight hair. He's constantly a floof due to the fact he keeps using my brushes and just abusing it.

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4 hours ago, Kiara said:

 

 He's constantly a floof due to the fact he keeps using my brushes and just abusing it.

Never, ever brush curly hair, especially dry.  Use fingers when you apply conditioner to separate the tangles. Then either let air dry with some curl cream (absolutely required) or use a diffuser on medium heat and just "crunch" it with your hands.  Any brush when dry will make it explode and friz.  Also, sleeping on satin or silk pillowcases and using a t-shirt to dry curly hair will keep it from frizing as much. (can you tell I used to date a stylist? lol)

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22 hours ago, Bri2020 said:

Never, ever brush curly hair, especially dry.  Use fingers when you apply conditioner to separate the tangles. Then either let air dry with some curl cream (absolutely required) or use a diffuser on medium heat and just "crunch" it with your hands.  Any brush when dry will make it explode and friz.  Also, sleeping on satin or silk pillowcases and using a t-shirt to dry curly hair will keep it from frizing as much. (can you tell I used to date a stylist? lol)

 

I know enough to never brush out curls. I got a perm in middle school and that was one of the few things I learned about having curly hair. I doubt he'll have the patience to do much extra with his hair. He's very used to just washing it, brushing it a little, and he loves his hair dryer. I hoping I can get him to change his ways enough that his curls bounce back from all the abuse. Also, I want to learn so I can help his style it as well. He likes wearing pigtails and braids, but I find his hair very difficult to work with.

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Hair down to my shoulders is so new to me as is hair care. My hair very fine and very straight and could use a little wave. So I am to shampoo once a week, condition when I shower, never dry with high heat?

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@Rami, your hair sounds a lot like mine!  Not as long as yours yet, but I'm getting there slowly. I wish I could get away with shampooing less often but itjust  gets too oily if I wait more than a few days. Hoping HRT will help some with that but it hasn't seemed to yet.

 

What hair products do you use? I feel like it takes some experimenting to find the right ones for your hair. Sample or travel size bottles can be a godsend. I've been conditioning every shower as well and it really does feel healthier and especially softer. Avoid high heat like crazy! I'm even letting it air dry some in the winter without the humidity, but I could never get away with that in the summer so I do no heat or the lowest setting. I wish I had enough hair for a real style but others here might have ideas about getting a wave (I'd love to learn too).

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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1 hour ago, Rami said:

Hair down to my shoulders is so new to me as is hair care. My hair very fine and very straight and could use a little wave. So I am to shampoo once a week, condition when I shower, never dry with high heat?

I couldn't give too much advice on thin long straight hair except shampoo as little as you can get away with. The amount of oiliness is one factor as Audrey said, the other is how much and what kinds of products you use.  If your hair is completely straight the only ways to get some body to it/ waves/curl is to use curling tools to "set"  and product to "hold".  Whether that's overnight curlers or curling irons plus a spray to hold it for the day.  When you start using "holding" products you have to wash more frequently or they build up and weigh the hair down even more.  Find a stylist- they will be you best friend through the learning process.

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On 12/11/2020 at 11:18 AM, Rami said:

Hair down to my shoulders is so new to me as is hair care. My hair very fine and very straight and could use a little wave. So I am to shampoo once a week, condition when I shower, never dry with high heat?

 

My hair is mostly straight, but it's gotten a bit more wavy as I've gotten older. I'd say it's somewhere between fine and medium thickness? I don't own a hair dryer, but I do notice that my hair tends to be much lighter and finer looking/feeling when I use one. I typically try to wash it every other day as washing it every day tends be very stressful for my hair.

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