View Full Version : Hair not getting clean any more...updo trouble (part 431) (warning: LONG)

September 4th, 2008, 05:41 PM
So I am having another hair dilemma. Maybe another "opportunity for growth"?

Lately, my hair is not getting clean anymore. I used to rely on WO as my "in-between" washing method, but it doesn't seem to get it clean now. Last night I was tired of the dull, stringy, limp hair I've been having, and washed with vinegar (organic apple cider vinegar, diluted in warm water, used as a repeated "rinse and scrub.") Today my hair is shinier and my scalp happier, but that's about it. I could not even wear it down as the crown was poofy and the ends lank and thin and dry and seethrough. It looked like bad 80s hair metal hair.

I also shed a LOT in yesterday's washing; big handfuls.

Usually, I just WC or CWC my hair, and I did a couple of SMTs in August. Sometimes I shampoo without conditioner, but have been reluctant to do this as my ends seem dry.

Part of the problem might be that I'm pregnant; I notice that my hair is a LOT greasier, and WO washing hasn't worked since I have been pregnant.

A few weeks ago, my hair was looking good. I'm just 3 months pregnant, so I am hoping for the famous "glowing hair and skin" thing that pregnant women are supposed to get, but it doesn't seem to be happening. Instead I've got some pimples (unusual for me) and greasy hair!

What should I do? I am going to just leave my hair up today and not wash until tomorrow night.

The other dilemma is my same old updo dilemma. My hair is so long (BSL) that I don't want to wear it down all the time (and on all these bad hair days, can't!) yet I only have one updo that works: Brush hair, twist, clip up. With or without a headband. In my profile pics there are some horrible attempts at updos: my hair is very, very quickly prone to "scalp cleavage" and just does NOT look attractive unless I very carefully arrange the strands over the "bald spot" - and they don't stay there throughout the day. Also, because of my "fuzz" (bangs, wisps, layers, baby hair) I have to redo updos all the time anyway, so they are much too much work and hassle to get anything that I want to leave the house with.

Other people (my sis who I am visiting) can just "throw their hair up" and go. Why doesn't this work for me? I can't get one of thos e messy trendy half-bun things work to save my life, "smooth" LHC style buns look terrible because of my thin, bleached ends, braids work sometimes but still have the scalp cleavage/fuzzy problem and take so much effort...

Honestly, I am dealing with my little niece at the moment and thinking of having my own baby and wanting to just cut. Although I have been trimming every few months, my ends are still super thin, but if I cut just the ends off I will be at shoulder, a terrible, ugly length for me.

A month or so ago my hair was working, and looking good! I haven't changed anything in my routine, but I am so frustrated with it being dull, dry, messy, parting weird (scalp cleavage) and greasy. I feel like despite all the years of gentle, attentive care, I am right back at square one with it: greasy roots, dry, lank, thin ends.


September 4th, 2008, 05:43 PM
Katze, dear, it sounds to me like it's probably hormones getting to you. I do know around period time my body does strange and uncontrollable things and I imagine pregnancy is similar on a bigger scale.

That said, have you considered going back to a sulfate shampoo? Those work wonders for me.

September 4th, 2008, 05:58 PM
I do use sulfate shampoos. But with yesterday's vinegar wash, I just used water. This was a mistake, in retrospect, but I thought the vinegar would clean my hair enough.

If it is truly going to be like this through my pregnancy then I am going to shed it all anyway, I may as well cut; my hair isn't that nice yet to begin with and I don't want to walk around with 5-10 BSL length hairs and the rest a dull, frizzy mess!

September 4th, 2008, 06:34 PM
Ahhh, don't cut!

Why not try blowdrying upside down for a few seconds before doing your updos? That can really help hide the cleavage.

Anything to get you through this phase... I bet this is really just transitory and soon your hair will be better than ever.

