Here is some radical honesty - in my life I have watched scientists find a cure for AIDS. It’s happened before. I’m not jealous of AIDS but boy, do I wish Stage IV Metastatic breast cancer had a cure. 

Having an incurable illness is like having a Serial Killer in a locked trunk in your basement. He’s your problem, he’s in your basement, he’s killed so many people before... but you might be the one who stays alive. Oh, and the serial killer is you, or at least your own cells. 

If I’ve learned anything about battling my own cells, it’s that you can’t “spot treat.” The problem is always going to be systemic, which means the solution is also going to be systemic - “and” not “or.” 

The same can be said of growing hair - something I feel like a specialist in since my blessed autodidact brain latched onto growing back my hair post chemo and sunk it’s brilliant, OCD claws in it. 

This means the rules I outlined in my Virtue Lab post all together combine to make a perfect recipe for growing hair long and strong. But they don’t capture the most essential element required: patience. 

To grow your hair long is to make tiny decisions throughout the day that allow the keratin in your hair to knit a spiderweb thin tube that extrudes itself ever longer - without breaking, into eternity. 
It requires the willingness to wait, not days or months, but years - always handling your hair as if it was a sweet, delicate fiber. 

It’s a lot like managing a chronic illness, or a soul. The incremental gains of making the right choices just aren’t always visible right away. They are so small as to be unnoticeable, and so unknowable. You cannot rely on the reward of instant change, just the steady, plodding march of daily gains. 

It’s the best growth in some ways because it is the easiest to maintain once you get there. Tiny changes, choices, all day long that reflect and shift the results you get in stepping towards your goal. 

If your goal is long hair, here’s a refresher on the rules: 
sleep on silk or satin, cotton sucks hydration from skin and hair, and roughs up the delicate cuticle. You can wrap with a scarf or buy some pillowcases. The slip silk pillowcase is the best, but there are cheaper options on places like Amazon, Overstock. 

Avoid hair ties that crush hair. I like silicone, scrunchies, claw clips, padded headbands, vintage scarves, and scraps of fabric.

Avoid other damaging things like heat styling, sun, coloring etc, as much as possible. I color my hair but try to limit myself to heat styling once a week, and years ago I found microfiber towels - the secret to air drying even when it's snowing. I swear it makes the hair dry silky and wavy, you just have to experiment to wrap it to get the shape you want. 

Use incredible biotechnology to wash, condition and style your hair - did you know that Virtue Labs is keratin your hair absorbs? The results just get better the more you use it.

Now I have been blessed (and this is a SPONSORED POST) with the gifting of whatever Virtue Lab product I want. Not a single one has not knocked my socks off, but I always tell people the shampoo and conditioner is the thing. I traveled a lot last year and I ran out, and I survived about two months before my hair became stringy, unmanageable, and just not as mermaid looking. Now I use either the Full shampoo (humid day, wearing hair wavy) or the Smooth shampoo (I'm Cher, too low humidity to get a decent wave) followed by the Full conditioner, which I sub out for the mask once every third wash. The time in between is tbd based on spoons, sometimes I'll go 5-6 days without washing and nobody can tell, in which case I'm obsessed with the Dry Shampoo! After I read that article in the Atlantic, about it causing hairloss I won't use another because that bioavailable keratin always gives me back more than it takes out.  I love the incredibly soft but strong hold of the Shaping Spray, which is a LIFESAVER for bangs and also those super smooth updos. But my every day BAE is the 6-in-1 styler, which just makes my wavy hair so manageable, but never heavy or greasy.  Oh, and I use the clarifying shampoo when I edge into grossly long between hair washes, radical honesty, anything over five days, and I finish with the mask and it's like starting over with baby hair. Which I've done.

So you may want to see that aforementioned hair. I have so many posts of my hair growing out, but here are the baldie pictures everyone loves, and here's when I was ombre, rose gold, and purple. Ya girl did some damage and she had so much fun doing it. She broke her own rules. But as I always remind you, hair grows back.

So here's my truest opinion, even though this post is sponsored (thank you - ya girl has got to live!)

Using Virtue Labs is one of those choices where you get what you pay for. What I didn't anticipate was how worth it would be. I know, I know. But healthy hair makes me feel healthy, it makes me feel good even when my lymphedema makes me feel like someone put the barbed wire inside my chest. #radicalHonesty my hair is so shiny and long it feels like protective armor. Like the world can't get me when I have it draped down my shoulders. Is there a price you wouldn't pay to feel strong when you're weak? Or to feel beautiful when you are under-appreciated.

The packaging is A+ cute. The products feel luxurious, smell like heaven (my favorite is the creamy marzipan of the mask) and work better than I ever believed was possible. People thank me all the time for turning them on because they feel good about their hair.

Love your hair, have fun with your hair, the time to battle against it is over. And I hope this post helps you to find beauty in yourself with or without buying anything.