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Scelesta
February 12th, 2015, 08:25 AM
Yesterday on a whim i dug out my hair straightener just for fun, and to pamper myself. i used super low heat settings.

I love how it looks straight, its silky soft and even after i slept in it last night there were no tangles! My natural texture tangles so fast its annoying.Also the length!!! Once it was straightened out the front portion is maybe 1/4-1/2 inch past my shoulders the back part is midway to APL(grew out pixie with no trims) I want to start using my straightener again :(

So are there any ways i can minimize the damage i'm doing by straightening a couple times a week, with touchups in between? I plan to stop washing/wetting my hair daily so i dont have to use the heat on it every day, and I know me welll enough to know some days i'm going to be to lazy to bother doing anything to my hair haha

(on a side note i'm shocked its the first time i've ever straightened my hair and didnt have crispy tips and a bunch of small broken off fried hairs on my shoulders...the bleach damage to my hair combined with me always having my straightener on the highest possible heatsetting(I didnt think the low setting would actually do anything.I was stupid lol ) did bad things, i'm glad i cut alll that out! )

oh and pics cause i'm bored :

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m314/Dana_Everett/after1_zpscaca1a32.png (http://s107.photobucket.com/user/Dana_Everett/media/after1_zpscaca1a32.png.html)

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m314/Dana_Everett/length1_zpsc14bdb5c.png (http://s107.photobucket.com/user/Dana_Everett/media/length1_zpsc14bdb5c.png.html)

hanne jensen
February 12th, 2015, 08:30 AM
I would say heat and hair don't mix.

M.McDonough
February 12th, 2015, 08:48 AM
I personally use a product called ''tresemme heat defence styling spray'' if I want to straighten my hair. But now I haven't done that in like 3 weeks. I found a better way to straighten out my hair and avoid heat and that's by using rubber hair bands one after the other and tying back my hair in a ponytail before bedtime. BTW your hair looks nice

Sarahlabyrinth
February 12th, 2015, 09:12 AM
I also think that heat and hair don't mix - at least hair-straightener kind of heat. Could you blow dry it straight instead, using a much lower heat?

If you are aiming for knee length, then I would say ditch your straightener altogether, your hair will not thank you for using it, however much fun it may be at the moment.

Nightshade
February 12th, 2015, 09:26 AM
No, there isn't.

It feels great now, but the damage of heat is cumulative. It's just what it is. Even on the low setting, you're still going to see damage eventually.

The other thing to consider is that a lot of people get trapped in the "my hair looks bad and frizzy because I straighten, so now I have to straighten it to look nice, which damages it more, which repeats the cycle" thing. If you're serious about any sort of length past your shoulders, you cannot use heat to the degree that it will straighten your hair, and for sure not multiple times a week.

ETA: You're also only at shoulder length, so your oldest hair is probably about a year and a half or so old. At knee? You're looking at hair that is about a decade old. Because you cannot repair damage on hair, you're weakening and damaging it so early at shoulder length that it will never make it to knee. Making it to knee and other extreme lengths takes a lot of updos, careful handling, and pampering because hair just naturally accumulates some low level of damage over time. From washing, from gentle combing, from rubbing on surrounding hairs. You can't inflict something like heat straightening on hair and expect it to hold up for the next 10 or so years. "It isn't damaged by straightening" at shoulder is going to turn into "omg my hair is so damaged" by APL, or BSL. And it probably won't ever get much longer than that because it will be breaking off faster than it can grow.

MINAKO
February 12th, 2015, 10:19 AM
the only way to minimize damage when using heat is to preserve the style as long as you can and deep ondition well before AND after. my hair can take heat extremely easy and i still use a pretty high setting, just not a couple times a week, sometimes not even once a month. there needs to be a balance in the moisture levels and you cant keep it using heat that often. so i would suggest wearing your hair up and only enjoying it straight every other week or so at most.
i hate blowdrying on my own hair, the mechanical damage it cause is far more severe than a flatiron could be, but this depends on the type of hair i guess.

endlessly
February 12th, 2015, 10:47 AM
Personally, I don't recommend heat because it is incredibly damaging to your hair...however, using a heat protection spray can help and making sure you really treat your hair before using heat might reduce the damage by strengthening your hair.

Nique1202
February 12th, 2015, 10:58 AM
Heat treatments will always cause cumulative damage, unfortunately. Just like using elastics, and hair rubbing against clothes and chair backs and bag straps. You can try to minimize the other ways your hair might accumulate damage, to offset the heat damage you'd be doing, but that generally involves wearing it up, which makes the straightening nearly useless anyway because you won't see it or feel it except when you're styling your hair.

As your hair gets longer, you'll be able to use different methods to get heat-free straightening. As for the tangle-proneness, you're better off finding a combination of washing and post-wash sealing or lubrication to prevent tangles. It might take a while to find the right set of products, and it might not end up being what you'd expect, but there are LOADS of threads to explore on these forums for suggestions. I'm sure if you search for "tangles" or "tangle prone" you'll find some good ideas to try out.

lapushka
February 12th, 2015, 10:59 AM
Especially when straightening two (2!) times a week, this is going to be a disaster. The low heat setting on a heat tool is not the same as the low heat setting on a blow dryer. Temperatures on a heat tool run much higher and even the lowest setting can do damage (white dots). Before you know it your hair is going to be riddled with them.

Majorane
February 12th, 2015, 11:15 AM
I am sorry to jump on the train here, but I agree with what was said above. If you want to grow your hair long, like, past apl long really, you have to try and not use heat. I'm no angel myself and I don't avoid all damage inducing items and practices, but heat really was the worst for me and it's just so harsh for your hair. You could straighten your hair if you really enjoy it, but that will mean you will probably have damage when you hit APL+ and then you have to either chop back or maintain and monthly trim to get the damage out - for YEARS.
Of course, maybe you have magical hair that does not damage easily, it's possible! But for the vast majority, it will kill your hair. As for those protector sprays..... mmmmmmyeah I wouldn't put too much hope in their protective abilities. Heat is heat, it will still make the innards of your hair boil, and it doesn't like doing that.

Assumption: do you like the straightening so much because it makes your hair look longer? Because it smoothes out the waves? If yes: that what you achieve with a flstiron now, will be what you'll naturally have in half a year, lenghtwise, if you just happily grow. As for the tangles, there are others much more versed in that but I am sure there is a tangle reducing regime out there for you.

