View Full Version : What's up with my hair?

February 21st, 2013, 03:12 PM
Hi everyone, I'm seeking a bit of advice/a miracle. Sorry this post is so long, but I'm trying to eliminate the list of causes/problems for why my hair is being impossible.

Some background info: I have BSLish hair that has been this way for a year or so now. I never, nor have I ever, heat-treated my hair. In extremely rare cases I blow-dry it, and if I do it's on the cool setting. I didn't do this before LHC either as I never saw the point in straighteners and was too lazy to blow-dry my hair. I have not dyed it using conventional products in about 3 or 4 years, and I can't see any traces of any of that remaining, although there may be a little on my ends underneath the BAQ henna. I have used BAQ henna sporadically for a year or 2, and several times indigo as well, making my own mixes, these have always turned out well.

I guess the problems all started slowly after a disastrous haircut (my own doing), when I requested strange layers around my face and through my hair about 3 years ago. I then decided I was no longer going to go to hairdressers, that my hair had looked better before I cut it (it was almost BSL length before the incident too), and it slowly occurred to me to re-attempt my childhood dream of having long hair. Specifically I would like to grow to classic, (or maybe even longer), if I could somehow get there. I therefore spent about 7 months in France completely ignoring it and doing absolutely nothing except the occasional henna and indigo treatment. I then discovered one day that my impossibly fine, constantly tangly hair was a mass of split ends and was getting steadily more difficult to brush/detangle, even with my fingers.

At some point I discovered this website, and it dawned on me I needed to trim it. So I invested in some hairdressing scissors.... several times, from places like Monoprix and D&A (general cosmetics/drugstores). I subsequently spent hours and hours S&Ding my hair, and ended up with (due to the long time without a trim and my own cutting), quite uneven growth. As I disliked being lopsided I trimmed it off, periodically, as minimally as I could manage. I think I have done this maybe four times in total now. But, the split ends are still there, on parts I could have sworn I just trimmed. My hair has always been perverse and tangly, and has never been below MBL in my life, so this is not really news, but I can't work out why the damage just won't improve at all, by contrary it seems to be getting worse, despite my improvements to how I treat my hair! Since LHC I have invested in a tangle teezer (I found the combs rip my hair too, no matter how gentle I am), and detangle as gently as possible. It is actually impossible for me to remove all tangles from my hair ever. Some times there may be a greater number than others, but at least some of it is always wrapped around itself, no matter what I do, and if I run my fingers through it without being incredibly careful, I can hear hairs snapping. It's awful. There are loads of short, snapped bits of hair all through my length. They make me sad.

I decided that the damage problem was possibly my scissors, and invested in some expensive, convex bladed hairdressing scissors. My most recent S&Ding adventures and a minute trim have been done with these. I was hoping to be brushing waist length (optimistically), by January 2013, but now it is a shorter BSL than ever. I also do not know if I have caused a lot of the damage in my hair with these drugstore hair dressing scissors, or if they were sharp enough and it is something to do with the state of the hair itself (lack of moisture?).

To make matters worse, I went on several hair experiments after finding this forum, to try and improve its condition. Before I was using that L'Oreal Elvive shampoo and conditioner for long and dull hair every other day. Over the past year I *tried* to go SLS & cone free, to see if that would improve my hair health... all it did was make my hair incredibly dry and unhappy, so I had to stop. I have also tried to stretch my washes, but my hair gets greasy on my head after too long and the ends seem to become more unmanageable still. Every time I stop using silicones my hair is even harder to detangle. This winter it's been even worse, mostly incredibly dry. Oils like coconut oil, mineral oil and jojoba make my hair look flat and greasy, attract lint, and are extremely hard for me to wash out, even when used extremely minimally. It's a choice of no effect or too much. I keep sporadically putting it on my ends now, thinking that they're so dry, surely flat is better than it breaking off, but it's not helping. I also rehennad after a long period of not using henna at all, thinking I would get the same relaxing, texture improving qualities, but it doesn't seem to have helped me as much as in the past. :(

