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ElvenEngineer
January 2nd, 2016, 08:31 PM
Hi, everyone! Long time lurker, first time poster here! I'm looking for advice on how to improve my hair-care regimen to reduce breakage (and maybe shedding?) so that I can get to my goal, which is waist length. I'm an inch or two beyond BSL -- it's a little difficult to measure. I have about 3 inches to go to get to waist. I'm not looking for miracle growth, just a way to get past this false terminal (it's been maybe an inch longer in the past but breakage happened). I had some fairly-tale ends that were longer, but I lost most of them in a recent bout of shedding. It's given me a more even hemline, which is new, but I miss them.

My hair type: 2a/2b, f/m, ii (dark brown with lighter warm brown reddish highlights, not dyed), tangles easily

My current regimen:

CO wash or CWC with Earth Science Fragrance Free Shampoo and Conditioner: Every day to every three days, depending on if I feel like I need it. More often I CWC, but only use a dime sized amount of shampoo on my scalp, never directly on the length.

Usually worn down or in a ponytail (bad, I know!) with no-crease/ribbon hair ties (like this: http://www.kenzlaurenz.com/hati5gl.html?ref=lexity&_vs=google&_vm=productsearch&gclid=CjwKEAiAh560BRDu-aD93r-J_zoSJACrxZG2OK823e5uyDJoMKJmoAzfeCvoabVon23MSWFel-kknhoCRWbw_wcB)

No brushing or combing. Finger detangling with copious conditioner in the shower, and occasionally when dry. Brushing and combing seems to really mess with my hair. Haven't done that in years.

Very rarely heat style when I'm pressed for time on a special occasion. It has no place in my regular routine, but sometimes I need to straighten the top three inches (what would be/used to be bangs when I had bangs) in the very front to frame my face.

Oil occasionally. Once a week to once a month. Coconut oil does not work well for me. Love Argan oil, but it's expensive. Jojoba oil is good too. Sweet almond is okay. Can't do olive oil, too heavy.

Things I intend to add or add back to my regimen:

Gelatin supplements, these really work for me

I really need to learn a good protective updo (I am often getting caught in my bag straps)

Things I am considering adding or adding back to my regimen

A micro trim or two (I have split ends)

Search and destroy

Castor oil. It's doing good things for my brows and lashes. I'm concerned about how dark it might make my hair, though. I don't want my highlights to disappear.

Face framing layers to make updos more flattering and reduce the need for heat styling to nil. I'm not sure how they'll grow out, though.

More oiling? Treatments? Herbs? Leave-in conditioner?

I have small sizes of Living Libations shampoo and conditioner. Yucca and jojoba based, 100% natural. Considering switching shampoos and using the conditioner along side my current one. This one doesn't have protein; my current one does.

Relevant health issues, hair issues and preferences:

I prefer to use natural products. I am not absolutist about this, though. I need Cetyl Alcohol containing conditioner, for instance. I won't use highly ecologically damaging ingredients.

I get bad artificial fragrance reactions easily. I can not use them in any significant quantity.

Last two inches are velcro-ish. Next two up are a little crunchy. The rest of my hair feels very healthy.

I have thyroid issues, low iron and celiac. Celiac is under control, but my doctor won't treat my thyroid issues because my lab tests are borderline. :rolleyes:

Fine and wavy equals tangly, in my experience. My hair seems to be getting more medium over time, though, which is nice. It's still prone to matting and tangles, though.

I'm not sure if I need to moisturize, reduce protein or what. I am prone to dry skin, though, so that may extend to dry hair.

I am also interested in reducing frizz/flyaways. They're not terrible, but they're present.


If you've gotten this far, thank you for reading. I am really wondering what your top tips are for reducing damage/breakage/shedding and promoting growth. Where will I see the most results for effort and money? If you ever hit a wall in your hair growth, what helped you get past it, especially if you have my hair type?

I've read the Advice for Newbies thread, and I know it says to change one thing at a time. So I am very interested in where my priorities should be, especially since my regimen already includes the CO/CWC wash and other basic stuff. What are the first few things I should start with that will likely give me the most impact? Feel free to suggest things I didn't list, of course! I'm looking for what works based on others experience.

Finally, I've had trouble learning to do an updo. Most of the tutorials I see are for long, thick hair in comparison to my relatively modest mid-back ii. I'd love to learn to do a french twist, a messy bun, and a nice flat-laying cinnamon bun, and perhaps a few more. I've only used spin picks and bobby pins until now. I have some hair forks/combs coming in the mail. I'd love some tips on good protective updos, and especially learning to do them! (Note: I'm in my twenties and look too childish in big braids. Little braids as bun accents are nice, though. :) )

Obsidian
January 2nd, 2016, 08:50 PM
Firs thing I recommend is a second opinion on the thyroid. Dry skin/hair is a symptom of hypothyroidism, meds might really help you out. Second thing that comes to mind is to clarify, even though you prefer natural, a good cleansing shampoo could really help if you have build up. Suave daily clarifying is my go to for this, its cheap, works well and is lightly scented.

Since your normal conditioner has protein, maybe you need to find protein free products, see if that helps. Of course the famous SMT would be the second thing to try after clarifying.

ravenheather
January 2nd, 2016, 08:54 PM
I had a year long shed/stall about the same length. Vitamin d deficiency was the cause for me.

diddiedaisy
January 2nd, 2016, 09:08 PM
Second the thyroid check, also it is common for celiac's to have issues digesting certain vitimams/minerals, inparticularly biotin, so maybe get a full blood work done to check all your levels. I'm not personally celiac but have an intolerance to wheat/gluton/ dairy and do need to take biotin supplements as I don't exclude these things from my diet I just restrict them It stopped my hair falling out. I would definately go back to the doctor. :)

Obsidian
January 2nd, 2016, 09:12 PM
I completely overlooked that your are new and have no idea what SMT means. Here is the thread http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128 You can skip the aloe if you can't find it.

ElvenEngineer
January 2nd, 2016, 09:21 PM
Firs thing I recommend is a second opinion on the thyroid. Dry skin/hair is a symptom of hypothyroidism, meds might really help you out. Second thing that comes to mind is to clarify, even though you prefer natural, a good cleansing shampoo could really help if you have build up. Suave daily clarifying is my go to for this, its cheap, works well and is lightly scented.

Since your normal conditioner has protein, maybe you need to find protein free products, see if that helps. Of course the famous SMT would be the second thing to try after clarifying.

Yeah, I think you guys are probably right about the thyroid.

I don't know if/don't think I have build up. I use a gentle shampoo (not a clarifying one) and my hair always feels clean afterwards. Would build-up be causing breakage or velcro-ish ends? Would build-up be from the protein? I can certainly look into finding something protein free. Is SMT to restore moisture after clarifying or as an aid to accomplish the same goal of reducing breakage. I suppose I'm not entirely clear on what "build up" and "clarifying" actually mean, which is what's causing any confusion. :)

ElvenEngineer
January 2nd, 2016, 09:24 PM
I'll try Vitamin D and biotin, too! I used to have trouble with those, so I've got supplements around here somewhere. I felt better after taking Vit D for a while and figured I replenished my stores. Could probably use more again, though.

Swan Maiden
January 2nd, 2016, 09:42 PM
I just want to clear up that castor oil will not permanently darken your hair. It is said to darken hair, that is because it will hold moisture in your hair. I have light hair and use castor oil regularly with no darkening. :)

ElvenEngineer
January 2nd, 2016, 09:45 PM
Yay! That's great news for me. And your sig is adorable.

Swan Maiden
January 2nd, 2016, 09:53 PM
Thanks :) I highly recommend mixing it with another oil due to its sticky nature (as I'm sure you're familiar). Good luck finding a solution. If you can't accomplish an updo just now, why not wear a simple braid? Also, do you sleep with your hair loose? Satin cap or pillowcase? Those help to minimize tangles for me.

Sarahlabyrinth
January 2nd, 2016, 09:54 PM
Firstly, welcome to the LHC!

You say that you often (mostly?) wear your hair down. Often people will find that due to wear and tear, hair rubbing against chair backs, couches, car seats, purse straps/ you name it, the hair breaks off and/or tangles at about BSL. Once they learn to keep their hair in protective updos this situation is resolved and they are able to gain hair length.

Anyway I wish you lots of luck in getting your hair sorted out and growing happily and healthily.:)

ElvenEngineer
January 2nd, 2016, 10:13 PM
Thanks :) I highly recommend mixing it with another oil due to its sticky nature (as I'm sure your familiar). Good luck finding a solution. If you can't accomplish an updo just now, why not wear a simple braid? Also, do you sleep with your hair loose? Satin cap or pillowcase? Those help to minimize tangles for me.

