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View Full Version : Breakage and the slowest. growth. ever.



Merlisea
March 6th, 2013, 03:34 PM
Does anyone have a good product they use (some kind of protectant spray) daily that helps prevent split ends/breakage/tangling? I have fine and thinner hair that is straight and shiny that tangles/breaks/splits very easily- at this point it seems to be splitting faster or at the same rate that it's growing.

I feel like I've used and done everything under the sun, but I just can't seem to gain length, and I'm stuck at around APL in the back and what looks like shoulder length in the front because of an old cut that I can't seem to grow out where the edges of my hair started shorter and gradually got longer "framing" my face. I started at shoulder and have only been able to get to APL in the past 5 or so years of trying.

I recently got a few highlights after 3 or so years of not coloring with not much growing luck (luckily it doesn't seem to have done any/much damage), but with the color, now I don't have to guess when/how long it takes to grow out. I used to believe my growth was pretty much non-existent, but now I can see, based on my roots, that it's definitely growing on top, albeit slowly, but the sheer length doesn't seem to getting any longer, hence my theory on the splitting-faster-than growing.

Anyway, in the past month or so I've been using different protectants, but they are mainly for heat and styling (even though I rarely if ever use heat on my hair)... I spray the protectant on my hair at night and in the morning hoping it will prevent it from tangling or getting damaged while sleeping and during the day, but I'm not sure it's doing anything or if I'm using the right kind of products (is there one specifically for splits/tangling and not heat?)

The one thing I could do that I probably don't do enough is to put my hair up, but with my hair type and those stubborn layers I can't grow out it's very hard to find styles that work. Braids slip out easily and the ends are unprotected anyway. Buns are okay, but the actual bun is tiny and not my favorite style. Pony tails work, but then the hair is pretty much exposed anyway. Any advice on different hairstyles would be appreciated too!

I'm just totally frustrated and have no idea what else to do. After a misguided, teenaged coloring/cut debacle where I had to cut my very damaged BSL hair, and about 5-7 years (with some frustrating chop-offs in between) of trying to grow it back to BSL and hopefully waist some day, I'm just at the point where I don't know what to do anymore.


So, I guess my real questions are:
-Does anyone know of a good protectant spray/gel for daily use?
-Does anyone know of any good, protective hair styles for my type of hair (thinner, very fine and fragile, straight)
-Does anyone have any other advice?
-Please let me know if you have any other theories on why I'm not gaining any length.

Some other info:
-I had to stop using Biotin after a few weeks, as it caused a huge flair up of really bad and painful cystic acne, so this is off the table
-I haven't tried monistat yet, but am interested. (I used to get migraines as a child/teenager, so I'm a little afraid of the headaches people have said can occur)
-I've read the DE page, but am still a little hesitant to use it as I still feel uneducated, and I'm afraid I'm going to wind up buying the poisonous kind.
-I can't really stretch my shampoos. (I've tried doing this, even for a little over a month, but the grease just spreads like wildfire through my shiny, straight, thin, fine hair.) I've tried both silicones and non silicones and shampoos without and are low in sulfur. I even tried Mane n Tail for a long time- they all seem to be the same. I use a lot of conditioner now so my hair won't tangle.

My routine right now:
-small trim once a month, every once in a while trimming split ends, individually
-shampoo at night with time for my hair to dry before going to bed
-styling protectant and night with combing (wide-toothed comb)- have been trying bun, braid, styles- varies
-comb hair in morning, put more styling protectant. Braid, loose, or bun for work
-Get home, comb hair, usually put up somehow.
-Coconut oil 1 every week to every 2 weeks for 20ish minutes before shampooing out.
-protein shakes appx 3x a week.

Thank you in advance! I know this is kind of a mish moshed and long winded post, but I'm just not sure what to do anymore! I just want sun-kissed, waist length, healthy, luscious hair already, darn it!

Magalo
March 6th, 2013, 03:56 PM
Maybe trimming is your problem. If you have slower than average growth (less than 1/2) and you're chopping 1/4 inch per month, you're probably killing any growth. Try not trimming fot like 6 months, I'm sure you'll see result!

lapushka
March 6th, 2013, 04:08 PM
My routine right now:
-small trim once a month, every once in a while trimming split ends, individually
-shampoo at night with time for my hair to dry before going to bed
-styling protectant and night with combing (wide-toothed comb)- have been trying bun, braid, styles- varies
-comb hair in morning, put more styling protectant. Braid, loose, or bun for work
-Get home, comb hair, usually put up somehow.
-Coconut oil 1 every week to every 2 weeks for 20ish minutes before shampooing out.
-protein shakes appx 3x a week.

Your hair is growing, you can tell by the roots. I hardly think of damage or breakage first if someone tells me they're trimming their hair *every* month. That is just... No! Way too much trimming for you to be able to gain any real length.

chen bao jun
March 6th, 2013, 04:12 PM
Second the not trimming so much, even if you think you see a lot of splits, still, put it off.
I would also suggest protein treatments such as Joico K pak or aphogee if you have fragile hair that is prone to breakage.
Are you sure that styling/protectant sprays are good? What's in them? If you are having a lot of breakage, could they be the culprit? (Drying, perhaps?)
If you can't wear braids and updoes to protect your hair, can you do things like wear blouses made of soft and silky fabrics, put silk scarves around your neck so your hair ends touch silk and not fabric that can roughen your hair or rub it off, and definitely, wear a satin sleeping cap and/or sleep on a silk or satin pillow? doing these things has helped me.
Could you be combing too much, even though your comb is wide toothed? Some people's hair cant be combed or brushed everyday, they need finger detangling only, and sometimes can only finger detangle with product in their hair. This is true of a lot of African American, which though it is curly, unlike yours, is generally superfine and super fragile. Some white women with extra fine or babyfine hair (the 'Scandinavian blonde' hairtype comes to mind) benefit from using some of the same methods as African American women for hair care, since although the hair types look very different, the fragiity is the same. So you might find some good hints for growth on good black hair care sites. Just some thoughts. Good luck to you--five years sounds super frustrating. But don't give up! And by the way, your bra strap hair is pretty.

Salmonberry
March 6th, 2013, 04:16 PM
I've had a lot of luck with a thick Shea butter based leave in conditioner. It's the Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner. I've got medium/fine blonde hair that breaks even though I rarely use heat. I just smooth a dime sized amount on my hair from the chin down while it's wet and gently comb it through. It's really helped soften the ends a lot.

Do your ends feel crunchy or straw like? I ask because if you're using a heat protectant, I know they often contain cones and such. These can cause buildup that makes hair dry, crunchy and prone to breakage. Plus, if you're not using heat, why use a heat protectant? Have you thought about alternating shampoo washing with water or CO washing? That way you're still washing your hair ever day but not exposing it to shampoo every day. This is sort of what I do. Or if you absolutely need to shampoo every day, you could try coating your ends in the thickest most moisturizing conditioner you can find (the one I recommended would work) and then shampooing only the roots. The conditioner will shield the ends from the shampoo, but you'll still be able to get your roots clean.

How much are you getting trimmed off each month? You could try stretching it to every 2 months to start with. It sounds like you have a similar hair type to me, and I went 6 months without a trim then had to get 2" off because of the damage. I just don't think I can go that long with my hair type.