In the end I capitulated back to the L'Oreal shampoo, because it's like nothing else will make my hair look nice anymore, even just SLS none silicone shampoo/conditioner made detangling even harder. Mostly the ends are the part which looks disgusting first and make me want to wash it, not my scalp, which is surely the wrong way round. There is no way I can go WO, and I am not sure vinegar has made an incredible difference during the periods that I have used that as a final rinse either. I did use catnip as a leave in for a brief period, but not for long enough to see any results. I do not know if this is worth trying again, as it does not seem to work well with coney conditioner anyway and the tangles are too bad to go without. How do I get moisture back into my hair? I am at a loss. Whether I deep condition or not, the outcome seems to be the same.

I attempted to use Head&Shoulders as a harsher cleanser on it the other day in the mad idea that maybe the silicone or hard water was building up and this was what could be drying my hair out. Anyway, the outcome of this experiment... my hair was incredibly clean (in a disturbing squeaky way), with light fluffy ends that looked so much fuller than the flat siliconey ones.... It was great, except the next morning my head was a huge ball of impossible chinese knots that I just could not get out. Plus it was left drier than ever. I spent 2 hours before I left the house trying to remove the clumps of tangles... could not. Imagine the plastic wig on a Barbie doll that has become all matted up, that was my hair. So I put it in a half up messy bun thing to hide it as best I could... then came back at the end of the day... despite my best efforts I ended up losing a lot of hair (I have none to spare, it's already thin enough) and probably a good deal of my sanity. :( I will not be doing that again.

Unfortunately, I often leave the house with tangles that I cannot remove (although nowhere near as bad as this recent incident). I often cannot even contain my hair neatly because it tangles whilst I am trying to plait or bun it. I am forever grooming it in public if it is not up and am ashamed because people find that weird. Plus I like to wear it down, I feel most comfortable that way.

So basically, do any of you have any idea why my hair is so dry at the ends no matter what I do? I can't work it out, as this is despite me not doing anything especially damaging to it other than detangling, where I try to be as gentle and patient as possible. I trim any splits I see straight off with these deadly sharp scissors, but my ends just keep bending around each other, and going all wurly and crimpy, or split again. :( Is this just my hair?

I'd really appreciate any advice or ideas. I drink plenty of water and take a hair, skin & nails multivitamin. I also try to eat plenty of fish and green things, and get a good deal of exercise, so I am pretty sure it's not a diet or lifestyle related issue.

Thanks in advance. :blossom:

February 21st, 2013, 03:33 PM
Do you wear it down most of the time? A lot of people who do seem to find that it starts showing damage at around BSL.
I know you said you like to wear it down, but if your goal is classic or longer I would suggest wearing it up most of the time to avoid damage.

February 21st, 2013, 03:34 PM
I'm not an expert by any means but maybe wearing it up as much as possible is the answer. Do you wear it up at night? I wear it under a satin cap. If I wear it down on a cotton pillow, my hair gets INSANELY tangly. When I wear it down, I make a point to carry a comb with me so whenever I can get to a bathroom or whatever I can detangle. Maybe you have protein overload (or lack of it)? I used a protein-filled shampoo once and my hair was horribly dry and had tons of mats that took me forever to untangle. I had no idea what was wrong until I read this article (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=44). The link won't work cuz articles are down but I figured I'd put it there anyway. (ETA: I found a re-post of the article: http://thenaturalmane.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/whats-wrong-with-my-hair-hair-diagnostic-tips/ )

I clarified and did an SMT and my hair was back to normal.

February 21st, 2013, 03:50 PM
I vote for a simple clarification with a little baking soda in a lot of water, a deep moisture treament with your favorite oil and gentle wash and reassesment.