Sorry to pee on your parade, I do understand you much rather have us say it is okay ti straighten, but it's not and certainly not every other day. :(

snowyx
February 12th, 2015, 11:26 AM
My suggestion is to use a blow drier on warm or cool + a brush or comb to get the sleeker look. I blow-dried on the highest heat setting my hair every time I washed it until I was 12 and my hair wouldn't row past APL. Especially because you want to grow to knee, I don't thing it is a good idea. But in the end it is your hair, and if you like to straighten it, go for it! :)

ghost
February 12th, 2015, 11:28 AM
Believe me, I feel you on the wanting nice, sleek hair. Sadly, there's no way to completely reduce heat damage and the longer you have your hair, the older and more fragile it's going to be. I can get away with straightening my bangs because they're so short, but I would never use a straightener anywhere past my collar bone.
Supposedly blow drying on low/medium heat doesn't cause that much heat damage, but then you have to look at mechanical damage: to get straight hair by blow drying, you have to brush and brush and brush it, using a lot of tension to pull your hair completely straight.

If you like the shine from heat styling, a weekly oil mask (I like coconut oil but you can use whatever...olive, almond, argan, I've even heard of people using baby oil (http://www.xovain.com/hair/you-can-get-shiny-hair-like-ours-even-without-indian-genes)) will boost shine. Or if you like sleek hair, a coney serum will add some weight to your hair and make it less frizzy/fluffy.

JustPam
February 12th, 2015, 11:29 AM
Low heat settings do not exist on straighteners, the lowest mines goes is 120C, more than hot enough to make the precious moisture inside the hair boil, expand and burst through the shaft, leaving lots of little white dots, which look like this (http://www.colourcodesalon.com/-hair_twh_74_03.jpg) up close in case you hadn't seen it, because that picture alone was enough for me to swear off hot tools, and made me realise why my hair never used to grow past APL.

Rebecka
February 12th, 2015, 11:32 AM
First I'll say like everyone else did; Heat is baaaaaaad etc etc and blahablaha yada-yada und so weiter.

But something nice to know can be that if you search on youtube for ways of straightening hair without heat there are pretty nice ways for it.

I never use heat anymore,
for curls-nope, there are better ways.
for straightening-nope, there are better ways.
for blowdrying- yes, if I want to be a poodle for halloween maybe that would be nice.

Heat makes the hair unhappy in the long run, I know from experience.

Lavendersugar
February 12th, 2015, 12:12 PM
Using a silicone based serum can help drastically reduce damage. Serums work better than sprays because generally the first ingredient in a spray is water. You want something that is silicone based like Bumble and Bumble Defrizz.
Sprays are ok for blow drying on medium heat but they do not offer protection for high heat styling. That being said I do agree that to go long heat needs to be ver limited aside from occasionally blow drying on a safe heat.

Everyone is different. My niece has hair to her to bottom of her hip and she uses curling irons several times a week. She even has her hair highlighted. Her hair looks very healthy and feels great too. She's in her mid 20s and has had long hair her whole life. Each year she cuts it off up to waist then grows it back to bottom of her hip. Her hair grows back in a about 6 months. It is like she's usung miracle grow for hair.
So what her hair can withstand might not be what someone else can handle. It is best to know your own limitations. I do think some can get away with it but most can not.

I am very antiheat including blow dryng if oil treatments are used. It is simply common sense that oil and heat fry. I think a lot people over look it where hair is concerned. Don't get me wrong I think oil is great for hair if you do not use any heat.

Also, if you plan to use high heat hair should be bone dry to the core. Any water will cause damage. It will make the hair explode is the best way I can describe it.

There are all kinds of options to get hair shiny and smooth. Using a serum with a fingerbrush or my favorite is a wooden bristle paddle brush. I found that boar rips at my hair when wet.
I personally use henna and do not need serums for shine. I do use protection when blow drying.
Henna treatments create amazing shine! If you do not want the color you can do a gloss treatment without dye release. Cassia is also good for shine.
I found that Suave conditioner gives my hair the moisture it needs for that silky smooth feeling. Finding the right products for your hair is a big bonus.
Also, canned full fat coconut milk hair treatments give amazing shine and smoothness.

Last time I had my hair long I did tons of heat styling and even dying but I was younger. I was lucky and had strong hair. Now that I'm older there's no way I would risk it. I may heat style with a curling iron once every few months but that is it. I prefer my hair straight which my natural texture.

I'm sure with a little effort you can find something that will work for you and possibly cause less harm.


Just a note on blow drying. Letting hair air dry first and not dryimg soaking wet hair lessens damage. Using low or medium heat, never high heat. If you want smooth hair work in sections keeping the dryer at least 4-5 inches from the hair as it follows the brush down your length. Give your hair days off from blow drying.

Also I think if you have any of type 1 hair texture it's less work for the smooth look. If you are 2 and above you really want to weigh options on fighting your natural or just going with it.
I can't stress how important a brush with wooden bristle can be when blow drying hair. There is not drag on the hair. Bass makes great ones. I love their S shape one. I use the Earth therapeutics paddle for blow drying because it is huge. I like the Bass for dry hair. Oh and horn combs are great too. If you prefer you can find wooden combs just make sure it is well sanded and smooth.

Omg I'm sorry for such a long post. :(

laceyfairy
February 12th, 2015, 01:45 PM
Not really. You can do it on a heat-safe wig ;)

MINAKO
February 12th, 2015, 02:01 PM
First I'll say like everyone else did; Heat is baaaaaaad etc etc and blahablaha yada-yada und so weiter.

But something nice to know can be that if you search on youtube for ways of straightening hair without heat there are pretty nice ways for it.

I never use heat anymore,
for curls-nope, there are better ways.
for straightening-nope, there are better ways.
for blowdrying- yes, if I want to be a poodle for halloween maybe that would be nice.

Heat makes the hair unhappy in the long run, I know from experience.

to straighten hair nothing compares to a flatiron, really nothing. more gentle ways, yes... straighter, silkier, longer lasting (on healthy hair) nope, just my two cents.

Rebecka
February 12th, 2015, 02:15 PM
to straighten hair nothing compares to a flatiron, really nothing. more gentle ways, yes... straighter, silkier, longer lasting (on healthy hair) nope, just my two cents.

