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View Full Version : Feeling bad about stringy/velcro-y hair



Nahema
December 20th, 2013, 03:36 PM
Hello everybody!

I've been a member here for what seems like forever now, but never posted because I didn't feel like I could be helpful in any way, seeing how there are so many hair experts here. So I read and read and tried to learn from you, and it worked! I completely changed my hair routine, ditched some very bad habits and I finally came to a point where I thought I could call my hair healthy and learn to love it(or rather live with it the way it was). But then, came some pictures that made me realize that I was probably wrong :/

I rarely get pictures taken of myself, simply because I'm very shy and I don't really like that, but in every pictures I've seen, my hair looks stringy, piece-y, dry and unhealthy (it also has a clear demarcation because I'm growing out my henndigo, but that's ok). Now, I don't understand, because my hair is not partiularly dry and it's pretty soft to the touch . I do have very very fine and fragile hair with a weird texture (very wavy underneath and very straight on top), but I try to take really good care of it and follow the advices I learned from here.: I clarify on a regular basis, I nourish and moisturize it, I try to not overwash,...

I know there are similar topics right now and I'm really sorry because I don't want to bother , but everything I tried has not helped with the stringiness, and it makes me really self conscious and sad, because now I tell myself "Wow, so this is how my hair looks like to people....that's awful" It looks oily and unkept (and I don't have oily hair) and that's not a pretty sight.

I'd really appreciate any help/advice, because I want to keep growing out my hair, but if it's looking like that, I don't know if it's such a good idea after all :(

Here is one of the pictures I'm talking about, so that you can see what I'm talking about: http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/5151/zyge.jpg

spidermom
December 20th, 2013, 05:17 PM
You don't include your routine or products so I can't advise.
You also don't list a length goal. What you do with your hair can vary a lot depending on how long you want to grow it. For example, I wanted to grow mine out as long as it would grow, so I did very little to it other than washing and conditioning as needed. Otherwise it was braided or in a bun.

Lately I don't want it longer than waist length, so I blow-dry it after washing, which makes it look so much smoother and better kempt, plus I use hot curlers when I have a special occasion. I also wear it down a lot. So, in general, I'd say if your current routine doesn't make you happy with your hair, change it.

ErinLeigh
December 20th, 2013, 05:20 PM
people are probably sick of hearing me suggest his but try mixing honey with conditioner (like 30/70 and alternate those as cowashes (I follow with diluted ACV rinse and then rinse that out) My hair is just like yours and I find the honey cowashes make my hair feel thicker and more together if that makes sense. Something about the fullness and softness of them makes my hair not separate into stringier pieces. Gives me more of the Pantene commercial hair that I cannot seem to get doing other things. :)

Do you use silicones or oils? I can think of suggestions but probably need to know your preference. I use both each has its own occasion so I have a few different routines that may work or products that work I can suggest.

LaurelSpring
December 20th, 2013, 05:48 PM
My hair is like yours. I like my hair to have volume and grip. I don't like it so much when it is too slippery and slick because I feel the same way as you mention. I got a lot more body when I got rid of silicone conditioners. Too much oil can make it look stringy also so I have to watch out for that and some oils are worse than others for that. Even though I'm not a curly girl once I started using some of the suggestions in the Curly Girl Handbook I had a lot of success in pumping up my volume. The main thing is that after I wash I use aloe gel or regular gel in my hair. I do a lot of scrunching and plopping instead of combing to encourage wave and volume. When I sleep I braid it from the crown and wrap it into a bun and secure it with spin pins. This is how I usually sleep. Sometimes I wrap it on sponge rollers. When I get up I have lots of volume and waves. Every night I spritz it and re gel it and wrap it again. This is such an easy routine and gives me the wavy fluffy look I have always wanted. My avatar picture was right after I took it down in the morning. Its even curlier now since I started using the gel.

heidi w.
December 20th, 2013, 05:57 PM
I can likely help you,but what is your hair type? Curly, straight...etc? Length? What products do you currently use, what's your routine?
heidi w.

Nahema
December 20th, 2013, 06:16 PM
Thanks a lot for the answers! (sorry, my first post is weird, there are a bunch of hidden words, I don't know what I did wrong, there)

@Spidermom: I tend to rotate between different routines, but my hair pretty much ends up looking the same. I've been trying the Mane'N'Tail for a month, to try and regain some length. After that, I use a liquid leave in that helps me detangle (phytokeratine) and another creamy one on my ends (Furterer Karite), otherwise, they get dry. Sometimes, I replace them with just a tiny bit of either organic Argan, Macadamia, or Coconut oïl.
This summer, my hair was 80 cms long (31.5 inches) but since I hadn't cut it in a long time, I had to chop off 15 cms (6 inches). Now, it's about 72 cms (28''), so between mid back and waist, and I'd like to reach at least hip, so I decided to do microtrimms so that I wouldn't have to take a lot off at once. I think that's about it?
Oh yeah, and I clarify with the Redken Cleansing cream, because it's the one that suits my hair the best.

@ErinLeigh: I tried cowashing for a while, and it made my hair veeery very silky, but also weighed it down and made it look even finer. I haven't tried mixing it with honey, though. How do you do it? I've seen a lot of different methods of cowashing... Do you apply it to dry or wet hair, and how long do you keep it on before rinsing?

I'm not opposed to cones, but I try to avoid them most of the time, because they tend to weigh my hair down. I say that, but at the same time, I just bought a bottle of Redken Extreme shampoo and of the Anti-Snap, both of which contain silicones... But my hair just loves proteins...

@LaurelSpring: Yes, my hair also looks better and less stringy when I braid/curl it. I used to have very curly hair when I was a little girl, very thight ringlets. I cut my hair very short and it's been mostly straight ever since, except underneath, where I have some deep S waves forming. Sometimes, in the summer or if my hair gets very dry, some ringlets come back at the ends of my hair... I don't know, maybe I should also follow the Curly Method....But do you achieve nice, not stringy hair without braiding, or does it get stringy as soon as it's straight?

Nahema
December 20th, 2013, 06:52 PM
@Heidi: sorry, I was writing my last post when you posted yours, so I didn't see it. But I described my routine above :) Oh, also, I forgot to say, but I wash my hair twice a week.

ravenheather
December 20th, 2013, 08:29 PM
I wonder if your leave in is the problem, either to much of it or the wrong type for your hair. I use just the tiniest bit of nightblooming's panacea and just on the ends.

LaurelSpring
December 20th, 2013, 09:48 PM
Thanks a lot for the answers! (sorry, my first post is weird, there are a bunch of hidden words, I don't know what I did wrong, there)

@LaurelSpring: Yes, my hair also looks better and less stringy when I braid/curl it. I used to have very curly hair when I was a little girl, very thight ringlets. I cut my hair very short and it's been mostly straight ever since, except underneath, where I have some deep S waves forming. Sometimes, in the summer or if my hair gets very dry, some ringlets come back at the ends of my hair... I don't know, maybe I should also follow the Curly Method....But do you achieve nice, not stringy hair without braiding, or does it get stringy as soon as it's straight?

I feel like my hair does get stringy as soon as its straight. I have been really trying to encourage the waves and curls. I am much happier with it this way. I love whipping it up in a messy bun and I have little ringlets that make me so happy now. That was never possible before.

restless
December 20th, 2013, 09:56 PM
You talk about what you think your hair looks like in pictures but pictures can be very decieving. What does it look like to you in real life? My own hair can look flat and- now when I think about it- stringy in photos as well but in real life its fine, so I choose to believe that instead of a 2D picture that only captures me and my hair in a moment, the split of a second. Think about other people (no, not the perfectly taken lenght shots on here ;) ) and their hair in all of their pictures. Do they look the same irl? Does it never look "bad" without actually being bad irl?

For what its worth: I think your hair looks absolutly lovely in the picture and the words "dry", "stringy" and "unhealthy" does not cross my mind when I look at the photo- it just looks like normal, perfectly fine hair! :flower:

Panth
December 21st, 2013, 03:25 AM
I rarely get pictures taken of myself, simply because I'm very shy and I don't really like that, but in every pictures I've seen, my hair looks stringy, piece-y, dry and unhealthy (it also has a clear demarcation because I'm growing out my henndigo, but that's ok). Now, I don't understand, because my hair is not partiularly dry and it's pretty soft to the touch . I do have very very fine and fragile hair with a weird texture (very wavy underneath and very straight on top), but I try to take really good care of it and follow the advices I learned from here.: I clarify on a regular basis, I nourish and moisturize it, I try to not overwash,...

I think the bolded bit is key.

Do you brush your hair? In particular, do you brush it or comb it a lot before it completely dries after washing. I suspect you're actually a lot wavier than you suspect, and it's just that the outermost layers of the canopy get the most brushing and so end up straightest. Try the Curly Girl technique. You may have a pleasant surprise.

Lyv
December 21st, 2013, 03:54 AM
I'd throw out the phytokeratine, it made my hair looks stringy and weird when I used it. Have you tried CWC, it so far keeps my ends smooth and shiny without weighing it down like co washing did. Maybe try an SMT sometime if you haven't, it might help it look a little healthier or just add some honey in your conditioner.

Fluffmitten
December 21st, 2013, 04:26 AM
I don't have any advice as my hair has never been as long as yours, but I noticed you mentioned that certain products suit your hair, or that your hair loves them. However, if you are not happy with your hair is it possible they don't suit your hair as well as you had thought, or perhaps as much as they used to?

I don't point this out to be in any way critical, only because I have done the same thing myself. I got stuck thinking certain products were good for my hair, but when I changed them I was pleasantly surprised.

Good luck :)

Firefox7275
December 21st, 2013, 07:28 AM
Seems to me you have naturally wavy hair that you are treating as straight. Henna pulls out wave. Although protein is useful fortune hair if an be overdone and build up. Do try the Curly Girl method working with your hair properties to choose products and ingredients.

What do you mean by 'moisturise', do you actually mean condition?

Many fine hairs and wavies cannot use oils straight up as a leave in, they need to use them pre-wash OR as a minor ingredient in a conditioner.

Nahema
December 21st, 2013, 07:41 AM
Thanks a lot, guys :)


@ravenheather: I did order a sample of the Panacea a long time ago! I remember liking it....don't remember why I didin't buy the full size, though. So to my list it goes^^


@restles: that is so very sweet, thank you :flower: In real life, my hair is ok, I guess...There are some days when I like the way it looks and others when it just drives me mad, it's too limp, too fine... I usually like the way it looks when I put a lot of effort into it. If I fingerwave, or do protein treatments, or use a lot of volumizing products, it turns out ok. Sometimes, iz even looks ok when I just clarify. But if I overmoisturize just a liiiittle bit or use the wrong products, it immediately looks limp and stringy.


@Panth: I do comb my hair a lot when it's wet. I feel like I have to, otherwise it's tangly mess, especially at the nape of my neck, and fingercombing just won't do it. I did read about the Curly Girl method, and I think it's possible that I'm wavier than I think, because when my hair's wet, I tend to see a lot more waves, and even some curls, than when it's dry. It's just that I feel like my waves clump even more than when my hair's straight, thus accuentuating the stringy effect.

@Lyv: Thanks for the advice! I won't repurchase the phytokeratine again, because I don't like it that much. I just want to finish my bottle (which shouldn't take long now, caue it's nearing the end), because it was so pricy that I feel bad throwing it out and that it kind of helps with the detangling...Is there another liquid leave-in/detangler that you like, maybe?
I do the SMT sometimes as a deep conditionning treatment, but I'll admit that's rare. ^_^


@Fluffmitten: Some products are great for my hair, but they're usually the kind that I can't do too often. My hair will look great (as in, bouncy, shiny, full) right after I do a Lush Caca Brun, or when I do an Aphogee treatment. But that will last one-two weeks tops and back to normal we go. It usually also looks nice right after I clarify, but only with the Redken Cleansing Cream, or the Aveda one (don't remember the name). Other clarifying shampoos I tried (Joico and Phytoneutre) will leave them looking shiny and soft, but without the bounce that I get from the Redken's.... For products that I use on a day to day basis, it's a hhit or miss, really. They usually work fine for some days/weeks, but then my hair gets used to them or something and I have to change and maybe come back to them later.
I also have a recipe that I make and that works greaaat on my fine hair (An entire egg or just the egg yolk, a tbs honey, a tbs oïl of your choice- usually coconut for me- and a tbs of Rhum), but again, it's treatment that I do maybe once every month-two months (because of the Rhum) and the effects are very temporary.

Nahema
December 21st, 2013, 07:48 AM
@Firefox7275: I usually use oils as a prewash treatment (sometimes, if my ends feel dry, I'll use one-two drops as a leave-in, though). But by moisturise, I mean either a good conditionner or a deep treatment (sometimes, I'll apply those as a prewash treatment, too, so that they don't weigh my hair down so much). I used to love the Tigi conditionner in an orange bottle (was it the moisture freak, can't remember the name?) but seems they're not making it anymore, and I haven't found another one that works so well, yet feels so light on my hair :/

Firefox7275
December 21st, 2013, 09:20 AM
Wet combing a lot is pretty damaging since wet hair is weak hair. Try tying your hair back or up to keep it straighter and tangle free whilst air drying. You might benefit from joining us on the Facebook Wavy Hair Community if you do attempt Curly Girl - you would not be the only fine hair who dislikes clumping. Several of the regulars very *gently* finger comb DRY hair to break up wavy clumps and bring back the body/ volume.

ETA your Redken is a chelating and clarifying shampoo. I can't find the full ingredients but a couple of things come to mind
1. Ask yourself what in your routine is building up to need clarifying or chelating (hard water, too much protein, polyquats, waxes, butters)
2. Could be pretty harsh and damaging hair if used regularly even if it does not feel damaging (may contain ingredients that disguise the harshness).

Lilli
December 21st, 2013, 11:38 AM
My hair likes protein occasionally, but too much will make it stringy. I do no cones, argan oil misted on after washing, and rotate between moisturizing and protein conditioners. Also, washing my hair upside down has really improved the condition of my canopy. It still is not as wavy as the underneath, but it looks a lot healthier.