View Full Version : Massive Tangling and Some Shedding

December 3rd, 2013, 05:45 PM
I'm honestly at a loss for what else I can possibly do, so I'm looking for some advice. At the moment, my hair is a tangled fiend that I simply cannot control. I try so hard to wear it in protective styles and prevent it from tangling, but for some inexplicable reason, I always seem to end up with dozens of knots no matter what I do. I detangle before I wash it and detangle in the shower, but still - TANGLES! I'm thinking a big part might be due to the recent weather changes (my hair hates cold and heat with a passion), but I'm wondering if there's anything else I can try to make this situation a bit easier.

So far, I've used:

Macadamia Natural Oil hair detangler - it's a thicker cream/oil spray and that seems to work temporarily, but it always leaves my hair feeling semi-sticky if I use more than 2 sprays.
Organic Coconut Oil - again, it works, but leaves my hair feeling greasy if I use more than a dime-sized amount. However, if I only use a small amount, it doesn't seem to do anything for my hair.
Macadamia Natural Oil leave-in deep conditioner and Macadamia Natural Oil - this is my normal 'after washing' routine and it has definitely worked well for the last five years. I'm wondering if I should stick with this since it never leaves my hair sticky or oily and always seems to absorb instantaneously, but maybe add a bit more to combat the tangles?

My styling routine is pretty boring, so I don't believe any of those items are causing the tangles, but I currently am also using: claw clips (rubber and metal free), hairsticks, tangle teezer, ouch-less elastic hairbands, cloth scrunchies, and some bobby pins.

Also, because of the weather changes, my hair has started to feel a little more dry lately. I'm conditioning more and shampooing less, plus protecting it with a scarf whenever I leave the house, but I'm curious what else to do. I use a few hair masques every once in a while to really deep condition and moisturize my hair, but I'm feeling this isn't enough to prevent it from over-drying and causing more tangles.

Another issue I'm noticing lately is that I'm shedding and it's definitely more than usual. It isn't enough to really make me afraid, but I'm starting to worry. Some have told me that I might just be getting closer to my terminal length and it will all start falling out once it gets there, but I don't want to believe that's the case. I'm having about 5-10 strands come out every time I brush it with my tangle teezer and constantly finding loose strands throughout the day if I don't wear it up in some sort of protective hairstyle. I haven't noticed the thickness of my hair lessening with each shed, though, so is this considered a "normal" amount of shedding? I know I've heard many times that you can lose up to 100 strands a day and that's considered perfectly normal, but to me that just seems like it's far too much and I have to question whether or not it's actually an old wives' tale. If I'm completely 100% honest, I'm maybe losing 30 strands every day, so is this a reason for concern or am I just over-reacting? Does anyone else seem to notice more shedding with longer hair?

Thank you for reading and any suggestions or helpful hints would be greatly appreciated!

December 3rd, 2013, 06:08 PM
My usual first recommendation for crazy tangles is to clarify your hair. If you haven't done it recently, definitely start with that, since it might be all you need.

However, your description sounds rather like my hair was acting when it was protein-overloaded. (Protein's fine for lots of folks, but some of us have hair that quickly decides that it's had too much and reacts by getting dry, stiff, and awesomely tangly.) So I'd recommend starting to look your products' ingredients over, especially conditioners and leave-ins. Make a note of anything that says: ___ protein, ___ protein isolates, ___ amino acids, hydrolyzed ___, keratin, and/or collagen. Soy and silk are also favorite protein-containing additives. If the clarifying doesn't cut it, set aside all your products that have protein in them and do a lot of conditioning with protein-free conditioners. (I'm a huge fan of the SMT for this; it's especially good if your hair doesn't mind humectants. There's a link in my signature.) Lots of moisturizing combats protein overload better than anything else.

Note: If your hair is unusually stretchy or mushy when wet, disregard EVERYTHING I've just said about protein, except the list of protein words. You need more of it in that case, for certain.

Oh, with regards to the increased shedding -- I'm inclined to attribute it to the tangles, honestly. More tangles = more pulling = more shedding. Keep an eye on it, but know that lots of people go through periods of increased shedding from time to time. If your hair starts getting thinner, it might be time to become concerned and see a doctor for bloodwork, but I don't see occasional mild shedding as something to become alarmed about.

Tangle or Curl?
December 3rd, 2013, 06:36 PM
This happened to me a little while ago when I yet again tried to go cone free and sulfate/sulfite free. Don't know why I keep trying because I just can't do it. I have now started daily shampooing, have done two SMT's with a little added peanut oil in the past week, and am using a big gob of moisturizing coney conditioner to style as a leave in.

I think it was just super dry and sticky before. I've learned that my hair HATES any kind of gel, dust/cat hair (hence the new daily shampooing), and CO washing all of a sudden. Odd since I had been CO washing mostly for the past 8 years or so.....? I also trimmed an inch off because the tangling had caused a lot of stretch damage on my ends, they were starting to look like dead tumbleweed. Grabby.

I'm still getting some tangles because I like to let it down when I am at home, but the added moisture has made my hair much more flexible and slippery so pulling the few knots out doesn't cause any more stretching or shedding.

Good luck in figuring out what's ailing your mane.

December 4th, 2013, 01:08 PM
I am experiencing the same, and I see absolutely direct correlation with weather changes (cold and dry air, wind, heating...)

I have to use 3 times as much oil as I would in warmer weather, but sadly, even that doesn't fix the problem completely.

Clarifying made the situation worse, so I'm going for supermild shampoos for extra-dry hair instead and I stretch washes. Cones seem to "solidify", if it makes sense, and cause even more tangles right now.

