View Full Version : Ruined hair... Too late to save what is left?

January 23rd, 2014, 11:01 AM
Hi everyone.

To make a long story short, I started dying my hair with chemical dye at 23 (I'm 30 now) when white hairs started showing up. I'd dye it every month or 2, trying various shades of red, brown and even orangy with l'Oréal Feria, Excellence, Preference, Hi-color Red (with 20% cream dev) Garnier, Gosh, John Frieda, Ion (using 20% cream dev with magenta, red and purple mix), Manic-Panic (vampire red), permanent, demi-permanent.... and in there I bleached three times (2 by myself to do full head bleaching, once by a professional who did half ombre style). I also applied Henna "Ancient sunrise dark brown" about 3 years ago but my hair was dry and breaking afterwards. I also tried Sukesh Ayurveda from Henna Sooq to help with all the oils I now take(Moroccan, carrot, mink). I apply those oils every hair wash day using one or the other.... but the Sukesh had the same effects as henna.

Needless to say my hair is dry, dead, falling out like crazy and has thinned. I even have patches of boldness on my scalp.
Here are some pictures:
First one I'm sorry or the greasy type hair it was after the application of morrocan oil.



I've been reading various sites to try to help my hair. Bought satin pillow cases, special hair drying towels and I barely use hot styling products anymore. I have keratin and macademia oil masks I do too. I wash my hair with cold water 2-3 times a week instead of daily. And I recently bought a bone comb. Of course I know its not enough because the damage is clearly already done.

I've been thinking of re-trying henna and sticking with it.

Is this the right thing to do? Any tips? Can I try to save what is left? I've already cut off a fair amount of hair (from end of shoulder blades to shoulders in October. I just brushed that end part and the hairs would just break and fall). I'd hate to have to shave what is left or have a pixie cut and it would not do me well.

I am also suffering from a lot of stress and anxiety attacks which could maybe contribute to my hair loss.

Help? T_T

Sorry for the spelling, English is not my first language

January 23rd, 2014, 11:05 AM
Your English is fine :)

I think just giving your hair a break from all the dying and processing is a good start. Damaged hair can't heal, but often can be saved with gentle methods and it sounds like you have a good start on that too.

January 23rd, 2014, 11:16 AM
I agree with breezefaerie, give your hair a break from all the dyes.
Trim it a bit every few months, oil the ends, condition it well, wear it up... Hair can't be repaired, the only thing you can do is make it feel better. Your hair won't feel better right away, but keep taking good care of it.
Also, manage your health. You said you feel stressed and anxious, that isn't good for your body and obviously it includes your hair.

January 23rd, 2014, 11:36 AM
You definitely don't need to cut it all off, unless the damage is making you, personally, unhappy. To me, it sounds like you need some benign neglect... If it was me I'd start by wearing updo's 99% of the time. This keeps your hair from getting more damaged, keeps the damage less visible, and it keeps you from obsessing about it while it grows out.

I'd also read up on the henna threads if you want to keep your hair red, lots of people find that henna temporarily improves the condition of their hair, and of course, wont make it worse like conventional dyes. There's lots of tips and tricks for how different people get the best results from henna at the herbal hair care/henna forum. :)

January 23rd, 2014, 11:42 AM
Depending on how long ago you've decided to rehabilitate your hair, it could take a few months to see any significant difference in your hair. I promise that if you're patient, you'll thank yourself later. I would also recommend staying away from the conventional dyes for a while. If you're interested in bright red, I had really good results using henna and then adding Manic Panic a few days after the henna oxidized. It stuck better than on unprocessed hair, and it's not damaging. Manic Panic has tutorials on their website about using MP without bleaching, but to be totally honest, I prefer Special Effects or Punky Colours. If you can track those down, I'd definitely recommend it.

January 23rd, 2014, 11:45 AM
I think that the length photo looks nice! I agree with moving to henna if you want to keep it red. Otherwise, I would recommend establishing a simple routine-- cool washes a few times a week, LIGHT oiling (more is not better!), updos, trimming damage as it grows-- and staying with it. Maybe you could try gentle scalp massages to stimulate growth and also to relax and de-stress? Time is your friend here :) I'm sure you will start to see improvements, and in the meantime I think it looks pretty good. A lot of members have significantly improved their hair's appearance even after rough treatment of the kind you describe. Good luck and post photos along the way!

January 23rd, 2014, 11:47 AM
Before you do anything see your family doctor or a dermatologist about the scalp thinning. It's not a given that hair dye/ bleach causes loss at the roots, normally it causes breakage on the lengths do to nay have an undiagnosed health problem.

Address anxiety with regular physical activity, an anti stress diet and stress management/ relaxation techniques.

January 23rd, 2014, 11:48 AM
Do you have layers in your hair? It can be a good idea to get layers and maintain them for a while untill it grows out healthier. Sometimes the inner hairs are less damaged and can be saved. My hair is also fried a bit, but I keep it moistured all the time with a good leave in conditioner and try to have it up in protective styles a lot to save my ends.
I maintain my layers untill it doesn't break off anymore and I S&D (Seek and Destroy) split ends every month, that way I don't lose much length. Fried hair is not easy to deal with but it sounds like you have it under control :)

January 23rd, 2014, 11:56 AM
I agree that it wouldn't be a bad idea to see a doc about the bald spots and have a blood test done to rule out any health problems. Stop dying it and limit any heat styling - if you have gray roots I would just use a hair mascara for awhile instead of dye until your hair recovers. I would also start taking a good multivitamin and fish oil supplement!