I can understand that you think so, but for me its not. I keep learning better ways to do it and do it so often it's really starting to look good now. But i'm not against flat irons or anything, your hair- your choice. I just wrote from my own experience :)

MINAKO
February 12th, 2015, 02:20 PM
I can understand that you think so, but for me its not. I keep learning better ways to do it and do it so often it's really starting to look good now. But i'm not against flat irons or anything, your hair- your choice. I just wrote from my own experience :)

Well, you might want to share your technique in that case. You got me curious now. :)

Nightshade
February 12th, 2015, 02:40 PM
to straighten hair nothing compares to a flatiron, really nothing. more gentle ways, yes... straighter, silkier, longer lasting (on healthy hair) nope, just my two cents.

I do agree, from an immediate gratification standpoint, but not from a long-term standpoint :)

Also, I think you said you straighten once every month or two? OP is talking about several times a week, which will compound any damage much faster :)

Cania
February 12th, 2015, 02:43 PM
I personally use a product called ''tresemme heat defence styling spray'' if I want to straighten my hair. But now I haven't done that in like 3 weeks. I found a better way to straighten out my hair and avoid heat and that's by using rubber hair bands one after the other and tying back my hair in a ponytail before bedtime. BTW your hair looks nice

I wouldn't recommend this method either, I can't imagine all that rubber on your hair is good for it, especially on removal.

Arctic
February 12th, 2015, 02:49 PM
I don't know OP's hair type, but I am suggesting blowdrying too.

Granted I don't have such hair length goals like she has, and I trim my hair regularly, but my personal experience has been that I have not seen any ill effects from gentle but frequent blowdrying. Many curlies blowdry daily (with diffuser). My hair is little past shoulders, it's not very wavy but a mixture of fine, medium and some coarse hairs. The coarse ones are quite curly, while some hairs are straight, and some in-between. The overall look of my natural texture is about 1c-2a-2b (all together at the same time!) I think. I get my hair looking nice and smooth very easily with blowdrying.

The best tips I have:

- it all starts in the shower: I try to get my hair as sleek as possible. I gently dry my hair with an old t-shirt which doesn't ruffle hairs. Then I comb with wide tooth comb
- you can use heat protectors, I use leave in conditioner and mousse usually, the latter has some sort of heat protector but I am not putting too much weight of them. Anyway some sort of styling product will help your blowdry look nice
- let your hair air dry a while before beginning. It's only waste of time and effort to start with sopping wet hair (only exception is if you have cowlicks at some spot, they tend to be better controlled when starting with quite wet hair. Some people also like to dry their fringe/bangs as soon as possible)
- I like to use low/medium heat and low to medium speed
- you start rough drying with your hands, and only finish up with brush. With hands you first dry roots and then start putting gentle tension to strands.
- use the concentration nozzle (is that it's name?) and keep the nozzle/air flow pointing down, towards the tips of your hair
- keep the dryer moving so the heat is not at one spot very long, but move it in a controlled manner, not waving it around which ever way. This keeps the cuticle laying down in a correct way and doesn't make your hair messy
- for everyday wear I almost never use brush at all, only fingers. Detailed brush drying is for special occasions for me. If you have time and want to, you can put the still warm hair in BIG rollers to cool, this gives nice body and bends the ends. You can also put a tiny bit of serum etc in the end of the process, just rub a bit in your hands and glide them against your hair's surface gently.


It's probably not the same as straightener, but this has helped to keep me very happy with my hair.

mz_butterfly
February 12th, 2015, 02:49 PM
I would say heat and hair don't mix.

I echo this. You may not notice it for the first few times, but if you want to grow your hair, heat will always end up in damage.

Those spray on "protectors" are just snake oil, they do not work. They are silicones that fill the hair shaft and splits and make it look like it's all fine, but later on you will see the damage.

Heat sucks the moisture out of your hair, you are basically boiling your hair with that heat.

Everybody can do as they wish, but you aren't going to have long or healthy hair if you make a habit of using heat. I never use heat but if it were a special occasion, and by special I mean maybe once a year, that would be the limit.

lapushka
February 12th, 2015, 03:04 PM
When I had my perm set at shoulder length, about 4/5 years ago, I didn't like the curls at one point and we started straightening it (my mom did this for me). She could see, by then, white dots in the hair, but the heat only made it worse. I grew my hair out, yes I did, to hip length, while it was riddled with white dots. What happened? S&D sessions at hip length, thinking I could keep the length. Boy was that silly of me. S&D thinned out my length considerably, halved it because that's how many white dots I had (from heat once a week). My hair had to be cut back to BSL. So what did I gain? Not a thing! You might as well shave your hair right back off. :(

MINAKO
February 12th, 2015, 03:26 PM
I do agree, from an immediate gratification standpoint, but not from a long-term standpoint :)

Also, I think you said you straighten once every month or two? OP is talking about several times a week, which will compound any damage much faster :)

yes, of course i was talking about immediate results on healthy hair, but with too frequent use thats not a given anymore sooner or later. i mentioned in my previous post that less often would certainly do a big part of the teick on keeping hair healthy. method like wrapping or such might work at this length up to 2b hair i'd say.
a permanent need for straight hair needs a more permanent solution, thats why i started the keratin treatment. I can get away with it and keep my hair healthy, i know it happens in a different way for alot of other people. As with everything, i recommend strand testing.

Five of Five
February 12th, 2015, 04:01 PM
I have to echo what other people have said about the cumulative effect of heat. It just depends on if you are attached to a particular texture more than you are to gaining length. For what it's worth, I think you look lovely in both pictures, but in your wavy avatar you look like a porcelain doll :thud:

If you're still considering working with your wavy texture, have you tried mineral oil to help out with the tangles? It prevents them for me more than anything else (aside from protective updos, of course!) and leaves no residue or greasy look.

Also, since you've grown out straight from a pixie, is it possible the tangles are traveling upwards because your ends might need a small trim? They do look healthy to me, but velcro-ends can be rather insidious!

Good luck with whatever you decide :blossom:

midnight_blue
February 12th, 2015, 04:20 PM
Buy a wig and straighten that? Can't think of a safer way to use straighteners I'm afraid. I'm lucky that blowdrying on cool with some finger combing will give me straight hair, but then I'm also not that bothered about having straight hair which is why it's braided so often, I like the waves!

