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View Full Version : Hair breakage stunting my growth! :(



Helenae
January 16th, 2013, 10:59 AM
My hair has hardly gotten longer during the past year. I seem to constantly be sitting at 'just about' waist-length.
This is really upsetting for me because I've been dreaming for years to reach my goal of tailbone length.

At first, I thought that I just have painfully slow growth, but in September I got a few highlights put in my hair & they have grown out nearly 3 inches since then! Yet my hair has stayed the exact same length since September, even though that was 4 months ago! No matter how many S&Ds I do, my hair is always splitting. I take care of my hair and don't use a lot of heat on it either. I've been attempting to do no-trims, but all these splits means I'll probably have to cut a good 2 inches off my hair again.

Why am I getting such bad hair breakage... to the extent that it has stunted 3 inches worth of growth? :wail:

Can anyone offer me any good advice on how to stop my hair breaking so frequently? :shrug:

I'm going to start using catnip on my ends once I trim again. I'm also not very keen on giving up brushing my hair - if I don't brush it at least once a day it dreadlocks terribly because I have very thick wavy/curly hair, but with fine strands.

Naiadryade
January 16th, 2013, 11:30 AM
I feel your pain. I've been stuck around APL-BSL for what seems like forever because of breakage.

Catnip is a good idea. I recently started using castor oil on my scalp, in hopes that it will speed my growth enough to get me past this hump... for me, I'm pretty sure it's this length because that's about where my back touches chairs etc when I sit down. I try to keep my hair in front of my shoulders when sitting, but because it's still relatively short it ends up slipping back behind me.

This is advice I don't take as often as I should, but wear it in protective updos, especially if you're going to be doing something active. Also maybe switch your brush out for a wide-toothed comb. You can still detangle at least once a day, but do it gently with a gentler tool!

Madora
January 16th, 2013, 11:34 AM
The breakage could be due to several things..for example:

what kind of brush are you using? Is it a natural boar bristle or a synthetic? Snythetics are not good for your hair. Most importantly, do you detangle your hair before you brush?

The splits are caused by mechanical damage (hot irons/curlers, etc). If you can, give up heat and dry your hair naturally.

Wear your hair up to keep tangles at bay.

Splits can also be a sign that your hair needs moisture. Mineral oil (aka baby oil) helps to combat the splits, plus it calms frizzies and is a great detangler. While it helps to clarify your hair before you use the mineral oil, you can also use it on damp (not dripping hair). Use it sparingly, however...two or three drops, applied to your hands, then the hands are run through your hair. It leaves no after scent and your hair is soft, shiny and supple. The best baby oil is one that has only the MO and a fragrance. Additives have been known to cause breakouts.
My hair has hardly gotten longer during the past year. I seem to constantly be sitting at 'just about' waist-length.
This is really upsetting for me because I've been dreaming for years to reach my goal of tailbone length.

At first, I thought that I just have painfully slow growth, but in September I got a few highlights put in my hair & they have grown out nearly 3 inches since then! Yet my hair has stayed the exact same length since September, even though that was 4 months ago! No matter how many S&Ds I do, my hair is always splitting. I take care of my hair and don't use a lot of heat on it either. I've been attempting to do no-trims, but all these splits means I'll probably have to cut a good 2 inches off my hair again.

Why am I getting such bad hair breakage... to the extent that it has stunted 3 inches worth of growth? :wail:

Can anyone offer me any good advice on how to stop my hair breaking so frequently? :shrug:

I'm going to start using catnip on my ends once I trim again. I'm also not very keen on giving up brushing my hair - if I don't brush it at least once a day it dreadlocks terribly because I have very thick wavy/curly hair, but with fine strands.

spidermom
January 16th, 2013, 11:39 AM
There are several possibilities. One might be that your hair only grows enough years to get to waist length, then they shed out.

As for splitting and breakage - yes, me too. No matter how careful I am, I get lots of split ends. Sometimes I think - irrationally - that the more care we take of our hair, the weaker it gets. I'm about ready to start bleaching it and flat-ironing it every day, see if it toughens up a little. haha - not really

jacqueline101
January 16th, 2013, 03:40 PM
I don't know what causes it except for maybe its lacking moisture. I'm having this problem too. It seems like my hair is more fragile then it used to be. I wear it up and it still breaks. I don't know what's causing it. I'm at bsl myself.