I used to have a silk pillowcase until my boyfriend washed it incorrectly (he was trying to be nice). I was thinking of getting one again, but it's a bit of an investment. I don't remember how much it helped tangles, but I do remember liking it a lot! I remember not liking braids for sleeping, but I don't clearly remember why. I could try those again.

Do use a pillowcase or cap or both? How much do you find it helps with tangles?

Swan Maiden
January 2nd, 2016, 10:15 PM
I use a silk cap. I usually end up sleeping on my stomach with my hands underneath the pillow so a cap works better.

ElvenEngineer
January 2nd, 2016, 10:17 PM
Firstly, welcome to the LHC!

You say that you often (mostly?) wear your hair down. Often people will find that due to wear and tear, hair rubbing against chair backs, couches, car seats, purse straps/ you name it, the hair breaks off and/or tangles at about BSL. Once they learn to keep their hair in protective updos this situation is resolved and they are able to gain hair length.

Anyway I wish you lots of luck in getting your hair sorted out and growing happily and healthily.:)
Thanks! :)

Yeah, I think this is definitely a problem for me. Glad to hear this is kinda common; it makes it seem resolvable! Do you have any tips for learning to do this at first? I'm not super satisfied with the way they look when I do them. I often have bumps in the hair over the scalp, and uneven looking buns that stick out too far. I haven't used hair forks/combs yet, but they're coming in the mail! :)

pailin
January 2nd, 2016, 10:17 PM
Do get a second opinion on the thyroid, because that could definitely affect your hair. It may also make a difference in how you feel on a daily basis. Also, if your iron is low, that can affect hair growth too- I'd look into whether you need a supplement for it. And consider the biotin too and maybe a good multivitamin; controlling celiac normally means gluten - free, and while you need that, it is a restrictive diet. Also, how long has it been under control? If it is within the last year or so, it's possible your body is still recovering a little.

ElvenEngineer
January 2nd, 2016, 10:29 PM
Celiac has been controlled for the last two years or so. I can't think of any nutrients I'm missing from wheat, rye and barley that I wouldn't be getting on a normal diet, but the biotin, iron and thyroid are definitely noted. Have some iron supplements somewhere around here too... clearly I'm not great at remembering to take things.

AZDesertRose
January 2nd, 2016, 10:36 PM
Do you have any tips for learning to do this at first? I'm not super satisfied with the way they look when I do them. I often have bumps in the hair over the scalp, and uneven looking buns that stick out too far. I haven't used hair forks/combs yet, but they're coming in the mail! :)

Unfortunately, about the only thing that really works is practice. There are about a zillion videos on YouTube showing various ways to put one's hair up. TorrinPaige does good videos (her hair is LOOOOOOONG [I believe past classic] but she'll frequently tell you how to make a style work at shorter lengths), and there are a fair few members of LHC who have YouTube channels (I have a cold right now and the resultant brain fog is causing me not to remember specific channel names, but I'm sure someone will chime in with some suggestions). Noodle around on YouTube, and if one person's way of doing a certain up-do doesn't work for you, don't despair; try someone else's way. There's no One True Way (TM) to do any given style. The One True Way is the way that works. (For example, it took me forever to learn to do a lazy wrap bun, but I saw someone's YouTube video that made it click in my brain how to form the silly thing in a way that works for me.)

Short version is, play with your hair until you find workable solutions.

Best wishes and happy growing!

Obsidian
January 3rd, 2016, 06:27 AM
Yeah, I think you guys are probably right about the thyroid.

I don't know if/don't think I have build up. I use a gentle shampoo (not a clarifying one) and my hair always feels clean afterwards. Would build-up be causing breakage or velcro-ish ends? Would build-up be from the protein? I can certainly look into finding something protein free. Is SMT to restore moisture after clarifying or as an aid to accomplish the same goal of reducing breakage. I suppose I'm not entirely clear on what "build up" and "clarifying" actually mean, which is what's causing any confusion. :)

Yes, build up can cause dry brittle ends that break off and feel like velcro. Build up is any residue that doesn't get washed away. It can be a mix of your natural scalp oils, dirt, pollution, product residue, etc..
Clarifying is washing with a strong cleansing shampoo, one that is strong enough to break through any build up and wash it away.
Another problem can be mineral build up from hard water, do you know what kind of water you have? If it is hard, a chelating shampoo might be needed too. Chelating is a break down of mineral residue, something regular shampoo just can't do. There are shampoo that clarify and chelate but I'm unfamiliar with a good brand.

Protein overload can cause brittle hair for some people. I personally have to be very careful with protein or my hair will start to snap off. If you do have protein overload, its reversed by adding moisture. SMT will add that needed moisture and by clarifying first, you'll remove any build up that might prevent the moisture from getting into your hair.

Anje
January 3rd, 2016, 07:51 AM
Adding my vote to "wear updos". Yes, you should get all the health stuff under control, but the spot your hair has stopped at is typical of people who lean against their hair in a chair regularly. You probably have a chair in your life that hits you right at the spot where your hair starts looking broken. (Check this!) No, you won't be good at updos at first - no one is. Keep at it, and it'll get better. Protect your ends.

bunneh.
January 3rd, 2016, 08:21 AM
My hair is really robust so it grew despite my neglect all these years, which is really unfair, when I read how everyone else is taking care of their hair and it just refuses to grow... Life is so unfair. :(
My hair texture is very different from yours so I don't know how much I'll be able to help you, but clarifying might help in case you have any build up, such as silicones, or if you use any styling products in your hair, hairsprays, gels, etc. Clarifying shampoo is any stronger, sulfate based shampoo that will clean your hair really well, but it tends to not only strip your hair from all the dirt but beneficial oils as well, so you might want to try oiling your hair before washing with sulfate based shampoo to reduce dryness. You can also dilute this shampoo with a bit of water and it will turn out to be gentler, but will clean hair just as well. Make sure to condition and moisturize your hair as well so it'll be stronger. I don't know what you've tried or what works for you but I really like to use rinse out oil method and i use olive oil (you can try different oils, since you say you don't like olive).

Try wearing your hair up in a protective hairstyles, most often buns if you can, since they protect your hair the most. If you've never wore them before go slow, start with like an hour or so a day, as long as you can stand it and then as days pass by keep it on for longer. I wore my hair loose and down for almost my entire life, now it hates to bend in any direction, if I direct it anywhere else I get massive headaches. But low buns with a hairstick are really comfortable for me, so I'll be able to survive this year being a bit nicer to my hair compared to what I did years ago.

Some people completely neglect their hair in terms of trimming, but for me personally I prefer the S&D method. I just feel like I'm trying to get my hair in better condition and prevent future split ends and breakage this way, while still getting the maximum possible length.

Deep conditioning treatments could work I guess, it shouldn't hurt to try some. :)

Like others have said maybe you should get yourself checked again and possibly get some medicine that will help with your health issues.

I think you'd mostly benefit from wearing your hair in an updo most of the time, not just during the day, but during night as well. This will also help you reduce tangles, which will reduce the need to comb your hair (even if you only comb with fingers) and reduce possible breakage. Moisturizing would also be important, some deep conditioning treatments with oils on wet hair or something similar, I'm not very experienced in that field lol.

I'd suggest going on youtube to find tutorials on different buns and try to do them. Save the ones you can do and keep practicing. Nobody is perfect when they first try something, there's always room for improvement. :)

Dolly
January 3rd, 2016, 08:50 AM
I emphatically urge you to find another doctor and get that thyroid checked again and treated. My thyroid issue was un-diagnosed for so long that it is now like fighting a losing battle now that I am on treatment. The thing that I found that helps are Vitamin D and Biotin.

Silverbrumby
January 3rd, 2016, 09:16 AM
BSL terminals are really rare in women I believe. I'm a rare bird and to date I've only just managed 🐥 28 inches. Woot! I do have thyroid issues but I'm stable and on meds.

