long beautiful hair

When I was 24 years old I had a friend cut off most of my hair. I had had long hair for my whole life, and cutting it off was a long-delayed rebellious act. I think I was hoping that I would look like Amélie, but really it just looked terrible. It took me years and years to grow out -- it's over five years later and my hair still isn't quite the length I want it to be. When I get my hair trimmed (2-3 times a year) I have them fix my fringe and cut the length in a straight line along the bottom. It takes about five minutes. I'm still growing out the layers that a former stylist cut in -- she always wanted me to wear my hair curly.

I'm starting to feel my usual pre-summer hair boredom. It's too dark, too boring, too heavy -- but I really don't know what to do with it. I try to leave it wavy, but I'm never happy with it like that. I do have a fantasy of bleaching it blonde. I mentioned this on Twitter and almost everyone who responded was someone who knows me personally. They all said not to do it. I think at some point I'm going to have to try it. Especially if other people think I shouldn't do it.

Another thing I mentioned on Twitter recently was that I used coconut oil to deep condition my hair. It generated a lot of interest and many questions! I haven't used conditioner in my hair in a few months (I use Yes to Carrots shampoo), but as I have said before, I just run a little coconut oil through the ends when my hair is dry. The coconut oil comes in solid form (I try to buy organic, virgin coconut oil) but if you take a little tiny bit of it and rub it in your hands, it melts. I find that it works quite well for frizz and for general maintenance, and it's all natural and edible, so nothing to worry about in that respect. I found a few videos online when looking around for more information on coconut oil, and a few of them were about deep conditioning. My hair was feeling a little dry the other day, so I wet my hair and scooped out clumps of coconut oil from the jar. I saturated my hair with it, mostly at the ends, by rubbing it in. It melted into my hair pretty well. I left it in for an hour, and it only took a handful of shampoo to wash it out (you can leave it in overnight, if you wish). My hair was so, so soft, and I am so happy that I never have to buy conditioner again.

(Click on images for sources.)


alice's adventures: Thank you! That cat box is pretty special! When I was little I begged my parents to buy me the stuffed cat you could order from the tissue company.

kenzie: I agree about the Diana. I had a recent Diana disappointment, in that I got a roll of 120 back with only one decent picture on it. Luckily I had only paid for the development and not the prints, or I would have wasted so much money! That's why I was so excited to get this lens. Best of both worlds.

anja louise verdugo: I love all your pictures! I would love to see what you would do with this cute lens!

theowlsarenotwhattheyseem: Thank you! I'm so glad -- and yes, very necessary! The creation of dreamcats was partially inspired by this lens.

erin / atlantictreefox: The official lens of dreamcats! Do ittttttt

Gabriela: Haha, you're welcome!


  1. A friend cut my long hair one night. That was three years ago, and my hair is only a little past my shoulders!! I always look at pictures like the ones you have posted, of long luscious hair, and I get soo jealous. Basically what I am saying is, I know how you feel! Sometimes I get bored and want to cut it, which makes no sense because that same boredom is what got me into this hair pickle in the first place! So the hair growth continues (very slowly)..

    Thanks for the tip about coconut oil! I can't wait to try it.

  2. Waaaah, I miss my long hair terribly! I'd been growing it to about 22 inches but it was far too damaged (and hadn't been trimmed in a year). Your hair colour is so lovely that I'd hate to damage it... but aren't we all perpetually unhappy with our hair? Either way, best of luck with the long luscious lady locks.

  3. Anabela, you have the best hair! On several occasions, I have been about to grow out my bangs only to see you post a photo of you looking fabulous with bangs, and then deciding to run to my local barber to get a bang trim. ;-) Thank you for all the tips on using coconut oil. I picked some up at the end of last week at my local Indian grocery, but I think it was a cheaper version, because it melted right to oil when exposed to the heat in our bathroom. In any case, so far I haven't had much luck with it--it's just made my hair look kind of greasy--but I think I just need to figure out how much to use for my hair type. Also, I am so with you on the beginning of summer warm weather hair ennui. After seeing Jenny from Wiksten's post the other day on hair and makeup, I wanted to chop my hair off to my shoulders again...but I am going to try to stay strong!

    Lastly, I bleached my brown hair blond in college. It was a total disaster and my hair felt like straw, but it was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I wanted to look like Courtney Love and ended up looking more Carrot Top and very un-punk rock. I am sure you would rock blond, but if you wanted to go back to brown, the bleach takes a long time to work out.

  4. Coconut oil as a deep conditioner sounds great! My hair loves oils (I'm currently an olive oil junkie), so I'll have to give this a try!