Merlisea
March 6th, 2013, 04:33 PM
Sorry if I was unclear... I do microtrims myself once a month, so just the very tips of my hair to try to prevent splitting all the way up the shaft. But you're right, this still might be too much trimming- I'm just trying to prevent major splitting. Would any of you recommend how often I should microtrim? Still every 6 or so months? I'm afraid it will split like crazy and have to get half an inch to an inch off like Salmonberry just talked about

Chen bao jun: That's very interesting about the African American hair treatment... I would have never thought my hair would use the same type of hair care. My hair tends to get very frizzy and tangled if I don't comb, so I'm really trying to prevent a rat's nest. Maybe a detangler?
I'm not sure about the protectants- I'm not really sure what to avoid. I don't know if you have any suggestions for a good, safe protectant?
How often would you do a protein treatment?
I've never thought about silk scarves and will have to look into it. I own a silk pillowcase I use often. Thanks for the compliments!

Salmonberry: My hair feels a little crunchy when I initially put in the heat protectant, but not throughout the day or after I comb through it. I never thought about it damaging my hair- I was only using a heat protectant because I was hoping for something to coat the strands and keep them from tangling and breaking and don't know of any good products, so just used what I had.
Do you know of any protectants just to protect from breaking?
Which Shea butter conditioner do you use?
I've been using all kinds of different conditioners- I really can't tell if they are helping or not.
I've really tried stretching my shampoo washes, but the grease just saturates my hair and I feel so gross. :( Even just switching to night washes has caused my hair to be fairly greasy in the morning. I try to only use a small amount of shampoo and be very gentle when I wash.

lapushka
March 6th, 2013, 05:00 PM
Sorry if I was unclear... I do microtrims myself once a month, so just the very tips of my hair to try to prevent splitting all the way up the shaft. But you're right, this still might be too much trimming- I'm just trying to prevent major splitting. Would any of you recommend how often I should microtrim? Still every 6 or so months? I'm afraid it will split like crazy and have to get half an inch to an inch off like Salmonberry just talked about

Try going every 3 to 6 months without even a microtrim! Micro, maybe, you may still be cutting too much off. To keep split ends at bay, S&D is *more* than enough already! Unless your hair is riddled with splits (and that means not being afraid of them but them being actually there), there is no need to (micro)trim. S&D is just fine for those occasions.

HylianGirl
March 6th, 2013, 05:52 PM
Ever heard of Ktani's catnip rinses to prevent split ends? I haven't tried myself, but it seems many people here on LHC enjoy it.

http://ktanihairsense.blogspot.com.br/2009/11/part-3-of-4-on-innovative-approaches-to.html

Merlisea
March 6th, 2013, 06:04 PM
Hmm, interesting. I've seen a few catnip threads, but never tried it myself. I may have to order some along with some protein treatments. The link won't seem to load... where would I get it?

Can anyone point me in the right direction for protein treatments? Do I want a mask? I looked up the two brands Chen bao jen suggested, but am lost when it comes to shampoos, conditioners, "treatments," etc. I would probably get something off amazon if anyone wants to link.

Thanks!

ravenreed
March 6th, 2013, 06:04 PM
Catnip rinses have made a HUGE difference in my tangle and split end problems. I just use it as a leave in. Also, a satin or silk pillow case might help you reduce breakage. Finally, maybe something in your routine is causing your hair to break. I know I get more breakage and tangles when I use anything with protein, and humectants give me wicked split ends. I usually microtrim about every six weeks. This keeps my splits under control but still gives me some growth.

HylianGirl
March 6th, 2013, 06:08 PM
I hope it works ^-^ strange, it seems to load normally to me... there used to be a LHC article here about catnip rinses, but I can't seem to be able to find it. I found Ktani's blog by google searching "ktani catnip" and it was the first link (her blog is called "ktani's hair sense" hope you find it ^-^

HylianGirl
March 6th, 2013, 06:10 PM
In case you can't find it, I copied and pasted the blog entry here:


"The following is based on my - Updated November 18, 2012, over 7 years of experimentation with and use of catnip tea, as my only consistent (I experimented with conventional hair conditioner in short spurts) hair colour and conditioner. My hair has gone from being fragile and full of split ends and breakage to being much stronger, with no split ends and minimal breakage. My hairline has filled in somewhat since I started using it, my hair looks much thicker and my hair growth, which was always good is even better. Catnip is described on some websites, as a herb for "hair growth and shine", on lists of herbs and their cosmetic uses, or for "growth" or "shine" on other websites and such lists. The "even better" growth, may be from the definite reduction of breakage I have experienced giving that appearance and my hairline filling in "somewhat", may be from the lack of other products weighing my hair down in that area. That makes more sense to me. I do know that overall, my hair does look much thicker and that is from no longer having the weight on my hair from the conventional conditioning products I used to use and catnip not adding weight to my hair.

Catnip cannot affect split ends that already exist (except condition and stain them). Those can be cut off for the best relief of them. Catnip tea used as a treatment, from my experience, prevents split ends from forming, even when there has been breakage.

Catnip, Nepeta cataria, or common catnip (it is a different species than catmint), has many helpful properties for hair and scalp. It is non toxic, naturally acidic, may be antibacterial, anitiviral and anifungal, contains oils, and is soothing to skin. It is known as a specific for scalp irritation. It is not recommended to be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Catnip has been used to help treat infant colic. For any uses regarding infants or babies, please consult your doctor.

At higher concentrations (less diluted), catnip is astringent but not overly drying.

It can be used as a skin wash and is not irritating to eyes. It can remove sebum and certain "oil" or moisturizing lotions like silicone based sunblock and even washable mascara.

It can also be used as a dry skin treatment. I use leftover catnip from my hair treatment. I gently exfoliate my facial skin with my hands after washing it with catnip. I then apply more catnip to my skin and let it dry, leaving it on for 1 hour and rinse it off. The result is soft, smooth skin that feels wonderful and dry skin lines have either been reduced or are not visible.

Catnip can be used as a shampoo on its own on mildly oily hair but is best used in rotation with an alternate cleanser, as catnip is not a strong enough cleanser on its own, to deal with leave-in hair products (including oils) or remove product build-up or residue. Catnip used as a shampoo and then more catnip applied afterward to condition, does not offer the same split end protection (as catnip does following conventional shampoo), from my experience. The hair is also prone to knotting. Catnip "shampoo" leaves behind some oils and conditioning properties, enough to prevent more catnip from being absorbed into the hair, as much as it can be.

I have found catnip is best used unadulterated (nothing added to it), on hair that does not have a *coating on it from another product that prevents the catnip from having direct access to the hair. Some conventional shampoos and conditioners can contain waxy ingredients and oils and some plants can contain things like mucilage and resins. All of these things can coat hair and *build-up, enough not to allow catnip to access and penetrate the hair as much as it can or stain it. When used following a shampoo that does not build-up, catnip will cover grey or white hair with a light yellow stain, that is between warm and ash and contains no red or brown (it is not gold). Catnip stain or dye, is not permanent and will wash out. Not all of the stain will wash out with one shampoo but it will completely wash out over a short period of time, if it is not reapplied.

My definitions: *coating: anything left behind by a product that does not allow direct access to the hair by another, or more of the same, product. * build-up: any coating that cannot be removed by a regular conventional shampoo in one use.