I'll be watching this thread with interest. Did anybody successfully use humectants (e.g. honey, aloe, glycerin, panthenol) for this problem? I'm kind of afraid to do SMTs because of humectants' reaction to dry air, but I'd love to get that extra moisture boost if it's safe to use in cold, dry winter.

December 4th, 2013, 05:31 PM
I had nasty tangles last month. Clarifying once for fresh start and then using olive oil as leave in helped me. Olive oil seems to allow the comb to glide thru the worst tangles. No other oil does that for me like Olive. I use this oil is I am doing anything out of ordinary that will effect hair such as boating or going to beach now. I also use it anytime I get tangles to loosen them back out without breakage.

Now that I think about though I do have Dove weightless tangle spray. It has oils but they are so far down on the list they may as well not be there. It is all chemicals but it does work and isn't sticky or heavy at all. It really is weightless. Maybe going lighter and not heavier may help?

Tangle or Curl?
December 4th, 2013, 05:46 PM

The SMT helped me and uses honey and aloe as humectants. The trick is to use them to get the water to penetrate them out and then rinse them completely out of your hair. Winter is too dry to leave humectants in, they just end up sucking water out of your hair shaft because the environment is too dry. I really like the SMT though because you use humectants on clean, soaking wet hair and use a plastic cap to trap heat and moisture so that it is forced to soak right into the hair shaft. It works really well.

December 4th, 2013, 05:53 PM
In regards to anje's post. Biolage Conditioning Balm seems to not have proteins. Sally's sells a generic that is lovely if that helps. That is my go to conditioner when I do SMTs.
I would try one and see i it helps at all.

Regarding the shedding..I agree with you. I would panic at 30 shed hairs as well. The usual 100 we hear scares the Dickens out of me. If I noticed 100 hairs falling a day I would be in freak out mode. If I am losing that many I must not know because that number seems high and scary to me as well even though I know it is supposed to be average.
If your normal is like 10-15 and you are losing 30 I would attribute it to the tangles at least until I got the tangles under control and could properly assess. I wouldn't know about hair going to terminal and falling out however, so that could be it of course, but how will you know for sure until you fix the first issue? I guess that gives you even more motivation to stop the knots from forming so you can identify why you are shedding more.

I am really sorry you are dealing with this and hope you find a solution. My hair tangles when dry AND when I have too much filmy product. Getting that proper balance in the winter is tough.

Are you keeping hair in one style all day or do you have to take it down and redo throughout the day?

Also the hair masks..sometimes if using commercial products they leave hair a bit sticky. Add in oil and you have recipe for tangles. I am big fan of SMT for deep moisture as those help me not to get the tangles when store bought deep conditioners failed.. Honey does amazing things for my hair. I find these SMTs worked better than store bought hair masks. SMTs leave my hair weightless. This is also where I Anje's comment made me think...when I had protein overload I had more tangles than I ever had in my life. The SMT's stopped them. The Olive oil was a savior for preventing them of course and for removing them once in the hair....but getting my hair back from protein overload is what fixed it and what allowed me to wean off the daily Olive oil. I had to use the Olive Oil daily though until the protein/moisture level was corrected through the SMTs if that makes sense.

December 4th, 2013, 06:03 PM
when i do my SMTs I usually mix the product in a small tupperware, put on a lid and take it in the shower...
I wash hair (no cones or proteins when I do this for shampoo or conditioner) then I step away from shower spray, towel blot out excess water, apply, put shower cap on...occupy myself 10 minutes exfoliating etc... then rinse out. I follow this with a diluted ACV rinse and air dry. Seems to do the trick. I have before/after pics posted in a thread around here and you can see how tangled my hair was prior to getting moisture in. I actually re posted the pics in the "review my new routine" thread someone else started today if you want to see them.

December 4th, 2013, 07:21 PM
Thank you, ErinLeigh and Tangle or Curl! :)
I'm glad to know SMTs are safe to use in dry weather as long as it's in shower. I just had a feeling that I didn''t manage to completely wash out my conditioners, and with SMT I'll need to make sure there's no residue left.
I really love honey for hair and scalp! :)

December 4th, 2013, 07:36 PM
Another option is to try cones. I know some people on here don't like cones, but my hair is very tangly too and cones help provide slip. :)

December 5th, 2013, 04:57 PM
My hair is naturally very tangly and I always need to detangle before and after washing it (luckily I only need to wash it once or twice a week!). I have noticed that sometimes my hair gets even more tangly and it seems to be related to the weather, particularly the humidity. So I'll be watching this thread, because I don't really know what to do about such tangling either!

But wow, OP and ErinLeigh...You are lucky for having so little shedding! I always keep my hair up or braided, and I always keep track of how much I'm shedding when I comb or brush, and I consistently shed 50 - 120 hairs per day. Thus I've always thought that the 100 hairs per day rate sounded pretty normal (my pony circumference doesn't change).

December 5th, 2013, 05:20 PM
I also went back to cones recently for the same reasons. Dry, tangly, lots more shed. I had been sulfate/silicone free for over a year now but noticed I've been shedding a lot for probably 1/2 of that time. I still use sulfate free shampoo then I condition once with a cone free and again with cones. It's been about a month now and the shedding has already cut down drastically. I wish I had figured it out sooner and maybe saved myself some thickness.

December 5th, 2013, 06:55 PM
If the clarifying and moisturizing doesn't completely solve the problem, you could try a very small trim of the ends and add a humidifier to your home.

That is what helps my hair when it gets tangly.

December 6th, 2013, 10:38 AM
That happened to me this year, right before it started shedding. My hair became stiff like a board. It was like i could break it like uncooked spaghetti. Nothing helped. Then the aweful shedding started. I think it might be due to the hair has been detached from the live root, and is resting in the telogen fase. At least in my case. I hope it will all soon be over for you and your hair starts to behave again.