February 21st, 2013, 04:03 PM
Hey, thanks for the responses and suggestions. :)
I used to wear it down all the time, back when it was in better condition, but since my LHC discovery I've been trying to wear it up a lot more. I tend to contain it now whenever I go out, either in a plait or bun and I use hair friendly accessories like hair sticks. I do try and tie it up at night, but I must admit I prefer it loose and often don't. I do have silk pillowcases though. I also have a hairnet, but I am bad at wearing it. I do agree tying it up prevents tangles, however I was hoping it might be possible to make my hair less crazy in itself. I feel that the ends are so bad because there is something wrong with it, like protein overload. I have considered it might just be how it is for me at this length though. :(
The Elvive I use does have proteins in it, but I have used other products and it has been equally bad, if not worse. The other mysterious factor is I do not remember my hair being this bad in the past, even though I used to use the Elvive for many years, generally it's been upset since I tried to change my routine. I went back to the Elvive because everything else was just worse. Does anyone know of a good shampoo/condish combo available in the UK that does not have protein in? Maybe I could give that and the baking soda a go. I've never used baking soda before, I assume it's just the stuff you wash clothes with? I'm kind of a nab and I tried to find some once in a store in Holland, but had no idea what I should be looking for other than some white powder and gave up. Do I pick it up from the laundry section of the supermarket?
I don't see myself getting to a good solid waist let alone classic if I can't improve the condition, short of never taking it out of confinement at all. I would do almost anything to be able to run my hands through it and not hit snarls every couple of inches. I never realised hair was so much work. Sigh.

February 21st, 2013, 04:14 PM
I was going through something similar with my hair, and then I found Regis Designline Hydrating Balm. It's like a miracle! My hair feels and behaves like hair again.

I suggest you use something like that, or maybe an SMT. The recipe is 2 parts your favorite conditioner, 1 part aloe vera gel, and 1 part honey. So something like 1/2 cup of conditioner, 1/4 cup aloe vera gel, 1/4 cup honey. I would place a bowl into hot water and whip this mixture with a whisk until it resembled mousse, then apply liberally to clean hair. Cover with plastic and maybe a wool cap or bonnet dryer; leave on for about an hour. It yelps to wrap a scarf or something around your head to absorb any drips.

Be sure to detangle and brush your hair before washing. Also, start combing conditioner through your hair before rinsing. It should help.

P.S: When I tried henna, I thought it dried out my hair like crazy. I only tried it once, maybe twice.

February 21st, 2013, 04:18 PM
I'd suggest clarifying and change your product.

February 21st, 2013, 04:18 PM
Don't use baking soda! It sounds like something is already making the cuticle of your hair rough, and baking soda will only make that worse. It sounds like moisture is what you need.

By the way, a good way to remove oil is to coat your oiled hair with conditioner and wait for about 30-60 minutes. Then rinse. Then shampoo.

Also, if you're not diluting your shampoo in warm water, you might want to give it a try. I have a squirt bottle and make a water and shampoo solution in it every time I wash my hair, about 1 tablespoon shampoo in 1/2 cup warm water, shake, then squirt all over my scalp. Also, I only run my fingers in one direction while washing. Be careful not to move your hair around too much while washing. That creates horrible knots.

February 21st, 2013, 04:34 PM
As you said, it might be the damage caused by the cheap drugstore scissors - I have negative experience with those as well - they caused me to have splits.

You mentioned coconut, jojoba and mineral oils ... Have you tried other oils such as olive or argan? There are folks that absolutely abhor coconut oil and many for whom mineral oil doesn't work either. For me, argan and olive are the best so far. Also, how did you apply the oil? According to what I read - and my own experience - it works the best if it's applied while the hair is still at least 50% wet. If used as a way to lock in moisture after washing your hair, you have to apply only a tiny bit - not smother the hair with oil so that it gets all greasy. It takes practice and experimenting before you find the best way to use oil. I put it in only my ends. I do deep oil treatments as well, but only about once every two months and then I have to use conditioner to remove it - and leave it on for at least 5 minutes before washing it out with shampoo (it should be first washed out with water and then with shampoo).

You said you used henna sporadically - I'm not sure what exactly that means, but henna usually improves hair quality remarkably, especially if one is using it consistently (at least every 6-8 weeks preferably).

