PDA

View Full Version : Hair care routine??? I don't know where to start



polishrose
August 9th, 2014, 03:02 AM
Ok so I have started the wcc method for washing and conditioning and typically need to wash my hair every 2-3 days. That part is easy. But I'm confused about the rest. Protein treatments, smt,coconut oil....when should I do these things ? Should I always use the same shampoos and conditioners or should I change them around ?

My hair is in dreadful condition. Bleached. Very bleached. You'll probably all scream when I tell you the bleach was left on for 4 hours :o The ends feel like straw. The length slightly less. It doesn't shine. My roots do which make them look greasy. I want to make my hair feel like hair again. To make it strong and shiny. Hellpppppp!!! ;)

MINAKO
August 9th, 2014, 04:40 AM
1. Breathe! Stressing yourself doesn't promote hair growth ;)

2. Shanpoo and conditioner - you don't have to switch around unless you fell some kind of residue on your hair over time that gives you dryer/crunchier hair than usual or weighs it down too much, makes it stringy whatsoever. I like weighed down hair, but seeing that you are in the fine range, i'm assuming you want to keep it light and flowy.

3. Protein - excellent in leave in products, you can use these right after washing your hair while it's still a tiny bit damp. Alternatively you could apply a deep conditoning masque with protein, that would need to be rinsed out. (You can use a masque in place of the second "C" in WCC)

4 Oil - you can use it lightly after your leave in or just on your damp hair if you chose to not use a leave in, reoiling frequently with small amounts if needed. You might want to look into the LOC method if your hair is dry and/or frizzy. Try different oils and observe which ones your hair likes best.

5. SMT - i havent tried this, give it a go and see if it's your thing, i guess you would do that as a pre shampoo treatment.

6. Be gentle with your hair and use the right tools to detangle, either a wide tooth comb or fingers. If your hair is bleach damaged, stay as far away from brushes as possible, lay off the heat completely, at least until the damage is under control. Wear you hair up often.

7. Check the hardness of your water, if very hard you might also want to incorporate an acidic rinse as your final after washing and conditioning.

8. Start to add one of these things after another to your routine. THis way you can see if your hair responds well to one thing but not the other.


I have heard of many stylists who believe in slow bleaching and leave the bleach on for hours on end too. It really depends on the developer strength. If your hair doesn't feel gummy or breaks like straw every time you touch it, at least theres a chance to get your hair back to managable. If you have alot of splits right now, i would advise to get a trimm tho and do S&D, damaged hair attracts more damage, so getting rid of it sooner than later is a good idea.

Good luck!

polishrose
August 9th, 2014, 05:20 AM
I had the split ends cut off 2 weeks ago. She took off 2 inches from the length and the layers.

1. I'm breathing I'm breathing. Lol

2.yes definitely want my hair light and flowy. I have about 6 conditioners at home. Some with cones. Some without. Some with glycerin. Some keratin. I have no idea which ones are best for my hair.

3. Another poster gave me a link to a protein treatment with gelatine so I will try that.

4. I shall see what the LOC method is :)

5. With the SMT I was thinking to do this once a week instead of a wash? Or twice? Or after a wash ?

6. I use my fingers and a wide toothed comb when it's wet and a horn comb when dry. I have been using a brush (boar bristle ) when I put it up because otherwise I can't get it smooth.

7. My water is very very hard. :( What is an act?

8. Good point. I will do wcc and smt for 2 weeks and then see how the hair is.

Thank you so much for your reply :)

Panth
August 9th, 2014, 06:02 AM
Firstly, breathe. ^_^

Ok, done that?

Right. Now haircare. Basically, there are lots and lots of things that may help your hair. You can get a good idea by seeing what other people with a similar hairtype (strand thickness, amount of strands, curliness) like, what other people with a similar length like, what other people with similar damage like, etc. That said, the only way you will absolutely know what is good is by trying it.

The absolute best thing to do is invoke the 2 week rule - change ONE thing, do it for at least two weeks, evaluate if you think it's helping or not, keep it or cut it out. Repeat. If you change everything at once you may feel like you're actively doing good, but it makes it very, very hard to evaluate what changes are beneficial, what changes have no effect and what changes are impeding your progress. So, slow is better.