Scelesta
February 12th, 2015, 04:27 PM
Sorry i was slow to reply i got super busy this morning somehow!

Anyways, I think ya'll are right as much as I love the sleek look it sounds to damaging to do often I dont want to set myself back and have to hack it off again. I dont even own a blow dryer! I did once but i found all it did was turn my hair into a poofy laugh worthy disaster so i threw it out. I'm going to look into the no heat options and see if those are something i'm able to do. I think i'm just frustrated with my appearance right now and badly wanting a change and straightening it gave me that.

I'm all to familar with the white dots, back before i cut it off my hair was full of them(and horrific split ends) i didnt know it was caused by heat didnt really care back then, i figured it was all the bleaching and dying that caused it so i went on flat ironing, heck i didnt stop flat ironing my hair even when the ends felt and looked fried *cringes*

I'm thinking maybe Its time i buy a hair toy to remind myself why i dont want to be using heat even if its "pretty" lol

lapushka
February 12th, 2015, 04:41 PM
I'd get a blow dryer, so you can at least dry it if you don't want it wet for long periods of time. If used on cool/warmish temps. it's not going to cause harm. Heck my hair is TBL+, has been diffused all its life and has no splits or white dots.

spidermom
February 12th, 2015, 05:03 PM
Best is no heat, especially if your goal is still super-long. However, my hair stylist tells me that you can minimize damage by investing in a good protective spray and doing ONLY ONE PASS with the straightener per strand. Some strands are not going to go perfectly straight with one pass, but resist the temptation to do "one more pass". Not all hair is the same. Some hair types can take heat better than others.

With a blow dryer, the trick is to section your hair off. I divide mine horizontally from ear to ear and dry the bottom 1/3 to 1/4 first, then work my way up section by section. You must keep the blow dryer above the strand of hair that you're working with, pointing down the strand. Never blow from below unless you want lots of uncontrollable volume. If your hair still looks fluffy after getting it dry to mostly dry, do one of those caterpillar ponytails down the back of your head with soft hair ties and leave it pulled back for about 15 minutes. Don't pull anything tight or it will make a dent. I use warm around my head and cool toward the ends, and I don't bother to get my hair bone dry (it takes too long). Nondrippy is usually what I'm going for.

Kendrix
February 12th, 2015, 05:25 PM
You know, I have a slightly related/unrelated question myself. I have abstained from heat tools since I was at APL 5 years ago (currently at hip). But I still take hot showers with a cold rinse. Is hot shower water damaging enough to cause the kind of damage that a straightener or blow drier can cause? Does it damage at all? I have been thinking about it a lot.

Nique1202
February 12th, 2015, 05:46 PM
You know, I have a slightly related/unrelated question myself. I have abstained from heat tools since I was at APL 5 years ago (currently at hip). But I still take hot showers with a cold rinse. Is hot shower water damaging enough to cause the kind of damage that a straightener or blow drier can cause? Does it damage at all? I have been thinking about it a lot.

Hot water in a shower isn't much above body temperature, which is what the moisture in your hair would experience from being next to your scalp. The damage potential during washing is mostly in stretching and snapping the hair, which can become more elastic when wet.

spidermom
February 12th, 2015, 05:52 PM
You know, I have a slightly related/unrelated question myself. I have abstained from heat tools since I was at APL 5 years ago (currently at hip). But I still take hot showers with a cold rinse. Is hot shower water damaging enough to cause the kind of damage that a straightener or blow drier can cause? Does it damage at all? I have been thinking about it a lot.

Not a problem. One of the tests for "is this too hot?" is to hold it 1 inch from the skin of your neck. No burn? It's good.

kganihanova
February 12th, 2015, 06:49 PM
By all means, flat iron frequently but know that you'll have to make the trade off of long hair for perfect looking, sleek hair that is shoulder to apl. Many women make this trade off. I think that actually sounds rather fun, but at this moment I want long hair. In high school when I didn't want hair longer than BSL, heat a couple times a month was fine because it was getting trimmed off every 3 months. tl;dr: do it but live with the consequences.

Doreen
February 12th, 2015, 08:52 PM
kganihanova makes a good point! I have definitely made a lot of "pit stops" in my growing process, maintaining at certain lengths to trim off old damage and babying the ends, and this can be really rewarding too! When setting a length goal that is pretty far from where you are now, if you don't have a little bit of fun and give yourself wiggle room in the process, it could easily become miserable in the long-term. As long as you are mindful of what you're doing and how it may damage your hair, you should eventually be able to reach your goal! Best of luck!!

yahirwaO.o
February 12th, 2015, 09:45 PM
Well everything is already said.... some very few lucky people can grow their hair while still straighting everyday with very little damage (My cousin still has beautiful waves and she has grown her hair from shoulder to waist 2 times in 5 years row and its in fairly good condition with some frizz when she air dries but healthy)

That is not for everybody, I do occacionaly grab my moms flat iron when going out like 5 or 6 times per year, always make sure to deep conditioner before and after and damage does not happen. I also trim regularly so this is why it might not be relevant the damagae issue.

But if you really want real long hair yeah heat just does not get along with hair.

teddygirl
February 12th, 2015, 10:03 PM
I will give a slightly different answer, but yes, in general heat and hair don't go well together. HOWEVER I am of the belief that why have hair if you don't enjoy it? If you enjoy the straight sleek hair, then do it every once in a while. Key is how often. Twice a week is going to ruin all the good work you've done.

Marbid
February 12th, 2015, 10:46 PM
Just my two cents...

I also am into the ejoy your hair thing. But i also want extreme length..

So i straighten on the special occassion of trim time every 3 months and make it a point to go out somewhere and show of while its straight and freshly trimmed.... In the end i only do this 4 times a year. But sqeeze as much enjoyment out of it as you can. And then do a head wrap thingy to prolong the straight (i can prolong it for a whole two weeks with boar bristle brush to calm the oils plus my hair is not all that greasy anyways )

You can try that.. Just make it a very special occassion very few times in a year and sqeeze as much satisfaction out of it as possible.

By the time you strat getting anywhere near your hoal length, trust me, you wont be straightening your hair more than once anyear at most because it will be such a daunting task. Plus, long hair straightens out the waves on its own...

It takes me a good 3 to 4 hours to straighten my lil sisters classic length hair (she has high end ii thikness ) i do use heat protectants thou... But just so you can get some perspective...

Well thats it. My two cents.

