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hopeforchange
August 13th, 2014, 03:33 PM
Hey, I'm new here and this site is overwhelming!! I've been growing my hair out for a couple of years now, from a pixie cut, and it is almost BSL now. But it's not very healthy and I don't know what to do to help it out. I know the basics of caring for hair; I went a long time without blow drying it and I only wash it every 4 days. I have recently started blow drying it because I have to look neat and professional at my job, so I can't go out with wet hair. I figured that at least I only wash it and blow dry it every 4 days instead of every day or every other day, lol. I use a fair amount of product in it right now to try and make it thicker and shinier, but it's not working.

My hair is dull and frizzy. It tangles easily and I shed SO MUCH! It's very fine and while I'm a ii, my hair quickly thins out. My ends are definitely damaged from a bad brand of hair dye a couple of years ago that stripped my hair. :-/ I have been contemplating just getting a couple of inches trimmed off, but I'm not sure if I should do that or not.

What are some things I can do to make my hair healthier? I would like to have fuller, shinier hair, the way my hair used to be several years ago. I'm a student and a single mom so my money and time are limited...cheap things that I can work into my busy schedule are preferable!

I look forward to hanging out here!

meteor
August 13th, 2014, 03:43 PM
A few things that I'd recommend right away:
- checking your detangling tools and using them slowly, without ripping through hair: you should detangle with fingers and/or wide-tooth seemless combs
- sleeping with hair contained on silk/satin (pillowcase / sleep cap / scarf / shirt) - this really reduces frizz and cuticle damage during sleep;
- pre-poo oiling: here's a great article on this - http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2014/03/oil-pre-shampoo-or-pre-wash.html
- Condition-Wash-Condition (CWC) or WCC (conditioning twice post-wash);
- washing only when needed (don't overwash your hair, as wet manipulation, exposure to detergents, hygral fatigue aren't great for hair);
- hydrolyzed protein treatments if your hair is really damaged and likes protein: here is one based on gelatin - http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2014/04/gelatin-protein-treatment-recipe-update.html
- maybe looking into SMTs as your deep treatments (conditioner + honey + aloe vera) or adding oil to your conditioner...

It would help us give more targeted advice if you could share your routine! :D

meteor
August 13th, 2014, 03:54 PM
I forgot to add 2 really great articles for understanding damaged hair and its needs:

Damaged Hair: Understanding, Preventing & Rehabilitating by Nightshade: http://web.archive.org/web/20120125071723/http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79

Deep Conditioning : What Ingredients in Hair Conditioner Penetrate Hair? by Natural Haven Bloom: http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2012/10/deep-conditioning-what-ingredients-in.html

"Penetrating Ingredients:
Natural Hair - No Processing
-water
-hydrolysed wheat protein
-coconut oil
-cetrimonium bromide
-caffeine
-panthenol

Bleached Hair, Relaxed Hair or Damaged Hair (i.e cuticle damage)
- everything in the unprocessed natural hair list above
-some amino acids enhanced by being in a creamy conditioner (arginine, glycine, glutamic acid, phenylalanine, histidine)
-artificial peptides (similar to hydrolysed protein)
-some silicones or amodimethicones (Trimethylsilylamodimethicone)
-hydrolysed palm oil
-18MEA"

HTH! And Happy Growing! :D

Madora
August 13th, 2014, 03:57 PM
Generally speaking, if you can get away from using the blow fryer (unless you use it on cold), then the better for your hair.

The more stuff you put on your hair, the more stuff it will pick up from the air, resulting in it getting dirtier faster, which means more frequent shampooing. If at all possible, limit your shampooing to once a week.

To help with frizzies, try baby oil, mineral oil. It helps moisturize, tames the frizzies, and provides slip for detangling. You use it very sparingly..a drop or two, placed on your hands/fingers. Your hands are then applied to your damp hair until the sheen on your palms has disappeared. Never apply MO directly to the scalp.

I would suggest that you clarify your hair to begin with. Neutrogena Anti-Residue clarifying shampoo has received good reviews her and really works. The clarifying shampoo strips your strands of everything that has accumulated on it. Be sure you follow the clarifying shampoo with a conditioning treatment afterwards.

If I were you, I'd definitely get as much damage trimmed off as possible, because damage only gets worse once the strands are compromised with splits/white dots.

Once your hair is rid of the damage, you can concentrate on finding a gentle shampoo and a gentle conditioner and can experiment with what works best for you. You do not need a lot of lather to get a good shampoo! For the sake of your hair, before shampooing, brush your hair thoroughly.