As far as the bleach damage goes, generic suggestions are things that "patch repair" the hair. This effect is temporary but will help keep your hair more manageable and aesthetically pleasing whilst you grow out the damage. Patch repairing things include the following:
- Coconut oil (and other penetrating oils), which can be used as a deep-treatment before washing or as a very light treatment (somewhat like a serum) on either damp or dry hair.
- Protein, by choosing protein-containing conditioners, deep-treatments and/or leave-ins (bear in mind that most homemade protein leave-ins don't work as the protein molecules must be chopped up small enough to penetrate the hair).
- 'Cones, by choosing 'cone-containing conditioners, deep-treatments and/or leave-ins (some people worry about build-up, but you have enough damage that more is probably best ... also build-up is easily dealt with by washing occasionally with clarifying shampoos or by choosing 'cones that don't build up (e.g. amino-cones and/or PEG-cones))
- Panethol - an ingredient in conditioners that patch-repairs

There are a few others that I've forgotten.

You may also want to "moisturise" your hair to help reduce that dry, straw-like feeling. You can try a home-made deep-treatment called an SMT (basically, conditioner+honey+aloe vera gel). There are lots of other options.

Finally (but just as importantly) you'll want to reduce/prevent doing any more damage to your hair. Suggestions for this include:
- not doing any more bleach, dye, straightening (chemical or heat), perms or other chemical/heat treatments, or minimising them as much as possible
- not using a hair dryer, or only using it on cool
- washing gently (don't pile your hair on your head, for starters)
- detangling/brushing/combing gently (and, for some people, not using brushes at all and only using wide-toothed combs ... in particular, boar bristle brushes should NEVER be used to detangle - those are for sebum distribution and/or smoothing purposes only)
- doing hair-friendly updos (avoid hair elastics, especially the ones with metal joins; don't tighten your ponytail by splitting in half and pulling it; try hair-friendly updos to keep those damaged ends from being rubbed on clothing, chairs, bags, etc.)
- using gentle shampoo, or an alternative washing method (this is a YMMV thing, particularly as you're probably going to be using a lot of heavy conditioning things but bear in mind that you can use 'cones successfully with SLS-free shampoo - look for cocoamidopropyl betaine at the top of the ingredients list - it is a gentler, non-SLS cleanser that will remove 'cones)
- stretching washes (this is also a YMMV thing as some people cannot stretch washes, either because their sebum production never adjusts or because they have a scalp condition such as seborrheic dermatitis ... however, for everyone else, stretching washes can help because it reduces the amount of wear and tear on your hair)

For hard water, you'll likely need something to reduce mineral build-up (limescale) on your hair. Rinsing with a vinegar rinse/leave-in after each wash can help slow down mineral build-up (put about 1 teaspoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar into a tumbler of water, pour over your head at the end of your wash, leave it in). However, to remove mineral build-up, particularly lots of it, you'll need a chelating shampoo. This (like a clarifying shampoo) only needs to be used occasionally. It'll be advertised either as 'chelating shampoo' or 'swimmers' shampoo'.

Ok, final tip: don't go overboard. We get a lot of people going "oh, woe! what happened!?" when they tried to improve their hair. Remember, deep treatments probably shouldn't be used as frequently as you wash your hair. (E.g. a routine with a different deep treatment on every day is... almost certainly overkill. Don't laugh - people do it ALL THE TIME. A better idea is one type one week, another type the next week, etc. if you want to do multiple deep treatments.) Leave-ins probably can be used as frequently as you wash, but probably not much more than that or, again, you risk build-up. Moderation is ok, though you'll need to do more than someone with virgin hair.

And don't forget the two week rule.

Good luck!

Firefox7275
August 9th, 2014, 06:05 AM
Ok so I have started the wcc method for washing and conditioning and typically need to wash my hair every 2-3 days. That part is easy. But I'm confused about the rest. Protein treatments, smt,coconut oil....when should I do these things ? Should I always use the same shampoos and conditioners or should I change them around ?

