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Poetic
August 13th, 2008, 05:53 PM
As some of you may know, I was sick for several weeks and was unable to care for my hair properly. My hair, having been in about eight braids during this time, became matted at the roots. So now, even after weeks of attempting to untangle my hair, I still have matted roots, though not as severly.

I was finally able to find a natural hair salon willing to do a consultation. My fear is that I am going to be told that, after six years of growing my hair to tailbone length and caring for it almost as one might a child, I will have to cut it up to the roots.

I truly don't think I could handle cutting my hair so short. I have had one panick attack already today just thinking about the idea that I mmight have to cut my hair off and start afresh.

I would like a bit of advice from those who appreciate long hair. If I am told that all that can be done for my hair is to cut it, should I cut? Or should I maybe work on my hair awhile longer? Maybe seek another consultation?

Sorry for being so long=winded. I guess I just needed to vent . . . without being told I was stupid to be attached to hair.

Thank you for reading this.:)

Saranne772
August 13th, 2008, 05:54 PM
I am sorry to hear of your trouble. I cant offer advice as I dont know but I hope you find your answer :grouphug:

I am glad you are well again! :)

MusingFrog
August 13th, 2008, 05:57 PM
How have you been trying to untangle? If this happened to me I would do this while my hair was wet and coated in cone laden conditioner (such as Pantene), or anything that gave my hair lots of slip. I certainly would not cut the hair especially as it sounds like you are making slow but sure progress on it.

There is at least one person here who had dreads then removed them (I'm thinking of MadPirateBippy). If I remember correctly it took her a long time to get them untangled (several weeks I'm thinking...) but it did get done and her hair was ok.

I'd keep at the untangling handling a small section at a time. Get your hair wet and use tons of conditioner and don't rinse it out until you are done detangling. Also keep the hair contained (maybe in one large braid) until you are done with everything. You don't want hair you've already dealt with to tangle again.

thankyousir74
August 13th, 2008, 05:57 PM
You are not stupid at all, I would probably cry one hundred times if that happened to me. I wouldn't cut it. I would probably get dreads before I cut my hair that short again (not kidding, dreads are kinda cool).

But if its tangled to a less extent isn't there hope to try to detangle using lots of cones, conditioner?

I think you should give it a couple more weeks... I'm so sorry you have to go through this, poetic.

:blossom:

Shanarana
August 13th, 2008, 06:02 PM
I agree with the others........tons of cone conditioner and time and patience to gently get them out. I too am glad that you are better......and your hair will be too. :)

MotherConfessor
August 13th, 2008, 06:18 PM
There is always a way, just stick with it and it will work out. Maybe a patient friend and a wide toothed comb. Sometimes I wish we could all get together southerns style - you know, how when something bad happens a bunch of women descend on you with food. Except we would all come over to your house with hair products and combs and make a big night of combing out your lovely hair.

Seriously even when it looks like all hope is lost sometimes sticking it out the end and ignoring the naysayers works the best. Few weeks ago I found this half dead cat outside, took it to the vet but they said there was no hope at all and that it would be dead by morning (they were very clear - dead by morning, absolutely no chance). I sat with that cat for three days with a syringe and compresses (and a bunch of other things) and it is now hobbling happily about the house.

Much love and well wishes Poetic.

GoldLady
August 13th, 2008, 06:21 PM
I would not cut either, remain calm. *breathe*

The fact that you are making slow progress is a great indication you can get this worked out.

I would second the suggestion of cycling 'cone laden conditioners (like condition, work it for a while and then rinse so your scalp doesn't get unhappily clogged). I would personally try L'Oreal's Mega Moisture because I remember how when we all rinsed it in the old days (ya there, Karen Marie? :eyebrows:) we really skated around the shower floor after rinsing, it offered so much slip.

Also, one of the more slippery oils would help. I'm a 'finey', so I don't have a whole lot of experience with the heavier oils, but maybe avocado, melted emu or melted shea butter? I'm also wondering if the farther away from your scalp the mat's get, the easier they'll be to work on. You'll be able to get under them and unsnarl them better.