In terms of buns why not do the ponytail bun first to get use to wearing it up. Just a basic ponytail then wrap round tail and clip into place. The ends get protected and it's better than down.

lapushka
January 3rd, 2016, 09:32 AM
I have thyroid issues, low iron and celiac. Celiac is under control, but my doctor won't treat my thyroid issues because my lab tests are borderline. :rolleyes:

This is absolutely *key*. Low iron can wreak havoc on hair! And not to mention the thyroid issues. These need to be under control first. It is the most important thing, to get internally healthy. You can't expect good results from a routine and a regimen if your health is bad or if you aren't properly looking after yourself. This is where your priorities should be. :) :flower:

AJNinami
January 3rd, 2016, 01:44 PM
Celiac has been controlled for the last two years or so. I can't think of any nutrients I'm missing from wheat, rye and barley that I wouldn't be getting on a normal diet, but the biotin, iron and thyroid are definitely noted. Have some iron supplements somewhere around here too... clearly I'm not great at remembering to take things.

My mother has always had issues with her thyroid, and she passed on a lesser form to me (so far). Removing gluten, lactose, sugar, etc. will have a drastically good effect on how you feel and appear whether you have a healthy thyroid or not. I would definitely take iron as some others have suggested. Iron helps with creating red blood cells to move oxygen through the body. If you do remove lactose, please remember to take calcium supplements. I made the mistake of not doing so and was constantly tired and unhealthy until I did.

A good way to remember supplements is to put them in one of those little weekly pill organizers and take them every morning with breakfast.

My mother went through over 17 doctors before one was able to diagnose her.

Edit: After talking with her I would also try taking extra protein, in the form of protein shakes or eating more meat.

ElvenEngineer
January 3rd, 2016, 10:45 PM
Okay, I've got another Dr's appointment scheduled to try to talk him into treatment. Wish me luck!

I eat as much meat and fish as I can (they're my favorite foods and my cholesterol's awesome) but my boyfriend's mom (we live with his parents -- we're in college), thinks meat is unhealthy, so extra meat is extra money spent for me. She's the only one who cares about limiting meat, so any meat bought goes fast around here between my boyfriend, his dad and me. :D I treat myself to a grassfed burger in a lettuce wrap a couple times a month. I've been making myself more eggs though. I'm celiac so I don't touch gluten at all. I don't have sweet tooth, but eat some sugar in moderation(in yogurt, fruit, and dessert about once/week). I drink sparkling water instead of soda (LaCroix is the best). Most of the dairy I eat is low-lactose (cheese and yogurt), aside from an unsweetened latte or two a week. I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager, so I'm not interested in restricting my diet beyond what's totally necessary. I think the gelatin should help with my protein intake. My diet is on the healthy and balanced side of normal, heavy on real food, fruits and vegetables. Homemade dinners, leftovers, salads, etc. My treats/non-optimal foods are things like GF bagels with cream cheese, GF toast with butter, dark chocolate KIND bars, organic yogurt, or something my boyfriend's mom makes for dessert. Those make up maybe 10-15% of my diet.

My mom has Hashimoto's as well, and I know she went through hell getting a diagnosis too. It's so sad how little doctors treat women's concerns seriously.

I'd like to start exercising, beyond just taking the stairs and walking around campus with my books, but it makes me really tired for too long (like all week-- not normal at 21). I don't have time for all the extra sleep I need when I work out! I hope thyroid treatment will help with that.

I'm definitely going to find the iron supplements I've got around here. Vitamin D and Biotin are noted as well.

I tried a ponytail bun and can say that works okay! :) Gotta start somewhere I suppose. Anyone got suggestions for other updos? Favorites? This clearly needs to be priority #2, after only health.

I'm still open to any other suggestions! :)

ElvenEngineer
January 3rd, 2016, 11:06 PM
Yes, build up can cause dry brittle ends that break off and feel like velcro. Build up is any residue that doesn't get washed away. It can be a mix of your natural scalp oils, dirt, pollution, product residue, etc..
Clarifying is washing with a strong cleansing shampoo, one that is strong enough to break through any build up and wash it away.
Another problem can be mineral build up from hard water, do you know what kind of water you have? If it is hard, a chelating shampoo might be needed too. Chelating is a break down of mineral residue, something regular shampoo just can't do. There are shampoo that clarify and chelate but I'm unfamiliar with a good brand.

Protein overload can cause brittle hair for some people. I personally have to be very careful with protein or my hair will start to snap off. If you do have protein overload, its reversed by adding moisture. SMT will add that needed moisture and by clarifying first, you'll remove any build up that might prevent the moisture from getting into your hair.

Thank you! Yes, I do have hard water. How do I tell if build-up and protein is causing me problems?

AZDesertRose
January 3rd, 2016, 11:29 PM
Having celiac disease is probably a colossal pain in the neck, but it sounds like your diet is pretty decent within the gluten-free constraints that I understand you have to do else suffer horrible consequences. I second the suggestion of getting one of those pill reminder boxes and maybe also a medication reminder app for your phone if you have a smartphone. (I like MediSafe, which I know is available for Android because that's what I have, and I expect it or something similar is available for Apple devices, but there are a zillion apps out there, so find one you like, assuming you have a smartphone on which to download an app. MediSafe can be customized to make any of a number of alarm sounds when it's time to take your meds, but its original sound is a pill bottle shaking, and I've kept that because it's distinctive and can't be mistaken for any other alert on my phone.)

Make sure you're getting enough hydration. You wouldn't believe how fast dehydration can screw up your body, and your overall health will reflect in the health of your hair (and nails, for that matter).

As young as you are, you ought not be that tired, so yes, I do think going back to your doctor about the thyroid issue is a good idea.

With average thickness hair around BSL, I would think you should be able to fashion a number of up-dos, although there are some that don't work until the hair gets longer unless you do them as a half-up. Look under Hair Polls and Projects at the current and past Hairstyles of the Month for tutorial videos. Find one (or a few) you like and play around. The disc bun is a fairly easy one that you can do horizontally or vertically for a little variation, and I think it was Hairstyle of the Month somewhere in the back half of 2015. Actually, you probably want to develop at least a small repertoire of hairstyles because doing your hair the same way all the time can cause breakage (and for me, causes boredom, LOL!), and breakage, as previously stated, may be part of your "false terminal" problem, aside the thyroid issue, which certainly needs a closer look. It's a good idea on general principle to learn some up-dos to protect your hair from breakage, though, and that can be done whilst waiting for thyroid medication to take effect, which as I understand can take a few months.

Oh, this is a little TMI, but watch your digestion with the iron supplements. Iron supplements can cause constipation, so you may end up needing to counteract that (but better to have to take Colace or something similar than to be anemic). Also, if over-the-counter Vitamin D supplements aren't getting your Vitamin D levels up to a reasonable mark, you might want to ask your doctor about a prescription. (I take a weekly Vitamin D prescription supplement because my levels are too low, probably at least partially because of my avoidance of the sun due to skin cancer scares.)

Best wishes!

ElvenEngineer
January 3rd, 2016, 11:38 PM
So here are the ingredients for the shampoos and conditioners I'm using now:

Earth Science Fragrance-Free:

Shampoo: Aqua (Water), Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Lactic Acid, Polyquaternium-7, Citric Acid, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate

Conditioner: Aqua (Water), Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol

The conditioner is the best fragrance-free I've found so far that works for detangling, but it does contain protein. I could always take or leave the shampoo. It's never been particularly bad or good. It's just cleaned my hair.

Ones I have on hand and am interested in experimenting with (got the small bottles in a recent perfume order from the only company that does good perfume that I'm not allergic to):

Living Libations Seabuckthorn Shampoo: Springwater, Herbal infusion in jojoba of seabuckthorn, calendula, red clover, oats, coltsfoot, horsetail, comfrey, nettles, chamomile, seaweed; yucca and coco-protein to saponify, orange wax, supercritical extracts of seabuckthorn and rosemary; essential oils of grapefruit, peppermint, vetiver and lime.

Living Libations ShineOn Conditioner: Springwater, jojoba herbal infusions of chickweed, marshmallow, slippery elm, alfalfa, seaweed, aloevera, tamanu oil, apple cider vinegar, orange wax, essential oils of lime and lavender, rosemary and sage supercritical extracts

So as an experiment, I washed my hair with the Living Libations today, and I shampooed the length, which I don't normally do. I LOVED the shampoo, even though it technically contain protein, it seems to be modified in a way as to be essentially soap. Unfortunately, I had to use a lot of conditioner, and while it was the best 100% natural conditioner I've ever tried, it still didn't quite cut it. I ended up using some of the Earth Science as well. Almost there, though, maybe if my hair starts tangling less with updo and silk sleep swag. I really liked how soft shiny the combination of those two made my hair though. At the end of this process, my hair felt significantly less crunchy. Maybe it was from shampooing the length. I also decided to put some of the Living Libations ShineOn in as a leave-in while my hair was still wet. Calmed fly-aways really nicely without making it greasy, and seems to have made it less prone to tangles! That is significant. Maybe I'll start using it as a leave-in. It's too expensive, with the amount I use, to make it my normal conditioner. It doesn't have protein, though.

I've been Google-ing around for fragrance-free clarifying or chelating shampoos and fragrance-free protein-free conditioners (also preferable cone-free). No luck so far, but I'll keep at it. Any suggestions? I acknowledge these may be things it would be beneficial to experiment with as well.

ElvenEngineer
January 3rd, 2016, 11:54 PM
Having celiac disease is probably a colossal pain in the neck, but it sounds like your diet is pretty decent within the gluten-free constraints that I understand you have to do else suffer horrible consequences. I second the suggestion of getting one of those pill reminder boxes and maybe also a medication reminder app for your phone if you have a smartphone. (I like MediSafe, which I know is available for Android because that's what I have, and I expect it or something similar is available for Apple devices, but there are a zillion apps out there, so find one you like, assuming you have a smartphone on which to download an app. MediSafe can be customized to make any of a number of alarm sounds when it's time to take your meds, but its original sound is a pill bottle shaking, and I've kept that because it's distinctive and can't be mistaken for any other alert on my phone.)

Make sure you're getting enough hydration. You wouldn't believe how fast dehydration can screw up your body, and your overall health will reflect in the health of your hair (and nails, for that matter).

As young as you are, you ought not be that tired, so yes, I do think going back to your doctor about the thyroid issue is a good idea.

With average thickness hair around BSL, I would think you should be able to fashion a number of up-dos, although there are some that don't work until the hair gets longer unless you do them as a half-up. Look under Hair Polls and Projects at the current and past Hairstyles of the Month for tutorial videos. Find one (or a few) you like and play around. The disc bun is a fairly easy one that you can do horizontally or vertically for a little variation, and I think it was Hairstyle of the Month somewhere in the back half of 2015. Actually, you probably want to develop at least a small repertoire of hairstyles because doing your hair the same way all the time can cause breakage (and for me, causes boredom, LOL!), and breakage, as previously stated, may be part of your "false terminal" problem, aside the thyroid issue, which certainly needs a closer look. It's a good idea on general principle to learn some up-dos to protect your hair from breakage, though, and that can be done whilst waiting for thyroid medication to take effect, which as I understand can take a few months.

Oh, this is a little TMI, but watch your digestion with the iron supplements. Iron supplements can cause constipation, so you may end up needing to counteract that (but better to have to take Colace or something similar than to be anemic). Also, if over-the-counter Vitamin D supplements aren't getting your Vitamin D levels up to a reasonable mark, you might want to ask your doctor about a prescription. (I take a weekly Vitamin D prescription supplement because my levels are too low, probably at least partially because of my avoidance of the sun due to skin cancer scares.)

Best wishes!

Ooo! I love the smartphone app idea! I always forget there's an app for everything, but that sounds like it could really help.

I don't totally know if I'm hydrating enough. I drink coffee(1 serving when I'm not busy, up to 4 or 5 during the semester), but I also drink water when I'm thirsty. Generally 3-4 12 ounce sparkling waters a day, plus herbal tea when I'm cold and plain water when I feel like it.

Thanks for the up-do suggestions-- I'll definitely check out the disk bun and those threads.

Thanks also for the tip on iron supplements -- I have constipation issues anyway (thyroid tends to do that...), but I've also got stuff to counteract that. OTC Vit D did tend to work when I took it regularly, so I'm not too worried about that, but it's good to know there's other options if it comes to that.

AZDesertRose
January 4th, 2016, 12:25 AM
Plain water is the best thing for hydration, although I expect the sparkling water and herbal tea probably do fine too. Coffee, being caffeinated, can dehydrate you. (Caffeine does a number on the kidneys; a cup or two of coffee won't hurt much, but too much caffeine is not good for hydration purposes.) I remember my uni-student days of living on caffeine, though. It's a tough habit to crack, especially if you're already running on low energy because of the thyroid problem. Try to push yourself to drink more plain water, even (actually especially) if you don't/can't cut down on the coffee. (It's a good idea on general principle, but it'll help with your hair health too.)

Without being nosy about where you live, if you live in any sort of extreme climate, be particularly careful with the hydration. Pretty much everyone knows heat can pull hydration out of you, because you sweat out a lot of your fluids in hot weather, but dehydration also reduces your resistance to cold weather and can increase your risk of hypothermia, which is no fun at all as I understand.

I'm going to shut up now, because I'm starting to sound like my grandmother, who fussed at us all (her children and grandchildren) all the time to drink water. She wasn't wrong, though. :)

ElvenEngineer
January 4th, 2016, 12:30 AM
Haha, no problem! :) Yeah, I mentioned my coffee intake only as a contrast to water. It's not perfect, but it does me more good than bad with my energy issues so will be staying in my routine, at least until thyroid gets fixed and/or I'm not in school. I live in a four-seasons northern climate (this does very little to narrow it down, so I don't mind sharing, haha), so yeah, hydration is definitely important.

lapushka
January 4th, 2016, 06:01 AM
Haha, no problem! :) Yeah, I mentioned my coffee intake only as a contrast to water. It's not perfect, but it does me more good than bad with my energy issues so will be staying in my routine, at least until thyroid gets fixed and/or I'm not in school. I live in a four-seasons northern climate (this does very little to narrow it down, so I don't mind sharing, haha), so yeah, hydration is definitely important.

I hope you can get that sorted soon. At least have the test run again and *do* tell the doctor about what effect it has on your hair (important, because that is usually the first to go). And I do hope things will get better for you! :flower:

luxurioushair
January 4th, 2016, 06:13 AM
I think the fact that you oil only occasionally could be a problem. It seems important to oil the ends of your hair at least every other day. They are the driest part of your hair.

ElvenEngineer
January 4th, 2016, 07:56 AM
Just got 25mcg Synthroid! :disco: I actually printed out some PubMed abstracts to bring to the appointment, haha...

I got a new conditioner to try that is mostly water emulsified jojoba oil with herbs (and no protein). It's not detangling enough to use as my main conditioner, but I think I'll start using that as an everyday leave in, because it's not too heavy. The occasional oiling was mostly out of laziness, and because most straight oils made my hair so greasy I had to wash it immediately. Great as a treatment, but a pain to do too often.

Also discovered I really like the look of a low braided side bun. Though I've secured it with spin pins and bobbies, so it's probably not the *most* protective, but it's certainly motivating to have an updo I think looks really stylish in the mix.

embee
January 4th, 2016, 08:17 AM
Good on starting synthroid. It has its own hair side effects, but they pass (in my experience).

For many decades I thought my terminal length was BSL. After I started wearing my hair up every day it began to grow. Now I can sit on the ends. :)

You might want to try this bun, it's very quick and lakes only one stick, but your hair may not be long enough yet...
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=21324&page=2&p=1241677&viewfull=1#post1241677
Works best with fairytale ends...

AZDesertRose
January 4th, 2016, 08:59 AM
Good! I'm glad your doctor took you seriously about the thyroid problem. It may take some time (months) to get your dosage right, though, so don't despair if it isn't instantaneous; also, it'll take a while for the effects to show in your hair and nails.

There's nothing wrong with spin pins; a lot of people here swear by them (never tried them myself, but I probably should). Bobby pins can be damaging but if it's only a few of them, it shouldn't be a huge problem. I'm glad you found at least one up-do you like, but do play around and find some others, because styling your hair the same way all the time will cause breakage.

Do keep in mind what I said upthread about hydration, and best wishes in general! :)

lapushka
January 4th, 2016, 09:09 AM
Good! I'm glad your doctor took you seriously about the thyroid problem. It may take some time (months) to get your dosage right, though, so don't despair if it isn't instantaneous; also, it'll take a while for the effects to show in your hair and nails.

Yes, and I'm glad you went back so quickly too! :)

TaraDanina
January 4th, 2016, 12:58 PM
I do not have celiac or borderline thyroid issues, but I know from other health issues that a naturopath will be willing to help you with these if a regular doctor won't.
I used to be borderline anemic, and my doctor would dismiss because I wasn't truly anemic. It's like...yeah...but I have all the symptoms of anemia...
I went to a natural path after a few scary Pap smear results. The woman I worked with really turned my whole health around, putting a lot of emphasis of diet and herbal supplementation. If you have a well-rated naturopath in your area, it is worth considering. If your thyroid is borderline, it may simply require some medically guided supplementation to turn it around. ND's are not cheap, but most of them will work with you. For example, mine did a community clinic in Wednesday's, so my initial appointment was $120 instead of $275, and my two follow ups were $70 a pop instead of something like $150. My supplements ended up being about $100 a month, but honestly, it was worth it. My hair, skin and nails changed dramatically within one month. Then, my immune system activated itself for the first time in my life. I stopped catching viruses and getting fatigued, while the last few winters, I just bounced from one cold and flu to the next. A few months later, my test results went back to normal.
It's something to consider! ND's are also great with diet plans, so they will be sensitive to your celiac.

RavenRose
January 4th, 2016, 03:05 PM
Glad to hear you are getting your health issues worked out! I’ve been through the frustrating string of doctors for my health issues also!

This will be a lengthy post- about what I do, but is given with the intent it might be helpful.

I also have very fine wavy hair. When I was a teenager I was able to grow it to tailbone, through neglect and tons of cones. But was in horrible condition, so was chopped off.

I started using more natural beauty items when I realized I was very chemically sensitive. Since then I would always get around BSL, again through neglect, and my growth would stop, due to breakage, and my ends horrible, so I would chop back to APL/shoulder.

Because of my sensitivities finding products that work has been a nightmare. SLS/SLES makes me extremely itchy (I have to avoid this in any cleanser), and I am allergic to Lavendar, along with most chemical fragrances. Coconut oil causes acme, and is too weighty for my hair (plus gets crunchy in cold Wisconsin weather), most oils are too heavy. My hair builds up extremely easily- so I have to have a light hand with protein and cones. Aloe is not friendly either.
I have not been able to find a shampoo that is cone, protein and oil free, that has none of the other ingredients I am allergic too. Because cones build up so quickly, and most clarifying shampoos are a no go I have compromised with the proteins. I know that Keratin and silk proteins are not good for my hair, but hydrolyzed soy/oat/wheat proteins are okay.

Right now I am using the GUD (from burt’s bees) line of shampoo and conditioner. It does have a coconut derived sulfate, which from my understanding is a less refined natural form of SLS- but it does not make me itch/rash. The sent is based mostly from extracts, It has no cones, and only hydrolyzed proteins. The website has a full list of ingredients.

I have found recently a clarifying shampoo at Sally’s- ION brand that is sulfate free, It has a light citrus scent. Because of this product I have been able to adjust my routine to include a bit of cones. I have found that like many with fine wavy hair that cones help a long way with the tangles and breakage. Reading through the 2a fine (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=36484) thread was very helpful for me.

Since finding LHC, my hair is in much better condition despite bleaching out henna. Because of my greasy scalp I tend to wash my hair every two days. I use WCC. I wash my scalp only, and condition the length. The last condition is usually a very small amount of watered down Aussie 3MM, on the last few inches only. While still damp I will use 1-2 drops of lightly coney aragon oil serum from OGX as a leave in, focusing on my length/ends. I will run my hands over the outer layer of my hair when done to tame frizz. On non wash days I mist my hair with water and run 1-2 drops of the aragon serum through my hair.

I clarify all my hair every 6-7 washes, and I make sure I do a SMT (Sans aloe) after. I also do scalp massage every couple of days.

I put my hair up daily for work, but often leave it down at home. I have to be a bit below APL for buns to start to work, but I can do a French twist, French/Dutch braids, English braid, and a cinnabun held with small claws. I also sometimes will do vintage style pin curl updos which bring my hair up above my shoulder. I sleep with a thin silk cap (if you can sew making them yourself is very economical). Now I am seeing ¾” to 1” of growth monthly, and very little breakage.

Annalouise
January 4th, 2016, 05:41 PM
Hi, everyone! Long time lurker, first time poster here! I'm looking for advice on how to improve my hair-care regimen to reduce breakage (and maybe shedding?) so that I can get to my goal, which is waist length. I'm an inch or two beyond BSL -- it's a little difficult to measure. I have about 3 inches to go to get to waist. I'm not looking for miracle growth, just a way to get past this false terminal (it's been maybe an inch longer in the past but breakage happened). I had some fairly-tale ends that were longer, but I lost most of them in a recent bout of shedding. It's given me a more even hemline, which is new, but I miss them.

My hair type: 2a/2b, f/m, ii (dark brown with lighter warm brown reddish highlights, not dyed), tangles easily

My current regimen:

CO wash or CWC with Earth Science Fragrance Free Shampoo and Conditioner: Every day to every three days, depending on if I feel like I need it. More often I CWC, but only use a dime sized amount of shampoo on my scalp, never directly on the length.

Usually worn down or in a ponytail (bad, I know!) with no-crease/ribbon hair ties (like this: http://www.kenzlaurenz.com/hati5gl.html?ref=lexity&_vs=google&_vm=productsearch&gclid=CjwKEAiAh560BRDu-aD93r-J_zoSJACrxZG2OK823e5uyDJoMKJmoAzfeCvoabVon23MSWFel-kknhoCRWbw_wcB)

No brushing or combing. Finger detangling with copious conditioner in the shower, and occasionally when dry. Brushing and combing seems to really mess with my hair. Haven't done that in years.

Very rarely heat style when I'm pressed for time on a special occasion. It has no place in my regular routine, but sometimes I need to straighten the top three inches (what would be/used to be bangs when I had bangs) in the very front to frame my face.

Oil occasionally. Once a week to once a month. Coconut oil does not work well for me. Love Argan oil, but it's expensive. Jojoba oil is good too. Sweet almond is okay. Can't do olive oil, too heavy.

Things I intend to add or add back to my regimen:

Gelatin supplements, these really work for me

I really need to learn a good protective updo (I am often getting caught in my bag straps)

Things I am considering adding or adding back to my regimen

A micro trim or two (I have split ends)

Search and destroy

Castor oil. It's doing good things for my brows and lashes. I'm concerned about how dark it might make my hair, though. I don't want my highlights to disappear.

Face framing layers to make updos more flattering and reduce the need for heat styling to nil. I'm not sure how they'll grow out, though.

More oiling? Treatments? Herbs? Leave-in conditioner?

I have small sizes of Living Libations shampoo and conditioner. Yucca and jojoba based, 100% natural. Considering switching shampoos and using the conditioner along side my current one. This one doesn't have protein; my current one does.

Relevant health issues, hair issues and preferences:

I prefer to use natural products. I am not absolutist about this, though. I need Cetyl Alcohol containing conditioner, for instance. I won't use highly ecologically damaging ingredients.

I get bad artificial fragrance reactions easily. I can not use them in any significant quantity.

Last two inches are velcro-ish. Next two up are a little crunchy. The rest of my hair feels very healthy.

I have thyroid issues, low iron and celiac. Celiac is under control, but my doctor won't treat my thyroid issues because my lab tests are borderline. :rolleyes:

Fine and wavy equals tangly, in my experience. My hair seems to be getting more medium over time, though, which is nice. It's still prone to matting and tangles, though.

I'm not sure if I need to moisturize, reduce protein or what. I am prone to dry skin, though, so that may extend to dry hair.

I am also interested in reducing frizz/flyaways. They're not terrible, but they're present.


If you've gotten this far, thank you for reading. I am really wondering what your top tips are for reducing damage/breakage/shedding and promoting growth. Where will I see the most results for effort and money? If you ever hit a wall in your hair growth, what helped you get past it, especially if you have my hair type?

I've read the Advice for Newbies thread, and I know it says to change one thing at a time. So I am very interested in where my priorities should be, especially since my regimen already includes the CO/CWC wash and other basic stuff. What are the first few things I should start with that will likely give me the most impact? Feel free to suggest things I didn't list, of course! I'm looking for what works based on others experience.

Finally, I've had trouble learning to do an updo. Most of the tutorials I see are for long, thick hair in comparison to my relatively modest mid-back ii. I'd love to learn to do a french twist, a messy bun, and a nice flat-laying cinnamon bun, and perhaps a few more. I've only used spin picks and bobby pins until now. I have some hair forks/combs coming in the mail. I'd love some tips on good protective updos, and especially learning to do them! (Note: I'm in my twenties and look too childish in big braids. Little braids as bun accents are nice, though. :) )


Umm, are you ME? Did I write this? hahaha :couch:
I have similar hair type, low thyroid, celiac, sensitive to fragrance, tangling...bla bla bla... hair that doesn't get to waist
length...
This is what I do, my hair has thinned dramatically, but this is what I do now: take a multi vitamin daily. I take 'Country Life' vitamins as they are certified gluten free. I order them from iherb online. I also take Iron and their 'thyro'max' support, which is iodine from kelp. They also make a 'hair vitamin' but I haven't taken it.
And for products I only use 'fragrance free'. I do have one that has natural scent in it but to be honest, .... I'm better off with fragrance free. Don't be fooled by products that say "no synthetic fragrance" because unfortunately, due to labeling laws, there can be synthetics present in "natural fragrance".
I have very little hair past mid back. If my hair is 2" at the nape of the neck its almost negligible at bsl. So I believe that this taper is just a result of genetics. You have to deal with what nature has given you. I'm 50% scandinavian and my mother is almost bald and her grandmother who had extremely long hair as a young woman was completely bald as an elder woman.
So look at your ancestors and see how their hair grows. Don't get in a :luke: with nature because nature always wins.:D

Silverbrumby
January 4th, 2016, 10:41 PM
Good on starting synthroid. It has its own hair side effects, but they pass (in my experience).