Catnip tea does not build-up on my hair. Enough of it is easily removed with a mild shampoo each time, to allow more catnip to be absorbed by the hair.

With catnip, less is more. 1 level teaspoon to just under 300 ml (10.144 fluid oz US) of boiled water, covered and steepd to cool (or longer), is an excellent dilution and moisturizing enough for both sensitive skin and dry hair. Some of the oils in catnip are volatile. To help preserve these, never boil catnip and always cover it when steeping catnip tea. Tap the condensation from the underside of the cover (I use a small saucer), back into the container used to steep it in (a mug will do), when the tea has cooled and before straining. I strain the tea into a large ceramic creamer for easier pouring and then strain it again into a freshly washed out plastic shampoo bottle. If I do not use the catnip tea right away, it is stored in the fridge.

Even though I wash all items used to prepare my catnip infusion after each use, I sterilize my mug, saucer, stainless steel tea strainer and Pyrex measuring cup with boiled water just before I prepare a new batch. I prepare a new batch once a week. Leftover catnip to be used on my skin stays in the fridge between uses. I have never had catnip go off, with my method of preparation and use.

Catnip can be applied to hair a number of ways: on wet or dry hair, before or after shampooing, left in or rinsed out, over conditioner or not.

However, catnip tea is most effective for me, following shampoo, with no conditioner residue (if conditioner has been used frequently, there will be some left behind after shampooing) as a treatment on hair that has had the excess water gently squeezed out of it (the shampoo used, one that does not cause build-up or contain a coating that can interfere with catnip's accessibilty to the hair, like mucilage), bagged (covered with plastic) and timed on the hair for 1 hour and then rinsed out.

Covering grey or white hair with catnip can be done most effectively, by first steeping catnip tea longer than just cooled to room temperature, to deepen the colour. All other directions remain the same, including the 1 hour timing. The only other additions are: 1. when removing the bag or other plastic covering, let the hair cool down a bit before rinsing off the catnip 2. add more catnip to the greyest areas at this time before the hair cools down completely and the cuticles are still slightly open from body heat 3. only rinse with tepid to cool, not warm or hot water.

Catnip can be purchased in a number of forms; leaves only, buds only (unopened catnip flowers) and a combination of both, referred to as leaves and flowers. It is best to purchase leaves and flowers. The buds (flowers) contain more oils and the leaves and stalks more tannins (the yellow stain from catnip is a tannin), and the best place to purchase catnip is a pet store or pet section of a larger store, where organic (if possible) pet catnip can be found. It is fresher and better quality than health food store or bulk catnip.

Catnip tea does not retain the odour that drives cats wild, once it is brewed.

Growing catnip: the video Harvest the flower buds before they open or form darkened seeds.

I have steeped catnip for different hours. I prefer 4.75 hours as my steeping time, for both colouring and conditioning. Over 5 hours gave me too much moisture and caused knotting. I no longer get any knotting, not even one "fairy knot". Catnip releases more of something that coats the hair differently to what is released in an infusion steeped at under 5 hours for me, aside from what is absorbed into the hair, during a plastic wrapped, hour long treatment.

Observations: It still yields a light yellow colour, no brown or red but it looks darker in my white bone china mug and covers my grey or white hair better than brewing catnip for less time.

The conditioning effects are better for me. I have not altered or increased my treatment time of 1 hour or my method of application."

Merlisea
March 6th, 2013, 06:11 PM
Oh wow! Do you mind if I ask what type of hair you have? Also, would you mind linking me to the catnip you use? I wouldn't even know where to start in getting it-is it something I could get from Amazon? Thanks for the tip!

Merlisea
March 6th, 2013, 06:13 PM
Thanks for copying that!! I think it was a cache problem with my computer- it seems to be working now. Do you have any recommendations for where/what catnip to use?? I'm really interested after seeing her say it gave her thicker, stronger hair with less breakage!

natural_shine
March 6th, 2013, 06:14 PM
Cantharidine hair oil, if u can find some.

when I use it as leave in and keep my hair in a bun for a week with it on my hair... I get aprox. 5 mm of growth/week. And it conditions great, after u wash it it shows.

Merlisea
March 6th, 2013, 06:19 PM
Hmm I've never heard of that! Does it leave your hair looking oily? Do you mind if I ask what hair type you have? I have to be careful with oils as my hair is so fine and it spreads through so quickly.

Vanilla
March 6th, 2013, 06:24 PM
Mineral oil is a great leave in! Use it on towel dried hair and it will keep the moisture in your ends. You can find it as baby oil in the drugstore.

Merlisea
March 6th, 2013, 06:29 PM
Does it make your hair oily looking? I never would have thought of baby oil! Oils always make me nervous as a leave-in because it saturates my hair so quickly! Might have to pick up a bottle though!

natural_shine
March 6th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Hmm I've never heard of that! Does it leave your hair looking oily? Do you mind if I ask what hair type you have? I have to be careful with oils as my hair is so fine and it spreads through so quickly.

it looks a bit oily in the first day, but it absorbs very fast. I mean, it will get a tiny bit only if you want to fully cover all your roots for more growth. Anyway, if you keep it in a bun, you can t tell unless u touch it. The look is "socially safe" :)
it is based on mineral oil, yes.

If you want just for conditioning, you won't get an oily look at all, not even for short while, you distrubute a thin film all over ur dry parts.

Vanilla
March 6th, 2013, 06:30 PM
The key is to only use a few drops on damp hair. I use 5 drops on my medium thickness MBL hair. You could probably get away with 1-2 drops.

Merlisea
March 6th, 2013, 06:32 PM
I'll definitely have to try it! Using it on damp hair is a good idea. Thanks for the tip! :)

natural_shine
March 6th, 2013, 06:34 PM
oh, if u go in the direction of baby oils... better just get some simple almond oil and break some vitamin d capsules in it. does a better job.

Vanilla
March 6th, 2013, 06:36 PM
I'll definitely have to try it! Using it on damp hair is a good idea. Thanks for the tip! :)

Let us know how it works out for you.

chen bao jun
March 6th, 2013, 06:53 PM
I forgot about the catnip. That's a good idea.
About the protein treatments, once a month is suggested at first. You don't want to overload your hair with protein--and also some people's hair hates protein treatments (which you won't know until you try). You would get crunchy ends if your hair had too much protein and then you would need moisture to combat that. There are threads on protein treatments on this forum and I'd look those up--I'm reluctant to give detailed advice to you since my hair type is so different than yours that what I do won't help you.
I'd definitely do the silk thing if I were you and probably try the catnip first and see how that goes. then after you see if it helps, you can also try putting in the mineral oil and then perhaps doing 1-2 min with the joico k-pak in the shower after a wash once a month. Just don't try everything at once, or you won't know which one helped, which can be annoying. I hope you get your hair as long as you want, but in the meanwhile I think you can be happy that your hair-type may be annoyingly fragile but your hair truly is also very pretty--it looks soft and touchable and is a lovely kind of fawn color that is very attractive.

lunalocks
March 6th, 2013, 07:04 PM
The protectants you are using may be contributing to the breakage. I use baby oil on damp hair after washing and conditioning and also on dry ends and ears down every night before bunning for sleep. I S and D routinely every week to every other week.