Also ... have you tried SMTs? It is two parts conditioner, one part aloe vera and one part honey (if I remember correctly). It's good to warm the honey up before using it (so as to get rid of the peroxide content). You can look it up here on LHC - there's a whole big thread only about SMT and folks' experiences with it. I strongly recommend that.

About stretching washes ... everyone's hair gets greasy while they're working on stretching washes. The most important part is not to try to do too much too soon. Try stretching by one day. Do that for at least a few weeks, until the hair starts getting used to it - perhaps try a water only wash when the hair is starting to feel a little greasy, but you don't want to use a shampoo just yet. Also, try scritching and preening - massaging your scalp with the comb - with a side of it (flat) and then trying to move the sebum (greasy stuff) down the length. That is how I've stretched my washes to once a week or shampoo-washing once a week and then water-washing once a week.

Another thing that might help you is trying to use an alternate method of washing your hair. Many folks absolutely swear by CO (conditioner only) washing, others love Conditoning their hair, rinsing it out and only then washing it with shampoo (and then conditioning it again). Others, like me, love to use only heavily diluted shampoo (a squeeze of shampoo into a plastic cup full of water). And then there are folks that only wash their hair with shampoo bars, water only and even folks that are sebum-only (they pretty much only scritch and preen).

In other words, there is a whole lot that you've not experimented with yet that might be the answer to all of your prayers.

If I were you, I'd start with clarifying my hair (clarifying shampoo is one that has as little 'additives - oil, blah blah- and is mostly SLS laden) and see what that does to my hair.

I'm sorry if you already know all this info, but this is all I have ... My hair is far from perfect and I'm still trying to find my perfect routine ... I think most of us have at least an issue or two to deal with even though we take superb care of our hair. Not to mention a lot of things are just genetic and there's zilch we can do about that.

GOOD LUCK! :blossom:

February 21st, 2013, 05:07 PM
Don't use baking soda! It sounds like something is already making the cuticle of your hair rough, and baking soda will only make that worse. It sounds like moisture is what you need.

I fully agree. I also agree with clarifying your hair, but do it with a regular sl(e)s shampoo without silicones. Then condition your hair properly, and possibly do it twice. Does absolutely no harm and it moisturizes your hair *plenty*.

February 21st, 2013, 05:24 PM
While I've heard a lot about henna improving the strength of hair, I've also heard that it can be very drying for some. I was having problems with tangly grabby ends and had to get 2" cut off. The only thing that really changed in my routine was that I started doing henna glosses.

You didn't mention anything about using a leave in conditioner or anything. I think its worth a try. Leave in oil treatments are not the same. I've found oil helps with lubricating my hair for detangling, but it does not improve the moisture of my hair. I mean, oil by its very nature repels water right? I believe a thick layer of oil on the hair can actually prevent water from getting into the hair shaft. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong) I would say, find yourself a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and a moisturizing leave in conditioner.

I start by gently detangling in the shower with a wide toothed comb while I have conditioner in my hair. Its much easier, for me at least, to detangle my hair when wet. A good conditioner with a lot of slip helps with this. Right out of the shower I'll usually put the leave in on my ends, comb it through and then put a tiny bit of coconut oil on top of that (to prevent water loss). It's been a month after my cut and the grabby ends have not returned. It also helps to run a brush through my hair a a few times a day. It gets rid of small tangles before the become big ones.

I should note that I'm someone who despises having to put my hair up. It feels uncomfortable and it looks bad on me. I've decided I want long hair that I can wear down. I know, I know, wearing hair down causes damage, but so do so many other activities and treatments. You have to decide what's best for you, and if you feel best with your hair down then know that it's not the worst thing you can be doing. Balance it out with lots of deep moisture treatments and frequent detangling throughout the day.

Best of luck to you.

