View Full Version : Just made the decision to grow out my hair - advice?

July 17th, 2013, 10:55 AM
Well, my hair has been through an interesting journey. I am a natural blonde with very, very fine hair pertaining to the diameter of each strand, but slightly thicker than average pertaining to its density/number of hairs on my head. It's gradually grown darker over the years, from toe-head to a dark blonde I often hear people call "gold" or "honey-colored". When I was 13 I (very misguidedly) let my mother convince me into getting a perm, which I repeatedly had to get (about 4 more times over the course of 2 years) even though I hated it because I couldn't stand the awkward phase while it grew out! (My hair is naturally only slightly wavy).

Finally at 15 I got it chemically straightened (another hair no-no, I'm now aware). Previously I had never colored it, but I think the perming and chemical straightening must have lightened it significantly because suddenly the bottom half of my hair was much lighter than the top half, and to solve this issue I got highlights on the top half of my hair, which became I never-ending journey as I repeatedly got highlights again and again to maintain some consistency in overall hair color! I'm finally done with that now that I've made the decision to grow out my hair. My last highlighting job was seven months ago, which was a big mistake because I think the hair stylist got more than my roots, re-highlighting previously highlighted areas resulting in a lot of breakage. When I made the decision to grow my hair long and natural, I went to a stylist and got a just slightly above shoulder-length cut which I have been repeatedly getting to gradually erase the damage from the highlights. I've researched long and natural hare care extensively for the last couple of months and have started to incorporate a lot of the advice I got (gave up blow dryer, no-heat curling, switched to sulfate-free Aubrey Organics shampoo, shampoo only every other day, satin pillow case, etc...). My hair feels like it's in a lot better condition, but as a newbie I'm still open to any advice, especially from women who have a similar hair type!

My main questions/concerns:

-What's your best advice/routine for increasing volume and decreasing breakage in very, very fine hair? I know I can't expect any miracles pertaining to the actual diameter of my hair follicle - I know it mainly comes down to genetics - but even a SMALL difference would make me enormously happy
-I'm okay with the fact that my blonde hair has gotten darker as I've aged; in fact, "Blonette" hair is my favorite though I'd still say that my unhighlighted growth is distinctly dark blonde. However, I love the fact that my hair has that kind of "golden" or "honey" tint to it, a tint that used to be more apparent when I spent more time outside. I tried to get that golden tint with highlighting but my highlights only ever turned light blonde. Is there any way to naturally play up golden tints in the hair, especially during the winter when the sun's rays don't naturally impart them? I'm very curious about cassia treatments, could this be an option?

July 17th, 2013, 05:44 PM
Welcome! I'm also a blonde with very fine yet somewhat thick hair. Also, it is slightly wavy. It sounds like you have made a good start on taking better care of your hair!

To decrease breakage, I find it very important to detangle hair gently and carefully. You can either use a wide-tooth comb with no seams, or a gentle brush such as the Tangle Teezer. Also, it's best to wear the hair in buns and braids most of the time. Keep hair moisturized with oil. I like to use a very small amount of coconut oil between washes, and sometimes I use a lot of it overnight before I wash. When my hair is damp after washing, I apply a couple drops of mineral oil (baby oil) (http://ktanihairsense.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/mineral-oil-and-hair-care-and-skin.html?m=1) to seal in moisture. Also, be sure to use a good conditioner, and don't be afraid of silicones if you find that they work for your hair. I have good results with conditioners containing amodimethicone or bis-aminopropyl dimethicone.

Many people say henna increases the diameter of individual hairs. I've never tried it myself. If you want to do this, think carefully about it because it is nearly impossible to remove henna from hair.

I've used cassia before. I think it should make your hair look a little more golden. I'm a medium-dark blonde and it made a noticeable color difference for me. It did seem to make my hair a little stronger, coarser/thicker, and shinier. However, it also made my hair very dry. I think it's worth trying, but do a deep conditioning treatment immediately afterwards. A good one is the SMT (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128).

Many people on the forum have found that catnip prevents breakage and split ends (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=476). I used it once and only once because it made my hair terrible, but it may be great for you.

From time to time, it helps to search and destroy (s&d) with sharp scissors used only for hair. All that means is to search through the hair in strong lighting and with a contrasting background and snip any hair that has a split end or white dot (breakage). It is extremely tedious and time-consuming, so I only do it if my hair becomes very tangly.
Frequent small trims are also beneficial. Here are some instructions for self-trimming: http://feyeselftrim.livejournal.com/
Feye's self-trim always made my hair uneven, possibly because I have scoliosis or because my head is shaped differently or something. I use a method that was described by spidermom, and it works better for me. http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=110559&p=2387200&viewfull=1#post2387200

In my experience, there is no way to completely eliminate splits and breakage, only ways to keep them in check.

Hope that helps and good luck!

July 17th, 2013, 06:02 PM
As for the darking of your hair ... I was born a with really light sandy blonde hair .... as I have aged it is now a dark mahogany .... some of us weren't meant to have light colored hair

July 17th, 2013, 06:26 PM
I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you're wanting help with your hair. I'm a blondette I have fine hair medium thickness. I also found that detangling and being gentle to your hair helps keep it from breaking. Regular trimming helps the ends.

July 17th, 2013, 08:23 PM
Welcome! For damaged hair proven beneficial ingredients include hydrolysed protein, coconut oil, ceramides and panthenol - these can all penetrate and/ or patch repair the surface. For fine hair hydrolysed protein particularly. You cannot lighten hair without damaging it, not even using 'natural' methods because destroying the melanin pigment leaves holes in the core structure. Sun lightening is damaging to both the core structure and the protective fatty f-layer which you will notice more when you end up with long hair since the ends will be older and have been exposed to more summers.

Sounds like you simply don't need persulphate bleach to lighten your hair, you could use a weak peroxide only box blonde to make highlights, if you dye over the top of a heavy coconut oiling on clarified hair (do not wash the oil out) you can limit the damage.