September 4th, 2008, 06:34 PM
Is it possible you need to clarify? If you weren't pregnant I'd say those are the symptoms you would be describing. Additionally, please don't cut. Your hair has gotten thicker and longer since you've been here and *I* personally think it looks nice. :flowers:

September 4th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Cutting back 1/2-1 inch might be just the ticket for you right now. There's nothing wrong with that. Hair keeps growing; you will get it back.

I had been happy with CWC/diluted shampoo washing, coconut oil to damp, clean hair, for months and months. Years maybe. Lately I have not been satisfied. For one thing, oil seems to draw dust and lint into my hair. So I've gone back to S&C, with CO once in-between. I only oil the night before I know I'm going to shampoo. Sometimes you just have to shake up the routine. Hair gets bratty, like little kids, and won't cooperate. Surprise it.

For an up-do, have you tried this? Somewhere between mid-head and nape, gather as for ponytail, then wind untwisted hair around and around 1-2 fingers, like you are making a cinnamon bun. Then use a claw-clip at the bottom of the ring to clip the whole thing together. The upper part will gracefully drap over the clip. It's very pretty and definitely does not look like a knob.

September 4th, 2008, 07:18 PM
Pregnant! Wow, Katze! Wait 9 months before you do anything.

September 4th, 2008, 07:30 PM
Maybe you should try french style braids, so you don't get the scalp cleavage.

September 4th, 2008, 07:31 PM
Hey! Congratulations! Scream of excitement...

Sorry I don't have any suggestions, just happy at the news :bottomsup:

September 4th, 2008, 07:41 PM
Being an expectant mom is no time to make great decisions, been there done that. Why not try regular shampoo and conditioner for a few days? Its preferrable to hacking it all off and regretting it later.

I was doing a lot of routines (one at a time of course) but went back to s&c for the happiness of me and my hair!

September 4th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Oh; just thought of something. Put conditioner on the ends, shampoo scalp, rinse everything out.

Do not use more conditioner. That will probably help your ends without giving you the limp greasies.

I've never found vinegar to be cleansing in and of itself. It doesn't have the chemistry to bind to oil or dirt.

September 4th, 2008, 09:00 PM
Ooooh man, it was pregnancy that convinced me to cut off healthy, henna locks down to BSL to a chemically dyed, chin-length, razored MESS! I second not making drastic decisions while pregnant. Sitting here postpartum again I am already feeling differently about decisions with my appearance than I did before. And the oil changes and textural changes? TOTALLY normal!

The pregnant glow is really just a smear of sebum, I am convinced. MY scalp goes nuts, my face breaks our almost the whole time, I am ruddy - then pale - then ruddy again. In addition to swollen, crabby, and sore by the end - it is NOT my best time, let's just say that ;) The oiliness is very common, though. Your progesterone level has increased and that throws the other androgens out of whack - don't expect it to be a permanent issue, by 4-6 weeks postpartum you should feel more 'normal' again in terms of skin and hair (but the big shed DOES suck, there's no way around it :().

A trim might just be the ticket, as is switching up your routine. If your oiliness has increased temporarily just treat it temporarily, nothing wrong with that! I wish you the best in the next 7 months or so and I hope you find a care routine your new hair likes for awhile! Let us know what works for you.

September 4th, 2008, 11:21 PM
Just want to say congratulations! Do you think you have a baby girl? :) I know its old wives tale but I heard having girls make the mom not so happy about her looks. :D I had the beautiful hair and "glow" thing and mine were boys.

*My hair changed from straight to wavy after babies. I miss my straight shiny hair sometimes.

September 5th, 2008, 01:17 AM
Did you ever follow the advice you got in May? This thread. (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=4985) I'm not sure if the problem now is the whole length of hair or only your scalp. If it's only the scalp, wash as often you need and use shampoo, I sometimes think the stretching washing intervals and avoiding of shampoo around here goes too far :silly: ;)

September 5th, 2008, 01:40 AM
Congrats! :cheese: :cheer: sending you lots of happy thoughts and good wishes! it might be a bit of clarifiyng, and also have you been using this routine for longer than a year? maybe your hair needs a new routine, a bit of change or even changing products? please don't cut, hormones are acting up right now and i bet you're still in that weird phase of morning eeekness right? i'm sure all will be fine in a month or two, just take care of yourself and that gorgeous baby and keep your hair bunned or as others have said a french braid might be good. right now with so many changes going on in your body you should concentrate on yourself and the baby and simply put your hair in a bun and forget about it, i bet in a month or 2 things will change. you might want to cut an inch off if you really need it and feel you can deal with the cut, if not just use benign neglect and have fun in the new stage of your life. and please tell us all about the baby when it is born. for now concentrate on yourself and i'm sure things will be better in a few more weeks.

Hugs and again congratulations! ( sending you ballons and lots of mommy to be gifts, but could not find a smiley with ballons on it. sorry.)

September 5th, 2008, 02:47 AM
Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Katze! :)

I would recommend to wash with a mild shampoo as often as you feel your hair needs it, and then forget about your hair for the next... 7 months ;) You can go back to your hair routine when you have your kitten. And then decide if you want to cut or do anything else.

Ganz liebe Grüße und eine schöne Schwangerschaft,

September 5th, 2008, 05:38 AM
Aisling said:
If it's only the scalp, wash as often you need and use shampoo, I sometimes think the stretching washing intervals and avoiding of shampoo around here goes too far
I agree with this.

September 5th, 2008, 06:10 AM
Sounds like you need to clarify. Possibly give your scalp a sugar scrub and ask DBF for a nice relaxing scalp massage.
I also agree that the stretching washes sometimes goes too far.

And I second trimming a bit of. It sounds like your hair is a constant source of frustration right now. That is not good with little Katze on the way. Also, you are doing a lot to keep the fragile damaged ends that you are going to trim of anyway, happy. And that is not good for your scalp which needs a very different approach right now.
Just play with this idea.... If you are going to suffer from post partum hairloss (ask women in your family), things are going to get worse. You could think about grabbing the opportunity to start anew. Get rid of all the damage.

Congrads with your pregnancy ;)

September 5th, 2008, 06:36 AM
Very many congratulations on your happy news, Katze - to both of you!

Not sure I can offer any other sage advice, but I would say hold off the cutting if you can. Many mums report that their hair goes from yuk to wonderful as a pregnancy progresses, so perhaps you will be lucky too. With all those hormones going wild at the moment, don't do anything you may regret.

I seem to remember you used to use Rhassoul - perhaps a few sessions using that again may perk up your locks and may help to normalise your scalp again. Just a thought.

September 5th, 2008, 08:31 AM
so I am hoping for the famous "glowing hair and skin" thing that pregnant women are supposed to get

Hah! I agree with Arctic_Mama on that one, just a fallacy. For most women, at least. I was a greasy mess. My hair was a greasy mess. I actually saw quite impressive growth with my first child when I was taking those monstrous prenatal vitamins. With my second child, I had some breakage and shedding, though I attribute it now more to horrible hair abuse (perms and not using conditioner - oy!) than to hormones. Anyway, that was the time of the Great Cutting to Shoulder-Length. It didn't look all that bad on me, since it was still mostly permed and had some body, but that was the last time I cut my hair appreciably.

I wouldn't recommend having any more than an inch or two cut off right now. You will still be able to braid it and put it up out of the way when baby comes (and who will care what your updos look like for that first little bit, anyway). But you can resume growing out when you are more settled without having lost much in length.

September 6th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Congratulations, Katze!

Pregnancy hormones could definitely be interfering with your previously good routine. I also recommend starting with a scalp to tips wash with shampoo. Vinegar alone is not good at breaking existing bonds between oil/dirt and hair.

After you get it all clean, change one thing in your routine at a time. Increasing washes sounds like a good candidate since you are experiencing more oiliness than usual. Hold off on any big decisions until your hormones are back to normal.

Enjoy that little one!

September 6th, 2008, 04:42 PM
Wooo Hooo many congratulations and here's to a happy healthy 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

FWIW my hair went deeply weird in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy but righted itself by about week 16, so I suggest hanging on for a little while because things may pick up of their own accord.