TheHowlingWolf
January 16th, 2013, 04:05 PM
I agree with what Madora said. I've never used MO but try to keep your hair up in protective styles, don't use heat, detangle first and then brush with a bbb (on dry hair of course). I would also add to pay attention to ingredients. Make sure the products you're using have a lot of good ingredients for the hair and not harsh ones.
I used to get a lot of split ends. I got my last haircut (3 inches off) last June. Since then I have been doing heavy oilings with coconut oil almost every week (sometimes I try other products like store bought masks, but I always go back to coconut oil). My length barely has splits!

RileyJane
January 16th, 2013, 04:26 PM
You sound like me even just a couple weeks ago. See, my hair grows like a weed only if i do natural things to it: NO heat, NO dyes! any time i used to straighten it it would start breaking immediately, so maybe your hair is just really sensitive to chemicals and heat like mine is. also, i also recommend the mineral oil in your hair, and for me, coconut oil and argan oil ( can combine them or use one one day, and the other the next ) REALLY saved my ends, sometimes your hair is just really thirsty !:)

ravenreed
January 16th, 2013, 04:26 PM
Since I switched to a Tangle Teezer, I never get breakage in my hair. It is very gentle, and works better for me than a wide-toothed comb or finger combing. FWIW, I brush my hair several times a day to keep the tangles at bay, and my hair is at classic. I don't think you need to give up brushing, you just need to find a gentler way to do it. If your hair is tangle prone like mine, catnip rinses may help provide a little slip in your hair and make it less tangly. I would never attempt to go no trim on my hair because splits lead to tangles which lead to more splits.... it's a cycle. Instead, I S & D as much as I can, and I also do micro trims to keep my ends nice. I have noticed fewer and fewer splits as time goes on, so I must be doing something right in my routine.

ETA: The way I do my catnip rinses is to put a heaping tablespoon or so in a mason jar full of water and microwave it for three minutes. I let it cool overnight if possible. I CO, do a vinegar rinse and rinse that out, and squeeze the water out of my hair. Right before getting out of the shower, I pour all the catnip rinse through my hair and use it as a leave in. It makes my hair so smooth that sometimes I have trouble keeping my hair in an updo. That also means it tangles less. GL!

Audhumla
January 16th, 2013, 07:53 PM
You didn't mention how you style your hair.
I'm going to echo everyone else and say if you do use heat you should take a break for a few months and see if that helps.
How you style your hair is also very important. Try to be patient and gentle when brushing and also avoid rough pins that snag your hair or elastics etc.
My hair isn't that thick and it's only BSL but it is fine and I've found that claw clips or hair sticks are the most gentle options to hold delicate fine hair.
Just remember that fine hair needs extra care and doesn't take dye or heat or rough styles that well.
Good luck.

Dovetail
January 16th, 2013, 07:56 PM
Ugh! I feel ya. My hair has been at a stall since it got cold out. :( my scalp is dry and flakey and my hair is dry and frizzy. I'm thinking of just giving it a good dousing in a heavy coconut oil on my day off and maybe getting some cassia.

I use a tangle teaser too and it really helps not rip out my hair. :) I'm hoping once it gets warmer my hair will pick up again. Im dying to get to bcl but I think it'll be almost a year.

misspurdy06
January 16th, 2013, 11:18 PM
Sounds like it's stunting your length not growth. From the sounds of it your hair is growing it's just not getting longer ;)

ravenreed
January 16th, 2013, 11:43 PM
I have been doing a lot more scalp oilings this winter because it has been so cold that our heater is going constantly! My scalp was also dry and flaky. It is feeling better. A humidifier might help you with the dryness.


Ugh! I feel ya. My hair has been at a stall since it got cold out. :( my scalp is dry and flakey and my hair is dry and frizzy. I'm thinking of just giving it a good dousing in a heavy coconut oil on my day off and maybe getting some cassia.

I use a tangle teaser too and it really helps not rip out my hair. :) I'm hoping once it gets warmer my hair will pick up again. Im dying to get to bcl but I think it'll be almost a year.

melusine963
January 17th, 2013, 03:10 AM
What is your current hair care routine, and when did it start? If you used to do a lot of heat styling, or treated your hair roughly for a long time, you may have premanently damaged your hair. If this is the case, there's not much to do except grow it out, trim off the old damage, and take good care of the new growth.

I wish I'd found the LHC years ago, because even though I've been doing everything 'right' since joining, it'll be another two or three years before I'm rid of all my old, pre-LHC hair. There's such a difference between my old and new growth. After two years of regular s&ding, oiling, gentle treatment, and constant updos, my hair has stopped splitting at the slightest provication, but it's still so much thinner than my new growth.