Scelesta
February 13th, 2015, 08:37 AM
yeah, i dont really think i'll be straightening it much soon anyways, it already takes me to long as it is and when my hair gets a it longer it will take way to long and i'm frankly to lazy for that. If I really feel I MUST do it ill make a simple rule for myself, once a month only at most and if i want to keep it that way no washing/getting it wet as long as i can manage.

I think maybe i should just buy a new wig that is straight and the same length as my hair so that i can have the sleek look without the heat and work.

Hubby is all for buying me something pretty for my hair to keep me from runining my hard work/patience so far. He wants me to have long hair to and will be sad if i fry it with heat so bad i have to cut it short again.

Rebecka
February 13th, 2015, 09:02 AM
Well, you might want to share your technique in that case. You got me curious now. :)


Yes, I'm thinking about doing a thread about it when i have access to a camera again! :D

cheystar
February 13th, 2015, 10:29 AM
it is possible to GROW knee length hair+ after years of flat ironing. personal testimony here!
my mom also flat irons her hair pretty much every day and it's bsl-waist.

i want to make a point that there's no trade-off for choosing to straighten your hair twice a week. i don't know how fast your hair grows or what your terminal length is, but in my experience, straightening your hair doesn't mean it won't grow extremely long. the trade off is damage, not length. my hair was calf length ~2 months ago, but even after cutting off a good 7 inches from it, the last 1/4 of my hair still has split ends.

like everyone has already pointed out, damage is unavoidable and non-reversible.
i know the feeling of straightening your hair and being obsessed with the results! if you don't mind not quite as pretty ends as they could be, then by all means, flat iron away.

i'm not sure if i fully regret my years of heat damage, because i thoroughly enjoyed having straight hair. but i'm not sure if it was worth my ends not feeling as nice as the rest of my hair since i started only flat ironing once a year.

kganihanova
February 13th, 2015, 02:59 PM
it is possible to GROW knee length hair+ after years of flat ironing. personal testimony here!
my mom also flat irons her hair pretty much every day and it's bsl-waist.

i want to make a point that there's no trade-off for choosing to straighten your hair twice a week. i don't know how fast your hair grows or what your terminal length is, but in my experience, straightening your hair doesn't mean it won't grow extremely long. the trade off is damage, not length. my hair was calf length ~2 months ago, but even after cutting off a good 7 inches from it, the last 1/4 of my hair still has split ends.

like everyone has already pointed out, damage is unavoidable and non-reversible.
i know the feeling of straightening your hair and being obsessed with the results! if you don't mind not quite as pretty ends as they could be, then by all means, flat iron away.

i'm not sure if i fully regret my years of heat damage, because i thoroughly enjoyed having straight hair. but i'm not sure if it was worth my ends not feeling as nice as the rest of my hair since i started only flat ironing once a year.

I think I articulated that wrong. I did mean damage. I'm one of those people who hates having damage and as a result would cut all of the heat damaged hair off asap if I heat styled.

MINAKO
February 13th, 2015, 03:23 PM
heat damage is really more continous moisture loss and can be prevented or reversed up to certain temperatures. if you dont fry the hell out of your strands i dont see how it would "all break off" unless you dont use the right products to replenish the lost moisture content. its not like hair is falling apart or melting at over 100 celsius, it is moisture evaporating from it, leaving it less flexible and therefore causing the cuticle layers to wear off faster. at worst its the mechanical damage that finally breaks the hair that has been weakened, NOT the application of heat itself.

i would like to claim that i have absolutely zero visible damage from flatironing because i stick to the rule of leveling moisture and condition back to normal before doing it another time. maybe that takes a few deep treatments in between, but thats completly fine.

Panth
February 13th, 2015, 04:16 PM
it is possible to GROW knee length hair+ after years of flat ironing. personal testimony here!
my mom also flat irons her hair pretty much every day and it's bsl-waist.

i want to make a point that there's no trade-off for choosing to straighten your hair twice a week. i don't know how fast your hair grows or what your terminal length is, but in my experience, straightening your hair doesn't mean it won't grow extremely long. the trade off is damage, not length. my hair was calf length ~2 months ago, but even after cutting off a good 7 inches from it, the last 1/4 of my hair still has split ends.

like everyone has already pointed out, damage is unavoidable and non-reversible.
i know the feeling of straightening your hair and being obsessed with the results! if you don't mind not quite as pretty ends as they could be, then by all means, flat iron away.

i'm not sure if i fully regret my years of heat damage, because i thoroughly enjoyed having straight hair. but i'm not sure if it was worth my ends not feeling as nice as the rest of my hair since i started only flat ironing once a year.

...but damage will most definitely result in a trade-off in length sooner or later.

Wearing your hair loose every day damages it. In my case, that most definitely results in a trade-off in length: namely, I cannot grow longer than TBL whilst doing that.

It is not only plausible but pretty much guaranteed that if you damage hair repeatedly you will restrict both monthly length-gain and maximum achievable length (because if you're having the ends split off, that's length loss and every bit of length loss results in that individual hair being further from its theoretical true terminal length). If you were able to grow to knee after years of flat ironing, well, lucky you for having that particular amount and sort of damage not cause a false terminal before then. However, it's incredibly naive (and unhelpful) to suggest that your situation is anything other than extremely unusual. Indeed, it's quite common for people to be unable to grow past SL, APL or BSL from a combination of flat ironing and bleach/dye damage (both of which the OP has).

Panth
February 13th, 2015, 04:19 PM
heat damage is really more continous moisture loss and can be prevented or reversed up to certain temperatures. if you dont fry the hell out of your strands i dont see how it would "all break off" unless you dont use the right products to replenish the lost moisture content. its not like hair is falling apart or melting at over 100 celsius, it is moisture evaporating from it, leaving it less flexible and therefore causing the cuticle layers to wear off faster. at worst its the mechanical damage that finally breaks the hair that has been weakened, NOT the application of heat itself.

i would like to claim that i have absolutely zero visible damage from flatironing because i stick to the rule of leveling moisture and condition back to normal before doing it another time. maybe that takes a few deep treatments in between, but thats completly fine.

Hair is protein (keratin). Protein denatures at high temperatures. That means an irreversible breaking of the bonds that cause the protein to retain its 3D structure. I can't see how that cannot (over time) result in structural weakening of the hair.

It's similar to people who ignore the damaging effects of baking soda washing (highly alkaline) because they "reset" with an acidic rinse afterwards. Yes, you are re-setting back to a certain extent. However, that doesn't mean undoing all of the damage.

Nique1202
February 13th, 2015, 04:31 PM
heat damage is really more continous moisture loss and can be prevented or reversed up to certain temperatures. if you dont fry the hell out of your strands i dont see how it would "all break off" unless you dont use the right products to replenish the lost moisture content. its not like hair is falling apart or melting at over 100 celsius, it is moisture evaporating from it, leaving it less flexible and therefore causing the cuticle layers to wear off faster. at worst its the mechanical damage that finally breaks the hair that has been weakened, NOT the application of heat itself.

i would like to claim that i have absolutely zero visible damage from flatironing because i stick to the rule of leveling moisture and condition back to normal before doing it another time. maybe that takes a few deep treatments in between, but thats completly fine.

Yes, most of the damage from regular flatironing involves moisture in the hair being lost. But, not all hair dries out so completely. ANY microscopic moisture droplet inside the hair shaft will flash-boil and explode out of the hair, leaving damage in its wake. So, in order to flat iron hair slightly more safely, you'd have to wash hair and let it dry 100% completely with no conditioner or oils on it. Frankly, a lot of hair won't cooperate with that situation. I'd never be able to get a comb through my hair to separate it or get the flat iron through it.

Also, heat alone DOES damage the cuticle over time. Hair is protein. Heat above 140C will denature the keratin in the hair and cause permanent damage to its structure, and lower temperatures can still cause some of the bonds holding the protein together to break. You may not see much damage in your hair, and that's great! There are absolutely ways to mitigate the damage to hair when flatironing, but it is NOT a process that you can do with 0 accumulated damage over time.

MINAKO
February 13th, 2015, 04:40 PM
Hair is protein (keratin). Protein denatures at high temperatures. That means an irreversible breaking of the bonds that cause the protein to retain its 3D structure. I can't see how that cannot (over time) result in structural weakening of the hair.

It's similar to people who ignore the damaging effects of baking soda washing (highly alkaline) because they "reset" with an acidic rinse afterwards. Yes, you are re-setting back to a certain extent. However, that doesn't mean undoing all of the damage.

that might be true, but if no visible damage occurs because these few broken bonds can be replaced temporarily with the protein in frequent treatments, is it damage after all. keep in mind that not everyone on here is growing to terminal length and has a need to see their their hair at its maximum state and most unaltered state possible.
im my opinion the worst thing that happens is mechanical damage and if we avoid that as much as we can we can get away with sticking to one other "sin" in the book, which in my case is straightening. i'm at classic length and can not find one split end in my hair, what more can i ask for?

lapushka
February 13th, 2015, 04:57 PM
that might be true, but if no visible damage occurs because these few broken bonds can be replaced temporarily with the protein in frequent treatments, is it damage after all. keep in mind that not everyone on here is growing to terminal length and has a need to see their their hair at its maximum state and most unaltered state possible.
im my opinion the worst thing that happens is mechanical damage and if we avoid that as much as we can we can get away with sticking to one other "sin" in the book, which in my case is straightening. i'm at classic length and can not find one split end in my hair, what more can i ask for?

No white dots either? And no breakage? No little bits coming off?

Panth
February 13th, 2015, 04:59 PM
that might be true, but if no visible damage occurs because these few broken bonds can be replaced temporarily with the protein in frequent treatments, is it damage after all. keep in mind that not everyone on here is growing to terminal length and has a need to see their their hair at its maximum state and most unaltered state possible.
im my opinion the worst thing that happens is mechanical damage and if we avoid that as much as we can we can get away with sticking to one other "sin" in the book, which in my case is straightening. i'm at classic length and can not find one split end in my hair, what more can i ask for?

I do agree that for classic and shorter, most people can probably get away with one "sin". I am also not saying that there's anything wrong with your hair - indeed, classic with no splits is good by anyone's book, never mind if you are straightening as well.

However, the OP has a goal of knee. She also says she has bleach damage (and, thus, going by her photos, must also have used dye). She also says she always (except for this most recent time) has "crispy tips and a bunch of small broken off fried hairs on my shoulders" after every straightening, even though she's only at SL. I'm sorry, but that's not something that can just be fixed with patch-repair and continue as normal.

MINAKO
February 13th, 2015, 05:27 PM
I do agree that for classic and shorter, most people can probably get away with one "sin". I am also not saying that there's anything wrong with your hair - indeed, classic with no splits is good by anyone's book, never mind if you are straightening as well.

However, the OP has a goal of knee. She also says she has bleach damage (and, thus, going by her photos, must also have used dye). She also says she always (except for this most recent time) has "crispy tips and a bunch of small broken off fried hairs on my shoulders" after every straightening, even though she's only at SL. I'm sorry, but that's not something that can just be fixed with patch-repair and continue as normal.

i agree, in the case of OP i would recomment to decide for one thing and then work on that, either straightness, color OR kneelength. everything at once is hardly possible even with the best care. for me it was that i wanted super sleek and silky hair in the first place and would just accept however far it will make it. the price is pay is that my hair has never been chemically dyed in any way and i wear it up/handle it with extreme care. "have a little fun because its just hair" would totally backfire.

meteor
February 13th, 2015, 07:14 PM
I think Panth is really correct. I agree with pretty much everything mentioned up-thread. Thermal damage of hair is not in doubt, it's proven.
And in a way, I also agree with MINAKO that you can have some damage and the hair can still look really nice - not all people need to see hair under microscope. Also, not everyone will use heat the same way, at the same temperature and with the same frequency, and there will be other factors (hair coarseness, conditioning, heat protectants, etc) that will influence the degree of damage one can accumulate from heat.

If anybody is interested, here is some research on heat damage:

Thermal degradation of hair. I. Effect of curling ironing: http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc1998/cc049n04/p00223-p00244.pdf

The effect of water on heat-styling damage: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443842

Effect of thermal treatments with a curling iron on hair fiber: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15037918; http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc2004/cc055n01/p00013-p00027.pdf

The effect of various cosmetic pretreatments on protecting hair from thermal damage by hot flat ironing: http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc2011/cc062n02/p00265-p00282.pdf

Thermal degradation of hair. II. Effect of selected polymers and surfactants: http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc1998/cc049n04/p00245-p00256.pdf

More info can be found here: http://www.dermnetnz.org/hair-nails-sweat/hair-shaft-defects.html
See microscopic images of bubble hair (http://pgbeautyscience.com/assets/images/twoh/Chapter%202/Damage%2019.jpg) (due to heat-styling wet hair) and heat-damaged hair here (http://pgbeautyscience.com/assets/images/twoh/Chapter%202/Damage%2026.jpg)and here (http://pgbeautyscience.com/assets/images/twoh/Chapter%202/Damage%2024.jpg).

