View Full Version : The Toughest Hair Problem You've Ever Encountered

April 23rd, 2013, 06:25 PM
I am wondering what are the toughest hair problems you've ever had and how you overcame / are overcoming them. I think this thread can be useful to all those who may run into the same problems or have relatives or friends running into these problems. What created the biggest setbacks for your hair/scalp (e.g. chemo, major problems due to hormonal treatments, post-partum sheds, skin conditions, cutting off all hair for whatever reasons, major chemical damage.....) and what solutions helped you? Personally, I haven't had any really severe challenges yet. But I'll start: I had massive hair breakage and hair shed following a miscalculated raw vegan diet, coupled with lots of bleaching and constantly skipping conditioner. I took my hair for granted and treated it like it was bullet-proof and could sustain any damage. My solution: realization that hair is fragile, eating paleo and balanced meals, using lots of conditioner, combing gently instead of ripping through hair with plastic brushes, babying and trimming ends. My hair recovered quite significantly within 3-4 months. But more importantly, I learned to treat it better.

April 23rd, 2013, 10:29 PM
I had issues with slow growth and finding away to make my hair healthy.

April 23rd, 2013, 10:36 PM
I have breakage/shorter hairs on one side of my head. I still have no idea why. Can't manage to isolate the cause. (I'm not even sure they're broken hairs...some of them just look like shorter, tapered hairs that happen to be all the same length.) The hair on that side of my head has a slightly different texture, too. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who notices these issues, and they're not apparent when others look at my hair. I'd love to know the answer though. It drives my OCD nuts. :lol:

April 23rd, 2013, 11:40 PM
Definitely eating right. I don't really like eating or food sometimes but growing my hair has really forced me to eat right and exercise and all that.
Sometimes that's a reason for me not to cut my hair because I worry I won't keep up a healthy lifestyle if not for the health of my longer hair :p

Apart from that just being patient in the short-term while brushing and in the long-term with length progress has been quite a challenge but as I'm very nearly at waist I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere.

April 23rd, 2013, 11:46 PM
Patience for sure

April 23rd, 2013, 11:47 PM
Tangles are the bane of my existence. My hair has always been tangly, and going cone-free has been difficult. Clarifying as needed, trimming often to keep the split ends away, and using catnip regularly have been very helpful.

April 23rd, 2013, 11:50 PM
It's the freakin' V-shape my hair naturally grows in. I have to trim so much to keep it even. What even, I will never have it even (=blunt) in my life, probably, but as close as I can.

Also I have more taper on the right side. Shorter layers too. I think it may have to do that I sleep on that side, predominantly. Recently I got some sleep caps, will see if those help, ...except that I forget to wear them at least half of the time.

April 24th, 2013, 12:20 AM
Having super fragile hair and having to learn how to take extra special gentle care of it. Realising I needed to tie it up and trim it often for it to be able to grow long. (I used to wear it down 24/7! Eeek, certainly can't do that if I want to have itpast waist length)

April 24th, 2013, 01:24 AM
Shedding -.- I'll probably have to take iron supplement twice a day for the rest of my life if I want to at least keep some of the hair. The second I stop, or get lazy, the shedding starts a month later.

April 24th, 2013, 01:29 AM
I spent my life with Q-tip head. Trying to figure out curls in a family and a community full of straighties with silky hair was difficult. The internet hooked-me up with people who knew what to do to make fluff into curls. Lot's of moisture, leave-in conditioner, do not brush, do not comb, do not touch while drying. Who would have ever known it was so simple. 50 years of self-hatred gone.

April 24th, 2013, 01:31 AM
For me it has been:
(1) Over-bleaching. I've now decided to henndigo back to my natural colour because it has just killed my hair and requires constant trims- slowing down the length gain. :(
(2) Stretching washes. I've also discovered that stretching washes gives me a billion white dots and split ends. It obviously doesn't work for me because my bleached hair needs moisture, moisture comes from water... So I wash every second or third day and my hair is in WAY better condition.
(3) CO washing. CO makes my roots greasy and yuck.

So. After all of that experimentation I'm back to the conventional shampoo, conditioner, regular washing. Maybe it's 'conventional' for a reason- it works!

April 24th, 2013, 03:11 AM
My greatest problems were frizz and brushing.
Oils have solved the frizz problems - and added shine, yay

And little to no brushing has helped tremendously. Pre LHC I never realised that hairbrushes and waves don't mix too well. I thought brushing + hair = wonderful hair.