January 23rd, 2014, 01:44 PM
I think you could benefit from coconut oil or silicones, depending on your preferences. It may help conceal some of the old damage while you play the waiting game letting it grow out. Or of course there's always the option of just cutting off and starting fresh if you can't bear babying the damaged parts.

January 23rd, 2014, 01:56 PM
Yes I have damaged weird layers that didn't grew equally ;)! I think like most of you said I'll play the waiting game and let it grow out. I'll apply henna and indigo from time to time because I want to return to a brown hair color. Other then that no more hair chemical dyes. I'm done!

I will have myself checked out soon and talk about the bold patches I discovered not long ago. In September was my last checkup with blood test results. I had vitamin B12 deficiency so I take pills for that and my iron is a little bit low but not anemic. Other then that was blood is fine.

Thanks to all of you for your replies!
Rapunzel better watch out she'll have competition in the next 10 years http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww173/prestonjjrtr/Smileys%20Holidays/Halloween/PiratesLOL.gif (http://media.photobucket.com/user/prestonjjrtr/media/Smileys%20Holidays/Halloween/PiratesLOL.gif.html)

January 23rd, 2014, 02:50 PM
Here is what I would do. I would trim small amount of hair every month. Since you have layers, I would first self trim in a V or U hemline and then brush my hair forward and turn my head upside down. Then trim the shorter layers my feel. If the ends feel really bad I would trim them a bit.

The reason I would slowly take off the ends is because they will tangle and snag on your new healthy growth. But your hair is pretty, a little dry maybe, but I wouldn't cut it into a pixie!!!!

Eventually you can go to henna only and have long red hair!

January 23rd, 2014, 04:01 PM
B-12 deficiency with low iron is symptomatic of so-called "pernicious anaemia" - you'll need to control that with pills, proper targeted nutrition and regular blood tests.

Also, it's important to get on top of those anxiety attacks as that alone can cause shedding. Exercise, yoga, walks, meditation, fun hobbies and of course quality sleep are important.

You can definitely protect your hair with silk scarves, updos, wide-tooth combs, stretched gentle washes, gentle handling (what we call "treating it like antique lace" here), quality conditioners containing oils, hydrolyzed proteins, panthenol, peptides, ceramides, 18-MEA, humectants and silicones, if necessary.

Your hair doesn't look "ruined", and it's definitely salvageable with gentle treatment. Happy growing! :)

January 23rd, 2014, 04:27 PM
My hair was damaged (not as damaged as yours) but I used a few layers of henna and it added strength and softness to it. So that idea can work well. Especially if you're dedicated to having red hair, it's a smart move.

January 25th, 2014, 01:20 AM
I cannot begin to know about hair loss but a dr can advise on it hopefully. If all is cleared then this would be my advice..
This is only personal experience. Mine was super damaged in October. I am talking unbelievably fried and very visible. Each strand looked like it had a zig zag pattern. It broke and snapped off when brushed or combed. Everyone's hair is different so this is only my story.

To start the journey to better hair I did the following...

I assessed hair to see if I needed protein or moisture (did the strand test of tugging it to see if it snapped right away or stretched) Did the porosity test (he cup test to see if hair floated or sunk) - basically any test I could do at home just to hopefully get some kind of idea. The aren't the holy grail of answers but I found it helped me a bit to point me in right direction.

I got layers cut to remove as much damage as I could without going toooo short (had to go CBL and was still damaged but it was worth it)
I stopped using cones (i may go back one day but for now I wanted hair to take in all the good stuff I was trying to do so for now I stopped them)
I started using coconut, olive or avocado on dry hair before a wash. Applied 12 hours before so it could soak in.
Started adding a ton of moisture to my hair when I used conditioner (I personally did a lot of SMTs to begin that- adding aloe and honey to conditioner)
I invested in good cone free conditioners which had ingredients to work with damaged hair
Started alternating my washes using more gentle ingredients . One wash would use this all natural shampoo that used aloe and oils to cleanse, one wash another gentle but with more ingredients like Shea Moisture or Juice Organics, then a cowash next wash, etc etc..Basically I was trying not to strip my hair with harsh cleansers. I would only wash with the harsher shampoos every 7 washes.
I started using a light leave in conditioner - alternating the ones with protein and moisture as needed
I started sealing damp hair with oil - argan, grapeseed, sesame - I just always rotate oils so I get different benefits, same as my pre wash oils
I did an all over hempseed oiling once a week for the ceramides. I need those for my damaged hair.
Bought a satin pillowcase
Wore hair up in a loose bun 5 days a week
Stopped all heat irons (still blow dry on warm/cool)

All those things together did a HUGE reversal in hairs appearance in a short amount of time. I was pretty surprised.

January 25th, 2014, 02:27 AM
The thinning and low B12 and iron may be thyroid disorder and megaloblastic anemia. Or both. Get a TPO Ag ran, if it's not zero, treat until it stays at zero. But Hashimoto's likes to invite celiac - or other way around - who then eencourages megaloblastic anemia. PA is a form of that, but other "fun party favors" can be the cause with similar results. Also get a folate test, that runs low with thyroid fun in some people. Despite the currently iffy name, PA is manageable, it's not a death sentence like it was when named.

Another "simple" issue may be your hair is overloaded with protein without moisture balance. If my hair avoids protein, I get mechanical breakage, but I don't get the harsh snapping off. Clarify, make sure it's protein overload, use any preferred method to get moisture back.

January 25th, 2014, 04:11 AM
I agree with most that is said. You have thick hair and I'm sure if u just don't dye for a few months and oil and henna and micro trim that your hair will look amazing pretty soon