Hey Guys, Wanna Hear My Life Story?     
    I have always been a curly girl.I was the girl that walked into a salon and was immediately offered a relaxer. I was also the same girl who vehemently refused said relaxer. I argued that who else had hair like me? Why shouldn't I want to be different? In small town Iowa, it was much more encouraged to blend in. I however, wanted none of that.
     From childhood to middle school, my hair grew so long that it reached my waist when pulled straight. I decided to donate it to locks of love, completely underestimating how long it took curly hair like mine to grow. I had no idea! I chopped off over 12 inches, which left my hair so short that I could barely fit it into a pony tail, and I had to use bobby pins for a few months. I was content with said choice, because I figured that hair like mine was hard to come by. If a little girl had cancer, and lost hair like mine, it would probably be hard to find something like that. I would hate to have a little girl settle for something that wasn't her. 
    As I moved from middle school to high school, I was very self conscious about my hair.I kept it back in a pony tail at all times. Everyone begged to see it let down, but my hair was still at the point where it was too short to rock down without it looking like an afro. 
     At this point, I realize that I need to give a little background on well, my background. I am mixed, half white and half black, with strong native american influence as well. However, when I grew up, my mom always instilled fear in me about my "dark side" as she called it. My real dad was a drug dealer, a registered sex offender, and violent, with antisocial personality disorder. Essentially, he was a master manipulator with no feelings of guilt for his actions.With all of her warnings, she made me hate that side of myself for a long time. This all matters, because even though I knew I obviously couldn't be white, I didn't want to appear more black than I had to. People called me an oreo. Therefore, I shied away from styles like cornrows and afros.
    At the end of my Junior year in highschool, I got to the point where my hair was finally long enough to wear down! I discovered that herbal essences curling gel worked wonders on taming my  hair without making it look crunchy or weird. When my hair dried, it hit about halfway down my chest. I really came out of my shell. This was also the point where I got contacts, and learned how to use makeup. So my senior year was fantastic. 
    The problem I face now, as a sophomore in College, is that my hair still has the same length I had in high school, but has gotten curlier. This has all happened within the last year. My coils are even tighter, which I didn't know was possible. I got my hair checked with my faithful hair stylist, and she says it's not damaged. So,now I am making the journey towards longer hair so that hopefully someday it will look like it once did. Strangely enough, I never noticed how short my hair was appearing until my boyfriend pointed it out. I would insert a few pictures to show how my hair has gone from long to short, but this blog post doesn't seem to want to let me. My profile picture, however, is how my hair is currently. I want to be clear that I love it both ways, but am taking the challenge of trying to get it to grow as long as possible<3

    ALL OF THE PRODUCTS!  I have gone through several products. I really liked Yes To Carrots shampoo and conditioner, but after a while was having a problem with buildup. I switched to Gud by Burts Bees shampoo and conditioner, but the buildup was even worse and it dried out my scalp slightly, causing itching and such. So, I decided to try a cleansing conditioner. I have Loreal Evercreme Cleansing Conditioner, and it really does a great job of moisturizing my hair without stripping it of oils. It's been great as an every day thing. I don't think my hair is completely to the point where I can rely completely on conditioners for washing though, because I am still dependent on Herbal Essence curl gel(Note: I tried Loreal Everstyle Curling Gel, and it makes your hair feel so crunchy and weird O.o ) . Therefore! After watching several curly girl hair tutorials,I have invested in SheaMoisture Shampoo (the coconut and hibiscus one) to wash my hair maybe once a week, probably more like every two weeks. Just so I can make sure I'm not leaving too much hair product on my scalp. And I also got the SheaMoisture curl enhancing smoothie, because I have seen it work wonders on others for both moisture and curl definition. Since I've started using these products, I'm definitely noticing my curls are more defined and look more healthy. OH! I almost forgot. I also got a deep conditioning mask by Its a 10!  That I will be using once a week. 
Kickin It Into Gear!
    I've made the decision that I can't be relying so heavily on my shampoo and conditioner to do all of the legwork anymore. They are obviously extremely important, but I'm hoping adding a good reallyyy sulfate free (not those bottles that say sulfate free on the front and then you find something almost identical but not exactly sls on the back in the ingredients) shampoo, and daily cleansing conditioner, and a deep conditioner will really help get my hair in shape. Using the curl enhancing smoothie in conjunction with gel will definitely help with styling and nutrition in my hair. If it seems like I may need even more of a boost in about a month of experimenting, I'm going to try the Yes To Carrots leave in conditioner. Hellooooo argon oil and keratin!
     I am also challenging myself to drink more water, and eat more healthy foods to stimulate my hair from the inside out. I'm not playing around. This year I hope to add some serious inch-age, and get my hair looking like it once did, maybe even better!(: