View Full Version : Please help me diagnose this issue...

March 23rd, 2013, 09:49 AM
Hi Guys,

My hair has had this strange problem the last few weeks and I'm hoping to get some feedback. It's mostly just the last 4-6 inches.

Symptoms: feels very soft and is shiny, but at the same time tangle-y and dry looking. The hair doesn't seem to lay together-- these last 4-6 inches appear almost frayed, as if they repel each other. I don't think it's static (but looks similar); I don't have splits or damage (my hair is virgin). I did the wet stretch test, and I don't know about percentage of stress :p It sorta went stretch-stretch-snap.

My routine: I S&C every 4-5 days. I never shampoo the length unless I'm clarifying. I rotate products but haven't introduced anything new. I have a few low protein conditioners but normally avoid protein as it tends to give me the crunchies. In dry weather aloe or glycerin can make my hair look dry so I tend to avoid those when the weather is arid. Some of my products are no cone, some have cones; my hair doesn't seem to have a preference. It's very hard to find a heavy no protein, no glycerin or aloe conditioner! But again, these are all products that have worked fairly well for me in the past. I oil very lightly with coconut oil at night. About once a week I do a heavier oiling as a DT. I wear my hair down about 1/2 the time; otherwise it's up in some sort of hairstick bun. I'm always careful about mechanical damage but again, there doesn't seem to be damage anyway-- I don't think that's the issue.

What I've tried: Last week, an all day DT with Dabur Vatika Oil. No change. Yesterday I clarified with Neutrogena's Clarifying Shampoo and used a heavy conditioner afterward, leaving it on for about 10 mins. Well, my hair is worse! Same problem, only magnified.

I just don't know because as I said above, the hair itself is healthy, virgin hair. It *feels* great. It just looks awful. I'm wondering if it's protein overload-- that even that small amount is making my hair unhappy. My only other thought is that I could have moisture overload. My hair does feel very mushy when wet. So confusing. :(

So, I'm not sure what my next step should be. My plan is to do an ACV rinse after my next shampoo and then condition as normal. If that doesn't work, I'll try doing a small trim. Beyond that, I'm not sure what to do. I'm afraid to do a protein treatment in case it makes it worse-- as I said, normally, my hair doesn't like protein, but may I do need to do a treatment? Is this just my hair texture changing as I age? (Just one or two grays so far, so I don't think so).

Anyway, would really appreciate any thoughts or feedback about this. I'm at my wit's end!

March 23rd, 2013, 10:08 AM
Maybe try chelating?

March 23rd, 2013, 10:36 AM
I would condition and than an ACV rinse, works wonders. Good luck! Hope you find your answer soon.

March 23rd, 2013, 11:13 AM
I know you said you prefer to avoid protein, but since you mentioned your hair being mushy, maybe that is what you need? I don't know how exactly this would reflect on your own stretch test, but the hair shouldn't stretch too, too much, and should ideally revert back to its normal length. You may not even need that much. For example, if I ever think I need protein, I just use a couple spritzes of a keratin-containing product, that usually does the trick after 1 - 3 "daily doses". Hope this helps!

March 23rd, 2013, 11:41 AM
Your hair may be over-moisturized :) see citation/link below with some science from luxepiggy.

Maybe try to decrease the use of conditioner or skip it altogether for a time and see how your hair reacts? My hair (I've been harping on about this in several threads so sorry if I am repeating myself, but I am so happy to have found something that actually makes my hair wearable down :) ) got way less frizzy and much more shiny, bouncy and "clumpy" when I stopped using conditioner. I canīt go completely without moisturizing/sealing so I use a few drops of mineral oil on dripping wet hair, after washing with a shampoo dilution of SLS-free shampoo, water and some ACV. I also get a better effect if I blow-dry on cool than if I air-dry (again see citation below). The result is not perfect and some days it works less good (probably due to humidity etc) but it is extremely much better than before on conditioner-only or with use of conditioner either as rinse-out or leave-in.

Usually over-moisturized hair also benefits from protein I believe but that didnīt make much difference for me as I recall, though I didnīt get crunchy hair either.

It may be worth a try at least, good luck! :flower:

Citation below from luxepiggy in this post: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=109230&p=2349192&viewfull=1#post2349192

"Moisturized Hair"
Before we can properly discuss the effects of heat drying, it's important to understand that the term "moisturized hair" is a misnomer. Contrary to popular belief, moisture increases friction between hair fibers and decreases tensile strength, which leads to an increase in hair frizz and styling difficulties. The sensory characteristics (shine, smoothness, fewer tangles, lack of frizz) attributed by the average consumer to "moisturized hair" are in reality demonstrated by hair that contains less moisture.

Low Heat Drying
The moisture content of hair fluctuates continuously based on the temperature and relative humidity of the surrounding air. Hair that has been heat-dried at 50°C will contain less moisture than air-dried hair, even after being equilibrated at room temperature and moderate humidity. The heat-dried hair still gains and loses some moisture as relative humidity changes, but its water level remains consistently lower than that of air-dried hair.

Remember, lower water content = shinier, smoother hair with reduced frizz and fewer tangles! This is how blow-drying on cool creates that healthy, bouncy look.

The hysteresis between the water level of heat-dried and air-dried hair is completely temporary and reversible at low temperatures (50°C), persisting only until the hair is re-wet during the next wash cycle. More generally, I have yet to find evidence from any reputable sources that heat drying at or below 50°C causes any long-term damage to the hair.

March 23rd, 2013, 12:26 PM
Could it be the coconut oil? I have had coconut oil solidify on the hair shaft and it's pretty much how you described.. maybe try mineral oil instead after clarifying and ACV?

March 23rd, 2013, 12:56 PM
Hmmmmm... I will just revert to my multi purpose advice :) Chelating shampoo, light cone free conditioner, ACV and see how it looks then. I found that mineral oil on damp hair worked wonders for me, for around two weeks. Then I got some strange problems and had to clarify and chelate. Good luck!

March 23rd, 2013, 03:08 PM
Thanks everyone, I knew I came to the right place. :grnbiggri I thought I had reached a dead end but you guys have given me lots of things to try. I had forgotten about MO-- I was using it for a while with great results but because my hair is the fickle beast that it is-- it stopped working and I put it away. Time to bring it back out again. I'm tempted to give the no conditioner thing a try too, though that is a scary thought for me! Perhaps an ACV after shampoo, and just a touch of MO afterward will do the trick.

Thanks again-- I will report back!

March 23rd, 2013, 03:09 PM
Double post-- sorry.

heidi w.
March 23rd, 2013, 05:02 PM
How did you clarify; what did you use?
So, you clarified and it's still the same.
Then you've gone on and done other stuff.
What conditioner do you use?

Seems to me you should clarify again, and then condition the length only, not the scalp hair. It seems to me an ACV is not enough for what your hair might need.

I don't think you need any protein treatment whatsoever. Don't try everything under the sun; if it doesn't come out in first clarify; try a second clarifying with Baking Soda blended with 3 T. of shampoo in a jar. Then condition the length, and let it be. Your hair should be fine. It's just got so much crap in it now, it doesn't know which way to turn.

Give your hair direction.
heidi w.

March 23rd, 2013, 05:54 PM
So much crap in it? No, the only thing it has it in it now is conditioner. That's what I was asking about--where to go from here.

I clarified with Neutrogena Clarifying Shampoo, then conditioned with Organique Amla and Holy Basil conditioner (rinsed out afterward). So, not sure where you got that it has a bunch of product in it. *shrug*