View Full Version : Hair Mystery.

Dark Star
September 30th, 2013, 07:59 AM
Darn it, it is me again. My hair is REALLY confusing me and I am starting to think something might be going on with me internally. I have an appointment to have some blood tests done soon (the doctor is going to look at my ferrous sulphate, B-12, folic acid, calcium levels, check my thyroid and liver function and of course run a standard blood count. That is pretty much what they can do at a basic G.P. office).

My hair is just WEIRD. Some days, it feels almost like itself and others, it feels bone-dry like a thatched roof, others (like today) ultra-soft with no texture to my strands--baby fine like angel hair. It feels thin today and has no volume or body and that very uncharacteristic of my usual hair. It is breaking more easily and thus, is fragile. It is also tangling like a (well, insert bad word here--haha) and especially at the ends.

If I use oil to try to amend that, it makes the ends crisp. The tangles are causing a lot of white dots and split ends at this point. Very upsetting and when I had very few before all this. My cuticle looks rough and my ends are sticking out all over the place.

I have had to, officially, break up with a favourite cosmetics manufacturer of mine due to formulation changes and the company basically going to heck since the founder and CEO passed away (this would be Aubrey Hampton of, "Aubrey Organics"). I typically used his two camomile shampoos (alternating each time) and either the, "Swimmer's Conditioner" or the, "Camomile Luxurious Volumizing Conditioner". They had mucked with the, "J.A.Y" and got rid of the, "Blue Green Algae" shampoo and cream rinse which broke my hair's heart really. I used the, "Blue Green Algae Hair Mask" MAYBE too much but heck, it NEVER hurt my hair before using it once a week, or once every two weeks as I was doing. Did that for months at a time since I was in my 20s. My hair always seemed to LOVE protein and the BGA products especially--was never more lush then on those really.

So during the summer, my hair started to feel a bit too soft and on occasion, a little limp (this was right after I had cut back on the length of my showers and their temperature to save on energy costs). I did that stretch test-thingy some weeks ago and the hair stretched and stretched like chewing gum and did not bounce back as it usually did--but remained elasticized and all bent out of shape. A few subsequent tests showed similar results. No, I NEVER process my hair, dye it, use heat styling tools on it. I am 36 now and I have not done ANY of that since I was 13 or 14. We are talking 'virgin' tresses here.

Some things online told me I needed protein but I had quit using the BGA hair mask at this point just to see if that was the issue. I could not figure out how I could need protein since my shampoo contained it, sometimes the conditioner I used depending on which I was going for at a given time and of course, I was doing the hair mask weekly or every other week. Yes, all used hydrolysed proteins or broken down amino acids. If I used white camellia oil on my hair (an old standby) or herbal rinses (again, an old standby)--my hair would feel drier and crisper. Very strange to me and to my hair. So yes, I was using light proteins--but still protein. So despite being a vegan, I then used some of the milk protein "Aubrey" products. The first one I used ("Blue Camomile") made my hair feel like rubber when wet. Awful (note I have used this one before when my hair was acting sane and it never gave me such a result). One I am using now by "Paul Penders" makes my hair feel a little like that too and gives me 'spider-webby'/gummy/ultra-tangly hair though it is sans protein (again looking for replacements). I got a free sample of the, "GPB" and it 'fried' my hair. It has not been the same since and I only used it twice over a two week period as a rinse-out, having only left it in for 1-2 minutes.

When I spoke to a local hairdresser about my hair, her first question was if I had over-processed it at all, bleached the dickens out of it, or if I was very ill (not exactly a good thing to say to a hypochondriac, by the way, but it spurred me to going to the doctor anyway!). I don't feel sick--a little tired maybe but I AM under heaps of stress, have a rambunctious pre-schooler, am homesick (am an American living in England though am looking to move back home) and no, I guess I have not been eating so well for a few months. But my hair was changing before that. I just don't know.

I am sorry I keep griping about this but it is really confusing. I have been treating my hair has a protein overload and it had been getting better until last week when I tried one last, "Aubrey" conditioner: "Honeysuckle Rose" and I bloomin' hated it and apparently, my hair did as well after two uses. I also think it hates ANYTHING, waxy, too oily and that is laden with alcohol. I suspect it is still po-ed from protein because I have had these crisp, crunchy areas ever since I used the, "GPB". I think a combination of the above has my hair pissed off and me even more depressed. I just hope we can come back from it. Not doing well in a product search since I have my standards and so does my hair. Brightest blessings to you all--you are so helpful and knowledgeable in all things hair. But of course, every one has varying and/or conflicting opinions which just adds to my confusion. For all I know, it is nothing I have been doing or not doing to my hair--but something going on internally like anemia (that would be a first after 18 years of veganism). Thanks for listening anyway. I'm just feeling really down today and feel like cutting my long hair off though that is not exactly what I want to have to do. (((Hugs)))

September 30th, 2013, 08:06 AM
Oh no, give it a chance.
Well I hope you figure out whats wrong. My hair does that when I drive. I think the seat sucks out moisture.