February 21st, 2013, 06:00 PM
Thanks everyone for all the lovely responses:blossom: I agree about the scissors and I am fixing that. The scissors I have now are definitely good and cost me a lot of money so hopefully if that has been a contributing factor the damage will rectify itself over time. I think I will try some kind of treatment either SMT (which I have never actually done) or spidermom's suggestion. I don't want to cut too much off as the damage is all through the lengths and it's just sort of dry all over, so simply cutting it off is only going to make it shorter and not remove that.

I forgot to mention I tried to go CO for a while before the SLS free. It made me shed loads and I could never get my hair very clean, even with weak runny conditioner without any cones, so I gave up on that. I did try to stretch washes one day at a time and if I feel I can leave it I will, but for me if it's greasy I can't really put it up, it looks worse tied back than down, I don't know how to explain that, but how it lies flat to my head is worse than if it's loose and has some movement. It could be because when I tie it up the greasier underside is showing more.

I am quite up for diluting my shampoo, I used to go for CWC using a very small amount of shampoo, but then I found that I couldn't seem to get my ends clean, even with the simple shampoo -> condition method. They would be lank and seem to have build up even after a shower, which is kind of where I am now. That was another reason why I blasted it with the head&shoulders. Mostly I think I could stretch washes longer if the ends didn't have this kind of lank quality to them. I swear the oil exacerbates this. I haven't tried olive oil or argan oil yet as I heard those are heavier. My hair is really fine and doesn't seem to absorb oils well, although anything is worth a shot. I watched a LHC member's video on youtube a while back about oiling hair, and the effect was totally not the same as what happens to mine. I was trying most recently with the mineral oil because I have had a lot of coconut oil disasters that would linger in my hair for days (despite heavy conditioning) and this was supposed to be lighter. I tend to put it on when my hair when it is damp, but then it just does not want to dry. It must at least double the drying time, it's incredible. It doesn't feel particularly nice after it's dried out either. I was really disappointed the oils didn't work better. :( If there is build up of some kind though, maybe they're just not working as well as they potentially could?

I don't want to try too much all at once, my hair is clearly not happy with me, and none of these experiments have worked very well, hence why I went back to the good old shampoo -> condition to try and at least regain some balance. I feel like I've tried a lot of stuff and none of it is working, honestly I have no idea what to do anymore. :s I will refrain from the baking soda.

As for the henna, I used to use hibiscus and shikakai in my henna mixes so maybe that was what gave me such good condition before. I never used to think my hair was dry and I know it wasn't the henna that caused it, because I’ve had trouble for a long period without using it. Also when I was using it regularly, my hair was nowhere near as dry as recently, and I never felt like it was horribly dry after treatment (except this last time, but that's because it's just like that all the time now). I stopped with the henna mostly because my bf seems to be allergic to it. He complains dreadfully about the smell; coughs and wheezes and doesn't like to be in bed with me for about 2 weeks after I've done it. :( He lives in Holland and I am studying in the UK, so I decided to try it again after my hair got so awful in the hopes that I might get a tamed mane again, but alas it has not worked. This is what I mean by sporadically, as in it used to be regular, maybe 5 coats of henna or henna/indigo over several months, plus some stuff with hibiscus/shikakai, then I stopped. I did just the pure henna again a couple of weeks ago.

It's almost like some of my hairs have changed texture and are actually more wavy and coarse than in the past, all the way down, even the shorter ones near my scalp, and they're tangling in amongst the straighter hairs and causing damage because it all gets crushed together or wrapped up tightly like wire. I also have thousands of fairy knots that I have to cut out. Anyway, you get the idea. I’ll try the shampoo clarification, SMT and general babying then see how it goes.

February 21st, 2013, 06:05 PM
Try not to go too crazy with the S&D! If you need to S&D too much, you're going to severely thin out your hair! You'd be much better with trims in that case.

February 21st, 2013, 07:32 PM
This might seem almost too simple, but have you tried a basic detangling solution? For example, mane 'n tail detangling spray? No, it's not natural, and prob not great for super long term use, but if it helps you keep it from knotting so much, it may be easier for you to braid or find a flattering, yet protective, updo while you work on finding a suitable routine to help those dry ends. I'm sure there a few great ones on the market, I just happen to use MnT occassionally, and it's worked well for me.