I have not tried catnip tea, but I aim too, to see if it helps the splits. My hair is prone to spitting, especially since I have some mechanical damage growing out, but baby oil has been wonderful. About 2 drops for me. My hair is hip.

Salmonberry
March 6th, 2013, 11:46 PM
Merlisea,

Sorry to reply so late. The conditioner I've been using is by the company Shea Moisture. They have several lines of products. The conditioner is the raw shea butter restorative conditioner. They also have a moisture retention shampoo, that I've never tried, and a deep conditioning masque. They do have kind of a strong flowery scent, but everything I've tried from them works pretty well.

Good luck and I hope you find something that solves your problem.

Naiadryade
March 7th, 2013, 01:01 AM
I feel your pain! Largely what drew me to join LHC initially was that once I reached BSL, I didn't gain any length for a year or two. I chopped to APL last spring and now I'm back to BSL... but thanks to LHC, with much healthier hair! Stick around here and read lots and it will probably get better.

People have given good advice. I agree that catnip is helpful. You can just buy it at a pet store--I even found organic catnip in a pet store, though I live in an area full of earthy-crunchy organic types. Also, definitely trim less. I also am prone to splits, so I understand the frustration with feeling like they are keeping you from gaining any length... but S&D is a better way to control this without constantly losing length. Keep a pair of sharp hair scissors on your desk, or wherever you spend a lot of time. If you notice a split, cut it off right then and there. Make this a daily routine.

I know you're searching for more protective hairstyles, and I don't have a whole lot to offer on that front... But how do you wear your hair to bed? Do you leave it loose? I would recommend braiding or bunning it to prevent tangles. Really any time you can contain your hair to prevent tangles means less breakage.

What do you use to put your hair up? Elastics, even the "non-damaging" ones, can end up damaging your hair, especially if you wear your hair the same way a lot. Spin pins, hair sticks, even soft scrunchies are a better choice.

How careful are you with your hair? When you sit in a chair or on a couch, does your hair end up between your back and the chair? What about when you put on coats, backpacks, etc? Everyday mechanical damage is my hair's nemesis. I really like to wear my hair down, but when I do, I'm very careful to pull it in front of my shoulders when I'm sitting, to the opposite side of the seat belt, lift it before putting on a backpack so it doesn't get under the straps, make sure it doesn't get caught in zippers or under DBF, etc.

Does your comb have seams? These can cause damage too.

Finally, oils have really been a life saver for my dry, split-prone hair. When my hair is dry, it tangles more and it breaks more easily. When it's moisturized with oils, it slips past itself and doesn't immediately snap just because I'm trying to detangle a little knot. You say your hair looks greasy easily... have you tried using just 1 or 2 drops of oil, spread over your hands so there is just a sheen, and then gently gliding your hands through your hair below the ears? As others have pointed out, if you wear your hair up (which will prevent damage anyway), it won't be noticeable even if this does make your hair look oily. But if it's just too much, you could dry oiling your hair pre-wash more often. Maybe go back to washing in the morning, and oil you hair overnight to let it sink in. Experiment with different oils to see what works best for your hair, too.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

spirals
March 7th, 2013, 02:32 AM
I'm hesitant to offer advice, as my hair is pretty much the opposite of yours. But now that mine is longer thatn before LHC, I can't get away with not detangling/combing, and that does cause some splits. I use flax gel in spray form to cut down on the cotton candy look I get without some kind of sealant. I developed it because I wanted to stop using gels and mousses, as they are basically plastic. The flx makes my hair shine--which it never, ever does on it's own--and it seems to help seal the cuticle a bit. I have no idea if it would work for you, but maybe it's worth a try. If you want my recipe, it's in this thread: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=110611

spidermom
March 7th, 2013, 08:51 AM
A couple of months back, my hair seemed to be dried out beyond repair, then I discovered Regis Designline hydrating balm. I use it about every two weeks. I wash my hair first, apply the balm from about ear level down, making sure I get plenty on the ends, then bundle my hair at the nape of my neck while I soak in a very warm bath for awhile - maybe half an hour. Then rinse out. The deep treatment has both protein and moisture, and I swear - it seems to have saved my hair.

At your length, I most often wore a french twist secured with bobby pins or twisted my hair up the back and secured with a claw clip, ends free. I believe that's called a peacock twist.

Oh, and I seem to get the best results for good condition and acceptable growth when I get my ends trimmed (1/2 inch or so) about every 3 months. However, while my hair was dried out, I got a lot of split ends, so right now I am getting about 1 inch trimmed off every 2 months, so of course my hair isn't gaining length right now. The condition is getting a lot better, though. I might be ready to resume growing by mid-summer.

spidermom
March 7th, 2013, 08:58 AM
Oh, and one more thing. CHI Silk Infusion has been very good for my hair. It's much easier to detangle when I use that coney goodness, but I have to be careful not to use too much. About a dime-size puddle in the palm of my hand is plenty. You would probably only use a drop or two.

imaroo
March 7th, 2013, 09:28 AM
My hair is very fine and my scalp is oily, so if I'm not careful oils make it look really awful and clumpy. What works for me is to use a spray bottle, mix together water and sweet almond oil, then spray lightly on damp hair. It really helps with tangling, makes my hair very soft on the ends, and doesn't make my hair oily.

You would have to experiment with oil to water ratio, and the number of squirts will depend on the bottle. But, I use about 8 ounces of water to 1 tablespoon of oil. I shake it before every use, and spray 3 - 5 times on the ends of my damp hair.

torrilin
March 7th, 2013, 10:20 AM
My routine right now:
-small trim once a month, every once in a while trimming split ends, individually
-shampoo at night with time for my hair to dry before going to bed
-styling protectant and night with combing (wide-toothed comb)- have been trying bun, braid, styles- varies
-comb hair in morning, put more styling protectant. Braid, loose, or bun for work
-Get home, comb hair, usually put up somehow.
-Coconut oil 1 every week to every 2 weeks for 20ish minutes before shampooing out.
-protein shakes appx 3x a week.

I'd switch to trimming splits individually only. Maybe make an appointment with yourself once a month or once a week. I would not microtrim once a month. Fine hair tends to be pretty dry and split like crazy, but even so I average out no MORE than 4 trims a year if I'm being super duper fussy about having a razor sharp hemline. Every 6-9 months is more typical, and every 12 months is doable tho not ideal. And that's with no individual split trimming at all. (note these numbers are averages too... most natural processes vary, so hair grows in spurts and I might trim 2 months in a row then not trim at all for the next 10 months)

I comb a lot less than you do. I finger comb most of the time, and I'll do a round when my hair comes down for a shower, a more thorough round when my hair is wet and soaked with conditioner, and then my hair gets put up wet. I figure the less I handle my hair the better. Keeping the same style in for days at a time works for a lot of curly haired ladies with very fragile hair, and it seems to work well for me too. It does tend to mean my shed hairs look like I killed a small animal, but that's because they're never loose, so they don't get the opportunity to fall out when I won't notice. And since my hair is so fine it will float rather than fall in the trash, a big bunch is easier to manage anyway and less lethal to vacuum cleaners. Figure I get an actual comb out maybe as often as once a month?

Wearing my hair down is a special treat, and it'd be unusual for me to leave the house with my hair down. From pixie on down to my current past waist length, wearing my hair down was asking for multiple HOURS spent detangling. Ick. These days, it's finally long enough that it no longer floats into epic tangles that require 8 hour battles to defeat. But I've got years of the habit that if my hair is up, it can't make me sad or crazy, and I don't keep any habit easily... so up it goes, and the habit gets maintained.

