View Full Version : Caring for wet fragile hair

September 30th, 2008, 03:09 PM
Ok, I know how fragile hair is when wet, but not sure about the best way to style/let hair dry once washed. I have noticed alot of breakage around the top part of my hair where is usually twisted into a bun or secured with a clip. My routine is usually wash/condition hair, detangle with wide tooth comb, then twist into a bun/clip then off to work (i'm a nurse so my hair has to been worn off the colar). Not sure what else to do. Thought about put hair into a braid after washing but then worried about damage due to rubbing on coat/bag etc

I have started to wear hair sticks but have noticed that when wet, my hair breaks when putting them in, even gently. I know that what ever you do there will be some breakage involved, just seems I can't even touch my hair without one snapping! Hate that sound! I guess It could be down to 3 years of stress/underactive thyroid and continuous black hair dye, which has now stopped! My hair it soft, shinny, just very weak i think, so just trying to find the perfect routine!:D

September 30th, 2008, 03:15 PM
I usually do a looped ponytail when it is wet. When my hair was longer I would also put it into a hair sock (made myself) out of a a silky material (either ponied or braided), you might ask if your hair has to be up if it is contained. As for helping to strengthen it, i say nothing works better than henna, but red may not be something you want to do. I would suggest washing it at night so it is dry by morning. Another thing to look at is you might need more protein for your hair, but I am not an expert in that.

September 30th, 2008, 03:30 PM
My hair used to break off when I was dying, blow drying and using cones. I cut off all the damage, added more moisturizing conditioners (sans cones), limited protein treatments, stopped blow drying and dying, started using cassia and oils on the length.

I also wash at night, use a wide tooth wood comb to detangle and let it air dry (so it's only slightly damp) before I put it up to go to sleep. While my hair is not very long right now, it's in much better condition than it was at the same length last year.

Now, I am not recommending you cut your hair, but it might be beneficial to clarify and try some deep moisture treatments (many people, including myself have had luck with SMTs), and possibly a leave in before you try to detangle.

heidi w.
September 30th, 2008, 04:05 PM
Can you wash and air dry on hours that are around your work schedule so you show up with a nice, dry updo?

I avoid bunning wet hair, but many do it just fine.

TIPS to more quickly air dry hair.

Really squeeze the hair dry. Squeeze gently the entire circumference from top and down to bottom to remove excess water.

Consider a purchase of a microfiber towel, or those towels that dry hair fast (really suck up the moisture)

When hair is less dripping wet, you can gently begin to detangle --- aiming for some organization and separation of clumps, not pristine detangled hair.

As hair dries in the air, keep detangling.

Consider standing far away from but in proximity to a fan (you don't want to be close enough that hair can get caught in the fan!) and allow the hair strands, via a detangling process, to be more and more separated. This technique can cut my hair air drying down from 3 hours to a mere 1 hour. This technique was taught to me by Lady Grace, a woman who had as much as 14 feet of hair last I heard. (She's a wonderful Lady!) She actually had a table she stood on and an overhead ceiling fan and a fan across from her on the floor, and laid down her cloth for her hair to be on.

The key is slowing detangling so that sections of wet hair are NOT clumped together. Individual strands dry faster.

Keep kind of fluffing the hair so it's in movement.

Sit outdoors in the sun when available.

If you must and are in a hurry, you can use a cooler setting on the blow dryer and attach a diffuser which more widely spreads the ambient air over a wider area of hair, and work with this. (This is much like the fan idea, actually.) Watch the distance, that is, how close you get the blow dryer to hair, and especially scalp skin. IF you use a slightly warmer setting, if you feel your scalp skin getting the slightest bit hot (perhaps even merely a bit warm), you are TOO CLOSE! You could then half blow dry your hair, and allow it to air dry the remainder of the time.

I constantly work with my EXTRA WIDE wide tooth comb, and separate the strands slowly but surely, and this speeds up the air drying process. (I used to never work with my hair while wet, but the longer it has become, and certainly for some situations, I have to do so a little more.)

Hope these tips help you out.

heidi w.