I'm sorry, I do hope you get it sorted out.

February 22nd, 2013, 01:44 AM
Has this been happening over the winter? There is a lot less moisture in the air in winter, due both to dry indoor heating and the fact that cold air carries less moisture than warm, and if your shampoo/conditioner have a lot of humectants in (glycerin and aloe vera are two examples- I'm sure there are many more) these can dry the hair out by drawing moisture out of your hair instead of drawing it in, which is what humectants are supposed to do.

Just an idea; I've found that SMTs work wonderfully in warm weather for me but I avoid them in the winter as they make my hair feel dry.

February 22nd, 2013, 06:17 AM
Yes, it has been especially bad this winter, and I have a storage heater in a small room that has been on pretty much constantly, so that is probably contributing greatly to my problem. I just don't see a way around it until the weather gets warmer. Does this mean a SMT is a bad idea? I have no idea if my shampoo/conditioner has many humectants in either, or how to recognise them (short of aloe vera) on a long list of shampoo ingredients.

I have used detangling sprays and serums before, but I tend to find if I put too much stuff on my hair it gets weighed down very quickly, I could try them again though. Maybe if I find a good leave in conditioner it could work. I remember having one I liked once, but I haven't seen it in a while.

Don't worry, I'm not going crazy on the S&D these days as I really don't want to lose any more hair than I can help. My aim is to hold off with the scissors for a few months. I would prefer not to cut if possible, I just hate seeing all the splits, and the rough feeling, plus I think it hasn't grown because my ends just break off all the time. :( My hemline is actually a lot straighter than it has been in the past, and I think some of the layers have caught up to the longest sections which is good. When I left it alone for that many months it all grew longer on the left side, but I've managed to even that out. To other people it all looks one length now. I can never quite decide if to trim the splits when I see them or leave them for a while and then trim them. I'm so bad at making decisions.

At least I have some ideas to try now though. :) I think it seems worse to me than other people because they don't have to live with it on their head. Thank you all. :blossom:

February 22nd, 2013, 06:22 AM
I'm sorry you've had such a hard time with your hair lately. I hope you soon find something that works! Good luck!

One more idea - how about coney conditioner? If my hair starts getting a bit too dry in the ends and nothing else seems to be working, sometimes it's the coney conditioner that finally helps. I can't use it often though because it makes my entire hair greasier sooner and also makes my scalp itchy - even if I apply it only to my ends - so once in a while it is.

February 22nd, 2013, 08:45 AM
I don't know what I did to my hair, but I've been seeing a lot of split ends and other signs of damage as much as 6 inches up from the longest ends, so I've decided to keep my hair at this length all year, which means about a 1-inch trim every 8 weeks. I also braid, then S&D the splits that stick out of the braids.

February 22nd, 2013, 09:17 AM
:grouphug: Your hair is gorgeous though spidermom (at least from the pictures), I wish mine would be more like yours! Hopefully we can both fix our hair soon. :)

February 22nd, 2013, 09:39 AM
As others have said, if coney products are what works for you, then use them! As have been said at LHC many times, cones aren´t bad in themselves, just when they build up and/or cover up damage that would be better managed by changing the "base cause" of it like for example too harsh shampoo.

Anyway - I realize that a clarifying shampoo/SLS-shampoo without too many moisturizing additives would probably be harsh for your hair, but since your problems may be caused at least partially by buildup and/or protein overload, maybe it would be good to try it (again). Also a chelating shampoo could maybe be good if you have hard water, do you know if you have that? That could be a cause as well for your troubles maybe.

Regarding the mineral oil - I hear what you say about it not working for you (as well as other oils). I just wanted to ask if you tried it on top of conditioner (even if rinsed out)? Because that never worked well for me either. Now I just use a mild shampoo and then a few mineral oil drops on washed and dripping wet hair, and this has made a huge change in my hair, it is now behaving almost like normal, moisturized hair instead of being a frizzy dry mess. I realize that we do not have the same problems - I have problems with frizziness and dryness, you have problems with tangling and lankiness/dryness, but it may be worth a try to test mineral oil (or another sealing oil) on dripping wet hair, to capture as much moisture as possible, without conditioner beneath.