I also wash a lot less than you do. My skin is very dry, and if I did a scalp wash daily, my scalp would be very oily and pissed off. I wind up washing with diluted shampoo maybe as often as once a week. I don't fuss a lot about my hair getting wet, and if it gets wet, I hit it with conditioner most of the time. I stick to conditioners that work well for me whether I use them on wet or dry hair, so basically any time my hair feels dry, I can hit it with conditioner.

Basically I've always used conditioner in at least a 2:1 ratio to shampoo. These days it's probably closer to 10:1 or 20:1.

I don't find oil to work very well on my hair, and the various protectant or detangling products usually don't work well for me either. Oil takes forever to absorb, and it's very hard to get the dose low enough to suit my hair. So generally I just don't do it. Conditioner is easier for me to apply and absorbs faster. With protectant products, it's pretty common for them to build up on my hair and cause extra dryness, tangling and breakage. So for me they're a self defeating cycle, and going for more leave in conditioner is better. These are both ones where mileage varies a LOT. Given the rest of my routine, it's not really worthwhile for me to work out a way to use these sorts of products... but plenty of fine haired and straight posters have routines where oil or a protectant spray is a key part.

If you don't know how to do lace braids, I'd really recommend learning. It's a lot simpler than you might think and that sort of braid can be very useful for containing layers or adding an accent to a plainer style. Even if you feel totally style challenged, you might find that a pair of lace braids work well for sleeping in so you get fewer tangles.

Magalo
March 7th, 2013, 11:25 AM
Just saying, I have fine hair like you with a strong tendency to get oily in no time. After my shower today I put Glycerin&Rosewater on my length for the first time, while my hair was damp. Now it's dry, not oily AT ALL and my hair feel so soft! You should try it. It's inexpensive and smell good, too. :)

jacqueline101
March 7th, 2013, 01:17 PM
I'd try benign neglect and see if it won't grow since you've trimmed.

Salmonberry
March 7th, 2013, 01:52 PM
Oh, and I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but if you're trimming yourself and doing S&D then you better make sure you have very good quality, sharp scissors. If they are cheaply made or have dull blades, then you could be doing more harm than good using them. Dull scissors can cause more splits.

chen bao jun
March 7th, 2013, 01:58 PM
Just saying, I have fine hair like you with a strong tendency to get oily in no time. After my shower today I put Glycerin&Rosewater on my length for the first time, while my hair was damp. Now it's dry, not oily AT ALL and my hair feel so soft! You should try it. It's inexpensive and smell good, too. :)
Glycerin and rosewater is just great. I keep a spray bottle with it. I also add some aloe vera jelly into it, just about a teaspoon, which may or may not work for you. During the week, I spritz my hair with this each night and then (because unlike you I have dry curly hair) put some oil on my hair (and the oil keeps the moisture in) braid and wrap my head in silk and in the morning, my hair is crazy soft.

chen bao jun
March 7th, 2013, 02:11 PM
I'd switch to trimming splits individually only. Maybe make an appointment with yourself once a month or once a week. I would not microtrim once a month. Fine hair tends to be pretty dry and split like crazy, but even so I average out no MORE than 4 trims a year if I'm being super duper fussy about having a razor sharp hemline. Every 6-9 months is more typical, and every 12 months is doable tho not ideal. And that's with no individual split trimming at all. (note these numbers are averages too... most natural processes vary, so hair grows in spurts and I might trim 2 months in a row then not trim at all for the next 10 months)

I comb a lot less than you do. I finger comb most of the time, and I'll do a round when my hair comes down for a shower, a more thorough round when my hair is wet and soaked with conditioner, and then my hair gets put up wet. I figure the less I handle my hair the better. Keeping the same style in for days at a time works for a lot of curly haired ladies with very fragile hair, and it seems to work well for me too. It does tend to mean my shed hairs look like I killed a small animal, but that's because they're never loose, so they don't get the opportunity to fall out when I won't notice. And since my hair is so fine it will float rather than fall in the trash, a big bunch is easier to manage anyway and less lethal to vacuum cleaners. Figure I get an actual comb out maybe as often as once a month?

Wearing my hair down is a special treat, and it'd be unusual for me to leave the house with my hair down. From pixie on down to my current past waist length, wearing my hair down was asking for multiple HOURS spent detangling. Ick. These days, it's finally long enough that it no longer floats into epic tangles that require 8 hour battles to defeat. But I've got years of the habit that if my hair is up, it can't make me sad or crazy, and I don't keep any habit easily... so up it goes, and the habit gets maintained.

I also wash a lot less than you do. My skin is very dry, and if I did a scalp wash daily, my scalp would be very oily and pissed off. I wind up washing with diluted shampoo maybe as often as once a week. I don't fuss a lot about my hair getting wet, and if it gets wet, I hit it with conditioner most of the time. I stick to conditioners that work well for me whether I use them on wet or dry hair, so basically any time my hair feels dry, I can hit it with conditioner.

Basically I've always used conditioner in at least a 2:1 ratio to shampoo. These days it's probably closer to 10:1 or 20:1.

I don't find oil to work very well on my hair, and the various protectant or detangling products usually don't work well for me either. Oil takes forever to absorb, and it's very hard to get the dose low enough to suit my hair. So generally I just don't do it. Conditioner is easier for me to apply and absorbs faster. With protectant products, it's pretty common for them to build up on my hair and cause extra dryness, tangling and breakage. So for me they're a self defeating cycle, and going for more leave in conditioner is better. These are both ones where mileage varies a LOT. Given the rest of my routine, it's not really worthwhile for me to work out a way to use these sorts of products... but plenty of fine haired and straight posters have routines where oil or a protectant spray is a key part.

If you don't know how to do lace braids, I'd really recommend learning. It's a lot simpler than you might think and that sort of braid can be very useful for containing layers or adding an accent to a plainer style. Even if you feel totally style challenged, you might find that a pair of lace braids work well for sleeping in so you get fewer tangles.

This is very good advice, honestly, especially the bolded part. Low manipulation is key for fragile hair. If you learn french or lace braiding, you can braid your hair around your head (I do this, it looks like crown or heidi braids) and leave up for 2-3 days at least, wrapping it in silk at night to keep the hairstyle and smoothing the edges in in the morning with aloe vera gel. You really want to comb as little as possible with certain hairtypes. It sounds so strange that baby fine, fair type 1 has a lot in common with fine supercurly so-called 'afro' hair because they LOOK so very different but it really is true that some things are very much the same in the care and handling. There have been studies done which show that even with a seamless comb, everytime a person with very fine hair combs it, its like they are giving themselves a haircut. Literally. The comb just cuts the ends right off. So of course you wonder why your hair is 'not growing'. It is growing jsut fine, but it's like you give yourself a haircut every single day, because of the conventional wisdom that everyone needs to comb (or worse, brush) their hair, which is totally untrue and in fact destructive of certain hair types.
I don't have this hairtype--I'm a curly but coarse, however, my mother and sister do, so I am very familiar with the struggles. Superfine hair can grow beautifully long (I'm often jealous of how my sister's hair looks as opposed to how mine looks) but it does need extra TLC and loving care and guarding it carefullly to keep it on a person's head, which can be frustrating.

