View Full Version : My hair is split and damaged but I don't want to cut it :(

September 12th, 2012, 11:37 AM
I have naturally thick, bushy, frizzy and wavy hair and I have damaged it so much using heat on it. It's split and frail about up to 3 inches up in some places. Here is a pic of it, my camera is not very good but the damage is still quite visible:


If you look closely you can tell it's all split quite high. The front is worse than the back.

(Excuse me if I look rough. I'm heavily pregnant and am a bit puffy)

I can't really carry off anything shorter than just past my shoulders. My hair puffs outwards, gets extremely wavy and I am by all means not the dainty, naturally feminine graceful type. I'm quite stocky and square with a low voice, and need to make an extra effort with my appearance to be girly and ladylike.

I have had it shoulder length in the past few years, and felt like I had to straighten it at that length to make it look pretty and presentable. I feel like I can only not straighten it when it's about the length it is now.

September 12th, 2012, 11:39 AM
Just to note. The bits that are split cannot be repaired. I can mask the damage a little with things like olive oil products and shine spray but I still find in some places it breaks off, and before I saturate the shine spray over the ends they feel all raspy like wire or dry leaves, and itch against my skin.

Can I grow this out?

September 12th, 2012, 11:42 AM
Have you tried a protein treatment yet? If you keep looking, you will find you do not need to cut your hair. there is help, and you've come to the right place.

September 12th, 2012, 11:43 AM
You are already doing better than me, i have not figured out how to post yet, lol.

September 12th, 2012, 11:48 AM
If you don't get rid of the damage, it will only get worse.

Your hair won't recover unless you change your hair care routine and keep away from harmful things.

September 12th, 2012, 11:52 AM
It's up to you whether you can live with the damage or not...but mine was very damaged and I had a lot of blonde highlights growing out. I chose to stop having it cut a few years back and let it grow as my hairdressers were all too scissor happy. It wasn't easy as it felt and looked awful but I wanted length.

Once I got to a particular length and really badly wanted a trim I went into a hairdresser and 'played up' that I had had a really short haircut last time (I did actually) and yes I know I have damage and splits but I just want the very ends cut off.

This worked and I've been back there about 4 times since, the last time I had most of the last of the damage chopped off.
I went in last time and was even more 'difficult' as I have switched to co washing and not using ordinary towels so I wouldn't let them shampoo me, use their products nor use their own towel on me.
She did my hair exactly as I wanted it and I got about 3 inches cut off. She also totally understood what I was doing and why.

If you absolutely cannot cope with the damage get a tiny trim and it'll feel that bit better.

You could also try a once a week deep treat with coconut oil or something just to help with hair strength.

September 12th, 2012, 11:53 AM
I'd suggest microtrimming so you maintain the length you're at but slowly lose the damage. While that's going on, baby your hair with deep treatments, and keep it up in protective styles to help prevent more damage. Good luck! =]

September 12th, 2012, 11:54 AM
For the record, I don't see anything unfeminine about you. Being dainty is not at all the only way to be girly. You don't look rough. I think you look beautiful. :)

If you don't want to cut off length, I might suggest a serious search and destroy on split ends. Have a friend help you if your hair is too short to see in some places. I know I used to go cross-eyed trying to do this on my own when my hair was your length. Also, I don't know how you feel about layers, but it might help you get rid of some of the damage, and lessen the poufyness at the bottom. This can help you maintain the overall length, and might help keep the waves under control. I wore layers for years and loved them. When your hair gets longer, you can grow them out more easily. I'd also recommend micro-trimming, to keep splits in check early but still allow you to gain length. This will be especially helpful if you need to use heat on your hair.

Quitting heat styling is probably the fastest, best way to avoid new splits, but even if you just do it less, that can help. Try using a cooler setting, and use some kind of heat protector on your hair first. I also use coconut oil - just a few drops - to keep frizzies in check. It's a wonderful leave-in conditioner too. Sweet almond oil is another favorite of mine. Run some through damp hair, and it might help.

