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endlessly
March 14th, 2014, 11:07 AM
Let me first start with a little backstory:

A coworker of mine (who will remain nameless) easily has the most damaged hair I have ever seen in my entire life. When I first met her two years ago, her hair was just above waist level, very straight and jet black, and also for the most part, pretty healthy. Fast forward to about 6 months ago when she fell victim to the hair ombre trend and BOOM, damage city. I didn't realize how bad it had become until I kept noticing her hair getting shorter and shorter every week. When I finally asked her why she was getting it cut so frequently, she finally admitted that she hadn't been cutting it at all and that it was actually just breaking off.

Now, I'm not a haircare expert nor do I ever claim to be, but hair has to be pretty severely damaged to just break off in pieces like that!

Also, the ends that have been snapping off are covered in splits. Looking at her hair, I honestly wouldn't be able to find a single strand WITHOUT a split end.

I warned her that the reason for the constant breaking is because the splits have traveled up the hair shaft and the only way to prevent this is to trim it off, but I feel like she doesn't listen. She's constantly coming to me for haircare advice and wanting to know my routines for keeping my hair so healthy, but she doesn't really want to take my advice.

I know her current routine is to wash, blow dry, flat iron or curling iron every day, and she's mentioned using a heat protection spray once in a great while. How can I offer her my advice if she won't take it? I've tried the gentle approach since she's only a coworker versus a friend, I don't want to be too harsh with her, but since she's constantly asking me for help, I don't know what else to do.

Last week, I tried to give her the harsh reality: there is no 'cure' for her hair except to cut and start over from the beginning. Let's just say that didn't work out well!

Any advice on giving advice? Especially to someone like this?

shutterpillar
March 14th, 2014, 11:16 AM
It sounds like you've already given her advice and she hasn't taken it, so I would just back off from now on because it seems like she's not interested. Take solace knowing that you tried, but in the end it's her loss. :undecided:

Chromis
March 14th, 2014, 11:18 AM
Don't bother. She may be asking for advice but she clearly doesn't want it. She probably just wants someone to sympathize and pat her shoulder while saying "Aw poor ducky." I'd mumble something vaguely like, "Oh, that's rough" and go back to work. As you said, she is a coworker so it pays to be polite and friendly, but really it is work and she is just wasting your time. I'd be perfectly willing to help someone that actually took an active interest and showed that they clearly wanted to really *do* something, but I've no time for people who just moan.

ALso, I would not have asked her why she was cutting her hair so often! That is her business! I don't like to make any negative appearance comments unless very directly asked.

jeanniet
March 14th, 2014, 11:19 AM
Don't. You already gave her advice, she didn't take it, case closed. If she keeps asking, I would say nicely, "I'm more than willing to help, but I don't think you're ready to give up what you're doing now, and my advice won't help if you keep up with XYZ."

You can't make people do what they really don't want to do.

redredrobin
March 14th, 2014, 11:34 AM
The few times people have come to me for hair advice, they have done what I have suggested. I find it really strange that someone would ignore advice they asked for. Maybe she was overwhelmed or felt she was giving up too much, blow dryer and straightening iron for example? if you want to give it another go, perhaps suggest her doing just a treatment now and again. Not much change to her routine and could really help.

It's a shame she has lost so much due to ombre, does she keep getting it topped up? Bleaching is never great for hair but she's unlucky if one ombre has caused so much damage.

DweamGoiL
March 14th, 2014, 11:39 AM
Did she specifically ask for advice this time around? I know you are well meaning, but that was not clear to me in your post. If she did, you can always state your opinion and prefix it as that, but beyond that, you can only be supportive to your coworker if you are also friends. Other than that, most people do not want to hear the truth. They just want you to hear them out. Listen and let it go. Moving forward, you might want to politely steer away from that conversation by changing the subject.

Madora
March 14th, 2014, 11:45 AM
"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink".

Very nice of you to want to help your friend..but she just isn't listening to you, is she? Unfortunately, some people don't wake up until the damage is just too much to bear. Sounds like she has a major chop in her future.

lapushka
March 14th, 2014, 11:59 AM
How can I offer her my advice if she won't take it? I've tried the gentle approach since she's only a coworker versus a friend, I don't want to be too harsh with her, but since she's constantly asking me for help, I don't know what else to do.

Last week, I tried to give her the harsh reality: there is no 'cure' for her hair except to cut and start over from the beginning. Let's just say that didn't work out well!

Any advice on giving advice? Especially to someone like this?

You can't offer your advice, and it's best you make that clear. She keeps coming to you, but won't listen. At one point the penny has to drop. Just flat out tell her that it won't change a thing if she won't listen and take your advice.

ositarosita
March 14th, 2014, 12:05 PM
She sounds like what we call an "askhole" ... they ask for your advice then chose not to take it. Best thing you can do is give her the advice watch her ignore it then later tell her " I told you so"

cranberrymoonz
March 14th, 2014, 12:06 PM
I know it's hard to ignore the condition of other peoples hair when you care so much yourself, but you should try to just let it go. You have allready given her your advise, when she feels the need to take better care of her hair she knows what to do. Her hair is her business. You need to respect her choices even if they are stupid.

MadeiraD
March 14th, 2014, 12:48 PM
It sounds to me like it might have less to do with her hair and more to do with her trying to bond with you/make a friend.