Anje
March 7th, 2013, 02:21 PM
This may sound weird, and I've never claimed my hair was normal, but what happens if you STOP using the protector products?

You see, my hair becomes a dry, tangly mess if I start using products with silicones or anything that's meant for damaged hair. Both silicones and proteins, after a few days, will make it get dry and start tangling like crazy. On the other extreme, when my hair is well-moisturized and I have no silicone or protein applied at all, my hair has a lot of slip to it and barely tangles at all. (Still forms strings and clumps, but that's a texture thing.)

So if you haven't tried it, I'd suggest that you clarify. Then with silicone-free, protein-free products do some good moisture treatments. (SMTs are my personal go-to. I tend to use cheap light corn syrup, aloe gel, and Suave Aloe and Waterlily conditioner in mine.) Don't put anything else in your hair and let it air-dry. See how it is for a few days like that. For some of us, less is more when it comes to products and treatments.

Merlisea
March 7th, 2013, 05:06 PM
Wow guys! Thanks for all of the insight!

Naiadryade: It's really comforting to know I'm not the only one who has gone through this. What type of elastics should I use? I use the regular black ones with no metal piece. Is there something safer for my hair I could use that isn't super noticeable?

spidermom: Do you have any links for those styles? My hair is so fine/thin that I have to use those itty bitty baby bobby pins instead of the regular sized ones- do you think it would work for me? I would really like to find some styles that protect my hair that I actually like so I'll use them.

It seems like a lot of people have bad breakage due to dry hair. I've always assumed that if my hair looks and feels greasy (like when I don't shampoo) that it had enough oils. I guess it's possible this isn't the case- I am going to try to spritz oil on when wet and see how this works.

Can anyone recommend a good comb? Because my hair tangles and breaks so easily, I feel like it's really important to keep it tangle free to avoid matting and those rat nests where you can feel the hair breaking as you try to comb them out, but maybe my comb is the problem? It looks like it has maybe one seam where the hair could be getting caught. -Also, I think one of my problems is combing after the shower. If I wait until my hair is dry, it gets all tangled up and forms a frizzy rat's nest on my head that is even harder to detangle than my wet hair. I can start finger combing after that when my hair is dry, but is there a detangler I could use for this purpose?

It looks like I'll be trying to stretch my washes again by using glycerin and rosewater! That would definitely help stretch the combing as well.

I don't do S&D as much as I should, so I guess I will start doing that more often and back off on the real trims/microtrims to maybe once every 3ish months.

I know I didn't name everyone I responded to, but I read every single post! Thank you so much for trying to help! I have some great new ideas now to try!

Please keep them coming if you guys can think of anything else! I hope this works! I honestly only have about 5" of growth to get to shorter waist/longer BSL which is where I want to be (for now.) Hopefully this will help me get there!

Merlisea
March 7th, 2013, 05:09 PM
Oh! By the way, I forgot to mention that I did NOT start using the protectants until a month or so ago, and I've obviously been trying to grow out my hair longer than that. I just thought maybe it would help because I figured my hair must be breaking off if it hasn't really gained length in 2 years.

torrilin
March 7th, 2013, 06:56 PM
If I wait until my hair is dry, it gets all tangled up and forms a frizzy rat's nest on my head that is even harder to detangle than my wet hair. I can start finger combing after that when my hair is dry, but is there a detangler I could use for this purpose?

This is exactly how most curly haired people describe their hair with no conditioner in it. And it's how my hair is if there's no conditioner in it.

This tells me your conditioner is not doing the job, either because you rinse it out too thoroughly or it's not a good match for your particular hair. I usually find that the conditioners that work best on my hair claim they're for color treated hair, or sometimes dry hair. Less often, they say they're for curly hair. Volumizing conditioners tend to be the worst for my hair, and I will actually have *more* volume if I use the stuff that works well.

In your position, what I'd do is dig through the various threads aimed at curlies and probably check out things like naturallycurly.com and tightlycurly.com so you can learn more about the way curlies handle these kinds of problems. A lot of the time you don't need to rush out and buy all new stuff. Start by changing how you use the stuff you've got instead. The condition-wash-condition method where you apply conditioner from the ears down, then wash just your scalp, then rinse and apply more conditioner tends to be a good way of starting to get more moisture into your routine. If you find that works well for you, try diluting your current shampoo next.

Salmonberry
March 7th, 2013, 07:52 PM
-Also, I think one of my problems is combing after the shower. If I wait until my hair is dry, it gets all tangled up and forms a frizzy rat's nest on my head that is even harder to detangle than my wet hair. I can start finger combing after that when my hair is dry, but is there a detangler I could use for this purpose?


I have the same exact problem. If my hair dries and I haven't detangled it while it was wet, it's nearly impossible to detangle it dry without major breakage. My remedy: Detangle it in the shower while I'm washing out my conditioner (One with very good slip to it). I've been very impressed with the Tresseme Naturals moisturizing conditioner. It's cone free, but has amazing slip and detangling properties. I coat my hair in that conditioner, wait 3 minutes, then rinse it out and gently comb it with a wide toothed comb while I'm rinsing it. Then the key is, not messing with it too much while it's drying. Gently pat it dry, comb through one more time and put a leave in conditioner on then let it air dry the rest of the way.

Naiadryade
March 7th, 2013, 08:21 PM
Wow guys! Thanks for all of the insight!

Naiadryade: It's really comforting to know I'm not the only one who has gone through this. What type of elastics should I use? I use the regular black ones with no metal piece. Is there something safer for my hair I could use that isn't super noticeable?

It seems like a lot of people have bad breakage due to dry hair. I've always assumed that if my hair looks and feels greasy (like when I don't shampoo) that it had enough oils. I guess it's possible this isn't the case- I am going to try to spritz oil on when wet and see how this works.

Can anyone recommend a good comb? Because my hair tangles and breaks so easily, I feel like it's really important to keep it tangle free to avoid matting and those rat nests where you can feel the hair breaking as you try to comb them out, but maybe my comb is the problem? It looks like it has maybe one seam where the hair could be getting caught. -Also, I think one of my problems is combing after the shower. If I wait until my hair is dry, it gets all tangled up and forms a frizzy rat's nest on my head that is even harder to detangle than my wet hair. I can start finger combing after that when my hair is dry, but is there a detangler I could use for this purpose?

Please keep them coming if you guys can think of anything else! I hope this works! I honestly only have about 5" of growth to get to shorter waist/longer BSL which is where I want to be (for now.) Hopefully this will help me get there!

Yeah... those little black elastics without metal are okay in a pinch, but they do cause the hair to bend, which can cause breakage over time... and think about it, they are not exactly soft so that friction is going to cause damage too if your hair is fragile like ours is. I use soft (jersey) scrunchies, and these seem very gentle on my hair--silk scrunchies would be even better. But I also don't mind them being noticeable. You can definitely find them in neutral colors. If this is still too noticeable for you, you could try the ones that look like this (http://i00.i.aliimg.com/wsphoto/v0/658638722/Free-shipping-100pcs-13colors-mixed-towel-soft-elastic-font-b-ties-b-font-Ponytail-Holders-Scrunchies.jpg) but in neutral colors. They are soft and wide but lay flatter. For buns, definitely invest in some spin pins or hair sticks.