You might have to baby your hair for a time, but pampering yourself is part of being a girl, so enjoy it. :)

Also, what kind of brush/comb do you use? I switched to a wooden comb and brush and the frizzies disappeared. My waves stay defined and pretty.

Hope this helps.

September 12th, 2012, 12:18 PM
It is hard to really tell what your hair is like from the photo but you totally do not need to chop it all off.
I would start with a half inch..or probably an inch. After that initial trim do very small microtrims every month or every other month.
Also, put down the straightener and try out protective buns and styles. Get yourself some hair forks or hair sticks.
Get into doing deep treatments. Try out the SMT. I am feeling lazy...maybe someone will come along with the link to the thread. Basically it is a mix of conditioner, aloe vera, and honey. I add oil to mine.
While I am here...I would find yourself an oil you really like. Sometimes its hard to find the right one.
Just hang out on this website for a while gathering information before you make any serious decisions.

September 12th, 2012, 12:24 PM
I can't see the damage from here.

Just get or give yourself teeny trims on a regular basis and deep treatments. Combined with very gentle handling - no more heat! - this should get you through until you feel comfortable with the length enough to cut most or all of the remaining damage away.

I've done a number of big trims and changed my hair care habits since I've been a member here (six years now), and I still get split ends. :justy: Perfection isn't possible, at least not at my house.

September 12th, 2012, 12:26 PM
I would try to find a hairstylist that you trust. Explain to her you are growing. If you have damage, you can get it trimmed (maybe 1/2 inch to 1 inch), and while you are growing and trimming damage off little by little, condition, and be gentle to your hair. No coloring, no heat. In 3-6 months time with little trims you will be set for a long growth period...as long as you modify your routine to keep damage away. I love the color!

September 12th, 2012, 12:44 PM
Hello, and welcome to LHC, Sarah! :waving:
As some of the others here have mentioned, damage won't go away, and definitely can't be repaired. As background, and to give you some information about hair health, I recommend that you read this article (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79) by our own lovely Nightshade.
So damage can't be repaired, but there are ways to make your hair look better. One is to use cones - I don't know what sort of routine you have, but I can assure you that cones are not evil. And they can be very good at covering up damaged hair.
But that only addresses the appearance of the hair, and not the underlying health issue.
If you want healthy hair, I strongly recommend that you lay off - or at least heavily ration - any damaging treatments. Dye, bleach, perming/relaxing and heat are the worst offenders. Then you will need to trim the damaged parts. I second microtrims, they are a good way to get rid of damage without sacrificing length, and if you trim less than you grow, you will have a net length gain.
Also look into protein and moisture treatments. I'm sure your hair will behave better with some pampering. :)

September 12th, 2012, 01:53 PM
My hair was a lot like this last December. I decided to go the experimental route first and it worked. I started using Faye's trimming method and trimmed 1/2" myself. I then used baking soda to clarify and a deep protein treatment every other week, coconut oil everyday, and figuring out what parts of the Curly Girl method worked for me (I'm not 100% in need of this method but it helps!). I'll put pictures in my album so you can see the difference between December and February.

ETA: I can't get my album to upload pictures so here's the difference I saw:



Most recent (August):


September 12th, 2012, 05:51 PM
I'm just joining the micro-trim club to get rid of some of my own frizzies. I can't bare to chop off my length. If I keep getting micro-trims, I'll either stay the same or grow a little. Your hair doesn't look that bad to me. I bet a little trim would make you feel better. Congrats on the baby!!!

September 12th, 2012, 07:36 PM
I suggest that you trim off about two inches. I bet it would both look and feel better.

Good luck with whatever you do!

September 12th, 2012, 07:39 PM
I don't think it looks nearly as bad as you describe. Perhaps you could try microtrimming to slowly get rid of damaged hair while not sacrificing your hair's length?

September 12th, 2012, 07:49 PM
Your hair looks pretty good to me.

You might want to check out the wavy/curly threads here for advice on how best to bring out the waves and give up the heat. It is difficult, and the damage takes a long time to grow out (something I'm living through right now) but so much better for split ends!