So far in my short life, there have been four distinct eras of my hair. I have dyed, fried, and dried my hair almost to the point where I wanted to shave it all off.
Let’s start at the very beginning. Leading up to fourth grade, my hair more resembled a bush than actual hair. I’ve always had very thick and coarse hair, but it was getting out of control. During that summer, I got the famous wannabe pixie cut.

I admit, it could’ve been worse… like a lot worse. For some reason, I kept cutting my hair like this even in middle school. I thought I could make it look better by wearing headbands and dying my hair really dark, but it only made it worse.
By the end of seventh grade, I knew I’d grown out of the short hair and started growing it out. This is when the next stage of my hair began, and I like to call it the Gene Simmons look.
Now with my hair to my shoulders, I wanted a dramatic change. For me, I thought I wanted to look like a dark, edgy, and rebellious teenager, so what’s more dramatic than dyeing your hair black? About a month later before a Color Guard contest, I wanted to switch it up again. At the same time, home ombre kits were just released, and with my freshman mentality, this was going to upgrade my look. You might think a 14-year-old girl with brown roots, black hair, and blonde split-ends would be the worse that it could get, but then I got a perm.
You may think after the first time after perming my hair I would learn my lesson. Nope. Later, I redid it again and tried to dye my hair blonde. For some odd reason, my box bleaching kit didn’t work and only dyed my roots. So that very same night I bought black hair dye and went full on KISS. When you are as pale as me, having big curly black hair will wash you out.
Entering my junior year, my hair was dry as bone and multiple shades of brown and black. I found a way out through starting to get quarterly keratin treatments. Though I was just adding more chemicals, my hair looked healthy and literally as straight as an arrow. I had to use special shampoo and conditioner that helped keep it this way, but it was terribly hard to rinse it out. The downside of this whole process was the split-ends that I got from straightening it, and it was terribly time consuming and expensive.
Now since I’ve stopped the treatments, I really think my hair has become better than ever. Sure, it’s not as shiny or soft as it once was, but it’s easier to take care of. In the last three months, I’ve switched to a gel based shampoo, and I find that it rinses out really nicely while still getting all the gunk out. Currently, I’m using Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine and L’Oréal Ever Cream shampoo. Though with the L’Oréal, I like to dilute it with water before use. For conditioner, I use the one from the Ever Cream line. Once a week, I do a rinse of lemon juice and vinegar to clear up any build up. As of right now, I get a haircut every few months because I’m trying to keep the same length.