September 30th, 2008, 04:17 PM
My routine is similar to Heidi's. After i have washed my hair which is normally at night, I squeeze the excess water out and then add a pea sized amount of coconut oil. I then comb with a plastic shower comb (couple of quid from boots) and leave down until my hair is semi wet, then I grab my hair at a little higher than the nape and wrap my damp hair around my hand not twisting, just wrapping and secure with a crunchie.

I have found that by doing this opposed to my old way of twisting I get less breakage, I am also a RN in Manchester which hospital do you work at? Your on my mail list for the next Manchester meet if your interested!

September 30th, 2008, 07:00 PM
I hate having to detangle my hair as well because it never seems to do it easily and I can not stand to hear it break

September 30th, 2008, 07:26 PM
I agree; wash your hair in the evening instead of the morning so that you don't have to put it up wet and cause avoidable breakage.

September 30th, 2008, 08:02 PM
I almost always wash my hair in the evening for two reasons.

1. I can let it air dry
2. I must sit on the couch for at least an hour watching TV in order to keep the hair as still as possible, because wet hair is so easy to damage :D

Afterward, I just braid it and go to bed. if I absolutely MUST wash my hair in the morning, I very very gently detangle it with my fingers, and braid it wet.

October 1st, 2008, 06:35 AM
*SNIP*When hair is less dripping wet, you can gently begin to detangle --- aiming for some organization and separation of clumps, not pristine detangled hair.

As hair dries in the air, keep detangling.

The key is slowing detangling so that sections of wet hair are NOT clumped together. Individual strands dry faster.

Keep kind of fluffing the hair so it's in movement. -- *SNIP*

This kind of technique works for me too, it also helps me to avoid cowlicks if I fluff the scalp hairs several times while drying, and gives more volume to the roots. My waves are not suffering from this but I guess that's not the case with everybody, espcially curlies.

October 1st, 2008, 08:22 AM
Another fan of evening/night washing here.

If your hair is anything like mine, it dries relatively quickly; even after the first blotting with a towel, it's damp, not wet, right? Through changing towels, you blot up even more moisture and can do this while getting ready for bed, or while reading on the couch with a blanket if it's cold, etc. Then I go to bed with a towel (another fresh one if needed; we have a lot of small towels here) around my head, protecting my pillow

I get cold very easily, more so now that I am pregnant, so I like to shower right before bed so I go to bed warm. Alternatively (if I am cold in the evening) I shower and then wrap up really well (the above towel trick) with a hoodie, socks, a hot water bottle, hot tea, blanket, and my sweetie...and either finish work on the couch, or read, or watch a movie...

The breaking thing isn't something I have experienced in a long, long time, but my routine is simply not to touch my hair, to let it dry, coiled in the towel, on its own. Then I wake up with more waves.

Could that work for you?

heidi w.
October 1st, 2008, 10:45 AM
One more thing....

some times of year or situations that scalp hair gets kind of gunky overnight. (A hot humid night, or if in the change, nightsweats, as examples.)

an abbreviated version of a scalp wash.

diluted shampoo.

face shower water, lean quite forward, place top of head under shower water (easier if have a handheld shower to pointedly aim water)

wet this section of hair thoroughly
then apply shampoo choice, scrub a bit,


rinse well

rinse really well.

remainder of hair is dry by placing in shower cap

you can even bun the hair prior to such a 'scalp wash'

(back of head takes longer to get skanky than top of head, so you can wait to wash the back til later in the week)

hope this helps,
heidi w.

October 1st, 2008, 12:47 PM
Think the night washing could definately work, and like the excuss to sit infront of the tv for a couple of hours:D

Planning on using henna to strengthen/condition hair, and already using Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner, which is fab. I went cone free for a while but have started to use them as my hair just gets too tangled without, which i think has contributed to the damage. Shame, as I love using natural/organic cosmetics but my hair is just saying NO.

Jojo -I'm actually a student at Moorside Unit, Trafford. Gotta love Psych :eyebrows: I also do NHSP around MRI and wythenshawe, so might see you around!