Also consider your nutrition. Hair is only as healthy as the diet you consume. Drink plenty of water. You might want to look into hair supplements also..but be careful not to go "hog wild" and take too large quantities. Biotin has been recommended by some to help hair grow. Some report good results, other report it didn't do a thing for them. In some people biotin caused acne outbreaks.

Above all, treat your hair gently when you comb it. I believe in daily brushing myself, with a pure 100% boar bristle brush. The bbb helps rid your hair of dirt/lint, it helps stimulate your follicles, and in time leaves your hair shiny and soft.

Always detangle your hair with a comb, never a brush.

Hair is weakest when it is wet, so treat it gently.

Protect your delicate ends by wearing your hair up and using a silk pillow case cover. Avoid harsh heating/bleaching/dying products. Air drying is healthiest for your hair. If you want to dry your hair quickly, try standing near a large fan and gently combing it (after it has been detangled, of course). I have a procedure that I use that drys my knee length hair in 20 minutes outdoors (or 45 minutes indoors using a portable electric heater).

Some final tips about mineral oil. Johnson and Johnson makes a very good version that contains ONLY mineral oil plus fragrance. Avoid MOs that have additives as these are not as effective. MO is very lightweight, does not leave an after scent, and washes out easily in your next shampoo. It is best applied to damp hair.

Hope this helps! And whatever you decide, try and limit yourself to a 2 week trial period to see whether or not the product works for you, before going on to something else.

Good luck, hopeforchange!

hopeforchange
August 13th, 2014, 04:01 PM
Thanks, I'll check out those articles!!

My current routine: wash every 4th day (every once in a while, I go longer)
I use Suave Professionals Clean Hair shampoo and conditioner
Finger comb conditioner in during shower and let it sit for a few minutes
Wrap hair in microfiber towel for a few minutes then comb with a wide tooth comb
Let air dry as long as possible (how long depends on my schedule)
use It's a Perfect 10 leave-in conditioner spray with keratin
Use volumizing mousse with collagen
blow dry
Use Bed Head After Party to try and smooth down all the frizzy fly aways

I usually wear my hair down the day I wash it, but the following days it's up in a ponytail or bun, especially right now when it's so hot outside. I don't braid it often because I'm not very good at braiding and once I braid it, the waves are just out of control, lol.

meteor
August 13th, 2014, 04:09 PM
I like your routine!

But I'd ditch or limit blow-drying and ponytails, if possible - many people notice mechanical damage/breakage around ponytail holders. Buns and braids are really preferable.

If you must blow-dry, use cool setting, if possible, to avoid heat damage.

Here's Madora's drying technique (presented by LauraLongLocks) that should speed up air-drying and minimize your need for blow-dryers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbgB6WhMl4Y

Madora
August 13th, 2014, 04:13 PM
hopeforchange, if at all possible, try and limit your use of ponytail holders. They're not hair friendly because over time they can lead to hair loss at the place where the ponytail begins. They can also cause traction alopecia (from hair being pulled back too tightly/snugly over and over).

Instead, try using a hair friendly clip, or ribbons. All in one barrettes are a great example of a hair friendly hair container. All one piece so nothing to snag the hair. Goody makes a nice one (2 sizes and 2 colors) that is easy to use and relatively inexpensive to boot.

lapushka
August 13th, 2014, 04:53 PM
Using a blow dryer is not damaging, if you use it sensibly (on warm/cool is fine). If you can hold your hand in the airstream without it burning, then it's absolutely *fine* for your hair. Don't buy into the myth that "blowfryers" are damaging.

Issa
August 13th, 2014, 05:09 PM
All in one barrettes are a great example of a hair friendly hair container. All one piece so nothing to snag the hair. Goody makes a nice one (2 sizes and 2 colors) that is easy to use and relatively inexpensive to boot.

Do you have a link for this? I'm a newbie/lurker and I haven't heard of this yet, and I'm intrigued!

Madora
August 13th, 2014, 07:13 PM
Do you have a link for this? I'm a newbie/lurker and I haven't heard of this yet, and I'm intrigued!

Issa, I don't know if it is still available. Doesn't seem to be on the Goody.com website.

However, here is a website that does have it (assuming it is still being sold): http://www.drugstore.com/goody-comfort-flex-updo-barrette/qxp299224?catid=183396&fromsrch=Goody&aid=333840&aparam=C3H2VJY851s-xWxXDeg5KbKNsj5LDyikIQ

I bought 4 of these at Target about 2 years ago. Another hair friendly barrette also made by Goody was an all in one metal barrette. They came in large and small sizes.