For many decades I thought my terminal length was BSL. After I started wearing my hair up every day it began to grow. Now I can sit on the ends. :)

You might want to try this bun, it's very quick and lakes only one stick, but your hair may not be long enough yet...
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=21324&page=2&p=1241677&viewfull=1#post1241677
Works best with fairytale ends...

I'm hopeful but I don't think I would ever be able to sit on my hair. I was wondering, when you were stuck at BSL, did you have a disappearing braid? By that I mean even thought I've cut back to blunt for 4 years I have a disappearing braid. It loses thickness at the 5th to 6th braid bump until it disappears to nothing with my hair STUCK at BSL.

embee
January 5th, 2016, 07:31 AM
When I was at BSL I never tried a braid (that I recall). My hair is not thick and braids always tended to disappear for me. They still do, but now I don't mind so much because there's enough length to make a decent bun. Cutting back is not always the best idea. Fairytale ends make (for me) tucking the ends in easy. Blunt always made a "paint brush" of the ends and they Would Not Tuck In. Most tiresome.

However, if you want to wear your hair loose then trims may be needed for the look you're after. I got older and loose hair did not feel as attractive on me and was very much in my way.

stelz
January 5th, 2016, 08:22 AM
Hi, everyone! Long time lurker, first time poster here! I'm looking for advice on how to improve my hair-care regimen to reduce breakage (and maybe shedding?) so that I can get to my goal, which is waist length. I'm an inch or two beyond BSL -- it's a little difficult to measure. I have about 3 inches to go to get to waist. I'm not looking for miracle growth, just a way to get past this false terminal (it's been maybe an inch longer in the past but breakage happened). I had some fairly-tale ends that were longer, but I lost most of them in a recent bout of shedding. It's given me a more even hemline, which is new, but I miss them.

That's EXACTLY where my hair used to stop when I wore it down a lot.



Usually worn down or in a ponytail (bad, I know!) with no-crease/ribbon hair ties

Aha.
Mine shot down past my butt when I started keeping it in a single plait down the back. Just that. No special regimen or dietary changes. Back when I started doing that, I was in dire straits financially. I used cheap shampoos and conditioners...St. Ives, Pantene, Suave. It didn't matter. The hair still got long.

Now I bun during the day and sleep in the braid, but very seldom wear my hair down. Braids are protective. Buns are protective. Just spend some time on youtube and practice, you have to find what works for you. ;)
If the buns and twists don't stay put, a Ficcare is a good investment too.

ElvenEngineer
June 18th, 2016, 01:19 AM
Update time!!

Sorry, guys, I know it's been forever. I have only recently started having some free time to think about my hair again.

So, I've been on Synthroid this whole time. I went through a shed, but over all I think my hair is probably growing somewhat faster. I started taking gelatin supplements regularly for the past month or so, and can see the effect in my nails, but I won't see the effect in my hair for awhile. Not a concept I need to test though because gelatin does so many things for me I'd take it even if it did squat for hair. I haven't run any tests on any of the other supplements, though I have been taking biotin and vitamin d when I remember. Doing some more deliberate experiments on those is "on the to-do list".

I switched shampoos to Nature's Gate Voluminizing, because I ran out of Earth Science at an untimely moment and NG was readily available. The phthalate-free fruity fragrance doesn't seem to bother me. I don't *think* it has protein. Here are the ingredients:

Water, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, sodium cocoyl isethionate, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, lauryl glucoside, glycerin, hedychium coronarium (awapuhi ginger) root extract, panthenol, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, borago officinalis (borage) seed oil, tocopherol, ascorbic acid, prunus serotina (wild cherry) bark extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, betula alba (birch) leaf extract, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, humulus lupulus (hops) extract, equisetum arvense (horsetail) leaf extract, quillaja saponaria bark (soap) extract, algae extract, ocimum sanctum (holy basil) leaf extract, ascorbyl palmitate, polysorbate 20, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, alcohol, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, glyceryl undecylenate, citric acid, fragrance*, caramel.
* Phthalate free

I'm still using the Earth Science conditioner from up thread. I'll likely switch when I run out of my current bottle (or even before then), but more on that in a second.

So, when I dug up this thread about a week ago, my crunchy ends were *really* bothering me. I had gained an inch or so of length -- very uneven and very dry fairytale end length. I went on a massive S&D mission, thrice, and got a bit overzealous. I was really disappointed that it only seemed to help the crunchiness problem a little bit. The end result of that is that my length is about the same as when I made this thread, but the hemline is much thicker so it *looks* a bit longer.

I decided to try to follow the advice in this thread to clarify. Now, NG is obviously not a clarifying shampoo, but it is protein-free and looking around at threads on clarifying it was suggested to try to shampoo first. So for the first time in forever I shampooed my whole length. The ends felt *really* dry. I followed up with some argan oil, an ACV/ascorbic acid/lime juice rinse, and my conditioner. (I figured I'd try the acid rinse before chelating.) To my shock it worked excellently. My ends weren't crunchy at all! I went a little overboard with the argan oil since my ends were so dry and decided to wash the whole length again two days later. I followed up with the oil, acid rinse and conditioner again. This time, I didn't go nuts with the argan oil in the following days and two days later went back to my normal CWC. A CWC after that, and I've got crunchy ends again. Worse yet, they're splitting and tangling, too.

I did just install a showerhead filter, so that might help in the upcoming days. I think there's a good chance my hair just doesn't like protein. I'm ordering some Free&Clear Conditioner (most of the ingredients are a 1 or 2 on the EWG scale and only one is a 3 and it's protein-free) in the next few days and am going to experiment with that.

Do you think it's the protein causing my weak, crunchy ends? What else could it be? What else would you suggest to fix it?

ElvenEngineer
June 18th, 2016, 01:25 AM
In other news, I've learned how to do a lot more updos -- including, finally, a french twist! And I love my horn hair forks. I can't wait to post pics. Unfortunately, it seems my forum permissions are really limited and I can't even access my own profile. Is that a normal thing -- like I haven't posted enough -- or is that some kind of glitch?

I've found some Red Surya henna around here as well and I'm kind of itching to do a henna gloss with coconut milk and see if it would help my breakage problem (my hair is a dark brown with red and gold highlights and I always love a more intense red.)

pailin
June 18th, 2016, 01:34 AM
Hi, I don't see any proteins in the ingredients list you posted, unless I'm missing something

For forum permissions, you have to reach a certain number of posts; I believe the magic number is 25, so you you only need a few more. Game threads don't count (maybe some others don't either. I'm not sure which). You can post in the random hair thoughts thread, and look in the hiartoy threads and comment on people's hairstick pictures, or answer some poll questions, and that should get you there quickly.

Regarding your crunchy ends, have you been using coconut oil at all? Because for some of us, that can do it (even though it does NOT contain protein).

ElvenEngineer
June 18th, 2016, 01:38 AM
Hi, I don't see any proteins in the ingredients list you posted, unless I'm missing something

For forum permissions, you have to reach a certain number of posts; I believe the magic number is 25, so you you only need a few more. Game threads don't count (maybe some others don't either. I'm not sure which). You can post in the random hair thoughts thread, and look in the hiartoy threads and comment on people's hairstick pictures, or answer some poll questions, and that should get you there quickly.

Regarding your crunchy ends, have you been using coconut oil at all? Because for some of us, that can do it (even though it does NOT contain protein).

Nope, no coconut oil -- it really doesn't absorb well into my hair, even though it's supposed to.

Also, thanks for the information! That's really helpful. :)

pailin
June 18th, 2016, 01:45 AM
You're welcome!
Also, since the clarifying wash with acid rinse helped, and CWC again left you with crunchy ends again, I'd be really suspicious that it's something in your conditioner, and changing up your routine might help. It unlikely to be just that your ends are so bad, or the clarifying wouldn't help.