Hair is a pretty emotional issue for a lot of women, and it sounds like she might be asking you for advice more to talk/bond with you than anything else, if she seems like a nice lady, invite her to go product shopping with you, or offer to show her how and then go get a bite or something.

swearnsue
March 14th, 2014, 12:59 PM
Don't bother. She may be asking for advice but she clearly doesn't want it. She probably just wants someone to sympathize and pat her shoulder while saying "Aw poor ducky." I'd mumble something vaguely like, "Oh, that's rough" and go back to work. As you said, she is a coworker so it pays to be polite and friendly, but really it is work and she is just wasting your time. I'd be perfectly willing to help someone that actually took an active interest and showed that they clearly wanted to really *do* something, but I've no time for people who just moan.

ALso, I would not have asked her why she was cutting her hair so often! That is her business! I don't like to make any negative appearance comments unless very directly asked.

This sounds like good advice ^.

It's not about her hair, she wants to complain. If she were to follow your advice and it turned out badly, she will blame you. Forever.

Anje
March 14th, 2014, 02:14 PM
She probably wants a miracle product that will take away all her problems while allowing her to do exactly the same things. Which doesn't really exist, but a product rec or two might not be out of line. Some nice proteiny deep conditioner, perhaps, as a treatment she could use every so often? (I don't really know any good ones, since my hair despises that sort of thing. Maybe Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle?) And encourage her to use heat protection spray every time.

Beyond that, I think the other posters have the right of it. She no doubt wants healthy hair, wants it now, and wants to keep dyeing and flat-ironing as it pleases her.

ichosethis
March 14th, 2014, 04:08 PM
She probably wants a miracle product that will take away all her problems while allowing her to do exactly the same things.

I agree with this. She doesn't want to change anything except maybe her shampoo/conditioner so she can continue with her hair styling and not worry about it.

Anje
March 14th, 2014, 04:40 PM
I agree with this. She doesn't want to change anything except maybe her shampoo/conditioner so she can continue with her hair styling and not worry about it.

And to be completely fair, who doesn't?!?

Macaroni
March 14th, 2014, 05:47 PM
She cares enough to bother you for information but completely disregards it. I wouldn't waste my breath and when she asks again, and she will, be prepared to tell her your advice is still the same as before.

spidermom
March 14th, 2014, 06:38 PM
I'd answer any questions she asked, but I wouldn't volunteer anything.

MeAndTheMaz
March 14th, 2014, 07:19 PM
I'd go with what most posters are saying. Give her advice if she wants it, otherwise if she keeps asking without following through, write down the address to this site and give it to her. If the collective wisdom of 55,000(?) members can't convince her to change her ways, nothing will.

lapushka
March 15th, 2014, 03:45 AM
I remember back when I used to dye, and crimp and do whatever to my hair (my teens, yikes), nothing would *ever* convince me there were other ways. So it's hard to get someone "converted" to better ways and to more "natural" care. Often it's the way the hair hangs (which is different without a straightener and *hard* to give up). So I get it why she has such a hard head. :lol:

ErinLeigh
March 15th, 2014, 05:52 AM
I think sometimes when people ask for advice they really are just looking for one simple magic answer-like some special spray or conditioner that will change their hair, or they want you to say "oh your hair is awesome, you don't need advice." That is what I have noticed with folks anyway.

If she is asking general questions on "how can I fix my hair" at this point I would just say talk to a stylist (no I dont think they know much but its quick answer) or tell them you find ideas on internet and since "all hair is different" its probably best to research herself answers what she is specifically looking for. That may get her to stop asking.
Besides, imagine if she took some of your advice and then declared it "ruined her hair!" Not worth it.

If she asks a specific question and you know the answer to be true as basic general hair care, its probably ok to answer the question, but not put it in advice frame. CO-workers can be tricky. You never now what they are really thinking so its usually best to leave anything regarding appearance very neutral.

EDIT: ha, read responses. Seems already been said

Question though, did she ask for advice before or after you asked her about her hair getting shorter? She may just be asking now for advice since it was brought to attention. It was a topic once so now its "something to talk about."
Personally I know what damages my hair, there are just times in my life where I am more comfortable doing wrong things to "look a certain way." I have a feeling she has an idea. Its just embarrassing sometimes to admit to being "bad" so you pretend to want to be good.

Bagginslover
March 15th, 2014, 05:56 AM
If she asks again, I'd simply ask 'did you try what I suggested before?' If she says no, which I'm betting she will, simply tell her to go away and actually try it!

blace
March 15th, 2014, 11:13 AM
If she asks again, I'd simply ask 'did you try what I suggested before?' If she says no, which I'm betting she will, simply tell her to go away and actually try it!

I agree. It sounds like you've done all that you can.
In my experience as a hair stylist, it seems like most people have the same mentality of your coworker. These same people are also the ones who buy into the whole array of "split end repair" products out there. We've been conditioned to think that it can be fixed without cutting.

Wisť
March 15th, 2014, 09:41 PM
Most is already said, but I'd like to add a general note on giving advise:

When asked for advise, I prefer to ask about the routine and than make only one suggestion, which I think will not be to much sudden change but still help the damage a lot. For example I'd say: "For a start, try brushing your hair more gently, so you don't rip out hair, that would otherwise stay" followed by brushing instructions.
If the persons seems really interested, I might add a comment about the damage of heat styling, not telling to stop, but stating that it is damaging and telling to "try to reduce it".

If, and only if the person tries that, I might add more later, but I try to give it more as information than advise. "You know XYZ is damaging because of ABC, right?" instead of "You should do XYZ!".

It is their choice, what the make of the information I give them. If they find protecting hair compromises other things too much for them, then so be it.

Quasiquixotic
March 15th, 2014, 11:24 PM
Hee! I was going to comment with this term after I finished reading it through! Love it! Great minds.


She sounds like what we call an "askhole" ... they ask for your advice then chose not to take it. Best thing you can do is give her the advice watch her ignore it then later tell her " I told you so"