This video is an extreme case, but it does show how ridiculously fast one can burn off hair completely if one is not careful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdVuSvZOqXM

Wildcat Diva
February 13th, 2015, 07:30 PM
I used my straightener on my shoulder length hair in 2011-2012. Quit in April 2012. Infrequent use that I enjoyed. My hair is hip now almost. I have some splits and white dots. I regret my straightener use and wish I could take it back. But, it's not severe and at some point in the scheme of things will set me back a year's worth of growth I figure.

M.McDonough
February 14th, 2015, 01:05 AM
I wouldn't recommend this method either, I can't imagine all that rubber on your hair is good for it, especially on removal.

Why is that? if that rubber thing is not and heat is also a bad idea, then what can we do?!!!

Sarahlabyrinth
February 14th, 2015, 01:53 AM
Why is that? if that rubber thing is not and heat is also a bad idea, then what can we do?!!!

The secret is to learn to appreciate the texture of the hair you have - not to try to change it or turn it into something it is not. If you can like it and work with it the way it is then both you and your hair will be happier.

cheystar
February 14th, 2015, 04:07 AM
...but damage will most definitely result in a trade-off in length sooner or later.

Wearing your hair loose every day damages it. In my case, that most definitely results in a trade-off in length: namely, I cannot grow longer than TBL whilst doing that.

It is not only plausible but pretty much guaranteed that if you damage hair repeatedly you will restrict both monthly length-gain and maximum achievable length (because if you're having the ends split off, that's length loss and every bit of length loss results in that individual hair being further from its theoretical true terminal length). If you were able to grow to knee after years of flat ironing, well, lucky you for having that particular amount and sort of damage not cause a false terminal before then. However, it's incredibly naive (and unhelpful) to suggest that your situation is anything other than extremely unusual. Indeed, it's quite common for people to be unable to grow past SL, APL or BSL from a combination of flat ironing and bleach/dye damage (both of which the OP has).

i think my case is "extremely unusual" because most people that want to grow their hair to extreme lengths wouldn't dare to commit nearly as many hair sins as i did. they do everything to maximize hair growth and avoid damage since every bit of length counts, as you mentioned. i realize damage can hinder growth and i realize it's not uncommon for people to struggle to grow past certain lengths after heat/chemical damage. my point was that it was possible, contrary to what people here were suggesting. i don't think that's being unhelpful. :(

Panth
February 14th, 2015, 04:44 AM
i think my case is "extremely unusual" because most people that want to grow their hair to extreme lengths wouldn't dare to commit nearly as many hair sins as i did. they do everything to maximize hair growth and avoid damage since every bit of length counts, as you mentioned. i realize damage can hinder growth and i realize it's not uncommon for people to struggle to grow past certain lengths after heat/chemical damage. my point was that it was possible, contrary to what people here were suggesting. i don't think that's being unhelpful. :(

To clarify:

I did not mean that you sharing your hair growth story was unhelpful.
I did not mean that you demonstrating that it is possible to grow to knee+ with straightener damage was unhelpful.
Though yes, on re-reading, I can see I phrased things badly. Apologies for that. :flower:

What I took particular umbrage at was this:


i want to make a point that there's no trade-off for choosing to straighten your hair twice a week. straightening your hair doesn't mean it won't grow extremely long. the trade off is damage, not length.

You basically said that false terminals don't happen. That it's perfectly fine to keep straightening because it's never going to impact length, only quality. That is completely false. If you never experienced a false terminal, well, lucky you. However, to extrapolate your situation to everyone else's, despite the fact that many people experience false terminals between SL and BSL from a combination of straightening+bleach+dye (which is the combination of damage the OP has) ... yes, I stand by my original statement. It is unhelpful to make that extrapolation.

Majorane
February 14th, 2015, 04:45 AM
i think my case is "extremely unusual" because most people that want to grow their hair to extreme lengths wouldn't dare to commit nearly as many hair sins as i did. they do everything to maximize hair growth and avoid damage since every bit of length counts, as you mentioned. i realize damage can hinder growth and i realize it's not uncommon for people to struggle to grow past certain lengths after heat/chemical damage. my point was that it was possible, contrary to what people here were suggesting. i don't think that's being unhelpful. :(
No, it's not :flower: I am sure there are more longhairs that have hairsins, like you have. However, it IS true that you are not the norm, I think, in having very very long hair with no visible damage and you still 'sin' every now and then. I think the reason for a lot of longhair to be so gentle is that they simply could not be a very longhair if they weren't. Of course there are exceptions. I know people with hair at waist or hip. They rake and tug and pull and blowdry and dye and brush in a way that would destroy my hair, yet theirs looks amazing at hip. They would likely be like you are, being able to grow SuperLong and still being able to use heat. But that still is not the norm, it's unusual. And there are a lot of people here that read 'it's unusual but possible' as ' if I want it strongly enough, surely it will work for me too' and then they complain years later that they hit a false terminal because of damage and it's not fair because others can do damaging things and keep on growing! You see? I don't think it was a personal attack, and in any case I did found your posts helpful.


Why is that? if that rubber thing is not and heat is also a bad idea, then what can we do?!!!
Well, you can do a lot, but mostly hair IS fragile, so the more you do with it the more likely it is to damage. And that IS the boring truth. Now I am not willing to give up ALL the fun and I do use small rubber elastics for accent braids, but one has to keep in mind that that is likely to cause damage over time. I said likely, not sure. While it is boring, it's also the truth, and it will not do to pretend somehing isn't damaging because it's the boring answer. After all, this is the LONG hair community. And the most foolproof and succesful method to grow LONG hair is to be boring with it. Other methods are available but they only work for a minority of the people.

I have been maintaining between APL and BSL for YEARS now, so I don't pretend to be holier than thou, but I knew what I did was damaging and that it could have consequences. And I do not regret my gungho bleach dipdye-but I don't regret it because I knew what the risks were and I was well informed.

