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View Full Version : So I never conditioned my hair, constantly straightened it and it got damaged..



stephy190
September 1st, 2013, 06:08 PM
I basically used to shampoo my hair then blowdry and straighten after.. Never used conditioner..and it got reallyy long but eventually broke up after my holiday to italy when the heat and straighteners killed it!

So that was 4 months ago I've had my hair cut since then (about 3 inches off) and most of the damage is gone apart from a few splits up the shaft.
I'm conditioning loads with masks, oil, deep conditioner, normal conditioner etc and have cut out heat and taking vitamins...

So what can I do to prevent split ends and damage... Can I still straighten my hair and have it healthy ?

Nope
September 1st, 2013, 06:15 PM
I would say that if you still want to straighten, at least blow dry instead of flat ironing. That way, the heat isn't direct or as damaging. Also try the blow dryer on a lower setting. There's also some ways to straighten, curl, and wave your hair without any heat if you want to search around on YouTube. Good luck :)

Firefox7275
September 1st, 2013, 06:25 PM
I basically used to shampoo my hair then blowdry and straighten after.. Never used conditioner..and it got reallyy long but eventually broke up after my holiday to italy when the heat and straighteners killed it!

So that was 4 months ago I've had my hair cut since then (about 3 inches off) and most of the damage is gone apart from a few splits up the shaft.
I'm conditioning loads with masks, oil, deep conditioner, normal conditioner etc and have cut out heat and taking vitamins...

So what can I do to prevent split ends and damage... Can I still straighten my hair and have it healthy ?

Flat ironing will always cause damage, the question is how much: split ends and breakage are more like fried hair than just damage. Most deep conditioners and masks won't do anything significant for damage - proven beneficial ingredients include coconut oil, hydrolysed protein, ceramides, 18-MEA and panthenol.

To minimise damage only use a low setting on the flat iron, only iron bone dry hair (ideally air dried the day before), use heat protection (silicones, hydrolysed protein, certain polyquats, glycerin, propylene glycol, etc).
http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2009/05/straightening-factshow-hot-is-too-hot.html
http://www.hairfree.bz/Article.pdf
http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2011/08/blow-drying-reduces-moisture-in-hair.html
http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2009/12/thermal-protection-do-they-really-work.html
http://thebeautybrains.com/2008/04/29/how-to-protect-your-hair-from-heat-damage/
http://www.pgbeautygroomingscience.com/bubble-hair.php

katiebeans
September 1st, 2013, 06:31 PM
A lot of people around here talk about using catnip rinses to treat and prevent split ends. I have never tried it but here is some more info:
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=114934&highlight=catnip

As far as straightening your hair goes, I have seen some tutorials on YouTube on how to straighten without heat. Maybe you can find one that works for you.

jeanniet
September 1st, 2013, 07:22 PM
The damage isn't gone; if you've been straightening constantly, your hair is damaged all the way to the root. The worst damage will be on the oldest part of your hair (the ends). Although you can improve the look and feel of your hair with conditioning, moisture, and protein treatments, the damage can't be repaired and the only way to completely eliminate it is to grow it out and trim it off. Sorry to be blunt, but frequent straightening is very damaging.

Can you straighten your hair and have it be healthy? Not really. But you can minimize the damage with lower heat settings and protectant (read the links Firefox posted). If you want straight hair, you may simply have to compromise somewhere else--less length, for instance, or put up with some level of damage. Or you can look into heat-free methods. It's your hair and you should have it the way you want it, as long as you're realistic and aware of the damage.

AmyBeth
September 1st, 2013, 09:00 PM
One of the most lovely things that happened to me when I stumbled upon LHC is learning to accept that my natural texture will always be more beautiful if I take care of the hair I have, rather than trying to force it to be something it's not. That is a good lesson to learn for my whole life, not just hair care, but it is so, so obvious when it comes to hair. You're fighting a losing battle, you know. Your hair is not crummy straight hair, it's lovely and beautiful curly wurly hair. JMHO.:)

Jonathan S
September 1st, 2013, 09:15 PM
I would advise against straightening your hair. it really is harsh on it in the long run. Learn to love your natural hair type. I usually let my hair air dry but not everyone has time for that.

Babzilla
September 1st, 2013, 10:15 PM
A lot of people around here talk about using catnip rinses to treat and prevent split ends. I have never tried it but here is some more info:
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=114934&highlight=catnip

As far as straightening your hair goes, I have seen some tutorials on YouTube on how to straighten without heat. Maybe you can find one that works for you.