September 7th, 2008, 05:52 AM
Squeal! Congratulations Katze! :happydance:

I'd try going back to regular s/c for a while, but don't do anything in a rush. My friend K also had 'weird hair' that wouldnt feel clean in her first trimester.

Good luck with the smidgen when he/she arrives!

September 8th, 2008, 03:53 PM
thanks, everyone, for your responses. Most helpful. And thanks for the good wishes for my little "kitten". it still doesn't seem real that I am going to be a mama....!

And thanks Aisling for reminding me that I'd had this problem before.

The answer did seem to be the same as before - washing with a sulfate (sodium olefin sulfonate) shampoo, repeating, then NO conditioner. My hair does seem to get "weighed down" after a couple months of low-sulfate shampooing, and especially so now that I am pregnant!

I agree on the sebum in pregnancy thing!

I'd already shortened my wash cycle to every 2-3 days as needed. Even though I am pregnant, I don't need or want to wash every day, but may just stick with every other day as needed.

Still no clue on how to put my hair up and have it look good. French braids are pretty much out these days; I have so much "fuzz" on top that they look like they have been slept in after an hour or so, and the "rat-tail" end of a single French braid is a problem I have not been able to solve (tucking it up just creates a bump that gets horribly tangled, and which I had to cut out of my hair last time). So pulling my hair up/back, twisting, clipping is the go-to hairdo, followed by two Dutch braids pinned up. Anything else looks so stupid...guess I will always be a hairdo ignoramus.

Anyway the sulfate solution really did help and I have to repeat to myself "don't stretch washes" and that shampoo with no conditioner is, indeed, occasionally very nice for my hair.

Oh, Spidermom, I do often CW as you recommend - it's a good tip!

Ohio Sky
September 8th, 2008, 04:03 PM
I never got the happy shiny mom thing everyone describes during pregnancy. I vomited for 9 months straight (and even for a few more after I had her...) and my hair and nails and skin and HORMONES! were all a terrible mess through all of it.

But, just so you know, after I got over the transitory phase of not being able to do anything but sleep, change diaper, sleep, feed, sleep, change diaper, ohcrapiforgottofeedmyself, SLEEP!! -there was still hair on my head, and it dealt surprisingly well with all the neglect and abuse it suffered from during and after pregnancy.

So, even though you may be upset with it now... don't cut. You will be happy you didn't cut 2 or 3 months after you have the baby when you wake up one morning and go "OMG when did my hair get so long!?)

Hang in there. :grouphug:

September 9th, 2008, 08:26 PM
Ohiosky, that's a very nice thought.

I can also count myself lucky that I have not, thus far, had nausea OR any weird cravings. So far, I crave fruit and nice healthy dinners, but have no interest in sweets (which is a good thing).

If I could now only find a flattering hairdo for my changing shape...

September 9th, 2008, 11:43 PM
I'm glad the straight sulphate shampoo helped, I kind of knew it would :)

About not liking how you look in updos, my personal opinion is that you are probably a person that needs some kind of bangs or at least you should not pull your hair straight back, I can't do that either. I always part to the right and keep the part when I do updos, it is somehow softer that way than straight pulled back hair. Also, you need eyebrows, I think can remember pics of you with very thin eyebrows and I think that if your eyebrows grows thicker than that, you should let them. Even if they are light in colour, they do a lot for a face.

September 10th, 2008, 07:21 AM
I don't really have anything hair-related to contribute, but CONGRATULATIONS!

September 10th, 2008, 08:23 AM
You didn't mention whether you tried the simple up-do I described earlier. It makes a big-looking "bun" (relatively speaking) for shorter, thinner hair. I think you might like it.

September 10th, 2008, 11:18 PM
Brush your hair upside down with a BBB brush and then flip it back and make a low ponytail with a barette (not an elastic). I do this to avoid showing my scalp, and my hair looks more blond when I do it!
And congratulations!