:)

Eta: so many typo's! Sorry, folks.

chen bao jun
February 14th, 2015, 08:57 AM
I really did used to think it took seriously special genes to get waist length and only a privileged few had said genes. I was sad that the genes were in my family but had passed me by but glad I had at least gotten the genes that made BSL hair possible since most people I knew didn't have even that.

I knew that most waist length people said, I don't do anything to my hair, it just grows and never put it together that that was the secret. That when people don't do anything to their hair, as in no dying and frying, they retain length.

LHC is great because it makes this fact clear to the clueless. I have met one or two exceptions in my life. People who fried and dyed and still had healthy hair, at least in appearance, past bra strap. If this is you, lucky you. It does happen. Just like some can eat vast amounts and not exercise and stay slim. And there are many who prefer fried hair, bea strap or less to long hair. When it's short, the hair truly does not appear fried, and you can look stylish and change it up. Nothing wrong with that.

I just prefer long hair for me and to get to that goal of waist, I can't fry.

M.McDonough
February 14th, 2015, 10:25 AM
Some girls straighten their hair every 2 or 3 days!!!!!:shocked::shocked:

Sterlyn
February 14th, 2015, 10:48 AM
The secret is to learn to appreciate the texture of the hair you have - not to try to change it or turn it into something it is not. If you can like it and work with it the way it is then both you and your hair will be happier.

This ^^^^, many times.

I also think when it comes to heat damage and the impact on your hair depends on what type of hair you have. Those with hair that is M or C might be a little tougher to start with and therefore could tolerate practices that would decimate my baby fine hair. I couldn't grow to longer lengths and dye, blow dry on high, and use hot tools (curling irons for me, not flat irons) because I did that before and my hair was in terrible condition. I colored my hair frequently because I had too, but the other things were occasional, as in 1- 2 times a month, and they still had a serious negative impact.

I think in the end it only matters what your hair type can tolerate and from what I've read here that can vary a great deal between individuals. Everything we do to do our hair accumulates some damage and for me it comes down to what I need to do to make me happy with my hair while factoring what damage I can live with and still make my long term hair goals. But I realize that that can be different for each of us.

Just my 2 Cents, and not worth much more than that.:)

Sterlyn
February 14th, 2015, 11:02 AM
I really did used to think it took seriously special genes to get waist length and only a privileged few had said genes. I was sad that the genes were in my family but had passed me by but glad I had at least gotten the genes that made BSL hair possible since most people I knew didn't have even that.

I knew that most waist length people said, I don't do anything to my hair, it just grows and never put it together that that was the secret. That when people don't do anything to their hair, as in no dying and frying, they retain length.

LHC is great because it makes this fact clear to the clueless. I have met one or two exceptions in my life. People who fried and dyed and still had healthy hair, at least in appearance, past bra strap. If this is you, lucky you. It does happen. Just like some can eat vast amounts and not exercise and stay slim. And there are many who prefer fried hair, bea strap or less to long hair. When it's short, the hair truly does not appear fried, and you can look stylish and change it up. Nothing wrong with that.

I just prefer long hair for me and to get to that goal of waist, I can't fry.

Kind of what I was trying to say, except I think you said it better. :)

Scelesta
February 14th, 2015, 09:32 PM
I'm gonna listen to you very smart ladies, I'll just stick to straightening my bangs since even if damage does build up on those it will be cut off pretty fast since i dont like long bangs. I need to figure out how to love my hair as it is, which is hard! I just wish my hair would cooperate with me, in my avi its showing as wavy, but thats only cause i brushed it out smooth as i could while it was still wet and took measures to prevent the curls from drying into place....however if i leave it be it ends up pretty curly, taking my hair from shoulder length to chin length which is beyond frustrating.

Hubby didnt like it straight anyways he likes the curls, plus as he put it "Dont do anything you'll regret to your hair right now its likely hormones making you a bit loopy, you want to grow it long and you fried it last time doing this stuff."

He's pretty awesome sometimes :)

My hairs not bleach fried! just wanted to clarify that, I have only bleached it once since i started growing out from a pixie. The crispy ends and damage i refered to was last year before i cut it all off to start growing out fresh. My hair is pretty healthy right now, no splits, no white dots, no crispy ends, and its curly again, before it was so heat fried it was just a frizzy nasty mess not matter what i did so I HAD to straighten it just to make it look decent.

rina06
February 14th, 2015, 09:35 PM
Deviating a little from the topic - does heat defence spray actually work?

meteor
February 14th, 2015, 10:02 PM
I'm gonna listen to you very smart ladies, I'll just stick to straightening my bangs since even if damage does build up on those it will be cut off pretty fast since i dont like long bangs. I need to figure out how to love my hair as it is, which is hard! I just wish my hair would cooperate with me, in my avi its showing as wavy, but thats only cause i brushed it out smooth as i could while it was still wet and took measures to prevent the curls from drying into place....however if i leave it be it ends up pretty curly, taking my hair from shoulder length to chin length which is beyond frustrating.

Hubby didnt like it straight anyways he likes the curls, plus as he put it "Dont do anything you'll regret to your hair right now its likely hormones making you a bit loopy, you want to grow it long and you fried it last time doing this stuff."

He's pretty awesome sometimes :)

My hairs not bleach fried! just wanted to clarify that, I have only bleached it once since i started growing out from a pixie. The crispy ends and damage i refered to was last year before i cut it all off to start growing out fresh. My hair is pretty healthy right now, no splits, no white dots, no crispy ends, and its curly again, before it was so heat fried it was just a frizzy nasty mess not matter what i did so I HAD to straighten it just to make it look decent.

Since you are a curly, I'd recommend checking out the Curly Girl Method by Massey. :)


Deviating a little from the topic - does heat defence spray actually work?

AFAIK, not a lot!
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if I understand correctly, they are mostly silicones and other coating, conditioning agents that provide slip to help irons slide faster without stripping/chipping hair cuticle too much, so they reduce a bit the mechanical damage that happens during thermal treatment.

Some relevant research on this:

The effect of various cosmetic pretreatments on protecting hair from thermal damage by hot flat ironing: http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc2...265-p00282.pdf

Thermal degradation of hair. II. Effect of selected polymers and surfactants: http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc1...245-p00256.pdf