I second this. I cut a bunch of catnip from the garden and made a rinse. I have no clue what about catnip makes it effective, but it works! My ends look awesome!

Allychan
September 2nd, 2013, 12:58 AM
Two and a half years later and I am still cutting out straightener damage. The ends look healthy for a while but then they start to dry out over time and need to be trimmed off. I am very close to have cut out all my damage but not quite there yet. Catnip is high in the moisturising Vitamin E, that's why it works.

alexis917
September 2nd, 2013, 01:10 AM
Catnip and SMTs are really good for moisture! I love both!
And no, you can't straighten your hair and still have it be "perfect."
But even things like your hair rubbing against your shirt can cause damage.
So if you must have straighter hair, I second just try blowdrying it! Or try heatless methods.
Honestly, heatless straightening is much harder than heatless curling or waves. Why not grow to love your hair in its natural state? It'll work wonders for you in the long run!
Also, I used to think (about three years ago or so when I straightened daily),
that heat protectant stopped heat damage. IT DOES NOT.
It's mostly silicones that form a layer around your hair to seal out a portion of the heat and give the illusion of less damage.

Teufelchen
September 2nd, 2013, 03:12 AM
How long is your hair now? I now some people who can grow to waist with occassional straightening, but not daily. And their hair usually is quite strong. Your one seems not to be that strong, since it broke off after your holiday.

Maybe you can get a straightening brush (http://www.cos2b.com/product_image/hairxtools/6100_brush/6120_brush_ceramic_straightening-004.JPG) and blowdry on a very low setting, or just respect your hair the way it is. Every hair type has its own benefits and downsides. Everything gets just so much easier if you just resspect your hair.

No conditioner can repair your hair completely. Some might help and improve the health a tiny bit, but completely repairing it, no.

CurlMonster
September 2nd, 2013, 05:21 AM
I agree with what others have said - just put down the straightener. Making your hair look 'good' for a couple of days is not worth damaging it so much over the long term.

sarahthegemini
September 2nd, 2013, 10:58 AM
It's unlikely that you've cut away all the damage if you've only cut away 3 inches (in your avatar, your hair looks about BSL) ?

eta: Just saw the last line of your post ... no, I highly doubt you can straighten your hair (atleast on a regular basis) and have it healthy. Just think about how hot straighteners get ....

Ravenwind
September 2nd, 2013, 11:28 AM
The best way to prevent split ends and damage is to avoid heat and other damaging things completely. If you must straighten your hair, always use a heat protectant, whether it's an oil or some kind you get at the store. I think if you still condition your hair and trim it regularly if you still straighten your hair, it could still be healthy. I made the mistake years ago by straightening my hair all the time without a heat protectant and that ruined my hair. It literally fried my hair. Don't do the same thing I did! :)

Panth
September 2nd, 2013, 01:21 PM
1) The damage is NOT gone. Hair grows at a rough average of 0.5" / month. So, 4 months growth will give you a grand total of 2" undamaged hair at the top. Even with a 3" cut, the vast majority of your hair is still damaged.

2) No, you cannot use straighteners without damaging, particularly on hair which is already very damaged. However, you can reduce the amount of damage. Then, it is just up to you to decide where you want to compromise - less straightening in return for less damage and the potential to grow longer? or more straightening but with more damage and an inability to grow past certain lengths?

A better idea would be heat-free straightening methods (e.g. wrap hair in a doobie - see youtube for tutuorials).

Tobasco
September 2nd, 2013, 01:27 PM
Did anyone mention "magnetic rollers", which are not magnet related in any way. They are really cheap at Sally's Beauty Supply, and are just big smooth plastic rollers. My aunt used to do this in the 70s with her hair, rolling it on orange-juice cans to dry. These rollers are the same principle, just classier.

lapushka
September 2nd, 2013, 05:10 PM
The easiest would be for you to accept the texture you naturally have, and to come to terms with caring for it. Try looking up the curly girl method sometime. Just type it into Google and you'll find lots of information.


The damage isn't gone; if you've been straightening constantly, your hair is damaged all the way to the root. The worst damage will be on the oldest part of your hair (the ends). Although you can improve the look and feel of your hair with conditioning, moisture, and protein treatments, the damage can't be repaired and the only way to completely eliminate it is to grow it out and trim it off. Sorry to be blunt, but frequent straightening is very damaging.