There's this tricky thing about shampooing frequently and the way your scalp responds to it. When your scalp is stripped of its natural oils, it overcompensates. But if you then just strip those oils off again the next day, they don't really have time to moisturize the hair, and then you're caught in a vicious cycle. As a teen, I thought I had oily hair. I even used shampoo for oily hair, every other day or so. Then I went WO for a few years... I was delightedly surprised when, after a month or two, my hair stopped looking greasy. I thought I had hit upon something magic. Well, it turned out I had been disguising a dry scalp, and my hair actually got way too dry. I'm still trying to figure out how to get moisture to it properly. Maybe oils won't be the right way for you. Glycerin and rosewater is a good idea. The only way you'll find out is by experimenting.

But I will say that when my hair is moisturized--or possibly, just when it is lightly coated in olive oil--it is a LOT less tangle-prone. Like, astronomically. I only finger-comb these days, and I think I have a lot less damage because I avoid combs entirely. You could try a wooden seamless wide-toothed comb, but do try to substitute with your fingers whenever it seems possible. Detangling wet can also cause damage... do you detangle before your shower? Going into the shower with tangle-free hair and trying not to mess it all over itself in the shower might help with your post-shower tangles.

You can totally grow those 5". It's just going to take some patience, care and perseverance. You're in the right place to get support and learn how to do this right! Good luck! :cheer:

Anne10
August 14th, 2013, 03:48 PM
Merlisea - did you ever try the cantharidine oil?

Isilme
August 14th, 2013, 04:02 PM
If you want a great and cheap leave in I would suggest a lubricant, yes, that kind of lubricant. Find a cone free one with a very simple ingredient list and glycerine listed high. It works amazingly for my hair. My theory is that your hair might be quite dry underneath all those protective products.
Another idea, what about trying cassia? It might not be for you and keep in mind that it might stain your hair golden since you're so light. But I think it is worth checking out, for it's strengthening abilities.
As for styles, I have seen people dividing their hair in chunky strands, twist them and pin to the back of their head.
Good luck!

cmbates2009
August 17th, 2013, 10:45 AM
What do you use to put your hair up? Elastics, even the "non-damaging" ones, can end up damaging your hair, especially if you wear your hair the same way a lot. Spin pins, hair sticks, even soft scrunchies are a better choice.


Naiadryade, for someone like me that is in the military that has to use simple colors to match my hair color for example brunette, what options for hair ties could be used that would not damage the hair or what styles can be done for updos that would not damage the hair but still be kept up?

Leeloo
August 17th, 2013, 12:23 PM
In case you can't find it, I copied and pasted the blog entry here:


"The following is based on my - Updated November 18, 2012, over 7 years of experimentation with and use of catnip tea, as my only consistent (I experimented with conventional hair conditioner in short spurts) hair colour and conditioner. My hair has gone from being fragile and full of split ends and breakage to being much stronger, with no split ends and minimal breakage. My hairline has filled in somewhat since I started using it, my hair looks much thicker and my hair growth, which was always good is even better. Catnip is described on some websites, as a herb for "hair growth and shine", on lists of herbs and their cosmetic uses, or for "growth" or "shine" on other websites and such lists. The "even better" growth, may be from the definite reduction of breakage I have experienced giving that appearance and my hairline filling in "somewhat", may be from the lack of other products weighing my hair down in that area. That makes more sense to me. I do know that overall, my hair does look much thicker and that is from no longer having the weight on my hair from the conventional conditioning products I used to use and catnip not adding weight to my hair.

Catnip cannot affect split ends that already exist (except condition and stain them). Those can be cut off for the best relief of them. Catnip tea used as a treatment, from my experience, prevents split ends from forming, even when there has been breakage.

Catnip, Nepeta cataria, or common catnip (it is a different species than catmint), has many helpful properties for hair and scalp. It is non toxic, naturally acidic, may be antibacterial, anitiviral and anifungal, contains oils, and is soothing to skin. It is known as a specific for scalp irritation. It is not recommended to be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Catnip has been used to help treat infant colic. For any uses regarding infants or babies, please consult your doctor.

At higher concentrations (less diluted), catnip is astringent but not overly drying.

It can be used as a skin wash and is not irritating to eyes. It can remove sebum and certain "oil" or moisturizing lotions like silicone based sunblock and even washable mascara.

It can also be used as a dry skin treatment. I use leftover catnip from my hair treatment. I gently exfoliate my facial skin with my hands after washing it with catnip. I then apply more catnip to my skin and let it dry, leaving it on for 1 hour and rinse it off. The result is soft, smooth skin that feels wonderful and dry skin lines have either been reduced or are not visible.

Catnip can be used as a shampoo on its own on mildly oily hair but is best used in rotation with an alternate cleanser, as catnip is not a strong enough cleanser on its own, to deal with leave-in hair products (including oils) or remove product build-up or residue. Catnip used as a shampoo and then more catnip applied afterward to condition, does not offer the same split end protection (as catnip does following conventional shampoo), from my experience. The hair is also prone to knotting. Catnip "shampoo" leaves behind some oils and conditioning properties, enough to prevent more catnip from being absorbed into the hair, as much as it can be.

I have found catnip is best used unadulterated (nothing added to it), on hair that does not have a *coating on it from another product that prevents the catnip from having direct access to the hair. Some conventional shampoos and conditioners can contain waxy ingredients and oils and some plants can contain things like mucilage and resins. All of these things can coat hair and *build-up, enough not to allow catnip to access and penetrate the hair as much as it can or stain it. When used following a shampoo that does not build-up, catnip will cover grey or white hair with a light yellow stain, that is between warm and ash and contains no red or brown (it is not gold). Catnip stain or dye, is not permanent and will wash out. Not all of the stain will wash out with one shampoo but it will completely wash out over a short period of time, if it is not reapplied.

My definitions: *coating: anything left behind by a product that does not allow direct access to the hair by another, or more of the same, product. * build-up: any coating that cannot be removed by a regular conventional shampoo in one use.

Catnip tea does not build-up on my hair. Enough of it is easily removed with a mild shampoo each time, to allow more catnip to be absorbed by the hair.

With catnip, less is more. 1 level teaspoon to just under 300 ml (10.144 fluid oz US) of boiled water, covered and steepd to cool (or longer), is an excellent dilution and moisturizing enough for both sensitive skin and dry hair. Some of the oils in catnip are volatile. To help preserve these, never boil catnip and always cover it when steeping catnip tea. Tap the condensation from the underside of the cover (I use a small saucer), back into the container used to steep it in (a mug will do), when the tea has cooled and before straining. I strain the tea into a large ceramic creamer for easier pouring and then strain it again into a freshly washed out plastic shampoo bottle. If I do not use the catnip tea right away, it is stored in the fridge.

Even though I wash all items used to prepare my catnip infusion after each use, I sterilize my mug, saucer, stainless steel tea strainer and Pyrex measuring cup with boiled water just before I prepare a new batch. I prepare a new batch once a week. Leftover catnip to be used on my skin stays in the fridge between uses. I have never had catnip go off, with my method of preparation and use.

Catnip can be applied to hair a number of ways: on wet or dry hair, before or after shampooing, left in or rinsed out, over conditioner or not.