  5. i am so sad i cut my hair off in january. i know what you mean about feeling like long hair is too dark, boring, and heavy. mainly i miss being able to pin up my braids, especially come summertime.

    virgin coconut oil is so good for dry hair, and it works wonders on skin, too.

  6. Anabela, I know how you feel. I feel that my hair hasn't been this long in years, and though I'm itching to cut it all off, I'm equally as terrified to even give myself a trim. For now I will just continue to experiment with rag curls, pin curls, changing the part in hair every so often, and coconut oil!

  7. i linked your miu miu kitty collar diy in my latest post! http://dropdeadkawaii.blogspot.com

    XD sooo cute

  8. oh, very informative.

    my hair issue is i always have split ends, breakage & fly aways. it have NO idea what to do about it or how to even find out what to do about it. i have thin hair but lots of it so it breaks easy. it also tangles so bad. every day i have to brush a quick forming dread out from behind my neck.

  9. I use argan oil in my hair and it is the best hair treatment I ever used. I'll try the coconut oil next time.

    I went back to my own hair color a few years ago (thinking of going lighter myself) I think you look beautiful with the dark hair and it looks really pretty wavy!

  10. I have had short hair for about 4 years now, and I know that I suit it better short .... but i dream of having long wavy locks :(

    thanks for the coconut oil tip!


  11. Anonymous5.5.10

    Spectrum sells coconut oil in 12oz jars (US only?)--you can scoop some into an old lip gloss container to condition your hair, and use the [clean] leftovers for cooking! Makes great scrambled eggs.

  12. Oh geez, I know this battle. Lately I've been thinking of cutting my hair off again, but I was so traumatized last time I did it, and it's finally getting long again. In high school I had hair down to my waist, but UGH it was so heavy!

    Today I saw a cat in the park. It was a bit sketch, because it was eating out of a can of food and there was no one in sight, and it had a flea collar, and I doubt it brought the food with it. But I was wearing my little kitty ring, so I went and said hello despite my reservations that it might be a strange kitty :D

  13. I know your pain in the department of growing out hair! I once had very long hair... with bangs of course. I had fantasies for years about cutting it all of. Mostly due to cute girls with cute haircuts that I found through blogs. My motivation was also to donate my hair to one charity or another. I wasn't sure if anyone would accept it because I have a lot of grey hair. Anyways... I also loved my short hair but am now feeling the need to return. I've been admiring braided hair and can't take part just yet.

    Your hair always look beautiful in your photos! Maybe it's the coconut oil... thanks for the tip! We had bought some for a recipe awhile ago and weren't sure what to do with the rest of it!!

    Oh as for bleaching... I had streaks bleached into my hair once. I was a hair model. I hated touching my hair it was so dried out. Yuck... Hope you don't make the same mistake. Maybe a really nice wig instead?

    Sorry for the long comment. I must be feeling chatty.

  14. Anonymous5.5.10

    Thanks for the coconut oil tip! I'm gonna try it!

  15. oh...I'm bored with mine too! and it's really similar to yours...my favorite color is the strawberry blonde but it's too much for me...well good luck if you make something special!

  16. Ah, wow! This sounds so close to my own history with my hair. I also went from super long, to kinda short, and spent a long time feeling like my hair was too dry, thick, wavy and dark and at one time I dyed my hair bleach white/blond...and to be honest it was a lot of fun! My only suggestions with going from super dark brown to super blond are:
    1. It sort of hurts a lot (the bleach!)
    2. It's super-duper expensive!
    3. It might make your hair really dry.
    4. For me, it took a long, long time for my hair texture to go back to normal.
    All in all though, I think that it's worth doing, at least once if it's something you've always dreamed of. After all, you can always dye your hair back, or experiment with other colors before going back to your natural color.

    Good luck!

  17. oh i know how you feel, i'm in hair boredom rut, i've never really had long hair, til the last few years, & i know i'd be sad if i cut it, though i dare to all the time, so instead i'm opting to dye it RED again, "carrots" red, now i just have to convince jason to do the job for me, but i've already bought the two boxes of home dye! wish me luck

  18. ps. i slather my hair in coconut oil, & braid it just befor ei go to bed & then wash it out in the morning.

  19. I had the exact same hair chopping experience circa 2002 and I looked exactly like a boy, in fact my then professor now boyfriend asked me to play a young him in a video piece. That's how you know it's bad news. I just got 6" cut off my hair needing a change and can't decide if I regret it or not. It's taken the liberty of dying itself white though.
    Maybe you just need a little hair change. I've obviously never seen it wavy, but it probably looks rad, perhaps a little trim to bring out the waves?

    okay woah that's all nonsense.