My last thought would require one or more of the realllly old time LHC'ers to chime in. Does anyone remember Rainbow getting terrible knots in her extremely long hair on her trip to NY, I think it was? I know she had some success on working them for quite a while, but for the life of me can't remember what product(s) she used?

totie
August 13th, 2008, 06:46 PM
Who here was/is famous for saying "this to shall pass"????? (teacherbear???).
Poetic it's ok to feel like crying you have been sick and now have to deal with your hair after nuturing it for so long. (((hugs)))

Poetic
August 13th, 2008, 06:58 PM
Sometimes I wish we could all get together southerns style - you know, how when something bad happens a bunch of women descend on you with food. Except we would all come over to your house with hair products and combs and make a big night of combing out your lovely hair.



MotherConfessor, you really made me smile.:) Thank you everyone.:flowers: I have my consultation at 9:00 tomorrow.:pray: I will let everyone know how it turns out. If they can't help, I will load up on the conditioners (cones included) and go at it myself.

ChloeDharma
August 13th, 2008, 06:59 PM
Years ago i used to have wool braids in and i used to get those mattings at the roots. Admittedly mine were only in for a couple of weeks at a time though, but i think you probably can save your hair.....i've heard actuald dreads take something like a year to lock up to the point of having to cut them out.
I agree with the cone filled shampoo suggestion, or maybe something like broccoli seed oil which gives alot of slip. I'd probably not wet the hair though as hair is more delicate and prone to breakage when wet and the cuticle might be raised a bit by the warmth of the water which would reduce slip.

Your reaction isn't silly at all, its perfectly understandable and i really do hope you manage to save your hair, and whatever you have lost so far.....will grow back :flower:

Catladyintown
August 13th, 2008, 07:52 PM
Hi Poetic you can solve your problem with Crisco. There is no need to cut your hair. Buy a big container of Crisco and slather it on then slowly message the Crisco in the scalp and hair. Start slowly detangling the hair . After the detangling is done you can put your hair in to braids. And if you want sleep with the Crisco over night. In the morning just use a cheap conditioner to get out the Crisco. Crisco has been used for years to get dreads out and unlock the hair. HTH
P.S. Poetic sometimes it takes more than 2 or 3 times in a week or two to solve the problem.

EmpressRi
August 13th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Don't worry!!! Listen, my girlfriend had a head FULL of locs and she combed them out herself!! All you need is a wide tooth comb, loads of condish and the patience of Job. You won't need to cut your hair. I wish I could do it for you, I'm great at getting tangles out!

Eryka
August 13th, 2008, 09:02 PM
Crisco is a great idea. My two bits would be an ultra greasy peanut butter. If it can get out chewing gum . . . .

If worse comes to worse, snip a SMALL part of the big knots, especially if they are underneath the bulk of your hair. That way you're not cutting all of it off but if some of it get thin, it will be under most of your hair.

Best of luck honey, it will get better.

(I'll bring the Sweet Tea and Red Velvet Cake for the southern attack)

MotherConfessor
August 13th, 2008, 11:24 PM
Crisco - brilliant!!!!!! There you go, if we cannot physically come over to you we can at least do it virtually. I will bring virtual banana bread and virtual S&D scissors. Were all cheering you on:cheer:

Darkhorse1
August 13th, 2008, 11:39 PM
peanut butter is also great. You won't need to cut it---are the braids small? If you work the braids slowly out, then patiently use something greasy, with a comb or your fingers, you can un-knot them. Sadly, when ill, you are restless with fever, and as a result, your hair takes a beating.

DON'T Panic if you see a lot of hair shedding--if you've had a high fever, you will shed hair as a result. This happened to me after a very bad bout of influenza and I had a fever of 104F for over four days.

Starr
August 14th, 2008, 01:07 AM
Hi Poetic you can solve your problem with Crisco. There is no need to cut your hair. Buy a big container of Crisco and slather it on then slowly message the Crisco in the scalp and hair. Start slowly detangling the hair . After the detangling is done you can put your hair in to braids. And if you want sleep with the Crisco over night. In the morning just use a cheap conditioner to get out the Crisco. Crisco has been used for years to get dreads out and unlock the hair. HTH
P.S. Poetic sometimes it takes more than 2 or 3 times in a week or two to solve the problem.

I second the Crisco!;)

Fillette
August 14th, 2008, 01:43 AM
Poetic - hang in there. I am sure you will be able to keep your hair. Crisco + tons of conditioner sounds like a great idea. Good luck and please keep us posted!

Shanarana
August 14th, 2008, 03:59 AM
Crisco is a great idea. My two bits would be an ultra greasy peanut butter. If it can get out chewing gum . . . .