However, catnip tea is most effective for me, following shampoo, with no conditioner residue (if conditioner has been used frequently, there will be some left behind after shampooing) as a treatment on hair that has had the excess water gently squeezed out of it (the shampoo used, one that does not cause build-up or contain a coating that can interfere with catnip's accessibilty to the hair, like mucilage), bagged (covered with plastic) and timed on the hair for 1 hour and then rinsed out.

Covering grey or white hair with catnip can be done most effectively, by first steeping catnip tea longer than just cooled to room temperature, to deepen the colour. All other directions remain the same, including the 1 hour timing. The only other additions are: 1. when removing the bag or other plastic covering, let the hair cool down a bit before rinsing off the catnip 2. add more catnip to the greyest areas at this time before the hair cools down completely and the cuticles are still slightly open from body heat 3. only rinse with tepid to cool, not warm or hot water.

Catnip can be purchased in a number of forms; leaves only, buds only (unopened catnip flowers) and a combination of both, referred to as leaves and flowers. It is best to purchase leaves and flowers. The buds (flowers) contain more oils and the leaves and stalks more tannins (the yellow stain from catnip is a tannin), and the best place to purchase catnip is a pet store or pet section of a larger store, where organic (if possible) pet catnip can be found. It is fresher and better quality than health food store or bulk catnip.

Catnip tea does not retain the odour that drives cats wild, once it is brewed.

Growing catnip: the video Harvest the flower buds before they open or form darkened seeds.

I have steeped catnip for different hours. I prefer 4.75 hours as my steeping time, for both colouring and conditioning. Over 5 hours gave me too much moisture and caused knotting. I no longer get any knotting, not even one "fairy knot". Catnip releases more of something that coats the hair differently to what is released in an infusion steeped at under 5 hours for me, aside from what is absorbed into the hair, during a plastic wrapped, hour long treatment.

Observations: It still yields a light yellow colour, no brown or red but it looks darker in my white bone china mug and covers my grey or white hair better than brewing catnip for less time.

The conditioning effects are better for me. I have not altered or increased my treatment time of 1 hour or my method of application."

Thank you so much for posting this.

sumidha
August 17th, 2013, 03:07 PM
Sounds like switching to s&d rather than trimming will make a big difference, and also, unfortunately, wearing your hair up every. single. day.

I have fairly fragile, breakage prone hair, and the time when I got the best, most consistent growth, was when I wore it in a bun for work literally every single day for 2+ years. Benign neglect is your friend! :)

Dark40
August 18th, 2013, 07:33 PM
Does anyone have a good product they use (some kind of protectant spray) daily that helps prevent split ends/breakage/tangling? I have fine and thinner hair that is straight and shiny that tangles/breaks/splits very easily- at this point it seems to be splitting faster or at the same rate that it's growing.

I feel like I've used and done everything under the sun, but I just can't seem to gain length, and I'm stuck at around APL in the back and what looks like shoulder length in the front because of an old cut that I can't seem to grow out where the edges of my hair started shorter and gradually got longer "framing" my face. I started at shoulder and have only been able to get to APL in the past 5 or so years of trying.

I recently got a few highlights after 3 or so years of not coloring with not much growing luck (luckily it doesn't seem to have done any/much damage), but with the color, now I don't have to guess when/how long it takes to grow out. I used to believe my growth was pretty much non-existent, but now I can see, based on my roots, that it's definitely growing on top, albeit slowly, but the sheer length doesn't seem to getting any longer, hence my theory on the splitting-faster-than growing.

Anyway, in the past month or so I've been using different protectants, but they are mainly for heat and styling (even though I rarely if ever use heat on my hair)... I spray the protectant on my hair at night and in the morning hoping it will prevent it from tangling or getting damaged while sleeping and during the day, but I'm not sure it's doing anything or if I'm using the right kind of products (is there one specifically for splits/tangling and not heat?)

The one thing I could do that I probably don't do enough is to put my hair up, but with my hair type and those stubborn layers I can't grow out it's very hard to find styles that work. Braids slip out easily and the ends are unprotected anyway. Buns are okay, but the actual bun is tiny and not my favorite style. Pony tails work, but then the hair is pretty much exposed anyway. Any advice on different hairstyles would be appreciated too!

I'm just totally frustrated and have no idea what else to do. After a misguided, teenaged coloring/cut debacle where I had to cut my very damaged BSL hair, and about 5-7 years (with some frustrating chop-offs in between) of trying to grow it back to BSL and hopefully waist some day, I'm just at the point where I don't know what to do anymore.


So, I guess my real questions are:
-Does anyone know of a good protectant spray/gel for daily use?
-Does anyone know of any good, protective hair styles for my type of hair (thinner, very fine and fragile, straight)
-Does anyone have any other advice?
-Please let me know if you have any other theories on why I'm not gaining any length.

Some other info:
-I had to stop using Biotin after a few weeks, as it caused a huge flair up of really bad and painful cystic acne, so this is off the table
-I haven't tried monistat yet, but am interested. (I used to get migraines as a child/teenager, so I'm a little afraid of the headaches people have said can occur)
-I've read the DE page, but am still a little hesitant to use it as I still feel uneducated, and I'm afraid I'm going to wind up buying the poisonous kind.
-I can't really stretch my shampoos. (I've tried doing this, even for a little over a month, but the grease just spreads like wildfire through my shiny, straight, thin, fine hair.) I've tried both silicones and non silicones and shampoos without and are low in sulfur. I even tried Mane n Tail for a long time- they all seem to be the same. I use a lot of conditioner now so my hair won't tangle.

My routine right now:
-small trim once a month, every once in a while trimming split ends, individually
-shampoo at night with time for my hair to dry before going to bed
-styling protectant and night with combing (wide-toothed comb)- have been trying bun, braid, styles- varies
-comb hair in morning, put more styling protectant. Braid, loose, or bun for work
-Get home, comb hair, usually put up somehow.
-Coconut oil 1 every week to every 2 weeks for 20ish minutes before shampooing out.
-protein shakes appx 3x a week.

Thank you in advance! I know this is kind of a mish moshed and long winded post, but I'm just not sure what to do anymore! I just want sun-kissed, waist length, healthy, luscious hair already, darn it!

The best daily protectant spray is Tresemme Heat Potectant Spray, and also It's a 10 miracle leaven-in conditioner. The It's a 10 leave-in miracle does 10 things to your hair. It prevents split ends, damage, control frizzies,and adds shine. You can buy these products at Walmart and Ulta stoes.

samanthaj08
August 19th, 2013, 04:14 PM
I'm having a similar issue and was reading earlier today that adding a couple of drops each of the essential oils Peppermint and Rosemary help to improve circulation, stimulate growth, and grow stronger hair? Does anyone have experience with this?

McFearless
August 19th, 2013, 06:52 PM
I'm having a similar issue and was reading earlier today that adding a couple of drops each of the essential oils Peppermint and Rosemary help to improve circulation, stimulate growth, and grow stronger hair? Does anyone have experience with this?

Yes, those two essential oils are known for those properties. They must be diluted in a carrier oil such as emu, jojoba or coconut before contact with skin.

samanthaj08
August 19th, 2013, 07:11 PM
Yes, those two essential oils are known for those properties. They must be diluted in a carrier oil such as emu, jojoba or coconut before contact with skin.

Does shampoo count?