Dark Star
September 30th, 2013, 08:12 AM
Really? How odd! Makes me never want to learn to drive! But looking at a Porsche fixes that every single time! ;)

September 30th, 2013, 08:29 AM
Really? How odd! Makes me never want to learn to drive! But looking at a Porsche fixes that every single time! ;)
I dunno about you but its a pity I can only look at a Porsche.

September 30th, 2013, 08:30 AM
Poor, poor you. My heart goes out to you, darling, it really does. But don't cut! For now, you just need to work on getting the dryness/brittleness under control, and then you can work out the damage and decide how much (if any) to trim off when it's back to a more normal state. In the meantime, to minimise any further breakage, do carry on wearing it in protective styles as much as possible, and only ever try to detangle it with your fingers (no brushes/combs!) - do this while you're washing it, when it is already slippy and saturated with conditioner. If you have to, wet it and put conditioner on it just so that you can detangle it, rather than combing it when it's dry and knotty.

It's just a suggestion, and I know that you have lots of those already, so feel free to discard it... but in your position I would definitely pare my routine right back. You said that treating it as though it had been overloaded with protein had been working - until you tried another AO conditioner? Well, I'd go back to doing that - I'd drop all of the Aubrey products completely for the time being, stop the herbal rinses and everything else. Instead, I'd switch to a mild shampoo with as few ingredients as possible (you could use 1/2 shampoo to 1/2 aloe vera gel, maybe, to make it milder - it's what I'm doing at the moment), and use a very plain, cheap 'cone-free conditioner on the ends. If it still feels dry, try using a couple of drops of oil as a leave-in (not all oils work on all hair - if yours isn't working, maybe try a different kind), and wash less frequently, using cool or cold water.

Honestly, though, it sounds hormonal more than anything, in which case your GP should be able to help soon. Just hang on in there. :grouphug:

Dark Star
October 1st, 2013, 08:15 AM
Thanks everyone. (((Hugs)))

"Freija": You are very sweet and have given me some beautiful additional support and lovely advice. Thank you!

I am keeping it simple now actually; doing only a few things--using only a few things. That was all stuff I was doing before. I have been using this very simple shampoo every three days:


I am using the one for dry hair and it is unscented. Very simple product and seems to get the job done. Not sure about their conditioner though as I am trying to avoid waxes and am still unsure about the coconut oil and protein 'thing' (for lack of a better way to put it).

I find that I have to do something to my hair each day though--if I don't, it feels like dry, brittle, thin parchment paper. This means on days I do not wash it, I either wet it, or condition it a bit. I am still looking for a conditioner good enough for a rinse-out and to use in the, "SMT" and maybe a deep conditioner. Am not so fond of the one I am using now since I find it almost too light (not moisturizing enough) and it seems to actually CREATE more knots, snarls and tangles. Once my hair dries, it gives my hair a spider-webby appearance in areas. Awful. Have been eyeing argan oil to put on soaking wet hair and to use it by the drop or two as yes, a leave-in. Am considering adding a bit of carrot seed oil to it since it is excellent for very dry, po-ed hair. Am going to see if my hair likes the argan oil on its own first, of course.

I generally wash my hair and rinse it in lukewarm water as I do my facial skin. I rinse my hair in a final rinse of cold water--always--and have for years.

As for finger-combing--yes, it has been my new best friend for a year now. I generally do it before I comb or brush. Right now, I am not using a comb on my hair at all in the shower though I usually use a seamless rake or afro comb for that job. I was already lurking on this site for awhile now, you see, before I joined. Hehe. I always get tangles out with wet, conditioner-laden hair. But with the comb right now, I cannot gauge the snarls, knots so well which yes, ends up with me tugging and pulling at my hair more. The fingers 'rock' here. They really do. Upon arising, I do brush my hair with a natural boar bristle brush but only after I have finger-combed my hair thoroughly and only just enough to smooth my tresses because I have to look decent because of my lifestyle. If I do not brush, my hair appears unkempt. Like I said, I do it just enough to appear less messy. Normally, I can get away with not brushing but with my hair being as it is right now--well, have you seen, "Robin Hood: Men In Tights"? I would look like Tracey Ullman's character, "Latrine" if I did not gloss over my hair with a bit of brushing! Haha.

Yes, I do worry about my inner health. My hair seemed to do 'this' practically overnight. My blood draw is scheduled for next week. I should know the results within a week of that and will update here on the boards. I imagine there are other ladies here who are suffering resulting hair issues due to health issues. I am hoping I am not unwell of course, but it would solve this riddle and it could be something as simple as taking some iron and eating more iron-rich foods! I have noticed that my period has become much lighter over the last couple of months though it could be just my body adjusting to having stepped up my work outs quite a bit because I LOVE to exercise! So yes, hormones could be a factor though I tend to think the thyroid part of that should be okay (I get my sea minerals!). I do not believe other hormones, however, are being checked--not at this stage.

I often feel shallow worrying about my hair so much. I mean there are people who have cancer, who are starving, who are homeless, et cetera!

Anyway, thanks everyone. I really appreciate it. It is nice to have the support and advice I have been given here. May you all have beautiful, healthy locks forever! And me too, for that matter--once I get through this, of course. Here's hoping I do!