One year on…

July 2012

This time last year…

A year (or nearly two in my case) feels like a long time but looking back, it’s gone quickly. Those who have been reading Just Nice Things for at least a couple of years will know the obstacle I had to face in 2011, leading me to stop blogging for a while. (Here’s a little reminder of that.)

I have openly talked about the drastic loss of hair I suffered as a side effect of taking harsh medication, and the sadness and distress it caused to see pretty much half my hair fall out. However, I knew it was just a temporary glitch and I was far more concerned with fighting my illness and recovering from that.

I stopped my treatment towards the end of March last year but I still had to be monitored with regular check-ups and tests, and that it takes up to a year for the drugs to leave the body. It’s also when the healing process began.

This February I was given the all clear and discharged. On Valentine’s Day funnily enough. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m back to my usual self and it’s as if the last 18 months never happened.

But back to the point of this post. This time last year, the above picture is how my hair looked – very thin and whispy. I barely recognise myself when a year prior to this, I looked completely different – I had a huge crop of hair!

Georgia had to cut my hair much shorter to regain its strength and to allow it to grow back healthy so it was like taking a step back to go forward. I wasn’t happy when I had been wanting to grow my hair longer but I agreed with Georgia that this was the way forward.

Yesterday I popped along to my favourite salon and four hours later, I left looking like this:


Cleopatra is back!

Now I’ve had a little booster with some human hair extensions by Racoon but only in the sides as that’s where my hair is the weakest. I first tried them in the new year and decided I wanted to keep them (expertly done by Billie).

There is actually a logical explanation behind this and it’s not for vanity alone. Billie advised that by having some extensions added for fullness, they would  also take the stress and pressure off my real hair at the sides from when I use straighteners. Think about it – when you run straighteners through your hair, you are pulling at it. My hair at the sides always seems to be particularly weak as a result of such actions.


After two months of wearing extensions, when they were removed we noticed a difference – the hair looked stronger. I have continuously used straighteners but running them over the extensions has meant they have guarded my real hair from damage.

Some friends have told me they aren’t keen on extensions as they ruin real hair. Not if they are applied correctly. These were attached by glue about an inch from the roots, so the new hair has room to grow and become strong and the extensions are completely separate from inflicting any potential damage. I also didn’t experience any hair loss, no headaches and after a day, I forgot they were there.

Although the extensions have been matched perfectly with my real hair, the only giveaway is they are longer in length (so I’ve cheated a bit!) but could you tell if I hadn’t made the revelation?

My real hair has been growing back quickly too; the back alone is sprouting new, healthy hair which I am so chuffed about. I try to use castor oil whenever I can as that stops hair breaking and promotes growth but my use of it is now pretty sporadic. My health bouncing back is most likely the main source of it all.

The extensions are something I don’t intend to keep forever, but they are very addictive and has made managing my hair so much easier. The important thing here is they are doing something positive to my real hair so it feels like a treatment at the same time (albeit an expensive one!)

It is a welcome change to find a salon which is concerned about progressing forward with the needs you may have, and the girls at The Chapel have done exactly this for the last two years with me. They’ve already got ideas in their heads about what they’re going to do to my hair in the summer and for Christmas and do you know what? I can’t wait.

newhairjnt2If you’re wondering what products I used here, they are: Illamasqua Skin Base in number 12, NARS blusher in Taj Mahal (face), Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in On And On Bronze, Urban Decay’s Smoked palette, Bourjois’s Eyeshadow pot in number 16, Maybelline’s Rocket Volum’ Express mascara (eyes), and MAC’s Chilli lipstick with Illamasqua’s lip gloss in Drag.



  1. Lisa Redpath
    17th March 2013 / 6:01 PM

    You are an inspirational, strong,gorgeous woman and I love ya loads. Sharing your story will hopefully let others see that sometimes hairdressers really are worth more than their weight in gold. It’s not just about looking good but also about comforting and supporting you through the tough times. To me you have never looked bad, but so glad you are feeling great now. Also reminded me it has been far too long since I got mine cut! Hmmm wonder if I will go for a big change or not now the wedding is over.