I always believed that my hair was straight but misbehaving. Well, no it is neither straight nor misbehaving, it is just attempting to do what it likes best - which is to be wavy!

April 24th, 2013, 03:28 AM
Around 5 or 6 years ago I went through a stage where I wanted to be blonde. I bleached the heck out of my hair, and made the mistake of re-bleaching the lengths instead of just the roots each time. A section of my hair was destroyed, it just dried up and frizzed like crazy, it was so damaged - definitely the worst damage I've ever experienced, and my hair has always been pretty resilient. But multiple bleachings to one spot was too much for it. Luckily I had short hair so just cut the damage off. No amount of babying would have fixed it. That's been my worst hair problem I think.

When it comes to current hair problems, well, I don't have many except for the greasies :(

April 24th, 2013, 03:29 AM
My biggest problems are tangles and sore/sensitive scalp. The tangle issue has been greatly helped by clarifying, which is something I will have to do more regularly now. I'm a 'poo bar user and I have hard water, so I probably get quite a bit of build-up (though I don't see it myself and never find gunk on my comb).

The sore scalp is something I'm still figuring out. It often makes wearing updos completely unbearable and it feels like I can't do anything with my hair. Another user suggested more frequent washing, which is what I'm trying out now. I'm also doing daily scalp massages with a few drops of oil, and it helps a bit when my follicles are having a rage attack.

April 24th, 2013, 03:54 AM
My scalp. I got flakes and itch very easily. Wrong conditioners make it worse. Vinegar was really bad. Everything seems to make it worse. Only thing that has helped is to stretch washes to every 3-4 days but now the problem is back and nothing seems to help. It's slowly getting better but it's making me crazy. I don't really know what triggered it this time but I think it's stress. I washed my hair yesterday (I CO) and it's itchy already. It's slowly getting better though. It just have to do it's thing itself. I just have to bear with this itch as long as I can and wash it when I start to get flakes. If it gets too flaky it's just irritated again. It's about balance. When I get to every 3-4 days it will be better. There seems to be hocus-pocus cure. I have tried so many things. Sugar scrups help but I don't want to do that unless it's really necessary because I fear it will damage my hair.

Other problem has been dry feeling ends but oiling them when they are wet has "cured" that completely.

April 24th, 2013, 04:18 AM
Shedding. I was a bit shocked, because I didn't know what went wrong, since I've started taking such good care of my hair.

I've been taking BC pills at that time though, which I stopped taking after two months, but the shedding didn't stop. I've also cut off a lot of damage before all that started (at least 6 inches), and my hair started to look really good. I have lost half and inch of my ponytail circumference due to the shedding, so I cut it again, and maintained my length above APL for about a year to thicken up the ends.

About 6 months ago, I've switched to sulphate free shampoo and started taking vitamin D supplements (not thinking about hair, I've just read somewhere how much sun exposure I would have to take, to get enough of vitamin D). I think that supplements were crucial though. The shedding decreased significantly by now and it looks like I'm gaining thickness again. Before that I've also tried MSM, but it didn't make a lot of difference, if any.

April 24th, 2013, 04:31 AM
For me all my bleaching and dyeing damage that was manageable came to a head when I ended up in the hospital and I couldn't look after it properly.

Also the reason I was in the hospital really did a number on my body. I did try to kill myself with a (in the doctors own words) massive overdose of a bunch of medications. They told me I would feel the effects for months/possibly a year. During that year I had to cut my hair back to shoulder from waist because for the first month I could barely stand/sit up, and the nurses did some weird tucked french braid on my hair while soaking wet that somehow stayed tucked for two weeks. After that I had a massive shed, then in the fall I stalled for about 5 months, got an inch and a bit in the new year, then it stalled again for two months. It is finally growing consistently (knock on wood) and my hair is thicker than it was when I joined the LHC.

What it taught me was acceptance (I accepted I couldn't save my hair, so I cut it back to a point where the damage was minimal). I knew I couldn't stop the shed. I dealt with it by bleaching and dying my hair purple/pink, but after a few months I decided to just grow out my natural colour, and redyed the length. I don't have much damage from that so I'm okay, and it got be through the OMG it's way to short phase. I also just benign neglected it. I CWC with products I know my hair likes, sometimes I oil before I shower, I add a bit of mineral oil after and I'm done for a week. That helped too. Prior to this I was a constant measurer and wanting to try new things all the time, but just learning to get that my hair is doing great as it is was one of the positives that came out of this past year.