Shepherdess
June 18th, 2016, 02:15 AM
Update time!!

Sorry, guys, I know it's been forever. I have only recently started having some free time to think about my hair again.

So, I've been on Synthroid this whole time. I went through a shed, but over all I think my hair is probably growing somewhat faster. I started taking gelatin supplements regularly for the past month or so, and can see the effect in my nails, but I won't see the effect in my hair for awhile. Not a concept I need to test though because gelatin does so many things for me I'd take it even if it did squat for hair. I haven't run any tests on any of the other supplements, though I have been taking biotin and vitamin d when I remember. Doing some more deliberate experiments on those is "on the to-do list".

I switched shampoos to Nature's Gate Voluminizing, because I ran out of Earth Science at an untimely moment and NG was readily available. The phthalate-free fruity fragrance doesn't seem to bother me. I don't *think* it has protein. Here are the ingredients:

Water, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, sodium cocoyl isethionate, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, lauryl glucoside, glycerin, hedychium coronarium (awapuhi ginger) root extract, panthenol, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, borago officinalis (borage) seed oil, tocopherol, ascorbic acid, prunus serotina (wild cherry) bark extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, betula alba (birch) leaf extract, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, humulus lupulus (hops) extract, equisetum arvense (horsetail) leaf extract, quillaja saponaria bark (soap) extract, algae extract, ocimum sanctum (holy basil) leaf extract, ascorbyl palmitate, polysorbate 20, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, alcohol, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, glyceryl undecylenate, citric acid, fragrance*, caramel.
* Phthalate free

I'm still using the Earth Science conditioner from up thread. I'll likely switch when I run out of my current bottle (or even before then), but more on that in a second.

So, when I dug up this thread about a week ago, my crunchy ends were *really* bothering me. I had gained an inch or so of length -- very uneven and very dry fairytale end length. I went on a massive S&D mission, thrice, and got a bit overzealous. I was really disappointed that it only seemed to help the crunchiness problem a little bit. The end result of that is that my length is about the same as when I made this thread, but the hemline is much thicker so it *looks* a bit longer.

I decided to try to follow the advice in this thread to clarify. Now, NG is obviously not a clarifying shampoo, but it is protein-free and looking around at threads on clarifying it was suggested to try to shampoo first. So for the first time in forever I shampooed my whole length. The ends felt *really* dry. I followed up with some argan oil, an ACV/ascorbic acid/lime juice rinse, and my conditioner. (I figured I'd try the acid rinse before chelating.) To my shock it worked excellently. My ends weren't crunchy at all! I went a little overboard with the argan oil since my ends were so dry and decided to wash the whole length again two days later. I followed up with the oil, acid rinse and conditioner again. This time, I didn't go nuts with the argan oil in the following days and two days later went back to my normal CWC. A CWC after that, and I've got crunchy ends again. Worse yet, they're splitting and tangling, too.

I did just install a showerhead filter, so that might help in the upcoming days. I think there's a good chance my hair just doesn't like protein. I'm ordering some Free&Clear Conditioner (most of the ingredients are a 1 or 2 on the EWG scale and only one is a 3 and it's protein-free) in the next few days and am going to experiment with that.

Do you think it's the protein causing my weak, crunchy ends? What else could it be? What else would you suggest to fix it?
It is great to hear that your hair is growing somewhat faster! I am glad that you bumped up your thread, reading through it has some good info! I also have had thyroid trouble in the past (7 years ago), and the past few years I have been going through the symptoms again (a few years ago had a few major sheds and currently am in a growth stall, though the stall might just be due to my shed hairs growing back and not reached my length yet?), with some other issues which I think are related to my thyroid, though when I try to explain this to my current doctor, she doesn't seem to take me seriously since my test results come back normal, so I may need to get a second opinion too.

I hope that you are able to figure out what is causing your crunchy ends. I had trouble with that a few years ago when I was using coconut oil. It sounds like you aren't doing anything wrong in your hair care routine, it can be so hard to figure out hair sometimes! Sometimes when my ends get a bit that way, I use a diluted leave-in conditioner or diluted aloe vera (with water) in a spray bottle and mist my ends, then braid it and cover it with something (like a silky sleeping cap), this usually seems to help to smooth my hair shaft down a little bit, though it doesn't always work. I hope something works out for you!

Yosha
June 18th, 2016, 02:17 AM
The first thing that came to mind when I read your OP was to prioritize your health and switch doctors, but you've already been taking care of that :D I agree with what the others wrote, I only have a few minor tips in case you still need them (you probably encountered them during your research). With Hashimoto's it is very common to be short on nutrients, especially the ones mentioned (vit.D, iron) but also magnesium and B-vitamins (especially B12 and B6), so if you can have those checked out that would be nice for you. Magnesium you'll notice if you have cramps in your legs (you can get a supplement or eat bananas and see if it helps). If you just started on synthroid, you should have your levels checked every few weeks. I have Hashimoto's too and it took so long to diagnose I have a lot of health issues, they are internally and weirdly enough my hair is flourishing now (the structure is a bit off, but it looks better than ever, as long as I don't look at the ends lol). If you keep having problems, you could consider armour or something like that (just saying, because I kept having so much problems and found out I don't convert the T4 well, at least with the extra T3 my brain works again). Just something to keep in mind. Are you having problems with iron supplements? I take ferrochel and finally this one doesn't hurt my stomach (got hives during the first period I used it, but after a pause and starting again they stay away now). Also, I noticed results not eating gluten (of course having coeliac disease you aren't having gluten anyway), dairy and... corn. I read a lot about it and found out that some foods have similar/partly the same protein as gluten, so it's possible you react to other grains and dairy, it's not the same for everyone though, just something everyone has to find out for themselves by trying it out (I've been planning to go on an elimination diet to see if there are other foods I'm reacting to ( I still have a lot of health issues), just postponing it atm).

My hair stalled at about BSL for ages, and after a new growth period it stalled again at TB/classic for years. Then I found hair forums and apparently it was because of build up too (but you already took care of that as well). Coconut oil doesn't work for my hair as a leave-in either, it gets crunchy, but as a pre-poo treatment it worked wonders so if you still have some left over you could try it that way. Conditioners with cetearyl alcohol and such, and behentrimonium hydrochloride/methosulfate work very well for me too.

Hm so I didn't have much to add, I guess I felt the need to react because I recognize so much in your story :gift: All the best with your health and hair!

Ps I think there is something in either your shampoo or conditioner that your hair doesn't like (maybe the soy protein, but could be any of the plant extracts as well, the protein seems to be the first thing that came to mind though). Or it's the argan oil?

ElvenEngineer
June 18th, 2016, 02:17 AM
Thanks for confirming that suspicion! That's kinda what I'm thinking too, which is why I'm ordering a protein free conditioner to experiment, but I like to check-in/ put things out there here because so many of the members have so much more experience than I do with this kind of thing. So, I have this constant feeling it could be something I wouldn't even think of. :D (I wouldn't have thought to wash the whole length without this thread in the first place, for instance.) I'm still in the "there's so much more information here than I could possibly sort" stage. :)

lapushka
June 18th, 2016, 06:20 AM
Water, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, sodium cocoyl isethionate, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, lauryl glucoside, glycerin, hedychium coronarium (awapuhi ginger) root extract, panthenol, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, borago officinalis (borage) seed oil, tocopherol, ascorbic acid, prunus serotina (wild cherry) bark extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, betula alba (birch) leaf extract, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, humulus lupulus (hops) extract, equisetum arvense (horsetail) leaf extract, quillaja saponaria bark (soap) extract, algae extract, ocimum sanctum (holy basil) leaf extract, ascorbyl palmitate, polysorbate 20, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, alcohol, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, glyceryl undecylenate, citric acid, fragrance*, caramel.
* Phthalate free

The alcohol in it would be a problem for me (I get a burning sensation from straight up alcohol touching the skin). It acts as a preservative here, most likely, and the sodium hydroxide (lye) probably as a pH balancer (most likely). That's the only two that piqued my interest.

Congrats on gaining length! :)

Silverbrumby
June 18th, 2016, 06:48 AM
Elevenengineer congrats on a gain in length. I've also gained and I'm now a fairytale 29 inches.

I wanted to mention my dry ends are helped by Wash condition condition method. CWW. Also and more importantly i now put cones leave in on my last 3 inches. I use Marrakesh hair oil from amazon at the moment. Baby oil helped the ends as well. 3 drops after washing on last four inches of hair. Seals in moisture i believe.