If you do not want to try that, you could instead follow the clarifying with a deep treatment/SMT of some kind, or of course, at least a conditioner. (Sorry, I don´t have any tips on UK product since I´m in another country).

Also, strange as it may seem, blow drying (on cool of course) could actually be a help as well. When I started doing this my hair actually felt and behaved even more moisturized (and I mean felt, not only looked). See this thread for more info, the science is that prolonged wet state can actually be more damaging to hair than cool blow drying.
Make sure that you blow dry from above your head down along the lengths though so as not to rough up the cuticle and create more tangles! Hopefully blow drying along the lengths maybe could even seal the cuticle better and help avoiding at least some tangles.

I really hope you find a good solution, good luck! :flower:

February 22nd, 2013, 09:58 AM
Yes, it has been especially bad this winter, and I have a storage heater in a small room that has been on pretty much constantly, so that is probably contributing greatly to my problem. I just don't see a way around it until the weather gets warmer. Does this mean a SMT is a bad idea? I have no idea if my shampoo/conditioner has many humectants in either, or how to recognise them (short of aloe vera) on a long list of shampoo ingredients.
Here is a list of humectants used in hair products- http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/humectants-used-in-hair-care-products
If the air in your room is very dry, placing a wide bowl of water in a warm place can help greatly.

I can't say if an SMT is a bad idea or not without knowing for sure the cause of your problem. Why not try one and see what happens? If it doesn't seem to help, try doing a long soak with a humectant-free conditioner and see if there's any difference between the two.

Apart from that, if your hair is split that badly here's really nothing that will help as much as a trim. Splits cause tangles which cause damage to untangle which causes more splits... Also, splits can travel up the hair shaft and cause much more damage if they are not trimmed. You say your hair isn't growing because it keeps snapping off- I reckon bite the bullet and have a trim, even a small one, then moisturise the hell out of your hair with every wash and keep it up or braided all the time for a couple of months. This should keep it from tangling badly and getting more damaged and you can evaluate its condition.

February 22nd, 2013, 12:58 PM
I have fine hair, but lots of it. It does tangle easily(or used to, not really anymore). I think the number one thing that has help me get my hair to where its just about stinking perfect and not tangly; I never comb it. Or brush it. I use a wide wide mason pearson comb on my hair to detangle (always from the bottom up!) and thats the only time I comb it. Finger combing only, and I barely do that.

Also.... my hair has been in pretty awesome shape for a while now, but just recently I discovered this brand....http://www.justnaturalskincare.com/hair/ALL-HAIR-PRODUCTS.html

Ive tried EVERY BRAND of every shampoo and conditioner and have been trying to find the perfect thing for 20 years. I think this is it. Its made my hair even better than what it was. I use the thickening shampoo, conditioner, and the spray detangler, which is my favorite. And Ive been using it for months now, and thats never happened. I usually swear by something for a week, then I'm over it. This is by far the best.

February 22nd, 2013, 01:13 PM
On other thing.... I leave my hair down almost always, and I am just super careful with it. I think putting it up is good in theroy, but if its with pins and in the same spot all the time, I think its a bit counter productive. Loose updos in different positions and always always open bobbi pins when you take them out, if you're going to put it up all the time. Even a side braid with an elastic too tight in the same time all the time is no good. Switch it up, or leave it down and be nice to it. I'm a pain to others getting out of a car because I have to move my hair all the time to put my purse on my shoulder, but whatever. I'm just super careful.

February 22nd, 2013, 03:36 PM
Many more good suggestions for me to try. I have been wondering if the conditioner was reducing the effectiveness of the catnip and oils, so it's definitely worth investigating.