April 24th, 2013, 06:22 AM
For me, it is definitely shedding.
I had a huge shed from July 2011 - February 2012 and then in September 2012 another one related to stress, which luckily stopped around December. I had to keep cutting my hair back to waistlength.
It's a mean thing, as for me, shedding is not related to food but mostly to stress (anxiety related). First I get to suffer from stress, then 4-6 weeks later I also lose huge amounts of hair and feel unhappy about that. The amounts I lost last time seriously freaked me out. Some days I really thought I was going to be bald.

As for now, I'm doing well. I feel like I am coping with stress better than before (let's hope my hair agrees). My hair is hiplength when completely straight!
This sounds weird, but I am thankful every day when I clean my brush and there are only 10 hairs instead of the 200+ I had back then.

April 24th, 2013, 07:29 AM
Split ends... the bane of my life. It's a big issue for me because I wear my hair down 90% of the time.
It drives me nuts seeing a bunch of split ends when I don't have my hair scissors on me... this tends to happen when I'm sitting in the office at work.
I deal with them by microtrimming, S&D, and lots of conditioner. And of course being very gentle with my hair. Things are getting better! :)

April 24th, 2013, 08:00 AM
Finding a balance of protien and moisture for my hair. Realizing I have curly wavy hair and working with it. Stretching washes so my scalp and hair are happier.

April 24th, 2013, 08:29 AM
Growing out from pixie to chin length was HORRIBLE. Other than that it is just leaving my hair alone and trying not to dye or bleach it as much as I have always done. I still have a few areas where white dots are an issue, but I'm doing better than I ever have done before with my hair!

April 24th, 2013, 08:47 AM
The current hair problems that I am dealing with is tangles because of product build up, and not being able to figure out what to do with my hair (easy go to hairstyles) at its current length. My hair is the longest it's ever been and its outgrown the ways I used to put it up constantly. I'm also having trouble figuring out exactly what to do with it when I sleep. It tries to strangle me in the night! Lol. And if I put it up I get a headache and it gets tangled even then!

April 24th, 2013, 01:13 PM
My biggest hair hurdle, years ago, was hot roots! I kept dying my whole head to maintain my red. I ended up with over dyed burgundy lengths and copper roots.

I think that's how I found tlhc. Anyways, the fix was simple. I started coloring my roots only, and let the dye fade out of the length. When the length started to look brownish I did a "glaze" with orange manic panic diluted in conditioner. Check out my profile to see me and my fabulous lhc mane;)

April 24th, 2013, 03:06 PM
I've done pretty well, overall.

The worst I've had was actually in recent years. My hair got little hooks on the ends and felt rough when you ran your fingers down it. It re-tangled as I detangled it. So I clarified and clarified, trimmed it, all with no improvement. In fact, it was getting worse and beginning to break.

In the end, it turned out to be protein buildup from a fairly low-protein conditioner that many folks here rave about. My hair just plain HATES silk protein. I had to get rid of the conditioner and SMT with new stuff daily for about 2 weeks before my hair really started to get normal again.

April 24th, 2013, 03:30 PM
This is less my actual hair and more people's reactions to it...
I'm half Korean, and half Caucasian (German/Irish), but have VERY thick hair.
It is not as smooth and soft- or as straight!- as the predominantly white girls I go to school with.
Whenever they touch it, they tell me I should get more layers/use conditioner/dye it lighter/thin it out.
I do use conditioner...not everyone has the same hair texture!
This really got to me one time freshman year when someone told me my hair felt like petting a dog. ...ouch

April 24th, 2013, 04:16 PM
The biggest one was my massive post-baby shed. That was B*** to deal with. The bald spots were not cute at all. The hair has regrown since so I'm good.

April 24th, 2013, 04:26 PM
The biggest problem I have ever encountered was when I used to bleach, henna, then dye my hair. My hair was almost waist length at one point and I decided i wanted a color changed. I ran the whole gamut! Bleach, dye, henna, you name it - I did it! My hair got horribly dry and splits galore! I decided to cut it all off and grow from pixie. I kept it pixie for a while and did bleach & dye it, but then just maintained pixie.
Once I decided to grow it out again, I grew out my natural color and have not colored it since. Although I do sometimes get bored with my natural hair color, it's not worth the damage I know it will cause in the long run. This time, I want waist length healthy hair!