  20. That's such a good idea! I want to try using that...
    My hair used to be longer, but somehow my stylist just trimmed it a lot shorter than I intended, and my hair grows SO SLOWLY.

  21. thank you for posting this.

    mainly because currently i have long wavy hair that i've grown bored of: its too heavy/thick, i can never style it the way i dream of, etc. i've thought of just cutting it off (i did once about four years ago, and its just now back at that pre-cut length). i feel like it may be the awkward layers from long ago stylings that have me yearning for it to be short.

    but regardless! this post has even more so convinced me to keep it long. as for the coconut oil, i'm definitely going to try it out.


  22. Beautiful photographs!! I tried a while back to dye my hair. It did not work out. But if you go professionally, they can get the right shade. Do it. You will look amazing.Why not? You only live once and it seems that it is something you really want to do it. If you happen to go with it, I hope you will do a post. I am really intrigued by the coconut oil as my hair unfortunately are frizzy and get tangled. I was wondering where you got your wonderful miracle coconut oil. I am very curious. Have a good day! Take care.

  23. ooo anabela, i will have to try the coconut oil! thanks for the tip! my hair is so nasty right now, i dont know what to do with it. when are you going to go blonde! That is krazy! have you ever gone lighter than your natural colour before?

    ps. it was really good to see you yesterday! :)

  24. I always love how your lovely long dark hair looks in your photos - but I know what it is like to want to do the opposite of what people say - I drastically cut mine this winter, and now want to shave it all off, all the more because everyone is telling me not to! I know it will not look good, but am so tempted!

    Have you ever investigated the 'no shampoo' methods? I have tried but can't seem to get past the first bout of oily hair in the first week or so.

    But I do love the long and dark with fringe style - yours always reminds me of Julie Doiron.

  25. I did the same thing - I put my hair into a ponytail five years ago and gave myself a botched bob. Since then it's kind of refused to grow past a certain length so I only cut it every now and then and make the cut blunt. I feel like it's so boring though! I feel like I've had the same hairstyle forever!

    I like that idea of the coconut oil - I have semi-wavy, semi-curly hair that's thick but fine, I need to find a way to keep it from looking so dried out! I feel like I always buy a shampoo that's too heavy.

  26. I would give up a lot to have hair as thick as yours. You probably have more hair behind your ears than I have on my entire head!:) I have been trying to use coconut oil on my ends but I don't understand how you use it in place of conditioner altogether. After you've rinsed out the shampoo don't you find your hair is tangled? Or do you put coconut oil in it when it is damp and then comb it out and blowdry or air dry it?

  27. I just got married in January and promised my husband I wouldn't cut my hair until after our one year anniversary. He, like most of the men in my life, loves long hair. So here I sit four months in and I really couldn't be happier. Sometimes I just want to cut my hair but I'm turning my attentions to long hair paraphernalia and ribbons. Hang in there.

  28. in the eternal words of sloan: "all they really care about is Growin' their hair And gettin' it cut"... it's the circle of life. so, if you want to bleach your hair, i say do it! i'm gonna!

  29. Anonymous6.5.10

    i've been thinking about cutting my hair (it's almost till waist line) but every time i wash it, looks so nice really long and straight that i just can't... but i'd love to try! also the bleaching to blonde, as i'm dark blonde (in spain, light brunette in other countries). so your post wasn't helpful... but it's good to know we all have hair dilemmas!!!

  30. Anonymous6.5.10

    first of all, that second photo makes ME want blonde hair. i love the soft curls and dirty blonde-ness.

    second, i just bought a whole jar of coconut oil (for making my own deodorant -- a new experiment) and have a whole bunch left over, so hair conditioning sounds like a perfect thing to do with my leftovers! thanks for the idea.

    third, re dreamcats and diana lenses. i showed my boyfriend (photographer), and he also suggested covering your regular camera lens with the cellophane from a cigarette package, which also gives you a dreamy effect. it may be worth experimenting with for dream cats!


  31. Beautiful pictures!

  32. Oh! I tried that coconut oil mask right after you posted on twitter about it. It worked like a charm. I'm in hair-hate mode right now, I'm trying to grow out my bangs to face the summer humidity. *sigh*

    Hope you two are having a lovely trip so far!!

  33. I've gone off conditioner too. I use a massage oil with eucalpytus essential oil added and I find it works so much better than conditioner. I have coconut oil in the kitchen so will try out conditioning with that too!