My hair is in dreadful condition. Bleached. Very bleached. You'll probably all scream when I tell you the bleach was left on for 4 hours :o The ends feel like straw. The length slightly less. It doesn't shine. My roots do which make them look greasy. I want to make my hair feel like hair again. To make it strong and shiny. Hellpppppp!!! ;)

I have lightened hair which is now in surprisingly good shape. I use scientifically proven ingredients: coconut and other penetrating oils, hydrolysed protein, ceramides, panthenol. There is also 18-MEA but I don't use it at present. One of the best things I ever did for my skin and hair was switching to conditioner only washing. However you should chelate regularly since you have hard water. These minerals can increase damage to the hair when combined with persulphate bleach.
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=120288

Be aware that softness DOES NOT equal hair health, SMTs are a nice cosmetic treatment but they will NOT get your hair stronger/ less likely to split or break. In fact lengthy conditioning sessions can damage vulnerable hair by flushing out structural proteins, swelling the cuticle and breaking the weaker bonds. Use your intensive conditioning sessions wisely to deposit ingredients that reduce in friction and aid in detangling (silicones, fatty alcohols, cationic surfactants) or penetrate.

You can do hydrolysed protein and penetrating oil treatments as often as your hair will take, that is down to trial and error. I now use small amounts of silky penetrating oils (sweet almond, fractionated coconut) to aid in smoothing out buns; doing heavy overnight coconut oilings more so in winter or before and after dye jobs. Hydrolysed protein I generally use within my leave in conditioner more so in summer, mostly doing treatments before and after dye jobs.

I get improved shine from my most protein rich conditioner which makes sense since it is a film former. Used in moderation protein is also moisturising, contrary to popular belief. Hydrolysed soy and wheat may help reduce bleach damage. There is a point at which hair is so badly damaged nothing will patch repair it, it may be your ends are at that point. Holding onto them mean they can snag and tangle on healthier hair higher up damaging that.

Lastly protect your hair from the sun religiously.

polishrose
August 9th, 2014, 06:29 AM
Oh gosh so much info. Ok a few things that jumped out at me from those 2 posts.
2 week rule - so just stick to wcc and coconut oil on the ends and one SMT A week for 2 weeks ? Then try a protein treatment as well?
I'm definitely not bleaching any more. I may get my length dyed darker to match the roots but I decided to wait a month before I decide. I don't blow dry often. Never use straighteners. Always a comb for detangling.
Hair elastics- what kind should I use? How should I put my hair up? Pins? Hair screws? I don't know how hair sticks or forks stay in. Lol. What sort of hairstyles should I do on my hair ?
I tried co only washing a few years ago and it didn't work for me. My scalp got very flaky and greasy and my hair was very limp. I'm guessing the hard water didn't help.
Um what else was there? Oh yes how to protect hair from the sun? Hats and scarves really don't suit me. They make me look even fatter than I am already.

polishrose
August 9th, 2014, 06:30 AM
Sorry double post.

Panth
August 9th, 2014, 07:07 AM
Oh gosh so much info. Ok a few things that jumped out at me from those 2 posts.
2 week rule - so just stick to wcc and coconut oil on the ends and one SMT A week for 2 weeks ? Then try a protein treatment as well?
I'm definitely not bleaching any more. I may get my length dyed darker to match the roots but I decided to wait a month before I decide. I don't blow dry often. Never use straighteners. Always a comb for detangling.
Hair elastics- what kind should I use? How should I put my hair up? Pins? Hair screws? I don't know how hair sticks or forks stay in. Lol. What sort of hairstyles should I do on my hair ?
I tried co only washing a few years ago and it didn't work for me. My scalp got very flaky and greasy and my hair was very limp. I'm guessing the hard water didn't help.
Um what else was there? Oh yes how to protect hair from the sun? Hats and scarves really don't suit me. They make me look even fatter than I am already.

If you've never done any of those things before, I'd try WCC for two weeks minimum. Then if all ok, add coconut oil on the ends for two weeks minimum. Then if all ok, add one SMT a week for two weeks minimum (actually, I'd do it for longer - you're doing a less frequent treatment, so it'll take longer to tell whether it's good for you or not).

With the dye, be careful as demi-permanent and permanent dyes (but not semi-permanent or deposit-only dyes) contain developer, aka bleach. Choose wisely or you may end up with unexpected additional damage.