Helenae
January 17th, 2013, 01:06 PM
Hey everyone! Thank you for all the responses.. :joy:

My hair care regime is quite minimalist at the moment =
diluted shampoo without sulphates, deep conditioning with silicone-based conditioners for an hour every week,
combing with a wide-tooth comb, air-drying or the rare lazy blow-dry on medium/cool heat when I'm in a rush.
I'm pretty lazy with styles & mostly just wear it up or in a messy bun - awful, I know. I'm just so bad at
doing all the pretty protective up-dos I've seen on LHC.

I'm going to make the effort to vastly improve this because I'm sick of being in waist-length limbo, so I'm happy to hear all the great advice!
I'm going to save up and buy a hooded-dryer to do catnips, SMT's & oilings (they never seem to make a difference to my hair which
means that my stubborn hair probably needs a deeper penetration) but this is necessary because my hair is VERY dry.
I'll switch my comb for a tangle teaser too.

I did a coconut oiling on my hair today and it absorbed within a few hours, which definitely means my hair is thirsty for moisture! And I realised
that my favourite wide-tooth comb has got SEAMS! So annoyed that I didn't think about that because that has most likely been contributing to
slicing my fine strands right off. How does a BBB fair on mildly curly (2c/3a) hair?

Thanks again for the great advice!

ravenreed
January 17th, 2013, 01:33 PM
Are you sure your sulphate free shampoo isn't drying out your hair? I have never had good luck with those. Also, make sure you are clarifying every so often if you are using silicones with sulfate free shampoos. My understanding is that they don't always remove all the cones. SMT's actually damage my hair, so if they are not working for you, there may be a reason.



Hey everyone! Thank you for all the responses.. :joy:

My hair care regime is quite minimalist at the moment =
diluted shampoo without sulphates, deep conditioning with silicone-based conditioners for an hour every week,
combing with a wide-tooth comb, air-drying or the rare lazy blow-dry on medium/cool heat when I'm in a rush.
I'm pretty lazy with styles & mostly just wear it up or in a messy bun - awful, I know. I'm just so bad at
doing all the pretty protective up-dos I've seen on LHC.

I'm going to make the effort to vastly improve this because I'm sick of being in waist-length limbo, so I'm happy to hear all the great advice!
I'm going to save up and buy a hooded-dryer to do catnips, SMT's & oilings (they never seem to make a difference to my hair which
means that my stubborn hair probably needs a deeper penetration) but this is necessary because my hair is VERY dry.
I'll switch my comb for a tangle teaser too.

I did a coconut oiling on my hair today and it absorbed within a few hours, which definitely means my hair is thirsty for moisture! And I realised
that my favourite wide-tooth comb has got SEAMS! So annoyed that I didn't think about that because that has most likely been contributing to
slicing my fine strands right off. How does a BBB fair on mildly curly (2c/3a) hair?

Thanks again for the great advice!

patienceneeded
January 17th, 2013, 01:49 PM
You've had a lot of good advice already, but I wanted to chime in with a few things that helped me. My hairtype and length are very similar to yours and I was having the same issue. Was. I haven't used any chemical color in over 2 years, nor have I used heat (except a blowdrier on cool), but the damage is still there and my ends are fragile because of previous treatment. I think our hair may be similar in many respects. I was having lots of splits and breakage and consequently it seemed my hair was not growing.

I started oiling lightly with coconut before washing. I wash with sulfate free shampoo and a coney conditioner. I switched to a moisturizing conditioner and that helped too. I also started to use MO on the ends. I usually apply MO when my hair is damp/almost dry but others use it differently.

I then realized that my hair was rubbing on the backs of chairs, the back of the couch, etc. and had the epiphany that I was potentially breaking off my own ends through simple carelessness! I started to wear my hair up consistently (especially when sitting).

In 6 weeks my hair has noticeably grown longer and I no longer find splits and weak spots when I search through my ends. I am now touching waist! My hope is that the damaged hair from years of color and heat will survive until I reach hip if I treat it nicely and then I can maintain at hip until the damage has been removed. My theory being that the undamaged (or at least never colored or cooked) virgin hair will be stronger and perhaps require a little less careful treatment...but for now I need to be gentle and treat the last 6" of my hair very carefully. I've abused it in the past and the effects are still there.

goldloli
January 17th, 2013, 04:45 PM
How does a BBB fair on mildly curly (2c/3a) hair?

Thanks again for the great advice!

i have that type and i love my bbb, hate using a regular brush after the switch.

also, you say you have highlights? and there's likely previous damage from before lhc or heat styling causing the crumbles. microtrim is always my answer for this.