Stepo_NiNha
June 18th, 2016, 07:04 AM
First of all, if you have an internal problem you must go to the doctor. Regarding the breakage part, then I'd also recommend every now and then a chelating shampoo with dissodium, trissodium or tetrassodium edta to remove hard water chemicals that may also contribute to breakage and false terminals. I already had several false terminals at BSL too. BSL is sensitive, because you might still have the same habits as APL. Good you started some updos and microtrimming to reduce your breakage. Check out either if your hair rubs at chairs when you wear your hair down or braided for example. From now on these new small habits must be part of your routine :)

Yosha
June 18th, 2016, 07:54 AM
Oh I forgot to mention in my post that being hypothyroid can make your hair brittle, so that may add to your ends being like that (if you have Hashi's, your thyroid may swing for a while before it starts going down, so it's possible you have a bad period and then the thyroid picks up again for a while, before going down, which I can still see in my hair). So besides your ends not liking protein and build up (and other things), it could be a combination of things. When I was very hypothyroid but undiagnosed (so no meds), my hair did a weird thing where it flattened and turned, with thicker and thinner parts in it, I tried photographing it but it's not as visible in my pictures as with the naked eye, it hasn't been doing that for a while luckily. And it grew much slower, it grows 1 1/2 times as fast now (also with the vit. supplements, especially iron and vit. D) from 8mm (between 1/4" and 3/8") a month to 1.2mm (almost 1/2") a month.

Beezle
June 18th, 2016, 08:03 AM
:scissors:
You might want to try this bun, it's very quick and lakes only one stick, but your hair may not be long enough yet...
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=21324&page=2&p=1241677&viewfull=1#post1241677
Works best with fairytale ends...
Thank you so much for repeating this, Embee. After I first read your instructions a year or so ago I wrote you a PM to thank you as I was so impressed that even my scrawny hair would behave (not to mention it gave me a much-needed face lift if I did it too tight! Ouch!). Your inbox was full and I forgot to try again - so here I am again. Thank you so much for this very manageable style. It's the only way I can keep a hairstick in my hair so I'm very pleased to know it.

ElvenEngineer
June 18th, 2016, 05:34 PM
The alcohol in it would be a problem for me (I get a burning sensation from straight up alcohol touching the skin). It acts as a preservative here, most likely, and the sodium hydroxide (lye) probably as a pH balancer (most likely). That's the only two that piqued my interest.

Congrats on gaining length! :)

Thanks! :) Noticing how it looked when it was closer to waist length helped me clarify my hair goals as well. I don't just want the longest little fairy tale end touching my waist (which I nearly had), I want the bulk of my hemline to appear to end at waist, and have some fairy tale strays dip below it. Before this most recent S&D mission, there was about a two inch difference from my longest little lock and where my hair "appeared" to end. (Now it's maybe a 1- 1/2 in difference, I don't plan to microtrim like that in the future -- I figured out I like my fairytale ends).

I'll look into another shampoo if the protein-free conditioner experiment does not fix things. I am likely not as sensitive to alcohol as you are -- I've worked with 75% Everclear when making some herbal tinctures (not for hair) and did not notice any skin irritation when I got it on me. The NaOH might be an issue, though.

Do you think I might have an issue with lack of moisture in my ends -- or just protein build-up?

ElvenEngineer
June 18th, 2016, 05:36 PM
Oh I forgot to mention in my post that being hypothyroid can make your hair brittle, so that may add to your ends being like that (if you have Hashi's, your thyroid may swing for a while before it starts going down, so it's possible you have a bad period and then the thyroid picks up again for a while, before going down, which I can still see in my hair). So besides your ends not liking protein and build up (and other things), it could be a combination of things. When I was very hypothyroid but undiagnosed (so no meds), my hair did a weird thing where it flattened and turned, with thicker and thinner parts in it, I tried photographing it but it's not as visible in my pictures as with the naked eye, it hasn't been doing that for a while luckily. And it grew much slower, it grows 1 1/2 times as fast now (also with the vit. supplements, especially iron and vit. D) from 8mm (between 1/4" and 3/8") a month to 1.2mm (almost 1/2") a month.

Well, I've been on meds for a while. But I have, in the past, noticed that some areas of the same strand are thicker while others are thinner (and not just in a linear progression toward the ends.) It's interesting to hear another vote for Vitamin D and iron! I'll definitely have to give those a try.

lapushka
June 18th, 2016, 05:36 PM
Do you think I might have an issue with lack of moisture in my ends -- or just protein build-up?

I think it's difficult to say, because you *do* have a health issue that can gravely affect hair and how it behaves. When in doubt, always clarify-wash and put a moisturizing conditioner on next.

ElvenEngineer
June 18th, 2016, 05:38 PM
Elevenengineer congrats on a gain in length. I've also gained and I'm now a fairytale 29 inches.

I wanted to mention my dry ends are helped by Wash condition condition method. CWW. Also and more importantly i now put cones leave in on my last 3 inches. I use Marrakesh hair oil from amazon at the moment. Baby oil helped the ends as well. 3 drops after washing on last four inches of hair. Seals in moisture i believe.

Yay! Congrats to you as well. I'll look into WCC (giggling a little because those were the initials of a junior college I used to attend). I might think about adding cones eventually, but I'd like to exhaust natural options first. I'm glad you found something that works for you, though!

ElvenEngineer
June 18th, 2016, 05:41 PM
I think it's difficult to say, because you *do* have a health issue that can gravely affect hair and how it behaves. When in doubt, always clarify-wash and put a moisturizing conditioner on next.

Thanks again for the advice. :) Do you think I might need to clarify with something stronger or do you think I'm reacting to something I'm putting on my hair afterward? (Sorry for all the questions -- you always seem so well-informed!)

ElvenEngineer
June 18th, 2016, 06:24 PM
Also -- I couldn't wait! I've henna'd my hair before and loved the results or I wouldn't have done this at an experimental time, but I just washed the henna out of my hair! :D It's drying in a turban -- can't wait to see it dry. I noticed the strands in the shower were thicker and had a red glow. Hopefully this will help prevent breakage. I've never had a problem with coconut as a deep treatment either so I mixed it up with coconut milk and it was sooo silky. I'm extremely proud of myself that I managed to stain *nothing*! Least messy henna treatment I have ever pulled off. I had about half the batch left over and stuck it in a plastic bag in the freezer. I'll probably do this again in a couple weeks! :D

lithostoic
June 18th, 2016, 08:27 PM
Lazy wrap bun or nautilus!

lapushka
June 19th, 2016, 05:22 PM
Thanks again for the advice. :) Do you think I might need to clarify with something stronger or do you think I'm reacting to something I'm putting on my hair afterward? (Sorry for all the questions -- you always seem so well-informed!)

Thank you. :)

I can't be sure, that's what makes it so difficult. Would you mind posting your entire routine? For instance, do you wash with a sulfate-free shampoo, do you CO-wash, etc. ...

Normally a clarify-wash should take care of it, whatever it is you have going on. If you put a regular conditioner on afterwards it shouldn't cause any issues. You can even use a leave-in and some serum after. Should be fine! If you tried that once, even twice, it might be the state of your hair and due to internal issues, and how the hair has grown out (if you've been struggling with it all along).

ElvenEngineer
June 21st, 2016, 08:05 PM
Thank you. :)

I can't be sure, that's what makes it so difficult. Would you mind posting your entire routine? For instance, do you wash with a sulfate-free shampoo, do you CO-wash, etc. ...

Normally a clarify-wash should take care of it, whatever it is you have going on. If you put a regular conditioner on afterwards it shouldn't cause any issues. You can even use a leave-in and some serum after. Should be fine! If you tried that once, even twice, it might be the state of your hair and due to internal issues, and how the hair has grown out (if you've been struggling with it all along).

Sure :) I CWC with the Nature's Gate shampoo that I posted earlier. Before the Nature's Gate, I was washing with Earth Science shampoo. I'm still using the Earth Science conditioner for CWC.

Earth Science Fragrance-Free:

Shampoo: Aqua (Water), Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Lactic Acid, Polyquaternium-7, Citric Acid, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate

Conditioner: Aqua (Water), Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol

I've ordered some Free and Clear Conditioner since I was advised it might be excessive protein from the conditioner that's causing the end crunch. I use a lot of conditioner to finger detangle in the shower. I use argan oil (just a drop or two) while my hair's drying and between washes when I'm having tangle or flyaway issues. That's all I do regularly. :)