If worse comes to worse, snip a SMALL part of the big knots, especially if they are underneath the bulk of your hair. That way you're not cutting all of it off but if some of it get thin, it will be under most of your hair.

Best of luck honey, it will get better.

(I'll bring the Sweet Tea and Red Velvet Cake for the southern attack)

I don't agree with snipping the knots....that could make things worse and cause more problems getting tangles out. The whole idea is to get the tangles out without cutting at all. :)

Periwinkle
August 14th, 2008, 04:23 AM
Even if they tell you there's nothing to be done, get another consultation somewhere else! And if there's any specialist long hair places near you, try one of them.

I have a friend whose brother untangled waist-length dreadlocks and they came out perfectly fine (only then he decided to cut them off and get a mohican...don't do that!), so there is hope!

I second what everyone else has said: a huge bucket of cones and lots and lots of patience.

angelthadiva
August 14th, 2008, 08:22 AM
Cutting would be the very last thing I would resort to...If the Crisco, Cony condish, PB failed...I was going to suggest oils.

I remember when I was a teen...Maybe 13 or 14, I was on a camping trip and wore a "hoodie" all weekend...Never brushing my hair...At the time I had waist length hair. At the end of the weekend, taking the hoodie down, and seeing my reflection and my totally matted to my head hair. :shocked: I remember it took all day, but my mom combed out all the tangles. I can't remember if she put anything in it or not [to help]...Knowing her, she was trying to teach me a lesson, so she probably didn't use anything.

Don't be alarmed if you see a lot of shed. :D

burns_erin
August 14th, 2008, 08:30 AM
DH gets incredibly sized knots and matts from work, usually started by pookie tape (this is the sticky tack looking stuff that they use to seal up sheets of metal in commercial construction). His hair gets this stuff in and then since he does not secure it properly wind whips it around and his hair knots and matts like crazy. Even with the pookie tape (a product that will keep sheet metal from pulling apart in a hurricane) we rarely have to cut his hair. I just use copious amounts of oil and start at the sides and bottoms of the matts working sometimes even individual peices of hair out.

And do not feel wrong, or let others make you feel wrong for being so attached to your hair (afterall, it is attached to you, why shouldn't you be attached to it). No one would be concerned if you did not want to shave your eyebrows off....the hair on your head fromes your face just like your eyebrows do. So if they give you any trouble suggest they shave their eyebrows.

Julesn
August 14th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Poetic,

Like some other members have said...wet it & LOAD IT w/condish, like Pantene. I am a hairdresser & that is totally what I've done for kids who come in w/their hair in that state. Use a pick or very wide toothed comb & gently work on it. I'm sure you will get most of it out. Try the pantene Time Release or recharge (I can't remember the name). It comes in a tub w/a black or green lid, I think. This kind seems to have more slip than the others.

Let us know how it goes, K?

Julie :)

musicmomma
August 14th, 2008, 12:15 PM
good luck, i brushed a full head of dreads out about a dozen years or so ago. i used massive amounts of conditioner and a comb with the pointy end. the end of the comb helped to loosen the dreads up and i would slowly seperate them.

Juneii
August 14th, 2008, 12:25 PM
oh dear, at times like this I appreciate having straight hair.
I agree with everyone here, conditioner can get the tangles out.
good luck and I hope everything goes well!

LadyLongLocks
August 14th, 2008, 12:25 PM
Oil like coconut mixed with conditioner. Have someone help you as you wont be able to see it all.
use a fine tooth comb, maybe some large needles to separate.Hope the hair isn't too damaged from being uncombed and bent all that time. Looking forward to hearing your outcome.
Good luck-fingers crossed for ya.

Poetic
August 14th, 2008, 01:44 PM
The consultation went well. :cheese:She believes she can get my hair untangled with but a few snips with her scissors :scissors:to release the matts somewhat so that she can throughly get the hair separared.:pray: She assures me she does not believe in cutting hair and that she will simply clip the smallest amount from the ends of my hair once undone and style it. She is going to open on Sunday, as she says it will be an all day process I will arrive at 8:00 a.m. and leave sometime in the evening. The charge to untangle, wash and style will be $160.

I am taking along pictures of Sydney Tamiia Poitier http://www.allmoviephoto.com/photo/2007_grindhouse_dp_006_big.html, http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/sydney-tamiia-poitier/photos/190990/8 . . . as this is my ultimate goal as far as hair length and style.