I have trimmed my hair several times fairly recently, not sure if I made this clear in the other posts, but the damage has moved up each time, plus there are shorter bits of hair I'll never reach with trimming that are equally nuts at the moment, so I'd prefer to just leave it alone for a while and stop cutting for say a couple of months to see how it settles. I was S&Ding fairly often since around May 2012 and I trimmed a fair bit off recently, the last time was an actual trim of over an inch, in January, so about a month ago. That's why I thought it was the scissors that had messed up my ends, but now it just seems too dry to cope with mechanical damage. I definitely need to find a better routine rather than just chopping it all. I'm not really comfortable to go back up to APL with no guarantees of better condition. I regretted the last trim almost straight away because it didn't help in the way I thought it would.

List of hair issues:

- Bent L ends
- Split ends
- Fairy knots
- Crimpy ends, or ends that are curly suddenly from a weakened point.
- Bumps in the middle of strands
- Hair wrapped around hair
- Rough feel all over those parts even though my *healthy* hair texture is very silky and smooth
- When detangled once I run fingers/comb through it again knots/tangles have magically reappeared.

I try my best to be patient, but it's like this constantly and I am sure I cause damage due to stressing about the amount of time it takes to get it to look ok. It's like it's possessed. I told my housemate I couldn't get the tangles out of my hair and she didn't believe me until I separated the strands and showed her. It looks like a spider web that has collided with another spider web in a freak accident. People must think I don't groom myself properly. When I plait it, I'll detangle it all carefully before I begin, or as close as I can, then I'll get about 2 crossovers done and it's tangled again, all the way down the ends. Many of the times I've left it loose to go out have been simply because I couldn't get an up do sorted before I had to leave.

I have debated not detangling at all, and I like this idea as I think it could reduce breakage. The issue I have is I then look untidy and I don't know how I would put it up.

I think the tangling issue has happened every time I've grown my hair to BSL length. I never really thought much about hair care before, but that was the point I always cut it off. The longest I ever had it was when I was 13. It was just matted and tangled all the time, and that was virgin hair, but I was fed up with the hassle, so I got a bob, which turned out to look awful on me. My mother never allowed me to grow it out before that age, despite me begging her for years, I think because it was too difficult for her to manage. Not to mention every time nits went round at school I would catch them and they'd be so hard to destroy. She'd try to get them with a nit comb and I'd be screaming. I guess to some extent this is just my hair type. I just don't want to give up on long hair this time, so I need to find a way to deal with it.

Hopefully some of the ideas here will work for me. I reckon if I can stop it being so dry I am halfway there and can just slowly remove the damage over time. Anyway, sorry for all the rambling, you've all been incredibly helpful, and I appreciate all the advice. :)

Thanks everyone :heartbeat

February 22nd, 2013, 05:10 PM
I have super-fine curly hair. It has a past history of tangling like nobody's business, and being dry and frizzy and generally obstreperous.

I use a filtering showerhead - that has helped SO much with improving the softness and smoothness of my hair (and as a bonus, really reduces skin irritation!).

I also use a conditioning treatment every time I condition. I've been using L'oreal's EverStrong recently, which my hair seems happy with. Just a normal conditioner is not enough, not here in London where I'm surrounded by heating all the time. I've also had good results in the past with RedKen's All Soft treatment mask. I follow my conditioning treatment with a leave-in conditioner - Tommyguns 'Leave Me In' at present. I do only shampoo once a week (with Weleda Ginger & Rosemary moisture & shine - no SLS/parabens/etc), but I've been known in the past to rinse with water only and apply a fresh layer of leave-in conditioner daily. I also use a sleek and shine serum on my roots to help hoodies, beanies and hats maybe not grab quite as much, especially when my hair's gotten damp.

Once I started using the treatments and such, I found it took about six months for my hair to stop tangling quite as much. I mean, I used to not be able to run my fingers through my hair for more than an inch at a time, when it was barely armpit length. Now I can (with care, forethought, and preparation) run a fine toothed comb all the way through my hip-length locks. It can happen! It's just finding the right set of tricks/products/procedures that work for your hair. And then having the patience to wait for things to fix themselves.