^^ This!


1) The damage is NOT gone. Hair grows at a rough average of 0.5" / month. So, 4 months growth will give you a grand total of 2" undamaged hair at the top. Even with a 3" cut, the vast majority of your hair is still damaged.

^^ This!

It is going to take a *long* time to get the damage out. It's going to take a lot of TLC, and it would help considerably if you put the straighteners down.

Babzilla
September 2nd, 2013, 09:02 PM
How about an overnight large pincurl set? They give me a looser wave and lots of body. Straight hair is out right now, anyway!!!!

jacqueline101
September 2nd, 2013, 10:30 PM
If you're going to straighten your hair use a heat protector.

Leeloo
September 3rd, 2013, 01:23 AM
I basically used to shampoo my hair then blowdry and straighten after.. Never used conditioner..and it got reallyy long but eventually broke up after my holiday to italy when the heat and straighteners killed it!

So that was 4 months ago I've had my hair cut since then (about 3 inches off) and most of the damage is gone apart from a few splits up the shaft.
I'm conditioning loads with masks, oil, deep conditioner, normal conditioner etc and have cut out heat and taking vitamins...

So what can I do to prevent split ends and damage... Can I still straighten my hair and have it healthy ?

I'd say no heat if you want healthy hair and maybe trying out catnip rinses for split ends.

HintOfMint
September 3rd, 2013, 02:43 AM
You probably have a lot of damage from straightening that hasn't shown itself yet, so the three inches may not have been enough. However, I disagree with the implication that your hair is damaged all the way to the root. I doubt you'd have to cut off all of that before growing it out.

However, do anticipate trimming regularly as you grow, in light of this past damage. You may have to be extra careful with your hair to stave off too many trims, or damaging your hair further, so I can't really recommend heat-styling, even with heat-protection, even with a blowdryer. You can embrace your natural texture, look into heatless straightening methods, or perhaps look into waves and curls which can be easily obtained without heat.

Vampyria
September 3rd, 2013, 04:28 AM
I agree that damage is not totally gone. I had to cut off almost all of my straightened hair so it started acting normally. I didn't have splits and my hair wasn't visibly breaking, but the texture was just so weird- straw like, stiff, really frizzy. Also coconut oil helped me a lot against breaking and split ends after I stopped straightening, but I can't guarantee that this will help if you continue with it.

chen bao jun
September 3rd, 2013, 03:42 PM
Yes, its always damaging to straighten hair but some people have strong enough hair that they can get away with it. obviously, you're not one of them. If you really want to keep straightening your hair, you could keep it short, that way you'd be cutting the damage away as it happens. I was able to straighten my hair for years but it was never longer than shoulder/apl. If you don't mind that, you'll probably be fine (with heat protectant) but you won't be bra strap or longer.
And I would use more than catnip. If you're regularly straightening, you need to put a protein reconstructor in your hair regularly, stretch your washes and condition very very well. You might take a look at the thread for the bleached blonds who are growing long for more hints--you will need extra TLC like they do and you still have no guarantees. I think it's called 'bottled blond grows long' or something like that.

Wasy
September 3rd, 2013, 07:14 PM
the best thing i've ever done for my hair is stop using heat.
Other tips: use a comb not a brush, never comb without detangling spray / leave in conditioner, deep condition / oil at least once a week, use conditioner every time you wash, and leave it in for at least 2 minutes
but yeah seriously heat is baaaad for your hair

jeanniet
September 3rd, 2013, 09:53 PM
You probably have a lot of damage from straightening that hasn't shown itself yet, so the three inches may not have been enough. However, I disagree with the implication that your hair is damaged all the way to the root. I doubt you'd have to cut off all of that before growing it out.

However, do anticipate trimming regularly as you grow, in light of this past damage. You may have to be extra careful with your hair to stave off too many trims, or damaging your hair further, so I can't really recommend heat-styling, even with heat-protection, even with a blowdryer. You can embrace your natural texture, look into heatless straightening methods, or perhaps look into waves and curls which can be easily obtained without heat.

I should clarify that by "damage to the root" I meant that straightening, even once, is going to cause some damage/change to the structure of the hair, even if it's only microscopically apparent. The more you straighten, the more the damage, but the effect on the hair is going to depend on a number of factors. So the damage may or may not be obvious, or seriously detrimental, but it's still there. I agree that it doesn't necessarily need to be cut off right away, but removing it will require trimming at some point.