Friday, October 7, 2011

Biotin, Yay or Nay...

Remember, when I told you guys that I have issues with severe shedding and thinning hair? It may not look like it in my pictures, but I do. I'm talking about hand fulls of hair being pulled out the comb. My hair use to be pretty thick. It could be a combination of things; stress, hormonal changes, poor eating habits... I don't know. I bought a few clip on extensions in the past but never really wore them. They never looked right on me. The color was always wrong, they were too shiny somewhat artificial looking (yes, the human hair), and when I put them on they never really looked like my natural hair or blended in very well. So, to combat the problem I decided to do away with the extensions and start a little research. I want that full, thick, healthy hair, without the extensions. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with using them at all. They just didn't work for me. I've seen many girls pull them off quite well!

So, one of my favorite “go to” forums is Here, is where I discovered Biotin. Biotin is a water soluble B-complex vitamin which means that what your body doesn't absorb, will flush out through your urine. Increasing your biotin intake claims to improve the conditions of healthy hair, hair loss, brittle nails, acne, and diabetes to name a few. We all have biotin in our diets anyway (bananas, peanuts, egg, oatmeal...) but the supplement could benefit people that may be biotin deficient. These are the individuals that would notice the most dramatic changes.

Many of the girls at longhaircareforum and other sites said after 30 days of taking the supplement, there was a significant improvement in the thickness of their hair... quite noticeable in fact. Some said they didn't notice a difference at all and a few said that even though their hair got thicker, they were also getting some severe cystic acne. They weren't sure if this was a side effect but they noticed it a few days to a week or so after taking the supplements. It seems that the side effect depends on the individual's threshold. Some notice the acne after taking about 600mcg and some noticed it after about 2500mcg or 5000mcg. I decided to research the side effects as well. Some sites reported that there are no side effects, some say that the side effects are an increase in hair growth EVERYWHERE (ladies?), and there it is... some reported acne as a side effect.

Hmmm... So, thicker hair or possible acne... Is it really that serious? Well, I think I still may want to give it a try. I won't know if it'll help the problem if I don't give it a try, right? Maybe I will start with a low dosage to find my own threshold. Ladies (or fellas)? Tell me what you think. Has anyone out there tried biotin? What has it done for you? Did you also suffer from acne as a side effect? Do you have any other suggestions for increasing hair thickness or to stop shedding? If I decide to give biotin a try (which I probably will), I will keep you updated on my progress. GNC sells it for about $35-$45 for 150 to 250 tablets or capsules. Pretty expensive I know but it looks like Walmart also sells it starting from about $7. Big difference. I smell a challenge... It may be my own personal challenge but I still smell one! To be continued...

Before making the decision to take any vitamin supplement, you should do your research, weigh out the pros and cons, and consult with your health care provider.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cutting... First Time's a Charm?

Ok, so I watched a youtube video on how to layer your own hair and was instantly inspired. Thanks to rosebud143! Layers were also inspired by nattyngeorge. However, I've been watching this same video for quite some time now. My hair has always been long and I've always been too chicken to have the scissor touch it, aside from occasional trims. But this day Sept 29th, 2011, I for some reason had the courage to go and try it out.

As I snuck into my bathroom (why? I don't know...), I quickly took the hair scissors from the drawer, placed my ipad on the counter with the video running, had my comb ready, took a deep breath, and... did my first chop. I cut the first layer starting just below my chin and blending it to the length of my hair not touching the bottom length at all.

To accomplish this:

1.  I parted a section of hair above both arches of my eyebrows back about 2" to cut long side swept bangs. I wanted my bangs to fall to the right, so I started cutting from the right side at my jaw line down to a diagonal angle ending about 2" below my chin on my left side.

2.  Then I parted the rest of my hair down the middle and pulled both sides forward over my shoulders to start the rest of the layers.

3.  I started cutting the layers just 2" below my chin where my bangs ended, but on both sides. I pointed the scissors downward towards the ground, tilted my head forward but a little towards the side I wanted to cut and began cutting at a diagonal angle towards the bottom but stopping about 2" before. My hair was trimmed about 1/2" prior to cutting the layers.

If you feel like you want to give it a shot, Rosebud143's video will show you exactly how it's done, step by step.. Mine was more of a modified version. It's was pretty scary but in the end, I really liked it. It gave me a different look... more sexy! I can't wait to see how my curly hair will look with the new layers.

My hair isn't in the greatest condition; shedding, drying, sometimes brittle, thinning... Most of us go through this even if we try to pretend that we don't. Not everybody can have "Kim Kardashian" hair :-) However, the new look definitely minimized the excessive thinning... gave it more body! Would I do it again? YES! I don't regret any of it! Some of the greatest work was created through trial and error. Just don't cut too much at first. Start cutting maybe 1/2"-1" until you get your desired look. We don't want anyone giving themselves a skully!

Please share your thoughts on the new look, what else you would like to see, if you think I should cut more or not, different methods, and your personal experiences with cutting your own hair. Also, send in pictures of your own layers and maybe you'll get lucky enough to have them posted on the site! I'm dying to hear from you guys!

Here are a few before and afters: