View Full Version : How to reduce mechanical damage in super short hair?

January 19th, 2014, 10:20 AM
Hi everyone. I'm growing out my pixie that I foolishly cut a month ago. But I've noticed that mechanical damage is going to be a problem for me. When my hair was longer I just wore it up all the time, and that pretty well took care of it. But now my hair is always exposed to the elements, my ends are getting roughed up more, and I'm having to wash it more often since I can't hide the greasies like I could with longer hair (about every other day as opposed to every 4-5 days). And when I do wash, my hair gets roughed up all over since I can't get up underneath it to just do a scalp wash like I used to.

Has anyone been in this situation before? How did you protect your hair? I want to try to go without trimming this year, but my ends are going to be horribly chewed up if I can't find a way to get the damage under control.

January 19th, 2014, 10:33 AM
Sounds like a made up problem, sorry :)

Enjoy your pixie and don't worry too much!

January 19th, 2014, 12:02 PM
The short hair in a pixie cut is new young hair and is far more resilient than the older more fragile hair on long hairstyle. I wouldn't worry too much about it and just enjoy the journey of growing it out. :) It will grow beautifully strong and healthy!

January 19th, 2014, 12:19 PM
Mechanical damage isn't really from the elements/ weather, its from manipulation (brushing/ combing, twirling, styling, using the same elastics repeatedly, rough hat and car headrest fabric, teasing, etc). I think you are being obsessive TBH, just be gentle on your hair. Ends should be adequately protected by the right conditioner plus using slippy fabrics where possible.

January 19th, 2014, 12:25 PM
I have a pixie now and honestly i don't think you're going to get that much damage. Unless you are like taking rough fabric and rubbing it hard against your hair it'll be fine. If you're really worried just be sure to condition, do pre wash oiling and maybe get a satin pillow case if you don't have one.

January 19th, 2014, 12:33 PM
Really, unless you have a fondness for wearing burlap on your head and rolling around in the dirt before jumping into a chlorinated swimming pool, I wouldn't worry about mechanical damage until you're at least back down to SL. I doubt very much that your ends will get chewed up from environmental exposure either, unless you like to go out in wind/ sandstorms. If you're doing that, make sure you wear a hat! I'm kidding, but only because I want to reassure you. As hoopalou said, you have brand new, fresh ends now that will be more resilient than older ends are.

It sounds like you're pretty stressed after cutting your hair. That is completely understandable. I know it can be difficult, but try to calm down and enjoy the process of growing out brand new hair. Try not to worry so much-- be nice to your hair and it should return the favor! You and your hair will be better off with less stress in your life.

I understand not being happy about having to wash more frequently, though, that would drive me nuts! Have you tried using gentler cleansers or diluting the one you are currently using? That might alleviate things a bit. You might also try a different technique when washing your hair-- instead of scrubbing around in several directions (which is what it sounds like you are doing, forgive me if I'm wrong), only scrub your hands downward from your part/ in the direction your hair is already pointing. You can use your fingernails (lightly!!) to scritch your scalp and make sure it gets clean, but make sure you aren't going back and forth-- only move them downwards. Also, make sure you're using some kind of good conditioning treatment after you wash, and your hair should be in great shape.

Happy growing!!

January 19th, 2014, 12:47 PM
I am a bit baffled by some the replies, to be honest. Of course, mechanical damage can be a problem for short hair, too! I experienced a lot more split ends when my hair was short because mechanical damage was ever-present. I actually suspect that it's our very ends that protect the lengths. When you cut your hair, the new hemline is your new most exposed and weakest area.
The ends are totally exposed (unlike long hair that can be bunned), and it's the ends that are the weakest point. Yes, they aren't old in a pixie, but they are exposed to the elements and usually need to be styled in pixies, hence the damage.

I think, since you need to wash more often (as you said, hard to hide the greasies), always do deep oil treatments at least an hour before you wash. Coconut oil is proven to protect against harsh cleansers and too much water uptake (hygral fatigue). Try to use very mild cleansers whenever possible (CO, WO, clays, herbs, etc).

Also sleeping on silk pillowcases / silk scarves and using silk linings under hats is a good idea to protect exposed ends.

January 19th, 2014, 01:27 PM
Mechanical damage is mostly from rubbing on shirt, getting caught under bag straps, car belt, between your back and the chair... Which are all not happening with very short hair. Stop worrying!

January 19th, 2014, 01:41 PM
I doubt you have much to worry about until your hair is long enough to form tangles, which has a much to do with texture as length. (My DH has a standard shortish guy cut, but gets split ends on his one 3b/3c curl, which is able to knot itself while the rest of his 3aish hair can't.) The basics are the same as for long hair, though. Don't scrub your head with a towel, don't yank through tangles, keep the heat styling relatively cool and rare. Most of my mechanical damage has been from tangling, bad detangling, and bad styling decisions. Avoid these and rubbing when your hair is long enough to rub against and catch on things as you grow, and I think you'll do fine.

On a positive note, you get to start fresh with unabused hair this way. Use good practices from the start, and you'll have great, healthy hair all through the process.

January 19th, 2014, 02:29 PM
I think you'll be fine as long as you don't rub your hair with towels, heat-style on the hottest settings, tear through your hair with brushes, etc. Unless you are going to be a non-trimmer, all your current hair will have been trimmed off by the time you're at BSL.

January 19th, 2014, 02:56 PM
The best advice I can think of is dilute your shampoo (I use about a teaspoon per 6 oz water, shake it up... it cleans just fine with no scalp manipulation,) use dry shampoo on the oilier days (I mix together arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, and activated charcoal to match my hair) and to upgrade your combs and brushes to snag-free kinds. A seamless horn comb is an investment that will last you forever and won't catch or tug unnecessarily unlike many cheap plastic combs.