ETA: link to pic of one piece barrettes: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41E2FCiM9pL._SY300_.jpg This is just for reference. I don't know the company that made these.

SunlightShines
August 13th, 2014, 07:43 PM
Hopeforchange, I would recommend that you don't blow dry fully, leave it just slightly damp. Goody spin pins and hair sticks are a couple of good ways to hold your hair without damage. You might also consider using a shampoo & conditioner made for color treated hair. I use Biotera Ultra Color Care. I don't dye my hair, but I found it's much gentler than the regular types & it's sulfate free. I buy it at Sally's Beauty. I also use a leave-in spritzer made out of water, aloe, glycerin, lavender and rosemary eo's and before I put my hair up I use one drop of jojoba oil on the ends and then just run my hands over the rest of my hair. Then bun or braid, which ever works for you. Unfortunately, patience is the main ingredient. I also found that my hair needs change with different stages, so I'm always adjusting. Good luck...and I hope that I've given you some helpful info to go along with everyone elses! :)

SunlightShines
August 13th, 2014, 08:10 PM
I forgot to mention that finding the right protein/moisture balance for you hair is essential! If you use protein on your hair, follow it up with a good moisture treatment. Protein will strengthen it and moisture will give it softness. But, too much protein can make hair brittle, as well as too much moisture can make it weak.

hopeforchange
August 13th, 2014, 09:03 PM
Thanks for the tips! Maybe ponytailing my hair so often has cause a lot of breakage and that's what's led to my hair being so thin.

Some of what I've read on the forum seems to indicate that you shouldn't comb your hair at all while it's wet. But is it ok to comb it if you're really careful? My current hair dryer doesn't have a cool setting so I should prolly get a new one that does. Part of the reason I started blowing my hair dry is because it makes is straighter and less frizzy. Putting the mousse in really helps give my hair texture and volume. If I just let it air dry, it is SOO smooth and flat, while also being frizzy. If I always put my hair up, that doesn't really matter so much, but I don't want to put it up every day. :-/

hopeforchange
August 13th, 2014, 09:04 PM
Thanks for the tips! Maybe ponytailing my hair so often has cause a lot of breakage and that's what's led to my hair being so thin.

Some of what I've read on the forum seems to indicate that you shouldn't comb your hair at all while it's wet. But is it ok to comb it if you're really careful? My current hair dryer doesn't have a cool setting so I should prolly get a new one that does. Part of the reason I started blowing my hair dry is because it makes is straighter and less frizzy. Putting the mousse in really helps give my hair texture and volume. If I just let it air dry, it is SOO smooth and flat, while also being frizzy. If I always put my hair up, that doesn't really matter so much, but I don't want to put it up every day. :-/

Madora
August 13th, 2014, 09:10 PM
I have combed my hair when it was wet (and full of conditioner). There's no harm provided you work SLOWLY and gently, from the ends up to the scalp.

Nowadays, I just use a little bit of mineral oil to detangle on damp hair. I center part my hair so that it is in two sections. One section is clipped aside so that it doesn't get in the way.

Then I start on the other side of my head, taking SMALL sections (not more than a finger width) and begin to detangle from the bottom up, with my wide tooth comb.

Once that side is done, it is clipped to keep it from getting mixed with the undetangled hair.

Once all the hair has been detangled, I go outside and airdry my hair, using my "fanning method".

hopeforchange
August 14th, 2014, 11:52 AM
When you braid your hair, what's the best way to secure the braid at the end? Is one of the snag free rubber bands ok? Or those tiny hair elastics?

Also, I'm just getting back into exercising regularly. And I sweat a lot, which means I'm going to need to wash my hair more often. Is that going to cause damage to my hair?

hopeforchange
August 19th, 2014, 08:49 PM
Update: I'm doing CWC, keeping my hair up and braiding it at night. I don't like braiding it though because of the waves/poof that comes from braiding it. I'm not sure how else to keep it out of the way at night.

I don't think my hair needs protein. I tend to think it's dry because it's dull and has some damage from bad hair color on the ends. What's the best oil to start out using? Is mineral oil good for moisturizing the hair or just taming the flyaways?

I want to do the clarifying shampoo on my hair, but I'm not sure what kind of conditioning treatment to do afterwards. Suggestions?