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When Childhood Dreams and a Little Experimentation Go Awry

9 Apr

For as long as I could remember, I’ve longed for long flowy hair. I was that little child with the towel or t-shirt tied to her head during imaginary play, pretending I had the locks of Rapunzel. I was that child who secretly envied he peers .. with hair in cute styles down their backs and ponytails swishing left and right as then ran across the playground. I was very young , but acutely aware how praised and revered women with long hair were (and continue to be) worldwide. Over the years my desire to grow my own version of this only increased. I was literally chasing a dream, a mental picture I had pinned to the walls of my mind. This long, silky ideal. After numerous times of trial, error, and starting over, right before moving to New York for graduate school, my hair grew to the longest length it had ever been. I had healthy hair past my shoulders and I was thrilled! Then, only months later, my hair began to fall out. At first, it started near the nape of my neck. Then my hair began to break off in the areas behind my ears and later around my temples. I was completely demoralized and depressed. I had poured SO much energy into growing my hair and now? It had gone from thick, long, and healthy to thin, broken, and stubby.

After coming to terms with this loss, I finally had an epiphany. Since childhood, I knew that I had eczema, a condition hallmarked by sensitive skin. Ultimately, I connected that sensitive skin (and scalp) plus harsh straightening chemicals will never mix or end well. Thus began my last chopping off of all my hair and my transition to chemical free, natural hair. Today, about 4 years later, my hair is back on the road of recovery and I am much happier. Its healthy, super thick, and re-approaching past shoulder length status. However, once again, while looking for ways to speed up the hair growth process (yea, you see where this is going right?? LOL), I recently did some research and discovered biotin pills. A known vitamin that promotes hair growth? Sign me up! I went to my local organic grocer and bought the pills pictured in the heading for this post. For about 4 weeks I took the pills everyday religiously. At around week 2, I noticed the texture of my skin (on my face) had changed from supple and clear to dry, dull, and irritated. By week 3? My clear brown complexion … face, neck, back all broke out in acne. By week 4? I was having dizzy spells. Thankfully, I am pretty self-aware of changes in my body and realized what was happening in time to stop taking the pills.

Lesson learned … again. In the pursuit of achieving my dream Diana Ross-like dream hair, I had gone against my better judgement and began taking what I later learned were HIGH doses of a supplement without consulting my physician first. Always a big mistake. In the end, I’ve matured enough to realize ultimately long hair, is “just hair.” Its growth no longer serves a childhood means of seeking acceptance, but simply, I think it looks pretty and frames my face well :]). It’s now a fun journey. Realizing this, I readily stooped the biotin pills and have NO plans to revisit. Healthy, full hair… nothing my healthy diet, water intake, and continued diligent care won’t continue to create. Chemicals and pills do not work for my body and is often rejected. Instead, slow and steady will win this race and my hair and body will be the healthier for it.