I Didn't Cut My Hair for 2 Years—This Is What I Learned

Hallie Gould

I've had a long journey with my curls—from hating them, to overstyling them, and finally, accepting and loving them. After a decade-long bout with hair extensions, I decided to unclip and allow my hair a bit of freedom. I thought my hair would grow like lightning, believing surely it was the styling that kept the length stagnant for years on end. I stopped using heat tools (save for the occasional blowout) and expected that all my problems would be solved. What I realized, though, is that taking care of your hair is far more involved than putting down the curling iron.

I came to this realization one morning when I opened up Facebook's "On This Day" app and was startled at the picture it presented. There, a year-old picture illustrated just how much my hair had broken off even after I started wearing my natural texture. I looked down at my hair, broken, processed, and dry, and I couldn't believe how much shorter it was than just a year ago—especially since I hadn't cut it since. I began to go through an identity crisis of sorts, with this picture as my catalyst. The texture wouldn't lay like it used to (I have photographic evidence of that), it was shorter, thinner, and generally more sad-looking. So I finally booked myself an appointment with Halli Bivona at the John Barrett Salon—my go-to guru—and badgered her with questions once I arrived. Why did this happen? How can we fix it? How should I prevent this from ever happening again? She calmed me down and, in so many words, told me, "I told you so."

Bivona and I go way back, and she knows the struggle I've always had with growing out my hair. She constantly prodded, telling me to cut my hair, take better care of it, and listen to her expert advice. But, I'm stubborn, and I did nothing of the sort. Finally, my ears and eyes were wide open. Below, find a list of scary truths that happened when I didn't cut my hair for two years, why they occurred, and how I'm working to rehab my hair over the next 365 days.

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