  2. 17th March 2013 / 6:07 PM

    Wow Sheenie, you look absolutely amazing and your hair looks so healthy. I too have had a few problems with thinning hair (hormone issues) and although it’s stopped falling out now the sides seem to be the weakest point. What you said about the pulling with the straighteners makes perfect sense, I would never have guessed that you had extensions in. Jude xx @jadlgw

  3. Britny
    17th March 2013 / 7:09 PM

    Your hair is looking fabulous Sheenie, wish I could carry off a cut like that.

    Finding a good hairdresser when your hair is in a bad state is a god send. When my PSoriasis was at its worst a lot of my hair fell out due to the steroids. I also found it hard to find a hairdresser that would deal with me while my psoriasis was bad. For 18 mths I didn’t visit a hairdresser till I found one in Wigan. They were great cut my hair shorter and used a spatula/comb kind of thing to do highlights without going near my scalp. I was so overjoyed!

  4. 17th March 2013 / 9:36 PM

    You are such an inspirational lady, Sheenie. It’s so lovely to read this blog post in contrast to the one on your personal blog from last year.
    You look FANTASTIC. Love the hair, but you have made me want extensions even more!
    I hope this year is a fantastic one for you.
    Cwtches xx

  5. Sheenie
    18th March 2013 / 12:57 AM

    Lisa – I love you loads too! Well, you know what I was going through from the first day the news was given to me. Yes, you’re absolutely right about some hairdressers – the girls knew what to do and have stuck to it every step of the way and I am amazed to actual results. To me, it was money well spent. If you can make a trip to London then I would happily introduce to The Chapel. 😉

    Jude – thank you! Can you believe there were no products used (other than hair spray to set it after?) because the extensions were added at the last stage. I can’t quite believe the difference in a year. I was initially told not to use straighteners too much to relax the sides but with my style and the fact I can’t tie my hair up that easily, I have to. Have you given any thought to using castor oil for the hair thinning you’ve experienced? I have fine hair and it’s worked wonders.

    Britny – thanks for sharing your story. I know you care strongly about a good hairdresser and it’s good to know there are ones out there who understand serious issues and turn them around.

    Georgia – thank you, my love and for the cwtches. There is light at the end of the tunnel! I’m forever touching my hair, didn’t think it would grow back so quickly and so fast too. I think my hair grew at least 2 inches since my last salon visit…maybe more! If you consider getting them, don’t feel like you need a whole head of it but you won’t want to part with them… xx

  6. 18th March 2013 / 1:35 PM

    I am so pleased that you are okay and your health is back on track, along with your hair growth too.

    I have suffered hair loss for some time now, its stress related and at times it makes me really down. I do have to remind myself, its only hair and I am (thank God) healthy and just get on with it.

    I do know what thinning hair makes you feel like and its not nice, it affects your confidence at the very minimum.

    Your hair looks fab, its a lovely cut and colour.

    Lots of love and a big hug

  7. Sheenie
    18th March 2013 / 8:02 PM

    Grace, you are spot on and worrying about it doesn’t help. There are all sorts of reasons for hair loss. I keep banging on about black castor oil but it really does make a difference especially if you find your hair brush is covered in broken hairs. Thank you for your warm message, feels good things are so much better a year on. xxx

  8. 28th March 2013 / 9:18 AM

    Hi Sheenie,

    It’s good to know that your hair is back on its original shape and texture. I have been having a hair loss for quite some time and it’s really frustrating because I don’t know its reason, I don’t know if it’s because of the shampoo or the conditioner that I’m using or it’s due to the chemicals of the hair treatment that I’m having.
    Lucky for you, you were able to know its cause and your hair is now healthier than before. I just hope that I’ll be able to know the reason behind my hair loss.

    Anyway, love the color and the style of your hair! Fits perfectly on you, so gorg!

  9. Sheenie
    28th March 2013 / 10:34 AM

    Hi Nelly,

    Thank you for your message and your kind words. I understand your anguish and worries. A number of reasons cause hair loss – stress is probably the biggest one but I also think there are various other contributing factors so perhaps minimizing them might relax your hair a bit? What shampoo do you use? If you’ve not tried sulphate-free ones, I suggest you do. Your hair will definitely feel better from it.

    Try to avoid products that contain sulphate and parabens, and massage black castor oil into your scalp to strengthen the roots and encourage new hair growth. This definitely works! I’ve written about it and within days I noticed hardly any hair coming off from brushing. Also it’s worth taking extra vitamins (ask your health shop). I did take Nourkin for a while but it was expensive and slow though it did work. Let me know how you get on.

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