Hair elastics - the ones that look like this (http://img.diytrade.com/cdimg/904176/8706436/0/1239882672/elastic_hair_band.jpg) are best, IMO (notice - no metal joins but also no snaggy glue join either). As for hairstyles, it'll completely depend upon length, thickness and texture. The best methods will use a low-damage tool (e.g. hair stick, hair fork, spinpins, Amish pins, U-pins, scrunchies, flexi-8s, ficcares), keep the hair off the collar (to minimise rubbing on clothes), take minimal fussing/faffing to make and not cause tangles. Of course, that's a best scenario. There are lots of other styles that incorporate some of those points. It's about finding the best compromise for your hair at the moment, plus your aesthetic sensibilities. ^_^

Protection from sun - yes, hats or scarves are best. And/or minimising time spent in direct sunlight. However, sunlight is not a massive problem unless you spend a lot of time outdoors or you have a lot of damage. Unfortunately, you may come under the latter.

lapushka
August 9th, 2014, 07:23 AM
Ok so I have started the wcc method for washing and conditioning and typically need to wash my hair every 2-3 days. That part is easy. But I'm confused about the rest. Protein treatments, smt,coconut oil....when should I do these things ? Should I always use the same shampoos and conditioners or should I change them around ?

My hair is in dreadful condition. Bleached. Very bleached. You'll probably all scream when I tell you the bleach was left on for 4 hours :o The ends feel like straw. The length slightly less. It doesn't shine. My roots do which make them look greasy. I want to make my hair feel like hair again. To make it strong and shiny. Hellpppppp!!! ;)

Relax! There's a lot of things to try on this site, but change up one thing, *one* thing every time you WCC. Otherwise, if something is bad, you won't know which treatment it is.

Chromis
August 9th, 2014, 09:27 AM
I found the articles section super helpful when I joined! I can't seem to get into the new section, but you can see the old articles here and there is sooooo much good info summarized there: http://web.archive.org/web/20111221084724/http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=main

You can find hair care tips and washing methods, plus articles for hairstyles at different lengths which I noticed you were looking for in another thread :)

Make yourself a pot of tea and go nuts clicking around and reading! The tips you've been given in the thread are great as well, and the articles will expand on them nicely. One thing you will quickly notice is that many people do many different things because many scalps like different things and some hair is tougher than others. You'll have to experiment to find what works for you, but as others cautioned, don't change up everything at once when you are trying to work out if a given method is better. Also, some methods have a higher learning curve. Before I switched to shampoo bars, I gave each type of shampoo/conditioner I tried the length of time it too to use up a bottle. This gives you a good amount of data and keeps you from having nine zillionty bottles of "stuff". If something really, really dramatically didn't work, I gave it away and hopefully it will work better for the next person. (I set things like this on the curb or *next* to the trash area in apartments in a box marked free. Or at bigger bus stops in a box marked free! Charities won't often take opened items, but plenty of people are happy for the freebies if you leave them out.)

Johannah
August 9th, 2014, 10:32 AM
Well, I guess you already got AMAZING advice!

The only thing I can add is to write things down. Write down what products you used, how you used them, when you used them and how your hair reacted on it. This helped me a lot past 6 months.

Good luck!

Firefox7275
August 9th, 2014, 11:10 AM
Oh gosh so much info. Ok a few things that jumped out at me from those 2 posts.
2 week rule - so just stick to wcc and coconut oil on the ends and one SMT A week for 2 weeks ? Then try a protein treatment as well?
I'm definitely not bleaching any more. I may get my length dyed darker to match the roots but I decided to wait a month before I decide. I don't blow dry often. Never use straighteners. Always a comb for detangling.
Hair elastics- what kind should I use? How should I put my hair up? Pins? Hair screws? I don't know how hair sticks or forks stay in. Lol. What sort of hairstyles should I do on my hair ?
I tried co only washing a few years ago and it didn't work for me. My scalp got very flaky and greasy and my hair was very limp. I'm guessing the hard water didn't help.
Um what else was there? Oh yes how to protect hair from the sun? Hats and scarves really don't suit me. They make me look even fatter than I am already.

Hats and scarves/ UV Buffs or sit/ stand/ walk in the shade - sorry but hair sun protection is next to useless and bleach fried hair is super vulnerable. At a push you could just wrap your bun in a close weave fabric.

Easiest buns are cinnamon, lazy wrap and nautilus IMO. Spin Pins/ Hair Scroos are great, sticks are not that hard to use if you practice a little. IME there is no such thing as an elastic that stays put yet does not damage vulnerable hair if used more than occasionally. Mine is dyed and, when I joined LHC three years ago, I had a ton of breakage around the face and at the back where my ponytail sat. I was using no snag elastics. Now I use terry cotton ponios but they don't do high ponytails or form a good base for a bun because they slip.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdLbUCP-6QY-ulkJcHnGE2H-AubEO_BZe

Madora
August 9th, 2014, 11:19 AM
Per Dr. George Michael, famed long hair guru, wear a WHITE scarf or hat when out in the sun.