I will keep you posted and check-in before going to my appointment Sunday.

Gothic Lolita
August 14th, 2008, 01:46 PM
This is great, Poetic! I'm glad that you found someone whom you trust and who's sure to handel your hair as gently as possible.
These few snips won't be anything compared to cutting it all of. Ypur hair will soon be very lovly again.

Juneii
August 14th, 2008, 01:48 PM
that's great news! I'm so glad you can save your hair. have fun on Sunday, it sounds like a pretty exciting day for you :]

burns_erin
August 14th, 2008, 03:22 PM
Good luck!!!!

NurseMama
August 14th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Good luck!

beyondcute
August 14th, 2008, 03:33 PM
YAY!!!! Im keeping my fingers crossed for you!!

Islandgrrl
August 14th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Good luck, Poetic! Let us know how it goes!

EmmaRose
August 14th, 2008, 04:07 PM
Good Luck! *hugs*

queenjord
August 14th, 2008, 04:35 PM
that happened to me after i sewed in extensions, kept them in for too long and my hair matted up when i tried washing my hair after i took them out. i thought i would have to cut all my hair off and i was so sad like thinking of short hairstyles and things but we tried like everything on it.dont think we tried crisco though, maybe? it was one huge not and we had to end up like cutting little sections vertically so less hair would be cut and then keep trying to comb it out from there it worked! i have some short pieces but im really surprised it looks pretty much the same as you can see good luck

Adrienne
August 14th, 2008, 04:42 PM
oh wow! I had never heard of Sydney Tamiia poitier! but I really really LOVE her hair! I know the op's hair will be beautiful as well!

embee
August 14th, 2008, 05:16 PM
Thinking of you and wishing happy tangle free tresses by Sunday evening!

Barca
August 14th, 2008, 05:40 PM
hi this trick may work. i took out braids i had in for a week on vacation. i went swimming in them and then tried to take them out-- horrible experience. my hair is about 3c in most place but 3a in the back and 4b in the front edges. it may sound crazy b/c wetting your hair is the last thing you think you may want to do, but i used pantene relaxed and natural conditioner on damp hair in the shower. i let it sit for a little bit and then slowly, bit by bit i combed it out with a wide tooth comb. i found it was easier to do it under the running water in the shower since the force of the water helped to pull the hair down with it. but make sure you only comb while there's conditioner in your hair. this may mean going through 1-2 bottles, but it worked for me. start at the bottom and work your way up. please don't cry hun :hug: good luck!

Kirin
August 14th, 2008, 07:41 PM
This is one of those rare cases, that to save some hair, a traditional or natural method may not work. time for the big guns!!!

Matting is one of those times where there just is no substitute for mineral oil. Either plain food grade mineral oil from the drug store, or baby oil, both are the same thing, just that baby oil has fragrance. Nothing but nothing lubricates quite like it, and though you'll be a greaseball (may take several washings over a couple days to get it all out) working it into the matt and gently prying it with fingers to detangle will be kinder to your hair and scalp. In this instance mineral oil will help prevent damage caused by the friction of de-knotting and tangling.

angelthadiva
August 15th, 2008, 08:04 AM
Wishing tangle free days ahead for you!

JessTheMess
August 15th, 2008, 08:30 AM
Good Luck on Sunday!!!!! I'll be cheering for you!:cheer:

FrannyG
August 15th, 2008, 08:37 AM
I'm very happy that you have found a stylist who understands what needs to be done as well as understanding that you want to keep beautiful long hair. It sounds as though you'll have a complete success. I just can't wait for your update afterward. I hope you and the stylist have some fun and laughs during the whole process. :)

I'll be thinking of you. :blossom:

Periwinkle
August 15th, 2008, 08:45 AM
Good luck!!

truepeacenik
August 15th, 2008, 09:31 AM
I also removed dreads that were a year of age. time, achy arms and LOTS of condish (I went through three bottles).
Today, I'd try straight oils, as well.

I started with the front so that I could have a pony tail and hide the fact that I was a detangling monster (i think I used a month).

I finally clipped out a couple really tough spots, and a few I clipped vertically to "break" the knot, but the sections were pretty thin.
I'm not sure that was a great plan, but I saved 98 percent of my length.