I'm Ashley. I'm from Maryland but I go to school in Ohio. I was here in a different incarnation a while ago (maybe back in 2005 or so?) Don't remember what my old name was.
I stopped relaxing my hair in 2003. During the summers of 2009 and 2010, I started getting my hair straightened at a Dominican salon (roller set, blowdry, flat iron) every two weeks. I think I was just stuck in a styling rut and wanted a change for a bit and just liked not having to "do" my hair. In 2009 after the summer, I stopped going to the salon and after a few washes my hair was back to normal.
In 2010, I did the same thing right before I transferred to school in Ohio, but this time my hair didn't revert! It was awful. I deep conditioned, did my Aphogee treatment (it had been 6 weeks since the last one), did low maintenance styles, etc. Nothing helped. My hair was dry and brittle and awful. And at school, it got worse. It was literally coming out in clumps. So during Christmas break (mid December 2010) I got sick of it, grabbed a pair of scissors and chopped most of it off. I also noticed that I had some slightly balding spots over my temples that I think is a mild case of Traction Alopecia from all those years of pulling my hair back into tight ponytails.
I've had to essentially start over, but it's not all bad because I've learned a lot this past year. Almost a year later, my hair has grown from top of ear length to just about shoulder length. My hairline is filling back in (right side faster than the left for whatever reason) and I've stopped doing my two biggest hair sins: brushing my hair with a boar bristle brush (to get my ponytail flat and smooth - I've realized it's just not meant to be flat,) and tying my ponytails too tight (If I have to pull it back, I only wrap the ponytail once.) I still have more breakage than I'd like, but it's 110% better than it was this time last year. I've started being more gentle with detangling and the way I handle my hair (I can be pretty heavy handed.) I've also started taking vitamins & trying to eat a bit healthier. We'll see what happens.
Anyway, hi (again) and it's good to be back!