Also, if you're going to be out in the sun for any period of time, cover your head. You don't want to deal with fried hair, not to mention a sunburned scalp! OUCH!!!

Hibernis
August 9th, 2014, 11:29 AM
I'm also new to A++ hair care! I started with a series of questions:

1. What do I do to my hair every day that isn't helping my hair health? For me, it was using a metal Goody brush every day and sometimes using heat. First step was no more heat. Then I got the wooden detangling brush from The Body Shop, and got a wooden bristle brush off amazon to massage my scalp with. The hair health improvement has been tremendous. I tried a boar bristle brush but my hair doesn't like it so I'm not going to use it anymore.

2. Are the foods I put in my body good for my health? I am taking steps to eliminate junk, eat healthy and whole foods, take my vitamins (the ones my doc says I need) daily, and exercise daily. Taking care of your body means your body will make better hair.

3. How can I help my hair as I sleep? Satin pillow case? Silk snood? Sleep cap? Protective braid? Pick one that appeals to you. They're all good enough.

3. What is one variable I want to experiment with?. Ok, so you've stopped the damage and you're taking care of your body. That alone is "enough" when combined with patience. Now is the fun part! Experiment on yourself! I started with WO. Didn't work well. Then I saw stuff about the inversion method, and decided to try it. I don't know if it will enhance my hair growth but it feels sooooooo goooooood. Some people hate it but it works for me. I decided the next step is to add oil to my twice a week scalp massage. See the slow progression? You gotta do it slow.

Don't put pressure on yourself to radically change. One thing at a time. Preventing new damage, giving your body good food to make hair out of, and caring for your health in general are the basics. Add patience and you will have long and healthy hair. Everything else is icing on the cake.

ETA: I also replaced my shower filter, which was a year overdue. Next step is to get a water softening system but for now, my sprite filter shower head is an improvement from city water.

polishrose
August 9th, 2014, 02:25 PM
Thank you all so much for your advice. So much information to take in. Good idea to write it all down to know what helps and what doesn't. I have a little shopping list of things to buy. :)

LongHairLesbian
August 10th, 2014, 01:12 AM
Amanada_the_tall, what might help reduce tangles and damage during the shower is doing a light oiling before shampooing. It doesn't need to be an overnight treatment, just a little bit of oil on your length and ends shortly before you hop in the shower. For pretty much all my life before LHC, the shower was my danger zone when it came to tangles and damage. I've never dyed or used much heat, but water and shampoo with or without sulfates, and despite using lots of conditioner with or without cones, has always made my hair a matted rat's nest of tangles. I found it hard to stop ripping a brush through my wet hair, because gentle detangling always took 20-40 minutes. Then I started putting a small amount of coconut oil on my length, focusing on my ends, before shampooing my hair. And it made a WORLD of difference. I could have teared up when it took me less than ten minutes to finger detangle all the knots out of my hair, and it was so happy and moisturized. The oil creates a barrier between the stripping effects of the shampoo and your hair. By the time I shampoo, my scalp hair is oily, so it won't get dried out from the shampoo. But the hair below my shoulders is far away from the oiliness of my scalp, and that means that there is absolutely no reason for shampoo to touch it directly; that product is (almost) always intended for the scalp only, unless you are doing a heavy oil treatment or something. In my experience, any oil will do. :) I'm fine and straight, so I don't need more than one finger scoop of oil for all my hair, but everyone is different, it depends on how much oil your hair needs and can take.

Honestly, I can't recommend pre-wash oiling enough for people with medium to long hair. I don't even do deep conditioning treatments anymore, because I feel like my hair doesn't need it. Maybe that will change when the dry, dry fall and winter roll around, but for now my routine is simple, but produces great results.

Dickiebow
August 10th, 2014, 12:20 PM
polishrose - good thread. Its very helpful for a newbie like me. My hair sounds similar to yours with bleach and heat damage and awful layers and I didn't know quite were to begin. It would have been easy to try everything at once and not know what worked and what didn't. I saved this so I can refer back. Thanks and good luck with your hair.