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Right, if you read my post on Friday, you'll know that I've always been a bit obsessed with Disney princesses. Well, the theme of loving Disney doesn't go as far as just in my visual life. Disney gave me very, very high expectations of hair. I've dreamt of having hair down to my bum since... well... since I can remember anything! It's something I've fantasised about, longed for, loved and admired on so many women my entire life, and luckily for me, my hair is now pretty damn long.
I've had my fair share of terrible haircuts in my life, but thankfully not too many. Ever since starting university, I've always had quite long hair, but since finishing it really has gotten longer and longer...and I'm totally ok with that! In fact, I could easily let it grow longer.
Throughout the years, I've accumulated a fair share of knowledge on how to grow hair long, so I thought that it was only fair to share those tips and tricks with you all!
- Use a comb when your hair is wet: I've got my mum to thank for this one. From the moment I had hair, my mum always used a comb when it was wet. I hated it and used to complain that it hurt, but it toughened me up and I'm pretty much immune to it now. When your hair is wet, it becomes much weaker and prone to damage. If you use a big brush through it, you're very likely to break it. If long hair is your goal, that's the last thing you want. Use a comb instead, which might take a bit longer, but you're able to slowly work your way at detangling the knots, rather than barging your way through them.
- Minimise heat: Ok, so I ignore this rule for the sake of these images, but if I'm not doing anything special, no heat gets applied to my hair at all. I try to let it air dry as much as possible, and I avoid styling tools. Everyone knows that heat damages hair terribly, so the less you use it, the healthier your hair will be. When you do have to use it, make sure you use a good heat protecting tool!
- Get it trimmed: I hate doing this, I'll admit it. But every couple of months, get your hair trimmed. When your hair splits at the ends, the split will eventually work its way up the entire hair, weakening it and ultimately destroying it's length. You don't have to cut a lot off, and find yourself a hairdresser who really listens to you, and you'll be fine. Tell them you want the absolute minimum off, and get them to show you how much they plan to take off. They always want to make sure you'll leave happy!
- Wash your hair less: This isn't news, but washing your hair every day is so bad for it! You strip it of it's natural oils, which dries it out, slows down it's growth, and will leave you with broken ends. It will also make your hair greasier in the long run, as the more you wash it, the more oil it tries to produce to catch up with your washing! My top tip? Use dry shampoo. If you're getting greasy hair within the first 2 days of your wash cycle, spritz some dry shampoo into your hair. Eventually, your hair will get used to it's new routine and you'll need to use it less and less!
- Use hair masks once a week: And that's the minimum! I try to let a hair mask sit on my hair for three minutes at least twice a week, but once is already going to help it a lot. Hair masks add loads of moisture back to your hair which will stop it drying out and splitting at the end (meaning you can delay that visit to the hairdressers just a bit longer!)
- Use Argan oil after you've washed your hair: I started using Moroccan Oil about two years ago, and it was life altering. You'll have noticed by now that there's a recurring theme of "adding moisture back to your hair" and this is just another step you can take. The longer your hair is, the longer it's been around, the more it's had to deal with in it's lifetime, so it will be more delicate. Argan oil is an amazing way of keeping your hair moisturised, keeping it healthy, and it has the added bonus of making your locks silky smooth and shiny! Oh, and it smells good too. What's not to love?!
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Growing up, the message was clear: go to school, get good grades, you go to university, get a good degree, and get a well payed job. At my school, there was never any mention of starting up your own business, so the thought never crossed my mind. It wasn't until I was in my last year at University that it hit me that I didn't want to have a standard 9-5. But for some reason, I suppressed that desire and went on the hunt for that "dream internship" which would get me started on my "dream career."
At the time, I thought social media would be a great way to go. I enjoyed it, and I knew a lot about it from having built up Atlas. So when an internship opportunity popped up on LinkedIn which would be based in my home town, I didn't give it a second thought. Before I knew it, I was being interviewed, and within a month, it was down to just two others and myself.
As the weeks progressed, something began to stir inside me. Was this really what I wanted? Did I really want to go and get a job? What about Atlas? Would I have to give that up? The truth was, I really didn't want to. All I wanted to do was focus on carrying on developing what we had started to build. The thing is though, when things go that far, it's hard to turn around and say "Oops, sorry, not actually for me!" so I kept at it.
Can you guess what happened next? You guessed it; I got the job. I should have been ecstatic, thrilled, over the moon! Instead? I was nervous, angry at myself, and refusing to admit to anyone the mistake I had made. So, being the stubborn person I am (and terrified what everyone would say), I packed up my flat (in Cornwall!) and moved back home (to Switzerland!). Needless to say, it didn't go well.
My first day was horrendous. Not in the sense that work was hard or that people were mean. It was totally the opposite actually; everyone was lovely, the work was fun. But I was miserable. All I could think about all day long was how huge a mistake I had made. I felt like an idiot! Who gives up their dream like that? I had.
But had I? No, I hadn't... I'd just taken a wrong turn. I went home after my third day, and told my parents I was going to quit. Thankfully, they were incredibly supportive, and encouraged me to follow my dream. The hardest part about it all was having to admit to the people who had employed me that I'd made a massive mistake. They were disappointed, but ultimately understood and agreed that I should pursue Atlas further. I finished my week with them, and within a few days, I was back in Cornwall, preparing myself for my next challenge: Atlas.
So what did I learn from all of this, and what advice could I give someone who's unsure about their career?
First of all: If you know you've made a mistake early on, TELL SOMEONE. Don't sit on it like I did for weeks and weeks, too scared to admit to anyone that the path you're going down isn't quite what you thought. Be it a university course, an internship, a job, the sooner you admit it, the less grief you're giving the others around you in the long term.
And second of all: don't be scared to follow your dreams. Seriously, if I had done what everyone had told me growing up, I wouldn't be where I am now. Sure, our business still has so much further to go, and I'm learning every single day. It's a struggle. But it was the best decision I ever made, and I don't regret pursuing it for a single second.