  34. I started using coconut oil too lately. I don't really see a notable change though...Maybe I'm not doing it right.

    I am also trying to grow my hair out. I even have a whole folder in my laptop labeled 'hair' for inspiration not to cut it. :)


  35. I think growing out your hair has got to be one of the most difficult feats of will power- seriously!

  36. Ooo, I'm so going to try coconut oil on my hair. I'm never happy with my conditioners (they're always water-based, which I think just dries my hair out more.)

  37. I have a similar story where I've done this strange thing several times in a row already. But my hair gets really long, and then for some reason I cut it short to a bob. I've done this three times and each time I regret cutting it! havent learned my lesson. I'm growing it out again and havent had a haircut in over a year. I'm not cutting it until it gets to my butt!

  38. ah, i wish i could do the long, pretty hair thing. i just can't. i keep my hair long enough so i can put it up on a bun. but i never wear it down. it's just a thing. i guess we all have our things.

  39. You're my hair inspriation! Every time I feel like chopping it all off I think "look at Anabela's hair". I've been trying to grow my hair out for a while now and recently(stupidly)decided to trim the ends myself(to save the $30 haircut)and...um....It didn't work out so well. Now there is this portion of my hair that is lke 3in shorter than everthing else and I can't even wear my hair down it looks so bad. Le sigh. I really just shouldn't keep scissors in the bathroom...Bad call on my part.

    I say if you want to go blond do it! Dark hair is really difficult to do yourself though. I know from watching my sister bleach her coco hair and it turning out burnt orange(this happened multiple times). If you do it I would definitely reccomend going to a pro.

  40. I just wanted to say first I love your blog! I stumbled across it surfing from one blog to another and you have a great voice and beautiful content!

    I currently have overly shaggy long hair and I can't wait for it to get trimmed so it hangs better. I had super short hair for ages and now I can't bear to part with my long stuff!

  41. I love your hair now, though! I wish I had dark straight hair and could pull off bangs!!! (my hair is curly, by the way.)

    I also love love love the miu miu inspired collars you make! I love them so much that I was wondering weather you would be interested in doing a little swap! If you like you could visit my shop and see if anything interests you.
    Let me know what you think!

  42. I love your hair color. I keep wanting to dye my hair the color you have! My hair was almost down to my waist and I cut it off last spring. I regretted it the moment I looked in the mirror. So sad. I am currently growing it out again, a frustrating process.

  43. I got a pixie cut last summer thinking that it was very Julie Andrews/Peter Pan, and it did look lovely but I miss my hair too much and have been growing it for months, so I know your pain. Good luck deciding what to do and thanks for the coconut oil advice.

    Great photos!



  44. i really love having long hair. the only two bad things are: having to sleep with it up or braided to avoid massive knots, and having food in it all the time because long hair always gets in the way. i don't know what's been different lately, but i can trim two inches off, and a few weeks later, it's longer than when i cut it! maybe your hair will get this sort of growth spurt, too.

    and i must say, i don't believe that there is such a thing as hair "too dark." i'm always telling my husband that i wish my hair were darker, like it is in the winter, and his response is that i don't realize how dark it actually is. balogna.

    bottom line: i like your hair.

  45. Anonymous12.5.10

    Your blog is lovely!


  46. You know my hair is pretty long, and naturally wavy, but it never looks like those leggy long-haired models. I'm not sure why that is, other than I'd have to spend two hours on it, which I'm not willing to.

    My mom swears by coconut oil for cooking and beauty, so the entire time I was visiting her I was using it for so many things — makeup remover, conditioner, lotion, to tame the frizzies. I never thought of using it entirely in place of conditioner, though! Thanks for this.

  47. I get the same way with wanting changes - and I'm currently feeling the antsy-ness of wanting a new hair color. I used to dye it and I haven't in 8 months and I feel like its turning into that dreaded shade of mouse blond. Not light, not dark - just unflattering!

    One time I told my hair colorist that I was feeling restless and wanted to switch to strawberry blond and he told me to buy a new shade of lipstick. It was good advice! Sometimes we just need something new in our life.

    Right now I'm thinking about finding the right shade of coral for my lips ... it's not as good as highlights but it's sure is cheaper! (and less damaging for my hair which seems to be stuck at its current length!)

  48. PS Let me just jump on the bandwagon for the 'No Bleaching your hair' !!!
    Your hair is absolutely beautiful and you'll totally reverse all that progress you made with the coconut oil. Plus... its expensive! SO expensive, especially since you have dark hair the upkeep is going to be practically every month... You could probably get a real Miu Miu anything for the amount you'd spend!

  49. maybe we should swap hair darling girl.. I've long been a fan of your style... Perhaps hilarious photoshop is in order? xo