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Hello, my name is Sandy.

Project Hair: COMPLETE (Day 927)

My hair is gone - chop chop! It's actually been two weeks now, and I feel great. :) Here's the before and after.

before and after my haircut

I love what Abbey did with the cut, and we put a bit of colour in it too. And most importantly, I still love it when it's been freshly washed, when I roll out of bed in the morning, when it's kind of gross after sport. Messy, low-maintenance cuts are definitely for me.

Here's the view from the back, showing the subtle colours in the sun.

shaggy, short layering in the back

The weirdest part of this whole experience was seeing the hair once it was cut off. It sat on the table like an animal tail; I totally expected it to hop around - eeeeh!

We ended up donating it to Locks of Love. I hope it makes a nice wig for somebody. :)

Project Hair: Day 723

my hair at day 723, and a pimple on my forehead

My hair is getting long. My hairdresser and I calculated that by October, we'll have enough hair for the big chop. So that's my next appointment. I go back to short hair, and someone out there gets a wig.

I'd like to take a moment to talk about this lovely hairdresser who's been helping me out. Her name is Abbey. I've mentioned her before. When I started growing for this project, she was the senior stylist at Rebecca Oates in Subiaco. Since then, she's taken over the branch and transformed it into abbey&co.

The way she talks about wanting things to work is just wonderful. I'm a big fan of people-first businesses. Look after your staff, help them grow, give them space to be creative and achieve their dreams. In not so many words, Abbey describes this and more, and I feel I'm not just in a salon, but a place. A thoughtfully made place.

I'm excited to go back to short hair. It's nice being able to catch everything in a ponytail, but I end up tying it in a bun anyway so the tip doesn't flick me in the eye at sport. Plus I'm sick of finding long wayward strands all over the bed, my pillow, the floor, the shower. Seriously, hair everywhere and I don't know how I could stand it when I was younger.

End times are nigh, hair!

Hair progress: 27.5cm
Rate since last check-in (day 506): still about ½" per month

Project Hair: Day 506

Since the last check-in, I've been taking kelp almost every night to see if it would make a difference to the rate my hair grows.

Kelp is a large, broad seaweed, known for growing very fast, with some types gaining up to half a metre a day. Certain nutrients found in kelp are also found in bodily functions to do with hair growth, so it didn't sound too illogical when my hairdresser said she heard it might help.

Now, I wasn't born yesterday. I can usually tell what an over-simplified claim sounds like, and I know how to look stuff up. But I wanted to indulge in some citizen science, and experiment for myself.

I can confirm that kelp tablets did not make my hair grow faster over the past month-and-a-bit. Here's the breakdown:

  • I took one (1) Thompson's One-A-Day Kelp 1400 tablet almost every night before bed. The times I skipped were due to drinking too much (and forgetting) or feeling fragile (and not wanting to swallow an uncoated pill - yuck).

  • All up, I would have had about 40-ish pills in the last 46 days.

  • I have a decent diet and a moderately active lifestyle. I had not been experiencing hair loss or thyroid problems (to my knowledge). I wonder if kelp only makes a difference to people who do have issues beforehand.

  • The tablets did not make me feel healthier, happier or more energetic; nor did they alleviate or worsen my normal unhealthy, unhappy and fatigued periods.

  • My hair is currently the healthiest it's ever been, but it got this way before I tried the tablets.

My experience aligns with what Livestrong and The Superfoods say about kelp and hair growth. I'm not sure how credible these sites are, but they were in the upper echelons of what I could find regarding this specific hair growth claim.

So, I would continue to eat kelp in my meals, but no more or no less than usual. I certainly wouldn't recommend spending money on pills just to make your hair grow faster. If you have a medical issue that it might help with, you probably should take a doctor's advice instead of mine. :)

Might wait a few months before the next check-in. Watching hair grow is like watching paint dry.

Hair progress: 19.5cm
Rate since last check-in (day 460): approx. ½" per month (bit less, but I'd like to leave room for measuring errors)

Project Hair: Day 460

Uh, yeah, I meant to share regular check-ins of hair growth, but have managed to miss the last 380 days. Ahem.

My mum commented on how healthy my hair looks these days. I told her I've been taking care of it for this project, but the biggest effort is merely towelling off instead of blowdrying. My hair still gets dry despite conditioning. I'm still using supermarket shampoo and conditioner. I still shower in hot hot hot water, especially when it's cold cold cold. Every 3 to 6 months, I see my wonderful clever hairdresser, get a wash, treatment, trim and chinwag.

When my hair gets long, it starts to curl - not tight curls like noodles, but waves. I've always liked this. I keep my hair clipped or tied as much as possible, because I'm annoyed by the feeling of having it around my face, but it's nice to experience the odd flash of vanity every now and then.

I'm not taking kelp regularly enough for it to make a difference, or even know if it's doing anything. I am, however, taking fish oil regularly, and can confidently say this has zero impact on how fast my hair grows. It's just half an inch per month. All the way.

My kelp pills won't last forever, though, so could be worth taking one a day until they're gone - just to see.

Hair progress: 18.5cm
Rate since last check-in (day 80): ½" per month (expected)

Project Hair: Day 86

hair - day 86

It's been a whole season, so let's recap - I'm growing my hair to donate to charity.

Donated hair gets cleaned and turned into wigs for women undergoing cancer treatment. There are salons and groups in Perth who can help with this kind of thing; I'm doing mine through Rebecca Oates because their senior stylist Abbey is incredible.

In 3 months, I've grown 4cm to get to the starting point, which roughly aligns with the half-inch per month estimated rate. 30cm to go!

I'm starting on kelp tablets today. As I don't have massive health problems or noticeable deficiencies, I'll probably only have one every few days, or one for a few days followed by a break. I'd much prefer eating actual kelp in food, but this is a lot of effort and probably comes with a lot of dressing and salty sauce.

Hair progress: 0cm
Rate since last check-in (day 0): ½" per month (expected)

We are ready to begin!

Project Hair: Day 0

short haircut, day 0

I'm going to try growing my hair for donation. My hairdresser told me wig-makers love Asian hair, because it's thick and holds up against the piles of treatment required to make it usable.

So, here I am on day 0. Donated hair needs to be at least 30cm from where you cut it, which for me, will be the base of my hair at the back of my neck. Once the sides catch up with the base, we can start counting.

According to my hairdresser, human hair grows approximately half an inch per month, so it'll take me a couple of years to get there. Hair growth can supposedly be sped up by taking flaxseed oil or deep sea kelp. It supposedly makes your hair stronger too, but since you eat them, the effect is systemic. So my underarm hair, leg hair and sexy chest hair will also grow fast and strong.

Hmm!

This will be an interesting experiment.

Hair progress: -4cm

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