April 24th, 2013, 05:23 PM
Working with hair loss because of a thyroid problem has been my biggest problem. I have gotten it under control, thank heavens.

April 24th, 2013, 05:24 PM
The second biggest is my inability to use hair dye, I'm allergic.

April 24th, 2013, 09:51 PM
Kitschy - you have amazing, beautiful hair.

Hair problems over come... Let's see.
1) Appreciating my hair for what it is. I too, know what Kitschy felt about her hair. I tried everything to make my hair look like "an ideal". Yeah. Not gonna happen. Over bleaching, straightening, blow frying, coloring... Once I left it alone and began to "talk nice" to it, my hair is actually pretty cool as it's intended. Huh. Who knew?

2) Not taking out life's frustrations on my hair. Stress = scissors for me. And I had stress.

3) Breaking old habits/beliefs about hair care. Oil my hair? Ewww! Ha! I've developed my own oil concoction. Not shampoo everyday? Isn't that breaking the law in some states? I'm a henna-head. (D@^$ hippies). The blowdryer is.... Who cares.

4) Growing length is a committment. This was not an easy one, graahs-hoppah. I have such immediate gratification needs.... But the wait is worth it!

chen bao jun
April 24th, 2013, 10:14 PM
Dry ends and ssks. I don't know if they are related. I rarely if ever get a split end but the ssks never go away and what's bad is, the knotted ends catch other ends and create tangles--just at the ends. It makes me crazy. I can manage to moisturize my hair the day I shampoo and it's good for maybe one day afterwards but then the ends get dry again no matter what I do and it is SSK city. I don't know how these little knots create themselves with my up and the ends protected all the time,b ut they do!!

April 24th, 2013, 10:25 PM
I had a few, but the one that made my hair feel the worst/look the dullest was repeated box dyes, I'd just get bored of the colour and try another one a month later; the solution for that was henna! I can henna when I want a change in my hair without ruining the texture :)

Also using shampoo every day, made my hair feel like Barbie hair! To solve that, I just CO wash in between shampooings, and only use shampoo when I feel my scalp needs it and my hair is much softer now.

April 25th, 2013, 08:38 AM
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, guys! :) I'm seeing some very useful ideas here! :flowers:

I think the theme I see emerging for handling serious hair challenges is this:

- be overall healthy (if there are underlying health issues, fix them first, and then hair will follow);

- don't ask from hair too much of what it can't do (different texture, different color);

- be patient and consistent (it all grows back eventually).

April 25th, 2013, 08:45 AM
Split ends and other manifestations of damage. I already do everything I'm willing to do to take care of my hair and prevent damage, but it's not enough. I guess that will have to be all right. I have no intention of making my life revolve around my hair.

April 25th, 2013, 03:17 PM
The knots around my earline. My hair likes to knot there and nowhere else. I have yet to figure out why......

April 25th, 2013, 06:01 PM
For the longest time, it was frizz. Then I figured out a conditioner only routine that worked for me and finally the frizz was gone.

However now, I feel like my hair gets greasy easily. So now I'm trying to find the right balance.
Shampoo dries out my hair very quickly (I think I need to limit it to a few drops at a time, maybe once a week).
CO cleans my scalp fine but gives my length perpetual greasiness.
I need a leave-in conditioner or my hair gets frizzy, even with CO.
So I can easily go to one extreme or the other, it's the balance that's hard now.

April 25th, 2013, 09:56 PM
I'm trying to stop picking at my unruly random kinky hairs. Haven't succeeded yet... I'll keep you posted when I manage to go a few weeks without doing it.

April 28th, 2013, 07:26 AM
I'm trying to stop picking at my unruly random kinky hairs. Haven't succeeded yet... I'll keep you posted when I manage to go a few weeks without doing it.

You're not alone! I pick at my splits. :(

April 28th, 2013, 11:28 AM

Dryness causes frizz as does over moisturising so it's a constant - when a season changes I need a new routine.
I've had it so good that I have now become really fussy..haha!

The main things though that helped - co washing, no towels (only t-shirts or microfibre towels) no combs nor brushes and no heat - the last three I did for a long long time before I found LHC as I figured them out myself and contrary to all the advice I had been given by hairdressers...
I did find an amazing hairdresser too though and she doesn't care what I won't let her do..bless her! :0)